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Fiction Friday: Staring at the Sun – Chapter 5

I’m back with the next chapter of Staring at the Sun. This brings us halfway through the story. I don’t have much else to say here, so I’ll get right to the beginning of the chapter:

Cassie wasn’t sure what to do. It had been a couple days since that story had been printed in the newspaper. Every morning when she came out of her room, Grady waited for her. They walked down to have breakfast together, and if he didn’t have to have a meeting with the guys or take a ride somewhere, they spent most of the day together. He did have other responsibilities, and she understood.

Sometimes she preferred it. Sometimes she wanted a chance to breathe. Hard to do when it felt like you were constantly under watch.

He did walk her up to her room every night, and he kissed her before telling her good night. She tossed and turned until dawn, thinking about how much she wished they’d take those kisses farther.

What was stopping her? She was no teenager any longer. The prospect of taking that step forward was almost as scary as thinking of what Henry would do next.

Not that she would admit that to anyone. Least of all Grady. He had enough on his mind.

She stepped into the library, grateful she slipped away from Damon–Devil according to the tag on his vest and what everyone else called him–apparently taking his shift as her shadow. She let out the breath she’d finally had the chance to take. They were trying to protect her, it was what Grady wanted. Right now it felt smothering. She needed some space for a moment.

“You come in here to hide out, too?”

Cassie’s head jerked up, and she stared at the woman who stood at the other side of the room. It took her a moment to place her, as she wasn’t wearing her vest. “Molly.” Everyone else called her Medusa.

Her face twisted up. Cassie thought that was a flash of pain in the woman’s eyes. That couldn’t be right. She didn’t think the other woman ever felt any pain. She was too tough.

“Please don’t call me that,” she said. “No one does.”

“I-I’m sorry,” Cassie said. “I’m not…I feel weird using your other names.”

Molly laughed, but it didn’t sound as mean as it usually did. “I barely even think of myself as Molly anymore. The last time someone called me that…”

She ran her thumb over her left ring finger. Which Cassie noted was bare. Had it always been? She didn’t have a clue. They’d never really had a conversation before. In fact, she’d been under the impression the other woman hated her for some reason.

“Why did you come in here?” Molly asked her.

“I…I had to get away,” she admitted. “Everyone’s watching me, and I get it. But, I had to get away to breathe. And forget for a moment there’s something to be afraid of.” She sucked in some air. “I don’t know how to do that when every minute I feel terrified. Of everything.”

“Except of Icarus.” When Cassie didn’t answer, she asked, “Right?”

“Of everything,” Cassie repeated.

If you want to read the rest of the chapter, you can find it here. And I’ll be back next week with more.

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Fiction Friday: Staring at the Sun – Chapter 3

I’ve got Chapter 3 of Staring at the Sun up on Wattpad now. It’s been an eventful week, with son’s birthday party Sunday, getting our internet fixed on Monday, and kids back to school on Tuesday. Then, me trying to get settled into a routine now that I have the house to myself all day once again. That shouldn’t be too difficult, just trying to figure out the best way to fit everything in. But, now, here’s the beginning of Chapter 3.

Henry Kearns stepped out of his cruiser and headed for the front of the store. He still walked with a limp, and his knee ached like a bitch almost constantly, but he’d tossed away the cane he’d been using. His doctor suggested he keep it, but fuck that. As long as he used it, the department would keep him on medical leave. He couldn’t take that anymore.

He wasn’t going to let that bastard Hartson keep on winning.

He was off duty now and should be in his recliner already, taking his weight off this knee. He’d remembered on the way there, he wouldn’t have anything to eat as soon as he walked in the door. After a year, he should damn well be used to it. Sometimes he still forgot Cassandra wouldn’t be waiting for him, putting a hot dinner on the table as soon as he came inside.

He’d taught her that lesson well.

She’d still left him. For fucking Hartson. He thought she’d learned how that would go for her twenty years ago. Should never have let the little punk out of a cell. But Sheriff Vallis had been sure he’d stay away. And, well, he had. Just not long enough. If Henry ever got his hands on Trace again, he’d pay for ever bringing Grady Hartson back into their lives.

He walked through the store to the prepared foods section. Several people lifted their hands to him in a wave as he passed. People around here respected him. As they damn well should. He picked up a small roasted chicken from the warmer and a small cup of fried potatoes. That would work. If he hadn’t already passed the diner, he would have stopped there like he had most nights.

“It’s good to see you up and about, Deputy Kearns,” the cashier said.

He nodded back at her, not bothering with a thanks or even a glance at her name tag. What did any of that matter to him?

“It’s a shame they never caught the men who broke into your place and shot you.”

Henry barely held back a snort. He couldn’t believe everyone bought that shit he’d shoveled out a year ago. He’d waited for that little punk to follow through with his threat to expose what he knew about Henry’s dealings for months. Nothing had ever come of it. Little fucker had probably only been bluffing. He couldn’t have known any of that.

He walked back out into the parking lot and heard the roar of a motorcycle. That sound always made a chill flash over him. He couldn’t help looking for the source of it. It was never Grady. Or any of his accomplices. He so wanted to take at least one of them down, haul them in, get whatever he could from them before he found a way to lock them up for the rest of their miserable lives.

If you want to read the rest of the chapter, just head over this way. I’ll have Chapter 4 up next week.

Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 10

This is the final chapter of Dance with the Devil. I should get the next story polished up next week, and be able to start posting it either then or the following week(once I get a cover figured out for it). But, for now, here’s the beginning of the end of Dance with the Devil:

I woke to Hawk’s bare chest right in front of me. I traced the Marine tattoo covering one side of it. I had a similar one on my arm. Hawk shivered, and his hand ran up my back. “We have to get up, Devil,” he said, and I heard the regret in his voice.

I already was. Unfortunately there wasn’t time for that this morning. I still pressed my mouth to his chest, but he hauled me up so our lips met. “Later,” he promised, “when this is over.”

I rolled away from him and found the clothes I’d stripped off the night before. “I’ll meet you downstairs,” I told him. His eyes were hot on me, even as I headed for the door. We had to get the job done, to keep the club and everything we stood for safe, but when that was taken care of, I’d be right back here with Hawk, and we could figure out where this would go.

As long as we both made it back. That was something I couldn’t bear to even think about. I pushed it away as I headed back to my room to get ready for this mission.

I was downstairs fifteen minutes later, just behind Hawk. I did not mind taking that position. I saw the slight bulge of one gun at his back, right at the bottom of his vest. I knew he’d carry another in the inside pocket of his vest. We all did that. Except Trace if he could help it.

I was pretty sure that was only one reason Icarus planned to leave him here to protect the ladies. Not that most of them couldn’t take care of themselves. I didn’t dare even insinuate that. But, I knew Icarus’ Cassie couldn’t. Birdie could protect herself, but she’d been abducted once before. Icarus wouldn’t want to take the chance it would happen again.

I rested my hand on his back right outside of the dining room. He glanced back over his shoulder and smiled at me. That look held a whole lot of promise for later. I wasn’t sure how to act now.

Hawk took care of that as we grabbed plates from the side table. He took my hand and pulled me in for a quick kiss. It was as simple as that.

And you can read the rest of the chapter here. I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 9

Well, we’re almost to the end. I have Chapter 9, the next to last chapter, of Dance with the Devil today. I’m about to start revising the next in the series, Staring at the Sun, Cassie & Icarus’ story. So you shouldn’t have to wait too long for me to stat posting that. For now, here’s the beginning of Chapter 9.

When we pulled up to the garage at the clubhouse, I was surprised to see how empty it was. “I thought everyone was sticking close until this thing with the Crows is over,” I said to Hawk as we put our bikes away.

His gaze coasted over the bikes still in the garage. “Icarus wanted to increase patrols until we’re ready to move on it. The two of us and Dive are to stick close, since we’ve been the ones targeted by them directly.”

Damn it. That was not what I wanted to hear. “I don’t need to be protected. I can take care of myself.” Hawk stood there and stared at me. “Okay, so they caught me by surprise the last time. Doesn’t meant it will happen again.”

He took a step toward me, his leather-clad thigh pressing against mine. “You know what it would do to me if it did? They wouldn’t have to come after me, because I would be utterly destroyed. You might think you aren’t important, but you have to see how much you are to me. I’d do anything to make sure you don’t stop breathing. Don’t forget that, Damon.”

I didn’t think I could breathe now. No one had ever made it so clear how much they cared for me. I leaned forward and pressed my lips to his. “Let’s get inside,” I said when I finally pulled back.

Hawk’s lips curled up, then we were both stripping off our chaps and rolling them back up to store in our saddlebags. We left the garage, and he closed the door behind us, pulling me in for another kiss before heading up to the house.

To my surprise, we didn’t run into anyone on the way up to the clubhouse. Usually there was at least one or two people wandering around the yard. It was still a little chilly out, so maybe everyone was inside.

I stopped thinking about that when Hawk snaked an arm around my waist as we neared the porch and pressed a kiss to the back of my neck. I wanted him so bad right then. But, there was no way we could do this right here. The guys might be okay with us being together, but I couldn’t imagine them caring to witness it.

Inside. We just had to get inside. And up to one of our rooms. Hopefully no one would stop us on the way. I might keel over if I had to wait much longer.

We barely even made it through the doorway. His mouth was on mine again, and he pressed me to the wall right next to the door. Holy shit. My engine was revving so much I was about to overheat. I moaned against his mouth then his fingers were in the loops of my jeans, pulling me away from the wall and toward the stairs.

If you want to read the rest of the chapter, you can check it out here. I’ll have the final chapter next week.

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.

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