“. . . AND THOUGH HE IS REALLY A GENTLEMAN, AND, I DARE SAY, A GOOD SCHOLAR AND CLEVER, AND OFTEN PREACHES GOOD SERMONS, AND IS VERY RESPECTABLE, I SEE HIM TO BE AN INDOLENT, SELFISH BON VIVANT, WHO MUST HAVE HIS PALATE CONSULTED IN EVERYTHING . . .” Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
I think I have prepared you enough. Here is the excerpt:
He looked down in her eyes and felt an overwhelming urge to kiss her again. “Grace, you have to know what you do to me.”
“I think I have a pretty good idea.” She stepped even closer and the hand on his shoulder slid down to his chest which made him nearly dizzy with confusion. Hadn’t she just said she wanted to be friends that morning or was he imagining things?
Gavin’s voice broke. “I should warn you, if you do not step away I cannot be accountable for my actions.”
“Is that so?” Her hand moved methodically as she brought it back up to his shoulder and then to the back of his neck where her fingers started twirling his hair. Every sense was peaked. Her cinnamon was engulfing him and he could almost count her eyelashes they were so close. Her blue eyes were mesmerizing and combining it all together was too much to ask of any man. He reached his hand to the back of the head and gently guided her head towards his.
“All you have to do is say no––” he whispered, almost fearful of her response. He wished to kiss her with every fiber of his being. The last hour had been so trying. He needed her. He needed his best friend. Her eyes danced from his eyes to his lips and back up to his eyes.
“Last chance, Grace. The time to fight me is now.” He studied her a moment longer. Their lips were an inch or two apart and he could nearly taste her sweet breath but she did not pull away. “If I did not know better, I would think you wanted me to kiss you.” He paused once more. “You pick now to show no resistance? Very well. You always have to win.” He leaned forward, kissed her, and felt her melt into his arms immediately.
He enjoyed the moment for a minute longer but then pulled away and smiled at her glassy eyes. “Grace,” he whispered, “I do not wish for you to find me a wife.”
Her eyes flashed a look of fear. “You really do not wish to marry?”
He smiled at her and kissed her again but this time more passionately. When he pulled away he put his finger on her lips and said, “No, Gigi. You will not get the last word this time. I do not know how you can possibly doubt my intentions. I have not been the same since you moved away. A part of me went dormant, the very best parts of me, ten years ago. I love how you effortlessly find the perfect balance between humbling me and making me feel like I can conquer the world. My world went topsy-turvy when you were ripped from me. Perhaps that was why I felt so at home on the ship that thrashed one way and then another. It mirrored what I felt inside. I know it was the same for you too.”
He continued, “I cannot be content to just be a friend. I wish to never say goodbye. Not then, not now, not ever. I love you, Grace Ingrid Genevieve Iverson, and I want to marry my best friend.”
She smiled at him mischievously but said nothing.
“Grace, I asked you to marry me. Are you not going to answer me?”
“You said I could not have the last word this time.”
He burst out laughing, which made her laugh too. He picked her up and twirled her around. He set her down and took both hands and brought her face to his again for another kiss. Between kisses he said, “Just. Say. Yes. Gigi. Or. I. Will. Keep. Kissing. You. Until. You. Do.”
He felt her shoulders shake and knew she was giggling again, making it very difficult to kiss her. He pulled away and Grace said, “You never did know the right way to win an argument.”
So as you can see, there are definitely times where it is good to hold your tongue and let someone else win the argument. (Now I don't want any comments about your dirty little minds that think maybe Grace should not have held her tongue in this particular scene. These were G rated kisses. Ha Ha!) I hope you enjoyed the excerpt and my soapbox about opinions. I think opinions are a lot like butts; everyone has one and they usually stink. I just want to leave you with one final quote.
“I ARGUE VERY WELL. ASK ANY OF MY REMAINING FRIENDS. I CAN WIN AN ARGUMENT ON ANY TOPIC, AGAINST ANY OPPONENT. PEOPLE KNOW THIS, AND STEER CLEAR OF ME AT PARTIES. OFTEN, AS A SIGN OF THEIR GREAT RESPECT, THEY DON’T EVEN INVITE ME.”––Dave Barry
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