Wednesday, April 2, 2014

First Kiss #13

GENRE: Mystery

Someone wants Eva Torino and Trooper Marty McKenna to stop investigating her father’s murder and shows malicious intent by tempting her pets with poisoned fish.

“Get a copy of your birth certificate from Vital Records.”

“Do you think the information will be different from the one my mother got in Milan?”

“Maybe more complete.” His smile started slow then seemed to spread to the rest of his face. It was a lovely, sexy thing. I had to mentally shake myself to stay focused.

“What about approaching it from the other end?” I said. “Look for unsolved murders or unexplained deaths in the Ellwood area 25 years ago.”

“I know an Ellwood officer who served on the drug task force with me. He can search for you here and I’ll check state records.”

“Okay. Is there anything else I could do?”

“Yes, there is.” He leaned over before I realized what he was going to do and kissed me lightly on the mouth. “But it may be a bit early in our relationship.”

He got up still holding onto the plastic bag of fish with two fingers.

I swallowed, took a deep breath and followed him to the door. “I have another idea,” I said.

He turned.

I pretended to be in deep thought to cover a rushing tide of feeling. “I’ll call each funeral director in town and ask them about deaths twenty-five years ago of young men anywhere from ages eighteen to twenty-five. There can’t have been that many.”

He put the arm not holding the fish guts around me and slowly brushed his lips over mine several times. He held me close for a few seconds, keeping his face near mine as he looked in my eyes. Then he let go and was out the door. I could feel Othello and Rigo brushing against my shaking legs as I stared out the door.

“Boys,” I whispered. “Did you catch that?”


  1. I love this: "His smile started slow then (seemed to) spread to the rest of his face. It was a lovely, sexy thing." But it's not clear what made him smile. (Could delete "seemed to.")

    "Plastic bag of fish" stopped me, but it's undoubtedly explained before this segment.

    Third to last paragraph: You repeat information about looking for dead people 25 years ago. Could be condensed: “I’ll call the funeral directors in town. There can’t have been that many young men who died back then.”

    Next to last paragraph. Seems he would need to lean in or pull her closer before he could brush his lips. Could tighten to "He put his free arm around me, pulled me close, and brushed his lips..." (If you do this, delete the next "close".)

    Think you could add a thought after "to cover a rushing tide of feeling." What ARE her feelings?

    Love her talking to the dogs (??)

  2. The first half, with all the dialogue, fell flat for me because there was too much talking. Give us a better idea of their body language and expressions. If the guy feels comfortable kissing her, there has to be a lot going on beneath the surface. Give us a hint of what's going on in his mind before he leans in for the kiss.

    The line about his slow smile was lovely though!

    In the second half, the reference to the 'fish guts' kills the romance. However, maybe you could turn it around to your advantage by playing up the ridiculousness of the situation and making it funnier.

  3. Thanks for your suggestions, all point to details or nuance I missed.

  4. Patricia NesbittApril 3, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Loved the language of the scene as pointed out by others. Was a little surprised than in investigating police officer would kiss her? But assuming you have set up their relationship earlier in the story. That said, I loved the teasing, breathless quality to the scene. And you left me wanting to read on.

  5. I agree with Melissa, in that you might add what's going on underneath the dialogue. As is, the kiss comes out of nowhere for no reason. If you gave us some of the underlying sexual attraction, it would make this stronger.

    I didn't have a problem with the fish guts because this is what they do, and it doesn't start out as a romantic scene, even though it ends that way.

    Nice touch, talking to the dogs!