I figured what the hell, I’ll post it now.
CHASING MAGIC was the overwhelming winner! And I’ve tried to pick something that gives some hint of Big Things happening but isn’t a spoiler–this is NOT a spoiler, this excerpt, so don’t worry. It is, as requested, a Chess/Terrible moment, and I get a kick out of it and I hope you guys do too.
For those who don’t want to see anything from CM until after SM comes out, I’ve hidden it under a cut. So, without further ado…
(Note: This is from the pre-copyedits version of the manuscript; final printed version may vary slightly. Also, Chess is wearing cherry-red peep-toe platform heels [you’ll know why I told you that at the end].)
So her hands shook, and even as the first swirls of tingly relief started in her stomach she knew they weren’t going to stop.
“Can see right down yon dress, Chessiebomb.”
Her gasp of laughter echoed in the room. More relief. Relief and something else, too, because all that furious energy in the room was changing in a very familiar way, one she’d half-expected. She wasn’t the only one who looked for ways to distract herself from things she didn’t want to think about. “Oh?”
That tone in his voice didn’t help calm her down. Nor did the fact that as she smeared the wound with ointment his hand rested on her hip.
She ignored it. Ignored it while she closed the scratches as best as she could, while she rested a clean gauze pad over them and his hand moved, sliding under her skirt to skim the back of her thigh.
When his fingertips slipped under the edge of her panties she spoke. “Stop it. I need to get this taped on.”
“Thinkin it’s on there all right up. Whyn’t you come with me, we finish cleanin up later.”
“No, I’m almost—you shouldn’t be moving around a lot anyway.”
“You do all the work, then, aye? C’mon. Look, you got me all fixed up.” The dress’s bodice loosened around her ribs; he’d pulled the zipper down, and his fingers found the hooks of her strapless bra.
“Just let me take these shoes off.”
The bra opened. He stood up, a smile she knew very well crossing his face, and grabbed her hips to start urging her out of the room. “Naw, naw, leave em on.”
His mouth broke her laugh, broke her feeble attempts to protest. Feeble because she didn’t want to protest, especially not when his hands spread heat over her bare back, down over her bottom and thighs.
There was still stuff to talk about. He knew it; she knew it. But as her dress fell to the floor she stopped protesting, took his face in her hands and let him walk her out of the bathroom and across the wide cement floor of his apartment to the big gray bed. Those subjects weren’t going away just because they got distracted for half an hour or so, and even if she hadn’t needed him she would have needed him, because those images of what could have happened refused to leave her alone and somewhere inside her, down where all of the other filth hid, she knew just how possible it was for them to become reality.
And what she would do if that happened she couldn’t even imagine; of all the thoughts and fears she locked away that was the one she didn’t think she could handle.
So she didn’t. Instead she fell back on the bed shoes and all, and let him make her forget.