Author's Note: I just realised that I never gave you guys my deleted scenes, as I promised! I have arranged them into more or less chronological order as they would have appeared in the story, with a few more random ones at the end. I've also added my commentary/explanation where applicable. These are all scenes that I wrote at some point and later decided to remove from the story, but kept just in case I needed them later; in other words, scenes that became unusable but that I liked too much to delete. Going back and reading through this, as well as reading through the first few chapters of the story to see exactly where these fitted in, has kind of made me miss these characters, so you might see a few one-shot spin offs in the near future. Enjoy, and as ever, let me know what you think!
Unrequited: Deleted Scenes
People think it must be really easy to live in Paige-land, but actually, I think it's probably very stressful. Most people I know spend their time thinking about money and music and college classes and girls and boys and whatever. Paige spends the majority of her time worrying about calories and germs and how to get her hair especially shiny that day.
This would have been in the first couple of chapters, I guess. I think it sums up Paige quite well, but it never really fit into the story as a whole.
Moving warily, Paige crossed the room, took the bag from my hand, and marched to the toaster. Heidi and I watched her with amusement. The three of us sat in silence as Paige meticulously prepared her breakfast and sat down at the table with us. She was thinking deeply about something, I could tell; I could practically see the questions forming in her mind. I raised my eyebrows at her in an attempt to get her to ask them, but she ignored me, furrowing her brow
"You guys are having one of those silent conversations again, aren't you?" Heidi suddenly asked, looking between the two of us. I grinned sheepishly at her.
"Sorry." Then I looked at Paige, who was still frowning down at her bagel. "Spit it out, baby girl, what's troubling you?"
Paige looked at me, and then at Heidi. She opened her mouth a couple of times. She picked up her bagel and started ripping tiny pieces off of it. Heidi and I sat still and quiet, waiting, and eventually, she gathered her courage, looked straight at me, and blurted her question. "Did you really do it last night?"
I couldn't help it. I burst out laughing, and Heidi did too.
"Don't laugh at me!" Paige said.
This would have come during chapter 4, when Charlie brings donuts and coffee to Paige and Heidi's apartment the morning after he meets Liam in the bar.
"I just went out last night, and I got talking to someone."
"Oh yeah?" Heidi asked, her eyes glittering. "Who?"
"Well, Liam. Um, Liam Bettany?" I said.
"What?" I knew the temptation of bagels would get Paige in and out of the shower at least fifty times faster than anything else, and sure enough, there she was, standing in the doorway behind me, hair dry and straight and fully dressed.
"Morning, sunshine," I said. "Bagels are there, Cokes are on the counter there." Paige has a thing about having to keep her Cokes room temperature. I have no idea why, but I've learnt it's easier just to go along with it. She didn't move from her spot in the doorway, though, and judging by the stricken look on her face, she had bigger things on her mind. I wondered what on earth she had deemed more important than her morning Diet Coke.
"You hung out with Liam Bettany last night?" she asked.
I blinked. "Yeah. Is that a problem?"
"Charlie, do you even know how many STIs you could catch off him?" Paige demanded, stalking across the kitchen and snatching up one of the cans I'd brought over.
I couldn't resist, and smirked as I spoke. "Honey, I only wish I had the chance."
"Charlie!" Paige squealed, her face screwed up so tight that I literally could not see her eyes. "That's disgusting, Charlie!"
"It was pretty funny, though," Heidi snickered, carefully laying out cucumber slices onto the peanut butter on her bagel. I would have gone with banana myself, but like I said, Heidi doesn't exactly stick to the norm.
"It was not," Paige insisted. She was evidently so agitated that she couldn't work the ring tab on her can, so I calmly reached over and opened it for her. She didn't bother thanking me, just started gulping the liquid down as if it was some sort of life-preserving elixir. "I can't believe you hung out with Liam Bettany," she said, when she finally removed the can from her lips.
I shrugged. "It wasn't like I had anyone else to talk to."
"Yeah, but Liam Bettany? He is, like, a total sleazeball, like, oh my God, just looking at him hurts my-"
"Girly parts?" Heidi cut in, and the two of us giggled immaturely while Paige looked on as if we were completely below her.
"No," she said icily.
"I didn't even know you knew Liam Bettany," I said, puzzled. Despite my long-running, almost-stalkerish infatuation with Liam, I'd rarely discussed it with Paige because every time I even mention in passing that I think a guy is hot, she basically freaks out and starts up on her whole theory about how one morning I'm gonna wake up straight, blah blah blah, whatever. So I mostly just avoid the entire topic of my sexuality. "Have you ever spoken to him?"
"I don't need to. I mean, he sleeps with at least two girls a week and he never even smiles."
"He does!" I said hotly, without thinking about what I was saying. Paige looked at me strangely.
"Well I've never seen him smile. He's just so arrogant and ick."
"You know, I actually agree with you," Heidi said, nodding. I stared between the two of them.
"Are you being serious?"
"Ooh," Heidi said suddenly, her eyes glinting with mischief. "Does Charlie have the hots for Mr Bettany?"
"Don't be stupid," Paige answered for me, rolling her eyes. I must have glanced at her funny because she suddenly went slightly pale. "You don't, do you, Charlie?"
I know I should have just admitted my schoolboy crush, but I just got the feeling it would have broken Paige's sparkly pink heart to do so. So I cleared my throat and shook my head. "No. I just thought all girls had, you know, some sort of built-in attraction to guys like him."
"Guys like him? Liam Bettany looks like he wishes he was Danny Zucco," Paige said, with another roll of her eyes. I realised that it was kind of true. What with Liam's dark brown, almost black, hair, and his fondness for his leather jacket, he did have a certain Grease-esque air about him. I just didn't necessarily see this as a bad thing.
This was another version of the above scene from chapter 4. I ended up having Paige's feelings towards Liam Bettany come out in a conversation with the Zachary's waiter, Dan. I kind of think this scene would work just as well, actually, but moving it to a different scene helped move the story along a little more.
"Plus, apparently he screwed two separate girls in, like, a broom closet at the battle of the bands competition last week," Heidi chipped in, nodding sagely. However much she protests, she likes gossip just as much as ninety-nine percent of the other girls at Breckwell.
"I heard about that!" Paige squeaked, although how she'd heard about it, I had no clue, because she goes pretty much nowhere without me, and I hadn't heard
anything. "And, like, a stage hand or a roadie or something came in and found them, right? And he didn't even stop!"
"That must have been quite a sight to behold," Heidi said.
Yet another snippet that was deleted from the above scene in chapter 4. I decided that Heidi wouldn't indulge in gossip like that, and Paige wouldn't get quite so excited about gossip that she would deem icky. I worked a similar sentiment into the conversation with Dan.
"So, a breakfast date," I said. "That's unconventional."
Liam grinned. "Well, you know how it is, man. So many ladies, so little time."
This line was also supposed to be in chapter 4 (I guess I did a lot of editing on chapter 4!) I actually have no idea why it didn't make it in and would/will probably include it in (potential) future edits. I guess Charlie might still have been a little too nervous around Liam, at that point, to actually question his dating schedule.
After a morning spent in a mind-numbingly dull lecture on the Philosophy of Religion, Paige and I decided to take advantage of the good weather by grabbing sandwiches from the campus convenience store and eating them in the Quad. Paige then decided that she was still full from her bagel, and requested that I picked her up a Diet Coke and 'maybe a salad or something', which roughly translates from Paige-speak to equal 'candy bar', while she got us a good spot in the Quad. I didn't really care exactly where in the Quad we ate, but she apparently did, so, agreeable fellow that I am, I set off towards the store alone.
I picked up an orange, a Diet Coke and a Hershey bar for Paige, and I was standing in front of the sandwiches, trying to decide between a BLT and a tuna salad sandwich, when I felt a tap on my shoulder.
"Charlie, hey." It was Liam, standing there with his shades and his usual leather jacket on. It took me a second to get over my shock that he'd actually approached me in daylight, and in public no less, but I got my shit together in time to grin in response.
"Hey. What's up?"
"Just picking up some shit for the apartment, you know." He held up a six-pack of beer. "My roommates and I are throwing a party next weekend, you should come."
Was I dreaming, or had Liam Bettany really just invited me to a party he was throwing?
"Um, sure. I mean, I don't think I have anything else on."
"Great," Liam said, an easy smile crossing his face. He glanced down at the sandwich choices in my hands. "I'd go for the BLT. The tuna around here is kind of questionable."
"Yeah? Thanks, man," I said, putting the tuna sandwich back on the shelf and tossing the BLT and two bags of chips into the basket. Then, knowing that Paige would undoubtedly steal a bag, I added a third.
"Those all for you?" Liam asked, eyebrows raised as he looked into the basket. I felt my cheeks warm slightly and hoped I hadn't turned scarlet.
"Nah, I'm also buying for Paige."
"Paige. Of course." He picked up a turkey sub and examined it for a few seconds. "I'm kind of a fussy eater. So where are you guys eating, the Quad?"
"Uh-huh," I said, as the two of us simultaneously made for the till. A sudden impulse hit me and I blurted a question before I could change my mind. "You wanna eat with us?"
There was a terrible pause. "Sorry, dude, I'm actually going to meet somebody." I seriously contemplated throwing my basket aside and getting the hell out of dodge. How completely embarrassing. Of course Liam Bettany would have prior lunch engagements. He was Liam Bettany, for Christ's sake.
"Yeah? Who?" I asked, and immediately cursed myself for managing to sound like a possessive girlfriend. Liam shrugged.
"Just some girl. Hey, if the offer's still open though, I'd definitely like to eat with you and what's-her-name some other time."
"Absolutely," I said, in pathetically eager tones. The fact that he was actually making that suggestion almost – but not quite – negated for the fact that he was spending this lunchtime with a girl, who he would no doubt sleep with at some point in the near future, when really I was pretty sure it should be me getting to pull that grey Henley from his sculpted chest.
Liam jolted me out of my increasingly naughty reverie by giving me a clap to the back so strong I almost stumbled. "Okay, man, well I'll see you around."
He flashed me that ridiculously disarming smile of his, shoved his hands into his pockets and walked away, leaving me to stare longingly after him and his snug-fitting jeans.
Paige was waiting for me in the shade of the Quad's biggest oak tree. Fear of sunburn is another of Paige's many neuroses, although I found it difficult to believe she was at risk of getting sunstroke on a mildly-warm October day.
"You took forever," she informed me sulkily.
"Sorry," I said cheerfully, dumping the paper bag containing out lunch on the grass and spreading my ratty black zip-up hoodie out on the grass to sit on. "There was a line."
For some reason, I felt a compelling need not to tell Paige about the fact that Liam Bettany and I were now apparently on friendly terms. One of the reasons was that she would probably freak out if I even mentioned the possibility of me building a friendship with anybody other than her; another was that I happened to know that Paige really, really disapproved of Liam Bettany and his womanizing ways. She can be surprisingly morale for somebody whose head is largely filled with thoughts of Diet Coke and sparkly pink fluff.
"I'm starved," she announced, tipping the contents of the brown paper bag onto the floor and helping herself to a bag of chips.
Again, this was written towards the beginning, when I was figuring out where would be the best place to have Liam bump into Charlie and vice versa. Most of the stuff that happens here ended up in the story anyway; you might recognise some of the dialogue from chapter 4, when Liam turns up at Zachary's and Charlie, flustered, invites him to join him and Paige for breakfast. The rest of it mostly ended up in chapter 8, when the boys meet in the grocery store and Liam invites him to the Halloween party.
"You know, I'm beginning to think you're stalking me."
I jumped, almost dropping the book I'd been idly skimming through, and looked guiltily up into Liam's amused gaze. One half of me screamed that, oh God, he'd found out about my pathetic schoolboy crush on him and had come to give me shit about it, and the other, more rational side reasoned that of course he hadn't, how could he have? It was pure coincidence that we'd run into each other no less than four times over the last two days.
"Hey, relax," Liam said, lips curving into a grin. "I'm kidding."
I made my sigh of relief as subtle as possible. "Sorry. You, uh, startled me."
"So I can see." He dropped into the seat opposite me and leaned over to pick up the book I'd been looking at.
This is a similar story to the above excerpt; it was written when I was first establishing Liam and Charlie's relationship. It actually ended up morphing into Charlie and Paige's trip to the library in chapter 5, when I decided that the amount of times that the two boys were coming across each other was verging on ridiculous.
"Semi-sweet?" I asked. Paige nodded definitively.
"Healthier. Less sugar," she informed us.
"Of course," I said, wondering why I was surprised that Paige would come up with this logic. Paige disappeared, and I turned to continue my conversation with Liam, but he was still staring after her. Oh, God. He'd probably seen the light. He'd probably noticed the way that Paige's super-glossed lips caught the light, or finally noticed the cute little dimple she gets when she smiles, and fallen head over heels in love with her.
But, as ever, Liam surprised me. "That girl is batshit crazy," he said wondrously.
This is one of the first things I wrote when I was establishing Paige's character. In the end, Paige disliked Liam way too much for this scene to fit in anywhere, which I always felt was kind of a shame. It was a defining 'Paige' moment for me.
His eyes were beautiful, truly beautiful. They were a shade of aquamarine that I'd never seen before, so deep that I wanted to just dive into them as if they were my personal desert oasis.
I guess this would have gone somewhere near the beginning. I can't really remember why this didn't end up making it in; I guess it's a little sentimental and sappy for Charlie's particular brand of cynicism.
"Yeah but nothing," I said, steering her gently away from a group of guys I didn't recognise who were none-too-subtly undressing my gorgeous best friend with their eyes. "Come on, we'll get you a drink and then you can relax and enjoy yourself."
"I don't want a drink, Charlie! I never should have agreed to come, why did I agree to come with you?"
"'Cause I'm your best friend and I'm wonderful and you love me very much," I told her, slipping my arm around her shoulders as we wove our way through a packed and narrow hallway.
This would have been in the party in chapter 6. I can't really say why it didn't make it in; I guess I just felt it didn't fit or was unnecessary.
I couldn't believe it. She'd actually gone off and left me all alone at this goddamn party, the little minx.
This was another abandoned snippet from chapter 6, where Paige meets Ethan Lasseter and he invites her to play a drinking game. Paige originally went off by herself, until I decided that, at this point in the story, she would never do that.
I realised that, for the first time that evening, the rabbit-in-the-headlights look had disappeared from her big brown eyes. She actually looked like she was having fun. Well, good. It was about time that girl had a little fun outside of her own apartment.
Once again, this would have been in chapter 6, probably if Paige had gone off by herself as planned.
Liam was still looking at me sideways, looking a little uncertain, and I was suddenly filled with fear, sure that he was about to tell me that he knew I was gay and he knew I was hopelessly in lust with him and would I please just leave him alone and stop popping up wherever he was.
"There's this place," he began, and then hesitated.
"Yeah?" I prompted, looking at him over my collar, which I'd turned up against the cold.
"Yeah," Liam said, sounding a little more sure of himself now. "I go there sometimes. You know. It's like...my place."
I wondered if he could possibly be getting at what I thought he was getting at. Surely not.
"Yeah?" I repeated. Christ. Change the record, Charlie.
This is cute, sure, but way too sappy for Liam. A similar (ish) exchanged ended up in chapter 8, when the boys are in the park together.
"Sure," I said, keeping my enthusiasm to a minimum, although I felt like an excited puppy as I followed him through the living room. Liam, of course, didn't have to fight his way through a crowd of dancing bodies; they parted easily as he approached, girls fluttering their eyelashes and giggling and guys tightening their grip on the ones they'd been dancing with.
I'm not actually sure if this was planned for the party in chapter 6, or the halloween party in chapter 11, or another party altogether. I always liked the effect it shows Liam having on people.
The first thing I was aware of, upon waking up, was the sound of somebody's heavy breathing in my left ear. Tentatively, I opened one eye and twisted my head in that direction.
I obviously made some sort of sub-conscious movement away from him because Liam's eyes snapped open before I got a chance to admire him in all his sleeping glory. When he saw me staring at him, I guess I must have looked pretty freaked out, because that sideways grin appeared on his pretty face.
"Sorry, man," he said. I blinked.
"Uh, that's, uh, okay."
Liam lifted himself up on one elbow and peered over me. I followed his gaze, to see a skinny girl with long blonde hair, passed out next to me, dressed in an oversized white t-shirt.
"Phew," Liam said, grinning down at me. "Thought we'd passed out alone together. That would have been kind of...gay. No offense, man."
"None taken," I said, flopping my head back so I was lying flat on my back, looking up at the ceiling of whosever bedroom I'd apparently slept in. Liam did the same. I noticed he scooted over a little and found myself missing his body heat next to me.
Initially, there was supposed to be another party in Liam's hometown, Holdsworth, over Thanksgiving. This later changed into Liam's gatherine with his high school friends. The first part of this scene made it into the story anyway, at the beginning of chapter 18, but the skinny blonde girl and the gay comment ended up being taken out. Liam wouldn't be that tactless.
I was just getting out of the shower when I got a call from Liam.
"Come outside," he said, his voice tinged with amusement. I pulled a hoodie on over my jeans, ran my hands through my damp hair, and took the stairs two at a time.
"We're going on a road trip."
"What's stopping you?"
I paused. "Nothing."
"Well, get in, then."
I glanced back at my building.
This was initially going to be what led to the motel stay in chapter 20. The car was going to break down and the boys were going to have to stay in a motel. I later decided that it was kind of out of character for Liam, who is generally too laidback for words, to randomly organise a roadtrip, and plus, I would have had to write a chapter or so of meaningless, filler-y driving stuff before the breakdown. Instead of using this to have Liam describe his family, I decided to turn it into the Thanksgiving trip home and show them in person.
Now, I'm not your typical sex-obsessed college guy, but I'm not exactly pure and virginal either, and what with all the time I'd been spending with Liam lately, Little Charlie was in need of some attention.
This was actually one of the very first things I ever wrote for this story. As I continued to write and to develop Charlie's character and voice, though, it became clear that he would never say this. I always thought that was kind of a shame, because I liked this line.
As Liam leaned forward, I felt the warm weight of his hand on my back, and immediately froze. Liam glanced back over his shoulder at me and flashed me that disarming grin of his, and I realised that he was flirting with me. He didn't know that he was doing it, but he was.
This would have happened when Liam and Charlie start to spend a lot of time together, after Charlie and Paige's argument but before Thanksgiving. I wrote it pretty early on and always imagined this happening in a group scene, maybe if they were hanging out with Liam's friends, but as I carried on writing the story I realised that Liam doesn't really have that many friends and it wouldn't have really fit. I guess I could have put it in chapter 17, when they go and meet his high school friends. I like to imagine that it happened anyway, just 'off camera', as it were; I think it's kind of obvious that Liam is a little flirty with Charlie, anyway.
I'd been leaning back in my chair, admiring the perfection that was Liam's backside, and apparently I'd leaned a smidge too far, because I was abruptly deposited on the floor.
Liam turned around at the noise and smirked.
"You okay down there, Charlie boy?" he asked, in that delicious drawl of his.
"Peachy," I grumbled, standing up and dusting myself off.
This is another of the snippets I wrote when I was first starting out. I spent most of the story trying to find a place for it, because I love it, but it just never fit in anywhere.
"You made the Dean's List?" Liam asked, slapping me on the back. He sounded genuinely delighted.
"I...I guess I did," I said slowly. Then Liam stood up on the table, grabbed my hand, and pulled me to a standing position. For a moment, I was too focused on how perfect his hand felt in mine to listen to what he was saying but when I heard my name, I tuned in.
"Our boy Charlie made the Dean's List!" he was yelling. "Give it up for Charlie!"
The students in the bar erupted into spontaneous applause. I knew it wasn't really for me, it was for Liam, but I didn't mind, because Liam was applauding and cheering for me, and that was all that mattered.
Eventually, he climbed down from the table and nudged me with his hip so that I'd squish over to make room for him. I wished I could just ask him to sit on my lap.
"So how'd you do it, Charlie boy?" he asked.
"Huh?" I asked. Liam looked at me, eyebrows raised, mouth twisted into a smirk. How well I knew that face. "Oh. Oh, um, well, I don't really know," I said dazedly. It wasn't just Liam having an effect on me; I really was kind of stunned by the news that I could actually have gotten onto the Dean's List. I'd always known that I kind of slowed my work down to meet Paige's standards, but I'd never realised exactly what I could achieve without her by my side.
I wrote this pretty early on, too. I guess it would fit in somewhere just before Thanksgiving. Once again, though, Liam ended up being more of a loner than a guy that would inspire an entire bar to burst into spontaneous applause, however good looking he is. Also, this scene would have ended up being just another drunken makeout scene, though, so I just put in a little bit about how Charlie re-discovers his academic side without Paige around.
"You and me, Charlie boy," Liam declared, "are going to get shit faced."
"We are?" I asked doubtfully.
"We are!" Liam said cheerfully, clapping me on the back with so much force that I almost fell off my stool.
"It's your birthday? Your twenty-first?"
I nodded, already fearing what was coming. "Um, kind of."
"Well, what're you waiting for? Let's go." Liam had already jumped up and shrugged on his leather jacket and was now standing looking at me expectantly.
"I don't know," I said doubtfully. Images were flashing through my mind of the last time Liam took me out drinking, and they weren't pretty.
"Come on, Charlie boy, don't be a pussy. You fall off the horse, you jump right back on, right?"
"I guess," I said. Liam patted me on the head and I resisted the shudder of pleasure that threatened to overcome me.
Once again, this was another scene that I wrote pretty early on and that later had to go because it would have been just more of the same; the boys go out, get drunk, and end up in bed together. I always liked this bit of dialog, though.
And here is some extra-special bonus material! Initially, I considered giving the story a dual POV, alternating between Charlie and Paige and making Paige's feelings for Charlie more of a main storyline. I quickly decided that this wouldn't work – the story would have had to be crazy long to do them both justice – but here is what I wrote when I was figuring out Paige's voice. A lot of this came out anyway in Charlie's description of Paige, so it was helpful in the end!
I've been in love with Charlie Smith ever since I first laid eyes on him, clutching onto his coffee cup like it was the last pair of reduced pair of Marc Jacobs pumps in the Nordstrom sale. Which, hello, big deal.
It's going to happen, though. One day Charlie will wake up after one of our movie-nights-turned-sleepovers, and I'll be already up and dressed, sitting in front of the window with the sun streaming in behind me just so, and my hair won't even be frizzy or anything, it'll be silky and shiny and gorgeous, and I'll smile at him and he'll remember that he's straight after all, and he'll tumble out of bed and I'll push his bed-hair out of his eyes just in time for him to kiss me. And then I'll take him to the salon to get that hair sorted out, and buy him some t-shirts that don't look like they've been in his closet for, like, a hundred years already.
I want Charlie to wear Prada loafers and carry a Louis Vuitton bag. Charlie wants me to listen to The Decemberists and wear scratty band t-shirts. Like, no. But it doesn't matter. Because I love Charlie and one day, he'll love me, too.
I'm a virgin. People always assume that if you look like I do, you must have slept with at least six hundred guys already, but I haven't. I'm waiting. Not for marriage or anything like that, but for Charlie. One day Charlie will realise he's not really that gay after all, and when that day comes, me and my virginity are gonna be all ready and waiting for him. And after that, I'll take him to my salon and get his hair sorted out, 'cause his ends are so dry it's like he lives in the Sahara, and buy him some t-shirts that don't look like they've been his closet for, like, a hundred years already.
I mean, Charlie thinks he's gay and all but he can't really be. It's not like he even has a Louis Vuitton man bag or anything, let alone a boyfriend. I know how it's going to happen, though. One day Charlie will wake up after one of our movie-nights-turned sleepovers, and I'll already be up and dressed, sitting in front of the window with the sun streaming in behind me just right, so my skin probably even looks tanned, and my hair won't even be the slightest bit frizzy or anything, it'll be silky and shiny and gorgeous, and I'll smile at him and he'll remember that he's straight after all, and he'll tumble out of bed and I'll push his bed-hair out of his eyes just in time for him to kiss me.
"Uh, hello? Earth to Paige?"
I jumped and blinked. Charlie and Liam were both staring at me. Liam had that stupid smirk on his face like he thought he was so much better than me, and even Charlie looked kind of like he was laughing at me.