Sunday, October 24, 2021

Sleepy Sunday Cinema

 This morning, still struggling with the flu, I attempted to be productive, figuring if I could just convince my brain and body to focus on creating one beautiful thing, I'd feel better and could get to work on the story that's been in and out of my head all week. That....was a failure. But it did give birth to this new idea for a Sunday blog post, of watching movies, sipping cocoa, and maybe letting some of my characters chime in the film choices. 

So, to kick things off, Interview with a Vampire, because Cody is being extra loud this morning, probably because it's his story I don't feel up to working on. Bittersweet are his feelings about the movie, out of a desire to see Lestat and Louie fall in love with one another. He claims not to be, but he is a romantic, just lets his cynicism get in the way of his desires. 

"See, now this is the kind of bullshit that pisses me off!"

Well, hi Wreck, see you're in as lovely a mood as always.

"Thank fuck that's over. About the only way I can relate to that bullshit movie is Lestat remarking about all the whining he's had to listen to from Louie over the centuries. Seriously, how fuckin' pathetic can you get to always be pissing and whining about something. Annoys me about as much as those who can't even manage to open their god damned mouths and ask for what the fuck they want.  I tell you what, you want something from me, you better frame it in plain ass fuckin' English or do without."

Great, I can see movie night at your place is going to be fun. Do me a favor, ech, don't piss off Bellamy before he realizes he's supposed to like you, otherwise, you're gonna fuck up the whole flow of this book.

"Then that's his problem not mine, now are you gonna roll Devil's rejects, or sit there and keep making me out to be the bad guy when I ain't even got my first five minutes on the page."

Maybe a little cocoa and Bellamy's amazing meringue pancakes with diced cherries and a little honey-yogurt drizzle will sweeten him up a little, or not, from the hints Bellamy and Cody are giving, Wreck is going to have an uphill battle if he thinks they'll beg him for anything. 

Claiming Cody is a work in progress at the moment, but something tells me it'll be Bellamy doing the claiming...sorry Wreck. 




Saturday, October 23, 2021

Double Rainbow Snippet Saturday 10/23/2021

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).



In this group you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

I would invite everyone to please come check out the Rainbow Snippets group, click on a link, read and comment on the writing available and get involved yourselves in this awesome exercise. The link to the group can be found HERE.  Today's snippet is from Claiming Cody, an MMM Biker BDSM novel set in the world of Burning Luck, where Lucky's best friend, Cody, finds that his gambling is getting as out of control as his vehement denials of who he is, and what he wants. 

“You hungry?”

“I could eat.”

“Waffle house?”

“Hell yeah. I’m Bellamy, by the way,” the guy remarked as he swung his leg over the back of the bike and settled on the seat behind Cody. The hand he placed on Cody’s abs made them clench and for a moment, Cody feared he’d embarrass himself, biting back the groan that threatened to burst from his throat. Fuck it had been too long since he’d been touched. Closing his eyes, he took a few deep breaths to steady himself, hoping his voice didn’t betray him when he gave his name.

“Nice to meet you, Cody, thanks for stopping. When I took this road, I didn’t consider how little use it got. Yours was the first headlight I’d seen in an hour.”

“How many did you see before that?”

“Three, none going as fast as you were, but none of them gave me a second glance, either,” Bellamy remarked over the roar of the engine. Having someone on the back meant he slowed it down considerably, for about a mile, until Bellamy learned in, lips brushing against his ear.

“Do not slow down on my account.”

Cody did shiver then, the growl in Bellamy’s voice slithering down his spine, urging him to roll on the throttle harder than before. The night whipped past, Bellamy’s body solid at his back, making him wish he wasn’t wearing his jacket or his cut, so he could feel the warmth seep through.

Lucky's story came out in 2017, but in Cody's story, you will see a different side of Lucky, them growing up together, and the light and creative energy in Lucky that made him so attractive to Thorn and Cain, despite it taking them some time to see it.  Below is just a little taste of the memories peppered through Cody's story, since the things that shaped one, most certainly shaped the other as well. 

Oh my god, so many wishes!

Happy Lucky was a squirmy Lucky, molded to his side, head pillowed on his shoulder, staring up at the sky where overhead, a meteor shower sent streaks racing through the heavens.

Wishes only work on stars, Cody grumbled good naturing, hating to dull Lucky’s enthusiasm, especially when an excited Lucky meant kisses peppering his neck and throat, all that wiggling leaving him with a warm, achy feeling low in his belly and a hard, throbbing cock Lucky would suck once they were alone again.

But that’s what falling stars are silly! Lucky exclaimed, the laughter in his tone taking the sting out of being teased for once again not paying attention to something their teachers had undoubtedly gone over while Cody had been daydreaming or writing songs.

The salty tang of seawater and kelp lingered on the breeze, cool winds blowing in off the ocean, meaning Cody cuddled Lucky closer while his best friend went on and on about how meteoroids had started off as parts of asteroids and comets before they’d broken apart and went tumbling around in space. It was when they got caught in earth’s atmosphere and were drawn towards the ground that they became meteors, burning up and producing the streaks of lights people called falling stars.

So then what happens to actual stars? Cody asked, impulsively kissing the side of Lucky’s head. His hair smelled like honey and the clovers they were currently laying in.

They burn out. Right now, there are stars up there that are already dead, but it takes so long for their light to reach us, that we’re still seeing the ghosts of them, sparkling in the heavens. 

Burning Luck


 

Friday, October 22, 2021

Flirtatious Friday: Gabriel and Raine's unintentional waterfall rendezvous



 Amazon

Nine Star Press

The scent of cotton and sunshine still lingered heavy in the air. Raine’s scent, one Gabe had been dreaming about. Sometimes he’d woken in the middle of the night to smell it on his pillow, cuddle the damn thing, and remember the moment he’d determined Raine was meant to be his.

He could hear the falls and knew he was heading in the right direction, the sound growing louder the closer he got. Stepping out of the tree line, he was met with a magnificent sight. A sparkling pool, water cascading down the cliff face. The air was heavy with mist and alive with birdsong.

Peaceful. This was everything he’d hoped for when he’d slipped away from the gathering to find a place to work on his novel. A fresh notebook, a new pen, and a flat rock. He was just getting settled when a loud howl split the air, scaring the hell out of him and the birds, who rushed to the sky in a makeshift flock. He looked up just in time to see a figure leap from the edge of the cliff, body held in perfect diving form, on the way to making a splash in the rippling pool.

His mouth was still hanging open when a grinning face popped up right in front of him, emerald eyes peering from a golden face. No doubt he spent as much time in the sun human as he did wolf. Resting his head on his arms, body still in the water, the guy stared up at him with quizzical eyes.

“What are you doing here?” he asked.

“Writing, or at least that was my plan before you played daredevil and splashed water everywhere.” Gabriel told him.

“I’m not playing, and you’re trespassing.”

“These falls are on pack land, which means it’s open to everyone, including those of us who are only here for a little while.”

“Doesn’t mean the rest of us want the smell of you all over everything.”

“Does my scent really bother you that much?” Gabriel asked, smirking when the other wolf sniffed the air, eyes closing as he inhaled Gabe’s scent.

“No. Just…do me a favor and don’t tell anyone how to get here.”

“On one condition.”

Warily, the other wolf watched him, tensing, hands pressing against the rock like he was about to shove himself away from the ledge and go…where? Glancing around, Gabe only saw one other spot where getting out would be easy, and that was clear to the left of the falls and slick with algae.

“What?” the other wolf finally asked, a hint of a growl in his tone that hadn’t been there before.

“I’ve got some sandwiches in my bag, drinks, and some cake I snagged from the dining hall. Have lunch with me.”

“It’s still morning.”

“True, but I’m guessing you’re not done whatever it is you do out here, and I haven’t even started writing yet, so what do you say to sharing the space, just for the day? I promise I’ll stay out of the water if you promise to keep the bulk of the water in the pool.”

Wariness turned to contemplation, hesitation, too, enough to make Gabriel wonder why such a perfectly innocent request was so difficult to answer.

“And what if I want you to join me?” the other wolf asked.

“What, up there?”

“Yup.”

Swallowing hard, now it was Gabe’s turn to hesitate. “I’d have no clue what I was doing.”

“It’s simple. Just jump. Gravity does the rest.”

There were dozens of reasons it was a bad idea, but those eyes, and the chance of having lunch together and maybe even learning his name, had Gabriel tucking his journal back in his backpack and rising to his feet. The other wolf climbed out of the pool with ease, his cutoff jean shorts leaving little to the imagination. Completing the picture was a washboard of toned abs for the water to stream over, long hair clinging to his skin clear down to the middle of his back.

He wasn’t much for talking. They climbed, and Gabe marveled at the view, making a mental note to work it into his story somehow. Someone had made a stone path in the flowing water, leading right to the edge of the cliff. A common occurrence then, this cliff diving.

“You can see forever from up here,” the other wolf said, cutting the silence with a soft suddenness that left Gabriel pondering his words as they stared out at the horizon: rolling hills surrounded by forests, a river carving a winding path through them. In the distance, a line of wolves ran across an open meadow, stragglers frolicking and pouncing on one another in their wake. 



“There’s more to the world than what you can see from here,” Gabriel told him. “The lands I come from are covered in mountains with jagged snowcapped peaks and hot springs where the water bubbles right up from the ground. We have waterfalls there, though I’ve never considered jumping off one.”

“Well then, now’s your chance,” the wolf replied, turning away from the view.

He was across those rocks and over the edge before Gabriel could blink, leaping into the air with a grace Gabriel knew he’d never be able to imitate. Gabriel watched him hit the water, then pop back up several feet away, waving up at him.

Moment of truth—the rush of water around the rock, the pounding of his heart drawing out the roar of the falls. He was really going to do this, if only to be spontaneous for once. Diving, he felt the wind rush past, the water race up to meet him, colder than he’d thought it would be but oh so exhilarating. He popped up to see the other wolf grinning at him from the ledge Gabriel had occupied not so long before.

“That was amazing!” Gabriel roared, shaking the water from his hair. “Oh my god, I have to do that again!”

And they had, several more times, taking a break to eat the lunch Gabriel had brought and do some sunbathing. His failure to get Raine’s name had nagged at him. He’d only learned it after he’d pointed him out to someone from a distance, after being unable to catch up with him for the rest of the week. His wrist had tingled then too, though no mark had appeared, and as he heard more and more stories about the elusive Raine and how he skipped every gathering, he became more determined to spend time with him again.


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Throwback Thursday: Musical Dreams


 Dare gets lost in music only he can hear.

Since childhood, it’s rolled through his mind, drowning out the rest of the world. When he comes back to himself he has the notes and lyrics for the songs his band plays. But he wonders if such talent is worth it, when the rest of his life is such a mess.

All Sionn ever wanted was Dare’s attention.

But that won’t happen as long as Dare has his ‘musical dreams’, so he keeps his attraction a secret. Too bad it’s impossible to keep anything secret when you live with your three best friends. When Sionn’s temper reaches breaking point, he sets Dare on a quest to ‘fix’ himself, in the hopes of gaining the love of the man he adores.

But Fate has a funny way of twisting things. And ‘normal’ is just a state of mind, isn’t it? 



Dare sighed, leaned his head against the cool metal of the railing, and shivered. He was unaware how long he’d been outside, or even what time it was now. He had the song, though. Words and music pulled from lines in the air were imprinted on his fingers and in his heart as surely as if he’d written them down. It was always this way; a fact he often marveled at and wasn’t sure he fully understood, much like the dreaming itself. Not that he ever wished it gone. On the contrary, he was afraid that without it he’d lose his music and everything that made him who he was.


Dare closed his eyes for a moment and shivered again, realizing that he was tired and hadn’t had a meal all day. He climbed to his feet, his guitar clutched in one hand and the other gripping the railing as he swayed. Damn, he thought as he waited for the dizziness to pass. It had to be pretty late if he was feeling this dizzy and weak. With a tired sigh he shuffled inside, tucked his guitar back into its case, and wandered into the kitchen to see that the clock read a quarter to five. Holy shit. No wonder he was starving and ready to drop; he’d been on that damned porch all fucking day. He vaguely remembered heading out there at ten, with a cup of coffee, his cigarettes, and his guitar. He checked his pocket and found the pack, happy he hadn’t burned through too many. Sometimes he smoked them all without realizing it. A waste really, or at least that’s the way he saw it. If he was smoking something, he wanted to at least remember the taste of it.


His hands shook as he poured himself a glass of milk. Then he sat at the table, drinking the milk and eating an apple. It would have to do until he could get dinner cooked. He knew the others would be home soon, and hungry. Not that they really wanted him messing with the stove. His dreams were unpredictable, and twice he’d started unintentional fires, staring off into space while the pan beside him burned. Today, though, he figured it would be fine, easy really, to cut up an onion, brown some beef, and toss soup into the pot on top of it to make a meal. He tried hard not to hum as he worked. He tried not to think of music at all. Instead, he wrote out a grocery list while the meat browned, stirring it occasionally so it didn’t burn. He forced himself to focus on what they needed and not the soft rhythm pulsing in the corner of his mind.


It helped to think of the last time he’d burned a meal and Sionn’s disgusted reaction as he’d stood with the fire extinguisher in hand, red-faced, and screaming about how Dare couldn’t manage to go thirty goddamned minutes without drifting away to dreamland and how he could have burned the whole place down goddammit all to bloody hell! Dare focused on how ashamed he’d felt over the mess he’d made and how angry he’d made Sionn, and he finished cooking the meal without incident. He checked the time. They’d all be out of work by now, unless one or more had been asked to work overtime, in which case, they’d all be late, coming home in the car they shared. Dare sat at the table listening to the tick of the clock and idly drumming his fingers against the wood.


While he waited, he let the music take over. He lay his head down on the table and stared at the counter, his eyes glazing over as he entered the waking dream. He was oblivious to the roar of the Charger’s engine as it pulled up to the house, the slamming of doors, and the chatter of voices as the other members of the band came in.

“OCH, NOT AGAIN!” Sionn declared when he caught sight of Dare and the pot on the stove. He raced over, only to find it was already off, that everything was off, and nothing was damaged or burned. He nudged Dare’s chair, not really expecting a response but trying anyway. “Dammit.”

“How bad is it this time?” Tommy asked from the doorway, shoulders slumping a bit as he saw the blank look in his brother’s eyes.

Sionn turned a relieved look toward Tommy, and Paul, who’d joined him in the doorway. “It’s fine. He managed to cook and turn everything off this time. Smells pretty good too.” The last part was said grudgingly, and the Scot frowned at the smirk Paul was giving him.

“So wake him already so we can eat,” Paul told him, chuckling.

“Why don’t you wake him?” Sionn grumbled, angry and stubborn as he nudged the chair again.

“’Cause it takes me longer than it takes you.” Paul slid past Tommy and began setting the table.

Sionn nudged the chair a third time, but Dare didn’t even blink. “Bloody bastard,” Sionn muttered, not certain himself to whom he was referring.

He knelt beside Dare’s chair and fisted the thick strands of chestnut hair in one hand so he could move it away from Dare’s ears. Leaning in, Sionn could smell the lingering scent of Marlboros and the spicy-sweet peppermint of Dare’s soap. He paused, cursing himself as the desire to lick Dare’s throat overrode the annoyance he always felt at being the one to call Dare back from the dreams. Why they couldn’t just give him some damned drug to keep this from happening, Sionn had never understood. There had to be a way to prevent this, to give Dare a chance to be normal and Sionn a chance to finally admit the way he felt about the younger man. God, he hated this, hated the dead, lost look in Dare’s eyes when the dreams overtook him, hated how still and silent he got, and the creepy, almost persistent humming that damn near drove him mad. There were days when Sionn longed to beat the hell out of Tommy for allowing his brother to endure this; yet the Scotsman never said a word to any of them about the way he felt. He just grumbled through stories of his childhood, breathing in the scent that was uniquely Dare until the younger man began to wiggle and mumble and moan.

“Welcome back to the land of the living.” Mark chuckled as he stepped into the room just in time to see green eyes clear and focus. Dare sat up and Sionn let him go, cutting Mark a scathing look.


Mark raised an eyebrow. “What’s your problem?”


“I’m tired of this shite,” Sionn growled. “That’s what the hell my problem is. He zones out like a fuckin’ space cadet and you all just sit and laugh and make a joke of it. I’m goddamned tired of being the bloody one to bring him back. And for what? He’ll space out again in an hour or two anyway.”


Dare frowned, looking back and forth between Sionn and Mark. “I remembered to turn the pot off this time.”

“And it’s a good thing too,” Sionn snapped. “But did you ever think that it might not be a good idea for you to be trying to cook at all?”

Dare looked down, biting his lower lip. “Just wanted ta have dinner ready for ya’ll when you came in. Sorry.”

Paul plunked a bowl of soup down on the table in front of Dare. “Ech, don’t worry about him, he just had a pissy day at work and now he’s gonna be an ass for the rest of the night.”

Sionn shot Paul a withering look and sent one at Dare too for good measure. “Kiss my arse, you bastard.”


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Warrior Wednesday: Oh Those Protective Instincts



MMM Biker BDSM 

Runner up 2017 Golden Flogger Awards 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

It was dark and the house was quiet when Thorn pushed the door open and stepped in. The click of fingernails on tile announced Roscoe’s approach, and Thorn groaned as he knelt to rub noses with the big dog and talk to him. A light switch clicked on, and Thorn blinked at the sudden brightness and looked up to see Lucky standing there, yawning sleepily. 

“You’re home,” Lucky stated, eyes widening a bit as they settled on Thorn’s face. 

Thorn knew what he saw there, he’d seen it himself in the mirrors of his bike. His lip was busted and there was a bright bruise on his cheek, not to mention his knee hurt like hell from where some bastard had kicked him. “

Yeah, guess I am,” Thorn replied. 

“He was worried,” Lucky explained as he headed to the kitchen. 

 Thorn wanted to ask if Lucky had been worried, but he decided not to push the issue after Lucky returned with ice wrapped in a dishtowel and handed it to him. 

“Thanks.” 

“You’re welcome,” Lucky said softly, then backed away, returning to the living room. 

Thorn could hear the muffled sounds of Lucky waking Cain, and knew the exact moment when he realized what Lucky was saying because suddenly Cain was calling out his name and vaulting over the back of the couch to reach him. Thorn found himself on the receiving end of a bone-crushing hug that brought another groan from him. 

“Can’t breathe,” he gasped, finally prompting Cain to ease up and back away. 

Cain reached out and touched Thorn’s cheek near the bruise and Thorn let out a hiss. 

“Damn,” Cain muttered. 

“That about sums it up. It looks worse than it is, those bastards won’t be jumping anyone else for a while.” 

“Wish I’d been there to see that.” 

“I’m glad you weren’t. I’d have been distracted, trying to keep one eye on you, especially when some idiot whipped a knife out.” 

“How’d that go for him?” 

“Got his wrist broke, shoulder dislocated and stabbed in the leg with his own blade. Could have been worse, but we weren’t out to kill ‘em just out to remind them not to fuck with us or anyone under our protection ever again.” 

Over Cain’s shoulder, Thorn could see Lucky lingering as if he wanted to join them, but wasn’t sure of what his welcome would be. As soon as he caught sight of Thorn watching him though, he ducked his head and headed for his room, disappearing behind the door. 

 “Dammit,” Thorn muttered beneath his breath. 

 “What was that?” Cain asked as he took the ice from Thorn and went about tending the bruises himself. 

 “Nothing.” Taking Cain’s hand, Thorn led him upstairs to their bedroom. 

 “So was Santiago there?” 

“Yeah, he and I had a nice chat before the fists started flying.” 

“And…” “And he knows someone from the club is wreck diving that site and is convinced it’s you. Kept on claiming that we were costing him and his business partner a ton of money and he wanted it stopped. He wanted the artifacts back that were taken from the site and the coins too, or the price we got for selling them. I’m not sure I beat it into his head that it wasn’t you, but I gave it my best. He’ll be wearing my boot print on the side of his face for the next few weeks.” 

“Did you tell him it was Simon?” 

“Hell no, even if Mark kicked him outta the club we ain’t gonna rat him out, but Santiago said there’s been rumors from several sources that a guy in our kutte has been the one selling coins and silver from the wreck. I guess some of the pieces match those in the catalog at the museum, so they know which ship it’s from. Guess Christian is feeding him all of the particulars he needs to ferret out whose doing it.” 

“Which means he isn’t likely to just let it drop,” Cain pointed out. 

 “There is that, I think Blaine needs to go back in there and take a closer look. Maybe we can rattle a few cages of our own if we can get proof those museum pieces aren’t real.” 

“Maybe it’s time I called Simon, see if he’s still working that site.” 

“No, I don’t want you sticking your nose into it. If he calls you, fine, get the information like Mark said, but I won’t have you reaching out to him. If things go south, you could end up getting thrown under the bus again.” 

“Right now the only thing I want to be under is you.” 

Thorn chuckled, low and throaty. “I can work with that.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Tantalizing Tuesday, inaugural edition

 Yesterday was matesummer Monday, where mates were the focus of the day. Today, it's Tantalizing Tuesday and we're kicking off the morning with a bit of teasing, complete with whipped cream, pie and a meteor shower. 


When you race the sky, gravity always wins

Staring at himself in well-worn jeans and a T-shirt, Nicky hoped he looked okay. Hadn’t Terry told him he was putting on a little weight? Maybe he should make use of the gym at his sponsor’s facility, make sure he was in peak shape for the races to come. There was nothing he could do about it now, though, except go back to his room and find a slightly larger shirt to pull on. Smoothing it over flat abs, he told himself that first thing in the morning he’d get some training in. Well, first thing after coming back down the mountain; that was if Gray allowed him to stay again.

Slipping into the diner almost an hour later, he was shocked at the way his anticipation had given way to nervousness. Gray greeted him with a smile that made his eyes light up, and Nicky’s insides quiver.

“Hey. Great timing. I’ve got about two minutes left. Hope you’re hungry.”

“Starved.” Nicky chuckled, his stomach taking that moment to remind him that it had been hours since he’d eaten.

“Perfect.” Nicky watched as Gray finished serving up a burger and fries, then untied his apron and disappeared into the back, returning a short time later with a huge basket of food and a couple of sodas.

“If you don’t mind a few extra minutes wait, I’ll grab a shower and some clean clothes and we can go.”

Staring up at him, Nicky thought about asking if he could join him, but that wouldn’t get them very far and Nicky was curious about the meteor shower and this place Gray seemed to know where they could do whatever they wanted and no one would hear them. “I’m in no hurry,” he finally said and parked himself on the trailer’s steps to wait.

Fifteen minutes later they were bouncing along a winding country road, with the radio on and Nicky singing along.

“You like rock?” Gray asked as he tapped his fingers to the beat.

“I like music. Not really picky about what kind as long as I can sing to it.”

“A man after my own heart.” Gray laughed, before singing along too.

The spot proved to be way out in the middle of nowhere, in a clearing beside a small pond. Reeds surrounded it, and the soft croak of frogs greeted their arrival. The clearing also provided a perfect view of the stars. Nicky stood in awe of how brightly they shone, while Gray spread out a few blankets and got the basket settled in the middle.

Nicky jumped when fingers ghosted up the back of his neck and Gray’s breath tickled his cheek. “We should eat before the show starts.”

“Sh-show?” Nicky blinked, fighting to clear his head.

“The meteor shower; remember?” Gray chuckled. “It’s what we drove all the way out here for. It’ll be starting soon, and we’ll want to be on our backs for that.”

“Oh, umm, yeah.”

Taking Nicky’s hand, Gray led him to the picnic blanket and took a seat beside him. The pair dug into a meal of meat loaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas, and pie. Gray had even remembered the whipped cream and generously loaded Nicky up with a heaping mound, despite his protests.

“Kid, there isn’t an ounce of fat anywhere on you, and I doubt there’ll ever be, so relax and enjoy it,” Gray ordered, as Nicky hesitantly eyed his plate, spoon poised over the slice.

“But—” Nicky tried one more time to protest, only to be silenced when Gray shoved his own spoonful of pie into Nicky’s mouth.

“Mmm.” Nicky moaned appreciatively, eyes drifting closed only to snap open when he felt Gray lick a smear of cream from his lip. For a moment, Nicky froze, staring into the depths of Gray’s intense gaze, before Gray leaned back and scooped up another spoonful of pie. Giving up on protesting, Nicky allowed Gray to feed him while he fed Gray in return, until both plates were empty and Nicky had somehow been left in control of the whipped cream. With a playful shove, Nicky pushed Gray back on the blanket and trapped him there with his body, lifting the edge of Gray’s T-shirt so he could lick underneath.

“Now, just what are you planning?” Gray asked low, and Nicky peeled his shirt up more.

“This.” Nicky laughed, pressing the button on the can and coating Gray’s abs with whipped cream. Gray bucked and laughed, almost displacing Nicky before gazing down at the mess.

“You made a mess of me; didn’t you?”

“Uh-huh,” Nicky murmured, then flicked his tongue out to snake through the cream. “Guess I’ll have to clean you up.”

“Guess you’d better.”

Teasing Gray with his tongue, Nicky cleaned all trace of whipped cream from Gray’s skin, then grinned up at him wickedly.

“Really?” Gray growled, quickly rising to the challenge of rolling Nicky over and tickling him until he was breathless.

“Oh…wow…” Nicky’s eyes had gone wide as he stared up at the heavens and the streaks of bright light racing past the stars.

Rolling, Gray pulled Nicky tight to his side so they could enjoy the majesty of it together. “Beautiful, isn’t it?”

“Yeah. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Gray nuzzled his neck. “Then I’m glad your first time is with me.”

Nicky found himself getting lost in the view and the warmth of Gray’s body beside him, unable to remember the last time he’d felt so happy. “This is amazing,” Nicky whispered as five streaks raced overhead.

Gray propped himself up on one elbow and stared down at Nicky. “You are amazing. I still want to know more, you know. That little conversation we had last night wasn’t enough.”

“Then come to the races Saturday,” Nicky half asked, half pleaded. It would be amazing to have someone there cheering just for him.

“What time?”

“First heat starts at nine.”

Leaning in, Gray slid his fingers into Nicky’s hair. “I’ll be there,” he said low, before kissing him.

Nicky whined and slid his arms around Gray, digging fingers into his back a little as he kissed him eagerly. It was hard to resist the urge to slide a leg around Gray’s waist and press his body upward, rubbing his jean-clad erection against Gray’s, the friction drawing a sigh from him. The meteor shower was quickly forgotten as Gray’s hands began to roam.


Monday, October 18, 2021

Matesummer Monday (Inaugural Edition)

 


Fate has a sick sense of humor, or at least, that's how Darrell feels when he finds himself conscripted into Zaden's personal and political crusade to find and save his younger sibling, and keep the newly mates princess of his snake shifter colony from being murdered by factions that wish to tear his rumba apart. With no interest in plots, missing snake men, or having his every other word censored, the only thing that might keep Darrel at Zaden side is the very real attraction he begins to feel for Zaden. But will it be enough to keep him there, or will he wind a way back to his solitary existence, and miss learning who and what he truly is?

“Settle down and focus,” Zaiden barked, one eye cracked open, watching Darrell squirm.

“Go fuck yourself,” Darrell muttered, continuing to move around until heavy hands landed with an iron grip on his shoulders, the pressure making the sore one throb with pain. His eyes shot open to see Zaiden's inches from his own, swirling and hypnotic.

“Take a deep breath in and hold it,” Zaiden instructed.

Darrell was so shocked by the sudden close proximity that he did as he was instructed without complaint.

“Now let it out slowly, with me, five, four, three, two, one.”

While Zaiden counted, Darrell exhaled, eyes never leaving the other man's gaze.

“Breathe in,” Zaiden instructed.

Once again, Darrell did as he was told. Holding it until Zaiden counted down for him to slowly let it go. Zaiden's hands on his shoulders grew lighter, no longer pinning him in place, they were taking time to rub, his thumbs lightly running up the sides of Darrell's neck on every inhale, stroking downward with every exhale, in a way that left Darrell shivering a little at the light, almost ticklish caress.

“Close your eyes and continue taking slow, steady breaths,” Zaiden told him, his voice having taken on a low, almost hypnotic tone. “I want you to focus on relaxing your muscles and allowing all of the tension to drain out of them. There is no need for anger between us, nor heated, hate-filled words.”

Darrell stiffened a little, instinctively rebelling against Zaiden's words, the little voice in the back of his mind screaming that he didn't want to stay calm with the snakeman so close. Fuck or fight or both was what he wanted, then Zaiden's fingers stroked lightly over the nape of his neck and gave it a squeeze and Darrell almost melted into the carpet.

“That's it, just relax and breathe for me, they'll be time enough to figure out which one would suit us both.”

Huh! What! Darrell's brain screamed at him to ask what the hell the snakeman was talking about even as Zaiden gave the back of his neck another gentle squeeze before moving his fingers up to card them through Darrell's long hair. The feel of those nails lightly scraping against his scalp was even more soothing that the rhythmic breathing pattern he'd continued to adhere to. Vaguely, he was aware of the snakeman moving around behind him, but he found it very difficult to care as the warmth of the other man's body pressed against his back, allowing him something solid to relax against.

Fuck this felt good, and right, and safe, and...shit, shit, shit, not safe, that was too damned familiar too fast. This crazy bastard had broken into his house, threatened him, tossed out his booze and his pills and freaked him the fuck out, safe was definitely not what he was in the snakeman’s presence, but damn did those steadily rubbing fingers and that soothing, melodic voice make it easy to forget that.

Shouldn't forget that he can read minds too, Darrell tried to remind himself, as his body began to feel heavy, the tension in it just melting away. Even Zaiden's voice had become an echo, though there was the brush of something warm, pleasant feelings and a chuckle rolling like hazy smoke through his mind whenever he thought the name Zaiden, rather than snakeman.

Somewhere in the distance a timer dinged and Darrell was jarred back to the present by the way Zaiden stilled and scooted back. The loss of all that warmth left Darrell feeling annoyed and a little unsettled. He didn't feel like moving, dammit, why the fuck couldn't they just keep this meditative shit up for the rest of the day?

“Because you have a task to accomplish,” Zaiden replied, reminding Darrell of just how easy it was for the snakeman to slip into his thoughts, the bastard. What the hell had he been thinking, relaxing and letting his guard down, let alone the mental walls that were supposed to keep prying assholes out of his thoughts or at least, make it more difficult for them to read shit.

Still, Darrel had to admit that the forced meditation had left his senses more alert and the ache in his shoulder far less pronounced. He could make out whispers, echoes really, far beyond his usual range. If finding this Zxex for Zaiden would get the snakeman out of his hair faster, then it was time to start searching. He wasn’t sure how many mornings like this one he'd be able to stand. Still, it was impossible not to recall how pleasant those fingers in his hair had actually been, and long for them again. 


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