A.C. Dawn: “A Stranger’s Kiss from STRANDED (Contest)

A.C. Dawn: “A Stranger’s Kiss from STRANDED (Contest)

I couldn’t believe it when Delilah picked me for the Stranded: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology. I began writing as a ghostwriter, cranking out ebooks on everything from mythology to critical thinking to erotica and romance. It’s been fun, but i really wanted to put my name on something! I’ve been writing since I was kid (which translates to a long, long time…) and have always been fascinated with the power of words. I love to put them together to paint a picture and nothing makes me happier than to see that my words have inspired or entertained someone. As a writer, I can’t think of a greater compliment.

I particularly enjoyed writing “A Stranger’s Kiss.” I’m a bit of a hermit, and while I love to see new places, I hate the ‘getting there’ part.

However, I often think as I travel about all the people around me and their stories. Squeezed into a tin can, hurtling through the air as I try to get from point A to point B, I’m surrounded by hundreds of lives with their experiences, their joys, their sorrows, their loves, and their disappointments. What a world of possibilities! Any one of those strangers could say or do something that could start the dominoes falling on a life altering course. Just think of all the accidental, sporadic events that impact our lives. That was one of the main themes that played in my mind as I wrote this story.

I got the idea for “A Stranger’s Kiss” after a particularly grueling trip that included missed flights, weather delays, and spilled coffee (which in my opinion was by far the greatest tragedy of the day!). I was bedraggled, exhausted, and beyond grumpy when this guy let me have his chair in the overcrowded gate area. For the next two hours, we took turns in that seat, and we talked. Now, he wasn’t a billionaire and no we didn’t do any of that other stuff either! But, he was kind and funny, and he made being stranded as much fun as it could be. I was almost sorry to board the plane! 🙂

I think the world is full of stories. I hope to bring as many of them to life as I am able. Thanks again to Delilah for giving me an opportunity to share my words with the world. It’s a first for me to write under my own name, but I can promise you it won’t be the last! I hope to publishing more romance, fiction, and erotica soon!

A. C. Dawn

Excerpt from “A Stranger’s Kiss”

Sparks in the sky ignite an inferno when a millionaire bad boy
rescues a struggling romance writer stranded in an airport

My feet pounded the concourse as I rushed to catch my flight. It was the last one to Atlanta that day. If I missed it, I’d be stranded for the night. Oh God, I just wanted to go home. I forced my legs to keep going and tried in vain to get enough air into my burning lungs. I really needed to work on my cardio. Digging deep, I managed a final burst of speed when my gate came into view.

The gate agent looked up and said something into the radio when she saw me pelting toward her. I skidded to a stop and thrust my boarding pass at her. As she scanned it, I sucked in a couple of breaths and tried to get control of my pounding heart. At the agent’s nod, I started down the gangway, thanking my lucky stars that I’d chosen to spoil myself with a first-class upgrade. At least I wouldn’t have to walk through the entire plane of people who’d been waiting for me.

I found my row and glanced at the man who occupied the aisle seat. A dark gaze met mine as he offered me a heart-stopping smile that I tried valiantly to return. It seemed I just couldn’t win. The one time I get to sit next to a hot guy on a flight I arrive out of breath, red-faced, and sweating—awesome first impression. I couldn’t help but notice his nicely sculpted body as he stood to let me slide into my window seat. I felt less than graceful as I collapsed on the cushions and kicked my backpack under the seat in front of me.

“Take a couple of deep breaths. You made it.”

I glanced, surprised at the man to my right. Not only was he hot, he might even be a nice guy. Fate really was a bitch. I gave him a wan smile and dug out my earbuds. I wasn’t up to flirting or even polite conversation. The writing conference I had hoped would translate into a few new clients had been a complete bust. My writing career seemed to be dying a slow agonizing death. I was going to have to return to tutoring students if I couldn’t get it back on track—and fast. I felt like it was all just slipping away, but I didn’t have any fight left in me now.

So, I closed my eyes and assumed the universal “don’t bother me” airplane posture of earbuds inserted and eyes closed, hoping Mr. Hotness would take the hint.

The flight attendants dimmed the cabin lights, and silence soon reigned among the weary travelers. We were about an hour into the flight when I couldn’t sit still any longer. Despite my best efforts, I hadn’t slept.

With a resigned sigh, I pulled out my laptop from my bag and clicked it on. Mr. Hotness seemed to be dozing like everyone else around me. I couldn’t help but indulge in a quick ogle of his handsome face and brawny shoulders. Then I forced my gaze to focus back to the screen and willed my mind to concentrate. I might as well get a little work done. The revision my editor had sent to me wouldn’t write itself.

I read the section over and over, wondering what it needed. It didn’t pop. It didn’t make me squirm in my seat like a steamy erotic scene should. Colin, my hero, was supposed to be an alpha male, but he just wasn’t coming to life. I frowned and started to delete a section when the man next to me covered my hand with his.

I gasped and almost jumped out of my skin. I tried to jerk my hand away, but he gripped it tightly. My heart pounded, and I filled my lungs to call for help when he whispered, “Leave it. That section is the best bit.”

I realized he was focused on my screen in blatant disregard of the unwritten airplane code of not reading what your seat mate was working on. No longer afraid, but more than a little pissed, I pulled my hand from under from his. This time he let me go, and I started to close the laptop.

“He needs to have an edge. He’s too mellow,” Mr. Hotness said, nodding at the computer and keeping his voice at a whisper.

“Don’t you know it’s rude to read other people’s work,” I whispered and felt my cheeks burning as I realized he’d been sitting next to me, reading a very explicit passage. His comment made me want to scream in frustration. He’d echoed exactly what my editor had said in her last revision. Sex scenes are lacking male aspect. Please revise.

I knew it for the truth. I’d been off my game ever since Dilan had left and taken my mojo with him. I couldn’t seem to pick up the pieces of my heart and move on. Our parting had undermined my confidence, and it was sapping the life out of me and my characters. I ground my teeth together as I pushed away the unwelcome emotions. If the man sitting next to me noticed anything, he didn’t acknowledge it. Instead, he leaned toward me and spoke close to my ear, “Do you want to know what I would do?”

I froze as a jolt of excitement lanced through me, followed quickly by a pang of anxiety. I turned and met his gaze. My stomach turned over as his deep chocolate eyes held my gaze with an intensity that sent a flash of heat straight to my core. Another wave of excitement rushed up, quelling the voice of reason that had begun a litany of reasons why I should end this before it even got started.

I licked my lips and raised a brow. “What would you do?” My words came out breathy and excited, and I cringed inwardly thinking I sounded like an overeager school girl.

In answer, he pulled the computer into his lap. His fingers danced across the keys. I took the opportunity to study him for a moment. His strong jaw bore far more than a five o’clock shadow and gave him a slightly scruffy appearance that was at odds with his designer-label clothing. His broad shoulders spanned beyond the borders of his seat and boasted strength and definition beneath his shirt. As his large fingers tapped on the keys, I found myself fixated on how he moved his large hands so gracefully across the keyboard. Of course, that led me to wonder how those hands would feel moving across my skin.

I shifted in my seat and told myself to relax. He was just having a bit of a flirt to help pass the time. I barely kept myself from eagerly snatching the computer from him when he offered it back to me. I scanned the paragraph.

Colin pinned her with his gaze and felt his body stir when Ilsa dropped the defiant set of her shoulders. He knew she would yield to him. He stood and closed the distance between them. Ilsa’s chin came back up, and Colin smiled. He loved her fire and longed to feel her burn beneath him. He said nothing as his fingers lightly tucked a wayward curl behind her ear and traced a path to her tightly buttoned collar. He held her gaze as he worked the top button free and then the next. The creamy skin of her neck begged to be tasted, but he kept himself in check. He would savor every touch, every taste of her.

Wow. Well, that wasn’t where I’d intended this to go, but I had to admit it dripped alpha male. I bit my lip and wondered about the man next to me. If I were a betting girl, I’d wager he was a strong, alpha kind of guy—even with his bedroom-brown eyes. Before I could overthink it, I forced myself to forget the scene I’d written. My imagination conjured the scene as he had described it, and I began to type.

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9 thoughts on “A.C. Dawn: “A Stranger’s Kiss from STRANDED (Contest)

  1. I agree that the world is full of stories. I enjoyed Stranger’s Kiss and hope to read more from you in the future.

  2. A Stranger’s Kiss was a delicious interlude, A.C.! Hope to see more of your writing!

  3. I loved the excerpt. I never traveled much until after my divorce. Since then, I’ve flown and cruised to several areas in and out of the U.S. and hoped to meet someone interesting. Nope. I was seated near some very nice ladies but definitely no male types to dream about. :>)

  4. Great excerpt, really want to read this now. thank you for sharing. I started travelling on my own, so far no stories to tell in that department!

  5. I love pirate stories-the men are always a little “bad” and that roughness falling in love is great

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