Category Archives: excerpts
Hi, all! Prickly Business, the first book in the Portland Pack Chronicles series by me and Kenzie Cade, is currently under contract by DSP and entering the editing stage. It’ll be out some time in July or August and we’re currently hard at work on the sequel, Prickly By Nature. If you’ve never heard me mention Prickly Business before, it’s a paranormal shifter romance set in contemporary Portland with mystery elements and a healthy dose of snark. Here is a peek at the tentative blurb:
Some people might call Avery Babineaux a prick. He’s a hedgehog shifter from an old money Louisiana family with a penchant for expensive shoes and a reputation for being a judgmental snob. His attitude is why he and his fated mate are estranged. Not that Avery cares. He doesn’t want to be mated to some blue-collar werewolf anyway. Or so he keeps telling himself.
No werewolf likes to be looked down upon, least of all Dylan Green. He doesn’t need a mate, especially not some snotty hedgehog who sneers at his custom motorcycle shop and calls him a grease monkey. But when Avery gets into trouble with a shady loan shark, Dylan can’t stand by and let him be hurt—whether he wants the brat or not.
Yet once Dylan steps into Avery’s world, he realizes it won’t be so easy to walk back out. There’s more to Avery than his prickly exterior, and that unexpected vulnerability calls to Dylan’s protective instincts. Not to mention Avery’s habit of landing himself in hot water. The sassy little hedgehog needs a keeper, and despite their horrible first impressions, Dylan starts to believe he just might be the wolf for the job.
And here is an (unedited) excerpt from the story. 🙂
Avery rolled his eyes and slid off his stool. The room went blurry, and he reached out to steady himself on the bar top. Whoa. Those four glasses of ale had snuck up on him. Maybe ordering another wasn’t the best of ideas.
Once his vision re-sharpened, he wove his way to the back of the pub, passing the pool tables as he went. Broderick had apparently missed his shot since his companions were heckling him about not being able to aim his stick. Avery smirked, slowing subconsciously. Had he been clearheaded, he wouldn’t have lingered, not wanting to draw attention. But even as he went to move on, his presence was noticed. One of the big, bearded wolves elbowed the one next to him and lifted his chin.
“Well, if it isn’t our favorite little prick,” Glenn called, his beer bottle dangling from his fingers.
The guy beside him laughed. “I thought I smelled a rodent.”
Avery narrowed his eyes. “Here’s a zoology lesson, Rover: hedgehogs aren’t rodents.”
Glenn shrugged one beefy shoulder. “I’m sure if I ripped off your quills, you’d look plenty like a rat. Wanna test the theory?”
Avery opened his mouth to respond, but Broderick’s rumbling voice cut in: “Leave him be, Glenn. You know the Alpha doesn’t like pack members harassing each other.”
Glenn scoffed. “He’s not pack.” He refrained from saying more when Broderick turned a disapproving look on him.
“He lives here under Alpha Odell’s protection. He might as well be pack.”
Avery bristled at Broderick’s assumption that he couldn’t handle himself in an argument with this overgrown asshat. “You don’t have to defend me. He’s right. I’m not pack. Hedgehogs aren’t pack animals. Another lesson for you.”
“How about I shove your lessons up that little prickly ass of yours?” Glenn snarled.
“Aiken!” Broderick rounded on him, the word grated out on a growl, his muscles seeming to swell as his anger flared. “One more time and I’ll take it as a personal challenge.”
Glenn instantly dropped his gaze and tilted his head, exposing his neck to his beta. Avery wanted to say something snide, but Broderick cut him a glare that sent a cascade of goose bumps along his spine.
Avery wasn’t predisposed to submit to a stronger shifter—there was no hierarchy in hedgehog culture, and males could be notoriously aggressive with each other when provoked—but he also knew when to pick his battles. He was too drunk to defend himself. Even if he hadn’t been drinking, well, not even a supernatural hedgehog stood much of a chance against a wolf in a physical fight. It wasn’t as if he’d shift into a man-sized powerhouse of spines, claws, and fur. He’d be the same size as any wild hedgehog—puny.
With a haughty lift of his chin, Avery stalked off toward the restrooms. He did his business and glowered at himself in the mirror above the sinks as he washed his hands.
What the hell was he doing here with these ignorant dogs? Jaden excluded, of course. He was the only respectable, intelligent wolf in the bunch. Much like the Cajun wolves Avery knew from back home in Louisiana, these were volatile, quick to anger and just as fast to laugh it off, except when it came to him. They reveled in every primal pleasure—feasting, fucking, and fighting.
To Avery’s family, werewolves were undisciplined heathens who ran the woods surrounding the bayou, terrifying the smaller shifters and keeping everyone awake with their howling during full moons. Avery’s parents despised wolves. His father had hated having to ask Alpha Odell permission for Avery to live on pack land. He’d done it because Avery wouldn’t let him rest otherwise.
Avery had fallen in love with Oregon when he’d visited the summer between his junior and senior year, but despite his fondness for the city of Portland and how it called to his soul as home, the Northwest was a veritable breeding ground for werewolves. Their numbers were concentrated here where there were forests aplenty and natural wolves to help disguise their presence from humans should they be discovered while in shifted form.
This was really no place for a small-species shifter like himself. Yet, regardless of his upbringing, he might have tried to make a place for himself in the pack, if it wasn’t for—
No. Avery shook his head. He wasn’t going to go there. He wasn’t going to think of him.
Avery paused at the dryer for a few seconds and left the restroom with his hands still damp. Distracted by unwanted thoughts, he collided with something hard and unmoving as he exited the hallway that led back to the main bar area. Avery stumbled back and nearly lost his footing, but even as he struggled to stay upright, the familiar scent struck his nose and made his entire body react. His skin heated, pulse quickened, cock filled, and that ache inside him—the one that longed for its mate—returned with a vengeance so strong it robbed him of breath.
Avery gaped as Dylan Green tossed him a glance over his shoulder. The musky scent of this particular wolf burned in his nostrils, made the animal inside him stir. He both loved and loathed it in equal measure. His eyes greedily took in the broad back beneath the lines of Dylan’s leather jacket, the long legs encased in form-fitting denim, the strong, square jaw. Dylan’s light brown hair was wet from the drizzle outside and shorter than the last time Avery had seen him, but it worked with his high cheekbones and bold features, and his dark stubble emphasized his well-sculpted mouth.
Dylan turned away, dismissing Avery without a word. It was then Avery noticed he had his arm draped over the shoulders of another guy. A human from his scent. A good-looking human who looked mighty comfortable all snugged up against Dylan’s side, as if it were his right to be there.
Avery fought back a hiss. Fuck that. No one else had the right to—
He cut off that line of thinking. How dumb could he be? It was as though his thoughts in the bathroom had somehow conjured Dylan just to torment him.
Dylan, his destined mate. The wolf who’d rejected him and their potential bond two years ago. The one who Avery should most assuredly not be staring at or admiring because there was nothing between them and there never would be.
Hi, all! K-Lee Klein is stopping by today to share an excerpt from her upcoming release, Tabby’s Pride. Check it out! And be sure to follow the rest of her blog tour and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!
TABBY’S PRIDE – Lion’s Pride 1
Available: May 18 from Amber Quill Press
Genres: Gay / M/M / Romance / Paranormal / Shapeshifter / The Arts / Series
Heat Level: 3
Length: Extended Novella (34k words)
Levi is ready to do anything to make his rock star—and hopefully, personal—dreams come true.
Levi Tabberton has dreamed of being a rock star ever since his brother’s best friend, Alexander, showed him his guitar when he was young. But becoming a member of his boyhood crush’s band, Lion’s Pride, is even more important.
Growing up, Levi emulated Alexander Morrison and, years later, his feelings remain unchanged when he auditions for the band. Xan is laid-back, caring, gorgeous, and takes Levi under his wing—paw. But Levi’s guilt and insecurity hold him back from letting Xan see the real him.
Levi needs to prove himself worthy of the band and deserving of Xan’s attention, but the lengths he’s gone to have left him reeling with anxiety and exhaustion. Levi’s not sure how much longer he can pull off the charade he’s been acting out to reach his goals and to keep Xan’s affections.
Has he made the right choice or will his dreams fade in a catastrophe of lies and uncertainty?
The venue for the charity show wasn’t big, but it was far larger than any of the ones Levi had played before. It was scary and important, and his heart raced like a runaway train. He kept to himself, clutching his guitar like it was his last possession in the world.
The other guys huddled together just before they were due on stage, encouraging Levi to join their circle of three. He stood with Xan on one side and Kevin on the other, reveling in the warmth and companionship of being part of something special. It was a feeling of inclusion that sent tingles up his spine and unbelievable calm to the nerves that had been wreaking havoc on his body.
When they were finally announced, Xan dragged Levi into his arms for a powerful embrace. “Knock ’em dead, babe. You’re gonna be awesome.” He kissed the side of Levi’s head, whispering against his ear before he released him, “See you on the other side.”
Levi was the first to take the stage, head held high as his knees wobbled and threatened to toss him to the floor. The crowd reacted in a positive way despite the others taking their sweet time following behind him. He was thankful for the bright lights and the tiny monitor tucked in his ear, both enabling him to slip inside his head before he threw-up on his shoes.
Lion’s Pride kicked ass, and Levi soared to new heights of jubilation and self-confidence. His solos rocked the house, his vocals were spot on even if he did say so himself, and Xan’s half-naked body had stayed in his peripheral vision for the whole night.
No one had been more surprised with his sudden shifting than Levi—especially after Xan’s kind assurance that he didn’t have to do it for the first show if he wasn’t ready. But the excitement of the crowd, the glowing accolades in the form of clapping and hooting and cheering were so exhilarating, were so validating, and exactly what he’d always dreamed of. The band had moved to the back of the stage, huddling just beyond the viewing of the audience, high-fiving each other for an amazing show while the audience screamed for an encore.
Levi’s fatal error began with glowing awe and overpowering love as he watched Xan strip off the rest of his clothes, the happiest smile slapped on his face as he laughed and celebrated. He handed his things to Marv, winking before he flashed Levi a wide grin. The golden gaze swallowed Levi’s heart as Xan splayed his hand over his chest then tapped his fist over his own heart. He mouthed, “All yours,” and Levi was doomed.
It was like some sappy old-fashioned love story his mom had made him sit through when he was young, as she wept and smiled beside him. It was crappy romantic drivel and it was all Xan. Then before Levi had a chance to question or even reply in any way, Xan was shifting and changing. He fell to his knees, the sounds of popping and grinding only partially disguised by his groans and whimpers, and those of Kevin and Don. His body lengthened, muscles elongating, twisting, squirming under the pale skin that quickly turned to coarse white fur.
Levi struggled for breath when three larger-than-life lions stared back at him—majestic, regal, beautiful but distinctive in their own ways. Kevin was light gold, his mane even paler than his body, smaller in stature than the others but with his head held high just as he always did in his human form. He even seemed to retain the sarcastic smirk that was his trademark.
Don was more golden brown, his color darkening from mid-body to his hind legs and tail with the same chestnut as his mane. He was bigger, too, tall and wide, and Levi could clearly make out the rustling and repositioning of muscles beneath his fur as he completed his change.
But Xan…Xan was a white lion, a beautiful creature that still retained the deep emerald of his human eyes, gold now rimming the vibrant green like the setting of a beautiful gem. Levi had seen him in his lion form before, had seen them all, but close up he could barely breathe. When Xan stepped toward him, his gaze never leaving Levi’s, it was a struggle to just stay standing.
Unfortunately, in the end, standing hadn’t been the problem because with one of nudge of Xan’s warm lion nose against his palm, Levi’s cat ignored every fiber of resistance and sent him sprawling to the floor in a whoosh of biting pain and waving nausea. His clothes were suddenly too big, forming a puddle beneath his tiny feet as he yowled out the steely pain that accompanied his shift.
For barely a moment, his vision blurred and reddened, quickly resolving itself as he briskly shook his head. When he could focus and function again, Xan was the first thing he saw. He looked up into stunning turquoise eyes, beautiful in their wideness, but heartbreaking in their confusion. Xan moved a little closer, his scent surrounding Levi—musky but sweet, wild but familiar, intimate and possessive in its intensity.
Seconds felt like minutes, then minutes like hours as Levi stood fearfully still, all four paws glued to the floor. Movement behind Xan startled Levi, and he was certain he’d jumped and hissed. Kevin and Don joined Xan, a fortified line of defense beside their leader—then Levi ran.
The Tabby’s Pride blog tour runs from May 12-20 and there are three prizes up for grabs—2 ebook copies of Tabby and a $10.00 gift card from Amazon. You can enter by clicking the Rafflecopter and also earn extra entries by commenting on this post. Thanks for stopping by.
Rafflecopter link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/dba3d42/
K-lee Klein has lived in one part of Western Canada or another for her entire life. She’s a doting mother of three now-grown kids, and has had characters and plots running around her head for as long as she can remember. Her days consist of fighting off an abundance of fabulous gay men, large and small, bouncing off the walls of her skull, competing for their turns to tell their stories.
Among her favorite sub-genres to read and write are rock stars, cowboys, shifters, and opposites-attract relationships. But to be honest, she’s open to almost anything if it involves messing around in the heads of her characters. She’s also big on series—because she has a hard time letting her characters go—and is usually working on a handful of stories in various stages of completion all at the same time. You can find her books on her website kleeklein.com
Link to main blog tour post:
Hey, all! Yesterday I finished Hook, Line, & Sinker, which is a spin-off of Wood, Screws, & Nails featuring Aaron’s best friend, Blake, and his love interest, Castor. The members of my FB group, Piper’s Peeps, asked for me to share a smutty excerpt today. So here goes! But, first, the (tentative) blurb.
When they were teens, Castor McCormick was the bane of Blake Kowalski’s existence. Their mutual animosity led to summers filled with rivalry. Now, nearly two decades later, Blake learns Cas is moving back into the neighborhood to live in his grandmother’s old house. Blake tells himself he isn’t interested in seeing how snarky little Cas grew up, but when his mother dupes him into visiting Cas, he finds out “pretty” can evolve into “sexy as hell” on the right man.
Cas didn’t think he wanted to see Blake again. No one has ever pushed his buttons like the god of a boy he remembers from their youth. Turns out, the adult version of Blake still gets him hot under the collar—and everywhere else. With Blake on leave from work to nurse his injured leg, and Cas taking time to move and unpack, they form a tentative friendship revolving around fishing and baseball, which quickly turns in to a sexual affair neither man can resist. But when Cas’s job sends him out of state to deal with a difficult client, their new relationship will be tested, and Blake’s broken leg might not be the only thing to come out scarred.
Note: This is unedited, so please forgive any typos. To set the scene, Cas and Blake are on a camping trip, sharing a tent for the first time…
Cas shivered, his body warming at Blake’s tone, low and seductive in the dark. For a while, he simply lay there staring at the tent’s domed ceiling, listening to the rhythm of Blake’s breathing as it slowed and deepened. Usually, Cas jerked off before bed, just something to take the edge off the day and lull himself to sleep. He hesitated to do it now, but with the scent of Blake’s skin all around him, and the visual of that sculpted chest so fresh in his mind, his cock was hard as stone. Cas cursed silently and turned onto his side, facing away from Blake, and reached down to pinch his balls through his sweatpants. He hoped the flash of pain would wilt his erection. Instead, it forced a quiet moan from his throat. Cas shifted onto his back again, then onto his side in Blake’s direction, but that only reminded him of how little space actually separated them and how easily he could close it.
Cas grunted and flopped to his back once more. All he could focus on was the pulse of blood in his cock. Not the discomfort of the rocky ground beneath his sleeping bag, not the lingering heat in the air, not the buzz of insects from the grass and trees around them. Just that persistent, throbbing ache.
He’d never fall asleep this way. No choice but to take care of it. He could manage it quietly enough. Or so he hoped.
Cas lay unmoving for another minute or two, listening. The rhythmic pattern of Blake’s breaths remained deep and undisturbed. Slowly, Cas crept a hand beneath the waistband of his briefs. He traced the length of his cock with one finger, helpless to stop a quavering moan when he encountered sticky wetness at the tip. Cas froze, his ears straining, but if Blake had heard, he didn’t stir at the noise.
Sighing, Cas started up a leisurely stroke, working his cock with a firm grip. His hips began to rock, and the motion of his nylon sleeping bag seemed excessively loud in the small space. Cas couldn’t bring himself to care anymore. He played his fingertips over the slit, rubbing and slicking the head with the moisture he found there. Oh God. It felt so good, and knowing Blake rested only a few feet away, oblivious, only heightened the sensation.
Cas caught another moan midway out of his mouth, ending with a choked sound. His eyes were shut tight, but suddenly the colors behind his eyelids changed as light flashed across them. Cas stilled with his hand fisted around his cock. He swallowed thickly and noted that the soothing pattern of Blake’s breathing had changed, sped. Blake was awake, and if Cas wasn’t mistaken, watching him. With a light on.
For a long moment, Cas couldn’t move. Any typical guy would’ve ignored what he was doing, would’ve pretended not to hear the rustling and simply feigned sleep until it was over. They might’ve given him some shit about it in the morning, or more likely, never mentioned the incident at all. Not Blake. Cas could feel Blake’s eyes on him—and it embarrassed him as much as it turned him on.
A flush rolled up his chest and over his throat, settling in his face. The silence stretched. Finally, when he could stand it no more, Cas forced his eyes open and turned his head.
Blake lay on his side, observing him with a hooded gaze. His phone sat face-down in the space between them. The light Cas had noticed through his eyelids was the beam from the phone’s flashlight, now aimed at the ceiling. Not as intense as the miniature lantern, but it illuminated the area enough for them to see each other clearly.
Cas couldn’t find the words to speak. Couldn’t bring himself to release his cock either. Despite his humiliation, it jerked in his grasp like it had a mind of its own, seeking more touch.
“Show it to me.” Blake’s quiet voice held no inflection. He spoke the words as calmly as he might have said “pass the salt” across the dinner table. But Cas found himself obeying anyway.
He tossed aside the top of the sleeping bag, and with the hand that wasn’t wrapped around his dick, pushed the waistbands of both his sweatpants and briefs down so they rested around his upper thighs.
Blake’s gaze raked from Cas’s face to his fisted cock. “Finish,” he said.
Cas whimpered, a small sound that brought Blake’s eyes back up to his. He started to stroke again, moving more quickly now that he wasn’t trying to hide.
“Get it wet.”
Cas nearly came at the low order. With effort, he managed to fight his orgasm down and released his cock long enough to coat his palm with drenched licks. Then he fisted it again, jerking the shaft with hard, slick tugs.
Blake nodded his approval. “Faster. Let me see you beat that cum out.”
Cas grunted and pistoned his hips, pushing his cockhead through the clutching circle of his fingers. Sweat sheened his body. Pleasure blazed a path from his taint to his balls to his sensitive tip. His asshole clenched and released, craving the girth of a large, thrusting cock. Frantic pants burst from his throat, the rough sound overshadowing the wet squelch of his hand as he followed Blake’s order and yanked at his dick. Lost in a haze of lust and sex, he didn’t stop to consider what was happening or why; he simply gave himself into it.
One word, but said in that commanding tone, in Blake’s voice, it held power. It reached into Cas’s body and ripped the orgasm right out of him.
Cas arched off the sleeping bag, his vision graying at the edges. He gave an agonized moan as streaks of cum burst from his tip, coating his fingers, dripping down onto his sac, each spurt another shockwave of bliss along the length of his dick. And through it all, he sensed the weight of Blake’s gaze on him, the heat of that stare prolonging his ecstasy.
After what felt like ages, Cas finally came back to himself. He turned his head to see that Blake had shoved his own shorts and boxer-briefs down. His thick, veiny cock lay hard against his lower abdomen, the foreskin drawn back far enough to reveal the shiny, plum-colored head. Cas’s mouth watered.
“Come here. Jerk me off with your cum.”
So, last week Wood, Screws, & Nails came out. Currently, I’m working on one of the spin-offs. If you read WS&N, this story features Aaron’s best friend, Blake, and Blake’s love interest, Castor. They were rivals as teens, but when they meet again as adults, they find that their explosive chemistry manifests into something a lot more fun than fighting (although they do some of that too). This is a peek at the scene when Blake finds out Cas is moving back into the neighborhood, about 19 years after they last saw each other.
Let me know what you think! 😀
“Are you listening, Blejkuś?”
Blake shifted again, unable to find comfort on a couch that was simply too small to accommodate his six-foot-two frame. Mila shot him an annoyed look and leaped gracefully onto the floor—but not before digging her claws into his chest in a show of feline displeasure. Blake winced and resisted the urge to toss a pillow at her. Damn cat would probably dodge it anyway. “What, Ma?”
“I asked if you remember Cas from across the street.”
Oh, that. Blake grunted. “Course I do.” How could he forget the little shit who’d made his summers miserable between eighth grade and senior year of high school? Bane of his existence, that kid.
“Well, he’s moving in this weekend.” Karina walked over and adjusted the cushion behind his back. Her apron was flour-stained, and she smelled like onions and sauerkraut from the pierogi she’d been making. The sharp, sour scent might not have been pleasant to anyone who wasn’t a fan of the fermented cabbage, but to Blake, it reminded him of his grandmother and yearly trips to the Taste of Polonia Festival in Jefferson Park. Of home. “It would be nice if you went over and said hello,” she added.
“Ma, I haven’t seen the kid in, what, nineteen years?” Not since the summer after his senior year, when his grandmother passed away of a massive coronary just a week before he and Aaron went into trade school. Had that really been almost two decades ago? He still missed her. “We don’t even know each other anymore.”
Karina smacked him lightly upside the head. “So get to know him again. It’s never easy moving into a new neighborhood. Most of the kids who grew up around here are long gone. And your babcia liked him, bless her soul. She always thought he was a good boy.”
Blake snorted. His grandmother had thought that about everyone. He couldn’t even recollect the number of times he’d been blamed for something that “good boy” had done. Dozens probably. Kid had the face of an angel back then and a Cupid’s bow mouth to match. Got him out of all kinds of trouble.
“What?” Karina asked. “Don’t tell me you’re still holding a grudge over that silly baseball thing? That was ages ago.”
“No. Not a grudge. But we were never really friends.”
Karina patted his head and moved away toward the kitchen. “Well, you’re not teenagers anymore. You can be friends now.”
“We’ll see,” Blake said to placate her, but he had no intention of playing head of the neighborhood welcoming committee. He’d leave that to the women on the block.
Much as Blake’s own parents had when he was a kid, Castor’s folks had also sent him to spend summers with his grandparents in Villa Park. They’d meant it as a preemptive measure to keep them from running wild through the streets of Chicago all day long. In that, the effort had only been partially successful. They’d both fallen into all sorts of misbehavior anyway, regardless of the change in location.
From the very first meeting, they’d clashed, despite being forced into the sort of reluctant camaraderie that came from boredom and a dearth of other similarly-aged kids nearby. True friendship had never existed between them—only rivalry and constant one-upmanship. Now that Blake had his own place and his own circle of friends, he didn’t need to play nice for the benefit of not being shunned by the locals. He doubted Castor had changed all that much from the smart-mouthed, know-it-all of their misspent youth. Why bother trying to find out if he might be wrong? As soon as the cast came off, Blake was headed back to his apartment in Wrigleyville. Besides, Castor probably didn’t hold the memory of Blake in fond regard either. The animosity between them had never been anything but mutual.
Blake tipped his head back and stared up at the ceiling. His mother really needed to let him replace that popcorn paintjob soon. He couldn’t stand the sight of the stuff, and it wasn’t difficult to remove—just tedious and time-consuming. Much like his healing process would be.
“Cas, Cas, pain in my ass,” he murmured, then chuckled to himself. He hadn’t thought of that old taunt in years. Castor always hated it. Blake remembered the way he would flush, his pale Irish skin going ruddy, clearly broadcasting the depth of his irritation. Blake had enjoyed riling him up back then. Pretty kid. Too bad about the attitude. They could’ve had a lot of fun those summers, if Castor batted for the same team Blake did—which Blake suspected was the case—instead of doing their best to piss each other off. For a moment, Blake wondered how that lithe, adolescent prettiness had translated to adulthood. Not that he cared enough to want to find out.
Title:Wood, Screws & Nails
Release Date:April 23, 2014
Blurb:Aaron Costa’s summer was all planned. Despite having to remodel the family lake house, it would be a vacation of sorts, and he had every intention of enjoying it—until the friend who was supposed to help him got injured and left him in a lurch. He decides to take the opportunity to bond with his son and hires Julian and his roommate, Malachi, to assist.
As a broke college student, Malachi could use the money, and spending the summer with Aaron for eye candy sounds like a dream. Look but don’t touch becomes his motto. But when Julian starts flaking on his responsibilities and Malachi and Aaron are forced to spend long hours alone together, their mutual attraction is impossible to resist.
Aaron can’t fight the temptation sexy Malachi presents. But more than their age difference…
View original post 2,594 more words
So, it’s not WIP Wednesday, but since my website and blog just got a fab new redesign, I thought I’d share an excerpt from the story my coauthor, Kade Boehme, and I are currently working on. We’re just about halfway through and this is a snippet from the chapter I just finished. Enjoy. ♥
“You’ve been avoiding me,” Malachi said.
Damn. Not one to mince words, was he? Aaron swallowed hard but didn’t speak.
“I know it’s because of Julian,” Malachi went on. “I’m not sure what’s up with him. I’ve heard him mention this girl Beth a few times. I don’t know if it’s something with her or if…or if he’s sensed this thing between us.” He reached over and laid a hand on Aaron’s thigh. The touch burned like fire even through the thick denim of Aaron’s jeans. He tightened his fingers on the steering wheel to control his shiver. “Aaron. You feel it. I know you do. There’s obviously something between you and me.”
“I do feel it.” How could Aaron deny it? “But, Mal, Julian doesn’t even know about me. Maybe right now he’s suspicious. Maybe he’s just a little insecure, I don’t know. But imagine how he’d react if he found out there really is something going on between us.”
“He wouldn’t have to know.” Malachi’s hand crept a bit farther up Aaron’s thigh. “Look, all I’m saying is we could have something worth exploring. You’ve called Jules out for being careless and lazy, and he’s pissed off about it. But he’s been partying and having his fun. Why shouldn’t we enjoy the time we have together?”
“Mal.” Aaron risked a glance at him. The sky had finally begun to darken, but there was still enough light to make Malachi’s hazel eyes look luminous. Aaron wanted to kiss him. To taste him and touch him and hold him. But… “I don’t know if I can.”
Malachi withdrew his hand and turned away. Aaron peeked at him again and saw Malachi’s jaw flex as he stared steadily out the windshield.
“Don’t. I get it. I really do.” The words trembled for a moment in the space between them. Malachi sucked in a shuddery breath. “And I care about Jules. But, man, I can’t take you ignoring me. If we can’t be more, we can at least be friends. I thought we were headed that way, and then the last few days, you’ve acted like I’m a total stranger. It’s been a few weeks, and I know we don’t know each other all that well, but I think I deserve more than being treated like I’m just some random guy who showed up to install your carpet or something.”
“You’re right. I’m sorry. I just…fuck, Mal, you’re my son’s age. You guys live together. You’re his closest friend. You think that doesn’t mess with my head?”
“I’m not trying to play mind games with you.”
“I didn’t say you were.”
“It trips me out, too, knowing you’re his father and I can’t stop thinking about you. I dream about you and I wake up coming and he’s in the room right next door. And, still, I wish I was coming while on your cock instead of in bed alone. Then I feel guilty as hell. So don’t think you’re the only one who doesn’t know how to deal with all this shit.”
Aaron didn’t reply. Couldn’t reply. The mention of Malachi’s wet dreams had him hard enough to pound nails. The pain in Malachi’s voice made him question his every decision. No, this wasn’t easy. Not for either of them. So what if Malachi was younger? They were consenting adults, and Julian wasn’t a child any longer. He could cope with finding out his father was gay. But finding out his father was gay and he was screwing around with his best friend? Even the most well-adjusted of men might not handle that very well.
Would it be selfish to give in? On the flip side, didn’t Aaron deserve a bit of selfishness after all these years? He’d grown up fast once Carrie got pregnant, and he’d worked his ass off to do right by his son. Why couldn’t he have just this one thing?
The questions came without answers. Aaron stayed silent the rest of the drive home.