incarcerated

#TeaserTuesday

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Katie had sat by the phone waiting for it to ring for the last two days. She felt ridiculous, but at this point she didn’t care. Held up in her house since Valentine’s Day night, she had way too much time on her hands. The editor would most probably have her manuscript for another week or two, and Katie had already cleaned her house from top to bottom . . . twice.

Teal had called a couple times to schedule a breakfast, lunch, or dinner with her, but she pretended to be too busy. Although Katie was mad—no, she was livid that they had once again tried to control another aspect of her life—she tried not to let Teal see the pain it caused her. And she sure as hell wasn’t going to confront her dad about it. She already knew

how that would turn out. Her father had a way of making Katie feel like a needy child, and she supposed she only had herself to blame for that. Growing up, Katie didn’t fit in, so she leaned on her parents for companionship.

When her mother married Jan-Erik, she had only been eight. Jan-Erik moved his new family to Northern Virginia in an affluent suburb and placed Katie in a private school. She’d notice the differences between her and her classmates almost immediately, and if she hadn’t, they had no problems reminding her.

As if the obvious outward differences weren’t enough, Katie had to deal with going back to her old hometown to visit family for the summer three years later. Her friends had all gone to public schools and seemed so different than her, or at least that’s what they’d told her when they’d called her names like: bougie, stuck up, and Bougetto. For the life of her she couldn’t figure out what any of those names meant in reference to her, but one in particular stuck with her from childhood until now, and that was Oreo.

Of all the names she was called as a kid, Oreo had to be the most confusing. She was not mixed and she didn’t think she “acted white”. She would always ask, “How do you act white?” It made no sense that speaking properly and not using slang was looked at as “acting white”. Especially since Katie thought she was just speaking the English she was taught in school.

When Katie realized that her friends from the past, as well as the new students of St. Augustine's Preparatory School for Girls, weren’t interested in her friendship, she turned to the only two people who accepted her—her parents.

Katie wasn’t sure how long the phone had been ringing, but as soon as her inner thoughts released her from the past she grabbed the receiver and squeaked out a greeting. “Um . . . yes, hello?”

Anxiety heightened, she listened as the automated voice explained, “You are receiving a collect call from Crashaw Correctional, Inmate #92510.” The recording stopped, and the voice she’d been waiting to hear came on the line as he said his name to the recording that would play for her. She didn’t have time to think much about the gruff, rumbling voice on the other end of the line.

Since the automated operator cared nothing about Katie needing to calm her nerves, it continued, “If you’d like to accept these charges, please press one. If not, please hang up the phone.”

Before Katie could think, or even second-guess herself, she pressed one and covered her mouth, hoping to trap the nervous squeal bubbling in her chest. The line was silent for a moment before Scott’s southern accent filled the line.

“Hello?”

Katie hadn’t been sure what to expect from Scott’s voice since she’d never set foot in his hometown. She heard as he cleared his voice and tried again.

“Hello, Kristen?”

The fake name she’d given him surprised her, and she almost wished Kristen were her name. She found her voice just in time to sound like a fool. “Um . . . yes, this is her—I mean, I . . . I’m Kristen.” She slapped her forehead, but his warm chuckle stopped her embarrassment and heat blossomed in her chest.

“Sounds like someone is nervous,” Scott teased.

Katie laughed and swallowed her nerves. It was just a phone call, why was she acting so ridiculous? “Just a little,” she admitted.

“Well now, what’s there to be nervous about?”

Katie could hear indistinct noises in the background, and she assumed that Scott wasn’t alone in the room. After all, he was in prison and she’d seen the phone pods before. There were eight if she remembered correctly, and since he was in the minimum-security ward, they were free to come and go as they pleased.

“Honestly, I don’t know.” And that was the truth. Katie had lingered by the phone like a crazy person waiting for this call, and now that he’d phoned she was lip-locked.

Scott’s voiced lowered. “Well, can I start this conversation out by saying you have a beautiful voice?”

At that, Katie let out a short burst of snorting laughter, which she was sure would change his mind about her “beautiful voice.”

He laughed as well. “No, seriously. It’s soft and sweet, the way a woman should sound.”

Blushing profusely, Katie smiled. “Thank you, Scott. I like your voice, too. I wasn’t sure how you’d sound, but I like the light Southern accent.”

“Shit, honey, you should hear me when I’m angry. I can make every word one syllable and a paragraph turns into four words.”

She laughed. “Oh yeah?”

“Yeah. I honestly thought you’d sound more Southern, ‘cause you said you were from Virginia.”

“Yes, I am, but I’m from Alexandria. It’s far up north, close to DC, so I don’t really think I have an accent. If you go further down around Suffolk, Virginia Beach, or even to the west, like Clarksville, you’ll hear a bit of the South.” Katie relaxed a bit as she talked to Scott about her hometown.

Though while growing up, the place was stressful, it was still familiar and helped erase a bit of the stress in her life. “Now, if you go north all the way up to New York, they’ll call you a Southerner, but if you head down to South Carolina, they’ll call you a Yankee!”

She and Scott laughed, and Katie couldn’t help but enjoy the timbre of his voice. Heavy and deep, the sound traveled through the phone and settled in her ear, pleasing the part of her that missed a man’s voice.

“You don’t sound the least bit Southern to me.”

Katie scooted back in her chair and got comfortable. The muscles in her neck loosened, and she took a deep breath. “Of course not, Mr. Kentucky, you are west of Virginia.”

Logan chuckled. “True.”

There was a moment of silence, and Katie almost panicked, but instead she thought back to the letter he’d sent her. “Hey, why did you really want me to tell you a deep, dark secret? Planning to use it against me later?” She chuckled nervously. If Scott ever found out that Katie was the warden’s daughter, would he use her words against her?

 “Yeah, about that . . . Kristen, I just thought you might need to talk to me about something. I say this because, when a woman reaches out to a stranger, a convicted felon no less, there might be something behind it. You told me you had friends, so I’m wondering what’s going on in your life that has you reaching out to a stranger instead of your friends.”

Good question. “Hmmm . . .” She didn’t really have to think about it, but she needed to stall for time. She wasn’t sure what she was going to say to him. However, Scott was smarter than she gave him credit for and called her out.

“What’s this, ‘Hmmm’? You know what it is, and I think you want to tell me.” Scott’s voice lowered, and if possible got even sexier, but Katie ignored the warmth in her belly and focused on his words. At her silence, he added, “You want me to go first?”

Her mouth moved before she even knew it was happening, and she whispered, “Please.”

He wasn’t silent long, but she still felt his hesitance. “Shit, honey, I’m not even sure if these calls are recorded or not.”

“Yes, they are.” Katie knew this for a fact.

“Okay . . . but I’m still gonna do it. I’ll still tell you because I can’t expect it from you and not do the same in return, right?”

“Right.” Katie was nervous for her turn, but curiosity about Scott and his maybe dark deeds excited her to the core. He was in prison, and Katie could think of a million things he could confess to her. “Don’t tell me anything illegal, Scott,” she pleaded. She wouldn’t tell a soul, but she also wouldn’t be able to talk to him anymore.

Gruff laughter emerged from the phone. “Honey, I wouldn’t sully your ears with more of my crimes if I had any. You aren’t a priest, and I ain’t asking for your forgiveness. Just your time and your honesty.”

Katie didn’t speak. Actually, she was relieved he was so frank with her.

Scott coughed, and lowered his voice to a whisper. “Okay, a deep, dark secret. After this call, I’m going to go back to my cell, lay in my bed, and think of what it would be like to make love to you.”

Bumbling idiot that she was, Katie dropped the phone . . . and in her several attempts to pick it up again, she pressed about twenty buttons. Once the phone was back to her ear and she’d settled down, she expected to hear Scott laughing, but was greeted with silence.

“Shit, I hung up on him,” she whispered dejectedly.

“No you didn’t, sweetheart. I’m still here.”

Katie wasn’t sure if she should be relieved or hang up. “Oh, okay.”

Still, there was no chuckle on the other end. “I didn’t mean to embarrass you. I was just being honest.”

Katie took a deep breath and placed her head down on the desk. “I appreciate that, Scott, but my secret isn’t that I want you in my bed, it’s darker and more painful than lust.” And with that, Katie hung up the phone.

“Shit.” She slammed the receiver down again. Of course all he wanted to do was talk about sex. He was a freaking criminal who’d been hard up for several years. He didn’t give a damn about Katie, and she was a damned fool for ever believing that he did.

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Take a peek at Logan & Katie

Love brought them together, but their worlds could force them apart.

 

From Inger Iversen, the first book in a best-selling BWWM romance duology that reaches across the great divide between prejudice and love.

 

Katie Andreasson’s home office, where she writes best-selling novels, is her refuge from criticism that her private education, her success—even the way she speaks—betrays her own race. With her mother’s death, grief and increasing isolation inspire her to create Capshaw Penitentiary’s pen pal program. Even secretly participate, though her adopted father—the prison warden—would never approve.

Growing up in hardscrabble, rural Kentucky, Logan Whyte learned the hard way to stick with his own kind to stay out of trouble. Still, skirting the edges of the wrong crowd eventually landed him in prison—face to face with the kind of hard-core prejudice he never whole-heartedly embraced.

Now, with plans to get his life back on track once he’s out, he’s exchanging letters with “Kristen”. The rules dictate they can never meet, yet her neatly penned letters do more than ease him toward rejoining the human race. They make him imagine what it would be like to touch the woman behind them. Maybe even call her his.

Safely hidden behind anonymous letters, friendship takes root and grows into bittersweet yearning. But as they break down emotional walls, the truth is revealed, leaving them with the greatest challenge of all. Proving to themselves—and the outside world—that love is truly colorblind.

CHECK OUT THE OFFICIAL INCARCERATED BOOK TRAILER PRODUCED BY

TIMID MONSTER

#TeaserTuesday | Incarcerated: Katie and Logan

EXCERPT 

A few months ago, Katie would have never believed she’d be having a conversation with a convicted felon. Of course, she hadn’t actually spoken to him, but his letter had arrived at her PO Box just a day ago. Since then, she’d read it at least four times. Simple and straight to the point, Scott had explained why he was in prison and a bit about his life before the eight years he’d been serving. It was more than she’d told him about herself, but he didn’t seem to mind. Actually, he’d asked her to tell him about herself, but didn’t ask any of the questions Teal had warned her about. He didn’t ask her to come and meet him, or what she liked to do when she was alone, and for that she was thankful.

 Soothing jazz flowed from the iPod dock station while Katie sat at her desk in her study carefully plotting out her next letter. Pulling out her favorite bright yellow stationary, she picked up a pen and considered on what to tell Scott about herself. How personal did she want this to get? He’d been honest with her—as far as she could tell—and mentioned only wanting her time. Katie had a lot of that, and at twenty-five, she was looked at as an odd ball for being such a loner. She wouldn’t dare tell Scott that, though. He thought her name was Kristen, but it was actually Kathryn, or Katie for short. This had been Teal’s idea.

“Girl, you don’t want those men to know your real name so they can come hunt you down for some lovin’ when they get out of jail,” Teal had warned. The problem was, Katie still worried about the Inmate Pen Pal Program. It had been her idea, and with her dad as the warden at Capshaw prison, it only took a few suggestions before Teal and a few other people were responsible for setting up the program. Of course, her dad told her that she wasn’t eligible to join, but Teal, who’d worked an administration job at the prison, had gotten her in the program under the name Kristen. Teal raised a brow at what she called a “white sounding name”, but Katie thought it normal. Yes, she was a black woman, and yes, people were surprised to see such a dark girl respond to the name Kathryn Rose Andreassen, but she never thought names had anything to do with a person’s ethnicity. Her mother’s skin shone black as night, as well as her biological father’s, but he’d passed and her mother had remarried a European man. Katie refused to be defined by her name, but the world hadn’t made it easy for her.

Name aside, Katie had also worried about her address making it on file with the prison, so she’d rented a PO Box. Teal had told her that she hadn’t needed to; the letters coming to the prison were taken out of the original envelope and placed in a prison issued one, and then handed out at mail call. Katie, however, wasn’t convinced, so she’d gone to the MailWerks across the street from her old job and rented a PO Box for thirty-five dollars a year.

The shrill tone of her cell’s ringer pulled Katie from her desk, and into the living room. “Hello,” she answered.

“Girl, I swear these people in here get on my last damned nerves!” Teal shrieked. Katie glanced at the clock, confirming that it was noon—Teal’s break time.

Katie chuckled at her friends over exaggeration of her co-workers. “You always say that.” She stood and headed to the kitchen to pull out the salad she’d prepared for lunch. “But anytime you need help with paperwork, or want to switch a shift, all of them are suddenly your best friends.” She pulled the grilled chicken out of the fridge.

Teal sucked her teeth. “Whatever, but I’m telling you this . . . next time Stacie leaves her shit on my desk, I’m gonna cuss her out.”

Katie could hear the radio blasting in the background. “Are you on your way over, or what?” she asked, ignoring Teal’s whining. It was always one complaint after another and very few were founded.

“Yeah, and I don’t want a damned salad, make me a cheeseburger or something.” Teal let loose a loud moan. “I’m okay with being fat. Hell, haven’t you heard? Big is beautiful!” Teal huffed.

Katie placed the chicken in the microwave and pressed the quick heat button. “Big may very well be beautiful, but high blood pressure isn’t. Plus, you aren’t fat.” Teal was far from skinny, but Katie would never call her fat. She was one hundred and forty-five pounds, but she just barely made it to Katie’s chin, who was five feet seven. “Plus, your doctor told you to watch your blood pressure, so you won’t be eating any cheeseburgers over here.” And Katie meant it. Her mother had had issues with her blood pressure, and it had gotten so bad that she had a stroke.

Suddenly, Katie heard Teal’s Monte Carlo as she pulled into her driveway. The prison was only ten minutes away from Katie’s house, which was one of the reasons she could afford the home on her own before she’d gotten an agent and then a book deal. Nobody wanted to live a few miles away from a maximum-security prison, so it had made her three bedroom home super affordable.

“I’m hanging up now. Come in through the back.” Placing the phone on the counter, she headed to the sliding glass door and flipped the lock before running back to the microwave to pull out the chicken.

Teal walked into the kitchen, and was followed by a cold breeze. “Girl, why are you still in your damn pajamas?”

Katie looked down at what she was wearing; short sleeping shorts and a ratty T-shirt. She’d been up since six a.m. working on her novel, but she’d forgotten to change. When she glanced over at Teal—who was so damn well dressed and put together all the time—she cringed. She was taller and slimmer than Teal, but she never thought she looked as good in her outfits as Teal did. She’d tried, but there was just no contending with the fashion college dropout.

“You look a hot mess,” she added with a raised brow.

Katie placed her hands on her hips as she watched Teal pull off her tweed pea coat. Underneath was a vibrant jade green silk blouse that hugged her chest, making her thick figure seem thinner. Her black pencil skirt elongated her short legs, and the pointy-toed, six inch black high heels scared the life out of Katie. She was strictly a kitten heel kind of girl, and didn’t care what fashion guru Lauren Conrad said about them. She wasn’t interested in breaking an ankle or her neck.

Katie sighed and turned her attention back to preparing the food. “I’ve been working all morning.” It was an excuse she used often whether it was true or not. As an author, she made her own hours. However, that didn’t mean she wouldn’t put at least six to eight hours of time in . . . some days she even worked for twelve hours. The job was hard and sometimes very demanding, but often times people who didn’t know she was a New York Times bestselling author often thought of her writing as a hobby.

Teal bumped her aside. “Go shower at least. Shit, you’ve been touching my food and you haven’t even washed yet.” Teal was grinning as she spoke, which was the only indication that she was joking.

Katie knew her friend. They’d grown up together, so she could tell when her friend was “kindly” insulting her. She held up her hands in mock surrender. “Okay, I’ll be right back.” She headed down the hall toward her bathroom. “And keep your mouth off that cheesecake in the fridge. I made it for my dad.” She could hear Teal cussing from the kitchen, but ignored it and enjoyed a quick hot shower.

Lunch was over faster than Katie had expected . . . mainly because of Teal’s chatter about work and her love life or lack thereof. She’d all but forgotten the letter from Scott until Teal brought it up just as she was about to leave.

Teal shrugged on her pea coat and pulled her car keys from her pocket. “You haven’t said anything about your pen pal.” Teal frowned. “He didn’t ask you some slimy shit, did he?”

Katie shook her head.

“Are you sure? What’s his name? No wait, don’t tell me. You’re all quiet, but I know you didn’t get a murderer or rapist or any shit like that.” Teal patted down her sleek bob, as if what she said was common knowledge to Katie, but it wasn’t.

Katie raised a brow. “I thought the Pen Pal Program was anonymous and random?” She shifted her weight and leaned on the table. “How do you know I didn’t get someone in prison for murder?” She was confused. The way the program was supposed to be set up, was that forty inmates were preselected based on good behavior to be in the program.

To her knowledge, their crimes weren’t a deciding factor in whether or not they could join the program. That was the point when Katie pitched the idea to her dad. She believed that some of them would benefit from a little compassion, and maybe even some written company.

Teal huffed. “Didn’t your dad tell you?” She headed to the door. “Only twenty-five men were chosen based off of a few things: the crime they committed, the time they have left, good behavior, and some other shit your dad decided to throw in.”

Katie took in a calming breath so she wouldn’t curse, and bit her lip before she spoke. She could tell that Teal really thought she’d known. “That was not the point of this,” she grumbled. “It was supposed to be for those who had no one, those who were stuck in that place for life. I think they . . . no, I know they need human interaction in some way. You keep them caged up in there like animals, and then society is surprised when they get out and act just like that—animals!” Katie was heated, but her tantrum didn’t faze her friend.

Teal’s eyes grew large. “Have you lost your fuckin’ mind?” She threw her hands above her head and Katie watched as she visibly calmed. “Kay,” it was Teal’s nickname for Katie, “I know what you are going through . . .”

Here it was again. It always came to this, and although Katie was positive that Teal was about to drop some true knowledge on her, she didn’t want to hear it.

“You’re lonely and need someone to talk to, so you reached out and ended up not only getting played, but also hurt. Like always, you find some animal, or in this case twenty-five animals, to reach out to and help.”

Katie looked away from her friend. She was tired of crying about the past, tired of explaining to people that all she ever wanted to do was be needed and useful. Teal placed a gentle hand on her cheek, and Katie couldn’t help but gaze into her friend’s concerned, soulful eyes.

“Let me just tell you this,” Teal continued. “Those men are animals. You don’t know the half of it, babe, and you never want to. Your father was right not to let certain people on that list. They are criminals, predators, and liars. That shit can get into a lonely woman’s head and make her do things she’d normally never do.”

Katie knew she was right. She’d let her own loneliness blind her to the facts. Sniffing, she wiped a tear from her eye as it tried to escape. “I know, I know. Now, get out of here before you’re late to work.”

Teal glanced at her phone and cringed at the time. “Yeah, I’ll see you at Shea’s Valentine’s Day party, right?” Teal was heading out the door as she said this, and Katie followed behind. “I’m giving you a big ass heads up. You have weeks to get ready for this party, Katie. When I call, you better pick up the phone and tell me that you are ready to head out the door.”

Katie hated parties and groups, but Teal was sick of her hermit behavior. “Okay.” Katie didn’t want to go, but she couldn’t say no to another outing or Teal would come over and drag her ass out of the house.

Her friend pursed her lips and arched her brow. “You better be.” She threw the comment over her shoulder, but stopped at the gate. She glanced pensively at Katie then asked, “You want to tell me the name of the inmate you got?”

Even though Katie knew it was against the rules, she was tempted to say the name. Teal could tell her everything Crashaw Penitentiary knew about Scott Logan. As soon as the word ‘yes’ formed on her tongue, it faded away. It didn’t matter. She didn’t need to know anything about him, just what he’d told her. They were pen pals and nothing more.

Katie shook her head, and Teal hesitantly nodded. “Okay.” She still had a concerned look in her eyes, but Katie ignored it and went inside.

She was lonely, and nothing Teal said about Scott would stop her from picking up her pen and sending in a letter . . . nothing. Loneliness was a crazy thing; it cut so deep, Katie thought her wounds would never heal.

Dear Scott,

I’m glad my letter got to you! Well, I was sure that it would, the prison is good at things like that. I’d like to say thank you for being so honest with me, but let me assure you, I am not writing you out of pity. That being said, it’s my turn to be honest with you. I’m writing because I’m lonely. I have family and friends, but I still feel something is missing from my life, so I thought I’d reach out to someone else. Maybe this is to fill a void, or maybe I’m a bit selfish to place my loneliness on you, either way, I am glad you accepted me as your pen pal.

Let me answer a few of your questions. I’m twenty-five years old and from Virginia. I went to college for Nursing, but left and decided to pursue Journalism. I graduated from William and Mary two years ago, after receiving my Masters. You asked what I do for fun . . . that’s a good question, and I’m not sure how to answer it. I’m a bit of a loner, so normally I’ll read a book, see a movie, or go on a long ride up and down the mountain. Boring, right? I guess it is, but honestly I sort of like it. It’s nice to sit down on a cold night and read a good mystery.

Do you read? If so, who is your favorite author? I am obsessed with crime writer, Karin Slaughter. My first novel from her was Triptych. I finished it in one night! Last night it was freezing, and the snow was falling fast and hard. I cuddled up by the fireplace and read two books.

Also, I’ve been thinking about something. We are never going to meet. I don’t mean that to be rude or cruel, but in reference to your question about my looks, I think it’s best if we both keep that to ourselves. Here is my reason for this: I enjoy this anonymity.

I’m not perfect, so if you tell me you have a million tattoos, body piercings, and all that jazz, it might make me feel different and maybe even a bit nervous about writing you. Please don’t be offended. I’ve decided that you look like Colin Farrell and you have an Irish accent! Honestly, it doesn’t matter what we look like. We’ll never meet, but I will continue to send you letters and get to know you. Does that make sense? I hope it does.

 

Yours truly,

Kristen

Incarcerated 

(can be read as a stand alone)

Inevitable BK 1

Second Look: Incarcerated: Katie and Logan | Indelible Beneath His Ink

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“I feel like I’m in high school again,” Katie admitted with a smile. She was of course talking about the good days in high school when she wasn’t being teased or ignored.  

Scott chortled in what sounded like disbelief. “What? How so?”

She didn’t want to sound like a moonstruck fool, but waiting by the phone for a guy to call brought back good and bad memories. She cuddled up under her blanket, moving the phone to her other ear so she could get comfortable. “Well, I guess you wouldn’t know what I’m talking about since you were never the one sitting by the phone waiting for a guy you liked to call you.”

He groaned, and Katie smiled at the affect she had over him at times. “So you do like me? And here I thought you only tolerated me because you had nothing else to do but wait for your novel to come back from the editor.” Katie could hear the laughter in his voice.

“Maybe it started that way, but things change.” She wondered if things were different, if they’d spontaneously met, if he would be interested in her. She didn’t know what he looked like, but his damned voice made her stomach drop and her heart thunder.

Scott’s voice grew serious. “What changed, Kristen?” At the sound of her fake name, Katie realized how silly it was to think that the two of them could ever be anything more than pen pals. What was even more ridiculous was the fact that she had told him about the night she’d lost her child, but she couldn’t tell him her real name. She wanted his time and honesty, but she hadn’t given him a hundred percent of what she demanded of him.

“Kathryn Andreassen,” she blurted.

“Who?”

The confusion in his voice almost made her laugh, but fear that he’d be pissed she lied kept the laughter at bay. “Scott, when I first signed up for this program, I . . . I didn’t give my real name.”

“Oh yeah?”

There was an edge to his voice that she’d not heard before. It didn’t sound like disappointment or even anger. “I was nervous about what I was doing and I—”

“You wanted anonymity,” he finished. “I get that.”

Yeah, well, at least she had wanted it at that time. “So you aren’t mad?” She sat up, comforted by how well he’d taken it.

“Not at all.”

Confused, Katie asked, “Why?”

A beat of silence passed before Scott spoke. “Because I did the same. My name isn’t Scott, its Logan. Logan Whyte. I lied for a different reason, though.”

The relief she’d just felt plummeted, and goose bumps settled over her skin.

“I didn’t want you to look me up and see what I’d done before I had a chance to tell you myself. By the time we’d gotten to the point where we could be straightforward with each other, I honestly forgot to tell you my real name.”

Katie was about to speak when the one-minute warning sounded, alerting them that the collect call was about to disconnect.

“Kris— I mean Kathryn—”

“Call me Katie, everyone does.”

“Okay. I’ll call you right back, I need to talk to you about something.” Logan hung up before Katie had a chance to reply.

She pressed the end button, got out of bed, and went to glance out the window. The snow was coming down in sheets, but in Vermont that wasn’t a big issue. It was the low visibility that worried Katie. The phone sounded and she placed it to her ear, listening as the automated voice droned on. Once she pressed one, Logan’s deep voice came on the line.

“Sweetheart, I want to talk to you about your phone bill.”

Katie groaned and sat down in her desk chair; she was scared as hell to look at her bill.

“Yeah, I know, but I enjoy talking to you. Your voice is the highlight of my day. I have an idea though.”

Katie perked up. “I’m listening.”

“Good, that’s my girl.” Whenever Logan called her things like his girl, honey, or sweetheart, her heart fluttered. “I’m going to get my lawyer to add money to my canteen. That way, I can call you and they’ll charge it to me. How’s that sound?”

Katie bit her lip. They hadn’t talked about financials, and she wasn’t sure what money Logan had . . . if any at all. “Are you sure? I mean, I haven’t gotten my bill yet, so it might not be too high.”

Logan grunted, and Katie had heard that sound enough to know that he didn’t agree. “No, it’s going to be sky high, and if you have a hard time paying it you let me know.” He sounded so sincere that Katie’s stomach fluttered.

“I’ll be fine,” she whispered.

“Don’t be shy. If you can’t pay it, you let me know.”  He repeated.

“I will.” She knew she could afford it, but she wasn’t excited about seeing it. “So your lawyer is going to give you the money?” Seemed like a nice thing to do, but Logan had expressed to her many times that he didn’t like the man.

“No, my friend, Trent, sends me my money. I sold my truck and put him in charge of my finances. I trust him with my life,” he said earnestly.

“Sounds like a good guy.” Katie felt the same way about Teal, even though the woman seemed to want to take her dead mother’s place.

“He saved my ass from the black kids that constantly thought they saw a target on my ass. I swear, I was eighteen, white, and a bit chunky, and that’s all it took for those thugs to want to kick my ass.” He let loose a hollow laugh. Pain radiated from it, and Katie heard it loud and clear.

She wasn’t sure what to say, but if she hadn’t known before she knew now that Logan was white. That discovery aside, Katie had also had her share of times when black kids picked on her, but it wasn’t just black kids. It was black and white kids. Both races had their assholes.

“I know the feeling. When I was younger, I was never sure what made kids think I was such an easy target, but they did and I suffered.”

Logan’s voice grew gentle. “Baby, it’s because they are jealous of you. I know that’s a parental thing to say, but it’s true. They want what we have, and when they can’t have it, they steal it. Mexicans, too. They just stood and watched as I got the shit kicked out of me.”

Katie couldn’t help but feel sorry for Logan. “At least you had Trent. I’m glad you didn’t have to go at it alone.” And that was the honest truth. She had friends, but never ones who would stick around long enough, or even through the entire year. Logan’s situation would have been a lot worse if not for Trent, Katie was sure of it. She at least had her mom and dad and later on, Teal, but Logan only had his drunken uncle, Luke. “Things could have been real bad if he hadn’t helped, huh?”

“I probably would have gotten killed, so yeah, things would’ve been real bad if he hadn’t come along. Trent was into some real crazy stuff, and those thugs went running scared.” He laughed. “After that, I shaved my head, worked out every day, got a few custom tattoos, bought a gun, and dared those assholes to come near me.” Katie imagined a tall, well-built man, covered with tattoos, and a gun in his waistband. Besides the gun, the rest made a very sexy picture, even if she couldn’t imagine his face.

She lowered her voice, hoping to change the subject. “The picture you just painted doesn’t sound very intimidating to me.”

“Oh yeah?” She could hear him lick his lips. “What kind of picture are you imagining over there?” The timbre of his voice changed, leaving behind the anger and bringing forth something sexier, decadent even. After he’d hit on her during their first phone call—forcing her to hang up on him—she noticed he’d been choosing his words very carefully. However, little by little he’d been breaking down her walls, and on top of that, her loneliness was starting to get the better of her.

“Well,” she adjusted herself comfortably on her bed, “I can’t see your face of course, but you’ve said you are six foot two, you’ve worked out for the past fifteen years, and you eat right, taking pride in your body.” Katie sighed, and then let loose a little moan of appreciation. “You see what I’m getting at here?”

“Shit,” Logan whispered. “Yeah, I think I can see where your mind is going. You want to tell me more about that?”

Katie exhaled. “What the heck am I doing?” She sat up, her face hot with more than just nervousness. “I’m sorry.”

“Goddamn, girl. Don’t be sorry, be honest and tell me what you were thinking.” His voice was gruff, but not with anger.

Katie covered her mouth to keep her delighted laughter in.

At her silence, he whispered not unkindly, “Tease.”

“You know I don’t mean to be,” she said honestly. Katie was horny and so was Logan; she guessed eventually they’d joke and flirt about it, but that was it.

He cleared his throat, but she caught laughter in it. “I’m not sure. Babe, I’m gonna let you go. I need to call Trent and set up the money transfer to my canteen.”

Katie placed as much pout in her voice as she could. “Fine.” She could keep him on the phone longer if she wanted to, but she really did want him to set up a calling plan for them.

He groaned again, and Katie wasn’t too sure he was actually going to be making a phone call when he hung up, but maybe handling some personal business. Shame hit hard. She wasn’t a tease, and she didn’t want Logan rubbing one out on his own because of her. She sweetened her voice and said, “I have some preparing to do for this storm anyway, so I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

Indelible: Playlist

Hey! So, I am writing a scene with Teal and Trent and I stop because something is nagging me. It is kind of like when you are talking to an adult about something SUPER important and your child comes and starts tugging on your sleeve. You shrug them off and say, "Hey, mamma's busy." But at that point, they have disrupted your thought process and made your old ass forget what you were about to say. Well, that was what is was like for me when my brain stopped all Teal and Trent function and MADE me turn on some music. Here are some of my favorite songs I put on repeat while writing. Enjoy! 

Keep an eye out later today for the very first sneak peek for the next installment of Inevitable. 

Reading Circle #1

Twitter-Incarcerated.jpg

Welcome to Reading Circle with Inger Iversen. So, this is an older post but I am bringing it to my new sire because I'd like to add other authors to the Reading Circle as well. Here is a bit of Incarcerated read by me, the author! Enjoy!

 


     One of the few white kids in a rural Kentucky town, Logan Whyte always kept to his own kind out of self-preservation. He never considered himself racist, but that didn’t stop him from falling in with the wrong crowd that celebrated hate as much as he fought it - or from ending up in prison for eight years on an armed robbery charge.

     A successful and educated black woman, Katie Andreassen is tired of being accused of betraying her own race. Her lonely isolation, coupled with her grief over losing her mother, inspire her to create a new pen pal program at Capshaw State Penitentiary, where her father is a warden.

     The program brings together the unlikely pair, but Logan and Katie soon find themselves forced to overcome past fears and prejudices. Their friendship doesn’t come easily - threatened by a crooked lawyer with a grudge and a best friend who betrays her promise to help.

When faced with a world that forces them apart, Logan and Katie must show everyone else what they have discovered: that love is, in fact, colorblind.