THIRDS Thursday – 1/5/17

Prompt: Seb and Hudson’s first date.


Part One

“How do I look?”

Seb turned to his little brother, arms held out at his sides. After hours of rummaging through his closet and trying on practically every item of clothing he owned, he’d settled on an outfit that Ethan picked out. It was a mossy green sweater—the green bringing out his eyes—over a white shirt, and khaki pants. It wasn’t T-shirt and jeans, but it wasn’t a suit either. He’d been ready to lose his mind until his little brother dropped by, reached into his closet, and plucked the perfect outfit before Seb could toss his entire wardrobe out the window.

“I told you that sweater would look great with those pants,” Ethan replied quietly, a big smile on his face. “You’re really nervous, huh?”

“Yeah. I don’t think I’ve ever been this nervous over a date before.”

“Guess you really like him,” Ethan teased.

“It’s crazy. I barely know him, but….” Seb shrugged as he sat on the edge of the bed and pulled on his brown leather brogues. “There’s just something about him. I mean, he’s beautiful, smart, funny, and his smile just takes my breath away.”

“Wow, you got it bad.” Ethan laughed at Seb’s arched eyebrow. “What? I’ve never seen you like this. I think it’s great. He’s really nice. I like him for you.”

Seb couldn’t help his dopey grin. “Thanks.” Ethan grew quiet, and Seb straightened. To everyone else they knew, Ethan being quiet was the norm, but to Seb, when it was just the two of them and Ethan was quiet, it was worrisome. Ethan was always chatty with him. “What’s on your mind?”

“It’s not important,” Ethan muttered.

“If it’s on your mind then it is. Talk to me.” Seb turned to face his brother. “Come on, buddy. You know you can tell me anything.”

“I hope it works out for the both of you,” Ethan said, his eyes everywhere else but on Seb. “But I feel kind of bad.”

“Why?” Seb asked gently. He placed his hand on his brother’s head reassuringly like he always did when Ethan was little, letting him know that he was there for Ethan no matter what.

“I really want things to work out for you guys because you like him so much, and he makes you happy, but I also want things to work out for a more selfish reason, and I feel kind of crappy about it.” Ethan looked up at Seb then, and Seb was taken aback by the glassiness in his brother’s eyes.

“Ethan?”

“He understands me,” Ethan replied. “From the day we met him in the training bay, he didn’t question why I couldn’t talk. He didn’t look at me with pity. Instead, he smiled, talked to me like he did everyone else, and understood what I was trying to say. He doesn’t look at me like I’m broken. To him, I’m a colleague, an agent just like anyone one else on Destructive Delta. And even though he’s a doctor, he’s not trying to fix me.”

Seb’s heart squeezed in his chest. It was hard for Ethan when Seb or Rafe dated because their dates weren’t always so understanding. Some tried, but in the end things didn’t work out for some reason or another. Seb figured he hadn’t found the right person yet, because when he did, that guy would love Ethan and the rest of the Hobbs brood as much as Seb did. He didn’t begrudge anyone for walking away from him. His life was complicated, and at times emotionally draining. Between being a Defense agent for the THIRDS risking his life out in the field, his father’s condition, and his little brother’s Selective Mutism, it was too much for some people, and as much as Seb wanted to find love, he would never ever walk away from his family.

“Hey, look at me,” Seb insisted gently, smiling when Ethan looked up at him. “That’s not selfish. You’re my little brother, and I love you. Anyone who really wants to be a part of my life will want to be a part of your too, Ethan. We’re a family. That’s never going to change.”

“Yeah, but—”

“Ethan, the right guy will know how much you all mean to me, and he’ll love you as much as I do.”

Ethan’s eyes brimmed with tears. He nodded before throwing his arms around Seb, and hugging him tight. When he pulled back, he wiped the tears from his eyes. His wide grin made Seb chuckle.

“He’s going to love you, Seb, I just know he is.”

Ethan’s faith in him never ceased to astound him. “One step at a time, buddy.” Seb patted Ethan’s shoulders then headed downstairs, Ethan on his heels. He grabbed his wallet, keys, and phone along with his brown leather jacket. His hair had been recently cut so there wasn’t much he could do with it. Taking a deep breath, he followed Ethan outside, and locked up.

“Okay. Wish me luck. And thanks for coming over to check on me.”

Ethan hugged him again before heading off, and Seb promised he’d call to let him know how it went. Seb took a taxi instead of his truck so he wouldn’t have to worry about parking. The restaurant was a cute little Korean place on East 31st Street, one of Hudson’s favorites.

Seb had offered to pick Hudson up from his house, but since Hudson was getting off work later than Seb, he was going to shower and change at work then head out to the restaurant to meet him. A few minutes later, Seb walked in to the restaurant. He’d meant to call Hudson to let him know he was on his way, and completely forgot. He was about to ask the hostess when the door opened, and the most stunning man Seb had ever seen walked in. His black hair was windblown, his cheeks flushed, one side of his shirt sticking out from under his chic button down vest. His glasses were crooked on his nose, and one of his shoes were untied. The man was too adorable for words. When Hudson spotted him, he let out a squeak, and his eyes went wide. Seb smiled and opened his mouth to say hi when Hudson ran back out.

Well that was new.

Seb quickly followed, finding Hudson outside pacing furiously and mumbling to himself.

“Hudson?”

Hudson gave a start, a hand going to his chest. “Oh good lord.”

“Are you okay?” Had Hudson changed his mind?

“Yes, um, I uh….” Hudson let out a shaky laugh as he ran a hand through his hair. He smoothed down his vest then quickly tucked his shirt into his belt. “I um, I’m so sorry.”

Seb held his breath. “If you’ve changed your mind about this, I understand.”

Hudson blinked at him. “I beg your pardon?”

“You ran out when you saw me. I thought maybe you were rethinking the whole date thing.”

“No!”

The shout was unexpected, and Seb started. With a groan, Hudson covered his face with his hands. Seb chuckled. The poor guy was working himself into quite the flustered state. Seb realized then what was really happening. He stepped up to Hudson, knelt, and took hold of his laces.

“What are you doing?”

Seb looked up at him with a smile. “Tying your shoe.” He had a feeling if he didn’t the poor man might end up on the floor. The pink that crept into Hudson’s cheeks was just the sweetest thing.

“Thank you,” Hudson murmured, straightening his glasses. “I wasn’t having second thoughts. I thought perhaps I might have arrived before you and could run to the loo to tidy up my appearance. You’re very punctual.”

Seb laughed softly as he stood. “I’m sorry.”

“Please don’t apologize. I’m the one who should apologize, showing up like I’d been ravished or some such thing.”

Seb waggled his eyebrows. “Ravished, huh?”

“Oh, I… bollocks.” Hudson laughed, embarrassed. “Are you certain you’re not having second thoughts?”

Seb closed the distance between them. He placed his fingers under Hudson’s chin, lifting his face so he could meet those gorgeous blue eyes.

“Believe me, the last thing I’m thinking about is walking away from you.”


PART TWO next week!

Copyright © 2017 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.

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THIRDS Thursday – 12/29/16

The fellas share their New Year’s resolutions.


Ash: I don’t make new year’s resolutions. If I want to do something, I do it. If I don’t want to do something, I don’t. That’s it.

Dex: How very Ash of you.

Ash: Whatever. This coming from the guy with no self-control.

Dex: *huffs* I totally have self-control. I don’t know what you’re talking about. *Turns to Sloane* Babe, I have self-control, right?

Sloane: *looking everywhere but at Dex*

Dex: *narrows eyes* Babe?

Sloane: *blinks at him innocently* Hm?

Ash: *snickering behind Cael*

Dex: Darling? Light of my loins. Owner of my very, very precious heart. Self-control. I have it, right?

Sloane: Um, of course your do, sweetheart.

Dex: You hesitated.

Sloane: *looks past Dex to Cael* How about you? Any resolutions?

Cael: I’m going to try and be more assertive. Outside the bedroom, anyway.

Ash: *jaw drops*

Dex: *eyes go wide* Oh my God, why? Why would you say that in my presence? *covers his eyes* I need bleach for my brain!

Cael: *rolls his eyes* I’m thirty years old, Dex. One of these days you’re going to have to accept that your baby brother isn’t a baby anymore.

Dex: Never! *throws his arms around Cael’s head and pets him* Precious, precious cookie.

Cael: I’m going to seriously hurt you if you don’t let go.

Dex: *sniffs* They grow up so quickly.

Cael: Get off.

Dex: One minute you’re changing their diaper—which was so heavy you had to wonder how something so small could poop so damn much—and the next thing you know—*gets tackled off his chair*

Sloane: *to Ash* What do you want to do after this?

Dex: *tussling with Cael on the floor* Could use a little help here.

Ash: *thinks about it* How about we grab some dinner and watch a movie? I’m kinda in the mood for Korean.

Dex: *groans after getting hit in the ribs* Babe?

Sloane: *snaps his fingers* Hudson recommended this great place over on East 31st Street. We should go there.

Ash: Sounds good.

Dex: Ouch! Dude, did you just try to knee me in ma boys? I need those!

Cael: Then stop talking about my diapers, you turd!

Dex: *snickers* Turd.

Cael: *stands over his brother and narrows his eyes* Say one more thing about me in diapers. I dare you.

Dex: *opens his mouth to reply*

Cael: Just know that when you do, I’m going to describe in exceptional detail the sex Ash and I had last night.

Dex: *pops up onto his feet* You know, I think I’m gonna sit down next to Sloane.

Cael: You do that. *Resumes his seat next to Ash*

Dex: *leans over Cael to peer at Ash* I blame you.

Ash: For what? The sex?

Dex: That. But generally, I just blame you.

Sloane: *chuckles and pats Dex’s leg*

Dex: *turns to Sloane* So what’s your new year’s resolution?

Sloane: *thinks about it* I don’t know. I guess, just really appreciate what I have, and making sure what I have knows he’s appreciated. *kisses Dex’s cheek*

Dex: *melts* Aw. You’re such a sap.

Ash: *to Dex* I blame you for that one.

Dex: *sighs dreamily as he looks at Sloane* I happily accept responsibility.

Ash: Dork.

Dex: Bite me, Simba.

Ash: That’s getting old.

Dex: Aslan, then. Or we could go with Scar. Or Mufasa.

Ash: *grins wide* How about we go with my fist in your face. How’s that? I like that one best.

Sloane: Okay, that’s enough you two. Back to resolutions.

Dex: *puts his hand up * Ooh, I got one!

Sloane: Why are you raising your hand?

Ash: I find it hard to believe that you ever raised your hand in school.

Dex: Of course I raised my hand. I was an exceptional student.

*Cael and Ash exchange glances before bursting into laughter*

Cael: *wiping a tear from his eye* He’s right. He did raise his hand. He also made noises, whispered loudly to get the teacher’s attention, and flailed his arms. It drove his teachers insane, among other things.

Dex: *wrinkles his nose* Hey, I was an enthusiastic student.

Cael: And then after all the flailing and noises, when the teacher finally did call on him, he’d ask a completely random question. Like if she asked what the answer to the math problem was, he’d drive her nuts until she picked him, and then ask something like “why do dogs get surprised by their own farts”.

*Ash and Sloane burst into laughter*

Dex: What? If I didn’t ask when it occurred to me then I’d forget, and it would bug me for the rest of the day. I needed to know. You can all bite me.

Sloane: *sobering up* Okay, babe. What’s your resolution?

Dex: *mutters* To find new friends.

Sloane: Aw, don’t be mad. *pulls Dex into his arms and kisses him* You know we love you.

Ash: *opens his mouth when Cael clamps a hand over it*

Dex: *pouts* Can we get ice cream after dinner?

Sloane: Of course we can. You can have all the ice cream you want.

Ash: *groans*

Cael: *eyes light up and turns to Ash* I want ice cream too!

Ash: *hugs Cael and glares at Sloane over Cael’s head* Of course, sweetheart.

Dex: *jumps off his chair at the same time as Cael* Woop! *they run out*

Ash: *shakes his head at Sloane* You couldn’t have just said yes, you had to say “all the ice cream you want.”

Sloane: Sorry. You know it’s hard for me to say no when he’s looking all pouty like that.

Ash: Which is why he does it, you sap! *throws his arms up* Now they’re going to eat their weight in ice cream, and Cael is going to be bouncing off the walls.

Sloane: *shrugs* Dex will be too. And it’ll last most of the night. *waggles his eyebrows*

Ash: *opens his mouth to answer then closes it. Realizes what Sloane is saying and stands* Let’s go get some ice cream. *grins wide* Happy New Year to me.

Sloane: *chuckles and walks after him*


Copyright © 2016 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.

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$600 Raised for Big Cats with THIRDS Beyond the Books!

THIRDSBeyondtheBooksV1_FBbanner_DSP

Hello, all! I’m super excited to share with you our first donation to Big Cat Rescue! As promised, my royalties from the first two THIRDS Beyond the Books volumes are being donated to Big Cat Rescue to help the big cats. Although only pre-order sales have come through for volume 2 since it was released less than a month ago, we have the results so far! $578.73 which I rounded up to a neat $600.00. Thank you so much to everyone who bought a copy of THIRDS Beyond the Books, Volume 1 and/or Volume 2! I placed the donation in honor of the THIRDS readers because you all are just amazing!

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THIRDS Thursday Hot Seat – 9/24/15

THIRDS Thursday Hot Seat

Hello all! Welcome to the first edition of THIRDS Thursdays’ Hot Seat! Today we have with us Dex, Sloane, and Ash who are going to answer some of your questions. Each edition of THIRDS Thursdays’ Hot Seat will feature three cast members who will be asked three questions each by our lovely readers. The same question may be asked of all three members, for a total of nine responses. Let the squirming fun begin!

Charlie: Thanks for joining us, fellas!

Dex: You know I’m always up for some fun.

Sloane: I tried to back out gracefully but someone wouldn’t let me.

Ash: I wasn’t given a choice, so whatever.

Charlie: Thanks, guys. I feel the love. All right, first question is from Tio-Chan and it’s for all three of you: What are your secret hobbies? Like no one knows that you guys are into that?

Dex: Hm, I’m not really a secretive guy.

Ash: Hard to keep a secret with your mouth never shutting up.

Dex: Hey, I kept my mouth shut about your supposed straightness.

Ash: I never said I was straight. I said I wasn’t gay. There’s a difference.

Dex: *scoffs* Right. Anyway, does sex count as a hobby? Wait, that’s not a secret. Okay, uh, I don’t know how much of a secret it is, but I like puzzles.

Ash: *laughs* You’ve officially upgraded from dork to super dork.

Dex: *ignoring Ash* I need to be busy, but sometimes I just want to relax. I like puzzle games especially.

Charlie: What about you, Sloane?

Sloane: Um, I uh, I like *coughs and mumbles something*

Dex: What was that?

Ash: I think he said knitting.

Sloane: *to Ash* I think you should bite me. I said conferences. Like, movie ones, or comic book ones.

Ash: *shakes his head in shame* I’m losing you to the dork side.

Dex: Ha! Too late.

Charlie: How about you, Ash?

Ash: I don’t have a hobby.

Sloane: Lies.

Ash: Seriously, bro? Fine. I do. But if I told you then it wouldn’t be a secret.

Dex: Ash bakes.

Ash: *glares at Dex* You are so lucky I’m dating your brother.

Dex: Don’t remind me.

Charlie: Okaaay. Moving on. Next question is from Naoki and it’s for all three of you: What good or bad habits have you unconsciously picked up from your partner?

Dex: Hm. I think it’s easy to pick up things from your other half when you spend so much time with them. I’m finding it easier to just chill these days. I mean, I still keep myself busy, but it was hard for me to sit still and take a break, especially on our days off. Sloane’s very chill. He’s the kind of guy who can go to the park, sit on a bench, and just enjoy the day. I couldn’t do that before. Just sit. As for bad habits, I’m now aware of food labels.

Sloane: How is that a bad habit?

Dex: It takes the fun out of eating!

Sloane: You think it’s fun for your body? Stuffing it with all that sugar?

Dex: Yes!

Charlie: How about you, Sloane? Though I have a pretty good idea.

Dex: Hey, what’s that supposed to mean?

Sloane: Bad habit? I’m definitely consuming way more coffee than I used to.

Dex: That’s not a bad habit, that’s normal.

Ash: Pff. Like you have any idea what normal is.

Dex: Zip it, you.

Sloane: Good habit. Hm. I have to say, I think I’ve picked up a few good habits from Dex. Like, appreciating the little things in life. He has this amazing way of looking at the world, and for someone who’s been through as much shit as I have, it gets tough sometimes, but he’s always there to help me see the light in the darkness.

Dex: Aw, you so sappy.

Sloane: That’s another bad habit I picked up from him.

Dex: *laughs* If you say so. You know you love it.

Sloane: *gives Dex a wink*

Ash: Can we move on before they start sucking face again? Letty or Cael?

Charlie: Let’s go with Cael.

Ash: Bad habit, smiling.

Dex: Only you would see smiling as a bad habit.

Ash: *ignores Dex* Cael makes me smile a lot, and I’ve found myself smiling at other people. That’s not normal. I never did that before. It disturbs me. Good habit, I guess, little things are rubbing off on me. Like, not being so miserable all the time. It’s hard to be pissed off with him around.

Charlie: Okay, last questions for this edition. This one’s for Ash from Julie: How are you coping with Dex being around ALL the time? He’s at work with you, when you see your best friend, when you’re with your sweetheart! Oh my goodness he’s practically your brother-in-law. (evil cackle 😈)

Ash: *eyes narrow* What did you just call him? *goes pale* Wait, are you implying me and Cael are practically m—m, that word.

Dex: Married. Marriage. Matrimony. Husband and Husband. Spouses.

Ash: Shut the fuck up or so help me I will murder you dead. If anyone’s practically married it’s you and Sloane.

Sloane: *shifts uncomfortably* Um, I think we should move onto the other part of the question.

Ash: You mean the how am I coping with Dennis the Menace? It’s a pain in my ass. Every time I turn around he’s fucking there. In the morning, afternoon, evening, weekends… Jesus Christ, why me?

Dex: You know you love me.

Ash: Love beating the shit out of you, which is what’s going to happen if you don’t shut it.

Charlie: Maybe we should move on. Next question is for Dex from Alec: Cheesy Doodles or kisses from Sloane: rank them.

Dex: Dude, how can you do me like that? He’s sitting right next to me.

Sloane: Think long and hard about that one.

Dex: *snorts* Long and hard.

Ash: *shakes his head at Dex* You ever plan to hit puberty, or you just giving that a pass?

Dex: Screw you, Simba.

Ash: Shut up, Justice.

Dex: Keep it up and I’m gifting Cael with registration for the both of you next Comic Con. You know he won’t be able to say no. And neither will you.

Ash: *eyes widen* He wouldn’t….

Dex: You really think he’s not going to set his little heart on sharing the experience with you? That’s like our Shangri-La. Like Christmas. It’s better than Christmas. It’s like all the holidays rolled into one. It’s like the Batcave and the Fortress of Solitude did the nasty and had an awesome baby of fandom glory.

Ash: *pleads with Sloane* Make it stop.

Dex: *grins smugly* My work here is done.

Charlie: Not until you answer my question.

Dex: Damn it. Okay, obviously Sloane’s kisses rank higher than Cheesy Doodles. *whispers* But Cheesy Doodles come in at a close second.

Sloane: Thanks, babe.

Dex: Just keeping it real.

Charlie: Okay, now final question. From Deborah for Sloane: What was it about Dex that made you first fall in love with him?

Ash: *opens his mouth to talk*

Sloane: Nope.

Ash: *sighs* Fine. I’ll behave. Just this once. You’re such a sap.

Sloane: There wasn’t any one thing. It was a combination of things, but a big part was the way he looked at me. He saw something in me that I couldn’t see myself. I didn’t think I was meant to be happy, to find love again, and no matter how much I fucked up or pushed him away, he’d be there with his kind heart and his beautiful smile, waiting for me. Our relationship isn’t perfect, and I’m still trying to be a better man, to be someone he deserves, but for the first time in a long time, I can look at myself in the mirror and like who I see. I hadn’t been able to do that in a long time, and that’s down to him and his love for me.

Dex: *smiles dreamily* You’re so cute. *kisses Sloane*

Ash: Oh God, really? Here? Are we done? Because I don’t need to see this.

Charlie: We’re done. Thank you guys— *Ash is gone* Man, that guy moves fast when he needs to. Thank you all for joining us! If you’d like to leave questions for a THIRDS Thursday Hots Seat edition, you can do so here.

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Coming Soon – THIRDS Thursdays

THIRDS Thursdays

Hello all! Starting sometime in September I’m launching THIRDS Thursdays on my blog. What is THIRDS Thursday? It’s a day for all things THIRDS, and a little thank you to all you amazing THIRDS fans. More ideas may be added, but for now, on Thursdays I’ll be posting short Flash Fiction (200-1000 words) based on prompts you post. You can link to a picture for inspiration as well. I’ll also cross post them to the THIRDS Thursdays Flash Fiction folder in the THIRDS Nerds group on Goodreads here. If you’re a member of the group, you can also leave your prompts along with images here.

The only rule to this is that your prompts have to fall in line with the current series timeline. So I’m afraid until Ash and Cael’s book gets released, there won’t be any sexy-times between them. But if you want a sweet scene between them that reflect their current relationship, go for it! Same for the other couples: Dex & Sloane, Calvin & Hobbs, Seb & Hudson, Lou & Bradley. You can even include childhood shenanigans with Dex & Cael. Family moments. So remember, no Flash Fiction spoilers before the actual books have come out. Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. ;)

You can start posting your prompts on the THIRDS Thursdays page here and I’ll announce as soon as the first one is about to go up. I’d like to get a few done before I start scheduling them. I’ll be choosing prompts using the Magic Hat. Please try not to get upset if your prompt doesn’t get picked, though this might only happen if we get loads. Most importantly, have fun!

Links:
Goodreads THIRDS Nerds THIRDS Thursdays Flash Fiction prompts: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1964668-thirds-thursdays-flash-fiction-prompts

THIRDS Thursdays Blog Page: http://www.charliecochet.com/thirds-thursdays/

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