It’s #PictaBook time! In the excerpt I’m sharing today, Jules is talking about a bat shifter story he’s read. Now, I’m very fond of that particular bat shifter, and if you’d like to hear a snippet from it, Angel Martinez is reading from it here.
We’re further into the story now. Nix has been fixing up his bedroom and has asked Jules to help him carry his furniture back in. They’re not dating – Jules doesn’t do dates – and they’re not a couple, but things are progressing in the romance department.
Nix threw the bedding on the couch, pulled out the bed from the wall, and grabbed the mattress to flip it off the frame. “If there are dust bunnies underneath, you are not allowed to judge me.”
He looked so serious Jules had to laugh. “Out loud.”
“No, at all.”
“But how will you know what’s going on in my head?” Jules gave him a wide-eyed look.
With a growl, Nix went to get the vacuum cleaner.
“No.” Jules laughed, stopping him from plugging it in with a hand on his arm. “I was joking, Nix. I won’t judge. Booksy makes my windowsill all hairy.”
“Yes, but he’s your pet and pets shed. I live on my own. All the filth is mine.”
Jules narrowed his eyes. “How long has it been since you vacuumed?”
“You saw me vacuum.”
“Underneath the bed? There won’t be a spider farm or mice having an extended family party, right?”
“You don’t like spiders or mice?”
“I prefer mice to not be indoors, and I guess the same goes for spiders. I’m more okay with spiders than mice.”
Nix nodded. “It’s been a week since I vacuumed underneath the bed, and I’ve never had a mouse indoors. Last fall, there was a bat, though.”
“A bat?” Jules hadn’t meant to shout, but a bat was so much worse than a mouse. A bat had… wings.
“Yeah.” Nix tilted his head to the side. “I don’t know how it got here, but I’d taken a few things down from the attic so I guess it must’ve been in there and gotten down.”
Jules shuddered. “What did you do with it?”
Nix widened his eyes. “Carried it outside. What should I have done?”
“I don’t know!” Jules shuddered again, and Nix laughed.
“Not a fan of bats?”
“I read this adorable little short story about a bat shifter. I liked that bat a lot, but I think it’s my only bat-encounter I’ve enjoyed.”
Nix grinned and nodded at the foot end of the bed frame while he grabbed the headboard. “So a bat shifter?”
“Yes, super cute. I don’t know if you would like it, though. It doesn’t have any sex.” He didn’t look at Nix. He was too occupied angling the bed frame through the door to the bedroom.
“I don’t need sex.”
“No?” Jules glanced at him.
“I mean, I love sex. I’m a huge fan, but I don’t need it in everything I read.” Nix worked the headboard through the doorway, backing Jules into a corner so he could get closest to where the bed should be, and put it down.
Together, they pushed it into place, and Nix went to get the mattress, bedding, and fresh linens from the wardrobe. He made quick work of making the bed, and as Jules turned toward the door, thinking it was time for coffee, an arm snaked around his middle and pulled him down on the bed.
“Hey!” Jules slapped the arm, but not hard. Nix chuckled and nuzzled his neck.
“So tell me about the bat shifter.” Nix stretched out on his back, pulling Jules along with him. With a groan, Jules stretched out too. His muscles ached more than he’d realized.
“It’s a short story, it wouldn’t take you more than an hour tops to listen to.”
“And what’s it about.”
“A bear and a bat walked into an elevator.” Jules widened his eyes, which had Nix laughing. This was great. Too bad Booksy was all alone at home.
#PictaBook in the JMS shop (20% off)
Jules Rose leads a quiet life working as a librarian. He’s happy to spend his spare time reading books and talking to his homicidal cat. What more could he wish for? But when his cozy Friday night is shattered by a friend request on his book community app, politeness gives him little choice but to accept. Jules doesn’t want to talk to anyone, but he can’t be rude. Besides, if he had to talk about something, books is the topic he’d pick.
Phoenix Ford is dyslexic and avoids everything that has to do with the written word, but when the colleague he’s trying to impress calls him stupid, he decides to convince the other man, he’s mistaken. All he needs is the right book to make him look smart, a perfect balance between intelligent and short. And who better to ask for help than a guy who loves books so much, he labeled one boner-worthy on a book app?
When Jules finds out Phoenix never has read a book from start to finish, he’s on a mission. He will find the right book, the book that will make Phoenix fall in love — with reading. Phoenix’s plan might have been to listen to the book Jules picked for him to impress his colleague, but that was before he got to know him. Talking about books is a sure way to Jules’ heart, but is it enough for him to agree to go on a date?