First off I just want to give a giant shout out and a digital high five to everyone who’s grabbed a copy of TANVITB. I love seeing photos of everyone’s paperbacks and kindle copies on my newsfeed. You guys are AWESOME!
For those of you who haven’t heard, There Are No Vampires In This Book is now out in paperback and ebook formats, AND there are several shopping options.
I’d thought I’d share a scene that -obviously- didn’t make it’s way into the book. Though the story is Taryn’s and in her POV, on some of the tougher writing days I let the other characters have center stage for a bit. Here’s a tiny peek into Aiden’s head.
Warning!!!! May be kind of Spoiler-y.
Aiden piled the dirty dishes up and took them in to the sink. Taryn had tried to do it, but he chased her off. The girl had made them dinner, the least he could do was clean up. He was just glad to see her go home and get some sleep. That was something that eluded her from time to time.
“So when are you going to marry that girl?” His mother asked as she leaned her hip against the kitchen counter.
“You’re hilarious, Mom.”
He turned his back on her and started scraping the plates clean in the trash. But Maggie Dawson was not going to let up tonight. She started the water up and started dumping dishes and silverware in. His mother was tall and as slender as she ever was in her younger days. Her dark hair was lightly graying at her temples and fell down to her shoulders. She was a lovely lady, but damn it, she was a stubborn one, too.
“I wasn’t being funny.” She said. “You two have been glued at the hip since you were little. I’d have to beg to get you to spend time at your own house as a kid! You went to every dance together-”
“We all went together AS FRIENDS.” He interjected. She paid no mind and kept on with her monologue, the same one he had heard over and over for the past few years.
“Why, you’re practically dating as it is. You fix all her broken stuff. She cooks for you! She even brings over your clean laundry after it piles up over there. You two get along so well it’s almost scary.” She crossed her arms and gave him her best attempt at a stern look. “All you need to do now is get married and give me grandbabies.”
He groaned. What could be more awkward than talking to his mother about making babies… with the girl of his dreams?
“I know you love Taryn,” He started.
“And so do you.” She looked smug.
“It’s just not like that.” Aiden handed her a dripping, clean dish. She took it and began drying it off with one of her hand towels- like most of the accents in the house it was her favorite shade of blue.
“It could be, if you’d stop being a chicken shit.” She muttered.
“Always with the compliments. Thanks, mom.” He gave her a grin and her own shined back, crooked just like his.
“She’s just as crazy about you, you know.”
“Mom, let it go.” He felt his face start to flame and knew there was no way she’d miss it. “This isn’t one of your trashy shows.”
The hand towel smacked across his chest.
“I don’t watch trash and you know it. Stop being such a smart aleck. I have eyes. It’s as clear as day to everyone else but you two knuckleheads. Even Kenzie agrees.”
Aiden sighed. Of course she agreed. She knew all about it, just like everyone else apparently. Awesome.
“Leave poor Kenz alone. She’d never disagree with you, just on principle.”
His mother grinned. Growing up, she had driven them to all the dances and activities after she got off work. If they didn’t have work, she was there, so she had seen plenty of the group in action.
“She’s a sweet heart. And such a pretty girl, too. But we all know who you have eyes for.” She snuck a sideways glance at him.
He couldn’t help but laugh.
“Okay! You’ve made your point.”
They washed and dried the plates in comfortable silence for a few more minutes. When the last one was finished, she dried off her hands and tossed the towel over the edge of the draining sink.
“You’ve grown into such a wonderful young man.” Maggie put her hand on his cheek and looked into his eyes. For as long as he could remember, it had just been the two of them. His father had skipped out, leaving her on her own to raise up a son. She put her all into that task, and he tried hard to never make her regret it. “You make me so proud, you know.”
“Thanks, mom.” He kissed her on her cheek.
“Now stop being chicken and go ask that girl out.” She marched across the kitchen floor and out the door, muttering to herself. “I’m not getting any younger, here!”
He chuckled and leaned on his arms on the counter. As if it were so easy. “That girl” was a force to be reckoned with. When she set that delicate jaw of hers, there was no hope in getting that girl to move. And if she got an idea in her head, it was easier and safer for everyone around to just go along for the ride. It was one of the most frustrating things about her, and one of the things he loved most. Way back in junior high, Taryn had declared that dating wasn’t her thing. She had no need for a boyfriend and would not tolerate any of the mushy distractions from her mission. Other than a few stray attempts, she stuck to that, having no mercy for the poor fools who mustered up the courage to ask her out. When that jerk from the football team had the balls to press his suit, Taryn showed him clearly that she meant no. In the middle of the lunch line, she used a forward foot sweep to throw him on the floor. Aiden had to pull her away before she put him in a cross arm lock.
His hopeless romantic ass didn’t stand a chance.
But still, he stuck around. She was the closest friend he had. She’d stuck by him and was there through all his tragedies, big or small. When his mom was diagnosed with cancer, she was the first person he told. And she was there to talk it out with him, even if she had to sneak out in the middle of the night to do it. If he missed school to help his mom when she got real sick, Taryn brought him all his home work… and even let him copy off some of her papers. She was there for him when he needed it, and he made damn sure he was there when she needed him.
Because, as strong as she always seemed, he knew how fragile she really was.
He leaned over to look out the window, double checking that she had turned off all the lights. She left the porch light on again and the kitchen stove light still glowed through the curtains. But the rest of the house was dark. It looked like she actually made it up to her bed tonight.
He guided his brain firmly away from any path that image might take him down and went to his own room to get ready for bed. His room was sparse, but held the few things he needed. On this book shelf, was a photo of the two of them from high school. His mom had taken it on prom night, just before they headed over to pick up Kenzie. Taryn was smiling, that long hair falling around her face and down her back- the stuff of fantasies. She had wrapped her arms around him in a hug and grinned for the camera. Her dress fit her willowy frame to perfection, a little too perfectly for his teenage self to handle. In the photo, he wasn’t smiling into the camera, he was looking down at her. That shot made it so painfully obvious.
Two days later, his mother had nonchalantly left this photo on his dresser-in an 8×10, matted and framed. She was hinting even then.
God save him from these stubborn women in his life.