As I mentioned in an earlier post, I really enjoyed writing Running Scared.
I like to add a bit of comedy into my writing when I can, and this book certainly gave me that opportunity. I found myself so inside the character’s heads that I knew every move they would make. I’m one of those ‘pantsers’ – I can’t write a blow-by-blow account of the story, I just run with it. So when I start a book I will write a 2-3 page outline. I always know how the book will start, some of the scenes I’ll be writing, and sometimes I have the ending worked out, but not always.
The scene I’m sharing below is one of those fun scenes. I hope you enjoy it.
The set up:
It’s Gary and Emma’s wedding day. Gary’s sister Pru is due to have her baby, and is in labor but doesn’t tell anyone for fear of ruining their wedding day.
Gary is an undercover cop – a detail he’s kept hidden from Emma. And oh yeah, all his ‘mates’ are cops too. Also unbeknowns to Emma.
Unfortunately, all hell breaks loose, and the day definitely doesn’t go to plan.
Now to the excerpt:
Naomi ducked her head around the door to where Missy was fixing up Emma’s hair.
“Fifteen minutes ladies,” she announced. “Holy cow! Gary will go ballistic!” she shouted as she saw what Naomi had done.
“Tough titties!” Emma answered. “If he doesn’t like it, then he doesn’t have to marry me!”
“But a blonde?” Missy questioned. “Oh hell!” she exclaimed as she took another look. “Gary is going to murder you when he discovers you’ve cut off Emma’s long hair!”
“Well, I think it suits her, so Gary can just go jump on his head.”
“What am I gonna do?” Gary’s voice called from the passageway.
“Damn it, Gary,” Emma yelled, “It’s bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony. Go away!”
“Come on Bro,” Finn called, “I told you they wouldn’t let you in.”
“Damn! Well, I’ll be waiting downstairs, sweetheart,” he called over his shoulder, as Finn dragged him off.
Gary stood nervously smoking in the small garden at the back of the homestead, eagerly awaiting Emma’s presence, his long hair neatly plaited down his back.
As she appeared with Naomi and Missy, her matrons of honor, and little Sally as her flower girl, Finn touched Gary on the arm.
Finn did a double take as he noticed Emma’s hair.
“Holy hell!” Finn said under his breath.
Gary stamped out yet another cigarette and turned around to see what had spooked Finn.
“What the hell?” Count to ten, he told himself as he smiled sweetly at his soon to be wife. “She’s dyed her hair!” he whispered.
“That’s not all she’s done,” Clay volunteered. “Take another look.”
“Christ! What a day to decide to change her hairdo!” Gary bit back.
Harrison James hooked his arm through his daughter’s, and patted her hand lovingly as the words of the love song ‘Endless Love’ began to play all around them. “You’re sure about this?” he asked gently.
“I’m sure,” she whispered back. Although they’d know each other a relatively short time, Emma was more sure of this marriage than she had been about the previous one.
Pru sat in the front row and half turned to watch Emma walk down the make-shift aisle. Sally was out front spreading potpourri ahead of her.
“Her hair is gorgeous,” Pru remarked to Queenie, and as Gary overheard, he realized it really did suit her.
He hadn’t been allowed to see her dress before now, and was running his eyes over it appreciatively.
The hemline was just above Emma’s knees and showed off those stunning legs of hers. It was a soft pink color, made of a brushed satin, he decided. Not that he really knew much about materials, but Em had a lot of satin nighties, and this looked a lot like that. Nice to run your hands over. Real sexy!
The neckline was low, not too low that his brothers would be able to ogle her, but low enough for him to enjoy. And the long lacy see-through sleeves looked nice the way they clung to her arms, all the way down to her tiny wrists.
The waist was tapered, but not tight. It sat in a real provocative way on her waist as though it was calling out to him, and tempting him to reach out and put his arms around her.
He’d expected her to wear a veil, but Naomi had strategically placed some pink jasmine in her hair, and it looked real nice. It was handy having a hairdresser in the family, he acknowledged.
Finn tapped Gary on the arm and brought him back to the present. Emma was almost level with him now and was smiling. She looked totally relaxed.
He couldn’t believe they were getting married today. Now! How he’d talked her into this he’d never know. Emma could be so stubborn at times, and she really thought it was too soon, but it could never be too soon with Em.
Gary looked down into her face and couldn’t resist. He swooped down and kissed her gently, noticing for the first time her bouquet of fresh flowers.
“You’re supposed to wait ’til after the ceremony,” Emma admonished quietly.
“I just couldn’t,” he whispered. “I haven’t seen you since early this morning—pure hell.”
The celebrant cleared her throat, trying to get everyone’s attention. “We are gathered here today…” she began as silence prevailed.
When it came to the part where she had to answer, “I do,” Emma’s voice was barely audible.
Gary answered “You betcha!” and a round of laughter rolled through the small gathering. Emma jabbed him in the ribs. “Sorry, sweetheart,” he apologized.
After the simple ceremony was over, Gary swooped down and kissed Emma again, this time it was a leisurely, more sensual kiss, and applause broke out. Finally, he leaned down and picked her up.
As he swung Emma around in happiness, Finn touched him on the arm—he’d spotted someone in the bushes. Gary gave him a look that simply said “fix it.”
Finn, Clay and David all made their way toward the uninvited guest, at the same time, trying to remain inconspicuous.
The boys took off at about the same time Pru let out an almighty groan. She’d been getting contractions all morning, she said, and felt it was not enough to worry about. But this one… Oh boy!
“I have to stand up.” Peru’s water broke as Queenie helped her to her feet.
“Clay, get over here!” Queenie called to her youngest. “You have to take Pru to the hospital!”
Clay turned back toward his mother, as the intruder ran out of the bushes. David sprang forward and grabbed him by the feet, falling flat on his face, and ending up with nothing but a pair of shoes in his hands.
He began a chase on foot, and stopped momentarily as the offender reached into his pocket. Reaching into his holster and pulling out his gun, he quickly reverted to a shooting stance, only to discover the man was pulling out his car keys.
Gary watched as David replaced his gun in its holster. What Emma would think about all this carrying on, he dreaded to think.
“Oh God!” Pru moaned loudly. “Here comes another one!”
Emma had her hand on Peru’s stomach. “Thirty seconds apart. Someone call an ambulance, otherwise we’ll be delivering this baby right here!”
As she looked up, she noticed the gun in David’s hand and stared across at him, until another contraction distracted her.
“Breathe, Pru,” she instructed. “Remember those childbirth classes. Breathe.” She looked around trying to locate her daughter.
“Sally! I can’t see Sal,” she told Gary urgently.
“She’s over there with Cooper,” he advised, pointing in Sally’s direction.
“Thank God,” she said, breathing a huge sigh of relief. “Oh crumbs!” Emma said, as Pru screamed with a particularly violent contraction. “Someone get some towels and something comfortable to lay Pru on—a lounger or something,” she shouted, at the same time relieved that Sally was all right. “Anyone here delivered a baby before?”
Gary, David, Finn, Jake and Clay all stepped forward, much to Emma’s amusement. “This is not a joke,” she light-heartedly scolded them. “I need someone who’s really delivered a baby.”
“We’ve all done it,” Gary answered, and knew immediately he’d have a lot of explaining to do.
Emma pushed her lacy sleeves up her arms and prepared for some serious work.
“For God’s sake, you lot,” Emma growled, “Stop clowning around.”
“Clay, get over here,” she grumbled, “Pru needs you with her. Hold her hand or something!” She looked up to see all five men looking very guilty, but didn’t have time to ponder over why.
“Oh—my—God!” Pru screamed, at the same time almost crushing Clay’s hand with her grip.
“Twenty seconds!” Emma shouted. “Where’s that god-damned ambulance!” She looked up to see Gary smiling and couldn’t fathom why.
As he looked down at her, he knew he was smirking but just couldn’t help himself. She was so damned—what? Competent? Nah! Bossy? Yeah, a bit. Mostly though, she looked just, well, typical Em. Just doing what had to be done, and if that meant pushing the sleeves up on her wedding dress and delivering a baby, well, so be it!
“Well, don’t just stand there, husband!” she yelled at him, smiling slightly. “Get that goddamned lounger!”
Husband? Hell yeah! Jeez that sounds nice. Husband.
“Earth to Gary! Lounger needed urgently!”
“What?” He jumped as he heard his name. “Oh! Sorry, I was a million light years away!” He chuckled at his own mirth.
“Honestly Gary, this is not a laughing matter.”
Gary and Finn gently lifted Pru up onto the lounger, while Clay stood holding her hand, looking very concerned.
“Emma, I’m so sorry,” Pru told her.
“For what? Going into labor?” Emma ran her finger gently down Pru’s cheek. “Don’t you worry about a thing. Just concentrate on having this baby. Just…”
“Just what?” Pru interrupted.
Emma laughed. “Preferably not here!”
They all breathed a sigh of relief when they heard the ambulance siren coming down the drive.
More information and a longer excerpt can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0089I0LQS/
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Thanks for looking!!