Why are Elevators So Hot?
From the hot kisses and fiery gropes between Derek and Meredith on the television series Grey’s Anatomy to the exceptionally intense elevator scene between Jeremiah and Lucy in the beginning of Sara Fawkes’ Anything He Wants, elevator scenes and romance go hand in hand.
Is it the idea of being trapped – with no way out – in the dark (sometimes) with someone so breathtakingly arousing that you can’t help yourself? What might be claustrophobic for some becomes a heady, tantalizing event for others – leaving us breathless in a very different way.
Matt/Mike (yes, dual identity!) and Lydia, in my new novel, Maliciously Obedient, have a (nearly) obligatory elevator moment that clinches their attraction while sending them into an unconventional clinch:
* * *
A zing of thrill shot through her as she waited for her elevator and watched the doors open slowly, finding Matt already on board. That zing shouldn’t have thrilled her. Horror at her own inappropriate feelings for her boss should have been her response, but instead it was her clit that dominated, heating with a fire of excitement that turned into a deeper throb, making her pulse race and her heart slam against her ribs, every bit of her throat feeling her hot breath as it escaped.
“Morning,” he said, his mouth stretching into a big grin. Lydia had avoided him since that closet kiss, hoping she could just – what? Forget it? He had come to her, once, and seemed like he wanted to say something, but she had been so flustered she had jumped up and found some files to scan, scurrying off, too uncomfortable to talk.
“Good morning,” she replied. What she wanted to say was Kiss me. Or, worse, Take me.
How about: Fuck me silly?
Good morning would have to do.
Everything about this man turned her on, from the hint of aftershave he wore, to the way his biceps pressed against his oxford shirt. Those arms had been around her just days ago, and his body rested in a relaxed, but aware state, knees slightly bent, hand holding a briefcase, eyes perceptive and watching her. As she stepped into the elevator she hoped no one would join them, the pneumatic hiss of the doors closing like an answered prayer.
Out of habit, she reached over and pressed the floor button, feeling his eyes crawl over her, like a hot laser she could sense in every pore. A flush covered her cheeks and she felt a climax rising, just from this. Being in an enclosed space with him, the air electric with the tension of touches not yet completed.
She wasn’t imagining the tension, either. He gave it right back, his eyes intent on her, body tight now, shifting his weight toward her, surveying every inch of her skin with his eyes.
And then – a jolt. Black. Disoriented, a little scream escaped from her throat, hands gesticulating wildly, searching to grab onto a wall, or something to steady herself, to find herself in space. Reaching the side of the elevator, she spread her hands out against the side, now attuned to her surroundings.
Lydia stood bathed in pure darkness, the only light in the elevator shining from the tiny red emergency light on the panel of buttons. A flicker of movement as Matt reached over and pushed the emergency button, setting off an alarm, a loud bell that filled the tiny elevator’s interior with enough noise to drive her mad, but not enough noise – unfortunately – to drown out the pounding of arousal and overwhelm in her body, in her veins, in her –
“You okay, Lydia?” Matt asked, his rich baritone like a caress in the dark, making him seem everywhere and nowhere all at once. She heard scuffling sounds, and realized he was trying to find her in the dark. Well, fuck me, she thought. Racing thoughts filled her mind – images, touches, hopes,
fantasies. Who didn’t want to have sex in an elevator at least once in her life? And here she was, with opportunity screaming, the alarm filling her ears, the darkness blocking her senses, and then she felt Matt’s hand on her breast, soft and searching, as she stifled a moan.
“Oh, there you are.” He seemed not to understand what he was touching – or, she hoped, he knew exactly what he was doing – and Lydia shifted just slightly, out of instinct. Not that she didn’t want his hand on her there, and in fact she most desperately did, but she was so unused to being touched in such a manner like this, by a stranger who was her boss, her boss in the job that she had so wanted for the last two years, and now she began to feel something more than the primal fear of being trapped in a completely dark elevator with a stranger.
Boldness. The word bold was the last word anyone would ever use to describe Lydia. Fierce? Sure. Intelligent? Of course. Determined? Absolutely.
Bold? Overt? Sensual? She wasn’t a risk taker. Not by nature and not by volition. Yet here she stood with chance screaming at her in the form of an emergency alarm, and something inside her tipped. She reached for Matt and found the top button of his shirt, a sprinkling of chest hair under her fingertips. Feeling her way up over his throat to the slight roughness of his clean shaven face, up to his nose, she stood on tiptoe, and kissed him.
Pulling apart, their lips warm and wet, he silently reached for the emergency button and pulled it out, ending the alarm.
They needed as much time as they could steal.
* * *
Is it the stolen time that is so appealing, as if the world stood still and all that mattered was the tiny box of privacy and forced containment? For Matt/Mike and Lydia, it’s the one moment in the day when the unexpected gives them the chance to unleash what they’ve both spent so much energy restraining, after a kiss in a supply closet a few days before the elevator malfunction. It’s part of a series of encounters that lead up to a monumental loss of control, their attraction for each other too powerful to hold back any more.
And maybe that’s part of it – in an elevator you have no control. Zero. You’re at the mercy of the machine and if it stops – your life freezes. Everything becomes those few square feet of metal box. Sharing it, in such close quarters, with the one person in the world you are trying so hard to quit, well…those are the same moments we really, really want to read about.
What is so seductive about love in an elevator?
What do you think?
Julia Kent turned to writing romance novels after learning that she could not work as a fighter pilot because her fear of flying disqualified her. Turning to her second love, she became a dog groomer, but had to abandon that job after adopting too many strays. Writing about very real, very flawed people is a natural extension of her life and, well, her. She lives on the east coast with her partner, two small children, seventeen dogs that weigh less than fifteen pounds each, and a monthly consumption of Nutella, brie and french bread that makes cardiologists cringe. She loves to hear from her readers by email at email@example.com, on Twitter @jkentauthor and on Facebook (Like me!) at http://www.facebook.com/julia.kent.100
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