Cora Carmack has been doing something called Flash Friday Fiction, where she takes suggestions for her characters and then writes a blurb - raw, coarsely edited - and posts it for fans. I like this idea, so I think I'll try to work around that concept. Which means I'll take this prompt and pick two characters from my writing. Later, maybe I'll take suggestions from readers. For now, it's just easier if I choose them.
The writing prompt is an oldie but goodie: It was a dark and stormy night… and we're going to learn a little more about Liam and Jenna from Only One. I actually needed to write a scene for them and this was as good a place to start as any.
It was a dark and stormy night, one that made Jenna think about the horror movies Catie had coerced her to watch in college. She shivered thinking about this one movie that had a scene not unlike the one she was living.
A woman can't sleep during a spring storm, so she wanders to the living room and watches the lightening blaze trails across a moonless sky. Enraptured by the power and the beauty of the spectacle before her, she is unaware of the killer behind her until he grabs her from behind...
Suddenly, Jenna felt a hand on her shoulder and she nearly jumped out of her skin. Her heart raced. She whipped around and saw Liam. "Oh, my God. You scared the crap out of me! What are you doing?"
"I'm sorry," he said as he enfolded her in his arms. "I didn't mean to scare you. I thought I was being loud enough that you'd hear me."
"No, I didn't hear you. I wasn't paying attention. I don't think your idea of being loud is the same as other people's," she said. Thinking she'd give him an opportunity to tell her more about himself, she added, "Learn stealth in the CIA, did you?"
Liam laughed. "Long before that. Just perfected it on the job." He sat behind her and pulled her against his chest as they watched the lightening together. He didn't add more and she didn't push. After a couple minutes listening to the rain pound on the roof and the thunder rumble, he asked, "Why'd you come out here?"
"Couldn't sleep. I didn't want to wake you. I tossed and turned for a while and thought maybe I should just sit out here instead. Somehow, watching the storm makes it less scary for me."
"You scared of a little thunder and lightening," he teased as he nipped her ear.
"Not just the thunder and lightening, but storms like this in general. I lived in Boston, so I know it's completely different weather there. Growing up around here, storms like this often meant uncontrollable fires or mudslides. I had a friend in elementary school who lost a house to a mudslide and I knew a girl in high school whose family cabin was destroyed in a forest fire that was caused by a lightening strike. We were lucky that it never happened to us, but you always heard stories. And when it's sunny most of the time, it's a little frightening when you see the violence of this weather."
"I think it's beautiful," Liam said reverently. He looked at her. "Terrifying, but beautiful. Kind of like you."
"You think I'm scary, huh?" she asked.
"Just a little," he replied with a small smile, a lightening flash illuminating his eyes.
Jenna turned to face him. "And why is that?"
"Because you make me do and say and think things that scare the shit out of me."
Did that mean what she thought? Was it too much to hope? "What kind of things?"
"Oh, like surfing," he redirected, making light of what he'd said. But she saw his eyes before. He hadn't been talking about surfing. "Come back to bed," he said. "I'll protect you from the storm."
"Will you?" she asked, knowing she didn't just mean the natural fury raging outside the walls of Rob's house.
"Always," he said. God, did she hope he meant it.