Monday, April 30, 2012

Lisamichele17 Week 102: My Past


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lisamichele17's Choice: Picture 1


My Past

On my last day at Newport Beach, I find myself at the house that Edward is renting out. He is leaving for Portland tomorrow. We have grown so much closer to each other and there isn’t a lot that he doesn’t know about me. He is making us dinner. He willing admits that he doesn’t think he is a great cook but that doesn’t bother me at all. He tells me about how his family lives on the East coast and that he is a 6th grade teacher in Portland. The excitement shows in his voice when he tells me about how much he loves his job. He does have challenges but overall he enjoys working with kids. I ask him about why he chose to live in Portland when his family is in Chicago and he tells me that he loves his family but that he loves to have his space. He goes to Chicago to visit his parents during the summer and spends time with them there.

This year, his mom and dad bought him this vacation before heading back to Portland. He has a brother, Emmett, and a sister, Alice, that live in NYC. Emmett is a strength and conditioning coach for the New York Rangers. He is married to Rose and they have a one year old son named James. Alice is a RN and she is married to Jasper who is a physical therapist at the same hospital she works in. That is how they met and they are newlyweds.

It gets tricky when I talk to Edward about my past. It hasn’t been bad, but it I have moved a couple of times. My dad, Charlie, is the Sheriff of Forks, Washington. My mom, Renee, is a kindergarten teacher. They divorced when I was six, but it was very amicable. After the divorce, I moved to Phoenix to be with my mom and I spent my summers with Charlie.

When I was 16 there as a little bit of change in my life. My mom met Phil. He is the assistant coach for the Arizona Cardinals. They got married and I wanted them to spend quality time without me. So after a long phone conversation between Renee and Charlie, I moved to Forks to be with my dad.

It wasn’t a hard transition. I fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. I have never seen more green in my entire life. It was in Forks where I met my best friend, Leah. I was never a social butterfly so she is the one I keep in touch with the most.

When I graduated from Forks High School, I was offered a full ride to go to college at UW. I majored in Journalism and minored in English Literature. During my junior year in college, Phil, was offered a job to Head Coach for the Seattle Seahawks. It was a no brainer for him. He jumped at the chance partially because he and Renee wanted to be closer to me. When I graduated from UW I got a job with the Seattle Times but six months into that job I was offered a position that allowed me to freelance for other newspapers. The biggest perk of the job is that I didn’t have to necessarily live in those cities. I jumped on that option and I got to keep my one bedroom apartment in Seattle.

At the end of the conversation is what I dreaded the most. He lives in Portland and I live in Seattle. There was no question in my mind that he wanted to be in a relationship with me. The distance between us wasn’t that huge and that we could always talk to each other. I was hesitant but he is confident that we could make this work. It didn’t help that he can be very persuasive, if you know what I mean.

This night is the first time we are intimate with each other. It is beautiful. The passion that we share is like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. There is no doubt in my mind that we can make this work.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Kimmydonn Week 101: To Be Continued

Kimmydonn Sunday

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Kimmydonn's Choice: Both


To Be Continued

Lisa flounced into her chair on the edge of the set. She was just about fed up with this rig. The director couldn’t seem to get his head out of his ass long enough to plan the shoots. If she’d known that she was going to be filming the finale instead of the opening, she would have prepared for that, but yesterday, he’d been adamant that they’d be starting with the opening sequence. Now she was on her eighth take. She’d never needed eight takes for anything! What was with this guy? Why couldn’t he explain what he wanted? Why couldn’t he make up his mind?


A bottle of her favorite juice blend appeared over her shoulder and she smiled. Leaning back, she tipped her head to see Ford standing behind her.

“What would I do without you?”

“Be mauled by stupid teenagers,” he answered honestly. “Get dehydrated and even crabbier than you are now.”

Lisa chuckled and sipped her juice. “Do you know what this guy wants?” she asked. The director was busy fighting with the lighting to get the glare on the suitcase just right. “I mean, who cares about the damn suitcase?”

“Did you read the whole script?” Ford asked.

“Not yet,” Lisa admitted, sitting up. “I focused on the beginning because that’s what I was supposed to be shooting.” They’d done a few scenes from the middle but nothing from the end, so she hadn’t gotten that far yet.

“Your entire life is in that suitcase. It’s your life raft that is taking you out of this shitty town, shitty marriage, and shitty job. Everything the bastard that beat you would let you take is in that bag.”

Lisa’s eyes narrowed, focusing on the prop for the first time. “How do you know?” she asked.

“It’s based on a book I read. This is only one portion of the story though.”

Lisa turned her chair to look at the burly guard. “Do you still have a copy?”

He shook his head. “No. I never hang on to things like that. I can find it for your Kindle.”

“Please? Only one part. What comes next?”

“Well, like all good love stories, it doesn’t end.”

She scoffed. “It has to end.”

“Why? I think the last words were ‘to be continued.’”

Lisa rolled her eyes and fought a groan. “Please tell me the movie doesn’t end that way.”


“One, I hate movies that end ‘to be continued,’ and two, I do not want to work with this jackass again.”

Ford chuckled. “Well, I can’t say for sure, but if it’s true to the book-”

“Don’t say it,” she interrupted.

“Lisa, on set,” the makeup artist called, pulling out her brushes.

“Life in a bag,” she murmured to herself. She would nail this next take.

Friday, April 27, 2012

BronwynK Week 101: The Stipulation

Bronwyn Keith Friday

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Bronwyn’s Choice: Picture 2


The Stipulation

Mark ran his fingers through Josie’s hair as her head rested on his chest. He loved these quiet times with her. He knew that these moments would be rare once the fall arrived. Josie would head to college while he would work at his father’s garage. He felt her turn her face into his chest and nuzzle him.

“What are you thinking about, Jo?” he asked quietly.

"This fall.” She sighed, resting her hand over his heart. “I really don’t want to leave.”

“I know, babe.” Mark wrapped his arms around her to cuddle her close. “But you need to go to college. That was the stipulation in your grandmother’s will.”

“Why would she put that in there?”

“You know that Maude was upset because none of her children went to college and you are her oldest. Maude always had high hopes for you.”

“It was something she talked about. Do you think she would happy with my choice?”

“Maude knew you loved animals and saw the special connection you have with them. She hoped you would follow in your grandfather’s steps and become a vet.”

“You spent more time with her than I did. Why didn’t she leave you anything? I know she loved you.”

“I told her not to leave me anything. It is partially my fault that she added the two year college stipulation.” He looked down just as she lifted her head and propped her chin on his chest.

“What do you mean ‘your fault?’”

“I told her how much I loved you and that I wanted to marry you. She added the college stipulation because she didn’t want to see you end up in the same place your mother did by getting married so young. So, you have to go to college for two years before getting married. She figured that if you completed two years you would finish your degree.” Mark placed an arm under his head to prop it up so he could watch her. She gave him her dazzling smile. “Come here.” He buried his hand in her hair and pulled her up his body.

His lips took hers in a heated kiss.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

MCGT Week 101: Refugee

MCGT Thursday

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MCGT's Choice: Picture 1


We move in huddled synchronization, our rhythm is slow and reverent. It has taken us years to get where we are, and it doesn’t matter that we’re hiding out in a basement, as we lie on a dingy mattress. What does matter, is that after spending almost five years apart, separated by continents and political strife, we are now together. Our love has always burned hot, like the extreme heat found in a the deepest blue of a flame. We’ve always worked together, but my family fled and made it out of the country before the change in regime, while you were forced to stay and endure the poverty and depravity that followed.

It has taken me years to figure out a way to get you out, but when I did, I sprang into action. And now you’re here beside me, on the last leg of our journey before going home.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

LisaMichele17 Week 101: First Kiss

Monday Except today!

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Lisamichele17's Choice: Picture 1


First Kiss

That smile grew into something more. I found out that his name is Edward. He lives in Portland and is on vacation, too, like me. The paths that brought us to this beach seemed like fate. I am not one of those women that believes in love at first sight, but the sight of that smile made me feel like it could happen. In my past relationships, the best thing was that they didn’t end badly. We drifted apart and ended things. Simple like that. I had a feeling Edward was different.

From that initial meeting, I have gone out in two dates with Edward. The first one to a coffee shop, where we both drank black coffee for hours while listening to the live band playing. He walked me back to my house and asked me for my cell phone number. Before I fell asleep, he texted me and asked me if I wanted to go out for dinner tomorrow. When I replied with a yesand a smiley face, he asked where I wanted to go. I told him to just surprise me. He took us to this tiny whole in a wall thai place. We shared some Phad Kee Mao (5 stars). Later that night, he walked me to my house and gave me a kiss on the cheek. It was innocent and ever so sweet.

Tonight is our third date. He is bringing his dog, Riley, with us. I love dogs. We are doing something simple. Edward told me that he met some people that are having a bonfire. He met me at the exact spot where we met each other. The way that the sun was setting brought out the redness in his hair. Ever so slowly, I reached up to my toes, and did something I wanted to do since last night. When our lips met I knew things would change things for us. For starters, this wasn’t like the innocent kiss we shared last night but there was a tenderness to it. He kissed me slowly and brought his arms around my waist, pushing me closer to him. When I opened my mouth, his tongue teased my mouth gently. Then I felt it. Riley had somehow managed to jump on both of us, knocking us to the ground. We both laughed.

It was perfect.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kimmydonn Week 100: Sidekicks


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Kimmydonn's Choice: Both


I flipped through the album, looking for a photo to include in the memorial. Auntie Jess had been one of my favourites, and I was sure there was a perfect picture of us at Christmas. It was a real drag that she passed so close to Christmas. I’d bought the tree but hadn’t started decorating it yet. I wasn’t sure I wanted to anymore.

“What is that?” Holly asked, reaching over my arm to stop me turning the page.

I paused, not really seeing the Halloween photo. “Huh?”

“That is so adorable! Who was the Robin with so many Batmans? That side kick had his work cut out for him, I think.”

I scowled a little. “That’s me.” It was supposed to be me and Joey, my best friend, as Batman and Robin, and then Peter and Mike had both showed up as Batman too. I couldn’t remember which parent or teacher had asked us all to line up, but I’d been miffed. It was a forced smile, about as authentic as those of the batmen around me. Adorable. Sure.

I turned the page with a little more force than necessary, swatting Holly’s hand away. “I’m looking for Aunt Jess,” I reminded her, “not a bunch of stupid boys.”

Her arms wrapped around my neck. “I’m sorry, honey. I know how much you loved her. At least you got to say goodbye.”

It had been the worst hour of my life, sitting holding my Aunt’s hand as machines beeped around us. She wasn’t awake, couldn’t answer me. She gave my hand a small squeeze, which was more than my cousins or mother had gotten from her. It still seemed feeble. Such a crappy way to say goodbye.

“I guess.” I flipped the page and brightened for the first time that day. “There! That’s it.” I pulled back the plastic covering the sticky page. The photograph must have been nearly twenty years old. I was just a toddler in it, and Auntie Jess and I were both dressed as angels.

“Oh, Don, that’s perfect.”

“Yeah.” Seeing her smile, slightly shaky, made me realize how much I’d snapped at her, how little I’d paid attention to my wife, my mate, my sidekick. “I’m sorry I’ve been out of it lately,” I told her as I rose from the chair.

She stepped up and hugged me tightly, kissing my cheek. “I understand. I know how close you were. I’m so sorry she’s gone.”

My breath seemed to catch in my throat and I knew I’d be in tears before long. “Yeah,” was all I managed to say.

Holly seemed to see my predicament and let go to take my hand. “Come, look. I got the tree up.”

How long had I been searching the albums? Not that long. Long enough, it seemed. The tree’s lights sparkled and although I hadn’t been sure I would celebrate this Christmas, seeing Holly lit by the different colours, I was glad to get to spend it with her.

“It looks amazing. Almost as amazing as you,” I said, releasing her hand to take her waist and pull her close. “Merry Christmas, Holly.”

Her reply was muffled by my kiss.


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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Alby Mangroves Week 100: Alone In A Crowd

Alby Mangroves

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Alby Mangroves's Choice: Picture 1


Alone In A Crowd

There are throngs of people at the railway station, so many Esme doesn’t know where to look.

How much time did she buy herself with her story? Is Charles here already, looking for her in the crowd, violence in his eyes?

She pushes down hysteria, shaking hands balled into fists at her side.

The air is stale with so many folks all crammed into one place, and Esme breathes shallowly through her handkerchief, trying to stave off nausea.

Afternoon sunshine settles warmly on her skin, but Esme can’t shake the clammy feeling that wherever she runs, it is into darkness.


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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sydney Alice Week 100: Mother

Sydney Alice

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Sydney Alice's Choice: Picture 2


I’m thumbing through an old photo album when I come across a childhood picture. It’s me, with my hair fresh out of curlers and my mom’s reading glasses perched on my nose. I must have been eight. Maybe nine. She and my dad were going out to dinner to a fancy restaurant. They normally did on Friday nights, leaving me at home with my older sister.

Mom would always let me sit on the sink as she put on her make-up, and she’d roll my hair in curlers. She’d spritz me with perfume, put a dangly necklace around my neck, and let me wear her heels. The glasses - well, they were big and black and completely awkward, but they were hers, and I loved everything that belonged to her.

I’d wanted to be her, so badly. She was beautiful and wise, and everything I wanted to be when I was a woman.

If she could see me today, would I make her proud?

I hope so.

But she can’t see me.

I close the photo album and place it back on my shelf before heading to the bathroom. Tonight is date night. We’ll have dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant, and the girls will stay home with the sitter.

I step into my bathroom, and I smile.

My nine year old is waiting for me. She’s sitting on the sink, with a dangly necklace around her neck. I can smell the perfume, and I see my reading glasses perched on her nose.


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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

107_yroldvirgin Week 100: Ever the Same


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107_yroldvirgin’'s Choice: Picture 2


Ever the Same

When I was a child, my days were spent between the stacks. On my back in the sun, hunched over holding new worlds as they unfurled around me and blocked out real life for just the smallest amount of time.

Riding my bike to the library was invigorating. Perusing the aisles and filling my arms with words and thoughts so new to me that my mind blossomed open, hungry for more.

We owned a boat and I would take care to bring only the ones that could fit into plastic sandwich bags and that I wouldn’t cry too hard over if they became ruined, as they often did through choppy waves and smelly lake water that would seep over sides and across my feet as I held on tightly, waiting for dry land, dry towel, motionless moments to escape with these characters...

And then life got in the way and my dear friends were long forgotten. Up on their shelves. Tucked away in boxes or given away because I just didn’t ‘have the time.’ The spaces they occupied were now filled with pictures from school, of dances attended, snapshots of life on the outskirts. Jeweled cd cases filled those empty places. Letters passed in class became jammed between the wooden slats that once held what was once so very important.

Time passed, words were forgotten.

Until a spark of interest many years later sent my feet into a store filled with words on pages. And the smell ... that smell of paperback and print made my eyes close and chest seize up with happiness that had been missing for so long. And I slid to the floor, between the stacks, hunched over with spines bent and covers curling to inhale and marvel that some things never change.

They stay the same no matter where life takes us.


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Monday, April 16, 2012

Lisamichele17 Week 100: The Meeting


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lisamichele17's Choice: Picture 1


The Meeting

For my 30th birthday, my family and friends told me I needed a vacation. I wasn’t a workaholic by any means, but my freelancing work week has been 60 hours a week lately. I was surprised by the gift because I felt like I had it all.

Work. Family. Friends.

My one week vacation took me to Newport Beach, California. I had a two bedroom house right off the ocean. The first few days were so peaceful and relaxing, spent walking along the beach with my journal in hand.

It was on the third day that I met him. It was by complete accident, honestly. I was walking along the beach when I got pounced on by a dog. I got all flustered and wet but I wasn’t angry. Things like these happen. As I was getting up, I felt strong hands helping to lift me. Before I knew it, I was looking into the most beautiful green eyes I have ever seen in my life. When he smiled at me, it felt real, not one of those fake smiles you get from people.

My reaction was not what you expect.

I snorted. He blushed.

We both laughed.

That was the beginning.


Help us celebrate 100 weeks! Drop a line on what you thought of Lisamichele17's prompt! :)

Week 100!


This is our 100th week of prompts! 100 weeks! That is nearly two years! Help celebrate 100 weeks of picture prompts by reading and reviewing our authors prompts this week. :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Kimmydonn Week 99: Secret Garden


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Kimmydonn's Choice: Picture 1

Secret Garden

There is a place I go to hide. A place away from the hate, the fear, the anger. There is a place I go to dream. A place free, empty, open. There is a place I go to mourn. A place of life and death and rebirth. There is a place I go, wishing it would swallow me, wishing the gate would swing shut and never open again.

This place isn’t real, I keep it locked in my heart and try to never let anyone see. I don’t want them to know. I don’t want them to see how close I’ve come to disappearing forever. It isn’t real, and I don’t have the will to make it real. Instead, I hide, gate swinging on rusty hinges.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Alby Mangroves Week 99: Namaste

Alby Mangroves

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Alby Mangroves's Choice: Picture 2


The moment Edward realizes his child isn’t a monster comes quietly. It does not level or shock him.

He simply knows it as though he’s always known it; as though his soul has always known it.

Bending to sleeping Bella’s stomach, he listens intently, anxious to catch every whisper of thought emanating from within.

He hears hope, and love, and a beating pulse, and it’s almost enough to shake the dust of ages from his own stone heart.

Laying his lips on his wife’s skin, he murmurs his obeisance, “I honor the place within you where the entire universe resides.”

Friday, April 13, 2012

KekahJ Week 99: The Dream

Wednesday ... well except today!

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KekahJ's Choice: Picture 2

The Dream

I woke up gasping, thrashing under the covers that stuck to my sweat-drenched skin. My eyes whirled around, still trying to make sense of what they saw. The dark shapes of my bedroom furniture loomed menacingly in the darkness of my room.

My heart still pounding, I laid back against my pillow, pushing my damp hair off my forehead. It had been a dream, only a dream. I wanted to close my eyes, but I knew if I did the images from my dream would flash behind my eyelids. Instead I stared at the ceiling, but it didn’t seem to matter. Within a matter of moments, the dark images from the dream flashed in my mind’s eye. The heavy, dark clouds; the strangely menacing stone pathway; and most disturbing: the birds.

I wasn’t sure why the birds were the worst part of the inexplicable dream, but they were somehow terrifying. They were huge and black and circled endlessly around me as I travelled down the stone path. Occasionally one of them swooped down so close that I could feel the woosh of their wings against my face as I ducked to avoid them.

I continued to move down the stone path, though I knew not where it led. As I walked, the clouds began to swirl around my feet, forming a thick fog that made it impossible to see my path. My feet slowed, but didn’t stop. Soon, the fog began to clear and I found myself standing in front of a huge gilt-framed mirror. In its reflection I could see the birds that continued to swoop down and circle. I could see the dark clouds too. But as I looked, I realized the one thing I couldn’t see was my own reflection.

Wordlessly, I screamed and the mirror faded away, morphing into the dark familiar shapes of my bedroom.

My heart finally began to slow, and I felt my eyes growing heavy once again. Yet even as I drifted back to sleep, something about the dream nagged at my consciousness, pulling and gnawing at me. It was just a dream, I told myself sleepily. Just a dream.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

MCGT Week 99: Conquering Rapids


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MCGT's Choice: Both


Conquering Rapids

We shouldn’t be doing this, briefly flitted through my mind as his lips grazed my neck. I could feel the stubble on his chin as it ghosted over my bare shoulder, making me shiver in anticipation.

“Sophie, you’ve been driving me crazy for the last two days, please,” he begged, but for what, I was a bit fuzzy about.

We were standing behind the tent I was to share with Anna, my friend from my divorcee group. The same person who convinced me this four day rafting trip would clear my mind and help me figure out what I was going to do now that my husband had left me for a woman ten years my junior.

“Jack,” I moaned, louder than I intended, especially with the others from our rafting trip milling about as we started to turn in for the night.

“Come to my tent? Stay with me, please?” His voice was raspy and alluring, its sound complimentary to his rugged good looks. He was fit, handsome and tanned, exactly how you would picture someone who guided rafting groups down the majestic Royal Gorge.

There was a war going on between my body and mind over what I wanted to do, versus what I should do. I hadn’t been with a man in almost two years. My ex-husband had travelled frequently, leaving our sex life high and dry, even before we separated. My brain just wasn’t ready to deal with a casual fling with a man who rowed a boat for a living and was probably as young as my ex-husband’s new girlfriend. His lips were quite convincing though, as they moved across the back of my neck to nibble on my other ear.

“Sophie, are you back here? Genevieve suggested a sing alo-- Whoops,” Kate started, looking between Jack and myself with a curious eye. We’d managed to separate a fraction of an inch before she rounded the corner of the tent, but her approach had the same effect as a bucket of cold water being dumped over my head.

With a clearing head, I made up a story, quickly thanking Jack for sharing his thoughts about how best to pack a dry sack and turned towards Anna, agreeing that a sing along sounded just fabulous.


The last thing I wanted to do was sit around the campfire and sing ‘Kumbaya’, but I had to get away from that mesmerizing man. Glancing once over my shoulder, I shrugged, hoping to convey that I was sorry, but I just wasn’t ready for what he was offering.

His return look was haunting. It was filled with a hunger I hadn’t seen pointed in my direction since I was a sexy college co-ed. Back then, I was thin, wore tight low cut shirts and had colored my hair to an unnatural state of blond that was only found on the toddlers running around beach communities.

Now, I was approaching middle age. My body wasn’t pudgy, but I’d lost the firmness that’s wasted on the youth. The crows feet around my eyes and stray grey hairs that poked through my professional dye job weren’t the only indicators of my age. No, I was now also well seasoned in the broken heart department.

Sitting on one of the logs that Roger had pulled around the campfire, I waited for Anna to assault me with her inquiry about what she just saw.

“I’m not going to say a word,” she whispered in my ear, smiling along as Roger brought out his harmonica to start our sing-along.


“Oh, don’t sound so shocked. I’m glad I caught you with Jack and not Roger.” She smiled, nodding her head towards the other rafting guide on our trip. He was probably in his mid-fifties and weathered to Robert Redford’s extremes. He too was fit, and handsome in his own way, his sandy grey hair almost never visible beneath the wide brimmed hat that shielded his shockingly blue eyes from the glare of the blazing sun. He was friendly and could always be counted on for an engaging story about some mishap or ancient tale that happened on the Arkansas river. I’d ridden in his boat the first day before we all were switched up, landing me in Jack’s boat today, and apparently right into his crosshairs.

I’d spent much of the day talking with Jack as he guided our raft through a multitude of rapids, none of which seemed to ruffle his feathers. He was calm and collected, even when we almost high sided on a boulder because one of the ditzy blondes in the front wasn’t paying attention to her paddling.

“Jack, come on. Pull up a seat. I bet these charming ladies would love to hear your rendition of ‘When it’s Springtime in the Rockies,’” Roger teased, before playing a few bars in Jack’s direction.

I could have sworn the tips of his ears got red at the mention of the old tune, but he laughed along and allowed his deep tenor voice to break up the silence of the night.

Long after dark had descended upon the canyon, and the fire was dying down, Roger suggested we all get to bed, since we’d have to be up around dawn to get on the river if we were going to finish our trip on time.

Anna and I both stood and headed towards the tent, when my elbow was grabbed, causing me to stumble back into Jack’s arms.

“Am I really that scary? I didn’t mean to pressure you.” he whispered, as we continued walking toward our tents. “But you didn’t have to ignore me completely.”

“I have to say, your attention is very flattering, Jack, but I’m still sort of a mess. I came on this trip to sort myself out, not fall into the arms of another man who will just break my heart.” Stopping, I turned to face him, wanting to make myself perfectly clear, “I think it’s best if maybe I ride in Roger’s boat for the rest of the trip.”

At my words, his face crumpled, and he walked away, shaking his head as if to try and figure out the meaning of my words.

I avoided him the rest of the trip, much to Anna’s disgust. She couldn’t understand why I didn’t let myself live a little and have some fun. Especially if it was just a little trip fling that wouldn’t mean anything once we got back to town.

Except, that wasn’t who I was. I wasn’t a love ‘em and leave ‘em sort of girl. If I had a connection with a person, I fell hard and fast. And I could tell with Jack, after the day on the boat, that if I allowed myself, I’d be doing the same exact thing as I’d done with my ex. I would fall for him, then change everything about me to make him happy, until I didn’t even recognize myself in the mirror.

Once the vans transported us back to the fafting company’s parking lot, I made a quick exit, not wanting to have to say some kind of goodbye to Jack.

For all I knew, he was a seasonal employee who came into town for the summer and left to move south as the weather grew cold, not unlike a migrating bird.

No, I needed to protect my heart, and the best way to do that was to just forget about the handsome man with the lovely hazel eyes, sunkissed hair and the wry grin that seemed to win over any woman within a five block radius.

Before stepping into my car, I took one glance over my shoulder at Jack helping to carry one of the rafts back into the large garage on the property. I blew him a kiss he’d never see and returned back to my big house nestled up against the mountains just outside of Canon City.

The house your Ex picked out and decorated with the help of the designer he chose, who now also happened to be his girlfriend. I’d won the house in the divorce, but pulling up the long driveway, I just wanted to be rid of it, and all the memories associated with it.

Maybe it was time to sell the place, move into something smaller and do what I’ve always dreamed of.

Now to only figure out what that dream might be, I thought glumly, walking into the expansive space and turning on lights along the way.

The sun was setting, scattering its soft pinkish hue through my house from the large windows that overlooked the western mountain range. Tossing my bag of dirty clothes onto the floor near the laundry room, I walked into the kitchen to see if there was something stiff for me to drink.

I’d barely finished my second swallow of cabernet when my doorbell rang.

“Coming,” I shouted, patting down my hair, that had to look atrocious after four days without a proper shower.

Pulling open the oversized door, I was stunned. There, standing on my front step was a showered and clean shaven Jack holding a bouquet of flowers and a piece of paper.

“Jack?” I waved him inside, feeling even more grungy standing beside him. “What are you doing here? How did you know where I lived?”

His trademark smirk lit up his face as he waved the paper in my face. “You forgot your certificate of completion, and your address was on the waiver you signed before the trip.”

“So you came all the way over here to give me my certificate?” I laughed, doubting there was any such thing, but had to give the man credit for his stalking methods.

Handing me the paper and flowers he added, “That and you left before I could say goodbye.”

Sighing heavily, I knew I’d have to discourage his attention, even though every fiber of my being craved it.

“Can I come in for a sec? I just want to talk to you, that’s all.” His hands were in front of him in surrender, but the grin was still ever present.

Directing him into the kitchen, I pulled out one of the stools at the counter and asked him if he’d like some wine or a beer, knowing that was about all I had in the house.

“A beer would be great, thanks.”

Handing him the cold bottle, our fingers brushed against each other, almost like they were magnets and keeping them apart was against the laws of physics.

Pulling back abruptly, I held my hand to my chest, like I’d just been burned. Leaning back against the island, I waited for him to say what he needed so I could usher him out of my home as quick as possible.

I watched as he ran his fingers through his still damp hair, before gazing up at me with a longing I’d never seen before.

“When you look at me, what do you see?”

“W-what?” I stuttered, unprepared for the question.

Standing up, he stalked in front of me, waving his hand in front of his body to make his point.

“What. Do. You. See.” Enunciating each word, he waited with raised brows for my answer.

“Um...” I stalled, “You’re tall, handsome, fit-”

“What else? Aside from my exterior, what do you see?” Wiping his face with his big hand, he muttered, “Shit, maybe I should have asked, what do you know about me?”

He was standing only inches away from me, his eyes staring right into mine, imploring me to tell him what I thought of him. Of his character.

“You’re kind, friendly and know how to steer a boat around rocks,” I teased, trying to ease the tension that was zipping around the room.

“What else?” he whispered, his hand reaching out to rest on my hip.

“You have a great sense of humor. You’re polite and chivalrous and have a really lovely voice,” I mumbled, leaning further into him.

“Do you think I would hurt you?” he asked, brushing a stray hair away from my cheek. “Do you think I can’t take care of you? Why are you pushing me away without even letting me ask you out on a proper date?”

His presence was confusing me, and I had to move off to the side to try and remember why I was resisting him.

“You’re young and can have anyone you want. Why do you want me?” I was surprised by my own honestly, asking the question that had been on my mind since he first showed any interest in me.

“How old do you think I am?”

“Twenty-five?” I guessed.

He let out a riotous laugh that echoed throughout my kitchen. “I’m thirty-eight, does that change anything?”

I was stunned. He was only a year older than I was. “What are you still doing guiding boats for a living?” I blurted, my hand going to shield my mouth a moment too late. “You don’t need to answer that. God, that was rude. I’m sorry-”

Placing a finger in front of my lips, he silenced my embarrassed soliloquy. “I own Royal Gorge Rafting Company. Did you think Roger did? He’s been my partner for the last six years, but I just bought his half this year so he could focus on retiring to Arizona with his wife, Charlotte.”

My eyes must have looked like saucers and my mouth was probably catching a fair number of flies for as long as I stood there in shock.

Taking me into his arms, he held me while whispering into my ear. “I know you’re afraid of being hurt. You might think you know me, but you don’t. I’m part of the chamber of commerce here. I go to the town meetings and help Janie run her heli tours in the winter. I’ve never been married, but got close once about five years ago. I can’t wait to get to know more about you, but just observing you for one day on my boat I know you’re sweet, generous, intelligent and funny, and most of all, you’re brave. You didn’t even flinch when we approached that boulder. You just dug your paddle into the water and did everything I asked. Now I’m begging you to be brave and take a risk. Go out with me?”

Standing in my kitchen being held so delicately by this handsome man, I couldn’t stop myself from answering his request by tilting my head up and kissing him.

I was a girl of action rather than words.

He returned my kiss for a moment, before pulling back to look into my eyes. “If that’s a yes, would you like to go grab some dinner? My fridge is empty and I really don’t feel like cooking.”

We agreed that he’d come back in an hour after I’d had time to take a shower and change out of the grubby clothes I’d been wearing.

Beneath the hot spray of the ridiculously expensive shower my ex-husband just had to have, I realized that life would always come with the chance of something bad happening. It was like a roller coaster and if you weren’t willing to go along with its ups and downs, it would be a much less interesting ride. Steeling my resolve, I vowed to myself to be open to the possibility of new love, even if it meant getting my heart broken all over again.

A/N(Hopefully TBC next week! Stay tuned)

Big huge thanks to Kimmydonn for her beta help with this.

Monday, April 9, 2012

LisaMichele17 Week 99: Happiness as Destiny

Another new author to the blog with her first post! Welcome LisaMichele17!!


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lisamichele17's Choice: Picture 1

Happiness as Destiny

I thought I had it all. The perfect job, friends and the most amazing family. I never realized how much I didn’t have until I met him, my Edward. He came into my life out of nowhere. He didn’t become everything to me. He balanced me. He makes my life a complete circle. I can see him, now, as I walk down the aisle to become his wife. The memories of everything we have together.

The accidental meeting.

The first date.

The first kiss that happened after the third date.

The first time we became lovers.

The engagement.

This is becoming a complete circle. I am surrounded by all the people that I love.

Little does he know is that there is something growing inside of me. Something that he doesn’t know yet. I have no fear that he will be surprised but I also know that he will be an amazing father.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Kimmydonn Week 98: Spirit Retreat


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Kimmydonn's Choice: Picture 1

Spirit Retreat

Like so many people who live their entire life under the scrutiny of the public eye, Lisa Campbell was desperate for some privacy. Usually, thanks to changing her surname for Hollywood, she could stay at her parents’ house with little attention.

She could until now, that is. If she ever found out which rabid fan in her hometown had outted her, Lisa would find them and drag them with her for a month. After being constantly watched, guarded, worked, and tracked, maybe they’d show a little remorse.

Lisa pulled the sunglasses from her pocket and slid them onto her nose.

“Those really clash with the whole Native American motif you have going there,” Ford told her.

“I don’t care,” she said, leaning slightly so her face took advantage of the big man’s shadow. “I’m sure my spirit guide won’t care either.”

Ford snorted. “Yeah, spirit guide. I’m going to sit in the car with the AC. Join me when you’re ready.”

“After my quest,” she said with a smile, turning away and then laying back in the dry grass. Rather than bend, many blades snapped under her, scratching at her arms and legs. She ignored them. She was alone. Blissfully, completely, in the middle of nowhere, alone. There wasn’t a cloud to mar the sky as she let the sun bake into her. Soon, she’d doze and maybe some small creature would wake her with his chittering, leading her further through nothing to an answer to her constant question. “Am I doing what I should?”

Her fans, her agent, even her parents answered yes, but Lisa always questioned. She felt she should be doing more. She donated large portions of her copious pay. She performed in indie films to bring needed attention to darker issues or simply talented writers and directors. She knew these helped keep the balance, but always she wondered if she was living an unreal existence.

Real people didn’t have bodyguards at their side day and night. Real people bought their own groceries and cooked their own food. Real people worked for a living.

That was being too harsh on herself. Her days were long. Although she might not work continuously through the day, she was at director and crew’s beck and call for many hours at a time. Some of the work was strenuous. It wasn’t like being a single mother or working in a factory, though. No amount of allowance could make her profession seem anything but luxurious.

Her skin turned pink and hot and still she lay there. Was she becoming soft? Was she letting her lifestyle dictate her personality? Was she becoming a starlet? One of those simpering women that expected everything done for her and done perfectly?

A shadow fell slowly over her. She thought it was from her mock teepee that she had set up beside her, the sun moving across the horizon. It couldn’t be that late yet, though. She’d be a lobster if she sat in the sun that long.

Slowly, blinking heavily against the sun even behind her glasses, she saw a familiar shape. He looked a little different lounging, a position he rarely took without a comfortable chair and locked door. It was Ford, though, his round belly rising and falling in slow even breaths, a smile easy on his lips. He wore shades, too, so she didn’t know if he was squinting as much as she was. He reclined on one elbow, looking lazily down at her.

“Think I’m safe?” she asked.

“I think I could see someone coming an hour before he got here,” Ford joked, looking around. “I’m more worried about a rogue antelope or coyote than a person.”

“A coyote. That should be my spirit guide. Lone, mangy, feral. Just like me.”

“You aren’t mangy,” Ford argued, reaching out to touch my hair.

Lisa snapped her teeth at him. “I am feral.”

He chuckled. “I’ve seen you attack a steak. I’m not going to argue that point.”

“What about alone?” Lisa asked, a hint of sorrow in her voice. She felt she was never alone, just very lonely.

“Well, I seem to be here,” he pointed out.

Lisa thought about that. Ford wasn’t like the nameless throng of people surging around her. He wasn’t like the fans that dogged her steps. He wasn’t like the colleagues and crews that demanded her effort, her attention.

“You do,” she said at last. “So you must be my spirit guide.”

Ford chuckled. “Yeah, right.” After a moment he added, “So I am. On your feet padawan.”

Lisa snorted. “Padawan.”

“Yes, follow me,” he said, leading her toward the car. “I shall show you how to hunt the mighty double cheese.”

Lisa laughed again. “I hear and follow, guide!”