Top to Bottom Deleted Scene!

Top to Bottom Deleted Scene!

The cover of Top to Bottom: His Boy Next Door #38, by R.J. Moray, displayed on a tablet. Additional text reads: Out Now!

To to Bottom is out now!  So here’s a celebratory treat.

In the first draft, Channon and Victor had their date at the condo while Jack was out. But then I wanted them to go out somewhere, and all this was lost. I am particularly fond of the bit with Jack’s flatware.

Deleted from Top to Bottom (His Boy Next Door #38)

If he was honest with himself, Channon wasn’t sure if he was a good date. Kim had been a thousand years ago and looking back on it, he was sure he could have done better. Dates with Jack were less about Channon’s date-ability and more his willingness to participate in whatever Jack had planned. That was, after all, the cornerstone of their relationship. Jack planned; Channon did as he was told. It worked because Jack’s plans were usually aimed at blowing Channon’s mind, or indulging himself in a way that made Channon feel used and submissive, all the good things.

So while Channon couldn’t be sure he was a good date himself, he was determined to try his best.

He surveyed the table critically. The flowers were a minimalist ikebana arrangement of white lilies with green foliage, because Channon’s taste largely ran to ‘what would Jack like?’ and that was precisely what Jack liked. For the same reason, he had laid out bamboo place mats and linen napkins (deceptively simple things that had cost Jack an appalling amount of money) and the ‘good’ flatware. It had been something of a surprise to find out that Jack had good flatware. Channon had assumed all his flatware was the good stuff.

“It was a housewarming gift from Nate,” Jack had said, rummaging in the back of a kitchen cupboard. “I don’t use them because they’re hand wash only.”

It made sense. Jack prized convenience and privacy over luxury—that was why he had a housekeeping service and no live-in staff, and why Channon got to clean the playroom himself.

The flatware had come in a golden egg, which Channon found ridiculous. He supposed 24 carat gold plated flatware *was* ridiculous. He hadn’t asked how much they must have cost because he didn’t want to know.

Everything he needed to cook was ready for him. Lina from the housekeeping service had prepped it all and taken him through the necessary finishing steps. He had his instructions written down. He could handle it.

Still nervous, he checked himself in the mirror. Jack had sent him for a haircut, so the back of his neck was a little chilly but the hair on the top of his head was still long enough for Jack to grab a handful when he wanted it, which was the important thing. Jack had let Channon dress himself, and Channon had chosen jeans and a soft black Henley. He looked good. He smelled good—Orange Spice, a gift from Jack. Dinner was going to taste good. Everything was fine. Except…

Music, he realized, and then he panicked because he had no idea what kind of music you played during a dinner date. In restaurants it was usually strings, or something to match the cuisine. What went with raspberry duck? Where did that even come from? Was it French?

He was interrupted by the intercom. Shit. There was a hurried minute between him hitting the elevator release and the knock at the front door in which he managed to find a chillout playlist of ‘music for fine dining’ on Spotify.

He put down his phone, took a deep breath, and opened the door.

Victor Ruiz smiled at him. “Hi.”

“Hi,” Channon breathed, his pulse in his throat. He stepped back. “Come on in.”

From Top to Bottom (His Boy Next Door #38)


Robin Moray is a carbon based life-form from the planet earth, who likes reading, writing, and daydreaming about the day some awesome supernatural or extraterrestrial being suggests they run away together.

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