Wednesday Briefs: September 3, 2014

No, I haven’t lost my mind. This is what should have been posted on Wednesday, and I apologize for the lateness of this post – both to my writers and to our readers – but I was unable to post, as my computer died Monday and I didn’t get back online until after Wednesday had passed. But better late than never, right? Enjoy!

Julie L. Hayes

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.

 Aesthetics of Invention: Part 7 by Ravon Silvius
Kenneth ached to return the favor Thorn had given him in the forest outside the inventor’s college. He could barely focus as he walked past the familiar talentless man who watched the entrance at night, thought of nothing but Thorn as he stabled Jade and took his bags, and wasn’t bothered at all by the dusty scent of the dingy hallways as they walked down to Thorn’s room.

“Home sweet home for the next week,” Thorn said, swinging his door open. The hinges creaked, and Thorn winced. “I’ll have to oil that.”

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Rattletrap #12 by Tali Spencer

“Pop it right there and tell me everything.” Plant patted the open space on the table.

Jedd took the seat. There were no open tables and no one else was extending an invitation. At this point his only goal was to eat, drink, and prevent any kind of hostile outbreak. It probably helped that this seat placed his back faced the mess hall door—where Ussim stood propped like a gateway guardian. The way the Ghisr leader’s gaze locked on his every time their eyes met made his flesh crawl. Not that the look Plant was giving him was much better.

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Thwarted: Part XXXVII by Renee Stevens

“I’m so sorry, Mark.”  Diane rushed forward and wrapped her arms around him.  Gary gently guided them inside and shut the door before squeezing clasping Mark’s shoulder in one of his large hands. 
 
Mark was stunned and could do nothing else but return the embrace.  He was even more shocked at the sudden tightness in his throat.  He wasn’t even aware he was crying until Diane pulled back and reached up to wipe his tears away.
 
“Mom, Dad?  What are you doing here?”  Trey sounded just as shocked and confused as Mark felt. Mark watched him hug both his parents.  “I was just on the phone with you.  You said you needed Mark’s address to send a flower arrangement and a card.” 
 
 

Lost Inside: Chapter 36 by Cia Nordwell

The crowded Tigers bent in a wave of moving bodies, like saplings before a strong wind. Here and there, one hesitated, until a single Tiger still stood. Benny eyed him. Some of the Tigers he’d grown up with were gone, including his family, and there were a lot of strangers he didn’t recognize. He’d met many of Yuri’s clan when they merged with his, but he didn’t recognize the massive Tiger staring at the body sprawled at Benny’s feet.

“Are you challenging me?” Benny laid his ears back and bared his fangs. He didn’t want to fight, but damned if 
  
Click here to read the entire brief.

Soul Seekers: The Hollow by JC Wallace

 
“Wow, you clean up nice,” Noah joked.
 
Levi stopped in front of Noah then reached, lightly skimming a palm against the fair skin of Noah’s cheek. For a moment, Noah appeared confused, then playfully curled up one side of his lips. Deep inside, an unknown force fueled Levi’s desire. Each movement, each breath from Noah drove him crazy with wanton desire. Unable to control the voracious need, Levi hooked a finger on the waistband of Noah’s jeans and drew the man against his body. Lacing his fingers around Noah’s neck, Levi brought the taller man’s lips down onto his.
 
 

Edge of Fury (Part I) by Avery Dawes
 
I can’t believe I got on the train to Crazy Town. Yeah, but look where it got me. Zane smiled and stretched as he waited for Steele to return from the bathroom with a wash cloth. His body was relaxed and sated; although, his left nipple was more than a little sore. At Steele’s urging, Zane had gotten it pierced with a silver barbell. Now his biker wouldn’t leave it alone – fingers, tongue, and teeth – it got all kinds of attention. Day and night. In fact, Steele had threatened to pick-up whipped cream and cherries the next time . . . 
 
 

To Touch the Sky: #6 by M.A. Church

Hawk called his best friend, Jason. He needed to talk to someone about what happened in his bar. A short time later there was a knock at his door.

“Come on in. I’m in the kitchen.”

“Hey man, how’s it going?”

Hawk shrugged and pushed the glass of sweet tea he’d fixed over to Jason. “It’s going. Want anything to eat?”

“No thanks, I’m good.” Hawk took the glass and sipped. “So…”

“So…” Hawk fidgeted.

“Hawk? What’s going on?” Jason sipped his tea.

Hawk flopped down at the kitchen table, waving for Jason to have a seat too. “Remember that vision of my mate from long ago?”

 

Click here to read the full brief

Hope: Chapter 43 by Chris T. Kat

I opened my eyes, swallowing convulsively, and stared at my surroundings. It seemed we were in some sort of log cabin that consisted of one large room. On my left, I saw a rustic kitchen, done in dark wood, with gleaming pans hanging on one side of the polished stove. A counter separated the kitchen from the rest of the room, with a few high chairs lined up around the counter.

On my right, there was a wide area consisting of two large, dark leather armchairs, set about a round table crafted from glittering glass pieces.

Click here to read the full brief:

 

The Case

If I could turn back time.

If I could find a way.

Dammit, I hate that Cher song – even more so given the situation I’m in. What a time for that tune to stick in my head.

If I could actually turn back time, I certainly wouldn’t be here now.  I wouldn’t have taken that blasted case, and I wouldn’t be panicking, wondering what the heck to do next.

I made a rookie mistake; I assumed.  The woman seemed so genuine when she walked into my office.  It was a straight forward suspected cheating case.  All I had to do was follow her husband for a while and take a few pictures to see if he was sleeping with his secretary, or bangin’ someone else.  She was sure he was nailing someone, and it wasn’t her.

 

Click here to read the full brief:

Washed Right Out: Chapter Five by Sarah Hayes

He sighed and called his Jojo…

“And that was that.” Riley shrugged.

Sonia gripped the armrest of his chair so hard her manicure left crescent-shaped indents in the leather. “That is certainly not that. You’re not even going to tell us how the phone call went? After making us sit through every other minute detail?”

“Well, I mean, isn’t it obvious? We broke up.”

“We’re not getting details, are we?”

“Nope.” Riley made a ‘zipped lips’ motion. “That’s the story as it’s fit to print. No further details necessary.”

Click here to read entire brief:

Cyan: Chapter 16 by Nephylim

After kissing for a while, Cyan startled the pants off Robin, not literally, by leaping off the bed and running out the door. Left to wonder what the heck he’d done now, Robin nervously crept out the door and down the stairs. He heard Cyan’s voice from the kitchen. It was loud and upset. Or was it excited? Or hurt? It was impossible to tell and made Robin very nervous indeed. What was Cyan telling his mother?

While he hovered outside, the door flew open and Cyan came bounding out, so fast he almost knocked Robin over. “Tell her,” Cyan demanded. “She won’t believe me. She says I’m leaping to conclusions and making demands like I always do. Tell her.”

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The Breath of Life by Matthias Williamson

 
 

The first tattoo was of a blade on my neck. A simple black blade that came to my aid when I found the person who it was meant for.  He left me with words that made little sense at the time.  Porch, rain, blue eyes, where the blade is there it shall go.  

When my eyes opened, I sat up drowsy from the session, and he sent me out into the world.  He told me to return when the deed was done.  

“What deed?” My eyes narrowed.

“You’ll know when it is done.”  He handed me a satchel with a change of clothes, and currency.

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Sunrise by Victoria Adams
 
J’dol looked at the thickening storm clouds and shuddered. In the few weeks he’d been here, there had been a couple of storms and both reminded him of the moment he’d been ripped from his time and dropped on a deck in this century.
 
Sian placed a hand on his arm. “What’s the matter?”
 
He nodded his head towards the dark sky. “It looks the same as the storm that brought me here.” He grabbed and hugged her to his body. “I don’t want to go back.”
 
Sian rested her forehead on J’dol’s rock hard chest. “I don’t want you to leave.”
 
 
 

The Midnight Swimmer; by L.M. Brown

Robin slipped through the gate and into the back garden, just as he had numerous times in recent months. The renovation of the local swimming baths had reduced him to this. Trespassing in someone else’s garden and using their pool while they were tucked up in bed for the night. He couldn’t wait for the baths to reopen.

He noticed the envelope taped to the gate as soon as he closed it behind him.  His name was on the front in thick black letters.

“Shit.”  Who would leave him an envelope?  Who even knew he was here?

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Don’t Look Back #12 (3.2) by Julie Lynn Hayes

By the time Lee released him, Marshall’s breath was coming in heavy gasps and his head was spinning—and the wannabe dance partner had disappeared. Guess he could catch a clue. Marshall didn’t mind. There were plenty more where he came from. Including the sexy man who’d just kissed him stupid.

“Wanna dance, cowboy?” Lee asked in a sultry voice.

 Marshall broke into a wide grin. “Hot damn, you know it!”

“Then don’t you think you should get up? I don’t see that dance floor moving up here anytime soon.”

Warmth spread through Marshall’s cheeks, and he heard Roy snicker. But he didn’t mind. There wasn’t anything but love behind those words. Love and a bit of fun.

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Buried Treasure: Part 8 By Carol Pedroso
 
 Elder Rickman recovered first, “Yes I’m bonded the same as Andrew. My mate is a witch nurse here at the clinic.”
 
 Jamie was the next to speak up, “This may work to our advantage. Has anyone got any objections to me calling Casey and Ben in?”
 
Everyone shook their heads and I watched as Jamie went quiet for a moment before smiling. “They’re on their way,” he said then a few seconds later he added, “Heads up!”
 
Before I could ask what he meant his twin and another young man appeared out of thin air in the middle of the
 
 

Noah’s New Plan: Chapter 35 by Rob Colton

Noah sat in his car staring out the window. He was dreading going inside. Pulling out his cell phone, he checked the time. He’d told Eli to stay home and that he’d be there within the hour.

That meant going inside and taking care of this.

But the last thing he wanted to do was deal with Derek and his bullshit. The condo was under contract now, and this would be the last time Noah had to mess with Derek.

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