Thursday, March 29, 2012

What She Needs

Hi Readers! Still in the middle of a body meltdown, but I thought I'd share a short mf story I wrote for FSO. There is a little mystery, a little naughty, and a lot of action . . .  Enjoy!

What She Needs

It took only seconds for the feelings Bryony had for her boss to disappear under a flood of horror. She stared at the man she had known for a full year, worked beside, and lusted after countless hours. She had no idea why he was being so violent.

"Deke! Let him go!" She moved closer, trying to get Deke’s attention. Maybe she could save the poor man.

"Don't come closer, Bryony."

She froze. Deke didn't sound like that, his voice, was . . . wrong. She shuddered and stepped closer, unwilling to stand aside and watch someone die. Whatever was going on, Deke was a good man, not a killer. The man dangling from his hand was turning blue as he clawed at Deke's fingers digging into his neck. The man hissed something, and then Deke's fingers tightened on the man's throat.


There was a sharp crack. Bryony screamed, her hands coming up to her mouth, but she couldn't look away as the man's head tilted sideways and the life in his eyes flowed away. Deke let him go, pulling something out of his hands as the body fell to hit the concrete with a thud.

"Oh god," Bryony whispered. "No." Her hands were shaking as she pressed them to her lips. Quiet, if she was quiet, she could back away. She took one step. When Deke didn't stop her she took another. She was breathing in small gasps muffled by her hands. She couldn't control it or the way her heart was pounding. Seeing her chance as Deke’s hands felt every inch of the object he had taken, she risked another step, darting a glance to the left where her car was around the corner.

"Ow!" Her heel caught in a crack and her ankle twisted just as she turned to make a run for it. She fell to her knees on the concrete, throwing out her hands to catch herself before she could hit her face first on the oil stained surface.

Deke was there in front of her before she could hit. She suddenly found herself in the place she had fantasized endlessly about... his arms. His chest was a hard as it looked under his shirt and it was seemingly effortless when he scooped up her legs and stood up cradling her. Caught between her body's reaction and her fear she went still.

"Are you okay?" His voice was still distorted, but it was his eyes that she couldn't drag her gaze away from. She had never seen his eyes before; he kept them hidden behind dark sunglasses because he was blind. He didn't look like he was blind now as he ran his eyes over her face and down her body.

He blinked and the teal light that shone from those almond shaped eyes dimmed and then flared bright again. His pupils were tiny but they moved up and down as he looked at her.


She trembled as she tried to break out of whatever trance he held her in. This wasn't real, it couldn't be. It had to be a dream.

"Bryony?" Deke sounded worried. One hand came up to brush her coal dark hair out of her face, and she flinched.

She whimpered and closed her eyes. "Don't."

Dreams weren't real but this one felt like it was. She was afraid of death, even in her sleep. Especially in her sleep; there were endless plots from horror movies about the dangers of dying while you were dreaming. She didn't know you could feel pain in dreams though, and her knees and ankle were throbbing with every frantic beat of her heart. What if he put that hand on her throat; cut off her air and squeezed until . . ..

"Shh . . . whatever you're thinking, stop," he ordered. "I would never hurt you. I was trying to save you."

Bryony suddenly snorted. "From a panhandler?" Her heartbeat was slowing though, calming. Her breathing calmed as well.

Those glowing orbs filled her sight and she felt her mind begin to blank and drift. Her blinks got slower and slower. Suddenly, she stiffened and then her body jerked. Blinking rapidly, she stared with wide eyes around the parking garage and then at her boss who was holding her in his arms beside her car.

"Deke! Oh my god, what happened?"

"You slipped and fell on your way to your car. Luckily I was only a minute behind you and heard it. Don't move around too much, I think you twisted your ankle and bumped your head."

Now that he had mentioned it, her ankle was throbbing and she winced as she put a hand on the side of her head. "My knees hurt too." Her knees were skinned but she was more concerned about the long stretch of thigh exposed by the way Deke was holding her. Thank god he couldn't see it. She blushed and tugged at her skirt.

Deke had a small smile on his face but it faded into a serious expression.

"What?" Bryony tried not to focus on how good he smelled or how easily he carried her five and a half foot body. Whatever he was thinking, it wasn't about how sexy she was. Even if he couldn't see her, she had a rapidly swelling ankle, skinned knees, and was acting like a dope. He probably thought it was from the head wound when really it was just how overwhelmed she was by his closeness.

She liked Deke too much for her own good since he was her boss. He kept her and everyone else who came around the office at arm's length though, so she had never thought she'd be in his arms, even like this. In the year she had known him, she'd had plenty of fantasies about it though.


She blinked. "Oh. Sorry. I was just, umm . . .." She stopped, biting her lip and then giving him a small smile. "Maybe I hit my head harder than I think," she offered as an excuse for her momentary daydreaming.

"Well in that case, you shouldn't be alone tonight. You could have a concussion, not to mention your left ankle is probably way too swollen to walk on. Let me take you home, and I'll stay with you. You can be the eyes, and I'll be the feet."

Bryony's mouth dropped open. "You want to stay the night?" She blushed. "Oh, I mean, not stay the night, like stay the night in my bed, stay the night but . . . Oh god, I’ll shut up now." She was such an idiot!

"I'd be honored if you would trust me to stay with you." Deke had a small smile on his face. Too bad she couldn’t see his eyes hidden behind his glasses. His head turned a little at something he must have heard, though when she listened she couldn't hear anything.

"We should go now."

Bryony guided him as he set her gently into her seat and she fished her keys out of her pocket. As he walked around the car he paused. When he got in the front passenger seat he held out her purse.

"I think this is yours."

"Thanks." Bryony hadn't even thought about her missing purse. She drove home quietly, not sure of how to talk to Deke outside of work. To cover the silence she flipped on the radio and let the sound fill the small space. She pulled into her driveway twenty minutes later.

"Well, this is it."

Bryony lived in a small duplex but the driveway on the other side was empty.

"It's not much, but its home. Right now I have the place to myself, no nosy neighbors since the last one moved. I like having the privacy."

She glanced at Deke out of the corner of her eye, wondering if he'd get the hint. Somewhere on the ride home she'd decided that this might be her one chance with him. She'd never seen him outside of work before and who know when she would again? She might end up needing a new job, but life was short. She needed to seize the opportunity to get to know him better while she had the chance.

"Oh. That's good."

She couldn't tell what he meant by that. Maybe he needed a bigger hint. She opened the door. Deke's grabbed her arm.

"Where do you think you're going? You're the eyes, I'm the legs, remember?"

He got out of the car and moved around to her side. She let him lift her out of the car and snuggled into his chest with one arm around his neck. He smelled so good; she drowned in his spicy scent and let one hand toy with the buttons of his shirt. When her fingers touched the warm skin at his throat his steps faltered but he kept walking toward the front door as she guided him.

His head turned as she unlocked it, like he was checking the shadows. Maybe he was getting a sense for the area. She had seen him do it before. It was strange, but he was spooky good at knowing where things were even when he couldn’t see them.

She turned the handle and the door slowly opened. "We can go inside now."
His face turned down at her. Before he could move, she stretched her head up and brushed her lips against his. His arms tightened around her as she did it again. His lips were warm and soft and when he moved them back against hers she tightened her arm around his neck.

"We should go in," he said against her mouth.

She took her hint one step farther. "My bedroom is straight ahead. There is nothing in your way." She felt him pause. Maybe she shouldn't have said that.

Stepping inside and shutting the door with his foot, he shifted her body so that they were chest to chest, and pressed her hard against it. He held her injured ankle carefully but his erection ground against her core as he claimed her mouth. She wrapped her other leg around his hip and rocked against him as he devoured her mouth. She sucked on his tongue hungrily.

He pulled back and buried his face in her neck, sucking hard and then licking and nipping the spot. She moaned at the way it sent shivers down her spine. Her hips rocked and he shuddered.

"We shouldn't. It's not safe."

Bryony smiled, he was such a caring man. "My head is fine, it doesn't even hurt."
One hand trailed down between their bodies and popped the button on his pants. She reached in and touched the tip of his erection, sliding her hand down his shaft and then back up.

"I want you, Deke. I need you inside me."

The next thing Bryony knew, she was falling backward onto her bed. Deke pulled off his shirt and pants and suddenly he was naked. He was firmly muscled and his erection jutted out in front of him. A dark tattoo with strange symbols covered one shoulder and traced down his arm. She kicked off her heels.

He climbed on the bed and knelt beside her, his hands brushing the hair from her face. He drew her up and kissed her. Bryony couldn't believe how good it was, how incredible his hands felt on her body as he removed her clothes. He traced the lace of her bra and then bent down, sucking her nipple through the sheer fabric. His mouth moved down to her skirt, his tongue tracing a hot wet line down farther to her core as he pulled her skirt and panties off in one move.

She looked down at him, staring hungrily. He'd taken off his glasses but kept his eyes shut as he moved between her thighs. She arched her body as he licked her folds and then drew her sensitive bud into his mouth, pulling hard.

"Oh god, Deke!" Her hands clenched in his hair.

He licked her as his hands roamed, rubbing her thighs and hips and the moving up to tweak the tips of her breasts. His touch was soft as he caressed her breasts. She felt his tongue enter her and her body tightened; he slipped one hand down and slid two fingers back and forth across her clit hard and fast. Pleasure exploding as she cried out and shuddered. Her hands on his head tugged him up.

She could taste her climax on his lips as he kissed her. Cradled between her thighs, his erection slid against her. She made a hungry sound and shifted so that the head was pressing against her opening.

"Oh god Bryony," Deke groaned as the tip went in. "We shouldn't . . . I shouldn't--"

"You should. I need you inside me, Deke. I want you." She rocked her hips and took him in a little bit more.

His head went to her neck and he bit down on the spot he made earlier. Her head fell back against the pillows as his arms tightened around her.

"I need you too, baby. I shouldn't, it's not right, but gods" he moaned, nuzzling her ear, "I have to."

She felt a wave of pleasure from the endearment, hoping it meant something, but that pleasure dimmed in the ecstasy she felt as he pushed his hips forward and slid all the way inside. He pulled back and moved forward again, his hips working as he took over their movements. 

Her hands roamed over his back and then down to his ass, pulling him closer as she gave into his rhythm. Her body ached as he thrust home again and again until all she could do was hold on.  "Deke!"

Deke was panting, his muscles rippling. He moaned. "So close."

He leaned down, burying his tongue in her mouth as one hand slipped between their bodies. He rubbed her clit in small circles as he thrust faster. Bryony felt his control slip right as the first wave of a fiery orgasm took her breath and let it out in a sharp cry. His voice joined hers as he froze above her, their hips locked together as they shared a shattering climax.

It was a few minutes before Bryony could do more than breathe as Deke cradled her as they recovered. He seemed to get his breath back faster than she did and his fingers traced the skin of her stomach.

"That was amazing.” She looked up at him. He had his eyes closed but he smiled.

"It was." He leaned over and kissed her gently. Bryony shivered and then her stomach growled.

"Oh!" She felt her face heat up. One side of Deke's mouth went up in a lopsided grin.

She looked at the clock. Eight p.m. "Sorry, we missed dinner. Do you want to order in some Chinese?"

"That sounds good."

She pulled the phone and a menu out of the nightstand. "I like to eat in bed sometimes," she explained. His mouth nipped at her shoulder.

"Me too."

Bryony felt a flush sweep through her at his words. She ducked her head a little in embarrassment but couldn't help but grin.

While waiting for their order Deke put his pants on, checking for his wallet. Bryony felt strange lying there naked when he had clothes on so she got her robe.

When the doorbell rang he got up to get it.

"That was fast," Bryony said, “usually it takes at least a half hour."

Deke paused with his hand on the door knob suddenly the door flew open. Two men rushed in and attacked Deke. Bryony screamed.

"Now you're going to die, freak!" They both held long knives.

Bryony knocked the phone off the nightstand when she reached for it in panic. She got up and then fell to the floor with a cry of pain. One of the men turned, then began coming for her.


A strange teal light filled the room.

Bryony scooted back, reaching for something to fight off the man coming for her. She didn't have much of a chance but she wasn't going to just let him stab her with that knife. Deke roared as the man he was fighting slid his knife into his side but it didn't slow him down as he grabbed the man's head and snapped his neck.

"Stay away from her!"

"Your bitch is going to die with you, freak."

Deke rushed the man just before he reached Bryony, knocking him away. She huddled against the bed in fear as they struggled, trying to kill each other. The man cut Deke across his chest, making him hiss.

Deke grunted, the rolled his hips, turning them over and over. When they stopped against the dead man, Deke let go of the knife and lay still suddenly.

The attacker lunged up to bring his knife down, but Deke moved faster. He grabbed the blade still wet with his blood from the dead man and shoved it up into his opponent’s chest. Bryony was glad she couldn't see his face when he let out a horrible groan and then slid off Deke to fall to the floor, his heart pierced.

Deke cried out when he tried to go to her, falling back onto the floor. Bryony suddenly felt her memories from earlier came back. The whole incident at the parking garage, Deke's eyes, the dead man . . . who looked a lot like these men, actually.

"Oh my god! What is going on Deke? We have to call the cops!" She rushed over to him and put her hands on the wound in his side. The blood was covering his tattoo and his skin was hot against her palm.

"I'm sorry," he whispered. "You can't call the cops. Please."

"Why shouldn't I?"

He opened his eyes and the teal light she remembered from the parking garage washed over her. His tattoo began to glow under her hands. "I'm not human, Bryony. These men were trying to kill me because of that. I know I shouldn't have come here with you after I took your memories, but I couldn't leave the city without being with you at least once."

She looked down, tears filling her eyes. "You were going to leave me?" she asked in a whisper.

"I don't want to, but I'm not a man; I can't be what you need. My life is filled with danger you don't understand."

Bryony shook her head. Deke pulled her hands away from his wounds and she gasped. They were gone, disappeared as if they'd never been there. If his side wasn't covered in blood she'd never have known he'd been injured at all.

He really wasn't human. The look on his face as he made her face him told her that he expected her to pull away.

"I don't need to understand right now. I need you to tell me that you won't leave me behind. I'll go with you; I don't care that you're not human. You are the best man I have ever known."

One of his hands came up and pushed her hair out of her face. "Are you sure? There is so much you don't know."

"I'll find out, with you. Just don't ever leave me."

"I won't baby, I won't."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blinding Light

So, went to the Dr. I have whooping cough, on top of respiratory distress and an asthma flair. It could be up to 6 weeks before I'm all better. Don't worry, it won't be that long until I write again, but I'm very very sick right now. I'll hit you with some older stuff though, so I hope you enjoy reading the temporary updates.

This was written in an answer to a prompt: Write a story where the character can't see anything. The idea is to use the other senses to describe the scene to the reader.

Blinding Light

The darkness gave way to the light and I found myself just as unable to see. Tears streamed down my face as the white radiance stabbed through my eyes and blasted my brain. I groaned and turned away, stumbling with one hand over my eyes and the other stretched out in front of me.


My voice was a hoarse croak, barely audible to my own ears. My bare feet slapped down on the rough hard surface, cracks and rocks buried in the sand made me stumble. I waved my arm in front of me, recoiling when I felt streamers from the trees brush against me. The softness was startling after more than a week wandering in a rocky prison.


Weaker now, I stumbled and fell, not feeling the edge of the overhang until I was over it. Both of my hands shot out in front of me but I was too weak to protect myself. My arms collapsed under my weight and I felt a searing pain as my forehead slammed down to the ground. The stabbing pain became a soft blanket that covered me as I rolled over, the trickle of the stream I landed in soaking into my parched skin. I was so weak that I could barely turn my head, trying to suck up some of the precious fluid with cracked lips and a swollen tongue.

My head fell back down to the mud, unable to hold it anymore. I floated in the white radiance, feeling the warm slide of fluid from the throbbing cut on my forehead as tears escaped my lowered lids. I didn't want to give up, but I couldn't go any farther. The pain began to fade and my breathing slowed. I had fought and struggled, unwilling to die in that cave. I never expected I would escape the blinding darkness just to die as sightless in the dazzling light.

Ironic didn't begin to cover it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Another Blasted Delay

Sorry folks, but my lungs are getting worse, not better, so writing has been put aside once again for a few days. I'll try to update The Experiment as soon as I can, but I don't want to post a debacle like the last time so you'll have to be patient with me. Fortunately, I do have shorts that you might not have read yet, so I'll be looking for a good one of those to post tomorrow to help make up for it.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hypnotic Ch. 17

Yes, I know, super long wait and I've no good excuse other than writer's block on this story, but it is finally posted! Ch. 17 of Hypnotic has been published on GA. I hope you enjoy it!!! Click on the graphic to link to the story and happy reading.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Coming Soon!

Hi readers, thanks for checking in on my blog! Just a quick message to let you know the next part of The Experiment is done, but not quite ready. I am going to finish editing in the morning when I'm fresh, so check back tomorrow for the next segment of Ryker and Seral's story.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Little Treat

Since I'm not posting for a bit while I'm this sick (spent all day sleeping on the couch!) I thought I'd share one of my favorite artistic nude photographers on Deviant art. These awesome pieces were done by a guy named Andrei. He has a superb gallery on DA under his username =Vishstudio. Check it out!

The Sweetest Curse

You Looked Into My Eyes

Out of This World

Friday, March 16, 2012

New Story on GA!

Hi guys! I'm going to take the advice of my lovely fans who wish me better, thank you by the way, and take a bit of time off from writing, or at least publishing anything I write until I'm better. However . . . I do have a new short story that posted today with GA's Spring Anthology themed "It Wasn't Me!".

The story, Invisible Scars, continues the story of 2 of my characters, Kiron and John. It's a modern mm story that can stand alone, but if you'd like to read how the two first met, read Figuing it Out. The links below will take you right to either story! While you're there, check out many of the other stories released with the anthology; there are a ton of wonderful authors on GA. Some of my favorite authors that wrote for the anthol include Comicfan, Lugh, KC Grim, CassieQ, Roan...

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Teddy Bear's Picnic and quick update

Hey readers! I know I left you all on a terrible cliffhanger, but I've got some sort of lung issue going on and I can't stop coughing. Add in the 4 hours of sleeping and waking up with an asthma attack and I'm not going to be able to update The Experiment today. I will try to finish up a chapter tonight, but no guarantees, so check back tomorrow for sure!

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this prompt story. The prompt was to tell about your favorite story as a kid and write about how it made you feel. I took that and made it into a story, one that happens to be true. I hope you enjoy it!

Teddy Bears' Picnic

The little girl slips quietly over to the record player. The thin black record is carefully balanced on her fingertips. Standing on tiptoe she places it in the record player and lowers the arm to rest on thin grooves. As the cheerful notes begin to come from the speaker she hurries back over to the pillow on the shag carpet.

Sunlight falls through a dirty window to make sparkle on the dust in the air above the book and looks like magic to her young, wondering eyes.

“Come see!” she calls to her friend looking at the old tire swing in the tree outside.

“But I wanna go play. I don’t want to look at the pictures.”

“It tells us the story. Listen!”

*If you go down to the woods today, You’re sure of a big surprise.
*If you go down to the woods today, You’d better go in disguise.

The two girls huddle on the pillow and giggle at the family zipping up into bear costumes. They listen to the record sing song version of the book and gently touch the pictures of the bears peeking out in the woods.

“I want a hula hoop!” She stands up and pretends to play with the hoop.

“Me too!” Her friend giggles as she stands up and pretends to swirl one around her little waist too.

They fall back down on the pillow and listen as they turn the pages. The mommy kisses the little girl asleep in her bed at the end. The little girl on the pillow looks wistfully at the picture and sighs before closing the book. Running over to the record player, she turns it off.

“Want to go play on the swing now?”
    ~ ~ ~

All grown up now, she follows the tugging hand to bed filled with stuffed animals. Bears of all shapes and sizes mingled with monkeys, kittens, and baby dolls. One bear, a small white one sits in a place of honor on the pillow.

Her little girl hops into bed and hugs the special bear close, and then picks up the book at the foot of the bed.

 “I want you to read this one.” Her chubby finger rubs on the teddy bear on the worn cover.

The little girl all grown up looks down and smiles. “Are you sure?”

“I want it. Look,” her small hand turns to a page in the beginning, “there’s a little girl in it. She goes on a picnic.”

“Yes she does.”

“Can we go on a picnic?”

She laughs. “Sure. How about tomorrow?”

“Can we bring our teddy bears? It can be a Teddy Bears’ Picnic, just like in the book. You can read us the book again. It's our favorite, you know.”

“I know.”
Leaning down, she kisses her little girl’s forehead. “I’d love to.”

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Plot Bunnies

So I wrote this little writing article about plot bunnies up for FSO's blog. I have plenty of my own, in fact The Experiment is a prime example of one that actually took over. (Sorry Hypnotic!)

I actually have 4 different story 'outlines' and 3 partially written stories sitting in my writing files ranging from 5k to 40k. For one reason or another, I can't always focus on any one story and these ideas come to me. I want to write them, so I get ready, and then my fans remind me ... Hey, we're waiting for a chapter here!

If you want to see the blog, check out FSO. You can use the FSO tab, or this link will guide you to the blog directly. There are even a few sites linked there to help you out with your own little hoppers!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Artistic Nude

An avid photography fan, I also love to see truly artistic nude images. Below is a collection of some of my favorite images. These all have that essence, that evocation, I was speaking of in an earlier blog. They don't need to be graphic to catch my eye and increase my appreciation for the many curves and angles of the human form and the way a simple posture can share so much. I hope you enjoy these; the original images and links to the owner's galleries can all be found in my deviant art favorite's gallery.

ot 127 by alfred-georg

on the floor by acaspe

Doorway by =stashion

Couple Stuff by ~AzuLacosta

Dominika by *pasiasty

Tired by *Divasoft

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Art of Evocation

I thought I would share some ideas about 'art' tonight. I don't think a lot of writers probably view themselves as artists, but in my mind writing is very much an art form. I have a few hobbies that give me an artistic outlet, and writing and photography are the two main pursuits I love. In both, I have a goal.


What draws me to an image, or a story, is often how the writer makes me see it. With my own writing imagery is always a key component, but it goes so far beyond that. Without knowing the best words to use, or the proper way to use them, my work is clumsy and unattractive to the mind's eye. Sometimes the words I chose highlight the emotion of the character; sometimes my words give life to the world around them. Knowing what to present and when to present it to my readers has been a process I've learned through lessons and practice, just like my photography has been learned.

Yet, for all that, something still separates the 'great' from the good. I'm not arrogant enough to place my work, stories or pictures in any category; all I find important is that when others see or read them, they FEEL something. That is something that takes real skill, and I'm always thrilled when I hear I've managed to do that on occasion from those that view my art.

So. . . tonight I don't bring you more writing to read, but I want to share some pictures. These images bring to mind old memories, scents of warm petals, or give me the urge to touch a soft petal or fluff of baby down. Perhaps they'll give you the same pleasure.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Struggles and Story

No, the struggle isn't with my muse. My struggle was buying and carrying in a new entertainment center, putting it together, taking the old one apart, taking out the old TV, setting up the new tv - twice!- and then having to go buy a new dvd player with an hdmi cable because our old one, which worked perfectly fine with the 11 year old giant back tv did not work with the new plasma.

All the while, my kids plus 2 friends are here since school started 2 hours late due to a freak snow storm. Oh, and my hubby's been home all week with a sore back so he was 'back seat  building' from the couch, LOL. The topper was stepping on a toy car and getting a big ole cut on my foot. So yeah, writing today would probably mean everyone gets castrated and then killed off. I'll think I'll hold off until tomorrow to get you guys more of The Experiment, lol.

Fortunately . . . I have other flash fiction pieces you haven't seen yet! Below you will find a short piece I've titled 'Connecting'. I hope you enjoy it!!



"Oh my god, I think I killed him."

"Pull over." Ted shoved his door open as soon as the car came to a stop by the curb. He ran over to the dog in the middle of the road. The poor animal was whining and trying to get up.

"Oh, thank god, he's not dead."

Ted glanced up at his date who was standing a few feet away staring at the poor dog.

"She actually. And no, she's not dead but she might be if we don't hurry. Do you have a blanket in your car?

"Uh yeah." Bryce just stood there.

Ted's eyes widened at the man's stupidity. "Well go get it!"

"Oh, okay, sorry." He ran over and popped the trunk, rummaging around.

Ted took the blanket he handed over and put it across his arms. He gingerly scooped up the small animal, shushing it when she whined. "It'll be okay, little lady. We'll get you help."

He walked over to the car, his date trailing after him. "Shut the door for me please." Ted slid into his seat, cradling the panting dog. "I think there is a vet clinic about three blocks back. I saw 24 hours on the sign."

Bryce sniffed as he put the car back in gear. "That dog really stinks. The blanket is probably ruined."

Ted rolled his eyes. Really? The blanket is what he was worried about? "Your blanket would have been fine if you had been driving the speed limit and paying attention, not trying to impress me."

"What? I wasn't--"

"You were. Just save it. You and I both know this date wasn't working out anyway. We're totally different and want completely different things in a partner. I’d been hoping to meet someone I could connect with, but there is no way you and I could have anything in common."

Bryce huffed like he was affronted. Ted just rolled his eyes again. He couldn't believe that Amy set him up with such a tool. "Just drop us off at the clinic. I'll get a cab home." What a way to spend Saturday night.

Dinner had been a bust. A pricey restaurant with small portions of admittedly good tasting food, but not nearly enough of it, and the conversation was stilted and uncomfortable. Sure, they were both lawyers, but Bryce was a corporate lawyer and Ted was an environmental lawyer. Totally opposite ends of the spectrum most of the time. Ted liked burgers, baseball, and beer. Bryce liked chianti, opera, and escargot.

Not a match made in heaven.

Bryce didn't say anything as he got out of the car at the clinic, just opened Ted's door and waited for him to get out.

"Don't worry about her treatment, I'll pay for it," Ted said when Bryce walked to the driver's side. Bryce just shrugged, and Ted knew then that he probably wouldn't have even stopped if Ted hadn't made him.

What an asshole!

He didn't watch as the man drove off, he just hurried over to the clinic door. He couldn't open it with his hands around the dog, so he kicked it a few times, hoping someone would hear him and come open the door.

"Hey! Knock it . . . Oh. Sorry, I thought it was teenagers again. Do you need help?"

A tall, gorgeous man stood in the doorway. He had dark, almost black hair, and stubble across his cheeks. A white coat over his blue scrubs bore the name,
Steve Holbright, DVM. Ted blinked for a minute, a tad awestruck, and then realized he was staring and blushed.

"Yeah, this dog got hit by a car. I don't think she's hurt too bad, but she was whimpering when she tried to get up."

"Well, let's just take a look at her, why don't we?" The vet held open the door and Ted brushed by him, shivering a little at the slight contact.

"So tell me what happened." Steve gestured for Ted to lay her down on an exam table in the main room.Ted gently set the dog down on her side before stepping back.

"My date wasn't watching the road and hit her a few blocks from here. I got out to check her and she was crying a bit and didn't seem to be able to get up, so I picked her up and came here. She doesn't have a collar, so I have no idea if she's someone's pet or not."

Ted was looking at her, listening to her lungs and then he prepped a thermometer. "Well, you're right, she doesn't look like she's at death's door, but her breathing is a little labored and she might have a broken leg. I'll finish checking a few things, and then I think some x-rays on her chest and right leg should be the next move.

"Judging from her appearance I would say she's a stray. I can treat her but . . . ."

"I'll cover the cost of whatever she needs, don't worry about that. I think she's probably pretty cute under all that dirty fur, and I have a house so I can even give her a home if you can fix her up."

Steve looked up and smiled at Ted warmly. "That's very good of you. I'm surprised your date isn't picking up the bill though, if she was driving."

"He, actually." Ted rolled his eyes. "I don't think it even crossed his mind anyway."

Steve grimaced. "I hate people like that. Animals don't know any better, to stay out of the road. Only a selfish asshole would leave an animal to suffer for their mistake."

Ted raised an eyebrow and then snorted. "That's a pretty snap judgement."

Steve blushed. "Sorry. I shouldn't have gone off like that. Just a sensitive subject, I guess. I didn't mean to insult your date."

Shrugging, Ted smiled at him as their eyes met and held. "Don't worry about it. I happen to think you're right and told him something very similar."

Steve smiled back, then looked down at the scruffy dog on the table when she whined. Ted reached over and scratched her head. "It's okay girl, Dr. Steve is going to fix you right up."

The x-rays didn't take long and the fracture of her front leg was minor and just required splinting for a few weeks. Her lungs were bruised, but Steve told Ted he didn't think it would cause permanent damage.

"She should probably be watched for a few hours, but you can handle it if you are prepared to stay up a few more hours. I'd do it but--"

"Hey Steve, I'm ready to take over if you want to head home." A female voice from the reception area startled Ted.

"As you can hear, my shift is over. Umm . . . ."

Ted sighed a little. He had been hoping to offer to stick around the quiet office, keep an eye on her with the handsome vet, but it looked like he was leaving.

"No, no . . . Don’t worry about us. I'll just keep an eye on, uhh, Scruffy at home. I can make some coffee to keep me awake."

A woman's head popped through the door. "Hey Steve, there you are. What do we have here?" She entered the room, her eyes scanning up and down Ted's body before she looked at the dog on the table. Steve was just finishing up bandaging her leg.

Steve glanced up when Ted began fidgeting, the woman's stare making him uncomfortable.

"This is Ted and Scruffy. She got hit by a car, and he brought her in. She's pretty much done, just needs some observation for her breathing but he says he can handle it."

"Oh." She seemed put out. "Well, I'll just go check on the other animals. Don't forget to lock the door behind you guys when you leave." Steve gave her a little wave as she left.

Ted folded up Bryce's blanket and used it to wrap around the filthy dog. "I just need to call a cab. My date was my ride, and he took off."

Steve was drying his hands off. He looked at Ted and then at Scruffy. "I can give you a ride, if you want."

"Oh, you don't have to do that, I'm sure you have better things to do."

"No, not really. Just a TV dinner and the nightly news."

Maybe Ted could salvage a bit of the night. He'd been getting some pretty strong signals from Steve. He decided to take a chance. "I have some leftover lasagna in the fridge. If you like pasta, maybe you could come in for a little bit, help me keep an eye on Scruffy."


Ted nodded and decided to go for it. He was a pretty blunt man and Steve seemed to be the same. "My date didn't exactly pick a place with a robust meal option. I'm starving, and I'm not usually do this with a guy I just met, but I just feel like I want to get to know you better. No hidden agenda, I'm not looking for a one night stand.

"I just thought maybe dinner and a chance to get to know someone who actually seems like a decent person would help redeem my crappy evening." He waited to see what Steve would say. He'd either like Ted's honesty or he wouldn't.

At least Ted would have given it a shot.

"Sounds good to me."

Ted felt a huge smile curve across his face to answer Steve's. It looked like he found someone to connect with tonight after all.