I had a cranky judge this weekend. Mostly because they had difficulty narrowing down the 25 to move on to round six. I will admit to being very surprised. One of my favs didn’t make it. 🙁
Here are the 25 who made it to the sixth round. Y’all know the drill. Good Luck ladies.
1. I could not believe my good fortune. A car pulled away just as I was within twenty feet of it and I was only one block from the address I was seeking. This was a great start, a sign, an omen. I was going to be early, but to get a great parking space, and a free one at that in San Francisco was worth it.
I would not brave Pacific Heights in rush hour for just anyone, except a client.
2. “Wearing red to their mother’s wake.” A woman’s voice behind Eli Webster sharpened with disapprovalâ€“and was that a hint of envy he heard?
Eli glanced around, spotting two splashes of red in a sea of dark clothing…and his mouth curved. A tall, slender blonde clung to a short, curvy blonde, oblivious in their grief to the well-dressed men and women nibbling on hors d’oeuvres inside the great room of their stepfather’s Gothic Revival. The two women looked juicier than ripe plumsâ€“and Eli always liked biting into a ripe plum.
3. Somewhere between Heaven and Hell, Nick Winters decided to live. There was something about lying in a pool of his own blood that made him think God wasn’t finished with him yet. Maybe it was the floating sensation of hanging on then letting go, or the woman. Nick had pulled her from the wreckage and now, lying on the soaked ground, he watched as both cars disappeared into the Cumberland River below.
Blood filled his right eye as the scene blurred, the storm a chaotic buzzing.
4. Bubble bath made terrible camouflage.
Myra St. James tilted her legs, trying to get the disappearing bubbles to better cover her lower half.
“Come on, love, there’s nothing there I haven’t seen before.”
Drawing her knees to her chest, Myra shifted uncomfortably as her ex-fiance grinned and tilted his head as if to get a better look.
“Saw, past tense, as in before you started boffing your secretary,” Myra said, cursing the bursting bubbles, the need to pamper herself before meeting Blind Date #3 at Pier W, and that stupid ceramic frog hide-a-key she knew wouldn’t keep a burglar – or anyone else – out of her condo if they really wanted in.
5. She really had to stop thinking about screwing her boss.
Being at a sex toy party wasn’t helping.
Celia St. John sipped at an ironically virginal strawberry daiquiri while around her, women giggled and squealed over the array of adult playthings â€“ everything from lotions, oils and powders to vibrators and dildos. Each item she selected only fueled her fantasies about Tom McMillian.
Damn it, why couldn’t she get the man out of her head?
6. I taste their magic in the air.
I came here to get away from them. They should have stayed away from me. They must know what I did to his killers. It’s not like I enjoyed the killing.
7. Trustâ€“in the single breath it took to speak the word, one could be betrayed.
With alert trepidation, Griffin Vaughan awaited the return of his page from the enemy’s lair. He’d sent the boy on a mission of peace and could only trust he would return unharmed.
Griffin‘s breath rose on the cold still air as he recalled how long ago, in the aftermath of a momentary madness, such trust had ensnared his future. Now, to end the battles between Worthing and Densemere, he would marry the daughter of his father’s most bitter rival.
8.Dani Perez stepped away from the revolving door and walked toward the hotel bar, her four-inch heels clattering like a “Riverdance” audition on the black marble floor. The desk clerk glanced up with a knowing smile.
“What the hell are you looking at?” she wanted to scream, but she knew exactly why he was looking. The stupid dress her sister had chosen damn-near showed the cheeks of her ass.
Dani stopped in front of the bar door, a sudden rush of apprehension overwhelming her as she struggled to keep a falling ringlet of hair out of her eyes, and she silently cursed her twin a second time.
9. “Hell, I’ve got kids myself, Deborah, so I can see how something like this can happen—what with you being a single momma and all. It’s a hectic, overwhelming day and then the kid starts to whine.” Stuart Albright, Jamesville’s chief of police, leaned forward in his wood chair, bracing beefy forearms against the scarred surface of the interrogation table.
He was so close now Deborah could smell the hint of onions on his breath, hear the smoke-raspy catch to his breathing. She drew back, retreating until the wood slats of her chair pressed hard against her spine, trying to think past the exhaustion, past the icy bite of fear.
10. I believe “long” and “term” are the two worst four letter words out there, at least when it comes to relationships. Being committed for the long haul is fine: if you’re insane; if you’re not, why weigh yourself down with one anchor of a man?
My best friend Maggie, a hopeless romantic, is convinced that it’s possible to find one man and settle down for the rest of your life. After seeing how her last relationship ended, I agree with her: she’s hopeless.
Besides, monogamy isn’t natural: a lot of animals kill their mates after sex, which makes a lot of sense to me.
11. Every woman considered stealing a horse and running away on her wedding day, didn’t she?
Isabel of Thornwyck glanced around at the guests, hoping there was still time for a miracle. She smoothed her crimson kirtle, and took a step forward. Her father had told her nothing about her bridegroom, not even his name.
A well-dressed man stood beside the priest.
12. Alcohol doesn’t take away the pain of career rejection, but it does dull it a bit.
I shift on my cushy green couch and take a sip of my liquid tropical paradise, pretending to listen to the woman beside me. She’s talked nonstop for the past half hour.
“—and they don’t ever read their assignments,” the woman hollers above the sweet sounds of Prince, who, unlike me, gets to party like its 1999. She shakes her head and says, “I just don’t understand it.”
13. The alley stretched ahead, dark and ominous…yet Antoinette moved forward, one deliberate step after another. Perspiration beaded on her upper lip and she ran a hand across her face to wipe it away before the saltiness slipped unwelcome to the corners of her mouth.
Damn this heat.
Sweat trickled down her back, robbing her of more precious moisture and she tugged the damp t-shirt away from her sticky skin.
“Found it yet?” Nici’s voice buzzed through the comms headset attached to her ear.
14. I killed myself for Anton Romanekâ€“literally.
Not out of love—out of necessity. I had ulterior motives, other reasons. An Ancient Greek philosopher had said he could move the world, if only he had a big enough lever and a place to stand; like that ancient philosopher, I was trying to move the world, with the country of Toural as my place to stand, and Drakonis as my lever.
Drakonis and Anton Romanek were one and the sameâ€“which was hardly a secret.
15. She should have kept running.
Lia Brown slammed the door of her ancient Nova a little harder than was necessary, cringed, and shot a glance over her shoulder. All she saw were the two other cars in an otherwise empty parking lot: her friend Jay’s Mustang and an unfamiliar white sedan.
“You’re paranoid,” she muttered, as she started toward the currently empty nightclub. “Frank probably doesn’t even know you’re back in EastRiver, and he sure doesn’t know where you’ll be today.”
16. I sell time.
I’ll do just about anything for just about anybody. Unfortunately, Max VanDerbur won’t be buying time from me anymore because last night he
bought the farm.
Even before the newspaper hit the streets I knew the headline would read, “Professor Murdered.” I scanned the article while I waited for Ben Parker to join me at Chubby’s Diner, my heartbeat
accelerating the minute I read the last paragraph.
As a dues-paying member of the species, House depended on this fact, subscribed to it—gloried in it.
They lie about who they are, what they do, and how much liquor they can handle. About their women, their prowess, their dicks. How big, how long, how thick, and how much coochie it’s conquered on the playing field.
18. “So, are you ready for some wild sex?”
Julia leaned forward, elbows on her knees, understanding for the first time the true meaning of the term ‘no brainer’.
He spoke with a hint of amusement, sprawled low in the comfortable leather chair in a dark corner of the hotel bar, his head back and eyes closed, whiskey glass held loosely in his grip.
With his tawny hair, he looked like a lion, in control of his power and vaguely amused by the rest of the world.
Julia felt a throb deep between her legs, an ache in her nipples, and he hadn’t touched her yet.
19. Have you ever had one of those “best sex you could ever imagine” dreams? You think you’re hearing angels on high, singing the Hallelujah Chorus and sounding their trumpets for you just as you are about to have the most incredible orgasm of your life. You’re about to hit that high note with them when you realize those aren’t trumpets you’re hearing; no, they’re car horns, introducing Arny the traffic guy, on the morning wake – up show you have your alarm clock set to.
“Please, not yet,” I yelled into the open air of my bedroom.
I laid in bed for a few more minutes while I reflected on my dream, as well as calmed down from it.
20. After all this time, it was finally happeningâ€“that quiet, maddening tumble into insanity.
Annie closed her eyes, fully expecting that when she opened them, the man sitting at her kitchen tableâ€“the man who looked like Joel, but couldn’t be Joelâ€“would be gone.
Unfortunately, when she looked again, he was still there. Joel with hair as dark as sin and eyes of the devil. Eyes that were watching her with a mixture of amusement and sadness. She hesitated only a second before perching on the edge of her ultra-firm sleigh bed, looking down as she pushed a little nubby place in the carpet with her toe.
21. “Fuck you,” Susan Deluca screeched, lobbing her favorite Jimmy Choo pump at her soon-to-be-ex husband’s Lexus.
It bounced against the car door with a satisfying ‘thunk’ that brought the vehicle to a jerky stop and prompted Dale to lower the window.
“Oh, no!” The minute she started across the lawn that window went right back up and Dale, who sat protected by steel and shatter-proof glass, mouthed obscenities right back at her. “You back your fucking ass on out of here…go on…go!”
22.Two things hit Ryan the second he stepped into the kitchen-someone had cleaned the place up, and there was a strange half naked woman smacking the hell out of his coffee maker. The fact that she didn’t belong there would have registered if he hadn’t been too busy staring at the red panties hugging her ass like a second skin. His briefcase hit the floor with a thump and he wouldn’t have been surprised if his jaw followed suit.
“Can I…ah…get you a bathrobe or something?” Shit like this didn’t happen to a man every day.
23. I am justice.
I am vengeance.
Is there any difference?
The whimpers, the criesâ€“those I could have ignored. Along Telegraph Avenue, where I live and work, the faÃ§ade of students, tourists, and alt-trendy shops never quite hides the muck of the city.
24.There comes, in everyone’s life, a defining moment, where something so monumental happens that it will irrevocably alter your life foreverâ€“for Emeline Baxter, this was one of those times.
She had been about to snuggle under the covers of her very large, miserably empty bed when the sound first pierced the quiet night. The bright light that followed, brought tears to her eyes, and all around her, pictures and knickknacks began to vibrate.
Ignoring her better judgmentâ€“when had she ever listened to it anywayâ€“Emeline threw back the covers and raced toward the rattling window in time to see a blaze of fiery-orange streak past and hit the ground with a deafening roar. She barely had enough time to shield her face before the glass shattered, raining down on her like hundreds of stinging insects.
25. Where did I go right?
The thought flitted through Carly’s head as she tunneled under her covers to look at Owen’s fabulous backside just one more time. Slinking out of bed to come up for air, she stretched her five foot eight inch frame another inch to get a peek at the traditional beach scene spilling through the hole in her condo’s dysfunctional blinds.
An anxious lifeguard blew his air horn at a pink-floated swimmer out past his comfort zone, and the voice from the bed had its own sharp quality—”Coming back over here soon?”
If I screwed up anyone’s lines, please forgive me in advance. Just let me know.