September 15, 2014
In A Matter of When, lead singer Henri suffers a meltdown in which he fears joining the “Twenty-seven Club, after which he must rebuild his life:
THE ENCORE, the reporter gauntlet, the picture taking and autograph signing went by in a blur. Then Henri took the limo ride from hell.
“What’s got into you tonight, Henri? You seem a little down. Or should I be asking, ‘What hasn’t gotten into you?’” Ricky snickered. “Oh, maybe you want to go down.”
“Did you notice that big-titted chick down front?” Giles chimed in. “Oh, wait, of course you didn’t.” He lowered his voice so only Henri could hear. “You would if she had a dick.” He paused long enough to suck up a line of coke off a tray he’d found in the limo’s bar.
Fucking assholes. Thank God their manager wasn’t here. Henri could better handle their homophobic slurs than their kissing up to Marguerite and laughing behind his back when she treated Henri like a four-year-old. Lord knew she babied her moneymaker, even if her hovering did cock block him. He had to play the straight boy for the fans.
“Fuck off,” he told his band. Hell, at least they hadn’t invited groupies along for the ride this time. The last thing he needed was Giles pounding into some half-naked woman right next to him.
But if they dared use the n-word, by God, he’d have to kill somebody.
He stared out the window. Buildings seemed to merge together as the limo whizzed by, their features further blurred by darkness and window tint. The car slowed to a stop at a red light. What if he simply jumped out and ran? Never stopped running, never looked back? Found a place to hide where no one could ever find him?
Oh yeah. Think of all the people depending on you, he heard in his manager’s voice. Stop being selfish. One cancelled show cuts into a lot of paychecks. Roadies, vendors, the band…. Not to mention herself.
He squeezed his eyes shut. A hamster on a wheel. A damned moneymaking hamster. No one gave a shit about him, just the money. One more concert, one more town. C’mon, Henri, get up on that stage. Think of your fans, Henri. Think of your family, Henri. Think of the band, Henri.
The next time the car stopped, the band crawled out into chaos. More fans, more grasping hands. A security guard guided him into the hotel, through a crowded atrium, and into a private, invitation-only party. At least his tormenters scattered, finding better amusements than “bash the closeted lead singer.”
In the background, Henri’s recorded voice wailed through the playback of tonight’s show, jacked up high to compete with the revelry of a crowded club. Wasn’t anyone tired of hearing him yet? “Great show, man,” a fan gushed, pumping his hand and grinning into his face.
“If you say so,” he replied once they’d left.
His bandmates took full advantage of their A-list reputations, Ricky throwing a quick wave to the crowd before departing, a blonde clinging to his arm. Giles tossed back his and someone else’s share of drinks from the open bar, occasionally rubbing his nose. Yeah, probably pretty damned numb by now. Vince held court at one end of the room, yet Henri, trained singing automaton, kept to the shadows. Maybe folks would forget him, letting him quietly sneak away. Margo, no, “Marguerite” trained eagle eyes on him. The rest of the band was free to do as they pleased, but the lead singer, the star in her eyes, had damned well better stay until she said otherwise, for once he left, the party would end, as would her evening’s networking.
“Buy you a drink?”
Henri spun around. A handsome man offered a glass. “No, thanks.” The pounding behind his eyes didn’t need any alcohol-fueled assistance to split his brain in two, and his anxiety meds hadn’t kicked in. The driving music and gyrating bodies surrounding him certainly didn’t help. After parties sucked, big-time.
“Aww… c’mon. Have a drink with me.”
A beguiling smile lured him in. Normally, he’d arrange a discreet meeting later in his hotel room, but something about the fan’s creepy smile said, Leave this one alone. He had “I kiss and tell” written all over him. Henri didn’t need another leaked sex tape. It had taken a lot of spin-doctoring and a look-alike claiming responsibility—for a price—to clean up the mess the last time he’d chosen the wrong bed partner.
He gave what he hoped passed for an apologetic smile. “No, really. I can’t.” Where was his manager when he needed her to chase off the undesirables who couldn’t forward his career, or at least dispel the latest bout of gay rumors?
Tall, Dark, and Won’t Leave replied, “I came all the way from New Jersey to see you. The least you can do is drink with me.”
All the way from New Jersey? Where the hell were they now? Oh. Right. Anaheim. Or was Anaheim last night? They were still in California, weren’t they?
Liquid swirled in a glass a few inches from Henri’s nose. “It’s your favorite,” the guy crooned. “Jack and Ginger.”
Oh, how Henri regretted letting slip such a factoid in an interview—about five years ago, when he actually had liked Jack and Ginger. Hell, to get rid of the moron, he’d pay any price at this point, then go back to his brooding. Floor-to-ceiling windows afforded a breathtaking view of the city—whatever its name was—his scowling manager reflected in the dark glass. Would everyone go the fuck away and leave him alone? If she wouldn’t come run this asshole off, Henri would do it himself. “Fine!” He grabbed the glass and swallowed half the contents. Anything to get this fuckwad gone.
The guy’s grin widened. “I’m your biggest fan.”
I bet you say that to all the rockers.
“You have millions of fans, but no one understands you like I do.”
Where had Henri heard that before? Oh yeah, Sacramento, LA, Portland, Seattle…. Name a town and someone there had spoken those same words.
His manager approached. Finally! “Henri, this is Lisa. Lisa, Henri.” Marguerite pushed a buxom brunette his way. “Lisa here is your biggest fan.”
Henri read between the lines: You need to be seen with a woman if you ever hope to dispel those nasty rumors. No way to dispel the truth, though.
The woman was pretty, but her maniacal grin didn’t bode well for protecting Henri’s privacy either. She could be the sister of the admirer he was currently attempting to fend off.
“Go away, bitch. I got here first,” the would-be suitor snarled. Okay, no relation, or possibly a highly dysfunctional, competitive sibling rivalry.
The woman snapped an angry retort. Marguerite waded into the fray. Henri beat a hasty retreat. Damn but his head pounded double-time now. The world fuzzed around the edges of his vision, and whatever he’d eaten before the show threatened to reappear.
Bodies blocked his way, but he lowered his head and soldiered on. Puking in front of two hundred witnesses wouldn’t win him any support from his manager. Hell, he couldn’t fucking belch without making headlines.
“Sir, are you okay?”
Henri glanced up at a broad chest, the word “Security” stamped across a tightly stretched T-shirt. No use lying. “I don’t feel too good.” Nice, broad arms. The guy who’d broken his fall earlier. I owe him a car or his own island or something.
“Would you like me to escort you to your room?” Nothing sinister or even suggestive peeked out of the man’s eyes. Just concern. Henri hadn’t gotten concern from anyone in a long time. Too tired to come up with a smartassed retort, he merely nodded. Maybe he could fall again and earn himself another inadvertent cuddle.
The security guard tapped his earpiece, spoke a few garbled words, and wrapped a hand around Henri’s biceps. “Not now, please,” the man said to anyone who stepped into their path. He hustled Henri to the exit.
Henri’s chest filled with lead. Why the fuck couldn’t he breathe? Too many people. The air cleared a bit near the elevator. His knees buckled. What the fuck? “I’m not drunk, I swear.” He grabbed at the wall and missed.
The guard steadied him. “I’m not judging, but maybe you’d better let me hold your drink.”
What? Henri was still holding the damned thing?
Without realizing quite how he got there, Henri leaned back against elevator walls. The coolness felt good against his skin. “Room 1216.” It was 1216, wasn’t it? Or 1218?
“May I have your key, sir?” The guard released Henri’s arm and held out his hand.
Shuffling, being pulled, the snick of the key in the door, followed by the sweet relief of his room. Hey! Room 1216! Got it in one.
Standing by the window of his penthouse suite, Henri stared out at the night. A string of red taillights marked a mass exodus from the arena down the block. His stomach rolled. Did anyone at the party downstairs miss him yet? Thank God his manager wasn’t hovering over him like some overzealous fruit fly claiming dibs on a piece of rotted apple. Henri snorted. My, how well the description fit him. Something within had died long ago, leaving emptiness within.
He took his glass from the guard, raised it in silent toast to his reflection, and tossed back a mouthful, a bitter brew to kill his pain. Haunted eyes blinked back at him. Tired, so tired. Concerts wiped his energy, and every song came from his heart, taking a piece of him that never regrew. A shriveled prune of a thing, his soul must be now. He needed his pills. The ones the doctor prescribed for emergencies. He hadn’t already taken one yet, had he? His head pounded.
He fumbled his way to the stereo and pushed the play button. Trent Reznor moaned about hurt. “I know exactly what you mean, man.”
“Would you like me to stay?” Arms folded across a well-formed chest. Bulging biceps. Blond buzz cut. Huh? Oh, yeah. Security guard. Asking to stay. But no invitation lurked in his eyes. Mild alarm, maybe.
“Would you? I mean, for a little while?” Henri staggered away, the need to sleep bearing down on him, an oppressive hand forcing him toward the turned-down bed. Slowly he peeled his T-shirt off, wincing at the stench of sweat. Maybe he should have taken a shower first. Too late now.
The guard’s eyes widened, likely taking in the skinny torso and the ink decorating what many viewed as a rock god. Henri was merely himself. If only this man didn’t know who he was and saw Henry, not Henri, the product of an imaginative manager. Ah, I’ve grown maudlin in my old age. Old at twenty-seven. Ancient.
An idea crawled to the surface of his muddled thoughts. “Sleep with me.” Had Henri actually spoken those words out loud?
“Fraternization with clients goes against policy. Besides, I’m straight.” No anger. Just business as usual. How many rock gods had propositioned the man?
Henri giggled. “So am I, if you ask my manager. No, I don’t want sex.” He didn’t. Really. “Hold me.”
“You want me to hold you?”
“I feel swimmy-headed. Need an anchor.” Nice line. He should use it again for something. Oh yeah. Maybe put it in a song.
“I could lose my job.”
“No, you can’t. I’m the boss, no matter what my manager says.”
The crisp sheets felt cool against his heated flesh, and if his bedmate noticed his slightly sweat-ripe scent, he gave no clue. The fully clothed guard arranged himself beside Henri, the image of adorable confusion when Henri didn’t attack. Henri had been fucked enough for the time being, and fucked over once too often. Tonight he’d lie in the arms of a stranger, Henri Lafontaine, a publicist’s creation. Tomorrow, he’d take his fucking life back, gold record be damned.
He cuddled into the stranger’s too-limp embrace. “Once I’m out, you can go.”
“You really don’t look too good. Is there someone I should call?”
Henri barked a humorless laugh. “No one gives a shit. Trust me.”
The man grabbed Henri’s wrist and raised his other arm to his face to better see his watch.
“What are you, a doctor?”
“I’m studying nursing. And your pulse is slow. Your breathing is shallow too. I think I should call somebody.”
“No, really. I’m fine.” Henri snuggled more firmly into his human pillow. Hell, physical contact was physical contact. He would take what he could get.
Something loosened in his chest, and he closed his eyes, imagining a lover’s attention, someone who cared about Henry the man, and not Henri, the rich rock star. He conjured up his own bedtime story: they’d met at a party, fallen in love, shared a house, a life. They’d gone out to dinner, made love, and were now settling in for the night. In the morning they’d…. Well, there wouldn’t be a morning for him and Nameless Guy, would there? Nameless Guy would be gone; Henri would wake alone, like he did every morning, even those mornings when he woke to find his bed filled to capacity with naked bodies.
A tear slipped beneath his eyelid, blazing a hot trail down his cheek. The aching inside flared anew, his heart bursting into a million crystalline shards.
The guard lay stiffly on the bed and wrapped an arm around Henri. Fingers stroked his forehead, brushing hair out of his face. Well, he’d be damned. One lucky woman had landed this guy.
But holy hell was it hot in here or what? His stomach rolled. Oh shit. How much had he drunk again? He glanced around the room. Where the hell was he? On the third try he managed to hoist himself out of bed. Where was the bathroom?
“Sir, are you all right?” came from behind him.
Sir? Who the fuck had he brought home? Henri’s stomach lurched again. Why wouldn’t his damned legs hold him? “Oh fuck!” The floor rose up to meet him.
After a really horrible night, Henri retreats to the Colorado Rockies to regroup, and place I adore. If you could go anywhere in the world to relax, where would you choose?
September 15, 2014
Although A Matter of When centers around a lead singer’s search to redefine himself and his music, there are a few scenes that embrace his performance onstage. Like this excerpt from the first chapter:
“I’VE GOT a date with a bullet, got a date with a gun….”
Every word ripped out of Henri Lafontaine, taking pieces of his soul. He pleaded with the audience, tuning out the pinch of tight leather against his knees, and knelt on the edge of the stage. Pain meant he lived, he breathed, he felt.
“No matter what I do, one day it’s gonna come.”
Frenzied fans reached for him, too far away to ease his cloying loneliness. A vise gripped Henri’s innards—more than sweat poured from him with the fatalistic lyrics. One misstep, one leap from the stage, one dive into the pit of sycophants, and the arms reaching for him, the clutching, grasping hands, would hold him close. But not close enough to melt the numbness inside.
“You say that you love me, but you only speak in lies.”
He raised his voice, keeping the tempo pounded out by the quartet of musicians behind him. Not the kind of folks he wanted at his back. Hookers and Cocaine. A stellar name for a group. Most of the members lived up to the title.
“But I do love you, Henri! I do! I do!” A young woman with a tomato-red faux hawk shoved her way closer. Henri beckoned. Security would rip him a new one for violating protocol. Oh well, better to ask forgiveness than permission.
He crammed his whole heart and soul into belting out:
“Put me down every minute, and I gotta say good-bye.”
Images of his manager, his bandmates, critics, and certain members of his entourage flashed behind his closed eyelids. Pressure built in the back of his throat, sending his voice out wavering. Dampness trailed down his cheeks, accompanying a desperate plea for help, which the masses likely understood as merely the lyrics to a top-forty hit.
Aching, longing, isolation, fear—his constant companions.
He panted for a moment, letting the guitar solo wash over him, and swept a sweaty curtain of ebony out of his eyes with one hand. Damn but Ricky played like a maniac. Too bad about the “unmitigated asshole” thing. The guitar for hire coaxing ethereal melodies from a six-string bordered on miraculous, but could be better if he played from the heart and not for the money, the groupies, and the fame. Ditto the drummer, Giles, whose cocaine habit stifled true talent, and doubly so for Vince on the keyboards, “reducing his art” for the paycheck, when he’d bragged often enough of contemporary rock and roll lying far beneath his master’s degree in music.
While the rest of the band wanted the trappings of rock stardom, Henri wanted one more breath. One more inhale, one more exhale. And a little less pain.
A bass beat throbbed, charmed to life by a traitor who’d sold out his brothers to a tabloid. Tomorrow’s headlines would rip the band apart—if they managed to last until dawn. Serpents. He’d surrounded himself with serpents. Or rather, his manager had, someone else with dollar signs in her eyes, blinding her to the golden goose’s swan song.
The fan fought her way forward through a sea of writhing bodies, and Henri extended his hand, signaling “come hither” with wriggling fingers, animating the image etched on his wrist. Fanciful creatures entwined with ivy trailed up his arm, disappearing under his T-shirt sleeve. Before the girl answered the call, the mob closed in, grabbing, clinging, tugging Henri half off the stage. The world turned upside down. He hung over the platform’s edge. Oh shit! He grabbed at an amp and missed. Falling, falling.
“I’ve got you.” Arms around him, but not in the way he needed. A scowling security guard clamped on tight. Great. Just what he needed.
As though he’d not been denied his greatest wish of human contact, Henri started in on the chorus while the guard shoved him back on stage.
“’Cause I’ve got a date with a bullet, got a date with a gun.”
Rising to his feet, head bowed, he cried out for rescue, from thousands who heard the words but not the message.
“And every day that I stay with you, the closer that day comes….”
The band wound down, the drummer dropping back, the bass and keyboards quieting. The lead guitar softened to allow Henri to deliver the final words in what passed for a whisper during a live show.
“It’s just a matter of when.”
While Henri sings, his heart is breaking. What one song can bring you to tears every time, and why?
September 4, 2014
…Aaaand I’m back. Missed me, huh? This is Liv Olteano, spamificating you all *mwahaha*
Today we’re talking about A Tooth for a Fang, my first novel out with DSP just yesterday
Three days. Three dead bodies. One newly turned, broken-hearted lycan tracker to figure out the connection.
The one summer Rick Barton takes a vacation, all hell breaks loose. Running from an abusive relationship leads him into the arms of hard-nosed lycan Travis Chandler, who gives him little choice but to become a lycan too and join the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation. Out of options, Rick joins the weird organization, expecting some two weeks of training and an adjustment period. Tough luck, he doesn’t get either. On his first day, his new partner offers to promote him to field agent if they get mated—less time wasted on training, more time on the field, and considering Rick is the only tracker the Bureau has on hand when a wave of strange murders hits the community, time is of the essence.
Someone’s killing the leaders of the paranormal world and mutilating the bodies. Investigating and tracking clues is enough of a challenge, and Rick must contend with an impatient Council, Travis’s advances, and actually adjusting to being a lycan. Only one thing is certain: Rick’s new life promises plenty of interesting adventures—as long as he can survive.
Get it from DSP: ebook | paperback
Cover Artist AngstyG
Now, I thought I’d introduce Rick and Travis by giving you guys a few sneak peeks into their interaction Are you ready? Here we go… Oh, beware, some casual cussing ahead, lol.
Excerpt from Ch 6:
” I followed Travis through the bowels of the building until we finally reached the parking lot.
“We’re gonna drive? I thought we’d do something cool, like run in super-speed or something.”
He turned around with one eyebrow high up. “You’ve been reading too many comics, baby.”
I snorted. “Whatever. So what do you drive, a bike?”
He slapped the back of my head. “You might end up running behind the car if you keep that up.”
He picked a direction and started walking. I scratched my nape and followed, a pattern that was starting to get on my nerves. He slid into a black Spider and popped open the passenger door for me. Well damn, the man drove something almost as hot as he was. I got in and closed the door just in time for him to drive off like a madman.
“Dude, you’re gonna break the Spider‘s legs,” I muttered clutching the seat.
He snorted. “Don’t be a pussy, Ricky boy. I don’t like pussies.” He grinned and looked at me sideways. “And no worries, I take good care of what’s mine.” ”
Excerpt from Ch 7:
” Travis reached out and grabbed my elbow, pulling me against his body. “Hey, you okay?”
I groaned. “Sensory overload.”
He dragged me in some random direction and I followed with complete trust that he’d save me. It wasn’t a thought but pure instinct that led me to have such trust. And my instincts were proven right, too, when I found myself in a dark room with him holding me, running a hand up and down my spine and rubbing his lips against my temple. It worked to calm me down a lot, so I leaned into him and took all the comfort I could get. I sure as hell needed it.
“Feeling better?” he whispered against my temple.
I nodded and leaned my nose into his throat, greedily inhaling his scent. “God, this feels good.”
He sighed. “Yeah, it does. I’m sorry. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have gotten you out on the field so soon. You’re a tracker, by definition sensitive to scents. I’m a total dick, sorry.”
I chuckled. “But a great dick, I’m sure.”
I trailed my nose and lips over his throat, barely touching. The space between us felt electric, hot enough to burn. I wanted to close that space, to make it disappear. I pushed myself into him, felt my heart throb at the simple contact.
He groaned. “What are you doing, pup?”
“Taking advantage of the privacy to settle my nerves. Which you rattled, Mr. Chandler.” ”
Excerpt from Ch 10:
” Travis slid out of the driver’s seat and strode by my side. “So you’re gonna meet our coroner. She’s… special.”
“Unique snowflake and all that shit, yeah, I get it.”
He shook his head as we got into the building. “No, I mean she’s gonna be really special, particularly to you. Try to not offend her.”
We got into the elevator and went down. I turned my head to look at his strangely serious profile. “What makes her so special?”
“She’s a troll.”
“You’re shitting me.”
He snorted. “Trolls are, well, it’s not politically correct to say it, but butt ugly. And they smell. Like, stink. Badly. Real, real bad for you, I’m guessing.”
I groaned. “My head is already pounding, don’t fuck with me.”
He sighed. “Just try to, you know, not be too outspoken about your… first impression.”
I rolled my eyes, pretty sure he was shitting me. “Didn’t you smell the scents on the scenes? That dark spices, thick but not obnoxious, smell?”
He shook his head. “Out of my whiffing range, I guess. Nobody but you picked up on them, or they would’ve mentioned it. That’s why having a tracker out there is so important.”
“Meaning it’s why you cut my training short to about a second.”
He shrugged. “Best way to learn how to swim is to get in the water.”
Also, the best way to get drowned, but I didn’t share the thought. The elevator doors dinged open. When we got off, we went down the
corridor and then took a left. The most revolting stink crawled up my nose and made my eyes water.
“Shit, don’t you people use freezers around here?” I muttered holding a hand to my nose.
Travis whipped up a small box out of his pocket. He flipped the lid, took some cream looking stuff, and smeared it under his nose. Then he extended it to me.
I took a whiff and cringed. “I can’t decide if this is better or worse as far as stinks go.”
He grinned. “Much, much better, trust me. Just smear a good dollop of it under your nose.”
I figured the evil I knew was better than the one I didn’t, so I did it. Then Travis pushed open a door and I almost fell back on my ass. The stink was impossible to describe, just a stinging, raging, torturous degree of revulsion that I couldn’t even fully encompass in words.
I took a step back, shaking my head. “Hell no. I am not going in there, man.”
Travis shook his head. “Don’t be a dick. Come on.”
I narrowed my eyes. “I’m not supposed to be a pussy, now I can’t be a dick. What else is there?”
He shrugged. “Switzerland?”
“I think I’m gonna pass out.”
He shook his head. “Just take small, shallow breaths and try not to focus on the smell okay? Come on.”
I tried, God help me, but it didn’t do much good. We went through the doors and came into the morgue, metal tables, and some bodies around. Some were human looking, others animals and a few lycans. Then there were the ones stuck in-between. Seeing them bothered me more than the others, which was silly. It was too soon to be playing favorites already, and yet it seemed I was.
“Were they all murdered?” I asked looking around.
“Two of them are agents who died on the job last night. The third one is their killer,” said a sweet female voice.
I shook my head and turned around toward the source of that voice. And my mouth went agape, eyebrows fully up on my forehead.
She was about four feet high, a mix of toxic green and crusty shit brown. Her skin looked as if it was bubbling, little blisters that now and
then burst open emanating the most revolting stink in the universe. It came off her in horrible waves. Her eyes were an almost warm chocolate brown, wide mouth with jagged teeth opened either in a smile or a menacing show of teeth, I couldn’t decide. I ran a hand over my face trying to get a grip on.
“I’m Dr. Lora Pane, nice to meet you,” she said reaching out.
Travis cleared his throat. “He’s my mate, Doc. No touching, you know the rules.”
She giggled, I think, though it sounded like a mix between hysterical barfing and a cat mewling in its death throes. ”
What do you guys think, how does it sound?
Now, since you’ve seen them in action a bit, I thought we could do something fun together I’d love your help with it. In a couple of hours, I’ll come back with a playlist for these guys.
After “meeting” them too, how about you help me with some suggestions? Pretty pwease? Hehe.
Then we can compare notes when you see my ideas. Your suggestions are making it into the complete A Tooth for a Fang official playlist, btw
Sounds like gun? Awesome, fire away! *prepares to take notes*
See ya in a couple hours!
September 3, 2014
Chris pulled out his phone for the hundredth time, checking for messages. He grinned as he read the text and quickly typed in his reply. Ethan had remembered, or so it seemed. He’d asked when Chris would be off work.
Startled, Chris looked up over the wall of his cubicle. He shoved his cell back into his pocket and pushed his chair back then rose to his feet. “Yeah?”
The sergeant made a quick movement of his head, motioning toward his office. Straightening his posture and resisting the urge to release an irritable sigh, Chris followed his boss into the office and closed the door behind him.
Marcus Harvey ignored him as he plopped his oversized behind into the swivel chair. Without looking up, he scrubbed a hand across his bald head while rifling through some paperwork on the desk. “Got an assignment for you, Nelson.”
“Sarge, don’t do this to me…”
The sergeant finally looked up, establishing eye contact, and extended his arm, offering the paperwork to his subordinate.
Chris held up both hands and shook his head. “Look, you promised me. You said I’d just be pushing some paperwork today so I can skate out early. You know what today is.”
Marcus looked over the bridge of his glasses, unimpressed. He shook the papers, thrusting his arm out a little further. “Just take it,” he said, his voice gruff and unyielding. “I want you on this case.”
At last Chris sighed and resignedly snatched the papers and photos from his boss. “Can’t it wait till Monday?”
“I just want you to look it over.”
Chris slid into the chair in front of the sergeant’s desk as he began to read through the details of the case. “Oh fuck,” he whispered, and then he looked at the pictures.
“Fuck is right,” the sergeant agreed. “I don’t wanna toss this one to anyone.”
Chris didn’t know whether to take his supervisor’s remark as a vote of confidence or a homophobic slur. The lead suspect in the case had already confessed, admitting to a homosexual relationship with the victim. Chris shrugged and tossed the paperwork onto the desk.
“Open and shut case,” he said resolutely. “You don’t need to assign it to anyone. The perp already confessed to Banks.”
The sergeant leaned back in his chair and raised his eyebrows. “Banks is a bigoted asshole. This so-called confession don’t mean shit, and you know it. God knows what he said or did to that kid to get him to confess.”
“Marcus, it’s not my problem. It’s not yours either. Hand it over to the D.A. If he determines the interrogation wasn’t ethical, he’ll throw it out.”
“The kid’s seventeen.”
“Damn it! It’s my anniversary, and I don’t give a shit.”
Marcus, still leaning back in his chair, pointed to the papers. “Take the case, Chris. If you don’t, you’ll regret it.”
“Fuck you. I won’t regret shit. Me and Ethan are headed out of town at three o’clock when he picks me up. We’re going to the Bahamas, and our plane leaves at six. I’m taking a sick day Monday.” Chris lied through his teeth.
Marcus laughed. “You’ll be lucky if Ethan even remembers. Look over the case, and take the weekend off. You can get on it Monday morning. Top priority.”
Chris scowled. He hated when Marcus pulled this shit. Marcus had to know the details of this case would plague Chris, and he wouldn’t be able to just push it aside for the weekend. Knowing the details of this case would completely derail his plans for a relaxed, romantic, anniversary weekend with his husband.
“Fine, but I’m not touching it till Monday.”
Marcus nodded. “Agreed.”
“I’m not even gonna read the rest of it. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t know a God-damn thing about this fucking case.”
“Fine!” Chris pushed himself up from the chair and snatched the paperwork from the desk. He huffed as he stomped toward the door.
“Have a good weekend, Chris.”
He slammed the door behind him.
* * * * *
He looked at the kid’s mug shot one last time before shoving the file back into his attaché. The dinging of the elevator door told Chris he’d arrived at his floor. He glanced up and stepped out into the parking garage. Fuck, he’d parked clear in back, in the far corner of the floor, as far from the door as possible. It hadn’t seemed like a big deal when he headed into work that morning, but now he was on his way home and just wanted to get the fuck out of there.
Long week. Chris heaved a sigh of relief, knowing it was behind him. He pulled out his phone to check the time. 3:15. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d gotten off so early, and he wondered why Ethan put up with his demanding schedule.
Ethan! God, had they really been married three years already? Chris had still been on the beat when they met. Prior to his promotion to detective, he’d been assigned to the city’s least desirable neighborhood. The Ghetto—the very place Ethan hung out. He ran a soup kitchen and food pantry, volunteered for the church or some shit. His day job consisted of trying to teach those inner-city thugs. Yeah, Chris had married a public school teacher. Go figure.
But damn, Ethan wasn’t your average, everyday do-gooder. Ethan had spunk, and the passion he felt for his job and for the kids he helped on a daily basis quickly became his most endearing quality. Chris fell hard and fast, in a way unlike anything he’d previously experienced. He knew Ethan was the one, and three months after they met, he proposed.
He smiled as he remembered the scene. Ethan liked to brag about his sexy cop boyfriend. He liked Chris’s uniform, and so Chris wore it that night. He showed up at the food kitchen to find it packed. He dragged Ethan out of the kitchen in front of all the volunteers and homeless people, dropped to bended knee, and popped the question. As he expected, Ethan dissolved to tears and immediately accepted. When they kissed, the room erupted in cheers and applause.
Now, nearly four years later, they’d become a boring, far too domesticated couple, both slaves to their professions. Chris wasn’t complaining. God, he understood why Ethan’s work was so important to him. Chris possessed a passion of his own for his job. But he felt guilty sometimes. He wondered if the long hours and stress would be worth it in the long run, if one day he’d look back and regret not working harder to be a good husband. Shouldn’t they be thinking about starting a family? Adopting kids, maybe?
As he rounded the final corner, he spotted his car and hauled out his keys. Just as he placed his thumb on the remote to unlock the doors, he spotted the pair of shoes on the other side of the car. He saw them underneath the car’s body and realized someone was crouched down, hiding in the corner. His heartbeat quickened as he slowed his pace and reached for his weapon.
Quietly, he leaned to the side and allowed his attaché to fall to the ground, then began to inch closer to his vehicle. He extended his arms and leveled the weapon, aiming it just above the trunk of the car where the suspect was hiding.
“I know you’re there!” he shouted. “This is the police. Put your hands in the air and come out slowly, or I’ll shoot!”
Two arms shot into the air, and a slender man about five foot eight slowly rose to face Chris. Chris stared at him, now aiming the weapon directly at the suspect’s head. They looked at each other, and Chris took a deep breath. “Hands on the car and spread em! You heard me! Now!”
“Please officer, don’t shoot me,” the man pleaded. “I’ll do anything…”
“Shut up!” Chris barked as he stepped briskly toward the trembling assailant. “What the fuck were you doing? Tryin to break into my car? Huh? Answer me, boy!”
“N-no, sir! I’m sorry.”
Still holding the gun with one hand, he used his other to push the guy forward, pressing against his neck in order to bend him all the way over. “Stay there, and don’t move. I’m gonna pat you down.”
“I don’t have anything…”
“No weapons? No drugs?”
“No, sir. I swear!”
“Shut up!” Chris reached around him and ran his hand across the young man’s hard chest, then slowly worked his way down, patting his abdomen. He’d stepped real close, his crotch now pressing against the perp’s denim-clad bubble butt. Nice!
When Chris reached lower, just beneath the young man’s waist, the suspect gasped. “S-sir…are you supposed to be…”
“I said, Shut the fuck up!”
The man was trembling, but the bulge he’d discovered suggested excitement more than fear. He gave it a squeeze and slid his weapon onto the trunk of the car. He then grabbed hold of each of the suspect’s wrists and pulled his arms back behind his back. Within two seconds he’d cuffed him.
“You were tryin to break into my car, weren’t you, boy? Answer me!” He pressed his face against the side of the blond’s head, speaking directly into his ear.
“N-no, sir,” he answered timidly. “I swear!”
“Then why you acting so nervous. Huh? And why were you crouched down, hiding?”
“I…uh…I don’t know. Can’t we, ya know, work this out?”
Chris wrapped an arm around the slender man’s chest and held him against his body. “You tryin to bribe me or something?”
“No, uh, no sir. I’m just, uh…I don’t wanna go back to jail. Please!”
Chris couldn’t help himself. He laughed, then grew instantly sober and spun the man around to face him. “On your knees, boy!” He pressed down on the suspect’s shoulders and guided him down to a kneeling position. “Yeah, maybe we can work this out after all.”
“Thank you, sir.” The young blond smiled as he looked up at Chris. His eyes shone a brilliant blue, nearly taking Chris’s breath away. He throbbed excitedly and immediately reached down to unfasten his belt. “But sir, do we have to do it right here? It’s so…risky.”
“Exactly!” Chris said, then laughed. He knew no one would be coming clear back to this corner of the garage, and even if they did, he’d see them as they rounded the corner. He and the blond would be concealed by his car. “You’re gonna take it. The whole thing! And you’re gonna like it and thank me for it. You understand?”
Chris’s cock sprung from the tight confines of his jockeys as he pulled down the waistband of his underwear, tucking it beneath his ball sac. The suspect stared directly at it, and his mouth dropped open. He opened his mouth wide and leaned forward, instantly devouring Chris’s entire steel-hard cock.
“Oh God! Fuck yeah!” It felt like silk as it slid around his rigid pole. “Oh man, you’re a natural, boy. You’re a natural born cocksucker.”
The suspect moaned, then began to bob on it. Chris reached down and took hold of the young man’s head, gently raking his fingers through the blond hair. “Oh yeah, just like that. Slide on it. Take it all. Take every fuckin inch.”
Still handcuffed, the expert cocksucker used only his mouth, plunging all the way down, taking Chris balls-deep. He seemed to know just how to do it, almost as if he already had Chris’s cock memorized. The tongue action. The suction. Oh God! Oh fuck!
“You gonna take my load?”
The suspect moaned and kept sucking, even harder.
“Oh yeah! Oh God! Here it fuckin comes! Take it, boy! Oh Ethan! Ethan!”
Chris’s body convulsed as the orgasm sent his body into spasms. He released Ethan’s head and grabbed hold of the car to steady himself. Ropes of steaming hot cum launched from his cock like a volcanic eruption, and Ethan eagerly gulped every drop. Chris moaned as his body trembled, and then he half-laughed, half-cried as he slid down to his knees in front of his husband.
He grabbed hold of Ethan’s face, framing it with both palms, and kissed him passionately. “Baby, I love you! That was so fucking hot!”
“Happy anniversary.” Ethan smiled and stared into Chris’s eyes.
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.