Monday, May 2, 2011

First impressions- Excerpt from Obsessed

Whether we want to admit it or not, first impressions make a difference. I know I strive to be the type of person who keeps an open mind, who doesn't pass judgment and tries to give people the benefit of the doubt whenever I can. That being said, when I first see or meet someone, that initial spark, that initial feeling I get often leaves a mark–sometimes good, sometimes bad.

It's these initial feelings and perceptions that either fuel our desire to get to know someone better, or likewise, prompt us to make hasty opinions that aren't always correct. The old adage "You can't judge a book by its cover" is corny, cliched and completely overused. But also very, very correct.

Nick, the leading man in my erotic suspense, Obsessed, sports a tough shell, a cool outer layer. The heroine, Halley, is able to see past his cool facade and realizes that he's hurting. Below is a look at her first impression of him.

The Black Diamond was loaded, which was typical for a Friday night, but still, Halley had never seen it so full. Loud music pounded out a steady beat, ringing in her ears and dancing across her skin. Conversation, laughter, and the heavy stench of alcohol bounced off the walls and filled every spare inch of the large room with the promise of good times and no regrets.
A bomb could have gone off and Halley wouldn’t have noticed. She’d ceased to register her surroundings the moment her gaze locked with a pair of haunted blue eyes at the end of the bar. Electricity, hot, powerful, and potent, shot through her veins, sending every nerve ending in her body on high alert. Those eyes, that lost, hollow stare full of pain and loneliness, tore at her heart and threatened to wrench a piece of her soul away. So beautiful. So sad.
The determined voice of a sassy sprite tore her from her romantic stupor. “What are you doing, Hal? I found us two seats by the bar, hurry.” Kaiti, Halley’s best friend and business partner, stomped over from where she stood at the bar, grabbed her by the wrist, and gave a yank. Though petite at five-three, Kaiti was a spitfire and packed one hell of a punch.
“Ouch, Kat. What the hell?” Halley tugged, fighting to free herself from Kat’s iron grasp.
“I don’t want to lose those seats. C’mon.”
Unable to escape her friend’s death grip, Halley shuffled over to the bar behind the tiny brunette and took a seat. She rubbed at the burning flesh on her wrist and craned her head toward the far end of the bar. Those eyes, so full of sadness, tugged at her heartstrings. The tall stranger was devastatingly handsome, rugged and masculine in the extreme. What happened to him? Why was he so sad?
“What are you looking at?” Kaiti narrowed her eyes and focused her attention toward the end of the bar. “Let me rephrase. Who are you looking at? I know it’s not Mr. Stuffed Suit with the crappy tie and comb-over. You’ve got better taste than that.”
“Jeez, Kat, give me a little credit, please.” She glanced down toward the suit in question. Midlife crisis wasn’t attractive, and the poor man looked wound so tight he could probably shit a diamond. No, she definitely wasn’t looking at the suit.
“Well, who is it that you’re staring at, then? The tall guy with the skull-trimmed hair and gauges? Really, Hal? You can’t be serious.”
A hot flush danced across her skin, and she bit her lip while avoiding Kat’s harsh gaze. She wasn’t ready to admit she felt drawn to Mr. Blue Eyes. Roughly six-three with a muscular build, shaved hair, a tribal tat peeking out from his shirt, and an aura that screamed badass, he wasn’t her usual type, and Kat would think she’d lost her mind.
She normally went for Mr. Safe-and-Dependable. The result was always the same. The guy in the power-suit was always more interested in himself than her when all was said and done. Halley was tired of dating her parents’ idea of a good man and sick of settling for guys who were more interested in status and climbing the corporate ladder. Screw that! She deserved to be somebody’s numero uno. Nope. Mr. Blue Eyes was definitely her flavor, but she’d keep that little secret to herself.
Kaiti leaned forward onto the bar and took a good, long stare before turning to face Halley once more. “Well, color me shocked, Hal. I didn’t know you were into large, tatted, and angsty. But hey, he’s definitely a looker if you can get past the whole ‘woe is me’ vibe.”
Halley shook her head. “Damn, Kat. You are so mean. Maybe he’s going through something right now. Or—”
“Or maybe he’s constipated.” Kat flashed her a toothy grin and flagged down the bartender. “Two lemon drops, please.”
Halley rolled her eyes as a very metro-looking blond with a name tag that read “Sven” filled their order.
Unable to stop herself, Halley let her gaze wander to the end of the bar and felt her stomach drop when she saw Mr. Blue Eyes was no longer there. The amount of disappointment coursing through her body shocked the hell out of her. He was a stranger, for crying out loud. Why was she so worked up?
With a deep sigh, she shook her head and turned back to face her friend. She didn’t have time for emotional entanglements. Not when everything she’d worked toward the last four years had finally fallen into place.

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June M. said...

Sounds good, and who doesn't love a tortured, tattooed man?

Lisa said...

Thanks, June! Hahaha...I know I can't resist :)