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EXTRACT: from A Missing MC

I’ll share snippets from my novel here from time to time. Here’s a passage from a semi-romantic scene, which took me a few attempts to get right…. 

I looked away and laughed to myself, taking another sip. Was that what I thought it was? I was fully aware that tonight had not been my night so far, and the Shakesy incident was probably still affecting my judgement. Misreading her signs would have been a dangerous thing to happen right now. Nor could I, or would I, just lunge in. Whether for a small-time magazine or for Private Eye, Naomi was a journalist, and she clearly knew people I knew. For all that she was saying the right things, I couldn’t trust her.

But more mild flirtation wouldn’t do any harm. I moved my hand behind her back, placed it carefully just above her backside, enjoyed the soft fabric of her dress, and gently pulled her in so her ear could be close to me. I then asked, ‘Did you always want to be a prying journalist?’

She giggled some more but used the question as an opportunity to pull away again and straighten her stance. When she started speaking she appeared serious, almost formal. Between talking about how she always watched MTV News when she was a teenager, and how she managed to get her first taste of work experience, I struggled to concentrate fully on what she was saying. As she chatted on, I had an opportunity to take a proper look at her. She must have charmed a fair few singers and actors in her time, but there was something genuine about her too, something suggesting she was not a roadie or some dizzy little girl in it for the laughs and the sex and the drugs. Fair enough, I spent as much time making out the upper form of her full-looking breasts as I did judging her virtues as a writer on cultural matters, but this was no Jade. Whether I was going to get lucky tonight or not, I wanted to see her again.