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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

FIRST KISS




From the moment we're conceived our lives are a series of firsts. Most of these firsts pass without notice or are quickly forgotten. Who among us remembers their first word, their first step, their first piece of chocolate? Well, maybe the chocolate.

But certain firsts are etched into our memory like words chiseled in to granite. Our first love. Our first heartbreak. And most memorable our first kiss. Time and circumstance may cause them to fade, but the impression remains.

Though I've seen animals rubbing their faces and snouts together, to me, kissing, the pressing together of lips, seems a very human activity, an intimate connection. The touching of lip to lip or lip to skin is more than a physical action; it expresses a gamut of emotions. Friends kiss in affection. Parent's kiss away a child's pain with love and compassion. Lovers kiss in passion.

While it's said a person's eyes are the window to their soul, our lips are the gatekeepers that expose our souls to the world. With our lips we speak and sing, smile and laugh, scowl and yell. And kiss.
Every little girl wonders and dreams about falling in love, about her first kiss.  Who will he be? The boy next door? A friend of a friend? A stranger?  Where will they meet? How will she know he's the one? The questions, excitement and fear are endless, causing sleepless nights, and long involved discussions with her closest friends about who he might be and what it'll be like. Inevitably the subject turns to kissing. They talk and giggle about the mechanics of kissing, practicing the art on the backs of their hands and occasionally a mirror. A few bolder girls might even experiment by kissing each other. They want that first kiss to be thrilling, wonderful, and special.

For the lucky ones their first kiss is all that and more. But I'm guessing for most of us it wasn't. For those of us who received our first kiss as a teenaged girl it probably came from some pimply-faced, sweaty-handed, teenaged boy with braces, who was more interested in what was below a girl's neck than above.
It's been a long time since those days for me. And fortunately the memories have dimmed, but the emotions remain. 

When I sat down to write about my first kiss I realized that I really don't recall which of the kisses I remember was the first. Was it the boy with braces I met at an outdoor concert and spent a few uncomfortable minutes necking with behind the bushes? Or maybe the "older" man (he had to be at least 20) who was working on his car in the garage and managed to steal a kiss? Or was it my first "boyfriend"? Quite honestly I can't remember if he ever actually kissed me. I think he was homesick and found my family more interesting than me.

All I can really remember is thinking 'Is this what all the fuss is about? Well, that's disappointing.' When I started writing romance I decided that none of my heroines would ever be left dissatisfied by their first kiss or any other firsts.

I hope your first kiss - and your next - was everything you hoped and dreamed it would be. I'd love to hear about them.

Here's the first kiss between the hero and heroine in my contemporary fantasy THE SWORD AND THE PEN.

"You'll enjoy this more." Brandon handed Seri a hotdog smothered with all the fixings.

She took the offering and sniffed it. The aroma of grilled meat, onions, mustard and ketchup must have pleased her, because she took a bite. A look of delight spread over her face. In seconds she had devoured the hotdog and reached for a hamburger.

Fascinated by her appetite, he almost forgot to eat. Most women he'd known-- his mother, Wanda and Hillary-- merely nibbled at their food. They always claimed to be on diets, yet never seemed to lose any weight. His grandmother had been the exception. Until her death, she'd eaten anything and everything and never gained an ounce. She'd claimed magic kept her thin.

Seri ate with gusto and didn't seem interested in counting calories or carbohydrates. Whatever she did in life she kept her body trim and fit. The pile of food diminished. She glanced at him. Her hand paused as she reached for the now melting ice cream.

"Why aren't you eating?"

The sudden suspicion in her tone reminded him to tread carefully. He grabbed a handful of fries.

She relaxed and picked up the dish of ice cream. "What is this?"

"Chocolate ice cream. You'll like it."

"Mmmm," she groaned around a mouthful. "This is astonishing. I think I could easily live on this alone."

"It's full of fat and sugar, and loaded with calories."

"I know fat and sugar. But what are calories? Are they dangerous?" She gave the now empty container a wary glance.

"Only to your waistline."

Understanding spread over her face. She grinned. "Ah, I see. You fear I'll grow obese and lazy."

"No, I didn't mean that… I only meant…well, I…" He stumbled.

She leaned forward and placed her fingers over his lips. "I but tease. Only the very rich and powerful can afford to grow stout and indolent. And those that do so, soon lose their wealth and their power to those who are hungry."

Slick from the fries and cool from the ice cream, the feel of her fingers against his lips sent a jolt of awareness straight to his groin. Without thinking, he sucked one finger into his mouth. The taste of salt and Seri exploded on his tongue.

Her voice trailed away. He pushed aside the tray with the remains of their lunch and leaned across the concrete table. She pulled her hand from his mouth and replaced it with her lips.

She tasted of chocolate, cool chocolate ice cream. The smell of grilled hotdogs and onion rings filled his nostrils. But the hunger inside Brandon wasn't for food. Eager for the taste of the woman he kissed, he ran his tongue over her lips. They parted on a sigh and he delved within.

Hot and tangy, her flavor sucked him in. Heat burned away rational thought as he lost himself in the kiss. Their tongues thrust and parried, the tempo increasing with every breath. Not satisfied with the limited contact of their mouths, he put his hand around the back of her head. Soft red curls twined around his fingers.

Honk! Honk!

"Hey man! Get a room!" a loud voice rang out. Laughter followed, as a car filled with teenagers pulled into the lot.

Brandon jerked away. His elbow cracked against the stone table. Pain ran up his arm. He welcomed the distraction. Seri looked dazed as she settled back on her bench.



 

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