First, I have to correct something. And I’m amazed Hellie didn’t correct me sooner. The character in The Holiday is named Arthur, not Walter. You’d think I’d know better than to rely on my memory at this point. Sheesh.
So, I’ve been revising the first three chapter of the WIP to send off to the writing coach by the 25th. There’s no way I can have this final-draft ready by then, but I’m sure as heck not sending her first draft crappola either. The beginning was tough, but I’m enjoying it a bit more now. Cutting things is getting easier, and what I’m adding is more powerful and maintains the quick pace I like. I think it does anyway.
So tonight I reached one of my favorite parts, the second encounter. Celi gets the last word in this one, but the entire exchange is fun. That’s one of the great parts about writing these argument scenes, you can take time to come up with that perfect comeback you’d never be able to think of on the spot in real life.
So, I give you, the next, slightly less painful (for Celi anyway) encounter…
One word pegged Celi against the door with the accuracy of a knife thrower. Yellow-green eyes reflected her own surprise and ignited half a dozen conflicting emotions. The traitorous tremor of excitement at seeing him again being the most unsettling.
Forgetting the fact she’d been admiring his ass less than thirty seconds ago and that he’d just carried a chair into the apartment behind him, Celi said the first thing that came to mind. “What the hell are you doing here?”
“Moving in.” The man stood with his feet planted wide, shoulders back and hands in fists at his sides.
As if her brain refused to accept the obvious Celi pointed over his shoulder and asked, “In there?”
“No, downstairs. I just thought I’d haul all my crap up here first.” His southern drawl stronger than she remembered, he shifted his weight from one foot to the other and pointed out another obvious fact. “I guess this means we’re neighbors. Lucky me.”
Between the pain in her hip, the now thumping pain in her head and Mr. pain-in-the-ass, Celi failed to come up with a snappy comeback. She’d probably think of one by Monday.
How she’d missed the size of him last night she didn’t know. Celi stood at 5 foot 10 so jerk boy had to be a good bit over 6 feet. A wall of muscle, his shoulders went on forever, filling the doorway behind him like a curtain. His tattered University of Alabama t-shirt appeared to have lost its sleeves long ago, the tattoo on his left bicep looked tribal, and he was no stranger to the sun if his tan skin and sun streaked hair were any indication.
Once she’d taken him in from head to toe her eyes moved back to his face to find a smug grin and one brow raised nearly to his hairline. That damn look again. The comeback showed up sooner than expected. “Yes, lucky me. I always wanted an idiot for a neighbor. Let’s just hope we can manage not to run into each. Or should I say run over?”
“As long as one of us watches where she’s going I’m sure we’ll be fine.” He’d emphasized the word “she’s” and his accent turned “fine” into a two syllable word.
The nerve. “Listen, Mr. Alabama, I don’t know what your problem is but I’d say our best bet is to stay as far away from each other as possible. Now if you’ll be so kind as to get out of my way, I’ll start that distance thing right now.”
Stepping back to let her through he said, “I don’t have a problem Miss stick-up-my-ass and how do you know I’m from Alabama?”
Celi started down the steps throwing a response over her shoulder without looking back. “I’d suggest you read your shirt but maybe that’s more than you can handle. When you’re done bench pressing that furniture you might want to pick up a book.”
Block head may have had some snappy come back but whatever he said was drowned out by the sound of Miranda’s horn. Celi would never complain about Miranda’s honking again.
As you can probably figure out, it’s mentioned that his shirt says UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA before we get to this part. Now it’s onto the ball field and then to the bar for encounter number three. That one involves alcohol and leads to a much funnier encounter number four. Nothing more romantic than a drunk woman wiping her nose on her sleeve, right?