I’m currently working on my second entry in my Happily Ever Austen sequel. This follows Madeline as the man she’s had a crush on since they were kids arrives in her city and asks her over for dinner.
In this scene, she’s had to rush home because of her obnoxious cat. She’s also just started fostering a kitten she rescued whom Everett is holding.
Movement drew her eyes to the man with a teacup sized kitten in his wide palm.
When the scratching wasn’t enough, Everett brushed Sparky up against his cheek. The kitten quickly realized how much fun stubble could be and began to rub his glittery purple muzzle all over Ev’s face. Before she could blink, Madeline fished out her phone and began to record a tiny black kitten smearing cereal dust all over a hot fireman.
After finishing his good scratching, Sparky paused, his still blue eyes staring deep into Everett’s. With a quick lean forward, he booped the kitten on the nose with his own. And Madeline got it all on video.
“Are you…?” he asked.
“Sorry,” she gulped, her fingers turning to butter as she tried to pause the recording. “Sorry, I was…I just thought that… I mean the last adorable kitten nuzzling a handsome man video raked in double what I got last month. Some of it’s already earmarked for the shelter.”
Everett smiled so picture perfectly, Madeline regretted hiding her phone away. He needed to have photographers following him every second of the day. Everyone needed to see his beautiful sunshine face. “So,” he placed the kitten in the middle of the Nabisco massacre, his single finger running up and down Sparky’s spine, “you think I’m handsome?”
“Every person who has ever met you thinks that,” Madeline thought. She had to think it only. She did not just say that aloud.
And the blush climbing up his cheeks said otherwise. She raced to hide away her slip with nonchalance. “It’s hardly news. All of the girls in high school were…”
Hopelessly, endlessly in love with you.
He snorted once, his fingers switching from the kitten to scratch the back of his neck. “High school was a long time ago.”
“Not long enough,” Madeline whispered to herself. She was ecstatic to get accepted out of state, to pack her things, say goodbye to her sort-of friends and start a new life in New York. All except for Everett. That was the one thorn in what was to be her rosy future.