may see a stranger,
may see a stranger
a crowded room,
somehow you know,
know even then,
somewhere you'll see her
Oscar Hammerstein II, South Pacific
willing to believe that love at first sight happens occasionally, but
I haven’t experienced it myself. As I think I’ve shared here
before, when I first met my husband (36 years ago!), I tried to
discourage his obvious interest in me, because I already had too many
men in my life. It took four months of cross-country correspondence
and a month at my dying mother’s bedside for me to begin to
understand what a special person he was.
relationship with the man I call my master also developed gradually.
We were casual friends for over a year, before he dropped out of grad
school and headed for California. A lengthy epistolary seduction
landed me in his bed and his bonds. (Hmm. Both cases involved
writing. Is there a pattern here?)
certainly been hit by lust at first sight—that
intense, immediate chemistry one sometimes feels when meeting a
potential partner for the first time. That has rarely worked out
well. Physical attraction and sexual compatibility just aren’t
enough, by themselves, to support a serious relationship. I recall
one guy, in particular, whom I met at a girlfriend’s wedding in San
Francisco and found almost unbearably attractive. I gave him a lift
back to the LA area, where we were both living at the time. We first
had sex that very same evening. Definitely fireworks material. Before
long, though, I realized that though I still wanted him, I didn’t
like him much. He was immature, and not very trustworthy or honest.
Still, we remained lovers for a couple of months, mostly because of
the sex. I felt a sense of relief when we finally broke up.
at first sight is of course a common trope in romance, but it’s
difficult to make the phenomenon convincing. When it’s done well,
the couple almost always questions the reality of the connection. The
characters know that this kind of immediate bond is rare. In
fact, coming to believe in their own love can be a central story
I mentally review my own backlist, I can’t think of a single
contemporary or historical title in which my protagonists fell
instantly in love. In paranormal romance, though, I’ve found I can
stretch plausibility. My paranormal titles sometimes feature what I
call “magical lust”—an instant, irresistible attraction between
the protagonists that derives from their fated connection. Characters
in a paranormal book are often lovers by destiny. Their complementary
powers draw them together. Often they’re mystified by the potent
forces that bind them, but readers understand and welcome this kind
of attraction (which is, after all, another trope).
high-pitched whine drew her attention to the tumbled boulders that
marked the eastern extent of the beach. Atop the pile of rock
crouched a dark-skinned man, boring into the surface with some kind
What are you doing?” Ondine strode towards the interloper, still
holding her discarded clothing. “That noise—you’ll disturb the
fish!” She halted on the sand below his perch, one hand shielding
her eyes from the glare. “Stop that this instant!”
stranger raised his head and fixed her with eyes like polished jet,
set in a proud face almost as black. A cloud of wiry hair haloed his
skull. He flipped a switch and the irritating noise died. His full
lips parted in a confident smile, revealing even, pearly teeth. He
rose to his full height—at least six feet, she guessed, though her
position made him look even taller—and gazed down at her.
blasted through her as she suddenly remembered she was naked. Hot
blood raced to her face while her nipples tightened into ruddy peaks,
and an echo of her recent climax shimmered in her still-damp pussy.
stranger looked distinctly amused, as though he sensed the physical
effects his presence triggered. There was something else, too, an
unnerving sense of familiarity, although Ondine was certain she’d
never met this man before.
squared her shoulders, ignoring her embarrassment as best she could.
She wasn’t ashamed of her body—far from it. “You can’t drill
here. Tide pool habitats are very sensitive. The vibrations could
kill crustacean larvae, for a start, and confuse organisms that rely
black man’s grin grew broader. He scanned her nude figure with
deliberate and obvious interest before he answered. Ondine’s
nipples ached under his scrutiny, even as her blood boiled at his
have a permit.” His voice had an unexpected softness, with a faint
hint of the Caribbean. He rifled in the pocket of his tight jeans and
pulled out a sheet of paper, which he offered her. “Mass DEP. Go
ahead and check. I think you’ll find it’s all in order.”
sun beat down, hotter than ever. Sweat gathered under her arms and at
the back of her neck. Ignoring the proffered permit, she planted her
fists on her hips and summoned every ounce of authority she could
beach is private, reserved for Katama residents. What’s your
the permit back into his pants, he sank into a crouch to pick up a
piece of equipment that he’d propped against a rock, next to a
two-meter steel pole. His thigh muscles flexed against taut denim as
he rose. His white T-shirt emphasised his ebony skin, sculpted
pectorals and massive biceps—her mouth felt dry and her pussy, wet.
“I’m installing a temporary meteo-hydrographic monitoring
station.” The device bristled with lenses, buttons and dials, the
pinwheel of an anemometer, and the tongue-like extrusion of a rain
gauge. “Come on up. Take a look.”
a minute.” She stepped into her shorts, then pulled her shirt over
her head, trying to ignore the sensation of fleece brushing across
her naked breasts. In her bare feet, she clambered up over the
knobby, rust-coloured stone until she stood beside him. He towered
over her. She caught a whiff of sandalwood and coconut oil and was
washed by sudden desire.
pointed to a white plastic rectangle. “This is the hygrometer, the
yes, I understand. You’ve got a laser ceilometer for cloud height,
I see, and an infrared camera for thermal imaging…”
found his surprise gratifying, as he realised she wasn’t just a
naked, blonde beach bunny.
a marine biologist. We use similar devices in my lab at Woods Hole.
But VineyardAirport has a full suite of weather instrumentation. Why
are you installing this system here?”
working on the design for an offshore wind farm.”
mills?” Her indignation returned, blasting through her with
hurricane fury. “Those spell death for sea birds!”
the awful, endless hum disorients cetaceans. They swim in circles
until they starve to death!” She snatched the apparatus and held it
above her head, threatening to smash it upon the rocks.
Please!” Seizing both her wrists in one massive hand, he pried the
delicate gadget from her clutches with the other.
did not fight him. When he touched her, her anger fled as quickly as
it had arisen, to be replaced by irresistible, irrational lust. Her
pussy gushed and her clit pulsed between her thighs. Electricity
zipped along her limbs. Her modest breasts felt huge and heavy,
aching for contact.
stranger’s eyes grew wide. Sweat beaded on his forehead. She
dropped her gaze to his crotch. A visible bulk distended the fabric
there, evidence that he shared her reactions.
releasing her, he placed the weather station upon an outcrop, then
dragged her into a rough embrace. Their lips mashed together as they
grappled, tearing at one another’s clothing in a desperate quest
for bare skin. The rusty taste of blood flooded her mouth. She’d
bitten her own lip in her hunger for him. His flavour was spicy with
a burnt edge, like an autumn breeze. His brazen tongue mirrored the
frantic dance of his hands on her flesh.
wormed her hands into his trousers so she could grip the smooth,
solid curve of his buttocks. The muscles tightened and shifted under
her palms as he ground his hardness against her. Her shorts hung
loose on her hips. He dragged them down to her knees and plunged his
fingers into her drenched cunt, smothering her moan of delight with
another fierce kiss.
fumbled with the stranger’s zipper as he delved into her core,
pushing her closer to the edge. She needed to complete the circle of
pleasure, to feel him hard and smooth and slick in her hand. The
pressure of his swollen flesh against his fly and the exquisite play
of his fingers in her sex combined to render her task almost
impossible. Finally, using both hands, she managed to open a gap big
enough to release his cock from its prison. Now she made him
moan, as she stroked his taut shaft and coaxed him towards release.
ah, Father Legba! Oh, woman, you will undo me…!”
man sank to his knees, and she followed, unwilling to relinquish her
hard-won grip on his cock. He fisted her hair to take possession of
her mouth again. She drank in the heat of him, the taste of him, at
once strange and familiar, pumping his cock all the while. Gravel
tore at her knees as she opened her thighs to expose her needy cleft.
His thumb found her clit, sending bolts of sensation roiling through
her. She rolled her thumb over his slick bulb in return. Waves of
tension rippled up the shaft, proof of his struggle for control.
he’d ripped her shirt open. He bent his head to suckle her and she
felt the same pull deep in her centre. His teeth closed around her
aching nipple. She raked her nails along his length.
cock shuddered and jerked in response, spilling warm fluid into her
palm. At the same instant, he captured her clit between two fingers
characters go from adversaries to lovers in seconds. As it turns out,
Ondine is a Water Elemental and Marut is an Air Elemental. They have
been lovers for eons, reborn in each generation. They’re fated to
be together, to balance the varied forces of Nature. Though they
don’t understand their connection, they can’t help but surrender
themselves to magical lust, and to love.
this sort of scene is a guilty pleasure. I know this kind of
overwhelming, magic-enhanced attraction probably doesn’t exist. It
sure is fun, though, to pretend that it does.