I know, I know… I’m late. So, what’s new? I’m always late nowadays it seems. I had a meeting the other day however that I was NOT late for and thank goodness for that. That means there is progress, slow progress, but progress just the same…
Okay, music is the theme today for Snippet Saturday. I could talk your ears off for days about music. I love it. I crave it. I have to have it. I have a varied taste in music as you could see from the music videos I selected the other day. If you follow my blog, you know I talk about music from Sarah Brightman to Billy Joel to Duran Duran to Breaking Benjamin. And EVERYTHING in between.
I go to concerts every year. Most authors go to Cons, and I go to them as well, though the rest of the word for me is ‘cert’ not ‘ference’. I’ve been going to concerts since I was a kid.
Then there’s my playing of music. I played the flute through Middle School, High School, and what bit of college I went to. I love it still, though I don’t play much anymore. I do take it out, run my fingers over the holes and fingerings, and think about dreams unfulfilled.
But, music is as much a part of me as the blood that runs through my veins.
I guess then it’s odd that I haven’t written about it all that much. There are books in my head that surround music, but none so far that really touch on my love of it. Therefore, I am going to pull a couple of snippets out of my hat…
The drive in The Swing
The party in Ink Spots
So, let’s get to it.
Snippet: The Swing
How twins could be so completely different yet born only moments apart baffled Jethro, but different they’d been.
“I told her if she came back, I wouldn’t let her leave again. I love her and I know I can live without her, but if she comes back out to the house she’s mine and I’m keeping her. And you always knew how I felt about her. I didn’t even have to tell you, it was that strange twin bond thing.”
He didn’t know what he’d been waiting for. Maybe he just needed to say it out loud, to tell Marc in no uncertain terms what he planned to do. He wasn’t looking for absolution or approval. He knew Marc would know, that Marc had expected Jethro and Caitlyn to be together after he died. But here, in this place, his brother’s final resting place, Jethro needed to tell him. He needed it to come from him instead of the memory of Marc’s words of “It’s okay. I know you love her and will make her happy.” He needed to say it. Marc died after those words, a small smile on his face, his body limp, with peace etching itself across his face.
They’d had to pry Marc out of the Jethro’s arms there on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere Afghanistan, just as they’d had to pry Caitlyn away from them both when they landed at Andrews Air Force Base.
He knelt on the ground, plucking at grass blades. “I’ll take care of her, Marc. If she comes to me, I’ll take care of her. I swear I will.”
He stayed there for long minutes. He told Marc about the swings, about the family, about the war that was still going on. He told Marc of the small house he owned on the outside of town, away from everyone and everything, that he’d become a hermit, but that Clarissa had come to visit him, talk with him, that she was getting married. He told Marc he loved him when he didn’t know what else to say. It was time to get back to work, time to get back to the business of living. Marc would understand and wouldn’t want but the best for them all.
Standing from such a position was always hard on him now with the injuries to his hip and thigh. The limp was always more pronounced when he’d been in one position too long. The low-slung seat in the Mustang didn’t help either, but he’d been driving the muscle car ever since he could drive, upgrading every few years, and he didn’t figure that would change anytime soon.
Breaking Benjamin blasted from the speakers when he turned the key in the ignition and he had to laugh. Benjamin screaming into the mic could wake the dead.
And suddenly, having talked to Marc, having been there to connect with him when he’d been avoiding it for so long, lifted a weight. He felt lighter, able to breathe, and as if there were possibilities awaiting him that he’d been closed off to since returning to the States.
The drive back to his house was made with the windows down, the stereo at max volume and a smile on his face.
Snippet: Ink Spots
A collective gasp went up through the ladies in the small crowd and an equally collective groan went down through the men when Vinter stepped up to a microphone.
A small smile played about Elise’s mouth. Carrie’s eyes nearly bugged out of her head. Jackie was glaring daggers at Mac. And Mandi just couldn’t stop staring between the man center stage and the one directly behind him sitting at a drum set.
Vinter was still shirtless, and the ink covering his body just took her breath away. Jaz had shucked his shirt as well, and the muscles of his chest and those traveling his arms, his own inked skin… Her mouth was dry despite the glass of water in front of her. She didn’t drink alcohol and she didn’t have a taste for soda at the moment, so water was her friend.
At least until she’d looked up at the men onstage.
“Now, for those of you who don’t know me and, well, if you don’t, you should. My name is Vinter.” He spoke with a huge grin on his face that was open and welcoming and entirely mischievous. People laughed and the men still groaned.
Elise leaned toward the center of the table. “The man’s ego and sex appeal knows no bounds.”
“Maybe you should put a leash on him,” Carrie whispered, loud enough to be heard over Vinter talking into the mic.
“What fun would that be?”
“Hey, girls.” He was speaking and pointing in their direction. “Got something you want to share with the rest of us?”
Three of the four women shook their heads. Jackie did nothing as she was still glaring at Mac.
Mandi hadn’t been so embarrassed or had so much fun in years. It had been so very long since she’d had close female friends who were local rather than long distance. And the long distance one was Jackie. Most of her friends were actually business contacts and not people she’d had dinner with or a drink outside of a tradeshow hotel. However… Elise and Carrie, yeah she could see going out for pizza and a movie with them or just having them over for wine and girls’ nights. She and Jackie had done that a couple of times, but Jackie was most often at Katz, so those girls’ nights were far and few between.
At the same time, she didn’t know how awkward it would be hanging out with Jaz’s friends’ girlfriends if the two of them weren’t seeing one another.
“I think our birthday girl is off in space.”
Mandi blinked and focused at the mention of birthday girl to find that everyone was looking at her. Okay, this was probably the most embarrassed she’d ever been.
“Ah, she’s back with us. Missed ya, girl. Were you someplace fun?” Vinter was teasing her and it actually made the humiliation easier to take, what with his wicked smile and his even more wicked body half visible.
“Back to what I was saying… Mandi has been in our little community for a few months now and I think this plan was hatched the minute she got to town. Jackie had come to us, asking if we’d play for this shindig and, well, we optimistically said yes. We’ve not played in public for anyone before, but we don’t sound like a bunch of screeching cats either. And who knew our man Jaz up here would take a fancy to the guest of honor.”
Oh god, he didn’t. Mandi buried her face in her hands, both cringing and laughing.
“Then again, who knew she’d take a shine to Jaz, but man oh man, if y’all had seen what I saw earlier between these two, you’d know they were meant to be.”
“Remind me to kick your ass after the party.”
Vinter laughed at the grouchiness in Jaz’s voice and turned his head to look at his drummer. “Remind me to let you try.” He looked back at the small crowd of people gathered. “He actually could kick my ass. Okay, so we have it on Jackie’s authority that one of Mandi’s favorite groups is Nickelback. And yeah, they kick ass too. We do a pretty decent job at covering them and Mac here doesn’t sound half-bad so, without further rambling from me… Mandi, we wish you a very happy birthday.”
I know you’ve already done so, but on the off chance there are a few of you that haven’t, please check out the snippets from the following authors: