Hello and welcome to the end of the first third of NaNo. I reached 30K today (30623 if I’m going to be pedantic about numbers). I’m ahead of the word count for 50K and for 75K. That’s a good feeling.
What’s less of a good feeling is the realisation I have a lot to pack into the next 5-7K in order to line the events up for the mid point switch back. After feeling like it was taking forever to get to where I wanted to go now it’s like arriving far too early. So I need to sit down and think hard about what needs to play about between the first dinner party and Tabitha’s visit to the sculptor.
I knew there was something not quite right about the trajectory of Tabitha and Christian’s sexual relationship and I think I fixed that up today. Added an extra scene in and now I think it is a smoother transition.
I’ve ended today with all residents sitting down to their first fancy dinner. Christian and Tabitha are playing a married couple to conform to the protocols of the house, Becca has been running off at the mouth and I’m still unsure how the character of Marie fits in. I keep thinking there needs to be two of her to get through all the work that is required (and that just gave me a brilliant idea).
I’ll leave off with the horizontal folk dancing for a bit and leave you with a sweet and tender moment. I’m intrigued at how all these moments come via Christian and not Tabitha!
* * *
A shiver ran down her back.
“Someone walk on your grave?”
“Just me stepping over my dead thoughts. The bits of me I left behind to come here.” His stroked the side of her hip and moved his hand down to settle on her stomach. “I think the silence might have crushed me if I’d come here alone. I thought I could do it. But I don’t think I would’ve survived.”
“You would have done it. You are stronger than you think you are. The waif of a girl I knew at high school, she grew into an amazing woman.”
“But Robert –”
“You can define your life by your past or by your future.”
“What am I to you? Past or future?”
“You are and have always been my present.” He reached up so his hand nestled on top of her heart, the pound of it an aphrodisiac of a different kind. “You are the gift of life. You made me feel alive when I didn’t even realise I was dead inside.”
“We’re not going to come out of this the same people we went in, are we?”
The rhythm of her heart beneath his hand sped up. “Probably not.”
“You remember how I asked you when we’d know it was the end?”
“And I said when it was the end. I was trying to be all philosophical for you. I thought that was the sort of person you’d be attracted to.”
“I was only ever attracted to you, not some other version of you.” her hand rested over the top of his. “I think it’s only now that it’s starting. Everything else was just prologue.”
“Then let’s just be happy then and not worry that every prologue is bookended with an epilogue.”
“Is that you trying to be philosophical again?”
“No, that’s just me being wanky and thinking shit aloud that was probably best unsaid,” he said, kissing her shoulder.
“Speaking of the unsaid, do you see the light in the walls?” Tabitha asked, rolling away from him so they were looking at each other through the void of the darkness. He felt her fingers on his cheek bones and on his lips.
“I don’t see anything. It’s dark.”
“The light moves through the walls like clouds across the sky,” Tabitha said in a drowsy voice that like the night before, felt like it came from a long way off even though he felt the words on his lips. “I saw one that looked like a rabbit.”
“I only see you.” He moved forward until his lips brushed hers.
“What do I look like in the dark?”
“Perfect,” he said, kissing her harder.
The only protest, when he lifted her leg up over his and he slid slowly into her, was from a body that was two decades too old to keep pace with his desire for her.
“We’re in no rush,” she whispered as if she’d heard his thoughts and he surrendered to the motion of two bodies learning to fit together.