This is one of three deleted scenes I have for Next to Never! The first one, the prologue, is already available under the Extras tab, and the third one I’ll give you this Friday.
Some of you may remember this convo, but here’s the entire scene written out. It was only deleted from the final book, because we needed to get the word count down to be able to fit Aflame and Next to Never in the paperback coming in May.
Enjoy!! (This isn’t really a spoiler if you haven’t read the novella yet, but if you have, it takes place before Dylan picks Quinn up to go to Juliet’s and then the Loop.)
I grabbed a wedge of sandwich from the plate in the fridge and walked over to my mother’s desk, built into the wall of the kitchen, and sat down in front of her laptop.
I couldn’t imagine Googling was going to give me much help, considering it was a particularly relative question, but—
“Addie made a platter of sandwiches, so eat up, and let’s go.”
All three of my brothers had rushed into the kitchen and they began rummaging through the fridge.
Oh, great. The quiet was nice while it lasted. Addie oversees my father’s household as well as Madoc’s, with help of course, and she probably made him his own platter of sandwiches, but no doubt Kade, Hunter, and their friends cleaned him out.
Which, I guess, is why he, Jared, and Jax swung by here to mooch off our food in their rush to get to the track on time.
I try to tune out their noise as I bring up the Internet, but the fridge opens and closes several times and they keep slamming the cabinets shut.
Once I decide it’s useless, I stop and twist around in my seat, looking at them. “Hey, can I ask you guys a question?”
“Mmm hmm…” Jared replies, taking the pickles off the sandwiches.
“Yeah, what is it?” Madoc asks.
“Well, it’s kind of personal.” I sit up straight and curl up on my leg, sitting on my foot.
They continue on their food mission, stuffing sandwiches in their mouths while standing at the counter.
“Well, um…” I swallow the awkwardness that tries to creep up. “I kind of wanted to know…what does sex feel like for a man?”
Every single one of them stops and stares at me. It’s all I can do not to laugh.
Jared goes stiff, looking uncomfortable, while Madoc’s mouth hangs open in mid-chew and Jax’s eyebrows damn-near touch his hairline.
“Um…” Jax looks to the other guys like he’s at a loss for words.
But it’s Madoc who recovers quickest. “Well, it feels like…” and his gaze drifts up as if thinking before he nods and says, “warm apple pie.”
Jax snorts and Jared shoots him a disgusted look. “Don’t be an idiot,” he sneers at Madoc and then looks to me. “And you don’t need to know that yet.”
“I’m seventeen,” I point out. “You’re telling me you guys were virgins at my age?”
Madoc laughs and rounds the island, coming to sit at the table. “Come on, man,” he tells Jared. “She’s practice for Dylan. You’re going to have to deal with this sooner or later.”
Jared strolls over, avoiding my eyes, and sits down. “It feels good, alright? Is that what you wanted to know?”
“Yeah. It feels…really good,” Madoc adds.
And then Jax nods, carrying his bowl over and standing close. “Yeah, really good.”
“Good?” I mock. “That’s it? Come on, guys. I can’t ask Dad. And I’m not going to ask Hawke. He’s a year younger, and I’m not having him educate me on that stuff.”
Jax freezes, a spoonful of pasta salad halfway between the bowl and his mouth. “Hawke’s having sex?” he asks, and I momentarily wonder if I’ve gotten my nephew in trouble.
Honestly I don’t know if he’s having sex, but Jax looks a little freaked out as he sets his bowl and fork down with a clang. “Fuck, I gotta go.”
He leaves the room, and I turn my eyes on Jared, pinning him with a stare.
“Why do you want to know?” he questions me.
“Because I’m curious. I want to know what men like.”
“Everything,” he shoots back, stacking three sandwiches on top of each other. “And you can find out in college. After college. When you’re married. Not in high school.” He glares at me. “Understand? Every single high school guy is an asshole. Every single one. I promise.”
“Hey,” Madoc whines, looking insulted. “I have two boys in high school.”
But Jared simply looks at Madoc, arches an eyebrow, and then meets my eyes again. “Every. Single. One. Got it?”
I let out a sigh and bury my face in my hands. Is it so hard to answer a question without jumping into Protect Mode? I’m not looking to get laid! I just want information, and every time I try to stretch my boundaries, Jared snaps like a rubber band, bringing me back into the circle.
“What’s wrong, Quinnie?” I hear Madoc ask.
But frustration is burning a hole in my stomach. “Don’t call me that. I’m not a baby anymore.” And I take a deep breath, looking anywhere but at them.
“Are you having problems?” he guages. “Because I’m going to tell you, you’re beautiful, so any issues are theirs. Not yours.”
I shake my head. “No. I just want to know… If a man saw me for the first time, would he think I was beautiful the way you guys think Tate and Fallon are beautiful?”
Jared and Madoc exchange looks and then Jared’s eyes darken as he studies me. “A man?”
I close my eyes, groaning. That’s the one word he focused on from that? I can tell already this is going nowhere. Madoc is Mr. Positive, thinking he needs to boost my self-esteem, and Jared is like a guard dog, pacing his cage and waiting for an opportunity to sic.
I stand up, leaving my sandwich next to the computer. “Never mind. I can’t talk to you guys about this.”