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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Sealing/ceiling

Isaac lay on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. This night certainly had not turned out the way he’d planned. Not even close.

There was a soft knock on his door and he rubbed his arm over his eyes, hoping it came away dry. It didn’t. Still, he said, “You can come in.” And damn it, even his voice gave everything away.

His foster mother stepped into the room. “What’s going on, Isaac?” she asked as she sat on the side of the bed. “We expected you to be at the dance longer. Did you and Jonas have a fight?”

He’d laugh, but that would probably make him start crying again. Him and Jonas fighting? It was almost unbelievable. And not quite what you’d call what happened tonight. When he didn’t respond, Cristine put a gentle hand on his shoulder. “What happened?”

“Did you know?” he asked. Maybe he was the only dumbass who hadn’t figured out something was up with his boyfriend.

“Know what, Isaac?” He could hear the worry in her voice and knew he’d actually have to say it.

“That Jonas was enlisting in the Army. After graduation, he’ll be leaving for basic training.” He didn’t even know when exactly. He hadn’t stuck around to let Jonas give him the details. “Did you know?”

“No, but that’s great.” He stared at her, shocked she said that. “Isn’t it?”

He pushed himself up and wrapped his arms around his legs. “How can it be great? He’s leaving. He could be hurt or k-killed.” There went his voice, cracking again. “He could-”

“What?” she asked when he stopped. She’d always been good at getting more out of him than he’d planned to say.

“He could turn into my dad. He was in the Army, too. Did you know that?”

“We did. But, that’s not what turned him into the monster you grew up with. You know that, right?”

“Yeah,” he choked out. “But, it just-”

She put her arm around him. “Your fears don’t have to make sense, Isaac. But, you shouldn’t let them keep you from that boy you love so much. His dad and brother both served, too. And he’s been forever trying to live up to them.”

Isaac hadn’t thought of that as part of Jonas’ reasoning. And now he wanted to shout at him that it wasn’t necessary. That he loved him just as he was. He didn’t want him to be someone else. “I can’t do it,” he said “I just can’t.”

“Okay,” Cristine said. “I know it hurts now, but you’ll figure it out.”

He hoped she was right. because this, it was almost more than he could take. But, he’d learned early to start sealing his pain away. That’s what he’d have to do now, too.

~~~~~~

Ha! I didn’t think I’d get both words in there for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. This takes place right after my ‘ick’ piece from 2 weeks ago. I do have plans for Jonas and Isaac…eventually. I have a couple stories in the series to get through before that, though.

Stream of Consciousness: “Game of Fear”

“Didn’t you ever play that game as a kid?”

Isaac looked at the other kid, not sure exactly how to answer that. This privileged kid wouldn’t understand. The only game he’d played as a kid had been the game of fear his father had been a master of.

Sometimes he felt like he still played it even though his father had been in prison for two years now.

“Just leave him alone,” another voice said from a desk to the right and just behind him. “Not everyone spent their formative years dicking around behind a computer.”

“You’re such an ass, Konner.” But the kid left Isaac alone, finally giving him a chance to put his books in his bag and get out of the classroom.

“Hey!” There was that voice again. His hand tightened on the strap of his messenger bag as he felt the man coming up behind him.

The kid came up behind him and tapped on his shoulder when he didn’t even slow down. Isaac spun around, one hand coming up between them.

“Easy,” Konner said. “I’m not going to do anything. You just left this under your desk.”

Isaac lowered his hand and took the sketch book from him. “Thanks,” he said.

“I’m heading over to the dining hall for lunch. You want to join me?”

He didn’t have any afternoon classes today, so he’d planned to go back to the Pellas to eat. They’d only been in classes for a week, and he’d not done anything on campus that could be called social. No matter how Cristine insisted he should.

Still, he found himself saying, “Sure. I can do that.”

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

This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use the title of the book you’re currently reading or the one sitting closest to you when you’re ready to write your SoCS post and base your post on the title only. I just finished reading a book last night and haven’t started another one, but I am listening to Game of Fear by Robin Perini on audible. And that made me think of Isaac. He and Konner do have some connections to each other that they’ll find out about soon. Maybe I’ll be able to work that in to a future SOCS. 😉

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Ick”

“Well, aren’t you looking slick tonight.”

Jonas’  cheeks darkened, and Isaac loved being the one able to do that to him. What he said was true, though. Jonas did look slick in his tux tonight. Isaac slipped his arm through Jonas’ so they could walk in together. This moment was important to both of them and had been nearly two years coming. Most of their classmates knew they were together, but they hadn’t gone to any events together like this.

That was more his own fault than Jonas’. He’d been too afraid, that Jonas would end up leaving him. That the Pellas would kick him out. He should never have feared that one, though. They’d wanted to adopt him, but he hadn’t been able to accept that.

Now he let Jonas pull him out on the dance floor. They had three more months of time of nothing but time together. Then came college. That didn’t mean anything had to change for them, though. Did it? He was going to a college not far from here And Jonas, well, he still hadn’t said anything about where he planned to go.

“I’m going to miss moments like this when I head to basic training.”

Isaac jerked back from him at those words. “What kind of sick joke is that?” he asked, but Jonas wasn’t laughing.

“It’s not a joke,” Jonas said. “I mentioned that I was considering enlisting. It feels more right than going to more school.”

Isaac shook his head and took a step back from him. “I can’t believe this. Why would you do this?”

“Why wouldn’t I? I’m not cut out to be a student.”

“You know how I feel about it. My father-”

“Is an asshole. And not the epitome of how every soldier thinks. My brother served, too, and you don’t seem to have a problem with him. My dad did, too. I may have only been seven when he died, but I can still tell you he was a good man.”

Isaac threw his hands up and turned away. “I can’t do this.”

“You’re going to walk away from me because of this?”

Isaac turned back at the edge of the dance floor. “I can’t do it,” he said again. It’s all he could seem to get out through the fear closing in on him. “I can’t, Jonas. So, yes, I’m going to walk away.”

“How can it be that easy for you?”

Easy? He thought this was easy? It was one of the hardest things Isaac had ever made himself do. But he didn’t know if he could live with anything else.

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

The prompt for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday was ‘ick’ either use it as part of a word or on its own. I’ve mostly just written about Jonas and Isaac getting together here. But the project I’m currently working on in this series takes place two years after the last one(where we first meet Jonas & Isaac) and we see they have broken up. And this is what led to that(I knew they’d break up, but I hadn’t known the reason behind it). If everything goes to plan, they’ll end up back together in another four or so years. But, I have three stories to finish in the series before I get there.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Ooooh, Aaaah”

“Ooooh,” Jonas said as more green and blue and red filled the sky. There was no response from beside him on the blanket. There really hadn’t been since the fireworks display had started.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“I’ve told you I don’t like fireworks,” Isaac said.

Jonas could hear the scratching of a pencil and glanced over. Sure enough, Isaac was drawing. Even with the small light clipped on top of the sketchbook, Jonas couldn’t tell what the sketch was of. But, Isaac was making a lot of quick hard strokes. Even more so when the next firework was set off.

“Fireworks are fun,” Jonas said. “Everyone likes fireworks.”

“I don’t,” Isaac said, and for the first time Jonas saw the fast strokes were to hide the way his hand was trembling.

God, he felt like such an asshole. “We can go,” he said. “We don’t have to stay for the rest. I’ll just tell Mom we’re going to go back to the house.”

But, Isaac reached out and clasped his forearm. “No. You’ve been so looking forward to this. We can stay. I’ll be fine.”

Jonas couldn’t bring himself to tell Isaac the reason he’d so been looking forward to this. That it would probably be the last full summer he spent here, at least for the next four years. He hadn’t even told his mother what he planned yet, but how could he do less than his father and brother had? She’d have to understand that, wouldn’t she?

“I was even more excited to spend the time with you,” he said. “No matter where we are.”

He caught the glint in Isaac’s eyes from the fireworks over their heads. Then, their mouths were fused together. And all he could manage to say was, “Aaaah.”

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

Yes, more from Jonas and Isaac this week for Stream of Consciousness Saturday. I really do love these two. Though I didn’t know what Jonas would be doing after high school.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Rain/Rein/Reign”

“It looks like it’s going to rain,” Jonas said, looking out from under the picnic shelter they’d been sitting under.

Isaac grunted but his hand kept pulling the pencil over the paper. He wouldn’t let Jonas see what he was working on. They’d been meeting here at the park for a few days now. Jonas liked spending time here with Isaac. He usually only came to play soccer or kickball with some of his buddies from school. Now that they were out for the summer, there wasn’t much else to do. But, as soon as he’d seen Isaac show up each day, he’d abandoned them.

It probably made him a bad friend. But, whatever. He liked Isaac more than any of those guys.

“Maybe we should go back to my house,” he said now. “Mom won’t mind.”

Isaac let out a little snort, but he still didn’t look up from his sketch pad. “She won’t mind? Just the two of us being there? She won’t think I’ll corrupt you?”

Jonas rolled his eyes then set his hand on Isaac’s knee. “She’s not your dad. She doesn’t think like that.” He wished he hadn’t said it when the other boy cringed and finally put down the sketch pad. Isaac still had bruises that hadn’t quite faded yet. In his house, violence reigned supreme.

It made Jonas sick to think about that. All he’d ever known was love from his parents. It wasn’t perfect, and his father had been gone, dead, for ten years now. But, that love was still there. Isaac didn’t have that, even if Jonas wanted to give it to him.

He wasn’t even sure what all that entailed. They hadn’t even kissed. Maybe Isaac hadn’t even thought about that yet. Jonas couldn’t seem to stop thinking about it.

“and if she starts hating me? Because I lead you down a path to…to somewhere she doesn’t want you to go?”

Jonas was pretty sure he knew what Isaac had been about to say, and he really just wanted to hug him. This may not be the best place for that. The other guys were already teasing him for dropping everything to hang out with Isaac. He didn’t need to bring more grief down on either of them.

“Dude,” he said, forcing a smile for Isaac’s sake. “I told you the other day. My older brother used to be in a gang. You really think she’d be more bothered by me realizing I’m gay or bi.”

“You  never know,” Isaac muttered, shoving the last of his supplies into his pack and swinging it onto his shoulder. “My dad would be.”

Jonas nudged him with his shoulder. “I already told you, Mom’s not your dad. She’ll be cool. Let’s go before it lets loose.”

Isaac still looked hesitant, but he followed Jonas away from the park. That was something at least. He didn’t know where this was heading, but he thought it might be best to let Isaac hold the reins, at least for now.

Maybe they could figure out where this path led together.

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

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use rain/rein/reign any way you want. use one or all or any combination. I still have three stories in this series to write before I get to Jonas and Isaac’s story, but they popped into my head today. So, I may just keep playing with them until it is time to fully get to their story.

Story a Day: Day 28 – Meeting Jonas

Warning: Mentions of child abuse & self-harm in this one.

Isaac shut off his alarm a minute before it would have sounded and slipped out of bed. He crept to the door and pulled it open enough he could listen for a moment. No sound came from the kitchen or living room. Or from his father’s bedroom down the other direction.

Good. The older man must still be sleeping after getting home from work. It was one thing Isaac liked about his father working this shift. If he could stay in the park most of the day, he only had to see his father for a few minutes before he left for work and he was still sleeping when Isaac slipped out of the house for the day.

After taking a shower and slipping into a shirt and pants, Isaac slid his bracelets onto his wrists, three on one hand, two on the other. The tips of his fingers brushed over the marks there, old scars, and he shivered a little. he pushed that feeling away, grabbed the small pack resting near his bedroom door, and headed out into the living room.

He stopped in the kitchen long enough to grab two granola bars, his breakfast and lunch, and head for the front door. Just as he reached it, his arm was yanked back. He barely kept from crying out and turned to look at his father. “I thought you were still sleeping.”

“So you thought you could just sneak out? I don’t think so.”

“I wasn’t sneaking,” Isaac said and instantly regretted it as his father’s grip on his arm tightened.

“Are you talking back to me, boy?”

“No, sir,” Isaac said, dropping his gaze to the floor. In these moments it was the only safe response.

And sometimes even that wasn’t enough.

***

Isaac snatched up his pack and walked as silently as he could down the hallway. He didn’t bother stopping in the kitchen today. He hadn’t taken a shower this morning either. Nothing that would risk waking his father before he got out of the house.

He had to get out today. The scars under his bracelets itched. He’d been so close to adding new ones the day before. He wasn’t completely sure what had stayed his hand. But, if he had to stay in this house another day with his father berating him, he wasn’t sure he’d make it.

He grabbed his shoes from beside the door, unlocked it, and stepped outside. He slipped on his shoes on the porch then hurried down the sidewalk. He glanced back once over his shoulder but the house remained dark and quiet. Good. It looked like he’d make it today.

He started to jog toward the park, but pain throbbed through his elbow, so he took it down to a quick walk, keeping his arm against his side. When he got to the park, it was still fairly quiet. There were some younger kids climbing on the playground equipment. He assumed it was their mother watching from a bench. He turned and headed away from that area, though, choosing a picnic table where he could see without being noticed too much.

He took a sketchpad out of his pack then drew out a couple pencils as well. He found a clean page in the book and put the tip of one pencil to it. He didn’t know how long he let his hand move over the page, sketching out the scene in front of him, shading in as he went. He’d put actual color to it later.

“Wow. That’s really good.”

Isaac’s hand jerked at the voice, the pencil scratching a line where he hadn’t meant for one. “Damn it,” he muttered, reaching for the eraser.

“Sorry,” the voice slightly behind him said. “I didn’t mean to startle you. I was just really impressed.”

Isaac finally put the eraser down. The line was faded even if not completely gone. A lot like his own scars. He turned to face the person who had come up behind him. And for a moment thought he lost all ability to speak himself.

The boy was beautiful. His skin was a light brown, not tanned but probably a sign of his Hispanic heritage. His eyes were dark, too, a dark, bitter chocolate. Isaac’s favorite kind, that his mother used to surprise him with when she could. His hair was nearly black, some of it falling into his face. Isaac’s fingers itched with the urge to turn the page and start sketching him. Then, the boy smiled, and it only made his face even more perfect.

“My name’s Jonas Pedera,” the kid said. “I think I’ve seen you around school. Aren’t you glad to be out for the summer?”

“Isaac Pollins,” he mumbled, not reaching for the kid’s outstretched hand. Isaac couldn’t believe Jonas actually recognized him. He did his best to blend into the background. He’d learned at an early age it was better to not be seen.

And Isaac doubted Jonas would believe the answer to his question. They’d only been out of school a little over a week, and Isaac was already counting down the days before they went back. His father couldn’t punish him for leaving the house to go to school.

Though he usually found another excuse for it.

Jonas was still smiling at him even though he’d dropped his hand to his side. Isaac finally averted his gaze from that beautiful face. He had to get out of here. If he got back to the house now, his dad might still be asleep and he wouldn’t get in any trouble. Or at least not as much.

He started pushing everything into his bag. “I’ve got to go,” he said, still not meeting Jonas’ eyes.

The other boy just watched him as he packed everything up. “I hope I’ll see you again,” Jonas said. “Will you be here tomorrow?”

“Maybe,” Isaac muttered. And he really wanted to be. He cringed when his elbow screamed as he threw on his pack and headed away. He saw Jonas furrow his brows but kept going. Maybe he could get back to the house without his father noticing.

But, his father was already waiting for him.

***

Five days. That was how long it had been since Isaac had been able to get to the park. He couldn’t risk leaving the house. If anyone had seen him, social services probably would have gotten called to the house again. And that would have only made matters worse.

So, he’d stayed in his room as much as he could. And now the bruises were fading. He probably shouldn’t risk it. His father’s anger was volatile lately. Maybe even more so than it had been right after his mother’s death. And it had been bad then.

But, he had to get out. Maybe he’d even get a chance to see Jonas again. That just might make it worth it. He’d sketched that face over and over, but it just wasn’t the same.

He stepped into the living room and saw his dad’s leg hanging over the end of the couch. He wasn’t working today which likely meant he’d drunk himself into a stupor as soon as he’d gotten home. It was the only time Isaac didn’t fear him, when he’d passed mean drunk right into unconsciousness.

He wouldn’t be waking up for a while. Hopefully when he did he wouldn’t notice Isaac was gone before he started drinking again.

Once Isaac reached the park, he couldn’t help looking around to see if Jonas was here again. No sign of him, though. Isaac shouldn’t feel so much disappointment at that. There was a group playing kickball in the field. he wondered if Jonas was with them. Part of him wanted to go and watch. But, he stayed at his table.

He was in the middle of sketching again when he heard him approach. He didn’t know how he knew it was Jonas, he hadn’t even heard him last time. But, he was smiling as he looked up. And watched as Jonas’ face fell.

“What happened?” Jonas asked as he dropped onto the bench beside Isaac. Then, he was reaching out to touch his cheek. “Who hurt you?”

Isaac dropped his gaze back to the table. “Nothing,” he said. He’d gotten good with that lie. Not that he was sure too many people believed it, but it came so easily now.

“If someone’s bothering you, you need to tell someone. My brother’s a cop-”

“No!” Isaac shouted before Jonas could say anymore. “You can’t say anything to him. You can’t.”

“Okay,” Jonas said, holding his hands up in front of him. “I won’t. But you should at least tell your dad, or someone else you trust. No one should get away with doing you like that.”

Isaac started laughing. And once he started, he couldn’t stop. Then, Jonas’ hand slid over his knee, and Isaac lifted his gaze to Jonas’. “You want me to tell me dad?” he said, still gasping from laughing so much. “You want me to tell my dad about my dad hitting me until I thought I was going to pass out.”

He saw Jonas’ face pale at that and wished he hadn’t said so much. And yet the words kept pouring out. “I’m sorry I don’t have a perfect family. No cop brother. Or a father who says he loves me every night like you.”

“My father’s dead,” Jonas said, his voice tight. “He was killed by a mugger ten years ago. My brother used to be in a gang, when he was even younger than me. And my mom was an addict, until she finally got clean shortly before meeting my dad and having my sister and me. So, no one has a perfect family, but no one should hurt you like that.”

Isaac told himself to move away from Jonas’s gentle fingers on his knee or the ones that grazed over his chin. But, he liked it too much. “You can’t tell anyone. It only makes it worse when they look into it then send me right back to him.”

Jonas’ gaze dropped, not promising to keep quiet. Then his fingers left Isaac’s skin, too. And Isaac looked down to see him pulling the sketchbook closer. “This is me,” he said as he flipped back through it. “A lot of me.”

Isaac felt his face warm and dropped his gaze again. Jonas reached out and lifted his chin. “It’s great,” he said. “You’re really talented.”

Isaac opened his mouth but everything he would say was tinged in his father’s voice. So, he shut it again. Jonas hand didn’t leave his chin, though. “Can I have one of them?” he asked.

Isaac nodded, not able to take his eyes off the other boy as he flipped through the pictures. He finally stopped at one, and Isaac found it hard to swallow. Once he had the image of Jonas in his head, he’d been able to transplant him into any situation. This was one he’d wanted to draw over and over.

“They look like they’re about to kiss,” Jonas said.

“It’s us,” Isaac managed to say. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have drawn that. You’re not-”

“I love it,” Jonas said. “I want this one. Can I have it?”

“Yes,” Isaac said without even thinking about it. Then, Jonas was moving even closer to him. He ran his thumb over Isaac’s jaw, and Isaac let out a long breath. Just like the picture he’d drawn, their mouth were only inches apart.

Before their lips could meet, though, there was a harsh yell from behind him. Jonas jerked back, but Isaac didn’t move. He recognized that voice. “I need to go,” he said, reaching for the sketchpad. He ripped out the picture and shoved it at Jonas.

Jonas reached out for his arm. “Just wait. Why don’t you come home with me. My mom won’t mind if you stay for dinner.”

Isaac wanted to. He so did. But, he knew better. “I can’t. The longer I wait, the worse it will be.”

Jonas snatched one of the pencils before Isaac could put it away. He ripped the corner off the sketch and scribbled something on it. “Call me,” he said. “Let me know you’re okay.”

He put the paper in the bag with everything else but didn’t make any promises.

***

Isaac sat in the middle of the bed, staring at the small piece of paper in his trembling fingers. His father had shoved him around a few times, but he’d managed to escape to his room without too much damage. He’d heard a lot of swearing and things crashing around in the living room, but other than shouting curses and slurs his way, his father had left him alone. And now it was quiet again.

Isaac picked up his phone and dialed the number on the paper. “Isaac?” the voice on the other end said. “Is that you.”

“Yeah, Jonas,” he said.

“Are you okay? I’ve been so worried. Did he hurt you?”

“No.” It wasn’t the complete truth, but Jonas didn’t need to know that. “And I think he’s passed out now. He won’t be awake until morning.”

Isaac could hear the breath Jonas blew out. “You could still come over,” Jonas said. “My mom won’t mind setting another plate out for dinner.”

“I’m not worth that,” he said quietly. Even though he knew it was his father’s words he was repeating. Useless. Worthless. A waste of space. Better off dead. And those were the kinder things he’d said.

Disparates.” Jonas said and made Isaac laugh, even though he wasn’t quite sure what the other boy had said. “You are worth it. Please come over. I’ll send you the address.”

Isaac ran his fingers over his knee, the same spot Jonas had touched earlier. “Okay,” he said softly. Because for once he didn’t feel like all those things his father said he was. He might pay for it later, but Jonas actually seemed to like him. So he wasn’t going to let his fear of his father keep him from seeing what could be there.

He just really hoped it was worth it.

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

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to write a story with a Cinderella story structure. When I was trying to figure out what to use for this one, Isaac started speaking to me. he showed up in one of my other novels, after him and Jonas met. So, this is going back before that. I may end up writing more of their story once they grow up a bit(I don’t really write much YA).

 

Writing Wednesday: Pulling Ahead

This has been quite a week already. In a good way. My word count may not be too high since Monday I only had to finish a scene for Not Meant to Be, and I didn’t count my words for the Story a Day piece(maybe I should, but I didn’t). But, by the time I went to bed Monday night, I already had about half of Tuesday’s goals checked off, including most of the chores.

Lilacs are out(please ignore the dirty windows, it was raining out, so I couldn’t get a good picture)

On Sunday I’d finally finished moving the rest of the wood from the yard out to our wood pile. Good thing too, because it poured down rain almost all of Monday. So, I wouldn’t have gotten any of it done then.

I do not know when my name became so popular, but I’m seeing it in so many books lately.

Tuesday I looked around the living room, trying to decide if there was any surface I could use as a makeshift standing desk. Rather than sitting pretty much all day(other than when I’m doing chores or taking the dog for a walk–which it’s been raining all week and that hasn’t happened). I’m sure I’ll be plugging it back into the TV and sitting at some points during the day, either if my knee starts bothering me and probably I’ll start out there first thing in the morning. But, at least when the kids are home/awake, this set-up should work to get some more writing in. I just had to shut the touchpad off on my laptop so I’m not accidentally hitting it and moving the cursor while I’m typing. And the ‘d’ key doesn’t like to work(which is only 1 reason I’d been using the wireless keyboard and plugging it into the tv- and a different monitor when it was on my desk).

My new work area(all my yarn is inside the cabinet).

Now, for WiPPet Wednesday!!! I finished Playing with Fire last week. So, this week I’m back to working on Not Meant to Be. I hadn’t written anything on this since February, so I had to spend some time going back and reading through what I had. This is an earlier scene with Toby at his mom’s for dinner. He’s about 33, but his younger brother(and sister, but she’s not really in this scene) are only 16. Their father died about 10 years earlier, and he’s rather protective of them. I have 11 paragraphs(2+0+17-5-3)

Toby leaned back in his chair and stared across the table at the boy. He had his head turned toward Jonas, and they seemed deep into an intense conversation about…hell, Toby wasn’t even sure. But, he hadn’t often seen his brother light up so much.
The other kid seemed to be about the same age, with dark brown hair. Not the near black that his and his siblings were, but something with shades of gold through it. He blew a breath out. He didn’t know why he was being so fanciful. It was brown. His eyes, behind the glasses he kept pushing up on his nose, were somewhere between brown and gold. He seemed nice and had been perfectly polite throughout dinner. Jonas definitely could do worse.
Still, a part of Toby wanted to run a check on the kid. He wouldn’t abuse his power, or Jonas’ trust, like that, though. No matter how strong the urge was. “So, Isaac,” he said, bringing the boys’ attention to him.
“Toby,” Jonas said, “don’t. Just don’t.”
“What?” he asked innocently. “I’m not allowed to speak to my brother’s new friend?”
He saw the boy grab Jonas’ hand and squeeze, the wide bracelets around his wrists clank together. His nails were short but painted a soft blue. “It’s okay, Jo,” he said, smirking back across the table. “I think I can handle an interrogation. Especially on a full stomach. The enchiladas were delicious, Mrs. Pedera.”
Toby just barely held back a laugh. The kid was pretty charming. His mother smiled at the boys. “Thank you. I’ll clean up while you two chat. Tobias, you can help me.”
Ah, crap. That usually meant he was in trouble.
But, he stood up from the table and followed his mom into the kitchen, carrying a stack of plates with silverware thrown on top of them. he managed to set them on the counter before his mother turned to him. “You need to leave your brother’s friend alone,” she told him.
“What?” he asked, trying to look innocent. “What did I do? I was only going to ask him a couple questions.”
“He is not one of your criminals, Tobias. He’s a sweet sixteen-year-old boy who doesn’t have it all that easy at home. That’s why he spends so much time in that park where Jonas met him. He is always welcome in this house. I don’t want you to make him feel otherwise.”

Plotting

  • Still Burning – finish Story Toolkit, Outline – finished Subplot sheet & event brainstorming sheets. 3/13 sections of Story Toolkit done
  • Jayla’s Story(Gilbert, Co #7) – get through Story Toolkit: Supporting Characters

Writing

  • Not Meant to Be – Add 53000 words/28 scenes to finish 1st draft – 1799 words/3 scenes finished this month, 1799 words/3 scenes finished for this week
  • Side Projects – Add 4400 words between all projects – 658/4400 words, 658 words this week
    • Patrick & Sarah – 154 words – He brought his attention back to the path of the horses. His boss would be none too happy with a crooked row. Not that the man typically even raised his voice. Not for anything less than an atrocious misdeed. And anyone committing one of those, found himself set instantly off the farm.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 119 words – The lad glared at Tavin as he slid his gloves off but didn’t make any attempt to get down from the saddle. “You cannot tell me what to do. You work for me.” *Tavin does not seem to be making friends. Though this little shit doesn’t deserve to be friends with him 😉
    • Mason & Lila – 251 words – “He’ll come around,” she said softly. Then added, “Eventually.”Yeah. Eventually. Like probably the day after Mason’s funeral. But, Mason didn’t say that to Lila. He didn’t like to feel like he was pulling her between him and her father. He knew he’d always come out the loser there.
    • Midas’ Daughter – 134 words – But, she wasn’t a business interest. She was his daughter. Why couldn’t he seem to understand that?

Editing

  • Flames of Renewal – CP Edits
  • In the Moonlight – Transfer from OneNote(on my Surface) to Scrivener(on my laptop) – 27 chapters(there’s actually 32, counting the epilogue, but I’d already started it before) – 2/27 chapters typed up. 2 this week.
  • Snow White Twist – Beta edits, rename, & submit
  • Dance with the Devil – read through & make revisions
  • Beta Read – Read 58 chapters(total of 73, but that’s what I have left) & return to author – 6/58, 6 this week

Blogging

Reading

  • Listen: 5 books – 0/5 for the month, 0 this week
    • A Thousand Pieces of You(Claudia Gray) – Started this Friday morning. It’s my second time listening to it. I finally got the second book in the series, and it had been a while since I listened to this one, so decided on a re-listen before I start the next one.
    • The Curse of the Pharaohs(Elizabeth Peters) – Started this Monday morning. On Chapter 7/17
  • Read: 31 books – 2/31, 3 this week
    • Hammer of the Gods(Christina Ochs) – this is book 3 in her Desolate Empire series. I finished it Sunday night. Definitely eager to see what happens next in the series. I finished this in April, so I’m not counting it to my monthly goal, though I will for the week.
    • The Faerie Key(Denise D. Young) – Read this Monday afternoon. It was a quick read, and I enjoyed it.
    • Beyond Pain(Kit Rocha) – Started this Monday evening. Finished it Tuesday afternoon. Really enjoyed it.
    • Over the Edge(Suzanne Brockman) – Started this Tuesday evening. On page 59/395.

Crafting

  • Knit: Duo Cable Hat

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