I struggled with my focus today. I feel the end of my vacation looming like a thunderstorm on the horizon, that low rumble reminding me that Monday I’ll be back to the daily grind.
Instead of feeling motivated, then, to write harder, I find myself tempted by Netflix. I so adore watching cheesy horror movies! Today, I watched Hisss. I also got caught up on my reality show fixes, like the Project Runway finale and the opening session of Top Chef Masters.
I realized by the time I get the last kids to school (they start at different times) and leave to pick the first one up in the afternoon, that I only have 6 hours. They go by soooo fast. Tomorrow I’ll only have 5 hours (they get out early on Fridays). Saturday we’re hoping to drive up to my Dad’s again, so I might have some car trip time…or we might have guests in the car and I won’t get a thing done because I’ll be visiting.
So it’s going to be a struggle from here on out — as I fully expected. My best bet is to get up early and get the first 1K before work, but I must be getting old. I’m having a really hard time getting up on time, let alone early. Sigh.
Anyway, it’s been a good week off and I’m happy with my 7314 NaNoWriMo count. Even more, I’m extremely happy with the story itself.
Here’s the first scene with the hero and heroine on stage together. First draft, subject to heavy revision later.
Yiorgos had doubled his fortune twice over by acting on his gut instincts, and first impressions were everything. Staring at Remy’s daughter—the key to his salvation—he couldn’t help but curl his lips in what he hoped was not too obviously a sneer. This will be ridiculously easy.
The only word to describe her appearance was frumpy. If he hadn’t known her age, he would have guessed her to be closer to forty than not yet thirty. Why on earth would a woman deliberately age herself so drastically? The shapeless skirt and baggy suit jacket would have been more attractive on a rubbish heap.
That quickly, she rocked him back on his heels. A woman in an ugly brown suit and a tight bun should have a prim little voice, not this husky vibrato more appropriate for whispered innuendoes and sweaty sheets. Eyes narrowed, he ran his gaze over her again quickly, looking for something he’d missed.
The old fashioned A-line skirt might hide shapely full hips. Perhaps the jacket was baggy on purpose, to disguise her lush breasts. And while that tidy bun did make her look like a schoolmarm, he had to admit the toffee color was quite pretty. Pulled back from her face, her hair couldn’t detract from the sculpted bones of her cheeks and her full mouth.
Intrigued by the inconsistencies, Yiorgos gave her a slow, smoldering smile.
The little witch stiffened like he’d called her a vile name. Instead of blushing or flirting, she brushed past him without another word and strode into the kitchens as though she owned the place.
“Make yourself comfortable,” he said dryly, slowly following her through the swinging door. Unfortunately, he didn’t expect her to stop just inside, so he nearly flattened her.
He closed his hands on her hips to steady her, and yes, he might have pulled her back against him a moment or two. Her curves made a very nice handful, an unexpected pleasure after dating tall and slender women for years.
For the barest moment, she softened against him, nestling in like a kitten. Then she inhaled sharply and leaped away like he’d goosed her. Cheeks on fire, she waved a hand at the sinks loaded with dirty dishes. “This is a disgrace! My father’s probably rolling over in his grave!”
“Indeed,” Yiorgos drawled out in his most charming voice. Remy will rot in hell for what he’s done to me! “We’ve had a bit of a… problem. That’s why I contacted you, Ms. Remy.”
“This isn’t a problem. It’s a travesty. No wonder you’ve been having issues—this kitchen is filthy!”
The few remaining kitchen staff stood frozen like deer in headlights. No one had ever stood up to him…in his own kitchen, no less…and survived. Clenching his jaws to keep from barking out his demands, he simply waited to see what she’d do.
He didn’t have to wait long. She marched over to the wall and pulled down a fresh apron hanging on the line of hooks. She removed her misshapen suit jacket, revealing an ugly pink blouse the color of Pepto Bismal, and snapped the white linen apron into place. Rolling up her sleeves, she gave an accessing look to each of the staff shaking in their boots.
“You.” She pointed a finger at the chef paid a small fortune to fail so dismally. “Clean the stoves. And you,” she jerked her head at Dmitri, “assign a crew to start mopping the floors. We can’t possibly hope to cook anything in a kitchen so wretchedly filthy.”
When she walked over to the sink mounded with stainless steel pots coated with grease and baked on gunk, Yiorgos could only stare. He’d assumed she’d give the hard jobs to his people and take the supervisory role, getting in her digs verbally as many times as possible. But she tackled the nastiest job with nary a complaint.
In fact, he’d be damned if she wasn’t happy.
The whole atmosphere already seemed different. The air felt lighter, cleaner, as though the restaurant recognized her in some way. Maybe the little witch was already working her magic on Remy’s.
If so, she’ll be working on me as soon as I can learn how to break this curse.