Saturday, 24 May 2014

Crossfire by Jon Keys

Thanks for letting me visit! I’m really excited to guest on your site today. I’m pumped about the release of Crossfire as part of the Men in Uniform anthology from Torquere Press. I had decided to make 2014 my year to write a few short stories. I was excited when I found the Torquere Press call for Men in Uniform. I mean, check out the cover, hot! A story for the Men in Uniform anthology looked like the perfect place to begin. I loved the subject and Rick and Gabriel developed into characters that I really enjoyed learning more about.

This story has murder, kidnapping and a missing person all wrapped into one neat bundle. I hope everyone enjoys the tale.

~ Jon ~


Rick Anthis, a forty-five year old veteran of the Colorado State Police, and his husband, Gabriel Thorkelson, a deputy sheriff in a nearby county, enjoy the peace of their suburban Boulder home. Until three gunshots rip through the tranquil neighborhood and Rick witnesses the kidnapping of his buddy, eight year old Jacob.
The clues are sparse until Gabe reminds Rick of something Jacob had said. Rick has a starting point. He and his CSI team locate the remote hideout, only to find the the kidnappers are gone, and Gabe is missing too.

Excerpt from Crossfire.

Rick dried the last dish and handed it to Gabriel to put away. Gabriel settled the last plate into the white cabinets. He loved their house and the quiet, older neighborhood it was in. He hoped Mark and Rachel could work out their issues, keeping Jacob in the forefront.

Rick put his hand around Gabriel's slender waist. He's as sexy as he was in college. Damn just being next to him makes me randy. Releasing Gabriel, Rick folded the dishtowel carefully and laid it beside the sink. 

"Supper was great. You're a damn fine cook."

Gabriel snickered and spun to pop Rick with a wet towel. "It should taste good. Your mother gave me herbs from her garden the last time we visited."

"Mom's just trying to fatten me up. I'm kind of skinny for a forty-three year old Greek man."

The towel snapped against Rick's butt again and he grabbed at it. Gabriel danced away, his face lit with delight. "Where does that leave me?"

Rick swept Gabriel up and kissed him. "It leaves you in my arms, just where you should be."

Rick paused as he remembered the note in his pocket. Leaving his hand on the small of Gabriel's back he reached in his shirt pocket and fished out a small piece of yellow paper. He gripped it between two fingers and dangled the sheet in front of Gabriel.

"Speaking of, I found another note in my lunch."

Gabriel studied the symbols on the page as if he'd never seen them. "Huh, what do you think that means?"

Rick smiled. "I know what it's meant the last dozen times I found one in my lunch."

"Really? And what was that?"

"It meant I was going to be exhausted the whole next day."

"You don't say. Let me see that." Gabriel took the paper from Rick's hand and appeared to study the content. "Looks like Native American symbols. Hmm, maybe 'bear' and 'hunt'." He smiled at Rick with a glimmer in his eyes. "Are we going on a bear hunt this fall?" Gabriel reached up and tugged on the short hair coming from the top of Rick's T-shirt. The slight touch shifted his libido into high gear.

He nuzzled his face against Gabriel's throat and sighed at the spicy fragrance that curled through his nostrils. Rick slid his hand under Gabriel's shirt; the rub of his chest hair on Rick's palm ignited his desire. "What's the sign for otter? Because I think I need to hunt one of those little furry things." I still can't believe Mom gave Gabe my Eagle Scout pictogram project.

eBook Link: 


Jon Keys’ earliest memories revolve around books; with the first ones he can recall reading himself being “The Warlord of Mars” and anything with Tarzan. (The local library wasn’t particularly up to date.) But as puberty set in he started sneaking his mother’s romance magazines and added the world of romance and erotica to his mix of science fiction, fantasy, and comic books.

A voracious reader for almost half a century, Jon has only recently begun creating his own flights of fiction for the entertainment of others. Born in the Southwest and now living in the Midwest, Jon has worked as a ranch hand, teacher, computer tech, roughneck, designer, retail clerk, welder, artist, and, yes, pool boy; with interests ranging from kayaking and hunting to painting and cooking, he draws from a wide range of life experiences to create written works that draw the reader in and wrap them in a good story.

You can find me at:
Twitter: @Jon4Keys

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Wednesday Briefs Cyan Ch 8

It's been another fast week of mixed emotions. Nothing major happened, just a lot of ups and downs. It was pleasantly distracting to write about Robin and Cyan, especially when he surrounded himself with these

Robin chased Cyan through mostly empty corridors.

“Cyan, please,” he called. “You don’t understand. You didn’t hear it all. That’s not what I said. I swear I wouldn’t say something like that about you.”

Cyan either didn’t, or didn’t want to hear. He kept on running until he suddenly stopped and hammered on a door.

“Shit,” Robin hissed, and skidded to a halt.

The door to the headmaster’s office was wrenched open. “What the…?”

“It’s happening,” Cyan said, in a strange voice, and stumbled into the room as the headmaster stood aside. Moments later the door closed leaving Robin alone in the corridor.

What was going on? ‘It’s happening?’ What did that mean? What was happening? Had Cyan expected Robin to let him down somehow? Was it because he’d just been waiting for someone to call him a retard? But that couldn’t be right because people had been shouting that word all day.

Robin sat in a chair and pondered. What was going on in there? Many times, he decided to leave, but somehow, he couldn’t. Something was going on and it wasn’t good. Whatever it was, he couldn’t leave Cyan alone.

The sound of hurrying footsteps snapped him out of his pointless musings, and he glanced up to see a woman almost running down the corridor. She was carrying a large bag, from which brightly coloured feathers dropped to leave a trail behind her.

Robin hurried to gather up the scattered feathers, which had now been joined by a few rainbow coloured scraps of material. He handed them to the woman, and as soon as he caught her eyes he knew who she was. Cyan’s mother.

“Oh hello,” she said a bit absently. “Robin isn’t it? Do you know what happened?”

“No. At least…. It’s been a bit rough. Some bullies got hold of him and when I found out I went to sort it with them. No fighting,” he added quickly when her eyes widened. “I…um...persuaded them it wouldn’t be a good idea to say bad things about Cyan. He overheard the last part of the conversation, and must have thought I was saying the things I was telling them not to say. He ran away and I couldn’t’ catch him. Next thing I know he was in there. I’ve been…. I couldn’t just go.”

The woman smiled, and put a hand on his shoulder. “You’re a good friend, Robin. I’m glad Cyan met you.”
Turning away, she knocked on the door which was opened almost immediately. “Could you wait here for a little while?” she asked, as the headmaster ushered her in, giving Robin a hard look.

“Yeah. Sure.”

Acutely aware of the glare the headmaster had given him before he closed the door, Robin squirmed in his seat. What the hell was going on?

Robin jumped when the door opened. The headmaster didn’t look too pleased. “Could you come in Robin, please?”

Nervously, Robin got to his feet and shuffled into the room.

The headmaster’s office wasn’t the most comfortable room in the school, especially to those pupils who had been summoned there. Even when he knew he’d done nothing, Robin always felt slightly guilty when he entered this room, and this time he wasn’t sure whether he was in trouble or not.

Cyan was sitting on the rather basic corner unit where the headmaster would have ‘chats’ with people who weren’t in trouble. Those who were had to sit in hard backed chairs on the opposite side of the desk to his lazer-eyed glare.

Even though he was in the comfy seats, so to speak, Cyan didn’t look comfortable. He had his knees drawn up and his head lowered. The first thing that entered Robin’s head was ‘he’s going to get into trouble for having his feet up on the chair’ and the second thing was ‘what the hell are all those feathers for’?
All around where Cyan sat, as well as woven into his hair, were the bright, colourful feathers Robin had helped rescue, as well as little squares of fabric. Cyan seemed to have fistfuls of feathers and cloths draped over his knees. What the hell was going on? Cyan’s mother was sitting next to him, rubbing his back and singing softly. Singing? In the headmaster’s office?

Robin exchanged a glance with the headmaster who shrugged helplessly, showing one of his rare moments of humanity.

“Robin,” Cyan’s mother said, when she saw him. “Come sit here.”

Hesitantly, Robin took a seat next to Cyan. Why hadn’t Cyan even looked up?

“Hey,” Robin said, bumping shoulders with Cyan. Cyan moaned and clutched the feathers tighter. “What’s up? You know I didn’t mean it, don’t you? You know I’d never have said that about you? I was telling them what not to say. I told them I’d…” he glanced at the headmaster. “…that I’d make life hard for them if they said anything mean about you again. I’d never hurt you.”

For a long moment, Cyan didn’t move, then he slowly lifted his head to look at Robin. It was hard to see through his hair, especially with the feathers woven in. Cyan raised his hand. “Feathers,” he said.

“Lots of them.”

Cyan nodded and took a deep, shuddering sigh, rubbing his cheek against a square of crimson velvet. “I think I need to go home now,” he said.

“Go home? Why?”

“I need to sleep.”

“Don’t you have another class?”

“Yes, but I can’t go today.”

“Why not? You’re not scared, are you? No one will hurt you now. Everyone in the school knows the score. It will be easier from now on. I promise.”

Cyan gazed at him. His eyes were very bright. “I believe you,” he said. “I do trust you, but I still have to go home.”


“Because my Mam gave me my medicine and if I don’t go home I’ll just go to sleep in the middle of the classroom. People tend to get pissed when I do that.”

Now why not check out Wednesday Briefs for the other flashers and their amazing work

Monday, 19 May 2014

The Actor and the Earl - Rebecca Cohen

Blurb: Elizabethan actor Sebastian Hewel takes his bow at the proscenium only to embark on the role of a lifetime. When his twin sister, Bronwyn, reneges on the arrangement to marry Anthony Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, Sebastian reluctantly takes her place. At nineteen, Sebastian knows his days as a leading lady are numbered, but with this last performance, he hopes to restore his family’s name and pay off his late father’s debts. Never mind the danger of losing his head should he be discovered.
He didn’t expect Anthony to be so charming and alluring—not to mention shrewd. While he applauds Sebastian’s plan, Anthony offers a mutually beneficial arrangement instead. Sebastian will need every drop of talent he has to survive with both his head and his heart intact, because this is the best part he’s ever had.

Buy Link

All Romance


“So what of your sister, Mr. Hewel? Or were you always meant to play my bride?”

“Hardly. She has run off with a man she thinks herself in love with.”

Crofton laughed. “Clever girl.”

“So it seems.”

Sebastian watched as Crofton examined him closely, taking in his appearance from head to toe. “What now? You know what we planned to do.”

“I think the plan has merits,” Crofton replied with a sly grin.

“Her Majesty has granted me permission to wed Bronwyn Hewel. How would it look if Bronwyn were to refuse? But I think that we can come to an arrangement that will prevent me from having to sully the once-great Hewel name.”

Sebastian didn’t like the sound of that—the words too close to blackmail for his comfort. “Meaning what, exactly?”

“If you are willing to keep up this pretense, continue to play Bronwyn, then I in turn would take up the mantle of devoted husband.”


“Your greatest performance, Mr. Hewel. Fool the court and polite society in an extravagant wedding, then retire to my country house to be my beloved wife for perhaps a year or two, after which time my young, but sickly, wife will succumb to a fever, and you will return to your life as Sebastian Hewel.”

For a moment Sebastian was unable to reply, Crofton’s shocking proposal robbing him of words. “But why would you want this?”

Crofton’s smile was predatory. “I have my reasons.”


“No buts, Mr. Hewel. Do you have your answer? A life of luxury and your honor, or your family’s disgrace?”

Sebastian’s heart raced, but as he stared into Crofton’s expectant face, he really had little choice. “I accept.”


I don't read historical novels. I just don't I especially don't read historical romance. So why did I sit down and read this book in two sittings (damn the need for sleep)?

The story itself is simple, if fresh and quite unique. Anthony, the Earl of Crofton needs to marry into a family who is overtly loyal to Queen Elizabeth. He arranges a marriage with Bronwyn Hewel. Unfortunately Bronwyn runs off with a stable hand just before the wedding.

Sebastian Hewel is an actor in a Shakespearean troupe. As it is considered unlucky for women to take the stage, and as Sebastian is relatively new, he plays only female roles. Thus he is adept at pretending to be a woman, which is no mean feat when considering the amount of clothing women are required to wear at these times.

It suits both parties, that Sebastian take on the role of his twin sister and marry the Earl. Of course they then fall in love and have a series of adventures, as lovers do,

There is nothing particularly remarkable about the story, but the way it is written is definitely cause for celebration. The story is told in a very straightforward way and gives you a glimpse into the lives of a poor actor and a super rich Earl, in Victorian London, without overloading you with information or trying to teach you anything.

We learn a lot about women's dress because we struggle with it alongside poor Sebastian, and we learn a lot about a woman's role in society because Sebastian is forced to learn pdq and again we struggle to get to grips with it alongside him. There are some beautiful historical details and a very delicate hand in painting pictures of day to day life, even down to the books they read and the games they played. 

There must have been a lot of research as the book is full of little authentic details, such as a doll being called a poppet, ladies taking ale with their breakfast, and eels having so many bones they have to be picked from the palate. Of course the bigger authentic details are astounding as well.

It's amazing there's room for sex scenes but my goodness there are. I never realized how erotic it was to have to strip off so many clothes. The sex is hot but not gratuitous and fits in perfectly with the tone and pace of the story.

Whilst I can't, in all honesty, say this is at the top of my favourites list, this is only because I have read some pretty amazing books and it is saying a lot that it has made its way onto the list very comfortably. I would recommend this book without qualms to both those who love, and those who generally hate historical romance. 

Author Bio: Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and baby son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

Author Links: 

Cover Artist: Anne Cain

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Tour Dates: 5/19/14

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Friday, 16 May 2014

Ordinary People - by E E Montgomery

Cover Artist: Maria Fanning

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Blurb(s): When Queensland Police Force Constable James Laramee raids a hotel room, he finds Vinnie Canterbury on top of a naked, dead man, covered in blood. Vinnie promptly vomits all over James’s shoes. 

Thanks to a cocktail of horse sedatives and Hendra vaccine, Vinnie’s memories of his ordeal are fractured. Finding the culprits and the reasons behind his abduction will be a challenge. With his apartment trashed, his building set on fire, and his clothes, phone and wallet gone, Vinnie needs a place to stay. To his surprise, James not only takes him in, but also lets him cry on his shoulder. It must be true love. Vinnie has plans for his future with James all mapped out, and he hopes he can get James on the same page.

Author Bio: E E Montgomery wants the world to be a better place, with equality and acceptance for all. Her philosophy is: We can’t change the world but we can change our small part of it and, in that way, influence the whole. Writing stories that show people finding their own ‘better place’ is part of E E Montgomery’s own small contribution.
Thankfully, there’s never a shortage of inspiration for stories that show people growing in their acceptance and love of themselves and others. A dedicated people-watcher, E E finds stories everywhere. In a cafe, a cemetery, a book on space exploration or on the news, there’ll be a story of personal growth, love, and unconditional acceptance there somewhere.

Author Links: You can contact E E Montgomery at, on Twitter: @EEMontgomery1, or at her web site and blog:

Excerpt: His bed was stripped to the mattress. The shredded mattress. Foam stuffing bubbled up between the slashes like pus weeping from an infected wound. He tore his attention from the bed to find his sheets and duvet scattered all over the floor. In pieces. He whimpered.

“I just bought that set.” He pressed his fingers against his lips. Even in his shock he recognized the inanity of his comment. His gaze was drawn to the freestanding full-length mirror beside the windows. Black writing marred the polished surface.


He turned to see Laramee beside him, his hand again clamped on Vinnie’s arm. “What was I told?” he whispered. “I don’t know what I was told.”

It was too much. He flung himself at Laramee, buried his face in the warm, slightly harsh fabric of his uniform, ignored the button digging into his forehead, and burst into tears.

“I don’t even know your name. I can’t sob all over you if I don’t know your name,” he wailed.

Sales Links

Tour Dates: May 16, 2014

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Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Brit Babes are recruiting

The Brit Babes are Recruiting!

The Brit Babes are eight critically acclaimed British erotica authors and we need you for our Street Team!
The Babes are:

Background to the Babes

The idea for the Brit Babes began a little over a year ago when a group of us got together for one of those rare opportunities to sit and chat to other writers. We were at Eroticon 2013 and after a day of networking, we were discussing the problems faced by writers and whether, as a group, we could help each other to promote our work. The conversation evolved over several glasses of wine, as these things do and we came up with the idea for the Brit Babes based on the fact that eight people working together would be better than one!

While we were talking we decided that not only did we want to get our books out there, we also wanted somewhere online where we could interact with and involve our readers and so the idea of the Brit Babes Street Team was born.

What is a Street Team

What is a 'street team'? Basically, as authors we want our work to be read. The best way to get the word out for us is through the medium of reviews, which is why we need readers who are happy to tell the world what they think of our stories.

Our members post reviews for our erotic romance and erotica books on Amazon and Goodreads as well as their Facebook and Twitter accounts to spread the word on the 'street' about our work. We also connect on Pinterest too.

So at first we started off with a Yahoo group and a few readers that we knew already tweeted and posted about our work and the results have been fabulous! We now have a group of dedicated readers who shout about our new releases and come and gossip with us and each other on our Yahoo and Facebook groups.

So if you enjoy talking all things erotica and erotic romance and you want to be part of a growing community, why not come and join us? Not only will you have fun but we’ll also send you free copies of our books in return for posting reviews on as many websites and social media platforms as you can! We also host cool monthly prizes exclusively for team members.

Leave us a comment at the below link with your email address and we’ll be in touch ASAP!

We can't wait to hear from you!

The Brit Babes xx

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Cyan Ch 7

Another Wednesday rolls around, and with it another installment of Cyan. The message this week. Be careful what you say when you can be overheard, especially when what you say can so easily be misinterpreted when only half of it is heard.

“Shit, Cyan, what the hell happened?” Robin tried to pull up more of Cyan’s shit to assess the damage.

“Don’t touch me,” Cyan hissed, pulling away.

“Okay. I’m sorry.” Robin held up his hands, palm outwards. “Can I just take a look? You lift your shirt and I’ll look. I won’t touch. Promise.”

With a reluctant frown, Cyan pulled his shirt entirely out of his trousers and twisted, trying to see in the mirror. The bruise ran from the front of his hip bone, to the middle of his back. It was already purpling ,and had to hurt.

“How did that happen?”

“I was only pushed in the mud, remember?”

Robin sighed inwardly.  “Okay, I asked for that. Can you please tell me what happened?”

“They pushed me in the mud,” Cyan repeated stubbornly, and Robin sighed again.

“Okay, what did they do after they threw you in the mud?”

Cyan gave Robin a long, tight lipped stare, then sighed and started to tuck his shirt into his trousers again. 
“They stamped on me,” he said.

“They what?” Robin’s temper, always on a short fuse, blazed through him; white hot.

“They stamped on me,” Cyan repeated, checking his tie in the mirror. “It hurt but it was quick. I don’t mind too much when it’s quick.”

Feeling sick, Robin managed to growl out. “Who did it?”

Cyan turned to him and frowned. “I don’t want to tell you,” he said.

“Why not?”

“Because you’ll make things worse.”

“I promise, I won’t. I just want to know who it is so I can talk to them and tell them not to do it again.”

Cyan snorted. “As if,” he said.

“What do you mean?”

“Either you really are going to talk to them, in which case you might as well stay here and bang your head on the wall, or you’re going to get into trouble, and I don’t want you to get into trouble.”

“I promise, I won’t. I’ll only talk to him. And I promise it will do more good than banging my head on the wall.”

“How? How can you promise that?”

“Because between me and my friends we pretty much rule the school. I’m on the swim team, Alex is a star football player. Aivah wins trophies  in the Eisteddfod. The teachers love us; the school need us, and everyone know how to push us. I just need to tell him nicely that ‘us’ now includes ‘you’.”

Cyan’s eyes widened. “Are you really that important?”

“I don’t know about important. Influential maybe.”

Cyan examined him again for a while then nodded. “I don’t know their names,” he said, “but one of them had weird hair-all spiky, and he was big. Another one talked funny, that is, with a m accent.”

“Did one of them have a scar on his lip? Greasy black hair?”

Cyan thought for a moment, then nodded.

“I know who they are. Go back to the common room and wait for me there. I won’t be long.”

“What are you going to do?” Cyan sounded scared, and Robin reached out to pat his arm reassuringly. 
Fortunately he snatched back his hand before it made contact.

“I’m going to find them, and talk to them. That’s all.”


“Absolutely. Go back to the common room and wait.”

Cyan bit his lip and nodded.

Ben was still outside the door, leaning against the wall with his arms folded.

“Have fun, you two?” he asked with a grin.

“Hardly. Can you walk Cyan back to the common room?”

“Why? Where are you going?”

“To find Blake Harries and his crew.”

Ben’s eyes widened. “Need help?”


Ben nodded and started up the corridor. Cyan remained, staring at Robin. “Come on then,” Ben said sounding frustrated. Are you coming, or what?”

“I…um…yeah.” Cyan followed, casting worried glances over his shoulder.

Robin knew exactly where Blake Harris would be, and he headed straight there. They weren’t the common-or-garden variety of bully. These were the ‘rich boys’ pretending to be ‘bad boys’ kind. The kind who wore shades in the winter and always had girls hanging around with them.

“What do you want, gay boy?” Blake asked while the others jeered. “What some of what your boyfriend had?”

Robin ignored him; he ignored them all. Storming through the group without unstoppable determination, he slammed into Blake and would have knocked him over if the hadn’t already grabbed the front of his shirt. If there had been a wall he would have slammed him into it, but he had to make do.

“Keep your filthy mouth shut, Harris,” Robin hissed, “and keep your filthy hands – and feet – off my friend.”

“Boyfriend,” one of the others jeered, but there was a nervous edge to it now.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing? Let go of me.”

“I will. Don’t worry, I will, but not before you swear an oath never to lay a finger on Cyan again.”

“And what if I don’t?”

“You know what I can do…what we can do. Make your lives a misery. I don’t have time for this. Just swear.”

“Hey man,” Will Pearce, one of Blake’s cronies piped up. “There’s no need for that. It was only a bit of fun. We weren’t going to play with the retard no more.”

“What did you say?” Robin let go of Blake and rounded on Will, who looked a little taken aback.

“We were only playing, Robin. It was a new game – throw the retard in the pond.” Everyone sniggered, but Robin snarled.

“Cyan is no retard. He’s different, that’s all. But let me make this simple for you. In your own words. The next time you’re thinking of playing pick on the retard, think again. Because if you lay one finger on him again, I’ll rip your fucking arm off.”

A strangled cry, caused Robin to spin. Cyan stood a few feet away in the corridor. The expression on his face made Robin’s stomach churn

Wednesday Briefs

Monday, 12 May 2014

Clipped by Devon McCormack

I'm excited to host this book You should all know my feelings about fallen angels - just look around guys, so it was a particular pleasure to find one on the tour. Not that it's only about angels. Well...I'd better let you find out for yourselves

Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Sales Link Wilde City Press


Though mortals have been convinced that God cares about their souls, nothing could be further from the truth. He created the world as a gift for his lover, Satan. But when Satan left him, he decided to end what he saw as his most grotesque creation.

Satan and his army of demons are man's only hope.

The demon Kinzer and his lover, Janka, have been sent by Satan to spy on The Raze, a gang of rogue demons who are working with God to bring about Armageddon. When someone exposes their true allegiances, The Raze clips Kinzer's wings, and murder Janka. Kinzer manages to escape. He tracks down Satan's allies to warm them about a mole in their midst when he hears that they have located the Antichrist - a powerful weapon that could prevent the apocalypse. Now, he's on a mission to protect the Antichrist and avenge his lover's death.

Author Bio:

If I was writing an old-school craigslist personal, I'd say (appropriately in code) fit masc em ddf looking 4 same 28yo. Of course, who's honest with their craigslist personal ads? And who the hell used craigslist these days? Please. That's what grindr is for.

On a more serious note, I'm from Atlanta, GA. I work odd jobs. My gay erotic novel Clipped is available through Wilde City Press. I also have vampire novel coming out through Wilde City in October and a young adult novel being released through Harmony Ink Press in June or July

Author Links

Twitter @devon_mccormack


Dedrus scanned Kinzer’s body, admiring his massive biceps, his brown eyes, and his black waves of hair. Even with the wounds and tears that still tainted his face, he was beautiful. Dedrus wanted to press him back against the cushion, rip off his clothes, and provide him with the ease he deserved. But no! He was just wanting it for himself, and he was pretending that it was to serve Kinzer’s pain.
“I loved him so much.” The words cracked through Kinzer’s lips. His cheeks and forehead shivered. Tears filled his eyes. “I know we had so much time, but it wasn’t enough.”
The sting in Dedrus’s chest intensified. His cheeks flashed red as anger washed over him—anger that he loathed because it made him feel like a terrible, selfish creature.
He set his hand on Kinzer’s back, his palm stroking softly across the blue fabric of his polo. He wanted to say, “You’ll find love again.” He couldn’t, because he knew he’d really be saying, “Please find love in me.” He thought of saying, “Everything will be alright.” No. He couldn’t make that kind of promise. “It’ll take time,” felt appropriate, and yet, as an immortal, Dedrus never perceived time as a generous gift as much as a twisted, agonizing punishment.
“I wish I could think of something right to say about this,” Dedrus said, “but I can’t. I know how much you loved him, and I know how much he loved you, and I can’t imagine how hard this is going to be for you. But I’m here. As your friend. I don’t know if that means much, but I know the feeling of having something so perfect and wonderful torn from you.”
Kinzer’s gaze met his. His eyes were sad.
Does he know what I’m talking about?
“Tell me you’ve found someone,” Kinzer said.
“Of course,” he lied. “I’m just being overdramatic.”
“I figured as much. Considering where you work, I'm sure you get a lot of offers.”
It was true, but not the way Kinzer was suggesting. There were nights when Treycore dragged some pathetic mortal back to ease Dedrus’s pain. Those nights were the loneliest. Though he could bring himself to climax, it was an empty relief that just stirred the cruel memories of those moments filled with so much more.
Dedrus hugged him again. “Let’s get to bed,” he said. “You need some sleep.”
Kinzer nodded.
“We have plenty to sort through tomorrow. You can have my room. I’ll just sleep here.”
Dedrus released him.
Kinzer picked the sword up off his lap and stood. He reached his hand out. “Come on. It won’t be the first time we’ve shared a bed.”
The upward curl of his lip let Dedrus know that Kinzer was more than interested.
Dedrus’s dick swelled. “I don’t think I can.” He wanted Kinzer so bad, and if he put himself in that position, he was sure that he wouldn’t be able to resist making a move—especially if Kinzer initiated something.
“I'd rather not disrespect you like that,” Dedrus said.
Kinzer’s hand fell, bouncing against his jeans. His head drooped.
“Then I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Dedrus smiled. “‘Night, Kinzer.”
Kinzer knelt, offering a light peck on Dedrus’s lips.
Don’t tease me with a taste!
“Up the stairs, first room on the right.”
Kinzer walked up the stairs, headed down the hall, and slipped into Dedrus’s bedroom.
Dedrus had hoped that Kinzer’s exit would provide some relief.
It didn't.
He ached for him. His thoughts dwelled on Kinzer’s lips tickling his nipples, his gaze appreciating his body, his tongue delighting in his body’s grooves. He wanted to run upstairs and throw his arms around him, to hold him for the night, and tell him that no matter what happened he’d be there for him. He wanted more than that, but he wouldn’t press his friend. He wouldn’t dare cross that line…even if Kinzer insisted.
Spreading his limbs across the couch, he rested his head on a lace pillow at the end and rolled so that he was facing the cushions.
He closed his eyes.
A few moments passed before something pressed against his ass.
He flipped over and hopped to his feet, ready for a fight.
Kinzer stood before him, holding his hands out, as if showing a cop that he was unarmed. “Whoa, cowboy. Chill the fuck out.”
“Sorry.” Every hair on Dedrus’s immortal body stood on end. “You freaked the shit out of me. Did you need something? Another cover? Pillows?”
Kinzer wiggled his thumb behind the waistband in Dedrus’s khakis.
“Yeah. I need something.” He pulled their pelvises together.
His hot breath rushed across Dedrus’s lips, settling in the bristles across his cheeks. The warmth combined with a rush of blood that surged to his face and made him feel like his cheeks were about to catch on fire.
Kinzer pressed his lips against Dedrus’s.
Amidst the creases in Kinzer’s lips, Dedrus felt the smooth, subtle dip where Kinzer’s cut was healing.
He trailed his palm over the rough fabric of Kinzer’s polo. As he reached the smooth flesh of his neck, curly black hairs pricked his fingertips.
Kinzer opened his mouth wide. Dedrus eagerly reciprocated, tilting his head and allowing their lips to seal together. A swirling sensation gathered at the back of his spine and rushed to the crown of his skull.
Guilt nagged at his thoughts. He couldn’t do this. Kinzer didn’t really want him. He was just vulnerable and ached for a physical distraction from his grief. It would be wrong to take advantage while he was still recovering from Janka’s death.
Kinzer’s tongue flicked his.
He wanted Kinzer so bad, but not like that. Pressing his hand against the dip between the bulbous, jagged pecs before him, he broke their sealed kiss.
“What?” Kinzer rested his hands on either of Dedrus’s hips.
“This wouldn’t be right. I don’t want to disrespect you.”
“I know. But I want you to.”
Kinzer wrapped both arms around Dedrus. Spinning them around, he pushed Dedrus back against a painting that hung from the wall.
Kinzer’s eyes glistened with that gleam—the one that was so familiar to Dedrus.

Dedrus couldn’t control himself. His lips returned to their passionate embrace. His fingers found their way under Kinzer’s shirt, feeling about fervently, savoring the dips in his torso.

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