Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Excerpt ~ What Alice Wants

At this point in the story, all Alice wants is to find the will Clarence hid, and she plans to spend the weekend searching the mansion where Chuck is a live-in caretaker:

"You're the focus of my plans this weekend, and if you'd cooperate for a change, we'd both accomplish our goals," Chuck said, stopping at the entrance to the first guest bedroom they came to and placing her suitcase on the bed. "We could start with getting you changed out of that three-piece chastity suit and into jeans or something."

"I'm comfortable like this," Alice said, although she was never entirely comfortable around Chuck. He kept her on edge, aware of his desire for her, and, no matter how hard she tried to deny it, aware of her own desire for him.

Chuck shook his head. "You're as stubborn as Clarence was."

Alice hovered in the doorway, maintaining her distance from both the man and the bed. "I prefer to think of it as developing a solid, logical, thoroughly thought-out plan and sticking to it."

"So did he." Chuck leaned against the footboard. "I got pretty good at maneuvering around his plans, though. Sort of like the scorpion handlers of India. They have contests where they lock themselves up in cages with thousands of scorpions, and see how long they can stay in there. They learn how to avoid getting stung while going about their daily activities."

"Don't they get stung?"

"Oh, sure," Chuck said. "Lots, especially in the first few hours. But the handlers are skilled and they move slowly and deliberately, until the scorpions eventually accept their human roommates. After that, a handler is fairly safe from stings, unless he forgets where he is and who he's with, and does something stupid like stepping on a tail."

"But why risk it?" Alice said. "Even if they're not fatal, those stings must hurt."

"Oh, they do hurt something fierce." Chuck glanced at the exposed skin of his forearms, as if remembering past wounds. "But it's worth the risk. In the end, the handlers know they've accomplished something that no one else can do. They manage to develop a strong bond with dangerous and wary creatures."

"Sounds like you know a lot about it."

"I've done some reading," Chuck said as he moved away from the bed. "And it definitely gave me some insights into Clarence's behavior. And yours."

"I am not a poisonous insect," Alice said. "And I most definitely don't need a handler."

"That's what Clarence thought, too."

Chuck leaned against the doorjamb, too close for comfort, and Alice was caught between the urge to move closer to him and the urge to pull away from his influence. She refused to admit his proximity was affecting her. She held her ground and said, "And still, he didn't fire you?"

"No." Chuck inched his way even closer to her. "See, the trick to handling scorpions, besides moving slowly and deliberately, is to make them forget they're being handled. Then, it's a piece of cake. And just as sweet, like this."

He closed the gap between them, leaning down to kiss her on the lips before she realized his intent, before she could move away, and then she was caught. His lips brushed hers, then closed on her lower lip with a soft bite, leaving behind no pain other than the self-recrimination that she'd let him get so close.


Blogger Dee said...

Hey, Jan, this sounds great!


2:10 PM  
Blogger Ravynne Sun said...

Great excerpt. I loved the analogy between the scorpion handler/scorpion and him/her. Just hope he watches out to not step on her tail.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Y. said...

Sounds great!

5:02 PM  
Anonymous moonlightwillow said...

I've already bought mine~fantastic so far!

6:03 PM  
Blogger Barrie Abalard said...

Hi Jan,

Yummy! He'd better not step on her tail, though.

Barrie A.

6:23 PM  
Blogger KimW said...

Oh my gosh...she's gonna get stung and she's gonna love it. haha!

9:00 PM  
Anonymous annalisa said...

Wow! Great excerpt! :)

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Cherie said...

Sounds really good!

10:17 PM  

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