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Fiction Friday: Staring at the Sun – Chapter 1

I finally got the first chapter of Staring at the Sun up on Wattpad. Ok, finally might not quite be accurate. It didn’t take that long. But, I was worrying I wouldn’t get it done today because our internet was out most of the morning. Not sure why except we did get a lot of rain last night and possibly some thunderstorms. That might have done it(though I swear sometimes a strong wind can knock our connection out). Anyway, here’s the beginning of Icarus & Cassie’s story:

Icarus crossed the yard, and his smile spread as he saw what—who—waited for him up on the porch. There wasn’t anything he could do to restrain it. Nothing he wanted to do. After nearly nineteen years of thinking he’d never even lay eyes on her again, it was good to get to see Cassie every day. Several times a day. He wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Well, nothing, except take away the years they’d spent apart, the years both she and their son had been hurt. He knew even better than most you couldn’t get time back. The only thing to do was move forward. So, that’s what he did.

He stopped with one foot on the bottom step and held his hand out toward her. “Will you walk with me, Cassie?”

Her return smile was soft, sweet, and a little wistful. Did she remember him asking her almost the same thing all those years before? Except back then she climbed on the back of his bike and wrapped her arms tight around his waist. That began their nearly six-month adventure.

Until her father caught up to them and ended everything. If he’d known she carried his child…No, he wasn’t sure there was anything he could have done differently. Her father wouldn’t have let him close enough to do anything differently.

None of that should matter now. She was here with him now. So was their son. Icarus lost eighteen years with them, but he wouldn’t waste another moment.

Cassie took his hand and came down the steps to join him. Unfortunately it would have to be a fairly quick walk. They had a meeting coming up. Icarus hoped it would remain a routine one, going over the club’s old business and anything new that had come up. It was the new business that had him worried. Hopefully the men who were out around town would bring back all good news.

He knew perfectly well he couldn’t count on that.

Things had been quiet for several months. Ever since they’d struck a tenuous truce with the Ivory Crows. He didn’t know how much longer that would last. And if not the Crows, which direction the next threat would come from.

If you want to find out what happens next, you can find the rest of the chapter here, and I should have the next one up next Friday.

Fiction Friday: Staring at the Sun – Cover

I finished posting Dance with the Devil a couple weeks ago. Earlier this week I made up a cover for the next story, Staring at the Sun. This is Icarus’ and Cassie’s story, which I originally posted as this year’s A-Z blog challenge. It takes place just a month or so after Dance with the Devil. It’s the shortest of them, so far, and slightly different. Mostly because instead of writing from single 1st person POV, this one is dual 3rd person. And it ties back into some things that happened in the first book, Into the Sun.

I’ll start posting it to Wattpad next week, but for right now, here’s the cover:

You can look for chapter 1 next week.

Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 10

This is the final chapter of Dance with the Devil. I should get the next story polished up next week, and be able to start posting it either then or the following week(once I get a cover figured out for it). But, for now, here’s the beginning of the end of Dance with the Devil:

I woke to Hawk’s bare chest right in front of me. I traced the Marine tattoo covering one side of it. I had a similar one on my arm. Hawk shivered, and his hand ran up my back. “We have to get up, Devil,” he said, and I heard the regret in his voice.

I already was. Unfortunately there wasn’t time for that this morning. I still pressed my mouth to his chest, but he hauled me up so our lips met. “Later,” he promised, “when this is over.”

I rolled away from him and found the clothes I’d stripped off the night before. “I’ll meet you downstairs,” I told him. His eyes were hot on me, even as I headed for the door. We had to get the job done, to keep the club and everything we stood for safe, but when that was taken care of, I’d be right back here with Hawk, and we could figure out where this would go.

As long as we both made it back. That was something I couldn’t bear to even think about. I pushed it away as I headed back to my room to get ready for this mission.

I was downstairs fifteen minutes later, just behind Hawk. I did not mind taking that position. I saw the slight bulge of one gun at his back, right at the bottom of his vest. I knew he’d carry another in the inside pocket of his vest. We all did that. Except Trace if he could help it.

I was pretty sure that was only one reason Icarus planned to leave him here to protect the ladies. Not that most of them couldn’t take care of themselves. I didn’t dare even insinuate that. But, I knew Icarus’ Cassie couldn’t. Birdie could protect herself, but she’d been abducted once before. Icarus wouldn’t want to take the chance it would happen again.

I rested my hand on his back right outside of the dining room. He glanced back over his shoulder and smiled at me. That look held a whole lot of promise for later. I wasn’t sure how to act now.

Hawk took care of that as we grabbed plates from the side table. He took my hand and pulled me in for a quick kiss. It was as simple as that.

And you can read the rest of the chapter here. I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 8

I’m here with Chapter 8 of Dance with the Devil. Only two more to go after this one. Here’s the beginning of the chapter.

I started to think I’d never be able to move without some kind of pain. I wasn’t out of bed for more than using the bathroom for two days. Even then, someone had to accompany me in case I fell. It was humiliating. I should be able to at least handle that myself. The guys had to be looking down at me for my weakness. But, none of them acted all that different around me.

Except for Hawk. He’d been avoiding me since I’d first woken up. Sure, I saw him around the clubhouse from time to time, but he hardly spoke to me. I thought back to what Icarus told me. Was I hurting him that much? Didn’t he know he’d be better off without me anyway?

It didn’t matter. I had my arm out of the sling, and Medusa said it was strong enough I didn’t have to do the exercises she’d given me every day anymore. My ribs were all healed up, and I could run up and down the steps with hardly getting winded.

Now we were finally planning to go after the Crows. We’d been trying to avoid it. Even after they’d shot at Trace several months back. Icarus had wanted to hit back at them, but he didn’t want to bring more trouble down on us. We’d been taking things slowly, carefully.

They’d decided enough was enough. I hadn’t been involved with that meeting, since I had still barely been able to make it up and down the stairs without help. It didn’t matter. The vote had been almost unanimous. It was nice when the club came together like that.

I stepped out onto the porch. I could finally walk outside without having to have anyone help me. To not have to ask anyone if they can help me to sit out on the porch. I wasn’t going to take that for granted. It had been the most lowering thing.

At least that’s what I kept telling myself. This hollow feeling inside me didn’t have anything to do with Hawk. I didn’t miss him every day he wasn’t at my side. And whose fault was that anyway?

Mine. It was all mine. I’d pushed him away again and again. Why would I think he’d choose to stick around? He wasn’t some toy I could keep on a string, pulling him back when it suited me. He deserved so much more than that.

I stepped down off the porch, trying not to think too much about that. I had a new bike, and I’d finally be able to ride it. Waiting for Medusa to give me the all clear for that had been worse than anything I’d ever waited for before.

You can find the rest of the chapter here.

Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 7

I’m back this week with another chapter of Dance with the Devil. Getting closer to the end. Here’s the beginning of Chapter 7.

I barely remembered the ride back to the clubhouse, but I did stay conscious, though I’m not sure how. My arms stayed clamped around Hawk’s waist, on his stomach. If I’d been more with it, I might have at least thought about sliding them a little lower.

I didn’t.

When we were in front of the garage, my hands slid away. Hawk grabbed them like he was afraid I would fall. Maybe I would have. I didn’t want everyone to see us sitting there like that.

I heard Bull and Icarus talking to Hawk, even though I couldn’t make out all their words.

“Gavin,” I groaned his name. He shivered against me. That had to be wrong.

“Relax,” Hawk told me. “No one cares, particularly right now. Hold on to me a little longer.”

The buzz of another voice sounded. Hands lifted me. I fought against it, an instinctive response from me. Another voice—Icarus?—said, “You’re fine. We’ve got you.” Then, the darkness finally swept over me.

***

The next time I woke up, I lay in a familiar bed. My bed in the clubhouse. I didn’t even remember them carrying me up here. Or into the house. The fact I was still here had to be a good sign.

Maybe they wouldn’t kick me out for yet another screw-up. I tried to sit up, but I couldn’t move my left arm. I nearly panicked but a hand rested on my other shoulder. “Relax,” Hawk said.

I wet my lips before looking at him. I could just make out his outline in the darkness. He leaned in toward me. “What happened?” I croaked.

“I hoped you could tell me. I told the board what I could, but it wasn’t much.”

I groaned, but it wasn’t from the pain I was in. Hawk must have taken it that way, because he pushed back from the bed. “I’ll get Medusa. Let her know you’re awake.”

I reached out for him with my right arm. “No. I’m fine. What happened in the meeting? Am I out?”

I saw the hesitation in his eyes, and I hated it. “They haven’t made a decision yet,” he finally said. “They wanted to talk to you before they do.”

“What do you mean ‘they’?” I asked, catching how he kept saying that. “You’re part of the board, too.”

“They all know what my decision will be. No matter what you did or didn’t do, it would be the same. I offered to sit it out, knowing I can’t be unbiased.”

“The good of the club, right?”

Hawk stared at me for a moment then shook his head. “Sometimes you can be such an idiot, Damon. I’ll go get Medusa.”

I stared after him as he left the room. What the hell had that meant? Did he think I was stupid? No, that couldn’t be. Whenever I said something along those lines, he lectured me. He wouldn’t be saying it to me now.

But, he had, hadn’t he?

And if you want to read the rest of the chapter, you can find it here.

Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 6

I’m here with the next chapter of Dance with the Devil. Going into the second half now. Here’s the first part of this chapter.

I slammed my fist into the punching bag in the basement of the clubhouse. No one else was down here so late at night. Which was about the only time I visited the little gym. When I couldn’t sleep, when things I’ve seen wouldn’t stop haunting me. When I couldn’t stop thinking about Hawk.

I kept punching the heavy bag even as sweat dripped into my eyes, adding in a few kicks between some of the punches. The bag stopped its slight swing, and I brought my arm up to wipe the sweat away from my eyes.

Hawk stood on the other side of the bag. He wore a pair of sweats hanging low on his waist. Nothing covered his chest. Which left his tattoo- a large depiction of the eagle, globe, and anchor – standing out. I wanted to reach out and touch him, so I clenched my fists inside the boxing gloves. Sweat beaded on his face, but his skin looked cold. Like he’d just come inside.

Knowing him, he’d probably been out running, despite the dropping temperatures. That never bothered him.

“What are you doing?” he asked, his breath puffing out.

“I could ask you the same thing.”

“Could feel a storm rolling in. Cut my run short, and figured I’d finish it out in here. Your turn.”

I shifted away. “Just couldn’t sleep.”

“Again? You’ve barely slept this whole last week, Damon. What’s going on?”

Yeah. Ever since we put Brad in that stupid apartment. I don’t know why that triggered the insomnia. I hadn’t suffered from it much in the last few months. Someone would probably say I had PTSD from my time being deployed. The insomnia went back farther than that. It cropped up whenever Dad was being particularly harsh with me. Most people when they get depressed tend to sleep more.

Apparently, I’m the opposite.

Not, that I would admit that to Hawk. It would only make him worry more. That was the last thing I wanted. “It’s nothing,” I insisted. “It’s not like…before.” He’d know what I meant without having to say it. “I just can’t sleep.”

I wouldn’t look back up at him as I started past, so I didn’t know if he believed me or not. He grabbed my shoulder before I got by him. I stopped but kept my gaze between our feet. “Damon,” he said, his voice low and husky. “Please look at me.”

I knew why. It wasn’t the same reason as in the old barn. He wanted to see, make sure for himself I told the truth. The problem was, I wasn’t. Not completely at least. It wasn’t the same as before. I wasn’t staying up mulling over ways I could end my life. That stopped sometime after I got out of my father’s house. I couldn’t say none of that depression had come back.

“Damon.”

Where will this moment take them? Read on here to find out. I’ll have the next chapter up in a week.

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