As a romance writer, I can’t say I have a problem with the general sentiment behind Valentine’s Day, even if I’d rather skip the hearts and flowers personally. Or if I’d rather avoid what I saw tonight: I decided that I’d buy myself a Valentine’s Day cupcake, so I stopped at a little bakery on the way home from work. While I was paying, this guy came running in frantically, all, “I need two cupcakes, and I need them to be sort of festive and Valentine-y! Stat!”
Anyway, in honor of the holiday, I thought I’d give you guys a terribly romantic scene from my WIP sequel to In Hot Pursuit. This scene might get cut, actually, depending on how I go with the revision, but here’s a little taste of what happens to Harry and Noah a couple of years after the end of their novel.
Noah woke up in the middle of the night, aware first that his mattress was moving. Harry was fitfully trying to get comfortable. Noah reached over and ran a hand along Harry’s side, which got Harry to stop moving.
“I woke you up. I’m sorry,” Harry said.
“It’s okay.” He put an arm around Harry in an effort to help him calm down. They lay silently together for a long time, which gave Noah far more time than he wanted for thinking. He didn’t blame Harry for not being able to sleep. He was surprised, in fact, that he had fallen asleep under the circumstances.
“What are you thinking about?” Harry asked.
Noah sighed. “That I’m an asshole.”
Harry was quiet for a moment. Then he said, “Interesting. How so?”
Noah pressed his face into Harry’s shoulder. “Why did I propose to you in the middle of this awful situation? We can’t even properly celebrate or tell anyone because we don’t want to take attention from Luke, and I feel like an ass for acting so selfishly.”
Harry put his hand over Noah’s. “It’s really okay. We’ll celebrate when all this is over, and besides, you gave me something to think about this afternoon that wasn’t Luke, which was actually a comfort.”
“Yeah. Because if you think I didn’t spend all afternoon mentally planning our wedding, you are sadly mistaken, peach.”
Noah didn’t want to laugh, but it bubbled up anyway. He snuggled closer to Harry. “What have you decided so far?”
Harry turned a little so that he could look at Noah. He smiled. “I’m thinking a quaint New England bed and breakfast. Maybe in the fall, when all the leaves are changing. Small ceremony. We have to wear matching tuxes, which I know is cheesy, but it messes with my sense of aesthetics if it’s not symmetrical, and I like the symbolism of that, too. Black tie. Reception after the ceremony, live band and not a DJ. And I want Jessica to be my best woman.”
“Sounds nice,” said Noah. “Well, I don’t know about black tie, but I like the New England B and B idea.”
“That’s good, because I was kind of worried you wouldn’t. Then, of course, you’d tell me something dumb like it doesn’t matter where we get married as long as we’re together, and please. It does matter.” Harry reached up and touched his hair. “Maybe I should die my hair for the wedding photos.”
“You see how gray I’m getting? It’s an epidemic up there.”
“I like it,” said Noah. He batted Harry’s hand out of the way and ran his own through Harry’s hair.
“Ugh, says you, blondie. Do you even have a gray hair on your whole head?”
“Not that I know of. And I’ll probably skip right over gray and go white, like my mother did, so you have that to look forward to.” He felt Harry chuckle. “What’s so funny?”
“Nothing, I just liked the idea of us being together for so long that I’d see your hair go white.”
“Don’t dye your hair. I like the idea of marrying a distinguished older gentleman.”
Harry laughed. “You’re a weird guy, peach.”