Thursday, November 30, 2017

Character Quotes from So Much It Hurts by Dellani



Can I walk you home?” Flynn hopped up, giving her a hand.
Surprised, Pia took his hand. “I don’t think anyone’s gonna mug me in the corridor.”
A gentleman always sees a lady home.” He folded his long body and planted a soft kiss on her hand.
I’d like that. Thank you. You coming, too?” she asked Yancy.
The men exchanged an indecipherable look.
No. I’m gonna turn in. Nice to meet you, Pia. See you at breakfast.”
Nice meeting you, too. Good night.”
Flynn opened the door to their suite for her, turning around to mouth a silent thank you at his friend. Yancy flipped him off, chuckling. Flynn’s arm went around her shoulders once more.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Music Behind the Story from So Much It Hurts by Dellani





Some authors put together playlists for each book, carefully adding songs that set the right mood for the story and they listen to nothing else while they write it. I was never that particular, until I started writing my 2016 NaNoWriMo novel. Unlike most of my books, I had a vague idea of characters and plot before I started. I had the names of the three main characters: Flynn Chancellor, Pia Donovan and Yancy Frederick. I knew they would be living in an old, run down building awaiting repairs. I knew that Flynn would be an artist, Pia a musician and Yancy a business major—all three in college working on advanced degrees. That's far more than I usually approach a novel with.

Another difference, I had a few songs I had to start each writing session with. The rest that followed didn't matter that much, but I had to have Harlem Nocturne – Duke Ellington, Bang Bang – Kaleo's cover of the classic Cher song, Seen It All Before and Arms of a Woman – Amos Lee and Can't Go on Without You – also by Kaleo. Those five songs, that order—no deviation, or the words wouldn't flow. Not something I'd ever experienced before as an author. I have to admit, I think this playlist produced one of my best books ever! Below is an excerpt for you from So Much It Hurts, my 2016 NaNoWriMo novel, and newest publication.

Exactly thirty minutes later, she was dressed and heading to the door, when someone knocked. It was Flynn and he had a friend with him.
"Pia Donovan, my completely undeserving roommate is tagging along. I hope you don't mind."
"Not at all. Pleased to meet you—" She waited for one of them to supply a name.
"Yancy Fredrick. I hear you're a musician." He held out his hand, grinning.
"Yes. What do you study?" She closed and locked her door.
"He's a sellout," Flynn remarked as he opened the elevator door. "Business major."
"Someone has to write the checks," Pia said.
Yancy flashed her another grin. He wasn't as tall as Flynn, but more solidly build—all muscle, if she didn't miss her bet. Where Flynn looked like a swimmer, Yancy was built more like a rugby player. His russet hair was full and curly, though he tried to tame it with hair gel. His eyes were vivid blue and he was, for lack of a better word, gorgeous.
Flynn was no slouch, but he didn't have the style of his roommate. Dressed in chinos and a Polo shirt, Yancy carried off the prep look with flair. Flynn was dressed in another pair of faded, baggy pants, this time brown, an oatmeal colored shirt clung to his lean, but muscular frame, and had on another pair of suspenders. These were dark red and blue stripes. The Fedora had been replaced with a coordinating red and brown roadster cap.
"We decided Thai?" Yancy asked as they rode downstairs.
"If that appeals," Flynn replied. "There's also Italian, Mexican, or a Mongolian grill."
"That's a fun place," Yancy replied. "The guy has a big steel drum on his food truck and goes all over the city. He's not there tonight, dude. That's Thursday."
"You are correct. Pia, what sounds good?"
"I'm actually in the mood for Thai," she said with a grin. "I'm real picky about Mexican. I'm half."
"Do you cook?" Yancy asked.
"I do. Why?" Her eyes narrowed with suspicion.
"Because we get tired of eating out. If we pitch in on ingredients and assist in the kitchen, will you cook?"
"I'd love to."
"Sweet. You don't mind cooking for a crowd, do you? Because when word gets out...."
"Not at all. Dad runs a restaurant back home. I've worked there since I was ten. I can make a vat of chili that will put hair on your chest."
"As long as it doesn't put hair on my ass," Flynn said, shoving the elevator open. "I don't like waxing."
Pia snorted. Yancy leaned over, speaking in a stage whisper. "Flynn hasn't reached puberty yet. His ass is hairless as a baby's butt."
Flynn reached around and rapped him on top of the head. "At least I don't have back hair."
"I don't have back hair."
"Seriously, you should see him at the full moon," Flynn remarked as they walked out the front door. "Werewolves howl and try to hump his leg."
Pia looped her arms through theirs, laughing loudly as they crossed the yard. "I'm going to love it here. You guys remind me of my brothers."
© 2017 Dellani Oakes





Thursday, November 23, 2017

Author Interview from So Much It Hurts by Dellani

Sometimes, I talk to myself. That's fine, lots of people do that. From time to time, I answer – fairly often – but that's also all right, because I have some pretty good answers. Recently, I asked myself some questions about my newest novel, So Much It Hurts. I had some pretty good answers, so I decided to share with you.



What is your book about?
Pia Donovan is a small town girl in the big city. Finding herself a bit overwhelmed, she's delighted when she meets Flynn Chancellor, and his roommate, Yancy Fredrick. The young men make her feel at home in the bustling metropolis.

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?
I wrote this book for my NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer's Month) in November of 2016. I got the idea sometime in October, though I didn't think too much about it. I don't like to make too many decisions ahead of time, because the characters always run away with the plot. I had a location in mind, the names and occupations of the three main characters. That's more than I usually have when I begin a story.

What inspired you to write this particular story?
I'm not entirely sure. One day, I was thinking about what I wanted to write about for NaNoWriMo, and I had this spark. The names came to me, and I wrote them down, along with a note about what their college major was. As to where the story came from, the characters told it. (Also, binge watching Skin Wars had something to do with Flynn's occupation)

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
I can see myself a good bit in Pia. We both grew up in Nebraska, we had a parent who was a college professor (for me, it was my dad) and we love music. Her likes and dislikes in music absolutely mirror my own.

Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?
I love all three of them. Pia has such an unending joy of life. She's had a tough breakup, but she doesn't let it get the better of her.
Flynn is excitable and enthusiastic, full of creative energy.
Yancy is much more down to earth than the other two, with a quiet strength that they both hold onto. I think the character that surprised me the most was Yancy, but you'll have to read the book to find out why.

Who is your most unusual character?
There is a young man named Oz, short for Oswald, who lives on the same floor as Pia, Yancy and Flynn. When they meet, they have an interesting conversation and he says, "I have Asperger's. Like Rain Man. I'm like Rain Man." He's an brilliant young man, full of love and joy. He's fiercely loyal to his friends and has a strong sense of right and wrong. He's not a main character, but he is certainly a pivotal one.

Why will readers relate to your characters?
I've been told by several beta readers, and my editor, that the characters jump off the page. They are three dimensional and multi-faceted. All of them have their own distinct personalities, and speak in their own, particular voices.

How long did it take you to write your book?
I started the book on November 1 and typed The End on November 5. The book is approximately 57,000 words, so that's no small feat.

How do you develop and differentiate your characters?
It's been my experience that they define themselves. I listen and record their actions and words.

Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?
I adhere to Ray Bradbury's technique: Find out what your hero wants, then just follow him.

What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
I don't really have one. I'm very fortunate that I'm able to work from home and don't have a 9-5 job. It makes my writing time much more flexible. Sometimes, I don't write at all, but I read through my finished books and edit. Other days, I'll sit down and write 10,000 words. It just depends.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes, except for a brief time when I thought of being a veterinarian. Then I discovered I'm allergic to virtually every animal in the world. There went that pipe dream.

Does writing come easy for you?
Yes. Not to brag, but my first year of NaNoWriMo, I finished the day before Thanksgiving. The next afternoon, after we'd eaten, I sat down and started another novel. I finished it in four days. Lest you think that a fluke, I've got numbers for you: 3-4 days (3), 5-7 days (6), 9-11 days (3) and 15-16 days (5). Only two of these were less than 35,000 words. Most were well over 50,000. (Okay, exactly to brag. I'm pretty proud of that)

What, in your opinion, are the essential qualities of a good story?
There needs to be a compelling plot. Readers must feel invested in the outcome and care about how events affect the characters. There needs to be excitement, conflict and resolution. If that includes a few hot love scenes – okay! If not, also okay.

Which is more important to your story, character or plot?
They are both essential. If I have great characters, but they just sit there and talk – BORING. Conversely, if they are uninteresting characters, readers won't care what happens to them.

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?
This is easy to answer. When I write, I tend to see the characters as actors. Pia is Mila Kunis. Yancy is Henry Cavill and Flynn is based on a singer, Jamie N. Commons.

What is your favorite place, real or fictional? Why?
I love my imaginary city where So Much It Hurts is set. I can do anything I want with it, populate it however I see fit, and even provide its own benevolent billionaires.

Who designed your cover?
The amazingly talented Elle J. Rossi. She's done several covers for me and I love her work.

Where can people learn more about your books?
People can visit my blog or head over to My Tirgearr Page
All my books are available on Amazon. So Much It Hurts is available at online retailers everywhere.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes




Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Red River Radio Presents What's Write for Me with Connie, Elaine and Jo



Can you believe Thanksgiving is upon us? Take a break from holiday preparation, and listen while Christina and Dellani meet and greet their three lovely and talented guests.

Connie Herzberg Mayo

First up, alphabetically speaking, is Connie Mayo, author of The Island of Worthy Boys. This is her first time on the show, and we are so delighted! Welcome, Connie.

Elaine Dodge

Second, is Elaine Dodge, author of Harcourt's Mountain, Bloody Parchment: Blue Honey, and short story, The Man with a House on His Back. This is also her Red River debut. Welcome, Elaine! So happy to have you here.

Jo Ivester

Third, only because of her initial, is Jo Ivester, author of Outskirts of Hope. Jo is also visiting for the fist time. We're so pleased to have her here, too. Welcome, Jo!

The holiday scramble is just around the corner, and books make lovely gifts for the readers on your gift lists. Pop into the chat room and say hello to your favorite author, or make new friends.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Character Quotes from So Much It Hurts by Dellani


How about you unpack and grab a shower and I’ll take you to dinner? There’s a good Thai place around the corner,” Flynn said.
That would be really great, thank you. I could sure use a shower. I was on the bus for hours! I feel grungy,” Pia replied.
I’ve got to get another one myself. I didn’t get all the paint off.”
You’re an artist?”
Yes. I’m a body painter. I also model for others. You can’t tell now, but I was most recently the subject of a camouflage painting along the wharf.” He took out his phone and showed her pictures. It took her a moment to pick him out of the background.
That’s very cool! You did that?”
No. I’m good, but I still haven’t figured out how to paint my own ass.”
Pia stared at the picture and picked out the pose. He was facing the water, a perfect depiction of a weathered wood piling on his right leg. His left was on a packing crate, making him look rather like the Captain Morgan’s Rum pose. He had a very nice ass under all that paint.
Very cool. Even if you can’t paint your own ass. But think how much money you’d make if you could!”
Not sure there’s a big demand for that.”
© 2017 Dellani Oakes


Thursday, November 16, 2017

First Meeting from So Much It Hurts by Dellani



Pia Donovan is a small town girl. Newly in the City from a tiny town in Nebraska, she is overwhelmed by the fast pace. After a long day of getting lost in the worst part of town, she arrives at her destination; an historic, grand hotel in the downtown area. Picking her way across the rutted ground in front of the building, she loses her balance, nearly falling into the arms of Flynn Chancellor. Handsome and friendly, Flynn presents a happy distraction for a girl who's trying to recover from a broken heart.

Sweet, sultry music poured from the open second story windows as Pia walked across the pitted, uneven ground. Scattered with puddles and trash, it wasn't a very inviting aspect. The old, grand hotel building loomed above her, intimidating in the dusky light after sunset. Sighing, she forged ahead, dragging her rolling suitcase after her. It bumped into a particularly deep hole and caught. Yanking, she lost her balance and teetered to the right.
"Watch out!" Strong hands caught her, setting her on her feet. The same hands lifted her suitcase. "You all right, little lady?"
Pia wasn't sure she liked being called a little lady by any man, but when she turned to look at him, she decided he had the right to. He was at least six foot three, maybe taller. She, a petite five three was, indeed, a little lady. He flashed a brilliant smile at her.
"You're the newbie." He extended his hand. "Flynn Chancellor. Welcome to the fold."
"Pia Donovan. Thank you. How does this work, exactly?"
"Didn't get orientation?" He tugged her suitcase, ushering Pia inside.
"Sort of? They told me to report here this afternoon, but I took the wrong bus and ended up on the way to Maryville. I got as far as Walnut Street and finally figured out I was in the wrong spot."
"Ooh, not a place for a lady of your delicate sensibilities to be."
"Yeah, tell me about it. The driver wouldn't let me out on the street, he dropped me at a satellite station and told me the right bus to take back."
"That was nice of him."
"He said he has a granddaughter my age. He wouldn't set her loose to the wolves."
Flynn chuckled. "Apt. I grew up in that area. It ain't pretty." He opened the door for her, letting her walk under his arm. It was an easy fit. "Where are you from, Pia Donovan?"
"Out of state. I moved here from Nebraska. Outside Kearney."
"No kidding? What brings you up here?"
"I got a scholarship to City College."
"In?"
He opened a set of inner doors which led into a large, open area. To the right and left there were arched doorways which had once led to reception and lobby areas. They were now full of cast off furniture and full of men and women, all about her age. Every ethnic blend imaginable greeted her small town Nebraska eyes.
"Music."
"We've got several music majors here. I'll show you around, if you like."
"I'd like that, thank you. How do I get settled?"
"We talk to Amita." He pointed to the desk area. It had formally been the receptionist's desk, a tall, dark wooden structure that wrapped around like a bar.
"When was this place built?"
"Early Nineteen Hundreds."
"And they're tearing it down?"
"No. It will, eventually, be renovated."
She nodded, looking around her at the early elegance of the place. It sported dark wood, light walls, brass wall sconces. This was in stark contrast with the battered linoleum, laid over the original hardwood floors, holes in the walls and pieces of plywood over missing glass panes.
"You wouldn't know to look at it, but it was a showplace in its time. Celebrities from all over the world visited. It was built by one of the founding families, so they will never tear it down."
"It's still got a stateliness to it, doesn't it?"
"It does," he agreed.
No one was at the desk, but he leaned over and called through an open doorway. "Oi, Amita! Found our newbie!"
A tall, mocha skinned woman with wildly curly hair, came out, wiping her hands on a dish towel. "Hi! You must be Pia. I'm Amita, I'm the resident manager. We expected you ages ago."
"I got lost."
"Ended up on Walnut Street," Flynn added.
"Oh, my God! And lived to tell about it!"
Flynn chuckled and leaned against the tall desk, hands in pockets. Pia had a moment to take in details she hadn't noticed outside in the dusk. He was broad shouldered, with dancing green eyes. His chestnut colored hair was nearly to his shoulders, thick and straight, covered by a faded black Fedora. Steel gauges about the size of a quarter, stretched each earlobe. His arms were covered by intricate tattoos, forming sleeves from wrist up. His shirtsleeves were rolled just past his elbows. Rusty black pants which looked as if they had seen better days, dangled from colorful suspenders. His huge feet were covered in clunky hiking boots. Every piece of clothing was spattered with different colors of paint.
"You'll be in the Ambassador Suite," Amita said with a grin, handing over a registration card for Pia to sign.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes






Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I Love Dialogue from So Much It Hurts by Dellani



Pia has just met Flynn, who asks her to dinner. When he arrives at the door, he's brought along his roommate, Yancy. The two men escort her to the restaurant.

"Do you cook?" Yancy asked.
"I do. Why?"
"Because we get tired of eating out. If we pitch in on ingredients and assist in the kitchen, will you cook?"
"I'd love to."
"Sweet. You don't mind cooking for a crowd, do you?"
"No. Dad runs a restaurant back home. I've worked there since I was ten. I can make a vat of chili that will put hair on your chest."
"As long as it doesn't put hair on my ass," Flynn said, shoving the elevator open. "I don't like waxing."
Pia snorted. Yancy leaned over, speaking in a stage whisper. "Flynn hasn't reached puberty yet. His ass is hairless as a baby's butt."
Flynn reached around and rapped him on top of the head. "At least I don't have back hair."
"I don't have back hair."
"Seriously, you should see him at the full moon," Flynn remarked as they walked out the front door. "Werewolves howl and try to hump his leg."
Pia looped her arms through theirs, laughing loudly as they crossed the yard. "I'm going to love it here. You guys remind me of my brothers."
The men smirked, sharing a glance over her head.
"Thai Garden, here we come!" Flynn yelled, waving his cap in the air.
"Is it far?"
"You'll learn that everything you need is within walking distance. There's a grocery store two blocks that way," Flynn pointed south. "A variety of restaurants in every direction. A movie theatre that shows the classics. A bookstore, an art supply, a music store, pharmacy...."
"And a Dollar Tree three blocks west," Yancy added.
"We'll be happy to show you around. Do you know how to get to campus from here?"
"No. I don't have a car and I don't know the bus schedule. So much to learn."
"Lucky for you, my friend and I grew up in this city and if we don't know where to find it, it's not worth finding," Flynn bragged.
"You grew up together?"
"Met during our undergrads," Yancy explained. "We were roommates then, too. Seemed a good system, so when we transferred here and started our PhDs, it seemed like a good system."
"Yeah, I don't want to break in a new one. He's a putz, but I'm used to him."
"My roommate got married and moved out. I've mostly lived on my own. Except...never mind."
"Except for Bill," Flynn said.
"Jerald," Yancy added.
"Huh?"
"Dwight."
"Clark."
"Steven," she finished her sentence.
"The love of your life who absconded with your virginity, wooed you, then broke your heart, and left you" Flynn stated with certainty.
"Yeah. Something like that. Only I left him. But the rest is right."
"What did the bastard do?"
"Married my roommate."
"Dumb ass," Yancy commented.
"I was gonna say douche bag," Flynn contributed.
"Yes, to both. How did you guess?"
"We've both been in the receiving end of that, too," Flynn said quietly. "Marsha and Jan. Not Brady." He smirked down at her. "Yes, they were sisters."
"Well, they were a couple of dumb ass douche bags to dump you," she concluded.
They arrived at the restaurant and Flynn opened the door. Yancy held out her chair, helping her sit. Both men were very attentive, charming and friendly. Dinner was full of laughs. The men joked and poked fun at one another. They asked her lots of questions about herself, but were just as forthcoming with their own details. By the time dinner was over, Pia felt as if she'd known them for years.
"I can't remember the last time I had this much fun," she said as they were walking home. "I'm so glad I met you guys. It makes it easier being away from home. The big city is sort of intimidating."
Yancy put his arm around her waist, Flynn around her shoulders. Pia's arms went around their waists and she gave them each a hug.
"Thank you for such a great time tonight. I can't tell you how scared I was on the bus, getting lost...."
"We'll equip you with a GPS," Flynn suggested.
Pia snorted.
Once they were upstairs again, they walked her to her room.
"I'd invite you in for coffee, but I don't have a pot."
"We've got one, you want?" Yancy offered. "Flynn's mom got us a Keurig for Christmas and my sisters keep us provided with the cups. They know we're completely helpless with domestic pursuits."
"Don't make us sound completely lame. We keep ourselves fed, our laundry is clean, the room is neat and doesn't smell like old socks. I think we're doing okay."
"But we can't keep up with coffee," Yancy said. "It's completely beyond our capacity."
"I'd love some. Thank you."
© 2017 Dellani Oakes




I Love Dialogue from So Much It Hurts by Dellani



Flynn has finally landed his first really big body painting job. Crossfire, a national sporting goods company, has hired him to launch their newest clothing and equipment line. On location in a state park, he's staying at the park lodge with the models and crew.

Someone tapping on his door woke him. It was Ned.
I forgot to set the alarm. I'm sorry.”
No problem. They execs are up yet, either. You've got about half an hour. Anything I can do to help out?”
I need time with the models today. I have to look them over and check musculature. Can you make that happen?”
I can. I'll get back to you. Grab a shower if you need it, and come downstairs. They're setting out the food now. I've died and gone to heaven.”
Thanks, Ned.”
No problem, Boss.” He waved and left.
Breakfast was a feast of fresh fruits, homemade muffins and biscuits as well as bacon, sausage and strips of grilled, marinated venison. Feeling adventurous, he tried that. It tasted so good, he had more. The cooks has already discussed allergies and dislikes with them the day before, so he knew that it didn't contain anything he couldn't eat.
That is too good,” he confided to Ned.
I hate six pieces. I might roll outta here Monday.”
They're going to need a dolly to move me. Damn!”
Model face time is set for right after dinner. They're fussing, but when I explained that they aren't the most important factor in this shoot, they shut up.”
Jeez, I wouldn't have the nerve.”
After the way those snooty divas have treated me? I'm no longer a no-title flunky. I'm Mr. Chancellor's assistant. Gives me a certain cred.”
You're a bad ass, Ned. I've always said that.”
They tapped knuckles.
Bad news, though. Monique is here.”
I could have done without that. I wasn't expecting her.”
We weren't either. She was a last minute substitution. Eva got sick, I think she's pregnant. That girl, no scruples. Including you?”
She did not deign to invite me to partake. But considering what Kent got from her, I dodged a bullet.”
Which is why I don't date models.”
On this we agree.”
Ned and another flunky drove the Jeeps for the executives and Flynn to ride around in. The location guy had chosen several spots, but Flynn vetoed them all. There were various reasons, but nothing felt right.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes





Sunday, November 12, 2017

Red River Radio Presents Dellani's Tea time with Andy and Joshua




Can you believe it's November already? Where did the year go? The scent of fall is in the air—at least it is other places, but not Florida. I'm still running my air conditioning. Halloween has passed and Thankgiving looms ahead. As we prepare for the onslaught of the holidays, it's nice to relax and enjoy talking to my two handsome, amazing guests!



First up, returning to the show, is award winning, dark fantasy author Andy Peloquin, author of Child of the Night Guild, Thief of the Night Guild, Different, Not Damaged and others. Welcome back, Andy! We're so glad to have you with us again.



New to the show is Joshua Robertson, award winning author of The Blood of Dragons Series, Thrice Nine Legends Saga, The Hawkhurst Saga. Welcome to the show, Joshua. We know you'll have fun with us!

Both authors write dark fantasy, I don't know if I did that on purpose, or if it's just a happy accident. Either way, sit back, have a listen, enjoy the show and join us in the chat room if you dare! Who knows what treats these gents have in store!




Thursday, November 09, 2017

Tear Jerker from So Much It Hurts by Dellani



"I want you and Yancy to sing a duet," Lois said. "And I know the perfect song. Yancy, you play, and Pia will sing."
"What are we singing?" Pia asked as she sat next to Yancy at the piano.
"Feeling Good," Lois announced.
Pia felt slightly faint. Yancy didn't look much better. They exchanged a look and his fingers swept over the keys, giving her the first note. Taking a deep breath, Pia concentrated on the words. She knew Lois had done it on purpose, and felt a little like she'd been sideswiped. Yancy played as she sang, adding little flourishes to make up for the lack of other instruments. He got more sound out of the piano than she'd thought he could. By the third verse, she was wailing loudly, her discomfort forgotten. Yancy joined her with intricate harmony on the last chorus. As the song wound to a close, they turned to one another, smiling.
The urge to kiss him flooded through Pia. She could see in her eyes that he felt the same way. He didn’t give her the kiss she wanted, where he swept her into his arms and devoured her. But he leaned forward and she met him halfway, closing the gap. It lasted mere seconds, but it meant the world to her. Silence accompanied their short interlude, until a quiet sigh escaped the women.
"On that note," Cynthia said softly. "Perhaps sleep is in order. Mornings start early for some of us."
They all agreed that was a good idea. Everyone clapped and congratulated the musicians on their wonderful concert. Lois came up to Pia after the others left.
"Sorry. I know I blindsided you, but you have to give him his shot."
"I do, you're right." Impulsively, she gave the other woman a hug. "Dale deserves his, too," she whispered.
Lois smiled, glancing over at her boyfriend. "Yeah, he does. Can't let that tight ass go to waste."
"You do know.... How?"
"I know I come across all tight laced, but I know. I went through a time when I was too quick to fall into bed, and it cost me dearly. I had to be sure this time."
"He knows?"
"Yes. We talked this afternoon, too."
"Good. Have fun."
Left alone, Yancy and Pia walked slowly up to their rooms, which were right next to one another. He stood with her in the hall, one shoulder against the wall, hands in his pockets. A dreamy expression lingered on his face. Pia stood with her hand on the doorknob, conflicted. She wanted to invite him in to sit and chat, but she knew if he walked through that door, it wouldn't be to talk.
"Time for sleep," Yancy said quietly, touching her cheek. His lips descended, fluttering against her cheek. With an abrupt movement, he pulled himself away and went to his room.
Tears trickled down Pia's cheeks. He didn't look back as he went in his room. Head down, shoulders hunched, he hesitated a second, then walked resolutely through his door. Pia did the same. Shutting her door softly, she leaned against it and the tears fell. Her phone rang. Hoping it wasn't Flynn, she looked at the screen. It was her mother.
"Oh, Mommy," she sobbed when she answered the phone. She tried to explain, knowing she hadn't made anything clear. Her mother didn't interrupt, but Pia could feel her listening.
"Mija," her mother crooned. "What's in your heart?"
"I don't know. So much. Too much."
"What do you want?"
"I want them both, and I can't have them. Don't I owe Flynn his chance?"
"Which one excites you?"
"They both do!"
"Which one touches deep in your heart?"
That was a good question. Flynn had brought her to places sexually that Steven hadn't, but Yancy.... She felt him on a deep level, not in the same way.
"I don't know, Mom. I'm so confused. Can a person have two soul mates?"
"I don't think so, sweetheart. Wouldn't that sort of negate the entire idea?"
"I guess?" She sniffled, snorting when she tried to laugh. "I'm so confused!"
"Pray, Mija. I know that boy pulled you away from Church, but you're not with him now. You search your heart and put your love in the hands of St. Therese. She is your patron, born on her day. And you chose her as your Confirmation saint for a reason. Do you remember what you told me?"
"Yes, because she was always there for me."
"And I said her prayer the entire time I was pregnant. I asked for the safety of my baby girl. You weren't easy, not like the others, and I was afraid you'd be taken from me. So you ask her, she'll help you."
"I will. I promise."
"That's my girl. Now, you say your prayers and go to bed. Tomorrow will be better."
"Thanks, Mom. I love you so much."
"I love you too, baby. Goodnight."

© 2017 Dellani Oakes



Poplar Mountain Part 48 by Dellani Oakes

After talking to the sheriff, Luke and Will decide that spending the night with the girls again, is a good idea. They talk about Big Ear...