Thursday, February 1, 2018

First Kiss #13

GENRE: YA Contemporary

Soccer prodigy Lexi tore her ACL and, many months later, still struggles to return to form. Friend and freestyle partner Brasil gets her to play a very high-stakes game of soccer and she finally, finally, scores a goal.

 I’m so giddy I can’t stop giggling. Brasil laughs too, his hands around my waist, holding me so long I realize I should probably get down. But I don’t want to get down. As Brasil’s hands migrate lower, as our laughter fades to silence, I don’t think he wants me to get down either. He hitches me closer with one hand while his other strokes my cheek, then traces a path to my ear, outlines a lobe, goes back to my chin. A heavy swallow passes over his Adam’s apple. His gaze intensifies. My breathing shallows. Our smiles fade into something softer, more hesitant.

    I’m done being hesitant about any of this.

    I press my lips to his. He kisses me back, fully and firmly, with an intensity, a longing I’m not quite prepared for. His breath is a heady mix of coconut and vanilla. I taste it on his lips, his tongue. And those hands, those rough, callused hands that I’ve longed to have touch me, travel everywhere. I tighten my legs around his waist as he clutches the back of my neck; his other hand runs up and down my back, my sides, so, so close to the front of my sports bra, like he’s never going to be able to do this again. Those hands continue to roam, even when we break apart. I’m breathless, a little dizzy, and even more giddy than before.

    Because his kiss? This? Us?

    It’s even more glorious than the goal I just scored.


  1. I was a bit confused when I first read it. I think that after she scored the goal, she jumped up and put her legs around his waist? I wasn't sure at first why she should probably "get down." I'm sure I'd understand if I read it, but it wasn't in your setup. Anyway... I really like this scene. I like how the two of them are just gazing at one another and he strokes her cheek. I love that she takes the initiative and kisses him. The one thing I wondered is if they're in public. The scene seems a bit intimate for that, but they're teens, and I remember being a teen with poor boundaries, take that comment with a huge grain of salt. The only other thing that tripped me up a bit was the line "A heavy swallow passes over his Adam's apple." I think you mean that he gulped and his Adam's apple bobbed up and down? It's a bit awkwardly phrased. Overall, great kiss. Thanks for being brave and letting your work be posted like this!

  2. I too had a little trouble figuring out their physical arrangement (some of that is the limitation of a 250 word excerpt!) I love how her emotions come through: "I don't want to get down. I'm done being hesitant." I don't like that he "clutches" the back of her neck - sounds kind of rough, but maybe you want that. I do like that his hands run close to the front of her bra and the urgency you convey with "like he's never going to be able to do this again." I thought the "heady scent of vanilla and coconut" sounded a little cliche - specifically heady. I like the part about his calloused hands -- that sounded real.
    Good work and good luck as you polish this up.

  3. Love the set-up for this scene and I think the scene itself is fairly well done. It's great how she straight-up says that she's done being hesitant because I think we've all been there where we're just at that "I don't even care about the consequences! I'm going for it!" stage.

    With her being kind of wrapped around his waist, I had to wonder about his hands. I didn't mind when they were on her back because odds are that he's kind of holding her there anyway, but I do have to wonder when you say that he's running his hands in the front because that doesn't quite work physically. And the fact that his hands are still roaming even when they've broken apart strikes me as a bit strange since they aren't exactly in a private place.

    The coconut and vanilla taste: Maybe you have a reason for it (like they just came from an ice cream shop where he had a scoop of vanilla with toasted coconut topping), but if you don't, lose those flavors. He might smell like coconut (maybe his deodorant or something), but he definitely shouldn't taste like it without a reason. (And again, you might have a reason that just isn't possible to throw into these 250! Totally get that!) But if there is no other reason for those two flavors, it's jarring enough that it kind of removes me from the scene and you definitely don't want that when you're in the midst of the emotion.

    In the mean time, I LOVE the closing of this scene, where she's still thinking about the goal she just scored, but how it pales in comparison to what just happened between the two of them. Nicely done!

  4. I loved the MC’s reaction to the kiss. The physical descriptions are good, too. The only thing that pulled me out of the story and had me going back to reread the first paragraph a few times is the position they are in when they kiss. I eventually get it but it did pull me out. So that might be something to take a look at when editing. Other than that, I really enjoyed the read

  5. Like the other posters, I was a little confused as to how this kiss came about. She scores the goal and does he run on the field and pick her up? Is it the end of the game? The sensory descriptions of the actual kiss are nice. I like the mention of his 'rough, callous hands' but I'm not sure how his hands 'continue to roam' even after they've broken apart. You might want to reword that a bit. Otherwise, nice job!

  6. The emotions are so nicely done in this. Good job! I agree with ditching the coconut breath, but maybe that's just because I hate coconut! :) I do wonder how his breath would end up a combo of that and vanilla, though. The last line is great, especially. And yes, it might be hard for him to hold her up and run his hands over her back and sides. If they are people around, you might consider putting in a mention of her thinking she doesn't even care about the crowd. Maybe you could fit it in when she thinks she's done hesitating (although that line was strong on its own).

    1) You mention breath 3 times in this short passage. I would use it once where it's strongest.
    2) This character had better be VERY sexually experienced if she is wrapping her legs around his waist. Honestly, I think this might be too mature for YA unless it's edgy.
    3) I am quite confused about what is going on here physically. What is she standing on? I assume he's on it too although I don't know why he'd want her to get down. How is she wrapping her legs around him in a way where he's hands are still free? Is she being supported by something? You don't want to leave your reader obsessing about these things instead of feeling the emotion. I would suggest you make the physical action less of a focus so we can focus on the kiss instead.