Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas Coda 47


Christmas Coda 47


(This is actually a deleted scene)  

 

Well, baby, I've been here before.

I've seen this room, and I've walked this floor.

I used to live alone before I knew you.

But I've seen your flag on the marble arch,

And love is not a victory march,

It's a cold and it is a broken Hallelujah

 

I was humming along with Rufus Wainwright performing Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” as I ran up the stairs to Jake’s office.

“Hey,” I said. “I didn’t think you were coming back this afternoon.”

I stopped in the doorway. Jake stood at the window that overlooked the alley behind the building. I couldn’t see his face, but the something about the set of his shoulders silenced me. Took my breath away, in fact.

It wasn’t defeat exactly. But I got a sense of…weariness that went beyond the physical.

“Jake?”

He tensed, as though he hadn’t heard me. As though his mind was a million miles away.

“Yep?”

That glimpse of his eyes froze my heart for a second or two.

He sounded brusque, but that was because…because guys like Jake did not cry. Not when they lost jobs they loved. Not when their marriages broke up. Not when their families wouldn’t talk to them.

Maybe he’d cried when Kate lost the baby. He’d never said.

I’d never ask.

He was not crying. His eyes were a little red. It could even be allergies. He probably was genuinely…weary.

Or it could be the result of meeting Kate today. Of course he would feel regret. Wish he’d made different choices. Maybe he was comparing the might-have-beens against the what-he-was-left-withs. 

“Everything okay?” I could hear the mix of wariness and worry in my voice.

His smile was twisted, but some of the bleakness in his eyes faded. “Yes.”

“You’re sure?”

He walked toward me, still smiling that crooked smile. I didn’t realize I had left the doorway until I met him halfway.

I slid my arms around his neck, he wrapped his arms around my waist.

He said softly, “I’m very sure.”

59 comments:

  1. I don't want to read it, I'll resist until I read the book... yes... I will... well, I failed miserably.
    I loved it. Thank you so much!! <3

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  2. Just finished So This is Christmas. LOVED IT! Ever so much. It was so sooo wonderful to get to revisit Adrien and Jake and all their friends and family. To see A & J settled and just...HAPPY. Warms the heart to a ridiculous degree!

    Over the last few days I reread the original five books and fell in love with them and their story all over again (so not my first rereading ^_-) and the squee over having another edition to the story is hard to put into words. There may have been a particularly loud exclamation of glee at the ending especially XD

    Also, errr...(apologies in advance, I'll be shocked if you don't get a lot of this in the coming weeks) but um...with some of the new developments introduced...this reeeeally may have wet the appetite for those of us who are always happy to get more A&J ^__- In other words, I will never ever be sad to see more of these guys ^__^

    Thank you thank you for this wonderful Christmas present to us all! I hope your holidays have been fantastic and the New Year brings great things!

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    1. Well, thank you so much for saying so! I'm delighted to be able to fulfill this long ago promise. ;-D And am being very careful about making further promises. :-D

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    2. But can we at least find out who's the daddy? That's just cruel to leave us hanging!

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  3. Nicely done. Loved it, but then I love all your stories.

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  4. Thank you for this scene, and for any and every scene, deleted or otherwise. I will always want to read more from these two. The new book is brilliant. Thank you for each and every word. <3

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    1. Karan, that's so lovely. Thank you for saying so.

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  5. I will never be able to separate "Hallelujah" from Jake and Adrien. :)

    I love how you can take so few words and fill it with so much emotion. Going from almost heartbroken to hopeful and sweet so smoothly.

    Started reading So This is Christmas last night and got about a quarter through. Had to stop reading because I had to get up early. Such a joy being back with these two. Can't wait to get back to it now. :) <3

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    1. It makes me happy to know the story is being received with such kindness and affection for these characters. :-)

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  6. Wonderful and just beautiful. And dang it if I'm not going to have tears in my eyes on the way to the airport. Thank you for this last scene.

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    1. Hey you! Fly safely. And a Happy New Year!

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  7. How do you want the tears of your readers sent to you? UPS? FedEx? Overnight? This scene is packed with so much meaning. Thank you ♥

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    1. Just bottle them up and Fed Ex them. I use them to mix my ink. ;-D

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  8. Oh my... I had myself tears in my eyes reading this. I'll never get tired of these characters. Thank you so much for posting this. I'll have to wait a few more days to buy the book cause I'm travelling till 3 January, and can't wait! Thank you, Josh. Happy New Year! 😊

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    1. Aww. You're so sweet. Travel safely!

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    2. I finished reading STiC this morning and I loved it! How could I not, since it features my favourite m/m couple ever, and though shorter than the previous novels in the series it is so rich and poignant and... well, a wonderful New Year gift :) And the cherry on the cake were those other characters I've come to love and enjoy, including Kevin (!), and of course Mr Tomkins and Scout *g*
      But most of all, I love how you portrayed the character progression in both A. & J. and the lovely, intimate tone of the narration. I will treasure this book and can't wait to buy it in print and audiobook :)
      Thank you so much, Josh!

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  9. The memory of another Christmas... Beautiful!

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  10. Thank you! I'm saving So This Is Christmas for tomorrow... I want to give it all my attention!

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    1. There you go! Read it in real time. Perfect. :-D

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  11. Thanks for that. I got "So This is Christmas" delivered to my Kindle, but I can't bring myself to open it. Because once I start it, I won't stop until I've finished it and then... it'll be over. Done. No more Adrien and Jake. (sigh)

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  12. Loved it!
    See others already have STIC so will be looking for it now!!

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  13. Just finished So This Is Christmas which I loved, loved, loved. I was feeling sad it was over, so it was such a nice surprise to come here and find this deleted scene. Beautiful! Thank you so much, Josh!

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  14. Thank for the surprise on my kindle today!! I thought it was coming next week. Happy holidays and best wishes next year!

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  15. Great story. I loved the ending, it was very sweet :)

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  16. How do you do it??? I just bought the book and I was going to hold off but... I guess Im not going to hold off. What a beautiful little insight into who they both are and the poignancy of that one moment and the strength of the pull between them. I absolutely loved seeing them again. It goes without saying that I'll adore the book. :) XXX

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  17. Got the book delivered today, earlier than expected. Finished it in one day of course. For some reason, during early stages of the story, I wondered if there was going to be a more ominous ending. Time for a re-read now. :-)

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    1. Wellll...it could have had a more ominous ending. Not for A&J but for others. However...it's Christmas and I am all for the magic of the season.

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  18. What a sad and hopeful scene at the same time. I am feeling melancholic reading this.
    Have to reread So This is Christmas immediately!

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  19. This is so wonderful and poignant. Now I'm so excited to read So This Is Christmas. Where can I buy it? Thank you for revisiting these characters. <3

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    1. I'm going to guess that by now you've found and read it. It's pretty much everywhere. :-)

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  20. Awwww! *content smile*

    Thank you, Josh.

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  21. I love to see Jake's insecurities peeking through.

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    1. Sure! It's not like he's inhuman. :-)

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  22. Thank you. This Christmas coda and "So This is Christmas" are great.
    I'd love to read more of A&J. A book would be a treasure - the longer the better, and maybe from Jake's POV - would be a treasure. Well, one can dream ;)
    It's great anyway that their story isn't "unfinished" and they have reached their well-earned happy ending.

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  23. How many deleted scenes are there???!?? *hopeful*

    Just finished "so this is Christmas" before the end of 2016... it has definitely improved this year. Thank you :-)

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    1. Most of them were deleted with good reason! This one was deleted because this same point has been made many times in the story. :-) I did like the scene though.

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  24. Okay--at the risk of sounding like a napless two-year-old, is there any news about the audio versions of STIC, Christmas Waltz... I mean, you've got me spoilt, but I have to put the actual books--even the iPad-- down while I do stuff around the house.

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    1. :-D There may be a delay in STiC. Chris has some things going on in his personal life. BUT The Curse of the Blue Scarab and Murder Between the Pages are right on schedule. I'm thinking late January / early February.

      Also Fair Chance is going into audio with narrator JF Harding returning once again, so that's exciting.

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  25. I don't think I've ever loved a book couple more than Adrien and Jake. So This is Christmas was such a perfect ending. I agree with the other comments, I'll never get sick of reading about these two, and it would never get old because each story is its own new adventure. This series cries out to be made into a TV series! I already have the major roles cast in my head :) Have you ever thought about trying to do something like that?? I wonder what it would take...these characters and stories have everything - action, mystery, romance, humor...it would be so great to see them brought to life. Anyway...thank you! and I'm eagerly awaiting Fair Chance and the Monet murders too!!

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    1. I've thought about it, but it doesn't seem to be the kind of story that attracts TV and movie producers. Maybe too much of the action is internal? Who knows. :-)

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  27. Blogger ate my comment two days ago, I'm trying again *g*)

    I finished So This is Christmas and to say I loved it it would be an understatement. I adored it. So much poignancy, depth and character growth you managed to fit into this novella, and on top of it there was an interesting mystery to solve, one of my favourite secondary characters from an earlier book in the series making a new appearance, and not to mention my beloved Scout and Mr Tomkins completely settled in :) I also loved the glimpse into Jake's family (I see potential there). But most of all I loved reading about A. & J., my favourite fictional m/m couple ever, hearing their voices, witnessing their love and commitment, their realizing they have something rare and precious going on, not to be squandered or taken for granted. And the more 'mature', intimate tone of the narration fitted the novella perfectly. Thank you, Josh, for this awesome New Year gift :)

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    1. Sometimes stuff goes to spam and it makes no sense! But I didn't find your earlier comment, so I guess blogger did just really eat it. :-D But thank you so much for these lovely words -- and for persisting in posting. :-)

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    2. No worries :) And the weird thing is that if I view this post page on my smartphone, in Mobile view my previous comment (apparently eaten by Blogger) doesn't show; but in Desktop view it does. A mystery *g*

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