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Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 6

I’m here with the next chapter of Dance with the Devil. Going into the second half now. Here’s the first part of this chapter.

I slammed my fist into the punching bag in the basement of the clubhouse. No one else was down here so late at night. Which was about the only time I visited the little gym. When I couldn’t sleep, when things I’ve seen wouldn’t stop haunting me. When I couldn’t stop thinking about Hawk.

I kept punching the heavy bag even as sweat dripped into my eyes, adding in a few kicks between some of the punches. The bag stopped its slight swing, and I brought my arm up to wipe the sweat away from my eyes.

Hawk stood on the other side of the bag. He wore a pair of sweats hanging low on his waist. Nothing covered his chest. Which left his tattoo- a large depiction of the eagle, globe, and anchor – standing out. I wanted to reach out and touch him, so I clenched my fists inside the boxing gloves. Sweat beaded on his face, but his skin looked cold. Like he’d just come inside.

Knowing him, he’d probably been out running, despite the dropping temperatures. That never bothered him.

“What are you doing?” he asked, his breath puffing out.

“I could ask you the same thing.”

“Could feel a storm rolling in. Cut my run short, and figured I’d finish it out in here. Your turn.”

I shifted away. “Just couldn’t sleep.”

“Again? You’ve barely slept this whole last week, Damon. What’s going on?”

Yeah. Ever since we put Brad in that stupid apartment. I don’t know why that triggered the insomnia. I hadn’t suffered from it much in the last few months. Someone would probably say I had PTSD from my time being deployed. The insomnia went back farther than that. It cropped up whenever Dad was being particularly harsh with me. Most people when they get depressed tend to sleep more.

Apparently, I’m the opposite.

Not, that I would admit that to Hawk. It would only make him worry more. That was the last thing I wanted. “It’s nothing,” I insisted. “It’s not like…before.” He’d know what I meant without having to say it. “I just can’t sleep.”

I wouldn’t look back up at him as I started past, so I didn’t know if he believed me or not. He grabbed my shoulder before I got by him. I stopped but kept my gaze between our feet. “Damon,” he said, his voice low and husky. “Please look at me.”

I knew why. It wasn’t the same reason as in the old barn. He wanted to see, make sure for himself I told the truth. The problem was, I wasn’t. Not completely at least. It wasn’t the same as before. I wasn’t staying up mulling over ways I could end my life. That stopped sometime after I got out of my father’s house. I couldn’t say none of that depression had come back.

“Damon.”

Where will this moment take them? Read on here to find out. I’ll have the next chapter up in a week.

Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 3

I’m back this week with the next chapter of Dance with the Devil. You can check out Chapter 2 if you missed it last week. And for now, here’s the beginning of Chapter 3.

I probably shouldn’t have gone to town. It’s not like we’d been told to stay away, but I was already in quite a mood. From that messed up vote, to that last altercation with Hawk, and everything else that always mess up my mind.

We were supposed to do patrols together. They hadn’t said anything about not coming to town by ourselves. Still, it probably would have been a smart thing to buddy up even for that.

No one ever accused me of always, or ever, doing the smart thing.

I pulled my bike into a space in front of the Iron Heart bar. I should go down to the diner and grab something to eat. I needed something to calm me down. Hawk’s words were still bouncing around in my head, and I couldn’t take it. Still, as I walked down the sidewalk toward the door of the bar, my gaze took in everything. Three bikes sat in spots a little ways down from mine. My stomach twisted up tight at the sight of them. One of them had a decal of a white-ish bird in the corner of the windshield. A dove, I told myself. Except its wings were spread out, just the way the Ivory Crows’ patch looked.

I stood, frozen for a moment, fighting with myself. Part of me wanted to go barging right into the bar and calling them out, making a scene, taking them down. The other part wanted to ride back out of town. Icarus told us not to approach any of them, not to start anything. But, God, did I want to start something with them.

No. I had to be careful and watch my step. I was never good with that, though. Still, I headed down to the diner after all. Hopefully by the time I came back out, they’d be gone, and I could get a drink in peace before heading home.

I hated feeling like I was tucking my tail between my legs and skulking away. But, I didn’t want to disobey a direct order less than an hour after it had been given. Sure, I had a history of that, a full file of disciplinary actions during my time in the Corps. But, even that would be extreme for me.

I almost reached the diner when the door swung open. Three men in heavy boots stepped out. My gaze slid up their bodies. Two wore chaps, but the third just had on a worn pair of jeans. Before my gaze even reached above their waists, I admit my attention snagged longer there than it should have–Hawk had gotten me stirred up, and I couldn’t seem to help it–a glob of saliva landed in front of me. I didn’t need more evidence, still I kept looking up.

If you want to keep reading, and find out how Devil reacts to this, you can check out the rest of Chapter 3 here. And I’ll be back next week with the next chapter.

Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 1

I’ve finally got Chapter 1 of Dance with the Devil up on Wattpad. I plan to add a new chapter each week. Here’s the beginning of that chapter:

I rested both feet on the ground on each side of my bike while I waited for the light to change. I just wanted to go. Of course, we still had to follow all the rules of the road. I didn’t want to be flattened, or have my bike that way, so I held back the urge to twist the throttle and let go.

It wasn’t easy.

There was so much going on lately, and my head was full of chaotic thoughts. I usually didn’t stop long enough to let any of them take root, but they were now. God, I needed to go. Just go, as fast and as far as I could. Icarus and Bull were expecting us back within the hour, so I couldn’t even do that.

After what happened to Trace on his last patrol, I couldn’t blame them for keeping a tight rein on our patrol times. It still sucked donkey ass.

Hawk’s bike idled behind me, and that had the back of my neck prickling. I shouldn’t feel that way, shouldn’t let him get to me. I’d known him a long time, and I’d always been able to feel when his eyes were on me.

Like they were now.

I shifted on my seat, keeping my gaze focused on the light, waiting for it to turn green. I ignored the buzzing phone in my pocket and everything but that light. If only the electricity I felt from Hawk could be as easily tuned out.

Finally. 

I twisted the throttle and shot through the intersection the moment the light changed. I heard the roar of Hawk’s bike behind me and something moved through me, knowing he was back there.

Stop it.

I couldn’t feel those things for Hawk. It couldn’t be. That’s all there was to it. We’d get back to the clubhouse, and we’d make our reports, then we could go our separate ways. It was the best way to keep peace in the club. None of them had to know the truth. We were only a couple guys who knew each other from the military. That was why Hawk helped me get into the club.

If they knew the truth, probably neither of us would be allowed to stay.

If you want to read the rest of the chapter, you can head over here and find it in its entirety.

Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Cover Reveal

I know it’s been a while since I finished posting Come Back Down to Wattpad. Well, I finally have the next book, ready to start posting to Wattpad…next week. This week, though, I do have the cover to show you. If I ever do more with these than posting to Wattpad, I’ll be getting professional covers done. For now, these ones I make up on Canva work pretty well. Anyway, here’s Devil:

Next week, I’ll have Chapter 1 ready to share with you.

Fiction Friday: Come Back Down – Chapter 10

We’ve come to the final chapter of Come Back Down, and I don’t have Dance with the Devil finished yet. I might have the first draft done by the end of this month, not sure though. Then, I’ll still have to revise it before I start putting it up. So, it probably won’t be until next year before I start posting it to Wattpad(maybe December if I get lucky). For now, here’s the beginning of the end:

We didn’t have to wait long for it all to go down. Less than a week later the buzzing started. Smoke and Wraith came riding in to tell us the word from town. The cops hit the Ivory Crows’ clubhouse early in the morning. They’d come back from a job and were caught with the drugs, money, and weapons that had been taken. In the ensuing scuffle, one of the officers had been wounded, but he’d been listed as in good condition. Almost all of the Crows had been taken in, but a few were said to have slipped away. One of those being one of the sergeant-at-arms from what Wraith heard.

That fact didn’t put me at ease. If it had been a member, we might not have anything to worry about. With it being an officer in the club, someone who had influence and got things done, they might be able to gather resources to come after the Riders.

“Stop worrying about it,” Icarus told me two days after they’d first gotten the news. “There isn’t anything we can do about it until something happens.”

“Don’t you think it will be too late by then?” I asked him.

“We won’t go after them, Birdie. That’s not how this club functions, and you know that.”

“What if they get you, or Trace, before you have a chance to be ready for them. Dad-” My voice cracked, and he came to me, wrapping his arms around me.

“I’ll do everything possible to make sure nothing happens. To any of us. You have to know that.”

I did, but it didn’t stop me from being scared. I think he knew that. Trace did, too, since I think he felt the same way as me. The club thought we were inseparable before, but now we barely left each other’s sides. He was relaxing about touching and being touched as well. Either it was the massive amount of touching we were doing, with our clothes still on unfortunately, or his sessions with Raven were finally helping.

I didn’t care. He was healing and opening up for me more.

Chief wanted to keep patrols up, so two Riders went out together every night, riding through town and the surrounding area at three hour intervals. It was to keep us safe, to give us time to get prepared before something went down. I didn’t complain, even when Trace had to leave my arms, to go on his rounds.

He should be back by now. He’d gone out with Smoke, so I wasn’t too worried about something happening. Smoke would take care of him. I wasn’t feeling good about everything that was going on. It had gone too well for us. Nothing did that for long before the bottom fell out.

What’s going to happen now? Has something happened with Trace? Or will he make it back? You can read on to find out. And I hope you’ll come back when I start posting Dance with the Devil.

Fiction Friday: Come Back Down – Chapter 9

Good week over here. Finished the first draft of one of my projects. It was supposed to be a novella, but these characters had other ideas apparently. It’s a little under 60k so still a little on the short side for a novel for me, but definitely longer than a novella.

I’ve put the next chapter of Come Back Down up on Wattpad. I only have one more left after this. Then, it’ll be on to Dance with the Devil. I haven’t finished writing that, though, so it’ll be a little bit before I start posting it. For now, here’s the start of Chapter 9:

 

“I can’t believe that boy’s a cop. And he had us all fooled.”

“Doesn’t put him in the right, Bull, just because he carries a badge. Or make him a good guy.”

I looked back and forth between Icarus and Bull. They’d been just as shocked about Brad as we were. I still wasn’t sure what to make of it.

“He could be lying,” Trace said. “It looked legit, but I’m sure there are people who are good enough to forge that.”

Icarus glanced over at Chief. “You’ve still got contacts at the department, right? Could you find out for sure?”

“I doubt any are high up enough to be able to tell me anything. I think we should believe the boy. It does add up a bit more.”

“What I don’t understand,” I said, “is if this was always a job, why did he get so worked up when he found out about Trace and me? Why’d he bring Hawk into it?”

“Those answers are both easy,” Icarus said. “To the first one; pure and simple jealousy. He had to push you away for the job he needed to do. Doesn’t mean he didn’t still care. But, you don’t want someone who uses jealousy as an excuse to hurt others.” He glanced quickly to Trace, who tightened his arm around my waist. “As for the second, it doesn’t matter if he is a cop, he’s still an asshole with firm opinions.”

“What do we do now?” I looked straight at Icarus. The captain and sergeant were equal positions, but Bull had a tendency to defer to Dad’s opinion anyway. So, I started there. “He basically said we should stand down, or we might get caught in the middle of things. I don’t know if we should trust him.”

“We bring it before the club,” Icarus said. “Like we do anything that affects us as a club. None of us wanted war, but it looked like it was heading that way. If we can avoid it, I know which way my vote will go.”

Bull nodded in agreement. “It’s the way it’s done, Birdie, you know that. What the club decides is what we do. We’ll talk and argue the points, but once it’s done, it’s done with.”

“Yeah, I know.” I worried about that. Even if Icarus and Bull were all for stepping back and letting someone else, even the police, handle things, it didn’t mean other members, particularly some of the younger ones like Devil and Arrow, would feel the same. If enough of them did, the rest wouldn’t have a choice but to see it through. I glanced at Trace. He’d obviously come to the same conclusion as he worried his bottom lip.

“We’ll all have to fight?” he asked.

How will the vote go? Will they have to fight? You can read the rest here and find out how it goes.

Also, if you missed it, I posted Tuesday about looking for beta readers for a different project. I’m still looking for a couple if you’re interested.

Fiction Friday: Come Back Down – Chapter 8

Writing has been fairly steady this week. At least on my main project. Not so much on the other ones. And it’s raining today, which makes me just want to curl up on the couch and read. Trying to get some other stuff done before I succumb to that. So, here’s the first part of Chapter 8 from Come Back Down:

I settled on one of the steps of the porch, waiting. We were doing a lot of waiting lately. Waiting for the Crows to make another move. Waiting for more information about what they were doing. Waiting to see if Henry added to our troubles.

And, like right now, waiting for Trace to get out of his session with Raven. Unlike what I’d been afraid of, she didn’t try to dig all the way back to my childhood. That didn’t have anything to do with now. We only talked about Henry, what he’d done to me, and how it left me feeling. She never let me get away with saying I was fine.

I don’t know what Trace talked to her about. He wouldn’t tell me. He always seemed so drained after his sessions. He never wanted to do much for the rest of the day, but I didn’t want to leave him during those times either. I figured he needed me more then than at any other time, even if he barely spoke for hours afterward. The time it took him to process whatever happened during the session diminished every time. That was only after a week and three sessions.

I was already having less nightmares and feeling more like myself. For me, it was only a couple months of issues. For Trace, it was a lifetime. I told Raven I’d keep coming, even if we both felt I didn’t need much more than someone to talk to. I could have that with a good friend. As long as it kept Trace going, I’d go as well.

The door opened behind me, and I glanced over my shoulder. Trace stood, his hand still on the door, and drew in a long breath. I got slowly to my feet, studying his face, searching for any sign of how his session had gone.

He looked tired, I could tell that right away. There was something else under it. Maybe dragging all of this up wasn’t helping him. What if it made things worse for him? No. Facing a problem never made things worse. Maybe at first, but it always got better in the end.

“This isn’t working,” he said when he reached me.

“It will. You have to give it more time.”

“It’s only making me hear his voice in my head even more. For hours.” Probably those same hours where he barely spoke. My heart clenched tight at the thought. I wish he would have told me. I would have done my best to drown that asshole’s voice out.

“You have to give it some time,” I told him again. “You’ve spent your whole life with the things he’s said. A few sessions isn’t going to change that.”

He wrapped an arm around my waist, almost like he clung to me. After a moment, he stepped back. “I need to get out of here,” he said.

If you want to read the rest of the chapter, it’s up on Wattpad now.

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