‘The One That Got Away is the title of my launch story for Harlequin’s new Kiss line (launching in North America in Feb ’13). At the time I wrote it, my stories were still feeding through into the Harlequin Presents Extra line in North America and Kiss was a mere twinkle in Harlequin’s eye. There are fun bits to the story. Flirty bits. Hooky bits. Sex. But it’s also one of my darker efforts and I’m very keen for potential readers who pick up the book to know this.
So… which part of this book production process do I have control over? Only the words within the cover. And Chapter One starts out light and bright and isn’t a good representation of the rest of the story. I needed a prologue. One that set the overall story tone and gave readers a heads up as to what they might expect.
So here it is.
There were limits – but Logan couldn’t remember what they were.
He lay on the bed, stripped-out and trembling, his body screaming out for oxygen and his brain not working at all. The woman splayed beneath him looked in no better condition. Boneless in the aftermath, just the occasional twitch to remind them that there was substance there. The shallow rise and fall of her chest that accompanied her breathing.
He looked to her skin; it had been flawless when he undressed her but it was flawless no more. There were marks on it now from his fingers and from the sandpapery skin of his jaw. Marks on her wrists and her waist and the silky-soft underside of her jaw.
He’d met her in a bar; that much he could remember. Some student hangout near the hotel he was staying at. This hotel. This was his room; he’d brought her back here. She’d given him her number but that hadn’t been enough for him. The hotel nearby. He’d walked her back to it. Invited her back to his room.
And those golden eyes had seen straight through to his soul and she’d tilted her lips towards his and told him to take what he wanted, all he wanted, and more. And he’d done so and discovered himself utterly in thrall.
‘Hey,’ he said gruffly, and reached out to drag his thumb across her stretched and swollen lips. Their last close encounter had been the wrong side of rough, and he felt the shame of it now, the black edge of guilt encroaching on the insane pleasure that had gone before. ‘You okay?’
She opened her eyes for him, and, yeah, she was okay. He smoothed her inky-black hair away from her face, tucked it behind her ear, combed it back from her temple. He couldn’t stop touching her. Such a beautiful face.
He stroked her hair back, smoothed his hand over the curve of her shoulder. ‘Can I get you anything?’ he offered. ‘Glass of water? Room service? Shower’s yours if that’s what you want.’ Whatever she wanted, all she had to do was ask.
And she looked at him and her lips kicked up at the corners and she said, ‘Whatever you just did to me… whatever that was… I want more.’