***Warning: The deleted scene included in this post contains content that may not be suitable for young readers. Proceed with caution.***
I know, I know, you came here for the bonus scene. Before I get to that, I’d like to take a quick moment to explain how it came to be.
I think I mentioned before that I recently moved my hoard of old junk from my Papa’s house to my own dwelling. An entire truckload of boxes and totes, most of which contained binders, folders, notebooks, and a veritable buttload of loose papers.
Among these potential story ideas, one shots, and forgotten drafts, I found some early versions of what would become my “Instruments of Life” series. Some of these I had actually convinced myself didn’t exist. When I couldn’t find these hand-written scenes, I assumed I had only though about writing them. Turns out, they were just buried.
A few of these pieces were damn good. In fact, I found an entire manuscript that I absolutely adore. Although the names of the characters are the same, the story line was so vastly different that I just may refashion it at some point. Interestingly, a few of the key scenes did wind up in the finished project.
Of course, for every piece I found that I still loved, there was a handful of pure garbage. After jotting down a few savable themes from some of them, I had a nice bonfire. It was incredibly freeing to let go of so much dead weight!
Of the treasures I kept, I fully intend to work as many of them into this series as I can. However, a few of them really belonged in the first two books. Instead of letting them rot in my desk drawer, I thought it would be fun to share a few of these outtakes here for those of you who have been following the saga of Miss Maggie Hawke.
You can be sure to expect many of these hidden scenes as we gear up for new releases. Today, I would like to share a forgotten moment from the recording sessions for Pretty Deadly’s first album.
The rest of the band filed out of the studio, leaving Aries and I alone. The air was charged with the unpredictable magic that set my soul on fire. Looking in his sparkling green eyes, I knew he felt it, too.
He grinned at me, holding up one hand as he cocked his head towards the door, listening for the fading footsteps of his band mates.
I chuckled softly and shook my head as I turned away from him. I shifted my weight from foot to foot as I stood at the console, busying myself with the sheaf of papers before me.
The last bits of laughter faded into silence and I cut my gaze to the man across the room. His smile grew wider as he began to walk towards me.
“I thought they’d never leave,” he said, a mixture of relief and impish laughter in his voice.
I let out a laugh as he came to a stop behind me, sliding an arm around my waist and pulling me to him. He kissed my neck and I leaned into him, hugging his arm to my waist.
“Why can’t I get enough of you, Mags?” He murmured, is breath hot against my ear. He pressed a kiss just behind my ear. “I want to take you against this board.”
My knees grew weak as desire spread through me.
No. You can’t keep giving in so easily, I chided myself. I chuckled softly.
“What have I told you about leaning on the controls?” I teased. “It’s not good for the equipment.”
He laughed and held me tighter. “That didn’t matter the other day.”
I felt my face grow red as the memory gripped me. I let out another laugh and pulled away. “We have to get some work done first.”
He reached out and grabbed my hand, stepping towards me as he spoke. “It can wait.”
His lips met mine as he wrapped me in his arms. I hugged him back, returning the kiss.
Another soft laugh issued from my lips. “If we don’t get this part recorded now we’ll never get to it.”
He smiled. “Always so focused.”
I rolled my eyes. “One of us has to be.”
He kissed me once more before letting me go. “Do you remember the part Jesse showed you?”
I nodded. “I think so. You remember what I showed you back here?”
He smiled. “I remember everything you’ve shown me.”
I felt the color begin to rise in my cheeks and turned my gaze to the floor. “Just start the tape when I get out there. I want to run through it a time or two before we record.”
He chuckled. “Can do.”
I smiled back at him, feeling like a nervous teenager. I was both amazed and embarrassed at the effect he had on me. The giddiness he inspired within me was beyond intoxicating, and yet there was something calming about his presence. A comfortable madness.
“It should be queued up,” I said.
He nodded and took a seat at the controls. “Let’s do this thing.”
I smiled and made my way into the recording space. My nerves escalated as I pulled up a stool and adjusted the mic. Somehow playing for him made me feel more vulnerable and exposed than all the times we had been together, and I hoped he couldn’t see it on my face.
I took a deep breath and picked up Jesse’s guitar, then took a seat and began tuning it up.
Aries’ voice cut through the monitors. “He’s gonna kill you for that, you know.”
I laughed and met his gaze through the window. “He should have expected it.”
He shook his head, laughing as he leaned towards the microphone. “Let me know when you’re ready.”
I nodded and continued tuning the guitar. Once I was satisfied with the sound I pulled one the headphones and moved the microphone closer to my face. “Okay, let’s give it a try.”
“Rock it, babe.”
I smiled and took another deep breath. The music began and I played along. I glanced towards the booth and my heart gave a little leap as Aries smiled back, the unexpected jolt of emotion causing me to miss a chord change. He laughed and stopped the tape.
“I thought you said you knew the part?” He teased.
I rolled my eyes. “I do. You’re just distracting me. Don’t watch me.”
He laughed. “Now you know how I feel.”
I blushed. “Just start the tape.”
He did as he was told and I played through the song once more. My nerves began to dissipate and I found my groove, then found myself struggling as I came out of the bridge into the final chorus.
“Damn!” I shouted. “Back it up, just to the bridge.”
He gave me the thumbs up and rewound the tape. “Ready?”
I played it again, getting stuck in the same spot once more.
“Hold on a minute,” he said.
I watched as he rose to his feet and walked to the door. Great, way to make yourself look like an idiot.
“Don’t say a word,” I warned, bracing myself for humiliation as he appeared before me.
He chuckled as he grabbed another guitar and pulled up another stool in front of me. “We changed it a bit, remember?”
I watched intently as he played the part, fighting the urge to touch him. His eyes met mine with a knowing smile.
I blushed once more and turned my attention to the guitar in my own hands. “Like this?”
I played the part back to him, once again struggling with the same chord change. I sighed.
He scooted closer. “Watch my hands. It’s just here,” he strummed the guitar, “to here.”
I nodded. “I can do it at that pace, I just can’t get it to speed.”
He laughed and rose to his feet, setting the guitar back on it’s stand. “Here, let me help.” He picked up the stool and set it behind me, sitting as close as he could. He slid his arms under mine, grabbing the guitar and demonstrating the change.
The warmth of his body as he leaned into me made it difficult to focus. I should have just gotten that out of the way first, I thought with a smile.
He removed his hands and I instantly missed the closeness. I played it back, missing the same cue.
“I give up,” I groaned.
He chuckled and leaned into me once more. “Come on babe, I’ve seen you play much more complicated shit than this,”he encouraged, grabbing my hands and positioning them for me. “Just start here,” he instructed, still guiding me. “And then move this finger here…and this one here…”
Good lord, I can’t take this anymore…
I turned my head and brought my lips to his. He kissed me back, snaking his arms around my waist and holding me close. I wrapped an arm around his neck, twining my fingers in his long, red locks.
He reached between us and tugged at the guitar, backing away long enough to help me lift it over my head. I slipped out of the strap and set it down gently, then turned to face him, wrapping my legs around him.
“The song can wait,” I breathed.
I think we all know what happened next!
I hope you loved this deleted scene as much as I do. Feel free to share with your friends so they can get to know and love these characters as much as you do!
If you’re new here and need more Maggie and Aries, head on over to my “Books” tab and grab yourself a copy of “Broken Strings” for just 99 cents in all eBook formats. Also available in paperback.
As always, thank you for reading and helping me turn this dream of mine into a reality!