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Archive for May, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: JuNoWriMo Edition

So, next month(which starts tomorrow! Eek!), I’ll be participating in JuNoWriMo once again. I love doing these monthly writing challenges(if you haven’t figured that out by now). I’m not only working on one project for this, though. I actually have 6 different on-going projects right now(that doesn’t count the 3 that are in active revisions) and will be working on all of them during the month. For today, I’ll share a short summary and the last few lines I have written.

Protecting the Heart(BC Security #2):

Declan Portor, who has spent most of his life protecting others, is brought back to his first client, but saving her a second time could cost his own life.

His throat went thick at that, and he glanced back at Eva. He hadn’t been doing a great job of helping them. Barely staying one step ahead of trouble. He was going to have to change that. But Eva was smiling at them, like that thought wasn’t even bothering her. She trusted him, and he had to make sure he didn’t betray that by letting either of them get hurt.

“Can you read them to me? I think I’d like to know more about this Nighthawk. As long as he doesn’t fly around my apartment anymore.”

But, Dani grinned at him and put the rest of the books down. “I can do better. I made up a story about him. I can tell you that one.”

Declan settled back on the couch and gestured for her to climb onto his lap. He glanced back at Eva again, worried she wouldn’t like that. But, she was still smiling at them. “I’m listening,” he told Dani, bringing his attention back to her and trying to make sure his eyes stayed open.


Ready When You Are(Hunter Family #3)

Kelan Hunter has never quite fit, but just as he feels he may have found someone who accepts him as he is, they face blackmail and threats and are left wondering what will become of their lives.

There was that desperation again, and it tore at Kelan’s chest. “[xx], there’s nothing wrong with you. No matter who you’re attracted to and who you aren’t. Have you talked to your parents about this?” He certainly didn’t want to be the one to out the boy to them if they didn’t know already. But, someone should know what he was going through. Kelan hadn’t had anyone at that age, and he still hadn’t known just what he was then. Maybe if he’d talked to someone else, it would have saved a lot of years of questioning himself, though.


Paint Me a Picture(Gilbert, CO #4.75)

Artist, Rylan Stevens, wants to give single mother, Kirsten Matthews, and her daughter the life they deserve, but just as they get started, someone from her past returns.

Rylan took the hand Kirsten offered and let her lead him back to her bedroom. He’d seen the fear go through her eyes when he’d said he wanted everything. Was she really afraid of him? She had to know he would never hurt her. Not even once. So, it had to be something else.

He turned to her as they stepped into her bedroom doorway. He slid one hand up her neck to cup her cheek. “We don’t have to do this,” he told her. “We don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.”

“I wouldn’t have invited you over if I didn’t want this, Ry,” she told him. “That’s not what scares me. I know it doesn’t have anything to do with you. It’s all me.”


Shed Some Light(Gilbert, Co #5)

When his brother is apparently framed for a crime he didn’t commit, Carlos has to turn to the one woman who could save or ruin them both.

Tereza grabbed her bag from the seat beside her and hurried out of the car. She was already running behind. She’d wanted to have a chance to stop and see Brent before the hearing. See if he would be at least a little more cooperative than the last couple meetings they’d had. But, her car hadn’t wanted to start, then after it finally had, she’d gotten stuck in traffic. She’d realized she wouldn’t have time to stop by the jail and get to court in time.

Like it would have done any good anyway. Brent refused to help her help him at all.

She slammed her car door shut and walked as quickly as she could without losing her footing on the icy parking lot. The last thing she needed was to show up in court with a sprained ankle. She did slip a couple times, but thankfully managed to not fall. Thankfully the sidewalk had been shoveled and salted, so she was able to move at a brisker pace once she hit it.


Break on Me(Kurztown #4)

Gabriel Saranno wants to honor his friend’s memory with his father’s latest construction project, but when that friend’s sister gets involved, with the project and him, he doesn’t know if he can hold on to a promise he made.

His house for dinner? Why had Lora agreed to that? Being alone with Gabriel Saranno had to be a mistake. A huge one at that.

But, still, instead of calling him, or at least the office since she didn’t have his personal number, she stood in her closet, trying to decide on an outfit to pack. They were just going over the presentation to give to the town at the next council meeting. It’s not like it was a date.

So why did she have to agonize so much over the choice?

“You’re being ridiculous, Lora,” she muttered. “Just grab something, so you can put the rest of your shit in the bag. You don’t need to impress Gabriel.” Not like she’d ever been able to anyway.


In the Moonlight

When Yasmin Reisner inherited her great-aunt’s house, it comes with more than she expected; an alleged ghost, a relentless realtor, and possibly the love of her life.

“I’ll see you in the morning then, Ms. Reisner.” She turned away,  but I reached out and put a hand on her arm. She stopped and waited for me to say something.

“It’s Yasmin,” I reminded her. “I told you to just call me Yasmin.” I didn’t need the formality.

“Yasmin then,” she said, and her smile nearly knocked my legs out from under me. “I’ll see you in the morning. I hope you have a more restful night.”

I watched her walk away and highly doubted that would happen. But, I might get some good dreams out of it. And I’d still call that a win.


Looking forward to working on all of these. Anyone else participating in JuNoWriMo this year? Any other writing challenges you like to participate in?

Story a Day: Day 31 – Reasons Upon Reasons

The last day of Story a Day, and today’s prompt was to “Go Big”. Taking everything we’ve done this month and put it toward something new. This takes place shortly after “Put the Brakes on“.

Gabriel opened the door, not sure he’d ever been this nervous. Which was rather silly. It was Lora. His friend’s little sister. Who he’d talked to enough times through the computer. No screen, or thousands of miles, between them now, but it didn’t have to be any different.

And then he saw her. Gabriel imagined she thought the outfit was professional, and he was sure it was. But, it clung to every curve, giving him just a taste of what was under it. Stop it, he scolded himself. She was here for business, and he’d promised himself he wouldn’t let his thoughts go there. He’d made a promise to Aaron, and just because the man wasn’t here to make sure he’d keep it didn’t mean Gabriel would go and break his word.

“Come in,” he said when she looked at him curiously. He must look like an idiot just standing in the doorway, staring at her.

She stepped inside and let out a little shiver as she slipped off her sweater. “I thought it was warm when I left the bed and breakfast. I would have grabbed a coat, too, if I’d realized the temperature had dropped so much.”

He couldn’t say he was too disappointed that she hadn’t. Then, he reminded himself, again, that he wasn’t going to think like that. “We’ll get you warmed up,” he said and hung her sweater on a hook by the door.

He caught the way her eyes darkened as the words slipped out of his mouth. Shit. He hadn’t meant it like that, but now he couldn’t stop thinking about it. “Roommate threw some soup in the slow cooker this morning. House has smelled amazing since I got home.” Which had been fairly early since there wasn’t much to do, even in the office. And he’d needed to clean the house up anyway.

Her face tilted up, her nose twitching as if smelling the air. “You’re right,” she said, “it does smell good. Is it ready?”

“He said it would be whenever we wanted to eat.” Had he told her who his roommate was? He couldn’t remember now, though he wracked his memory for it.

“Is he joining us?”

“I don’t think so.” Actually Erik had made it pretty clear he wanted to be anywhere but near them tonight. And he knew his roommate had reasons upon reasons for that.

Gabriel led her into the kitchen. “Have a seat,” he told her. “I’ll get the bowls.”

He took a moment to draw and release a few breaths as he took the bowls out of the cupboard. Being here with her shouldn’t be dragging this response from him. They were going to eat and go over the proposal. That was it. And yet, this felt awfully close to the panic he’d found himself fighting off nearly daily when he’d first come home. He hadn’t dealt with that for a while now, though. He’d thought he was over it.

“Gabe, you okay?” Lora asked from over by the table.

He drew in another breath and said, “Fine,” on the exhale. And he was. This wasn’t a typical panic attack. It had felt like it at first, but the feeling was changing. Still, he breathed through the feeling as he dished out the stew Erik had made then cut a few slices of the bread he’d brought home.

When he carried the first of the bowls to the table, she still looked vaguely concerned. “I could have helped you with that. I should have. Your hand-”

“It’s fine,” he said, almost snapping the words. Even though relief nearly flooded him when she did. His father and brother nearly refused to acknowledge that anything was different and he had to make certain accommodations because of it. Having someone note it without acting like nothing had changed was a relief.

She jerked back, and he winced. “Sorry,” he said. “It’s been a little rough. Had an argument, I guess, with my roommate. Did I tell you who that was?” He rubbed at the side of his head, it was aching a little. Like it always did when he felt a small detail escaping from him. The blast had done more than take part of his arm, though most of the time the other issues didn’t affect him as much.

“Yeah,” she said, that curious look on her face again. “You’d said Erik was living with you.”

He cringed at the way she said that. But, she had to know. If they were going to be working together, she’d hear what everyone else in town said, so he should set her clear now. “We live in the same house, yes,” he said, testing his words carefully. “People may tell you there’s more going on, but that’s really all there is.” Except those few times. But, he wasn’t going to mention those. It wasn’t anyone else’s business how they both managed to cope late at night.

“I never thought any different,” she told him, still with that slightly curious look on her face.

Of course she hadn’t. Aaron had known, but he’d never told anyone. Not even his sister, despite how close they’d been. He turned and grabbed the other bowl of stew, but before he had turned back, Lora was reaching around him for the bread. He had to stop and take a breath, calming himself at the feel of her so close.

By the time he’d set his bowl on the table, Lora had taken a tub of butter out of the refrigerator and was heading back. It was like she belonged there. No. He couldn’t think like that. She didn’t belong here, not with him.

But, when he looked up after taking a bite of stew, she was watching him. He couldn’t exactly say what the look encompassed, though. Some curiosity, certainly. He was acting strange. He knew it, even as he couldn’t do anything to stop it. But, there seemed to be something else, too. He dropped his gaze again before he could think too much about it.

He couldn’t let himself go there.

But, she reached across the table and laid her hand over his. As if she knew the thoughts were bouncing around in his head, and that touch was the one thing that seemed to slow them down. How could she know that, though, when he’d never told anyone else? Still, there was something there between them. He couldn’t deny it, even if he’d never act on it.

He owed his old friend that much at least.


Story a Day: Day 30 – Three

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to somehow incorporate the rule of three into the story. I was just going to go with Yasmin looking at the three different books. Then, I saw a three sentence paragraph pattern forming. So, I decided to see if I could continue that through the rest of the story. And I did. This should be able to fit into the In the Moonlight WiP after the current scene I’m working on.

I couldn’t sleep. Every time I closed my eye, Nola was right there. Leading me through the house, showing me the little oasis Aunt Adriane had made, watching me.

I wasn’t sure she believed how casually I appeared to take that. If only she’d known what was really going through my head and how hard it was to keep up that appearance. If only she’d joined me in the bed.

Not likely. I snorted a little at myself as I threw off the sheets and swung my legs out of the bed. By all appearances, she was a good girl; something I’d never succeeded at being.

I tugged on a robe over my thin tank and shorts before leaving the room. I headed down the hallway to the stairs, running my hand down the railing as I went down. A shiver passed over me, but I told myself it was only from the memory of the ghost story Nola had told me.

Had a woman really died on these steps? I planned to find out. As long as I could find the right books in Aunt Adriane’s library.

My library now. I had to keep reminding myself of that. She’s left the house and everything in it to me.

I’d still rather have her here. Maybe I could have gotten her to tell me the real story, as long as she knew it. And really, I just missed her.

I closed the door to the library before switching on the light and drawing in a deep breath. I’d spent one summer helping Aunt Adriane catalogue all the books here. It had been one of the best summers of my life.

It didn’t take me long to find the section I wanted. One book on the history of the house, another on our family’s history, and a third on local ghost stories. I carried them all over to the couch I’d helped Aunt Adriane pick out my last full summer here when I’d just graduated from high school.

I stretched out on the couch and opened the book on our family history. We’d lived in this house as long as it had been standing here; more than two hundred years. If the ghost had at one time been the daughter of an owner, she should be in here.

I started with the generation before Aunt Adriane and my grandpa. It had to have been before her time for there to be so many different versions of the story. Probably quite a ways back even from there, but I needed a place to start.

Nola said the only common thread was that it was a young woman, so I ignored all the entries about the men in the family. And the women who had lived past the age of thirty. I kept flipping through the pages until one finally caught my attention.

She’d been born about a hundred years before Aunt Adriane and had died just short of her twentieth birthday. There wasn’t much more information beside that in this book, it gave birth, death, and the location of both. But, it gave me the jumping off point I needed.

I opened the book on the history of the house and found the corresponding time period. There was a photo of the family who had lived here during that time, but very little was said about the daughter. Only the sons and their service in the Union Army during the Civil War was recorded.

Not even one word about her death. I found that a little odd. She’d been young to die, even for the times.

I reached for the third book, maybe there were other stories of hauntings that would coincide with what Nola had told me. But, stopped at the creaking of the door and held my breath. Did the ghost haunt the library?

I shook my head and set the book aside. I probably hadn’t latched the door, that was all. I was letting my imagination get away from me, like Dad was always accusing me of.

I’d check it then go back and see what I could find in that final book. But, when I turned the corner of the shelves, I saw the door was still closed. Now, that didn’t make sense; I knew I heard it open.

I shook my head and started back toward the couch. Maybe I was tired enough to sleep now if I was imagining stuff like that. I’d just have to set the books aside for now.

But, when I reached the couch again, I almost screamed. A figure stood right next to it, looking down at what I’d been reading. It wasn’t until she turned to me, I realized just how far my imagination had run.

“Nola,” I said on an expelled breath. “You scared me, I thought I was the only one still awake. What are you doing in here?”

“Couldn’t sleep and saw the light on in here. I thought maybe Bailey had forgotten to turn it off. He reads in here before bed usually.”

“No, it was just me.” I looked away and picked up the books, not even able to look her in the eyes. “I think I’ll be able to sleep now, though.”

“What were you reading?” She followed me back to the shelves. I put the genealogy and history books back then headed back for  the couch.

“Trying to find the identity of our ghost. You put the idea in my head, and I couldn’t get it out. Found a possibility, but there’s not much information on her.”

Nola laughed, and I loved the sound of it, even if I shouldn’t. “Do you actually believe the house is haunted? It’s just an old story.”

“That could have some basis in fact. Doesn’t mean she’s haunting the place. I just want the truth behind it.”

We walked toward the door, and I shut the light off before stepping out into the hallway. “What about you? Why couldn’t you sleep?”

She hesitated, but for a moment, I thought she’d actually tell me. Then, she shook her head. “It’s nothing.”

I didn’t really think that was true, but it’s not like I could force her to tell me. We weren’t even friends. She’d worked for my great-aunt and now, I guess, she did for me.

I wanted it to be more than that, but I rarely seemed to get what I really wanted. I doubted this would be any different. I thought she’d made that pretty clear.

But, I paused at the bottom of the stairs, not wanting to leave her yet. “Can I do anything else for you?” Her hand was awfully close to mine as she asked the question.

There was a lot she could do for me, but nothing I would ask from her. “No,” I told her. “I’m just going to go up to bed.”

“I’ll see you in the morning then, Ms. Reisner.” She turned away,  but I reached out and put a hand on her arm. She stopped and waited for me to say something.

“It’s Yasmin,” I reminded her. “I told you to just call me Yasmin.” I didn’t need the formality.

“Yasmin then,” she said, and her smile nearly knocked my legs out from under me. “I’ll see you in the morning. I hope you have a more restful night.”

I watched her walk away and highly doubted that would happen. But, I might get some good dreams out of it. And I’d still call that a win.

Sunday Summary: Summer Already?


"Graduated" from Pre-K, even though they still have 2.5 days of school left.

“Graduated” from Pre-K, even though they still have 2.5 days of school left.

Well, at least the last couple days have felt like summer. In the 80s(out thermometer even read at least 90 yesterday). And it’s only the end of May. If it gets much hotter, not sure how I’ll handle it(and yes, those of you to the south of me, I’m a wimp when it comes to the heat). Kids had Friday off from school, and they started off at each others’ throats. So, it’s going to be fun when summer vacation officially starts Thursday afternoon.

Even the dogs are too hot to do much of anything

Even the dogs are too hot to do much of anything

I made some good writing progress during the week, though. Also decided on a new way to work through my WiPs. I have them all entered in mywriteclub.com and keep track of my overall progress on them there. So, it gives a percentage of how close I am to my goal. So, each week, I’m taking the ones that I’m the farthest from that goal on. Which will always leave one out(at least for now). But, the two that are farthest along are actually pretty close. So, I figure I’ll be working on one the first week and probably the other the next. I’ll reevaluate which ones I’m working on each week. We’ll see how this plan goes for now. I’ll be counting all of these toward my JuNoWriMo goal, though.

  • Write/edit for 20 hours – 18 hours, 50 minutes. Only a little more than an hour off from my goal. Not too bad. And I wrote 11382 words during that time and notes on the different settings for Guarding the Heart
    • Ready When You Are – 2307 words
    • Paint Me a Picture – 1209 words
    • Carlos & Tereza – 2020 words(+1787 words on Story a Day piece)
    • Break on Me – 2970 words
    • In the Moonlight – 2876 words
    • Stained by Ashes – compiled notes for Chapter 2 into master document
    • Guarding the Heart – As I said, I wrote notes for the various settings, but didn’t go through to make sure descriptions are all clear.
  • Dance with the Devil – get to 2000 words – got to 2213 words, plus I have two Story a Day pieces that will fit into this(probably close to another 2k).
  • Goin’ Down – get to 1750 words – got to 1705 words. Not quite my goal but some progress
  • Snow White Twist – get to 1500 words – 1412 words. Again, not quite to goal. Though I have an idea where it’s going.
  • Read: Storyworld First – get to 90% – made it this far. Shouldn’t have a problem finishing by the end of the month.
  • Read: Finish Priya in Heels(Ayesha Patel), Wild Man(Kristen Ashley), Forged in Stone(Alyssa Rose Ivy), Prophecy(Julie Anne Lindsey), & Sworn(Kate Sparkes)I finished Forged in Stone(was okay, but never felt all that drawn in), Prophecy(enjoyed this one), and about halfway through Sworn(and really enjoying it so far).
  • Loom: 2 Way Headband – finished this! Woohoo!wp-1464542000379.jpg I’m going to take the next couple month off from crafting. Too hot to work with yarn right now.
  • Story a Day: Finish 7 Stories – finished these(just barely! Posted today’s in the middle of writing this). Only 2 more to go. As long as I finish those, this will be the first time I’ve written all 31 stories in May.
    • No Matter What – this comes about the middle(maybe a little farther) in Ready When You Are. Kelan knows he needs to take steps to protect those he cares about.
    • But Everything – Rylan tells Kirsten just what he wants out of their relationship.
    • Believe in You – Some of Carlos’ back story…when he realizes there are some people who believe in him and are willing to give him a second(and sometimes third) chance
    • Talk to You – Gabriel has a talk with his father, which goes better than he expected.
    • Immensity of It – Yasmin tours the grounds of the house she inherited and is a little overwhelmed
    • Pressed – Hawk and Devil arguing when Hawk wants more than Devil thinks he can give
    • Only Hawk – Continuation of ‘Pressed’. Something finally breaks between Devil and Hawk

Lots of green and blue there! My favorite colors!!(Really, they are, even aside from this). Now, goals for next week(well, through Tuesday for most of them. Aside from the writing, don’t have next month’s goals figured yet).

  • Write/edit 20 hours for the week
  • Dance with the Devil – get to 2500 words
  • Goin Down – get to 2000 words
  • Snow White Twist – get to 1750 words
  • Read: Storyworld First – 100%. Choose next craft/research book. Read 15% of it
  • Read: Finish Sworn(Kate Sparkes) & Faking Perfect(Rebecca Phillips). Decide on June’s books(will change this goal then)
  • Story a Day – Finish last 2 stories

I’ll have my June goals(and wrap-up for May) up on here Wednesday

Story a Day: Day 29 – Only Hawk

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to torture your protagonist. This may be something I like to do a little too much(Nah!!). This may not be “torture” exactly, at least not the kind most people might think of. But, I bet Devil would definitely consider it so. This is more of the emotional/sexual tension kind of torture, though. So, saying: If you have a problem with two guys being together(nothing more than kissing in this piece), steer clear. Also, you may want to read yesterday’s piece, because it comes right before this.

It didn’t take me very long to catch up to Hawk. But, he refused to respond to any of my attempts to get his attention. So, I was forced to follow behind him, steaming at how easily he could ignore me.

I’d never been able to ignore his presence.

When he took a turn away from the clubhouse, I was surprised, but I followed anyways. We needed to have this out. Maybe we couldn’t go where he wanted us to. I wasn’t willing to lose the family I’d come into over it. But, I wasn’t willing to lose my riding partner, either. I’d known Hawk since before that was the name he went by and before I was Devil, before I was even a Marine. He was more than the guy I went out on patrols with for the club. So much more. Even if I didn’t usually let myself think about that.

And because I didn’t want to think about it, examine it, talk about it, I might be losing the one thing I would allow myself to have with him. It would kill me to lose that, too.

The sky darkened above us, and I looked up from under my helmet. Heavy clouds were rolling in. I flashed my headlight at Hawk, hoping to get his attention finally. His head moved, as if taking in my signal and the clouds above when I pointed up. But, he didn’t stop.

I really didn’t want to be getting wet while on the bike, but the only other option was turning around and abandoning Hawk, which would give him the idea I didn’t think he was worth it.

I couldn’t let him think that.

So, I kept following. Even when the first drops of rain hit the backs of my hands. Hawk didn’t seem to react at all. He had his leather jacket on under his cut already. I hadn’t bothered to grab mine before running out of the house. So, I had no protection save for the long-sleeve shirt I had on. It wouldn’t take long for it to soak through if the rain continued.

Hawk turned down yet another road, and I swore a little. This wasn’t even toward the place he kept away from the clubhouse. Where was he taking me? No, that wasn’t fair. He hadn’t asked me to follow him. This was all my own fault. And it was too late to turn back now.

The rain was coming down harder, pounding against the top of my helmet and soaking right through my shirt and jeans. He turned again, this time down what seemed little more than an overgrown trail. Maybe it had been a driveway once, but it didn’t look like any vehicles had used it in quite some time. There was a barn at the end of it, though. It looked like it was a miracle it was still standing, yet Hawk headed right for it.

I did, too, idiot that I was.

He rode straight into the barn, since the door was hanging open anyway.

I did, too. Sometimes, I thought I would follow him anywhere. Even into Hell. Or an old ramshackle barn.

Hawk was already climbing off his bike when I shut mine down. He took off his helmet, and I caught my breath. No, I couldn’t do this, couldn’t let my thoughts go there. It would only lead to disaster. But, the I couldn’t stop watching the way water streamed down his face. The helmet had kept the top of his head dry, but the rest of his reddish-gold hair was plastered to the sides of his face. I didn’t even know why that snagged my attention so much. I’d seen it before, often due to sweating outside, but for some reason, now I couldn’t move off my bike.

I pulled off my helmet and hung it off the end of the handlebar all without looking away from him. His chest heaved as if he was out of breath from running the distance we’d ridden. Then, he slowly closed his eyes. “Fuck, Damon.”

I’d only heard his voice that rough once before. The only time I’d let things go too far between us. I couldn’t let it happen again. “Hawk, please don’t do this.”

“What?” he asked, slipping off his vest and hanging it from his handlebars only long enough to remove his jacket, then he was wearing the cut again. He brought the jacket over to me. I took it, but didn’t put it on as I did finally climb off my bike. “Find a place out of the rain?” he asked, stepping back again.

“You know what I mean. Don’t find another riding partner. I need you with me when I’m out there, Hawk.”

“You can trust any of the guys to have your back. You don’t need me. I told you what I need from you.”

The one thing I couldn’t give him. “Hawk, I told you-”

“And I’ve told you, they won’t care. They know about me, Damon. Almost every one of them, at least the older members. They don’t care. They aren’t like your parents, they wouldn’t blame your brother’s drug problem on your sexuality. Or eventually his death. That never made much sense to me; blaming you when you were there and when you weren’t.”

It had never made much sense to me, either. But, that was my parents for you. They hadn’t even been there to greet me when I’d been discharged from the Corps and come home the final time. Only Hawk had been. That should have been my first clue.

He took a step toward me, and I tried to step back, but I tripped over something on the floor. Hawk darted forward and caught me before I could hit the ground. I would have thanked him if I hadn’t seen how heated his eyes had gotten. His gaze took in the shirt still plastered to my chest, and I knew where his thoughts were going. The same place I was trying to keep mine from straying to.

“Hawk…” But, I couldn’t find it in me to deny it all again. Would one time really hurt? There was no one else here to see us.

I was sure he was reading my thoughts because his hand slipped from under my arm to the small of my back. I put both hands on his chest, the fingers of one just covering the Lieutenant tab on his vest. “This is probably a mistake,” I told him.

“I don’t care,” he said, his mouth hovering close, so close, to mine. I could feel his breath on my lips as he spoke. “It feels like everything that’s ever taken me away from you was a mistake. This can’t be a worse one than those.”

I closed my eyes and didn’t stop him when his lips pressed to mine. Instead I opened my mouth, let him in, pressed into him. It might be a mistake, but he was right, it wouldn’t be the worst one I’d ever made.

“Your eyes,” he murmured against my lips. “I want to see your eyes when I’m touching you, Damon.” His hand slipped under my shirt, and I shivered at the feel of it against my bare skin.

But, I opened my eyes. And looked right into his eyes, murmuring his name, his real name, “Gavin”, as he pressed into me again. And that was all it took to be lost in him.

WeWriWa: ‘Difficult to Control’

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I’m still sharing from Dance with the Devil and likely will be for a while. Today I have the next 9 sentences following from last week’s snippet.

Bull was already coming down the steps and toward me. Great. Had Hawk already informed them of my attitude? Just fucking great. I wasn’t a prospect anymore. I wouldn’t get away with the same shit I had then.

I had more rights than I did then, but I was also expected to show more responsibility and control now that I was patched in. And that meant not talking back to any of the officers and controlling my temper.

But, I found it difficult to control any of my feelings around Hawk.

Is Devil in some kind of trouble? What is up with him and Hawk? I may answer at least one of those questions next week. If you still haven’t read Into the Sun, the story that started all this, I have up through Chapter 5 up on Wattpad. I also wrote a short piece this morning that involved Hawk and Devil. I’m pretty sure I’ll be adding it in to Dance with the Devil eventually, and what comes next.


SOCS/Story a Day: Day 28 – Pressed

I combined my Stream of Consciousness Saturday and Story a Day prompts again this week(last time for that). For SOCS, it was to use press, either as beginning, end, or on its own. For Story a Day, it was to focus on pacing. I wanted to go for a somewhat quick pace. And when I thought of that, I thought of these two. I’ll likely be continuing this for tomorrow’s Story a Day as well(which is to torture your protagonist, so that should be fun *evil grin*)

I pressed my hand against the wall, knowing I needed to calm down before I turned to him. Hawk was the only one who could ever turn me inside out like this. I always had a quick temper, so everyone tended to piss me off. But, no one pulled it out of me quite as quick as he did.

“I really wish you’d just listen to me.”

“I am listening,” I snapped back, turning to him. “I’m just not likin’ what I hear.” I hated the hurt that flashed through his eyes. But, it was gone almost as quick. Must not have gone that deep then.

“You’ve never much liked what I had to say. Can’t take anything that upsets the balance of your world, can you?”

That dig went deep, and a little too close to the heart of the matter. “That’s not it,” I insisted, even if I didn’t believe it. “But, it wouldn’t be right.” I couldn’t lose my place here, and I was so afraid that’s what would happen if this went any farther. Hawk said it wouldn’t matter, but what they said and what they did could be completely different things. Not that I had any proof for that.

He moved closer, his expression open, vulnerable. Why did he have to look at me like that? He knew what it did to me. “You want it back.”

I didn’t have to ask what it was. “No.”

“You only get scared liked this when there’s something you really want almost within your reach.”

“No,” I said again, but my voice slipped a little. It felt like he was circling me, like his namesake getting ready to dive for the kill. My breath came a little faster, waiting for him to strike. “I don’t want this.”

He pulled back sharply, but I could see his feathers were ruffled. Like he’d heard “I don’t want you.” That wasn’t true. It never would be. But, I couldn’t have him.

“You don’t want to want this,” he corrected.

I couldn’t argue with that, so I didn’t say a word. To me, they were one and the same. He took two more steps away from me. “You know I’ll never push you. But, if you ever realize you do want it, come and find me. Until then, I think it’s better if we get different riding partners.”

The claws that had dug into my chest earlier, gripped tight now. He couldn’t really mean that. We’d always ridden together. “Hawk, no.”

“Yeah, Devil,” he said, taking out his keys without looking at me. “That’s the way it’s gotta be. Find me when that changes.”

I watched him walk away then pressed my head against the wall, curses falling from my lips. Why did everything feel just beyond the tips of my fingers around him. Damn it. No. I wasn’t going to let him do this. I snatched up my keys and headed out the door. But, I could already hear the rumble of his bike heading away.

Well, I’d just have to catch him then.


Fiction Friday: Into the Sun – Chapter 5

Continuing today with the next chapter of Into the Sun. Have you read the previous chapters yet? If not, you can catch up first. Now, here’s the beginning of Chapter 5:

By my second day as a prospective member of the Riders of Justice, I started to regret my decision. I hadn’t realized what being a prospect meant. Kitchen duty, washing all the bikes, cleaning bathrooms. Pretty much whatever grunt work the full members wanted to assign to me.

For the first time, I felt like I belonged. I was greeted like a brother, like a nephew. Like a son.

Icarus was usually waiting when I came down for breakfast. There was always a chair waiting for me with them. The first day, he took me for a ride, showing me the local landmarks so I’d always be able to find my way back, even when I went out on my own. I realized we weren’t that far from home. I must have taken a winding route when I’d first left. It would only take about an hour to get there on my bike.

And there was Birdie. Always there, keeping up a conversation while I did whatever tasks had been assigned to me for that day, even when I didn’t feel like talking. She had enough words for both of us. She also seemed to sense when I needed silence.

When the chores were finished, she climbed on my bike, and we went riding. Icarus was upset the first time we came back. She, once again, told him she was an adult. His protest seemed to be more for appearance sake, because he smiled when he turned away.

I gritted my teeth through the worst of the tasks. I kept my mind focused on it. On what becoming a member could mean. More than just a place to stay. A family, a cause, a place to belong. I’d never belonged before.

Just possibly, justice for mom. And me.

Six months. I had to do this for six months before the members voted on me, or I earned my way in. Then, maybe I could bring up the idea of getting Mom away. I hoped it wouldn’t be too late for that.

I wiped the last of the moisture from one of the other member’s, Smoke, bike before something wet nailed me right in the back. I cried out and turned as I heard Birdie laugh. Her laugh always did something to me. I still reached down toward the bucket as I turned. When I came back up the sponge was already flying out of my hand.

Her laugh cut off when it hit her below the shoulder. Suds ran down her arm and chest. My mouth went dry as my gaze followed the path of some as it ran along the edge of her bikini top.

“Oh, that does it,” she said, but she dropped the hose.

She dunked the sponge into the bucket again. I only had time to think oh no then it sailed back to me. It hit me right in the center of the chest, and she started laughing again.

I loved that sound so much.

Story a Day: Day 27 – Immensity of It

Today’s prompt was to write to our natural length. Even to work on an up-coming scene in a work in progress if we already have a novel going. Well, I have 6 going. And, to be honest, this is pretty much what I’ve doing most of the month. A lot of my stories I’ve been able to fit into those WiPs. I actually wrote the first paragraph of this last week, but that was all I’d written of this scene, so I decided to include it. I’m really enjoying writing these girls.

I followed Nola through the yard. Nothing I’d seen in the house had really changed. Granted, she hadn’t taken me on much of a tour. Either time she’d started to. The first time she’d been pissy with me, and I still didn’t know why. The second time she’d started telling me that story that wasn’t really a story. There was no beginning, middle, or end. No plot. And only one character that no one even seemed to be sure about. But, she’d made me want to know more. I’d just have to figure out where to look first.

The grounds were different, though. Of course, I hadn’t spent as much time out here during the summer months I spent at this house. Most of my time had been split between the library and the pool. I hoped Aunt Adriane hadn’t gotten rid of that when I stopped spending so much time here. I turned to Nola to ask her the question. But, maybe she’d seen the look in my eyes, because she grinned at me.

“Don’t worry. Ms. Adriane would never do away with the pool.” The grin dimmed slightly. “She wouldn’t do away with anything she knew you loved. I don’t think you realize how much she loved you.

I did. Though sometimes the immensity  of it was more than I could grasp. But, all I said was, “I’ll have to check it out later.”

She said something low, but she was already turning and heading away, so I couldn’t catch what it was. Instead, I hurried to catch up to her. The ground weren’t too expansive. It wasn’t a tiny yard by any means, but we could easily walk it without growing tired. Most of it was open, and I wondered for a moment how long it took to keep up with yard. Then, she was leading me to what appeared to be a small pond, surrounded by flowers of all kinds and with a wooden swing on one side of it.

It had to be manmade because it hadn’t been there the last time I’d explored the years. Which, granted, had been a few years. I’d kept busy with taking summer courses and working a part time job so I didn’t have to take as much money from Dad for school. Plus, it really pissed him off that I’d work such a menial job instead of taking a position with his company. That made it worth it.

And none of those flowers grew here naturally. “What is this place?”

“Ms. Adriane had it put in almost two years ago. When she first started to get sick, but before we knew just what it was.”

Guilt sliced through me at that. Aunt Adriane had told me she wasn’t feeling well two summers ago, but she assured me she was fine. And I believed her. Even this past summer, she brushed off how bad it was getting. If I would have listened better, maybe I would have seen through that. But, I’d been too wrapped up in my own life.

Maybe I wasn’t any better than my parents. That was a discomforting thought.

“Who takes care of all this? Bailey can’t do it himself. The yard itself has to take hours every week. And these plants would need special care.”

Her teeth came out to scrape over her bottom lip, and just that one action had my pulse pounding a little harder. I wanted to step up to her and soothe that abused tissue. With my own tongue and lips. Heat coursed through me at the image that flickered through my head. Damn it. I needed to stop thinking like that. She’d made it pretty obvious that she didn’t feel much more than disdain for me.

She finally released her lip, but her hand came up to rest at her throat. What? Was it her love, and he’d left? That thought discomforted me, too, but for very different reasons. I didn’t crush on straight girls. That would be kind of silly and pointless. But, I knew, maybe better than most, that just because she’d been with a guy didn’t mean she was straight.

“My little brother helped Bailey with a lot of the stuff,” she said. Okay, so, I’d been way off track with my thoughts. “He left with the rest of them, though.” Something else flickered through her eyes, then. Something that looked painful. I decided not to press.

“Did Aunt Adriane come out here a lot?”

Nola nodded and led me closer to the pond. “She found it peaceful out here and said it helped restore her strength. Then, she got too weak over the winter, and even when the weather cleared, she couldn’t make it out here.”

My throat burned at the thought of Aunt Adriane being so weak. I’d always thought she was the strongest woman I knew. She’d always been there when I needed her. But, when she’d needed me, I wasn’t anywhere around. “I’m going back inside,” I said, turning sharply away from the pond and Nola. “I’m more tired from my trip than I initially thought.”

“Do you need anything brought to your room?”

I shook my head as I hurried away. “No, nothing. Just some rest.” And some privacy to mourn everything I’d lost.

Story a Day: Day 26 – “Talk to You”

Today’s prompt was to focus on drawing out emotions. This is something I’ve been told I’m pretty good at. I do like to dig down into a character’s emotions and twist them as much as I can(yeah, I’m mean like that). And this works perfectly for where I’m at in Break on Me. This comes after To Forget and Every Sunday but before Put the Brakes on.

Gabriel kicked at a clump of snow on the sidewalk to the office. Someone had already taken the time to shovel it off at least. Which meant either Chris or their dad had probably beat him into the office. Possibly even both of them.  He sighed and ran a hand over his face. He’d have to let them know how the meeting with Lora had gone the day before. Not that any of it had been bad. They’d gone over the points of the proposal, and Lora agreed they were solid. But, it still depended on what the town wanted. They wouldn’t be able to move forward until the council made a decision.

Just thinking about Lora had everything in him tensing up. It had been good to see her, knowing how she was doing since the funeral. He’d tried calling her a few times, but she never returned them. He’d figured she just didn’t want anything to do with someone who would only remind her of Aaron, so he’d let it go. But, it had definitely been a shock to see her again. He hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her, even when he’d gone home. He’d been silent through the dinner Erik had made, though he did listen to his roommate talk about his first day of work at the bed and breakfast.

He hadn’t gone to Erik’s room that night, though.

Erik had looked a bit rough this morning, like he hadn’t gotten much sleep, either. Gabriel had asked him if he was all right, and he’d assured him he was. Gabriel wasn’t sure he totally believed it, but he’d let it go. He still thought the other man should get in to talk to someone about his likely PTSD, but he knew pushing the issue wouldn’t do any good. Still, he worried.

Gabriel pushed into the office and saw his dad sitting at his desk. Other than that, the office was empty. “Chris hasn’t made it in yet?” he asked, letting the door close behind him. Their major projects had been set aside until the spring, but they still had some remodeling work on the table. It would be just enough to keep their guys working until it picked back up when the weather cleared.

“Sent him out to the site already. Boy’s been itchy lately.”

Meaning Chris felt cooped up here in the office and was driving their father only slightly crazy. Gabriel moved over to his own desk. There wasn’t really any designs for him to work on. Not until they got back to building in the spring. He could start figuring out the layout of this development, though. Or at least some different ideas for it. He didn’t have to wait for the town to approve it to do that. And it might help if he could take those drawings to the meeting.

But, he also had to make sure they stayed on top of all their bills and the other paperwork even during the slow months. Neither his father or brother were good at keeping up with that. So, it fell to him. He was fine with that. Most of the time. Today he wasn’t sure he could concentrate on it.

“I also wanted to talk to you.”

Gabriel’s head came up at that. He had no idea what it had to do with sending Chris to a job site early. But, he heard the concern in his father’s voice. A tone he hadn’t heard in almost five years. When he was sinking fast in depression, barely managing to cope with the loss of his arm and his future, to his thinking. That was when his father drove him to the VA center, and sat there with him until Gabriel gave in and went inside.

And he saw that concern in his father’s dark brown eyes as well. A lot of the time his father seemed detached from emotions. Which Gabriel figured was his coping method from losing the woman he loved and almost losing his oldest son.

“What is it, Dad? I’m fine, you know. Not every day, but I’m not where I used to be.”

“Good to know, but it’s not that.” His dad moved from his desk to the other side of Gabriel’s. “I’ve heard some talk in town.”

“I didn’t think you listened to gossip.”

His dad snorted. “I try not to. But, sometimes the busybodies shove it right in my face. I knew that stuff about Chris, Sue, and Ken was garbage. Anyone who looked at Susan and Kendall could see they loved each other. Buncha bullshit, you ask me, what the town tried to put those girls through.”

Gabriel agreed, but he still had to rub his sweaty palm along his jeans. He was afraid he knew where this was going. He just really hoped he was wrong. “What did you hear, Dad?”

“I knew that was garbage because anyone with eyes could see. But, you keep things all wrapped up tight.”

“Dad,-” Shit, shit, shit.

“I know you asked that boy to move into the house with you. No matter what his father said about the reason, I know the truth, Gabe. There’s never been love lost between Jakob Morrey and me. I thought his son was like him, but if you consider him a friend, I’m sure there’s more. And I know what you were thinking when you made the offer. Saving him doesn’t bring anyone else back, though.”

“I know,” Gabriel said, but it was hard to get the words out through the tightness in his chest. “Nothing will bring Aaron back. But, I can at least keep from having to bury another friend.” He swallowed hard, hating that his eyes burned from the pressure of tears he tried to fight back. “What did you hear, Dad?”

His dad let out a long sigh. “People are claiming there’s more than friendship between you and the Morrey boy. Something his father started from what I heard. Says the boy likes other men so it’s more than likely you two are…”

Gabriel lifted a trembling hand to rub over his mouth. God. He’d known Jakob had started spreading stuff around about Erik, none of it completely untrue. But, still. “Erik’s not gay, Dad. He’s…” Shit. He didn’t have Erik’s permission to say anything. But, his dad wasn’t one to spread things around. He hoped the other man would forgive him. “He’s bisexual, Dad.” He drew in a deep breath, letting it slowly back out. “So am I.”

His dad stared at him, and Gabriel held his breath while he waited for the judgment to come down. But all his father did was rub two fingers over the bridge of his nose. “So, you like both you mean?”

“That’s the over-simplified version, but yes. I’m attracted to more than one gender, but I do prefer women. It’s not always a 50-50 thing.”

His dad kept running his fingers along his nose. “I’ll admit I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around it. I only ever loved your mother.”

Gabriel didn’t say anything and finally his dad dropped his hand and met Gabriel’s eyes. “That doesn’t mean I don’t understand it works differently for other people. So, you and Erik-”

Gabriel shook his head. “Not like that. We’ve kissed and a little more, but it’s not like he’s my secret boyfriend. I really did just want to make sure he had a safe place. But, sometimes we both needed a way to forget everything that haunts us.”

His dad’s eyes darkened a little at that. “I wish you didn’t have anything haunting you still.”

“I know it, Dad,” Gabriel said, “but it’s never going to go completely away. I’m coping with it, though.”

His dad moved closer, gripped Gabriel’s good arm and pulled him closer. “I don’t know why you thought you had to keep anything from me. But, you didn’t. You’re my son, not one thing will ever change that or that I love you.”

It was rare to hear those words from his father. Not that he’d ever doubted the truth of them. But, his dad tended to show his feelings more than talk about them. “I know, Dad, but thanks for the reminder. “Now, I should probably get to work.”

His dad stepped back, a smile playing around his lips. He knew an evasion tactic when he saw one. “All right, son. That would probably be a good thing. “Was that woman in about the veterans’ project in yesterday?”

“Yeah,” Gabriel replied. “Give me a few minutes, and we can go over that.” Then, he pushed away thoughts of Erik, his own feelings, his father’s new knowledge of him, and everything else but what he needed to do for his job.

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