What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence Month for site

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.

I want to introduce myself before we get into this topic.  My name is Theresa Hissong and I am an Erotic and Paranormal Romance Author.  In my books, I speak out against domestic violence.  I am not a trained professional and the blog post you are about to read is only done for awareness.  Everything that you read below is from my own research through various online websites.  My main goal here is to teach you about abuse and how to get help.

Because Domestic Violence is something that I feel strongly about, I wanted to take this month to reach out in hopes that I can help at least one person who is affected by domestic violence.  I will post something weekly to help you understand what abuse is, how to identify it, and how to get help.

Abuse is not your fault and I hope that someday we can wipe the words ‘abuse’ and ‘violence’ out of our vocabulary.

If you, or someone you know, is a victim of domestic violence, please get help, because no one should suffer at the hands of a monster.

~Theresa Hissong

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is abuse by someone you know.  It could be a spouse, a parent, an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, a current boyfriend or girlfriend, or even a friend you’ve known your entire life.

Domestic Violence can affect anyone.  It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, black or white, young or old.  It also doesn’t matter what religion you are.  If you are gay or straight.  There are no borders when it comes to abuse.  Anyone can suffer.

But the most affected are women.  It is said that 1 in 4 women will suffer some type of domestic violence in their lifetime.

What are the different types of abuse?

Physical Abuse is one of the categories that we associate most with domestic violence.  Physical abuse means: hitting, shoving, grabbing, slapping, punching, pinching, biting, and hair pulling are a few examples of physical abuse.

Sexual Abuse is another common category most known when speaking of domestic violence. Sexual abuse is defined as coercing or attempting to coerce any type of sexual contact without consent.  This can include: forcing sex on an unwilling partner, marital rape, or treating someone as if you plan on attempting to force sex upon the unwilling partner.

Emotional Abuse is the third most common category associated with domestic abuse. Any undermining words to an individual’s self-esteem is considered abuse.  This could include harsh criticism, name calling, or purposely saying words to make someone feel unworthy.

Psychological Abuse is when the abuser plants fear into the person by intimidation.  They can also threaten harm to themselves, a partner, children, or the partner’s family and friends to make you do as the abuser wants you too.  Abusers have been known to hurt or threaten to harm animals and property.  Psychological abusers also will force isolation from your family, friends, school or work.

Economic Abuse can be defined by the abuser making the partner financially dependent on them. They take total control over your finances by withholding access to money, or forbidding you to go to work.

Here are some scenarios in which domestic violence is an issue: (these are examples only)

  • The abuser makes you give them your paycheck every payday and will only give you a portion of money to spend on groceries.  You are not allowed to use your money without the abusers permission.
  • The abuser gets angry and slaps you across the face when you catch them in a lie.  Or they are wrong in an argument.
  • The abuser threatens to kill your cat if you tell anyone that black eye was a result of the abuser hitting you.
  • The abuser holds you down forcefully while attempting to have sex with you after you said “NO”.
  • The abuser commonly tells you that you are an “idiot” when you accidently drop a glass and it shatters in the floor.
  • The abuser threatens to commit suicide to get you to do something the abuser wants.
  • The abuser holds a knife to you and threatens to kill you when they are angry.
  • The abuser says things that make you feel bad about yourself, or calls you names that hurts your feelings.
  • The abuser will not let you see your friends.  The ‘Girl’s Night Out’ is no longer allowed.
  • The abuser drives by your place of work, or the place you have gathered with your friends.  The abuser will sit in the parking lot and watch you eat dinner with your family members to make sure you are where you told them you would be.
  • They accuse you of having an affair just to cover up the fact that they are sleeping with another person.

Here is a chart from domesticviolence.org showing a look at behaviors used to gain control in their relationships.  An abuser is looking for ‘power and control’.  This wheel is a good way to see the different kinds of abuse listed above.

 Domestic Violence wheel

What can you do to be safe?

 

First of all, you have to tell yourself that abuse is not your fault! Secondly, you have to believe it.  Do not let your abuser change that in your head.  If you have to hold on to one thing…Stay true to yourself and know that it can stop.  There are many things you can do:

  • Call the Police.  *This is your direct line for help.  They are your first step in getting help.  If you are being threatened, have been physically harmed, or fear for your safety or your children’s safety then please call 911.
  • Find somewhere safe.  It doesn’t matter if the home is yours.  Get away from the home and find somewhere safe for the time being.  You can always have the police remove the abuser from the home at a later time.  Remember: Your safety comes first.
  • Rely on family and friends.  No one will turn you away if you are running from an abuser.  Someone, somewhere, will help you.  Do NOT be afraid to ask for help.
  • Get medical help.  If you have been harmed, please go to the nearest emergency room.  Just because you look okay on the outside, doesn’t mean you are okay on the inside.  Abusers can hurt internal organs when you are physically abused.  If you have been sexually abused, you must reach a hospital immediately.  A test can be done to collect the abusers DNA. The test can prove the abuser is guilty in a court of law.
  • Get a restraining order.  The police can help you obtain this order. The abuser will be notified they are not to be in contact with you, or they will go to jail.  This is a great legal way to keep the abuser from getting to you.

Please do not feel that you are alone.  There are plenty of places that will get you the help you need.  Rely on family and friends to get you the help you need.  The police department is your friend.  They will help you to obtain the legal documents you need to stop the abuser.  Do the right thing and listen to what they tell you. Please, please, please remember that an apology is just a way to get you back under the abusers control.  Those ‘accidents’ will continue.  An abuser will use the word ‘love’ to change your mind.  If someone truly loves you, they will not ever want harm done to you. Here are some phone numbers you can call that you can get help.  Please use these numbers if you feel that you are being abused.

ChildHelp National Child Abuse Helpline   1-800-4-A-CHILD 

National Domestic Abuse Hotline                 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline            1-866-331-9474

National Sexual Assault Hotline                    1-800-656-4673

Friday Flash Fiction, “Granger Pack”, Part 2

Here is your Friday Flash Fiction for this week. Sorry for the delay!  This is part 2 of “Granger Pack”.  As with all Flash Fiction, this is RAW and UNEDITED! Enjoy this weeks segment.  Next week will conclude this series! 

Wolf

 Granger Pack, Part 2

Sophia combed her long, blonde hair, pulling it back into a ponytail.  The cold winter nights had turned into spring before her eyes.  Her body was also changing.  The flatness of her stomach had given way to the soft rounded baby bump she’d been impatiently waiting for.

She stood in front of the mirror rubbing her hands over the tiny babe that was nestled snug in her womb.  This was their first child and it was already being cared for.  The warriors of the pack wouldn’t let Sophia lift a finger.  Before, she insisted on bringing in her own firewood, but not anymore.  They’d been instructed by her mate to keep an eye on her when Vaughn wasn’t around.

Just like now. Vaughn had left the night before to escort a female wolf and her two children back to their pack.  The human authorities had saved her from the wrath of her drunken husband.

Sophia shook her head, holding back a silent tear.  It seemed that there were more and more instances over the past year.  Thankfully, when the shifters made themselves known four years ago, the humans accepted them.  Well, most of the humans did.  There were still several hate groups that like to cause troubles.  But anytime there was a dispute between mates in the area, Vaughn was called in to take the women into protective custody.

She made her way downstairs, just as morning meal was being set out.  Everyone gathered around and waited for her to make the first plate.  Vaughn had so many rules for the pack in regards to his mate that she didn’t know how they all remembered.

Esther, the pack chef, handed her a plate off of the stack and watched as she plated food for herself.  Sophia had finally gotten over the awful morning sickness that plagued the first few months of her pregnancy.  Now, she had the appetite of the warriors.

“Hungry,” Mathis, Vaughn’s second-in-command, said, taking a seat to her left.  They purposely left the head seat at the table empty while the alpha was away.  Sophia sat to his left and Mathis to hers.  The other warriors sat to Vaughn’s right.  The ones with mates and children filled the rest of the ‘head table’.  The pack sat at tables on the left and the right of theirs.  The children’s table was in the room next to the kitchen.

“Very,” she laughed, taking a bite of sausage.  Sophia risked looking at Vaughn’s seat, a weary sigh escaped her lips.  She missed him already. He’d left around midnight and hadn’t called home since.

“He will be fine,” Mathis said.  Sophia blushed in embarrassment and returned to her plate.

“I know,” she said.  The conversation was always the same. Mathis assured her that he would be home every time Vaughn had to leave.  He was a good man and Sophia was glad that Mathis was here to watch over the pack when her mate could not.

Mathis was a striking man.  His long brown hair touched the tops of his broad shoulders.  He wasn’t quite as tall as Vaughn, but they were equally wide.  Those two had too many muscles, but Sophia never complained about her mate’s strength.  In fact, thinking about her mate caused an ache in her belly.  She quickly scooped a spoonful of eggs in her mouth and moaned to cover up the erotic sound that almost escaped her when thinking about Vaughn.

“Alpha,” a small voice called from her left.  Mathis turned in the direction of the voice.  The female, Leslie Manns, who had been brought in a few months ago with her two children, stood beside the table, her face was a mask of fear.

“What is it, Leslie?” Sophia began to stand, but Leslie shook her head, pleading with her eyes to not make a scene.

“May,” she cleared her throat.  “May I speak with you in private sometime today?”

“Do you need to do it now,” Sophia asked, worried for a female of her pack.

“No, alpha,” she shook her head.  The dark hair on her head shifted as she moved.  The long tresses curled at the tips and shined beautifully when the sun hit them just right.  So much different from when she first arrive.

“After first meal,” Sophia reached out and squeezed the woman’s hand.  “You can meet me in my office.”

“Thank you,” she nodded and walked away.

Sophia quickly finished her meal, worrying for her new pack member.  When she excused herself from the table, all of the warriors stood and waited for her to exit the room.  She stopped by Leslie’s table and placed a hand on her shoulder, letting her know she was ready for their meeting.

She’d just sat down when there was a knock on the door.  “Come in,” she called out softly.  Leslie entered, her eyes downcast in respect to her alpha.  “You can be yourself, Leslie.”

“Thank you, alpha,” Leslie sighed.

“What is it that bothers you,” Sophia asked.

“Word has come that my mate is looking for me,” she paused.  “I believe that I am in danger and that if I stay here, you will be in danger yourself.”

“Why,” she began.  “Why do you think we would be in danger?  Does he know where you are?”

“No,” she shook her head.  “I’m not sure.”

“We will keep you safe, Leslie,” Sophia said, reaching across the desk to hold Leslie’s hand for support.  “I will need to meet with the warriors.  They will watch over you…us.  I won’t let him take you away from us.”

“Thank you, alpha,” she sighed, pressing her fingers to her temples.  “I’ve been so worried.”

“You should rest, Leslie,” Sophia said.  “Do not let this stress you.  Your pups need you.”

“Yes, alpha,” she nodded.  “I think I will take them home and get some rest.”

“I will send some warriors to watch over your cabin until this threat is gone,” Sophia promised.

Leslie said her goodbyes, relief on her face. Sophia called in Mathis and repeated the conversation with the female.  He assured her that the male would not cross onto Granger land.  He sent two of his best warriors to keep an eye on Leslie and her children.

Sophia felt the weariness of the day and decided to take her own advice and get some rest.  She advised Mathis that she would be in her room and to call if anything was needed.

Sophia knew it was her job while Vaughn was away to take care of the pack, but sometimes she wondered how he handled the day to day problems without showing any weakness, or in her case, showing how tired she truly was.

Her back ached as she slid into the hot bath in their master bath, closing off her senses to the sounds of the house around her.  It wasn’t until the water was cold that she slid into her pajamas and shut the lights off in the bedroom.

The bed was cold without the warmth of her mate, but at least his scent still lingered on the sheets.  Closing her eyes, she felt the tingle of pain in her back again. She frowned at the sudden ache and blamed it on the tasking day that she’d just completely.  It didn’t take long before the exhaustion took her under.

“Alpha,” Harold, one of his warriors, growled as he knocked on the door to the hotel room Vaughn was staying in for the night.  He missed Sophia in his bed, her softness pressed against his side.

“Harold,” Vaughn said, opening the door to find his warrior looking distraught.  “What is it?”

“It’s the alpha,” he swallowed.  “Mathis called.  It’s the babe.”

What,” he cursed, grabbing his clothes frantically. “Sophia?”

“She is having pains,” Harold said, handing Vaughn his duffle bag.  “The doctor is at the house.  She’s resting comfortably now, but she was having some mind contractions.  They have them stopped, but they want her on bed rest for the next few weeks.”

“I have to go,” Vaughn said.  “Can you handle the transport tomorrow?”

“Yes, alpha,” he bowed.  “It would be my honor to take over for you.”

“Make sure Ms. Lynn is comfortable on the ride to the pack house.  Carry enough snacks and beverages for the children.  Do not tell anyone where you are heading.”

“Yes, sir,” Harold answered.  Vaughn knew that his warriors knew the drill.  It was the same with any removal of a mate.  Do not leave a trail that the male can follow.  These females have been abused and are afraid of their own shadows.  Moving them to the Granger pack was for their safety and to get them free of their abusers.  The Council will come in and charge the male for hurting a sacred female. All female wolves are sacred, because there are not very many of them left.  Something had happened over the past twenty years that the female population had declined.  Females were already held with respect, but since the decline began, they were protected more fiercely than ever before.

The ride home was long.  It felt like years before he pulled onto the secured lands that Vaughn called his home.  As he pulled up to the front of the house, he found Mathis pacing the large wrap around porch, running his hands through his hair.

“Thank the gods you’re here,” he sighed.

“How is my mate,” Vaughn demanded, still walking toward the door, silently commanding Mathis to follow him.

“She’s finally resting,” Mathis informed him. “The doc gave her something to slow the contractions.”

“Thank you,” the alpha sighed, as he stopped at their door. He could smell his mates fear.  It wasn’t a scent he ever wanted to taste on his tongue again.  Pushing the door open, he found her resting on her back, pillows had been tucked around her, keeping her comfortable while she rested.  He immediately removed his clothes, sliding into the bed.  He knew that only skin-to-skin contact with his mate would calm her deepest worries.  Her eyes fluttered open when he gathered her in his arms.

“Vaughn,” she whimpered.  “You’re home.”

“Let me hold you, my mate,” he whispered, pressing his lips to her temple.  He willed his heat into her cold body.  She felt as if she’d been standing in the freezing outdoors for hours.

“You’re so warm,” she moaned, burying her face into his neck.

“What happened, love,” he asked.

“I was having back pain,” she whispered.  “I took a bath and tried to relax.  I figured if I went to sleep, everything would be okay.  But I woke up a few hours later and it was much worse.  I called for Mathis and he got the doctor to come over here.  I guess they told you the rest.”

“How is our babe,” he asked, almost afraid of the answer.

“He is fine,” she smiled.  They’d found out the week before that it was, in fact, a son.

“Thank the gods,” he deflated into the bed.  “How are you?”

“I’m worried,” she paused.  “Not for myself, but for one of the females.  With everything that happened tonight, Vaughn, I haven’t had a chance to tell anyone.”

“What is it,” I asked.

Sophia told him of the worry that Leslie had come to her with earlier in the evening.  Vaughn echoed Sophia’s promise. The male would not come for the female.  That particular male had not been found by the Council, but Vaughn didn’t want to tell his mate that while she was recovering from a scare with their child.

No, he’d hold her and give a silent prayer up to the gods, thanking them for her and their babe being okay.  He’d deal with the missing male and the frightened female at first light.  Tonight he would just hold Sophia in his arms and be thankful that everyone was okay.

To Be Continued…..

Cordeau’s Recipes (From “Need Me”)

Some of you have asked me about the dishes Brooklyn serves at her restaurant in the novella, “Need Me”.  Well, look no further!  I give you the recipes that I wrote about in the book!

Cordeau’s Recipes

 

Cajun Grilled Corn on the Cob

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 4 ears corn with husks
  • 2 teaspoons butter or stick margarine, melted
  • Preparation
  1. Prepare grill.
  2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Pull husks back from corn, and scrub silks. Brush butter over corn; sprinkle with spice mixture. Place corn on grill rack; grill 12 minutes or until done, turning occasionally.

 Shrimp Toast

  • 1/4 C. garlic and herb cheese
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • dash of hot sauce
  • 2 tsp. parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 lb. cooked shrimp, diced, reserving 6 shrimp for garnish
  • 6 slices of wheat bread, cut in half diagonally

Directions

In a medium sized bowl, combine cheese, mayo, sour cream, lemon juice and hot sauce. Stir in parsley, green onions and Old Bay Seasoning. Fold in diced shrimp. Cut 6 shrimp in half length wise and reserve for garnish. Place bread slices on a baking sheet. Broil until lightly browned- watch carefully, as it will only take a minute or two. Remove from oven and flip bread slices over. Place back under broiler for about 30 seconds.  Just when they start to toast, remove from oven. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of shrimp filling over each toast. Place back under broiler, watching carefully, and cook for about 5 minutes or just until filling is heated through and toast edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and top each toast half with a shrimp half. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Pummelo Shrimp Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 20 Sunkist® fresh pummelo segments*
  • 1 C. Sunkist® freshly squeezed pummelo juice
  • 20 jumbo boiled shrimp
  • 1 Tbs. shallots, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • *If pummelo segments are very large, use only 10 segments and cut in half to make 20 pieces. (Sunkist fresh grapefruit may be substituted if pummelos are not in season)

Directions

Combine Sunkist pummelo segments, Sunkist pummelo juice, boiled shrimp, shallots and chopped sage in a zip top plastic bag, making sure marinade ingredients are distributed evenly. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 hours. Place shredded lettuce in bottom of a shrimp cocktail or margarita glass. Remove 5 shrimp and 5 pummelo segments from marinade, drain. Place shrimp and pummelo segments around edge of glass, alternating the shrimp and pummelo. Ready to serve.

Playlist for “Need Me”

Here is the playlist for Gabe’s first novella “Need Me”. 

I always try to give you the list so that you will know where my mind was while I wrote the books.  The playlist has not changed much for the next release, “Burn Me”.  So, here are the songs that helped shape Gabe’s story.

“Trenches” by Pop Evil

“Beautiful” by Pop Evil

“Dragonfly” by Shaman’s Harvest

“Rain Will Fall” by Finding Jimmy Hoffa

“Moving On” by Asking Alexandria

“The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac

“Sleep Alone” by Bat For Lashes

“This is the Time” by Nothing More

“All of Me” by John Legend

“Your Kisses Burn Like Fire” by The Picturebooks

Friday Flash Fiction “Granger Pack”, Part 1

Happy Friday!  It’s finally here! 

Here is this weeks Friday Flash Fiction.  This is Part 1 of the new mini series, “Granger Pack”.  I hope you enjoy this.  Remember…ALL Friday Flash Fiction is written RAW and UNEDITED!  I LOVE writing these flash fiction segments for you to read on Friday’s.  It’s a quick and fun short story that is just as much for me as it is for you.  It’s almost like practice for me and it gives you something to take you into the weekend with a smile. At least I hope so! 

Anyway….. Here is this week’s Flash Fiction.  I hope you enjoy it! ~Theresa

 Wolf

 Granger Pack, Part 1

“You mean the world to me. You know that right?” Vaughn sighed, as he held his mate on the bed of furs in front of their fireplace. The cold winter nights were made for snuggling with the woman who held his heart.

“I do,” Sophia said, nuzzling his neck. He growled low in his throat when she nipped him playfully on the chin. “We should do this more often. It’s been too long.”

“It has,” he sighed, heavily. “I don’t want to talk about the pack right now. Just you…us.”

“Okay,” she smiled. “Well, I have something to tell you.”

“What is it, my beautiful mate,” Vaughn looked into her big brown eyes. The same ones that captured his heart almost a year ago. Her family had come to his pack looking for a new start. She was the oldest of her siblings. At twenty-three, Sophia had taken the role of mother to her three younger brothers after her mother was killed in a car accident. Her father was severely depressed from the loss of his mate and had completely give up on life. Vaughn, being the alpha of the Granger pack, opened his pack to them, putting them up in a home on his land. It wasn’t until a few months later that he realized that she was his intended mate.

“I love you,” she smiled, taking his strong hand into her much smaller one. When she placed it on her stomach over her womb, his heart started pounding in his chest.

“Sophia,” he gasped, but his voice was still just a whisper.

“I’m pregnant with your child,” she smiled, her eyes fluttered at the feel of his warm hand against her flat stomach.

Vaughn immediately sat up, his hands roamed her body. “Are you okay? Are you sick? Have you been sick?”

“Shh,” she laughed. “Everything is fine. I talked to the doctor and I’m only a month and a half along. So far, everything looks fine.”

“Thank God,” he sighed. Leaning over, he placed his other hand over the first. There was a babe in there. His babe. The first of many. They’d agreed on having many children, because it’d been a dream to both of them to have a large family. “Thank you.”

“I should be thanking you,” she smiled. He was still hovering over her, his hands stroking her soft skin. He touched her face before sliding his hand into her long, blonde hair. Vaughn pulled her up to meet his lips. The connection seared both of their senses, leaving them breathless when there was a knock on the door.

“I’m going to kill whoever is there,” he growled. The sound echoed through the room.

“It’s probably important, Vaughn,” she said, pulling a fur over herself to cover her body from anyone’s view.

“Still going to kill them,” he grumped, walking to the door.

Sophia watched her mate rise from the floor, wrapping a fur around his waist. She still got an ache inside when she watched him move with power and the grace of an alpha. The muscles in his broad shoulders flexed when he ran his hand through his tousled, dark hair. Before he opened the door, Vaughn looked over his shoulder, his midnight blue eyes looking over her protectively. He stood to his full height, which was over a foot taller than her short five foot four frame. She was tiny, but he was a giant to her, a warrior.

“What,” he growled, as he opened the door, but only slightly. He was protecting his mate and unborn baby. Sophia had to bite back a giggle when she thought of how overprotective he was going to be now that she was pregnant with his child.

She couldn’t make out the words that were being said, but from the exasperated sigh coming from her mate, she knew that he would have to deal with something within the pack.

“I have to go,” he said, leaning down and capturing her face with both hands. “There has been a mother and her two small children brought in from Mansville.”

“Oh no,” she gasped, holding her hand over her mouth. Vaughn’s eyes softened at her worry of someone in need. “Do you need me to come with you?”

“No, my mate,” he smiled. “Let you worry about yourself tonight. I will take care of the female and make sure she is settled in. I will have Travis stand guard outside until I return home.”

“Okay,” she sighed. “But if you need me.”

“I will send someone to get you, but I don’t think this is necessary.”

“Please give her my welcoming and tell her I will meet with her in the morning,” Sophia promised.

“Yes, my mate,” he smiled, leaning in for one last kiss. “Get some rest while I’m gone. Take care of our babe.”

After Vaughn left, Sophia lay on the furs enjoying the soft feel on her body. Vaughn had taken such care with her tonight. He fed her and then made love to her for hours. Everything had been so perfect. She reached up and touched the spot on her neck where he’d fed from her. Although they are shifters, they needed blood to survive along with human food.

Sophia would meet with the woman and children tomorrow. Vaughn had a huge heart and refused to turn away any wolves in need. The pack was made up of several broken families. Most of them were missing a mate due to tragedy, others were worse. There were four women who had been removed from their male mates for the abuse against them. It broke her heart every time the warriors of the pack would bring in an abused female, but Sophia worked with them to help the women see that they can survive. Vaughn made sure of it. The women were given jobs within the pack, or if they were skilled, they could work in town at the several business run by the alpha and his family.

Instead of falling asleep on the furs, Sophia walked across the room and climbed into their huge bed that had been custom made for Vaughn’s extraordinary height. She probably looked like an elf laying in the middle of the bed, but she really didn’t care. It didn’t matter where she fell asleep, Sophia would find herself tucked in Vaughn’s arms every morning when she woke up.

When her eyes opened, they sunlight filtered through the sheer curtains on the windows casting a soft light across her body. Her wolf paced in her mind, wanting to run, to feel the earth beneath its paws.

“Down girl,” Sophia giggled. Her and Vaughn had run the previous weekend when they had the sudden urge to shift and hunt just after dusk. It had been a wonderful night, just the two of them. Well, it really wasn’t just the two of them. The warriors of the pack had gone with them into the woods behind the pack house to keep an eye on the two alphas. Their lives were always in danger because of who they were.

She left the master suite and headed into the kitchen, finding the pack chef rolling out the beginnings of what looked like biscuits.

“Good morning, Ester,” Sophia said, taking a seat at the bar. “Have you seen our alpha?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Ester nodded. “He advised me to let you know he would be back in time for breakfast. He wanted to have a meeting with the warriors beforehand.”

“Okay,” she said, breaking a banana off of the cluster of them that were sitting on the counter. She peeled it carefully, hoping it would go down as smoothly as the one did the morning before. She didn’t come clean with Vaughn the night before. She had been feeling sick, but it was very minor. The last thing she wanted to do was to make him worry. Shaking her head, she suppressed a giggle and took a bite. She moaned from the flavor and was thankful it stayed down.

Warriors filed in the back door, each of them nodding to Sophia as they entered the house, just like Vaughn had trained them. His warriors were the largest males that he could find within their race.

Her scent filled the kitchen; the woman who’d made him the happiest man on the face of the Earth. He smiled at his mate as he crossed the room. She was stunning and even more so since she had become pregnant with his child.

But something wasn’t right.

“Mate,” he growled. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” she lied, placing a calming hand on his forearm.

“Don’t lie to me,” he whispered, his eyes shifted to that of his wolf. The glowing yellow would’ve scared his warriors, but his true mate wasn’t fazed.

“Calm down,” she chuckled. “I’m just a little…” Nothing else was said as Sophia jumped from her stool and used her speed to rush to the bathroom off of the kitchen.

Every warrior in the kitchen stood on guard, their guns and knives drawn, their eyes scanned the room for threats. Vaughn was by her side instantly as she sunk to her knees and emptied the contents of her stomach into the toilet.

“Oh, gods,” she moaned.

“Get the doctor, now!” Vaughn scooped her up into his arms and took Sophia to the master suite where he placed her on the bed. His hands shook as he brushed hair away from her pale face. “Talk to me, mate.”

“I’m fine,” she growled. Sophia looked completely worn out. It was only seven in the morning and he knew that she slept well, because his beautiful mate had been plastered to his side the entire night. “Just let it pass. The doctor isn’t needed. He will tell you the same thing.”

“I worry,” he admitted, stroking her face and placing his hand on their unborn child.

“And you are going to have a stroke from worrying so much,” she smiled.

“I’m a shifter,” he scoffed. “We don’t have strokes.”

“Well, you will be the first ever,” she teased. Vaughn finally relaxed and called the warrior he’d sent after the doctor, telling him to disregard. His mate was okay.

“Do you feel like eating,” he asked, helping her sit up in the bed.

“Actually,” she smiled. “I’m starving! Plus, I have to get over and meet the new arrivals.”

“I don’t know about…,” he began, but quickly quieted when Sophia gave him a hard stare.

“I will be going to check on them,” she demanded.

“So stubborn,” he shook his head. “No need to go to them, the female will be here with her children for morning meal.”

“Good,” she nodded, standing up and pushing him out of the way. “Let me clean up and then I will be down.”

Vaughn ran his hands through his hair and watched as his wife walked into the bathroom, her sexy hips shifting from side to side as she went. He had to adjust himself from the visual. If the pack wasn’t waiting downstairs for them to eat and to see if his mate was alright, he may have just taken her back to bed.

Sophia searched the faces of the pack that had gathered in their home for the Sunday breakfast that Esther served every week. Two warriors, Michael and Thorn were hovering over the new addition and her two children who were obviously twins.

“Hello, my name is Sophia,” she said, introducing herself. The woman’s eyes bulged when Sophia knelt down so that she was eye level with the children. “And what’s your name?”

“Kara and this is my sister, Mia.” The one with the cute dimples held her head up proudly when she said their names. Mia was shy and tucked her head against her mother’s chest.

“My name is Leslie Manns,” she smiled.

“Hi Leslie,” Sophia smiled. The two women shook hands, but she noticed Leslie was very uncomfortable. “Is there anything I can do?”

“Um,” Leslie looked around the room. “My alpha. With all due respect, I wish you wouldn’t kneel below me.”

“Why,” she asked.

“You are the alpha,” Leslie said, wide-eyed. “You are not supposed to sit below me.”

“What did he do to you,” Sophia whispered.

“Things you would never understand,” Leslie whispered, tears threating her big blue eyes.

“Not here,” Sophia shook her head. “Yes, I am your alpha, but I am also your friend. I will guide you and strengthen you. You will live free here. If you have any problems, you are to come directly to me. If you cannot find me, you will ask a warrior to find me. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” she whispered, still looking around the room. When Leslie saw that no one was paying attention to her, she leaned in closer to Sophia. “He will come for me. I know he will. I’m sorry. I don’t know if I can stay here.”

Sophia felt the fear radiating off of the female, but she knew that as alpha, she had to stand strong as an example to the women of the pack. “He will not get within our land. This I promise you.”

“Yes, alpha,” Leslie bowed her head. “Thank you for helping me.”

Sophia touched Leslie’s head as she stood, allowing the magic of her wolf to bleed strength into the scared female. Sophia felt Leslie jerk as the power. Releasing her, Sophia turned and found Vaughn watching her carefully. She didn’t have to voice her concern, because the low warning growl that rumbled out of his chest told her that he heard everything.

Sophia didn’t know exactly who this man was, but Leslie’s fear of him set her on edge. As Vaughn stepped closer to her, she knew that he felt the fear as well. If this male came seeking Leslie, then they needed to be prepared.

Prologue to “Burn Me”

Here is a very early and unedited version of the Prologue to “Burn Me”.  I know you guys are dying to know what the hell is going on with Gabe and Brooklyn.  I hope this helps.

Prologue

Gabe

 

When I opened my eyes there was no pain.  There was soft, white light everywhere.  Figures moved around me, their faces hidden as if they were covered by a fog.  My body was translucent.  Still solid, but somehow, I was able to see through my hands.  There were scars on them, angry and red.  My body was covered in the same soft light that enveloped my surroundings.

“Gabriel,” a voice beckoned.  “Gabriel, my son!”

“Ma,” I gasped, searching the faceless beings that floated around me going everywhere, but also…nowhere.

“No, no, no,” my mother cried as she floated up to me.  Her face.  I could see her face as the fog lifted. 

“Ma,” I questioned.  “What’s happening?  Where am I?”

“It’s not time, son,” she cried.  “You shouldn’t be here.”

“Where am I,” I asked, scared for once in my life.  I was even more scared than the day I held her when she died.

“You have to go back, Gabriel,” she sighed.  “Your job is not complete.  You have to go back!”

“How,” I asked, tears threatening, pricking at my eyes.  “How, momma?”

“You fight Gabriel,” she said, her hand reaching out to touch the palm of my hand. Her skin was as soft as I remembered.  She smelled of lilac, the perfume she always wore.  That smell brought me back to a time when I was loved by the woman who gave me life.  Now, I realized, she was here in my death, urging me to go home.

“How do I fight,” I begged. 

“She needs you,” my mother cried.  “Brooklyn needs you, Gabriel.  And that sweet, loving boy.  He needs you as well.  Fight for her, Gabriel.  She is the woman who loves you.  She needs you to come back to her.  Now is not your time, my son.  Fight for her!  Fight Gabriel!”

“Ma, I love you,” I blurted.  It was the words I’d wished I’d told her one more time.  “I love you!”

“I know, son,” she smiled, that radiant smile that reminded me of Liana.  “I’m so proud of the two of you.  My sweet little girl, Liana.  How she has suffered, but you and that boy Reed healed her.  You healed her with your love, Gabriel.  I’m so proud of you.  I love you, son.  You need to fight!”

“I’m trying, ma,” I said.  “I love her so much.”

“Then return to her, Gabriel,” she smiled, seeing me smile thinking of Brooklyn.  “That’s it, fight!”

The light faded, my mother’s face began to blend with the fog.  “Ma!”

“Fight Gabriel.”

“Fight, son!”

“She needs you!”

“Fight!  Fight!  Fight!”

Friday Flash Fiction, “Little Lamb”, Part 4

Sexy man on motorcycle

Happy Friday!!

Here is the final installment of “Little Lamb”!  I hope that you have enjoyed this story as much as I have enjoyed writing it.  Remember, the Flash Fiction posts are always written RAW and UNEDITED.

This is something I share with you, because it’s fun and also gives me a break from the other things I am writing.  It’s a fun little activity for me and it gives you a FREE short story to read. 

 

Little Lamb

Part 4

 

Afternoon thunderstorms rumbled outside the window of Cannon’s tiny apartment. I was currently bundled up on the couch writing a paper for my upcoming final exam. This was it. I’d be graduating in just a few weeks. Hopefully after graduation, I would finally fulfill my dream to become a history teacher. I didn’t care if it was middle or high school, I just wanted to teach.

The sharp bite of pain in my ribs had finally become manageable. My father came last weekend to check on me and spend some time with Cannon. They’d gone out for drinks and when they returned, I saw my father soften toward the nomad that had come to mean so much to me.

I’d finally confessed last week to Cannon that I didn’t want to go back to my apartment. The memories were just too painful. He’d welcomed me with open arms and admitted he didn’t want me to leave either.

Things had progressed in our strange relationship. Well, somewhat progressed. Every time I wanted to take that final step to have him make love to me, he’d push back and say that he thought I wasn’t ready. Not after everything that had happened.

Well, I was so ready that I wanted to explode! We’d kissed, touched, and even brought each other to climax with just our hands and mouths. Cannon knew my body better than I did. I think it has gotten easier for him to look at me since the bruises faded. Other than the pain in my ribs, I was completely healed. Only when I lifted something heavy or turned the wrong way, would I cry out from the injury.

I jumped when a bolt of lightning crashed somewhere close, causing the power to flicker twice before completely giving out. Thankfully, the temperatures were mild and the apartment wouldn’t become a baking oven until the power returned.

My cell phone rang and I smiled when I saw it was him calling. He’d become very protective of me, even so much as to threaten the clerk at the small grocery store down the street, telling him to keep his eyes off my ass. I was taken. Cannon was perfect.

“Little lamb,” he spoke, before I could even say ‘hello’. “Are you alright?”

“I’m fine, Cannon,” I sighed. “Power went and it’s storming it’s ass off right now. Nothing to worry about.” He was always worried when it came to me. It was sweet, but sometimes irritating. The other day, he checked the path I walked to the car to look for any tripping hazards…before I left the apartment!

“I think I’ll come home for the rest of the day,” he announced.

“You can’t ride in this weather,” I gasped. Okay, I was a little worried about him, too.

“I’m bringing my brother’s Mustang home,” he laughed. “I’ll be alright.”

“I’ll see you soon,” I said, hanging up after a short goodbye.

The storm raged outside for the next fifteen minutes. I heard the rumbled of a car pull up in the parking area just below the apartment. It was only another few seconds before Cannon burst through the door, water soaking his clothes and running rivulets off of his bald head. He was smiling widely, something I had never seen. He looked like a boy, young and carefree. Nothing of the hard MC nomad that he portrayed every day.

“Fuck,” he wiped a big beefy hand down his handsome face. “It’s really bad out there.”

“Yes, it is,” I breathed, watching him shed his shirt there at the little tiled spot by the front door. His muscles flexed as he moved to peel the wet material from his tanned skin. His faded denim jeans rested low on his hips, giving me a glimpse into the V shaped muscle that disappeared beneath his waistband. A tiny drop of moisture rolled down his shoulder, circled his dark brown nipple and continued its trek southward. I didn’t see where it went, because my eyes were focused on his chest.

His chest heaved with breaths that were now audible. Looking up, our gazes met and Cannon’s eyes were filled with a heated desire I’d only heard about in love stories. He unlaced his boots and kicked them to the side, never taking his eyes off of mine.

I stood automatically, dropping the blanket somewhere next to my feet. We both moved quietly as we took small steps toward each other. Somewhere in the middle, he opened his arms and I went into them willingly.

His lips pressed to mine, hot and wet from the rain that drenched his body. Cannon shivered when I ran my tiny hands up his bulky arms, feeling the soft skin beneath the pads of my fingers. In one swoop, I was in his arms, our lips still playing an erotic dance. His tongue moved along the seam of my lips, before pressing, demanding entrance.

My hands cupped the back of his head, pulling him closer as if I could get beneath the protective layers of his skin. His hands held me close as he repositioned me to where my legs were now around his waist. The moment I ground my aching sex against him, I felt his hardness against my sex. I moved against it, rubbing myself up and down like a cat in heat.

“Bed,” I moaned, only releasing him for a split second.

Cannon moved toward his room and carried me to the bed, carefully laying me out on the pillow. He didn’t speak as he pulled my yoga pants down my legs and tossed them in the floor. My red tank top followed. His eyes darkened with heated lust as he took a moment to look over my body, memorizing the scene before him.

“Beautiful,” he said, before finally divesting the last piece of clothing on his body.

His hardness jutted out from his body, the tip a deep plum color. A bead of moisture sat at the tip and I licked my lips, leaning forward to take it with my tongue.

The moment my lips closed around his flesh, Cannon sunk his fingers in my hair and moaned, causing wetness to pool between my legs. I held him in my hand and from the way he expressed his enjoyment of what I was doing, I knew that I also held his heart.

Cannon wasn’t the type of man to let anyone inside. He was closed off and preferred to live as a loner, but somehow opened his heart to me. I had to fight back tears and concentrate on what we were doing. If he saw any tears from me, Cannon would pull away and not allow this to continue and I was having none of that.

“You have to stop, baby,” he hissed through his teeth. I couldn’t help the smug look on my face, knowing I could bring this giant of a man to his knees with just one touch. We’d done this several times before, so I knew what brought him pleasure.

Fortunately, he also knew exactly what I liked as well.

I was flipped over on my back, the tiny scrap of lace I used to call my panties were ripped away from my body. He pushed my legs out to the side to accommodate his wide shoulders. The hot press of his tongue to my sex sent sparks into my vision and I called out his name, begging for more.

He ate, nipped, and licked at my core, never stopping in his love making. He inserted two fingers the moment he sucked on my clit, making my release shoot toward the surface. My back arched off of the mattress, the world around us completely shut out, as if we were the only two people left alive.

“I need inside you,” he growled, causing my sex to clinch around his fingers.

His mouth found mine and I could taste my desire on his lips. This seemed to excite him more as he laid his body beneath mine.

In all of the months that I watched the nomad biker pass by my school every day after classes, I never would’ve thought that I’d fallen in love with the bad boy who was in charge of my safety. No, Cannon wasn’t a college frat boy, he was the man who made me feel whole again. He saved me from my demons and showed me what true love was.

“I love you, little lamb,” he whispered as he pushed inside me. “Stay with me. Be my girl.”

“I’ll always stay with you, Cannon,” I whispered, stroking his strong, rugged jaw.

As the storm raged outside the apartment, Cannon and I made love until we were too tired to go at it again. He held me against his body and spoke of a life into the future. One that I had dreamed of since I was a little girl. He was no prince, but Cannon was the man who would treat me like a queen for the rest of our lives.

 

The End……

 

Friday Flash Fiction Little Lamb, Part 3

Happy Friday!

Here is your next installment of Friday Flash Fiction.

As with all the Friday Flash Fiction, this story is RAW and UNEDITED!  It is written solely for entertainment.  I hope you enjoy!

 

Sexy man on motorcycle

Little Lamb, Part 3

 

I held her as she slept. The pleading in her eyes, the tears spilling from those pretty blues sent me right over the edge of the cliff. I fell head damn first for her. I didn’t have the heart to deny her this small amount of safety in the night. When I had checked on her earlier in the night, my little lamb had been in the throes of a nightmare.

With her in my arms, she trembled with the cold and with the memories. “Shhh, little lamb. Nothing can harm you now. I won’t let anyone get to you.” And my words were true. I wouldn’t let anyone lay so much as a finger on one fiber of hair on her head.

My Glock was next to the bed, within reach of my hand. I seriously doubted that anyone would break in here to take her from me, but I wasn’t going to test the theory that all was safe. I didn’t live in the greatest of areas and I should probably move. I had the money to step up a little, but I liked my simple life. I didn’t need luxury, but little lamb did. She was perfection in a human form.

The perfection in my arms moaned and shifted back into my chest. “Cannon?”

“Yes, little lamb. I’m here,” I whispered in her ear. I kissed the top of her head that was pillowed on my bicep.

“I hurt,” she choked. “And I need to pee.”

“Okay,” I said, sitting up carefully in the bed. I quickly replaced my body with a pillow, ensuring she was comfortable. “Let me carry you.”

“I can walk,” she winced and cried out when she moved to a sitting position.

“I’m carrying you,” I growled. Leaning down I looped her arm over my shoulders and slid my other arm under her knees. She tried to protest again, but I silenced her with a look. “You have to let me care for you, little lamb.”

“I have to move around or I won’t heal,” she growled right back at me. My little lamb had a tiger inside her and that tiger had bite. I liked it.

“Now,” I said, setting her to her feet next to the toilet. “You can move.”

“Leave,” she rolled her eyes.

“I’m going, I’m going,” I chuckled and held my hands up in defense. “Let me get your meds and I’ll be right back.”

When I returned, she was just shutting off the light in the bathroom. The flash of fluorescent light showed me that her eye had turned a nasty purple and green. Her throat sported a reddish-purple gash that made me see red.

I scooped her up carefully and returned her to the bed. She took the Lortab I handed her and drank half the glass of water I brought with me. I finished the water and set the empty cup on the small table next to my bed. Little lamb eyed the Glock momentarily, but didn’t comment on it.

“It’s for our safety,” I said, answering her silent question.

“Do you have that many enemies,” she asked, her voice soft.

“Sometimes,” I shrugged. “It’s who we are, little lamb. You know this.”

“Yeah,” she yawned.

“Go to sleep,” I said.

“Please,” she asked, holding up the covers. “I feel safer with you here.”

I didn’t reply as I slid in the bed, finding a comfortable spot on my back. She snuggled up against my side and used my arm as a pillow. It only took seconds before she was fast asleep. I followed not too long after.

Warmth against my right side woke me, the sun was barely up in the sky. It was Friday, her day off of classes. My brother already knew that I wouldn’t be coming in to the shop today. Little Lamb was the priority over everything else. When the MC President tells you to do something, you move heaven and hell to make it happen. When it’s the prez’s daughter, you lay your life before hers. When it was the woman that consumed your world, you accept the blade that cut’s into your heart, so that she can be safe, free.

My little lamb. I’d been infatuated with her for months, seeing her just out of reach. But now, now she is in my arms. There is an energy of awareness between us. The fact that I almost kissed her yesterday was proof of that. As bad as I wanted her in my arm, underneath me panting my name, I couldn’t do that to her. She was too special to hook up with a thug like me.

But fuck if I didn’t want to be her knight in shining armor, the man who gave her the world.

She moaned in her sleep, her hand moved to my chest. Little lamb’s tiny fingers fisted in my shirt, her forehead pinched with whatever she was dreaming in her sleep.

No,” she whispered. Her body didn’t freeze, nor did she jerk awake. Before she could say anything else, I used my thumb to rub the spot between her eyes, relaxing the tight muscle. She smiled warmly and felt back into her deep sleep.

I watched her, held her, for two more hours. My phone chirped alerting me to an incoming text. I carefully reached for it on the table beside the bed. My gun rested there within an arm’s reach. The text was from her father. I breathed a sigh of relief at his words.

 

He’s done. Won’t be hurting women again.

 

I could only imagine what that meant. I purposely kept myself out of the final punishment for a reason. I’d already beat the man to the point of death before her father arrived. He didn’t cry like a bitch, like I thought he would. No, the fucker laughed. He said things that made me hate him even more.

“She’s a hot little piece of ass.”

“She begged for me to stop. Lot of fight that little one.”

“I. Made. Her. Bleed.”

“The stupid cunt wouldn’t give me any. So, I took it.”

“What? Is she yours?  

“Ha! I ruined her. You won’t want to touch her pussy after what I did!”

 

I hope her father let the fucker live and cut his dick off. That’s what he deserved. To be castrated.

“Cannon,” little lamb stiffened. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, little lamb,” I whispered, relaxing my body. I’d gone stiff remembering his words.

Reaching over, I stroked the softness of her cheek. Her blue eyes were hazy from her sleep. She tried to take a deep breath to sigh and jerked from the pain.

“Let me get you some meds,” I said, helping her into a more comfortable position. It’d been four hours since the last dose and he was probably due. “I’m going to wrap those ribs this morning and get you up and moving, little lamb. It’s not good for you to be in the bed.”

“Is that a good idea,” she frowned.

“I broke three ribs last year,” I admitted. “Laid my bike down and slammed into a tree. That was the doc’s orders, so I’m passing that on to you.”

“If you insist,” she scowled, scrunching up her nose in defiance. She didn’t want to move and I didn’t blame her one bit. That’s a hard injury to deal with. I couldn’t imagine what she was feeling. It was easier for me, I’d broken my ribs more times than I can remember. She was so small, fragile. It had to be painful.

“I do,” I growled. “Meds, wrap, then eat. In that order.”

“You’re bossy,” she growled. “What if I just want to sleep? I’d rather throw the blanket over my head and not come out for the next thirty years.” The last was said in a quiet voice.

“You will not hide from the world,” I said, leaning over where I was in her face. “I won’t let you.”

“I didn’t think you would,” she mumbled. Little lamb was a bit on the grumpy side in the morning.

“How about some coffee,” I offered, laughing when her eyebrows shot up and she nodded enthusiastically.

After her meds, I let her drink the cup of coffee I made for her while I quickly showered.

“Can I shower before you wrap me up,” she asked.

“Sure,” I nodded. “Let me get you some clean towels.”

I left her to hit the pantry in the hallway, grabbing two towels and returning to the room. I gasped when I turned the corner and she was about to face plant on the bedroom floor. Fast as lighting, I grabbed her by her upper arms, stopping her from hurting herself even further.

“Fuck,” she growled, grabbing her side. “Ouch!”

“Are you even going to be able to shower?” I asked, honestly worried about leaving her in the standup shower alone.

“You’re not coming in there,” she said, wide-eyed.

“You better believe your ass I am,” I growled. “All I need is for you to fall out of that shower. No way!”

“Well, I’m not getting undressed in front of you,” she scolded, giving me a look that promised death. My little lamb was showing her lioness side…and I still liked it.

“Okay,” I paused. “You get in the shower and then I will sit on the toilet, just in case you fall. I’ll be able to catch you.” My bathroom only had a shower, no tub. There was a curtain there to keep the water contained in the stall.

“No peeking,” she glared.

“Promise,” I laughed, holding my hands up in defeat.

I stood my ground and didn’t peek at her, but I was a guy. Plus, my finger may have had a slight gap in it where I could see her legs and nothing else. She had amazing legs, lean and tight. I couldn’t look at her with all of the bruises it would make me seek out that asshole’s body and I’d unload my gun into his lifeless body. No, I’d wait. I’d wait for my little lamb to recover.

After that, she was mine and I wasn’t letting her go.

 

To Be Continued…

 

 

 

“Need Me” Chapter 1

Need Me Final SM

 

Here is the first chapter of “Need Me” in A Glory Days Finale.  I hope you love Gabe as much as I do.  He’s twined himself into my heart and will never let it go. 

Look for Need Me to be release the first week of September!

Enjoy!

 

Chapter 1

 

Gabe

 

Everyone was off with their wives and here I was…alone. 

Ever since Liana, my beloved sister, had been violated by that monster, I hadn’t been myself. The spunk that used to power me died when she was hurt.  In her worst times, she found love with my best friend and Glory Days bassist, Reed Sullivan.  When I wasn’t enough to heal her, Reed stepped up to the plate and did the unthinkable.  He loved her enough to bring her out of the shadows, away from her demons.

She didn’t need me anymore.  Liana had Reed.

All I’d ever known was to take care of her, no matter where I was in the world.  Liana had always been my top priority, even over Glory Days.  I’d promised our mother, on her deathbed, that I would let no harm come to my little sister.  I’d failed the two women in my life.  My sister when she was attacked and the simple promise to my mother.

I inherited my nurturing side from her.  We didn’t have much growing up, but we were loved nonetheless.  When we found out she was dying, I stepped up and took over.  I became the man of the house before I was even old enough to drink. 

Finding Ash and Glory Days, was my way out of the slums, out of poverty.  Those first few years, we busted our asses to get noticed and it wasn’t long before we were signed.  My mother died before we’d hit number one on the charts.  It was hard, but I knew, somehow, that she was looking down on me and smiling happily at my success.

I used my portion of the money we made to buy Liana a place away from the poor area we grew up in.  She went to college and moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where she lived up until a couple of years ago when she fell in love with Reed.

I made it my life’s mission to provide for my little sister, pay for her college, and to protect her.  She needed me and now…she had overcome so much pain and anguish, to get where she was with Reed. 

I also paid Eric a ton of fucking money to keep tabs on my father.  Yeah, I hadn’t seen him since I was a small boy, but I knew exactly where the son of a bitch was.  Didn’t matter anyway, we didn’t need him.  We didn’t want him.  After being let out of jail – too soon if you ask me – for molesting those little girls, Kevin Miller was working construction in a tiny community in the panhandle of Florida.  He never had attempted to contact me, or Liana, and I wanted to keep it that way.

I was on my own – for once in my life – and I was clueless as to what to do with myself.  I was too damn old and too much of a public figure to party.  The paparazzi were always watching us, waiting for one of us to slip up.  We were smart, not giving them any reasons to put us on the front page of any magazines. 

Now, I was just alone and pathetic.  I came to this place because it was secluded and the photographers couldn’t get within a hundred feet of the place.  The windows were tinted, where one could see out, but no one could see inside.  The food was amazing and so was the view. 

A beautiful view that I had the pleasure of meeting once, but never had the balls to ask her out.  I found myself remembering her in my sleep, imagining things that would probably get me arrested, but damn, I couldn’t get the memory out of my head.

Infatuated.

Yeah, that’s what I was.  Totally infatuated with the owner of the restaurant I was currently sitting in. Cordeau’s was owned by the amazingly beautiful Brooklyn Cordeau.  Cajun French cuisine that was made with a spin, since it was located in Los Angeles. 

I’d only met her about a year ago, when the place first opened.  She’d been at the door on opening night.  I’d heard about the grand opening and decided to stop in, because I was pathetic and had nothing else to do.  Why I came in here every chance I could, I still had no idea.

Well, I did have an idea.  The woman with the long brown hair and big brown eyes mesmerized me more than any woman I’d ever laid eyes on.  She looked to be a little older than myself, but not by much.  I’d recently turned twenty-nine and the sexy chef couldn’t be older than thirty.

She was the most beautiful woman I’d ever laid my eyes on.  She was from New Orleans and the Cajun twang to her voice sent the blood straight from my head to my dick.  Her curves, yeah well, I could write a million number one hits to her body alone. 

“Mr. Miller,” my waiter, Thomas, said as he approached my secluded table, a white cloth was draped over his arm.  “So nice to see you again.”  The man was tall and very well dressed.  His dark skin and Cajun accent told me that he wasn’t from Los Angeles, either.

“Thank you,” I replied and set my menu down, thankful my waist was under the white tablecloth.  Just thinking about her caused me to sport a rock hard evidence I didn’t want anyone to see, except her.

“What will you be having today,” he inquired.

“Same as usual,” I smiled and raised a questioning eyebrow.  “Any chance that Ms. Cordeau is available for a moment?”

“I’ll be happy to extend the invite to the lady,” Thomas smiled.

Maybe this time she’d be willing to at least let me introduce myself.  Honestly, I just wanted to hear her amazing accent up close, see her plush lips part in a heated sigh.  I didn’t know if I’d be able to touch her, even for a handshake.  The idea caused my body to tremble like a crazed fan.  I had to tamp down the overwhelming urge to barge into the kitchen and demand her presence.

I was toast.  This woman got under my skin.  Hell, I didn’t even really know her in person.  My fantasies formed her in my mind.  Long days and nights on the road would make a man do that.  There were plenty of empty hours to get lost in your own, wicked thoughts.

I checked my phone as I waited for Thomas to bring my wine and gumbo.  Kane had texted me, saying that we were going to postpone tomorrows writing session, because Delilah was sick and he didn’t want to leave her side until she was better.

That man had changed in the last year, for the better.  Delilah had taken our best friend, straightened him out and brought together his family.  Now, he was expecting twins!  His anxiety was all but vanished from his existence.  It took fear of losing the love of his life to snap something in his brain, making him right for once. 

I stifled a laugh, because Kane Maddox wasn’t completely right, on a normal day.  His anxiety had changed directions, though.  Now, he was an overprotective father-to-be, but at least he was focused on his future.  I still made fun of him for fainting, not once, but twice!  I had no idea how he’s going to handle the delivery, when that time came.

“Ms. Cordeau asked me to advise you that she will be out shortly,” Thomas winked.

“Thank you,” I jerked upright in my chair.  She was going to join me. Deep breath, Gabe.

I had one shot at impressing her.  If I fucked this up, there was no way in hell I’d ever forgive myself.  There was just something about her that screamed she needed to be mine.

 

 

Brooklyn

 

“Brook,” my head waiter Thomas smiled as he peeked around the corner where I was stationed in the kitchen.  “Your sexy-as-fuck guitarist is here.”

My face flushed red and heat pooled between my legs.  That “sexy-as-fuck guitarist”, Gabe Miller, was in my restaurant every time he was in town.  I’d denied meeting him for a second time since opening the restaurant, because…well, look at him!  That man was tall and muscular, but not overly bulky.  His black hair was cut short in the back, but his bangs were long and covered the most bluest of blue eyes.  I’d dreamt of those eyes, the ones that were so sexy they should be illegal.  Tattoos adorned his arms and that man’s ass could fill out a pair of leather pants like they were custom tailored for him.  His lips were always in a perfect pout and he didn’t even have to try to look like a sex god.  It just came naturally.

I couldn’t hide from him forever.  We’d had a small introduction on opening night, back a year ago.  I’d been so overwhelmed by him, that I used some lame excuse and got away from him as soon as possible.  Third time must be the charm, because I couldn’t put him off again.

Gabe Miller had a presence about him that made everyone in the room notice him walk through the door.  He looked one thousand percent rockstar and he worked that look like a damn supermodel.  He was also an idol of mine, being as I played guitar a very long time ago as a job.  Now, I only pick it up when I have a chance, which wasn’t very often.  He was here and asking me to come to his table, again.  It was one of the hardest things I’d ever done.  It was time to pull up my big girl panties and go out there to have a decent conversation with the most famous guitar god that ever lived.

As I cleared the service entrance to the kitchen, the dining room was full, but my eyes landed on him…his profile, because he was half-turned away from where I was standing.  I watched as Gabe Miller held a glass of red wine up to his full lips and tilted the liquid back, just enough to allow a small amount to touch his tongue. 

My knees vibrated and it was difficult, but I walked forward.  My head was held high as people greeted me when I passed.  He still hadn’t noticed that I was coming toward him.  I was glad for the moment to study him before our eyes met.

I was only a few feet away when he turned his head as if he sensed my presence, a breathtaking smile lit up the corner of his mouth.  He’d brushed his bangs off to one side and his face was finally in full view.  As I approached, he set his napkin on the table and rose to his full height.

He wasn’t the tallest man I’d ever met, but he still towered over me.  The top of my head was level with the top of his shoulders.  He was dressed nice, for the visit to my restaurant.  The sexy rockstar had paired his tight, black leather pants with an untucked, pale yellow button down dress shirt.  The yellow was so pale that it looked white, the sleeves were rolled up to his elbows.  On his feet, he wore a pair of laced up leather boots.  My mouth watered and I had to swallow down my need to drool as I held out my hand.

“Mr. Miller,” I rasped.  Damn! Did my voice just have to do that?  I sounded like a lusty tramp.  “Thank you for coming tonight.  It’s my pleasure to have you here.”

“Thank you,” he smiled.  The blue in his eyes sparkled and I locked my knees in place to keep from falling.  When he touched my hand, it was like a raging fire burned through my veins and into all of the places my body wanted him to possess.  My nipples beaded in my bra and my sex pulsed with the idea of him ravishing my body.  “Would you like to join me?”

“Actually,” I paused, the look on his face broke me.  He looked like I was about to tell him I killed his puppy, or something.  “I’d love to sit with you.”

“Thank you, Ms. Cordeau,” he said, coming around to pull my chair back so that I could take the seat to his right.  The boy had manners.  That was for sure!  Definite points in his favor.

“Please,” I laughed.  “Call me Brooklyn.”

“Brooklyn,” he smiled, my name fell from his lips like velvet and a promise.  What that promise was, I was afraid to find out.  Being Gabe Miller, he was more than likely used to getting whatever girl he wanted.  For the tiniest of seconds, I wanted to pretend that the sensual way he said my name meant that he was thinking of me, on a deeper level.

Get a grip, Brook!

Gabe Miller was not my type, anymore.  Long gone were my days of rock and roll.  I was already thirty and it was time to be an actual adult.  I had bills to pay and partying was out of the question.  It had been for the past seven years.

Thomas swooped in and brought me a glass of wine, along with two bowls of gumbo.  Thomas was my life saver on most nights.  I’d had him around for so long that the man knew my thoughts before I actually had them in my own head.

“So,” Gabe began, bringing me back from my rambling mind.  “How long have you been a chef?”

“Oh,” I cleared my throat.  My body leaned forward as a response to his deep voice, like a damn moth to an open flame.  “My mother taught me to cook when I was just a little girl and I never went to school to learn.  I found that I liked it and was pretty good at it.  Plus, my friends basically told me I was wasting my talent at home and should open a restaurant.  It wasn’t until a few years ago that I took the plunge and opened this place.”

“You are an amazing cook,” he smiled and took a sip of his wine.  His full lips pressed against the glass and my legs tightened underneath the tablecloth. 

“Thank you,” I blushed.  “It was the best decision I ever made.”

“I agree with your friends,” he nodded.  “True natural talent is hard to find nowadays.”

“You’re pretty talented yourself,” I blushed.  Damn, why did I say that?  Can I just stand up and beat my head against the wall now?  Please?

“So you listen to us,” he smiled, a little smugly.  Just a lift to the corner of his beautiful lips.  When he smiled, the corner of his eye – that I could see from his bangs – crinkled in the most adorable way.  Hell, not adorable!  There was nothing but sexy, rockstar rolling off of this man.  He was…perfect, handsome.  Desirable.

“Actually,” I nodded.  If I was going to blurt stuff out, might as well be honest.  At least that’s what momma always said.  “I used to play guitar.”

“You did,” his eyebrows rose in wonder.  “Why did you quit playing?”  His expression changed from seriousness to complete excitement at my mentioning of the guitar.  I guessed that if he started talking about cooking Cajun food, I would’ve had the same reaction.  This was Gabriel’s element.  Why did I just call him Gabriel?  Is that his full name?  He looked more like a Gabriel than a Gabe.

“Long story,” I shrugged.  “Just got older, more responsibilities.  Now, I have this place.  There really isn’t enough time.”

“Well,” he rose an eyebrow at me.  “You should play.  It helps you get away from it all, every now and then.”

“True,” I smiled, remembering the times I was on stage, playing with my little band.  It did take away the worries, the stress.  When I played, it was…my safe place.  My happy place.  Until my life had taken an unexpected turn.

“Hey,” he said, bringing me back from my past.  “I would like for you to come see us at Rosie’s this weekend.  We are playing there, kind of getting back to our roots.  Will you be my guest?”

“Oh,” I blushed.  “I couldn’t.”

“Please,” he pouted.  He looked so hurt at my words, it make my heart clench.  I wanted to stroke the long, black hair that had fallen over his beautiful eyes so that I could look into them fully.  Why did he hide them from the world?

“I…yes,” I nodded.  “Sure, I’ll be there.” 

“Good,” he smiled.  It was beautiful…he was beautiful.  “I’ll put your name on the guest list.  Just give them your name at the door.”

“Thank you,” I laughed.  “I haven’t been to a concert in awhile.  I don’t get out much.”

“You’ll have fun,” he assured me and I believed him.

“Ms. Brooklyn,” Thomas said from my side.  “I hate to intrude, but you are needed in the kitchen.”

“I’ll be right there,” I nodded toward my friend.  “Gabe, it was a pleasure to finally meet you.”

“The pleasure was all mine,” Gabe smiled and stood up from his seat, holding his hand out to help me out of mine.  I had to lock my knees together to keep from swooning and losing my balance.  He really was a gentleman.  “I’ll see you Saturday, Brooklyn.”

“Thank you, Gabriel,” I purred.  His hand squeezed my fingers when I said his full name.  If his name wasn’t Gabriel, I was sure he would’ve said something to correct me.  But he didn’t. 

The fire that bled off of his skin and into mine was full of promise and unbridled passion.  When he lifted the back of my hand to his lips, as a silent goodbye, I smiled so hard that my face hurt.  His lips…they were soft against my skin.  His hands were calloused from years of playing the guitar, but the two sensations together were more appealing than I ever thought they could be.   

I suddenly couldn’t wait for Saturday night.

Once I handled the panic stricken chef in the kitchen, I returned to the dining area and felt a loss at Gabe’s table being empty.  I saw Thomas clearing the dishes and wine glasses when he picked up a card.  He smiled to himself and looked up toward the kitchen.  The slight wink told me that Gabe had left something personal. 

Automatically, my feet were moving in the direction, my curiosity getting the better of me.  “What did he leave?”

“Here,” Thomas laughed, handing me a small business card.  It was his own personal one, with his e-mail address and a P.O. Box.  The name Glory Days was across the top and his name was in smaller letters just under the band’s name.  I turned the card over and smiled when it read:

 

The gumbo was delicious, but the company was even better.

Thank you!

 

Below was a phone number…his number!  Followed by:

 

If you ever just want to pick up the guitar again.

 

Was he telling me we could play together?  Holy…freaking…shit!  Gabe Miller, the number one guitarist in the world, wanted to give me lessons?

If the dining room was empty and the place was closed, I would’ve squealed like a little kid!  I had to compose myself until I returned to the back room. Leaning on the wall in the kitchen, I ignored the raised eyebrows of my employees and clutched the card to my chest, smiling like a damn fool.

The night soon came to an end.  I left the restaurant in the hands of my crew and headed home.  It was still early and he probably was still awake.  So, I hoped that I had a few minutes to spare and he wasn’t already asleep, before I had to curl up in the bed.

I was still smiling like a fool when I reached my little townhouse, not far from Cordeau’s.  The lights were still on, so I bound up to the door with a smile on my face.

“Honey, I’m home!” I said as I opened the door. 

The Meaning behind Glory Days

 

The Meaning Behind Glory Days

 

When I started writing Glory Days, I wanted to send a message, stand for something I believe in.  As you know, the girls in the Glory Days books all suffered some sort of abuse at the hands of those close to them, step-fathers, boyfriends, acquaintances, and strangers. 

By no means did I want to glorify the rape and/or abuse.  If you have read the books, you will notice that I didn’t go into detail about the actual acts of abuse.  I only gave what was important to the books, to see the state of mind the women were in.  The members of Glory Days spoke out against violence.  Ash, Reed, Kane, and Gabe found love with amazing women who’d been dealt a bad hand in life.  As the band rallied behind the women, the women found, not only love, but freedom from their abuse.  The women became stronger and overcame their abuse to live a wonderful life, falling in love, and raising families.

Although the books are fiction, the abuse is real.

Glory’s Place, Liana’s shelter for abused women is my own dream.  Ever since I was a teenager, I promised myself that if I was ever financially stable to open shelters in cities that needed a place to protect women, I would use that money to help others.

I am not a doctor, or even a psychologist, but I have a strong belief that a woman should never live in fear of another person.  A person, man or woman, should not live a life under the thumb of someone who has power over them. 

You are the master of your own life.  No one should dictate what you do, where you go, who you talk to, or what money you spend.  There is no excuse for abuse.  An apology and a promise to never leave a bruise on your skin again is just a sorry excuse to keep you in their clutches. 

Abuse is more common than you think.  Someone who is sitting next to you at work, church, or a neighbor down the street may be suffering, but the abuse may never be seen, because abuse is not only physical, it can be mental as well.  An abuser can be anyone.  They can be corporate CEO’s, the trash man, a public figure.  Not all monsters are scary on the outside. 

 

Words do hurt. 

Fists do hurt.

 

The word abuse describes a wide area.  Abuse can come in the form of physical, mental, and sexual.  Abuse is beatings, rape, demeaning words (You’re stupid. You will never amount to anything. You’re ugly. No one will ever want you.), or a bully on a playground.  In the end, abuse is abuse.  No one should suffer.  No one should hurt.  No one should die.  My wish is that someday, the word ‘abuse’ will be wiped from our vocabulary. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse, physical, mental, or sexual, there is help out there.  There are people trained to get you the help you need.  Here is a list of national abuse hotlines.  There are also local places in your area that can help, please seek help immediately.

 

ChildHelp National Child Abuse Helpline   1-800-4-A-CHILD 

National Domestic Abuse Hotline              1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline           1-866-331-9474

National Sexual Assault Hotline                   1-800-656-4673

 

Thank you to those of you who have fallen in love with my Glory Days. These books have more meaning to me than the words on the paper.  It is the message behind the stories.

 

Much love to you all,

Theresa Hissong

Author of the Glory Days series

 

 

 

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