So I haven’t done a regular post in a bit. Just the flash fiction, but I’m jumping in this week, since it’s wordless Wednesday. This month… things that make me turn into the hulk.
When you haven’t driven your car for days and it was full when you parked it.
Sometimes, even when they smile it doesn’t change their status.
These posts… please stop, just stop…
Everyone says: ” if you need anything, don’t hesitate, I’ll be there for you”… So I’m going to make this bet, without being pessimistic, I wish “my friends” would put this on their wall. I want to know who I can count on… And I’m sure it will be less than 5. Copy and paste on your wall..that is all. Type “done” on this comment when you do it!
This one needs no explanation…
And this: IT’S NEVER HAPPY!
There are lots more, but not all translate into photos. Now hop on over and see what makes the rest of the gang turn green.
How is it time for another song fiction already? Has it really been a month since the cabin retreat already? No wonder I’m sad. I need another one. Now. Like, right now. How am I going to be able to wait another year?
Anyway, the song this month is SKY HIGH HONEY, by Matt Nathanson. I quite like Matt as a singer, though I wasn’t familiar with this song. I’ll like to it below. It’s the acoustic version. I honestly don’t know if there are other versions. Either way, it’s a great song. I only wish I knew what to write, lol. As always, I’m stumped. Which means…it’s going to be a chunk from one of my ongoing stories. In fact, I’m in the process of trying to finish the next angel book. Michael has been waiting for some time to get his story written, so…
Here’s the song should you want to listen and the resulting story. As it turns out, it’s not Michael or Greyson… The snippet would have jumped into the middle of their story and well… I just couldn’t do it. So, it’s a continuation of the last Promptly Penned with Devlyn and Ryker. If you want to read that, go HERE, or just jump right in. Never hurts to go with the flow.
“This has got to be some kind of cosmic joke. One I don’t find at all funny.”
Ryker Monroe sighed as he watched Devlyn trip her way across the room, finally bracing her weight against the far wall. He hadn’t missed the pain laced through her voice, he just wasn’t sure if it was because of her injuries, or his presence. He cursed under his breath. Of all the outcomes he’d considered when he’d walked back through Smither’s door, getting partnered with Devlyn hadn’t even crossed his mind. Hell, he’d double checked that she’d been sent off on some lame-ass babysitting detail for the night, if not the next twenty-four hours. The chances of her stumbling across him for the few hours he was going to be at the facility had been damn near zero.
Except for the part where she’d run into Slader and damn near got herself killed—again—before making a hasty retreat back. And the fucking stars had aligned, and she’d ended up assigned to his case. If he didn’t know better, he’d say Karma was finally getting her bitch slap back at him.
A tight feeling squeezed his chest when she swayed, connecting with the wall before drawing herself up. A new patch of blood stained her shirt, the increasing ragged edges roiling his stomach.
He marched over to her, stopping an arm’s length away. “You’re going to give yourself a damn concussion if you don’t sit your ass down. Unless, of course, you already have one.”
She gave him a mocking smile. “Don’t worry, Ryker, even seeing double I’ll be sure not to miss.”
“How comforting.” He nodded at her ribs. “You’re bleeding through.”
“I had to dive through the window to stop Slader from popping poor Ms. Evergreen in the head. Broken glass has a way of leaving a mark.” She grimaced, leaning her back against the wall. “The few rounds I went with Slader didn’t help much. Bastard hits hard.”
Ryker arched a brow, doing his best to ignore the tumbling sensation in his gut at the thought of the mother fucker touching his girl. Not that she was his anymore, but…
He palmed the wall beside her, leaning in slightly. “You let him land some punches? Sounds like you’re slipping, sweetheart.”
The glare she flashed him made him smile. There was something inherently hot about sparring with her. Hell, a good part of their relationship had involved one form of confrontation or another, though it’s also usually ended with one of them pinned to the wall, the loser using every trick to make them climax. And god knows, the woman could get him off faster than any other lover he’d ever had.
She crossed her arms over her chest, nearly tumbling sideways in the process. “My attention was somewhat divided seeing as Ms. Scaredy Pants kept trying to hit me with a damn frying pan from the kitchenette.” She locked her gaze on his. “And I assure you. Slader didn’t get out of there without leaving a fair amount of his DNA at the scene, too. Clipped him in shoulder, though I still owe him a few more rounds before I even things out.”
“I’m surprised you didn’t go for the head shot, once he was injured.”
“I wanted to, but the damn chick wouldn’t stop trying to cold-cock me. By the time I knocked her out, the situation had worsened, and I chose to get her out of there, while I still had a chance. Didn’t stop Slader from emptying a mag into my car as I drove off.” She glanced at her boss over Ryker’s shoulder. “I’m expensing the repairs.”
Ryker tipped back his head, praying for divine intervention. Christ, the girl was more reckless than ever. “I’d hoped you’d gained a bit of…restraint after your last encounter with the man. You should have laid down some cover fire, grabbed the woman and high tailed it out of there without engaging him. How much blood did you lose?”
“I’m still standing, aren’t I? And if I hadn’t gone after the creep, Ms. Evergreen would be dead.”
“You’re lucky you’re not dead.”
“Didn’t think that mattered to you.”
He huffed. “Are we going to keep dancing around this or are you going to let me explain?”
“I can two-step all night.” She tried to push past him but only succeeded in tripping onto one knee.
Ryker lunged at her, catching her before she continued all the way to the floor.
She sagged against him, hissing out her next breath when he tried to help her up. “Don’t. Just…give me a minute.”
“I doubt twenty minutes would be enough.” He shuffled her, gently lifting her in his arms.
She stiffened, blinking a few times as she tried to scramble out of his hold. “Damn it, Ryker, put me down. I’m fine.”
“No. You’re not.” He tsked, tightening his grip. “Would you stop fighting me for one second? I promise you can ignore me all you want once you get some rest. Hell, I’ll wear my Kevlar vest, just to be sure, but for now…relax. You look like shit and the last thing we need is a trip to the hospital. Slader would be certain to capitalize on that, and I don’t need a damn shootout over at Mercy General.”
“How inconsiderate of me to bleed at a time like this.”
Tears gathered in her eyes, but she blinked them away, finally settling. “Fine. Give me twelve hours. And I can walk.”
“Forty-eight and you won’t make it two two feet down the damn hallway before you pass out for good, this time.” He cut her off with a shake of his head as he headed for the door. “My car’s waiting. I’m taking you to a secure location until you don’t look like fucking Casper. Once you’re up to par, we’ll figure out how to stop this before every damn operative has a bullseye on their head and there aren’t any more safe havens.”
“Don’t think this changes anything. I’m gone the second this joint venture is over.”
He sighed, ignoring the stab of pain that followed her vow. “As you wish. But for now, we’re partners. Which means you don’t shoot me in the back the first chance you get.”
She flashed him a devilish smile. “Oh, baby, I’d use a knife, and I’d want to look you in the eyes when I stuck it through your cold, withered heart.”
“Now that’s the old Devlyn.”
He headed down the hallway, not surprised when she passed out before he’d even reached his car. He popped open the door, careful not to jostle her as he placed her on the seat. He reached around, holding back a moan when his arm brushed across her chest as he buckled her in. Now wasn’t the time to think about anything other than getting her somewhere safe.
He glanced at her shirt. The spot had gotten larger since Smither’s office. He cursed, taking a quick peek at the wound. Her ragged flesh peeked out between the line of Sterie Strips, blood still oozing down her flesh.
The woman never did take the time to properly bandage a wound. Damn lucky she hadn’t simply bled out on one of her assignments. He rounded the car, opening the trunk. He rummaged through his first aid kit, snagging some QuickClot, wrap and some gauze. She flinched when he poured the powder along the laceration, mumbling something he couldn’t make out before drifting off again. He shook his head, watching as the powder clumped the length of the wound, stopping the worst of the bleeding. Then he plastered on some gauze pads, wrapping them in place before taping the whole thing together. He stepped back, judging his handiwork before closing her door and sliding in the driver’s side. At least, she wouldn’t lose any more blood before he got her home.
A safehouse. Not home.
He didn’t have one of those, anymore. And he sure as hell didn’t share anything with her. He’d definitely burned that bridge. Hell, he’d blown the whole damn structure up. Conflicting emotions warred in his head as he started the car and drove off, heading steadily south. He flicked on the radio, cursing at the soft strum of the guitar as the singer’s voice echoed through the cabin. Great, just what he needed. A ‘leaving’ song. Like he needed a vocal reminder of how he’d screwed up. All the things he should have done differently.
He glanced in the rearview mirror, checking for lights. He wasn’t about to compromise with Devlyn’s safety, and he sure as shit wasn’t going to let her get hurt again. Not on his watch. She groaned in the seat beside him, frowning before she settled again. He reached for her, brushing her hair back from her face. Pale, soft skin skimmed across his knuckles as he tucked the locks behind her ear, giving him a view of her face. Christ, she was just as beautiful as he remembered. High cheekbones. Even features. Though her eyes had looked more green than the blue he remembered.
He drew his hand back, shifting gears as he hopped on the Interstate. Beautiful or not, there was no mistaking the toll her previous injuries had taken on her. On how her left shoulder didn’t move quite as smoothly as it had before she’d been shot. Or the obvious weight she’d lost, not that she’d ever been big, but…she’d been training. Hard.
Memories played in his head, all the reasons he’d decided not to see her once the agency had gotten him back fading into the soft sound of her snuffling beside him. He’d known she’d be angry, but this… Looks like she wasn’t the only one who’d paid a heavy price that night. And it all circled back to Slader. Bastard needed to be put down, and Ryker was more than happy to do the job, personally.
It’s time for another Promptly Penned. If you haven’t joined us before, everyone participating is given the same prompt, either a line to use or a situation, and we go from there. See all the different ways we can spin it. This month, it could sort of go either way. And I’ve been trying to come up with something—anything—to write. In the end, I have to continue a previous post. And this one will be pretty much a continuation, so you might want to check the first bit out HERE…. or if you’re adventurous, just jump right in.
Going the distance normally involved doing things that were either a) hard or b) dangerous, and at the moment she wasn’t really in the mood for either.
Devlyn stared at Smithers—her damn boss and apparently the next man on her hit list—and felt the blood drain from her face. The scenery swam slightly, the pulse in her head thrumming loudly. She tried to inhale, but nothing made it past the way her throat had seemingly clenched shut, dimming her vision at the edges. Warmth spread up from her core and for a moment, she actually feared she’d pass out.
Fingers snapped in front of her face, the irritating sound pulling her back to her senses. She blinked, finally sucking in a quick breath as Ryker leaned in close, a frown marring the bastard’s handsome face. God, how many times had she stared at him, knowing she could spend the rest of her life studying the fine lines around his mouth or the unique shade of blue of his eyes? Wanting to tell him that somewhere between shadowing his ass and saving it, she’d fallen in love with him? That she’d willingly leave her old life behind if he’d agree to run with her. Find a way to have just a hint of a normal life.
But that had all ended when they’d unexpectedly gotten separated on their last mission together. She’d managed to draw the other operatives away from him and their mark but had gotten waylaid on a train platform—where she’d paid the price with half a dozen rounds to her shoulder and torso. If she hadn’t gotten insanely lucky and had three of the bullets ricochet off her ribs instead of continuing through…
And that’s the last she’d seen of him. She still didn’t know what had happened. Why he hadn’t rendezvoused with her on the platform, or at least at the hospital. She’d been in the same damn room for two weeks. But it wasn’t just the mission he’d disappeared from. It was everything. His job, their life together. Almost as if he’d simply stopped existing.
She’d called in every marker she’d had in an effort to find him, but all she’d unearthed were endless warnings to stop searching. That he was alive and well—but gone. Buggered off to another branch of Homeland Security known only as ‘the Agency’. An organization that apparently made her little undercover squad look like a bunch of kindergarteners out for recess.
And now, after an additional five months of working to put the pieces of her life back together—salvaging just a sliver of her heart from the shattered remnants he’d left along with his damn sweaters—the bastard had seemingly walked back into her life, with the full support of her boss.
Devlyn stood as she pushed a hand through her hair, wincing when the motion tugged against the strips holding her ragged flesh together. Just another reason to be pissed. Slader had been one of the bastards on the platform that night, and she’d sworn she’d take the creep down the next time she saw him. Kick his traitorous ass so hard there wouldn’t be enough of him left to identify. But instead of celebrating her victory, she’d been lucky to make it out of the hotel alive. Even now, her head throbbed in protest as every scrape and bruise seemed to come to life at the same time. Stealing her breath nearly as much as Ryker had.
She groaned. This had to be the most fucked up situation she’d encountered in a long time. And if what Smithers had said was right, the circumstances weren’t getting any better for the foreseeable future.
She huffed, motioning to Ryker. “Excuse me, but did you say partners? As in work with the one man I want dead more than Slader?”
Smithers sighed. “Sorry, Devlyn, but this is out of my hands. Ryker has a letter from the damn Secretary Chief, himself, instructing me to partner Ryker with whichever agent makes first contact with Slader. I honestly thought it was a damn prank until you told me about your run it. Looks like you drew the short straw on this one.”
“Short straw? This asshole leaves me for dead and you think working with him, again, is going to be a matter of inconvenience?”
Ryker cursed under his breath, stepping into her personal space. “Afraid it’s not so black and white, sweetheart.”
“I already told you to save it. There was a time I would have listened to what you had to say, but that ended about four months ago.” She waved off his attempted reply. “I don’t care what happened. If you got fucking abducted by aliens… You could have contacted me. Hell, sent me a damn text with a cliché lie attached to it. After everything we’d shared, you owed me far more than that.”
Smithers gave her a light pat on the shoulder. “While I’m sympathetic to your feelings, I’m afraid they aren’t part of the equation. Which means you’ll have to suck it up and go the distance, one way or another.”
She glared at the man. Going the distance normally involved doing things that were either a) hard or b) dangerous, and at the moment she wasn’t really in the mood for either. Not if they involved Ryker.
She gave them both a sweet smile as she took a few steps then turned. “Fine. Then I quit.” She headed for the door only to be stopped with a firm grip on her elbow.
Ryker spun her around, stopping her from falling with a hand around her hip. “You can’t quit.”
“Really? Pretty damn sure I just did.”
“That wasn’t you quitting. That was you throwing a tantrum.”
“A tantrum? You vanish from my life and you think this is a tantrum?” She leaned in close. “Trust me, baby…you haven’t seen anything close to that, yet. But if you’d like to have me kick your ass as compensation, just say the word.”
“Will that ass kicking happen before or after you pass out? Because I’d say you’re about two minutes away from kissing the floor.” He narrowed his gaze. “Just how bad did you get hurt?”
“Not nearly as bad as the last time I was in your company.”
His expression fell and he released her on a soft sigh. “If you think I wanted this…”
“Then find yourself someone else. Anyone else.”
“I would if I could but…now that Slader knows you’re on to him, you’ll be a target.”
“Knows I’m on to what?” She threw up one hand, nearly tripping onto her ass before catching her balance on the chair. “Would someone please just tell me what the hell is going on?”
Ryker released a weary breath. “The short answer? Armageddon. Turns out that thumb drive you brought back has absolutely nothing to do with money laundering. It’s just a ghost drive for the encrypted files underneath.”
“Files regarding what, exactly?”
“Every hidden strong hold, safe house—undercover operative we have—domestic and abroad all served up with a bow. And from what we’ve heard, that was only the first copy. Not the only one. And sure as shit not the last.”
And that’s it for me. Only Bronwyn Green is playing today, but hurry over and give her amazing story a read if you haven’t already.
And it’s the first blog I’ve made since the awesome and well-needed retreat with the majority of the lovely ladies on here. What a week!!!! It’s a bummer I’m already counting down the days until next year. I wish I could see this women far more often.
But I digress. This week’s topic is… Brain Dump. Which I guess translates into… whatever is on my mind these days. And to this I say… WHAT THE HELL ISN’T ON MY MIND THESE DAYS?
Okay, so there are a couple of major things.
First… work. Which means writing. Yeah, I think about covers but it’s not the same for some reason.
Over the course of the retreat, a couple of new opportunities arose. Now, these are super secret (LOL… soon, I swear) but I’m totally stoked about these projects. And it’s definitely got me motivated in the writing department again. I”m currently working on a few books that I hope to get out the latter part of this year… then I’m turning my sights to next year. And I’m excited that I’ve made a plan of sorts. An outline so that I can take control and finally get it all straight in my head. So… writing is definitely on my mind.
Okay, why is Montana on my mind? (oh, so close to Georgia on my mind, lol) A couple of weeks ago, I decided to man up or shut up. And I signed up for my first Ultrathon. It’s called Le Grizz and it’s a 50 mile race in the upper reaches of Montana. I’ve never really done a lot of running races. I’ve participated in a number of Adventure Races and a 7 day Mountain bike race, but I haven’t even done a Marathon. However… I believe in going big or going home. Which means a huge portion of my week is dedicated to training… some days more than others. And I’m going to kick this thing…
I’d like to say there’s a third, but… it’s the regular stuff. Lack of a love life, worrying about kids going forth in the world, money, work, if I’m truly ready for the coming apocalypse 🙂 So… ordinary stuff.
Now check out the other ladies. I have this odd feeling that I approached this from a different angle. That there was more to it, lol. so…