Excerpt from Flare by Posy Roberts

January 13, 2014

To say Kevin, Hugo, and the kids had a bad six months in book two of North StarFusion, is an understatement. In Flare, they are coming out of that funk and trying to live again. Hugo has started to take more work because Kevin hired a nanny, Rowan, and insisted Hugo take more jobs… better jobs. That brings about a whole new set of stressors, and Summer wants to help give the guys a break while sharing the great outdoors with the kids.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter Ten of Flare.


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SUMMER AND Russell had insisted on taking the kids camping up north in the Iron Range. Rowan begged to go along too once she heard where they were headed. They’d be spending a week in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, portaging from one body of water to another, cooking over an open flame, and camping in the wilderness. Kevin had been more than pleased they hadn’t asked him to join them—at thirty-six years old, sleeping on the ground rather than in a bed was not what it had been at sixteen. He also made sure Rowan knew what she was truly getting into before she agreed. Apparently her time in Montana had toughened her up to roughing it, and she was looking forward to a week in the forest.

“There’s been enough crazy, in a bad way,” Summer had said as a way to convince Kevin to agree to their plans. “Now Brooke and Finn need crazy in a good way. They need to see all the beauty that’s out there for them to explore.”

“Says the nature girl who’s gonna wear makeup every day she’s camping.” Hugo teased her despite all the time Kevin had heard him refer to Summer as his Earth Mama.

“Shut it, Cherrie. You love makeup just as much as I do,” she retorted, and Kevin couldn’t help but laugh at the good-natured banter between best friends. It was even funnier when Hugo shrugged, clearly giving the points to Summer on that argument, and then he watched Hugo pull out his pomegranate-raspberry lip balm and dramatically spread it over his lips, then smack them in Summer’s direction. Hugo could be a sassy little tease when he wanted, and apparently right then, he wanted to be. Kevin pulled his head back into the original conversation about camping, pushing out his desire to lick and suck at Hugo’s glistening lips.

“But you’ll be out in the middle of nowhere without cell phone coverage,” Kevin said, airing his fear of not being able to get in contact if something went wrong like a nightmare or injury.

“That’s part of the beauty, Kevin. Kids nowadays are too connected. Getting them away from electricity will be good for ’em. How else will they learn about how hard life is without power? And we’ll take care of everything else. Seriously,” Summer said with such conviction as she held out a complicated compass in her palm as if the antiquated tool should somehow remove all doubt. Kevin relented because he trusted her. Summer was a teacher, after all, taking care of twenty-odd kids on a daily basis. And there were Rowan and Russell as well.

Of course, Kevin had also gone to REI and spent far too much money on camping gear for his kids, demanding the best of everything. Hugo had laughed, reminding him about the time in high school when they had literally slept outside on one of their fishing trips because Kevin had forgotten the tent in his garage beside his dad’s car.

“They’ll survive without GPS and platinum sporks. I promise,” Hugo teased as they waved good-bye to the kids while Russell drove away.

Kevin and Hugo, on the other hand, were spending their second to last week of summer at the lake floating on the water, water-skiing, and trying to make the most of their time together. Lulu lazed about, sunning herself on the dock and then moving to the shady part of the deck, even getting in the water and swimming about to cool herself off.

It had been a trying few months with all the legal bullshit and the time Hugo had spent away from home. Despite his concerns over his kids being in the wilderness, they were with three responsible adults, and he honestly needed to have some time to relax.

As soon as it was dark out, Hugo had stripped, unsurprisingly, and jumped off the end of the dock.

“Always skinny-dipping, aren’t you?” Kevin joked.

“Always following me in, aren’t you?” Hugo looking up at Kevin who was still standing on the dock fully clothed. It was so dark out, just a sliver of the moon and tiny pinpricks of stars dotting the sky. Kevin could barely see Hugo from the nipples down because he was treading water. His pale body floating atop the dark surface was another story altogether, and moments after that thought flew through Kevin’s mind, he was dropping his clothes to the wooden dock.

Kevin jumped in the cool water and swam close to Hugo, then wrapped his arms and legs around his torso so Hugo was forced to tread water for both of them. Hugo drifted closer to shore and was soon planting both feet on the lake bed rather than struggling against the water. He held on to Kevin’s ass, holding him up, pulling him in tighter.

“I am always following you, you know that?” Kevin said.

“I’ve noticed, but why?” Hugo gave him a sly, sweet smile.

“Something about you always knowing where you’re going or some such nonsense.” Kevin smirked as he tugged on Hugo’s North Star pendant.
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Nature is a huge part of North Star, and Hugo and Kevin find many ways to relax outdoors: fishing, swimming, ice skating, water skiing, hiking, boating, to name a few. I’ve been many places to relax, and water is one of the best tools to help me feel calm.

Where was the most serene place that helped you truly shed the worries of your world? What was it about that place that made it so relaxing? Or is there a locale you want to visit that you think will be “your spot”?

11 Responses to “Excerpt from Flare by Posy Roberts”

  1. Jbst says:

    One of the places was when I went on a tour bus vacation to New England. It was in a small New Hampshire town and it was while looking over the small town with the beautiful Autumn colors. Felt more tuned in to nature and the quiet life.

  2. Jbst says:

    Wanted to ask how you were surviving the very cold weather in Minnesota?

  3. Posy Roberts says:

    Jbst~ That sounds lovely. I have never been to New England and I’ve always wanted to go. And Autumn…. *happy sigh* I almost named my daughter Autumn. The small town you describe sounds lovely, especially with the fall colors. It’s moment like those that stick with us for a very long time!

  4. Posy Roberts says:

    Jbst~ Aside from my kitchen pipes freezing after New Year’s, I’m used to this cold. I’ve lived in much colder areas. I grew up about 45 miles from the Canadian border in North Dakota, and then I went to college in Moorhead, MN, right across the Red River from Fargo, ND. That was colder than my hometown by far because there is absolutely nothing (not trees) to stop the wind. If you’ve ever lived in a snowy climate, you know wind is your worse enemy. While living there, I remember a -80º Wind Chill. That was COLD. I also recall over 100 inches of snow. So this year, I’m holding up fine. I just stay inside and use lots of blankets. Oh, on the flip side, we do get over 100ºF in the summer. That’s why the lake is so awesome. :)

  5. Andrea M says:

    Conwy, in Wales – the most peaceful place on earth for me and I really don’t know why. The first time I was there, it felt as if I’d left every trouble I’d ever had behind and was where I belonged for the first time in my life. When I had to leave, I came back to Florida and three weeks later, went right back to spend more time. I wish I could live there but I can’t.

  6. Jbst says:

    Wow, Posy. That is amazingly harsh frigid weather! Especially where you used to live. Do you have an emergency generator or anything just in case? I keep thinking people are going to freeze to death if the power goes out. And the Summers can be 100F, wow. Like you said, nice to have all of those lakes around there.

  7. Posy Roberts says:

    Andrea~ You want to live in Wales. Why? I’ve never been, but I loved the UK when I was there. I don’t get all the Wales jokes. Then again, I live in Minnesota and tons of jokes are made about this place. LOL I don’t care where it is, if we find that place, it is magical. The most wonderful place on Earth for me is Delphi, Greece. I’ve never felt more… connected ever!

  8. Posy Roberts says:

    Jbst~ Well, we have a wood fireplace, even though hubs and I truly want a natural gas fireplace which would have an electric blower. I’ve never lost electricity for long enough to matter in the winter, to be honest. Power lines went down last year, but it was warm enough to survive with extra clothes and blankets or going somewhere warm like a mall. Of course, I’m completely rethinking my gas fireplace option right now. lmao. I was positive about that because to the flip-of-the-switch heat. That doesn’t work without electricity. haha. You have truly made me think, Jbst! Scary!!!! And thank you!

  9. Andrea M says:

    Wales is so incredibly beautiful and it’s not over populated, there aren’t so many choices as we have here, older architecture is valued, just so many reasons. Conwy is a tiny fishing village and just felt like home as soon as I got off the train that wasn’t even supposed to stop there. I love all of GB but there’s just something about Conwy….

  10. Posy Roberts says:

    Andrea ~ I love that you weren’t even supposed to stop there! That makes it even better. Sometimes unexpected stops are wonderfully amazing… like when Hugo ran into Kevin at the lake in Spark. I do believe in destiny, but I won’t hang all my hope on it. :)

  11. Juliana says:

    Oh dear, I haven’t really gone many places as an adult, I guess a really serene place for me was walking back to the apartment I was staying at in Florence during a study abroad. It had been a long day, I was going home alone and crossing one of the bridges over the Arno, and with the sunset it was very peaceful… until I had to cross the street, Italians are crazy drivers!

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