I want to thank Amber Kell for inviting me to join in her birthday celebration. This is something I look forward to every year, so happy birthday, Amber!
I think one of my most memorable birthdays was one I had just recently. I’ve spent the better part of thirty-years raising six kids. I attended school functions, parent-teacher conferences, and basketball games. I cooked for an army almost every single night, oversaw chores and homework, shopped for said army, and made sure my family had all the love they could handle.
And then one day, it just stopped. They were grown. They moved out, established families of their own, and built adult lives. The first few months, it was exciting. No kids. I could run naked through the house. No cooking for an army. My food bill dropped to a third of what it had been. No events to attend. My time was my own.
It was fantastic.
And then I started to realize how quiet it was.
How much I missed my kids.
They never tell you about that when you’re raising kids, the soul sucking hole in your chest you feel when your kids become adults and move away. Sure, I still saw them. I still talked to them on the phone, on facebook, in messages, but it wasn’t the same.
I lived in this huge five bedroom house with my husband, two dogs, and a cat.
It was not the same.
That became especially apparent when birthdays and holidays rolled around. I now had to share those times with their friends and the new families they built. I have always wanted what was best for them, for them to be happy no matter what, so I bided my time in silence.
And then my birthday rolled around.
My husband said he was taking me out to dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant. It was nice to go out, but I had a hard time showing any enthusiasm. My kids had all said they were busy, but they would drop by when they could.
When we reached the restaurant, hubby led me off to one side of the place. We usually sat in the bar and ate there. It was quieter than the main restaurant. When we rounded the corner, I’ll admit my eyes flooded with tears. All of my children, their significant others, and my closest friends were waiting for me. There were balloons, flowers, a cake, presents, but most of all, my family was all in one place for my birthday.
Now, this may not seem like much, but when you have six kids and numerous friends, getting everyone in the same place at the same time pretty much takes an act of God. Like, all the planets have to be aligned or something. It doesn’t happen often.
So, I would have to say this was one of my best birthday memories. It wasn’t my favorite Mexican restaurant. It wasn’t the presents, flowers, and balloons. It was having my family celebrate my birthday with me.
Hot Mess: Friends & Family 2
coming November 28th 2019
I was the head of the Irish mob in Chicago. That got me very few friends and even more enemies. With the DEA breathing down my neck, figuring out who’s hijacking my shipments of merchandise is made all that much harder. It’s not until Danny is kidnapped that I learned I had more friends than I thought I did. I just don’t know if we can rescue Danny before he becomes a victim to someone’s plot to get to me.
Patty Flannigan has been my hero since he rescued me from the streets when I was a teenager. Over the years, that hero worship turned into something stronger. I’ve watched a string of boy toys move through Patty’s life at an alarming rate and I don’t want to become just another notch on his bedpost. I want something more meaningful, but proving to Patty I could be an asset to him becomes harder than I was prepared for when I’m kidnapped in a plot to get to Patty.
“Why do you let him do that?”
I rolled my head to the side and glanced at the guy sitting next to me. We were supposed to be on a date, but that had been interrupted when Danny came running in, heading straight for me. He’d totally ignored Kurt and sat down on my lap, starting to talk as if we’d been in the middle of a conversation and he’d just gone to the bathroom.
I listened, of course, ’cause when didn’t I listen to Danny? I’d been listening to him for years. I wasn’t going to change that anytime soon.
“Why do you let him do that?” There was a frigid tone in Kurt’s voice.
“Why do I let him do what?”
What the hell was he talking about?
“Why do you let him hang all over you like that?”
I know I was frowning, but I couldn’t help it. “It’s Danny.”
It’s what he did. Danny James had been invading my personal bubble space almost from the moment we met. I stopped asking why or questioning it a long time ago. Years ago. It was just a given that if Danny was anywhere around me, he was touching me in some manner.
“Well, he needs to stop,” Kurt insisted. “I’m dating you, not him.”
I stilled for a moment before slowly panning to the right and giving my current boy toy my full attention. Kurt was just a passing fancy and we both knew it. He was a one-night stand who had turned into a couple of weeks. There were no promises between us. There never would be.
Not having Danny in my life was not an option. Not having Kurt in my life looked as if it was going to happen sooner rather than later.
I set Danny on his feet. “I think we’re done.”
Kurt smirked at Danny.
He obviously didn’t understand I was talking about him. And we were done for more than the night. We were done period. I wasn’t real fond of people questioning me. There were two people in the world who could get away with that. One had given birth to me and the other one was standing next to me.
“We’re done, Kurt. Go home.”
And don’t bother coming back.
“What?” Sheer outrage made Kurt’s voice a little louder than necessary. “Me?”
I pulled in a deep breath through my nose before sending Danny a nod toward the stairs. “Go wait in the office, Danny.”
Once Danny hurried off, I narrowed my eyes at Kurt. It was better than wrapping my hands around his neck, which was what I really wanted to do. “It’s time you found another place to roost, Kurt.”
“Is it because I told you to get rid of that little slut?” Kurt snapped. “If I’d known—”
My hand shot out and wrapped around Kurt’s neck as I gave into my true desire. I yanked him closer until we were practically nose to nose, which was quite the feat as I was six foot three and Kurt was five foot ten.
“It’s over, Kurt. Go home and don’t come back. You’re not welcome here anymore.” I snapped my fingers as I dropped Kurt to his feet. I knew Liam Hennessey, my second in command, would have my back. He was never more than a few steps from me, especially when the bar was open and full of patrons. “See to it that Kurt is escorted to his car. He’s not allowed back in the bar.”
Kurt’s scream of outrage echoed in my ears as I turned away and headed out of my private booth. As I started up the stairs to my second-floor office, I caught sight of Liam escorting Kurt to the door out of the corner of my eye. Kurt was screeching the entire way.
Sometimes, my dick got me into messes my head had to clean up. It was a sad fact, but one I was used to. In my line of work, having close relationships wasn’t something I did easily. I never knew who might be planning to stab me in the back or working for law enforcement.
I trusted very few people.
Danny was sitting at my desk playing on my computer when I walked in. I smiled at the tongue peeking out of the corner of his mouth. He was concentrating so hard. I knew he had to be playing one of those driving games he loved so much. He was pretty much addicted to them. I figured it was because he wasn’t allowed to drive in real life.
I shuddered just thinking about the trouble he could get into driving in Chicago traffic.
I walked over to the small bar and poured myself a drink then reached into the small fridge and grabbed Danny a coke. Decaffeinated. Danny didn’t need the added caffeine. He was bouncy enough.
I set the can down on the desk next to the laptop and walked over to sit on the couch. I kicked my feet up on the coffee table and reached for the remote, flipping on the TV. I switched the channel to the news. It never hurt to know what was going on in the city.
“Did you eat, Danny?”
I worried about him, probably more than I should. I was supposed to be some sort of mentor or something, but over the last couple of years, I’d begun to take an interest in Danny for a whole other reason. I should be shot for the things that went through my mind when I was thinking about Danny.
“Yeah,” he answered without looking away from the screen. “Liam got me a hamburger when I came in.”
I rolled my head toward him. “Did you eat it?”
Danny’s head popped up. “I ate.”
“All of it?” I saw Danny’s face flush before he ducked his head. I sighed. “Danny.”
“I ate most of it.”
I suppose that was the best I could expect.
Stormy believes the only thing sexier than a man in cowboy boots is two or three men in cowboy boots. She also believes in love at first sight, soul mates, true love, and happy endings.
You can usually find her cuddled in bed with a book in her hand and a puppy in her lap, or on her laptop, creating the next sexy man for one of her stories. Stormy welcomes comments from readers. You can find her at: