Book Title: Be Here Now Author: Julia Goda Genre: Contemporary Romance Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions“Chris, what the hell is going on?” I asked, resisting the pull of his hand on my elbow and stopping about ten feet from the stage, planting myself in front of him. No, I was not going up there tonight. No way. But Chris didn’t answer. What he did instead was lift his chin to someone I couldn’t see behind me then he grabbed my upper arms and turned me so that my body was facing the stage and he was standing behind me. He didn’t let go of my arms. What the hell? I felt someone crowding me on my left and looked to see that Cal was standing close. He looked at me with warmth in his eyes. To my surprise, there was no worry there, but I could see the same determination and anticipation I had seen on Chris’ face. Then I heard a “Fucking finally,” grumbled on my other side and saw that Nathan had joined us. His arms were crossed on his chest and his grin was big and proud. I opened my mouth to again ask what the hell was going on when I heard a guitar being strummed on the stage. Surprised, I whipped my head around and stilled when I saw who was sitting on the stool in front of the microphone. It was Jason. Chris’ grip on me tightened and Cal moved in closer, but none of that registered with me. All I could do was stare at the man on stage, too overwhelmed and confused by what I was feeling to move. People all around me started cheering and shouting Jason’s name as I stood there, frozen. Then he started speaking into the microphone. “All right everyone. Calm down for a second, so I can talk.” Almost immediately, people started to calm down and waited for him to go on. Which he did. And what he said made my breath catch in my throat. “I know this stage is supposed to be christened tomorrow, but there is something I need to say to someone that’s important to me, something that couldn’t wait another second.” His eyes drifted over his audience while his fingers lazily strummed his guitar. Then his eyes found me and he zeroed in, holding me captive with his gaze as he kept speaking. “You see, I’ve been in love with a very special girl for a very long time. I’m a man and men can be stupid, so you can probably guess that I fucked it up and made her leave me.” Men were chuckling all around me in agreement. “Since then, everything I have done I did thinking about her, missing her, wanting, no, needing her to come back to me. Of course, she didn’t. She was too hurt by what happened and I never heard from her again. It’s been six years since I held her, six years since I touched her, kissed her, made her laugh, and pissed her off. Six very long and very lonely years.” He stopped and kept strumming his guitar almost lovingly as he held my gaze with captivating intensity. “And when I finally got my head out of my ass and went after what I wanted, what I needed to feel whole again, I promised myself that this time, I wouldn’t give up, that this time I would fight, even if the thing I had to fight was her, until she was mine again and then I would never let her go. But life’s a bitch most of the time and things didn’t turn out the way I had imagined. See, she had a secret, a secret she didn’t think I deserved to know, a secret that, upon finding out, nearly destroyed me.” His voice broke a little on those last words and I could feel tears well up in my eyes yet again. “Her words almost destroyed me and still, I couldn’t leave. Even after everything that’s happened, after we both said and did things to hurt each other, she is everything I want, everything I need. I realized during the past few days that no matter what, I will never be able to let her go.” Goosebumps were covering my whole body at hearing his words and I shivered. Then he stopped talking to the crowd and addressed only me. “So I’m here to fight, baby. I’m here to fight and I won’t give up until you take me back.” Then he played and sang the most beautiful song I had ever heard. He sang about love, about pain, about strength, and about forgiveness. He sang about the agony of losing the one person that makes you feel whole, about the ache in your chest when you know you lost the other half of your soul. And he sang about not giving up, about doing whatever it took, giving everything to deserve that love again. And during the whole length of the song, not once did Jason’s eyes move from mine.