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“Stream of Consciousness: “Spell”

“Do I really have to spell it out for you?”

“Yeah,” Jace said as he rinsed the paintbrush off. “I really think you do, Jess.”

Jess leaned against the doorframe to the little bathroom in her brother’s new house. “You wouldn’t get it, Jace.” She ran a hand through the back of her hair. It wasn’t what most would call long, but she was antsy to get it cut again. “You’ve got everything here. A pretty little wife.”

“Aw,” Kammi said, coming up behind her. “Your sister thinks I’m pretty, Jace. Even though I feel like I’m about ready to explode.”

“If that’s how birth works,” Jess said, “I definitely don’t want to have any kids.”

Kammi laughed and gave her a quick hug. She was pretty sure she felt a foot in her side even during the brief contact. “My sister’s here, Jace. We’ll be back later.”

He moved over to her and gave her a hug and a long kiss. Jess had to look away from the intimacy of it. When Kammi had left, Jess finally looked back at her twin brother. “See? You have everything. Kammi, your painting, a baby pretty damn soon.”

“And I almost lost all of it because I thought it would be better to send her away,” Jace reminded her. “And I still don’t see what that has to do with you not deserving the same thing.”

She wanted to pull her hair out, not just at irritation with her brother for being obtuse, but with herself for not being able to find the right words to describe how she felt. She’d never been good with words. She was a lot more like her oldest brother than any of the others. “Never mind,” she said. “I need to get to the work site anyway.”

“Jess, I’m sorry,” Jace said, putting the brush down and moving to intercept her. “I’m trying to understand, but I just don’t get what you think the problem is.”

“I’m not angry with you.” No, the problem wasn’t with her brother. It was something wrong with her. “But, I really do need to get to work.” And she hurried out before her brother could try to dig any deeper.


It’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday ad today’s prompt was to Use the word “spell” any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use it in the first sentence. I’m still plotting out Jess and Austin’s story, so I decided to use them again today. I’ve felt some of what Jess is going through, though I didn’t go into exactly what that is here. It will be explored more in the actual story, though.

Stream of Consciousness: “Moo”

“Moo” Jess laughed and put the little stuffed cow back on the shelf. Yeah, she couldn’t see her brother appreciating that gift. She’d have to keep looking.

“So, which of the coming babies are you shopping for today?”

Jess turned at the voice behind her. Austin stood a few paces away, holding a small firetruck in his hand. It was a good question. Two of her brothers’ wives were having babies this summer. “Jace and Kammi’s,” she answered. “They’re up first after all.”

Austin laughed at that. She loved the way he looked when he laughed. It made her want to step closer and soak in some of the joy. If only she wasn’t afraid she would blemish it.

“Maybe I should be looking in art supplies. You think Jace would appreciate that?”

Austin laughed again. “I think you have some time before the baby would follow in your brother’s footsteps. Maybe something a little more age appropriate would be better.”

“You got any ideas? I don’t have a clue here.”

Even better than a laugh, she got a warm smile from him. Even though she knew she didn’t deserve it at all. Not as many times as she’d pushed and pulled him around. She didn’t know why he didn’t hate her by now. She thought maybe he didn’t have that emotion in him.

“Come with me,” he told her. “I think I know the perfect gift.”


Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to “Base your post on the word “moo” or a word that rhymes with it. Bonus points if you actually use the word “moo” in your post.” This week, I started working on plotting out Still Burning, which is Jess & Austin’s story. So, today you get some of them. And I’d say Jess is unaware of how deep some of Austin’s feelings go.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Give”

“Don’t give me any of that. You aren’t leaving.”

“I have to, Bull. Don’t you see? It’s the only answer here. If I’m not here, Henry can’t come after the whole club. He can’t use it as a way to get to me. To get to Cassie and Trace through me. I have to go.”

“No, you don’t. That’s why we’re doing this. We’ll get him to leave us alone.”

Icarus smacked his hand against the wall. “It’s not just Henry. Me being here has brought trouble to everyone I care about. With Henry taking Birdie, and coming after Cassie and Trace. The Crows coming after Birdie and Trace. Even Devil and Hawk getting hurt.”

“That didn’t have anything to do with you, Icarus,” Bull argued.

“You go back far enough, and it does. I let Brad in here, I didn’t see through his lies. And that gave him the opening to get deep with the Crows and take them down. And with our connection to him, it led them back to us. If it wasn’t for me-”

“If it wasn’t for you, this club would have fallen apart long ago. I can’t believe you can’t see that. Dad might be the president, but you are this club, Icarus. You quit and you might as well disband the club.”

Icarus shook his head. “That’s ridiculous. The club isn’t just one person. We all make it work. I didn’t say I’m definitely going. But, if that’s what it takes to make sure my family is protected, it’s what I’m going to do.”

“Let’s take care of this business with Henry first,” Bull said, his voice subdued now. “Then, I’ll convince you you’re better off staying.”

Icarus let out a rough laugh. If only it would be that easy.


I almost didn’t write anything for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt of “give/given/giving” then the start of this conversation popped into my head while we were grocery shopping. This will end up being part of my Q post for the A-Z challenge as well(which I’m currently in the middle of drafting).

Stream of Consciousness: “Any”

Any way she looked at it, Corrin knew she was a mess. She couldn’t help but think that way, no matter how many times Jeremiah tried to tell her otherwise. Kicked out of school for something she hadn’t even done, crashing on her friend’s couch. Absolutely no sign of anything going right in her future. What was she supposed to do?

Maybe a good start would be to stop lusting after said friend who’d been letting her crash his apartment for the last two months.

She let out a soft laugh as she poured coffee into her insulated mug then walked over to where she’d set up her computer on the kitchen table. Yeah, that would be a lot easier said than done. Especially when she could recall the way Jeremiah had looked in his firefighter uniform before he left the apartment yesterday morning.

She shouldn’t be one turned on by a man in uniform. Should be used to it. About half her family members were cops, including her father and older brother.

She rubbed her thumb over her temple then sat at the computer. Doing some research for this new story idea might help distract her from everything else going on. She was usually good at losing herself in that.

A movement across the room brought her attention away from the computer as she’d barely even gotten started, though. She glanced up. Jeremiah’s roommate, Silas, stood there blinking at her. After two months, he couldn’t still be surprised to see her there. He rubbed a hand over his face and said, “At least you made coffee if you’re going to be up this early.”

She snorted and brought her attention back to her computer. “This is nothing. I’ve been up earlier.”

He muttered something she couldn’t quite make out, likely about her mental health, and she decided it would be better to just ignore it. Ignore him. As if lusting after her friend wasn’t enough, adding his best friend and roommate in would be even worse.


It’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday time again! Today’s prompt was to begin a post with the word “any”, bonus points if the theme of the post was another A word(which mine isn’t). I’m still plotting Heart of Christmas, but it’s also Camp NaNoWriMo time, so I’m using today’s prompt to get some of those words in(other than blog posts, I don’t usually write much on the weekends, but I didn’t want to wait until day 3 to start). So today you get some of Playing with Fire(you may remember these characters from my Just Jot It posts in January). This post is separate from my A-Z challenge day 1 post, but you can check that out here if you want.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “March”

“Danica, you march right in there and apologize to your mama.”

Alaina glanced up at her brother’s voice, but it was the little girl who caught her attention. Her bottom lip was trembling, and tears were welling in her eyes. “I’m sorry, Declan.”

“I’m not the one you yelled at,” he said, but his voice was softening. “She didn’t deserve that, Dani. Go on and tell her you’re sorry. Everything will be fine.”

Alaina waited until the little girl dragged her feet back into the kitchen to approach her brother. He was still crouched down from facing his stepdaughter, and she put a hand on his shoulder. “You make a pretty great dad, Dec.”

He shook his head. “I don’t have a clue to what I’m doing. What if I mess it all up?”

“You did fine with me.”

He looked back at her then. “You were nearly sixteen at the time. There wasn’t much raising left to do. This is different. And I’m not.”

“What do you mean?”

“Not her father. Not really. She never really knew him and thank goodness for that.”

Alaina didn’t know a whole lot about the situation, except he’d been responsible for Declan being hurt over the summer. So, yeah, she could agree with him there. “You’re doing just fine,” she told him. But, she had to hold back a smile. She was pretty sure her brother was going to be surprised when he opened his gift from Eva and Dani on Christmas morning.


Today’s prompt for the Stream of Consciousness post was “march” and that first sentence is what popped into  my head. I’m still plotting out Heart of Christmas, but I definitely think this will be included in it.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Man”

This was actually a perfect Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “man”, for the dialogue that popped into my head the other day between a few characters. This will come near the end of Heart of Christmas, which I’ve been plotting.


“Why would you want to do that?” Caelen asked Alaina. “What if I turn out like him?”

“Why would you? That man isn’t even your father.”

The words were soft, gentle, but he still flinched away from them. Just as he always had from the man himself. “Maybe not, but he’s the one that raised me. I don’t even know who my real father is because he had no interest in me. Just like my mother. Just like everyone in my life.”

Alaina opened her mouth as if to argue, but a voice behind them said, “That’s not true, little brother, and you know it.” Braeden stepped into the room, carrying something under one arm. “Not all the way true, at least. Not everyone has walked from you. I never did.”

The heat of shame flushed through him, leaving his face stained red, he was sure. “I’m sorry, Brae. I know, but-”

“But nothing. And you were too young to know everything going on in this house before she walked. I saw what he did when she told him she was pregnant with you. She left then and only came back then because the man she was with, your father, was being deployed, and she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to make it on her own. And Da was cruel to her, Cae. Every moment of every day. I’m surprised she managed to stick it out for five years.”

He saw Alaina’s brother, Declan, lift his head at the other side of the room at the mention of the man being deployed. But, Caelen couldn’t think about that. There was too much emotion rushing through him.

“She could have at least taken us with her.”

Braeden shook his head. “He never would have let me go, and she didn’t know if she could take care of herself, let alone either or the both of us.”

“How can you just forgive her?” He wasn’t sure he ever could. “She left us at his mercy. He beat you, too.” Usually because Braeden stepped in the way when he’d wanted to hurt Caelen.

“I’ve spoken to her. The day after I turned eighteen, in fact. He couldn’t do anything to me then.”

Caelen could only stare at him. Why hadn’t he known his brother had gone to the woman who had abandoned them? He was about to ask but Braeden continued before he could get a word out.

“She wasn’t in a good place, Cae. She’d been living with your father, but he’d been killed in action a little more than a year before that. She still wasn’t in a place to take care of any one but herself. I told her what life had been like for us, and I know she felt terrible, but she couldn’t face it. I did what I could to make him leave you alone because she couldn’t, Caelen.”

“Why didn’t you tell me before?”

“Because I didn’t want it to hurt you anymore. And you never showed any signs of being ready to forgive her for getting out of  a cocked up situation.”

“Why now then?”

“I visited her for Christmas. She gave me this for you. Even if you don’t want to speak with her, she wanted you to have something from him.”

Declan had made his way over to stand behind Alaina. Caelen flicked open the latch on the box Braeden set on the table. On the top sat a photo. He reached for it, ran his thumb over the woman, one he hadn’t seen in nearly two decades. He couldn’t bring himself to look at the man.

“Can I see that?” Declan asked.

“I don’t even know who he is. Having his picture won’t help.” But, he handed it over.

“I do,” Declan said softly. “I thought there was something familiar about you.”

Caelen’s head jerked up, and he stared at Declan. “What do you mean?”

Declan tapped the photo. “Caelen Mulroney. My father served with him. He wasn’t happy when Da decided to leave the army and move us to Texas to be with Mom and Alaina, but they stayed in touch. And we came back here for his funeral. I remember Da speaking to her. She’d started living with him about the time we left.”

“I remember,” Alaina said. “I was so angry they let you miss a week of school, but I still had to go.”

Declan’s mouth ticked up at that, and he handed the picture back. Caelen couldn’t look away from it. There was so much he wanted to know, and yet he was afraid to find out. Alaina seemed to sense his mixed-up feelings. She brushed a kiss over his cheek. “We’ll leave you alone to look at this.”


That turned out longer than I expected. And I’m sure there’ll be more to this when I put it with the rest of the story that’s still to be written.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Project”

“Is that what I am to you?” Caelen asked from the doorway. “A project?”

Alaina spun to face him, her mouth hanging slightly open. “What…what are you talking about?”

“I heard you talkin’ to your sister-in-law. About your latest project. Is that why you’re here. To make the poor, sad, lonely Irish boy feel better ’bout himself. Then, you’ll go back home to America.”

It wasn’t guilt that flashed into her eyes, but anger. “Is that really what you think of me, Caelen Dougherty? That I’d just string you along then cut the line. I’m not like that.”

“I heard what you said,” he replied stubbornly.

“You heard what you wanted to,” she retorted. “I know you’ve got abandonment issues, and I get that. I’ve got a set of my own. It doesn’t mean you need to project your fears onto me and think you know what I’m thinking.”

Shame washed through him. Maybe she was right. About his fears and taking it out on her. He wasn’t sure which one made him feel worse. “Alaina-”

“No,” she said, slapping a hand against his chest. “You don’t get to accuse me, then try to just smooth things over. If you really want to know, I was talking about a project. Something I’m making. That I was going to give you for Christmas. But, if you’re just going to be a donkey’s ass about it, I just may have changed my mind, and I’ll just scrap the whole thing.”

He just stared at her as she stomped out of the room. She was making him a gift? He hadn’t even gone out and bought her anything yet. Well, now, didn’t he feel the idiot? And still, he wanted to follow her. Lord knew it would probably be a mistake in her current temper. And that temper only drew him to her more. And he wasn’t sure what to do about that.


I can tell you, Caelen! haha. Anyway, this is my sacrifice to the gods of Stream of Consciousness Saturday…oh, wait, there are no gods of SOCS, you say? My bad. Sorry, I seem to be in a goofy mood this morning. No idea why. Anyway, I’ve shared a few other pieces that will likely make it into Heart of Christmas, but I haven’t had anything from Caelen’s pov yet. I think these two should be interesting to write.

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