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  • J.L. Sheppard

Deleted Scene: Running Wild

When I wrote Running Wild, I did it quickly—thirty-four days. It took a lot longer to edit. Editing was hard and not just because I wrote Running Wild so quickly. For me, the hardest part about editing is cutting out words, paragraphs, and scenes. Editing is important, and condensing your manuscript is a part of that. “Fewer words are almost always better.” It makes the book easier to read. The end result is a better book.

Just to give you an idea of how much editing my editor and I did, here are word counts: first draft was 98,849 words; final is 89,513. A lot of what I edited out are filler words (ex. that, really, all, had) and dialogue tags. There is one scene I edited out of Running Wild, one scene I love, but removed. This deleted scene was in the very beginning of the book (when Allie first arrives at the garage), and it’s written from Trig’s point of view. The scene following this one is the same scene from Allie’s point of view with the exception of the first few paragraphs. If I’d left this deleted scene in, the reader would’ve read the same scene twice. It didn’t make sense to keep it since it affected the flow of the book.

Good news is: now, I can share it with you. If you've read Running Wild, this is a little something extra for you to read. If you haven't read it, feel free to read this scene. Don't worry, since it's in the beginning of the book, it doesn't include spoilers.


Deleted Scene: Trig Bails

All hell broke loose.

Army swung.

Trig bailed.

First time in six years, he bailed. He wasn’t proud, but it had to be done. He had to get to her.

Trig pushed his brothers aside, barreling through until he reached her. He didn’t think. He just did. Wrapping an arm around her waist, he cupped her cheek with the other, pressed her face against his chest, and carted her out the door.

For seconds, the heat of her body wrapped itself around his and it felt good, fucking great. Not only because she was beautiful and classy, she smelled like vanilla, the sweetest vanilla he’d ever fucking smelled.

“W-What?” She trembled against him.

His arms tightened around her, attempting to ease terror he swore pierced his chest.

“Let me go!” She put her hands on his stomach and pushed with all her might.

He didn’t want to, but he released her immediately.

She then tilted her head back and up, meeting his gaze.

Fuck. In the sun, her eyes weren’t hazel. They looked olive green.

“Stay here,” he barked because she looked like she would fight him, and no way in hell would he let her go to her brother. Army fought like a maniac, and Ripper was Ripper. He fought dirty.

He crossed his arms over his chest, reaffirming his words.

“But Ty—”

“He’s fine. It’s over.”


He grabbed the duffle bag off her shoulder and set it on the floor. She looked relieved and exhausted at the same time. She tore her gaze away from him and sighed heavily. Her eyes watered, making him feel like a dick, making him want to hold her close and comfort her. The pain in his chest came again.

She met his gaze.

His expression hardened. “Army’s fine. He can take care of himself.”

Her brows furrowed.

“Your brother. He’s fine.”

The door to the office slammed open. He didn’t have to turn to know who it was. He knew by the long-legged strides. Confirmed a moment later, she ran to her brother.

He couldn’t help himself. Turning, he watched her go.

He watched her slam into Army and wrap her arms around his waist.

He watched Army chuckle, place his arms around her shoulders, and squeeze her tight.

He watched her sigh in relief like she was home.

So different from when she’d been in his.

Fuck. His chest tightened, so much he could barely breathe, and it now felt too familiar.

His chest ached. Impossible to do anything but stare, watch Army cup her flushed cheeks and look at her.

“Missed your brother, eh?”

She nodded.

Army then kissed her forehead. “None of that. I’ve survived worse.”

No doubt she lost hold of the tears he’d glimpsed before.

Army’s gaze darted to him. Trig’s gaze instantly shot away from her and met his.

“Thanks for getting her outta there, bro. I owe you.”

For a split second, he thought Army was fucking with him. No way he’d thank him for bailing during a fight. But Army was serious, serious as shit.

Trig shook his head. He didn’t want a thank you, didn’t need it. Holding her against him as he carted her away from her brother’s fight was all he’d ever have of her, and he’d do it again in a split second. “Naw, you don’t.”

Then she turned hesitantly, and her gaze met his for a moment.

It didn’t last long.

He had nothing to do but wanted to stay, and so he picked up her duffle bag and handed it to Army.

“Allie, this is Jace. Served together on our last tour.” Army then introduced her. “Jace, this is Allie, my baby sister.”

Her head snapped toward her brother. Then her eyes narrowed playfully. “Haven’t been a baby for twenty-four years, Ty.”

Army threw his head back and laughed in a way he’d never seen. Once he sobered, Army's gaze met his. With a twinkle of mischief in his eyes, he said, “How’d I know that was coming.” He chuckled then turned to face her. “So you’ve come to visit me, finally.”

Tears brimmed her pretty color-changing eyes. “Um… well…”

Army’s face hardened, an angry look completely erasing his earlier amusement.

“It’s…” She spared a glance at him, her cheeks flushing a rosy shade.

He should look away. Fuck no, he should walk away, but he didn’t even try knowing he wouldn’t manage it.

Her gaze darted back to her brother. “I left.”

Army’s eyes widened. “You left? For good?”

She nodded. “I know I should’ve called and given you a heads-up. I know you have your own life. I don’t mean to intrude. I know this is an inconvenience to you—”

“Allie,” Army barked. “You fuckin' gone crazy?”

A blow. Trig read it in her face and in pang in his chest. Her heart was breaking.

Screw it.

Army didn’t want her. He wanted her. He’d take her in, save her from whatever she’d run from.


“It’s okay.” She reached for her bag. “I can go—”

He almost reached for her then. Army beat him to it.

Her brother grabbed her wrist firmly, preventing her from getting her duffle. “Allie, you aren’t going anywhere. Why you think this is inconvenient for me, I have no fucking clue. Remember, anytime, anyplace? You’re my fucking sister. When have I not been here for you?”

Army didn’t wait for her to answer. “Never. I’ve always been here for you despite Dad’s fucking threats.”

Thank God. Army cared, possibly more than him.

Shit. More than him?

Who the fuck was he kidding? He cared. No denying it. He just met her, didn't know her, but he cared. The burn in his chest and the envy knotting his gut proved he more than cared. He wanted her in a way he’d never wanted another woman.

Army stuck his finger in her face. “You’re fuckin’ staying with me, Allie.” Then Army pulled her out of sight.

Trig just stood there wondering if he’d dreamed her up.

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