My #RomanticFridayWriters story this week is a short, worked-over excerpt from my WIP, The Last Cowboy, set on the island of Nantucket, MASS.. The MC, Shakira, has been sexually assaulted at the beginning of the novel, and she and the detective working on her case, Byron, have developed a, er, very close friendship.
She roused out of sleep, shaded her eyes from the melting sun.
She expected him to toss his bike and walk down the cliff steps, but no. He took the steps like a teenager, bump, bump, bump, standing in the pedals. Just a boy under that stern police facade.
He loomed over her, a sea god with his golden hair, floaty white shirt and khaki boardies.
‘No helmet? No shoes? Aren’t you the rebel then?’
He smiled and flopped on the sand beside her.
‘What brings you, Mr Detective, the perfect weather?’
Byron stood and took her hand, pulling her up like she was fairy dust.
They walked. The beach was alive with rosa rugosa bushes, tupelo trees and tall grasses.
‘Ow!’ Shakira stumbled.
‘Pesky plum bush caught me.’
‘Let’s see,’ Byron crouched.
‘No bother.’ He tweaked her skirt. ‘Nasty gash. Must hurt like hell.’
‘God, I’m sorry. What a clot I am. It’s okay. I’m not going to hurt you.’
‘I know. It’s not you.’
‘Okay. Let’s wash it.’
When they got to the water blood was running down her leg.
Shakira looked at the red stream, remembering.
‘Mind if I wash it?’ Byron asked, ‘Salt water’s great.’
‘Fine. Go ahead.’ She held her breath.
Byron bunched her dress with one hand and cupped seawater on her leg with the other. Relief.
‘That’s got it.’ He reached into his pocket for a handkerchief.
‘Sit down while I tie it,’ he said, stopping at a sandy knoll.
‘You’ll live,’ he said, gently pressing the wound. Kind eyes, yet she saw something else, a flicker…
‘Kiss me Byron.’
He raised his eyebrows. 'I'm not sure...'
His kiss was gentle and sweet, fragrant as wild roses open to the sun. When the kiss was over he drew her close and they sat, bathed by the sun’s rays.
Shakira couldn’t stop her tears.
‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you.’
‘Don’t be sorry.’
‘Because your kiss made me happy. Why am I happy?’
‘You’ve every right to be happy. If anyone deserves happiness, it’s you.’
He kissed her tears, healing her with his touch.
She opened her eyes and saw blue sparkling waters shielded by tall grasses that waved like soft green silk.
‘I didn’t think I was ready for that,’ she whispered.
398 words, FCA.
I hope you enjoyed my short extract to fit the theme for the week, Fearful Heart. To read more #RFWer stories, click on the badge at the top of the right sidebar.