Curvy Holiday Anthology–Cover Reveal!

covercurvyholiday

This year’s Holiday Stripper story is included in this charitable anthology.
I’m so excited to be included with all of these fantabulous authors!
And the cover is stunning!

#OnTour with CMBS Charitable Collaborations #CoverReveal #Anthology #ACurvyHoliday | PTTD

A Curvy Holiday Anthology
Release Date: December 3, 2019

Brought to you by: CMBS Charitable Collaborations 

Cover Designed by: T.E. Black Designs

Photography: JW Photography 

Model: Joshua Burdick

Photography: CW3 Designs & Photography/Claudia Bost

Model: Courtney Lynn Rose

 

PreOrder your copy today!

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081DFV6JD 

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B081DFV6JD

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B081DFV6JD 

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B081DFV6JD

Find us on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48765256-a-curvy-holiday-anthology

Not all scars are visible 

A Curvy Christmas is a compilation of eleven stories brought to you by eleven amazing authors. The characters in these stories aren’t your typical heroes and heroines. These characters are sexy, curvaceous women and men and the people that love them! 

Come join us for wildly fun, sexy, and inspirational holiday stories! 

Royalties from this anthology will be donated to The National Council on Child Abuse and Family Violence. To find out more about the charity, visit their website > https://www.nccafv.org 

~~ Meet the Authors ~~

Lulu M Sylvian 

Bio-engineered to be the only redhead in a generation of blonds, Lulu feels that “aliens” may actually be the best answer for a lifetime of being asked, “Where did you get that red hair from?”

She did not come into writing from years of scribbling words on paper. Her background is rooted in visual arts and making pictures. Encouraged to make those pictures out of words Lulu began writing just to see what would happen. What happened was two full-length manuscripts in three months.

Lulu cannot ride a horse, a motorcycle, spin a hula hoop, or play roller derby. Yes, she has attempted all of those, even if it has been decades since she’s been on a horse or a motorcycle. She embraces the crazy that comes with that one little genetic mutation and attempts to live up to the reputation that proceeds her. Lulu would like to apologize for her contribution to the hole in the ozone layer from her use of hairspray in the 1980’s.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lmsylvian/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/lmsylvian

Twitter: www.twitter.com/lulumsylvian 

Barb Shuler 

Barb is a Carolina Girl by right and a Texan by birth. By day she’s a desk jockey for a rural transportation company and a book lover – reading through as many books as she can. At night, though, she turns into her alter ego, a writer. Cape, optional, depending on her mood.

Her stories are a mix of real life events, her own personal experiences, the crazy workings of her imagination, and the imaginations of her best friends. And with their imaginations together, it can get a bit nutty at times. Barb writes in multiple genres, encounters new adventures, creates new worlds and has a fantastic time breathing life into new stories. Creating something she hopes inspires anyone who reads them to fall in love with them as much as she has.

Barb lives by one little rule, tomorrow is never guaranteed so make sure you live each day to its fullest.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author.Barb.Shuler/   

Instagram: https://instagram.com/hercountrygirl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hercountrygirl 

Sarah L Roth

Just a Long Island girl living in a Southern world…..

20 years ago, a Jew moved from the comfort of her Long Island home for parts unknown of South Carolina. She had to learn and adapt to the ways of the South, real quick like. For years, she was on a quest for Northern goodies in a Southern town. The journey for the proper bagel and the perfect NYC pizza always eluded her. The ever-loving theater geek, she craved the bright lights of the big city and planned to return some day. All her plans changed when she attempted to settle down. The “Experiments” came exactly five years apart (one boy and one girl) and both are every bit as eclectic as she. Boy Experiment sings The Beastie Boys and Taylor Swift on demand, while Girl Experiment shouts “Where is Thumpkin” with gusto of a head-banging Metal God.

Once adapted, she made a life with her B.A. in Theatre Performance in hand, and continued to find balance between Faith and the delights of slower Southern living. Now fluent in “Bless your hearts” and understanding the importance of pearl-clutching, she visits the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, but loves coming home to her children. Her family humors her and the kids enjoy her antics.  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorsarahlroth 

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/sarahlr802 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sarahlr802 

R. S. James

An up and coming contemporary romance author and avid reader. A mother of two active kids who keep this sports mom hopping from one event to the next and practice in there also! A wife to a hunter and fisherman who enjoys spending time with our family and friends. I’m a big believer in family and I love being a sister,aunt,daughter,mother. I love to sit on the porch while talking with my friends. The voices of my characters demanded that their stories come to life so here I am letting you in on the going ins and outside of my mind. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author-RS-James-181793069253274/  

Instagram: https://instagram.com/R.S.James_ 

Lindsey Taylor

Being a mother of two, wife and full time employee, Lindsey still manages to find time to write. She is passionate about all genres of writing, earning her BA in Journalism and MFA is Creative writing and English. She has been published in many newspapers and magazines nationwide, as well as blogs and online mediums. Lindsey has also been published with Pulse Publishing for her debut fiction novel, The Novel Within. She has also been a part of two anthologies.  Lindsey is currently working on her second fiction manuscript, a poetry memoir and another anthology.

Facebook: https://Facebook.com/author.lindsey.taylor 

Instagram: https://instagram.com/lindseyjo107 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lindseyjo107 

Ree L Diehl

Ree L. Diehl was born on a misty morning in the mind of a multi-genre author who wanted to pen erotica but put her own stamp on it.  The result was the Unbillable Hours Series, serving up erotica with a dash of romantic comedy.  The She-Wolf on the Twentieth Floor is the first in a series of standalone erotic stories where the best things happen off the clock.  Reviewer: Ree L. Diehl mixes the perfect combo of sizzle, plot & a touch of humor to make the reader want more! 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReeLDiehl  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/My3Pens  

Nia Farrell

Nia Farrell is the award-winning author of one of The 50 Best Indie Books of 2016, a four-times Golden Flogger Finalist, and a founding member of the Wicked Pens.  She writes hot sex and happy endings in multiple genres and subgenres, including BDSM, ménage (MFM and MMF), paranormal, MC (motorcycle club), and Mafia.  Regardless of genre, ultimately, her books are about the healing power of love.

Nia writes erotic romance as Nia Farrell, historical romance as Erinn Ellender Quinn (the Ellender is a family name), and erotica/romantic comedy as Ree L. Diehl.  Her three pen names share a webpage at http://niafarrell.wordpress.com, where you can view slideshows of tantalizing teasers and read steamy excerpts.  As one reviewer put it, “If you love sensual, emotional and powerful romance with a definite D/s dynamic, you should be reading Author Nia Farrell.”

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NiaFarrellAuthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorniafarrell/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthrNiaFarrell 

Sandra Daniels

Sandra Daniels is a small business owner, mother of three grown sons, and the wife of a Sheriff’s Deputy. She also just so happens to lead a double life as a writer of the books she loves to read—stories with relatable characters, humor, angst, hot sex, and just enough mayhem thrown in to make things interesting. And she manages to do it all with just a touch of southern flair. 

When she’s not writing, she loves reading, watching SEC football, lunching with friends, and spending time with her family—that is when she’s not chasing after the family’s chocolate lab, Rosco, who generally has one of her shoes. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SandraDanielsRomanceBooksYouWillLove/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sandra_daniels_author/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SDanielsAuthor 

Courtney Lynn Rose

Courtney grew up in Baltimore and is pretty sure she threw her ability to give a f**k into the Inner Harbor long before high school. Like almost every writer on the planet, she started writing at a very young age. Her “way with words” led to her being the go-to person for writing funeral speeches for a long time. She tried poetry during that typical teenage phase when, like most, she thought it was her sole purpose to contemplate the existence of life and love and all the other things she thought she knew about.

For fourteen years she left the writing world behind and worked full-time as a paranormal investigator and demonologist until retiring in 2014. During that time, she had three children, earned degrees in Abnormal Psychology, Criminal Justice, and English Literature, and eventually got back to writing. While all things paranormal will always be Courtney’s heart and soul, closing the door on that career opened up a plethora of ways to use that knowledge and experience to scare the hell out of people through her writing and public talks.

Today, she lives in East Tennessee with her children and spends a majority of her time writing things that make people smile while cutting their emotions deep, and running her own professional editing company— Full Bloom Editorial. Courtney is also proud to be the Acquisitions Editor for the small press publisher, Knox Publishing, LLC.

Her novels pull from life and bring to light the things she holds fiercely in her DNA— abuse and addiction survival, domestic violence, and above all, the notion and belief that love, loyalty, and friendship are the bonds which hold every relationship together. Courtney also dabbles in the world of cover modeling and is honored and humbled by every cover she’s asked to be on for her fellow authors.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/clynnrose87 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/clynnrose87 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/clynnrose87 

Alexis R Craig

Author Alexis Craig resides on 10 acres of wooded wonderland in rural North Carolina with her soulmate, who understands her little quirks.  She enjoys reading, hiking, coffee shops, and spending time with her husband. She writes all forms of romance… from sweet to super steamy. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAlexisCraig 

Instagram: https://instagram.com/TheAlexisCraig 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheAlexisCraig 

Nicole Garcia

N.Y. Times Bestselling author Nicole Garcia has a degree in Nursing but has been a stay at home mom for the past 10 years. Her passion is reading and decided to make a career out of sharing her love for books. Nicole started writing poetry when she was just a little girl and had always loved the feeling it gave her. She now writes full-time. Currently, she writes steamy Contemporary and Paranormal Romance but plans to write other genres in the future. Hope you will join her in all the fun ahead. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNicoleGarciafanpage/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authornicolegarcia/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorNGarcia 

Tour Sponsored By: Paging Through The Days Promotions

(https://pagingthroughthedays.blogspot.com /https://facebook.com/pagingthroughthedays

Bright Phantoms Now Available

Now Available!

Click here for links!

Bright Phantoms
Bright Phantoms

Can she find the man of her dreams in a love triangle from both sides of the grave?

For set designer, Danica Kensington, falling in love has always been a spiritual experience. That’s what happens when the love of your life is a dead guy.

But then, Danica’s boyfriend, the ghost of Golden Age of Hollywood star Flint Reese, suddenly disappears from her life.

Danica is convinced she has found Flint again. Only he seems to be hiding behind the eyes of Hollywood’s top leading man, Liam James.

Danica and Liam have more problems than answers. Reunited after a year apart, Danica can’t be sure if Liam is sticking around out of a sense of obligation over the baby he didn’t know about, or if he genuinely have feelings for her. High stress, emotions, and surging hormones have Danica seeing things she doesn’t know how to explain. Why do Liam’s eyes shift from brown to blue?

Could Flint be influencing the relationship she wants with Liam? Danica wants to tell Liam she sees Flint in his eyes, but she is afraid doing so could cost her everything she loves and holds dear.

Happy 1 year release-aversary Complete

Longing-tiltereader

One year ago Complete was released!

If you haven’t read this steamy romance with Bobby, a lone wolf shifter, and Ramona the local math teacher, download it now.

Read for free in KU!

Excerpt…

Her eyes flew open. She froze. She was in Bobby Cray’s arms. In Bobby Cray’s bed.

She vaulted out of the bed and pressed against the wall. She stared at him. Her heart was going a mile a minute. He smiled up at her, his wide, naked chest all exposed like it was meant to be on display. Blankets were a rumpled, piled mess. Oh Jesus H, is he naked?

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

Good morning, beautiful.” She felt his warmth and his nearness a second before his arms wrapped around her and he placed a kiss on her forehead.

Why had he kissed her? She tried to swallow.

He ran a hand up and down her arm. “You cold? You’re shivering. Do you want some coffee?”

He left her; she heard him pad into the kitchen.

She opened her eyes and peeked out the door, afraid she was going to see his naked ass. She sighed in relief when she saw that he wore knit shorts. But the rest of him was naked, and she could see all his skin. His hair was piled up in a super messy, bed-head top knot. That reminded her that her own hair must be a complete disaster.

She tiptoed into the bathroom, trying not to call attention to herself. She rummaged through the under-counter baskets looking for a brush. A man with hair like his owned at least one brush. She knew he did. Now where did he keep it?

Jesus H, there aren’t any brushes in here. She found a hair band and pulled her hair into a quick ponytail.

Her face looked puffy. She had definitely cried herself to sleep last night. She splashed cold water on her face and wondered what had happened. She was still in all her clothes. All of them. Including her bra. She wouldn’t have put her bra back on if they had done anything, would she?

She finished her ablutions and stepped out. Maybe she could sneak past him and go out the door and leave. She didn’t know if she could face him this morning, not knowing.

Coffee’s made. You want some?”

She froze in her tracks and stared wide-eyed as Bobby approached her. He wrapped an arm around her and pulled her in close. The breath caught in her throat. What is going on?

It’s not too late to call in for a substitute, is it? We could spend the day together.”

Damn it, it was a school day. She swung her head side to side. “No, I don’t think so. What time is it?”

Bobby swiveled and looked behind him. “Ten to six. I had set the alarm for five thirty. Is that okay? You still have time for breakfast, right?”

She looked down at her dress. Panic still surged through her veins.

Bobby was half-naked and smiling like a fool.

I’ve got to go. I have to take a shower and, no, sorry.” She eyed her purse and dived out of his arms. She grabbed the bag and rushed out the door. “I’ll see you later.” She called out in a hurry as she made her escape.

She didn’t breathe again until her car turned onto the road and sped back toward her little apartment.

In record time she was in her classroom prepping for the day. She could not focus. Every time she relaxed for a second, her mind’s eye went back to that broad chest and all those muscles. And sweet baby Jesus, his nipples. She didn’t know what it was about that man’s nipples that did her in, but his certainly called out to her. And they demanded to be licked.

An Improper Derailment Chapter 8

Chapter 8

Where Mary lands in Marshall’s lap…

bored-lookingout-train-window

Catch up with Chapter 7

or start from the beginning

Mary’s glorious trip from San Francisco had been an adventure of wonder.

Grandfather had escorted her out himself, and he had spared no expense, renting a private Pullman car, and hiring a traveling companion and a maid.
Mary had spent many pleasant hours in companionable silence reading together with her companion, a widow named Mrs. Vaughn.
Mrs. Vaughn had spent too many years supporting her husband, a forty-niner, who chased his dream of gold. And she had chased her dream of finding a good husband when she had signed on as a mail order bride. Apparently neither Mrs. Vaughn nor her husband found their hearts’ desire.

Now that she was widowed, Mrs. Vaughn was returning to her family in New York. She was pleased to have found a situation that would allow her to travel in good company as far as Chicago, where she was more than certain she wold be able to find another situation as travel companion, or nanny to a family going to New York.

Mary hadn’t been terribly nosey, and Mrs. Vaughn hadn’t shared too much of her life’s story. They would sit and watch the scenery together, with the occasional conversation. Otherwise it was quiet companionship, and the rare moment of hand gripping when the train scaled the side of a mountain and rocked ever so terrifyingly side to side. It was a miracle they did not fall off the tracks.

The private car had afford them privacy, and Mary had a small private bunk with access to her belongings. In the evenings they would dine in the comfort of their car, and once even they made their way up the narrow aisles of the passenger cars to dine in the formal lounge car.

Grandfather had spent the majority of his trip forward in the lounge, conversing with other gentleman.

In no time they had arrived in Chicago, and in glorious splendor Charles and Janey had swept Mary into their realm of influential friends and introduced her to society.

Mrs. Vaughn stayed on for a few days, and as suspected, she found another situation without any problems. Mary gave her a congenial handshake in farewell. The maid, Mary assumed she had been absorbed in to Janey’s household. She hadn’t bothered to pay attention in her excitement.

Grandfather made sure Mary was situated. And she thought he understood that she was interested in accepting a proposal here, and staying here. She especially thought so when he had said, “be sure to find someone to take care of you dear. That big house back home will seem empty without your company.”

He had returned to San Francisco after several weeks, and several business meetings that were none of Mary’s never mind.

This wasn’t fair. None of it was fair.

If Grandfather was going to call her home in such an embarrassing fashion, he could have at least made her traveling arrangements to be more comfortable. Well, at least he hadn’t expected her to sit in a public car.
She grew uncomfortable sitting so precisely in her coat and traveling hat.

Marshal Hunt had made himself comfortable enough. He had fallen asleep before the train left the station, and now he slept.

Mary cast about the small space. Maybe she could relax a bit. Nothing as informal as sleeping in this man’s presence, but…

She stood up and shrugged out of her coat. The task involved contortionist skills on her behalf. Mary was not used to dressing, or undressing on her own. She froze, a chill of pure horror grabbed her spine. How was she supposed to sleep tonight? She had no garments to change into? Did that man expect her to actually sleep in his company with no chaperone?

“You had better sit down before you fall over.” His dark voice startled her, and Mary fell back across his legs.

Realization that she was splayed across Marshall Hunt’s lap had Mary scrambling to find her feet.

Large hands wrapped around her waist. Her breath caught in her throat.

“Hold up, you’re all tangled, and you’ll just fall over again.”

With ease and dexterity Mary lacked, Marshall finished removing her coat and laid it out on the seat beside him, over his coat. Mary refused to look at the intimate way their garments rested together.

She started to squirm again, wanting out of this compromising position. His hand snaked around to the front of her midsection and pulled her firm against his chest.

She felt him remove her hatpin, and then her hat followed her coat onto the seat.

“There, that better?” he released his hold of her and helped her to a standing position.

Mary stood distraught in the center of the cabin. She smoothed her hands down her front serval times.

“Mr. Hunt, that was—”

“You’re welcome,” he drawled.

She sat with an indignant huff, and her hand holding her neck. How was she to survive the indelicacies of these traveling arrangements?

“That’s not what I was going to say. Mr. Hunt my reputation is at stake. You must never mention such familiarity with me to anyone.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it.”

Falling into Chaos, now available

Into the Storm

Into-the-Storm FALLING INTO CHAOS
Reverse Harem Anthology Now Available

Falling cover

Excerpt…
I yanked at his shirt. Okay, these tie open front blouse style shirts, not only looked super hot, they were so much easier to get open than buttons. Buttons were stupid, and I never wanted to deal with another one again. My skin pressed against his chest. He ran a hand up my back. I redoubled my effort to crawl inside of him via my lips. My heart pounded in my ears. I sucked in air as hard as I sucked in him.
Sounds got muffled, all that existed was Mann’s mouth on mine. He lowered me back. No, I was falling.
F***.
blackness again.
“Janey.” Mann patted my face.
I blinked up at him. Well, that put a real damper on the moment.

An Improper Derailment Chapter 7

Chapter 7
Where the traveling arrangements are not to Mary’s liking…

steam engine

Catch up with Chapter 6!
or start from the beginning here

Steam billowed up from the engine. Light filtered into the loading platform, obscuring everything from sight. The heavy loader beasts grunted, and hissed.

Being in close proximity to the animals made Mary nervous. It was bad enough having to travel through the streets of Chicago behind an ostrich, she now had to brace herself, knowing they were near by.

Born and raised in a city, and as a proper young lady she did have riding lessons. The biggest animal she was used to having to deal with were horses. Even if the riding stable had trained for the larger saurans.

She followed the porter down the row of train cars to her carriage.

A large shadow loomed through the steam. Mary jumped, heart pounding, afraid that the impending dark that approached her was one of the saurans.

“Miss Dryer.” The voice that rolled out of the cloud calmed Mary more than she cared to admit.

The tension in her back relaxed, and if it weren’t for her corsets, her posture would have slumped noticeably.

He tipped his hat to her, and she found her composure. How dare this man be so familiar with her. She did not know him, she did not care for his company. It did not matter than a million men this afternoon had already tipped their hats in her direction in a gentlemanly acknowledgment of her presence. What mattered was that this brute was here to make sure she got home to be married off to the highest bidder.

She shuddered and let out a low growl. Her grandfather had ruined everything. Pythagorus could probably bank roll whomever George Dryer had cornered into marrying her sight unseen.

She tipped the porter after Marshall took her carrying case from the other man.

“Come with me.” His voice was a gravely command.

With a harrumph she followed him up and into the train. The man didn’t even have the decency to allow her to mount the steps first.

She walked with as much dignity as she could muster down the narrow passage. They encountered another group headed in the opposite direction. Mary began backing up, they would have to make their way to the juncture of the two cars before the others could pass.

Marshall didn’t budge. She couldn’t see his face, but the face of the porter facing him told Mary all she needed to know. He was glowering and being intimidating. She would have to speak with him privately about his behavior if he were to be in public with her. She would not tolerate boorish caveman like rudeness. If he wanted to be that way, he could excuse himself and go ride one of those beastly saurans.

With much fussing the other party backed up. Mary nodded and gave them a weak smile along with her sincerest apologies. “I am dreadfully sorry. Trains are so small, but still so much more comfortable than traveling by horse cart.” She scurried to catch up with Marshall once passed her embarrassing ordeal.

“Mr. Hunt.”

He ignored her and continued walking. Which Mary noticed with some satisfaction, was difficult for him and his broad shoulders in the narrow space. He had to twist slightly to the side and lead with his right shoulder.

“Mr. Hunt.”

He turned his head back to cast a quick glance at her. “Marshall will do just fine. I’m not one of your fancy gentlemen.”

“Obviously. That is what I daresay we need to speak about.” She stopped following him and stomped her small foot. He wasn’t paying her any attention at all. It was infuriating.

He finally stopped and slowly turned all the way back to look at her. He said nothing. He slid open the door to a passenger compartment. He tossed her bag in, and then held up his hand indicating she should enter next.

She stomped her foot again, and with another indignant huff she stormed passed him and into the compartment.

She wasn’t able to stomp far. The room, if it could be called that was barely larger than a wardrobe where she stored her dresses.

“Where is my state room? What is this?” She demanded.

There were bench seats facing each other, with racks above their heads.

Marshal shouldered his way into the small space.

Mary was astounded to silence that the man had the audacity to enter her room without permission.

She stumbled over her own tongue as he took his hat off and placed in on the rack, before shrugging out of his coat and sitting down.

How dare he!

“Mr. Hunt!”

He looked up at her, completely unaware of the affront he was causing.

She pointed her finger indicating the door. “You should leave sir.”

“Sit down,” he told her.

She stomped her foot. “Not until you explain what is going on here. And then exit my room.”

“What is going on here is I am settling in to take a nap. We have a long ride ahead of us, and the lounge car, and open-air observation cars will not be open until we are underway and out of the city.” He squinted at her like he did not fully comprehend her, something Mary did not find unexpected.

“My room, you should leave.”

“No Miss, not your room.”

“Then I should leave, where is my stateroom?” She was shocked he would have let her enter his cabin, but he had tossed her bag in here so unceremoniously.

“Sit down Miss Dryer. This is our room. There are no staterooms available on this train, and your grandfather did not send me with enough funds to acquire a private Pullman car for your feminine needs.” he kicked his rather long legs out, and propped his boots on the plush seat across from where he slouched. “I was able to get us a private compartment. Don’t worry, once the conductor has checked our tickets, I will not be spending my time in here. I have already lined up a card game that will keep me occupied for the majority of our days on this rolling cart. You will only have to suffer my company for a few hours this afternoon. And then at meals, which I will take with you. The rest of the time. I trust you will be comfortable enough in here.”

Mary slowly lowered herself to the seat. Resigned that she was stuck with the brute, she allowed herself to sit, but she would not do away with the trappings of her outer coat in the presence of this practical stranger.

She cast about the small space, there was not room for her trunks.

“Where are my trunks? My traveling items?”

He shrugged. “Baggage car I would assume.”

“And they’ll be delivered when?”

Marshall Hunt let out a sharp derisive laugh. “How did you manage to get from San Francisco to Chicago?”

She sat up straight and lifted her nose to him. “Not with a man in my chambers, that’s how!”

©2019 Lulu M. Sylvian

Happy 1-year Book Birthday Longing

On this day last year Longing was released!

Longing-solo

Shane bumped Justin’s arm with his knee, causing the kid to lose control of his game character.

“Hey, what gives?” Justin complained.

“Let’s go for a ride. C’mon.” Shane nodded his head, indicating they needed to leave. “We need to talk.”

Justin whined, “You’re not gonna talk to me about my dick, are you?”

Shane laughed. “The only dick we’re gonna talk about is your dad. Let’s go.”

Justin shrugged and powered off his game.

Shane drove for about twenty minutes in silence before Justin started talking.

“So I thought you and Mom broke up.”

“We just had an argument, man. It happens.” Shane suppressed a smile. It was good that Justin had started talking. All his informal therapy sessions with Melinda had taught him that much.

“But you didn’t come back. I didn’t think you were gonna.”

“J-man, me and your mom go way back. And I always come back around. Always. You’re my family. You, Stacey, your mom, a little argument isn’t going to drive me away for very long.”

“Then why is Dad divorcing us? We’re his family, and he’s just walking away from us. He’s being mean about it too.”

Justin turned and stared out the window. He shrugged and adjusted in his seat. Shane figured he was wiping at tears. This was all too much for the kid to handle. He didn’t need to hear what Shane thought of the man. He didn’t deserve to be their father. He didn’t deserve their tears.

“Dogstar wasn’t there when we got back. Mom took him to the vet, huh?”

“Yeah, J-man. She got him back home where he belongs.” Shane felt that was about right. He was with them where he belonged.

They pulled into a parking lot in front of a stucco building with a low tile roof. Shane cut the engine off.

“What are we doing here?” Justin looked eagerly from the building to Shane.

“Well, your mom thought that maybe…” Shane shrugged.

“I can get a dog?”

Shane nodded.

“Really?”

“Really.”

Justin ran inside the Humane Society office, leaving Shane to follow him.

The house smelled like garlic and onions when they got home.

“Stacey, get down here!” Justin yelled as soon as they walked in the door.

Lucy came into the living room first. She looked around, and her eyes fell on a carrier case. “I thought you were going to bring home a dog, not a cat.”

“Cats,” Shane corrected.

“You got cats?” Stacey asked as she walked down the stairs.

She went straight to the carrier and peeked inside. She lifted one black-and-white cat out. The animal shivered as she sat and cooed at it, stroking its fur. Justin lifted out a second cat, this one whiter with black markings. The kids sat and held their new charges.

Lucy pulled Shane aside. “What have you done?”

“We got a beautiful little girl,” Shane practically purred. “She looks like an Australian shepherd. It was love at first sight. They let Justin meet a few dogs, but she crawled right in his lap. She’s getting fixed in the morning, and we’ll pick her up after school. The cats were Justin’s idea. He thought Stacey would like the cats.”

Lucy slid into his arms. She felt so right.

“Justin was right, she’s gonna love those cats.”

©2018 Lulu M Sylvian

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