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Fiction Friday: Come Back Down – Chapter 10

We’ve come to the final chapter of Come Back Down, and I don’t have Dance with the Devil finished yet. I might have the first draft done by the end of this month, not sure though. Then, I’ll still have to revise it before I start putting it up. So, it probably won’t be until next year before I start posting it to Wattpad(maybe December if I get lucky). For now, here’s the beginning of the end:

We didn’t have to wait long for it all to go down. Less than a week later the buzzing started. Smoke and Wraith came riding in to tell us the word from town. The cops hit the Ivory Crows’ clubhouse early in the morning. They’d come back from a job and were caught with the drugs, money, and weapons that had been taken. In the ensuing scuffle, one of the officers had been wounded, but he’d been listed as in good condition. Almost all of the Crows had been taken in, but a few were said to have slipped away. One of those being one of the sergeant-at-arms from what Wraith heard.

That fact didn’t put me at ease. If it had been a member, we might not have anything to worry about. With it being an officer in the club, someone who had influence and got things done, they might be able to gather resources to come after the Riders.

“Stop worrying about it,” Icarus told me two days after they’d first gotten the news. “There isn’t anything we can do about it until something happens.”

“Don’t you think it will be too late by then?” I asked him.

“We won’t go after them, Birdie. That’s not how this club functions, and you know that.”

“What if they get you, or Trace, before you have a chance to be ready for them. Dad-” My voice cracked, and he came to me, wrapping his arms around me.

“I’ll do everything possible to make sure nothing happens. To any of us. You have to know that.”

I did, but it didn’t stop me from being scared. I think he knew that. Trace did, too, since I think he felt the same way as me. The club thought we were inseparable before, but now we barely left each other’s sides. He was relaxing about touching and being touched as well. Either it was the massive amount of touching we were doing, with our clothes still on unfortunately, or his sessions with Raven were finally helping.

I didn’t care. He was healing and opening up for me more.

Chief wanted to keep patrols up, so two Riders went out together every night, riding through town and the surrounding area at three hour intervals. It was to keep us safe, to give us time to get prepared before something went down. I didn’t complain, even when Trace had to leave my arms, to go on his rounds.

He should be back by now. He’d gone out with Smoke, so I wasn’t too worried about something happening. Smoke would take care of him. I wasn’t feeling good about everything that was going on. It had gone too well for us. Nothing did that for long before the bottom fell out.

What’s going to happen now? Has something happened with Trace? Or will he make it back? You can read on to find out. And I hope you’ll come back when I start posting Dance with the Devil.

Fiction Friday: Come Back Down – Chapter 9

Good week over here. Finished the first draft of one of my projects. It was supposed to be a novella, but these characters had other ideas apparently. It’s a little under 60k so still a little on the short side for a novel for me, but definitely longer than a novella.

I’ve put the next chapter of Come Back Down up on Wattpad. I only have one more left after this. Then, it’ll be on to Dance with the Devil. I haven’t finished writing that, though, so it’ll be a little bit before I start posting it. For now, here’s the start of Chapter 9:

 

“I can’t believe that boy’s a cop. And he had us all fooled.”

“Doesn’t put him in the right, Bull, just because he carries a badge. Or make him a good guy.”

I looked back and forth between Icarus and Bull. They’d been just as shocked about Brad as we were. I still wasn’t sure what to make of it.

“He could be lying,” Trace said. “It looked legit, but I’m sure there are people who are good enough to forge that.”

Icarus glanced over at Chief. “You’ve still got contacts at the department, right? Could you find out for sure?”

“I doubt any are high up enough to be able to tell me anything. I think we should believe the boy. It does add up a bit more.”

“What I don’t understand,” I said, “is if this was always a job, why did he get so worked up when he found out about Trace and me? Why’d he bring Hawk into it?”

“Those answers are both easy,” Icarus said. “To the first one; pure and simple jealousy. He had to push you away for the job he needed to do. Doesn’t mean he didn’t still care. But, you don’t want someone who uses jealousy as an excuse to hurt others.” He glanced quickly to Trace, who tightened his arm around my waist. “As for the second, it doesn’t matter if he is a cop, he’s still an asshole with firm opinions.”

“What do we do now?” I looked straight at Icarus. The captain and sergeant were equal positions, but Bull had a tendency to defer to Dad’s opinion anyway. So, I started there. “He basically said we should stand down, or we might get caught in the middle of things. I don’t know if we should trust him.”

“We bring it before the club,” Icarus said. “Like we do anything that affects us as a club. None of us wanted war, but it looked like it was heading that way. If we can avoid it, I know which way my vote will go.”

Bull nodded in agreement. “It’s the way it’s done, Birdie, you know that. What the club decides is what we do. We’ll talk and argue the points, but once it’s done, it’s done with.”

“Yeah, I know.” I worried about that. Even if Icarus and Bull were all for stepping back and letting someone else, even the police, handle things, it didn’t mean other members, particularly some of the younger ones like Devil and Arrow, would feel the same. If enough of them did, the rest wouldn’t have a choice but to see it through. I glanced at Trace. He’d obviously come to the same conclusion as he worried his bottom lip.

“We’ll all have to fight?” he asked.

How will the vote go? Will they have to fight? You can read the rest here and find out how it goes.

Also, if you missed it, I posted Tuesday about looking for beta readers for a different project. I’m still looking for a couple if you’re interested.

Fiction Friday: Come Back Down – Chapter 8

Writing has been fairly steady this week. At least on my main project. Not so much on the other ones. And it’s raining today, which makes me just want to curl up on the couch and read. Trying to get some other stuff done before I succumb to that. So, here’s the first part of Chapter 8 from Come Back Down:

I settled on one of the steps of the porch, waiting. We were doing a lot of waiting lately. Waiting for the Crows to make another move. Waiting for more information about what they were doing. Waiting to see if Henry added to our troubles.

And, like right now, waiting for Trace to get out of his session with Raven. Unlike what I’d been afraid of, she didn’t try to dig all the way back to my childhood. That didn’t have anything to do with now. We only talked about Henry, what he’d done to me, and how it left me feeling. She never let me get away with saying I was fine.

I don’t know what Trace talked to her about. He wouldn’t tell me. He always seemed so drained after his sessions. He never wanted to do much for the rest of the day, but I didn’t want to leave him during those times either. I figured he needed me more then than at any other time, even if he barely spoke for hours afterward. The time it took him to process whatever happened during the session diminished every time. That was only after a week and three sessions.

I was already having less nightmares and feeling more like myself. For me, it was only a couple months of issues. For Trace, it was a lifetime. I told Raven I’d keep coming, even if we both felt I didn’t need much more than someone to talk to. I could have that with a good friend. As long as it kept Trace going, I’d go as well.

The door opened behind me, and I glanced over my shoulder. Trace stood, his hand still on the door, and drew in a long breath. I got slowly to my feet, studying his face, searching for any sign of how his session had gone.

He looked tired, I could tell that right away. There was something else under it. Maybe dragging all of this up wasn’t helping him. What if it made things worse for him? No. Facing a problem never made things worse. Maybe at first, but it always got better in the end.

“This isn’t working,” he said when he reached me.

“It will. You have to give it more time.”

“It’s only making me hear his voice in my head even more. For hours.” Probably those same hours where he barely spoke. My heart clenched tight at the thought. I wish he would have told me. I would have done my best to drown that asshole’s voice out.

“You have to give it some time,” I told him again. “You’ve spent your whole life with the things he’s said. A few sessions isn’t going to change that.”

He wrapped an arm around my waist, almost like he clung to me. After a moment, he stepped back. “I need to get out of here,” he said.

If you want to read the rest of the chapter, it’s up on Wattpad now.

Fiction Friday: Come Back Down – Chapter 7

I’ve been able to settle back into a more normal routine this week. A lot of writing done as well as some editing and plotting. And we even went to the kids’ open house at school last night. Hoping I can keep up this routine for a while. For now, I have the next chapter of Come Back Down up on Wattpad. Here’s the beginning of it:

It was amazing to watch Trace draw. Something came alive in him, that I had only caught a few brief glimpses of before. This was different than the light that came on when we touched each other. That was switched on by lust, but this was something deeper, something more.

His hand seemed to fly over the sheet of paper as a picture developed. He’d go back and move a line or shade something else in. I was mesmerized by the time he finished the first one. I looked at it as Trace started on the next one. “I don’t know him.”

“I don’t, either,” Icarus admitted. “I’ll show it to the others. One of them might.”

“He didn’t have a rank patch,” Trace said.

Icarus headed to the door with the first sketch, but he stopped and turned back. “You remember which ones do?”

Trace dipped his head, but his hand didn’t stop moving over the paper. “I have a good memory for things I see. Not photographic but probably close. Henry always said it was creepy and freaked him out.”

Icarus’ fist clenched at the mention of that man’s name. I couldn’t blame him for that reaction. Not after everything Trace’s stepfather had done. “Nothing about you is creepy, Trace. Keep his words out of your head.”

Trace’s head dipped again, but this time it wasn’t a nod, it was shame. I squeezed his hand that didn’t hold the pencil and felt him squeeze back after a moment.

“Whichever names and ranks you remember,” Icarus said, “put them with the sketch. Do you know his?”

“Mace.”

Icarus took out another pencil, set the paper against the door, and wrote the name under the sketch. Then, he left the room.

“He’s upset with me now,” Trace murmured.

“No,” I assured him. “Not with you. He hates he didn’t get you from that situation sooner. There’s nothing he can do to get rid of all the thoughts that nasty man put in your head. He’d never be upset with you for something you didn’t have control over.”

The corners of his mouth tipped up. “You’re good, you know that? At getting into a man’s mind and sorting out their thoughts. You ever think…”

“What? I asked. I hated when he didn’t finish a thought.

He gave a little shrug and focused on his sketch. “Just wondering if you’d ever thought about going on to college for something like that. Like therapy, you know. I bet you’d be good at it.”

Now, it was my turn to duck my head. I had thought about college, but it had always been a vague thing. I hadn’t had a traditional education, but I had the equivalent to a diploma. I could apply to colleges if I’d wanted to.

I didn’t know if I wanted to.

If you want to read the rest of the chapter, you find it here.

Fiction Friday: Come Back Down – Chapter 6

This has been quite a week. It started with me on jury duty. Thankfully, I ended up being excused on the first day and didn’t have to go back in. And the week is ending with my 10 year wedding anniversary and publishing my 5th book, Stained by Ashes. All in all, not a terrible week.

Now, for the real reason most of you are probably here. I have Chapter 6 of Come Back Down up on Wattpad now.

I slid my hands over Trace’s hips and down his thighs, loving the way his muscles vibrated. My chest pressed to his back, and I felt his moan against me.

“Going to make me crash,” he said over his shoulder. “Icarus won’t ever let us go out on our own again.”

I leaned back a little and let out a laugh. It felt so good to be on the road again. It had been more than a week since I’d been on the bike with him. Since we’d first run into Brad. We were supposed to text Icarus every time we stopped and come right back if we saw any of the Crows out. So far it had been fine.

Even the scattered patrols Icarus sent out hadn’t brought much in the way of news. Everything in town seemed to be quiet. Hawk said there weren’t even any whispers of trouble. Out of all of them, he’d be the first one to hear something.

Maybe we were being careful for no reason.

Probably too early to think that. Icarus wanted to be cautious for a little longer. All well and good, until another job came their way. Would he turn one down if it did?

No, I wasn’t going to think or worry about any of it right now. I was going to enjoy my day with Trace. That’s all that mattered for now.

He turned into a parking lot and stopped the bike once he’d pulled into a parking space. “Ready for some lunch?” he asked after pulling his helmet off.

For the first time, I realized the bike wasn’t the only thing rumbling. “Yes.” I slipped my own helmet off. “I certainly am.”

I slid off the bike and waited for him to put the kickstand down and join me. He slipped an arm around my waist, then we headed into the little diner together. A bell rang on the door when we stepped inside, and a moment later, a young woman stepped forward.

“Just the two of you?” she asked with a smile.

“Yes.” Trace squeezed his arm around my waist.

The girl smiled at us again, a little longer at him than I was comfortable with. When I nipped at his ear, she cleared her throat and grabbed two menus before leading us down the line of tables.

You can head over and read the rest here, or start from the beginning.

Fiction Friday: Come Back Down – Chapter 5

It’s been a bit of an odd, unfocused week. Haven’t written as much as I would have liked. But, I do have the next chapter of Come Back Down up on Wattpad now. So, here’s the start of it:

I walked around the grounds for I don’t even know how long. I probably could have walked them in the dark, I knew them that well. I was sure if I stayed out much longer, Icarus would worry. Sometimes I thought he worried if I was out of sight, and out of contact, for more than five minutes. He didn’t always let it show, but it was still there.

Besides, my stomach grumbled. I hadn’t had anything to eat since our early lunch, and it was now well past the time we’d usually eat dinner. I should get back and see if Cookie would throw something together for me. He usually did honor any requests, especially for me. If he’d already left the kitchen, I could always mix something up for myself.

I headed for the stairs before going to the kitchen. I hadn’t stuck to the paths on my walk. Pushing through the brush had felt good, but it left burrs sticking to my jeans, and who knows what made it down into my boots. I was going to change before I did anything else.

When I reached my room, Trace sat on the floor, braced against the wall right beside the door. I closed my eyes a minute then started forward again. I hoped to avoid this, and figured he’d want to avoid me, too. That would be preferable to the pity I was sure I’d see in his eyes. The pity was always the worst.

I walked past him and opened my door, but before I closed it again, he was there. I turned toward him, watching as he eased the door open with the foot he’d stuck in there and took a step into the room. He didn’t come any farther or even close the door. He waited.

What happens next? You can find out here. Appreciate any feedback.

Fiction Friday: Come Back Down – Chapter 4

We’re on to a new month and my focus is back on drafting. I have several projects in the works, as well as one that’s just about ready to be published. Among all that, I’m still posting Come Back Down on Wattpad. This week, we have Chapter 4:

I kept my gaze on Trace as he moved around the living room of the clubhouse. It had been two days since we’d been in town. He hadn’t asked me any more questions about my past, and I’d given him the same courtesy. That haunted look still hadn’t left his eyes. I’d thought I’d heard him cry out the last couple nights. We hadn’t been alone together again, either. Had that moment unlocked memories he’d kept carefully caged up?

It disturbed me I was the reason he was being haunted by them now.

“Not my fault,” I whispered as I sat back against the couch. I had to keep telling myself that. None of it was Trace’s either. I shouldn’t let myself feel this frustration toward him. Why couldn’t I seem to stop it?

He’d been the victim of something awful. He never said exactly what Henry had done to him those nights. It hurt Trace no matter what name you put on it. And made him ashamed of his natural urges. I found myself wishing Icarus had aimed his gun a little differently as well.

“Are you ever going to come join me?” I asked him.

He stopped in his moving around, it wasn’t quite pacing, but it didn’t seem to have a purpose, either. He kept moving from one thing to another. I’d seen him like this more than once. When his mind couldn’t settle down, his body couldn’t, either.

He looked over at me, and I was sure shadows lurked behind his eyes. I wished I knew what I could do to put his demons back where they were supposed to be. Wished there was a way I could fight them for him. He’d done enough fighting for more than one lifetime.

Trace finally made his way over to the couch and sat beside me. But there were still a couple inches between us. I hated this distance. Both the physical one and emotional. I wasn’t sure how to bridge it without sending him running in the other direction. Icarus kept reminding me I had to be patient.

But, damn, it was hard.

He slid his hand across that space of the couch and slid his fingers over my hand, until our fingers were laced together. “It’s not you,” he murmured. “I need to-”

I already felt tears brimming. I didn’t cry often. Not until recently. Now, it felt like I did it all the time. “You don’t need to do anything,” I told him. “You don’t need to explain anything, or try to make me feel better. You just need to be okay, Trace. That’s all I want for you.”

“I know you want-”

“I want you, Trace,” I said, interrupting him again. “I’ve wanted you almost since you first showed up. I want all of you, not just a few of the pieces. None of us are completely whole. I have some broken pieces, too. Why wouldn’t I accept yours?”

For Trace’s answer, and the rest of the chapter, check it out here.

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