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Posts tagged ‘Rylan’

Story a Day: Day 24 – “But Everything”

Today’s prompt was to focus on genre. This one was easy for me when pretty much everything I write is some form of romance. And I’m at the perfect place in Paint Me a Picture to show that. In fact, with a few added sentences, I should be able to add this in to the current scene. Getting a little steamy at the end, but it’s more implied than explicit.

Kirsten closed the door softly behind her after shutting off the light, leaving only the soft glow of a nightlight on in her daughter’s room. It had been a long day, and Cora had even fought to stay awake.

Now, Kirsten looked around the apartment. It was still mostly clean. Cora had been at her grandparents’ all weekend, so there hadn’t been much of a chance for it to get messy after her cleaning spree Saturday morning. Which Rylan had helped her with. That still surprised her that he’d been so willing to do that. When she knew it wasn’t the only reason he’d come over. They’d gotten to that, too. Her body heated, just remembering.

Speaking of Rylan, she figured he’d be right behind them. He’d left the restaurant at the same time. She figured he’d be practically following them up the stairs. But, he still hadn’t shown up. Had he had second thoughts?

No. Not with the way he’d been looking at her at dinner. She couldn’t believe he’d just decide not to come over.

Well, at least that meant she’d have a chance to change and make sure her bedroom still looked decent. The thought of getting ready for her lover almost made her laugh, it was so strange. Four years ago, she thought she’d be content if another man never touched her, not after getting away from Kenny. But, Rylan was the opposite of everything he had been. He didn’t push, didn’t pressure, just took care with her.

But, he didn’t treat her like she was fragile, like she was afraid people would if they knew what Kenny had done to her. Instead he saw her strength and helped bring it out. He trusted it, even if he still would rather face her problems for her, but he seemed to know that wouldn’t work.

Kirsten had just finished changing into a satiny camisole and a pair of matching shorts and was pulling a brush through her hair when she heard a knock on her apartment door. She’d left it unlocked so he could just come in. But, of course, Rylan wouldn’t just assume he was welcome. He wasn’t like that, never had been since she’d first known him, when her brother had been married to Rylan’s sister. In fact, it had seemed like he’d always expected to not be welcome.

She pushed those thoughts out of her head and put the brush down before hurrying out to the door. “Come in,” she told the man who stood on the other side of the threshold. It looked like he’d taken the time to change as well, though he’d looked good for dinner, he looked even better now. His dark green shirt bringing out the flecks of green in his otherwise brown eyes. All the red stubble had been shaved from his jaw, though she did almost miss that, knowing the way it would feel against her skin.

His gaze caught on her, and heat flared in his eyes. Yeah, taking the time to change had been worth it.

“Is Cora still up?” he asked, taking a step forward.

That was his first question? It surprised her, though it probably shouldn’t. She knew he cared about her daughter as well. And it warmed a part of her she hadn’t quite realized was cold.

“No, she was worn out. She usually is after a weekend out at the ranch. My parents don’t exactly enforce a bedtime, and she spends almost all day outside with dad and Sophie.” Her little sister had been the only one of them who had wanted to stick around to work the ranch with their father. Jason probably would have, he still did the cowboy thing, if he and their father didn’t constantly butt heads.

Rylan seemed almost disappointed, surprising her once again. “I’d hoped to help tuck her in.” He must have seen the expression on her face, because he said, “I want that, too, Kirsten. Not just this thing between us but everything.”

Everything? It was too much. She was still too afraid of being swept away to give him everything. But, that didn’t mean she wouldn’t give him anything, or take anything from him. So, she pushed up so their mouths could line up and pressed her lips to his. “Come on in, Ry,” she murmured.

The disappointment left his face replaced by a heat she recognized. His hands went to her waist, and he pulled her closer, his mouth slipping to brush her jaw then down her neck. His hands slipped under the hem of her shirt, the tips of his fingers teasing her skin. Pleasure seared through her at his touch, and she wanted to drag him back to her bedroom. But, he seemed content to stand right where they were.

“Ry,” she finally whispered when she didn’t think she could take it anymore, “let’s go to bed.”

He lifted his head, his gaze catching hers. “Yes,” he said, “Let’s.”

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Story a Day: Day 16 – Painted

Rylan painted as if his life depended on it until the knock came on his door. And his whole life changed.

Today’s prompt was to write a story that would fit in 140 characters. I typed it right in at Twitter to be sure. And I had characters to spare.

Story a Day: Day 6 – Stay Away

I’ve been writing these stories up on a separate page on my blog. But, I decided to start doing them as posts instead so they’ll be more visible. I’ll still be adding them there as well, after I write up the post. You can check out the others I’ve written here.

Today’s prompt was ‘Not You’ and while Rylan isn’t the complete opposite of me, he does handle confrontation differently than I would. I avoid it at all costs. That’s not quite the way he does it(warning for mention of past domestic abuse):

Rylan stopped picking up around the living room at the knock on the front door. He listened for a moment and still heard the water running in the bathroom. So, Kirsten wasn’t out of the shower yet. He’d have to answer the door.

Who would be coming to see her now though? Most people knew she’d be going in to work, didn’t they? He probably shouldn’t have come over, either, but he’d been driving himself crazy thinking about her. He grinned a little as he headed for the door. And was he glad he’d come. He’d dreamed about being with Kirsten for years. But, the reality was better than anything he could have imagined. And he had a damn good imagination.

The grin fell away when he looked through the peephole. It wasn’t Kirsten’s neighbor like he’d thought it might be. Not one of her co-worker’s or a fellow student from one of her college classes. One hand clenched as he reached for the door with the other. “What are you doing here?” he demanded as soon as he swung it open. “I know Kirsten told you to stay away from her place.”

“I could ask you the same thing,” Kenny said on the other side of the doorway. “Why are you spending so much time with my wife and daughter? What’s in that for you?”

Rylan had always thought the term blood boiling was a bit ridiculous. But, right now he was pretty sure his was doing just that. “There’s nothing in it for me,” he insisted, “except enjoying their company. You’ve never been able to see how lucky you are to have them. And no matter how many times you say the word, it doesn’t make her your wife.”

“She’s mine,” Kenny insisted, shoving against Rylan’s shoulder. But, he didn’t budge. “She was mine first, and I will get her back. I’ll get both of them back.”

“You won’t.” But, the thought of Kirsten taking Kenny back shot a thrill of fear down Rylan’s spine. “I know what you did to her. You can bet you’ll never put another bruise on her. And I won’t ever let you hurt that little girl.”

Kenny sneered at him. “You can’t do anything about it. I’ll handle my family however I see fit. Now, let me see them.”

Rylan didn’t move from his position in the doorway. People always had the misconception that because he was just an artist, he was weak. That he could easily be pushed out of the way. Sometimes he let them think that, because it was easier. Not this time. “You were told not to come here,” Rylan reminded him. “You’re to contact Kirsten when you want to see Cora. Away from here. I don’t have to let you do anything.”

“I have the right to see my daughter.”

“You want to keep that right, you should probably start watching how you handle yourself.” Rylan knew he probably shouldn’t bait the man. He could just tell him Cora wasn’t here, a. nd this would probably be over. But, he couldn’t seem to help it. “You won’t have either of them.”

Kenny launched himself at Rylan, and this time he did stumble back. He saw the fist coming toward him and ducked under it. Before either of them could make another move, he heard Kirsten’s voice behind him. “Stop. Both of you stop that.”

Rylan stepped back, but Kenny’s fist was still swinging and glanced off his chin. Lights burst behind his eyes, but he kept his feet right where they were. He wanted to lunge at Kenny even though his head still spun, but Kirsten put a hand on his arm, and he kept himself still.

“You can’t be here, Kenny,” she said. “Cora isn’t even here. She’s with my parents this weekend. We can set something up during the week so you can see her.”

She sounded so calm, but he could feel her hand trembling against his arm. How could she think she was weak? She had to be the strongest woman he knew.

“I’m not going anywhere until he does,” Kenny said, glaring at Rylan. “I don’t trust his intentions around my wife and daughter.”

“Oh, for Christ’s sake,” she muttered. “I’m not your wife. I’ve never been your wife. I’ll never be your wife. I wanted that at one time, and you didn’t. Now, I’m glad for it.” Rylan felt her draw in a breath and let it out again. “Now, go, before I’m forced to call the cops.”

Kenny looked like he was going to argue, but apparently he believed her about calling the cops this time. “I’m not giving up. I will have you back.”

“No,” Kirsten said as Rylan closed the door, “you won’t.”

He turned to her, but she pushed back from him. “You should go, too,” she told him.

The words felt like they nearly shattered him. After what they’d shared, she was pushing him away, lumping him in with Kenny. She must have seen something in his face because she reached out for him. “I have to get to work. We’ll talk later.”

He wanted to believe her. With everything he had, he wanted to believe her words. But, it felt like she was already pulling away. And he wasn’t sure how much more his heart could take of that.

“Yeah. Sure. Later,” he said and walked out of the apartment.

A-Z Challenge: O is for Olivia Stevens

O

Olivia Stevens stared out the kitchen window at the kids playing in the yard. Her son, Bryson, was kicking a ball against the fence over and over as it came back to him. He was quick to move to intercept it when it didn’t come right back to him. She smiled as she shifted her gaze to her daughter, Lauren. She was playing in the little house Charles had paid to have built for her. None of those plastic constructions for his little girl.

A streak of red raced across the yard, and the smile fell away from her face. Rylan, of course. That boy never slowed down. Or listened. Her kids could play quietly by themselves, but he had to make the most noise, bring the most attention to himself.

She may have raised him since he was only a couple months old, but he’d never be hers. She’d tried. Olivia had comforted herself with that. He was only a few months younger than Bryson. She tried not to think of that. How Charles had married another woman after their night together that had changed her life. Then, not even a year later, Olivia had heard about his divorce and shown up at his door when her son was only a few weeks old.

Their life had been off to a good start. Then, his ex-wife had shown up and shoved her son off on them. They’d never seen from her again. It had nearly wrecked their marriage in its early days. Then, she’d been pregnant again. She liked to think it smoothed the rough edges of their relationship. But, she saw the way he looked at his middle child, and maybe it influenced the way she treated him as well. She didn’t like to think of that, though. She took care of him. That’s what really mattered.

The door slammed open, and she jumped a little. She’d been so lost in her thoughts, she hadn’t noticed Rylan coming toward the door. He ran across the room, skidding to a stop when he saw her. “I was, uh, coming in to…Can we have some juice?”

If she hadn’t been in here, Olivia knew he would have just grabbed the juice boxes from the refrigerator. Which she’d told him he had to ask first. Also, “How many times have I told you not to wear your muddy shoes through the house? I just cleaned the floor.”

Heat flooded his face, and he glanced down at the floor, at those tracks of mud. “Sorry,” he mumbled. “Can we have the juice?”

She let out a long breath. “Fine. Stand on the mat, and I’ll get it for you.”

He retreated the few steps to the door, and the mat there, while she retrieved the juice boxes. When she handed them to him, she said, “Hose off those shoes before you come back in or leave them outside.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he said quietly, still not looking up at her.

She had a quick spurt of guilt at the dejection that had fallen over him. But, she wiped it away. The boy needed discipline, that was all. The least she could do was make sure he got it.

Note: Rylan didn’t have the greatest childhood, since neither of the people who raised him seemed to care much for him. One of my current projects is actually his story about 20+ years after this, and he’d still dealing with the feeling of being rejected by everyone who should have cared about him.

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