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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Reservation”

“When did they let you off the reservation?”

Christopher didn’t bother rolling his eyes or turning to the kid who had come up behind him. He’d been born in a suburb, not even on a reservation. Hadn’t even set foot on one. but, some people thought they were so funny. He’d dealt with it through elementary and high school, but he’d thought college might be different.

The kid said more as he continued to follow Christopher out of the building, but he ignored him. He’d gotten good at blocking things out over the years. If he’d let every taunt lead to him throwing a punch, his mom would’ve…well, he wasn’t even sure. He’ couldn’t even lightly say she’d kill him. There’d been too much death in their family for him to joke about that.

“Seriously, man, just leave him alone. Do you even realize how ignorant those comments make you seem?”

Christopher smiled at the way John thought he need to swoop in to the rescue. The smile fell away at the name the boy called his friend, but John put a hand on his shoulder. “Just leave it. My face is scarred, everyone knows it. It’s not even a good insult because he doesn’t know how I got them. And we’ve got more important things to do. Arlene is waiting for us at the library.”

That brought back his smile. Spending time with those two always managed to do that.

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

This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use ‘reservation’ any way you like. Christopher is a side character in Flames of Renewal, which I just sent to my proofreader yesterday. He’s only fifteen in that one, which is when he meets John. There’s a story for them and Arlene forming in my head. I thought it would be the next one in my ‘The Rileys’ series(which is a spin-off from the Flames series, and Arlene is the Riley connection here), but it looks like they’ll wait one more.

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Fiction Friday: The Unknown

“Stop letting the unknown into our house.”

Kayla glanced up at Adrian as he strolled through the door. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said even as she ran her hand over the kitten’s head again.

Her husband didn’t bother rolling his eyes. “Do I need to do a head count of the animals every time I come home from work?”

She laughed then walked over and put the kitten in his arms. “Come on. Tell me you could have looked in his eyes and told this sweet thing no.”

He stared hard at her then looked down at the cat. Then, he let out a long sigh. “No. No, I couldn’t.”

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

I found the prompt(Stop letting the unknown into our house) on Pinterest(as pretty much all my Fiction Friday prompts are). If you want to see more of Adrian and Kayla, they first appear in Flames of Redemption. I should be getting the second novel in the series out later this month(maybe July).

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Favorite Word”

“You are absolutely beguiling.”

Neil let out a snort of laughter. “Really? What kind of word is that?”

“One of my favorite ones. I like the way it sounds. It can mean to deceive, but I don’t think about it like that. I like the ‘to charm’ definition better. That’s what you do to me.”

“You sound like Corrin when you talk like that.” But, his sister was the last person he wanted to think about as Lin ran fingers through his hair.

“She’s not a bad person to be compared to.”

No, she wasn’t. He loved his little sister, but again, she wasn’t what he wanted to think about right now. So, he pulled Lin until they straddled him. “There’s no comparison,” he said. “You have no comparison.”

Lin smiled down at him. “Well, aren’t you the sweetest man ever.”

He highly doubted that. But, as Lin pressed their lips to his, he didn’t really care where he fell on the sweetness meter. He had them, and that was what mattered for now.

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

This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use your favorite word in some way or just write about the concept of having one. Beguile isn’t really my favorite one, not sure I really have one, but it popped into my head. Lin showed up in Flames of Knowledge, and these two have informed me they had a story to tell together. I don’t know exactly what it’ll be yet.

A to Z Challenge – S is for Silas Lunden

Name: Silas Lunden

Age: 20 years old

Description: Silas is tall and a little on the scrawny side. He has nearly black hair, bright blue eyes, and wears glasses.

Short Bio: Silas is the oldest child of Henry and Sally Lunden. He has two younger sisters, Shelby and Hadley. When Silas was twelve, they moved to Crystal Glen. During the next school year, he met Jeremiah Brooke while playing baseball. They became fast friends.

When he was fifteen, Jeremiah is the first person he told he was attracted to guys. Jeremiah barely even blinked at the revelation. Coming out to his parents went just about as well. Silas had always been pretty comfortable in his own skin. Unfortunately, he was also pretty sure he was in love with his best friend. And also sure Jeremiah would never return those feelings.

He played baseball through high school and got an athletic scholarship to the local college, where he majored in biophysics. At his high school graduation party, he took a risk and kissed Jeremiah when no one was watching. It wasn’t the last time they kissed that summer, but they never really talked about what it meant.

And shortly after Silas started his first semester of classes(Jeremiah was a year behind him, so still in high school), Jeremiah had a girlfriend. So, Silas figured their kissing days were over. Jeremiah started getting distant that winter, and Silas was afraid they’d damaged their friendship. That summer he found out he’d been wrong. Jeremiah had been questioning himself but not their friendship.

When the next fall semester started, they had a dorm room together. Silas also had a boyfriend, so nothing happened between them. But, now they’re getting an apartment just off campus together and both are single, so who knows what will happen(haha! I do :p)

Snippet:

Silas rapped his knuckles on the back door then pushed it open without waiting for a response. “Hey, Mrs. Brooke,” he said, walking over and snatching a strip of green pepper she’d just cut. He popped it into his mouth even as she shifted a look his way.

“Those are for dinner, Silas,” she told him. “Are you going to be joining us? Jeremiah should be coming down from his room soon.”

“Yeah. Sure,” he said, hoping he didn’t sound too eager.

“Good,” she said with a soft smile. “We haven’t seen you around much this summer. That boyfriend’s been keeping you away.”

His smile fell, and she seemed to notice, her eyes going soft. “What happened?”

He shrugged one shoulder. “Nonsense. I didn’t need his drama anyways.” He’d claimed not to want to share Silas with Jeremiah. Silas hadn’t been able to convince him that wasn’t the situation. So, no, he didn’t need the drama. He also wasn’t going to tell Jeremiah’s mother any of that. Not until Jer told his family he was bi. He didn’t want to be the one to put any suspicions in their mind and have them questioning Jeremiah.

“Well, I’m sorry. Are you okay?”

He smiled again. “Just fine. I bounce back.”

She gave a little laugh then hugged him. “You’re always welcome here, you know.”

“Thanks, Mrs. B,” he said before disentangling himself. “I think I’ll go up and see what Jeremiah’s up to.

“Okay. Tell him dinner will be ready in about fifteen minutes. His uncle’s here, and his sister and Adrian are coming over, too.”

“Will do,” he said, walking backward through the door to the living room. He gave a wave to the two Brooke men in the living room then lunged up the stairs. He didn’t even bother knocking, just opened Jeremiah’s door and stepped in.

Jeremiah looked up from the book he was reading. It looked thick, like a textbook. “Seriously? It’s summer, Jer. I’m not even that obsessive about things.”

Jeremiah laughed and set the book aside. Essentials of Firefighting. Well, that made sense then. He always seemed to be studying that book. “Thought you weren’t applying to the fire academy for another year.”

“I’m not, but it never hurts to study.”

With a shake of his head, Silas moved over to the bed to join him. “Dinner’s in fifteen minutes according to your mom,” he said. “So we only have a little time for this.” He slipped a hand behind Jeremiah’s head and pressed his mouth to his friend’s.

A to Z Challenge – R is for Robert Brooke

Name: Robert Brooke

Age: 73 years old

Description: Robert is tall, with nearly white hair and green eyes.

Short Bio: Robert was raised in a firefighting family, and he never even thought about taking a different path. His older brother, Zachary, died fighting a fire, but he kept on with it even after that. He married Carol, and they had two sons, James and Zachary, who would also join the fire service.

He loved his family even more than fighting fires, and was always glad to be able to have both. It nearly destroyed him to watch his older son fall apart when he lost his wife and son to fire. Even worse, though, was the way he completely shut his memories away to be able to deal with it. He wanted to tell James that would only come back to haunt him.

But, he was able to watch two of his grandchildren, Kayla and Jeremiah, grow up and also follow in the family’s firefighting path. He wasn’t sure he could be more proud. He lost Carol to her own body’s deterioration just a few months ago and is still coming to grips with that.

Snippet:

James wasn’t so sure, but he hoped his brother was right. He glanced toward the door again. At least this time he kept his eyes open. He wanted to see Teresa again, but he needed to take care of something else first. “Is Dad out there?”
Zachary shook his head. “He was for a little bit, but he went home. Said he didn’t want to sit around here waiting for you to get your lazy ass up.”
James laughed. He doubted those had been his exact words. “Can you call him and ask if he remembers what he did with Mom’s ring?”
His brother’s eyes narrowed. “You said you didn’t want it. She left it to you, but you didn’t want it.”
It would have been Sarah’s if she’d lived long enough. He couldn’t feel the guilt for that. Not when so much love filled him now. “I didn’t want it then. I do now.”
Zachary’s eyes sparkled. “Don’t worry, he remembers. I’d say it will look good on Teresa’s finger.” He turned toward the door then paused. “Do you want it right away? I could get it from him before visiting hours are over.”
He wanted to ask her right away, but it should wait. At least until after he got out of the hospital. “No. I’ll stop and get it when I get out of here.”

I know, Robert isn’t actually in this bit, but it’s the closest he really comes to making it on the page in this story.

A to Z Challenge – Q is for Quinn Parnell

Name: Quinn Parnell

Age: 33

Description: Quinn is tall with a lean build. He has curly brown hair and blue eyes.

Short Bio: He has only been a very minor character in the series, so I don’t know much about his past. He is an officer with the Crystal Glen police department and often works with Adrian on cases.

Snippet:

James stepped out of his car and rubbed at his hand, still sore from his stupid move earlier that day. Maybe that would teach him to take on a brick wall. He rolled his eyes then headed up to the house. He noted the police cruiser parked at the curb and nodded at the man climbing out of the car. He waited for him to approach. “Officer…Parnell,” he said, reading the man’s badge. “I’m-”
“I know, Investigator. I was there back in February. I remember you.”
February. Back when Kayla had nearly gotten herself killed. No wonder he didn’t recognize the man. Most of what had happened that day was a blur. “I’m a friend of Ms. Takoda’s.”
“Yes, she said to expect you. You can go on in.”
James nodded at him then headed up the sidewalk. At least they seemed to be taking this seriously. Teresa had the door open before he even stepped up onto the porch. She smiled, but her lips trembled. “James.”

A to Z Challenge – P is for Pierce Riley

Name: Pierce Riley

Age: 21 years old

Description: Pierce is tall and lanky with nearly black hair and blue eyes.

Short Bio: Pierce is the oldest child of Brannon and Nessa Riley. He has two younger sisters, Lacey and Aileen, and a younger brother, Cody. He had a pretty easy childhood, despite losing his cousin, Doreen, in a house fire when they were young. Unlike most of his family, he didn’t feel like following in the family’s career footsteps. Instead of heading toward the police force, he went a more academic route. He’s been in college for a few years and thrives there.

Snippet:

Pierce glanced across the pond to where the little girl was running around with some of his own nieces and nephews and his grandpa’s dogs. He didn’t know whose she was, but there were a few new people out here for this picnic. He felt an arm wrap around his waist and glanced down at the top of his mother’s head.

“Glad you made it today,” she said. “I’m guessing we won’t see a lot of you now that the semester’s started.”

He didn’t hear a lot of censure in her voice, but he still had to keep from wincing. “I’ll try not to get too swamped this time.”

She laughed. “You say that every semester, Pierce. Then, you take on more tutoring clients and sign up for workshops and…”

He sighed. “I get it, Mom. I’m a workaholic.”

“And you take after your father, so I can only complain so much. I did marry the man after all.”

He didn’t get accused of being like his father too much. It may not be one of his best attributes, the tendency to get lost in work, but he’d take it.

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