Promptly Penned

Yup, it’s that time again. I was just gearing up for the next song fiction but bam… it’s a promptly penned post. So, let’s pull something out of thin air and see where it goes. And I’m determined to try and use the given snippet at the beginning. Not sure it will hold through for the entire year, but…. let’s give it the college try, shall we?


“This is where you make up some stupid excuse to leave early and stop returning my calls.”

Joshua Kinkade leaned back in his chair with a sigh. He hadn’t realized he’d spoken out loud until the last word had hung in the air, like a damn death sentence. What the actual fuck was wrong with him? That was something he should have kept inside his head, not broadcast to half the restaurant. Now, he’d ruined any chance at an enjoyable evening. But shit, his date—if he could even call her that—hadn’t stopped texting for the past thirty minutes he’d been trying to engage in some meaningful form of small talk. Hell, he wasn’t even sure she’d heard him.

A disgruntled huff was his only warning before her glass of water splashed across his face, the sharp tap of her heels quickly fading into the hushed murmurs of the room. Joshua released a weary breath, calmly grabbing his napkin as he dabbed the drops of water off his face.

“Wow, Kinkade.  I always knew you were smooth but that…that was spectacular.”

“Bloody hell.” Josh glared at the woman as she slid into the chair, tossing the damp cloth onto the table.  “Are you stalking me, Jinx? Because that explains the string of bad luck that’s followed me since I left my apartment.”

“You know I hate that nickname.”

“Which is why I keep using it.”

“And you wonder why all your dates end like this. You’re a dick.”

“I prefer to think of myself as an adorable ass. Now back to my question. Why are you here?”

A stunning smile lit up her face as she tore one of the dinner rolls in half, spreading on a thin layer of butter before taking a bite. She practically moaned as she chewed, shaking the remaining hunk of bread at him. “Damn, this might be the best freaking roll I’ve ever had. I’ll give you this much, Kinkade, you have excellent taste in restaurants.” She motioned toward the door. “Women, however…”

“While I appreciate the compliment, and the observation, it doesn’t explain why you’re sitting across from me, eating the Holy Grail of buns.”

She shrugged, swallowing another bite.  “Knowing your track record with the ladies, I took a chance that you’d be free and decided to crash your party. Guess my bet paid off.”

Joshua carded his hand through his hair, ignoring the wet strands that seemed to flop back onto his face. Grace Spelling was irritating at the best of times. Having her show up and witness his fall…he’d never live the date down. Though he had to admit, just watching her enjoy the damn diner roll made his stomach do an odd fluttering action. One that felt at distinct odds to the annoying heat that seemed to burn just beneath his skin whenever she was around. Of course, being assigned as her partner for the past six months meant damn near every minute of every day.

He shook his head. “So you are stalking me.”

“Was not.”

“You just said you crashed my date. On purpose. Sounds like a stalker move to me.”

“I was merely playing a hunch.” She pressed back in her chair as she crossed her arms over her chest. “And you seem to have conveniently missed the part where I was right.”

“With my luck, you probably paid the poor girl off.”

“If I’d paid her off, she’d be under the table giving you the best blowjob of your life.”

He couldn’t stop a smile from lifting the corners of his mouth. “Are you speaking from experience in such matters?”

“I’m not really the kiss and tell type. But for the record, you wouldn’t last five minutes.” She arched a brow. “Though I’m thinking you didn’t miss much. You never had a chance with that girl. You know she was just using you to get a good meal, right?” She snorted at his levelled glare. “Please. That dress? Still had the tag on it, and she switched into another pair of boots before she walked outside. She was playing you, Kinkade. Which means you should be thanking me.”

“Or taking out a restraining order on you.”

“That’d make being partners a bit…challenging.”

“That’s the point.” He eased forward, bracing his elbows on the table as he rested his chin on his knuckles.

Damn the woman was beautiful. Long auburn hair with even features gave her an almost Hollywood quality, but her eyes—fuck they were big and unbelievably blue and so damn pretty they made the rest of the world dull in comparison.

He pushed the irritating thoughts out of his head. The last thing he needed was to develop a crush on his new partner. “So, what was so important you crashed my date?”

Her expression sobered, the glint in her eyes dimming slightly. “There’s been a development with the case.”

He furrowed his brow. “The case? I wasn’t aware we had an open one. Which was why I was on the damn date. First night off in a long ass time.”

Her gaze dropped to the table, a small shiver trembling through her hands before she drew a deep breath, visibly bracing herself. “Yeah, about that. Thinking we closed the Walker file a bit too soon.”

“The suicide?” He tugged at his collar, loosening his tie. “I know it’s hard to accept a fellow agent took their own life, but…shit, Grace, there wasn’t anything to suggest it was something other than depression rearing its ugly head. She’d been self medicating for months. You saw her medicine cabinet. Hell, she even left a note.”

Grace snagged her bottom lip, looking oddly vulnerable as she reached into her jacket pocket. Paper crinkled in her hand as she placed the folded sheet on the table, sliding it over to him. “You might want to take a look at that.”

He frowned, opening the offering before scanning the words scribbled across the page. A chilling numb settled in his gut as he read the note, staring at Grace’s signature written across the bottom before looking up at her.

He opened his mouth, then closed it, trying to sort through the questions tumbling through his head before meeting her gaze. “What the hell is this?”

She swallowed, nodding at the paper. “It’s what you’d call a suicide note.”

“I know what the fuck it is, what I want to know is why did you sign it? And why the hell is it identical to the one we found in Julie’s apartment?” He fisted the sheet in his hands. “What the hell, Grace?”

She glanced around the room, motioning for him to settle. “That’s the point. I didn’t write that and I sure as hell didn’t sign it.”

“It certainly looks like your signature. As in I’d recognize it anywhere.”

“And yet, I didn’t write it.”

“Where did you get this?”

She sighed, her shoulders drooping. She looked broken. Hell, she looked scared. “There was someone in my place when I got home—”

“There was what? Why didn’t you call me?”

“You had a date.”

“Damn it, Grace—”

“It’s fine. Whoever it was took off when they realized I’d walked in on them. And I was armed. I thought it was just a routine robbery, but I found that on the back step when I went to lock everything up. I assume the bastard dropped it when he practically knocked the damn door down trying to get out.” She rubbed her arms as if she were cold. “Creepy as hell, really.”

“Creepy?” He sucked in a quick breath. “You know what this means, right?”

“It means that Julie didn’t kill herself.”

“It means you’re next on the killer’s list, is what the fuck it means.” He scanned the restaurant, but no one seemed remotely out of place, not that he’d really paid that much attention.  He’d been looking for a quick hook-up. A hot, sweaty night between the sheets. Not casing the joint for possible targets. But now…

He pushed back his chair, offering Grace his hand. “Let’s go.”

She stood, walking around the table. Her breath hitched when he palmed the small of her back, leading her toward the exit. “We heading to the office?”

“Hell no. Not until I get some answers, and I know who we can trust.”

“You think—”

“What I think is that we get you secure, first.  Worry about whose feelings we bruise later. So for now, I’m taking you somewhere safe.”

She paused at the door. “And where’s that?”

“Somewhere private. Somewhere no one else knows about. Not even the agency.” He grinned. “My cabin.”


And that’s all for me folks. Now go check out the other ladies and see what they created.

Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica Jarman  | Kellie St. James

 Jessica De La Rosa  |  Paige Prince


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