June 15, 2015
That’s a Good Question. Ha! See what I did there? I’m closing out my time here at the DSP blog with an excerpt from the novella that started Lonnie and Jamison’s love story.
“Don’t say that,” Jamison said.
Torp looked around for Lincoln and, not seeing him, asked, “Why the fuck not? He is.”
“You don’t know that.”
Torp snorted and then choked, prompting Jamison to slap him hard on the back a couple of times until he’d regained his ability to breathe properly. “Uh-huh, y-yeah I do. I’d have to be blind not to notice that.”
Jamison opened his mouth to argue, but suddenly he noticed the music above them had stopped. Did he hear us? From deep in the house he heard someone running down the stairs. He turned to look over his shoulder and saw the art student stumble into the hallway, pause, and turn their way, spotting them. Shit. Jamison turned back around quickly and sipped his tea, his gaze riveted on the grass.
“Hey, fellas. I’m done for today. Got a late afternoon class. See ya tomorrow.” Jamison felt some tension drain out of him, but then the young man gave an exasperated sigh and a chuckle. “Sorry. Introductions?”
Jamison sensed the man come closer, and to his left Torp leapt up, quickly wiping sandwich crumbs off on his jeans. “I’m Theodore Machado III, but most folks call me Torpedo.”
“Uh… really? O-okay. Good to meet you, Torpedo”—Jamison smirked at how carefully the man repeated his friend’s name, as if trying it out on his tongue—“I’m Lonnie Bellerose. The very pregnant lady of the house is my sister.”
“Good to meet you, Mister—”
“Lonnie. Just call me Lonnie.”
The silence that followed brought some tension back into Jamison’s shoulders as he realized they were waiting on him, probably staring at his back. He began to sweat just as his eyes caught sight of a parade of ants moving across a worn, brown patch in the yard to his right. They looked hell-bent for the grass forest on the other side of their tiny clearing. Take me with you.
“He don’t talk much,” Torp explained, then smacked the back of Jamison’s head. “Jam, introduce yourself, man.”
Jamison took a deep breath and slowly stood, turning to face them as he did. Lonnie’s gaze followed him, his eyes widening as Jamison continued to rise above him. Lonnie’s lips parted slightly, almost gasping when he had to tilt his head back a bit to look Jamison in the eyes.
Green. His eyes are green, Jamison noted. He almost stepped closer, almost revealed the pull he felt, but he stopped himself, fearing the same reaction from Lonnie that he’d gotten since his first growth spurt. When you don’t smile much and you’re big and you’re black and you’re tattooed and you’re silent, people—strangers—all react the same way.
It had served him well growing up, carrying him safely through adolescence in a rough neighborhood and keeping bad influences—and even some good ones—at a distance. But as he looked into Lonnie’s bright green eyes, it suddenly hit Jamison that the last thing he wanted from this man was distance.
A smile slowly spread across Lonnie’s beautiful face—full lips, narrow nose, long dark lashes, and high cheekbones. Yum. He was almost as pretty as a girl, but so very much a man.
“My… you’re… you’re—”
“I’m Jamison Coburn.”
Lonnie slowly extended his hand, and Jamison took it. “I’m… I’m….”
Jamison allowed himself to grin. “You’re… Lonnie Bellerose.”
Lonnie barked in laughter, snorted, and smacked himself in the forehead. “Ha! Yeah, yeah, I’m Lonnie. Sorry.” He shook his head, his curls bouncing. “Spaced out a bit there. Nice to m-meet you, Jamison.”
“And you, Lonnie,” Jamison said softly. “Enjoy your class.”
“Right,” Lonnie almost whispered, nodding, staring, grinning. “Thank you.”
They stared at each other for several more heartbeats, and then Lonnie turned on his sockless but sneakered feet, juggled his drawing pad and art bag, and walked right into the closed half of the French doors. He stumbled backward, but Jamison grabbed him and steadied him by the shoulders, aiming him properly at the open door.
Lonnie looked back at him and laughed again. “Thanks f-for that.”
Jamison simply nodded and pointed at the doorway, silently urging him to watch his step. He watched Lonnie walk through the kitchen, all the way down that long hall to the front door, heard Lonnie’s noisy VW grind to life, and caught a flash of purple as he drove away.
“You can’t see that?” Torp asked, shaking his head and shooing a fly from the remainder of his sandwich before taking another bite.
I saw it, all right, Jamison thought, smiling.
I hope that was fun. Setting it up for this post made me smile again.
Thank you all for joining me today, and if you take a chance on my novel The Answer Is, I hope it’s an entertaining read for you.
Remember, you have until 11 a.m. EST, Wednesday, June 17, to leave a comment on the giveaway posts in this release party for chances to win.
Take care and have a great week, people!
June 2, 2015
The large case he’d set up as a wall between the front and the back of the store was broken as well, but from what he could see, the movie props he’d placed there were intact, although he couldn’t say the same for the enormous papier-mâché griffin he’d found at a Harryhausen tribute auction. Peppered with bullet holes, its body and head were marred with crumbling white holes, a scatter pattern large enough to make Rook’s stomach turn.
“Shit, they were trying to kill me.” He leaned back, trying to do a visual count on how many bullets pierced through the window and into the shop while he’d been plastered to the floor to avoid being shot.
“Go in but do not touch.” Rook echoed what his grandfather’s lawyers told him, trying to absorb the destruction. “I can’t even move without touching something. And how the hell am I going to document the damage? What isn’t damaged? Fricking lawyers.”
“Are these the same lawyers that told you to return to the scene of the crime and screw up any residuals that might be here?” Montoya’s deep voice rumbled out of the darkened doorway leading from the storefront to the elevator up to Rook’s apartment. “If they wanted you to be thrown into jail, they could have just left you there instead of this catch-and-release program we’ve got going.”
Montoya looked… good. Again. Too good. Too ruffled, too scruffy hot, with broad shoulders and his burned burned-honey eyes fringed with thick, long lashes. A hint of a dimple threatened to spread when his mouth quirked to the side, and Rook had to swallow around a lump in his throat when Montoya shoved his hands into his jeans pockets, sliding his black leather jacket back with his elbows to expose his gun harness.
Even from a few feet away, the man was a tall, dangerous complication in Rook’s life. One he wanted as badly as he didn’t want him around. Rook wasn’t sure what was worse—being accused of murder or being tailed by a man he’d gladly bend over for but who wanted him in handcuffs instead.
“What are you doing here, Stevens?” Montoya’s rumble tickled Rook’s belly, licking hot flames down his crotch and over his ass. “You shouldn’t even be here. What were you thinking?”
Rook had just the smartass answer to throw back at the detective. A burning slap of a sting mingled with a bit of a flirtation hot enough to make the man blush. It would have been an epic moment. One to balance out the unbearable want Montoya seemed to rake up inside of him and caustic enough to push the man’s buttons while pushing him away.
Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.
Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur, a black Pomeranian puffball and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a purple Bella coffee maker.
May 29, 2015
Hello again. It’s Robert P. Rowe taking over the Dreamspinner Press blog to tell you about my novel Second-Story Man. You can find my book here:
But you can read an excerpt here and now:
A hot August night is always good for an open window or two, and I’d spotted one on a deserted street. It looked like an easy climb. From the entrance stair it was a short hop onto the balustrade, an arm’s reach to the segmental pediment, and one last stretch across the brownstone wall. By the time I reached the second-story window, I figured out the climb wasn’t as easy as the construction-site scaffolds I was used to. Biker boots aren’t made for climbing. A tank top was great for showing off my brown-skinned muscles, but for climbing up a building it was stupid—I was all scratched up. If I’d planned this, I’d’ve worn a heavier shirt, with long sleeves.
My raw hands throbbed, but at least I made it. I peered inside. The room was dark, but the streetlight showed me enough. Just what I was looking for: a laptop on the dresser. I’d seen ’em at the pawnshop going for five or six hundred—that’s all the money I needed. Across from the dresser was a bed with some white guy—sleeping like a baby. His blanket was pushed down. The guy was half-naked because of the heat, and leaner than me. If I had to, I could take him.
I climbed in without a stir from the bed and headed straight for the computer. Shit! What was that? My own reflection in the dresser mirror made me jump. Suck it up, Carlos—you can do this. Still, my nerves were on edge. How did that gringo not hear my heart pounding? My sweaty hands were shaking as I struggled to unplug the laptop. Suddenly, something caught my eye. The reflection was big and looming up behind me—
Everything went dark. Sound was muffled. I was suffocating.
Gasping, I struggled against a fabric trap, clawing to free myself until I felt a full body blow take me down to the hard floor. The wind was knocked out of me, and the gringo was on top of me. Then I felt an excruciating whack across my forehead, and my world spun out of control.
Oh, man. What happened?
My head was whirling. I wasn’t sure I could open my eyes.
I took a deep breath, then forced one eye open. Too bright. Blurry. I think I was still in the same room. I opened the other eye, tilted my head. Man, did it hurt. A table lamp was glowing and I must’ve been in the bed. Hey, where’s my shirt? I looked around and there’s that gringo, sitting in the chair next to the bed. How’d that guy manage to get the jump on me? He was still half-naked, wearing some boxers, and he was holding—a bat!
“What the… I’m gettin’ the hell outta here.” I started to get up, but my head was spinning and— “Where’re my pants, ya faggot?” I was naked in this guy’s bed. “What’d ya do to me?”
“Me? I didn’t do anything. I picked you up at the bar. On the way home you got gay-bashed. I brought you up here because I think you might have a concussion. You’ll need to get some sleep.”
“Hey, man, I’m no faggot,” I yelled, making my head hurt all the more.
“Really? Then why are you naked in my bed?” Man, he was right. This really didn’t look good. “Whacking you with a bat could get me into trouble. Climbing in my window could get you into trouble. Nobody will bother to investigate some random gay-bashing.”
“So what now?” I felt trapped, but I defiantly dared him to answer. “Ya wanna fuck me?”
“Don’t flatter yourself. I don’t waste my time with straight guys—too much drama.”
This is a very unusual way to meet and it sure doesn’t seem like these guys are off to a very good start. But stranger things have happened. In fact I’m hoping that you’ll tell me some strange way that you’ve met someone special in your life.
I’m running a contest to give away an ebook copy of Second-Story Man. All that you have to do is have the best answer to this question:
“What’s the most interesting accidental way that you have met someone special in your life?”
Post your answer in the comments and I’ll be choosing a winner just before 11AM Eastern Time. Feel free to post any other questions or comments that you may have too. I’ll be here answering questions for another hour.
Here are links to my website and my blog:
If you missed this Release Party contact me through my Contact page on my website. I’m always interested in your comments.
May 16, 2015
Now I have a question for you….
What is your favorite era in American history to read about?
The Wild West? Revolutionary War? Civil War?
I’m a huge American history fan, so I like all the eras because it feels like my history. J
If you don’t know the setting for WRECKED, here is a quick peek at the blurb:
Blurb from WRECKED:
Off the Key West coast, Rief Lawson works as a wrecker, salvaging ships and their cargo. Exiled to the outskirts of society because of his mysterious gift of sight, Rief’s only respite from his loneliness is painting an unknown blond man. When a merchant ship wrecks during a violent storm, Rief rescues a drowning victim and comes face-to-face with his destiny.
It is the man from his art!
Heir to an English barony, Mathew Weston entered the merchant trade with his greedy father and soon-to-be father-in-law. Dominated by his father and smothered by the people around him—including his sweet but tiresome fianceé—Mathew is terrified to follow his true desires. Marriage and obedience seem safer than a life of secrecy and possible prison.
After the daring rescue, a fire ignites between the two men. Powerless to resist his desire, Mathew learns what it means to be a man in Rief’s arms. With this newfound confidence, Mathew teaches Rief through gentle touch that he deserves the affection he’s long been denied. Yet their affair is doomed from the start. Two desperate men, wrecked in heart and mind, must find a way to salvage the chance at love fate has given them.
Now would you like a quick, naughty excerpt? Please leave a comment about what era in American history is your favorite for a romance novel and then check out the naughty excerpt from WRECKED! I mean, if any of you read EASY RYDER or A CUPID’S WAGER, you know that I like to write some steamy stuff!! And don’t forget to enter to win your own copy WRECKED!
EXCERPT for WRECKED:
With a soft moan, Rief clung to him for a moment. Then he rolled over. “Take me again before you go.”
Mathew groaned when that ass brushed against his cock. Already pretty stiff from being so close, his groin throbbed at the sight of such submissive posturing.
Sideling up to him, he brushed Rief’s mussed hair off his face before cupping it possessively and kissing him. An intensity of emotions roared inside him knowing Rief trusted him enough to share his secrets. It made Mathew want to protect Rief’s heart while bringing every pleasure to his body he had ever been denied. He would give anything to this man, anything to make him heal and to prove, more than any drawing, Mathew would give Rief peace. Their time together would surpass any joy Rief experienced while painting him.
He would be immortalized, not on a canvas, but upon Rief’s very soul.
Drawing back, he asked in a pant, “Where is the oil?”
Rief found it and poured some in his hand, passing it to Mathew to coat his cock. He stared, enthralled at the indecent pleasure on Rief’s face as he plunged his own fingers into his ass with expert precision.
“Please,” Rief begged, lying on his side and raising one leg.
Never before had Mathew heard a more rousing word, nor seen such an erotic sight. He’d first believed buggering was something done to a woman or someone less than a man. Perhaps doled out as a punishment.
How foolish he had been!
This morning, he saw everything so differently.
To all outward appearance, Rief was the heartier of the two. Big and masculine. Yet pleading for a cock inside him did not make him less of a man, nor did it render him weak or feminine. His need to release all control, to be vulnerable before Mathew, made him incredibly enticing. Mathew had been living in fear most of his life, but when they were in this bed, he was empowered. Bold and courageous, just as Rief painted him.
There was no greater or lesser between them. Being connected this way made them both whole.
May 6, 2015
The Moments In Time series features a couple in their early 20s and in the course of the three books one of the things they had to do several times was move—from their dorm to their summer residence on Fire Island, from Fire Island to one of the character’s brother’s house because their dorm room wasn’t ready, from the brother’s house to the dorm, from the dorm to an apartment. It’s been many years since my college days and until I wrote this book I’d forgotten how many times I moved house in my late teens and early 20s.
Moving is stressful. Putting your whole life in boxes. Remembering what you packed where. Physically packing, moving and unpacking. Waking up those first few nights exhausted and not entirely sure where you are. I don’t miss that! I’ve lived in my current house in New Hampshire for over a decade and that’s the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere. I don’t miss moving at all!
Now the closest I get to having to pack up a zillion belongings is conference time. Right now I’m packing to attend the RT Convention in Dallas next week. (If any of you are going, please find me and say hello—I love meeting readers in person!)
In addition to the stress that moving puts on Collin and Tanner, several of the places they live in the beginning of MOMENT OF CLARITY are not places where they have any privacy. Collin’s brother has three young children, the friend they crash with has a roommate who’s up till all hours partying—they are both longing for time alone together.
Here’s an excerpt from the time that they’re living with Collin’s brother…
Between classes, my work at Gino’s, Tanner’s shifts at the bookstore, and commuting back and forth to Sean’s house, Tanner and I were busier than we’d ever been. I always knew it was more convenient to live on campus, but I had no idea what a hassle it was to make the added drive daily. By the time we got to Sean’s, had dinner, spent time with the girls, and did some studying, we were exhausted.
I hadn’t touched Tanner for yet another week, and I didn’t think I’d last the day without changing that. Tanner must have felt the same. I’d seen the looks he’d been throwing me, particularly the night before while we were watching a movie together, but I wasn’t about to do anything with Sean and the kids in the house. I didn’t care that the doors locked. It didn’t feel right. And I didn’t trust either of us to be quiet enough. Especially since it had been so long.
Sean handed me the last dirty dish to load into the dishwasher while Tanner put the juice and milk in the fridge.
“I’m gonna run to the grocery store while the kids are at preschool. Any requests?” Sean asked, grabbing his wallet off the counter and shoving it in his pocket.
“If you get a can of crushed tomatoes and some spaghetti, I’ll cook.”
“Thanks. The kids loved that the other night. Anything else?”
I tried to think but couldn’t. All that registered in my brain was that Sean was going out. Tanner and I would be alone in the house. My entire body was totally onboard with this thought.
“I think that’ll do it. Tanner, you need anything?”
Tanner looked up from wiping off the kitchen tables. His pupils were huge. I knew that look. I loved that look. He was thinking the same thing I was. I twitched with anticipation.
“I’m good,” Tanner said, tossing the rag on the counter.
“Okay, then.” Sean headed for the door. “It’s my turn to drive carpool home, so I’ll probably take the kids to Mickey D’s for happy meals. Lock up if you both leave, okay?”
“Sure.” My heart raced as I watched Sean trot down the back porch steps. I held my breath, listening as the car door slammed, the engine revved, and the tires crunched down the gravel driveway.
I turned to look at Tanner, but before I could even focus my eyes, he was on me. Hands on either side of my face, body pressed up against mine, lips prying mine open, tongue—oh, God, I’d missed that tongue—swirling in circles with mine.
Groaning, I grabbed him and tugged him closer. I needed to feel as much of him as possible. All of him. Immediately, if not sooner.
For another chance to win an ebook from me, tell me how many times you’ve moved in your life or the longest you’ve lived in any one place. I’ll announce winners in the comment section of each post at midnight tonight (EDT).
May 1, 2015
Whenever I read a book and the author mentions that the characters are having a meal (or even a snack), I always, always, always want to know what they’re having. If the author just tells me that the characters just had dinner and gives no details, I’m disappointed. “But what did they eat?” I whine, before flinging the book at the wall.
So when I write a story, I never leave out that important detail. Why? Because what we eat matters. Eating and loving are probably two of the most significant, life-affirming, and joyous activities we can engage in as human beings.
So why on earth wouldn’t you want to know what our couple-about-to-fall-in-love had to eat on their first date?
In my latest, Dinner at Fiorello’s, it’s all about passion—whether that passion is for cooking, for eating, or for someone else, it’s the kind of universal stuff we can all identify with. In the book, I meld my main character, Henry’s, passion for food with him falling in love for the first time.
Through the lens of food and wanting to do something meaningful with his life, he discovers his first real, true love—Vito, the quiet chef with a secret who works at Fiorello’s. Henry aspires to being a chef just like Vito, yet he also comes to fall in love with him. But while he’s falling in love with Vito’s technique in the kitchen and the magical food he makes, Henry is also falling in love with the man. They’re inextricably linked.
There’s a certain alchemy that goes on when one makes good food. It becomes more than the sum of its parts. The same is true of two people in love. That’s what I tried to bring together in my new book. I hope that, just like when you take a bite of something delicious and you sigh and have the instinctive reaction of joy, you’ll have the same experience when you read about Henry and Vito’s torturous but ultimately rewarding path to love. Because, whether you’re cooking or falling in love (or even writing a book), to do it well, you have to do it with your heart.
In closing, I’d like to share with you a little taste from Dinner at Fiorello’s, this taken from when Henry interviews for his job working in the kitchen of Fiorello’s. You can see even at the tender age of eighteen, Henry Appleby understands what makes food—and love—good (here he talks about his family’s housekeeper and cook, Maxine):
“Well, she sees it as more than a means to an end, which is why I love her so much. She sees food as something that isn’t just about filling your belly, but filling your heart. She didn’t just feed me growing up, she nurtured me. She showed me that making food for someone can be a way of showing them you love them.” He looked at Rosalie, trying to make sure she was taking in, understanding what he was saying. “When I understood that, I knew that food can actually be a very powerful thing. I don’t know if I knew it right away on a conscious level, but I knew it. When I was about ten, I began asking her if I could help her make meals. My parents didn’t know what had gotten into me. My father said that I shouldn’t be helping her, because that’s what he paid her for. But I wanted to learn what she did to make her food not only good, but good for the soul.”
Henry Appleby has an appetite for life. As a recent high school graduate and the son of a wealthy family in one of Chicago’s affluent North Shore suburbs, his life is laid out for him. Unfortunately, though, he’s being forced to follow in the footsteps of his successful attorney father instead of living his dream of being a chef. When an opportunity comes his way to work in a real kitchen the summer after graduation, at a little Italian joint called Fiorello’s, Henry jumps at the chance, putting his future in jeopardy.
Years ago, life was a plentiful buffet for Vito Carelli. But a tragic turn of events now keeps the young chef at Fiorello’s quiet and secretive, preferring to let his amazing Italian peasant cuisine do his talking. When the two cooks meet over an open flame, sparks fly. Both need a taste of something more—something real, something true—to separate the good from the bad and find the love—and the hope—that just might be their salvation.
Share your most romantic meal, either eating or being served, in the comments below for a chance to win an ebook copy of my other romance that revolves around food, Dinner at Home!
Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). Raining Men and Caregiver have both won the Rainbow Award for gay fiction. Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”
Dreamspinner ebook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6333
Dreamspinner paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6334
Amazon (to come)
AllRomance Ebooks (to come)
April 22, 2015
A spicy taste!
Then he felt it. Donovan’s hand slowly slid up his thigh to his waist. Donovan rose above him. He could hear the audience murmuring as he was slowly stripped before their very eyes. He could hear Jasmine with her pretend moans,
and Henry with his loud growls as the two mimicked sex. Yet his attention was focused on the hands roaming over his naked flesh.
As Donovan kissed his way down Arik’s chest, Arik arched in pleasure. His moan was real. He couldn’t have stopped it, even though he’d wanted to. Arik didn’t want Donovan to know how much his touch affected him. Yet there
was no hiding his reaction. Then he was being rolled onto his stomach. He closed his eyes as Donovan covered him. The upper halves of their bodies were clear of the bower foliage. They rocked together, mimicking an act they had done one incredible night. Arik couldn’t stop himself from wishing Donovan would actually slide inside him. He couldn’t help but want Donovan to take him to that place again.
“Why does this seem so familiar?” Donovan whispered quietly in Arik’s ear as he rocked against him in a feigned dance of love.
“We’ve only been rehearsing it for weeks,” Arik panted as he dropped his head to his forearms.
“Then why do I know exactly what you’d feel like if I took you right now?” he demanded. “How do I know that if I bite you right here, you’ll scream with pleasure?”
April 18, 2015
Hi! I thought everyone might want another small peek into the book.
I don’t know why I was so nervous about Duncan meeting Xavier. I mean, I know why I was, but Duncan seems to like him a lot. Hell, he seems to like him better than half our friends from our pagan group, and we’ve been friends with those people for years. And we promised Ger and Linda we’d help them move tomorrow. Ugh. Damn it. I probably shouldn’t actually drink too much tonight.
“So, Duke, what do you think?” I ask, sliding my arms around my boyfriend. He’s warm and fits comfortably in my arms. I can bitch all I want that he won’t go running with me, but I love the way he feels when I’m pressed against his back. He’s the perfect height to be the inside spoon. He’s busy mixing something in a bowl already. I have no idea how he gets things together so fast.
“He’s great! He seems a bit off, but most of the best people are. I vote yes for new friend.” He looks over his shoulder at me before going back to what he was doing.
“Yeah.” I kiss his neck and run my lips along his cheek. He’s so warm and comfortable. Having him in my arms is always grounding for me. I give him an extrahard squeeze and realize we haven’t actually had any sexy alone time together all week.
“And he’s easy on the eyes too,” he says on a laugh, moving out of my arms to the fridge for something.
“I know.” I stand there peeking into the bowl and it looks like gloop to me. If I didn’t know to have absolute faith in his abilities, I would be worried. I look up and he’s watching me. I can see the speculation there. My gut twists with guilt. Glasses. Wine. I came in here for booze. I move to the red wine on the counter and meticulously peel the foil away from the cork. I screw the simple pull corkscrew in and hold my breath.
“He reminds me a bit of you, actually. I think you guys could be really close,” Duncan says quietly while I struggle with the cork. The merlot hates me, I decide, giving the cork one more vicious yank. It pops and I spill some on the counter.
“Damn it. Yeah, me too,” I reply quickly, trying to mop up the wine and keep it from running onto the floor.
“We need more people like that in our life.” He’s quiet and serious. I turn to look at him, but he’s busy and I have wine dripping down my hand off the sopping-wet dish towel. I dash to the sink and rinse the cloth out.
“Yeah. I thought so too.” I pour three glasses and leave one next to Duncan on the counter near his work. He proceeds to douse the counter with flour and a white cloud puffs up around him. I back away and pick up the other two glasses.
“I’ll yell when I want some help. I’m going to get everything working first. You two do the salad?” He doesn’t stop to look at me, kneading dough and doing his version of dancing along to the radio. It mostly involves moving his shoulders around to the beat.
“Okay.” I nod even though he can’t see me.
“Give me a few minutes. Go chat. Maybe we can watch a movie after dinner?”
“I’ll ask him what he thinks about that. I love you.” I hesitate. My guilt is demanding that I should go back and kiss and grovel for even eyeing up the demigod in our living room, and more importantly, having the audacity to bring him here to eat Duncan’s food.
“I know. I love you too,” he answers with a smile. I’m almost into the dining room when he calls my name.
“Yeah?” I answer and move back to stand near him. He tosses the dough out onto the floured counter and begins to divide it up into smaller portions.
“I’m not going to be angry about it, just so you know.” I hold my breath and he stares through me in that annoying way he’s been able to pull off since we first met.
“About what?” Should I play dumb and hope for the best? What does he think he knows?
He doesn’t answer, just keeps giving me “the look” and a half smile.
“I don’t know what you’re….” I fumble my words and can’t get my tongue to work properly.
“I love you, and that isn’t changing.” He stops looking at me and goes back to his work, hands moving almost in a blur as he massages the dough out into a long length. My eyes are stuck for a moment, but my feet know enough to back away toward the living room.
“I’m not… I haven’t… I wouldn’t….” But I want to. I wouldn’t, but I want to. I swallow. Are we about to have a huge fight? We don’t have them often, but I don’t want one now.
How close am I to fucking up the only relationship I’ve ever wanted? Before now.
March 27, 2015
You can find “The Serpent and the Angel” here! http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6201
For those late comers, I’m promoting the 9th book in my The Shifters series. You can find the rest of the series here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/md-grimm
I suggest reading them in order from book 1 since they do depend on each other, but if you read them out of order you’ll still get the gist.
The inspiration for this story actually came from a blog prompt I did a couple of years ago. I wanted a strange couple pairing and wrote a cute little story. It’s nothing like the finished product, but I enjoyed the concept so much, I kept it.
What to read it? Here it is: (EXPLICIT)
It was typical. There he was, winding his way through the sand, slithering around rocks, looking for some tasty rodents, and a fucking eagle thought he would be the tasty one. Serp saw the shadow above him and didn’t think much of it until the shadow got bigger. Serp slithered quickly over the ground, trying to find a good nook to hide in. But the eagle was quicker.
Serp felt claws pierce his skin and he was suddenly lifted from the ground. Knowing he had no choice, unless he wanted to be eaten, Serp shifted.
He was slow at it, he didn’t spend his time as human much. It was too complicated. Snakes were easy and he loved being a rattler. But not when he was about to be disemboweled by a hungry eagle.
Serp managed to shift and that had the predictable effect of the eagle dropping him to the ground. Serp grunted as he smashed to the ground and rolled over the rocks and weeds. Serp groaned and managed to roll to his knees. He had expected that.
But he hadn’t expected the eagle to fall from the sky with him. Seems he shocked the eagle enough the proud bird lost air and crashed beside him. But what Serp really didn’t expect was for the bird to hop to its feet, stare at him with eerie intelligence, then shift.
Into a human.
Serp felt his jaw drop. A golden-haired, hazel-eyed, regal angel was standing in front of him. His skin was gold as well.
For himself, Serp felt skinnier than usual. His hair was brown, his skin was pale. He wasn’t the most attractive man ever. But from the way the eagle shifter was looking at him, Serp felt like a god. Serp had never met another shifter before. But he knew there were more.
The man smiled. “I knew you were a shifter. You didn’t smell like a rattlesnake. Not completely, at least.”
Serp didn’t know what to say. “So, what were you trying to do? Eat me or…”
The angel’s grin grew bigger. “Oh, I was certainly wanting to eat you.”
The angel leapt and shoved Serp on the ground on his back. The angel straddled him and licked his pink lips. Serp felt his little-used dick grow hard. He wasn’t a virgin but he wasn’t a stud either.
“Wha-what is your name?” Serp managed to ask.
“Don’t have one.” the angel on top of him said. His lips drifted over Serp’s neck and rose up to his chin, nibbling at the skin.
“I’m Serp. As in serpent.”
The angel pulled back and grinned. “I like it.” then he kissed Serp. Heat shot through Serp’s body and he no longer felt the rough and rocky ground beneath him. He didn’t feel the hot sun beating down on his skin. All he felt was Angel’s warm and willing body and he decided to only focus on that.
Serp’s hands slid along Angel’s back and his mouth worked energetically against Angel’s. Angel groaned and pressed harder into him. Serp’s hands had a mind of their own as they slid between Angel’s legs and wrapped around his cock. Angel groaned and pulled away slightly.
“You are so sexy,” Angel said, his voice deep and rough. Angel nipped Serp’s lips.
“No, you are.” Serp grunted when Angel cupped his balls.
“I always did like eating snakes,” Angel said with a sly grin that made Serp’s heart jump in his chest.
In a flash, Angel moved lower along Serp’s body and slipped Serp’s entire cock into his mouth. Serp’s body bowed and he gasped in shock. It was so sudden, and rough. Angel’s mouth was heavenly as it sucked and that tongue slid over the tip. Angel squeezed his balls and Serp gripped Angel’s hair, the smooth locks sliding between his fingers.
It was quick and satisfying. And incredibly hot. Serp came with a groan and Angel groaned and swallowed. Angel moved up Serp’s body and flicked his tongue over Serp’s nipple.
“My turn,” Angel said.
“Oh, yeah,” Serp gripped Angel’s long and beautiful cock and stroked. Angel’s eyes never left Serp’s face and his pupils were dilated to an extent that the hazel irises could barely be seen. His face was flushed and Serp couldn’t resist a kiss. Angel gripped his face and kissed him hard. Serp stroked Angel harder and faster and relished in the groan and the wetness that covered his hand when Angel came.
They both lay back on the ground, panting.
“We’re not done, Angel.” Serp said, still wanting more.
The eagle shifter turned his head to look at Serp. Surprise was on his face but then a warm, appreciative smile spread across it.
“Angel. I like it. No one has ever cared enough to give me a name.”
Serp rolled on top of Angel and knew that his isolated life was about to change.
“I care. And I’m yours if you’ll have me.”
Angel wrapped strong arms around Serp and nuzzled his neck. “A serpent and an angel. Perfect.”
Silly, I know, but it was fun, and Tobias and Angel came out of it.
It’s a trick sometimes to balance the “human” side with the “animal” side of a shape-shifter. I have to decide early on how much one side influences the other. I don’t want to do the same thing every time; I want to keep each story fresh and engaging. That’s why I made Tobias cold like his snake, and Angel was actually more easy-going and “talks” to his eagle a lot. He describes them as a team. But because Tobias is odd comparatively, I wanted the snake to influence his personality more, and not always in the best way.
What odd shifter would you like to see in a story? A cuttlefish, a unicorn, a parrot…?
March 21, 2015
THEY WALKED out after all the guests who weren’t staying left, Jackie leading him by the hand through an oak-covered trail with moonlight shining toward them from the open sky of the river.
They settled in, opened their bottle of wine, and shared it along with good-natured silence, quiet words from time to time, and a loose embrace. Brian’s arm and larger form sheltered Jackie from a cool breeze off the river, and it added up to more than a friendly hug, but less than sex.
With about two-thirds of the wine gone, Brian set it aside and stood, then reached a hand down to help Jackie to his feet. He was about to suggest they walk back to the house before the family feared they’d fallen in, but facing Jackie he saw a look in his eyes he couldn’t quite interpret. He seemed neither to plead nor demand, not even to expect, but something in his direct gaze, his slightly open lips, the tilt of his head—they added up to a question, and though Brian’s mind didn’t seem to know the language, his lips and body did.
He leaned in and grazed his lips across Jackie’s once, twice. When he straightened, he saw Jackie’s eyes narrowed slightly, his breath rushed out quickly and caught, his fingers fidgeted against his palms—all signs of distress. He took a half step back, not letting go of Jackie’s eyes, and held both his hands out between them, palm up.
“Give me your hands,” he said.
Jackie placed elegant fingers in Brian’s broad, strong palms, and when Brian closed them in a tight grip, the younger man’s entire being seemed to relax. Brian pulled Jackie’s hands toward him and around his back, holding them there as he stepped forward until there was no space between them at all.
“Okay?” Brian asked, then nodded when Jackie murmured “yes” in response. This time, when Brian’s lips met Jackie’s, the kiss held all the passion he’d been waiting to express all these months.
After some time he took a moment to breathe and enjoy the feel of Jackie’s hot breath on his neck. He pulled his head back enough to catch Jackie’s eye, said, “Your turn, love,” and flattened Jackie’s palms against his back so he could use his arms to pull their bodies hard up against each other, never releasing his gaze.
Jackie’s gray eyes flared in the moonlight, and Jackie tilted his head back and caught Brian’s lips in a hot, sliding, toothy kiss, then sucked hard until Brian’s tongue filled his mouth. Brian took the kiss back then, exploring Jackie’s sweet, wide mouth, scraping his canines against the tender flesh inside Jackie’s mouth. He spread his legs wide to put their eyes on a level, and at the same time squeezed the taut globes of Jackie’s ass and pulled him in to grind their erections together.
Jackie moaned and broke the kiss—clearly needing breath—and Brian laid breathy claim to his ear, neck, and shoulder, tonguing along the grooves, biting and sucking bits of vulnerable flesh. Jackie continued what Brian started, holding Brian still but pulling at him and circling and swaying his pelvis for friction.
In Jackie’s ear, Brian said, “Hey, love. We’re not sleeping together tonight, right?”
Jackie shivered and said, “I don’t think we should.”
“Okay,” Brian answered. “I understand that. But then we should either stop this now, or see this beautiful thing through out here.”
Jackie laughed, a throatier sound than Brian expected—and so sexy. “Well…,” Jackie said, but he didn’t finish the sentence.
“What do you want to do, Jackie?”
“Brian, I… I don’t want to stop.”
“Me either, babe. I don’t want to stop.” Brian renewed the kiss then, slowly, but with a new intensity.
He pulled Jackie’s T-shirt up and stepped back. “Put your arms up,” he said, and when Jackie did, he pulled the shirt over his head, leaving Jackie’s well-formed, small but shaped chest, abdomen and shoulders bare. Brian just looked. “Oh, love. You’re gorgeous,” Brian said. “Perfect.” He knew Jackie’s body was one he could be happy with for a long, long time, but he kept that to himself.
Jackie’s stance seemed a mix of boldly daring and shyly hoping for approval, which Brian freely gave. Then he said, “The rest, Jackie. Strip. Fast, slow, graceful, funny, I don’t care how, just do it. Now.”
Jackie’s movements were graceful, seemingly without effort, and when he was done he knelt slowly in front of Brian, seeming to find some sort of longed-for satisfaction in the submissive position, head bowed, and hands holding opposite elbows behind his back.
“So lovely, Jackie. So fine,” Brian said, finding his mouth dry and his breath scarce. “Look up at me, now.” Jackie did as asked, and Brian stripped his own shirt away, then squatted down in front of Jackie and lifted him slightly to pad the rock under Jackie’s spread knees with their shirts.
“I need your hands, now, Jackie. I want you to help me with the rest of my clothes.” Jackie did, and when he finished, he stayed up on his knees, licking his lips and taking in big draughts of the scent of Brian’s sex.
“You want something, love,” Brian said—not a question. “Tell me.”
“Taste, Brian, Sir. I want to taste you.”
“Yes. Oh yes, do that. Use your hands, too.”
Jackie fell to his task with both vigor and skill, hands and tongue moving over Brian’s sensitive cock, balls, and taint, moving apart and together as if they were dancing. Brian was tempted to ask where he’d developed so much skill, but it felt far too good to interrupt. In no time at all, Brian had gotten so hard he would have sworn he was at least an inch longer and bigger around than ever before. He found himself having to try not to explode, wanting to keep the sublime feeling of almost heaven as long as he could. “So good,” he said, “so fucking good!”
Jackie moaned and gyrated his hips against air, and Brian nearly died of wanting to see and touch the beautiful man everywhere. After only seconds more, he took hold of Jackie’s head and pulled back, Jackie’s tongue trying in vain to follow.
“Look at me, love,” Brian panted, and tilted Jackie’s head back gently but firmly. When he gazed full on Jackie’s face, his red, swollen lips and sex-glazed eyes, he silently swore it was the most beautiful sight he’d ever seen. “Up,” he said and helped the smaller man stand. He kissed him hard and full, pressing their bodies together once more and enjoying the muted groans and gasps coming from Jackie’s throat.
Then he turned Jackie in his arms and ran his hands over his chest and abdomen, then back up to pinch and redden Jackie’s small dark nipples, which were charmingly surrounded by a very few short dark hairs and a splatter of rusty freckles. Jackie’s hands seemed nervous again.
“Something I would like you to do for me, Jackie.”
“Touch yourself. Stroke yourself, like you did the night you were alone—what you told me in your e-mail.” As he spoke he took Jackie’s hands in his and moved them toward the goal.
Jackie cried out wordlessly, not too loud, and he shook slightly when his fingers first touched his cock. He didn’t grasp the shaft, but squirmed in Brian’s hold until Brian said, “Hush now, love. Stroke yourself, please yourself.” Jackie’s submissive nature had certainly shown itself, and it tugged at the Dom in Brian like blood to a vampire. With effort, he held himself in check, mindful that this wasn’t a session. No safewords or prior agreements had been put in place, so he moderated his instructions with a question. “Will you do it, Jackie? It will please me too. So much.”
“Yes,” Jackie whispered, “yes, Sir,” and he followed suit with his hands, putting their skills to work on his slender, upward curved cock.
Brian watched, let his words tickle against Jackie’s ear. “Oh God, Jackie, baby! Just when I thought you couldn’t get any more beautiful.
Jackie’s breath shook. He moaned. His hands working faster and rougher, he said, “Brian!”
Brian spun him around, took Jackie’s two hands into one of his own and lifted them overhead. All in the space of a quick second, he took both their hard, straining cocks in his other hand and began stroking them together.
Jackie gasped, nearly choked out Brian’s name again, and started to cry out. Brian took Jackie’s mouth with his own, turning that sound to a deep moan, feeling it in his chest, where his heart pounded, and all the way down to his tightening balls.
Jackie came, warm seed gushing over Brian’s hand, cock, and belly, and sending him over into his own climax, sharing bliss for the first time with the man he thought he might never get enough of.
His legs a bit shaky themselves, Brian nevertheless held Jackie up, supporting him against his body, kissing his silky hair, stroking his back. When Jackie recovered and pushed away far enough to tilt his head back and offer a kiss, Brian gladly accepted it. Then they both smiled, eyes locked.
Jackie made a slightly comical face and said, “Oh my!”
Brian laughed and swatted Jackie’s ass playfully, making the young man jump and laugh. Then Jackie pulled away and without warning jumped into the dark pool near the riverbank.
Jackie popped up to the surface and slicked water off his face and hair. “I dare you,” he said to a very surprised Brian.
Brian let his delight in the younger man shine, laughed out loud, and jumped in too.