Every Wednesday, I post a writing prompt here. You write about it, if it tickles your creativity bone, and then come share what you wrote on Facebook to get some feedback and see what the other Ninjas have come up with. My goal with these prompts will to be to make them something that can move your current work-in-progress forward.
Reading Truman Capote’s novella ruined the movie version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s for me. (If you ever want to read a truly perfect story, pick up this one.) Even though the book is a thousand times better than the movie, the film version still has one of my most favorite Hollywood kisses of all time. Everything about the end shot of the film is just right–the rain, the silly wet cat, Audrey Hepburn’s face, Moonriver playing in the background, and that kiss.
So, I thought this week, our hump day prompt could center around a good kiss.
Even if you’re not writing a romance and the kiss won’t make it into your final draft, think about your hero’s perfect kiss this week. Maybe it’s a final kiss or, like Paul and Holly up there, a kiss that promises the start of a new future. Maybe it’s a kiss that’s a long time coming. A first kiss, a thousandth kiss.
My work-in-progress is a Robin Hood retelling, which means that I have a built in love story between Rob and Mattie–my Robin and Marion. Here’s a scene that has their first real kiss.
“Do you need anything?” Rob asked, after he got Mattie home and into her bed. Her bedroom had changed since the last time he’d been in it. She’d painted it from pale pink to a deep, navy blue. Her flowered curtains and bedspread were replaced with white lace.
“Will you stay with me?”
He looked around for the little chair that had been in this room for as long as he could remember. It was gone. “Sure.”
She slid over in the bed so he could sit beside her. He sat back, against the headrest. He felt as tired as she looked. He reached down and brushed his hand through her hair. “Try to sleep.”
“I can’t turn off my brain.”
“I know, baby.” He wished he could ease away the tension from her.
She put her hand over his and slipped it down so that it cupped her cheek. He moved his thumb over her skin, then stopped when a strong mental image of her with Guy filled his head.
The idea of Guy touching Mattie made Rob sick. It stoked the rage that he’d felt building in his blood since he’d come home.
It shouldn’t surprise him that she dated. She was smart and beautiful. He never asked about guys. Never once. He hadn’t wanted to hear it, he realized suddenly. And it didn’t matter, anyway. He’d dated, too.
But, he’d always known—as long as he could remember—that it was him and Mattie. Always him and Mattie.
“What’s wrong?” Mattie asked. Her hand was still over his on her cheek, but he wasn’t stroking her skin anymore.
He pulled his hand back. “Nothing.”
“You’re thinking so loud, they can probably hear you in the casino.”
“Come down here.”
He slid down until he was lying next to her, on his side so they were face-to-face.
“You’re thinking about Guy?” She asked.
“And me.” He closed his eyes. “Please look at me.”
He did. He wanted to say too much all at the same time. The words tangled on his tongue. “We never—“
“We were fifteen the last time you were home,” she said. “That’s a long time.”
“I know. I wish . . .” That he’d stayed in Las Vegas. At The Nott. With his dad and with Mattie. “I wish things were different.”
“You were always going to come home.”
He was. There was never any question about that. “But not for a long time.”
“Do you know my plan, for after high school?”
“You want to study business and take over your dad’s job at The Nott.”
“UNLV has the best hospitality program in the country.”
Her dark eyes searched his face before she said, “I was accepted at Standford.”
He felt a jolt of shock. They’d never talked about her applying there. She’d never mentioned it to him. “Really?”
She smacked his arm. “Yes, really. I’m a National Merit Scholar, asshole.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I would have.”
If he’d answered his phone. Or texts. Or emails. “You want to come to school with me.”
She leaned back, away from him a little, looking at him like she was trying to read his reaction to that. “I want an Ivy League education. If you’re there, too—“
He kissed her. They’d kissed once before, when they were fifteen and he was on his way back to school at the end of the summer before sophomore year. This was different.
She melted into him, her mouth opening to his. His whole body responded to her, almost painfully, and he pulled her toward him just as he registered her trying to pull back.
“I’ll go on the couch,” he said, suddenly flustered, then embarrassed.
Her fingers gripped his t-shirt. “Please, stay with me.”
After a minute, he rolled to his back and she curled against his side, one arm wrapping around his waist, her head just under his chin. He felt her relax against him, slowly, inch-by-inch. Finally, her breathing changed as she fell asleep.
How was he supposed to keep her safe, when his whole world had dissolved while he was busy studying for his stupid finals.
Frank had lost his mind. His dad was dead. Philip Mark had somehow managed to steal his legacy from under him. Guy had—Rob still wasn’t ready to name what Guy Gisborne had done to Mattie.
And somehow he’d managed to fall head first in love with his best friend without even realizing it.
He’d been out of touch for six weeks, and all hell broke loose.
He kissed the top of Mattie’s head, softly, then eased away from her and out of her bed.
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