30 March, 2012

500WC Chapter Twenty

500 Word Challenge Chapter Twenty
Word Count: 608

Twenty mini-chapters so far! Some fun things get moving in these next few bits, so stayed tuned. :)

What the hell are you doing?” he growled, slamming the door. The pictures swayed on the walls.
Trebell laughed. “Seeing how much you liked her.”

That brought Colton up short. “What?”

Trebell snorted. “Now, I wanted to tell you about this new start up old Warden’s nagging me about.”

Alice slipped in mid argument. She pulled a chair around to the side and sat taking notes. Colton didn’t like the gleam in her eyes.

“I don’t care how ‘guaranteed’ it is,” Colton snapped. “I’m not sinking money into some bottomless think-tank just because Warden says its good.”

“He said it was a win-win,” Trebell corrected, no hint of the suave charmer from the living room. He swore, dragging his hands through his hair. “I need capital, Savage and you have it.”

“There is no such thing as a win-win.” Colton shot back. “I don’t have that kind of loose money running around, Trebell. My costs have gone up five-fold since last year.”

Trebell grumbled agreement to that. “Oil futures are stuck, it seems.” He said with a sigh. “And even if they plummet, the damage has been done. Prices on the market are going to stay high.”

Colton rubbed his face, helpless against the whims of the market. “It’s costing me three times as much for the raw oil. Then add in the manufacturing costs, shipping…” he shrugged. “My profit margins are non-existent. I’m going to have to cut production and lay off workers. Everywhere, even China.”

Trebell nodded, playing absently with a pen. “I wish I had a couple million to cut loose, gamble in this.”

“Things are too tight to gamble,” Colton said severely. “Even if I wanted to.”

Trebell grinned at him. “Slow and steady, right Colton?”

Colton grimaced. “It’s still the best way.”

“And you should still check it out. Warden’s been over the books, over the models. He says its a good idea.”

“Warden isn’t exactly the most reliable source of information.” Colton said scathingly.

Trebell shrugged. “Look for yourself. Its a good company with a future. If you don’t invest, make a deal with them. Have them use your plastics. Offer them a better rate for a percentage of the returns.”

Colton had to give the man credit. It was an interesting idea.

“Give Alice the information,” he said slowly. “They’re British based?”

“British owned. I’m not sure where their plants are.” Trebell slapped his knees with his hands, standing. “I’m hungry.” He said robustly. “And I’m sure your pretty little wife is in need of your…company.”

Colton blushed. “Dmitri!” he protested.

Trebell only laughed. He grinned wickedly at a knock on the door. Alice opened it on Renee.

“Am I interrupting?” she asked, eyes wide.

“No, of course not.” Trebell said before Colton could speak. “We were just finishing. “Alice, I have the information in my coat. Would you mind?”

The woman rolled her eyes and left, glancing back over her shoulder with a warning look. Colton wondered who it was for, him or Renee.

“He’s very nice,” Renee said after they had stood in silence for a long moment.

Colton scowled. “He’s a womanizer and a drunk.”

“And he’s your friend?” Renee asked, her head tilting to one side.

“Shut up.” Colton snapped. She smirked and turned to leave.

Of its own accord, his hand closed around her arm, holding her in place.

“I’m serious,” he said softly, stepping closer. “Don’t get too friendly.”

She smiled up at him. “Don’t worry, Colton,” she murmured. “I know how to deal with men like that.”

He let her go, resisting rubbing his palm on his slacks.

28 March, 2012

500 WC Chapter Nineteen

500 WC Chapter Nineteen
Word Count: 575
Word Total so far: 10,000

Colton met Dmitri Trebell at the door, shaking his hand.
“Savage,” the man said, thumping him on the back. “I’ve trying to get a hold of you for days! Where’ve you been?”

“Busy,” Colton said, laughing. “Why’re you in Madrid?”

Trebell made a face. “Business. What else?”

“Like always.”

“I still say we should take a few weeks off, go skiing, hunting maybe. I have a great cabin stateside that I never use.” Trebell grinned. “Say the word and-” He broke off, his mouth open. He whistled softly.

Colton didn’t want to look. He did anyway.

“Who is this?” Trebell asked, smiling toothily.

“My wife, Renee.” Colton answered, grumpy for no apparent reason.

Renee looked up and saw them, rising from where she sat with Selene on the couch.

Trebell whirled to gape at him. “”Wife?’” he demanded.

It was Colton’s turn to grin. “Married just the other day.”

“Well,” Trebell said, gathering his wits as Renee crossed to them. He took her hand and kissed it gallantly. And bravely, considering Colton was glowering at him. “A pleasure, Mrs. Savage.”

Renee laughed, a pretty blush staining her cheek. She was wearing the same dress as last night. Colton decided he liked it. A lot. Too much.

“And you are?” she asked, fluttering her eyelashes at the man.

“Dmitri Trebell, friend and sometimes business partner to your estimable husband.”

“I am glad to meet you.” She said. Her eyes flicked to Colton’s. “Please, won’t you come sit down?”

Colton scowled as Trebell turned to give him a gleeful look. “I can see why you’ve been…busy.” He muttered.

Colton ground his teeth.

Trebell’s conversation gave no indication he was interested in any business. Except Renee. She talked easily with him, flirting like a champion. Selene was grinning behind her cocktail glass. Colton sat and glared at the three of them. At least Ivan was intent on his phone again, not paying any attention.

“Unbelievable!” Trebell said, leaning back after Renee had told her story, how she’d stopped the bomber. “Amazing, my dear.”

“Like I told Colton,” she said simply. “I had to.”

“Still,” Trebell said, shaking his head. “But I heard on the news…” he hesitated. “You can’t be the American they suspect of involvement!”

Renee rolled her eyes, disgusted. “I am.”

“How can they think that?”

Renee shrugged. “Too much good luck, I guess. And they haven’t formally charged me, just…insinuated.”

Trebell snorted his opinion of that. “I’ve seen the footage. There was no way you could have known about it before hand.”

Renee made an airy gesture, dismissing the government’s stubbornness. “I have to stay here, but why wouldn’t I want to?” She smiled at Colton as she said it.

Trebell’s voice sounded far away. “When you are released from your prison, you must let me show you around Madrid. Its a beautiful city.”

Renee pouted. “I know! I had two more weeks here when that moron blew himself up. Now I can’t go and do anything.” She made face and Trebell laughed.

“I’ll be the first to take you about.” He promised, taking her hand again.

Colton stood suddenly. “We should talk in my office,” he said, his voice sounding hard even to his own ears. “Come on, Trebell.”

He stood, winking at Renee. “See you at dinner, my dear.”

“A pleasure, Mr. Trebell.”

“Please, call me, Dmitri.”

“Dmitri,” she cooed. Colton flushed and grabbed Trebell’s elbow, dragging him from the room.

26 March, 2012

500 WC Chapter Eighteen

500 Word Challenge Chapter Eighteen
Word Count: 502

His watch alarm dragged him out of the deepest sleep he’d managed since the explosion.
Renee groaned next to him, pressing her face into her pillow in defiance of the sunlight glowing outside.

“Why are you getting up this early?” she demanded, her voice muffled.

“I have to go to work.” Colton snapped.

“You own the company,” she said, turning her head to squint at him. “What’s it matter what time you get into the office?”

“Shut up.” He muttered, sitting up. The AC was running and he shivered after the heat of the bed. Renee slept like a furnace.

She was asleep again when he got out of the shower. He dressed quickly. She protested when he sat on the bed to pull on his socks and shoes.

“Oh, stop,” he told her. “Don’t be a brat.”

She opened an eye to glare at him. Suddenly she smiled, wicked and sweet at once, somehow.

“Oh, I’m sorry darling.” She gushed. “Have a good day at work, dear. Would you like dinner at five or five-thirty?”

“Shut up.” He said again and stalked out.

Ivan was up as well, his eyes on his smart-phone’s screen.

“Morning,” he drawled, sipping from a mug. “How’d you sleep?”

Colton only grunted, bypassing the muffins Rosa had set still steaming on the counter. He selected a banana and an energy bar and sat to read the paper as he ate.

He didn’t look over as Renee came in, her hair standing up in every direction, clearly still half asleep.

“You forgot this,” she said, holding out his cell phone. “Someone named Alice called.”

Colton grimaced, jabbing his secretary’s number.

“Who was that?” the woman said when she answered.

“What is it?” He asked wearily. Renee was meditatively buttering a muffin, the scent of berries and sugar thick in the kitchen.

“Was it Felicia?”

“No!” Colton clipped. “What is it, or I’m hanging up.”

Alice heaved a sigh. “Trebell called. He’s in town and wants to meet.”

“Can he do lunch?”

“Says he’s busy all day. Wants to know if he could come over to your house and do dinner?”

Colton hesitated, glancing over to where Renee was laughing with his uncle.

“Colton?” Alcie prompted.

“I guess.” Colton said finally. “You have to come too.”


“I’ll make it up to you, I swear.”

“Don’t you dare hang up! Colto-”

Colton looked over to Renee again. She met his eyes, her eyebrow going up. Colton tried not to blush. Of course she would wonder what woman would call him at seven-thirty in the morning.

“Rosa,” he called. The woman bustled in from the front room, a duster in her hand.

“Yes, Mr. Savage?”

“I’m having a dinner guest, Trebell. Alice is coming, too.”

Rosa rolled her eyes. “Is she still a vegetarian?”

“Yes.” Colton grinned. “Fish is okay, I think.”

He could see Renee was bursting to ask who Alice was, carefully not looking in his direction. He grinned to himself. Let her sweat.

23 March, 2012

500 WC Chapter Seventeen

500 WC Chapter Seventeen
Word Count: 689...been doing not so good the last few chapters...

How he fell asleep, he would never know. He woke up when something touched his shoulder.
When Renee touched his shoulder. With her forehead, turning over in her sleep.

He eased away from her, not comfortable to sharing his bed with anyone. Not even Felicia, no matter she was a supermodel.

Renee stirred suddenly. “Colton?” she asked softly.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, I just thought I heard something.” She yawned. “Sorry, I’m hogging the bed.” She scooted away.

“Its okay,” he said, mentally berating himself for lying.

She lay silent again, but Colton knew she wasn’t asleep. Her breathing was different.

“What’s wrong, Renee?”

She sighed, a low hissing sound. “Its hard to sleep, after…”

He nodded to himself. He kept having nightmares, jerking awake with his heart in his mouth, breathless. “Me, too.” He stared up at the ceiling in the dark.



“What were you thinking?”


“When you…”

“Kamakazied that terrorist?” she asked, her voice rippling with suppressed laughter.

“Seriously,” he scolded. “What made you do it?”

She rolled over. Her arm was touching his as they lay side by side.

She took a deep breath. “I thought that I had to stop him. And if I couldn’t stop him, I could block the blast, the shrapnel, and protect as many people as I could. I figured, standing that close, I was going to die anyway. So I’d better do what I could to save everyone else.”

He slid his hand across the sheets until he could clasp hers. “Thank you, Renee.”

He felt her shrug. “I had to.”

“No, you didn’t.” He countered. “You saved my life. You want anything from me, just say and its yours.”


He wished she be less flippant. “Renee!” he scolded.


“I’m serious.”

“Me, too.” She said, her voice suddenly flat. “I don’t want anything from you, Colton. I want to go home. I want to see my parents and go back to my life and my friends and my country.”

He nodded. “As soon as we can, I’ll send you home.”

“Thank you.” She squeezed his hand, her fingers small in his.

“And your parents. When they’re back from their vacation, I’ll fly them over here.”

She snorted. “You may regret that!”


“You haven’t met my parents.” He could tell she was grinning again, her dark mood vanished as quickly as it had come. “They want grandkids just as much as yours.”

He groaned, rubbing his face.

She chuckled and drew her hand out of his, turning away from him. “Go to sleep, Colton.”

“You can call me Colt.” He offered suddenly.

“No,” she said after a moment.

“Why not?”

She calls you Colt.”

“Who…? You can’t be jealous of Felicia!” he exclaimed, flabbergasted.

She grumbled something under her breath.

“Renee.” He grabbed her shoulders and forced her to face him in the dark. Her face was a lighter blur in the faint light that seeped under the blinds. “Don’t be jealous of Felicia.”

“I’m not jealous,” she snapped, her voice thick with scorn. “Who would be jealous of Felicia? Why would I be jealous of a skinny, brown skinned, smoky-eyed waif who gets paid to sit around and pout at a camera? I’m not jealous!”

“Renee?” Colton was shaking the bed from trying not to laugh out loud.

“If she ever comes back here, I’m going to scratch her eyes out.” Renee warned. “Just saying.”

“Don’t be jealous of Felicia.” He repeated. “She and I are over. We’re married and I keep my promises, no matter how…unusual.”

Renee only ‘humphed,’ trying to wiggle free of his grip. “Let me go.”

“Besides, you probably did me a favor. She wasn’t exactly the easiest woman to deal with.”

“Easy in what way?”

He scowled. “You know what I mean.”

She laughed then, low and evil. He scowled some more, knowing she had been trying to rile him.

“Neither are you,” he spat, pushing her away. “Go to sleep.”

“Yes, Colton.” She said meekly. It was ruined by her stifled giggles that escaped at odd moments.

He sighed and rolled over and shut his eyes determinedly.

21 March, 2012

500 Word Challenge Chapter Sixteen and sundries

So, sorry about the break in the posts.  Had a crazy busy weekend and start of the week and didn't get my ducks in a row as I should have.  And I was tired when I had a moment and went to sleep instead of getting online.  Growing a baby is hard work. :) 3 months to go!!!

I have been thinking about Cousin of the Crown lately.  I wrote it with the intention of it being a sort of narrow story, with only a few characters and a plot that stays nice and tight.  However, it's kind of a weird length at 30,000 words.

That's too long for a 'novella' and too short for a 'real novel.'  So, when I go around looking at different submission requirements, it doesn't really fit into anything.  Submitting stories to magazines and journals and things is good way to get feedback and maybe get in print.  And win awards, which is always fun.

So, do I wade through the plot mercilessly and chop out bits to shorten it up?  Or, do I think of ways to flesh out the story, make it take a little longer, maybe give more history as to why the countries have been fighting?  More drama in the palace while Terran is thought to be dead?  A coup?  A kidnapping?

Oooohhh...does Lahdel have the baby before Terran gets back?  Or maybe Terran is declared dead and Gulin and Lahdel get married!  There's all sorts of wonderfully dramatic things I could do.

I suppose I just answered my own question.  Making it longer seems to me to be easier than shortening it up.  Many bits of it already feel rushed to me.

Any opinions?

500 WC Chapter Sixteen
Word Count: 627

I don't think I need to repeat my whole disclaimer, so will summarize with: I no absolutely nothing about things pertinent to this plot and am making up facts as I go.  Be sure to go back and read a few previous chapters if you're lost.  They're short.  :)

Until she came down for dinner.
He choked on his drink, coughing.

His aunt and uncle were telling him all about their time on the Mediterranean. He gaped over their heads as Renee slipped into the living room.

Selene saw his face and turned. “Ah, Renee darling.”

“Selene.” Renee went to her and took her outstretched hands. “And this must be Uncle Ivan.”

The man stood and bowed over her hand, kissing it. “I am very pleased to meet you, Renee.” Renee blushed prettily as Ivan beamed at her, moving to sit next to Colton. He eased away from where her thigh touched his.

She entered the conversation, giving him a moment to gather his thoughts. They had scattered, like water dropped in a hot skillet as she’d walked in, leaving him speechless.

Rosa was wrong. She was gorgeous.

Colton shook himself, blinking. She wasn’t gorgeous. She was cute, dressed up to be beautiful. Where Mancini had rummaged up a cocktail dress in the scant hours between his aunts visits was beyond him. But Renee was wearing it, a flaring red thing that made her creamy skin glow.

Colton dragged his attention back to the topic at hand.

“The doctor said I could take them out in a day or two,” Renee said, indicating her stitched forehead. “It doesn’t really hurt anymore. Just stings.”

“I can’t believe it!” Selene said, her hand at her heart. “How terrified you must have been!”

“Yes,” Renee said with a laugh. “But I was more furious than anything. I didn’t even think. I just saw him open his jacket and…” she shrugged. “I figured if I was going to die, I’d better do it fighting.”

Rosa saved Colton from trying to find anything to say as the three of them talked. His voice was missing somewhere.

“Dinner, Mr. Savage.”

Renee pulled him to his feet, tucking her hand into his elbow. The dining room was lit softly, the summer sun coloring the walls pinkish red.

Colton couldn’t get dinner over fast enough. But then, they’d go to bed. They would go to his bed.

He drained his glass again. It wasn’t helping.

Ivan started in on the Corporation, asking Colton questions about the factories in China. Colton seized on the topic eagerly, though he watched where Renee and Selene whispered together with unease. They flicked him glances every now and then. It was very alarming.

Finally, Selene yawned and Ivan claimed he’d had enough business talk for the night.

Renee kissed them both and disappeared upstairs.

“I like her,” Selene said, squeezing her nephew’s hand. “You are a lucky man.”

“Yes.” Colton agreed.

Ivan elbowed him, grinning lewdly. “Lovely little thing, isn’t she?”

Colton’s smile was forced, but they just laughed. He excused himself, knowing they would just tease him until he retreated, red cheeked.

He blushed anyway as he climbed the stairs.

The shower was running, the door shut and, he was sure, locked. He stripped out of his shirt and tie, rummaging in a drawer for something to wear to bed. He didn’t usually wear anything, but he doubted Renee would appreciate that. He shuddered imagining her reaction and tugged an old teeshirt over his head.

He was staring at the bed, wondering if he should sleep on the floor, when Renee came out in a cloud of steam. She was dressed for bed, too, a teeshirt and athletic shorts. She saw his frown and laughed.

“We can share a bed, Colton.” She said, grinning. “Its big enough, anyway. Besides, you’re still sore from the explosion.”

He nodded, moving to slide beneath the sheets. He really didn’t want to do this.

She lay down and flipped of the light next to her head. “’Night.” She said, yawning.

“Good night.”

16 March, 2012

What to do when your characters become whiny brats

I have been pondering this issue for awhile, ever since I decided to take a break from Becca's Story.  (Now awesomely titled: The End of Summers)

My main motivation behind this pause: I was running out of steam for the plot.  I had set up some crazy plot twisty things and I didn't feel ready to make decisions about the ultimate end of the book.  There are lots of them:  Does Becca actually die?  Does someone sacrifice himself?  Does Kevin get killed off?  Does Jeff kill Kevin or vice versa?  How does Elsie tie into it?

I didn't really intend for Elsie to be in the story this long, but she kind of just hopped on board.  Now, I'm stuck with her.  I could ax her, but that feels too easy.  Something has to happen that is plot pivotal to break up their little team or to get her or Kevin dead.  Or arrested.  Arrested would be alright.  Maybe she gets captured and all her power sucked out or something...hmmm...

Anyway, back to topic. The way I recognized I was having plot troubles with Becca is she suddenly became incredibly whiny.  I could sense it in the few chapters leading up to the place where I stopped.  They took a long time to write and everything got all personal and she became super annoying.  Then I wrote a bunch of short scenes that all sounded lame in which she basically regressed into a spoiled twelve year old, flopping around and complaining about everything.

I have come to realize this is my brain telling me to take a break.  This usually happens when the character in question is about to go through some sort of mental transformation.  They have reached a pivotal point where they need to make decisions and perhaps alter their way of thinking.  They can't be swept along by external events any longer.  They become the driving force behind the story, more than the circumstances that got them into this story in the first place.

Sometimes this whininess is a good thing.  In my zombie Apocalypse book, the female character is pretty much useless.  The book is partly about how she bucks up takes charge of her life, even if her life is now fleeing from cannibals.  She realizes how useless she is/was towards the end of the book and resolves to be more like the male main character.  Just in time for her to rescue her man.  Convenient?  Why, yes, yes it is...

I know it sounds crazy, but I'll say it again and again.  Many times my characters DO NOT do as I wish them to do.  They plow ahead on their own.  If I try to force them into my plot, they either baulk completely or become the aforementioned twelve year old girl.  They are indecisive, they make stupid mistakes, they sit and talk about their problems forever like an especially terrible episode of Star Trek.

I have a couple ways I have played with to break through this problem.  One is to simply take a break, as I did with Becca's story.  Give it some time to breathe.

Another is to jump ahead in the story, skip over the decision entirely.  I have had mixed results with this technique.  If I jumped ahead and write a whole bunch, I am essentially trapping myself into a plot, which as we know doesn't work very well.  But sometimes I can write the place where I want my characters to go and then bridge the gap between.

Related to this is to jump backwards.  Do some character development, especially if one of the characters has had some trauma in their past.  Write about that, then see how you can fit it into the story.  I wrote a ton of background stuff for the main male character of my zombie book and ended up using almost all of it in the book itself.  It showed why he was so capable and unwhiny, while the female was still struggling.  He had already gone through something so personally traumatic, that the reduction of humanity to roving bands of cannibals was no biggie.

Another way I've tried with some success is to keep going with the external forces aspect of the plot.  If the characters have reached a decision forced on them by events outside their control and I can't get them to do something, a final event can take the decision away from them and make them to act.  Sometimes this clears things up and sometimes it comes out sounding really stupid and I just erase it.

And sometimes nothing helps.  Sometimes it is just a bad plot.  Or bad characters.  Or even just a plot and characters I haven't thought through enough.  Why are they doing these things?  If I don't know, even subconsciously, then my characters sure as heck don't.  And if they have no motivation for saving the world or chasing down a murderer or fighting zombies, then why should they try hard at it?

It is painful, but sometimes I have to ditch a plot and start over from scratch.  It hurts.  A lot. Especially if I've put lots of time into it.  But it has to be done.  I don't usually erase a large body of words, just hide it somewhere deep in my files and let it stew until I can face beginning again.  I have several that are in that stage right now and I am avoiding looking at them.  I can feel the potential there, but I just can't face all redoing all that work just now.

Which ironically, makes me sound whiny and indecisive.  Art reflects life, I guess...

14 March, 2012

500 WC Chapter Fifteen

500 Word Count Challenge Chapter Fifteen
Word Count: 513

“Are you really from Texas?”

Renee looked up from her book, her eyes two bright orbs of blue over her bare feet. She smirked, wiggling down, her paperback propped on her chest as she reclined on her bed. “No. I’m from Idaho.”


“Its by Washington State-”

“No, where in Idaho?” Colton scowled. He’d been to America a few times.

“Just outside of Boise.” She explained, her eyes back the page. “But Texas is a better symbol of my American scorn, don’t you think? My ‘Idahoan foot’ just doesn't’ have the same effect.”

Colton stared as she hummed to herself, turning a page. He cleared his throat. “You have to move your things.”

“Mancini said he’d take care of it. I love having a butler. When I go home, could I keep him?” she asked, sitting up suddenly, her face mischievous. “Call it part of our divorce settlement. You keep the Spanish house, I get the Spanish butler. A fair trade I think.”


“And Rosa, too. You don’t enjoy her efforts anyway.” She finished with a rude snort and flopped back down. “What do you want?” She asked when he didn’t leave.


“For what?” She asked, obviously not paying attention to him.

“For pretending for Selene.”

“I had to,” Renee said simply. “Otherwise the police-”

“No.” Colton shook his head. “No, its more than that. I’m the only child on my mother’s side of the family.”

Renee dropped her book to eye him.

He went on. “None of her sisters could have kids. My mother had to get fertility treatment. Having me married…”

Renee groaned, hiding her face in her book. “You mean, I’m their fondest hopes and wishes come true. I managed to tie down their bachelor nephew and now they’re waiting with baited breath for me to start squirting out your babies?”

Colton winced. She had a way of summing up his life that was uncomfortably accurate. “Basically.”

“What have I done?” she bemoaned the universe and fate. “And we have to do this for two years?”

“Maybe longer.” He said, very discomforted.

She sat up again, glaring at him “For the record, I am not having your kids.”

He gaped. “Wha-?”

“And we’re not having sex!” She added severely. “This is a strictly platonic arrangement we have here. Got it?”


“And no fooling around! We’re married or we’re not.”


“Why did you kiss me?”

Colton couldn’t keep up with her lightening changes of topic. “What? When?”

“The day after. You kissed me.”

“I did?” He thought back, his memories fuzzy and incoherent.

“Must not have been very good if you can’t even remember.” She grumped to herself. “I’ll have to do better next time.”

“But-” Her evil smirk clamped his teeth shut. He took a deep breath and let it out just as slowly. “You should move into my bedroom.”


“Now.” He snapped, pointing down the hall.

Her eyes were twinkling dangerously. “Much better, Mr. Savage,” she praised. “I almost want to obey.”

He marched away. He was beginning to dislike his wife very much.

12 March, 2012

500 WC Chapter Fourteen

500 Word Challenge Chapter Fourteen
Word Count: 501

Thankfully, Felicia arrived first.
Colton watched her heels march across the floor. One slender spike stabbed through the cookie still lying where he’d thrown it an hour before.

“Colton!” she snapped. He sighed, looking up at her.

“Felicia, please-”

“What is going on?” She demanded, her foot tapping. “I’ve been told some pretty stupid lies, Colt. But getting married?”

“I am married.” He snapped, out of patience with women general and her in particular. “To Renee.”

“And where is she?” Felicia demanded. “Prove it!”

Colton sighed again. “She’s-”

“Who is this?” Renee asked from behind him.

Felicia gaped at her over his head. “Her? You married her? She’s wanted by the police for terrorism!”

“No, she’s not.” Colton said. “They’ve already-”

Felicia talked right over him. “You chose her over me?”

Colton winced. It was a stretch. Felicia Rossi had just signed a contract with Vogue. She had legs that stretched for a hundred miles, perfect, even features, and a smile that could melt men’s brains. Renee stood about a foot shorter than her as she came up next to her.

“I’ve seen you before,” Renne said, completely unconcerned with the woman’s scorn. “Do you do commercials or something?”

“I’m a model.” Felicia snapped.

“Huh, must have been someone else.” Renee said, grinning. “So, were you like Colton’s girlfriend or something?”

“Hardly,” she clipped, giving him a frosty glare. He flinched. He saw Renee eyes flick between the two of them, a puzzled look on her face. She met his gaze as Felicia shouted, her eyes narrowing.

Renee wheeled to face her suddenly, her easy smile gone. “Look, Alicia-”

“Felicia!” Colton and the outraged woman corrected in unison.

“Whatever,” Renee dismissed. “I’m sorry you got dumped. It happens. But you should leave now, before I lose my patience and ask Colton to toss you out on your butt. Don’t doubt he would.”

Felicia spluttered, beyond words.

“Don’t call him. Don’t come over. Don’t bother us, or I swear, you’ll find out how much of my Texan foot I can shove up your behind. Got it?”

Colton almost laughed at the look on Felicia’s face. She went beet red, her eyes narrowed to slits. She turned and stormed out, slamming the front door behind her. Her car revved and tore away, spitting gravel.

“Well, I hope you don’t ever want her back.” Renee said finally, when the sound of Felicia’s engine had died away.


“Are there any other enraged girlfriends I’m going to have to beat down?” she asked, turning her glare on him.

“No.” He swore. “Just her.”

“Good.” Renee sniffed her disdain. “And I do hope your not as spineless with me as you were with her.”


“Puh-lease!” Renee rolled her eyes. “Don’t expect me to fight your battles again, Mr. Savage. Next time, you can deal with her yourself.” She scowled at him and flounced away.

Colton did laugh then, hopelessly, until Mancini came in and suggested very gently that he go lie down and rest.

09 March, 2012

500WC Chapter Thirteen

500 Word Challenge Chapter Thirteen
Word Count: 589

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Colton demanded when Renee had come back to the living room.
Renee only rolled her eyes. “You want to convince people we’re happily married and all that crap? Have you aunt stay, convince her, and she’ll tell every single person she meets about our ‘love-at-first-sight-uber-sappy-soap-opera-romance.”

Colton had to bite back his retort. Renee had summed up his Aunt Selene perfectly. She was probably calling his other relatives right now and spreading the news.

“So, what are you going to do about Felicia?”


“Are you in love with her?”

Colton frowned. “No,” he said slowly.

“Good,” Renee said. “That will make this easier.”


“Maybe I should have asked, did you tell her you were in love with her?”


Renee shrugged. “Then you should tell her the truth.”


Renee watched him for a long moment. “Why not?”

“Its none of her business.” Colton snapped.

“I think she thinks it is. You totally just dumped her like a ton of bricks.”

“Alright, wait just a minute!” Colton burst out, jumping to his feet. Renee crossed her arms over her chest, her glare so severe that Colton actually rocked back on his heels.

“Yes, Mr. Savage?” she asked sweetly. Colton swallowed. He could suddenly see beneath Renee’s soft, pretty exterior, see the woman who hadn’t thought twice about jumping a man with a bomb strapped to his chest. She’d do it again, and much worse, if the situation called for it.

“Renne,” he began, placating. “I…” he wasn’t sure what he wanted to say. “We’ll have to share a bedroom.”

“Yeah,” she said with another pert shrug. “I know. Oh, don’t forget to tell Rosa your aunt and uncle are coming for dinner.” She walked out, waving over her shoulder.

Colton sank back to the couch, his head in his hands. His headache was only getting worse.

His phone rang. He pulled it out and winced.

“Hello Felicia.” He answered dully.

“Colt, I want to talk.”

“Felicia, please-”

“In person. Now.”

Please, Felicia, don’t-”

“I’m coming over.”


The line went dead. Colton swore, his head pounding. He screwed up his face, rubbing his temples to no avail.

“Here.” Renee said from above him. He opened his eyes to find a cookie hovering in front of his nose. “Eat. You’ll feel better.”

“I don’t want a cookie!” He snarled, grabbing it and hurling it across the room. He lurched to his feet and paced the fine carpets.

Renee watched him with a small frown. “Maybe we should call that man, Dr. Tuilin.”

“I don’t need a shrink!” Colton shouted at her.

“Why are you upset?” She asked quietly.

“Why do you think?” He dragged his hands through his hair, trying to hold onto his skittering thoughts. “Everything was fine, perfect until you-” he clamped his teeth shut. She had done nothing. It had been him. He let his breath out in an explosive sigh. “Sorry, Renee. But can’t you see this ruins everything?”

Her eyes were bright, like she might cry. Colton dreaded her crying. He didn’t think he could stand to see her weep.

“You’re not the only to make sacrifices, Mr. Savage.” She said finally, her voice tight. “I can’t thank you enough for doing this. You’ve done more for me than I could ever hope. But don’t think I want this. Trust me, Mr. Savage. The second I can get out of this mess, I will.”

She turned and marched out.

07 March, 2012

500 WC Chapter Twelve

500 Word Chalenge Chapter Twelve
Word Count: 549

It was still sitting on the plate when he went down early the next morning. He dumped it in the trash and started the coffee pot.
His day at the office went much the same. After hanging up with his representative in Tokyo, he stared listlessly at the pile of papers waiting for his signature. With a grimace, he shoved them in his bag and slung it over his shoulder.

“I’m going home.” He told Alice as he passed.

She laughed and he flushed.

“Take some time to sleep, too!” she called after him. He jabbed the ‘close door’ button on the elevator and fumed the entire trip out to his house.

A sleek black car waited outside. He stepped out onto the gravel drive and hurried inside. He didn’t think Mancini would let the police in without calling him first, but if they had come to arrest her…

He burst into the living room. “Renee-”

He was brought up short.

His aunt was sitting next to Renne, holding her hand. Smiling.

“Colton, dear!” the woman gushed standing and crossing to him, hands extended. “Why didn’t you call us? Let us know the happy news?”

Renee saved him from his splutters. She stood as well and came and planted a kiss on his cheek. “You know Colton, Selene!”

Selene pinched his cheeks. “Of, course I do, darling. Come sit! Tell me all about it!”

Colton stumbled to the couch, Renee pushing him down and snuggling up next to him.

“What are you doing here?” He choked out finally.

“Ivan and I were in Barcelona.” Selene explained with an airy wave. “We saw the news. I couldn’t rest until we had come to see if you were alright.”

“I’m fi-”

“When did you know?” Selene asked, beaming.

“Know, Aunt Selene?”

“That you were in love?” She exclaimed. “You must have felt something.”

Colton managed a grin. “I don’t know…I just…” He had known he had to protect her, protect her from being accused of treason and murder, of spending the rest of her life paying for the thirty seconds she spent being a hero. “It just happened.”

Renee laughed, a rich, throaty sound. “He’s so shy! He didn’t want to wait, I couldn’t put him off.”

Selene patted his knee, smiling. “So like your father. He swept your mother of her feet the same way, God rest them! But, dear, weren’t you frightened?”

“Of the suicide bomber?” Renee snorted, scornful. “I was so mad I wanted to kill him. Selfish coward, killing innocent women and children.”

“Thank heavens you were not injured.”

Renee touched the bandage on her forehead. “Not badly, just scrapes.”

“Colton, dearest.” Selene said suddenly, turning to him. “What would you say if your uncle and I came to stay for a few days?”


“Oh, do!” Renee said enthusiastically. “Please, Colton. I want to meet your family. Say yes!” Colton stared openmouthed as she begged him, her eyes wide and sparkling.

“Of course,” he heard himself say.

“Its settled,” Selene said, standing. “I’ll go back to the hotel and tell Ivan. We’ll be back for dinner. How’s does that sound?”

“Fantastic.” Renee assured her, going with her to the door. “I can’t wait.” She waved as Selene got back in her car and drove away.

05 March, 2012

500 WC Chapter Eleven

Here's the next bit in my attempt at a fluffy beachy type read.  These quick scenes are a good exercise.  I can't stress of the details at all and just have to get the words out.  Even if it is extremely silly.  Enjoy!

500 Word Challenge Chapter Eleven
Word Count: 570

The silence stretched on forever.


Colton winced. “I got married.”

“To who?”

“A woman.”

“I guessed as much, considering,” she snapped at him. “Who is it?”

He sighed. “A woman I met at the stadium, just after the explosion.”

“A little fast, don’t you think?” Felicia sneered. He couldn’t blame her for her anger.

“Look, I’m really sorry. Its not like I…” He paused. He had to make it look like it was a real marriage. True love and everything. “I can’t explain it.”

“I can.” She bit out. “You were stressed and in shock and did something stupid. Just have it annulled.”

“No.” Colton said. “I won’t.”

“You can’t possibly love her.”

“Says who?” Colton demanded, getting angry himself. “You weren’t there.”


“I’m sorry, Felicia, but I love Renee and that’s it.”

“And what about us?”

“I said I’m sorry!”

“So that’s it? I’m sorry and good-bye?”

“I wanted to do this different, but-”

“Thanks, Colt. Thanks for nothing.” The line died. He threw his phone across the room. It smacked into the wall a foot from Renee’s face.

“Bad time?” she asked.

“What are you doing up?”

“You have quite a pair of lungs, Mr. Savage.” She said. He swore again. He had been yelling.

“Who’s Felicia?” Renee asked, plopping down in his desk chair.

“My girlfriend.” He said shortly.

“Really?” Renee asked, sounding eager and excited instead of offended. Why would she be offended? “Oh, the drama!”

“Shut up.” He snarled at her. She only raised an eyebrow.

“So, why don’t you tell her the truth?”

“I can’t!”

“Why? You were totally lying when you said you loved me.”

Colton opened his mouth and shut it again. He wasn’t sure what he had wanted to say. “We have to make it look real.”

“And you having a mistress would put a damper on our newly wedded bliss.” Renee mused, tapping her chin. “We could be having a threesome.”

Colotn choked, spinning to glare at her. Her eyes twinkled up at him mischievously and he bit back his sharp retort.

“Go to bed.” He ordered.

“You go to bed,” she shot back. Her face softened. “Really, Colton. You should get some rest. I heard you pacing last night till two in the morning.”

He scowled. He’d forgotten their rooms shared a wall. And old houses weren’t known for their soundproofing.

Renee yawned. “I’m still on Denver time, so I’m actually feeling awake. And hungry. You hungry?”

“No.” He snapped. He wished she would go away.

“Come on.” She took his hand and pulled him to the kitchen. “I love Rosa, by the way. She’s amazing.” She rummaged through the fridge, pulling out sandwich supplies. “Whatever it was she made for dinner. Greek something, with an ‘s’?”


“Yum!” Renee praised. “Want some?” she offered half of her hastily constructed sandwich.


She made a face at him. “What, are you in training for an Iron Man or something?” She took a big bite. “Don’t you ever eat?”

He shrugged. “I’m not hungry.”

She made a disgusted noise. “Eating isn’t just about being hungry, Mr. Fancy-pants-employs-a-full-time-chef. Eating is about food.” She left the half she offered him on her plate, grabbing the other and an apple from the basket on the counter. “Night,” she said, walking out.

Colton stared at the sandwich for a long time before going up himself.