Flash Fiction Monday – Protection

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I propped my boots on the desk. “It’s an awfully nice day to look so miserable.”

Christopher’s answering shrug was listless. His right arm was braced on the glass, forehead resting against it. His left hand pressing against the window as he looked longingly outside.  We’d been holed up in the same Miami motel room for the better part of two weeks and it was starting to get to us both. He was going stir-crazy and I was losing my tenuous grip on my restraint.

“It won’t be much longer,” I reassured him, praying that it was true.

The tone of his snort was practically an audible middle finger. He’d gotten good at communicating through grunts and wordless noises. In all my years working personal security, I’d never dealt with such a silent client. It was a shame too because he had a great voice.

“I wish you wouldn’t stand in front of the open window though. You know it’s dangerous.”

He sighed heavily. The muscles in his back rippled as he pushed off the window and straightened. “I’m tired, D.”

“I know.” What I didn’t know was why he insisted on calling me D. Dan wasn’t exactly a difficult name. Christopher’s nickname for me was the least of my problems, however. There was a well-connected mob boss after my client and my attraction to him was reaching unbearable levels.

He crossed the room and stood next to me. My gaze scanned up his lean, denim-clad thighs. I tried not to linger on the soft bulge near the fly or on the way the jeans sat obscenely low on his hips, showing off the sharp v of his lean musculature. Shirtless, his skin was smooth and nearly hairless, except under his arms. I’d think he waxed, but we’d been locked in this motel room for two weeks. Surely I would have noticed. Tattoos graced one hip and across his upper chest and arms. A woman’s name was written in script across his heart. I hadn’t had the courage to ask who she was, although after two weeks of living together I knew a hell of a lot more about Christopher Reese than I’d ever expected to.

I tore my gaze from his tattoos to look him in the eye. He stared down at me, expression blank. He had a beautiful face and wore facial hair like it was a designer accessory, but there was no denying the haunted look that lingered around his eyes.

“I loved her, you know?” Christopher’s fingertips skimmed the name over his heart. “I didn’t … I never meant for this to happen.” The expression in his hazel eyes pleaded for me to understand. I didn’t. He’d been curiously tight-lipped about exactly how we’d wound up in this situation. I’d gone from a cushy, if often boring, position of providing security for a Hollywood star to hiding out with him in a crummy motel room. Although I’d argued with him about keeping me in the dark about what had happened, he wouldn’t budge. Short of leaving him to fend for himself, there was little I could do. Reinforcements—in the form of my boss and mentor, Matt Healy—were on the way. All I had to do was keep him safe until Matt arrived.

Not to mention keep Christopher from going stir-crazy and keep myself from grabbing him and throwing him down on the nearest bed.

We were so fucked. And not in the way I’d like.

I nudged Christopher out of the way with my thigh and stood. “What do you want for lunch?”

“Sushi.” His tone was mournful. We were in a rundown motel in a sketchy part of Miami. We might only be a handful of miles from the ocean, but there wasn’t a sushi restaurant in sight. And certainly not one that delivered.

“Christopher …”

“I don’t give a fuck!” He rounded on me, jaw clenched and eyes hard and flinty looking. “I don’t give a flying fuck what we—“

His words were cut off by the loud pop of gunfire. Instinct and training kicked in and I grabbed Christopher’s shoulder, shoved him to the floor beside the bed, and covered his body with my own. “Keep your head down,” I hissed.

Outside, it was silent over the sound of our harsh breathing. I rose up enough to reach for the gun clipped to my belt and cursed when I realized I’d left it on the desk across the room. Do I have time to grab it? I wondered.

The scrape of a shoe on the concrete outside the door silenced any debate.

“Dan?” Christopher whispered.

I clapped a hand over his mouth and waited, heart pounding in my chest, for whatever was to come next.


I know that was a really mean way to end things, but there’s a good chance this is going to turn into a novel. In fact, it could wind up as the second book in a series. What do you think? Would you read it?

The good news is, my wrist held up while I swam and wrote almost 800 words today, so I think I’m on the mend!

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics.

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fiction Monday – The Power of Suggestion

It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for me with writing. Two friends are going through rough times in their lives, I passed the one-year anniversary of when my ex and I split, and my left wrist staged a revolt.

I’ve never had any problems with tendonitis before, but I do sleep with my hands in funny positions and I’ve been swimming 3-4 times a week. I think those things, combined with writing, finally did my left wrist in. I spent the past week icing it, taking anti-inflammatories, using a wrist brace, doing gentle physical therapy exercises and, mostly, giving it a rest. It’s slowly improving and today was the first time in a week I’ve written more than a few sentences at a time.

My novels are on hold for the moment, but I am going to order an ergonomic keyboard and hopefully in another week or so, be back on track.

Without further ado, here’s my flash fic for the week!

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This is the resort you were raving about?” Stuart’s lip curled into an all-too-familiar sneer. “Their sunset dinner on the beach looks like a four-year-old’s birthday party.”

I stifled a sigh and settled the Panama hat more firmly on my head before the ocean breeze carried it away. The resort did have a casual vibe, with brightly colored, kitschy decorations like tiki torches and light up flamingos, but it wouldn’t kill Stuart to unwind for once.

“It also has white sand beaches, 5-star quality food, and the best drinks I’ve ever had,” I reminded him.

“If the food doesn’t deliver, I’m out of here,” Stuart threatened. “I mean it, Charlie.”

“I know you do, darling.” I patted Stuart’s shoulder and he made a grumbling noise in the back of his throat but allowed me to steer him toward the party on the beach.

To be fair, Stuart was paid to be critical. He’d worked as a restaurant critic for years. He was insufferable when we traveled, however.

I made a beeline for the bar, leaving Stuart to find a table for us. His sneer was firmly in place when I returned with two drinks.

“Mai Tai’s?”

“Just drink it. I asked the bartender to add a little something extra for you. It should help loosen you up.”

Stuart’s sneer melted into a look of contemplation. “Maybe this place is looking up after all.”

I knew he wouldn’t be averse to a little experimentation—it wouldn’t be the first time we’d indulged while on vacation—and lord knows, I needed all the help I could get. The last thing I wanted was Stuart pouting in our suite all night.

“Cheers!” We clinked glasses and he took a hearty sip.

“Not bad,” was his grudging verdict.

I smiled and looked out over the waves.

***

Several hours later, after a dinner that even Stuart had deemed exceptional, we stumbled from the dance floor toward the bonfire. I dropped onto a driftwood log with a quiet groan of relief. We hadn’t danced like that in ages.

I glanced over at Stuart. With several drinks in him, his cheeks were flushed and his normally tidy hair was wind-ruffled.

He slid an arm around my waist and leaned in. “What do you say we head back to our suite?”

“Aren’t you having fun?”

“I am. But I thought it might be more fun to take you to our room and thank you for bringing me to such a great place.”

I knew that was the closest I’d get to an apology for his early pouting, and decided to take it. “Sure, but you’re going to have to get me off this log.”  I’d just sat down and the hike across the sand to the main building seemed awfully far.

With arms wrapped around each other’s waists, we stumbled toward the lights of the resort. Stuart paused and nuzzled against my cheek with his lips. “What was in those drinks, anyway? I feel incredible.”

I laughed. “Just a little extra rum.”

Stuart sputtered in surprise as I dragged him toward our room.

The good news was, Stuart never held grudges for long.


 

 

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics.

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fiction Monday – Family History Pt. 2

 

July 4

“Oh! Look at this one, Amelia.” Lena passed a photo to her.

Amelia inspected it closely. Two young women ran through a city street, hand-in-hand, soaked to the skin by a rain storm. There as inches of standing water and they clutched their shoes in their free hands. Jeanette Fleming and Ada March, 1934 was inscribed on the back. “Did you see the back?”

Lena pressed her chin to Amelia’s shoulder. “They look so young.”

“They were,” Amelia replied. “Jeanette was born in 1920 so she would have been fourteen at the time. I’m not sure about Ada, but I think they were roughly the same age.”

“Jeanette’s lovely in this photo, but she really grew into herself in her late teens.” Lena shifted so she was sitting upright.

Amelia reached over and poked Lena’s thigh. “Stop perving on my grandmother.”

“It’s only because you resemble her so much.”

“Nice save.” She leaned in and brushed her lips against Lena’s.

“I wonder who took the photo.”

“I have no idea,” Amelia admitted. “I feel like this box of photos raises more questions than it answers.”

Lena nodded, her expression thoughtful. “Is this the only box?”

“No, there’s another. Actually, if I remember right, there are letters in the other box. I inherited them both after grandma’s death and haven’t had time to sort through them until now. Amelia had stumbled across them in the guest room closet a few days ago. Looking at the photos had derailed her spring cleaning plans, but she and Lena were having too much fun to care.

Lean’s eyes lit up. “Letters? I wonder if there’s anything juicy in them.”

“I doubt it. Probably lots of talk about church festivals and such.”

“Your grandmother was a pin-up girl, Amelia. She may have attended church festivals, but the woman clearly had a rebellious streak.”

“You have a good point. Still, I highly doubt they’re that juicy. If they were romantically involved, they would have been breaking the law to do it.”

“Well, let’s stop talking about what might be in the letters and read what is in them. I’m dying of curiosity.” Always decisive, Lena stood and strode from the room. Her skin gleamed in the late afternoon sunlight, on display in the denim shorts and white tank she wore. God she was beautiful. Running had honed her muscles to a sleek definition. They’d gone to the lake recently and she was lightly tanned. Sometimes just looking at Lena made Amelia’s heart stop.

“What’s that look for?” Lena gently sat the box on the floor beside the couch.

Amelia shook her head to clear it. She’d been so lost in thought she hadn’t noticed Lena’s return.

“Thinking about you.” Amelia lay back on the couch and held out a hand to Lena. “As curious as I am about the letters, I think they can wait a bit.”

Lena smirked as she closed the distance between them, settling over top of Amelia. “What did you have in mind?”

“I don’t know. But hopefully something juicy enough to include in a letter.”

Lena laughed softly as Amelia drew her in for a kiss, the boxes of photos and letters temporarily forgotten.


Technically, the timeline doesn’t really work for these photos. Today’s photo is clearly of a later time period than 1934, but it worked so well with the previous flash fic I’d written that I couldn’t resist!

A novel telling Lena and Amelia’s story and their hunt for clues about Jeanette and Ada’s relationship is starting to come together and I’m really looking forward to writing it.

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics.

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!