Electric:The Bay Boys #1

By: Emilia Winters


The cemetery was quiet for a Sunday morning.

Luke Branford absently thought that this must be the way ancient soldiers felt…eerily surrounded by death, heart aching with grief. Luke liked to imagine that even the Spartans felt grief. An army of the ancient world’s fiercest warriors brought to their knees by simple human emotion…

Roaming closer to his destination, Luke thought once again that he would’ve liked a headstone placed on Jack’s burial site. Hell, he’d wanted a monument erected in his honor. Maybe then it would’ve eased some of the heavy guilt lodged permanently in his chest. But the cemetery hadn’t allowed it. Something to do with it being on a hillside and county regulations. And since Luke’s parents wanted him close to his grandparents, all that revealed where Jack was buried was a flat grave marker.

Jack L. Branford III

Beloved Son and Brother

September 14, 1984 ~ November 26, 2005

“All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine.” - Socrates

Jack had quoted Socrates to Luke right before he died. The irony that they’d been talking about death when it happened didn’t escape Luke’s notice. Almost like it’d been fate.

And Luke hated that word.

He stood over Jack’s grave with his hands in his pockets. It was November but he didn’t feel the biting chill of the fall air. It’d been nine years since Jack died and Luke still didn’t feel it.

His cell phone rang, destroying the silence. Glancing down at the screen that simply read Hot Redhead, he accepted the call and greeted her with a generic, “Hey babe.” He couldn’t remember her name. He usually didn’t remember names, if he was being honest with himself. But she would prove to be a welcome distraction.

“Luke,” the unknown woman purred over the line. “Can I come over tonight? I’ve been thinking about you since that night at Electro last week. And I went shopping today just for you.”

Bingo. Amy, Abby, Ashley? Something with an ‘A.’ He’d fucked a redhead in one of the bathrooms at the Electro club last week, but he had no recollection of giving her his number.

She’d been a good lay, but that didn’t mean he would let her come over. He never let women come over. It seemed too intimate.

“My place isn’t an option, babe, but I’d be more than happy to come to you,” he replied, a slow grin appearing on his face. He turned his back on his brother’s grave and walked a few steps away from it. Otherwise, he’d pollute it.

The woman was thrilled and she whispered dirty words over the phone but it did nothing for him. It wasn’t the time or the place for Luke to get aroused, so he smoothly cut her off and finished making plans to meet at her apartment around ten.

He disconnected the call with a feeling of tiredness after making his goodbyes. But maybe for tonight he could bury himself in a woman and forget. And then tomorrow morning, at 7:30, he’d be able to see her.

He returned to the grave and stared down at the bright green grass, as though he’d be able to see Jack below it. It started to drizzle a few minutes later. The cold mist stung Luke’s eyes but he only left the grave when the drizzle turned into a downpour. And even then, he stayed in his truck, leaning against the cracked leather wheel, trying to banish his guilt only to fail miserably. Again.


The rejection was short but no less disheartening.

Dear Ms. Katherine Kennedy,

Thank you for considering our agency, but unfortunately, your manuscript, HIS BEAUTIFUL SCARS, isn’t a good fit for any of our agents. Good luck on your future writing endeavors.


Bennett Literary Agency

Kate stared at the screen of her laptop for a few moments before she dragged the email into a folder labeled ‘Query Rejections.’ Now, the count was up to 14. She didn’t know why she kept them, but Kate was a sucker for organization…even if every time she spotted the folder a little pang of disappointment shot through her chest. But she was used to disappointment. And, over the years, she’d learned how to move on from disappointment efficiently and with as little pain as possible.

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