Roughly this time last year I submitted Job Hunt. I had a friend breathe down my neck to make sure I hit the button and I was a nervous wreck for the rest of the day. In all honesty, I hadn’t really planned to do any work that day. The next nine weeks or so were spent haunting my inbox until me screaming like a banshee at midnight most likely woke the village.
Now Ghosts, the next story in the Power of Zero series, has been sent on its way. While I was home alone, no less! I had about 10mins where I was convinced my just sent email was bristling with typos and spelling mistakes. Then I got coffee to salute Jack who is, after all, a card-carrying coffee addict. Lunch came next and then I turned my mind to the day job. Today, work is definitely getting done. I even managed to fit in some chores and a Japanese lesson.
Another hour or so, and it’s time for dinner in the garden, confessing the whole to my husband (or maybe not!) and a celebratory glass of wine.
Will I haunt my email inbox? Maybe a little. Having a better idea what to expect definitely helps. Knowing that I need to get on with the next story helps too. Especially since House Hunt languishes at 84k and just needs its ending. And knowing that there are people who love Jack, Gareth, Daniel and Nico helps enormously.
So as a small thank you to everyone who has asked about what happens next – and all the wonderful women who administer kicks in the shin when I most need them… there’s a taste of Ghosts under the picture.
Thank you all – and have a wonderful weekend!
“Does it still bother you?”
The soft touch woke Gareth from his doze. He lay as he’d fallen asleep, diagonally across the bed, a stack of pillows under his head. The lamp glowed on the bedside table and outside the window inky blackness proclaimed the lateness of the hour. Jack was stretched out beside him on top of the quilt, head propped on a palm, while his fingertips traced the scar on Gareth’s shoulder.
Jack’s voice was as soft as the touch of his fingers, but his gaze was so intent, Gareth could practically hear thoughts and memories chasing each other in his lover’s head. Despite training, work and vigorous sex the deep shadows under Jack’s eyes still spoke more of sleepless nights than physical exhaustion, and Gareth wished the younger man would just share what bothered him.
But sharing his troubles had never been Jack’s way.
“It’s been almost ten years, Jack,” he said softly. “Plenty of time to forget about it.”
“December 23rd,” Jack replied, voice a mere breath. “The last day of our tour.”
Understanding lit Gareth’s mind. Not so much at Jack’s words, but at his tone of voice. “December 23rd,” he mused. “Also the day you left the army. Why am I starting to think that was not a coincidence?”
Jack didn’t answer and that in itself was answer enough.
Gareth sighed and sat up. He didn’t know why the idea of a big family Christmas, on top of everything else going on in Jack’s life, had triggered such an intense bout of soul searching, but he knew he had to do what he could to stop it. Jack walking out on his chosen career and family eight years ago had been a painful blow. Jack walking out on him—them—now would be worse.
Please, don’t let me fuck this up! The silent prayer was a heartfelt plea and Gareth took a moment to firm his resolve and let it steady him. He straightened his spine and drew a deep breath. “May I ask where you put it?”
“Don’t ‘what’ me, brat. Your letter of resignation.”