What I'm working on this week:
Finishing up Emery's story, Seize the Night [Enchanted 2]
Next up: Miles and Hades, story still untitled
After that: A Fatefully Yours Christmas story with Echo and the demon boys
Snippet from Leap in the Dark [The Moonlight Breed 8]
Coming October 6th
Crossing the room with determined strides, he threw the curtains wide and nudged the side of the mattress with his knee. “Wake up, love.”
“Go away,” Xander grumbled.
“It’s almost noon. You need to get up and shower. Dr. Araceli will be here in half an hour.”
“I’m not seeing a doctor.”
“Yes. You are. You haven’t left this room in days, and I’m not going to sit here and let you destroy yourself.”
“Braxton, I was shot!” Xander finally opened his eyes and pushed up in bed with his good arm. “I’m paralyzed. No one can fix that.”
“Yes, your right arm is paralyzed. That doesn’t mean that your life is over, though. This has to stop, Xander. I can’t take it anymore.”
“So this is all about you.”
Braxton shrugged and stripped the blankets off his lover. “Take it however you want to, but I’m serious. I know this is hard, but you’re not going to get any better by sleeping all day and feeling sorry for yourself.”
“I’m not feeling sorry for myself.”
“You could have fooled me.”
He probably sounded like an insensitive asshole, but he didn’t know how else to deal with this new, brooding Xander. The man he’d fallen in love with had undergone a lot of changes in the weeks since he’d been shot while out on assignment, and none of them were good. Braxton was just thrilled that his mate had come out of the ordeal alive, and he didn’t understand why Xander couldn’t see it that way as well.
“Physical therapy isn’t going to fix this.” Xander grabbed his right wrist with his left hand, lifted the arm into the air, and let it drop back limply to his lap.
“You don’t know that, because you haven’t even tried. Besides, Dr. Araceli isn’t a physical therapist.”
Xander frowned and cocked his head to the side. “Exactly what kind of doctor is he, then?”
“You think I’m crazy?”
Sighing heavily, Braxton closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. Five minutes with Xander, and his head was already beginning to pound. “Do you need help in the shower?” No, he didn’t think the man was crazy, but he also didn’t feel that the asinine comment deserved a response.
“I can bathe myself, Braxton. I’m not a child.”
“Then stop acting like one!” Braxton exploded. He was trying so damn hard and all he wanted was for Xander to meet him halfway. Hell, he’d be happy if the man would make any move toward him. But the harder he tried to pull the guy out of his funk, the more forcefully Xander resisted.
Spinning on his heels, he marched out of the room and slammed the door behind him for good measure. Yes, it was childish. Yes, it was melodramatic. He really didn’t give a shit, though. He’d tried to play the caring and supportive partner, and he’d only been rebuffed time and time again. It was time for drastic measures, because if he didn’t find some way to get through to Xander, their relationship was doomed.
“Don’t take it personally.” Logan was waiting for him when he entered the common room of their dorm-type cabin. “He doesn’t mean it.”
Flopping down on the overstuffed sofa, Braxton propped his elbows on his knees and dropped his face into his hands. “I know,” he mumbled through his fingers. “I’m trying, Logan. I just don’t know how to help him.”
“Maybe you’re trying too hard.” Long fingers massaged the tense muscles at his nape. “I’m not saying abandon him, but you’ve been running yourself into the ground. It’s stressful and emotional, and I get that. I think you need to back off a little, though, and start taking care of you before you break.”
“He’s right, ya know.” Talon strode into the room and settled into one of the armchairs while his mate, Jackson, seated himself on the floor between Talon’s legs. “You’ve lost weight.”
“You’re paler, and the bags under your eyes could hold a week’s worth of groceries,” Jackson added.
“Go get some fresh air,” Logan urged. “Go into town. Have lunch with Keeton. I don’t care what you do, but you need to get out of this house for a while.”
Braxton shook his head. “Maybe later, but I can’t leave right now. Dr. Araceli will be here soon.”
“And he’s coming here to see Xander, not you.”
“I can’t just leave him.”
“Braxton,” Talon growled at him. “Go. We’ll deal with Xander.”
“When’s the last time you wrote something?” Jackson asked with a sad lilt to his tone. “I haven’t seen you work since we’ve been here.”
“There just hasn’t been time.” First there was the move from Georgia to Wyoming. Then it seemed that every time he turned around there was more drama ensuing. Now, there was Xander to worry about, and his graphic novels just weren’t high on the priority list.
“Make time,” Talon said simply.
Braxton sucked his bottom lip between his teeth and gnawed on it while he debated his options. Could he really just leave? Xander needed him. He couldn’t simply go out for lunch while Xander visited with the doctor. Could he?
“I’m ready,” Keeton sang as he sashayed into the room. He stopped abruptly and looked Braxton up and down with a critical eye. “Oh, honey, you aren’t wearing that into town, are you? I know we’re out in the boonies, but really now.”
“You set me up,” Braxton accused Logan, but he was smiling like a loon when he said it. He couldn’t even remember the last time he’d just gone out for a day of fun with his best friend.
“Forget changing,” Keeton said with a mischievous grin. “Let’s go shopping. We’ll make a day of it, and we won’t come back until you look as fabulous as me.” He ran his hands over the thin, black cotton covering his flat midsection. “Well, almost as fabulous, because this level of sexiness takes years of practice.”