Wednesday Briefs: January 22, 2014

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

Darkest Before Dawn; by Shelly Schulz:

Bright sunlight streamed in through the open window, and the sound of birds and barking woke her from her sleep. Rose winced, unfolding herself from the ball that she worked herself into sometime during the night. She sat up stretching, joints aching, popping, her back screaming from spending the night on the hard wooden floor. Curious, she rose to her knees, despite her body’s protests and peered out the window, eyes level with the windowsill. The man was gone.

“I had bad dreams last night.” Ben’s voice startled her. Her brother stood in the doorway, sleep rumpled, clutching a blanket.

Click here to read the full brief:

Spice and Butler (a Kuroshitsuji fanfic); by Sarah Hayes:

Over the past couple of years, London had grown a fondness bordering on mass hysteria for the spices and sweets that made up the backbone of Indian cooking. Having subjugated the country of India to royal rule, they deemed fit to also take over its kitchens and markets, a culinary invasion where English businessmen came home with the taste of curry and yogurt still lingering across their palates. Unfortunately, they did not seem to bring with them any of the nuanced skill that the natural born and raised chefs of India possessed.

They rarely found that certain taste again in the higher echelons of London society, except for when they supped at the Phantomhive house whenever Prince Soma and his entourage were in town. After that, it became known that there was a chef among society men who could cook as well as the Indian greats, and that was Agni.

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My Guardian Angel Is A Cockblocker, CH 3: by Andrew Q. Gordon:

Alex gave up trying to hide his smile as he and Austin exited his dorm. He’d managed to change in something clean–not too dressy, but a step above ratty jeans and dirty sweatshirt. Even Nicholas refrained from making any snarky comments.

He did his best not to stare, but it proved impossible. Wearing jeans and a navy blue school hoodie, Austin set Alex’s pulse racing. The olive complexion, dark hair and sexy scruff fueled thoughts Alex knew would only embarrass him if he indulged too long. Despite the risk, he couldn’t stop thinking about the hairy chest he’d hoped to find when he finally got Austin shirtless.

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Uncool – #6: by Tali Spencer:

The day I met Marlena Napolini, I had just been kicked to the curb by Asshole Jerk Boyfriend II and was valiantly trying to mount Mario the Magnificent, the big dragon statue on the corner of 33rd and Market. A blocky girl with big dark eyes watched me for about two minutes before she grabbed me by my ears, glared into my glazed eyes, and yelled, “You need coffee!”

Actually, she needed coffee. She’d just gotten off her student internship job cataloging mummy parts for the Penn Museum of Archaeology only to encounter my drunken ass while walking to her apartment.

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Lost Inside: Chapter 2: by Cia Nordwell:

“Damn dreams.” Benny shuddered. Time for a shower. Benny had to wash the clammy sweat off. He glanced at the clock on the microwave as he stumbled past the kitchen to the bathroom. Six o’clock. The sun would be up soon.

The lights flicked on with an annoying buzz. The dim light didn’t hide his haggard reflection. Benny brushed a hand over his scalp. He needed to shave. His hands shook a too much to handle a razor to get a truly close shave, but Benny plugged in his electric and ran it over his head and face.

“Good enough.”

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Trouble Comes in Threes – #2: by; M.A. Church

Giving up, I fixed the white cat the tuna. I received a quick ankle rub, then it deserted me, tail held high. Well, look at that. White kitty was another male. He pounced on the food, and good Lord, he inhaled what was on the plate, licking every morsel… and managed to sound like a 747 getting ready for take-off. Jesus, here I’d thought the black one was loud. And seriously, did cats normally gulp down their food like this? The white kitty nosed the plate around the kitchen, determined to get every scrap.

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Diventado: Becoming; by JC Wallace:

Owen curled in on himself. He was back in bed in what he’d started to consider his prison cell. Hours ago—for all Owen knew it had been days—Turk had carried him to the room after the near escape of the Incubus. This time Turk had gently laid Owen onto the bed and Owen had immediately rolled away, his arms bound behind his back and his feet bound at the ankles once again. His repeated pleas for death had been ignored and he was terrified of what would become of him once the demon fully emerged.

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Controller – Chapter 14 : by Jon Keys:

I slogged across campus, on my way to beg for a better grade. My thoughts weren’t on my destination, they were on Michael. Stumbling for words, I’d blurted out ‘Why’d you help us?’. He’s usually such a jerk, and I never have been able to get over what he did to Jamie. He’d blown off the question with a shrug and left Eli and I staring at his back as he walked away. I still hadn’t been able to get anything from him. I’d asked Jamie, but he replied with a smile and wave of his hands.

By the time I’d ran through Michael being the odd hero. I realized I was standing at Dr. Davidson’s door, exactly where I didn’t want to be.

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Thwarted – Part XXII: by Renee Stevens

“You need coffee?” Trey held up the thermos that Mark had dug out of a cupboard and filled before they’d left.

“No thanks. I’m coffee’d out, any more of that and I’m going to have to stop alongside the road.” Mark was only half joking. He was definitely going to have to stop somewhere before they got to Trey’s parents, but he wasn’t desperate yet. Besides, he’d drunk so much coffee it was starting to make him jittery and he was nervous enough about meeting Trey’s family.

“Sometimes I forget how long this drive is.”

“I’ve been on longer.” Mark glanced over briefly and smiled when he saw Trey watching him. “How much longer until we get to your parent’s place?”

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Sunrise: by Victoria Adams:

With the security of having her phone set to autodial 911 and J’dol’s sword tucked under the couch, Sian luxuriated in the moment of quiet and slipped into a world of dreams.

The edge of a wave lapped at her toes. Sian glanced down and wiggled her feet in the cool lake water. Sunshine warmed her face. A breeze kissed her cheek. Her breath quickened. He was standing behind her. She didn’t have to turn and check. She knew he was there.

J’dol stepped beside her and slipped his hand over hers.

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Hope – Chapter 17: by Chris T. Kat:

It took Marisa and I several minutes of stuttered words and stammered condolences before she breathed out noisily and asked, “What did you want to know?”

I opened my mouth but no words came forth. In the background, a blow-dryer awakened to life with a roar. Cringing, I drew back. Marisa yelled at someone to close the bathroom door and while the blow-dryer kept rumbling on, it was muted.

What did you just say?”

I didn’t inform her that I’d been as silent as a mouse. Instead, I cleared my throat, and blurted, “Shane isn’t dead.”

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Myths, Secrets and Love 9: by Elyzabeth M. Valey:

Rodric stared hard at the tiny thing perched on Arjä’s shoulder. The fairy was as big as his nose and dressed in green, giving it the appearance of an insect with wings. The thing beat its delicate wings and flew toward him. Rodric dug his fingernails into his palm, fighting the urge to swat at it. The tiny fairy poised herself on his nose. His eyes widened as he realized that though he could not understand her, he was staring back at very human eyes.

Ärja laughed and the creature flew back to her side.

“What’s so funny?”

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Sire and Justice #1; by Michael Mandrake:

“Oh fuck, any minute now!” Justice quickly scampered across the kitchen, looking for the Sire’s favorite coffee cup. “Where is that fuckin’ mug?” He’d washed every dish and misplaced his master’s beloved black mug reading, “I am the Dom” somewhere in the house and if he didn’t find it, Sire would be especially upset with Justice. And really, although he enjoyed when his Sire made him wait to come or on sex, he didn’t want to be punished more than once and not first thing in the morning. Not when he had so many chores and duties to take care of throughout the day. Loving torture was nice but only in the evening after Justice had time to be too tired. Not first thing, not along with the breakfast.

Shit.

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Dallas in Wonderland II: Chapter One: by Julie Lynn Hayes:

Dallas hated working the night shift.

He hated the drunks who spilled into the restaurant after the bars closed, at loose ends with themselves and having nothing better to do than to eat. And fight. And puke. Sometimes all at once.

It was a noisy, disgusting shithole. But it’s what he had to look forward to every night. Although sometimes he got lucky and found himself on the day shift, when the drunks were busy at their places of employment. Pretending to be upstanding citizens of the sober variety.

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Beyond, Part One: by MC Houle:

The flame flickered in the kerosene lamp perched onto the grave, making Sir Jeffrey Grand’s name dance on the white stone.  A shiver pierced Henry, but as much as he wanted to, he could not stop digging.  His heart and body stopped when he heard the crack of a tree branch, but relaxed when an owl fled from the brushes.  He resumed digging, only stopping once or twice to wipe the sweat out of his forehead or to brush off a strand of graying hair.

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Noah’s New Plan – Chapter 20 : by Rob Colton:

“What are you doing?”

Noah tried to dodge Eli’s hand, but he wasn’t quick enough, and there wasn’t enough room in Eli’s truck to get away. The big man pulled his glasses off, folded them up, and set them aside.

Eli pressed his index finger between Noah’s eyes and began rubbing it up and down, pressing, massaging. “There that’s better,” he said softly. “Your brows were all furrowed. I was worried they might be stuck together.”

Noah rolled his eyes. He had every right to be stressed out. They were having dinner with Eli’s parents. Only this time, it was just Noah, Eli, and his parents. There would be no kids and siblings to distract them.

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Adel: Grace R. Duncan:

Adel couldn’t decide if he was amused, annoyed or… impressed. Ghalib had managed to evade him for more than a week. His room had still been cleaned, but Ghalib had done so when he’d been out of the room. So, despite doing his best to be there, he’d managed to miss Ghalib every time.

The one time he’d been in the room when Ghalib came in, he’d been in the bathing room and hadn’t heard anything until the door closing. He’d nearly leaped out of the tub, snatched up his towel and hurried out to the main room only to find that the fire was lit, the wine tray was on his table… and Ghalib had gone.

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It’s Djinn-tastic! ch. 2 (Cont.): by Raine O’Tierney:

“Yes, maman,” she sighed. “Absolutely ravished me. I’m exhausted.” She looked over at Zacharie and I, a smile on her lips, and rolled her eyes exaggeratedly. “You’re right, of course, waiting ‘til marriage was the right thing to do.”

I felt Zach tense beside me as Freckles uncrossed and re-crossed her legs again. I had the immediate impulse to explain away our disheveled bed, Freckles’ haphazardly thrown bra, the opened ‘love pack’ that came with our suite. (Freckles insisted that we look inside, even if we weren’t going to use it.) My eyes landed on the bottle of lube sitting out on the nightstand and I winced.

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