Grief Happens

Grief steals from you…

Sometimes you notice it other times you don’t.

It’s a process.

It’s keeping things safe

Grief steals from you…

It’s not the same for all.

It’s stingy and LOUD

But quiet and stealthy

Grief steals from you…

Occasionally on purpose

But never to be mean.

You gotta let it happen.

Grief steals from you…

Nothing that you can’t get back

Sometimes it’s temporary.

When it needs to be, it’s Forever

Grief steals from you…


But nothing

And all that’s in between

Grief steals from you…

every now and again

Lurking and Waiting

Never far but not too near

Grief steals from you…

Anything you’ll allow

Things that you hold dear

But never a single tear.

Grief steals from you…

Not always to keep

Waiting patiently to return it all

with nary a peep

Grief steals from you,

Hope lends you strength,

Faith holds your hand,

Love warms your heart.

Though grief steals from you,

it helps you carry on.


Befitting an Edit

Learn from my mistakes.

The right editor means everything. Early on in my career, I thought any editor would do. That is not true. I learned after two appalling experiences, that you need a different editor for each different niche you write in.

One of the first bad pieces of feedback I ever received was from a cis het white man. I didn’t think about it when I was writing and submitting that I needed an editor who understood my genre and characters.

The feedback: don’t write multilingual prose and dialogue, limit the gay interactions, and don’t make race the forefront of the story.

I am a non-white queer neurodivergent writer. My characters reflect that, always. At the time, I was young and hated myself thinking that I couldn’t write these types of characters. I was devastated since I had created an entire series around these characters. I stopped writing and left that universe behind.

Then I got angry. Representation is important. Not just for me but all the non-white queer neurodivergent people out there. It was a decade later I picked that universe back up. I submitted it to another editor. I figured it would be a better experience since they were queer.

The feedback: it’s too steeped in culture and too much that isn’t in English.

A memory came to me. I can’t tell who the speaker was or the exact quote but it stuck with me. I remember reading it somewhere and it was like, “if they can pronounce Dostoevsky, Tchaikovsky, and Vysotsky they can learn to pronounce your name.” That made me think about language and society. If people can read and adapt other languages in other areas of life, then they damn sure will be able to get it in a fantasy novel.

The story isn’t written to where a reader can’t pick up and understand what’s happening in the scene. Also, it is conversational Spanish. Not some unfamiliar language. Context clues provide understanding, or another character translates it.

I dug into figuring out the correct kind of editor after that. I am putting money behind something I need to make sure that I am getting the most out of the relationship. I will give it to the others, most of the remainder of their feedback was decent, but they didn’t understand my voice or my characters.

Social media and research have helped me find out how to search for an editor and make sure that we’re the right fit for each other. I have submitted my queer fantasy novel to a new editor and have high hopes. They are also queer, neurodivergent, and multilingual. Fingers crossed! The third time’s a charm!

Editors are not one size fits all. Make sure that you’re getting the most out of the dollars that you spend by hiring an editor that is right for you and your work. Everyone deserves someone that they can trust with their manuscript babies.  

I’m Tired

Don’t say you’re colorblind.

We really don’t want to hear that line.

Every day we’re dying in the streets,

and every night you’re not losing any sleep.

It’s like sometimes you forget,

but I can never forget.

I can’t breathe.

Because all they see is the brownness of my skin,

the fullness of my lips,

the kinkiness of my hair,

and that just isn’t fair.

I can’t breathe.

You speak from a privileged place,

Walk with a privileged sway,

and stand in a privileged light.

Knowing you’ll never have to fight the same fight.

Or raise the question, will I die today?

I can’t breathe.

It’s not just about being invited to the cookout.

It’s more than just clout.

Kneel when I kneel.

If you can’t stand with us,

you don’t get to pretend to be us.

Give us back our culture.

Give us back our names.

I can’t breathe.

I don’t want to die today.

Or tomorrow.

Sins of Worship Chap. 2

Devon hummed as he made his way through his house. He pulled the wig off and placed it back on the stand. Devon went through the motions as he cleaned and prepared himself for the night. He dressed and went down to the subbasement.

“Hello beautiful,” Devon greeted the man as he went to the closet and pulled out his waders and a smithing apron to wear.

The man struggled against the bonds and his cries were muffled by the gag that was tied tightly.

Devon walked around him as he pulled his plan to the front of his mind. He nodded and went to the large red tool chest. He opened the first drawer on the right and grinned. He lifted the hand sander and headed to the modified work bench. Devon made sure the straps were clean and sat the sander down. He turned and went to the storage closet off to the left and pulled out the bolt of tarp plastic.

The man’s eyes followed Devon as he spread out the plastic in layers under and around the table. The hairs began to stand up on his arms as Devon began to hum and upbeat tune while he sealed the gaps with gorilla tape. The man struggled against his bonds to no avail. He closed his eyes and sent up a silent prayer to a god he had long ago given up on.

Devon finished his preparations and went over to the man.

“Jon wasn’t it?” Devon pulled the key from around his own neck and unshackled the hands from the floor board ring first, “you won’t be missed. You’ve been very unkind and a horrible father to three lovely boys. Don’t worry,” he chuckled, “they’ll know you’re dead so that they can collect the insurance money. It is the very least you can do for your family.”

Jon tried to argue and plead around the gag as he pulled at the cuffs.

“You’re not my first nor will you be my last. I have perfected the hostage holding bonds. You’ll never get out of those cuffs. That’s why they’re separate then connected. A ton better than shackles. Now if you try to run this will take a lot longer than I have planned.”

Jon sagged and allowed Devon to move him from the floor to the work bench.

Devon untied the first layer of the gag then removed the cloth he has shoved in Jon’s mouth.

“You can scream as much as you’d like. We’re not that far from civilization but this room is sound proof and layers of concrete and a layer of steel between us and the earth.”

“Why?” Jon whimpered.

“Why not?” Devon shrugged.

“Someone hired you didn’t they?”

“Nope,” Devon popped the ‘P’, “I found you on my own. You originally bought the last case of Bluemoon and proceeded to almost run me over with your cart. That put you in my sights,” he undid the clasp in the middle of the cuffs and clasped them to the table, “then I followed you home. Your home life and the way you treat your family is what really landed you here.”

“W-what? I got the last beer?” Jon stared at him confused.

“Yes siree bob you did and that pissed me off,” Devon made sure Jon’s legs were secured before he plugged in the sander, “then I followed you home. I watched you for a few days. Your anger and your abusive nature did you in. Your sons deserve better,” his eyes darkened and his lips set in a fine line, “your wife should have left you a long time ago. I don’t know how she bore you three children and continued to stay with you,” he all but spat.

“Sh-she’s my second wife.”

“No matter,” Devon waved his hand in a flippant gesture, “we’ve ended up here either way.”

Devon picked his humming back up as he took the sander to each finger. He took his time and let the music of Jon’s screams lull him into his comfortable place. After he finished with both hands he went to the table he had set up the morning before and rolled it over still on the layered plastic.

“I think that I would love to see what your femur looks like,” Devon picked up a syringe and a small vial, “this will make sure that you’re not going into shock on me my lovely man,” he injected the medication above Jon’s hips, “you’ll be mostly numb from the waist down. I think I’m going to leave the femur for later. I saw what you did to the oldest boy’s knee. I think I’d like to see what a sober athletic man can accomplish,” he grinned.

“Please,” Jon’s couldn’t keep his eyes open and gasped as the pain radiated up his arms.

“Oops! I forgot your morphine,” Devon grabbed a clean syringe and picked up another vial and administered the pain medication in a low dose, “there. That’ll help keep your mind clear enough. Sorry about that. I almost had you slip away. It’s a funny thing how chemicals can trick the mind.”

“Don’t do this. You’ve taught me my lesson I swear.”

“No,” Devon’s smile dropped again as he balanced the mallet in his hands, “your oldest is about 19. You’ve got probably about 19 years still to learn but we don’t have that kind of time. So Jon I hope you’ve made your peace,” he brought down the sledge hammer with all his might.


Devon handed a cup of coffee to his receptionist.

“Janice if I ever promise to take another international call please murder me,” Devon joked.

“You were in there a lot longer than I thought. I saw you sneak out to get a late lunch. I would’ve ordered in for you. Thanks for the coffee! You always get my order right,” Janice took a sip and her eyes closed with pleasure, “so perfect.”

“I didn’t want to bother you. Plus, I needed the fresh air. Give me another hour and a half and we can be out of here,” he lifted the armful of folders and his laptop.

“Sure thing. I’ll keep the others out of your hair.”

Devon disappeared into his medium sized office. He went to his desk and turned off the call forwarding from the office phone. He pulled the mobile from the cabinet and swapped his SIM back into his real phone. Devon sat down at this desk and pulled up the research on his latest conquest. Valerie Austin, 32, single, and head of a major charity firm. He didn’t like the way she represented herself and she had taken his last girlfriend from him with a blink. Sometimes vendettas were moved to the list. Spontaneity wasn’t always the cleverest.

Sins of Worship Chap. 1

Devon set up his alerts in his phone and left the burner with the serial number cloned in the bar’s bathroom.  He spent a few minutes in front of the bar getting the attention of a few workers with jokes and charisma.  Devon left his tab open when he exited through the side door.

There was crime scene tape already in place by time Devon arrived a few hours later.  He watched as the police combed over the scene and the detectives swapped ideas.  He bit back his smile and ruffled his hair as he made his way to the barricade.

“No,” Devon shouted as he tried to push pass the officer there, “you have to let me in that’s my girlfriend’s house!”

“Sir,” the detective turned around to see what the commotion was all about, “you know the woman that lives here?”

“Yeah,” Devon ran his hand through his hair, “it’s my girlfriend’s place.”

The detective pushed the barricade aside just enough for him to slip through.

“I’m Detective Carter and that’s my partner Detective Richardson.  I’m sorry to have to tell you.”

“No.  Not Amy.  Not Amy!” Devon tried to push pass the detective.

“You don’t want to go in there.  It isn’t worth you seeing what’s left of her.”

“W-what’s left of her?” Devon’s eyes went wide and he grew still, “what do you mean?”

“She is the latest victim of the Douglasdale Slasher.  Let’s go down to the precinct.  I think it’ll be best for you to talk there.”

“No.  I need to see her.  She,” Devon gulped, “she just can’t be.  No.  I don’t believe you,” Devon shook his head as tears puddled in his eyes.

At that moment the coroner pulled the stretcher out the house to take downtown.

“Nooo!” Devon dropped to his knees as tears spilled down his face.

IV. Me As I Am

                Gabby walked into the room and stopped.  She looked around and realized she must have walked into the wrong door. Though Gabby knew it was the second on the left but she had to have been wrong.  On the bed lay several different dresses with heels to match.  There were different undergarments and hair accessories as well.  There was a large tote and bag that had some more female attire.  Then Gabby heard a very male voice in the bathroom singing.  Gabby eased her way through the room to the bathroom.  Her blood ran cold as she gasped at the sight before her.  It was his room.  Evan wore a black garter belt with lacy panties and a well stuffed bra as he applied his makeup in the mirror.  Evan turned when he heard her gasp.

                “Oh fuck,” Evan mumbled and dropped the mascara wand.

                “What the holy hell is this?” Gabby gestured to him.

                “I can explain,” Evan grabbed his robe and tied it tightly around him.

                “I don’t think that you can.”

                “Gabby please just listen,” he reached for her.

                “Don’t you touch me you sick twisted motherfucker,” Gabby pulled away with a disgusted frown.

                “Please wait.”

                Evan dodged around Gabby and shut the door.  He stood in front of it so she would not be able to leave.

                “Am I just some sort of test to see if you like vaginas?”

                “What?! No it was never that.  I like you,” Evan pleaded.

                “More than you like dick?” Gabby continued to glance around the room at all of the female clothing.

                “No.  I mean yes.  I mean shit.  I’m not gay,” Evan answered exasperatedly.

                “You’re wearing woman’s underwear for god’s sake,” Gabby’s face twisted again.

                “That doesn’t mean I’m gay.  Not all transsexual individuals are gay.  It’s about identity of self not who’s in my bed,” Evan swallowed down the pain and blinked back the tears.

                “All the drag queens I know are.  You cross dressing son of a bitch.  How could you tease me into falling for you?” Gabby crossed her arms.

                “Gabriella.  Just listen please.  It isn’t like that at all.  I care for you.  I am not attracted to men.  This isn’t about sexual orientation this is about gender.  Of all people I thought that you’d get that,” Evan’s voice dropped disappointedly.

                “So you’re telling me you’re gender confused?”

                “No.  It’s not exactly that black and white.  As much as I love being a man I also enjoy being a woman.  It has always been that way,” Evan sought the easiest way to explain it to her.

                “This is w-what you were keeping from m-me?  You’re not cheating on me,” Gabby said quietly as realization dawned on her.

                “Yes.  I knew that you would react the way that you did.  I wanted to be sure of how I felt about you before I let you into my inner shell.”

                “You are such a freak.  A grade A fucking freak,” Gabby shook her head and balled her hands into fists.

                “Don’t you understand?  This is who I am and I cannot change that.  Believe me I tried.  Years of therapy and tons of different medications and still they couldn’t fix me.  It took me forever to come to terms with who I am and I won’t let you or anyone else take that from me,” Evan stated firmly.

                Gabby stood there and finally looked up at him.  She suddenly felt she had betrayed him.  Gabby had broken his trust and faith in her.  She had reacted like everyone else probably had.  Gabby had been his friend first and she had failed him as a friend.  She saw the pain in his eyes from the words that she had thrown at him.

                “Look.  I am freaking out here.  I just need some time.  I need to focus and wrap my mind around this.  Then we can talk.  I just need to get out of here,” Gabby sighed and unclenched her hands.

                “So you’re canceling our date?”


                “Fine.  I get that.”

                Evan had more that he wanted to say but he knew that he had already used up her patience.  Evan felt like he had lost Gabby and he was upset with that but he hoped Gabby would use her skills and see it for the truth.  He stepped aside and opened the door.  Gabby walked to the door and stopped.  She looked up at him again.  Gabby threw arms around him and gave him a tight hug before she left. 

Evan sighed and went back to the bathroom.  He had somewhere to be so he didn’t have time to think about it.  Evan wrapped his hair and put the stocking cap on before he pulled on the wig.  Elani finished getting ready and as she tied on her manolos a thought occurred to her.  Elani jumped up and grabbed her clutch bag.  She glided down the stairs and to the game room where she knew Jacob would be.

                “Jacob!” Elani called.

                “What Elani?” Jacob paused his game.

                “Why the hell did you let her up?”

                “Who? What?” Jacob turned to her.

                “Gabby.  You know that I have an event this afternoon and you let her up.”

                “Oh shit Elani, I didn’t even think about it,” Jacob stood and went to his friend, “I am so sorry.  I was in the middle of cooking and I just was like ‘he’s upstairs’.  I am so fucking sorry.”

                “That’s what I figured. Your stomach was controlling you.  I wasn’t expecting her until eight.  I’m not even sure why she came over early,” Elani sighed.

                “I’m so sorry.”

                “I should’ve told her a long time ago.  We’ve been dating for a year and I still hadn’t told her because I was so scared.  Well I gotta run before I’m late,” Elani slung her purse over her shoulder.

                “Well I know it isn’t any better but you’re looking hot as hell tonight.  Evan has nothing on your sex appeal.”

                “Don’t forget I’m a lesbian.  Your hard body does nothing for me,” Elani winked at him.

                “Baby girl I could change your mind,” Jacob joked as he sat back in front of his console system.

                “See ya later.”

                Elani climbed into the purple convertible with the top down and headed to the luncheon she had put together.  She removed her sunglasses as she reached the restaurant.  Elani checked her makeup and reapplied her lipstick.  She stuck the tube back in her purse and climbed out the car.  Elani smiled at the valet as she handed him her keys.  She flipped her strawberry blonde curls over her shoulder.  Elani sashayed her way into the restaurant.

                “Elani you are as gorgeous as ever,” Aaron said as he kissed her cheek.

                “Thank you.  You too clean up well.”

                “We have gotten everyone here and were just waiting for you,” Aaron stated as he led her into room full of familiar faces.

                “Thanks darling.”

                Elani handed him her purse and went to the middle of the room.  She greeted everyone as she passed them.

                “Thank you everyone for coming out.  We are here for a terrific cause.  I’d like to thank a few people before we get started.  Firstly, Mr. Aaron Williamson for allowing us to meet here in his lovely restaurant, Rachael, my bff, for helping organize this and lastly all of you who understand that it is time to bring our families home from overseas,” thunderous applause went up, “the petitions have been signed and sent to capitol hill.  The proceeds from this evening will go to the families of our troops who are in need of assistance especially those who have been widowed.  So again thank you for your time and donations.”

                Elani handed the microphone back to Aaron.  She found Rachael and gave her a tight hug.  Elani was pleased with the outcome.  There were a few hundred people and a few more that had sent in donations and a more waited for the auction to begin.  Elani made sure she made the rounds and spoke with everyone at least once before she sat down and had her lunch.  After she ate Elani went to the small stage that had been put up during the meal.

                “Alright ladies and gentleman the moment you have all been waiting for.   The bachelor and bachelorette auction,” applause, “our first eligible bachelor please come on up.”

                “Here I am ladies.  Pull out your check books,” Michael grinned as he approached the stage.

                “Okay we start the bidding for Mr. Michael Hendricks at,” Elani looked him over, “Two dollars. Do I hear two dollars?”

                The room erupted in laughter.  Michael playfully punched her.  Elani smiled and looked around the room.

                “How about $50?”



                “$200!” another woman shouted.

                “Wow look at you.  The ladies like a strong man.  He’s as big as an ox and smart as a dolphin or whatever a smart animal is.  So we have $200.  Do I hear $250?”



                “$300 going once…300 going twice…300 going three times–”

                “Two thousand dollars,” a warm silky voice called from the back of the room.

                All heads turned toward the voice.  She sat in the back with her face hidden by a large dramatically trendy hat.  She stood up and pulled cash from her purse.

                “Wowzers!  That is two thousand big ones once, twice, three times and sold to the mystery woman with the sexiest hat in the world.”

                Michael smiled excited about being purchased for the weekend at such a high price.  He walked from the stage area to the woman who had bought his time for the weekend.  She lifted her head and took her hat off.  She shook her hair loose and grinned at him.  His breath caught.  It was the millionaire from the top of the hill.

                “Esmeralda Dominic,” Michael whispered.

                “Nice to make your acquaintance.”

                Elani continued the auction until they had given all the men and women to the highest bidder.  No one had out done Michael but Sam had come in a close second at $1725.  They had raised more than they had shot for and they were proud.  Elani wished everyone farewell and headed home.  She stopped at a gas station to fill up the car.  Elani had a trip the next day and didn’t want to have to stop before she hit the road.  Elani went in to prepay when she literally ran into Gabby.

                “Sorry.  I am so clumsy sometimes,” Gabby said and looked up.

                “No worries shug,” Elani smiled behind her sunglasses and walked passed her.

                “Do…do I know you?” Gabby asked as she gazed at her.

                “Probably from some social gathering.  I do a lot of promotions and fundraisers around here,” Elani suggested as she stood in line.


                Gabby walked to the exit then froze and almost dropped her mug.  She lifted her sunglasses and looked over at Elani again.  Her jaw dropped and she went back over to her.  She left several feet between them as she stared at her.

                “Evan?” Gabby whispered.

                No response.  Gabby sighed.  She must have been confused but she was sure.  Gabby walked closer so it was barely a foot between them.

                “What’s your name?” Gabby asked curious.

                “Me?” Elani asked as she turned back to her.



                “Hm…what’s your last name?”



                Gabby stood there in shock.  It had only been hours.  Just hours and there they were face to face again.  She watched as Elani paid for her gas and walked passed her.  Gabby turned and followed her out.  Gabby passed her bike and went straight to the convertible.

                “Miss.  I am going to have to ask you to stop following me dear,” Elani replied as she pumped gas.

                “So this is what you look like.  How are you going to act like you don’t know me?  We almost slept together dammit,” Gabby exclaimed and felt a few people at the pumps turn.

                “Not here,” Elani said through clinched teeth.

                “I’m serious.  You walked by me like you didn’t know me.  Pretended not to have remembered me quivering next to you just a few nights ago.  Acted like we aren’t involved.  I am not a stranger.”

                A few of the men at the pumps forgot what they were there to do now that they had the images in their minds.

                “Gabriella this is not the place,” Elani responded as she continued to watch the number rise on the pump.

                “You’re gorgeous,” Gabby said once she really looked at her, “you look like a bulked up Peta Wilson.  My god you’re unbelievable.”

                “Thank you.”

                “I’ll meet you at your house,” Gabby turned and went back to her bike.

                Gabby secured her coffee and the bike roared to life as she headed to Elani’s house.  Elani sighed and finished the task at hand.  She took a fearful glance around.  Their eyes were still on her.  She hung up the pump and turned back to her car.  Elani was greeted by a friendly face.

                “If things don’t work out with the biker girl, you can feel free to call me.  I’ve taken ballet for the last ten years,” a beautiful brunette smirked and lifted her leg straight up behind her head slightly as she handed her a business card.

                “I’ll keep that in mind,” Elani smiled wickedly and got in her car.

III. Mission Impossible

Evan jumped out the shower and dried as quickly as possible.  He brushed his teeth and made sure his room and bathroom were tidy.  There wasn’t anything that needed to be hidden.  Evan heard her as Jacob let her in.  He cursed under his breath.  Elani and Brie had done lunch and it had run longer than he had expected.  It had made him late.  Evan hated having to deal with Elani’s schedule when she relied on his free time.

“Hm just getting ready?  What’s been up with you lately?  You’ve been late several times for the last few weeks,” Gabby point out as she entered his room.

“Dealing with my sister and her crazy friends.  I’m almost ready.”

“Good.  Trystan is waiting for us.  You know if she doesn’t get a drink soon she’ll melt or something,” Gabby laughed as she leaned against his doorframe and watched him dress.

“It’s just a causal restaurant right?”

“Yup jeans will be fine.”

Evan dressed and they headed down.  Jacob had already left to meet the others.  He locked up and followed Gabby down to her car.  They headed to meet everyone at the restaurant.  Gabby smiled and hugged everyone.  Alicia was as gorgeous as ever, Rachael was connected to Aaron as if they were conjoined twins, Trystan was in Michael’s lap and Jacob was nursing a beer.

“Hey guys.  So what is the plan for this evening?” Evan took a seat.

“To get tipsy and then get laid,” Trystan said as she kissed Michael’s cheek.

“What happened to Darlene?”

“She was a buzz kill,” Trystan waived over the waitress, “shots of Jose Silver for everyone on my tab.”

“At least she kept to the code and waited for you to show Evan.”

Trystan and Evan went back to the school yard in years.  They had been best friends since before they could drink.  They had made a rule in college that neither would start drinking until the other showed if it was an event they would both attend.

“Hey I never break a vow.  We’ll be 80 and I’ll wait for him,” Trystan smiled softly.

“What started this ritual?”

They looked at each other quickly then back at everyone else.  Trystan shrugged then threw back her shot.

“Well a very long time ago one of us got a little too drunk, then was slipped something and was put in a situation that we didn’t like.  We ended up being taken down to the police station and we promised each other since that we would always have each other’s back before drinking,” Evan explained.

“Wow.  You both have a record so I’m not even sure who it was,” Aaron shook his head.

“You don’t need to know.  That wasn’t the question.”

“Okay whatever you say.”

They ordered dinner and more drinks.  They laughed and danced for a very entertaining evening.  Gabby drove them back to his place.  Evan kissed her goodnight and left her in her car.  Gabby frowned as she watched him go inside.  It wasn’t like Evan to end the evening without an invite in.  Gabby sighed and headed home.


Elani brushed her hair and looked in the mirror.  She applied a light coat of lip gloss then grabbed her bag.  She slipped on her heels and headed down the stairs.  Elani got in her car and headed to the mall.  She needed a few new clothes and a new pair of shoes.  Elani wished she could order things off line but she knew that she could not because everything had to be tried on.  She entered her favorite designer store and went straight for the tall section.  Elani waved at the sales woman.

“Elani, I have some things for you.  When they came in I just knew that you would love them,” Diane walked to the back and returned.

“Thank you so much Diane.”

“Not a problem.  You’re always one of our best clients and I know how hard it is to find clothes for your size.”


Elani went into the dressing room and tried on the clothes that Diane had handed her.  She smiled as the clothes fit perfectly.  Diane was skilled at picking out Elani’s clothes.  Whenever Diane was there Elani never had to get them fitted.  She loved the way the pants fit and gave her curves where she was slightly lacking.  The blouses and skirts were just as perfect.  Elani loved that her day had been cut in half without having to search for too much more.  Elani found a few more things on the racks then checked out.  She moved onto the shoe store.  Elani bent down and grabbed a pair of shoes off the bottom shelf as she stood back up someone ran into her.  Elani immediately dropped the shoes and caught the person before they fell.

“Oh god thank you.  I am such a clumsy girl sometimes,” the brunette said as she blushed.

“Not a problem.  Glad that I was here to catch you so you didn’t get a nasty bump.”

“Yeah,” she blushed.

Elani winked at her and grabbed her shoes.  The brunette moved on to her shoe size for her tiny feet.  Elani grabbed two more pairs of shoes and went to the register.  She sighed as she headed to The Smoothie Joint.  Elani people watched as she ate and enjoyed her smoothie.


“Hey Brie how are you?”

“I was just gonna call you,” Brie sat across from her.

“Small world,” Elani forced a smile.

“So are you going to the Tipton benefit this weekend?”

“Oh I wish.  I actually have to fly out of town with Evan.  Family event this weekend.”

“Oh bummer I guess I’ll have to call Erika and see if she’s free.  So what did you do today?”

“Just got some shopping done. I’m heading home to pack and clean house,” Elani stood and disposed of her trash.

“Oh when will you be back?”

“In a few weeks.  I’ll make sure to give you a ring,” Elani gathered up her bags to signal her departure.

“Oh sure.  I’ll see ya later then.”


Elani quickly left the mall.  She put her bags in her convertible and headed home.  She put all of her bags in the back of the closet in the hall then headed to the shower.

Evan dried off and went to his closet.  He dressed and went back to the bathroom and pulled out the hair dryer.  Evan made sure to spray a little of his musk cologne in the bedroom since Gabby arrived.  He padded down the stairs and went to the den.  Jacob had already occupied the Playstation and was too loud for him to even think about trying to play the Xbox.  He watched as he played with his friends and shouted at the screen.  Once he was finished he turned and acknowledged Evan’s presence.

“Hey dude I thought Elani was here?”

“She finished her errands and is napping.”

“Oh okay.  What time is the gang coming over tonight?”

“In a couple of hours.”

“So is Elani seeing anyone?”

“Jacob,” Evan smiled, “how many times are we going to go over this?”

“I know.  I was just curious.  Not for myself.  I have a friend Jen who is interested.”

“Oh okay.  I’ll let her know.”

“Is Trystan and Michael still together?”

“Crazy enough they are.  I have no idea how it’s working out but those crazy kids are perfect for each other.”

“Go figure.”


Gabby checked her watch and sighed.  Evan was late getting her.  She was pissed it was not the first time that he was late getting her and he had not called or text.  Gabby tapped her foot and began to pace around her apartment.  She had talked to her friends and they agreed that there was no way he would have time to cheat as she suspected between work and her.  Gabby had believed them for a few weeks but it had become a habit.  Evan had made it three times on time in the last week.  She was worried.  Evan seemed to be distracted and preoccupied a lot of the times they spent together.

Gabby sat down at the bar in her kitchen and tried not to look at the clock again.  Her phone buzzed on her hip.  Gabby pulled out the phone and checked the notification.  It was a text message from Evan canceling their date for the night.  Some sort of family emergency.  She sighed and immediately sent a text to Trystan.  She usually had the in on what was going on with Evan.  Trystan hadn’t heard anything either.  Gabby grabbed her jacket and left her apartment.  She got on her bike and headed into the city.  Gabby didn’t want to brood around her place alone.

Elani sat with Aaron on the couch and held his hand as he cried.  He and Rachael had a fight and he was not taking it well at all.  It have never come up but something had triggered a extremely loud argument over who made more money.  Elani was friends with both but knew that Rachael had many people to run to and Aaron was far away from his family and had only a few people that he could lean on.  Elani had already been on the way to that side of town so she was agreed to stop by for him.

“Th-thank you s-s-so much for coming by.  I just don’t know what happened.  It had never been a problem before.  She’s always brought home more money during the peak seasons.  I’ve always brought home the most money on a normal basis.  I’m not sure what happened or what triggered her.”

“You know she’s been having a lot stress at work with Mrs. Dominic back in the world.  She has lost a few major accounts and just needs a big project to bring her back around.  I can help with that.”

“You think that’s true?” Aaron looked at her hopefully.

“Definitely.  She’s feeling insecure because she hasn’t had a strong job but we’ll make sure she gets something.”

“Okay if you think that will help.  Thank you so much for being here with me.”

“Not a problem.  I was thinking about order a pizza how does that sound?”


“Get me a beer and I’ll order.”

While he was in the kitchen she grabbed Evan’s phone and sent a text to his girlfriend.  She grabbed her phone and called for delivery.

“Food ordered.”

Aaron smiled at her and they sat back down in front the tv.

II. Oh Girl Almighty

Elani slipped into her leggings and pulled on her flowing navy skirt.  She made sure her blouse was in place and checked her reflection.  Elani smiled pleased with her appearance.  She zipped up her knee high boots and grabbed her black hobo bag.  Elani sashayed down the stairs to the kitchen.

“Hey beautiful,” Jacob kissed her cheek.

“Hi handsome.  So do I look trendy enough?” Elani turned.

“You’re gorgeous and perfect.  Thank you so much for coming with me.  I just couldn’t go alone again.”

“Not a problem.  I get to hob knob with hot wealthy people and a few celebrities.  I wouldn’t miss this for the world,” Elani said with a laugh, “I’m glad it isn’t a black tie event because I have nothing formal to wear.”

“Just try not to make the others jealous because you are stunning and I don’t want to have to fight with any heiress types,” Jacob teased.

“I’ll try not to.”

Jacob walked her to the car and opened her door for her.  He got in and they headed to the restaurant.  There were several photographers out when they arrived.  Jacob held her hand and tossed the keys to the valet.  They stopped and posed for the cameras then went into the restaurant.

“Wow does Novak have a date?  Beautiful woman at that,” Brie smiled as she met them in the parlor.

“Hi Brie.  This is my friend Elani,” Jacob put on his business smile.

“Elani?  Like the Elani who helped us raise all that money for the marriage equality campaign?! Oh my god!  It is totally my pleasure,” Brie took her hand and shook it profusely.

“Nice to meet you Brie,” Elani gave what she hoped was a warm smile that hid her annoyance.

“You are such a grade A class act philanthropist.  We aspire to be like you.  I feel honored just to breathe the same air.  What are you doing here with him?” Brie’s smile widened frighteningly as she cut her eyes to Jacob.

“He and I go way back.  He’s been my friend for several years,” Elani chuckled.

“He’s kind of weird,” Brie made a face.

“I am right here Brie,” Jacob narrowed his eyes at her.

“He’s not that bad once you get passed his exterior of dorkiness,” Elani feigned whispering.

“I’ll take your word,” Brie grabbed her hand, “here let me introduce you to everyone.”

“Actually,” Elani gently took her hand from Brie, “I’ll walk around with Jacob for a little while then we can meet back up.”

“That would be awesome!  See ya laters,” Brie bounced off to other new comers.

“What the hell was that?” Elani asked as they made it to the main area.

“That is my competition.  She works for another agency,” Jacob chuckled.

“She needs a chill pill.  I thought I was going to have to punch her.”

“Brie is an acquired taste,” Jacob replied as he led Elani to their table.

“Wow is that design phenom Christian LeBlanc?” Elani’s mouth fell open in awe.

“Yes.  I’ll introduce you,” Jacob waved to Christian and he headed over.

“Jacob doll,” he kissed his cheek, “you are looking mighty fierce tonight.”

“Of course I am.  I am wearing your new line,” Jacob smirked.

“And I am very pleased,” Christian turned to Elani, “and who is this gorgeous bombshell?”

“My best friend in the entire world Elani.”

“Ooh girl friend what I could do with a statuesque frame like yours.  How tall are you?” Christian eyed her appraisingly.

“Six three,” Elani blushed.

“You must come out to my studio,” Christian presented her with a card.

“Oh jeez,” Elani took a deep breath to rid her of the lightheadedness, “it would be my pleasure.  I simply adore your sharp eye and daring designs.”

“Ooh yes I am going to love you.  Well I better get back to the masses before someone says I’ve got favorites and hate everyone else,” Christian blew them kisses as he headed to the crowd.

Elani watched as he sauntered off.  She was pleased to be surrounded by so many well known people.  She could not believe how many people recognized her just through her charity presence.  She loved that she had entered new names into her contact list and made connections that would aid in her efforts to make a difference.  Elani enjoyed most of all watching Jacob interact with people.  He was not a social butterfly and preferred to just work alone and create ideas but he was a master a selling his talent.  Jacob gave his speech and accepted his award.

Jacob watched through the night as Elani made him popular.  His colleagues respected him however, like Brie, thought that he was strange.  He had gone to many other events single or with Evan that questions had arisen.  Jacob was pleased that everyone enjoyed Elani’s company and let down their shields with him.  Jacob’s own boss seemed more willing to spend time with him and not keep him at arm’s length.  Jacob had known that Elani would be what he needed to open more doors for him.  Jacob held back his laughter as men approached her and flirted openly.  Jacob knew that there was no man in the room that would catch her fancy.  Elani fit their ideal with her height, legs for days and with eyes like malachite she could bring them to their knees.

“I am ready to get out of here,” Jacob mumbled as he walked to her side.

“Thank you god,” Elani whispered through a fake smile, “this Brie chick is about to catch it.”

“Thanks for everything.  We have to get going.  Her brother is flying in and we have to pick him up at the airport,” Jacob announced as he took Elani’s.

“Oh so soon?” Brie whined.

“I’ve got your number and I’ll call and we can do brunch,” Elani said with a smile.

“Promise?” Brie pouted.


Jacob whisked her away and they returned to the house.  They both showered and met back in the kitchen when Jacob poured drinks.

“That bitch is crazy.  If you want I can totally get her blacklisted or something,” Elani advised as she took her shot and chased it with juice.

“I can’t believe how nice you were.  I can’t take ten minutes of her and she was like up your ass the entire night,” Jacob shook his head.

“I allowed myself to think about her as a character in one of my stories.  She’s temporarily useful then I can get rid of her by the next chapter.  I’ll try not to kill her,” Elani poured another shot.

“I wouldn’t mind,” Jacob laughed.

“I can’t.  I’m way too hot to go to prison.”

They shared a few more drinks then Elani retired for the evening.  Jacob crashed in front the television a marathon that was on.  There was a knock at the door.  Jacob smiled and let Gabby in.

“He’s upstairs.  He’ll be down in a little bit.”

“Cool.  What are we watching?”

“Best Chef.”

“Ooh I love this show,” Gabby said and plopped down on the couch beside him.

They were engrossed in the show as Evan came down the stairs.  They hushed him as the host announced who was packing their knives.  Evan sat down beside Gabby and put his arms around her shoulders.

“I told you!” Gabby squealed.

“Damn you.  I so thought the French guy was going home with his ugly hair and attitude.”

“You guys are so funny,” Evan chuckled.

“Did you use my lotion again?” Gabby asked as she cuddled into him.

“Uh oh yeah.  It was in the bathroom,” Evan tensed as his eyes met Jacob’s, Jacob shrugged.

“So now you smell like lilacs and sunshine,” Gabby giggled.

“It could be worse.  I’ve been with him after he’s been at the gym,” Jacob remarked.

“I’m glad that I haven’t.  What are we doing tonight?” Gabby looked to Evan.

“I figured we’d take a look at vacation spots tonight.  Figure out where we want to go while you’re free.”

“That sounds boring.  I was thinking more along the lines of poker.  I kind of invited a few people over for poker.”

“The question was pointless then? Well I’m glad that I was invited.”

“I was,” Jacob said with a laugh as he got up, “I’ll get the chips and cards.”

“You guys made plans without me?” Evan pouted.

“That’s why I had to get back here.  It’s only going to be a handful of people,” Jacob called from the hall.

“Okay.  Let me go put on real clothes then.  Be right back.”

Evan raced up stairs to change and make sure that the bathroom upstairs was presentable.  He ducked in his room and made sure that Elani had not left anything out like before.  He knew that Gabby would not go home afterward.  When Evan made his way back down stairs Trystan and her girlfriend were there as well as Alicia. He greeted everyone and sat down at the table beside Gabby.

They played several hands of poker and drank enough that everyone had to crash at the house because driving would be too dangerous.  Gabby curled up against him as they climbed into bed.

“You used a lot of my lotion.  Your entire room smells like a girl,” Gabby giggled, “you didn’t masturbate with it did you?”


“You did! Dude that isn’t cool”

“Sorry I didn’t have anything else.  I was in need of some relief,” Evan continued the lie.

“You’re lucky you’re so damn cute.  Will you sing me to sleep?”

“What do you want me to sing?”

“I don’t know.”

Evan hummed a little then began to sing softly as Gabby cuddled close and fell asleep.  He smiled down at her and closed his eyes.

I. Boy Knows Girl

Evan glanced down at Gabby as they relaxed after a tough day.  Evan had pulled her away to take time away from the hustle for a evening together.

“I still can’t believe I managed to talk you into dating me,” Gabby smiled as she leaned against him while they watched the sunset.

“That is super cheesy,” Evan put his arm around her.

“I know but after everything it’s been the best months of my life.  I don’t think I would have made it through the week of finals without you. You were my rock.”

“It’s what I’m here for.  I wish I had had you when I was finishing up it would have made it a lot easier.”

They kissed and watched as the sun disappeared behind the lake.  Evan made a low hissing sound.

“You know it doesn’t really hit the water right?” Gabby giggled as they stood.

“Of course.  I think it is a cute little lie that I like to live,” Evan brushed himself off.

“It is adorable.”

They headed back to her apartment.  Evan made Gabby dinner and they ate quietly enjoying their time together.   He kissed her good night at the door and they made plans for the following day to go to the movies.  Gabby smiled the entire night as she cleaned up her apartment and showered.

Evan had been at the top his class when he had graduated two years before her.  He had gone back to school and was now only a semester away from his doctorate.  Evan was one of the hottest young journalist around.  He had his name on at least four different by lines a week. Evan did stories for the local news paper, national magazines gave him assignments, several self interest articles for the city run magazine and his blog was always in the news somewhere.  Evan had made a name for himself and everyone expected a book deal in the near future.

Gabby had one year left before she achieved her masters in psychology.  She had been introduced to Evan via her professor when Evan had covered a study on what multiple personality or dissociative disorder for Psychology Affair magazine.  It had been her assignment as an intern to assist the doctors.  They had hit it off and had become quick friends.  Then the night of Evan’s articles were published they had gone to celebrate and Gabby had almost slept with him.  Evan, forever the gentleman, had turned her down but they had started a relationship.


Gabby arrived at Evan’s house.  She knocked and waited for him to answer.  She knocked again and she heard some movement inside.  The door opened and a very scruffy, disarrayed and sleepy Jacob stood in the doorway.  Jacob grumbled and left the door open as he turned back into the house.

“Hello to you too,” Gabby entered and shut the door behind her.

“New idea a few days ago,” Jacob mumbled.

“Ah 48 hours.”

“More like 72.”

“Damn Jake go to bed.”

Gabby whistled and went to the kitchen.  She made herself food while she waited for Evan.  After she ate she checked her watch and sighed.  Evan was late again.  It was summer so she knew that he wasn’t in class.  She figured he might be on assignment but he would have called.  Gabby got comfortable on the couch and flipped through the channels.

Gabby had not realized that she had fallen asleep until the strong hand shook her.  Her eyes fluttered open and she smiled up at Evan.  His hair hung damp from a shower she assumed.  She leaned forward and kissed him.

“You are so adorable,” Gabby whispered against his lips.

“Thank you.”

“I missed you.  You told me to meet you here at two and I was here and had to deal with a grumpy Jacob,” Gabby pouted.

“I know.  Sorry about that.  I got stuck with a newbie at the office.  I went by and got tickets for the seven show which gives us time for dinner before,” Evan smiled.

“That sounds good.”

“Perfect,” Evan kissed her one more time, “I’m going to get fully dressed and then we can go.”


Gabby noticed then that he had come down to wake her in only his shorts.  She moaned and noticed his blush as he disappeared up the stairs.  She stretched and made sure she was fully awake before he came back down.  Evan was just as attractive when he came back down fully clothed.  His light auburn hair was long in the front to his ears and the back was short.  The Zack Morris hair cut as she liked to refer to it.  His skin was smooth and half a shade darker than her ivory complexion. He wore form fitting distressed jeans and a grey clingy tee shirt.

“Are we going to dinner or are you going to just ogle me?”

“Oops sorry.  You are just too hot for words sometimes.”

Evan opened every door for her and allowed her to order first.  They talked about their coming classes.  Gabby loved to hear him talk about his classes.  He was such a child prodigy that he was years ahead of others he had grown up with.  He had graduated high school early which put him through college early.  His parents had allowed him to stay at home so he took full course loads every year from dawn until night so he could achieve his goals as quick as possible.  He was the only other person she knew that was just as passionate about education as she was.  She talked about the internship she had coming up and going back to Washington to see her family before classes began.

As they left the movie theatre Evan spotted someone who he didn’t want to cross.  He kept his head down and ushered Gabby to the car.  As she got in the car the man he had been trying to avoid spotted him.  He ran up to his side.

“Hey Evan.”

“Hi Hank.”

“Hey…uh…ya know can you give Elani a message for me?”

“Sure,” Evan tried to not sound annoyed.

“Tell her ya know just give me a call.”

“I can’t promise she will but I will relay the message.”

“Thanks man,” he turned and went back across the street.

“Who was that?” Gabby asked he got in the car.

“An old friend of mine,” he started the car and pulled into the traffic.

“What did he want?”

“I hooked him up with another friend of mine and it didn’t work.  She wasn’t interested.”

“Oh poor guy.  He seemed to really feel something for her.”

“Yea I told her to end it after the first date but she didn’t for like a month.”



They made it back to his place and he opened a bottle of wine.  He turned on his favorite jazz station low in the background and handed her a glass.

“Good day folks,” Jacob said as he entered from his room.

“Car, truck, RV or motorcycle?” Evan asked as he smiled at his friend.

“Lips are sealed,” Jacob said as he went to the kitchen.

“Ooh must be something big if Mr. Vehicle designer extraordinaire is keeping his lips sealed.”

“Yea it’s amazing that he can keep a secret.  I remember when he did that jeep he wouldn’t shut up for a minute,” Gabby said with a smile.

“That was different.  This is something unique,” he said as he made himself dinner.

“Well you know we’re here when you’re ready to spill.”

“Coolbeans.  Are you guys going to be making out?  I just need to know because I’ll go to my room.”

“We’ll head to my room then.”

Evan and Gabby went up the stairs to his room.  She settled on his bed.  Evan began to light a few candles and turned on his cd player.  Gabby untied her shoes and placed them on the floor at the edge of the bed.  Something under the bed caught her eye.  She inhaled sharply as she pulled out the lacy fabric with her forefinger and thumb.

“Evan,” she threw the bra at him.

“What?” he caught the fabric and gulped he had thought he had gotten it all.

“Whose is that?”

“Oh….uh,” his face turned red, “see it’s a bra.”

“I can see that.  I asked who does it belong to?”

“Someone else,” he tossed the bra aside.

“Obviously because I am not that busty or broad through the shoulders.”

“It was before,” he thought fast, “it was before we committed to a monogamous relationship.  I haven’t really cleaned under my bed.”

“Ok,” she took a deep breath and sat back on the bed, “it’s only been like a month right? Yea something like that.  I just honestly didn’t think that you had seen anyone else with all the time you worked and spent with me.”

Evan sighed and went to Gabby on the bed.  He leaned her back and kissed her softly on the lips.  He wouldn’t allow her to get too involved because he wasn’t ready to go further that night.  He had tried to limit their sexual activity so they could build a strong emotional and mental relationship as well.  He ended up holding her while they talked.

“I’ll see you this weekend.  I’ve got girl friend things to do over the next few days.”

“Ok.  Get home safely.  Don’t forget to text me when you get home.”

Gabby kissed him and went to her car.  Evan waved then went back into the house.  He sat down and joined Jacob on the Xbox.