Today I’ll write the ending scene of my novel, The Pirate Episode. I expected to end this novel months ago, so I’ve been looking forward to this scene for a long time.
To be honest, I struggled with The Pirate Episode. I love time-travel, action, adventure, romance, but still, this book pushed some of my social buttons. In retrospect, I wonder what prompted me to write it, because honestly, if my son came home with a girl ten years his junior, I would be bugged. Although, it didn’t bother me at all when my 50 year old friend married her 40 year old boyfriend. I think it would have bothered me if they had been 30 and 20.
What made me write this story? I’m not sure.
Sometimes I’m that way with scenes. Usually, I can see the scene in my mind weeks before I actually write it. That’s where I am today. I’ve been looking forward to this scene since I started The Pirate Episode last January. But every once in a while, I’ll write a scene that seems to come out of nowhere. And I’ll love it, but it will still make me wonder—where did that come from? Why didn’t I see that coming? It’s perfect, it had to happen, and yet—where and why? That’s how I feel about this scene from Witch Ways. It’s one of my very favorite scenes ever, but I still feel like it blindsided me.
Does this ever happen to anyone else?
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An unexpected excerpt from Witch Ways:
Relief zinged through me. I had the shoes. No one could connect me—or Court—with Lauren Silver. Leaning back, I tipped my head and gazed at the stars, thanking them. I was minutes from my bed and sleep, and . . . what was pressing against my leg?
I looked down but saw nothing. Dismissing it as phantom alarm, I stood, tied the laces of the shoes together and looped them around my neck. I zipped up my jacket so no one could see them, and headed for home.
A motor roared up behind me. Turning, I spotted Josh. He narrowed his eyes and pulled his bike next to me.
His blue eyes glared at me. “What the hell, Evie?” His breath stank like Lauren’s house. Beer—or something else? Was he drunk and mad? Just one was bad, but the two combined seemed over the top.
“What the booze, Josh?” I retorted without stopping.
He straddled his idling bike and used his feet to scoot and keep up with me. Blinking slowly, he focused on my face. “You sent my little brother onto the field?”
“I gave him a message to give to you.”
“He said you sent him on the field.”
“Believe it or not, I was trying to help.”
“Yeah. Well, next time, don’t!” He rolled beside me. “I helped you! I didn’t even ask what you were doing, or why you were hanging at that woman’s house, or—”
“Shh!” I hissed at him.
“Don’t shh me!” he yelled. “You don’t get to shh me!”
I looked up and down the deserted street. “Be quiet!” I whispered as loudly as I could.
“I will not be quiet!” he yelled.
Several dogs started barking.
“Very mature, Josh. Now look what you’ve done.” I shoved my hands into my pockets, and headed home.
Josh rolled beside me. “What are you doing out here, Evie?”
“None of your beeswax.”
He got off his bike, let it fall beside him, and stepped directly in front of me. He was huge with his football gear on, but now, inches away, he looked behemoth. Leaning forward so his nose almost touched mine, he repeated, slowly, “What are you doing out here, Evie?”
I resisted the urge to back away. “Josh, you aren’t going to tell anyone you saw me tonight, and you definitely aren’t going to tell anyone you picked me up on the Old Barn Road on Wednesday.”
“Why not?” He edged closer, but I stood my ground, despite his smell.
“Because if you do, I’ll tell your mom and dad you were drinking and driving.”
Josh reeled back as if I’d slapped him. He stared down at me, blinking.
“I was going to get a scholarship,” he said quietly.
“You still can,” I said with a lot more conviction than I felt.
His shoulders slumped and he sadly wagged his head, looking a lot like Scratch after a long day. “There was a talent scout there from UConn, and after the Lincoln thing, I couldn’t catch anything. The ball actually hit me in the face.”
“You mean it hit your helmet.”
“Not really. You’re not even bruised.”
“I’m bruised, Evie! My . . .” he floundered, searching for the right word, “chances are bruised.”
“You mean your ego is bruised. The season just started.” I went over to the bike, picked it up, pulled the key from the ignition and tucked it in my pocket.
“No. It’s over for me.” He reclaimed his bike, but didn’t ask for the key. He fell into step beside me, panting. “What am I going to do? I can’t spend the rest of my life at the furniture shop. I just can’t.”
I bumped him with my shoulder. “One bad game isn’t going to ruin your life or set you on a career path.”
Josh stopped in the middle of the road and looked over his shoulder. “Hey,” he said. “Who’s your friend?”
“What?” I looked around and didn’t see anyone.
Josh pointed and I followed his finger to a black cat with amber eyes sitting next to my boot.
“Shoo!” I hissed.
The cat didn’t flinch.
Sighing, I bent over and picked him up. He started to purr as if I had just flipped an on-switch.
“He likes you,” Josh said.
“Doesn’t matter. I can’t keep him.” I checked the little silver tag attached to his collar, but I couldn’t read it in the semidarkness. “Scratch wouldn’t like him.”
“Well, he can’t come to my house. We already have five cats. It’s like I live in a damn zoo.”
“It’s true! I’m in a cage with a bunch of animals.”
I stopped and put the cat down at my feet. “What’s with you? I love your family, and I know you do, too. You’re lucky.”
“Don’t lecture me, Evie. I get enough of that at home . . . and at work.” He left me with a clear view of his backside.
I had to trot to keep up. “You don’t have to work at your dad’s store.”
He shrugged. “Whatever.”
Which was code for screw you, and I knew it. And it hurt.
“Don’t be that way, Josh.”
“What way, Evie?”
Now he was emphasizing my name, which was way worse than saying whatever.
“Ew. I don’t like you drunk.”
He opened his mouth to say something, and I braced myself because I knew whatever it was, it was going to sting.
He closed his mouth, and silently walked away, taking his bike with him. But after about five steps, he stopped, turned, and glared at me.
“I can’t let you be out here by yourself in the dark.”
“You don’t need to babysit me.” I pointed at the cat. “Besides, I’m not alone.”
He didn’t say anything, but watched me with a tight-lipped scowl. When I caught up with him, he fell into step beside me. We didn’t speak all the way home.
I turned to him at the gate. “Thanks,” I said. “Be sure and use mouthwash. And you better do your own laundry.”
He nodded. “Next time you decide to take a walk at midnight, please don’t.”
“Night, Evie.” He paused. “You’re not going to tell Bree, are you?”
I shook my head. “Not this time, but probably next time for sure.”