By Seelie Kay (Guest Blogger)
About three years ago, I found a teenager living in my garage.
At the time, I was recovering from a leg injury, so I hadn’t been using my car and it was kept in the garage. My son was my official chauffeur and he had his own car, which was parked on the driveway. I had no reason to go out into the garage. It was pure happenstance that I asked my son to use my car to run some errands that day.
As I always did, I opened the door between the house and garage, hit the opener, and waited for my son to help me out to the car. I remember picking my car keys up off of the kitchen table, wondering why they weren’t in the bowl by the door.
When we walked out into the garage, I began to scream. On the floor was a sleeping bag, with a pillow covered with a case in a pattern I recognized (from my son’s bed) and a blanket I had been looking for everywhere. Next to it was a military knapsack, a radio plugged into an outlet, and a pile of food, wrappers, and empty cans. On the other side of my car was a table and chair that had been sitting on my deck, with an open can of soda sitting on the table. The passenger seat in my car was inclined, as if someone had been sleeping there.
I turned to my son and said, “Start taking photos.” Then I called the police. We went back into the house to wait. By the time the police arrived, the squatter had grabbed his things and we thought, disappeared. But after a careful search, the police found a boy hiding under my deck. It turned out it was someone we knew, well.
We soon discovered that the squatter, who visited my home often, had been leaving doors unlocked when he left at the end of the day. Then he reentered my home at night, using the laundry, stealing food, and generally hanging out in the basement.
My son worked nights at the time and prior to leaving for work, he would make sure I was safely settled onto the second floor of my home. I was still relatively immobile and could not easily move between the floors. That meant I could not investigate noises I thought I heard. The boy knew I was recovering from a broken leg and took advantage.
However, I had complained about noises to my son. Several times I had texted him at work and insisting someone was in the house. I also kept telling him that food I knew I had purchased was missing, such as peanut butter, bread, cheese, and sandwich meat. But my son was convinced the pain killers I was taking were messing with my head. I admit that I felt a small bit of satisfaction when it was proved that I was not a crazy old lady after all!
Once the boy was removed from the premises, I significantly increased the security in my home, got an order of protection, and attempted to deal with the fact that we had unknowingly been at risk. Then the incident took its real toll. My son became to have nightmares. I had an MS exacerbation (attack) that seriously compromised my legs. We were coping the best we could, but obviously, not enough.
So when I volunteered to write a Summer Short for my publisher, eXtasy Books, I decided to take the bull by the horns. What better way to deal with a trauma than to write about it? So I did. I wrote a fictionalized account of the incident, included our feelings of outrage and betrayal, and added a romance between the homeowner and the police chief. The Garage Dweller was born.
It is important to note that while the actual garage dweller inspired the story, I was careful to fictionalize everything, from the boy’s age to the other characters involved. The similarities begin and end with the discovery that someone was living in my garage and had accessed my house. I wrestled with how much actual information I could supply—even through the incident is a matter of public record—and decided to err on the side of caution. I did not want to become the target of a frivolous lawsuit. God knows, the courts are flooded with way too many of those.
I think the blurb for this story pretty much says it all:
“Criminal defense attorney Julianna Constant is skilled at emasculating witnesses and hogtying juries, but she is unprepared to deal with a homeless teenager found living in her garage. The boy she has known since childhood wages an unwinnable battle to stay in her home, as Constant struggles to protect her family. Ultimately, the threat to her safety and emotional well-being mounts, and Julianna pushes back, falling right into the arms of the new police chief, a man who always carries two sets of handcuffs and uses them for more than just restraining criminals!”
Sadly, I do not know the local police chief, though I am sure he is quite handsome and carries at least one set of handcuffs. However, this is fiction, remember?
Unfortunately, for my son and I, the story was far from over. We still had bad moments, mostly triggered by some reminder of the event. Then I began to dream about what would happen if The Garage Dweller returned, and Chapter Six of Kinky Briefs, Thrice—Teafoolery—was born. In that story, Juliana and the Chief have married and are happily ensconced in her home. When The Garage Dweller returns to seek his revenge, it is with disastrous results. Julianna and the Chief are forced to look inside themselves and decide what the word, “justice,” truly means.
I am enamored with the romance between the Chief Manders and Julianna Constant, primarily because I am also in middle age, and like so many in my age group, like to believe that love can happen at any age. Besides, this is one lusty couple! I think it is safe to predict that they will return in another edition of Kinky Briefs. I have no idea when or where The Garage Dweller might reappear. I guess I’ll have to see where my dreams take me.
Giveaway! Leave me a comment with your email below, and I will enter you into a drawing for one of two prizes: a copy of The Garage Dweller or a Kinky Briefs mug. (Mug for U.S. entrants only.)
The Garage Dweller
Criminal defense attorney Julianna Constant is skilled at emasculating witnesses and hog-tying juries, but she is unprepared to deal with a homeless teenager found living in her garage. The boy she has known since childhood wages an unwinnable battle to stay in her home, as Constant struggles to protect her family. Ultimately, the threat to her safety and emotional well-being mounts, and Julianna pushes back, falling right into the arms of the new police chief, a man who always carries two sets of handcuffs and uses them for more than just restraining criminals!
“I walked down the stairs, Manders behind me, and turned into the living room. On the sofa, his hands bound with flexi-cuffs, sat a kid I had known since he was in kindergarten.
“What the hell, Mikey?” I exclaimed. “You’re the one who has been sneaking around my house in the middle of the night?”
Mikey had the decency to look ashamed. “It’s not like that,” he began.
Danny shoved the front door open and hurried in. He spotted Mikey and fury clouded his face. He walked up to Mikey and slapped his head. “What the fuck, Mike? What the hell are you doing scaring my Mom half to death?” He picked up the phone and took a photo. “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t post this on Facebook…Tell the police the truth or I am going to slap your ass all over the Internet.”
Kinky Briefs, Thrice
Take a kinky romp through lawyerland!
Lawyers get their kink on in this sizzling collection of short stories. Through the eyes of a lawyer toiling away in the backroom of a law firm, a wicked window into the legal world opens as she spins her outrageous tales of lawyers in love, cranky judges, and those who serve them. From a randy AG who uses his cycle to woo a young law firm associate to a Sheikh and lawyer in a fight for their lives, or a kinky lawyer struggling to adapt to a diagnosis of a crippling, chronic illness to a rowdy fantasy about a new sheriff in town, each lawyer attacks life with humor and passion, always ready to embrace just a dash of kink. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you might even blush, but one thing’s for certain, when you’re done reading, you’ll run out and buy a set of handcuffs!
Just when you think you’ve closed the door, it is pushed back open and new trouble comes tumbling in. It began with a homeless boy, a garage, and a criminal defense attorney, and as any good fantasy should, it ended with an attorney and police chief so hot he set every woman’s naughty bits a shudder. He’s the partner everyone wants to lean on, especially when the past returns to haunt you. A continuation of “The Garage Dweller,” featured in eXtasy Book’s 2017 Summer Shorts, the attorney and the chief return to defend against a boy’s revenge.
Click! Julianna sat up with a start. “David, is the alarm on?”
“Yes, I turned it on before we headed upstairs.” The smoke alarms went off and a disembodied voice declared, “Fire! Evacuate! Fire! Evacuate!”
They quickly pulled on robes and headed downstairs. David called the Fire Department as they searched the house for smoke. They found nothing. Finally, he opened the door to the deck and ran outside. Up against the house, a garbage can was emitting a swirl of black smoke. He kicked the can away from the house and grabbed a hose, releasing a stream of water to douse the flames. The can was smoldering by the time the Fire Department arrived.
“Damn, Chief, you must have pissed someone off,” one of the firemen said.
David frowned. “More likely Jules. She’s the one who lives life on the edge.”
Julianna came out onto the deck and surveyed the melted pile of rubble on her lawn. “I told Selia he wasn’t done. I bet it was Reverend Blume or one his minions. I’m the one who blasted him in front of his followers. He has a score to settle with me. It would be too obvious if he went after Selia again.”
David turned to the fireman. “Reilly, let’s leave everything as is and call the arson squad. You don’t set a fire next to a house unless you want it to spread.” He turned and peered under the eaves of the house. “Looks like he took out the camera on the deck, but missed this one here.” He pointed at the second spotlight up in the eaves.
“This might have caught something. I’ll have the security company run it in the morning.”
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Extasy Books (buy link): http://www.extasybooks.com/kinky-briefs-thrice/
Barnes and Noble: coming
About Seelie Kay
Seelie Kay engages in flights of fancy about lawyers in love, drawing on a vivid imagination, an inquisitive mind, and more than 25 years in the legal world.
After stints as a journalist and lawyer, Seelie hung out her shingle as a freelance writer, editor, and author. When not spinning her kinky tales, Seelie ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals.
Seelie resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she shares a home with her son and enjoys opera, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.
Seelie is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. We will find a cure!
Twitter: @SeelieKay https://twitter.com/SeelieKay