Category Archives: Flash Fiction

The Blog-O-Phone pt 2 – Christmas 250 Word Story Chain – Absolute Write

This post is part of the December 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month, we’re doing things a bit differently. It’s a story chain (aka blog-o-phone), an each writer must add around 250 words to an ongoing holiday story. Where I last left Claire and Alan, she was about to dump a bucket of dye onto his head. Quite a bit has happened since then.

Previously, on Mossfollow Wood…
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to post)
ishtar’sgate – http://chickenscratchbc.blogspot.ca (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes (me) – The Blog-O-Phone part 1 (WHERE WE LEFT OFF)
meowzbark – http://www.lizzylessard.com/ (link to post)
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
ishtar’sgate – http://chickenscratchbc.blogspot.ca (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com (link to post)

And now, on Mossfollow Wood Part. 10…

Knowing her grandfather, Claire would bet her Christmas bonus he had something to do with the dog’s appearance. “So what’s your plan? Are you going to hang out on this tree all night?”

Alan scowled. “Do you have a better idea?”

“As a matter of fact…” She attempted her most winsome smile.

He shook his head. “Absolutely not. Whatever scheme you’re concocting will be the death of me.”

Men could be so melodramatic. “You have the longest legs. If you could be so kind as to jump off and run…”

The dog growled and snapped its teeth, jumping high enough its drooling mouth grazed Alan’s foot. He sent her a withering look. “Yeah. I’ll get right on that, Princess. Right after you agree to cut down this tree and deliver it to my doorstep.”

Hanging onto her branch with one hand, she used the other to pat his cheek. “I didn’t know you suffered from mental illness. Do delusions run in your family?”

He caught her fingers. “Are you sure you want to keep baiting me? I’m going to lose my temper one of these days.”

A blush warmed her face. “What are you going to do, lawyer boy? Sue me?”

His grip tightened. Then he turned his head and pressed his lips into her gloved palm. Even though a layer of cloth separated them, a tendril of heat traveled up her arm. She swallowed.

Cal cleared his throat. “I’m still right here, you know? So is the damn dog.”

And thus I reached my 250 word limit. So where is this heading? I have no idea. The story continues at Absolute Write!

Archive of Past Blog Chains

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The Blog-O-Phone – Christmas 250 Word Story Chain – Absolute Write

This post is part of the December 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month, we’re doing things a bit differently. It’s a story chain (aka blog-o-phone), an each writer must add around 250 words to an ongoing holiday story.
Previously, on Mossfollow Wood…
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to post)
ishtar’sgate – http://chickenscratchbc.blogspot.ca (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com (link to post)

And now…pt. 5 (thanks for the perfect set-up Angyl78!)

“What are you doing up there?”

Startled by the masculine voice, Claire almost fell off the low-hanging branch. She glared at Alan Nussbaum as he strode across the snow. His black leather boots left deep imprints on the white powder. For a blood-sucking lawyer, the man was surprisingly built. His tailored knee-length coat made his shoulders seem even bigger.

She shifted the bucket in front of her into a less precarious position. “I’m defending my grandfather’s property. You’re all trespassing.”

The man found the gal to cross his arms. “Mrs. McHugh is just trying to get a tree for her kids. Why can’t you embrace the Christmas spirit and look the other way?”

Claire rolled her eyes. “Leave Beth out of this. Why are you here? After all the money you made from the foreclosures, you can afford to buy a forest, let alone a tree.”

Alan swiped off his wool cap and narrowed his frosty blue eyes. “Enough with the polemics—I get plenty of that everyday from your poor excuse of a newspaper. Now climb down here before you break your own neck.”

Snowflakes landed on Alan’s jet-black locks, which managed to maintain their manicured perfection despite recent confinement. His scowl, for reasons she couldn’t understand, made him seem all the more handsome. Such perfection gave her all sorts of ideas.

She acted on the first one that came to mind. With a flick of her wrist, she nudged the bucket full of red dye off the branch.

And thus I reached my 250 word limit. So where is this heading? I have no idea–the story continues at (links will be added ): 
meowzbark – http://www.lizzylessard.com/ (link to post)
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)

pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
BBBurke – http://www.awritersprogression.com/ (link to post)

Archive of Past Blog Chains

Lions, Tigers and Bears – aka Nulli and the Leprechaun 4 (Absolute Write Blog Chain – October 2013)

This post is part of the October 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month, the prompt is “Lions, Tigers, and Bears–Oh my!.”

This flash fiction is also the fourth installment of what I have now decided will be the Nulli and the Leprechaun web series (and yes, I did play hooky last month…learning Italian seriously messes with my creativity).

While it’s self-contained, links to Part 1-3 are below.
#1 What the Leprechaun Said (AWBC March 2013)                
#2 Wrong Place, Right Time (AWBC May 2013)
#3 Child of the Devil (AWBC August 2013)

Previously, on Nulli and the Leprechaun…

Luc (aka “Child of the Devil”)  ignored him. “It seems my cousin (“Shawn the Leprechaun”) has a soft spot for you. He’s being very patient with your maidenly fears.”

“We first met less than fifteen minutes ago,” Nulli protested.

“And you should have been flat on your back in under one. I’ll leave the two of you alone now–but with one little parting gift.” With another flash of red light, Luc disappeared.

Nulli turned to face the leprechaun. “Do I even want to know what he meant?”

And now…

Shawn the Leprechaun cleared his throat. “I’m pretty sure he was referring to the lion, tiger and bear.”

“Oh my.” Nulli turned her head to the left. Three predatory animals had materialized in their pink dungeon (ref. #2). She didn’t have the slightest clue why Luc (ref. #3) would consider this a gift. More importantly, how would fending off a fatal attack hasten her physical relationship with Shawn? She couldn’t very well have sex while wrestling a bear.

She elbowed Shawn’s stomach. “I think it’s time you did your finger-snapping thing (ref. #1) and got us out of here. This time, I would very much like to be returned to my apartment.”

He flashed a grin. “I agree. T’would be a great place for our first time.”

She opened her mouth to argue before biting her tongue. It made more sense to to correct his assumption after he rescued her from this potentially fatal situation.

He raised his hand. The ensuing popping sound was followed by a flash of light. But when her vision adjusted, she found herself in the exact same place she had been before–in a pink dungeon, next to a leprechaun, with a lion, tiger and bear, positioned a few feet to her left. “Shawn…if this is a joke, it isn’t funny.”

His green eyes widened. He snapped his fingers again and again. Each time, they were transported back to the exact same place. The lion growled.

She grabbed the leprechaun’s hand. “Stop it. You’re making him angry.”

Shawn lifted an auburn eyebrow. “How do you know it’s a he?”

She rolled her eyes. “Male lions have manes. Don’t you watch the Discovery Channel?”

He favored her with a sardonic look. “Television is a poor facsimile of real life and a complete waste of time.

Since her protector had proven his complete uselessness, she focused her attention on the threat. “Good kitty…”

Both the lion and tiger roared.

Shawn bent down and whispered in her ear, “Now you’re making them angry.”

She stomped her heel on his toe. He grunted. “Ow! That hurt…wait, why the hell does it hurt? I’m immortal. I shouldn’t have felt anything.”

“Another one of Luc’s parting gifts?” She couldn’t care less about the status of his toe. “By the way, in case you weren’t already aware, getting mauled by a lion, tiger and bear will be exponentially more painful.” After noticing his bewildered expression, she added, “There is also a high probability of permanent injury and death.”

He stared aghast at the collection of animals. “We need to kill them.”

She couldn’t help but wonder why he had only just arrived at this conclusion. “Can you pull it off without magic?”

He clapped his hands. When they remained empty, he stared at his palms with a horrified look on his face. “I should be holding a sword.”

She tilted her head to one side. “I think it’s been made glaringly clear we’re supposed to solve this problem sans supernatural aid.”

He pointed his finger at his own chest. “Me? How the hell do I kill a lion, tiger and bear without weapons or spells?”

She took a step forward toward the trio. In unison, they snarled.

“I wouldn’t do that that if I were you,” Shawn warned in an exasperated tone.

His chest warmed her back. She turned and smiled. There was something to be said about a leprechaun who continued to protect her despite real and potent threats to his well-being. Shawn was already very tall, but the gesture seemed to add an inch to his height. “If one of them did try to bite, what would you do?”

His gaze didn’t waver. “Whatever it takes to keep you safe.” He glanced sideways at the lion, tiger and bear. “But I would prefer it if you refrained from testing my conviction.”

A flash of intuition took Nulli over. Something about this scene didn’t quite fit. To be fair, nothing about the past twenty minutes meshed well with reality. But a peculiar facet of the tableau nagged her. She pointed at the shiny gold collars circling each animal’s neck. “I think we need to take those off.”

“What on earth would give you that idea?” He nonetheless tugged her elbow and walked forward,  shielding her with his body. The lion, tiger, and bear bellowed in unison.

She swallowed air. “It’s a hunch–a really strong hunch.”

Instead of dismissing her statement, Shawn took another step toward the trio. The black bear made a guttural sound and batted its paws.  “Okay. Any hunches on how I’m supposed to get near those things?”

She frowned and walked forward. “I don’t think you’re supposed to. You need to let me do this.”

His body became a solid barrier. “For safety reasons, I’m not going to turn. But trust me, the expression on my face screams ‘hell no.'”

“Look, I have a feeling these are all trials.” She wished she sounded more confident than she felt. “Luc appeared to tempt me–I had the perfect excuse to sleep with an extremely hot devil’s child. I didn’t. I passed test number 1.”

Shawn didn’t budge. “Let’s pretend for a moment I believe you. What, pray tell, is the point of test number 2?”

She licked her lips. “Courage for me, and trust for you.” Once the words passed her lips, she was overwhelmed by a sense of certainty. “Both form the foundation of a good relationship.”

“It sounds like something my damn relatives might be insane enough to do.” His broad shoulders lifted and fell. “But how can we be sure this is just a team-building exercise?”

Nulli reached forward and took his hand. The slight tremble against her fingertips triggered a warm and fuzzy feeling. “I guess we just need to have faith.”

And thus I reached my 1000 word limit . So where is this heading? I have no idea–it’ll depend entirely on next month’s prompt. Stay tuned!

Check out this month’s other bloggers, all of whom have posted or will post their own responses:

Participants and posts:

orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
ishtar’sgate – http://chickenscratchbc.blogspot.ca/ (link to post)
skunkmelon – http://www.jenniferponce.com/skunkblog (link to post)
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
julzperri – http://www.fishandfrivolity.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
dclary – http://hardhobbittobreak.com (link to post)
BBBurke – http://www.awritersprogression.com/ (link to post)
Sweetwheat – http://gomezkarla.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com/ (YOU ARE HERE)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)

Archive of Past Blog Chains

Child of the Devil – aka Nulli and the Leprechaun 3 (Absolute Write Blog Chain – August 2013)

This post is part of the August 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month, the prompt is “Child of the Devil.”

This flash fiction is also the third installment of what I have now decided will be the Nulli and the Leprechaun web series. While it’s self-contained, links to Part 1 and 2 are below.
#1 What the Leprechaun Said (AWBC March 2013)                
#2 Wrong Place, Right Time (AWBC May 2013)

Just as Shawn the leprechaun was about to fasten fluffy handcuffs on her wrist, the pink dungeon was illuminated by a flash of red light.

“Get your grubby little paws off my fiancé.” The tall man who materialized had black hair and eyes. He also had little red horns protruding out of his head.

Nulli’s eyes narrowed. “Err…I’m pretty sure we’ve never met.”

The creature flashed her a panty-melting smile. “Bonjour mademoiselle. Je m’appelle  Luc. Je suis–”

“Cut the crap you son of the devil,” Shawn snapped. “You don’t even like the French.”

Luc rolled his eyes. “Au contraire, cousin. They are some of my best customers.”

“And you two are freaking me out.” She turned to the supernatural creature she was already acquainted with. “What is that thing?”

The new arrival placed his hand over his heart. “I’m wounded, cherie. That is no way to refer to the man you are about to wed.”

Turning to face the too handsome lunatic, she placed her hands on her hips. “Then it’s a good thing I don’t know you from Adam.”

Luc shook his dark head. “Adam was an idiot. Dad orchestrated his fall from grace using an apple–an apple! Talk about a cheap date.”

She took a calming breath and turned to the redheaded leprechaun. “I guess this would make him…”

“The devil’s spawn.” Shawn’s expression was annoyed rather than concerned. “He loves to play pranks.”

She lifted an eyebrow. “I thought practical jokes were a leprechaun thing.”

Shawn rolled his bright green eyes and pointed at Luc. “Who do you think started the rumor?”

Luc’s face was the picture of affront. “Moi? I’ve been getting this guy out of trouble since he was born.” He rubbed one of his horns. “These even turned gray at one point because of worry.”

Shawn bent down and whispered into her ear. “I used peroxide. Was surprised it worked m’self.”

She sighed. “Just so there’s no confusion–both of you are claiming to be the future love of my life.”

They uttered their answers in unison. “Oui.” “Yes.”

This was getting too crazy. “In that case, please take me home. I have a long day at work tomorrow, and I can’t deal with this drama right now.”

Luc’s smile was saccharine sweet. “Non. Je suis désolée, mais ça n’est pas possible. Your past life is over. You are ours now.”

Shawn cleared his throat. “Oii. Stop messing around. She’s mine. Your daddy dearest said so.”

Luc’s black eyes danced. “When has my father’s opinion ever affected my actions?”

Shawn snorted. “Every damn day? I’ve never seen anyone’s who’s more of a Papa’s boy.”

Nulli tapped her foot. “As interesting as your family dynamics are–it’s irrelevant. I’m my own person. Right now, I’m not interested in either of you.”

“But you haven’t tried me.” Luc’s voice was laced with temptation. “This leprechaun’s a good kisser, but I’m even better.”

Shawn crossed his arms. “That’s complete bull. Even if he is, it’s because he has a couple thousand years on me.”

She shook her head. “I don’t think kissing is one of those practice makes perfect skills.”

Luc licked his lips. “Oh but it is. Besides, don’t you want to know how it feels like to have this,” he stuck out his forked tongue, “inside you.”

Her nose scrunched up. “Not in the slightest.”

When Luc strode forward, she took a step back and hid behind Shawn. Grinning, the leprechaun’s chest puffed up. “See, she’s made her choice. Now scat.”

She decided this wouldn’t be the best time to tell her protector she was still in the decision-making phase.

Luc’s voice was laced with temptation. “Dear cousin, we’ve shared other women before. It’s a lot more fun when there’s three.”

When Shawn didn’t respond, Nulli leaned forward so she could see his face. He was staring straight ahead, and his expression had turned blank. When she looked at Luc, she saw his eyes glow red.

“Hold her still.” The booming voice was a command. Shawn’s arm looped around her waist a second later. Before she realized what was happening, her back was plastered against the leprechaun’s body.

Luc floated forward. Their gazes locked. “You want to kiss me.”

She struggled. “No. I absolutely do not. Shawn, snap out of it.”

The devil’s child appeared surprised. He repeated his sentence louder this time. His eyes shone even brighter. “You want to kisssss meeeee.”

She glared at him. “What part of no don’t you get? Mimicking a snake is also the opposite of sexy. Leave me alone.”

Luc’s eye’s reverted back to its original color. “This is an interesting development. You are immune to mental suggestion.” His gaze flitted to the leprechaun holding her in place. “It’s seems you are his intended mate after all.”

With Shawn’s arms manacled around her, she couldn’t move. “Does that mean you’ll let us go?”

Luc patted her face. “Of course. I was just having some fun. The real reason I’m here is because your tryst with my cousin is progressing far too slowly. I was sent here to speed things up.”

A shiver rolled down her spine. “I don’t understand.”

“It’s simple.” Luc snapped his fingers. Shawn’s arms loosened.

“Stay out  of this,” Shawn’s growled. “I’ve got everything under control.”

Luc ignored him. “It seems my cousin has a soft spot for you. He’s being very patient with your maidenly fears.”

“We first met less than fifteen minutes ago,” Nulli protested.

“And you should have been flat on your back in under one. I’ll leave the two of you alone now–but with one little parting gift.” With another flash of red light, Luc disappeared.

Nulli turned to face the leprechaun. “Do I even want to know what he meant?”

So where is this heading? I have no idea–it’ll depend entirely on next month’s prompt. Stay tuned!

Check out this month’s other bloggers, all of whom have posted or will post their own responses:

Participants and posts:

ishtar’sgate – http://chickenscratchbc.blogspot.ca/ (link to post)
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
areteus – http://lurkingmusings.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
BDavidHughes – http://bdavidhughes.com/ (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
articshark – http://www.drslaten.com/blog (link to post)
Anarchic Q – http://anarchicq.com/ (link to post)
meowzbark – http://www.lizzylessard.com/ (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com/ (YOU ARE HERE)
grace elliot – http://graceelliot-author.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
milkweed – http://www.thistlequill.blogspot.com/ (link to post)

Bumped:
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to post)

Archive of Past Blog Chains

Dog Days of Summer – Absolute Write Blog Chain July 2013

This post is part of the July 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month, the prompt is Dog Days of Summer, aka the trigger for a massive writer’s block.  As such, I’m experimenting with a slightly different style this time. Let me know if it’s a complete failure.

Summer hated dog days in July. It wasn’t that she had anything against the month in particular. There was a time when she enjoyed it very much. 

She only wished it wasn’t so damn hot.

No one in the right mind would want to traipse around in seventy percent humidity covered in a fur coat. She was sweating so much her usually silky mane had clumped together, making her resemble an angry perspiring white porcupine. There wasn’t anything wrong with porcupines. In cartoon form, she found them rather cute. She just didn’t look very endearing in her current state, and she would very much rather be lounging by the pool sipping a Bellini.

Instead, she was forced to come out and attend this stupid meeting. She had never understood the obsession with the woods as a gathering place. So the grass was green and there were lots of trees–big deal. It didn’t make the location any less boring. Summer was a city girl through and through, and this whole one-with-nature business didn’t float her boat. Especially not when the sun was blazing down at close to a hundred degrees farenheit.

And it would be, of course, on this exceptionally miserable dog day that she would be forced to run into her ex, who was the idiot who had called this stupid meeting in the first place. He never looked anything like she did on a dog day in summer. No, the damn male always managed to appear gorgeous despite the oppressive heat. It was the short hair–she was certain of it.

Sweat didn’t seem to have the same effect on his appearance as it did with hers. The shiny coat of moisture amped up his masculinity, which, in her opinion, was already on overdrive. It was one of the reasons they broke up.

Compatible males seemed to be born with overbearing genes. Her ex came with an extra couple of doses. He couldn’t back off to save his life. As an only child, Summer was used to doing whatever she wanted whenever she wanted. She did not need some guy telling her horseback riding was too dangerous–especially when he rode horses himself. Hooking up with the man had been the crown jewel on her list of adulthood mistakes.

So why the heck did his presence make her drool? She placed part of the blame on the dog day. Animal instincts were taking over, and the man’s testosterone was palpable in this heat. His jet black hair glittered in the noon day sun as he ambled toward her. His dark gray eyes were particularly mesmerizing in the sunlight.

He also looked smug enough she was tempted to bite his nose of. He made a show of sniffing the air–hinting that he could smell her arousal. Well, of course he could. She was a female in her prime who hadn’t gotten off since they broke up six months ago. The cover of Men’s Health would have that effect, let alone being a few yards away from Mr. Alpha.

What was taking everyone else so long? Summer usually arrived fashionably late to these gatherings, and this time was no different. Something didn’t feel right.

The moment she realized what was happening she broke into a fast run. No way was she going down that road again. It took forever for her to get over him, and she had no desire to repeat the process.

She could hear him gaining on her, getting closer with each breath. It was the damn heat. It was too hot for her to be running. Her heart was beating too fast. Her body felt as if it were about to burst into flames.

He must have planned this. While he was bigger and stronger, she had always been faster. He had never been able to outrun her. But with the sun beating down, and the air hot and heavy,  her muscles refused to cooperate. She felt lethargic, tired, and extremely thirsty.

Sniffing the air, Summer followed the scent of water deep inside the wooded area. There was a small stream close by. She could feel the particles of moisture in the light breeze as she raced through the brush. It was cooler under the shade, and her gait automatically sped up. The distance between them widened. If she could just cool off, she might be able to escape.

She approached the stream and almost breathed a sigh of relief. She was nearly there.

But a split second later, she saw a large shadow on the ground just in front of her. Before she had time to react, she felt his crushing weight on her back. His jaw closed down on her neck, demanding her submission.

Refusing to give in without a fight, she kicked her back legs up and launched him forward using his own momentum. She heard a growl as he flew through the air. The best defense was a good offense, so she snapped her teeth and pounced. She landed on top of him only to have him flip her onto her back.

With his paws on her neck, a low guttural command erupted from his throat. Since he was her Alpha, it was instinctive for Summer to comply. Rainbow colored lights shimmered around them as their bodies morphed.

“That wasn’t fair,” Summer hissed as his lean naked body covered hers. In human form, he was even more breathtaking–hard muscle, long limbs, broad shoulders, and eyes she could lose herself in. “We agreed to take some time off.”

“We did,” he replied in a low husky voice. His large hand circled her neck. He lowered his head and bit her just behind the ear. “Time’s up.”

Summer shivered. The reaction had nothing to do with the fact that she didn’t have a stitch on her. It was still oppressively hot, and her ex’s body radiated heat. When he lowered his hand to cup her breast, a soft moan escaped her lips.

“Do you want me to stop?” His voice was an invitation steeped in temptation. She didn’t have the fortitude to resist.

How bad could just one summer day be?

And that, folks, is my first ever attempt at a shifter romance. What do you think?

Don’t forget to check out this month’s other bloggers, all of whom have posted or will post their own responses:

Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to post)
articshark – http://www.drslaten.com/blog (link to post)
Sunwords – http://susannedoering.wordpress.com (link to post)
Diem_Allen – http://mindovermistakes.blogspot.com (link to post)
U2Girl – http://ancatdubh.org (link to post)
robynmackenzie – http://www.iwanttobeawesomewhenigrowup.com (link to post)
Lady Cat – http://radomwriterlythoughts.blogspot.ca (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com (YOU ARE HERE)
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
SuzanneSeese – http://www.viewofsue.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Diana_Rajchel – http://blog.dianarajchel.com/ (link to post)
Elvin-Bala – http://elvinbala.wordpress.com/ (link to post)

Bumped:
HistorySleuth – http://historysleuth.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
AshleyEpidemic – http://www.soipondered.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
SRHowen – http://srhowen1.blogspot.com (link to post)Archive of Past Blog Chains

Bugs – aka Heather and the French Chef Part 2 – Absolute Write Blog Chain June 2013 – #flashfiction

This post is part of the June 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month, the prompt is “Bugs.”  Incidentally, this is also a continuation/play on my response to the April Fool’s prompt, which makes it “Heather & the French Chef Part 2”.

By the the way, my French is very rusty– French gurus: kindly leave corrections in the comments section.

Pierre’s loud and uncharacteristically high-pitched voice echoed through the apartment. “Heather, come to the kitchen. I need your help.”

“Umm…Hmm…” Heather replied as she swiped the screen on her ebook reader and loaded the next page. The Alpha of the Prairie Wolves Clan was undoing the laces on  Lily the Werewolf Hunter’s leather vest. His lips were creating a path of hot wet kisses down the column of her neck. Whatever Heather’s real life alpha-male needed help with, it could wait.

“Woman. Get your butt in here right now.”

“Uh huh. Yes, I’m listening.”

Lily felt the alpha’s hands against her naked breasts. Her top as now a tattered pile of leather and cloth.  The alpha’s lips moved lower. Lily’s back arched as she–

Heather’s ears pricked. She heard what sounded like a yelp followed by a series of crashes. “Merde! Heather. Viens-tu ici! Maintenant! Vite!”

She shrugged. What Pierre said was pretty much gibberish as far as she was concerned. He should know better than to talk to her in a language she didn’t understand. Besides, things were just heating up.

Lily’s back arched as she raked her nails down the alpha’s back. His body was all smooth skin and corded muscle. He made a growling sound as his hand closed over her–

“Stop reading, woman! If you don’t, you will never get a single piece of cake from me for as long as I live.”

Huh?

Heather lowered the ebook reader and whipped her head around to face the kitchen. Her favorite chef and roommate was scampering onto the stove-side counter. His face was deathly white. He wore a horrified expression. There was a skillet in his hand that looked as if it were being aimed at the floor. It wasn’t exactly a macho or sexy pose, but the sight still made her heart skip a beat.

A sheen of sweat covered Pierre’s forehead. His curly black hair was plastered against the sides of his face. His pristine white T-shirt  fit him snugly. It accentuated the breadth of his chest and shoulders. The Alpha Werewolf in her book might be hot, but this man was real and all hers.

That said, he knew better than to interrupt her while she read. “Can I help you?”

He launched the skillet straight at the floor. It made a loud crashing sound. A spatula was in his hand a moment later. “Yes, you can help me. You left the sugar canister open.” He visibly cringed. “Get over here and deal with the results.”

She rolled her eyes and trudged over to their kitchen. The white linoleum floor was covered in sugar granules and countless black ants. She wasn’t exactly a huge fan of bugs, and the sight made her take a long step back. “Eeew. You deal with it. That’s gross.”

She cast a quizzical glance at the man whose back was pressed up against the cabinets. His bare feet were in the air, and he looked like he was about to have a panic attack. He wasn’t exactly lean, and the counter had seen better days. Not only did he look ridiculous, there was also a good chance she’d have to get the kitchen remodeled if she didn’t talk him off the ledge quickly. “I’m guessing you’re not a huge fan of bugs either.”

She hadn’t thought it possible, but Pierre’s face whitened by a few shades. “Ants are the most disgusting creatures on this planet. This is all your fault. You left the sugar out on the counter. Now, get them away from me.”

She vaguely recalled dumping a couple of spoonfuls of sugar in her tea before heading over to the sofa to read. It felt as if that happened only a few minutes ago, but, judging from the ant infestation, in must have been hours. Her expression turned guilty. She didn’t remember screwing on the canister’s lid. 

Heather looked at the floor. The sight of all those black ants sent a shiver down her spine. “I think we should handle this as a team.”

“Non. Pas possible. I am not going near–,” he pointed at pile of bugs with his spatula, “that.”

Pierre only interspersed French into statements when he was genuinely upset. Heather looked down and squared her shoulders. She guessed some sacrifices were required in order to keep her favorite chef from breaking her kitchen counter.

She rolled up her sleeves and went in search of a broom and dust pan. Once she scooped up every last ant, she rose to dump the contents in the sink.

Pierre, very literally, screeched. “Arrete! What do you think you are doing?”

Heather frowned. “Getting rid of the ants. Once they’re in there, all I need to do is turn on the tap and wash them down the drain.”

“No, you are not. They are not going down my sink.” The man somehow managed to look formiddable while on the verge of having a nervous breakdown.

She would have patted his knee, but she was holding a dustpan full of ants in one hand and a broom in the other. “Technically, it’s my sink, but I’ll let the comment pass. Can I flush them down the toilet?”

He shuddered. His expression could only be described as pleading. “Dieu, non! Take them out to the dumpster.”

It suddenly occured to Heather that she could milk this situation for all it was worth. “What do I get?”

His deep blue gaze narrowed. “You’re blackmailing me?”

On purpose, she moved the dust pan an inch closer to his face. He yelped. “No, I’m just mentioning, very generally, that I could use a back rub. I did a lot of bouncing last night, if you don’t recall.”

He lifted a dark eyebrow. “I also recall you very much enjoyed this bouncing.”

Heather shrugged. “That’s besides the point. Now, do you want these bugs out of here or not?”

He scowled. “Fine. Back rub. 30 minutes. Please take those things and leave.”

She looked down at her feet. She’d been doing a lot more standing than she expected today. And there was, of course, that walk to the trash shoot. When she lifted her head, the follow-up request must have been written all over her face.

“Yes. Foot rub too. But that’s it. Remember, the ants would not be here if it weren’t for you.”

He had a good point. She tossed the broom in his direction, and, with a swish of her hips, Heather sauntered out the door.

When she returned, it was to find a stern-looking Pierre in the kitchen. His arms were folded, and the spatula was still in his hand. But the glimmer of amusement in his gaze made her breathe easy. “We should talk. You have been a very naughty girl.”

Heather sashayed over and stopped less than an inch away from him. He smelled like aftershave and cookie dough.  He also happened to look good enough to eat. “Really? How naughty was I?”

The corners of his lips shook. It was a clear indication he was suppressing a smile. “As naughty as can be. How many times have I told you the kitchen rules. This country,” his nose scrunched up in disgust, “is full of vile insects all trying to enter our house. We must work together to keep them out.”

Heather batted her eyelashes. “Must we? I thought we had a nice division of labor. I make a mess–you clean it up.”

He snorted. “I do not know how I agreed to such an insane arrangement, but yes. However, you offered to give me certain services in exchange. It’s been a while since I’ve received my due.”

Her eyebrows rose. “What do you call last night?”

Pierre’s eyes smoldered. Her payment had been on the acrobatic side. He had expressed his satisfaction using a number of colorful French phrases. She hadn’t understood them at the time, but he offered translation later. “That was in exchange for the creme brulee. I also recall doing all the dish-washing and cleaning.”

Heather pouted. “You don’t let me cook or do the dishes.”

“The last time you did, nothing was edible and very few dishes survived.” He chuckled. “Now, where were we? Yes, I’m afraid I’m going to have to punish you for breaking the kitchen rules.”

She heaved a dramatic sigh. “Can’t we cancel the back rub and call it even?”

He turned her around and closed his hands over her shoulders. His thumbs drew concentric circles just above her shoulder blades. With a satisfied purr, Heather leaned against him and let her eyes roll into the back of her head. The man knew how to use his fingers–in more ways than one.

He leaned down and murmured against her ear. “Do you still want an entire thirty minutes of this?”

Answering would take too much energy. “Umm…hmm.”

“In that case,” he pressed his lips to the back of her neck, “you should figure out a better way for me to punish you.”

Heather’s toes curled. “I have a few ideas.”

Check out this month’s other bloggers, all of whom have posted or will post their own responses:

Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Diem_Allen – http://mindovermistakes.blogspot.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to post)
articshark – http://www.drslaten.com/blog (link to post)
Lady Cat – http://randomwriterlythoughts.blogspot.ca (link to post)
U2Girl – http://ancatdubh.org (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com/ (ME)
SuzanneSeese – http://www.viewofsue.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
robynmackenzie – http://iwanttobeawesomewhenigrowup.com/ (link to post)
Sunwords – http://susannedoering.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
susanielson – http://somesemblancethereof.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
HistorySleuth – http://historysleuth.blogspot.com (link to post)
SRHowen – http://srhowen1.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
xcomplex – http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
milkweed – http://www.thistlequill.blogspot.com/ (link to post)

Archive of Past Blog Chains

Wrong Place, Right Time – Dialogue Only (Absolute Write Blog Chain – May 2013)

This post is part of the May 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month, the prompt is “Dialogue Only.”  As if that weren’t difficult enough, there’s an additional optional prompt “Wrong Place, Right Time.”

By the way, my reaction to this prompt was “oh crap.” I’m an erotic romance writer–while my characters do their fair share of talking, they’re usually preoccupied with other fun stuff. Therefore, I’m sorely out of practice. 

My solution? I’m going to cheat. This flash fiction continues the story from my March 2013 Blog Chain post, What the Leprechaun Said. You should definitely find out where Nulli and the Leprechaun left off before you forge on to read what will likely be a failed experiment. Enjoy!

“Umm, Leprechaun, I’m pretty sure you’ve brought us to the wrong place.”

“You know, Leprechaun is a species, not a name. Call me Shawn.”

“As in C-H-A-U-N?”

“As in S-H-A-W-N. Now why is this the wrong place? You agreed to come to my apartment.”

“Your apartment’s a dungeon?”

“The decor’s a bit macabre, but ‘tis my home.”

“Well, ‘tis more than I signed up for. You have iron shackles hanging from the walls. And is that a St. Andrew’s cross?”

“Woman—we barely know each other and you’re already redecorating. It’s a good thing I know we’ll end up living happily ever after.”

“You might want to dampen your enthusiasm, Shawn. I don’t think this is going to work.”

“Considering the reading material I found at your place, I think it’ll be just fine.”

“You’ve been to my place?”

“I’m a demigod and can teleport to any location in the world. Of course I checked-up on the person I’m going to spend the rest of my life with.”

“We met less than half an hour ago. No one is spending the rest of their lives with anyone. By the way, aren’t you immortal?”

“My dear Nulli—Once we consummate our relationship you too will live forever.”

“Well then, all bets are off. I don’t want to live forever and most definitely not with you. Do you have any idea how creepy you are?”

“You like creepy. I followed all the key points in your romances—captive scenarios, kinky sex, and a touch of magic. Turning into a wolf is a bit beneath me. They’re dirty flea-ridden creatures.”

“Those books are FICTION. Nothing about what you’ve done so far is at all romantic.”

“I can’t help but bring up the kiss we just shared—“

“That was reflex. You’re a good kisser. It doesn’t change the fact that you’re giving off serial killer vibes”

“Now, now, no need for name calling. I thought all this equipment was a bit over-the-top myself. I just wanted to fulfill your wildest dreams.”

“What the hell just happened?”

“As you asked, I redecorated.”

“You painted everything pink and added fuzz to the shackles. The color scheme wasn’t the problem.”

“No? What was the problem?”

“The entire place. You know what? This is the very definition of wrong-place-wrong-time. You’ve had your shot. It’s over. Take me home.”

“Now, now, don’t get all pissy.”

“Buddy, you haven’t seen me pissy. Pissy is me grabbing that flogging pole over there and hitting you over the head with it.”

“So you like being the Domme? Hmm…that would be a problem.”

“Urghhh….”

“Joking. Just Joking. Leprechauns are the jesters of the supernatural world, or haven’t you heard? I was just having a bit of fun.”

“…”

“The silent treatment doesn’t work on me you know. I have infinite patience.”

“…”

“You’re being childish. Very childish.”

“…”

“And I’m getting annoyed with you. Leprechauns annoy other people, not the other way around.”

“…”

“Please talk to me.”

“…”

“Pretty please with lots of gold on top.”

“Well, in that case … Is this real?”

“You can take it to the bank tomorrow.”

“What are you up to now?”

“I’m trying to give you a shoulder massage. Be still. Now, should I stop or should I keep going?”

“Umm… that does feel very nice. Why are you doing this?”

“To make up for what clearly was a very bad joke. By the way, you seem a little tense.”

“I wonder why.”

“Me too. If you go sit on the bench over there, I’ll give you a foot rub.”

“Not gonna happen.”

“I give awesome foot rubs, just so you know.”

“And that bench wasn’t made for sitting.”

“You have a point. We can do other stuff on it– Whoa, there. Got the message loud and clear. Too soon, ehh?”

“That is the understatement of the century”

“You were ready to jump my bones right after we kissed.”

“It was a lapse in judgment.”

“It was a good lapse. You’re thinking about this too hard. You should just feel.”

“If you could focus on the shoulder blades—“

“Like this?”

“Oh yes. That feels like heaven.”

“This is not even close to how I’ll make you feel later. Any chance we can lose the shirt—for purely therapeutic purposes?”

“Nope.”

“Your loss. My fingers are magical you know.”

“I figured.”

“I have other body parts that are also magical. I can make it do all sorts of things.”

“Shawn.”

“What? TMI?”

“In a big way.”

“You’re blushing. Your pulse picked up. I’m making progress.”

“My face is red and my heart’s beating faster because I’m angry. Trust me, we’ve regressed.”

“Liar.”

“I most certainly am not.”

“I can prove it.”

“Oh yeah? How.”

“By doing this.”

“…”

“Took your breath away, didn’t I?”

“You were literally blocking a major airway, so yes.”

“Don’t be stubborn. Admit it. This might be the wrong place. But I’m the right guy, and this is the right time.”

“The jury’s still out on all counts.”

“May be this will move things along.”

“…”

“…”

“All this proves is you’re a good kisser. That’s not exactly news.”

“You have the softest skin. Mind if I bite you?”

“Umm.”

“I’ll take that as a no. Why don’t I get this shirt out of the way?”

“Ohh…”

“…”

“…”

“You know–green is my favorite color. Too bad this pretty lace isn’t going to make it through the night.”

“Shawn…”

“Do you want me to stop?”

“I…ohh…”

“…”

“…”

“Nulli?”

“Yes?”

“I think now’s the right time to discuss these fluffy pink handcuffs.”

Check out this month’s other bloggers, all of whom have posted or will post their own responses:

Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
articshark – http://www.drslaten.com/blog (link to post)
Sudo_One – http://sudoone.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
Nissie – http://www.rinchupeco.com/ (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
Lady Cat – http://randomwriterlythoughts.blogspot.ca/ (link to post)
U2Girl – http://ancatdubh.org/ (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com/ (You Are Here)
SuzanneSeese – http://www.viewofsue.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
LanaK – http://lanaketrick.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
in_one – http://quirkythomas.blogspot.com/ (link to post)

Archive of Past Blog Chains

April Fools (Absolute Write Blog Chain – April 2013)

This post is part of the April 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month, the prompt is “April Fools.”  [Forgive me: I have writer’s block!]

“Heather, I need your attention.”

“Umm…Hmm…” She replied as she swiped the screen on her ebook reader and loaded the next page. Lily the werewolf hunter was about to engage in some sword action with the Alpha of the Prairie Wolves Clan–the oh-so-yummy immortal whom Heather had no doubt will later tear up the sheets with her favorite heroine.

“The kitchen’s on fire.”

“Uh huh. Yes, I’m listening.” Lily just got nicked, and all this aggresssion was calling to the werewolf’s most basic instincts. Things were just about to get interesting. Heather crinkled her nose. There was an odd smell in the air.

The sound of rushing water preceded loud thumping noises. “Nevermind, I put it out.”

The shifter had just broken the enchanted sword in half was about to sink his fangs into Lily’s throat. The Hunter reached for a hidden blade in her boot.

The ebook reader was yanked out of Heather’s hands. When she looked up, it was to meet Pierre’s irate blue gaze. This was unacceptable. He knew better than to interrupt her while she read. “Can I help you?”

Her roommate tapped his bare foot on the floor as he pointed in the general direction of their shared kitchen. “The roast needed to be out of the oven an hour ago. You said you would do it.”

The man’s curly black hair was ruffled. A thick stubble indicated he hadn’t shaved for at least a day or two. There were black smudges on his neck and arms. Dressed in worn jeans and a sooty white tee-shirt, he still managed to look devasting. The French accent might have something to do with it.

She tried to recall the referenced conversation. She vaguely remembered saying “Sure” when Pierre told her he was running out to get some wine. She slumped. He did say something about a roast.

She looked up at him with pleading eyes. “I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”

“Pffttt…of course it will. It happens at least once a month.” The schedule coincided with the times Pierre asked her to watch over something time-sensitive. He should have learned by now their concepts of time couldn’t be more different. “This is the last straw. I’m moving out.”

She blinked. “What?”

“I will find a new dwelling tomorrow. I need a bigger kitchen. The restaurant is making money. I can afford to buy my own place.”

Her mind whirled. Was today really the day? “Are you sure? I mean, I thought you loved the location?”

She inherited the two-bedroom condo from her grandmother five years ago. This man had been her tenant for the past two. Compared to the psychos who preceded him, Pierre was perfect. He paid his rent on time, was OCD about cleanliness, and cooked spectacular meals. She’d gained several pounds since they’d met, and she didn’t regret a single souffle. His hand-made chocolate truffles were also to die for.

Nonetheless, she couldn’t be more happy about his decision to move out.

“When do I ever say things I am not sure about?” He replied as he placed one hand on his hip.

She jumped to her feet. “Thank goodness!”

He frowned and looked suddenly bemused. “You want me to leave?” He couldn’t sound more shocked. It was curious since he was the one who made the annoucement.

She resisted the urge to clap her hands with glee. “Financial and culinary implications aside, I’ve been waiting for this moment forever. If you’re no longer going to be my tenant, I don’t have to worry about damaging our relationship.”

He looked at her as if she’d grown two heads. At times like these, showing was better than telling.

She circled her arms around his nape. All she had to do for their lips to meet was tilt her head. There were perks to being tall. The taste of dark chocolate and smoked sea salt motivated her to further explore. The man was more delicious than all his desserts combined.

One of his hands lifted to her waist. She was the opposite of willowy, but he handled her so gently she felt delicate. Any doubts she had faded as he responded to her kiss by delving his tongue into her mouth.

He gently lowered her eReader onto the coffee table. With his now free hand, he combed his fingers through her short curls and tilted her head for better access. He guided her onto their well-worn sofa. Her back met soft cushions. Her hands dropped from his nape to caress his shoulders and chest. Since he tasted everything he made, he wasn’t fashionably lean. But he felt strong, solid, and utterly perfect.

He broke the kiss. His face hovered a few inches from hers. His breath came in harsh heavy pants that matched her own. “Before we continue, I should remind you of something.”

She frowned. What could possibly be so important?

He looked pained and just a little guilty. “Today is April 1st. I was told there is an American tradition I should observe on this day.”

She blinked rapidly. Her brain cells fired. When his meaning finally made its way through her kiss-addled mind, she gasped. “You’re not moving out are you?”

The sheepish look on his face was all the answer she needed. “April Fools!”

Check out this month’s other bloggers, all of whom have posted or will post their own responses:

Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post) 
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
Araenvo – http://www.simonpclark.com/ (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com/ (You Are Here)
Lady Cat – http://randomwriterlythoughts.blogspot.ca/ (link to post)
LanaK – http://lanaketrick.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Lyra Jean – http://beyondtourism.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
Sudo_One – http://sudoone.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
articshark – http://www.drslaten.com/blog (link to post)
Ghostwriter-Mom – http://www.fictionblueprints.com/ (link to post)
Bloo – http://www.emergencyroomproductions.net/ (link to post)
in_one – http://quirkythomas.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
egoodlett – http://ellengoodlett.com/blog/ (link to post)

Archive of Past Blog Chains

What the Leprechaun Said (Absolute Write Blog Chain – March 2013)

This post is part of the March 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month, the prompt is “What the Leprechaun Said.”

Nulli hesitated outside the Irish pub next to her favorite Chinese take-out place. In front of the door was a cut-out of a Leprechaun. It had a speech bubble saying “Come in!”

It was a tempting proposition even though she really wasn’t a pub kind of gal. She worked 8-10 hour shifts and adhered to a gym routine, so the prospect of drinking the night away made her shudder. Her feet hurt. Part of her wanted to go home, curl up on the coach, and watch her favorite episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

But five straight days General Tso’s chicken was stretching the limits of culinary stagnation. This pub made awesome fish and chips. It was St. Patrick’s Day. How bad could it be?

Pretty bad, she thought as she stepped through the heavy black door. The air was saturated with smoke. Men in green hats stood shoulder to shoulder with beer in hand. It wasn’t worth it. She immediately backed up toward the exit and hit a solid male chest.

She turned and sniffed. Burberry–the guy had good taste. She tilted her head up and looked past the shadowed square jaw to meet his dark green gaze. A blush crept over her cheeks. She felt her heart speed. With red hair and a boyish grin, he was exactly her type.

“Excuse me,” Nulli murmured as she tried to step around the delicious male specimen. “I’m trying to–”

“Let me seat you.” His voice was low and commanding.

He was holding a leather-covered menu.  It was odd since she didn’t remember seeing it in his hands before. He wasn’t wearing a server uniform, so he must be the host. She was tempted to stay, just for the added benefit of eye-candy, but logic won. “I didn’t expect it to be this crowded. I’ll come back–”

“There’s outdoor seating,” he interrupted.

That made a difference. She eyed the jam-packed general vicinity. “How long’s the wait?”

His smile was a flash of white teeth. “None. Just follow me.”

He started walking before she had time to respond. Leaving now would be impolite, so she followed him through the crowd. After what felt like a life-time of elbowing her way through, they reached the back door. He held it open.

She frowned. It was pitch dark on the other side. The city was never that dark. Survival instincts kicked-in and she opened her mouth to scream. A large rough hand closed over her mouth. Another arm manacled her torso. Body heat hit her back. Too much heat.

Not one to give-up, she stomped down hard on the foot behind her. She heard a grunt, but his hold on her didn’t relent. She elbowed his stomach as hard as she could. Her efforts had no effect.

She struggled as the man lifted her body off the ground and stepped through the door. He continued into the dark, and she heard it slam shut. In a flash, the darkness melted away against a cascade of gold and orange light.

In that same instant, Nulli was free. She pivoted to face her captor, whose suit jacket had changed from black to green. He had a wide grin on his face and his eyes sparkled. He was holding a stein of beer. When he spoke, his tone was far too amused. “I thought you’d never come in.”

She turned a full circle and confirmed she was in a room with no exits. Curved metal walls surrounded her. No doors, no windows.  “What the hell is going on?”

The man shrugged. “This is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”

“Why am I in it?”

He cocked his head to the side and seemed to consider her question very carefully. “I wanted to ask you out on a date, and it was too loud in the bar.”

“So you kidnapped me?” Her voice sounded like a shriek as it echoed in the pot.

He had the gall to roll his eyes at her. “I see the future. We will live happily ever after. I thought we could skip over the boring bits.”

She crossed her arms. “And you think I’ll just take your word for that? Leprechauns are known for playing tricks.”

He shook his head. His eyes widened into an expression of innocence. “Who? Us? You must have me confused with…”

Nulli lifted her hand to demand silence. She needed convince this lunatic leprechaun to let her out of his pot. “I’ll go on a date with you, and may be after a few weeks,” but probably closer to a few centuries, “I’ll come back to this pot with you.”

The leprechaun heaved a dramatic sigh. “Humans make things too complicated. Fine, but I get one kiss before we go.”

She opened her mouth to argue then stopped herself. It was a small price to pay for freedom.

Her acquiescence must have been apparent. The beer stein in his hand went away with a pop. He disappeared before reappearing right in front of her a moment later. His finger was on her chin, tilting her face up. Before she had time to think, his mouth closed over hers.

She didn’t know what she expected, but a soft brushing of lips wasn’t it. It startled her enough her lips parted to inadvertently give him access. He teased with his tongue, nibbled and sucked, but he didn’t push. She felt her body relax, and only then did his hands circle her waist. The tug was gentle, but she was lured by his heat. Her hands rose to rest against his chest. She lifted onto her toes. A soft moan escaped her throat. Her eyes drifted shut.

When they opened, she was in front of the pub. The man who had just kissed all thought from her mind was standing where the leprechaun cutout once was. He looked smug, but utterly kissable.

The decision was far too easy. “Why don’t we skip the boring bits and go to my apartment?”

Check out this month’s other bloggers, all of whom have posted or will post their own responses:

Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post) 
robeiae – http://thepondsofhappenstance.blogspot.com/ (link to post) 
writingismypassion – http://charityfaye.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Sudo_One – http://sudoone.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
randi.lee – http://emotionalnovel.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
katci13 – http://www.krystalsquared.net/ (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://taraquan.com/ (me)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
KitCat – http://twilightasylum.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
Bloo – http://www.emergencyroomproductions.net/ (link to post)
dlclary – http://davidwclary.com (link to post)
ConnieBDowell – http://bookechoes.com/ (link to post)
Lady Cat – http://carolsrandomness.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Araenvo – http://www.simonpclark.com/ (link to post)
MichaelP – http://portablemagicblog.com/ (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
Mdgreene50 – http://gettotheinside.blogspot.com (link to post)
SRHowen – http://srhowen1.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
meowzbark – http://www.lizzylessard.com/ (link to post)
areteus – http://lurkingmusings.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
dolores haze – http://dianedooley.wordpress.com/ (link to post)

Archive of Past Blog Chains

An Unfortunate Sport (Absolute Write Blog Chain – February 2013)

This post is part of the February 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month, we tried something new and are having each blogger in the chain “Suggest-a-Prompt” to the next blogger. The choices thus far have been interesting. My unfortunate prompt was “Unfortunate Sports”, which I have taken the liberty of reducing to “An Unfortunate Sport” (Note: Give me a break, guys. I passed PE by writing reports for extra credit).

Nulli took a long sip from her champagne flute. Her floppy wide-brimmed hat flapped in the desert wind. The match was exhilarating to watch–the hard pounding of hooves, the crack of mallet against ball. Within seconds players raced from one end of the field to the other, chasing an elusive white target smaller than their fists. The perfectly manicured grass stood in stark contrast to the sandy dunes. Spectators milled around as waiters circulated copious amounts of alcohol. For most, watching the game was an excuse to drink beer. 

But her eyes were on the rider who was readying to execute a perfect backhand. The mallet, arm and body were as one. The pendulum swung, and the ball flew beyond the reach of the other players. Rising from his seat, he raced after it at a full gallop as the other players followed in his wake. He kept the lead. Another loud crack and the ball launched past the goal posts.

The bell signaled the end of the final chukka. His team had won. Emptying her glass, Nulli took off her hat and fluffed her hair. She smoothed the wrinkles on her red sun-dress and grabbed her pocketbook. Her heels clicked on marble as she walked through the Club’s restaurant and headed to the stables. Most men who played polo left their expensive ponies in the care of well-paid grooms and vets. The man she was rushing to was different.

Her heart raced. They had been planning this weekend for ages. He worked in a different country, so they had spent most of their relationship flying to meet each other. The tournament had gone on for three days, and that game was the final match. He was now all hers.

She smiled to herself the entire walk down to the stables. She found him silhouetted next to a stall with a carrot in hand. His favorite chestnut mare poked its head out to take a bite.  His white jeans were muddied, and his dark polo was drenched in sweat. She couldn’t think of a time when he looked sexier. Well, not a recent time.

His white teeth flashed when she reached him. With heels, they were close to the same height. She smelled horse, mud and a hint of beer. She tucked an errant strand of dark blond hair behind his ears. “Great game.”

“This is better,” he murmured before their lips met. She closed her eyes. Her hat and pocketbook dropped to the floor. The only way she was able to steady herself was by gripping fistfuls of his shirt. His arms circled her, pulling her so close she could feel the bulge growing against her belly. She smiled into the kiss. It was about time.

Suddenly, he stopped. He lifted his head, winced in pain, and stepped back. “Ah…”

Dazed, Nulli blinked as she looked up at him. “Ah?”

His expression was adorably sheepish. “I think we may have to slightly alter our plans.”

She crossed her arms and lifted an eyebrow. He had some explaining to do.

He scratched the back of his head. “So, it’s been a long tournament. I’m completely beat.”

Her gaze swept him from head to toe. “You look plenty energized to me.”

Another wince. What the heck was going on? “Did you fall and hit your head?”

He rolled his eyes. “What kind of player do you think I am?”

She listed off the other possible injuries. “A mallet to the wrist. A ball to the knee. Your face hit the horse’s head. What could you have possibly done to yourself that I didn’t see in the field?”

He coughed. “There are things …”

“Uh huh…” she prompted.

His face turned bright red. “Things that happen to people who’ve been on a horse for many days.”

She frowned, what could he possibly be talking about? “I’m assuming this thing affects your ability to perform certain functions.”

He nodded, looking relieved. “Not permanently. Just for a while.”

“How long of a while?” she asked.

“Well, I don’t know exactly. It hasn’t been this bad before,” he admitted.

Okay, this was getting beyond annoying. “Would you just spit it out?”

He groaned. “This is a problem I would rather not share …”

She placed her hands on her hips. “We’re getting married in three months. If there is something wrong with you in that area,” she drew a circle in the air with her finger, “I really need to know.”

“I just said it wasn’t permanent,” he countered.

She jabbed her finger into his chest. “Spill.”

He let out a beleaguered sigh. “Fine. I’m just saying–this is not an image you want in your head.”

It was her turn to roll her eyes. “Trust me. I have actually seen plenty images of you I would rather not have in my head. It comes with the territory.”

He looked surprised. “What images?”

She wagged her finger. “Don’t try to change the subject. What is your problem?”

He pinched the bridge of his nose and mumbled something so fast she couldn’t make out the words.

“You’re a lawyer. I’m sure you know how to articulate,” she scolded. “Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s not as bad as you think.”

His shoulders slumped. He lifted his head to glare of her. “There’s a piece of skin missing from my balls.”

“Oh.” He was right. That wasn’t an image she wanted in her head. “I understand.”

“No,” he ground out, “you really don’t.”

Cocking her head to the side, Nulli mulled over the possibilities. “That sucks.”

With a defeated look, he glanced upward. “Trust me, I know.”

With a mischievous grin, she continued. “But I think I can up with a few mutually pleasurable ways we can work around your unfortunate problem.”

Check out this month’s other bloggers, all of whom have posted or will post their own responses:

Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post) Yuppies Who Hate the Family Business
ConnieBDowell – http://bookechoes.com/ (link to post) Unexpected Library Encounter
bmadsen – http://hospitaloflife.wordpress.com/ (link to post) Cupcake Disaster
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com/ (Me) Unfortunate Sports
HistorySleuth – http://historysleuth.blogspot.com/ (link to post) Less Than Fortunate Foods
writingismypassion – http://charityfaye.blogspot.com/ (link to post) Blind Date with a Ventriloquist
katci13 – http://www.krystalsquared.net/ (link to post) Evil Cupid
KitCat – http://twilightasylum.wordpress.com/ (link to post) Hunting With Houds
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post) A Ghost’s Bad Day
randi.lee – http://emotionalnovel.blogspot.com/ (link to post) The Wrong Bar
Lady Cat – http://carolsrandomness.blogspot.ca/ (link to post) Visitors
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to post) What the Leprechaun Said
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to post) Under the Bed
dclary – http://www.hardhobbittobreak.com/ (link to post) Warm Kitty, Soft Kitty, Evil Ball of Fur
meowzbark – http://www.lizzylessard.com/ (link to post) Road Trip

SRHowen – http://srhowen1.blogspot.com (link to post)  Faded Blue Jeans

Bumped:
Amanda R. – http://www.twoamericansinchina.com/ (link to post) Picture

Briony-zisaya – http://fantasywriterwannabe.blogspot.com/ (link to post) Topic

CatherineHall – http://theelephantinthetemple.blogspot.com/ (link to post) Topic