The only downside to finishing a novel is that now I need to figure out what to do with myself. I'm excited & pumped that I finished this story, but if I'm not careful, I get slightly depressed at the same time. Those lives are closed to me now. Unless I use the same characters in a sequel (which I often do), I won't see them again. We've passed through one another's lives and have come to our final destination.
I'm very pleased at the way "Full Measure" came out. It's very close to what I envisioned. That rarely happens. Usually, my novels take off in a direction far from what I intended. I did get myself into a bit of a bind for a little while. The heroine, Daphne, got interested in a guy other than the intended hero, Ralan. Fortunately, the characters helped me out with that and she ended up with the right man. HOORAY!
I posted one excerpt from "Full Measure" recently, so here's another one. This is the first time that Daphne and Ralan make love. They meet over Thanksgiving vacation at his cousin's house. They decide to workout in Ian's home gym and find their attraction to one another stronger than they'd counted on.
"We can swim, do yoga, Pilates," he said with a slight sneer. "Spar...."
"Name your martial art," she challenged.
Ralan raised an eyebrow. "Chun Kuk Do?"
Daphne smiled. "That's cheating."
"Chicken?" He held out his fists.
"Not even. Don't wanna hurt you, Chun Kuk Do-boy." She tapped his fists with hers.
Ralan grinned as he took his stance. Before he'd settled into it, Daphne did a high kick, stopping just shy of his raised fists. He batted her leg aside, grabbing the ankle to throw her off balance. With a hop, Daphne spun, nearly kicking him in the shoulder with her other foot. Landing lightly, she danced away from him, fists and arms guarding her torso.
Eyes narrowed, watching her carefully, Ralan advanced. Too late, he realized she'd led him forward to throw him off balance. He ducked just in time to avoid another kick. This time, he successfully grappled her leg, knocking her to the mat. Holding out his right hand, he leaned over to help her up. The anticipated and expected jerk on his arm didn't catch him off guard. Instead, he pulled her up, tossing her across his shoulders, dropping her on the other side.
Daphne flopped on the mat, falling short of hitting her head on the floor. Glaring, she swept at his legs, catching him by surprise. Ralan toppled, falling into a shoulder roll. He came up, fists leveled, elbows tucked in. He swung with his left, following with his elbow. She blocked him with her forearms, hooking her foot behind his left knee.
Ralan almost fell again. Instead, he grabbed her shirt, pulling her to him. He barely kept his balance. Daphne, sensing an advantage, did the same maneuver, adding her weight to it. She knocked him flat on his back, keeping his head from hitting the mat. She landed on him, feeling his lean, hard body under hers.
Momentarily distracted by the touch of his body on hers, she lay there as if stunned. Taking control once more, Ralan rolled over, pinning her to the mat with his superior strength. Daphne could feel his desire. Her pulse raced as his face hovered an inch or so above hers. Pretending to acquiesce, she lay still, waiting. Ralan's mind had suddenly clicked into sex mode. He was completely unprepared for her next move.
Daphne bucked, tangling her legs with his. Levering herself up, she flipped him on his back and sat on his thighs. Stunned, Ralan lay beneath her, totally subdued. His want and need for her was even more severe. Eyes dilated, he stared at her. She pinned his hands with hers, holding them out to the side. Her body covered his thighs, her lower legs splayed over his shins. He could have gotten away if he'd had the ability to think.
They stared at one another, panting. Beads of sweat dusted her upper lip. Ralan couldn't stand it anymore. Wrenching his hands free, he curled his fingers in her hair, pulling her face down. Kissing her deeply, one hand struggled roughly under her loose sweater, fumbling for her breast.
Rolling over, he pinned her to the mat, lying between her legs. Daphne wrapped her lower legs around him, holding him close. Heat flooded her insides making her wet. Ralan's desire was obvious, his need great. Struggling with her pants, he yanked them down.
Daphne pulled at his zipper, tugging at the fly of his jeans. Gasping and laughing, they undressed one another. His kisses grew more passionate as he stripped her. Daphne struggled with his underwear, so he helped her. When they were both naked, she took control once more, pushing him onto his back.
They came together like wild things. Daphne straddled him and he sank into her so suddenly, she cried out. At first, he thought he'd hurt her, but her movements told him it was a cry of pleasure. This was sex at its most carnal. They each took what they wanted, giving back in full measure. Grinding and moaning, they brought one another to their mutual peak.
The first orgasm started as a warm tingling low in her belly. Daphne could feel it build gradually until the wave broke, making her shiver. Another onslaught made her moan loudly, the next made her scream.
Ralan clung to her hips, thrusting upward, deep inside her. He roared when he came, growling her name as she screamed his. Shaking and laughing, they held one another as Daphne collapsed onto his chest. Ralan caressed her breasts, kissing her. He rolled her onto her side, facing her, their legs still tangled. His kiss was deep and satisfying. Daphne touched his lips with her fingers, gently caressing. He pulled her hips close to his, nibbling her neck.