Cover Reveal for “Fully Loaded”

Fully Loaded Cover 1

The book, “Fully Loaded”, was an idea that formed after a comment I made on Twitter to bassist, Matt DiRito about using him as a character in a book. Originally, the comment was just a joke, something to get a good laugh about, because he is (and always will be) my Man Crush Monday. After the fans saw this, they loved the idea and told Matt and myself how much they wanted him in a book. So, I went to him and asked if I could use his likeness in an erotic romance, if I donated a portion of the proceeds to his charity, Star Treatments. Thankfully, Matt agreed and I started writing. (No pressure at all! Nope, not a bit!)

Star Treatments sponsors a family to help with their transportation to and from the facilities for their child’s cancer treatments. The coolest part…the transportation is an actual tour bus! The tour bus picks up the family and transports them to the cancer treatment facility so that they do not have to worry about the ride there. The bus will be filled with video games, toys, coloring books, etc. There is a bed in the back for the child to rest and even a fridge filled with healthy foods! The idea is to give the child and families a happy experience during a time that usually is associated with dreaded events.

I am honored to bring you the cover for “Fully Loaded” and let’s get this to the best seller list to give Star Treatments an amazing check to support the charity!

Release Date March 17, 2015

Thank you all,

Theresa Hissong

For more information on Star Treatments: http://startreatments.org or www.facebook.com/StarTreatmentsOrg

For more information on Theresa Hissong: http://authortheresahissong.com or www.facebook.com/authortheresahissong

Pre-Order links will be available on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and more in February.

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Playlist for “Fully Loaded”

Good Morning!

I’ve been getting a TON of questions about my playlist while I write.  I’m always happy to share the music of my life and my writing.  So, I thought I’d give you a little peek into my playlist for the book “Fully Loaded”. 

Here ya go!

Playlist for “Fully Loaded”

 

“Closer” by Kings of Leon

“Trenches” by Pop Evil

“Beautiful” by Pop Evil

“Sick Sense” by Pop Evil

“Cry” by The Used

“Dragonfly” by Shaman’s Harvest

“Dangerous” by Shaman’s Harvest

“The Fire Down Below” by Slaves

“Strange” by W.E.R.M

“This is the Time (Ballast)” by Nothing More

“Broken Wings” by Artifas

“Sail” by Devil Driver

“Angel” by Theory of a Deadman

“Litost” by X Ambassadors

“Moving On” by Asking Alexandria

“The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac

“Rain Will Fall” by Finding Jimmy Hoffa

“Your Kisses Burn Like Fire” by The Picturebooks

 As most of you know, “Fully Loaded” is a book I’m writing with some of the proceeds going toward Star Treatments, a charity run by my dear friend, Matt DiRito.  Here are some links for you to check out while waiting for this book to be available March 17, 2015!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StarTreatmentsOrg

Website: http://startreatments.org/

Look for a cover release later this week!  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you find a new song that could possibly become your favorite!

Much Love,

Theresa Hissong

“Music is a moral law.  It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” ~ Plato

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Early Sneak Peek at “Fatal Desires”

Happy Friday!

I am a very impatient person and you all know that I love to share early teasers for the books I write.

“Fatal Desires” will be the first book in the Fatal Cross series.  And you’ve all been asking if Coraline Maddox will get a book.  And the answer is YES! 

Here is a peek at the Prologue for “Fatal Desires”.  It is unedited and raw.  This book will be released this spring. 

Enjoy!

beauty woman in rock style

Prologue

Coraline

One night of heated passion with Taylor Vaughn and three store-bought pregnancy tests later, I was fucked. Totally screwed.

I was freaking pregnant!

And that low-down, dirty piece of shit wouldn’t return my calls.

Taylor showing up at the same resort as me was just a coincidence…my ass. We’d both been flirtatious on the tour a year ago when Fatal Cross opened for Glory Days, but it wasn’t until three weeks ago that I saw him in the Azores at a resort I thought was private.

A shadow formed over my lawn chair and I raised my sunglasses to see who the hell was bothering me and was surprised, at the time, to see the sexy guitarist hovering over me like a dog in heat. Of course, his eyes heated from roaming up and down the navy blue string bikini I was wearing and you better believed I flaunted my goods for him to see.

Dinner and two bottles of very expensive wine later and we were tearing each other’s clothes off like pornstars just offered a million dollar contract.

It was a curse that sex with Taylor was the best sex I’d ever had. It was also a given that sex that good should’ve come with a warning label, because nothing said I’d get knocked up with his kid. Of course, at the time, I really didn’t care when he was buried to the hilt and I was screaming his name.

My birth control obviously didn’t work, or I’d have made him use some sort of protection. That was the other dumbass move on my part. Rule number one….don’t sleep with rockstars who’ve dipped their pen in so much ink that they’re cocks are stained from all the attention.

Now, I had to get in touch with him and he wasn’t answering my calls or returning my messages. The whole thing was nothing but a one night stand and the sad thing is…I wanted more. Even if he was the biggest jerk on the face of the planet, I still wanted him. We clicked in ways I never had with another man. He got me, but obviously the feelings were one-sided.

Standing in the bathroom of my condo in Los Angeles and looking at the pregnancy tests lined up on the sink, I realized I was the fool. Taylor Vaughn didn’t want anything from me, but a hot night in the sack. I was a conquest. He scaled that mountain and posted his flag at the peak.

And the kicker? In just four months’ time, he would be taking over for Glory Days guitarist, Gabe Miller while he returns home for the birth of his child. I’d be just to the point of showing at that time and with my line of work, I wouldn’t be doing much other than being the bands gofer. Which I didn’t mind, but once my cousin found out about the little bun in my oven, Taylor Fucking Vaughn will be a dead man.

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Friday Flash Fiction… “Saving Windrose”, Part 4

Happy Friday to you all!!

 

Here is your Flash Fiction for the week.  This is the final installment of “Saving Windrose”.  I hope that you enjoyed this short story over the past 4 weeks.  I have found that I fell in love with Gavin and Hadley’s story.

Please enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

 

*All Friday Flash Fiction is written for fun.  The idea for my flash fiction posts are to write a story in 2000 words or less and post it RAW and UNEDITED!  These stories are straight from my brain to you.  They are not perfect and I don’t want them to be.  Its relaxing just to write an idea out of my mind without planning.  In a way, it’s practice for my more involved writings.  Again, I hope you enjoy the story as much as I loved writing it!

 

wolf

 

Saving Windrose

Part 4

 

Gavin’s head was foggy, his body sore. The only thing keeping him from complaining was the soft female snuggled next to his body. He immediately knew it was his mate…Hadley. Her warmth bled into him during the day, her soft words in his ear gave him the will to heal…to come back to her.

Opening his eyes, he stared at her sleeping form in awe. She was his. He reached up with the arm that was not bandaged and stroked the soft skin of her cheek. Her long, brown hair framed her delicate face. Her lips were pushed out in a sleepy pout. She was beautiful.

A light knock on the door tore his eyes away from his mate. Quickly, he reached for the blanket to cover her up before calling out quietly, “Come in.”

Colton opened the door and smiled, “How are you?”

“Sore, but will be okay,” he replied.

“The cook has dinner ready. Would you like to eat now?” Colton asked, his head still peeking around the door, not quite inside the alpha’s room.

“Please,” he laughed when his stomach let out an audible growl.

Just as Colton closed the door softly, Hadley’s eyes blinked slowly as she woke from her deep sleep.

Gav,” she whispered.

“I’m here,” replied softly.

“Oh, Gavin,” she sniffled, tears welling up in her eyes. “I was so scared.”

“I told you I would come home to you,” he reminded her.

“But you’re hurt,” she gasped.

“Just a little scratch,” he smiled, stroking her temple. “I’ll be better by morning.”

They’d slept the entire day, only waking at dinner time. Colton returned with two trays of food. Gavin held Hadley against his side, so that she wouldn’t sit up and expose herself in front of the other male. She was dressed in a shirt and robe, but for Gavin, that wasn’t enough coverage for her to be seen by another male. He was becoming very addicted and protective of his new mate.

“You need to eat more,” Gavin demanded. She’d only eaten half of her meal, steak, potatoes, and half of a roll. There was still untouched food on her plate.

“I’m really not that hungry,” she crinkled her nose. The little worry line in her forehead gave away that her mind was elsewhere. He was quickly learning things about her.

“What worries you, my mate,” he asked as he stroked her hair back from her face, tucking a strand behind her ear.

“Tell me what happened,” she asked shyly. Gavin scowled at her request, hesitation in his eyes.

“He’s been dispatched,” he stated firmly.

“You…you killed him,” she swallowed.

“Yes,” he nodded.

“I need to go back to Windrose,” Hadley stated, her head popped up, her alpha nature taking over.

“Eat,” he demanded. “Then we will go back to Windrose and make a decision on how to combine the packs.”

“I’m sure they will all come,” she smiled. “There aren’t very many of us, but I need to know if you have room for them.” She pushed her plate away from her perch on the bed. Gavin frowned at the plate, but did not comment on her lack of appetite.

“Yes,” he nodded. “The town is large enough to accommodate new pack members. There are homes that sit empty and land that had yet to be developed. I’ve been thinking about building homes here for my Guardians on the property. They need to be close. Just in case.”

“Okay,” she agreed. “Let’s dress and you can take me back to Windrose.”

“Hadley,” he said, making her pause.

“Yes, Gavin,” she turned, looking him full on in the face. His dark hair fell haphazardly over his right eye. The other midnight blue eye watched her with such longing, it made Hadley’s heart ache. She knew that an alpha bonding was strong, but when two natural-born alphas bonded, it was said that the bond was unbreakable by even the gods.

“I will protect you…and your pack, with my life,” he declared.

“And I yours,” she said honestly. Whatever magnetic-magical-ancient pull that brought them together, caused her to instantly trust his word…hell his everything.

 

 

Gavin straightened his back, calling on his wolf to help him not show weakness in front of the Windrose pack. Hadley’s bandages had been removed, only a few light pink scars remained on her arms where Jericho had attacked her.

Gavin, on the other hand, was still bandaged underneath his denim jeans. His injuries were still fresh, causing a constant ache in his muscles. His arms were covered in a soft flannel shirt to conceal the damage there.

Hadley had sent word, by way of her brother, a few hours before, asking the town to meet at the alpha’s home for the announcement. As they pulled into the driveway, several cars were scattered across the lawn, others arrived on foot. Everyone looked at the front of the house with relief that Jericho’s short reign was over.

“Stay in the truck,” Gavin demanded. “Let me escort you out. It will show them we are on a united front. I’m sure your pack is uneasy with me, considering what the last alpha tried to do.” Gavin had been an alpha for about twelve years. He had much more experience than Hadley. Hell, she’d never truly been in charge of a pack, only considered “in-training” until the old alpha stepped down, or passed away.

Gavin rounded the truck quickly and opened the door. Holding his hand out, Hadley took his proffered hand and slid carefully out of the vehicle. Gavin placed a swift kiss on the back of her knuckles, giving her his silent strength. Hadley smiled warmly and brushed her fingers lightly over his strong jaw. When they turned toward the pack, she blushed slightly, because everyone was staring at them in awe.

Hadley looked at the people she had known since birth. Her parents passed away when she was a teenager, barely old enough to legally live on her own. Koby became her guardian for the last year of high school and the pack took it upon themselves to help raise her into the loving, responsible alpha she was born to be.

“Hadley,” a strained voice called from her left. She paused and looked at the man she’d known since his school. Garrett was a dear friend and at one time, her boyfriend. He was a caring, deep-hearted member of the pack, but Hadley didn’t feel the bonding connection that she recently found with Gavin. But Garrett was always there for her. His hope was that one day his wolf would finally recognize her as his. It’d been fifteen years and still nothing.

“Garrett,” she smiled. Gavin’s warning growl next to her caused both her and her old friend to pause. “Gavin, this is Garrett Needles. Garrett, this is Gavin Ward…my mate.”

There was a collective gasp that rang out through the crowd. Both men squared off silently, their wolves challenging the other. Hadley felt Gavin unleash his alpha, the feeling rippled through the crowd. The majority of the pack whined softly, most of them bowing their heads in submission. Garrett, however, did not.

“We have come to verify that Jericho Ross is gone,” Hadley began her speech, hoping to distract the two men from continuing their pissing match in the yard. Garrett finally broke eye contact with Gavin, dropping his head slightly in defeat. Gavin tucked Hadley close to his side and allowed her to continue.

“I am taking my rightful place as alpha of the Windrose pack,” she paused, letting her magical strength reach out to her people. All of them relaxed at the feel of her authority touching the pack. “I was attacked by Jericho a few days ago. My brother sent me to Eldridge for my safety, to the pack there. It was there that, upon meeting Gavin Ward, I found my true mate.”

There were gasps and sighs amongst the crowd, some women cried happily and others clapped with joy. Garrett looked displeased and hurt at her admission, but Hadley would deal with him later.

“I have come back to introduce you to the alpha of the Eldridge pack, and my mate, Gavin Ward,” she nodded toward the man at her side. He brought their combined hands up to his lips, kissing the back of her knuckles, before he spoke.

“It was a shock to myself and Hadley,” he began. “When she arrived in Eldridge. My wolf instantly knew this beautiful woman was my true mate. The magnetic pull to her was unbelievably strong and scary. She’d been injured. My sole focus was to heal her and protect her by finding Jericho Ross and destroying him for what he’d done to my mate and her pack.

“I am here to publically claim her as mine and to offer you, the Windrose pack, a home in Eldridge. We are more than able to accommodate each and every one of you with housing and employment. We have some buildings in the town square that are abandoned and can be used to start businesses, if you would like. I will do anything and everything in my power to see your transition is comfortable. Since Hadley is my mate…my alpha, I feel that you all are part of my family, my pack as well.”

“What if we don’t want to go to Eldridge,” Garrett scowled.

“You have your own free will,” Gavin stated. “I am not Jericho. I would never force you to do anything that you do not wish to do. As your alpha’s mate, that makes me your alpha and I will understand if you do not want to follow your rightful alpha, Hadley.”

Questions poured in and the two alphas answered as best as they could with the limited amount of time they’d had to come up with a plan. Hadley assured them that there would be plenty of jobs, homes, and schools for the pack. After all was said and done, out of the one hundred and forty-six pack members, only twenty-seven had decided to remain in Windrose.

“Please know that if you stay here in Windrose,” Gavin began. “You are not without assistance. The Eldridge pack would like to extend their help, if ever needed.”

“I’d like for everyone to come to Eldridge this weekend,” Hadley looked toward her mate for approval. He nodded for her to continue. “We will show you around the community. There are several thousand acres of forest in the town limits. You can build homes if needed, or purchase the ones that are available in town. The pack is always welcome at the alpha’s home. The full moon runs are usually held there each month.” Gavin had given her all of the information while they dressed and traveled to Windrose earlier. They’d crammed for ideas as to how they would combine the packs. As for now, it looked like it worked.

People came by in a line to greet the Hadley’s mate, the new alpha. The older ones asked about when they would hold the traditional mating ceremony. They were assured that it would be held at the next full moon. Hadley’s friends hugged her and told her how happy they were that she had finally taken her rightful place as alpha. They giggled when they told her that she was lucky to find such a handsome mate. Hadley growled a little when they eyed him too long. She was already becoming protective of him, maybe a little jealous as well.

“Come on, my mate,” Gavin said, after the pack had started to leave. They were going back to their homes to pack, preparing for the move. “I’m ready to take you home.”

“We have to prepare for our mating ceremony,” Hadley smiled.

“We may need to practice,” he nuzzled her cheek, kissing the mating mark on her neck.

“No,” she shook her head. The blush that heated her face was unwanted. She was nervous about the mating ceremony, but by no means was she reluctant. “We wait until we are properly mated.”

“Hmp,” he pouted. Oh! Wow! Hadley’s insides clinched at the strong alpha’s expression. He really was beautiful, especially when he was denied something that he wanted. She wanted to take back her words, just to please him, but she bit her tongue and kept quiet.

Kissing the mating mark on his neck, she sighed heavily, “Let’s go home.”

Home…to Eldridge. Her new life was just beginning. There was much to be done before the next full moon, which was in eighteen days. She’d met her true mate and he’d saved her. He’d saved Windrose.

 

The End…

 

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Friday Flash Fiction…”Saving Windrose”, Part 3

wolf

Here is your next installment of “Saving Windrose”.  Sorry for not posting yesterday.  It’s school time and I spent most of my day running kids back and forth to get schedules and other related things.

 

I hope you enjoy this weeks Flash Fiction.

Again, remember this is RAW and UNEDITED!

Happy Reading!

 

Saving Windrose

Part 3

 

The night had turned unseasonably cold, the wind blew through the tree tops at a steady hum.  Gavin waited in his human form, his twelve Guardians had shifted once they reached the edge of town.  Windrose was quiet, no one lingered outside the town Jericho Ross had claimed as his own.  The alpha’s town that should belong to Hadley.

Hadley was the rightful alpha of the Windrose pack.  She’d been next in line to take over, once the previous alpha stepped down.  Jericho had fought the old man, killing him in a fight to the death.  The old alpha’s family was taken out to ensure Jericho Ross ruled this small pack entirely.

They moved through the woods, silent as a ghost.  It didn’t take long before the pack house came into view.  The home sat in the middle of a small meadow, only a few lights shone through the windows.  Two Guardians were posted by the front door, no others could be seen.

“When I am in place, I want you to howl as loud as you can,” Gavin said, turning toward Colton, his second-in-command.  Although Colton was in his wolf form, he understood Gavin’s orders as if he were standing there as a human.  “Wait for my signal.”

Colton huffed his understanding, watching as Gavin looped off toward the back of the house quietly.  He moved through the tree line without making a sound.  He kept his steps light and, thankfully, didn’t accidently step on a limb or anything that would give away his position in the woods.

As the back of the house came into view, Gavin noted that there were no Guardians posted there.  Hadley previously told him that Jericho had only seven Guardians in his employ.  Two were posted at the door, but where were the other five? 

Gavin looked toward the direction of his men, seeing the glow of their eyes as they laid low in the underbrush.  Pulling his wolf to the surface, his eyes changed to the yellow of his animal.  The men would see his partial shift and know it was time.

An eerie howl raised from their location.  Colton bellowed out his wolf’s call into the night.  A commotion sounded from the front of the house, as the two posted Guardians fled the front porch toward his pack hiding amongst the trees.

Gavin ducked low and darted for the door on the back porch, praying it was unlocked.  Just as he reached the wooden step, the door opened and two of Jericho’s Guardians appeared, their faces a mask of anger.

Gavin’s fangs elongated in his mouth, his full alpha bubbled to the surface.  He lunged for the two men, knocking them back into the wall, hoping the sudden attack would stun both of them long enough for him to kill at least one of them, before they recovered from the shock.

His plan worked.  As the men scrambled to stand, Gavin grabbed one of them, a hand on each side of the man’s face.  With a growl, he twisted the Guardian’s head, snapping it quickly.  The man fell dead at his feet. 

The other screamed and begged for his pathetic life, “Please, please.  Don’t kill me!”

Where’s Jericho,” Gavin growled, low in his throat.  He pushed his alpha to the surface, causing the man to whine and bow his head in submission.

“In his bed,” the Guardian said. 

“Take me to him,” Gavin demanded.

The male nervously opened the door, pausing at the threshold.  Gavin grabbed the man by the back of the neck.  “Where are the other Guardians?”

“I…In their homes,” he stuttered.  “We take shifts protecting Jericho.”

“Move,” Gavin ordered. 

Gavin followed the male through the kitchen to a small set of stairs that lead to the second floor.  At the top of the stairs, they turned right and walked toward the end of the hallway.  A set of double doors greeted them.  The man froze, not touching the handle.

“Open it,” Gavin demanded.

“W…what are you going to do to me,” the male asked.

“Kill you,” Gavin said, snapping the man’s neck like he’d done the other Guardian out on the porch.

The man no sooner fell into a heap on the floor, before Gavin burst through the double doors, finding Jericho Ross in his bed. 

Jericho came awake suddenly from the outburst in his room.

“Gavin Ward,” Jericho spat.  “I’m assuming you being here is not for a friendly visit.”  Gavin smiled smugly at the man on the bed.  Jericho was scared.  Gavin could taste his fear on his tongue.

“Jericho Ross,” he growled.  “You do not rightfully control the Windrose pack.  I’m here on behalf of the true alpha, Hadley Easton.”

“Ahhh,” Jericho smiled warmly.  The male had the nerve to closed his eyes and lick his lips.  “My mate-to-be thinks she should rule this pack.” 

“She. Is. Not. Your. Mate,” Gavin bit out.  His wolf paced angrily in his mind, demanding to be let out so that he could teach Jericho that he messed with the wrong female.

“She’s a feisty one,” Jericho said as he slid out of the bed, standing to his full height.  He was tall, but he had nothing on Gavin.  Gavin was lean, toned, whereas Jericho was rounded, less fit.  Oh the man was strong, but only because he was a good fighter.  Gavin had him beat though.  Jericho wasn’t as quick with his added bulk.

“I challenge you to a Tayming,” Gavin declared.  A Tayming is their old world saying for a challenge to the death for ruling over a pack. 

“No,” Jericho stated.  “This is my pack now, Ward.  You cannot take it from me.  I own this pack, and I will have the female as well.”

“Take a sniff Jericho,” Gavin taunted, holding his collar open, showing his mating mark.  “The female alpha is mine.”

No,” Jericho growled and lunged for Gavin.

The two connected, falling to the floor.  Jericho’s eyes turned yellow, his wolf trying to rip free.  Gavin scrambled out from under Jericho, but not before his arm was torn into by the other alpha’s wolf claws that had ripped free of his human fingers.

 Gavin took a fighting stance with his back to the wall, Jericho tore his white t-shirt from his body and took the same pose. 

“I marked her,” Jericho growled. “She is mine.”

“No,” Gavin cursed.  “You attacked her.  I have claimed alpha Hadley Easton.  I will care for her and the Windrose pack as my own.  Do you accept the challenge given to you?”

“My Guardians will kill you before you can escape the town boarders,” Jericho promised.

Gavin stood from his fighting stance, a smug look upon his face.  “You have no Guardians.” 

Loud thumps sounded and Jericho turned, mistakenly giving Gavin his back.  Gavin’s Guardians were in the hallway, dropping Jericho’s remaining guards at his feet.

Jericho roared loudly, his wolf ripping free of his human skin.  Gavin had only a second to let his wolf free, before Jericho was on him.

They snarled as they attacked each other.  Gavin sank his teeth into the flesh at Jericho’s neck, pulling away the flesh and sinew.  Blood poured out of his wound, but Jericho wasn’t ready to give up.

Gavin’s own blood flowed out of the wound on his arm.  The shift to wolf only lessened the pain, but the wound was still open.  Jericho turned and bit into Gavin’s hind leg, unsuccessful in removing the flesh.

The two alphas battled for minutes, fighting, biting and delivering blow after blow.  Gavin was weakening, but a soft voice registered in his mind.  The scent of his alpha…his mate, blew across his senses like a soft breeze.  He wouldn’t…couldn’t let her down.  If he failed, then Hadley would be in danger.

Wanting to end this, Gavin waited until Jericho tried to right himself after he slipped in a pool of their combined blood on the floor.  Gavin leapt solidly on Jericho’s back and took his throat between his teeth.

It is done! His wolf celebrated and made the kill, crushing Jericho’s windpipe in one swift jerk of his head.  The alpha fell dead at his feet.

It was over.  Gavin used what energy he had left to shift back to his human form.  His last words before passing out were, “Find my mate’s brother.”

Everything went black.

~~

It was well after two in the morning when Hadley finally heard the trucks coming up the long, dirt road to the house.  She stumbled out of the bed, grabbing a robe in the process.  She was still weak from her injuries, but the ache in her chest demanded she go to him.

The trucks came to a stop by the long wooden porch, Gavin’s truck was pulled up right next to the steps.  She scowled when the door didn’t open right away. Where is he?

Hadley cried out when her brother emerged from the passenger side, he looked unharmed.  “Koby!” she screamed and stumbled into his arms.  “Oh, god!  You’re okay!”

“Come on Hadley,” he whispered, holding his sister tight.  “Let’s get you inside.”

“Where’s Gavin?” she looked at him desperately.

“Let me take you inside,” Koby urged, but she knew…something was wrong.

Where is my mate,” she demanded, her wolf coming to the surface.  The Guardians were just starting to emerge from their vehicles and rushing to the bed of Gavin’s truck when she had her outburst.  All twelve of them froze, some of them whimpers, and all of them hung their heads in submission.

“He’s hurt,” Colton, Gavin’s second announced. 

“Where,” she gasped. 

The tailgate was lowered and she immediately climbed into the truck, only to find Gavin unconscious and wrapped in a wool blanket.  “Get him to our room.  Call the healer!”

The Guardians rushed to do as they were ordered, moving him slowly…carefully.  She followed them upstairs and had them place her bleeding alpha on the sheets, not caring for the blood that was coming from his wounds.

“You may leave,” she growled and ran to the bathroom for towels to tend to his injuries.  “Only come back once the healer arrives and I want him here now!” 

The Guardians back away slowly, giving Hadley the space she required.  The door closed with a snick as they exited the room.  Her hearing picked up ten thuds outside the door.  She smiled to herself when she realized Gavin’s men were posted outside of his room, protecting their alpha when he was injured. 

There was a knock on the door almost immediately.  Colton stuck his head in, “Alpha, the healer is here.”

“Thank you Colton, send him in,” Hadley panted as she placed a wet rag to the gash in Gavin’s forearm.

“Alpha,” Colton cleared his throat.  Hadley looked up at him in confusion, but he took it upon himself to continue.  “You are our alpha as well.  If you are in need of anything, for yourself, please tell me.  I will make sure you are taken care of while your mate is down.”

“Thank you, Colton,” she whispered.  Her throat was thick with emotions at the honorable men that protected their alpha.  They were her men as well.

Macklin, the healer entered the room in a rush, his face a mask of worry.  “Alpha,” he nodded.  “Are you going to let me work on your mate?”

“Yes,” she cried.  “Just help him.  He’s bleeding.”

The healer set to work, taking stock of all the injuries to her mate.  Gavin was gashed open on his arm and leg.  The blood loss was causing his normally tanned skin to turn pale.  He had various bruises and cuts all over his side and back.  Whatever injuries you receive as a wolf, transfer to your human skin. 

“I’m going to give him a sedative,” Macklin announced.  “I need to stitch his wounds.”

“Okay,” Hadley nodded.  Whatever needed to be done to help him, she would do it.  If it meant giving her own life, so that he could live.

The sun had just casts its first light on the horizon when the healer finally completely the patchwork on Gavin’s wounds.  Hadley’s eyes fluttered closed, but she jerked herself upright, refusing to fall asleep.

“Alpha,” Macklin spoke softly.  “You must rest.  You are still healing from your own injuries.”

“Not until he is awake and well,” she said, her voice weak.

“Only thing left to do is wait,” he nodded toward the sleeping alpha.  “I suggest you lend your strength to him.  It will help him recover.  I will be back after lunch.  If he is awake by then, please let him eat.  He needs food to strengthen.”

“I will make sure he is cared for,” she promised.

The healer left with instructions for her to rest as well.  Hadley crawled beside Gavin and slid under the covers.  She molded herself carefully to his side and called upon her wolf to give him strength to heal.

She yawned and closed her eyes, praying that when she awoke Gavin would be healed.  The last thing she felt was his hand move slightly, his fingers traced the skin on her thigh that was pressed against his body, keeping him warm.

 

To Be Continued…..

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Saving Windrose, Part 2 (Friday Flash Fiction)

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Happy Friday!!

Here is your Friday Flash Fiction for the week! 

Remember that with ALL of my Flash Fiction, the stories are RAW and UNEDITED.  Each story is told in less than 2000 words, and I do NOT go back over these stories.  It’s straight from my head to this post.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I have FUN writing them!!  It’s something I do for FUN and PRACTICE. 

 

Have a GREAT weekend!!

 

Saving Windrose

Part 2

 

Hadley blinked twice, the light filtering in from the widow caused an ache between her eyes. The heavenly mattress she was resting on contoured around her body, and she found that she was…content. The scent of male wolf, and a sweet musk wrapped around her senses, causing her to smile in her sleep. The scent chased away the pain she was feeling in her arms and legs.

Hadley inhaled once more, before her eyes shot open, realizing she wasn’t in her bed at home, in Windrose. No, she was somewhere else. She reached up and rubbed at her aching forehead. A scratch of material pulled on her skin, and when she looked, Hadley saw the bandages that covered her arms, from shoulder to wrists. Three of her fingers were covered in smaller bandages as well.

A knock sounded on the door, and she pulled the covers up to cover her body. She’d been redressed in a male’s shirt, her underwear, and nothing else. “Come in,” she rasped, then cleared her throat. The scent that surrounded her earlier was coming from, not only the bed, but from the black shirt she wore.

A man entered the room slowly, his deep blue eyes gauged her reaction before he spoke. “Hadley,” he smiled. The man had a handsome face. His jaw was muscular and tight, from keeping it clinched. “My name is Gavin Ward. You’re brother sent you to me. Do you remember who I am?”

“Um,” she crinkled her nose, trying to remember exactly what happened when she left Windrose. “Everything is a little hazy, I’m sorry.”

“No need to be sorry,” he smiled, those blue eyes sparkling in a way that made Hadley’s heart thrum deep in her chest.

As Gavin moved closer to the bed, Hadley’s wolf wined at his slowness. The animal inside her wanted the man…closer? She wanted him to hold her, to take away all of the misery she was feeling, both physically and mentally.

“You escaped from Jericho Ross,” Gavin began, his voice nothing but a snarl at the mention of the crazed alpha’s name. “Your brother sent you to me.”

Koby,” she gasped. “Have you heard from him? He can’t stay there! Gavin, we have to get him! Jericho will kill him.”

“Shh,” Gavin said, sliding onto the bed and taking Hadley carefully into his arms. His scent did things to her and the wolf that ruled her body. “We are planning to go to Windrose, to take care of Jericho.”

“He’s dangerous,” Hadley stated, a snarl to her own words.

“We already know, my sweet,” he whispered.

“Whatever your plan is,” she growled, pushing back from his hold. Her wolf protested the loss of connection, but Hadley wanted to look Gavin in the eyes. “I’m going back.”

“No,” he growled, his true alpha nature bubbling to the surface.

“It is my pack, Gavin,” she demanded. Her wolf snarled in protest at being told to stay back.

“Yes, it is,” he agreed, still holding Hadley close to his chest. She didn’t protest, because she felt at peace. Her wolf inhaled his scent. Hadley groaned at the scent. “But I cannot let you go alone.”

“Why…” she froze.

Something inside her turned, snapped almost, at the feel of the man holding her so near. He was hers, her wolf’s. He was her…mate.

Mate,” she growled, her fangs ached with the need to mark him. Her sex pulsed in desperation for his touch, as his scent marked her mind, memorizing him, learning him.

“Yes,” Gavin kissed the top of her head. “I believe it is so.”

Gavin scented her arousal on the air, his body tensed as he inhaled her unique aroma. The bonding scent was something she would produce anytime she was around her mate. All females take on a sweet scent when they are mated. They share this scent when they touch their mates, leaving a warning to other females that the male was taken. Hadley, being an alpha, would have a stronger, bolder scent.

“Mmmm,” Gavin inhaled, his eyes closing as he took in her uniqueness. “You smell amazing.”

Hadley buried her head into Gavin’s neck, sliding her nose up the soft column of his throat. Her scent transferred to his skin, and her wolf howled in triumph. Boldly, Hadley pressed her lips to the vein in his neck, showing that she was thankful for finding him.

Her hands traveled his arms slowly, feeling and learning his muscular body. It was almost as if she were in a trance. Shifting her weight, she straddled his lap, as he sat on the bed. She moved from one side of his throat to the next, marking his skin there, and repeating the kiss to his throat.

Gavin wasn’t without his own form of scent. His too was strong, masculine. The deep woodsy scent became heavier each time she stroked his skin. His wolf chuffed in his mind, impatient with the exploration of each other. If they were in wolf form, the two of them would be in a hidden den somewhere learning and marking in other ways.

Her hands roamed over the shirt he was wearing, her hands pulled on the hem, silently demanding he remove the material. “Off,” she growled.

Gavin didn’t waste time and divested himself of the shirt. She ran her hands up his broad chest, each finger moved slowed over each ripple of muscle on his abs. They were strong, the skin smooth. Her hands drifted up, twining into his dark hair, then ends barely touched the tops of his shoulders. The slight curl gave his hair a tousled look, like he’d just rolled out of the bed. His human eyes were green, like the forest. But the more she petted him, touched his bare skin, his eyes lightened to a pale yellow. His wolf was trying to break free. His wolf wanted her.

And her wolf wanted him.

A snarl broke free, her fangs extended, and her eyes changed to match his. Gavin’s wolf growled in agreement. This was real, the mating was real. The need to mark each other was strong, the air in the room was heavy with their combined scent.

My mate,” Gavin growled, his voice deep. The sound was a combination of his human voice and his wolf. They were half and half at the moment. Half man…half wolf.

My mate,” Hadley echoed his statement. Her voice was almost the same raspy sound as his.

He grasped her chin with his strong hands, holding her still. Turning her cheek, he used his other hand to brush away her hair, exposing her neck.

“I have to mark you,” he growled. “No other…can claim…what’s mine.” At that moment, he struck, biting into the flesh where her neck and shoulder met.

Hadley moaned, her body molding closer to his. Her sex moistened with the action of him claiming her neck, taking her blood into his body. Gavin’s erection pressed into the juncture where she was aching for him.

The moment he release her, she repeated the same to him. Sinking her fangs into his neck, Gavin roared at the sensations. His wolf rumbled deep in the human body that was underneath the female alpha.

What they were doing was animalistic, it was their nature. To a human, the ability to share blood would revolt, but to their wolves, it was a ritual done by their kind since the beginning of time.

Blood rolled out of her wound and soaked into the plaid shirt she was wearing. It wasn’t until she released him, that they took turns swiping their tongues over the marks, closing them to stop the bleeding. Their saliva would close the wound, but not heal it. The mark would scar to show others that each one is taken.

The mating wasn’t complete, but the mark showed an intended mating. A ritual would be held, introducing her into the pack. After the ceremony, they will come together, in private. Not the way Jericho wanted.  All mated alphas, both male and female, wore a sign of their pack. A tattoo would be designed upon the backs of their hands, showing the combined packs. The Windrose pack would either moved to the Eldridge pack, or he would move his pack to Windrose. They would decide that after Jericho was removed from power in Hadley’s pack.  

“You’re shaking,” Gavin stated as he held her tighter in his grasps.

“I’m okay,” she whispered against the mating mark. They petted each other, not wanted to stop touching.

“Hadley,” he whispered her name.

“Hm,” she hummed.

“You need to stay here,” he began. She tried to speak, but he silenced her with a finger to her lips. “My alpha, you are in no condition to fight. You have not healed yet, and my men and I will go in and remove him.”

“That is my pack,” she growled, protectively. Gavin understood her need to return home. Her bother Koby was there, alone. Jericho had to have gone straight for him as soon as he realized Hadley was missing. Gavin was worried that Koby may be in trouble, but he didn’t voice that to Hadley.

“Please, let me take care of this for you,” he pleaded. “As my mate, it is my duty to protect you and your pack. I’ve beaten Jericho before, I can do it again.”

“I am in no shape to fight,” she sighed in defeat. “You are right, but you have to promise me that you will get Koby out, if something goes wrong.”

“I promise you,” he nodded.

“Thank you,” she said.

Gavin touched the soft skin of her cheek, forcing her face to turn, so that their eyes could meet. He stared into her blue eyes, the color of a clear sky. He was one lucky son of a bitch to have her as his mate.

He ran his thumb over her bottom lip, memorizing the feel of her soft skin. In a moment of sheer need, he dipped his head and pressed his lips to hers. She responded with a soft growl and her lips parted on their own. Gavin used his tongue to press forward, demanding entrance to her warm mouth.

Their tongues touched and the world ignited around them. Heated desire coursed through his veins, his wolf howled in excitement. Hadley pushed her body deeper into his embrace. They panted with each press of their lips and tongue, barely slowing down to catch their breath.

Her fingers tangled in his deep, brown hair, the strands were thick and smooth. The last thing she wanted to do was to pull him away, but Jericho needed to be removed. Her brother, Koby, may be in danger.

“I need to know what you have planned,” she panted, after he’d basically fucked her mouth as if it were her sex.

“I have myself and twelve of my Guardians ready to head to Windrose,” he began. Guardians were basically the werewolf police. They kept the pack in line and dealt out the punishments chosen by the alpha. That is, if the alpha didn’t do it him or herself. “I need to know if you have any Guardians, Hadley. Any that are loyal to you.”

“No,” she hung her head. “They all fell right in under Jericho’s nose. They worship him.”

“How many are there?” Gavin asked.

“Only seven,” she admitted. “Our pack is small, much smaller than Eldridge.”

“Alright, my sweet,” he sighed. “I need to you to rest, get your strength up. We will gather the Guardians and leave at dusk. I will take care of your…our pack. Your pack is now mine, and mine is yours, Hadley…my mate.”

“Gavin,” she whispered and rubbed at a sore spot on her calf.

“Yes, mate,” he smiled.

“Come home to me safely,” she took a deep breath and continued. “My wolf wants to meet her alpha on the next full moon.”

“Rest, love,” he whispered and pressed a soft kiss to the corner of her lips. “I’ll be back by dawn, and I will bring your pack with me.”

 To Be Continued…..

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“Saving Windrose”..Friday Flash Fiction

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Happy Friday Everyone!!!

 

Here is this weeks Friday Flash Fiction!!  This story ended up being too long for the flash fiction and was creeping toward the short story category.  So, I’ve split it up a little.  Hadley and Gavin’s story will be in a 3 part mini-series.

 

As will ALL of my Friday Flash Fiction….This is RAW and UNEDITED!  I write the story and DO NOT go back through it.  I only correct spelling (if I get that little red squiggly line under the word).  I hope you enjoy this weeks story and would love to hear your feedback! 

 

Much love to you ALL and have an AMAZING weekend!

“Saving Windrose”

She ran for her life.  The car that scurried away from the curb belonged to her brother, Koby, but it wouldn’t get her far.  The hunk of junk BMW was about a hundred years old, and stood out like a sore thumb. The yellow paint could be seen for miles, but she had to leave. The car had sat for the last six months in the barn, covered up…so no one knew it was there.

The new alpha of the pack was after her.  Hadley Easton, unmated female alpha, was prime real estate these days.  Twenty-seven and unmated was unheard of.

The new alpha had rolled into their little town of shifters and fought for his place as head of the Windrose pack. Windrose was a little town, deep in the backwoods of southern Alabama.  The town had no red light, and could barely even be called a town.  There were only one hundred and fifty residents. Well, now one hundred and sixty-two, after the old alpha and his family were killed by the werewolf who’d taken over the town.  The new alpha and fourteen of his men had increased the population of their tiny, werewolf only community.

Unmated females were treated no better than slaves, and Hadley had a big target on her head, since she was born an alpha female.  A hot commodity at her prime, she could rule a pack a hundred times the size of the one she was born into, once she was mated to her true mate.

And Jericho Ross was not her true mate.  He wanted to force a mating with her, but she was not willing to go through the ritual he had planned.  Bile rose in her throat just thinking of it, and if she wasn’t in such a hurry to get away, she would’ve pulled to the side of the road to retch.

The ancient ritual was one of what the old-timers called a ‘true mating’.  ‘True matings’ were done hundreds of years ago, when their kind were more animal than human.  The matings were usually arranged, and the female would be mounted in front of the pack, to ensure there was no question about if the mating had truly taken place.  Hadley’s grandmother had told the stories to her once about their ancestors, and how the females were basically raped and brutalized at the hands of their mate, until they had become with child.  This new alpha, Jericho Ross, wanted to revert back to the old ways, and Hadley was his target. He wanted her, and he’d stop at nothing to get her.

There was nowhere to go.  Just hours before, Jericho had found Hadley, hiding in a cabin in the woods surrounding Windrose.  He was in his wolf form and attacked her.  Thankfully, she was able to get away from the new alpha and went straight to her brother’s house.

Koby had shoved his keys in her hand and told her to drive south, almost to the Florida border, then she’d know when she found where she needed to be.

There were only eighty miles between Windrose and the state line.  Hadley just hoped that whoever Koby trusted would find her, before Jericho did and took her back home…to hell.

Gavin Ward paced alongside the road, waiting for the bright BMW to come into view.  This was the only way Koby’s sister would be traveling, as she escaped from the clutches of Jericho Ross.

The man had tried to take over the Eldridge pack months ago, but Gavin was too strong and beat the man in his challenge to take over his town, his pack.  Now, he was seriously angry at himself for not dispatching the man when he had the chance.

It was in his alpha nature to fight to the death, but he’d let Jericho run with his tail between his legs, thinking the man had learned his lesson.  Obviously, he didn’t.

Since word came from his best friend, Koby Easton, that Jericho had fought and won in Windrose, Gavin had heard of the horrible things that were happening.

Koby had gotten a message out saying that Jericho was going to force a mating with his sister Hadley and that he was desperate for the Eldridge packs help.  Knowing first-hand Jericho’s ability and strength, Gavin had sent word back to Koby to get her out of there as soon as possible and to his safety.

Hadley was an unmated, alpha female, just coming into her prime.  From the way Koby had spoken of his sister when they were in college together, Hadley was as special as they come.

Oh, and Gavin had seen her picture so many times that he still had wonderful dreams about the female.  She was strong, muscular, and absolutely stunning.  Long brown hair, that fell in ringlets to her waist, and huge blue eyes that could out shine any luxury sports car or multi-million dollar home she stood next too.  She wasn’t a model, though.  No, Hadley Easton was a mechanic at the garage she and Koby owned in Windrose.

“Here she comes,” Gavin’s second-in-command, Colton Farris, announced as he saw the yellow hood of the car topping the hill at a high rate of speed.  With his enhanced sight, Gavin saw the fear in her beautiful eyes, as she sped down the road.

The convoy of his men’s trucks were parked alongside the road, just at border of the town limits of Eldridge, Alabama.  The next town over was actually in the state of Florida.  She had to know that this was where she was to stop, but she didn’t seem to want to let off the gas.

“She’s not stopping,” Colt announced, loudly.

“She’ll stop,” Gavin assured his friend.

He locked eyes with Hadley, his true nature taking ahold.  He felt his fangs punch through his gums, and his eyes turn the shade of the moon.  It was only a split second before the car slowed, and he saw relief in her eyes.

Gavin waited until the car came to a complete stop, before moving from his original position in the grass.  The stretch of road they were on was usually deserted, only traffic from locals coming back into town form their jobs at the sawmill in the next town over.

The car shuttered to a stop, a defined hiss coming from the engine as it quieted. Hadley clenched her hands on the steering wheel for a moment, before taking a deep breath, pulling her true alpha nature to the forefront of her mind, before opening the door.

There were not many female alphas born in recent times, so Gavin and the other men around him made hesitant steps toward her, she was an oddity.  Their automatic instincts were to protect her at all cost, with their lives, if it was called for.

“Hadley Easton,” Gavin growled, his alpha bubbling to the surface.  If she was in any state of shock, his leadership should calm her wolf and the two of them would come to a conclusion, together, that Gavin was here to help…not to harm.

“Gavin,” she whimpered, and immediately fell to her knees on the asphalt.  The men rushed to her side, but didn’t touch her, until Gavin reached for her arms.  They were bruised and bloodied, like she had been mauled by a wolf recently, in his shifted form.

“Did Jericho do this to you,” Gavin demanded.  His harsh use of words caused his entire guard, all four of them to bow their heads in submission.  Only, Hadley was not affected by the strength of his words.  In fact, she buried herself into his embrace, letting him take the brunt of her weight, which wasn’t much.  She’d had lost weight since the last photos he’d seen of her, just a year prior, when her brother had sent an email to him, attached with photos from their vacation to the beach.

“I narrowly escaped,” she swallowed, her mouth was parched.  Gavin motioned for someone to bring water.  Hadley took a long swallow before continuing.  “It was hectic there for the past few hours.  Jericho…he did things, tried to do more things, but I fought him.  I was able to get away and that’s when Koby shoved me in his car with directions to head toward the state line, due south.  He said that help would be waiting.  My brother didn’t tell me it was going to be you.  Thank you…just, thank you, Gavin.”

“I’m here, my alpha,” he whispered. “I’ve got you.  You can let go now, rest.” At his command, she succumbed to her exhaustion and lost consciousness.

Gavin scooped the tiny woman up into his arms and carried her to the cab of his truck, positioning her inside, where she would be comfortable.  He called back for someone to grab her car and get it hidden for the time being.  He was heading home with the alpha of the Windrose pack.

A prickling in his chest caused him to rub the spot over his heart.  Her scent wrapped around him, the confined space of the truck quickly filled with the most amazing scent…hers.

His alpha!

Gavin’s wolf howled in celebration that she was close, but his human side tried to knock down the animal who was pacing in his mind, worried for the female.

Mate. Mate.

Gavin groaned from the words his wolf was repeating constantly in his head. “Down boy,” he mumbled, trying to be as quiet as possible to keep from waking Hadley.

The ride back to the pack house only took a few minutes.  Gavin took the long, bumpy drive through the forest to his home at a slow pace, attempting not to jar her as she slept.

The injuries that were visible were severe, even for a werewolf.  It didn’t matter that she was an alpha werewolf, any open wounds from another wolf would take time to heal.  Infection was possible, just as it would be if she were human.

Gavin placed a text to his healer, Macklin, requesting he rush to the pack house immediately.  The older man lived within the property and would be there without hesitation.  The entire Eldridge pack was on high alert after the call from Koby, and they all knew that the female alpha would most likely be in need of care once she arrived.

So, Gavin wasn’t surprised to see the pack gathered around his two-story brick home when the house came into view.  The two hundred acres owned by Koby, was a common ground for his men and women, and they were free to come and go as they pleased.

Gavin wasted no time removing Hadley from the passenger side of the truck and rushing her upstairs.  He bypassed all of the females who were crying softly, either to themselves, or snuggled against their mates for comfort.

“I’m here,” Macklin announced, as he met Gavin at his bedroom door.  “Alpha, may I enter your quarters?”  It was a sign of respect, and Gavin was pretty sure the old man sensed something coming off of Gavin, when in regards to the woman in his arms.

“Please,” Gavin said, desperately.

“Are you and your wolf going to be able to leave the room while I treat her,” Macklin asked with a raised brow.

Gavin’s wolf howled deep in his soul. No!

“I don’t think that is an option,” Gavin said with an air of authority.

“Well,” the healer smiled.  “If you’re going to stay, then you are going to help.  Get me some clean towels, some dry and a few soaked with warm water.”

Gavin hurried to the bathroom and did as he was told.  Even as alpha, he had no problems taking orders from Macklin, especially when it came to his mate.

Mate!

“Fuck,” he groaned silently.  There was no use denying, or even fighting it.  Hadley Easton was his mate.  He didn’t even question his wolf, or the sudden need for this female to be his.  When a wolf chose his mate, there was no use denying it, because her wolf would feel the same.  It was their nature, instinct, to recognize it immediately upon meeting.

His need for revenge took on a whole new level.  Not only for disrupting his own pack, but now…now, it was to avenge his true mate.  Jericho Ross wouldn’t be breathing in the next few days.

Hadley had said that he ‘tried’ to do things to her, and from the destruction of her clothes, Gavin’s blood boiled wondering how close he’d actually come to mating her.  His wolf wined inside his mind when numerous thoughts ran through his brain at what could have happened.  Until Macklin did a complete exam, Gavin and his wolf would just need patience.

Once Hadley was healed and resting, the Eldridge pack would be coming for Jericho.  Gavin made a silent promise that Jericho be nothing more than charred remains, as they burned him in a ceremonial fight to the death.

He just needed to take care of his mate first, then they’d be heading to Windrose to deal out justice to an out-of-control male, who’d dared to attempt to take his mate.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 of “Saving Windrose”, coming next week!

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Worry Stone

Here is a little story I wrote that I thought I’d share it with you.  This will be your Friday Flash Fiction for the week!

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Worry Stone

 

Where is she,” Stone Salinger growled at his friend. “Where the hell is my wife?” He paced the floor of the tattoo parlor. His anger was at the forefront of his messed up mind. It was all he could do not to fly off the handle and destroy his business, tearing it down with his bare, beefy hands. He was nothing without his beloved, his wife.

“Alright there, bug guy,” Riley said, pushing Stone into a chair. The force of his body impacting the seat caused it to roll and stop at the adjacent wall. “Nina’s angry as hell at you right now.”

“Where is she,” Stone repeated.

“I don’t know,” Riley admitted.

“You’re lying,” he sighed.

“Yeah, well, you’re a dumbass,” Riley said as he sprayed down his cubicle where he worked. “She’s cooling of, Stone.”

“I am a dumbass,” Stone admitted, repeating Riley’s statement.

The guy was a total alpha male. Nina was a tiny thing, and he worried about her safety. When her phone had died the day before, and he couldn’t get in touch with her, Stone went a little crazy.   There was only a fifteen minute time difference from the when he tried to call her and when she arrived at their home.  Those long minutes felt like a lifetime.

The argument should’ve been handled differently. Stone was out of line when he yelled at his wife for leaving the house alone and without a charger for her phone. The girl was forever on that thing and knew that it didn’t hold a charge like it did when she first purchased it three years prior.

“Yes you are,” Riley agreed.

The door chimed announcing someone coming into the shop. Stone looked up, hopeful that it was his wife, but was quickly disappointed when he saw it was a customer who’d made an appointment for a new tattoo.

Stone had a three hour session ahead of him. That was three hours he had to come up with some lame ass excuse to get the love of his life to forgive him for being an epic asshole.

~~

Nina sat on the bed at her mother’s house hugging a pillow tight to her belly. Stone was being a possessive jerk again, and they’d both flown off the handle about her phone dying on her way home from the mall. She’d found her stubborn streak and voiced her opinion about his attitude.

It wasn’t anything new. The two of them had been having these arguments more and more often the last few months. She just couldn’t get him to understand that she was safe, that she was well aware of her surroundings when he wasn’t with her, but he just wouldn’t accept it.

Stone was…different. Nina laughed through her tears when she remembered her best friend calling him a ‘caveman’ when they’d first met. His mind was…simple. He believed in living and loving to the fullest. Never regretting any decision he made.

The man was a giant and covered in tattoos from his neck to his feet. He kept his tongue and lip pierced, exactly the way Nina liked it. His dark, brown eyes hid the horrible past that made him the way he was, and he kept his dark hair just long enough to cover the scars.

Years of abuse from his parents, caused Stone to be in and out of the hospital for years while living with foster parents. The scans on his head and the medicine kept him healthy enough to live a full life. He wasn’t dumb, nor was he incompetent. No, Stone Salinger was just…simple. He had no time for politics, or complicated conversations.

His love of tattooing started before he was legal enough to have one on his skin. He studied under one of the best artist in the country. Ten years later, he co-owns his business with his one and only friend, Riley. Nina had known Stone since they met in high school. They fell in love and never looked back.

Nina sighed and placed the pillow back on the bed. She felt like an idiot for running away from him. She loved him with every ounce of her being, and she knew that Stone felt the same about her. He’d never strayed in the eight years they’d been married, and eleven since they’d been together. The man never looked twice at another woman. Hell, he usually never noticed anyone else when she was in the room.

“Are you leaving,” her mom said from the stool at the kitchen counter.

“Yeah,” Nina sighed. “I just needed a quiet place. Thanks, mom.”

“It’s always here if you need it,” her mother stated. The two women held each other for a long moment. Nina squeezed her mom hard, before letting her go.

It was time to go back home, back to the man who held her heart.

~~

“Alright,” Sloan said as he wiped down the guys fresh tattoo. “I’ll get you some instructions for care and meet you at the counter. I’ll be right up.”

“Thanks man,” the guy said wide eyed. “I love it!”

“You’re welcome,” he nodded.

Stone didn’t pay much attention to the man as he walked away. His mind was too focused on his wife and where she was. It’d been four hours and twenty-seven minutes since she stormed out of their home. They lived in the two bedroom apartment above the tattoo shop. So, he’d know if she came home. There were only two entrances; one in the front of the store, and one on the side by the parking lot. His cubicle was positioned so that he could see both doors. Stone didn’t like to have his back exposed. He’d learned that the hard way.

After he took care of the customer, Stone pulled out his phone and unlocked the screen. Nina’s beautiful face greeted him. She was smiling back at him, something he hadn’t seen in a few months. He’d been a little more agitated than normal, always feeling like something was going to happen. It was like he was having a premonition that something bad was coming. That’s why he’d been so worried about his wife. Her safety was everything to him.

The door chimed, and he didn’t have to look up to know who was standing in the door. He could scent her from a mile away. When he turned, she looked ashamed. Her long blonde hair was braided and hung over her shoulder, the tip curved around her left breast. Those big, blue eyes sparkled with unshed tears, and his heart almost crumbled from the despair in her eyes.

“I’m done for the day,” he said to Riley as he marched toward Nina.

“Got it,” Riley replied and went back to work on a design he’d come up with for a new customer.

“My lover,” Stone whispered as he approached. He didn’t wait for her to speak. Stone scooped her up in his arms, cradling Nina to his chest. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry,” she whispered as she placed her palm on his cheek. Her hand was so small that it couldn’t cup his entire jaw, but Stone still nuzzled into her soft skin anyway.

He took the steps to their apartment two at a time, not once setting her on her feet. Once inside, Stone kicked the door closed, flipping the two deadbolts and the slider for good measure. He didn’t want anyone, or anything, to interrupt their evening.

When he sat her on her feet, Stone looked at his wife. Nina was beautiful, just like the day they’d met. How did she fall in love with him? Why did she fall in love with him? He wasn’t normal. Stone couldn’t offer her luxury, but he could love her so much that they both felt like they were born from fairytales.

Their life together was like a storybook, or at least he thought so. Hell, Stone didn’t really know how to explain the depth of his feelings for Nina. He just knew that their bond was more than a piece of paper and some vows. What they had went deeper than that.

“You know that you are the light of my soul, right,” he asked, dropping to his knees. He wrapped his inked arms around her waist and rested his head just under her breasts.

“And you are the sun to my day,” she whispered. “I love you, Stone.”

“I love you, my beautiful bride,” he smiled up at her. “I am sorry for being such an ass.”

“And I’m sorry for losing my temper with you,” she admitted. “I know you worry about me, but you have to trust me, Stone. I can take care of myself.”

“How would you take care of yourself if a man my size tried to take you from me,” he growled. Those dark brown eyes almost turned to black whenever he was agitated.

“I wouldn’t let him get that close,” she stated.

“But what if he did get that close,” Stone pushed. “What would you do?”

“I’d do all of the things you taught me to do. Kick, punch, scream, claw, and kick the guy.” Nina leaned over and kissed him on the lips, just a hot press to his mouth. His lip ring made an indention on her bottom lip when she pulled away.

“That’s my girl. I’m glad you’ve paid attention,” he smiled. “How about dinner?”

“Pizza,” she asked with a grin.

“Do you want to go out,” he asked.

“No,” Nina shook her head. “I’d rather us just stay in tonight.”

“Okay,” he smiled. “I think I like that idea.”

~~

While Nina ordered the pizza, Stone arranged the pillows on the bed so that they could sit up and watch the movie he’d rented on the cable box. A quick shower and a fresh pair of lounge pants later, Nina was climbing into the king sized bed with two boxes of piping hot pizza in her hands.

“Here’s your garbage pail pizza,” she laughed and handed him the box.

“I like everything on it,” he pouted, then tried to lift the corner of her box to see what was inside. He laughed when she jerked hers away with a snarl.

“No,” she demanded. “You got the extra-large. I got a small. You eat yours, and I’ll eat mine.”

She poked him in his side with her tiny finger. His muscles there were hard and unyielding. She scooped up a slice of pizza to keep her hands from roaming over his abs, because she knew if she touched him, they’d forgo the movie and end up tangled in the sheets for the rest of the night.

“Why have you been so irritable lately,” she finally asked once the movie was over. Nina was on her side, with her head pillowed on his shoulder. Stone was propped up on the mound of pillows, one arm rested above his head. He wasn’t wearing a shirt.

“Just worried about you,” he stated.

“Why are you worried about me,” she frowned, not sure what exactly he was talking about.

“Just a bad feeling,” he shrugged.

“About,” she asked.

“You,” he said as he pulled on her arms, telling Nina that he wanted her at eye level with him. “You haven’t been yourself lately, either.”

“You’ve been working late,” she admitted.

“The shop has been busy,” he frowned. “I always work late.”

Nina smiled at Stone. He was easily confused, and she didn’t want to start another fight, but they needed to get back on track. If they didn’t talk things out, the outcome could end up a lot worse, and Nina didn’t want that to happen.

“You’ve been working later. I just miss you,” she admitted with a blush. “I guess that’s what it is. You’re right, though. I haven’t been feeling myself for the past few weeks.”

“Are you sick,” he gasped. “Do you want me to take you to the doctor tomorrow?”

“No,” she shook her head. “I’m fine. No need to worry.”

“I always worry about you,” he whispered, before taking her face with his large hands. “You are my life…my everything, Nina.”

“I know, baby,” she whispered.

“I really wish you’d quit your job at that bank and work for me at the shop,” he admitted. It was an argument they’d had over the years. Stone wanted her to run the front of the shop and do the books, but Nina always declined. She worried that they’d be together too much, and it could cause problems within their relationship, but recently the idea started to appeal to her a little more.

“I’ve been considering it,” Nina smiled. Stone’s expression was priceless. It was part shock and a whole lot of happiness.

“Quit right now,” he growled. “Tell that asshole you work for to shove it.”

“Stone,” she laughed. “I have to give a two weeks’ notice. You can’t call your boss and tell him you’re done.”

“Sure you can,” he said, matter-of-factly.

Nina just shook her head and leaned over to kiss her husband. The man was every dream she had come true. He still held her face as she pressed her lips to his, but quickly his arms wrapped around her waist. Stone turned, and before she knew what was going on, he was above her.

“Let me love you, wife,” he grinned.

“Gladly, husband,” she moaned, as he pulled the shirt over her head.

~~

Stone smiled as he prepped the shop to open the next afternoon. Nina had promised to give her notice when she went into work that morning. The idea of her working with him every day caused an even bigger smile to light up his face.

“I’m guessing you and Nina are back on talking terms again,” Riley said from the desk by the front door. He sat on the stool as he put changed into the register. The guy was only a year older than Stone, but where Stone was bulky, Riley was lean. The guy had enough tattoos to give Stone a run for his money. His hair was blonde, long, and touched the tops of his shoulders. Riley had a teardrop tattoo under his right eye that was in remembrance of his wife who was killed a few years ago.

“Yes,” Stone admitted, looking up at his friend. “She’s agreed to come work with us.”

“That’s good, Stone,” Riley replied with wide eyes.

“That is a good thing,” he nodded and went back to work at his station.

The side door opened, a gust of wind preceded Nina as she stormed into the building. Her blonde hair blew around her face for a moment, before settling back into its rightful place over her shoulders. In her fist, she held a check. Her expression was murderous.

“That asshole cut me loose when I gave my notice,” she growled. “I can’t believe he’d do that!”

“Whoa,” Stone said, taking her into his arms. “Calm down there, tiger.”

“I am calm,” she cursed. “I worked there for six years, and he just let me go!”

“You said the guy was a complete jackass, Nina,” Riley laughed from the front of the shop. “Does it surprise you?”

“No,” she pouted. “But still! The guy could’ve just let me work my two weeks. I feel…betrayed. I guess.” She screwed up her nose at the check and took a deep breath.

“It’s alright, baby,” Stone said, stroking her hair.

“I guess so,” she sighed. Pushing back from Stone, she brushed a stray hair from her cheek and started for the stairs to their apartment. “I’m going to change out of these clothes.”

“Alright,” Stone kissed the tip of her nose. “Hurry back to me.”

“Always,” she smiled. Knowing she’d be working with her husband made the day much better. Having him there to console her always made things better.

It was after lunchtime, and Nina was hungry. After a call down to the guys, she made herself a sandwich and sat at their kitchen table. Stone and Riley had already eaten before she arrived.

She thought back to what Stone had said about being worried that something was going to happen to her. Over the years, he’d have these ‘feelings’, most of the time it was nothing. Once…once, it was something.

He’d been overly agitated for about two weeks, because Nina wasn’t feeling well. He kept telling her that he thought something bad was going to happen. They’d gone to the doctor, and Nina was diagnosed with a common stomach bug, but the ‘stomach bug’ didn’t get any better.

Nina had awoken one night to her belly cramping, worse than the previous few days. She’d bled in the bed, and once Stone took her to the emergency room, they found out that she’d miscarried a child she didn’t even know she was carrying.

Stone was heartbroken, and Nina went through a stage of depression. The doctor’s had told her the pregnancy ended because of nature, not any fault of her doing. It didn’t matter, the fact that they’d lost a child caused a sadness inside them that would never go away.

A few years have passed, and they hadn’t talked about children again. She eventually wanted to start a family with him, but since the miscarriage, Nina wasn’t in a hurry to try again. Of course, she was approaching thirty years old, it may be time to start thinking about it.

A noise coming from the stairwell had her turning in the chair. A loud thud downstairs caused Nina to rush toward the door. Whatever that noise was, it wasn’t anything normal coming from the shop. She paused and listened again. Her heart sped up when she heard a strange male voice demanding money.

All of her protective instincts kicked in. Nina grabbed the baseball bat from behind the door and quietly moved down the stairs. Stone would be mad as hell, but she wouldn’t allow him to be hurt again.

~~

The guy who came in with a knife was the same size as Stone, and he packed one hell of a punch. Blood dripped from the corner of Stone’s mouth. The guy had lost his weapon when Stone jumped him from behind. There was a hole in the wall where their massive bodies collided.

Stone said a silent prayer that Nina stayed in the apartment. Hopefully, she heard the ruckus and had already called the police. Stone couldn’t let this guy get to her. She was too small to be able to keep this thug from hurting her.

The idea that this man could overpower him and go after his wife caused a rage inside Stone that he’d never felt. Riley shoved the guy back into Stone’s chest. The guy twisted out of his hold so that the two men were face to face. The thug’s back was to the stairwell leading up to the apartment. Stone’s only hope was that the guy didn’t bolt upstairs as a last ditch effort to get away.

Stone threw his right fist out, connecting with the guys jaw. Blood splattered on the wall beside them when the punch split the guys lip. The robber growled only half of a second before he repeated the same action toward Stone, but this time he connected with Stone’s eye.

They exchanged blows a few more times before both men started to tire. Stone blinked rapidly to keep himself upright. The moment he saw Nina peek around the corner, he froze in fear. The man noticed his stare focused on something behind him. Stone and Riley shouted her name at the same time the guy turned, making a grab for Nina.

The sound of the baseball bat connecting with the guy’s head echoed through the shop. It was the only sound for a few heartbeats before the guy stumbled and collapsed on the floor.

Nina,” Stone yelled as he lunged over the thug’s body. “What the hell were you thinking?”

“I was thinking that I would not let you get hurt. You or Riley,” she growled, still holding the bat in her tight fists. Her eyes were focused on the man, as if she was waiting for him to wake up.

“Nina, put down the bat,” Stone said. “Nina?”

Stone reached out and took the bat, having to pry it from her hands. When she finally looked up into her husband’s eyes, the tears fell as she gasped, “Oh, Stone!”

“I’m okay, baby,” he chanted as she climbed up his body. He dropped the bat so that he could hold her in his arms. “I’m okay, just a scratch.”

“The police are coming,” Riley said as he pushed a rolling office chair behind Stone. “Sit down and let me look at that eye.”

Stone sat, but didn’t release his hold on Nina, “I told you I had a bad feeling something was going to happen.”

“I know, baby,” she sighed. “I know.”

~~

It had been two months since Nina quit her job at the bank and started working with Stone and Riley. After the guy tried to rob the shop, Stone added a lock to the doors. That ensured the customers would have to be let in by one of them. No more random people allowed in the shop. It was just too dangerous. He added extra security cameras to every angle of the business, inside and out. If Nina was going to be there with him, he’d feel safer with the added security.

“Hey big guy,” Nina said as she threw her leg over his lap to straddle him on his stool. The shop was quiet other than Riley working on a tattoo design in his cubicle.

“Hello, my love,” Stone smiled as he looked at his wife.

“We are going to have to wait on that tattoo I wanted,” she said with a blush.

“Why’s that,” he asked with a frown. “I thought you wanted to do it today. We have too many appointments scheduled this week, baby. Today would be better.”

“I don’t think so,” she smiled, wider now.

“Why not today,” Stone asked, his brow cast down in confusion.

“Can we schedule it for later,” she asked, still smiling.

“When,” he sighed in frustration.

“Oh, I don’t know,” she paused. “How about nine months from now.”

“Nine months,” he scowled. “Why that long?”

“Why do you think,” she teased, but waited for the information to sink in.

It didn’t take long for Stone to realize what she was saying. His eyes opened wider than she’d ever seen before. His hands shook as they slowly touched the flat of her belly.

“Really,” he asked in wonder. “Really?”

“Yes,” she whispered. “Really.”

Stone shot up on his feet, still holding Nina in his arms. He took her mouth with his, hot and demanding. Only when he was done kissing her did he shout, “I’m going to be a father!”

Finally, their life was falling into place. Nina allowed Stone to spin her around in circles, only stopping him when her stomach started to protest. He carried her through the shop and up to their apartment. He voiced his concerns about the baby, but Nina calmed his worries.

She’d had this feeling over the past few weeks that everything was going to be okay.

And it was.

 

The End

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