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Archive for February, 2017

Sunday Summary: Shifting Ahead

It’s been a pretty good week for me. On Monday I decided to change how I worked on my projects. Which takes me back to working on drafting one project at a time. It should also still give me time to work on plotting & editing other projects. I’ll figure out how many scenes I have to write a day to meet a deadline and those are the scenes I’ll write that day. And whatever writing time I have left will be split between editing & plotting. As long as the characters I keep waiting behave, this should work.

Yesterday was my second-youngest cousin’s wedding. Her and the youngest are only about a month apart(she got married about 1.5 years ago) and are about 8 years younger than me. I can still remember when they were really little. Hard to believe they’re married now. It was a good day. The invitation said to wear casual attire and I may have celebrated that a bit. 😉 If I can get away with wearing pants instead of a skirt or dress, oh yeah. The ceremony was pretty quick, only about 20 minutes. Then, we waited at the reception hall for about 2 hours before they got done with pictures. Good dinner, lots of dancing(that I mostly just watched, because I’d prefer to do that anyway), then we came home. Only got a comment from 1 sister(and not the one I’d thought it would come from) about me not drinking. I don’t have a problem with drinking, I just don’t do a lot of it. And I didn’t feel like it last night, so I only had a can of pop. Whatever.

Anyway, on to my progress for this week:

  • Write: Shoot for 10000 words between projects – 12125/10000. All of those were on Defending the Heart since I changed how I was working on things. I also got the novella in this series, Heart of Christmas, mostly brainstormed. 1 more mind map to do.
    • But, Piers didn’t hear any more. He was already running out the door. He wasn’t going to let anything happen to Xavier. No matter what it cost him. *yeah that doesn’t sound too good does it. The next scenes are going to be intense.
  • Edit: Stained Blood – continue writing new scenes, shoot for total of 1000 words – I’ve finished 3/14 new scenes. Added 872/1000 words.
  • Side Projects – 1000 words/200 per project – 1178/1000 words. Didn’t quite hit 200 on each project, though. And going to shelve Fade Away. it’s just not coming together the way I’d hoped.
    • Midas’ Daughter –  264 words – She was definitely not what he’d first assumed. And he definitely liked the girl he was getting to know.
    • Fade Away – 138 words – I was fading away and no one noticed a thing.
    • Patrick & Sarah – 267 words – “Will,” she said, her breath catching. “He has terrors at night sometimes. I’ll just make sure he’s okay.” *yeah, pretty sure those “terrors” go by the name of Tommy.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 157 words – They walked along in silence for a few minutes. It was probably better this way. Tavin was less likely to put his foot in his mouth if he kept it closed.
    • Roman – 225 words – She shrank away as he approached the doorway. “Couldn’t sleep,” she mumbled. “Thought I was the only one awake then I saw your light. I didn’t mean to disturb you.” *Oh, Tereza, you’ll learn you have nothing to fear from Roman
    • Dougal & Shae – 127 words – “How’s that going?” his father asked, his voice a little gruff. “Your new job. It everything you thought it would be, getting away from your old man.”“Da,” Dougal said, aggravation and affection mixing in his voice. “You know it’s not like that. We can’t work together, though. You had to see that, too.”
  • Patreon – write new side story(this one will be Mason & Lila from First Choice, Second Chance) & if I get chapter 1 of Patrick & Sarah’s story back from beta & edited I’ll post it too – I got the Mason & Lila story started Saturday morning. 123 words. And I got Chapter 1 back Friday night but have only read through the comments so far. Will start working on edits this week. I did send Chapter 1 of Tavin & Haiwee to beta as well.
    • Mason & Lila – “How’d you know I was looking for Lila?” he asked before the rest went through his head. He’d been up early doing chores and really could have used more caffeine before coming to school. “What do you mean pop quiz? And how do you know about it if it’s supposed to be a secret?” *I may like writing Mason & Brian’s early friendship as much as I do Mason & Lila getting together.
  • Snow White Twist – read through – started the read through. Got through Chapter 1 as of this morning.
  • Listen: From the Moment We Met(Marina Adair) & The Emerald Brooch(Katherine Lowry Logan) – finished From the Moment We Met(really enjoyed) and have listened to almost half of The Emerald Brooch(loving it)
  • Read: Walk the Edge(Katie McGarry), Leveling the Field(Megan Erickson), Ignite(Rebecca Yarros), Forbidden(Beverly Jenkins), Murder Comes Ashore(Julie Anne Lindsey), Destiny(Carly Phillips), and It’s Always Been You(Jessica Scott) – Finished Walk the Edge(loved), Leveling the Field(loved), and Ignite(enjoyed). I liked Forbidden, though it felt like she kept putting historical details in she’d found during research even if they didn’t really have a place in the story, and it kept yanking me out of it. I really enjoyed Murder Comes Ashore(though I’m not Team Sebastian, honestly he kept pissing me off. I like Adrian much better). I finished Destiny on the drive to the wedding and enjoyed it. I’d taken my kindle along too but hadn’t thought to load It’s Always Been You before leaving the house(hadn’t realized it was in the cloud not already on the device) and didn’t have internet available to do that. So, I ended up starting one that was already on the kindle, Dancer of the Nile(Veronica Scott). I’m only 19% through it now. I’ll probably read It’s Always Been You today then pick Dancer back up.
  • Crochet: Flower Coaster – I finished this one wp-1488034712809.jpg
  • Loom: Ambrosia Love Scarf – got this one started but not too far
  • A to Z Challenge: DraftPost B, C-Z –  I finished the ‘B’ post and have 536 words for ‘C’.

A lot of green for this week. Happy with that and the blue. These goals are only going to go through Tuesday. Then, I’m going to go straight from my monthly goals instead of making a list each week(I’ll still have that weekly list in my to-do lists, just not here). Until then, my goals for finishing up February:

  • Finish 1st draft of Defending the Heart
  • Edit: Stained Blood – continue writing new scenes. Target: 400 words
  • Plot: Heart of Christmas – finish brainstorming, start Alaina’s back story
  • Side Projects – 200 words
  • Patreon – work on Mason & Lila(and come up with a better title) & edit Patrick & Sarah Chapter 1.
  • Snow White Twist – work on read through
  • Listen: The Emerald Brooch(Katherine Lowry Logan)
  • Read: It’s Always Been You(Jessica Scott), Dancer of the Nile(Veronica Scott), When the Duke was Wicked(Lorraine Heath), Passenger(Alexandra Bracken), & Last Words(Stacy Green)
  • Loom: Ambrosia Love Scarf
  • A to Z Challenge: Draft – finish Post C, start post D

WeWriWa: Next Move

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I’m back with more from Dance with the Devil. Hawk and Devil got interrupted during a moment that was heading toward steamy last week. Right now, they’re still waiting to get their moment alone. I have 10 sentences(and I got *a bit* creative with punctuation here) of the next scene.

Hawk sat right beside me, and his hand slid over my thigh. “Relax,” he murmured from the corner of his mouth, “everyone’s just excited about making the next move.”

I was more excited about making our next move. I’d spent about an hour on the heavy bag earlier today, but it still hadn’t worked this sizzle out of my nerves; nothing seemed to have done that when all I wanted was Hawk’s mouth and hands on me. Not much longer and maybe we could finally get there; his hand on my thigh wasn’t helping matters much.

“They need to all go away,” I muttered back to him. “I want you alone.”

Hawk just laughed and squeezed my thigh, causing me to moan. A few eyes turned our way, but Hawk only laughed. “Patience, Damon,” he whispered, “we’ll get there soon enough.”

Will they get there and finally have their moment together? Or will something else come up? You just may find out next week. 😀

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “How”

How are you doing on this lovely day?”

Alaina glanced over at Caelen who was leaning in the doorway to the kitchen then back out the window. Where the sky seem to be pouring down buckets of water. “Is this really what you call a lovely day in Ireland?”

He let out a long loud laugh. God, she really loved to hear his laugh. “You’d think you’d be used to it after the more than year you’ve lived here.”

She loved listening to the way words rolled off his tongue, too. Sometimes she wished he talked more, just so she could hear it.

He brushed his dark hair away from his face and moved over to the table. He’d been out working in her uncle’s barn most of the day. Now, she scooped some of the stew she’d been cooking into a bowl for him. He smiled up at her as she set the bowl in front of him. “Running through the rain may well have been worth this.”

“My stew or getting to see me?”

She watched his face flood with color then just winked at him. Then, she turned back around. “Are you flirting with my sister, Dougherty?”

She rolled her eyes at her older brother’s question, but she heard Caelen choke a little. “No. No, I…I just came in for some stew.”

“Relax, Caelen,” she told him still not turning around. “Declan likes to think he’s a badass, but he’s really a softie.”

Her brother wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pressed a kiss to the side of her head. “I am a badass. Retired, but still a badass.”

She laughed. “I didn’t know badass and Marine were synonymous.”

“Then, you weren’t paying attention.”

She laughed again, harder this time. She’d missed his brother and hated not knowing exactly what was going on with him. Especially when he’d gotten hurt over the summer. So much for being retired from anything. She was glad he and his new family had at least been able to make it over here for the holidays. She wasn’t looking forward to when they left again, though.

Even if her brother did try to butt into her private life.

“Maybe it’s him I should be worrying about,” Declan murmured. “Are you going to break his heart?”

“I don’t think that’s possible,” she said. She’d have to have it first, and it was something Caelen seemed to keep well-guarded. If only she could get through those defenses. She just didn’t know how.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Another Stream of Consciousness Saturday, today’s prompt: “how.” Start your post with the word “How.” Bonus points if you end with it too. Enjoy! Another dip into the novella I’m planning to write in my BC Security series. This one is tentatively titled “Heart of Christmas”. The others all have heart in the title(Guarding the Heart, Protecting the Heart, Defending the Heart) and this one does take place around Christmas. I got it mostly brainstormed this week, so I’ll be moving on to writing back stories next week. I already know most of Alaina’s from writing Declan’s for Protecting the Heart. So that shouldn’t be too hard.

Writing Wednesday: Charging Ahead

On Monday, I once again decided to change how I work on my projects. When it came time to work on my secondary project, I…just didn’t want to. And I’ve been feeling like that more and more. So, I decided to take the secondary projects off the table for now. I did look at what scenes I have left to write for Defending the Heart. And realized if I write 3 a day, I can have it finished by the end of the month. So, that’s what I’m shooting for right now. We’ll see if I can keep up with only 1 project. Well, except for my editing. If I get all those scenes done before the end of my writing time, I’ll switch over(after eating some breakfast, which I’m just finishing as I type this) to my editing/plotting. At the end of the writing time(9 a.m. which gives me about 4-5 hours), I’ll do chores and all that then get to my social media stuff. And my afternoon will pretty much remain the same as it has been. And now that breakfast is done, to editing! I’ll be back to finish this post later.

Chores are now done, so time to finish up this post! Yesterday we went and got our taxes done. We don’t always get them done this early, but we had everything together so we decided to get it over with. And we got more back than what I’d expected. We may have to wait a little longer to get the money than usual, but that’s not too bad. Then, we went and got Chinese for lunch(chicken and broccoli with fried rice. yum!) and were still home in time for me to wash dishes, fold laundry and write a few words before the kids got home.

It’s Wednesday which means time for WiPPet Wednesday!! I’m still working on Defending the Heart, so I’ll be sharing from it again. This may be the last one as long as I do get it finished by the end of the month. I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be working on next. Depending on which project I choose, I may share one more snippet from this next week even if I have finished drafting it. We’ll see how that all goes. For now here’s 6 paragraphs(2/22=2+2+2) from when Piers and Xavier go out to dinner together.

But, he kept his mouth shut as the hostess greeted them and led them back to a table. He noticed the young woman keep glancing back at Xavier. He couldn’t really blame her, he wouldn’t mind never taking his eyes off the man again, either. But, Xavier was probably a decade older than her, and other than a brief smile of greeting—which he gave to pretty much everyone he saw—he hadn’t given her a second glance.
Piers had an urge to tell her it was a lost cause, but why burst the girl’s bubble? A little harmless ogling and flirting rarely hurt anyone. And, to his surprise, it didn’t bother him that much. Even when Xavier winked at her, and she blushed a deep red. So, maybe Xavier had noticed it, too.
“You didn’t need to encourage her,” Piers said when she’d left them alone with their menus. “It’s not really fair, you know.”
One corner of Xavier’s mouth kicked up, but he didn’t look away from his menu. “Maybe we were just commiserating,” he said. “Being with a handsome bastard like you, no one would notice me.”
Piers snorted out a laugh at that. “Oh, trust me, they notice you. I could point out at least three women and two men who have their eyes on you right now.”
“Oh, I’ve seen them. But, pretty sure they’re actually watching you.”

So, which of them is right? Both? Neither? And just where is this night going to lead? Things are getting intense with where I am in drafting. Yesterday there was some family drama and that certainly made the words flow fast. A lot more fun to write it than to live it. 🙂

And now on to this week’s progress:

  • Write: Shoot for 10000 words between projects – 6375/10000 words. And all of those have gone toward Defending the Heart. I also started brainstorming a Christmas novella for this series.
  • Edit: Stained Blood – continue writing new scenes, shoot for total of 1000 words – 411/1000 words. didn’t work on this until this morning. didn’t finish even one scene yet, but made some good progress on it.
  • Side Projects – 1000 words/200 per project – 62/1000 words
  • Patreon – write new side story(this one will be Mason & Lila from First Choice, Second Chance) & if I get chapter 1 of Patrick & Sarah’s story back from beta & edited I’ll post it too – nothing on either of these yet. But, you can check my page out if you want.
  • Snow White Twist – read through – weekend project
  • Listen: From the Moment We Met(Marina Adair) & The Emerald Brooch(Katherine Lowry Logan) – Still listening to From the Moment We Met. Really enjoying it. Have a little less than 2 hours left to it.
  • Read: Walk the Edge(Katie McGarry), Leveling the Field(Megan Erickson), Ignite(Rebecca Yarros), Forbidden(Beverly Jenkins), Murder Comes Ashore(Julie Anne Lindsey), Destiny(Carly Phillips), and It’s Always Been You(Jessica Scott) – Finished Walk the Edge(loved), Leveling the Field(loved), and Ignite(enjoyed), and started Forbidden.
  • Crochet: Flower Coaster – haven’t started yet. Hopefully will this afternoon.
  • Loom: Ambrosia Love Scarf – haven’t started
  • A to Z Challenge: Draft – Post B-Z – I finished the ‘B’ post. Haven’t started ‘C’ yet.

Teaser Tuesday: “Drown Here”

I know, I haven’t done a Teaser Tuesday post for a while. I haven’t really had one close enough to ready to go. But, I have gotten Stained Blood back from my critique partner and re-plotted it and have now started writing new scenes for it. So for now, I’ll be sharing from it for the next little while. First, the new opening:

Barrett Kline stared out the window at the now empty ranch yard. The cattle were all gone, either driven to the stock yards or sold to another ranch. Almost all the horses, too. His neighbor, Patrick Bailey had taken the best of them to add to his own remuda.
He’d found buyers for the others, except for the one he had kept for himself. And that was all there was to it. The only thing left was to move on from this. The ranch was sold, pieced off to other ranchers, to homesteaders, to whoever had wanted to purchase the lots.
He smiled a little. Offering parcels to homesteaders had been a bit of poetic justice to his mind. Since it had been what had brought everything crashing down for his family. He’d felt those just trying to make their own from the land deserved it the most after what his brother had done.
He’d thought getting rid of the ranch would be easy. Hadn’t expected that there would be some things he’d miss about it.
“Mr. Kline.”
Barrett turned to face the woman in the doorway. “Lizbeth,” he greeted the maid. “I thought I gave all the servants the day off. I don’t know what the man who bought the ranch will do, but there’s nothing for you here right now.”
Her face fell. He wasn’t sure if it was because he referred to her as a servant—she’d been a lot more than that to him a few times. Or if it was another reminder that he was leaving this place. Lord, he really didn’t want to do this again.
“You’re still here,” she said softly.
So, they were going to do this again. As much as he didn’t want to. “I won’t be for long,” he said. “You knew this was coming. I explained months ago I couldn’t stay here any longer.”
“I still hoped you would change your mind.”
He shook his head. “I can’t do it, Lizbeth. I will drown here, and I may very well take you with me.”
She looked at him, confused. “There is little water around here. Not unless you go all the way out to the stream. I can give you reason to stay close to the house,” she said, giving him a saucy smile.
Barrett couldn’t help but smile back at her and her vixen act. He could see to the fear under it, to the lonely girl she’d been without parents when she’d first come to work for them. The one afraid yet one more person would leave her. Just like she’d always been able to see under his own mask. But, that wasn’t what he needed right now. He just needed to be gone. And Lizbeth couldn’t help him with that.
“As tempting as that sounds,” he said, making sure his voice and smile stayed soft— he didn’t want to hurt her— as he moved around her, “I can’t stay, Lizbeth. I’ll be staying in town for a little while. At least through Leah’s wedding. You can find me there if you wish.”
Her lips turned down into a pout. At one time he’d loved to kiss that look off her, but he just couldn’t bring himself to now. He left the study and headed for the front door. Like the rest of the servants, he’d given the stable boy the day off. Days off, really, until the new owner showed up. So, he’d have to saddle his own horse. He’d already sent most of his things ahead to the hotel. Mostly just his clothes and books. He had his favored pack of cards in this saddlebags.
He didn’t see what else he could need.

I don’t currently have a release date. I still have to finish rewrites and send it through betas. But, I’m hoping for late spring/early summer.

Sunday Summary: Ahead of the Game

It feels like I’ve been running behind or just barely on track the last couple weeks. Things might be falling into place with my routine now because I’m actually ahead this week. Well, for the most part. Thursday I had trouble focusing on any words and barely managed to squeak out 700+ words on Defending the Heart. And I didn’t have much motivation to work on my secondary project or editing Stained Blood. Friday I got up and words just tumbled out(over 1700 in 1.5 hours). But, again, the motivation to work on anything else was just…nonexistent. It probably didn’t help the kids were home Friday for an in-service day. That always messed with my routine. But, I am well ahead on my reading. It’s Saturday morning and I’ve already started reading Sunday’s book(yes, I even put my reading on my to-do list). And I’m putting this post together already.

I also worked on getting my Patreon page ready to go. I hadn’t been sure about doing this, but I finally decided to go forward with it. We’ll see how it goes. I have a list of stories, little side trails from my novels, that I’ll write for it. So far there are 24 on there. That should keep me busy for a while. And of course, feel free to check it out if you’d like.

That’s pretty much all the other business I’ve got for the end of the week. So, on to my progress for this week:

  • Write: Shoot for 10000 words between projects – 7863/10000 words. Yeah, so I wasn’t quite ahead of things on this one. Maybe next week.
    • Defending the Heart – 5914 words – Ross sighed. “Do you actually expect me to believe this? Come on, Xavi. I know you, and I know when you’re telling tales. What actually happened to him? And why don’t you want the authorities to know?”
      Xavier grit his back teeth together. Ross thought all he did was help install security systems. It was just better, easier, that way. He would have gotten pissy, thinking they were stepping on the cops’ toes if he knew everything the security company did. *Xavier seems to keep running into “friends” of his. Though the two different ones had different reactions to him being with Piers.
    • Midas’ Daughter – 504 words – There was just something about her that kept drawing him in, no matter how much distance he tried to maintain. It wasn’t going to work. Not when every part of him wanted to be as near to her as possible. Just to soak up some of that natural joy she seemed to carry with her. At least when her father wasn’t around.
    • Stay a Little Longer – 780 words – “It’s not a problem. Not like I didn’t deserve it.” Even if some of the barbs still stung.
      “I don’t know,” Patrick said after a moment, “I think you deserve more than you give yourself credit for.”
    • Not Meant to Be – 581 words – His willpower against his own addiction was pretty low at that. And he was going right toward her, but he didn’t see another choice.
    • Playing with Fire – 84 words – Jeremiah had confided in him about what was going on, with him, and Corrin. How she’d started crashing on his couch nearly two months ago now. He hadn’t told him everything, but then again, he didn’t even know everything.
  • Edit: Stained Blood – write new scenes – I finished 2/14 scenes and started the next one. Added 854 words
  • Plot: Playing with Fire – finish outlining scenes – I finished this on Wednesday. Nothing else to plot until I’m almost finished with Defending the Heart and start planning a novella to go along with the series.
  • Side Projects – 1000 words – 1059/1000 words. I had all these done by Wednesday
    • Fade Away – 213 words – What the hell was going on here? I was used to being mostly ignored. Sometimes I didn’t even mind it. But, this was different. It was like they weren’t even seeing me. 
    • Patrick & Sarah – 207 words – Patrick felt something shiver down his spine at her explanation. It didn’t make sense to him. But, he hadn’t been her, either. Maybe it had happened just as her son had said. He hadn’t met the older boy, so he didn’t have any idea if he’d lie about something like that or not.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 213 words – That brought even more softness to his face, and it made her feel light. That she could be the one to bring that to him. She didn’t know why that was so important to her, but she wanted to keep that look there in his eyes.
    • Roman – 223 words – She left the kitchen then and for the first time in what felt like weeks, even months, Roman felt hope that they still existed.
    • Dougal & Shae – 203 words – Instead he only had thoughts of a green-eyed lass who had barely even granted him a smile the night before. She obviously didn’t care for him, so why couldn’t he get her off his mind?  *Haha, oh poor Dougal. 😀
  • Snow White Twist – fill in [xx] and start read through – I got all 52 [xx] filled in and sent it to my kindle do start the read through
  • Listen: Glass Sword(Victoria Aveyard) & Unintended Consequences(Marti Green) – I finished Glass Sword(!!! And that ending just about killed me), started Unintended Consequences but after an hour still didn’t care, so stopped. Got some more through Kindle Unlimited and started listening to From the Moment We Met(Marina Adair). Much better. 🙂
  • Read: Finish Duke of Thorns(Sara Ramsey), Dead Before Dying(Kerry Schafer), The Unsung Hero(Suzanne Brockman), Truths We Tell(Brenda St John Brown), Of the Bauble(Debbie McGowan), Relic of Sorrows(Lindsay Buroker), Best Worst Mistake(Lia Riley), Written in the Stars(Aisha Saeed), The Rule Maker(Jennifer Blackwood), & Against the Sun(Kat Martin) – I finished Duke of Thorns(liked), Dead Before Dying(really enjoyed), and The Unsung Hero(enjoyed) on Sunday. Read Truths We Tell on Monday(really liked) and finished Of the Bauble Tuesday(loved). I also finished Relic of Sorrows(loved), Best Worst Mistake(really enjoyed), Written in the Stars(really enjoyed), and The Rule Maker(loved). I finished Against the Sun last(Saturday) night. I enjoyed this one too.
  • Knit: Clean Slate Hat – I just finished this morning. wp-1487433270787.jpg
  • A to Z Challenge: Draft – Posts A-Z – I finished the ‘A’ post with almost 900 words and I’ve written about 275 words on the ‘B’ post.

Quite a bit of blue and green and only the one red. Not a bad week at all. So, not to look toward next week’s goals:

  • Write: Shoot for 10000 words between projects
  • Edit: Stained Blood – continue writing new scenes, shoot for total of 1000 words
  • Side Projects – 1000 words/200 per project
  • Patreon – write new side story(this one will be Mason & Lila from First Choice, Second Chance) & if I get chapter 1 of Patrick & Sarah’s story back from beta & edited I’ll post it too
  • Snow White Twist – read through
  • Listen: From the Moment We Met(Marina Adair) & The Emerald Brooch(Katherine Lowry Logan)
  • Read: Walk the Edge(Katie McGarry), Leveling the Field(Megan Erickson), Ignite(Rebecca Yarros), Forbidden(Beverly Jenkins), Murder Comes Ashore(Julie Anne Lindsey), Destiny(Carly Phillips), and It’s Always Been You(Jessica Scott)
  • Crochet: Flower Coaster
  • Loom: Ambrosia Love Scarf
  • A to Z Challenge: Draft – Post B-Z

WeWriWa: “Hold Our Place”

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I finished the first draft of Dance with the Devil last week, but I’ll still be sharing from that for now. Let’s see, where did we leave Devil last week? Oh, yes, Devil asked Icarus to stop because he needed time to process everything he was saying. I’m jumping ahead a bit here. Devil is all healed up, and he and Hawk are finally getting onto the same page. After a ride and a talk, they’re back at the clubhouse and rather into each other…until they realize they have an audience.

A whistle broke out just as we hit the steps, and I jerked my head to the side and saw Trace, Birdie, and Arrow leaning back against the wall. I groaned but Hawk laughed and pressed another kiss, a softer one this time, to my forehead. “Hold our place,” he murmured. “We’ll have to pick it back up later.”

He stepped back from me, and I turned back to the other three. “You all suck donkey ass,” I said and retreated toward the basement steps. If I couldn’t be with Hawk now, I needed to find another way to work this all out of my system.

I heard Birdie laugh as I headed down the stairs. “Come on, Devil,” she called, “we know you still love us.”

The hell of it was, I did, and I couldn’t quite stop the smile despite the frustration filling me.

Ah, Devil and his colorful language. One of the reasons I loved writing him so much.

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