WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

 

Okay, so Honey and I were having one of our infamous chats about the universe and something interesting came up. Actually, *Looks right at you* several interesting things came to my attention, but I am going to focus in on just one.

An EMP attack of global proportions.

I know, deep, right?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, it’s an Electromagnetic pulse attack that would basically wipe out our infrastructure. No electronics, no sewer, no electric, no water…yeah, no nuthin’ we’d be living like the cavemen in no time. *sigh* I hate to ponder about these things, but sometimes you have to.

*Thinks for a second* Then? *Points at you*

This doesn’t mean you can’t make the solution be one that is fun and uplifting to think about.

Honey calls this “my making Lemon meringue pie out of a watermelon moment”, but whatever.

So here’s the conversation:

I say, “You know I was thinking about imminent global threats today and this one came to me.”

“Oh boy.” He sat down and lifted a brow at me. “Am I going to need a drink, or will this just have me buying more life insurance?”

Haha! The latter was always a good idea. “No seriously. I was thinking about an EMP attack and it made very, very sad.”

Now both his brows went up. “I’d be devastated. No electronics? I’m the one who watches TV.”

Yeah, yeah, that was true, but for this conversation, I didn’t want to focus in on the fallout details. Hollywood and every Debbie downer on the planet had those things covered. I wanted to envision an upside to the end game of this kind of attack – any kind of attack actually. So I said this to him and funny enough – he was interested.

“An upside to societal breakdown? I gotta hear this and don’t tell me Batman arrives to save the day or that aliens land and stop the war.” He shook his head. “And don’t frown. I know you too well so I know how your writer’s mind works.”

*Raises my hand to you and acknowledges, guilty! I’m always inventing possible plot scenarios that cover just about any outlandish or fanciful thing* NOT that I was going to admit this to him. 😉 “I have no idea what you’re talking about. Pay attention. Imagine if you will—”

“Here we go,” he interrupted. *Le sigh* He’s such a guy.

“As I was saying. You know that stuff about Free Will I’ve been talking about? Well, suppose that’s the cosmic key to the universe? That earth is a Free Will zone and every life on earth only needs to claim it. I mean we give our will up to the government, banks, doctors, attorneys, lawyers, judges, police, military and don’t get me started on the IRS—”

“No fear of that. I want dinner tonight and we know what happens to those plans when you start talking about their 20 million dollar Star Wars extravaganza.”

“Great! Thanks for reminding me about that. It ties in with what I would do if an EMP attacked happened or was going to happen.”

He sat forward and tilted his head. “Happened? Are you going to shoot that BS about multi-dimensional universes and time travel and pirates and outer worldly vultures who you think have preyed on mankind long enough?”

“Abso-freaking-lutely!”

“I should have poured myself a drink.”

I waved him off and then launched into my brilliant and yet simple plan for the world. “Imagine this.” I have to become animated here or he stares at me like he’s watching paint peel. “There’s those in power who know how the game works – they’ve reached the end of the deck, they’ve played the Trump card and they still don’t like where this is going so they decide to do the EMP attack on America because it’s the world economy really—”

“No, it’s not.”

You see what he does? He cuts into my roll.

I scowl at him. “It’s the biggest consumer economy. Is that better?”

“I’m listening.”

“Well, being that it’s a game, and all have to participate to make it work, the power brokers have decided to jump start things with this kind of attack because their default position is always to create fear. BUT and this is a big but, there are too many people who are onto them. Ten years ago they may have pulled it off easily, but not so well now. Why? Because the swell of THE PEOPLE who are onto them decide to hold them financially responsible for what they’ve done to not only our country – but the entire world. We put our foot down and say that’s enough you have to pay up. We put such an astronomical number on the fine that they will all be broke for the rest of eternity.”

“That sounds pretty predictable to me. Wouldn’t they ignore you?”

“Us you mean. It’s a big collective and no. You see when you claim your FREE WILL they have no power over you in your past lives or future lives. You are no longer an earning product for them so they are without a means to make and attract tradable things of value for the rest of time. But you didn’t let me finish. What if we as a collective say to all those that disrupt and corrupt our planet that they can keep what they so far have collected – providing they didn’t steal or misappropriate those things of value – only if they leave this planet for good without any war, EMP attacks or nuclear attacks. Then THE PEOPLE would be free to live the way they were meant to live on this planet.”

He was silent for a second or two and then he whispered, “I don’t know how you do it.”

There’s me basking in the compliment thinking that I’d just come up with a plausible way to save the planet from the negative energy that is dragging our society down when he added.

“How do you sleep at night with all that crap rolling around in your head?”

Crap?

Rolling?

Nothing rolls around in my head, there’s no room. Every square inch is taken up by random and not so random thoughts – I assure you. To him, I said, “It’s easy. I figure somewhere out there in this sky or the galaxy above, the Creator of Souls is listening to me. And, being that he’s the gifter of FREE WILL he will see the sense in this plan. The only fly in the proverbial “Save the Universe” oil?”

“What?”

“Is that stubborn people like you will look at me like you are now when I tell them.”

That’s when he smiled. A big, bright, smile that reached his eyes. “If I thought something like this was possible, you know I’d be all over it.”

“Sometimes you have to rely on faith alone.”

“I prefer reality.”

And I would have preferred to toss one of the envelopes on the table at him, but, *insert a deep breath here* I smiled back at him instead. Talking through my teeth I told him, “I choose to believe. This is why you and I make such a great pair. The more you deny the possibility of such a thing happening, the more I believe it will happen.”

His eyes widened and he smacked the table. “Unreal. You take the possibility of averting a dramatic fictional cosmic catastrophe and turn it into a husband smack down in the turn of one sentence.”

“Thank you. I’ll take that as a compliment because doing so requires finesse and talent, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah.” His smile eased and he sat back. “What would happen if I had taken what you said and embraced it as being possible from the get-go?”

I took a millisecond to think that over and then I didn’t even blink. “I’d suggest you head over to the doctor’s for a check-up. Clearly you’d be sick. I thought we’d already decided decades ago that I was here to save your soul? If you agreed at face value I would consider my job here done.”

“Meaning?”

“I’m glad you’re not the average Joe. I want more people like me to see that this world has some phenomenal secrets. There’s a special kind of magic and right now most of it is being corrupted by people who don’t have the heart or soul to wield it with grace and goodness.”

“Now.” He pointed at me as he nodded. “That I believe.”

You see? Honey does come around. It just takes a special way to deliver the message to him.

*Thinks about that for less than a millisecond when the epiphany comes to me*

Damn, he would have listened to me proclaiming to be the Virgin Mary if I delivered the message sans clothes. *Insert the action of a finger snap here* I wish I had thought of that tactic sooner. It would have saved me some grief. I’ve been trying to figure out how to tell him this without stressing him out too much. 😀

So…Anyone else have any great ideas on how to save the planet? The caveat has to be that we get rid of the bad guys who have screwed things up to a fair thee well AND whatever attack they were planning in the first place has to be adverted.

Heheheh. Here’s me with my author mind thinking, if we missed averting the catastrophe we could always bend time and put us back to the moment it happened and stop it from happening. I didn’t mention this to Honey because he has enough to worry about. Did I mention that I’ve got the poor guy fixing the electric/cable stuff in our house? Doesn’t sound so bad, but you have to remember our stuff is in the attic and it’s a cabillion degrees here. I sent him up there a few days ago and forgot to stick around the ladder to make sure he didn’t expire up there.

My bad!

Actually, I felt terrible when he came into the nice cool kitchen looking like he’d just gone for a swim. Poor guy.

As always, thanks for stopping by! And don’t forget to give me a great solution to our save the world challenge – Remember, the key is FREE WILL – Start there and then the person who comes up with the funniest or most creative method to banish the negative and criminal energy from the planet will get their name added three additional times to the big drawing we still haven’t done.

Geez…Caleb and Genevieve are a year older. Boy, do I need to get their story finished!!!!

Riley

A Night Spent With Honey That I Shall Memorialize!

 

I had to share. This had me LMAO!

Okay, so here’s the deal. We’ve had a boatload of company lately hence the slow blog posts being published – but we’re having fun with family so it’s all good. Anyways, Honey and I rented a pontoon boat and took the gang to a beautiful natural spring a few hours from where we live. We got to see/swim with all kinds of great wildlife (Lots of manatees) birds, fish, etc.

It was a wonderful day. Seriously. Great company and beautiful weather. So, when the day was over I was ready to fall into bed. Only? Honey was standing at the double doors to our room waiting for me.

*Looks right at you*

Honey doesn’t usually do this. We have a routine, you know? And this wasn’t part of it. So when I see him, here’s the conversation.

“Hey, is everything okay? What’s up?”

“I’m waiting.”

I shut the blinds on one of the sliders and ask, “For?”

“You. You gotta see this.”

So there I am heading into our room thinking the poochie, who has her own king-size doggie bed that I fluff for her every <- yes, you read that right! EVERY night, but the poochie princess wasn’t the issue as she was snuggled in waiting for mommy to tuck her into her top blanket.

Spoiled? Don’t ask. But I digress…

I stopped when I got into the room and saw that Honey hadn’t undressed. There I was thinking, Hmm…I bet I know where this is going. Inwardly I smiled and had that female attitude vibe happening when I coyly ask, “Okay, lover, what’s up?”

He flashes one of his patented smiles and says, “This.”

That’s when he takes off his shirt and I see the front of him. No word of a lie, people. He’s as red as a delicious apple from his broad shoulders to hips he’s one huge fireball. “Oh, boy.” I may have said that, but I was thinking, “Good, Lord, do we have some Noxzema in the house?”

I was just about to go find out when he announces in a deep and very husky voice, “Tonight, darlin’, you’ll be sleeping with Hellboy.”

Hahaha! True in every sense of the word. Actually, truer would have been Furnace-Boy – holy moly was he a bastion of boiling heat all night. *Le sigh* I found myself hugging the edge of the bed to keep away from the flames. Funny thing was, I kept teasing him during the day on the boat because he’d put the sunscreen on so thickly all over himself, he looked like Casper the ghost until the lotion was absorbed. How the heck did he wind up lobsta-red???

Crazy.

Upside? We now have enough money to visit all seven celestial planets at the end of the year on account of the swear jar being filled to overflowing. Between Honey and all my guests? Yup, I’ve been making out like a bandit on that score. 😉

So… *Looks around* How’s everyone doing? Good?

I’m looking forward to a week of carrying the pooch outside to go pee. I love having company, but my poor baby gets so depressed when our guests leave that she can’t drag herself out to handle nature’s call. Honey is convinced I’ve cultivated this behavior in our fur-baby, but I don’t think so. I mean, if I were inclined to cultivate anything in her it would be for her to learn how to do laundry.

*Lifts a brow at you*

Have I mentioned how much I hate doing laundry? And here I am today, knee deep in dirty sheets and towels. Yay!

Check back towards the end of the week when I’ll be doing our final addition to our giveaway before the big draw. I feel like PERMIT ME has taken a year to write – but hey, it will be worth it, I promise.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

*Smooches*

Riley

A Honey Quickie!

I bet you didn’t think that was possible…but it is!

Haha.

Anyways, still working away on things here and had to laugh. Last night Honey and I were watching a movie, and well, maybe I should backtrack a little. Remember how I told you guys that I had the swear jar being loaded up for our trip to Mars at the end of the year? You know, because Honey swears a lot *looks right at you* now that I’m counting it’s a gargantuan amount.

The point is he keeps filling the jar, sometimes he shoves in extra dough for future disobedience. *Lifts brow at you* Yeah, that doesn’t please me. I finally came to the conclusion that the only thing I’m accomplishing here is another savings account. *Le sigh.”

What to do…? *Taps index fingernail on front tooth* What. To. Do?

Enter the lightbulb moment here.

Quite calmly, during a commercial, of course, I’m not that much of a witch with a b in front of it to make him miss the show — I tell him the money thing isn’t working.

Here’s the conversation.

“I’ve been thinking about the swear jar project and I’ve decided we’re going to have to switch things up a little.”

He kind of side-eyes me and says, “Oh?” It was the type of Oh that said, “Nah, nah, nah. I won!”

Aggravating? Don’t ask.

So I side-eye him right back. “Yes. I’m afraid if I don’t do something soon, you’re going to have our grandson swearing like a pirate by the time he’s five and I can’t have that so…”

Now I have his attention. He turns to look directly at me. “So? What are you scheming now?”

“No scheme.” I lied. It was a scheme and darn good one too. “I’ve just decided to put a moratorium on the cash jar, and exchange your penalty for conversations.”

He scowled while suspiciously eyeing me at the same time. My bliss? Yeah, it was soaring when he said, “Um…What now?”

My conversations that is. You know the ones. About all my crazy theories and questions and what do call them? I can’t say because then I’d owe the jar, but a big pile of BS, that’s what. Anyways,” I rushed on as he looked ready to freak out. “Here’s the deal. Every time you swear, I’m marking it down and with each breaking of the law I get to have a conversation with you about one of my BS thoughts.”

Him in rapidly fire questioning mode. “Is there a time limit?”

I shake my head.

“Are there parameters on the level of the types of swear words I use?” (I could bore you with the details here and spell out the list of blasphemies he ran down, but I won’t). You’re welcome. 😉

I shook my head.

“What about the situation. Say I stub my toe. You know that’s a real _ucker.” <- Yeah, you fill in the blank. I’m trying to save my pennies from the jar.

I shake my head.

“Do I get a holiday?”

Blinks and then looks right at you. Seriously? I narrow my eyes at him.

“Absolutely not.”

“Well, this blows.”

I nodded, but then after an hour or so, I was shocked. *Leans in to whisper * Not really. Man, we were up to five conversations. That’s when it occurred to me that if I stick with this plan, I could be stuck talking to him – not with him – for the rest of my life.

Enter plan B.

The moment I saw how concerned he was with all the checkmarks on the page, I’d started to keep count, I threw him a bone. “Hey, we should make this interesting. If you can make me laugh out loud with a quip – I’ll knock one or two checks off the page.

All he did was smile and then five minutes later? He hits me with this.

In the movie, the hero says to the heroine, “Come on, we have to go. They put the Warlocks and Witches in the same place.”

“Where’s that? she replies.

And Honey says, “In Washington. They’re all politicians.”

I laughed out loud and when I turned to congratulate him on a job well done he was holding up the pad with pen in hand ready to cross off a few checks.

Me?

I swore. Albeit, silently, but it was still a swear, so I put .25 cents into the jar when he wasn’t looking. But can you believe this? The guy managed to get the page erased before he wrecked it all by adding three new checks to the page. I wouldn’t have been so bothered by all this if he hadn’t said, “Good times. I wonder how many checks I can earn and then erase tomorrow.”

*Blows out a breath*

The man is a menace, isn’t he?

So how’s your week going so far? Good? Things here are busy, but I’m getting stuff done. I should have the last item for our giveaway next week. My next story is one that has reconnected me with things from the past that I’d forgotten about. There’s a lot of me and Honey on the pages – dressed up for fiction, of course, but that’s probably why I’m taking my time with one. Who knows?

As always thanks for stopping by.

Riley

Holy Batman’s Under Amour! This IS A Drill!!!



Okay, I want a show of hands. How many people have heard of Operation Gotham Shield?

Yeah, me neither until a few days ago when someone on my twitter feed dropped a link. Love my Twitter friends! Anyway, for those of you who don’t know – this is a USA military drill exercise where they are going to pretend that a nuclear threat of 4 bombs have been discovered in 4 different locations across America. Two of these bombs will be terminated by our crack military people and two will -unfortunately (pretend) to explode. One over NYC and the other near the Canadian border.

Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/sz8gHF1kxYc

And here’s the conversation I had with Honey about it:

Imagine me pacing back and forth and frowning as I try to come up with a good “break the ice” intro into this one. *leans in to whisper* If you’re new to my blog and Honey stories, I should tell you the man doesn’t like to talk about covert operations, anything to do with ghosts, and nothing to do with our military doing training exercises after 911. Did I mention that they were doing a drill exercise – on the very day that the planes hit the towers? They were. Even more stunning is that the drill focused on hijacked planes hitting the twin towers. This is why Honey doesn’t like to think about that.

Me?

I think about everything. Yeah, I’m probably that person who would sit next to you during a scene from a scary movie and explain how they could have made the images scarier. Drives Honey nuts.

Yay! I live to make Honey bonkers! Poor Honey.

Let me set the scene. Honey and I sit down to have our afternoon chat and I decide on the old “ripping the band aid off” strategy about broaching the subject.

“I can tell you had a great day. You’re home early.” <- See what I did there? I killed all the birds with two observations. Now we could talk about what was on my mind instead miring through his work day. Brilliant, right? “My day was interesting. You know what I learned? The military are getting set to do Operation Gotham Shield.”

As expected he took a deep breath in and then let it out as if he was kind of deflated. “Do I want to know what that is? Remember I told you that I’m trying to destress? I stopped listening to the radio during the day and you know I watch my how-to videos and documentaries at night.”

And there’s me blinking not at all. “Yeah, yeah. I know. You want to know what Gotham Shield is. Trust me.”

After he agreed to listen, and I explain it to him, he shook his head and said, “This is right up there with Jade Helm.”

Hm. I probably should have asked if you’ve heard of that military project. Not that Honey and I discuss these things at lengths. We don’t. But we do shoot the breeze about the weird stuff going on in the world once in a while that has no basis in regular old common sense.

Here’s the link on Jade Helm. Reader’s Digest version? The military played war games for two months during 2015 in a few states. Some people weren’t happy about it either…but back to our conversation.

Thinking about the other military drill, in 2001 I said, “I’m praying that this Gotham Shield doesn’t have any reality thrown in. It better not.”

We’re both silent for a few seconds and then Honey nods. “Me too. Maybe we should insist all of Congress fly to New York at the beginning of the week and hold hands around the statue of Liberty while singing Kumbaya repeatedly.”

I would have laughed, but seriously, I was still mulling over the idea because maybe we should do that, 😉 when Honey says, “You never did answer me when we spoke about the Jade Helm project. Do you think it’s possible?”

Okay, I have to say here, that as it turns out some believe that Jade Helm is a super (Sky Net) computer in space that is learning how to program itself by watching humans. Actually, most people into the theory believe that she’s capable of figuring out how a person thinks and feel, and one day will be able to gauge how each person on the planet will react when put under stress or angst.

I think Tom Cruise did a movie about being arrested before he actually committed the crime type deal. (Asked Honey and he said it was called Minority Report) And being that this kind of future is so pessimistic for humans (I hate dystopia) I probably didn’t answer Honey the last time because it broke my heart to do so. Even still that didn’t mean I hadn’t given the topic a lot of thought since then and that’s why I had an answer for him now.

“I think it’s possible. Man is the most egotistical, arrogant and aggressive creature in the universe.”

“Here we go.” Honey did the big eye roll. “I’m guessing you’re going to be going full extraterrestrial on me.”

I sure was. “Yep. So, if, as I believe there are other beings out there in the cosmos, I have to think they are waaaay smarter than us.”

He lifted a brow. “Your point?”

“They’d meet Sky Net Jade and have a talk with her. Or better yet? She’d figure out all by her “genius lonesomeness”, what as*holes some on this planet are, and how the people have been led astray by said A-holes. If so I’d think she’d make the bad actors pay and let The People who desire peace and not war – live on this planet as they were intended to and not as slaves to commercialism and—”

“Whoa. I get it.” He sat forward and patted my knee.

Now I hiked a brow at him. “Do you?”

That’s when he gave me that smile and talked right through it. “Men are easily tricked, but duping a smart woman? Not good. Me thinks the bad actors will be frying their as*hole, a-holes off.”

I shook my head and that’s when he frowned, saying, “You don’t think Jade would make them suffer?”

“Of course she would. She’d be the perfect woman, once she finished programming herself, and do you know what a perfect woman would do to those who tricked The People?”

“I said. Fry them.”

“No, she’d reprogram the war mongers to be peaceniks. Think daisies in their hair and long flowing skirts.”

“For the women,” he said.

It was my turn to talk through my smile. “No. I was referring specifically to the men. Oh, and the liars of all genders would suffer for the rest of their miserable lives unable to tell a lie.”

“Saw that Jim Carrey flick. Man, that would be awful.”

Yeah, he said that with such conviction I was given to wonder what the heck he’s lying to me about…but then I’ll leave that discussion for another blog post. 😀

So, given that I’m taking my time with this next release. Caleb and Genevieve have a soul-touching relationship *sniffle, sniffle* I thought I’d add to our giveaway. This is what we have so far:

 

And this is what we’re going to add:

This smells great and since we’re talking about the Big Apple and James and Genevieve are planting an apple orchard in Vermont on the property that Caleb bought – I thought this would be great!

Here’s a chapter for you to get to know Genevieve and Caleb. And, just to be clear, when I say soul-touching, I mean that in a great way. They are two people who need each other and they really don’t know why until the very end of their story. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard for me to finally write that part. As you all know a happy ending is always guaranteed, so no worries – it’s just that they have shared so much with me, and reminded me of some very special things that Honey and I have shared over the years – I don’t want to let go.

The truth? These guys have captured a piece of my heart and I’m afraid I’m going to have to leave that part of me on the page with them when I finish their story. That kind of break-up is killer for me…but I’ll manage. This should be ready for release soon.

PERMIT ME

Chapter Nine

“I don’t blame you. Hate me all you want. I did what I had to do.”

Caleb stared at his brother as he continued to rub the knotted muscles that had begun to spasm on his upper thigh. “I don’t believe it.”

“It’s true. She didn’t want the reward money.”

“She’s French.” He had no idea why he said that.

“She speaks beautiful English. More precisely and better than you.”

Caleb glared. “She dresses better than me too. What does any of that have to do with you selling me out?”

Ethan tossed him a towel and a bar of soap. “I didn’t sell you out. You smell like shit. And what’s with the Joe Manganiello look? You need to shave.”

Caleb shifted forward and winced when another spasm ripped through his muscles. “What if I refuse?”

Ethan crossed his arms over his chest and he instantly recognized his older brother’s stance. It screamed, “I dare you.” What did that tell him? He needed to get out of this another way.

“Fuck.” Caleb swore, lifting his leg down from the chair he’d had it stretched out on. “Fine. She wants a green card, how many years do I have to stay married to her for her to qualify for it? Two? I’ll sign the license and be done with it.”

“What?”

Caleb put the towel and soap aside and then reached for the bottle of tequila, unscrewing the top. “The marriage license. I’ll sign on the dotted line and she’ll get her American dream. End of story.”

He took a swig of the liquor without taking his eyes off his brother. Ethan looked uncomfortable or was he surprised? Didn’t matter. “Isn’t that what you wanted to hear?”

“Yeah it is. I’m just a little stunned you’re not bitching more about it. It’s three years by the way.”

Caleb shrugged. What the hell did he care how many years? “Fine by me.”

“Hm. By the way you’ve treated all us guys when we’ve come to stay, I would have thought you’d be a little more combative. Michael said you threw the lunch he made for you yesterday in the toilet.”

Caleb had scraped the disgusting congealed macaroni in the can, but he wouldn’t have done it if he’d thought Michael was watching. Wait. What did the guys coming here and stepping on his last nerve pulling unnecessary nursing duties have to do with Frenchie obtaining a green card? Unless… “Oh no. She’s not staying here with me.”

Ethan uncrossed his arms and frowned. “Where else would your wife stay?”

“No. She’s a green card digger, not my wife.” He tried to stand up, but failed. Of all the times to have left his cane on the bed. Damn it. He downed a good bit of the tequila instead, and then used the bottle as a pointer toward his brother. “Besides, she’s a crackpot.”

“Funny.” Ethan walked over and took the bottle out of his hands, taking a large pull of the liquor before he said, “She told me she was your soulmate.”

He reached forward and grabbed the bottle back. “And you believed her? You’re as crazy as she is.”

He didn’t like the way his brother was eyeing him when he mused, “Maybe. I guess we’ll find out soon enough, won’t we?”

“No.”

There was no hesitation when Ethan shot back a firm, “Yes.”

“Does Alistair know about this?” He needed an ally here. Someone who would be reasonable. An unbiased third party who’d see the sense in putting her up in her own home a few states away from where he was living until she got that fucking card as a thank you.

“Alistair was the one who informed me that you had to cohabitate in order to pull off something like this. It was just that we planned to wait on this until you weren’t so…”

So much for unbiased. He narrowed his eyes. “So…what?”

“Surly. I know it’s the pain bothering you and you’re probably wise not to be downing Vicodin, that shit’s addictive, but seriously, pounding back tequila isn’t helping either. Have you thought about doing some sort of therapy?”

“For what exactly? The pain? That’s what you think my problem is?”

Ethan’s tone was quiet, almost gruff when he asked, “Are you still having the nightmares?”

Yes, he had pain. Absolutely, he had nightmares. These things, given what he’d been through, were to be expected, weren’t they? What he hadn’t counted on was the sense of loss that was more crippling to him than his bum leg. “She’s not staying here.”

“She will reside here. I made a deal. Your life was saved. And now it’s time to pay up.”

He didn’t say anything. He just stared at the tequila bottle knowing there was no way he was going to agree to this.

Never.

*****

Genevieve waited until Ethan finished speaking before she clasped her hands together and said, “I am very glad Caleb has recovered. Although Colin has kept me informed on his condition, hearing from you puts my mind completely at ease. But as you can see, my things are all packed. I’m leaving America in less than a week so while I appreciate the offer, what you’re proposing isn’t possible.”

“This.” He swept a hand toward the neatly stacked boxes against one wall in the room. “Will only speed things up when we call the movers and relocate you to Vermont.”

She shook her head. “I’m sorry. It’s not that easy.”

Genevieve wished it were. She’d lain awake many nights trying to get a handle on the situation, but it always circled back to the same conclusion. No matter how adamant she felt about Caleb being her soulmate and that she was supposed to be here. Not just in America, but somehow a big part of his life, she couldn’t consciously force him into being with her when he didn’t want to.

Ethan took a deep breath and let it out slowly as he sat down on the arm of the couch opposite her. “This is your chance at a green card.”

“Not my only one. Maybe you hadn’t heard, but Matt was ready to fulfill the original bargain we’d made once he got out of the hospital.”

Ethan leaned forward and some of that stoic Dom control he was a master at maintaining slipped. “I heard about that, and it does make me wonder why you didn’t take him up on it?”

He looked so much like Caleb in that moment her heart rate kicked up speed. But then his Dom-shield was back up, and she automatically told him the truth. “Before I met Caleb, I asked my friend, Matt,” she emphasized, so he’d know there was no romance between them, “to help me for the express purpose of buying me some time in order to meet my soulmate. But then I met your brother and that express purpose was no more.”

Ethan frowned and sat back. Clearly he was thinking all this through when he asked, “But initially in Cape May when you first met Caleb you were willing to put the need for a green card out there. He told me about that. Even later, when you came to Silver Lake, you and Colin seemed pretty set on blackmailing me into agreeing to that as the stipulation for the information you gave me. I’d like to know why.

She held his gaze without a falter. “Because he’s mine, and at the time the card was a good excuse to get to him.”

Although he tried his best, she caught his initial surprise before he could hide it. Once he had though, he shook his head. “I should have said why, now that I’m here, have you changed your mind about wanting a green card, but more specifically him?”

She lowered her gaze and whispered, “Personal reasons that I’d rather not share.” If she ever did it would be directly to Caleb. No one else.

The quiet that stretched out between them then was intense to the point of suffocating until she couldn’t take it anymore, and looked up. She was fully prepared to use the only logical argument that made sense enough that he’d stop pressing her on this. “What kind of soulmate would I be if I  forced Caleb to do something he doesn’t want to do? Your brother doesn’t want to marry me, Ethan. He made that very clear when we were in Cape May. He told me straight out that his bachelorhood wasn’t for sale. In effect he said that he had a big life planned and it didn’t include me. A woman he didn’t love, who only wanted to claim her American dream.”

Ethan’s chin dropped to his chest and then lifted again. “I’m sorry. Caleb’s a little rough around the romantic edges sometimes.”

That made her smile because being the protective big brother was causing him to walk a fine line here. “You may swear in front of me, sir. You can say he’s an asshole. Believe me, I won’t mind.”

Ethan laughed, but the sound quickly petered out when it appeared that something had just occurred to him. Now he was frowning again. “Genevieve, you do know that Caleb’s not a Dom.”

She nodded. “I know. He told me that too.”

“But you’re a sub?”

Why some people needed to spell everything out and put labels on things was beyond her. She was what she was. “Yes.”

He stood and looked as if he was going to say something, but then he shook his head and began to pace. Back and forth. Back and forth, before he stopped. “I can’t help wondering how you ever thought this would work between the two of you.”

She’d wondered that herself, but not for the reason he did. “I’ll admit I did have reservations.”

“So this was a waste of—”

“Not because Caleb and I have differing views of the lifestyle.” She looked away and then looked back. “We actually never discussed the topic at any great length. I heard about his views from Colin and it makes perfect sense to me since you’ve made such a commitment to this aspect of your life. It’s only natural he’d want to find his own path. And I may be veering off the subject of Caleb here, but I think you need to consider the reality of most submissive women. I’m positive it’s far different from what you think, sir.”

Ethan stopped pacing and clasped his hands behind his back. “How so?”

“A woman gives her heart unconditionally. But the heart of a submissive woman? It’s given wholly. If she doesn’t get what she needs from her man, whether he is her definition of a Dom or not, she would never belittle or place judgment on the kind of attention she does receive from him because he is hers. I think if you asked, most submissively inclined women will go to great lengths to get what they need without breaking that emotional covenant.”

He inclined his head. “Alright. I’ll ask you. What lengths were you prepared to go to when dealing with Caleb over this?”

Genevieve unclasped her hands and smoothed her palms across her linen skirt. This admission wasn’t an easy one. “I would do what every submissive does who aches to be mastered by the man she loves when that man can’t or won’t do it. I’d invent being taken in hand by him in my mind. I’d turn him into the Dom I needed him to be in my fantasies. Sometimes…” She paused here for a moment and then ended her little speech by saying as upbeat as possible, “Sometimes this way of things is better than the reality. Less complicated. N’est-ce pas?”

Ethan was studying her as if he was seeing her for the first time, and that kind of laser-focused attention made her a little uncomfortable. She sat up straighter. “But to get back to why I had my own reservations about this? Caleb is not really my type.”

Ethan’s gaze drilled through her. “And yet you insist, still if I’m correct, that he’s your soulmate.”

“Yes, yes.” Genevieve stood and now she was the one pacing. “It makes no sense.” She halted when she was right in front of him, and then looked up. “I’m afraid your brother is too nice for my liking. He smiles a lot and…and…he’s jokey.”

Ethan scowled and when his hands landed on his hips in a commanding way, well, this wasn’t the first time she wished Caleb would be more like that. “Jokey?”

She rolled her hands like she was looping twine. Slightly flustered because she hadn’t meant to share so much with him. “The funny man. He’s—” She let that last thought go with a wave of her hand, and stared at a spot on his shoulder. She didn’t want to meet his eyes. “It doesn’t matter. None of it does. I’m not going to force him—”

“I already did.”

Her gaze shot up and she frowned. “I don’t understand.”

His hands went from being balled on his hips in a semi-intimidating position, to lifting between them in supplication. She looked down at them and then back up. Gone was all his Dom-like demeanor, in its place was every bit of the frightened older brother of the man she was meant to love.

“Caleb is in pain.”

“Yes, I know.” She urgently searched his face. “Colin said his leg was healing though. It is, isn’t it?”

When he ran a hand through his hair and looked away, she held her breath until he said, “It’s not physical pain. It’s something more than that. Deeper.” He sighed and then seemed really angry saying his next words. “They took a piece of his soul and I—”

She held her breath again.

“If I have to I’ll—I’ve come here to force you to—”

She was steadily breathing once more. She had to in order to keep up with the adrenaline racing through her that was fueled by hope and a building sense that all the murkiness she’d been wading through over the situation with Caleb was about to disappear. She had no idea how all of it would work out in the end, but at least he was offering her a beginning. “Yes?”

“—to find the part of him they stole and give it back to him. I’m not asking you to marry him, Genevieve. I’m telling you that you must if you truly believe he’s your man. He needs someone in his corner right now and you’re our last hope.”

This was it. Her reason. The reason. She dove forward and gave Ethan a hug, wrapping her arms around his middle while she laughed, and yes, even cried a little with relief. “Thank you, sir.”

He put a hand on her back, and she knew she’d probably caught him off guard when he said, “Whoa. You’re thanking me? I expected you to yell at me when I said the thing about force.”

She finished squeezing him and then stepped back, shaking her head. How could she explain to him that she’d needed another way and he’d just given it to her? She beamed. “I never yell.”

One of his brows went up. “Never say never. And remember that you thanked me.”

“I will, but why do you want me to remember?”

Ethan led her out of the living room toward the front hall. “Did you ever hear the story about Androcles and The Lion?”

She looked between him and the glass panel at the front door. There were men standing out on the stoop. “Of course. Are those men with you?”

“Yes, the movers. Now about the story. Do you remember how miserable the lion was when he had the thorn in his paw…?”

By the time he finished retelling the whole tale she had a lump of worry in her throat. Brooding and surly? What had they done to her man?

“Oh, you are a soft one, aren’t you?” Ethan tipped up her chin and made a tsk, tsk sound as their gazes locked. “You can’t let him know it. He’ll bully you if you do.”

She needed to show him that she was stronger than he thought. “If I understood your version of the story correctly, sir. The lion becomes the slave in the end. Caleb’s the lion, so…?” Now she lifted a brow at him, and when he laughed she knew she’d succeeded.

“Hm. There might be hope for the two of you yet, French-fry.”

“French-fry? That’s not very nice.”

“Take it up with my brother.” Ethan opened the doors and told the guys to back the truck up into the loading zone as there would be a move today.

When he closed the door she asked, “Why would I take up the name calling with Caleb? You said it.”

“Yes, but he said it first. To a buddy of mine, David Hollan. I believe his exact words were, “She’s an adorable little Frenchfry that I’m having a hard time not eating.”

She felt her face flush with pleasure, not embarrassment. “Your brother does like food.”

“Yeah, I’m fairly sure he wasn’t fantasizing about potatoes when he said it. May I help you pack?”

All she could do is blink as he sauntered off toward the kitchen.

Could it be true?

Suddenly the term French-fry didn’t seem so bad after all.

Ethan swung around. “Are you coming? Colin’s expecting us for dinner in a few hours so we need to get cracking. I’ll tell you about the wedding plans and the move as we finish boxing up your stuff.”

Genevieve nodded. Showing him into her room. She was just about to tell him that she meant what she’d said earlier about being all packed when he looked around and made a low whistle.

“It’s all done.”

“Yes. Now you can tell me about the plans.”

And her future brother-in-law did.

(END)

As always. If you are a subscriber you are automatically entered in our build-a-givaway. If you leave a comment on any of the build-a-giveaway posts your name gets added to the finally draw hat additional times for each comment for more chances to win! Yay! I love more chances!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by. Next up? Honey and The Case of The Missing Five Hundred and Sixty Thousand Dollars…

*Looks right at you* Trust me. You don’t want to miss this next post (I should have it done this week). Why? Honey cracks me up. *shakes head*

Take care,

Riley

#1 BESTSELLER FOR KW CONTEMPORARY! ME WITH PINK HAIR & A BUILD-A-GIVEAWAY!

So, um…you notice anything different about me? LOL! When THE WILD ONE started to move on Amazon’s Bestselling list Honey told me that it would reach #1. I said, “No Way.”

To which he responded, “Yes way!”

That’s when we decided to settle the dispute in a very adult and mature way. If I won he had to go to the corner of the street in our neighborhood with a sign that read, MY WIFE IS ALWAYS RIGHT AND I SHOULD NEVER MAKE A BET WITH HER, or if he won, I swore to post two pictures of me in the pink hair. *Looks right at you* long story about the pink hair, but I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version. I bought the hair to surprise Honey – unfortunately, when it came it was more neon than a pale pink, so it surprised him alright! Especially when I flicked on the black light. Heheh.

I look so sad, don’t I? I was. You wanna know why? It was the first time I ever put on false eyelashes. If you look real close you’ll see one of them landed half way up my lid and got glued there. *Shakes head* I have a whole new respect for women who put those suckers on more than once in a lifetime, I can tell you that. Oh, and I put on the black shirt so I’d be a floating neon head when Honey was treated to the black light effect. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

Yeah, no, it wasn’t. Trust me. Poor Honey. 😀

OKAY! Now for the exciting news. My story that is part of the phenomenal Queen of erotic romance Desiree Holt’s Omega Team series, THE WILD ONE hit the #1 spot in Amazon’s Bestsellers for Kindle World for contemporary romance and you guys know what that means. We need to celebrate!

Don’t you think we should start our build-a-giveaway? I’m almost ready to release my next big story, PERMIT ME, but what the heck? Why not start the giveaway building early, right?

So, the first item in our giveaway is going to be something that my next hero, Caleb, buys for his heroine, Genevieve, when she makes him play “Chopped Kitchen”.  You see, he doesn’t cook anything but steak, so she makes him up a basket of ingredients two nights a week and tells him to plan a menu and cook with the items she’s given him. LMAO. The poor bastard. Genevieve doesn’t make it easy on her alpha male.

*Thinks about all their shenanigans and then dreamily sighs* Ah, good times.

This is Iggy & Wiggy! Aren’t they adorable? They’re salt and pepper shakers.

These two officially kick off our next build-a-giveaway!

This is the box they come in.

Yay! You guys know the rules. If you subscribe to my blog, your name is automatically in the hat. But with each new comment you leave on the next few blogs when I post more items to add to our giveaway, I will add your name again for more chances to win!

So, *props chin in palm* anyone got a fun story to share about sprucing up one’s significant other’s relationship expectations? I have another one I’ll share if you do – but no pictures this time because I’d *cough, cough* get arrested. >:)

As always thanks for stopping by!

Riley