I was innocently minding my own business, trying to write about a sexy modern day Viking hero (and rather enjoying it, I might add) when his heroine snuck into the back of my mind. Watching me.
I’ve never been fond of being stared at, so eventually, I turned. There she sat, leaning forward on a backwards chair. Her eyes, dark blue in a beautiful face framed by thick, curling black hair, trained on me the way a tiger stares at a fool who has wandered into her territory.
Well, that’s not a good sign. “Can I help you?”
She nods. That’s it. Just a nod.
She inclines her head toward the breathtakingly tall and, well, just breathtaking Viking. Right about now, he’s working diligently on one of his long boats, sanding the curve until it looked like one solid piece. He’s dressed, but that plain white T-shirt hugs his muscles like its in love. I can’t see his jeans too well but I know those have as much fondness for his long, powerful body as the rest of us. Sawdust is everywhere, floating on the air despite the open garage door and the cooling breeze. It clings to the tips of his close cropped pale blond hair like snowflakes.
It’s hard, but I manage to turn away from that sight and look back at the rather dangerous looking woman who clearly does not approve. “Oh.”
“You don’t like me looking at him?”
This is a valid point. Except… “I thought you didn’t want to date him.”
One of her eyes narrows. “That’s between me and Locke.”
“But I’m your writer. I kinda need to know these things.”
Her gimlet stare informs me that I do not.
I shrug and turn back around. “Then, I get to look at him until I figure it out.”
It takes a minute, but a frustrated growl finally comes from behind me. “If I tell you anything, you’ll tell everyone you possibly can.”
It’s my turn to look at her incredulously. “I’m your writer,” I repeat.
“Where I come from, that just another word for Big Mouth.”
“Well,” I sputter. “Fine, then. I won’t write your story and you can just watch him from afar. See how you like that, you closed-mouthed cow.”
“I like it fine, you rampaging gossip!”
“You already called me a cow! I thought you were a writer!”
“I am!” I growl back at her, pounding my chest with Celine Dion-like confidence. “Why else would I know eighteen synonyms for your giant bovine ass?”
She glares at me militantly for endlessly long moments. “I don’t think I like you very much.”
Something tells me that she’s starting to see reason. “Buuuuuuut?”
Her gaze flicks to Locke, still blissfully unaware of both of us. There’s a longing there she can’t begin to hide. “If I tell you my secrets…you’ll help us be together?”
It’s hard not to be greedy and pounce on her in glee. “Of course.” I say it as if I’m cool like that.
She nods, accepting the deal. But this IS Susie Packard. There’s going to be strings. She gets up from her chair carefully, like a cat deigning to resign her perch. “Fine. I’ll share them with you. But not here. Not all at once.”
And wouldn’t you know it, she started walking away.
“Hey! If not now, when? Where?”
She continues to stroll off, mysterious and enigmatic as ever. “You’ll see. You just keep up your end of the deal. I’ll tell you as we go.”
I keep sputtering as she disappears.
“It won’t do you any good,” Locke advises as he sands.
Surprised, I turn back to him. “How long have you been listening?”
“The whole time. You’re never going to get her to tell you anything if you keep demanding like that. You want Susie’s secrets, you’re going to have to be patient. Gentle.”
I watch him, realizing he’s still not looking my way. In case she can see him from wherever she ran off to? “Sneaky,” I add.
His smile is small, but makes me want to fan myself. “Sneaky does have its charms.”
And that’s when I knew I had a whirlwind on my hands. Two incredibly vivid characters who were going to make me work for every layer of them I pulled away. Their happy ending was going to take everything in me to pull off. I knew it, but I smiled and opened the document anyway. In fact, I couldn’t wait to begin.
How about you? Have any exciting challenges come your way lately? Care to share? Post in the comments and be entered in a drawing to win an ecopy of both The Virgin’s Revenge and Trust In Me, both books that feature Susie Packard and Locke Jackman!
**BP NOTE: Thanks Dee for joining us and sponsoring this giveaway. The winner will be announced on the 31st of July. Good luck! Don’t forget to come back and check out our review in the late post today.**