Friday, August 9, 2013

Like to be teased? Come on in...

If you haven't checked out the TLS Angst Contest entries because you just aren't sure which ones you really want to read and don't have time to read all of them... no worries. I've got a teaser from each entry for you and I'll be posting two a day, everyday until public voting opens on August 14th! This way, you can read all of them or just the ones that grab you! There are SO MANY excellent entries in this one contest that I'd hate for you all to miss out on this, so you can find me here, each day... hooking you up with some angsty teasers!

Let's go:

We both know you're over qualified for this job, which quite frankly, makes my job a hell of a lot easier. I do need to tell you one thing. I know who your ex is and we hire him to sub in on shows on occasion. Is that going to be a problem?"

Would it? Yes, probably, considering I could feel my stomach churning and the tears prickling at the very idea. I needed this job though. I took a deep breath, swallowed everything down, and replied through gritted teeth, "No problem. I can make it work."

"Good. You're hired." Her gaze softened slightly as she seemed to know the internal struggle I had just moments earlier. "And for the record? Between you and me, I always thought he was a douchebag." She smirked at me and for the first time in months, I felt a small, genuine smile cross my face.

A few months later, the job was going well, the very act of going to work a welcome respite from the pain and loneliness that accompanied me at home. As long as I could keep my mind occupied, I couldn't think about how hurt and angry I still was. And oh was I angry. I had gone through several mirrors since destroying the first, thinking that it was a better alternative than indiscriminately punching someone in the face. So now, in addition to the dull, throbbing ache in my heart that was my constant companion, I now had a jaw clenched in anger.

The routine of my still fairly mediocre life had lulled me into a sense of complacency, where even if I ached, I didn't think about him and how he destroyed me twenty-four hours a day. Rose had warned me that they had to contract him in, but she tried to keep me as far away from the negotiations as possible. And it worked. Until he swung by the office to pick up his contract, that is. Unaware of what he was planning, she was out at a lunch, leaving me to do the hand off.

"Hey," I said nervously. He looked up from his phone, and as soon as we locked eyes, I knew I was fucked.

"Bella," he whispered. I walked towards him and became surrounded by the spicy scent of the cologne I always bought for him, and reveled in all of the memories it brought forward, all but forgetting the months of pain I had suffered. The connection we had - that playful spark that was always there, the tension of two bodies that knew how to please each other crackled between us. I handed over his contract, his fingers grazing my knuckles, making me jump back with a gasp at the feeling.

"I can't stay. Maybe we could get drinks tonight? Catch up?"

Fuck. I was so fucking fucked. Even as the little voice in the back of my head was screaming "NO!" I found myself unable to focus on anything but the powerful attraction I still felt towards this man. And the way he was looking at me - I felt wanted again, beautiful and sexy and I hadn't felt that way since before he left. Even so, the next words out of my mouth shocked the hell out of me.

"Yeah, I mean, yes, that would be great." Suddenly aware of the prying eyes of the receptionist, I ushered him towards the door. "I'll, um, walk you out."

We walked out of the office, and as we turned the corner towards the elevator, he backed me up against the wall, his gaze burning into me, his hand moving under my hair to hold the back of my neck. "Do you feel it? Stop me if you don't."

Me Without Him- Read more here:

I learned that Edward was twenty-seven and being treated for stage 2 testicular cancer. He'd already had surgery and been in remission once, but the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes in his lower pelvis. He was halfway through his third and hopefully last cycle of chemotherapy.

Edward and I began to meet up at each support group. He was endlessly optimistic, a perfect contrast to the overwhelming despair I still felt. My body grew impossibly weaker with each round of treatment. Through it all, Edward was there – on the days where every bit of good was tinged with bad, and on the days where I struggled to see any good at all.

He was in remission again by the time my treatment was over. His hair hadn't grown back but apparently he didn't expect it to, and in reality I barely noticed his near-baldness anymore. My own hair had continued to fall out, though any hairless patches were covered easily enough. The chemo left me frail and thin, and looking in the mirror became an awful reminder of all being sick had cost me. I'd aged ten years, it seemed, and I wondered if I'd ever find a man who could accept me for how I looked - brittle hair, sunken cheeks and scarred breasts.

Edward kissed me four months into our friendship.

That week, he'd started to grow stubble on his cheeks and upper lip again, the first signs of a beard reappearing. I laughed as he told me he never thought he'd look forward to shaving, but that he could barely wait now. I ran my fingers over the hairs, downy-soft where I'd expect them to be prickly. The hairs were fine and thin but they were there, and I think that was what mattered most. I drew a pattern with my fingers across the cleft of his chin, feeling the way the hairs brushed from one direction to the next.

I'd just begun to stroke across the bronze wisps lining above his mouth when he moved his face forward, pressing his dry lips feather-soft against the place where my thumb met my palm. I stilled my hand, but my arm shook anyway.

Edward's eyes bore into mine as I let the pads of my fingers graze the side of his face before dropping my hand back into my lap.

"What are you doing?" I asked him, my voice sounding almost hysterical.

My words had been desperate but quiet, my frantic mind still aware of the hushed volume of those around us. Edward reacted as if I'd shouted, though - he screwed his eyes shut and shook his head, as though he could shake my tone right back out of his brain.

"Bella," he said so pleadingly before he moved his face closer to mine, his lips making contact with the corner of my own.

"Edward, please" I whispered, and the relieved noise he made gutted me as I spoke my next words. "Please don't."

This time his sound was sore; so wrapped in hurt that it became strangled. "Let me," he said raspily, his forehead resting against mine so hard, like he could will us together through pressure alone. "Please, please let me, Bella."

Metastasis- Read more here:

Please scroll through our previous blog posts for more teasers, and stay tuned, each day, for more.

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