Flash Friday…and a little Christmas!

Woo hoo! First things first, I wanna share that Mistletoe Magic is officially available for preorder…and for a special price of $.99! I just can’t wait for this to release on December 1st!

Preorder today!

Here’s a blurb so you can get just as excited as me!!!

Theresa might not make the best pot of coffee in town, but people still flock to the diner for a cup, even Officer Crowl, who rarely displays a smile since his fiancé died. She’ll never be able to win his heart, but it’s hard to resist him, especially when he kisses her under the mistletoe. Well, on the cheek, but that has to count for something…right?

Staying busy keeps Officer Aiden Crowl sane. Because when he’s idle or alone, he thinks, and nothing good comes from that. Everyone thinks he was the perfect man. They think he’s broken because she’s gone. He is, just not for the reason they believe. Every time he walks into the diner, one sweet smile from Theresa erases some of the pain. He should stay away from her. Far away. But what is he supposed to do when they’re standing under a mistletoe? Kiss her, of course.

*Note: Each book in this series can be read as a standalone.*

The entire Holiday Romance series:
Merry Me: Elliot & Lynn
Mistletoe Magic: Aiden & Theresa…Coming December 1, 2017

♥♥♥

And now for Flash Fiction Friday! Kinda super duper loving this storyline so far! Enjoy!

Prompt ~ You’re adorable.

He waited ten days for her. Ten long, agonizing days. When he thought about it, in the grand scheme of things, ten days wasn’t that long.

Decades. A century. Now that was long.

But ten days should be a piece of cake for him.

Instead, it had been the worst ten days of his life as he waited impatiently for her to return to the cemetery. For him to have contact with another person that he hadn’t had in ages.

He still couldn’t believe she saw him. Talked to him. Walked away from him. Of course, he didn’t really blame her one bit for the last one. He would’ve walked away from him, too. What sane person would stick around and talk to a ghost? What sane person could see ghosts?

Better yet, why in the hell was he a ghost?

He died in this town defending it against a gang running havoc around the area, robbing the bank and the townspeople of all their most expensive possessions, which wasn’t that much.

He had been pitted against failure, and yet, he took a stance and tried to defeat them anyway—by himself. No other townsfolk would stand with him. He’d been handy with a gun. Not necessarily a known gunslinger back in the day, but he handled his guns like a seasoned pro. His aim was never off. He managed to take down five of the ten men that came stampeding into town that day before he was gunned down.

Shouldn’t that have hailed him a hero of some sort? A one way ticket to heaven, at least.

Apparently not. Because since that day, he roamed the town as an apparition. Trying to connect with anyone, hoping, wishing, and praying they’d hear him. He watched as the town boomed from a small town to a big city, as the gates to the cemetery where they buried his body grew and expanded. Yet, anytime he tried to pass through the gates, he disappeared and ended right back to his headstone, doomed to roam among the dead, but never to pass on to the other side…to heaven.

And after ten long, suffering days of loneliness, she finally returned. However, he couldn’t seem to move from behind the tree and approach her, to announce his presence. The last time they spoke, she ran as if she had seen a ghost, which she had. He scared her. That was the last thing he wanted to do again.

But he wanted to talk to her. He wanted that human connection he hadn’t had in years. It felt good to banter back and forth, to have a conversation, even if it had been an awkward one.

Figuring he never backed down from anything, and that he refused to start now, he forced himself to step away from the tree and make his way to the grave where she sat on the grass talking to her father.

He had watched her for over a month, coming to the grave, talking as if her father could hear her. It was something he did with lots of people as they visited their loved ones. He had gotten into the habit of talking with them, as if they could hear him, that he nearly fainted when she responded back. And he was not a man prone to fainting. Far from it.

“How did he die?”

The sound of his voice obviously frightened her as she scrambled to her feet and backed away from him. What an idiot he was. He shouldn’t have announced his presence so abruptly, and with such an insensitive question. A simple hi would’ve sufficed.

“You…you’re real.”

He tried to produce a friendly smile, afraid it came out creepier than he intended when she took another step back. “I didn’t think you’d come back.”

“I almost didn’t…but…I  missed my dad. I miss him.”

He trailed his gaze away from hers to the headstone that read, “Loving husband, father, and brother, who lived passionately and died bravely.”

It would’ve been great if someone wrote something that nice on his headstone. All they did for him was slap his name and date of death upon it. The townsfolk didn’t even know his birthday.

“I’m sorry for your loss.”

Silence.

Yeah, he figured it was weird for her to receive sympathy from a ghost. But he was sorry. Losing someone was hard. He had to endure losing his entire family before he finally died, all alone and nobody to care that he was gone.

“I’m sorry about yours.”

He jerked his eyes to hers to see the truth in those words. She looked sad, but also intrigued and a little wondrous. “You’re adorable.” He chuckled. “I’ve been dead a long time. You’re the first to offer any sympathy. Thank you.”

A slow smile lit up her face. If he thought she was pretty before, which he did, she was breathtakingly gorgeous when she smiled.

“How did you die?”

“Gunfight.” He gestured toward the headstone. “Your dad?”

“Same.”

He nodded, unsure of how to respond. This entire encounter was unusual. It’d been a long time since he interacted with someone, it’s as if he forgot how to.

“How come you haven’t…you know…moved on?”

Shrugging, he offered a grin. “I’d love to know just as much as you.”

The gorgeous smile was still on her face. When she sat back down on the grass and patted the spot next to her and he sat down, it grew even larger. He shifted a little to get more comfortable and his thigh brushed hers. He froze, and so did she.

How was that possible? He had walked through trees and headstones, hell, even other people at times. Because he was a ghost.

Yet, here he sat, his thigh touching hers. Actual touching. He could feel her warmth.

He was definitely making his way to hell because he wanted to feel so much more.

His hand reached up and cupped her cheek. Her eyes went round with shock.

“Can you feel that?”

“Yes.”’

♥♥♥

Oh, and happy Friday the 13th! May it be spooky and fun-filled!

Flash Friday!

So I decided to change the storyline this week because it’s October!!! Let’s get spooky this month! Hope you enjoy the new storyline!

Prompt ~ I love soccer.

She sat down on the soft, wet grass and hugged her arms around her knees. The coldness seeping through her jeans didn’t register. The sharp bite of the wind hitting her face didn’t bother her. Nothing did. Not when the turmoil twisting her insides like a raging tornado consumed her.

A lone tear slid down her rosy red cheek.

“Oh, Dad, why did you leave me? Momma’s a…well, you know. She can’t take it. I can’t take it. The department can’t take it.” Her breath hitched as she tried to hold back the steady stream of tears that threatened to let loose. “I need you to come back.”

“You really don’t want that.”

She jumped at the voice, springing to her feet and taking a fighter’s stance immediately, ready to defend herself as her dad taught her since she was five years old.

The man standing before her wore all black, from his dusty cowboy boots to the well-worn cowboy hat that sat perched atop his head. She was almost surprised she didn’t see a gun belt with a holster slung around his trim waist, completing the picture of what she could only describe as a gunslinger. Even the fierce, stern look on his face painted a scene from the old west.

“Can I help you?”

He looked shocked at her words, only for a brief moment, almost as if he was surprised, then masked it just as quickly, making her wonder if she even saw it at all.

No. Now wasn’t the time to doubt herself. She saw the expression. The question is why did he look so surprised at such a simple question? He scared the daylights out of her. She had a right to ask that question.

She just wanted to come here and talk to her dad and find some sort of peace that she’d been struggling to find for the last three weeks. It seemed elusive, as if she’d never find any ever again.

“You can…” His eyes glided to the ground. “Crying doesn’t help, you know.”

“Who the hell are you?” Her eyes narrowed. “And what right do you have to say that to me?”

He met her gaze, his bright blue eyes burning a hole straight to her soul. At least, that’s what it felt like. The look unnerved her to her very core. “I don’t, you’re right. My apologies, ma’am.” He tipped the front of his hat in a gesture that almost knocked her off her feet.

She couldn’t even explain why that simple action affected her as it did. Maybe because he sounded like he actually meant what he said. Most men she worked with, or even dealt with, never seemed sincere. Not like he just did.

“I’ll leave you be. I didn’t mean to scare you. I didn’t think…nobody ever…” He looked toward the gray sky looming with dark clouds. “Looks like rain soon. You should leave before you get drenched. Have a pleasant day.”

She watched in awe and shock, and strangely, disappointment as the man walked away. Glancing toward the sky herself, she had to admit he was right. The rain would hit soon. When the roll of thunder echoed in the distance, she knew she should leave. Instead, she sat back down.

“Well, that was weird, huh, Dad?” She chuckled, trying to shake off the melancholy that slapped her in the face as soon as her butt hit the ground once again. For a minute, she hadn’t been overwhelmed with grief. Another small laugh slipped out. Yeah, because her heart had been pumping with adrenaline, wondering if she would have to defend herself against a stranger.

Although, as she replayed the entire encounter over in her mind, she never got the impression the man wanted to hurt her. Then what was the point of bothering her? What had he wanted?

“I love soccer…but it’s just not the same without you, Dad. I haven’t been able to watch a single game since…” She blew out a wretched breath and stood up. “I think that’s enough for today. I just can’t…”

Making her way slowly back to the entrance, she saw the mysterious stranger leaning against the fence to freedom, or was it more like continued torture? Would she ever feel truly free from her sorrow?

“Ms. Turner, I hope you have a lovely day,” Gary, the groundskeeper she saw every time she came for a visit, said as she neared the exit.

“Thank you, Gary. You, too.” She stepped a little closer and lowered her voice. “Who’s that guy?”

“What guy?”

Well, she hated to be rude and point, but really? Gary didn’t know what she was talking about? The man was still leaning against the fence not even twenty feet from them.

“The guy by the fence.”

Gary slowly turned his head in that direction, his brows dipping in concern. “A rough day, Ms. Turner? It’s okay. I understand. You miss your dad.” He met her gaze. “I don’t see anyone standing there.”

She whipped her head to the man, her eyes growing large when he tipped his hat in that same friendly and apologetic gesture he did earlier.

“But…” She looked at Gary again, eyeing his concern that was slowly morphing into alarm. The last thing she needed was people thinking she was crazy. Hell, maybe she was. Why couldn’t Gary see this man and she could? “It has been a long day, Gary. I’ll see you later.”

“Bye, Ms. Turner.”

She started walking away from Gary as fast as she could, unable to handle the worry in his eyes any longer.

“You okay, darling?”

“You’re obviously not real. I have officially gone crazy. My grief has turned me into a loon where I’m seeing a handsome cowboy from the 1800s. Nuts.” She shook her head as the corner of his lip curled up. “Don’t. Don’t smirk at me.”

“My apologies once again, ma’am.”

She didn’t even dignify that with a response, completely flabbergasted she was losing her mind and seeing things that weren’t real. With quick, long strides, she walked through the exit and stopped. Turning around slowly, she looked at the cemetery, wondering if she’d be able to come anymore. Each time she came, she lost another piece of her soul, the pain inside of losing her dad just too much to bear.

Her cowboy still stood by the fence, although within the confines of the cemetery. Her cowboy? Why would she think that?

Well, if she was the one who created him in her mind, then she could call him anything she wanted. Her cowboy it was.

“I ain’t a figment of your imagination, darling. I was a real flesh and blood man once.” The small grin he had withered to nothing as his features fell into sorrow. “And you’d be the first person who’s ever seen me. I’m sorry about your father.”

Her mouth dropped open. No. It wasn’t possible. It couldn’t be.

Shit.

She was talking to a ghost.

♥♥♥

Flash time!

Normally I switch POV every week, but for some reason I started writing in her POV (sorry, she has no name yet! lol) again, so I apologize if you were hoping for Jack’s (he has a name now! lol) POV this week. Hope you enjoy this week’s flash!

Prompt ~ Have your eye on the ball.

She sat down in the middle of the stands, close to the end of the row with a bag of popcorn and a small cup of pop. Sitting there for a moment, she tried to figure out where to put her drink. The stands were starting to get crowded for the little league baseball game about to start. Her nephew, or at least that’s what she called him, was on the team. Her best friend, Nancy, couldn’t make it and she said she’d step in and play the cheering roll for her son. She didn’t mind. She loved watching him play ball whenever she could make it.

“Would you like me to hold it?”

Her head whipped to the right, her eyes bulging at the sight.

Him.

Displaying his stalker abilities, apparently.

She had walked away that night three weeks ago with a plan in her head to play a game on him. Of course, she never ran into him to do anything. She had no problem admitting she was a coward. The thought of talking to Aaron to find out why he’d go along with such an idiotic plan wasn’t something she had the guts to do. Or ask him where in the building this arrogant man next to her worked.

“Or not. By the look on your face, I’m going to guess you still hate me. I was just trying to be polite.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Are you following me?”

“My nephew is on the team.”

“I’m not sure I believe you.”

He shrugged as a slow grin formed.  “It’s the truth.” He turned to the field and pointed to a little boy near first base. “That’s him right there.”

Maybe the two had it timed out perfectly, because the little boy turned at that exact moment, waved, and shouted, “Hey, Uncle Jack! You made it!”

He waved back, the brightest smile on his face as he did, then he turned toward her. “See. My nephew.”

“Or you paid him to do that.”

He placed a mock gesture across his heart. “Am I that devious to bribe a child?” The laughter in his eyes fell away. “His mother never makes a game, so I make sure I’m here for every single one. Perhaps you’re following me because I’ve never seen you at a game.”

She didn’t like how he stared at her so intently. She jerked her gaze away. Her hand shook in the process, spilling a bit of pop over the sides of the cup. “I usually don’t, but my friend couldn’t make it and I said I’d cheer on her son.”

A warm hand clasped around hers, which was wet and sticky from the soft drink, and pulled the cup gently out of her hand. He then set it between the two of them on the bench.

“They’re fun games. Enjoy your popcorn. Your drink is safe between us.”

She didn’t like his assumption that she wanted her drink there. Maybe she wanted it on the other side of her. Or on the floor near her feet.

Ugh. Get it together. Acting like a child. He was trying to be nice and so should she.

Her hand that held the popcorn reached toward him. “Would you like to share?”

His eyes twinkled with sudden desire at the question. She could feel the same intense flame of desire as he smiled and grabbed a small handful. “Thank you.”

From there, they fell into an easy conversation as the game started. Before long, she forgot how much he annoyed her. It was easy to enjoy the game and cheer on Nancy’s little boy.

“Have your eye on the ball. You can do it, Tuck,” she yelled, as Tuck, Nancy’s little boy, turned red in the face with her loud screaming.

Warm silky breath flowed down her neck in an erotic whisper as soft words filtered with. “I believe the saying is keep your eye on the ball, not have.”

She slowly turned, his eyes piercing her with a passionate hunger. “Baseball’s not my thing.”

He inched closer. “Are you going to slap me if I kiss you?”

She thought about it for less than a second. “No.”

His lips connected with hers, the world disappearing as all the heat that had been building since the moment they met swirled together into one hot, searing kiss. He may have acted like an ass in the beginning, but she had slowly come to forgive him during the game. Okay, so he could be an arrogant jerk. He could also be funny, endearing, and a gentleman when he put forth the effort. He deserved a kiss, as did she.

The kiss might’ve turned indecent except the roar of the crowd had them pulling apart very quickly. She looked at the ball field to see Tuck running the bases like his pants were on fire.

She popped up from her seat screaming like a devil as he ran all the way to third base, making it safely. Excited for him, wanting to share that excitement with Jack, she turned to him and then burst out laughing.

“Oops. I’m so sorry.”

He gave her a look that spoke of him doing very naughty, very erotic things to her as punishment. Because in her haste to cheer on Tuck, she had knocked over her drink, which then spilled all over Jack’s pants.

“I forgive you, my dear.” He stood up, placing a tender hand behind her neck as he pulled her in for a sweet, gentle kiss. “Let me take you to dinner…please.”

She sighed softly, unable to resist him any longer. Plus, she spilled a drink on him—again. Why was she always clumsy around this man?

“Okay.”

He chuckled at her response, then dipped his tongue in for another panty-dropping kiss that had the crowd around them shouting for them to get a room.

Yes, a room sounded like a great plan. After the game, of course.

♥♥♥

Flash Fiction Friday…and a bit of Halloween fun!

Prompt ~ You are amazing.

“Sweetheart, you won’t regret a thing.”

What was she getting herself into? For about two seconds he actually seemed remorseful for his actions, for lying and deceiving her into coming to this place. Then his arrogant words jumped right back into the conversation like she was going to fall at his feet. As if.

Sure. He looked like sex-on-a-stick, but should she really be sitting at this table after what he did? Bribing someone to ask her out and then asking him to stand her up. Who did that? It just seemed…stalkerish. Oh, yeah, definitely stalker behavior.

“You’re looking at me like you hate me again.”

Cocking a brow, she smirked. “I’m just trying to figure out what your end game is here. Why go through all of this?”

“Well, I tried on my own and you shot me down.”

“So you decide to act like a creep…how do you know Aaron?”

Without a doubt, stalker material sitting right in front of her. How did he know Aaron? Was he following her? At least she was in a crowded restaurant and not alone with him. Like, say, the hallway in her apartment building.

Oh. My. God.

They lived in the same apartment building. Duh! How could she avoid him? Well, she didn’t know how long he’d been living there, but clearly, she managed to avoid him fairly well until recently.

“You work in the same building as me.”

Could it honestly get any worse?

“And how do you know that?”

A smooth smile adorned his face. “I saw you as I was walking into my work. I was very surprised to see you…and very happy.”

“You are amazing. Don’t you see how creepy it is what you did?” Her eyes bulged. “And I’m an idiot for encouraging you right now.”

She started to stand up. His hand shot out and lightly laid it upon hers. She hated to admit, she couldn’t deny the spark that hit her hand and darted throughout her body. His touch was electrifying.

“I’ve never been called creepy or a stalker or a man who can’t take a hint. I am so sorry. You’re correct. My behavior was unacceptable.” His smile disappeared. His eyes sparkled with regret. “You’re a beautiful, funny, and intriguing woman. I’m not used to hearing the word no. But I can accept it.” He pulled his hand away.

Not an ounce of arrogance littered his face. Only defeat.

With her heart hurt too many times by men just like him, she had been afraid to give him a chance, which is why she originally said no when he asked her out. He was very persistent, showing her a side of him she didn’t like. Her eyes glossed to her hand that he had touched.

But any sort of contact from him spoke of the desire stirring between them. Her body wanted him, but her mind was smart enough to say no.

“I accept your apology. But I think it’s time I go home.”

His jaw clenched, as if he didn’t like hearing that. Tough cookies. She didn’t really care.

Then an idea started to form. She believed he was apologetic for his actions. She just didn’t know how long it would last. He was too accustomed to acting like a man who always got what he wanted.

Time to play a little game of her own. No more acting like a clumsy idiot in front of him.

“Have a good night.”

She figured those words were the most difficult four words he ever uttered in a long time. It made her giddy inside. Oh, my. That should feel horrible to feel that way, but it didn’t. She almost let loose a chuckle at how happy that made her feel.

“You, too.”

She grabbed her purse and walked away, not once glancing behind. She had a plan to enact.

Was he man enough to handle it?

♥♥♥

If you haven’t heard yet, I’m hosting a Trick or Treat: Halloween Facebook Hop on October 27, 2017. If you’re an author or blogger (any genre), please sign up to participate in the hop with me! It’s going to be so much fun!!!

Sign up here!

Sign ups will close at the end of the day on Friday, October 13, 2017!

Oh, and if you just want to have fun, then check out the event here and mark going! Have a great weekend:)

 

Flash Fiction Friday!

I’m back! And I have to admit, I almost didn’t make it again this Friday for my flash fiction. It’s been a crazy week post Hurricane Irma, but things are slowly coming back to normal. School has been closed the entire week, the stores are still low on certain products, and we’ve been cleaning up the debris in our yard. We were incredibly blessed to have no damage to our house, or lose power. I can’t imagine what others have gone through, or are currently still going through. It was a horrible storm, one I hope never hits us again like that.

I’m continuing the same storyline I was working on two weeks ago, and I hope you enjoy this week’s prompt! Have a wonderful weekend:)

Prompt ~ You look nice today.

Luck was on his side. That’s all he could think. When he saw her two days ago walk into his work, and like a creeper, followed her to see where she went, he couldn’t have been more surprised to find out she worked four levels below him. It didn’t take much effort to find out her name and a way to get a date with her. All he had to do was bribe Aaron in IT to ask her out, hoping she accepted, then swoop in when Aaron didn’t show up, which was the plan.

A little devious? Definitely. Did he feel sorry about it? Not really. When he wanted something, he went out and got it. Nothing stopped him.

Oh, and he wanted her. Something about her spoke to him. Her clumsiness, her slight shyness mingled with her speaking her mind was like a fresh of breath air. He never found a woman so real and intriguing in his life. He wanted to get to know her more. Only problem was she wouldn’t give him the chance, which meant he had to take matters into his own hands. So far, surprisingly, his plan seemed to be working.

He pulled a chair out for her, then took a seat across from her. He ordered a bottle of wine, then dismissed the waiter.

“You look nice today.” His lips curled into his signature grin that always had women melting on the spot. “I’m sorry your date didn’t show up.”

Cocking a brow, the fire in her eyes made the desire ramp up inside him. “Are you really sorry?”

Should he confess what he did? “I am. A beautiful woman should never be stood up.”

“You can quit with the compliments.”

“Because you don’t like them…”

“Because I’m sitting at the table with you. It’s not necessary anymore.”

Contemplating those words, he couldn’t decide if she believed him or not. She was truly an exquisite woman. Everything about her fascinated him. Perhaps she wasn’t used to compliments. Or maybe she just didn’t want them from him. Why didn’t she fall for his charm? Every woman always did.

His triumph at completing his goal of getting a dinner date with her plummeted. Sure, he won. But did he really? She wasn’t sitting with him because she wanted to. She sat here because she had no other option at the moment. Her date stood her up. Because of him. Because he told Aaron to ask her out and not show up.

When did he become so horrid?

For the first time in his life, he felt like a cad. When did he become so selfish?

“Oh, my. Did I render you speechless now?”

Her witty comment almost made him smile. “I should apologize.”

Obviously confused, she raised a brow. “Why?”

“Because Aaron, the man who asked you out,” he said as he watched her face morph into surprise, “only did so because I asked him to. I just really wanted the opportunity to take you out for a nice dinner. But I can’t continue with this evening without you knowing the truth. It was horribly rude of me and…and I’m sorry.”

Her expression went from surprise to anger. “I knew you were an arrogant asshole…I just…” Her lips thinned into a tight line.

He didn’t know what to say. That was a new experience for him. He never failed when it came to women. Amazingly, he really didn’t want to fail right now. He had no time for a woman in his life, but he wanted to make time for her. He wanted to see where this could go. Would she accept his apology? It wasn’t looking too promising.

She stood up. His heart dropped at the sight.

“Please…accept my apology and stay. I really am not an asshole all the time.”

“Oh, just half the time, then?” Her lips curled into a sassy smile. “Been there, done that. Not really looking to date another man such as yourself. Especially when you do such underhanded things as you did.”

“All very true things. I respect that.” Instead of displaying his signature suave look, that didn’t seem to work on her anyway, his lips fell into a frown. “Just give me one chance. One meal to show you a different side of me. The real me. Please.”

She hesitated. Just the small hesitation gave him hope.

“Please. Just this one meal.” He had never begged a woman in his life. He honestly couldn’t believe he was doing it right now.

She sighed softly, then sat gingerly in her chair. “Fine. One meal.”

“Thank y—”

“But you’re on probation. One little word that I don’t like, I walk away. You don’t bother me again.”

Wheeling and dealing. Something he was very familiar with in his line of work. He fell for her just a little more for that.

“Sweetheart, you won’t regret a thing.”

♥♥♥

Flash Fiction Friday…just not today!

Happy Friday! That’s about all I can say today, because I didn’t write my flash this week. Why? Well, I tend to write it the night before, because, well, I just do. lol But this week has been a little crazy anyway and it’s been hard to find the time. Hurricane Irma has made me very busy preparing. It’s really difficult to prepare with no definite answer whether it’ll hit us or not, but we are prepared for the worst. (We’re in Orlando, in case you’re wondering.) Add in the fact I got hit with a nasty cold, I’ve been slightly miserable these past few days! I just wanna nap and sleep and curl up under the blankets. haha

So sorry there’s no flash this week. But to make it up, here’s a short excerpt from Deserving You, which releases October 20, 2017. Enjoy!

And if you’re in Florida, please stay safe!

Deserving You ~ Excerpt

“Are you okay?”

She glanced at him, the knife freezing in her hand. “Of course. Why wouldn’t I be?”

“Austin said you almost hit a deer. Are you sure you’re not hurt? The car hit the ditch.” Emmett wanted to wrap her in his arms. Her facial expression didn’t bode well that she’d be receptive to that kind of gesture. So he didn’t move a muscle.

“I’m fine. Not a scratch on me.” She handed him a plate, the large piece of pie on it.

He followed her to the table and took a seat across from her. “Doesn’t mean you didn’t get hurt.”

Her knuckles turned white, as if she were exerting too much pressure holding the fork. “I said I was fine, E-man.”

“How did your appointment go? Did you hit the deer before or after? I hope you weren’t late.”

His hand paused, the fork dangling in front of his mouth as her face became ashy-white. Tears started to form in the corner of her eyes. He had never seen her look so vulnerable. “Deja…what did I say? What—”

“I didn’t hit the deer.” Her face became hard as the water in her eyes disappeared.

“You’re avoiding my original question. Does that mean your appointment didn’t go well? Where did you go?”

She stood up so fast from the table she knocked her chair over. “I think it’s time you leave, E-man. I don’t want to talk about it. I won’t be put on an interrogation.” She grabbed her plate, her pie barely touched, and tossed it into the sink.

Standing up, not one bite of his pie consumed, he couldn’t make his feet work. He didn’t want to leave. He wanted to pull her into his arms and soothe her torment away. Why did she almost cry? Never, not once, had he ever seen tears in her eyes.

“It’s okay to talk sometimes. It’s okay to let someone else in. You don’t have to be strong and tough all the time, Deja. We’re friends. I’m here for you. For anything. I wasn’t interrogating you. I was trying to be your friend. You have no idea how much I want to pull you into my arms and hug you. You look like you need a hug so badly.” He sighed, knowing that was probably the dumbest thing he ever said to her. “I know you’re not gonna budge, though, and more than likely, find that trusty tire iron of yours. So I’ll leave. See you tomorrow.”

He walked out of the kitchen before he went against his word and yanked her into his arms anyway. He had talked to her back the entire time. She was effectively shielding herself from him, not even letting him read her eyes. Did she know how well he could read her? How well he could see the pain she tried so hard to conceal?

He grabbed the door handle.

“Emmett…”

His body froze as his name rolled off her tongue with such delicate softness. She hadn’t uttered his real name in months. He wanted to hear it again.

“I could really use that hug.”

♥♥♥

Finally…Flash Fiction Friday

So I’m really late posting this today, but I made it! It’s still Friday! Hope you enjoy this weeks flash!

Prompt ~ Learning is good.

Taking a sip of wine, she let the smooth, rich flavor slide down her throat. She had to savor something from this night. Because the jerk she accepted a date from stood her up. Story of her life. She always dated the arrogant assholes with only sex on their minds. For once, she decided to stay clear from that type. Dreamy-eyed man from the other day a perfect example. So instead, she agreed to a date with a simple, normal guy who works in the IT department at her work. A geek, really, especially with the dorky looking glasses he wears, always pushing them up his nose as he speaks like a sloth. He seemed safe. Nothing to worry about.

And the nerdy jerk stands her up.

Learning is good. She always liked to learn something new every day. A motto her mother used to say all the time growing up. Well, she learned a valuable lesson today.

All men suck.

Nerdy. Arrogant alpha-males. Down-to-earth goody two-shoes. Every single one sucked. She hated men. No more dating.

A chair scuffed across the floor in the dimly lit area of the bar where she sat. It was a quiet evening, most of the patrons eating in the dining area, the bar semi-empty. It would fill up in another hour or two with the nightlife crowd ready to party. She’d be long gone before that happened. Of all the places someone had to pick a seat, they chose right next to her.

Turning her head to give the unlucky person who decided to pick that particular seat a piece of her mind, her eyes went round with shock.

“A beautiful night…” The tip of his mouth curled up. “With a beautiful woman.”

Oh. My. God.

Him.

The man who tortured her dreams nightly. The man she could never just act like a normal person in front of. The man who always made her act like a clumsy idiot, especially when she spilled her coffee all over him. He just took the chair right next to her. And a little too close for her tastes. His thigh took that moment to brush against hers, the soft touch sending shivers of anticipation throughout her body.

“I’ve rendered you speechless.”

“Not even close. I just have nothing to say.” She raised her glass of wine to stop herself from saying something idiotic. Because, of course, he was right. He did sort of render her speechless.

Here she was sulking because her nerdy date stood her up, and she dismissed this somewhat arrogant, yet sexy as hell man’s offer of a dinner date. She couldn’t get him out of her mind the past few days. His light touch sent her into a tailspin. Would it really hurt to keep denying the strong sexual connection between them? She should’ve just said yes to him. She knew he would’ve never stood her up.

“You’re welcome, by the way.” His gorgeous lips lifted even higher into the sexiest grin she had ever seen in her life. She wanted to kiss those delectable lips of his.

“For?” She couldn’t help but smile back. He made it difficult to resist. Why did she keep resisting him? She started to take another sip of wine.

“You would’ve had to endure the most boring date ever with that other guy.” His eyes sparkled with mischief. “Now you can enjoy your evening with me.”

She choked on the sip of wine, a bit of it dribbling down her chin.

Oh, yeah. This is the reason she didn’t accept his date. He was an arrogant jackass. How in the hell did he know who her date was? Was he the reason she was stood up? What did he do? Did he really think she’d stay here with him?

His finger swiped across her chin, then he licked his finger slowly as he stared at her. His eyes mesmerized her, as did the slightly odd, yet erotic thing he just did with his finger. He might be an egotistical bastard, but he sure knew how to light her body on fire.

He leaned closer, his lips brushing her ear. “How about…”

Oh, dear. He was about to suggest they leave and engage in hot sweaty sex. She didn’t think she’d be able to deny him anything at the moment. Not with his sultry breath enticing her to shift her neck just a bit so his lips would connect.

“…we have that dinner date now.”

Well, on the scale of did-that-just-happen, she had to rank this at holy-shit-he-just-fooled-her.

What the hell? She hated all men tonight. Him included.

She couldn’t really embarrass herself anymore than she already had with him. Not to mention, she just drooled in front of him and he didn’t go running. If anything, he leaned closer.

Her night couldn’t get any worse. Only better. Between the sheets if she had her way. Because even though he annoyed her, it’d been a very long time for her.

She stood up, grabbing her glass of wine. “Dinner it is.”

♥♥♥

Oh, yeah…this book is free right now until September 3, 2017! Happy Labor Day!

Addilyn Stratten doesn’t know how, or who, murdered her sister until she starts digging into the history of the house her sister was murdered in. The more she digs into the house, the more she senses the need to flee as far as she can get.

Detective Eddie Kline is there every step of the way, providing the common sense that a real-live person killed her sister, not the house.

But as each minute ticks by, Addy fears the house is at the root of it all. Each time she hears those horrifying words, she wants to run away. Who keeps whispering, Follow Me, Sweet Darling?

*Note: This is not a romance. This is a standalone short story. This isn’t part of a series. Enjoy a spine-tingling short story that will keep you turning the pages until the end.

 

Flash Friday!

Prompt ~ I want money.

Slamming the door shut a little harder than he intended, he couldn’t regret it when he heard the wince coming from his assistant on the other end of the phone.

“Did you hear me, Herman? I want money. Lots more.” He sighed heavily, realizing how arrogant that sounded. But it was true. He didn’t work his ass off every day, late into the night, for the hell of it. He did it to make money. To fill up his bank account. If that made him arrogant and conceited, then so be it.

“I’ve been working on the contract, sir. They’re being difficult. They want to buy significantly under the proposal we sent.”

“I. Want. My. Money.” Where was another door for him to slam? He settled for jamming the elevator button hard several times. “Don’t make me repeat myself. I will not sell below what we offered. It’s highway robbery.”

“I agree, sir, and understood. I’m on it.”

“Good.” He disconnected and slid the phone back into his pocket before he was tempted to make a few more calls and really put the office into an uproar.

He was already running late. He got home late last night from the office, which wasn’t unusual for him, except this time.

He couldn’t get his mind off the woman he met in the lobby of the apartment building. She had been refreshing and funny and so damn adorable stuttering over her words. It’d been a long time since a woman made him pause in what he was doing and look at the beauty before him. Work usually kept most of his attention. Women rarely factored in unless he needed to scratch an itch. Yet again, he sounded like a smug jackass, but hey, he was a man. A man with needs.

“Shit.”

Here he was, still daydreaming about a woman he would probably never see again. He forgot the Tanner file on his desk in his home office. Because, of course, losing his train of thought at the office downtown, not completing everything he needed to, he worked some more once he got home last night.

Turning around to quickly run to his apartment, he jumped from the scalding liquid that splashed onto his chest and ran down onto his pants.

“Oh…sorry.”

His eyes pinned to the blue-eyed beauty from yesterday. Did his thoughts conjure her? She had the grace to look apologetic as the mug in her hand dripped with brown liquid down the sides and slightly indented from her grasp.

“I like the disposable kind of mugs…you know…because dishes.” Her face started to bloom a light shade of red that made her look more gorgeous than he wanted her to. “I didn’t see you standing there.”

His eyes trailed to the phone in her other hand. “You ruined my suit. I’m already running late.”

“I said I was sorry.”

“Are you always this accident-prone?”

She opened her mouth to say something, then shut it. Her eyes narrowed. “Are you always so rude?”

“Me, rude? You spilled the…coffee, I presume.”

“And I said I was sorry. How many times do you want me to say it?”

What an excellent question. He honestly didn’t mean to come off as so disrespectful. But he was running late and the deal he’d been working on for the past two weeks was falling apart. His anger still seethed. She just happened to step into his pathway and take the brunt of it.

Which was utterly unacceptable.

His lips curled into a delightful grin. The kind of grin that always had women melting into the palm of his hand. “I’m having a difficult morning. I apologize for taking it out on you. I feel like we keep getting off on the wrong foot. How about I take you to dinner to make up for it?”

She cocked a brow. “Oh, you’re smooth. Been there, done that.” She tossed him a wily smile probably meant to irk him, which it did. “So I’ll have to pass.”

“You sure know how to break a man’s heart.”

She patted his chest. “You’ll survive, I’m sure.”

The elevator doors opened. She stepped inside. The doors closed before he could find the best words to respond with.

She did it again.

She walked away from him with the last word.

Heading back to his apartment to grab the folder he forgot and change, he knew he needed to run into her one more time.

Third time’s the charm.

And he refused to think he lost his charm when it came to women. He didn’t have time for a woman in his life.

But he’d make time for her.

Now, if only he could win her affections.

♥♥♥

Flash Fiction Friday

Woo hoo! It’s Flash Fiction Friday again. And I almost forgot about it. I’ve been so busy this week with other book related stuff and school just starting, it occurred to me this morning I hadn’t written my flash yet. But here it is. I have to admit, my daughter almost stumped me on this one…so I hope you enjoy what I came up with!

Prompt ~ Don’t lose…electronics.

With the strap of her purse tight around her shoulder, she shifted the rest of it in front of her as she dug for her keys.

Where did those buggers fall?

She had a horrible habit of tossing anything and everything into her purse.

Lipstick. Yep, just threw it in without putting it in the nice little side pocket made perfectly for it.

Receipts. Always crumbled into a ball with other things like business cards.

Keys. Yeah, those were always the most difficult to find underneath everything else. One would think her lipstick would be the hardest to find. Nope. Not for her.

A tall, large profile of a man pierced her senses as she almost gave up searching for her keys. Almost, but not quite. He might be opening the door to get into her apartment building, but she still needed to unlock her apartment door itself.

“Hold up! Please.” She started to half-run, half-walk as her fingers kept digging to the bottom of her purse.

Sometimes, she just lost things, or misplaced stuff, setting it down and forgetting to pick it back up. Which is why she always tossed everything in her purse with no care in the world. Because she knew where it was, even if she had to dig for it.

The man stood with the door halfway open and started to turn toward her.

Touching everything from her wallet to pieces of paper to her tiny lipstick container, her mind started to churn into panic that she lost her keys. “Don’t lose…electronics…” Her mind went completely blank as she met the eyes of the kind gentleman holding the door open for her.

His deep green eyes glittered with amusement as a small part of his lip curled up. “What?”

“What…what?” Oh, geez. Just put her in a corner for acting like an idiot. Was she even making sense?

“Did you lose…something?”

Did she say she lost something? She had no clue what she even said before his captivating gaze caught hold of her. She still didn’t know what to say as he met her stare, his lovely green eyes sparkling with laughter. He knew she was clueless.

Ugh. Well, that was unattractive.

“Are you okay?”

Going for a haughty glare, she moved to walk past him through the door. “You’re fine.” Her eyes closed as she felt the heat roll up her chest and to her cheeks. “I mean, I’m fine.”

A low chuckle followed her as she walked through the door. Of course, what was she thinking? He was beyond fine. He was downright handsome in his designer suit that fit him perfectly. His thick brown hair just asked for her to brush her fingers through it, and the subtle curls gave him almost a sweet and tender look. But the devil-may-care grin and the laughter in his eyes told her everything she needed to know. He would be arrogant and controlling. She had enough of letting those kinds of men in her life.

Not today.

No way.

“So…” He cleared his throat. “I didn’t get your name.”

Turning slightly, yet she didn’t stop walking because she wanted to reach the elevator and the safety of her apartment before she gave in to temptation, she said, “I didn’t offer it.”

“Watch—”

She turned back around only to smack right into a large brown box that sat in the middle of the floor. She lost her footing, toppling over the box and to the other side as her purse flung across the floor, the contents scattering everywhere.

Could it get much worse? She wasn’t usually this clumsy or flustered with a man before. One simple look and he had her mixing up her words, looking like a fool, and tripping over things she should’ve seen sitting in her pathway.

A warm, gentle hand helped her up. For once, his eyes shimmered with compassion and concern. “Are you okay?”

It’s as if he was offering her a second chance with the same words he asked just a minute before.

“I’m good.”

Nodding, he said no more and let her go to pick up her things. She scrambled around as fast as she could, the embarrassment washing over her that he had to help her in the first place. When she opened her purse wide so he could dump everything in, her face flamed with heat once more.

Oh my God, was that a tampon?

The sweet dimple forming on his face, with the laughter back in his eyes, said yes, he just picked up a tampon for her.

Well, just for that, she’d give him the title of being a gentleman once again, even if he was laughing at her at the same time.

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome…” He paused, as if he still wanted her name.

There wasn’t room in her life for a man. Even one as temptingly delicious as him. “Well, have a nice day.” She walked away with as much dignity as she could find.

Sadly, he didn’t stop her.

♥♥♥

Flash Fiction Time!

I am loving this storyline, especially since it’s something I’ve never tried to write before. I’ve been doing this one longer than I realized, though. Since April. Wow! I think this will be the last week of this story, unless you all holler at me and insist I keep it going. lol. Who knows? Maybe Bo and Isabella will get their own book in the future. Hope you enjoy how this ends!

Prompt: I love crazy.

Hands in his hair, he pulled hard. Nothing made sense. Not her visions. Not what happened today. Not what happened three years ago. Just call it a cluster.

Blowing out a deep breath, he stood up from the couch. He needed to check on her. She’d been sleeping all day ever since they came to her house. It was nearing midnight. There’s no way he’d be able to sleep until she woke up and he knew she was okay.

Inching the bedroom door open, he paused for a moment to take in her beauty. Her beautiful blonde hair lay gracefully on the pillow, her body curled into the blankets with one leg peeking out. One soft, silky leg just waiting for him to caress.

Ugh! Not the time for that nonsense. Oh, but he wanted to make the time. He wanted her just as badly as he did three years ago. Like the idiot he was, he turned away from her. Like the jerk he was, he made her think earlier today that it was her fault they broke up.

Taking his time, he tiptoed to the bed and gently sat on the edge. His hand ached to touch her. Just one little touch. But he refrained. He held himself in check.

He loved her so much it hurt to think about it. These past three years, he had perfected the art of not thinking about her. All it took was one simple phone call from her to make all those turbulent feelings come rushing back in.

He loved her now. He loved her back then. In his crazy ass way, he told her today he had always loved her. The disbelief on her face shouldn’t have surprised him. He never said the words before today. Apparently, his actions back then weren’t very clear about it either. Of course not. Expressing his feelings wasn’t something he excelled at. But she was here now. Back in his life. He wouldn’t make the same mistakes twice.

She started to stir, twisting her body towards him. A soft, warm hand landed on his thigh. It was enough to make his body go wild. Lowering his mouth, he brushed a tender kiss across her forehead.

How much would she hate him if he slid under the covers with her? He needed to get some sleep. She could be out for the count until morning. Two visions in one day took a huge toll on her.

Before he could back away, put some space between them, she whispered, “What time is it?”

“Midnight.”

She jerked and tried to sit up, but he pushed lightly on her shoulders. “You need the rest.”

“That feels real.”

He gave her a perplexed look. “What does?”

Her eyes glided to his hand that still rested on her shoulder, his thumb softly rubbing it. “You’re real.”

A chuckle escaped. “Of course I am.”

“I thought earlier, maybe I was…”

He knew what she was saying. The things he said confused her more than he realized. If only he would’ve professed his love back then, instead of assuming she’d figure it out. Truth was his love for her still scared him. His feet ached to run, while at the same time, climb into bed with her. His emotions tumbled around like a rough current in the middle of the ocean.

“I’m real. I’m here. I’m not leaving.” He felt a little more anchored to the ground expressing that. “Go back to sleep.”

“Those people…”

“We’ll talk more in the morning. There’s nothing we can do about it now.”

Her eyes grew round with shock. “Meaning, what?”

“Shit.” He couldn’t hide the grimace. “I didn’t mean to say it like that.”

She tried to sit up again, but he impeded her movements. “What happened?”

He hated the misery, the pain in her eyes. Brushing his lips to hers, he hoped that would erase a small trace of it away. “A bomb went off earlier this evening. We don’t know how many people are injured or dead, but it took out at least ten homes in a residential neighborhood on the west side of town.”

Tears glistened in her eyes as her body tensed. “And my second vision…”

“No word yet of any victims.”

“What’s going on, Bo? My visions have never failed me before. Why now?” She turned her head away as the tears came flooding out.

Wrapping her in his arms, he held her tightly. “You didn’t fail. It’s not your fault. You have to believe that.”

“Just like I was supposed to believe you loved me.” Each word came out with a sob. “I just need this all to be a horrible nightmare. None of it can be real.”

His breath hitched as a sharp pain hit his heart. “Even me?” He relaxed his grip, yet didn’t move away from her. “I suck at this relationship stuff, but I never wanted you to leave. I admit I pushed you away back then even though I loved you. I still do. It scares the hell out of me.”

For the longest time, she was silent, crying into his arms. He said nothing more as his hands wove up and down her back, soothing her as best as he could. Her tears eventually calmed. Nothing but silence filled the room. She must’ve fallen asleep.

“Am I going crazy?” Her whispered words echoed around the room. “I have to be going crazy. Everything that’s happened…what you said…I am crazy.”

She still didn’t believe him. What did he expect? He was never this open with her when they first started dating. Maybe she really did believe this was all a horrible nightmare.

“I love crazy.” He brushed a kiss against her neck. “I love you.”

She lifted her head, her eyes shining brightly into his. “You really do? You’re really real?”

“I’m as real as it gets. Forewarning you, though. I’m probably gonna act like an idiot and screw up in every way I possibly can. Call me crazy, too.”

A warm smile graced her face. “I think I can handle that. I love you, too, Bo.” She snuggled closer. “What about my visions? We have to stop this madman.”

He kissed the top of her head. “We will, sweetheart. Together, we will.”

♥♥♥