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Friday, October 28, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday - AJ and Dante

Each week a few of my author friends and I write 100 words on a photo - We call it Flash Fiction Friday. Hope you enjoy our flashes. I want to send out special thanks to Dante Manly and AJ Llewellyn for being such good sports and allowing me to write them into this story, they had no idea what I would right.

AJ held on tight to Dante as they waited for the trolley. The magician swore he could fix Dante's little furry problem but nothing worked.
Dante turned and licked AJ's ear, not the same effect as it used to have but still nice.
"Well, Dante old chap, looks like you're going to be a feline for a while longer. I'm sorry I put that spell on you but you shouldn't left my bed in the middle of the night to go catting around.”
Dante’s rumbling purr vibrated against AJ’s neck.
“I love you too, but this proves it—You’re mine.”


I want to give special thanks to Dante Manly and AJ Llewellyn. Please make sure to tell them how much you enjoyed their participation in FFF this week.


Dante and AJ's series Blood Slave is available at Amazon. 

Read more FFF this week and enjoy


 Davee Jones :  http://finless.blogspot.com

Since today is the beginning of the Bewitching Blog Hop anyone who leaves a comment will be entered into the drawing for 1 $20 gift certificate to Amazon. Entrants will be pooled together with other comments from this blog for post starting with the Bewitching Blog Tour announcement through my last post on October 31st. Make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you later if you win!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bewitching Trick or Treat

Join me for this wonderful Blog Hop. We're giving away loads of prizes.

We'll have loads of fun this weekend on my blog with giveaways and prizes. Please check back every day to see if there is something new. I love doing giveaways.

I'll also be at The Romance Studio Party site on the 28th till the 31st for Spookapalooza giving away gift cards!

This weekend should be packed with loads of fun and great treats. Remember to comment during the  Bewitching Trick or Treat or you won't be entered.
In the meanwhile check out my review from Night Owl Reviews

Working it Out is a wonderful story about relationships, fears, endings, beginnings, possibilities, and fate.
Jake and Lance are characters at a crossroads. Jake is thinking about selling the gym that has been a dream for him, and for the partner that died, and is very much out. Lance is at a different kind of crossroads - especially after meeting Jake - since he (Lance) is in the closet. Click here for the rest of the review

Be sure to read your email so I can give you the prize.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Homosexuals are ruining the American family unit! – Really?


The other day I was sitting in the comfy chairs at Starbucks, writing, and a cute female gay couple sat down next to me. I didn’t hear what they were talking about because I had my ear buds in listening to Latin love songs while I worked. The couple sat by me for about twenty or thirty minutes. They laughed and smiled at each other, held hands for a few seconds and just before they left the store the one with dark hair walked up behind her partner and kissed her on the cheek. I didn’t suddenly turn into a lesbian. I didn’t desire to go kiss a girl. No one dropped dead and the world didn’t end...Nothing. The gay couple left and I continued to write.

The argument that gays are ruining America sounds a lot like an argument I grew up with. Years ago I went to prom with a guy from Puerto Rico. There was no way in the world anyone was mistaking this guy for a white guy and I would never be mistaken for anything other than a white girl. His skin was a lovely shade of chocolate brown but I had no idea what his heritage was. He could have been part Caucasian, Hispanic, African American, Jewish, or any number of ethnicities. It didn’t really matter to me because he was a great friend and a nice guy. It didn’t hurt either that he was super hot.

Anyways when my date came to pick me up my mom wouldn’t even let him inside of our house because of his skin color. Her actions made an impact on me, but probably not the one she was hoping for. I couldn’t see any reason not to let my date into our house or to spend time with him, but she did.

Nothing bad happened on that date. I didn’t die, I didn’t change colors and we didn’t rob a store or go to jail. I came home the next day, cause it was prom I stayed out most of the night, and I was still the same person as I was the day before. I hadn’t changed into a black person even though I’d gone dancing, kissing and fooling around with one hot dude who happened to have dark skin.

The argument back then was that people who were not white were ruining America. Now most people have abandoned that argument and picked up another lie. Now it’s gay’s ruining America. I’m not sure why but some people actually think that gays have the ability to turn a straight person gay. Gay people are not magical creatures who can turn a straight person gay. I have a few gay friends and gay relatives that I hang out with. Eating dinner with them, going out to movies with them or just general hanging out with gay people has never made me want to be gay.

I was born this way, I’m straight and no matter how many lesbians or gay guys I meet I will never be gay. I want to say to all the straight guys out there who are worried about it, no gay man is going to talk you into being gay unless you already have gay tendencies. If you’re a gay man and you’ve never been introduced to any gay guys and suddenly you meet one and are attracted to him, the new gay guy you just met didn’t turn you gay. You were born that way. And if you’re a gay guy no amount of touching a woman, kissing on her or having sex with her will turn you straight.

Gay people aren’t ruining America, straight people don’t need any help in ruining the world. Seeing a gay man kiss another gay man isn’t going to make a straight guy go home and beat his wife and kids, make him cheat on his wife or make him steal money. Straight guys do that all on their own and ruin the nuclear family without any help from gay guys. A straight woman isn’t going to develop neuroses, become an alcoholic, cheat on her spouse or abuse her kids because she saw two girls kissing.

It isn’t gay peoples fault if the American family is destroyed and laid to waste. The only way a homosexual could destroy a family is if they married a person of the opposite sex and were using the marriage to hide their “in the closet” life. Forcing gay’s to marry into a false relationship because of family pressure or societal pressure can ruin families but you can’t blame that on the homosexuals, it’s society that causes those problems.

Americans need to stop blaming others for their failures. The traditional family is falling apart because of straight people, not gays. Straight people need to take a long cold hard look in the mirror and that’s where they’ll find the cause of their problems. Stop blaming innocent people. Years ago black people were blamed for the ills of society and now that it’s no longer politically correct to put all of the blame on blacks we don’t. Have we not learned anything? Shoving that blame onto gays is wrong. Gay people are innocent in the downfall of society. Take responsibility for your actions, learn how to love the people around you and treat them special instead of wasting your energy hating others.

Sadly I don't think enough people who need to read this article will or they won't read all the way to the bottom. There is nothing great about being a bigot or a hater. Anyone can do that. I pray that some of the haters hear these words and change, not for only the sake of homosexuals that are negatively affected by the hatred but because hate destroys lives, mostly hate destroys the life of the hater.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - Surprise Sleep Over

“Yeah, looks rough. I guess I could try to make it home, but I really appreciate you giving me a place to lay my head.” 
James’ eyes swept to his, their gazes connecting. Nick’s stomach dropped and the air grew thick. Why had he said that? He swore he saw James’ lip curve into a slight smile, but the smile was gone as fast as it had come. 
“So, you ready to go?” 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday - Anna and Ben


Me and my fellow authors give readers a treat each week with our 100 word Flashes.

Hope you enjoy this week's flash about Ben and Anna.

He had mistake written all over him and now Anna knew her decision to sleep with Ben had been wrong. She should have kept her clothes on but he'd begged and begged. So 
she’d agreed and for what, two minutes of nothing humping her leg. Hell, he new squat about the female anatomy.
"Ben, I'm leaving."
"Sure doll, what ever you say."
Anna climbed out of bed and pulled on her jeans, her breasts bounced as she stood but Ben took no notice. What a waste. Next time she was horny she would choose a girl to do her.

For more flashes check out these awesome authors.

Benjamin Russell http://incubuschronicles.blogspot.com/


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hot and Sexy Assassins

I'm gearing up for NaNoWriMo - or National Novel Writing Month. November is crazy fun, spending every extra second writing a novel. Loads of coffee and tea which I've already bought my supplies for both. Then there's the music. Here's my rundown of what I'll be listening to. Breaking Benjamin, The Contact, Rocket Many by Elton John, Green Day, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, REM, Lump by the Presidents of the United States, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Smashing Pumpkins.

Yes, this book is going to be gritty and grungy. My NaNo book is about an assassin who's hot and sexy. He's in over his head when he discovers he likes men more than women. Poor guy get's lost in a web of sin and seduction only to have his job, his security and his sanity threatened.

This is Aiden, my main character. He's going on a huge roller coaster ride this November with me. I'll be updating my blog with little teasers about what happens in Aiden's world.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - Surprise Sleep Over

In honor of Surprise Sleep Over going up on Amazon I'm dedicating my SSS to the SSO!


Nick turned around to find James standing very close. There was no mistake about it, James was flirting. He had to be. But what if Nick was wrong? He’d made that mistake before and paid dearly. If he reached out and smoothed the front of James’ shirt, it would be obvious what Nick wanted.
 

Purchase Surprise Sleep Over on Amazon


Snowed in turns super hot when James and Nick spend the night downtown.

Nick has spent the last year dreaming of James, but he's been too afraid to act on his desires. Then the ice and snow blew in, trapping him downtown. But he's not the only one prowling around the office. James is pleased to find Nick still at work and opens his house to Nick, offering him a place to sleep.

Nick is shocked when James grabs his hand to lead him across the icy street and more shocked when the man starts undressing him. The night may be cold outside, but the heat is rising in James' apartment.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Flash Friday Fiction - Strange Fiction

 Each week me and a few other authors take a spin at writing flash fiction based on a photo. I hope you love my story this week. Here's my 100 words.

Michael slid his lips down Adri's spine. "When does your ship leave?"

"Tomorrow. You can come with me," Adri said.

Michael wanted to but fear of leaving the planet held him back. Memories of the two of them making love played through his mind. He couldn't let this alien man leave.

"I'm pregnant."

Adri's quiet words floated through the air, shocking the hell out of Michael.

"You're what?"

"We're having a baby. Come with me."

Michael head spun and his stomach turned. "Well hell, I guess I should have worn a condom." Elation bubbled up, bringing a smile to his lips.

(just for clarification, yes Adri is an alien and the male of his species)

Visit the other Flash Fiction Friday sites.

Cyril J. Michael: http://authorcyriljmichaels.blogspot.com/
Venus Cahill: http://www.venusbookluvr.blogspot.com/
Lisa Worrall:  www.lworrall.blogspot.com
Ana Hart: http://anahart03.blogspot.com/
Bonni Sansom: http://bonnisansom.blogspot.com/
 Sara York : http://sarayork.blogspot.com
Gemma Parkes http://gemmaparkes.blogspot.com/
Jade Baiser http://jadebaiser.blogspot.com/
 Lani Rhea http://lanirhea.blogspot.com
 Rhea Archer http://rheaarcherbooks.blogspot.com
 Sherri Hayes http://www.findingannaseries.blogspot.com/
Katie Harper http://katieharperwrites.blogspot.com
Benjamin Russell http://incubuschronicles.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gay bashing doesn't effect me. I can ignore it.

I get that most people aren't gay. You may think that violence against one young gay man doesn't have anything to do with you, especially since your straight. But you're wrong.

Violence against homosexual women and men cost everyone, not just those who are victims. Heterosexual's who display heterosexism, the idea that non-heterosexual behavior should be denigrated and stigmatized, extend their belief system to all walks of life. They encourage their children to bully homosexuals, deny homosexual employees promotions, cause physical harm to others and spread their hate throughout the population. The homosexual victims and friends of those victims have increased stress, decreased productivity and develop unhealthy behaviors because of the future threat of violence.

So yes, gay bashing does effect everyone. The victims of gay bashing are just regular people like you and me. They wake up in the morning with the same aches and pains as everyone else. They have hopes and dreams about their future and they love their family and friends. They are regular people who just happen to be homosexual.

Homosexual men and women are not a threat to heterosexual existence like heterosexism proponents want you to believe. Homosexual men don't cause straight men to go have affairs on their wives. Heterosexual men and women are doing enough to destroy the sanctity of marriage on their own, it's not the homosexual's fault your marriage sucks. Preventing what a homosexual does in his own bedroom with his lover isn't going to change your marriage or make your sons and daughters moral people who don't sleep around and commit sins.

Hating another person because of who they love is a waste of time. The homosexual men and women who live in our cities and shop at the same stores we do are not your enemies. They are just people who want to be left alone to live their lives how they see fit. They want the opportunity to live their lives how they see fit. Matthew Shepard's life was cut short because of two men who thought killing a gay man was no big deal. Matthew Shepard's life was taken because of ignorance and stupidity.

Be smart, don't hate gays.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

So he tied me up and spanked me. What's the big deal?

A few years ago I was talking to a church friend who was a pastor's wife about BDSM and she had a rather negative opinion of people in the lifestyle. In her "professional" opinion she believed that all subs were just girls who needed to seek counseling. We didn't get into the role of a master but needless to say she didn't have a high opinion of the lifestyle or the people living it.

I think much of her negative attitude had to do with her misunderstanding of BDSM and the people involved. Sure, there are some jerks out there who will treat a sub like shit because they don't really want to be in a Master/Sub relationship they just want someone to beat up. People who are psychopaths do get involved just to feed their need to control and manipulate but that's not what the Master/Sub relationship of BDSM is supposed to be about and those people aren't the norm.

In any relationship you need to watch out for people who are out to manipulate you. Be wise and get to know the person before you get undressed and play with them. If you are a sub then have a trusted friend to help you determine if a Master is good for you. Remember to be wise in choosing who to meet with and who to give out personal information to but those are the extremes of the BDSM world.

Most BDSM relationships involve lovers who want the best for their partner. The master doesn't want to damage the sub, they only want to give the sub what they crave. The sub's aren't foolish people who worship an undeserving jerk. Subs enjoy the relationship of serving their masters.

Subs always have the right to say no. All subs need to be clear about their absolute no's. They need to understand what they are willing to take part in and what they are unwilling to do. If you are experimenting with the lifestyle do some research before going to a party and be open and honest with the host so they know how experienced or inexperienced you are.

In the general vanilla world there is a misunderstanding that masters are abusive and all subs are in an abusive relationship. This is far from the truth. In most BDSM or Master/Slave relationships there is some form of spanking, lashing, or pain involved but the pain is not abusive. Yes, there are plenty of news stories of abuse out there to scare people into believing all bruises come from abuse. True subs want the pain.

What makes a Master/Slave whipping different from an abusive jerk hitting his wife? The master is in control of his or her mind and body while using the whip or paddle. They aren't hitting out of anger. Their actions may seem harsh and many masters know how to make a whip crack super loud so it sounds like their sub is getting a beating but the touch of the whip isn't that bad.

You have to remember that to each his own. Many people enjoy the pain of a whip striking their bare skin. This isn't an excuse to hit your loved ones because you feel like it. The Master/Sub relationship is a complex agreement that allows both parties to be in control. A sub in a true Master/Sub relationship has the right and responsibility to tell when they feel things getting out of hand. Masters will push their sub to go further and experience more pleasure but they don't take it to the abusive level.

My church friend didn't understand any of this. She didn't understand the difference between abuse that is degrading and a relationship that is loving. From the outside people may mistake one for the other. Even some new to the lifestyle subs may fall victim to a jerk masquerading as a true Master. Be wise in picking who you play with and who you allow into your intimacy circle. A real Master/Sub relationship can bring many rewards and strengthen your existing relationship.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - Claw Marks


Claw Marks - Cougar Anthology - Carnal Awakenings
Anticipation filled her and she squeezed her arms tighter across her breasts trying to calm herself. Her mouth felt dry and her breath shallow.
“You want me, don’t you?” Mike asked.
“Yes. I want you so much.”
Mike unbuttoned his pants, letting them drop to the floor. Anna gasped. The man wasn’t wearing any underwear.

Purchase Claw Marks 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday - Marcus

I want to thank photographer Dan Skinner for allowing us to use this wonderful example of his work for our Flash Fiction Friday this week.


Marcus gazed at Bill, hoping he would rejoin him. Mornings were difficult. Bill left early, escaping the love nest he and Marcus had made. But with Bill still married to his wife there wasn't much Marcus could do.
"When will you tell her the truth?"
Bill sighed heavily. "Not sure."
"I feel like I'm stuck in limbo. I want more."
Bill zipped his pants. "Hey, I provide nicely for you."
Pain knifed Marcus in the chest. Bill didn't understand. Love was more than money. Maybe he should end this relationship. There had to be someone out there for him.

Please join me and read the other Flash Fiction Friday submissions. And again thanks to Dan Skinner for providing us with such a wonderful photograph to be inspired by.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

I hope you like this new weekly feature I'm putting together. Tasty Tuesday will feature one man each week.

Which do you like better?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Claw Marks is Out!!!!

Yea, Claw Marks is now available. Purchase a copy here  or from All Romance Ebooks
CLAW MARKS Back Cover Blurb
Have you ever considered engaging in an exciting relationship with a stunning hunk of a man who’s much younger? Does your heart beat rapidly as you savor his carved body from across the crowded room? Every cougar can tell you the answer. Entering into new relationships isn’t easy and for some, sharing joy means letting go of a difficult past. Join a talented group of writers from Rebel Ink Press who bring you stories of love and passion transcending age and sometimes tragedy.
Checkmate by SammyJo Hunt – For anchor Clint Watson, keeping a low profile about his sexuality is a must but on one beautiful afternoon over a game of chess, he finds pleasure in the arms of a younger man. Player Conference by Liz Crowe – Jess can’t get past the loss of her husband until her daughter’s soccer coach gives her every reason to try again. The Diver’s Club by Genevre Pierceau – Jilted by her cheating boyfriend, Jill finds solace over drinks with her girlfriends who convince her to turn the tables and engage in a moment of passion with a sexy contractor. Spicy White Chocolate by Cassandre Dayne – During a regular meeting of an erotic book club, the girls enter into a wicked pact to seduce a younger man and the first to do so wins a hefty prize, only Shawna Dupres didn’t count on falling in love. Insatiable Kate by Dawne Prochilo – Kate Winston was angry at being thwarted by the man of her dreams and she was ready to give him a piece of her mind. What she didn’t know was Rome made a promise years before--one he was ready to break for the possibility of romance.
Believe by K.T. Bishop – Gabi continues to suffer from the loss of her husband until she finds passion in the arms of a young athlete bent on making a better life for himself. But can his dream succeed against his family’s wishes? Tempting Research by Sam Crescent – For Melissa Crane, research for her erotic books is everything. Stumped by a scene and facing a tough deadline, she enlists the help of one very sexy masseuse. Carnal Awakenings by Sara York – Anna is not only concerned about her aging looks but her children’s thoughts about her considering another relationship until a secluded vacation and a hot younger man and his male lover convince her an alternate lifestyle might work. Unwrap Me by Cassandre Dayne – Cristal refuses to get over the acts of her cheating ex husband until her best friend provides a special treat under the mistletoe. Fresh Meat by Marcos London – Robin Dahl moved to a small town in Texas to get away from her manipulating ex and pushes all thoughts of romance aside until a sexy deliveryman changes her mind.
Purchase Claw Marks

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - Claw Marks


The opening for Carnal Awakenings - A story from the Claw Marks Anthology

Nick Blakewood’s body warmed despite the cold July fog that blew in under the Golden Gate Bridge. Seeing her made more than his temperature rise. He was staring and he hoped she noticed.
The sway of her hips, the grace in her movement, was poetry in motion. Three days had passed since the first time he’d seen her. And three long nights spent dreaming about her delicate features left him restless. When he'd told Mike about the woman, Mike encouraged him to come back and meet her.

Available October 3rd from Rebel Ink Press

Up a Dry Creek - Avery Flynn


From Song to Story

I have a love bordering on sickness for classic Motown hits. One of my all-time favorites is Gladys Knight and the Pips’ Midnight Train to Georgia.

Now, before someone jumps on me for spreading lies. Yes, I know that song came out after Gladys Knight and the Pips left Motown for Buddah Records, but for me Motown isn’t about the record label it’s about the sound.

OK, back to that awesome song. Midnight Train to Georgia won the 1974 Grammy Award for best R&B vocal performance by a duo, group or chorus. There’s a reason why it became Knight’s signature song - because it’s amazing.

The story of the song is of a woman who falls in love with a failed musician. They’re in L.A., but he’s decided to chuck it all and move back to Georgia. She decides to follow him on the midnight train to Georgia because, as she sings it, “I’d rather be with him in his world, than be without him in mine.” Really, this doesn’t do the song justice, you have to go track it down on You Tube and hear it for yourself.

So I’m driving down the road one day when the song comes I on. Much to my three kids’ dismay, I blare it in the minivan and start singing along. Maybe it was just the kind of day I was having or maybe it’s because my eight-year-old daughter was in the car with me, but the lyrics hit me wrong. Here was the woman giving up her dreams and moving across the country for a guy. Sure, I’m all for true love and self sacrifice, but why does it always have to be the girl who moves?

This thought came to me as I was developing the hero and heroine for my debut romantic suspense, Up a Dry Creek. Claire and Jake needed something that would help keep them apart, a hurdle that they had to overcome to make their love a reality. How much better could it be than living in two completely different places? Claire lives in a small, rural Nebraska town called Dry Creek. Jake lives in the big city of Denver. Neither has any intention of packing up and moving anywhere else.

In my first draft of Up a Dry Creek, Claire was singing Midnight Train to Georgia right before she found a dead body. That opening didn’t make it to the final draft, but I can’t head Gladys Knight and the Pips’ amazing song any more without thinking of Claire.

Up a Dry Creek By Avery Flynn Excerpt

Desperate to ignore the niggling apprehension, Claire focused on keeping her hands busy. The living room still needed work. She grabbed a well-worn copy of Gone with the Wind, and a hardcover copy of a Nina Simone biography to put back in the bookcase.

A crack of thunder broadcasted the storm’s arrival. Nerves already frayed, Claire jumped. The books dropped from her grip. She looked over at Onion who cowered under the coffee table.

 Another crack of thunder. The house lights brightened, then flickered out. Onion, never one for storms, crawled out from his hiding spot to Claire’s side.

“It’s okay, boy. Let’s go flip the fuse.” She fought to keep her voice calm. The sudden gloom strummed her already tightly strung nerves.

Claire felt her way along the walls to the fuse box in the back bedroom. She flipped the switches back and forth. No luck. Onion shivered at her feet.

“Flashlight and candles in the kitchen, come on.” She scratched behind his ears, tried to impart a reassurance she didn’t feel herself.

The storm turned the dusk sky to night. Claire tripped over the books piled on the floor on her way to the kitchen, but caught her balance before she landed face first on the floor. As soon as her foot crossed the kitchen threshold, another bolt of lightning lit up the sky. Claire caught a flash of something in the window over the kitchen sink.

She stifled a scream and instinctively stepped away from the window. Darkness blocked her vision of whatever, or whoever, had been there.

“Jake? Is that you?” Her shaky voice barely lifted over the sound of hail pinging the roof. 

Claire froze. No one answered. Dread filled her veins, chilled her skin.

The shotgun was in the living room. Should she go for it? A bang of thunder shook the window panes. She used her left hand to pull open the junk drawer and fumbled around for the flashlight.

Onion’s throat vibrated as he let out a low growl. He stood, tense, by her side. At last, she felt the plastic tube. Her pulse ratcheted down a tad when she clutched the flashlight. With the push of a button, light poured forth toward the window.

Claire screamed at the face that glared at her. Only it wasn’t the killer who stared back. The light showed her own petrified reflection. She couldn’t see who or what, if anything, was outside.

Never looking away from the window, she shuffled backward into the living room and grabbed the shotgun down from the mantle. She snatched up a box of shells and shoved them into a pocket. A few strays slipped out and plinked against the brick hearth.

The flashlight didn’t help make her feel safe. But Jake would. She hunched low and scurried to the bay window. Lightning flashed. For a moment she saw Jake’s SUV, too brief to confirm if he was in there. She scooted toward the door, the living room wall firm against her back. Her goal, the front door and Jake beyond it. Another burst of light. Onion stood growling at the kitchen door. The hair on his haunches stood straight up. The dog burst into wild, ferocious barking.

Claire swung the shotgun over. Pointed it at the kitchen door. “Who’s there?” Her voice sounded stronger than she felt. No one responded.

Jake would have called out.

Her finger caressed the trigger.

If the Voice of Doom lurked outside, she couldn’t afford to be a damsel in distress. She took in a steadying breath. Gritted her teeth. A calmness descended. No more fear. She felt certain. She knew what she had to do. She took in a deep breath and let it out. She was ready to fire at whoever came through the door.

Then… nothing.

Onion stopped, trotted across the kitchen and took several long, deep sniffs at the bottom of the door. He jogged back to Claire, his tail wagging.

“Good boy, Onion. Good boy.”

She looked down at the shotgun in her white knuckled hands. Unable to hold it any longer, she placed it on the fireplace’s brick hearth and tossed the shells next to it. Her blood rushed through her body so fast, she could swear she heard the ocean.

Claire slumped against the wall and slid to the floor. She ran her trembling fingers through her hair. The rain beat down nearly in time with her hammering heart, but the thunder and hail had passed.

A rapping at the bay window startled her. She jerked her head up. Jake stood on the other side of the pane, his dark, rain-soaked hair plastered to his head.

“Are you okay?” His words, muffled by the window, shot straight to her heart, calmed its beating.

Unable to form any words, she pushed up off the floor and crossed to the door. She tugged it open and cool air stroked her cheeks. The breeze brushed the hair off her shoulders.

Jake folded her into his arms. His chin rested on her head, a warm drop of rainwater slid down one side of her face, a baptism of sorts. She’d acknowledged her fear. Asked for help. Received it. Found safe harbor. Wanted more.

“It’s going to be okay.” Jake stroked her hair. “I’ve got you.”

And that’s what scared her more than the storm—or the killer. She teetered on the edge of falling for a man she knew nothing about. After Brett, she’d worked hard to block access to her heart. Jake shook down her barriers like an earthquake.

He’d be gone as soon as they trapped Kendall’s killer. She couldn’t take another heartbreak. It had taken so long to come back from the last one.

“Claire—”

A car horn interrupted him. She peeked around his arm and saw Beth’s Mini Cooper in the driveway.

“I have to go.” She stepped away. Confusion was clear in his eyes and gut checked her. Claire stood on her tiptoes, gave him a kiss on the cheek. “I can’t do this. I’m sorry.”

She trudged across the muddy drive with Onion at her heels, her tears camouflaged by the rain. If it hurt this bad to walk away, what would staying have been like?

Part of her wished she’d been brave enough to find out.

 
Author Contact Info

Twitter: @averyflynn


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