Journey To Full-Time Writer – Update – Too Ambitious

Hey, bugs,

So, I’m trying to figure out on what planet did I think I could complete about four writing projects. Those six months that I took off from working maybe, but now that I’m working a full-time job… I am completely playing myself and I think I need to take several seats and rethink this.

It helps that most of the posts on this blog have been pre-written (like months ago) and are scheduled to be posted. So, that’s one less thing I have to worry about. However, my kindle is full of books that I need to read and write reviews for and I’m having trouble fitting that into my days now.

I really need to keep reminding myself to stop trying to write more than my two hands can handle.

That’s all I have for you guys today. Please be sure to like this post and leave a comment and if you want writing vlogs of my journey please subscribe to my YouTube Channel to join the colony at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnNaRpLFP0CXuvBZn2hi-bQ?

Until the next time… Love, Peace & Chicken Grease.

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Short Story – Till Death Do Us Part – Chapter Five

Keara stepped into the apartment and was assaulted by an array of aromas. She made her way into the kitchen and found Nyle standing at the stove.

“What are you doing?” she asked placing her bag on the island.

“I’m making dinner,” Nyle said over his shoulder.

“Why?”

“Because I’m tired of eating out. I figured you don’t cook, so if I wanted a home cooked meal I would have to do it myself.”

Keara stepped around the island and approached the stove. Nyle removed the spoon and held it up for her.

“Taste.”

She parted her lips and allowed Nyle to feed her. Her eyes closed as he removed the spoon from her mouth.

“That’s good,” she said.

“I know. Why don’t you go wash up. It’ll be ready in a minute.”

Keara grabbed her purse and left to kitchen. She dropped her purse on the bed and stepped into the bathroom. She washed her hands and splashed some water on her face. Keara stared at her reflection in the mirror and took a deep breath. She prayed that she would be able to get through the dinner.

Since moving into her apartment together, things had started to change between her and Nyle. She felt it and she was almost certain that he felt it too. Thing was feeling anything wasn’t apart of the plan. The plan was to tolerate each other for six months and then get a divorce. Yet now, getting a divorce wasn’t something Keara was even thinking about. In fact, if she were being honest with herself she didn’t want a divorce. That was the problem. Falling in love with her husband had never been a part of the plan.

Keara left the room and walked back into the kitchen. Nyle had placed two plates of food on the island along with her favorite whiskey next to her spot. She sat down to eat and sent up a silent prayer.

Dinner was painful in the fact that it hadn’t been painful at all. They talked. They always talked and it always bothered her because it was then that she felt her resolve melting towards him. They laughed. Laughter was the worst. It meant that they were getting along. They both seemed relaxed. When dinner ended, Nyle grabbed another beer and refilled Keara’s whiskey before leading her out to the terrace. They sat and stared out at the night sky talking about everything and nothing.

None of the conversation seemed forced. It flowed from one topic to the next. They had debates but instead of them becoming heated they were lighthearted. Easy.

When they finished their drinks they headed back into the kitchen and did the dishes together. Like a normal couple. Nyle brushed up against her as he moved by to put the plates in the cabinet.

“You’re doing that on purpose,” she said.

“Doing what?” Nyle asked innocently.

“We have both had a couple drinks and we know what happens when we’ve been drinking,” she said. She grabbed a paper towel and wiped the inside of the sink. Nyle came up behind her and pressed his body up against hers.

“Would that be the worse thing in the world?”

She turned around, pinned between his body and the sink, and looked up at him. Her heart was beating rapidly and she swore she could hear it.

“What are you doing?” she managed to ask.

“You didn’t answer my question,” he said leaning down.

“What was the question again?” She couldn’t think straight.

“I asked, would it be the worse thing in the world if we slept together again.”

“Maybe. Maybe not.”

“I say we find out.”

Before she could stop him, he pressed his lips lightly to hers. She sucked in a gasp parting her lips. He took that as she was giving him access and kissed her more deeply. He wrapped his hands around her waist and picked her up. She wrapped her legs around him waist instinctively. A part of her brain was telling her to stop him before things went to far but the other part was telling her to shut up and just go with it.

He carried her to the bedroom and placed her gently on the bed. It wasn’t like the first time. The first time they had been drunk and fumbling all over themselves and each other. No. This time it was slow. Deliberate.

Keara found her release and it felt so sweet. So perfect. A tear ran down her cheek. Nyle lay on top of her spent and looked into her eyes. There was something there that she couldn’t quite read. He reached up and wiped the tear off. He lowered his head to kiss her and she turned her head away squeezing her eyes shut. Nyle moved off of her and she turned on her side taking slow breaths to calm herself.

When she woke the next morning she found herself alone in the bed. A search of the apartment proved that she was alone. Nyle had left and taken is things with him.

**

Keara put her book down and got up from the couch. She trudged to the door and rolled her eyes at whoever was on the other side continuously knocking. She yanked the door open and her mouth fell open.

“Nyle,” she breathed out.

“Hey. Can I come in?”

“Sure.” She stepped aside and let him enter. She cursed herself for the way her heart started racing when she had opened the door and saw him. Keara closed the door and followed him into the living room. “What’s up?”

Nyle stood with his back to her. He held up a folded stack of papers. “I got these back and they weren’t signed.” He turned to face her. “I figured I would come over and get them signed. Until you do, we’re still married.”

“We’re still married?” Keara asked stepping into the living room. Nyle nodded. She took the papers from him. “Can’t have that.”

“Where you’re supposed to sign is already marked.”

Keara walked into the kitchen and placed the papers on the island. She sat down on one of the bar stools and turned to face him.

“What are you doing?”

She didn’t say anything. She just sat there and stared at him.

“Keara, would you just sign the papers so I can go.”

“I’m going to order a pizza.” She got up from the bar stool and grabbed her phone. Nyle took off his jacket and sat down on the couch. He picked up the book she had been reading and read the title, Nicholas Sparks The Notebook. Nyle shook his head and put the book down. “They said thirty minutes.”

“What are you doing?” he asked again.

“I am going to have dinner with my husband one last time,” she said nonchalantly.

“Nyle ran his hand down his face. “Don’t do this.”

“Do what? Eat?”

“Just sign the papers?”

“Is that what you want?”

“Yes.”

Keara sat down on the couch beside him. “That’s funny because a month ago I could’ve sworn signing divorce papers were the farthest thing from your mind.”

“Well, it’s what I want.”

“Well, what I want is for us to share a pizza. Is that too much to ask for?”

“Fine.” Nyle got up and headed into the kitchen. He yanked open the fridge and pulled out a beer.

They sat in silence until the pizza arrived. Keara paid for it and they sat at the island and ate their pizza. In silence. It was strange for them because talking was something that came easy. Whether it was arguing or having an honest discussion, they hadn’t spent much time over the last five months silent.

Nyle closed the empty pizza box and pulled out a pen sitting it on top of the box along with the divorce papers. Keara propped her chin up on her folded hands and stared at the papers. She grabbed the papers and unfolded them, picking up the pen.

“Why are you still wearing that?” Nyle asked.

“”I don’t know.” She looked down at the gold band on her finger. “I guess I got used to it on my finger.” Keara signed her name on the first page and flipped to the next. “You will go down in history as the first person to not give me what I want. You and Judge Burke.”

“I thought this was what you wanted.”

“It is… six months ago.” Keara finished signing the papers and passed them to Nyle. “I guess I should take this off now.” She pulled the ring off and dropped it on top of the box. “You have what you came here for. Why are you still here?”

Nyle shook his head. “You drive me crazy, you know that?”

“So I’ve been told.”

Nyle rubbed his forehead in frustration. “How can you hate someone…”

“And love them all at the same time? That is the million dollar question. When you find out the answer, be sure to let me know.”

Nyle stood up to leave. He stopped and turned back around. “Okay, you gotta tell me what you want. Before I walk out of here and have this papers filed putting an end to whatever this is, you need to tell me what you want.”

Keara turned in her seat and faced him. “Isn’t it obvious?” she asked. “I want you. I want… whatever this is.” She stood up and stepped over to him. “I want to fight with you and make up with you. Make love to you. Love you. I want it all. What do you want?”

Nyle closed the gap between them and placed his hand at the back of her neck and brought his lips crashing down on hers. She wrapped her arms around his waist and pressed her body firmly against his. The divorce papers fell to the floor as he used his hands to run down her body and kiss her like his life depended on it.

Thank you for reading. I hope that you enjoyed this story. Please head over to Patreon and consider becoming a patron for just $1. http://www.patreon.com/TaQuandaCreates

Short Story – Till Death Do Us Part – Chapter Four

Keara helps Dinah move her things into the room she would now be sharing with Avi. Their RA had been okay with them making the switch, what with Avi and Dinah being engaged and Nyle and Keara technically being married.

“Maybe we can go on our honeymoon together,” Dinah commented sitting her things on the floor.

“Please,” Keara said. “There will be no honeymoon. We are only doing what the marriage counselor suggested so that she can report back to the judge that we tried to make a go of it, but it just wasn’t working. Then we can get our divorce and move on with our lives and hopefully my parents never have to learn of this horrible mistake.”

“That might be easier said then done.”

They turned to find Avi stepping into the room.

“What do you mean?” Keara asked.

Avi looked behind him and then quickly closed the door. “You didn’t hear this from me,” he said turning back to face her. “But Nyle has always sort of had a thing for you. I don’t think getting a divorce is the first thing on his mind.”

“You’re lying,” Keara said. She was completely shocked and thrown off. Could Avi been telling her the truth?

“Yeah, I’m lying,” Avi said a smile replacing the serious look he was just wearing. “I just wanted to hear what your were going to say.”

“Oh my God, don’t play like that.” Keara put her hand over racing heart.

Avi laughed. The door opened and Nyle entered.

“What’s going on in here?” he asked looking at each of them.

“Nothing,” Keara said quickly.

He reached for a crate sitting on the floor. “Alright, this is the last of my stuff.”

“And all of mine is moved over,” Dinah said. “Why do two go and get comfortable living with each other.”

“I don’t think that’s ever going to happen,” Nyle said. He turned and walked out of the room carrying the crate. Keara rolled her eyes and said goodbye before following him out.

They walked back to the dorm room they would be sharing for the next two months.

“Should we start looking for apartments now, so we can see what’s out there?” Nyle asked. He sat his crate by his bed and sat down.

“I already have an apartment.”

“Of course you do.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Keara turned to glare at him.

“Relax. Let’s not get into it our first night living together. We have six months of this to get through. We should really learn to pace ourselves.”

“Are you going to put your things away?”

“Maybe later.” Nyle grabbed his tablet and flopped back on the bed.

“How about now?”

“I’m tired. Later.”

Keara looked around at their crowded floor. The things that he had just moved in were taking up so much space.

“Nyle, I would really appreciate it if you would put your things away. I would even help you.” Keara thought trying to be nice might get her some results. She would not be able to sleep in the room knowing that his things were everywhere.

Nyle turned his head from the tablet and regarded her for a minute. “It’s really bothering you, isn’t it?”

“It really is,” Keara admitted.

Nyle put the tablet down on the bed and sat up. “Then let’s do this.” He stood up and pulled things out of crates and bags. Keara helped him get his things put away. Nyle took off to go hang out with some friends and Keara decided to enjoy a moment of peace without him around.

Her room suddenly felt super small with Nyle and his things cluttering it up. Soon she would have to move him into her apartment and he would clutter that space as well. Maybe she could keep herself busy for the next six months so that they weren’t around each other too much.

Keara changed into a pair of silk shorts and a cami for bed. She relaxed in bed on her side, propping her head up on her hand and read a book. The door opened and Nyle walked in. He stopped at the door and his eyes ran down the length of her body. Keara looked up from her book and turned to find him staring at her. Her voice caught in her throat from the look on her face. It was a look that said, if she gave him the go ahead he would devour her at that moment.She reached for her blanket and pulled it over her body, concealing herself from his roaming eyes.

Nyle shut the door and walked over to his side of the room. He pulled his shirt over his head and reached for the buckle of his pants.

“What are you doing?”

“Getting ready for bed.”

“Don’t you think you should go to the bathroom?”

“It’s nothing you haven’t already seen,” Nyle smirked.

“Yeah, but I never said I wanted an encore.”

“Then don’t look.” Nyle undid his pants and pushed them down his legs. Keara grabbed her book and turned her back to him.

She concentrate on the book though. Her mind was racing.

“What are you reading?”

She jumped at the sound of his voice. “Huh?”

“What. Are. You. Reading?”

“Stephen King’s Desperation.”

“I haven’t read that one. Is it good?”

“Yeah.”

“Maybe you’ll let me read it after you’re done with it.”

“What are you doing?” Keara turned to face him slamming the book shut.

“What?”

“You’re talking to me.”

“Am I not supposed to talk to you?”

“We argue. We fight. We can’t stand each other. What we don’t do it talk. So why are you talking to me?”

“I didn’t know we weren’t supposed to talk. You are my wife after all. My bad. I won’t make that mistake again.” Nyle turned off the light on his side of the room and turned to face the wall.

**

“The next six months is going to be worse then I thought.”

“What are you talking about?” Dinah asked shoveling a salad into her mouth. She was on a kick to lose weight before her wedding, even though she was small and she topped the salad up so much it was no longer healthy.

“Nyle looked at me last night.”

Dinah looked at her as if she had suddenly grown a second head. “What do you mean he looked at you?”

“You know. The look,” Keara leaned in close and whispered as if she was saying something top secret. “The look we read about in lit class. The look.”

“Oh,” Dinah smiled. “The look. So what happened?”

“Nothing. But if he’s giving me the look, I’m starting to think that what Avi said might be true.”

“Oh, Avi was just messing with you,” Dinah said waving her off.

“Either way, I need to make sure that Nyle doesn’t start having ideas of staying in this marriage or trying to convince me to stay in it.”

“For as long as I’ve known you, no one has ever been able to make you do anything you didn’t want to do. I don’t think you’ll have a problem.”

Keara wasn’t so sure about that. She had a sneaky feeling that if Nyle wanted to stay in their marriage, getting out wouldn’t be so easy.

From that point on, she made it her life’s mission to make him see that staying married was a bad idea. They weren’t good together and being together for six months wasn’t going to change that.

She wasn’t supposed to be working on not being so argumentative but she instead became more. She didn’t just argue with him in class. She argued with him in their room. Keara could almost see the frustration coursing through his veins whenever she found something to yell about.

Nyle didn’t have much to say until she crosses an invisible line. Keara met a guy at a bar by the school and brought him back to the room. She wasn’t all that interested in the guy but she wanted to get under Nyle’s skin. The door opened while they were fooling around on her bed. Nyle flicked the light on and let out a heavy sigh.

“Please get the hell out of my room.”

The guy sat up and glared at him. “Who the hell are you?”

“I’m her husband,” he said plainly.

“You’re married?” the guy turned to her shocked.

“Technically? Yeah,” Keara shrugged.

“My bad man. I didn’t know.” He got up and collected his shirt and shoes quickly leaving the room.

“What did you do that for?” Keara asked.

“I don’t care who you screw, but have a little respect for me like I have for you and go to his place.” Nyle shrugged out of his jacket and hung it up in the closet. Keara grimaced at the fact that he had so easily corrected one of the things she had bitched about.

“You were at somebody’s place?” Keara asked surprised.

“Yeah. Why do you think I never bring anybody here?”

“So you’ve been sleeping with somebody else?”

“Yeah.” Nyle removed his clothes down to his boxers and climbed into bed. “She even let me take a shower there.” He turned to face the wall.

Keara’s mouth opened in surprise. It shouldn’t have bothered her that he was sleeping with other women. She wasn’t even sure that it did bother her, but now she knew that her plan to drive him crazy wasn’t working. He clearly wasn’t thinking too much about her.

Thanks for reading. I hope you are enjoying this story. Please head over to Patreon and consider becoming a patron for just $1. http://www.patreon.com/TaQuandaCreates

Short Story – Till Death Do Us Part – Chapter Three

Keara sat at a table with her head in her hands. A plate of sausage and bacon sat in front of her but she couldn’t bring herself to eat it. Even with her stomach begging for the greasy goodness. Dinah sat quickly next to her.

“You have to tell him.”

“Maybe, I’m imagining it,” Keara mumbled.

Dinah grabbed her hand and then let it go. “Nope. It’s real and you need to talk to him.”

Keara looked up, tears pooling in her eyes. “How could something like this happen?”

“It’s Vegas,” Dinah laughed. Keara glared at her and the smile vanished. “My guess is your famous mix of whiskey, vodka and tequila.”

“Oh gosh.” Keara put her head back in her hands.

“Was the sex good at least?” Dinah pried.

“I don’t remember it,” Keara said through her hands.

“That sucks. Maybe you two could do it again.” Keara gave her a look that could melt bone. “Or not. Eat something, get over your headache and go tell him. I’m going to go find Avi.”

“Don’t tell him,” Keara said.

“I’ll try my best not to.” Dinah walked away.

Keara took a deep breath and then downed her large glass of orange juice. She motioned for the waiter to bring her another and took her time eating her bacon and sausage. The waiter brought her another juice and sat a plate of chicken wings in front of her.

“Your friend sent these before she left.”

Keara gave him a tight smile and sat to finish her food full of grease. She was happy that Dinah had also ordered wings. It gave her a reason to remain at the table inside of walking around looking for Nyle. She couldn’t even think about the conversation they had to have.

Keara left the restaurant and walked through the lobby. Her eyes fell on Nyle chatting with some busty blonde. She took a deep breath and thanked God that she didn’t have to go search for him.

“I need to talk to you,” she said walking over to the two of them.

“We have nothing to talk about,” Nyle said, keeping his eyes on the blonde.

“Yes we do,” she insisted.

“No. We don’t.”

“”Who is she?” the blonde asked snootily.

“Nobody,” Nyle said.

“I’m his wife. Who are you?” Keara said turning to the blonde.

Nyle’s mouth dropped open and he turned to stare at her. The blonde shrugged her shoulders and walked away.

“Why would do something like that? Better yet, why would you say something like that?”

Keara rolled her eyes and grabbed his left hand holding it up so that he could see the gold band that rested on his ring finger. Still holding his hand, she raised her hand where an identical, yet smaller gold band lay.

“No?” Nyle said.

The tears that Keara had been trying to keep at bay fell vigoursly.

“Yes!” she cried.

“No!”

“Yes.”

Nyle shook his head back and forth. “This isn’t happening. Is it?”

Keara stood in front of him sobbing.

“Is this some sick prank that you’re trying to play on me?” Nyle asked.

“Do I look like I want to be married to you?” Keara asked through her wails.

“How’s the newlyweds doing?” They both turned to as Avi and Dinah walked over to them. Avi wore a big grin. Dinah tried to hide the fact that she had been laughing. “Who would have thought that you two would have made it down the aisle before us? You really should have called. We would have stood up for you guys. I mean, you’re doing it for us,” Avi said.

Dinah couldn’t keep it in anymore. She doubled over laughing.

“This is funny to you guys?” Nyle asked.

“Actually yes,” Avi said. “We wanted you guys to get along. We just didn’t know how along you would get.”

Keara’s shoulders shook as she cried.

“We don’t think this is funny,” Nyle said. “I mean, look at her.” He pointed to Keara whose face was covered with wet tears and snot running from her nose.

Dinah handed Keara some napkins she had carried over to them. Keara wiped at her face and blew her nose.

“So, what are you guys going to do?” Avi asked.

“Keara knows a good divorce attorney,” Dinah laughed.

“I don’t want to be your best friend anymore,” Keara said and stalked off.

“Don’t be like that,” Dinah said and chased after her.

Nyle should there trying to recall how they had managed to get married. He had been pretty drunk and he thought the biggest shock he would have from the weekend would be waking up with Keara. Being married topped that.

**

Nyle and Keara sat outside the office of Judge Angela Burke.

“I’m surprised you didn’t bring your divorce attorney,” Nyle said.

“The only divorce attorney I know is my father and there is no way that I’m telling him that I got married. Besides, it is just an annulment, so it shouldn’t take that long.”

“Judge Burke will see you now.”

They stood and walked into her office and took the two seats in front of her desk. Judge Burke was busy looking down at some papers on her desk. She glanced up at the two of them and then looked back down at her paperwork.

“You two are looking to have your marriage annulled.”

“Yes.” It wasn’t a question but Keara answered anyway.

“How old are you?”

“22,” they both said.

“Did you consummate the marriage?”

“We were drunk, so yeah,” Keara said and then snapped her mouth shut.

Judge Burke looked up at her.

“Would you be quiet,” Nyle said out of the side of his mouth.

“Do you know how high the divorce rate is?”

“High,” Keara said. “But we’re not asking for a divorce. We’re asking for an annulment.”

“Keara, please?’ Nyle begged.

“I am aware of what you want,” Judge Burke said. Keara bit the inside of her cheek. She always knew that her mouth would get her in trouble one day. “First, you do not qualify for an annulment. Second, you do not qualify for a divorce.”

“What?” Keara asked surprised. Nyle ran his hand down his face.

“Yes Miss. Mathews or shall I say Mrs. Smith. I’m afraid that you will have to remain married for at least six months before you can file for a divorce. So, I suggest you get comfy and maybe see a marriage counselor. See if you can’t make this marriage work,” Judge Burke said. “That is all.”

Keara sat unable to move. She gawked at the Judge. Nyle stood and pulled her up by her arm and out of the office.

“So much for it being simple,” he muttered.

“We have to stay married?” Keara thought saying it out loud would take some of the sting away from it but it didn’t.

The judge’s clerk came out and gave them a card to a marriage counselor. They were told that it would be best if they called and made an appointment. Nyle took out his phone and did just that.

**

“I think the judge is being on fair. Can’t you just like contact her and tell her this isn’t going to work and get her to push a divorce through? Or maybe an annulment. An annulment would be better,” Keara said in a rush.

“I’m sorry. I can’t change the law,” the counselor Crystal Jackson said.

“If someone contacted her lawyer father, we might have been able to get out of this,” Nyle muttered.

“I am not telling my dad about this.”

“What we can do is try to make the best out of this,” Crystal said.

“How do you plan on doing that?” Keara asked smartly.

“Why don’t you tell me about this wedding?”

“Oh, you are going to love this story,” Keara said. “You see, we were drunk so we don’t remember.”

“How about I talk to you guys one at a time?” Nyle got up and went to the lobby. “You remember nothing about the night you married Nyle?”

“I remember the sex,” Keara covered her mouth to hide the sob that escaped.

“Why are you crying Keara?”

“I remember enjoying it,” she whispered.

“So you enjoyed having sex with your husband?” Crystal asked a smile forming on her lips.

“Oh God. It sounds worse when I hear it repeated back to me,” Keara cried.

Keara sat in the lobby while Nyle spoke to the counselor.

“This is all my fault.” His elbows rested on his knees and his face was buried in his hands.

“Why do you say that?”

“It was my idea to get married.”

“I thought you didn’t remember?”

“Not at first but it came back to me. What am I going to do? She does not want to be married to me.”

Crystal called Keara back into the room. “Do you guys live in a coed dorm?”

“Yeah…” Keara said hesitantly.

“I want you two to move in together. I’m sure you can petition with your RA to allow it considering you are married. Then when school ends, get an apartment together. Try dating. You never know what could happen in six months and we will meet every other week and just talk.”

Nyle and keara looked at each other and turned back to the counselor.

“What?” they asked in unison.

Thanks for reading. I hope you are enjoying this story. Please head over to Patreon and consider becoming a patron for just $1. http://www.patreon.com/TaQuandaCreates

Short Story – Till Death Do Us Part – Chapter Two

Keara glared at her best friend. The person she trusted more than anyone.

“You knew?” she asked through clinched teeth.

“Of course I knew who his best friend was,” Dinah said matter of factly.

“And you didn’t think it was important to share that bit of information with me?”

“I knew if I told you, you would have backed out of this weekend and I need you here with me.”

“Avi and Nyle walked over to them and stopped. Avi said hello to Keara and gave Dinah a quick kiss. Nyle walked over and draped his arm around Keara’s shoulder wearing a large grin.

“This weekend is going to be so much fun.”

Keara shrugged off his arm. “I’m going to my room.” She turned and stalked away.

“Okay, meet us in the bar at seven!” Dinah called to her. Keara waved her hand in a dismissive gesture and pressed the button for the elevator.

She wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to tolerate an entire weekend with Nyle. It was bad enough that they had most of their classes together. This weekend was supposed to be about blowing off steam and releasing stress and her stress had followed her.

She rode the elevator up in silence pondering what she would do. There was no way that she could get back on a plane and fly home. That would only hurt Dinah and she had hurt her once already.

That was it. She was just going to have to suck it up and try to get through the next three days. The only good thing was there would be liquor. Lots and lots of liquor. Even better was the fact that she didn’t have to wait for the bar to get started. She opened her mini bar once she was in her room and grabbed two of the small bottles they provided. She set her alarm on her phone and downed both drinks before curling up for a much needed nap. Sleep and alcohol. She couldn’t ask for a better way to spend her weekend.

When her phone buzzed to let her know that she had fifteen minutes to get down to the bar, Keara climbed out of bed and undressed for a quick shower. She pulled her hair up into a ponytail, applied a little mascara and lip gloss and headed down to the bar.

Keara walked into the bar and found that they had arrived before her. Dinah and Avi were making out at the table and Nyle was busy chatting with a girl at the next table. She sat down with a sigh.

“I ordered you a martini and some food,” Dinah said coming up for air.

“Thanks.” Keara picked up the glass and took a sip. She cast her eyes up to find Dinah and Avi going at it again. “Am I supposed to spend the entire weekend watching you two make out?”

“No,” Dinah said. “We will spend time on the strip and by the pool and whatever else we want. We really just wanted to spend this weekend will our maid of honor and best man having fun before all of the craziness of planning the wedding starts. Plus, we both know how you two feel about each other, so we thought maybe you guys could spend a little time together.”

Keara’s eyes bugged at the last part. “So this weekend is a set up?”

“No. It’s not a set up,” Avi said. “We’re not expecting you two to have a double wedding with us. We just want you two to learn to tolerate each other.”

“We are going to be spending a lot of time together getting this wedding together and I for one do not want to spend all of it listening to you two snark at each other.”

“I can be as civil as Miss. Moneybags over here can be,” Nyle said turning back to their table.

“Why? Why do you insist on calling me that?”

Nyle opened his mouth to respond but Dinah held her hands up cutting him off. “See? This right here is what I’m talking about. We haven’t even been together for thirty minutes and you two are already about to go at it. Would you please try to get along this weekend?”

Keara rolled her eyes and grabbed her drink and downed it. “Fine,” she said placing the glass on the table.

Avi and Dinah turned to look at Nyle. He held his hands up in surrender.

“You have my word.”

“Good,” Dinah said standing. “Now we are going to go to our room. A little practice for the honeymoon.” She winked at Avi as she took his hand.

“You two behave,” Avi said. They walked away from the table.

Keara and Nyle turned to look at each other clearly surprised to be left alone. The waiter walked over and placed a burger and fries in front of Keara.

“Can I get you anything else?”

“Whiskey, vodka and tequila,” she rattled off.

“Which one?” the waiter asked confused.

“All three. And keep them coming until I say stop.”

“I’ll have the same,” Nyle said. “And one of these burgers.”

Keara suddenly wished she already had a drink in front of her. Nyle pushed his drink over to her. “Thanks.” She grabbed the drink and pushed her plate in between them. She threw back the drink and Nyle picked at her fries.

The waiter returned with their drinks and Nyle’s food. He grabbed the extra plate from the table and placed his fries on it and then did the same with Keara’s setting the plate between them.

They ate in silence, nursing their drinks. When her whiskey glass was empty, the waiter quickly replaced it. Nyle finished his three drinks but ordered a beer next.

“This will be my last. I’m not trying to rack up a huge bill,” he said.

“You can keep his beers coming. I’ll cover the bill,” Keara said.

“I don’t need you to pay for me.”

“Never said you did. What I did was offer.”

“That was a offer? Because it sounded like you basically just took it upon yourself.”

Keara downed her whiskey and followed it up with her vodka.

“You must be used to getting what you want.”

“I am, but I was honestly trying to do something nice.”

“How about asking next time?”

“Aren’t we supposed to be getting along? Drink. It will make this go so much smoother.”

Nyle started to disagree but changed his mind.

“Keep them coming,” he said to the waiter.

Keara grabbed her tequila and held it up. “Here’s to getting along.” Nyle raised his beer and tapped it against her glass.

Keara moved the sheet from over her head and squinted at the brightness of the sun shining through her windows. Her hair looked as if a bird had tried to make a nest in it. Her head throbbed and her stomach rolled. She cursed herself for not pacing herself. The drinking had started as a way to get over the uncomfortable-ness of dining with Nyle. What happened next was anybody’s guess.

She realized that she was laying at the foot of the bed and turned her head coming face to face with a pair of feet. Her face scrunched up. Keara threw the sheet back over her face and crawled to the head of the bed eyeing the naked male body beside her.

She didn’t remember picking anyone up.

She flung the sheet from her head as she sat up and looked over to see who she was lying next to. When her eyes landed on Nyle’s sleeping face she let out a loud shriek and jumped from the bed taking the sheet with her.

Nyle jumped up and grabbed his head at the throbbing.

“What the hell is going on?” He looked up and his eyes fell on Keara standing at the foot of the bed with the sheet wrapped around her body. His eyes fell to his naked body before looking back up. “You have got to be kidding me.”

“Oh my God, I slept with you,” Keara said. She covered her mouth to stop the bile she was sure was about to come up.

Nyle jumped out of the bed. “This is not happening.”

Keara spun around turning her back to him.

“Would you please put on some clothes?”

Nyle grabbed a pillow and held it in front of him to hide. Keara squeezed past him and headed into the bathroom.

“Please be gone by the time I’m out,” she said through the closed door. She quickly jumped in the shower to cleanse herself of whatever she managed to do with Nyle the night before. Nyle stumbled around the room looking for his clothes. He dressed as fast as he could and bolted from the room.

Keara stood in front of the bathroom mirror scolding her reflection for allowing herself to get so drunk. She grabbed the brush to run through her freshly washed hair and her eyes widened in shock at what she saw.

“This isn’t happening.”

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Short Story – Till Death Do Us Part – Chapter One

“There is a reason why romance novel are so popular,” the professor said.

“Yeah, because women enjoy reading fantasy wishing that stuff like that happened in real life,” Keara said. Everyone turned to look at her and her best friend Dinah snickered beside her.

“Well, it seems that Miss. Mathews is up for a debate today.”

“Not really, just stating my opinion,” Keara said quickly. The last thing she wanted was to get into a debate in class. Again. Everyone already called her argumentative and her adviser had challenged her to try to not be. If a debate started she would already be failing and she hated failing at anything.

“Nonsense. I’m sure that their is someone who disagrees with you and wouldn’t mind giving us their opinion,” the professor egged on.

Keara closed her eyes and prayed that everyone remained silent. Her prayers went unanswered when he spoke. Nyle Smith. The person who most of her debates seemed to happen with. it seemed that he always had something to say in opposition to something she muttered.

“I don’t think women read them because of the fantasy of them. I think women read them for the message.”

“And what is the message Mr. Smith?”

“the message that true love exists,” Nyle said.

“And if you read this you too can find love when the next billionaire approaches,” Keara said.

“So much for not being argumentative,” Dinah whispered.

“This coming from our resident billionaire,” Nyle stated.

“I’m not a billionaire. We’re barely in the low millions.”

“Whatever,” he said. “You can’t tell me that you don’t read romance novels, as cheesy as they can be, and not feel a sense of hope that there is true love out there and that there is someone for everyone.”

“No. First, I don’t read romance novels, unless they’re assigned,” she smiled at the professor. “Second, I live is the real world . My feet are firmly planted down here on earth. But clearly you do. Tell us Nyle. Who is this girl?” She turned in her seat to face him.

“That’s for me to know,” he said and winked at her. Keara rolled her eyes and turned back in her seat. “Your parents divorce must have been hard on you.”

“My parents are happily married, I’ll have you know and they didn’t fall in love in a day. It took time and they work at their marriage everyday. It’s not all flowers and picnics like these books would have you believe. That is why women end up being so screwed. A guy winks at them and suddenly they tell themselves that that it must be love because the last guy didn’t make them blush, so that has to mean that this new guy is their soulmate.

“Then when the relationship blows up in their face, they stuck lying in bed eating tubs of ice cream crying about how they will never find love again because they lost their soulmate. Love does come after one look. It’s not real. Love is something you build towards.”

“I beg to differ. I’m getting married soon and we’ve only been together for six months and I know he’s my soulmate,” Dinah said.

“Yeah, well I know a good divorce attorney when you need him,” Keara said before she could stop herself. She quickly cursed herself and turned to Dinah to apologize.

“Anyway he can help me divorce you and this friendship?”

Keara could see how hurt Dinah was by her comment. When Dinah had come to her to ask her to be her maid of honor, she had wanted to tell her right then and there that she was crazy. She couldn’t marry a guy that she had just met, but she kept her mouth closed. Keara’s father was the top divorce attorney in the state and he had been telling her since she was a child about all of the couples he had to deal with on account of they rushed into marriages thinking it was true love.

She didn’t want that for her best friend but when Dinah Harris made up her mind about something, it was nearly impossible to get her to change it.

“Alright class. That’s all we have for today. Enjoy your break.”

Everyone gathered up their things and filed out of the room. Keara tried to get Dinah’s attention but she was currently ignoring her. She couldn’t do it forever because they would soon be in Vegas for her bachelorette weekend.

“You really fucked that up.”

“Bite me Nyle.”

“Tell me when and where,” he smirked.

“Gosh.” She rolled her eyes and walked away from him.

She made it back to her dorm room and finished her last minute packing. Keara wasn’t happy about Dinah marrying so soon but she was so ready for the weekend. She needed to blow off some steam. Working to keep her grads at a 4.0 or higher was draining her. As long as she kept her grades up her parents allowed her to continue towards her liberal arts degree. If they dropped, she would have to transfer to pre-law or business. One would think that they wouldn’t be able to get her to change majors her third year in, but her parents could do just about anything.

Keara sat all of her bags on her bed and went to find her adviser.

“How did it go in class today?” she asked when Keara was seated across from her in the cafeteria.

“I failed.”

“Keara.”

“I don’t understand why it’s so important that I not argue with people of voice my opinion.” That was a lie. She knew why it was important. That was why she sought out a communications major to be her adviser. She had to try to learn to control her mouth because her parents were getting pretty tired of her speaking her mind.

“So tell me what happened.”

Keara recounted what occurred in her Lit class to her adviser. They both agreed that she had been pushed into the debate. However she was advised that she could have shown a bit more tact and that she did not have to engage so fully in the discussion.

Keara left her adviser and jumped into her BMW, driving to her parents house. She found them both on the terrace having a late lunch.

“Mommy, daddy.” She placed a quick kiss on her fathers cheek and an air kiss on her mothers so that she didn’t smudge her makeup.

“What brings you by Keara,” her mother asked looking up from the magazine she was reading.

“I thought I would come see you guys before I left for Vegas.”

“Oh, I don’t understand why you are choosing to go to that place,” her mother said in disgust.

“I didn’t choose to go, it’s where Dinah is having her bachelorette weekend and what did Vegas ever do to you?”

“Watch you tone.”

“That Dinah is rushing into that marriage and it is only going to end in divorce,” her father said.

“I know daddy, but she thinks she’s in love.”

“You should really talk to her.”

“You know how stubborn Dinah is. If I tell her I think she’s making a mistake, she’ll disown me.”

“Well, I’ll represent her in her divorce. I’ll even do it for free because she’s like my own daughter.”

Keara shook her head and laughed. She had basically said the same thing in class and that had afforded her the silent treatment from her best friend. There wouldn’t be much for them to split because they were two colleges students but he would make sure that she got out quickly and smoothly.

When it happened, Keara wouldn’t even say ‘I told you so’, her parents on the other hand would likely go on a tangent about how they knew the marriage wouldn’t last.

For Dinah’s sake she almost prayed that they stayed married forever. No one should have to listen to a lawyer and the most successful business women in the tristate area, recount everything that you did wrong.

Keara’s phone beeped and she took it out to see that she had a new message from Dinah. The silent treatment was over. Keara said goodbye to her parents and raced back to the dorm. She collected her things and followed Dinah down to the car. They drove to the airport.

Dinah went on and on about how much fun they were going to have. They were going to meet up with her finance and his best friend. Unfortunately for Keara the two had decided to forgo a traditional bachelor/bachelorette party and decided to choose a week to go to Vegas and spend their time together. With their maid of honor and best man. It was turning out to be a couples weekend and Keara had yet to even meet the best man. In fact she knew little about Dinah’s finance, so it was no surprise that she didn’t know who his best friend was.

Keara had sprung for first class tickets, so they boarded the plane and slept during the ride to Las Vegas. When they arrived at the hotel and checked in, Keara took her key card and turned to go up to her room.

“I have to tell you something,” Dinah said in a rush.

“what is it?”

“I never told you who Avi’s best man was>” Dinah looked like she was afraid to continue.

“It doesn’t matter. I don’t really care who he is.” It was the truth. Keara could care less to know who this guy was.

“But you’re gonna want to,” Dinah said.

“Well if it isn’t my favorite person.” Him.

Keara looked past Dinah and saw Avi walking towards us. Nyle was at his side dragging his luggage. Keara turned to look at Dinah, steam coming out of her ears.

“No.”

“Sorry,” Dinah said sweetly.

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Short Story – Werewolves, Vampires, Witches Oh My! – Chapter Five

Nuttah followed her mother out of the cabin and back to the arena. Akecheta and Jabari were already present. She wanted to steal a glance at Bahiti but she couldn’t make her eyes lift to catch her gaze. She tried to will herself to turn to Bahiti but couldn’t.

Nuttah’s gaze dropped to the gold bangle on her wrist. She realized that the moment Bahiti placed the bangle around her wrist, she had not looked at her. Not once. She tried to remember the last time she had seen her face that had not been just from closing her eyes and conjuring up a memory. It had been when Bahiti sunk her teeth into Akecheta’s neck.

From that moment she hadn’t been able to bring herself to look at her and it wasn’t because she didn’t want to. Bahiti had enchanted the bangle to do more than suppress her magic. She had enchanted it to keep Nuttah from engaging with her.

Nuttah let out a sigh and took her place before the two remaining chiefs. Chief Hiamovi regarded her for a moment before addressing everyone.

The warriors turned and entered the ring. They each stood at a different end. When Chief Haimovi announced that they could begin, Nuttah looked up to see both Akecheta and Jabari looking in her direction.

They were going to do what she thought they would. They were going to work together to take her out. They both advanced on her not regarding the other. Nuttah tried to run to keep her distance from them. Jabari grabbed her from behind and twining his arms around her waist. He squeezed with all of his might as he lifted her from the ground and held onto her. Akecheta lunged for her his hands outstretched for the red cloth around waist.

She kicked out and hit him in the chest causing him to stumble back. Jabari lowered her and went for the cloth. She spun away from him pulling at the blue cloth around his waist.

The cloth didn’t come undone but she managed to put some distance between them. It didn’t last long because they both came for her again. They were coming at her with full strength. She would not be able to compete against that, so she tried to think of a strategy.

Akecheta lunged again his arms outstretched. She dropped to her knees and grabbed for the end of his green cloth. She crawled away tugging at the cloth. Akecheta turned and grabbed her legs stopping her. Her grabbed at her cloth trying to untie it.

Jabari must have seen how loosely Akecheta’s cloth hung around his waist, because instead of continuing his pursuit of Nuttah, he lunged for him releasing the cloth from his body and holding it up in victory.

“Enough!” Chief Hiamovi bellowed. Akecheta stopped and looked down to find his cloth missing. “The wolf and – the girl – will move on.” He shook his head sadly at Akecheta.

Akecheta turned to Nuttah open mouthed. He didn’t understand how Nuttah had managed to succeed him.

Nuttah didn’t understand it. She turned from the ring and reached down to remove the cloth. She would not have much time to rest before engaging in a sword battle with Jabari, her most difficult challenge yet. She tried to remove the cloth but it was tied to tightly. Her mother walked over and looked into her eyes. Nuttah thought she saw a glimmer of satisfaction as she removed the cloth and stepped away. She watched her walk away confused.

Akecheta stalked away and sat at his fathers side. Chief Naiser wore a victorious grin. The sword fighting was last and there was no way that Nuttah would be able to defeat his warrior.

They had to make a cut. One cut. It seemed so easy for Jabari to do.

They each were handed a sword and ushered back into the ring. The sword was heavy in her hands. Chief bitterly ground out that they could begin. Jabari swung his sword up and charged. Nuttah screeched and held hers up blocking his attack. She quickly backed away and held her sword out in front of her protectively.

Jabari swung at her midsection and she jumped to the side to avoid being cut. He raised his sword again and advanced. Nuttah swung out in an attempt to make him retreat.

He stopped, his arms raised abouve him. His head lowered, his eyes drifting down. Nuttah followed his gaze and spied the fresh line of blood spilling from a wound across his abdomen.

Chief Naiser sat at the edge of his seat a deep scowl on his face. Jabari lowered his arms and dropped the sword at his feet.

“I can’t believe it,” Akecheta whispered.

Nuttah’s mouth fell open. She had won. She had actually won. Jabari looked defeated as he turned to his father and presented the wound.

“Impossible!” Chief Naiser shouted. He turned to Chief Hiamovi, his canines taking shape. “You set this up!” he roared.

“I did no such thing!” he said in defense. “You agreed to allow her to compete. I didn’t want her anywhere near the arena. What good is she as the winner?”

Nuttah’s heart sank. She had won and yet they made it seem as if it meant nothing.

“Maybe to embarrass me. Maybe you are still planning to mate her with him after we have left!”

“Nonsense! The rules were clear. Whoever wins will be her mate. I would not go back on my word.”

“Maybe we should hold this again? I could get word to Chief Athanasios and this time just our warriors will compete.”

Nuttah stepped forward to speak but she didn’t know what she would say. She wanted to look to Bahiti for confirmation or something but she couldn’t. She turned away and dropped the sword at her feet.

“She just proved that she is a warrior,” Jabari spoke.

“Don’t be foolish,” Chief Naiser ground out. “She is a woman.”

“A woman who has managed to beat three of the strongest men,” he said. “She won.”

Chief Naiser glared at him. He stalked down from his throne and took off for his cabin to prepare to leave. Jabari nodded at Chief Hiamovi and stared at Nuttah in wonder before turning to follow his father out.

Everyone fell silent, not sure of what to say or do next. Things had not played out the way that they thought it would. Bahiti would be remaining with them but she would not be Akecheta’s mate and she would not bare a new generation of tribrids. With Nuttah as the winner it was all for naught. They all looked to Chief Hiamovi for guidance as to what would happen next.

Would he do what the werewolf chief had accused him of and pair Bahiti and Akecheta together anyways?

Nuttah looked down at her wrist and saw that the bangle was being removed. She turned to a grinning Bahiti.

“Did you know this would happen?” she asked.

“You have always been my mate,” Bahiti said. She took Nuttah’s face in her hands and placed a sweet kiss on her lips. Nuttah encircled her arms around her waist and pulled her against her body.

The onlookers gasped as a golden light encircled around the two. Bahiti wrapped her arms around Nuttah’s neck and kissed her passionately. The golden light snaked from them a shot towards the sky, ripping through the dome ceiling. There was a burst of light and then golden sparks rained on everyone inside.

Nuttah broke the kiss and stepped out of Bahiti’s grasp and gasped for air. Bahiti smiled at her adoringly. Nuttah’s eyes shone bright gold. She screamed out as new fangs broke through her gums. Her canines came next. She looked down at her hands as they morphed into sharp claws, gold fur forming on her arms. Bahiti’s skin shimmered and she transformed into a wolf. She grazed around Nuttah’s legs.

Nuttah smiled widely. Everyone watched in amazement as she too turned into a wolf.

“Your eyes,” Akecheta gasped as he looked at his father. Chief Hiamovi’s eyes had gone from brown to gold. He raised his hand and touched his teeth, feeling the newly formed fangs and canines. Akecheta stretched his mouth as his too formed.

A ripple effect moved through the dome. Bahiti and Nuttah, still in wolf form, watched as everyone began getting fangs and canines. There hands and feet briefly morphing into claws, before morphing back to hands and feet. Nuttah’s mother walked to the center of the arena where a torch lay unlit. She picked the torch up and blew on it lightly and a small flame appeared, growing. She turned to the two wolves smiling brightly.

They had become a tribe of tribrids, with power that matched Bahiti’s. They had become the powerful tribe they assumed they could only become if Bahiti birthed children.

Bahiti nuzzled up against Nuttah and turned and ran from the arena. Nuttah quickly gave chase. They ran through the village and through the woods side by side.

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