It took a little longer than I expected, but Embattled Minds is finally live.
What started out as a short, quick, filler novella, kept getting longer and more involved, until I wondered if I would ever get it tied up. Once again, I was writing about something I know very little about, so it was taking longer. I had scenes in mind, it was just writing them down correctly.
Ember scrawled something on her pad and headed for the kitchen. As if she felt him watching, she glanced around and immediately locked gazes with him. She smiled and threw a little wave.
Zeke swallowed heavily and turned to look down at the table, his skin tightening uncomfortably across his scalp. The scars there didn’t move the way regular skin did, and when he got embarrassed, which seemed like all the time, it felt like ants biting at him. He took a heavy breath and started lining up his words in his head, because he knew she would be over for their order.
No sooner had the thought occurred and she was there, smiling big and planting one hand on her curvy hip. “Hi guys. What can I get you?”
Chad knew to lead off, because it gave Zeke time. Diego unclenched his jaw enough to order his cola, and Terrell ordered a house beer. Then, she turned her big, dark chocolate colored eyes to him.
He took a breath, thought about the words and spit them out.
Her fine dark brows furrowed and she cocked her head. “Uh, what?”
Fighting not to flinch from her look, he replayed the words in his head. Oh, no. He hadn’t said dark chocolate eyes, had he? He glanced at the guys and they were all grinning at him, and he knew he had. Fuck!
“House beer,” he snapped.
With a curious look, she turned away.
“Did I…a-actually say d-dark chocolate eyes?”
Chad laughed out loud and clapped him on the shoulder. “I knew you liked the girl, but I didn’t expect you to hit on her like that.”
Zeke shook his head, totally disgusted and completely mortified. As if it weren’t bad enough he couldn’t talk like a normal human being, now his brain had to pick up words he had no intention of uttering? It had tricked him before, but never so brilliantly.
For the millionth time, he wished he’d never taken cover behind that wall.
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Zeke Foster has little to no experience with women over the past couple of years, after being injured in Afghanistan. Brutally scarred, he has no expectation that he’ll ever find a woman capable of accepting him the way he is. But he can’t help but be enamored of Ember, the waitress of a local watering hole.
Ember Norton’s life has turned into one devastating catastrophe after another. When the scarred soldier with the kind eyes brings some security to her life, she’s afraid to trust her luck. She’s been self-sufficient for a long time. But his wounded soul calls to her and she finds herself falling for him.
In spite of the secrets he continues to keep.