Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Striving for Acceptance by B.L. Mooney

Title: Striving for Acceptance
Series: Striving #3
Author: B.L. Mooney
Cover Design: Kari Ayasha at Cover to Cover Designs
Release Date:  December 26, 2014


Third in the Striving Series, but can be read alone.

We all want to feel accepted, but sometimes we do unacceptable things. When we push it too far

and do the unforgivable, are we still allowed to hope for that acceptance?

Or are we doomed to accept a life of loneliness?

My current bed friend is someone who’s struggling to find his own acceptance. His big crime? He’s

following his dreams. His father can’t accept the fact he no longer wants to follow in his footsteps.

Should he be shut out because he quit the family business? I don’t think so. But if he should, I’ve got

bigger problems.

I cheated on my husband and then killed the man I cheated with. Would you still accept me?

Ages 18+ due to adult situations and violence.








#1 Striving for Normal (FREE)





#2 Striving for Perfection





“Could you hand me another clay pot, please?” I

was crouched down, getting the displays ready for

opening day. Never mind it was still three weeks away. I

needed to keep busy.

The pot appeared before me and I grabbed it.


“You’re welcome.”

I turned my head to the male voice and was inches

from a bulge I’d gotten used to having in my face. I hadn’t

seen what the bulge was made of yet, but he sure liked

thrusting it in my face every chance he could.

I snipped the shears I had in my hand. “You’re very

brave to come that close.” He backed up. “That’s what I


I stood and looked at him. His curly blond hair

needed a cut, as usual, and the smirk on his face needed

to be smacked off. I tilted my head to the side and

wondered what he would look like without the scruff he

tried to pass off as a beard. Why should I care what he

would look like? I shook my head.

“What do you need, Mick? I’m busy.”

“I just thought I’d see if you needed help.”

“As I’ve told you the other fifty times you’ve come

over, no. I’ve got everything under control.”

He rocked back on his heels and looked around. “It

does look good.”

“Thank you.”

My sister, Rachael, came from the back and smiled.

We were complete opposites. She had long, wavy blonde

hair while my hair was black and cut short. You might

have been able to tell we were from the same gene pool

if I showed my body off the way she did, but I liked to

keep things a little more under wraps compared to her

curve-hugging style. Besides, I’d always been the more

casual type and she was all about the latest styles. It

looked good on her, but I’ve got better things to worry

about than clothes.

The other thing which set us apart was the fact she

was friendly. I wasn’t. “Hey, Mick, what brings you over?”

“Just being neighborly.”

I rolled my eyes and turned to work on another

display. “We’ve got it. Thanks for stopping by.”

Rachael waited until he left. “You’re not very nice to


“He isn’t someone I want to be nice to.”

“I think you could be very nice to each other.” She

smiled. “I’ve tried to get Carl to grow some scruff like that.

It’s sexy. The least you could do is play nice with him and

tell me if it—”

“Look, he’s the lease-holder. I don’t need to be

caught up in that. Plus, he’s a little rude, always pushing

his cock in my face.”

Her hands fell to her sides. “Excuse me?”

“Yes, it’s always there.”

She smiled. “Maybe you’re just always looking.”

“Don’t you have to pick up Amy?”

“Shit.” She looked at her watch. “I really do, but this

conversation isn’t over.”

I mumbled, “It is for me.”

I had just finished wiping down the counter even

though I’d already cleaned it a dozen times. I wasn’t

ready to go home. I wanted to make sure it was perfect

for opening day.

There was a small tap on the door. “Let me in

already!” Mick yelled.

I rolled my eyes and walked over to the door. “It’s

unlocked. Just open—” I opened it to see him balancing

two plates and two glasses of wine. He walked past

without an invitation. “What are you doing?”

“Come over and help me.”

Curiosity got the better of me. I walked over and

watched as he turned his ass to me. “Take out the

tablecloth, will you? It’s a little big, but if you keep it

folded in half, it should fit the counter.”

I took the tablecloth from his back pocket and laid it

out as he said to. “What are you doing?”

“Dinner.” He set the plates and glasses down. “You

never leave for dinner or have anything ordered in.” He

looked me over. “You’re too thin.”

I placed my hands on my hips. “Excuse me?”

“You need to keep your strength up if you’re going

to run a company by yourself. You need to take care of

yourself or you have no business taking care of anything


He handed me a napkin with a fork and knife and

pointed to the plate. I watched him grab a couple of

stools for us. “Eat.” He sat on his stool and dug in. “Are

you going to tell me you don’t like steak?”

I shook my head. I sat down and looked at the

steak, baked potato, and green beans. “I’m just trying to

figure out what your motive is.”


I looked up. “You want me to pay you for this.”

“No, I want you to pay for your lease, and you can’t

do that if you run yourself down.” He took another bite

and pointed at my plate. “Eat.”

I could live with that answer. It was honest and

impersonal, so I liked it. I started eating. “This is really



“How did you keep it warm?”

“I don’t live far.”


We sat in silence and finished our meal. It wasn’t

uncomfortable. The sounds of the utensils against the

plates filled the air and before I knew it, I had cleaned the


“See, you feel better now, don’t you?”

I allowed a small smile. “I do. Thank you.”

He nodded and looked around. “It’s remarkable how

good this place looks. You’ve done a great job.”

“Thanks. Thank you for dinner, too.”

He turned back to me and smiled. “You’re


A police car with lights and sirens went by and I

started shaking. He noticed. “I’m going to take the plates

to the back and rinse them off for you, but I don’t have

any detergent to clean them.”

He held my hand and stopped me from taking his

plate. “What’s wrong?”

“Oh, it just startled me, is all. I’ll be right back.”

He allowed me to go to the back with the dishes. I

set them in the sink and took a deep breath while I hung

my head and leaned on the counter. I wondered if Al was

available. It made it easier after I moved into Rachael’s

apartment to see her neighbor down the hall, but it also

made it more difficult to avoid him. I needed to forget life

for a while and he always helped me with that, but he had

started to want too much. I just wanted sex.

“Hey.” Mick came into the back, scaring me. I

jumped, dropping the knife in the sink. “I’m sorry. You

were just back here a little longer than I thought it would

take to rinse plates.”

“I must be tired.” I grabbed a hand towel and dried

the plates. “They still need soap, but at least you won’t

get anything dirty.”

“Thanks.” He looked back out to the front. “Do you

want to talk about it?”

“No. There’s nothing to talk about.” I walked around

him and took the plates to the counter. He had already

folded the tablecloth.

“Okay, but I’m a pretty good listener.”

“I’m not good at talking. Just ask my sister.”

He smiled. “I’m not, either. I think that’s what makes

me a good listener.” He looked around. “Well, I think I’ll

get out of your way and let you go home. You need to

rest up for your big day.”

I laughed. “That’s a lot of resting. It’s still a few

weeks out.” What I needed wasn’t rest. I checked my

watch. Al went to bed early, and I needed to catch him

before he went to sleep.

He pointed to my watch. “Do you have somewhere

you need to be?”

“Not exactly. I wanted to catch a friend before he

went to sleep.”


“I’m allowed to have male friends.”

“I never said you couldn’t.”

“It was implied.”

He raised an eyebrow. “From one word?”

“It was the tone.”

He tilted his head forward. “The tone was surprise

that you liked the male species.”


“I’m a lot closer.”

“To what?”

He stepped up to me but didn’t touch me. “For what

you need your friend for.”

We stood there staring at each other. He was

probably wondering if I was going to take him up on his

offer, and I was wondering if he was serious. It didn’t

matter. I couldn’t get involved and risk losing the shop, no

matter how promising the bulge he constantly put in front

of me was.

“You have no idea what I need my friend for.”

He walked me backwards until I hit the counter.

“You want him to take care of your needs. Needs you

suddenly have ever since that cop car went blaring by.

You need him to help you forget life for a while, to make

you feel good, and protected.” He leaned in and

whispered in my ear. “Deny it.”

I swallowed as he leaned in more, pressing his body

to mine and reaching behind me to grab the dishes. I

closed my eyes when he walked away. The breath I had

been holding was finally released. Al better not have

gone to sleep yet.

I unlocked my door and threw my purse on the

chair. I wanted to take a shower before I went to Al’s. He

didn’t care if I came over dirty from working in the shop,

but I cared. Before I got to the bathroom, there was a

knock on my door. I smiled; only one person knocked like

that. He could shower with me.

I opened the door and smiled even wider. “Hey, I

was just going to jump in the shower and head over, but

you can come in with me. My back needs washing.”

He stepped in, but didn’t look happy. “Deb, we need

to talk.”

I lowered my head and shut the door. I was

dreading this day, the day he demanded more than sex. I

turned and looked at the guy I’d spent the last several

months with but knew very little about. That was how I

wanted to keep it.

He was blond, dumb, and a great fuck. That’s all I

needed to know and all I wanted to know. I was going to

miss the orgasms he could give me. Fuck. “Al, we’ve

talked about this.”

“No, actually.” He looked at the package in his

hands. “I met someone.”

I took a step back. I hadn’t expected that. “You did?”

“Yeah, and I want to be exclusive with her.” He

handed me the package.

“What’s this?”

“A goodbye gift.” He rubbed the back of his neck

with his hand. “Don’t open it until I leave, but I feel bad

about this.”

I put the box on the side table and hugged him. “Do

not feel bad at all. I’m very happy for you.”

He hugged me back. “You are?”

“Of course.” I backed up and patted his chest. “You

have a big heart in there and have wanted to give it to

someone for a long time. I’m glad you’ve found someone

to give it to.” I looked at the gift. “You really didn’t have

He smiled. “Yes, I did.” He checked his watch.

“She’s coming over any minute, so I should get back to

my apartment. Thanks for being cool with this. I’m going

to miss you.”

“I’m not going anywhere, champ. We’ll still see each

other. We’ll just see each other with our clothes on.”

He smiled and nodded as he walked out. I locked

the door behind him and turned to the package. I

should’ve given it back to him. He didn’t need to give me

anything. What I received from our time together was the

only thing I’d wanted from him. I opened the package and

smiled. I guess he wanted to make sure I still had my


I took it out and looked at the deluxe model vibrator

he had given me. I wasn’t much into vibrators and didn’t

have the need for them with him next door. I shrugged

and took it to the bedroom. I didn’t have him anymore, so

no need for his money to go to waste.

B.L. Mooney started writing when the voices and storylines in her head ran out of room. They were

getting too cramped and neither B.L. nor the characters could take it anymore, so she did the only

thing she could do—she made room. She always knew she wanted to write, but vowed to make time

for it later. Now that she’s made time for writing, most everything else falls to the wayside. That

seems to suit the characters that keep popping up in her head just fine.

B.L. lives in the Midwest, and her other talents include in-demand cookies, a very dry sense of

humor, and stealth eavesdropping. Some mannerisms, attitudes, or twists come from random

sentences picked up while passing by strangers. So speak up the next time you have something to

gossip about. You never know, it may just end up on the pages of the next book you read.

She loves to hear from her readers via email





No comments:

Post a Comment