Thursday, May 16, 2013

You're Still You

Each book I write is special in its own way. The characters become people I love, like, or love to hate, depending on their role. If that didn't happen, I couldn't write a convincing love story.

Today, I'm going to leave you with my favorite scene from Winters' Thaw. Why today? Because this whole story on Angelina Jolie having a double mastectomy generated a wonderful conversation with Stud, just as Ms. Jolie intended by opening up and telling her personal decision. Every woman should have that conversation with herself and/or her significant other. Whatever it takes.

I'm not saying that the following scene compares to having a mastectomy. I'm saying that if someone loves you, it's not going to matter whether those breasts are a perfect 34C, sag, have scars, or have gone through cancer and its aftermath, including removal. You're still you.

Winters' Thaw
by Dalton Diaz

Kevin needed to regroup. He had friends he’d met in college who didn’t know about his parents and he’d met Elle a week ago. What the hell?

He should be running for the door.

Fuck that. Less than an hour ago he’d come twice in her amazing mouth, yet he was ready, willing and able to come again. They were sitting in their underwear. He should be stripping off that underwear and coming inside her anywhere she’d let him enter, not spilling his guts.

If he did either of those things, he’d never learn her secrets. There was still that hesitation he hadn’t been able to put his finger on and he’d bet his prized Ibanez bass that it was every bit as deep and personal as what he’d told her.

It was a piece of her puzzle he craved.

He took her hand, surprised to find how comforting it was. Those caramel brown eyes of hers, filled with curiosity and genuine concern, had already pulled at him to say more than he’d intended. Even though she did understand, it was all old news. He’d found his own way after college, hooking up with the right therapist at the right time. It had taken a while but he’d laid his anger to rest. It was what it was.

“You sure you wouldn’t like to lose the bra first? I could be easily distracted before you open yourself up to everything, right down to your first make-out session.”

“Nice try. Wayne Collins when I was about eight. He was a couple of years older and we were neighbors. He stuck his tongue in my mouth and I told him that it was wet and gross. For some reason he never kissed me again. That counts as your first question, by the way.”

Kevin couldn’t help laughing, only to be instantly captivated by her return smile. What the hell were they doing talking about this crap when they could be indulging in their own make-out session?

“Seriously? Eight years old?” He leaned forward to kiss her before swiping his tongue across her closed lips. “His loss. He should have waited a few years when wet could be hot.”

Her murmur of agreement, which parted her lips, was all the encouragement he needed. Within seconds he was the one with his tongue in her mouth and she wasn’t complaining.

But she did hesitate when he tried to unclasp her bra.

She tried to hide it right away but he sat back, not willing to let her get away with it this time. Forcing herself to do something she didn’t want to do was a distinct no in his book.

“Elle?” He used his finger to trace the lacy edging at her cleavage until she opened her eyes to look at him. “Question two. Why are you so afraid to lose the bra?”


Okay, she could do this.

“I’m not afraid, exactly,” Elizabeth said. “I just know I’m…different from what you’re used to.”

Kevin’s eyes dropped to her chest and he stared as though he had X-ray vision. “Do you have an extra nipple or something?”

If anything, he looked more intrigued. “That’s not as uncommon as you think but no.”

“Do you have nipples? I mean, the bumps I see could be stick-on.”

Great. Now he was just messing with her, which oddly gave her more courage to set him straight.
“Eyes up here, bud. There are two of everything and only two of everything. I’m talking about gravity. I’m not only older than you’re used to, I’ve nursed two kids.”

“If you’d had three, that extra nipple would have been useful.”


“What do you want me to say?” He caught his finger in the front clasp of her bra and gave a little tug.

“I like real breasts. Doesn’t matter what size, what shape, pierced or not pierced. I’ve dated women with implants and I don’t find it attractive.”

She wasn’t buying it for a minute. “Isn’t that every man’s fantasy? Legs to the armpits and breasts to the eyebrows?”

“Are we still on the blunt honesty kick?” he asked.

“Of course.”

“I slept with one of them and it was like trying to balance on two handballs. I don’t think it was all that comfortable for her either. The sex was okay but there wasn’t a repeat.” He traced the swells of her breast with the back of his finger. “A woman’s skin is so soft. I like to feel as much of it against me as I can.”

It would have been better not to laugh at that moment but she couldn’t help it. All she could see was
Phil fruitlessly thrusting away at Tanya, only to be bounced off like a trampoline. Hey, maybe that was how she’d sprung a leak!

“Did I say something wrong?” Kevin asked.

“No, the complete opposite,” she assured him. “Thank you. You have no idea.”

His fingers came to rest on the clasp again. “So enlighten me.”

She focused on the pulse point in his neck and nodded. What was it Rachel had said on the blog? “Take a deep breath, throw back your shoulders and go for it.”

There was a quick tug and the sides relaxed. She felt his fingers grasp the edges and peel the cups away.

A heartbeat later the tip of his finger traced her nipple. “Definitely not stick on,” he confirmed. “Elle, you’re beautiful.”

It was hard not to believe him. His voice was deeper, raspier and his finger wasn’t one hundred percent steady. She slowly raised her eyes to find him looking not at her breasts but at her face.

“I have stretch marks,” she choked out the words. It shouldn’t matter but dammit it did! This man had never seen her breasts before gravity took its inevitable toll, hadn’t shared in the joyous reason she had stretch marks.

“I see them,” he dropped his gaze and trailed his finger along a particularly deep one. “You’re beautiful,” he repeated.


Desiree Holt said...

What a great, great, great scene. And you captured the insecurity of Elle just perfectly. Judos to Kevin for being the hero he is, and to you for writing such a great scene

Ashlyn Chase said...

Love this, Dalton! If only all men were that accepting of a woman's non-ideal body. We'd have less nutty attempts to fit the mold.

Victoria Adams said...

Fantastic scene. What a wonderful man. Clone him and you could be a trillionaire!

Julia Mills said...

Thank you so much for sharing!! Now I have to go get the book!!!!

Alostpen9uin said...

Love it!

Dalton Diaz said...

Aw, you guys are great. This book was very close to my heart to begin with, and it grows more so with each passing year.