Hello, my lovelies! I just wanted to give you a small thank you for voting for Luke as Villain of the Year! The voting is open until January 26th, and you can vote as many times as you want, so keep it up and keep spreading the word! We’ve got some stiff competition. We’re gonna have to work hard to bring this one home for Luke, but I know we can do it! As promised, here’s a cut scene from A Touch Mortal! This takes place near the beginning, just before Gabe discovers that Eden doesn’t have a path. You can see where I used a few bits of it in the book. I’m pretty sure no one’s seen this besides my editor before this and I’ve never put up any unused scenes before! I hope you enjoy it!
Don’t forget to post a comment on the original post to let me know whenever you vote, tweet, FB or post anywhere! I have another alternate scene to post later in the week, so keep voting! If Luke wins, his biggest advocate as judged by the comments on the original post will get a half hour Skype session with me to talk about whatever you’d like!
Eden came up for air, pulling back from Az’s lips. He tightened his arm and kissed a line across her cheek until she relented and their mouths met again.
“Okay, now I’m good.” He laughed, falling against the back of the booth they were seated in. Around them dozens of tourists played arcade games, filling the tables for late dinners of hot dogs and cheesy fries. No one noticed them, though she still felt self-conscious with their PDAs.
She searched for Gabe, found him deep in line, waiting for their order. He seemed to feel her eyes on him, shot her a wink and a discreet thumbs up. Nervous butterflies batted inside her.
When she’d confided in Gabe earlier, it’d seemed so easy. “If you’re in love with the guy, tell him, Eden.” Right, she thought, picking at the label on the ketchup bottle. Totally easy.
“You okay?” Az asked. He frowned comically, tracing a finger from her hairline to her chin. “You have Deep Thought Face.”
She blushed. “I’m fine. Just thinking.”
They hadn’t said it yet. She knew how she felt, but the last two weeks seemed so delicate. Saying it out loud, that meeting him was a line–there was only before and after–telling him why she’d been on the beach that night, how depressed she’d been; it could ruin everything. Especially when everything after was so much better. And what if he didn’t feel the same, wasn’t there yet? What if he wasn’t going to get there? Or maybe this would end up being one of those cheesy summer romances.
He tipped her head up, stole another kiss. His lips were almost enough to reassure her.
“I was thinking I’m…” She hesitated. “I’m thinking you scare me.”
“I scare you?” He pulled away to sit up.
“It’s not that, it’s…all so fast.” She took a deep breath, trusting Gabe’s advice to just tell Az the truth. “I need to know what’s going to happen when summer ends. I need to know if this is just a temporary thing for you.” She swallowed hard, her heart hammering hard enough that he must have felt it when he pulled her into his arms again. It was the first time she’d been so blatant about how important he’d become to her.
He murmured her name, before he lifted her from his shoulder, ran a hand down her cheek to cup her face. “This isn’t ‘temporary’ for me. It never has been.”
Eden’s eyes flicked to the line before she leaned in to Az again. “Because I love you,” she said.
“I love you, too.” Az smiled. And just like that everything was perfect again.
She was still giddy when Gabe showed up with their trays, stacked with food. Az slipped out, heading to the bathroom as Gabe plopped down. He waited until Az was out of earshot before he laughed.
“I’d tell you to spill but you are so glowing right now!” He grinned, crossing his arms. “Did I not tell you he was in love?”
Her smile widened. “I asked him what would happen when summer ended.”
“Did you?” Gabe’s smile flickered. “What did he say?”
“That I wasn’t temporary.”
Gabe leaned back in the booth as Az slipped in beside her, his arm finding its way around her shoulders.
“What’d I miss?” Az asked, digging into the basket of fries.
“Nothing,” Gabe said. “But I think I’m checking out early tonight. I’ve got some work to catch up on.”
Eden caught the confused look Az gave him. Poor Gabe, Eden thought. Even on vacation he can’t just have fun.