7 reasons it’s never the same

It’s 6 o’clock and they’re back to being normal.  Or as normal as they can get anyways.  She’s sitting in her pink office chair, writing a paper and he’s on her bed reading for class.  Neither speaks but instead enjoys the serene safety that lingers in the air around them like a blanket.

He turns the page, she minimizes the document window.  A shift in weight, a light sleepy sigh.  She bites her lip in concentration, he shifts and moves his face to rest on his hand.  It’s the same boring…the same dull…the same comfortable routine that neither seems to deviate from out of fear.

If the routine changes, they change.  They change more then they want to, more then they have.  He wants to grow, she wants to hold on to things she still wishes they had.  Yet, neither can move forward without the other.  How? Because here they are, another school night spent together in silence.  Him on her bed, her in her chair.  Both lounging comfortably in the silence they created around them.  The bubble of serenity they refuse to burst with words.

It’s so quiet she imagines she can hear his heartbeat and the feeling of tears and heartache tug at her senses.  Everything about him, every breath, every heartbeat, every single quiet moment shared between the two sends an ache through her heart that it’s obvious will never heal.  His simple, silence presence makes her heart ache for sweet kisses, caresses…love.

I want you to love me, she begs quietly, her eyes lowered to gaze at her keyboard, back to him as he turns another page.  She lets her tears fall and welcomes the dull ache into her chest, letting it swallow her body completely.  She’s so deep into her feelings of loneliness she doesn’t even notice her body begin to tremble, sniffle, sob.  He looks up from his book.

“Why are you crying?” He breaks the silence, his voice incredulous and she snaps out of it.  The ache retreats from her fingertips, her toes, arms, legs, body and back into her heart where it throbs as a constant reminder of loneliness.  She chokes on her words and she hears him shift on the bed, standing and coming to her side.

“Why are you crying?” His voice is harsh, sharp around the edges and her body trembles out of fear.  He must already know he’s the reason because there’s no other reason for her to sob so violently and without abandon.  For the thought of the times when he was her everything, when she mattered…before she was irrelevant and cast aside like a rag doll.  She longed for him to pick her back up, to smooth out the aches and sew up the tears.

But here she was, sitting here with his breath in her ear demanding to know the reason for her tears.  Demanding to know why on earth she would even be crying.  Why she even had the right to cry at any moment whatsoever.

“Tell me,” he whispers as he rubs her shoulders…presses his body against her back.  His comforting warmth flows from his stomach into her body.  Every single thing about him was perfect.  If it wasn’t for the fact that he didn’t love her.  If it wasn’t for the annoying fact that he never would.  If it wasn’t…

Her heart ached again, deeply, throbbingly as he touched her shoulders, her back, her arms…her throat.  Body shaking beneath his fingertips with an ache that only he could fulfill.  He whispered her name and asked her again.

And She Still Wouldn’t Answer Him.

Flash Fiction: Chilly Weather, Bloody Sweater

SPOILERS FOR MARJORIE DIAZ BOOK ONE

You’ve been WARNED.

It was just starting to get cold, long sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes making their annual resurgence.

Marjorie Diaz walked down a crowded street in New York, slipping past several people and some friendly (mostly unfriendly) ghosts. It had taken some getting used to, living on this side of whatever insane magical veil the supernatural creatures of old had erected over the natural world. Especially considering her ex-boyfriend’s family basically ran the place.

The Watkins were supernatural royalty. Had been for generations. Something Lucian had neglected to tell her when she mentioned him a billion times in their late night half-asleep gush sessions. Now she’d pissed off an entire family of bloodthirsty vampires or whatever supernatural being this part of the Watkins family was. Probably vampires.

Though Patrick had seemed so normal. Then again, so had Lucian. And her entire family. Yet they had all been necromancers. For their whole lives. For as long as she’d known them. It was so strange to think about. The key Lucian had given her had unlocked so many things she hadn’t been able to see before.

Still, some part of her thought she should have known.

She was meeting Lucian downtown for Dim Sum. It had been awhile since they’d spent any time together. Lucian had moved back home after school to “complete her training” and Marjorie had moved to some dump in Brooklyn with a bunch of roommates. She didn’t mind them much, they were mostly nocturnal (werewolves).

She settled into a booth in the back of the restaurant and looked over the menu. She already knew what she wanted, but Lucian was late as always. She checked her phone just as Lucian settled down across from her.

Marjorie glanced up to greet her, but the words died in her throat. Lucian’s sweater was covered in blood. She nervously glanced around the shop, wondering if anyone else noticed.

“What?” Lucian asked, glancing up from her menu.

“Um,” Marjorie motioned to her sweater, eyes wide.

Lucian glanced down. “Oh,” she said, “I keep forgetting I gave you that key.”

Marjorie’s eyes nearly bugged completely out of her head. “How often do you do this?”

Lucian glanced at her sheepishly. “I’m literally always running late, sometimes I forget to change. It’s only chicken blood.”

“Still,” Marjorie said.

Lucian rolled her eyes. “Don’t make me regret granting you entrance to the ‘magical realm’.”

Flash Fiction: Summoning Demons and Other Bad First Date Ideas

From my upcoming novel: A City of Glass & Sand

“Jonas where are we going?” P asked, struggling to keep up. Jonas was standing just ahead of her, holding both her and Willow by their wrists and dragging them along.

Both women exchanged a glance, Willow’s golden eyes were squinted, her thick lips pursed, and P looked pissed.

“I’m taking you two on a date,” he said excitedly.

“What?” Willow and P asked in unison.

“A date!” Jonas said again, turning over his shoulder to flash his teeth at them in a quick smile. “We’ve been together for forever and we’ve never really been on a date what with all this Efeara bullshit that went down and I think that right now immediately is the perfect time for us to do this.”

“Jonas have you lost your mind?” P asked.

“Plus the moon is full and the book I read said the moon needed to be full for this,” he continued on, ignoring P and Willow’s protests.

“Why does the moon need to be full for us to go on a date?” Willow asked, sounding skeptical.

“We’re going to summon a demon.”

Both Willow and P stopped at the same time. Jonas nearly yanked their arms out of their sockets pulling them forward again.

This was probably the absolute worst idea ever, but they both loved him. So they allowed it. 

When they managed to summon the evil spirit of Efeara and she destroyed the whole town, they instantly regretted it, but in the end it was probably the best first date any of them could have asked for. 

Short Stories: Apple Orchard

From my upcoming novel, Tranquil.

Lysan had saved her from obscurity. He had whisked her away from a life inside of a tower, protected her, watched over her when her brother could not. He was good to her, but this life never truly felt like hers. She was constantly being painted and plucked and shown off to the public.

“Did you see?” The news often said, “The Lord’s son is dating an elven woman. The Windsor family cannot possibly be as racist as everyone claims.”

Every time the media claimed that it made her chest ache, her inside squirm. She was nothing more than a prop for Lysan’s father Leonard Windsor to win the upcoming minister election.

“Lady Avalon?” Lysan’s bodyguard, Faron says, rapping on her doorframe. Avalon sucked in a sharp breath.

The man was so gorgeous he was almost hard to look at. He wasn’t conventionally handsome, or so she thought. He was sort of hulking, muscular with short brown hair that sat atop his head in a mess of curls if he let it grow too long. His body was covered in scars, including several deep ones on his neck and face. Avalon was head of heels in love with him.

Lysan had his place. She was grateful to him for saving her. Or for at least thinking he saved her. But Faron actually saw her. She was more than a prop to him and maybe that’s how it started with Lysan too, but that isn’t the way it is now.

“Faron,” she said, her whole body softening as he looks at her. She could live in those brown eyes forever. “Are you here to take me to the apple orchard?” She asked.

He quirks a smile at this, making the scar on his upper lip more noticeable.

“Apple Orchard” had become sort of a code between the two of them. There was no apple orchard on the grounds of the Windsor mansion, not really. There were a few apple trees and the first time she had seen them, she’d thought they were an orchard. Lysan and his father had gotten a good laugh out of this, but she had spent her entire life in a tower with other magically inclined people, what was she supposed to think?

This was the first place she had actually spoken to Faron. After living in that tower for so long, she spent a lot of time outside. She was an elf after all, it was sort of their thing to commune with nature (and unfortunately, be magical). He’d been picking some apples from the tree, a soft smile on his face. When he turned and looked at her, his face open and soft she knew she was done for.

The “apple orchard” was the first place she had ever spoken about the tower. Where she talked about all of her resentment for her mother, for her brother, and how she’d felt so caged her whole life. She even felt caged now. He felt caged too.

It was the first place he had touched her hand, ran his fingers all the way from her wrist to her shoulder. Where he cupped her face, their voices lowering to whispers, eyes half-lidded. Where he kissed her.

He offered her his arm, that same coy smile still on his lips. “Let’s go to the apple orchard.”