So far I’ve made it up Dark & Early each day this week, but I admit I haven’t been the most productive today. I wrote myself into a hole earlier than I expected last night, so I’m still sorting out whether the scene can stay where it is…or if I need to add more sparring between the hero and heroine in between. We’ll see. For now, I’ll embrace the words I have and move on as though it’s going to work.
This story feels like it’s going to be longer than I originally intended. I’m guessing 40K or so, but we’ll see. I broke 25K in the story last night (not all of that for NaNoWriMo) and I’m now into the unrequited desire stage. I’m not sure how long this will play out yet.
NaNoWriMo count (as of last night): 19,335 words
Snippet: this bit is just too fun not the share — the fall out the next morning after Yiorgos realizes what Clare did to him. *giggles*
The swinging door slammed against the wall with a crash that froze the entire kitchen.
At the stove, Clare didn’t even turn around. Her nerves sang with heightened sensation, energy leaping about her like lightning. This morning when she’d arrived, the restaurant had welcomed her with open arms. It’d certainly alerted her to the approaching storm.
“You.” Yiorgos Michelopoulos stomped over and clamped a hand on her arm, whirling her around to face him. “What have you done?”
She smiled brightly. “Good morning, Mr. Michelopoulos. I assume we’ll be open for business tonight, right?”
Unshaven and still in the incredibly tailored suit he’d worn last night, he glared down at her. Eyes blazing, lips tight, nostrils pinched, he looked like he desperately wanted to wrap his big hand around her throat and throttle her.
Since he didn’t release her or look away from her face, she assumed he meant everyone else but her. She was actually rather impressed that he kept his tone even and controlled despite the fire flickering in his eyes.
“Do you care to explain what happened last night?”
She batted her eyelashes at him. “Isn’t that supposed to be the woman’s question when the man slips away before making her breakfast in bed?”
His eyes narrowed to obsidian slits. “Like I’d be interested in a woman like you.”
Her heart stuttered, skewered by a pain so severe that he might as well have picked up the butcher knife and stabbed
her in the chest. I knew it was impossible from the very beginning. If he found me even the least bit attractive, this whole adventure would be pure hell.
She let out a little laugh that she hoped was carefree and lighthearted. “Of course not, Mr. Rich Beyond Belief. You were too busy devouring my cake to spare a single thought about me.”
His fingers tightened on her arm hard enough that she let the pain flicker across her face. Not that he cared in the slightest. “You drugged me.”
“No,” she said evenly, refusing to drop her gaze or show any alarm or concern. “I bespelled you.”
He snarled. “There’s a difference?”
“Surely a man knowledgeable enough to approach the Wizard Council would know that there’s most certainly a difference
between a drug and a spell. You knew exactly what I was before you ever summoned me to Remy’s. You even ordered me to cook for you. What did you expect a kitchen witch to do? Skin you with my knife instead?”
“What did you do to me?” His voice rose with each word until he roared loudly enough to rattle the stemware.
“I gave you a dose of your own medicine, Mr. Michelopoulos. I beat you at your own game.”
He let go of her arm. By the way he flexed and clenched his fingers, he’d released her before doing serious harm.
“What the hell does that mean?”
Wincing, she rubbed her biceps, making sure he saw exactly how he’d hurt her. “You deliberately wrote up a ridiculously meticulous contract meant to bedazzle me with terms and money, while waving the deed to Remy’s beneath my nose. You thought I’d be too stupid to see your game. Ply the little lady with some wine, pay a few compliments, smile seductively, and she’ll fall head over heels into your schemes, right? Well, wrong. You picked the wrong patsy this time, Mr. Michelopoulos.”
“I didn’t agree to a modification to the terms.”
“I asked you if I could modify the agreement in front of a witness. Shall we call Dmitri back in here? If I need
him to testify in a court of law, I’ll subpoena him.”
“I was under duress. No court in the world would award rights to a witch who’d deliberately bespelled her target by plying him with…with…”
“Chocolate cake? Oh, how dreadfully sinister of me. Seriously, do you think your high and mighty reputation can withstand such a ridiculous case, Mr. Michelopoulos? I can see the headlines now: Tycoon bamboozled by kitchen witch; claims the chocolate cake did him in.”
He slammed his fist down on the island so hard that a stainless steel bowl fell off and clattered on the floor, spilling sliced potatoes all over the spotless tile. “Hear me now, witch. I cannot…will not… give you that damned ring. Never!”