Hello there! I thought that title might get your attention! CJane Elliott here, back for my monthly author blog post.
A scene from my book Aidan’s Journey popped into my head tonight and I thought I’d share it with you. Part of the fun in writing New Adult (late teens, early twenties) stories is putting my characters through the awkwardness of sex at that age. Let’s face it, most of us were not sophisticated at age nineteen!
We first meet Aidan Emery through the eyes of Pete Morgan in Serpentine Walls. In that book, Aidan is a senior and seems quite glamorous and sophisticated to Pete. But Aidan wasn’t always that cool (or that hardened). Aidan’s Journey shows the years before, when Aidan arrives at college as a naïve freshman and soon falls for his professor, Rodney Montgomery.
Here’s the blurb:
The star of the University of Virginia theater department, Aidan Emery is lusted after and admired for living out and proud. He uses his talent and good looks to his advantage and never sleeps with the same guy twice. But his glamorous patina has been carefully honed to hide the pain he carries inside.
Aidan wasn’t always such a player. He starts college naively romantic, hungry for the attention he can’t get from his workaholic father and mentally ill mother. Unfortunately, that leaves him ripe pickings for predatory professor Rodney Montgomery. Rodney’s flattering regard seduces Aidan into a dysfunctional relationship that destroys his innocence.
Life looks up for Aidan when he finally breaks free of Rodney’s pull and moves to New York City to make it as an actor. Meeting sweet fellow actor Patrick Jaymes seems like the start of a fairy tale. But before Aidan can rebuild his life into happily ever after, family secrets rip him wide open, leaving him easy prey when Rodney decides he’s not willing to let Aidan go.
The following scene takes place the morning after Aidan and Professor Rodney Montgomery finally spend the night together. Aidan is just eighteen at this point and has fallen hard for Rodney.
I woke up when Rodney got out of bed. Sunlight filtered through the slats of the shutters, and I felt sticky and too warm under the light blanket. I tossed it off and stretched, replaying the sex from the night before as I waited for Rodney to come back. Spending the day in bed with him would be perfect. I’d finished my exams and had nothing to do but pack up my dorm room. I stroked myself idly, wondering when Rodney was leaving to spend the summer in London. My plan was to spend as much time with him as possible before he left. We had to move out of the dorm that day, but I could always stay with one of my friends off-campus. Or with Rodney, whispered my hopeful mind.
I heard him going upstairs. Hmm. Maybe he was getting some lube? The sound of a shower derailed my fantasy train. Why was he showering instead of getting back under the covers with me? And why didn’t he invite me to join him? Was I supposed to wait for him? I decided I would, in case he was getting clean so he’d be fresh when he jumped my bones.
The next thing I remember is being startled awake by a clattering coming from the kitchen. The aroma of coffee wafted through the air, and I sat up, mad at myself for falling back asleep. It seemed Rodney had started his day without me. Feeling foolish for having waited for him, I got out of bed, picked up my clothes, and went into the half bathroom off the hall to wash up. I really wanted a shower but was reluctant to ask.
When I walked into the kitchen, Rodney was sitting at the table drinking coffee and reading The Washington Post. He lifted his eyes and smiled at me. “There you are. You were sleeping so well I didn’t want to wake you.”
“Have some coffee. There are mugs in the cupboard.”
I went over to the counter and got myself some coffee. As I brought the cup over to the table, Rodney finished with one section of the paper and picked up another. I sat opposite him and watched him read, waiting for him to do or say something so I’d know how to act.
“Paper?” He offered me the front section.
“Oh. Sure.” I took it and stared at the headlines until Rodney threw down the paper and stood. “I’ve got a meeting soon, end-of-school stuff, so I’m afraid I’ll have to send you along.”
Class dismissed. He picked up his mug and took it to the sink while I sat like a stone.
When he turned to me, I roused myself and put on a happy mask as I got up from the table. “Okay. Um, when are you leaving for London?”
“In about a week.” His manner was brisk, preoccupied, all traces gone of the ardent lover from the night before.
I took my cue from him, pretending to be fine as I carried my mug to his sink. “Maybe we can get together before you leave.” Please say yes.
“Oh, you’re not going home today? I thought you had to be out of the dorms by now.”
“Oh. Yeah, you’re right. I forgot.” Fuck, you moron, just get out of his house already. “Anyway, have a good summer. See you next year.”
“You too. Take care of yourself.”
He made no move to touch me, much less hug or kiss me good-bye. It was so odd after our months of closeness and intimate conversations that had made me feel so special. I gave him a wave like some cheesy talk show host and stumbled a little as I turned to go.
I turned back.
“Could you go out this way?” He gestured to the back door that led from the kitchen into the formal garden behind the house. “There’s a door on the back wall that takes you into the alley. Less chance of prying eyes that way.”
I walked past him and opened the door, and that’s when I felt his hand on my shoulder.
“What?” I asked, staring out at the colorful garden, so humiliated I couldn’t look at him.
“I enjoyed our time.”
“Uh, me too.”
“You have my number if you want to call. I hope you have a good summer.”
And off I went through his garden, the romantic in me crushed, the cynic in me awakened.
Thanks for dropping by and talk to you next month!
After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.
CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.
In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.
CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and is a current 2016 EPIC Awards finalist.