Double Trouble: Chapter 13

Setting up for the twin’s third birthday and Mitch can’t resist. For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.


Chapter 13

Darrin stood looking out the window at the brown and grey landscape. Fall had finally arrived, or at least what passed for fall in this part of Oklahoma. The few trees had went from green to brown with little fanfare and the grass had eased itself into it’s winter mantle of shades of tan.

“What are you doing standing around? We’ve got to get ready for the rug rats.” A pair of muscular arms slipped around his waist and pulled him back against a familiar hard body. They carried the comfort of years of familiar embrace. Darrin turned in Mitch’s arms and kissed him.

“Just not ready for winter yet. But it looks like it’s going to be one of those years when we don’t get to have fall.”

“Yeah, I miss having at least a little fall color. East Texas isn’t outstanding, but it’s a damn sight better than southwestern Oklahoma.”

“Which brings me back to my question. What are you doing standing around when everybody will be here any minute.”

Darrin chuckled. “Okay, okay. I’ll get stuff ready. But they picked hot dogs for their birthday meal so it isn’t like it’s going to take much.”

“I fed the horses and the goats in the barn pen. Anything else you need me to do?”

Darrin glanced over as Benji stood dusting his hands on his jeans. The question of if he wanted to stay had never really materialized. After a few weeks, he had seemed to let himself relax and accept that he’d had a good change happen. “Nope, go clean up. They should be here pretty soon.”

The young man nodded and headed down the hallway. They’d given him Josh’s old room which seemed to suit both of them just fine. He wasn’t given a free ride, Benji helped too. But that had never been a battle either. He seemed to know instinctively that he was expected to pitch in, and in exchange he was given a safe place to live.

Darrin chuckled a little. The one thing Benji had seemed to be relieved by was where he lived. He’d spent the first couple of days with Trent, Josh and the twins. But he’d jumped at the offer of a room of his own with Mitch and Darrin. It seemed the twins viewed him as a new toy, and they were kind of hard on their toys. But after the couple of months passed, he seemed to settle into life with their unusual family.

Both Darrin and Mitch had been surprised to find out Benji was actually eighteen, so Sheriff White Cloud hadn’t needed to be brought into the mix this time. Although they had seen the sheriff and he’d ran a background check on Benji, just to make sure there wasn’t a problem. But he and Mitch hadn’t shared that particular detail with anyone else.

“You’re thinking again. We’ve talked about what happens when you think too much.”

Darrin elbowed Mitch. “Smart ass. Get the cake ready. I’m going to start setting the table.”

The next half hour flew past as they got the details of the birthday party finalized. Darrin was hanging the last of the banners when Benji appeared at his elbow. “What do you want me to do?”

Darrin stepped back and glanced around the room. After a few seconds he shrugged. “I think we’re good. You might check with Mitch.”

“K.”

Benji disappeared into the kitchen as Darrin reviewed all his preparations. He’d already put the hot dogs in the dining room which Mitch put the cake and presents in the breakfast nook they’d had added to the house a few years ago. He’d just finished the final check on everything when he heard a snort from room where Mitch was working. Suspicious of what was going on, he walked into the room to find Benji with his hand over his mouth, laughing.

Mitch looked like the cat that ate the canary so Darrin knew it was certain to be something that he wouldn’t like. He glanced at the table, knowing that would be the first thing Mitch would try something with. He spotted it almost immediately.

“Damn it, Mitch! I told you to get rid of those fucking things.” Darrin grabbed the three candles Mitch had put on the cake, penis shaped candles, and tossed them in the disposal unit. It was all he could do to keep from blowing up at Mitch.

“It’s not funny. That’s just sick. I don’t want those kids being exposed to that kind of shit. I’ve asked you before.”

“Calm down. I wasn’t going to let the kids see them. I was just yanking your chain.”

The front door burst open and Danny and Sammy’s happy chatter filled the house. Darrin moved to intercept the kids. As he moved through the door he turned to Mitch. “Fix it, and fix it now.”


 

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.

Double Trouble Ch 11

Whoops! It looks like I missed posting chapter 11 to Tumbler. Here’s a link to it on my wordpress blog. Sorry about that!

https://jonlkeys.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/double-trouble-chapter-11/

Double Trouble: Chapter 12

Benji has to make a choice. For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.


Chapter 12

Trent stood in the doorway and studied Benji. The expression on the kid’s face was not one of a happy homecoming. Trent could relate, his own time on the streets weren’t something he liked to recall. The way Benji was acting was far too familiar to Trent.

“Have you decided where you want us to drop you off?”

Benji paused, his hands frozen in mid air. After a few moments he let them drop. “Anywhere downtown will be fine, I guess. I can walk to wherever.”

Trent stood still and then let out a held breath. “Look kid, I don’t want to drop you off under a bridge or something. But you have to be up front about what’s going on. Okay?”

Benji nodded slowly, his face expressionless.

"Well? What’s it gonna be?"

Benji struggled to contain his tears. “I won’t go back there. I’d sleep under a bridge first.”

"No one’s asking you to go back somewhere you don’t want to be. I’m sure as hell not."

“Yeah, that’s what happens every time. People make promises. I get put somewhere. Then the shit hits the fan.”

"This time it’ll be different. We aren’t exactly your typical family! "

Benji wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. “No. You’re not the white picket fence crowd. I sorta got that. But you don’t know what I’ve done. You won’t want me in the house.”

“Kid. There’s nothing that you can tell me that’ll surprise me. I’ve done it all, or had it done to me.”

"Yeah so what makes you think this time’ll be different for me?”

"Well for one thing, we’re two couples, and Josh and I have been through some rough times before Darrin and Trent took us in. Josh doesn’t have all the baggage you and I might have, but his life still ain’t been a bed of roses.”

“Yeah, I’m not stupid. I knew you were a couple. You didn’t act like buddies or something. But that doesn’t mean much. There’s been people who everyone thought were fantastic and they were some of the worst when they couldn’t get caught.”

Trent stared at Benji, the toe of his boot rapping a quick pace on the floor. He glanced up and caught Benji’s gaze. “Kid, What do you think we’re going to do?”

Benji crossed his arms and glared at him. “If you’re life has been so rough, you know what happened. I’ve had it all done to me.”

"Like I said, I’d bet I could match you story for story, but that’s a waste of time. But I got over it and we have a good life now and two kids. What more do you want from your life?”

Benji shook, then balled his hands into fists. When he looked at Trent his face was crimson. “It can’t be this easy. There’s an angle for you guys. What’s the angle?”

Trent wiped a hand over his face as he fought down his first response and his diminishing patience. “Look, I’m just sayin’ here’s an alternative. We’re not perfect, but we’re a damn sight better than what you had.”

Benji slowly put away his things without meeting Trent’s gaze. As Trent stared at the slowly waving head of pink hair, he wondered if the kid was going to take a chance on them.

"Okay. Sure. I’ll give it a shot.” He snapped his gaze to lock on Trent. “But if you pull shit like these other people, I’m gone!"

Trent chuckled then shook his head. “Kid if you know how many times I gave them the same line, and if you knew how little it seemed to bother them, then you’d understand why it’s so funny. Get the rest of your shit. We’re about ready to go.”

The twins came bursting through the door, one on top of the other as they tried to make their way to Benji. Danny squealed out, “Benji, you going home with us, right?”

Trent cut Josh a glance as he walked through the door and saw their kids scrambling all over the young man. Trent looked to the pile of arms and legs on the bed where the twins were talking over each other as they questioned Benji. Trent pulled them off and set them on the floor. “Benji has to decide where he wants to live. I told him he could live with us if he wanted.”

Sammy squealed this time and threw her arms around Benji’s neck. “Yeah! Benji’s gonna be our big brother!”

Josh spoke up. “Now, what did we just say? He’s going to come home and see what he thinks. It’s up to him how long he stays.”

Sammy trapped Benji’s face between her two hands and stared into his eyes. “You’re staying with us. Right, Benji? You don’t want to go somewhere else, right?”

The smile slowly crept across Benji’s face as he looked at the two kids. “Yeah, I told your dad I’d help out. He said he could use somebody like me to keep everybody in line.”

Josh started to speak, but Trent motioned him to silence.

“Yeah, we could use someone like Benji around the house,” Trent said. He turned to Mitch and Darren.

“So, do you two old farts think you’re up to helping raise another one?”

Darren glanced at Mitch, who already had a smile from ear to ear. He grew a matching smile and winked at Benji. “I think we can handle it.”


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.

 

Blog Tour/Recipes Blog – Kazy Reed

The Home Grown blog tour is at Kazy Reed and today’s recipe is oatmeal cookies. These are my absolute all time favorite cookies!http://tinyurl.com/nurlg8d

Also mark it on your calendars, Tuesday, Sept 9th from 7:00-9:00pm Eastern time because I’ll be taking over Dreamspinner Press twitter account. Do they understand the implication? LOL But I am giving away two copies of Home Grown! Maybe even a copy of Heart of the Pines as a prelude to the winter holidays. But regardless, it’ll be fun.

Blog Tour/Recipes Blog – Rob Colton

Today we’re at our second stop on the blog tour with a visit to Rob Colton.  Today’s recipe is a favorite, Roasted Tomato Pasta. It’s easy. It’s delicious. It uses up that glut of tomatoes everyone has at the end of the season. Oh yeah, gardener’s know what I’m talking about. Enjoy the post!

Blog Tour/Recipes Blog – MA Church

Hello all!

Today is the first stop on the blog tour for Home Grown and we are with MA Church. Today’s recipe from the book is Wilted Lettuce Salad and I love it. Tart and tangy, it’s great with leaf lettuce fresh from the garden.

 

Home Grown is released today!

Yippee! It’s finally here. Home Grown is out today!

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It’s available from Dreamspinner Press and from Amazon. You also want to watch the blog tour on jonkeys.com. I’ll be giving out the recipes from the book, as well as a few favorites.

A little about the novella:

Peter Stevens believes nothing tastes better than a vine-ripened tomato tended by a farmer’s hands. The craving for heirloom tomatoes leads him to his local farmers’ market and his favorite vendor, Ethan Hart. As Peter becomes a regular customer, the two find they have more in common than a love of good food. Just as Ethan begins to relax, Peter’s ex, Jay, appears and is all the things Ethan is not. A perfect storm of mistakes and poor choices, as well as Ethan’s haunted past, has him ready to admit defeat. With the guidance of friends and a goat far too smart for her own good, Ethan realizes he needs to have a tender hand and patience to grow a home for Peter.

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Excerpt from Home Grown.

Ethan’s stomach fluttered, his anticipation building as he scanned the early morning farmer’s market crowd. Stop it. Peter will show up when he shows up. Ethan snapped his attention back to the present when the small gray-haired woman who ran the booth beside him tucked herself under his arm and hugged him tight.

“Morning, good-looking.”

“Morning, Maggie. How are things going?” Ethan kissed the top of her head and returned her embrace.

“Not bad, not bad. I’ve put out all the soaps. I hope everyone feels dirty today and stocks up.”

Ethan chuckled at the image of mud people gathering around Maggie’s stall. “Well, my customers can be clean. But I think business today will be good. The late season tomatoes are finally ripe, and I’ve had lots of people asking about them.”

“Including Peter?”

Heat crept up Ethan’s cheeks. “Peter? I don’t know. Probably. You know he has a thing for my tomatoes.”

“Uh-huh, yeah. I might have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night. Admit it to Auntie Maggie, you have the hots for the boy, and I think he has a thing for more than your tomatoes.”

Ethan brushed off her speculation with a wave of his hand. “Maggie, you’re crazy. That man’s some kinda high-powered muckety-muck downtown. He’d never know I lived in Wisconsin if I didn’t have the best tomatoes in the market.”

Ethan studied the forming crowd, their sounds echoing through the building. “It looks like it’s getting busy, I’d better check to make sure I got everything from the truck.”

He embraced her again and trotted out the side door to his pickup. I’m not ready to talk to anyone about my feelings about Peter.

Surprise! The release of Three is Just Enough!

That’s right. Schedules shifted andThree is Just Enough moved to the front of the class! It’s available for download at eXtasy Books. If you liked “Something Different” in my blogs Sandbox, then I think you’ll like Three is Just Enough. Actually, it’s based off that flash fiction.

eBook Links

eXtasy Books

A little about the story.

Cole and Tara are a happy couple, but both are drawn to the potential of a triad relationship. Dalton, their new roommate, is coming to the realization that he is attracted to both Tara, and Cole. With twists and turns, they begin to work their way through their complex new love with its youthful mistakes, unresolved issues, family baggage and life after graduation converge to create a struggle that the three must face in order for their relationship to survive and flourish.

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Want a little more? Okay, here’s an excerpt!

Dalton closed his chopsticks on the last piece of spicy tuna roll, only to have Cole try to steal it. The two wrangled back and forth until Cole grabbed the piece with his fingers and tossed the final bit into his mouth. He sighed as he chewed and winked at Dalton. He was coming to enjoy Cole’s joking personality, and Tara was having a good time, too. Actually she seemed to enjoy having someone else around so all of Cole’s juvenile behavior wasn’t directed at her.

Read More

rosco2u said: I have been following your writings about this family since the beginning. Is tumblr now the only place this story is to be found. It seems that each chapter is so short and is missing so much. Thanks for any info you can give me.

Right now the only on-line story I have going is the weekly flash serial. The restrictions of the group are that each week is between 500 and 1000 words. I hope to stitch them together at some point into actual chapters as I wrap up the series.

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.