Recently, as I was cleaning my laptop, I discovered some deleted scenes! In fact, I discovered many – and many have now been deleted properly!
Scenes get deleted because they don’t move the action forward, or maybe it’s just that they sometimes seem over-indulgent.
Well, I found this one scene that I just want to share – just because. It’s in Cai’s voice and is a monologue of sorts. I’m not sure why I didn’t include this section, who knows? I only know that I like the way he speaks about Chloe in this excerpt, and I am sure you will, too.
I think I may have intended to include this in Unfurl, but obviously it never made the final cut. Anyway, without further ado, here we go . . . enjoy!
Jennifer didn’t realise how little she knew about me until I met Chloe Harmon almost four years later. 2011 was the year I was due to finally inherit my millions, the year Jennifer also scuppered all that. It didn’t really matter, though. Like my mother, I knew all about contingency plans.
Chloe saw me from day one and made it abundantly clear to Jennifer I was more. So much more. Being with Chloe was a danger, because she made me better.
Chloe Harmon, the supernova to dissect my blunt universe of sin, vice and disharmony—made me walk tall and be who I was meant to be. She walked through the doors of Media Solutions and I bolted for her, chasing her with a jar of Douwe Egberts in one hand and a coffee cup in my other.
The first time I looked into her amber eyes, I was arrested—fire from the pits of hell licked the ice latched around my shut heart. My head a ton weight, I was numb, trying to fix on anything but her.
In the kitchen of our office, I handed her a coffee she’d hypnotized me into making. Our fingers touched and I got jolted by a magnetic pulse I’d never encountered before. I stared at her lips and knew if I kissed her once, it wouldn’t end there. I wanted to kiss every inch of her body—taste and inhale every part of her, live in her skin and bones instead of my own. Inside my pants, a part of me that hadn’t ever worked without help ticked and jerked, for the very first time.
When Chloe smiled, it was like death, destruction and decay had never existed. Only her, a living, animate object filled my vision.
I loved the natural curl of her long hair and the subtle freckles hidden beneath make-up. When she laughed her cheeks became large, round pippins and her eyes narrowed like a cat’s. She pinched her bottom lip between her teeth whenever she got too embarrassed and had to look way. Her hands were elegant just like a woman’s hands should be and I fought to stop myself getting on my knees and begging, literally begging, for a chance to touch her face.
I got back to my desk after that first encounter with Chloe and the ache of a constant smile began to hurt. I took out a notepad and started drawing, just anything, whatever came to mind.
Her face. I couldn’t stop drawing her face, desperate not to forget it. I had to draw her eye over and over. The size and shape, I needed to get it right. Oval, with those long, feline lashes whipping at the edges. God, I imagined the silkiness of her brow and was hard just thinking about that. I couldn’t imagine making love with her, it’d be too good—too many places to lose myself and enjoy. I imagined her skin, softer than silk, and wanted nothing more than for her hands to be in my own.
From my vantage point upstairs I could see down to her desk below but somehow feared, she’d beat a hasty retreat if she knew about the things I’d seen and done. I couldn’t spend my whole life up in my fourth-floor office, just watching her through the glass divide from a distance.
If her unearthliness touched me any deeper, I feared I’d shatter and crack—tell her my darkest secrets. Then she’d leave and never come back. That’d be it once she discovered the deepness of my dark depths. I couldn’t bother her with this tragedy I carried in my soul.
Nevertheless we drank together in a pub that evening, discussing how her first day had gone. She was a giddy, nervous woman who clearly had a past of her own. As we sat there chatting I remembered how much I hated public places and other people in general. It was easy with the disguise; I could be someone else, but as myself—it was never easy. I left her and my pint of lager unceremoniously behind because people were watching us. More importantly they were watching her, and my fists were inching to flail into the face of any man who looked at Chloe in the wrong way. She was oblivious, that gorgeous woman, of just how much of an effect she had on men.
I went by a craft shop as soon as I was out of that pub and then I raced back to my apartment to get it all down. I felt frightened, fearing those images of her in my head would disappear.
I drew and painted until my eyes ached and my arms went into spasm in rebellion. I didn’t feel angry while I was occupied by my work, didn’t need the punch bag, a gym session or a bin full of ice to quench my need to tame all that was bad inside—demons that never really left.
I barely slept trying to express the small fissure she’d made in the ice, which melted the more she bestowed her good grace on me. While I spent time drawing her, adrenalin and euphoria pounded its way through my veins like no other catalyst I’d ever encountered before. Ideas snaked through my bleak mind, bursting a technicolour display, ousting the red flames and black clouds of dissolution.
I’d never wanted to draw. I’d photographed so many images, but never drawn a single thing, unwilling to follow in my mother, Claudia’s footsteps.
I thought I met beauty the day I met Chloe Harmon, but I hadn’t. True beauty only demonstrated itself the more human she became, the more fragile, the more broken and yet…
…with that weakness, she conquered not only me…
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