I guess the excerpt today has to be from The Sentence. In this excerpt my hero and heroine have just finished a Christmas play where he played Joseph and she played Mary. The Sentence is now available at http://www.astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662255&mode=product&product=10046831 or at most other retail outlets.
Determined not to give him the satisfaction of flustering her,
Rachel coolly removed her own robe. “You did good tonight,” he
said, his voice warm and happy sounding. “You almost convinced
me you were Mary.”
He stared at her. “Well? Is that all?”
Rachel shrugged. “What did you want me to say?”
“Oh, I don’t know. You might say something like, ‘You did a
good job, too, Clint.’”
Rachel’s eyes burned. Did he really think she’d want to give
compliments to him? She had promised God she’d watch her
mouth, but she didn’t think that meant she had to stroke his ego.
Clint took a step closer to her. Goodness, why hadn’t she
noticed how warm the room was behind that curtain? She didn’t
like being so close to him either, but for some reason she didn’t
“Look above your head,” he said.
Rachel looked up and saw a sprig of mistletoe tied to a
ceiling fan with a long piece of red yarn.
“That’s mistletoe, Rachel.”
“So? I imagine the high school kids tied it there so they
could steal kisses.”
When Clint took another step toward her, Rachel’s heart
started to pound. “You’re really pretty, Rachel.”
Rachel felt herself blushing. “I don’t want empty
compliments from you.”
This time when he stepped forward he took her hand. “Oh,
it isn’t an empty compliment. You’re one of the prettiest women
I’ve ever seen.”
Rachel’s heart now took off in a mad gallop. She knew she
should leave the empty auditorium immediately, but her feet
Clint slid his arms around her and muttered. “Don’t argue
with tradition.” So saying, he gently kissed her on the lips.
Rachel gasped and tore out of his arms. “Don’t you ever do a
thing like this again! If you do I’ll tell my father.”
Clint looked as if her outburst had taken him totally by
surprise. “I said you were pretty and kissed you under the
mistletoe. What’s so awful about that? That’s what people do at
Rachel wanted to tell him, but the words tangled in her
throat and prevented her from saying anything.
Clint’s face hardened as the soft light and little smile faded
away. “What’s the matter, Rachel? Are you ashamed to say I’m not
good enough to kiss you? That’s the problem, right?”
He held up his hand to silence her. “You don’t have to say
anything. I get it.”
He spun around and jogged out of the auditorium leaving
Rachel in tears. What was the matter with her? Did she hate him or
did she…like him?