Release Day | Kisses and Cabins

Release-Day
It’s release day!!! I’m almost a little sad that it is because I don’t have any new releases left on the schedule now. I’m working on it, but for the first time since covid hit and I lost most hours at my job, my name isn’t listed on the release schedule over at JMS Books.

It’ll change soon!

Kisses and Cabins is an Up North story that wasn’t meant to be an Up North story LOL. I wanted to write something short after Soul Eater and Mind Scrambler and I wanted to write a friends to lovers story because I don’t have any.

Isn’t that strange? By now, I have written a few stories, but none of them has been friends to lovers (unless it slips my mind at the moment). So that was my goal, to write a short friends to lovers story.

When I’d written it, my lovely beta readers gave their feedback, I worked on it some more, wrote the blurb (the worst thing about being a writer), sent it in, signed the contract, and then it was time for the cover. I hadn’t given it much thought, but it was then I decided Kisses and Cabins would be an Up North story.

It doesn’t matter, all Up North stories are standalone, so whether it is an Up North story or not doesn’t really matter. It’s just for the sake of the cover 😀

So, Kace and Luke have been friends since kindergarten. Kace has always wanted Luke but has always believed Luke to be straight and has never dared to do anything that could ruin their friendship.

In the last few years, they’ve seen less and less of each other. Luke bought a house together with his girlfriend, and the girlfriend doesn’t like Kace at all. So to avoid conflict Kace has stayed away. He misses Luke in his life, but he doesn’t want to cause trouble.

Then one day, Luke appears on his doorstep…

Keywords

Chapter 1

Kace Channing was enjoying the calm. He’d woken up not too long before and was having the first magical cup of coffee at three in the afternoon—like most days of the week. He wasn’t supposed to work today, but Logan, his boss, and co-worker, had called, wanting the night off.

He steered the tank toward a settlement on the screen and fired. He’d been right. The enemies instantly attacked, and he pushed the button to fire again. He leaned in closer to the screen, changed the position of the tank, and fired a third time. Reaching for his cup, he took a sip of coffee.

He didn’t mind working Mondays. The bar wasn’t closed, but normal people didn’t go to a nightclub on the first day of their work week. Mondays were mostly for colleagues working in the bar and restaurant business.

It had started years ago. The workers had gathered. With the weekend over, they had calm days ahead, and they couldn’t party on a Saturday since they were working. Little by little, the club filled up. It wasn’t only those working at The Devil, there were many from other bars too.

Some wouldn’t set their foot in their place, The Devil being a gay club and all, but most didn’t give a damn. So Mondays were always a good mix of people and, mostly, they were fun days to work.

He’d pour drinks and chat with colleagues from the other bars and restaurants in the city. Then there would be some regular customers too.

Taking another sip, there was a bang on the door. Kace groaned. He only wore a pair of jeans, no shirt, and he hadn’t had a shower yet. When the door handle rattled, he hurried toward the tiny hallway.

Yes?” The cold March air teased his bare skin. Outside stood Lukas Holland, his best friend since kindergarten. “Luke, what are you doing here?”

They hadn’t seen much of each other lately. Kace didn’t know what it was, but Stacy, Lukas’ girlfriend, disliked him—a lot. Could be because he was queer, or maybe because he worked at a gay club without being ashamed. She’d said something about it once. You tell people you work there? And then she’d widened her eyes and shaken her head, not at him, but at Lukas.

Can I come in?” The slurred speech and the way he stumbled told Kace he was drunk before he smelled the fumes.

What’s up, dude? You’re drunk on a Monday afternoon.”

Luke dropped a backpack on the floor right on the threshold and pushed Kace against the wall. Kace went willingly. He was a big guy, Lukas was not. Had he wanted to stand his ground, he could have.

Then Lukas cupped his neck with one hand and pulled him down, pressing his lips against Kace’s. He opened his mouth in surprise. Lukas took advantage, caressed his tongue with his, and moaned.

What is going on? Kace tentatively raised his hands—to push him away or pull him closer, he didn’t know.

When Lukas pushed closer, Kace noted the hard length pressing against his thigh, and heat exploded in his mind.

Luke.” He grabbed his shoulders and gently pushed him away from him. “What are you doing?”

I’ve wanted to do that for a long time.” Lukas didn’t meet his gaze. His eyes were locked on Kace’s lips.

Luke, you’re drunk.” And straight. And Kace’s best friend. They might do manly hugs, but they didn’t kiss. Sometimes Lukas snuggled up next to him on a sofa when they watched a movie or something, but it was nothing sexual. This was…

I know.”

Why are you drunk?”

Can I stay with you?”

Kace stared. His apartment slash row house wasn’t big. It was enough for him, but his bedroom didn’t leave room for more than a bed. His living room was about the smallest he’d ever seen, and he only had a three-seat sofa, a coffee table, and a TV. His bathroom had a corner shower where he banged his elbows on the wall every time he washed his hair. And his kitchen was more like a kitchenette than a real kitchen. In the corner, he’d set up a shelf he’d placed his computer on. It didn’t leave room for any office supplies, but it worked for him.

Having another person living there would mean they’d trip over each other.

Why do you want to stay here? Hang on. I’ll call Stacy.” He turned to get his phone in the kitchen.

No.” Lukas grabbed his arm. His blue eyes were unfocused, his dark hair a mess, and there was stubble on his cheeks. Lukas shaved every morning.

Why? Are you having a fight?”

Lukas sighed. “Kind of.”

You should talk to her.” Lukas and Stacy had bought a house together a little less than a year before. Kace had been expecting a wedding invitation and news about babies on the way for months now. He’d tried not to think about it, a life without Luke in it was too painful to picture, so he’d done his best to ignore Stacy. He hadn’t known they were having problems. But then he hardly saw Luke anymore.

An ache spread in his chest. He’d missed him. A lot.

Lukas had pulled away, and Stacy had glared every time Kace had dropped by their house, so he’d stopped doing it. He suspected she was giving Lukas shit for him showing up unannounced.

Luke sighed. “Not today.”

Fair enough. “I’m off to work in a while.”

Without clothes?”

Kace looked down at himself and scratched the hair on his chest. “No, I was about to jump into the shower.”

I can scrub your back.” Luke wiggled his eyebrows, then looked as if he was going to be sick.

Are you going to puke? I don’t want vomit all over my place.”

Luke stumbled again and put a hand against the wall in the narrow hallway. “No. Got a little dizzy, is all.”

Yeah?” Kace grabbed his shoulders and steered him toward the kitchen. He pushed him down on a chair, poured a big glass of water, then a cup of coffee, and placed both on the table in front of Lukas.

He sipped on his cooling coffee with a grimace, placed the cup in the sink, and grabbed a bucket out of the cleaning slash linen closet and put by Luke’s feet. “If you’re going to be sick, use that.” He pointed at it. “I’m going to shower.”

Can I come with you to work?” Luke eyed the coffee Kace had given him.

I think it’s best you stay here. Put on a movie and relax on the sofa. Don’t touch my booze, and in a couple of hours you should try to eat something.”

Luke deflated before his eyes. “Will you be gone for long?” He avoided eye contact, and Kace frowned. What was going on?

No, it’s Monday. We close at one.”

It’s not four yet. One is long.”

Normally, they were open till three, so one was an early night for Kace.

* * * *

What’s up with you today?” Kayla, one of his younger co-workers, gave him a narrow-eyed look.

Kace poured a drink for a guy he’d never seen before, handed it over, and took his payment before he turned to Kayla. “Nothing. Lukas, a friend, showed up on my doorstep, drunk as a skunk, right before I left.”

Oh, Luke is back?” Angel, a swishy man who’d worked there almost as long as Kace had, leaned against the bar.

Back? “He’s most likely passed out on my sofa right now.”

Angel grinned. “Too bad, I was hoping he’d show.”

He was? “Why?”

It’s always fun to watch.” Angel grinned, grabbed a tray with drinks Kayla had prepared and walked over to a table. His ass swayed suggestively in tight black pants.

Kace grinned. Angel was fully aware of what he was doing, and while Kace would never have an affair at his workplace, he could still look.

That man is such a tease.” Kayla groaned and reached for a glass underneath the bar top. Kace chuckled.

It took almost half an hour before Angel had time to stop to talk again. “So when will Luke come to visit us?”

Kace shook his head. “I have no idea.”

It’s been ages since he was here. You’d think he didn’t like us anymore.”

Pouring a beer for Caleb, the owner of the restaurant across the street, Kace hid his face. Lukas used to drop by, he’d known the names of everyone Kace worked with, but he hadn’t been around in a long time. People had left and new ones had arrived. Angel, Logan, and Megan remained, Kace suspected they always would. Like him, they’d been here for years and liked what they did. Logan owned the club, so he doubted he’d go anywhere, but the students came and went. They worked extra while studying or took a year off before they went back to studying again.

Trouble?” Caleb gave him a steady look as he accepted the glass.

Nah. A friend showed up right as I was getting ready to come here.”

Luke, yeah, I heard.” He nodded at Angel.

Right, Caleb knew who Lukas was. “Yeah.” Kace sighed. Caleb always had a calming effect on him. They were much alike—calm and quiet, and while Kace enjoyed chatting with Angel and the others, it was freeing to talk to someone who showed little reaction. “He’s been fighting with Stacy.” And had kissed him.

The girlfriend who hates you?”

She doesn’t.” Did she? Hate was a strong word.

No? The girlfriend who stole Luke, then?”

Kace shrugged. In the beginning, he’d been happy Luke had found someone. Happy he would stay in the city. There had been a few years when Lukas had lived in Mont. It had almost killed Kace.

So, at first he’d been glad Luke had found someone local, but then things had gotten weird. He rubbed his chest as an ache spread. He missed having him in his life.

Are they breaking up?” Caleb brought the glass to his lips and met Kace’s gaze over the rim of the glass.

He wasn’t very talkative. Was swaying on the spot.” Kace gave a wry smile and shook his head. “I poured him a cup of coffee, and a glass of water, and gave him a bucket if he was going to be sick. Then I left.”

Caleb chuckled. “Personally, I hope he’ll come back. It was always entertaining to watch him.”

Kace frowned. “How do you mean?” It was what Angel had said.

This time Caleb laughed for real. “Those nights Luke came to see you here, how were your tips?”

Kace stroked his beard. “I don’t know.” He’d noticed nothing special when Luke had been here, but then his focus most often was on Luke and not the others.

Caleb grinned. “If he comes again, check your tips.” He grabbed his beer and headed toward a table where some of his staff were seated.

Kisses and Cabins in the JMS shop (20% off in new release sale)

books2read.com/KissesandCabins


 

kissesandcabins-small-1Kace Channing has been best friends with Luke Holland for thirty-five years. He can’t imagine his world without him. But over the last twelve months, they’ve hardly seen one another. And life without Luke seems empty.

When Luke shows up on Kace’s doorstep, asking for a place to stay, Kace is happy to say yes. But he isn’t prepared for the kiss that follows, or ready to admit he could kiss Luke forever. What they already have is too important.

And when Luke, the least outdoorsy person Kace knows, tells him he’s buying a cabin in the woods, Kace tries to talk him out of it. But Luke’s made up his mind. He says they need it, the two of them.

But won’t kisses and cabins ruin their friendship?

Fridays at Ofelia’s | Club 669

Cover-Reveal

Today, my dear friend Amy Spector is here on the blog to show off the cover of her upcoming release and tell us a little about it and herself. Amy always has to coolest covers, so check it out!

Happy Friday! I’m Amy Spector, and Ofelia has been kind enough to let me visit her blog today. Some of you may know me, most of you probably don’t, but Ofelia and I have known each other for years now, and have worked together on a number of writing projects. Those projects are always the most fun! (There’s a hint in that for you, Ofelia!)

Not only is this my first time stopping by Ofelia’s blog, but it’s also cover reveal day for my newest book, the first book in a new series!

I’ve always loved to read! Even as a kid, you would normally find me with a book in my hand. Yet, somehow I was surprised when the writing bug bit. Despite spending the last fifteen years writing marketing copy for work, it never occurred to me that I might enjoy writing fiction.

I think it was the discovery of paranormal romance that pushed me from avid reader and into writing. And that all my years of watching Bewitched and Dark Shadows reruns would finally pay off! I won’t lie, I still want to be Agnes Moorehead when I grow up! I’d also happily run a haunted amusement park.

I watched a lot of Scooby Doo, too.

Give me magic, mystery, and romance! Add a dead body and bad decisions? I’m a happy girl!

Club 669 (House of Witches Book One) combines all these loves. Especially the bad decisions

You can take a sneak peek below!

Cover and Blurb:

Club 669

Witch’s corpse. Witch’s ticket. Witch’s party.

As a counter-boy at a high-end men’s boutique, Charlie Jessup’s life consists of little more than work and sleep. That, and enough flirting to help guarantee his commission on sales will pay his rent. So when a twist of fate, and some behavior unbecoming that of a Ganymede employee, leaves him in possession of a dead man’s pass to a mysterious Club 669, Charlie has no desire to waste it.

Every seventeen years, the House of Witches throws a party like no other. It’s invitation-only, and for centuries it has helped ensure peace between the covens. It’s the last place Caspian wants to be, but with the death of Queen Avel, and his own imminent rise to the throne, it’s more important than ever that he attend. The stability of the House depends on it.

In four days a new king will be crowned, but when Charlie unintentionally crashes a gathering of the most secretive of all the Great Houses, he sets in motion a series of events that could disrupt the transition of power, and threaten the future of the House of Witches forever.

Book Excerpt:

Adam pushed up to the bar, squeezing in next to a necking couple to press close to Sebastian. He pulled a cigarette from his pocket. “You got a light?”
The crowd was loud, the music louder, so that even with my better-than-average hearing, I needed to move in close to make out Sebastian’s response.
“They don’t allow smoking.” And that would have probably been the end of it if Sebastian hadn’t glanced away from the dancing long enough to take Adam in. “But we could probably find you somewhere to light up.”
“Really?” Adam smiled and made of show of slipping the cigarette between his lips. It was no wonder he made so much more than I did. “Too cold outside.”
Sebastian eyed him up and down, and his distraction allowed me to slide up even closer. How was it possible he could fall so easily for his own trick?
“Bound to be a back room somewhere.” He pushed up and dropped a few dollars on the bar. “Or there’s always my place.”
I recognized the smile.
“Your place sounds perfect.” Adam pulled the cigarette from his mouth and tucked it behind his ear. “I’ve got a car outside.”
I followed the two as they moved through the crowd, Adam wrapping himself around one of Sebastian’s arms. Once we’d made it outside, I stepped up and wrapped myself around the other one.
When he looked over, he stopped dead in his tracks.
“Oh, fuck no.”
“Oh, fuck yes,” I countered, dragging him toward Tiki’s car.
“I don’t want to be involved in this bullshit.”
“You drugged me,” I spat, and Adam’s eyebrows went up, but to his credit, he said nothing. “You’re already involved in this bullshit.”
“I’m sorry. Did I tell you I was sorry?” He tried to pull free, but Adam and I spent our weeks lugging boxes full of leather pants around, and Caspian had already told me that witches worked hard to remain anonymous. We were stronger than we looked, and he didn’t want to draw attention to himself. “Because I am. And your friend, what he did to me? He’s scary as fuck.”
Caspian? Scary? I couldn’t see it.
“What he did was stop you from abducting me. And what, raping me?”
“We were at an orgy, for fucks sake!” Sebastian’s voice was loud and his tone exasperated. Adam looked shocked. “I’m pretty sure we’d both been naked if I’d just waited around.”
Undoubtably.
“Well, you’re going to make it up to me. You’re going to take me to the Monastery.”
That seemed to take Sebastian by such surprise he allowed Adam to push him into the backseat of the car without a fight, Adam climbing in next to him as I slipped behind the wheel.
“You want me to take you to the Monastery? To the seat of power?”
His absolute confusion at the request settled me on my plan. It was obviously a brilliant idea.

Club 669 (House of Witches Book One) is available for pre-order on Amazon, and is out March 26

books2read.com/club669

Connect with Amy on social media

Website: http://www.amyspectorauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amy.spector.12
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amy_spector
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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8366028.Amy_Spector
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March Giveaway

Giveaway!

New month! I’m doing a Book Birthday Giveaway on the first of every month this year. The giveaway is of books that have been published in March in the past years, and it’s a lumberjack kind of month LOL.
We have Once in a Forest, The Empty Egg, Once in the Underworld, and Just Words.

How does it work?

It’s quite simple, actually. I’ve set up a giveaway over at Kingsumo. You sign up (you’re not signing up to my email list by doing so, so fear not) with your email address. Then on March 8, Kingsumo will draw a random winner, and I’ll email you on the address you signed up with. Easy peasy.

The Books

All books are from the Nortown series and Once in a Forest and Once in the Underworld are standalone, but The Empty Egg and Just Words are short stories about Aiden and Tristan from Once in a Snowstorm.

Once in a Forest is about Jason and Tom. Jason is from the city and decides to visit his friend, Aiden, in Nortown despite it being in bumfuck nowhere. All is fine and well until his precious dog, Biscuit runs off. In the woods, he meets Tom.

I wrote this after having seen a reader request a ‘bottom for you’ story LOL.

Excerpt:

Once in the ForestTom nodded, before seeking out the red-haired woman with his gaze. “Could we have a cup, love?”

She practically floated over to them, placed cups on the table, and started pouring.

Erm…could I have a macchiato, please?”

Everyone around the table, including Aiden, stilled. Jason glanced around, trying to figure out what had happened.

Sorry, we don’t have that here. Coffee—” she held up the pot “—tea, or would you prefer some juice or maybe a soft drink?” She smiled and stroked away a lock of hair that had fallen out of her ponytail.

No macchiato? “I’ll have a cup of tea, then, please.” He smiled his most charming smile and out of the corner of his eye noticed how everyone relaxed a fraction. Are they expecting me to throw a fit? I’ve got manners!

The woman scurried away, and Jason turned back to the others. “So what do we do about Biscuit? I can’t leave him out there all night.”

Tristan grumbled something, which was followed by Aiden stamping on his foot under the table.

Ouch! Why did you do that?”

Because you’ll help find the dog.”

If anyone had mentioned a dog in the first place—”

Yeah, well, I didn’t think, all right? I just assumed it would be fine.”

How can you—” Tristan started, but Tom’s deep voice stopped him mid-sentence.

Erm… Can someone fill me in?”

Tristan gave Jason a dark look before shifting his attention to Tom. “Jason here is Aiden’s friend from the city—” the word was said with such distaste Jason wanted to punch him “—who is visiting for the weekend. It’s just no one mentioned there being a dog included. They got here, and Jason simply let the little mutt out of the car. And Og being Og…”

Oh…” Tom sipped at his coffee, acting as if all was well with the world.

Oh? My dog is gone and you say ‘oh’?” Jason’s voice rang through the run-down café, making everyone else go silent.

Tom shrugged again, and it was starting to get on Jason’s nerves. “You can’t bring a dog to another dog’s house, especially not if they’re both males. Even I know that. Cookie was intruding.”

Biscuit.”

Another shrug. Jason gritted his teeth. Tom stroked his beard, which was even longer than Tristan’s. Were they too lazy to shave, or was it the fashion around here? Jason suppressed a snort.

The Empty Egg is… eh… erm… LOL. It’s a short story about Aiden and Tristan. Aiden has been to the city to buy some chocolate and another surprise for Tristan’s Easter egg, only he gets a little nervous and accidentally eats a praline or a few.

Excerpt:

The Empty EggAiden wiped his sweaty palms on his new jeans—they made his arse look edible, he hoped Tristan would like them—and put the plates on the table. Before folding the napkins into rabbits like he’d seen on YouTube, he fetched the egg from the coffee table—should I place it there on the table?—righted the yellow tulips in the vase…and ate another piece of Tristan’s fudge. Pecan, possibly the best so far. He went to fetch the dessert spoons, slipping another piece into his mouth when he returned. Creamy almond melted on his tongue, and he sighed. Bliss! Too bad it didn’t calm the desperate hammering of his heart. He ate another piece, groaned, and tried to ignore his guilty conscious that was telling him not to have any more of Tristan’s sweets.

Maybe I should hide the egg. He ran his fingers through his curls, making sure they weren’t too badly tangled. Reaching into the egg again, he almost snatched his hand back when the smooth fabric brushed against his hand. What would it feel like to wear them? Cool and silky, sliding against his skin. Aiden let out an unsteady breath. What if he’d got it all wrong? Heat spread over his cheeks; maybe he should forget about the egg altogether, hide it, and pretend he’d never planned to give it to Tris.

He took another piece—salted caramel. Fuck! He shouldn’t have eaten that. He’d only bought a couple of pieces, and he’d already eaten some in the car back from Whiteport. He’d gone for no other reason than to buy fudge at the chocolatier, and they were fucking expensive. He’d bought the jeans, too, as he already was in the city, but they weren’t the reason he’d gone there. Tristan was.

He checked the vegetables in the oven; there was still time, but Tristan needed to get his fine arse home soon or it would all be ruined. Aiden reached over the plates to snatch another piece of fudge, digging around but feeling only the satin and the soft elastic lace. In one erratic movement, he tipped the egg over, almost bringing down one of the wine glasses with it.

Two sorry pieces!

Once in the Underworld is about Chris and Gabe. Gabe saw something he shouldn’t and the cops decide to hide him in Nortown in wait for the trial. Gabe isn’t doing too well staying hidden in a cabin with nothing to do. Chris does his best to make things easier for Gabe, but there isn’t much to do about the situation but wait.

Excerpt:

Once in the UnderworldHe’d been whisked away from the police station as soon as he’d told them what he’d seen and that he would be able to identify the men if he saw them again. Once he’d pointed them out in photos, a frenzy had taken over the police station. It had all happened so fast, and he hadn’t even been able to grab any of his clothes.

The wine-red slacks he’d been wearing under the lab coat and a T-shirt was all he had. The clothes Hart had given him were a size too small, but he’d squeezed himself into the too-tight sweats before going into town anyway. Sweats in town. Gabriel sighed. He would never leave his flat in sweats back home, and he didn’t expect a village like this would take too kindly to fat queers in red trousers.

He scratched his beard, hoping they wouldn’t treat him badly for looking like a vagrant, and opened the car.

The first thing he noticed as he neared the door to the café was several people inside. He glanced at his watch: twenty past eight. What the hell is everyone doing here? He hadn’t expected the café to get many customers in a day, but as he opened the door, he was greeted by no less than seven pairs of eyes.

“Erm…good morning.” He pulled self-consciously at his sweater, hoping it didn’t draw too much attention to his wobbly middle.

“Good morning.” A red-haired woman smiled at him before grabbing a coffee pot and topping off the cups of two grey-haired women sitting at the corner table with knitting needles in their hands. Both of them smiled and nodded at him. A man completely dressed in green with a full beard and dark eyes was chatting to a man with honey-coloured hair and a model’s good looks. In the farthest corner, a fine-limbed, blond man did his best to avoid Gabriel’s gaze, and by the counter, a red-haired little boy was picking at a plate of scrambled eggs.

Gabriel breathed in deep and neared the counter.

The offerings were sparse; Gabriel couldn’t see any of the pastries he’d fantasised about.

“What can I get you, love?” The red-haired woman walked past him and stepped in behind the counter.

Gabriel looked around, wondering who she was calling love, but she only kept looking at him. “Oh…erm…I’d like a caramel latte and a cinnamon roll, please.”

The green-clad man stopped talking and glared at him. Gabriel’s cheeks heated, and he started stuttering, “O-or a s-salad and a glass of water, please.” He wanted to run out of there, preferably before he was served a salad.

“Tom!” The good-looking man reached over the counter and gently pushed at the man who was still glaring at Gabriel, his tone a mix of amusement and exasperation. Gabriel wished the ground would open up before him.

Just Words is the end of Once in the Underworld but from Aiden’s perspective. Or it starts that way, most of the story is Aiden and Tristan alone in the woods, sorting a few things out.

Excerpt:

Just WordsHe turned into the driveway, seeing several cars parked pell-mell around the small cabin. Everything spun before his eyes as he threw open the door. His feet hit the ground, but something yanked him back.

“Tristan!”

The seat belt was tangled up around his arm, pulling him back as he tried to go.

“Tristan!”

The belt finally snapped back into place, and Aiden was free to move. He stumbled towards the cabin, only half aware of the men gathering around. The rickety stairs creaked under his weight. Shoving a formal-looking man out of his way, he barged in through the open front door.

Tristan!” His voice was shrill, and it kept climbing higher and higher as his heart tried to find a way out between his ribs and into the room. Furniture was toppled over; glass lay shattered on the floor. He was too late.

The world stopped.

It was impossible to put words on the pain blossoming in his chest—a crippling yet dull ache that sucked the life out of him. His feet moved in slow motion without him telling them to. His entire surroundings turned into a black-and-white movie completely lacking life and sound.

There was nothing left—nothing left of him, nothing left of Tristan. In a heartbeat, the world became hollow. Dead. Lost. Gone.

Aiden’s entire being cramped. He feared he’d turn himself inside out right there on the floor, and yet he wasn’t there…he simply wasn’t anymore.

A chuckled echoed in his head, and his heart splintered. It was Tristan’s laugh, the soft clucking sound he made when he found something funny but didn’t laugh full out.

Then there were footsteps, and Aiden turned towards the doorway. Tristan stood there. As if nothing had happened. As if Aiden hadn’t died—as if he hadn’t died. He ran one of his massive hands over his beard and raised an eyebrow at something the official-looking man said.

“Of course. I can testify, too, if you need it.”

“Tristan.” Aiden’s strangled whisper hardly had strength to grow loud enough to be heard, but Tristan did. Those hazel eyes focused on him, then widened a bit.

“Aiden? What are you doing here? I begged you to stay safe.”

What are you doing here? Aiden stared at him in disbelief. Why wouldn’t he be here? Of course he would be here. “I came for you!”

“Oh…thanks?”

That’s it for now. Hop on over here to enter.

 

Jason has one rule when it comes to holidays – work his shift and find a willing body to distract himself with. This Easter, he’s trying something new: visiting his friend, Aiden, who lives in the middle of nowhere. When Jason lays eyes on Tom, the gruff lumberjack whose home he’ll be sharing, he knows who’ll chase away the pending holiday gloom. Too bad Tom doesn’t want to get with the programme.
Aiden has prepared a special kind of Easter egg for his boyfriend, Tristan. He wants to make their first Easter together special, memorable, but as the moment for handing over the egg draws nearer, Aiden’s nerves get the better of him. What if he has it all wrong and Tristan wants nothing to do with silky satin hidden within the egg?
Chris Hart owns the only grocery shop in Nortown, but he isn’t exactly overrun by customers. Some days he wonders why he bothers to open the doors at all. Gabriel Miller loves his life. But all of it is taken away when he witnesses a murder. When the danger follows Gabe to Nortown, it’s more than their chance at happiness that is threatened. Chris and Gabe find themselves fighting to stay alive.
Aiden leaves the security of his massage studio behind to rush into the woods when he hears Tristan has gone after some gun-carrying idiots from the city. He can’t believe Tristan is willing to risk his life for some stranger. What will Aiden do if Tristan is killed? He must stop him before it’s too late. He can’t lose Tristan.