I am SOOOO excited to have Kristin Rae here on the blog today! Guys, I love Kristin. Her debut, Wish You Were Italian, is one of my favorite books ever and her sophomore novel, What You Always Wanted is super adorable too!
Today Kristin is presenting this exclusive Christmas bonus scene of What You Always Wanted, and it’s pretty perfect. It’s pretty much as perfect as the Wish You Were Italian bonus scene she wrote for my blog last year. Can you tell I can’t get enough of her novels? I always want more! Thank you so much, Kristin, for writing this sweet scene for my blog!
What You Always Wanted Bonus Scene
by Kristin Rae
After closing the last blackout curtain so there’s no glare on the screen from the setting sun, Jesse plops down next to me and takes my hand in his. “How about this?”
“So … what first?” I ask, sinking into the couch with my legs folded under me.
I rub the soft, squishy skin between his thumb and pointer finger, leaning toward him until our shoulders touch but stopping short of resting my head against him. Yeah, I know we danced most of the day at the playhouse—by “dancing,” I mean “kissing”—but being able to snuggle against him on a couch in the dark when I was only dreaming about the possibility twenty-four hours ago … it’s not totally computing.
“This is nice,” I say, and he makes a noise of agreement as he settles deeper into the back cushion. “But I guess I mostly meant which movie do you want to watch?” With one hand, I pull my bag from the floor and dump the movie selection across our laps.
“It’s a Wonderful Life? The Bishop’s Wife? Are these Christmas movies?” he asks with an implied groan, which I ignore.
“Yes! Just a few of my favorites.” I let go of his hand and sort the DVDs. “I was thinking we could start with White Christmas because there’s dancing, and one of the characters does this crazy thing where she taps her toe at light speed, and I want you to show me if that’s even physically possible, then we could balance out the dancing after that with The Shop Around the Corner—”
“Hold on.” He stops me with a finger to my lips, and a little chill travels down to my toes. “Why did you ask what I wanted to watch if you had everything planned out through—” He counts the movies. “—tomorrow morning?”
I laugh, tugging a throw blanket over my legs to warm my nerves. “Well, I wasn’t expecting to watch all of them in one go.”
“Maddie. Christmas is over. It’s New Year’s Day. Radio stations have stopped playing holiday music. We’ve all moved on.” He looks me in the eye with a straight face. “You can too.”
My mouth drops open in exaggerated surprise, but it turns into a smile when he laughs. “The season needs to last loooongerrrr,” I say. “It has the best movies, the best music, best weather. And besides, we didn’t really get to experience it, like … I mean …”
“Like boyfriend and girlfriend, you mean?” He’s not laughing anymore, but a corner of his mouth stays up in a sly-looking half-smile.
I mirror him. “Maybe.”
“Best weather?” he asks, like he just registered everything else I said. “How ya figure?”
“Cold, sometimes rainy or windy, chance of snow. It just feels … Christmassy, you know?”
“If by chance of snow, you mean point zero zero zero zero two percent chance, then I totally know what you’re talking about.” He pulls the blanket so it covers his legs too and acts like he’s nestling against me for warmth. “So Christmassy.”
I go ahead and lean my head on his as we continue to hold hands under the blanket. Because I can. I smile to myself and listen to us breathe, memorize the feel of his hand in mine.
“All I’m asking is for one more day, Jesse,” I plead as playfully as possible so it doesn’t sound like begging. “One day with you where it still feels like there’s some Christmas magic leftover.”
“Okay. As your boyfriend, I will do this for you. The holiday season has been extended one more day.”
I sit up to study his face. He just called himself my boyfriend. And it didn’t freak him out. And it didn’t freak me out.
“You sure? Because as your girlfriend, I don’t want you to be completely miserable with the first movie we watch together as an official couple.”
“I can’t promise I won’t fall asleep at some point, but I can promise I’ll be the opposite of miserable as long as I can do this.” He tightens his grip on our interlaced fingers, indicating he’s content just to be here with me, holding hands. “Hang on. I’ll be right back.”
He disappears into the hall, and I hear him clomp down the stairs, then back up a minute later. “Close your eyes,” he calls from outside the room. “Okay?”
“Keep ‘em shut.” He makes some racket up near the TV, and for a second I think he might be switching movie choices on me. Like I’d let him get away with that.
It gets brighter on the other side of my eyelids, and I scrunch my eyebrows together. Not because it’s that bright, but because I’m so confused by what he could be doing.
He stands proudly in front of the TV, which he’s draped with a string of colored Christmas lights. They’re covering part of the screen, but I don’t care. He’s so adorably sweet, I almost can’t stand it.
I hop up off the couch, and before wrapping my arms around him, I lean in and give the tiny round scar on his cheek a quick kiss. Merry Christmas to me.
Have you read What You Always Wanted?
You really should because how cute are Maddie and Jesse?
If only…he was the boy she’s been dreaming of.
Theatre girl Maddie Brooks has always had high standards for guys. But she has yet to find one who can live up to the classic Hollywood heartthrobs, especially the dreamy song-and-dance man Gene Kelly. When Maddie begins to carpool with Jesse Morales, her new neighbor and star pitcher of the baseball team, she’s struck by his wit, good looks, and love for his family—but a guy so into sports is definitely not her style. Then Maddie discovers that Jesse was raised as a dancer and still practices in the community theatre’s dance studio to keep in shape. Perhaps her perfect dream guy exists after all! But when it becomes clear that baseball—not dance—is Jesse’s passion, can Maddie find a way to let her dream guy go and appreciate the charms of the amazing guy in front of her?
This fun, high school theatre romance in the If Only line is for anyone who has ever wished for that impossibly perfect guy.
About Kristin Rae
Lover of books, music, chocolate, and crafty things. My young adult contemporary novels WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN, and WHAT YOU ALWAYS WANTED are out now, from Bloomsbury. Represented by Marietta Zacker of the Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency.