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For the evening crowd my latest release! Sex and Candy

By: Diana DeRicci |
Published By: MLR Press, LLC
Published: Mar 14, 2014
ISBN # MLR1020140219
Word Count: 30,000
Heat Index    
Brad’s dream of happily ever after with his best friend, Geoff, is destroyed when he receives a wedding
invitation to Geoff’s wedding — to a woman. After accepting that waiting for the man has gained him 
nothing, he intends to wipe him clear of his heart and mind. With a night at Blue Dogs.
Tristan is captivated by Brad and what begins as a night of pure release starts something for Tristan that 
he can’t deny. A wanting to know the other man beyond sex.
Can Tristan win Brad’s heart away from an unrequited love? It may not be as easy as he’d like when
Geoff reappears begging for forgiveness.

Chapter One

Brad held the invitation between two fingers, as though it was contaminated. His stomach was tied in knots. His best friend’s wedding.

He sank to the sofa, shivering. His life flashed before his eyes. All the years he’d known Geoff… The invitation mocked him. It hurtled silent pain at him over the groom-to-be.

The man he’d been in love with since he was six was getting married.

To a woman.

Brad tossed the envelope to the coffee table with a hiss of pain. “Why?” he gasped, his voice rife with the internal agony he was drowning in. “You are gay.” He ground his teeth together as his eyes closed.

Brad knew why.

Geoff’s mother. She’d put him up to it. And Geoff was so deep in the closet, maybe he’d finally convinced himself that he didn’t have to be gay. That by marrying a woman, all would be right in his world. The truth was, he’d be miserable within the year, and more than likely saddled with a child by then. Brad couldn’t even begin to dissect how that baby would happen. He knew Geoff.

Then again, if he could go this far with this farce, maybe Brad didn’t know him at all.

The only thing Brad knew with a certainty was he wasn’t going to be able to witness the train wreck. He couldn’t watch his best friend throw his life away for someone else’s ideals.

He dialed a number on his cell phone. “Ruben?”

“Hey buddy. What’s happ-en-in’?”

“Is that standing offer at Blue Dogs still open?”

Ruben purred with delight. “For you, always. Are you sure you want to do this, though? I know you haven’t been keen on it before.”

“Before…” He huffed in disgust, his gaze landing on the offensive invitation. “Before I thought I’d be with the man I loved.”

“Going to BDs to lick your wounds isn’t the right mindset.”

“I don’t really care what the mindset is. When are we going?” He needed a night out. A night out of his head. A night of fucking wouldn’t be out of the equation either. He’d been waiting, like a fool, for Geoff to get his shit together.

He was done waiting.

Ruben hummed on the other end. “Tomorrow night is the next.”

“Perfect. I’m not on shift this weekend.”

Ruben made another noncommittal sound of agreement. “Meet me at my place at eight. And dress is casual. You won’t be in it for long anyway.”

“So you say,” he retorted. Brad really had his doubts about this club, Blue Dogs. He’d never heard of anything like it in Arbor Heights. Ruben had only cryptically shared details, and that it wasn’t downtown. He swore Brad wouldn’t regret going, that only a few new faces were even allowed in each year. They had an evening cap and if you were late, you weren’t getting in. Blue Dogs didn’t sound like any place Brad had ever been to. It definitely wasn’t a night club. Maybe it was one of those private parlor establishments. Elite clubs. Whatever.

In the end, it didn’t matter. Glaring at the embossed cream linen on his coffee table, he made up his mind.

If Geoff didn’t want him, then fuck Geoff.

He sarcastically saluted him and his false nuptials, hoping he enjoyed his new prison of matrimony to a woman he’d only grow to resent while she grew to hate him.

He was done waiting for his sorry ass.

* * * *

Tristan greeted each member as they walked in his front door Saturday night. “Maurice.” He got a quick kiss. “Good to see you again.”

“Always an exciting pleasure.”

Tristan snickered and lightly pushed his flirting guest onward. “Go on.” He reached and shook another hand. “Hello, Ruben. Glad to have you back. Who is this?” he asked, though he knew. Tristan knew every person, whether a first time attendee or a longtime guest.

“This is Brad. I’ve mentioned him.”

Tristan reached and clasped the man’s hand. “Nice. Take him to Vance to read and sign the waiver.” He couldn’t help a full body perusal. Not a boy-toy, but a dish worth sampling over and over. “It will be a pleasure to have you this evening.”

The man’s eyes shot wide and he swallowed. “Uh…um, Ruben,” he said with an anxious quiver.

“Relax.” Ruben curled an arm through his friend’s, tugging him deeper into the house, leaning head to head to speak. “You’ll see.”

Then they were gone, and Tristan got to greet more faces and friends. When the last of the fifty he allowed were inside, he shut the door, signaling to any others that the evening was officially starting and the house was at capacity.

Lighting was turned down low, while music flowed from the speakers overhead. Something easy, sensual, and not too loud. The raucous party atmosphere wasn’t his intent. Though one would only have to look a little closer to see exactly what that intent was.

Bowls were scattered around the front room filled with condoms and lube packets. Stacks of towels waited unobtrusively. Comfy chairs, cushions, bean bags, floor pillows, all manner of means to relax. The room was cleaned out except for these few needs.

The front bathroom was stocked. Water chilled in ice-filled insulated containers and buckets around the room on tables. Tristan didn’t allow alcohol or drugs. And the waiver was a must.

There were a few rules. Entering required a health waiver, and an ironclad non-disclosure agreement. He wasn’t running a brothel. This was his private home and he liked making men happy. There was something so very primal in the meeting and mating of two strong personalities.

No force. Ever. No meant no. Anyone was free to leave when they wished. No one was required to return.

A weekend thing that had started with a few close friends had grown into a sort of meet and fuck. No strings. No questions, not by him. If men hooking up wanted to get together outside of his home, they were free to do so. Tristan didn’t control his guests.

That being said, he wasn’t a fool. He investigated every person who walked through his doors. Which included Ruben’s new friend, Brad Hauffman. They all received approval to be included, and none joined that he and at least three others of the core group weren’t personally vetted by.

Energy was already beginning to snap on the air. Testosterone was rich, mingling with a few colognes and others’ natural, raw musk. Lust licked at nerves. Tight jeans, curving slacks, T-shirts that looked painted on, or shirts that were unbuttoned halfway. They were all beautiful to admire.

An arm curled around Tristan’s waist and he smiled. “Hello, Dustin. How’ve you been?”

“Busy with my doctorate. I can’t tell you how badly I need tonight.”

Tristan smiled, brushing a soothing thumb beneath a shadowed eye. “You’re losing sleep again.”

Dustin nodded. “I’m taking the whole weekend for down time.”

Tristan gave him a slow kiss. “Tonight will do you some good then,” he said when he finally released the other man’s mouth.

Dustin swayed into his body, a flat palm splayed open for support across his chest. “Damn. I forgot how good you are at those.”

Tristan winked. “Enjoy,” he crooned.

“Fuck me.”

“Someone will.” Tristan kissed him again and moved on.

From Dreamspinner Press: Coloring Outside the Lines / DeRicci / MM Contemp

Series: Different Paths to Love , Book 2.0
By: Diana DeRicci | Other books by Diana DeRicci
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Published: Dec 11, 2013
ISBN # 9781627983617

Word Count: 25,241

Photographer Ralph Haraldsson’s birthday celebration starts to turn disastrous when he runs into his ex, and it seems to be headed downhill from there. Julian Franzese, an off-duty cop with a hotter-than-sin body, gets co-opted to take Ralph home when the friends he came with run into problems. Even though they’ve never met before, Julian defends Ralph’s wounded pride from his ex and his body from a creepy patron. The relationship starts out cool, but Ralph soon warms up to the persistent Texan, and as they get to know each other, the temperature continues to rise. But Ralph has a couple of secrets: an old injury that could make a difference, and the room he keeps locked up behind his studio—a room where only those who play by the rules can enter. What might Julian think if Ralph shows him all his hidden colors?

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Pants Off Reviews

~~by SinChan  5 Pants Off 

Their romance is beautiful and their trust in each other is very heartwarming.


Dreamspinner Press
All Romance

Chapter 1

“I DON’T think you’re grasping the gravity of the situation.” Ralph sipped at his drink then gave his best friend, Tony, a squarely pokerfaced look. “I’m about to explode, my cock is so in need of being sucked.”

Tony chuckled and rolled his eyes. “You’re such a drama queen,” he accused.

Ralph pursed his lips and then swallowed the rum mix in his glass. “I need another one of these.” At least one more. He wouldn’t argue a half dozen. He tipped the tumbler, then tapped the bottom to get the last chunk of ice.

“Ralph, you’re only thirty-five. It’s not the end of the world.”

He huffed. “Says you. You have Mr. Hottie Centerfold.”

Tony laughed under his breath. “Brandon is not a centerfold.” Tony leaned close on his high stool to be heard over the house style music vibrating the air. “Could be, though.”

Ralph groaned loudly. “See!” He smacked the tumbler down. “Fetch, or I’m going to get pissy.”

“Okay, okay.” Tony rose from his seat. “Stay.”


“Hey, you just told me to fetch.”

Ralph glared at him, then “Touché.” He sighed once Tony was out of earshot. It wasn’t his friend’s fault he was feeling like warmed over shit. Turning thirty-five should have been a good thing. He was settled in a good career, juggled more accounts than a sane man would ever dream of taking on, and his best friend had brought him out to celebrate. Sadly, it wasn’t turning out to be the party Tony thought he was giving him.

Three nights ago, he’d bumped into his ex. Darling Jackie had rubbed his wonderful new love life in Ralph’s face. When Ralph hadn’t been able to produce even a name, Jackie and his beau had left in a wail of laughter. Ralph may have only just turned thirty-five, but lately he’d felt eighty.

While he waited for Tony’s return, he ran a hand down his thigh where he sat, the sleek linen pants holding their crease. The rich, seashell-white tone went well with the rose hue of his shirt. It was late summer and he wanted to enjoy the colors before fall sucked out all the brightness from every fashion eyeball on the planet. He detested fall. Orange. Who in their right mind built a wardrobe around orange and brown? He could work with mint green…. He shook his head. Who was he kidding?

Give him spring and summer. He could almost work with winter, but fall? Hell no!

He shivered, wrapping long fingers around his upper arms, sending a seeking look into the crowd, hunting for Tony. It was early yet, so the dance floor wasn’t very full, but that was only a matter of time. Ralph was a watcher, not a dancer. Maybe by the time he was a little more plastered he’d enjoy the scenery more. He guessed he was still stinging from Jackie’s kiss off and the fact that he was hornier than hell with no hope in sight.

“Hello, sugar.”

Ralph rolled his eyes at the interruption to his mental tirade, not to mention the exaggerated drawl. “Please.” Last he checked, Texas was east. As in, welllll east. He turned to the interloper to give him a very vocal smack down. He was doing just fine pouting alone, thank you. He just caught his tongue from rolling out loose and free. The snark-filled, biting remark was cut off at the pass. “Uh, hello.” Da-yum.

Shoulder to shoulder, eyes the color of sweetened cappuccino gleamed at him from beneath too-perfect eyebrows, surrounded by some of the thickest, darkest eyelashes Ralph had ever had the good fortune to see up close and personal. He was definitely delicious, and Ralph had seen all brands, types, and breeds when it came to men, naked and clothed.

It was a good thing Ralph’s lungs worked on autopilot because this guy had sucked every atom of oxygen right out of Ralph’s chest. Immediately, his mind’s eye began putting him in different poses and lights, wanting to capture all that handsome to save, and maybe to savor. God, the gorgeous things he could do with this man. And that was with his clothes on.

His new admirer shifted where he stood, putting him just that much too close for comfort.

Ralph batted him away, the move snapping him out of his stupor. “Personal space. I don’t even know your name.”

“Julian.” The gorgeous man purred it into Ralph’s ear. The ensuing rush of lust that coursed through Ralph’s body was hotter than lava. “Why are you sitting here all alone, a beautiful treat like you?”

“I’m not alone.”

A deeper-than-brown eyebrow arched teasingly. “Oh?” He blatantly searched the table. “I’m sorry. I didn’t see your imaginary friend.”

Ralph growled. “That’s not even close to being funny.” Gratefully, Ralph spotted Tony weaving back to the table then. “See?”

“Deduction. He’s not yours.”

Ralph gasped, leaning to stare upward into Mr. Perfect’s face. “Why would you say that?”

“He’s wearing a ring. You are not. Plus, three drinks. Unless Mr. Imaginary is real, I sincerely doubt that is for me.”

The light stroke of fingers at the small of his spine had his cock twitching like a flag in a brisk wind. From a touch. Ralph wanted to grind his teeth. “So you’re an infuriating charmer?” He twisted his lips in mockery. Good looks be damned. The man was arrogant as hell.

“Here you go.” Tony slid the drinks onto the table, then faltered as he focused on Julian. “Uh, sorry. Who are you?”

“Julian Franzese.” He reached across the table to shake.

“Tony Teagan. Friend of Ralph’s?”

“I am now,” Julian purposely said close to Ralph’s ear, nodding in answer to Tony. “Now I know your name. I’ll know even more before you leave.”

Ralph wanted to throw him off, but wasn’t going to start a scene. “Presumptuous of you, don’t you think?”

“I like a little coy playfulness,” Julian said at his shoulder.

“You’re a game hunter.”

“Not as much as you probably think.”

“I’m not going to play along.”

Julian hummed against Ralph’s neck. “So you say, beautiful. You’ve been caught and you don’t even know the trap has been sprung.”

Ralph growled. Loudly. The harsh sound earned him a curious look from Tony. “Is Brandon coming?” he asked, determined to ignore and get away  from the leech homing in on his neck. The man was draped around Ralph like a shawl. Or a boa constrictor.

“Just called. He finished his registration details and starts classes in three weeks.”

Ralph wasn’t surprised. Brandon was ready to tackle his final year. The guy had really come into his own since finding Tony, not only at work, but in his private life as well.

Ralph grabbed one of the drinks and started to inhale it. He knew he was just feeling sorry for himself, but he couldn’t help it amid all the happiness Tony exuded whenever he spoke of Brandon.

“So what do you do, Julian?” Tony asked, easing closer to talk over the waves of sound from the bar and music.

“I’m a cop.”

Ralph spit out his drink. Julian was nice enough to grab napkins and cover his leaky chin.

“Easy, sunshine.”

Ralph glared at him again. “What is with the nicknames?”

“One of these days, I’ll tell you.” Julian winked.

“Any particular department?” Tony asked.

“Street patrol. Nothing exciting. Well, not often anyway.”

Ralph spotted the arms first as they appeared looping around Tony’s middle, then the cap of red hair. The sheer pleasure and focus that overcame his best friend threatened to kill Ralph with jealousy. He wanted that. So badly.

“Hello, beautiful boy. How was it?” Tony asked in greeting.

Brandon slunk around, coming up under Tony’s arm to be cradled into his side. “Long lines, bitching, moaning. I think someone lost it but I wasn’t close enough.”

Ralph caught the shudder of distaste. That had to be charming to witness.

“Nerves?” Tony asked. He wedged Brandon between his thighs, holding him as close as publicly allowed.

“I wouldn’t be surprised.” Brandon nipped at Tony’s chin until he got a kiss in greeting.

Ralph felt Julian’s body shift into his side. “I know you.” Julian peered openly across to the other pair.

Brandon’s lashes lifted when Tony straightened. “Oh?”

He snapped his fingers. “The tea ad? Right?”

Brandon beamed and laughed. “Yeah. How many of those billboards did Gwen put up, anyway?”

“I’ve seen at least three,” Julian answered. He offered a hand. “Julian.”


And just like that, Julian became part of their group whether Ralph wanted him there or not.

JULIAN BENT close. “Why are you fighting it?”

Ralph glared at him. “Because I don’t know you. You make nice with my friends, move in like a mother-in-law, and you’re not fooling me with that smile. You have your own cologne called Trouble.”

“Ah, you wound me.”

Ralph twisted his body to put Julian behind his shoulder. “You should find an easier lay. It won’t be me.”

“Who said I wanted sex?”

Ralph rolled his eyes. Julian was careful to not make him feel threatened. He was sure given the right initiative, Ralph would still pierce him with an elbow. “I could have sworn someone said he was in desperate need of having his dick sucked. Maybe it was just my imagination, but I’m more willing to bet it was my super hearing.”

Ralph swung around, a mixture of horror, shock, and arousal playing over his features. “You heard that?” he croaked.

“Could eat on you for hours,” Julian murmured, letting his lips ghost over Ralph’s ear. “You’re gorgeous, smell like candy, feel like heaven.”

Ralph frowned then pushed with a firm hand into his chest. “Okay. Trying too hard now.”

“What? Honesty not something you’re used to?”

“Look, smooth talker.” Ralph huffed. Julian waited for the next flurry of barbs, but as suddenly as the fiery spark of irritation was aimed at him, it faded like a snuffed wick when Ralph’s gaze shot behind Julian. “Oh fuck,” he spat. “Shit.”

Julian whirled. Something was seriously upsetting Ralph and that was not cool with him.

A hand clutched his upper arm. “Forgive me for this,” Ralph whispered. The hand gripping Julian like a lifeline snaked into his hair and tugged him around. The sudden onslaught of hot and hungry lips against his was a shock. For about three seconds. Then Julian took over.

Tony and Brandon, everyone surrounding them, faded away. Julian roped Ralph into his chest and plundered his mouth. God, he was as sweet as he looked. He had a perfect upper lip and the bottom was smooth as silk. Julian hadn’t expected it, but he wasn’t going to pass up a prime opportunity to enjoy Ralph’s mouth.

At first, Ralph barely met his kiss, but Julian wasn’t going to settle for that. A firm tug on longer-than-shoulder-length hair and Ralph opened up like a dream. A shudder rolled down Julian’s frame when one of Ralph’s legs hooked behind his knee, bringing them deeply into each other’s bodies.

Julian captured Ralph’s tongue to suckle on it. Ralph was everything Julian hoped, and so much more. Julian didn’t usually take wild chances like he had with Ralph. Didn’t pick up guys in bars or clubs. He came to hang out with friends and share a drink where he could relax out of uniform. But the second he’d spotted that head of bright-blond hair and the lean body under the clothes, Julian had homed in like a bloodhound. It was good to know his instincts were right here, too.

Overhearing Ralph had simply been the means to make his move.

They separated from the kiss with an almost surreal slowness. “Wow,” Julian panted. He’d had a feeling the man in his arms was going to be a livewire, but that…. That blew his mind.

Ralph’s lips were a blushing red and there was a definite flushed heat to his skin. Julian could imagine every inch of him like that and the thought threatened to drive him insane. He toyed with the top button of Ralph’s shirt, trying to get his feet and his mind back on planet Earth.

“Ralph! What a surprise.” The cooed call was layered in so much false interest, it immediately set Julian’s teeth on edge. He spun casually to stand next to Ralph to inspect the invading pair.

“Hello, Jackie. Cody.”

“It’s Corbin” came the sharp retort.

“Right. Sorry.” Ralph gave them a pinched smile. The total lack of honest apology was just as clear as their feigned interest in what Ralph was doing at Burgandy’s.

Julian noted when Tony and Brandon inched around the table and took up places on Ralph’s opposite side, shielding him.

“Wasn’t expecting to see you here.”

Ralph glared coolly. “I didn’t die when you left, Jackie.”

Julian looped an arm around Ralph. Publicly staking his claim.

“You didn’t mention you were seeing anyone on Tuesday,” Jackie needled, obviously trying to see through their kiss. Honestly, Julian didn’t care the reason behind it. He got one, and he was going to get more.

“I asked him not to. I’ve been working undercover.” He gave the watching pair a shark’s grin. And unlike before, he didn’t offer his hand or a name.

Corbin perked up. “A detective?” Which earned him a scowling, displeased frown from Jackie.

“If you’ll excuse us, we were celebrating.” Julian flanked Ralph, effectively hiding him. And then, because he could and he wasn’t going to miss the opportunity, he tipped Ralph’s chin up for another one of those smokin’ hot kisses.

“Whoo,” Brandon breathed. “That is so hot.”

Julian laughed gently against Ralph’s lips, in no hurry to let him go.

“They’re gone,” Tony informed them.

“Who said it was for them?” Julian asked, watching Ralph intently. That earned a chuckle from Tony.

Ralph trembled, then shook his head. “You are so much trouble.”

Green eyes locked on him, dazed and unfocused. Frankly, Julian liked that reaction.

“Why did you do that?” Ralph asked a few seconds later.

“Do what?”


“Why did you kiss me?” he countered, not in the least angry, though he knew Ralph was probably expecting it. He’d figured out pretty quickly the kiss had been a ruse. Well, at least that’s how it had started.

It didn’t end that way.

Ralph swallowed and dropped Julian’s gaze. “I shouldn’t have. I’m sorry.”

“I’m not.” He tickled an earlobe with the tip of his tongue. “I knew perfectly well what that was. They’ll never know the difference and you get to keep your pride. But don’t think for a second that I’m playing a game.”

Ralph tipped his head, giving him a cool stare. “There you go again.”

“You. Trap. Sprung.” Julian couldn’t hide the hint of laughter. “You’ll see I’m not such a bad guy after all.”

Ralph groaned. Loudly. Then sagged into Julian’s chest. “What have I gotten into this time?”
Dreamspinner Press
All Romance


Publisher best seller: Finding Home! DeRicci / MM contemp

By: Diana DeRicci
Published: Sep 25, 2013
ISBN # 9781612920863
Word Count: 47284
GLBT/MM/Contemporary Erotic Romance



Parker is homeless. He’s hot, tired, hungry, and thirsty. He has never expected miracles in his short life. They don’t happen to him. When he’s picked up on the side of the road by a well-meaning grandfather, he’s driven to Jasper. Another small town on another long stretch of highway. One that would be nothing but a place to get a meal with the twenty he reluctantly accepts from the compassionate driver.

Ian can well remember the sight of his niece that long ago morning Caleb brought her shivering, terrified, and homeless to his door. Unable to leave the young man, he offers the first kindnesses Parker will have known in more than three years.

Through Ian, Caleb, and their family, Parker regains his dignity, and his ambition to reach goals taken from him. It’s a slow process for him because trust doesn’t happen overnight. But by the time he’s found a family, love, and dreams, he also realizes he may have found home. ​​

It’s good to see them grow as people, real people, with hopes, dreams, aspirations, fears, and the whole nine yards.

~~~ 5, Lucky, Mrs. Condit Reviews, 

#1 on All Romance Ebooks; #3 Best Seller Amazon GLBT Romance.

The story was so sweet and interesting. All the characters are intriguing. A refreshing read.

~~~5, Cat, MM Good Book Reviews

…definitely recommend reading this story!

~~~5, Cia GayAuthors.org




Chapter One

Parker hefted his backpack onto a shoulder, his other arm held out with his thumb up. The passing vehicle didn’t even slow down. The hot cyclone of dry air it left in its wake made him grimace. He paused to let it rush beyond him as the sultry August heat beat down on him. He was used to walking. Except every now and then, a cool car would be welcome.

He adjusted the large cowboy hat on his head and started moving again. Forward. He never wanted to go in reverse again. Why be somewhere after you’ve already been there? He wanted to go where he’d never been, and that was in front of him. Never behind.

Parker walked through the noonday heat into the afternoon. He held out his thumb, though no one ever stopped. They hardly did anymore. Not that he could blame them. People died making goodwill efforts. He couldn’t imagine doing anything like that. He hated to fight. Hated to hurt others. If those facts made him a pussy, then so be it. Lord knew his father had called him that and worse over the years.

He stopped under a shade tree a few yards from the road, resting, aware he was rambling in his thoughts. Sunstroke, dehydration, and no food. Not a good combination for a lone man traversing the country’s highways.

Sinking to the ground, he fanned his face with his hat. His boots were dusty. He was filthy. He’d forgotten what a hot shower felt like. Idly, he played with a loose side tooth with the tip of his tongue. Sooner or later, he’d have to do something about it. One too many hits from his dad. It was getting worse, which wasn’t a good sign.

A beat up truck slowed at the roadside. He didn’t blink, waiting. There was a grinding, metallic creak as a window rolled down to expose the driver. A gnarled older man that had to be eighty if he was a day leaned on the wheel.

“You need a ride, boy? You’s lookin’ mighty peak-ed.”

Parker nodded.

“How far you goin’?”

“As far as you can take me.” He’d never had a destination.

“Climb in the back.” He hooked a thumb over a shoulder. Parker stood at the offer. “I can get you to Jasper. It’s apiece up the road yet.”

It wasn’t AC, but it wasn’t walking. Parker nodded grimly. “Appreciated.”

He tossed his hat and backpack over the truck side wall then hefted himself in to sit behind the cab. He rested an arm over an upright, bent knee.

The driver spoke through the rear cab window before getting a good speed up. “Name’s Grint. I’d let you up here, but I’m driving to see my grandbaby. Daughter will have a might fit if the truck is filthy.”

The old man’s grumbling made him smile. “I don’t mind. Thanks for the ride.”

“You’s welcome. Hang on back there. I’ll let you know when we hit town.”

Parker closed his eyes. It wasn’t so bad. The chance to rest helped. He didn’t know how long they drove. He didn’t have a watch or a phone. In the grand scheme of his world, neither mattered.

He jerked and blinked his eyes when the driver’s door slammed shut. “Wake up. This is as far as I can take you.”

Parker swiveled on his neck taking in the town in a first glance. “Jasper, huh?”

“It ain’t N’Awlins,” the old man scoffed, then cackled a dry laugh like he’d made a knee slapper of a joke.

Parker slung his pack over a shoulder and crammed his hat on his head, gliding over the edge to land on his feet. “Thanks, Grint.” He went to shake, but faltered.

The man held out a twenty dollar bill. “Here, son. You need this more than I do today.”

“I can’t take your money.” He attempted to back away, smacking into the truck behind him.

“When you have it, give it t’a person who needs it more ‘an you.” Grint managed to stuff it in his front pocket, ignoring his refusals. “Two doors from the bakery is grub. Get a meal ‘afore you take off outta town ‘gain.”

With that, Grint turned and walked down the sidewalk to one of the other storefronts, leaving him standing there on the sidewalk confused. The kindness of strangers never ceased to amaze him. He pushed fingers into his pocket, feeling the stiff crispness of the bill.

It was real. He bowed his head and sent a silent thank you to Grint for being bothered enough to stop today.

He looked the way Grint had told him to go, making out the red and white striped banner that had to be the bakery. Self-conscious of his disheveled state, he hurried as quickly as he could past doors, spotting the entry for the restaurant. White script on the door proclaimed it to be Lucy’s. He hoped they didn’t turn him away because he was a walking wreck.

Just as he reached the door, ready to put his best foot forward and hopefully get to eat, he spotted the large cop at the register. Beige on brown uniform, the thick, black holster belt that sat at his hips, and the two pairs of black steel cuffs clipped on the back. He did an about face that made him dizzy and he stumbled a step.

Parker tried to take another step, reaching for something to firm his balance against. He found air. Sweat broke out on his forehead. Noise vacuumed to his own harsh panting and nothing else. He swayed as his knees turned to water.

“Hey, easy there!” Strong hands captured him at the waist. “Here, sit down and put your head between your knees.”

He sank numbly to the curb and did as told. He’d learned a long time ago, acquiescing early on meant less pain later. “I didn’t do anything,” he croaked, shivering. He hated being roughed by the law. Hated it.

“Just breathe,” said the soothing, deep voice.

“Is he okay?”

“Don’t know yet.” That was the man behind him. Calm, in charge.

“Officer Drew? Wha’cha doin’ t’a that young’un?”

Parker recognized that voice. Grint.


Parker caught the motion as a beige leg and more than likely the body it was attached to moved into his vision to talk to Grint, yet the hand on his shoulder remained.

So it wasn’t the cop holding him down.

“Think you can sit up now?” Still calm. Unaggressive. Parker knew better than to trust it. He was too outnumbered.

Parker nodded silently. He grasped his hat and held it in his hands, trying to look around. The cop, the man behind him, Grint, and a lady he could only guess was his daughter holding a young toddler.

“Sorry,” Parker mumbled.

“You gonna let that boy go eat, Ian? He ain’t hurtin’ nuthin’.”

“Making sure he’s okay,” he said loud enough to be heard. “Are you okay?” he gently asked Parker.

Parker nodded. The man stood and offered a hand. Looking at how dirty his were, Parker studied the man’s, Ian’s, and noticed he had a mechanic’s hands. Some professions you could tell by a man’s hands. He had no idea whose could be worse at that moment. He clasped the hand above him and found his feet.

“I have to get back on the clock.” The cop came and stood at Ian’s shoulder.

Ian turned and gazed over a shoulder into the man’s eyes. A hand lifted and touched his chin. Parker spotted the ring on his finger when he did. “See you at home.”

“Love you,” the cop whispered. Ian touched the cop’s lip with a fleeting fingertip, and then he was gone.

Parker started trembling again. He also noticed Grint and his daughter were getting into the truck to leave. Parker wanted to leave with them. He didn’t even care where. He didn’t want to be right there, right this second.

“You sure you’re okay?”

“Food,” Parker stammered, knowing he was staring wild-eyed at the glass doors in front of him. Escape.

Ian nodded. “Probably been a while, huh?”

Parker tipped to stare at him. He was a couple of inches too short to get a good eye view meeting. “I can pay.” Now. “I’m not a thief.”

“I want to help you, but you need to be honest with me. Keep in mind, my husband is a Sheriff.”

It felt as though Parker swallowed through glass. Husband? Parker was sure he was about to faint, and it wasn’t all heat induced. He tipped his head once, trying to stay on his feet.

“Are you over eighteen?”

“Yes,” he whispered, keeping his gaze down. He clutched at his backpack, his hat crumpled in his other fist.

“Are you wanted?”


Ian’s hands had risen to his hips after a nerve-stretching pause. “I don’t need lengthy explanations unless you want to give them. Let’s get you some hot food.”


“Why?” Ian halted his turn, frowning for reasons Parker couldn’t begin to know, but feared he could guess.

“Why are you doing this? Anything?”

“Because you almost passed out at my feet.” Then he turned and opened the glass door wide, waiting for him.

Parker trudged in behind him.

“Lucy, can we get a hot plate to go?” he spoke to the lady at the register.

When Parker reached in his pocket for the bill Grint had given him, Ian stayed his hand with a touch to his wrist.

“Put it on Caleb’s coffee bill, would you?”

“You betcha.” She wrote a note by the register and then dashed to the back.

Parker really wanted to sit down. Instead he shifted from one foot then to the other, trying to stay upright. That dizzy spell had drained him. It had been a while since he’d had one. Since he hadn’t eaten recently, it really sucker punched him.

The scents reaching him were divine: fresh bread, hot meats, gravy, potatoes, but he knew better than to try to move past the guy at his shoulder. He should have known they wouldn’t want him inside. Wasn’t the first time he’d been called a health hazard in the three plus years he’d been walking.

“Hang on, just a little longer.” Ian was watching him again. His voice was calm, that soothing note in it again. It made no difference to Parker whether he stayed there or not. He could sit under a bridge somewhere and eat as easily as at a table. Ian was being kind to get him a hot dinner, at least. It meant he could stretch the twenty in his pocket a little further.

It wasn’t like he hadn’t earned his meals from time to time. Washing dishes, mopping, whatever. He tried not to think too often of the times he’d had to sell himself for a couple of bucks to get that hot meal. He was even gladder that he’d never been attacked or mugged. If people were hurt giving help, many more of them died needing it.

He didn’t know how long they stood by the front of the restaurant when she came bustling up from the kitchen. “Here you go, sugar. There’s an extra corn bread and a slice of apple pie.”

“Thanks, Lucy.” Ian reached for the hefty bag.

“Poor baby. He’s dead on his feet.”

Parker heard her, but pretended he didn’t. “Thank you, Ma’am,” he said, meaning it while he eyed the bag in Ian’s grip.

“Let’s go.” Ian held the door again.

Only he didn’t stop walking once they were outside. Walking away with Parker’s food.

“Wait!” He hurried to catch up. “I can carry it.” His stomach grumbled like a sleepy volcano as scents rose from the paper bag. The same ones from the restaurant. His mouth salivated like a faucet. He was shocked. He didn’t think he had any moisture in him to spare.

Ian didn’t answer, simply started moving again.

Dutifully, Parker trailed the man because he knew that was what Ian wanted and what he had to do if he wanted what was in that bag.

Celebrating my latest print collection! Arbor Heights!


Beneath the Shield Jack Torres has been harboring, zealously nurturing a hidden guilt for three years. This mire of emotions has hardened his heart and his want to reconnect to the living world, keeping him isolated and unapproachable. Brant Teller is a chance encounter Jack keeps from growing physically violent in a crowded nightclub. Parting ways, Brant doesn’t expect to see the brooding, silent officer again. Yet when a domestic violence call brings the surly officer right to his ER, Brant takes a chance. What begins as a Sunday of football has the possibility to become so much more. If Jack will open himself up enough to release the agony of his own personal nightmare.
Together Isaac hadn’t counted on the resurgence of an old attraction when a friend arrives in the flesh unexpectedly. Through Shawn’s pain and healing, they grow closer. But nothing could unite them more than supporting a mutual friend when he is attacked. Quinn creates an energy between the three of them that none could explain. A passion that they all want to explore. If they can only find a way to be happy together.
The Good Life Chad Rarig and Sonny Phillips have been friends since skinned knees and after school homework. Life is pretty normal, if a bit bland for Chad, until he receives a phone call that changes the rest of his entire life. With Sonny’s strong shoulder in friendship and his mother’s support, he cautiously embraces his fate, one that includes binkies and an utter loss of sleep. Sonny offers a chance to let Chad settle into this new wilderness of parenthood, sharing his home with his best friend. Only he definitely hadn’t anticipated having to deal with an attraction that left him panting and hungry as a starving man for his best friend. His gay best friend who thinks Sonny is straight, because he’s never told him the full truth to preserve their friendship above all else. Can Chad come to terms with all the challenges of fatherhood and still keep Sonny’s friendship? Will either be willing to take the risk to cross that line from friendship to something more?


Yeah!! I made it!! (PG-17) Sex and Candy / DeRicci / MM contemp

After having tons of issues (my fault) with my sign-in, I’m here! And just in time. I have a release that is coming tomorrow!

Let me introduce you to Brad and Tristan. One is a working man type who is “sweet as candy” if we believe Tristan, and the man who wants to spend hours finding his sweetest spots!

Don’t forget! Commenting on any post puts your name in a drawing for a download of tomorrow’s release!

Brad’s dream of happily ever after with his best friend, Geoff, is destroyed when he receives a wedding invitation to Geoff’s wedding — to a woman. After accepting that waiting for the man has gained him  nothing, he intends to wipe him clear of his heart and mind. With a night at Blue Dogs.
Tristan is captivated by Brad and what begins as a night of pure release starts something for Tristan that he can’t deny. A wanting to know the other man beyond sex.
Can Tristan win Brad’s heart away from an unrequited love? It may not be as easy as he’d like when Geoff reappears begging for forgiveness.


Chapter One

Brad held the invitation between two fingers, as though it was contaminated. His stomach was tied in knots. His best  friend’s wedding.

He sank to the sofa, shivering. His life flashed before his eyes. All the years he’d known Geoff… The invitation  mocked him. It hurtled silent pain at him over the groom-to-be.

The man he’d been in love with since he was six was getting married.

To a woman.

Brad tossed the envelope to the coffee table with a hiss of pain. “Why?” he gasped, his voice rife with the internal  agony he was drowning in. “You are gay.” He ground his teeth together as his eyes closed.

Brad knew why.

Geoff’s mother. She’d put him up to it. And Geoff was so deep in the closet, maybe he’d finally convinced himself that he didn’t have to be gay. That by marrying a woman, all would be right in his world. The truth was, he’d be miserable within the year, and more than likely saddled with a child by then. Brad couldn’t even begin to dissect how that baby would happen. He knew Geoff.

Then again, if he could go this far with this farce, maybe Brad didn’t know him at all.

The only thing Brad knew with a certainty was he wasn’t going to be able to witness the train wreck. He couldn’t  watch his best friend throw his life away for someone else’s ideals.

He dialed a number on his cell phone. “Ruben?”

“Hey buddy. What’s happ-en-in’?”

“Is that standing offer at Blue Dogs still open?”

Ruben purred with delight. “For you, always. Are you sure you want to do this, though? I know you haven’t been  keen on it before.”

“Before…” He huffed in disgust, his gaze landing on the offensive invitation. “Before I thought I’d be with the man I  loved.”

“Going to BDs to lick your wounds isn’t the right mindset.”

“I don’t really care what the mindset is. When are we going?” He needed a night out. A night out of his head. A night  of fucking wouldn’t be out of the equation either. He’d been waiting, like a fool, for Geoff to get his shit together.

He was done waiting.

Ruben hummed on the other end. “Tomorrow night is the next.”

“Perfect. I’m not on shift this weekend.”

Ruben made another noncommittal sound of agreement. “Meet me at my place at eight. And dress is casual. You  won’t be in it for long anyway.”

“So you say,” he retorted. Brad really had his doubts about this club, Blue Dogs. He’d never heard of anything like it  in Arbor Heights. Ruben had only cryptically shared details, and that it wasn’t downtown. He swore Brad wouldn’t  regret going, that only a few new faces were even allowed in each year. They had an evening cap and if you were late, you weren’t getting in. Blue Dogs didn’t sound like any place Brad had ever been to. It definitely wasn’t a night club. Maybe it was one of those private parlor establishments. Elite clubs. Whatever.

In the end, it didn’t matter. Glaring at the embossed cream linen on his coffee table, he made up his mind.

If Geoff didn’t want him, then fuck Geoff.

He sarcastically saluted him and his false nuptials, hoping he enjoyed his new prison of matrimony to a woman he’d  only grow to resent while she grew to hate him.

He was done waiting for his sorry ass.

* * * *

Tristan greeted each member as they walked in his front door Saturday night. “Maurice.” He got a quick kiss. “Good  to see you again.”

“Always an exciting pleasure.”

Tristan snickered and lightly pushed his flirting guest onward. “Go on.” He reached and shook another hand. “Hello, Ruben. Glad to have you back. Who is this?” he asked, though he knew. Tristan knew every person, whether a first  time attendee or a longtime guest.

“This is Brad. I’ve mentioned him.”

Tristan reached and clasped the man’s hand. “Nice. Take him to Vance to read and sign the waiver.” He couldn’t help a full body perusal. Not a boy-toy, but a dish worth sampling over and over. “It will be a pleasure to have you this evening.”

The man’s eyes shot wide and he swallowed. “Uh…um, Ruben,” he said with an anxious quiver.

“Relax.” Ruben curled an arm through his friend’s, tugging him deeper into the house, leaning head to head to speak. “You’ll see.”

Then they were gone, and Tristan got to greet more faces and friends. When the last of the fifty he allowed were  inside, he shut the door, signaling to any others that the evening was officially starting and the house was at capacity.

Lighting was turned down low, while music flowed from the speakers overhead. Something easy, sensual, and not too loud. The raucous party atmosphere wasn’t his intent. Though one would only have to look a little closer to see  exactly what that intent was.

Bowls were scattered around the front room filled with condoms and lube packets. Stacks of towels waited  unobtrusively. Comfy chairs, cushions, bean bags, floor pillows, all manner of means to relax. The room was cleaned out except for these few needs.

The front bathroom was stocked. Water chilled in ice-filled insulated containers and buckets around the room on tables. Tristan didn’t allow alcohol or drugs. And the  waiver was a must.

There were a few rules. Entering required a health waiver, and an ironclad non-disclosure agreement. He wasn’t running a brothel. This was his private home and he liked making men happy. There was something so very primal in the meeting and mating of two strong personalities.

No force. Ever. No meant no. Anyone was free to leave when they wished. No one was required to return.

A weekend thing that had started with a few close friends had grown into a sort of meet and fuck. No strings. No  questions, not by him. If men hooking up wanted to get together outside of his home, they were free to do so. Tristan didn’t control his guests.

That being said, he wasn’t a fool. He investigated every person who walked through his doors. Which included Ruben’s new friend, Brad Hauffman. They all received approval to be included, and none joined that he and at least three  others of the core group weren’t personally vetted by.

Energy was already beginning to snap on the air. Testosterone was rich, mingling with a few colognes and others’  natural, raw musk. Lust licked at nerves. Tight jeans, curving slacks, T-shirts that looked painted on, or shirts that were unbuttoned halfway. They were all beautiful to admire.

An arm curled around Tristan’s waist and he smiled. “Hello, Dustin. How’ve you been?”

“Busy with my doctorate. I can’t tell you how badly I need tonight.”

Tristan smiled, brushing a soothing thumb beneath a shadowed eye. “You’re losing sleep again.”

Dustin nodded. “I’m taking the whole weekend for down time.”

Tristan gave him a slow kiss. “Tonight will do you some good then,” he said when he finally released the other man’s mouth.

Dustin swayed into his body, a flat palm splayed open for support across his chest. “Damn. I forgot how good you are at those.”

Tristan winked. “Enjoy,” he crooned.

“Fuck me.”

“Someone will.” Tristan kissed him again and moved on.

Excerpt: (PG) Second Chance At Love / DeRicci / MM Contemp


ISBN-13:  978-1-62380-441-1
Pages:  106
Cover Artist:  DWS Photography

The hole in Tony Teagan’s heart is slowly shrinking. Since losing the love of his life, he’s buried himself in running West TonDe Press, but now he can remember the good times. Still, that doesn’t mean he’s ready for a new man in his life. Then he meets nighttime delivery guy Brandon, who appears on his doorstep with Thai food. Tony’s interest is piqued despite their ten-year age difference, and Brandon is all for a new relationship. Relinquishing his hold on his deceased lover is the hardest challenge Tony will face, but if his future is combined with Brandon’s, he may have a second chance at love after all.

Chapter One

CAPPUCCINO jelly beans.

Tony held the front door open for a split second as the scent assaulted him. His lashes fell and he almost spoke the name on the tip of his tongue in response. A quick inhale and it was gone, the imagined scent replaced by a very real frown. He knew he was imagining it, a long-ago memory. Devyn and those same jelly beans were gone. Two years gone. His heart still ached, though not as badly. Time had softened the loss. The hole in his heart that losing the love of his life had created was slowly, though no less painfully, shrinking.

Closing the door of his Glendale home behind him, he began to work the knot of his tie loose as he crossed the room to the kitchen table. Thick pile carpet silenced his step until he reached the wood plank of the kitchen, the crisp tap of his shoes the only sound in the home they’d once shared.

After removing his jacket to hang squarely on the back of one of the chairs, he opened his briefcase to palm the two files within. Submissions to review for two new books. The authors were waiting for the final decision and he didn’t like taking more time than was needed to approve or decline. He knew these two personally and didn’t want to delay. Submitting was enough of a hurry up and wait.

With the files staring up at him from the table, he went to the cabinets and withdrew a bottle of wine from its place in the rack. He delved for the corkscrew in the drawer, then with it in hand, popped the cork free to let the wine breathe. He pulled down one glass, barely the slightest hitch in his motions now, when out of habit he would have set two on the counter before.

Taking a few minutes to retreat to his bedroom, he changed from his work clothes. Dressed in shorts and a lightweight T-shirt, Tony was more comfortable against the streaming sunlight entering through the panoramic windows in the living room.

Once he had his glass a quarter full of wine, he grabbed the files and sauntered to his leather couch, where he could read and relax with the broad lines of his home to one side and the lush greenery of the hills on the other. The blazing sunlight sparkled off the nearly mirror-flat surface of his swimming pool. A single glance was all he allowed himself, knowing his memories would overwhelm him if he lingered.

He flipped open the first file. “Okay, Frankie. What did you send me this time, you goddess?” Tony mused. His staff vetted public submissions, but he handled a few long-timers personally. Frankie, AKA Frank Rogel, was a long-in-the-tooth stable author of Tony’s from their early days together. Rarely, very rarely, did he not accept one of Frankie’s stories outright. Tony had spotted her talent early on, when he was still a struggling agent himself and had snatched her up like a hot commodity. She’d been writing for him ever since. West TonDe Press wasn’t her only home, and he was fine with that. Overlap was encouraged and helped promote names readers might not otherwise see. It didn’t hurt one bit that everyone who read her work believed she was a male author of the hottest male-male romances out there. He needed to get down to West Hollywood and take his best girl out to lunch sometime soon.

Shadows lengthened as Tony was drawn into the story—a wild-animal activist for big cats and the one man who was his nemesis, face-to-face. One who was desired like chocolate-covered strawberries when they could actually sit down to discuss things other than the land they both wanted.

Tony had learned early on that if he didn’t skip the sex scenes, he’d be taking a shower more than once with her work in his hands. Frankie put the steamy back into sex, as far as he was concerned.

A grumble of his stomach drew him out of the story and he noted the time. Not that the long shadows decorating his living room didn’t fill him in to begin with. “Did it again,” he grumbled. He still forgot to eat without Devyn there to get his ass off the couch and his nose out of whatever he was reading.

Dropping the pages on the table in front of the couch, he lurched to his feet to find the phone and hit speed dial.

“Hi, Angela. It’s Tony Teagan,” he said to the hostess at his favorite Thai house.

“Good evening, Mr. Teagan.” Her voice was whimsical, warm. “The usual tonight?”

“Yes, please. Delivery.”

Tony heard the tap of keys on the other end. “Look for our driver in about thirty-five minutes.”

“Thank you.” He hung up and reclaimed his comfy spot on the couch, tucking in firmly to the pillows behind him. Devyn would have had a fit if he knew how often Tony was now eating out. Devyn had been the chef, not Tony. He could manage the coffeemaker and the microwave. More than that and he was proven to be the inept one in their relationship. Why change something at this late stage had been his oldest argument, the kind that always had Dev laughing at him right before he would be engulfed in loving arms for a heated kiss or more.

Tony placed the pages in his hand on his thighs, rubbing stiff fingers over his eyes. Moments of melancholy were rarer. At least they’d had twelve years together to make memories, good memories.

Devyn had been a prince, the sweetest man when they’d met.

Tony dropped his chin to his chest, concentrating to even his breathing before the heat in his eyes turned to tears. “I miss you so much, Dev.”

Sucking in a shaky breath, he steadied himself and grasped the loose pages on his lap, determined to give Frankie his absolute attention. At least he knew she’d give him a happy ending, something he once thought he’d have for the rest of his life.

BRANDON popped through the rear doors of the restaurant and walked toward Mikahl’s driver stand. The restaurant did a booming business out front, but the delivery was well-known for being prompt and personable, which put them in high demand. “Here are the receipts for Dessel and Hopkins.”

“Thanks.” Mikahl palmed them and slapped them into the register account book. He quickly wrote down notes on a tablet by his elbow and then spoke into the headset on his ear. Brandon didn’t really focus on any of it, just glad to get thirty seconds to be still.

The quiet didn’t last long before he was handed another order. “Brandon! My man! I have a hot one.” One of the cooks slid it across the rear chrome counter toward Mikahl, who quickly bagged it up and printed the order tally.

“Where to?” He lifted the receipt and read the address. Lucas Street? He swept a quick look to Mikahl. “Wait. Doesn’t Rodney usually take this area?”

“He’s already out, and Mr. Teagan is one of our best customers.” Mikahl patted a shoulder. “He’s a good tipper. Don’t let the area intimidate you.” He gave a directed push to go with an impatient don’t waste time wave.

“Okay,” Brandon said, hiding his tiredness before Mikahl picked up on it. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to do the delivery, but the houses up in the hills did intimidate him. He slipped out the back door to the alley where the delivery guys parked their cars: his, Rodney’s, and Paul’s, who were both already out. After packing the Styrofoam boxes into the insulated cube carrier, he settled it on the passenger seat, and once he was in, buckled it down, then did the same for himself.

Looking at the clock display, he noticed he still had two hours of deliveries before he would be off for the night. After that, he had about an hour to squeeze in some studying and then sleep before he went into his other job at the coffee shop.

He knew finishing college was going to be hard. Putting the car into gear, he refused to think about where he could have been if only he’d agreed to do things his parents’ way.

As in denounce being gay.

Brandon could denounce a lot of things: his love of mystery thrillers, his love of cheesecake—but he couldn’t denounce being gay.

It had been three years since he’d last seen his parents. They’d withdrawn financial aid for his degree, which had put him working two jobs instead of just the one at the coffee shop. He liked both, for different reasons. The coffee shop because there were always interesting customers and discussion, everything from politics to the latest fashion trends to who in Hollywood had adopted a dog or a kid.

As for the delivery night job, that just kept him moving. No matter how tired he was, he never noticed until he was done for the day. Usually an hour or so of studying and reading was about all his fatigued brain could manage before he dumped himself headfirst into bed. He would rise the next morning, before dawn, to do it all again.

It was hard, but it wasn’t killing him, and until then, he refused to give up on his dreams. He was slowly making progress toward his degree. He wasn’t going to let it slip through his fingers now, even without his parents’ help. It would have been easier, but this was life—his life—and he had to work with what he was dealt.

An upbeat song started on the radio and he cranked it. One other good thing about the night job: he could sing to his heart’s content as loud as he wanted. He could be his own rock star behind the wheel, and no one knew anything about it.

Lucas Street appeared in front of him and he made the left, gaping just a little at the large homes. They were beautiful marble and stone creations, with pristine lawns, trimmed bushes and shrubs, and large leaf-filled trees. Paradise in the middle of town, or actually on the north side of town, but no one was that picky, least of all Brandon.

Eyeing the ticket quickly, he released it and hunted house numbers. “Lawdy, Miss Mae. I do hope he’s a tipper,” he drawled in a sultry falsetto. He rolled to a stop at the curb and double checked the numbers.

Brandon hopped from the car in front of the right house and grabbed the insulated carrier in sure palms. He skipped up the four steps to the door and hit the doorbell with a thumb. A moment or two was all it took.

“That was quick tonight, Rod—Oh, sorry. I thought you were Rodney.”

The hunk in the doorway short-circuited Brandon’s brain for about three solid seconds. Sleek, satiny black workout shorts and a soft-as-suede T-shirt that fit his chest like a dream. And that was just what was directly in front of his eyes. He wanted to take all the time in the world to investigate and stare, but the man’s voice dispelled his visual groping.

“How much is it?”

“Huh?” Brandon blinked and shook himself, feeling his face heat like a bonfire on the beach. With his fair skin, he knew it was impossible to pretend it didn’t happen. “Sorry.” He hunted for the ticket, using it as an excuse to get his tongue into the right gear. “Fourteen eighty-three.”

“Sounds right. Are you new?”

Brandon slipped the boxes from the insulator. “No, Rodney was already out,” he replied lamely, hiding his jealousy that this guy was one of Rodney’s regulars. No one in Brandon’s area, as of yet, had turned out looking like this god.

“Oh. Well, here.” He handed over two bills. “Keep the extra.”

“But….” Brandon stared at the two twenties. Forty bucks? Seriously?

A dark-brown eyebrow hiked up over sparkling eyes. “Unless you don’t want it,” he teased.

“Oh! Um. It’s… just… unexpected.”

The man in front of him dipped his head and Brandon realized he was hunting for the name tag on his shirt. “It’s okay, Brandon. I believe in paying it forward. I didn’t always have those two twenties to rub together, much less splurge on Thai food. I remember,” he offered with a smile. “Thanks for bringing it tonight. Maybe I’ll get to see you again.”

He took a step backward and Brandon realized he was going to close the door. Brandon didn’t know how to stop him, so with a final glimpse of the man’s facial features to store and fantasize on later, he spun and trotted to his waiting car.

“God, Rodney. No wonder you love this street,” he muttered when he was sitting behind his steering wheel again.


Excerpt: (PG) The Good Life / DeRicci / Mm contemp

The Good Life started out as a stand alone story, but I’ve found an angle to bring them into the Arbor Heights fold. So watch for stories about these characters and more in the future!


By: Diana DeRicci
Published By: MLR Press, LLC
Published: Jun 16, 2012
ISBN # 9781608206773

Word Count: 35,000
Heat Index   


Chad Rarig and Sonny Phillips have been friends since skinned knees and after school homework. Life is pretty normal, if a bit bland for Chad, until he recieves a phone call that changes the rest of his entire life. With Sonny’s strong shoulder in friendship and his mother’s support, he cautiously embraces his fate, one that includes binkies and an utter loss of sleep.

Sonny offers a chance to let Chad settle into this new wilderness of parenthood, sharing his home with his best friend. Only he definitely hadn’t anticipated having to deal with an attraction that left him panting and hungry as a starving man for his best friend. His gay best friend who thinks Sonny is straight, because he’s never told him the full truth to preserve their friendship above all else.

Can Chad come to terms with all the challenges of fatherhood and still keep Sonny’s friendship? Will either be willing to take the risk to cross that line from friendship to something more?



5 of 5 from Talking Two Lips:

perfect for each other and the life they have is true love indeed. ~~ Tina



“Sonny, I’m in trouble.” Chad Rarig gazed at the carrier at his feet and felt his stomach threaten to upend. It was a good thing he was already sitting down. His knees felt like water. The hand holding the phone trembled, and he wiped the other on his jeans. His throat constricted from trying to catch his breath.

Dyson “Sonny” Phillips, his best friend with the soothing voice that Chad had known his entire life, asked one question. “What did you do now?” Because there was always an explanation for any trouble Chad had found himself in, and it was always a forgone conclusion that Sonny would save the day. Only this time…

Chad barked a laugh that teetered on hysterical. The baby in the carrier didn’t even flinch. Holy hell, do they all sleep like this? “I didn’t… I mean, apparently I did, but shit, Sonny, I don’t know what to do.”

“Slow down.” Chad’s phone rumbled a little next to his ear. Sonny must be outdoors. There. Some of the background noise vanished. “Okay. I’m in my truck. Talk.”

Chad sobbed, or tried not to bawl, and it came out in a choked sob. He was falling apart. “Do you remember Elizabeth?”

“Not really.”

Chad knew he was going to Hell for this one. “The friend’s daughter? Tall blonde?” It wasn’t like he dated so many women his best friend wouldn’t remember. It was the fact that he didn’t date women. Going out with Elizabeth had been a favor for his mom. A friend whose daughter was coming home to visit from college, and his mother asked him to show her a good night out. He’d been twenty-two, seven years ago now when they’d first met. It felt like a lifetime.

That blonde? She was ages ago.”

“Yeah, well, we became friends, and she asked a favor of me.” The favor was currently making smacking sounds at his feet.

“What kind of a favor?” Sonny asked, unconcerned. It wasn’t like Chad typically lost it, but very little ruffled Sonny, which was why they were the best of friends. Sonny kept Chad sane.

Usually. He was desperate for that blessed calmness to overtake him.

Chad held his head in a wavering hand. “I just came home from the hospital, and it was a mess. I just don’t know what to do. I mean… I’m sinking, Sonny. This isn’t what I had planned. She left her to me, and I never thought it would happen. I mean, this wasn’t part of the deal-“

“Okay, back up. Slow down, and start from the beginning. You have diarrhea of the mouth again.” Now Chad had Sonny’s attention.

Chad clenched his eyes shut and drew a very slow, dry breath. “Right. Okay.” He blew it all out in a pained rush. “Elizabeth asked me to be a sperm donor.”

“Chad,” Sonny growled.

“Don’t. Wait. It gets worse.” His bottom lip quivered, and he bit it to make it behave.

“She dumped the baby on you?” Sonny retorted scathingly.

Chad slouched over his knees and felt the hot pressure of tears. He’d managed to keep the shock at bay, but his control was wearing thin. An unpredicted phone call at work had changed everything for him for the rest of his life. It had taken more than an hour of paperwork to have her released to him at the hospital: status and identity verifications, birth certificates. He closed his eyes to stop the swaying dizziness before it took over. “She died last night, Sonny.” God, Elizabeth.

“The baby?” Sonny asked, unsure.

“No! Elizabeth.” He sobbed again, sucking air to force the words through a burning throat. “She was struck in her car. She bled…bled…” Chad choked, stumbling over that fact. He couldn’t make his mouth say the words. She hadn’t died on impact, and that somehow made it so much worse, because he knew she’d died in pain, alone. At least the baby-he hadn’t even used her name yet-had been at daycare. Elizabeth had died on the way from work to pick up the infant still soundly passed out at his feet.

“Shh. Okay. I think I get it.” Sonny’s voice had done a one-eighty. “And the baby?”

“She’s safe. I…I’m lost Sonny. I don’t know what to do with a baby,” he whispered, his throat constricting. It was like trying to talk with sandpaper shoved down his pipe.

“Can you hold out for a little while? I’m across town on a job.”

A life preserver had just appeared in front of Chad, and he grasped it with a death grip. The feeling of going under lessened. “How long?”

“Give me an hour to settle this afternoon’s work and get there.”

“Okay. She’s been asleep for a while.” Chad prayed she stayed that way.

* * *

Sonny parked his truck in front of Chad’s apartment and killed the engine with the twist of a key, still a little stunned with the news while gazing through the windshield to Chad’s door. Chad had been a constant shadow to Sonny since they were kids. Sonny was football, and Chad was classic nerd, but Sonny wouldn’t give up their friendship for anything. They’d been as close as brothers living across the street from one another, in and out of each other’s houses on a near-daily basis. Heck, Chad’s mom had been Sonny’s mom almost since day one. She still was.

Sonny hadn’t turned away when Chad had come out to him and the rest of his family, and he wouldn’t leave him floundering now.

Though… A baby. Wow.

He heard the earsplitting screams before he reached the door. Sonny winced. He knew that alarm. Tapping the door, he hoped he didn’t find Chad a drooling lump on the floor.

The door popped open, revealing a frayed Chad looking close to tears himself. His short brown hair was spiked from his fingers plowing through it.

“Okay, show me,” was all Sonny said. Chad stepped back and pointed to the blue baby carrier on the floor. There was a squalling mess of royally pissed off angel beneath the blanket.

Sonny walked in and knelt by the carrier then lifted it to the craptastic futon Chad had owned forever to get a better look at her. Her little face was scrunched into a howling fury, red with tear streaks. She hadn’t needed a hat indoors, so the soft down of corn silk yellow on top of her head was matted down from her tantrum.

“Poor thing,” he crooned. “You just don’t know what’s happening.” He caressed the softness of her hair, and fond memories of his nephews popped up.

The baby, on the other hand, wasn’t having anything to do with it. He lifted the blankets and unbuckled her. “Well, that’s half your problem. She needs changed.”

“How can you tell?” Chad stayed several feet back as though expecting her to sprout horns and spit fire.

“The diaper is soaked, and she’s probably starving.” He looked over his shoulder. “Did they give you any supplies?” Chad’s blank look wasn’t promising. “Baby stuff? Diapers? Formula?”

“Oh! Yeah! Someone collected her diaper bag from the daycare when they claimed her.”

“Let’s start with that.” He faced the tiny terror that looked like a doll in his large hands. “What’s her name?” He’d push Chad for some of the harder questions when he wasn’t having a borderline meltdown.

Chad rushed from the room without answering, his feet loud on the carpet as he stomped around. The bag thunked to the floor where Sonny knelt.

“Get down here so I can show you this.”


Sonny wasn’t in the mood for a queen, and his glare shut Chad up. The other man sank at his side, though he didn’t offer to help at all. Sonny sighed. Spreading out the paraphernalia, he did a step by step changing-the-baby lesson.

“What do I do with that?” Chad pointed to the leftover diaper.

“Get a plastic bag, and tie it off. You’ll need an airtight container for them, or you can carry them out to the dumpster each time.”

Chad just nodded, hitting shocked. Mechanically, Chad rose and disposed of the sponge that had once been a diaper. Sonny didn’t bother to ask him for what he needed next, digging through the diaper bag and checking out the contents instead. He scored pretty quickly. It looked like Elizabeth had been an over-packer. Sonny’s sister had been too.

There was a labeled bottle of water and a divided container of powder. A little further digging produced a bottle. He spoke to Chad. “Come here. You can hold her, or you can play chef. Pick.”


Sonny almost chuckled at the wide-eyed panic. “Hey, it’ll be okay. So you have her for now. Just find Elizabeth’s mom, and have her come get her grandchild.”

“She’s deceased,” Chad whispered, plopping to the couch at Sonny’s shoulder. “I’m the only relative. I didn’t know she’d added me, but I’m on the birth certificate. That’s how the hospital knew to find me after…after she died,” he said almost inaudibly.

Well, now Sonny wouldn’t have to ask about that at least. “Okay, one thing at a time,” Sonny murmured. He turned to sit on his rump, leaning against the futon cushion, then tapped a leg at his side with an elbow. “Open the baby bottle, pour in about six ounces of water-use the lines. See them? Then add the powder in one section, close and shake it to Margaritaville.”

Cover Reveal! Learning to Breathe



I’ve been waiting until I had the details and I just got them yesterday! LEARNING TO BREATHE, the sequel to Learning to Live, will be out January 3rd!!

Here’s the good stuff.

To Remy, size is a state of mind, a fact few really learn to appreciate. When it wasn’t clear he’d live past being an infant, he grew up fighting. Fighting to live. Fighting to be treated with respect. The last thing he thought he’d have to do is fight his own heart.

Getting clocked across the face with a 2×4 wasn’t one of Ben’s better moments. Grudgingly accepting help from a pint-sized, argumentative Remy, he’s among those who learn the hard way small doesn’t necessarily mean weak.

One is braver than a lion and the other is larger than life. Can these two personalities that seem so out of place together find a common ground? Can friendships survive the fallout if they don’t?

Excerpt: (R) Learning to Live / DeRicci / MM Contemp

AJ and Avery are off to a strong start. As part of the Average Joe Line and in the Arbor Heights series, I think they fit right in. ;)



Author Diana DeRicci
ISBN# MLR-1-02013-0140 (ebook) $5.99
Release Date September 2013
Cover Artist Deana C. Jamroz
Length: (*) 39,000 words
Heat Rating: Moderate
Categories: Contemporary


(Will be available at all retailers soon!)

The Great Kitchen Flood begins one man’s journey to find confidence and love.

Avery Storey has bought a house in a conscious effort to be more independent. Right before he moves in, the kitchen pipes malfunction. Lucky for him, one of his new neighbors is the same man Avery has begun to warm up to through his teller job. Gratefully, AJ comes to the rescue, because that’s what neighbors do. A little romance blooms between the two men. Unfortunately, AJ blows his chance when he learns Avery is thirteen years his junior. Hurting for the sweet man across the street, he’s forced to face what his life would be like without Avery at all, because being neighbors alone just would not be enough.


AJ kept his promise. Once they were home after the game, he practically swept Avery off his feet for that kiss. Or the several kisses that seemed to lead from the first. Not that Avery was going to complain. AJ curled his arms around Avery and carried him through the house. He felt lightheaded when he was placed on the bed. His sneakers hit the floor with muted thuds.

He couldn’t tear his gaze away when AJ ripped his shirt over his head. That chest seemed to always fry his brain into silence. Reaching a hand upward, he flattened a palm to it, then caressed the breadth. For several seconds, breathing was the only movement either made.

“Are you sure, baby? I want you to want this as much as I do.” AJ captured Avery’s wandering palm and kissed it, moving forward to lean on the bed’s edge with a knee.

Avery quivered inside. He knew what AJ meant. Grasping the fingers that held him, he tugged lightly, bringing the larger man to the bed. Brown eyes gazed back at him adoringly. Avery’s heart tripped. His breathing sped up.

AJ stretched out, thigh to thigh. “I may not always say the best thing, or the right thing, but you are incredible.”

Avery sighed shakily. Then any chance he had to speak or to think vanished beneath AJ’s lips. Warm sweeps that turned into delicious forays. The slick heat filling him, battling him gently made him moan. A hand inched beneath Avery’s shirt and coasted over his stomach, shooting flutters deep into his core.

A little prodding from AJ had his shirt rising and removed. Before he could feel even a hint of self-consciousness over being exposed, AJ began exploring him. Teasing licks and roaming kisses. Avery was sure the temperature in the room rose because he was starting to burn.

Rapid gasps for air became pants and abrupt moans. He ran fingers into AJ’s hair, hearing the rumbles as he nudged into AJ’s touch, splitting time between that and Avery’s chest.

A long lick had Avery pushing on AJ begging for more as he arched off the bed. The whisper of encouragement against flesh rocketed goose bumps across his torso.

AJ didn’t slow down, licking winding paths from collarbone to nipple, lovingly adoring them. Hungry lips were a decadent contrast to the pricked sharpness of teeth. Shivers rolled in AJ’s wake.

Those same lips closed over a taut nipple and sucked. Avery cried out softly, grasping at the head in his palms for some sense of stability. With his eyes closed, he could only feel, and the spark of sensation with every caress was winding him tighter and tighter.

He raised his hips and AJ obliged, cupping him through the material and squeezing.

“Oh, God,” Avery groaned.

Avery felt the curve of AJ’s smile on his belly. He couldn’t help himself, he pushed AJ south, wanting more of his touch, of his mouth, of those sensations.

AJ didn’t disappoint. He divested Avery of his shorts and underwear in a snap, leaving him bare on the bed.


Avery’s cheeks flushed a heated red. He’d never thought of himself of anything more than ordinary. When AJ lowered himself over his length, he was naked, deliciously so. Kisses derailed any possible attempts at thought while he rocked their bodies together. Avery’s hands didn’t stop roaming, learning all the shapes and curves of AJ’s upper body, the hard length of muscle down his back.

“Open up, baby,” AJ whispered against his lips.

A hand curling around his sac and showed him what AJ meant. The frisson of pleasure that arched upward at the stroke of fingers over flesh made him cry out.

“Okay?” AJ asked, licking at Avery’s chin as his hand paused.

An abrupt head nod was the best he could do. He couldn’t speak. He was barely breathing! Avery had never felt anything like it. The way his body seemed to melt and beg all at the same time.

“You’ve never, with anything, right?”

Avery shook his head, stilling beneath AJ’s weight, hoping he wasn’t disappointing him. That was the last thing he wanted to do, especially with AJ.

AJ soothed him quickly. “Don’t want to rush you. Never, never want to hurt you.”

A flutter of lashes gave him the chance to peer up into AJ’s gaze and the vision he met made his heart pound mercilessly into his ribs. Sheer desire, hunger, passion, and something warmer, something kinder swirled in AJ’s dark eyes. Like Avery was important. Even if it was only in that moment, for that moment, Avery wanted to believe in it.

Then AJ was kissing him while the cool, liquid press at his entrance intensified. He moaned, keening and whimpering, sinking into sensations that threatened to overwhelm him.

AJ hummed more encouragement, pausing when he breached. Avery did his best to gather his senses before the next wave of shocking pleasure swept over him. The tightness was mildly uncomfortable but there was so much going on that it didn’t linger, didn’t overshadow the amazing sensations bombarding him. The slow rub of a thumb to the root of his cock, all the kisses, and the glide of stiffness in and out of his body was driving him insane.

“Okay, baby. Let me know if it’s too much. A little more now,” AJ crooned.

“Ahh!” Avery panted. His eyes flew open, though there wasn’t a thing to focus on while he floated on the rush. Lightning had taken the place of nerves, striking and electrifying him.

Then AJ found something inside Avery that drove him wild. He bucked, arching unconsciously for more.

AJ’s pleased rumble vibrated his side. “You’re a livewire, aren’t you? Sexy and sweet.”

Avery couldn’t think, his entire world focused on AJ’s touch. The stretch returned, uncomfortable for only a moment before friction stole his breath.

“On your side,” AJ instructed. “I have you.”

Numbly, a mess of desire and needs that were tripping his thought processes clear off the meter, he did as AJ asked.

With AJ behind him, Avery relaxed. A moment later, he felt the smooth sensation of AJ’s cock gliding between his cheeks.

“Easy and slow, sweetheart,” he said, more graveled and distinct, like he was holding himself under fierce control. Avery clenched then felt his body relax, welcoming the press, then AJ had breached him. AJ bit at Avery’s shoulder, panting before he dared to move again. A firm hand on his hip kept Avery from pushing for too much too quickly. AJ’s patience and control were clear in the harsh breathing filling the room

“Still okay?”

Quaking under the onslaught, Avery squeaked a “yes”, gulping as the heat within filled him from where they connected, up his spine to build into a swirling ball of electricity and need.

“Tight, baby. So tight and hot.” AJ’s groan was more pronounced as he slowly pressed forward, guiding Avery even as he fit them together like two puzzle pieces. AJ rested his forehead against Avery for a few seconds. “God, could fuck you until we’re both insane,” he grunted. A twitch of his hips struck deep inside Avery, arching him in answer.

A strong arm scooped beneath his body, and AJ held him steady with the other, easing out until he was nearly gone, to fill him with a measured pace. Awash in fiery heat and hunger, Avery let his body roll into AJ’s with each thrust.

“Ah, Avery, baby.” He kissed skin, his hips beginning to gain speed until he was rocking them both. Adoring kisses branded his back. He gripped at Avery, holding him skin close as they soared. “Getting close, sweetheart.”

Avery whined. He couldn’t begin to describe what he was feeling, riding the wave as AJ drove them higher. The firm, caring grip of a palm clasped his dick and he cried out. Flames roared through him and AJ answered with a throaty growl. Avery bucked, gripping the sheets on the bed with bloodless fists to propel him into the freefall of a lifetime.

AJ wrapped him up, stroking him, driving into him until Avery thought he’d lose consciousness from the intensity flooding him. Sparks streaked across his vision and his balls ached, tightened. Then he shouted, losing himself to the leap. Jet after jet erupted, muscles clenching in time to hear AJ’s growl join his right when he felt the sheer heat of his orgasm fill the condom. Sensitive skin shuddered and he moaned, the last of his energy dribbling out in leaks. AJ’s hand eased, letting him calm through the last heartbeats.

Avery floated, muscles popping as they calmed from the endorphin rush. Shivers struck when an air current brushed over sensitive skin, cooling him when he felt so overheated.

“I didn’t hurt you, did I?” AJ cradled Avery’s softening length, caressing to comfort, not to arouse.

“No. Unbelievable,” Avery replied with a dry, raspy voice. He felt like he’d run a marathon.

Excerpt 2: (R) Beneath the Shield / DeRicci / MM Contemp


Beneath the Shield
ISBN# 978-1-60820-308-5
(ebook) $5.99
Release Date February 2011
Cover Artist Deana C. Jamroz

MLR Ebooks
All Romance Ebooks

Jack Torres has been harboring, zealously nurturing a hidden guilt for three
years. This mire of emotions has hardened his heart and his want to reconnect to
the living world, keeping him isolated and unapproachable.

Brant Teller is a chance encounter Jack keeps from growing physically violent
in a crowded nightclub. Parting ways, Brant doesn’t expect to see the brooding,
silent officer again. Yet when a domestic violence call brings the surly officer
right to his ER, Brant takes a chance. What begins as a Sunday of football has
the possibility to become so much more. If Jack will open himself up enough to
release the agony of his own personal nightmare.

MLR Ebooks
All Romance Ebooks

…Will capture your heart

~Sensual Reads; Elise


Jack was trying to think. Brant was making even the simplest thought exceptionally difficult. Then Brant turned his head to flick his tongue out to get another playful taste and he immediately remembered at least one reason why they shouldn’t.

“Your head.” Jack tightened his grip on Brant’s hips, urging him to listen. The bruise looked awful, the impact to his temple obvious as darkened skin seemed on the verge of turning purple.

“Not feeling a thing,” Brant murmured. “Well, no pain, anyway. I’m feeling plenty at the moment.” Brant chuckled as he glided down Jack’s chest, his lips, tongue and teeth paving the way. Jack hardly noticed when Brant eased the button of his jeans free.

“Brant,” Jack breathed. Brant’s motions slowed, and he shimmied up Jack’s frame until he was looking down at him.

“Shh. I’m seducing you. Take it like a man and shut up.” He brushed tender lips to Jack’s.

Jack blinked. Seducing? Wicked and heated green eyes stared into his. He gulped. Faster than a lightning strike, Brant reversed direction down Jack’s torso and was even then sipping kisses to his stomach. Warm breath bathed his skin. He felt as much as heard the grating sound of his zipper being lowered, then the unmistakable release of pressure on his engorged shaft as the material was spread.

An appreciative purr was his only warning before the heated slick of Brant’s tongue shook hands with Jack’s cock.

Jack groaned. His brain ceased to function. Brant hooked the waist of Jack’s jeans and tugged, yanking them and his briefs over his legs. “God, you’re gorgeous. I can’t say it enough,” Brant murmured with deep admiration. Jeans vanished over Jack’s feet, his socks following as if by magic. Jack clutched at sheets, the blanket since vanished to somewhere unknown.

His body was on overload. He’d fought the attraction. Now, apparently starved, all he could do was lie there and take what Brant dished out. Because even he couldn’t lie effectively enough to say he didn’t want it. He’d known in some part of his head that being in this bed would have one of two outcomes. Jack had prayed he’d be strong enough to fight this choice. Knew as soon as he felt either of them stir, he should have left the bed.

For some reason, he really couldn’t find the anger at himself to know he’d failed to avoid it.

Not when Brant’s tongue was… Oh shit. He moaned, gasping as Brant licked and lapped at heated skin, his nuts being suckled like sweet plums between Brant’s lips. The firm up and down stroke of his hand on Jack’s cock was heaven.

Seduction successful.

Jack couldn’t fight this, couldn’t push Brant away. He couldn’t inflict physical pain a second time to convince himself he didn’t want it, because he did want it. God, he wanted this, wanted Brant badly. Brant was touching him everywhere. Fingers, lips, tongue, even little bites on the sensitive skin of his inner thigh. Jack shook with the force of his burgeoning need. It was surging, threatening to crash over him like a tsunami wave and sweep him under by the sheer force of Brant’s oral attack.

Pressure encouraged him to broaden the V of his pose and he did, without qualm, without hesitation. He could hate himself after for caving, for wanting, for needing. The extent of his mobility was to grip the sheets anyway. Escaping wasn’t an option any longer.

Brant held his thick dick firm as he inched upward again. “Well, look what I found in my bed,” he said. Jack slit his eyes, focusing on a bewitching smile and a gaze that spoke of pleasures to come. Sidling beside the bed to stand next to a prone Jack, Brant opened the drawer of his nightstand.

“Brant.” He swallowed and tried again when even he heard the adamant growl of desire in the single syllable. Though he wasn’t sure if he was truly asking him to stop, or something else, something that he craved but couldn’t ask for.

Brant’s eyes drifted shut, his shoulders rolling. “God, just you saying my name makes me want to come.” He tossed a tube and a couple condom packets to the other end of the bed. Freeing his control of Jack’s cock, he swept his sweatshirt over his head. Jack sucked in a breath at his first real view of Brant. “I hope you’re not disappointed. I can’t get the physique you have. Believe me, I’ve tried.”

“Are you serious?” Jack gave in, rolling to a hip to sit in front of Brant. Tentatively, relearning the motions of touching for pleasure, he formed his hands to Brant’s body, sculpting the slopes and valleys with unsteady fingers. His mouth watered, wanting to taste him as much as Brant had feasted on Jack. Firm pecs with taut nipples, a light fuzz of hair that would be arousing as hell against his own skin. There wasn’t any fat on the man. Smooth hips and an even better ass now that it was about to be naked. He wanted that. Now.

Brant threaded a steady hand into Jack’s hair, halting his forward foray. “Not this time. You touch me and I’ll go off where I stand. I’ve wanted you for weeks.” Softening the block, Brant bent and kissed Jack, dancing his tongue over Jack’s lips, gliding his loosened shirt completely off his shoulders in the process. “Undo my jeans,” he whispered, then slipped his tongue between Jack’s teeth to tantalize him again.

Jack did, quickly releasing the button and zipper then rocking them over Brant’s hips until they puddled at his bare feet. Brant stepped out of them, punting them out of the way.

Jack was lost with his heart racing in an erratic tempo. Thick and red, Brant’s cock tempted him, the large head pointing at him like a spear, a spear he wanted to get his lips around. Hunger burned through him. Need possessed him. A low growl bubbled through his chest. His facade of humanity was quickly being shredded by a hunger so intense, he quivered.

Jack cupped a hand to his hip and tugged before Brant realized he was bringing Brant to Jack, not leaning toward his prize.

Brant’s body bowed in surprise, driving his hard shaft deep into Jack’s mouth. Jack moaned the instant thick flesh filled his mouth. So good.

“Jack!” Fingers furrowed into his hair, clutching as Brant stiffened. Blood thickened the cock between Jack’s lips as he sucked. Sighs and whimpers fell from the doctor’s lips, falling on Jack’s ears and turning him on more.

Riding the heavy length to the end, he gripped it at the base, then as an added shot, he stroked his cheek with the tip, running over the abrasion of his beard growth.

Brant’s shout was music, deep, lusting, hungry. Nails dug into Jack’s naked shoulders. “Fuck! Jack…need…now.” The man was trembling, leaning more on Jack than standing.

Reaching up, Jack palmed the back of his head and tugged him to his lips, claiming that hot temptation for himself. “Then fuck me, baby.”

Brant moaned, harsh breaths and flushed skin signs of his need. Jack went willingly when Brant shoved him to the bed.

“Over. Want that ass,” Brant said, climbing once more on the bed behind Jack. A single, stinging slap on his ass pulled his body as tight as a corkscrew. He tossed his head, then pushed backward. The repeated sting of a flat palm had him fisting the blankets, a groan echoing in the room followed by a needy backward arched plea. “Shit, Jack. Your ass was made for fucking. Perfect.” The hot swipe of a tongue down the crack sent him spinning.

The pop of the lube was heard bear seconds before Brant slid a slicked finger over his pucker.

Jack couldn’t do more than moan incoherently. Heat and pressure built side by side.

Whispers filled the air, punctuated by needy growls from Jack and words of encouragement from Brant. “Christ, you’re tight. Easy, sexy.”

Jack let out a breath, relishing the stretch, craving the touch. Controlling but tender strength on his hip rocked him, eased the strain as Brant readied him.

More lube, cool to rapidly warm as Brant scissored his fingers. Jack arched when he stroked over his prostate. “Shit!” The single word was a bark that faded to a growled hiss.

Shivers crammed themselves over his spine when Jack felt the sharp bite of teeth on his ass. Then Brant slid down and played with Jack’s balls. “Brant!” He was coming apart. He heard the telltale signs of a condom being opened, and waited, clawing at the bed for more.

The smooth head of Brant’s cock rested against pulsing flesh. And for just an instant, a memory of Leo flashed before his eyes. Jack stiffened and shifted, denying Brant. Emotions swirled and boxed him in.

“Hey, Jack. It’s okay.” Brant’s whispered voice purred against his ear. Warm breath and understanding dragged him back from the edge. Jack buried his face in the bed, mortified and appalled. The tender stroke of a flat palm petted his spine.

Brant. This wasn’t Leo. Jack let out a harsh exhale. “I’m okay.” Brant’s fingers soothed and caressed more than enflamed.

“Come back to me, baby,” Brant entreated. Warm lips ghosted kisses to Jack’s hip. “Turn over, Jack.” Brant inched out of the way to give Jack space.

He did as Brant asked, flipping to lay on his back. When Leo had made love to him, he rarely took him face to face. Leo had been energetic, roughly enthusiastic and Jack had been bigger than him. Jack hadn’t minded.

Brant leaned forward, his slick, covered cock rubbing against Jack’s as he held himself over Jack’s body on his palms. “Look at me, Jack.” Compelled by the understanding in his voice, Jack did, meeting his open gaze. “It’s okay. Whatever happened. Do you want to stop?”

Did he? Brant wasn’t pushing, was giving him the out. Jack firmed his jaw. Leo was gone. Jack was still a man with desires, and Brant had coaxed them back to life. Jack knew he didn’t deserve Brant’s attention, but Brant didn’t deserve to be iced out because of Jack’s failings either.

He shook his head. Understanding coupled with tender relief shone from Brant’s eyes.

“Kiss me, Jack. Show me you’re still with me.”

Jack cupped his palms to Brant’s face, searching. Not sure what he was looking for, yet feeling he’d found exactly what he needed, he brought Brant’s lips to his. A moaned sigh rocked the quiet of the room. Laying over his length, Brant shifted to the side, cupping Jack’s groin. He moaned into Jack’s mouth as he teased the length, blood pulsing against nerves again. “You feel incredible.”

Soon slow kisses turned into tongue duels of domination. Brant fisted Jack’s cock, pumping him in steady, aching pulls that shot heat and need up from his balls and down his spine.

With the pleasure of Brant sliding two fingers deep into Jack’s ass, Jack didn’t miss a beat; he sucked on Brant’s tongue as pleasure coiled tighter. Proving he was ready, Jack hooked a thigh with his hand, then gasped as the pressure intensified into a tornado of feeling, tossing him into the very center of sensation.

Kneeling between his thighs, Brant braced himself, Jack’s feet flat to the bed. Jack couldn’t look away from the intensity of those green eyes, shot through with lightning strikes of blue. Then Brant was pushing forward and all thought ceased as though he’d run full speed into a brick wall. All there was, was feeling. The sweet heat of the burn, the stretch, then the slick fullness as Brant filled him.

“Sweet hell, you’re hot,” Brant groaned, his shoulders shaking. Jack’s eyes slammed shut.

Brant wasn’t new to the rodeo, widening Jack’s straddle and slamming in. The slap of his body against Jack’s drove him insane.

“Okay?” he gasped.

“Fuck, yes!” Jack fisted his dick, fire boiling in his veins as his orgasm grew. His cock bulged in his hand, sweat coating his skin. Harsh, rapid pants burned his throat. Reaching, he covered Brant’s fingers where he held onto Jack’s leg. Almost as though it was as natural as the sun rising, Brant threaded their fingers together, locking their hands into one. Jack’s heart raced, colliding against his ribcage. Each thrust shook them both.

“Jack,” Brant moaned, his frame quivering as release bore down on them both. His face grew taut under the blissful strain. “Gonna… Oh, God.”

Jack stroked harder, whipping his hand over his rigid dick keeping pace with Brant. Then he shouted, white light eclipsing all thought, narrowing his world to the man inside of him, and the feeling of his orgasm bursting free.

Brant grunted, his hips tightening as he ground down, gasping as each spurt filled the condom, thickening him against Jack’s walls.

Jack knew he was going to have a bruise on his thigh. The imprint of their clasped fingers. He honestly didn’t care. He swallowed, sucking deep breaths. Brant released him. Jack moaned as his body relaxed, stretching out with the man over him doing the same.

Then Brant took him by surprise, bending over him to lick with kitten flicks at the end of his dick, cleaning the stripes of white off his body. The gentle friction and his attention to the job was quickly revitalizing Jack.

Touching his head, he played with Brant’s hair, damp and not quite behaving now. Brant raised his hips, reaching to grab the condom. “Don’t move.” Jack wasn’t too sure he could.

Jack trailed him with unblinking eyes in the dim light as he aimed for the bathroom, the light coming on briefly followed by the sound of running water. He turned the light out again, pitching the room into shadows. Jack couldn’t take his eyes off the other man regardless. Strong legs, a flat stomach, well muscled arms and shoulders and eyes that seemed to see too deeply into Jack.

Brant sat on the bed stealing a kiss before he took on the task of cleaning up Jack’s pleasure.

“Fast recovery, huh?” Brant slid him a daring grin.

Looking in the direction that Brant meant, he gaped at his dick, still hard, standing, begging for attention.

“It’s been a while,” he admitted.

Brant tossed the washcloth on the floor near a pile of someone’s clothes, then settled a palm over Jack’s jaw. Adoring fingers stroked his face, teasing his bottom lip with feathery touches. Jack couldn’t look away.

“Then let’s make up for wasted days.” Brant’s gaze flashed with pure sexy challenge. “I have a few myself.”

Jack splayed a trembling hand over Brant’s bare chest. Jack knew he didn’t deserve any part of Brant. As the doctor stretched out on the bed again, side by side, angling Jack to hover over him with a quiet sigh of yearning, he knew he couldn’t go back to what he had been either.

He prayed that when Brant learned the truth, he could forgive Jack. He knew his chances were slim. Jack hadn’t forgiven himself yet.

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