Hi all ~ thanks for stopping by! I’m Laura and I love to engage with my readers, so find me at these sites:
A bit about me ~ While writing for many years, I’ve been a wife, mother, U. S. Army Sergeant, and dental hygienist. My publishing dreams came true with my debut romance “Keyed Up” last year, and since then I have five other reads out there with plenty more on the way. When not writing I enjoy reading plenty of romance myself, from Jenna Sutton and Eddie Cleveland, to Chelle Bliss and Joe Hart. Enjoy this excerpt from “Keyed Up” and be sure to come back for more!
Penelope tried to control her body’s tremor at Sebastian’s request. She took a deep breath and his scent filled her; crisp and clean, with a hint of mint. She remembered that he loved to keep gum in his mouth, not necessarily chewing it the entire time, but mostly rolling it around to keep his mouth moist. That memory and his nearness sent a delightful zing through her body. Before said body could further betray her, she breathed again, relaxed, and silently thanked her yoga instructor for the many sessions over the years.
Smiling before leaning forward, Penelope placed the music sheets on the piano. Sebastian waited for her to be seated before sitting next to her. The brush of his wide shoulders sent a heated frisson along her nerve endings, and once again her control was at risk of being lost.
She nearly leapt off the bench, desperately wanting more space between them. In the next thought she desperately wanted him to surround her with his strong arms and reignite what started so many years ago.
Don’t be a fool. He ended it and never contacted you again. He obviously moved on.
Penelope wasn’t given any more time for self-reflection as LaPelle struck the podium with three short taps. He nodded to Sebastian who began his intro without the orchestra. Penelope followed the music as Sebastian expertly worked the keys for a haunting opening that lasted nearly five minutes. One by one, sections of the symphony joined in as instructed, and the piece quickened to a livelier tempo. The orchestra did remarkably well considering they had just laid eyes on the music.
For nearly thirty minutes it went and Penelope felt the joy and the uplifting spirit of the piece. Her heart raced, her skin tingled; she felt her cheeks tighten with her broad smile.
Until the end.
The piece came to a crashing, tumultuous halt that startled Penelope. The final strikes to the piano sounded as if broken glass was raining down. The hall became deadly silent as Penelope felt Sebastian’s gaze on her. She turned to look at him, her eyes moist, threatening to spill over. Try as she might, she couldn’t ascertain his emotions.
His eyes seemed to soften with sadness, sympathy… regret?
Just as Penelope was about to speak, LaPelle shouted.
As members of the orchestra began applauding, Sebastian looked away from Penelope and began clapping himself. He stood and addressed the group. “Thank you. You were all marvelous. I’m even more eager now to hear Ms. Dixon’s rendition.”
“Indeed,” LaPelle said. “Why don’t we see just what she’s capable of? Ms. Dixon, if you’d be so kind as to get comfortable, we’ll run through the piece again with you at the helm.”
“Yes, sir.” Penelope quickly swiped her eyes with her hands and rubbed them across her leggings. After a quick inhale, she situated herself on the bench before Sebastian returned to his position beside her. Taking a moment to seemingly study the music before beginning, she only now realized the piece was simply titled, “Composition –
Interesting. Had he no time to properly name it, or had – Sebastian subtly cleared his throat, bringing Penelope back to the task at hand. Aware that everyone was waiting on her, she poised her hands above the piano, took a deep breath, and began. Penelope blocked out everything around her while she focused on the music, making the keys dance beneath her fingers. She paid no mind to the fact that it was Sebastian’s hands that turned the pages, for she had already memorized the piece. A gift that most found astounding. Immersing herself in the composition, she imagined a story being plotted out. A lonely soul; wandering, searching. For what? Suddenly, light breaks through the dark and a joyous spirit surrounds the soul.
There is happiness, hope. But unfortunately, it doesn’t last. That happiness is ripped away, cast aside. By choice? Or beyond means of control? The soul is broken, lost again…heart shattered into pieces. After striking the final notes, Penelope’s head hung forward, tears coating her face. She took a shuddering breath before she raised her head. The silence of the hall was overwhelming, but before she could think too long on that, she was startled by a thunderous applause as the entire Symphony stood.
Penelope blinked once, twice, her gaze drawn toward Sebastian.
“That is for you,” he whispered.