#WeeklyWritables ♥ Self-Inflicted

weeklywritables

Self-Inflicted

Henley sat at a small, window-side table in McCallan Point’s only café and glared at the screen of his laptop. The reports staring back at him couldn’t be right. He would’ve sworn he’d dumped far more money into his offshore account than that. Just in case. Fuck, this was his just in case, and now it was worse than he’d already believed!

His fists clenched under the table and he counted down from a hundred, combating the urge to throw his laptop across the room. What the fuck was he going to do? He’d lost everything overnight. Every business, every penny and worse, every ounce of respect his name had commanded for years. Over two decades, he’d busted his ass building an empire and with one blind spot, it had all come crumbling down. It killed him that it had been someone he’d spent half his life thinking of as a brother. His best friend. The one who’d been with him through it all. To be betrayed by the only person he’d ever trusted enough to divulge all of his secrets to, was beyond crushing. It was a living hell. A nightmare Henley simply couldn’t see a way out of. He was in ruins. Even if he could start over, take what little capital he had left and rebuild, his name was dirt. Vic hadn’t been satisfied with just ripping his wealth away from him, he’d made sure Henley couldn’t even get a fucking loan!

Nobody trusted the Crane name now. That was the worst of it. The hilt of the knife Vic had stabbed him in the back with. The salt he’d maliciously scoured into the open wounds. How had he not seen the signs? Henley prided himself on his ability to read people better than he let on. He’d always known who his enemies were, both socially and professionally. Vic had never made a blip on his radar. They’d done everything together; college, startups, women. There had been nothing secret between them and nothing they hadn’t shared. That kind of bond, that level of trust…

Henley’s thoughts were just as jarred as the bells hanging over the café door, when it was thrust open and a woman tripped inside with a shocked expression on her face. Though, that was mostly covered by stylish sunglasses. Embarrassment reddened her cheeks until they almost matched her gaping lips, and Henley felt a dangerous, familiar stir low in his gut. It was a good look on a woman. One he’d personally triggered countless times.

“Wow, I’m so sorry.” She recovered quickly, turning to apologize to the baristas behind the counter. “I had no idea it would open that easily, that is…really light.”

Henley nearly sneered at the dimwitted remark and drank in her tall, statuesque form from behind. Designer jeans hugged slender legs under the pale gray sweater that draped over her ass with a rounded hem. Even from twenty yards, he knew it was cashmere. Just like he knew her over-sized, deer hide handbag was real and carried a price tag in the thousands. Her hair was layers of golden browns and blonds, salon produced, not natural and pulled into a fashionable ponytail at the back of her head. The sunglasses she perched atop her perfectly styled hair couldn’t be found in any store in America. They’d undoubtedly been shipped directly to her doorstep, along with other accessories some Italian designer wanted to impress her with. Anything to have their brand advertised on the most effective billboards in existence: famous people.

But who was she? Henley couldn’t draw a name, not that he always expected to. Contrary to popular belief, not all rich people knew each other. There were still cliques among the elite, and they rarely overlapped. He’d spent all of his time rubbing elbows with other wealthy businessmen and women, networking among the corporate moguls and Fortune 500 tycoons. He hadn’t dabbled in the realm of celebrities, and the only time he’d entertained conversation with a trust-fund kid, was when they were actually in the game, getting ready to take their place as a rightful heir to a throne within his world. More than her name, though, Henley wanted to know why she was there. A sudden feeling of distrust settled atop the other nonsense he was struggling with. McCallan Point wasn’t a tourist destination for the wealthy. It was better known for local artists, crabbing, fishing, boating and people who just wanted to be left the hell alone. Like Henley. That’s why he’d chosen it. So, why was someone from his old life there and why so soon? He hadn’t even had the chance to lick his wounds yet.

With half an ear, he listened to her order some fancy latte to go. The moment she asked for directions, she had his undivided attention.

“Would you know how to get to White Rock Landing?”

Henley rolled his eyes to the ceiling and barely managed to keep his groan checked. She had to be joking. It was just more cruel punishment to dump on the head of someone already down and bleeding. Because fate hadn’t gotten its rocks off yet, or what? Fuck.

“Yeah, of course, I do, I mean sure.” The teenage, pimple-faced boy behind the counter grinned, causing Henley to smack his lips dryly.

Keep dreaming, kid.

Torn between prolonging his misery and just getting it the hell over with, it took Henley a few minutes to shut down his laptop and polish off the rest of his coffee. Now that he knew his nest egg was more the size of a chicken’s than an ostrich’s, it would undoubtedly be the last espresso he’d be splurging on for awhile. After standing and shoving his laptop into its carrying case, he scraped the chair in with enough noise to get everyone’s attention. He hadn’t been prepared, when the woman turned and their gazes collided. Her eyes were as undecided as a storm cloud, hovering somewhere between gray and blue. Too light to be called slate, too dark to be anything else. Her stunning features were mostly sharp, yet delicate. It was her mouth Henley was instantly drawn to. Lush and glossed with that wet sheen women knew how to use to their advantage, her top lip was a little more pronounced than her bottom. It gave her the sexy parted lip look used in almost every commercial and magazine ad, except she wasn’t posing. She was just staring at him.

“I’m headed that way. You can follow me.”

Something shifted almost imperceptibly in her eyes, but she quickly smiled to cover it up. “You sure?” she asked with fake politeness, obviously not expecting him to retract the offer, since she didn’t wait for an actual confirmation. “You’re a lifesaver, thank you.”

Henley didn’t respond. He slipped his own sunglasses into place and stalked out the door, letting her scramble to catch up. Exactly when he’d turned the proverbial whip on himself and became the masochist, he couldn’t say, but apparently he felt the need to be punished for that joke of an offshore account. With a single glance at the pretend, beaming smile molding the sexiest set of lips he’d ever seen, Henley had to admit his own sadism was outlandishly worse than he’d ever believed possible.

###

©A.C. Melody_WIP_Topple

#WeeklyWritables ♥ Deal With the Devil

weeklywritables

Deal With the Devil

Twilight didn’t fall in the city. It crept up from the gutters, hovering just below the streetlamps long before it touched the sky. Perpetuated by the shadows of looming buildings hungry for everyone’s personal space. Dahlia had always dreamed of rising above them, to see the monster in its entirety. Preferably through the window of a plane whisking her off to some tropical destination. In her fantasies, there was a distant land filled with women just like her and men who loved them freely, not as a vice or fetish. Women who’d been born as men, trying to survive their lot in this sadist’s wet dream called life.

That fantasy was all that remained of her whimsical side. Disenchantment was a slow poison snuffing out hope with such stealth, its death went unnoticed. For the most part, Dahlia had already come to terms with her fate. Learned to embrace the prickly city that tolerated her for its own gain; squeezing all the blood and money out of her in exchange for a few scraps of joy and something making a mockery of love. Everyone did the best with what they had, right? But, it wasn’t about acceptance, anymore. The stigma would follow her, no matter where she went. It was all about survival now.

Through the window of a cab, she watched the crowded sidewalks perform their slow striptease. Layers of business attire peeled away to reveal the sexed-up desperation underneath. Modesty fell by the wayside, as pretty feens clamored for the attention they’d spent all day craving in denial. And the scum snaked out of the inkwells to intersperse themselves among the commoners, seeking the thrill of the game. They were all there to hustle. Thieves and denizens, alike. Men and women poached each other to fill some kind of void, while con-artists relieved them of all their hard-earned cash.

Dahlia had never been guiltless of running cons, but she was hustling big tonight. Stuck her damn neck out for it, too, with all the determination of getting her prize at the end. Her whimsical side might be halfway to the grave, but her reality-check light was still functioning at full capacity and the truth was: she wasn’t getting any younger or relevant. The novelty of her was wearing thin. Newer, more exotic options flooded into the streets daily, siphoning revenue from the Bosses. It made Dahlia expendable and she needed to move on, before they decided to prove it. Leaving just wasn’t an option when your ass was owned. It was something you had to make happen. Sacrifice it all to create a diversion, then run like hell and pray no one noticed.

Too quickly, she arrived at her destination and spotted her diversion sitting alone in the farthest, gloomiest corner the second she walked in. He wore a dark coat and hat, shrouding his masculine features in more mystery than his reputation already secured. As instructed, she went to the bar first and ordered a drink she didn’t even want. Bourbon was poured neat, while she ignored the inevitable gawking with the ease of expertise and a spine of solid diva. It didn’t matter that most of it was forced and left her feeling hollow. They bought that shit, so fuck ’em.

Her hand shook when it wrapped around the glass, because she was nearing that point of no return. Once she set her plan into motion, there would be no going back. No way to stop or reverse it. Oh hell, who was she kidding? It was already too late. The devil had her name. Dahlia turned, just in time to catch the man’s deliberate glance, as he walked right out the back door. Foreboding cut down her spine like a cleaver, her heart slamming against her chest to avoid the blade. Suddenly, the drink made perfect sense and she downed it without tasting a single drop. No burn, no effect. Nothing could quell her nerves.

With every step toward the back door, she tormented herself with vivid memories she’d just as soon forget. It was the fuel needed to sustain her conviction. The reminder of why she’d contacted the devil, himself, to ask for a favor. And she’d known then what she knew now, that it had all the potential of freeing her from everything. Permanently.

The single fixture mounted above the door was meant only to illuminate the dumpsters directly across the alley, it seemed. Of course, that wasn’t where he waited for her. Theirs was not destined to be a friendly chat. Dahlia inhaled a steadying breath, released the door and left the false sense of security to enter the darkness. The man leaned a shoulder against the wall halfway between the door and the next street. She’d be dead before anyone spotted them, even if he wasn’t as lethal as everyone claimed.

It was the most damning moment of hindsight when she stopped in front of him, only to discover she’d been the one getting hustled all along. There wasn’t a single sound to warn her of the tremendously imposing presence that crept up right behind her. And there was no stopping the chill of dread when she watched the man before her silently defer to the devil at her backside.

“Hello, Dahlia.” Hot, cinnamon breath caressed her neck and cheek, he was so close. Self-preservation had her head turning before her body followed.

She stared into the face of the most notorious monster of their time, that no one beyond their sick, depraved world even knew existed, and finally understood the meaning of beautiful death. Her body heated and withered in terror simultaneously; some primal instinct recognizing the cold predator through the mouthwatering façade. His eyes were two pools of undiluted malevolence, beckoning her to dive in with the power of self-destructive urges. The way you sometimes wanted to squeeze a glass so hard it broke. Not from anger, just to feel it happen.

“So much prettier than I expected, given everything I’ve learned,” he remarked. “Guess it’s true what they say about scars only being soul deep.”

No one said that. It was too true for comfort. Dahlia’s heart hammered in every corner of her body. The city lost all its power over her, unable to compete with him. It was no surprise that he’d dug into her real identity before agreeing to meet, or that he’d find her as they all did; something to judge and dismiss in one, careless motion.

He made the quietest sound of amusement, and it was–hands down–the most terrifying thing she’d ever heard. He crowded her without touching, pulling the toothpick from between his lips and waving it under her nose, revealing the source of cinnamon. Her head jerked back out of reflexive fear, but he grabbed the back of her head to keep her in place.

“This is going to burn no matter where I insert it, but I imagine, particularly in the tip of that little prick between your legs.”

Dahlia nearly choked on the glob of terror clogging in her throat. “I’m allergic to cinnamon,” she rushed out, despising herself for giving him the exact means to kill her, just by trying to stop it from happening.

“Imagine that,” he mused, sticking the toothpick back into his mouth. The pure menace in his tone revealed he’d already had that information prior to arriving and her chest felt like it was going to cave in. “Tell me, Dahlia, what would make a woman like you crawl all over the dark-web looking for a man like me?”

“I didn’t do it for me–”

His chuckle was quiet, which only made it worse. “Yes, you did.”

“I want out,” she confessed. “Alive. I want out alive.”

“Mm. Well, I want the girl,” he deadpanned, all humor gone. “Can you do that? Are you willing to trade her life for yours?”

There was no question, but that didn’t make it any easier to bear. To know she was completely willing to trade the life of a friend in exchange for her own freedom, her own life.

“Yes.”

With another laugh, he backed her into the wall, caging her head between his hands and leaning in so close she was afraid to breathe.

“Yes, she says. So cold. So ruthless.” His words were deliberate slaps at what humanity she had left. “I’d say we seal our deal with a kiss, but I’ve always been a man of business over pleasure. I am curious, though. If you had to choose between the ugliness in your mind and having the surgery, which would it be?”

The toothpick moved between his lips when he spoke, coming within a hair of her own. He might as well have been brandishing a knife in her face for all the cold sweat breaking out along her brow. His sharp perception pierced right into her soul, exposing her deepest shame. That she’d rather keep the horrific memories than lose the parts she’d been born with. She’d never wanted surgery, the consultation he’d obviously found in her medical records had simply been another cruelty dealt by the one man who was supposed to love her more than anyone else.

“Ugliness, it is.” His smile was sinister, reveling in all the turmoil and conflict he bred.

“How am I supposed to get you the girl?” she forced out, more than ready to conclude their meeting, despite what her body thought.

“Beautiful Dahlia, all you need to worry about is doing exactly what I tell you to do,” he answered. “No deviation, no looking out for number one or growing a conscience when shit starts getting real. You’re going to do this like a fucking pro, because if you don’t…well, I’m sure you’ve heard how that story ends.”

“She really is the one who wanted you, not me,” Dahlia stated, needing it on record to ease her guilt. Was she supposed to risk her life without finding some way to save it in the process? She wasn’t an opportunist, damn it, she was a survivor!

Once more, his quiet laugh molested the murky shadows, conjuring the very basis of every nightmare known to man.

“And now she’s going to get me,” he replied. “You’re the one standing here, begging to live with that.”

###

 ©A.C. Melody 2019_Untitled WIP

 WOW, this was completely unexpected and not at all what I had planned for this challenge. This scene was never meant to exist, let alone get completely fleshed out like this – because, Dahlia is not my main character. She’s a sub-character with a minor – yet extremely vital – role and apparently, she wanted us all to know exactly what she had to go through to pull her part off! LOL What do you even call the process of putting your characters through hell after the fact? O_o

When the book’s done, I’m going to have to add this as bonus material, it’s too gorgeous – sometimes, it pays to have demanding characters. (I said sometimes!)

#WednesdayWIP Tease

CurrentlyWorkingOnLQ

Gold spilled over the tables skirting the gleaming marble floor of the immaculate ballroom. Mirrors reflected each other like tangible echos on either side, giving the illusion of endless space, glimmering light and people. The very room was designed to be a criminal’s best friend and an operative’s worst nightmare. There were at least two skilled pickpockets working the crowd, but humans behaving badly were not Aviana’s concern.

Their gracious hostess, Madame Fervaunte, was the biggest con of them all, at any rate. With her help, the gala had been set up to lure a far more dangerous threat to the Parisian elite. A Succubus who’d been picking off the wealthiest and most entangled, which made the task of covering up the crimes a strain, even for the GSI.

Hence, Aviana and Stephan’s assignment. Her partner had been in France for months, living his backstory, carefully laying the delicate gossamer layers, until no one saw him for anyone other than Lord André Beauchene, a young aristocrat from Nice. Avi was playing his French-American girlfriend, Claire Dubois, on holiday from university. In reality, she’d been on another assignment in Moscow.

The plan was simple: confirm the target was on site, then spring a trap they couldn’t possibly resist. Easy, in theory. They just had to keep the night flowing in their favor. Seated across from their clever and witty hostess, both Avi and Stephan were attuned to everything happening around them. It helped that they were able to use their own supernatural senses to remain alert, rather than relying on their eyes. That’s how Aviana caught her first whiff of mud. A bitter, damp and almost decaying aroma that couldn’t be disguised with an entire vat of Chanel. She honed in on the smell, following it over the room’s occupants, then silently alerted Stephan to a beautiful brunette laughing and flirting with a minor viscount in the far corner of the dance floor. It was time. The faster they put their plan into motion, the faster they could stop the viscount’s naivety from becoming fatal.

“Madame,” Stephan politely interrupted their hostess, as he began rising from his chair.

The woman gasped and abruptly looked past him, her entire face lighting up with pleasant surprise. Aviana completely lost the Succubus’s scent, at that precise moment. Her senses taken hostage by the familiar, heady fragrances of morning dew on grass, fertile earth and windswept mountains. She nearly forgot herself and closed her eyes, as it overpowered everything else, flowing right into her like a jet stream. Purposeful. Driven. Demanding.

The room fell into a murmur of awe, people captured by whoever filled the entrance and Aviana didn’t even have to look to know. The only reason she did, was to not give herself away. Then her gaze was trapped by the reddish-brown irises of the one she thought she’d escaped. It was surreal to see him standing there, looking a thousand times deadlier in a damn skirt than he had in jeans and a t-shirt. His red, black and white tartan was complimented by the short, formal jacket of black with its big silver buttons. The decorative, fur lined sporran hanging from his hips boasted a large, snarling wolf head in more silver. It was arrogantly intimidating. A symbol of pride for his people that, like the living wolves beside him, the human guests couldn’t possibly see as anything other than eccentric, yet Avi found it ridiculously sexy.

“Caden McCuine MacSweyn,” the usher announced without a single waver, despite the giant wolf that brushed against his leg. “High Chief of Skye Clan Revan, Laird of Uig.”

No! Stunned, Avi didn’t dare share a glance with Stephan, but she had to wonder if he’d just connected the same dots. If that really was the Caden McCuine–Alpha of the UK packs–then their entire operation was in shambles. Because, if their target found viscounts tasty, she certainly wasn’t going to pass up on a king!

#WIP Untitled (The Úlfrinn series)
©A.C. Melody

#WednesdayWIP Tease

silver-wolf-1

#WIP Violet Night (The Úlfrinn Series, Book 3)

In an armchair facing her from the foot of the bed, Odin’s wolf slumbered in the shadows. His feet were propped on the end of the mattress, his inked hands laced over his stomach, which was now shrouded in a black thermal. Sleeves were shoved up strong forearms, turning more ink into something three-dimensional and dangerous. It was only a small portion of the tattoos she knew covered his entire chest and arms. More crawled up both sides of his neck from the unbuttoned gap at his throat. With caution, she pushed the blankets aside and crept closer. She didn’t want to wake him, but now that Max had squashed her fears, she definitely wanted to study him.

Her curiosity was nothing compared to her awe. He was so riveting in silence. As if even sleep couldn’t dilute his virility, weaken the power that stemmed from a darkness she could feel pulsing within him. There was a permanent scowl between his brows, giving him the look of a man deep in thought, rather than resting. Again, she caught herself marveling over how decorated a Warrior he was.

Her eyes locked onto the dark gray hoop that perfectly divided his bottom lip. The equally dark stud pierced into the flesh directly below it. Black studs in the shape of stars were nestled into the delicious hollows of his cheeks. There was something altogether sensual in the design of his piercings, the single barbell through the tapered end of his brow. The bits of black and silver randomly placed along the curves of his ears and the larger, disk-shaped studs against his lobes all seemed so…arrogantly sexy.

When his lashes swept upward, revealing those breathtaking eyes of royal violet, Cressa felt the lust simmering in her veins stir and spread. He was quite simply the most magnetizing man she’d ever seen, and she’d been alive for a very long time.

“I didn’t mean to wake you, wolf.”

“I wasn’t sleeping, Night,” he returned.

Cressa felt her lips curve, before the pleasure even registered in her brain. She couldn’t allow herself to revel in his cocky defensiveness quite yet, though, there was a burning question needing answering.

“Why do you feel like Asgard?”

His stare was intense, but not unkind. Cressa had been stared at unkindly before, she knew the difference.

“So, we’re speaking now?”

The guilt was mild, and possibly only felt because of the surprise appearance of hesitant hope in his eyes. “I apologize for that,” she said. “I had my reasons.”

“Your brother explained,” he dismissed. “Are you feeling better now? Were the Elders able to help?”

“I think so,” she nodded, touched by the sincere concern in his tone. “My mind is much clearer.”

“Good.” he smiled, but there was something quite determined behind it. “Shayd.”

“Sorry?”

“My name, Cressa, is Shayd Eklund,” he stated firmly, claiming his victory at last. “Not wolf.”

©A.C. Melody

Love this #WIP tease? Check out the rest of the series starting with Hearthstone Alpha and Little Queen!

#TacoTuesday

Taco Tuesday is back! I’ve missed the last couple of weeks, so for those just tuning in, this is a fun way to share your WIPs or published works on the Writer Menu -and/or- share your favorite books on the Readers Menu. Check out the original post HERE for the objectives. There’s absolutely no time limit for you to join in, just remember to leave a pingback to your post in the comments below, so I can check it out!

This week’s ingredient is…

Writer’s Menu

Lettuce: Share anytime money was used, stolen, given, exchanged or otherwise the main topic of conversation in a significant way.

“Lay on the bed exactly how I instructed last night,” he ordered.

Tessa turned her back to him and started crawling across the mattress, moving things out of her path along the way. Her hand landed on a computer printout that read Receipt of Purchase at the top. She was ready to dismiss it as belonging to the items Remy had just delivered, until she saw her own name. Pausing, she read the whole thing.

Master/Owner: Félix Debré
sub/slave: Tessa Fauns
Auction Price: $10,000 USD x 7 Days/Nights
Total Purchase: $70,000 USD – Paid in full.

It was dated and time stamped for that morning, which meant it had been one of the ‘important’ things he’d taken care of while allowing her to sleep in. Even if she’d been right in her assumptions, going back to the auction had never been an option. Her submission had already been purchased for the entire week.

“What is this?” she asked, turning and holding the paper up for him to see.

He studied her in silence, his expression guarded. “I thought we agreed last night that you weren’t going back to auction.”

“But seventy thousand dollars?” she jabbed the paper with her finger. “Scratch that, eighty thousand, because you already paid that ridiculous bid last night!”

“And if you went back, Tessa, it would be triple that, because I would never let anyone outbid me for you,” he countered with a ring of finality.

Oh, sweet mother of pearl. She’d really never had the option of not being his sub. That insight made her extremely grateful they’d cleared the air, but it still felt strange knowing her own price. Harder to accept he’d be willing to pay more. She wasn’t that fucking special. Not enough to warrant an eighty-grand price tag! That’s what her brain said, but it touched her in other ways she was completely defenseless against. Ways that, just like trying to anticipate his next move, were absolutely reckless.

Not knowing what else to say, she simply shook her head. “That’s just… that’s way too much money, Master.” She was incapable of expressing the depth of that fact.

He smirked in disagreement, plucking the paper from her hand.

“No, my little fox, it’s not,” he debated, mild amusement edged in warning. “Now, lay down and spread your legs, before I’m tempted to show my pet why it’s not in her best interest to question her Master’s spending habits.”

~ #WIP Scavenger (Dark Day Isle, #2)

Reader’s Menu

Lettuce: Share a favorite book/series where money played a significant role in dialogue, the story line, or was used as a thrilling plot twist. (The more unique the situation, the bigger the cool points).

I know I already used J.D. Robb a few weeks back, but since the genres are different between her pseudonyms, I think it’s only fair I get to use a Nora Roberts book this week! (My game, my rules. See how that works? 😀 )

CoverTheWinningHandThe Winning Hand, which was one of the late books introduced to Nora Roberts’s MacGregor series, was by far the absolute best rags-to-riches romance I’ve ever read  – Want to know why? Because, Darcy doesn’t become rich by marrying some billionaire, she simply has a stroke of good luck when she’s at rock bottom.

Stumbling into the Comanche casino in Vegas, after her car brakes down in the desert and no one will give her a lift, Darcy’s only worldly possessions are a handbag and three lousy bucks. She’s hungry, dehydrated and looks like she just climbed out of a dystopian bunker. Some kind of heat stroke dizziness is going on, but she’s dazzled by all the bright lights and noises of her very first casino, more so by doing the first outrageous thing in her entire meek existence, so plunks the last dollars to her name into the Comanche’s biggest jackpot slot machine – and wins!

To make this story even more awesome, Darcy then proves to everyone that she’s highly capable of taking that money and using it to fulfill her dreams without the help of her ex-douchebag boyfriend (who shows up to claim her, and “their” winnings after it hits the news) or even her new love interest, Robert “Mac” MacGregor Blade (the manager and heir of the Comanche casino). She’s a woman who knows exactly what she wants and how to wisely invest her winnings to make sure she gets and keeps it for the rest of her life.

That makes this book one of the most realistic rags-to-riches stories available, because let’s face it – the odds of winning big a the casino are higher than meeting and marrying a billionaire. Especially, a hot-as-hell, half-Comanche-half-Scottish casino running billionaire with a good heart and a lot of…um…stamina resources.

Next week’s ingredient is…Onions!

Onions for Writer’s Menu: Not everyone cries when they cut onions: share an outside-influence type circumstance/object that caused a character to tear up – or – notably didn’t, when they should have.

Onions for Reader’s Menu: Name a favorite book you read where a character was brought to tears by an outside influence (ex: poked in the eye, thick smoke, laughing too hard, etc.) -or- where a character was notably incapable of being brought to tears for any reason.

#TacoTuesday

Welcome to week 2 of Taco Tuesday. If you’re just joining in, no worries, there’s no time limit. You can check the original post here to get the objective and start building your own delicious book taco! Now, for our next layer…

Writers Menu

Meat: Main Characters are the ‘meat’ of your story, give us one of your favorite ‘first’ meets between a leading duo (or trio+ all are welcome here!)

The door chimed open, bringing the aromas from the pier, warm ocean air, an abundance of alcohol and…candy. Arching a brow, Kazi put his pencil and sketchpad down, then left his tiny back office. He stopped short just beyond the curtain, unable to move until he’d taken in every centimeter of the curvy brunette eying his prints on the wall. She was native something, her tanned skin natural, rather than sun induced. Her ebony hair was long and looked just as silky to the touch as her partially exposed flesh. Revealed by the white sleeveless t-shirt that stopped shy of her lower back.

Deciding he’d loitered long enough, Kazi entered the main room and had to steady himself again, when she turned to face him. Her toned stomach and sexy navel was the perfect preamble to the sensual flare of her hips. Her beautiful face was nothing but exotic with higher cheekbones, further confirming his suspicions about her heritage. Eyes like pale emeralds locked onto his, a little unfocused despite the clash of fire and ice.

“You, tattoo me,” she ordered, the alcohol-induced slur did nothing to stem the damage her husky voice had on his system.

Before Kazi could utter the single word poised on the tip of his tongue, his drunk, would-be customer stumbled to the nearest bed.  She dropped her purse to the floor, then stretched along the length of it on her stomach.

Odin’s breath, she looked like a centerfold with the way her lower back dipped so deeply before the rise of an ass that defied all reason. The kind that could tempt even the sanest, most faithful man on earth. As a free agent, Kazi wasn’t in any danger of those crimes. He was, however, unyielding when it came to his own rules.

“You’re not getting a tattoo tonight, sweetheart,” he denied her.

“Yes, I am,” she insisted, as she cushioned her head on her arms and let her eyes droop closed. Long, dark lashes cast shadows along her prominent cheekbones. “I want a tramp stamp.”

Kazi grimaced, unable to hide his disappointment. “Why?”

“Does it matter? I have money, so get to inking.”

Kazi heard the bitter anger in her tone. Bad breakup? Cheating husband? He was torn between an unexpected need to defend her honor and the urge to hit someone simply for being that insurmountably stupid. Gods, he couldn’t get the smell of cotton candy out his nose!

“And what is it that you would have tattooed there?” he asked, though it wouldn’t change the outcome. She wasn’t getting a tattoo by him this night or any other she decided to stumble into his parlor drunk.

If it was a man’s name, Kazi was going to bash someone’s face in, honor and stupidity be damned.

Lifting her head, she looked at him with a murderous curve to her absolutely edible lips. “Mistletoe. So the whole world knows it can kiss my ass.”

~ Moon Tides (The Úlfrinn series)

Readers Menu

Meat: What was the most unique, hilarious or epic ‘first’ meeting of Main Characters you’ve ever read in a book?

His Hostage coverI can’t name the most unique, because the book isn’t out yet and I don’t do spoilers – BUT – the same author brought her two Main Characters, Hal and Evie, together for the first time in an epic way in His Hostage. Anna Adler’s debut novel was my first introduction to ‘meet-by-abduction,’ rather than abduction after the fact or even an abduction that was premeditated. As a ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ kind of kidnapping, Hal and Evie’s first meet was an instant thrill that kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen next!

Once again – if you’re reading this consider yourself tagged!

 

Next Tuesday’s ingredients are Beans!

Beans for the writer: Details are a fat free way to fill out your story, whether real or fictitious, what was your favorite place to describe?

Beans for the reader: Which book or series had such a spellbinding knack for detail that you feel like you’ve actually been there in person? (You get extra cool points for choosing a book that has never been adapted to film.)

Hands

CuffedHands

image source: skinonskins.com

“Be careful, Catherine. Your hands are tied.”
Cat sucked in a hiccuping sob and fought the shiver of his deliberate words. He meant both literally and figuratively.
“Do you know why your hands are tied, Catherine?”
“Because I…” she managed around a sob. “Chose for them to be, Sir?”
“That’s right,” he praised. “You chose to give away all of your power and control to me. Are my hands tied, Catherine?”
“No, Sir.”
“Do you know why my hands aren’t tied, little sub?” He asked.
“Because, you’re the one in control now, Sir?” She sniffled.
He shook his head. “Because it’s my job to catch you when you fall, Catherine,” he corrected softly. “And put you back on your feet again.”

Tru Calling #WIP
A.C. Melody