James

Image

James looks a lot like the model Sam Way

Morning light slipped unforgiving between the curtains on a Sunday morning, waking up one very hung over James Blackwood. He struggled to open his eyes but shut them right away, recognizing the delicious feel of curves and subtle musculature against his tired body. Last night’s indulgence had been a fantastic one. Damn… He let his mind wander back to glimpses of the night and licked his lips. Hopefully he’d see her again at one of the gigs, she was definitely worth another go.

When he glanced over to look at her, Rita… Riva… R… Rose? Well whatever her name was, he caught sight of a clock and his eyes went wide. 10:12. Fuck fuck fuck. He was supposed to meet his parents and some of their friends in less than an hour and he wasn’t about to show up wearing leather pants and a torn shirt! A grin sneaked onto his lips at that, the girl had been so damn fun. Fuck, no time!

James considered himself incredibly stealthy and smooth when he untangled his body from the goddess on the bed and picked his clothes up from the floor. They were actually a pretty accurate path from the bed to the hall so by the time he had his leather jacket on he was out by the front door. A minute later he was in an elevator along with an indignant looking middle aged lady and a poodle in a purse, to whom he nodded politely and ignored after that to avoid smirking over her obvious offence at his appearance.

He arrived on time, incredibly so, having showered on record speed and found something more appropriate and mother-approving than his previous attire. In fact, he was quite a different man now than he was an hour ago. No one would suspect he played drums in a dirty grunge rock band at every opportunity, drinking and playing with grouppies until dawn. No, now he was the Blackwood heir, the intelligent second son who was to inherit the company since his older brother was busy being a football star. Nevermind the younger one who would most likely end up in the army or something, and their sister who would no doubt set the world aflame with her high ideals and causes. No, James was the hope, the bright star, the jewel.

He strolled calmly into the quiet bright sitting room of his parents’ enormous house, knowing he was right on time, but when he rounded the couch to greet the guests he nearly choked on his breath. There were the Goodwill’s and their two daughters, Silvia and B something… Brie? And the other couple, the Montgomery’s, were there as his mother had told him with their daughter Reese.

Well, he thought sarcastically as the situation dawned on him. At least I now know what her name is.

“Mom, dad,” he said politely to his parents, “mister and mrs Goodwill, mister and mrs Montgomery,” he continued in a pleasant tone, then finished with a simple “girls,” and a smile for the younger generation present. How he managed to sit down and pick up the drink his mother had poured him while he stood there, was a mystery. As was his apparent ability to sip from the glass. What the hell was she doing here? No, that wasn’t the right question. What the hell had she been doing in the club last night?! Daughters of his parents’ friends didn’t show up there, or anywhere he played. It wasn’t their scene. It was… Well it was his, and now it was probably doomed to end because once she spilled to his parents…

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Kristina

Seventeen. Five. Four. Two.
Seventeen was how old Iggy was turning that day, and herself in a couple of months. Five was the number of years she’d known him and the number of months she’d known him. Yeah, we’re talking sex. Four was the number of years since she decided he was definitely the cutest boy in the whole world. Not that she’d been crushing on him back then or anything. He was simply the cutest, like… Her bestie Mina was the nicest girl in the whole world. Two years was the time they’d been snogging by now. Randomly, completely casually. Out of boredom most of the time. Really. At first. Still. Right? No… Because four weeks was the time she’d been wondering if she was getting too… Needy? Too something. Two weeks was the time she’d spent biting her nails over it. Too needy? Too… Could you be too attached to your best friend? Was it…

“Oi! Want this up here or not, Kris?” Dominik’s voice rang out, annoyed enough to tell her he’d been trying to get her attention for a while. She jumped slightly and nodded at him after looking at what he was doing. The fourth floor sitting room was looking great. She and Mina had come up here about an hour ago to set it all up for the party they planned. Everything was coming together awesomely and much of it was thanks to her brothers and cousin. Kris had figured since she had them around she might as well ask them to come with and help out, seeing how they were all older than her and Mina and knew more spells and stuff. Right now, her brother Dominik was levitating a string of lights made out of empty charmed butterbeer bottles to hook it onto the top of some book shelves.

Kris beamed a smile at Mina and leaned against a wall, watching her second oldest brother James do his thing at the make shift bar. It turned out he knew all kinds of cool cooking charms that benefited them. Yay for drinks, right?! Josh jogged around the room placing more charmed lights all over the until he dropped into a couch with a heavy sigh and then shot right up again. “That was not cool,” he stated like the couch had personally insulted him and started transfiguring the cushions into bigger, softer ones. The energetic Blackwood cousin duplicated enough of these pillows to spread on the floor and create a cozy lounging area. His head bobbed to the music Kris had managed to start earlier and Kris automatically copyied his movement as she watched him with a grin. “What, the couch bite you?” She joked and got a faked little look of horror in return. “Damn thing got teeth and claws, locking on my fine ass… I’m telling you it’s time to put it down!”

Kris laughed but unfortunately Dominik finished what he was doing and decided now was a good time to have a little chat. He walked towards her and upnodded slightly, narrowing his eyes in a way she recognized instantly and even started trying to find something, anything, to distract him with. Something was up, and she was in trouble. She glanced at James who was very much keeping his head down, but it had to be about Iggy. James had to have told Dominik what he saw and heard at the courtyard a couple of weeks ago. Ohh man… So that was why Dominik was so cool about helping out for the party. He just wanted a chance to… to… But before her panic settled properly and sprouted paranoid ideas on what her brother was going to do with this information, he started talking. “So… What’s up with you and that kid?” he asked. Which meant he didn’t know already because the siblings never played any games like that. Well, aside from this tiny thing about her not telling him anything about Iggy. But in general, they were close and honest with each other, especially Kris and Dom. If he knew, he’d not ask her like that.

“Nothing, we’re just friends…” she started to lie but closed her mouth and glanced at Mina and then James who was still looking at anything other than her and their brother. Joshua, however, lounged on a couch and watched them with interest, only missing popcorn to complete the picture. Dominik didn’t say anything, but she knew he knew she was lying. She was a bad liar to begin with and lying to Dominik? She couldn’t do it, never could. Just like he was crap at lying to her.

James finally chimed in with a bit of ‘helpful’ advice. “Just tell him, Tini.” He said and glanced up for a moment. He didn’t get why she was denying it since he knew she couldn’t lie to Dominik. And he didn’t get why she was denying since it was a fairly innocent deal. And he didn’t get why she was denying it since it was so damn obvious his brother must be dumber than he thought to not notice anyway.

Kris rolled her eyes at the nickname and the comment. James was the only person who got away with calling her that. So far. And it was only because he didn’t actually talk enough to her when others were around to create a risk of the name spreading. But now he was beginning to stray from that rule, since he said it in front of Tommy and Iggy in the courtyard, and in front of Josh, Dominik and Mina right now. Just great. Great great. But. He seemed to have kept his mouth shut about the whole snogging-Iggy-and-going-to-the-Halloween-ball-together thing.

“Ohh look at the time, it’s almost nine! The others will be here any moment. The room looks awesome, thanks for the help, you all!” She rambled on and tried to get out of answering but instead of pressing her, Dominik headed for Mina. He draped his arm around her shoulders and tugged her a little closer like he was about to plot a major conspiracy with her. “You’ll tell me, right Mina? You wouldn’t keep a secret from me… We’re like family, after all…” He grinned smug but his voice was teasing, knowing he’d get the exact reaction from Kris she now gave. The brunette flailed and made a frustrated sound. “That’s so not fair! You don’t see me asking Sal about your love life!” But as soon as the words slipped she closed her eyes and groaned inwardly. “I didn’t mean that, I mean…”

James shook his head, more baffled than amused but definitely a little of both. Josh burst out laughing, however, and rolled off the couch to come over to them. “Ohhh that little firstie got some game, huh? Ravenclaw’s where it’s at! Brains and balls, dude! Tackling a Blackwood baby sister… Daaayum… Just sayin!” he shut up at the look on Dominik’s face but chuckled to himself and wiggled his eyebrows at Kris who wished sincerely she was big enough to punch her cousin’s lights out at that moment.

“It’s not like that, we’re just… It’s… We just snog.” She attempted to explain but of course the ‘just snog’ was another lie. Not that she were about to explain that one, but Dominik would know something was off about her comment. James and Josh headed to the door and Dominik glanced at them and then the time. It was almost nine. “Yeah…” he said, had let go of Mina earlier of course and now followed his brother and cousin to the door. But his tone of voice was a clear message to Kris that this conversation was not over. By far.

When they were gone, Kris looked at Mina. “I’m so screwed,” she said and slumped her shoulders where she still leaned against a wall. Well… At least the room looked great, they had plenty of drinks and stuff to nibble on, music… And the whole gang showing up soon. Tonight would be great, and she’d face Dom’s rant later. Like, when she showed up at the Halloween ball with Iggy. Yeah, good plan… Ahem. But still. Tonight would be awesome.

Claire

Claire J. Rothfelder stood rigid in one corner of her luxuriously furnished living room, trying her very best not to allow her nerves to show despite feeling like they were stretched on the outside of her skin. Her house was filled with people she was forced to be polite to, even grateful and humble, as they spoke to her and offered their condolances. She could tell when they turned their backs how they talked in hushed tones and some glances escaped her way, that they were whispering about what had happened. A man like Henry Rothfelder was constantly between people’s teeth, but today was a whole other level of rumors. Today the scandal was official, and permanent. The celebrated doctor’s last testament to what should have been his life with her. A car wrack. His car had been parked just off the highway and a truck had run right into it, killing the couple enjoying each other in the backseat.

The reality of this was still sinking in for Claire. It was a difficult idea to accept, in addition to being widowed. It broke her heart, and broke her confidence, but most of all it broke her sense of self worth. Only four days before the police knocked on her door, had she gotten a call from Dr. Morgan about the procedure. How little had she meant to Henry if he spent his last breath in the arms of another woman while she waited for him at home, ready for their appointment to confirm the pregnancy? No wonder people talked…

As if the devil himself had heard her thoughts, her mother in law appeared by her side. “Sit down, Claire,” she hissed in a broken voice, dabbing a hankerchief lightly on her cheekbones to make sure her distress would not be missed by anyone. The tall and slender older woman held her hand on her chest as she’d done the entire day, as if her heart were at risk of escaping her body if she let go. Claire had trouble feeling sorry for her, since the moment they found out about the circumstances and all horror on Claire’s part had been shushed by her mother in law’s accusation that Henry had clearly not gotten enough love at home. That his death was on Claire’s shoulders and that she should be ashamed of herself. That she had no right to be horrified by his affair.

So the young widow grieved her husband and the life she thought they had together, but not in front of the older Mrs. Rothfelder. “I prefer standing,” she said quietly and ignored the indignant look she received in return. Standing was no doubt not demonstrating her grief properly. The older woman shook her head almost unnoticeably but the gesture wasn’t lost on Claire. Before Henry’s death she would be mortified to be on the receiving end of the woman’s scolding. Now… Now she just wanted the day to be over. They needed to leave. Her mother in law, Henry’s collegues, his friends, they needed to leave. “I think I need a little air,” she mustered as elegantly as she could in a voice raw from crying her heart out for three days straight and headed towards the balcony.

Leaving the crowded living room lifted a weight off her shoulders but she couldn’t find the same solace in the serene view from the balcony as she used to. The gardens were beautiful, lit up by lanterns and hidden ground lights in the early evening so that every romantic grove created by the landscaper was highlighted and inviting. She just couldn’t see them that way anymore. Her knuckles turned white as she gripped the railing and tried to battle another nausea attack. She knew it was normal, with every thing going on, but she was pretty sure being pregnant didn’t help. She felt sick half the time and tired the rest of the time. The evening air helped and the nausea faded but she held on tight anyway. It felt good, comforting somehow to have the solid, cool metal in her palms.

Triplepeak – part 6

(Find Part 5 here.)

Dani admired the view, the surroundings, while they rode towards the city. Once they were threading the streets the sparkling white buildings revealed details of fine cracks and chipped surface, as well as painted murals depicting what Dani assumed to be the city´s history.

The images were like beacons, each one a guiding point towards the council, she realized as they drew nearer. Chase had pointed out a specific tower before they passed through the city gates. Continue reading

Triplepeak- part 5

(Find part 4 here.)

The tunnel ended at a big metal wall like the one they´d used to close the entrance. She didn´t know what to expect when one of the men leaned to press a button on the tunnel wall and the metal started sliding into the ceiling without making a sound. Daylight flooded the tunnel and blinded her. She covered her eyes with a hand and when she lowered it in a few seconds they were outside.

“Oh my god!” She exclaimed and then cleared her throat a little embarrassed when all five men turned to look at her. Even James twisted in the saddle to raise an eyebrow and she squirmed a bit.

What greeted her eyes was a large bowl-like valley, closed off by tall mountains that stretched into the sky and ended in three peaks. The mountain sides were steep and seemed to be bare cliffs from about midway to the top. The lower halves were grassy fields and patches of woods, little houses scattered all over them. In the middle, on the floor of the bowl, was a beautiful castle.

Summer had clearly found it´s way here sooner than outside the circle of mountains. Everything was already in bloom, fields of yellow and red flowers up one hill and around the castle. And the air felt like summer. Fresh and lazy at the same time. Continue reading

(a Poem a Day) -careful-

…not to fall.
Too hard at least.

You may never learn how to,
may never want to.

Hey, here´s a thought:

Learn how to land instead.
You know, without hurting yourself.

Falling is supposed to be a consequence,
a reason. When it really is just
a journey from one place to another…

with an abrupt start and a sometimes
difficult ending, but
with practise,
it can be flight.

A moment of freedom.

Triplepeak- part 4

(Find part 3 here.)

The men glanced between Chase and the girl, almost making him regret  bringing her to safety. They hesitated to say what they were thinking but he knew what it was. He was supposed to know better than to bring a stranger to the tunnel. The entrance was supposed to be hidden from outsiders, kept secret to make sure their home was safe from the dangers lurking in the woods.
He shrugged, grunted and squinted his eyes at the girl, then glanced briefly at the other men before answering her question.

“You‘re gonna find out in a little while anyway, so I might as well tell you. Yes, we are going to Triplepeak.” He walked a few steps, towered over her. “You better be telling the truth, kid,” he added in a warning tone. She straightened her back and he practically felt her annoyance. He also felt an urge to walk that last step between them and feel her against his body again. That one he shook off but he did lean a little closer in an almost mischievous effort to annoy her even more.
“Keep up. We need to hurry.” He turned away just as a grin started tugging on the corner of his mouth and signaled the men to move.

They walked for a few minutes before he decided they should get on the horses again.

“You take the kid, James,” he said as he heaved himself into the saddle and patted the horses neck fondly. He didn´t look to make sure his order was followed, and he didn´t look at the woman he knew very well was no kid. That much he´d found out when she was wrapped around him and then squashed beneath him on the way to the tunnel.

He heard James offer to help her into the saddle, heard her refuse, and in a minute all five horses were moving fast in a double row. He glanced at Julius, riding next to him with a grim expression and fierce body language that told him in no uncertain terms how the man felt about the addition to the party. She was a risk.

“Yeah, yeah,” he murmured under his breath and frowned, returning his gaze to the road. They´d see the exit soon. What the hell was he supposed to do, anyway? Leave the kid, knowing she´d get killed or worse?

He allowed himself a sneaky glance over the shoulder to look at her. She sat behind James on the horse, arms wrapped loosely around his waist. Chase´s eyes moved up to look at her face. He met hers and was captivated for a short gut-wrenching moment. When it was over, and his eyes were on the rapidly approaching exit door, he clenched his jaw and prepared to explain to everyone why he was bringing an outsider. Again. The people he´d have to explain it to were not as quiet about their opinion as the men he rode with now. They´d remind him what happened last time. They´d remind him of the law. They´d remind him of his own past errors of judgment. Fuck. Too late to throw her back out there?

(Find part 5 here.)