Camp NaNoWrioMo, how I miss the simplicity of life when I could complete you.
But life happens, especially when you own a business.
What I still love about July and trying to write a whole piece in a month is that I always—ALWAYS—gain out of it is more words than I would have written otherwise.
Did I win? Not officially. But having 5,000 words I didn’t have before is a different kind of winning, and I’m okay with that.
So, instead of lamenting about where I went wrong, I thought I’d share some of what went right.
Here are some of my favorite bits from the short so far:
I shook it off, compartmentalizing, and swung into the kitchen to show Maddy my face before I disappeared upstairs. She’d mount my head on the wall if I snuck off without saying hello.
“You’re back.” Maddy’s smile lit up the stark kitchen, my nephew banging around the metal bowls to coat the fried chicken. “Have they been feeding you? Theo, make your uncle a bowl of stew to take with him.”
“I can feed myself just fine.” Although, I struggled to find the time away from the crew to find safer options as I wormed into their cliques. The taste of human flesh wasn’t my favorite, but I’d scavenged it a few times as a cub when I was desperate.
A few of the younger bosex gravitated my way as I ate grilled animals and human snacks. The older crew called me a hipster or vegan or hippie, but the plan wasn’t to convert them all, just their young, and the boys saw in me a lot of what they wanted as a man. Mostly, I was good with the ladies, and their hormones controlled much of their thoughts, but that was why the Assetato sent me in to infiltrate the group.
My nephew handed me a box with stew and bread enough to last me the night, and I nodded him my approval.
“Don’t hide away all night. We have a surprise performance from some locals that you wouldn’t want to miss, and I could use you at the door.” Maddy pinned me with her practiced mothering look, one she practiced on me throughout our childhood before she ever became a mother. It didn’t matter how many times I told her that she was only a few minutes older than me; she claimed older sibling status and waved it in my face like a dude with a big dick.
I might have gone through a phase. Sue me.
I sent her a deadly wink and enjoyed the pink brushing her cheeks.
“You must be Maddy’s younger brother.”
I snorted. “Yeah, by two and a half minutes.”
“Twins. Makes sense. She worries about you.”
I draped an arm over the back of the empty hostess stand. “Does she? I didn’t realize she talked about me so much.”
A slender shoulder shrug, bouncing her hair as she drew a swig from her own beer. “Maybe it’s just me. We’re nearing friendship territory. Girls night and all.”
“It’s likely just you, little red. My sister isn’t a frilly type.”
The quirk of her mouth sweetened her scent. “Neither am I.”
“Must be why she confides in you then.”
“Oh, you don’t think she talks about you every chance she gets?”
“Not unless she wants me locked in a cell.”
“Are you telling me you’re as dangerous as you look?” She swiveled on the stool, crossing her legs and swinging her beer between her fingers. Her lips puckered around the tip of the bottle, her thumb running along the moisture on the neck.
A fire rumbled in my gut as I thought of a few things I’d like her to do with her mouth.
“Depends on how dangerous you think I look, little red.”
Her smile said she appreciated the name. “You make it sound like you’re the big bad wolf.”
“More of a surly bear.”
Her gaze danced along the front of me. “Big enough, but aren’t bears supposed to be hairy?”
I grinned for her. “Not when we live in the age of clippers and razors.”
“Are you trying to put images in my mind, bear?”
“None that aren’t already in there.” A new group of patrons pulled me from the naughty look in her eyes.
I had the door open, waiting for her without pause, and her finger found my arm on her way by. Close behind her, the door shut, and we were alone. The moon swaying with her hair as she bounced to her car and threw the bag in her trunk.
“Did you need me to check the backseat?”
“You mean that bear nose can’t smell it from here?” The slow blink of her eyes as her gaze tilted up at me teased me, but it didn’t persuade me that she might know more than she let on.
The steady flow of people kept me busy, but I checked on Kaia often enough to question myself. Other males seemed to take note of her as well, both human and not, and a pang of protective instincts hit me below the belt.
Worse off when Maddy stomped out from the kitchen with a tray in her hand and settled up to their table. I cringed at their laughter and smiles and the way Kaia touched the man’s arm.
And I lost myself in the bouncing beauties a young blonde in a blue wig laid out for me on the bar. I grinned at her attractive smile and made her a drink to match her costume.
The distraction didn’t last long, but before I knew it, Maddy jabbed her knuckles into my back. “Did you want a dinner break? I saw you eyeing that stew pretty hard.”
I rolled my eyes at her mom-tone.
“Or was something else distracting you? Not often so many women give you the sex-me eyes and you don’t take your dinner in the broom closet.”
“I have always wanted to know what a Smurf tastes like.”
Okay, I’m going to have to stop myself before I share the whole damn thing. Obviously, I’m excited about what I’ve got down.
Have you been pushing yourself to write more? Read more? Get more done? Let me know in the comments below.