Monday, February 14, 2011

Romance Blogfest

romance blogfest badge

My online writers' group is having a blogfest with the theme "Love at First Sight - or Not So Much." I've never really participated in a blogfest before, and I'm pretty sure I haven't posted any of my fiction here on my blog either. But I thought this would give me a push back into blogging, since my post-Christmas holiday has stretched into a month and a half.

In honor of Valentine's Day, we are posting scenes of the first meeting between two characters who will fall for each other (even if it doesn’t look like they will at the time!). Since my current WIP is more about explosions than romance, I dug into my files and pulled up this scene that I wrote several years ago. Hope you like it! Links to the rest of the blogfest participants can be found at Jordan McCollum's blog.

by Marta O. Smith

Chapter 1 (excerpt)

The knock on the door made her jump, even though she had been expecting it, hoping for it. Evan stepped forward and grabbed her arm, pulling her uncomfortably close.

"Whoever it is, get rid of them," he hissed in her ear. The gun had reappeared from his pocket and he moved back to hide behind the door.

"Who is it?" Lilly called, willing her voice to stay steady.

"It's Scott Thornton, Miss Landon: I'm your escort to the hotel. Are you ready to go?"

Lilly opend the door a few inches and looked up at the tall, muscular security guard. "Um, Scott, is it? There's been a change of plans. I'll be riding over to the hotel with Bernie. He's coming back for me in a few minutes." This was the signal Bernie had prearranged for just this kind of trouble. As she spoke, she held the door with her left hand and used her right hand to give Scott signals that Evan could not see. She pointed at the door, and then pantomimed shooting a gun.

"Okay, no problem," Scott said out loud, as he held up one finger, then two, asking how many other people were in the room. Lilly raised one finger. "That sure was a great concert. My kid sister would have loved to be here, but she couldn't get tickets." He motioned her back into the room as he pulled his own gun from its holster.

"That's too bad. Do you think she would like to come to the radio show I'm doing in the morning? I'll write down the time and directions to get there." She turned and walked over to where her bag was sitting among the roses.

As soon as Lilly was out of the way, Scott threw his weight against the door, slamming Evan back between the door and wall, and then leveling his gun at the other man.

"Drop it!" he ordered. Evan seemed to debate for a moment, then slowly lowered his gun to the ground. Scott pulled the two-way radio from his belt and spoke into it, his gun hand never wavering.

"I need backup in Miss Landon's dressing room. I've got her stalker here."

"Backup on the way."

Scott clipped the radio back on his belt, then reached with his foot to kick Evan's gun out of reach. But as he backed up, he stepped in the puddle of water and roses Lilly had spilled and his foot slipped slightly. Evan saw his chance and launched himself into the security guard's chest, barreling him back into the mirror. Vases crashed to the floor, scattering flowers, water, and glass shards everywhere. Evan grabbed Scott's gun hand and pounded it against the broken mirror. The gun flew free and skittered across the floor. Lilly hurried to scoop it up as the two men struggled. She looked up in time to see the guard lift Evan by an arm and leg and hurl him to the floor. Then Scott was on top of him straining for control. Evan pulled with all his strength toward the doorway, inch by inch.

A second too late, Lilly realized Evan was not straining to escape, but to reach the gun Scott had kicked away. She shouted a warning as he grabbed the weapon and pointed it over his shoulder. Scott pulled away just as the gun fired, and the bullet plowed into his shoulder. Evan scrambled out from under him just as another security guard came running down the hallway and through the door past Lilly.

"Drop it!" someone shouted, and Evan came slowly to his feet, bleeding from several deep cuts, and once again leaving the gun on the floor. He glared at Lilly as the guard handcuffed him. But Lilly had dropped to her knees beside Scott, heedless of the debris covering the floor. He was lying on his back, gripping his left shoulder tightly with his uninjured hand, blood seeping between his fingers. Lilly looked around quickly and grabbed a towel from the makeup counter, folding it into a small pad.

Scott looked up at Lilly and relief crossed his features, only to be replaced by a grimace of pain as she lifted up the edge of his jacket and pressed the folded towel onto the wound, using both of her hands to apply compression.

"Are you okay?" Scott asked through gritted teeth.

"I'm fine," Lilly said. "If you haven't noticed, you're the one that was shot, not me."