Writer In Progress; Imperfect Chemistry, written by Mary Frame
October 31, 2014 Leave a comment
This month I bring you an excerpt from fellow GoatPosse member Mary Frame. Her debut novel is a NA RomCom (romance-comedy for the layman), and when I asked her what she liked best about this novel, here was her reply…
I love first kiss scenes. It’s one of my favorite things to write and read. In this scene, Lucy, our heroine, who is very logical and very bad with relationships and emotions, is trying to learn more about lust and attraction. Jensen, her neighbor, is trying to explain it to her. She’s very logical, and he eventually just has to show her how it’s done 😉
He follows me into my side of the duplex and I sit on the loveseat. He sits on the chair to my right. I open my laptop.
“What’s that for?” he asks.
“I don’t want to forget anything and this way you won’t have to repeat yourself.” I open a blank document. “I’m ready when you are.”
He scrubs a hand through his hair and leans forward with his elbows on his knees. “I’m not really sure where to start.”
“Why don’t you just start at the beginning and we’ll go from there.”
“The beginning of what?”
I look up at him from my blank screen. “Are you having difficulties comprehending the English language this morning?”
He shakes his head at me with a small smile. “From anyone else, that would be sarcastic, but from you it’s sincere. I’m sorry. This is just a little weird. And awkward. I’m not sure how I can teach you this stuff by talking about it.”
I know he’s right. I’m going to have to experience these things instead of living vicariously through others. I’m just not sure I can broach that topic quite yet. At least, not without sending him running out the door. Again.
“How do you know when you’re attracted to someone?” I ask.
“That’s…a tough question.” He thinks for a second, rubbing his chin with his fingers. I realize he has nice fingers, long and sensitive-looking, but still somehow masculine. He moves them from his chin to his lap. “I guess there’s the physical response,” he says finally.
I drag my eyes from his fingers to his face. “Do you experience an erection every time you see someone you consider attractive?”
“What?” He looks a bit shocked when his eyes meet mine. “No. I mean, sort of. I mean, not really.”
I sigh. “Can you be more specific?”
He thinks for a few seconds. “I suppose if we’re talking attraction then I would have to admit that yes, I feel aroused almost every time I see someone I’m attracted to. Or if I think about someone I’m attracted to.”
“Okay. That’s the scientific response.” I really shouldn’t have to point out that I am aware of that aspect of it. “I want to know what you feel beyond that.”
“Well, there’s a difference between finding someone attractive and actually liking someone and wanting to be with them for more than just the carnal part.”
“When emotions are involved, everything is just…more.”
“More exciting. More nerve-wracking. More intense when it’s good, and more painful when it’s bad.”
I consider this for a moment and try to imagine feeling that way about anyone.
“Is this helping you at all?” he asks after a moment of silence.
“I’m not sure.”
“You haven’t been typing anything.”
I look at the blank screen in front of me. “I know.”
“So what’s next Dr. Lucy?” he asks.
I consider the information he’s given me and what I already know about developing relationships. “What about kissing?” I ask. I believe that is the first indicator of an evolving emotional connection. The first milestone, if you will.
I raise my eyebrows at him.
“Right. Kissing.” He nods and then he’s suddenly very focused on me. “Wait, have you ever been kissed?”
“Let’s just assume that my experience in that area is negligible,” I say.
“Is that a no?”
“It means that my knowledge of kissing is that the exchange of saliva allows lovers to explore the immune system of their partners in order to promote genetic diversity.”
His eyes are locked onto mine. His head shakes slowly back and forth. “I can’t believe you’ve never been kissed.”
“I’ve been kissed.”
“Then why do you need to know about kissing?”
I shrug. “The kissing I’ve experienced, there was no passion. It was more clinical, an experiment to see what it might be like.”
A small smile plays around his mouth. “Was it with another chick?”
I frown at him, but his smile only increases from a trifling upward tilt of his lips into a shameless grin.
“If you must know, I kissed a friend—a boy friend—I met at science camp when I was sixteen.”
“Science camp. That explains why your experience is negligible.” He grins at me.
“Now,” I say sternly. “Back to kissing.”
“Right.” He thinks for a moment, pursing his lips and rubbing his chin. “Passionate kissing,” he says. “Well kissing is important in that it—” he breaks off and shifts on the chair. “Um, I mean, it leads up to…” Another pause, this time longer. “First you have to—” He stops suddenly and sits up straight. “Listen, I can’t do this. If you want to learn about kissing, I’m going to have to show you.”
He moves towards me, taking the laptop away and moving it to the table. And then he’s right next to me and I don’t have time to think about what’s about to happen.
“Really, Jensen.” I think my heart rate tripled in the last five seconds. “I thought we agreed that you don’t want to sleep with me and I have no wish to be a notch on your nearly decimated bedpost.”
“Do you want to learn this stuff or not? And my bedpost is intact, thank you very much.”
“Well, yes, but—”
“But nothing. Consider this an experiment. And kissing is not sex, not even close. We won’t do any more experiments after this. Promise. Unless you beg me. Which you might.”
I can’t help but smile. “That’s a bold statement.”
The light is fairly dim in my living room because it’s cloudy outside and I don’t have any lights on, but he’s close enough that I can see the green in his eyes. My gaze is drawn to his mouth. He does have a nice mouth. It’s almost perfectly heart-shaped with a plump lower lip. It sounds almost feminine, but when it’s combined with his firm jaw and defined cheekbones, and he just looks…kissable. And now that we’re talking about it, I can’t help but imagine what it might be like.
“You’ll show me about…kissing and then we’ll discuss the rest of it?” I ask. I find that I’m inexplicably nervous. My palms are sweating, my heart is thumping and I have my hands tightly clasped in my lap because I’m fairly sure they will shake if I try to use them.
“Yes,” he says.
“Alright then.” I close my eyes and take a deep and slow breath through my nose to try and calm my autonomic nervous system.
A few long seconds later, I’m still sitting there with my eyes closed and I can sense Jensen sitting next to me, but he doesn’t seem to be moving.
I open my eyes. “Well?”
He’s just sitting there, staring at me. “Sorry,” he says. “I got distracted.”
I glance around the empty room. “By what?”
“I’m not sure,” he says. Before I can close my eyes and prepare myself again, his hands are cupping my face and his lips are on mine.
He’s warm and dry and his mouth is soft and gentle. His lips move lightly against mine, a motion that lasts only a few seconds before he’s nibbling on my lower lip. That simple, delicate movement ignites something between us. The kiss flashes from simple to explosive and suddenly our mouths are open and I can’t get close enough. My hands are in his hair and his hands move from my face to my neck to my shoulders and then under my rib cage, pulling me closer as I’m pulling him closer. Somehow I’m lying down on top of him on the small couch, but our mouths haven’t left each other at any point during the transition from sitting to sprawling. We kiss like we’re starving and the only sustenance left is each other. It seems to go on forever and yet only for a moment and then I have to come up for air.
When I lift my body up off of his slightly he lets out a small disappointed groan that shoots through my ear drums and straight into my stomach, making my insides throb with something warm and foreign.
I look down at him. His lips are swollen and his pupils are dilated and he’s looking at me like he’s nowhere near finished sampling my lips. I can feel his body’s natural response against my thigh and my body is screaming to let go and follow impulses.
But I’ve never been ruled by my body. Ever. And I’m not entirely sure what those impulses are, but I am sure that I need to retreat and analyze and contemplate.
“What was that?” I feel a little dazed and fuzzy.
Instead of answering, he tugs me down and we’re kissing again and for a second, I lean back into him. It would be so easy to stay here forever. We should be uncomfortable on the small loveseat, but somehow our bodies fit together perfectly, chest to chest, thigh to thigh, legs entangled, hanging halfway off the sofa. But now my brain is waking up and demanding attention. I pull back again after only a few seconds.
“Jensen,” I say.
“What?” His deep voice sounds even thicker than normal and it almost makes me let go of what my brain is transmitting.
I sit up, bracing my hands against his chest to push myself into an upright position, ignoring the feel of his chest through his sweater under my fingers. I stand on wobbly legs next to the couch, completely removing my body from his because I believe that’s the only way I will be able to have an intelligent conversation. He lies there for a second, takes a deep breath and swallows. I watch his Adam’s apple jerk and for a brief flickering moment I wonder what he would taste like there, on his neck, if I were to lean over and lick him.
I shake my head at the primitive thought as if that will remove it from my mind. This is not me. I have control over myself. I have control over my emotions. This is all a by-product of hormones and…and…I don’t really know right now, and the lack of knowledge is enough to push me into a state of anxiety.
He stands up, smoothly adjusting himself as he moves and then we stare at each other for a moment.
What does one say in this situation?
“Thank you,” I finally manage.
He looks confused for a moment and then he says, “Ahh…you’re welcome?”
“That was very enlightening,” I say. “What do we do now?” I ask. I’m genuinely curious. This is not something I know how to handle. I’ve never in my life had such a moment of complete abandon and loss of control.
“I guess, we, um…” He scrubs a hand through his hair and the motion doesn’t change the pieces that are sticking up in all directions from when I had my fingers in them. For a second, I’m distracted by the memory.
His eyes meet mine and even though I know it’s impossible, I think he can read the thoughts on my face because his eyes widen and I could swear his gaze heats up.
“I’ll just see you later,” he says. He walks by and stops as if he’s going to say something further, but he only pauses for a moment and then he’s walking out the door.
I stand in my living room staring at the door for a few minutes, the question I asked still lingering in my mind. What now?
Mary Frame is a full time mother and wife with a full time job. She has no idea how she manages to write novels, except that it involves copious amounts of wine. She doesn’t enjoy writing about herself in third person, but she does enjoy reading, writing, dancing, and damaging the ear drums of her co-workers when she randomly decides to sing to them. She lives in Reno, Nevada with her husband, two children and a border collie named Stella.
Social Media Sites: