Home of a mother, wife, writer

I had a pretty good week. Okay, really good. And I met my Camp NaNo goal on Friday! Obviously I’ll keep writing through the rest of the month. And next. And the one after that. 😉

Yesterday we had our family reunion with my husband’s family. It was at an amusement park down in Altoona. We weren’t too sure if we were going to go, it’s a three hour drive for us and it was supposed to rain. We did end up going, though. And it did rain. Pretty hard at one point.

Our “lovely” view

Thankfully we were under a pavilion at least. We ate, played some board games(and I wrote a little bit in a notebook), and when it finally cleared up, we rode bumper cars and since we had a few extra tickets, the kids each went on another ride.

Driving from the backseat like usual

When we finally left, we went up through Clarion, which is where I went to college. So, we decided to stop at the Chinese restaurant we used to go to every time my husband came down to visit me. And then I got this fortune:

Well, that’s a little awkward. 😉

We stopped to get groceries on the way home. It was late, though, and the kids had already fallen asleep in the truck so my husband stayed in the truck with them while I went in to get the groceries. I also figured I’d grab birthday presents for the girl since she wasn’t with me. Her party’s in 2 weeks, so it’s good to not have to do it at the last minute.

Writing:

  • Heart of Christmas – 10000 words – 7658/10000 words, 2118 this week
    • Now, he finally got why Declan was telling him all this. “I don’t plan to leave her,” he told the other man. If anything, she’d figure out he wasn’t good enough, and leave him. And she’d probably be smart to do it.
  • Still Burning – 10000 words – 7727/10000 words, 2506 this week
    • It was probably toxic to live like this, letting her in only to have her push him out again. Over and over, until he was sure he was going to break apart. But, he couldn’t seem to give her up anyway.
  • Whatever It Takes – 10000 words – 7427/10000 words, 2194 this week
    • It was the anger that struck her the hardest, though. Alexa had not mentioned that. And it nearly overshadowed how attractive Carisa found her.
      Nearly.
  • High on Loving You – 10000 words – 9053/10000 words, 3808 this week(some of these were taken from Story a Day/Stream of Consciousness Saturday pieces)
    • That was only a few steps better than calling her “father”. She and Candace used to get along pretty well. At least as well as she’d ever known sisters to get along, especially with the four years between them. But, since she’d moved to California with Bill, there’d been too much between them and all their conversations quickly descended into spats and old arguments.
  • By the Gun – 10000 words – 8452/10000 words, 3306 this week – the first draft(of part 1) would be finished, but I decided to go back and stick in more scenes from other characters'(Luke’s kids who will continue on in the next 2 parts) POV. So now I have another 13 scenes to add in.
    • He picked up the other gun and cradled it in his hands. He would wear these from this day on and make sure they were what ended that cruel man once and for all.
  • Side Projects – 10000 words – 7801/10000 words, 2561 this week
    • Midas’ Daughter – 242 words – “Sweet dreams, princess,” he murmured. “We’ll figure everything out when you wake.” *This is finished! At least this draft. I’ll revise and find some readers for it then decide what to do.
    • Patrick & Sarah – 185 words – Patrick was nothing like any of them. But, she couldn’t help wondering if he might be the most dangerous of them all.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 215 words – “Stop thrashing,” a deep voice said near his ear. “We are trying to help, but if you hurt one of us, we might stop. And then Haiwee would be very upset with me.”
    • Roman – 367 words – Roman winced a little. That kind of blind loyalty could be dangerous. Especially in a situation like this. But, he had to do something.
    • Dougal & Shae – 225 words – From behind her, she thought she heard a soft snort. She had to fight to keep her own lips from curving. She wasn’t about to be charmed by this guy. She refused to be.
    • Jacob & Matthew – 260 words – “Do not bother your father. He has more important work to do than talk to you.” *No wonder Matthew and his stepmother don’t get along.
    • Mike & Fadil – 211 words – Mike couldn’t stop staring at him, though, and slowly the man’s smile slipped. Mike forced his gaze away. “Sorry.”
    • Preggers – 154 words – “You really think you should take a near stranger to a family dinner?”
    • Hawk – 257 words – Then, that means someone else wants me dead. I don’t think that’s comforting at all.”
    • Sean & Braeden – 230 words – Tomorrow everything would be normal again. *Sure, Sean, keep telling yourself that.
    • Jared’s Stepfather – 215 words – “Sure, man,” Jared said and nodded at Brent who stood behind his brother’s shoulder. He’d likely see him before he saw Carlos again.

Editing:

  • Stained Blood – Beta edits – Chapter 1/26, 0 this month
  • Flames of Renewal – CP edits
  • In the Moonlight – Read Through & Revise – Read through Chapter 26/32.
  • Hang On – Polish & Submit – 50/50 polished. Submitted Friday morning.

Reading:

  • Listen: 5 books – 5/5, 1 this week
    • Honestly Ben(Bill Konigsberg) – Started this Saturday morning. Finished this Tuesday morning. Really enjoyed it.
    • The Delphi Effect(Rysa Walker) – Started this Tuesday afternoon. On Chapter 21/22. I’ve only got about 20 minutes of this left at time of posting.
  • Read: 30 books – 22/30, 4 this week
    • The Three Brooches(Katherine Lowry Logan) – Started this Saturday morning. At 28%
    • No Good Duke Goes Unpunished(Sarah MacLean) – Started this Monday morning. Finished this Tuesday evening. Really enjoyed it.
    • Wayfarer(Alexandra Bracken) – Started this Tuesday evening. Finished it Wednesday night. Really really enjoyed it.
    • Hard Wired(Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell) – Started this Wednesday night. Finished it Thursday night. Loved it.
    • Infamous(Suzanne Brockmann) – Started this Thursday night. Finished it Friday night. It was really good. Basically took the whole “every villain is the hero of his own story” thing quite literally. Finding out the legend of an Old West hero was the complete opposite of what happened.
    • The Shadow Hour(Melissa Grey) – Started this Saturday morning. At 42%

Isaac lay on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. This night certainly had not turned out the way he’d planned. Not even close.

There was a soft knock on his door and he rubbed his arm over his eyes, hoping it came away dry. It didn’t. Still, he said, “You can come in.” And damn it, even his voice gave everything away.

His foster mother stepped into the room. “What’s going on, Isaac?” she asked as she sat on the side of the bed. “We expected you to be at the dance longer. Did you and Jonas have a fight?”

He’d laugh, but that would probably make him start crying again. Him and Jonas fighting? It was almost unbelievable. And not quite what you’d call what happened tonight. When he didn’t respond, Cristine put a gentle hand on his shoulder. “What happened?”

“Did you know?” he asked. Maybe he was the only dumbass who hadn’t figured out something was up with his boyfriend.

“Know what, Isaac?” He could hear the worry in her voice and knew he’d actually have to say it.

“That Jonas was enlisting in the Army. After graduation, he’ll be leaving for basic training.” He didn’t even know when exactly. He hadn’t stuck around to let Jonas give him the details. “Did you know?”

“No, but that’s great.” He stared at her, shocked she said that. “Isn’t it?”

He pushed himself up and wrapped his arms around his legs. “How can it be great? He’s leaving. He could be hurt or k-killed.” There went his voice, cracking again. “He could-”

“What?” she asked when he stopped. She’d always been good at getting more out of him than he’d planned to say.

“He could turn into my dad. He was in the Army, too. Did you know that?”

“We did. But, that’s not what turned him into the monster you grew up with. You know that, right?”

“Yeah,” he choked out. “But, it just-”

She put her arm around him. “Your fears don’t have to make sense, Isaac. But, you shouldn’t let them keep you from that boy you love so much. His dad and brother both served, too. And he’s been forever trying to live up to them.”

Isaac hadn’t thought of that as part of Jonas’ reasoning. And now he wanted to shout at him that it wasn’t necessary. That he loved him just as he was. He didn’t want him to be someone else. “I can’t do it,” he said “I just can’t.”

“Okay,” Cristine said. “I know it hurts now, but you’ll figure it out.”

He hoped she was right. because this, it was almost more than he could take. But, he’d learned early to start sealing his pain away. That’s what he’d have to do now, too.

~~~~~~

Ha! I didn’t think I’d get both words in there for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. This takes place right after my ‘ick’ piece from 2 weeks ago. I do have plans for Jonas and Isaac…eventually. I have a couple stories in the series to get through before that, though.

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. Still sharing from Hawk’s story and hoping I don’t end up catching up to myself. I think I’m still safe for now. Last week, we left Hawk remembering the last time one of them had been used as bait to get at the other. Picking right back up from there:

I reached out and cupped a hand around his cheek. “That’s not going to happen,” I told him. “They took me by surprise; I won’t let it happen again.” Then, I pressed my lips to his.

A chuckle from the front seat had me pulling my head back. Then, I met Mr. Bentley’s gaze in the rearview mirror. His face wrinkled from how wide he smiled. “I always figured this day would come,” he said.

“What day?” Damon asked, his brow furrowing.

So what day has come? What’s going to happen next?

And if you want, I have Chapter 9 up on Wattpad now. So you can check that out.

Well, we’re almost to the end. I have Chapter 9, the next to last chapter, of Dance with the Devil today. I’m about to start revising the next in the series, Staring at the Sun, Cassie & Icarus’ story. So you shouldn’t have to wait too long for me to stat posting that. For now, here’s the beginning of Chapter 9.

When we pulled up to the garage at the clubhouse, I was surprised to see how empty it was. “I thought everyone was sticking close until this thing with the Crows is over,” I said to Hawk as we put our bikes away.

His gaze coasted over the bikes still in the garage. “Icarus wanted to increase patrols until we’re ready to move on it. The two of us and Dive are to stick close, since we’ve been the ones targeted by them directly.”

Damn it. That was not what I wanted to hear. “I don’t need to be protected. I can take care of myself.” Hawk stood there and stared at me. “Okay, so they caught me by surprise the last time. Doesn’t meant it will happen again.”

He took a step toward me, his leather-clad thigh pressing against mine. “You know what it would do to me if it did? They wouldn’t have to come after me, because I would be utterly destroyed. You might think you aren’t important, but you have to see how much you are to me. I’d do anything to make sure you don’t stop breathing. Don’t forget that, Damon.”

I didn’t think I could breathe now. No one had ever made it so clear how much they cared for me. I leaned forward and pressed my lips to his. “Let’s get inside,” I said when I finally pulled back.

Hawk’s lips curled up, then we were both stripping off our chaps and rolling them back up to store in our saddlebags. We left the garage, and he closed the door behind us, pulling me in for another kiss before heading up to the house.

To my surprise, we didn’t run into anyone on the way up to the clubhouse. Usually there was at least one or two people wandering around the yard. It was still a little chilly out, so maybe everyone was inside.

I stopped thinking about that when Hawk snaked an arm around my waist as we neared the porch and pressed a kiss to the back of my neck. I wanted him so bad right then. But, there was no way we could do this right here. The guys might be okay with us being together, but I couldn’t imagine them caring to witness it.

Inside. We just had to get inside. And up to one of our rooms. Hopefully no one would stop us on the way. I might keel over if I had to wait much longer.

We barely even made it through the doorway. His mouth was on mine again, and he pressed me to the wall right next to the door. Holy shit. My engine was revving so much I was about to overheat. I moaned against his mouth then his fingers were in the loops of my jeans, pulling me away from the wall and toward the stairs.

If you want to read the rest of the chapter, you can check it out here. I’ll have the final chapter next week.

I mentioned in Sunday’s post that we just bought my father-in-law’s old motorcycle. My husband’s stepmom sold it after his dad died. Both she and my husband have connections through their work(in road construction, though stepmom got out of that now) with the guy who bought it. And when he decided to sell after his wife got in a bad accident with her bike, he got in touch and offered it to us. We managed to work something out and instead of having our bike paid off in 2 more months, we’ve got a few years of payments left. We took it out twice this weekend, put about 150 miles on it.

My father-in-law on the bike when he first got it.

This is the bike my father-in-law had when I first met him. An ’03 Harley Davidson Road King. It’s what he rode to the family reunion in Ohio in August of 2006. And offered to give me a ride on around the campground where we had the reunion. And it was what I refused to get on then, still afraid of pretty much everything at that point in my life(really only a slight exaggeration, this was my first time meeting his dad’s extended family, so I was nervous anyway). About a month later, he was dead(he’d been sick, but we didn’t know how  bad it was). I never did take that ride with him, and that’s something I’ve regretted since. Sunday when we were out for Wendy’s ride(an informal support ride for a member of our fire department’s Explorer post who faced a lot of bullying this past school year. We’re planning to turn it into an annual event), that’s all that I could think of. And that I was now finally getting that ride. I don’t know why that didn’t hit me when we were out on Saturday. But, it didn’t until Sunday.

On a friend’s trailer so we could bring it home.

Anyway that’s it for my emotionalness(shut up, wordpress, it’s a word. I said so) about a motorcycle. 😉 It’s WiPPet Wednesday time! Today I’m working on Whatever It Takes, so you get another snippet from that. You haven’t met Jayla yet(unless you read Healing the Heart which released last December, and she was only in 1 scene of that. Konner was in that same scene). You have met the boy Konner’s talking about here, though. 😉 I have 10 paragraphs(1+9 for the day) from a scene I wrote last night(so very unedited).

A body flopped against the counter, and she jerked her head up. “Konner. You ass. Why did you have to scare me like that?”
Her youngest brother laughed. “That’s no way to talk to a patient, is it?” His hair was probably the straightest out of all of theirs. And he wore it a little long, so now he had to push it out of his face.
She worried for a moment, her gaze skating over him, looking for what could be wrong. “What did you do to yourself?” She didn’t see anything.
He sighed dramatically and put a hand over his heart. “I think I have love sickness. I met a boy today.”
She arched an eyebrow at him. And he launched right in, never needing much encouragement. “I guess that’s not true. I’ve seen him. He’s in my Writing 101 class, so I’ve seen him a couple times already. But, I spoke to him today. And he left his sketchbook behind, so you know, I had to go and return it to him.”
“Of course you did,” Jayla said, not able to hide her smile. “Did he thank you?”
His face dimmed slightly, though she thought that might be more concern than upset. “He acted like he thought I was going to hit him. Can you believe that? Like I’ve ever hit anyone in my life.”
“What did you do?”
“I asked him to lunch,” he said, grinning again. There was very little that kept Konner down for long. At one time that had been a coping method for him. Now, it was just a part of who he was. “And he came. And, God, Jayla, I think I’m in love.” He sighed and leaned against the counter as if it was the only thing holding him up.
“You dork,” she said, shoving against his shoulder. “I think you should have gone for a drama major instead of psychology.”

If you want to know who Konner met, I wrote this from the other guy’s perspective. 😉

Writing:

  • Heart of Christmas – 10000 words – 7658/10000 words, 2118 this week
    • Now, he finally got why Declan was telling him all this. “I don’t plan to leave her,” he told the other man. If anything, she’d figure out he wasn’t good enough, and leave him. And she’d probably be smart to do it.
  • Still Burning – 10000 words – 7727/10000 words, 2506 this week
    • It was probably toxic to live like this, letting her in only to have her push him out again. Over and over, until he was sure he was going to break apart. But, he couldn’t seem to give her up anyway.
  • Whatever It Takes – 10000 words – 6381/10000 words, 1148 this week
  • High on Loving You – 10000 words – 5245/10000 words,
  • By the Gun – 10000 words – 5146/10000 words,
  • Side Projects – 10000 words – 6676/10000 words, 1436 this week
    • Midas’ Daughter – “Sweet dreams, princess,” he murmured. “We’ll figure everything out when you wake.” *This is finished! At least this draft. I’ll revise and find some readers for it then decide what to do.

Editing:

  • Stained Blood – Beta edits – Chapter 1/26, 0 this month
  • Flames of Renewal – CP edits
  • In the Moonlight – Read Through & Revise – Read through Chapter 19/32.
  • Hang OnPolish & Submit – 10/50 polished

Reading:

  • Listen: 5 books – 5/5, 1 this week
    • Honestly Ben(Bill Konigsberg) – Started this Saturday morning. Finished this Tuesday morning. Really enjoyed it.
    • The Delphi Effect(Rysa Walker) – Started this Tuesday afternoon. On Chapter 4/22.
  • Read: 30 books – 19/30, 1 this week
    • The Three Brooches(Katherine Lowry Logan) – Started this Saturday morning. At 28%
    • No Good Duke Goes Unpunished(Sarah MacLean) – Started this Monday morning. Finished this Tuesday evening. Really enjoyed it.
    • Wayfarer(Alexandra Bracken) – Started this Tuesday evening. On page 83/532

It’s been quite a week. And a good one at that. I actually met all my writing goals on Thursday. So I spent Thursday and Friday working on back stories for Jonas & Isaac. I’m still working on one of them. And I wrote another little piece for Stream of Consciousness Saturday. This one’s only with Isaac, but he meets someone who has a connection to Whatever It Takes.

I mentioned a while ago that we went to look at my father-in-law’s old bike. My stepmother-in-law sold it after he died. My husband would have liked to keep it, but we didn’t have the money for it then and he didn’t have his motorcycle license yet. We really didn’t think we’d ever see it again. Then, a few months ago, the guy who bought it got in touch with stepmother-in-law. His wife was in an accident on his bike, and he wanted to sell his. So, we started talking about buying it. We weren’t sure if we’d be able to swing it or not. But, Friday we took our old motorcycle in to the dealer we were working through and picked up the new one and brought it home.

My father-in-law on the bike when he first got it.

We took the bike out yesterday and went up to the Bike Fest in Erie(Roar on the Shore is going on as well, but we didn’t go there). There were a lot of people, some stuff to look at, some bikes on display, and really loud music. So, yeah, I was a little on edge. But, we didn’t stay there too long. After we left, we rode down to a ‘hog bash’ some people my husband works with have every year. So we ate there and talked a while and then went to get the truck so we could pick the kids up from his mom.

Today we have another ride, an anti-bullying ride to show support for a member of the Explorers post out of our fire station. It got really bad at school for her during the year, and this is something I’m sensitive to, because I *was* her. Except I didn’t really have people who had my back(I was just told to ignore them and they’d go away. Yeah, that didn’t happen).

Anyway, here’s my progress for this week. There was quite a bit of it.

Writing:

  • Heart of Christmas – 10000 words – 5540/10000 words, 2587 this week. Posted a bit about this story on my Patreon(at the moment, I’m making all my content available for $1 monthly patrons, at least until I build up a following).
    • She let out a soft sigh as his lips pressed to hers. “Oh, aye,” she mimicked his accent. “Matches what I was thinking.”
  • Still Burning – 10000 words – 5221/10000 words, 2442 this week
    • There was a flash of heat in his eyes then his lips quirked up. “Because I know us, Jess. I let you talk me into your bed, and we won’t have dinner. Or probably breakfast tomorrow. Except for the fact I got to work. And I really want to take you to dinner.”
  • Whatever It Takes – 10000 words – 5233/10000 words, 2496 this week
    • It wasn’t true. She knew that. Carlos loved her. Pia loved her. But, there was still that voice in her head that laughed at her and said that wasn’t enough. She’d never find anyone who could really love her.
  • High on Loving You – 10000 words – 5245/10000 words, 2421 this week
    • He pulled back, and she saw a flash of anger in his eyes then it was gone. “Just relax, Dakota,” he said, almost lazily. “Anna’s practically like a little sister to me. Plus, she’s hot for my brother. Not like I’d step into that.” *nothing like announcing something neither of them want to face. And, no, Bryce(the one speaking) & Dakota are not in a relationship. It’s a bit more complicated than that.
  • By the Gun – 10000 words – 5146/10000 words, 2533 this week
    • But, it was too late to change any of that. All they could do was move forward. And he finally felt like he was doing that.
  • Side Projects – 10000 words – 5240/10000 words, 2778 this week. I’ve already met my goal on this for the week.
    • Midas’ Daughter – 373 words – Flip glared over at him for a moment then returned his attention to Mr. Midas. James didn’t matter here, not if Mr. Midas decided he didn’t. “You might think I don’t have any power, but I also don’t have a lot to lose. You already destroyed what I could have had with her. All I have left here is a job.”
    • Patrick & Sarah – 283 words – The boy’s lip curled up into a sneer, a look that should not have fit on the face of a boy so young. “You and every other man in this town,” he said.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 191 words – No,” she said, shaking her head. His mind must really have traveled far away. “Haiwee.”
    • Roman – 207 words – He sat beside her and followed her gaze to the television screen. Where the newscaster was wrapping up a story. And there was video of Carlos being led back to his cell. Well, that explained the tears.
    • Dougal & Shae – 187 words – She let out a soft laugh but didn’t bother turning around. “Sure you didn’t. Don’t try to tell me Donnie didn’t send you out here to try to push us together once more.”
    • Jacob & Matthew – 250 words – “Oh, I responded to all of Pa’s letters,” Matthew told her. “I just didn’t send any of them here, as I figured you would throw them in the fire before letting him read them.” He glanced at the boy again and saw the confusion in his furrowed brow. Exchanging verbal blows with his stepmother would get him nowhere and only upset his little brother, so he took a step back. “I take it Pa is not at home today.”
    • Mike & Fadil – 327 words – “You aren’t an all-powerful being, Jess. Do you want me to keep Alexa a little longer until things settle down more?”
    • Preggers – 317 words – Missy gave them increasingly dirty looks every time she passed the table, but Lyndi didn’t seem to notice. So, Marika decided to ignore it as well. What she couldn’t ignore was how nervous the other woman seemed to grow as the minutes ticked away.
    • Hawk – 220 words – I nodded, but I wasn’t sure what else to say about it. I thought it had been the worst thing to feel my father’s fists and feet slamming into me then having him pushing me out of his truck into a ditch and leaving me there. Until he’d shot at me.
    • Sean & Braeden – 227 words – He saw his parents exchange a glance and wish he’d decided to do that before they’d even sat down to eat. Like maybe as soon as he’d realized Braeden was here. He should have known that would only lead to disaster.
    • Jared’s Stepfather – 196 words – But, he made the vow anyway. He didn’t care if it cost him his life. He would never let that man hurt Denise or hand her off to another man to do it. Not as long as he breathed.

Editing:

  • Stained Blood – Beta edits – Chapter 1/26, 0 this month
  • Flames of Renewal – CP edits
  • In the Moonlight – Read Through & Revise – Read through Chapter 17/32. And posted a teaser of this Tuesday.
  • Hang OnPolish & Submit

Reading:

  • Listen: 5 books – 4/5, 3 this week
    • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue(Mackenzi Lee) – Started listening Thursday morning. Finished Monday afternoon. Loved this one so much.
    • When the Moon was Ours(Anna-Marie McLemore) – Started this Tuesday morning. Finished it Wednesday night. Got to the point where I didn’t want to stop listening. It was a beautiful book.
    • Game of Fear(Robin Perini) – Started this Thursday morning. Finished it Saturday morning. Really enjoyed it.
    • Honestly Ben(Bill Konigsberg) – Started this Saturday morning. On Chapter 3/49.
  • Read: 30 books – 18/30, 8 this week
    • Winter of the Wolf(Christina Ochs) – Started this Saturday night. Finished it Sunday afternoon. Really enjoyed it, though I still can’t believe one of the characters she killed. 😥 Seriously, no one in this series is safe.
    • Dating Sarah Cooper(Siera Maley) – Started this Sunday evening. Finished it Sunday night. Really, really enjoyed this one.
    • Hard Justice(Lori Foster) – Started this Monday afternoon(after starting 2 other books and setting them aside). Finished it Tuesday night. Enjoyed it.
    • For Real(Alison Cherry) – Started this Wednesday morning. Finished it Wednesday evening. Liked it.
    • Under His Skin(Sidney Bristol) – Started this Wednesday evening. Finished it Thursday afternoon. Enjoyed it except for when the one MC said that her friend was trying to turn her into a real girl by getting her to wear dresses, heels, and make-up. Really? Does that make me a fake girl for hating all that stuff?
    • Front Porches & Funerals(Cora Kenborn & KA Ware) – Read this Thursday evening. It was hilarious. It’s a series of novellas, so this was a really quick read, but I really enjoyed it.
    • Chasing I Do(Marina Adair) – Started this Thursday night. Finished it Friday afternoon. Really enjoyed it, though it felt like things got resolved a little too easily at the end. Still, I really enjoy her writing.
    • Bend Me, Break Me(Chelsea M. Cameron) – Read this Friday. Liked it but never felt really invested. There was a lot of secret keeping(and not just from the other characters).
    • The Three Brooches(Katherine Lowry Logan) – Started this Saturday morning. At 22%

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I have another snippet from Hawk’s story. This picks up right after last week’s. I got rather creative with the punctuation to make it all fit.

For as long as I’d known him, that store had been the one thing he cared for most. How could he say it didn’t matter now? It had been my safe place when I was a teen, a refuge away from my father’s rages. He’d just abandon that now?

I opened my mouth to argue, but Damon put his hand on my thigh, derailing my train of thought. My body instantly reacted to his touch, and I saw his mouth curved up, but, his voice was serious when he said, “Bentley’s right. He could be used against us. I can’t see you in that position again, Gavin, I just can’t.”

My chest cracked open at his words; I knew we both still had nightmares even though it had been months since the Ivory Crows had used me as bait against him. They’d known exactly how he’d react when he found out I was in danger, and he hadn’t disappointed them; it had nearly gotten us both killed.

Are they going to get into another situation like that? Will Bentley abandon the shop?

And I have Chapter 8 of Dance with the Devil up on Wattpad. So, you can check that out if you’re so inclined.

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