Okay, so here it is the Almost-Kiss or NoKiss Blogfest, hosted by Frankie at Frankie Writes.
I've pasted my contribution below. This scene will likely be included in the third novel of the trilogy I'm writing. The characters are in the first two books, but their story will be featured in the third.
Starrie made every effort to still her pounding heart, feeling ridiculous. Rand was her mate, or at least he had been until he’d forsaken her, and although her feelings had never dulled – how could she stop loving him? - she’d learned how to contain them in a little box in the corner of her heart which she studiously ignored at all times.
But here he was, far too close for her comfort, behaving as if his betrayal was nothing - as if he was in the right and everyone else was wrong - and even though it had been her own choice to be here she knew he’d never let her leave, and based on the way her body was currently reacting, she was wondering if she’d be able to even if the opportunity presented itself.
“Starrie,” he said, his voice liquid silk, “I’d forgotten how you glow when you’re excited.” She felt the heat of that glow blooming in her cheeks under the intensity of his gaze as his fingertips traced the line of her jaw, and she leaned into his touch involuntarily.
But she pushed his arm away, confused by her conflicted feelings. “I am not excited,” she countered, her throat too dry to swallow. “Stop doing that. You lost your right to touch me when you left.”
He inched forward, brushing her platinum hair aside and placing his lips so that his breath was warm in her ear. She closed her eyes reminding herself to breathe. “Maybe,” he said, “but you still want me to touch you.”
She arched her body toward him, silently agreeing with him, but he pulled back before their bodies met. When she opened her eyes she caught him smirking at her, plainly pleased at being right. She was sure her cheeks were pink again, but this time from humiliation.
Fine, she thought. Two can play this game.
She steeled herself against the desire she was sure would course through her, but used it as motivation. “You’re right,” she said, dipping her head demurely and placing her hands on his chest, satisfied to feel his heart leap at her touch. She allowed her voice to drop into a sultry purr, “I have missed your touch.”
She moved closer, feeling the shock of her body flush with his after so many empty years of longing for this very warmth, always hiding it behind cold efficiency. His hands slipped to her sides, settling at the curve of her hips, and she lifted her chin so their eyes met, her cool gray locking with his brilliant jade. She thought she saw a hint of the old Rand hidden in their depths, a touch of vulnerability.
“Mmmmm,” was his guttural response. “You may not believe it, but I’ve missed you just as much.” She doubted the veracity of his confession but it caused a melancholy ache, nonetheless. The tenderness in his touch was reminiscent of their happiest days, but too much had transpired since then and she wasn’t willing to so quickly bend herself to his will. She was not going to let him get the best of her, no matter how badly she craved him.
“Kiss me, Starrie,” he whispered, his plea only barely audible. “Please.”
And she did, almost. She rose up on her toes, her eyes averted again, feeling the friction of their bodies sliding against one another, and worked her fingers into the jet curls at the nape of his neck. She suppressed the instinctive sigh that trembled on her lips, but a thick growl escaped his throat and he pulled her closer, his hands now at the small of her back. As she reached the tips of her toes, she raised her eyes and met his again. He reached for her lips with his own and when he was close enough that she could taste the sweetness of the lust on his breath she leaned into him, her lips missing his so nearly that the corner of her mouth just brushed the corner of his as she smoothed her cheek against his face, her mouth ending near his ear where she gently nipped the lobe between her lips.
“Never, Rand.” She said, her throat tightening around the anguish. “I’ll never kiss you again.”
So, there you go. Hope you liked it, and go visit Frankie Writes for the rest of the Almost-Kisses of the day!