Flash Fic Friday

Flash Fic Friday

**This one was a definite challenge, which I know pleases the Admiral.  Cultural differences, a misunderstanding, and a farewell trip, led me to this.  I hope you like it**

A year.  I’d been living and working at the corporate headquarters in Weimar, Germany for an entire year.  Nose to the grindstone, shoulder to shoulder with a team of exceedingly intelligent men and women.  I’d been a fish out of water when I first arrived, the lone American on the project, and the only reason I’d been sent was because I had a good grasp of the language.  I’d been fortunate that the team I worked with took a liking to me and showed me the sights and only teased me a little when I didn’t understand some of the cultural differences.  They were good friends, and I’d come to rely on them. I was going to miss the holy hell out of them now that the project was completed and I was going home.

Even if not one single one of the fuckers could be bothered to throw me a going away party.

I shouldn’t have expected it, but I thought we were closer than that.  I thought they would miss me too, and would want to send me off in style.  As the date of my departure got closer, and still no one said anything, I thought perhaps it would be a surprise party.  But my train was leaving bright and early the next morning, it was nearly ten o’clock at night, and still nothing.  If I were completely honest, I was broken hearted about the whole thing.

I resigned myself to spending my last night in Germany on my own.  It hurt, but I’d deal with it.  I changed into my sleep wear and set about packing up the last of my things.  I’d already shipped several boxes home to the states, and since it was a company apartment, not much of what was left was mine.  I had two large suitcases and a duffle bag left, and I’d take that with me on the train to Berlin, and home on the plane.

The sudden pounding on my door scared the ever living shit out of me.  I took a moment to get myself under control before I cracked it open, then threw it wide.  Johann was a thing of beauty, tall, blond, and muscular.  He had a sharp wit, and a clever mind.  I’d been nursing a crush on the man for pretty much my entire stay.  But he’d never given me any indication that he was even the slightest bit interested, and since I didn’t want to get killed in a foreign country, I kept my mouth shut.

He sauntered in with that commanding swagger he had, and looked me straight in the eye.  “We all wonder why you never throw a party,” he said, his English a little stilted but his tone matter-of-fact.  “I think maybe you don’t know you should?”

I blinked, utterly confused.  “What?”

He gave me his patient smile.  “Here, when you go, you throw your own…” he trailed off for a moment, seemingly searching, and then his blue eyes lit up. “Goodbye party?  Is right term, yes?”

I took a minute to let that sink in.  “Really?”

Johann nodded, his grin shining.  “You leave tomorrow, so there is no time.  Instead, you and I, we take a trip.  I changed your flight home, and we’ll go on a…” His brow creased for a moment.  “A farewell trip.”

“Johann,” I said slowly, cautiously.  I loved the idea, of course.  But if it were just the two of us, I knew I would do something to show my interest and that could be all kind of disastrous.  More than that, I couldn’t figure out why Johann would want to do this.  We were close, yes, but a trip?  No, that wasn’t a good idea.  “I appreciate you wanting to make up for the misunderstanding but–”

Johann just shook his head and took a step closer to me, forcing me to look up at him and making my words dry up.  His blue eyes were soft with affection, and it took my breath away.  When he reached out to cup my cheek, my knees nearly buckled.

“You misunderstand,” he said quietly, emphasizing the word.  “It’s not because I want to ‘make up.’”  He stopped then, and continued on in German, apparently feeling like it would be easier to explain himself in his native tongue.  “You are leaving tomorrow, and I do not want to be parted from you.  So we will take this trip before you go home, get to know each other, so that when my transfer to the states comes through, we will be ready to start our relationship.”

“What?  I don’t–What?”

Johann captured me in his arms.  “You are not as subtle as you think, Kevin.  But this is not the safest place to be together, ja?  In your New York, it will be better.”

I nodded fast, all the feelings that had been building for the last year bubbling up.  He must have seen that on my face, because his grin was beautiful.  He bent toward me, but stopped before our lips touched.  “We will take this trip and then I will come to you in New York.”

It wasn’t a question, but I answered it anyway.  “Yes.”

The kiss tasted like promise and heat.  It was the best kiss of my life.



Okay, ,yeah, with a new year, you get the post about what I hope to accomplish in the coming year.  Truth is, I always do better when I write things down, and this way I have to hold myself at least a little bit accountable, right?

So, I’ve got a release next month! (watch this space for buy links and cover reveals and stuff ;)) And my goal is not to have a freaking melt down when it happens.  Right?  I’m really excited, and I can’t wait for you guys to meet Will and Joshua, but I’m completely nervous about it too.  This pair have a special place in my heart and they’ve been a year in the making, so I can’t wait for them to be out there.  It’s a short novella, and there’s a part of me that worries about that a bit.  But yeah, my goal is not to freak.

I have a more immediate goal of submitting my next story.  That never gets easier, it really doesn’t, so I have to work up to it a little bit.  You want to talk about a special place in my heart?  This story has one there, and it won’t ever leave.  I’m perfectly okay with that.  But yeah, I’ve got to do the final touches on it, and write the synopsis, and then pull up my big girl panties and send it in.  My goal is to do that within the next week.

Other than that, it’s writing.  Of course.  Right?  There’s always a story going on in my head, and the next one is actually swimming around in there quite nicely.  Well, the beginning of it, of course.  I know, in explicit detail, how it starts.  Not quite sure, yet, how these boys get to their end.  I’ll work on that, though.  And we’ll see what happens.  But before I get to that, I have a WIP that’s a little less than half on the page, and that one is going to get my attention first.

And I need to be a little bit better, as always, about managing my time.  Because I get sucked into one thing, and the rest falls by the wayside.  And that’s never a good thing.  The yarn things I do help to keep me focused, so I have to make more time for that.  And always reading, my first love.  So there will be an attempt at a time budget again, and I’ll see if this time I can actually make it stick.

So that’s the goals for me!  Hope everyone has had a splendid New Year, and may this year bring you everything you want and need.  And if you’re the sort to make resolutions/goals, I wish you luck in sticking to them! 🙂


Flash Fic Friday

Flash Fic Friday

**Challenge director started the New Year off with a bang.  “Peonies,” he said with (what I imagine was) a slightly devilish smile. “And butter.  And a bed and breakfast.”  So here you go.  Enjoy!**

It was supposed to be a quiet, relaxing four day getaway to celebrate our anniversary.  Mason had planned the whole thing as a surprise, and I was more than willing to go along.  Even though I had to beg, plead, trade favors, and work overtime in order to get the time off from work.  We’d spent too much time apart lately, and we were in desperate need of reconnecting.  I couldn’t wait to have his undivided attention for four whole days, and to give him mine.

The bed and breakfast was practically on the shore of Lake George.  It was open year round, but since it was the off season, Mason had gotten a really good rate.  The drive had been long, and I wanted nothing more than to take a hot shower, crawl between the sheets, and wrap my body around Mason’s.

The little elderly lady behind the desk checked us in quickly and efficiently.  I was actually surprised when we got a sweet smile and a pat on the hand instead of disgusted looks.  Mason took care of everything, and then assured the nice woman that we could find our room on our own when she handed over the key.

Tromping up the stairs, it wasn’t hard to locate which door was ours.  Mason unlocked it, then pushed the door open.  He stood back to allow me to enter first, and I gave him a tired smile as I stepped past him.  And stopped dead.

It had a king sized bed, which was nice.  But that was the only redeeming quality.  I rubbed my eyes, then blinked twice, just to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.  I wasn’t.  The room was covered in flowers. Big pink blooms.  On the wall paper.  On the bedspread.  In the art on the walls and in a vase on the table.  They were everywhere.

I did the slow pan over the Mason.  He just laughed and gave a shrug.

“She did call it the Peony Room.”  He gave me a nudge out of his way, then pulled his suitcase in and shut the door.

I was still staring at him like he was nuts.  Then glanced around the room again.  My eyes nearly fell right out of my head.  “Butter.”

Mason gave me a puzzled frown.  “What’s that now?”

I gestured toward the tray where a peony covered teapot sat alongside a plate of cookies and muffins.  “The butter.   Even the pads of butter are carved into little peony shapes.  Who the hell does that?

Mason’s deep laugh made me scowl.  “Rory, honey, stop focusing on the flowers and start focusing on the fact that we’re alone together for four whole days with nothing to do but enjoy each other.  Be a good boy and unpack your suitcase.  Then I’ll help you take a shower.”  The eyebrow waggle was cute, but still my scowl deepened.  He reached out and flipped the lock on the door.

Since Mason wouldn’t let me get out of this monstrosity of a room, I did as he requested and unpacked my suitcase.  I grumbled the whole time, but I did it.  He was much more efficient than I was, and within a few minutes, he wandered into the en suite.  I heard the water turn on.  I moved quicker, wanting this task to be done.  I didn’t want Mason to start without me.

I’d just slid the last drawer closed when he appeared in the doorway.  His dark eyes were hooded, and he looked at me like he wanted to eat me.  I swallowed hard.  I loved it when he looked at me that way.

“Take off your clothes, sweetheart, and come see what I found.”

I stripped fast.  Mason disappeared in that moment I was pulling my shirt over my head.  When the rest of my clothes were in a heap on the floor, I practically ran to the bathroom.  Mason stood in the middle of the tiled floor, just as naked as I was, with a secret smile on his face.  He took a step to the side, and the sweep of his arm drew my gaze to what was behind him.

A tub.  A real claw-foot person sized tub.  Filled with steaming water, and looking like heaven on earth.  The noise I made was not exactly dignified, but Mason just laughed, took my hand and led me closer.  He steadied me as I climbed in.  The heat felt delicious as I sank down into the water.  My whole body gave a satisfied shudder.  And then Mason joined me, sliding in behind me and pulling my back up tight to his front.

I relaxed completely.  For the first time in what felt like ages, every muscle in my body was loose, all the tension gone.  Mason wrapped his arms around my waist, and one of his hands rubbed at my stomach.  A prelude to what would come later.  Right now, we were just enjoying each other.

I tipped my head back onto his shoulder and nosed along his jaw until he turned his head so that I could kiss him.  The pink blooms in our room notwithstanding, this was turning out to be an awesome vacation by virtue of this tub—and the man inside it with me—alone.

“Happy anniversary, sweetheart,” Mason said softly as he broke the kiss.

I just grinned.  “Happy anniversary.”