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Posts tagged ‘Flames’

Fiction Friday: “How Brilliant”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Silas said.

“But, you love telling people how brilliant you are. At length.”

Silas laughed, even though he’d been feeling pretty miserable before Lin showed up. They always seemed to know what to say to pull him out of his head. “I screwed up, okay? I was sure the plan would work, would make things better with Corrin’s dad. I think I just made them worse.”

Lin ran the tips of their fingers through his hair. “From what Neil said, you aren’t going to be able to do anything to fix that situation. It has to come from her dad.”

“I know, but I hate seeing how much this hurts her.”

“You really do love her, don’t you?”

“Both of them,” he murmured. “I love both of them.” He blew out a breath. “But, backing up, since when are you and Neil Riley on a first name basis? I thought you two just met.”

He watched as Lin’s cheeks reddened. “Oh, this is going to be good,” Silas said, grinning at them. “Take it from me, Lin, the Rileys know how to twist you up. But they make you pretty sure it’s the only way you want to be for the rest of your life.”


This links back to a story I wrote last month, Arrested. Silas is in a relationship with Corrin and Jeremiah(their story was written in Playing with Fire). Corrin is Neil’s little sister. And Lin showed up when I started writing Flames of Knowledge. And they told me that they and Neil had a story to tell. I’m still not sure exactly what that story will be. But, this is at least the beginning of it.

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.

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)


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.


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.


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.


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.

A to Z Challenge – O is for Oliver Stiel

Name: Oliver Stiel

Age: 35 years old

Description: Oliver is tall and well-built. He has dark blond hair, kept cut short, and brown eyes.

Short Bio: Oliver is one of the oldest children of Roderick and Letizia Stiel. He has a twin sister, Emilia, and a younger sister, Adreana. His father is a corporate lawyer and his mother a social worker. Even though Oliver did want to be a lawyer as well, he didn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps. Not in any real way. He didn’t approve of his father’s “wandering eye” or the fact his father was always trying to throw young women in his way. If they had been young men, he wouldn’t have been as upset.

Telling his father that was the first step in dismantling their relationship. He thought it got better when he started law school. Until he went on a path toward becoming a public defender. That apparently was not good enough for Roderick Stiel’s only son.  But, this was what Oliver wanted to do.

They spent about ten years skirting around these two issues. Then, when Emilia decided to move to the northern part of the state, he decided to follow her. He was doing work that satisfied him and comfortable in his own skin, and too bad if that wasn’t good enough for his father. Now if only he could find someone to share this life with.


“I think he’s too old for you.”

Oliver turned his head toward the voice and smiled at his cousin, Caitie. He couldn’t help but smile. “I was just wondering who he was,” he said. “I haven’t seen him around here before, so I’m sure he’s not another of our relatives.”

She grinned at him. “Not yet.” He arched one eyebrow at her and she laughed. “He’s Kayla’s uncle. So once Adrian convinces Kayla to marry him, he will be family.”

“I doubt that will take much. You have seen the way they are together, right. Reminds me of your parents.”

She smiled, even though from the look in her eyes, she’d noticed he hadn’t mentioned his own parents. Of course, he was even surprised they were still together. They didn’t make a good match. Not like Uncle Dougal and Aunt Shae.

“Anyway, James, Kayla’s uncle,” Caitie said, nudging him and pulling him away from his thoughts, “is taken. And straight. So, you’re out of luck there.”

Oliver chuckled. “I told you I wasn’t looking anyway. Just curious.” It’s not like he needed to be tangled with another person anyway right now. He’d just gotten out of one relationship that had turned out to be not so healthy. He did not need to fall into another one any time soon.

A to Z Challenge – N is for Neil Riley

Name: Neil Riley

Age: 20 years old

Description: Neil is tall with wide shoulders. He has dark brown hair and blue eyes.

Short Bio: Neil is the oldest child of Devlin and Tara Riley. He has two younger sisters, Corrin and Arlene. His cousin, Doreen, was born about 8 months before him. When they were four, she died in a fire. Neil, and his cousins Pierce and Lacey were the closest to her. Her death hit all of them hard.

Neil was very protective of his little sisters growing up. They didn’t always appreciate this. And Corrin, less than two years younger than him, made it perfectly clear she’d take care of herself and not let him get in the way of her curious nature. He still kept a watchful eye over both of them, but he wasn’t overbearing about it.

Like his father, and uncles, an aunt, and grandfather, Neil wanted to join the police department. He went right in that direction after high school, though at this point he hasn’t officially joined the department yet.


Neil glanced over to where Corrin and Arlene were standing near the edge of the pond. They seemed to be watching something, and he followed the direction of their gaze. To a young man who was tossing a ball for a couple of his grandpa’s dogs. “Who’s that?” he demanded.

His cousin, Pierce, glanced over at Neil then to where the girls were looking. “Isn’t that Adrian’s new girlfriend’s brother? I’m pretty sure he came with her family.”

Neil relaxed a bit at that. That made him practically family. At least as nervous as Adrian had been acting today, he was pretty sure his girlfriend would be family soon enough.

He glanced back at his sisters. Arlene had turned away, but Corrin was still watching the young man. He thought about warning her, to tell her she should stay away. But, he knew that would not go over very well at all. It would only push her closer to taking a step toward the guy. And for all he knew, the young man was a perfectly fine match for his sister.

Not that he really thought anyone would be. But, he did like Kayla. So, he imagined her brother would be a good person, too.

Still, he’d rather not his sister take that chance of getting hurt. But, she was just starting college, and she’d let him know long ago he didn’t get to stand like a shield in front of her. Now that she thought she was completely grown up, she certainly wouldn’t let him get away with that.

Didn’t mean he’d stop trying.

*Note: This is another snippet that doesn’t happen on the page. It would occur near the end during a Labor Day picnic at the eldest Rileys place. And Jeremiah(Kayla’s brother) and Corrin will be tangled up later.

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