Double Trouble: Chapter 10

What a way to wake up. For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.

Chapter 10

Josh paused for a second as he walked into the shade of the cabana they’d rented for the day. The shade cast by the thatched roof seemed like the darkest cave after walking through the blazing Oklahoma sun. In spite of the fall season, the weekend had turned unseasonably warm.

He chuckled at the twins. Each of them had a lounge chair and were laid back watching him. The scene wouldn’t be nearly as humorous, if not for the fact both of them had dark sunglasses, with white frames. Glancing around, he found Trent and whistled.

“Hey! Trent! A little help here.”

The pink haired kid, Benji, jumped to his feet and took the top two pizza boxes.

“Here. Let me help,” Benji said.

I don’t know about this kid? No one is getting close to my kids unless they prove to me that they deserve my trust. He felt someone squeeze his arm and he found Trent standing beside him. A look passed between them and he shrugged, heeding Trent’s silent request to cut the kid some slack.

“Pizza!” The twins squealed as they dashed toward the food.

Josh is distracted as he gets food on a plate for the two apparently starving small kids. Danny insisted on pepperoni, and Josh let him have it. Even though he knew the youngster would probably have a stomach ache before the day was over. Sammy got a piece of the cheese pizza and settled back to eat contentedly.

Josh studied Benji for a minute, then shrugged. “You better get what you want. When the other three start eating it’ll be gone before you know what hit you.”

Benji smiled and slid two pieces onto one of the paper plates the snack shack had provided. He moved to one of the rattan chairs and started eating. Josh glanced over at Trent, and got a wink in reward.

“The rest of you are on your own. I’m not fixing your plates.”

Trent grumbled and rolled out of the low slung lounge chair he’d been sitting in. He walked over to Josh, gave him a kiss and then filled his plate with several different kinds of pizza. Josh followed behind him and settled onto the floor between Trent’s legs. He bit into his first piece as Danny talked around a mouth filled with pizza.

“I wanna ride the super slipper slide. Sammy and I wanna do that. So that’s first. The super fast slipper slide.”

Mitch reached over and patted Danny on the back. ‘I think we’re more in the kiddy section there, boss. I think you’re too small yet for the big rides.”

Danny puffed up like a frog and glared at Mitch. “PaPa, I is not little! I is big! I wanna ride the super slipper thing like the big boys. I’m not a baby, PaPa!”

Josh glanced at Trent and could tell Trent was thinking the same thing. That their son was about to have one hell of a melt down. He leaned forward and patted Danny on the leg.

“It’s the park rules, Danny. You are a big boy and we’re going to have a great time.”

Danny filled his lungs as the huge tears rolled down his face. “I not baby, Da! I don’t wanna play in the baby stuff.” With each word Danny got louder and louder.

Josh squatted in front of Danny and tapped him on the leg. “You are acting like a baby now, Danny. If you can’t be good then you and I will have to go back to the hotel and you can take a nap.”

Danny sobbed, making a stuttering noise as he struggled to hold his emotions in. Josh looked over at a soft rustling noise to find Sammy scooting out of her chair and climbing beside Danny. She held out the crust she had left to Danny. “Here. I have crust left and some ranch on the plate. I know you like it.”

Danny watched his twin closely before reaching out for the thick crust she offered. He ran it through the puddle of ranch dressing and then started to gnaw on it. He sniffled loudly and wiped his arm over his tear stained cheeks.

“Thanks, Sammy. It’s good.” He looked around before whispering loudly to his sister. “I not a baby, Sammy. I don’t wanna play just in the baby water things.”

Sammy patted his hand. “But I’ll have to be there too. And I want company. So we can play together. Okay?”

Danny crammed more of the crust into his mouth until his cheeks looked like a feeding chipmunk. He watched Sammy as he chewed slowly. “Okay, I play with you then. ‘Cause we’s twins. That’s why.”

Sammy took Danny by the hand and pulled him out of the chair. Then she turned to Josh. “Da, Danny and I are ready to go play.”

She took Josh’s hand and led both of them out of the cabana.

If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.

Home Grown’s release is less than three weeks away!

It’s hard to believe Home Grown will be released in less than three weeks. I started writing it almost two years ago, but now it’s about to be released to the world. The folks at Dreamspinner have been remarkable!

If you’re interested, the novella is available to pre-order from Dreamspinner.

Double Trouble: Chapter 9


What a way to wake up. For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.

Chapter 9

Mitch glanced up and choked back a laugh. The twins huddled around Benji like a display in a science museum.

“You two leave him alone. He’s still sleeping.”

Danny looked at Mitch with a thoughtful expression. “But he’s makin’ same noises as Meg after she’s been working’ cows all day. Why’s he makin’ da same noises, PaPa?”

About then Benji snorted and rolled, facing the couch he’d slept on last night. Sammy looked up with an equally serious expression. “See! Just like Meg.”

Mitch shooed them away from the sleeping youngster. “Leave him alone. He’s probably tired. And you two are not being very quiet.”

One of Benji’s eye’s fluttered open. He gave Mitch a small smile. “They’re fine. I was waking up anyway.”

Danny immediately climbed on Benji and started bouncing up and down. “Come swim wif us Benny. Daddy said we could swim in the hotel pond before we left.”

Benji looked at Mitch who grinned. “The hotel pool. We don’t have a lot of swimming pools back home. It could have been worse though, he could have called it a cement pond.” Mitch started to chuckle. Then he realized Benji’s expression was blank.

Mitch sighed and rolled his eyes. “I suppose that was long before your time.”

Benji gave a small shrug before turning back to Danny. “Sorry, little dude. I don’t have a swim suit. Besides, I think it’s time for me to leave.”

“Ahh,” Sammy said as she ran her hand through Benji’s pink hair. “You don’t have to go already do you?” She turned to Mitch. “Papa, Benji can stay and play with us. Can’t he?”

Mitch smiled at the scene then nodded toward Benji. “It’s up to him, we can take him home whenever he gets ready. We’re not leaving until tomorrow.”

“Come on Benny! You swim wif us. Daddy will get you a suit.” Danny leaned close to Benji’s ear and in his best whisper announced to the room. “You haffa wear suit. Cause Sammy is a girl and it ain’t nice for her to see your bits. So everyone wears suits.”

Mitch choked back a laugh when Danny rolled his eyes at all the adult rules. Once he had himself under control, he scrutinized Benji. “I think one of Trent’s suits would fit you. He’s really proud of that tiny waist of his and likes to wear the suits a little snug.”

Benji looked at Mitch and blushed slightly when he winked. He bobbed his head in agreement. “If Trent’s okay with that. Then I think it’d be fun. It’s just here at the hotel anyway.”

Mitch glanced at him and grinned. “Ahh, well not really. We were going to the water park. And spend the day.”

Benji’s gaze darted around the room. “Oh. Yeah. Sorry dude, but I can’t afford to do that. I’ll catch you some other time.”

Mitch rested his hand on Benji’s shoulder and squeezed lightly. “Relax. We’ll cover the entry. We owe you for riding all the rides yesterday with the kids.” He chuckled and jiggled the youngster’s shoulder. “Besides, who do you think we’re going to stick in the rides with the kids today?”

He looked at Mitch, then the two eager kids and shrugged. “I guess that would be okay. Sounds kinda fun.”

“Cool. Then let’s get you ready for a day at the water park.”

If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.


Rekindling Chapter 1 - Free short story

Rekindling was originally written as a submission to an anthology with only the “good stuff”. So this was my response. The good stuff huh? Well Rekindling has a story, but let’s be honest. It’s mostly sex. If you’re looking for a more complete story, check out some of my other work. If you’re looking for a fun read, sit back and enjoy!

You can find chapter 1 on Literotica and Gay Authors.


Double Trouble: Chapter 8

Wednesday Briefs

Take a couple of three-year-olds to the fair, and see what happens.

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.

Chapter 8

Trent woke slowly at first and then jolted awake when Mitch’s face filled his vision. He moaned and grabbed the side of his face.

“That little shitass sucker punched me. I’m gonna drum his butt!”

Mitch tilted his hat back and squatted on his heels. “I don’t know what happened. I came back to check on you just in time to see you hit the dirt and that kid’s backside disappear into the crowd.”

Trent supported himself on this elbows as he glanced around at the people rushing for shelter from the rain. His head stopped spinning a minute or so later and was able to sit upright.

“You need some help up?” Mitch asked.

“If you’d just help me look for my dignity that would be great. It looks like I lost it around here somewhere.”

Mitch shrugged. “Lost mine plenty of times. Sometimes you find it, sometimes it comes crawling home months later. Don’t sweat it.”

Trent took Mitch’s offered hand and pulled himself to his feet as the clouds opened and sheets of rain poured from the sky.

“Nice, really nice.” Trent ran his hand over his back pocket. “Fucking hell! My wallets gone! Mother fucker! I’m going to pound that little shithead.”

Water poured off Mitch’s hat. Not that it mattered much since they were both drenched to the skin. “I don’t think you’re going to catch him now. You’re never going to find him with everyone trying to get away from the rain.”

Trent wiped his muddy hands across the back of his Wranglers. “I’m going to find him. I know about hiding places, too. Damn little shitass, I hate it when I trust someone and they crap all over me.”

Mitch’s expression left Trent with little doubt as to what he was thinking. “Knock it off. I wasn’t tripping down memory lane. I’m just saying I can find him.”

“Well how about I tag along just for shits and grins? You’re not going to find him, but it might be entertaining for me.”

Trent glared at Mitch. “Asshole.”

“Quite possibly.” Mitch grinned and down the sidewalk with his arm. “Everybody else is warm and dry in the truck and I’m already soaked. So what the hell.”

Trent stomped off down the walkway without a backward look at Mitch. He knew Mitch was probably right, but he had to try and get his wallet back. It wasn’t even the little bit of money he had inside it. It was the idea that he’d lowered his guard and been suckered into being robbed. Well, there was also the fact it was going to be a pain to replace all the stuff in it. Man! Pisses me off. When I find that little pink haired snot…

The rain continued to come down in buckets drenching the two of them. The midway was largely deserted as they stalked through the area. Most of the attractions were closed because of the weather. The storm intensified and the lightning that filled the sky was a fairly accurate reflection of Trent’s mood. The last of the outside exhibits and games closed when a bolt of lightning that left Trent’s ears ringing hit one of the fairground structures.

Even though it was early the barns and exhibit halls started closing their doors. As they scurried out of the last building, to have it closed behind them, Trent sighed in resignation. “Okay, I’m not going to be able to catch the little shit. There’s no body left out in this crap and I’m soaking wet.”

Mitch chuckled as rain came off his hat in a stream. “Yeah, I wouldn’t mind dry clothes, or at least a towel wrapped around me.”

Trent threw up his hands and started toward the parking lot at a fast walk.

“Hey! Hey wait!”

Trent froze in place. Surely that isn’t the kid.

“Hey! Trent!”

He felt a hand on his shoulder. “Let him talk. I don’t think he’d come back if he’d stole your wallet.”

I’ll be damned if I’m going to let him pull another one on me. But Trent waited, letting Benji catch up with them. Trent crossed his arms and glared at Benji.

“Yeah kid, what is it?”

Benji held out his hand, and Trent recognized his wallet. “I got your wallet back. Here.”

Trent’s arms relaxed and slipped down to his sides. “My wallet?”

Mitch took the wallet from Benji with a nod. He opened it and flipped through it. “Trent, looks like every things here.”

By this time Trent’s mouth hung open and he stared first at Mitch and then at Benji. After a few moments, Trent noticed the side of Benji’s face was bleeding. He stepped closer and Benji began to back away. After a second Trent realized the kid thought he was going to grab him. “Hey, kid. I’m not going to do anything. It looks like you’re bleeding though.”

Benji nodded and grinned slightly. “Yeah, I had to convince the guy who punched you that I needed your wallet more than he did.”

Mitch spoke up this time. “Benji. It’s miserable fucking weather. You can crash on the couch at the hotel tonight in our room. Tomorrow you can figure out what you want to do.”

Benji hesitated for a moment, then another bolt of lightning hit the fairgrounds and he shivered. “Okay, but just this one night.”


If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.

Here is the final list of those who are flashing this week, barring any changes.

"Home Grown" available for pre-order!

My novella Home Grown was just released by Dreamspinner Press for pre-order! The release date is September 3. Less than thirty days! Wow! Time to get the blog hop ready. My plan is to share some of the recipes from the book as part of my blog hop. That’s the plan.

If you’re interested in pre-ordering the book. Check out its page at Dreamspinner Press.

Double Trouble - Chapter 7

Take a couple of three-year-olds to the fair, and see what happens.

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.

Chapter 7

Trent grinned as he watched Benji crawl out of the latest ride the twins had talked him into. Danny and Sammy were both starting to get cranky, so Trent knew this was the last ride for the night. He looked at the other three and realized the kids weren’t the only ones that looked tired.

“Alright, everyone. It’s time to head for the hotel.” Danny started to whine about being forced to leave, and Trent smiled. “It’s definitely time to head out.”

He turned to thank Benji and was a little surprised to find a look of disappointment. “I thought you’d be ready to get rid of four old guys and two rowdy kids.”

Benji shrugged and the look only deepened. “Yeah, it’s cool. I gotta go anyway.”

A huge drop of rain splattered on the sidewalk. Another followed. Darrin and Josh grabbed the kids and started to the truck, but Trent sensed something else in Benji. He felt a kinship with the youngster that he couldn’t place. The look of resignation was Trent’s final clue. He knew from personal experience that he had to word this carefully or Benji wouldn’t tell him the truth.

“Looks like it’s fixin’ to pour. Do you want a ride—somewhere?”

Benji glanced at his watch and panic flicked across his face. But any emotion was hidden by the time he met Trent’s gaze. “Nah. It’ll be fine.”

He glanced around but this was a look Trent remembered wearing himself. It was being afraid you couldn’t find a safe place to sleep for the night. It was a feeling Trent wouldn’t wish on anyone else. He scrutinized Benji for a minute or so and then made his decision.

“We have a hotel room for tonight. You can sleep on the couch if you’d like.”

The expression on Benji’s face changed to suspicious. “I dunno…”

A few more large drops hit around them. It was about to pour. He didn’t have time to soft talk this kid into using them as a safe shelter.

“Look, kid. I’ve been on the streets before and had to do some things I hope you never have to do. No one is going to hurt you. But I’ll guarantee you that we’ll watch you like hawks, ‘cause those two babies are the most precious things we have in our lives.”

“You were on the streets? You don’t look like it.”

Trent grinned. “It’s been a few years, and some of the scars are in places that I wouldn’t want to show you. But I was, and we’ll just have to agree that neither of us trusts the other one.” The huge drops started smashing into the concrete surrounding them. Benji’s shoulders were already wet and Trent’s patience was wearing thin.

“Look. You can get your ass in the pickup, or you can try to find a dry place to hide for another night. It’s your choice, but I’m not going to stand here and get soaked.”

Trent turned and walked toward the pickup. He really wanted to break into a dead run like the people around him were doing, but he wanted to give Benji at least a few extra seconds to think. Trent let out a sigh of relief when he heard quick footsteps coming up behind him. He turned, just in time to get punched in the nose.

Trent dropped in pain, his world getting smaller and smaller until…


If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.

Here is the final list of those who are flashing this week, barring any changes.

Double Trouble: Chapter 6

Take a couple of three-year-olds to the fair, and see what happens.

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.

Chapter 6

Darrin slammed against the cheap sheet-metal wall of the kiddie dragon ride. The twins were squealing beside him, but nauseous and bruised were the predominate sensations he felt as the cars made their final run and clattered to a stop at the platform.

He watched as the carny made his way down the row of cars, releasing squealing kids and queazy adults from the ride. As he popped the release on their car, Darrin dimly noted the snake tattoo circling his throat. Wow, that had to hurt. A lot.

But he was shaken from his wool gathering by two kids who were crawling over him in their effort to get out of their latest ride and onto the next. Darrin let them escape into the hands of their dads. But then he heard the operator’s gravely voice. “Need some help, gramps?”

Darrin’s gaze snapped to the carny’s face and he frowned. Gramps? This twenty-something punk thinks I’m a grandfather. As he stared into the young/old eyes before him, he realized this kid might have experienced more of the bad side of life than Darrin ever had. But then Trent’s life to a similar age was no bag of cookies.

Then he heard the squeal of the kids and realized he was a grandfather, at least in their little family. The reality of how their ages meshed was enough to make Darrin smile as he made his way down the steps from the latest ride the kids had picked.

He gripped the handrail and started down the steps, only to see Mitch smiling at him. “What are you grinning about?”

“Oh, nothing. Come on Gramps and we’ll see if we can’t find you a walker.”

Darrin leaned close to Mitch’s ear. “Fuck you.”

“Not recently, but maybe that’s a sign of old age too.”

Darrin swung his boot at Mitch’s ass as he danced out of range, laughing the whole time.

The group settled down as the kids picked another ride. This time Trent and Josh rode with the children. Darrin watched the ride swing back and forth with the youngsters as excited as ever. Mitch moved closer and put his arm around Darrin’s waist. “Stop obsessing over that kid. He doesn’t know shit.”

“But Gramps. I’m not ready for people to think of me as a grandfather.”

Mitch shrugged. “Don’t sweat it. You don’t act like a grandpa in bed. Not unless grandpa has the sex drive of an eighteen-year-old.”

Darrin chuckled and shook his head. “I’m glad you think so, but I walked around with a constant hardon when I was eighteen. I’m just as glad that I don’t have do deal with that any more.”

Mitch chuckled. “I could live with getting hard that easy again. But it was a little like walking around with a loaded gun, everything and anything could make it fire off.”

Darrin chuckled. “Yeah, there are days when that would be good. Be ready to go again in a few minutes. Ah, the good old days.”

They turned their attention to the ride as it came to a stop and it started to empty. Darrin couldn’t help but feel comforted when Trent leaned over and kissed Josh as they exited the ride. It was good to see them still so much in love after their rocky beginnings.

“That’s disgusting. Those people shouldn’t be allowed in public.”

Darrin could feel Mitch stiffen beside him and they both turned to see who had spewed the homophobic mouth diarrhea. But for better, or worse, neither of them could identify the person who said it.

“I swear if someone ever says that around the twins I’ll knock their fuckin’ heads into next week.”

“Calm down or they’ll know something’s wrong. There’s nothing we can do about it now. Don’t let it ruin the whole trip,” Darrin said.

“Fucking homophobic assholes.”

As the kids made their way through the crowd, Darrin realized the young guy with the colorful hair they’d seen in the goat barns was standing beside them. Mitch and Darrin both turned to him as his cleared his throat.

“Sorry, I couldn’t help but hear what the guy said. I just wanted to say that you guys are cool. I hope you don’t let one ignorant redneck ruin your evening.”

Darrin started to relax and nod at the kid when he heard a squeal and the twins ran straight to the stranger and each grabbed a leg.

“You have great hair! I think it’ll be cool with my hat. Whatda you think?” Danny said.

“I like it too. I think I’ll look good with hair like yours. What’s your name? We don’t know your name.”

The kid lowered himself until he squatted in front of the twins. “My names Benji. I’m glad you like my hair. I like it too. What’s your names?”

“I’m Sammy and this is my brother, Danny. We’re riding stuff. You wanna go with us? We like you.”

Benji smiled and shook his head. “I think you guys have enough company. But thanks.”

Darrin detected a note of melancholy in Benji’s voice. He glanced at Mitch and got the slight nod that he expected. Looking back at the youngster he smiled. “You’re welcome to join us, Benji. You can ride all the ride these hellions want to ride.”

“Yay! Benji’s ridin’ with us!” Danny squealed.

A smile slowly crept across the young man’s face. “You sure?”

Darrin nodded and gave him a warm smile. “Sure! It’ll be fun.”


If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.

Here is the final list of those who are flashing this week, barring any changes:

Christmas in July Sale!


Heart of the Pines is available today for 99 cents as part of Dreamspinner Press Christmas in July sale. To purchase the short story or to read reviews of Heart of the Pines go to the publishers web site at:

Christmas is the worst time of the year to find yourself alone. Chris Moss, owner of a tree farm, knows this down to his bones as he makes his way through his first holiday season after losing his wife to cancer. When Wade Hart, an annual customer at the farm, visits, they find common ground: Wade lost his own longtime lover to a parting of ways and is lonely too. The constant, gentle companionship provides fertile soil for an attraction neither expects, but nurturing a new relationship is a tough proposition. With the encouragement of family and friends, Chris and Wade may yet find that a second love later in life can be just as fulfilling as the first.

Excerpt from Heart of the Pines.

Jets of steamy breath shot from Wade’s nostrils as he struggled to drag the enormous Christmas tree across the loose Michigan snow. The bells on Chris’s Santa hat jingled merrily as he hurried out to help his friend pull the tree up the final hillock to the barn.

“Here, let me give you a hand.” Stepping along the slowing tree, Chris wrapped a glove-covered hand around a branch and lent his strength to the effort.

Wade nodded and smiled. “Thanks, it’s a little much by myself.”

“No problem, happy to help. Looks like you got a beaut,” said Chris.

Wade pulled off his knit hat and wiped the perspiration from his head. “It’s a good one. I think I’ve covered your whole farm, several times, to find the perfect tree.”

They pulled the tree into the work area and hoisted it onto the sawbuck. “Want me to trim it up for you?”

“Sure. One less thing I’ll have to do.” Wade laid the handsaw he’d used on the table behind them, then tugged his thick cap on while Chris made a few quick cuts with the chainsaw to ready the tree for his stand. The roar of the saw faded, and Chris struggled for a few minutes as he tried to push the tree into the netting. As he began his second attempt, Wade woke from his stupor and grabbed the other side of the tree.

“Sorry, I’m a little spacey today,” said Wade.

With his help, Chris slid the tree into the tube of netting, getting it ready for Wade’s SUV. “No problem. It’s a huge tree. I hope Jeff will be around to help you unload.”

Wade folded his arms over his chest, a pained look on his face. “Jeff moved out. Last week. I thought makin’ our annual trip to your farm for a tree would keep me from thinkin’ about it.” Wade turned his head and let out a shuddering sigh. “I guess it’s not ‘our’ trip anymore.”

Chris gave Wade’s shoulder a squeeze. “Sorry to hear that. You guys always seemed happy together. Jeff was always cutting up and flirting with Mary.” I haven’t forgotten you attended her funeral.

“It happens. I guess we lasted longer than a lot of couples. Ten years isn’t bad.” Wade’s fingers ran over one of the fir boughs edging the barn windows. “It was good in the beginning, like newlyweds. Jeff loved our loft in Chicago. But ever since we moved to Traverse City, the relationship had slowly gone downhill. Our business downtown was an attempt to find something to keep Jeff happy.”

The pain in Wade’s eyes sparked a wave of bitter nostalgia for Chris. He missed Mary so desperately some days. She always was the caretaker of the family, even when they got the diagnosis of stage-four cancer; she still took care of everyone else until it was impossible for her to keep doing it. He turned to the barn behind them, pulled off the Santa hat, and held it tight in his hands as the frigid air gusted through his short white hair.

The farm was always beautiful this time of year, the ground covered with crystalline flakes in a white carpet that extended to the steps of the house, which he kept carefully swept. He hadn’t changed anything since Mary died. It had been more difficult in the summer when the beds that hugged the foundation of their house were ablaze with flowers Mary had planted and nursed through the years. The winter covering had been a blessed relief, but his heart still ached at the lack of holiday decorations. Mary had loved the season, and given half a chance, she covered everything within striking distance with lights. Without her, the trimmings just hadn’t mattered.

He shook himself and focused on finishing with Wade’s tree. He tied the bottom of the netting and turned to Wade. “There you go. All bundled and ready to put in that great foyer you have.”

“Not so grand this year. It’s kind of tough to get into the spirit of the season.”

Chris gave Wade a sympathetic smile. “It could be worse….”

Realization hit Wade. “Oh my God! I can’t believe I’ve been such an ass. This is your first Christmas alone. I’m so sorry, Chris. I feel awful.”

“It’s not your fault. It’s been almost a year since her funeral. It’s ancient history to most people.” Although it seems like yesterday to me. I can still feel her soft hand in mine as we picnicked on one of Lake Michigan’s sugar sand beaches on our first date, playing in the chilly crystal clear water. Even then, she’d taken care of everything and had the perfect lunch basket packed.

“Yeah, but Mary always said Christmas was her favorite time of the year.”

“It was, and I haven’t felt like doing much. It’s a lot more work to take care of the farm alone too. But the income for the whole year happens in the next month or so. Doesn’t leave me with many choices.” Chris smiled at Wade. “Bad thing about a Christmas tree farm, firs just aren’t that tasty.”

Wade gave a nod, and then his eyes lit up. “Hey, what if I do it? I’ve helped Mary put up the decorations before. It’ll keep me busy, and Santa’s Tree Farm needs to look more festive than either of us feels.”

Chris couldn’t help but smile at the sudden enthusiasm. “If you’d like, that would be great. I just can’t face the stuff. Too many memories.”

“Southern boy to the rescue! I got this covered.” Wade clapped his hand on Chris’s bicep and squeezed it. Chris found a comfort from the contact that surprised him. Mary’s touch had always had that unique ability to soothe him. Some nights its absence had left him curled around her pillow with tears streaming down his face.

Chris fished a ring of keys from his pocket, flipped through them, and held one out for Wade. “This unlocks the storage padlock. Anything you want to do would be great. I have a few customers wandering around looking for trees. I better go check on them.”

Chris raced through the light snowfall while Wade started for the storage building.

Double Trouble: Chapter 5

Every taken two active three year olds to the state fair? See how Josh and Trent fare with their twins.

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.

Chapter 5

Mitch pulled to a stop, put his pickup in park and then sighed.

“Oh, good lord. We’re just going to the fair. Why are you all pissy about it?” Darrin asked.

“Two little kids on their first time to the state fair. Thousands of people wandering around. All kinds of crap to eat that’ll have us tied to the toilet for days. Dozens of rides that’ll either make the kids sick or piss ‘em off ‘cause they’re too small. No, it’s not a recipe for disaster at all.’

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