I'd like to welcome Carol Ann Ross to Novel November. Carol is the author of The Days of Hairawn Muhly. She is working on the sequel, The Trill of the Red Winged Black Bird. She has agreed to share an excerpt of her novel.
After the horses were put away, everyone gathered around the kitchen table where Lottie had set the roast pork from the night before. She’d already sliced the bread and set out the mustard from the refrigerator. “Help yourselves,” she called out as she walked to Ellie’s side, “You let them two alone, now. You hear me. They been dying all day to be together and for the life of me I don’t know why Pearl invited you over.”
“Mrs. Scaggins, I don’t know what you mean. I was invited because Pearl was bragging so about this new boyfriend she’s got. She said she wanted me to see him.”
“More than likely you invited yourself. You’re not fooling me, Ellie Rosell. And I don’t mean to be unkind to you, but I’ve known you since you were a child and I’ve seen it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears. If you don’t have it, it’s not any good and if you do have it, it’s the best in the world. I just don’t know how good a friend you can be to anybody. Always got to lick the red off of somebody else’s candy, just can’t stand to see someone else happy.”
Ellie tightened her lips and balled her hands into fists.”I’ll have you know that I never said a bad word about him. I think he’s nice.”
“Well, all that’s fine and good, but just the same, you just quietly slide out the door and get on that little bay of yours and go on home. I thank you for helping with the cattle today, and you say hello to your mom and dad for me. You can visit on another day.”
“I’d like to have my own restaurant some day.”
“You mean you don’t plan on getting married and having a bunch of babies?” Jay’s voice teased but his eyes searched Pearl’s earnestly.
She nodded her head as she took a small bite of her sandwich. “Well, yes, someday. But wouldn’t it be great to have a little restaurant by the sound and sell roasted oysters and fried flounder. Daddy says he’s been saving up a little bit every year and taking some of the money from his oystering and shrimping so that he and Momma and I could have a little oyster roast restaurant. He said I could keep the books. Said it was really important for me to learn about business. Says it’s more secure than farming.”
“Your daddy is smart. That’s the best way to find out about a thing, from the inside out.”
The couple sat on the log where they had gone crabbing a few weeks before, speaking easily with one another. But as he gently brushed her arm, the mood changed. Moving his hand slowly down to hers, he clasped it in his own. Pearl laid her head on his shoulder trying to ease her own breathing. She could feel her heart beating so loudly that it drowned the thoughts in her head.
To Jay, Pearl’s smell was intoxicating, sweet and fresh, like the smell of fresh flowers. He whispered her name as he nuzzled his face in her long hair. She turned and lifted her face to his, his lips brushed ever so slightly against hers. Pearl kissed him back, pressing harder, Jay responded by drawing her closer to him. He felt her breasts soft against his chest as his hand reached to the small of her back. He pulled her even closer, feeling her belly against his own.
“Whew!” Jay shook his head, and gently pushed the girl away from his hungry body.
She gazed at him, her eyes rapt in his. She felt the pulsing of her lips and then the aching of her cheeks as she realized the broad smile she had suddenly made. "That was nice.”
“I’ve been wanting to do that since the day I met you,” Pulling her close once again he looked intently into her green eyes, then at the freckles across her nose, the wisps of hair across her forehead, and smiled back. Slowly taking her shoulders in his hands he bent to kiss her once more. This time her mouth was waiting, her lips slightly parted.
The taste of raw cherries filled his mouth and he held Pearl against him tightly once again, but this time he resisted pulling her in as closely, though he knew she would have let him.
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