Jalpa’s Ramblings: Do You!
Okay, I think it’s really important for all of us to do some soul searching. So many times, we get busy in our daily life and go through the same old routine without even thinking about it. We wake up, get ready, go to work, raise our children, make sure hubby is okay, clean the house, provide food, help the kids with their homework, check on elderly parents, take care of the pets… the list in endless. By the time you’re done with this, it’s already 11 o’clock at night.
I remember there was a time in my life when I had three jobs (had to pay off the school loans), needed to make ends meet, and the kids were still just babies. I don’t even think I had time to take a long shower simply to treat myself. Literally, my life was constantly on the run. I didn’t even have time to figure out what I could change about my life. It was just the way it was.
Through the years, I have gone a bit wiser (I think). I realized I had to have some “me time.” I have to do me! It’s so so important…for your own sanity. Trust me, I forced myself to take some time out for me. It could be half an hour walk or read a little before going to bed or watch a favorite TV show, etc. These days, though, I make an effort to do things I’ve always wanted to do. Life is short. And if not now, then when?
Although I am still working full time as a physical therapist, I have decided to pursue other dreams as well. For the past five years, I’ve been writing and actually published eight books (ninth on the way). Frankly, I’m pretty damn proud of myself about this. Was it easy? Certainly not! But I’ve always loved writing, and it’s actually very therapeutic for me. Also, most of my books have some type of message, and if I can make a difference in some of my readers’ lives, well, then I’ve accomplished my goal.
Traveling also is very important to me. I want to visit all over. I’m a huge nature lover, so my husband and I have picked up hiking. It’s a great way to exercise, stay fit, and it’s actually quite calming. I highly recommend this. Also, I love learning about different cultures around the world. Hence, traveling becomes very educational.
Exercising/fitness is important to me as well. For so many years, I’ve neglected this. Trying to raise kids and running around…well, there simply wasn’t any time. Plus, I would be exhausted if I ever got a moment to spare. But two of my kids are away at college now, so really, only my baby (the 13 year old) is home these days. This actually gives me more time. I’m determined to find time throughout the week to squeeze in some exercise. Honestly, as we age, staying healthy is imperative.
Why am I rambling on and on about all this? I just think we all fall into that “trap.” You know, the trap of the routine, daily life, and we forget about someone very important: ourselves. I think we need to look within ourselves and see what will make us happy. What is our passion? Please don’t neglect this. It’s never too late to do what you love. You don’t want to be that person twenty/thirty years down the road and be full of regrets. Don’t wait for tomorrow to hope things will get better. Make today be the day that will make you smile.
You do you!
Broken (Chap 11) from Loving You Hurts So Good
Here is the conclusion of Broken. Please be sure to read Chap 1-10 first. Links are below:
Chapter 1 & 2: Link
Chapter 3: Link
Chapter 4: Link
Chapter 5: Link
Chapter 6 & 7: Link
Chapter 8 & 9: Link
Chapter 10: Link
Sage sat on the outdoor swing at her home with People magazine in her hands. She couldn’t seem to look away from the picture of Jed on the front cover. It was a picture of him playing the piano, seeming to be lost in his music. She must have read the featured article about him at least a hundred times already, word for word. Titled, “Jed Dalton Rises Again,” it detailed his life since the accident and how his music saved him.
She sighed, closing her eyes. He still looked as beautiful as ever. It had been a year since she had last seen him. Jed had left the very next day after he’d found out about Tim. She had tried to plead with him again, but he told her he wanted nothing to do with her.
She couldn’t blame him, though. Wanting to control every situation, she once again had disregarded his feelings.
Jed had done well for himself during the year. He had released a brand new album called Broken, which was an instant best seller. She wasn’t surprised by the success. Not only was Jed a talented musician, but every single song from the album was intense and heartfelt. Now, touring around the country, Sage couldn’t help but be proud of him. Seeing him happy and doing what he loved the most filled her with joy.
It didn’t mean she didn’t miss him, though. Sage missed him every minute of the day and night. She had decided to move back to her hometown, unable to walk away from the memories. If that were all she had, then she’d hold onto them with all her might.
Opening her own practice in town, Sage stayed busy at work. Although she still stalked him on the Internet, she knew she had lost Jed forever.
Seeing Trina’s car pull up her driveway surprised her. What was she doing here on a weeknight?
“Hey, Sage!” Trina waved as she climbed out.
“Hey! You never come over on a weeknight. What’s up?” Sage asked, giving her a hug when Trina reached her.
“Well, so you know Jed is on a tour, right?”
Sage nodded, afraid to find out where Trina was going with this.
“He’s ending his tour in Dallas this weekend. Did you know that?” Trina asked.
Sage shrugged her shoulders. Of course, she knew that. She knew exactly which city Jed was performing on which date.
“Anyway, he had sent me two tickets to his show, saying he really wanted me to come. Of course, they’re VIP tickets. I’m going, but I want you to come with me.” Trina’s eyes danced with excitement.
“No, I can’t, Trina. I’m sure he wouldn’t want me to come,” Sage mumbled.
“Oh, whatever! He sent me two tickets, so I can bring whoever I want. Why wouldn’t I want my best friend to go with me? Come on, Sage. You have to go. It’ll be so fun. And I know you’d like to see Jed again. Don’t even try to deny it.” Trina put her hand on her hip, ready to take on the battle.
Sage had to admit, she would love to go see him. The mere thought of watching him perform live gave her goose bumps. Maybe he didn’t have to know she was there. Maybe she could slip out as soon as the concert was over.
Without giving herself time to change her mind, she quickly answered, “Okay, I’ll go. But on one condition. I don’t want you to tell Jed I’m coming with you. I honestly don’t think he would be happy with that, and I don’t want to ruin his mood while he’s performing.”
Trina rolled her eyes before answering. “Fine, I won’t say anything.”
A limo picked them up Saturday evening from Trina’s apartment, courtesy of Jed. He wanted to make sure his sister was well taken care of.
As they got closer to Gexa Energy Pavilion, Sage’s anxiety built. A part of her couldn’t wait to see him, but the other part was petrified of how she’d be able to hold herself together once she did see him.
Sage put up a brave front, though, and followed the security who escorted them to their front row seats. After the opening act was done, the crowd went crazy, waiting for Jed. With her heart pounding out of her chest, she was consumed by the energy around her. She was not at all surprised that the show was completely sold out.
The stage went completely dark and began filling with smoke. Suddenly, through the fog, a lonely wheelchair rolled forward. The audience were screaming for Jed as his silhouette filled the stage.
When Sage was able to see him completely, everything started spinning. Unprepared of her reaction, she had to lower herself down to her seat. Jed looked breathtaking as he dominated on that stage. It didn’t matter that he was in his wheelchair. He was confident, mesmerizing, and incredibly gorgeous.
Jed took his place behind the piano and started to sing. The crowd shouted even louder, some even crying when they heard his voice. But, he didn’t hear them. Jed was in his own world as he lost himself in his lyrics.
Sage’s entire being reacted to his singing, and her body trembled. Jed controlled every single fan that night as he pulled them into his spell.
The night came to an end much too quickly. But, before he left the stage, he grabbed his guitar. The crowd fell silent, as Jed demanded attention. “I have one last song for you guys. It’s called Broken.”
The crowd went wild.
Jed smiled and signaled his fans to quiet down. “It’s for a very special person who had stolen my heart when we were kids. The thing is, she never gave it back. This one is for you, Sage.”
Some say I was broken,
Maybe I was,
But how is it that a broken man feels whole?
‘Cuz baby, only you possess my soul.
Yes, I’ve been a fool,
Too proud to understand.
Maybe I’m just crazy
Crazy in love with you.
Will never let you go
Only you can possibly know
No, nothing can hold me down
Not when my baby is around
Silent tears slipped down Sage’s face as Jed looked straight at her while he sang. She felt Trina squeezing her hand, but Sage’s gaze remained fixed on the love of her life.
When the song ended, Jed put his guitar down. While the crowd screamed for him, he pushed himself up to standing. Sage almost fainted at the sight of him standing so tall on stage. Somebody from his crew ran to him and handed him crutches. Jed then took steps with his crutches on the stage until he came to the edge. All Sage could do was stand there with her hands covering her mouth, shocked to see Jed actually walking.
The pavilion exploded to see him up on his feet and moving around. There wasn’t a dry eye in there. Before long, Jed was rushed off of stage, and the security grabbed Trina and Sage to take them backstage.
Sage remained in a haze, as everything was happening fast around her. It was as if she was in a dream, floating toward something beautiful. To Jed.
When they were brought to a room, Jed was already waiting there, standing with a cane.
Trina squealed in delight and ran into his arms. “Why didn’t you tell me you could walk?” she cried.
“I wanted to surprise you.” Jed wiped her tears and kissed her cheek.
“Jed, oh my gosh! You have to come home. You have to show Mom and Dad,” Trina continued to stare at her brother, astonished at his strong will.
Jed looked over Trina’s head and caught Sage’s eyes. She was frozen on the spot, shocked at seeing him up with only a cane for support.
“Your brother is a stubborn guy. Of course he was going to beat the odds and walk again.” Nick strolled in, his eyes dancing. “You killed it out there, man. The crowd is still screaming for you.”
Jed didn’t respond but continued to stare at Sage.
Clearing his throat, Nick said, “Come on, Trina, let’s leave these two alone.”
Neither Sage nor Jed noticed them leaving the room and closing the door. Finally, Jed said, “You came.”
“Yes,” she whispered.
As if in a trance, Sage reached him. He pulled her in his arms and brought his lips down, incapable of holding back. His passion rose as Sage’s body molded to his, and she deepened the kiss. Unable to control his breathing, he lowered himself down to his chair, pulling her down onto his lap.
Sage clung on with dear life, afraid to let him go…afraid to lose him again. Interlocking her fingers to the back of his hair, she brought his face into the nape of her neck, trying to fight the tears.
“This year…” she started.
“I had to leave, Sage. I had to find myself. Do you understand?” He looked up at her and cradled her face with his hands. “I had to find me again.”
Sage nodded, her eyes moist with unshed tears.
“I needed to believe in myself again. I knew that would be the only way I could finally love you with my whole being.” Jed pulled her hair away from her face and tucked it behind her ears.
“And you’re walking.” Sage’s voice trembled.
“I can even take a few steps with my cane. I’m diligent with my workouts. I have all my sensations back now, so I know it’s just a matter of time before I won’t even need the cane.”
Sage buried her face in his hair, unable to stop the tears.
“Hey! None of that now! You’re my badass girl, remember? Tough love and all that?” Jed teased.
She looked up at him and tenderly kissed his lips with all the love she possessed for him. “Now what?” she asked, caressing his cheek.
“Hmm, I’ve been having this same dream every night. This crazy girl keeps showing up in it.”
“Yeah, some girl with long dark hair and light brown eyes. I kid you not, she follows me everywhere.”
“Huh, strange dream.” Sage smiled.
“Sure is. Finally, I accepted that she had no plans on leaving me alone.”
“So what did you do?”
“I married her and had lots of kids with her.” Jed laughed. “And, that’s exactly what I’m planning on doing. Hope you’re ready for feisty, brown-haired girls running around.”
Elated, Sage closed her eyes, cherishing this moment in time. “Or stubborn, blond haired boys,” she whispered.
“When Life pushes you down, show that bitch you can get back up again.”–Flavia Weedn
Hope you all enjoyed Broken. As a physical therapist, I’ve had many patients with spinal cord injuries. This story is dedicated to these courageous people! Thank you for showing me what perseverance truly means.
There’s a part of my heart and soul in every story I write. All of my books can be found on Amazon (and they’re all free on Kindle Unlimited). LINK
As always, thank you for your support!
Broken (Chap 5) from Loving You Hurts So Good
Happy Sunday! Here’s Chapter 5 of Broken. Before you read this, please make sure to read
Chapter 1 & 2: Link
Chapter 3: Link
Chapter 4: Link
“Rise and shine, handsome!”
It had to be a joke. What was she doing here? Jed pulled his blanket over his head, hoping she’d vanish.
“Come on! We have a full day today for your therapy sessions,” Sage said.
“You are not allowed to come in and out of my room as you please! What the hell is wrong with you?”
“Old habits die hard.”
Flinging his blanket off of his head, Jed said, “We were kids then. This is crazy. Just get out. Mom! Dad!” He was angry at his parents for allowing her into his room again.
“Your parents aren’t here. I gave them a day off and promised them I’d take good care of you.” Sage flashed a smug smile.
“You’ve got to be shitting me,” he mumbled.
“Come on, it won’t be that bad. It’ll give us an opportunity to catch up. Maybe you can stop being such a grouch for some of the time.”
Feeling completely helpless, Jed threw his blanket off of him. “I really don’t want to be around you, Sage.”
“That much is obvious. But I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. Let’s go, or we’ll be late.”
Staring up at the ceiling, Jed sighed in frustration. How had he managed to lose all control of his life? “Every day is a struggle to get out of bed,” he whispered.
Sage sat down on the bed and turned to him. “But, you are getting out of bed. Every single day. And that counts, damn it.” She sighed. “That counts, Jed,” she whispered.
Closing his eyes, Jed knew she was right. It was another day he had to get through. There was no choice in the matter. He reluctantly got into his wheelchair, angry at his parents, sister, and this horrible situation that had been thrown at him.
“I need to jump in the shower. I’ll see you in the kitchen in about thirty minutes.”
Before long, they were heading to the rehab hospital for his therapy. Jed remained silent in the car and was surprised Sage knew where to take him for his sessions. Once they reached their destination, he turned to her and said, “You don’t need to stick around. I have aqua therapy in the afternoon as well, so it’s going to be a full day of sessions.”
“I’m staying. I want to see how you’re doing.”
Grinding his teeth, he said, “Maybe I don’t want you to see, Sage. Did you ever think of that? Why are you doing this anyway? You want to be a big savior or something? Find a cure, and I’m your guinea pig?”
Sage sighed, and Jed noticed her eyes becoming moist. She quickly recovered and replied, “Nope. Believe it or not, you mean a little more to me than a guinea pig. Come on, let’s go in.”
During the therapy sessions, Sage commented on how he had some movement returning in his legs. “How fast are the sensations and the muscle activation returning?” she asked Robin, the physical therapist.
“To be honest, every week, he’s able to do something else. Remember, Jed? Just last week, you were able to maintain standing in the pool with assistance. I mean, granted, we had to help you quite a bit, but you were actually able to use your muscles,” Robin said.
Jed grunted, annoyed that Sage was all in his business.
“What about sensation?” Sage continued to inquire.
“That’s also returning nicely. Right, Jed? You told me you sometimes can feel the urgency to urinate.”
“Okay, do we need to talk all of my personal business here?” Jed asked, aggravated.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Robin said. “I just assumed—”
“Well you assumed wrong!” he barked.
“Don’t mind him, Robin. He’s just crabby. I’m Dr. Ramsey, and I’m involved with monitoring his progress. We’re also friends, so he’s a bit too comfortable acting like this around me.”
“We are not friends! And to be clear, I’m not comfortable around you at all!” Jed said, but he had to admit, a part of him wanted to work extra hard just to show her how much he could do. He also didn’t deny her remark about her monitoring his progress. Truth be told, he knew she would give him the best advice and the brutal truth—whatever that may be.
“Okay, take all that energy out on your workout, tough guy!” Sage directed, and Jed had to turn away to hide his smirk.
By lunchtime, Jed was much more relaxed around Sage, and they both headed to the cafeteria. He appreciated that Sage didn’t make him feel helpless. As a matter of fact, she expected him to do everything for himself, including figuring out how to carry his tray back to the table while wheeling his chair.
Once seated, she said, “I want to see your medical records when we get back. I’m assuming you have incomplete spinal cord injury, and from what I could assess, it looks like it’s at L4/L5 level?”
“Yeah, you got it. The injury is at that lumbar region of my spine.”
“The therapists seem pleased with your progress so far. Are you?”
“It’s frustrating, Sage. My life has changed drastically. It’s really difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he confessed.
“I’m really sorry this happened. I had no internet where I was in Brazil during the time. It was also almost impossible for anybody to reach me. If I had known, I would have returned immediately to come see you.”
“And done what?” Jed frowned. “I was a mess when I first found out at the hospital. I didn’t believe it initially. There was no way something like that could happen to me. Not Jed Dalton. Then, I was pissed at the world. I completely shut down, not interacting with anybody. Of course, that got mixed with the depression. Trust me, you wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere near me at that time.”
“I would have been there. Whatever you were going through, I would have stood by your side,” Sage mumbled. Changing the subject, she asked, “Are you receiving psychological help?”
“I was seeing a shrink for a few weeks, but now, I’m not seeing anybody. It gets old talking about your pathetic life. I was done with it.”
Sage sighed. “I see your stubbornness hasn’t changed any. What about your music? What are your plans?”
“No plans yet. I’m just winging it right now. Just trying to get through each day.”
“Okay, fair enough. Jed, I’ve decided to stay here to help you with your recovery. I won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.”
Jed stared at her, narrowing his eyes. “Why?”
“I want to, that’s why. And, whether you’ll admit it or not, I can help you. I know I can.”
Jed rolled his fingers through his thick, curly hair, trying to understand his feelings. Seeing Sage more often was a dangerous game, but the way his heart leaped just then when he heard her say that, he knew he would be willing to take the risk.
During his aqua therapy session, Sage cheered him on from the deck. Jed worked extra hard, willing his muscles to work. He was pleased that he was able to put weight through his legs to stand while holding the rails.
When he felt steady enough, the therapists asked him to take a step. He stared down at his leg under water, which remained locked in place. His brain knew what it wanted the leg to do, but it refused to budge. Without meaning to, his eyes landed on Sage.
She nodded and mouthed, “Try! You can do it.”
Taking a deep breath, Jed clenched his teeth and gave it his all to lift the leg up. Robin helped by shifting his weight and assisting to move the leg forward. With a little nudge, Jed suddenly felt his muscle come to life to finish the step. Completely shocked he actually took a step, he couldn’t hold himself any longer, and his legs collapsed. He didn’t care, though, because by then, he was laughing. Hell! He actually took a step!
Once again, his gaze found Sage, and she was standing with her hand over her mouth as the tears rolled freely down her face. Jed stopped laughing and pulled himself to her with the rail.
Sage squatted down so they were face to face, not hiding her emotions.
“I think I deserve a kiss for that effort,” he teased, his smirk widening.
Grabbing his face, she leaned forward, and her lips tenderly touched his. Slowly their lips explored, teased, and remembered.
“Mmm, I’ll have to walk some more if I’m going to keep getting those kinds of rewards.” Jed laughed, stealing one more kiss.
Once the sessions were completed, Sage said, “We have to celebrate. Come on, let’s go get something to eat. My treat.”
For the first time since his injury, Jed truly felt like he was having fun. He wanted to go out with Sage instead of rushing back home. Normally, he preferred to lock himself in his room and avoid any type of interactions.
They decided to eat at Rocky’s Sports Bar back in town. Once they were seated, he said, “Look, Sage, I know I can be a real douche, but I do appreciate this. You know that, right?”
“Yes, I know you more than you know yourself.”
“Really? That’s a bold statement,” Jed teased.
“Call it what you will.” Sage smiled, taking another bite of her pasta.
“No way! Don’t tell me it’s Jed Dalton!” Both Jed and Sage looked toward the source of the voice and saw Dan Kirby approaching their table.
“Great,” Sage said under her breath.
“And, lookie here! Sage and Jed eating dinner together. Wow! The homecoming king and queen reuniting again.”
Jed tried to control his temper at seeing his rival from high school. Dan was a bully back then, and he used to compete with Jed on everything, including Sage.
“You look hot as ever, Sage. Tell me, what do you see in Jed these days? I know he was in the limelight and all, but he’s washed out now after his accident. Aren’t you paralyzed, man? Can you even have sex?” Dan asked, throwing his head back while laughing.
Before Jed could react, Sage sprung up and punched Dan in the jaw. When he collapsed to the floor, she straddled over him and said, “I’ve been meaning to do that for a long time.” She then turned to Jed while tossing some bills on the table. “Let’s get out of here.”
When safe in the car, Jed focused his attention on her, frowning. “I don’t need you to fight my battles.”
“It wasn’t your battle I was fighting. I’ve wanted to do that to Dan since second grade. He used to call me ‘rabbit’ because of my bucked teeth.”
“What?” Jed laughed. “Why didn’t you ever tell me that? I would have beat him up for you.”
“That’s why I didn’t tell you. I knew you’d go after him, and I didn’t want you to get into trouble.” Both Sage and Jed laughed, sharing their past together.
“You’ve turned into a badass. Since when did you learn to punch like that?” he asked, shocked with her moves on Dan.
“Since I started going to dangerous parts of the world. I thought it would be best to take some self-defense courses.”
“I’m impressed. And now I know not to get on your bad side.”
“Yeah! Watch your back, buddy!” Sage laughed.
Hope you all are enjoying Jed and Sage’s story so far! Chapter Six coming soon! As always, thank you for your support. All of my books and stories can be found on Amazon (and they’re all free on Kindle Unlimited). LINK
Best Friends, Chapter Six
Here’s the final chapter of my short story, Best Friends. Hope you’ve enjoyed this sweet escape. 🙂 Please make sure to read the first five chapters before this last chapter.
Chapter 1: Link
Chapter 2: Link
Chapter 3: Link
Chapter 4: Link
Chapter 5: Link
For the entire month, Ryan did not try to reach her. She missed being able to talk to him about nothing and everything. She missed running with him, asking for advice, watching movies with him, and most of all, arguing with him. She hadn’t realized how much Ryan had become a permanent fixture in her life. Now, without him, she was utterly lost and empty. Nobody knew her better than Ryan. Hell, he probably knew her better than she knew herself. Some days, it got so unbearable that she couldn’t help but try to contact him. She tried everything from calling, texting, and even liking every single one of his pictures on social media, just so he would receive a ton of notifications from her. Each time, though, he ignored her.
As far as Jeff went, he was angry with the rejection and did everything he could to ruin her at work. But, to her surprise, she was promoted. Her boss told her she was one of his top attorneys, and she deserved the recognition.
Her colleagues from work insisted on celebrating with her. They were taking her out for dinner and drinks the next Saturday evening. On impulse, she texted Ryan.
Hey Ryan. I wanted you to know that I got a promotion at work. They’re taking me out to celebrate on Saturday. I would rather celebrate it with you. It would mean a lot to me if you could stop by. We will be at Jon’s Karaoke Bar at 10pm.
Most of the coworkers from her firm joined them, including Jeff. She had avoided him for the last month and still had no desire to be anywhere near him. She knew he came to celebrate just to save face.
As the night progressed, she couldn’t help but keep checking to see if Ryan walked in. It was hard to even enjoy herself because her focus was on the front door. Just when she was about to give up, she saw his tall frame standing at the entrance. He was wearing black jeans, a white, button-down shirt, and a black, casual blazer. As soon as she saw him, Kat’s heart jumped. His hair was the same messy look, but seemed to be longer than last time she saw him, making him look even sexier.
Noticing her, Ryan stopped for a brief second before heading toward their group. Kat wanted to run to him and jump on him. In the last seven years, she had never gone this long without seeing him or talking to him. As soon as they were done with college, Ryan had contacted her, and instantly they’d become best friends once again.
Kat left her friends and met him halfway. “Thanks for coming,” she said, restraining herself from pulling him into her arms. She hadn’t seen him in over a month. All she wanted to tell him was how much she missed him not being in her life.
“I can’t stay long. Maybe about half an hour,” he responded. He leaned down and kissed her cheek.
Kat’s heart skipped a beat as his soft lips caressed her. Although it was a brief kiss, the burning lingered.
“That’s fine. I’m just glad you came,” she said, her voice sounding breathless even in her own ears.
“Jeff got you the promotion?” Ryan suddenly asked.
Kat narrowed her eyes at him. “Is it that hard to believe that my promotion was from my own merit?”
“Not at all. Apparently, you had a hard time believing that when you thought you needed him to help you move ahead.”
“Jeff is a nobody to me, Ryan. And yes, I was promoted because of my hard work.” Kat turned to walk back toward their group.
Ryan grabbed her arm and swung her back toward him again. “Hey, I’m proud of you.”
Kat smiled, knowing the truth in his words. “Come on, have a drink or two before you head out.”
Once at the table, everybody swarmed around Ryan, glad to see him. Of course, Jeff kept his distance.
“Our next singer is Katrina Tyler,” the MC announced.
Everybody started clapping and screaming for her. Kat squeezed Ryan’s hand and headed to the stage. Although she was nervous, at least she knew she looked good. She had her tight leather pants on with her stilettos, and her sequined, tan blouse revealed just enough of her cleavage to leave any hot-blooded man begging for more.
Taking the mic, she cleared her throat. “Hello!” Kat paused and cleared her throat again. “This song is dedicated to my best friend. He knows how much I hate putting myself out there, but he’s worth it.”
The crowd hollered for her while her work colleagues turned their heads toward Ryan. Getting up from his chair, Ryan left the group and leaned against the pole, watching her.
When One by Ed Sheeran began playing, Kat lost herself in the song. She changed the word “man” to “woman” in the first line instinctively. She sang the song to Ryan with all her heart, never looking away. Ryan remained motionless, but kept his focus on her…only her. Neither noticed the crowd had gone silent, lost in the magic that was unfolding before their eyes.
When the song finished, people whistled, clapped, and sighed. Kat made her way where Ryan remained standing by the pole, watching her every move.
“Nice song,” he said, as a slow smile played on his lips.
Caught up in the moment, Kat leaned forward and kissed him on the lips while everybody cheered. “I love you, Ryan Stark,” she said, once she stopped kissing him.
“I know,” he answered as he reached to put a lock of her hair behind her ear.
“You do?” Kat asked, feeling like her legs were going to collapse.
“Kat, I’ve been in love with you since the first time I saw you. You know what I remember? The first time you popped my zit. Now, that’s true love. You wouldn’t have done that for me unless you loved me.” Ryan smirked, cupping her chin to look at him.
Kat laughed, remembering that incident all too clearly. They must have been twelve years old, and she had pinned him down to get at his zit. He didn’t want her to do it, but she’d insisted, and finally had to tackle him down to get to it.
“You know what I remember? When we were in kindergarten, and we were in the same soccer team. I fell and scraped my knee. I’m sure I must have cried.”
“You not only cried, but you let out a bloody scream, Kat!”
“Anyway, I was on the ground, and you were all the way on the other side of the field dribbling the ball. You were about to score when you heard my scream. Instead of kicking the ball to get that goal, you ran toward me all the way across the field, helped me up, and brought me to my parents. All that in the middle of the game. Now, that’s true love.”
Ryan kissed her again. “Yes, it is. Let’s get out of here.”
Holding each other’s hands, both escaped the crowded bar. Although it was raining outside, neither cared. They both ran in the rain, laughing.
Suddenly, Ryan stopped her. “I’m ready to collect my debt now.”
Confused, Kat said, “Huh? What debt?”
“You owe me, remember? When I agreed to be your pretend boyfriend. You said you’d do whatever I asked.”
Kat laughed. “Yes, I do remember. Okay, name it. Your wish is my command.” She then bowed dramatically in front of him.
Kat’s legs buckled and would have tumbled down if it weren’t for Ryan grabbing a hold of her.
Pulling her close to him, he continued, “I don’t want to be friends with benefits. I don’t want to be your boyfriend in some silly relationship. I’ve always known I was going to marry you one day. I want you in my life forever, Kat. Marry me.”
Unable to hold the tears back, Kat wrapped her arms and legs around him as he spun her. The rain danced with them as they lost themselves in their past and the new memories yet to be created in the future.
“You wander from room to room, hunting for the diamond necklace that is already around your neck.” -Rumi
That’s Best Friends. I absolutely loved writing this story. So many times, special relationships are right in front of us, and we don’t even notice.
If you’re interested in reading any of my books, here’s my Amazon page. Link
They are also free on Kindle Unlimited!
Best Friends, Chapter Five
Ryan and Kat’s story is getting a bit complicated, huh? This is Chapter 5. Please make sure to read Chapter 1-4 before you read this chapter. I would put this short story in contemporary romance and romantic comedy categories. Hope you’re enjoying it. 🙂
Chapter 1: Link
Chapter 2: Link
Chapter 3: Link
Chapter 4: Link
During their drive home, Ryan was back to himself once again. She was quiet, though, confused about her encounter with Jeff.
“Okay, what gives? You mad at me for not having sex with you?” Ryan teased.
Kat couldn’t help but laugh. He always knew how to make light of awkward situations. “No, you were right, of course. It would totally complicate things. I think it must have been just that intimate setting.”
Ryan reached for her and caressed her cheek with his finger. “No biggie. I know I’m hard to resist.”
Kat shoved his hand away, groaning. “Ugh, you’ll never let me forget that incident, will you?”
“Seriously, though, I can tell you got a lot on your mind. Is it Jeff?”
Kat sighed. “He came into the room when you went for a run.”
“He said a lot. Basically, he said he wants me back and he made a mistake.”
“Hope you told him to shove it up his ass,” Ryan said, frowning angrily.
Kat remained quiet.
“Kat, please tell me you did.” His frown got worse if that was even possible.
“It’s complicated, Ryan. You know I cared about him a lot at one point.”
“Yeah, and then you saw his true colors! What is wrong with you? You don’t need somebody like him in your life. He’s going to hurt you again.”
“Wow, thanks for the optimism. You can try to be a little more supportive, or at least understanding.” Kat turned back to stare out the window.
“You just don’t want to hear the truth. You’re so much better than him. He doesn’t deserve you. Please tell me you know that.” Ryan was gripping the steering wheel tightly, his knuckles turning white.
“First of all, outside of my feelings for him, you know he’s a big shot at the firm right? He’s a big deal, Ryan.”
Ryan turned to her, his eyes wide with shock. “You want to date him because he’s a big shot? Are you serious? Guess not much has changed since high school.” He turned back toward the road, staring straight ahead.
“That’s not fair. It’s a different world where I work. You wouldn’t understand because you’re a teacher. I mean you teach third graders, for God’s sake. It’s cutthroat where I work. Jeff could ruin me if he wanted to.”
“I can’t believe what I’m hearing right now. Maybe I was wrong about you. Maybe I don’t really know you after all,” Ryan mumbled.
Kat reached for his hand. “Just hear me out, okay? It’s not just that.”
Snatching his hand back, Ryan interrupted. “Stop talking to me. I don’t want to hear anymore, and I don’t want to talk to you right now.”
Kat had never seen him this angry. While she was always more emotional between the two of them, Ryan was always cool and collected. Knowing he meant it when he said he was done with the conversation, Kat remained silent the rest of the ride home.
Once he pulled in front of her high rise, Ryan pulled her luggage out and handed it to her. “Look, I want some time to myself for a while.”
Kat frowned. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, I don’t want you to call me or contact me in any way. If you must know, I see you in a different light right now. And I just don’t really feel like hearing all your drama with Jeff.”
“Wait, so what are you saying? How long do you want?” She couldn’t fathom the thought of not being able to talk with Ryan whenever she wanted.
“Take care of yourself, Kat.” Ryan turned back to his car and screeched away.
True to his word, Jeff called her that evening. Kat ignored his numerous calls, not ready to deal with him. All she could think about was how long she had to wait before she could contact Ryan again. But after Jeff continued to call her for almost the entire week, she finally agreed to allow him to come over Friday night.
He wasted no time with bringing up his feelings again when he arrived. “Have you thought about what I said?”
“Jeff, I just don’t know,” Kat whispered, hesitant to trust him.
“Of course you know. Look, I broke up with Angel as soon as we got back because I knew my heart was with you. You remember all our special times together, right?” Jeff pulled her into his arms and led her to the sofa.
“My feelings are all over the place, Jeff.”
“Let me help you remember.” He lowered his lips to hers and showed her how much he had missed her.
Kat closed her eyes and relaxed against the familiar kiss. Soon, she felt him unbutton her blouse and slip his hand inside.
Instantly, she pulled away. “No, stop. You’re going too fast.”
“Too fast? What are you talking about? It’s not like we’ve never had sex before. And if I remember correctly, you made me wait a long time before you finally gave it up the first time.”
Jumping up from the sofa, Kat distanced herself from him. “I made a mistake. Sorry, Jeff, but you need to leave now.”
“No, wait, Katrina. You’re right, maybe I was too fast. I can wait. Please give me a chance. Hope you left that boyfriend of yours. He can never meet your needs like I can.”
All this time, Kat had put Jeff on a pedestal, but she finally saw him for his true colors. Jeff craved attention. He couldn’t stand the thought of her being with Ryan. Not because he cared about her, but because it was a challenge to win her back.
“Please leave, Jeff. There will never be us. I don’t know what I was even thinking, but I know I made a mistake.” She walked to her front door and opened it, waiting for him to exit.
“You’re going to regret this decision,” he hissed as he rushed past her.
After he stomped out of there, the first person Kat wanted to call was Ryan. She wanted to tell him he was right all along–that Jeff was a prick. She knew Ryan would be proud of her when she shared how she’d kicked Jeff out. But when she called his cell, he didn’t pick up. Kat’s heart suddenly felt unbearably heavy. It had been almost a week since she’d last talk with Ryan. Didn’t he miss her? They typically spoke to one another every day, even if it was briefly. Taking a deep breath, she texted him to call her back.
Ryan didn’t return her call or her text.
That’s chapter five, folks! Chapter six will be posted next week. Any predictions on what you think is going to happen to these two?
If you’re interested in continuing with this story or any other short stories, you can get Loving You Hurts So Good on Amazon. It’s also free on Kindle Unlimited. Amazon
If you’re interested in reading any other books, here’s my Amazon page. Link
Best Friends, Chapter 3
I posted Chapter 1 and 2 in the last two weeks. Each week, I’m going to try to post another chapter of my short stories. These stories were fun to write, so I want to share these amazing characters to my readers.
Here are the links to Chapter 1 and 2, so please read first before continuing. Chapter1
The day consisted of hiking the trails of the nearby lake park and a picnic. Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves-even Ryan. Kat couldn’t help but notice how Jenna kept migrating close to Ryan every chance she got. She wasn’t sure if she was the only one who noticed and what Jenna’s boyfriend thought about her flirting. Apparently, Ryan seemed to enjoy the attention from her.
Kat’s attention shifted to Jeff and his new girl. She was disgusted with how clingy Angel truly was toward Jeff. She held his arm and acted like a damsel in distress as she hiked. Jeff was more than willing to be her knight in shining armor, as he steadied and guided her through the narrow trails. For the life of her, Kat couldn’t understand why guys were attracted to such pathetic women.
Besides the annoying people around her, including Ryan, she enjoyed the warm breeze and the fresh country scent. She lived in downtown Chicago, so this tranquility was definitely a nice change. Kat was determined to stay to herself and allow nature do its magic on her. It wasn’t until she heard Jenna scream and grab onto Ryan’s arm that she knew she had enough. Kat was well aware that Jenna had pretended to lose her balance to have Ryan’s arms around her to steady her. It was the oldest trick in the book.
Kat deliberately walked to Ryan and said, “Babe, come here. Let’s take pictures by this spot.” She grabbed his hand and dragged him away from the crowd.
“Hey, Kat, this is fun, isn’t it?” Ryan asked, smiling innocently.
She rolled her eyes and when she knew they were away from earshot, she said, “Jenna is all over you. I know you can see that.”
Ryan smiled and shrugged his shoulders. “She’s a looker, Kat. I’m enjoying the attention.”
“Clearly!” Kat hissed. “We’re supposed to be in love, remember? I mean, you went through this elaborate story of serenading me—which by the way, I was not prepared for—and now, you’re giving me no attention.”
“Oh, are you jealous, darling? Maybe you miss me?” Ryan teased, watching her squirm from frustration.
“You’re impossible. Look, we had a deal, okay? Don’t mess it up. Besides, I can tell that Jeff is jealous of you, and I keep catching him looking at me.” Kat smiled at the thought of Jeff still having feelings toward her.
“Who cares? He’s an ass.”
“Again, we had a deal. Just don’t screw it up. Please!”
“Fine, fine. I’ll behave. I promise.” Ryan grabbed her hand and led her back to the group, giving her tender kisses on top of her head along the way.
When they returned to the cabin that evening, Kat was exhausted. She immediately jumped into the shower, needing to wash the sweat off. Once in their room, she changed into a clean pair of shorts and tank. While she was freshening up, she heard Ryan laughing and mingling with everybody. She had no idea why that was bothering her. He was clearly being friendly with everyone, and it was obvious they all loved him. And why wouldn’t they? He was very charismatic and had the gift of winning everybody over, especially women.
When Kat heard the knock at the door, she assumed it was Ryan. “Come in,” she yelled.
To her surprise, Jeff walked in, closing the door behind him. “Hey, Katrina. I’m glad I got a moment alone with you.”
Kat was suddenly nervous, not used to having Jeff in such close proximity since their break up. “What do you want? I don’t think you should be here.”
“Why not? Two friends can’t catch up?”
“I’d hardly call us friends, Jeff. Besides, I’m sure your girl, Angel, would not like you to be in here.”
“What she doesn’t know can’t hurt her,” he replied, walking toward her.
Kat began taking steps back, needing the distance from him. She had no idea what he was doing here, and she wasn’t sure how she felt about it. “You need to leave, Jeff. I know Ryan wouldn’t like you being in here at all.”
“No, I wouldn’t.” Kat and Jeff swung their heads around to see Ryan standing in the doorway, his arms folded across his chest. “Is there anything you want with my girlfriend, Jeff?”
Kat watched the two men and was astonished by the difference between the two. As tall as Jeff was, Ryan still had an inch or two on him. Where Jeff liked to have his hair nicely groomed, Ryan preferred the messy look. Kat was used to seeing Ryan in jeans and t-shirt, where Jeff typically dressed up. After the hike, Jeff had changed back into his kakis and his polo shirt, while Ryan remained in his shorts and t-shirt. Ryan never was the one to particularly care about his looks, but Kat clearly remembered Jeff spending more time in front of a mirror than her.
Ryan continued to glare at Jeff. “Do you need anything, Jeff?”
“No harm done, man. Just checking on her. We were close at one point, if you remember.” Jeff chuckled under his breath.
“That was history. I want you out of our room, now.” Ryan stepped in and opened the door wider, gesturing him to exit.
Without causing a scene, Jeff strolled out, and Kat released a sigh of relief. She had no idea why she had been holding her breath.
Closing the door, Ryan turned to Kat. “Why did you let him in?”
She could tell he was annoyed when she noticed the familiar frown on his forehead. “I didn’t let him in. He walked in,” she answered.
“He shouldn’t be walking into our room like that. It’s completely disrespectful. He’s clearly trying to make his moves on you.”
“No, he wasn’t. Wait, do you think? Do you think he’s still interested in me?” Kat wasn’t sure if she should be happy or annoyed, especially since his girlfriend was downstairs.
“Stop. Just stop. Here’s how it’s going to be. You want me to play your devoted boyfriend? Fine, I agreed to it, but you better be playing the devoted girlfriend.” Ryan came closer to her and lifted her chin up to look at him. “Do you understand? I won’t be playing this game of yours if it’s just one sided.”
Kat had no idea why her heart was beating out of control as his ocean, blue eyes pierced into her. She had known Ryan her whole life for God’s sake. But, for some strange reason, this was not the same Ryan she had known all those years. This Ryan was a confident, prideful man, who was not going to allow anybody to make a fool of him.
Trying to duck past him, Kat was surprised when he braced her against the wall. “I didn’t get my answer.”
“Why are you doing this? I won’t make a fool of you, okay? It’s only two more days, and this charade will be over.” Kat shoved him away and ran out of their room. Not understanding her behavior, she sprinted straight to the bar and chugged a shot of the whisky.
Later in the night, as the men played pool, Jeff turned to Ryan and said, “I’m still surprised to see you and Katrina together, Ryan.”
“Why would you be surprised?” Ryan asked, as he took another gulp of his beer.
“I mean if you two were going to hook up, why wait all these years? Why wouldn’t you have hooked up prior to this?”
Ryan laughed while Kat held her breath. “What makes you so sure that we didn’t hook up through the years?”
Jeff almost choked on his beer, and Kat had to walk away to pour herself another drink. “Nah, I doubt that. I’m just surprised because, frankly, I thought you were gay all this time.”
This time, it was Kat’s turn to choke on her drink. The room became silent as everybody’s attention shifted to their conversation.
Ryan smirked and asked, “Why would you think that?”
“Well, Katrina is clearly hot. No man would wait all these years to finally make his move on such a hot girl.”
Ryan remained calm and collected as he finished his beer. “Well, that’s where you and I differ, Jeff. You see Kat as a hot girl. I see her as so much more.”
Kat closed her eyes, processing what Ryan had just said. She moved toward them and took his hand. Staring straight at Jeff, she said, “Ryan is nowhere near gay, Jeff. I should know.” Smiling seductively, she turned back to Ryan and softly kissed him, seducing him. She caught a hint of surprise in Ryan’s eyes when she finally pulled away.
“Well, that’s our cue. Time for us to go to bed,” Ryan announced and guided her to their room.
“Thank you, Ryan,” she said when alone in the room. “What you said and did downstairs…well, I appreciate it.”
“Anything to get that kiss from you, darling,” Ryan teased.
Kat rolled her eyes, grabbed her toiletry, and hurried to the bathroom down the hall. She noticed Ryan had the same idea because he headed toward the second bathroom. Kat wondered if maybe she had drunk too much alcohol because she was feeling lightheaded and was having difficulty focusing.
By the time she got back, Ryan was already stretched out on the bed, his eyes closed. She immediately noticed that he had taken his shirt off and was wearing only his shorts to bed. It’s not like she hadn’t seen Ryan shirtless before, but for some reason, her insides were doing somersaults as he filled the full size bed. Blaming it on the alcohol, Kat forced herself to look away.
“You sleeping on the bed?” Kat asked, wondering how she would be able to sleep next to him with such close proximity.
“Where else would I sleep?” he asked, opening his eyes to look at her. “Nice pajamas by the way. Sexy.”
“What’s wrong with my PJ’s? They’re comfortable!” Kat looked down at her black and white, plaid pajamas. They were her favorite pair. Granted, the matching top and bottom were hideous to look at, but she didn’t wear them to feel sexy. Focusing back on the task at hand, she continued, “You can sleep on the floor. I’ll give you the comforter, and I even brought a sleeping bag.”
“I’m not sleeping on that hard, wooden floor. If you have a problem sharing this bed, you can sleep down there.”
“We can’t both fit on there,” she whined.
“We’d both be on top of one another. There’s no room, Ryan.”
“Again, I don’t have a problem with this. You figure out what you want to do. I’m crashing. Good night,” Ryan said, turning away from her.
Kat wondered what happened to the nice Ryan who had just defended her downstairs. She stared at the bed a few more minutes, contemplating what to do. Giving up, she crawled on the other side of the bed and squeezed in next to him. For several minutes, she remained stiff. Then, reminding herself that it was only Ryan, she closed her eyes and soon fell into a peaceful sleep.
That’s all for now, y’all! Chapter four will be posted next week.
If you’re interested in continuing with this story or any other short stories, you can get Loving You Hurts So Good on Amazon. It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited. Amazon
If you’re interested in reading any other books, here’s my Amazon page. Link
Dracula Untold Review
I’m going to go ahead and give this movie five stars. To be perfectly honest, I did not want to see it initially. I’m not quite sure why because ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been a huge fan of Dracula movies. But I guess I’ve just been burnt out of the whole “vampire” thing and just didn’t feel like spending a couple of hours watching a movie about it.
I’m so glad my husband convinced me to go with him. Truly, I enjoyed the movie tremendously. I had no idea what to expect. And boy, was I pleasantly surprised. Ah, the tortured soul at his best.
First, we’re introduced to Vlad, the human. Although he’s a fierce warrior, all he craves is peace. He has a beautiful wife and a little boy whom he loves more than life itself. Vlad is the prince of his kingdom, and his people have the utmost respect for him.
Unfortunately, the life he loves is not meant to last. The Turks come for them. Desperate to fight them off, and having no army of his own, he turns to the dark shadows. Vlad knows he has to sell his soul to the devil to save his family.
Sure, this movie has a lot of action, but it’s the emotional piece that touched me. Luke Evans plays the “tortured” Vlad perfectly. At some points of the story, I actually found myself crying.
There’s a very touching scene when Vlad is sitting in a church and prays to God for some strength to resist temptation. His son walks in and asks him if he’s sick. He then asks him if he’s sick because he was trying to save him. Vlad turned to his son and says, “Yes, but I would do it again.”
He knew that he sacrificed himself for his family and his people, and he would make that same choice again. Honestly, knowing the end is coming for him, this scene gave me goose bumps.
To become mortal again, all Vlad has to do is fight off the thirst for human blood for three days. I don’t want to give away the ending but let me tell you this man fights to hold on to what he has with all that he possesses.
I absolutely love Vlad as a human and as a Dracula. He’s not only a badass, but also loving, passionate, compassionate, mysterious, loyal, fierce, and of course, hot as hell.
This movie will make you smile, send shivers up and down your spine, and bring you to tears. So, if you’re looking for a good movie to sink your teeth into, go see Dracula Untold.
Chaysing Destiny Update
Many of you have been waiting anxiously for the final installment of the Chaysing Trilogy. Let me assure you that I work on it every evening and every weekend—literally, every spare moment. Trust me, I’m dying for my closure too. 🙂
The good news is that the story is done! Man, does that feel good! I’ve gone through it once already, but I’m going through it again. It’s just what I do. I have to go over it to enhance the scenes, work on proper wording, the sentence structure, grammar…you know, just get it right.
For me, it’s imperative that my readers are “there” with the characters. I want my readers to feel the joy, the sorrow, the pain—everything that my characters are going through. So, as a writer, the emotional piece is priceless. I truly get inside my characters’ heads and try to portray what they’re going through.
That being said, what’s next? Well, when I’m done going through it a few more times, I will send the manuscript to editor(s). Then, I’ll revise it some more. When I’m completely satisfied with it, I’ll send it to the publishers. There, the publishers take another couple of months to format it and make it available to the readers on all major sites. Yeah, it is a long drawn out process, but my goal is to send it to the publishers by the end of this year.
So hang in there! I promise it will be worth the wait! I absolutely can’t wait for you all to read it because I love how the story developed.
In the meantime, here’s a little prologue for Chaysing Destiny. Enjoy!
The pain is unbearable, but the reward makes it tolerable. I have to push harder to bring my baby into this world. As the fear for my baby’s safety consumes me, an overwhelming sense of sorrow sends tears cascading down my cheeks.
The sound of the explosion has me running toward the source. I have to save him. Screams and cries of women and children urge me to run faster.
Blood everywhere. Too many dead, mutilated bodies are all around me. No, please, no! I’m too late.
Suddenly I’m running through the field of beautiful wild flowers. I’m playing with Gem, and while I laugh, she barks with excitement. I glance over my shoulder to see Chayse running after me. I feel him tackle me, his weight holding me down. I laugh.
When he turns me over to face him, his eyes are not happy. Without any warning, the force of his knuckles land hard on my face.
Everything goes black.
The nightmares continue to haunt me. The dread of not knowing if these nightmares are a part of my past, present, or future petrifies me.
Too many questions. Not enough answers.
But I won’t back down. I will find my answers.