halloween_excerpt

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s I’ve explained before, I started writing Scott and Tori’s love story with my husband. We would have ideas for scenes in our head, and we’d send them back and forth to each other, I’d rewrite them completely in my voice.

I have several scenes that just didn’t make the cut. I have a whole file with these stored, maybe for them to come alive as a flashback, or to be rewritten, better suited for another novel.

Anyhow, one of my favorite movies is Disney’s Tangled. Honestly, I think this is a better rom-com than much of the non-animated stuff that is out there.

(Stay with me here, this really does tie in together, I promise.)

Rapunzel breaks the typical princess stereotype. She’s full of spunk and has such a positive outlook. She doesn’t need a prince to save her. She’s totally capable of holding her own. That paired with Flynn’s dry humor is wildly entertaining. Beneath that tough exterior, and when all jokes are put to the side, Flynn is a softie. He does everything in his power to help her dreams come true. He protects her as much as she protects him. She’s the Bonnie to his Clyde. They will do anything for each other.

Also I’m strangely attracted to Flynn Rider. Come on, admit it. He’s damn sexy for a cartoon character.

flynn rider image

All that said, Flynn and Rapunzel remind me so much of Scott and Tori. Not just how they look, but their innermost characters. (Tangled came out about the time I was done with my first draft). I couldn’t believe how much they reminded me of my main characters. Tori’s a little more rough around the edges than Rapunzel, and straight laced Scott wouldn’t really be a thief on the run, but at their core they hold a lot of the same characteristics.

punk rapunzel and flynn

I thought how cute would it be for the two of them to go dressed up as Rapunzel and Flynn for Halloween? So of course I wrote an entire scene based on it.

As much as I enjoyed the scene as building part of their backstory, it just didn’t make the cut. The scene isn’t entirely polished or flushed out yet, so it’s not my best piece of work, thus the reason it ended up in the trash pile.

So, it being Halloween and all I thought I’d post it here. Give just a little taste of Scott and Tori, my favorite friends with benefits.

Let me set up the scene. Scott and Tori have been basically been hooking up between his deployments. She’s a starving artist, he’s just been discharged from the Navy due to losing his leg from an IED blast. This is about four years into them knowing each other, and is within the first year of his injury.

The beating of the metal door echoed across the bare brick walls in his condo. Scott cracked open his eyes, rolled over and looked at the clock on the bedside table. Ten am. Holy shit, he never slept that late. He yawned, sat up and rubbed his eyes. The pounding in his head rivaled the pounding on the door. That plus the empty bottle of whiskey on his nightstand told him exactly why he’d slept that long. The beating on the door grew louder. He quickly threw on a pair of shorts, grabbed his crutches, and made his way to the door.

“Scott! I know you are in there! You can’t back out on me now!”

Tori? What the hell? How did she even know he was in town?

Scott slid open the metal rolling door and squinted at Tori. “What the hell are you knocking like the police for?”

“Very funny, I texted you last night and told you I’d be here at ten.” Tori pushed past him and marched in, carrying several bags with her. She discarded the bags to his sofa and turned to him. “We need to go buy you some tan pants and I’m assuming you have a decent white shirt lying around?” She placed her hands on her hips.

“Eh?” His crutch hung from his arm as he reached up and scratched his unkempt hair, then slid the door shut.

“Oh don’t you even try and play dumb with me. You are so not backing out on me. A promise is a promise. Keith and I stayed up all night working on these costumes, then I had to drive all the way to the equestrian store in Chantilly to get you a pair of chaps because if we don’t get the boots just right, it will throw the whole thing off.” She dug into the bag and pulled out a blonde wig.

He squinted and rubbed the back of his neck while his foggy brain tried to process the gibberish that was coming out of her mouth. “Boots? Chaps? Wig? What kind of thing do you think I’ve agreed to?” 

“Do you seriously not remember last night at all?” She tossed the wig to the sofa, crossed her arms, and that damn right brow of her’s went up into orbit. “How much did you drink last night?” Tori wandered into his bedroom then came back out, swaying her hips along with the empty bottle of whiskey in her hand. “At least there isn’t another chick here this time, I figured I better check, ya know, just to be safe.” She grinned and tossed the empty bottle into the trash can with a thud.

Scott rolled his eyes and flipped her a middle finger as he flopped down on the sofa. “Tori, can you please tell me what the hell I’ve agreed to?”

“The director of the Hirshhorn is having a big costume party tonight on a boat on the Potomac. Keith got me on the list. Me!” Tori threw her arms up and jumped like a cheerleader on the sidelines. “If I make a decent impression I may actually have a chance at the internship. I can’t be Rapunzel without my Flynn Rider.” Tori put the wig on her head and undid the clasp on the back, a long braid flowed to her ankles. Tori turned to him and frowned. “Seriously, we agreed on this over text last night.”

The events of the previous night began rolling through his head. He recalled a text from Tori around nine last night when he was hitting on some busty brunette in the bar down the street. The girl got pissed at him when he cared more about Tori ’s message on his phone than her. Finally, he charmed his way back into the chic’s good graces. When they got back to his place to seal the deal, she took one look at his prosthetic, and suddenly had somewhere she needed to be. That was the reason for the bottle of whiskey he’d demolished.

“Of course I remember, it’s just a little fuzzy.” Scott cleared his throat. “Remind me again what’s a Flynn Rider?” Scott dug into the bag next to him and pulled out something that looked like leather shoe covers, he assumed those where the chaps, and he silently thanked God they were not the chaps that first came to mind.

“Have you not seen Disney’s Tangled?” Tori pulled off the wig and ruffled her platinum waves.

Scott rolled his eyes. “Yes, because in the very little spare time I get off, I go alone to Disney movies like a fucking pervert.” Scott started laughing. “Can’t you just see me now, all six foot two of me, walking into a theatre full of kids, with my popcorn bucket and settling in for the long haul?”

Tori erupted in laughter flopped down next to him on the sofa. “Ok, point taken.” Tori patted his thigh as her laughter died down. “Rough night cowboy?”

“You could say so.” Scott curled his nose as he dug through the bag and found a green suede vest. “Seriously, you couldn’t have picked something cooler? I mean, Disney?  I expect much sluttier from you.” He flashed her a wolfish grin. 

“First, I can’t tramp it up too much, this is a highbrow event. I have to at least pretend to be respectable.” Tori rolled her big blue eyes. “Second, I had the Rapunzel stuff from Hannah’s party this summer.” Scott knew that Hannah was Tori’s three-year-old niece. “Saved me a fortune trying to rent a costume last minute.” Scott recalled seeing some photos on Facebook from the birthday party. Tori had looked cute, she honestly looked like she could play one of the characters at a theme park. “I knew I could add Flynn and it would be a great combo. Keith and I sewed that. He’s a wizard on a sewing machine.”

“Why does that not surprise me.” Scott chuckled and Tori elbowed him in the side.

“Keith was a fashion major before he switched to photography.”

“Again, not surprising.” Scott laughed loudly. “Ok, a deal is a deal. You gotta let me get some coffee, and some aspirin before I go shopping with you though.” His head was screaming at him.

“You sit put, I’ll make you coffee and get your aspirin. You can watch Tangled and get to know your character while the caffeine cures your hangover.” Tori grabbed his remote off the coffee table, flipped on the TV and pulled the DVD out of her large purse. She popped it into his player and wandered into his bathroom.

“You take this cosplay very seriously,” Scott shouted over his shoulder as the movie played. He couldn’t believe he was watching a Disney movie and there were no kids in sight.

She came back in the room and tossed him the bottle of ibuprofen. “Halloween is my favorite holiday, always has been.”

“Christmas was always my favorite,” Scott remarked. “Mom would always make homemade cinnamon rolls. Waking up to the scent of that every morning always told me it was Christmas. Dad would play songs on his guitar and sing carols.”

“You never told me you grew up with the Brady Bunch,” Tori teased as she rifled through his cabinets.

“Why Halloween for you?” Scott questioned as she poured the coffee into the filter and flipped on the power.

Tori flopped down on the sofa next to him. “Because it was the one time of year I could always pretend to be someone else.”

Scott snapped his head toward her, catching her eye. He knew from the rare snippets she shared that she didn’t have it all that great growing up. A dead father and an alcoholic mother. Even so, that statement made him all kinds of sad. He placed his palm on her cheek and looked her dead in the eyes. “You never need to be anyone else Tori.”

Her steel blue eyes moistened and she sucked in a breath, and he knew that he’d touched her walled-off heart. In classic Tori avoidance, she cleared her throat, kicked her legs up on the coffee table, and turned her gaze to the television. “Now, Flynn Ryder is a bit of a scoundrel, a player, kinda like you.” She nudged him playfully in the side. “I have a feeling you are going to like him.”

“Seems like Rapunzel is quite the artist, like you.” Scott nodded to the TV as Rapunzel painted all over the walls of her tower she was entrapped in; by an evil mother who used and abused her. Scott was starting to see why Tori related to this story.

Tori chuckled. “She’s not your typical princess. She’s a badass who can hold her own. “

Yup. Just. Like. Tori.

She got up and poured him a cup of coffee and brought it over. “Here is your nasty hot bean juice.”

Scott grinned. Tori always teased him how he liked his coffee black. “There is creamer packets in the pantry if you want some.” He bought them solely for her.

“You are the best.” She leaned over and planted a friendly kiss on his cheek and bounced into the kitchen.

That’s where I ended the scene. I imagine that they would have gone to the party, Scott would have been watching to make sure Tori didn’t over indulge on champagne. They would probably have come back to his place and had some kinky Disney themed role-play sex. I see Scott sitting in a chair, bound and Tori with a frying pan in her hand, telling him that he needs to behave.

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