You know how sometimes, you just struggle with a piece? One of my characters, Savin, tends to give me a lot of trouble when I’m writing something where he’s being a grade A asshole. He withholds dialogue from me, makes me believe that this dialogue I’m writing really happened this way when no, it’s actually a little out of order. He does it to make himself look better. It’s getting easier to recognize. Usually he just skips over dialogue entirely — that’s his biggest thing. 

So I’m working on Gray Morning, which is the book where his ass-itude is at its highest. And with the changes I intend to make in the (third) draft, it’s even worse than in previous versions. Before, I had him skirting the edge of becoming abusive. Now? Yeaaaah. He’s going to become abusive. I know what the Final Straw ends up being for Jazz and it’s really, really not pretty. I’m terrified of writing it. 

But it needs to be written. I saw the scene. Saw what he does to Jazz. And it’s awful, and I’m going to cry when I write it, because I love these two characters. I love their relationship. I love their dynamic. I just…love them.

And I have to write them both at their lowest points. Have to write them struggling to return to their individual levels of normal and okay and happy. And Savin…well, it’s a good thing therapists exist in the Tomorrow Trilogy ‘verse because he’ll need it, if he wants to ever have a relationship with Jazz again. 

This book is my favorite of the three. I have to do it justice. I’m afraid to write it out of order/without having fully revised drafts of Seize the Day and Surrender the Night, but it’s calling to me, and I need to listen. 

Hopefully it’ll help me reconcile the shit I’m currently going through.

Without further ado, here’s my snippet for the evening…

***

Savin snorted and rolled his eyes. “I’m not fucking ‘acting,’ Jasper,” he spat, narrowing his eyes at Jazz. Jazz kept his distance as Savin pulled his hand out of his pocket, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose. Wished his heart would stop feeling as though it would burst out of his chest any moment. “I told you, this is what I’ve always been like.”

“No, it’s fucking not,” Jazz snapped, grinding his heel into the ground. He ignored the pounding of his heart and the twisting in his stomach as he reached out for Savin’s shoulder. 

Savin turned sharply, grabbing Jazz’s wrist and ripping Jazz’s hand off his shoulder. “And how the hell would you know?” he growled, moving dangerously close to Jazz once again as he continued to hold him. “You’ve been totally head over heels for me since the moment we fucking met, thought I could do no fucking wrong.” He squeezed Jazz’s wrist. A jolt of pain caused Jazz to gasp and try to wrench his wrist free.

He couldn’t. He couldn’t get free. And they were alone — entirely fucking alone in the Palace Gardens, and with the way the clouds gathered overhead, no one would be coming outside anytime soon. Jazz’s mouth went dry as Savin gripped his chin with his free hand yet again.

“I’ve just been using you,” Savin said with a smirk. “Didn’t you once tell me you’d never trust a surgeon? Maybe you should have listened to your instincts.” 

Jazz shuddered as Savin’s fingers trailed along the edge of his jaw and down his neck, before both of Savin’s hands left his body entirely. Breathing became easier again, just for a moment, and he could no longer feel the way his heart hammered in his chest. “You’re not — you’re not like them.”

“You don’t know that for sure,” Savin said with a laugh. “All surgeons have to do a stint in the Orphanages, you know. Have to observe the experiments –”

“You’re lying!” Jazz shouted, glaring at Savin. He ignored how his cheeks suddenly felt wet — how all of his scars suddenly burned his skin. “If you — if you had fucking been involved in the Orphanages, you wouldn’t have even considered putting Danni through that! So stop fucking lying and stop trying to push me away — I’m not fucking going anywhere!”

“I don’t have to fucking try, Jasper –”

Stop calling me that!” Jazz bellowed. Savin blinked at him in confusion before snickering to himself, shaking his head. “That’s not my fucking name and you know it!”

“Legally, it is your name, Jasper,” Savin drawled, a wide grin sweeping across his face. “So get fucking used to me calling you that.”

Jazz watched in silence as Savin reached into his pocket and pulled out his pack of cigarettes. As Savin lit another, smoke clouded the air between them once more. His eyes focused on Jazz. They hardened, flashing dangerously in the red light of the burning cherry. “Don’t fucking worry — you won’t stay with me. You’ll leave, just like everyone else, and you won’t have to hear me call you that, ever again.”

He then took in a long drag, intentionally blowing the smoke into Jazz’s face. “Just you wait,” he murmured, turning on his heel and walking away.

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