Hope you all had a good Fourth! I went to family cookout, where my dad made his famous margaritas and (I admit it) we watched TV and made fun of Nick and Jessica's "tour of duty." All in all, a very productive day. :) Also hope you liked the pic of my cousins and me on a Fourth umpteen years ago. My aunt was very into the do-it-yourself bowl haircut back then, but luckily for me my mom went for the easier pig-tale option.
And here is another excerpt from the Venetian WIP! The first meeting of the heroine/hero.
The bell on the shop door jangled, announcing their first patron of the day. Julietta took a deep breath of sweetly perfumed air, trying to will color into her pale cheeks, and painted a bright smile on her lips before turning to greet the newcomer. "Buon giorno! Welcome to..."
But polite words faded from her tongue when she came face to face with her patron. This was not a golden-haired courtesan or a veiled matron, here in search of a special perfume or lotion, or something else, something darker, something poured secretly behind the counter. This was a man. And what a man indeed.
He was tall, taller even than her own frame, with powerful shoulders outlined by a fine doublet of dark red velvet, closely cut and unadorned by lace or embroidery. A shirt of cream-colored silk, soft and with the sheen of springtim clouds, peeked through the jagged slashings of the sleeves and the silk closures at the front of the doublet, rising up to a small frill framing a strong, sun-browned throat, a vee of smooth bronze chest.
Julietta's gaze moved inexorably, unwillingly downward, to plain black hose and Spanish leather shoes buckled with shining gold. No elaborate codpieces, no gaudy striped hose. No popinjay, him. Yet not a man unaccoustomed to luxury, either. His face was half cast in shadow by the brim of his red velvet cap, but she could see the large blood-colored ruby clasped in that cap, the teardrop pearl that dangled from his left earlobe. No--not unaccustomed to luxury at all.
Glossy, dark brown hair, streaked with the gold of the sun, fell in thick waves from beneath the cap, brushing his wide shoulders. And his lower face could be glimpsed, a strong jaw, close shaven, darkened by the sun, set off by the glistening white of the pearl. Not a soft merchant, then, or a banker who spent his days softly indoors. Not a churchman, assuredly, yet not a poor sialor or shipmaker from the Arsenal.
A man of power, certainly, of wealth and fine looks. Not a man who drenched himself in cologne, either; Julietta's sensitive nose told her that, even across the length of the shop. He smelled only of fresh, salty air, faintly lemony, clean. What would such a manm need from her shop?
Ah, yes--of course. A gift for a lady. And here she stood, staring at him like some lackwit, gawking at his shoulders and chest and lovely hair like some alleyway putta would.
Julietta straightened herself to her full height, reacching up to check the fall of her veil. "Buon giorno, signor," she said agin, dropping a small curtsy.
"Buon giorno, madonnna," he answered. His voice was deeper than she expected, rougher, with a hint of some strange foreign accent. Not a Venetian, then, or even an Italian. "I feared you would not yet be open for custom."
"We are always open for such eager patrons, signor," Julietta said, touching the tip of her tongue to suddenly dry lips. There was something strange about this man's voice, something that seemed to reach out and wrap itself around her with misty, enticing caresses. Something about his scent...
Stay tuned for more!!! :)