editing erotic scenes

I have just begun the final edit on one of my novels, which began its life as an erotic romance. I am re-working it as women’s fiction with erotic elements, and some of the scenes need to be cut or heavily edited, like the one below (with an added embellishment at the end).

The novel is set in Paris. Henri is a French businessman; Lilianne is a suburban divorcée, visiting from Melbourne, Australia in search of her mother.

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“I hope you don’t mind ma chérie, Maree is on her way up.” Disappointment at the idea of company was evident in Henri’s voice.

He’d been a perfect gentleman during dinner, charming and attentive, but the thrill when our gazes met was less than civilized.

Henri’s privileged background was so different to my own suburban upbringing, but the chemistry between us was indiscriminate. The lightest touch of his fingertips on my lower back as he pulled out my chair at the beginning of the meal had me yearning for more contact. The heated lust in his eyes whenever he found an excuse to brush my skin proved him a conspirator in our attraction.

Was I hoping this gorgeous man would seduce me? Could I protect my barely healed heart if I ended up in his bed?

It would be all too easy to follow wherever the night led: I was already in his home, an apartment that reflected the sleek, understated charm of its owner.

I hadn’t been in any man’s home since I’d walked out on my cheating ex and Henri’s was not the best place for me to start. Almost as attractive and inviting as Henri himself, his penthouse had breathtaking views of the romantic lights of Paris. Even the warm evening breeze conspired against my attempt to hold on to my celibacy by floating in through the open French doors and sliding caresses over the bare skin of my arms and shoulders.

The combination was too seductive and my anxiety for my peace of mind had almost vanished when the phone rang, interrupting our post-dinner coffee.

I’d spent the time in Henri’s company struggling to resolve my turmoil: my naughty inner voice, desperate for me to get laid after a dry spell of almost twelve months, had almost succeeded in silencing her wary, cautious sister, who refused to contemplate risking my heart again, yet.

My own fault. What was I thinking, accepting the invitation in the first place?

Not long after calling up from the lobby, Henri’s stunning cousin, Maree, swept in with a grin and the stirring scent of spring, awakening a new conflict. It was a relief to have Henri’s full attention distracted from me and be handed the perfect opportunity to leave, but I found myself resenting the interruption to our growing intimacy.

Maree turned to me with a shrug of apology. “Please excuse us for a few minutes, ma belle? I only need Henri’s signature.” She waved a sheaf of papers elegantly in one hand.

Should I stay until they are finished, knowing I will be inviting his seduction, or flee and keep my heart safe?

I nodded politely and smiled as they moved to stand by a side table. I’d chosen the easy way out: to stay and put myself in fate’s hands; to stay where I sat, curled on the lounge, from where I could study the cousins.

Maree leaned in and tilted her face up to speak to Henri.

“You’ll need to sign the top one and initial the rest so I can deliver this in the morning,” Maree explained in English as she pointed a delicate finger at the relevant pages. Her other hand rested familiarly on Henri’s forearm as she justified the reason for her intrusion: important family business. Just how close were they?

I’d been surprised and flattered when Maree had approached me at the jazz club last night. I’d never even thought of kissing a woman before, but there was no denying I’d found myself sexually attracted to her.

Despite her small stature, she was a striking figure as she’d emerged out of the darkness of the club, dressed immaculately with typical French style. The dark silk of her short bob had slid forward to reveal her elegant neck as she’d leaned close to introduce herself in an exquisite, lilting voice.

I’d pondered her reason for approaching me and entertained fantasies of where our conversation may lead. To a daring kiss outside in the alley? Or more? The yearning to find out had shocked me. What was it about being on holiday in Paris that stimulated my passions so intensely?

It had been Henri, after he’d joined us at the bar and introduced himself, who had asked me to join him for dinner tonight in his apartment.

Had it all just been a well-choreographed plan to lure me to his apartment where they could mount a joint seduction? The thought sparked a flutter of desire in my belly and I studied them closer.

His serious face was bent towards hers as they discussed their business, eyes intense with concentration. The tiny ingénue and the imposing gentleman. They were both extremely attractive in their own way, although I could detect no obvious family resemblance.

Tiny, Maree was playfully feminine with pale, latte-coloured skin, and Henri… well, he was all man, tall and well-built. His smooth skin was more macchiato – espresso with a dash of cream. Tight cropped hair and expressive face. The strong, serious type.

The way he deferred to his cousin made me think he’d be caring and respectful to those who’d earned it.

I imagined he’d be a generous lover.

The clamour of need in my belly grew as I watched them talk quietly and flip through the document. Obviously not as straight forward as a few signatures.

I indulged my imagination while I waited…

Henri straightens and turns from the paperwork, his dark eyes intense as he seeks me out, his single-minded focus freezing me in place while he strides over to where I sit.

He bends to raise me from my seat and Maree turns to watch as he reaches to slide the straps of my dress from my shoulders. The fabric slithers down my body and pools at my feet.

Henri cradles my face in his large hands and tastes me, his full lips teasing mine, the tip of his warm tongue teasing before he steps back. I stand before them both in my bra, panties and stockings.

I’m the one being studied now – two languid gazes caress my half nakedness. Henri slowly loosens his tie, his expression warm as fresh coffee, inviting me to watch as his deft fingers unbutton and slide off his shirt.

I suck in a breath of appreciation as the dark, muscled chest I had imagined under the fine-woven fabric is revealed, his abdomen an expanse of toned muscle.

Maree steps out of the dimness, stripped down to her own underwear: scraps of silk and lace adorning her gorgeous little figure. Gracefully, she moves closer, then steps behind me. Her fingers are cool as milk as she unhooks my bra.

Henri takes his turn to watch as Maree drops my bra to the floor in front of me, brushing the swell of my breasts. My nipples tighten beneath the almost tangible caress of his gaze.

Maree slips her hand down my arm as she circles me, stops to dip her head and enclose one puckered peak in her warm mouth, her silky black hair sliding over my skin. My other nipple aches for her touch and she obliges with gentle fingers. I gasp as the combined pleasure sends a bolt of desire blazing direct to my sex. All else is numb and my legs feel almost not strong enough to support me.

My head drops back a little with a sigh of pleasure.

Henri unbuckles his belt while stepping out of his shoes, still absorbed by Maree’s explorations. She kneels before me, hooks her fingers either side of my panties before inching them slowly down my legs.

Henri mirrors my disrobing while I watch through lust-heavy lids, slides trousers, boxers and socks off in one efficient movement. He straightens and stands naked before me in his magnificent, toned glory.

“Ravissant,” he murmurs huskily, his gaze burning my flesh with its intensity, his cock saluting me with enthusiasm.

“Indeed!” I reply, every muscle now switched on and poised to take me to him, so I can touch him and run my lips over skin that glows like polished mahogany in the lamplight.

Henri takes large, graceful steps past and behind me. His palms are warm on my waist where he urges me back against the heat of him, where his hard length presses, demanding, against my lower back.

Like a well-choreographed dance, Maree complements Henri’s movements with her hands on the front of my thighs, her breath hot on my belly. Gently, he leans into me, his lips on my neck as he nudges me forward and pulls my hips back against him while Maree gracefully rolls backward to lay on the soft carpet. She moves below me, as Henri takes my weight and lowers me to crouch on all fours above her.

My eyes widen in surprise at the sound of a pen dropping on the table and I realise I’m staring intently at the two cousins, still deep in conversation and completely unaware of the lustful visions playing in my mind. I take a shaky breath and try to calm my agitation, but the need throbbing in my sex demands my thoughts return to my fantasy…

I sense Henri’s presence close as he kneels behind and over me. His lips burn a path along my flesh from my lower back, awakening a trail of sensation across my waist, traversing ribs and skating across one shoulder blade. With his chest pressed against my back, he nudges me gently lower, closer to where Maree lies below me. Her soft, butterfly lips below now compete with his, fluttering over breasts, ribs, belly as she moves her way down my body.

Henri’s hot hardness is a shock against the sensitive skin of my inner thigh as he leans closer to nip at the sensitive skin of my neck. I moan and collapse a little lower as Maree’s small tongue begins a long, slow journey over the lips of my sex. Another agonisingly slow journey engorges each nerve ending with pleasure.

I fear my knees will buckle but Henri’s hands on my waist hold me steady while teasing my entrance with the tip of his cock. Impatient to have him inside me, I wriggle backwards with the need to amplify the pleasure Maree’s tongue is building from below.

Henri gives in to my unspoken demand and buries himself in one long, deep lunge. I cry out in triumph to have him filling me while Maree continues the sweet, steady stroke of her tongue.

Squirming with arousal on the couch, I start at the soft sound of my name and realise the fully-dressed cousins across the room have turned to face me. Had I moaned? I struggle to steady my erratic breath and blink rapidly, trying to control the heat that infuses my face.

Henri raises an eyebrow before slowly striding over to where I’m sitting, his hand loosening his tie while Maree watches with interest.

“My apologies for keeping you waiting, Lilianne. I hope you haven’t been bored?” A glimpse of white teeth flash as he grins and tilts his head, questioning, as if he can see in my eyes the thoughts I’ve been entertaining.

He slides his tie from the grip of his shirt collar and stops in front of me, offering me a hand up while the strip of silk dangles from the other.

Tonight may turn out even better even than my desires were capable of imagining. I smile back and place my hand in his, my decision made.

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