Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I’ve always been a hopeless romantic which is why I write romance novels as opposed to some other genre. I believe in true love, soul mates and happily-ever-after endings. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to share a short excerpt from the book I’m currently working on. It took me forever to find a scene that didn’t have me totally blushing. I can’t believe some of the things I’ve written. When my books are published, pages will be torn from my mother’s copy.
The scene I’ve chosen is from the second book in the Arrington Family Series titled The Game of Seduction. However, I keep changing the title every day. My heroine, Dr. Bria Arrington and the hero, Rasheed Vincent, have been friends for the past few months, nothing more. But while preparing for a wedding, they find themselves in a not-so-friendly moment.
I’m currently half way done with the rough draft. You can read more about the progress of the Arrington Family Series by clicking on the “Works in Progress” page on the top menu bar or simply click this link.
*Disclaimer: The following excerpt has not been professionally edited.
Rasheed Vincent adjusted his sage-colored bow tie in the mirror as he wondered who had the audacity to pick such a color. He flashed his usual charming, sexy smile that always melted the heart of any woman in the vicinity that had the pleasure of seeing it. A retired, professional basketball player, he enjoyed the attention and company of beautiful women—until they became too close—and then he was on to the next one.
He checked his appearance in the mirror one more time. Everything had to be on point today, which wasn’t hard for him. His self-confident and slightly arrogant attitude wouldn’t let him be anything but on point. His bald head glistened under the vanity lights in the dressing room of the wedding chapel. The Armani tuxedo fit his athletic physique, showcasing broad shoulders with a rock hard chest and washboard abs. He checked his onyx cuff links and buttoned his tuxedo jacket, before giving himself the thumbs up.
He glanced over his shoulder at his best friend and the groom, Justin Richardson, who was busy reading his wedding vows. Their other best friend and the second best man, Derek Martin, finished putting on his bow tie and proceeded to open a bottle of Moet.
Rasheed strode over to his boy, who in two more hours would no longer be living the single life, something Rasheed never planned to give up. He was a certified playboy and intended to keep it that way.
“You ready to put on that ball and chain…I mean get married and sleep with the same woman for the rest of your life?”
Justin chuckled and placed the paper with the wedding vows in the pocket of his black tuxedo pants. “Of course, I’m ready. I was ready when I first laid eyes on her adorable face.”
Derek chimed in, as he poured three glasses of champagne. “Yeah, man I remember. You’ve been whipped since you met Shelbi.”
“I’m not…” Justin paused. “You’re right. I am. But my Shelbi is perfect.”
Rasheed checked his Rolex. “Well, if you change your mind, the Bentley is parked out back. I can have the jet ready and we can be back at the strip club in Vegas in a few hours. Your bachelor party, thanks to me, was off the chain!”
Justin laughed and took the glass of champagne from Derek. “That it was. But now, I’m ready to get married to the most beautiful woman in the world. You know Rasheed, you could be next.”
Rasheed almost spit out his champagne and thank goodness he didn’t because he knew Shelbi would’ve had a cow if any stains had been on his tuxedo jacket.
“Married? Naw. Marriage complicates things.”
“Really? Like what?” Derek asked.
“Like getting the numbers of all Shelbi’s single, hot bridesmaids at the reception.” Rasheed took out his cell phone to make sure it was charged. “She even has some fine, sexy twin cousins from Atlanta. Twins! That would be a fantasy come true…again.” A wide smile formed on his face.
“How will Bria feel about that?” Justin inquired.
“Bria?” Rasheed wasn’t really surprised at the question. He’d met her at Justin’s dinner and blues club a few months ago and they’d been hanging out ever since. Everyone thought surely they would end up dating, but they were just friends. “Why would she care? She’s my home girl. Nothing going on.”
Justin and Derek rolled their eyes at each other. A knock sounded on the door and the men jerked their heads in that direction. Thankful for the interruption, Rasheed motioned to open the door. There stood the topic of their conversation, Bria and her sister Raven.
“What’s up fellas? I have your boutonnières,” Bria said as the ladies entered the dressing room. Raven took a boutonnière from a box in Bria’s hand and headed toward Justin.
Rasheed’s eyes were instantly drawn to Bria’s sexy body like a magnet. The sage-colored, straight dress hugged her curves in all the right places. He was used to seeing her in medical scrubs and he was rather taken aback. She was petite at five-feet-five inches, but today she was actually filling out the dress. His eyes gazed over her hips and a butt that he’d never realized was so rounded. Her small yet plump breasts were sitting up all nice and perky. He resisted the urge to pull down her dress and introduce himself to them by kneading and kissing them senseless. Her thick, shoulder length hair was pinned up in a loose, tousled up do with sexy, wispy curls framing her delicate, bronze face. He wanted to unpin her hair, unzip her dress, leave her heels on and do naughty things to her.
Rasheed downed his glass of champagne, hoping it would calm down whatever the hell he was feeling for his friend. He tried to concentrate on what Raven blabbed about. Something to do with pictures, rings and walking back down the aisle after the ceremony. But all he could do was imagine hiking up Bria’s dress and holding her up against a wall. His attention came back when Bria spoke directly to him as she finished pinning the rose on Derek.
“You’re next, playboy,” she said in her usual upbeat, bubbly voice.
“Playboy? You think I’m a playboy?” He didn’t know why all of sudden he was offended by her comment. She called him that all the time and he always gave her some witty, smart-aleck answer such as ‘and you know this’ or ‘til the day I die’.
The men and Raven laughed while Bria smiled and shook her head.
“Boy, please.” She walked toward him with the rose bud. “The whole world knows you’re a playboy. Now, let me put the final finish to your attire so you can take pictures. The photographer is done with Shelbi and the bridesmaids.”
“You know,” Raven began, “I’m going to go ahead and take Justin down to the chapel now that Shelbi is back in her dressing area.”
“Cool. I need to ask the pastor a quick question about my vows,” Justin said as he headed toward the door with Raven.
“I’ll go with you,” Derek added. “I want to get a glimpse of those twins again.”
Rasheed looked passed Bria and straight to Derek. “Hey, I got first dibs on the twins,” he yelled as the door closed.
“Humph. And you say you aren’t a playboy,” Bria said with a whispered laugh.
Rasheed looked down at her as she struggled to pin the boutonniere to his lapel. She was on her tippy toes despite the fact that her heels had given her a few extra inches of height. A sweet, soft scent of jasmine and gardenia radiated from her, filling his senses with her aura.
“You smell and look lovely,” he whispered in a deep voice that he normally wouldn’t use with her which surprised him. “I’m not used to seeing you all dolled-up. Not that it matters. You would look hot in a potato sack.”
Almond-shaped, coffee-colored eyes glanced up at his face and her lips parted slightly before she sighed and continued to straighten the flower.
“This thing won’t stay still!” she expressed in a flustered tone. She unpinned it and tried again.
Rasheed wasn’t sure what had ruffled her feathers. Bria was always easy-going and nothing got on her nerves—except the task of pinning the flower to his lapel. When he had first met her, he’d flirted hard. Real hard. However, she nipped that in the bud fast. She’d threatened to throw him over the banister of Justin’s restaurant and then proceeded to tell him she wasn’t some floozy or groupie. After that, he had nothing but respect for her and they’d hung out ever since going to blues clubs and sporting events as well as playing basketball and bowling. Bria had become one of the boys to him thanks to her athletic ability and easy-going attitude. He still checked her out from time to time, especially in the little shorts she wore when playing basketball. But he never flirted and even asked for advice about whatever chick-of-the-week he was seeing.
“Having problems, Bree?” he asked, concentrating to stay composed. He tried to remember this was his friend, his home girl. She stood in front of him so close he could see the pulse on the side of her neck beat faster than usual. He pushed his hands in the pockets of his trousers which was pure torture. He really wanted to glide them down her neck, her arms, back, hips, —especially the hips—and then end up on her little plump derriere as he imagined picking her up and kissing her already parted, sexy lips.
“I…I almost got it,” she said with a relieved smile. She stuck the pin through the lapel and back out to firmly connect the boutonnière. “Ouch!” She pulled her finger back and waved it in the air.
Rasheed took her finger in his hand and lightly kissed it. Before he had time to think about what he was doing, he sucked the pricked finger into his mouth as his eyes met hers in an intense stare. The rise in his silk boxers strained against his pants as his lips touched her skin. He knew he needed to stop this charade, but her finger was literally finger-licking good and he wanted more—much more.
“Better?” he whispered in a seductive tone as he caressed her other fingers with his lips.
“Hmm…um…” she stuttered and then her eyes shut as more untamed purrs trailed from her throat.
The aroused music which escaped her lips was answer enough for him. With little effort, he moved her hands around his neck and drew her small body hard against his. Rasheed bent his head to her quivering lips to imprison them with his. He kissed her slow and deep, relishing in her essence as her tongue wound its way around his in a slow, sensual dance. Her body arched against his in from what he could tell was pure enjoyment. He dipped his tongue inside her mouth as she continued to reach for it with her own. Her soft hands slid over his bald head, down to his neck and gripped his shoulders which stirred fervor in him.
© Copyrighted by Candace Shaw, 2012
I hope you enjoyed the short excerpt. I’m still writing the book and half of what you read will probably change as I work out the kinks to the storyline and the ending.