You guys. You guys.

Today we have

Josh Fucking Bennett and Drew Leighton

from Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

We know, we know.
We can barely contain ourselves too!


Christina, Ana, Celeste – Hi guys, we are so excited to have you stop by The Book Hookup. Can we offer you a drink or maybe a full body massage?

Drew – Ahhh…decisions, decisions.

Josh – Drew said we were meeting because you wanted custom bookshelves.

Drew – I just told you that to get you to show up.

Christina, Ana, Celeste – Josh, the first kiss you shared with Nastya was what?

Josh – Long fucking awaited.

Drew – That’s it?

Josh – I have to describe it?

Drew – I think that’s the idea.

Josh – I was afraid it wasn’t real.  For a minute it was like every bad thing never happened and I had only ever been happy.   That probably sounds dumb.

Celeste – *whispers* not dumb.

Drew – Hot.

Josh – What?

Drew – Next time just go with hot.  It’s a better answer.

Christina, Ana, Celeste – Drew, you truly love Nastya, don’t you? When did you realize that you were only meant to be great friends?

Drew – Of course I love her.  I have to love her.  She can kick my ass so I need to stay on her good side.  She loves me too – I want that noted for the record.    But from day one it was pretty obvious to both of us that we were never going to fall in love and win the naked Olympics.  She was a mess.  I was a mess.  Kindred spirits.   I hit on her because it was expected of me and I’ve never met an expectation I couldn’t live down to.  But she didn’t buy it.  There was an understanding with her that I wasn’t used to and it was something I was really desperate for right around then.  Eventually it became obvious that something was going on with Josh and the dumbasses were going to ignore it as long as they could but I kept hoping they’d figure it out.  They needed whatever they could get from each other which was something neither of them could get from me.

Christina, Ana, Celeste – What is your relationship with Sunshine’s family like now? Both of you…

Josh – It’s getting better.  It was difficult for her to be around them for a while after everything happened and nobody really wanted to force anything.  There’s still a lot of guilt there on both sides but they’re working through it.  I try to stay out of the way most of the time and let them do what they need to do.  It’s hard trying to figure out what my place is in all of it.  They’re her family but she’s mine so we’re all adjusting to how we fit together now.  Some days are easier than others.  Our therapist wants me to learn that it’s okay to let myself be part of their family even if it scares the shit out of me.   I suck at therapy.

Drew – They love me.  I’m extraordinary.

Christina, Ana, Celeste – Josh, it seemed like your thoughts were pretty tame for a teenage guy…how much did you filter to Katja before you told your story? Can you fill us in on your more um, ahem, inappropriate thoughts? Please?

Josh – I don’t know if I filtered anything consciously.  I was mostly just trying not to have any inappropriate thoughts because I didn’t think it was ever going to happen and thinking about that kind of thing when you can never have it is torture.    When I met her, I was at the point where I was kind of adept at keeping my mind off things I couldn’t have.  Not that I was always successful because she was around constantly and it’s pretty hard to convince yourself you’re not feeling what you know you’re feeling and not wanting what you know you’re wanting when it’s in front of you all the time.  But I did the best I could.  We were both pretty good at lying to ourselves.

Drew – They wanted details.

Josh – I’m sure whatever they make up would be accurate.

Christina, Ana, Celeste – Drew, do you ever want a chance to tell your story? Or were you happy telling it through Nastya and Josh?

Drew – I don’t know if the world is ready to handle all of me.  I’m like tequila.  Better by the shot than the bottle.

Josh – Em asks him every time he’s in the same room.  He won’t give her anything.

Drew – Listen, I won’t lie, there’s a part of me that likes knowing that Tierney and I are the only two people who really know what went on there and maybe I just want to keep it a while longer because it’s ours.  Even Josh and Nasty never really knew the half of it.  I don’t know if I could do the whole confessional thing.  I’m not entirely ready to take myself seriously.   The thought of letting people see what goes on in my head is a little overwhelming.

Josh – That sounded almost sincere.

Drew – I know.  I think I might be getting a rash from it.

Christina, Ana, Celeste – Do you guys hang out with Asher more? He was pretty young and his parents put a lot on him. Do you think he would want to tell his story?

Josh – I see him.  He and Em are close. He’s good for her so we try to get him to come up whenever we can make it happen.  That part of herself that she thinks is gone comes back a little more every time he’s around and I get to catch glimpses of who she was before.  He’s off at school now but we see him as often as possible.  I’ve tried to teach him some basic carpentry but he sucks.  He’s tried to get me to play sports with him and his friends but I’m not usually in the mood for complete and utter humiliation so I pass.  I don’t know what his story is or if he’d want it out there.  We don’t really talk about all that.  Mostly when we see each other he kicks my ass at Madden and we eat stuff that Em bakes.

Christina, Ana, Celeste – Do you think Leigh and Emilia could ever be friends?

Josh – That’s really a question for her to answer.  I just don’t know.  I think if they’d met under entirely different circumstances that might have been a possibility, but they didn’t and at this point I’m not sure that’s something either of them is looking for.

Christina, Ana, Celeste – Which one of you is more sensitive, more impulsive? You both put up such a brave front…under that is one of you more tender than the other?

Josh – I’m not really good at the self-analysis thing.

Drew – I’m sensitive all over.  Feel free to check.

Celeste – *whispers* someone restrain me

Christina, Ana, Celeste – Josh, how has running changed your body? Can we see? Do you like working out? You must have great stamina now *cough*.

Josh – Yeah, I didn’t keep that up.  I tried but it’s not me.  Em, that’s in her, it’s who she is.  I don’t think she’ll ever stop and she shouldn’t.  She needs it and she’s phenomenal to watch.  You should see it.  I kept at it for a while but I was holding her back and she knew whenever I was out with her that I just wanted to be home in the garage so she let me off the hook.  She runs to keep herself sane.  I build.  Once in a while I go just so I can be around her, but then we usually end up walking so we can talk.

Drew – Running is something I reserve for alien invasions and bear attacks.

Josh – You’re not supposed to run from bears.  You’re supposed to play dead.

Drew – Even better.  I would kick ass at playing dead.

Christina, Ana, Celeste – Do you guys ever arm wrestle? Who would win? Would you demonstrate? It’s hot in here, we’ll hold your shirt. We don’t mind, we swear. 

Drew – I only exert physical energy for naked pursuits.  But you should ask Josh and Nasty to arm wrestle.  That’s always fun to watch.

Christina, Ana, Celeste – Drew, your reputation is something else. Aren’t you tired? Don’t you just want to give in and try again with Tierney? Or if you’re not ready we can fill in for Nastya and “hold your hand” at all the parties.

Drew – I got tired of a lot of things once I met Tierney.

Josh – She verbally bitch-slapped you and you both ended up thrown in detention.

Drew – *smiles*  Good day.  Actually it was more of a verbal evisceration.  Transformative experience, I swear to you.  The detention was just a bonus.  You sit in a hard-ass desk for an hour with Tierney glaring at you while she plots your murder and tell me you don’t come out reevaluating your existence.

Josh – So that’s a no to them?

Drew – My apologies, ladies.  It’s sad to deny anyone the pleasure of my company, but I’m reformed.   I’ll be happy to flirt shamelessly with you because it’s an addiction and I get the shakes if I go too long without it.  But I’m all talk.  As long as I have the privilege of holding Tierney’s hand, I won’t be holding anyone else’s.

Christina, Ana, Celeste – We loved your nicknames. Awesome and hilarious. Do you think you would ever call her by her given name?

Drew – I don’t even remember her given name.  She’s Nastypants.  I know it.  She knows it.  Her mom gives me dirty looks when I say it.  Usually when I get dirty looks it means I’m doing something right.

 Christina, Ana, Celeste – Josh, can we talk about the last thing Sunshine said to you in the book? We are dying for your reaction. Because we were like HOLY. SH*T.

Josh – My immediate reaction is between Em and me.  I don’t think I’d feel right sharing something that private.  Once I had time to try to grasp what it meant, I built a bench so I’d have someplace to sit next to her.  And I spent a month doing it because I wanted it perfect since hopefully our asses were going to be on it for a really long time.


♥ First thoughts that come to your head about the chair
Josh – Her
Drew – Yeah, it’s a chair.  I’ve got nothing.

♥ First thoughts that come to your head about the boots
Josh – Black dresses.
Drew – Hot.  And ball-crushing.  And hot.

♥ Boxers, briefs, commando (the readers want to know)
Josh – Boxers
Drew – Nasty bought him some with hammers on them.
Josh – How do you know that?
Drew – I picked them out.

♥ Tattoos
Josh – I hate needles.  And pain.
Drew – Not happening here.  Can’t really improve on perfection.  Why mess with this?
Josh – It’s because he also hates needles and pain.
Drew – I’m fragile.  Tierney’s got one and it’s right – Shit!  She just threw a shoe at me.  Anyway, Tierney has one.  It’s outstanding.  We’ll just leave it there.

♥ Kisses: sweet or hot and heavy?
Josh – I don’t really have to answer that, do I?
Drew – Any, all.  Bring it.  I’m an excellent kisser.  You can try me out.  F*%#!  Sorry.  Tierney just hit me with the other shoe.

♥ Whispering during kissy time: sweet nothings or dirty talk? (the readers made us ask, we swear *Celeste crosses fingers for a response*)
Josh – There’s not usually any talking.  That would be weird.
Drew – I like to use that time for existential musings.

♥ 2 words to describe yourself
Josh – I don’t know.  A guy who builds stuff?  That’s more than two.  I’m not really good with words.
Drew – I can’t be summed up in words.  I’m more of an experience.
Celeste, Christina, Ana – *nods*

♥ 2 words to describe each other
Josh – I only need one.  Brother.
Drew – I can’t do better than that.  I was going to say socially inept but he pulls out brother and makes me look like an asshole.

 Christina, Ana, Celeste – Josh and Drew, thank you so much for stopping by and helping us celebrate. We love you guys fiercely!

Drew – And we love you ladies.  At least I do.  Josh is too hung up on Nasty but he’ll build you a coat rack or something.

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