Belle waited for the punch line to his compliment. When none came, she looked up to see Gray staring at her. His entire body seemed tilted and his eyes – wide and stormy now – pulsated in time to her heartbeat.
“Would you mind closing the doors a bit?” she asked, motioning to the fireplace. “It’s hot enough.”
“Belle.” Gray leaned forward in his chair. His jeans pressed into the coffee table between them. He said her name again, as if she hadn’t heard the first time.
But she’d heard it just fine. She’d heard the longing tone, the soft inflection, the way in which he made it half sigh, half question. It was just one syllable, which she’d heard a trillion times in a million different voices. But suddenly it caused her stomach to flip inside out and her eyes to burrow deep into the half-finished blanket in her hands – the blanket that would soon belong to the reason Gray couldn’t finish what he wanted to say.
“Don’t forget to –”
“Belle. Something happened today.”
She pitched her chin up. Could he recognize the terror that was flashing through her entire body right now?
Gray wrung his hands together over his knees. Something unfamiliar flitted across his face.
“I know I’ve only been here a week,” he said, “and I don’t want to put myself where I don’t belong.” Belle gripped the cloth and the smooth metal needle pushing through it. She’d stab herself before she let him ruin this – whatever this was. “But I care about you and –”
“Gray, please –”
“What did he do to you?”
Silence dropped with the question mark. The needle plunged into Belle’s thumb but she bit back the yelp. Only the crackle of the fire had the nerve to make a sound.
12 responses to “Where’s the Love? Blog Hop”
I love the intensity in this scene, and the apparent self-doubt Gray feels. You’ve done a wonderful job showing the swirling emotions. Good luck finding a home for Desperately Ever After, based on this snippet, you’ve got a good thing going.
Thanks for the feedback and the vote of confidence, Jess!
This scene is wonderful. You give a strong sense of both characters. But curses on that 250-word limit. I’m sure it is explained in the wider context, but I certainly do have questions. In particular, I couldn’t understand what this line means: “the blanket that would soon belong to reason Gray couldn’t finish what he wanted to say.”
I really like your voice and pacing. Thanks for sharing this scene.
250 words – ay, there’s the rub! Thanks for your feedback Barb. I’m so glad this clip piqued your curiosity. I debated giving a set-the-scene introduction, but decided against it. The blanket Belle is making is a baby blanket… you can fill in the rest 😉
I loved the scene, especially “But suddenly it caused her stomach to flip inside out and her eyes to burrow deep into the half-finished blanket in her hands – the blanket that would soon belong to the reason Gray couldn’t finish what he wanted to say.” So intense. Love the drive and the pacing. Great job, I can’t wait to read more.
Lovely tension! Plus there’s all of that mystery and great voice. Well done. 🙂 Good luck on your sub process! As agent sisters, you gotta keep me posted!!!!!!
Thanks Heather! This blog hop was a great idea. And I’ll definitely keep you posted!
Agree, agree, agree! The intensity of this scene had me clenching up for what would happen next! That’s when you know you’ve got a good one on your hands! Really, great job! **Loved this line! Only the crackle of the fire had the nerve to make a sound
The use of the needle adds tension maybe more than Gray’s body language. It can go both ways: hurt or create/heal. Nice. Comment by fireplace seals the scene.
Woah! I have absolutely no idea what’s going on between Gray and Belle and I SO want to know! Fabulous suspense. I assume the blanket is for a baby… but whose?? And I think your closing line, “Only the crackle of the fire had the nerve to make a sound” is one of the best sentences I’ve read all day. I’d love to read more of your work.
This passage is so intriguing, Laura! I love the line about her hearing her name a million times, yet this time her stomach flipped and she burrowed her hands in the blanket–almost as if she’s glad she has the coming baby to protect her from her feelings for Gray. Would love to know what their history is! My only quibble is with the last line…the crackle of the fire is the sound, so you’re essentially saying “only the sound had the nerve to make a sound.” It’s the fire that’s making the sound, so I would put “Only the crackling fire had the nerve to make a sound.” It’s an absolutely wonderful closing image, in any case! Best of luck on your submission!
Thanks Julianne! That’s just what I was going for. Good catch with the sound too. Much appreciated 🙂