Flash Fiction ~ Man on Phone

Time for another flash fiction, and it’s an interesting photo. Since I’m submersed in the Delta Force series right now, I’m trying to stay in that world for the flashes. Mostly because my brain can’t seem to focus on more than one thing at a time… 

So, here’s a quick look into one of the other members of Delta—Dungeon. I wrote a short bit from Gibson Miller’s POV here, if you want to read it, and now we’re jumping into his counterpart. I’m not sure if or how much of this will be in the actual book, as it’s a long ways off. But it’s fun. 

“For fuck’s sake, Dungeon, would you stop looking at your phone? Cannon said he’d call as soon as Brady got back to him regarding Gibson. Staring at an empty screen isn’t going to make the man contact us any quicker.”

Mason “Dungeon” Cross bit back a curse, mentally listing all the reasons he wouldn’t stand up and kick his buddy’s ass. Not that Priest didn’t deserve it. The man had been hounding him ever since they’d gotten the assignment—since Cannon had called and dropped it in Dungeon’s lap. Apparently, he was the only guy among them that would fit in. Could actually compete in the Dragonflight Con and not make a fool of himself. And Priest had been itching to find him backup ever since. To the point Dungeon had done the one thing he’d sworn he’d never do.

He’d called in a favor.

Not that Cannon wouldn’t have helped him, regardless, but Dungeon knew if he left the selection up to Priest, the guy would volunteer to go, himself. And that wasn’t going to work. Not when Priest didn’t know an RPG from a MUD.

Of course, most of the guys had started firing questions at him when they’d heard him and Priest talking—shouting, if he were being honest. Asking Dungeon why the con was going to have rocket propelled grenades, and what new kind of weapon MUD stood for. It had taken longer than he’d anticipated to explain role-playing games and multi-user dungeons. No one had asked another question since. 

Besides, he needed a partner who wouldn’t be recognized as part of his former squad. Any squad, to be precise. The bastard they were after, a rogue CIA agent by the name of Ian Slader, might believe one ex-Delta Force soldier had a penchant for tabletop games. But two?

That was one too many, and Dungeon’s cover would be blown before he’d even started. Add to that the fact he’d officially come out of the closet since retiring, and he was batting a whopping zero with respect to finding a suitable teammate. If he was going to have backup, they’d need to stay close. And their best bet would be posing as a couple. 

Which meant partnering with someone he trusted who also fit in. Being attracted to men was a bonus, especially if the situation arose where they’d have to sell their cover. Hold hands. Kiss. A tall order during the best circumstances—not that he didn’t know a few qualified guys who swung his way. But they were still active, and Dungeon would not risk their livelihood to save his own ass. Forward thinking or not, staying under the radar was still the safest option. Sure, his unit had always known about his preference—something he hadn’t wanted to hide from them—but those were men he trusted. Were brothers.  This… This was different. And seemingly impossible. 

In fact, there was only one name on the list that was remotely doable. Gibson Miller. Ex-British Special Forces, and the one guy Dungeon hadn’t been able to get off his mind since they’d worked briefly together a few months back. Dungeon didn’t know if Gibson—Gib, as he seemed to prefer—knew anything about gaming, but the man was smart, strong, and lethal. Didn’t hurt that he looked like sin in denim, and Dungeon had no doubts Gib could fit in. That he had the wits to learn how to blend—quickly. And he was definitely the caliber of backup Dungeon would like. He’d seen the man kill up close—knives, guns, his bare hands—and he knew Gibson would have Dungeon’s back if shit went sideways.

When it went sideways. Because it always did.

Dungeon glared at Priest. “If you must know, jackass, I’m researching the con. Determining what kind of games I can compete in. The level of players I might face. How many tickets are left. I realize it’s not your forte, but these things sell out quickly. Not to mention needing to find a room.”

“I thought you already did that?”

“You said, and I quote—’No backup, no mission.’ So far, I don’t have any backup.”

“This is important.”

“You think I don’t know that? That bastard, Slader, has slipped through the cracks far too many times for my liking. He’s a damn snake. And if he manages to hand off that list…”

“Then, why don’t you just let me go? I’ll have your back.”

“Because I’d rather not have you punch me when I have to slap a wet one on you.” Dungeon held up his hand. “I know. Anything for the mission, but I promise you, Slader and whoever he has with him will be looking for plants. If you can’t sell that we’re…together, it’s game over. And as much as you love me—as a brother, a teammate—you’d never sell that.” He held up his hand. “I’m not judging. I doubt I’d be able to sell being a straight guy, so…”

Priest frowned. “I…” A blast of music drowned him out. He grabbed his phone, answering the call. “Hey, Cannon, thought you’d be calling Dungeon, directly. But, tell me you have good news.”

Dungeon waited, heart beating strangely erratically as Priest nodded, mumbling a few words he couldn’t hear before ending the call. Dungeon waited to see what Priest would say, but the man just sat there, staring off into space. “Well?”

Priest glanced over, a slow smile curving his lips. “Buy the tickets and book the room. Gibson’s in.” His smile flourished. “And while you’re at it, you should change your Facebook status, because you’re officially in a relationship.”

And that’s it for me. Please join the other ladies playing along this week…

Behind the Scenes ~ SIX

Delta Force: Six

This week’s post is called Behind the Scenes, and it’s insight into our current work-in-progress, WIP for short. And since Colt’s book is finished…scheduled to release April 9th as a crossover with Brotherhood Protectors, I’m on to the next one—Six. And I have to say, he’s got kinda a special place in my heart. From the get-go, he’s been a favourite. So, here’s a bit of Six and Kameron, who you meet in Colt’s book. All I can say is things are about to go sideways and fast. Six just hopes his sixth sense can keep up.

This is a continuation of a previous flash fiction in sorts. It’s been changed and tweaked to actually fit the book (love it when it works out that way) and if you want to read it, jump to Six’s post… Otherwise just jump right in.


“Relax. You’re right. We need a different approach. So, stay here until you get my signal, then ride to the rescue like a good little soldier.”

He tightened his grip on her wrist. “What are you going to do?”

“Nothing bad.” She slipped her hand free then took a few steps away, glancing back at him still grinning. “Just get close. Create a distraction.” She winked, damn it. “Whatever works.”

Six reached for her, but she was already moving. Sauntering up to the bar. Elbows on the counter, one foot tapping the floor behind her. Her ass hugging a stool. The denim clinging in all the right places.

Martin looked over. Stared, then rearranged his dick. He nudged one of the men, nodding toward Kam.

Six shifted to the other side, letting it play out. He knew how to control his emotions. Bury them. Emotions didn’t belong on an op, and they didn’t belong in this bar. He was working a case. Not on a date.

And he held firm. Stayed in the shadows. Waiting. He knew how she operated. What she’d do. Let them get close then pop one guy in the throat, the other in the groin. That would be his signal to move—prevent the other men from joining in. And her plan was moving along perfectly. Two of the guys had branched off—were sidling up beside her all cozy. Eyes slightly lust dazed. Focused on the healthy dose of cleavage she was sporting—had she really needed to undo three buttons? Show off the lacy white bra she had on? 

They didn’t suspect a thing. Hands nowhere near the bulges beneath their armpits. Their movements a bit stiff, probably like their dicks. All the blood rushing to the wrong head. It got smart men killed. For these assholes, it gave them tunnel vision. Blocked out the fact you could just make out a hint of her ankle holster as she hooked the heel of one boot on the lower rung of the stool. The slight raise by her other ankle that hid her knife. All indicators she wasn’t looking for a good time—was actively on the prowl for blood, not sex. 

Everything was proceeding exactly how she’d intended—men separated. Martin too focused on his woody to see her as a threat. Everyone’s guard down—until one of the mother fuckers touched her ass. Six knew it was coming. His damn sixth sense had decided to kick back in. Right then. Give him a ghosted snapshot of that bastard’s palm on the rounded curve. Heading south. About two heartbeats before it went down.

And Six lost it. Imploded. Rational thought a distant memory as he took four steps then struck. No warning. No trying to take the high road. Trying to talk it out. Take Martin in peacefully. Ask his men to step aside.

Just Six’s fist catching the first guy in the throat, knocking him back then doubling him over. Six grabbed the creep’s neck, pulled him into a raised knee, and the guy was down. Out cold on the floor. That broke the silence.

Martin’s other guy locked his fingers around Six’s arm, which only made snagging him easier. A hand over the creep’s, a pivot, and Six had the idiot’s arm extended. Shoulder already popping out of the joint as he levered the guy up. A kick shattered his knee, had the jerk crumpling to the ground. 

Six punched him twice in the face, just to be sure. To expend a bit of the energy thrumming through him. Then, he was on Martin. Knife out and through the bastard’s hand—pinning him to the counter. A quick elbow to Martin’s face cut off the man’s scream mid-note—had he was slumped over. Mumbling. Drooling.

Six turned in time to see one of the guys pull Kam off his buddy—spin her around then backhand her to the floor. Last thing that asshole did with that hand because Six was on him. That hand smashed against the counter—fingers bent back. Cracking against the strain. Two hits to the head and an elbow had blood splattering on the floor. Pooling beneath what used to be the guy’s nose. A few kicks to the leg, the groin, and it was over. The guy laid out across the bar. Groaning. Whimpering.

The one Kam had downed tried to push onto his hands. Hit the floor hard when Six booted him in the face. Heard his jaw snap. Served the bastard right. Touching her ass. Thinking he could treat her like a piece of meat.

Six moved over to her—went to one knee. “Kam? Come on, sweetheart, look at me.”

She groaned, blinked, then groaned, again. Palming her cheek. Eyes slowly fluttering open, giving him fleeting glimpses of green. Took her about a minute for her to finally focus on him. Glare. “What the hell, Six? I had it all under control.”

He snorted. “You are some piece of work, lady. Up you get.”

He cupped her elbow. Helped her stand. Stubborn girl swayed to her right, caught herself on his shoulder, then straightened. She blinked several times, though, he knew it didn’t do much to clear her vision. Not with the way she stumbled the few feet to the bar. Kicking the guy who’d hit her. Hard.

Six walked over to her. Brow arched. “Feel better, now?”

“A bit. The jerk has big meaty palms. That hurt.”

And that’s all for me. I hope to have this one out in June…that’s the plan, lol. I can’t wait for you to meet Crow. And Gibson might just join in, I really don’t know yet, lol. Meanwhile, go see what the other ladies are working on.

Promptly Penned ~ March

I read this month’s promptly penned tidbit and actually laughed. I knew this one was going to be one of the Wayward Souls guys, either before or after they join because this is very much something they’d say. However, it turned out it was Gibson, who will be in this book alongside Dungeon… yes Dungeon, but that callsign has a purpose… Here is the prompt…

“I don’t give a fuck.”

“You give so many fucks they’re visible from space.”

And here is the resulting story. I’m not sure if any/all of this will make it in. This book is, wow (ha, a play on Dungeon… WoW… you’ll see) at least two or three minimum away. But, it’s fun to jump around and get glimpses into upcoming books. Let little plot points start to take root.



Gibson Miller glared at his buddy, hell, his best mate, Coen Brady. Or as Gib preferred right now, manipulative bastard. “I said no, Coen. Feel free to drop it.”

Coen blew out an exasperated breath, scrubbing his hand down his face before crossing the room. “Fine. I’ll drop it after you answer me one question.”

“Christ, always another bloody question with you.”

“Afraid I’ll hit a nerve, buddy?”

“Nothing left to strike, so, go ahead, you sod. Ask.”

Coen grinned, the prick, and Gib knew he’d walked into a damn firefight without bullets flying around. “You’ve been helping Cannon’s guys out for months now, right?”

Gib narrowed his eyes. This was definitely not starting out well because he knew Coen was going to question his damn honor—the one thing Gib couldn’t say no to, and damn it, Coen knew it. “I’ve lent a hand when called upon.”

A snort and a damn smile. “You went all the way to Vegas to help Six out. Then teamed up with Crow while he was aiding the CIA. I’d say that’s more than lending a hand.”

“They needed some trained muscle, and Cannon’s guys were busy. Don’t read more into it than what it was.”

“Except where this isn’t Crow or Six, it’s Dungeon.”

Gib huffed. He was going to kill Coen. Slowly. Painfully. “First off, it wouldn’t matter who it was, I’m not holing up in a bloody hotel full of Star Trek wannabes. That’s not my style. And second, what the hell kind of callsign is that, anyway?”

Coen’s smile flourished. “Maybe the guy’s into some fun kink.”

“You know damn well that’s not why they call him that. It’s that bloody D&D he’s into.” Gib was sure Cannon’s crew had initially meant it as a tease but damn if the man didn’t own it. Hadn’t made it seem dark. Dangerous. More the dungeons of old, filled with nasty shit guaranteed to make people talk. And Gib didn’t doubt Dungeon could break anyone. “He’s thirty-five, for fuck’s sake.”

“I’m pretty sure it has multiple meanings.”

“And the fact they want me to go undercover at some Comic bullshit—”

“It’s called Comic Con.”

“I don’t care what they call it. And unless it’s showcasing the new nine mils coming out…”

“He needs someone not associated with Cannon. With his team. Someone no one will recognize. He also needs someone he can trust. Who can pull the role off.”

“Oh, so because I happen to swing his way, I’m the go-to, yeah?”

“Or maybe you’re just the best damn guy for the job.”

“And, maybe, I don’t give a fuck.”

Another snort. Louder with a distinct mocking tone.

Gib frowned. “Are you suggesting otherwise? That I do, in fact, give a fuck?”

“Buddy, you give so many fucks they’re visible from space.” He grabbed Gib’s arm when he went to shove Coen aside—make for the damn door. “Just…talk to me.”

“Nothing to say, chum.”

“Bullshit. You think I didn’t notice the way you looked at Dungeon? I might be a bit sleep deprived with Finley puking half the damn time, trying to convince me she’s fit to go in the field the other half—despite being four months pregnant—but I know attraction when I see it. And you haven’t let anyone past those damn barriers of yours for years. Finley and I had thought maybe you and Jonah…”

Great, now they were bringing Jonah into the mix. “You know damn well the man isn’t ready. And the last thing we need is all four of us being chummy. Besides, he’s not really into ex-Spec Op guys. He’s had his share of those kind of relationships ending bloody, and I can’t say that I blame him.” Gib had had enough of those, as well. Was the reason he’d shut himself off emotionally.

“And the fact Dungeon doesn’t share those sentiments? Might actually want to be more than just a weekend fuck buddy? Isn’t put off by your British charm?”

“Not everyone needs a white picket fence.”

“We don’t have a fence, and that’s not the point.” Coen stabbed his fingers through his hair. “Just answer me this.”

“You already got your one question.”

“Technically, I haven’t asked it yet. So…what are you afraid of? Having to spend a weekend with a bunch of nerds or having to spend the weekend with Dungeon—posing as his love interest?”

Gib simply glared at Coen.

Coen snickered. “That’s what I thought. Guess you’re not as badass as you claim, ‘eh, buddy?”

“Fuck you.”

“Thought you didn’t have any left to give?”

“You are such a fucking wanker, you know that?”

“Finley calls me a lot worse, so…” He nudged Gib. “You gonna call Cannon and tell him you’re on board or leave his teammate hanging in the wind? Make him face those assholes alone because if their suspicions are correct—if that list Mccormick stole is going to be traded there. Sold to the highest bidder…”

“Fine. I’ll help him out, but not because I care.”

“Right. For the good of England and all that shit.”


“I’ll call Cannon. Tell him you’ll meet Dungeon at the Convention Center.”

Gibson glared at Coen’s back. Gib had been right. This had gone completely for shit. And with the way his damn body had reacted the last time he’d been around Dungeon, things were only going to get worse.

And that’s it for me. Please hop on over to the other ladies playing along this week…

Bronwyn  |  Jessica  |  Siobhan  |  Gwendolyn

First Time ~ Argument

We’re doing another first time post. This rendition is a first argument. It can be brand new, a WIP or something established.

I decided to go with Ash and Cassidy from RICOCHET~ now  part of KU along with Force of Nature, which was the contender for here because Coen and Finley argue from the moment they meet 😀 … So you can read for free with a subscription (see what I did there. Bam.)

Anyway, it doesn’t get much easier for these two for a while, lol. 


A moment he can’t take back…

An unlucky rebound has left U.S. Deputy Marshal Ashton Kane broken. His partner’s dead and, consumed by guilt, he’s walked out on the only woman he’ll ever love.

A love she can’t forget…

Cassidy Ryan has tried to move on. Losing the love of her life cut deep, but she vowed she wouldn’t let it break her. And she’s finally taking back her life—until she stumbles upon a deadly encounter that threatens to destroy everything and everyone around her.

One last chance at redemption…

Ash has fooled himself into believing Cassidy’s better off without him—until she puts her life on the line, forcing him to face the demons that still whisper in the dark—or risk losing her. Again. Only this time, it’ll be no one’s fault, but his.

“You’re leaving?”

Ash froze, hand fisted around the door handle of his truck, a meager scattering of his shit tossed in the back. How the hell had she woken? It’d taken him twenty minutes to crawl out of the bed, waiting between each tiny movement just so she wouldn’t stir. He didn’t even remember what he’d packed. Socks. His badge. That fucking gun. The door hadn’t so much as creaked when he’d ventured outside, absently throwing his belongings in the back, not really caring where they landed. He’d been careful. Strangely removed.

Her footsteps scuffed across the porch, the familiar creak of the step constricting his chest. God, how many times had he promised to fix that damn staircase? Pausing at the bottom, head shaking, only to have her launch into his arms, her easy laughter making him smile? He turned to her, knowing he owed her something, secretly wondering if he had anything left to give.

She stood on the top stair, his shirt wrapped around her as she crossed her arms over her chest, her bare feet shifting on the wood. Tears dotted her cheeks, his note scrunched in her hand.

“Shit, Cass. It’s October. You’re going to freeze dressed like that.”

Her chin quivered, more tears spilling down her cheeks. “You sneak out of our bed, pack up your stuff and leave, and you’re worried if I’m going to catch a fucking cold!” Her voice rose with each word. “Do I mean that little to you?”

Anger burned through his veins as he took a single step toward her. “I left you a note.”

She laughed, the sound on the verge of hysterics, as she raised the crumbled sheet in her hand, shaking it. “A note? We’ve been together four years, and you leave me a god damn note?”

“What do you want from me?”

“Talk to me, Ash. Let me inside instead of shutting me out.”

Ash frowned, stuffing his hands in his pockets as he looked away. “There’s nothing left for you to save. I’m…” The images floated through his head, the voices whispering to him. “I just need some time. To get my head straight.”

She choked back a sob, pursing her lips. “I’ll give you whatever space you need. Hell, I’ll move into the spare room if it’s what you want. I won’t pressure you, just…” Her voice cracked as her eyelids fluttered close for a moment. “Ash. Please.”

The man inside him cringed, screaming at him. Begging him to ease her pain, to grow some fucking balls and do the right thing. “I don’t want to leave… You know I love you.”

“Then don’t go. Stay. With me. We can work through this.”

“Cass… God.” He clenched his hands at his side. “I can’t.”

He turned, opening the door, pausing with one hand on the frame, the other white-knuckled around the handle. The steps creaked behind him, her hand lightly touching his back.

“Are you coming back?”

His muscles tensed from the contact, a roll of nausea churning his gut. “Honestly? I don’t know.”

She inhaled sharply, the raspy sound like a knife to his soul. He waited for her to hit him. To scream. Anything. Some fucking thing. Her breath whispered through the air behind him before the stairs creaked again. He willed himself to get in the damn truck, to drive. But he couldn’t stop from glancing over his shoulder at her. She stood on the bottom step, her back to him, one arm wrapped around her stomach as if she were trying not to throw up. A sob shook her body before she turned, her pain nearly taking him to his knees.

“You know what? Go. Run away, you fucking coward!” Tears streamed down her face as she forced in endless quick breaths. “But it doesn’t matter how far you go, you can’t leave this behind, Ashton. It’ll haunt you. Eat you alive until every trace of the man is gone, and you’re nothing but a hollow shell.”

She stomped up the stairs, then spun again, heaving out a sob. “You’re not the only one who lost anything! I loved Ben, too! And now you…” She snagged her lower lip, physically drawing herself up. “But I won’t let this beat me.”

She heaved again, palming her mouth as she turned and stumbled back into the house, slamming the door behind her. He took a step toward the porch, the echo of gunshots stopping him cold. They rattled inside his head, the metallic tang of blood surrounding him.

I’ll take the rear, buddy. Don’t worry. I’ve got your back. Just like always.

He turned to the truck, all but shoving himself behind the wheel. She’d be better off without him. A day. A week. She’d forget, and her love would fade, just like him.

That’s it for me. Please join the other ladies playing along this week…

Jessica  |  Bronwyn  |  Kayleigh  | Gwendolyn  |  Siobhan

Flash Fiction ~ Foggy Trail

Time for another photo flash. Cool image. Here is the resulting story…

I decided to do another snippet with Ethan, from a few flashes ago. You can’t read that here… They aren’t really connected but…

Fog. Thick, with an unearthly glow. Curling through the trees, dampening the leaves as it swallowed the forest. Ethan hated this part. Waiting. Watching. Wondering if the next silhouette would be his mark.

Patience had never been his virtue. But he endured. Was actually damn good at it, despite the way it gnawed at his gut. Left him questioning his motivation at times. Wondering if there would be anything left of the idealistic man he’d once been. If he even wanted there to be.

Lying in wait for days on end. Barely moving. Hell, barely breathing. Just his eye pinned to the scope—body hidden within the foliage. It gave him too much time to think. About his life. His future.


That’s where all his thoughts went. Anna Cartwright. The woman destined to be his undoing. Or maybe his salvation. It seemed to be a race as to whether she’d save his ass or crucify it. Rebuild him or just bury his ashes in the damn ground. In the same spot she’d resurrected his heart.

Which was crazy. Snipers didn’t have hearts. Not if they were good at their job. Could make the hard choices—take the hits that would shred lesser men. Destroy their souls. And Ethan was damn good at his job.

So, waking up and realizing the cold, dark void he’d kept caged inside his chest was gone—replaced with something so damn fragile it threatened to bleed out at the slightest look, touch, fuck smell from her?

Yeah, that fucked with him. On so many levels he’d given up trying to puzzle it out. Just accepted that Anna was beyond his training, beyond the scope of his control, and moved on. Prayed she didn’t leave him broken. A shell of the formidable warrior he’d once been.

Movement. Nothing more than a swirl of fog. A slight disturbance within the ghostly glow. Nothing concrete, more like a suggestion of a presence. Like a shadow moving in the dark, just a breath lighter than the actual blackness of night. Barely discernible.

But Ethan saw it. Felt it. The slight prickle along his nape. The tensing in his gut. Signs most would attribute to three days rooted in the same four-foot hole. From fatigue. Stress.

He didn’t. Instead, he adjusted his lens. Checked his measurements. Wind. Elevation. Humidity. Distance. Slowed his breathing. Quieted his mind. Everything focused on the apex of the hill. On the singular moment he’d get when his prey emerged from the fog. One breath to make his decision—fire or not. After that, it would be too late. Three days with nothing to show but his impression in the ground.

A dim form. Slowly taking on shape—head, shoulders, arms.

The man’s body rising up out of the fog as he crested the hill. There was a moment of eerie silence—not even the beat of Ethan’s heart registering inside his head, while he searched the man’s features—identified him.

Then, the soft whoosh of the bullet. The thump of the guy hitting the dirt.

Mission complete.

And that’s it for me. Please join the other ladies playing along…


Jessica  |  Bronwyn  |  Siobhan  

Wordless Wednesday ~ Top 10 Daydreams

So this week it’s a wordless post about the Top 10 Things I Daydream About. And I’m already using words, but no one is surprised…

My first thought was…how am I supposed to pick only 10? Then, it was…wait. Do I even have 10 or is it the same one or two over and over and over… Then, it turned to, do I even realize when I’m daydreaming and when I’m not, anymore? Aren’t those daydreams my books? I really don’t know, but… in an attempt to play along, here are 10 possible answers, in no particular order.

Top Ten – Comic book style word.


Retreat. Like all the freaking time.

Running, not necessarily getting mud on myself. 

My happy places. 

This is supposed to represent a cute guy, maybe even—gasp—a relationship.

Characters and books I’ve already written.

Current WIPs

Ireland…I still want to do the Celtic Cross. Run across Ireland in 6 days.

A tiny home. Or a hobbit home. I’m just done with stuff.

Seriously…the most recent WIP takes up a lot of hard disk space.

Sometimes, I like to dream about absolutely nothing. One, big, blank space.

And that’s it for me. Please join the other ladies playing along this week.

Jessica  |  Bronwyn  |  Siobhan

Song Fiction ~ Human

I’ve actually heard this song before. I know it was on the radio tons. I didn’t recognize the band but that’s nothing new. If you haven’t listened to it, before, the video is posted below. And the story is a brief jump into one of my fave characters… two, really. Coen and Gibson from FORCE OF NATURE. I do love these guys. They are more than best friends. They’re like brothers…

“Bloody hell, Gibson.”

Coen pressed the Ace bandage back over the soldier’s gut, pushing as hard as he could to stanch the heavy flow of blood. Not that it would do any good. The severity of the man’s wound…

He looked up at his buddy. “Have you seen what’s underneath this? Do you know what that is seeping through?”

“Yeah, mate. The man’s intestines. Which is why you’re here.”

“I’m here because I’m the only doctor crazy enough to follow a unit this deep into the damn hot zone.”

“You mean, the only one brave enough.”

“This isn’t courage. Trust me. Sheer stupidity.” He waved at Gib. “Hold this. Tight.” He shook his head when Gibson took his place. “Harder. All your weight. More if you can manage it.”

Coen rummaged through his supplies. He’d brought as much as he could carry and still move and yet, it likely wouldn’t be enough.

It never seemed to be enough.

He grabbed a handful of supplies—practically the whole damn bag—then moved back over. He checked the soldier’s vitals, cursing the insanely low blood pressure. The sluggish movement of the guy’s pupils. The man was a breath away from death.

Coen worked quickly—intubation. A bag. IVs—saline and plasma. Drugs. Every freaking resource he had. Then, he changed places with Gibson, again. “Keep bagging him.”

Gibson nodded. Knowing the count without being told. He’d been Coen’s only help on more fucked-up missions than Coen could count.

He re-examined the wound—took stock. “This is crazy. Even if I somehow manage to save this sergeant’s life, he might very well brain be dead. I can’t begin to fully describe the severity of his wounds. There’s fucking shrapnel everywhere. He’s pretty much bleeding out. And I don’t have any blood. That…” He pointed to one of the bags. “That’s the only bag of plasma I could bring. It won’t be close to enough.”

“I’m O neg. You can do a direct transfusion.”

“And lose the only guy left standing? Are you nuts? We’re not safe. I can’t defend everyone and keep our asses in one piece, medically speaking.”

Gibson snorted. “Please. If I can fight better completely smashed than most guys sober, I think I can watch your six minus a few pints.” He held Coen’s stare. “I won’t let you down, mate.”

“You’re not the one I’m worried about failing.”

“Please. You’re the best damn field doctor I’ve ever worked with. And I’ve seen a lot.”

“Stitching wounds. Setting bones. Digging out a couple of bullets is nothing compared to this. In a surgical room with actual instruments? Sure. Not a problem. But here, under these conditions?”

“You’ve got this.”


“Damn it, Coen, you know he saved my arse. Three times, now. Took a bullet and got a fucking slash across his face all to keep me alive. I owe him.”

“I know he’s like a damn brother to you, but fuck, Gib… The world doesn’t work that way. Fate doesn’t give a shit if it’s fair or if you have debts you can’t hope to ever repay. She plays by her own damn rules, the bitch. I should know. She screws me over every chance she gets.”

“Not. Today.” Gibson shook his head. “No. We’re not losing this one.”

Coen sighed. “I know I act like an arrogant ass most of the time, but damn, buddy. I’m only human. I can’t actually work miracles, as much as I want to. Get it in my head I can break the rules. Hell, make my own. I’m just a man.”

Gibson’s hand lightly brushed against his arm, drawing his attention for one brief moment. “Maybe out there, in the rest of the world, you’re just a man. But in here—with a fucking scalpel in your hand…” Gibson cleared his throat, his voice thick. “In here, Coen, you’re the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a god. I know you’ll save him. Today, we break those rules. Tell Fate she can kiss my arse. Yours, too.”

Coen grunted, tying off bleeders—cauterizing any he could. “I really hate you at times, you know that? Giant pain in my ass.”

Gibson gave him a small grin. “Thanks, mate. I owe ya. And I’ll see we both live long enough for me to pay it back.”

“How about you just focus on living. That would be a hell of a start.”

Please join the other ladies participating this week…


My Warning Label

This is a rather loaded question, and honestly, I think my true warning label would be ridiculously long and in that tiny printing that even people with 20/20 vision would need to use glasses… yeah, you know what I’m saying.

Anyway, if I had to make a concise warning label…

WARNING: If you’re reading this, it’s already too late.

That’s it for me. Please join the other ladies playing along this week…

Bronwyn  |  Jessica  |  Gwendolyn

Promptly Penned ~ Dream

Welcome to another edition of Promptly Penned. This month the prompt it… “I had that dream, again.”

Lots of ways this one could go. Here’s the resulting story. The prompt will show up at some point, lol.

“I had that dream, again.”

Jade pursed her lips, worrying her hands in her lap before glancing up—facing the man sitting in the chair across from her. Bastard wasn’t even looking at her—scribbling away in his freaking notepad. Who did that? Weren’t the union shrinks supposed to record everything? In case the department wanted to access it later? Use it as evidence one of their detectives had lost their shit? Did he know how easy it would be to destroy all his records?

The guy. Brown—last name, she thought—didn’t even meet her gaze. Just kept scribbling. Asshole was probably just doodling. Drawing a stick figure of her with horns. That’s what he thought. That she was sick. Evil.

He tilted his head to one side, as if admiring his work. “Which one was it? Where you’re giving a presentation in only your underwear?” He spared her a quick shift of his eyes. “Or were you naked, this time?”

She didn’t roll her eyes. Wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of seeing how his remarks affected her. He was trying to get a reaction. She knew it. Unstable cop with probable PTSD—he’d made it his sole mission to see if he could push her completely over the edge. Get her booted. She wasn’t sure what she’d done to piss the guy off—why he had it out for her. Jade just knew that he did. That she’d never get any real help. Wouldn’t be able to rejoin her precinct because the dipshit would never sign off on her recovery.

Instead, Jade stood, paced over to the window then leaned against the frame. The sun was setting. Reds and oranges chasing each other across the sky. Staining the approaching clouds a deeper shade. Rain was coming. She could smell it. Feel the weight of it in the air. The slight charge that suggested things could turn nasty.

“No. Not that.”

A grunt. Fucker couldn’t even be assed to reply a simple, “Oh.” The sound of that pencil on paper, again. The constant scratching making her eye twitch. “Which one, then? The raid?”

The raid. He said it no different than if he’d said, the burger combo. As if it had been just another day. Another shift. That it hadn’t changed her entire life. Imploded it. Cost her her job—even if temporarily, for now—her partner. Her damn sanity. Two liters of blood, too, and a chunk of rib.

Jade focused on the cars starting and stopping on the street below. Rush hour had ended hours, ago. Just the last few stragglers heading home. Soon, it would be dark. Mostly deserted. More than enough cover.

She glanced at him over her shoulder. “No. Not the raid. The one where I’m standing in the darkness. No moon. No stars. Nothing. The occasional flash of lightning sets off the building above me. It’s open. Under construction. It starts to rain. But I don’t care. I just stand there, staring into the hole at the edge of the foundation.”

He nodded, and for a moment she thought maybe he was actually listening. That he was one of those people that just couldn’t make eye contact. That rode that fine line between functioning socially and not. That, maybe, she’d been wrong all this time.

A sigh. “I’m sorry, did you say you were staring at a bowl?”

She hadn’t ben wrong. And it was time this ended.

Jade paced across the room, going to the shelves off to his right then slowly walking toward his desk directly behind him. “Hole. Staring off into a hole. There’re those metal rods in them—the ones they use to hold concrete together?”


“Right. How did I forget that?”

Another sigh. How he managed to make it sound condescending, she wasn’t sure. But he pulled it off. Succeeded in making her question her sanity. “You’re still suffering from side effects of the concussion—brain and sound. As I’ve told you, there’s a chance you won’t completely recover. Be fit to rejoin the force.”

“Yes. You’ve mentioned that since the start. Every session, in fact.” She walked over to the left a bit. “Anyway, I’m staring into this hole, and there’s a body inside. Blood pooling in the dirt. It doesn’t look red. More like tar collecting around the rebar. Slowly sinking into the ground. The rain is washing away everything else. Cleansing it. I keep thinking that I should feel sad. Or angry. Maybe guilty. But there’s nothing. I’m just numb. Relieved, even. That it’s over. That I’m free.”

More scribbling. “And you’ve had this dream before?”

“At least a few times a week since… It should be in your notes, if you want to flip back.”

He grunted, again, but paged through the notebook, stopping closer to the front. “Here. You said you feel as if this place is familiar.”

“I figured it out. It’s that new construction a block over. I pass it every time I come here. All that steel standing against the sky. There’s a crew coming in late tonight to finish pouring the cement. Bet they won’t even have time to check those holes. Dig under. They’ll just cover everything up.”

“Interesting. And what about the person in the hole? You said that no matter what you do, you can’t see the man’s face. Is that correct?”

“Yes. In the past, no matter how hard I try, I can’t turn him over or dig the dirt away fast enough. Then, I wake up.”

He nodded, then stopped, and by the way his head cocked to one side, she knew he was frowning. Brow furrowed. Eyes slanted. He made an effort of turning his head. No nearly enough to see her. Just a small twitch. “In the past? Was it different this time?”

“Funny you should ask. It was. This time, I saw his face. It’s all so clear, now. What’s been holding me back. Why I’m not getting any better—can’t find forgiveness. Peace.”

He snorted. “Did you see yourself, Detective Morrison?” God, he sounded smug. Like he’d known all along that she was the monster in the closet. Hiding. Waiting.

Jade slipped in behind him, the smooth glide of the nylon rope calming her movements. Making them feel effortless as she slipped it around his throat—pulled tight. Jacks was outside. Waiting. Willing. “No, Dr. Brown. It was you. All this time, it was always you.”

Guess he was right. She was the monster in the closet.

And that’s it for me. Please join the other ladies participating this week.

Bronwyn | Jessica |

Brain Dump ~ I Got Nothing…

So, this week is Brain Dump. It’s basically a free-for-all to chat about anything that’s on your mind. There’s just one catch… I got nothing.

It’s like when you remember you went shopping but then you open the fridge and there’s nothing there. Maybe a soggy cucumber. Bio-hazardous milk. A shriveled up apple. And for the life of you, you can’t remember where it all went. Like—did you eat it and not remember? Did you only go shopping in a dream? Have the animals figured out how to open the fridge door while you’re asleep?

Of course, actual food here goes to the ravenous hoard of teenagers. But inside my head… I really don’t know.

I’m busy. I finished Cannon’s book before Christmas — Loose Cannon —and it will release mid-Feb. I’m working on Colt’s book, and have plans for Six and this other guy, Hutch. I’m doing all I can to make this a super amazing positive year. To own it. Claim it.

I’m making covers. Hoping to expand on that because I do enjoy the challenge. And ya know, I have that ravenous hoard of teenagers…

But there’s no one thing, ya know? This is like the Seinfeld of Brain Dump posts.

So, instead of continuing on and on and on about, well, nothing. I’m going to leave you with this. One of the ladies shared it on our Ladies of the Lake group and it’s now my official theme song… take it away…

Check out the rest of the crew who are playing along, as they probably actually have something to say.

Jessica | Bronwyn | Gwendolyn