Tuesday, May 7, 2013

First Kiss #30

TITLE: Blood Ties
GENRE: Contemporary Suspense

Talon saves Nancy from a stray mouse in the diner where they work and ends up bleeding from a prior injury in the process.

Nancy followed me carrying the contaminated container of cherries. She tossed the whole thing into the huge sink and raced to my side as I whipped the mouse out the back door. It flipped through the air over the alley and landed on the edge of the woods.

“You okay?” I asked her.

“Yeah,” she pressed a clean towel to my bloody nose. “It just surprised me.”

“Yeah, me too.”

“Where’d it come from?”

“It must have been on one of the ice cream cartons. The stupid delivery guy left the freezer door open.”

“Thanks for getting it off me,” she said with a shudder. She wiped the last of the blood from my face and ran her thumbs along the bruises under my eyes.

“You’re welcome,” I leaned down and gently touched my lips against hers.

She groaned and I felt her hands at the back of my neck. I took this as a good sign and pulled her closer. I pushed my tongue against her lips and her mouth opened. She tasted like cherry juice and her body molded against mine.


“What’s that?” I said, looking for the source of the noise.

“My cell. I’ll get it later,” she ran her fingers through my hair and pulled my head back down so my mouth mashed against hers. This time I was the one who groaned. Maybe the mouse episode wasn’t such a bad thing after all.


  1. This is cute. The dialogue suggested friendship and this tentativeness of the kiss fit with a first.

    I like the imagery of the first paragraph and of the kiss. The only part that threw me off was the sentence: >>She tasted like cherry juice and her body molded against mine.<< The first clause would go better with the previous sentence.

  2. I thought this had a cute beginning, and I am curious to know more about their relationship. I did feel that the kiss itself was a bit abrupt, but of course it is hard with only 300 words. I just wished there was a bit of more building tension. When they kissed I was like "he what?" but overall I found this an enjoyable read, and I liked the note it ended on. super cute.

  3. I liked this a lot! It was nice and smooth. I wish there had been more tension building up to the actual kiss. Like his thoughts or feelings before he kisses her, so we're holding our breath before he moves in, but otherwise great job!

  4. The writing here is smooth, and I liked the way the kiss started tenatatively and grew more passionate.

    This is purely subjective on my part, but I was kind of grossed out by the setup. I couldn't help thinking, wait, he has a bloody nose, and he was just handling a rodent, and now he's kissing her? If I were the girl, I don't think I'd be pawing him quite so eagerly. But that's just my taste, and has nothing to do with the quality of the writing.

    One technical nit: when you use action beats, the action and the dialogue should each be a complete sentence, separated by a period, not a comma. For example, "Yeah," she pressed..., should be "Yeah." She pressed.... This showed up in several places.

  5. I'm not sure this works for me, mostly because I agree with Rebecca. He's just handled a mouse, he's bloody--not a romantic set up, but it could work if we knew the characters better and had more than 300 words to spend with them.

    The other part that doesn't feel right to me is that this is supposed to be a first kiss, but this reads like just a kiss to me, instead of a first kiss (like Sarah was saying above)...maybe build the tension a little more before he goes for it.

    Overall cute and gory. :-)

  6. This has a nice dialog exchange between the characters, very easy going and realistic. I did have a bit of difficulty with the abrupt kiss as well, especially her reaction to it. I don't know the two characters' previous interactions with each other, but Nancy seemed just a tad over eager. Talon gave her a gentle kiss and she's instantly ready to go to party town. In contrast, Talon was a little too distracted by the cell phone. Personally, if I was wrapped up in that sought after first kiss, I wouldn't have broke it off for a weird random noise. Heck, I probably wouldn't even care if the building was burning down around me. Bring that kiss on! ;)

  7. I like the personality of the MC, but I agree, the actions seem abrupt, don’t include enough details, or don’t seem likely. (All fixable.)

    (1) First off, a mouse on an ice cream carton? It came with the delivery guy (not likely)? Or ran INTO the freezer b/c the door was open (also not likely)?

    (2) She dumps the cherries and races to his side while he’s tossing the mouse out? How does he know what she’s doing if he’s looking out the door?

    (3) I understand there might be blood from bumping something during the mouse skirmish, but bruises don’t show up right away. But you did say prior injury, so maybe the bruises are from several days ago?

    (4) What are his thoughts, feelings, as she wipes his face and before the actual kiss? Then they’re in a clinch, tongue in mouth, cherry juice, bodies molded together, and he says, “What’s that?” I think the cell would have to blip blip several times before he even bothered to wonder. And he went straight from clinch kissing to talking and looking, so when did the kiss stop?

    Ditto on a period in the dialogue, then the action tag.

  8. Nicely written! I agree with the other commenters on the dialogue/action tag and moving the tast of her kiss to the earlier sentence. I love her reactions to him -- they jump off the page and make everything delightfully steamy.

    Trouble is, this doesn't feel like a first kiss. Maybe adding a touch of his introspection about deciding to kiss her before he does, and even extending the moment between deciding to and actually kissing will give this kiss more impact.

    Good stuff!

  9. I too had problems with the logistics. A mouse wouldn't be on the ice cream cartons without being a frozen mouse, plus the blood, plus the simultaneous throwing of the cherries and running to his side, which should happen sequentially rather than concurrently.

    I lost sympathy for the MC when he flung the mouse. Animal cruelty isn't the trait I look for in a romantic lead.

    Also was surprised at the groaning during the first kiss. That's a bit more demonstrative than I'd expect to see at first, no matter how into each other the chracters were.