Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! This is my favorite holiday because 1. my birthday is the day before, so it feels like the whole world is decorated in red for me, and 2. being in love is fun. Even if we don't have someone romantic in our lives, everyone loves someone, and that's worth celebrating.
To get in on the festivities, I'm going to participate in a fabulous blogfest called "Is it Hot in Here?" where I write a kiss scene.
This scene is from my untitled paranormal romance, which takes place in present-day Portland. Sometimes when I read it it feels sappy, whereas other times it gives me warm fuzzies.
I hope you feel the latter.
The music stopped and the curtain drew closed. Eric let go of my hand so we could applaud. He leaned next to my ear and asked, “Did you like it?”
I nodded with enthusiasm and wiped my eyes. “I’m definitely a lover of opera.”
The audience shuffled out of the auditorium and dispersed outside. The sky was clear and the air was crisp, but just warm enough for me to be comfortable in my coat.
“Do you think we could go for a walk?” I asked.
He looked pleased. “Where would you like to go?”
We drove to the edge of the Willamette River nearby. The lights of the city illuminated the night and made the water sparkle. We strolled along the stone walkway that ran along the river and watched the gentle waves lap the wall. “This is the most beautiful place in Portland during the night,” I decided out loud.
Eric took my hand again as we walked. “What’s the most beautiful place in the day?” he asked.
I felt so comfortable around Eric, but having his hand in mine still made me a little flustered. I just mumbled, “Oh, I don’t know.” He waited patiently for my answer, so I had to think. “Any place with roses,” was the first response I could come up with.
“This is the city of roses,” he laughed. “That’s all over the place.”
“Okay, give me a sec. Hm. The Japanese gardens are amazing. I love Alberta Street because it’s full of quirky art and shops, and quirky art is the best kind. I would love to own my own little quirky art shop. I like the West Hills. I love everything about downtown. It’s your turn.”
“I’m going to pick the water front because I’m here and it’s convenient.” He smiled down at me.
He squeezed my hand and we kept walking.
“Look, there’s a dock we can walk down. Follow me.” I took off my stilettos and held the straps in two fingers as I guided him down. When we reached the edge, I sat down and dipped my feet in the water.
“That looks cold,” Eric said.
The icy water bit at my toes. “It’s worth it. Come sit next to me.”
He didn’t put his feet in the water, but he crossed his legs and put his arm around my back. I reminded myself to breathe while made little splashes with the balls of my feet.
“Guess what? I discovered a phrase in French class that describes me perfectly,” I told him. “Joie de vivre.”
He nodded. “Joy of living.”
“Yup. I have joie de vivre. I say that instead of ‘joy of living’ because, naturally, everything sounds better when it’s said in French.”
He leaned his face on the side of my head and I froze. I could feel his breath on my neck. Slowly, I turned my face to his and he tilted his head so our lips were aligned. I waited impatiently. His lips touched mine, softly at first. I pressed into him and his mouth moved against mine. He pulled away and I laid my head against his neck.