Friday, February 3, 2017

Valentine #3 - Mateo Bravo

What is the name of today's Valentine?

Mateo Bravo.

How old is he when we meet him?

Mid-to-late 20s.

What stands out most about him?

He has a very commanding presence considering his modest station in life. I had to meet those meager circumstances with a much stronger personality, and he definitely rose to every challenge.

Nice guy or douche?

He comes off as a douche, but it's really just a big chip on his shoulder. That's probably true of a lot of men, come to think about it.

Favorite moment with him?

When he puts Peyton in her place. She is a BIOTCH when we first start this story. And she's god-awful to him, proudly demonstrating every single hateful bigoted characteristic that Mateo has grown to despise from the rich and entitled over the years. She's used to running the show and thinks the world around her is there to do her bidding. When he realizes that she wants him, he takes *great* pleasure showing her that she can't snap her fingers and he'll come running. I think this is where I fell in love with him, actually.

“From the unused feel of your kitchen, I guess we’ll start with the basics. This,” he held up the pan, “is a pan. It is commonly used to heat food.”

She crossed her arms in front of her. “There’s no need to patronize me, Mr. Bravo.”

He grinned. “I like the sound of that coming from your lips, Miss Prescott.” He put the pan on the counter and walked over to where she stood. He grabbed her hands in his, turning them over to inspect their softness. “You’ve never even washed a dish, have you, Princess?”

Her eyebrow arched defiantly. “That’s what I pay other people to do.”

His dark eyes glittered as he stared down at her. She felt like she hit a nerve, but he was decidedly pokerfaced. “Better watch out,” he said in the same good humor. “You leave enough chores to the hired hand, and your husband may run off with a maid who isn’t too good to get her hands dirty.”

She snatched her hands back, which made Mateo smirk even more. He turned back to the sink, filling the pan with water. He placed it on the stove, turning the heat up to medium. He then leaned against the counter and crossed one foot over the other to watch her. Long moments passed without his saying a word. He just inspected her from where he stood. His eyes traveled over her face, down her exposed d├ęcolletage, and down toward her endless legs, shown off by the short hem of her skirt.

The longer he didn’t say anything, the antsier she got. She ended up crossing her arms across her chest, which she had originally bared for his benefit. To have him so brazenly inspect the goods without crossing the four feet between them made her feel cheap somehow. And she didn’t like it.

So she turned the tables on him and inspected his form as well. Every inch of clothing he wore clung to his body, which even in a relaxed state showed off the impressive cut of his muscular form. His thighs were powerful and strong, and his chest strained against the thin cotton fabric of his T-shirt. The bulge in his pants hinted at a promise not yet fulfilled, and the longer they stood there in that awkward silence made her fidget even more. Neither one seemed willing to be the first to close the gap between them and act on the undeniable chemistry that crackled in the air.

It was yet another battle of wills.

She could easily imagine walking over to him, or he to her, and stepping into that strong circle of his arms. He would lift her up on the counter and step easily between her legs, which would close behind him until her ankles locked. He’d dive into her neck, nuzzling against the graceful slope, nibbling at her lightly scented skin as her fingers crawled down his back and up again under his shirt.

She could practically feel his solid muscles under her fingers, which curled in a tight attempt not to rush over to where he stood and climb him like a jungle gym.

His eyes were dark and from the hint of a smirk he wore, she knew that he was following her thoughts exactly. The longer they stood there, the more they indulged this erotic game of chicken. Neither was ready to yield the power to the other by making the first move.

Instead they stood four feet apart the entire ten minutes it took the water to boil. When he moved to turn off the burner, she actually took a breath in relief. He moved the pan onto another, cool burner, then he crossed over to where she stood. “Lesson one: how to boil water,” he said with a slight grin. Softly he added, “You just have to leave things alone until they get hot enough.”

She gulped. Just as she was about to respond, assuming that the seduction part of their evening had commenced, Mateo turned for the door. “Tomorrow night we’ll talk about something more advanced. Like melting butter.”

She was flabbergasted as she chased him to her front door. “Are you kidding me? An entire lesson on how to boil water?”

He shrugged as he tossed, “Like I said, we have to start with the basics,” over his shoulder. He didn’t stop until he got to the door, which is where Peyton finally cornered him.

“If you think I’m paying $1500 for a couple of ten minute lessons, you’re crazy.”

Another damnable shrug. “You agreed to two lessons per week at that rate. Nothing was ever said about their duration.” He paused as he looked down at her. “But you’re right. We haven’t taken care of everything.”

He shut the door and then turned to face her. As he advanced toward her, she unconsciously took steps backward until he had her pressed up against the wall. His head dipped toward hers until their mouths were a breath apart. She felt the hard lines of his body pressing into hers as he held back his kiss in sweet torture. Finally she gasped, “What do you want?”

He bent even closer until their lips nearly met. “The check,” he said with that evil grin.

With an angry snarl she pushed him away. “Fuck you,” she said again, and again he replied, “Maybe someday. But not today.”

What do you love about him?

He's a deeply layered guy. He'd be easy to dismiss on the face of it, and a lot of people would. I wanted a "regular" guy to get a shot at romance, so I turned the tables and made HER the rich one. But how he was able to stand on equal footing to her every step of the way, despite the labels that could have kept them separate, indicates a powerful confidence and strength that money simply can't buy.

What do you hate about him?

He's a deeply layered guy. For all he does, he shows very little. His true intentions haven't always been pure. His hatred is understandable, but it helps nothing if he perpetuates it.

If you went on a date, where would you go?

He's a cook, so I imagine a HELL of a home-cooked meal. But a glass elevator would be okay too. (Chapter 11. Woof.)

Who inspired him?

He was born in my imagination. The whole story took me by surprise, particularly the subplot.

Who might play him in a movie?

Do you have a special song that reminds you of him?

It'd have to be something sexy. Because, damn.

Any "Easter Eggs" planted with this book boyfriend?

The elevator scene was inspired by real life events. That is all I am at liberty to say.

Where can we find him?

You get to meet him in THE UNDISCIPLINED BRIDE, but my Bravo caterers show up in a TON of books, including FULL-FIGURED FLOOZIES.

Stay tuned for a hot new Valentine tomorrow.

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