Hi guys! We have C.F. White popping by today with her new release Hard Time, we have a great new excerpt and a fantastic giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~
Love isn’t always responsible.
After Micky O’Neill is remanded in custody for breaching his court order, his already tempestuous relationship with Dan Peters is tested to the limits.
Having to battle their way through a court case that could end with Micky in jail, social workers breaking up the family home, and the return of Micky’s deadbeat father, it seems everything is set to destroy their relationship before it even had the chance to start.
With such high stakes involved, not just for Micky but for once-burned, twice-shy Dan, they both have to learn that falling in love isn’t always responsible.
No Place Like Home
“Is this your bedroom?” Flynn asked, hugging the little teddy bear he had found perched on the fluffy pillow.
“It used to be,” Dan replied.
He sat on the edge of his old bed, making the light blue duvet crumple around Flynn’s little body. Flynn was wearing an old T-shirt left over in one of the wardrobe drawers. It was the size of a floor-length dress on him and he kept waving his arms to get his hands free of the enormous sleeves.
“It’s very big,” Flynn remarked and held up the tatty teddy in two hands. “Is this yours, too?”
“It was,” Dan admitted.
He took the teddy bear, checking it over. One of the beady black marble eyes was missing, leaving stitching in its place. The blue T-shirt it wore with the Butlins logo was frayed at the bottom and its nose was squashed into its face. Dan would never admit it to anyone, but that had come from how hard he used to hug it each night. Before he’d become an adult, that was. Honest.
“His name is Eric,” Dan said, handing it back to Flynn. “He’s yours now, though.”
“Really?” Flynn grinned. He hugged the bear to his chest and squeezed. Dan smiled. It was exactly the way he’d used to cuddle him. Eric was in much better hands now. “I will take the best care of him.” Flynn turned the teddy bear around to face him. “Hello, Eric.” He smiled and waved. “I’m Flynn.”
Dan chuckled. He leaned forward and tucked the end of the duvet up to Flynn’s chin. Swallowing the lump in his throat, he told himself he needed to be strong for the little kid who had captured his heart almost as much as his older brother had.
“When is Micky coming home?” Flynn asked, catching Dan off guard.
Being strong was harder than he’d thought. It made Dan realize how difficult things were for Micky. He had been strong for his brother for three years since their mother had died, when all Dan would have wanted to do was to curl up in a ball and cry. The realization made Dan respect and, if it was even possible, fall more in love with Micky O’Neill than he had ever imagined possible.
“Soon,” Dan lied. “You sleep really good.”
“Okay!” Flynn wriggled down under the duvet, shutting his eyes tightly.
Having limited experience of putting children to bed, and absolutely no experience whatsoever of putting a child like Flynn to bed, Dan thought that was that. So, he stood, switched off the night lamp and proceeded to walk toward the bedroom door.
“Is it morning?” Flynn asked through the hazy darkness.
Dan turned around. Flynn had sat up. “Um, no,” he said and rubbed a hand across his crumpled forehead.
“Oh.” Flynn pouted. “Can Micky tuck me in?”
This, too, might be a little more difficult than Dan had first thought.
“Micky’s not here right now. But I just did,” Dan replied. “Do you want me to again?”
Flynn nodded, his bottom lip quivering. He gripped Eric hard, clutching the bear to his chest, and sniffed. Dan saw the tears in his starburst eyes and quickly rushed over to wrap his arms around the tiny kid who appeared far too small and fragile tucked in the bed Dan had slept in when he was a teenager.
“I can lie down with you for a bit?” Dan suggested.
Flynn nodded. Dan kicked off his black work shoes and climbed onto the bed, resting his head against the hard wall, letting Flynn curl up next to him. New plan was to wait it out until the kid fell asleep. Then he’d gently remove him from his chest and onto the bed, the way he’d seen his sister do with her kids. After that, he would have to go downstairs and explain all this to his waiting parents. Which wasn’t a particularly exciting prospect.
But for now he had the sole responsibility of getting the little kid to sleep. He had known it was going to be difficult. He’d been a witness to Micky’s attempts once or twice. Flynn, suffering from Williams syndrome—a rare genetic disorder that made switching off at night almost an impossibility without the use of an extra dose of the hormonal drug melatonin—wasn’t like any typical kid of his age. Dan had seen Micky administer the medication to Flynn several times before bed. Trouble was, the melatonin was at Micky’s house. Dan wasn’t. And neither was Micky.
After an hour or so of incessantly asking questions, moving his position in the bed, throwing Eric out across the room and demanding Dan go get him back, Flynn began jumping on the bed like a trampoline. Dan swiftly came to the conclusion he needed to call in reinforcements.
“Mum!” he bellowed over Flynn’s singing of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes at triple time while bouncing on Dan’s chest. He poked at Dan’s eyes, nose and mouth during those parts of the song and Dan struggled to get free.
Cathy, Dan’s mother, appeared at the gap in the door, clasping a hand over her mouth to stifle a laugh. She pushed the door open farther and Flynn immediately spun around to offer up an excitable wave.
“Hello, Dan’s mummy.”
“It’s night-time, sweetheart,” Cathy replied.
Cathy walked over to the bed and held out her arms and Flynn bundled away from Dan to launch into her embrace. Dan shuffled off, smiling gratefully. He’d never truly appreciated the magic of mothers until that very moment. And that thought struck him like a high-speed train. Flynn didn’t have a mother. Neither did Micky. How had Micky been doing all this alone for so long? It pained Dan to think Micky managed every night-time, every morning and every moment in between, by himself.
Responsible Adult series!
Misdemeanor (Book #1)
Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail—leave.
Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly searches for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.
She eventually moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.
Having worked in Higher Education for most of her career, a life-altering experience brought pen back to paper after she’d written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Having embarked on this writing malarkey, C F White cannot stop. So strap in, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride…