Wake General Release!

wake_outnow.jpg

 

“Wake”–Book one in our two-part “Tidal” series–is now available for general release.

Grab your copy here on Amazon now!


Here’s a little teaser.

“’m I doin’ the right thing?” Carter slurred, while Riley lowered him onto the bed. Riley froze with Carter’s arm locked around his neck and their faces inches apart. God, how many times have we been in this position? Riley wondered. He reached up, unwound his friend’s arm and sat back, but left his hand pressed against the front of Carter’s shirt for a moment, enjoying the heat of his body underneath.

“What do you mean?” he asked hoarsely.

He started to pull away, but Carter reached up and covered Riley’s hand with his own, his long fingers holding it in place.

“Mar-marrying Kate,” Carter said thickly, hazel eyes dazed and glassy. They appeared especially dark right then, more brown than their usual greenish hue. Riley breathed shallowly, the words heavy on his tongue. He wanted so badly to tell him no, make him doubt what he was doing. The sight of Carter sprawled on his bed and the feel of their clasped hands made a spot in Riley’s chest ache. All night he’d been fighting his feelings for Carter, struggling to be happy for his friend, trying not to let anyone see his secret.

Here in private, Carter was giving him the chance to speak up. Perhaps Carter was ambivalent on some level about marrying Kate. He knew Carter loved her, but maybe some part of him was as conflicted as Riley. Riley could feel the words on his tongue and knew his friend well enough to suspect that if Riley told him he shouldn’t marry Kate, he wouldn’t go through with it the following day. But wasn’t that delaying the inevitable? Because Carter would marry. Eventually he’d give in to the pressure of his family’s expectations and marry someone.

Why not Kate? His toast to the couple at the rehearsal dinner earlier had been true. There was no woman in the world better for Carter than Kate. As much as Riley wanted to return to the times when they’d been in college—when they’d been friends who lived together and shared a woman between them—they could never go back. The vague, nebulous want inside Riley never seemed to coalesce into something concrete. He wanted Carter, but what did that mean? And what did he have to offer him?

Riley stared at his friend, watching Carter’s unfocused, almost hopeful gaze. Riley felt the beat of Carter’s heart through the soft, polished cotton shirt under his palm and he ached, wanting to tell his friend to call off the wedding.

But the answer to his earlier question was nothing. Riley had nothing to offer Carter. He couldn’t give him the life and family he wanted, couldn’t give Carter the chance to make his family proud. Hell, Riley didn’t even know what he wanted or if he could ever give Carter what he deserved. With his fucked-up family, maybe he wasn’t even capable of caring about Carter like Kate would.

Carter would be happier married to Kate and Riley knew it was the right choice for his friend. For both of them. With Carter married, Riley could make his parents happy by finally settling down with a woman. He could stop wasting his life wishing for something that would never happen.

“Yeah, buddy, it’s the right thing,” he lied, feeling the weight of the words close over him, like the thud of a door slamming shut. He could never take them back.

Wake Early Release Day!

wake_patch.jpg

 

“Wake”–Book one in our two-part “Tidal” series–is now available for early download on Pride Publishing’s site! You’ll be able to read it a whole month before the general release date on May 30. Run and get your copy now!

Here’s a little teaser.


Carter sighed. “What about the lecture?”

“We can get the notes from someone else.” Riley grabbed Carter’s bag and waved at him to stand. “Get your ass up, Carter,” he muttered. “I’m not in the mood to carry you. You’re all tall and gangly and I’m not awake enough to deal with it.”

A couple of hours later, Riley’s bossy attitude had ceased to bother Carter. He was floating on a haze of muscle relaxant and sitting on the edge of his bed while his friend clattered around the bathroom.

“How do you feel?” Riley asked when he emerged, holding towels and a bottle of what appeared to be hand lotion.

“I don’t feel much,” Carter replied, smiling slowly while Riley scoffed. “No, really, I don’t feel anything. I’m kind of… I don’t know, wobbly.”

“Wobbly, huh?” Riley shook his head and grinned. “You’re so stoned, dude.” Putting everything down on the bed, Riley helped Carter take off his jacket, then knelt to pull off his sneakers.

Carter closed his eyes and the world spun slightly. “Oh. Yep.” He hummed and opened one eye to peer at his friend after a touch on the buttons of his shirt. “What’s going on?”

“The doc said some light massage would help with the muscle spasms,” Riley told him. He unbuttoned Carter’s shirt, then waited for him to lift his arms so he could ease it off Carter’s shoulders. “I can do that for you.”

Carter said nothing and let Riley help him out of his sweatpants. His drug-fuzzed brain was still processing the words ‘massage’ and ‘do that for you’ as Riley covered the mattress with a towel.

“Lie down, Car.”

Easing himself clumsily onto the bed, Carter lay with his head pillowed on his forearms. Two big, slick hands began moving over his neck and upper back, flooding his body with warmth, rubbing soothing circles into his skin, turning his already loosened muscles to mush.

“Jesus.” His voice was a low rumble in his chest and he struggled to open his eyes.

“Hold still, Car—I won’t hurt you, I promise.”

“I know,” Carter murmured. He lay boneless while Riley set his muscles ablaze. His body responded and he groaned, his cock growing hard.

Those capable hands moved steadily lower over Carter’s muscles, soothing knots that he hadn’t known were there. He grunted when Riley’s palms slid underneath the waistband of his boxer briefs. Talented fingers trailed fire across the base of his spine, making him shiver, and he sighed as lips pressed gently over his shoulders and neck. He’d nearly fallen asleep when a weight settled beside him at last, slipping one arm around his waist.


We hope you enjoy the book and if you can, please take a moment to rate and review it on Pride Publishing and Goodreads!

In addition, be sure to stop by the three stops on our book blitz for multiple chances to win the $25 Amazon gift card we’re offering!

Diverse Reader

Books Laid Bare Boys

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

 

 

 

 

Wake – Available for Pre-Order

wake_preorder.jpg

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

K. Evan Coles and I are delighted to share with you that the first book, “Wake”, is available for pre-order on Pride Publishing’s site!

Here is a short teaser from it:

By the time the performance was over, Riley’s chest was tight, his pulse raced and he felt flushed and jittery. He wondered if he was having an anxiety attack. He’d paid no more attention to the final act of the opera than he had the first two, although this time he’d rarely glanced at Carter.

He’d been too busy trying to muster up the courage to say the words he needed to say to his friend. Riley helped his wife into her coat, trying to think of what to tell her about why he wasn’t going home with her.

Once they were outside in the crisp November air, Riley found their car, waving away the driver’s help when he moved to open the doors for them. Riley snagged Alex’s elbow before she could climb in. “Carter and I are going out for a drink. I’ll probably be a few hours.”

Alex huffed and pursed her lips. “Fine. I’ll call the girls to see what they want to do. Maybe they’ll be more fun than my husband.”

“I’m sorry, Alex,” he said softly. He was sorry he wasn’t in love with her, sorry he couldn’t be who she wanted him to be. He was sorry he was abandoning her to run off to his secret apartment to spill his heart out to the man he had feelings for. Jesus, my life is way too fucking complicated, he thought, rubbing the back of his neck.

“I mean it.” He stared down at Alex for a long moment before drawing her close to him. “I’m sorry our relationship isn’t better.”

“I’m used to it by now,” she replied archly and pulled away.

With a sigh, he let go of her, knowing no apologies would excuse the way he’d disrupt her life when he came out.

He watched her drive away, then turned to find Carter. It didn’t take him long. Carter stood beside the fountain outside the Met, silhouetted against the brightly lit water. Though Carter’s face was shadowed, Riley would know his body anywhere. The broadness of his shoulders, the length of his legs—Riley imagined touching every inch of him.

Slowly he made his way toward Carter, their gazes locking as Riley drew near. “Ready to head out?”

Carter nodded. “Yeah, Kate’s on her way home.”

Riley gave the driver of the cab that they eventually found the address—296 West 10th Street in the West Village—and settled in his seat with a sigh. Neither man spoke much, although Riley was aware of the heat of Carter’s thigh against his own, through the layers of their tux pants. Carter’s knee seemed to rub against his every so often. Carter’s height and long legs made him sprawl when he sat, but somehow Riley suspected the touch wasn’t accidental. Or maybe he simply hoped so.

Please add it on Goodreads and then pre-order your copy now! We know you’re going to love Riley and Carter as much as we do!

Flash Fiction Monday – No Rest for a Cowboy

16711869_634512573402500_5877414812185196095_n.jpg

No Rest for a Cowboy

Danny’s breath steamed in the icy January air as he hefted another bale of hay and tossed it carefully over the edge of the hay loft. Panting, he stopped for a minute. His back ached from the strain and his cold, cramped fingers were sore from the twine digging in.

 Thunder rumbled through the air and Danny froze. Thunder? In January? That seemed unlikely, but if it wasn’t thunder, it was probably  …fuuuuuck

He ran to the window and saw over almost two dozen horses streaming out of the paddock and into the un-fenced portion of the ranch. He nearly shit himself. All that work. All that money. Wild horses attempting to return to the wild.

He thundered down the rickety steps and tore through the barn door, hollering for Abraham to come help. Danny was sure that their plan to buy mustangs to train for barrel racing and pleasure riding was about to go up in a cloud of dust. They’d spent every last penny to buy the ranch and the horses. If they lost the mustangs they were fucked.

Abraham caught up to him and grabbed his arm. “Hey, calm down, Danny. You’re just spooking them more.”

Danny froze and nodded tightly. “How are we going to get them back though, Abe?”

“Let’s grab some grain and a couple of lead ropes. We’ll have to try to lure them back with it, but I have a plan.”

An hour and a half later, wrung out from fear and adrenaline, Danny collapsed against his boyfriend’s chest. “I can’t believe that worked.”

“I told you.”

Danny gripped his boyfriend’s face and brought their foreheads together. Relief made him weak-kneed. “We could have lost all of the mustangs. But we didn’t.” Danny drew back to look Abraham in the eye. “Thank you. Without your cool head  …”

Abraham smiled and kissed him. “Now we know not to leave the gate unlatched.”

Danny groaned. “That was all me.”

“Hey, we’re a team, right?” A nose nudged Danny’s arm and he glanced over to see Lady, the chestnut mare who had established herself as leader of the herd.

Danny let go of Abe to rub behind her ears. “And it’s a good thing you’re in charge of these yahoos.” He gestured toward the rest of the horses who were crowding closer, searching for more grain. For a while, it had looked like utter chaos as the horses galloped, tails and manes streaming in the wind. They were gorgeous, no question about it, but terrifying as well and Danny had felt like he couldn’t breathe as he prayed none of the horses or him and Abe would be injured.

Abe’s plan to round them up had involved bribing Lady with grain to get close enough to throw a lead rope around her neck and walk her back into the paddock. The rest of the herd had reluctantly followed, the few stragglers coaxed in with a little grain.

They spent a little while checking the horses over, making sure none of them had injured their hooves or legs, but everyone appeared sound. Abe gave Marigold a pat on the rump. “Back to work, I guess.”

Danny groaned. “I just want to go take a long hot soak in the tub.”

“You have to finish getting some hay down and I have to check the fences.” Abe grinned and draped an arm over his shoulders. “No rest for a cowboy, I’m afraid.


Sorry I’ve been so intermittent about writing and posting flash fics. I was glad to be able to join in this week!

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fiction Monday – Whiskey and Need

November 14.jpg

“We shouldn’t be doing this,” Rey said, but there was no conviction to his tone, just thick need, barely suppressed.

The garish light from the neon motel sign lit the side of Barrett’s face and highlighted the rugged handsomeness. Rey’s chest felt tight as he looked at his partner, Barrett. Partner in the Springfield police department, that is. Not his lover. Or at least they hadn’t been.

But their mouths were inches apart and Barrett’s grip on his shirt was tight.

They’d been skirting this moment for weeks now. Months of getting to know the man under the stoic façade, months of noticing the width of Barrett’s shoulders, the solidity and heat of his body, and months of fighting it. Weeks of wondering what his mouth tasted like. Days of being holed up in this motel together and trying not to stare at Barrett’s chest, broad and lightly furred, damp from the shower as he walked around the room in a towel.

“You think I don’t know that?” Barrett’s voice was a low rumble and Rey felt his gut clench as he imagined that sound in his ear as Rey pinned him to the bed.

No, he knew Barrett understood the dangers as well as he did: work conflict, the danger of being found out by their colleagues, Barrett’s family.

Barrett half-rose in his seat, pulling Rey toward him.

Rey’s head swam; his brain entirely incapable of rational thought anymore. The throb in his groin and the need in his chest overwhelmed everything else.  They shouldn’t  … and yet  …

Barrett’s mouth landed on his, tasting of whiskey and need.


 

This week’s flash is short, but hopefully sweet.

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

 

Flash Fiction Monday -Something New

September 19.jpg

“How do you feel?” Raul asked.

Angelo burrowed closer, his cheek pressed against the soft black cotton of Raul’s T-shirt. “Drunk.”  His eyelids felt heavy and there was a strange and wonderful lightness in his head. Tension? Stress? He couldn’t remember what those things were. “High maybe? I dunno. Gooood.”

The rumble of Raul’s laugh under his ear was as warm and comforting as his hug. “It was okay then?”

“Okay?” Angelo wanted to sit upright and give Raul an incredulous look, but he was too content to move. “That was  … perfect. More than I expected.” He rubbed his cheek against Raul’s chest like a cat.

“I was so fucking scared. Despite the classes and all the research, I was scared shitless to actually hit you.”

“I know.” Angelo rubbed circles over Raul’s heart with his palm. That was why he’d trusted Raul to tie him up and flog him. There was no one more meticulous than Raul. He’d been so hesitant at first to bring it up with his partner. How did you tell a guy you wanted him to hit you? It wasn’t like there was anything wrong with their sex life. It was already amazing. Why mess with it? But the thought, the need, had nagged at him until he’d finally caved. To his relief, Raul had listened to him and told him he’d consider it.

It had taken months to get from that conversation to this point, because Raul never did anything halfway. Once he decided he wanted to try it, he’d thrown himself into it with the fervor of a starving man. Online research, classes, getting involved with the community, he’d taken part in it all. Angelo had been starting to worry that Raul was using “research” as an excuse to not actually act on the fantasies they’d discussed. Angelo worried too that Raul was just doing it to please him.

“Did you  … did you like it, or at least not hate it?” he asked hesitantly. A part of him just wanted to drift in the sleepy bliss that kept threatening to overtake him, but he had to know. Because he wanted this again, but not if it didn’t make Raul happy too.

Raul shifted and took Angelo’s hand and settled it over the hard length in his shorts. “What do you think?”


Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fiction Monday – Not Like the Movies

14660_918811334843035_6384731413065500241_n.jpg

It isn’t like the movies.

Vampires aren’t chalk white with pointy fangs and glowing red eyes. Sunlight and crosses have no effect and people don’t go around hunting them. Truth be told, vampires and humans manage to co-exist pretty peacefully. It hadn’t always been like that, of course. There was a nasty period about thirty years back when they came out of the monster closet and we tried to kill each other, but in the end both sides realized it was in their best interest to get along. They need our blood and we need them to keep us alive after they take it.

Generally, they aren’t anywhere near as attractive as they are in the movies either—ugly people become vampires and pretty much stay ugly—but the two across the bar from me could have gotten a part in Hollywood without blinking. Since vampire charm and mind control are as much of a legend as the fear of garlic, that’s pretty impressive.

Honestly, these two are just damn good looking.

“Want another?”

I look up from the beer I’ve been nursing for the past hour and shake my head at the bartender. She’s been trying to get my attention for half the night. She’s cute enough—if you’re into the butch look—I guess.

I’m not.

Guess she swings both ways though, because I’m as male as the vampires across the room who I’ve been watching. I sneak a peek out of the corner of my eye, but they haven’t budged.

That’s how you know they’re vampires. They don’t move a lot. They can, and they’re pretty damn strong and quick when they want, but they don’t have to be. Some prefer to blend in with us humans and mimic our movements, but others don’t give a fuck. These two have been leaning against the wall of the bar for an hour and have barely stirred. Bathed in the red glow of a neon sign, they could be posing for a photoshoot. The one closer to me has on an open leather vest, his thumb in his pocket, and is vaguely reminiscent of the better looking Franco brother. Or is it the guy from the horrible Star Wars movie with that Natalie whatsherface? I’m total crap at pop culture references, but he’s a pretty boy. Lean but muscular.

The guy with his arm around the pretty boy is equally good looking and fit. But he reminds me of a model from the awful clothing store that always reeked of frat boy cologne and plastered vaguely homoerotic pictures of preppy men frolicking together on their advertisements. He’s smoking a cigarette and staring off into space.

I prefer my men rougher around the edges and not undead, but I’m not going to have a hard time pretending to be turned on by them either. I’ve been watching them for a couple of weeks now. I’m sure they’ve noticed me watching them, and I’ve dropped hints here and there that I’ve got a vampire fetish but haven’t quite gotten the nerve to approach one.

It couldn’t be further from the truth. Still, it’s a damn good cover for my real purpose: investigating the death of my best friend. All roads lead to these two and I’m not above seducing them to learn more.  The preppy one drops his cigarette on the floor and grinds it out under his heel.

When his gaze meets mine I feel my heart kick into high gear. I don’t take my eyes off him as I slide some money across the bar and stand. My mouth tastes like cheap beer and anxiety as I cross the room.

The pretty boy turns and his full lips curl up into a knowing little smile.

“Are you coming?”

I’m not sure if the surge of elation and arousal I feel is because the next phase of my plan is about to start or because I’m going home with two vampires.

“Thought you’d never ask.”


Well, I went over the word count and I’m late posting, but I think it is a story I want to tell in the future. What do you think?

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fiction Monday – Three-Legged Stool

August 15.jpg

“It’s impossible that Johnny’s gone.” Maureen shook her head, her voice thick. “I mean, we just left the funeral and I keep expecting him to pop up and yell ‘surprise!’.” Her laugh sounded hollow.

“No shit.” Freddie slumped on the bed and took another drink. “I wonder how many of these people actually knew him.” He gestured to the closed door that muffled the sounds of the people who filled the house he’d shared with Johnny.

Maureen shrugged. “Probably most of them. Johnny was the only person I knew who could go to the corner store for a pack of smokes and come back with three new friends and an invitation to a party.”

“Yeah, good point.”

“They didn’t know him like we did though.” She picked up the framed photo on the bookshelf and held it out to Freddie. “They didn’t know him like this.”

A lump rose in her throat as she smiled at the memory. Maureen, Freddie, and Johnny had all gone to prom together. Freddie and Johnny were already together by then, but no one but Maureen knew. The three of them had been inseparable since elementary school when the boys found her catching tadpoles in the creek and decided she was alright. For a girl. Johnny and Freddie realizing they were gay and into each other should have made Maureen the third wheel, but somehow it had never happened.  Maureen’s girlfriends and boyfriends had drifted in and out of the group, but it never shook their trio. They were rock solid.

Her eyes stung as she remembered Johnny’s muffled laugh as he pushed Maureen in the shopping cart. The three of them had been kicked out of prom for wearing giant bear heads they’d found at a flea market. With little else to do in the small town, they’d gone to the grocery store. Freddie had snapped the photo of them and the sight of it never failed to make Maureen smile. Although this time, it hurt. Because there would never be any more grocery store shenanigans. No more getting kicked out of the mall for weird photo shoots. No more drinking until the sun came up or whitewater rafting trips. No more base jumping. No more yelling at Johnny and Freddie to keep it down in their tent because Johnny was a moaner.

No more Johnny.

Her face was wet when she sank on the bed next to Freddie. He put his arm around her as she sobbed into his neck and his tears dripped into her hair.

The three of them had been rock-solid, a three-legged stool that never wobbled. Now that one leg had been ripped away, they were off-balance.

Nothing would ever be the same again.


Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fiction Monday – Protection

13710073_1572287366400011_87639462138332574_n.jpg

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!

July 18.jpg

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!