I wanted to enter the First Kiss Competition the RWA runs but because I am a published
author, I cannot...
Therefore I will post what I was going to enter here.
After a stilted dinner, Ellie made her way back to the evening sitting room. Smoothing her skirt down with hands that were shaking was hard, she hadn’t realized. Never one to entertain the notion of ‘nerves’, Ellie had not realized they could affect a person so much.
She lifted her hand and pushed open the door, hoping, nay praying, the housekeeper had done what she had asked for.
The warmth of the room touched her skin as she stepped into it, the roaring fire giving off much needed heat.
By the fire, Robert stood tall, his shoulders broad and proud.
Ellie’s breath hitched, how did one single man make her feel like this?
She walked over to him slowly. She was very quiet, yet he turned as though he knew she was coming.
His face showed no surprise, he just nodded politely.
“Good evening young lady.”
Her mouth kicked up into a smile when she curtseyed. Robert called her young lady to distant himself and to remind her of their age gap. It wasn’t very effective. She loved that he had a personal nick name for her.
“Good evening Sir. How was the rest of your day?”
“Well thank you.”
Ellie looked up and saw the mistletoe, flushing with pleasure. He was going to kiss her, she needed him to kiss her. On the cheek, on the forehead, she honestly didn’t mind. Some sort of affection, a sign that he felt something for her.
“I love mistletoe Robert, don’t you?”
She looked back at his startled face. He looked up and groaned a very ungentlemanly noise.
He backed away, shaking his head.
“Ellie, please don’t.”
Ellie’s disappointment was so keen she brought a hand to her belly to stifle the pain.
“But it’s Christmas.”
She looked at him and he turned away, his hands, clenched fists behind his back.
Ellie groaned in a very un ladylike sort of way and walked to the opposite side of the room. Why was he fighting her so much?
Her father walked in at that exact moment.
“Good evening. Goodness Ellie, what is wrong?”
Her father frowned; looking from her to Robert’s turned back, then returning to her. His eyebrows were raised and he looked suspicious. She needed to diffuse the situation, though she didn’t want to miss out on Robert’s kiss either.
Ellie sighed and wiped the true frown off her face. She smiled sadly whilst trying to ignore the knot of fear in her belly.
“I stood beneath the mistletoe and asked Robert to kiss me for Christmas, and he wouldn’t.”
Her father frowned even more.
“That is not very lady-like Eleanor. Robert is a guest in our home and my personal friend.”
She pouted, like a true little girl and focused on her father. She didn’t want him knowing just how much she wanted a true kiss.
“I realize that papa, but I have never been kissed, ever. I am twenty years old and I thought for just Christmas I could.”
She dropped her head, embarrassed when true tears sprang to her eyes. Saying the words aloud made it so much more real. She wasn’t a young girl anymore. She had never cared that other men had not tried to kiss her, or court her properly. She had never cared for any of them. It hadn’t mattered, not then.
“Robert, you really shouldn’t have said no. It’s only a harmless Christmas tradition.”
Ellie looked up and saw her father staring at Robert’s back. His hands relaxed out of their fists and he turned, his face unreadable. When he began walking towards her Ellie couldn’t believe it. He couldn’t be, could he? She wasn’t even standing under the mistletoe anymore.
He sighed and reached for her hand. Their warm skin touched and her hand tingled, the feeling almost burning her. He guided her back to her original place in front of the fire, under the mistletoe.
An unshed tear slid down her cheek when she looked up into his face. He was so handsome, so considerate. She didn’t know how she would ever find another man who she wanted as much as she wanted him. He reached up and wiped the tear away with the pad of his thumb. The caress tender, loving somehow.
“Don’t cry Ellie.”
He cupped her face in his hands and stepped into her father’s line of sight. Ellie looked down, waiting for the lips that would soon caress her forehead.
“This is just for Christmas.”
Ellie waited for him to lean forward but instead he applied gentle pressure and her head came up. She looked into his eyes, puzzled. His words made sense, but his eyes didn’t seem in accord. They were burning with an emotion she had never seen before.
Robert’s eyes flicked over her face for a moment then he dropped his head and pressed his lips against hers. Shocked, Ellie froze for a moment. His lips were soft but their pressure constant as he held her still and kissed her. Ellie’s head swam as pleasure filtered through her whole body. This was exactly what a kiss should feel like, her eyes slid closed.
Robert stepped back, abruptly parting their lips and leaving her tingling. Her eyes sprang open. He was looking at her like her father looked at a good meal. It made her heat in an uncomfortable way.
Then she remembered that her father was still in the room. She turned and located him, sitting on his chair in front of the fire.
She nodded, still dazed and walked towards her father. Her lips felt swollen, tingly. She wanted to reach up and touch them, but wouldn’t dare.
“Yes father, thank you.”
Her father looked up at his friend and a strange look passed between them. Robert flushed and walked away to gather the whiskey decanter. What was going on?
“I think it is time for bed Ellie.” Her father’s tone stopped her when she moved to sit down. Looking up, she watched him take the glass of whiskey from Robert and he nodded in the direction of the door.
Afraid for Robert, she looked up to see him frowning. Then he too smiled and tilted his head towards the door.
Confused and still worried for Robert, she curtseyed to them both, then moved over to kiss her father on top of the head.
Her lips touched her father’s balding crown and she looked up into Robert’s grey blue eyes. He smiled, more fully this time and she turned to walk away.
Ellie felt a sinking feeling of guilt. She may have pushed a little too hard for her Christmas kiss.