Friday, September 6, 2013

One Night Can Last Forever

By Cate Masters

One of my favorite things about writing 1Night Stand stories is the versatility. So far, I’ve written a contemporary, Tonight You Belong to Me; a fantasy, A Hard Day’s Knight; another contemporary, Homecoming; a futuristic with time travel, Cinderella Dreams.

Two more contemporaries are coming up for release – one with a bit of humor, The Ex Factor; and another with a not-so-sweet history, Sweet Revenge.

The cool thing is, no matter which direction you take a 1NS, you can make it work. I’ve read so many paranormal, fantasy and contemporary 1NS, and loved them all. If it doesn’t have a forever ending, it might have the promise of one, and that’s just as good for me.

For Gwen, my heroine in Cinderella Dreams, one night long ago ruined her life. She arranged with Madame Eve to return to that fateful night for one shot at altering the course of her fate. Does it work? You’ll have to read Cinderella Dreams to find out. :)

Here’s a little different excerpt than usual:

I set up my tripod, and soon the bridesmaids and groomsmen walked through the flowered archway in pairs. I went rigid when Matt walked in, stiff as a cake-top figurine, mouth in a tight line as he stared into the camera, directly at me. Come to think of it, he hadn’t smiled in any of my shots. The maid of honor did, though—up at Matt. She batted her false lashes and dug her glittery long nails into his suit jacket. Fuming, my hands arched into claws, and I forced myself to take the picture.
He and his cloying partner strolled ahead. I could feel his stare as he passed. It took all I had to train my gaze on the next couple entering the hotel. I must be coming down with something. My head abuzz, I couldn’t shake the fog clouding my mind. Some distant thought nagged, but so indistinct, I had no idea what it meant. Every time I saw him, the feeling grew stronger. It would come to me later.
For the next few hours, I focused on getting the best angle and lighting for each photo. My aim kept coming back to Matt. When I didn’t hold him in the frame, I remained aware of his every movement.
I captured his toast to the happy couple, telling myself I had to get extra pictures, just in case. I zoomed in to a perfect head shot. When he glanced over at me, something electric zinged through the lens and into my nervous system.
I had to steady my hand for the standard wedding cake cutting, followed by the rough scramble during the bouquet toss, and the new couple’s first dance, a Madonna wannabe dancing a little too close with the bride’s father. Maybe I would leave that last photo out. I didn’t want this wedding to be painful for anyone else.
And holy cow, when had Matt learned to dance so well? Sexiness in motion. Trying to impress the maid of honor? It worked. She swayed her ass close to his swiveling hips. Mesmerized by his moves, I let the Nikon droop and imagined strutting right up to him, fitting myself between his pulsing legs. When I finally lifted my gaze to his face, he was singing along with Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” If he was one of the band, I was a front-row groupie. Tempted as I was to toss my panties at him, I instead raced to the ladies’ room and splashed cold water across my face and neck. Not exactly the release I needed, but I had to keep my head on straight and finish this job.
My attempt at projecting confidence broke after re-entering the reception room. Matt held a woman close, slow dancing to The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.” Wow, I could relate to those lyrics tonight. Every move he made, every step he took, I was watching him. Wishing he held me instead of that—
They swiveled, and tension released from my muscles. Ray’s grandmother. What had gotten into me?
Maybe I should eat. I’d picked at my plate earlier, so I returned to it. I stabbed some wilted lettuce onto my fork. As I raised it to my mouth, Ray’s grandmother weaved through the tables to a nearby chair.
Breathless, she laughed. “That man has some moves.”
The DJ urged everyone on their feet for a conga dance, and the maid of honor grabbed Matt’s hand.
“Does he?” Too bad he wasted them on every female in the room but me.
“Oh, sweetie.” She waved me off.
How pathetic. Even Ray’s grandmother ranked ahead of me.
“Go for it, Genevieve.”
“For what?” My false nonchalance couldn’t fool a two-year-old.
“Don’t let fear hold you back.”
“No, of course not. I never do.” Or I always did.
“Then go get him.”
I fiddled with the Nikon strap while the maid of honor hung onto Matt. The night slipped away, second by second, and every passing moment filled with greater urgency.

Available from Decadent Publishing

Multipublished, award-winning author Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at  and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.

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