The vulnerable expression on Adam’s face touched Isabel more than anything he said to her. He looked so shamefaced and apologetic that she was made speechless for a second. Obviously, she’d touched some raw nerve and he’d reacted without his usual controls.
She looked intently at his face. “Mr. Delaney. You’re forgiven. I’ve certainly said and made comments as intemperate, as you know.” She smiled at him.
He returned her smile, a wide, relaxed, warm grin that dazzled her. She felt terribly drawn to him, and seemed to possess no power to raise herself from the step. He took her hands in his and she tried to cover them. They were not particularly attractive, the bitten nails and paint stains saw to that. He held them face up, and examined them closely.
“I think you have beautiful hands, Lady Isabel,” he said as he began to trace the paint stains with his finger.
“You must be joking,” Isabel said in a whisper. His fingers were doing their magic. She wanted to stay here forever.
Adam regarded her. “No, they’re a worker’s hands. Extremely capable. And the paints stains are charming.”
He began stroking the loose bits of hair around her face with a soft touch. Isabel felt she had no defense. Oh my. He was going to kiss her! She could smell his sweat, the earthy smell of him. She found herself leaning towards him.
He feathered light kisses around her face, and took her face in his hands, gazing at her. “You have the most extraordinary eyes, Izzy.” He ran his thumbs across her eyelids and she felt a deeper shiver, and leaned into him.
He gave her a soft, light kiss that quickly turned into an invasion. With her last coherent thought, she told herself to push him away, but instead she put her arms on his waist and pulled him closer. He opened her mouth with his tongue; in the background, she could hear herself gasping, and seeking more. The only time she’d ever been kissed before it had been harmless pecks on the cheek; nothing to compare with this! She wanted more, and Adam seemed to also. The kiss deepened, and she molded herself against Adam’s body and allowed her fingers to roam along his chest. Her hair had somehow become untethered. She heard moans and realized they were hers. She felt like a wanton. They seem to excite Adam to further attentions. His hands began massaging her back and pulling her closer to him.
Adam pulled away abruptly, standing up quickly and adjusting his trousers. He looked around wildly, running his fingers through his hair until it stood up on end. “I heard something, but I don’t see anyone!” He put his hands on his thighs and leaned over, “Oh God,” he looked at Isabel, shamefaced. “I’m sorry. I usually have better control than that. It won’t happen again.”
Isabel was ashamed; she hadn’t felt this badly since she was a child and her father rejected her. She reverted to what felt comfortable, her pride. She slowly began replaiting her hair. “That’s quite all right, Mr. Delaney. I know I’m not one of your usual trollops. You’re not comfortable with a respectable woman, don’t know how to treat her.” She looked him directly in the eye as she picked up her crutches, putting them under her arms and swinging into the house. She closed and locked the door behind her, letting the tears come. When she looked out the window, he’d gone.
LYDIA: This was a nice scene. It has definitely left me with questions. Which is good. I'm sure if I was reading from the beginning, I'd know whatever it was he had to apologize for. This snippet made me really want to know. :) My suggestions would be: (1) You've used shamefaced and ashamed in a couple of places in this submission and, for me, they have the same feel/sound to them. See if there's another word or two you can use instead just for variance. (2) At the end, I'm having a hard time imagining this image - She looked him directly in the eye as she picked up her crutches, putting them under her arms and swinging into the house. I think it's the "swinging" that is throwing me off. Does she swing the crutches into the house, or are you using the word to indicate that she herself goes into the house? Swinging has a cheerful feel for me, and Isabel doesn't seem cheerful in this scene at this point. If you meant she went into the house, my suggestion - She looked him directly in the eye as she picked up her crutches, putting them under her arms and stalked into the house.
Ok - my last suggestion is to change the order of this...She heard moans and realized they were hers. She felt like a wanton. They seem to excite Adam to further attentions. His hands began massaging her back and pulling her closer to him. ... I think the She felt like a wanton should go to the very end of that paragraph. That way she's continuing her thought about the moans, notices they excite Adam, and THEN realizes she feels wanton.
As I tell everyone in my crit group - This is YOUR story, so you have to do what feels right to you. You can take any of my suggestions or none of them. Good luck with your story.
MELISSA: Interesting scene. I'm wondering why she has crutches now lol. You've intrigued me for sure. My few suggestions are this, go through this scene and pick up anyplace you've used the same or similar words. You use face in the same sentence where her cheeks might have worked a little better. Also go through and omit any phrases like: He bagan to or she began to. The reason is they either do it or they don't, there's no real in between. Strengthen those sentences with stronger verbs and you'll find the pacing will improve incredibly. For instance you wrote: He began stroking the loose bits of hair around her face with a soft touch. My suggestion would be this: He stroked the loose strands of hair around her face with a soft touch.
Other than that, you did a great job. I think you could bring in more of the five senses in but it was well done as is. Good luck!
HEATHER: Very intriguing story. One thing I couldn't quite put my finger on is the place and period the piece is set. You mention Lady Isabel, yet there were no other details that placed it in an historical setting. If this is from a historical novel be sure to feather in little details.
SAMANTHA: I liked the tenderness of the scene, and the crutches at the end caught me off guard in a good way. One thing I would suggest is looking at some of the -ly words. I have nothing against adverbs, but they seem to have more impact when used like a spice applied sparingly. Nice job. Thank you for sharing your work with us. :)
JERRICA: Several of the points I was going to bring up have already been mentioned - swapping the line about being wanton, and the -ly words in the paragraph where he starts getting dressed again should be looked at. I was also taken aback by this line: "He took her hands in his and she tried to cover them." This made me think she was trying to cover HIS hands - I had to read it a few times, so you may consider revising. Otherwise, I'm very intrigued by the scene and I think you have a great voice. Thanks for submitting!