Just a reminder: The writing samples are unedited. Don’t judge! *bats eyelashes*
So here it is. The beginning of Doug and Mac’s story.
Just the beginning, mind you.
I am not sure what to call it at this point.
Dougall McCalleum stopped, closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. He ignored the people bumping into him in the crowded market and took a moment to savour the scent of the woman he’d come to think of as his. Doug is the Master at Arms of the Four Claw Wolf Pack. His mother was a Wolf, a fourth generation member of the pack, who was in love a demon. The union produced the unique combination of humour and temper that is the slim, wiry café au lait coloured beast.
The object of his affection was McKenna Amberson, artiste extraordinaire. She was a tall redhead with a porcelain complexion and elfin feature that made him look do a double-take the first time he saw her. The connection was instant and he knew she knew it. For her part, McKenna didn’t want to acknowledge it. After everything she’d been through – molestation when she was but ten years old, a mugging and an attack by a Tiger – she had no room in her life for flirting or for men.
It just made Doug work that much harder.
Doug, who was in the marketplace with Anna, Marcus and two others, touched Marcus’s sleeve and gestured slightly at McKenna before he slipped away. He paused a few booths away to admire her wares. She drew fantasy figures – fairies, dragons, wizards, even including ones humans only thought were fantasy. She had mugs, prints in frames and calendars but her biggest seller was the line of clothing. She had socks with baby dragons on the sides, t-shirts and hoodies with her work silk screened on the front.
What made him like her most was the line of pink clothing. She sold long and short-sleeved t-shirts, hoodies and even aprons all with strong women drawn on the front – warrior princesses, vampires, fairies calling on magic – for Breast Cancer Awareness. Each item of clothing had the pink ribbon displayed discretely on it. People came from all over to buy her work because she refused to set up a website people could order from. It was merely a single page with her location, some pictures of her work and a weekly schedule.
“Why?” he’d asked her once.
“I’m an artist, not a factory,” she replied. For once she was looking thoughtful. “I create each piece myself. I conceive of the theme for the image, then sketch it out and decide on the medium for the original work. Yes I have someone else do the prints, calendars and most of the clothing but for the Pink things,” she always capitalized the P when she talked about it, “I silk screen each piece myself. It makes it more personal and, I think, more meaningful for the women who wear it.”
When Doug had smiled at her and told her he admired her she had blushed then scowled at him and told him to piss off. He’d only come back the next day with a cup of tea for her.
Today he stopped at a small patisserie and bought her a chocolate croissant and a cup of wild blueberry tea with a hint of honey. He sauntered towards her with his hands behind his back and watched as she lifted her head, nostrils flaring. He could smell ink and knew that today she was doing the silk screening on sight. Those days were scheduled so customers could come and get autographs on the work they chose.
“Hello, my love,” Doug said with a smile.
McKenna lifted an ink stained hand and pointed at him. “I’ve told you not to call me that. What have you got behind your back?” She told herself that it hadn’t been his scent, the one that made her think mine!, but the smell of the tea and food he carried that had her nostrils flaring as he approached.
Doug displayed his prizes with a flourish. “I thought you might be hungry, Mac. I’ll wager you didn’t eat breakfast this morning.” He held the croissant up.
Mac snatched up a rag and gave her hands a swipe before almost lunging at the food. She devoured the croissant in three bites, taking the first one from Doug’s fingers. She had grabbed his wrist and chomped down before taking it from him. It was something that was happening more and more, her eating from his fingers, and she wasn’t really aware of it.
Doug smiled as he watched her eat then handed her the tea. “How has your week been, a ghraidh?”
She paused in the act of lifting the fragrant tea to her mouth and pointed at him. “It doesn’t matter what language you do it in, do not call me ‘my love.’”
“Then come out for dinner with me.” He leaned towards her, pheromones rising to flood the space between them.
Mac unwittingly took a deep breath and drew in the scents. The pheromones triggered a primitive response in her brain even as her body tightened and suddenly craved his touch. The need was so great she swayed toward him before she caught herself. She closed her eyes and sighed. Then she capitulated. “Fine. Tonight.”
Doug thought about the dinner Anna was preparing. He thought about inviting Mac to it but he knew she wasn’t ready. “My Alpha’s Mate is making dinner for the pack. I don’t know if I can…” he trailed off. Then he made a decision. “I can skip it this time. I… She will understand. Where shall we go?”
Mac was taken aback by the question. “I don’t know. We could have dinner and a walk here in the marketplace.”
“That’s a lovely idea but I want better than that for you.” Doug thought for a moment. “What about Indian?”
She nodded slowly. “I treated myself to Mother India once. It was absolutely wonderful. I can see why it’s in the top three of the best restaurants in Glasgow.”
Doug smiled. He loved Indian food as a date meal. You ate it with your fingers and could be incredibly sensual. He also happened to have an in with the people at that restaurant – they were cousins to his mother. “Mother India it is. I will pick you up at seven.” He darted off before she could answer him.
Sometimes, there are things in my writing that pop up that please me and amaze me, like this one:
He wiped the drool from his brain and lifted his eyes to hers after a long slow look that swept her from head to toe and back again. “You look stunning,” he said.
Mac blushed, unused to such compliments. Well, she was unused to compliments that were simply that – a genuine appreciation of her without anything behind it. “I… I don’t have any makeup on or jewelry…” she trailed off.
“You don’t need any, Mac. You are a beautiful woman whether you are ink stained and dressed in paint splattered clothing or dressed as you are now.” His voice dropped, becoming low and husky. “I bet you are incredibly gorgeous when you are nude too.”
Doug is a wonderful man. Not without his faults but he is wonderful. And Mac is his. He knows it, she knows it. She just won’t admit it. Yet. The story was supposed to take place between book one and book two but I think it’s going to span the entire timeline a little. However, it won’t take long to convince Anna and Liam of their connection so maybe not a lot of hemming and hawing.
Now… What should the title be?