Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stephanie's Story


Startled by a crash, Stephanie woke and fell from her couch to the floor. The boom reminded her of the episode last winter when a car skidded into their front porch taking out a corner post. Gripping the leather cushion, she sat up, swept her hair back from her face and stared into the dark corners of her living room. The red display of a digital clock on the entertainment center read three forty-two.

Another thump vibrated the floor seconds before the door which lead to the garage burst open. Light spilled across the carpet. Gene was home, finally.

“Damn kids.” His words were slurred and the alcohol he’d consumed over the last six hours while at his weekly poker game preceded him by about twenty feet.

More rattling.

“Stephanie, I’m caught. Get this damn thing off of me or I’ll—“

“Will you keep it down?” She scurried to her feet and hit the light switch to the high-hat lights above the fireplace. “The kids are sleeping. They have to get up for school in two hours.”

“This is my house and I’ll yell at them for leaving their freakin’ bikes lying in front of the door anytime I want.”

Em’s bike had been parked against the wall where it was supposed to be. Gene probably knocked it over making his not-to-steady way inside. However, arguing with him while he was in this state of mind was not going to do her any good. He’d only get more boisterous and eventually wake the kids just to scold them for something they didn’t do, and was his own fault. God, she was tired of Gene’s partying. He was married, a father of two. What example did he set for Bobbie? Would he ever grow up?

The sadness which filled her cemented the truth in place. No.

Gene fell forward and she grabbed him under his arms. As he struggled to free his foot from between the railings of Em’s bike, he leaned onto her and Stephanie’s nose became buried in his beer stained tee shirt. “My, God. How much did you have tonight? You didn’t drive home, did you?”

Em’s bike clattered against the garage’s concrete floor. “Damn straight I did. “

“You’re drunk.”

“So. “

Over his shoulder, she caught a glimpse of their wedding portrait and wondered where that happy, young couple went wrong.

Disgusted, she pushed Gene away. “So you’re a cop.”

“Yeah." He shrugged and then scratched his stomach, pulling his tee shirt up over the flat abs he worked hard to maintain since he quarterbacked for their high school football team. "Don't worry. The guys won't ticket me.”

She folded her arms across her chest in order to keep her hands from reaching out and strangling some sense into him. “What about hurting yourself, or God forbid, someone else?”

“I didn’t, okay.” He waved her away. Then with dithering steps, he made his way into the kitchen and flipped on the lights. “What’s to eat?” He called over his shoulder. “I’m starved. Rosie got pissed with Tony and threw the pizza we ordered at him. ”

Steph drew a breath as she raced after him hoping he wouldn’t reach the pots and pans before she could block him. His buddies probably ordered the pizza after midnight and the delivery guy woke Rosie’s seven-year-old twins. Poor Rosie.

She stepped between Gene and the stove just as he reached for the knob to turn it on. “Why don’t you go get a shower and I’ll—”

His frown turned wolfish as he grabbed and pulled her close, grinding his hips into hers. “You’re hoping I’ll fall asleep aren’t you?” He nuzzled her neck. “After I grab a couple eggs, I’ll be ready to take care of you, babe. Why don’t you whip them up for me?”

Not in the mood to be manhandled, she pulled away from his clutch. “Stop it, Gene. I’m not in the mood for your games. I’m going to bed.” Stephanie turned only to be stopped by the bite of his fingernails on her arm.

His eyes narrowed. “I said I’m hungry.”

“And I want a divorce.” She yanked her arm free. “See who gets what they want first.”

Author's note: I hope you enjoyed Stephanie's Story. The official release date for Evil's Witness is June 18, but it's on sale now at The Wild Rose Press, as an early bird special. Here is the link.

Also remember, if you leave a comment on either John's story or Stephanie's, your name will go into the June 23 contest drawing. I'm giving away one e-copy of my January release Obsessed By Wildfire, which has received two GREAT reviews. You can check out those at my website. Because OBW is rated spicy, you must 18 to win. If you're under 18, I'll send you a great gift via US snail mail anyway. If you've already bought OBW, and many of you have, thank you very much, you can choice to receive a $5.00 Starbucks ceritifcate. Each time you comment, your name goes into the hat, so comment on both posts.

Make a memory today. AJ

No part of this posting may be used without the expressed permission of the author.


  1. Beautiful website design and blog, Autumn. And great opening, you've got me hooked. Poor Stephanie. Now there's a girl who could use a hero. I can't wait to read her story. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Thank you, Sharon. I hope you enjoy Evil's Witness. It's up on Amazon too! GRIN

  3. The excerpt from Evil's Witness was wonderful!! Good luck with it. Thanks, Autumn, for posting a great blog! I'm hooked!

  4. Poor Stephanie. I wonder how many young brides see their dreams shattered into a nightmare because of alcohol and an irresponsible husband. You have a great story, Autumn. Is that the backstory of the heroine? Great way of presenting the hero and heroine. I hope I win your book.

  5. Not an excerpt, Judy. This is just a peek into Stephanie's backstory. Thanks for stopping by, lady.

  6. Yes, backstory, Mona. GRIN. John's story was presented last week. Thanks and your name is in the hat. (((HUGS))

  7. Wow! This sounds like a great story, Autumn. I can't wait to read it!

  8. Your characters are always well-written, AJ. I've got to get Evil's Witness on my Kindle and read it soon!

    Congrats and best wishes,

  9. Thanks, Sue. If you order a hard copy and want a signed bookplate and book marker, send a note on how you want it autographed and a SASE to Autumn Jordon P.O. Box 192 Ashfield, PA 18212 and I'll get it right back to you.

  10. Ah shucks, Misty, thanks. GRIN The paper back is available now. The kindle version should be out soon. I hope you enjoy EW as much as OBW.

  11. Ick - I hate that guy already just from the short blurb.

  12. I suspect every one of us knows someone who has been in Stephanie's position. Good job, Autumn. I'm ready to smack the jerk myself!

  13. LOL, P.L., Gene wasn't always bad. He does redeem himself. I'm glad you stopped by.

  14. I think we're going to have a lynch mob soon. LOL. Thabks for the compliment, Mary.

  15. I enjoyed reading Stephanie's side and now I'm going to read the older blog entries so I can read John's.

  16. Wow, that was great. Love the excerpt and Stephanie is definitely a familiar figure. My cousin married him. Ugh!
    Autumn you can write girl! I gotta read it.

  17. Leni, you made my day, stopping by and offering your comments.

  18. LOL, Mary R. I love you. I'm so glad you liked the peek into John and Stephaine's lives.

  19. Autumn, this is really good. I really got into it. And I don't normally read contemporary. High five! OK, so what happens next? You hooked me.

  20. LOL, Beth. You need to read Evil's Witness. O want your feedback.

  21. Very moving scene. I feel for Stephanie and I agree she could definitely use a hero.