“We need to talk.”
I look up from my laptop to find Ronnie Lambert, star of my Spiral Defenders series, standing in the doorway to my office, her arms crossed over her chest as she looks at me expectantly. Her black mane falls down her back, almost to her waist. She wears a pair of dark wash skinny jeans, turquoise flip flops and a turquoise one-shoulder top I know she bought at The Shop Stop in downtown Wind Lake just before school began last fall. I close my laptop as she steps into the room and nod towards one of the overstuffed chairs to the side of my desk.
“Okay, what do you want to talk about?” I ask, folding my hands on top of my computer.
“I’m bored.” She sighs as she sits down, her arms still crossed. “And I miss you.”
I smile, warmed by her affection considering the last time I took a break from writing her books she wasn't as nice to me. “I miss you, too,” I tell her. “You and Gavin have been on my mind lately.”
Her face blossoms in a beautiful, wide smile at the mention of her soulmate. “Yeah, he’s on my mind a lot, too.” She giggles, her cheeks pink and her eyes sparkling. She looks perfectly in love, something I never thought would happen when I started writing her first book.
We share a smile as I sit back in my chair. “So, what do you want to do if you’re bored?”
“You left me telling my mom the truth about my existence,” she says, referring to where I left off in the third book. “I’d like to finish that conversation and get back to Kalearnia.” She sighs again and bites her lower lip, her brow puckered with worry. “And I don’t want her to be mad at me about the door.”
I laugh. “I don’t think she’s mad at you,” I assure her. “It’s not like it could be helped.”
She shrugs one slender shoulder. “True.” She leans forward, her eyes on my closed laptop. “So, when can we get started? Is now too soon?”
I glance at my computer and back at her. Her face is alight with eagerness and I know I’m going to cave before I say the words. “Yes, but I’ll start soon. I have to finish Rick’s story first.”
She wrinkles her nose as she shudders. “Why?” She says the word like it leaves a bad taste in her mouth. I don’t blame her.
“I know you don’t like him --”
“Understatement of the year,” she mutters darkly.
“But I need to finish that story so I know what he’s been up to. I have to know that before I continue writing; a lot happens in this book.”
She rolls her eyes and continues to pout. I don’t want to disappoint her and wrack my brain for something to appease her. “How about a short story to tide you over,” I suggest. She eyes me warily, one eyebrow perfectly arched in a move I know she learned from Gavin.
“What kind of story?” she wonders.
“A love story with you and Gavin, for Valentine’s Day. We can send it to Beth for March’s Literary Lunes magazine.”
She thinks a moment. “The one you sent that shopping excursion story to?”
“A romantic love story?” Her expression turns giddy at the thought. I nod again and she jumps to her feet. “I have to go tell Gavin,” she exclaims and runs from the room. I chuckle as I turn back to my laptop and open it once again, thinking their story is going to be fun to write.