Flash Fiction Friday ~ 7 Deadly Sins w/ Dawn Kirby

Friday, July 13, 2018
Dawn will be giving us shorts loosely based on the 7 Deadly Sins. Each Sin of  pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth will each get 2 shorts a begging for the first round one each week and a conclusion the second round again one each week.

This Weeks Sin is Wrath.

We Hope YOU Enjoy. If You Do Please Leave a Comment We Would Love to Hear Your THOUGHTS.




Anger Management  (Wrath Part 1)

By Dawn Kirby

Anger. Anger leads us down a dark and dangerous path. If you’re not careful, you may end up with exactly what you want and nothing at all. 

Walk with me…

I was once a happy man. I had everything any guy could ask for. A gorgeous wife; a partner. A woman who was willing to stick with me through thick and thin as we wound up wrapped in each other’s arms by night’s end. She was selfless and always had a smile on her face. Everything she did was for our little family. 
Children. Three of them. They worshipped the ground I walked on. Always so happy to see Daddy walk through the door after a long day. My little monkeys may not have been perfect, but they were mine. We played. We laughed. We loved. 
Good times. 

Until…

Until anger began to scratch at me. An itch here or there at first. Like a demon, it crept in on me. Before I knew it, that demon had me. It’s hold so strong, I couldn’t shake it. It festered inside me like a cancer. Then it spread. 

Little things annoyed me. Things I never took notice of before. Things that ultimately didn’t matter. I know that now. 

My smiles turned into scowls. Compliments turned into criticisms. Harsh ones. My kids wanted less and less to do with me. My wife tried to be understanding, but you can only push a good woman so far. 

I demanded things I knew I shouldn’t. Things I knew would hurt the ones I cared about the most. No family. No friends. I wanted them all home, but wanted them to leave at the same time.  

I didn’t care about my job anymore. I didn’t care about anything. I wanted what I wanted and nothing else mattered. I wanted peace and quiet. I wanted sex. I wanted money. I wanted a vacation. I couldn’t have any of it all the time and I blamed everyone but myself. 

My wife had never been one to waste. Money or otherwise. I on the other hand, as finances grew tighter, she buckled down, never hesitating to say no. That word. That one two letter word would come to piss me off more than anything in this world ever could. It was MY money after all. I could spend it on whatever the hell I wanted too. 

NO. Bills first. 

Kids are loud. They’re expensive. They’re never satisfied. As I look back now I realize they were just kids. Pretty damn good ones truth be told. Of course I couldn’t see that then. I didn’t think about the things my wife said. Patience, she’d urge. 
True enough, but I didn’t have time. I needed them to straighten up. I needed them to grow up. And when the time came to leave the nest- just go. 

Go.

I should have listened to her. 

Hear fear annoyed me. Their crying annoyed me. The other driver pissed me off. What idiot waits until the last minute to merge when there’s ample time and warning? Damn fool.

I refused to let him in, but he was determined. So was I. his truck nudged mine. I didn’t budge. My wife begged me to give. My kids sat in the back, terrified. I would have seen it had I looked in the rearview mirror. 

The guy sped up. So did I. The longer he fought me, the angrier I became. I was right. I was here first. I obeyed the law. I was staying right where I was.  

The approaching overpass didn’t even make me see reason. Especially after the dude flipped me off. The nerve! By then all I saw was red. Every ounce of anger I felt for the last few years crushed in on me at once. My temper boiled over. 

The next time his truck nudged mine, I turned my wheel and smashed mine into his. I knew there was collateral damage, but at that moment I didn’t care. Neither did he. It was a battle of wills. Principle. The kids started to cry louder. My wife screamed, begging me to stop. I didn’t listen. He hit us again. My truck went into the guardrail. I swerved, hitting him again. 

He thought he’d pass me when a spot opened up as we entered the overpass. I sped up to close the gap. That’s when I heard it. A shot. Still I pushed on. Just ahead of him. Another shot. Then a crash. 

Our truck plowed through the vehicles in front of us. Mangled metal, horns, yelling, chaos. I’m not sure what we hit, but we finally crashed. My head hit the steering wheel. Air bags deployed. I felt hands pulling me out of the seat. 

With all the noise around me, there was an odd silence. I couldn’t hear my wife’s voice. The kids were no longer crying. As they laid me out on the pavement, I looked toward the truck. It was unrecognizable. Try as I might, my hearing was gone. 

If only. 


   




Dawn Kirby lives in West TX with Jamie, her husband of 17 years and their three , DECEIT and TRIBULATIONS. All three part of the paranormal romance Serenity Series published by Twisted Core Press. Her work is also featured in several 7DS Books anthologies such as SEVEN DEADLY SINSA MAN’S PROMISELINGER, among several others. Another short, DATE NIGHT was published in 13 Tales of the Paranormal by Firefly and Wisp. To find out more about Dawn's work please visit www.dawnmkirby.com.
SECRETS
wonderful children Tristan, Aishlynn and Shelby. She's the author of 

Places to find Dawn Kirby 
Website

The Serenity
Series
All Links Go to Amazon

Secrets Book 1
Deceit  Book 2
Tribulations Book 3  





Fire and Granite by Andrew Grey

Tuesday, July 10, 2018



Title: Fire and Granite
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Carlisle Deputies #2
Genre:  M/M Contemporary Romance/Law Enforcement
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 10 2018
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Blurb/Synopsis:

The heat is growing from the inside, but danger is building on the outside.
Judge Andrew Phillips runs a tight ship in his courtroom. He’s tough, and when he hands down a sentence, he expects to be obeyed. So when a fugitive named Harper escapes and threatens his life, Andrew isn’t keen on 24-7 protection… especially not from Deputy Clay Brown. They have a past, one that could cause problems in their careers.
But with Clay assigned to Andrew and the two of them together every minute, there’s nowhere to hide from their attraction—or from the fact that there’s much more than chemistry blooming between them. As the threat intensifies, Clay knows he’ll do anything it takes to protect the people who are taking their places in his heart: Andrew and his young niece and nephew.

Flash Fiction Friday ~ 7 Deadly Sins w/ Dawn Kirby

Friday, July 6, 2018
Dawn will be giving us shorts loosely based on the 7 Deadly Sins. Each Sin of  pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth will each get 2 shorts a begging for the first round one each week and a conclusion the second round again one each week.

This Weeks Sin is Lust.

This one is

OH SO DIRTY ENJOY ;)

We Hope YOU Enjoy. If You Do Please Leave a Comment We Would Love to Hear Your THOUGHTS.




Unsatisfied  (Lust Part 1)

By Dawn Kirby

John rolled over, wanting to pull his wife to him. Make her wake up and please him, but he knew better. As crazy as he was about her, she didn’t want the same things he did. In life she was everything he could ever ask for. A great mom. A wonderful wife. She always had a smile on her face. Everything she did was for him and their four boys. Behind the bedroom door though, well. 

 She was tired after being everything to everybody day in and day out. The last thing on her mind was trying something kinky once the lights went out. She wanted to be loved. He wanted to use her. Use her to take out all the frustrations and stresses he felt throughout the day. 

 With a sigh, he turned his back to her and beat the frustration into his pillow. Once it was as flat as possible, he laid his head down and stared at the wall. After a few minutes he was asleep. 

 Little did he know his lovely wife wasn’t asleep. Though Lynn’s eyes were closed, she was fully alert. Her body ridged, bracing against the inevitable. A touch she used to crave. An embrace she felt so safe in once now repulsed her.

 She knew what he wanted. He made it clear to her every time they spoke. Every text he sent. Him, her and another woman. Him, her and another man. A video recorder. Pictures. Not one minute of the day went by that she didn’t know exactly what was on his mind. 

 With tears streaming down her face, she choked back the sobs so she wouldn’t wake him and eventually cried herself to sleep, knowing she’ll never be enough. 

 I’ve bided my time with this one. I’ve hoped he’d eventually see more to their situation. Marriage after all is a two way street, inside and outside the bedroom. His problem is that all he sees, all he wants, all he cares about is satisfying desires only he craves. With this man there is no middle ground. No compromise. No matter what his wife has done or will do, it will never be enough. Not for him. 

 Before I slipped into his dreams, I drifted into hers. Nothing there but sleep. No dreams, no thoughts, no hidden desires. Pure exhaustion. Dreaming was simply a luxury she could no longer afford. 

 Turning my attention to him, I let myself sink deep into John’s subconscious. There I can see his wants and desires. There I can manipulate him. There I can play. There I can make dreams a reality.

 John sat in the hotel bar, swirling the ice in his glass nervously. He wasn’t one to put much stock in dreams, but when they feel as real as the one he’d had the night before, resisting seemed pretty stupid. Why go home to a fish when there was the possibility of there being a woman willing to be the vixen he wanted? 

 Not that he hadn’t stepped out on their vows before. What man hasn’t? It’s just the women he’d had were only one piece of the package. One might like pain. Another domination. While another might want passionate enthusiasm. None wanted all. 

 He glanced at his phone. Nine o’clock. Wasn’t that what she’d whispered in his ear just before his alarm went off? With any luck it was. With any luck, he’d be in heaven shortly thereafter. His thoughts went back to the dream. Everything he’d ever wanted.

 The screen on his phone lit up alerting him to Lynn’s latest text. He rolled his eyes. As much as he loves her, he needed this. One night without her. One night of lust filled sex, no inhibitions; balls to wall fucking. With a sigh he opened up the text and responded with the typical cheater response…Stuck at work. Be home late. Don’t wait up. 

 He didn’t even bother waiting for a response. He simply stuffed his phone in his pocket and dismissed any more thought of her or his boys. Tonight was about him. The fact that he might be crazy ran through his mind for the millionth time. 

 He downed the rest of his scotch and motioned to the bartender for another. 

 “I don’t think we’ll be needing that,” a woman’s voice said. He turned his head and saw the woman in his dreams. She flashed a key card and smiled. Her dazzling blue eyes were practically dancing. “Shall we fulfill those fantasies?” 

 John handed the bartender a twenty from his wallet and slid off the stool. The fair-haired woman took his hand and led him out of the bar and toward the elevators. He wanted to say something to her, but words failed him. He really hadn’t expected her to be real. Much less actually show up. 

 They stepped into the elevator and silently rode up to the tenth floor. Once the doors opened she led him to a suite at the end of the hall and slid the keycard into the lock. He waited for the green light and opened the door. 

 She walked past him. He stepped into the room and let the door close behind him. For a minute they stood in the middle of the room, looking at each other. She made the first move. And a bold move it was. 

 Her dress fell to the floor, leaving her standing nude just feet from him. She was perfect. Slim, toned body. Young. Untouched by age and childbirth. He reached out to touch her. Skin softer than silk. 

 She wrapped her arms around his neck and pushed her body against his. She could feel his heart racing; his desire pulsing.

 “I feel like I should at least know your name,” he said softly. 

 “Why?” she asked. “I’m only here for one thing. Who you are makes no difference to me.” 

 He raised his eyebrow and spun her around, forcing her face into the table. Formalities had officially been tossed aside. He unzipped his pants, spread her legs and rammed himself inside her. She cried out, but it was different. It was pleasure for her, not pain. He thrust harder. Her hips quickly fell into rhythm with his. 

 He dug his fingers into her hair and pulled her head back. Her hips stopped moving. He wrapped his arm around her waist and leaned over her. As much as he didn’t want to keep her where she was, there was so much more he wanted to do. 

 “The bed,” he said, pulling away from her. 

 She smiled. “I expected more.” 

 “Oh I’m not done.” He followed her to the bed. Before she could lie down he stopped her. He tossed a pillow on the floor. “Knees.” 

 She sunk to her knees in front of him. He dug his fingers into her hair again and rubbed the tip of his penis across her bottom lip. She closed her eyes as he slid it in and out of her mouth. Her lips closed around his shaft. He moaned, pulling her hair a little tighter. She rolled her tongue, sending shivers up his spine. He rocked his hips while her tongue drove him into a near frenzy. 

 When he couldn’t take it anymore, he pulled her up by her hair and into the bed. He kicked his pants off and knelt down in front of her. She spread her legs and waited. As soon as his shirt was off, he yanked her toward him. She gasped when she felt his teeth rake across her clit. Pleasure replaced pain when his tongue slipped inside her. 

 She forced her legs further apart, wanting to him to get as deep as he possibly could. His hand moved up her stomach until it locked around her breast. He squeezed hard; eventually pinching her nipple so hard it brought tears to her eyes. She squirmed under the pain and the low growl she heard come from him. 

 Her discomfort excited him. His lips closed around her clit as he started to suck. She rocked her hips, trying to loosen the seal he had on her. That only made him more excited. 

 He crawled on top of her and laid his arm across her throat while his tongue made slow circles around her nipples. As he began to suck, the pressure on throat grew. She could feel her airway being forced closed. His free hand groped at her thigh until he finally forced his hand inside her. Despite herself, she stiffened. Pleasure on her end was gone.

 Not that he seemed to mind. He was oblivious to her lack of participation. He had a woman and he was free to use her in any way he saw fit. And he did. 

 For hours she endured the biting, the pinching, the spanking. He tied her up with the sheets. He squeezed her throat so tight she’d almost blacked out. Over and over she felt the world slip away. 

 When he released her again she rolled away from him and onto the other side of the bed. He darted over the bed after her. She’d almost made it to the bathroom when he caught her arm and pulled her back to him. 

 “Not much longer now, my dear,” a voice whispered to her.
“Keep him at ease.” She rolled her eyes at the voice and steeled herself back into character. She thought she’d turn the tables on him and bit his neck. He winched and grabbed her face, squeezing her cheeks hard. Right then he realized pain wasn’t something he wanted or enjoyed.

 “You give it, but can’t take it,” she said when he let her face go. 

 “Keeping all this bottled up night after night does that.” He raked his fingers up and down her torso. She wanted to pull away, but thought better of it. “I need an outlet.” 

 A knock at the door brought her more relief than she cared to admit.

 “You might want to answer that,” she said, as she toyed with the hair on his chest.

 “Why would I do that?” he asked, ignoring the knock. “I’ve got exactly what I want right here.” 

 “Answer the door and you’ll see.”


Dawn Kirby lives in West TX with Jamie, her husband of 17 years and their three , DECEIT and TRIBULATIONS. All three part of the paranormal romance Serenity Series published by Twisted Core Press. Her work is also featured in several 7DS Books anthologies such as SEVEN DEADLY SINSA MAN’S PROMISELINGER, among several others. Another short, DATE NIGHT was published in 13 Tales of the Paranormal by Firefly and Wisp. To find out more about Dawn's work please visit www.dawnmkirby.com.
SECRETS
wonderful children Tristan, Aishlynn and Shelby. She's the author of 

Places to find Dawn Kirby 
Website

The Serenity
Series
All Links Go to Amazon

Secrets Book 1
Deceit  Book 2
Tribulations Book 3  





Review the Best Friend by K. Larsen


Title: the Best Friend
Author: K. Larsen
Series: Standalone (Interconnected Spin-Off of the Tutor)
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: July 6 2018
Edition/Format: Edition~ 1st /Format ~ eBook & Print
Blurb/Synopsis:

What she saw was enough to make her a liability. 

Aubry Clark was thrilled with the direction her life was headed.  AC Interiors, her design business, was taking off thanks to high profile clients like Liam Lockwood and Mike Chesterfield, giving her a chance. She could practically taste the success she was about to come into and the steamy cat and mouse games between her and perpetual bachelor, Mike, didn't hurt either. 

Until one day, just before sunrise, she went down to the docks to set up a photo shoot she'd dreamed up. She wanted to capture a colorful graffiti wall to use against the minimalist décor she had in mind for an upcoming project. But what she accidentally captured instead, was about to change her life forever.

The click of her camera shutter was the last untroubled sound she heard. When a muffled scream ripped through the air, Aubry turned around.

That was her first mistake. 

When men dressed in black, forcefully shoved a scantily-clad girl in a shipping container and set their sights on her, Aubry ran.

Little did Aubry know, her luck was about to run out.

Spotlight Nice Guys Collection by Kindle Alexander w/ #GIVEAWAY

Thursday, July 5, 2018
Have you met the Nice Guys? 

Available for a limited time! Here's your chance to get the complete Nice Guys collection with an additional 30,000 words of bonus material for the low price of $2.99 for fourteen days only. Don't miss out on this special pricing! 


Title: Nice Guys Collection
Author: Kindle Alexander
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: July 3, 2018
Blurb/Synopsis: 

Double Full
Up and coming football hero, Colt Michaels, makes a Hail Mary pass one night in the college locker room that results in the hottest, sexiest five days of his young life. However, interference after the play has him hiding his past and burying his future in the bottom of a bottle. While Colt seems to have it all, looks can be deceiving especially when you're trapped so far in a closet that you can't see your way out. 
Jace Montgomery single-handily built the largest all-star cheerleading gym in the world, driven by a need to forget a life-altering encounter with a handsome quarterback a decade ago. When he learns some upsetting news about his ex-lover, his heart executes a barrel roll and his carefully placed resolve tumbles down without a mat to absorb the shock. Can his island escape help him to finally let go of the past and move his life forward?

Full Disclosure
Deputy United States Marshal Mitch Knox apprehends fugitives for a living. His calm, cool, collected attitude and devastatingly handsome good looks earn him a well-deserved bad boy reputation, both in the field and out. While away on an assignment, he blows off some steam at a notorious Dallas nightclub. Solving the case that has plagued him for months takes a sudden backseat to finding out all there is to know about the gorgeous, shy blond sitting alone at the bar.
Texas State Trooper Cody Turner dreams of being a Texas Ranger, and he’s moving up the ranks, well on his way to making it happen. But for the next two-weeks, he’s on vacation, and his plans include relaxing and helping out on his family’s farm. The last distraction he needs is a tatted-up temptation who walks into the bar and steals his baseball cap.
As Mitch’s case gains nationwide attention, how will he convince the sexy state trooper that giving him a chance won’t jeopardize his life’s plan...especially when the evil he’s tracking brings the hate directly to his doorstep, threatening more than just their careers?

Full Domain
Honor, integrity, and loyalty are how Deputy US Marshal Kreed Sinacola lives his life. A former SEAL now employed by the Special Operations Group of the US Marshal Service, Kreed spends most of his life working covert operations…and avoiding relationships. But his boundaries blur and his convictions are put to the test when he finally comes face-to-face with the hot computer geek he’s been partnered with.
Aaron Stuart strives for one thing: justice. Young and full of idealism, his highly sought after computer skills land him a position with the National Security Agency. Aaron’s biggest hazard at his job is cramped fingers, but all that changes when he’s drawn into the middle of a dangerous federal investigation. And his attraction to his new inked up, dark-haired partner provides another kind of threat altogether. While Aaron tries desperately to place a firewall around his heart and fight his developing feelings, one misstep on his part could ultimately destroy him. 
The solution isn’t as easy as solving the case, which is treacherous enough as it is. But the growing sexual attraction between them threatens to derail more than just Kreed’s personal convictions as he quickly learns temptation and matters of the heart rarely fit easily into the rules he’s lived by. Will Kreed be able to convince Aaron to open his heart and face the fact that sometimes the answers aren’t always hidden in code?

Spotlight Mister Boss Man by Ryleigh York

Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Title: Mister Boss Man
Author: Ryleigh York
Series: Standalone
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 27 2018
Blurb/Synopsis:

My dick has a certain appetite.

Curvy, sassy, and gone the next morning.

When my new paralegal walks in, I take one look at her, and immediately know I'm f*cked. Because the curvy little sexpot standing in my office was once the hottest one night stand of my life.

What I wouldn't give for a repeat. I'm ready to break all my rules, and show her exactly what I fantasize about during our meetings.

When things heat up between us, I think I've finally met my match, but what I never counted on was the woman I’ve fallen for being the one poised for the ultimate betrayal...

Flash Fiction Friday ~ 7 Deadly Sins w/ Dawn Kirby

Friday, June 29, 2018
Okay y'all last week I announced the ending to the shorts in Claimed by Dawn Kirby and said that we would be getting some new Flash Fiction Shorts this week, and I am DELIVERING on that. Dawn will be giving us shorts loosely based on the 7 Deadly Sins. Each Sin of  pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth will each get 2 shorts a begging for the first round one each week and a conclusion the second round again one each week. We are starting off this week with Gluttony. We Hope YOU Enjoy. If You Do Please Leave a Comment We Would Love to Hear Your THOUGHTS.



The Lock Box (Glutton Part 1)

By Dawn Kirby

There isn’t much to say other than I let a fantasy distort my reality. I knew it was wrong, wanting to possess her the way I did. Tell me though, when faced with a woman such as her, how could I not try?  
Our relationship started like any other. Me behind the counter. Her on the other side, ordering coffee and doughnuts for the professor she had agreed to tutor for. Lila always greeted me with a smile. A flirty kinda grin only I could read. She was sly that way. 
I first noticed it while she was on the phone with a friend when she came. It was a Friday and she was running late. I remember that because winter break had just started. She winked at me when she casually revealed her plans for the night. Had I not picked up on the bright twinkle in her eye when she smiled as she waved goodbye, I probably would have missed the signs altogether. 
As one of my professors says, ‘words say one thing. Actions speak volumes.’    
Anyway, as sure as the sun rises and sets, Lila was right where she said she’d be that night. I’d taken my time getting ready. Pulled out all the stops. I’d even stopped off at the barbershop for an old fashion trim and shave. For the love of a woman like Lila nothing was too good. 
As I made my way to the bar a man sat down on the bar stool beside her. He tried to talk her up, but she looked past him and waved at me. She told him we were there together. Though the only words spoken were hello and thanks when the unwanted man disappeared we enjoyed our first night out. Even with the constant yammering of her friends it remained a pleasant evening. 
We parted ways at a few hours later. She to drive her friends home. Me to reflect on the first good night I’d had in months as I walked down that now familiar alleyway between her place and mine.  It was tempting to go up for a nightcap, but I had to open the shop in a few hours and she had students to tutor down at the campus Student Center. My typical Saturday night drop in would have to be enough. 
You see we had an understanding, her and I. It was an unspoken thing between us borne from a chance encounter when she’d locked herself out of her apartment about a year ago. I’d been on my way home and heard someone cursing builders everywhere for making fire escapes only tall people could access. She’d locked her keys inside the apartment and the super was on vacation.   
More often than not she was already asleep by the time I climbed the stairwell between our apartments. She was on the ninth floor. I was on the fifth. After helping her inside that night she had offered me a cup of coffee. Unfortunately I had to decline, but I did invoke rain check status. One I’d collected on the sly many times.
Tell me, how many times have you watched your lover as they lie in bed? Well, soon-to-be… 
Standing in the dark, watching her lie there next to him, embracing him at first was hard. Admittedly the more I visited, the easier it became. Not that it mattered. It became clear early on he was just there to keep the bed warm until she found Mr. Right. With any luck that man would turn out to be me.  
Fortunately he made any man look like a prince. He was the type that never grew up. A twenty-something player with a Peter Pan complex.  He thought nothing of leaving her to hang out with his buddies or stay up late playing games, yelling at some kid online for messing up one strategic battle fantasy or another. The fact that the only job he could hold down was at the Game Stop around the corner just exacerbated their already tumultuous relationship. 
I’ll admit, not a tear was shed the night I finally took the fool out of our misery. Not by me anyway. He was drunk and highly amused when I pointed that gun at him. Not so much when I pulled the trigger. Sure she was upset, but her friends and relatives urged her to push forward and move past his death. Once the cops cleared her of any wrongdoing, she was finally able to start that process. 
As for me, I stayed in the shadows, giving her time to grieve, time to be on her own. When I did see her out we shared quick glances. A curt nod here and there. The smile I’d grown to love slowly made its way back. Her flirty nature eventually returned. I knew what that meant even if nobody else did. She knew too- deep down. I just had to wait for her to realize it.
With the roadblocks between us gone I started stopping by her place more often to make sure she made it home safe. Our neighborhood was relatively calm, but like everywhere these days, bad seeds always find a way in. Not that she would have noticed. Work, school, stress and a lingering sense of loss dulled her senses. 
I didn’t mind being her eyes and ears during that time. Somebody needed to be. Her family had left town shortly after man-boy’s funeral and as far as I could tell weren’t in any hurry to come back. In fact they seemed determined to get her to go back to Smalltown, USA and find a good man there.
I can’t tell you how relieved I was when she finally told them she had no intention of ever going back. After declaring her independence for the umpteenth time they stopped pushing. Somehow they knew it was a losing battle. 
Months went by. No words between us really, just glances, smiles and gestures. An extra shot of caramel in her coffee. A free cinnamon roll snuck in with the donuts. I did my best to have it all ready before she came in. Why keep a pretty girl waiting? The smaller the gesture, the greater the appreciation. 
Thanks to the gratitude we were able to engage in casual conversation. She often asked me how my classes were going and even gave me a heads up on which professors to avoid. Though our majors differed there were still the basic classes neither of us could avoid. She’d even gone through the trouble of digging out a few old textbooks so I wouldn’t have to hunt them down later.  
  Unfortunately good times often clash with bad. An old high school friend moved to town and in with her to help relieve some of the financial stress. Within weeks Lila lost her sense of self. She still smiled, but the smile had faded somehow. As if the friend was draining her. At times she appeared edgy. The slightest movement made her jump. 
Her appearance changed as well. The usual well put together woman looked haggard and depressed. Stress and worry had taken hold and refused to let go. Neglect of herself had never been an issue for her.  
I ramped up my visits.  At first I stayed in her room, waiting and watching like I always had. When her nightmares started I did what I could to comfort her, careful never to wake her. Gentle words, touches seemingly enough.
One night I overheard her tell her friend she thought her dead boyfriend was haunting her. She mentioned the dreams and how they scared her. Mentioned feeling phantom touches only to look up and see nothing. Things moved in their house. Especially in her room. That night I brought in my camera and prepared to camp out there all night until I caught whatever it was that was haunting her. 
Another bad dream came and went. I frantically clicked the camera, trying to document the room. The bed. Her. If something was there I was determined to catch it before it could harm her. Lila’s knight in shadowed armor. 
On my next day off I went to her place while she and her friend were at work and walked through the apartment, listening. I looked for places to run surveillance equipment. Anywhere I could see them, but they’d never know. I needed to nip this thing in the bud before it consumed the woman I loved. 
With an hour to spare I had four cameras running throughout her apartment and a little space set up for myself in the crawl space inside her closet. I’d have a live feed I could view anytime I needed to. Nothing was going to touch her. Not on my watch. 
The more I watched the more protecting her consumed me. From my perch in the closet my eyes jumped from one screen to another, searching. Nothing came. For months, nothing came. 
Sometimes I’d climb down and roam through the apartment. Maybe whatever was there couldn’t be seen by cameras. Still nothing. Frustration set in. She was still scared. The nightmares were getting worse and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
Her roommate didn’t seem bothered at all. She went on like there was nothing going on. Sometimes I’d catch her on video telling her boyfriend she thought Lila was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Maybe she was. 
I did some research as soon as I got home looking for something I could get to help calm her. Surely a good night’s rest would do her some good. Unfortunately the stuff I needed was out of reach. I didn’t know any doctors and nobody I knew dealt the kind of drugs I needed. 
Like a solider on a mission I charged on eventually finding a guy willing to help. For a few hundred bucks I bought enough to give her good dreams for at least six months. All I had to do was slip a bit in her drink and let it work its magic. 
While she was in the shower and her roommate gone, I snuck out of my perch in the closet and retrieved a bottle of water from the fridge. She had a habit of drinking one before bed while she read. All I had to do was make sure I put the drugs in the right one. To ensure that, I took the spiked drink back to her room with me and put on her nightstand beside the book she’d been reading. If I were lucky she wouldn’t think twice about it being there.    
Everything changed after that. The drugs did what I needed them to do. She slept like a baby for the first time in months. I watched my monitors all night for signs of intruders, but like every night before, saw nothing except her roommate when she and her boyfriend came in around 3 am.
Then about three months later I was reviewing footage I’d shot while walking through her apartment the night before, I saw it. A hand. It was touching her. Touching her face. Touching her arms. Her legs. Caressing skin meant for my enjoyment. A man’s body came into view as he crawled into the bed beside her. How had I missed him? 
The next night I stayed close. My muscles tense, I practically dared the man to show himself a second time. He must’ve sensed me there because he never showed. That’s when I decided to stay beside her. It’s also when our relationship changed. 
Even in a deep sleep she beckoned me to her. Like a moth to a flame, I answered her call. How could I not? She had finally seen me for what I was. Her friend. Her protector. Her soul mate. 
Unconscious she loved me unconditionally. The nights we spent together were magical. We never needed words to convey our feelings for one another. The body has a language all its own should one dare to look beyond what others consider normal. 
Let’s face it, our relationship never has been normal. What she found enjoyable on some occasions, she found unpleasant on others. Sometimes I had to up the dosage so to speak to allow her the chance to appreciate everything we could do for each other. Some nights she’d cry out incoherently, alerting her roommate to my presence. Those nights I was forced to retreat back to the solitude of her closet while she babbled on about the dreams and feelings that continued to haunt her. Things I could do little to stop.
Living with constant fear, she fell into a depression and began to pursue her degree online. The professor scheduled tutoring sessions via webcam so she could keep her job and handle a greater volume of students. Though this helped, I found myself unable to keep watch on her as I had before.    
With all my money going to help her, I lost my apartment. My work suffered, as did my grades. Eventually I lost everything. The only thing that kept me sane was her. She completed me. Whether she knew it or not, she was my lifeline.  

*****
Lila Davis
22 years old
Homicide



Dawn Kirby lives in West TX with Jamie, her husband of 17 years and their three , DECEIT and TRIBULATIONS. All three part of the paranormal romance Serenity Series published by Twisted Core Press. Her work is also featured in several 7DS Books anthologies such as SEVEN DEADLY SINSA MAN’S PROMISELINGER, among several others. Another short, DATE NIGHT was published in 13 Tales of the Paranormal by Firefly and Wisp. To find out more about Dawn's work please visit www.dawnmkirby.com.
SECRETS
wonderful children Tristan, Aishlynn and Shelby. She's the author of 

Places to find Dawn Kirby 
Website

The Serenity
Series
All Links Go to Amazon

Secrets Book 1
Deceit  Book 2
Tribulations Book 3  





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