Writing

Tally

Here’s an excerpt from Wedding Bells and Blood.

Content Warning: mention of domestic abuse, trauma

“You okay, Tally?” Amara stood cautiously above her client.
“I need a minute,” Tally panted out. Sweat glistened on her dark brown skin.
“How about we take a break?” Amara suggested. It was normal for them to be out of breath, but she’d noticed Tally panicking a bit. Her breathing wasn’t that of exertion but of fear.
Tally had been abused by her husband for years and found the courage to leave him a year ago. But even though he wasn’t in her life any more, he still scared her. And being in positions that reminded her of those times occasionally still brought on panic attacks. Amara hoped her lessons would help Tally regain some of her control. She stood and extended her hand down to Tally, who nodded and took it. They took off their gloves, sat on the floor against a wall, and sipped water.
“I’m sorry if I pushed too far,” Amara said. “You told me you wanted to move faster and I thought that was what you meant.”
“No, you were right. That was what I meant. I just didn’t know it would trigger so many memories.” A tear slipped down Tally’s cheek.
“I’m sorry he did that to you.” Amara reached over and took her hand. “But soon, you’ll be able to defend yourself. If he ever comes back or if anyone else tries that, you’ll have the tools you need to fight back. You’ll never be that helpless again. I promise.”
“Thanks, Amara. You’ve been so great helping me through all this. I didn’t think I would ever be able to move past what he did to me. But I think I’m finally starting to heal.” She squeezed Amara’s hand.
“Good. Did you venture out of your house this week, like I challenged you to?”
“I did,” Tally answered as she sipped on her water.
“And?” Amara pushed. “How did it go without me being with you?”
“It went alright.” Tally looked down and fidgeted with her water bottle lid.
“Then what’s wrong?”
“I don’t know. I hated being out there. I was open and exposed. I felt like he could see me, he could find me. I hate being in public,” she told Amara.
Amara knew it wouldn’t be easy for Tally. She wished there was some way she could help her but Tally needed to put in the work herself, Amara couldn’t do it for her. “I know.” She shifted so she was sitting in front of Tally. “But it’ll get easier. I really don’t think he’ll try to find you. That restraining order was pretty clear.” She smiled at her. “And if he does find you, it’s not you who needs to worry any more.”
Tally chuckled. “You’re right. I know you are. And it’s silly to keep myself trapped here, I realize that. I’ll keep working on it.”
“I’m glad. No one deserves to be stuck in that place. You deserve to be able to move on.” Amara smiled, glad that her friend was doing better. “Let’s finish up this lesson. I’ve got wedding plans tonight!”
“Oh yeah!” Tally perked up. “How’s Tucian? How’s the wedding coming along?”
“Uh-uh,” Amara chided. “If you want info you’ll have to fight me for it. On your feet!” She extended her hand to Tally and pulled her up. She put on some punching mitts. “No more intense training today. Back to basics.”
Tally laughed as she put her gloves back on. “Alright.” She threw a right hook, followed by a left. She repeated as long as Amara wanted her to.
“The wedding is coming along. Now uppercuts,” Amara instructed. Tally followed her instructions, alternating hands, hitting the mitts with all her might. She continued. “We chose our cake today.”
“What.. flavor… did you… choose?” Tally asked as she did the hits.
“Quick jabs, sets of two,” Amara told her. Tally switched: left, left, right, right, left, left, right, right. “Good! That’s good. A few more and we’ll switch to knees. Tucian let me choose my favorite. It’s milk, dark, and white chocolate.”
“That sounds… yummy…” Tally breathed out, trying to keep her breaths in sync with her hitting. She paused. “I’m happy for you. One of us should have a good man.” She smiled at Amara who smiled back.
Amara’s phone rang in her bag. “Hang on.” She paused and set down her training gear to fish her phone out. “Sorry.” She looked back at Tally. “It’s the police. They might have news about the murderer I’ve been helping them track down. You mind if I take it?” She stepped outside the room when Tally shook her head and smiled.
“Hello,” Amara said in the hallway. “Hi, Brad. How are you? I’m good. I’m so sorry. Can I meet you at the station later? Perfect. I’ll see you then. Thanks.”
“Any good news?” Tally said when Amara walked back in.
“No.” Amara picked up her punching mitts and nodded for Tally to continue.
“What was it?”
“Another missing person. We thought we had him this morning. But he got away… again. I hope he slips up soon. We really need to get this guy locked up.”
Amara packed up her stuff at the end of the lesson and went to say goodbye.
“Promise you’ll be careful?” Tally asked. “With your police work? I have a bad feeling about it.”
“Of course. I’m always careful,” Amara answered as she tripped over her gear bag and nearly fell on her face. She and Tally laughed. “See? Careful.”

Writing

About My Works

If you’ve been following me you know, I have two WIPs. But I’ve Already posted intros and summaries for those. If you’re interested go check them all out! But today I’m going to focus on some fun facts about just one of my WIPs.

Wedding Bells and Blood

This book didn’t have a title for two and a half years! I called it by the main character’s name, Amara.

I actually wrote books two and three in the series first. Then I thought the background should be its own book. That may be why this book has been so hard for me to figure out. I was trying to write a story that had to have elements from the already written sequels. Only recently have I discovered that I just need to write the story, let it be its own thing, and if I need to change the later books around it, so be it!

I had the idea for this book brewing in my head since high school, which for me was a very long time ago!

The villain in WBAB started out being based on a high school crush of mine and was not a villain at all in the early stages. As I and my characters developed, his physical traits changed and somehow he morphed into the villain. How do these things happen?! Writing! Ha!

That’s all the fun facts I can think of for this book! I hope you can enjoy them!

Stories, Writing

First Meeting

I reworked Amara’s first interaction with Tucian. I think I like it better from his point of view instead of hers. Let me know what you think!

Tucian had been watching her for a while now, this woman in the supermarket. Never in his life had he seen someone so radiant. At first she had looked at him with skepticism. She would look him over carefully as though she were sizing him up, seeing if she could take him down. Her calculating eyes had drawn him in, intrigued him.

After two weeks she seemed to let her gazing guard down. The looks that followed were even better. He adored the way she would blush each time he caught her eye. And her smile ignited his whole world. He admired how she moved with strength and purpose. It seemed like she knew who she was and what she was doing. This beautiful woman never meandered in the store and he suspected she didn’t meander in any other aspects of life either. She usually came to the store with who he assumed was her sister in outfits that looked like they had been in combat training. Today, however, she was alone and in a tee shirt and jeans.

“Excuse me, miss?” Tucian finally braved. She whirled around and froze under the intense gaze of his grey eyes. He didn’t say anything for a moment. Her bright green eyes stared at him. They were even more intimidating up close. He thought it would be easier to speak to her alone. It wasn’t.

“Yes?” She asked as she looked him over once again.

“My name is Tucian Rhodes,” he finally spoke. “I was wondering if you would let me take you out sometime?”

“It’s nice to meet you, Tucian. I’m Amara Sinclair. And I am certainly flattered. But um…” Amara trailed off, biting her bottom lip.

“But?” Tucian reached for her hand, brought it to his lips, and kissed it. He hoped she wouldn’t notice how nervous she was making him. He kept his eyes on hers, not dropping her hand. “Are you already seeing someone?” He wouldn’t be surprised if someone else had already tried to make her theirs. She was too spectacular not to have men fawning over her.

Amara chuckled a little. “No, that’s not it. There’s no one else.”

Tucian was both shocked and glad.

“It’s that I don’t know you.” Amara pulled her hand back, tucking her light blonde hair behind her ear. Tucian tilted his head curiously. “I can’t go running off to be alone with someone I barely met,” she explained. “For all I know, you could be the serial killer in town.” She laughed.

Tucian enjoyed her magical laughter and laughed too. “I understand. But I can’t be the serial killer. He’s been on the loose for months. I only moved here three weeks ago.”

“That’s good.” She gave him a wavering smile. “But I still don’t know anything else about you.”

“If I can’t take you out, then how will I ever get to know you, my beautiful stranger?” He puzzled, stepping closer.

“What if we double up? You bring your dark and mysterious friend, I’ll bring my sister, Avery. If things go well, maybe we can arrange for something more private down the road,” Amara offered.

“You mean Jett?” Tucian laughed at her ‘dark and mysterious’ reference. He found himself glad that she hadn’t used the term ‘dark and handsome’ about Jett. “He’s my brother. I suppose I could convince him to tag along.” He paused to stroke his hand down her cheek. “If it means I get to spend some time with you.” Butterflies collided in Tucian’s stomach. He hoped Amara was feeling the same. From the look in her eyes he guessed she was. They stood quietly, staring at each other.

“You’ll need my number.” Tucian broke through the silent haze building around them. He reached down and pulled Amara’s phone out of her jean pocket, brushing her hip. He smiled at her surprised eyes. She must not have expected his forwardness. But her shock turned into a half smile as she watched him add himself to her contacts. He took her hand and set the phone in it, sliding his fingers along hers and noticing the shiver that rushed through her. “Would you like some company while you shop? Maybe I can become less of a stranger.”

“I would like that very much.”

Stories, Writing

Cliff

I haven’t posted original content in a week. I’m sorry. I didn’t have time make a new character profile or anything. I had costumes to sew and Halloween swallowed me whole! But I do have a little excerpt from my Amara story. Here you go!

Amara crashed into the upstairs of her parents’ home, her home. Emerald green sparks flowed around her as she fell to the floor.

“Amara!” Her mother, Kiva, ran over to check on her.

“I’m okay,” Amara huffed out as she tried to catch her breath. “I’m okay,” she repeated as her mom helped her from the floor and her sister, Avery, joined. They sat her against a wall, sat on each side of her and waited.

It took Amara a minute to realize where she was. She hadn’t been as focused as she would have been normally. She looked around the room. It was a large rectangle with thick black mats on the floor. Weapons lined the wall in front of her and a door stood to her left on one of the short walls.

She was in one of her family’s training rooms. The second floor of their house held four of them, each with an identical setup. But the second floor was also hidden from anyone outside the family. To everyone else their home was a single level house.

Amara let out an exasperated sigh and stood as she shouted, “He threw me off a cliff!” She was glad her mom and sister hadn’t pushed her to talk until she wanted to. They were good at that.

“Who what?” Avery asked in confusion from her spot on the floor.

“The killer! He threw me off a cliff! A frickin’ cliff!” Amara repeated as she threw her hands in the air. “When I catch him, he’s gonna regret every little—“

“If you catch him.”

“Ugh. Avery, you’re not funny.” Amara sat back between them.

“Shut up. I’m hilarious,” Avery chuckled.

“Not right now.” Amara sighed.

“I know you’re frustrated, sweetie.” Kiva set a hand on Amara’s. “But you’ll get him.”

“You should probably give him a better name than ‘the killer’ though. He did just throw you off a cliff.”

“So he’s earned himself a nickname by nearly killing me?” Amara raised a brow at her sister.

“Welllllll…..” Avery stalled. “It is pretty impressive.”

“And creative,” her mom added.

“Yes, he’s impressive and creative. And, oh yeah, he’s a murderer!”

“You do have to call him something unless you want to keep calling him ‘the killer’,” Kiva said.

“What would you recommend I call him?”

“How about Cliff?” Avery laughed and Kiva joined.

“Ha ha laugh it up. I could have died!”

Stories, Writing

New Amara Intro

I said I was rewriting my Amara story a while back. I’ve made some progress. This is now the opening paragraph!… for now… We’ll see if it stays that way. I’ll post more of the new draft later. Today, enjoy this little teaser!

He pushed her against the wall and smiled at the gasp he forced from her. Her blonde hair fell in her face as he pushed tight against her. Pressing her wrists up, he became distracted by her heavy breathing, her chest heaving. She shoved off the wall and they spun around the room like a pair of dancers. They were light on their feet and precise with their movements. To him, there was no greater ballet, no better thrill, than fighting Amara.

Stories, Writing

Dizzy Dewdropper

Hello there! This is a little exercise I did for my book, Edifice. The intro is in the book, but the rest is not. It’s a little snippet of Lenci’s past. Thought you might enjoy it too. It’s only for fun so I won’t be revising, editing, or expanding on it. It’s rough and that’s alright. Have a read and let me know what you think!

“The 1920’s were an interesting time,” Lenci told him. “So much happened, so much changed.”

Beck laughed. “Looks interesting. Looks like you’re happy.” He ran his fingers over a picture of her and another woman. It was black and white and they were in tasseled dresses with curled hair, elegant headbands, and dark lips.

“I was happy. That’s Bridget, my Keeper before Fredrick. She stayed with me the longest out of all my Keepers. We snuck into a speakeasy even though we didn’t drink. The dancing was to die for!”

“How long was she your Keeper?”

“One hundred and five years. We were close.” Lenci’s face showed the fondness for her gone friend.

Lenci and Bridget: A short tale of a long friendship

1923:

The piano player tinkled away at the keys as everyone bopped around to his fast-paced tune. Lenci and Bridget made their way off the dance floor, beads of sweat starting to form along their perfectly manicured hairlines.

“Two waters, please,” Lenci requested at the bar. Bridget took a seat on the barstool next to her.

“How about I buy you a drink?” A surly man leaned around Bridget to ask her.

Bridget’s bubbly personality always led men to her and it never surprised Lenci when they approached her. Lenci apparently put out a ‘leave me alone vibe’ that kept most men away. But that was exactly how she wanted it.

“Sorry, sugar, not tonight.” Bridget flashed him a kind smile and turned back to Lenci, where their waters had been delivered. The man shrugged and resumed his search for company around the dance floor.

“You sure?” Lenci asked as she hastily gulped down some hydration. “It’s been a while since you went on a date. And you are allowed to drink even if I’m not.”

“I’m aware of the rules, Miss Lenci.” She gave her a criticizing glance. “But I haven’t had any hooch in all our thirty two years and I’m not going to start now! As for men, I think I’m taking a little break from gentlemen callers. It’s not like it can actually go anywhere. I would much rather dance the night away with my best doll!” She nudged Lenci’s shoulder.

“Alright, Bridge,” Lenci chuckled. She knew why Bridget wanted to take a break from dating. But now wasn’t the time to bring it up. Instead, she would take her mind off it for a few hours. “Then we better get hoppin’!” She grabbed Bridget’s hand and yanked her away.

They danced like they always did, like the best of friends that they were. Lenci held Bridget at arm’s length as they shimmied, wearing the soles of their lovely shoes and making the fringe on their dresses whip back and forth. Midnight came quickly and brought danger with it.

Lenci twirled and spun as she kept any men from trying to cut in with Bridget. Normally they would allow dance partners to join in on the fun. Not tonight. One particularly persistent man attempted to whisk Bridget away against her protest. Lenci rolled her eyes and followed as he whirled her off the dance floor and into the surrounding crowd.

“I said, let go,” Bridget’s stern voice came from a back room. Lenci headed that direction.

“Not until you give me what I want,” the man told Bridget.

Great, Lenci thought. One of those guys.

“And what I want is your demon,” he continued.

Not one of those guys. Lenci paused outside the door and listened. She heard Bridget laugh and couldn’t restrain a smile.

“You dizzy dewdropper,” Bridget said amusedly. “You took the wrong woman.”

“You’re not an Edifice?” He asked in confusion.

“No sir.”

“Are you a Keeper?”

“Bingo.”

“Bring me to your Edifice,” he commanded.

“You think it’s that easy? This isn’t the Bible. Those who ask, don’t receive.”

Lenci peeked around the corner and smiled. Bridget looked completely bored. She didn’t need any help. She could easily take this guy and so felt no danger and looked relaxed as she stood in the middle of the room. She didn’t so much as flinch when the man put a hand around her neck to threaten her. But there was no way Lenci was going to let anyone treat her best friend like that.

“Give me your Edifice or I’ll—“ he grunted as Lenci threw her elbow into the back of his head.

His head lurched forward towards Bridget who grabbed his head, kneed him in the face, and threw him to the floor, unconscious.

“Time to find a new place?” Bridget stared down at the large man.

“Time to find a new place.”

They walked home together, confident that if anyone else did attack, they would be able to defend themselves. Bridget was Lenci’s second Keeper. She was a great conversationalist, wonderful to live across the hall from, and certainly knew how to handle herself in a fight. Lenci watched Bridget’s blonde curls sway around her headband.

“Was it that bad leaving him?” Lenci asked. “Is that why you’re taking a break?”

Bridget didn’t falter in her leisurely stride, but did loop her arm through Lenci’s before answering. “It was hard. But it was for the best.”

Lenci noticed Bridget wasn’t looking at her on purpose, keeping her eyes set straight ahead with her head held high. She knew if she could see her eyes there would be tears there. “You know, you could have married him. That’s not against the rules.”

“It is if you don’t want to be a Keeper any more. And I’m not ready to give this up yet.” Bridget finally turned to Lenci. She was right about the tears, which seemed to be passing quickly. Her red lips smiled as she patted Lenci’s arm.

“Good.” Lenci returned the smile. “I’m not ready to lose you yet.”

“Excuse me, ladies,” a man in the door of a building called out. “Would you like to have your photograph taken?”

“We would!” They both replied at the same time.

Stories, Writing

Go Away

Amara made her way through the forest. She found a large rock to sit on and pulled her legs to her chest. Resting her head on her knees, she let the tears flow. They came abundantly and she didn’t hold them back. It was like she could feel her heart ripping in two.

She tried to catch her breath and pull herself together. A breeze brushed her cheek. She inhaled sharply. A familiar scent was carried on that wind. Then she heard him. She kept her head down, not bothering to look at him while he spoke.

“What’s wrong, darling?” Tucian whispered. His lips brushed against her ear, sending an awful shiver through her.

“None of your business. Go away.” Her stomached knotted. She didn’t want to deal with this today. She didn’t want to fight. She just wanted to be left alone.

“Come now, Amara. I could hear your sobbing from the other side of this forest.”

She peeked out to see him walking in slow circles around her. He moved behind her and stayed there.

“I’m not in the mood for these games. Go. Away,” she demanded.

“There was a time when you loved these games; loved me.” He breathed in the smell of her hair and started to walk around her, his finger running down her arm.

She couldn’t stand it. She stood up to face him and looked into his eyes. Her eyes shifted from turquoise to black. Tucian’s love was about possession, jealousy, and power. For the moment her fear was overwhelmed by her anger. Now she was ready for a fight.

“That time is long gone, Tucian. Now get out of here!” She shouted. But he didn’t leave. Instead he took her hands in his, which only fueled her frustration.

“Come, Amara. We both know that’s not completely true.”

“It’s thoroughly, absolutely true.” She pulled her hands out of his.

They stared each other down. She would end this. She went to use her powers. But as she raised her free hand, Tucian pulled both her hands together and wrapped a wire tightly around her wrists. Nothing happened. Tucian laughed.

“Something wrong?” He pulled the wire and yanked her close. The wire dug into her wrists. “Maybe you’ve lost your touch,” he said intimidatingly close to her face.

Amara looked down at her hands, terrified. She looked back up at him with a face full of fear. “What have you done?!” It was the first time in her 26 years she didn’t have her powers. But not having her powers didn’t mean she was powerless.

She choked back her fear, dropped down, and swung herself between his legs. The wire cut into her more until he lost his grip. Blood began to ooze around the wires, but she knew she had to keep going. She stood and kicked him in the back, pushing him forward.

“There’s no point,” he said as he turned to face her. “Without your powers you—“

Amara jumped and swung both fists into the side of his head. “Without my powers, I can still fight!” She shouted angrily.

She turned and kicked him in the torso. As her foot landed the blow, white powder exploded from his suit jacket. He stumbled back a few steps out of the white cloud.

Amara coughed as the floury substance entered her mouth and nose. Her lungs seized up and stole her breath. Everything got blurry. Dizziness filled her world as the powder dispersed and disappeared. Her legs gave out. Tucian caught and lifted her. She couldn’t make out his face any more. She fought to stay awake but soon slipped into unconsciousness.

Stories, Writing

Dance With Me

Amara stayed outside the crowd, near the walls. She watched everyone enjoying themselves. They were all so happy, so carefree. She knew better though. Monsters lurked inside people and she couldn’t be so trusting. Drinking, dancing, flirting with strangers. She would never be so blissfully ignorant.

As she was caught up in her thoughts, her stomach churned suddenly. Something was wrong with Avery. Then a voice straight from her nightmares whispered into her ear, “Dance with me.” She turned and plowed Tucian into the wall. She held her arm across his neck. He was wearing a red leather mask with etchings on it. His grey eyes were unafraid.

“How did you find me?” Amara asked. She put on a hard face and didn’t let the terror in her heart show. Tonight would not be the escape she had wished for. She could only hope Tucian hadn’t been watching her all night.

“Well, it wasn’t easy. I think I’ve earned a dance.” He smiled suavely.

“What you’ve earned is a slow and painful death.” Amara pushed harder on his throat.

Tucian grabbed her arm, spun her around, and put his arm around her throat. He watched her chest rise and fall as her breathing sped up. His grip tightened. He hadn’t been this close to Amara in far too long. He needed to focus. “Dance with me,” he said forcefully, “or everyone in here will be dead by morning.”

Amara broke free of his grip and shoved him. Her black eyes glared at him but she didn’t say anything else as Tucian took her hand and led her to dance. She knew well enough that he had no problem with murder if it served his needs. But it was still difficult to make her feet follow him. Her body fought her, hesitating, itching to run. Her hand gripped his tightly, keeping herself from leaving.

A new song started and Tucian twirled Amara around the floor as her eyes faded back to their usual green. He looked like the picture of sophistication. Every girl in the room watched him, wishing to be Amara. He wore a black shirt, black tie, and black and red brocade vest and suit coat. His stark white hair was in soft, short waves going up and over to one side. If Amara didn’t know what he was capable of, she would be swooning too. Instead, she was resisting her fight or flight instincts. She kept as much distance between them as possible. It made them look like a couple of high school kids who didn’t want to touch.

“Why here? You could try to kill me anywhere. Why bother with these people?” Amara asked. Her plum gown swept the floor in elegant circles.

“Because, Amara.” Tucian pulled her into him, holding her tight, “I didn’t want to miss this dance. I would have missed you in this dress.” He spun her in a circle away from him, looking her over, and yanked her back. She slammed into his solid chest with a soft groan. “You look positively enchanting. Silver suits you.” He stroked her cheek, referring to her mask and his silver powers.

Amara pulled her face away from his hand. His touch had sent chills of fright through her. Her insides twisted and wrenched. “Enough, Tucian. What are you doing here? Is Jett with you?”

“What I’m doing here, is dancing. Yes, Jett is here. If he’s been successful he’s with your sister right now.”

Amara turned to run. Jett would kill Avery. She had to find her. Tucian grabbed her hand and pulled her back.

“Not quite yet, sweetest.” He pressed his hand down her back, pulling her hips against him.

Amara cringed at his body pressed so tightly against her own. “I’ll make this simple for you. Let me go or I’ll kill you,” she threatened.

“In front of all these people? I don’t think so. Besides, if you kill me, they all die. But don’t worry. Jett won’t kill Avery. He’s keeping her busy to give us a few minutes alone.” He bit her ear lobe, making Amara’s face scrunch in disgust. He lowered his voice, and whispered in her ear, “So if you want everyone here to live, you’ll stay and finish dancing with me.”

“What did you do?” Amara asked. She pushed him back a little and reluctantly resumed allowing him to guide her. But the darkness of her again black eyes conveyed the anger boiling within her.

“Jett and I may have poured a little something into the champagne. A potion. On its own, harmless. When combined with its other half, deadly. I know you don’t drink but everyone else here does. If things don’t go our way tonight, in any way, we have a friend ready to pour the other half of the potion into the drinks. As soon as they take a sip they’ll all drop dead.”

“Only you would do something so horrible. And for what? To torment me?” Her heart raced. The blackness drained from her eyes and her body started shaking.

“Why, Amara. Is that fear I detect?” Tucian dipped her low and kissed her neck.

Amara turned away and squeezed her eyes shut. His lips against her skin was unbearable. But lives were at risk. She wouldn’t chance running again knowing that.

Tucian glanced across the dance floor. Jett nodded to him. He pulled Amara up and spun her for a minute longer. “I would love to explain why but I can’t. Not right now. I had hoped to have longer. But it seems our time has run out.” He released her from his grip. “Goodbye, lovely.” He kissed her hand, bowed, and disappeared. Jett followed.

Stories, Writing

Balloons

“Come on!” Jett took her hand and led her to the fence in front of the station. It was the only thing between them and the train. “This is going to be great,” he whispered to her as he helped her hop down the last bit of chain link. He swirled his hand around and a bucket appeared. He pulled something out of it and held it out for her to see.

“Water balloons?” Avery looked at Jett in confusion.

“Water balloons.” Jett nodded and handed her one. “Go ahead. Toss it!”

Avery didn’t know what he was so excited about. She shrugged and lobbed the balloon at the train car. It exploded and splattered bright purple onto the wall. She gasped and giggled. “I love it!”

“I thought you might.” Jett laughed and threw a balloon of his own.

Soon the side of the train was covered in colorful splashes that dripped down. It was a beautiful sight to see. They climbed back over the fence and stood back, admiring their work.

“It’s great!” Avery said.

“It is. Only one thing could be greater covered in paint tonight.”

“What?” Avery turned to look at him and found a balloon hurtling toward her. She tried to turn away but wasn’t quick enough. It thudded against her chest and sprayed blue all over her. She squealed at the impact.

Jett laughed as Avery wiped at her face. Then she swirled her hand and the bucket of balloons disappeared and reappeared in her hand. She returned fire and splattered Jett’s torso with yellow. He grunted and stumbled backward.

“Oh, it’s on, A!” He held his hands out and balloons appeared in them.

Avery screamed and ran as she threw balloons behind her. Jett threw them at her back. She reached the end of the platform and jumped to the grass. He pelted her with a few more colors as she ran to a tree for cover.

“Hey! You there! Freeze!” A voice sounded, interrupting their fun.

They instantly knew who it was. A police officer. Jett bolted to Avery and grabbed her waist. He transported them out before Avery could even think. They turned up in Avery’s room, which was empty. He slammed her into the wall with the momentum he’d built up. They both grunted.

“Phew!” Avery breathed out, holding onto his waist. “Good thing you’re fast.”

Jett laughed. “I don’t think we’d get any jail time for painting an already tagged train car. But I didn’t want to deal with the paperwork of it. Better to make a quick getaway.”

“And quick you were!” Avery looked up at him. “Thank you. That was fun. I had an amazing time.”

“Me too.” Jett moved her painted hair from her face and kissed her forehead.

Stories, Writing

Cake Tasting

Tucian watched Amara carefully, enjoying her charming expressions as she tasted each piece of cake. She took her time and mulled over how much she liked it compared to the last. Her expressions always started with delight and surprise, then went into serious thought as she bit her lip and tried to decide. One particularly fudgy cake left her petite lips smeared in brown. He smiled and leaned over, putting his lips to hers.

Amara reveled in the surprise of their sweet frosting kiss. She couldn’t ask for a more perfect moment. But it was brief, Tucian pulling away after a second.

“What was that for?” Amara laughed, licking her lips.

“Being too adorable.” Tucian dragged his finger across some chocolate and dabbed it onto her nose. He laughed as her nose scrunched. “Far too adorable!”

Amara giggled a little and blushed. Then she wiped the frosting from her nose and licked it off her finger with a “Mmm…”

“You really need to stop doing things that make me want to kiss you.” He put a hand on her cheek.

“Like what?”

“Everything.” He kissed her cheek and whispered, “Everything you do is enchanting. Everything you do makes me want to kiss you.”

Amara’s heart danced around in her chest and swelled with love. Tucian kissed her cheek and sat back in his chair.

“Do you have a favorite, my favorite?” Tucian asked flirtingly.

“Tucian!” Amara laughed. He was so smooth. “You’re too suave for my own good.”

“Is that a bad thing?” He took her hand and kissed it, the same way he did when he first introduced himself to her. He held her hand close to his mouth and ran his lips softly back and forth over her knuckles.

“Oh, no. It’s wonderful.” She looked at him in awe, wondering how she had ever been so lucky for him to fall in love with her. She felt his soft lips brush her somewhat ragged knuckles. Throwing punches and training with her hands a lot left them that way, no matter the amount of creams or lotions she used.

“Excellent.” He let her hand go and smiled at her.

“I liked the dark, milk, white chocolate one from the very first round. You?”

“I absolutely agree.”

“And I absolutely love you.” Amara leaned in and pulled the back of his neck to bring him closer. She kissed him increasingly more intensely until Rosie walked back in for their decision.