I love infusing my stories with the little moments that make a romance something phenomenal. Subtle body language that makes you hold your breath as you wait to see what happens next or a considerate gesture that makes you root harder for a hero or heroine. Avid readers know the moments Iâ€™m talking about. They are the same moments we live for in real life when getting to know that someone special.
One of my favorite scenes in my novel Wynterâ€™s Blossom is early on before the main characters have even shared a kiss. Itâ€™s when my hero Wyn learns things about the heroine Sarah just by the way she responds to his questions. During this scene they share cups of coffee and just talk. We get to witness them feeling each other out and laying the foundation for a scorching romance that goes beyond the normal mating mentality in paranormal romances.
Below is a special excerpt never shared anywhere else.
She had a strong will, Wyn thought as he stood there pretending not to notice her. He smelled her fear and uncertainty, but she didnâ€™t try to turn and leave. When he was sure she wasnâ€™t going to run, he said calmly, â€œGood morning, Sarah. I see Iâ€™m not the only early riser here.â€ He kept his back to her, knowing that sudden movements probably wouldnâ€™t be appreciated. He heard her take a deep breath before saying, â€œGood morning, Alpha Grey. No, youâ€™re not the only early riser. Iâ€™m usually the first one up most days now that my father is gone. He used to hold that title.â€
â€œI can hear your love and admiration for him in your voice.â€ Moving leisurely to the mug tree, he pulled off a pink mug with her name painted on it.
â€œI loved him very much,â€ she said without hesitation. â€œHe was a good man and an even better father.â€
She was loyal and loving, Wyn assessed as he poured her a cup of coffee while noting the changes in her scent. The scent of fear was already lighter than it had been just moments earlier. â€œSo he never frightened you?â€ he asked while turning to place her coffee at one end of the kitchen table before moving to sit at the other end. A silent invitation to join him, but with the space she needed to feel comfortable.
â€œOf course he did.â€ She chuckled nervously as she moved to sit in front of her mug. â€œEveryoneâ€™s father frightens them when it comes time to face up to something youâ€™ve done wrong. If you mean did his being wolf ever frighten me, the answer is no, never. He was my dad. Iâ€™ve never known any other since my biological father was killed while my mother was pregnant with me.â€ Wyn hid his smile behind his own cup when she took a sip of coffee and closed her eyes on a contented sigh as the hot liquid flowed down her throat. Damn, he could get use to the sound of that sigh.
She was continuing to prove that she was not as prissy as heâ€™d been expecting her to be. Wyn noted that she drank her coffee black, unlike a lot of humans. He also noted how much she enjoyed it. â€œMay I ask when Gaillon mated your mother?â€
â€œThey met and married when I was just two. We lived in New York at the time, where my mother worked as a seamstress. She was mugged one night on the way home from work, but my dad saved her. He admitted to her much later that heâ€™d been following her for days. Dad knew she was his mate, but was afraid to claim her at first.â€
Afraid to pull a human into his world, Wyn guessed silently. He could understand completely. The need to claim was only overpowered in a mated male by the need to protect. Right now he sat across from Sarah looking the picture of calm, but aching inside with a need to claim her that threatened to steal his breath. Countering that urge was the overwhelming need to protect her, even from himself.
â€œHe had been moving between packs for so long that he didnâ€™t think he would make a worthy mate to anyone, let alone a worthy father.â€
â€œBut he did.â€
â€œOh yes. He was a very worthy mate. He adored my mother and both of us girls. I think his example is what keeps Shiloh and I from settling down. We both want what they had. That certain something that happens only when youâ€™ve met your soul mate.â€
Wyn grinned at that. Humans had long ago lost touch with the primal urges that his kind still allowed to guide their choice of mate.
â€œHe moved us from New York City to Georgia, and Shiloh came along just before my fourth birthday. Georgia is all we really know,â€ she finished softly.
â€œYouâ€™re worried about moving to Montana.â€ He didnâ€™t ask, just made a statement of fact.
â€œAbout moving, period,â€ she admitted. â€œWeâ€™ve never lived within a pack. Our father was a great man who taught us lots of things about his culture, but Iâ€™m worried about doing anything that would shame himâ€”or Shiloh for that matter.â€
A woman of noble character, he thought. And sheâ€™s mine. His chest swelled with pride. â€œDonâ€™t worry too much about that,â€ he said to her. â€œThe pack is humming with excitement about your arrival. Weâ€™ve been an all-male pack since we began three years ago. The thought of finally having females in our midst to soften the rough edges is appealing, not to mention the idea of a childâ€™s laughter ringing through the compound.â€ He smiled. â€œWeâ€™re a pretty rough-and-tumble bunch, but all honorable. Iâ€™ve hand-picked each current member of the pack. To stay financially viable, all of the enforcers do private security jobs all over the world. We also have other skilled males who contribute in their own ways. When weâ€™re at home, everyone works hard at making Unity a home.â€
â€œIâ€™m hoping I can help with that part. I love interior design and restoring old homes.â€
â€œI can promise any input you have will be well received.â€ Leaning forward and putting his elbows on the tabletop, he said firmly, â€œI also meant it when I said you were safe now. Itâ€™s important to me that you know that.â€
â€œThank you. That means so much to me,â€ she said, lowering her head. â€œI want Shiloh and Summer to be safe.â€
And she was selfless. She didnâ€™t speak of safety for herself, but for her sister and her child.
**Wynterâ€™s Blossom is available for download at Beautiful Trouble Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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