ANGELS WANTED

To all fallen angels. It's time. Lumi'el, Dani'el, Tazi'el, Seri'el, Sandalphon, Penemue... Your future awaits http://fallenshadow.darkbb.com/

Monday, 21 April 2014

Recovery - by Con Riley

BROUGHT TO YOU BY


Blurb: San Diego is a city of second chances for Jamie Carlson. His new career as a photographer is taking off, and with the support of a loving surrogate family, he’s finally putting his party years behind him. The Bailey family helped him solve his drinking problem, but there’s no easy solution to staying sober now that Belle Bailey’s dying. Her last wish is a challenge Jamie can't overcome without help.

Solving problems is Daniel Priest’s specialty. More than twenty years older than Jamie, he’s successful and experienced. He makes his living resolving corporate crises—but his personal life has been far from perfect. Now that his marriage is over, Daniel’s determined to make up for lost time. One night with Jamie isn’t nearly enough for him.

Daniel’s honest offer of help is more than Jamie expects from a one-time hookup. Even so, fulfilling Belle’s last wish is a tall order. Repairing her damaged family as she requests proves difficult when Jamie has to face his own past as well.


Jamie could risk his hard-won recovery by admitting why he hit rock bottom in the first place. If he wants a future with Daniel, he'll have to address those reasons head-on.

Author Bio: Con Riley lives on the wild and rugged Devonshire coast, with her head in the clouds, and her feet in the Atlantic Ocean.

Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time instead. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that makes them live and breathe.

When not people watching, or wrangling her own boy band of teen sons, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don't disturb her—she's probably thinking up new plots.

Author Links: 



Tour Dates: 4/21/14
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Sales Links: 



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Friday, 18 April 2014

Cock & Tails - Renee George


Another promotion brought to you by the wonderful Pride Promotions.

COCK & TAILS #1 - THE WALLBANGER


To celebrate his 45th birthday, Dr. Harvey Grace agrees to go on a blind date at a popular gay sports bar, The Other Team. His date turns out to be the bar's owner--gorgeous 32-year-old Jay Lincoln. Their attraction is immediate and hot as wildfire. Harvey begins to believe that Jay might well be "the one," but is the younger man serious about finding Mr. Right ... or is he looking for Mr. Right Now?

COCK & TAILS #2 - THE HOT TODDY



Todd Nelson and Tucker Thompson both know what it's like to feel abandoned, lonely, and afraid. Since ending up in the same foster family together, they've been as close as brothers.  Now in their early twenties, they still have each other's backs, sharing an apartment and working at The Other Team. Tuck avoids hook-ups while Todd constantly indulges in one-night-stands. Watching Todd go through a string of conquests in their home is brutal on Tuck, who wants Todd all for himself. What he doesn't realize is that Todd has strong feelings for him, too. Tuck has always trusted Todd to have his back, but can he trust him with his heart?

COCK & TAILS #3 - THE GIN RICKEY


Alex Michaels values intellect and propriety. To help pay the bills while he finishes his biological research degree, he waits tables at The Other Team. He’s trying to avoid romantic entanglements to focus on his studies, but the new cook, Ricky McNeil, is dangerously attractive. Ricky’s scars and tattoos have Alex both scared and horny. It doesn’t take long for Alex to cave in to their insane attraction. But can two men from two different worlds have more than just a physical connection?



AUTHOR - RENEE GEORGE


Multi-published, award-winning author Renee George has been a factory worker, an army medic, a nurse, a website designer, a small press editor, an artist, and a teacher, but writing stories about sexy alpha men is the BEST job she's ever had. When she turned thirty, she went back to college and earned her BA in creative writing. She has been married to the love of her life, a wonderful man who supports in every way, for over half her life (and that is a VERY long time!). She happily lives in a small, Midwest town with her husband, two needy dogs and a very independent cat. 


AUTHOR LINKS

Renee’s Website: romance-the-night.com
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Twitter:  https://twitter.com/reneegeorge2008
Personal Blog: http://romance-the-night.com/Renee_George/my-blog/

Additional Sites: 

Cover Artist: http://www.reneegeorgeoriginals.com 

Reader interaction with your books

Authorgraph: https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/reneegeorge2008
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/Renee_George 

Author Pages/Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Reneé-George/e/B009MGCL9Q/
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/ReneeGeorge 
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/renee-george
All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Renee+George

Publisher author pages: 
 https://www.ellorascave.com/index.php/authors/index/author/slug/renee-george/


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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Ch 5 Cyan



And another week rolls around. It's my last day of work today. After today I won't be a solicitor anymore. Quite a landmark and kind of a sad day. I can't help being a little sad, even though it's a relief to get the sword of Damocles from over my head.

So, here's to a whole new life.

The prompt I used today was, Do you know what you're doing?


Robin didn’t see Cyan all morning, though he looked everywhere. He was disappointed when he wasn’t at lunch, and started to get a little worried. They had History first period after lunch, and he was eager to get there, to see Cyan.

He knew, as soon as he walked through the door, something wasn’t right.

Cyan sat by the window, huddled in his seat. He was brushing at his sleeve, over and over, in an agitated way. As Robin drew closer, he could see Cyan had mud all over him.

“What happened?”

Cyan’s head snapped up as if someone shot him. He didn’t say anything, just stared at Robin with ultra-bright eyes that looked as if they’d been crying.

“Are you alright?” Robin sat next to Cyan, while Gillian grabbed a chair from a nearby table.

“I-I’m okay.”

“What’s with the mud?”

“I…fell.”

“Yeah, and who pushed you?”

“How did you know?”

“I’m magic. Who did it?” Cold anger swept through Robin, and it showed in his voice, causing Cyan to shrink back, and Gillian to glare at him.

“You’re not surprised, are you?” she queried. “He’s asking for it.”

“And how precisely is Cyan asking to be pushed in the mud?”

“Well…. He….”

“What, Gillian? He what? Come on. Obviously, you’re the expert on what Cyan’s doing wrong so why don’t you tell us so we can put it right.”

“I didn’t say that. I just—”

“He said I’m gay.” Cyan’s words tore through the conversation like bullets, then dropped into the following silence. “I told you it wasn’t good to talk about that.”

“You didn’t?” Robin gaped at Gillian, who looked very uncomfortable. “Please tell me you didn’t tell anyone about Cyan being gay.”

“Not exactly,” she said, getting defensive.

“What does that mean...exactly?”

“Well…someone might have mentioned he looks gay, and I might have agreed. It’s not as if I searched people out to tell them.”

“That’s not the point,” Robin said. “Cyan trusted us. He told you he didn’t want anyone to know. I thought you’d done enough harm spreading rumours about him being mentally ill, but this is too far. That’s enough. I’ve had it with you. You’re a selfish, spoiled bully and I’m sick and tired of the poison that comes out of your mouth. We’re done.”

“What do you mean?” Gillian laughed and shook her hair. Usually, Robin liked the gesture and to run his fingers through the silky strands. Today it only irritated him.

“What do you think I mean?”

“Well…. It sounds like you’re breaking up with me, but—”

“Well done, Gilly. You caught on quicker than you usually do.”

“But…. But you can’t. You can’t finish with me. We’re—”

“Over, Gilly. We’re over.”

Gillian’s eyes hardened, and she glared at Cyan, who shrank back. “You’ll pay for this,” she hissed.

“Don’t you dare. This is not Cyan’s fault. It’s what you’ve done, I hate. I doesn’t matter who you did it to.”

“Liar. You’ve been all over him since you met. Be careful, Robin, people might start thinking you’re gay, too.”

Robin laughed out loud.

“As if anyone’s going to believe that. I’m as gay as you are, and everyone knows it.”

“Robin,” she said, her voice turning soft and wheedling, “think about it. Do you know what you’re doing?”

“I know exactly what I’m doing. I’m getting rid of something nasty from my life. I’m sick of your mean, spiteful comments, your twisting, your stirring. You’re a bitch, and I’ve had enough. We’re done. Goodbye.” Robin got to his feet. Gillian gaped at him. “Come on Cyan, let’s get you sorted out.”

“But….it’s History. You can’t go.”

“Watch me.”

Forgetting about Cyan’s censure, Robin grabbed his hand, pulled him to his feet. Just outside the classroom, they met Aivah and Alex.

“Hey, what’s going on? You’re heading in the wrong direction, mate.”

“I’m taking Cyan to get cleaned up and calmed down. Some little shit pushed him in the mud because my ex girlfriend thought it would be alright to tell people he’s gay.”

“Your ex?”

“We’re over. I’m done with her.”

“About time,” Alex said.

“I never really understood why you were with her in the first place,” Aivah said. “You’re so sweet and gentle and she’s a complete bitch.”

This was strong speaking coming from the gentle and delicate Aivah. Robin and Alex stared at her. “What? She is. You know it. I don’t know how you put up with her all this time. She does terrible things.”

“Yes,” Robin said. “She does, and no doubt she’ll be doing it to us now, so you’d be better distancing yourselves from us for a while. You know what Gillian’s like.”

“Oh yes,” Aivah said, “I know what she can be like. I remember when I first came here, it was me she was being spiteful to. It was a long time ago, but I remember. I’m on your side, and to hell with Gillian.”

“I’m on whatever side she’s on.” Alex said, with a grin. “Although I’d be on your side anyway. Can’t imagine Gilly will find many on hers. Can’t imagine she’ll find many people in the school she hasn’t been mean to at one time or another.”

“True. Look, I don’t want to hurt her. I’m not in the game for vengeance or anything like that. I don’t want to see her hurt.”

“As if we would.”

“Don’t drop her flat. She’s going to need someone to bitch to and that’s fine with me.”

“She can find someone else,” Aivah said, tossing her hair. Robin thought how different the gesture was with her, so natural and unforced.

“It will make it easier on me…and Cyan, if she has someone still speaking to her who will give her some perspective.”


“Oh alright,” Aivah said, with an angelic smile. “Just for you, and sexy.” She batted her eyelashes at Cyan as she said it and Cyan looked as if he was going to faint.

Now go on, go check out the others. Go on. What are you waiting for? Check out all the other flashers here Wednesday Briefs

Monday, 14 April 2014

Jackie Nacht - Blog Tour

Today I'm happy to again be part of a Pride Promotions blog tour. Jackie Nacht writes about shifters. Not just the run of the mill wolf or even cat shifters, but, in the first book below, a playful chipmunk has his eye on the big bad wolf.

In the Moon Compound series we're back to wolves but again we find ourselves just outside the box and each of the three book have their own individual flavour.



Peanut Butter & Jelly For Two

Book Blurb:


The sexy chipmunk shifter isn't afraid of the dentist; he's in love with him. Phillip has the best job working at the Paranormal Dentistry for the Fanged and Friendly. As a chipmunk shifter, Phillip has seen handsome men walk through the door but none so gorgeous as his boss and wolf shifter, Dr. Gunner Samuels. When he finds himself being manipulated by his best friend to ask the big bad wolf over for dinner, Phillip realizes his biggest dilemma, he's never cooked a day in his life, let alone meat. Can Phillip pull off a fabulous dinner for two? And has Gunner had his eye on the sexy shifter all this time? 




Full Moon Lockdown



Blurb

Can surviving the horrors of the night lead Colin to find the one that was meant to love him and bring him back to the light?

Colin Brantford is an Omega wolf. When his pack is destroyed by hellhounds, he and his brother are transported to Moon Compound. There, Colin must enter into a world where all wolf shifters are sent to learn to shift. Two years prematurely.


Sloan Atwater has been at the compound for three years and still has no control of his wolf. That is until he spots Colin, making Sloan crave the slightest touch. Will he be able to claim Colin for his own? And when Colin needs Sloan, will he be able to control his wolf? 


Full Moon Feral (Book Two)


Blurb

With all great sacrifices for love, there must be consequences. Brendan has been at Moon Compound and gone through his first shift. He feels like hell when his mate walks into his life in chains. Devastated that his mate is feral, he mourns for the mate he is bound to lose before he ever has him. Desperate not to lose his mate, he does something that will forever change his life. Will Brendan be able to save his feral?


Full Moon Gamma (Book Three)



Blurb

When Rayce finds he has two paths before him, the unknown consequence is the only alternative to help the man he loves survive. Rayce is sent on a recon mission to find out if hellhounds are in Lansing. What he discovers on his way is his mate, Peyton, has followed him into the very heart of danger.

Peyton has loved Rayce from the moment Rayce saved him. He knows he probably shouldn’t be following Rayce, but the instinct driving him to protect the man he has already fallen for causes him to go recklessly into the city. All is not as it seems, and Peyton will have to find strength to survive for not only himself but his mate and friends as well. 

Sales Links

eXtasy

MLR Press

Amazon

All Romance

Barnes & Noble

Bookstrand


Author Bio:

 Short, sexy and sweet—where a little love goes a long way. That’s the best way to describe Jackie Nacht’s stories. I was introduced to M/M Romance through my sister, Stephani, and read it for years. Then, I thought it was time to put my own stories on paper. I began writing short and sweet stories that ended with a happily ever after…and sometimes more than one, in the case of my YA Fork in the Road series, which has interactive endings. Thinking back to my own book addiction, where there were many nights I stayed up way too late so I could read just one more chapter—yeah, right—I decided to write short romances for young adults as well as adults. Hopefully, they will give high school and college students, or working men and women something they can read during their lunch hour, in between classes or just when they want to briefly get away from the daily stresses of everyday life.


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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Cyan Ch 4


The wheel turns to another Wednesday. In precisely one week I will no longer be employed and I will start the next adventure of my life. I have decided, for a lot of reasons, that I won't look for another job straight away. It should mean freedom, but I wonder. I intend to put some energy into writing so watch this space

“How are you feeling?” Robin asked as they walked into school. “Nervous?”

“Yes.” Cyan’s voice shook, and Robin noticed his hand was shaking on the strap of his bag. He also noticed how long and slender Cyan’s fingers were. An artist’s hand his mother would have said.

“What subjects are you taking?” he asked, to take his mind off them.

“English, History, Art History and Art.”

“I knew it.”

“Knew what?” Cyan asked nervously.

“That you’re an artist. You have the hands for it.”

“Do I?”

Unthinking, Robin took Cyan’s hand and ran his fingers over the palm and digits. For the briefest moment, Cyan stared, and Robin felt him shiver, then he pulled away.

“Don’t touch me,” he said, but it sounded like an automatic response laced with confusion.

“I’m sorry.” Robin said. “I forgot you don’t like being touched.”

“Good luck with that in this place,” Gilly said, glaring at a group of giggling girls who’d just jostled her.

Robin was surprised when they carried on staring at them even as they walked away – some of them backward. “What are they looking at?” he asked.

“Take a picture, it’ll last longer,” Gillian called after them and they hurried away, giggling, after flashing flirtatious glances their way.

At first, Robin was puzzled but it finally clicked. Of course. They were looking at Cyan, and why not? The school uniform suited him and added to his glorious good looks. If Robin hadn’t seen anything like it, then they sure hadn’t.

“God,” Gillian snapped, “they’re all at it.”

Robin looked around . The stares were coming from all directions. A glance at Cyan showed he was aware and acutely embarrassed.

“Let me show you the common room,” Robin said, stopping himself just in time from grabbing Cyan’s arm.

In the common room, Gillian flopped down in a chair next to Aivah.

“What’s wrong?” Aivah asked.

“God save us from kids,” Gillian groaned. “Stupid idiots were staring at us the whole way. You’d think they’d never seen a new boy before.”

“Bet they’ve never seen one like Cyan,” Alex said, smirking.

 “Do you like our school?” Aivah asked.

“It’s big,” Cyan said. He perched on the edge of a chair, hugging his bag like a lifesaver.

“Is it bigger than your last school?”

“Much. I’ve never seen so many people. It’s very loud.”

“I expect your last school was a special school,” Gillian said. “It must be strange to come to a normal one.”

“It wasn’t that special,” Cyan said, frowning in thought. “I don’t think it was special at all.”

“Did you really just say that?” Robin glared at Gillian, who smiled innocently.

“Does the noise bother you?” Aivah asked, diverting attention. Robin glared at Gillian, letting her know the matter was far from closed.

“Yes. Loud noises hurt, and…so many people.” He glanced around as if even the number of people in the 
common room was too much.

“We’re not that bad when you get to know us,” Aivah said, and Cyan smiled.

“What was your last school like?” Gillian asked. “Not…special.”

“Not really, no, but smaller. A lot smaller.” Robin frowned. Had no one noticed him wince?

“Why did you leave?”

“We…moved.” There was definitely more to it than Cyan was saying.


The only lesson Robin shared with Cyan, was History, which was after lunch. By then, the school was rife with rumour. Some of them weren’t nice, and Robin had a sinking feeling they originated with Gillian.

“He got kicked out of his last school,” he overheard a year nine girl say to her friends. “Coz he flipped and smashed up a classroom. He battered the teachers when they tried to stop him.”

“And the police,” another chipped in.

“Did he go to prison?”

“Probably.”

“He’s mint though, isn’t he?”

“Ooh yeah.”

The girls stopped surmising what crimes Cyan may have committed and adopted moony expressions.

“Do you think he’s got a girlfriend?”

“Who cares? Not into him are you, Becca? Didn’t think you went for retards.”

Robin could have let the rumours go, even the pointless mooning, but that was too much to walk away from.

“Hey,” he called. The girls turned to him in surprise. Seeing his sixth form uniform and prefect’s badge, they looked uncomfortable.

“Stop with the rumours. Cyan is not retarded.”

“Oh yeah, he is, I’ve seen him. He talks weird, and he doesn’t look at people.”

“He may be weird, but he’s definitely not retarded.”

 “Did he really beat up a teacher?” one of the girls asked.

“Of course he didn’t,” Robin said hoping he was right. “Cyan isn’t like that.”

“Then what is he like?”

Robin was saved from having to work out how the hell to describe Cyan, by Gillian.

“What the hell did you do?” he demanded as they walked away.

“What do you mean?”

“At least half the school think Cyan is some kind of violent maniac who was thrown out of school for either burning it down or beating up a teacher.”

Gillian shrugged. “He might have.”

“Cyan would never have done anything like that.”

“Don’t be so sure. One of my mum’s friends has an autistic son and he has terrible temper tantrums. They’re called meltdowns and autistic people have them all the time. They can’t help it. He probably did do something like that.”

Robin just couldn’t see Cyan being violent. “You can’t spread rumours unless you know for sure.”

“Since when has that stopped me?” Gillian asked with a grin, Robin wanted to slap off her face.

“Well, at least don’t tell people he’s retarded.”

“I haven’t…exactly.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Well, I haven’t told anyone he’s retarded, but I have told them he has mental health issues.”

“But he hasn’t.”

“Are you blind and stupid?”

“He’s autistic. That doesn’t mean he has mental health issues.”

“Dream on.”

“Whatever. Just stop spreading rumours.”

Gillian shrugged again, and walked away. Robin followed, only because he had no choice as they were going to the same place.


Now go ahead and check out the other Wednesday Briefers and a lot of other good stuff at 



Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Liam Davis and The Raven - Anyta Sunday




Author Bio

A born and raised New Zealander, Anyta Sunday has been exploring the literary world since she start reading Roald Dahl as a kid. Inspired, stories have been piling up in her head ever since. Fast forward to her mid-twenties and jump a few countries (Germany, America, and back again), and she started putting pen to paper. When she’s not writing or chasing her kid around, she’s reading, hiking, watching Joss Whedon series, attempting Pilates or curling up with her two cats. Updates on her projects can be found at anytasunday.com.

Author Links



Blurb

Liam Davis is a serious journalist, and he’s good at it.

Or at least, he was. Until the chief of Scribe, the campus magazine, makes him give up his politics column to write for the party page —the party page that is problematic for two reasons: One, it threatens Liam’s chance of getting the traineeship with his apathetic father at his prestigious newspaper company, and two, he has no idea what it means to party, let alone how to capture this new audience’s attention!

But Liam Davis is no quitter. He’s determined to prove to his father, the chief, and above all himself that he can do it—and do it well.

Life doesn’t make it easy. Not when Freddy Krueger comes stalking out of the shadows to attack him. Luckily the Raven, the campus vigilante—the vigilante getting hate mail sent to Scribe’s opinions page—comes to his rescue.

Now, between finding the perfect angle for his party page columns and making friends (and perhaps something more?), Liam needs to find this mysterious Raven — not only to thank him, but to warn him to watch his back.

Excerpt

It was time to execute my plan of sneaking into Dylan’s room.

I waited until people started to get inebriated. Then I waved a piece of paper and asked students where his room was so I could tack the note to his door.

In fact, what I intended to do was hide out in the hall until the guy crashing in there returned. I’d hook him into conversation and push my way into his room to check out the walls, where the picture of The Raven hung.

A drunk guy with flushed cheeks and a goatee led me all the way to Dylan’s room, on the second floor above the cafeteria-ballroom. Jazz vibrated faintly underfoot as Drunk Guy used his keycard to let us both in.

“His room is just down there—” He unleashed a beer-flavored belch, and I gulped for fresher air at my side, which wasn’t that much fresher—there was a distinct smell of sweaty guy and stale beer in this dorm.

“Thank you,” I said, giving him a quick nod and moving over the thinning navy carpet toward the door he’d pointed at. From here, it seemed to be partially open; light spilled in a wedge into the dim hall.

Brilliant. The plan worked.

“Sure,” Drunk Guy said, and shuffled off in the opposite direction with another large belch.

Slowing my step, I calculated my next move. Seemed the guy crashing in there was already here. Now all I had to do was make some conversation while slyly scanning the walls.

Simple enough.

I hoped.

Voices trilled down the hall, followed by laughter and doors opening and shutting. Footsteps followed me to Dylan’s door. I moved to the side to let the guy pass, but he didn’t. I blinked at the scuffed black shoes as they moved to my side, and—

“Gah!” I startled, lurching into Dylan’s door and swinging it open.

“Liam,” Quinn said, grabbing my arm tightly to stop me from toppling into the room. He pulled me back to a standing position as the door thumped against the wall, revealing an unoccupied room. Maybe the guy had just gone to the bathroom?

“What are you doing here?” I asked, torn between the need to grab my pen and the need to investigate The Raven so I could leave before the guy returned from his toilet trip.

Quinn frowned at my hurried words and guilt-ridden tone. “Maybe I should ask what you are doing here?”

SALES LINK


TOUR STOPS

March 31 – My Fiction Nook
April 2 – Novel Approach
April 3 – Cate Ashwood
April 4 – MMGoodbooks
April 7 – Prism Book Alliance
April 8 – Nephylim
April 9 – Book Whores
April 9 – Top2Bottom Reviews
April 10 – Hearts on Fire
April 10 – Elisa Rolle
April 11 – Bound by Blood
April 14 – Amanda C. Stone

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Prize 1) An e-copy of Liam Davis & The Raven (Mobi/e-Pub/PDF)
Prize 2) An e-copy of Liam Davis & The Raven (Mobi/e-Pub/PDF), and any one of my backlist books.
Prize 3) An e-copy of Liam Davis & The Raven (Mobi/e-Pub/PDF), any one of my backlist books, and a $10 Amazon voucher.





AUTHOR APPRECIATION 

Caroline Wimmer  (http://streiflicht-fotografie.de/?project=book-cover-art-anyta-sunday&lang=en) for the amazing cover art! I love how this so wonderfully captures the tone of the book and its setting. 
 
Teresa Crawford for developing the story and discussing how best to shape the direction of the novel.  

Lynda Lamb for keeping me sane while I took so long to get this one ready, and then for going through and catching all my nasty spelling and formatting errors.  
HJS Editing (http://www.hjseditingservices.com/) for such wonderful and thorough copyediting and making my characters actually sound American.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Wednesday Briefs Cyan - Chapter 3

Here we are at another Wednesday. This may sound odd but I just can't remember which prompt I used so I'll put in this pic. It's a tenuous link but Cyan and Robin met in the produce section of a superstore.



“Well that was weird,” Gilly said, clearly pleased Cyan had gone, and she’d have the opportunity to talk about him.

“Rude was the word, I was thinking,” Robin said.

“I wasn’t rude.”

“You kind of were,” Aivah said.

“Well, do we really want someone like that working with us?”

“You mean someone who knows what they’re talking about?” Robin asked, raising an eyebrow.

“You know what I mean. There’s something wrong with him.”

“He is a little odd,” Aivah agreed, sounding reluctant to admit it.

“So what?” Alex piped in. “He seems nice, if a bit strange, and he does know what he’s talking about.”

“But he’s weird. And he’s gay.”

“What’s that got to do with it?” Robin said, shocked she’d even brought it up.

“It’s not that I’ve got anything against gays,” Gilly said hurriedly, obviously realising the tides were against her. “It’s just that he’s creepy and weird. He makes me feel uncomfortable.”

“You’re the only one, then,” Robin said. “So what if he is weird, and yeah, okay it’s pretty obvious he’s got some…issues, but so what?”

“Well we’re done with him now so it doesn’t matter.”

“You might be done with him, but I’m going to look him up on Monday and ask if he 
wants to join our group for the project, before someone else snaps him up.”

“Why? Because you think he’s got ‘beautiful eyes’?” Gilly sneered, narrowing her eyes. The malicious gleam in them worried Robin.

“No, because I think he’ll get us a better grade, and because you were rude to him, and because I like him.”

“I like him, too,” Aivah said.

“Me too,” Alex agreed. “He’s odd, but sweet.”

“Sweet? I didn’t know you were gay, Alex,” Gilly said scathingly.

“I’m not. You can ask Aivah about that.” He winked at her and she giggled. “But he is sweet, and brilliant, and  an asset to the group. Just because we work with him doesn’t mean he has to be our best friend.”

“Is this a joke?” Gilly asked, furious. “What if I say I won’t be part of the group if he is?”

“What if I say ‘go join another one then’?”

“You wouldn’t.” Gilly gaped at Robin.

“Watch me.”

****

Robin had a very uncomfortable weekend. He was sure the only reason Gilly was still speaking to him was so she could torture him in every way she could think of. By Sunday evening he’d stopped answering the phone and bribed his brother to tell Gilly he wasn’t home while he hid in his room.

Come Monday morning he wasn’t sure whether he was looking forward to going to school to see Cyan, or dreading it for seeing Gilly.

“Where were you last night?” she demanded as soon as he arrived at the bus stop.

“Sorry, the battery ran out on my phone, and I had to do errands for my mother.”

“Until ten o’clock?”

“By then, I was in bed.”

“Right. You weren’t avoiding me or anything.”

“Why would I when you’ve been such a joy to be around all weekend?”

“Huh.” Gilly tossed her hair and turned to talk to a group of girls she wouldn’t usually have given the time of day to. Robin didn’t mind. In fact he was relieved. It gave him more time to look around for Cyan.

Robin was disappointed when Cyan didn’t get on the bus. Gilly was still avoiding him and the journey, albeit brief, gave him a chance to wonder where Cyan lived and what bus he’d be on. It was unlikely Gilly would let him hang around and wait for the other buses to disgorge their passengers. Once they got to school Gilly would get possessive again.

True to form, as soon as they set foot in the car park, Gilly linked arms and dragged him toward the school gate. He sighed.

As they approached, however, Robin caught sight of Cyan climbing out of a very nice sports car. Ignoring Gilly’s protests he went straight over.

“Hi.” Cyan appeared startled, but smiled to see Robin, then receded back into his shell when he caught sight of Gilly.

“Oh, hello.” The driver of the sports car leaned over to smile through the door. Robin’s heart gave a little flip. She was lovely.

“Um, hi,” he said, slightly flustered.

“I didn’t know Cyan knew anyone yet.”

“We met on Saturday in the supermarket café.”

“I wondered why he was so long.”

“Didn’t he tell you?”

“There are a lot of things Cyan doesn’t tell me. He was a bit flustered when he came home, but I thought it was because of the unfamiliar shop. He insisted on going alone.”

The statement surprised Robin a little, but he simply smiled and nodded.

“What’s wrong with him?” Gilly demanded, bending down to look into the car. The woman seemed slightly taken aback.

“Gilly, you can’t say things like that,” Robin protested, absolutely mortified. “Not with Cyan standing right there.”

“That’s alright,” the woman said. “We don’t mind. Cyan’s autistic. He’s high functioning, but he has his little ways, don’t you, sunshine?”

Cyan looked embarrassed and turned away, fiddling with his bag.

“See, I told you,” Gilly said. Robin had never wanted to slap someone so much.

“Just shut up. It’s got nothing to do with you, and it doesn’t matter anyway.” Robin’s heart gave a little jump at the glowing look Cyan gave him, over his shoulder.

“Thank you,” the woman said. “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name.”

“Robin, and the gobby cow is my girlfriend, Gillian.”

“Hey,” Gilly whacked him but it only made him laugh.

“I’m very pleased to meet you both. You’ve no idea.” Suddenly, her face fell into a worn and tired expression, but it was only for a moment. “Cyan doesn’t have many friends and he’s been very nervous about going to a new school. I’m much happier now I know he’ll have someone to look out for him.”

“Oh, I will. I absolutely will."



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