12/08/2014



Good afternoon readers! Welcome back to Story Orgy Monday. I'm late posting today, and I hope that's not going to become a habit, but here it is... part two of Urbex: City Secrets. By the way, that's not the "for reals' title. If you think of one, let me know! I'm on the look out for something that suits.





Chapter Two : First Meeting Dec 8th - Outside, the wind howled.---

A perfect night for romance would have meant a shiny bright moon, twinkling stars, and the sort of sensual music nature made as if by accident, birdsong and rustling leaves and whistling wind punctuated by the percussion of crunching twigs. A blanket on the snow, or a sleeping bag, sparkling wine and deep shadows were romance’s seductive tools, but since Lester wasn’t romancing anyone tonight...and hadn’t for quite a while--

The thick grey cloud cover smeared across the half moon, the hushing blanket of this morning’s snowfall, all suited Lester’s purpose much better. It was cold, probably not quite freezing, but the wind chill had to be a good ten degrees lower. The flask of whisky in his glove box and the thermos of coffee in his black canvas backpack were all the refreshments he needed. And all the warmth he was going to get.

Lester slowed as his headlights picked up the turnoff. As Lionel had told him, it was tricky to find. There wasn’t any road sign. The access road was overgrown, so much so that the three inches of fresh snow weren’t enough to batten down the weeds and grasses. He cut his headlights and slowed to a crawl as he took the turn.

The bump and drag on the undercarriage of his car were a little unnerving, but excitement built the closer he got to the silo. It was, as Lionel had promised, perfect. He came to a stop just where he thought he couldn’t be seen.

Outside, the wind howled. Inside, a familiar excitement rose in Lester at the prospect of exploring the unknown, of enlivening his humdrum existence with a bit of mystery and…

“Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints,” he whispered, staring at the clean lines of the silo. “Lionel, I owe you one for this.”

Lester turned off the engine, grabbed his backpack from the back seat and climbed out of his car. He slung the backpack over one shoulder by its strap and plucked his flashlight from its clip. The beam when he turned it on was weak, but sufficient to guide him over the worst of the ruts and tufts of weeds.

Lester reached the silo quickly, and circled it, looking for an entrance. A rackety ladder lead upward, but he didn’t dare climb it. He refused to let the disappointment of not being able to get inside tarnish his pleasure in the structure itself, though. He snapped dozens of photographs, from every possible angle, losing himself in the beauty of it, the play of shadow and texture, the contrast of pristine snow and rusted metal, the sheer poetry of the past decaying right before his eyes.

“Shit.” Headlights flitted over him, but unlike the other half dozen cars that had passed on the county road, this one slowed to a crawl and then swung into the access road. In actuallity, it could be anyone. Most likely someone who had noticed, him, or some kids. The road ended here, so whoever it was wasn’t going on to another destination.

Lester froze. He turned off his flashlight and backed up to the building, hoping to meld into the shadows. His backpack was on the ground nearby, where he’d dropped it while taking pictures.

“Shit. Shit. Shit.” He hissed into the darkness, catching sight of the structure on the top of the approaching SUV. He shrank down, trying to make himself as small as possible.

Too little, too late. Red and blue lights whirred into life on top of the approaching vehicle, and a bright searchlight illuminated the entire field. Lester straightened up and shielded his eyes from the blinding light. The car door opened and then slammed shut again.

A figure emerged, just a dark being in the brightness. Lester shivered a little. The man...because that figure was purely masculine, was big… a good six inches or more taller than Lester’s admittedly modest five foot seven, and broad… football player wide. Part of that might have been bulky winter gear, but he couldn’t help thinking...hoping… that it wasn’t. Curiosity made him squint, trying to see the man more clearly.
“Everything all right out here?” The voice was deep, with husky overtones. Sensual, sexy…

“Just fine, officer.” He stepped forward so the man could see that he wasn’t carrying any weapons or cans of spray paint. “Just…”

“I got a call. Suspicious activity. Are you alone here?”

Finally the man reached the right point, where shadow and brilliant searchlight blended perfectly, and Lester could see him clearly. His breath caught in his throat. The face… The officer had the face of a movie star, large, bright blue eyes, thickly lashed, a wide smooth brow, full, kissable lips, a Clint Eastwood-esque scruff that could have been designed, but given the darkness of his hair might just as easily have been the legitimate five o’clock shadow of a man who’d shaved before a long work day. His square jaw just added to an overall impression of tough, strong, country cop.

“Just me,” Lester finally managed to squeak when his silence made those pretty blue eyes narrow suspiciously.

“You sure about that?” The cop glanced around the lit area, brows rising when he caught sight of Lester’s Audi. The luxury sedan probably was quite out of place here in the middle of a field.

“Yes,” Lester snapped, irritated for some reason. Acutally, he knew perfectly well why he was irritated. The sting of attraction nipped at him, and he felt foolish because of it. “Do you see anyone else?”

The man looked Lester over from head to toe. Lester quivered indignantly. He’d never been more conscious of his lack of inches and pounds. Right at this moment, he felt like nothing so much as a ninety pound weakling, and he sure as hell hoped that that attraction he’d felt hadn’t shown, because if Jethro took exception to Lester’s obvious attraction, well… he was out in a field far away from home, and he’d just bloody well told the man he was alone.

“And what are you doing out here, in a field, alone, at this time of night?” The rumble sent unwelcome prickles of awareness over Lester’s skin. “Usually, when I come out on calls like this, I find a bunch of kids hanging out drinking and groping each other.”

“I’m not...drinking and groping anyone.” Lester protested, a little breathless now. Because just the mention of groping had sent his gaze wandering over that sturdy frame again, and his gaze… damn it...had no doubt lingered a little too long on the juxtaposition of jacket and jeans and crotch.

“License and registration?”

“But…” He shrugged and moved over to his car to retrieve his document folder from the glove box. He clicked the car fob and the lock popped with a beep. The headlights came on, and the car purred to life.
Snow and grass crunched under booted feet behind him. The deputy was following him. Lester shivered again.  

“That remote start is a nice trick.”

Lester stiffened, pulled the door open and reached inside. He had to lean across the seat to reach the glvoe box. “I’m not running off.”

“Good thing. I’m not sure your vehicle is much good for off roading, and that’s what you’d have to do to get around Gussie here.”

Gussie had to be the car… no way was this hunk of masculinity named Gussie. Angling his body awkwardly to conceal the flask of whisky from the deputy’s view, Lester fumbled his file out of the glove box and backed up, bumping into a warm, solid body. “Shit,” he whispered, freezing.

“Excuse me,” The deputy stepped back, sounding amused.

Lester stood upright and whirled around, holding the document file out between them like a shield. “Here.” He squeaked again, to his dismay. Maybe it was a damned good thing they didn’t get him in the courtroom on the more intense cases. That squeak would hardly impress a jury.

“Thank you.” The deputy took the file and flipped it open, brows lifting again. His plump full lips, lips that would be perfect wrapped around Lester’s dick, thinned slightly. He tilted the folder into the light, then glanced from it to Lester and back again.

“It’s a bad picture.” Lester muttered. But hardly unrecognizable. Hardly worth this intense scrutiny. “Can I go now?”

“You shouldn’t keep your license in your car like this, Lester. Les…” The deputy handed back the papers.

Lester frowned. “I…”

“You live in the city, surely they teach you about car thieves and identity thieves?”

Lester snorted. “If someone steals my identity they are more than welcome to the car.”

“Les--”

“Deputy?”

“Jordan. Jordan Currigan. I’m not going to ticket you for trespass this time, but I’ll tell you the same thing I told the kids who were here last week.”

“And what’s that?” Lester was surprised to find that this was a favored drinking spot for kids. It was pretty clean from what he could see, and usually the kids left signs of their presence.

“The laws are in place a reason, to protect you and keep you safe. I live about three miles down that road,” He waved at the county highway behind them. “And I pass by here frequently. If I catch you here again, I’ll have no choice but to ticket you. Now it’s a nuisance ticket, and a moderate fine, but you don’t want a record.”

“No, I don’t.” Lester acknowledged. It had been a long time since he’d run afoul of the law, and the last time had been for the exact same thing. They’d sneaked into the announcer’s shack at the football field, him, his best friend and his younger brother. They’d only wanted a place to go to get away from their parents and whiny Lisa, who at thirteen had thought she should be included in all of her older brothers’ activities. He’d been sixteen, Lionel fifteen, and Dean...Yeah that time had been all about Dean and his ridiculous reckless streak.

Still...they’d all got the bug then, hadn’t they? The adventure, the excitement of doing something illicit, of the shadow life of buildings had infected all three of them.

All in all, given the number of buidlings they’d enjoyed over the intervening years, he probably ought to be surprised that there hadn’t been more nights like this one. “I understand.”

He realized he’d left his camera and backpack over by the silo, where he’d tried to hide. Lester pointed at it. “I’ve got what I need. You won’t find me here again.” He backed up, turning to go back to the silo to retrieve his back pack, but his foot landed funny. It glanced off one of those weed clumps, sending him tumbling backwards and his foot shooting out in the other direction.

Like an old movie running in slow motion, he watched, appalled, as his Nike clad foot, dirtied with snow, rotted leaves and muck, flew out and up, connecting solidly with the deputy’s calf, sending the man stumbling backward. His heart pounded, loud, insistent in his ears. His blood rushed, rivaling the wind for the fierceness of its sound. Heat rushed up from the pit of his belly, warming his ears beneath his knit hat, scorching his cheeks and the back of his neck.

Then he breathed in a sharp, painfully cold breath and time speeded up again as his ass hit the frozen ground while the deputy lurched, arms windmilling, cursing a blue streak.


TO BE CONTINUED 

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12/07/2014

New Release Blog Tour: Christmas in His Heart #mmromance #pridepromotions #giveaway


 Follow Havan and me on Tour as we discuss holidays, writing together and getting in the mood. Don't forget to scroll down and enter the rafflecoptor giveaway for your chance to win a $10 ARE gift card. 


Christmas In His Heart

Release Date: December 4th, 2014

Cover Artist: Laura Harner
Blurb(s):
Christmastime brings joy to hearts everywhere. Between snow angels, festive clothing, holiday decorations, and of course, all the beautiful lights, it’s hard not to partake in the season.

Unless you no longer have Christmas in your heart.

Dermot Alasdair has never shared the horrific memories that keep him from celebrating the happiest time of the year, nor does he ever plan to. He’s fine being alone and shut off from everyone; he has his restaurant and that’s all he needs. He believes that, too…until the craft store next door from his eatery hires a perpetually smiling annoyance. Really, it isn’t normal for someone to be that happy all the time.

Xander Leahman didn’t know what he was getting into when he accepted an invitation to visit his best friend and help her interview people for the newly created position of manager at Craft Time. When a surly man bumps into him and then walks away with an enticing sway to his hips, Xander decides the position—and Dermot—are perfect for him. Now all he can think of is finding ways to get Dermot out of his clothes. Well that, and how to open this grinch’s heart to the Christmas season and, hopefully, love.


Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Romance, Holiday

Excerpt:
“Hey! Good morning!”

The cheerful greeting broke through his concentration, and Dermot looked up to see the new manager of the Craft Time craft store sweeping the sidewalk in front of the shop. “Hey,” he muttered sourly. Xander Leahman made his head ache. Just one glance and he wanted to snap at the man to comb his hair, put on a heavier jacket, and for Christ sakes why wasn’t he wearing gloves outside in this weather?

Dermot wasn’t going to stop. He had no plans stop and talk to the smiling man. Xander bubbled more than a bottle of shaken soda water. Dermot didn’t have time for his chatter, and he didn’t have time for the strange, compelling not-quite-nausea he seemed prone to in Xander’s company.

Maybe he was allergic to the man’s cologne, or deodorant, or shampoo. Dermot leaned forward and sniffed surreptitiously, but he couldn't smell anything other than cinnamon and vanilla. An overwhelming urge to bake overcame him, and he jerked himself upright.

He was an executive chef, not a pastry chef. He didn’t bake, and especially not something as…plebeian as oatmeal raisin cookies, which was what Xander smelled like.

“Excuse me.” He deliberately stepped around Xander, who put out a hand and caught his arm.

“I saw you coming down the street.” Xander set the broom aside and picked up a steaming mug from the windowsill. “It’s not as good as Prudence’s coffee, but I made it fresh this morning.”

Blinking in astonishment, Dermot stared from the mug to the hand on his arm. He could really… 

“Thanks.” He accepted the mug and inhaled the rich aroma of good coffee, scented with cinnamon and…yeah, vanilla. And he’d thought it was Xander who smelled so good? He didn't know whether to be relieved or embarrassed. “I needed this. That walk feels longer every day that the temperature drops.” The first sip exploded on his tongue with soothing heat and delicious flavor and he bit back a moan of appreciation. 



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Be Yourself

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955