Friday, August 23, 2019

Update to Not gay

Hi guys,

this is a quick update. Hope you like it, let me know if you do (and if you don't). More will follow!

Not gay - Chapter 2

Lovis

Monday, August 19, 2019

New chapter "What It Was"

Hi friends,πŸ’š
how is everyone? I had such a busy week and then went away for the weekend on a motorcycle ride along the beautiful Coast. Off the grid, off line for a while...
But I edited and rewrote a little bit last week and managed to get a chapter ready for you today.
After last week's awesome reception of Chapter 5, I just didn't want to make you wait for more of Shay and Jordan.πŸ’“ πŸ’‘
I had a comment about the difficult parts in my stories...I know I tend to write about the less bright side of life sometimes and my stories are probably lined with imperfect characters and sometimes on the darker side of life. I do hope that love and emotion causing hope shines through though and that it makes up for the less "joyful" moments.
Your comments were so wonderful and I appreciated them so much. I think last week were the most comments I have ever had on a story. Thank you so, so much.
Now I give you Chapter 6 of "What It Was".
Hope you enjoy,πŸ’›
Hugs, Dani

TOC What It Was

Monday, August 12, 2019

New chapter "What It Was"

Hi friends,
it is midnight here in my corner of the world and I just got home from work a little while ago.
I hope everyone is well.
Thank you so much for the comments on last week's chapter, I appreciate it so much. They were truly wonderful.
Here is another chapter of "What It Was". Let me know what you think.
I hope you enjoy. Have a great week everyone. Next Monday I may not be able to  post because I'm working a lot this week and then going away for the weekend. I will see how I find time.
Hugs,
Yours truly, Dani

Chapter 5

Here is the TOC What It Was


Monday, August 5, 2019

New Chapter "What It Was"

Hi friends,
Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a great weekend.
Thanks very much to everyone reading my story. I appreciate your comments so much, this makes me very happy.
Here is another chapter of "What It Was" and I hope you still enjoy.

Chapter 4

Let me know what you think, I love your comments on the story.
Have a wonderful week,
Hugs Dani

Table Of Contents TOC What It Was

Friday, August 2, 2019

Free Friday surprise

Hi everyone,

I'm back, for a short while at least! I have something new for you: it's basically multi-chapter M/M porn :D I hope you like it. I'm afraid I won't manage to update regularly, at least not right now... But I'll try to post an update as soon as possible.

Not gay - Chapter 1

Cheers,
Lovis

Monday, July 29, 2019

What It Was - Chapter 3 posted now

Hi friends,
sorry for the delay today.
Thank you for your patience and your sweet comments earlier. It is "later" now 😊 and I give you another chapter of "What It Was".
I am so happy and excited that you guys are taking to the story so well. I know it has similarities to my type of stories and writing but that's just me and so I'm happy to share this with you.
Your comments are the best, they make me so very happy.
Here is the next chapter and I hope you enjoy.
Hugs and thank you, Dani

What It Was - Chapter 3


TOC What It Was


Monday, July 22, 2019

Couldn't wait πŸ™‚ What It Was - new chapter

Hi friends,
I guess I'm just excited to get your feedback on "What It Was" and as I was working on it today I thought about it and decided, oh well, I will post the next chapter already...
I have a good chunk written on the story already as I have also on "Caoimhe's Hands".
Maybe posting again will motivate me to work on the stories more intensively when time allows.
I'm excited about both stories and already connected to my characters once again.
So you met my "What It Was" characters and I hope you will enjoy following along as the story develops and also as I further write on it.
I may also try to work on "Caoimhe's Hands" and give some of it to you as well. This one is a bit trickier as I have to delve into a world and time unknown to me but I still enjoy writing it.
I won't promise weekly yet but I will try and I guess I'm sticking with the Mondays.
Thanks again for your feedback, let me know what you think as you read more.
Hugs, Dani

What It Was - Chapter 1
What It Was - Chapter 2

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Free Audiobook

 Thank you to everyone who bought a copy of Cabin Fever! You know I am always trying to get more reviews, so I’m hoping you’ll write one if you have read and enjoyed the book. As a bonus, if you email me a link to your review at razberripie@gmail.com,  I will enter you for a chance to win a FREE audiobook copy of My Perfect Ex-Boyfriend.  It was recently published by Tantor as an audiobook by an excellent voice actor and they gave me a few codes for free download. Review and buy Cabin Fever here:
 
Cabin Fever
Send me an email!
 
Also, I have another idea that I’d like to discuss with all of you next week. So stay tuned!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Check in and Thanks

Hi friends,
Thank you for your feedback on the two samples "Caoimhe's Hands" and "What it Was". ❤
I appreciate your comments so much and I will work on the stories some more and then start posting again.
Maybe bi-weekly at first unless I can get more written. And maybe I will take turns between the two stories. It seems you liked both of them evenly.
Sometimes I wish I could be on an island all alone and just write πŸ˜‰ but life gets in the way...
Anyways, stay tuned for more coming soon.
Hugs, Dani

Friday, July 12, 2019

Free Friday - Dani here

Hi friends,

I miss coming here and posting a story. So I have a bunch of stories in the making and some are longer than others already. As you know I do this on the side of work, family, friends and life in general. It's my hobby.
Since it's "free Friday" and nothing else is going on here on the Blog I figured I will post something.
I have been thinking of which story I want to focus on and keep writing and working on.

Here is another one I have in the making and I wanted to let you guys see the first chapter and get your feedback about it.

You know my disability is always Paraplegia, I won't even attempt to write about any other disabilities I know nothing about. As a dev I feel most deeply drawn to Paraplegics so that is what I write about.

I can't really decide if I want to keep working on "Caoimhe's Hands" or this one called "What it Was".  If you don't know yet about "Caoimhe's Hands" I am also posting a link to the first chapter.
In addition I will give you a chapter of "What It Was" and looking forward to read how you like the beginning of it.

What It Was - Chapter 1
Caoimhe's Hands - Chapter 1

Thanks my friends, miss you,
Dani


Sunday, July 7, 2019

New Book! Cabin Fever!

Cabin Fever is going to be available for download TOMORROW!



Buy a copy of Cabin Fever on Amazon now for only $2.99 or free if you have Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited! For those of you who have been reading since the beginning, you should start this one over at the beginning because there's quite a few chapters I cut out for posting here.
 
I was a damsel in distress.

Trapped in a car. Slowly being buried by the unrelenting snow. No cell service. No way out.

And then when all hope felt lost, he appeared—a shadowy figure emerging from the depths of the blizzard. Except my dashing hero on a mighty steed was instead a hulking beast of a man with an eyepatch and a beard, driving a pickup truck. He offered his small cabin as shelter until the storm blew over.

He saved my life.

But this mysterious, rugged stranger is no prince. He’s not even the simple woodsman he pretends to be. I don’t know exactly what he wants from me.

But I’m beginning to think I want the same damn thing.
 

Update to Cabin Fever!

Hi all!  This is the final update to Cabin Fever....

Chapter 11 

Table of Contents

Thank you to everyone who has been reading and commenting!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Update to Cabin Fever!

Hi all!  This is the penultimate update to Cabin Fever.  The mystery of Jake is finally revealed in this chapter!

Chapter 10

Table of Contents

Not gay - Chapter 1


There’s a knock at the door just seconds before Jay would have started the video. Finally! His pothead of a best friend has made it, late like always but there he is at last. Jay isn’t sure he could have waited much longer.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Not gay - Chapter 2


Jay doesn’t tell Chris about that evening with Darren. He wouldn’t know what to say, he feels like his brain hasn’t finished processing what happened, plus he’s not sure he wants it to be repeated. That’s why, the next month, when Chris comes over with grass in his pockets and a joint between his lips, ready to watch another video of Jay’s porn selection, Darren isn’t there.

Jay puts effort into enjoying the video with Chris, he does. It’s a good one, too, a part of his brain realizes that, the girl in the video can do things with all four limbs that seem physically impossible without popping a joint. Even Chris, who is sometimes too stoned to get it up, enjoys it immensely. And somewhere through the video Jay comes, to his own relief. But although it’s good, it’s not above-average amazing, no hook behind his navel, no white-hot heat in his groin, no afterglow that remains for hours. It’s just that. An ordinary orgasm.

But still, Jay doesn’t call Darren, forces himself not to think about him, even. They meet by chance on a garden party a few weeks later, Jay stammers a hello and Darren nods, face blank, then tips the joystick forward to continue his trajectory toward another table. There’s no opportunity for a natural conversation throughout the evening and when Jay has finally collected enough courage (and drank enough beer) to try and corner Darren, he’s told that Darren has already left. Jay feels strangely relieved. 

Jay decides that he can live with things being this way. That evening with Darren was a one-time occurrence, a bump in an otherwise flat development. Jay chalks it up to the beer or the weather or him just not having had a go for a long while before. It was great while it lasted and that’s all.
And then, one evening, when Jay is caught between the decision if he should open another bottle of beer to rewatch another episode of his favorite TV show or go to bed early, his phone flashes with an incoming call, and the name on the screen identifies the caller as Darren.

“Jay?”

Jay realizes belatedly that he has answered the call without saying his name. “Uh, yeah, it’s me. Jay. Hi.”

If Darren notices that Jay’s about to lose it, he doesn’t comment on it. “So, I’m on my way home and I’ve nothing planned for tonight...”

Darren’s slurred speech isn’t easy to understand over phone, but the words are clear to Jay as if he’s reading them in print. “Y-eah… uh huh?” Jay tries to slow down his breath, there’s no way he can let Darren know how his heart jumps in his throat.

“And I thought,” Darren continues, his voice vibrating deep and calm like he’s ordering pizza. “I could stop by at your place.”

Jay’s brain completely stops working for a second.

“Jay?”

“Yeah, uh…” Jay blinks and swallows, trying to get a grip on himself. “I’m still listening.”

Darren chuckles at that, a genuine, wholehearted sound, not the sarcastic one that Jay became used to. “Good. I wouldn’t say no to a cold beer, either, the air-conditioning in this train isn’t working.” With this he cuts the connection. Or maybe the train entered a tunnel, Jay doesn’t know.

Jay doesn’t waste time, though. He fires his laptop up and connects it to the large screen across from the couch. He picks one of the videos from his best-of list and programs it to start next. Then he checks if he has enough beer in the fridge, opens one for himself and sits on the couch to wait.

How long did Darren say he needed to arrive? Jay can’t remember if he mentioned that. Darren also didn’t really ask if Jay was okay with him coming over, didn’t he? Jay could be occupied with something, couldn’t he? But if he’s honest, Jay is glad that Darren left him no choice and invited himself. Like this, it’s not Jay’s idea. The more he thinks about it, the surer Jay gets about it: this is him doing a favor for a good friend, nothing else.

Jay gets up again and places lube and tissues on the table in an afterthought, then he brushes some invisible dust from the couch. He lets his gaze shift through the living room. It’s clean, if a bit empty. Jay never lets personal stuff leave out in the open. He’s aware that most people knowing him wouldn’t have picked him for a neat person. But there’s enough clutter in his head already, and his heart is on his tongue most of the time, so he doesn’t need his apartment to display it as well. Plus he pays a cleaning guy to come over once a week. That may be it.

It seems to take forever until the doorbell finally rings. Or maybe Jay just drank two bottles of beer in no time, he’s not sure. Anyway, Jay shoots up from the couch as soon as he hears it, almost sprints to the door and wrenches it open. “Hi!”

Darren looks at him from his electric wheelchair, the corners of his lips twitching a bit too knowingly. Standing, Jay is as tall as Darren, which reminds him again of the fact that Darren is huge. Jay stands rooted to the spot, trying to keep it together, staring at Darren across from him. Darren is again in his office outfit, button-up shirt and slacks, and his legs are shaking slightly, leather shoes rattling softly against the footrest.

“May I come in?” Darren asks after a while, an amused glint in his eyes.

Jay jumps and blushes. “S-sure, of course, come in,” he stammers, releases the door handle that he’s been holding tightly and steps out of the way. He clears his throat. “Make yourself at home, I’ll fetch you a beer. Um… Do you want anything else?” For a second he wonders if Darren indeed came to watch porn, it would be super awkward if not.

Darren turns his head as the wheelchair bumps over the doorstep and drives past Jay who has to take another hasty step back until he’s with his back to the wall to avoid his toes being run over. “Hmm… ” Darren says, the whirring sound stops and he turns his head on the headrest to look at Jay.

And Jay just knows he’s been right with preparing the video. Under Darren’s unblinking gaze he blushes even deeper and then inches away to make a beeline for the kitchen. Shit, shit, shit. This isn’t going well.

Jay takes a deep breath and pulls two bottles of beer out of the fridge, puts them on the counter and closes his eyes, his hands braced on the edge. “Get your shit together, Jay,” he murmurs to himself. “Just a bro over, nothing serious. Do what you always do when Chris is here, you know how to.” He shakes his head to clear it, then, with a resolute huff, grabs the beer and marches out of the kitchen.

Darren has already transferred to the couch, he is leaning back and braces himself with his left hand on the edge. Jay gives himself a nudge and settles down on the other end of the couch, subtly moving the cushions to form a small wall between them.

“Are you ready?” The video they are about to watch is a harmless one, just a girl and a guy and some silly story involving a dripping faucet. It’s classy in the way that’s it’s so trashy it can’t be taken seriously. And the girl has amazing tits, that’s why Jay chose it. He nervously slaps the remote control repeatedly into his hand, watching Darren for an answer.

Darren grunts an affirmation and inches forward a little to be closer to the beer bottle that Jay placed on the table, farther away than Jay normally does when his brain is working. But Darren doesn’t ask Jay for help, rather leans forward, groaning and trembling slightly from the effort, and manages to close the fingers of his left hand around the lower half of the bottle. He has turned the sleeves of his shirt over and Jay is for a second mesmerized by the muscle playing under the skin in his underarm. Darren shakes his head back to get rid of hair that has fallen into his face and scoots back again, catching himself with his elbow on the cushions when his legs kick out violently. Without looking over to Jay once, Darren turns his attention to the screen.

Jay swallows, fixes his attention to the screen as well, and presses play. During the entire video he forces himself not to peak sideways even a single time. He’s so concentrated on jacking off properly, he doesn’t even notice Darren’s hoarse moaning. Well… almost doesn’t. But anyway, he finishes in record time, somewhere through the girl kneading her tits sitting on the counter top while the guy is kneeling on the floor, trying to fix the broken kitchen equipment or whatever he’s doing with a torque wrench and a shovel. Darren comes a couple of minutes later and Jay tries to immediately rid his memory of Darren’s deep groan as the big guy ejaculates into his fist. Darren’s left hand clearly behaves better today, he doesn’t seem to have nearly the same difficulties as he’d had last time. Both watch the screen quietly until the video ends, with a fulminant and very wet finale in the backyard, and when Darren bids his goodbye he seems happy, or at least Jay thinks he reads that in Darren’s relaxed features as he nods at Jay.

Jay clears the room of all evidence of the session and goes to bed, curling up in the satin sheets of his king-sized bed. He’s happy, too, isn’t he? He managed a normal evening with Darren, nothing weird happened, Darren seemed okay with everything and still… Jay can’t help but feel something is missing.

Darren and Jay settle for a monthly rhythm, just shifted by one week from the one Jay and Chris have. Jay has finally decided there’s no need to tell Chris about Darren at all. He isn’t obligated to inform Chris about other people he’s watching porn with, isn’t he? Plus, three guys jacking off together would probably be weird anyway. So he meets Chris one week and Darren the next, and then he waits for a month for it to be repeated, and when he’s more excited to meet Darren than to meet Chris, that’s just because he enjoys getting to know Darren a lot.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Update to Cabin Fever!

Hi all!  It's time for the weekly update to Cabin Fever!  I ended the last chapter on a cliffhanger... I hope you enjoy this one:

Chapter 9

Table of Contents

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Father's Day Update to Cabin Fever!

Happy Father's Day!  In honor of Father's Day, here's another very exciting update to Cabin Fever:

Chapter 8

Table of Contents

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Update to Cabin Fever!

It's Sunday again, which means another update to Cabin Fever.  Things start to get heated in this chapter...

Chapter 7

Table of Contents

Monday, June 3, 2019

Final chapter - Will Love Prevail

Hi there my friends of Will Love Prevail,

I am sorry I am so late on this Monday but I wanted to make sure the final chapter of "Will Love Prevail" will be ready and good.
I sit here with tears of sadness and joy in my eyes as I finished this story. We followed Chiara and Mark for a few months and witnessed how they met, the challenges they faced, the trauma they endured and the love they shared.
I grew attached to them and I hope you did too. I love writing for myself and I love that some people enjoy reading my stories.
Things sometimes come to me as I write, I don't have any real outlines on my stories and I am only an amateur. I do this for fun and pleasure but my stories sometimes feel so real and I invest lots of emotions into them and they can actually take a toll on me.
I usually have music on while I write and different music moves me and inspires me as I write. My playlist on this story consisted of mostly Indie Pop but I finished today with this song playing "Silhouette" by Active Child (feat. Ellie Goulding).
If you are inclined to, put your headphones on and check it out and feel this story with me. To me this song captured the essence of the story, about deep and everlasting love.

I now give you the final chapter of Will Love Prevail as we say Good Bye to Chiara and Mark.

Chapter 32 - Final Chapter

One last Table of Contents, updated with a description of "Will Love Prevail" TOC Will Love Prevail

From the bottom of my heart I thank all of you who read this story all the way to the end. You mean so much to me and my writing. I don't know you but you mean a lot. Maybe let me know once more how you liked this story.

Thank you and lots of love,
Dani

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Update to Cabin Fever

Hi all!  I'm back with a weekly update to Cabin Fever.  In this chapter, Jake learns the truth about Natalie...

Chapter 6

Table of Contents

Monday, May 27, 2019

New Chapter - Will Love Prevail

Hi friends,
how is everyone? I am hoping everyone is having a peaceful Memorial Day remembering our fallen from wars past and present.
I am actually away this weekend and am spending time with my son who is active duty in the Coast Guard and lives a four hour flight away from me. I had a wonderful time seeing him and I am so proud of him.
So I'm sitting here in a hotel room (he only has a tiny Studio apartment 😊😊😊😊  ) and it is after midnight in this time zone but not yet midnight in my home time zone.
I didn't want to leave you guys hanging and looked over this chapter, editing quickly and hopefully made it good to go. It is also a very long chapter this time and now I'm pretty tired but here I give you Chapter 31 of Will Love Prevail. I hope I didn't miss any mistakes or anything.
I also wanted to thank you so much for your feedback on my "Story in the making-Caoimhe's Hands". It looks as that there is interest so I will see what I can do here in the near future.
Your comments made me very happy.
Of course also your comments on WLP. I appreciate you so much.
Now I wish you a wonderful week, thanks for reading and let me know how you liked the chapter.
Hugs,
Dani

 

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Update to Cabin Fever

Hi all!  I'm back with another update to Cabin Fever.  In this chapter, Natalie and Jake get more one on one time...

Chapter 5

Table of Contents

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Beta Readers Wanted

Hi everyone! Devo Girl here. Sorry I am jumping in just this one time on a Thursday but I think no one has been posting on this day in a while.

I've been taking a break from Devo Diary to work on revising my historical novel. I wrote the first draft a long time ago, some of you may remember I posted it on fictionpress years ago. It's super long, but my goal is to self publish it on Amazon in three parts. Ruth Madison very kindly paid to have the first book read by a professional editor, whose comments were very helpful. I've finally finished revising based on that feedback. I think it's almost ready for publication but it would be great if anyone here is interested in beta reading and/or proofreading the first book. It's about 60,000 words or 200 pages.

The novel is about a blind man in Covent Garden of the early 18th century, which was at the time the center of both prostitution and the theatrical world. The characters are opera singers and whores, rakes and wantons. The genre is historical fiction, not romance. I did a ton of research and really tried to be accurate with the language. The style is very different from my other writing. I know it's not to everyone's taste, but I'm hoping at least a few readers here are into historical fiction.

I'm posting the first chapter below here after the jump. If you like it and want to beta read the entire first book, please message me at devogirlfromparadevo at gmail. Thanks!


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Love UnSeen Continues

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to show their support last week. It means so much to me. I was really beginning to get discouraged about this story so I'm glad that people are still enjoying it.

I'm sorry this update is so late. I was really very, very ill last week and I'm still recovering, plus had a big backlog of work. So I only have a partial chapter this week, and hopefully will get the rest ready for next. Figured you'd prefer a short update to no update again.

Previously on Love UnSeen: Jackson and Dan's date doesn't go as planned, as some of Jackson's past threatens his present, and yet the two grow closer.

This week on Love UnSeen: Dan brings Jackson to the darkroom to introduce Jackson to part of his photographic process, starting with negative processing.

Next week on Love UnSeen: The darkroom date continues.

Love UnSeen - 19 - pt 1


-CA

As always, the Table of Contents has been updated.

Monday, May 20, 2019

New Chapter - Will Love Prevail (...and little something extra)

Hi friends of WLP,
happy Monday. Hope all is well.
Back with another chapter but yes, we are coming to an end soon...
I'm also working on several other stories and debating what I will post after WLP or I may just start to publish my previous work for you.
I don't know yet.
Anyways, thanks for still reading and following Chiara and Mark through their ups and downs. Here is Chapter 30 of WLP.
Enjoy and let me know if you are inclined to.
Have a good week,
Hugs, Dani

Table of Contents TOC

And here is a little surprise for you...let me know what you think, thanks my friends!
Surprise story in the making

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Update to Cabin Fever

Hi!  Thanks to everyone who commented last week on Cabin Fever... so glad you guys are enjoying it!  And as promised, here's an update:

Chapter 4

Table of Contents

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

No update this week (Love UnSeen)

Sorry, just been having trouble feeling motivated to finish this week's chapter or bother with the effort to format it.

Not many people seem really interested in the story anyway.

If no one is posting next Wednesday, I'll try to make up for it and post then.

Thanks for understanding.

-CA

Monday, May 13, 2019

New Chapter - Will Love Prevail

Hi friends,
It's Monday shortly after midnight and I just got home from work a little while ago.
I want to get the chapter out for today but didn't fine tune it too much since I worked late shifts the last few days.
So if there are any small "boo boo's", sorry...I will try to look over the chapter again later today (Monday).
I want to thank you for your heartfelt comments last week and thank you to everyone still following along. It means so much to me.
Hope everyone is having a great week. I give you Chapter 29  of Will Love Prevail and hope you enjoy some more Chiara and Mark.
Thanks and Hugs,
Dani

TOC

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Update to Cabin Fever!

Happy Mother's Day to all you mamas out there!  Your present is a new chapter of Cabin Fever :)

Chapter 3

And for those of you who missed it: Chapter 1 and Chapter 2

Monday, May 6, 2019

New Chapter - Will Love Prevail

Hi friends,
I hope everyone is well.
Another Monday, another chapter of WLP
Here is Chapter 28 and I hope some of you actually still enjoy it.
I want to thank the two people who commented last week. I had really hoped people like the chapter last week but I really don't know if no one comments.
So to the two people who did take the time to comment, I thank you very much. It shows me you're there and you care about the story.
Also thanks to the reader who commented on my initial request which I then deleted because no one else wrote anything about it.
Hope everyone is having a good week,
Dani


Sunday, May 5, 2019

Update to Cabin Fever!

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!

I've got a new chapter of Cabin Fever.  One of you asked if Jake's eyepatch is his only disability and this chapter reveals there's more to it.....

Chapter 2

And for those of you who missed it: Chapter 1

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Love UnSeen Continues

Hey, everyone! Back with another episode for you!

Previously on Love UnSeen: Jackson's sister convinces him to talk to Dan and give him a chance to explain why he lied about being engaged to Wendy. Jackson learns that Dan is in the closet, partly because of his family and partly because of his job, and yet he wants to date Jackson to give the blind man a chance to trust him.

This week on Love UnSeen: Jackson and Dan's first official date doesn't go as planned, and yet the two grow closer all the same.

Next time on Love UnSeen: Dan brings Jackson to the darkroom to introduce him to a huge part of the photographer's life.

Love UnSeen - 18



If you guys remember, I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was thinking of writing some Black Butler fanfic, and I have. (Don't worry, Love UnSeen is still my #1 priority right now.) A friend encouraged me to start posting one of my stories (it's called Deadly Nightshade) even though it's in the early stages, so I'm posting it every alternate week from Love UnSeen on A03, where you can follow me as chiealeman or plague of insomnia. (AO3 allows anonymous comments, FYI.) So next week there's a new chapter of Deadly Nightshade and then the week after, Love UnSeen, etc. As of right now, all my fan fiction will have an MC a chronic illness or disability, in keeping with my original fiction.

Deadly Nightshade features an asthmatic Ciel (it's one of the major parts of the story) who is also blind in one eye.

I added a new page to my tumblr blog for my fanfic, which you can read about here. (I'll add it to my website soon.)

Just thought I'd share here in case anyone might be interested in it. As of right now, In/Exhale Season 3 ebook is on hold until I can find an artist for the cover art since the one I had has gone on hiatus.

Thank you all once again for your comments and support! I really appreciate it.

-CA

As always, you can catch up in the updated Table of Contents

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

What It Was - Chapter 1


Chapter 1

 I stepped off the city bus pulling the hood of my rain jacket over my head. Once again it was another rainy day in September. Fall was moving in with quick strides, colorful leaves were falling from the trees and blowing everywhere. A cold wind from the Sound was gusting through the streets of Seattle. I only had one block to walk to my work place. It usually took about ten minutes.

The bus closed its automatic doors behind me and with a loud engine roar pulled away from the stop, leaving a cloud of environmentally compliant exhaust behind. People who had stepped off the bus with me now scattered into all directions. It was crowded in the city with the usual morning commuters flocking into the city from the suburbs. Traffic in Seattle was a relentless chaos, too many cars, too many construction sites, and too many people.

I had been taking the bus for two years. I lived up in Queen Anne in a tiny apartment but that was all I could afford with the cost of living in this city. I worked in the customer service department of a large bank, ironically specializing in real estate financing and brokerage. The numbers that ran over my desk on any given day when it came to Seattle real estate were numbers I would never earn in my life time.

I rushed over to the cross walk waiting for the light to turn and then squeezing across the street with lots of other pedestrians. I walked faster than usually. I had plenty of time to get to work though, but I was cold and tired and wanted to get inside the warm building. My work day usually started at eight and it was only seven thirty now.

I arrived in the lobby the same time some of my coworkers arrived from other bus stops, public transportation sites, or from the actual employee car garage. I stood in the elevator and was chatting with other employees going up and getting out on different floors of our bank. The Real Estate Finance Department was on the tenth floor.

As I stepped out of the elevator, I met Matt in the hall way. At the employee entrance he held the glass door open for me.

“Good Morning Shay. How are you?”

I took off my hood and shook it out somewhat, splattering drops of rain everywhere including Matt. 

“Good Morning Matt, I’m sorry. What a mess out there?”
“Yeah, sure is. Washington fall for you.”

We stepped inside the warm hallway of our department with the lights on since it was still dark outside. I shook myself again, letting my blonde hair fall loosely over my shoulders and running my hand through it. Matt stood by and was already taking off his coat.

I looked up at him and smiled, “We’ll have this for the next seven months. I don’t even want to think about it.”
He laughed, “Right, it’s not a good thought. I miss summer already.”

He then actually helped me with taking off my coat and handed it to me.I thanked him and we both clocked into work. A few other coworkers came in through the door and we all greeted each other.

I had a cubicle in a row with five other cubicles. Matt sat two cubicles down from me. Now as I walked into my cubicle, I saw through the window it was raining even harder now. As I glanced down onto the streets for a moment, I saw the trees across from our building were swaying in the wind. I hung my coat on the hook, stashed my bag in the corner, and turned on the desk lamp over my computer. I sat down at my desk with my back against the window front. I had been occupying this cubicle for two years. 

It was personalized with a variety of my things, from a stuffed animal my older brother Chad had given me for Christmas to my college degree in a wooden frame, Bachelors in Finance. Scattered throughout my cubicle were other personal items but still decorated tastefully and not too playful. I had my professional integrity to protect and keep things somewhat conservative, especially with my wealthier clients.

As I got situated Matt stopped by once again, “Maybe we can grab lunch together today if you want?”
I looked up at him, “Yeah, maybe, let’s see how the morning goes.”
“Okey dokey, have a good morning then.”
“You too.”

Matt left and I switched on my computer. I knew that Matt had been crushing on me for a while but I had recently gotten out of a four-year relationship. Matt had just started working here about a year ago when I had still been in that relationship. Ever since the break-up, Matt had been lingering around me quite often and a few times we had gone out for drinks or lunches but I just wasn’t ready yet to get into anything else. Matt was a very patient guy.

My morning was busy and I had two clients come in for financing of homes.

I didn’t even realize how fast the time had gone by when I finally was done with my second client and Matt peeked around the corner of my cubicle, “Hey.”
I looked up from a stack of paper, “Oh hey Matt.”
“Do you want to go to lunch?”
I leaned back in my desk chair, “Oh wow, it’s already that time, isn’t it?”
Matt stepped into my cubicle, “It sure is. I was thinking Teriyaki.”
He sat down on one of the chairs in front of my desk and smiled at me, “Looks like you had a productive morning.”
“I did, I finished two deals, people happily overpaying for houses in the Seattle area.”

Matt laughed and nodded. I pushed a stack of paper together and moved it all into a folder on my desk, then set it with several other folders over on the side of my computer, “Yeah, I need to eat something.”
Matt shifted, “All right, let’s grab some lunch then.”

It was about ten minutes later when we sat in the Teriyaki place across the street from where we worked. It was still raining and we were watching people rush by outside, their coats pulled up and over their heads, some umbrellas in between, probably tourists. Of course, Seattlelites didn’t use umbrellas, we wore our rugged outdoor clothing from places like “The North Face” or “Columbia Sportswear”. Tourists on the other hand were usually known to carry umbrellas, it was somewhat of an inside joke amongst the locals.

Matt turned to me, “So how have you been?”
I finished a bite, “I’m doing good. Just getting used to living in my tiny apartment.”

After my break-up I had moved into the apartment in Queen Anne. Before that I had lived in a slightly larger apartment with my ex, maybe about fifteen more square feet but like a thousand dollars more rent every month. 

Matt then stated, “I told you, you should have moved out of the city and gotten a larger apartment for the same rent you are paying for your tiny place.”
I remarked, “And commute like an hour longer every morning and every night. No thanks.”

The living conditions were tough in Seattle and its suburbs. Rents were sky high, mortgages pretty much unaffordable unless you were rich out of your ears, and the homeless problem grew every day, people living on the streets in very large numbers.

Matt lived out in Tukwila, which was about a thirty-minute drive if the Interstate was open.
We chatted about work and living in Seattle like we didn’t already talk about that enough in our jobs. Matt specialized in commercial properties though whereas I took care of people buying houses and apartments. I dug into my Teriyaki chicken and rice bowl and looked out the large window of the restaurant. We sat next to each other with view out to the sidewalk and watched people rushing by and hurrying to wherever they needed to go.

Matt then asked, “What are your plans for the weekend?”
I shrugged my shoulders, “I don’t know yet. No plans yet. Depends on the weather I guess.”

Most of my friends also lived in the city and some of them were still friends I had from my previous relationship so depending on what was going on I always had to make sure I didn’t see my ex.

Matt then said, “Shay, I would really like to take you out for dinner or a movie or something.”

I had expected it was going to happen sooner or later that he would ask me out. He had been patient long enough I guess. He was an attractive guy in his mid-thirties, a few years older than I.

I looked at him and smiled nervously, “I don’t know Matt.”
“What don’t you know?”
I shrugged my shoulders, “I just don’t know if I’m ready yet to date.”
“Shay, it’s only a dinner or a movie or both.”

He was right with his statement. It didn’t really mean anything but there were things I wasn’t sure about when it came to myself. I was dealing with some things and I didn’t really want to commit to anyone.

I met Matt’s blue eyes on me. They were very nice eyes and he was an attractive guy. He wore his hair in a trendy cut, longer on top, short and faded on the sides and in the back. At work he usually wore a suit and tie and he was really an attractive man. Sometimes at work behind his desk he wore glasses and they made him look a tad bit nerdy but in a very sexy way. When he took off his glasses, he really did look very sexy and his bright blue eyes were prominent in his face.

Right now, I was looking at him and thinking to myself how I could actually be hesitant about his offer. I knew there were women in the bank who had a crush on Matt and some had tried unsuccessful to get with him or get a date out of him.

There I was sitting and looking at this very attractive man who asked me out and I was uncertain.

Matt tilted his head and smiled at me his very sexy smile, “Come on Shay, don’t leave me hanging. I want to take you out. I know a very nice Thai restaurant out in Montlake. We could go to a movie after or a drink if you want. I know you like Thai.”
I laughed softly, “I do like Thai.”
“So, what’s it going to take? Just say yes.”

The wrinkles in the corners of his eyes made him look even sexier. His blue eyes coincided with his teal tie.

I nodded, “Okay.”
Matt smiled and pretended to wipe sweat from his forehead, “Phew, I did it. Got the prettiest girl in the finance department to go out with me.”
We laughed together and he added in a more serious tone, “Thanks Shay, you won’t regret it. What time and day this weekend is good for you?”
“Saturday for sure.”
“Okay, what time?”

We decided on six o’clock on Saturday evening. Matt was going to pick me up at my apartment. 

We kept eating and as I was looking out to the sidewalk with all the people passing by, my eyes caught a figure across the street. A few cars passed by and a bus and I then got a good view again. It was a person in a wheelchair pushing the rims and coming to a halt under one of the storefront roofs. I could see it was a man and he looked like just another homeless guy out on the street, now parked in his wheelchair and begging for money.
I watched for a moment and then pedestrians blocked my view again.

Matt pulled me from my observation and followed my eyes out to the street, commenting, “It’s coming down harder now.”
“Yeah.”
I looked at my cell phone quickly and added, “I guess we have to get back too.”

Matt looked at his cell phone and agreed. We finished our lunch bowls and then slipped into our jackets. I grabbed my purse and we left the bistro.

Matt stayed close to me as we stepped outside and prepared to cross the street. I had my hood over my head and we waited at the light. My eyes wandered to the homeless person in the wheelchair. He was still there. I couldn’t see his face because he wore a hoodie and had the hood pulled far into his face.

The light turned and we crossed with lots of people to the other side, dodging the oncoming pedestrians trying to get across to the opposite side.

I kept glancing over to the guy in the wheelchair. I hadn’t seen him in our area before. Usually the homeless had their regular corners and they defended those corners with all their might. I had seen fights erupt among them before when a new person would come too close to their regular corners. I had never seen this guy in our area but I kept glancing over there now as we crossed and reached the other side. We had to pass right by him and I saw his hands held open in his lap. I felt the urge to give him some change or a few dollars. I don’t know what it was because usually I had become quite numb to the homeless begging on the corners. There were so many of them in our city that it was almost a nuisance that they were everywhere. Full homeless camps were set up under bridges or in abandoned industry lots and it was a constant topic on the evening news. 

As we passed by him I saw the hoodie he wore was pulled into his face but looking at his hands held open, they were not hands of an old person. His legs were in some torn jeans with stains and his feet were in some worn out Nike sneakers. I couldn’t see his face and we passed by without my being able to give him some money.

His wheelchair had caught my eyes too. It wasn’t one of those old raggedy or bulky wheelchairs homeless people sometimes had from written off hospital inventory or donated from a charity organization. His wheelchair looked more like a regular wheelchair non-homeless, disabled people would use. His wheelchair looked like something I would see on pictures or in video clips of disabled men who lived normal lives. It didn’t look new but it was definitely a wheelchair a person would have if they had a disability affecting their walking or couldn’t walk anymore at all. This looked like a wheelchair the paraplegic guys I followed on YouTube had, maybe an older, worn out version of a wheelchair but definitely not a bulky old hospital wheelchair.

We hurried by and got back to our office a few minutes late. Matt helped me out of my jacket again as we got to our cubicles.
“Thanks Matt.”
“You’re welcome. Shay…” I looked at him and he smiled at me, “I’m really looking forward to Saturday.”
I smiled at him, “Me too.”

He stood there as I hung up my jacket on the hook in my cubicle.
“How many clients do you have this afternoon?”
I looked at my desk calendar, “One more today, penthouse suite on Mercer Island.”
Matt whistled softly, “Penthouse huh?”
I grinned at him, “Yeah, it’s the big bucks coming in.”

We laughed and he then wished me a good rest of my day and headed to his cubicle.

I got organized and pulled the files for my next client up on my computer with the property they were interested in, valued at almost one million. And I kept thinking about the guy in the wheelchair sitting under a storefront roof about ten floors down from me begging for money.

My afternoon passed by quickly and I had a successful appointment with my client. Throughout the afternoon though I couldn’t get my mind off the guy in wheelchair. I was hoping for some strange reason that he was still going to be there and I could give him some money and maybe get a look at his face.

Everyone got ready at the same time. Matt came over and we all slipped into our jackets and headed for the elevator. My coworkers wanted to go for happy hour drinks but I really didn’t feel like it.

Jenny, a girl who worked in the same department tried to persuade me into going with them, “Come on Shay, you didn’t go last week either. What’s going on with you? Are you getting lame on us?”
We laughed and Adam, another one of my coworkers then added, “She’ll go if Matt goes.”
With that he looked at Matt and Matt smiled, “I’m up for a drink.”
I sighed and smiled, “You guys are annoying. Why are you forcing me to drink?
Matt stood next to me in the elevator and said, “I’ll go for a drink. Come with us Shay.”

I was eventually persuaded into going with them and as we stepped out onto the sidewalk my eyes quickly travelled over to where I had seen the guy in the wheelchair. He was still there and I really wanted to give him some money.

Whereas everyone was about to head into the other direction I then told them, “Hey, I’m going to run into Rite Aid really quick and I’ll be over at The Black Bear in about fifteen minutes.”
I was glad when no one protested but instead Matt just said, “I’ll hold a seat for you.”
“Okay, thanks Matt. I’ll see you guys in a bit.”

They all headed into the opposite direction of where I was going. The guy in the wheelchair was at the corner of the Rite Aid drug store. I didn’t have to get anything from the store really. It was cold and rainy still; the roads were wet and as the cars were driving through I had to watch out for them going through puddles on the street. I pulled up my collar and tugged my scarf in some more. My hands were already getting cold and I debated getting my gloves out of my purse but decided I would be okay for a short time. 

I walked toward him and even though there were lots of people walking by, no one stopped or gave him anything. He sat there hunched over in the wheelchair, and with his hood pulled into his face, his hands still open on his lap.

I had reached him and stopped in front of him. I fiddled with my coat and pulled out the five-dollar bill I had taken from my wallet earlier. He moved his head and looked up somewhat and even though I couldn’t make out a whole lot, I saw a little of his face with dark bangs hanging into his forehead and over his eyes some.

As I was about to give him the money, I saw how his hands were red and calloused. His whole upper body was shaking from the cold and now I wished I would have bought him a hot coffee or something. There was a Starbucks around the corner and I could run in there and get some coffee for him. I handed him the five-dollar bill and he took it and looked up some more and now I got a glimpse of his dark eyes below the bangs. A shadow of a dark beard was visible.

It was the voice of a young man when he said, “Thank you very much. I appreciate it.”
For a split moment our eyes met and I replied, “You’re welcome.”

I really wanted to say so much more and my mind was racing but he lowered his eyes, his face invisible again under the hood, and he stuck the money into the pocket of his hoodie.

I stood for a few more seconds with all kinds of thoughts in my head but then realized this was awkward and I had to keep moving with the crowds of pedestrians who didn’t even waste one moment on this guy.

I decided to run into Starbucks and as I stood inside, I looked at the board with trembling hands and when they asked me what I wanted I ordered a venti drip coffee. I waited for a few moments until they called my name and I grabbed the paper cup with the sleeve around it. I put some packets of sugar and creamer in a small bag and I hurried back outside. It had been at least twenty minutes already and I knew I needed to get to the pub.

Outside I mingled once again with all the people on the sidewalk and when I got to the spot where he had been, he wasn’t there anymore. I had this large coffee in my hand now and stood there clueless. I looked around for him but it was almost impossible to spot one specific person among all the people rushing along and hurrying to their busses, cars and homes.

And then I did spot a wheelchair on the other side of the street and realized it was him pushing the rims and wheeling along with the crowds of people.
He sat hunched over in the wheelchair, his hood still pulled far into his face, and his bare hands on the rims of his wheelchair.

I ran across with the next light and I felt silly when I ran after him and called out, “Hey.”

He didn’t hear or acknowledge me, most likely not even wasting a thought that anyone was actually calling him. And I felt like a crazy person, running after this homeless guy in a wheelchair with a hot coffee in my hands. I didn’t want to just waste five dollars though and it would have been weird if I showed up at the bar with a Starbucks coffee in my hand. And when I did get Starbucks every once in a while, it definitely wasn’t just a regular drip coffee. I usually had some fancy overpriced coffee cocktail like everyone else who made this company a multi-billion-dollar business.

I was right behind him now and said, “Hey.”       

He stopped in his pushing motion and came to a halt on the side of the building. I now saw he had a backpack on the handles of his wheelchair.
I got in front of him and he looked up at me, probably very surprised at seeing me again.

I held the coffee in my hand and the rain was drizzling onto the plastic lid of the cup. I looked at him and he actually moved his hood up some and I saw more of his face. His eyes were dark and flickered nervously. I saw he was still shaking and his hoodie had wet spots on the shoulders where the rain drops were landing.  

I now felt sillier than ever at this feeble attempt to be a good citizen and do something good for someone less fortunate.

I felt really dumb actually but now offered the coffee to him and tried to explain with a stutter, “I…You were not…not at the same spot but I…wanted to get a coffee for you since…since it’s pretty cold out.”

I could barely finish the sentence I was so nervous. I really didn’t know why I was so nervous. Somehow it felt like I was doing something wrong instead of something good. I felt awkward having hunted him down and basically forcing my charity on him. It seemed so selfish in a way even though it was meant to be just the opposite.

He seemed cold and nervous too but he reached for the coffee with his cold, dirty, and red hand. It was a large hand though, a strong hand from what I saw. His fingernails were trimmed but dirty.

He took the coffee from me with a shaking, blotchy hand and I tried to think of something else to say, “I’m sorry I hunted you down. I just thought…”

I really felt even sillier now saying anything else. I felt like a complete snob.
He then sat up some and looked at me directly from under his hood and through the dark strands of hair.

He did something to his wheelchair with the free hand and then added this second hand to holding the cup and now had both hands wrapped around the cup. I saw his hands were shaky and the cup trembled in his hands as he brought it down to his lap.

His voice was nervous but sincere when he now said, “That’s very kind of you. I’m sorry I wasn’t…at the spot anymore.”

Even though he sounded nervous I also heard gratefulness in his voice. It was a young man’s voice but also a defeated voice.

I wanted to say something else but he added softly, “My hands are cold. The warm cup feels good. Thank you so much.”

He still had both hands wrapped around the cup and just held it there in his lap.

I managed a smile, “Well, hope you enjoy.”
He nodded slightly, “I will.”

I stood up taller again and was ready to make my getaway.

Just as I was about to take a step he said again, “Thank you so much. It means a lot.”
His voice trembled and I could hear the insecurity in it.
“You’re welcome. Have a good evening.”

The moment I said the last sentence I wanted to disappear. How was this guy going to have a good evening? He surely wasn’t going home to his apartment with the fireplace on. More likely he was heading to one of the many shelters in town or one of the illegal homeless camps scattered throughout Seattle always on the verge of being cleared out and the people driven away just to find another spot to set up their tattered tents with all their belongings in shopping carts or backpacks. He possibly would actually end up sleeping in one of the entrance ways of a store or unoccupied building.

His evening was probably going to be one of survival of the fittest and I felt like a complete idiot.

I was stunned when he smiled nervously and said, “You have a good evening too.”

I needed to leave because I could barely stand looking at him anymore and feeling like a snobby diva. At the same time there was something about him that made me nervous in a strange way. His being in the wheelchair which didn’t look like some fake wheelchair thing but a real wheelchair that belonged to him and one he most likely depended on to get around interested me. I wondered about his disability and I wondered who he was. He was someone’s son for sure and whereas any other homeless person never occupied my mind any further because I had developed a numbness living in Seattle, with him something was different. I walked away and my head was spinning. 

Of what I had seen, he had beautiful dark eyes.