Happy Wednesday, all! So today’s blogging topic is: If you could indulge in anything without consequences, what would it be?
I’ve a feeling no one will be surprised…
That is all. Rowr.
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.
“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.
Every month, I say I can’t believe the month is coming to an end…and March is no different. LOL It’s been a weird month for me, I’ll admit. I don’t talk about my health too often – except to a the hubs and a couple close friends, etc – but it’s been a rough go lately. Well, not just lately, to be honest. I’ve been having some health issues for years, but sadly, doctors weren’t really listening or would blame it on my weight or some other stupid ass thing. Well, I’ve finally found a doc who actually listens. Who sat down with me and listened to everything…and kept prodding me to share more, to give him the WHOLE picture. Shocking and refreshing at the same time. As a result of that, the last month, I’ve been adjusting to some new medications. And, while I’ve been having really good results from taking them, it’s still a huge adjustment and it definitely has impacted my life.
I don’t have much to show, work wise, this past month, as I’ve been dealing with doctor visits, coming to terms with some things, and adjusting. I’m not going to carry on getting down on myself about that, because, all in all, things are improving and, for the first time in a very, very long time, I’m feeling better and have hope that it will keep getting better.
So, I’m just going to move on to what I want to accomplish for the next month. And that is extrememly simple. I want to get back to writing. Being able to focus on that, on doing what I love. I need to establish a routine for myself – as much as I’d love to say I’m a wild spirit, routine is where I function best. So that is what I’m going to focus on in April – getting a routine that works and getting back to writing.
It’s time for another Top 10. This week, we’re talking aobut the Best Things in Life. So, in no particular order:
A Good Book
An Ice Cold Cider
Doctors Who Listen
Medications That Work
When the Story is Flowing
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.”
It’s time for March’s Photo Flash Fic. It’s a short one from me this month. Set within the world of my serial, Your Lies (feel free to follow the link and read the chapters that are up and the flash fic I’ve written in this world already.) I’ve revisited Kyle, who is the heroine’s bestie though they haven’t seen each other in a while.
“Why don’t you just get that fixed?”
I glanced up from the map and papers I’d been studying. Simmons, the newest recruit the powers that be had saddled me with, pointed at the cracked window.
“Or, fix it yourself? You know…” She wiggled her fingers dramatically. “You’re powerful enough to do it with little effort.”
I rolled my eyes. “Focus. We need to get through this information and—”
“Man, everyone’s heard about you. How quickly you moved up the ranks, the things you can do. I can’t believe they assigned me to you. Everyone is jealous as fuck, let me tell you.”
“Simmons,” I snapped, hands clenched on the table.
“Oh, you can call me Layla,” she said cheerfully. “Is our next assignment at the university? I heard some messed up stuff is happening there. I mean, Maddock Roberts is apparently hooking up with a magic user or a Sympathizer. Don’t know if I believe that… Who would be stupid enough to get involved with the poster boy of the anti-magic crowd?
Delia’s face flashed in my mind, and my magic surged, pushed outward with the force of my anger.
“Anyone who is anyone knows who he is so it’s not like she could claim ignorance. Do you think it’s true? Do you think she’s some kind of do-gooder, trying to reform h— Uh, what’s happening?”
Her face paled as she looked around the room. Everything around us shook—the table skittered across the floor, the raggedy couch and chairs did the same, and the door rattled on its hinges. And the window—the fucking window that started her incessant chattering… The cracks lengthened, webbing out until they hit the frame.
“It’s a reminder,” I bit out, motioning toward it with my chin.
“What does it remind you of?” she said in a near whisper as she stared at the window, wide-eyed.
“Not for me. For everyone else.” I braced my hands on the table, quelling its movement as I leaned forward and waited for her to turn her gaze back toward me. “A reminder to stay focused and not to piss me off. And, Simmons,” I said slowly, “listening to mindless gossip and speculating on something you have no knowledge of…pisses me off.”
“I’m sor-sorry, sir,” she stammered. “It won’t happen again.”
I drew my power back inside and nodded. “See that it doesn’t. Now, let’s get through this new information, shall we?”
This week’s Wednesday Randomness topic is “The Perfect Lazy Day”. This was harder to write than expected. LOL I mean do I write the perfect day I could have if money was no object, teh perfect day away from home, the perfect day I could have right now, right here… See? So many choices.
So, I went with the perfect day I could have, here and now. Then, I have realistic hope I can have a perfect lazy day soon, yeah? 😀 And it doesn’t take much to make me happy, to make a lazy day perfect.
The perfect lazy day will always include a nice relaxing bath, surrounded by candles, maybe some soothing music playing. A bath in a super clean tub that I didn’t have to scrub myself. In which I could soak and get all loosy goosy with no interruptions. Seriously, all of those details are incredibly important – I don’t have to clean anything but myself and absolutely no interruptions.
You know any day of for me, relaxing or otherwise, would include reading. And not reading I have to do. Honestly, I’m lucky – even the required reading in my life, I tend to enjoy, but it’s not the same as just reading for pleasure, is it?
It’d be lovely to have a day with no obligations pulling at me, keeping me from making a dent in my To Be Read pile or reading some yummy fanfic.
I’d round out the day by catching up on some shows. I’m ridiculously behind on so many. I could spend many days binge watching, but I don’t, because too much to do and just not enough time.
But my perfect lazy day would end with me curled up, all cozy and comfy, remote in hand, watching some of my favorite characters living their lives and adventures. And I’m fairly certain a glass of wine…or several…would play a part, as well.
Make sure to see what the other Wednesday ladies would do on their perfect lazy days.
This week we’re sharing a new feature – Best & Worst. It’s not the best and worst for everyone, but what is best and worst personally for the blogger. For example, this week we’re talking Best & Worst Writing Process. So I’m going to share what writing process is the worst for me, and what is the best.
So I’ll start with…The whole “vomit the first draft” thing. For those unfamiliar, it’s the idea that you just write the first draft without fixing anything – you just write it all out…word vomit. This does not work for me. I know, for some people, this is awesome and works super well for them. I am not one of those people. I get incredibly anxious and frustrated, and it actually makes it difficult to write at all.
Now for what works best for me. I think a lot about the main characters. And, I mean, a lot. About them, their motivations, their familys, their lives. I don’t write all of this down. I will jot some notes down, especially if something is going to factor heavily into the story, but that’s it. It’s really just me, spending some time with the characters, getting to know them.
I outline my stories. Now, by outline I don’t mean tons of pages with every detail (that process isn’t the WORST for me but it’s a close second. Long outlines with every minute detail makes me feel as though I’ve already written the book at that point.) My style of outline is a list of the big moments. Things that absolutely have to happen to get my characters from the beginning to their happily ever after at the end. For series that have an overarching story arc through several books, the outline is a bit more detailed but not much.
Once I have that, I start writing, working my way to that first big moment, then the next, then the next. I try to be flexible, because some of the best moments in my books, in my opinion, were when the story or characters veered off of my intended path. That’s when I start talking to myself.
It’s not a complex process, but it works for me. A bit of structure – a wee roadmap with all the main points on it – and some flexiblity to accept and work with the sidetrips my brain (aka story and characters) take me on.