Bronwyn Green

The Corner of Quirky & Kinky


This month’s song fic is inspired by Alex and Sierra’s “Little Do You Know”.  Here’s the video if you’d like to give it a listen, and here are the lyrics.  And heads-up, this is probably going to be pretty short. 

“What’s wrong?” Daniel asked. His voice was rough, groggy, as if he’d been pulled back roughly from the soft edge of sleep. 

“Nothing,” I mumbled. “Just allergies,” wiping my eyes with the edge of my pillowcase. 

I could feel the tension in the air–the sharpness of his disbelief coupled with the fragility of my lie. And for a moment, I thought he’d push the issue and call me on my excuse. I thought that maybe he was finally ready to force himself to talk. It wasn’t like I hadn’t tried. But tonight, unless he was willing, I wasn’t going to bring it up again. You can only bash your head against the same wall so many times before you have to step back and reevaluate your choices. 

Instead, he sighed and rolled over while I stared at the ceiling, hot tears rolling into my hair, listening to his breath even out as sleep claimed him.  Not everything ended with a bang, I supposed. Some things ended with the weight of our mistakes, pulling us under until we’re drowning, apathy filling our lungs like water. 

Somehow, it’s our final Promptly Penned of the year. I’ve been really looking forward to this one. As soon as Jess and I saw this, it sparked an idea. And thanks to this prompt and flash fic, we have plans for some connected Bound books–written separately but connected and happening concurrently. And this prompt brought forth two guys that we’re both totally in love with now. So, our posts are similar but from differing POVs, giving you a taste of two heroes you’ll be seeing from us in the future.

The prompt will appear in bold in the story. 

Oliver adjusted his backpack and followed the winding dirt footpath up the side of the of the tallest hill on the outskirts of the small Welsh village where they were staying for the next few weeks. Varying brilliant shades of green cloaked the land, and mist settled in patches the shady places in the valley. The morning sun hadn’t risen far enough yet to burn away the fog, leaving it to hover like lost ghosts roaming the landscape.

He shook his head. That was fucking morose–even for him.

As he walked, he noticed the occasional tiny cottage peering out from the leaves below and the rest was rocks and rolling hills and streams as far as he could see. He paused to take it in, only to stumble forward when Sam lurched into him.

“What’d you stop for?” his brother grumbled.

Oliver turned to look at his younger brother. “I’m just enjoying how fucking gorgeous this is. I mean, look at this place.”

Of course, he hadn’t really intended to drag Sam on any hikes. When they’d originally planned this trip, he’d anticipated bringing Gina along. He’d scoured map after map and all the google images he could find to pick the perfect spot to propose to her. And then…she’d dumped him. His throat tightened, but he swallowed past the lump.

He’d found out later that Sam had run into Gina at a club. With her boss. Who she’d been practically fucking in a booth. Sam had apparently told Gina if she didn’t own up to the cheating, he’d do it for her.

“I’ve been looking,” Sam groused. “Not a goddamn coffee shop anywhere. I’d settle for Starbucks right now.”

Oliver rolled his eyes and started walking again. “Being away from a city and all its conveniences isn’t going to kill you.”

“You don’t know that!”

He snorted. He loved Sam–wouldn’t trade him for anyone or anything, but if they didn’t look so much alike, he’d have a hard time believing they were related. Sammy stumbled behind him. Again. Oliver would bet his return ticket home that his little brother was hung the fuck over.

“Rough night, I take it?”

“My night was just fine, thank you very much. It’s the morning I’m having trouble with.” He panted a little and swore, almost under his breath, as he stubbed his toe on a rock. At least, that’s what sounded like happened. “And what the hell is wrong with you that this is your idea of a good time?!”

His idea of a good time was supposed to be hiking and camping with Gina. Planning their future. He realized now that she’d been been what she thought he’d wanted while she waited for something better to come along. It hadn’t taken her any time at all to transform from nature girl to club girl. Or, maybe she was just one of those people who took on the interests of whoever she was with. Either way, it wasn’t his problem.

A sea-salt breeze blew in from the west, tempting him toward the cliffs overlooking the water. “This is a great time,” he said, pushing thoughts of Gina from his mind. “And besides, I did the London pub crawl with you when we first got here.”

“Um, excuse me, but that pub crawl was steeped in…in culture and history and shit! We drank at pubs that had been there for centuries. Can’t do that back home. We have trails and dirt and…and fucking rocks,” he kicked another out of his way half-heartedly, “at home, Ollie! And you’re missing the biggest draw of all, brother—there was beer at the pub crawl. There’s no beer here, Ollie. None. There is zero beer.”

Oliver snorted and paused at the top of the hill and looked back at Sammy. “When we get back, I’ll buy you at pint at that pub down the street from Gram’s.”

Sam stumbled again, and with a sigh dropped to his knees in the grass on the side of the narrow trail, then flopped over onto his back and starfished, as he stared blankly at the sky. “No need to bother, dear brother… This is my life now. I have climbed this hill, and now, I will die upon it.

Oliver stood over him, trying to hide his grin, and gently nudged him with his foot. “Shut up. We’ve only been hiking for twenty minutes.”

Sam started to sit up then collapsed again, spread eagle on the ground.

“Could you be more dramatic?” Oliver asked, nudging him again.

Sam opened his mouth and wailed wordlessly, startling Oliver.

“That wasn’t a challenge!”

Be sure to check out the other stories! 

Jess  *  Gwen

Few things make me DNF books quicker than lousy conflict. Well, lousy characters, too, but anyway, today’s topic is conflict.

I find books with minimal to no conflict boring. The writing could be polished, the dialogue clever, the sex hot, but without conflict? I’m out. Especially in romance.

For me, the best conflict is pretty simple. Every character should have a goal–something they want–something that’s preferably unrelated to the romantic relationship that will eventually evolve.

There should also be a compelling reason for why they have that goal. They need motivation.

And there should be a reason that goal is currently unattainable. There needs to be something preventing the character from achieving whatever the goal is. This is the conflict.

The best stories have both internal and external conflict. By that I mean there should be both internal and external forces that are preventing the goal from being realized. Better still? Is a romance where the love interests have competing goals. It works to increase both the internal and external conflicts for both people.

The worst conflict is “the big misunderstanding”. Like the hero see his love interest hugging another dude and instantly believes the love interest is cheating on him. And instead of talking about it, it becomes a whole big thing. Just fucking talk to each other. Conflict isn’t something that can be solved with a single conversation.

Sorry, guys. I think it’s just me this week, but if other links come in, I’ll be sure to post them. 

Content Warning: Assault

I scanned the interior of the club, squinting against the flashing lights, trying to find Bree. At least, I think that was her name. Not that it mattered. She had exactly what I wanted, and she was good and drunk. I’d more than helped that along when I brought her her last cosmo.

But I needed to find her before some other guy got to her. I hated being anything other than first. Now, where the hell had she gone? I glanced across the sea of writhing bodies again. There were plenty of bitches in red, but I wasn’t seeing that little red satin dress. The one that would be so easy to untie.

A sliver of light widened into a triangle and spread across the people at at the far end of the dance floor, and a tiny figure in a tiny red halter dress stumbled drunkenly through it, but not before bouncing off the doorframe. I winced. That would likely leave a mark. I mentally shrugged. It was likely going to be one of many–particularly if she was a fighter. My cock was already half-hard at the thought.

Skirting the dance floor, and dodging waitstaff carrying trays laden with drinks, I made my way to the door Bree had disappeared through. I opened the heavy metal door and ducked inside, blinking at the the relative darkness. There was nothing but a smooth gray concrete spiral stairwell lit by emergency lighting.

“Bree?” My voice echoed through what sounded like a cavernous space even though I was trying to be quiet. “You here?”

I heard a sniffle.

“Bree?” I opened the flashlight app on my phone and scanned it above me. The stairwell was empty. I took a few steps down and rounded a curve. She slumped over on, her face in her hands. “Are you okay, baby?”

There was no answer, but I closed the space between us, sat next to her on the step, and slipped my arm around her. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”

She slumped against me, her skin chilled–likely from sitting on the cement–but that wasn’t my problem. Leaning closer, I nuzzled her neck while I tugged at the ties of her dress, loosening them.

“What’ere you doin’, Chase?” she slurred, trying to lift her head.

“Shh. I just want to see how beautiful you are.”

The knot loosened, and the satin slithered down her chest, baring her breasts. God, she had great tits. I fisted my hand in her hair and yanked her head back. Her blue eyes were bloodshot, and she blinked stupidly at me.

She hadn’t let me kiss her while we were dancing, so I’d take that now, too. I crushed my mouth to hers, shoving my tongue between her lips as I squeezed her breast twisting her nipple sharply.

She cried out, but my mouth muffled the sound. Then, inexplicably, I felt her smile against me.

“What? You like that?” I pinched her again–harder this time.

Instead of the pain I was anticipating, she started to laugh.

Unease slithered along my spine, and I pulled back a little. My hand still tight in her hair, I shook her. “What the hell is wrong with you, you crazy bitch?”

Her amusement faded. She lifted her head and slowly blinked at me. “Not a goddamn thing.”

As I watched, inky darkness swallowed every bit of color in her eyes. They were so glossy, I could see the reflection of my own startled expression in them. What the fuck… 

Releasing her hair, I started to stand. I was down to fuck, but this was getting too weird for me. In a move so fast, I could barely register motion, and with far more strength than she looked capable of possessing, she pushed her palm into my chest and shoved me against the stairs. My back slammed into the unforgiving concrete, and she straddled my hips, her thighs like a vice around me.

I couldn’t look away from her hypnotic black eyes. It was like I was paralyzed.

“What did you put in my drink, Chase?”

I swallowed thickly. “What do you mean?”

“I mean what did you put into that last drink?”

“Jus-just something to help you relax a little.”

She stared at me, expressionless. “You do that a lot, Chase? Help women relax?”

Shivers racked my body, and I couldn’t speak.

“I bet you do.” She smiled coldly. “I bet that makes it so much easier to rape them when they’re relaxed.”

I really hated the way she stressed that word.

“Especially,” she continued, “when it makes it hard to remember your name or face the next day.”

Cold sweat popped out against my skin, and she blew a cold stream of air against the moisture above my upper lip. I still couldn’t move from where she’d pinned me against the steps.

“But we don’t have to worry about that, do we, baby?” She smiled, and while I was helpless to look away, her canines lengthened into fangs.

Terror twisted my gut as she leaned closer and closer. “I’m sorry-I’m sorry-I’m sorry-I’m–”

“Too little.”

She drove her razor-sharp fangs into my throat and swallowed greedily, hungrily. The pain was intense. And when she finally pulled back, keeping her jaw clamped tightly around my flesh, it became indescribable, but I couldn’t scream. I could only gurgle and stare at her as she delicately wiped the corners of her mouth with the pad of her thumb.

“Too late,” she whispered, sounding like she was a thousand miles away.

My vision darkened around the edges as she retied the top of her dress then stood and descended the stairs, the darkness swallowing her.

Or maybe it was swallowing me.

That’s it for me, today. Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories to see  what they came up with.  

Gwen  *  Siobhan

 

 

 

 

 

I am soooooooo tired. I’ve been staying up way, way too late for the last couple of weeks. But, I’m gonna knock out this post, and then crawl into bed.

So, last month, I said I was going to:

  • Finish all scheduled audio preps. (YEP)
  • Finish all scheduled edits. (YEP)
  • Work on the new Bound book. (YEP)
  • Make more Christmas presents. (YEP)
  • Put together writers group presentation for November. (YEP)

Yay me. This month is going to be more of the same.

  • Finish all scheduled audio preps. 
  • Finish all scheduled edits.
  • Work on the new Bound book.
  • Make more Christmas presents.
  • Put together a raffle basket for the writer’s group
  • Work on the next collection of re-releases and get them ready to go for the new year
  • Finish my holiday shopping
  • Mail a mountain of packages, boxes, and bags
  • Make Christmas cookies with the fam

We have quite a few family holiday traditions, so here they are- in no particular order. Like usual.

10.) Every year, for one or more family gatherings, I get tapped to make the fancy green bean casserole.

9.) We try to put up our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. Though, this year, it didn’t happen until last night. But, at least it’s up.

8.) We tie our Christmas tree to a hook in the ceiling with high tensile strength fishing line because…

7.)…the cats climb the damn tree.

6.) I also usually get tapped to make Welsh cakes. And then everyone argues discusses whether or not they taste like my grandma’s.

5.) Everyone in my family, immediate and extended, has a one of a kind, cross stitched stocking designed by me. So far, I’ve made 22 of them.

4.) My favorite holiday decoration is the last thing that my grandma knitted for me before she died. It’s this Christmas castle. It’s whimsical and fun and reminds me of her.

3.) It’s not unusual to get or give gifts in my family that aren’t quite finished. I can tell you how many times my grandma or my mom have given us fabric pieces that were cut out but not sewn, partially knitted items still on the needles, or sometimes, skeins of yarn and a pattern booklet. My mom used to write a note to us from Mrs. Claus who was usually overwhelmed or overworked and needed our mom’s help to finish the gifts. We totally bought it.

2.) I am literally Leslie Knope about Christmas. I’m probably the least competitive person you’ll ever meet. Unless…it’s a gift giving occasion. If it’s time to give a gift, I work really hard to either find, or make, the best gift for whomever I’m giving it to. I’m honestly kind of obsessive about it. My niece, Lex, often says that I “win Christmas” or I “win birthdays”. It’s a sickness. But, I also really, really love finding or making the perfect gift for someone.

1.) My mom started this one, but all of us kids and our spouses have cheerfully carried on the quirky tradition of how we address gifts. For instance, there are never presents from my mom or Santa. We address the gifts in such a way that gives a hint about what’s inside. Like, one of my brothers got a microscope kit from Marie Curie one year. Back in the 80s, I got leg warmers from Rudolph Nureyev. My kids have gotten stuff from Blackbeard, Long John Silver, and Grace O’Malley. (There was a really loooooong pirate period in our house.) I’ve gotten gifts from Nimue and Merlin and even Alexander Hamilton. It’s so much fun, and it gets squirrelier every year. It’s probably my favorite of all our traditions.

What are some of your family’s traditions? I’d love to hear about them!

I think it’s just me this week, though Jess said she might post hers later. If she does, I’ll update with a link. 

I’m not gonna lie this last year has…not been great. On a lot of fronts.

But, that doesn’t mean I’m not thankful. I mean, some days, I get down, and I fucking hate everything, but overall, I’m really lucky, and I try to be cognizant of that as often as possible.

But, here’s a short list of things I’m thankful for.

  • We have a roof over our heads, and the skills (or at least the ability to learn the skills) to fix most of the stuff that gets funky in a nearly 100 year old home.
  • We have the food and medicine we need.
  • We live in one of the most beautiful states that exists.
  • We have four purrful cats. And TBH, I’m thankful for cats in general. Because cats.
  • I have utterly fantastic readers, and I’m thankful for every single one of them.
  • I have wonderful clients and steady work.
  • We have an amazing, loving, and hilarious family–immediate and extended.
  • I have the best, most supportive, brilliant, hilarious, compassionate, and loving group of friends on the planet (both local and the ones who live in my computer), and I literally would not still be functioning without them.
  • I have an amazing husband who truly gets me and makes me laugh every day. Even when things are dire.
  • Aidan Turner is a thing that exists in this world. (What? Like you didn’t know that was coming. Pffft.)

This is just a short list of things I’m thankful for–there are so many more. I hope that your list is even longer.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ lists, too.

Siobhan

This story was inspired by Adele’s “River Lea”. Here’s the song if you’d like to take a listen, and here are the lyrics if you want to give those a go.

 

It was nearly dark when she arrived. Sinking to the riverbank, she wrapped her arms around her drawn-up legs and rested her head on her knees, and stared sightlessly out at the water as tears slipped down her cheeks. Quietly, she whispered her secrets, unburdening herself of pain she carried, giving it to the swirling water near her feet.

I want to to hush her–in fact, I try. But my voice is swallowed by the burbling river and the hiss of the breeze through the branches. She doesn’t hear me. Instead, she moves closer, and I cringe as her tears fall, further dampening the ground. Soon, she’d be theirs.

She’s younger than I was when I first started coming to the river. But age has never mattered to them. They cared only for pain, and they would feed on hers, as thoroughly as they’d fed on mine.

I tried again to reach her. To make her hear me. See me. See what she’ll become if she stays. But it’s clear that she only recognizes the reeds that were once my fingertips.

The river is in my roots and in my veins. In my despair, I let it envelop me, let it devour my pain, never realizing the water and the things that live there were never offering comfort.  I’m not sure how long it’s been since I’ve been human. But I do know that she hasn’t got much longer.

That’s it for me this week. Be sure to check out Kris‘ story, too. 

 

The prompt will appear in bold in the text. 

“As my assistant, I’ll expect to be able to delegate a variety of tasks to you.”

I nodded, keeping up with Susan’s brisk pace. “Of course, ma’am. Anything you need.”

She arched an eyebrow at me. “First off, don’t ma’am me. I hate that.”

“Yes, m–sorry.”

“Second…” She froze for the briefest of moments then turned sharply to the right, opening a door and tugging me in behind her before closing it again.

“Wha–”

“Shh,” she hissed.

“Susan?” a man called from the hallway. “Are you in there?” The door handle rattled and began to turn.

“Fuck my life,” she muttered mostly under her breath. At least, I thought that’s what she said.

The door pushed inward, and a man stuck his head into the room. “Oh, there you are. I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”

Susan turned toward a shelf full of dusty looking folders. “You’ll have to make an appointment just like everyone else, Chad.”

He entered the room, completely blocking the doorway. “This will just take a minute.”

“Make an appointment,” she said again without looking at him.

“It’s happening again. Every time the janitorial crew cleans my desk gets farther away from the break room. This time, it’s three eighths of an inch.”

“You measured?” I blurted.

He glared at me before looking back at Susan. “And my medium sized binder clips have all been replaced with small.”

She didn’t say anything, but her disbelief was clear on her face.

And,” he continued, “my black ink pens have all been replaced with blue. I hate blue ink.”

“I know you do. We’ve been through this before. But as I’ve said, I can’t think of a single reason the cleaning crew would target you.

“I want motion sensor cameras set up.”

“Not in the budget, Chad.” She looked over her glasses at him. “And isn’t it possible that someone found a blue pen on the floor and just put it in your jar?”

“Something needs to be done about this. I’m not going to keep putting up with people messing with my stuff.”

“Make an–”

“I’m trying to have a conversation with you!” 

She turned and shoved a stack of folders into my arms. “And I’m trying to subtly avoid it! If you want to discuss this–again–make an appointment.”

Chad stomped away slamming the door on his way out.

“As I was saying before we were so rudely interrupted,” Susan said, tossing a box of red pens on top of the folders I was already holding. “I’ll need you to perform a variety of tasks.” With a smile, she added a box of extra-small binder clips to the stack.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories.

Jess  *  Siobhan