The New Book and Other Pleasantries

Hello!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it, my lovelies? Life has been truly hectic, but fun; but if you stuck by, and are still here, here’s what’s happening in kkolmakovland 😀

  1. Hammer Up! is out!

I know, right? Shocking! Somehow amidst the new job; and the online childcare courses I’m taking; and the Comic-Con I had a table at; and the everyday life that shouldn’t be abandoned (Stop glaring at me, Laundry Pile! I’ll get to you, when I get to you!)… I released the second book!

It’s available here on Amazon… or alternatively, if you trust me (I swear you can, but you’d have to take my word for it 😛 ) you can send $25 to my PayPal and get a SIGNED copy into your mailbox. Just don’t forget to send the address where Hammer Up! should be shipped. You can contact me through my Writer’s Facebook page.

If you contributed into the Kickstarter campaign for Hammer Up! (it’s sad it didn’t work out, but it was loads of fun to try!) you know that there’s a print.

If you want it, it’s yours with the book for additional $5.

Those of you who already sent some funds that way, your books and prints will be sent out next week!

2. My new job is AWESOME! I’m now working in a childcare centre in a room with 16 three- to five-year olds – and it’s the best I’ve ever felt at work! Who knew after years of uni teaching; interpreting; translating; working in a bakery; and tutoring, that I belong in childcare?!

And the best part is that the schedule – early rise, and done at 5 p.m. – is quite perfect for writing, and drawing, and still being a good mum!

I will of course have to cut down some of my projects. Let’s face it, when I just started I had quite unrealistic expectations; but most of my stuff will stay. Here’s what’s happening:

A. Wattpad: several webserials are ongoing – and going strong! You can see the update schedule on the left of my Wattpad page. Jack in the Box is almost complete; and I’m still pondering which of the hundred ideas swarming in my head will take it’s Thursday slot 😀 Let me know if you have a favourite among those I mentioned before.

B. Art-ing is happening, and will go to DeviantArt, and Etsy, and you can see it on my Instagram.

C. I’m still planning to write some FF. The Four Corners of Middle Earth is the story I want to continue writing; and perhaps some others will get some attention 😉

Also, I’m planning to watch Thor: Ragnarok next week, and we all know what large amounts of Loki do to me 😉

D. I’m planning to revamp my Patreon page in the next few days, so feel free to support me 😉

E. My next big project is turning Blind Carnival (remember this one? she writes erotic novels; he’s boring in bed? 😀 ) into… a book? a webserial on Wattpad? something completely new? I don’t know, but let me know if you do!

That’s all, folks!

I’ll go write a new chapter for Second Time Around. Hogwarts Thorin and Wren need me! 😀

Here’s a photo of me from the Comic-Con if you missed it 😀

 

Live Well and Prosper || Chapter 9. Wrennie and A Missed Party

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The next months are a daze. You study; you go to the lab; you drag yourself home. You’re so tired, you don’t remember what you eat, and how you fall asleep. You grit your teeth and bash on. You drink too much coffee; you look like shite. The Spring is the worst. You’re so exhausted by then, your nails chip and you start losing hair.

John is helping. He cooks, or orders take away. He brings you a full plate. He picks up the half eaten one, once you crash on the sofa. He takes your clothes to a dry cleaners and turns on the washer. He gets groceries. He never complains, he helps you with whatever studies he can help with.

One evening in March you’re sobbing desperately in the shower, and he knocks at the door.

“Wrennie, are you OK?”

You’re so raspy from crying that you can’t answer.

“Can I come in?”

“Yeah.” You’re moving behind the fogged part of the door, so he can’t see what bloody mess you are.

You hear him come in.

“Wren?”

“Yeah?”

“What’s wrong?” His tone is soft, and it makes something snap in you. You emit another loud sob.

“We haven’t shagged for two months!” You lean into the wall and start slowly sliding down. “And I don’t want to!” The last words are already a wail. “I’m so skinny, it’s disgusting… and everything hurts, and I’m just… so… tired…” You press the heels of your hands to your eyes.

He comes up to the door and taps the tip of his finger to it. You lift your eyes at him. He’s smiling to you, it’s a sympathetic warm smile; and you cry harder.

He opens the door and steps into the shower, just as he is – in his soft bottoms, a tee, and socks.

He sits on the floor, water running down him, and pulls you on his lap.

He’s rocking you softly from side to side, and you’re shaking.

“Wren, it’s OK… I’ve been there, remember? I’ve gone through three med degrees, and I was no better than you.” He’s cradling your head in his large palm. “And yeah, it is shite, and everything else has to wait… But, love, you’re doing fine. The research is going well, the grant has been confirmed. Just breathe through it.”

“What about you? I sometimes think you’ll forget what I look like…” you whine. You’re beyond the point where you craved reassurance. You have no energy anymore. You think if he gets up and announces he dumps you, you will just turn off the water, and fall asleep here.

“I’m making the list of all the shag you owe me. For when you’re done with the studies. So you know, the reverse cowgirl on the living room carpet is in the triple digits by now.”

You want to laugh, but all that comes out is a strangled bark like sound.

“Wren…” He cups your face and makes you meet his eyes. “I understand. I was young, and ambitious; and unlike you I didn’t care how it affected those around me. I’m here, and I’ll help.”

You drop your head, pressing your face to his chest. Your hands are shaking visibly.

***

Summer is easier. You seem to have found your footing. There’s even a week off, and the two of you plan a vacation.

You talk about it in bed, his Mac on his lap. He shows you photos of Greece and Majorca, and you nod and grin. You adore the giant new bed you two bought for your flat, and the bedding with light blue paisley pattern – and John in his glasses and tee, clicking excitedly on the sites of resorts. You two end up staying in your flat through the whole week, shagging, eating, and watching telly – and it’s the best decision the two of you have ever made.

You come back to work energised and ready to kick arse. And you do. You feel like Thomas, or that other tank engine that could – you feel very professional and put together. You reorganize your schedule, and you start getting enough sleep. You don’t have time for anything else, but at least you stopped falling asleep in the lift between the entrance hall and your flat on the fourth floor.

***

It’s the end of November, and the phone rings in your lab. You pick it up; and a vaguely familiar female voice asks for you.

“Mrs. Thorington?” she asks.

“It’s Ms. Leary, actually.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t sure… Ms. Leary, I’m Eva Amandine, I’m Dr. Thorington’s teaching assistant.”

“Oh, right… Hi!” You’re flipping through a file for the current experiment. “You’ve met couple times in John’s office. And I think there was also that professorial party in May, right?”

“Yes,” she laughs softly. “The endlessly boring one, where we were the only two people under forty.” You hum confirming.

You remember Eva. She is tall, has raven black hair, and impeccable taste in clothes. Her heels were exceptionally tall as well. She was dressed all in black, and you thought there was something very dominatrix like about her.

“I’m calling about this party Dr. Thorington is invited to. One of his colleagues is receiving yet another award, and Dr. Thorington is supposed to bring plus one.”

“Oh…” You rummage through the piles of papers on your table. “Just a mo, I’ll find my mobile. For my schedule. When is the party?”

“It’s tonight, Ms Leary. I apologize it’s so last moment.”

“Oh…” You look at the row of tubes waiting for you. “I can’t tonight… I won’t find anyone to come in instead of me.”

“That’s a pity, Ms Leary. I’ll let Dr. Thorington know.”

You two say your goodbye, and you hang up. It feels strange that it was so last minute, but you forget about the conversation distracted by the bamf waiting for you.

***

And then one evening John comes home with flushed cheeks, smelling of cologne; and he waltzes into the living room, where you are for the first time in forever, before him, having dinner alone.

He’s humming a tune, and is loosening his tie. He’s endlessly lush in his black three piece suit, and you lift an eyebrow. He barks a throaty laugh, comes up to you, and stretches the hand to you.

“Well, hello there, doctor,” you purr, and he twirls you and then dunks you backwards. You laugh, and he pulls you up and to his mouth. He tastes like champagne.

“Good evening?” you ask with a giggle.

He picks you up under your arms and plops your arse on the table. He wedges between your knees.

“A very good evening?” you ask, and he grins lopsidedly.

“Horrid boring party. I drank just to have something to do.” He slides his palms up your thighs, and then dives in and presses his lips to your neck. You drop your head back invitingly.

“I’m very glad to see you then,” you murmur, and he presses his hand between your shoulder blades and, supporting you, lowers you on the table. He jerks off the jacket, while you unbuttons your jeans.

“I’m planning to reinforce this opinion in you, love.” When he’s randy or drunk, his childhood Northern accent peeks just a wee bit. Just a bit in the vowels. Just a bit more ‘loov’ in his ‘love.’ This turns you on so much!

Clothes fly off, only the white shirt and your bra surviving the purge, and the two of you spend an hour, energetically shagging, moaning, scratching, sucking, and grabbing.

In the bath afterwards, he’s tenderly moving a loofah on your shoulders in delicious circles, and you sigh contentedly.

“I honestly wish you could go to more parties with me.” He kisses your ear. “If we found a closet there and did what we just did there on the table, time would fly so much faster.”

You giggle.

“We would be arrested for inappropriate behaviour.”

“Well, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Everyone is way too proper at those parties.” He makes a dramatic disgusted grimace. “Mannered talking, champagne, no dancing on the table. I had to attend less of these dos when I was trying to sell myself. Who knew professors are so into unsatisfying inadequate parties?”

You look at him and gently wipe the bubbles off his eyebrow.

“I’m sorry I can’t come most of the time.”

He shrugs and pulls you closer.

“As long as I come home and get to… have dinner with you.” He wiggles his eyebrows.

Something pushes you to ask.

“So, you just go alone then?”

“Eva goes with me,” he answers offhandedly. “She’s no fun, though. She takes the parties seriously.”

You laugh, but something feels off. You will think about it later. You lean into his kiss, and slide onto his lap. You’re very glad you went for a roomy tub.

Live Well and Prosper || Chapter 4. Good Morning, Wrennie!

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You don’t do the stupid thing. It’s shocking, isn’t it? Wrennie Leary acting wisely… Wrennie Leary acting wisely around Dr Delicious – and yes, he’s gotten all his positive monikers back – is even more astonishing. You don’t jump his bones, which consequently does not lead to you prolonging your backache indefinitely. You don’t try to kiss him. You don’t raise any other emotionally excruciating for both of you questions. You just watch the film and enjoy it immensely. In the last third of it he starts whining that it’s quite obvious who’s the ‘baddie’ here. It turns out he hasn’t seen the film before, and hasn’t read the book, but of course he guesses right.

The two of you eat dinner, and then he leaves, after stocking up your fridge, and kissing you to the top of your head. You don’t insist he stays.

In the next week and the half you don’t invite him over. Well, alright, he comes twice. But he rang you up on his own accord! Gracefully accepting his groceries, and his cooking abilities still counts as acting wisely. And again, you don’t offer anything but a film, a long and jolly chat, one game of chess, and two kisses to his cheek. Wisely! It’s called ‘wisely!’

It’s in equal proportions excruciating and exhilarating. It’s like watching a romcom with oneself in the leading role, and the whole ‘will they, won’t they’ thrill; but just as in a romcom we all know they will, don’t we, Wrennie?

And then you’re back at work, and so much has to be done; that when a week later you resurface, you feel like you’ve been on a deserted island. You even get a haircut, because it feels like you need to clean up now that you’re back to the civilised society.

And then it’s Thea’s birthday – and somehow, at some point, you get arsed up. In your case it’s two drinks. The first one makes you jolly and very, very friendly, but you don’t remember this stage. You reckon in the morning that there was no pause between the two bevvies, and you can only assume that either the person you were drinking with didn’t know about your intolerance, or they did try to get you bladdered.

The investigation will have to wait, since your priority number one – once you open your eyes and stare at the unfamiliar window curtains – is to figure out where the fuck you are, and how much aggro you’re in.

The room is dark, the curtains are drawn. You quickly look around. Everything is posh, elegant, but spartan. And then you recognise the painting on the wall. Unless the person whose place you are at has a copy of the Kandinsky that you’ve observed so many times above John’s headboard, you’re in Dr Delicious’ bed. You know very little about art, and Kandinsky seems to do the same thing again and again, but you’ve spent so many hours in various positions looking at it that you can’t possibly be wrong – here is that blueish greenish blob you always thought looked like a fish. OK, OK, a cock! You’ve always thought it looked like a cock. You’re a chavvy bird, what can you do?

You do the most logical thing you can in this case. You sniff the sheets and the pillow case. Yep, definitely John’s bed. Or at least the one he has slept in. You exhale in relief and plop back into his sheets. Out of all possible beds, this one is the jammiest for you to find yourself in.

After a few seconds of relief, you of course start panicking and hyperventilating since you are – Rassilon help you – in John’s bed. But it’s a mild panic and only a semi-hyperventilation. What’s the worst that could have happened? You shagged him? Fine, it was coming anyway. Pity you won’t remember it. You didn’t shag him and fell on the floor in a precise impersonation of Aunt Pittypat? Not bad either. Perhaps better. Whom are you bloody kidding?! All gods and deities, please, don’t let you two have shagged!

You are predictably as much as starkers. Predictably, because that is the cliche, and altogether this situation does seem like a beginning of a short but sweet romance story, or a scene from the aforementioned romcom. And also because you hate sleeping in a bra. It’s still with you under the duvet, so you assume you took it off yourself. The dress and the shoes are near the bed, neatly placed on a very elegant valet stand. My oh my, you do know that tie near your dress.

The knickers are gone, though. You rummage your hand under the sheets, but they are nowhere to be found. That’s a proper mystery! They were lacy thongs, and you hate those; so it makes sense that you’d take them off, but where are they?

You carefully climb off the bed and mince to what you think is a bathroom. You’re right, and you quickly make use of it and the loo. You also once again seek confirmation that you are indeed in John’s flat – though, clearly not the flat you remember. Products are the same, and there’s a long dark hair in the brush. You breathe a wee bit easier now. You find his robe and wrap in it. Your head’s splitting, and you properly don’t want to get dressed. Besides, you still don’t have any smalls.

Somewhat splashed with cold water, terribly hungover, pale, and disheveled you crawl out of the bedroom into a large living room. Even if your brain didn’t feel like black pudding, you’d be feeling all confused right now. The view in front of you is exactly what they call ‘it was like a dream.’ Here and there you see familiar things – the cursed Ming vase; the painting of that fashionable Japanese painter you always forget the name of; John’s laptop bag; other bits and bobs that you’ve seen and cohabited with for months – but the furniture is new, and it’s clearly a new flat.

You make a few careful steps, and then you see a note on the table. It’s definitely John’s confident, flamboyant handwriting.

Morning, love!

How’s your head? (The meds are attached.)

You see a glass of water and couple pills nearby. You’re still at sixes and sevens, so you decide to finish reading before taking strange pills in a strange home.

Last night I received a call from the concierge of my former building who claimed that my – also, former – paramour was hollering under windows, demanding entrance, threatening to start serenading me from under the balcony. (As flattered as I am, I find it necessary to remind you that the building had no balconies.) As my Romeo appeared mobile, though unreasonable, Mr Deel loaded the Hope and Pride of the Rivendell Institute in a cab, and I received the parcel here. Welcome to my new flat!

I suggest you take the pills, cook yourself a substantial breakfast, and then you will have two choices: 1. You could go home and have a lie-in. I took the liberty to text your friend Thea after you fell asleep informing her you’re safe, and in return she said she rang up the Institute and told them you had an appointment with your acupuncturist and weren’t coming into work today. 2. You could stay. I’ll be home at seven fifteen.

As you can imagine, everything mine is yours. None of your old things are left, sadly. As you recall, I sent you the forgotten items in the first week of our separation. But I’ve always loved the view of you in my shirt. Just a shirt.

You’ve been reading the note in his voice in your head. The last three are a sexy purr.

By the way, don’t look for your knickers. Among many other things you blurted out into my face last night, you mentioned you had thrown them out the cab window. You called it ‘burning the bridges,’ and then offered to describe them to me if necessary.

You’re suddenly not feeling that great, and hurriedly take the meds. Fuck you, Wrennie, you just had to go all in, didn’t you? Literally, couldn’t keep your pants on. And, what the bloody hell did you also blurt out into his face?!

If you happen to be still in this flat, at around six thirty, please, feel free to order dinner. There’re menus in the kitchen (second drawer to the right from the stove), but none of the choices is obligatory. I trust your taste completely.

Just to make the following hours more difficult for you (consider it the revenge for the sleepless night I spent trying not to think of the naked backside you gleefully demonstrated to me), I will inform you that the second most popular topic of your blabbering was your self-pleasuring habits, and my recent reappearance in the leading role in your fantasies. And yes, Wrennie my dear, I do think about that one time in my office quite often as well.

Love,

John

You finish the water in the glass, and plod to the kitchen to make a brekkie. To stay, or not to stay – that is the sodding question.  

 

Live Well and Prosper || Chapter 2. Wrennie in a Pinch

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After the coffee date, you have one more. A week later you meet up for a nice cozy dinner in a small Italian bistro. There is a tea candle on the table, and he looks delicious with soft shadows dancing on his face. You two laugh a lot, and just can’t stop talking. The food goes cold; and then the waiter has to cough twice to make the two of you stop chinwagging and finally order some pudding. Both you and John don’t wants any, but it seems neither do both of you want the evening to end.

Instead of taking a cab you walk, continuing your chat. It’s a greedy, jumping from topic to topic, picking up previous lines kind of chatting. Both of you raise your voices, interrupt each other, laugh loudly, and gesture wildly. At some point it calms down, and you just walk, he’s carrying his coat, you pushed your hands in the pockets of yours. The conversation is calmer now, more pensive, and then suddenly you’re in front of your building.

Of course, you’ve thought of what’s going to happen after. You’ve considered and ‘overconsidered’ the question of kissing, and, of course, the question of shag. And it’s the second date, but on the other hand, you’ve been as much as married. And it’s all new, and tentative, but on the other hand, you want him so much that your hands are shaking.

You walk couple steps up, not sure what you think, and then you turn around sharply, still not knowing what to say, and see that he’s lingered behind you on the sidewalk, one foot on the first step. He’s not following you, just looking at you, and you catch the unguarded loving expression in his eyes.

In the warm, sparkly light of the streetlamps, he looks like a prince from a fairy tale. Not those glossy, anti-feminist Disney ones, like the abusive Beast, or the vague one from Cinderella. Somehow you think back at the only VHS you had in one of your foster homes. It was Gulliver’s Travels, from 1939; and as prickly and as ballsy as you were when you were eleven, you secretly watched and rewatched it, and you’d rather die but admit that you watched that doll looking prince with tears in your eyes.

You’ve seen John’s face millions of times, but how much do we actually notice about people around us, until that one crisp moment when the lines suddenly stand out for us? The thick black eyebrows, the elongated shape of bright blue eyes, the crow’s feet, the curve of the lips. He’s endlessly dashing in his navy jumper, the lines of the strong neck and wide shoulders, as if etched in the darkness of the night, and the coat thrown over his arm, which makes him look even more of a romantic figure.

There is a soft smile on his lips, and his eyes are shining, and you step towards him, and your eyes level to his, and you lean in and kiss him. He wraps one arm around your waist, still in accordance with this suddenly manifested charming princely nature; and you gingerly place one hand at the back of his neck, while another lies on his chest. His lips are warm, and gentle. There is no hunger, but still plenty of passion; and tenderness; and some sort of vulnerability.

It’s a Hollywood worthy moment, and you’re melting into it, your heart fluttering, and your breathing shuddered. Sod all cliches, you’ll take it as it is, and will be happy that this is the place you’re in right now.  You’re in love with the man, and you’ll stop analyzing, and just cherish the second chance you two have gotten.

The kiss is long, and it’s starting to heat up, when he softly steps back, and you see him take a deep calming breath in.

“Good night, Wren.” His voice is thick and smoky, and you lean in again ad quickly kiss his cheek.

“Night.” You twirls on your heels and rush to the door.

***

Three days after it, you’re getting ready to go to work. You bend down to pick up a sock you threw on the floor the night before, and something twists in your hip – in a sadly familiar way. You cry out and press your hand into the wall, supporting yourself. That’s the pinched nerve in the right side of your pelvis. You were a breech baby, and had a few injuries in your teen years: two nasty falls in a dancing class, and one encounter with a ditch due to a daft boyfriend with a bike.

The pain is excruciating. The tears immediately run your cheeks, and you take careful breaths in. You know the drill, really. First, the pain will be centered, just in one spot, white and furious; but then it’ll spread, through the pelvis, and the lower back, blinding and burning; and in an hour you will be properly immobile. You need to ring up the lab to take sick days, arrange someone to take you to your masseuse, then acupuncturist, and then five days in bed, each movement accompanied by the shot of pain similar to someone burying an ax into your spine. That’s just bloody ace, isn’t it?

Thankfully, you reach Thea, and then the two of you go through the good old dance called ‘Wrennie is in so much pain she will take any drugs you can give her.’ No drugs help here, though. A good mattress and no extra movement will. 

You’re taken in in the clinic right away, and the next three hours pass in the habitual tortures. You’re squeezed, twisted, and kneaded; and then there are needles, with wires attached to them; your body protesting, and your mind succumbing to overwhelming self-pity.

Thea drives you home and offers to stay. You know she doesn’t want to. Thea can’t stand sick people. You let her go with sincere thank-you’s, and relax in your bed. It’s clearly Netflix time.

You order takeaway, and the first two days pass in Doctor Who marathon; Interstellar, which you’ve been meaning to watch for a while; Jessica Jones; and then Princess Bride to detox from a man wearing the face of Ten being the creepiest fuck there has been shown on telly.

The evening of day two of your sudden hols – not the good kind – John rings you up to offer to go to cinema the next day. You have half a mind to tentatively agree – you properly want to go – but then you remind yourself that inadequate self-care will cripple you for a month or so.

“Um… I have that back thing again…” You’re trying to remember if he’s even born witness to it. Hm… You definitely mentioned it, but you think the previous episode was when the two of you just started dating, so he wouldn’t have seen it. “I have a pinched nerve in the… pelvis. Nothing serious. Just need a bit of rest, and as little movement as possible. Should I ring you when I’m up for going out?”

He’s silent a bit on the other end, and you wonder what he’s thinking about so hard there.

“Wren, I’d really want to help, but I’m not sure where we are with visitations…” Ah, that explains it. His tone is adorably uncertain.

“I’d love to see you,” you answer. “I can’t move much, but if you’re OK with sitting and watching telly with me…” He laughs in your mobile.

“I’d love to come and watch telly with you.”

You agree on him coming in two hours, and you make a superhuman effort and go to the shower. You took one yesterday, but it was just a quick rinse. Being a thick, thick hen who decided to clean up for her fella, you’ve overestimated the healing you’ve done by now, and mid-shower you realise that you might have to sit in the tub and wait for him to come and pull you out. Although, he’d need to break your door down for that, since he has no key. That would be a rather ridiculous situation, wouldn’t it? And definitely not how you imagined him seeing you starkers for the first time. Well, not the first time, per se… You breathe through another wave of piercing pain that feels like a metal belt with daggers turned inwards around your pelvis, quickly wash off the soap, and step out of the tub. You wrap in the robe and sit down on a chair in the hall near the bathroom. If you go and lie down right now, you won’t be able to get up to let him in.

Thankfully, he’s here twenty minutes later. He buzzes, you get up with a groan, and let him in. And then you have to stand on the same spot, leaning onto the wall, taking careful breaths in. Isn’t Wren a bleeding idiot? You properly should have decided on a date in a week, and come to it – pretty, fit, and bendable. As opposed to wet, sad, and stiff as a mop handle.

The door opens, and he comes in, with grocery bags, and a bouquet of your favourite red carnations. He sees you, and the smile on his face drops.

“It’s really not that bad!” you squeak. “I am fine when I’m in bed. I just… The shower took too long.”

He carefully puts down his treats and steps to you.

“What do you need, Wrennie? I can carry you, or…”

“No, no, it’ll hurt more. Just… I’ll go lie down… And you come…” You’re momentarily regretful that you invited him, and that he just saw you so pathetic, and that he’s now studying you with worried eyes. Stupid, stupid Wren.

“So you know, you’re still super sexy,” he deadpans, and you stare at him. “The wet hair, rosy cheeks… And your robe covers very little. So I’ll go stick my head under cold water, then make us a cuppa, and come to pretend to watch telly while lusting over your body. OK?” A wide smile breaks on his face, and you giggle.

“Thank you,” you answer softly. It’s your gratitude for coming, and for reassuring, and for not being a prick, but a loving man that you momentarily forgot he has always been capable of being. He nods, and you slowly walk to the bedroom.

And then you realise you really fancy to have fresh sheets right now. Thea changed them two days ago, but you’d love to have clean ones. There’s another set in your wardrobe, and you chew on your lip wondering if it’s OK to ask him to help.

He finds you still standing staring at your bed.

“I put the kettle on. And I’ll cook you dinner, because you will soon succumb to scurvy like a proper seadog, considering the rubbish you’ve been eating.” He then hikes up one eyebrow. “What are we looking at?”

“Could you… help me with sheets?” you ask in a small voice, and he throws a long look at your rumpled bed.

“No.” That was a bloody decisive answer. What did you expect? It’s all awkward, and it’s your bed, and the two of you… “There’ll be no ‘helping.’ You sit, or stand, whatever works, and I’ll do it. Where are the sheets?”

You point at the drawer and lean on the wall.

You’re watching him deftly move around your small bed, pulling, taking off, tucking, and straightening. Blimey, you love to watch him move, whatever he does. There’s the assurance, and the gracefulness, and then he throws you a cheeky grin over his shoulder.

“Are you agonising about me being in your bed?” He wiggles his eyebrows, in complete accordance with the genre.

“No, I’m staring at your arse,” you bite back, and he guffaws.

“Help yourself. I checked yours out in the hall. And you should tighten up the robe too.” He points at your cleavage with his eyes. The low, purposefully husky voice, and a ridiculous Casanova smirk are funny – and whom are you kidding, very sexy too.

He leaves for kitchen to manage the kettle, and you pick up PJs from the wardrobe, and change as quickly as your body allows you. You’re very glad you didn’t refuse his offer to come.

 

Updated Schedule + “Stop, Hammer Time!” News

Hello!

Firstly, here’s the new and adjusted update schedule (considering the latest developments):

Monday: Fairy Wars on Archive of Our Own (AO3)

Tuesday: Sunny Side Up (Star Trek/ Hobbit crossover fusion, in collaboration with Wynni) on AO3 (bi-weekly)

Wednesday: Ice Ice Baby! on fanfiction.net and AO3 (simultaneous updates, just choose whichever site works better for you)

Thursday: Fairy Wars on AO3 and Better Than One on JukePop

Friday: Stop, Hammer Time! companion pieces on fanfiction.net + assorted projects, including occasional fanfiction

Saturday: Dr T Series on this blog

Sunday: zoo with the kid/watercolours/breathing 🙂

How’s that? 🙂

Regarding Stop, Hammer Time!

I decided to enter Stop, Hammer Time! (after a major rewrite and editing, of course) into a publishing contest on Amazon. It’s based on public voting through the month of November. If enough people vote for it, it gets published through Amazon, I get paid a bit, and they promote the book. The best part is that every person who voted gets a copy for FREE!

So, my darlings, let’s make it happen in November. Vote for SHT and gently entice your friends and family to do the same! I’ll keep you posted about the title (I’m sure STH is copyrighted) and the overall state of the project here, or on my Facebook page.

Thank you!

Cheers,

Katya

Update Schedule and Patreon News

Hello!

I decided that it would be nice of me to post my update schedule, since I was asked several times, and generally, I feel people are already twitching nervously since I’m jumping from platform to platform, updating in a seemingly frantic fashion 🙂

Firstly, yes, I am. There’s a lot going on, and it is very much frantic 🙂

Secondly, here’s the schedule in case you want to read something else by yours truly (or all of it! But who has that much time? 😉 )

Monday: Fairy Wars on Archive of Our Own (Celtic mythology and The Hobbit fusion)

Tuesday: Read Like a Book (BBC Sherlock fanfiction; previously posted on fanfiction.net) on Archive of Our Own

Wednesday: fanfiction day 🙂 Either Four Corners of Middle Earth or Read Between the Lines on FanFiction. Or both. I can’t help it! I want it all!

Thursday: second chapter a week for Fairy Wars on AO3 + Better Than One (romance/mystery/erotica parody) on JukePop

Friday: catching-up day (there are couple things here and there, such as a new Star Trek fusion crossover Sunny Side Up on AO3, and the exclusive for my supporters on Patreon 1930’s Agatha Christie style mystery story Lady Leary Mysteries; so it’s not like I have nothing to do 😉 )

SaturdayDr T Series on my blog.

Sunday: no updates. I’m probably in the zoo with my kid. Have you read the chapter in Better Than One about goose poop? Yeah, that zoo 😛

And now, regarding my Patreon:

Firstly, my most heartfelt gratitude to my Patrons! Your support is most appreciated! I’m hoping my Patreon to grow soon, and then I don’t have to find a job 😉 and can just continue this updating madness, and finally finish my children’s book Axolotl Returns, and start looking for a publisher for it! (Let’s face it, if you like my Johns, you will love Uncle Darius 😉 )

As for the exclusive Patron posts that are only available for you if you’re donating (as little as) $1 per month:

I’ve sort of lost my interest in my Rodhina Project. I blame the lack of a dark haired, blue-eyed male protagonist 😉 The interest will, of course, be back in September, when I am planning to start working on more art for the upcoming Winnipeg Comic-Con where I’m going to have a table. We are having William Shatner as a guest this year! I’m excited 🙂 (Also, whatever art I create by then will be surely available on my Etsy shop. I’ll keep you posted.)

So, I’m thinking for now my Patrons will receive exclusive chapters of Lady Leary Mysteries as a reward for their support: The general rating ones, containing the investigation plot will be available to all my Patrons (pledges starting at $1 per month); and for those pledging $10 – erotic companion pieces. (I’ve written one already. I’m completely infatuated with this story, and this couple thrills me. So I wrote ahead, which I only do if I can’t contain myself 😀 I hope you like them too. And again, the fashion!)

So, see you in my multiple platforms and (hopefully) my Patreon!

Love you all,

K.

P. S. Did you see my modest doodles on my Instagram? I’m planning to start posting my doodles on a DeviantArt page. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Heal All Wounds || Chapter 11. Wrennie Comes… Home?

Author’s note:

The end is nigh, my lovelies! I’m joking, of course. What I mean is that besides this one, I have two more chapters written, and then  – complete freedom for me to create, and for you to influence! So, put on your commenting hats, and start expressing your opinions! 😉 

Yours truly,

Katya Kolmakov

hal11

Striking cheekbones, strong, clean shaven jaw line, full sensual lips. Everything about him is bright, warm, chestnut, caramel, chocolate, burning hot espresso early in the morning – and he’s smiling into your eyes. Taller than John, he looks down at you and a few shiny thick curls fall on his forehead. Thick black eyebrows jump up, small wrinkles run from the corners from his eyes. He is warm, open, and absolutely fucking obviously attracted to you. Right here, right now. Damn it, Wren, pull yourself together!

You extricate yourself out of his arms and step back.

“Yes, I am Wren Leary. To what do I owe the pleasure?” He chuckles. It’s very friendly, cordial, deep in his throat, and, bloody hell, this is one sexy neck!

“The pleasure is all mine, Ms Leary. I am a representative of Amrod Pharmaceuticals. You had a meeting arranged with an employee of mine, but he got sick. So you got me.”

And he smiles, the teeth white and even. He doesn’t hold it back, it is all shark like, and sunny. Retreat, retreat!

You swipe your card to enter the lab and invite him in with a wide gesture.

“Be my guest, Mr Anderson.” He bows to you theatrically.

“Call me Auggie.”

Blimey, what did you do to deserve it?!

***

August Anderson is everything a bird can dream of. Witty, clever, charming, ruthless in business, but smart to understand when he is beaten and to accept the fact that he is overpowered with a gracious smile. He’s endlessly respectful and well-mannered. There is this charming Southern American polished politeness in him. One cannot learn to be like that, one has to be born into it. It’s not posh, or cold; it comes from growing up in a big loving family, loyal and affectionate.

And indeed, after you battle the contract you want out of him, and watch him sign it with a soft amicable laughter on his lips, he tells you how you are the first person to outsmart and ‘outargue’ him since he moved out of his parents’ place and went to college. And then he tells you that he has four older brothers, and he’s the snarkiest one. And as if he could get even more attractive, he tells you how they were the ones to teach him to fight for what he wants, but not before he let them talk him into getting the same tattoo they did – a bull skull between his shoulder blades.

You’re laughing loudly, he’s grinning. The chairs are way too close to each other, and you feel the warmth of his body. His eau de cologne seems to have seeped into your skin, and you’re momentarily surprised by the ease you ‘re feeling near him.

“So tell me, Wren Leary, are you single?” He’s twirling his Mont Blanc in his long fingers, and you fucking feel like you ran into a shop window on full speed. Smash! That is a big question, isn’t it? That is when your lovely friendly chat ends.

Also, you’re surprised he doesn’t know. Everybody fucking does. The biochem world, all the medical community, all the big shots, and all the old money in this country – and possibly hemisphere – have been present at your engagement party, and had a chance to whisper over a flute of Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Rose Cuvee of year 2004 that Dr. John Crispin Thorington, the Sun of the Contemporary Neurosurgery, got himself an arm candy.

Judging by the jacket and the Patek Philippe on his wrist, Auggie Anderson should have been at that party as well. The blushing bride was lovely, in a shimmering cocktail dress of a gentle coral tint. The dashing, future sugar daddy had a matching tie. You asked for no photos from that night to ever appear in front of your eyes.

“I am engaged actually.” You sound numb. Sod it, you feel numb. His eyes fall on your hand. No way in hell you are explaining to him that you prohibited John from even thinking of a ring. You immediately remember an old joke. “Darling, why aren’t you wearing your band?” “It is choking me around my neck.”

August Anderson smiles widely and theatrically presses his hand to his heart.

“I am devastated. I’ve been in Japan for the past two and a half years, and look at how much I missed!”

You don’t want to, but you smile back. “Sorry.”

And then he picks up your hand and looking into your eyes, his own brown irises that look like those uber expensive truffles John was treating you to last month, the Amrod Pharmaceuticals representative asks you in a low, suddenly completely serious voice, “Would you have lunch with me, Wren?”

Bugger. Bugger. Bugger… Why does it feel like more than an invitation to a shared midday meal? Because it sodding isn’t.

***

It is two o’clock in the morning, and you’re standing in front of John’s door. The key is frozen in your hand, and you have been here for the last ten minutes at least.

What are you doing here? Why aren’t you going home? And then you correct yourself – you don’t have a home anymore. You do not live with Thea; the cozy illusion of belonging, your card house has broken down; and there behind this posh door is all you have. Some clothes, books, a stuffed cat Thea brought from Paris for you, your old laptop – you didn’t let John buy you a new one – and a man. The man whom you are marrying in less than three months.

Why does it feel like you have no right to open this door?

Why does it feel like you don’t want to open it?

You close your eyes and run a scenario after scenario in your head. Here you are, coming in, slipping into the bedroom, shedding clothes on your way, and then you slide under the blankets, in his familiar warmth, in the fresh smell of his skin, his scorching body meeting you there, and you let yourself melt into him. Why does it feel that to do it is to lose yourself? Why does it feel like forgetting who you are and lying to yourself?

Here is another you. She comes in and wakes him up. She tells him she can’t marry him. She tells him she loves him but can’t see herself going down that aisle, with seven hundred pairs of eyes on her, most of them belonging to the important people, as in important connections, as in his friends and family, as in your new circle and your new life.

Why is it so difficult? Why does it hurt? Why has it always hurt, for fuck sake’s?!

You press your forehead to the cool surface of the door and feel tears run down your face. It has always been so painful, so difficult. Shouldn’t it be easy? Light and sunny, happy and smooth? Shouldn’t you be at least a little bit certain?

You press your right hand to the door as well and then look at it askew. There is no ring on it. You said it would get lost in a lab; you said you couldn’t wear it while working with all this equipment. You both knew you were lying.

You push the key in and turn the handle. The light in the living room is on, and you see John on his sofa. His large body is stretched, relaxed, he’s lying on his back, one of his arms behind his head. He is barefoot, and the sleeves of his blue button-up are rolled up. He’s holding a book of his favourite Hayam in the other hand, and Leonard Cohen’s velvet voice is sensually murmuring at the background. The reading glasses are sitting on the tip of his nose, and he look at you above them, slightly lifting his brows.

You feel like a bloody idiot. Mostly because of painfully cliche Hallelujah carrying through the room. If at least it were First We Take Manhattan or Democracy, it would be tolerable…

You open your mouth and then close it with an audible clank of teeth. He’s silent too, studying your face with an unreadable expression. You suddenly realise that somehow you two have never had a discussion of where one of you had been. You seem to have moved with some sort of synchronicity; you would get together one way or another. He would call or text, or you would; you two would agree to have dinner. It would always go without saying where the two of you were spending the night. Even if not necessarily together, you were more or less aware where the other one was. No creepy overbearing control, but sort of comfortable dancing to the music both of you could hear.

You left in the morning without waking him up; you went to work and left it at lunch with another man. You didn’t come back to your workplace. Let’s face it, you had nothing to do there, all the tests were completed yesterday in the anticipation of the meeting with the Amrod Pharmaceuticals. It is two o’clock, and you’re sneaking into his flat.

And he’s calmly surveying you. You clench your fingers around the strap of your handbag and swallow. The longer you keep silent, the worse it obviously gets. But you honestly have no bloody clue what to say.

The Question of My Writing (current projects + plans)

So… There seems to be a lot going on with my writing, and for a while I felt rather swamped, but the trip to the book fair properly helped to sort out my thoughts and plans. Here is the summary of what’s going on with my writing and what the plans are:

1. Fanfiction:

I’m finishing up Me Without You. There are just a few plot lines that need closure (Fili and Kili, Wren’s magic, wedding, etc.)

I’m planning to sink my teeth into Thorin in Hogwarts adventures (Thorin Durinson and the Conundrum of the Ginger Transfer Student). I’ve received the most amazing review for it, and it inspired me! So many ideas now!

After Me Without You is over, I’m planning to go back to Letters to Your Heart, Axes to Your Scabbard as my central FF story.

Since I always need a side story, once Hogwarts one is over, I’m torn between going back to Ice, Ice, Baby! and some others that were rather promising. Choices, choices… 🙂

2. I’m industriously working on the pieces based on prompts from those readers that pre-ordered my book, Convince Me the Winter Is Over.

3. JukePop:

Ani, my first independent fantasy novel, is going great! On the trip to Toronto Word On the Street Book Fair, I was fortunate enough to monopolise the time of my wonderful friend, Virginia McClain, a fantasy writer herself, and we had the most fruitful discussions. I have so many ideas now, all I need is time to write.

Blind Carnival (a story previously written as a joke on my FanFiction page with my usual original character Wren (Olivia on JukePop) and John (modern Thorin Oakenshield) or more precisely a funny mellow  version of him) became unexpectedly popular! It is endless fun to write, and I am starting to wonder whether I’m a romance/humour writer and not a fantasy writer as I always sort of tentatively assumed 🙂 I’m joking of course! Who needs these tags? 🙂

4. On this blog:

Inspired by the “success” (I’m trying to be modest here :D) of the book and Blind Carnival I moved my modern romance/erotica stories here.

I’m slowly re-editing and posting Dr. T Series on this site. On FF they were titled Touch the Nerve, Strike the Cord, Cut Through the Heart, Heal All Wounds. Once they all are edited and moved, I’m planning to continue the last one since I left the characters in quite a pickle.

I was also planning to start a new romance webserial May to December. It is in the state of flux currently, but I’m very excited about it.

5. Out of the conversations with Virginia, another idea was born, and it’s mad and wonderful, and I’m so giddy that I tend to do a small bum wiggle every time I think about it 😀

Some time ago I started a steampunk AU of The Hobbit, and hardly any other story brought me as much joy when writing it!

In writing, one of the things I most enjoy is research, and this one gave me lots of reasons for it. I had to look into Victorian weaponry and fashion, external combustion engines and such. On the other hand, steampunk isn’t historical prose! It’s so much fun!

The first chapters of the fanfiction story can be found here: The King of Steam and the Ginger Lightning.

So, Virginia told me that one can publish that kind of story! There is a very fine line between parody and fanfiction, but since my goal is to celebrate the work of Tolkien and (though somewhat begrudgingly) Peter Jackson, and not plagiarise them, it can be done!

A lot would have to be changed but I’m considering it.

6. In my spare time (which is literally just my bus rides to work, since I have no other) I’m writing a novella, which at this stage looks like fantasy YA (young adult prose). The protagonist is the daughter of Ani, from the JukePop story, and… one of the two ginger pseudo-Viking protagonists. Spoilers, sweetie! (And yes, it was a reference to River Song, our Goddess :D)

So, this is what’s going on 🙂

Feel free to follow me on Twitter/Instagram, or even better so be my friend on Facebook, to keep up with news 🙂

Here is the photo of my work place 🙂

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