Wednesday Randomness: First Argument

This is a newer feature we’ll be doing a couple times through the year – highlighting characters sharing firsts. We can post something from an already published work, a work in progress or something completely new. This time, we’re talking first arguments.

I’ve chosen a bit from one of my Bound books – Nothing Serious.

$3.99
Eden Books
(Exclusive Sale at Eden ~ $1.99!!! ENDS 3/8/19)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks
Kobo | Audio

It was meant to be nothing serious. And it was…until it wasn’t.

Aaron Stevens likes his life the way it is. As a surgical resident, he is perfectly content with the fact that the precious hours he has outside the hospital revolve around taking care of his mother and sister. He doesn’t have the time or inclination for a serious relationship. So the fact his lover lives halfway around the world and is fine with jetting off to exotic locales a couple times a year for a few weeks of hot sex is as close to perfect as he can get. 

The last thing Jack Hayes ever expected when his best friend got involved with an American was to hook up with her son. And he sure as hell never imagined it would continue for as long as it has. For years, he has been at Aaron’s beck and call, satisfied with submitting to him whenever Aaron and his busy life allow. But, after a change in his family’s company that has him looking for a new job, and possibly moving, Jack has begun to examine what he really wants in life and isn’t sure stolen moments here and there are enough anymore. 

When Jack arrives to attend Aaron’s sister’s wedding, keeping what he and Aaron have a secret begins to take its toll. Aaron is unwilling to come out to his family, afraid of hurting them and ruining what should be the happiest day of his sister’s life. As much as Jack has come to love Aaron, he can’t bring himself to be the dirty secret in Aaron’s closet. Aaron has a choice to make, because the tighter he holds on to keeping their “nothing serious” arrangement, the closer he comes to losing everything.


Jack took a deep breath and closed his eyes, and Aaron pulled him close, wishing he had more time, knowing coming out of a scene so abruptly wasn’t easy. 

“I’m all right,” Jack murmured into Aaron’s neck. “Should put some clothes on before Em shows up, though.”

“Yeah, definitely should do that. I’ll get your stuff.” 

“My stuff?” Jack frowned at him.

“We need to move your things in here.” Aaron stood and gathered the unused toys from the dresser. “Last thing I need is Emily getting nosy and suspicious. Be right back.”

He hurried into this room and replaced the items in the chest. Then, he grabbed Jack’s suitcases and rolled them into the guestroom, where Jack still sat on the bed, staring straight ahead. 

“Still a few things in the bathroom, but I’ll get those after I clean up and get dressed.” Bending to kiss Jack’s mouth, he frowned when Jack leaned away. “Jack?”

“Does your sister normally go poking around in your room and bathroom when she’s here?” Jack asked flatly. 

“No, but—”

“But you can’t take the chance, no matter how small, ‘cause it’d be the last thing you need, yeah? I mean, what could be worse than someone finding out about us?” 

Aaron gaped at him, the metallic taste of panic overwhelming him. Whether it was because of his sister’s imminent arrival or Jack’s reaction, he didn’t know. “Why are you so angry? Nothing’s changed. I don’t understand.”

“Not angry.” Jack shook his head. “Just tired. And frustrated.”

“I’m sorry,” Aaron murmured, not know what else to say. 

“Yeah, I know. So, go get dressed, Aaron, so everything’s normal when your sister gets here.”

The weariness his voice was like a knife to Aaron’s gut, and his refusal to meet Aaron’s gaze another twist of the blade. He went back to his room and, getting clean clothes, ducked into the bathroom. Turning the shower on, he stepped in, wincing at coolness of the water. As he washed his hair and scrubbed, he heard Jack shuffle in. Peering around the curtain, Aaron watched the other man gather his toiletries. Their eyes met briefly in the mirror above the sink, and Jack’s mouth quirked up in sad smile before walking out. 

This day, Aaron decided, shoving his head under the spray to rinse off, couldn’t get much worse. After toweling off and dressing, he strode into the living room and realized how wrong he was. 

Jack stood near the door, holding the curtain back from the window and peering outside—his suitcases at his feet. 

“What are you doing?” Aaron managed to croak. 

Jack visibly stiffened but didn’t turn around. “I’m waiting for a cab.”

“What the hell for?”

“To take me to a hotel.” 

“Why?” Aaron asked, shaking his head and leaning against the sofa as his legs quaked.

“I think it’d be easier all around, don’t you? No chance of anyone finding out this way.” 

“You can’t leave like this.”

“Like what?” Jack snapped, finally facing Aaron. “How exactly am I leaving? On my terms? Is that the problem?”

“What? No! The problem is you leaving at all. Why would you want to stay at a hotel when you can—”

“Stay here and go back and forth between rooms at your convenience depending on who decides to drop by?”

Aaron shoved his hand through his wet hair and shook his head. Christ, he couldn’t deal with this, not now. A car horn sounded outside, and Jack turned to look out. 

“It’s my cab.” 

“Is…is this you ending things?” Aaron could hardly force the words out, a cold sweat breaking out over his body as he waited for the answer.


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

Wednesday Randomness: First Meeting

This is a new feature we’ll be doing a couple times through the year – highlighting characters sharing firsts. We can post something from an already published work, a work in progress or something completely new. This time, we’re talking first meetings.

I decided to share the first time Grace met Noah and Ethan in Santuary.

This new world is full of risks, but which is greater…being alone or trusting others?

For Grace Summers, life after the super solar flare and deadly viral outbreak can be summed up in one word. Alone. Having lost everyone she loved, Grace travels on foot to her family’s remote hunting cabin, where her father had stockpiled food and supplies for this type of situation.

Along the way, she meets Noah Hill and Ethan Erikson, a couple traveling the same direction. Grace struggles with her attraction to the pair until they make it clear they are just as interested in her.

With Noah and Ethan, Grace is no longer alone, but can she bring herself to trust them in this new world where everyone is just trying to survive no matter the cost?


The sound of Callie’s growling jolted Grace upright from where she’d slumped farther against the tree trunk. She gripped the rifle and jumped to her feet, even before her eyes were fully open. Bringing the gun up snugly against her shoulder, she scanned her surroundings to find what had Callie sounding the alarm. She didn’t have to look far.

Her heartbeat sped and her breathing stuttered when her gaze landed on two men standing no more than twenty feet away.

“Whoa.” The taller of the two stepped forward, palms out in a peaceful gesture. He stopped in his tracks when Callie let out another low, menacing growl and moved in front of Grace. “Wanna call off the hound?”

“Wanna keep moving?” she returned.

“Not really,” the other man snapped.

“Let me rephrase.” She shifted slightly until the rifle was leveled directly at him. “Keep moving.”

“We’re not looking to cause any trouble,” the first man assured. “I’m Noah; this is Ethan. We’re just passing through, looking for a place to catch a few winks before moving on.” He gestured around. “There’s plenty of room, and we’ll share.” He pointed back at his partner, who sighed and lifted a hand. Four good-sized fish dangled from a line held between his fingers.

“Not interested.” Grace widened her stance and waited. The last thing she needed was two strange men hanging around. She wasn’t going to feel guilty about sending them on their way into the night. Honestly, if they couldn’t understand why a lone woman wouldn’t want two strange men hanging around, they were idiots.

“God, enough.” Ethan stepped forward. “You have no claim on the place. It’s late and dark; I’m tired and fucking hungry. If you don’t like it, you can move on.”

“Ethan,” the other man admonished. “There’s no need—”

“Hey,” Grace interrupted, exasperation edging out the panic. “Last I checked, I’m the one holding the gun, so I’m sure as hell not going anywhere.”

“Look, sweetheart—”

“I’m not your sweetheart!” she snapped. “Do you always make everything so damned difficult? I was here first, and I don’t make camp with men I don’t know.” For good reason. She shook her head slightly and tried to push thoughts of her last, and only, encounter with another person on this journey. Her stomach roiled, and her dinner threatened to make a reappearance.

Ethan let out an annoyed huff of breath, and Noah moved closer to him. Grace watched as he ran his palm down Ethan’s arm then wrapped his fingers around the other man’s hand. Ethan turned his head, and the men exchanged a long look before responding.

“And that’s completely understandable. Smart,” Noah said “But it’s late, dark; we aren’t going to be able to get much farther in any case. We just want to eat, sleep, and, in the morning, we’ll be on our way. How can we make that happen? What can we do to ease your mind?”

Grace’s gaze drifted back to their linked hands, where Noah’s thumb slowly rubbed the back of Ethan’s hand. She tightened her grip on the rifle and inhaled a shaky breath.

“You’re lovers?” she blurted, jerking her head back to look at their faces.


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