Standard Disclaimers Apply.

I wrote this for a very promising new writer that I have the honor of Beta Reading for, as an example of descriptive writing. It came out so well that I wanted to post it for others to enjoy as well. I hope that you do so.


He kept his visual attention on the orange that he had plucked from the basket of fruit that had accompanied the tea service. There was no doubt that he was in the conversation as he asked questions and shared insights, and her conclusion was that it must have been a habit he grew into when he discovered that people were uncomfortable sometimes when they were caught in the focus of his eyes.

The only time she had ever had the courage to mention it, her mother had said that it was sweet, an assurance that he cared enough about them and what they thought of him to show that he wasn't trying to profile them.

He started out with a minute examination of the rind, his alert, color changing eyes following the slow progress of his fingers as they hovered and brushed the textured peel. He drew just the tips of his fingers slowly and absently all the way around before rolling the fruit delicately in his palm and pressing lightly on it with his thumbs.

There was a slow flush rising in her skin. Across the room, her mother raised an eyebrow as she continued speaking, tilting her head almost questioningly. She shook her head in response, the only response she could safely make under the circumstances.

Will's blunted nails bit into the rind of the orange and a shudder ran down her spine. Her imagination was working overtime, imagining that focus and those fingers attatched to her. He slid his thumbnail across the fruit so slowly that she wanted to scream at him – either that or drag him bodily from her mother's office to her own room – slitting the rind open without actually peeling it yet.

She swore mentally at herself, cursing the fact that the weather was so good outside that she couldn't complain about the temperature or turn on the air conditioning, and resisted the urge to fan herself shamelessly.

Both Henry and her mom were looking at her now despite the fact that the conversation continued. She didn't even know what they were talking about anymore, her attention was almost completely riveted to the orange in Will's hands.

He was peeling the rind off slowly now, a single strip at a time as he answered a question, his fingers separating rind from the hidden fruit inside without brushing the fruit itself even once. She knew her skin was flushed like some giddy schoolgirl, and she bit her lip unconciously. She had to look at something else, anything but Will and that stupid, insanely lucky orange.

Her eyes locked on Henry's face as the lycan sniffed the air delicately. That was it, all she had to do was not look at Will and she would cool down...

Henry grinned at her suddenly, and the pit dropped out of her stomach. She recognized the tilt of his lips from years of close association as being the precursor to one evil prank or another. This was going from bad to worse...

Henry turned to look at Will, who was still focused entirely on the orange, and from the corner of her eye she could see her mother's expression of dismayed acceptance of whatever he was about to say.

"Hey, Will," Henry said, prompting Ashley's eyes to return to Will. Thankfully he did not look up from the now fully peeled orange as Henry continued, "You're not going to eat the whole thing are you?"

"Always happy to share," Will responded artlessly, swiftly pulling the orange in two and tossing half of it to Henry.

She swallowed a moan at both the sudden and swift action and the implication that Will had unwittingly made. Then she fled the room, the door swinging in her wake.

Henry convulsed in laughter, and Magnus shook her head silently as Will looked up in surprise as Ashley retreated.

Silently, Helen Magnus adjusted her seat, reflecting that in that moment she probably shared Ashley's sentiment. She had never wanted to be an orange so badly in her entire life.