The Lemonade Stand has spent years bringing you the best the fandom has to offer, and we are very excited to have the chance to offer you MORE. We've watched stories grow and develop from first post through COMPLETE in The Nursery, and now we're sharing previews of the stories that will soon be your new addiction.
This month, the talented Jenna Ray, author of the stand-out story My Life as a Trophy Wife, shares a little detail on her upcoming story Bright Eyes with us.
He tells me I should have walked away when I had the chance, but this pretty-eyed stranger doesn’t know what he’s gotten himself into with me.
Bright Eyes is a story of a girl on the run, a man with a past, and what happens when their lives collide and begin to unravel.
I had three goals when I began writing this story. First, I wanted to challenge myself to take my writing to the next level. Second, I wanted to give my readers more of what they’ve come to know my writing for. While working on My Life as a Trophy Wife, I found my niche with writing a romance with darker side. Mystery, slow-burning reveal, and my cataclysmic cliffies have been a staple of my work, and something I wanted to capture again in Bright Eyes.
Third, and a continuation of my second goal, I wanted to capture those themes while still delivering a completely different and new reading experience. Bright Eyes parallels a lot of tones from Trophy Wife, but is a horse of a different color.
This story is AH, AU, rated M. My major themes are mystery and romance with a side of angst and a dash of humor.
With a big grin and fidgety toes, I am elated to finally give the first taste of Bright Eyes:
I stepped back out into the humidity and sound of car horns and indecipherable chatter from the crowded sidewalk in front of me. As I went to take another sip of my coffee, I noticed two people ahead walking way too fast. A mousy-looking woman collided with a man distracted by his cell phone. He hit her hard with his shoulder, hard enough to knock her purse off her arm and onto the sidewalk, where the contents spilled about all over. Although it happened unintentionally, the prick didn’t have the decency to mutter an apology.
“Hey!” I called after him. “A fucking ‘sorry’ would’ve been nice, asshole!”
I looked down at the woman who gazed up at me with wide, surprised eyes.
“Thank you,” she said softly.
“I couldn’t help myself.” I shrugged. “What a dick.”
I really couldn’t help myself. After years of working in bars, it found it impossible to take bullshit from people without speaking up.
“Yeah,” she sighed, starting to collect all of her items.
I hurried over to help her, snatching up various items and trying not to get my fingers stepped on by more assholes walking by without a second glance. One of them came dangerously close to smashing my hand, and I looked upwards, opening my mouth to yell at them.
But then, something else caught my attention: a man standing several feet away, watching us intently. Whomever had been about to get an earful of sass from me walked on without hearing a word of it, as I now found myself inexplicably and wholly captivated by this other stranger. He wore sadly plain clothing: black jeans and a dark grey zip-up hoodie. But the tall, commanding figure that filled them literally made him stand out in a crowd.
Despite that, though, something else held my attention so entrancingly. His face... A face that made all of the air leave my body in a single exhale.
Oh, my God.
His eyes locked on mine, the world around us moving in an apparent slow motion. His whole presence exuded masculinity. This was the kind of man that commanded all the attention in a room. The kind of man that made knees weaken, hearts flutter, and stomachs flip flop.
I couldn’t look away from his face. He was beautiful. He had skin of caramel-colored perfection that glowed. His features, sharp and defined, boasted all angles and lines that couldn’t have been chiseled that spectacularly from marble. Black scruff from a day or two without shaving covered his chin and cheeks, the same color as the inky black mess of hair that covered his head. Every single inch of him looked hard, except for his lips. His lips, pink pillows of edible-looking flesh, appeared baby soft even from far away.
And the eyes… My God, the eyes.
He had the brightest eyes I’d ever seen, nothing like the barista’s deep green eyes. These eyes shined with a vibrant color; a cross somewhere between aqua and mint. They had to be colored contacts. Surely that color couldn’t be natural. They were too beautiful. And the way they stared into mine made me feel like they looked right into my soul, like they could read every thought and every fear I’d ever had. They were magnificently unnerving.
Bright Eyes will begin posting in one week, Saturday the 28th!
Don't forget to pop Jenna on alert so you don't miss out!