Friday Flash Fiction~~~ “Meet Us”

Happy Friday!!  Here is your weekly flash fiction.  This story is the birth of Kane and Delilah’s twin girls.  I hope you enjoy it. 

Meet Us

Kane

“Kane, I’m scared,” Delilah cried, as I ran alongside the gurney toward the operating room.  “It’s not time!  Kane, don’t let them take my babies!”

“Shhh,” I said, trying to calm her panic.  “Just relax, kitten.  Please.  They know what they’re doing.”  My panic?  Yeah, it had reached a boiling point the moment she called out from the bedroom less than an hour ago.  She’d started bleeding, a lot.  Then came the pains.  I’d never been so scared in my entire life.  Seeing her helpless and hurting was the most terrifying experience of my life, knowing I couldn’t do anything to save her, or our children.

Something was wrong, our babies were in distress and they were going to take them early.  We still had three weeks left before they were due.

“Mr. Maddox,” a nurse stopped me as we reached the operating room doors.  “You need to change into these scrubs and wash up while they are prepping your wife.”

I quickly pulled the dark purple scrubs over my clothes and washed my hands with soap.  They gave me a face mask and I was in the doors, just as they were pulling a sheet up over Delilah’s chest.  She now donned an oxygen mask.  Her breathing had slowed, but tears streamed down her face as she lay on the table, her arms were out to the side.

“I’m here,” I said, stroking the hair back from her face.

“What are they doing,” she asked, tears still streaming down her face.

I risked looking over the sheet and sat down quickly. “Just getting everything ready, kitten.  You’re doing great.”

“Mrs. Maddox,” Doc Michaels said, his voice was muffled slightly behind the mask he wore over his mouth.  “We’re going to make the incision.”

I kept my eyes on Delilah, waiting for the first sign of our babies to be delivered.  The room was quiet, except for the beeping of monitors attached to my wife and the soft voices of the doctor and nurses.

The next twenty minutes were frantic as our daughters were born.

“Baby one, a girl.  Time 3:07 p.m.,” Doc Michaels called out.  I risked looking up as I saw my daughter for the first time.  A head full of black hair and little chubby arms and legs greeted me as I watched the nurse take her over to a clear bassinet to weigh her and take measurements.

“Weight 5 pounds and 12 ounces.  Nineteen inched long,” the nurse called.

“Ok, Delilah,” Doc Michaels said, bringing my attention back to him.  “Let’s get the next one.”

“Kane,” Delilah said, grabbing the scrub pants I was wearing.  I looked into her eyes and the hazel was sparkling with unshed tears.  “Is she okay?”

“She looks fine,” I promised. I really had no clue if I was even correct.  I just wanted Delilah to be okay and my babies to be healthy.

I looked up just as they were taking the second one from Delilah’s womb.  “Baby two, a girl.  Time 3:12 p.m.”

A second nurse scooped her up and took her to a different bassinet to be weighed.  “Weight 4 pound 12 ounces. Seventeen and a half inches long,” she called out.

“Why is she so small,” Delilah cried.  “I want to see them.”

“Sometimes one of the babies are smaller,” Doc Michaels said.  He worked on Delilah, finishing up on her surgery while we watched our daughters being tended too.

The nurse picked up the first one born, walking over to us.  She held the bundle carefully as she transferred her to my awaiting arms.

“She’s beautiful,” I whispered, looking into my daughter’s eyes for the first time.  Her little pink lips were pushed out into a pout, her eyes moved around as she took in her new surroundings.  “Hello, Bella Marie Maddox.”

I held her carefully and leaned over so that Delilah could kiss her chubby cheek.  “Hey, baby girl.  Momma loves you.”

“She looks just like you,” I said, thankful they were going to take after their mother.

The nurse took her, saying they had to run some more test and they’d return the babies when we were done.

I reached out for Bella’s identical twin sister as the second nurse approached.  “Hello, Mariana Ashland Maddox, you are so tiny.”

“Let me see her,” Delilah insisted.  Holding our smallest baby in my hands, I let Delilah kiss her as well.  Her hair was slightly thinner than her sisters.  Her eyes were just as wide and her lips formed the same tiny pout.

Each of them were cleaned, weighed, and given a check by the doctors who were waiting for them to arrive.

“They look fine, but we want to watch them for a little while, Mrs. Maddox,” a pediatrician said.  I was in such a state of shock that I didn’t catch her name.

“When can I see them again,” Delilah asked.

“As soon as you are up to moving around,” she promised.

“Okay,” she said, looking at me for reassurance.

“They’re going to be fine,” I promised.

Delilah started to say something, but her eyes went wide.  “K…Kane.  I…I don’t feel good.”

The moment seemed to stop in time.  Doc Michaels cursed and the words spilled from his mouth.  I didn’t understand much of what he was saying before I heard something that chilled me to the bone, “She’s hemorrhaging!”

My world turned on its head when I was pushed away from Delilah.  I screamed her name, but the nurse wouldn’t let me touch her.  “Mr. Maddox, we have to help your wife.  You will have to stay out here.  I will come back and keep you updated, but she’s bleeding very badly and we have to stop it.”

“Is she going to be okay,” I begged.  Oh God, please!

“We don’t know,” she said, before ducking back into the operating room.

I slumped to the floor, tears sprung to my eyes.  My wife, my beautiful wife, was in danger and I couldn’t help her.

Standing up, I peeked through the little window in the door and all I could see were the doctors and nurses working over her.  The only thing I could see of Delilah was her right hand with my name tattooed across the backs of her fingers.

I would give my life to be in the one on the table if she’d just live.  We’d been through so much in such a short amount of time.  I’d planned on growing old with her, living our lives with our children.  I couldn’t lose her…I just couldn’t.

The nurse found me almost an hour later sitting in a chair that someone had brought me. My hands were covering my red, swollen eyes.  I’d prayed and prayed that she would be okay.

“Mr. Maddox,” she said.  I looked up into her eyes and my heart fell to my feet when I saw her smiling.  “Your wife is going to be just fine.  We stopped the bleeding, but we are going to watch her for a little while to make sure she is okay.  If you’d like, you can come back inside.  She’s asking for you.”

“Thank you,” I said, jumping up and pulling the woman into my arm.  I hugged her and spun her around, laughing at the happiness she brought me with the news.

Quickly, I rushed into the operating room where I found Delilah.  Her eyes were closed as they cleaned her up from surgery.

“Delilah,” I said, taking a seat next to her head.  Her eyes were glassy and the smile on her face told me that they’d given her some type of sedative.

“Hey,” she whispered.  “I’m fine.”

“You sure are,” I sighed.  “I love you.”

“I love you, Kane,” she said, closing her eyes from exhaustion.

“Let’s get you to a room, Mrs. Maddox,” the nurse said.  “You need to rest.”

“I want to see my babies,” she demanded.

“I think that would be a great idea,” the nurse said.  “We will bring them to your room once you are settled.”

“Can I go get them,” I asked.

“You can come with me and help,” the nurse smiled.  “Come on papa, you might as well get used to having two instead of one.”

I followed the nurse down the hall and into the nursery.  They compared my wrist band to the matching ones on our baby’s ankle.  I pushed one bassinet while the nurse pushed the other.  Bella Marie was named after Delilah’s mom and was fast asleep in the one I was pushing.  Mariana Ashland was named after Mary and Ash, my two best friends.  She was so tiny and fast asleep in her own crib.

As the nurse left us alone in the room, I looked at my wife who was fast asleep and my two beautiful daughters, who looked just like their mother and said a prayer of thanks for keeping them safe from harm.  Now, it was my turn to make sure that they were taken care of and I was so ready for the job.

I sat down in the chair where I could watch over my girls.

“Yep, I’m so ready for this,” I smiled.

Flash Fiction “Rescue Me”

Here is a very special Flash Fiction for the week.  I thought that it was time to tell you a little back story about Glory Days and how they all met.

This story is from Ash’s POV.

As will all Flash Fiction, this story is written RAW and UNEDITED.

Please enjoy….Rescue Me

stylish young blonde hipster man playing guitar

Rescue Me

“Mrs. Sullivan,” I said, trying my best not to shed a tear.  “Can you come pick me up?”

“Ash,” she gasped.  “Yes, dear.  You know I will.  Where are you?”

“I’m at the gas station by my house.  I…I had to get out of there.”  I looked around the slum neighborhood I lived in and knew that I couldn’t stay here any longer.

My parents were home and didn’t even notice me leave.  Their dealer was there and the smell of crack was making my head hurt, along with the sore ribs from my father kicking me the night before.  I only wanted to make myself something to eat, but there wasn’t enough food for all of us.  Mom had sold her food stamps again for drug money.

“I’ll be there in fifteen minutes,” she said.  I heard a door close on her end of the phone and then the sound of her minivan cranking.

“Are you bringing Reed,” I asked, hoping she wasn’t.  I didn’t want him to see where I lived, again.  He was too good of a friend and I didn’t want him to pity me any more than he already did for the way I lived.  If I ever found a way out of this place, I would be gone with nothing more than the clothes on my back.

“No,” she said.  “I know how it makes you feel when he comes with me.”

“Thanks, Mrs. S.,” I sighed.  “I’ll be waiting.”

I hung up before she could say anything else.  She knew the routine.  This was my pickup spot for the times that I had to get away from the house.  We’d been doing this for a few years now.  I didn’t know what I’d do without her, or the entire Sullivan family.  I loved them more than I could ever express.

I had a dollar and a few quarters in my pocket, so I ran inside and grabbed a bottle of water and nothing else.  Mrs. Sullivan would have a nice hot meal for all of us tonight.  I couldn’t wait.  She always made a huge dinner when I would spend time with them and never complained when I asked for seconds.

In four long months this would all be over.  I would turn eighteen and legally be on my own.  The food stamps would be gone and I was afraid that I would have nowhere to live.  If I wasn’t any good for money, my parents would toss me out on my ass.  It wasn’t like I had anything there to call my own.  The clothes on my back were bought by Reed’s parents.  Even the shiny guitar I carried around in this hard, velvet lined case was bought by Ann Sullivan.  It was the only thing I cherished in my pathetic life.  I would never sell it.

Her maroon van turned into the parking lot and she didn’t even pull into a spot.  I ran out and tossed my case in the back before sliding into the front seat.  “Thanks for coming to get me.”

“You don’t have to thank me, Ash,” she said, taking my hand with a gentle squeeze.  “Are you alright?”

“My ribs are bruised,” I admitted.  Her nostrils flared, but she kept her anger down.  Ann Sullivan was a saint and I’d never heard her utter a foul word in the three years that I’d known her.  Even though she hated my parents just as much as I did, she had never said a bad word about the people who gave birth to me.  And that was all they were.  My mother was the woman who was sitting in the driver’s seat of this old mini-van.

“I’ll look at them when we get home,” she said.

“Okay,” I said, resting my head against the window.  I fell asleep before we made it a block from the convenience store.

“Ash, sweetheart. Wake up,” Mrs. S. said.

“Oh, sorry,” I said, ducking my head to get out of the vehicle.

“Why don’t you grab a shower and a nap until dinner,” she urged.

“That would be great,” I said, walking into the house.  “Where’s Reed?”

“He ran to get some new strings for his bass,” she said, shaking her head.  “I had him pick up some for you, just in case.”

“I’m going to need some,” I smiled.  I wanted to say ‘thank you’ again, but damn, I was like a broken record.  Instead, I pulled her into a hug and buried my face in her neck.  “I keep saying thank you for rescuing me.”

“I know,” she said, rubbing my back.  “I’m trying everything I can, Ash.  Your parents are fighting me.”

“I know,” I said, releasing her.  There were unshed tears in my eyes, but I held them back.  The Sullivan’s had been trying to adopt me for the past two years, but my parents refused to give up custody.  I’m not sure what all Reed’s parents had done to try and get me to live when them, but so far it wasn’t working.  “I’ll be eighteen soon.”

“Not soon enough,” she whispered and stroked my head.  “Go shower, Ash.  Food will be ready at six.”

While the warm water pelted my skin, I closed my eyes and rested my head on the cool tile in front of me.  I was so tired of living my life in that house with those people who I called my parents.  I’m sure all of the crack and weed they smoked was in my system.  I hated it.  I hated them.

One of these days, I would find my way out and I’d be dammed if I ended up like them.  Mrs. Sullivan gave Reed and me a way to make some money on the side by getting us guitar lessons last year, hoping we could eventually start a band.  I found that I was pretty good at it.

We’d talked to a guy named Gabe Miller last week and watched him play for us.  The kid was good…really good. The guy had even written his own songs to play for us in the interview.  His little sister had followed along, but he didn’t seem to mind.  He’d said that his mother was sick with cancer and he was needing the extra money to help out around the house.

Tomorrow we decided to head over to Venice Beach to check out girls before we went to the movies.  School was out for Spring Break, so we had a whole week to work on finding a drummer, because Reed and I had decided to hire Gabe on as our guitarist.

After a long nap and a huge dinner, Reed and I spent the rest of the evening in the garage working on lyrics for songs we hoped someday would turn into cash in our pocket.  Reed talked with Gabe and after offering him the spot, asked him to come hang out with us the next day.  Mrs. Sullivan finally shut us down around midnight and sent us to our rooms for the evening.  I guess we were being too loud.

“Hey,” Reed said, halting me from going into the guest room next door to his.

“Yeah?”  I said, raising a brow.  He looked uncomfortable.

“I’m glad you’re here,” he admitted, a little embarrassed.  “You know I love you like a brother, right?”

“Yeah,” I nodded.  “I feel the same way.”

“I think what we have going on is going to work out someday. The songs are really good.”  He nodded and walked into the room, not saying anything else that might make me uncomfortable.

I climbed in the bed and put on my headphones.  I started the music and got comfortable in the queen sized bed underneath me.  It was much better than the crappy twin I had at my parents place.  As I listened to INXS sing “Good Times” in my head, I fell asleep with the words about a girl named Mary bouncing around in my head.

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“There’s a place called Rosie’s that all of the local bands play,” Gabe said, walking beside us, sipping a large soda.  “Maybe, once we find a drummer, we could ask them if they’d let us play over there.” His sister was walking beside him, keeping to herself as she read a book while she walked.  The kid was a freshman, but looked like she was still in grade school.  Our new guitarist was very protective of her and growled at a few guys who gave her a second glance, sending them on their way.

“It’s worth a try,” I shrugged.

A volleyball zoomed past us and tagged Gabe’s sister, Liana in the leg.  She cried out and stumbled, but Gabe caught her before she hit the ground.

A guy with angel wing tattoos on his back punched his friend in the shoulder, hard.  “Man, what the fuck. Watch where the hell you’re throwing that ball.  You better apologize to the girl, or I’ll knock your ass out.”

The guy who’d lost control of his ball came over and issued a quick apology to Liana and ran off. The tattooed guy with long, green hair came up and offered Gabe his hand, “Dude, I am so sorry that happened.”  He turned to Liana, “Are you alright?”

“Yes,” she blushed.  “I’m okay.”

“I’ve never seen you guys around.  I’m Kane,” he said, holding out his hand. We all took turns introducing ourselves.  “Nice to meet you all, but I need to run.  I’m late getting home.  I’ve got to pick up some parts for my drum kit before my mom kicks my ass for being late for dinner again.”

“You play,” I asked.

“I don’t have a band, but I’ve been playing for a few years now,” he shrugged.

“We are looking for a drummer,” I said, praying this guy was good.  “Are you interested?”

“Hell, yes,” he said, tossing his hair to one side.  “I keep my kit at a storage unit.  How about you guys meet me over there tomorrow afternoon?”

“Sounds great,” Reed said.  “What’s the address?”

After Kane ran off, we all exchanged looks.  I felt the beginnings of something new…something good.  Breathing a sigh of relief, I looked up at a billboard.  The advertisement was for visiting California’s sunny beaches.  A phrase on the big sign caught my attention.  “Huh, ‘Glory Days of Summer’.”

“What?”  Reed looked up at the billboard and smiled.

“That would be a cool name,” Gabe said, shielding his eyes from the bright sun.

“I was thinking the same thing,” I said.

“Well, that’s just dumb,” Liana laughed.

“No, it’s not,” Gabe scowled.

“Huh,” she huffed.  “Whatever.”

We laughed and made our way back to the car.  Reed scooted his seat back and held his hand out for Liana, “In you go, darlin’.”

Inside the vehicle, I watched as the scenery passed by, thinking about the band we were forming.  If I closed my eyes, I could picture the four of us, on stage, with thousands of people screaming our name. Glory Days in bright lights on the banner in front of the Staples Center.

It was a dream.  No, it was a goal.  I had nothing to lose going for that dream and I made a promise to myself that I would succeed. Glory Days would be the best damn rock band to hit the stage in decades.

The End

Indie by Indie Interview with Laken Cane

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Tell us about you, the person.  What do you do when you are not writing?  Hobbies? Guilty Pleasures?

LC: I catch up on TV I’ve missed—marathon sessions of Game of Thrones, for instance. I play video games. Read. Catch up with friends—God knows I ignore them when I’m deep into the book or editing! Last time I had a break I went to the Ohio State Fair. Next month I’m heading out of town to a pumpkin festival. ;)

What genre(s) do you write?  Can you give little insight as to why you write in that genre?

LC: Urban Fantasy. I write it because I love it. I love writing dark. I love the strong female lead, the vampires and werewolves and monsters, the danger.

 

Grab your iPod…Hit Shuffle, and tell us what the third song on the list is.  Does that song have a special meaning to you, or is it simply awesome?

LC: Here With Me by Susie Suh. It’s awesome, but also is the type of song I listen to when I need to reach deep and get the emotions Rune is feeling when she’s either with the berserker, or thinking of her Z.

Pimp your book(s)!  Start with your first release and end with your next release.  Throw in a little synopsis of each, if you’d like.

LC: My first release was SHIV CREW, book 1 in the Rune Alexander series. Book 2 was Blood and Bite, book 3 was Strange Trouble, and book 4 was Obsidian Wings. My next release, book 5, is called New Regime, and it’s due out on October 18th. It’s available for preorder right now at http://amzn.to/1t89cxR

 

Here’s a short blurb of the books—

 

There is a world where Others exist.

Where the only constant is darkness.

Monsters roam.

Evil rules.

 

But there are heroes.

There are protectors.

Damaged and scarred and brave.

Champions. Fighters.

Warriors.

 

They are Shiv Crew.

 

Join those who have discovered Laken Cane’s Rune Alexander series.

 

Grab your blades.

Become your monster.

Get addicted to the crew.

 

You can find a bio, blurbs, and reviews for all the books on my Amazon author page at www.amazon.com/author/lakencane and updates on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/laken.cane.3. I love new friends, so come on over!

How long have you been writing?  When did you realize, that you wanted to share your stories with the world?

LC: I’ve been writing since I was a little kid. It’s something I’ve always done and always wanted to do. I’ve only been published for a few years, though. I got my first contract with The Wildrose Press, and followed that with Loose Id, Liquid Silver Books, and Ellora’s Cave. But once I struck out on my own I changed my pseudonym and started writing the Rune Alexander series.

If you were stranded on a deserted island with three people, who would they be?

LC: Wow. My mind went straight to the people in my books. We get involved with our characters, don’t we? Hmm…well, the first person would be someone who could cook, because I get grumpy when I’m hungry! Person number two would be a handy builder, so he or she could build us a boat to get back to a place with coffee. Person number three would be someone really hot. Just because. If you’re stranded on a deserted island, you have to have someone hot to take your mind off the fact that you’re stranded on a deserted island. Where there is no coffee. Or chocolate.

What is the hardest part of the story to write? Beginning? Middle? End?

LC: The middle parts, usually. I’m not a plotter—so I write as I go. That can get a little difficult sometimes but that’s how I do it.

If you could have ONE of your characters over for dinner, which one would you choose, and what would be on the table?

LC: Rune, I think. I’d tell her I have a feeling that something good is coming. On the table would be coffee, as we’re both coffee addicts, and something sweet. Whatever my personal chef wanted to whip up for us. ;)

Who inspired you to write?

LC: I don’t think anyone actually inspired me to write. It was one of those things I’ve done since I can remember. The desire has always been there. I read an enormous amount growing up, so I’m sure all that reading helped. :)

When you sit down to write and you are in the zone, describe the room around you?  Is there music?  Complete silence?  Snack? Wine?

LC: I have a huge window right in front of me. Even though I’m not crazy about having my back to my office doorway, I love my view, which is why I put my desk in front of the window. I stare out the window a lot while I’m writing. It’s sometimes distracting when I see someone walking down my street, and the birds, and the dogs…but I love it. I usually have coffee beside me. I have a Keurig in my office and I use it a little too much. I almost always listen to music while I write, and what I listen to depends on the scene. I listen to a lot of heavy metal, because that’s Rune and her world.

If you could change the color of the sky, what color would it be?

LC: Maybe vivid shades of red. But not for long…just for a couple of hours. I don’t want to mess with the sky. :)

Where can we find you online?  Post your links.

LC: I’m on Facebook a lot, and update nearly every day. www.facebook.com/laken.cane.3. My Twitter is www.twitter.com/lakencane. My website is www.lakencane.com. I’m also on Goodreads at www.goodreads.com/lakencane, and my Amazon author page is www.amazon.com/author/lakencane.

 

What do you prefer?  E-Reader or physical book?

LC: I love my Kindles. I love the convenience, helping save the trees, how easy it is to pack a hundred books with me wherever I go. No pages to hold open, either. ;)

What is the ONE item you can’t leave home without?  (You can only choose ONE)

LC: My cell. When I take my cell, I take my peeps, my internet, my Facebook, my email, my camera, my notepad—always jotting down notes! My bank, my GPS, my pictures…so actually, I’m taking much more than one item when I leave the house :P

Okay, last question….Tell us about your fans.

LC: Sigh. My fans. My friends. I know I gush about them a lot, but I LOVE them. I remember when I wrote without fans. With fans—whole new world! They’re everything to me and my writing. They encourage me and keep me company. They make me laugh and make me feel loved. They give me my big head. They support me and pimp me and post pictures to my FB that make me smile. They are incredibly loyal. They give me their time and answer my questions and share my links. They send me cards with the sweetest messages. Being an author can be a lonely career, but I never feel alone because they’re always just a mouse click away. Every time they tell me my books have had an impact on them or touched them in some way, or they let me know they’re eagerly awaiting the next one…it just makes all the hard work worth it. I love them. There. I just wrote a love letter to my fans and to my street team, Cane’s Crew. :)

I would like to thank Laken Cane for doing the interview!

This interview was previously posted on the Indie by Indie page. 

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Friday Flash Fiction, “Vampire Bounty Hunter”

Happy Friday!

Here is this weeks Flash Fiction.

I hope you enjoy this little story.  For those of you new to my flash fiction, I write these little stories and post them Friday.  The idea of the flash fiction is to bring you a short story in 2000 words or less, RAW and UNEDITED. 

Enjoy this little story to get you ready for the weekend.  Thank you for reading!

sexy couple

Vampire Bounty Hunter

by Theresa Hissong

Long story short, I’m a vampire.  I was born this way and not by the way humans believe.  All of the movies and television shows just don’t get it right.

My name is Sage and I’m two hundred and twelve years old.  I sleep at night and work during the day.  I eat human food, but once a week, I need fresh hot blood from a willing human.  If I was mated, I would snuggle up to my man and nip on his tasty neck for my weekly meal.  I worked for a living and I sure as hell didn’t sparkle.

My job is pretty simple. I am a bounty hunter and a money collector for the state.

Basically, I find the supernaturals that missed their court dates and bring them in to be processed.  Even more mundane things like collecting money owed for parking tickets, unpaid fines for speeding, and anything else referring to the anything owed to the state.  Easy?  Yeah, it sounds easy, but in all reality it is not.  Have you ever been zapped by a wizard who didn’t want to go to jail because he’d shacked up with a prostitute and got caught?  Only to be frozen in time for half an hour with no way to get free?  No, I didn’t think so.

Humans knew about us and pretty much didn’t care either way, as long as we didn’t disrupt their daily lives of board meetings, soccer games with their kids, or their morning Starbucks routine.

This is where I come in.  The supernatural community still had to abide by the humans laws.  Those who didn’t, well, they had to be brought in by someone who could handle their extra abilities.

“Hey Sage,” my friend, Carly, said.  “Where are you off too today?”

“Ahh, let’s see,” I said, opening up a manila folder I’d just picked up off my desk.  “Oh, yeah.  Werewolf, four hundred years old.  Didn’t pay a parking fine.  Hm, he’s cute.”  I turned the guy’s photo around to show her.

“Dayum,” she fanned herself.  “If you don’t want to cuff him, I will.”

“No, this one’s mine,” I wagged my brows.  The guy in the photo was hot as sin.  Dark brown hair cropped short to his head, deep brown eyes.  The man’s body was built like he lifted tanks for a living.  The photo was from his driver’s license and I couldn’t quite tell anything more about him, but with his good looks, I’m sure I’d find him with no problems.

“Have fun,” she giggled as I made my way out of the office and into my car.  Next stop, the Parker Ranch.  More specifically, the Parker Werewolf Pack.  My goal was the alpha, Evan Parker.

Upon arriving at the sprawling ranch, I was immediately intercepted by two men at the gate.  Each one was well over six foot tall and made with muscles upon muscles.

“Can I help you,” the dark brown haired one asked.  The slight quirk to the side of his lip told me he was interested into helping me with more than directions.

“Hey, sweetheart,” I smiled my most award winning smile.  Being a vampire, I naturally appealed to the other sex.  It’s part of my essential makeup.  We were just bread to be better looking, more appealing to our prey.  “What’s your name?”

“Sage Galleon,” I answered.  “I’m here to see your alpha. He has outstanding debt with the state and I’m here to collect.”  Flipping my badge, the werewolf looked it over to make sure I was who I said I was.

“I’ll call the house and you can go on through, just follow the road up to the main house,” he replied, reaching for the phone mounted on the wall of the little shack he and his buddy used to man the gates.

After his call, the wide iron gate slowly opened allowing me to pull forward.  The tree lined road went for almost a mile before opening up to a clearing where a mansion stood.  The place was beautiful.  The red brick home stood two stories tall.  From what I could tell, the porch wrapped around the entire house.  Children ran around in the front yard playing chase and women sat in rocking chairs while the little ones played amongst themselves.

I parked the car and grabbed my folder and gun.  My Glock was specially fitted with silver bullets in case I needed them.  These wolves seemed very trusting of a vampire, but this vampire wasn’t trusting of anyone.

Just as I stepped up on the porch, two things happened.  This amazing scent surrounded the door, musky and sweet all in the same breath.  My insides warmed and I closed my eyes and moaned as it enveloped me, dragging me forward.  The second thing was when the door opened, Evan Parker stood at the threshold, and his nose flared as he took in my scent.  My eyes closed in pleasure of getting that scent first hand.  Evan took one step toward me and reached for my hand, which I gave over with no reluctance.

“My mate,” he growled. The low sensual rumble to his deep baritone voice called to me.  My legs wobbled slightly and for the first time in my two hundred years, I lost my balance, falling into his arms.  His warmth surround me, his scent calling me home.  Indeed, Evan Parker was my mate.

“Mate,” I agreed.

“Name,” he cleared his throat, looking at me in in awe.  His deep brown hair was longer than in his picture, the bangs feathered off to the side.  The deep brown depths of his eyes bore into my emerald green ones, looking for something.  “Name, buso.”

“Sage,” I whispered, reaching out to touch his jaw.  The light amount of stubble tickled my fingers.

“Are you here for me,” he asked, a smug smile on his beautiful face.  My hands slid up his muscular arms, stopping at his shoulders.  Everything about this man screamed strength and power.  His was a foot taller than me, his arms were thick with corded muscles.  I shifted in his arms and my leg brushed against his tree trunk thick thighs.  My mind wandered to him naked, over me, pounding into my sex.

“You owe the state money for a parking fine,” I breathed.  My voice sounded deeper, more sultry than usual.  It was him, Evan.  His voice, his scent, drove me wild.

“Come inside,” he urged, taking my hand and pulling me through the door.

Once inside, I noticed the rustic feel to the home.  Exposed beams on the ceiling were stained to a dark finish.  The walls were painted a warm beige.  Expensive oil paintings of many different forests adorned the walls.  The furniture looked to be handmade by a skilled craftsman.  And for some reason, I felt like I’d just came home.

“Evan,” I spoke, as we walked into his office.  The same accents bled into this room, but the walls were lined with bookshelves inside of paintings.  Every wall was floor to ceiling books and the little girl in me almost giggled with all of the literature he had on display.  “What is going on?”

“I think you know the answer to that, ubava,” he replied, taking me into his arms.  I didn’t protest when he dropped his lips to mine, hovering, but not touching.

He was asking silently for my permission.  When I closed my eyes, he pressed his lips to mine and I was lost.  He enveloped me into his arms, his hand cupped my face tenderly after pushing a strand of my long, blonde hair behind my ear.  Evan’s tongue traced the seam of my lips and I opened to let him in.  He nipped at me, sipping and tasting me as if he was committing my taste to his memory. I didn’t complain, because I was doing it too.  His scent seared into my senses, marking my mind.  I would always know his scent.  My vampire senses would be able to find him anywhere.

“We’re mates,” I said, once he released my lips from his drugging kisses, but he did not let me go.  His huge hand was still cupping my face.  I nuzzled into his palm and closed my eyes.

“Yes we are,” he said, huskily. His accent told me he wasn’t from here and I couldn’t place his nationality, but it didn’t matter to me what or who he was. This man was my mate.

“I came to get your money,” I laughed.  “I guess I got more than I was needing.”

“True, little vampire,” he grinned.  “I will send you with the money, but I will not ever let you go.  You are mine, kolega.”

“What does that mean,” I asked.

“Mate,” he smiled.

“Where are you from,” I asked, genuinely curious.

“Macedonia,” he replied. “I came to the states about seventy-five years ago.”

Werewolves were like vampires, they lived forever.  Only severing their head would kill them.  Silver only slowed them down.  A silver bullet to the head would make them wish they could decapitate themselves.  It was a nasty way to go.

“How old are you,” I asked.

“Four hundred,” he smiled.  “I know it’s not polite to ask a woman her age.”  He left the statement open.  I laughed and shook my head.

“I’m two hundred and twelve,” I answered, still smiling at him.

“Are you a born vampire or turned,” he asked.  There was a difference and I’m sure the names explained it all.

“I was born,” I admitted.

“Wonderful,” he smiled, leaning in to kiss me once more, but we were interrupted by my phone.

“Galleon,” I answered.

“I need your help,” Carly panted on the other side of the line.

“What’s wrong,” I gasped.  Carly Desmond was not only my coworker, but my best friend.  She was a super strong witch and to hear her panting told me things were not good.

“Fucking demons,” she cursed again.  “He blasted me with some type of hellfire chains and I’m stuck in this warehouse down on Third Street. The bastard took off and left me here.”

“I’m on my way,” I promised.

“Thanks,” she said, curing again about getting trapped.

“I have to go,” I said, hanging up the phone.

“I heard,” Evan said, reaching for his coat.  He’d obviously heard what she said with his enhanced hearing.  “I’m coming with you.”

“Oh, no,” I shook my head.  “My boss will have my badge and my ass if I have a civilian with me on something like this.”

“Doesn’t matter,” he growled.  “You are my mate and anything that puts you in danger will cause my beast to go insane if I let you go alone.  I’m coming with you.”

“Great,” I rolled my eyes and started for the door, but stopped, spinning on my heels.

“What is it,” he asked, worry lines appeared at the crease of his eyes.

“You still owe me money,” I smiled, warmly.  “You can write a check on the way.”

The End……

Friday Flash Fiction “Granger Pack”, Part 3

Happy Friday everyone!

Here is the final installment of the Granger Pack!  Thank you to all who check out the flash fiction every Friday.  I love writing these little stories so much and giving them to you FREE!  As will all flash fiction, these stories are written RAW and UNEDITED.  I hope you enjoy this one.

Wolf

Granger Pack, Part 3

 

Sophia’s wolf paced in her mind, behind her skin, begging to come out, but she’d have to hold out several more weeks. As her babe moved around slightly in her belly, Sophia itched to shift and hunt with the others on the full moon, but because of the pregnancy, she was unable to set her wolf free. It was the hardest thing to do over these past seven months, seven and a half to be exact.

A lone howl lit up from the forest behind the Granger home. The alpha called out in his wolf form for the pack to hunt. It was a ritual every full moon for the entire pack to shift and hunt together as a unit, taking down kills for their evening meal, then dragging others home to prepare for meals to last the pack the entire month. Pregnant females were to stay behind and wait out their mates return. The children, who were too young to shift, stayed with them while their parents hunted.

Four warriors were in wolf form, protecting the pack house from any harm. Peter, Noah, Chuck, and Terry were patrolling the perimeter of the house while the pregnant females were inside with the children. Sophia and three other women were sitting in the play room with three toddlers and two girls who were ten years old.

“How much longer, alpha,” Elena asked. She was only a few months pregnant with her second child, her first was one of the toddlers.

“About six more weeks,” she answered, rubbing her belly.

“Have you picked a name yet,” Casey asked. She was also only a few months along, but with her first child.

“No,” she laughed. “Well, yes, but Vaughn doesn’t want to tell anyone yet. Not until he arrives and we can show him at the full moon ceremony.” The full moon ceremony for a newborn was when the parents presented their babe to the moon gods after its birth. The ritual was said to bless the child by the gods who made the werewolves millions of years ago. Sophia had seen many ceremonies and was excited to finally being the one to have her child in the center alter on the full moon.

A loud yip outside caused the women to pause. Elena and Casey turned toward Sophia with fear in their eyes. “Take the kids to the safe room in the basement, now.” The two women shot into action, hurrying the small children down the stairs and into a specially designed room that could be locked and unlocked by combination only.

“Alpha,” Casey reached for her hand as the last child disappeared down the stairs. “Come. You cannot stay up here alone.”

“Just let me see what is going on,” Sophia said, looking toward the back door of the house.

“Please, Sophia,” she begged, using the alpha’s first name. “You can use the security monitors to see and hear everything.” Sophia bit her lip debating on checking on the warriors, or doing as Casey was asking her to do. “The alpha will be angry.”

Casey’s words shot her into motion. Sophia turned for the stairs, just as a heavy fist landed on the front door. The sound of the wood splintering struck fear inside her.

“Where’s my mate,” a man roared. “Leslie! Leslie!

“Alpha, come,” Casey whispered.

Sophia’s heart pounded in her chest. This was the mate that Leslie warned her about. He did find her. With one last glance at the door, Sophia let her beast shift, just enough to change her voice from human to that of her wolf…and let out a howl for help, a call to her mate.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Vaughn froze at the sound of his mate’s call. It was faint, but he was certain that she needed him. The other warriors around him lifted their muzzles from their kills, hearing the sound just as he took off at full speed for his home.

My mate!

Warriors howled behind him as he ran toward the house. Their paws beat a steady rhythm on the ground as Vaughn and his men sped through the woods. As they got closer, the scent of warrior blood and his mate’s fear was thick in the air.

One warrior, in his wolf form, was bleeding from a wound to his side and a broken hind leg. Another was alive, but completely unconscious. As they rounded the house, a male voice called out from inside the house. “Where is my mate?!

Vaughn forced his shift, not caring for his lack of clothing. He raced into the house and caught the scent of a male not of his pack. Several wolves filed in behind him as they slowly descended the stairs. A comforting hand landed on his shoulder before they reached the bottom. Mathis had shifted and was now beside Vaughn.

“State your name and what is your business on Granger land,” Vaughn bellowed, as he found the man pounding on the door to the safe room his wife was most likely inside with the other pregnant females and the children. A small part of his mind felt relief that she was in fact safe and not in harm’s way with this man, whoever he was.

“Where. Is. My. Mate,” he cursed, taking a slow step toward Vaughn and Mathis.

“Your mate is not here,” Vaughn replied, praying this man wasn’t one of the mates to any of the women who lived on his land.

“She is,” he scented the air, his head turning toward the safe room. “I smell my brats. Open this door.”

“Not on your life,” Mathis roared. Vaughn knew Mathis would die for the women in that room, because one of the women in there was his mate. Casey was barely pregnant with their first. As far as Vaughn and Mathis were concerned, this man was not getting in that room.

“You will either leave now,” Vaughn motioned toward the stairs leading upstairs. “Or we take you out.” He heard one of the wolves retreat up the stairs. They would be calling the Council to have someone come pick this man up and hold him until they could figure out who he was.

“I’m not leaving without Leslie,” he snarled.

Vaughn did not make any physical response to the man’s words, but he knew now that this was the mate who the Council had been looking for since he and his warriors went in and removed Leslie from their home months ago.

“I’m sorry, but we do not have a Leslie in our pack,” Vaughn shook his head. “I hate that you came all this way, but your information was incorrect. Maybe you should let me talk to the contact you had and we can see if your Leslie is at another pack a few towns over.”

“No,” he roared. “She’s here. I know it!”

“I’m sorry,” Vaughn said, signaling to Mathis with a slight roll of his wrist, that he was ready to take this guy down. “I’ll repeat. There is no one here by the name of Leslie and I’d ask that you leave my land immediately.”

“I will find her even if I have to rip apart every home on this land,” the man threatened. “Watch me.”

Vaughn braced himself when the man rushed him, trying to fight his way through the alpha and several warriors, half of them still in their wolf form. This guy was strong, but not strong enough to take out all of them. He put up a good fight, but in the end Mathis had him pinned to the floor, his knee in the back of the guys neck.

“Good job, warrior,” Vaughn panted.

“Not a problem, boss,” he panted in return.

The combination lock on the door began to spin. Vaughn spun around and looked up at the camera that was mounted above the door. “No,” he growled. “Stay inside. The children.” He knew that his command would reach his wife. He didn’t want her opening that door where the scent of this man’s children would cause him to fly into another rage. The lock went silent and he took a moment to look into the camera, hoping the look in his eyes told Sophia he was relieved that she was safe. That they all were.

The Council arrived with a van and specially designed handcuffs to prevent the man from using his supernatural strength to break them. He was loaded up and taken away. Leslie was finally allowed to reunite with her children once Vaughn gave the all clear. One of the warriors had rushed her to her tiny cabin and kept her on lockdown until the man was taken away.

The children ran out of the safe room into the arms of their loving parents, telling them that they got to play in the basement with the alpha while she colored pictures. Vaughn had pulled on a pair of sweatpants and quickly hurried down the stairs to find his mate. She was standing there holding Casey tight to her chest, both women were crying.

“Mate,” he growled, pulling her attention away from her friend.

“Vaughn,” she cried, rushing into his arms. “I was so scared for Leslie.”

“I was scared for you,” he growled. “I’m so damn proud of you.”

“Thank Casey,” Sophia said, wiping tears away from her face. “I sent them down, but I wanted to check things out, just to make sure, but she forced me to come with them. I’m so glad I did, because he got into the house right as we were getting into the room.”

“You know better,” he growled.

“I know,” she sighed and placed a calming hand on her belly.

“What is it, mate,” he worried, covering her hand with his.

“Nothing, Vaughn,” she yawned. “I’m just tired.”

“Then let me take you to bed,” he offered with a smile, happy his mate was safe from the rogue mate to one of their females. Thankfully, this didn’t turn out worse, because he wouldn’t know how to live without his mate and his son that would be coming in a few short weeks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“You have to push one more time, love,” Vaughn urged Sophia. She’d been in labor for hours, her brow soaked from the effort she’d been through bringing their son into this world.

“I can’t,” she panted, collapsing back into his arms. The doctor had told Vaughn to climb in the bed and let her lean against his chest until it was time to push. Vaughn would then lean forward and help Sophia lean forward when she needed to push. He was so large that he could hold her legs from this position as well.

“Yes, you can,” he kissed her wet temple. “Bring our son home, little mama.”

He held her tight when the next contraction came, urging her softly with words of love. It didn’t take long for a wailing cry to echo in their bedroom, the sound of a babe. Vaughn cut the cord when he was handed the scissors, but kept an eye on his son as the nurse cleaned him up. It only took a moment for her to return with him, placing his son on Sophia’s chest. He wrapped his arms around both of them, holding them with his warmth and love.

“He’s beautiful,” Sophia cried.

“He is,” Vaughn choked back on threatening tears.

Sophia leaned over and pressed her lips to the top of his head and sighed, “Hello, my son. My William Vaughn Granger.”

“Hello, son,” Vaughn said, taking the babe into his arms for the first time. He nestled him into the crook of his arm, looked upon his first born son, realizing that he’d just created the next alpha to take over the pack, and vowed to teach and grow with his son, everyday, while loving his mother until their days were done.

The End…..

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.

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!”

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