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Fiction Friday: Silence

The silence woke her. Caitie wasn’t used to that. If Mark wasn’t breathing soundly next to her, he was usually making news somewhere else in the house. Mostly in the weight room they’d set up shortly after the wedding. But, she could usually hear the clank of the weights or his grunts as he lifted himself on the pull-up bar through the air vent.

But, there was nothing. Panic flashed through her for a moment before reason settled in again. He’d probably gone for a run. It was fine. Everything would be all right. If that was the case, he would have left a note.

He’d probably woken from a nightmare, and needed to pound the old ghosts out of his brain. It wouldn’t be the first time. Usually those nightmares woke her as well, and she could comfort him out of them.

She grabbed a sweatshirt from the floor and realized it was Mark’s as she pulled it over her head. She didn’t bother with pants. If she did find him, she knew more ways than running to exorcise those demons in his mind.

Even though she hadn’t heard anything, she went down the stairs first. Sometimes she had found him just sitting on the weight bench, his head in his hands, sweat running down him from a hard workout. But, the light in the weight room was still off. She turned and headed back toward the kitchen.

Flicking on the under cabinet light, she glanced around for a note. There was nothing there, either. The panic tried to work its way in again. She wasn’t going to let it, though. He wouldn’t take off on her like this. Not after all this time. Not now. But, where would he have gone?

Then, she heard it. Down the hallway. A rhythmic creaking. She tensed, thinking it was a floorboard. Someone was sneaking through the house. Then, she recognized the rhythm of creaks. Not someone walking around. A rocking chair. And there was only one room it could be coming from.

She stopped in the doorway of the smallest bedroom in their house. The crib that stood against one wall. A dresser that was already filled with little outfits. They had so many people that already loved their child, loved them, they hadn’t even had to buy any of those clothes themselves. And the rocking chair in the corner. The big man sitting in it, rocking back and forth, his head hanging down, his hands gripping the arms of the chair.

Her heart ached as she took another step into the room. “Mark?” she said softly. “What’s wrong, Mark?”

“I don’t deserve this,” he said, his voice rough. “I don’t deserve any of this.”

So it was one of those nights. “Bullshit,” she said, keeping her voice soft. “You deserve so much. You deserve me. Because I love you. Our love made this child who will be here anytime now.” She took his hand and set it against her stomach, where she could feel a foot pressing out. She felt Mark shudder. “And this baby is going to love you, look up to you.”

“He shouldn’t.”

“He should,” she argued. “You’re brave, you love so deeply, even if you don’t let yourself see it. You’re one of the best men I know, Mark Young. You need to stop forgetting that. If you weren’t, I wouldn’t still be so bloody in love with you.”

He laid his head against her stomach with a sob and she held him there, ignoring the tears rolling down her cheeks. He was going to be okay. She would make sure of it, no matter what.

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

Well, that one took a different turn than I’d expected at first. Mark and Caitie are from one of the earlier stories in my Flames series. They might have found love together, but it doesn’t make everything perfect. That’s one reason I like to write a connected series. You can see after the “happy ever after”, which doesn’t necessarily means it’s without it’s harder moments.

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Fiction Friday: “Broke Him”

“I think I broke him.”

Her father laughed from the other side of the room. And still Maddix just gaped at her. What was wrong with him? All Maribel had done was walk into the room. At least she thought that was all she’d done.

She glanced over to her father and saw his eyes were twinkling. “Is he always like this? He can’t be too good at surveillance if he stares so obviously.”

Her dad chuckled, and Maddix finally snapped his mouth shut. “No,” her dad said. “I think you broke him, Mari. Are you going to fix him?”

Warmth filled her at his easy acceptance of what she wanted. He wouldn’t stand in her way. Maddix seemed to be the only one holding that position. She looked back at him. “If he’ll let me.”

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

I’m back with Fiction Friday again! I took most of November off, since I was putting most of my words to NaNoWriMo(which I finished a day early!) This piece comes sometime after “You’re Drunk” and “Psst”. And is basically my response to all those fictional fathers/big brothers that are all “stay away from my baby girl/sister” even when she’s all grown up and can make her own decisions.

Fiction Friday: Dear Diary

Dear Diary,

Life as we know it has been forever changed. I just realized I’m in love with my best friend. This is the worst day ever.

Silas rubbed the eraser hard over the page in his journal. Why had he even written that? It certainly wasn’t something he wanted anyone else to read. And considering he kept finding his little sisters in his room, there was a good chance it would be.

And it was rather dramatic, even for him. But, really, how could this even be a good thing? If Jeremiah ever found out…he shook his head. That could very well be the end to their friendship. And that was something he didn’t think he could take.

No, he couldn’t let him find out. Erasing the words wasn’t good enough. He ripped the page out and crumpled it up. Not, that wasn’t enough either. He ripped it up and buried it deep in the garbage can.

There, that was better. Nothing had to change. Nothing at all.

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

If you’ve read any snippets I’ve shared of Playing with Fire in the past, you’ll know all Silas’ worries are unfounded. 😀

Fiction Friday: “You’re Drunk”

“I think you’re beautiful.”

“You’re drunk and not going to like you said that in the morning.”

“I’m not that drunk,” Maddix said, though he was careful to make sure his words didn’t come out slurred. “And it’s true every time of day.”

Arcelia rolled her eyes and leaned back against the counter. “You’re being ridiculous. Just like always.”

“Like never. Why do you always have to argue with me?”

Arcelia tossed her head back and laughed. She really was beautiful. Why did she always think he was lying about that? “Because it’s so much fun,” she said. She looked beyond him and a smile spread over her face. “Oh, here comes Maribel. I think she’s the one you really want to call beautiful.”

The pleasant buzzing in his blood turned to something else. He couldn’t turn around, though. He’d likely make a fool of himself if he did. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time.

As her soft voice drifted toward them, he was pretty sure it wouldn’t be the last.

~~~~~~~~~~

A really short one this time. I’m still trying to figure out what’s going to happen between these characters, but I think it’s going to be fun.

Fiction Friday: “Wrong Calculations”

I’ve finished posting Staring at the Sun to Wattpad, and I’m far from ready to start posting Hawk’s story there(it’s only maybe half written, so it will probably be sometime next year). But, I didn’t want to drop my Fiction Friday posts completely. So, I thought I’d write some short stories flash fiction style. I did some browsing on Pinterest and found a bunch of prompts(21 to date, to be exact), some dialogue, some idea-based. I plan to choose one at random each week and base a story on it. These may involve current characters or brand new ones. They should all be under 1000 words, some may come close to that, while others might be more like drabbles. We’ll just have to see how that all works out.

So, now for this week’s:

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

“Come on, when have my calculations ever been wrong?”

“Well…” Corrin said, a grin spreading across her face.

“Shut up,” Silas said, grinning around the wooden spoon he’d just lifted to his mouth, “that was one time.”

“Well, you’re the one who asked,” she retorted, hitting a few more keys on her computer then exiting out of whatever she was writing. Must be steamy if she wouldn’t even let him read it.

“This isn’t even the same thing. I didn’t take human behavior into that calculation. This is just about which spices I need to make the sauce just right.” He pursed his lips. “Nope, not quite.”

She laughed and pushed up from the chair. It was a good sound to hear, especially after the shadows he’d seen flit through her eyes when he mentioned that other occurrence. They didn’t talk about it, not even vaguely. Even if it would maybe be better if they did.

But, instead of pushing, Silas reached out and pulled her into him. She didn’t even pretend to resist. He settled his mouth on hers, and she opened instantly, her tongue running along his lip.

When she pulled back, her eyes were sparkling up at him. “I think you got the calculations just right.”

The door opened before he could respond, but he didn’t look away from Corrin. “Well, this is a surprise,” Jeremiah said as he came into the kitchen. “Usually I come home to the two of you arguing.”

He brushed his lips over Corrin’s mouth then leaned in to kiss Silas, just a little harder. “Mmm. Dinner’s going to be good tonight.”

I know I’ve shared some of Silas, Jeremiah, and Corrin on the blog before. But, if you didn’t know, these three are the main characters in Playing with Fire(which I drafted earlier this year). And yes, all three of them are together in a committed relationship. And this is a bit of their “After Happy Ever After”.

Fiction Friday: Staring at the Sun – Chapter 10

I have the final chapter of Staring at the Sun for you finally. After this, I’m not sure what I’ll do for Fiction Friday until I have Hawk’s story ready to go. I’m thinking about writing a flash fiction story each week, but we’ll see. Anyway, for now, here’s the beginning of Chapter 10.

Cassie opened her eyes to light streaming into the window Wraith climbed through the night before. There was no one there now, though, someone watched from the doorway. Henry, she realized turning her head slightly. Her mouth was dry, and her stomach ached. They hadn’t given her anything to eat or drink since they’d grabbed her. Now her heart sank, knowing Grady still wasn’t here for her.

He was coming. He had to be.

Henry sauntered into the room, and she tried to force her body up into a sitting position. She got herself braced against the wall, but that was about the best she could do without the use of her hands. “You ready to beg for forgiveness yet, Cassandra?”

“I don’t need your forgiveness, Henry. You should be the one asking for it. You took advantage of a scared young girl who found herself pregnant and no way to get in touch with the father. You held it against me every day. My trust in you, what I thought might be love. You used it to hurt me. And to hurt my son. No, I won’t ever ask you for forgiveness. I’ll never give you mine.”

He was in front of her in two strides. His hand shot out and her head bounced off the wall from the slap. “Do not ever speak to me like that again, Cassandra. I beat it out of you once. I’ll do it again. Don’t doubt it.”

“Oh, I never have.” She wiped the blood from her mouth on the shoulder of her shirt.

He started to leave the room. Cassie heard the roar of engines down the street and propped herself up on her elbows. That had to be Icarus. If it wasn’t, she didn’t know what she’d do. Henry apparently heard it too. He sent a glare over his shoulder at her. “I’ll take care of that. Once he’s gone, you won’t have any other option but to apologize and accept what I offer you.”

“Never,” she spit at him.

“You’ll see.” He started out of the room.

And if you want to read the rest of the chapter, you can find it here. I hope you’ve enjoyed the story.

Fiction Friday: Staring at the Sun – Chapter 9

I’m getting this up early. My other computer is installing updates(for the last almost hour and a half!) so I can’t get the writing done I’d planned to. But, there are some things I can get done on my Surface while I wait for that to finish(computer’s restarting again, so hopefully that will be it *crosses fingers* *uncrosses fingers because that makes it hard to type).

Anyway, I have the next to last chapter of Staring at the Sun up on Wattpad now. So, next weekend will be the final chapter. Then, I have to finish writing Hawk’s story and revise it before I’ll have anything else for you. But, for now, here’s the beginning of Chapter 9.

Cassie leaned her head back against the wall, forcing tears back once more. She’d gone along with Jake and Daniel easily enough. Not that she’d call it of her own free will. She hadn’t put up a fight. She hadn’t wanted Jake to take it out on Barbie if she’d fought back before they were away from the clubhouse.

As soon as it was out of sight, they’d pulled over, put a cloth around her eyes and tied her hands behind her back with something she figured was only a step away from zip ties. She couldn’t have fought back if she wanted to. Suddenly she had. Even as she’d tried, one of them hit her with the side of a fist, if she could guess by the feel of it. It stunned her long enough for them to climb back into the front and pull onto the road.

She hadn’t even been buckled in, so she bounced around every time they hit a bump. She swore Jake hit every bump he could as hard as possible. She didn’t have any way to brace herself or even see what was coming. She’d smacked her head on the window several times and the seat in front of her even more often. By the time the car stopped again, her head throbbed and spun, and she was sure she would be sick.

Neither of the men cared. They yanked her out of the car and shoved her up the walk toward the house. She fell twice, and they handled her even rougher. They’d left her alone in this room, but they had at least removed the blindfold. She wasn’t sure if she could have taken much more of that. Still she felt like she would lose it.

She didn’t have a clue how much time she’d been here. Except night hadn’t come yet. Where was Grady? Would he come for her? How would he even find her? What had Henry done to him? Told him? What was he going to do to her? When would he get here? Where was she? This wasn’t the house she’d shared with Henry for eighteen years.

All those questions kept circling in her head the longer she was forced to sit here. By the time something happened, she wasn’t sure she’d have any sanity left.

That was probably their plan.

Cassie gasped as something moved in the window. She blinked, sure she had to have imagined it. Maybe this was how losing her mind started. Seeing things that weren’t there, couldn’t be there.

The face remained there. She blinked again and recognized it. She couldn’t remember his name, but she’d seen him talking to Grady out at the clubhouse. What was it they called him? “Wraith,” she breathed out the name as it came to her.

If you want to find out what happens next, you can read the rest of it here. Let me know what you think. And next week, I’ll have that final chapter for you.

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