June 14, 2014
Okay, Guess who???
I’m here with the last excerpt and question. Good luck everyone. Remember, don’t post your answers any earlier then two o’clock, EST. I’ll see you at the cocktail hour with drink and winners in hand.
“You’re almost a blond now, Holt,” Garner mumbled as he glanced at his wavy, shoulder-length locks in the mirror. His hair was now way more blond than brown from all the sunny days he’d spent on the docks at the marina in Savannah, not to mention his days at sea. But he also realized he was only going to get more blond the longer he stayed in Key West and chuckled when he thought about the blond jokes that Hank and Thompson would certainly bestow upon him.
He leaned into the mirror as he applied moisturizer to his evenly tanned and mostly unwrinkled skin, mentally patting himself on the back for remembering to apply sunscreen on a regular basis.
He took a step back from the mirror and studied his slender face and strong jawline and frowned. God. I may not have many wrinkles, but the older I get, the more I look like Dad. He felt the familiar waves of sadness and guilt that normally washed over him when he thought about his father, but over the years he’d learned to keep them at bay. Mostly.
He forced the feelings back down as he scanned his naked body in the mirror and felt a little bit of pride. “Not bad for thirty-six,” he said. “At lest the old physique hadn’t turned on me yet.” He followed his broad shoulders and muscular chest down to his small waist, flat stomach, and naturally strong legs. “I guess all those years at the gym really paid off.”
He’d spent almost nine years behind a desk, and during that time he’d been obsessed with the gym, so afraid he was going to get fat and flabby.
He stepped out of the head and stood in front of his open closet door. He folded his arms across his chest and patted his bare foot. It’s your first night in Key West, Holt, and you only get one chance to make a first impression, so what’s it going to be?
Deciding he wanted to fit in, he settled on a pair of well-broken-in comfortable jeans that rode low on his hips and a neon green Nautica T-shirt. He slipped into his brown leather boat shoes, put on his brown belt, and stood in front of his full-length mirror. I guess this will have to do.
It was still a little early, so Garner decided to have a drink before he ventured out for his first night on the town. He opened a bottle of chardonnay, poured himself a glass, and climbed the companionway stairs to the cockpit. He settled in front of the steering wheel, kicked his shoes off, and propped his feet up.
It was a beautiful evening; mild in temperature and the sun was hovering low in the sky, as if defiantly refusing to dip below the horizon. Garner took a sip of his wine, leaned his head back, and closed his eyes, soaking in the last warm rays of sun. At the sound of footsteps on the dock, Garner’s curiosity got the best of him, and he opened one eye to see who was approaching. He raised his head and sat up straight when he saw Mr. Clean casually making his way down the dock. As the stranger approached, Garner began to feel very silly. The guy didn’t look near as scary as he had this morning and not the least bit intimidating. Yes he was still bizarre looking, but as he got closer, Garner could see that he was dressed in form-fitting blue jeans, a tight gray turtleneck, and black high-top tennis shoes.
Normal everyday attire, he thought. No spiked leather vest and pants with chains leading to his wallet. No shit kicker boots either. Just everyday clothing.
When he reached the stern of AquaTherapy, it appeared as if the man was going to stop. Garner’s heart skipped a beat in anticipation of what was to come. But instead, their eyes locked and Garner held the stranger’s gaze. After a few seconds, the stranger simply nodded, flashed a smile, and kept going.
Garner nodded back and followed the stranger’s movements down the dock.
What struck Garner as odd was the stranger’s familiar hollow stare. His crystal blue-gray eyes produced the same effect Garner had experienced when he’d gazed into Thompson Gray’s emerald eyes for the first time. The flecks of gold and the depth of green in Thompson’s eyes had had a major impact on Garner back in Savannah, but despite the rich color, they too were hollow, almost void of any emotion.
After the man disappeared through the marina gate, Garner continued to stare like he could still see him. He was startled out of his thoughts by his cell phone ringing. He unclipped the phone from his belt and, without looking, slid his finger across the bottom of the phone and put it to his ear.
“Glad to hear you’re still alive,” the voice on the other end of the line said.
“Thompson?” Garner said, breaking his trance and smiling into the phone. “I was just thinking about you.”
Thompson chuckled. “Do I dare ask why?”
“Probably not,” Garner replied.
“Oh geez,” Thompson said. “You’re right. I probably don’t want to know.”
“How the hell are you guys? Hank okay?”
“We’re great. Missing you though.”
“I miss you guys too,” Garner said with sincerity.
“Where are you?” Thompson asked.
“Just got to Key West this morning.”
“That’s great,” Thompson said. “Now that you’ve arrived, if you’re going to stay put for a while, Hank and I would like to try and figure out a time when we can both get away so we can come to see you. If you still want us to, that is?”
“Hell yeah,” Garner replied. “I can’t wait to see you guys.”
“Hold on, let me put you on speaker,” Thompson interrupted. “Hank wants to say hi.”
A few seconds later, Garner heard Hank’s voice sounding so happy it brought a smile to his face. “Hey, Gar, how’s sunny Key West?
“So far so good,” Garner replied, keeping the mysterious Mr. Clean to himself.
“Oh come on, is that all you have?” Hank teased.
“Give me a break,” Garner replied. “I just got here and I’m a slow starter.”
“Who are you trying to fool?” Hank asked. “I remember the day we first met. Slow starter, my ass.”
Garner chuckled. “Okay. Guilty as charged.”
Thompson cleared his throat. “Hey, guys? I’m listening. For Pete’s sake, the last thing I want to hear about is how you two flirted with one another the first day you met.”
Garner heard Thompson huff like he’d been elbowed in the ribcage or something, followed by a muffled “ouch.”
“Okay, fine,” Hank said over the speaker. “But at least tell us about the trip?”
Garner filled them both in on the details of his voyage, and before he knew it they were saying their goodbyes with promises of seeing each other very soon.
Garner stood and shoved his phone into his pocket just as the last remnants of the sun dipped below the horizon, leaving behind only the hues of oranges and yellows filling the western sky. He stared at the colorful display for a few minutes, downed the last of his wine, and took the empty glass down below. He checked himself in the mirror one last time. “As good as it’s gonna get,” he whispered to himself before grabbing his keys and heading topside again to begin his first night in Key West.
Walking along the dock, Garner recognized a new bounce in his step and realized he was looking forward to being with people again. Being on the water alone had been one of the best mind-clearing practices he’d ever experienced, and this particular leg of his trip had given him plenty of time to reflect on Hank and Thompson and the part he played in helping them. But as a psychiatrist he also knew how important human contact was to the spirit. Mr. Clean’s bizarre mug popped back into his mind again and he chuckled. Well, some human contact, that is, he thought.
Shaking his head to scatter the image of shaved heads, tattoos, and piercings, he tried to focus on what he wanted for dinner. “A real dinner?” he said to himself, feeling excited about his evening.
After walking few blocks, Garner turned onto Duval Street. The heart of Key West was buzzing with activity, and he didn’t know where to look. Standing in the middle of the street, he almost felt like he was in a mini Times Square. Bright lights filled the early evening night, and the sounds of the city mixed with music; cheerful voices and laughter were alive and bursting with anticipation.
Glancing up and down the crowded thoroughfare trying to determine where to go, he was mesmerized with the sights. There were tanned muscular half-naked men in every direction, some paired off and holding hands while others were obviously cruising the crowds looking for, well, whatever they were looking for.
Garner chuckled. It had been a very long time since he’d had been to Castro Street in San Francisco, where this sort of thing was expected, but this was Florida for God’s sake, the home of retired grandparents.
Standing on the street taking it all in, his voyeurism was abruptly interrupted by a loud noise much like a honking sound one would identify with a kids birthday party clown. When he turned, he realized his initial summation wasn’t very fair off. He instinctively jumped back just in time as a very large drag queen on a bicycle in full regalia and honking a horn flew by, shoving a flyer in his face. He accepted the flyer rather than get run over and read an advertisement for a drag show later that evening at The Crystal Room Cabaret in a place called La Te Da. He smiled, folded the flyer, and stuck it in his pocket.
Deciding it was definitely time to move on, Garner looked down Duval Street in each direction, and after careful consideration chose the way with the most activity. He weaved into the oncoming foot traffic and matched the pace of the other lollygaggers. Suddenly he had the overwhelming sensation of feeling like a kid in a candy store. Being well… Garner, the reaction took him totally by surprise, but instead of analyzing it as he normally would, he just went with it. Before very long he felt energized and the previously identified bounce in his step was even more pronounced by the way his boat shoes almost floated above the concrete. There was something interesting to see in every direction, and he reveled in the sights. After ten or so blocks, he absentmindedly reached up and rubbed the back of his sore neck. The perpetual smile on his face broadened as he realized he’d been moving his head from side to side for so long, afraid to miss anything, he’d totally given himself a crick.
Once again folding into the ever-moving crowd and feeling comfortable with the rhythm of the night, Garner casually strolled along the crowded sidewalk. He soaked up the informality of his temporary new home, slowing every now and then to take in the beauty or bizarreness of a piece of art placed in a gallery window and then he’d once more pick up his pace until something else caught his eye.
About an hour into his leisurely stroll, Garner’s stomach not so subtly made itself heard and began to protest the lack of attention. He quickly shifted his focus and began to search for cafés and restaurants that caught his eye, stopping to check out the menus posted proudly on the busy sidewalk. He eventually settled on a little restaurant called “Square One,” suddenly hungry for herb-roasted chicken and good ole home-style mashed potatoes.
Garner stepped inside and looked around. He noted the place was very crowded but still had that intimate feel and so far, he was very happy with his selection. He slipped the handsome host a twenty and asked for a small table tucked away in the corner with a view of the dining room and smiled appreciatively when he got exactly that.
After ordering a glass of wine, a salad, and the roasted chicken that had prompted his patronage as well as had his mouth watering, he sat back and simply watched. The romantic restaurant was filled with couples holding hands and cooing, some straight, some gay and lesbian, but everyone obviously feeling very comfortable with their public displays of affection. Garner thought about how far society had come in just his lifetime and realized that in some small way, his generation had helped to carve out a better life for today’s gay youth. He took a small bit of satisfaction in that.
With more than half of his journey on the water behind him, Garner was more relaxed than he’d been in a very long time. But again, instead of analyzing it, he went with the totally foreign feeling and smiled when he suddenly thought about his friends back in New York. “Uptight” was the word most of them would frequently use when asked to describe his personality. But right here, right now, uptight couldn’t have been further from the truth. He suddenly thought about the rainbow sticker his best friend Greg had adhered to his boat the day he left New York. When he’d found it, he’d known exactly who’d put it there and called Greg and gave him a shitload of grief. The only response he’d received was “If you’re going to cruise your uptight ass around God knows where, at least people need to know you’re gay. How else are you gonna get laid?”
The sticker hadn’t exactly gotten him laid yet, but it had had its benefits. It had been the way Hank identified him as gay when he’d come to tow his boat to a marina for repairs, and little did he know at the time, but that little sticker would put him right in the middle of an emotional love triangle with Hank and Thompson that would test his libido, not to mention his skills as a psychiatrist. But in the end it had all worked out the way it was supposed to, as do most things, and it hadn’t gotten him laid per se, but it did get Hank and Thompson laid. So in the end, he guessed Greg was right.
In the next few minutes his dinner came and was well worth the wait. Best roasted chicken he’d ever had and he savored it to the bitter end. After one more glass of wine and a few bites of Key Lime Pie, he paid the check and ventured out once again onto Duval Street.
He looked at his watch and saw it was nearing nine thirty. He pulled out the piece of paper he’d shoved in his pocket and read the details about the show in The Crystal Room Cabaret at La Te Da. The flyer read, “The Crystal Room Cabaret at La Te Da featuring John Webster and the many faces of the Crystal Room. And Special Guest, direct from Provincetown, none other than the Divine Miss Richfield.”
“What else do I have to do?” he said under his breath, checking the address and starting out for the club. “What the hell, it sounds like fun.”
Question: What was the name of the restaurant Garner chose for dinner?
June 14, 2014
Good Morning Again.
Scotty here with your second excerpt and question. Remember, you have to answer questions correctly from all three excerpts to be eligible to win.
Hawken “Hawk” Bristol slowly opened his eyes and blinked a few times, trying to bring something, anything into focus. Where in the fuck am I? He turned his head to scan the room and felt a stabbing pain that started at the base of his neck and quickly consumed his entire skull. Shit, that hurts!
He instinctively licked his dry lips and decided he would kill someone for a glass of cool water to quench his cottonmouth. And man do I have to pee. But before he could think about any of that, he had to figure out where he was.
While scanning the room with his eyes and trying his best to keep his head still, gingerly reached up and turned on the lamp beside the strange bed. He instantly froze when someone or something stirred next to him. He gently turned his head and blinked a few more times, to bring the object into focus. As his vision slowly cleared, he saw a naked man lying on his back, snoring lightly, wearing a leather harness, and covered in someone’s dried come. Fuck, Hawk! What did you do this time?
He intently studied the burly figure, to jog his memory, but no matter how hard he tried, nothing concrete came to mind. After a while, he thought he vaguely remembered the man’s face but certainly didn’t know his name or how in the fuck they ended up here. Wherever the hell here was.
He gently laid his head back down on the pillow and closed his eyes, trying to recall the events of the night before. Stopping for a quick drink on the way home. He remembered that much. So far so good, Hawk, nothing wrong with that. Then he remembered some nice older bear of a man buying him a tequila shooter. That’s when all the trouble had started. Holy shit! Slowly, the events of the night started to unfold.
He squeezed his eyes tighter against the vivid memories, but they forced their way in anyway. The Jagermeister. Stripping on the bar. And…oh hell no! The back-of-the-bar blowjob all came rushing back to him. Oh crap, Hawk! You did it again!
No longer able to ignore his overflowing bladder, Hawk sluggishly sat up in the bed in search of a bathroom, doing his best not to wake the snoring man lying next to him. He slowly swung his legs over the side of the bed and winced from the pain in his lower extremity. Fuck! My ass hurts.
Once upright and relatively steady, he checked around for his clothes. There was clothing strewn everywhere, including a leather jockstrap and leather chaps hanging from the curtain rod. I know those aren’t mine.
Hawk finally spotted his red T-shirt on the floor next to a chair that had an empty bottle of lube and a box of condoms still sitting on the arm. That’s why my ass hurts. He quietly crossed the room and picked up the red T-shirt and silently cursed when the other half remained on the floor. He reluctantly dropped the piece of cotton and shook his head in disgust when he had the flashback of the shirt being ripped off him.
Appalled with himself, Hawk looked around again for anything else he might recognize. Then he spotted a familiar black and silver studded belt on a pair of black jeans hanging on a doorknob across the room. Mine! He tiptoed over to get his pants and was relieved when he saw a bathroom on the other side of the door. Hawk lifted his jeans off the doorknob and silently opened the bathroom door, closing it behind him. He checked his pockets for his keys, wallet, and cellphone and was relieved when they were all there. He leaned against the back of the door and closed his eyes. Almost there, Hawk. All you have to do is get out of here without waking the guy.
Carrying his jeans, Hawk crossed the bathroom and stood in front of the toilet. He looked down and was horrified to see he was still wearing a condom, complete with last night’s sperm deposit filling the tip. Round two? I sure hope I gave a well as I got. Then he panicked when he realized he hadn’t seen a condom on the mystery dude. Fuck, Hawk! Did you let him fuck you without a condom?
He slipped the condom off and was relieved when he saw a used condom in the trashcan next to the toilet. Hoping it was from last night, he added his and quietly relieved himself. He debated on whether to flush or not and decided against it, still hoping to get away without the morning-after rituals. He drank water from the faucet and splashed a little on his face, taking a few extra seconds to wipe his now unsheathed penis and dry off. He dropped the towel on the floor and put his hand on the doorknob, slowly opening the bathroom door. He peeked into the bedroom—Still out cold, thank you, Bear God—and scanned the room for his underwear, boots, and socks. The rest of his clothes were nowhere to be found, and Hawk cursed under his breath. Those were my favorite fucking boots.
He stooped down to look under the bed and suddenly the harnessed lump in the bed started to stir. Fuck the boots! He made a split-second decision and bolted for the door.
Naked as the day he was born, Hawksix-foot, two-inch frame down a set of stairs, taking them two at a time as if he were a small child. His pants were flapping behind him and his belt buckle was rattling loud enough to wake the dead. He stopped at the bottom of the stairs just long enough to put his jeans on and look for an exit. Spotting the door, he looked around and breathed a sigh of relief when there was no one between him and his freedom.
With renewed energy, Hawk burst out of the door and squinted against the morning sunshine. He immediately started scanning the area to try and get his bearings and saw the prominent sign over his head: La Te Da. He whistled. Way to go, Hawk. At least you weren’t slumming. He’d spent the night at one of Duval Street’s most upscale inns.
Then he quietly cursed under his breath when he remembered La Te Da was on the opposite end of Duval Street from the where he lived.
People stared openly as Hawk took the walk of shame, hobbling down Duval Street barefoot, hung over and in desperate need of coffee. Of course, he knew they weren’t staring because he’d woken up with a total stranger still wearing a used condom. Or that he couldn’t find his underwear or his favorite boots, they were staring because Hawk was a big scary guy with a shaved head, piercings in every visible, as well as covered orifice, and tattoos from head to toe.
Hawk mostly tuned out the gawking morning tourist, too hung over to care as he started his long walk to the other end of Duval Street to the marina where his boat, which also just happened to be his home, was docked.
His head was still throbbing when, six blocks later, he stepped inside the front door of Urban Spoon Coffee Shop and saw his best friend Justin Morrison behind the counter.
“Whoa!” The barista said when Hawk walked up to the counter. “Look what the cat dragged in. You look like shit,” he added under his breath.
Justin stepped out from behind the counter with both hands on his hips. He lifted one finger up to his chin and looked Hawk up and down, giving him the onceover. “You know the policy, dipshit. No shirt. No shoes. No service.”
“Fuck you, Justin, just give me my usual.”
Hawk’s best friend smiled coyly and sauntered back behind the counter. “Coffee’s on the house if you give me a little blow by blow, so to speak, of your conquest last night. You know, just a little something to get me through my lifelong dry spell.”
Hawk didn’t answer. He stood tall, simply glaring at Justin.
“Oh come on, Hawk, please!” Justin yelled over the whirling coffee grinder. “At least give me hint.”
Hawk felt his blood pressure rising, but he kept his cool. He wasn’t so sure he wouldn’t be doing the same thing if the shoe, or lack thereof, was on the other foot.
Justin put the cup of coffee on the counter and rested his chin in his hands. “Did your date involve strip poker?”
“What kind of stupid question is that?” Hawk snapped, taking a sip of the hot liquid and scowling from the burn.
Justin scrunched his face and gave him a disappointed look. “Because you lost your shoes and your shirt, idiot?”
Oh I get it! Hawk had to smile a little at that one.
“So are you gonna tell me?” Justin asked again.
Starting to get annoyed, Hawk leaned over the counter and whispered, “I can’t tell you.”
“Why the fuck not?” Justin whined.
“Because I don’t fucking remember.”
“Oh, Hawk, not again?” his best friend questioned. “You were so out of it you don’t remember anything or did you black out completely?”
“Don’t know, but I don’t remember much,” Hawk said. “But I know something happened because I still had a full condom on when I woke up and my ass hurts like hell.”
“OMG,” Justin said, throwing his head back in laughter.
“Keep it down,” Hawk said, looking around. “Do you have to make sure that everyone knows my business?”
“Honey,” Justin said holding up his index finger. “My mamma used to always say if you don’t want folks to know you did something, don’t do it.”
“Fine!” Hawk slapped a five-dollar bill on the counter, took his coffee, and headed for the door.
Hawk heard Justin yell, “Coffee’s on the house, but I’ll keep this as a tip. Call me later,” then the door slammed behind him.
After six more blocks, Hawk’s feet were getting sore from walking on the pavement barefoot, so he hailed a pedicab to take him the rest of the way.
When the pedicab finally reached the marina, Hawk’s skin was damp, his palms clammy, and he was starting to tremble all over. It took every bit of concentration he could muster just to pay the young college student, who’d just pedaled him almost all the way down Duval Street, without hurling.
He climbed out of the pedicab on shaky legs and gingerly made his way into the marina and down towards the piers. When he was halfway down his dock, he spotted a new sailboat a few of slips up from his. He squinted against the morning sun trying to read the name. AquaRemedy? No, that’s not right. Aqua… something. Therapy? Yeah, Therapy. AquaTherapy.
While he was busy trying to read the name of the boat, he completely missed the guy with the hose in his hand rinsing it off. Even from a distance Hawk could see the guy appeared to be good-looking and well built, but his body language and the way he moved said nothing but uptight. He was so stiff, almost as if someone had forced a huge dildo up his ass and ordered him to hold it in without touching it. The closer Hawk got, the stiffer the guy got.
At this point, all Hawk wanted to do was get to his boat and lie down before he either passed out or blew chucks all over the dock, but as he approached, the stranger was watching him with a look on his face that struck Hawk as odd. He brushed it off, not in the mood to deal with anyone, dropped his head as he walked by without acknowledging the guy, and went straight to his boat. He made it as far as his bed before he collapsed.
Questions: How much money did Hawk put on the counter before he left the coffee shop?
June 14, 2014
Hey Guys, It’s me Scotty Cade here again. Here’s your first excerpt and question. I hope you enjoy!
Garner Holt stood behind the helm of his Beneteau Oceanis 55, a moderate wind blowing through his shoulder-length sun-streaked brown hair. AquaTherapy, as he’d so aptly named her, was heading south toward Key West cutting through the clear azure waters of the Hawk Channel, just off the south Florida coastline. AquaTherapy’s sails were tuned perfectly to the southwest winds and she was cruising along at a brisk six and a half knots, heeling a comfortable eighteen degrees.
The closer Garner got to his destination, the lighter his heart felt and the better his mood became. He turned his head upward as the warm mid-December sun blanketed him with her glorious rays. He inhaled deeply and his lungs filled with crisp salty sea air. God, I love the feeling of freedom when I’m on the water.
Garner was the only child of a pediatrician, who was now retired and living on Long Island, and a mortgage broker who, when he died, had enjoyed a lifelong love for sailing, which he had passed on to his only son. But when Garner had gone off to college, he’d become very driven, almost obsessed with his education and put sailing and his family on the back burner for the most part. His dedication to his education didn’t go unrecognized, and when he graduated at the top of his class, he was immediately hired by Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. After only four years, his Ivy League education, strong work ethic, and unmatched dedication earned him the title as Head of Psychiatry, the youngest doctor to hold the coveted position. But as with all positions of power, it wasn’t without its drawbacks. The grueling schedule was a tough one that left him absolutely no time for a personal life, and combining that with his extremely independent personality meant the thought of any type of a relationship was a disaster waiting to happen. He’d tried a few times, but after his last boyfriend told him where to shove his job, he’d given up and decided it wasn’t worth the headache or the heartache.
By the end of his eighth year, his career was definitely on track, but the pressure and stress were finally starting to take their toll. He’d just barely survived that year and went into his ninth battling severe burnout and exhaustion. One February morning he didn’t get out of bed. For… two weeks. That’s when he decided he’d had enough and started the process of early retirement. He’d sold everything, bought a sailboat, and set out to find new winds to fill his sails.
When he’d pulled out of New York harbor and rounded the point at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, he’d been a different man. He’d spent a couple months on the water, taking his time meandering the eastern seaboard, exploring the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays and picking up the Intracoastal Waterway in Norfolk, VA.
His well-laid plan was temporarily derailed when his engine failed in Savannah, Georgia and had to be rescued by a very handsome BoatUS Captain named Hank Charming. He was towed to the Thundercloud Marina where the marina mechanic uncovered a manufacturer’s error that couldn’t be repaired. His boat required a new engine and that came with a six-week lag time.
After the initial shock of being stranded for six weeks wore off, Garner tried to figure out what he was going to do to keep himself entertained. Luckily, he didn’t have to wonder too long. The day before he’d been towed in, the owner of the marina, Thompson Gray, had lost his dockhand and was in dire need of a replacement. After a brief meeting, Thompson offered him the job and he gladly accepted.
But he quickly learned his help was needed not just as a dockhand, but in another capacity, one he was all too familiar with.
After working with Thompson during the day and dating Hank Charming at night, Garner realized these guys had a very strong emotional connection to one another. He soon learned they shared a very complicated past, an even shakier present, and little or no chance for a future. They interacted on a daily basis when needed, but their past was clouded with misconceptions and untruths that were slowly eating away at both of them. In the end, with Garner’s help, Hank and Thompson were able to find their way back to one another and were now happier and stronger than ever. And Garner was still alone with no complications, just the way he liked it.
The part that surprised him the most was that while he was acting as Hank and Thompson’s unofficial therapist during those six weeks, he became very close to them both. And because of that, Garner had left Savannah with mixed emotions and a heavy heart. He’d never planned to stay, he had a horizon to chase, but that didn’t make leaving his new friends any easier.
On the morning he’d pulled out of the marina, they’d all promised to stay in touch, but Garner knew all too well that life sometimes gets in the way of the best intentions.
With AquaTherapy now cruising along on autopilot, Garner stretched out in the cockpit and basked in the Florida sunshine. He listened to the latest NOAA weather report on his VHF radio, and the weather was going to be clear and picture perfect for his last few days of his journey. Eager to get to Key West, he decided to sail straight through the night and make it to his destination by tomorrow morning.
“Just one more day,” he said to the ever-present dolphins dancing alongside his boat. “We’re almost home free, guys.”
Garner sipped a glass of Sancerre as he watched the spectacular sun hover above the western horizon, the yellows, oranges, and magentas all blending into one magnificent blur and dancing on the water, then slowly sinking into the abyss.
After dusk, with his GPS and radar set to alert him to any imminent danger, Garner sailed through the night, the bright moonlight shimmering like diamonds as it reflected off the deep sapphire colored water. He dozed every now and then, tweaked his sails as needed, but mostly gazed at the billowy blue velvet sky against the distant lights of the Florida coastline.
When the morning sun peeked above the horizon, Garner smiled and thought of his friends Hank and Thompson back in Georgia, probably watching the same sun rising over Savannah. He kissed his index finger, held it up in the air and wished them a heartfelt good morning.
By seven thirty, Garner was almost giddy. He was only five miles away from Key West, so he radioed ahead and received his docking instructions from the Harbor Master. With his sails furled and AquaTherapy motoring along at five knots, he pulled into the Conch Harbor Marina sporting a smile as broad as the dawn.
Following instructions, he pulled along a T-head pier and, with the help of a dockhand, secured his boat and connected the water and electricity.
By eight thirty Garner had traded the fleece, blue jeans, and boat shoes he’d worn overnight for shorts, a T-shirt, and no shoes. He was on the dock barefoot rinsing the dried salt off his boat when he saw someone walking down the dock in his direction. As the stranger got closer, Garner could see that the man’s head was shaved and he was wearing low-hanging black jeans, but no shirt or shoes. His skull, as well as every other part of his exposed body, including his feet, was covered in brightly colored tattoos.
Still proceeding toward him, Garner could see that the man appeared to be pierced in every visible orifice, sporting a stainless steel nose ring, a loop in his left eyebrow, studs up and down both of his ears, and a bar with balls on either end in his bottom lip. Garner did his best not to stare, but he couldn’t help it, the man reminded him of a pierced and tattooed Mr. Clean.
Looking farther down, the stranger’s nipples were pierced, as was his bellybutton. A chill ran down Garner’s spine and he shuttered when he thought about what else might be pierced that he couldn’t see. And just to push the entire look over the edge, the man wore silver-dollar-sized solid black discs in his stretched earlobes.
Garner started to feel uneasy, and his heart rate began to increase. He quickly looked around for any other boaters milling around the dock that might offer a little support if he needed it, but it was no one to be seen.
His next thought was some sort of weapon. Garner decided he couldn’t hose the guy to death if the need presented itself, but everything he could possibly use for a weapon was aboard AquaTherapy.
When the guy was about ten feet from him, Garner’s felt the adrenaline pumping through his veins at breakneck speed. He didn’t make eye contact, but tightened his grip on the hose and held his breath. Shit! He’s coming right at me. Calm down, you sissy. You lived in New York City for how long?
Garner spread his feet apart and moved the hose to his left hand, fisting his right. I might go down, but not without a fight. Just four feet away. Three Feet. Two feet. One foot.
When Garner could finally see the figure in his peripheral vision, the scary dude lowered his head and walked right past him.
Garner exhaled with relief and willed himself to calm down. He nonchalantly turned his head and followed the stranger, but the guy kept on walking until he reached a fishing boat three slips down named ReelCrazy and hopped aboard. Appropriate name!
QUESTION: What size were the discs in Mr. Clean’s hears?
June 14, 2014
Scotty Cade here and I’m looking so forward to chatting with you today. I would like to introduce you to “Chasing the Horizon,” which released yesterday over at Dreamspinner Press. “Chasing the Horizon” is the sequel to “Sunrise Over Savannah,” and below is a link if you want to check it out.
Now these are two independent novels so you don’t have to read Sunrise Over Savannah first, but for those of you that haven’t already read Sunrise and plan to, I won’t give away too much at this point, but here’s a spoiler alert. After the next paragraph, I post the blurb which sort of gives away the ending of Sunrise in order to set up this book.
Both of these stories were inspired by a real life people in very real places. Thompson Gray, Garner Holt, and Hank Charming meet in Sunrise Over Savannah and spend a great deal of time together as friends. Together they identify and work through a great deal of personal issues that are all woven throughout the story and eventually two of them end up together, which leaves one to chase the horizon for his happily ever after. On his journeys, the lone wolf meets bad boy Hawken Bristol in a very odd way that sends hearts racing and eventually ignites a cat and mouse game like you’ve never seen. Okay, here’s the SPOILER ALERT!
Here’s the blurb!
Needing a lifestyle change, Garner Holt, an uptight workaholic psychologist, buys a sailboat and trades in his prestigious job in New York City for a life on the water. After engine failure and six weeks in Savannah, Georgia for repair, he arrives in Key West, Florida early one morning and encounters a half-dressed hooligan walking along the docks of the marina. Garner immediately thinks this barefoot and shirtless man with a shaved head, multiple tattoos, and piercings in every orifice is going to rob him. He prepares for the worst. Instead, the stranger passes Garner by and climbs on a boat two slips down. With the threat of danger gone, Garner is surprisingly intrigued.
Hawken Bristol is used to being on the receiving end of stereotypes. He sees the fear on the stranger’s face, recognizes the rigidity in his stance, but is too tired from his wild night of partying to engage the frightened stranger. A few cat and mouse encounters around town lead to an uncanny attraction. However, after Garner helps Hawken dock his boat in a windstorm, sparks start to fly. But this new liaison brings up old baggage that threatens to derail everything they have going.
So there you have it, the premise for “Chasing the Horizon.” Today I will be giving away three Chasing The Horizon eBooks and here’s how I’m gonna do it. Over the course of the morning, I will post three excerpts from the story. At the end of each excerpt, I will ask a question related to that particular excerpt. Starting at two o’clock this afternoon, you can posts your answers and everyone who answers all three questions correctly will be entered in the drawing. At four o’clock I will posts the correct answers and announce the winners.
You’ll need to check in multiple times because you have to get all three answers correct to be entered into the drawing.
May 24, 2014
No intro, except to say this is near the beginning, they’re on their way to California to celebrate Luki’s health, checking into a hotel.
Sonny [...] stood close behind Luki as they checked in—close enough to feel his heat and the occasional bump of his hard-muscled round ass. No elevators in this old building, which reminded Sonny of an old bordello such as might have been featured in a western movie. They took the stairs, three flights.
Before they started up, Luki stood aside and signaled with a tilt of his head that Sonny should go first. Sonny looked a question at him, so Luki leaned in, put his full lips right up next to Sonny’s ear, and said, “Because I want to watch your ass.”
Sonny’s legs felt a little rubbery—possibly weak from all the blood rushing to a central location, he thought. But he made a valiant effort to climb gracefully. At the third step from the top, he stumbled a little. It wouldn’t have been bad but Luki said, “Easy, baby,” and that flustered Sonny more. He somehow put his foot on the next step in such a way that he fell back against Luki, his ass hitting right about midchest. Thank goodness Luki’s strength hadn’t diminished over the years. He simply planted both feet and stood strong. He dropped the bags he had in his right hand and put both his hands on Sonny’s hips.
“You’re okay, baby,” he crooned, “Just take a second to get yourself together.”
“Are you laughing at me?”
“It’s a good thing I love you, Luki.”
“Yeah, it is. Thank you.”
“I’m fine now, and you’d better stop touching me until we get into the room and lock the door.”
“Damn, baby! That sounds like some kind of promise.”
After Luki stashed their bags in the little closet and twisted the deadbolts closed, he turned around and leaned back against the door. His voice hoarse, not too much louder than a whisper, he said, “Strip, Sonny. I really, really need to see that body I’ve been dreaming about all day.”
Sonny felt a flash of heat explode outward from his belly, turning itself into raw, undiluted passion as it traveled, stealing his breath and sending blood supply where he was sure it would be needed most. He sucked in a shaky breath, and Luki’s face, without the expression ever really changing, registered his satisfaction. He made it obvious that he loved playing Sonny like a sexual marionette. Sonny laughed a little, because he loved Luki playing him, too.
“Luki,” he breathed.
Luki’s eyebrows went up, questioning. “Something on your mind, baby?”
Sonny responded, articulate as always at these times, “Oh!” The sound that emerged was mostly breath, and Sonny half expected Luki to ask him what he said. But he didn’t; he wasn’t apparently that easily distracted.
His tone even, clear, conversational, Luki said, “Sonny, do you like that shirt?”
“Shirt?” Oh yeah, Sonny, you’ve got it bad. Apparently you can’t breathe hard enough to support brain function.
A smile twitched on Luki’s lips. “Shirt,” he said, nodding. “Because you see, Sonny Bly James, if I don’t hear you say the magical word, ‘no,’ which you know you can say any time, right?”
Sonny knew he had to respond to this coherently or Luki would back away. Luki took consent very, very seriously, even though they’d been married for ten years. Luki backing away was the last thing Sonny wanted—he loved being so deliciously frightened, so gloriously exhilarated, and so insistently, wantonly inflamed with the desire Luki kindled in him. It wasn’t often that Luki turned the tap full on like this—full command mode—and when he did, Sonny was not about to waste the opportunity. He needed to answer, but it was hard to clear his mind. He just kept thinking about touching himself, about reaching down into the front of his jeans and wrapping his hand around his straining erection.
But it was like Luki could read his mind, and as soon as he let his hand travel a few inches in that direction, Luki’s expression changed and he said, “Nah-ah. No. Don’t touch your cock, baby. Maybe later, not now.”
Sonny’s breath flew out again, “Oh!”
“Now, before we go any farther. You haven’t answered me. You know I won’t play, baby—as much as I want to—if I don’t hear that you know you can refuse at any time and that you’re saying yes at the moment. You need to answer, sweetie, ’kay?”
Luki had turned a quarter turn away, and broken eye contact as he finished speaking, and Sonny knew that had been deliberate. His husband, his sexy, sweet, loving, considerate husband was giving him a little breather so that he could answer articulately. So weird, Sonny thought, after all this time, when Luki puts his spell on me, I still lose control. He supposed it was because Luki had so much personal power, and because Sonny had learned what a glorious payoff there was to be had in giving Luki everything, at times like this.
But Luki’s ploy to cool things just enough had worked. Though Sonny stayed just as hard, he breathed an easier breath and he felt cool, dusky air wash over his sweat from the slightly open window. “Yes,” he said, clear and only a little breathy. “I know it’s my choice, Luki, and I say yes, now. You know that. You know I want you. I always do.”
“Well,” Luki said, turning back to face him this time with a mischievous-looking little smile playing around the corners of his mouth. “Yes, in fact I do know that, and… it’s probably what makes me want you so much. So take the shirt off.”
The change in Luki’s voice with that last sentence was so profound, sudden, and sexy that Sonny just gasped again.
“Now. Take it off now, or I rip it off.”
Luki’s mouth felt like it had dried out completely. He struggled to maintain even breathing, to slow his heart, and not be so intensely aware of the blood coursing through his sex. Sonny had put himself so clearly on offer, and Luki wasn’t nearly the man of steel he appeared. He was almost senseless with need for this man, his beautiful husband, but he held on, held iron reins in his hands, for Sonny—and for himself.
But Sonny’s “yes” was more than consent, for Luki. Consent had always been important to him. He knew his own physical and mental strength, knew he could make people do what he wanted, but he’d been on the opposite end of that equation once when he was young. Once was enough to teach him that anything short of a definite “yes,” at any point, is best taken as “no.” And even now, even with Sonny, it mattered a lot. Maybe it mattered even more since Jackie’s abduction by Soto, and Sonny’s own abduction by the obsessed narcissist, Harold Breslin.
Yes, consent remained important, but the way Sonny stood before him was so much more than that. He waited, so open, so willing, so wanting. So mine, Luki thought, watching Sonny decide whether taking off his shirt would be a good idea, or whether perhaps it would be more fun to let Luki make good on his threat. But Sonny liked the shirt, Luki knew, and had enough sense working to decide to preserve it.
Luki chewed his lip, watching. Then he said, “Mine.”
“Strip, baby. Everything.”
Sonny had enough sauce left in him to make his eyes glitter in challenge as he fashioned something close to a striptease out of removing his clothes. When he got to his underwear—red silk boxers very much like those they’d argued over a decade ago—Luki couldn’t help a small chuckle and a smile in his eyes. “Hey,” he said. “Nice boxers. Those are mine, you know.”
“Well, we can fight over them later, love. Right now just be sure that when you take them off, you don’t touch any of my other stuff.”
Sonny got a smart-ass, I’m sure I’m going to get in trouble for this look, and said, “You mean, my stuff?”
Luki half regretted letting Sonny catch his breath, except this made it even more fun. “No, baby.” He shook his head slowly, deliberately. “I meant what I said. You’re mine, at least for the moment. You need to do exactly what I want you to do. It’ll be good, I promise. ’Kay?”
“’Kay, yes, Luki.”
“Good.” Forestalling Sonny’s move to take off the boxers, Luki took two steps closer so that he had Sonny within his arms’ reach. He held Sonny’s gaze, saw in his eyes a reflection of his own softening expression. He couldn’t be this close to Sonny without love, admiration, and need infiltrating his dominance, but he didn’t care. He’d already established who was in charge, and Sonny willingly waited for his commands. He raised his hand and ran his thumb across Sonny’s lips, aware of Sonny’s breath catching when he broached that plum-red seal and pushed his broad, flat thumb into Sonny’s mouth. His own gut did a little flip when Sonny tongued it and sucked.
Luki retrieved his thumb and leaned in so that only their chests—Sonny’s bare and his fully clothed—grazed against each other as he laid a sensual, slow, but carefully limited kiss on Sonny’s lips. Standing upright again, he reached behind Sonny’s head and pulled the tie from his ponytail, then wrapped Sonny’s thick mane around his hand. Holding firmly, he looked Sonny straight on once again and said the words he knew Sonny practically lived for, after all this time of hearing them, after learning how much Luki really meant them.
“Sonny Bly James,” he said. “You are the most beautiful thing that ever happened to the world. And I love you.”
The shine in Sonny’s eyes changed, and Luki knew that, mingled with Sonny’s glorious desire, gratitude had crept in—what Sonny always felt when Luki made sure he knew how precious he was, how fine he seemed in Luki’s eyes. And now, for Luki, that change added a dose of tenderness that otherwise might not have been in the mix tonight.
“Sweet man,” he whispered. “Sweet, sweet man.” He kissed Sonny again, this time letting Sonny kiss him back and letting go of any remnants of icy restraint. Reluctantly, he broke the kiss. “God, I want you, baby.”
“Luki,” Sonny breathed, and leaned onto Luki’s shoulder.
“Come on, baby. Come here with me.” He took Sonny’s hand and led him to the baby blue velour couch. Standing in front of it he said, “I’ve decided I should take care of my personal belongings here, so hands away from everything, please, while I do this.” Slowly, he stripped the candy red silk away from Sonny’s sweet, round ass, letting the back of his thumb glide along the cleft. Then he pulled the soft, glowing material away from Sonny’s hard, straight, leaking penis, biting his lower lip and holding Sonny’s eyes with his as he drew both his index fingers up from the base to the crown, then used them to tug at the skin, pulling the slit open.
“Oh! Ah, ah, Luki, love….”
Luki smiled, a little. It was always a good sign when Sonny started to lose his ability to articulate. “Yes, baby,” he said, opting not to tease him this time. He started to sit down on the couch but thought better of it and grabbed a handful of towels from the stack of extras on the dresser, laid them out quickly to cover the couch, then sat on one end fully clothed and pulled the magnificently naked and hard Sonny down next him.
“Luki,” Sonny said, “You… clothes.”
“Later, baby, for now, this will do.” As Luki spoke he was undoing his pants and, making sure Sonny was watching—and practically drooling—he reached in and cupped his thick, curved erection and aching testes in his big hand and brought them out into the pale light.
“Baby, lay down here on the couch and put your head in my lap.”
Sonny managed to find his sense of humor and his vocabulary. “Lecher.”
“Mm-hm. You’re right. But you’ll do it.”
“Oh yeah!” Sonny breathed. “Yeah!” And then he curled himself on the couch, propped himself on Luki’s thighs, and put his mouth to work.
Luki couldn’t believe how beautiful Sonny looked. His face was toward him, and he wore a look of ecstasy as he bobbed up and down the shaft of Luki’s cock, stopping for a strong suck on the crown or to lave and suck at his balls. He made tiny sounds in his throat and rocked his pelvis back and forth, even though his cock encountered nothing but air. So Luki leaned sideways, encircled Sonny’s erection, and let Sonny fuck his hand, offering just the right squeeze or twist here or there. Part of him wanted to close his eyes, or let them roll back in his head, but everything was so wonderfully sexy to see, he didn’t want to miss it.
And he didn’t want it to stop either, ever, but after not long enough he knew he would have to. At fifty-one, an orgasm meant time to recover before there could be fucking, and he knew Sonny would want to be fucked, and he wanted to fuck Sonny. It was practically his reason for living.
“Okay, Sonny. Stop.” He actually bodily removed Sonny from his lap. “So good, baby, so very fucking good. Thank you. Here, can you stand up?”
Sonny didn’t answer, but between the two of them he ended up on his feet, and then Luki stood too and led him the five strides to the bed. “Here, baby. Help me get out of these clothes.”
Together, they whisked Luki’s clothes off in under a minute. They lay on the bed, and for a long minute Luki just wrapped himself around his husband and held him tight, skin to skin, head to toe. It was both soothing and exciting for Luki, and judging from Sonny’s more relaxed breathing, Luki guessed it was the same for him. He licked at the sweat trickling down Sonny’s long neck and chuckled when Sonny shivered.
“Are you hot, baby?”
“Um… well, yeah!”
Luki sat up, peeling his body away from Sonny’s, watching as each fine inch of his husband came into view, so very much appreciating the sights along the way. He gathered in a breath and backed away just enough to give the air time to cool between them. Then he blew across the sweat at Sonny’s temples. More breath, more cooling breeze, on down Sonny’s neck, shoulders, arms, torso.
“Feels good, Luki,” Sonny said. “Thanks.”
Luki said nothing but rose up on all fours to kiss Sonny’s sweet, salty, plump lips, and send his tongue diving inside for treasure. He found it in the form of Sonny’s long, pushy tongue, and savored it, stopping occasionally to tickle the top of Sonny’s ridged palate. After the kiss had ended, he dragged his tongue across Sonny’s lips, corner to corner, a little signature move he used more often than not when they made love, because he loved Sonny’s reaction.
“Oh, Luki. Oh, please!” Sonny reached for Luki’s head to pull him back down for more kisses, but Luki evaded him.
“No, no, baby, Shush! Just a little patience.” And instead of kissing Sonny, he moved down his body to find his erect penis—its glans shining with precum and stretched so taut it shone dark in the dusky light. “So fine, baby,” Luki said, and then wasted no more time. The taste of Sonny was like heaven, and Luki could never get enough of running his tongue over the raised veins that ran in graceful curves up and around Sonny’s cock. He took Sonny’s testes into his mouth too, mouthed the firm balls inside, sucked the looser skin out away from them.
Sonny’s hands were wrapped into Luki’s curls and tugging hard, as Sonny’s noises—mostly unconscious, Luki thought—made up a small, private symphony of pleasure, plea, and demand. Luki sat back on his haunches and pushed Sonny’s knees back, spreading his legs wide. “Hold ’em for me, baby, ’kay?” Sonny didn’t answer, but he did do as asked, which Luki felt was doubly nice since that meant his scalp was no longer being mangled. He smiled secretly as he ducked down to take advantage of this new, perfect access to Sonny’s nether parts, including his oh-so-sweet hole. He let his lips and tongue go everywhere they wanted, and then wet his own index finger inside his mouth, and with only a few taps for warning, made his entrance. One finger as deep as a finger can go, Sonny’s breath sucked through his teeth—witness that, even for a finger, spit makes lousy lube.
“Luki, please,” Sonny said.
Luki had a pretty clear idea what he meant—Sonny said those words all the time when they made love, and they’d been at it a while now. But just to be sure—and maybe to annoy Sonny a little—Luki lifted his lips from where they’d been resting on the tip of Sonny’s penis and said, “Please what, baby?”
Now Sonny’s sudden exhale was one of exaggeration, so Luki sat up to watch the fireworks.
“Please….” Luki stopped himself, decided it wasn’t worth torturing his sweet lover this time. He really had no meanness in him, and besides, he knew what Sonny wanted, and he wanted it just as badly, he was sure. So instead of teasing he asked, “You want me to fuck you, Sonny?”
“Oh! Yes, Luki. Please fuck me.”
“Okay, baby, I’m going to do that. I am definitely going to fuck you. Hard. That’s okay?”
“It’s in my jacket pocket.”
“The lube, honey. C’mon, that’s what you were going to ask, right? Please, honey, get it and hurry back.” Sonny sucked in another breath. “Oh, God, Luki, I am so fucking hollow! I need you in me.”
Something in Sonny’s urgency—unusual even for him, lit an extra fire in Luki. For just a minute, he thought he might explode before he ever got to the fucking, but then the need for lube galvanized him. He slapped Sonny’s ass hard enough to sting and said, “Wait, I’ll be right back,” and hopped off the bed and back to the entry where they’d dropped Sonny’s clothes.
Back on the bed, he wasted no time. He kneeled next to Sonny, leaned down to suck and bite for a minute at Sonny’s dark nipples, leaving them scrunched hard and pointing up. “Almost forgot those guys, baby,” he said, and it made Sonny laugh. Delightful, Luki thought.
He took Sonny’s hand, turned it palm up, and squeezed some Boy Butter on his fingers. “Take care of me, will you, sweetie?” Sonny complied, stroking the length of Luki’s cock, slow, spreading the warm grease evenly except an extra lot at the tip, the sensation of which was enough to drive Luki’s own need just a notch higher. “Oh, baby, easy now,” he said, “or I’ll lose it before we get to the really good stuff.”
All the while, he was working Sonny’s hole, back in with a greased finger, then two, in-out-around, then a tap or two on the prostate. Sonny groaned but tightened up in response. “No, baby, don’t do that, relax for me, ’kay?”
“’Kay, Luki.” And, well-practiced as he was, he did. Luki could see his face change as he concentrated on letting go, and then Luki slid his cock in, easy and sweet, using his hands to guide his sweetly curved penis into Sonny’s sweet ass. Then he pushed deep and moved forward, hooking his shoulders under Sonny’s legs to push them high and back.
Sonny was still holding his knees, which wasn’t necessary, and Luki could see Sonny staring at his own long penis and licking his lips. He knew what Sonny wanted. “Baby,” he said. “Just wrap your legs around me. Stroke your cock, sweet man. You want to, I know it, and I want to watch.”
“Oh, Luki. Oh yes, thank you.” As he started to get into the rhythm, matching Luki’s but with an occasional stop and twist he said, “Oh, Luki, Luki, Luki. Good. Good! Oh!”
“Oh, fuck, Sonny! Beautiful, baby. So. Damn. Beautiful.” He punctuated those three words with three direct hits to the prostate. After a few more, he knew Sonny was gone, and he wasn’t far behind his lover.
“Luki?” Sonny’s question, every time. It meant everything, Luki knew, but maybe especially it meant, take care of me while I let it all go.
And Luki so appreciated the question, because it gave Luki the right to be everything he was deep in his soul, for Sonny. To be for his lover, the man, the only man, who loved him, held him, took him there, and kept him all together, safe. “Oh yeah, baby. It’s good. Let it go. Come for me, sweetie. Come fucking all over me. I’ve got you safe.”
And Sonny did, not crying out at all this time, only a long soft exhalation, his cock jerking again and again, releasing sweet-salt-smelling streams of cum, white seed settling in splotches and pools on his own belly and on Luki’s chest. Luki relished the squeeze and spasm of Sonny’s ass on his cock, tried and failed to get a taste of the spurting seed, bit his lip, watched his love until Sonny quieted and smiled, looking Luki in the eye, but shyly, almost as if he was embarrassed.
Luki gave him a smile, said, “I love you, beautiful, sweet Sonny James,” and before Sonny’s eyes could mist or his lip quiver, Luki lay flat over him, pulling Sonny’s knees back even more but spreading them wide in the crooks of his elbows. He kissed him hard, long, purely sexual. Still hovering on Sonny’s mouth he said, “Gonna fuck you now, baby. Hard. Gonna fuck you real hard. That’s okay?”
“Oh! Yeah, Luki, please! Do me hard! Fuck me!”
Sonny being considerably younger than him, Luki marveled at the way Sonny’s cock was already hardening again. It just turned him on even more.
He pulled out of Sonny, getting a little cry of dismay for response. Having grabbed more lube and retouched his cock, he pulled Sonny to the edge of the bed and flipped him to his belly, neither gentle nor rough, just easy. “Spread wide and on your knees, now,” he said, and stood behind him. He’d greased up, but he didn’t go in easy. He slammed his hard cock home, reveling in Sonny’s pleased but slightly pained grunt. Again Luki asked, “Okay?”
It wasn’t more than twenty strong, slick, fast strokes before Luki’s balls tightened, and seconds later his jizz shot deep inside his husband. He cried out some form of Sonny’s name, and this time Sonny cried out too, Luki’s excitement, excellent aim, and no-holds-barred fucking having taken Sonny to a second orgasm. Luki’s rhythm and strength changed, but he kept up the fucking, letting Sonny milk him dry. Finally, he slowly pulled free, turned Sonny onto his back, and fell down over him with a hard, smeary kiss on his lips. He lay still, just for a minute, letting all his weight blanket his husband.
He said, softly, in Sonny’s ear. “Damn, baby, you’re so fucking perfect. I love you. I do. So much. So, so much. So, so, so, so, so—”
Sonny giggled—yes giggled—and scrunched his shoulder to rescue his ear from the tickle.
Luki smiled and rolled to the side, wiping down both of their chests and bellies with his undershirt. That made Sonny giggle more, but Luki did it anyway and then lay down, stretched alongside the man he was sure was the most beautiful, the most perfect human ever born, and pulled him close so he could lay his head on Luki’s shoulder.
He started to let himself drowse, but then remembered he hadn’t taken proper care of Sonny that night. They hadn’t had dinner—nothing since those delicious burgers in Oregon. He muttered, his voice like gravel, “Baby, are you hungry?”
Sonny snuggled deeper into the cove of Luki’s embrace and said, “No. Maybe. No. I just want to sleep.” Then his stomach said its piece, which turned out to be a long, melodious complaint.
Luki felt Sonny stiffen with surprise, and even though Luki didn’t mean to laugh, he did, and once he started, he couldn’t stop. And soon Sonny was laughing full bore, Woody Woodpecker style. Luki couldn’t remember the last time he’d laughed with abandon, but it felt good. He made himself slow down when tears were burning his eyes.
“Sonny, you are so fucking precious. So, so, so—”
Sonny, still chuckling, said, “Shut up.”
April 2, 2014
For the next excerpt, let’s fast forward a bit to chapter 2, and I’ll post the little tidbit that I’ll be reading at Rainbow*Con. Can’t believe the convention is only 2 weeks away now. I’m excited to meet and mingle.
Anyway, here’s the excerpt:
Shamrock Green, Chapter 2, Scene 1
Wrapping the towel tighter around his waist, Hank entered the steam room on the second floor. Heavy vapors swirled in the dimly lit space, making it nearly impossible for him to see. The room’s only source of light seemed to be the frosted glass door that had closed behind him. He took two steps into the clouded dusk and stood unobtrusively near the wall.
When his eyes adjusted to the foggy dim, Hank could see two figures sitting on a bench that flanked the opposite wall, but he couldn’t make out any details. One vague figure was a thin guy leaning forward with his elbows resting on his knees in a closed posture. The other shape was much bulkier, more of a bear. He leaned back and spread open the gap in the towel wrapped around his waist, fondling himself. As the bear stroked his hand under the towel, he spread his legs wider apart to signal an invitation.
Hank didn’t find either figure very appealing, but at least the room was warm. His entire week in Ireland had been marred with clouds and a spitting drizzle that rarely found enough gumption to turn into real rain. The afternoons barely made it to seventy degrees, or twenty-one degrees Celsius as advertised by the little clock display of the tour van, quite a far cry from the ninety-eight-degree heat of June Hank had left behind in Texas.
The warm steam brought blessed relief after the eight nights of damp chill that seemed to settle into his joints and stiffen his journey-weary muscles. Leaning back into the wall, Hank let out a grateful sigh as he relaxed against the tiles. He could feel the first signs of a glistening sweat as the heat enveloping him warmed his skin and penetrated deeper into his tissues. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other. His arches were still tired after the brisk walk through the Temple Bar district. More aggravation on top of eight previous days of much walking and hiking around the sights and towns where his tour bus stopped.
The room’s illumination suddenly increased when someone pulled open the door and stepped inside. Hank scanned the faces of the guys on the bench in front of him. The thin guy was definitely a twink, barely twenty-one, and the bear was probably pushing sixty. He felt no desire whatsoever for either man.
Before the door closed, he turned to glance at the new occupant. This nicely shaped silhouette was in his midthirties and not too tall, maybe five-ten — someone much more within Hank’s range of appeal. Hank flashed him a smile as the door slipped closed and the dusky dark returned.
Thirtyish-guy took a tentative step forward as his eyes acclimated. He took another step forward as Hank shifted his weight to the other foot. Hank looked up at the man’s face, but the thick mist obscured any details. While taking another step closer, the guy reached out his hand and lightly touched Hank’s left shoulder.
Hank leaned toward the hand in silent supplication. The man’s fingers lightly stroked the top of his shoulder and up the side of Hank’s neck. An involuntary sigh escaped from Hank as the gentle touching aroused him. The thin towel wrapped kilt-like around Hank’s waist offered no resistance to his swelling erection.
Stepping around, the guy stood facing Hank and put his other hand on Hank’s right shoulder. With both hands, he lightly kneaded at the bulge of knotted muscles on the sides of Hank’s neck resulting from the long week of carrying a heavy duffel bag.
Hank pushed himself from the wall to stand at his full height, short though he was, and reached his hand up to gently grasp and squeeze the shapely bicep of the man’s right arm. As Hank reached for the man’s clavicle with his other hand, thirtyish-guy removed his hands and pulled back, moving along the wall toward the room’s corner. He hesitated a brief moment at the back wall, then disappeared.
Hank walked to the corner and soon realized the wall he had been leaning against was merely a divider and at the corner, a gap opened into another room behind him. Trying to move nonchalantly, he followed the guy through the opening. He paused just inside the doorway. This room captured even less light, making it nearly pitch black. After a moment of visual acclimation, Hank could barely see the vaguest of shapes in front of him.
He walked to a bench discernable in the darkness. As he moved, a hand brushed against his butt while something else, maybe a hip, grazed his lower arm. When he neared the bench, a hand gently closed around his wrist and pulled him forward. Hank sat on the edge of the bench next to the shadowy figure turned sideways and reclining in the corner.
Another hand reached out and joined the hand around his wrist, slowly gliding and squeezing as it measured upward along Hank’s arm until it reached his armpit. A deep, masculine voice whispered, “Tá tú fear bideach.”
“Uh, ’scuse me?” Hank replied.
The hand stroking his arm paused. With a strong Irish accent, the voice asked, “No Gaelic?”
“No,” Hank drawled in his Texas tongue. “I don’t know any Gaelic. What did ya say?”
The man released his grip on Hank’s arm and slid his fingers along the shoulder to Hank’s neck. Hank felt hardened calluses on the thumb and fingers of the stranger’s hand, and he quickly realized this wasn’t the smooth hand of thirtyish-guy.
Gently cupping Hank’s head, the hand pulled Hank forward. Hank turned sideways on the bench to face the mysterious man in the corner, then scooted closer, until his hip rested against the shadowy figure’s hip.
Near Hank’s ear, the Irish voice whispered, “I said, you are such a tiny man.”
The lyrical sounds of the Irish voice whispering so near sent a slight shiver of pleasure through Hank. “Not tiny, I’m five-foot-four. Don’t ask me how many centimeters, coz I shur[A1] don’t know that.”
Hank felt the bursts of breath near his ear as the man quietly chuckled. “We usually measure height in meters,” the voice whispered back. “I would guess one-point-six, or 160 centimeters, if a bigger number makes you feel better.” The hand slid from Hank’s neck and around to the front, slowly sliding down to Hank’s chest. “Where are you from?”
The combination of the man’s touch and exotic accent sent a stronger shiver through Hank. “The U.S.,” Hank drawled in a shaky voice. “Texas, out in the boonies.”
The hand on his chest paused. “Are you afraid, Tex?” the strong Irish voice whispered in question.
As the lyrical words sent another shiver through Hank, he realized the contradiction hidden in the voice. It seemed so deep and strong, like it was used to bellowing with the calls of an army drill sergeant, but the lowered whisper tempered it with a softer gentleness. Hank reached into the darkness and found a stubbly chin. “No,” he replied firmly, as he stroked the firm prickly jaw with his fingers.
“Then, why does your voice tremble?”
Hank shrugged, but of course his new friend wouldn’t be able to see it in the misty dark. “Excitement. Anticipation, I guess.”
“Enough excitement to tremble?” the Irish voice asked. “How old are you, Tex?”
From the open side of the room, Hank felt another hand reach out from the dark and touch his knee, then that hand wrapped around and squeezed at his calf almost hard enough to hurt. Hank reached down and slapped at the hand, pushing it away. The hand returned again, this time on his thigh, but it gently sat without the squeeze. Hank turned back to the corner and answered, “I’m forty-one.”
The hand on his thigh quickly disappeared. The stranger’s hand on his chest didn’t hesitate; it continued exploring the tuft of hair over his sternum and moved toward one of Hank’s nipples.
“I see,” the strong voice replied, sounding almost amused. “And does Tex have a wife waiting for him in the States?”
“No, I’m queer as a three-dollar bill. Why would you think that?”
The shadowy figure chuckled and shifted before lips brushed against his ear. The intimate touch caused a quiver all over Hank’s spine.
In a very gentle whisper, the Irish voice replied, “I’m still a bit puzzled. A man over forty shouldn’t find sex quite so exciting anymore.” The hand moved from his chest up to the back of Hank’s head and followed his skull up to the top, feeling Hank’s short hair that curled slightly in the high humidity. “Is your boyfriend here? Or husband maybe?”
“Don’t have one.”
“But you seem so attractive. You’re not throwing blarney at me, I hope.”
“No,” Hank argued. “I did kiss the Blarney Stone yesterday, but it’s the truth.” He moved his hand across his new friend’s ear and around to the back of his neck, feeling the same short stubble he had felt on the jaw. He brought his hand up and over, finding the same buzzed stubble all over the stranger’s head.
“You were in Cork yesterday?” the Irish man asked from the darkness.
“Yes,” Hank answered as the shadowy figure shifted again. The lips gently brushed against his ear, then kissed it lightly before a warm, moist tongue lightly explored the ridges and valleys of cartilage. “Oh,” Hank said with a sighing tone as a jolting quiver raced down his spine and swelled his cock almost instantly.
Hank pulled his brain back into gear as the mouth explored his earlobe, then suckled lightly at his jaw. What was it about this man? He’d never in his life felt anything like this. With just a few whispered words or a gentle touch, this shadowy figure had the power to reduce him to quivering gelatin.
“Why?” the man asked in his ear.
“How come you are still single?” the whispery voice inquired.
“I just am.”
“Aye Jeust ahm,” the man replied with a teasing tone, trying to match Hank’s Texas drawl.
“Hush,” Hank scolded, reaching out and swatting the shadowy figure somewhere on the upper arm. “Yer not bein’ nice.”
The man chuckled warmly. “You are so bloody cute.” He reached up and stroked at Hank’s cheek. “I think you’re blushing, aren’t you.”
“Hush,” Hank hissed as his cheeks warmed and tightened with what he knew was indeed, a blush.
He chuckled again. “You didn’t really answer my question, love.”
“Just too selective, I guess,” Hank said as he reached out and found the man’s hand in the darkness. “I live in a smaller town, not much to pick from there.”
“Certainly there are other gay men in Texas, other places to find them,” the Irish man pointed out from the dark.
“Oh sure, I could drive to Dallas or Austin, or even Houston, if I just wanted to get off, but what’s the point? All that expense and road time just for a few seconds of pleasure?” Hank moved his grasp to the tips of the man’s fingers, feeling the hardened calluses that marred each finger.
“I see.” The hand on Hank’s cheek slid down and cradled his jaw. “Yet, here you are, Tex, in a bathhouse. Why?”
“It’s not such a big deal, dude,” Hank replied in a tone bordering on defensive.
“Dude,” the man repeated with another amused chuckle. “Maybe not, or maybe it is. It’s quite a puzzle, don’t you think?”
“Call it an act of desperation, then. The dinner show ran long tonight, and by the time I made it out to the bars, they were closing. Who ever heard of shutting down a bar at midnight? On a Saturday night even?”
“What time do the bars close in Texas?” The Irish man asked as the hand gently stroked Hank’s smooth jaw, moving forward to his chin.
“Close at 2:00 a.m., and that’s prob’ly only because they’re required to by law. They’d prob’ly stay open all night if they could.”
A thumb stretched up and stroked at Hank’s lip as the Irish man gently asked, “Why desperation?”
Someone groped at his foot in the dark. Hank pulled up his knees and scooted his back against the wall. “I wasn’t about to leave Ireland without touching at least one Irish pecker.”
The man chuckled as the shadowy figure adjusted position. “I see. And how many peckers have you touched tonight?”
“None, yet,” Hank admitted.
“Don’t try to blarney me. Even Texas guys don’t go to a bathhouse just to look,” the man said, sounding a little miffed.
“It’s the truth,” Hank reassured. “This is the closest I’ve gotten so far tonight.”
“And why?” the man asked in a whisper.
“I’m not exactly a gay dreamboat. I don’t fit the tall-dark-handsome or the hairy-bear molds, so I don’t generate much interest.”
“I see,” he replied.
Hank reached up and took the man’s other hand away from his jaw, examining the fingers and finding calluses on this hand as well. “What kinda work do you do?”
“Boring work,” the man dismissed flatly as the figure leaned further forward. Hank soon felt a warm breath on his ear, followed quickly by the exploring tongue. He sighed as he collapsed against the wall, feeling jolts with every flick and caress of the soft tongue as it moved over his ear ridges. Hank stroked the man’s buzzed head, rubbing the stubbly hairs and trying not to moan too loudly.
April 2, 2014
Yeah, a Texan in Ireland. I was lucky enough to take a vacation in Ireland in 2012, and the seeds of this novel sprouted as I was on the plane coming home, having some ‘what-if’ fantasies. You see, unlike the bolder character of Hank, I was a good boy and stayed with the tour group. So I could only imagine what I might have found had I struck out on my own.
You guys ready for an excerpt?
Chapter 1: Scene 1
Hank wandered deeper into the National Museum of Ireland, freezing in his tracks when he saw the metal feline on display. A skilled artist had crafted the beautiful piece from circular bands of brass and bronze. He slowly stepped closer to the case for a better view. The pattern of the yellow-orange metal designs made the figure look remarkably like a life-sized marmalade tabby cat sitting on his haunches on top of a wooden shoe box. The cat’s head angled to one side, as though he were preparing to lick his shoulder. The figurine’s eyes, cut from some kind of green gemstone, glowed with fiery life in the up-lit case.
As he neared the display, Hank glanced at the placard which indicated this was a clockwork piece entitled “Dancing Phouka” by Cona Philmo. Recognizing that name from working in his parent’s antique business, Hank knew of the renowned watchmaker of the 1920s era, but he’d never known the Portuguese artist also made clockwork pieces.
What a strange thing to find in a Dublin museum, Hank thought as he examined the cat through the glass. Well, it didn’t look exactly like a cat. Proportionally, his tail seemed a little too short and his shoulders seemed a bit too broad for a typical feline. Maybe those were just structural concessions the designer made to accommodate the moving metal gears and bits inside.
Hank noticed a small button installed next to the sign. As he reached out his hand to the button, a movement from the edge of the room snagged Hank’s attention. Ignoring the sudden chill he felt, Hank glanced at the corner, but saw only dark shadows. He peered around the rest of the small alcove and saw he was alone.
Hank pushed the button.
A movie of the clockwork in action appeared on a screen along the back wall of the display case. The metallic sounds of a music-box rendition of the song Greensleeves tinkled out as Hank watched in awe. The metal phouka first stretched out a paw, then tiny metal claws extended from its paw-pads before the clockwork cat stood up. With an hypnotically smooth movement, the phouka figurine then lifted to stand on his back legs. While the tune still played, the clockwork cat rotated his hips and lifted his front paws, like a slow-moving belly dancer. Hank watched in fascination.
As the song came to an end, the clockwork figure dropped back to all four paws before returning to the sitting position. After a slight flick of its tail, the music ended.
Hank stood in stunned silence. Granny would have loved this. Even though his eyes welled up at the thought, he smiled. It had always been his Granny’s dream to visit the homeland of their ancestors, but circumstances had never allowed for it before she passed on. Hank had scheduled this trip partly as a memorial in her honor.
Blinking heavily, he turned and read the descriptive placard.
Reported to have been the first work ever created by Cona Philmo, this clockwork music box is a shining example of early 20th Century craftsmanship.
The Phouka, thought to be the mythical cousins of Leprechauns, are often said to hide amongst humans in various disguises. Folklore speaks fondly of phouka, who were believed to be playfully benign, and sometimes even beneficial to humans. Cona could often be heard bragging that a live model posed for this unusual work.
(1969) Due to the delicate nature of the metalwork, the museum no longer runs the music box. Instead, please enjoy the movie of the clockwork in action.
Glancing at his watch, Hank saw that he still had about twenty minutes before it was time to meet the rest of the tour group in the museum’s front lobby. He scrunched his tired toes inside his sneakers as he looked at the small bench by the wall. He walked over and sat down to rest his feet before heading back through the maze to the front doors.
He stretched out his legs and flexed his ankles with a soft groan. Then, he lifted his feet and scrunched his toes again, working the tired muscles of his calves. Not that Hank hadn’t enjoyed every minute of his tour through Ireland, but he decided that next time he traveled, he would rethink the whole “tour bus” idea. He reached down and put his finger under the laces of his right sneaker and pulled up on the knot to try and loosen the shoe’s grip a little. The problem with the bus was how the group scurried so quickly from one town to the next, leaving Hank feeling as though he never had time to catch his breath in any one place. Or rest his feet. Maybe he was getting too old for a week’s worth of walking around.
He pulled at the knot of his other shoe before glancing up again at the glowing green eyes of the bronze and brass figurine. From this angle, the phouka’s eyes seemed to be gazing back at him.
Fighting the strange feeling that someone was watching him, Hank peered around the empty room again. His gaze snagged briefly on the shadows in the dark corner, but he failed to see anything. Quit being goosey, he scolded himself. I’m just tired, he thought reassuringly.
He stood and took one last admiring glance at the Cona clockwork before walking out of the room.
March 14, 2014
I’d like to thank you all for coming by and hanging out with me today. I’ve loved sharing with you and hope you’ll enjoy the story. Andrea M you’re the winner of the free copy and I will will have the lovely people at Dreamspinner add it to your bookshelf by tomorrow.
And here’s the excerpt that will hopefully whet your appetite:
DEVON WALKED into Mystique looking every inch the Master of the world. The truth wasn’t too far off. Inside his club there were many who called themselves Master, but here in this place, they all answered to him.
Tonight he wore black jeans and a dark red silk shirt, unbuttoned at the neck. His black jacket and boots completed the look. Devon didn’t favor the leather and chains look so many in his community seemed to be stuck on unless he was in a scene.
He radiated power as he walked down the hall and into the main room of the club. He was used to most eyes turning his way as he entered the room. The fact that they didn’t tonight was Devon’s first indication that something was wrong. When he looked to see what had captured people’s attention, his green eyes flashed with anger.
There was a crowd of people gathered around the raised stage in the middle of the club, watching one of the young men who worked there as a Dom beat a young man who was tied to the St. Andrew’s cross that sat on the platform.
Most of the people watching looked horrified but made no move to stop the torture.
The unfortunate sub had been beaten so badly that his back was bleeding in half a dozen places, and it was obvious this was some kind of punishment instead of a scene. He was limp in his bindings, and the pain in his shoulders must have been excruciating as the muscles were stretched to the limit when his legs failed to support him.
Devon spotted his manager standing uncertainly to the side. This was the man who should have been putting a stop to the chaos in front of him, but Devon could see that he was intimidated and trying to decide whether or not to stop it. He took the choice out of the manager’s hands.
Striding quickly to the stage, he caught the eye of the DJ as he went, and the music died. All eyes were finally on Devon as he shouted.
The Dom had just pulled his arm back to administer another blow and was startled when Devon yanked the flogger out of his hand.
The man spun to confront whoever had dared to interfere and visibly paled when he saw it was his boss. Devon smiled coldly at the man.
“Matt, I’d like you to explain to me what this poor sub has done to merit being beaten half to death.” He moved around so he could see the bleeding man’s face. Devon’s fury grew. The man wasn’t much more than a boy.
“He struck a Dom, sir.” Matt’s voice shook.
Devon gently pushed the hair back off the young man’s face and was gratified when he opened his eyes. However, the pure terror in the hazel depths made Devon even more furious. He ran his fingers through the man’s hair, trying to calm him down a little.
“Why? He obviously didn’t hit him for no reason.”
Matt just shrugged. “I don’t know. I didn’t see what happened. One minute the Dom was talking to him, the next he was flat on the floor with a broken nose. Don’t worry, sir, Jason took him to the hospital.” He made it sound like Devon should be proud of him for taking care of the Dom.
“And you didn’t ask why the kid hit him? Did it occur to you that he might have had a reason?”
Matt scowled. “Subs don’t hit Doms, sir. It’s the rule.”
Devon pulled himself to his full height. “In case you’ve forgotten, Matt, I make the fucking rules here! And rule number one is consent from all parties for everything! Are you telling me this man consented to this?”
Matt flinched even though Devon hadn’t raised his voice. When Devon lifted the flogger to look at it, his anger almost overwhelmed him.
The whip was actually a cat-o’-nine-tails that was about two-and-a-half-feet long. It was one of the nastier versions Devon had seen, with knots tied at intervals along the tails and the ends cut at an angle, all designed to cause the maximum amount of pain and damage.
“You used this weapon of torture on someone in my club? Are you out of your fucking mind?” Devon’s voice was starting to get louder, and as it did he could feel the sub shake harder. He knew he had to calm down and get the injured man taken care of.
Taking a deep breath, he threw the flogger across the stage to land at the feet of his manager. “You are not a Dom. You’re just a fucking bully. Now get the hell out of my club. You’re done here.”
Matt opened his mouth to speak but stopped when two of the bouncers who had been with the club since it began stepped forward at a gesture from Devon. With a giant man on either side of him, Matt had no option but to move in the direction they wanted him to go. He went quietly.
Devon turned back to the sub. He’d started moaning in pain, although Devon could see that the man was trying hard to be quiet.
“If the rest of you wouldn’t mind, could you please step back and give us some room to work?” He looked over his shoulder and saw Andy and Joe walking toward the stage. They must have just arrived or this wouldn’t have been happening.
“Could you two give me a hand here?”
“What in the hell’s going on, Dev?” Andy’s eyes widened when he saw the sub’s back. “Who did that? I’ll fucking kill ’em!”
“Someone who is no longer employed here. We’ll talk about it later.” Dev leaned in to talk quietly in the sub’s ear.
“What’s your name, sweetheart?” He couldn’t resist tucking a lock of hair behind the other man’s ear. His face was so innocent he couldn’t imagine him lashing out at anyone in anger.
“Chase, Sir.” His voice was wrecked, hoarse and raw from screaming.
“Chase, we’re going to get you down from here and figure out what’s going on, okay?”
Chase nodded. “I’m sorry, Sir.”
Devon rubbed the back of his knuckles gently over Chase’s cheek. “Shhh, just be quiet for now, sweetheart. We’re gonna take care of you.”
Looking back at Andy, he motioned for him to start untying Chase while Joe ran off to grab the gurney they kept to help move patrons who were sometimes overwhelmed in intense scenes.
Devon stood beside Chase, moving in front of him and holding his weight when Andy finally got both the limbs on one side untied.
Chase was trying hard to hold himself up, but Devon knew he was seconds away from collapsing. “It’s okay, Chase. You can lean on me. I won’t let you fall.”
Chase put his forehead on Devon’s shoulder, both arms hanging down by his sides, apparently too weak and in too much pain to grab on to anything.
“Who’s your Master, Chase?”
Chase trembled at the question, and for a moment, Devon didn’t think he was going to answer.
“James, Sir, James Kingston.”
Devon sighed. “Why am I not surprised?”
Joe came with the gurney then, and they managed to manhandle Chase onto it, laying him carefully on his front. Once he was settled, Devon looked at the crowd.
“Did any of you see what happened?” He needed to get to the bottom of this. If Chase was seriously hurt, this little shit show could cause him real problems.
Everyone shook their heads, but Devon knew some were lying. He watched as a pretty little dark-haired sub he recognized leaned in to whisper in her Dom’s ear. Her Dom looked at her in surprise before nodding at her.
She walked up and stood in front of the stage, head bowed and hands clasped in front of her until he spoke.
“Pardon me, Sir, but I saw Chase’s Dom walk him in and sit him at the bar. He whispered in his ear and then walked to the booth in the corner, leaving Chase alone.” The poor girl was shaking, but she bravely kept talking.
“The Dom and his friends watched as people came up to Chase and talked to him. Chase always said no to offers of company, and they walked away. But then one of the men from his Dom’s table came up and wouldn’t leave him alone. I don’t think Chase knew the man was with his Master, Sir. He couldn’t see the booth from the bar.
Devon was pretty sure he knew what had happened next, but he nodded for her to continue. She was nervous, and he was happy when her Dom came up behind her and wrapped his arm around her waist, offering her comfort.
“The man pulled Chase off his stool and tried to push him to his knees, and that’s when Chase hit him.” She looked up at Devon, begging him to understand. “Sir, I don’t think Chase meant to hit him, he just… panicked. He’s shy, and his Master doesn’t take him out much. Please don’t be too angry at Chase, Master Devon.”
Devon walked to the front of the stage and crouched down to smile at her. “I’m not mad at Chase, Katie. He’s not the one in the wrong here. Thank you for telling me. Do you know where his Dom went?”
She shook her head. “No, Sir. When everyone started freaking out, he just left as fast as he could, leaving Chase behind.” The look on her face told Devon exactly what she thought of the cowardly asshole who’d abandoned his sub.
Devon leaned in and kissed her on the forehead and nodded gratefully at her Dom. They were a couple who came in often, and Devon knew they were a devoted pair.
“Don’t worry, Katie, we’re going to take care of Chase, I promise.”
She smiled at him, tears causing her eyes to shine a little brighter. She turned in her Dom’s arms, and he held her and soothed her as they walked away.
Devon looked over to where Andy and Joe were trying to tend to Chase’s injuries. He stood and walked off the stage to join them.
“Does he need to go to the hospital?”
Andy shrugged. “I don’t know. He won’t let us get close enough to look and keeps insisting he isn’t going to see any doctors.” Dev could see the frustration on his friend’s face.
Dev crouched down so he could look Chase in the eyes and started stroking Chase’s dark, sweaty hair. “Hey, sweetheart, what’s going on?”
“Master said no one touches what’s his and no doctors. They ask too many questions.”
Devon continued petting him, running his fingers down the back of Chase’s neck to try and ease the tension there. “I’m touching you.”
“You’re the Master here. This is your place. It makes it okay, I think.” His voice was so quiet it was hard to hear, and Dev could tell he was struggling to make sense of things.
Dev smiled encouragingly at him. He knew he had to help Chase feel comfortable so that he’d let them help him. “Let’s get you to my office and get you checked over. If I decide you need to go to the hospital, you’re going, no arguments, all right?”
Chase nodded, and Devon stood up. He could see the other man making an aborted move toward Devon’s hand, and his heart twisted in sympathy. Chase was terrified and had apparently attached himself to Devon without his Dom to turn to. He laid his hand over Chase’s, smiling when the injured man turned his hand palm up and curled his fingers around Dev’s almost painfully.
Devon looked toward the crowd. “Please feel free to continue to enjoy yourselves, but keep this in mind. I won’t tolerate this kind of brutality in my place. Remember, these amazing people put themselves in your care, and it’s your duty as their Doms to make sure they’re safe while they’re with you. Don’t abuse the gift they’ve given you if you want to keep it.”
The last was said as a warning, and the Doms in the room knew James Kingston was going to be sorry for ever trying this kind of brutal game in Devon’s world.
March 7, 2014
Not what you’re thinking … this is my first release and wide-audience blog. Sorry it’s a little late in the day, but got called into work and while I love writing, it doesn’t quite pay the bills … yet.
I’m JR Shelley, author of the newly-released ‘Forever Fantasy.’ It’s my first M/M novella, so I’m kinda nervous at its reception. Thought I’d start off with an except, give you guys a taste of the story.
“I’m just not used to someone wanting to spend time with me and….” Logan paused, running his finger along the rim of his mug.
“And not want something in return.”
RJ put his hand over Logan’s. “I do want something in return.”
Logan stared at him. “What?”
“I want your friendship. I want to help you deal with your demons.”
Logan gave him a half-smile. “Thanks. How about a walk on the beach? I find the ocean very calming.”
“I don’t know much about romance.”
“Simple gestures can be romantic. My favorite is to be surprised with breakfast in bed.” The waiter brought their food out.
“Look, I probably should have asked earlier, but… you have someone waiting on you back home?”
RJ let out a sigh. “No, not anymore. Another reason I came out here. He… he died.”
“I’m sorry. I… I shouldn’t have asked.”
“No, it’s okay. It’s been a little over three months. He was someone I met in the military. He couldn’t… he couldn’t deal with his demons.”
“He treated you to breakfast in bed?”
RJ smiled, even through the sad eyes. “Always on my birthday. And a few times just because.”
“I’ll keep that in mind if I ever, you know, find someone.”
“I hope you do.”
They finished breakfast and headed toward the beach, hand in hand. The skies were turning a bit gray, a hint of rain in the air.
“You sure you want to head out? Looks like the sky’s going to open up.” RJ stopped to look at the clouds on the horizon.
“A little rain won’t kill us. Anyway, isn’t rain romantic?” Logan waggled his eyebrows.
“You can be corny sometimes, you know that?”
“Part of my charm.”
“Okay, Prince Charming, lead the way.”
They got about a half mile down the beach toward the outcropping of rocks when the soft rain started. RJ leaned up against a large boulder, rain plastering his clothes to his skin.
Logan put his hands on either side of RJ’s head, dipping his own head in close, then back out, the lightest of kisses between them as the rain fell. Soon they were exploring each other’s mouths, their bodies touching chest to groin.
Logan was about to give in to the sensation of RJ being so near when RJ pushed him back. “Not now.”
“Being groped on the beach in the rain not doing it for you?” Logan stepped back.
“No, it’s not that. I want more for you.”
Logan wrinkled his brow. “More for me?”
“Not a quick hand job or blow job on the beach. Tell me, what do you feel right now?”
“Honestly, a little tight in the pants and it’s not all because of the rain.”
“No, how do you feel, up here?” RJ tapped Logan’s head.
“What am I supposed to feel?”
RJ looked pained. “God, I’m so sorry.”
“You don’t feel anything? Nothing for me, nothing for the beauty of the moment?”
“I know I want to make you feel good.”
RJ shook his head. “What do you want?”
Logan stepped back even farther, almost like he’d been struck. “Why would it matter what I want?”
RJ pulled him back, wrapping his arms around him. “It matters. You matter to me.” He turned them, with Logan now against the rock. “Feel me. Feel me… loving you.” RJ claimed Logan’s lips, sending him a passionate kiss. “Tell me what you want, right here, right now. Don’t think about me. Just tell me what you want.”
“I… I want you. To feel your lips on mine, your hands on my body.”
“That I can do.” RJ kissed his lips, nibbling down his neck while he slid his hand up under Logan’s wet T-shirt. He gently caressed Logan’s chest. “Just feel. Don’t think about me, be selfish. Enjoy being loved.”
That’s a bit from the story. I hope you like it.
Here is the buy link at Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4754
I’ll be back later, hopefully to run a contest to win a copy!
February 18, 2014
Okay, Guess who???
I’m here with the last excerpt and question. Good luck everyone. Remember, don’t posts your answers any earlier then two o’clock, EST. I’ll see you at the cocktail hour with a drink and three winners in hand. For you not familiar with cocktail hour, that’s 5pm EST. This so exciting!!!!
Hank was standing over the stove with a wooden spoon in each hand as the sound of Norah Jones wafted through the house. He was swaying and humming along to Norah’s sultry version of the “Tennessee Waltz” while stirring a pot of yellow cheese grits with one spoon and a sauté pan of jumbo shrimp and Andouille sausage with the other. A thought suddenly hit him, and he turned his head to one side, deciding what to do about it.
He lowered the flame on both burners, picked up his cell phone, and opened his contacts, choosing the contact he’d programmed earlier that day for Garner. While the call connected and started to ring, Hank found himself swaying again to Norah’s soulful sounds.
He stopped when he heard Garner’s voice. “Hey, Hank.” Garner had obviously checked the caller ID before he answered.
“Hey, man, how’s it going?”
“Pretty good. Thompson and I just finished checking in the last arrival, and I’m about to head down to the boat to unwind for a second and then shower.”
Hank felt a wave of panic and looked down at his watch. Six forty-nine. He went over his mental checklist. He still had to finish dinner, set the table, shower, and pick up Garner, and he had just over an hour in which to do it all.
“Yeah, I’m here. Boy, do I need to get a move on, though. I just wanted to make sure you weren’t allergic to shellfish or see if there was anything else I should know about your diet.”
“Nope. No food allergies that I’m aware of.”
“Okay, good. Gotta go! See you at eight.”
“Okay,” Garner said with a chuckle.
Hank ended the call and went back to the stove. He dipped his spoon into the simmering grits and brought the cheesy mixture to his mouth. “Ummmm, perfect. One down.”
He turned off the burner, covered the pot, and turned his attention to the shrimp and sausage mixture.
As he pushed the shrimp and sausage around in the pan, listening to Norah sing “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today,” he thought about Thompson for some reason. Garner mentioning his name on the phone triggered a couple of memories that had stuck with him all day and he wasn’t sure why. For starters, he’d stopped by the marina midmorning with some bagels for Garner and Thompson. When he’d found the office empty, he’d approached the large window and found them coming up the dock, Thompson’s arm slung over Garner’s shoulder and both of them laughing hysterically. The scene had struck him as odd because ever since Caroline’s death, Thompson had been very reserved and mostly closed off. In fact, Hank hadn’t seen him crack more than a smile for as long as he could remember. But then they’d stopped laughing suddenly, and it looked as though the mood or conversation had taken on a more serious tone. They had continued up the dock looking like each of them had more to say, and, not wanting to get in the middle of anything, Hank had slipped out unnoticed.
Then when he’d come back to the marina on that call, it looked like they were into something heavy again, so not wanting to interrupt this time either, he’d said hello, but chose not to stop and headed right for his boat. But as he was on the water leaving the marina, he saw Thompson throw his arms around Garner, saw Garner make some move to get free, then Thompson’s arm was around Garner’s neck, and they were walking up the dock laughing again. I wonder what is going on with those two? Then it hit him like a ton of bricks. Holy shit! Am I jealous?
Hank realized that he really liked spending time with Garner. He didn’t know where it was headed, but he liked him enough to go along for the ride. He hadn’t felt any type of connection to anyone in such a long time, and he was damned excited about it. Garner was smart, good-looking, sexy as hell, and had a wicked sense of humor. All the traits he liked in a man. Some of the excitement waned a bit with his next thought. Six weeks, Hank! He’s only here for six weeks. Be careful and don’t go getting your heart broken.
The sizzling sound of the food brought him back to reality, and he decided to push the thoughts to the back of his mind for now. Besides, he could ask Garner what was going on between him and Thompson tonight.
Hank tasted one of the shrimp. “Just about done,” he said under his breath. “I think I’ll let them marinate for a while and finish them off right before I serve them.”
He turned off the gas burner, moved about the kitchen getting dishes, silverware, and placemats together, and headed for the dining room. “That Yankee isn’t going to think twice about Thompson Gray when he gets a taste of my famous Southern Shrimp & Grits. A way to a man’s heart through his stomach and all that.”
When the table was set, he stood back and admired his work. He glanced at his watch again. Forty minutes to go. Not bad, Hank. Not bad at all.
Garner was standing outside the marina entrance when he saw the white F150 round the corner. He waved as the truck pulled up and stopped. The power window came down and the driver leaned out. “Hellooo, sailor! Looking for a ride?”
“If you’re going my way,” Garner retorted.
Hank grinned and winked. “Oh yeah, I go your way.”
Hank put the truck in park, hopped out, and stole a quick kiss on Garner’s cheek.
“Thanks,” Garner said. “You look great, by the way.”
Hank was wearing a nicely pressed blue chambray shirt over a bright-orange T-shirt, khakis, and brown driving shoes.
“Thanks. You too.”
Garner felt underdressed in his amber-colored V-neck T-shirt, blue jeans, and blue-and-gold Nikes. He ran his hands down the front of his shirt. “This old thing?”
Hank laughed and opened the door. “Yes, that old thing. I like the way it brings out the blond in your hair. Now get in there, silly.”
Garner watched Hank run back around, jump in, and buckle his seatbelt. He moved with a confident grace and Garner liked it.
As the truck sped up, Hank leaned over and patted Garner’s thigh. “How was the rest of your day? When I came back from my call, Thompson said you were out.”
“Yeah, he asked me to run a marina guest up to West Marine to pick up a replacement bilge pump.”
“God, I love that store,” Hank said. “If I ever sold my business, I would really like to work there. The only problem I can foresee is I’d buy so much shit, I’d owe them money at the end of every pay period.”
Garner nodded in agreement. “Me too. I’m afraid I’d be right there with you.”
The short ride back to Hank’s place was filled with the usual back-and-forth banter they’d become accustomed to in the short time they’d known one another.
In less than ten minutes, Hank pulled into the driveway of a beige bungalow-style home boasting a white wraparound porch with a swing, white wicker furniture, and green-and-white striped upholstery. Dark-green shutters and a pale-yellow door finished off the exterior. Garner thought it looked like something out of a magazine. The landscaping was perfectly manicured and the outdoor lighting was spot on. There was soft lamplight coming from all the windows, and the entire place looked warm and inviting.
“This is absolutely charming,” Garner said, taking it all in.
Hank put the truck in park, rested both hands on the steering wheel, and stared at his house as if he was seeing it for the first time himself. “Thanks, I’ve owned it for about a year and just finished renovating the entire thing.”
Garner opened his door. “Come on, I can’t wait to see the inside.”
Hank hopped out of the truck, apparently as eager to show off his place as Garner was to see it. They walked into a spacious foyer with at least twelve-foot ceilings. There was a round leather-inlaid drum table in the center with a bouquet of fresh flowers and a secretary with a Chippendale chair against the back wall. A powder room was recessed in the back right corner. Garner turned to the left and saw a formal dining room, complete with romantic table set for two. He stepped into the room, admiring one thing to the next. He stopped when he saw a large antique cupboard in the far corner loaded with some type of porcelain. “Everything is lovely, but this piece is spectacular.”
“Thanks. It was my grandmommy Ellen’s, right down to the very last piece of porcelain inside of it. It’s one of my two prized possessions.”
“And the other?” Garner asked.
Hank’s very being seemed to be filling with pride as he took Garner by the hand and led him across the foyer to the formal living room.
“And this is the formal living room,” he said with the wave of his hand.
Garner followed in awe, certain his mouth was hanging open from the sheer beauty surrounding him. There was a royal-blue tone-on-tone striped camelback couch sitting in the center of the room with two tapestry-upholstered Martha Washington chairs flanking a large fireplace. End tables and other accent pieces effortlessly placed here and there donned the room and created a comfortable but elegant feel. There was a hall at the far right, which Garner assumed led to the bedrooms, and closed double french doors across the back wall. But before he could ask where they led, he spotted a triple mahogany chest of drawers with shiny brass pulls against the back wall. “That’s got to be the other piece.”
“Bingo,” Hank said. “You have a great eye.”
He ran his fingers across the top of the long chest, admiring it. “I don’t know about that, but it’s hard to miss this example of fine craftsmans—”
Before he could finish his sentence, Hank’s lips were covering his. It was a long, deep, and slow kiss. Hank’s tongue explored every crevice of his mouth, and when it ended, it left Garner breathless and wanting more.
Hank brushed the side of Garner’s face with the back of his hand. “I’ve been wanting to do that since I saw you early this morning.”
Garner smiled at the compliment. Then something didn’t sit right with that statement. He thought for a second. This morning? I didn’t see him until this afternoon. “You mean this afternoon?” Garner corrected.
“Nope. This morning,” Hank restated with a nonchalant tone.
Suddenly, memories of an earlier time back in New York when he’d had an overzealous admirer that had turned into amateur stalking flooded Garner’s memory. Stop it, Garner. He doesn’t appear to be the stalker type. And besides, if he were really stalking you, would he tell you about it? He pushed those ridiculous thoughts out of his mind, but he must have still had a concerned look on his face that didn’t go unnoticed.
“Don’t worry, I’ll explain over dinner,” Hank volunteered.
Garner opened his mouth to protest, but Hank held up a finger. “It’s really nothing. I promise.”
Question: What color was the camelback couch in Hank’s living room?