Wednesday Randomness: Promptly Penned #38

It’s time for a Promptly Penned post – we all get the same prompt and see what we come up with.

This prompt actually worked well with what I’m currently working on, so I went with it. 🙂 Short and sweet.

As always, the prompt itself will be in bold and red.


“So, how long is the silent treatment thing gonna last?”

Cam opened one eye to half-heartedly glare at Trent, who flopped onto the armchair across from where Cam lay on the sofa.

“I didn’t start it,” he said, knowing full well how childish he sounded, but at this point, he didn’t much care. “Go ask your boss. Since he obviously has all the answers.”

“Stubborn.”

“So I’ve been told.”

“One of you needs to give in first.” When Cam didn’t bother responding, Trent sighed loudly. “It’s driving the boss crazy, ya know? The two of you being at odds.”

“I don’t give a fuck.”

“Kid,” Trent drawled, you give so many fucks they’re visible from space. Just go talk to him, already. Put all of us out of our misery.”

“All of you?” Cam sat up. “Your misery?”

“Nobody likes it when Mom and Dad fight, Cameron.”

“Mom and—” He narrowed his eyes as the other man stood and headed toward the door. “I better not be the mom in this, Trent.”

“Well…” He opened the door, then turned and grinned at Cam. “You are prettier than the boss.”

He threw one of the couch pillows at the now closed door. Frustrated, he collapsed back onto the cushions. “I am not the mom.”


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: Promptly Penned #37


It’s time for a Promptly Penned post – we all get the same prompt and see what we come up with. As always, the prompt itself will be in bold.


“So, performance reviews this week.”

Molly looked up as Leah, her friend and coworker, set two cups of coffee on the desk then flopped into the chair on the other side.

Dread settled heavily in Molly’s stomach, and she grimaced. “God, don’t remind me.”

“Don’t know what you’re worried about.” Leah waved a hand in front of her. “You seriously don’t think you’re going to get a bad one, are you?”

Lifting a shoulder, Molly dropped her gaze. She wasn’t worried about that—she was good at her job, and she knew it. It was just…awkward and humiliating.

“I…” She cleared her throat, face already flaming. “I had the dream, again.”

“What do— Oh! The dream!”

She rolled her eyes. “Yes The. Dream.”

“Well, what’s the problem, Mol? It’s not like you can control what you dream.”

“I know! You think, if I could, I would be dreaming that?” She dragged her palms over her face then leaned her head back against her chair, eyes closed. “For fuck’s sake, I don’t even like him!”

“Don’t have to like him to appreciate, my friend. And there is plenty to appreciate,” Leah drawled.

“Easy for you to say. You’re not having recurrent sex dreams about our boss then having to face him day in and day out. Come on, give me some real, serious advice how to de—” Her words dried up when she opened her eyes and caught a pair of amused chocolate-brown ones focused on her. Oh no…no, no, no. This couldn’t be happening.

“Ms. Halwell, my office in ten. Performance review.”

She nodded, still unable to speak, gaze shifting to her wide-eyed friend.

“Looking forward to it.”

The deep, gravelly murmur—eerily similar to the voice that echoed in her mind long after she woke—chased a shiver down her spine. She was so, so screwed.


Bronwyn Green | Kris Norris

Wednesday Randomness: Promptly Penned #36

It’s time for another Promptly Penned post – we all get the same prompt and see what we come up with. I can’t wait to see what the others have come up with, because this prompt made me laugh, even if I had a helluva time coming up with an actual story to go along with it.

For better or worse, this is what I came up with. Short and sweet, this time around.

As always, the prompt itself will be in bold.


Dread sat heavily in my stomach as I stared at Nick across the worn table. We’d met for lunch at our favorite diner – I’d been looking forward to it all day. This week had been hellish with both of us crazy busy with work. Other than muttered good nights while climbing into bed – if that – we hadn’t even had a chance to talk. Lunch today was supposed to change that.

But now… He had that distracted look – head tilted to the side, eyes slightly squinted, lines furrowing his brow, the corners of his mouth turned down – and he still hadn’t responded to my suggestion of a weekend away in the near future. The silence hanging between us was getting on my nerves.

I sighed and, propping my elbow on the table, rested my chin in my palm. After a moment, I nearly laughed. Oh, Nick was still ignoring me, but I’d figured out the distraction. The diner wasn’t very busy. Other than a few people sitting at the counter, the only other customers were a pair of guys two booths down from us. Two guys who were complaining loudly about the changes to Doctor Who.

Most wouldn’t assume it by just looking at Nick, who was well over six-foot, athletic and…well, hot as hell. But beneath the hunky exterior, my Nick was a sweetly nerdy guy and fanboy, who took disparaging his favorite TV show very seriously. Perhaps too seriously, at times.

Excuse me. I have to go make a scene.” He slid across the booth’s seat and stood before taking the few steps to stand beside the next booth over.

Shit. I scrambled after him. Not again.


Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: Promptly Penned #35

It’s our final Promptly Penned of the year, and I have been waiting for this one for soooooo long. From the very beginning, this one sparked an idea for Bron and me. We have plans for some connected Bound books—written separately but connected and happening concurrently—and this prompt… Well, it brought forth two guys that I fell in love with from word one. So, our posts are similar but from differering POVs, giving you a taste of two heroes you’ll be seeing from us in the future.

The prompt will be in bold within the story.


Sam cursed under his breath—again—as he stumbled over his own freaking feet—again—and wondered—yes, AGAIN—why he wasn’t buried beneath the warm duvet, unconscious and blissfully thought-free.

But no. Instead of that wonderful escape from reality, he was up at the ass-crack of dawn, tripping like a drunk duck behind his older brother on a trail that clearly led to nowhere. And, because he’d woken late, he hadn’t even had a single cup of coffee. Seriously, up before the damned sun, and Ollie was bitching about being late. Late to where, exactly, Sam wanted to know. It wasn’t like the blasted hill beneath their feet gave a damn that they were treading upon it fifteen minutes later. At least then he’d be clear headed.

He tripped, yet again again—didn’t they have people clearing rocks off the trail? Fucking dangerous is what this was. This…this was not what he’d signed up for. Though, Ollie… Sam sighed, and a small smile curved his lips. Ollie was probably soaking it all up, getting almost high on freaking nature. This was his idea of heaven, no doubt.

Not for Sam. No, give him cities, night-life, clubs, a coffee shop on every corner, a nice enthusiastic fuck to— Nope, not thinking about that. No thinking of fucks, Samuel, enthusiastic or otherwise.

Of course, trying not to think of it…sure fire way to zero his thoughts on the very thing he wished would stay hidden behind the exhausted, hangover fog he’d been swimming in since falling out of bed.

Last night.

Which, he granted, had been rather enthusiastic. But it hadn’t been his finest hour. He grimaced—not that he’d lasted remotely that long. God, the guy had been so freaking pretty, too. Right down to his thick, flushed co— Sam grunted as he walked right into Ollie, nearly falling back on his ass.

“What’d you stop for?” he snapped.

Oliver turned, brows lifted. “I’m just enjoying how fucking gorgeous this is. I mean, look at this place.”

“I’ve been looking.” Sam gestured around them…at all the nothing. “Not a goddamn coffee shop anywhere.”

Oliver rolled his eyes and started walking again. “Being away from a city and all its conveniences isn’t going to kill you.”

Sam snorted and followed. “You don’t know that!”

“Rough night, I take it?”

Sam inhaled deeply through his nose, teeth grinding at the cheerful, amused tone. He liked his brother. Scratch that, he adored the hell out of him, but aside from their shared features, the two men had very little in common. Sam spent most of his life sincerely believing he’d been adopted. Some days, like today, he still clung to that theory as the only explanation for being in a family who thought outdoorsy shit was fun. Sam appreciated nature as much as the next person, he really did. He just didn’t need to be in it.

“My night was just fine, thank you very much.” Keep telling yourself that, Sammy-boy. It’s the morning I’m having trouble with.” He panted, curses bursting from his lips, as he righted himself, yet again, toes throbbing from where he’d kicked a large rock. “And what the hell is wrong with you that this is your idea of a good time?!”

“This is a great time. And besides, I did the London pub crawl with you when we first got here.”

“Um, excuse me, but that pub crawl was steeped in…in culture and history and shit! We drank at pubs that had been there for centuries. Can’t do that back home. We have trails and dirt and…and fucking rocks,” he kicked another out of his way half-heartedly, “at home, Ollie! And you’re missing the biggest draw of all, brother—there was beer at the pub crawl. There’s no beer here, Ollie. None. There is zero beer.”

He knows he’s ranting, but what choice did he have, really? It was the ultimate distraction from things he’d rather not think about—it’s what he did, always. Not that his torrent of words was in any way stopping the humiliating little movie in his head of the night before. Nothing like acting like a fumbling teenager, from start to, God help him, premature finish, to cut a man down to size.

He lifted his gaze and stared at his brother’s back, happy to see the relaxed movements and the absence of tension in his shoulders. Of course Sam also used his ranting to distract others, too. And after everything that had happened before they’d come here, Ollie was much more deserving of a distraction than Sam was. His brother had been gutted by his break up with Gina. Not that he should still be that cheating bitch. Sam hadn’t been lying when he’d confronted her—if she hadn’t come clean about her fucking around, he would have laid it out for Ollie. He’d have hated every second of it, but no way in hell was he going to let his brother waste any more of his life on that woman.

Sam’s drunken pursuit of cock that ended in embarrassment didn’t rate high at all in the grand scheme of things. And hey, at least he still had dick-twitching memories of Mr. Pretty Boy. He was sure he’d pull those up front and center when jacking off in the future. Once the sting of said memories faded.

Ollie snorted and paused at the top of the hill to look back. “When we get back, I’ll buy you a pint at that pub down the street from Gram’s.”

Before he can respond, he stumbles again. And fine…just fine. He gets it—the universe hates him. He drops to his knees in the grass framing the narrow trail, flips over and starfishes on his back, staring at the lightening sky. “No need to bother, dear brother… This is my life now. I have climbed this hill, and now, I will die upon it.”

Oliver suddenly towered over him, unsuccessfully fighting a grin. He nudged Sam’s hip with his foot. “Shut up. We’ve only been hiking for twenty minutes.”

With a groan, Sam started to sit up, only to collapse again, spreading out even farther, bumping in to Ollie’s legs.

“Could you be more dramatic?” Oliver asked, nudging him again.

Oh, he did not just… Clenching his fists, Sam arched back, opened his mouth, and wailed wordlessly at all the stupid, stupid nature around them…that he would endure any time he had to because it made his brother so stupidly happy.

“That wasn’t a challenge!”


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease

Promptly Penned #34

It’s time for another Promptly Penned post. We’re all given the same prompt and see where it takes us. This week is a bit short and sweet and, dare I say, kinda fluffy (well, much fluffier than I could have done with this prompt LOL). Because that’s exactly what I needed, right now. 🙂 The prompt itself is in bold in the post.

“For God’s sake!” I shoved at his shoulder then, turning away from him, put distance between us. “I’m trying to have a conversation with you!”

“And I’m trying to subtly avoid it!” he shot back, amusement coloring his voice, like he was holding back laughter.

“Ass,” I muttered. “This is important to me, you know, and we have to talk about it eventually.”

“Didn’t think there was anything to discuss, really.”

I jerked away when he touched my arm, and his answering chuckle made my blood boil.

“Nothing to discuss? I don’t know why I even bother anymo—”

My words morphed into a startled yelp as he grabbed hold of me and hauled me back across the mattress. He wasted no time in getting me on my back and pinning me down. I narrowed my eyes at his stupid laughing face. Before I could say anything, his expression softened.

“Babe,” he sighed. “There’s nothing to discuss, because you’re not going anywhere. Of course I’m introducing you to my parents when they come for the holidays. I’m not hiding what we have. You’re not my dirty little secret, not ever.” He dropped a fast hard kiss on my mouth. “And you bother because you love me.”

I rolled my eyes at his exaggerated drawl but brought my arms around him, unable to hold back the low moan as he dragged his lips along my jaw.

“And I love you. Now,” he breathed the words against my arched neck, “let me show you how much. No more talk tonight, yeah?”

I made a small sound in the back of my throat. Not exactly a sound of agreement but close enough. Of course there was still loads to talk about. His parents were coming to visit. and they didn’t know about us yet. Didn’t know I was now officially living in their son’s house…where they would be staying for a full week.

I let out a shuddered breath as he kneed my legs apart and settled heavily between them, pressing me delciously into the bed. Tomorrow… Tomorrow was soon enough to talk about all that. And I could admit, even if just to myself, I didn’t exactly mind his method of avoidance.


Bronwyn Green | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: Promptly Penned #33

It’s time for another Promptly Penned post. We’re all given the same prompt and see where it takes us. The prompt itself is in CAPS in the post.

Closing my eyes, I braced my hands on the edge of the sink and dropped my head down. Everything hurt, I had blood everywhere – could still feel some dripping down my face – and it was taking everything in me not to puke my guts out. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Tonight had not gone as planned.

Plan? What plan? You had no plan!

Christ, I was hearing James’ damned voice in my head, now. I supposed it was appropriate since he hadn’t said a damned word since we’d gotten home. The silence was deafening, and apparently, my brain was going to make up for that.

“Hey.”

Yelping, I straightened, and immediately stumbled backwards. Would have ended up on my ass or cracking my head off the tub if James hadn’t stepped forward and steadied me.

“Sorry,” he murmured.

“Not your fault. Didn’t hear you come in.”

“Obviously.”

Narrowing my eyes at the dry drawl, I met his gaze in the mirror. “You need something?”

He stared for a good long minute or two then, reaching around me, he pulled open one of the cabinet drawers and withdrew the first aid kit. He motioned with his free hand. “Sit.”

Still watching him warily, I sat on the closed toilet as he opened the kit and began setting out supplies. He then grabbed a couple washclothes from the other drawer and wet them. As he was doing this, he caught my eye in the mirror.

“ALL THAT BLOOD LOOKS GOOD ON YOU, babe. IT REALLY BRINGS OUT YOUR EYES.”

“Smart ass,” I murmured.

He was trying to downplay everything, make me laugh – I knew that. But I wasn’t listening to his words, now. Because the slight catch of his voice, the stiffness in his posture, the tightness around his eyes were all telling another story.

He was freaked out.

A look I rarely saw on the man.

Shit.

When he turned toward me and lifted the washcloth, I caught his wrist. “I’m okay. I promise, I’m okay.”

He jerked out of my grasp and took a step back. Pressing his lips together, he closed his eyes. His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed audibly before taking several slow, deep breaths.

Then, those clear blue eyes were on me, bright and almost wild. “Well, I’m not.”

“Wha–” I cleared my throat as fear jumpstarted my heart and froze my skin with an instant prickling sweat. “What’s wrong?”

“If you’re going to keep ignoring everyone’s advice and feedback and keep doing shit on your own, I can’t…” He gestured between us. “I can’t do this.”

My mouth went dry. “Don’t…don’t say that.”

“I’ll still be here,” he said stiffly. “I said I’d help, and I will. I will always help protect you. But I can’t–” He broke off, mouth snapping shut.

Blood rushed in my ears, and I actually started to shake. If freaked out was a rare look for James, this – damp eyes, muscle twitching in his cheek from clenching his jaw, hands fisted at this sides and his posture no longer stiff, but…defeated – this was even rarer…and infinitely more unnerving.

“When I caught up to you,” he continued, voice quiet and rough, “you were on the ground, covered in blood and not moving. I thought you were dead… All because you’re too damned impulsive and believe invincible – and fuck if your friends will tell you otherwise because they’re under the same fucking misconception.”

“James, I’m sorry.”

“I know, but sorry isn’t going to save your life the next time. I know how important what you’re doing is to you. I get it, but you’re more important. Don’t you understand that?” He stepped forward and cupped my face, his hands cold and trembling. “You are more important. Losing you is going to destroy me.”

“You’re saying it like it’s a given, but it’s not,” I said quickly, desperately. “And, if you’re really staying, no matter what, I don’t see how not being with me would make it easier if something were to happen to me. It’s not like our relationship, or rather lack of, is suddenly going to wipe away the feelings you have.”

“It’s a given if you keep doing what you’re doing,” he countered then sighed, thumb skimming along my lower lip. “Nothing is going to wipe away my feelings for you, but I can distance myself, try to protect myself for the inevitable.”

I shook my head. “So, are you breaking up with me?”

“Are you going to admit you’re important, and start acting like it?”

“That sounds like emotional blackmail.” I stood, crowding into his space and settling my hands on his hips, and his fingers twitched against my face. Panic was still kicking my ass, but relief was quickly pushing it out. If we were done, he’d outright say it.

“Babe,” the corner of his mouth quirked up, even though his voice was still raspy with emotion, “I’m a thief, a criminal, and you’re surprised over a wee bit of emotional blackmail?”

I pressed even closer and rested my forehead on his shoulder. His arms came around me fully, and my chest ached as I heard him sniff. “Not really blackmail, just honesty…but still brutal.”

His embrace tightened momentarily before he let go. “We need to get you cleaned up.”


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: Promptly Penned #32

It’s time for September’s Promptly Penned. This month’s prompt is: You’re in an interrogation room. A man walks in and throws a bunch of photographs on the table in front of you. The photos are old and were taken at different points in history. You’re in each one. He demands to know who you are.

This was the perfect prompt to fit into my Albion’s Circle series. So, here we go.


~Merlin~

Eyes closed, I focused on my breathing. It was over, finally. I’d spent the last week cleaning up Mordred’s mess. Now, I could rest easily that nothing with his taint remained or influenced anyone or anything.

Of course, now that it was over, that meant I was alone. And nothing could distract me from that cruel fact. My chest ached as I drew in another long breath. It wasn’t the first time, and likely wouldn’t be the last. But I’d hoped. Even knowing, accepting, that we couldn’t come out of the ages old battle with Mordred without casualties, I’d still hoped and prayed that someone would be left behind with me. While preparing for the opposite.

But even preparing didn’t diminish the overwhelming press of anger and grief. Yes, we had prevailed—Mordred was defeated, again, this time around—but Annwyl was still lost. And Arthur…Morgana…the knights. I wouldn’t see them again until the next life. All I could do now was wait. And I hated every second of it.

“Mr. Eliad, thank you for coming in. I’m Detective Andrews.”

I opened my eyes, watching the tall, fair-haired man enter and close the door behind him. “You’re welcome, though I was hardly given a choice, detective.”

“Well,” he lifted one shoulder as he sat across from me, “thank you for coming in so calmly, then.”

“Mm hmm.” I folded my hands and rested them on the metal table and straightened in the less-than-comfortable chair. “Perhaps you could let me know what this is about?”

“You were seen near the site of the explosion in the warehouse district last week.” When I didn’t answer, he sighed and laid the folder he held on the surface between us. He withdrew a couple of photos and set them, one by one, in front of me. “You were caught on camera. You look injured, covered in dirt or soot.”

I glanced down at the pictures. Though grainy, they were clearly of me. And certainly not at my best. I met his gaze and lifted a brow, remaining silent.

“Could you tell me what you were doing in the area?” he asked.

“Just walking around.”

“Really?” He snorted. “You just happened to walking around an area that had practically been leveled, looking like you’d barely made it out of said area?”

“Yep.”

“Why were you so dirty, then? You strike me as a fairly well-kept person.” He gestured towards the clothing I currently wore then tapped one of the photos. “Nothing like this.”

“I’d been gardening before my walk. It’s messy work.” I couldn’t hold back the smirk curving my mouth.

“Messy work?” He pursed his lips then nodded. Opening the folder, he continued, “I did some digging and found that you often find yourself around ‘messy work’. Nearby the wreckage of another explosion, the fallout of an earthquake that decimated half a city out west, evacuating another city from a horrendous flood…” As he spoke, he flipped picture after picture toward me.

I lifted one, stared at my own face—filthy, grief-stricken, exhausted. This photo was a copy of a one from decades ago. This was more than just a little digging, and something this detective—or anyone else—shouldn’t have access to.

“Where did you get these?” I demanded, voice soft and steady.

“That’s not important. What I want to know is how you’re in all these photos—because as impossible as it seems, they’re all of you! What did you have to do with the explosions last week? Good men and women died, and I want answers!” He slapped a palm on the stack of photos…and looked vaguely disappointed when I didn’t jump or outwardly react. “Mr. Eliad, you need to start talking. The truth now, not some inane tale of gardening and walks.”

“The truth?” I laughed harshly. “Okay, the truth is my name isn’t Eliad. I just took that name this time around. My first name is Merlin, though—I bet that seemed odd to you, right? Not exactly a common name, nowadays. Well, I wasn’t named for the famous wizard in all the stories. I am him. I am King Arthur’s Magical—yes, the King Arthur. And the truth that you want so desperately is nothing like those stories, which for the most part are ridiculous, and I had a hell of a fun time making them up.

“I, along with my king and others, are brought back to fight Mordred—another familiar name, yes?—and save this wretched Earth and its people, time and time again. That was what was happening last week, and that was just the final battle. This time, we’ve been fighting for months, and now, I am tired. I’ve lost people, as well, Detective Andrews, and now that the mission is complete, I would like my time to remember and grieve for those lost…including those good men and women you mentioned.”

“You’ve got to be—”

I waved a hand between us, and he froze. Rubbing my aching temples, I stared down at the photos. “Though it seems I’m not done cleaning up quite yet. Where did you get these photos?”

“They were mailed to me,” he responded woodenly.

“All of them? Even the ones from last week?”

“Yes.”

“Do you know who sent them?”

“No.” He shook his head. “They were in large envelope. There was no note, no return address. The lab wasn’t able to find any fingerprints on the envelope or the photos so it was all a dead end.”

“For you, maybe,” I murmured. “Do you have the envelope? The original photos you received?”

“Yes, in evidence.”

“Go get them, please.”

Without a word, he stood and left the room. I stacked the photos neatly and closed them back into the folder, annoyance filling me at the inconvenience of all of this. When Detective Andrews came back in, he immediately handed me the evidence bag containing the envelope and photos. I tucked that into the folder, as well, then pushed to my feet, taking all of it with me. I met the other man’s gaze and sighed.

“You seem like a good cop, following any lead. Unfortunately, this is one case that the truth isn’t going to be revealed. Can’t be.” I reached up and touched his forehead, muttering the memory spell quickly. “Forget the photos; they don’t exist. I came in today to tell you what I saw when I was out for a walk the night of the explosion.”

I dropped my hand and cleared my throat. Andrews blinked several times then took a step back, opening the door for me.

“Thank you again, Mr. Eliad, for coming in. We appreciate your help in the matter.”

“Of course.” I strode out the room, but before leaving the building, I went to bullpen and asked where Detective Andrews’ desk was. Then, walking by it on my way out, I spoke the spell that would erase any mention of me from the good detective’s notes—both written and on his computer.

I tightened my grip on the folder as I stepped into the bright sunlight. I needed to get back home and figure out who had sent these in.

It wasn’t quite over. The mess wasn’t completely cleaned up. My grief would wait…my ever-patient companion.


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: Promptly Penned #30

It’s time for another Promptly Penned post. We’re all given the same prompt and see where it takes us. The prompt itself is in CAPS in the post.

Cam braced his hands on the edge of the counter, leaning heavily, and let his head fall forward. Fuck, he hurt. Pain thrummed through his body with each heavy breath. Though, it was definitely better—marginally, but better—than when he first got home. One benefit of what the assholes had done to him was he seemed to heal much faster, now.

He huffed a humorless laugh, then groaned at the sharp stab of pain along his middle. Putting a positive spin on being abducted and experimented on for months was a bit much, even for him. Even if he was trying to do good with what they’d done to him, with the abilities he now had.

Straightening, he bit back another groan and moved to the freezer to grab an ice pack. Holding it tight against his side, he walked into the living room, where his friends were still talking loudly what had gone down that night.

Before he could join the conversation, the front door flew open, banging against the wall. Josh, Mat and Jazz all jumped to their feet as James strode into the room and slammed the door behind him.

James, who was Cam’s ex.

James, who was a thief. Not that Cam had known that…until it was too late.

A thief who had walked away from Cameron without a word, and now, had resurfaced, determined to step back into Cam’s life.

“What the fuck were you thinking, Cameron?” James said slowly and deliberately.

“Jamie,” Cam breathed.

“What the fuck are you thinking?” Mat snapped, stepping towards James. “You can’t just come busting in here!”

“Looks like I can,” James threw in his direction before turning back to Cam. “Are you trying to get yourself killed?”

Cam shook his head. “No, I—”

“You need to leave,” Josh said, hand on Mat’s arm, keeping him from moving any closer to James. “You’re not wanted here. You aren’t part of this.”

“Part of this? Part of this?” James’ voice rose. “You’re damned right I’m not part of this. This being the stupidest damned thing I’ve ever fucking seen.”

“I said—” Josh started.

“It’s bad enough you’re out trolling the streets, looking for trouble,” James continued, speaking over the other man, eyes intense and locked on Cam. “Now, you have these idiots, what? Listening to a police scanner,” he gestured toward the equipment on the counter, “and calling you on your fucking cell to tell you where to go for even more trouble? Not a smart way to do this, Cameron.”

Cam tried really, really fucking hard to suppress the shiver that traveled his spine. Christ, the man’s voice…even when he was all disapproving and lecturing. All right, maybe especially because he was, which made Cam a sick, sick man.

“If you insist on continuing with this…mission of yours, you need to be smarter about it. And this crew?” He gestured at Cam’s friends. “Fuck, it’s like you woke up and said, ‘OH, WELL, THE BEST OF THE BEST WEREN’T AVAILABLE…SO WE GOT THE BEST OF THE MEDIOCRE,’ and just ran with it.”

“Fuck you. Like we give a shit about your opinion,” Mat sneered. “You’re a criminal.”

James laughed—a short bitter sound. “Never claimed otherwise, but what you’re doing—or rather what he’s out there doing while you sit here with your thumbs up your asses and safe—is vigilantism, which is… Hmmm, what’s the word? Oh, right…illegal. And could you tell the class what people who do illegal things are called? No? Nothing? That would be criminals, you fuckwit.”

“It’s totally different!” Jazz protested, seeming to finally come of the state of shock she’d been in since James arrived. “We’re… Cam’s helping people.”

“Still illegal, sweetheart,” he snapped. “Get it through your thick skulls—this isn’t some comic book or action flick; Cameron is not some indestructible superhero.”

“Enough,” Cam pleaded, head pounding. When the bickering continued, he raised his voice. “Enough!” He sighed as all eyes turned to him then gestured to his friends. “You guys can head on home. Obviously, we’re done for tonight; I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

Mat gaped. “You can’t be serious!”

“We’re not leaving you alone with him,” Jazz added.

Cam rolled his eyes. “Yeah, you are. He’s not going to hurt me, and we clearly need to talk.”

James just moved over to lean against the wall, crossed his arms and smirked as Cam guided the protesting trio to the door. Once they were gone, Cam turned, jolting when he came face to face with James.

“You can’t—”

“Shhh.” James lifted a hand and gingerly touched Cam’s cheekbone. “Christ, look at you.”

“It’s not as bad as it looks.”

“And your ribs?” He pulled Cam’s hand and the icepack away before lifting the hem of Cam’s shirt. “Fuck.”

Cam looked down and cringed at the mottled black and blue marring his skin. Then gasped as James’ fingertips moved along his side, prodding gently.

“Don’t think any are broken,” he murmured, resting his palm hotly over the bruising and meeting Cam’s gaze. “You really can’t keep doing this, babe.”

Heart aching at the plea in the other man’s voice, Cam swallowed thickly. “I already told you, I need to do this. Some good has to come out of what happened to me.”

James inhaled deeply then brought his head down, resting his forehead against Cam’s. “Okay.”

“Okay?” Cam knew his friends would be yelling at him, right about now, about how the man had lied—by omission, but it still counted—and left him, breaking his heart. How his approval wasn’t something Cam needed. But despite all that, he found himself wanting it, anyway. And that wasn’t something he was going to examine. At least not tonight.

“Okay,” James said firmly, sliding his hand around to rest on the small of Cam’s back. “But not like this, anymore. You’re going to end up hurt again—or worse—and I can’t…I can’t let that happen. Let me help you.”

Mind racing, wondering how James could help, Cam quit fighting himself and slide his arms around James’ waist and leaned into him.

“Let me help keep you safe,” James whispered against Cam’s temple, lips tickling. “Please, babe.”

Closing his eyes, Cam gave the only answer he could when it came to James.

“Yes.”


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: Promptly Penned #26

It’s time for another Promptly Penned post. We’re all given the same prompt and see where it takes it. The prompt itself is in italics in the post (normally I bold but apparently that isn’t showing up anymore. 🙁 )

Willa should have known better. She really, really should have. She’d thought throwing a profile up on the dating site would help her meet some guys here. New in town, she’d been lonely. Her job was going all right, she supposed, but she wasn’t really connecting with anyone. Not even on a friendly level, let alone on a romantic one.

She knew some of it was because she was a bit…gun-shy when it came to opening up to anyone, whether they be potential friend or lover. And who could blame her? After the disaster of last time. She’d put herself out there, shared who and what she really was, and she’d lost everyone. And had basically been run out of town. Okay, there hadn’t exactly been flames and pitchforks, but the end result was the same.

So she’d started over, here, and after several months, she’d given in to impulse and had done a stupid thing. Not the stupidest, but definitely high on the list. She’d had more dates than she could keep track of – with dullards, jocks, pretty boys, aggressive asses… The variety had been there, for sure, but not in a good way. And tonight, was just another strike out. This time, a real creeper. Who grew creepier every freaking second. The only thing soothing her, at the moment, was he’d just walked her to her front door.

Not a smart move for the average woman, she supposed, letting a man she didn’t know bring her home, but – Willa ducked her head and smiled as she felt her magic swirl through her body – she was far from average.

“Thank you,” she said quietly, pulling her keys from her purse. She pressed her lips together, loath to lie and say she had a good time.

“Not going to invite me in,” Marcus said, lips quirking into a small smile.

She struggled not to sigh as she unlocked the door and pushed it open. It was a shame – he was quite handsome. If only his personality and the vibe he gave off so strongly matched his looks.

“Not after a first date,” she said quickly a

“Maybe after the next, then?”

The sigh couldn’t be held back, ths time. She didn’t want to be a bitch, but he couldn’t possibly think tonight had gone well, could he? Certainly not second-date well.

“I’m sorry, but -” She struggled to find a nice way to say no fucking way. “I don’t think we really connected, Marcus. Maybe you’ll have better luck with your next match.”

“Oh, I don’t think so.” He stepped forward, close enough she could feel his breath on her face. “Don’t think I’ll get luckier than I have tonight.”

Willa called her power, gasping when it didn’t answer, didn’t rise to her command. A cry followed as she was shoved backwards by an invisible force and slammed into the wall of her entry. Marcus stepped over the threshold and closed the door with a wave of his hand.

“Imagine my surprise when I walked into that restaurant and found someone with power as strong as yours.” He hummed happily. “Best match I’ve had yet.”

She shook her head, trying to clear it. “What?”

“Oh, don’t worry, sweet Willa,” he crooned, pressing against her and cupping her face, causing her to whimper slightly. “Shh, shhh, shhhhh. It’s okay. You don’t have to love me. That’s not what I want…though,” he smirked again, “I wouldn’t mind if you did.”

“Wh…wh…what do you want?” she managed to ask, cold settling over her as fear gripped her entire being.

“Your life, your magic… Not to put to fine a point on it, your everything.”


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris
Paige Prince | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: Promptly Penned #25

**Trigger Warning: There is description of sexual assault that is stopped.
If that is something that would bother you, please don’t read further**

Hello, happy Wednesday, all!

It’s time for a Promptly Penned flash fic. The prompt, as always will be in bold within the story itself. Hope you enjoy!


Amelia shivered as the bus pulled noisily away from the stop. She tugged her coat more closely around her and began walking toward her house. It was more than the cold affecting her, though she tried not to think about it. About how, for weeks, she’d felt eyes on her all the time. About the monsters in the shadows. The ones her mother had warned her about for as long as she could remember—the beasts that stalked relentlessly, that stole people away, people who were foolishly unaware of their surroundings.

Never be unaware, Amelia. Always keep your eyes open, know what is around you. Don’t let them ever take you by surprise, my girl. Never ever.

She’d thought her mother crazy, even as she nodded and promised to be careful and aware of her surroundings. But these past weeks…she wondered if, perhaps, her mother had been right about the monsters all along. Or maybe this was the beginning, the start of Amelia’s descent into madness.

“Mel!”

She jolted at the shout then quickened her pace. What was wrong with her? There were no monsters. Not the kind Mom believed in, at least. If Amelia had felt watched, he was the reason why.

“Mel, wait up! Please, just…just… Would you just listen to me?”

Trent McKay.

She’d made the colossal mistake of agreeing to go out with the man and hadn’t been able to shake him since. After one date, she had known they weren’t right for each other, but Trent obviously thought otherwise. He constantly called, texted, and emailed. He made a habit of posting on her social media pages, embarrassingly shoving his way into conversations. Even though she’d bumped into him a few times while out with friends, she comforted herself with the fact that he didn’t know where she lived. She’d insisted on meeting him at the restaurant for that first and only date. But now…now, in the darkening night on the nearly deserted street near her home, she feared that was no longer true. He’d been following her. Stalking her.

A large hand wrapped around her biceps and yanked her to a stop.

“Leave me alone,” she cried, struggling to pull free, but the grip holding her just tightened.

“Not until you listen!”

The world spun, and with a thud, he had her back against the wall of the building she’d been walking past. Heart racing, painful in her chest, Amelia stared into wide wild brown eyes.

“Trent, you need to leave me alone,” she said slowly, even as her voice trembled and a cold sweat broke out all over her body.

“No, no, no, you don’t understand,” he shouted, shaking her, knocking her head off the brick behind her.

“Stop it,” she cried, pain ricocheting through her skull, her vision wavering.

“You just don’t see it. But you will.”

“See what?” She pushed at him, again and again, as much as she could, given how he held her, but he didn’t budge.

“You and I belong together.” He grinned madly. “And I’m going to show you.”

Sour fear curdled on her tongue as Trent pressed closer, grinding his hardness against her hip.

“Stop fighting me, Mel. This is right; this is meant to be.”

“No.” She shook her aching head, pushing and hitting him as hard she could.

Suddenly, his weight pressed her to the wall hard, and one of his hands left her arm. Then, a glint of metal drew her attention. Her mouth went dry, and heart stuttering, she froze.

“I don’t want to hurt you, Mel,” he said, his mouth close to hers, breath sweeping hotly over her face. “But I will…I will if it will make you understand.”

Eyes glued to the knife he now held, Amelia asked, “Why? Why are you doing this?”

“Because I love you,” he said simply. “You belong to me.”

“We went on one date!” she cried.

“Yes,” he said, bringing the knife to her throat, reaching between them with his other hand. “That’s all it took for me to know.”

Her breathing quickened as his fingers fumbled with the button of her jeans. This couldn’t be happening. It just couldn’t. Spots danced in her sight, and her fingers tingled. Shit, she was hyperventilating. But she couldn’t slow her breathing, couldn’t…

“That’s right,” Trent murmured, pulling down her zipper. “Don’t fight me.”

“Please don’t,” she whimpered, blackness edging out her vision.

“You’ll love me. You’ll see. You—”

Amelia legs gave out, and, as she slid to the ground, free of Trent’s oppressive weight, a scream echoing around her. Trent’s scream.

She blinked rapidly, trying to clear her vision, trying to see what the hell was happening. And then, she wished she hadn’t.

Monsters. Huge animals she couldn’t have imagined if she tried. Two of them hauled Trent away from her, their big muzzles clamped on his arms, teeth deep in his flesh, blood staining the fur around their mouths. The man kicked and screamed as they dragged him into the alley across the street. Suddenly, the screams stopped, and silence fell all around her.

Leaning heavily on the wall behind her, Amelia pushed to her feet. Stomach churning, she looked toward the alley, and bit back a scream of her own.

A man stood in a circle of light cast by one of the street lamps. He was huge—tall and broad—with dark messy hair, and his eyes… His eyes glowed red in the night as he stared at her. He held her gaze as he moved back, out of the light and into the shadows.

Amelia choked back a sob and stumbled forward. She had to get home. Away from Trent, away from the monsters. Quicker and quicker, she moved, tripping over her feet every time she looked back. She couldn’t help it, though. She could still feel eyes on her, watching her, following her.

She cried out in relief as she hurried up the short walk to her house. She fumbled the keys from her pocket, nearly dropping them before she could fit the right one in the lock. Shaking, she managed to unlock and push open the door. After stepping over the threshold, she stopped, and unable to help herself, she turned, knuckles whitening from her grip on the door.

There he was. The huge man with his glowing eyes. He stood across the street, feet braced apart, hands behind his back. Amelia blinked as her vision again blurred, then sharpened impossibly. The scents around her—the musty leaves on the ground, the trash in the cans at the curb, and him, all heat and fur?—swamped her senses. Her mouth watered, and her gums ached. Then, in an instant, all of that faded—as if it had never happened.

The man held her gaze as he bent forward in a small bow. And, as he straightened and grinned at her with impossibly sharp teeth, he once again melted back into the shadows.

Somehow, the fact he had followed her and knew where she lived didn’t matter. She felt an odd connection with him. She shook her head at the absurdity, but she couldn’t help it. Everything was different now. Her life was forever changed, now she’d learned the monsters were protecting her.


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn CeaseKris Norris | Siobhan Muir