|misscreativecakes by Beria|
Heart of A Hostage follows on from Leo and Sara's romance in His Majesty's Secret Passion and Athan and Krisia's fireworks in Her Royal Risk. Editing this latest draft is pretty intense work, and as the weather was so great this weekend, I took a break. Sitting in the garden I wrote the first draft of a new short story called Cup Cakes and Champagne, just for fun.
The style of this story is a bit different from my usual writing, and I'd love to know what you think of it. My heroine Emmy starts off a bit immature and self-centred, but she soon discovers that while love means taking the rough with the smooth, the smooth can be pretty spectacular!
Here's the opening—
'Oh, Emmy, you look like it's your first day back after the holiday, not your last day at work for two whole weeks!' Grace giggles as she meets me off the bus. We usually start laughing the minute we set eyes on each other and don't stop until we leave work (or Sniffy Sonia gives us one of her looks). Today is different, but I try and put a brave face on it.
'I know, a whole fourteen days alone with the man of my dreams. It'll be heaven. But camping in Wales? Why couldn't he take us off to sun ourselves on a beach somewhere? Mud's really not my thing.'
'Oh, stop your moaning!' Grace gives me a little shove. 'Camping's not like it used to be. And at least you're going to a place you already know."
'A place I haven't been since I was twelve years old. What if it's changed?'
'Look on the bright side. You’re always saying how chilled out the place was. It might be even better these days!"
That's Grace, the eternal optimist.
'And...don't forget, you're the one who let slip about your first crush, when we were playing truth or dare at the Christmas party. If the gorgeous Harri still lives at this Feinwen Farm camp site, you'll be able to ogle him, while cuddling up with gorgeous Jack at the same time. That's what I call multi-tasking. Right now—last one into the office buys the coffee!'
She puts on a sprint, but I know when I'm beaten and let her win. Paying out insurance claims isn't a bad job, as office work goes. I like helping people find some sort of happy-ever-after, but it still means getting up while sparrows are yawning for forty-six weeks of every year. The decent coffee they give us helps a bit. Friday cake-breaks are another reason to struggle in on time.
'Seeing Harri again wasn't the only reason I agreed to this holiday,' I say, putting Grace's cup down in the most inconvenient spot on her desk, 'Jack's so lovely, but...' my voice trails away, because there isn't really any "but" I can put my finger on. It's just...
'I thought the divine Jack Wright really was your Mr Right?'
Grace looks at me in the way she does when she's about to save me from myself by taking the last cupcake. Doing me a favour, she calls it. And whatever second thoughts I've got about this holiday, I love Jack. He's a real sweetie—when he’s around. I don't want my best friend thinking I want her to take him off my hands.
'...but he's changed, Grace! When we first met it was champagne, flowers, and dinner with every date. But lately, he's been all work, and no play.'
'And that makes Jack a dull boy,' she nods, doing her best Judge Judy impersonation. 'There's no need to draw pictures. That's why you've got to throw yourself into the holiday lark. Use this break to liven him up.'
'If we were going somewhere tropical, I could. But I know what Feinwen Farm is like. We're going to be stuck out in a field, miles from the nearest takeaway, and in the coldest, wettest summer since records began!'
Emmy's about to get not one, but TWO big shocks. Harri is twice the man she remembers, but Jack springs some surprises, too. For the first time in her life, Emmy is lost for words!
What do you think of Cup Cakes and Champagne so far? I'll be posting more of the story in my next newsletter, which is due out in a couple of weeks. You can sign up for it here.