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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Sup”

“I suppose you’re going to say you planned to come to the hospital.”

Isaac turned to look at Arcelia. He didn’t say anything, though. He wasn’t sure what to say, if he could say anything through the way it felt like his throat was closing up.

“You know he could use your support right now.”

That finally got his throat working again. “And what about what I need? Do you know what it’s like? To walk into a house, and think the person you love the most is dead? I’ve gone through it twice now. And the first time, my mom didn’t survive. My dad made it clear I was at fault for that, too. That I wasn’t worth enough for her to stick around. I can’t wait around for Jonas to come to the same conclusion.”

Arcelia didn’t get angry, like he’d thought she would. She always came to Jonas’ defense, whether he was in the right or not. They might fight  with each other, but neither let the other fight anyone else alone. Instead her face fell, and she stepped forward, her arms going around him. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m sorry you had to go through that. Again. You know he didn’t mean for that to happen.”

He wiped tears away from his face. “I can’t do it again,” he said. “It almost killed me the last time. I just can’t, Arcelia.”

He knew she’d never seen his scars, but that didn’t mean she didn’t know they were there. That she didn’t know exactly what he meant. “I’m sorry,” she said softly. “he’s not going to do it again. We’re going to be there to get him through this. I know it would help if you were, too, but I understand if that’s not something you can do.”

She finally pulled back from him and turned to walk away. The ache that had been in his chest since finding Jonas on the kitchen floor only spread wider. He just wished he knew what to do.

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This week’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was to use “sup” either on its own or as part of another word. I got a couple words in. So, what is Isaac going to do? Are him and Jonas ever going to be okay again? I’m still working on that part.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Cheers”

Jonas walked into the youth center among a round of cheers. He stopped and looked around. Then, he spotted the sign that read “Glad you’re not dead, Coach Jonas.”

He let out a little laugh then his gaze fell on Konner. “This your idea?”

He shook his head. “The kids wanted to do this. All I did was get you here.”

“I hadn’t even thought you wanted to talk to me.”

“I’m upset for Isaac’s sake. I know what it’s like to find someone the way he found you. My mom and my sister. And I lost my mom. So, I know how he felt.”

Jonas looked away from him. “I didn’t mean for it to happen. I just wanted the pain to stop for a little bit. I didn’t mean for that to happen.”

“You can’t do it again.”

Jonas smiled at him. “Trust me. I do not plan to. Now, about all this,” he said, waving a hand around them. “Since when am I a coach? All I did was help run some drills a couple days. Hard for me to do more than that.”

“You know, Isaac’s right. You don’t give yourself nearly enough credit. You can do more than you think, and you mean a lot more to these kids, and to Isaac, than you can imagine.”

Jonas couldn’t understand why. He couldn’t seem to do anything right. He was just going to let them down.

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Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use “cheers” in any way you want. This comes some time after last week’s.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Bug”

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use “bug”. This happens during my Jonas & Isaac story, though it may not appear on the page, though what comes after probably will. And before you read, I’ll leave you with a warning. There is a mention of suicide here, so if you need to skip it, I completely understand.

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“I hope I’m not bugging you.”

Konner looked up and smiled at Arcelia. He did have a nice smile, but she didn’t really care about that. Especially not now. “Not at all. What can I do for you?”

“I was hoping you’d tell me where Isaac has been hiding himself.”

The smile fell away at that. “What makes you think he’s doing that? Maybe he’s just been busy.”

Arcelia scoffed. “Yeah, I know better than that.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“He’s avoiding me. He’s avoiding everything. He hasn’t come back to see Jonas. He claimed he loved my brother, yet at the first bump, he’s taking off and hiding away. So much for standing by him through everything.”

“Ever think maybe he needs to protect himself? Have you forgotten he found his mother much the same way he found Jonas. He’s got to take care of himself before he can take care of your brother. He should have known what it would do to Isaac to try to kill himself.”

“He didn’t!” Arcelia insisted. “He didn’t mean to take so many pills. He was in a lot of pain and doesn’t react well to them anyway. He wasn’t thinking about what he was doing.” At least that’s what Jonas kept insisting, and Arcelia wanted to believe him so much.

“If he was having problems with them, why didn’t they put him on something else?”

“Seriously,” Arcelia said, “have you met my twin brother? He’s got to be the most stubborn idiot I know. He thought it’s just the way it was, and that he could handle it. Like I said, stubborn idiot.”

Konner burst out with a laugh at that. “That doesn’t seem like a nice thing to say about your own brother.”

“Well, it’s the truth. As long as no one else says it. Now where can I find Isaac?”

“He’s over at the shelter. I’d warn him, but I doubt there’s any armor that would protect him.”

“I don’t want to hurt him, just knock some sense into his fool head.”

“Well, good luck with that. I’ve never had any luck.”

She couldn’t help laughing as she headed for the door. Wasn’t that the truth? Jonas and Isaac were the perfect match for each other. If only they would see it.

 

 

Story a Day: Day 28 – Memorial Day

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to include the words: ink, previously, work, breeze, seven, run, delicious, example, spontaneous, barb. As today is Memorial Day here, I decided to run with that theme as well. This will come after the end of Jonas & Isaac’s story.

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A breeze ruffled through Jonas’ hair as he headed down the path. It wasn’t the smoothest path, so he was glad Isaac had insisted on him bringing his cane along, even though he’d been walking without it for a few months now. Still he didn’t want to damage his prosthetic or hurt his residual limb. Again.
He wasn’t thinking about that now, though. It was all over. Isaac’s father was back in prison, and not getting out any time soon. Whatever had happened previously didn’t matter. The last seven months had been the most peaceful Jonas could remember in a long time.
When he reached the stone he was looking for, Jonas slowly lowered himself to his knees and brushed some cut grass and dirt off the top of it. A year. It was hard to believe it had been a year already. And maybe a little ironic on the timing of it all. The previous Memorial Day he’d spent tethered to machines, not even knowing yet that his best friend, his former lover, had already been buried.
He pushed those thoughts away and reached out to run his fingers over the letters engraved into the stone. “You’d want to shake me for it,” he murmured, “but sometimes I still think it should have been me instead. You shouldn’t be the one gone, Santiago. I still don’t understand why I’m the one who survived.” He kept his hand on the stone and kept talking, even though he’d never get a response from Santiago again. Never be able to trade barbs with him again or hear the man burst into spontaneous song when they were working together.
“You’re supposed to still be here. I’m supposed to be able to tell you that I got back together with Isaac. I know you’d be happy for me. And that I’m going to begin work as a paramedic soon. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do that kind of work again, and it’s a lot less likely I’ll have to dodge bullets or bombs when I go out on a call.”
He heard Isaac’s footsteps behind him. He knew his boyfriend was worried about him, but there wasn’t much he could do to assure him he was doing better now. He’d gotten his pain issues mostly sorted out, was accepting the help that was offered, even when it didn’t settle right with him. He felt Isaac’s fingers trace over the ink on the back of Jonas’ shoulder. He’d encouraged Jonas to get it. One more way to honor what had come before.
“I’m going to go now,” he said. “Your mom’s making some of her delicious enchiladas for us. Just another example of how lucky I was to know you.”
Isaac helped him back to his feet. He could have done it on his own, but it would have taken longer, and he knew it made Isaac feel better to be able to do something to help. Then, Isaac brushed his lips over Jonas’ jaw and to his mouth. “I’m okay,” Jonas insisted. “I’ll always miss him. That won’t change. But, I’m okay. Come on, let’s get out of here. He’d rather we celebrate what he did with his life than wallow in the fact he’s gone.”
Isaac looped his arm through Jonas’, leaving the other free to wield the cane so he didn’t lose his balance. Isaac kept him keep that most of the time now anyway. And he couldn’t help but think he’d never have found his way back to him if that helicopter had never crashed. Yes, he’d always miss Santiago and the direction his career could have taken. But, sometimes things worked out the way they were supposed to.

SOCS/Story a Day: Day 5 – “Walk on the Beach”

Today’s Story a Day prompt was:

Have some fun today: Steal something from a favorite published universe

Remember, you can’t sell a derivative work without permission, or a license, but that’s not the point today. Today is all about having fun in a world you know well, or with characters you already love.

I just finished reading another of the books in Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters books, so I stole a couple characters from that. And I’m combining it with the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt of using “letter” in some way in the post. I had fun with this one, but it of course won’t end up in an official story.

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Isaac slipped his hand into Jonas’ as they headed down to the beach. They’d both needed this trip away. Isaac to try to forget what his father had done, had tried to do. And Jonas to put aside whatever that letter from Santiago’s mother had said. He knew it had been bothering him, but he wouldn’t talk about it.
Jonas’ new leg buckled a bit as they headed into the softer sand, and Isaac stopped. “We can go back. If it would be easier to stay up there.”
Jonas shook his head and tugged on Isaac’s arm. “Come on. I promised you a walk on the beach. So, that’s what we’re going to do.”
They fell into silence again as they walked. He hated seeing Jonas struggle, but he also knew Jonas would hate him bringing it up. They were still trying to figure out where this was leading them, but hopefully this week would help.
Right now he was enjoying just getting to spend time with this man.
He saw two people heading toward them and his shoulders stiffened for a minute. No one had even looked at them strangely while they were here, though. At home it wasn’t so bad, either, but you never knew. After all, Isaac was well aware his father wasn’t the only hateful ass left in this world.
His grip tightened as the couple drew closer, though. “Jonas. Jo, do you know who that is?”
Jonas glanced over at him then toward the two people coming toward them. One man was smaller and lithe, the other a bit taller and broader. That was the one Isaac couldn’t look away from.
“I don’t have a clue, Isaac,” Jonas finally said. “But, it looks like they’re just out for a walk like us. They probably don’t want to get stared at.”
“That’s Robin Chadwick Cassidy,” Isaac said, trying, and not succeeding, at keeping his voice down. “He gets stared at all the time.”
The smaller man was looking right at them now, and he moved slightly in front of Robin, as if he had to protect him from them. “I have no idea who that is,” Jonas said.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Isaac said, looking away from the men finally. “Don’t you watch any movies? He was in American Hero. I know I told you about it. Right after I moved in with Roman and Cristine, we found it on tv at night when I couldn’t sleep.”
The men had moved closer, and the smaller one was still in front of Robin. But, Robin laughed. “You look way too young to have seen that.”
Isaac felt his cheeks heat. “I think it had been out at least ten years at that point. But me and my foster mom watched all your movies after that.” His gaze went to the smaller man. “You’re his husband.”
Robin’s husband was staring at Jonas, though, and Robin rolled his eyes. “Jules is usually more personable. He’s still trying to decide if you’re a threat for me.”
The small man’s lips twitched up a bit at that. “Actually I’m trying to figure out if I know him. What branch?”
“Seriously?” Jonas asked. “I’ve been out for nearly a year. I would have sworn the Army had washed off of me by now.” Jules laughed, and Jonas shook his head. “I don’t think we’ve ever met, sir, but doesn’t everyone know Jules Cassidy, FBI agent extraordinaire. Married to his movie star husband for nearly two decades.”
“That’s pushing it a bit far,” Jules said, but he was grinning. “How long have you had the new pin?”
To Isaac’s surprise, the question didn’t make Jonas bristle as it usually did. There seemed to be genuine concern in it and not the somewhat morbid curiosity of most people. The four of them fell into step together as they continued down the beach.
This trip suddenly seemed like a very good idea.

Writing Wednesday: Starting Behind

I seem to be falling behind on goals at the beginning of this month. I really don’t like that feeling, even though I have time to catch up. I’ve been having trouble waking up with my alarm the last couple days, leaving me not much time to write before the kids wake up. And that tends to be my best writing time. I did manage to finish Camp NaNo on time, but only because I cut my initial goal in half. I’m still working on Monday’s chapter today(finished it between writing that and posting). But, I’m hoping to start getting caught up.

Checking things out the open window

Some of the stress that may have been eating away at my focus the last few months may ease up soon. Husband was offered a new job. We’ve really been struggling this winter. He didn’t make as much money last year, so we weren’t as far ahead when he got laid off in November. And when our mortgage is almost as much as one unemployment payment(which we get every 2 weeks), we’ve fallen behind. Tax refund helped, but not quite enough. This new job is actually less $ an hour than he’s making now, but it’s guaranteed hours(between 55-60 every week). Right now, he’s not even getting 40 hours a week, and may not until June, if then. And it’s year round, so we won’t have to deal with unemployment every winter. He hasn’t officially accepted, but when we talked about it yesterday, neither of us saw a reason to turn it down.

Enough of all that. It’s time for WiPPet Wednesday again!! Thanks to the inimitable Emily Wrayburn for hosting this each week! I’m doubling up again this week. Since it’s 5/2, I once again have 5 paragraphs from each of my 2 projects. As usual, first up is Jonas & Isaac. And they aren’t exactly following Arcelia’s order to not do anything she wouldn’t from last week:

“Isn’t this a part of your body?” Isaac asked, kissing under his chin. “And here.” The corner of his jaw. “Or here.” Just under his ear.

“Is,” Jonas hissed as Isaac sucked on that patch of skin. “Please. Down further.”

Isaac’s lips brushed the front of his shoulder. “This far enough?”

“No, damn it,” Jonas growled.

Isaac laughed then his hands moved up under Jonas’ shirt, his fingers just tickling under the other man’s ribs. He could feel his body taut under him, one part straining more than the rest. He knew that was the part Jonas really wanted touched, but this game of teasing was too much fun.

Mean, mean Isaac. Not that Jonas is complaining too much. 😉

And for Flames of Knowledge. Connor’s older brother has come by and is trying to talk him into joining a family thing. He was a bit hesitant as their family gatherings tend to be large and he’s unsettled around a lot of people, even family(Yes, I’ve thrown personal experience into aspects of this character).

Connor wasn’t sure about the glint in Adrian’s eyes. But, he’d been in as soon as he mentioned the firefighters. Ames wasn’t one, but they worked with them. So, maybe they’d be there as well.
“Yeah, I’ll come,” he said, hoping he didn’t sound too eager about it.
“You might want to wash up first,” Adrian said with a smirk. “You’ve got paint in your hair.”
“How?” Connor said, exasperated. “I didn’t even actually paint today.”
Adrian roared with laughter as Connor headed into the bathroom. At least someone got a kick out of this. No wonder Ames didn’t want anything to do with him. He was an utter mess.

That’s not it at all, Connor. And Ames will want something to do with you. Just give them a chance. 😉

Color Code:

Finished/Monthly Goal Met

Progress

Nothing Done

Set Aside

Plotting:

  • Primary: Nowhere to Run – Outline
  • Secondary: Craving You – Outline
    • This week: Story Toolkit(sheet 3) –
  • Tertiary: Flames of Knowledge – Outline Acts 2, 3, & 4
  • Stretch: Heart to Heart – Brainstorm

Writing:

  • Primary: Flames of Knowledge – Chapter 21/42 – 35035/~35000 words
    • This Week: Chapter 21
  • Secondary: Side Projects – 3350 words – 3673/3350 words
    • This week: Hawk – 200 words – 229/200 words
  • Tertiary: Jonas & Isaac – 15 pages – 15.63/15 pages
  • By the Gun – 2000 words

Editing:

  • Primary: Stained Blood – Beta edits
  • Secondary: Flames of Renewal – Send to Betas(if anyone’s interested in giving feedback, let me know. You can find a summary here)
  • Tertiary: Short Story Collection
    • Mistaken Meeting
    • Hang On 
    • Bree & Jenny
      • This Week – Plot rest of story
  • Stretch: Law of Choice – send to CP

Reading:

  • Read: 20 books – 25/20
    • Some Like It Charming(Megan Bryce) – Started this Saturday night. Finished it Sunday afternoon.
    • Playing to Win(Avery Cockburn) – Started this Sunday afternoon. Finished it Monday night.
  • Listen: 5 books – 18/5
    • Scandal and the Duchess(Jennifer Ashley) – Started this Monday morning. Finished it Monday morning(just before noon).
    • Rules for a Proper Governess(Jennifer Ashley) – Started this Monday afternoon. On Chapter 5/29

Social Media:

  • Primary: Post 5 regular weekly posts – 21/21 posts
  • Secondary: A-Z Challenge – 26/26 posts
  • Tertiary: Patreon – 3/3 posts

Crafting:

  • Knit: Dunfallandy Baby Blanket
    • This week: Finish border, side 2 – 28/56 rows done
  • Crochet: Boxy Blanket
    • This week: get through row 50 – 42/50 rows

Since it’s the end of the month, I’ll evaluate how the round is going so far:

Plotting:

  • Primary: Nowhere to Run(Gilbert #8 – James & Tracy) – Finish outline
  • Secondary: Craving You(Kurztown #7 – Erik & Jeff) – Outline – Started on Story Toolkit
  • Tertiary: Heart to Heart(Standalone) – Outline
  • Stretch: Rileys #2(Arlene, Christopher, & John Neil & Lin) – Outline

Writing:

  • Primary: Flames of Knowledge – 1st draft – about halfway through
  • Secondary: Green Hills & Smoky Fields2 – 1st draft
  • Tertiary: Nowhere to Run – 1st draft
  • Stretch1: Side projects – add 10000 words – 3673/10000 words
  • Stretch2: Jonas & Isaac – 45 pages – 15.63/45 pages
  • Stretch3: By the Gun – Finish part 2

Editing:

  • Primary: Stained Blood – Beta Edits
  • Secondary: Flames of RenewalSend to betas, beta edits, polish
  • Tertiary: Short Story collection – edit Contemporary stories – 2/5 edited
  • Stretch: Law of Choice – send to CP, CP edits

Publishing:

  • Flames of Renewal – publish

Reading:

  • Read: 60 books – 25/60
  • Listen: 15 books – 18/5

Social Media:

  • Primary: A-Z Challenge – 26/26
  • Secondary: Story a Day
  • Tertiary: Patreon – 9 posts – 3/9

Crafting:

  • Knit – 3 projects – 0/3 – still working on Dunfallandy Baby Blanket
  • Crochet – 2 projects – 0/2 – still working on Boxy Blanket

And now goals for May:

Plotting:

  • Primary: Craving You – Story Toolkit 
    • This Week: Major Plot Points, Protagonist 1, Protagonist 2, & Antagonist sheets
  • Secondary: Craving You – Outline Act 1 
  • Tertiary: Flames of Knowledge – Outline Acts 3 & 4
    • This Week: Outline Act 3
  • Stretch: Heart to Heart – Brainstorm

Writing

  • Primary: Flames of Knowledge – 1st draft – 1753/~35000 words
    • This Week: Get through Chapter 25 – On Chapter 22/25
  • Side Projects – 3350 words – 0/3350 words
  • Jonas & Isaac – 15 pages – 0/15 pages
  • By the Gun – 6 scenes

Editing

  • Primary: Stained Blood – Beta edits
  • Secondary: Short Story Collection
    • Bree & Jenny
      • This Week: Write 4 scenes
    • Goin’ Down
    • Meeting Jonas*
    • Changing History
  • Tertiary: Paint Me a Picture – Transfer to Scrivener
  • Stretch: Law of Choice – send to CP

Reading:

  • Read: 20 books – 0/20
    • The Queen of Dauphine Street(Thea De Salle) – Started this Tuesday afternoon. At 23%
  • Listen: 5 books – 1/5 books
    • Rules for a Proper Governess(Jennifer Ashley) – Started this Monday afternoon. Finished it Wednesday morning.

Social Media

  • Primary: Post 5 regular weekly posts – 1/21
    • This week:
      • Writing Wednesday
      • Fiction Friday
      • Stream of Consciousness Saturday
      • Weekend Writing Warriors
      • Sunday Summary
  • Secondary: Post 31 stories for Story a Day – 1/31
    • This Week:
  • Tertiary: Make 3 Patreon posts – 0/3

Crafting

  • Knit: Dunfallandy Baby Blanket
    • This Week – Finish Side 2 – 34/56 rows
  • Crochet: Boxy Blanket
    • This week – Get through Row 50 – 45/50 rows

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Y/Why”

“You can’t be here,” Jonas said, wrapping his fingers around his phone and bringing it closer to him. Who should he call, though? He didn’t want to bring his mom or sister here if this man meant danger for any of them.

“Yet I’m here,” Isaac’s father said with a sneer for Jonas. “Are you going to come over here and stop me.”

Yes, that was exactly what he wanted to do. But, he knew he couldn’t. From the gleam in the man’s eyes, he knew that, too. He didn’t want to take his gaze off him, afraid he’d strike again. But, he needed to do something. He dropped his gaze quickly and brought up recent calls. His brother’s wasn’t the first one on the list, but it was easy to find. He tapped on it to make the call then flicked his gaze up again.

“Your boyfriend obviously wants to get both of you killed.” Isaac’s father was already coming around the couch. Jonas could hear his brother’s voice through the phone, though. He knew he didn’t need to say anything. Toby would hear what was going on. He would come. Isaac’s father jerked the phone from Jonas’ hand and threw it across the room. Jonas didn’t see where it landed, but it didn’t matter.

“You shouldn’t have done that.” Jonas didn’t have a chance to answer before pain rushed through his face. . Another blow sent pain screaming up his leg. The room spun around him, and all he could grasp was Isaac calling his name.

“Why do you do this, Dad?” Isaac asked, as Jonas tried to cling to consciousness. “Why?”

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

Uh oh. I’ve known this moment would happen from the time I started the story(it’s one of the only parts I did know). Getting there I wasn’t so sure about. But, we’re there now. And I managed to work it into today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt of theming the post with a word starting with “y” and either starting or ending with “why”. I kind of cheated on the first part, but I started each paragraph with a y-word.

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