“What the bloody hell are you doing?” Matt yelled as Mathilda ripped the covers off of him. “Get the fuck out of my room!”
“You’ve been lying in this bed long enough, Matt, and I’m sick and tired of it,” Mathilda snapped. “I am going out tonight with my friends, and you are coming with me.”
“No bloody way.” Matt tried to snatch his duvet back, but Mathilda held them out of his reach.
“I am not standing by and letting you fall into a depression,” Mathilda told him sternly. “Life has to move on and you’re not even putting any effort into it.”
“It’s only been a week, Mathilda!” Matt yelled. “Let me have them back!” He held his hand out.
“No!” Mathilda clutched them tightly. “You’re getting up, you’re taking a shower, and you’re coming with me!” The look in her eyes said she wasn’t going to give up until Matt agreed to go with her.
“Maybe your mates will be there too.”
“I don’t want to meet my mates,” Matt snarled.
“Then you’ll meet new people! No matter what, you’re getting out of that bed. I’m dragging you out if you don’t do as I say.”
“As if you could!” Matt snapped, but he got up. Maybe there’d be alcohol; that would be a really nice way to spend the evening. Plastered and blissful. That was the only reason he decided to go with her, because he certainly didn’t want to meet any new people. Or old ones, for that sake.
“Serena is picking us up in half an hour. You’ve got a lot to do, so you better get going.” Mathilda nodded towards the bathroom with her chin.
Matt glared at her, but did as ordered. She stood clutching his covers until he was out of the room, then he heard her dumping them on his bed before she too exited his room.
“I’ll be in my room trying on clothes.”
He slammed the bathroom door a little harder than was strictly necessary, just because he felt like it. She had no right bossing over him like that. She was not his mother. However, she might provide some alcohol, which would be good right about now.
Matt jumped in the shower and scrubbed himself clean. He washed his hair twice for good measure. When he was done he stood in front of the mirror and regarded himself as he used a towel to dry himself. He seemed thinner than he remembered, but then not having eaten much for the last few days did that to a body.
He wrapped the towel around his waist and took out a smaller one to dry his hair. He walked back to his room to find suitable clothes for a night of alcohol indulgence and he settled for his skinny, black jeans, a white tank-top and a tight, black sweater. Matt supposed he was rather fond of black. He grabbed his belt and a pair of socks, then went back to the bathroom. As he dressed and once again ran the towel over his shaggy, black hair, Matt’s gaze fell on Mathilda’s make-up, which lay scattered atop the washing machine.
Matt had always been rather fond of eyeliner, though he’d never actually used it himself. Mostly because of the whole keeping-his-sexuality-a-secret business, because his parents were bound to suspect if he started wearing make- up. Why had he never dared do it before, anyway? It wasn’t like they would care about the make-up or the fact he was gay.
He felt a pang of regret and sadness and he stood clutching at his chest for several minutes before it let him go. Once the wave passed, Matt grabbed Mathilda’s eyeliner and set to work.
When that was done he ran his hands through his hair, ruffling it up. It’d just have to be wet; he didn’t have time to dry it.
“I’m done!” he called out to Mathilda when he finally exited the bathroom.
“I’ll be down in a minute!” Mathilda yelled back.
Matt contemplated going over to ask what she was doing that was taking so long, but if she was standing there in her underwear, or worse naked, he did not want to see it. Instead he dashed into his room to get his phone, suddenly feeling excited about the prospect of getting plastered.
That’s what you get for calling it a slow night in the A&E.
Granted, it hadn’t been Damian saying it, but the end result was the same; not ten minutes after the words were said, the A&E was swamped. There had been a car crash, involving several cars.
Some victims had gotten away with a few scratches and bruises and the fright, but there were also multiple traumas. Damian stepped outside just as an ambulance came to a halt.
The backdoors were slammed open and the stretcher lowered as the paramedic talked a mile a minute about the patient’s condition. Damian didn’t hear any of it, however, because he’d gotten a look at the patient’s face, and his blood ran cold. Blood covered most of her face, but Damian still recognized her. He couldn’t not after having lived all of his teenage years in her house.
Someone was yelling Damian’s name and it broke him out of the shocked trance he’d gone into. Damian hurried after the stretcher inside the A&E, eyes only for Claire’s limp, bloody body.
“Where’s her husband?” He asked the female paramedic. “Were there teenagers in the car?” He grabbed her arm in desperation.
“No teenagers. Only her and a man. He was brought in before her,” the paramedic informed him, casting a quick, worried look. “He was badly hurt, too.”
Damian backed away. He heard someone call his name again, but he didn’t have time. He had to find his uncle. He went to the trauma rooms, checking each one in turn. When he entered number four, he saw Ray’s familiar face, pale and unmoving.
“Time of death … 23:45.”
No! Damian pushed his way past a nurse and another doctor and took Ray’s hand. It was still warm, still bloody, but there was no life in it, no pulse. No, no, no!
Damian snapped out of the shock and he stared at the
doctor who’d called his name. Then he remembered Claire. He had to go to Claire; he had to be there for her. There was nothing he could do for Ray—Ray was dead and Claire was all alone.
He pushed his way out of the room again and found Claire in trauma two. She lay just as unmoving as she had when she’d been strapped to the gurney; her face was just as bloody. Some of it was coagulating, but fresh blood still trickled from a nasty gash in her temple. The blond hair on that side was a mess.
“Dr. Fielding, get out of here,” the trauma doctor told him sternly when he caught sight of Damian in the doorway. “We’ll do the best we can, but you cannot stay in here.”
“I have to stay,” he insisted, his voice low. “She’s all alone. I don’t want her to be alone when—”
The older doctor came up in front of him. “Dr. Fielding. Get out. You cannot stay in here while we work on her. Go to the waiting room. Now!”
Damian knew he couldn’t be there, but part of him still held onto that he had to be there for her. The other part of him, the logical one, knew he would never be allowed, so he turned and walked stiffly back out into the A&E proper.
He could hear the beep of the machine as Claire coded and he knew, though it clawed painfully at his insides to admit it, that it wouldn’t be long before her body gave up.
Yesterday’s Tears releases on November 20th, from Less Than Three Press.
More Than Anything features characters I’ve been writing about since I was sixteen years old. They’ve been with me a long time and they have changed to the unrecognisable since then. The first story was a supernatural/paranormal story written in Norwegian, where the gay characters were secondary to the straight ones.
When I started writing in English, I took many of these characters to use in my series. I moved the setting away from Norway and to an unnamed town in the US. That also meant changing their names from Norwegian to English. That worked well, because while they were still the same characters, they were also different from the ones in the Norwegian paranormal series.
I wrote their stories. Wasn’t happy, rewrote. Rinse, repeat several times. When I now dusted these characters off again recently, I did a complete overhaul on them. Some important plot points are no longer the same. Some couples are no longer the same. I do believe only the two first couples are actually the same, and everyone else has changed partners. In my opinion, it’s turned out for the better.
I also changed the setting back to Norway. This meant, I gave the original characters back their previous name, and renamed the newer characters. This means I now have two characters named Jørgen (in More Than Anything and the Arctic Love series) and two characters named Andreas (Jørgen’s cousin in More Than Anything and in the Arctic Love series).
Thing is, these characters were supposed to be retired. They weren’t supposed to see the light of day. Then they made a come-back, with brand new stories to tell, and well … they’re revived. And it’s their names, they can’t be changed. So yeah, I have two characters with that share a name with two others. But they’re all so different from their namesake that I’m sure it’ll be alright. Also, their last names are different, and that counts, right?
More Than Anything is the title of my current WIP. It’s actually part of a series, but I haven’t decided on a new series name yet after I gave the original series name away. Yes, I gave the series name away, to the series now published as Their Circumstances. This is the original series though, and it has nothing to do with the angsty stories set in London. When I gave the name away, I didn’t have any plans reviving these characters. But now they’ve spoken to me, so I dusted them off and brought them back.
The series has the same characters as before, basically, but most of the plots are completely new. The old stories were set in school or when the characters were just out of school, and I wanted something more grown up for the revived series. Some things does happen when certain characters are in school, but each book will span from a year to a couple years to several years, depending on the couple featured.
I plan to make these books novels. There’s so much happening to all of these characters that I should be able to do this. I’m only on the first book, but it is quite intriguing. More Than Anything is written in 1st person, alternate POV between the two main characters, where they alternate a 10K instalments. So far, if the rough outline works out, it should all sum up to 80-100K in the end.
There’s a lot of history to cover in this novel. It stars: Jørgen, a twenty-two year old man with a very traumatic past who hasn’t learned to deal with it yet; and Geir, a sixteen-year old he meets by accident and who slowly worms his way into his life without really meaning to. As Geir is only sixteen, soon to be seventeen, in the beginning, this novel has to span a couple of years, or else you readers wouldn’t be getting any sex. But there’s a lot of story to cover before Jørgen will even be able to be intimate and it will be a tough journey for him.
These characters were retired, but they came back full force and now want their story told. Who am I to say no? I love these characters, some of them have been with me since I was 15-16 years old, and some of the others were added in the years to follow. It’s been a long time living inside my head without having their stories told.
I hope to finally do these characters justice.
So far I’ve got three short stories published in this series (Scarred Souls, Skin Deep and Reunited), but I also have one novel coming as well as two novellas. I also have another novella written, but not submitted.
Yesterday’s Tears, the novel, will be out at the end of November. It’s the continuation of Josh and Damian’s story, as well as Matt’s story. Matt is Damian’s younger cousin. He is only eighteen in the book, but he still manages to find love. Just as Josh and Damian did when they were eighteen.
Measured Doses, a novella, is the story of Chad. He’s introduced in Scarred Souls as one member of the group therapy where Josh and Damian first see each other. Chad has an abusive father, and he’s in love with his former English teacher, Dion. Dion is in a relationship with Jeremy, but it has been rocky since he cheated on Jeremy with Chad. This story is a threesome.
Inner Demons, which will be released in April, is another story featuring Josh and Damian. It takes place before Yesterday’s Tears and it starts before Josh leaves Damian and London. I hope Josh’s reasoning for leaving is one that people will understand. It also incorporates Reunited, in Josh’s POV.
Maybe Tomorrow is the last novella that’s written in the series. It is a direct sequel to Yesterday’s Tears, so I can’t really say anything about it without spoiling the ending, so I’ll just leave you all with this.
Now, what’s next up in the series? That’s a good question. I have so many ideas. I thought I should list some of them here, and if you have an opinion on which story should be next, feel free to tell me!
Fading Ink is another story for Kian and Silver. I plan for this to be novella length and it will be set after YT and MT, as it will also deal a bit with Kian’s little brother, Kasey.
Indefinite Quantity is the continuation of Chad, Dion and Jeremy’s story. Also another story I plan to be novella length. As MD hasn’t been released yet, I cannot really say much more than this, but it will be set a couple of years later.
Tonight’s Wish is the story of Spencer and Lesley. Lesley is Adam’s brother. Adam wil be introduced in YT. This will be set a few years before, in a critical point in their relationship.
Collision Course is the story of Wynn. Wynn is Chad’s very troubled friend. He’ll be introduced in MD. It will take place after Maybe Tomorrow. Wynn is, as said, very troubled, and his HEA will not be an easy one.
Road’s End will be the story of Catlin and Sterling, another two characters introduced in SS in the group therapy. This will be set shortly after Scarred Souls. Neither of them have nice parents, and there’ll be some drama before they can be together and happy.
Opening Doors will be Chloe and Quinn’s story. Quinn is first introduced in SS, as part of the group therapy. Chloe is Damian’s aunt’s sister and will be met for the first time in YT. This will be a f/f novella.
Open Wounds will feature Mal, also introduced in SS in the group therapy. Mal is extremely troubled, and his road will be a hard one. Thankfully for Mal, Tyler is a patient bloke.
So that’s it. I have more planned, but these are the stories that needs to be written before anyone else. What do you think? Is there any particular story you’d want to see? Please share in the comments!
So far, only Polar Nights has been released in the Arctic Love series. The first three books, the main books, were supposed to run as a serial, but I got stuck with a major case of writer’s block, so Polar Nights was the only book that was finished. A while ago, all the characters wanted to rewrite their stories completely, which would mean writing the entire series all over again.
Now, when my head’s on straight again after this summer where I’ve been completely AWOL, I’m a bit torn about it all. I like the new ideas for the characters, but at the same time I like the original plots. If I stick to the original plots, I only have to go through and edits the rest of the series, because all books are finished.
The only thing I’m not happy about right now is the ending to Polar Nights. It set up the next story for Frey and Jørgen. Originally, theirs was the third story. I’m a bit torn about how to do this. I have some of Frey and Jørgen’s story half re-written, but it won’t be as long as the rest of the books at this rate.
What I am looking forward to is Jonathan’s book. Jonathan is probably my favourite character in the entire series. Perhaps my favourite character of all my books. The fourth book is about two Russians met in Frey’s book, while the fifth is about both Andreas & Christian and Jonathan & his love interest. The sixth books is another one dealing only with Jonathan.
I love these characters, this series. They’ve been on hold for a long time now, and I think it’s finally time to get back to them and give them all some well-deserved love.