Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekly Prompt-Endings

Here is my next weekly prompt. Check out the original post and the other responses here. Enjoy!

The End of Something Beautiful

Vincent stood in the graveyard, alone. The snow crunched underneath his boots, a light powder still falling to the ground in a steady rhythm. But the chill in the air was only skin-deep. Nothing like the cold in his heart.

Vincent and Miles had first met seven years ago. Vincent was working as a loan officer at the local bank when Miles had come in to try and secure a loan for his new small business. The two immediately hit it off and as soon as their professional relationship ended, they started dating.

It was one of those relationships that was perfect from the beginning. Every date brought them closer together, leaving them desperate for more. Even Miles telling Vincent that he had HIV was not enough to scare him off.

After only a month, Vincent and Miles started introducing each other to friends and family. Vincent’s family immediately loved Miles and took him in as their own. Miles’s family was slightly less enthusiastic, but was tolerant since anyone could see how happy Miles was. Everyone was just so happy to see two people who had found such joy in each other.

 After only six months into their relationship, Miles moved into Vincent’s house. That had been a little rocky to start. Vincent was very neat and organized, while Miles was much messier. They had quite a few disagreements over how the house should look and who would do what chores in the first few weeks of their cohabitation.

But soon, the two had fallen into a rhythm. They had learned to compromise and soon were back on friendly terms. Although, Vincent had to admit that the make-up sex had been good while it lasted.

A few years went by and everything stayed happy. Vincent and Miles were as happy as they were in the beginning. Sure, they still had some disagreements, but what couple doesn’t? They quickly fell into a very domestic lifestyle. Both men had to admit that it was not something they thought would ever happen to them, but they both loved the life that they had built.

When gay marriage was legalized in their home state of New York, Miles had proposed to Vincent. It was beautiful. He had converted their entire backyard into a romantic paradise, with candles and flowers. The two had even celebrated their engagement with passionate love-making under a star-filled sky. They had gotten married a month later in the city of New York, making the two hour drive south with family and friends. The ceremony was special, but nothing would ever compare to their engagement, in Vincent’s mind. The wedding was more of a joint celebration, with friends and family there to cheer them on. But the engagement was theirs.

They had one happy year of marriage before everything fell apart. Miles’s HIV meds started to fail and he got sicker and sicker. Vincent stood by his husband’s side day after day, holding his hand through the pain, kissing away the tears on Miles’s face, talking with doctors, looking for new treatments. But, in the end, it was not enough.

Vincent looked down at the tombstone he had made for his husband.

Miles Stephan Walker
December 8, 1979-January 28, 2013
Beloved husband, son and friend

It was simple. Too simple to describe what he had lost on that day. Vincent’s heart lay in the ground under his feet. Miles had taken that with him.  

Vincent would go on. He would go back to work, where he first met his beloved. He would live in the house that they bought together. But he would never live again. He would merely survive, his broken heart preventing him from loving life the way that he did when he had his Miles.

As Vincent read the inscription again, tears rushing down his face, he thought about all of the time he had lost. They could have had so many years together, if it had not been for the horrible disease that had ravaged his love’s body. But now that was all gone, a buried pile of broken dreams under the snow.

Unable to look anymore, Vincent placed a kiss on his gloved hand before reverently placing it on the tombstone in silent goodbye. Turning and walking back to his car, Vincent continued to cry over his beautiful husband. He would be back tomorrow to check on his love. This was his life now, spending everyday crying over the end of something beautiful. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Productive Few Days

Well, as I hoped, I have a very successful few days. In terms of writing, I finished the first round of professional edits for Sacrifices. Culture Shock is done and sent into the publisher. (Waiting very impatiently.) And, my biggest accomplishment, the first draft of MWMGML is finally done. Yeah!

Due to the fact that I was so successful, I am planning on spending the next two days off to spend some time with my family. I will still have to work, so there will be no time to write. But don't worry I will be back to writing on Monday when I will have a new free read for everyone. Something to look forward to, right?

Have a great weekend everyone!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Writing Update

Hello all! 
    I realized when I posted my weekly free read that it has been a long time since I updated you on my writing. So it is. I have been very busy lately working on the publication for Sacrifices. I am working hard on the first round of professional edits. There is a lot to do. I thought that I understood the basics of writing until I got my first professional edit back. Holy crap! So many mistakes. But it is going to be a lot better after everything. 
    I am still working on my holiday short story Culture Shock. I managed to finish the first draft a few days ago, so I will be starting the second draft tomorrow. It should go a lot faster now that all of the research is done. I am hoping to submit that to the publisher for consideration by Thursday.
    Then there is MYMLMG. That is going well. I had high hopes of finishing it by Thursday, but working on Sacrifices has put me behind. I am still hopeful, but it is going to be a long-shot. My goal is to finish that and submit it to the publisher by the end of August so I can start planning my massive social media tour for Sacrifices. 
     That is pretty much where I am right now. There is a lot of work to do and I feel like I am now working two jobs. At least one is at home. But it is lots of fun, even if I don't get to sleep and I feel like I am going to get buried in work. But who cares? I can sleep when I am dead, right?


Weekly Prompt-Neck Nuzzling

Here is my next weekly prompt. You can check out the original post and the other comments here.

A Moment of Love

“Jake, can you hand me that wrench,” I called from next to the motorcycle, holding out hand. I waited for a minute before I realized that he was not hearing me. I stood up to see my boyfriend staring out the window. He looked as fantastic as ever, wearing his black leather jacket and tight blue jeans. But his face was as troubled as ever.

“Jake,” I called as I stood up and walked over to the other side of the garage. My boyfriend had been having a really hard time since arriving back from Afghanistan. We both knew that he was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was seeing a physiatrist, but it was slow-going. There were lots of times, when I would catch him staring off into space, reliving things that only he could see.

“Jake,” I called again, putting a hand on his shoulder. My poor man jumped a mile the second that I touched him, turning to face me in an almost defensive position. Immediately, I put my hands up so that he knew that I would not harm him.

“Dammit, Bryan, scare the crap out of me why don’t you?”

“I am sorry,” I whispered, rubbing a hand through my short black hair. “But you were not hearing me.”

Jake sighed. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have snapped. What did you need?”

“I just wanted you to hand me something, but that is not important. Are you okay?”

I watched as my Jake tugged on the dog tags, which hung around his neck. It was a nervous gesture. It told me that he was anything but okay.

“Yeah, let’s just go back to work.”

I watched as Jake went back over the motorcycle. I had learned long ago not to push Jake right after one of his flashbacks. Maybe tonight when we were wrapped up in each other’s arms. Besides, we really did have to get this motorcycle fixed. Mr. Bowden was coming to collect it first thing in the morning.

Jake and I had been best friends since we were kids. By the time that we started dating in senior year of high school, we knew everything about each other. After graduation, I went onto trade school for motorcycle repair and Jake went into the Army. Now seven years later, I owned my own shop and Jake was out of the Army. Our relationship had blossomed despite the PTSD. He worked with me at the shop and, together, we had pooled our resources and had our own house.

But the PTSD was ripping us apart. He could not connect to me on a truly emotional level. I was trying to stand by him, but it was so hard to watch him go through this, knowing that there was nothing I could do. There were days when I did not know if he was capable of being in a relationship, being as broken as he was. So many nights, I laid awake wondering if we were going to make it.

Trying to push all of those thoughts out of my head, I went back to work of the Bowden bike.

About four hours later, I was putting the finishing touches on the bike when I heard a rustling sound coming from the back of the shop. I looked over and saw that Jake was working towards the front of the shop looking at bike that had come in a little while ago. The windows revealed that the sun had fallen, leaving only blackness. Was someone breaking in?

“Jake,” I whisper. “Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?”

Just as I was about to reply, I heard a massive crash coming from the back of the shop. I looked at the door to the back room before turning to Jake in panic.

Walking over to me, Jake encouraged me to stand before pushing me behind him. Grabbing one of the tire irons, he quietly headed towards the back room, me hot on his heels.

My heart started to race as we reached the door. What if we were getting robbed? The office where I kept the money was back there. Oh my God, what if they were armed? We could be killed. Trembling, I resisted the urge to grab my man’s jacket as he reached the door.

Putting a finger to his lips, Jake tightened his grip on the tire iron. Before I could stop him, he leapt through the open door. I watched in fear as he looked around before turning on the light.

I was expecting the worst when Jake burst out laughing. Confused, I poked my head around the door frame to see a raccoon sitting by the trash can. Jake quickly shooed him out the back door that he had apparently come in, still laughing.

“It is not funny,” I mutter.

“Yes, it is,” he says, pulling on my jean jacket dragging me into his chest. His hysterical laughter was contagious as I let myself let go, laughing into his neck. I still did not think that the situation was as funny as him, but I was able to smile at his enjoyment. It had been so long since he had laughed like this. I gently placed a kiss on his neck, smile still huge on my face.

This had been what was missing. I missed the spontaneous hugs, the nuzzles, the kisses and the laughter. I missed being able to press my face into his neck and smell his scent. Whenever I was like this, with his arms around, I always felt so safe. Like nothing could touch me. If he could hold me like this forever, I would die a happy man.

When he calmed down, he pulled me against his chest and gave me a passionate kiss on the mouth. It felt like love. And it gave me hope that one day we would be laughing like this all the time. One day.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekly Prompt-Rainy Day

Here is my next weekly prompt. You can read the original prompt and the other responses here.

 Making It Work

Well, that kills that, Cameron thought as he stared out the sliding glass patio door. The rain was steadily hitting the metal railing that jutted out near the edge of the old brick apartment building. The weather report had said that it was going to be a nice day with only the chance of a passing shower. Of all the days for them to be wrong!

Brody was supposed to be here in ten minutes to pick him up for their date. The only problem was that they were supposed to go hiking. Brody told him to pack some hiking gear and a swimsuit because he knew a great spot with a secluded lake where they could go. It had sounded like so much fun.

Brody and Cameron had met about two months ago at a hiking group meeting. The two hit it off immediately and starting dating. They quickly discovered after one dinner date that neither one of them really liked being inside. They both were inside enough with their jobs: Brody as a doctor and Cameron as a sous chef in a local Italian restaurant. Ever since that first date, all of their planned activities involved being outside.

But now the rain had spoiled that. It was not lighting, but it would still make for dangerous hiking conditions. Especially considering the difficulty of their hikes lately. Cameron was debating calling Brody to see what else he wanted to do when his cell phone buzzed from inside his jean pocket.

Taking it out, Cameron saw that he had a text from Brody. It was a simple message, just reminding Cameron to bring his swim trunks. But it confused Cameron. Surely they were not going to go hiking in this. Were they?

Cameron was still trying to figure his boyfriend out when he got another text, informing him that Brody was outside waiting for him. Shrugging, Cameron grabbed the black book bag he had packed earlier in the morning and headed out of his two-bedroom apartment.

Brody was waiting for Cameron in his 2009 Chevy Cobalt. He looked as great as ever with his floppy black hair draped over his smother shaven cheeks. But what confused Cameron was how he was dressed. He was wearing a pair of casual plaid shorts with a blue T-shirt that stretched over his slightly muscled form. And were those flip-flops?

“Hey, baby,” Brody said as he casually leaned over to kiss Cameron.

“Hey,” Cameron replied as he settled his tall frame in the passenger seat. “So what are you wearing?”
“What? You don’t like.”

“No, it is not that. But I don’t think that we can go hiking with you wearing that.”

Brody laughed. “Cam, we can’t go hiking in this. And you know it. No, I have other plans.”

Cameron gave his man a curious look, but sighed as Brody turned away shifting the car into drive. He knew that he was never going to get an answer now. Brody was a huge supporter of surprises.

Brody kept driving outside of Philadelphia towards his unknown destination. Cameron, for his part, allowed his curiosity to die down and started enjoying his time with Brody. Their schedules did not always allow them to share a ton of time together. Soon they were talking about funny things that happened at work, what was going on with friends and family and all the other components of their lives. Cameron found that he was having such a good time that he did not care if they ever stopped.

Of course, their talk did end when Brody pulled his car into a massive parking lot. Cameron looked around and quickly figured out where they were.

“You brought us to an amusement park?!”

“Trust me.”

Cameron gave Brody a wary look as his boyfriend parked the car. Nevertheless, as soon as the engine was cut, Cameron was grabbing his bag. It was a little scary, but he was quickly getting to the point where he would follow Brody to the end of the Earth.

Brody led Cameron to the front of the park, the rain starting to soak their clothes. After quite a bit of protest over the money end, Brody paid for two day-passes and led Cameron into the park.

From what Cameron could see just inside the gate, it was a very nice amusement park. The giant Merry-Go-Round sat in the middle of the fairway, which was lined with stores and restaurants. Giant metal roller coasters sprang up in the sky, making Cameron’s heart race. He had never been much of a roller coaster fan.

Thinking that he should probably explain that, Cameron turned to Brody only to see his man walking off to the right.


“Come on!”

Cameron followed Brody off the fairway onto another major walkway. After a few steps, Cameron realized where they were going.

“You took me to a water park?”

“Absolutely. Haven’t you ever been to a water park on a rainy day?”

Cameron shook his head.

Brody smiled. “Then you are in for a real treat. Come on. You are being very slow and we need to get changed.”

Cameron, still skeptical, followed Brody into the park. They quickly got changed and stashed their clothes in a rented locker.

That done, Brody led Cameron to one of the water slides near their locker. They quickly grabbed an inner tube and carried them up the massive metal staircase.

“There is no line,” Cameron remarked, as they reached the top.

“Of course not. It is raining,” Brody said with a smile.

“You knew this.”

“Yeah. No one wants to go to an amusement park if it is raining, so there are no lines. But it does not matter of you go to a water park, because the whole goal is to get wet anyway. As long as it does not thunder, you are safe. Most people don’t think about that.”

“You are a genius,” Cameron said, giving his man a gentle kiss on the lips.

“And you are just learning this?”

Laughing, the men set their tubes in adjoining tubes and pushed off down the slide. Cameron forgot how awesome it felt to go down a water slide.

Luckily for him, he had the chance to remember that time and time again. Brody and Cameron spent the entire day going up and down the water slides, unimpeded by lines or crowds. It was the most fun that he had in a long time.

But for Cameron, the best part of the day came right after lunch. The two men decided to take a break from the water slides and take a turn on one of the river rides. Basically, they each got an inner tube and set it on a river that ran around the water park. It did not get its riders very wet, just allowed them a relaxing ride. By that point, the rain had slowed to a drizzle so they were not pelted as they went around the river. But the park was still deserted so they had the best of both worlds. The two men decided to hold hands so that they could ride the river together without the current carrying one tube farther than the other. They went around telling stories and jokes, smiles permanently stuck on their faces. Cameron could not remember a time when he felt more loved.

Eventually, the rides became tiring and the men changed their clothes so that they could leave the park. The rain had ended, so it seemed appropriate that their day should end at the same time. Cameron had to admit that while he was skeptical at first, he had a great day.

“Thank you for today,” Cameron said as he and Brody left the park hand-in-hand.

“You are welcome. I am glad that you enjoyed it. But it is not over yet. I know of a great restaurant around the corner that we can have a great dinner at.”

Cameron smiled. Brody always thought of everything.

“Hey, look at that.” Cameron looked up at Brody’s remark to see his boyfriend pointing towards the sky. There was a rainbow in the sky! Cameron always loved rainbows and not just because of what they had come to represent. They always felt refreshing to him.

“A beautiful end to a beautiful day,” Cameron whispered as he stared at the colors arching in the sky.

“Never the end,” Brody said turning towards his man. “This is just the beginning.”

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekly Prompt-Beach

Hello all! Here is my first weekly prompt. You can read the original prompt and the other responses here. Enjoy!

Beach Blues
Kirby sighed as the sun beat down on his skinny form. God, he hated the beach. It was hot. There were no video games and the wi-fi sucked. Add that to the screaming children, yelling parents and all of the other people crammed on this tiny swatch of land and it equaled one of the worst days Kirby had spent in his eighteen years.

He questioned for the fiftieth time that day why he had allowed himself to be dragged to off to this hell-hole. Sure, he knew why: his grandmother had laid on a massive guilt trip. He was going off to college in a few weeks and this would be one of the last days that he would get to spend with his family before he left, since he had to work most days. The guilt-laden comments of how little time he was spending with his family got old fast. So he caved. He agreed that it was almost worth the misery of being stuck on this God-forsaken beach if he could get his grandmother to shut up. Almost.

Pushing blonde hair away from his baby blue eyes, Kirby reached over to the huge floral-printed beach bag that his grandmother brought. He could almost feel his skin baking in the hot sun. It took a little digging, but he eventually found the huge bottle of sunscreen at the bottom of the oversized bag. Kirby always burned easy, his pasty white skin offering no protection from the elements. All the more reason to stay inside.

He was just about done slathering the white goop on his skin when he felt something hard whack into the back of his head. Kirby whipped his head around to see a tall man running towards where he sat on an old Finding Nemo beach towel. Kirby had to work to keep his mouth from falling open at the pure beauty that was currently running towards him. The man was probably about six foot three, a good six inches taller than Kirby’s own form. His skin was a little bit darker, as if he had some Hispanic blood in him. Or maybe he just spent a lot of time outdoors. That would certainly explain the perfectly formed muscles in his arms and abs. The guy was so fit he practically had a six-pack. His legs looked strong too, but the green swim trunks he was wearing fell to his knees, so he could not be sure. His brown hair was a little messed up, but it was floppy and looked soft. In short, the man was a walking wet dream.

“Hey, sorry about that. It kind of got away from me.”

“What?” Kirby could have kicked himself with how clueless he sounded. But how could someone blame him. There was a fucking God in front of him.

“The Frisbee? I saw it hit you. Are you okay?”

Kirby looked down and saw a red disc lying on his towel. “Oh,” he said, picking up the Frisbee. He got up off the towel and handed it back to him. “Here you go.”

“Thanks. Are you sure that you are okay? I feel kinda bad for hitting you.”

“Yeah, I am fine.”

“Well, let me make it up to you. How about I get you a soda from the snack bar?”

“Yes,” Kirby practically screamed. He ducked his head soon after the word left his mouth. Damn, he was screwing this up.

But the man did not seem bothered. “Cool. Let me go tell my brother.”

“Wouldn’t he mind if you leave him?”

The man smiled at Kirby, showing him a mouth full of perfectly straight white teeth. Did this guy have any physical imperfections? “Nah. He will be more than happy to get rid of me. He is here with his girlfriend.” The tone is his voice made Kirby think that he did not approve of his brother’s date, but he did not want to pry.

“Okay, cool. Let me just go tell my own family that I am leaving.”

“Okay. Meet you back here in five?”

Kirby nodded and headed off to the water. His grandmother had taken his younger brother and sister in the ocean a little while ago. Jake and Jamie loved the water, so he knew that she would still be in there with the eight year-old twin terrors.

His grandmother was not too pleased that he was leaving in the middle of ‘family time’ to spend time with a stranger, but she eventually relented. Kirby could not understand how it was family time, considering that he spent much of the time on the beach, but whatever. (Who the hell would go in the ocean anyway? Who knows what kind of dangers are in there? As bad as the hot sand was, at least there were no sharks.)

When Kirby walked back to his towel, the man was already there waiting there. The exchanged small smiles before walking up the beach to the large snack bar on the boardwalk. The man, after asking what Kirby wanted, ordered two Cokes at the snack bar before leading Kirby to a vacant bench.

“Thanks for the soda,” Kirby said after taking a sip of the cool liquid.

“No problem. So what is your name?”

“Kirby. Kirby Walker.”

“Cool. I am Dane Binneman.”

“Nice to meet you.”

The two sat in silence for a little bit. Kirby was desperately trying to come up with something to say, but Dane seemed content to sit in silence.

“So what brings you to the beach,” Kirby asked, after an eternity of silence.

“Had the day off from work. My brother and I have to go back to school in a few weeks so we will not see each other for a few months. He goes to school in California and I go here. It was supposed to be just us, but at the last moment he brought the blonde bitch.”

“I guess you don’t like her.”

“She is a slut. He is way too good for her. But her boobs are huge and he says she is good in sack. Not I would know. Or care. What about you?”

“My grandmother promised my younger siblings that she would bring them to the beach before school started. I got guilted into coming. I am leaving for college in a few weeks, so I am moving out of her house and into the dorm. I know that she will miss me, so I agreed to come. I only wish that she did not have to pick the beach for family time. I hate the beach.”

Dane laughed. “Sorry. But that is actually funny.”

“Says the guy who doesn’t hate the beach.”

“True. So where are you going?”


“No way. I go to Rutgers. I am going to be a Junior.”

“Really?” Kirby could not help but smile. Dane went to his school! Maybe they could stay in touch. Kirby knew that freshman and juniors were not typically friends, but anything is possible. Right?

“Yeah. What a coincidence.”

Kirby and Dane talked for a long time about Rutgers, how they got there, what they wanted to do with their education and everything else. The next thing Kirby knew two hours had passed and his grandmother had come up to the Boardwalk to look for him. Using some clever language, Kirby managed to send her away, but he knew that it was only a matter of time before she came back with the twins.

“I guess that I have to go,” Kirby said with great reluctance.

“I understand. Here let me give you my number before you do.” Exchanging cell phones, they both entered their contact information into each other’s phones.

“I had a lot of fun today,” Dane said as he handed the phone back.

“Yeah, I did too,” Kirby said, blush rising on my cheeks.

“Hey, Kirby. I may be reading this wrong, and feel free to tell me if I am, but are you…gay?”

Kirby’s head snapped up and met Dane’s eyes. Dane had seen through him! That was not part of the plan. But looking into his eyes, Kirby noticed that there was no hatred or loathing. Just a gentle curiosity.

Taking a risk, Kirby slowly nodded his head.

“Good. Are you single?”

Curious as to where this is going, Kirby slowly nodded again.

“Good.” The next thing that Kirby knew soft lips touched his own. Dane was kissing him! It was soft and gentle and everything that Kirby could have dreamed of and more.

Much too soon, Dane pulled away, a gentle smile on his lips. “I loved spending time with you. Call me sometime. Maybe we can get together when we get back on campus.”

Then, with one last gentle look, Dane stood up from the bench and walked down to the beach. Kirby remained sitting, still in shock from what just happened.

Dane had kissed him. On the lips. He was gay too! And he had told Kirby to call. Holy crap!

Slowly a huge grin broke out onto Kirby’s face. Maybe he grandmother had been right. Maybe the beach wasn’t so bad, after all. 


I am official. Last week, I signed a contract with Harmony Ink Press for the publication for The Sacrifices We Make! It will be released sometime in the Fall. I will post more details here as we go along. But in the meantime, happy dance!!!!

As for my writing, I have been a little slow. There is apparently a lot of paperwork that comes with publication, so I have been working on that. I did start a holiday short story, tentatively entitled "Culture Shock." So far so good on that, but I have a long way to go. MWMLMG is going well. I have about 3/4 done and am hoping to have the first draft done by the end of the month.

I also have some wonderful news for all of my readers. Dreamspinner author Brynn Stein has started a weekly prompt on her blog, which can be found here. I will be participating in this as much as I can, with work and my other writing. Currently, I am working on prompt one and should have it done tonight. When I have finished, I will be posting it under the original prompt on Brynn's page and here on my page. You can find all of my free reads under the tag "free reads." So look for a lot more free reads coming up!

Happiness all around!