Changeling Cut Scene Thursday #1: Really good curry

It’s Cut Scene Thursday! I’ve decided that’s going to be a thing for the next four weeks.

It’s not enough to cut bad scenes when you’re editing, you also have to cut scenes that are actually good, but don’t move the plot forward. It hurts when you have to lose bits that you really like, though. The novel was already over 130,000 words and I had to cut out as much as I could.
This originally took place almost at the end of the book, but is relatively light on spoilers. The scene with Matt and Kevin on the floor in the kitchen was one of my favourite ones in the book. But I’d made it clear earlier in the book why Matt needed the deal, putting it here was countersinking the concept.
The Indian restaurant is an amalgamation of two different places, both within walking distance of where we were living first in Edmonton, then in Calgary. They were both excellent, but only the one in Calgary, just off 17th Ave, is still open. It’s about five blocks from the Korean restaurant that I turned into a demon brothel in another series. Oops?

By the time Sam came home, Matt and Kevin were on the floor of the kitchen, fully dressed. Kevin had the spoon and was feeding Matt yogurt. Kevin was up against the pots cupboard. Matt was on his back, his knees cocked and crossed.

He felt well fucked in all the good ways. His ass hurt, but the endorphins hadn’t retreated. Kevin gave him another spoonful just as Sam came into the kitchen. “Hey, kiddo,” Matt said.

“Hey,” Sam said, eyeing Kevin upside down from Matt’s perspective. He nodded to Sam. Matt glanced over and saw Sam nod to Kevin. “What are you doing?”

“Eating yogurt,” Matt said. “Do you want some?”

“I can get my own,” Sam said. “Are you…okay? You don’t have some sort of abuse problem with that cream?”

“This is just me happy.”

Sam didn’t look entirely convinced. His gaze slid off him to Kevin to the silver plate in the sink. “Is he going to stay for supper?”

Matt looked up at Kevin. “He’s already eaten. We’re on our own.”

“Let me take you both out,” Kevin said, putting the spoon in the yogurt and brushing Matt’s hair off his forehead.

Sam perked up.

“You sure?” Matt asked. He reached up and touched Kevin’s face back. He liked casually touching. He had a lifetime of it to catch up on. “He’ll eat his own weight.”

“Matt!” Sam protested. It had been a year since they’d eaten anything but pizza outside the house.

“What do you want?” Kevin asked.

“Curry, like what Rajeet’s mom made.”

Rajeet was a classmate of Sam’s in the old school. Matt sat up, ignoring the head rush. “Were you not eating enough at lunch?”

“No. Rajeet brought his own food and no one sat with him because they thought his food smelled. Rajeet really liked sandwich meat. We swapped sometimes.”

Matt thought he’d been as happy as he ever could on his back on the kitchen floor, but now he was happier still in a completely different way. This was his crazy family. He hadn’t realized it had been missing an entire member, but there had been a Kevin-sized hole in between Matt and Sam. And then Sam was going to get a special friend, and it would be the four of them, but even that didn’t feel wrong.

Kevin’s hand slid up and down Matt’s neck. “I know a place I take my corporate clients. It’s no problem at all.”

Sam grinned. “Are we going to take the truck?”

“Whose lap do you want to sit on?” Matt asked. It had bucket seats and no backbench as a way to discourage personal use.

“My car is waiting outside,” Kevin said. He scraped the last little bit of yogurt and let it fall from the spoon into Matt’s mouth. It fell as a dollop.

Matt pulled Kevin’s tie down so that he would have to kiss him. Sam made a sound from inside his chest and turned around. “I’m going to be waiting in my room if you’re going to kiss my brother in a place where we cook food.”

“He’s almost twelve. It’s not you, it’s the idea of kissing in general,” Matt told Kevin. He sat up and winced as his ass became the first place of contact with the floor.

“Do you need a pillow?” Kevin asked. He pulled Matt to him, his jeans sliding across the wooden floor without much force. Matt drew his knees up so that he could sit so close that all they had to do was lean forward in to kiss.

“I like the burn,” Matt said.

“You would.” Kevin put his hand on the back of Matt’s neck, pulling him forward while he leaned in. “I wish I could tell you the restaurant has hard, wooden seats, but sadly they’re padded and soft. I had that in mind when I suggested it.”

Matt flushed. It was going to be a while before small acts of kindness became small in his estimation.

Kevin pushed to his feet and offered Matt his hand. Matt took it. Their feet had been so close together than when they stood their chests touched.

* * * *

Water poured from a copper pitcher and into a copper cup objectively tasted better. Kevin had gotten them a private room. The benches had pillows with gorgeous fabric that just felt expensive, and yes, they were padded. Kevin slid in beside him, Sam across. The light was very orange, which threw the soft light everywhere. Matt wondered what kind of corporate clients Kevin had.

The appetizers came. Sam put one on his plate and then looked up to Kevin. “Does this obligate me in any way?” he asked.

Kevin raised his eyebrow, but then tilted his head in a minute bow. “That is a very good question, Sam.”

“And that is not an answer.”

“No, if you don’t eat our food under the hill with us, you’re under no obligation.”

Sam dug in and ate most of the samosas. They were spicy, but Matt liked the burn. Kevin didn’t eat, but drank from his copper cup. He had his arm over the back of the bench where Matt’s shoulders were. He wasn’t actually touching Matt, but Matt felt him every time he moved in his seat. Still, their thighs touched under the table, and whenever he put his hand in Kevin’s lap, Kevin took it in his.

Sam eyed them whenever they touched, but said nothing. Matt only rested his head against Kevin’s shoulder once. He was doing it when he felt Kevin’s phone buzz.

Kevin glanced at it and stood. “I have to respond to this. I’ll be right back.” He squeezed Matt’s knee and left them alone.

Sam preformed a samosa autopsy, separating the chunks of potato from the peas to the doughy bits Matt knew were his favorite. Each way Matt tried to phrase the question in his head sounded more stupid than the last. “Are you working up the courage to ask me if I’m okay with this?” Sam asked, not looking up.

“Maybe.” Matt stabbed at his own plate, but his stomach was twisting, and it didn’t leave any room for food.

“My weirdness is not because he’s a guy. I promise. You wanting to kiss anyone freaks me out,” Sam said. “Are you going to tell him Cornelius begged you to get out of his contract with you?”

“No,” Matt said. It didn’t surprise him that Sam had seen what happened in the bedroom. “Do you watch me all the time?”

“I can’t see you having sex,” Sam said, he put his fork down. “I can just hear the talky bits.”

It was a small favor. “Kevin’s not going to understand why I need the house.”

“And the money?” Sam asked.

Matt nodded. “He doesn’t live where we do,” he said, lowering his voice.

Sam nodded, understanding that way more than any almost twelve-year old should. “I don’t judge.”

“Then you won’t tell either.”

“He’s going to hurt himself trying to break you out a deal you don’t want out of,” Sam said.

“I’ll stop it before that happens. He just needs something to fight against.”

“He’s going to be hurt when he finds out.”

 

“No. He knows I trust him with my life. I’ve told him I won’t trust him with yours.”

“You are more important than I am,” Sam whispered.

“Not to me.”

Sam sighed. “You smile whenever he is in the room.”

“I was happy when it was just me and you.”

“No, you weren’t. You were stressed all the time.”

“I wasn’t!”

“You were. You hid it, but you were.”

Matt put his elbows on the table and his face in his hands. “Were you faking being happy just to make it easier on me?”

“No!” Sam said. He dropped his fork. “I am happy. I have the dorkiest brother in the world. He’d do anything for me and I love him. He dates out of his species, but no one is perfect.”

“I wasn’t stressed all the time. When we were just hanging out I was perfectly fine.”

“I know. I see you go from the predicating incident to imaging the worst possible outcome in about three seconds.”

Matt looked up at Sam. “Hey, Sam? Do me a favor. Don’t say things like ‘predicating incident’ to me for like…three more years, okay? I know you’re really smart, I get that, but you don’t want to scare me, do you?”

Sam shook his head and paused. “No details, just yes or no, but… Is he really that nice to you?”

Matt was smiling again. “Yes.”

Kevin came back. Matt bit him on the earlobe because he could.

 

To celebrate the release of my new book Changeling, I’m going to be posting related links on Tuesdays and cut scenes on Thursdays for the next month. Changeling is a m/m paranormal erotica novel about Matt, who sells sex to keep himself and his little brother together. When Matt discovers Kevin, the john he’s rapidly falling for, is a Prince of the Fae, the questions start piling up. But most importantly, why does Kevin keep acting like it’s Matt who will leave, when it’s Matt who’s the broken one?

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