Paolo and Francesca…

a novel about beautiful people in Italy.

Tag: shower

Anatomy of a Scene : Second Shower Scene.

photo via Flawed Louise.

 At the beginning of the book, when Paolo and Francesca first meet, there’s a hot scene in Paolo’s shower.  They are strangers, knowing barely anything about each other except for their names, and it’s exciting and new for them both.  I knew I wanted to write another shower scene with the two of them–I do all my best thinking in the shower, and the act of showering / bathing, for Francesca, reoccurs throughout the book at critical points.  For this post, I wanted to detail a bit of the thought process that went into writing the scene.

[before this: fight.]

“I’m sorry,” she said.  He opened the door and she crowded into the tiny shower stall with him, they knocked the nozzle out of place and it sprayed all over them and they laughed, a little at first, pressed against each other and feeling the laughter in their muscles, then harder, shaking their bodies until they couldn’t stop. [it is important that Paolo’s family’s apartment has one shower and it’s a small one; it is a subtle signifier of their socio-economic status, which was the whole point of the argument Paolo and Francesca just had.]

“I’m sorry for being such a pretentious, spoiled, obnoxious snob,” she managed to say, and he squeezed shampoo in her hair and wrapped his arms around her neck to lather it.

“And I’m glad you recognize it,” he said, kissing her cheek.

She sprayed him in the face with the shower head.  “That’s enough,” she said.  “You didn’t have to agree.” [I like the idea of playfulness here, both to indicate their affectionateness but also to deflect Francesca’s awkwardness.]

“But it was true,” he protested.  “You said it yourself.”

She moved her body against his, warm and slippery.  “Let’s not fight, babe,” she whispered.  “Not ever again.  Not about something like this.”

He massaged her scalp, rinsing the lather from her hair, kissing her forehead, her ear, her jawbone, the hollow of her neck.  She reached for him and he was ready, erect, hard in her hand, and he backed her against the tile. [they use sex as a way to bridge the distance between them.]

“Quiet, quiet,” he said.  She gasped as he entered her; the pressure of the angle was unfamiliar and he pulled back, instinctively, and moved slower and shallower.

“It’s ok,” she whispered.  She didn’t know what she was saying, suddenly the words just came out of her mouth, like someone else was speaking through her.  “Go harder,” she said.  “I deserve it.  You should punish me.  I deserve it.” [I have no idea where this part came from–it suddenly occurred to me that Francesca would do anything to deflect attention from how she really feels and defer to Paolo’s feelings, trying to ‘make it up to him’ somehow.]

He quickened, and soon he was slamming her against the tile, his hand pressed over her mouth; she felt her tailbone hitting the hard wall and it hurt but he didn’t stop; she was standing on her toes and flexing her thighs and bracing herself but it didn’t help, he just kept driving into her.  She screamed against his hand, bucked against his body, and he pressed against her more.

He put his hands on her shoulders.  “Get down,” he said, pushing her to the floor.

“What?” she whispered.  “I can’t–”

“Get on the floor,” he repeated.  She arranged herself so she was kneeling on the tile, straddling the drain, in between his legs.  [it’s hard to describe the physicality of sex scenes!  I try to make it possible for the reader to visualize without sounding like a how-to manual.]  He took his cock in his hands and jerked himself off, a rapid motion that had her worried he would punch her in the nose, but no, he just came on her face in three quick spurts, and she pushed back against his thighs trying to make space to wash her face.

“Don’t say you didn’t ask for it,” he said, stepping over her and out of the shower.  He took a towel from the rack and walked out, leaving the water running and the glass shower door open, an imprint of her ass visible in the fog.  [it’s obvious now that even though they’ve laughed and apologized, there’s something carnal in Paolo that is still angry.  I particularly like having him step over her like he’s stepping over trash on the sidewalk.]  She sat on the floor of the shower for a while, watching his semen wash down the drain.  It was New Year’s Day.  [call me crazy, but I don’t think it’s possible to imagine a scene with a girl sitting on the floor of a shower without recalling Eva Green in Casino Royale.  I wanted to evoke that same feeling of loneliness.]

showering alone.

“And now I have to walk down the hall to take a shower.”

“You can wear one of my jerseys,” he said, jumping out of bed and opening a dresser drawer.  “Here.”  He offered her a light-blue shirt.

She unfolded it.  “When were you a number ten?”

“When I thought I was a striker,” he grinned.  “I didn’t move back to midfield until I started with Juve.  Coach saw something there and it made all the difference.”

Francesca pulled up her panties and put on Paolo’s jersey.  She turned her back to him.  “Can you see my ass?”

He started chuckling.  “I’m sorry, it just seems irrelevant at this point,” he said.

She glared at him and peeked her head out the door to scope out the hallway.

“I can see it a little bit,” Paolo said.  “When you move like that.”

She gave him one last withering look and headed for the bathroom.

She showered quickly, aware she was a guest, the Romaldos had only one bathroom, and Paolo would have to go after her.  Though they’d gotten into the habit of showering together, and it would have been far more efficient in this case, she could only imagine what Amedeo would think about her then.

Wrapped in a towel, she scurried down the hallway again and knocked twice before entering Paolo’s bedroom.  He was still lying in bed, propped up on pillows and scrolling intently on his phone.

“All clear?” he asked.

“So far,” she answered.  “Are you going to get up?”

“I suppose,” he said, yawning.  “I could stand to sleep a little longer, honestly.”

“I thought it was already breakfast time.”

He ambled out of bed and picked up his shorts from the floor, pulling them on.  “Stay here until I get back,” he said, walking out the door.

She couldn’t tell if he was joking or serious.  She wrapped her hair in the towel and dressed–slim black jeans, a striped Saint James shirt, suede booties and a voluminous scarf.  Holding her compact mirror up to her face in front of the single window, she was applying her makeup when Paolo came back in the room.

“You’re still here,” he said, loosening the towel from his waist and drying his shoulders.  She would never get used to seeing him naked; each time, it was a surprise that made her heart skip momentarily, the perfect sculptedness of his muscles, the absence of clothing and distance.  He was real, warm, close.

“You told me to stay,” she replied.

“Since when do you listen to me?” he grinned.

“Since I’m petrified of your father and I’m not going out there without you,” she said.  She looked over the compact at him again and was disappointed to see him dressed.

“Come on,” he said.  “Show time.”

inspiration #20 : the original shower scene.

I’ve mentioned before that I wrote a short draft of an erotic novel about a fashion photographer and a football player (coincidentally also named Francesca and Paolo) when I was a teenager.  it was pretty awful.  but it had decent enough bones to pick up again after fifteen years and rewrite, so I do have to thank my tenth-grade self for that.  also, it’s nice to be reminded, occasionally, that I’ve learned a few things since then.

so this excerpt is the original shower scene.  the first chapter (or the first few chapters, as it may now turn out) follow pretty much the same narrative: Paolo and Francesca meet at the arena during a photoshoot / football practice scheduling mishap, they go out for a drink, go home together, sleep together, and take a steamy shower the next morning.  I’m ashamed to transcribe the original scene, because it is AWFUL, but it’s been a fascinating exercise to compare what I wrote then with what I’ve written now.  though it’s pained me to do so, I haven’t edited anything below.  welcome back to 1997.

She was so deep in thought that she took no notice of the bathroom door opening.  Redundo quietly opened the shower door, but still, Francesca did not see him as her back was to the door.  He ran his finger down her spine.  She turned around, surprised.  Saying nothing, he pressed up against her body as she leaned against the wall.  For the first time, their lips met as they hands urgently explored each others’ bodies.  Finally, he placed his hands on her shoulders and pushed her down until she was kneeling on the tile floor, the water splashing around her.  He reached for her hands, taking them and placing them on his balls as she lifted her head to gently tongue his cock.  He groaned with a combination of agony and ecstasy as she began to devour him with her entire mouth.  Knowing that he was going to come, and not wanting to yet, he placed his hands on her shoulders again and gently pushed her down onto the ceramic floor.  She laid there as he hovered above her, straddling her, and then slowly eased his cock into her.

Neither of them had even thought to turn off the faucet, so they made love under the warm rain of the shower, wet, steamy, and intense.  And there they laid afterwards, panting, their perspiration mixed with the water that had fallen around them.

some notes:

1. no, I obviously had never had sex.

2. it also makes you wonder if I’d ever taken a shower.

3. ah, the melodrama. “devour with her entire mouth”, “a combination of agony and ecstasy”.

4. there was a real soccer player named Redondo (a stone cold fox from Argentina, please see here and here) who inspired the original character’s name.  because I am terrified of slander and libel, I have changed it to Romaldo.

shower scene.

Francesca buried her head in pillows as the sun rose above the skylights.  They smelled like him, his subtle cologne, his sweat, his musk.  She burrowed under the covers and felt him surround her, his legs wrapping around hers, his arms enveloping her torso.  Somewhere downstairs, a phone rang a classical tune.

“What time is it?” she asked his forearm.

“Morning,” he answered.

She kissed the tattoo on his arm gently.  “Who’s Lucia?” she said softly, tracing the heart around the letters with her lips.

He reached down to tousle her hair and kissed the top of her head.  “My mama,” he answered.

“That’s sweet,” Francesca replied, twining her fingers in his.

“What happened to my tiger from last night?” he asked.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she answered.  She stood, wrapping herself in the bedsheet.  “May I use your shower?”

He gestured down the stairs.

Romaldo had a rain shower head, and as she stood under it, hot water streaming in rivulets down her body, Francesca reflected on how good it felt.  The warm water pounding against her electric skin, the sweet soreness when she bent to pick up the soap.  It had been a long time since she’d felt this good, thoroughly and deeply satisfied by a man intent on pleasing her.  And what a man.  Almost as soon as she had thought it, he appeared through the glass door and opened it, joining her in the shower.  She looked at him coolly, feeling suddenly exposed and interrupted in her thoughts.

“I thought I’d join you,” he explained.

“I usually shower alone,” she said.

“I have to leave soon,” he murmured into her neck, reaching around her for the soap.  She turned to face him, burying her hands in his wet hair, kissing him fully as the shower rained down on them.  Barefoot and standing she was still nearly his height, and she pressed the fullness of her breasts against his strong chest, staying like that for a minute, maybe two, to feel his heart beating against her body.  He reached around and grabbed her ass, pulling her closer to him still, as if to imprint the heft of his growing cock against her belly.

“How soon do you have to leave?” she asked.

“I have time to finish my shower,” he said, turning her and pressing her, face first, against the marble wall.  He stood behind her and entered her slowly, but still she gasped, taking his thickness.  Then he reached around to stroke her clit with his right hand, his fingers taking up the rhythm of his thrusts.  He moved his fingers up from her pussy to the manicured hair leading from it.

“I like your racing stripe,” he said, his voice labored.

“Stop teasing–” she implored, grabbing his hand and pushing it back down.  She was pressed flat against the wall now, bracing with her arms, grinding her pelvis down on his hand and dick, her head turned to the side, eyes closed and breath heavy.  The shower kept raining, and Romaldo slammed into her rapidly, desperately, relentlessly, until he came and pulled back from her, kissing the back of her neck and reaching to cup her breasts in his hands.

She crumpled to the shower floor; she sat with her legs akimbo and he sat behind her, wrapping his legs around hers, reaching around her again and stroking her giant swollen clit.  He moved his fingers in circles, first wide then spiraling in on the bullseye at the top of her slit.   She took his left hand and inserted his fingers, he curled them to hit her g-spot, and she lay back against him, letting his hands work.  In minutes she had come again, moaning and pushing her silky liquid over his hands.

“Now I can go,” he said.  “I didn’t want to leave until you had come one more time.”

“Oh,” she said.  “All right.”