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A brunch layout with the cover of Jeremiah, by Jayce Ellis, in the corner. Caption: Sunday Brunch Bites

One of the best things about romance is that the end of the story is often the beginning of the relationship. And it’s lovely to think everything’s just smooth sailing after the last page is turned, but Jeremiah didn’t lend itself to that. There were unresolved threads, and…they’re still unresolved (for the time being). But it’s nice to see where the characters are and where they’re going. Below is an excerpt from a Valentine’s Day short, free for newsletter subscribers. If you want to read the entire thing when it comes out, be sure to sign up below.

I miss my brother, Coll.” His sigh was loud and heartfelt, and he leaned against the couch. “We spent our entire lives fighting, me older and trying to help Mom out, him rebelling because I’m not his damn dad and he was bigger than me anyway. But nothing’s ever been like this, and I don’t know how to reconnect with him.”

I swallowed hard. My older sister had fourteen years on me and I’m pretty sure she considered herself an only child. And since I was, if not the direct cause, definitely the catalyst for their current antagonism, I had no idea what to do to make it better. I didn’t even know if they’d spoken since that night at the club. “What did Chucky say?” I asked, fumbling over my words, and ashamed that I wasn’t sure if I wanted the answer.

“He said, and his exact words were, ‘fuck his bitch ass.’”

It was really hard not to snicker, because I could see Chucky saying it. “Wow. So Chucky’s not a Johnny fan?”

Jeremiah shook his head, but I knew him well enough by now that he wasn’t actually saying no. “They actually used to be real close. But Chucky is protective, and when push came to shove, that protection went to me.”

And my love for Chucky grew. “So he doesn’t think it’s worth you reaching out?”

Jeremiah’s stare was direct. “Not if it impacts my relationship with you.”

“But he’s your family.”

“So are you.”

Three words. Three words and I was a goner all over again. I wanted him to have everything he wanted; me, his job, his relationship with Johnny. Everything.

I leaned into him again, nuzzled his neck, pressed kisses along the side of it. “We’ll figure it out.”

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