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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Door

Bobby stood in the doorway, just staring into the room. That was his son in there. It was hard to believe. He didn’t look like the boy Bobby remembered.

“Are you going to go in there or just hulk in the doorway?”

Bobby turned his head to look at the man who had snuck up on him. It had been a long time since he’d allowed himself to let anyone do that. “Sam,” he said, recognizing the man. Though, he didn’t quite look like the man Bobby had just seen with Linda a couple weeks earlier. This scruffy, bleary-eyed man wouldn’t have found his way into Bobby’s ex-wife’s heart.

“I bet John would like to see you,” Sam said.

Bobby shook his head. “He hasn’t seen me in nearly six years. It was better that way. I was trying to protect them.”

“You didn’t,” Sam snapped. “You hurt them. He worshipped you and then suddenly you were gone. He didn’t understand that you just couldn’t walk out of the prison and come visit him. And you never tried to explain to him. No, you left that all to Linda. You left him to be picked on at school about whether he got the fire bug gene, too. If he was going to set things on fire.”

Bobby winced at that. He’d screwed up so much in his life. He had deserved his punishment. His son hadn’t, though.

“I wanted to hate you,” Sam continued. “But, she never did. I never understood how you couldn’t even fight for her.”

“Because she deserved a lot better than me. She deserved everything, and I couldn’t give it to her. She deserved you, Sam. They all did. And it wasn’t right for me to try to hold them down. So, I let them go.”

“You’re a fool,” Sam muttered. “You threw it all away and for what? She’s still dead. And they have no one now.”

“They have you,” Bobby told him. “She’d want you to take care of them. And to stop drinking.”

“So, you’re just going to walk away?” Sam asked as Bobby started to do just that. “Not even let them know you were here.”

“I don’t see what good it would do. I don’t want a place in their lives if it’s only going to hurt them.” He just needed to close that door and lock it. Better for all of them that way.

“And what if it doesn’t?” Sam asked. “What if it helps them to see the change you’ve made to the path you were on. What if they need you, too?”

Bobby closed his eyes, as if that was a shield against the darts those words became. He wasn’t sure he could believe it was enough. But, he wanted to try.

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Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was “door”. We were supposed to write about a door we walked through that wasn’t our own. Instead I wrote about a character not walking through a door, both figurative and literal. 😉 These characters showed up in the first book in my Flames series and then kind of disappeared. I’m thinking of trying to write them back into the series, and John may eventually have his own story. I wrote a little piece yesterday about these characters, too.

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JusJoJan: Day 1 – “Drama”

“You know I don’t like drama.”

Connor tipped back in the chair in the middle of his grandparents’ yard and started laughing. “Please, Caitie,” he told his cousin. “Tell me another one.”

She told him something all right, but it wasn’t another lie like that. Her husband came up and put an arm around her waist. That had his ears burning more than her curses had. Their easy displays of intimacy always did that. As did everyone else’s. He could usually just duck behind a book to hide it better.

Of all days, today had to be the one he left all his books at home.

“I’m being serious,” she said.

“That would be a first,” Mark commented.

Connor snorted then grinned as she turned her glare up to her husband. “You’re not helping, Mark.”

He smiled down at her. “Didn’t know I was supposed to be.”

She pushed up onto her toes to kiss him. “Okay,” Connor said, nearly leaping out of the chair. “That’s my cue to leave.”

Caitie laughed as she drew back from her husband. “Sit down, Connor.”

“Nope. I’m good. See you around.” He didn’t know why seeing others act like that always left him a bit unsettled. He wasn’t a prude. He didn’t think there was anything wrong with them acting like that. Or his cousin Gio and his–their, whatever pronoun Gio was trying out this week to find the one that fit– boyfriend doing the same. And he’d seen the way his cousin Corrin was with her boyfriends, Silas and Jeremiah, and he wished them all the happiness in the world even if he had some trouble wrapping his head around how that arrangement worked.

Hell, he had trouble wrapping his head around most relationships. Wanting one wasn’t the problem. He did want that closeness he saw between all his siblings and their spouses and his cousins and their significant others. He just…didn’t know how to get there.

Maybe it was something he wasn’t meant for. No matter how much he’d like to have it for himself.

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It’s day 1 of Just Jot It January, and the prompt was “drama”, brought to us by Ritu. I’m going to be writing little stories from the POV of the characters from the novel I’m currently plotting out. I did it last year with Corrin, Silas, & Jeremiah and got some good scenes that I ended up fleshing out for their novel. I’m hoping to have that again.

Fiction Friday: Dougal & Shae

It’s the end of January which means it’s time to share the beginning of the last of my back story novellas. I’m not sure I’ll be sharing more of these, at least not here. I do have other ideas for them, though. I may talk more about that another time, as I firm up those plans. But for now, here’s the first scene of Dougal & Shae’s story(Flames).

Dougal Magaldi scanned the room around him from behind the bar. He’d only been in town a couple weeks now. He was just glad he’d been able to find a job so quickly. His father hadn’t wanted to leave home, and the pub they’d been running together the last two years. But, it hadn’t taken him long to realize he couldn’t work for his father.

He loved the stubborn old bastard, but he couldn’t work for the man. And he really didn’t want to have to go crawling back, saying he’d failed just as his father had predicted. But, he’d landed this job, so he wouldn’t have to think about that. At least not yet, not as long as he could hold onto the job and his apartment.

The clientele here was definitely different from what he was used to at the family pub. A bit rougher. Not nearly as many couple and families. A lot more men, and women, on the prowl. And more troublemakers among them.

He looked at a couple of them right now. They hadn’t done anything just yet, but they were throwing back the drinks quite hard. But, even though he’d only worked behind the bar the last couple years, he’d spent most of his life in the pub. He’d gotten good at pinpointing the riffraff from those just out to have a good time.

These two definitely fell into that first group. Nothing he could do unless they actually started causing a problem, though. And from what he’d seen so far, his boss wouldn’t take action until it went almost too far. Nothing he could do about that either. All he could do was his job.

Two men came up and leaned against the bar. These didn’t seem so much like troublemakers, and Dougal offered a smile as one held up two fingers and said, “Guinness.”

His smile widened. “Ah, a couple Irish lads,” he said, a burr in his voice as he reached into the cooler for the bottles. He always seemed to pick it up when he visited his mother’s family. But, he’d been back from Scotland for a few weeks now. He would have thought it would’ve faded again by now.

”And you’re a Scottish one,” one of the men said, grinning at him.

“Born there,” he admitted. “Came over when I was three. Just went back to visit family recently, though.”

“Our father came over from the Old Country when he was a teen,” the other man said.

Our father. Brothers, then. He supposed he could see it now. One of them went rigid at a commotion down the bar. Dougal glanced that way and saw the men he’d pinned as troublemakers. And that’s just what they were doing now…making trouble.

The taller of the two men in front of him sighed. “And here I thought we were off duty.”

“Donny,” the other man said, “it’s not our fight. Maybe they’ll…”

A beer bottle went flying before he could even finish the sentence. “Sure, Dev, maybe they will. Come on.”

Dougal watched as they started to wade in to the fight and debated whether he should step in or call the cops. His boss would hate that second option, but when he saw the flash of a knife, his debate was over.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday – In/Out

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is to use in/out. One or the other or both somewhere in the post. The only project I haven’t worked on this week is Crash and Burn(previously only referred to as Brann’s story or Brann & Jaya). This comes right after last week’s piece I wrote. I tried continuing that scene yesterday, and couldn’t figure out how to pick it up. I think because that scene was over, and I just didn’t realize it. So, we’ll be switching into Jaya’s POV now.

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Jaya left her hand in Brann’s for a moment longer than necessary for a greeting. But, she didn’t want to let go. Ridiculous. She’d just met the man. She couldn’t really feel anything for him. But, he hadn’t take his eyes from hers yet.

“Care for a dance?” he asked.

She hesitated for a moment. She really wasn’t much of a dancer. She knew exactly what to do when she was in the back of an ambulance, but in almost any other situation, she wasn’t nearly as sure of herself. She couldn’t see the same being said of him. he looked perfectly at ease with himself. What would he say if she started tripping over her own feet out there?

She heard Caitie snicker from behind Brann and wondered what that was about. But, she found herself nodding. He pulled her out to the dance floor and brought one hand to her waist. He didn’t seem to want to release that hand, though. Maybe he felt the same way she did.

“I’ll apologize in advance,” he said.

She was almost too drawn in to that honey-smooth voice to process what he’d said. “Why would you apologize?”

The song changed, another slow, romantic tune at least, and they started to move with it. And only a few beats into the song, she felt a sharp pain in her toes. Brann winced. “That’s why,” he said. “Sorry about my big clumsy feet. I don’t always seem to know where I’m putting them.”

She laughed and put her arms over his shoulders. And here she was sure he’d be so sure of himself. “Then, why did you ask me to dance?”

“Because ever since I saw you earlier, I wanted to spend some time with you. But, I thought you were here with one of the firefighters.” one side of his mouth ticked up at that. “Mark and Caitie set me straight on that one. I figured when you were dancing with that kid, he was who you were with.”

“Austin?” she asked with a laugh. “He’s like my little brother. And anyway, I’d never truly get between him and Jess. No matter how many times she breaks his heart.”

Brann shifted and finally looked away from her. What was that all about. He glanced back at her. “Sorry. I don’t like discussing other peoples’ relationships. It can get sticky.”

He’d looked away again, and she followed his gaze. Over to the bar set up in the corner of the room. “Who’s that?” she asked.

“My baby brother and one of his bartenders. That’s all I’ll say about it.”

She looked up at him again and thought he might look worried. But, she didn’t understand that at all. She thought it might be one of those sticky things he didn’t like to discuss, though.

You aren’t a firefighter, right?” she asked.

He let out a loud rolling laugh at that. “No,” he said, grinning down at her. “I’m not. Thank goodness for that. I heard I wouldn’t have a chance with you if that was the case.”

But, he wanted one? Beyond more than just this dance? She thought she could go for that.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Better Hope”

Welcome back for another Stream of Consciousness Saturday. I wasn’t quite sure what I’d use the prompt for this week, as I’ve met all my goals for the week already. Then, Linda commented on last week’s post, saying it made her want to read more. So, more Brann & Jaya it is. There’s a scene between last week’s and this one, but this one has us back in Brann’s POV, using the prompt of a word containing ‘ho’

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“That boy better hope he knows what he’s doing,” Mark muttered next to Caitie.

Brann looked out to the dance floor where his brother-in-law was staring. There she was, and she was dancing with one of the firefighters. He didn’t get what the problem was. She was allowed to dance with her date, right? She was a grown woman. he took a sip of his scotch. Yeah, she definitely looked like a grown woman.

Caitie patted Mark’s arm. “Don’t worry so much. he and Jess will figure this out.”

“Jess? That’s her name?” Brann asked before he’d planned to say the words. He felt his sister’s gaze on him and looked down into his glass.

“No,” she said, drawing out the word, and he was sure there was laughter in it. Okay, so he hadn’t been too subtle with his staring since her and that boy came out on the dance floor. “You’ve met Jess Hunter, remember. Nolan’s little sister.”

Right, Nolan, Mark’s best friend, practically a brother. So, since Mark had been welcomed into their family because of Caitie so had Nolan’s family.

Mark picked it up. “Jess and Austin have had an on and off thing going for a while. We never know where it stands. Though, if it was up to him, it would always be on, I think. and now, he’s dragging Jaya into it.”

“Jaya,” he murmured, liking the way the name sounded on his tongue. “Her date doesn’t mind?”

Caitie snorted. “Smooth, Brann, really smooth. And she’s not here with anyone.”

“But, I saw her sitting there with all the firefighters.”

“You know,” Mark said easily, “Kayla would kick your ass for assuming she wasn’t one of them.”

She hadn’t been dressed like the rest of the firefighters. And he’d caught his cousin’s wife’s temper before, so hopefully none of them would mention this. “Is she?”

Mark laughed. “No. She is a paramedic with the department, though. And she has a rule about not dating firefighters. She’s made that clear to anyone who’s tried to ask her.”

“Did you?” Caitie asked, poking him in the chest.

He held his hands up and laughed then drew her up for a kiss. Brann realized someone was standing beside him and turned to look. There was Jess Hunter, and she was scowling out at the dance floor. Brann hid his smile with another sip of scotch. Mark and Caitie seemed to be on to something.

Then, the song was over. Jaya leaned in close to Austin’s ear, but they were too far away for Brann to know what was really going on. Then, she was headed their way. His mouth went dry and his hands wet as he watched her approach. He took another sip to try to fix at least one of those issues. Then, she was right there in front of them and Caitie was grabbing her for an enthusiastic hug. Caitie did almost everything enthusiastically.

“Jaya,” Caitie said as she pulled away, “this is my second oldest brother, Brann. I know you’ve met Cormac before. Brann,” she said before Jaya could say anything about their oldest brother, “this is Jaya Mertz.”

Just barely he heard Mark murmur in her ear, “No matchmaking at our wedding.” But, Caitie only grinned.

Brann didn’t care about any of that as he took her hand. He didn’t want to let go. So, he asked, “Care to dance?”

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Screen

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is “screen” to use any way we want. I only have one more secondary project on my list to get done; one that’s been plotted for a while but I still haven’t started writing. At least the beginning of it takes place during the same time as Closing Time, which I just finished the first draft for.

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Brann Magaldi leaned against the wall, watching. His sister was a little busy right now, dancing circles around her new husband, but he was sure she’d be over soon enough to tell him to stop brooding. he wasn’t, not really. Just not in the desire to be in the middle of all this. He slipped his phone out and glanced at the screen. He’d resisted the urge to do that most of the night. No work tonight. That was the order their mother had given both him and his older brother. It wasn’t like either of them were on duty or even on call.

But, this case. It was driving him mad. It wasn’t even his case. He knew what his captain would tell him. He wasn’t a detective; it wasn’t his place to try to solve the crimes. But, the victims seemed to keep piling up. None of them saw their attacker. All of them woke up missing money, one had even had his boots stolen. None of them would be considered innocent by most people, but that didn’t change anything for Brann. He still wanted to stop whoever was going after them.

He felt a nudge to his side and almost dropped his phone. “Enough with the dour looks, brother,” Caitie said, grinning up at him. “It’s my wedding. We’re supposed to be celebrating.”

He put his phone away and tried to put away everything else as well, smiling at her. “I know, and you look beautiful. Radiant, even.”

Her grin widened then she tugged on his hand. “Come on. Dance. Enjoy the party. It’s the best gift you could give me.”

He cupped her cheek and kissed her forehead. “I’d give you whatever you deserve, sweet Caitie. But, you know you’d hate every minute of it if someone tried to pamper you.”

She laughed at that. “You do know me well, Brann. How about just one dance?”

“You don’t want me to dance with you. I’ll just step all over your feet.”

That brought out another laugh. “I think my feet are immune by now. I have been dancing with Mark. They may have erected a shield around themselves now.”

Brann let out a loud laugh at that. Mark might be a lot of things, strong brave, honorable, but graceful wasn’t among them. Especially around Caitie. “I think I’ll go get a drink instead of tormenting your feet some more.”

He left her with a kiss on the cheek and headed over to the bar in the corner of the room. it looked pretty slow there right now, only one other person waiting for a drink. His brother stood behind the bar, saying something to the bartender working with him. Brann knew Caitie had not asked Gio to work the wedding. She’d wanted a couple of his bartenders to work, since the one they’d hired had fallen through at the last minute. she’d been surprised when he showed up to work with just one other bartender, who had gotten set up while Gio was at the wedding itself.

It was always hard to figure out what Gio was thinking, and why he did things the way he did.

Now, though, from the way the other bartender flushed and looked quickly away from Gio, Brann could figure why he’d chosen this one to come with him. Just a flirtation, Brann told himself. Gio was like that, flirted with pretty much everyone. But, he thought he saw something in his brother’s eyes as he looked at the bartender. it made him a little uneasy. They all knew about the man’s past, what he’d done to someone they all considered close to family. But none of them had told Gio. It didn’t have any effect on how he did his job, but the way they interacted now worried Brann. What if he ended up hurting Gio, too?

A cheer going up from a nearby table drew his attention away from the bar. Mark and Caitie now stood in front of a table filled with people in dress uniforms. Almost all of them firefighters. At the other end, a couple were in different uniforms. Marine dress blues. Must be some of Mark’s old friends from his days in the Corps. But, it was the firefighters cheering now as Caitie straightened from the dip Mark had her in and leapt up to wrap her legs around his waist and continue the kiss he’d started. Brann started to turn away, he did not need to see his sister with her tongue down her husband’s throat or the way his hands–yeah, not even letting his thoughts go there.

But, someone else at the table caught his eye. Her black hair fell straight down her back. She wasn’t in a uniform, either, but a glimmering silver dress that seemed to hug around her. Her light brown skin seemed to glow against it. His breath caught as he stared at her. he had to get control of himself. She was sitting between two of the firefighters, and was most likely with one of them. He would never be the one to try to break up a relationship. Now matter how much he was instantly attracted to a woman.

It had never happened that fast before, though. But, he still told himself he could ignore it. So, he turned back to the bar and headed toward his brother. Who was laughing at something the other bartender must have said. Gio’s flirtations might make him uneasy, but he could deal with that more than lusting for a woman he couldn’t have.

He glanced back once and saw the woman put her hand on one of the men’s arms. He jerked his gaze back around.

He could really use that drink after all.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday – “drink”

Welcome back to another Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Today’s prompt is “drink”. The story I’ve been plotting out is perfect for this one, since most of it will take place in a pub. 🙂

“Can I get you something to drink?”

Cam didn’t like the look of the man leaning against the bar, but he wasn’t visibly intoxicated, so there wasn’t a reason for him to refuse him service. He wished there was. He’d just have to serve him as quick as possible and hopefully he’d go find a table and not be back up.

“Actually I’m here looking for someone.”

“Well, there are a lot of people out there,” Cam said, nodding toward the nearly full dining area. “Most of them already have company, though. I don’t know if they’ll be pleased to have you join them.”

He heard a snort behind him and instantly recognized it as Gio’s. Thankfully his boss didn’t have a problem with his sense of humor. He actually seemed to enjoy it at times. The man in front of him didn’t seem to, though. The corners of his mouth twitched down.

“I meant someone in particular. I need some information on him. Heard he was working here.”

He felt tension crackle out from behind him, and Gio stepped forward. “If you need information on one of my employees, I’d at least like to know who’s asking.”

“I don’t see why that matters. I just need to know if he’s here.”

“Then, I need to know who’s asking. You have ID?”

The man grumbled, but he drew out his wallet and showed his identification to Gio. Cam didn’t catch the name on it, but Gio’s tension didn’t ease, either. “You can buy a drink or you can go, Mr. Boyce,” he said as the man put the wallet back in his pocket.

“His brother’s trying to find him,” the man explained, and it twisted Cam’s stomach. No, this couldn’t be happening. “They’ve been estranged, but it’s important he find him now.”

“Then, maybe he should come himself. I don’t have to give you any information about my employees, though.”

The man looked over at Cam, and he knew. Elliot was looking for him. He apparently hadn’t run far enough. And Elliot hadn’t gotten he hint the last time he’d packed up and left. “Can I take my break now, Gio.”

“Sure thing,” Gio said, not taking his eyes off the man. “I’ll watch the bar for you.”

Cam hurried out from behind the bar and into the back room. He could just go. He didn’t want to leave Gio hanging, and things had been going so well for him here. But, he could let Elliot drag him to the place he’d been before. He didn’t have to go, he reminded himself. He’d been away from his family without contact for more than a dozen years. For good reason.

He wasn’t going to run, he decided. And he didn’t have to let his brother drag him anywhere, to another state or back to that state of mind. And if Elliot did come here, he’d tell him exactly that.

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