Here's mine...a scene from a little story about revenge and what can happen when someone goes terribly wrong...very rough, but I'm excited about it!
Ella checked the towering grandfather clock for what seemed like the twenty-seven hundredth time that evening, realizing she had only an hour left to sneak away from the ball without anyone noticing.
Of course, that was proving impossible considering her Cinderella-like entrance. Brent hadn’t taken his eyes off of her once, even while dancing with the most beautiful women in attendance.
The urge to stay in the ballroom and pretend this magical life was hers to enjoy forever was too tempting, and Ella took a deep breath before sidestepping out the double doors. She hoped no one saw her leave, especially Brent. She had a feeling he would make this difficult for her.
The main study was down the first hall on her right, and she half-jogged, half-glided, kicking off her heels as she went. They were too much of a hindrance and way too loud.
Glancing over her shoulder, Ella leaned into the heavy door, twisted the knob, and disappeared into the silent blackness.
The room was chilled, lack of life evident. When she was a child, she spent plenty of free time flipping through the pages of her father’s thick novels while he pored over business paperwork. Now the only movement she ever witnessed in here happened when she came in to clean the nonexistent dirt. And, of course, when her stepmother interviewed her.
Ella swept across the room, holding her dress up off the floor to avoid tripping. The bookcases appeared exactly the same as before, nothing more, nothing less. She ducked down behind the desk and tried the center drawer.
Three drawers, two shallow and one deep file drawer, were on the right. She tried each one, failing at opening any of them.
“Damn,” she swore, smacking an open palm against the glossy top. She should have thought this through. Of course the things to be hidden would be secure from outside tampering.
“Cinderella only left behind one slipper, you know.”
Ella spun around, her dress catching on the rolling desk chair and tearing with a horrible ripping sound.
Brent stood in the doorway, leaning against the frame, her heels dangling from an index finger. Ella couldn’t see his face in the dark, but she could imagine the fire shooting through his eyes, a stranger rummaging through his home like a regular klepto.
“I was looking for…the bathroom,” Ella improvised.
“Behind the desk?” He wasn’t convinced, and stepped into the room, tossing the shoes onto an armchair. He moved slowly, arms crossed over his chest.
His features came into focus, but they weren’t angry as she expected. Rather, they gave away nothing but intrigue, a small smile turning up the sides of his mouth.
“Tissue,” Ella said, yanking one from the box on the corner of the desk. She was never more thankful for her stepmother’s idea of a masque to disguise eligible women from her son. If he had any idea who she was, it was her neck. All of her hard work would have been in vain.
“Ah. I see.” It was obvious he didn’t believe her, but Brent said nothing to suggest it. He just kept moving closer, now hooking his thumbs in his pockets.
Ella stepped backwards, panic making flight impossible. “I didn’t mean to make you suspicious.” She hit the corner of the room, a few books toppling on the shelves behind her. She ignored them, oblivious to everything but the close proximity between her and the man who could ruin her.
“I know you, don’t I?”
She shook her head, a furious move that rattled her brain and made her see stars. “No, I don’t think so.”
“Yes. I do. I recognize your eyes.” Brent was near enough that he could see them, although she was certain the color was indeterminable in the lack of light. Still, she was thankful she chose to leave her disguising brown contacts in her bedroom. Turquoise was not the color anyone would expect in her eyes.
“Do you know that you’ve been the talk of the party?” Brent grinned, his pearly whites visible, lighting up the space.
Ella flushed. “Don’t you mean the talk of your engagement party?” She couldn’t help the stab. This wasn’t the same party thrown every year. Her stepmother had made a mockery of the event.
Brent chuckled. “I get the feeling you’re rather dissatisfied. I’m not what you expected?”
What she expected? He was nothing she’d ever expected. She’d expected, or maybe wanted, for him to be a disgusting excuse for a human being. He was supposed to be snide and cruel, someone she’d enjoy humiliating.
Granted, he was rather sarcastic, and he definitely knew how hot he was, but cruel was something she knew he was not. And tonight, in his dark gray suit, baby blue shirt, and white tie, his ocean eyes were visible across the room. His shaggy dark hair was unkempt and probably a thorn in his stepmother’s side, but it made him that much more appealing. He stood with confidence but made it clear he wasn’t interested in a giggling girly girl who would feed his ego. And he kept saying things like, ‘Right, then’, and, ‘Piss it’, when he was angry.
She never expected a guy like him to be so charming and sexy. It had to be the British thing.
Still, she had no idea how to answer that question.
“I’m waiting,” Brent said. One more step and he would be nose to nose with her.
Ella lifted her chin, the sequins on her silver mask catching the moonlight and half-blinding her. “I expected no less than what the evening delivered,” she finally answered. There. It revealed nothing, yet sounded insulting. She was proud of herself.
But Brent’s smile simply widened. Was he laughing at her?
Without her realizing it, the tips of his shoes touched the tips of her toes and he tilted his head down, lips centimeters away.
Oh, God. Ella sucked in her breath, trying to think quickly. If she let him kiss her, she was done for. All of her work would be for naught. She could never find vengeance against his family if she fell for him. It was impossible. Not to mention rude.
Although the idea of torturing him by allowing the kiss and then disappearing forever was tempting…
“I make you uncomfortable,” Brent whispered, and she could smell mint on his breath, as if he’d just brushed his teeth. He brushed his thumb against her cheek and she felt her knees shake.
Damn, he was good.
“You think very highly of yourself,” Ella retorted.
He chuckled and leaned further in.
Kiss or no?
Do it or don’t?
“I do,” Brent said, stepping away. “And you should leave before I have you thrown out of my home.”
Ella stared at him, the way his eyes hardened, his arms crossed severely, his firm stance. The complete opposite of the man she was falling for. And exactly the jerk she expected him to be.
He looked from her to the door. “Goodbye.”
Ella didn’t wait, turning on her heel and booking out of the room and out the front doors.