Tag Archives: Kris Norris

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It's time for another promptly penned - we all start with the same prompt and see what we come up with. I changed the tense of the prompt and split it all up because...well, I did. The actual prompt is in bold within the fic. 🙂


They said I was a traitor. That word was spat at me more than once today. Maybe I was. Though I’d pin that label on them before taking it myself.

And wasn’t that a kick in the fucking nuts. My own parents. That they were capable of… That I’d been blind to everything they… That… That…

I fought the sudden surge of vomit in my throat. Struggled to maintain control. Now wasn’t the time to lose it. That would come later. But fuck—spots danced across my vision, and I couldn’t draw a full breath. I dragged shaky, clammy hands over my face and tried to stay upright.

“Samuel?”

The small trembling voice penetrated the panic crippling me. Effectively obliterating it. She was what this was about, what I needed to be about right now. And keeling over, puking my guts out, wasn’t going to help my sister.

I turned toward her and cringed. She wasn’t looking at me, but at our parents…her tormentors. I could only imagine what was going through her young mind as she stared at them. Sprawled across the wood floor, lifeless, expressions of horror forever etched on their faces, completely lifeless.

Because of me. Another violent wave of sick pushed up my throat, nearly gagging me. She had to be scared out of her mind…of me. How was I going to—

“Samuel?” she said again, turning and rushing at me. Tears burned my eyes, blurring everything as her rail thin arms wound around my waist tightly.

“Hey,” I murmured, running my hand over her snarled hair. Fuck them, they couldn’t even bother to brush her motherfucking hair! “We need to go, now, Mel.”

“Go?” She tipped her head back, and wide, all-too-serious green eyes blinked dup at me. “I can…I can leave?”

“Yeah,” I breathed. Clearly my throat, I continued, “Yeah, sweetheart, you can leave, and you don’t ever have to come back. They can’t ever hurt you again. I promise.”

“With you?” she said, so loudly it echoed off the walls around us. “I can go with you, right, Samuel? ‘Cause we’re the same…” She smiled brightly. Despite everything, joy radiated from her. “They didn’t know that. They thought it was just me, but that was so wrong. I knew before you killed them with—” Her smile faltered slightly then firmed up again. “We’re the same,” she repeated. “I can feel it.”

She lifted her hand and grasped mine, sparks of the power housed in her tiny body pushing out insistently. I nodded and let my own magic answer, let it twine around hers, surrounding her protectively.

“Yes,” I croaked. “We’re the same.”

I dropped a kiss on her forehead and tightened my grasp around her fingers then led her out of the house. She blinked then squinted as we stepped into the bright sun.

“Where are we going?”

“I don’t know, yet. But I’ll figure it out, and it doesn’t matter.” I helped her into the car and buckled the belt around her before meeting her gaze straight on. “We’ll take care of each other, Mel. Do whatever it takes. Just like we did today. It was us or them.”

She nodded solemnly. “Us or them.”

I straightened and shut the door. Staring at the large house—a rich and beautiful prison, nothing more—I stopped trying to hold it all back. With a rush, my magic, fueled by my rage, exploded outward.

Flames filled the building before me, engulfing and destroying the evil that lived there, that dared to hurt that sweet and innocent girl. I didn’t wait, didn’t need to see the end result. It was done.

Yeah, they could call me a traitor—and many would—all I knew was that I did what I had to do.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

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It's time for another flash fiction - this one inspired by Halsey's "Ghost".

I'm again visiting the world of my Albion's Circle series. This takes place not long before the series begins. A small glimpse into Anna's head...before she finds out that her dreams are more than she realizes.


~Anna~

Music pulsed.

Lights flashed.

Bodies pressed against me. From every side. The touches, the scents, the heat… All of it, surrounded me, filled my senses, driving everything else out.

I closed my eyes, as anxious to escape what was happening as I was desperate for it. I sighed in relief as hands circled my waist and pulled me back against a very hard, very male body. I leaned into him, letting my head fall to his shoulder, as our bodies began to move.

His lips glided along my ear, and his breath tickled as he whispered, “Fuck, you feel amazing…”

Jamie.

My heart sped up. From excitement, from the knowledge of what the night would bring…from shame. Shame that I was using him. Again. And an even deeper, more painful shame that probably wouldn’t be the last time.

Hands firm on my hips, Jamie turned me to face him. I opened my eyes and, tipping my head back, met his gaze. Swallowing the immediate disappointment I always felt when I looked into his gray-blue eyes—and hating myself even more for it—I forced a smile.

He grinned then jerked his head toward the front of the club. “Let’s get out of here.”

Heat coiled in my belly, and I trembled slightly as I nodded. He grabbed my hand, and as I let him lead me through the crowd, I tried desperately to hold on to the excitement and desire. And not think about the tendrils of dread and regret weaving their way through.

I could only hold it off for so long, I knew. It was inevitable and would fill me to bursting soon enough. Because I wasn’t going to find what I was looking for in Jamie’s bed, in his arms, any more than I’d found it is this club or with any other person. I gritted my teeth as another face flashed in my mind. Another set of blue eyes—clear and piercing and haunting.

I shoved all away as Jamie pushed me up against his car and took my mouth. I let myself to fall into the kiss, to become lost in the bliss of his touch, because however temporary, it dulled the edges, softened the harshness of not having what I yearned for.

And made me forget, for just a little while, that I was searching for something I couldn’t reach. Because it wasn’t real.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease
Kayleigh Jones | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

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It's time for promptly penned flash fic. This one is a short one - I'm currently sitting at O'Hare waiting to take the 2nd leg of my journey home from my mini-vaca.

For this one, I'm visiting the world of my Albion's Circle series. This is a glimpse into one of the Circle's previous lives...before the start of the series. The prompt will be in bold within the story.

I hope you enjoy. 🙂


"One Last Time"

~Merlin~

I gripped the rim of the porcelain sink and tried to steady my hands.

“One last time,” I whispered to myself.

“Merlin, you can’t do this.”

Lifting my head, I stared at the warped mirror, at the blurry reflection of my best friend. My king. Always, always my king.

“I have to do this.”

“No, you don’t!” he protested. “We’ll find another way. You’re not thinking clearly…so soon after Annwyl—”

“Damn it!” I slapped the sink with both hands and spun around to face him. “There is no other way. Losing Annwyl isn’t blinding me to reality, Arthur! Don’t you think I’ve searched? Looked at every motherfucking option before settling on this?”

“She wouldn’t want you to do this,” he said, voice quiet and shaky as he grasped my arms. “I don’t want you to.”

“We’ve run out of options, Your Majesty. Our wants no longer factor into the equation. This is how we will stop Mordred, so we’ll do it.”

His blue eyes, so unfairly old even though they peer out from a youthful face, glistened slightly, then, finally, he gave a curt nod.

“One last time,” I repeated my earlier vow.

“Logically, I know we don’t have much choice. This is what we agreed to back in Camelot, the first time around. We have to use whatever we can, even dark magic, to stop the threat, but I hate it,” he practically spat the words. “Every time you go down this path, we lose a bit of you, Merlin, and one day…”

He cleared his throat, released my arms and turned away. Before walking out of the tiny bathroom, he continued, his back to me, “One day, I’m afraid, you’ll be beyond our…beyond my reach.” His entire body went rigid. “I’ve had enough heartbreak, and that is one I don’t know if I could come back from. So please, no more than necessary, Merlin. Promise me.”

“I promise.”

Alone again, I turned back to the mirror and glared at my reflection. I felt my magic expand, pushing almost painfully against my skin, in anticipation of what I was going to allow it to do. “One. Last. Time.

Liar.


Bronwyn Green | Kris Norris

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Though they're numbered, they aren't really in a particular order...

10 - Trustworthy - I write romances, so this is a big one. If the hero and heroine can't trust each other, there's a big problem. I try to write characters who are there for each other, there for their families and friends, who are someone who can be counted on, no matter what.

9 - Artistic - I love to write artists... Don't really know why. Maybe it's because I don't have an artistic bone in my body, although I certainly wish I did. It is certainly a trait I admire - in what I write, in what I read, and in real life.

8 - Confident - Oh, confidence is sexy. Not saying the character doesn't have moments of insecurity. They most certainly do, but whether it's something that develops as the character grows, or it's confidences in a specific aspect of their life or with themselves, I find that very, very appealing.

7 - Honest - I don't like liars, so I certainly don't like writing them. Also, I like writing characters who are honest with themselves...even if it takes them a while to get there.

6 - Persistent - I don't want to write people who give up easily. I want them to fight for what they want and need. So much more satisfying that way. 🙂

5 - Creative - Not the same as artistic. It could be creative in how they show they love someone, how they solve a problem, how they talk to their lover, how they are in bed...

4 - Sensual - Kind of a must for erotic romance. 😉 But I really like to write characters who explore that side of themselves.

3 - Humorous - I LOVE a sense of humor. I try to write characters who have one. LOL Who like to have fun and laugh.

2 - Empathetic - Being able to understand and express emotion is a big character trait I love to write. Even the struggle to be empathetic is awesome to explore on the page.

1 - Strong - I don't necessarily mean physically strong here. For example, there's nothing wrong with heroine who kicks ass and takes name, but a heroine who isn't that, but stands up for who she is and what she believes, and loves passionately and goes after what she wants...she is no less strong, IMO. I definitely tend to focus more on the emotional/internal strength than physical, I think.

BONUS - Emotionally Broken - I don't know a better way to phrase this, but it has been brought to my attention frequently (LOL) that I "break" my characters. Now, I love me some angst and pain, I will admit that. But books that have that in abundance are, for me, the most satisfying to write. To take a character through a trauma and have them at their lowest (or close to) and then write their rise from that, the re-building of themselves....OMG...it's the best. 🙂


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris

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It's time for another promptly penned - we all start with the same prompt and see what we come up with. This is part of an idea I have floating around in my head... The actual prompt is in bold within the fic. 🙂


“Ma’am, you can’t go down there.”

Cecilia froze at the loud announcement. Then, mortification washed hotly over her body as she realized her leg was still hiked up in the air. Like a damned dog about to take a piss on a hydrant. And wasn’t this just the fucking cherry on this perfect shit sundae of a night?

Lowering her foot back to the ground, she took a deep breath and tried to reclaim even a fraction of dignity. Coming up woefully short—and getting to the point she really didn’t even care anymore—she turned.

“The floor down that aisle has just been washed and waxed. You can’t go down there.” The store employee rolled his eyes then, with a sneer, added, “That’s why there’s tape there...ma’am.”

Fisting her hands, Cecilia focused on the bit of her nails in her palms and counted to ten. She didn’t need this. She just wanted this night to be done. She’d escaped dinner her parents, their meddling, the ambush of her cheating ex…

“Look,” she said, trying to keep the sharpness out of her voice, “I only need to grab one thing and—”

Ma’am.” Well, he certainly wasn’t trying to keep anything out of his voice. “You cannot go down there.”

“I just—”

“It’s a liability issue,” he continued, talking right over her. “We can’t risk a customer injuring themselves, which is why we have the tape up. Please move along, ma’am.”

Annoyance flared, and Cecilia took a deep breath, and even as she opened her mouth to speak, she knew she was going to regret this come tomorrow. Hell, come ten minutes from now, but she was simply out of fucks to give.

“All right.” She bit out each word, glaring at the pimply-faced, condescending child lecturing her. “Then, why don’t you hop on over and grab me a package of toilet paper, so I can ‘move along’?”

“I can’t do that, ma’am.” He folded his hands in front of him.

“You can’t do that?” she repeated. “All right. Can you tell me where else in this store stocks toilet paper? You are a twenty-four-hour store, aren’t you?” she said quickly before he could answer. “I should be able to come in here, at any point during the twenty-four freaking hours of the day, and be able to get what I need, right? That’s the point of this place, isn’t it? If a customer can't even count on being able to—”

Her throat tightened suddenly, cutting off her tirade, and her vision blurred. Well, this was it. She’d hit Rock Bottom. Yelling at a kid about toilet paper in the middle of the grocery store… Yeah, Rock fucking Bottom.

“There’s no need to raise your voice,” the employee hissed. “I’m s—”

“Whatever.” Cecilia shook her head frantically and, fighting the emotions choking her, spun on her heel.

Get out, get out, just get out, was all that ran through her mind as she rushed from the store and hurried across the lot to her car. Breath hitching painfully, hands shaking, she pulled her keys from her purse…and promptly dropped them.

“Fuck.” She twisted and, back against the car, slid down until she landed on her ass. “Get a hold of yourself,” she muttered.

So, it had been a shitty day. People had shitty days and didn’t freak out at innocent—albeit annoying—grocery store employees over stupid things. She swallowed thickly. Okay, it was more than just a shitty day. It’d been a series of shitty days…weeks…hell, months. And every time she thought she had a handle on things, that she was making some sort of progress and getting back on track, something or someone came along and knocked her for a loop.

Tonight was just another one of those times. She hadn’t expected Nick to show up at her parents’ house. She sure as hell hadn’t expected to learn they had invited him. Or to have them plead his case for reconciliation.

She pressed the heels of her hands to her eyes. They’d backed her lying, cheating asshole of an ex-husband. Accused her of being selfish and unreasonable. How did she deal with that? Where did she even start? By freaking out in public, apparently. She laughed—a strangled, desperate sound that quickly morphed into a sob she tried desperately to pull back inside.

“Oh, hey, now.”

Cecilia startled at the deep voice and, dropping her hands, found herself staring into the clearest blue eyes she’d ever seen. Eyes that seemed even bluer for the smudged black lining them. She couldn’t move, couldn’t make her mouth form words as she took in the man crouching in front of her—his shaggy black hair, pierced ears…and lip...his dark shirt with the sleeves rolled up to expose lean forearms, his long almost elegant fingers and the simple silver rings adorning them, his tight black jeans…

“That bastard certainly isn’t worth your tears, caridad,” he continued, voice low and soothing, a hint of an accent she couldn’t quite place. Not British…not exactly. He tilted his head to the side, his full lower lip caught between straight white teeth, and studied her a moment.

“Though, I’m guessing this,” he gestured from her head downward, “isn’t simply because of some loo rolls or a bratty kid with his head up his arse.”

When she continued staring, silently, he sighed. “Well, I can help with one of your problems tonight.” He held up a package of toilet paper and grinned. “Jumped his blasted tape when he wasn’t looking. Can’t have a pretty girl going without the necessities, now, can we?”

Cecilia pressed her lips together, unsure exactly what she was feeling. Whatever it was, whatever this man, with his blue, blue eyes and simple kind act, was pulling from her, it was overwhelming. Almost too much after…after everything. She tried to calm down, to thank him. Then, he reached out and laid his hand on her shoulder. And, she promptly burst into tears.

Well, shit. Apparently, Rock Bottom has a basement, and Cecilia had just tumbled headlong into it.


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris

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Posting late - was camping over the Fourth with the family...

Okay, so top 10 quotes from movies, shows and songs. It's hard to just do 10, to be honest. It's just the tip of the iceberg... But here we go...

10 -

Friends

9 -

Parks & Rec

8 -

Pride & Prejudice

7 -

Merlin

6 -

Hamilton

5 -

Parks & Rec

4 -

Friends

3 -

Merlin

2 -

Parks & Rec

1 - 

Merlin

Aaaaanad a bonus -

Hamilton


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris

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Okay, so i totally cheated. This is definitely not wordless. I'm enjoying my week with one of my besties, the awesome Kris Norris. She's here visiting before we head off to retreat. So I'm putting this post together early and scheduling it since I'll be in the land of little to no connection for the week.

SATURDAY - This lovely mug was a gift from Norris. Oh, Canada, eh! 

SUNDAY - Puppy is so sad her daddy has left on another trip. Looking at me with those sad, sad eyes...heartbreaking.

MONDAY - Norris and I MAY be binge watching The Night Shift. o.O We have no regrets. None!

TUESDAY - Made Slutty Brownies....becasue my weather app (WTForecast) said it was a good day to make them.

WEDNESDAY - Had to educate Bron on what a keener was via text.

THURSDAY - I think....I THINK we've gotten enough pop for the week... (Don't judge! Even though I judge myself... LOL) 

FRIDAY  - Had to hit Applebee's for lunch...it's "our place" - mine, my hub's and Norris' LOL


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Kris Norris

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June's song flash fiction is inspired by one of my favorite songs - Mumford and Sons' "Ghosts That We Knew".

I've jumped in the world of my Arthurian series "Albion's Circle" for this one. I've done a few flash fictions in this world, if you want to take a look.

Merlin's Cave
"The Hammer's Coming Down"
"I Will Possess Your Heart"
The Coldness
"Ever the Same"


“Promise me.”

Gut churning sourly, I stared at Guinevere—lying on the bed, frail and fading, almost lost amidst the bedclothes. My queen, my friend, the only one I had left. But soon, she’d be leaving me. Just like the others. Then, I’d be well and truly alone. Left with the ghosts of everyone I’d ever loved.

“Merlin.” Her voice, weak and raspy washed over me as she grabbed my hand. “Please. Please, you have to promise me.”

“I already did,” I reminded her quietly, reaching out to cup her face. “You don’t need to worry. I’ll take care of everything. All the arrangements are in place. Everything wil be as you want it. I promise.”

Her lips curved ,and she leaned into my touch. “I’m tired. I’m ready to be with them again.”

Them. I closed my eyes against the wave of pain thinking of our friends, long gone. Morgana, Lancelot, Galahad and the rest of the knights. Arthur. My throat tightened. Annwyl.

So many lost to us. Years and years of loss—lifetime—until it was just the two of us. We did the best we could—Guinevere ruling the kingdom after Arthur fell in battle, hoping he would be proud of her. He would have, of course. I never doubted that, even if she did, at times. Guinevere had a strength to be envied and had never wavered. Not when she'd lost her husband and king. Not when, years later, she'd lost her lover.

“You will come?” she asked, her thin aged fingers squeezing mine. “It’s time, don’t you agree? Long past time, I believe.”

I opened my eyes and met her weary gaze. Unlike my dear friend, I had not endured the pain of loss so well. In the final battle against Mordred—so long ago, although it was still so fresh in my old mind—I’d lost so muchmore than I’d been prepared to lose. Not only had I watched my king, my best friend ,struck down by our enemy, but my love, my Annwyl had been lost as well. And it had been my fault. My magic that had drained the life from her. Faced with that, I’d gone mad. I’d lost the control I’d always taken such pride in.

Technically, the battle had been won, but I’d retreated. First, without choice. Dragged away by Morgana and Galahad while I raged against the twisted turn of fate after everything we had been through and everything we had sacrificed. Then, I’d stayed away, remained alone, because how could I return? A Camelot without Arthur, without Annwyl was unthinkable. But eventually, when my queen needed me, I’d made the city my home once again. I played the role of advisor and friend and supporter, just as Arthur and Annwyl would have wanted.

In all that time, though, I’d never visited their final resting place. Guinevere had gone against tradition, ignored her council, and refused to bury Arthur with his ancestors. The Circle would be together for eternity, in both life and death, she had decided, and no one would sway her.

Now, she was to take her place with Arthur, Lancelot, Galahad, and Morgana.

“You need to make your peace, Merlin. Before it’s too late and you’re joining us in rest.”

“The rest is only temporary.” I lifted a shoulder lazily, despite the tension stiffening my body. “All too soon, we’ll be back together, alive and well.”

“And back into danger,” she added, dark eyes shining and lips curving.

I nodded. That was the deal we’d struck, after all, to gain the power we'd needed to defeat Mordred and his army. The Circle had been formed. Defenders of the world against Magical threats. Brought back again and again when we were needed. Christ, I was exhausted at the prospect, though my heart raced at the thought of the reunion with our loved ones.

Silence settled over us for several minutes. Guinevere’s grip on my hand loosened, and she closed her eyes. I watched, having to blink back stinging tears often, as her breathing gradually slowed.

Suddenly, her fingers tightened, and eyes still shut, she spoke, barely above a whisper, “You’ll come, won’t you? You wouldn’t deny an old woman her final request, would you?”

“Oh, but I would. Easily.” Swallowing around the lump in my throat, I shifted to lean over her and pressed my lips to her forehead. “But deny a friend? Never.”

I settled back in the hard chair, body aching and feeling every year I’d lived on this earth. Every damned minute of existence. But I would not complain. As much as I dreaded being alone, being the last of our people left, I would see Guinevere though her final journey…of this life, at least. And I would keep my promise.

Three days later, I stood just outside Camelot, where the rest of the Circle had been laid to rest. Still numb with the grief, I traced my fingers over the sun-warned stones marking the newest grave.

“Goodbye, Guinevere,” I whispered before moving down the line. I pressed my hand more fully on the next pile of stones and nearly choked. “Arthur… I saw her through until the end, my king. She was everything you always said she was and so much more. The queen Camelot needed after…after everything.”

I closed my eyes for a brief moment and took several deep breaths. Then, I forced myself to continue, touching Morgana’s, Lancelot’s and Galahad’s graves, silent but my mind filled with memories.

Coming to the final marker, I began to shake. I lowered myself painfully to my knees and pressed my forehead against the cool stones. The shaking intensified, and as I gasped for air, I realized I was sobbing. Unable to hold it in any longer. I was finally as alone as I’d always felt since the moment I lost her. My Annwyl.

“I love you,” I whispered hoarsely. “I never wanted to be without you… My only thought is joining you, love. There’s nothing left for me here in this world, in this life.”

But for now… I sighed and pushed to my feet. For now, I had no choice. I would live with the memories, the ghosts , with my regrets, and with the promise of the day I’d be with Annwyl and my friends again.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Kris Norris |Siobhan Muir 

3 Comments

It's time for another promptly penned - we all start with the same prompt and see what we come up with. This is part of an idea I have floating around in my head... The actual prompt is in bold within the fic. 🙂


Before I even got to the front door, I felt something was...off. And lately, with everything happening - my life being pretty much turned upside down - I'd learned to trust my gut. When I saw the door ajar, I stopped and lifted my arm to the side, stopping my sister in her tracks.

"What?" she said loudly.

"Go wait in the car," I ordered. When she shoved at my arm and tried to move forward, I grabbed her elbow and added, "Now, Char!"

"Why?"

I pointed and watched as she looked up at the door. Her eyes widened and she turned to me.

"Why is it just me going to the car, then, you dumbass?" she hissed, reversing our positions, her hand now clutching my biceps, fingers digging in hard. Looks like I'd have some colorful bruises. Again.

"I'm going to go check it out," I explained, pulling from her grasp. "Just go back to the car."

"No way," she protested, as I made my way up the steps onto the porch.

I pushed opened the door and stepped inside the dark house. My eyes adjusted immediately, and I surveyed what I could see from the entryway. It wasn't a big house - a tiny two bedroom rambler with an open floor plan, so I could pretty much see everything except the bedroom and bathroom. Nothing seemed out of place, and there wasn't anyone in sight.

"Cam! Seriously, let's go. What are you going to do if there's still someone here?"

Damn it, she was right behind me. Of course she didn't listen. Because she never did. I turned slightly and stared at her hovering in the doorway. I sighed when I saw her pale face and worried expression. Shit.

"Go to the car," I tried again. "Until I know it's safe."

"What about you? What the hell are you going to do if there's someone..." Her gaze darted around, and she lowered her voice. "If there's someone here? ."

I snorted. Charlotte may still me as her geeky little brother who'd been bullied all through school, who ran from rather than confronting anything physically threatening, but so much had changed. I was more than capable of taking care of myself against anything and anyone. Not that I could do much with her on my ass. Because she didn't know...

I didn't say anything for a while, just listened to the silence of my surroundings, trying to figure if somone was actually there in the house with us. I didn't think so, but if I was wrong, she was at risk.

"Just call the police, okay?" she continued with a huff. "No one has time for your Nancy Drew shenanigans!"

"Nancy Drew?" I shot her a weak glare. "At least call me a fucking Hardy boy, Char."

"Whatever."

"I don't think anyone's here," I said calmly. "But just wait in the car while I check the rest of the house. If I'm not out in five, call 911."

"No way," she said again. "I'm not leaving you alone."

Damned her and her protective and stubborn tendencies. Though, it was definitely a shared trait so it was probably a bit hypocritical to fault her there.

"Well, stay back at least."

"Whatever you say, Nancy."

I didn't dignify that with an answer and started walking across the living room toward the bedrooms.

"Use your phone for a light, so you can see." she whispered.

I cursed under my breath. Right. It was dark as fuck, and I shouldn't be able to see as well as I did. I dug my phone from my pocket and turned the flashlight app on. Without speaking, I made my way to the first bedroom - easy enough to clear since there was only a desk and a couple of boxes I had yet to unpack in there.  Not much to see in the empty bathroom either.

The door to my bedroom was shut. I hadn't closed it when I left. I took a deep breath as I grasped the doorknob. Turning it, I pushed inside the room. I listened carefully and glanced around the room. No one was here. Though I was sure of that, I still opened the closet and looked inside.

I walked back and flipped on the light, calling out to Charlotte. "No one's here."

I heard her shut the front door, followed by the thunk of the deadbolt sliding home.

"You're still calling the police, right? Is anything missing?"

My gaze fell on my dresser, and my heart pounded wildly. Heat rolled over my body and my palms grew damp. No. No way. No fucking way. I stumbled the two steps to the grab the sheet of paper that lay on the wooden surface. Right where the stupid stuffed bear had rested. The bear he had won me on our first and only date.

Fingers shaking, I read the words scrawled across the paper.

Miss me, darling?


Bronwyn Green |Deelylah Mullin | Kris Norris