Hey Flashers! Hope you had a Merry Christmas and a good holiday as we count down down the year. I wonder how many of you read on Wattpad? It's a free ap you can download to read free chapters and books, mostly unedited by a plethora of Authors. I decided recently to post some free chapters so you can get an idea of what I'm working on, but I just decided to put one of my unedited stories up there for free. Similar to when I posted One Summer earler this year as free chapters, this will be a completely new story. Maybe I'll do two, hey, anything goes right? XOXO much love and peace this holiday season! - M.C. Cerny
Matches is throwing the hottest holiday mixer for all the sexy singles in Miami.
We’ve got the mistletoe.
Come and meet your
Monroe has been matching couples for decades. If there’s one match she hasn’t
gotten right, it’s her son, Phineas. No woman has sparked his interest, no
matter how many of her top contenders she’s secretly paraded in his path…both
in and out of the office.
for Carla, Maxine Mackenzie has finally come back to Miami. Once she pairs her grumpy
marketing director son with the free-spirited party planner, sparks fly. Taking
a cue from her Shaman, Carla hightails it out of town to let the two people who
need a match the most fall…
In celebration of the 12 Days of Bookmas, I'm releasing this free chapter, early for my devout Flashers and fans of One Summer! Lots of things are happening here in Flashland, one of them being that One Summer will become a FULL LENGTH novel in 2015! Are you excited? I know I am! Many of you have asked me to continue Roman and Abby's story, giving you a HEA of what happens to them after the summer ends. Well, here we are several chapters and thousands of words later and they still haven't finished chatting in my head. I wanted to give you an opportunity to hang with these two lovebirds for a little while longer in this extra long chapter before I unleashed the rest of their story in a full length novel.
This will be the final free chapter online.
Don't forget to read all the previous monthly chapters.
September, October & November
I plan to release the "Summer Ever After" complete and fully editied story to y'all, but I do have a few other books and shorts to get out first. I want this story to be one that sticks with you, so I need to give Roman and Abby a little more time to tell thier story, but no worries, they'll be back soon! The begining of their story, One Summer is in Nighttides, I suggest you pick up the awesome anthology (10 sexy novellas) first to see where everything began for these two crazy kids.
50% of the proceeds from NIGHTTIDES
will be donated to Animal Ark, a no kill animal shelter.
This free chapter is currently unedited and subject to change before final publication. *
barely make it inside the plane as they close the doors and seated passengers
spare a glance in my direction pissed off that I may have been the hold up. I
toss my one bag in the bin above my seat with the help of a flight attendant
and buckle up. The plane hasn’t reached the runway so I reach into my pocket
for my phone. I take a look and find another man clicking away on his keyboard
still and uninterested in what I’m doing. The flight attendant has walked to
the back of our little plane to help another person so I look over my phone
again. I slide my finger over the screen and check it. I look at my contacts
and missed messages, but my finger hovers over Roman’s contact number.
could call him before we taxi down the runway... My heart beats faster with
adrenaline. I don’t know what awaits me in California except all my unresolved
issues. Roman has been the only, the only constant and I miss him from inside
this metal bird about to fly away.
fingers scramble over the text, typing furiously and then erasing and then
typing again. I feel sweat on my brow and upper lip from nervousness.
I love you…
In my panic I
hit send and then I shut the phone off not ready to see or hear his reply. What
if he says nothing? What if he rejects how I feel about him? A million
scenarios run through my head and I wait with anticipation for the plane to
roll away. I turn the phone off and pocket it leaning back in my seat as far as
I can go without annoying the person behind me.
you like a drink miss?” The flight attendant comes to my seat in first class
offering me a pillow and blanket for the short flight.
you, yes, please.” She quickly returns with a napkin and a glass of white wine.
It’s chilled but not as cold as I feel leaving a piece of me behind in Seattle.
plane ride is uneventful and even though Roman arranged for a car service I
cancelled it knowing that once I texted my dad my flight information, someone
of his choosing would be there to pick me up. I get off the plane and grab my
small bag of clothes. LA is still warm and a bit muggy from the smog pollution.
I slip inside a bathroom and splash cold water over my pale and drawn face. I
take out my phone turning it on. Anxiety rushes through me. I know I dropped a
bomb in Roman’s lap with my declaration. I have no idea how he’ll respond and
the possible rejection cuts me. No messages… It hurt but I’m sure I surprised
him. I texted him to let him know I arrived in LA and head out of the airport.
Safely landed in LA, I sure didn’t miss the
I wait a full five
Sadness creeps up on me
and once I exit the gate I see Lucas’ shiny car waiting for me at the curb. I
dread having to be anywhere with him but here it is, my reality check. I grab
my duffle bag and secure it over my shoulder like a heavy rock.
Glad you’ve finally come back.” Lucas rushes over to me and gives me an awkward
kind of hug. His hands pat my back and thankful don’t wander anywhere else. I
don’t know if we were supposed to be consoling each other or just confirming
how shitty things have turned out. He leaves me to get back in the car, letting
me stow my own bag.
Leah?” I wanted to steer clear of any topics regarding our past and instead
find out how my sister is faring.
You know how she gets.” Grunting Lucas pulls the car out onto the highway and
heads for my dad’s office downtown.
or while they’re injecting her with super bitch chemicals?” I sigh looking out
that’s not fair. The doctor’s told me she’s been masking the symptoms for a
while. I don’t know if she’s the same person anymore.” He looks ahead and
smoothly passes by several cars increasing the speed of his own.
“I didn’t mean it
unsympathetically. Our mom changed a bit when she started her treatment. I have
to imagine it’s taking a similar toll of Leah from what I remember of our mom.”
“This all kind of came
crashing down on me when I left you in Gold Beach. Oh and thank your boyfriend
for the ticket and the cop chasing me out of town. He’s real classy, Abs.”
Lucas is peering at me through his sunglasses. I wave him off ignoring the
comment about Roman. I can only imagine that Lucas was a jerk to the cop anyway
and deserved what he got.
course she’s more… grouchy… than usual.” We both make a fake kind of laugh
sound knowing that intrinsically my sister had to be the worst patient on the
planet. Her temperament was something left to be desired under normal
circumstances. “Everyone is at the office, your dad asked me to bring you there
first. Did you bring anything to change into?” Lucas looked over my casual
attire I had thrown on when I left Roman’s boat. His lip curled unhappily as if
I might embarrass him with my casual clothes. Some things would never change
actually, I’m exhausted with worry for Leah, and the travel. I just want to get
caught up and see where I’m needed most.”
you sure? I could stop at one of the shops on the way?”
I just want today to be over with.” I slip my phone out to check it again,
“Right, I bet that
Roman guy misses you already.” He looks at the phone in my hand, sneering Lucas
cuts off another driver and I grab the dashboard of the car wary while the
other car honks at us.
“Jesus. Don’t be a
dick, Lucas. I’m sure dad has a laundry list of things he’d like for me to do
today. Let’s not waste time dressing me up like a damn doll, okay?” Begrudgingly
he apologizes and nods. He keeps driving and we park in the garage under my
dad’s building. I take my bag and sling it over my shoulder. I will certainly
be arranging another way to get home from here as I get into the sleek
elevator. It is nothing like the rickety loft elevator in Roman’s building and
my heart lurches missing him. I pull out my phone and look for new messages as
floors slip by us going up. No messages, yet… It hurts, I’m sure I surprised
him with my admission of love but Roman isn’t one to ignore things. That’s my
MO, not his.
brace myself stepping into the offices of Holliday, Barlow & DeWitt. Dad’s
office is at the end of the hall flanked by his partners Everest Barlow and
Mike DeWitt. I pass my sister’s office and find it eerily empty, the lights
off, and the door shut.
Just before I turn to go into my dad’s office, Everest is there hugging me.
“I’m glad you’re back.” Everest has always been a constant in my life. He and
my dad attended school together and chased after my mom until she gave in and
settled on marrying dad. He’s a large man, built like a football player, but
not intimidating. Instead his power comes from a quiet, intelligent place where
he often draws on his wit instead of sarcasm and insults like my dad. A small,
sick part of me wonders what life like would have been like if she had chosen
am, for now at least.” I relish the comforting physical contact from Everest. The
closeness has me squinting back tears and he rubs my back. These kinds of hugs
were non-existent since my mother died. Her death created this chasm between
all of us that I didn’t expect. It’s hard to know who the glue is that holds a
family together until they are gone.
glad to hear it. I missed you and even if you don’t believe it, your dad missed
you too.” Snorting is my only polite response I’m capable of at the moment and
Everest gives me a good chuckle that rumbles his chest. It’s funny but I wish
Roman was here so he could meet him and stranger still that I don’t think of my
We have a meeting.” A cold voice penetrates the warmth of Everest’s protective arms.
I glance behind me to see my dad. He looks worn, probably from stress and
worry. He’s dressed impeccably in a full suit and I take in how he looks over
my current state of dress. “There’s a spare suit in your sister’s office.
Please put that on and join us.” Dad turns away and heads back to the
conference room. I’ve been dismissed as usual.
hurting, dear.” We both nod as if that completely explains and excuses my dad’s
behavior. Everest gently pushes me in the direction of Leah’s office and leaves
me in the hallway.
is absent, probably weaseled his way into the meeting just to show me up.
Whatever. All I wanted to do was wrap things up in LA, support my sister if she
would let me, and figure out how to make things work with Roman. Selfish of me,
but when would there ever be a time for me and what I wanted in life? I shut
the door and flicked the office lights on. I had only been in Leah’s office a
handful of times early on as an intern to drop off memos, dispositions and
files when needed. I supposed that when Lucas began to see her behind my back
he took over those duties somewhat joyfully.
office was decorated in muted shades of tan and grey as was the regular office
scheme. Her law degree was up on the wall in a large ornate frame outlined in
gold and black. Mine was still in its leather folder at my apartment. Leah had
few other pictures hanging on the walls, mostly professional posters from the
San Diego Aquarium I had not seen before. In a hurry, I went into her private
bathroom, a perk of being my dad’s number two person I suppose and found her
spare suit hanging in the closet. It was a navy double breasted jacket and
skirt. Navy suede heels, still in the box and a spare set of pantyhose. I
dropped my clothes ready to put it on when the door burst open.
your dad said to hur…” Lucas stood there eyeing me up and down in my lacy
underwear, something I had worn for Roman and now sadly on display for my ex.
my god! Get out, get out!” I rushed the door to slam it shut, my chest heaving
with upset breaths. Holy awkward. I leaned back against the door groaning. My
face flushed red and hot with embarrassment.
it’s nothing I haven’t…” I didn’t let him finish that disgusting sentence.
up! Just shut up and get out. I’ll be there in a few.” I pounded the door
angrily. Lucas had some balls thinking he could say that shit to me. Catching
my breath, I slipped the suit on buttoning the silky blouse. As I pull the last
satin covered buttoned through, my phone begins to ring.
sailor.” I answer the phone excited to hear his voice even if it’s only been a
few hours, it has felt like days given the stress level here already.
His voice is gruff, accusing almost. “I’m coming for you.”
hoping you will. Did you get?” I want to ask about my last text. I can’t help
it, he didn’t answer the phone saying it and I’m suddenly needy and shy.
and because you chickened out saying it to my face, I’m going to spank you
pink.” Growling I’m shocked he’s kind of mad but secretly warmed inside. I lean
against the doorframe in the bathroom, twirling a blonde curl.
are you now?” Ignoring my question apparently.
the office. I have a meeting now but I’ll call you when I get home tonight.”
better, or I’ll add that to your tab, brat.” I shiver thinking about how Roman
plans to take control of this. “Be safe and I’ll see you soon.” He hangs up
before I can say anything else. I clutch the phone to my chest willing a hug to
pass through the device. It’s stupid, I know that but I can’t stop myself from
missing him. I collect my clothes and my bag and force my way down the hall to
she’s joining us.” Lucas passes me a thick file folder and a legal pad with a
pen as my dad continues the rundown of his meeting. “Alright, most of Leah’s
cases will be disbursed through the partners and assistant legal staff. Lucas
was running a few of the cases conjoined and will continue to do so, taking
over lead counsel on them.” What? Lucas was getting the bulk of Leah’s cases?
Well unless he suddenly did a turnaround I felt bad for those clients but said
will take this pro-bono case the firm was assigned through the court. Normally
I’d give it to a junior associate but with your absence I want to make sure
you’re on the ball here.”
Now this was just ridiculous. I was a way better lawyer that Lucas, even if I
had skipped town.
Everest was questioning my dad too, awesome, I really was persona non grata
I need to know you’re going to be responsible and not up and leave again mid
wasn’t mid case on anything when I left.” The other associates were looking at
me as if they didn’t know all the details either. Apparently dad kept my memo a
secret of sorts. I looked over to Lucas who was smirking at me and of course, I
should have known that asshole would have a found bus to throw me under.
OmClair case, actually.” Lucas coughed mentioning a case that I actually
assisted him with not the other way around. I pushed back the file folder from
in front of me. I narrowed my gaze at the shit for brains ex and he actually
took a nervous sip of his water, good, he should be worried because if I was
back here then I was not taking his shit or prisoners in my fight.
this pro bono case?” I conceded defeat. If this was my punishment, maybe it was
fitting but I would damn well win it.
turns out my case is on his way into the office. I read his file briefly, a man
in his late forties named Oscar Campbell who is charged with drunk driving and
hitting a stop sign almost injuring a crowd of pedestrians when his car jumped
the curb. It could have been a million times worse, no one was killed, but this
was his second offense in ten years. I was still looking for the blood alcohol
preliminary report but I knew I was going to have to get a clerk to call the
police department for me and track it down. It seemed simple enough, talk to
the judge advocate for the client and try to get the best and most reduced
sentence possible. I didn’t have to like the client but I had to work with him
as a necessary evil. I waited in Leah’s office that was not my temporary office
for him to show up.
in.” I was studying his file when I heard a knock on the door. Looking up I
watched the man enter the office. He was wearing khaki pants and a button down
shirt, not the normal client I worked with but these were the breaks I was
going to have to deal with. Remembering that Roman’s mom was killed by a drunk
driver years ago hardened me to much of what this client might say to me in the
Holliday, thank you for meeting with me.” Oscar Campbell’s eyes were bloodshot
and his hands a bit shaky. I could smell the faint smell of vodka and mint from
Campbell, please, call me Abby.” I continue at his nod. “Tell me, when was the
last time you drank? Cause if I’m representing you, you better be stone cold
sober and working a program.” I lean across the desk fingering the expensive
pen from Leah’s special pen drawer.
well, this week has been rough, Ms. Holliday.” Oscar’s hands shook and he ran a
hand through his hair.
you’re facing a pretty tough sentence and if you want the judge to give you a
passing glance without throwing the book at you, you better get yourself some
lost my job, but I have some cobra benefits until unemployment kicks in.”
I reach into Leah’s
desk and pull out a card. “Call this number and get yourself in rehab tomorrow.
I will post pone the hearing for thirty days, but I need you sober and
remorseful.” Oscar nods taking the card and leaving. I lean back in Leah’s
chair. This has been one fucked up day and I haven’t even seen my sister yet.
“Enjoying the view
already?” Lucas walks in unannounced and uninvited. I sit up scowling, tossing
the stupid pen on the desk, I wasn’t enjoying much of anything and now I have
to deal with him, again.
Lucas. Can you reign in your inner asshole?” If he’s going to gripe at me he
might as well get it right back.
I was actually here to offer you a ride home. Dad has decided you should stay
with Leah and me at her condo. She just had a doctor visit this afternoon and
is pretty wiped out.”
What? Are you kidding me? I have an apartment.” Not only was I pissed, but now
Lucas was calling dad, well… dad? There was so much about this that was wrong
and I didn’t even know where to start.
and while you ran off and I moved out, your dad had it cleaned and closed up.
He wasn’t sure when you were coming back.”
been paying the lease, what the hell.”
probably left the electric on but everything else is pretty much packed up. So
about that ride, princess, you know, to see your sick sister?”
you, I’ll take a taxi over and check on her and then I will go to my own
apartment. I assume my keys still work.”
yourself.” Shrugging, Lucas leaves the office and saunters out. Cocky bastard thinks
he can weasel his way into my life and family. I think not. My head was a
jumble, my ex running interference, my apartment subsequently packed up and now
having to deal with my sister who I’m estranged from… Roman could not get here
thing I was grateful for is that we didn’t have a time zone to juggle in
addition to our distance. I couldn’t imagine adding that to our tangled web.
After leaving her at the airport I headed back towards the marina to take care
of a few things and then home to my loft. My phone was silent and it was
killing me, sitting in my parking garage I pulled out my phone and decided to
call her myself. Hearing her voice was a balm but not a fix for what I really
wanted. Her voice was tired and pained and she’d only begun her day. I wondered
if douche canoe was being his usual un-charming self and the desire to hit him
flared inside me. Again, battles I couldn’t fight fairly from hundreds of miles
Walking inside felt
empty, small reminders of Abby were strewn about my place. Bright colors
splashed throughout the chrome and wood, take out menus from nights we refused
to be social, a bevy of umbrellas from the days it rained lay on the floor in a
discarded pile. I told her to go ahead and coordinate her outfits with my
collection of umbrellas courtesy of Maddie. It was worth the chaos of my hall
closet. Some of her toiletries were left in my bathroom. Picking up a small
bottle of hair product I could smell her. The controlled anarchy of items
seemed to fit in my space. Entering my bedroom, which we had left a bit of a
mess as well, had the bed sheets half pulled from the bed and clothing piled on
chairs. A few lacy items peeked out from a dresser drawer I cleaned out so she
had a place to put things and not have to live out of her suitcase. Was it
quick? Yeah. Too soon? Maybe, but the reality was that it just felt right. No
explanation was needed and now before we could find words to describe it all,
she was gone, hundreds of miles between us and I hated it.
into my office I used my computer to check things for the business. Paperwork
for me was a nightmare. I hated it. Just let me design boats and hand the other
crap off to assistants and people who actually liked paperwork. I was reviewing
schematics and engineering designs when I noticed some of the numbers were not
matching up, if the calculations of the design were correct then the boat would
not be seaworthy. Inwardly groaning, I had to wonder how and who missed these
alterations. The sleek new fiberglass material was not suitable for the bottom
of the hull but it seemed that order got mixed with the heavier materials
needed. Shit. I was going to have to address this with my builders tomorrow so
the custom boat didn’t end up being a tug boat or sinking on her maiden voyage.
This delay would hold me up from leaving to get Abby’s car for several more
was eight in the evening now and I scanned my fridge for something worth
eating. I considered take out but nothing tempted me. Flipping through those
discarded menus my phone began to light up and sing Abby’s ringtone ---.
Hollywood, how’s the first day back in the saddle?”
from the moment I left you, Sailor.” Her voice is soft and wavering.
tell me what’s going on.”
don’t even know where to start. I didn’t even see my sister today.”
take a deep breath and sit down for me. Where are you now?”
just got into my apartment. Dad took it upon himself to clean out my condo,
everything is pretty much in boxes and under sheets packed away.”
you eat anything today?” I can hear her rummaging through a bag.
got some ice cream here, some bananas and oh and avocado. Hold on.”
“Okay, holding.” The
thought of the last time Hollywood had an avocado in her hand makes me smile.
“Shit… even my
silverware is packed damn it.” I can hear her rolling open the drawer defeated.
“Oh baby.” Her voice
wavers and she’s losing it. My pretty girl is melting down over some frozen rocky
road and I’m not there, where I should be.
“Roman, I didn’t even
get to see her. How could I have not even seen her? Lucas was a fucking bulldog
after I refused a ride with him to her place. I got there in a taxi and she was
resting in her bedroom. I didn’t want to wake her by fighting with him so I
left. What kind of person just leaves?”
“A considerate one, it
was a bad day, sweetheart. Tomorrow you’ll be able to figure things out with a
good night’s sleep.”
“But you’re not here.”
She wails into the phone and the waterworks turn on full force.
“Abigail, I am wherever
“Shhhh, listen to me.
It’s going to take me a bit to get down there to you because of a boat job, but
I am working on it and I am with you always.”
“Roman, I’m sorry I chickened
out on you. I’m just no good at this.”
“Baby, don’t apologize
we will figure this out, but for now I want you to dig back in your bag and
pull out that avocado.”
“What? Why?” She
sniffles into the phone.
“Were you really going to eat it?” I’m hedging my
bets she bought it because it reminded her of us.
“No. This thing is hard
as a rock. I was going to let it sit on my counter and mush so I could throw it
at you when you got here.” She’s tearful and I’m laughing because only Abby
would do something so sweetly ridiculous.
“No more tears today. I
want you to go in to your bedroom.”
“You’re too exhausted
for me to do anything else, sweetheart so just get in your bedroom and strip.”
“Don’t make me add
another spanking, Hollywood. Now are you striping or not?”
“Yes, Sailor. I am. I’m
slipping these silky buttons through their holes on my blouse and unzipping my
“You’re being a naughty tease, stop it.” I’m
groaning on my side of the phone line imagining her doing exactly that. “What color
is it?” I can’t stop myself from asking.
“Navy and grey. Just
like your boat logo.” The thought of her wearing my colors, my anything makes
me hard. I have to adjust myself sitting at the counter on the bar stool. Grumbling,
I wait for her to slowly continue.
“Perfect. Now slip back
the sheets on your bed and get in.”
“Baby, I’m going to
warm you up. Now give my avocado a kiss goodnight and put it on the nightstand.
It goes wherever you go.”
“This thing is going to
mush in like two days you know.” I can sense that her smile is back and for
tonight that will have to be enough for me.
“It probably will but
that’s okay. Mushy fruit seems to be our thing. Now put you head back on the
“That’s so not sexy,
Her sarcasm has me barking
with laughter. I make a mental note to have a local grocer near her deliver an
avocado every day we’re apart. “It wasn’t meant to be. Close your eyes and tell
me how you are getting back and forth to work tomorrow?” My little smart ass.
“Taxi.” She yawns
“I’ll have a car
service for you waiting, no arguments, Hollywood.”
“S’okay.” I hear her
drifting off. She needs the sleep to recharge after all of the bad news she’s
had to deal with.
“I spank disobedient
“Mmm hmm…You’ve yet to
follow through.” She’s quiet and her voice tapers off.
“Sleep tight. I’ll take
care of what I can.” I clench my hand, all this talk of spanking her golden
skin has me thinking of lots of things I’d like to do next time I see her and
“Love you.” She mumbles
surprising me. Her breathing has slowed and she’s asleep. I click off the phone
relieved that she’s at least safe in her place and in a bed.
I rest the phone
against my forehead wishing osmosis worked through phones. “Love you too,
Abigail Holliday. I’ve come to love you so damn much.” I say practicing the
words out loud to my empty loft wishing she could hear me say them face to
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