Not Another Lonely Valentine’s Day


Maria looked out across the dance floor. Couple swayed as the bluesy ballad continued. Another Valentine’s Day with no date. No male friends offering to accompany her to the Sadie Hawkins Dance or to even dance with her after they’d danced with their wives or girlfriends. Even her best friend Susan hadn’t attended. They usually danced the fast dances together where no one could tell who really partnered with who. Yes another lonely-hearts day for her.

She knew the potential outcome. Signing up to work the dinner rush and then during the dance hours kept her busy. Why tonight was hitting her harder than usual, she couldn’t say. Maria knew the number of Washburn Falls eligible males dwindled with each Sadie Hawkins dance. A couple might find their third or even another couple to form a quad with. She didn’t envy them. She compersively enjoyed seeing others enjoying their joy. Loving more than one was fine by her. Some chose to be monogamous. Most of Washburn Falls’ citizens embraced what pairbondings worked for those that chose them. At the last local LBGTQ chapter meeting, Chad Penndel, Washburn Falls mayor elect, announced same sex pairings were legal in the town’s eyes. She had applauded along with the others in attendance.

Maria picked up the tray full of dishes she’d cleared and made her way back toward the bar and kitchen entrance. The house lights came up and the dance floor emptied. She blinked, standing still until her vision got clearer. That’s when she saw them coming toward her, Chad Penndel and Nick Black. Washburn Falls’ two most sought after bachelors.

Chad reached Maria first. He waited until Nick moved up beside him before he spoke. “Maria, come on and sit down with Nick and I. We want to talk with you.”

“I-I got work to do. Tables to bus.” Maria held up the tray of dishes she carried. “Couples are going to want more drinks. Maybe more food. If I’m not taking orders, I miss out on tips.”

Nick took a hold of the tray. “The other servers can take care of them. What Chad and I want to talk with you about is important. “

“Right,” Chad began, pointing to an empty booth. “You haven’t taken a break yet. Come on. A short break isn’t going to hurt. Besides Chef put some soup aside for you. You need to eat.”

Chad moved forward until he stood by the booth. He watched as Maria glanced from him to Nick and back. She worried her bottom lip between her teeth. He could see each breath she took as her chest rose and fell. Her short breaths, fleeting glances and worrying her lip spoke louder than if she’d voiced her concern. He knew that look. He’d been there himself. Two years earlier when he returned to Washburn Falls, ready to take the first job offered him. Ready to hole up in a small studio apartment and keep to himself. Nick hadn’t let that happen. He’d challenged him to take small steps and TLC himself until he gained the confidence he needed to take on the head bartender job. Nick had taught him concern, care, and yes love. He loved Nick a lot. Some thought they were a couple. Neither of them bothered to correct people’s assumptions. The LGBTQ citizens knew differently. They trusted him to take care of them and embrace the diversity Washburn Falls offered all its citizens. Now if the rest of the damn world would learn how to do that maybe they all could worry less when they ventured outside the valley and mountains that surrounded Washburn Falls.

“We just want to talk with you. Nothing bad,” Nick offered, tugging at the tray Maria held on to tightly.  “Please, let go. I’ll take it into the kitchen and bring back your soup.”

“Seriously?” Maria asked, letting go of the tray.

“Yes,” Nick replied, adding as he turned, “Be right back with the soup.”

“Bring some bread and cheese too. She needs a meal not just a quick snack.” Chad sat down on the seat closest to him.

“A break is one thing. A meal period gets deducted from my work hours.” Maria started after Nick.

Chad stood up, quickly following Maria until he caught up with her. He laid his hand on Maria’s shoulder as he caught up with her. “No deductions. Just sit down with me. I can explain while Nick gets the soup, bread, and cheese.”

He felt Maria’s shoulders rise and fall as she took several quick breaths. She glanced back at the kitchen door Nick had gone through. She sighed and faced him. “Okay, I guess. This better be good Chad.”

Chad pressed his lips together to keep from smiling. What he and Nick had discussed was good. Good for them. Good for Maria. It was presentation that was going to communicate just how good it was going to be for all three of them. Would she believe them?

Dare To Love Again


The saying goes all work and no play makes life dull. Can three business partners mix love, sex and work? Ron Bailey, Mary Bates and Jeff Nickerson are about to find out. Can they grow into three in love? Will uncertainty and moving outside their individual comfort zones stop them from trying?  Buy Now

“True. I appreciate your honesty. It’s one of the reasons we get along well.” Mary made her way across the lobby toward the elevator. As Ron caught up with her, she added, “Thanks for being you.”

“You’re welcome. Anything less would be a lie. I can’t fake me.”

Mary chortled. “I certainly can’t imitate you either. I can’t sing in that deep baritone voice you’ve got.”

Ron grinned at her and stuck out his tongue. Mary pressed her lips together, biting back where her thoughts went. She swallowed and gave Ron a raspberry. “Pfffft.” She grinned and said, “Ah well, someday maybe you’ll sing me to sleep the way you do Tabitha.”

“Ask me to stay over and you might get your own special lullaby,” Ron offered.

Mary ducked her head and walked to the elevator, pushed the button and looked back at Ron. He made a semi-bow and walked up to her. He leaned down and whispered close to her ear. “Might also get you to sing out a pleasing orgasm song, too.”

She licked her lips, glanced at Ron and said, “You gotta wanna first. Then see if your piccolo can reach those high notes.”

Ron snorted as the elevator doors opened. He straightened up, shaking his head. He waited until they were inside to respond to her. “Good comeback, dear. I plan on making you reach those high notes again and again after a few auditions.”

“What auditions?”

“Oh, you didn’t know I adore multiorgasmic women?”

Mary pushed the button for the third floor. She fanned herself as she faced Ron. “This multiorgasmic woman might just wear you out.”

“I do so love a challenge,” Ron quipped as they reached their floor.

Mary rose on her tiptoes, kissed Ron’s cheek and replied. “Thanks for helping me relax. You sure can flirt.”

Ron smiled, winked, and walked out of the elevator humming. As she caught up with him, he stopped part way down the hall and remarked. “Maybe I wasn’t flirting.”

Mary opened her mouth ready to zing another cheeky reply when a door close to them opened and Jeff walked out carrying a bulging trash bag. Jeff smiled, and nodded as he walked past them saying, “Trash receptacle needs to eat, too. Go on in.”

Ron snickered, wet one fingertip, and drew a vertical line in the air. He murmured as they entered Jeff’s condo. “Oh you poor thing. Two men with similar senses of humor.”

Mary gawked at Ron as she entered Jeff’s condo. Similar senses of humor? Huh? What had she missed? “What are you talking about?”

“Inanimate objects treated like they’re alive.” Ron placed the pizzas on the pass-through counter. “Like me and the blender? Or my mulish computer?”

Mary smiled and nodded. “Can so relate. I got a few of those dang things, too.”

Ron chuckled. “One item we all have in common.”

“What’s that?” Jeff asked, closing the door behind him.

“Quirky sense of humor,” Mary added.

Jeff grinned at her and faced Ron. “Is that what you were going to say?”

“Yes,” Ron said walking over to her. He reached for the bags she held as he continued speaking. “I think there’s another thing we all have in common.”

Mary looked at Jeff. He shrugged and shook his head. She handed Ron the bags. “Okay, what is it?”

“We care for each other and we’re friends.” Ron set the bags on the counter next to the pizzas.

“I agree,” Jeff said, walking into the kitchen. “Nice to have things to build upon.”

“Build upon?” Mary asked, following him into the kitchen.

“Yes. Did a bit of research before I fell asleep.” Jeff crossed the kitchen to the refrigerator and turned. “Seems multipartnered relationships often have a common ground to build upon.”

“Whoa,” Ron said. He leaned against the doorframe, his arms at his sides. Jeff glanced at Ron’s hands. They appeared opened and relaxed. Good, starting a fistfight wasn’t what he had in mind. Food and discussion was as far as he got in possibilities for evening.

Ron stepped into the kitchen. “There’s a lot of research out there. Some of its based on factual findings. Some on conjecture. Be careful what you believe.”

“Good point,” Jeff replied. “I remember Mrs. Markham’s literature class and the citations we had to come up with.”

“Lord,” Ron groaned. “That woman would hound you on authenticating your findings four times over.”

“Mrs. Markham?” Mary asked opening and closing cabinets.

“Yes, junior year American lit class. What you looking for?” Jeff inquired.

“Glasses. Makes putting ice and soda together easier, you know.”

“My bad. I haven’t unpacked them yet.” He walked over to the box setting closest to the sink and back wall of cabinets, torn the box open and sat three glasses in the sink.

“Did you order everything and have it delivered?” Mary asked, squirting dish detergent on to the sponge in the sink.

“No. Movers packed up my old place and put stuff into storage about four months ago. Mia oversaw that for me. She called the people who helped her and Stan move.” Jeff rinsed and dried each glass.

“I’m hungry. Let’s get food on the table and we can talk more then, okay?” Ron was at the stove with the oven open. “It’ll take about five minutes to warm up the pizzas.”

“I’ll take care of the salad,” Mary said, taking the bowl Jeff held out to her.

“I’ll set the table.” Jeff started back across the kitchen toward the pile of boxes he’d gotten the glasses out of.

“One of the bags has plates, napkins, and utensils in it. Why not use them?” Ron asked, placing one of the pizzas in the oven.

Jeff emptied the bags on the table, laid out plates, napkins, and packaged utensils. “Oh, double chocolate brownie. Thanks, dude. Haven’t had one in a while.”

Enjoying Writing

Almost 8K in on newest story line: Book Two of Pacific Cay Trilogy-Working title for Menage/Polyamory love story Dare to Love Again. M/F/M

I love when characters come alive and the words start flowing. These three are connecting and telling me their story.

Here’s to 40k and an awesome story for Jeff, Mary and Ron.