I've been working on the sequel to my contemporary novella Beg For It (Ellora's Cave) for awhile now. I couldn't quite get a handle on Italian smooth talker Andre Lavin.
Let me know if I finally got it right in my Wednesday Work in Progress.
Ask For It (excerpt)
“I’m not sure about this new slogan.” Andre Lavin rubbed his hands roughly over his face trying to erase a week’s worth of stress. He was so tired he almost felt intoxicated but seeing his dream come to life was worth a thousand sleepless nights. “Living the Lavin life. It sounds like a ripoff of a cheesy pop song.”
James Lawson, owner of Mirage Advertising Agency, patted him reassuringly on the shoulder. “No worries. I’m sure we can come up with something that suits you better.”
Andre swallowed a grunt of disagreement. He wasn’t so sure. He’d already seen presentations for two alternate slogans and they were no closer to capturing the essence of what he was about than the current one. He’d been waiting his entire career to launch his international campaign and he wouldn’t see it derailed now. His debut had to be top notch. His success had been too hard won for him to chance botching things now.
“I have the production figures. We’re in good shape.” Jason Gautier, his business partner and best friend appeared at his left side. His blond hair was cut into a short spiky do, more for ease and comfort than style. His friend had been accused more than once of having a calculator for a brain and a cash register for a heart. Success was his life’s blood. It was one of the things they had in common.
“Fantastic. Do we still have that conference call with the bank this afternoon?”
“Actually there was a mix up. We’re supposed to be on that call in about ten minutes.” At his glower, Jason shrugged apologetically and crossed his arms. “Don’t shoot the messenger. How do you want to handle this?”
“Gentleman, I think I have a solution.” James waved over his assistant, a young woman with short dark hair and flashing blue eyes. He whispered something in her ear and she turned and sashayed off.
He stole a quick glance at the watch on his wrist. “The conference room isn’t booked for this afternoon, so why don’t you take your call and then come back around 3 o’clock. I’ll have our designers rearrange their schedules to accommodate you.”
“Great, that’s…” Andre trailed off as something passed his vision. A petite girl wearing an oversized monstrosity of a sweater. Her dark hair was bound back tightly into a bun and she moved like she was in a rush, her slim legs carrying her quickly behind the reception desk. She turned and her delicate profile came into view. His mind registered recognition at the same time as his body. He cursed softly and turned away slightly, giving himself time to calm down. His reaction made him feel like a lecher, especially since from a distance she looked more like a fairy child than a grown woman.
She was assisting the designers with the campaign and ever since he’d first seen her a month ago he’d been battling this borderline obsession. He knew her every expression, the way she tilted her head when she was listening or pursed her lips when she didn’t agree with something. Her skin was very pale and it made her look even more fragile. She was delicately built, petite with slim hips but something about her manner told him she had a backbone of steel.
He turned at the sharp nudge in his side. Jason lifted his eyebrows in inquiry before stretching to see over his shoulder. Andre stepped forward blocking his friend’s view of the girl. He wasn’t sure what drove the protective instinct but in that moment he didn’t want his friend even looking in her direction. It was like letting a wolf loose on a lamb.
Ok so that's just a little taste of Andre, a character that I love to write. He's driven, he's perfectionistic and he's about to be swept off his feet by a woman who's nothing like what he expects.
Hope you enjoyed the sneak peek. Now back to your regularly scheduled lives :)