"Stay Awhile" Preview -- Page 44

Mostly spoiler-free. Definitely unedited. Changes possible. 

             Gomery cleared his throat. “I’m going to fix this. Being wrong is my least favorite thing in the world, and when my wrongness hurts others? I’ll fix this. My calculation was... Well. A guesstimate, I guess?
             Not one of my favorite words. Gotta say. 'Guesstimate.'" My sigh was overly dramatic.
             I'll fix it."
             I believe you will. But I’m probably still going to be a little furious at you and that cousin of yours after this is all, like, over. Rain check on being a little furious at you?”
            “Rain check received.” The motel employee fell silent. 
            “How should we pass the time? Since I'm a little furious and all?
            “Do you have any stories about me? Or Monty?”
            I had a thousand. Stories of watching them for two decades. Stories of how exciting it was to stomp over and make a complaint about some minor infraction the motel had committed. Stories of how the cousins joked with me and were perfectly nice even as I scowled in my corsages and snoods and wagged my finger. Stories of watching them swim and work in the lobby. Stories of looking at their bedrooms and their curtains and wondering if they were reading or watching television or playing the banjo. A thousand stories I made up in my head. “Um. Not really.”
            My old foe and new friend spoke. "Remember when we were 16 or so? I might have been 17. And you came over to complain that the neon light from the Motel Fairwil sign was keeping the hotel’s guests awake?”
            “Sort of?” I shrugged.
            “Do you remember my mom and Aunt Billie were in the diner? I think Monty was sweeping the deck. It was just us, in the motel lobby? You stood by the door and refused to take a seat. You didn’t want anything to drink. I couldn’t get you anything at all. You wanted to say what you had to say and get the hell out.”
            That was likely. I clung to that motel door like kids hung onto the colorful foam noodles in the motel pool. “So. What about it?”
            “Do you remember your reasoning? Why we should dim our sign after a certain hour?” he asked.
            “It escapes me. Beyond The Wilfair's guests saying the neon was too bright?”
            “You wanted to make the point that no one is awake and reading signs late at night. You said, and I quote, ‘we sleep after dark.’”
            “That sounds like something I might say.” With lots of finger-wagging to back it up. I was a champion finger-wagger. My voice could flood with finger-wagging even if no fingers were actually being wagged.
            Gomery continued. “And I knew your ‘we’ meant all people in general. We sleep after dark. But, for a moment, I pretended there were just two people inside that ‘we.’”
            My body went hot against the cold tile.
            “Wait. I just lied,” he said.
            “You didn’t think that?”
            “Oh, I did. But it wasn’t only for a moment. It might have been a few days. Because once you get to thinking about sleeping and the dark and an interesting ‘we’ it can be hard to turn that thought off.”
            “Huh. Um.”
            “Wait. I just lied again.”
            “You didn’t think about it for a few days?”
            “No. I thought about it for a few nights.”
            I went hot all over.
            “But the funny thing is it turns out the two people inside that particular ‘we’ actually don’t sleep after dark. At least when they’re together.”
            “Yeah. Just. Tonight, like, has been weird.”
            “Ms. Finley? Truer words."
            Several moments passed. “Gomery? I'm still a little mad at you. But the larger problem is I'm a little everything at you, too.


wealhtheow said...


Alysia, you are KILLING me. I cannot WAIT to get back to Fair's world.

Wilfair Book said...

I want you to live, wealhtheow! I'm typing fast!

I just tweaked the opening. Needed a little more, um. Something. At the top.

Now I want to tell you exactly what is happening here. I hate keeping secrets from this blog. Gahhhhhhhhh.

bess said...

What what what?

Swooning over here as well! Good goodness, that is good and I can SEE the scene so well.

You must finish it Alysia, there are lives on the line! Type like the wind!

Jamila said...


Erika said...

Type!! Type!! Type!!!

Swoonfest here in the comment section!!!

No pressure though :)

myrandaroyann said...

Yay for snippets! This made me feel some warm fuzzies! Can't wait to read Stay Awhile!

Carly said...

Oh, goodness. I got so absorbed in the snippet and the swoon that I forgot to blink and then my contact lenses got really dry and uncomfortable, lol. They almost popped right out. I can't wait to read the whole book - can't even wait!

Wilfair Book said...

I laughed with happiness all night over these comments. Sort of a "tee hee hee" laugh, which, I realize, is not at all becoming. I might have rubbed my hands mischievously in front of my face, too. Which also was weird.

Anywho. There's more of this. MORE.

Thank you. I'm grateful for the kind words.

Chiara said...

AAAAAAHHH, love it!! I can't wait to read Stay Awhile! I think I'll soon reread the first two in preparation.

They're so cute!!!

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