We are so excited to share a bonus scene from new release LAST TO KNOW by Micalea Smeltzer! Last to Know released today and we absolutely love the under the radar, boy-next-door frontman of band Willow Creek, Maddox. Together, he and Emma are absolutely adorable. We can’t wait for the next book in the Willow Creek series, but we’re certainly glad Micalea was sweet enough to give us this little Valentine’s Day treat!
I gazed out the two-story window at the L.A. skyline. Every day I woke up here it never ceased to amaze me that I was living here, with the guy of my dreams, writing songs for a living. How did I get so lucky?
He stepped up behind me, wrapping his arms around my body and pulling me against his solid chest. He nuzzled his head into the crook of my neck and kissed the tender skin behind my ear, making me giggle.
“Happy Valentine’s Day,” he murmured.
I smiled. Last year we didn’t get to spend Valentine’s together since he was here in L.A. and I was still in school. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Maddox.”
“I have big plans for today.” He nipped my shoulder and pulled away, sauntering over to the kitchen.
“I told you I didn’t want to do anything,” I warned him.
“I think you’ll enjoy this,” he grinned. He opened the refrigerator and grabbed the bottle of orange juice. “Go get dressed and then we’ll go.”
I sighed. I knew there was no point in arguing with Maddox. He always got his way.
“I can’t believe you blindfolded me,” I growled, sitting back against the plush leather seat of the car.
He clucked his tongue. “I don’t want to ruin the surprise.”
Maddox and his surprises.
A moment later I smiled when a Willow Creek song came on the radio.
I used to only listen to classical music, but dating a famous drummer had expanded my palate when it came to music. I was extremely proud of him and the other guys, for living their dreams and doing what they loved. I knew the fame weighed heavily on their shoulders—it had been completely unexpected for them. But that made me love all of them that much more, because they were so incredibly humble. They were in it for the music, nothing else.
The car lurched to a stop and my body jolted forward.
“Geez, Maddox, give a girl some warning.” I rubbed my chest, sure that I was going to have a seatbelt shaped bruise later.
He merely chuckled, said he was sorry, and got out of the car.
I began to panic.
He wasn’t going to leave me in here by myself, was he?
Just when I was ready to freak out, the door on my side opened and a cool breeze swam inside the car. I felt him reach over my body to undo the belt, and then he grabbed my arm, helping me out.
I wrapped my arms around his side and held on tight.
The last thing I wanted to do was trip and fall on my face.
“Can I take this off now?” I asked, reaching up with one hand for the blindfold.
“No.” He took my hand, wrapping my arm back around his body.
I sighed, letting him guide me around.
“Hold on,” he said a few minutes later. He pried my arms off of his chest and kissed the side of my forehead.
His body heat disappeared.
I heard a door open.
“Maddox?” I asked again. “I’m going to take the blindfold off!” I warned.
“So dramatic,” he sighed, reappearing at my side. “I had to prop the door open.”
“I was scared you were going to leave me here,” I mumbled, letting him help me into the building.
“That doesn’t sound like a very fun Valentine’s Day,” he chuckled warmly, “and I’m pretty sure you’d kick my ass if I did that.”
“You’re right,” I nodded.
A few minutes passed and I couldn’t figure out where he’d brought me. Nothing felt familiar.
“Alright, you’re going to sit down now.” He helped me down and my butt landed on a plush pillow. “Keep the blindfold on,” he warned.
I wanted to roll my eyes, but it would’ve been pointless since he couldn’t even see my irritation.
“Now you can take it off.”
I ripped that sucker off and looked around in awe. “Maddox,” I gasped.
We were sitting in the center of a large stage, to my left were the seats, and to my right instruments were set up—the drum set boasting the Willow Creek logo on the front.
“I don’t understand,” I whispered, my eyes now zeroing in on what was in front of me. Pillows and blankets were laid around, and little tea lights had been lit. I could see a bag sitting beside him, and figured he’d packed us a lunch.
He smiled crookedly. “You know how I told you we had a concert coming up in L.A.?”
I nodded, waiting for him to get to the point.
“They’ve agreed to let us sing our song,” he grinned triumphantly.
“Seriously?” My jaw unhinged. Not too long ago I’d been terrified to sing in front of ten people, but since I started songwriting with Maddox fulltime I’d gotten over that fear. It also probably helped that they played our duet on the radio quite a bit. Once you hear yourself singing on the radio, singing in front of people doesn’t seem so bad anymore since millions of people have already heard it.
“Seriously,” he nodded.
“But Mathias is the singer.” I still couldn’t believe what he was telling me.
Mathias—his twin brother—was the lead singer of Willow Creek, so the record label had been hesitant to include Maddox’s and my song on the soundtrack, but they finally relented and now it was a hit.
“And he can step out of the spotlight for three minutes for us to sing our song.” He cupped my cheek, his fingers tangling in my messy hair.
“I can’t believe this,” I breathed. “Is this real life?”
He pulled me into his arms and I straddled his waist. He pressed his lips softly to mine. “Was that real?”
I nodded, wrapping my arms around his neck. “This was the best surprise ever…although I was really hoping we were going to jump out of a plane again.”
He threw his head back and laughed a deep, throaty laugh. “My little adrenaline junkie,” he murmured.
And then he sealed his lips over mine, and we made that stage ours.
Last to Know (Willow Creek #1)
Don’t miss the rest of the Willow Creek Series:
Never Too Late (Willow Creek #2)
In Your Heart (Willow Creek #3)
Take A Chance (Willow Creek #4)