I’d like to thank the lovely Kahlen Aymes, author of The Future Of Our Past and Don’t Forget To Remember Me, for agreeing to pen this special guest post. You all know how much I love this series and I’m very excited that Kahlen is sharing this wonderful piece here on Bookish. It’s a deleted scene from The Remembrance Trilogy and I’m sure you’re all going to love it 😉
With no further ado, here it is…
Disclaimer: This is in no way a slam on the psychology profession or psychology majors; it’s simply the point of view of a young pre-med student who is completely uninterested in the subject. In my next book, Angel After Dark, the main character is a clinical psychologist and she’s damn good at it. Just wanted to clear that up.
I’ve had requests for this….so here you go:
When Ryan Met Julia…
(Missing scene from The Remembrance Trilogy)
The auditorium was huge, like a massive theater, with lots of young bodies milling around trying to find seats. Only, it wasn’t the premier of Harry Potter or one of those damn Twilight movies. It was Stanford University and Psychology 101. No matter what your major, you had to take some dumbass form of psychology for your liberal arts requirements and since I had plans for med school, this one seemed to fit the bill. I had no idea so many students would be interested in Community Health Psychology. Aaron had taken it the semester before. We’d heard that to make the course bearable, you had to have Dr. Gerrity. The class was closed by the time I got around to the scheduling session. I didn’t make the same mistake twice.
I searched for a seat toward the back near the main entrance. The hell if I wanted to participate, anyway. I just wanted to show up, sign in, take the tests and ace the fucker. Cha’ching! That’s what I did. Ace shit. School was always easy. I knew it and I was slightly arrogant about it. I fully expected the first two years of undergrad to be a punt and loaded up on credit hours. I’d even gotten special permission from the dean to take three hours beyond the max class load. My father and I discussed it and decided it was better to have more classes out of the way, early on, so I could take harder and more note-worthy classes my last two years after I’d declared my major. We’d shared the same goal for as long as I could remember… Harvard Medical School. You didn’t get there by taking the bare minimums in anything and if Dad had done one thing, he’d drilled that into me; work your ass off and never expect success to be handed to you. So far, I hadn’t had to work that hard, but I knew it was only a matter of time.
My parents offered the same opportunities for my adopted brother, Aaron. We’d grown up together and he moved in with us when his parents were both killed in a car accident. Aaron struggled more than me; always had. I helped him quite a bit; especially with math. So far, we’d only had to take Calc 101, which to me, was just a repeat of my senior year in high school. This semester was Trigonometry and I wasn’t looking forward to it. It was the most boring part of my requirements, other than this liberal arts shit, but it was necessary.
“I hear Dr. Gerrity is hot. Let’s sit more toward the front,” a girl with short, black hair and a red mini-skirt giggled as she moved past me. I rolled my eyes. For fuck’s sake!
My eyes landed on the back of another girl walking behind the one who was hot for instructor. She had long, flowing dark hair that looked like a shiny, slick river of deep chocolate as she moved. It was smooth and looked very soft, dropping to the middle of her back. My eyes moved lower to her denim encased ass. Her waist was small and the curve of her hips flowed deliciously out to place emphasis on the bedazzled pockets I was staring at. There was an ‘M’ embroidered onto one side. ‘M’ was for Matthews. It was a sign. I grinned because I couldn’t fucking help myself.
I picked up the backpack I’d just placed in one of the seats and followed the two women further down. For all I knew she could be a troll. A troll with a stellar ass, maybe, but I hadn’t seen her face. Then, she spoke and, I knew I had to meet her.
“Ellie, he’s old and I don’t wanna sit in the front. This class is gonna be lame as it is. I don’t want to have to join the discussion or put up with you batting your eyelashes at the professor.” Somehow, it didn’t sound like whining. The same words from someone else would have. With her, it was more like a statement of fact…. A verbal bitch-slap without the drama. I loved it.
She stopped and half-turned and I got the first glimpse of her profile. She was stunning; high cheekbones and delicate features with a slight blush to her cheeks and dusky pink lips. Her skin seemed flawless; creamy perfection. If it weren’t for her casual dress, I’d have placed her from some high-crotch, rich-bitch, old- money crowd. Her breasts were full, but not overly large and suited her frame. I sucked in my breath. Yep. I was definitely going to find out who she was.
“Look, if you want to go ogle the dude, go ahead, but I’m staying up here.” I smiled, stifling a laugh. Definitely not high-crotch. I was elated. She moved into a row about six ahead of me and I searched the surrounding seats. There was one open just behind her to her right. It would give me the prefect vantage point to observe, undetected. There was something about her. I could almost see her intelligence as if it were written on her shirt. “Morons and bimbos to the left.” Damn if I couldn’t stop smiling.
People brushed by me and I was knocked in the shoulder as a larger guy passed; but I barely noticed.
“Sorry, dude,” he mumbled.
“No problem,” I said and casually waved him away as I moved toward my objective.
The red-skirt girl stopped and visibly stamped her foot. “Julia!”
Her name flew around in my brain. It suited her to a T. Beautiful, but without the need or desire to shorten it into something less dignified; Like how Grandma Matthews had reduced my Aunt Elizabeth’s name to Betty. I never understood how Betty came from Elizabeth, anyway.
“What?” The girl with the pretty name simply looked at her friend and stopped, flopping down her book bag and taking her seat. She patted the one next to her with a teasing smile. “You’ll have plenty of time to get in the professor’s pants. Just think of all the opportunities to discuss this bullshit in his office. Of course, it might be difficult trying to convince him why you care, since psych has nothing to do with your major.”
“Ugh!” her friend relented and threw her body down in the seat next to her.
My hand went to my mouth as I leaned on my elbow.
“Just look around.” Julia motioned with her hand. “There are plenty of hot guys who aren’t geriatric.” She shrugged. “Choose,” she said with a small giggle, digging out her notebook and a pen. “Besides, what about Jason?”
“Nope. He’s your boyfriend.”
“Yeah. He makes my mouth water,” she said, tongue-in-cheek. The two of them burst out laughing and I found myself wondering about this poor bastard, Jason. Julia’s laugh was infectious. I noticed how the people around her noticed her, most of the men doing a double-take. I didn’t bother trying to hide my admiration and watched her openly.
A pretty blonde next to me was staring, wide-eyed at me. “I’m really looking forward to this class. I took a college credit course from the UCLA in sociology and I just loved it.”
I huffed inwardly, trying to concentrate on Julia’s words. “I’m pretty sure psychology and sociology are on two different planets.”
“Well, it’s an ology.” She shrugged carelessly. “ So, I’m sure I’d love it!” the blonde said. “I’m Rita!”
Okay, this chick was making my brain hurt. It was all I could do not to laugh out loud. Did she just fucking say what I thought she said?
“Ryan,” I mumbled. I pulled the text out of my backpack and feigned interest in it as if it were Grey’s anatomy. That was interesting. I’d spent hours as a child, pouring over the pictures and pages of the copy my father kept in his study.
I glanced at the brunette girl as a guy on the other side of her hit on her. Something in my gut didn’t feel right and I shifted in my chair. The guy was standing there, grinning at her like a fool, asking her name and stammering like a fool when she told him. Finally, after a couple more minutes of chatter, he left her, minus her phone number, to go find his seat. Julia pushed her hair behind her ear and I found myself looking for the pulse in her neck, wondering if her skin smelled sweet and if the blood rushing just beneath the surface would make it warm under my mouth. I sucked in a deep breath.
“Why are we taking this class again?” The girl in the red skirt was sitting directly in front of me and leaned into Julia.
“It’s required, though I’m not sure for what. It has little relevance for my marketing degree.”
I couldn’t help myself, I wanted her to look at me, so I leaned forward and spoke. “Or,
anything else… for that matter.”
Sparkling green eyes shot to mine and I was lost. There was deep blue-green around the irises, lightening to jade and then resuming the darker shade around the pupils. She paused, a small smile spreading out on her full lips. She had two barely-there dimples that showed up as she flashed her white teeth, as her face lit up. She was gorgeous, though she had little make-up on.
“Yes, I think we picked this class because my friend here is warm for the professor’s form.” Her perfectly manicured brow shot up and she laughed softly when her friend shoved her in the shoulder. Her eyes skirted over my face and she looked away, nervously glancing at her watch.
“I picked it because it was the least offensive psych class and might have a slight relevance to my pre-med program.” Yeah, it was cocky, but I needed this girl to know I wasn’t some brainless douche, wasting my brains and opportunities, like the luh, luh, luh loser that was just trying to pick her up. I knew I was being an asshole. Even if it was only in my head.
Rita continued to stare in open admiration. “Wow. You must be really smart.”
Julia and Ellie smirked, Julia’s eyes widening. “Yeah, you must be really smart!” Ellie burst out laughing and Julie batted her eye lashes at me, openly mocking the other girl’s comment. “I’m only teasing. I’m Julia and this is my best friend, Ellie.”
“Hi. I’m…” I began to introduce myself only to be cut off by the start of the class. The professor noisily adjusting the microphone on the podium at the front of the class before his gruff voice began rattling off the syllabus for the course. He might as well have been reciting The Night Before Christmas for all the attention I paid him. Thankfully, Rita was the type to take rigorous notes. It would be easy to get her to lend them to me if needed, or better yet, maybe I’d have to make a study partner out of the vivacious brunette who now held my rapt adoration. It was stupid. I never got all giddy over women but what I was feeling was magnified by the three times she glanced over her shoulder at me and burned me with those intense green eyes. My stomach did little flip-flops and I wanted to know more. The fucking class droned on for 45 minutes, yet seemed like ten years.
When it ended, I’d already loaded my stuff in my backpack and remained seated until the two girls in front of me rose from their seat.
“So Ryan, do you live on campus?” Rita tried to make conversation as we waited for the people to my left to shuffle out in front of us. I was essentially standing next to Julia, while she waited in her row and I could smell her perfume wafting up like a musky dessert filled with vanilla and something that made my heart slam against my ribs.
I shoved a hand in my pocket. “Nope.” I threw the answer over my shoulder with no other explanation and looked down at Julia. Her smiling eyes found mine and she bit her lip to stifle a laugh. She knew I was blowing Rita off and she approved.
“So, as I was trying to say before, I’m…”
“Ryan,” she interrupted. As long as I lived, I didn’t think I’d ever forget the first time this woman said my name. “Um… I heard that other girl say it.”
I smiled. “Yeah. Where you from?” I asked.
“Kansas City.” At least, my mom lives there. My dad is near here.”
“Oh, is that why you chose Stanford?”
“No, I mean, partly. It was the reputation and my crystal ball said I was going to meet the greatest people here.”
“How’s that working for ya?” I chuckled as we finally made it to the end of our row. I waited for her and Ellie to exit.
“Things are looking up.” She leaned in and nudged my arm with her shoulder and electricity shot through me like lightning. She was so much shorter than me that I could have rested my chin on the top of her head, and I found myself wanting to do just that. I nudged back instead and she laughed softly.
I couldn’t stop smiling and felt like a fucking idiot. We slowly climbed the stairs toward the exit of the lecture hall and I realized, in literally seconds, we’d be outside and if I didn’t say something quick, I wouldn’t see her until the next class two days from now. I shook my head. Just because she made me hard on the outside and all soft and gooey inside didn’t mean I had to get stupid.
Ellie turned as we poured with the stream of other students from the auditorium into the foyer of the building. “See ya later, sweetie.” Her grey eyes darted from me to her friend and she smiled devilishly like the cat that swallowed the canary. “Nice to meet you, Ryan.”
I panicked slightly, even knowing there was a chance I would see them both on Wednesday, there was no assigned seating, and the hall was huge, I could easily miss her in the throng of students. My backpack thrown over my shoulder, I rubbed the back of my neck.
“Bye, hon.” Julia hesitated as Ellie left us. “Um…” she pointed in the direction of the library. “Do you have another class now? I was going to go read the assignment in the library.”
It was the first week of classes and most of the work would be reading; except the Trigonometry and chemistry class I had next hour. I nodded and pulled my sunglasses out and shoved them on. “Unfortunately, yes.” I hoped she felt as disappointed as I did that we couldn’t keep talking. “Chem.”
“Oh, that’s right. You’re a science snot.” Her full lips smiled, as she squinted in the sun and lifted a hand to shade her eyes.
I chuckled at her teasing. “My entire family is, except my mother.”
“Tell me about the ‘M’ on your butt.”
Her eyebrow shot up. “What?”
“The ‘M’,” I stammered. “On your jeans.”
She frowned, not understanding and then astonishment flooded her features, her eyes widening. “You were looking at my ass?”
“Well, I couldn’t see your face.” Shit, this was weird. I felt out of my element, nervous and ridiculous. I couldn’t believe I’d just mentioned her ass. “‘M’. My last name is Matthews. We have to be friends now. You’re branded. It’s a sign.”
“Ah.” Her head nodded once and the girls both raised their eyebrows and shot each other a look.
“The jeans are branded, for sure. Miss Me’s. Lots of girls have ‘M’s’ on their butt’s,” she challenged with a grin. “Are they all branded? Cuz, you don’t look like the kind of guy who lacks female companionship.”
I grinned back. “I think there might be a compliment in there if I dig deep enough,” I teased. “Look, I wanted to meet you. So, kill me.”
Our eyes met and held. Julia rocked on heels and glanced at her watch. “You’re gonna be late.”
“I’d blow it off if it wasn’t the first class of the semester. I really want to talk to you some more.” Suddenly, I was happier than hell that I didn’t get into Gerrity’s class last semester. I already liked this girl more than most people I’d met at college and I’d only spoken to her a few minutes. There was just something about her. Not the way she looked, though she was beautiful, but I wanted to get to know her. It was a gut feeling, but this girl was going to be important to me. “So maybe you could agree to meet me outside the lecture hall on Wednesday and we sit together, this class might be bearable?”
Julia’s smile widened and she nodded. “Okay, sure. I’ll make sure my ass is branded.”
I smiled back and wished I had more time to get her number. “Okay, good. See ya.”
“Uh huh. Bye, Ryan.” She waved awkwardly and started off toward the library.
I turned in the opposite direction and took three steps and stopped. “Hey, Julia,” I called over the others walking between us. “If you can wait an hour for lunch, I’ll be in the Student Union snack bar.”
A brilliant smile flashed and I waited, knowing I would have to run to my class now. Something wouldn’t let me let her leave without knowing I’d see her later.
My heart sped up and the silly smile returned and didn’t budge the whole time I ran across campus. Anticipation made my heart race more than the exercise. This was stupid. I met girls all the time and most of the time I couldn’t give a shit. There were always more girls to meet, and missed opportunity wasn’t a big deal. Julia was a big deal to the point I couldn’t wait for this hour to get out of the fucking way. I burst through the door to my class and breathlessly found a seat at the back, flopping down quickly amid glances from the others around me. Yeah… this girl was gonna be a big deal.
Ryan, seriously, when I thought I couldn’t love you more you say things like that and my heart melts again. *happy sigh*
Awesome scene, isn’t it? I LOVED it and I’m glad Kahlen showed us how it all started between Ryan and Julia, one of my favorite fictional couples.
If you haven’t read the first two books of The Remebrance Trilogy, what are you waiting for? Go now! You’ll fall in love.
The third book, A Love Like This, will be released this fall and I can’t wait!
Thanks again to Kahlen Aymes for sharing this lovely scene with us. You rock! 😉