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Fiction Friday: Staring at the Sun – Chapter 2

Yes, I made it back with Chapter 2 of Staring at the Sun. Finally. 😉 Working on a new routine for my days, and it’s still a little bit of an adjustment. But, I did get here. And now, here’s the beginning of Chapter 2.

Cassie couldn’t believe she was here kissing Icarus. A year ago she was still sure she’d never even see him again. That it was for the best she hadn’t ended up with him. How had her father and Henry brainwashed her into thinking he was the dangerous one? That had always been Henry. Why hadn’t she seen it before?

She had, she reminded herself. Every time his hand struck her.

Icarus pulled back slightly from her, and she couldn’t help the sound of protest that escaped. He bent his head to press another kiss, this one brief, to her lips. “We should probably get back.” He sounded about as disappointed as she felt.

They should probably do something about that one of these days. Every time she thought she was ready to go to him, she chickened out at the last minute.

She needed to do something about that as well. She wished she had enough courage to do it. For now she slipped her arm through his and walked with him back toward the clubhouse. They didn’t speak any more, but she was fine with that. She didn’t mind walking in silence with him.

When they reached the clubhouse, Trace stood on the porch. His face relaxed when he saw them approaching. “I have to check in with the board,” Icarus said. “We have some decisions to make, but we shouldn’t be long.” He kissed her cheek and left her on the porch to go into the house.

Cassie looked over at her son and smiled, though it froze there when her gaze fell on the tags on his vest. Dive. That’s what they were calling him. She hated thinking about the way he’d earned the name. Or the reason he was good at diving out of the way. She averted her gaze from it and back up to his face.

“I’m guessing Dad told you,” he said. “About Henry.”

She nodded and moved over beside him. “He did.” Her hands trembled as she set them against the railing. “He…what if he comes after us, Trace?”

She realized how ridiculous it sounded as soon as the words left her mouth. She should have been the one to trying to assure him instead of seeking that assurance from him.

“He won’t get us,” Trace said, his voice firm. “You should know this by now. You’ve been here long enough to see the club circles around us when there’s trouble. He won’t get through that to us. Dad won’t let him.”

Icarus had tried to tell her the same thing. She wanted to believe him, both of them. It was hard to trust in something she still didn’t understand.

Trace slid his arm around her shoulders. “We’ll be okay, Mom. I promise you.”

She still wasn’t sure she believed him, but she walked with him into the house. She’d pretend if it made him feel better. She owed him that much at least.

And you can read the rest of the chapter here. Let me know what you think.

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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.

WeWriWa: “Test That Theory”

Welcome to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. This is going to be the last snippet I share from Staring at the Sun. Icarus and the other Riders have gone to face Henry and try to get him to stop harassing them. But, he’s not giving in that easily and has a surprise for Icarus. He’s just told them that his men are holding Cassie somewhere “safe”(nowhere around Henry is safe, but still). Icarus does not want to believe him.

“You really want to test that theory? If I turn up dead, my men know exactly who to go after, and you’ll end up in a cage again, exactly where you belong. So, either way, you won’t see her again, but if you walk away now, everything else will be forgotten between us.”

“Don’t believe him, Dad,” Trace said, drawing himself up beside Icarus. “I don’t think he’s lying about Mom, but he wouldn’t just let us ride away and forget about this.”

Icarus knew the truth of that, but he didn’t see what other option he had, and he was still hoping Henry was bluffing. He motioned for the other men to fall back, but didn’t turn around until he was right on the edge of the yard. When they were at the bikes, he ignored the clamor of voices, took out his phone, and dialed a number. “Chief,” he said, his voice trembling, “tell me he’s fucking with me.”

“I’m so sorry, Grady.”

Why is Chief sorry? Did they get Cassie? Will Icarus be able to save her if they did?

Also, I started posting Dance with the Devil to Wattpad on Friday. I have Chapter 1 up and plan to put up one chapter a week until it’s all there.

WeWriWa: “Not Worth It”

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I’m making progress on Hawk’s story, but I’m still going to share from Staring at the Sun through the end of this month. I have 10 sentences from a couple scenes after last week’s. Icarus and Cassie were out riding and stopped at the local grocery store where they ran into her estranged husband(who is not a nice guy). This is from the husband’s POV. Hartson/Grady = Icarus. henry= the husband

“Come on,” she said softly, “he’s not going to do anything to us. We’ve done nothing wrong.”

“Don’t be so sure, Cassandra. I’m going to take that gang down.”

Hartson looked about ready to snarl something at him again, but Cassandra gave his arm a little tug. Grady turned toward her, and Henry was taken by surprise at the warmth in his eyes. “Come on,” she said again, “we’ll go. He’s not worth it.”

Those words had the air rushing from his lungs, then a fire started to build inside him, but the two of them were already climbing back on the bike. They might be getting away today, but he would find a way to take them down; all of them.

Why does he have such a problem with Grady? Why does he call the Riders a gang? Is he going to cause trouble for them?

In some related news, I made up a cover for Dance with the Devil Friday. And I’ll be starting to post it to Wattpad next week. For now, here’s the cover and the summary I put up on Wattpad for it.

Damon, better known as Devil in his new life, has fought the enemy, but nothing has been a bigger battle than his feelings for his best friend, Hawk. Surrendering to them could mean losing his place with the Riders of Justice, more family to him than the one he was born into. And he isn’t sure he could take that.
But, finding a way to be together is a mission Hawk isn’t willing to retreat from. Will Devil have to choose between the man he loves and the family he’s made? Or will he be able to find a way to have it all?

WeWriWa: “Some Promises”

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I shared the last snippet from Dance with the Devil last week and have the first 262 words on Hawk’s story. Coming in between those, though, is the one I wrote for the A-Z challenge, which is Icarus & Cassie’s. This is the only one of these I’ve written in 3rd person(which is what I write most of my other stories in) and also the only one in the series with an alternating POV(again, how I write most of my stories). I’ll be sharing from that for this month while I build up more words in Hawk’s story. For now, here’s 8 sentences from Chapter 1. They’ve gotten some information that isn’t looking too good for them.

Icarus hadn’t thought Trace’s face could go any paler, but he proved him wrong once again. “Don’t let him get Mom. Whatever you do, don’t-”

“Stop, Trace,” Icarus said, even the thought sending a sharp blade right through his chest. “You have to know the last thing I’d do was let any harm ever come to your mother again.”

Trace didn’t say a word, though, as he headed out into the hallway. Icarus understood. Sometimes there were some promises it was completely impossible to keep.

Who is after Trace’s mom? Will Icarus be able to keep this promise?

A to Z: X is for By eXample

Last time, we left Cassie finding some hope that she’ll be free and safe again soon. Today we’re back with Icarus, who is finding his own hope.

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

Icarus couldn’t sleep. He’d given up on it around midnight, coming down to the living room instead. A few people had been around, but most of them gave him the space they could obviously tell he needed. He’d poured himself a glass of whiskey then continued to stare at it for the last couple hours. This was how it had strted befre too. The inability to sleep. Using alcohol and drugs to try to numb the pain. Then, Chief had arrested him. He didn’t want to know how far down that dark path he’d have gone if it hadn’t been for that.

He couldn’t do it again. He needed to keep a clear head so he could help bring Cassie home once they knew anything.

He finally set the glass aside when he saw Devil approaching him. “You think that’s better than going off half-cocked when the person you love is taken?” he asked, nodding at the glass.

Icarus shook his head. “No. Just another way of doing the foolish thing. Although your way did see Hawk safe. A lot better than this will for Cassie.”

“Only because you and the other guys were right behind me. And, speaking of Hawk, he and Wraith just got back. Chief is bringing them in here so you don’t miss any of it. He wanted me to clear the room out for now.”

“Then, I guess you’d better get to that.”

Devil gave a quick salute and went to do that. There were a few grumbles, but everyone else left the room. They’d be clued in as soon as they had a plan in place. Icarus had to smile a little despite everything. A big change had gone over Devil in just the last couple months. Ever since he’d stopped denying who he was and who he loved. He was definitely coming into his own, just like Icarus always thought he would.

Chief came in, Hawk and Wraith trailing behind him. Hawk nodded at Icarus, but his gaze didn’t leave Devil. Chief came straight to Icarus. “They found her,” he said.

His gaze shot back to Hawk, but the other man gestured toward Wraith. “He’s the one who talked to her. I wanted to take the guys on guard out and bring her out of there, but I was told I was acting just like my lover boy,” he said with a wink at Devil.

Icarus looked back to Wraith. “You really were able to talk to her?”

He nodded. “They had her alone in a room. I slipped in through the window. She was doing okay. I told her to hang on at least until morning. That we hadn’t abandoned her. That there was no way you wouldn’t come for her. She knows, man. She’ll be waiting for you.”

He took a deep breath then nodded. “Okay. What are we going to do?”

“You,” Chief said, pointing a finger at him, “are going to go up and get some sleep. You’ve always believed in leading by example. So, you need to start doing that. In the morning, you’ll take a few Riders, and you’ll get your woman back. You know what matters, Grady. Protecting the ones you love. That’s the example we lead by here. Justice only comes once that’s secured.”

Icarus drew in another deep breath. “You’re right, Chief. I forgot it a little bit, but you’re right. We get Cassie out of there, then I can worry about making sure he never comes after her again. He doesn’t get to take what I love wthout consequences.”

Chief sighed. “Not exactly what I meant, but close enough. Now, go up and sleep. All of you. We’ll get her back in the morning.”

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

Will they get her back? Will Icarus get his justice?

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