Each week I welcome a guest author to share a first meeting excerpt. Today on First Sight Saturday, I’m joined by J.J. DiBenedetto with a New Adult Paranormal Romantic Suspense call Dream Student (Dream Series, Book1). And isn’t this a beautiful cover?
A fun fact about J.J.: I was married at Graceland — in the private chapel on the Elvis Presley estate.
I have to admit that is the first time anyone has had that fun fact. LOL
So, on to the first meeting!
So we’re wandering over to the bar. I look over at a table in one corner with a red and gold neon fighter plane hanging right above it. My eighth grade boyfriend would have known exactly what it was called and all the vital statistics about it. I just think it looks kind of funny. And…
…Sara is in the stands, watching a basketball game, watching herself down on the court cheering for a tall, dark-haired guy who’s getting ready to take a shot. Watching herself, watching someone else who’s dreaming about her…
It’s him. The guy at the table under the fighter plane is the guy on the court. The one from the dream. It’s definitely, absolutely, bet-my-life-on-it him. That’s impossible, isn’t it? It wasn’t real, he wasn’t real. It was just a stupid, weird dream. But he’s sitting right over there!
And so what? I’m in uncharted territory here, but I know it has to mean something. I didn’t just dream about him. I was inside his head, or he was inside mine. Whichever. There was him, and then there were the nightmares.
At least the dream with him, as weird as it felt, wasn’t all creepy and horrible. Actually, if you take away the weird, it didn’t feel bad at all. So if the nightmares are making me crazy, maybe this guy will–what? Make the nightmares stop? Make me sane again? I don’t know, but I have to find out.
“Hey, what’s going on?”
It’s Beth. I assume she’s wondering why I stopped dead in my tracks and why I’m staring at some random guy. “Nothing. I just need to talk to somebody over there. You go get a drink, I’ll find you in a little while.”
I don’t wait for an answer. I head straight for my mystery man.
I’ve seen love at first sight happen. When I say that, I mean two people seeing each other for the first time and the moment their eyes meet there’s an instant connection. It’s almost like electricity, everybody in the room can feel it. I’ve been there when it happened, and there’s no doubt at all that’s what it was. Say what you want about it being silly or sappy or just plain BS, I don’t care. I know it’s real.
That’s what it feels like when I’m halfway over to him, and he turns his head, sees me, and we make eye contact. Everything else disappears. There’s me and him and nothing else in the world. We’re connected. I don’t know why, I don’t know how, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s happening.
And now I’m there and he’s staring at me like he can’t believe I’m real. It’s OK, I feel the same way. I reach out, put my hand on his arm and I really expect to feel sparks or something, but I don’t. It’s just him, just the fabric of his shirt.
I slide my hand down his arm and I can feel the goosebumps as I go. I’ve got them too. I take his hand, and now I’m pulling him away from the table and everything else is starting to come back. It’s louder than it seemed a few minutes ago, and it feels much too crowded all of a sudden, and what I need right this second is quiet and just him.
“We have to talk,” I whisper in his ear, and he doesn’t say anything but he does follow me. There’s a back door, it looks like there’s a patio for when the weather’s nice. I head for it, and I need it to be open and it is and out we go.
I don’t feel the cold at all. It’s perfect, just the two of us, and with the door closed the noise from the club is all drowned out. He can feel it, too. He knows we’re connected; he knows this is exactly where we’re supposed to be the same way I do. Neither of us says anything at first. We’re just looking at each other, trying to think of the appropriate words. The silence goes on for probably only a few seconds, but it feels like minutes or even hours.
Enough. I say the first thing that pops into my head: “You’ve been spending your nights with me. I think I deserve to know your name.” No, that’s all wrong! “God, did I really say that?” He nods his head. “I’m sorry, let me start again. I’m Sara, and I don’t know who you are.”
He looks so nervous, he’s got exactly the same expression my dog Lumpy gets whenever someone starts up the lawnmower. It’s a long story. He manages to shake my hand. “Brian Alderson,” he says, but I guess he doesn’t think that’s enough. “I’ve been dreaming about you.”
Now I think about it, I have seen him before–outside the dream, I mean. I’ve seen him on campus. He’s–I think he lives over in Allen House, the dorm right next to mine. Which means he lives probably two or three hundred feet away from me. I never really gave him any special notice before, but now that he’s right in front of me, he actually is kind of handsome. He’s on the tall side and pretty slim and he’s got short, dark hair and the brownest brown eyes I think I’ve ever seen.
And besides all that, we’ve got some kind of psychic connection, apparently. I can keep telling myself that I don’t believe in it, but I can’t ignore the fact that it’s happening to me anyway. “I know. I was there, remember?” He nods. He still looks nervous, worse than poor Lumpy ever gets. I reach over and take his hands in mine. “Calm down, OK? I’m nervous enough for the both of us.”
He relaxes, almost. At least he looks slightly less nervous. But to be fair, why shouldn’t he be nervous, too? This has to be just as weird for him as it is for me. “You’re not–not angry about it?” he stammers. “I mean, I understand if you are.”
Angry? Not at all. Freaked out? Yes, very much. But not angry. “No. Why should I be? I’m–I’m flattered, I guess. I didn’t think anyone dreamed about me like that.” If I hadn’t seen it, I never would have believed I was a part of anybody’s romantic fantasies.
END OF EXCERPT
Interesting premise, to know there is going to be a connection before you actually meet. Love before first sight!
Links to purchase Dream Student and to find J.J.
J.J. and I both welcome questions and comments. Come back next week for a first meeting excerpt on First Sight Saturday. And in case you’re wondering why I have a New Adult author visiting…hmmm…could this be a hint of things to come?