Excerpt #3 (1st SEX SCENE, you know you want to read it!) from Awakenings, by Tara Larson

January 6, 2012


Adam sensed the move was his. He slowly leaned into Sean and pressed him against the seawall. He came into Sean’s personal space, breathing deeply through his nose, and straddled himself over Sean’s upper thigh. He parted his lips and looked down at Sean’s mouth. Sean licked his lips nervously and steadied himself with his hands behind his hips against the seawall.

Adam leaned in close enough to brush his lips against Sean’s gently once, then again, and then once again with his mouth slightly open, giving Sean the tiniest flick of his tongue against his upper lip. Adam’s hand came up to Sean’s face and cupped his jaw as he leaned in for a deeper, open-mouthed kiss. Sean felt himself grow hard. His head was reeling as he kissed Adam, his heart pounding in his chest. He felt Adam’s cock press against him through his pants and opened his mouth in a gasp, allowing a small, low moan to escape. Adam maneuvered his fingertips down the top of Sean’s jeans to find his swollen tip, freeing it from the denim. Sean moaned in pleasure, and the two writhed against each other in the darkness as the ocean purred in the background. As they kissed, Adam caressed and stroked Sean; Sean felt Adam thrusting slightly against his body. Without hesitating, Sean unbuttoned Adam’s black pants and grabbed him in his hand as if it was himself. He instinctively knew exactly what to do. Adam’s mouth opened wide in a soft moan as Sean began to stroke him with his hand, his other hand now behind Adam’s neck.

Both men were now thrusting eagerly into one another’s hands, moaning and hungrily sucking each other’s tongue and lips. Sean marveled at Adam’s technique, how he seemed to know the perfect grip and the perfect pace. Their lengths touched, and Adam pulled them both together in one tight grip with both of his hands. Both of them were dribbling wetness in their excitement; this provided a perfect slippery lubricant for Adam’s hands. This titillated Sean immensely, and he felt like he was about to explode.

“Oh my God,” he said, and Adam knew what was about to happen.

Adam pulled back from their intense kiss and looked down at their throbbing cocks in his hands to watch. He switched his rhythm on Sean’s cock to his right hand while he continued pleasuring himself with his left. Sean’s head tilted back, and he grabbed Adam gently by his hair with both hands as he spilled onto Adam’s hand over and over and over. As he watched Sean climax, Adam exploded over the sand with a loud groan.

Both men moaned as they finished, stroking themselves softly as they began to wither. Adam exhaled and began buttoning his pants. Sean was pleasantly dumbfounded. He felt as if he were floating above the beach watching the two of them in some kind of ecstatic out-of-body experience. Adam smiled and leaned in for one last hungry kiss; his eyes were half-lidded like a proud, satiated panther that had just finished off a graceful gazelle. Sean eagerly accepted it and returned it in kind. He felt a little dizzy and disoriented and wasn’t sure what to make of what had just happened, but he knew one thing for sure: he liked it and he wanted more.

Adam licked his lips and said, “Thank you for that. I, mmm…. I want to see you again. Come see me tomorrow, it’s my day off.” He reached in his pocket and pulled out a card and placed it in the front pocket of Sean’s jeans as he buttoned them up.

Sean, suddenly remembering his situation with Lindsey, felt himself jerk back to his uncomfortable reality. The happy buzz was gone. “Um, yeah. Yeah, okay. I’ll try.”

He realized his hotel room was beachside, behind and above them. He got a little paranoid and gathered himself quickly. He imagined Lindsey awakening, wondering where he was and perhaps looking out of the balcony at the ocean under the moon, only to see him down below near the waves with Adam. He shivered at the thought.

“I should go,” Sean said quickly, guilt beginning to overwhelm him, and he turned back toward the hotel.

Adam quietly followed, sensing a strange shift in Sean’s behavior but figuring it was just his buzz wearing off. It was pretty late, after all, and Adam was tired as well, especially after that amazing release. They picked up their shoes and continued toward the pool area barefooted, carrying their shoes in their hands. Sean nervously brushed the sand off his clothes.

They paused as they reentered the hotel property, neither one sure what to do next.

Sean gestured toward the hotel entrance and smiled uneasily. “Well, I think I need to go up to bed.”

Adam nodded, a little uncertain why Sean didn’t invite him up to his room but willing to give Sean the room he needed. He smiled and said, “Yeah, me too. I’d love to hear from you tomorrow. I put my number in your pocket.”

Sean patted his pocket and smiled. “Yeah, thanks. I’ll definitely talk to you tomorrow.”

“Good,” Adam said with a smile.

Sean didn’t know how to act. He felt like people were staring at them, even though they weren’t. He felt exposed and nervous. His fear and guilt were creeping back in and attempting to overtake the newfound ecstasy he felt just a short while earlier.

Should I hug Adam? Kiss him? God, I want to. No, I can’t do that here. I hate to just leave, though. But I can’t risk anything. I will not just shake his hand, that would be weird, Sean thought. So he just smiled and waved good-bye, like he was saying good-bye to a casual friend.

Adam wasn’t a big fan of public displays of affection, so he wasn’t offended. He smiled slyly at him and tipped his head slightly in Sean’s direction, which made Sean blush a little.

As the two parted, Sean’s heart was racing. Adam looked over his shoulder to watch Sean pass through the hotel doors and smiled. Sean turned around and admired him with a slight pang in his heart. He wasn’t sure what this meant, but he knew he had at least found a kindred spirit in Adam, even if he wasn’t the man from his dream. He knew he’d have to find a way to see him the next day.

As he turned to go toward the elevators, he saw Adam look up at the night sky and smile; then the dark, beautiful creature turned and drifted away into the starry tropical night.

IN THE elevator, Sean felt in his pocket for Adam’s card and drew it out to see what was on it. It was a business card of sorts, with Adam’s name printed in an interesting script on the front: Adam Agostini Lucia.

On the back, his address, phone number, and e-mail address were listed. He lived in South Beach, on the corner of Ninth and West. He tried to imagine how his place looked.

The elevator dinged and opened its doors on Sean’s floor. Sean made his way back to his hotel room. Lindsey was thankfully still passed out cold and snoring softly. Sean crawled into bed and tried to sleep. His feelings and thoughts made his head spin.

Oh thank God she didn’t wake up. What in the hell just happened? What does this mean? What does this make me now? God, that was so intense—and awesome, he thought, a smile creeping across his face in the dark. There would be no answers tonight. He knew he had to find a way to see Adam again, if only to see if this was something real or if it was just a drunken experiment—one of those weird one-night stands. But if it was real, what could it become? Some kind of long-distance situation? It was probably hopeless. He should probably just chalk it up to a really cool life experience. But he couldn’t stop thinking about Adam. And then, looking at Lindsey lying next to him, he felt a little guilty too. She should never find out about this…. Confused, he tried to put it out of his mind and catch a few hours of much-needed sleep.

The sun came up too soon. Lindsey never noticed he’d been gone.

Quick Final Note: The contests end… And a few sentences of not-quite-sex from Delsyn’s Blues

January 2, 2012

… three days from today, which will be Thursday 1/5. So if you haven’t entered, there’s time, and if you have, please be patient.

As long as I’m here, a teeny little titilating excerpt from Delsyn’s Blues:

Sonny looked at him and he got warm. More than a little. Sonny’s hair, wet and dark, sending rivulets meandering down his just-cut-enough belly, pooling in his navel and in the hollows inside his hip bones, then soaking into the rough white towel he’d wrapped around and tucked at the waist. Luki’s breath went a little ragged, and he raised his eyes from the spectacle to find Sonny watching him back.

Sonny’s eyes had that look. The one that said “take me, you’re in charge,” but conveyed clearly that he knew Luki was twisted right around his finger. Or his dick. Didn’t so much matter which. Luki didn’t really care who had whom by the balls, so to speak, and he could play too. He licked his fat lips, knowing quite well what that did to Sonny. “Come here,” he said, not so much a request as an offer.

Sonny rolled his eyes, but it didn’t mask the heat rising up his neck. “What, again?”
***

Whatever books you’re spending time with now, folks, happy reading. Au Revoir!

Preview Excerpt: “The Melody Thief,” by Shira Anthony

December 30, 2011

Here’s a sneak preview of the next in the “Blue Notes” series of books, “The Melody Thief.”

Blurb:  Cary Taylor Redding, former child prodigy and international cello soloist, has a problem:  he’s falling for sexy Italian lawyer, Antonio Bianchi.  Which wouldn’t be such a terrible thing, really, except that Cary’s been lying about who he is since he met Antonio.  If he comes clean, he figures he has no chance of sleeping with the man, let alone a relationship.  But then again, he isn’t really looking for a relationship, is he?

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Excerpt from Chapter Two:

Cary awoke in an unfamiliar bed with the muffled sound of voices at the periphery of his consciousness.  “…found him off via Padova.  No identification.  The man who brought him says he’s an American.”

He forced his eyes open and saw the metal sides of the hospital bed, the IV hanging from the pole and where it was taped onto his hand, the light yellow curtains at the sides of the bed, and the white plaster cast on his left arm.

Fuck. His wrist ached, throbbing to a dull beat like an insistent drum.  His head felt like it was filled with jagged rocks.

The last time he had been in a hospital was when he had watched his mother wither and die, her body wracked with pain from the chemo and radiation.  He remembered his own guilt as he had sat by her bed, helpless to do anything.  It had been the final insult, a coda, as it were, to their tumultuous relationship.  He never had been able to do anything right by her.

As his vision cleared, the shadows in the room shifted.  No, not shadows—a man, seated in the corner.  “How are you feeling?” he asked in English as he stood up and walked over to the bed.

Cary studied the other man through a haze of pain killers.  Italian, judging by his accent.  Blond hair, blue eyes, a few inches taller than he, a few years older, too, perhaps in his mid-thirties, and hot as hell.

“Do I know you?” he asked in a tentative voice.

The man looked back at him with a mixture of concern and humor.  “You could say we’ve met.”

“You… you’re the man from the street,” Cary said.  “How long have I been here?” he asked.

“A day,” the Italian answered.   “Perhaps I must introduce myself,” he added, as if realizing that he was being rude.  “I am Antonio Bianchi.”

“C…,” Cary hesitated, then finished, “Connor Taylor.”

It was the name that he used in the clubs.  Or at least it had been, after his agent had bailed him out of jail when a not-so-rainbow-friendly gendarme had caught him—quite literally with his pants down—outside a shithole of a Paris bar.  “What you do with your life off the concert stage isn’t my business,” Georges Duhamel had told him after he’d posted bond, “but you must at least use another name.  I won’t have you toss your career in the poubelle.

When all was said and done (and after he’d had a fake New York State driver’s license made under the name, “Connor L. Taylor”), Cary had decided that he enjoyed being “Connor.”  Unlike Cary, nobody gave a shit if Connor liked to fuck men in the restrooms or alleyways behind rundown bars.  Why would anyone care?  After a few years, “Connor” had become his excuse for the late nights and anonymous fucks—when he wasn’t practicing or performing, Cary was Connor.

“A pleasure to meet you,” Antonio said, after a slight hesitation.

“Thanks,” Cary replied.  “For last night, I mean.”

The broad-shouldered Italian nodded in reply.  “The doctor,” Antonio said, “he says that you may leave when you are ready, but that you have this”—he struggled to find the word—“commozione cerebrale,” he finally said in Italian.  He pointed to his head.  “You know, from falling?”

“A concussion?”  It explained the killer headache.

“Si.  A concussion.  He says you must not be alone for one or two days.  Is there somewhere I can take you?  A person who can look by you, then?”

Cary hesitated.  He supposed he could ask Rowena to stay with him.

“If you wish, you may stay with me,” Antonio offered.

Cary realized with some surprise that the Italian had guessed—albeit incorrectly—that he had nowhere to go.  You shouldn’t be surprised.  You look like street trash. He repressed a smirk at the thought that he looked a bit like one of the street hustlers he sometimes paid for sex.  He wondered what kind of man would willingly take in someone like that, knowing nothing about them.

But then again, it’s not like someone with a broken wrist and a concussion would be a danger to a big guy like him.

He considered the offer for a moment.  It was far more tempting—no, make that Antonio was far more tempting—than returning to his apartment and asking his housekeeper to play nurse and mother.  “I wouldn’t want to impose,” he answered.

“Not at all, Signore Taylor.  It would be my pleasure,” Antonio responded.

An hour later, having spoken with the doctor, Cary was released from the hospital with a bottle of pain killers, anti-inflammatories, and instructions to come back in six weeks to have the cast removed and begin physical therapy, if needed.

Cary’s face was tense as they rode the elevator down to the ground floor.  “This broken wrist,” Antonio said, sensing Cary’s dark mood, “it will make it difficult for your work, no?”

“You could say that.”

“What kind of work do you do?” the Italian asked.

“I’m between jobs now,” he replied.  The truth, although not the entire truth.   His next gig was in Rome in four weeks, and he had been scheduled to teach a series of master classes in Toulouse, France, in early December.

Antonio’s apartment was nearly as big as his own.  The high-ceilinged rooms were tastefully decorated in an eclectic mixture of modern Italian furniture and antiques.  Pictures of smiling children and adults adorned the tabletops and bookshelves.  From the abundance of blue eyes and blond hair in those photographs, Cary guessed these were Antonio’s family.

“You look tired,” the Italian said as he shut the door behind them.  “Perhaps I make dinner while you sleep?”

“Thanks,” Cary answered as he caught a glimpse of a large bed through a doorway to their right.  He rubbed his arm above his broken wrist without thinking and winced.  The dull ache had now become an angry throb.

“May I get you some pills?  For your arm?”  He held up the doggie bag of chemicals the hospital had sent home with Cary.

“That would be great.”

“Perhaps you like to use the telephone while I get it for you?” Antonio suggested.  Cary stared blankly at the other man.  “You know,” Antonio continued, “if there is a person who might…ah—” he struggled to find the word “—worry for you?”

“No,” Cary answered as understanding came.  “I’m fine.  There’s nobody.”

Worry about me? Other than a geezer of an agent and a brother halfway around the world? Justin would care, of course.  They were brothers, after all.  But why bother him and his family?  And Georges—the guy’d have a cow when he learned that Cary had broken his wrist, but only because he’d need to cancel a few months of gigs while it healed?  Yeah, he’d have to tell the idiot at some point, but why rush it?

He thought briefly of Rowena.  She’s your employee.  What does she care if you stay away for a few nights?  It’s not like you haven’t before.

Something akin to compassion—pity, perhaps?—flashed through Antonio’s eyes, but he said only, “Please.  Use the bed.  I will bring you the medicine.”

Cary was almost asleep when Antonio came back into the room with a glass of water and a few pills.  “This will help with pain,” he told Cary.  “I will arouse you when dinner is ready.”

“Mmm,” Cary murmured, repressing a lecherous grin in response to the Italian’s faulty turn of phrase.  It wasn’t all that difficult, really, since he was damn near asleep already and his wrist hurt like hell.

“Blue Notes,” by Shira Anthony, Excerpt #2

December 30, 2011

Here’s another excerpt to whet your appetite- this time from Chapter Two of  ”Blue Notes.”

Note:  Pre-publication excerpt, may differ from final publication

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BACK at the apartment several hours later, Jason sat on the chaise portion of the sleek, Italian sectional (another of Rosalie’s sophisticated touches) and checked his e-mail, while Jules prepared dinner in the kitchen. Jules had insisted on cooking, and Jason—knowing that the kid saw this as a way to thank him for his generosity—had obliged. They had stopped at a small supermarket on the way back, where Jason had let Jules select the ingredients for their meal. Now, as the smell of butter and shallots wafted from the kitchen to the living room, Jason pondered whether he should ask Jules to spend the night again.

It’s already getting late, he told himself as he gazed out onto the dark street. Tomorrow, I’ll send him on his way. As soon as he made the decision, he felt better: in control again, as he preferred to be.

DINNER was delicious and quite simple: chicken breasts in a delicate cream sauce, pureed vegetables, a leafy salad with Jules’s homemade vinaigrette and, of course, the obligatory bread and cheese to follow. For his part, Jason had purchased several bottles of wine, choosing the white Pouilly-Fumé with its dry, smoky flavor to pair with the chicken. John Coltrane’s classic jazz album, Blue Train, played softly in the background. But for the fact that his companion was a man, Jason was reminded of the intimate dinners he and Diane had shared when they had first dated. They talked about less personal things this time—of how Coltrane’s style had changed after he’d quit drugs, of trends in jazz and classical music, and of the difference between French and American cuisines. Jules surprised Jason with his understanding of each subject and his wit. There was no mistaking that Jules had lived on the rough streets of the Paris suburbs, but it was just as clear that Jules had transcended his difficult surroundings.

Over coffee, Jules asked Jason about the recent negotiations in the US Congress over the budget, easily comparing the American system of governance to the French parliamentary system. They discussed the latest French political sex scandal, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and its implications for the US military, and the financial crisis in the European Union. During, and even after the dinner, Jules did not flirt with Jason, although Jason found it difficult to separate Jules’s outgoing personality with some of his more flamboyant behavior. Agreeing with little comment that Jules would spend one more night in the guest bedroom, the two men cleared the table, Jason insisting on doing the dishes over Jules’s vocal protests.

The dishes done, they returned to the living room, and Jason settled back onto the couch. Jules pulled out his neon violin case and asked, “Mind if I play a little?”

“You kidding?” Jason replied. “I’d love to hear you play.”

Jules grinned and clicked open the fiberglass case, pulling his bow out first, tightening and rosining the hairs, then picking up the violin and planting it beneath his chin. He closed his eyes to tune the instrument and opened them again to ask, “What should I play for you?”

Jason had not been expecting the question. “I don’t know,” he shrugged. “I guess something that you love to play.”

“D’accord,” replied Jules, his mismatched eyes glittering in anticipation. “Bach. Sonata no. 2 in A Minor.”

The choice surprised Jason, but he said nothing, instead propping a pillow behind his head and leaning further back against the sofa. Jules took a deep breath and closed his eyes once more, gently laying bow to string and beginning the opening phrases with their insistent, rhythmic repetition sounding below the melodic line. The simplicity of the piece was both stunning and heart wrenching. Each phrase built upon the next, rising in intensity and in pitch. It reminded Jason of a prayer, powerful in its stark beauty, and he heard Jules’s soul poured out into every note. And then it was over, and Jason was left sitting in silence, staring at Jules as he had in the club, transfixed.

“Well? What did you think?” asked Jules.

The words woke Jason from his reverie. “That was… beautiful, Jules.” There were tears in his eyes, and yet he could not put into words why the music had so stirred his heart. In that moment, he saw the boy in a different light—no, “boy” definitely was not the right word—the look in Jules’s eyes was anything but childlike.

What are you thinking, Greene? he asked himself. You’re letting this get away from you.

Jules rested the violin and bow on the case and sat down next to Jason. He hesitated for a moment, watching the older man with uncomfortable intensity, then reached for Jason and brushed a single tear from his cheek. For Jason, the touch was electric, and his physical response unexpected.

“Bach always touches my soul,” Jules half whispered. His fingers still rested against Jason’s cheek. “He must have known great love, and great pain, to write something so powerful.”

Jason realized that his own pain must be showing on his face, because Jules, too, looked sad.

“I’ve never been religious,” Jules said, his eyes never leaving Jason’s, “but I played this piece in a tiny church once. It was like God was there with me, speaking through me.”

When Jason remained silent, Jules leaned forward and kissed him lightly on the lips. At a loss to explain the intense emotional and sexual response of his own body and equally unable to stop himself, Jason reached for Jules and returned the kiss. The younger man’s lips tasted of wine and musk, and Jason realized that he was hungry for more.

What are you doing? With this thought, he pulled abruptly away from Jules, stared at him for a moment, then frowned and stood up. His heart pounded in his chest and he felt dizzy. You’re straight, remember?

“I’m sorry,” he mumbled, his throat dry. “I shouldn’t have… I’m tired. I’m going to sleep.”

“Of course,” Jules said, appearing to be just as stunned by their brief embrace as Jason was.

IT TOOK Jason nearly an hour to fall asleep, and even then, his sleep was restless. He could not fathom his reaction to Jules’s music, at first telling himself (as he had before) that his response could be blamed on alcohol and jet lag. And yet he knew that he was only denying the truth: he was attracted to the younger man. In that moment, he had wanted Jules. He had wanted to feel Jules’s body against his own. He had wanted all of him.

It’s not as if you’ve never considered what it might be like with a man.

The vague memory of Robbie Jansen’s blue eyes, the feel of the other boy’s chest under his fingers, a high school party and the drunken hand job afterward in a friend’s basement came to mind. It had felt damn good, but then it hadn’t happened again, either. It had just been easier to be with women—they had always been plentiful and eager. Still, he couldn’t help but recall the feel of his lips on Jules’s and the scent of his skin.

Damn, he smelled good.

At last his mind slipped into sleep, succumbing to his body’s deep exhaustion.

“Blue Notes,” by Shira Anthony, Excerpt #1

December 30, 2011

Here’s an excerpt – Chapter One in its entirety.  Pre-publication, of course – the final version may differ slightly.  Enjoy!

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Chapter One

HE LEANED back against the headrest and watched the clouds beneath the wing of the airplane. Used to traveling business class, with all six foot three of him now wedged into the narrow coach seat, he cursed every aeronautical engineer who had ever suggested refitting wide-bodied jets to accommodate more passengers.

He eyed the center section of the cabin with longing, regretting that he had chosen a window seat. College students, clearly with more foresight than he, were already stretched out over three or four seats to sleep during the long flight from Philadelphia to Paris. In the final analysis, however (and, exceptional lawyer that he was, he always analyzed), he knew it was his fault alone that he should suffer the indignities of traveling like an eighteen-year-old again; it was his last minute, foolhardy decision that had landed him here.

What the hell were you thinking?

The thought had run like an endless loop through his exhausted mind for the past three hours. He knew the answer, of course: he hadn’t thought at all, he had just reacted. He’d done a lot of that lately.

A female flight attendant—blonde, attractive, and in her midthirties—stopped at his row with a stack of plastic cups and a pitcher of water. “Something to drink?” she offered, her voice a sensual undertone. No doubt she appreciated the lone, well-dressed man amidst the myriad students wired to iPods, iPads, and other devices.

He had come to dismiss such attention; he had long engendered this kind of response from women. With his wavy auburn hair, strong jaw, and bright green eyes, he was, as his grandmother often reminded him, “Quite a catch.” Add to that a salary well into the six-figure range and his job as an equity partner in a large Philadelphia law firm, and Jason Greene was a man any mother would die to have her daughter bring home. Except that he hadn’t quite managed to keep the one woman he had fallen in love with happy.

“Yes—some water, please,” he replied, offering the flight attendant the same pleasant, reassuring smile that he had offered his clients for the past ten years. The same smile that he had offered Diane upon his return home to their high-rise apartment each night, having missed dinner yet again. The smile was far more effective with the flight attendant.

She handed him a cup of water. “Business or pleasure?” she asked, mistaking his politeness for something more like interest. (He wasn’t interested—he’d had enough of women to last him a lifetime, he reminded himself.)

“Neither,” he answered, foreclosing any further discussion. She responded with a slight chuckle, then moved on to the next row back.

He closed his eyes and pressed the button to recline his seat. It only moved about an inch. He looked around. He hadn’t noticed that his seat was right in front of an exit row. Figures, he thought with a snort and a shake of the head. Resigned to his fate, he grabbed the extra pillow off the empty seat next to his and pushed up the armrest to give himself more room. Pulling the slippery blue polyester blanket over himself, he shifted on an angle to tuck his long legs under the aisle seat in front of him. It was not comfortable, but it would do.

He looked out the window once more. It was dark now, and here, above the clouds, he could see stars. He closed his eyes and rearranged the pillows so that his head rested against the cool bulkhead. A few minutes later, he drifted off into an uneasy sleep with the drone of the engines in his ears.

ONLY a day before, he had been dressed in a charcoal-gray Armani suit with a yellow striped Brooks Brothers tie, looking out a wall of windows at the thickening gray clouds over the city of Philadelphia. The forecast was for snow. Again.

“You want what?” Scott Reston, the managing partner of Halwell, Richardson & Dailey, leaned back in his chair and gaped at Jason as though he were an alien.

“I’m taking a leave of absence,” Jason repeated calmly. “Starting tomorrow.”

Tomorrow?” The other man’s voice resonated with shock. “Jason, I know you’re pissed that Diane—”

“I’ve worked my ass off for this firm, Scott,” he countered before the other man could complete his sentence, all the while maintaining his calm resolve. In spite of his control, his jaw tightened. “I’ve been pulling in enough billables to more than cover a few months off.”

Months?” The word came in a half-strangled gasp. “You want months? Look, Jaz, if you need help, I can put the new kid—what’s his name, Sanderson?—on some of your cases.”

“It’s not about the caseload. I haven’t taken time off in years, except the trip with Diane to her sister’s wedding. I need—”

“Then take a few weeks,” Scott interrupted, hoping this settled the matter. “Go somewhere warm. You can use our apartment in Cancun, if you want. Maybe you can pick up some cute Mexican babe while you’re—”

“Two months, Scott,” Jason insisted as he lapsed into his commanding courtroom voice without a second thought. “The other partners won’t question it if you’re on board. Hell, if you want, I’ll take a smaller draw this year.” One of the paperweights on Scott’s desk vibrated with the resonant baritone.

“Hell, Jaz Man. It’s me, remember? The guy you pulled all-nighters with in law school? That lawyer shit won’t work here. And since when do you let a bitch like Diane—”

“Drop it,” Jason responded, his tone colder than the icicles that hung on the eaves outside of the building. “This wasn’t her fault.”

“The fuck! She cheated on you.”

“I said, drop it. Whatever she did, she had her reasons.”

Reason one: too many hours spent at the office. Reason two: too few hours spent at home. Both my fault.

“Jaz Man….” Scott groaned, leaning back in his chair with the same party-boy look that Jason remembered from law school. “Jaz, you’re killing me. I’m up to my neck in depos in the Alvarez case, and TransAllied just sent me a class-action complaint in a race case out of Cleveland. You’re the only one licensed up there.”

“Nothing’ll happen in the next two months on the Cleveland case, and you know it,” he shot back. “I’ll remove it to federal court, and one of your new hires can start on a motion for summary judgment and getting documents together for discovery. And if the judge wants a local guy in on the scheduling conference, you can call my buddy Phil Lane up there to handle it. He owes me one.”

Scott’s frown deepened. “I can’t convince you that you’re a crazy asshole, can I, Jaz Man?”

“Unlikely,” he replied with a self-deprecating laugh. “You’ve had more than ten years to try.” He took a deep breath, allowing his shoulders to relax a bit and softening his expression. “Look, Scotty… I need this. It’ll only be for two months. I promise I’ll come back and make it up to you. Just two months.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Scott acknowledged after a pause. He exhaled, sounding a bit like a pipe releasing steam. “Fine. You got it. I’ll take the heat from the big guns. With all the money you’ve been pulling in for the past few years, they’ll squawk a little, but they’ll be more worried about losing you for good.”

“Thanks,” Jason answered, turning to leave.

“So, where’re you going? Backpacking in South America? Some desert island in the Caribbean?” Scott asked. “Buddhist retreat in Tibet?”

“Paris,” Jason responded, stopping at the door with his fingers curled around the handle.

“Paris in January?”

“Yeah.”

“Cold as hell, I hear.”

“Yeah. Something like that.”

THE plane touched down at Charles de Gaulle Airport on time in a misting rain. Pulling his small suitcase behind him and heading for the line of taxis, Jason laughed to himself—it was considerably warmer here than in Philly. It had snowed in this part of France a few weeks before, but nothing remained of the drifts that had paralyzed the region.

A taxi pulled to the curb, and the driver got out, putting Jason’s bag in the trunk. “À 146 rue d’Assas,” he told the driver in unaccented French.

“Oui, monsieur,” came the curt response.

He leaned forward, elbow on one knee, and watched the dull procession of warehouses that stretched between the airport and the city. It didn’t look all that much different than the outskirts of Philly except for the tiny cars and road signs in French announcing various autoroutes. It wasn’t until he saw the white stone basilica of Sacré- Cœur perched high atop Montmartre that he relaxed back into the seat.

It’s been too long.

The rain picked up as the taxi turned the corner onto rue d’Assas, affording a quick view of the grand fountain at the end of the Jardins du Luxembourg with its immense horses. The park looked gray, lifeless. He handed the driver a fifty euro bill, pulled up the door code on his smartphone, and entered it into the silver keypad, then walked into the tiled vestibule when the wooden door clicked open. Rummaging briefly in his pockets, he pulled out a set of keys and unlocked the door to the courtyard, his suitcase clattering across the uneven flagstones toward yet another doorway. Tiny vines of delicate yellow flowers climbed the side of the building in spite of the cold. In spring, the entire courtyard would be full of colorful blooms tended by the building’s various residents.

The second door opened without a key, and he walked a few more feet to an apartment door painted a bright shade of blue, almost turquoise. He tapped the automatic lights, illuminating the corridor, and plunged his key into the lock. The apartment was cold—colder even than outside. It had been unoccupied for months, and the frigid air from the courtyard leaked in through the ancient windows.

He left his suitcase by the front door and flipped a switch to light the entryway. A burst of color on the dining room table caught his eye as he turned up the thermostat. Rosie, he thought with a smile. She must have asked the building superintendent to set the flowers there for him.

The edges of his mouth turned up as he inhaled the sweet scent of the bouquet. Freesia and irises. There was an envelope propped against the vase, with a typewritten message inside:

Jason—

Looks like I’ll be in Milan until late March. Call me on my cell when you get in. I’ll take the TGV up for a weekend when you’re ready for visitors. I’ve had Rémy stock the fridge for a few days. The place is yours for as long as you need it. Remember to relax!

Love you,

Rosalie

Three years older than he, Rosalie had purchased the Paris apartment years ago, having done quite well in her work as a fashion designer. Jason had stayed here once, more than ten years before, in between law school and his first job as an attorney.

She’s right—you need to relax. That’s what this is all about, isn’t it? he thought as he showered a short time later. But he knew that this trip was about more than just needing time off to relax. He was running—running from everything that was wrong with his life: the long hours, the loving relationship that had slipped through his hands, the pain of betrayal, and the desire to do something with his life other than earn more money than he could ever find the time to spend. Toweling off a few minutes later, he clicked the remote on Rosalie’s sound system. Fifties jazz filled the apartment and, for the first time in weeks, he smiled.

For a half an hour he lay on the couch, just letting the music wash over him. At last, drawing inspiration from the music, he threw on a pair of jeans and a warm sweater, shoved his wallet and phone into his pocket, and grabbed his jacket and umbrella. With thoughts of a long walk, something to eat, and perhaps even listening to some live music later on, he was out the door minutes later, damp hair and all.
“OY! HENRI!” the dark-haired young man shouted over the din of clattering dishes. “You said you’d get your drums set up before you started working.”

Henri, blond hair flopping into his eyes and up to his arms in soapsuds, shouted back, “You can do it for a change, you lazy ass! You want to get me fired, Jules? If I lose my job, you lose a place to sleep, remember?”

Jules Bardon scowled, walking over to the sinks and planting himself behind the lanky blond. “And whose fault is it that you’re so late getting to work? You spent the night with Pascal again, didn’t you?”

“Is that a problem?” Henri retorted without looking up from his task. “Maybe you’re just jealous. Since you dumped”—he paused for effect—“what’s his name…?”

“Philippe,” Jules supplied.

“Right. Since you dumped Philippe, you haven’t gotten any.”

“Philippe was a shit,” Jules countered, only half joking.

“I’m sure I could convince Pascal to let you join us, if you’d like,” Henri added, smirking. A soap bubble rose from the sink and Jules flicked an angry finger by his friend’s face to pop it.

“Not interested,” said Jules. “But if you’re going to spend the whole night fucking, the least you could do is set an alarm. What the hell do I know about putting together a drum set?”

“You’ve watched me do it a hundred times,” the other young man shot back, laughing and plunking several plates down on the side of the sink. Tiny rivers of water ran from the counter down to the drain. More bubbles floated up toward the ceiling. The place reeked of grease, cigarette smoke, and soap.

“Maurice doesn’t let us play here very often,” Jules retorted, half tempted to throttle his roommate. “You have to take this seriously. You never know who might be listening.”

Henri turned and put a soapy hand on Jules’s shoulder, ignoring the look of irritation on the other man’s face. “Dreamer,” he said. Then, biting his cheek, he added, “Fine. I’ll set up my drums if you finish the dishes.”

“You got gloves somewhere?”

“Gloves?” Henri held up his bare hands and smirked. His fingers were puckered and white.

“If I do the dishes, my calluses will—” protested Jules.

“You’re a fucking prima donna, Jules,” Henri grumbled. He shrugged, turned back to the sink, and laughed again. “It’s all right. There are gloves on the shelf to your left.” He looked over his shoulder and winked.

Jules shook his head, reaching for the gloves. He snapped the rubber menacingly at Henri before giving him a shove in the direction of the nightclub’s stage, just beyond the kitchen.

THE night sky had begun to clear as Jason left the small café where he had eaten dinner, and he wandered up toward Île de la Cité, hoping to catch a view of the Eiffel Tower. Crossing the Seine at ten o’clock, he watched as the tower was illuminated in a shower of sparkles. His sister had told him that the Parisians had so enjoyed the lighting for the millennium that they had insisted the special effects continue for the foreseeable future. Leaning against the wall that ran along the river’s edge, Jason sat back and thought of nothing but the lights, ignoring the damp chill of the evening.

When the light show ended, he headed back down boulevard Saint-Michel in search of some of the jazz clubs that he had discovered in this area years ago, hidden amongst the tiny streets.

Why not?

He had nowhere to go, nobody waiting for him, no deadlines to meet. He could sleep later. A few drinks and some good music would help him sleep a lot better too. With a roguish grin he walked onward, cold hands shoved into his pockets.

Why the hell not?

He spotted a club as he turned the corner—a small, grayish-looking dive with a purple neon sign above the entrance, nestled between a bakery and a store that sold Japanese manga. Inhaling the fragrance of baking bread from the boulangerie, he walked over to peer inside. He couldn’t see anything, but the sounds of modern jazz wafted onto the street. He glanced up and read the sign: “Le Loup-Garou.” The Werewolf.

A fitting name for a hole like this, he thought with a chuckle. And just the kind of place where you’d expect to hear great music.

JULES glanced over at Henri and their pianist, David. David grinned and nodded, caressing the keys of the upright piano, his touch so delicate that Jules could hear the man breathe with each phrase. David complained that the instrument was out of tune and a “piece of shit,” but the sound he managed to coax from it was astonishingly sweet. Henri’s mellow brush strokes over the surface of the snare drum joined the soft piano, much like the sound of the rain on the city streets—understated, yet insistent. Sexy.

Jules gripped the neck of his violin, placing the instrument under his chin and against the rough patch of skin there, much like the mark of a lover. He drew his bow above the strings, allowing it to hover there for an instant before lightly catching the D string. The sound of the violin flickered like a candle flame blown by an unseen breeze, then grew and melded with the muted piano, sultry and inviting. Jules closed his eyes, letting the sound wash over him, responding to the slow harmonic progression on the piano weaving the ghostly melody.

IN A dim alcove only a dozen feet or so from the musicians, Jason sat nursing his drink, transported by the sound of the violin. It wasn’t jazz in the purest of forms—it was more of a hybrid, combining the traditional jazz rhythms of the fifties with a modern, yet classical approach. But whatever you might call the music, he found it transcendent. In between pieces, Jason glanced around the room to discover the group’s name, but found no mention of it anywhere.

The set ended, and the club erupted in applause. The musicians nodded, their manner casual, aloof, even a bit embarrassed. The violinist’s eyes met Jason’s and, for a brief instant, lingered there. Jason’s mouth parted slightly, his cheeks flushed. Breaking their eye contact to look down at his empty glass, he told himself that the heat in his cheeks was from the alcohol and the lack of sleep. He motioned to the lone waiter for a refill. When he turned back toward the stage, he found himself sitting face to face with the violinist.

“May I join you?” the violinist asked, a coy grin on his delicate lips. Jason figured that he might be nineteen, tops. As his companion brushed a stray lock of shoulder-length black hair from his eyes, Jason realized that he had one brown eye and one green. He was a waif of a kid, barely taller than Jason’s own sister. His face was uniquely French, from the slightly pronounced nose to the sharper edge of his jaw, and his body swam in a large pair of jeans that hung low on his hips, exposing blue plaid boxers. On top, he wore a body-hugging black T-shirt with the word “Quoi?” splashed across the front in bright red.

“Be my guest,” Jason replied in French, still unsure of what to think about the boy.

“Seems as though you’ve already invited yourself.”

“You’re French Canadian?” the newcomer inquired, grin widening.

“American,” came the gruff answer. Jason noted the homemade tattoo on the boy’s right forearm.

“Really? Your French is excellent,” the young man replied.

“Your music’s good,” Jason countered playfully. “What’s your trio called?”

“Dunno. We haven’t named it yet—we just don’t play that much. Wouldn’t have played tonight, except the group Maurice had booked canceled, and he couldn’t find a replacement. My roommate’s the dishwasher here.” He gestured at the drummer, who was watching them with interest from the edge of the small stage. “So, do you live in Paris?” he added after a moment’s pause.

“Visiting.”

The waiter deposited two drinks on the table and winked at the violinist.

“My name’s Jules,” the boy said. “Jules Bardon.”

“Jason Greene.”

“Enchanté.” Jules took Jason’s hand across the table. The gesture was far too friendly. Flirtatious. Jason pulled his hand away and raised an eyebrow. Jules was unfazed. “Here on business?”

“No.”

“Pleasure, then?”

“No.”

Jules laughed—a soft, almost girlish laugh. “Do I make you uncomfortable?” he asked, his eyes fixed on Jason’s.

“No,” lied Jason, finding the boy’s gaze a bit too intense.

“I could make this a pleasure visit for you,” Jules said as he absentmindedly traced a long finger across his own lips.

“I don’t bat for that team,” Jason said, borrowing the American expression wholesale as his high school French failed him at last. It was not the first time that he had spoken the words, although it was the first time he had spoken them in French. They were also not entirely true; it was simply that the right opportunity had never presented itself.

The dark-haired young man looked at him for a moment, uncomprehending, then laughed again.

“What’s so funny?” Jason demanded, noting a hint of licorice on the air as his companion replaced his drink on the table.

“Oh,” he said, “I understand.” He laughed again. “Sorry. I’ve just never heard it put that way before. At first I thought you were asking me about baseball.” He took a swig of his drink and shrugged. “Too bad. You looked like you could use a good—”

“Jules!”

“I have to go,” Jules sighed, disappointed. “Time for the next set. It was nice to meet you, Jason.” He tripped over the name, and it came out sounding something like “Jah-sohn.” Jason chuckled in spite of himself, reminded of the various ways in which his name had been mangled by French speakers through the years.

Jules sucked down the rest of his drink in one swallow and stood up. “If you change your mind…,” he began, but the blond-haired drummer grabbed him by the arm and dragged him back toward the stage.

Not likely, kid, Jason thought, chuckling again. He had enough shit to deal with.

IT WAS nearly two in the morning when Jason left the club—a full twenty-four hours since he had really slept well. The rain had begun to fall again, this time in torrents. In spite of the downpour, Jason decided against taking the Métro. He liked the rain; it helped clear his mind.

He headed down boulevard Saint-Germain toward boulevard Saint-Michel, past the darkened storefronts and the few cafés that were still open. He crossed a side street, glancing to his left to see the impressive Panthéon with its white stone surface still lit. In that moment, he realized that he had never taken the time to explore Paris as an adult—he had chosen instead to get wasted and hang out in clubs rather than do any serious sightseeing. No, most of his memories of the city were those from his childhood when his parents had dragged him and Rosalie around to all the museums and tourist destinations.

He reached the corner of Saint-Michel and waited for the light to turn. On the other side of Saint-Germain, he spotted a lone figure waiting at a bus stop. “Jules?” he called out as he stepped onto the other curb.

“Jason,” the boy replied, looking surprised but pleased nonetheless. Jason noticed that he was shouldering a neon-green violin case with a few peeling Rolling Stones stickers. He had no umbrella and no jacket, and was soaked to the skin, his dark hair plastered to his pale cheeks as he shivered. His lips were already slightly blue.

“I enjoyed the music,” was all Jason said. Damn, but the kid looks young. He reminded Jason of a street kid. How do you know he’s not?

“Thanks,” Jules mumbled as he wiped the rain from his cheeks.

“Missed your bus?”

“Yeah,” Jules answered. “There’s another in about an hour. They don’t run often this time of night.”

“You can spend the night at my apartment,” Jason heard himself offer. “I’ve got a place nearby.” He immediately regretted these words—what the hell was he doing, asking a kid who had been hitting on him just hours before to spend the night? But he was too tired to think straight, and the kid looked terrible. “In the guest bedroom,” he added quickly to clarify the sleeping arrangements.

Jules’s expression turned to one of astonishment. “I… I…,” he stammered. “Sure.” Then, “Hey, I thought you were visiting.”

“It’s a long story,” Jason replied, motioning Jules under his umbrella. “Maybe I’ll tell you sometime.”

“I’d like that, Jason.” Jules pushed the hair out of his face. Jason said nothing, but kept on walking. “Oh, and Jason?”

“Yes?”

“Thanks.”

“Yeah.”

Excerpt: The Dream of a Thousand Nights, by Shira Anthony

September 26, 2011

Here’s a sneak preview of the first of the dreams in “The Dream of a Thousand Nights!”  By the way, if you read the excerpt from “The Prince and the Jinn,” from the previous posts, you’ll probably recognize some of this, too.

Excerpt from Chapter Two (pre-publication, final content may change):

A soft breeze blew through the palace windows. Neriah inhaled the delicate fragrance of orange blossoms and stretched his arms over his head. “Are you content?” came a man’s voice from beside him.

“I…,” Neriah hesitated, unsure of his response. Warm lips pressed against his own; the taste was familiar and intoxicating. He was not unhappy, and yet….

“What is it you desire?” his companion inquired.

Neriah hesitated once more.

“I can give you anything you wish. Diamonds, rubies, land, women….”

“I have no need for those things,” Neriah answered, claiming the lips that had spoken those words.

“What, then? What do you desire, beloved prince?”

“I want to know your name.”

Neriah sat up in his bed and shivered. It had been the same dream now for weeks, although he had come to wonder if he hadn’t dreamed it long before and forgotten it. Each time, he would awaken out of breath, aroused, and with an emptiness that pierced his soul to its core. He could remember the intense passion his dream companion had awakened in his soul, but he could never remember the face of the lover in his dreams, nor did he ever learn his lover’s name.

“My lord,” came a soft female voice from the entrance to his tent, interrupting his thoughts. “May I bring you something to drink? Should I send your manservant to help you dress?”

“I need nothing,” he replied as he dismissed the servant girl. “Leave me.” She bowed low and backed away from his tent.

It was always like this—those who knew who he was would insist on doing everything for him—and he despised it. Despite his royal blood, he was more than capable of attending to his own needs. Years of living by himself on the run from his father’s men had taught him to guard his independence. He knew that the servants found him cold and unreachable, but he cared little. His place was to lead them, not to befriend them. In truth, he had few people whom he could call “friends” at all, and he preferred it that way.

He stood up, covering his naked body in a silk shalvar kameez of the deepest blue, edged with delicate gold embroidery, and stepped into a pair of red velvet slippers. He walked over to a low-slung chair in the center of the tent and sat, frowning and rubbing his chin. He had heard the men return from their night raid on the enemy encampment. He would wait for a report before deciding what his next move should be.

“My lord.”

“You may enter, Uryon,” Neriah said with a nod to the captain of his personal guard.

A tall, broad-shouldered man with short, dark hair and bright green eyes walked into the tent, bowing low. He wore a deep purple shalvar kameez and a red scarf wrapped around his head. At his waist was a broad sword with an inlaid hilt, along with a small, jeweled dagger. Neriah himself had given Uryon the dagger as a symbol of the trust he placed in his officer, and Uryon had not disappointed him—Uryon had, countless times, protected Neriah at great peril to his own life. The prince knew that he was fortunate to have men such as Uryon under his command.

“We were successful,” Uryon announced as he kneeled before Neriah. “Sheik Karana’s men are either dead or have fled into the hills. We have brought back the spoils of the raid.”

“Spoils?” Neriah ventured a slight frown playing upon his lips. “I have no need for spoils.”

“Nevertheless,” Uryon replied, “there were several women taken in the battle, along with a male slave, and three chests of gold. Your Highness must—”

“Make arrangements for the women to be returned to their villages,” Neriah interrupted. “You may send them back with enough gold that they will be provided for.”

“And the slave?”

“Is he friend or foe? What are his origins?” Neriah asked. Another loyal, able-bodied soldier would be a welcome addition to their ranks. Several of Neriah’s best men had been won in battles with the enemy. He had earned their gratitude and their loyalty in freeing them.

“He won’t reveal from whence he comes,” Uryon replied. “He refuses to speak to anyone but you, Your Majesty.”

“He knows who I am?” Neriah asked, surprised at this turn of events. His identity as Neriah, the banished Crown Prince of Tazier, was a secret known only to his closest followers and loyal servants. To others, he was known as Sheva, a wealthy sheik who opposed the rule of the current King of Tazier.

“No,” Uryon explained, “but he will not speak unless it is to our leader, Lord Sheva.”

“A spy, then,” Neriah said, his face darkening, “perhaps in my father’s employ?”

“It is possible,” the other man replied, “although if he is a spy, he is a crafty one.”

“How so?” asked Neriah.

“He had been kept to pleasure his captors,” Uryon answered, looking uncomfortable now. “Or so the women have told us. They appeared”—Uryon hesitated for a moment—“quite jealous of his charms.”

Hope you liked that! 

Shira

THE ATTORNEY by Carolyn LeVine Topol – excerpt (Adult)

August 3, 2011

Here’s a little treat for you to enjoy as we close for the night, but I’ll be back over the next 24 hours to check on comments.  Happy Reading!  Enjoy the second book in The Male Room trilogy.

Chapter 3

SAM closed the door as soon as they entered his apartment, flipped the deadbolt, and pressed Chris against the door, crashing their lips together. Chris tasted like the perfect blend of green tea, Thai spices, and something more. It didn’t matter what it was. Sam wanted it; he was hungry for him.

Pressing back, Chris explored Sam’s mouth, wrapping his arms around Sam as he pushed his tongue inside. Sam felt a sound escape from his throat, his reaction more intense than he’d expected.

It didn’t matter that Chris was broader and taller; Sam took back control, tugging his date’s shirt out from where it had been neatly tucked into his pants. He immediately started to deftly unbutton the garment, exposing the beautiful, fair skinned six-pack underneath.

Taking a step back, Sam gazed at Chris’ heaving chest, leaning in to lick and suck each nipple, moving from one to the other, over and over, sometimes moving away from one nipple, only to return to it immediately, keeping his date guessing as to which nub he would attack next. Chris moaned, threading his fingers through Sam’s hair as the onslaught continued.

“Look at them—erect, hot, wet, waiting for me.” Sam continued to suck harder on each nub, then nipped at them both.

“Ahhh!”

“You like that, don’t you? You’re waiting for more?” Sam loved Chris’s responsive movements and wanted to experience more.

“Want to touch you,” Chris breathed out.

Anxious to oblige, Sam quickly unfastened the buttons of his own shirt, pulling it off and flinging it off to the side. Chris’ big, smooth hands instantly gripped Sam’s back and then moved to his chest, massaging in circles over every muscle, purposely avoiding his own erect nubs.

“You’re beautiful.” Eyes darkened, Chris stared at Sam as he continued rubbing his hands over his entire upper body. It wasn’t long before he began to search lower. Chris unbuckled Sam’s belt and then his own.

“You want more and I want to give it to you.” This was the moment Sam would find out if he had been right. Would they clash for control and implode before they got any further? Although he knew it bordered on cliché, Sam still wasn’t convinced two tops could handle the compromises that would need to be made.

“Bedroom.” Sam froze, a grin on his face when he heard Chris. “Can we move to your bedroom?” Chris didn’t wait for an answer, kissing Sam once again, wrapping his arms around him. The touch of the now warm hands sent a shiver up Sam’s spine.

Taking Chris by the arm, Sam hastily moved them to his bedroom. He tossed the comforter to the side, revealing the dark, burgundy-colored sheets below.

As Chris began to remove his belt, Sam stilled his hands. “Let me.” He whipped the belt out of the loops and unfastened the pants. No need for those any more. Before lowering them to the floor, Sam pressed his hand against Chris’s hard member still trapped beneath the fabric.

“Oh God.” Chris’s head fell back, his eyes slowly closing.

Inching the pants and briefs down together, Sam got his first look at the prize underneath. “You’re so damn big.” Chris’s cock was incredible; long, thick, and hard, waiting for Sam, responding to Sam’s every touch and word.

While Chris toed off his shoes and socks, then stepped out of his pants, Sam quickly stripped off the rest of his own clothing. “You’re not so bad yourself.” Chris grinned.

Sam knew men loved to suck his cock and practically lined up to get fucked by him, but for some reason he wanted Chris more than any other he’d ever made a play for before.

Jeff had sucked him off in the backroom of the Music Box once. He’d been great, but it was a onetime event. Jeff belonged to Craig, with Craig, and he was off the market now.

“I want to take you.” Sam pressed his lips to Chris’, slowly guiding him to the edge of the bed, hoping with each step forward he wouldn’t meet a wall.

“I know.” Chris pulled back briefly and then pressed their lips together again. The hunger and urgency between them grew until Sam wanted more and more of everything about Chris. He needed to have him sprawled on his bed so he could kiss every inch of that amazing body and then fuck him until he begged for release.

Chris lay on his back rolling his lips inward, clearly out of his comfort zone. Sam hovered over him. It was just how Sam wanted it. He was in charge. This was his show and he would make it a performance neither of them would forget.

Starting at Chris’s lobe, Sam nipped, licked, and kissed his way down the long neck, sucking just enough not to leave a mark. He then moved on to touch, and lavish attention on, the hot, muscular chest, and finally the tight abdomen. The man beneath him began to writhe, gripping the sheets in his clenched fists.

“You are so damn hot.” Kissing, licking, teasing the huge reddened cock, Sam listened to the moans urging him on. Each sound from Chris went right to Sam’s dick. He was harder than he’d been in ages without touching himself. When Chris began to buck under Sam’s ministrations, he stopped, grabbing the lube and a condom from the night table drawer.

“Sam.”

Blinking, as he squirted a large dollop of the gel onto his fingers, Sam looked up. Chris’ eyes were wide. He had that deer in the headlights look. “Are you okay?”

Closing his eyes, Chris turned his head to one side, obviously having second thoughts. Sam worried this would be over before it started.

“Chris?”

“I just, I don’t usually—” Biting his lip, Chris couldn’t seem to finish the sentence.

“I figured. I’ll take it easy.” Sam pressed his lips gently to the matted hair streaked across his forehead. “I’ll take care of you.” Sam wasn’t sure why he offered so much, but it felt right.

Warming the lube in his fingers, Sam positioned himself between Chris’ legs, encouraging him to spread them even more. When he responded, Sam’s breath hitched at the sight of this amazing, hulking man lying wanton and needy, waiting for him. “I’ll give you a night you’ll always remember.” He pressed one finger slowly into the waiting hole.

Chris arched his back slightly in response, breathing heavier as Sam pushed another finger in to join the first.

Opening up the tight channel wasn’t easy. Chris had obviously not been doing much bottoming, if any at all.

“More. Another. Please.”

Smiling as he witnessed the building desire, Sam gladly added a third finger, spreading Chris from the inside, opening him up so he’d be ready for the hot, long cock he was about to take. Moving his fingers within, he found the spot he was looking for and nudged it.

“Oh shit!”

“You like that? You want more?”

Chris nodded, licking his lips. Sam captured the seductive tongue between his lips and sucked on it as he dove in for another heated kiss. Chris’s legs fell further to the side as their contact became more urgent, and he began to buck against Sam’s fingers.

Pulling out carefully, so as not to hurt Chris with too sudden a move, Sam looked at the man below. “Are you okay?”

Smiling, Chris laced his fingers in Sam’s hair and pulled him in for another kiss.

That was all the encouragement Sam needed. He couldn’t hold back any longer. Adding to the thrill for Sam was the experience of watching the tight muscles of Chris’ sculpted body heaving as he panted, waiting for Sam to penetrate him. After putting the condom on with one smooth stroke and coating it with the lube remaining on his fingers, Sam slowly pushed his cock inside. “You’re so damn tight.”

A nod was the only response as Chris once again clutched the sheet in his fists.

Continuing to carefully move deeper, Sam pushed into the tight tunnel until he was completely inside. Looking down, he stilled, allowing Chris to signal when he could move again. When he felt the strong legs wrap around his back, Sam knew it was time.

Starting with a slow, steady pace, he thrust in and out, enjoying the warmth. Sam couldn’t tear his eyes away from the man beneath him. He was so open, so trusting. As Chris began to join the rhythmic movements, Sam felt something foreign in his gut. Ignoring it, he continued, changing the angle to make sure to graze Chris’ prostate on every stroke.

“Oh God, Sam!”

Leaning down, Sam crashed their lips together, swallowing Chris’ words and moans, wanting to take all of him at once.

“Ahhh. I’m gonna come. Please.”

When Chris made a move to touch his dick, Sam swatted his hand away. “You’ll come without even touching yourself.”

“Fuck!” Chris bucked beneath him, his reddened member bobbing freely, as Sam’s movements became faster and harder.

Resting his cock against Chris’ prostate, he delivered short thrusts over the delicate spot.

His head thrashing from side to side, Chris grabbed Sam’s shoulders, digging his nails in as he arched his back one last time. “Sam!” Creamy white spurts of liquid shot between them, hitting the full length of Chris’ chest up to his chin.

Feeling the intense pressure around his cock, Sam followed him, filling the condom.

After catching his breath, Sam gently pulled out, removed the condom, tied it off, and tossed it onto the floor.

Before he could say or do anything, Chris wrapped his arms around him, holding him close. This wasn’t what Sam normally did after fucking a trick—it would typically be too intimate—but Sam didn’t mind. Although he might regret his actions later, Sam followed suit, embracing Chris. The two lay, their legs tangled, sticky come drying on their chests.

Although he thought about getting up to wash off, Sam instead reached out with one hand to pull the comforter over them. It was Friday night and there was no need to think about alarm clocks or deadlines for the next day.

Holding one another beneath the blanket now cocooning them, Chris kissed Sam’s neck. “I’m not sure why I let you.”

“Shhh, just go to sleep.”

“No, Sam,” he whispered. “I need to tell you. You’re the first.”

Sam’s eyes shot open for a moment, and then a smile spread across his face. He nibbled at Chris’ lobe and then kissed his neck, cheek, and lips tenderly. “I’m glad it was me. And I’m not sure how, but somehow I knew.”

“Good.”

The two remained entwined as they fell into a sated sleep.

SAM didn’t feel or hear anything until he awoke to the light streaming into the bedroom. He rolled over, frowning when he discovered he was alone. His reaction set off an internal alarm, which he chose to set aside for the moment.

Then he spotted a small note on the nightstand.

Thank you for last night. You’re right, I’ll always remember it. It’s your move now, since your friend fixed us up. Here’s my phone number. I hope you use it. Chris

Damn! Now Sam had to really think about how he felt. He had been in his element the night before. In the light of day, out of bed, could he make a relationship work?

Last post/excerpt!

July 27, 2011

I’m calling it a day everyone – just got off work and got to get working on those other projects *grins*

Also, I’m trying to write a short story for the DSP Christmas Advent anthology – featuring Derek and Brian! I hope it comes out okay and that its accepted.

So – the last excerpt for today – I hope I’ve stimulated all of you into thinking about purchasing – And just because I can, here is a little preview of their first *time* together…Not work safe

Enjoy my darlings!

Psychic Moon

They yanked at each other’s clothes and soon were able to press their naked flesh together. Derek made himself take a step back just so he could take a fulfilling gaze of Brian’s body. He wasn’t disappointed. Brian was lean with firm muscles under smooth skin. A light sprinkling of golden hair covered his chest and slowly darkened as it descended until it was a dark gold around his hard shaft. At his center, Derek took pause. Brian’s shaft was long and thin, and he grabbed it, unable to stop himself.

Brian gasped and gripped Derek’s arms, pressing his body once more to Derek’s.

Derek’s hand burned as it stroked Brian’s length, and he wanted to devour the treat before him. At that moment he felt like the luckiest bastard in the entire world. He also, for just that moment, felt like just a man. Not a shifter, not an animal cop. But a man.

Brian’s man.

Possessed, Derek grabbed and kneaded Brian’s butt before shoving him down on the bed. Derek pushed Brian further into the mattress with his body and kissed him soundly. Derek felt his own head spin as he swept his tongue everywhere inside Brian’s mouth.

He had the thought of taking it slow, however torturous that would be. He didn’t want to scare Brian or make him nervous. He wasn’t sure how long Brian had gone without sex, but he would do anything to put him at ease.

But when he pulled back to take a breath, Brian suddenly reversed their positions. Derek was shocked by the man’s sudden show of strength. Feeling oddly weak, Derek tried to capture Brian’s mouth again, but that mouth was currently busy kissing and scraping his skin in a downward descent. Derek heard groans and realized that they were his own.

His hands tangled in Brian’s soft, blond hair as that soft mouth finally reached its goal. Brian slid his tongue up Derek’s shaft, and the shifter gasped and tightened his grip. His muscles flexed under his skin as Brian slid him in and out of that wet mouth. Derek could actual feel his brain cells fizzle and short out. But he didn’t want to come yet. Not yet.

Unable to stand Brian’s warm mouth any longer, Derek gripped the man’s shoulders and hauled him up and onto the bed. His body was straining for release, but he had yet to sample all the pleasure he knew Brian’s body could give him.

Derek held Brian down by holding his arms to the bed with his hands while his mouth roamed at will. He nibbled at Brian’s neck before drifting his tongue over his collarbone. Brian moaned and lifted his hips, rubbing their sensitive groins together…

Find out what happens next by purchasing!

I know, I’ve said that a lot, but I’m just so darn excited! Its my first book with Dreamspinner and I’m very proud of it!

M.D.

Momentos-Final Excerpt

July 17, 2011

San Sebastian - Donostia Photos
This photo of San Sebastian – Donostia is courtesy of TripAdvisor

We went through the motions, checking in at the Hotel Monte Igueldo, requesting adjoining rooms.  Tono went out to the car and brought back two bags, surprising me  with his forethought.  I had no idea what was in the bag Tono handed me, but I accepted it as my due, carrying it upstairs to my room.  As soon as we locked our respective doors, and unlocked the one separating the two rooms, we were in each other’s arms.
 
Tono lifted me easily, carrying me to one of the queen-sized beds and easing me down gently.  We continued kissing, even as items of clothing were removed piece by piece.  The shirts came first, followed by several minutes of tongue play over nipples that responded to each luscious lick.  I buried my face in the light brown curls that layered Tono’s chest, acquainting myself with this new treat.  Paul had insisted on waxing, and so this, being with someone who had no qualms about leaving everything  au natural was refreshing.  I rubbed my face against the soft fur, loving the feel of the silky hair while enjoying the smell of Tono’s skin―a combination of soap and body odor that was pleasantly musky and all male.  Everything about the man was intensely masculine, starting with the thick shadow on his face, which scratched the hell out of my skin.  This roughness, combined with a tender touch, set Tono apart from previous lovers, raising the bar for the future.  I hadn’t realized how much I would enjoy the vast difference between Tono and Paul, but it was fitting that the two were nothing alike; I would never be able to compare them.
 
Paul was usually silent during lovemaking, except for the standard expletives, whereas Tono liked talking and hearing me respond in kind.  A lot of what he was saying was in Spanish, which I hadn’t quite perfected yet, but the cadence and the feeling behind the words stirred me.  I couldn’t help but respond to Tono’s pillow talk, reveling in the joy of being wanted again, after being discarded so easily.  I hadn’t thought about being with someone special until tonight and was grateful that Tono had insisted on waiting, even for only twenty-four hours.  It said a lot about his intentions. 
 
Tono carpeted my neck and ears with soft, warm kisses while his strong hands were everywhere, kneading and rubbing and cupping.  This dual assault was taking its toll, and soon I was begging.  The needy, mewling sounds were pouring out of me, and instead of lighting a fire, Tono hunkered down.  He seemed to be taking perverse pleasure in hearing me beg.  His pace was deliberate and leisurely, interspersing every lick and suck with a litany of Spanish words that were driving me insane.  I gasped when Tono licked a wet swath down my chest, pausing momentarily to play with my belly button before moving on to wrestle with my belt, forcing my jeans apart when the zipper got stuck.  I heard Tono curse in Spanish.

“Tono, please―”

“Shh…paciencia, cariño.”
 
Tono was driving me mad with this methodical journey down my body. “Fuck patience!”  I lifted my hips and shoved my pants down, along with my boxers, and threw them across the room.  My cock bobbed up toward my stomach, swollen and seeping fluid.  I cried out when Tono slurped at it, savoring the flavor like an appetizer.  “Tono, sweet Jesus…fuck me

Tono let go of my cock reluctantly and began the tedious process of removing his pants, pausing for effect just before he unzipped and pushed them down his thighs.  I sucked in a shocked breath, never expecting Tono to go commando, but commando he was–there was nothing between his enormous cock and his chinos.  It sprang forth like a living thing, eager to get down to business.  Tono grinned when he saw the look on my face.

“You still want me to fuck you?”

“Hell, yes, but lube up first.”

Momentos-Excerpt #3

July 17, 2011

San Sebastian - Donostia Photos
This photo of San Sebastian – Donostia is courtesy of TripAdvisor

August and September flew by and soon fall was upon us. The weather remained temperate so I asked Mom and Dad to come for a visit. It had been over eight months since I’d left New York, and although I lacked for nothing here in Spain, I did miss my parents. I’d invited them to spend the entire month of October, promising to take them on a mini tour of Spain and France. There were many places I’d yet to see, and Tono was due for a vacation as well, so why not spend it with the three people I loved more than anything in the world.

“Where should we take them?” I asked, lying on our bed and watching Tono get ready for work.

“We can drive to Paris and spend a couple of nights. There are some picturesque towns along the way; we could stop and poke around.”

“That sounds good. They’re flying into Madrid, so why don’t we meet them there and stop at points of interest on our drive back.”

Sí,esta bien. We can take them to Valle de los Caidos and Escorial. There’s also Toledo and the Roman aqueducts in Segovia. Do they like old architecture? Castles?”

“Who doesn’t like that? I’d like to see them as well.”

“How about futbol? Maybe Real Madrid will be in town when we’re there.”

“My dad would love it.”

“We’ll draw up a plan, cariño. Map it all out and take our time. I have three weeks vacation. I’m sure we can find plenty to do.”

And we did…find a million things to do; deciding which took priority was the hard part. In the end we decided to let Mom and Dad weigh in on the decision.

On the way to Madrid Tono voiced some concerns, which hadn’t even occurred to me. My parents were the most easygoing couple in the world, but Tono didn’t know them so his fears were understandable.

“Do you think your folks will like me?”

“Of course they will.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“They like everyone and the world adores them.”

“They probably liked your ex very much.”

I looked at Tono and frowned. “Paul again? I thought we’d put that demon to rest.”

Cariño…they knew Pol for years.”

“They were also there to sweep up the pieces when he broke my heart. He’s not high on their list of favorite people right now.”

“Did they like him before the fight?”

“I don’t think you understand the extent of the argument, Tono. It wasn’t just a lover’s quarrel. Paul accused me of being a user and riding on his coattails to weasel my way into Alcott Press. He insulted my integrity as well as my professional skills. I didn’t need connections to get published. Fuck that condescending piece of shit!”

“You’re emotional when you discuss him; it means you still feel something.”

“All I feel is anger.”

“They say anger and love go hand in hand.”

“Bullshit! I’m not going back to him so stop harping on the subject.”

“What if he were to show up tomorrow and apologize?”

“Oh. My. God! I’m getting out of this car and walking if you don’t quit it.”

He started gnawing on his lower lip, a nervous tick which would result in a mouth that looked like I’d worked it over with rough kisses. I took a deep breath and counted to ten, telling myself it was natural for Tono to continue feeling insecure. Our relationship was still young and fragile while my ties to Paul were grounded in history and shared experiences. It would take years for Tono to catch up, but the thing he didn’t realize was how much I loved him. And that was my fault. I had to prove that there wasn’t a chance in hell I’d ever consider going back to Paul Alcott.
“Tono, I’m sorry.”

He grabbed my hand and brought it up to his lips. “It’s my fault, cariño. I shouldn’t have brought it up.”

“I understand why though, and I promise you on everything you hold sacred that I will never go back to him.” Years later, I’d have to eat those words, but at the time I was sincere. Tono was heartened by my declaration and the questions were put to rest.

My parents were quietly enthusiastic about my new relationship. My mother was immediately smitten when Tono took her hand and kissed it in lieu of a handshake. His inherent politeness and impeccable manners won her over immediately while Dad was impressed by his knowledge of soccer and the statistics related to the game. Tono was an athlete in every sense, and Dad responded on a visceral level. I had never shown an interest in sports beyond what was expected from me in school, and although I watched sporting events, it was for Tono’s sake. I was far more content playing tourist with my mom.

We ended up splitting my parents for the afternoon. Tono and Dad went to Bernabeu Stadium to watch Real Madrid decimate the visiting team while Mom and I spent the afternoon touring Madrid in a double-decker bus. It took us all over town, and we ended up getting off in front of the Royal Palace and touring the gardens, which were open to the public. Mom was an avid gardener and interested in the different species of plant life indigenous to Spain. After half an hour, we re-boarded the bus and proceeded on to the Plaza Mayor, where we disembarked to have coffee and a pastry outside one of the many cafés in the area. The choices were endless, and we split a Napoleon, the delicate pastry layered with a buttery crust spread with creamy filling, and a couple of miniature apple tarts drizzled with caramelized sugar.

“He seems like a very nice man,” Mom commented, in between sips of bold Spanish coffee. I was recounting my first meeting with Tono and trying to explain the nuances of Jai alai.

“I love him, Mom.”

“So soon?”

“Soon? I’ve been here for almost eight months.”

“What about Paul?”

“What about him?”

“Do you hear from him at all?”

“Hell, no, and I don’t want to hear from him ever again.”

“Sweetheart, you were with Paul practically your entire life. Surely, a little forgiveness and understanding are in order.”

“I think not.”

“So, that’s it? You’re going to give up years of happiness with your true love over a silly quarrel?”

“Mom, you’re supposed to be on my side,” I bristled with anger. “You know what he did. It’s over, and I’ve moved on, as I’m sure he has. It wasn’t a fucking whim, Mother. He destroyed our relationship, brutally and without qualms.”

“Language, Mick.”

“Sorry.”

“I’m only playing the devil’s advocate here. I don’t want you to ever regret this decision.”

“I won’t.”

“I do like your young man. It’s very obvious how much he loves you.”

“He makes me happy to be alive.”

“And that’s what life is all about, sweetheart. Loving and being loved.”

“I learned from the best.”