She shrugged one shoulder. Angelstoke hated she kept silent. Given half a chance, most women chattered away, but not Julia. One had to pull words out of her like a barber pulled teeth.
“I believe you take fencing a little too seriously,” he said. “After all, it’s not a proper sport for a young woman. You don’t need to learn such skills…”
“If you will not teach me, I will find someone else,” she announced. Without adding a word, she promptly turned to leave his study.
In quick steps, he went around his desk. She had just opened the door when he closed it with an arm extended over her head. He kept her there, trapped between the door and his body. Her head barely reached his shoulders. Leaning close, the intimate scent of her skin pleasantly drifting up his nose, he whispered in her ear.
“Who has no honor?”
She remained silent but he noticed her breathing quickened. She slowly turned to face him, head back to look up at him. “It could be anyone. It could be you.”
He wondered what she’d do if she knew how dishonorable his thoughts were right this moment. He marveled at her audacity. Not even his brothers dared to provoke him as she was doing now.
Angelstoke leaned closer, until his mouth brushed against her cheek. “I should trash you for implying I have no honor. Were you a man…”
She turned her head and pressed her lips against his. Her kiss was artless, without experience. If only she had pulled away at that moment, when he was still frozen by surprise. But she pressed on, her breath brushing lightly over his face.
Her hands took hold of his coat’s lapels and she rose on her toes. I will regret this, he thought as he tried to find a reason to push her away.
And reasons abounded. His oath to Westbridge to protect her. Her reputation, her age, her innocence.
Yet he framed her face in his hands. He kissed her like he would a courtesan, not a young lady. Her lips were soft and opened like a flower under his. He heard her utter a small cry. Good, maybe now she was afraid. She would pull away and give him the slap he deserved.
Instead she leaned into him. Opened her mouth and gave him full access. Her hands slipped under his coat and fisted on his sides.
This time he was the one to groan.
His arm snaked around her waist. His hand crushed the ribbon in her hair and locked her head in place. He plundered her mouth, looting her softness, her breath, her warmth.
He pulled her body up against the door so her mouth was at his level. He held her captive in his arms, needlessly, as if she were of a size to fight him off, as if she were quick enough to outrun him.
It was when her feet left the floor that she started to push against him. Bent on her like the brute he was, he didn’t feel her resistance at first. She turned her head away, ending the kiss. Sensing her sudden rigidity, his nose buried in the tempting flesh just below her ear, he breathed heavily.
GAIL: I liked the characters in this scene. We immediately get the sense of a determined and feisty heroine and a conflicted hero. I think you could make this better by going deeper into his POV. Words like "he wondered" and "he marveled" filter his thoughts and put a certain distance between the hero and the reader. It would be better if you could tell us directly what he's thinking, exactly as he's thinking it, in his own words. This was a nice entry. Thanks for letting us critique it.
HEATHER: Great scene - you've portrayed their respective social status very well. “I should trash you" - I assume you mean thrash you. I thought you had a few too many sentences starting with he or his and very few mentions of their first names. By the end I had forgotten who they were, but that is an easy fix.
JULIE: Very good scene. I got an immediate sense of their positions. I agree with Gail in that you have certain filter words such as "he wondered" and "he thought" which will put distance between the reader and your hero. Try finding away to show his wonder without actually saying it. I like the details you use such as her grasping his coat lapels, but I think you could add more. First sentence, "She shrugged one slender shoulder." Now we have an image of her structure in our head. Good job!
SAMANTHA: I like the phrase, "Her kiss was artless." It grabbed my attention. I agree with my writing partners about going into deeper POV. I think it could make a great scene spectacular. Thank you for sharing your work with us.
MELISSA: I have to agree with the deeper pov but I love the characters. I am extremely intrigued by your heroine. Of course, I write heroine's just like her and love to read about women unafraid to pick up a sword! Your pacing in wonderful, very quick and strong. I'd like to point out the part in the scene where he closes the door and is standing behind her, is a perfect oppertunity to really get into his head and build major sexual tension. I could almost feel the awareness strumming between them but I really think you should expand on that section and make it explode. Great job!