Friday, January 09, 2009

rottnest romance #28

A climax is approaching: the end of Chapter Three in Rottnest Romance, the only Bills and Moon novel set on the beautiful island. This is the penultimate 500-word instalment: if I blog about something else tomorrow we could read the exciting suspenseful thrilling engaging bit on Sunday.

There's been a request for a description of Larissa's legs, instead of Nick's. No can do. Do women want to read about shapely female gams in a romance novel? I think not. Will Nick be naked by the time they get back to Thomson Bay? Will Larissa have to blow air into his tyres? Stay tuned...

“How are you going – alright?” he called out as they reached the crest of the hill.

She gave a start, and quickly moved her eyes from his lower body. He hadn’t been looking back, though. “I’m fine,” she called in return. “Do stop if you want a rest, Nick.”

“We just started,” he said, eyes on the road ahead.

I know that, she thought crossly – it was just a suggestion.

He pressed on, past the track to Radar Reef. Again, irresistibly, her attention returned to the sight of his energetic body hard at work. The businessmen she had met before hadn’t been in as good shape as he was, she reflected. They had mostly been overweight and balding – they certainly hadn’t looked like him.

Another incline stretched before them, and he responded to the challenge with renewed vigour. Again he thrust his legs down with each push as he rose out of his seat. Again, her attention became transfixed at his fluid motions. His legs had a nice colour to them as well, she noticed…how did he get to spend so much time in the sun, with his way of life…?

Suddenly she realised she was about to veer off the surface of the road. She gave a yelp as her tyres rattled on the rough sand by the side of the road. They both came to halt as Nick applied his brakes.

Putting one foot on the ground, he twisted his body and looked back. “What’s going on? What did you do that for?”

“Sorry!” She felt like a complete idiot. Why hadn’t she been paying attention to her steering? He must think she was hopeless. “I, er, was looking at the bushes. There was something moving in there.”

“Where?” He peered in the direction in which she vaguely pointed.

“It’s gone now – probably just a bird or a quokka or something,” she said. What a feeble excuse, she thought nervously – what could he be thinking? “Sorry about that – shell we continue?”

He glanced at her, obviously unconvinced by her excuse. Then he turned around and, with both feet on the pedals, set off again.

She promised herself she would concentrate on keeping the bike on the road instead of staring at his body. It wasn’t as if it was asking the impossible.

For the next half-hour she managed to steer her bike in an adequate fashion, while stealing occasional glances at the passing flora. Gradually the lighthouse slipped by, this time on her left side. At one stage, when they were coasting down a hil, Nick rummaged in the bag on his handlebars and brought out his water bottle. With one hand casually guiding the bike he took a long draught of water.

As he did she noticed dark patches of perspiration were appearing on his shirt. By the time they reached Thomson Bay he would be dripping wet. She wasn’t going to suggest he take off his shirt, though, or anything like that – certainly not. It would probably provoke a sly comment or two from him, and she didn’t want that.

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