Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Snippet: On the Bench

August 21, 2016

Well… Blonde Ambition finally showed her true colors on The Last Ship. About damned time. LOL I'm going to be really super pissed if anything happens to Kara because of Allison's machinations. I almost dread watching tonight's episode. Almost. J

Killjoys. Wow. Took a very dark turn and I love it. The way the cast works together amazes me. There's tension, usually understated, and buttloads of chemistry with everyone. I hope this show lasts for a good long time.

Dark Matter had a very trippy episode with an alternate 'verse. The showrunners have crap tons of experience with the concept, coming from the Stargate stable. The possibilities of the blink drive makes for lots of interesting scenarios. Looking forward to seeing what they do with that.

My Strike Back and Babylon 5 rewatches took a nosedive. My schedule exploded last week and I had zero time to watch either. Hopefully I'll get to reconnect this week.

Looking forward to several new shows this fall and, obviously, my returning favorites.

And that's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from On the Bench, a novella that got its start with a prompt from a fanfiction community where one character doesn't leave when the other joins them on the bench.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Peyton Bice comes of age around the mixed marital arts sporting events and her past comes calling in the form of her father's former star fighter, now a leading trainer. Rookie Cliff Westfordson offers a shoulder to lean on, but Peyton fears getting tangled up with the newest recruit on her dad's roster.

And a snippety peek…

Roman smirked. "You're such a raving bitch, Peyton." His arm swept over the prone form. "You wrecked Carmella. Look at the damage you inflicted." He yanked the sheet off his latest lover. "Look at it! The bruises. The contusions." He stepped closer, his voice a low snarl. "And then there's what you can't see… the internal bleeding." His hand shot out and gripped Peyton's jaw. "You'll pay for this, Peyton. I'll make sure of it."
Peyton jolted awake. Her vision blurry, she blinked and spotted an imposing figure huddled beside her. A gasp escaped and she scrambled backwards but had nowhere to go. A strong hand gripped her wrist and she pulled hard to get away.
Roman's threat echoed in her brain, but she wouldn't go down without a fight. No way. Rearing her arm back, she let her fist fly only to smack up against a solid, open palm.
She blinked and shook her head, clearing the last of the dream from her head.
Cliff wrapped his fingers around her hand. "You're okay, Peyton. You're in your dad's office." He let go and gave her a moment to calm down.
She glanced around, confirming his words. Big, messy desk; a row of beat up, old lockers used for storage; and a blinking neon beer sign. Yep, definitely her dad's office.
Peyton put a hand to her temple. How did she get here? The fuzzy details became clear. Sitting on the ugly, brown leather couch, she had a vintage Indian blanket draped over her. Cliff had moved down to the end, stretching his legs out. Jesus, he looked good.
Cliff slid his gaze sideways. "Must have been some dream." He tilted his head, studying her with hooded eyes.
Dream? More like nightmare. The menace in Roman's posture and tone kicked her heart rate up a notch, even now. But something about the fuzzy remnants stuck with her. Something about Carmella's injuries. She closed her eyes, letting her subconscious replay the moment Roman pulled the sheet away.
Her lids snapped open. "It was on the wrong side." Peyton straightened, swinging her legs over the edge of the couch. "Carmella's bruising was on her right side." The huge contusion on her abdomen couldn't have come from Peyton.
Cliff's head whipped upward. "What did you say?" He turned to face her. "About Carmella?"
Peyton got up and paced back and forth. "She had an internal injury on her right side. I noticed the spot when we were sparring." She stopped and glanced in his direction. "And she bruises forming along her ribcage. I couldn't have put those there. Our fight didn't last long enough for them to pop out." Son of a bitch… the stupid cow should have never entered the cage.
Cliff got up and made his way to her side. "I knew it. I knew someone had put a beat down on her before the match." He met her gaze head on. "One guess who's at the top of my list." Disgust laced his statement.
Peyton's gut lurched. "Roman, right?" Who else could it be?
Cliff growled. "Damn fucking straight." He turned, walking to stand in front of the desk.
Peyton wanted to heave. Roman treated people—particularly women—like shit. His ego demanded adoration and when the fawning didn't prove up to his standards, his asshole meter went off the charts. But injuring someone on his roster?
Made him low and vile and probably psychotically dangerous.
But none of that explained Cliff's vehement dislike of her ex.
Peyton folded her arms across her chest. "What's your beef with him?"
Cliff turned, a brow raised. "What makes you think I have one? The guy's a raging ass cock. Don't need another reason, do I?" His left fist clenched, giving Peyton all she needed.
She pushed back. "Look, everyone… and I mean everyone knows my history with the fucker, but you? Had a serious hate on for him from the moment you entered the gym." She moved forward, keeping her arms wrapped around her middle. "Why?"
Cliff's gaze went flat. "Because you—and Carmella—aren't the first women he's tried to destroy."

A little longer than normal, but this scene ended up being a revelation when I wrote it. Couldn't wait to share with everyone.

That's it for this week. Happy reading!


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