I think I’m insane. No really, I do. I have so much going on, it’s unbelievable and on top of 2 jobs involving kids and customers, a husband, a daughter, and a family in the throes of living their lives, I’m trying to write.
And not just one story or even two. I have six on the go. Four stories in two different fandoms and my WIP. At the top of the heap is the short story I decided I had to write for the Valentine Anthology for my wonderful publisher. They’re only accepting seven stories for it so my chances of getting picked are very slim, but I had to try anyway. Because I am a glutton for punishment.
And to top everything off, I am not sleeping well. I’m starting to feel like Ralph from Stephen Kings “Insomnia” and I’m afraid to look out the window in case I see the little bald doctors coming down the street. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read the damned book. Stephen King is a genius and his twisted mind holds me in awe. Except for Hearts of Atlantis. I never did figure that book out. You can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Insomnia-ebook/dp/B002SR2Q0A/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1378340936&sr=1-1&keywords=insomnia or at your local library. Go ahead, try something new, I dare you.
Excuse my, my mind is wandering these days.
I’m wishing for fall. That would totally help my sleeping situation. I can’t sleep because it’s too freaking hot and I have no AC. I love my room to be really cool so I can snuggle under the covers with just my nose sticking out for fresh air. The heat makes me cranky. I know all you summer-lovers are screaming at me about now, but I am not hoping for winter, just a long, crisp fall. Days warm enough to play outside and cool nights to go walking in. It’s my absolute most favorite time of year.
Of course, I’m still wishing to win the lottery too. At least I know I will get fall eventually.
I’m gonna keep writing though. It feels like such a part of me now, I wouldn’t know what to do without it. It’s one of those times that I can admit that I should have listened to my mom when I was younger and tried harder to get something down on paper. You know what though? I’m not sure it would have worked. I think I was meant to find this genre and make it my own. It’s all wrapped up in how I feel about equality and how the bravery of every LGBTQ person I’ve met on the journey has inspired me to put how I feel into words.
Now on to the fic rec I always do. Sand and Water by Shae Connor is a story about two emotionally damaged men who find their way to each other and figure out how to move on from the previous tragedies in their lives. They have help from John’s beloved daughter and other friends and family who love them. It’s a long journey to get them where they need to go but it’s worth every painful step.
Get it here at Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2453&cPath=55_325
And now, here’s a sneak-peak at the prologue for my WIP. I hope you like it, just remember, hasn’t been edited by anyone but me and I can’t edit my own stuff worth a damn. Doesn’t even have a name yet.
Ty sighed and looked up from his coffee to see his ex-wife and his son walk into the McDonalds they’d chosen for the custody exchange. It would be so much easier if he could just pick Jesse up and drop him off at Jeanine’s, but ever since her asshole of a boyfriend had decided that he didn’t like Ty and tried to hit him with a shovel, she’d insisted that they meet here instead.
Like it was Ty’s fault that the guy ended up with a broken nose and his two buddies ended up in the hospital with concussions. They attacked him but apparently that was his fault too, like everything else that went wrong in their marriage. He’d been grateful when the cops had seen things from his point of view.
Ty smiled when Jesse spotted him and whooped before running across the room and jumping into his arms. Six years old and already a handful but Ty loved him more than his own life.
“Daddy! I’m so glad you’re here. David said you’d probably flake out and forget but I told him you wouldn’t and I was right! You’re always here!” Jesse wrapped his small arms around Ty’s neck and squeezed tightly.
“You’re right, baby. I’m always here and I’m always gonna be.” Ty ignored the irritated huff from his ex.
“Daddy?” Jesse pulled back to look at him. “What did you lose at?”
Ty shook his head, confused. “What are you talking about?”
He looked up at Jeanine for clarification in time to see understanding and panic cross her face. “Jesse, you need to…”
Ty cut her off. “Did someone say I lost at something Squirt?”
Jesse grabbed Ty’s face with both hands and looked into his eyes. “David said you were a loser who couldn’t get a real job.” Jesse’s adorable face scrunched up in confusion. “Why isn’t your job with Mr. Mike a real job?”
Ty looked up at his ex. “Really? That’s how you let him talk about me around our kid?”
She looked uncomfortable for a moment before regaining her icy composure. “He’s only saying the truth. If you’d given up that crappy mechanic’s job and gone back to being a lawyer, we’d still be married.”
“No we wouldn’t.” It took everything Ty had to not growl at her. He looked back at his son. “I didn’t lose at anything, Jesse. And I love my job with Mr. Mike. It’s as real as it can be. David was just being a dickhead as usual.”
Jesse giggled and not for the first time, Ty was struck with how much he loved his child. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for him.
“You can’t talk about David that way.” Jeanine’s shrill voice was like a hammer to his head and he could feel the pain starting to build behind his eyes. “He’s taking good care of us, better than you ever did. I have nice stuff now and I can go shopping whenever I feel like it.”
Ty snorted. “I don’t know where he’s getting all his money, but it’s nothing legit. If I find out he’s into anything dangerous…”
Jeanine cut him off. “He’s not stupid like you. David is a businessman. He works for his dad’s car dealership and he’s one of his best salesmen.”
Ty opened his mouth to cut her off when David came running into the restaurant and grabbed her arm. “We gotta go babe. Now!” He started pulling her toward the door on the opposite side of the room and Jeanine was bitching at him the whole way.
With Jesse still in his arms, he started after them to find out what was going on when he noticed two men coming in the door they were heading for. They had guns in their hands and were looking around. One smiled when he spotted David and headed toward him.
Without thinking, Ty detoured behind the counter and quickly walked to the back of the kitchen. He spotted a walk-in freezer and headed towards it. There were a couple of teenagers standing inside and they opened their mouths to protest as Ty shut the door.
“Shut the fuck up. There are bad guys with guns out there. You don’t want them to come back here, trust me.” Whatever they saw in his face convinced them not to argue. They all sat quietly in the dark and waited.
“Daddy, I’m scared.” Jesse whispered in his ear.
“It’s okay baby. I got you.” He pulled off his hoodie and wrapped it around Jesse to keep him warm.
One of the kids had his cell phone out and was typing away frantically. He looked up at Ty when he was done and whispered to him. “I didn’t think I’d get a message out of here, but I did. The cops are on their way.”
Ty thought back to the two men’s faces. He’d never forget the crazed looks he’d seen on them and he knew that everyone who had been left out there was probably dead, including Jesse’s mother. If the boy hadn’t been there, he would have tried to do something to help, but as it was, all he could do was to try and keep his son safe.
Ty never really thought much about his extraordinary abilities. Being a wolf shifter was just a part of what he was. It meant he was stronger and faster than most people, among other things. It was also why he could hear his ex-wife pleading for her life before being cut off by the roar of a gun. It made him flinch and Jesse responded by rubbing his shoulder and snuggling closer. Ty hoped that his son’s abilities weren’t strong enough yet for him to have heard it.
Jeanine had turned out to be a greedy bitch after they were married but she’d known he was a shifter and never once gave away his secret. They’d never really loved each other but he’d stepped up when she turned up pregnant after they’d dated for a few months and he’d never regretted it. The simple fact was that she’d given him the best gift he’d ever get; his amazing son.
There had been a lot of people who’d called him crazy for taking her word for it when she’d claimed he was Jesse’s father, but he’d known as soon as the kid was born that Jesse was his. He could smell it on him.
He listened to see if he could hear anything else, but the gunfire and screams were deafening and the only other sounds he could make out were the police sirens approaching the restaurant.
Ty shivered but it wasn’t from the cold. Shifter’s bodies ran hot and it would take a whole lot longer for him to feel the effects of being stuck in the freezer. Jesse was being kept warm by Ty’s hoodie and the fact that he was cuddled up to his father’s warm body.
The other two boys weren’t as lucky. Both of them were in t-shirts and uniform pants and he knew it wouldn’t take long for them to start suffering from the cold.
Ty had shivered from fear and rage and he hated being scared.
Keeping his ears open, he snuck closer to the door. There were no more shots being fired but he wasn’t sure if it was because the men had left or because there was no one left to shoot.
After a few more minutes of silence, he was just about to open the door when it was pulled violently from the outside.
“Police! Hands where I can see ‘em!” Ty had never been so glad to see a man in uniform in his whole life. He didn’t move, just held still and let them sweep the room until they were sure there were no more threats inside. “Clear! We have civilians in here.”
The two shivering boys were escorted out into the arms of victim services and he stood to one side with Jesse, unsure of what to do next.
When someone tried to take Jesse from his arms, the boy cried out in terror and clung to him. Ty couldn’t help the low growl in his throat. “He’s my son. Don’t touch him.”
The social worker gulped but tried again. “Sir we just need to see if he’s okay.” When she touched him again, Jesse began to scream.
“He’s not hurt, he’s just terrified. Leave him the fuck alone!” He tucked Jesse’s face into his neck and sung the song he’d used to sing to get Jesse to go sleep when he was a baby.
“She was just sixteen and all alone, when I came to be…”
One of the female cops turned and smiled at him. “Is that Rock and Roll Lullaby?”
He nodded and kept singing. His voice was not made for singing but it always made Jesse quiet when he was upset or anxious.
“I love that song. Sang it to my own kids when they were little.” She nodded at Jesse. “I think we need to get him out of here. Can you cover his eyes with the hoodie?”
He could see the horror in her eyes and knew that whatever had happened out front was bad. “Yeah, I will. Can we go please?” Ty needed out desperately. The smell of blood and gunpowder was thick in the air making his already aching head even worse.
The cop waited until she was sure that Jesse’s face was completely covered before leading him back to the eating area of the restaurant. “I’d take you out the back way, but the gunmen parked a car in front of the door. They wanted to make sure that whoever they were after couldn’t get away.”
Ty knew exactly who they’d been after.
“Did you get them?” Ty hoped so, for everyone’s sake.
“No, they got away. I’m sorry, I know that’s not what you wanted to hear.” She pulled him by the arm, trying to move quickly and he knew she was trying to spare him from seeing too much of the carnage but he had to know.
Looking around he spotted Jeanine’s body a few feet away. She’d been shot in the chest, leaving the rest of her unmarked. Her face was splattered with her own blood and it took everything he had to not give in to his body’s demands to vomit.
“Daddy, where’s my mommy?” Jesse’s scared voice coming from under the hoodie got him going again.
“Shhh baby. It’s okay.” He hurried out the door before Jesse could start to squirm and hurried over to the other side of the parking lot. The cop didn’t leave his side.
“Was one of those women your wife?”
“Ex. We were here so I could pick up Jesse for my week.” He pulled the hoodie off Jesse’s face and looked at him. “Oh baby.”
“Daddy, are you okay?” Ty was amazed at Jesse’s ability to block everything else out and focus on the one thing that was most important to him.
“I’m fine Jesse.” It wasn’t totally true, but it was close enough for his son.
“Sir, do you have any idea what happened? Do you know why they were there?” He knew she had to ask the questions but Ty knew that once he answered them his life as he knew it was over. He had to tell the truth and once he did, he and Jesse were going to be caught in the middle of a shit-storm.
“Yeah, I know why they were there and I’ll tell you once I get a hold of someone to come and hang out with Jesse while I talk to you.” He wasn’t asking her permission, he was telling her how it was gonna be.
“I could have one of the other officers…”
Ty cut her off. “No deal. He needs to be with someone he knows and trusts. No offense, but another stranger isn’t going to cut it. I have a friend I can call.”
She looked him over and he stared back are her defiantly. “Okay, make your call.”
Ty pulled out his phone and called his boss and best friend. “Mike, I need your help.”