The Exquisite Quills is a yahoo group that is open to authors and readers. From that group blossomed the Exquisite Quills blog. http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/ We like having fun with it so we allow all authors to post on Washline Mondays where they describe the clothing of their characters. Let’s face it, we put lots of energy into creating these characters and we figured if they give Academy Awards for best costumes, we could recognize our characters clothing, too. Tickle Us Tuesday is for funny scenes and Wednesday is for romantic first kisses. We have a wide variety of authors who post on those days.
We all remember our first kiss and I’m not talking about that gentle lip pucker. That first real kiss, that lip lock that says oh, wow! Everyone remembers that first kiss that left you breathless. Okay, maybe not breathless the very first time. Maybe it was more of what-just-happened? And you giggled and got a little embarrassed. That was a long time ago.
The first kiss from the man who later became my husband was a sweet peck on the cheek as he said goodnight. He left me stunned. Probably the best move he ever could have made. It was so sweet and in a strange way, very romantic. He also wasn’t a kid. considering he was a few weeks shy of his twenty-fifth birthday. He admitted much later that he had fallen in love with me the moment he met me and knew he would marry me. How’s that for confident? So when he did get around to that full lip lock, he left me breathless and trembling. My insides turned to jelly and I was lost. It was over, he had me, I was his for the rest of his life.
But sometimes there are other kisses and those kisses can be so romantic. This past week I chose a first kiss from my hero in A Rancher’s Woman. http://amzn.com/B00HGV37VA but we’re only allowed to post 300 words from the scene. I needed more so I decided to give this wonderful tender scene to my readers here.
The year was 1896 and Malene had a difficult breach birth. If it hadn’t been for the hero, Mark Many Feathers Hunter, acting as a “midwife”, she probably would have died. Totally inappropriate for him to even be at a birthing or to enter her room afterwards, he was there. It also wasn’t proper for the other younger females in the house to sneak into Malene’s bedroom, but they wanted to see the baby. And I don’t know about you, but when a macho/alpha male snuggles a newborn in his arms, I happen to think it’s one of the most romantic moments. So here it is without being reduced to 300 words.
“I have an idea. I will send your ma and Adie down to eat. I will stay with Malene. Fix their plates at the table, and then make some tea. Malene needs to drink more than she needs to eat. Send Virginia with the tea. She will not spill it.” He grinned. “She wants to see the baby and they will not let her in the room.”
“I think I need to help Virginia. I want to see the baby, too.”
“Ah. A woman with a plan. That is good.”
As soon as Clarissa filled the tray, he took it upstairs and opened the door. “I have food for Malene.” He looked at Adie and Alisa. “Clarissa has your meals waiting for you. Go eat. I will stay with Malene.”
“Yes, I can stay, and you will go eat your food.” He put the tray beside Malene. She looked very pale. “You need to eat. Clarissa will bring you some tea in a few minutes.”
Adie closed the door behind her, and he opened it. With the door open, there was a slight breeze in the room. Without it, the room was stifling hot. He opened the window wider and moved the curtains out of the way.
There was a pitcher and basin in the room and he rinsed his hands off before coming back to Malene’s bed. The baby slept beside her. He picked the red-faced bundle up and cuddled her in his arms. He touched her cheek and watched as she turned her head. “She’s a bright red baby. I thought she would have pale skin like yours.”
“According to Alisa, she will in a few days.” Malene spooned some soup to her mouth. “Who did the cooking?”
“Clarissa. Lydia was trying to keep her boys quiet. Do you not celebrate a birthing?”
“I’ve never heard of such a thing.”
“Have you chosen a name?” He watched the infant scrunch up her face and move a fist near her mouth.
Malene swallowed. “Sophia.”
“What does that mean?”
“It is just a name, but I think it is lovely.”
“Like her mother.” He touched Malene’s cheek. “Sophia. It sounds like the wind coming through the pines.”
He took the child near the window and began speaking in his language. He held her away from his body and sang. He asked for blessings on the child and her mother that they live full and happy lives. He kissed Sophia’s head, then found her toes hidden in the cloth, and kissed them. Each time, he asked for a blessing. When he was done, he discovered he had an audience.
Clarissa came to him and smiled. “She’s so pretty.”
Virginia jumped to get a better view.
“Virginia, go wash your hands if you want to hold this baby.” He passed the infant to Clarissa and helped Malene with her tea. She looked gray-white yet mottled with pink from the heat. He worried that she had lost too much blood and still might be losing too much.
He chased Virginia to the big chair and told Clarissa to give the baby to her little sister. When he was certain that Sophia was about to protest, he took the child from Virginia and sent the girls from the room. Then he sat next to Malene and undid the tie at the neck of her nightgown. He lowered the infant to her mother’s breast and smiled. Warmth flowed through him, for he could not think of a more beautiful sight. He touched the baby’s cheek, the mother’s breast, and then kissed Malene on the lips. “You have given me a beautiful child. I love her as I love you.”
Malene smiled. “Yes. She is beautiful, and you told me it would be hard to give birth to her. I don’t think I would have lasted another hour if you had not come.”
They both heard the little squirting sound, and Malene groaned. He took the baby to the basin and poured water on a cloth. He cleaned the child and wrapped her in another clean cloth before laying the baby in her mother’s arms. This time Sophia greedily suckled and he laughed at the tiny thing. He poured a glass of water for Malene.
“Always drink while the baby is at your breast.”
Alisa walked into the room. “Malene, you know better than to allow him to stay here.”
Malene grinned. “Having him here makes me smile.”
“You need to go.”
“Why? What is wrong with my being here?”
“You are the most impossible man I’ve ever met! And I thought Joseph was bad at times.”
The baby’s feet kicked and he laughed. “She’s been practicing that kick for awhile.”
Malene giggled. “She’s very good at kicking.”
He touched her nightgown where a wet spot had appeared against her other breast. “Move to this side now.” He heard Alisa groan as Malene switched the baby to her other breast. He lightly kissed Malene’s lips then turned to where Alisa was standing and realized that Adie had entered the room. “I need to speak to Mrs. Coleman. Visit with your sister. I will return later.”
He took Alisa’s hand and tugged her out of the room.
“How dare you!”
He clasped her face with both his hands and kissed her on the forehead. “How dare I what? Hold our child?”
Her mouth opened well before any sound emerged. “You’re the father?”
He laughed. “I did not make that child. But Malene knows that I love that child as much as I love her. It does not matter who put the child in her.”
Alisa wiped her brow with her forearm. “Mark Many Feathers Hunter, you will be the death of me.”