Thursday, July 30, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 11

Raleigh, the man from the facility, is there to get them. He scares Emma a little, so Sam does damage control.

She finally agreed, but didn't want Raleigh to put her in the wheelchair. She did allow him to wheel her down to the van, but Sam was the one who helped her inside. Raleigh stayed quiet until they got a few blocks from the hospital.

"So, either of you been to Ravenwood before?"

"Is that the name of the place?" Sam asked calmly. "No. We've never been in rehab."

"It's a good place." Raleigh smiled into the rear view mirror as he slowed for a light. "I was a test case. That's where I met my wife. She works in the kitchen and I drive, do odd jobs around."

"Dr. Rivers said it was different. In what way?" Sam asked.

"Well, it's more like a halfway house than a rehab center. We all cook the meals, clean up, do our own laundry, make our beds. We all pitch in and keep the place nice."

"Aren't some of us pretty messed up? I mean, can't have a crack head hold a meat cleaver, right?" Emma spoke up rather abruptly.

Raleigh laughed easily. "There are two sections to Ravenwood. In our part, no one is in that bad of shape. We take kids like you, not hardcore addicts, but have a problem. Most of our program focuses on recreating our environment to make it more conducive to staying sober." Raleigh looked up at them in the rear view mirror again. "So, how long you two been dating?"

"Well, we're not officially a couple," Sam said.

"We're engaged," Emma said suddenly, rather too loudly. "We have been together for ages."

Sam couldn't understand why she was acting so strange until she grabbed his hand, squeezing tightly. She was terrified. Either of the situation or Raleigh, he wasn't sure which. He trusted the other man, but Emma didn't. Sam was a good judge of character, Emma usually wasn't. It was the fact he resembled her dad, that's what did it. Raleigh caught his eye in the mirror, raising a brow. Sam shook his head slightly, pursing his lips.

He mouthed the word, Later.

Raleigh's nod was nearly imperceptible. A slow blink of his eyes showed he understood what Sam was saying, though he didn't understand the circumstances. Sam sensed that in Raleigh, he at least, had a friend and ally. It would be up to Emma whether she accepted him as well.

Ravenwood Rehabilitation Facility sat far from the road, surrounded by a tall, wrought iron fence set into stone pillars. The security gate made Sam think of a prison. A large grassy area dotted with flower gardens and a fountain greeted them as they drove in. Raleigh pulled into a circular drive in front of a large stone building that looked rather like a Tudor home only it was made from native sandstone. It was a large, elongated L shape with a much larger, more imposing wing off the back. The only thing that marred the outer aspect were the iron grates across the windows.

"Expecting an army?" Sam asked as they pulled under a portico perpendicular to the front door.

"No. We've had some folks try and jump ship part way through their sessions. One guy reacted badly to the meds. Another had an acid flashback. Not even he knew he'd done acid. It was a bad trip. After that, they decided for security and insurance reasons to do that. They can be opened, only in the event of an emergency. Like if there's a fire or something, the locking mechanism is tripped at the security office. They'll go over that in orientation."

"Who's in charge?"

"Dr. Emanuel Spiner runs the lock down wing and is overall supervisor. He's a world renowned psychiatrist. He kicked a bad drug habit himself and used what he learned from his own addiction to set up pilot programs like this. His partner, Dr. Amanda Stewart, is the one who runs our side."

"Why did they build here? Wouldn't it be better in a large metro area?"

"We bring in people from all over, not just locals. They go over that in orientation too. Come on in and meet the group. My wife should be organizing dinner right about now."

Emma and Sam got out of the van and followed Raleigh inside. The lobby was open and well lit by sunlight flooding through the glass door and wall. To their left was a reception desk behind what looked like bulletproof glass. It seemed rather like a bank more than a medical facility. To the right was another expanse of windows and a high desk. This said Security. Sam could see ranks of televisions and control panels as well as three guards inside. One of the guards came out and spoke to Raleigh. Sam was uncomfortable with the fact that the man was armed and said something to Raleigh as they followed him to the admissions office.

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 10

Sam's friend, Grant, comes by to visit and say goodbye.

"Why do you love me so much? I'm a complete and total train wreck."

"It just so happens, I love train wrecks. Completely, totally.... My all time favorite thing."

"Shut up!" She shoved him away, but didn't move her hand. "When did you get to be so adorable? I feel like I'm seeing you for the first time."

"Maybe cause it's the first time in ages you've seen me without something in your system."

"Could be." Emma giggled, flipping her ponytail from side to side. "I thought drugs were supposed to make people better looking. I don't think that's possible in your case."

Sammy blushed, hanging his head. "I've always thought you were beautiful, Emma." He chuckled. "We sound like lines from a bad chick flick."

"I don't care. I happen to love chick flicks."

"I know! Who made me sit through a chick flick marathon? More than once?"

"Love should be like that. Making love should be like in movies. Not like it really is."

Sam knew she was thinking of her father. "It isn't all that bad—not always. And that never has to happen again. From now on, you choose, Emma. You decide. Course, I wouldn't mind if you chose me now and then.... Once in a while...." He looked up with a sly smile and mischievous wink.

"You make it sound like we're already done with the program."

"In my mind, we are. Complete success. No fear allowed."

"Do you really think we can do this? That I can? You can do anything...."

"You can too, Em. We're a team."

Again, it felt natural to kiss her. Emma was safe, she was protected and she was going to get better. It made him so happy, he could hardly stand it. A loud rap at the door separated them again.

"Hi!" A young man poked his head in the door. "I'm Raleigh. I'm going to be your tour guide this afternoon. I've got all the paperwork signed, so we're ready to rock and roll. I'm guessing the pretty one is Emma." He came forward, holding out his hand.

Raleigh was about six feet tall, moderately muscled, redheaded, green eyed and freckled. He was probably in his late twenties or very early thirties. He had a nice smile and warm nature that made him easily approachable.

"I'm Sam. This is Emma."

The men shook hands. Emma eyed him warily, but it took a moment for Sam to realize that Raleigh looked a little like her dad. Whether it was the walk or his attitude, Sam wasn't sure. Maybe it was that unflappable assurance that he was right, no matter what.

"I do something wrong?" Raleigh asked as he backed up a step.

"No. No, nothing," Emma gasped, retreating into herself as she always did when threatened.

Raleigh looked to Sam for information. They stepped out of the room for a moment so that Sam could explain.

"I think you scare her. She's kind of paranoid right now. Guys she's not used to...."

"Okay. What do you suggest?"

"She can do this. Let me talk to her."

"I'll wait here."

Sam went back in the room. Emma was hiding in the bathroom, curled up in the corner of the shower stall. Sam wasn't surprised. She often used the bathroom for sanctuary. He entered slowly, crouching as he approached her.

"It's okay, Emma. Raleigh's just here to drive us to the center. He's not going to hurt you. He's a nice guy."

"So's my dad."

"Your dad's an asshole, baby. Raleigh's cool. Rosalee and Doc wouldn't have allowed him up here if he wasn't."

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 9

Sam tells Emma that they're going to rehab. At first, she freaks, then calms down and is happy about it. The nurse comes in to take out her IV.

Sammy nodded, wandering into the hallway, closing the door behind him. There was a snack room for family members, so he walked slowly down there to get a drink and granola bar. There was a smoking porch for the patients and staff not far from Emma's room. He went out there and found a spot in the shade of a large, potted tree. He wished for the first time in ages that he had a cigarette. That was one habit he'd managed to kick on his own, but sometimes he wanted one. The soda was cold, the sun warm. He leaned back in the chair, closing his eyes. The door opened and closed, but he didn't really pay any attention. Even when someone sat down near him, he didn't move. He was tired, weary beyond anything he'd ever been, and he wanted to sleep.

"Hey," the voice was familiar.

Sam's eyes fluttered open and his friend Grant blurred into view. "Hey. You got my message?"

"Yeah. So, you're really gonna do it, huh?"


"Big step." Grant fumbled with his cigarette pack.

Sam held out his hand for one. Grant lit two, giving one to Sam.

"If you can kick it, do you think I can?"

"You've never been as bad as me, Grant. You can kick it anytime, probably on your own."

"Neither of us is as bad as...." He tipped his head in the direction of the hospital doors.

Sam nodded, taking a drag on his cigarette. He enjoyed the sensation of the smoke rolling across his tongue.

"I'm doing this for her—for both of us. She can't shake it alone."

"I know, right? But if y'all can do this, I can. I talked to my folks when I got your call. Once school's out, I'm going. I gotta graduate. You sure you don't want to wait?"

"Emma won't live until graduation if we wait. You didn't see her last night, Grant. It was bad. I never saw her like that. They drugged and raped her. When I find out who did it...."

"I'll find out. I got your back, man. You know that."

"I'll f**king kill them."

"Part of healing is letting go, Sam. It's bad, but you have to put it behind you. I'll find out and I'll take care of it. You get better. You help Em get better. Have you thought about what you're gonna do when you get out?"

"She's not going home again. We talked about it. I asked her to marry me."

"No way! What did she say?"

Sam sighed, fiddling with his cigarette. "We're too young. She's right, I know that. But I want her with me. I can't see my life without her."

"My mom would say that's not a present day worry. That's a future worry. Get better first. It will work itself out."

"Tell your folks thanks for everything. They've always been so great."

"You got it. Well, I'd better go. I just stopped by on my way to work."

"Shit, work! I forgot to call Buddy."

"I'll talk to him when I go in. He'll understand."

"Thanks, dude."

They did a complicated handshake, followed by a man hug and a thump on the back.

"Take care, man. Good luck with the rest of the year."

"Thanks. It's gonna be good, Sammy. You'll see."

Sam watched Grant walk out, a happy smile tugging his lips. A glance at his watch showed him he'd given Emma nearly 30 minutes. Surely they were done by now. He grabbed another Coke from the snack room and took it to her with a glass of ice. She sat on her bed in a T-shirt and pair of jeans he didn't recognize. Her dark hair was up in a ponytail and she was smiling.

"You smell like smoke. Blah, you taste like it too," she said after kissing him.

"Sorry. Grant stopped by. I bummed one off him. Last one for a while."

"I'm scared, Sammy." Her smile faded. "I don't know if I can do this."

"Yes, you can. I'm here. We can do anything when we're together."

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 8

Sam and Emma have a good night. Rosalee and Dr. Rivers promise to visit them at the facility.

"I'd like that, sir." He held out his hand. The doctor took it, amazed by the young man's grip.

"You're gonna be great, kid. Sorry! Sam."

Shortly after they left, Emma woke up. She didn't seem surprised to see a hospital room. Nor was she at all surprised to see Sam.

"Hey," she smiled at him, stretching languidly. "How long have I been asleep?"

Sam glanced at the clock. "Not sure what time you went out last night. At least twelve hours."

"Shit.... When are they letting me out?" She looked at the IV with distaste.

"We're leaving around three. We're going to rehab, Em."

"What? My folks will have a fit! We can't go!" She tried to get out of the bed, struggling against him. "I can't do this. I don't need rehab."

"We're going. You and me—together."

"I don't want to go. You don't understand! My parents will totally freak."

"It's okay. You don't have to worry about your old man ever again. Rosalee took care of him." He explained who she was and how she had handled Emma's parents.

"She did that for me? Why?"

"Because that's how she rolls," he chuckled, tickling her. "This is gonna be good, Emma. When it's over, when we're done, you don't have to go home. Not ever. We can get a place together, you and me, keep ourselves clean. We can leave this town and start over. I've got family in Virginia. My grandparents—we could live there...."

"Do you think we could?" She sounded so young and wistful, he wanted to hold her.

Taking her in his arms, he hugged her gently. "I know we can, Emma. We can start over somewhere that no one knows us. They don't know our history. We could even get married—that's if you want ...."

"Sammy, you're so good to me. You've always been so good to me."

"Well, I love you." He was so embarrassed by his admission, he blushed. "I've always loved you, Emma. I can't remember when I didn't. It's always been you and me...."

"Against the world," she finished. "I haven't heard that song in ages."

"As it happens, I have it on my iPod. Gimme a sec."

Sam dug the player and earbuds out of his pocket. Turning it on, he found the song for her. Emma listened to the plaintive song by Richie Wermerling with a sad smile on her lips, her dark eyes closed. Sam took the opportunity to admire her. She was too thin, waxy pale, but her shoulder length hair was a glossy black that was all natural. Her rose colored lips were full, though cracked and dry from being dehydrated. There was a faint hint of pink in her cheeks that he hadn't seen for months. It seemed only natural that he should kiss her. Leaning forward, he did just that. Startled, her eyes fluttered open, but she returned the kiss, holding him close.

"You never answered my question, Em."

"Which one? You asked so many."

"When we're better, do you want to move away? Maybe get married?"

"You're doing it again, silly. One question at a time."

"You want to get married?"

"We're too young for that, Sammy. But yeah, I want to leave here. I want to go somewhere new and make a fresh start. And more than anything, I want to be with you."

His fingers brushed her cheek as he leaned his forehead against hers. They remained that way for several moments, until a sharp tap at the door broke them apart.

"Hi," the nurse said. "I'm Debbie. I'm here to get you disconnected from all the contraptions. You're gonna have to go out, sugar," she told Sam.

"I'll go get a soda. You want anything?"

"I'd love a Coke."

"Okay. How soon should I come back?"

"Give us twenty."

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Monday, July 20, 2020

Demon's Destiny, book one of the Dark City Guardians by TW Knight

Garrett Duex Sabres is handsome, wealthy, brilliant and a demon with a split personality feeding on the living energy of humans. However, unlike others of his kind, Garrett chooses not to feed off pain and misery, he’s discovered a more palatable and just as potent source—sexual energy. Exploiting his charms, Garrett spends many evenings moving from one “dinner-date” to the next siphoning off small amounts from willing playmates. When Kay walks into Garrett’s life, his entire world is flipped around.

Setin the world of the Dark Knights of Heaven

From Sea to Sea by Nelda Bedford Gaydou

From a three-week voyage of more than 7000 miles from New Orleans to Buenos Aires in 1964 through an eight-day, 3258-mile round-trip drive between Evanston, Illinois and Clovis, New Mexico in 2017, whether in their prime or in their nineties, the Bedfords have packed a lot into their life's journey. Follow their inspiring story of faith and service, set in fascinating times and places in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres.

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The Long Road Home: Romantic Murder Mystery by Carolyn Bowen

After a lifetime of being protected and sheltered by her parents, Kate is thrown into a state of turmoil after their sudden death. With nowhere else to turn, she finds herself living with her fiancĂ©, a conniving businessman who is well on his way to becoming a corrupt super-lawyer. At the same time, Kate’s father’s law firm houses more secrets than a politician’s hard drive. Later, she receives a shocking surprise when a long-lost half-brother enters her life. Can Kate rise to these challenges, discover the truth and re-emerge as a stronger, smarter version of herself?

“Loved this beautiful story. This story had me gripped from the beginning to end. I could not put it down.” Pain by Amanda Mackey

Life is sweet in The Sanctuary—until Lillian Harris is thrown the curveball of her life.
Lillian is perfectly happy cocooned within the lofty perimeter fence of The Sanctuary. Her Sanctuary—a vast oasis for rescued lions, tigers, and elephants. The animals are her world. So when Lillian’s dad tells her a nineteen-year-old criminal who’s fresh out of prison is coming to The Sanctuary as part of a rehabilitation program, Lillian is more than a little apprehensive. She interacts with animals more than humans—and definitely not criminals.
Justice Armstrong is more arrogant than a Silverback, but something darker lurks behind his eyes…
It isn’t until Justice swaggers toward her from the parole officer’s car—pierced, confident, and more than a little hot—Lillian knows she has her work cut out for her. His stare has the power to rob her of all thoughts. His words, although crude and nefarious, bring a part of her to life she never knew existed. How is this criminal suddenly turning her world upside down?
He has the power to drag her to the dark side....
Pain is his drug of choice, a vice he can’t survive without. Then he meets Lillian Harris. Little miss hellcat. Fiery, strong, and all woman. She challenges him at every damn turn, and watching her tame those fierce big cats makes his need for her that much stronger. He wants to do things to her…wicked things. She makes him crave pain in a whole new way.
When a teen with a dark past bumps heads with a feisty rescue worker, will it be love over lust—or a matter of life and death? 

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 16

They are introduced to the other guests, and learn about the curse jar.

They all laughed. Freddie ran a palm over his shaved head in a nervous gesture.

"What I meant to say was, I'm the shlemiel of the bunch. If something can go horribly wrong, it's either my fault, or I'm in the middle of it. Perpetual scapegoat... I'm trying to work my way up the karma scale, until I get to sacrificial lamb."

Emma and Sam didn't know whether to laugh or not. They looked at him with open curiosity.

"I'm kidding! Seriously, though. I'm not ...."

A tall, imposing, well built, dark skinned man pushed carefully past Freddie, holding out his hand to Sam. "I'm Glenn. Body builder, athlete, drug addict. I think we were in school together."

"Yeah, you look familiar. Couple years ahead?" Sam replied.

"Oh, my God. I know you!" Emma blushed. "Oh, shit. I hate to say how well I know you."

Glenn looked embarrassed. He took a step back as Sam straightened up, squaring shoulders nearly as broad as the other man's. He was a couple inches shorter, but his natural aggressiveness, where Emma was concerned, made him intimidating as hell.

"I don't have a problem with you, Sammy," Glenn replied, taking another step back, hands up defensively.

"He didn't do anything wrong," Emma interjected in Glenn's defense. "It's not like he hurt me or anything, Sam. We were both pretty messed up at one of those weekend benders, and we got together. Completely voluntary."

"Yeah, I bet it was magic," Sam said with gritted teeth.

"Honest to God, dude, I don't remember," Glenn admitted with a slight frown. "Sorry, Emma."

"Until you spoke, I didn't recognize you either. Your voice is—distinctive."

She was right. His voice was deep, rich, melodic. His dark skin had an almost coppery tint to it. She kind of wished she could remember, because it probably had been pretty good. The only times she could clearly remember were those with Sam. Or the times her father forced her—those were branded on her memory.

"It's okay, Sam," she murmured, pulling on his arm. "You can't beat up every man I've ever had sex with. You'd be fighting constantly."

Sam didn't add that was mostly because she didn't know who most of them were and neither did he. She'd been lucky so far, dodging the STD bullet—especially HIV. He relaxed, taking a step back.

"Sorry, man. Habit." He held out his hand for Glenn to shake.

Taking Sam's hand, he gave it a friendly shake. "Dude, if I had a lady like Emma, I'd protect her too. There are a lot of sickos out there."

"I'm Carlos," a medium built Hispanic man stepped forward with his hand extended. "I assure you, I've never been with your lady. I don't even like women. Now you, on the other hand...!" He pointed playfully at Sam. "I'm kidding. Never saw either one of you before."

Laughing, Sam shook his hand. "Nice to meet you, Carlos."

"What's on the menu?" Raleigh asked, rubbing his hands together.

"Food," Molly replied, kissing him. "Now whist, you. Take these two and show them around, tell them about the list, and for heaven's sake, find Emma some clothing. She can't wear that to bed."

"We can totally find her something to wear," Vera looked at the other girls, nodding.

The girls continued talking as they worked. Raleigh led Sam and Emma upstairs to the third floor. Their rooms were across the hall from one another.

Their rooms were Spartan, but spacious. Each had a twin bed, dresser, desk, television and book shelf stocked with books of all kinds. There were folded linens on the end of each bed. Sam's duffel bag of personal belongings was in the middle of his bed.

"No weapons of any kind. No drugs, obviously, not even aspirin. If you have a headache, you tell us, we ask the doctor, he says whether or not it's okay. Emma, are you on birth control pills?"


"When you see the doctor tomorrow, tell him what kind and give him the name of your regular doctor."

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 7

Emma's in the hospital for the night, and Sam's allowed to stay with her. He asks Rosalee not to let her parents see her, unless she's there.

He went back to Emma's room. She was curled on her side, sound asleep. He kissed her fondly on the forehead before he went to get a shower. He was dressed in pajama bottoms, walking out of the bathroom, when her parents arrived. Rosalee and Dr. Rivers were with them. To say that they were stunned to see Sammy there, was an understatement.

"Were you planning to tell us you'd kidnapped our daughter, Samuel?"

Her father was such a pompous ass, Sam could hardly control his temper. Clenching his fists, he stood his ground between the bathroom and the padded window seat he would be using for a bed.

"He didn't kidnap her," Rosalee interjected. "He saved her from a difficult situation."

"You were there? You saw this amazing rescue?" her father snapped.

"I saw how she looked when he brought her in. She's drugged out of her mind, she was raped...."

"My daughter hasn't been raped," her mother answered quietly.

"What do you call it when she's had intercourse against her will?" Rosalee asked her pointedly.

"My daughter's a virgin...."

Sammy scoffed. "Yeah, tell me another story I might believe in about a hundred years. Like your husband isn't a pervert, and you aren't a closet drunk."

"I won't stand here and be insulted," Emma's mother turned pale.

"Fine. See ya." Sam walked over to the window and lay down with a blanket over him.

"Are you going to let him talk to me like that?" she appealed to the room.

Rosalee looked at Emma's father. "I don't know about you," she said calmly. "But I intend to let him. Sam has had a lot to say about Emma's situation. I think it's only fair to warn you that I've contacted child services."

"She's eighteen," her father insisted. "What can they do?"

"With luck, look into a history of abuse spanning the last eight years. I don't think the statute of limitations has run out on that. In fact, I'm sure it hasn't. You'd better hire a good lawyer, sir. When this goes to court, you'll need one."

"His reputation will be ruined! You can't! I insist you stop this now!" Emma's mother cried.

Rosalee drew herself up to her full and impressive height, towering over Emma's parents. "I know you didn't just say that to me. Because if you did, I would have to indicate, rather pointedly, your part in this. Denying the obvious, closing your eyes to his actions, doing nothing because you're embarrassed? I don't know which of you I hold more responsible. You are both reprehensible."

The parents left in a huff, not even trying to take their daughter with them. Dr. Rivers tapped Rosalee's knuckles with a proud grin.

"You get some sleep now, precious," Rosalee said softly. She gave Sammy a kiss on the forehead and left.

Breakfast came far earlier than Sam was prepared for. Emma wasn't awake, and he knew she'd never eat it anyway, so he ate the food instead. It was the first real meal he'd had in days. Not that he'd ever been terribly picky, but he had to admit that hospital food was almost inedible. Before going off shift, both Rosalee and Dr. Rivers came up to visit.

"Transportation will be here at three to take you to the facility," Dr. Rivers told him. "So if there are any calls you want to make, do so before then."

Sammy shrugged. "I might call Grant," he said. "Of all the guys we know, he's like the only one who gives a shit about either of us. Word will get around soon enough, where we are."

"Are you alright with this?" Rosalee knew how easily some teens got embarrassed about rehab.

"Maybe when our friends hear we're trying to clean up, they will too. I see it as a good thing," Sam said, sounding far more mature than his age.

"You're a good man," Rosalee said. "Too young to have such responsibilities. When they allow you to use the phone, you'll call me?"

"That's a promise. Thanks, Rosalee." He engulfed her a hug. "Doc, you're a pretty cool guy. Thank you."

"We got off to a bad start, Sam. My fault for making assumptions. They'll let me come check on you from time to time. Is that okay?"

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 6

The doctor decides to Baker Act Emma. Rosalee offers to put Sam into treatment, too.

She didn't ask for details. "When you're in treatment, that will change. They don't allow—"

He laughed sharply. "Rosalee, I can control myself for a few weeks. Jesus, I'm not a lech. Just sometimes, when she's not messed up, when she can really be herself.... I love her. And sometimes I've got to show her, you know?"

"I know, honey lamb."

"And I'm the one guy she does because she wants to." His voice and expression softened. "Not because she's forced to, or because she's doing it in exchange for drugs, or she's too messed up to know. Because she wants me—Me." He slapped his chest hard for emphasis.

"Don't you think you should call your foster parents?"

"Why. They don't care what I do. It doesn't matter."

"Have you done treatment before?"

"No. My friends have. It may be rough, but it's better than this. I can't live this way anymore, and neither can she."

"I'll tell Clifton to do two sets of paperwork."

"Clifton has already started on the paperwork," the doctor said. He had come out so quietly, they hadn't heard him. "I figured while I was at it, I'd give Sam the chance."

"Thank you. We can do it if we're together. I don't think Em could make it on her own."

"How about you?" The doctor asked, curious about this tortured young man.

"Me?" He grinned. "I can do anything I have to, Doc. I always have." Except to leave Emma. That was something he could never do.

"The program I want to send you to is new. It uses some of the tried and true methods, but it has some other aspects that are experimental. Is that okay with you?"

"As long as it helps us."

Once the paperwork was completed, Dr. Rivers contacted the facility. He allowed Sam to spend the night at the hospital with Emma, but insisted he call his foster family and get clean clothing, and personal items that he would need for the night. They arrived 20 minutes later, flustered and upset.

"Sammy, it's three o'clock in the morning," his foster mother scolded. "You know Ray has to get up early."

"I'm sorry, Betty. I'll be out of your hair soon. I'm going into treatment with Emma."

They didn't know what to say. To his surprise, Betty flung her arms around him and cried.

"I'm so darn proud of you! You know if you need anything while you're there, you just let us know."

Ray shook his hand. "You're a good kid, Sam. You need some help, that's all. I been saying that all along."

"Thanks, both of you. I appreciate you bringing this by."

"You take care, honey. And you take good care of that little girlfriend of yours. She's a sweet kid. Just needs someone to look after her," Betty babbled as her husband tried to lead her out. She darted back, giving Sam another hug and a kiss before her husband could get her to leave.

"That was unexpected," Sam smirked. "I honestly didn't think they gave a damn."

"Perhaps their insistence that you rely on them, was founded in a concern for your welfare?"

"Maybe. Thanks, Rosalee. You've been a big help."

"I will have to call her parents, you know."

"Yeah. But please, don't let them see her, unless you're there. Because they will bully and browbeat her until she agrees to go home. She can't go home right now."

"I'll do my best."

"Thank you." He hugged her, delighting in the fond embrace.

"You're welcome, honey lamb. Get a shower and get some sleep."

"I will. Thanks."

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Books & Entertainment Radio Presents Dellani's Tea Time with Jenny, Jon and Karen!

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It's summer time and folks are flocking to the beach, the mountains, and anywhere else they can go (at least in their minds—there's a pandemic). Books are a great way to carry you away on your stay-cation. My guests today range from fascinating autobiographies, to out of this world fantasy, to murder most foul. Join us Monday, July 13 from 4-6 PM Eastern when we chat with three incredible authors!

JS Burke

J. S. Burke is the creator of the award-winning Dragon Dreamer series: Science Fantasy Adventure with flying dragons and an undersea world. Burke has worked as an author, artist, and marine biologist, studying creatures of the dark abyss and diving on coral reefs. The author lives in Georgia with family and rescue pets. Burke loves chocolate and so do the dragons!
The Dragon Dreamer series grew from years at sea, a fascination with the alien, intelligent octopuses, and a love of dragons. These stories blend imagination with real science and author experiences. The deadly sea storm that threatens Arak, a young dragon, is one Burke survived. This series of young adult books is for age 9 and older. "Fantasy Snowflakes Coloring Book" has original, hand-drawn snowflake mandalas inspired by the Dragon Dreamer series. J.S. Burke is the author of The Dragon Dreamer and Dragon Lightning and Fantasy Snowflakes Coloring Book.

jon magee

Jon Magee was born in 1951 at RAF Cosford, in Shropshire, England into a nomadic family. His father served in the British Royal Air Force as a Medical Secretary, and so did he for 10 years as an Electronic Technician working on Aircraft communications. Consequently, by the time he reached the age of 30 he had never lived anywhere more than 3 years maximum, and was in 14 schools by the time he had completed his secondary education.
The result is that he has lived through many of the milestones of late 20th Century history: in the 1950's he was in Singapore during the Chinese riots, 1960/62 was in Germany at the height of the cold war, 1966/67 was in Aden (Yemen)as a teenager in the midst of the conflict and terrorism of the time and the British evacuation. As an adult, Jon Magee arrived in Malta as the Maltese Prime Minister decided he did not like the British, and then he went to Cyprus with his new wife, Joan, 1973 - 1975, in time for the Military coup and Turkish invasions of 1974.
He is married to Joan and have 3 daughters, 2 sons, and 5 grandchildren, and now serves as Baptist minister in Scotland, as well as serving as a Chaplain in various schools and industrial establishments.
As an author, his writings reflect that nomadic early life, and brings out the realism of what it is like to live at the heart of the conflicts in the world in a way that is only possible having personal experience of the situations. In addition to writing for magazines and local newspapers, Jon is the author of "From Barren Rocks ... to Living Stones" and "Paradise Island, Heavenly Journey".

karen vaughan scarf

Karen Vaughan lives in Peterborough, Ontario with her husband Jim. Karen started her literary journey in 2005 when she was home on sick leave and was tired of starting at the four walls or twiddling her thumbs. An idea for what would become Dead on Arrival popped in to her head and the feisty 30 something character Laura wouldn't leave her alone til her story was written. Laura took a break from pestering the poor author, so she could write a free-standing novel Dead Comic Standing. Soon Laura was on the campaign to get Karen back to what would become the Laura and Gerry series. It now has 7 books, the latest being Dead to Writes. Karen is the proud mom of one, step-mom of 4 grown kids, and 2 grandchildren. While not writing her fingers to the bone she hosts Writers Round Table the second Tuesday of each month. She is also a partner with Viv Drewa in Owl & Pussycat Promotions, promoting independent authors. Karen is a standup comedian who does her routine for local talent nights and loves reading, crafts and drawing.
Be Sure to Join us Live!

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Emma, Dangerous by Dellani Oakes – Part 5

The doctor finally calms down, realizing that Rosalee is right about Sam.

"She's only seventeen, Sam. Her parents have to make that decision."

"She's eighteen. Her birthday was earlier this month. Guess how she celebrated." He stared at each adult in turn. "She got drunk and stoned and ended up here, after trying to kill herself. Remember?"

Doctor Rivers did remember. He had almost put her in a program then, but her parents objected.

He examined the man-child in front of him. Sam was about six feet tall, too thin, but muscular. His brown hair was long and sleek with bushy sideburns and scruffy beard. His pale blue eyes held pain and the wisdom of ages. He was fragile, but there was a core of steel inside that forced him to stand straight and meet the doctor's scrutiny with incredible dignity.

"Okay. I'll start the paperwork."

When he walked out, Sam sighed with relief, almost collapsing on in on himself.

"Life is not always about a fight, Sam," Rosalee said quietly.

Sam didn't look at Rosalee, just stared at the closed door. "Mine is." He walked to the waiting room.

Rosalee followed him. "Would you like to go with her?"

"Go where?"

"For treatment. We can arrange it. Do you want to go?"

"I can't pay."

"The state will pay, since you're in foster care."

His face brightened. "Can I really go?"

"You will have to follow the rules. Not cause trouble."

"I don't cause trouble, Rosalee. Trouble kind of finds me. She needs this."

"You need it just as much."


"And you need Emma."

Sam shuffled, hands deep in the back pockets of his tattered, dirty jeans. Faded hoodie over a baggy T-shirt couldn't hide the fact that he was too thin.


"I see it in everything you do. And I suspect she needs you, too."

"Emma needs a keeper," he confessed.

"And it was you she called."

"It always is. Ever since she was ten and her dad—after he started in on her.... It's always been me she turned to."

"Eight years? That child's endured eight years of this, and no one did anything?"

"Her dad has unimpeachable credentials, according to the judge. A pillar of society."

Rosalee said nothing, waiting for the next revelation.

"He's a f**king preacher. Aren't they supposed to be above reproach?"

"Oh, my dear Lord," Rosalee gasped.

"She needs to get away—from this town, from him, from her mother—that woman is so afraid someone will find out, she lies about it. She closes her eyes to what he's done, so it won't cause a scandal." His blue eyes flashed in anger. "If I could, I'd take Emma far away, and never come back."

"Maybe one day you will."

"She needs to get away before something else goes wrong. I worry about her getting something awful from all this...." He gestured vaguely. "I keep hoping her old man will catch something. Explain an STD to your congregation." He made a rude noise.

"You asked if she was pregnant again?"

"Three times so far. She's had abortions. Either from the parties, or her old man. I don't know."

"Not yours?"

"I'm careful."

"Condoms aren't infallible."

"I know—I'm careful."

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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Old Time Religion ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 25

Obi took a moment to compare the sisters. Frankie had dark brown hair, and blue eyes. Though their coloring was different, they clearly were...