I read somewhere that being a writer is like giving yourself homework for the rest of your life. Yup. Thaz about right.
But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Until I can do this full time, I write in the moments when I’m not at work. It’s funny: people ask me what I do with my time, and their eyes widen when I tell them, because I do a lot of writing. But here’s the thing: I don’t do a lot else. That’s the thing about writers – “Ass in the chair is the only rule of art,” a quote by Donald Murray.
As I was thinking about posts for the St. Patrick’s Day Party, I figured I’d share a little peek at what Rachel and I are working on for the Emerald City Shifters. Its working title is Sealed by Duty, though that may of course change once we submit it to the publisher. It’s a M/M romance and this time, we explore a new partner joining an established couple to create a triad. This presents some unique challenges in the relationship, because the newcomer can feel like odd man out, and one or the other of the established couple can feel threatened by the newcomer.
Excerpt, Mild Heat Level
Casey set the phone on the table by the bed and stood there, staring down at it. Mike, behind him, made no noise, like a ghost, maybe, or a snake waiting for prey.
The door clicked shut and Casey did turn, then. “What are you doing?”
Mike said nothing, just watched him with intense brown eyes in a chiseled face. His lips compressed into a line, not quite a frown, but not happy either. His tanned skin glowed softly in the light from Casey’s bedside lamp, warm and touchable.
God, Casey’s hands ached to touch him. “Mike?”
Narrowing his eyes, Mike still said nothing. He seemed to be waiting for something, that pained look back in his eyes coupled with something deeper. Casey wanted to speak about it, ignore it, walk out of the room… anything but address it directly. But Mike stood between him and the door.
Taking a step toward Mike took all of Casey’s self-control. His body warred with his mind, with the memories of sleepless nights spent grappling with muscular, sweaty bodies in the dark. Always the dark, always the smell of sweat and sex and sometimes blood. Not blood from the sex, but from the bites that over-excited lovers gave him, nipping his shoulders or his neck, his arms or his back.
Mike’s skin slid under his palm like oiled silk, warm and firm. His cheeks modulated to the soft skin of his ear and Casey let his fingers rove over the tender earlobes, exploring their folds. Mike shuddered, his eyes fluttering shut and his breath coming out of him in a soft hiss.
“I’m afraid,” Casey whispered.
“I know,” Mike whispered back.
Casey frowned, expecting Mike to take over, but the bigger man stood stock still and let Casey touch him. Running his hands along Mike’s shoulders to his arms, Casey stepped closer. He froze, his lips inches from Mike’s, and waited. Mike just watched him, something like real pain in his eyes now.
When Casey closed the distance between them and kissed Mike, Mike’s hands came up to grip his arms. Mike groaned, a soft and gentle sound, and opened to Casey’s mouth. He tasted like mint gum and whiskey and let Casey control the kiss, allowing Casey to explore him and then nibble along his jaw toward his ears.
As Casey came to a ridge of a scar just under Mike’s jaw, Mike flinched away from him. “Not there.”
“I’m sorry.” Casey froze, staring at him. “I didn’t…”
“Shh,” Mike interrupted. He slid his right hand up Casey’s arm and into his hair to cup his head, and pulled Casey forward.
Casey resisted for only a moment before letting Mike maneuver his head and kiss him. As the kiss progressed, Mike’s other hand came around Casey’s body and pressed the small of his back, bringing their bodies together. Mike’s erection ground against the front of Casey’s abdomen, thick and hot even though the jeans. He took a step, moving Casey backward toward the bed.
Casey’s gut clenched. “Wait…”
Mike broke the kiss and gazed at him from inches away. “Do you trust me?”
“Do you trust me?”
Wanting to say yes, Casey closed his eyes and nodded. Shivers came out of his abdomen, traveling along his arms and legs and sending prickles under his hair along his scalp.
“Your body denies it.” Mike stroked his face. “You can’t say one thing with your mouth and another with your body.”
“I want you.” Casey’s eyes popped open. “Please.”
“Why the rush?” Mike kissed him on the forehead, his lips very warm. “We have all the time we need.” He let go of Casey’s arms and turned to leave.
Casey caught him around one muscular bicep. “Wait, please! Don’t go!”
Mike whirled and pinned him against the wall, one hand around Casey’s throat. “And hear from you, tomorrow, about how I took advantage of you, pushed the boundaries, and betrayed you?” Mike leaned in to speak from mere inches away. “I don’t think so.”
“I would never do that!” Casey cried. “Never. I wouldn’t!”
“And you know yourself so well?” Mike released him and stepped back. “I don’t think so.”
When the door closed behind him, Casey let himself sink to the floor, the wall holding him. He leaned his head back, willing the hurt to go away.
It didn’t help that Mike was right, at least a little.
It didn’t help at all.
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