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Tuesday Tales – Picture Prompt

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Happy Tuesday, everyone!!  Welcome to Tuesday TalesII  Today’s picture prompt takes us back to by other WIP, Breaking the Cycle.  After they leave Max’s nephew’s birthday party, they stop at the state park.  Don’t forget to stop by and check out the excerpt of the other extremely talented Tuesday Tale’s authors!!

bridge

Max and Chloe walked along the trail of the state park.  She looked up at the towering trees, the blue sky that stretched above the loft canopy of green leaves.  In the distance she could hear the rush of water.

They stepped off the trail onto a beach alongside a slow running river.  Buried deep into the course sand was the footing of a rickety, rough wood bridge that stretched across the water to the other side.  Max took Chloe’s hand and tugged her toward the bridge.  As they ascended the steps he nudged his leather sandals off.  Chloe did the same as she followed him.

Max leaned his bent arms against the rail.  Chloe watched him with a smile.  “Did you used to come here often?” she asked.

“All the time.  I used to daydream on this bridge,” he answered.

“About what?”

“Oh, lots of things.  Going to college, my MMA career.  Most of the time I imagined kissing the girl I loved on this bridge.”

“So, how many girls have you kissed here?” Chloe pried with a big smile.

“None.  I wasn’t in love with them.”

“Oh.”  Chloe gazed at the water rushing under the bridge. 

“The ironic thing is that I am now on this bridge with the girl I love and I can’t kiss her.”

Chloe stared at him.  “Me?”

“Do you see any other women on this bridge?”

She studied him in the summer sun.  Max had been her hero.  He protected her.  He was to take care of her after her CVS episodes.  She loved him with all her heart.  She wanted to kiss him badly.  She plunged her hand into her shorts pocket, her fingers wrapping around the tube of lip gloss.  She smiled.  She could do this.

She pulled the tube from her shorts and held it up to him with a smile.  The wide grin on Max’s face made her heart race.  “Really?  You are all right if I kiss you?”

Don’t forget to check out the other Tuesday Tales!!

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Tuesday Tales – Antique Store Picture Prompt

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Hi everyone!  It’s Tuesday – time for Tuesday Tales!  This week we are using a picture prompt.  I’m taking a break from The Thirteenth Knight.  This week’s excerpt is from my WIP, Breaking the Cycle.  Last time we caught up with Max and Chloe, Chloe had just met Max’s dad.  Don’t forget to check the excerpts of the other very talented writers of Tuesday Tales!

antique store

Chloe and Max talked with Max’s dad for a few more minutes before they said goodbye.  They stepped outside and began their trek back to the car.

As they passed an antique store, Chloe stopped and peered into the window.  Her eyes caught an old, brightly painted metal fire truck.  “Max, wait.  I haven’t bought your nephew a gift yet.”  She pointed at the fire truck.  “Will he like that?”

Max smiled at her choice.  “Absolutely.”

Chloe and Max stepped inside the small store filled with all sorts of ancient trinkets.  The room was cast in a soft gold glow.  Chloe gazed at a gold pocket watch then glanced at Max.  I don’t quite see him as a pocket watch kind of guy.  Chloe carefully picked up the fire truck and carried it to the counter.  As the small, rotund woman wrapped the truck, Chloe turned to Max.

“Max, I always wondered.  Why did Jack constantly pursue you to work for Hard Knocks?  You know so much about mixed martial arts.”

“Because I used to compete.”  Max sighed.  “In college.  I was going to be the next Rico, the next up and coming star.  But I tore my ACL apart in a match.  After three grueling surgeries, I gave up.”  He gently brushed a lock of her hair from her shoulder.  “That’s why I admire you so much.  You have gone through so much with your CVS, been hospitalized so many times.  It makes my little injury look pathetic.  And you still get up and live your life after it all.  You are so strong to go through it all and still smile.”

Chloe felt her face flush pink at Max’s compliment as she accepted the bag from the shopkeeper.  He took her other hand in his.  After thanking the shopkeeper, they walked hand in hand back to the car.

Thanks for stopping by!  And don’t forget to stop by the other Tuesday Tales blogs!

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Tuesday Tales – Small Town Picture Prompt

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It’s time for another Tuesday Tales! Today we are working with a picture prompt. I’m veering away from The Thirteenth Knight this week. Today we are catching back up with Max and Chloe in Breaking the Cycle. And don’t forget to check out the excerpts from my extremely talented fellow authors on the Tuesday Tales website!

small town

“Thank you for coming with me to my nephew’s birthday party, Chloe.” Max slipped the car keys into his pocket as he gave her the sweetest, largest smile she ever saw. “I can’t wait to introduce you to my family.”

Chloe trotted beside him as they walked along the sidewalk. “It’s only fair. You’ve met my mom.”

He laughed. “Chloe, sweetheart. I live with you and your mom.”

She giggled in response. As they strolled along the sidewalk she glanced around at downtown New Ulm. It was a far cry from Minneapolis. There were department stores most people in metropolitan areas hadn’t seen since the late 1970’s. There were small town gift shops full of quilting supplies, old books, beautiful Christmas decorations and German knick knacks. There was a stately, formal concrete building that housed the local bank. The storefronts along the street were dotted with family restaurants and corner bars, each with windows leading to apartments built on top.

She jolted to a stop as Max pulled open the glass door to the hardware store. She felt her face flush in embarrassment as she stepped inside. Max let the door shut behind him.

“Max!” An older man who looked almost exactly like Max stood behind the counter wiping his hands on a rag. He strode around the counter and wrapped him in a bear hug.

“Hey, Dad. How are you?”

“Doing well, big city boy. How was your drive?”

“Beautiful day for a drive.” Max gently pressed his fingers to the small of Chloe’s back. “Dad, I’d like you to meet Chloe.”

Max’s dad extended his palm to Chloe and shook her hand. “Hi, Chloe. Nice to meet you. Max has told us a lot about you.

Chloe glanced up at Max. What exactly did he tell his family about her?

This Wednesday, my first release with Sweet Craving Publishing went live!

BlackIrish_SM

Sloan watched from a distance as Aubrey fought to keep Abbey from dashing away, a frightened doe in the terrifying forest named New York. Apparently, up to this point, the vicious predators of the city hadn’t sent her fleeing home.

Until he entered her world, obviously.

Sloan had to admit something about her alarmed him too. He knew many women and had been with several. But none of them like her. Innocent. Naïve. True. Or so she seemed at first glance.

He couldn’t pull away from her wide-eyed, burning, hazel gaze. He wanted to free her shining, brown tresses from her ponytail and bury his fingers in the locks. He wanted to taste her plump, rose lips. He wanted to caress her curves, feel her warmth.

Sloan could hear Abbey beg for another illustrator. He heard Aubrey counter that there was none better. He was part of the deal, or there was no deal. She was ready to walk away from a contract worth potential millions over a fear of him.

He wouldn’t let her do that. He wouldn’t let her leave his life before she ever became a part of it.

Slowly approaching the two women at the end of the hall, Sloan asked, “Aubrey, can I have a moment please? Let us talk it out and see if we can come to an agreement.”

Aubrey looked uneasily from him to Abbey then nodded. “Sure.”

Sloan waited for Aubrey to return to the conference room. He shot a warning glare at the associates that had gathered to watch the scene unfold before turning his attention back to Abbey.

“What’s the matter, miss?” Sloan took Abbey’s hands in his as he smiled encouragingly.

“I’m sorry. I’m sure you’re very talented. But I don’t think I would be comfortable working with you,” she confessed.

“You don’t even know me.”

“I know. And I’m sure you are a perfect gentleman. But, you see, I don’t think Michael would be very happy with me working with a…gifted man such as yourself.”

“Michael?”

Abbey blushed. “My boyfriend.”

Ah. There it is. A boyfriend. Sloan silently berated himself. He should’ve known a woman so beautiful would have already given her heart to someone. He couldn’t, however, allow her to get away so quickly. Perhaps he couldn’t have her, but that didn’t mean he had to let her go.

Thinking quickly, Sloan pressed one of her hands to his lips. “No worries, luv. I’m no threat.”

“How can you say that?”

“I’m gay.”

Her face brightened with relief. “Really?”

“Yes, Abbey. Gay.”

She blushed pink. “I’m so embarrassed I overreacted. Please forgive me?”

“Of course I forgive you. Now, will you stay and undertake this project with me?”

Abbey beamed. “Of course. I would love to.”

Sloan motioned for her to precede him back to the conference room. He watched her walk before him, his gaze transfixed on her hips, her slim waist, and her luscious curves. A little white lie. She’ll never know.

See Black Irish on Sweet Cravings Website!

 Don’t forget to stop back and check the rest of the Tuesday Tales!

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Breaking The Cycle – Post Three

restaurant

It’s Tuesday so I feel like I should post something so here is the next section of Breaking the Cycle…

The small Italian restaurant was bathed in an amber gold light.  The booths and tables were stained in a deep chocolate brown and each table was draped in a red and white checkered tablecloth.  Max smiled.   He loved small independently owned places like this, not the big chain restaurants.

He glanced over to Chloe standing beside him.  She was biting her lower lip with an anxious look in her eye.  He hoped she would like this place as much as he did.

They were escorted to a table and given their menus.  Max pulled Chloe’s chair out for her to sit.  Anything I can do to impress her.  He took his seat at looked up to start a little small talk.  She had buried herself in her menu, blocking her entire face from his sight.  With a sigh he reached across the table for a breadstick.

He jumped back as his arm knocked over his water glass soaking the front of his lilac dress shirt and black tie.  He ripped his napkin from the table and blotted at the blossoming ice cold spot.

Max looked up as her heard the sound of giggling.  Chloe pressed her hands against her mouth to hide her laughter.  It was no use.  Max chuckled as he sat back in his seat.

What a way to break the ice.

“Are you all right?” Chloe asked.

“Yep.  Nothing but a little hurt pride.”

She reached across the table and wrapped her hand around his.  “If it means anything I thought you handled it gracefully.”

He felt the surge of electricity jolt him by her touch.  “Well, thank you.”

They talked as they waited for their food.  They chatted through their meal.  They talked so long past finishing supper they ordered dessert.  Chloe told him about growing up in Minneapolis.  She still lived with her mom in the house she grew up in.

Max told her about growing up in small town Minnesota – New Ulm to be specific, a town known more for its German heritage than health and fitness. He went to college in Mankato to study physical fitness before moving to Minneapolis.

Chloe reached across the table and brushed a blonde lock from his forehead.  “I can see the German heritage in you.”

Max couldn’t speak.  Her touch sent his heart racing.  He nervously returned her smile before handing the server his credit card.

Max wrapped his arm around Chloe’s as he led her outside.  The rain had stopped.  The street lights reflected in the puddles randomly scattered around the street and sidewalk.  They stopped as they reached Max’s car.

Max gazed Chloe meeting her blue eyes with his.  His breath caught in his throat as his eyes wandered to her lips.  He dipped his mouth against hers for a soft kiss.

He thought he felt he sink into the kiss.  He thought he felt her deepen it.  Suddenly she pushed against him pulling out of his grasp.  There was a look of terror in her eyes.  She backpedaled several steps then turned and rushed around the corner.

Max stared at the empty street.  He wiped his hand across his mouth.  Was kissing me really that bad?  He shook his head frustrated.  Part of him was ready to walk away.  But he knew he couldn’t.  He brought Chloe to this restaurant.  It was several miles from her home.  He had no idea if she had enough money for cab fare.  He certainly didn’t want her to take public transportation home.

With a sigh Max trotted off after Chloe.