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Here is the end of a scene from Steam Palace, my current WIP. Prudencia has run away from the Harvest Ball after insulting both the Duke and her best friend Lily. She finds herself in an airship hangar, where Thomas Putnam is stuck on a task he should have completed hours ago. He lost the use of his left leg which is why he is struggling. He saved Prudencia from a pack of wolves earlier in the book. Told from Thomas’ POV:
"What, pray tell, are you working on at this late hour?"
Thomas showed her. "A simple task really, but it requires three hands and two strong legs, of which I am missing one each. I have been stumped for needless hours on its execution."
"I'll help you." She hopped over to the open cowl of the control surface. "Show me what to do."
"Miss Stratton, these parts are extremely dirty, and I'm afraid you may ruin your exquisite dress."
"Do you like my dress?"
"You are most stunning, I admit. Far better that our last meeting."
The girl swayed seductively before him, a mischievous smile on her red lips. "Lend me your gloves and jacket, and direct me, and we will accomplish this dreaded task presently. No need for both of us to raise the Duke's ire."
Thomas hesitated, but noted her glare brooked no argument. He pulled off his jacket and gloves, and she donned the ill-fitting gear over her dress. "Are you sure? The gear is fairly heavy."
"My dear Captain. My father impressed in me the need to balance both mind and body. I assure you I am in top physical condition, and able to handle a simple gear." The matter was settled.
Thomas grabbed his tools and maneuvered himself into position. Prudencia hoisted the gear, grunting and straining, and placed it upon its cog. Thomas tightened the bolts while she held it in place, his face below hers looking up past her bosom. At his signal, Prudencia released the gear and it fell into place, and Thomas closed and latched the cowling. "Yes, yes, finally!"
Prudencia's face had turned red with effort, and her breath drew quick. He turned to her to slap her hand as he would a colleague, but as he drew his hand back she launched herself in his arms again, possibly mistaking his reach for a hug.
She clung to him for a few moments, suffering some emotion he knew not what, yet he had no inclination to break the hold. She looked up at him, her eyes wide and dilated, her lips parted. He felt his mouth drawn to hers, when a foreign-tinged voice interrupted them.
"Ah, das schwein!"
Please no critiques…this is strictly first-draft material. Would they have kissed if they weren’t interrupted? Well, this is Victorian-era attitudes, so probably not. The point is that they wanted to… :)
Since this may be my last blog this week, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Happy Holidays!