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Friday, December 26, 2014

Striving for Acceptance by B.L. Mooney

Title: Striving for Acceptance
Series: Striving #3
Author: B.L. Mooney
 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.

My crime?

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

18+ due to adult situations and violence.

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“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. “Thanks.”

“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 thought.”

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

“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 him.”

“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

“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

“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

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 else.”

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

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

“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 good.”


“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 plate.

“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

“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

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

“I’m not good at talking. Just ask my

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

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 to.”

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 orgasms.

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.


Author Bio

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 and you can contact her via email at

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