Story snippets!

Chatterbox: Inkwell

Story snippets!

Story snippets!

What's up y'all, Star here! After getting some interest on my birthday thread, I've decided to start posting parts of my work back up on the CB. Some of you older CBers have seen my novel, and those characters will be featured heavily in my short stories. But if you haven't read it, no worries! I'll always provide a quick explanation of the background and characters before I post something. Depending on the popularity, about half of the stuff I post will be from my re-written novel (more info can be found on the super-long reply to Kitten on my birthday thread), and the other half will be short stories, some related to my novel and some not. (I also have some short screenplays, though I won't post those unless I get a special request from someone to read them, since they have a weird format.) I thought I'd start with the short stories, and give you guys a chance to put in some input! I have three short stories to pick from, and I'd like you to vote on which one you'd like me to post first. I'll post increments every Tuesday and Friday, since all of my work is handwritten and I need to have time to type it up (which I hate doing, hence the staggered updates). Here are the options as they stand now:

1. "Crow's Coffee"; A fully completed short story featuring never before seen characters, Angel and Roman. It's a coffee-shop romance with a magical twist! Genre: romance; trigger warnings: someone gets beat up (there is also a gun in that scene, though it is never used), a sexist boss, and there's also a kiss or two. (I'm calling it a trigger warning, but all of my work is appropriate for the CB. I'm just letting you know what's in it that people may not like.)

2. "Pirates"; An unfinished AU of my novel where Zoey is a mermaid, and the Eagles are a pirate ship crew, captained by Sterling. Genre: action/adventure; trigger warnings: unfinished, but so far the most daring thing is someone gets treated for a stab wound, Zoey transforms into a human without clothing on (and there is an ensuing search for an appropriately sized pair of pants, though again, everything is CB-rated. There is just a mention of her lack of clothing before someone gives her a coat).  

3. "Kismet"; an unfinished red-string soulmate modern day AU (wow adjectives) featuring Feroc and Tyrian. The official-ish synopsis is "Feroc and Tyrian are trying to find their mysterious soulmates by following the red string of fate. The catch? Feroc's colorblind." Genre: romance (though more like comedy if I'm being honest); trigger warnings: unfinished (like. really unfinished), the main relationship is between two guys (though all of my stories feature LGBTQ+ characters, so you probably shouldn't read any of them if you're not a fan), and someone will probably get beat up eventually, but I haven't written it yet.

Uh, yeah! Those are the short stories. Tell me which one you'd like to see! I'll tally up the votes in three days (so on Friday of this week) and then post the first section of the selected short story. Once the story is finished (or once I run out of content, or when I feel like it) I'll also post bits from my re-written novel. I'll include background for those, but probably not for the short stories (or screenplays, but again, those are only by request). Hopefully I covered everything, but feel free to ask if you have any questions!


submitted by Starseeker, age on hiatus, y'all can call me Star
(July 14, 2020 - 10:14 pm)

Thank you all for your kind comments! To address a few in particular...

@DG, I like that phrase-- "nuggets of truth". I hope you continue to find the story realistic, since in a couple of updates it's totally going to take a new direction (I don't know where my brain was going lol).

@HOO, I'll upload that one, then! Quick question-- did you ever go back and read my novel, and have an attachment to those characters through that story? Or were you introduced to them through the concept of Kismet?

@Quill, I'm glad you're enjoying it so far! :) I looked back through what I have for the chapters, and chapter 3 is the only one that's fully written so far. But since I should start with chapter 1, I'm going to upload the story of how Feroc and Ty met, eventually. I meant to do it yesterday, but I didn't, so now I think I'll upload it next week sometime. I would do it today, but there's another update tomorrow, so I think it's too soon.

@Peregrine, it doesn't take me all too long to actually write it, but I usually don't do it all at once. I'll write a few chapters, then not write anything for months, then come back when I have writer's block on something else. Crow's Coffee is an exception to that. I wrote the majority of it in about 3 days, I think. The original version is handwritten, and I wrote it at like 2 a.m., which explains a lot about the logic found within the later parts of the story. XD The handwritten version is full of crossing-out and arrows and deleted scenes, since this was my first time in a long time writing something that wasn't about my novel characters. 



submitted by Starseeker, age on hiatus, y'all can call me Star
(July 27, 2020 - 1:39 pm)

Ack, I meant to leave a comment here earlier! I guess I forgot. :(

I'm intrigued by why Angel wasn't there. Of course it's likely it was something inconsequential, like he was sick or got stuck in traffic or something, but there's always the possibility of some kind of magical incident going on...

Also, if people are asking you questions... how do you come up with the plot for your short stories? I only really have experience plotting longer things. The problem is that I never manage to finish those, so I feel like I should try writing a short story or something of a similar length, but I can't figure out how to develop a story arc for that length of writing. 

I would love to read the first few chapters (or whatever you have written) of your rewritten novel!

submitted by Kitten, Daydreaming
(July 27, 2020 - 4:30 pm)

@Kitten, the answer to your question will be revealed tomorrow in the update! (And I'm assuming you meant Roman, not Angel. It wouldn't be too much of a story if the main character was missing...) And as for your plotting question, well, it depends a bit. Crow's Coffee was based off a standard slice of life coffee shop romance, but also partially on a news story I read about a girl who was allergic to lactose but hated soy milk. From there I just kind of wrote-- I'm definitely more of a pantser (writing by the 'seat of my pants') rather than a planner. I also get inspiration from random story prompts online (such as the one that inspired Pirates), as well as cliches like the red-string soulmate AU (Kismet). Sometimes I'll write based on a certain line (such as "Around us, the world rained", which is from Rain-- a short story you haven't heard about yet) or I'll write something based on something else, but those are usually by request (such as Feroc and Ty's origin story). My main advice for writing a short story is to know where you want it to go. For example, in an upcoming short story (for now titled 'Superhero Shorts', since it's an anthology of related superhero scenes), I started off by thinking about an exciting scene where the main character confronts the villain. Then I thought about how I could get my characters to that point. I combined a few prompts from an online source for inspiration, then just started writing. It might not be the best advice, since only really planning the climax of the story means that you often end up with a wandering exposition, but that's how I usually do it.


submitted by Starseeker, age on hiatus, y’all can call me Star
(July 27, 2020 - 10:19 pm)

I love your writing, Star! I want to do some picturings of your characters. Are there any characters you would like drawn?. :)

<3 Fidelity 

submitted by Fidelity
(July 28, 2020 - 3:31 am)

Hey, what's up y'all! (That intro again...) Sorry for the late posting-- I usually try to have my updates posted around 12-3 pm central time, but time got away from me today. Um, I don't think there's too much to say about this update, so I'll just go ahead with some general announcements. Tomorrow I'll be attending a funeral, so I probably won't reply to your comments until later; I will, however, read them! (That's actually a fairly standard thing for me-- I read all the comments on my phone, then reply on my computer, since I don't like typing on my phone.) Next Tuesday (election day!) I'll be working at the election office from 5:30 am to about 7 pm, so I won't be able to post anything. I can either post the update early, or I can skip that update BUT make up for it with bonus content like a one-shot or a chapter from my rewritten novel. Story-wise, it's the update right before the turning point of the story. So it's not leaving you on a cliffhanger if I skip the update. On a related note, how do y'all feel about me asking you questions and opinions in these little notes? I always like feedback and such, and I feel like having a specific question (or two) to answer encourages feedback and participation. Plus, it allows you guys to choose what you want to read, which I feel like is a helpful feature, but I'm not on the receiving end, so I'm not sure. Thoughts?

@Fidelity, *screams internally with excitement* *coughs to regain composure* Yes, I'd love it if you drew my characters! I believe the only characters in Crow's Coffee who have physical descriptions at all are Roman ("chocolatey eyes and hair") and Margie (who you'll read about in this update, and then never hear about again). I don't mind which one you choose do a picturing of, so let me know if you want a description of any of them. And if you want to draw someone from a different story, I can roll with that too. 


The next morning, Roman is back behind the counter as usual, albeit with a pack of ice strapped to his wrist.

“Holy claws, Roman! What happened?” I ask, not thinking as I reach over the counter and gently grab his wrist for inspection. There’s no brace— that’s good— only some bruising. 

“Fell off my bike,” he admits with a sheepish smile. I look up from my inspections and laugh. 

“What’s so funny?” he asks.

“I just— I didn’t peg you as the type to ride a bicycle to work.”

Now it’s his turn to laugh. “Gosh, no! Not a bicycle. A Harley.”

“Oh my gosh. That makes so much more sense. Is it the black one out front?”

“Yeah,” he says. “How’d you know?”

“It’s there every day,” I explain. “How’d you fall off your Harley, though?” Now I’m certain of it— he’s blushing. 

“You don’t really want to hear this story,” he mumbles. 

I release his hand and prop my elbows on the countertop. “I assure you I’m very interested,” I say.

There’s a beat of silence between us as I register what I said.

“Oh gosh,” I groan, putting my head in my hands. “That’s not what I meant at all.”

“Angel—” he starts, but I cut him off. 

“Can we just pretend that never happened? Please?”

“I was going to say I didn’t mind, but alright,” Roman says with a chuckle. 

I raise my head to look at him and find him already looking at me. He coughs and says, “I’ll just get started on your order, then.” 

“Yeah, of course,” I say, taking my usual corner booth.

“You shouldn’t sit there,” a voice says from behind me. I turn to find a forty-something woman who’s doing her best to look twenty—heavy makeup, tight leggings, teased hair. “They wouldn’t let me sit there,” the woman continues, waving her coffee around as she speaks. Some of it sloshes out but immediately goes back in— she’s water.

“That hunkalicious barista called it the Angel’s booth. I bet somebody died,” the woman finishes, shaking her head. “Poor thing.”

“Uh, actually, I’m Angel,” I say, laughing. “I sit here every morning. But you’re welcome to sit here after I leave, if you want.”

The woman blinks at me. “Well, I never!” She says, pulling her sunglasses off the top of her head and settling them over her eyes as if that will help her get a better view.

“Order for Angel!” Roman calls from the counter, and I give an awkward wave to the woman before getting my coffees.

“You have an admirer, Roman,” I say, jerking my thumb at the woman. He looks where I’m pointing and groans. 

“That’s Margie. She comes here everyday in the mornings after her spin class,” he says, rubbing his hand through his hair. “She’s annoying, but harmless. She tried to sit in your booth today actually.”

“Yeah I heard that from her. Thanks for sticking up for me,” I say then nod to his wrist. “Anything I can do?”

He grins ruefully. “Not unless you can miraculously develop water powers and stop this ice from melting.” He shifts the bag of ice on his wrist, and I can see that it’s mostly water now. 

“I can’t stop the ice from melting indefinitely, but I can help now.” When I take a loohold of his wrist, I can feel his pulse quickening underneath my gentle fingers. I flip his wrist over to access the ice bag. I move one hand over the ice and close my eyes. I feel how the water is warmer than the ice, and then I urge the heat in the water to turn into flame in my hands. I leave one hand supporting his wrist and the ice bag but hold the other out to the side. As the heat begins to flow out of the water and into me, I turn that heat into flame in the hand out by my side. I do this, eyes closed, until my gift tells me there’s no more heat to suck and my fingers tell me that the ice is solid again. When I open my eyes, Roman is staring at me. I clear my throat and drop his hand awkwardly.

“Thank you. You didn’t have to do that. You— I didn’t even know you could do that.” He examines his ice pack in awe and I shuffle my feet. 

“You’re welcome. It’s the least I could do after you’ve been helping me fill my balloon all this time. As for knowing I could, well, I’d never done it in that particular way before but I figured it’d work.”

He shakes his head, a small smile creeping onto his face. “You’re a miracle, Angel girl.”


I walk in early the next morning whistling happily. Roman stops wiping down the countertop and grins at me.

“Someone’s happy,” he says.

I grin back. “You bet I am,” I reply. “There’s rumors of a promotion at work and I’m pretty much a shoo-in for the job.”

“Ahh, congratulations, Angel-girl!” Roman says, his smile growing larger. He gestures me towards my table and I sit. It seems to be taking longer than usual, though, so I look up, only to find Roman walking towards me with a cup in one hand and a plate in the other. He sets them down in front of me and says, “My treat.” I look closer and see that the cup contains hot chocolate and the plate has a delicious-looking biscuit. 

“Gosh, Roman, this is lovely!” I exclaim in delight.

“And completely lactose-free,” he adds. Then he gestures to the seat across from me. “Mind if I sit?”

“Sure, of course!” I say. He takes a seat and rests his elbows on the table. I take a bit of the biscuit and my eyes roll back in my head.

“I know, isn’t it good?” Roman asks, seeing my obvious pleasure. “Tonya makes them. She and Scarlett are baking masters.”

“You have to try this,” I mumble through my mouthful of deliciousness. I hold the biscuit out, expecting him to take it, but instead he takes a gentle bite straight out of my hand. I gape at him, but he merely smiles and stands.

“See you tomorrow!” he says cheerfully, and I stumble out a reply.



submitted by Starseeker-TueUpdate, age on hiatus, y'all can call me Star
(July 28, 2020 - 9:27 pm)
submitted by hehe awesome!
(July 30, 2020 - 11:23 am)

What's up y'all, Friday update time. I'm doing this as quickly as possible because it's 11:30 at night and my compuer is at 5%. Here's today's chapter. This is one of the longest chapters I'll ever post, and also one of my favorites!


When I walk in, Roman’s busy with another customer, but he catches my eye and winks. I blush and internally scold myself. Come on, Angel! I think. Use those feminist genes of yours. Don’t fall victim to the cute barista with the stunning smile. Roman finishes with the customer and turns the full force of said smile onto me. 

“Mornin’ Angel girl,” he says. “Same as usual?”

“Same as usual,” I confirm. He shoots me another smile and the side of me that had been foolishly protesting falls silent. Roman nods and I take my usual seat at the window corner booth, until a crow lands on my table. It looks at me through one beady eye, then lets out a gentle “Squawk?”

“Hello to you too,” I say, trying to ignore the fact that I’m talking to a bird. It hops even closer, then onto my wrist. I freeze, not wanting to scare it away.

“Has anyone seen a crow?” A barista shouts, bursting out of the back room. She looks around wildly before spotting the bird perched on my wrist.

“Oh, thank claws you found Raphael,” she bursts out, sliding into the seat across from me. “He’s very important to the owner. I hope he wasn’t bothering you? I’m Tonya, by the way.” She sticks out a hand and it takes me a second to process before I stick out my hand-- the one without Raphael the crow on it, at least-- and shake her hand. 

“I’m Angel,” I reply. “And no, he wasn’t bothering me.”

“He seems to like you,” Tonya remarks, jerking her head at the crow on my wrist. “He doesn’t like many people, myself unfortunately included.” She grins ruefully and holds her hand out to Raphael to demonstrate. He snaps his beak at her fingers and she quickly withdraws them. 

Tonya’s eyes sparkle with mischief and she leans forward on the table. 

“He’s not the only guy here that likes you,” Tonya says, glancing meaningfully at the counter where Roman is. He feels our glances and looks up, then waves with a sunny smile. I wave back weakly. 

“Tonya, don’t tease,” I say, a light blush coloring my cheeks.

Tonya shake her head. “I’m not teasing, really, I’m not. I’ve never seen him this excited over a girl before. He literally will not shut up about you.”

I glance at Roman again. “Really?” I ask, a little bubble of hope forming in my chest.

“Really,” Tonya confirms. “Hey, do you think he’s hot?”

I almost do a spittake, except I’m not drinking anything. “What?” I sputter. 

“Do. You. Think. He’s. Hot?” Tonya asks slowly. “That’s typically what girls look for in guys, right?”

“Well, I guess-- maybe, that’s what girls look for but-- I’m not looking--” I cough out.

Tonya grins. “Sure ya aren’t, Angel. Anyways, even though he isn’t my type, I can still tell that he’s one hunk of hotilicious man.”

I do a second almost-spittake in as many minutes. But instead of being rational, my mouth says, “Why isn’t he your type? Not a fan of brown-eyed guys?”

“Not a fan of guys, actually.” Tonya says it so offhandedly that it takes me a second to catch her meaning.

“Oh.” I say. Then again: “Oh.”

“That’s not going to be a problem, is it?” Tonya asks. “Cause I hate to be too forward, but I’d like to be your friend. If that’s okay?”

“No, it doesn’t bother me,” I say, shooting her a quick grin. “I’m bi myself, actually.”

Tonya squeals. “Oh my claws, so is Roman! This is totally a sign. You guys were totally meant to be together.”

I chuckle awkwardly. “Um…”

I’m saved by Roman calling, “Order for Angel girl!” I jump up, causing Raphael to fly to Tonya, smile briefly at Tonya, and hurry to the counter, blushing furiously. Roman eyes my cherry-red cheeks. 

“Everything okay?” he asks me. “I know Tonya can be a bot much sometimes. Did she bother you? I can talk to her if you want.”

“No, everything’s fine,” I say, blushing further, because dang it, Tonya was right. He is hot. How did I not notice this before?

Roman decides not to push the issue, thankfully. He just helps me load the coffees into the basket-- in my haste, also load my cappuccino into my basket-- and he inflates the balloon.

“Bye, Roman!” I call over my shoulder as I go. I’m barely three feet from the door when a tall suited man rushes past me. He jams his shoulder into mine and spills his steaming hot coffee all over me. I scream for just a second and double over before my instincts take over and I begin taking the heat out of the coffee and my skin and channeling it into flame.

“Hey, you spilled my coffee!” the man exclaims. “Pay for it.”

My head snaps up. “Excuse me?” I hiss.

“Pay for it!” the man exclaims. But then he’s thrown backwards by a force. The man is now pinned against the wall of Crow’s Coffee, Roman in his face and snarling.

“Say that again,” he bites out. The man gulps. I don’t blame him for looking petrified. Gone is the sweet, kind, patient Roman I know. In his place stands someone I barely know. His hair and clothes whip in the wind he’s conjured and his eyes are wild. 

“Say that again,” Roman hisses, taking a step closer. “Do it. Be rude to my Angel-girl again. See what happens. I. Dare. You.” He takes a step closer with every word, until he’s nose to nose with the now-cowering man.

At the sound of my pet name, my brain clicks back into action and I hurry forward.

“Roman, stop,” I say, tugging on his arm. This close, I’m in his personal maelstrom, and the wind whips my hair out of its carefully pinned updo. “It was an accident, truly.”

He turns to look at me, holding onto his arm and trying to pull it away from the man, and some of the wildness fades from his eyes.

“Fine,” he mutters, pushing off the wall and taking a step back. The man eyes us both.

“I’m sorry, sir,” I say, keeping my hand on Roman’s arm as I address the man. “I’ll still pay for your coffee if you need me to.”

The man looks from Roman’s face to mine. “It’s… fine,” he says. “I’m late anyways. I gotta go.” He runs off.

“Claws, late!” I shout, looking at my watch. “I am so late or I will be if I don’t leave now!” I try to straighten my coffee-stained shirt and pat my hair back into place.

“Hold on,” Roman says. “You can’t go back into work looking like that! Here.” He unties his apron and lets it fall around his waist, then unbuttons the button-up shirt he was wearing and hands it to me. He is now standing in front of me shirtless and it takes me a second to find my words.

“Roman!” I say. “You can’t go back to work shirtless!”

“I’m a barista. I have another shirt,” he chuckles. “You can go change in the back bathroom.” He steers me despite my protests and leaves me to change. I pull off my shirt and pull his on. It’s better than my stained on but..

“It’s too big,” Tonya blurts when I emerge.

I twist and try to roll the sleeves up a little more. “I know.”

“If... can I try something?” she asks, biting her lip.

I check my watch. I’m going to be late anyway, so why not? “Sure,” I say. Tonya walks around the corner and towards me. She puts her hands on my shoulders, then closes her eyes and bites her lip in concentration. The fabric begins move and twist, and I bite back a gasp as it re-weaves itself over my body.

Tonya opens her eyes after a minute or so. She looks me up and down.

“Not great, but it’ll do,” She decides.

“Thanks, Tonya.” I say, impulsively hugging her. She freezes for a second before hugging back.

“No problem.”

Roman clears his throat and we break apart. “We need to go,” he says.

“We?” I ask, and he holds up a set of keys.

“You usually walk, right?” he says, the keys dangling between his fingers. “You might be able to make it if we drive.”

“Thank you, Roman,” I say gratefully.

He grins. “Anything for you, Angel girl. Tonya can cover for me while I’m gone. Let’s go!” He grabs my hand and pulls me to the back corner of the lot where his Harley is parked. He puts on a helmet and pops open the seat, pulling another helmet out. He sets it carefully over my head and then swings his leg over the bike, straddling the seat. 

“Come on,” he says, his voice muffled by his helmet and mine. I sit gingerly on the seat behind him. He reaches for my hands and pulls them around his waist.

“Hold on tight,” he says, and starts the motorcycle. It roars to life beneath us and I yelp, grabbing Roman tighter around the middle. I feel the vibrations of his chuckle through his shirt as we speed out of the parking lot and down the street, the balloon trailing behind us like it has this whole time. Roman is an expert driver, bringing us in and out of traffic skillfully. We end up at my office with minutes to spare. I jump out of the seat and tug off the helmet, grateful that Roman thought to put up a shield of air as we rode so my clothes aren’t in disorder. Roman tugs off his helmet as I inspect the coffees. I turn to say thank you, but he’s already leaning in, so our lips brush. I let out a quick gasp that he silences by deepening the kiss. Then he breaks away and I’m left staring at him, dumbfounded.

“See you tomorrow?” he says with a shy smile. 

I can only nod. 


Author's note: I'd like to make a formal apology for making you read the phrase "one hunk of hotilicious man" with your own eyes... I actually wrote this story a while ago (I don't know exactly when, but I typed it up about February-May 2019) and I've been editing it as I go, but I'm too tired to edit it right now so you're stuck with my weird words. Next update, the drama begins! That's when the genre starts to shift from romance to... action? Maybe? I'll include a trigger warning at the beginning of the chapter, so make sure you know your own limits. Again, all of my work is edited and appropriate for the CB, so it shouldn't be a problem, but it's always a good idea to have a disclaimer in my opinion.


submitted by Starseeker-FriUpdate, age on hiatus, y'all can call me Star
(July 31, 2020 - 11:36 pm)


submitted by NoOneKnows, age ???, Everywhere
(August 1, 2020 - 11:03 am)

Ooh, it just keeps getting better and better! I love the line "Use those feminist genes of yours. Don’t fall victim to the cute barista with the stunning smile."

Also, apologies for not responding to the question in your last post-- I also do the thing where I read the posts on my phone and then respond on my computer, and apparently I keep forgetting to actually write responses.

submitted by Kitten, Daydreaming
(August 1, 2020 - 2:58 pm)

Oh, I thought I responded to your question! I think whatever you want to do would be cool- whether that's posting the normal update early or posting a one-shot or snippet of something else.

submitted by Kitten, Daydreaming
(August 2, 2020 - 2:40 pm)

It's so good!! I really loved this chapter, it made me laugh and root for Angel and Roman even more. I like Tonya's character, and I'm interested to see how the crow plays into the story. I can't wait for the next update!

submitted by Quill
(August 1, 2020 - 4:47 pm)

@NoOneKnows, thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying the story!

@Kitten, I didn't want to make Angel just be this queasy damsel-in-distress type, so I tried to make her more stand-up-able (???) and have a mind of her own. Even though it's primarily a romance story, Angel has her own story arc, her own thoughts, and her own loveable sass. :) And it's no big deal; I know y'all aren't on your devices all the time, and I wouldn't encourage you to be! I love feedback but your irl lives come first.

@Quill, Tonya is a recurring character, so you'll definitely see more of her! (She's actually in this update, too.) Raphael the crow, though... I think this is the only chapter he shows up. I'd have to double-check that, but yeah. (And in case it isn't clear-- Raphael is the reason why the shop is called "Crow's Coffee". He's the owner's pet crow <though you'll never meet the owner>. Crow's Coffee is an actual business in Kansas City-ish, but I didn't know about it when I wrote this story. It's on my bucket list to go someday, though!)

And as for the update, if you haven't seen my name already, I've decided to post the Tuesday update early! It might prove to be the crueler choice in the end (because you'll have to wait an extra day, and once you read the ending of this update... you'll see) but I didn't want to skip it altogether, and I realized that next week's updte is horribly short (barely a page, while all these updates are between 3-4 pages), so I decided that I'll post a one-shot to tide you over. It might be posted on Wednesday, or it might be tacked on to the Friday update, but it'll be the canon story about how Feroc and Tyrian met. In other news, I went to a dog park yesterday! And I saw lots of dogs!! And it made me remember that the Eagles canonically have a doggo (Lance) and that made me spiral off into a meet-cute dog park AU. I'm not sure if I want to start another story when I'm still working on Kismet and Pirates, so I think I'll just work it into Kismet, because in that story Feroc has an adorable collie-shepherd-lab mix named Nellie. So y'all can look forward to some dogs, eventually!

Trigger Warning for the following chapter: sexist words towards women (the story clearly shows that speaking to women this way is wrong) ; someone getting threatened with a gun. As always, my work is appropriate for the CB, and the Admins will edit out anything that they feel is not within their guidelines. But if you think you might be sensitive to any of that, proceed with caution. This update also picks up right where the last one let off (literally I had to chop it in the middle of a paragraph) so you might want to read the last few lines of the last update.


He drives away and I hurry inside, cursing the elevator as it moves too slowly. Finally, I’m upstairs and delivering coffees. When I reach Mr. LaFranca’s office, though, he gestures for me to stay instead of dropping the coffee and leaving like I usually do.

“Sit down,” he says, and I perch nervously on the edge of the chair. 

“Sir?” I ask.

He steeples his fingers and sighs. “Angel,” he begins. “You’re a good worker. Honest. Hardworking. Loyal.” He trails off.

“Thank you, sir,” I say. “But I’m afraid I don’t see where you’re going with this.”

He sighs again. “Alright, let me be blunt here. I can’t give you that promotion.”

I’m struck silent. “But— why, sir? I can work harder, take longer hours, whatever you need me to do—”

“That’s not the problem,” he cuts in. “I’ve received reports that you’ve been using company money unprofessionally and having improper relationships during work hours. Also— I don’t mean to be rude, but— I’m doing you a favor, really. The business world is hard, honey. Women don’t belong in it. They make great secretaries, but when it comes down to it…” He shrugs, mock-sadly. “They just crumple under the pressure.”

I take a deep breath, then another. “Sir,” I say. “How do you know?”

“How do I know what—” he starts, but this time it’s me who cuts him off.

“How do you know women crumple under pressure? Sounds to me like you’ve never put a woman in power. So how do you know?” I cross my arms and wait for his answer.

“Well… their constitutions… and their…” he trails off.

“With all due respect, sir, I wouldn’t take that promotion now if you offered it. I can’t work under a man who believes that I am inferior when I have done nothing— nothing— but work for the good of this company.” I stand, knocking over my chair over as I do so. I stride to the door and pause with my hand on the knob. “And quite frankly, sir,” I say, “I always paid for my coffee with my money and arrived earlier so that I wouldn’t be taking up company time. And whatever my relationship with Roman is, it is most definitely none of your business.” Then I turn the knob and stalk out out. I hurry to my desk and grab my things. Jared smirks at me.

“Did the boss man finally fire you?” he asks. “Guess he didn’t like the things I told him.”

I smirk right back. “I quit.”

I leave Jared looking shocked behind me and shoulder my bag. Then I walk straight out, head held high. I get into the elevator and push the button for the first floor parking garage. The doors are almost closed when a voice yells, “Wait!”

Even though I really want to be alone, I push the button to keep the doors open. A woman runs in, and I let the doors close. A quick glance reveals her to be Christine Rivera, the head secretary. We ride in silence until we reach the third floor, then she breaks the quietness.

“I— I just wanted to tell you that I support you,” she says, glancing nervously and quickly at the security camera in the elevator. “And I wish I had your courage to just walk out, too.”

I smile weakly. “Thanks, Christine.”

She smiles back. “If you need anything, don’t hesitate to call, okay?” she says, pressing a business card into my hand. I nod, and the elevator bell dings and the doors open. I step out and walk out the doors. An uneasy feeling settles over me as I begin walking home. I can't place what's wrong, exactly; just— something’s off. I start walking a little faster and clutch my purse a little tighter. Abruptly, I change directions and start walking to Crow’s Coffee instead. I left my cappuccino back at the office and Roman would probably let me sit in the corner booth until I decide what to do. I increase my speed again until I’m practically running down the sidewalk. I burst into the coffee shop and Tonya, who’s working the counter, looks up. 

“Claws, Angel, are you okay?” she asks in the middle of taking an order. I shake my head and head to my corner booth. I slump into the seat and put my head in my hands, fighting back tears.

“Hey, hey, what’s wrong, Angel girl?” Roman says. I hear him sit on the seat across from me.

“I quit my job,” I murmur through my hands.

“Wait, what? Why?” Roman sounds alarmed.

“Because my boss is a stupid sexist jerk, that’s why.”

“Oh,” Roman says. Then again. “Oh.”

“Yes, oh,” I stutter. A single tear slips out of my eye and I sniff heavily.

“Oh, Angel girl,” Roman says softly. “I’m sorry.”

I hear him stand and almost ask where he’s going. But then he settles next to me and pulls me to him.

“Is this okay?” he asks me. In answer, I nestle my head into his chest. He wraps his arms around me and we just sit like that for a while, silent tears dripping down my face. Finally, I pull away and wipe my face on my— well, his— sleeve.

“I’m sorry,” I sniff. “I’m just dumping all my problems on you like this. I’m keeping you from work.”

“Hey, no, Angel girl,” Roman says gently. “I don’t mind. And I took a break as soon as Tonya told me you walked in. I can be here as long as you need.”

“Thank you, Roman,” I sniff, wiping the last of my tears on my sleeve. Then I change the subject.

“Goodness, I’m not usually a crier. Sorry for ruining your shirt.”

He laughs a bit. “Well, I doubt it would fit me any more anyways. Keep it, really.”

I look up at him. “Really?”

“Really,” he confirms. “If— if that’s okay?”

“Yeah, that’s— that’s more than okay,” I reply, smiling. But then I add, “I just hope you won’t be expecting anything from me— I doubt you’d fit in my dress shirts.”

Roman smiles crookedly and winks. “We’ll see about that.” I laugh and Roman grins wider. I lay a hand on his arm.

“Really, thank you,” I say. “But I’m okay now. I’m just going to sit here for a few more minutes and then leave.”

He hesitates. “You’re sure?”

“I’m sure,” I confirm. He smiles briefly and then leans in, stopping inches from my forehead. “Is this okay?” He asks me, and I nod.

“Very okay.”

He kisses me tenderly on the forehead, hugs me one last time, and then heads into the back room. I sigh and put my head in my hands, a smile lingering.

“So,” Tonya says, sliding into the seat across from me. “Is this the part where I get to say ‘I told you so’?” 

Nothing’s official yet,” I say, blushing. “But… yeah, I think so.”

Tonya hoots. “Ha HA! I am so happy for ya, girl!”

“Thanks, Tonya,” I say, grinning back. She checks her watch and pops back out of the seat.

“Boss-man’s gonna have my head if I stick around any longer,” she says apologetically. “See ya tomorrow, though!”

“See ya,” I echo, and she darts behind the counter again. I wait in my seat only a little longer before leaving. I’m about halfway home when I get the weird something’s wrong feeling again. I walk a little faster, digging in my purse for something that I can use to defend myself. My hand settles on my car keys— I hear putting them between your knuckles can do some real damage— and I start to pull them out, only to have a voice behind me drawl, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you, darling.” My blood runs cold. There’s only one person I know with such a strange accent— Italian, but with subtle, almost musical hints of French.

“Jean-Briault,” I say, still not turning around to face Mr. LaFranca’s personal head of security. “What brings you here?”

“You see, darling,” Jean-Briault says, and I hear him advance a step. “You made Mr. LaFranca look like a fool. He doesn’t like looking like a fool.”

“I— I don’t work for him anymore,” I say, raising my chin with a bravery I don’t feel. “You can’t do anything to me.”

“On the contrary,” Jean-Briault says smoothly, “That’s why I can do this.” In a flash, he’s right behind me, and I feel the muzzle of a gun pressing into my lower back.

“Why don’t we take this to a more… private location,” Jean-Briault says into my ear.


Author's Note: well... that happened. This is where the story really begins to change. I'd also like to mention a few things. One, do any of you remember Jared, and did you pick up on his involvement on Angel's firing/quitting? I realized that it may not have been entirely clear, so I tried to make it a little less subtle. Two, the keys-between-the-knuckles thing is a legitimate self-defense trick. I hope none of you are ever in a situation where you need to use it, but keep it in mind. Three, I absolutely do not condone Mr. LaFranca's thoughts, opinions, or actions. I strongly believe that anyone can do anything, regardless of gender. The comment about constitutions is actually inspired by what someone told my mom growing up when she wanted to be an astronaut. Girls, don't let someone crush your dreams! You are so much stronger than you think, and you can do anything you put your mind to! Four, this is a little random, but Jean-Briault's name is pronounced "zhjawn-bree-aull". I sort of use the "n" in "Jean" to propel me into the rest of the name, if that makes sense. It very much sounds like one name without a hyphen. Full disclosure, I am not French, nor have I ever taken French. So that could totally be the wrong pronunciation, but it's what I imagine. 


submitted by Starseeker-TueUpdate, age on hiatus, y'all can call me Star
(August 3, 2020 - 3:50 pm)

Yess!! This is such a cool story! I was reading this thread for a while but I just had to jump in. So suspenseful!

This is great. I really like Tonya, and Angel's just so sassy and cool. And yeah, I'll stop blabbing now. I can't wait for the Friday update! 

submitted by Summer, age tau, Nowhere at all
(August 3, 2020 - 5:32 pm)


submitted by Kitten, Daydreaming
(August 4, 2020 - 8:23 pm)

What's up lovelies! Here's today's promised update of Crow's Coffee. I'll post the bonus content later today because I have to go.

Trigger Warning: someone gets beat up pretty heavily. This was also my first time ever writing a really big scene where someone gets beaten up, so it's not the greatest. I would edit it more, but like I said, I'm running out of time to post before rehearsal. More notes in my next post.


“Why don’t we take this to a more… private location,” Jean-Briault says into my ear. I nod, mute with terror.  Jean-Briault takes my upper arm and steers me into an alleyway between two buildings. Three other burly men are waiting for us there. 

“So you’re the chick who walked out of Mr. LaFranca today,” one of them croons. “Let’s see how strong you are when we’re finished with you, shall we?” He cracks his knuckles and smiles nastily.  Jean-Briault tightens his hands on my upper arm and it occurs to me, belatedly, that I should scream for help. 

“He-” I start, but quickly as a whip, one of the men dashes forwards and backhands me across the face.

“None of that, now,” the first man says in the same cold, pleasant tone. “There’s no-one coming for you anyway.”

I start to sob. The men advance, adding punches and kicks and slaps. Tears keep running down my face and mix with another liquid-- blood. I start begging them to stop but they only go faster and harder until, I go numb. I can feel the blows but they do not hurt. I am past the point of pain, past the point of caring, past living; now, I am merely surviving.

Finally the blows stop and Jean-Briault releases me. My hand twists awkwardly as I fall, and I hear a sickening crack as one of my fingers bends too far. Jean-Briault bends so that I can see his face. “If you tell anyone what happened here, we’ll finish what we started. And if you so much as look at that barista again…” he stands and steps over me to my feet. Then he stomps down, quick and hard and dirty, and my ankle makes the same snapping noise as my finger. Even in my numb state, a little bit of pain registers in my mind, and fresh tears trickle down my face.

“Don’t forget,” Jean-Briault says with a smirk. Then he turns and leaves the alleyway. The other men follow him, and one of them kicks me savagely in the ribs as he passes. I curl tighter into a ball.

I don’t know how long I lay there, crumpled and defeated with tears coursing down my face. I only know that by the time I force myself to my feet, the sun is just beginning its descent. I hobble over to where my purse lies on the ground and pick it up. Then I lurch my way out of the alley. I’m sure I must look like a monster-- dried blood, bruises, limp. But I don’t care. I only need to get home. Finally I do, and I thank every deity in existence that the elevator is working and I don’t have to trek all the way up to my fourth floor apartment. I fumble with my keys, finally inserting the right one into the lock with one hand. When I get inside and shut the door, I immediately head for the shower, stripping clothes off as I do-- I step into the shower and turn the hot water on, full blast. I stand on one leg, elevating my broken ankle as best I can. The numbness hasn’t quite worn off yet, and I once more thank the deities as I finish washing the blood off myself and step back out of the shower and dry off. I snag a pair of shorts and t-shirt off the floor as I head to bed, hopping on my good leg and using furniture as balance. Along the way, I discard my t-shirt in favour of Roman’s shirt. I inhale his scent as I slide it and the shorts on. Coffee, soap, and something that’s purely Roman. I gently pull myself into bed, but even the pressure of the sheets on my ankle and finger hurt like the underworld let loose. I settle for just a sheet and my leg and arm hanging out. As I finally let myself drift into sleep, my last thought is: how did my life end up this way? 


I'll post the bous content later today!


submitted by Starseeker-FriUpdate, age on hiatus, y'all can call me Star
(August 7, 2020 - 2:12 pm)