Maybe it's because one character isn't ready to face those emotions. Maybe it's because the feeling isn't mutual. Or maybe it's because an evil Sea Witch sent her pesky eels to rock the boat--literally. Whatever the reason, the moment passes and the characters find themselves victims of the "No Kiss," or as I prefer to call it, the "Almost Kiss." Which is what we're here to celebrate today.
The lovely and talented (and occasionally evil) Frankie at Frankie Writes has deemed today the Official No-Kiss Blogfest (because apparently she has the power to do that) and encouraged everyone to post No-Kiss scenes they've written and their favorite No-Kiss moments from books and movies. And since I was terrified of what she might dare me to do if I didn't obey, I am participating, even though my WIP is Middle Grade and my characters aren't anywhere near kissing. Which means I've had to dust off some characters and part of a scene from an old screenplay I wrote and turn it into prose (and try to step out of my middle-grade mentality--which isn't easy. I've been thinking like a twelve-year old for over a year). All I can say is be kind, I haven't written sexual tension in forever and I threw this together really quick:
“How much longer?” Katie asked, watching the sky. The stars glittered like diamonds against black velvet—breathtaking. But she’d been staring at it for ten minutes. She was kind of over it. Plus the damp grass was soaking through her jeans and an icy breeze kept blowing her hair into her eyes.
“Should be any minute,” Connor promised. “Don’t be so impatient.”
“But it’s freezing out here.” She locked her jaw to stop her teeth from chattering.
“That’s why I brought a blanket.” He scooted closer, wrapping the soft red fleece around them like a cocoon. He left his arm draped across her shoulders and she leaned against it, soaking up his warmth.
“Why don’t you ever get cold?” she complained.
“I don’t know if you realize this, but most people don’t shiver when it’s sixty five degrees outside.”
She pouted. “It’s colder than that.”
“Not by much.”
His hand rubbed her arm, warming her with the friction. She leaned against his shoulder, closing her eyes, inhaling the scent of soap on his skin. Connor always smelled like clean, fresh air. She’d missed that smell. She’d missed him. And for the first time all week she felt her body relax.
The next thing she knew Connor was jostling her arm. “Hey, wake up. You’re missing it.”
She stretched, wondering how long she’d drifted off for, and opened her eyes. Her mouth fell open.
Streaks of light cut through the sky around a glowing silver moon—a celestial disco raining confetti all around them. She blinked, trying to take it all in.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Connor asked.
She nodded. Beautiful wasn’t a powerful enough word, but she couldn’t think of a better way to describe it. She wasn’t sure the right words existed.
Connor took her hand, intertwining their fingers. “I’m glad you came tonight,” he whispered. He leaned his head against hers, his breath tickling her skin. “You’re the only person I’d want to share this with, Katie.”
Once again he’d blurred the lines of friendship between them, and this time he was going to cross them—she could feel it. His whole body radiated heat and energy, and every muscle was tensed, ready to react.
He was going to kiss her.
She sucked in a breath.
Oh God—how could she be so stupid?
Why didn’t she realize? Why didn’t she bring another friend? Why did she let him get so close?
And how would she get out of this without destroying everything?
She cleared her throat, shattering the moment. “So, um … that’s it, right? That’s what you wanted to show me?” She untangled herself from the blanket and his arms. “Can we go home now?”
His pale green eyes glazed with confusion. “You don’t want to stay a little longer?” He pointed to the sky, to the meteors still raining down. “It’s not over yet.”
Oh, it was over. He just didn’t realize.
She forced a smile as she jumped to her feet. “No. I think it’s time to go.”
The silence between them felt thick enough to touch, and she held her breath, waiting for him to break it. After an eternity he let out a long, deep sigh and stood up beside her. “Okay. I’ll take you home.”
“Thanks Connor.” She bit her lip. “Sorry. I'm just really tired.”
He took a deep breath and shrugged. “It’s okay. There's always next time.”
"Yeah. I guess there is.” And now she’d have to make sure there wasn’t.
Okay, my stomach is in knots right now and I kinda want to scroll up and delete that but I promised to participate so I won't.
Matt unlocked the passenger door of his car and I darted inside. He ran around to his side and hustled in. He started the car to blast the heater, then we both sat there for a minute, breathless, smiling, our hair and faces drenched.
Of course my hair totally started to frizz. He reached out and gathered up a few strands at their ends. "I was so happy when you let it go back to being curly this year. It reminds me of when we were little."
My breath sort of caught at that.
And then Matt's smile started to fade and his eyes took on a soft, almost sleepy look, and he gazed at me in a way he never has.
And there was a moment right then. I could have reached out and touched it like it was a thing separate from both of us. It was a moment when I knew if I had wanted him to, he would have kissed me. I don't know how I knew it, but I knew.
"I should go." I quickly checked to make sure Amanda was still there. Of course she was--she wouldn't have missed this show for anything. It must have been driving her crazy that she couldn't see us clearly through the rain and the fogged up windows.
"Here." I started to take Matt's jacket off.
"What's the rush?" he asked. "Can't we just talk?"
The rush was the sickening sensation of my heart beating too fast. I knew the signs. I knew what could happen next if I let it--I'd seen it happen with Nick.
But this wasn't Nick. I couldn't just go with it and see what might happen for the fun of it. I had history to contend with, and my history with Matt is too complicated. Too full of heartache and pain.
And besides, I'd already accomplished most of what I came for. I'd confirmed for myself what I thought--that he does like me. That way. I've lost a bunch of weight and now suddenly he's willing to give me a try.
I hadn't accomplished the second part--the part where I told him off--but somehow I didn't feel like it anymore. I just wanted to be done.
I handed him his coat and opened the door.
"Cat, wait--" His warm fingers closed around my wrist. "Don't go yet. I miss you."
"Then maybe you should have liked me when I was fat."
Now I want to read Fat Cat again. (Thank you Robin Brande--if you're reading this--for allowing me to share--and for writing the amazing words in the first place!) :)
Okay, so I think I've fulfilled all the requirements of the No-Kiss blogfest, but if I missed anything I'm sure Frankie will find a way to punish me.
Happy No-Kiss Blogfest everyone! Hope you enjoyed and I can't wait to read everyone else's scenes. :)