Sunday, January 20, 2013

Very Inspiring Blogger Award



I was nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by RJ Scott, the woman that dragged me into the publishing world despite my very best efforts at procrastination. 

She's a fabulous author and has written a mint of great books if you haven't read them I suggest you start! RJ Scott Author Fantastic She even has her own publishing house, no seriously! Love Lane Books See she is filled with teh awesome.

And now the rules:
  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • State 7 things about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and link to them.
  • Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements
Stuff about me
  1. I lived in seven states and one foreign country before the fourth grade.
  2. I used to write made up stories about the cute boys at school with my best friend.
  3. I have four children, the oldest is 31 and the youngest just turned 14. The twenty year old is never leaving home, apparently.
  4. In the past I thought zombie movies were stupid. Now my favorite show is the Walking Dead and my favorite character is Daryl. 
  5. I get my inspiration for stories most often from phrases in a song that catch my attention. Like Rearranging Stars, came from Darren Hayes "So Beautiful" You know they can have their universe. We'll be in the dirt designing stars. I didn't say it makes sense.
  6. My very first written for public story was LOTR fanfiction. Featuring Elladon and Elrohir. I wrote it for a friend I RPG'd with and she made me post it to the fanfiction group. No this friend was not RJ Scott. I attract that sort I guess. 
  7. I write slower than almost everyone I know. Four books a year for me is going to be a stretch. It's my goal for 2013. Wish me luck.
And now for some places to visit that are run by the awesome and the cool. They are allmy friends so have fun when you stop by to see them. 

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So this is not fifteen, for one thing RJ Scott stole a lot of mine and for another I had no idea so many of the author friends I talk to on facebook have no blog or website at all. Or at least not one they list on facebook. So I fail at my number of links I hope RJ doesn't take away my award!!



2 Challenge Drabble - One


Chris Quinton's Sentences in Bold.

The trouble with maps, Lee decided, was that they lied. Well, hand-drawn ones did, especially if the artist - Harry - couldn't bloody draw!

Lee turned the map on sideways and upside down trying to make heads or tails of it. The big rectangle represented the college and the snake looking thing the road into town. Harry had marked the Laundromat where they worked with an X. Despite the fact Lee knew where the college was in relation to the Laundromat, the damn map still didn’t make any sense.

“I found out where one’s holed up. Meet me here before moonrise and we’ll take it down.” Harry had shoved the map into Lee’s hand on his way out the door. “I got the silver we needed for the bullets. I’m going to miss work, cover for me.”

Lee had been trying to decipher the map ever since. That had been early afternoon, now the sun hung low on the horizon and a quick check of the Moon App on his iPhone let Lee know he didn’t have long before moonrise.

“Dammnit Harry, you know you can’t draw. It’ll serve you right if you get eaten.” Lee crammed the map into his pocket and headed for the door. Map or no, he had to find his lunatic friend, or else Harry was going to die. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Two + Two = 2 Challenge

Happily stealing this idea from Author friend Chris Quinton.


Ever thought of challenging an author? 

Ever wondered what triggers their imaginations, what word, phrase or image sets their creativity on fire? Now is the chance for you to find out.

Give me a two sentence starting point and two names, and I'll write a Double Drabble of 200 words from them.

Who knows? Your challenge might be the one to inspire more than just the drabble...you might see a book dedicated to you in the future!

So let's see what you have for me, I'll do my best to do a drabble a day until they are complete!


***Definition from Wikipedia - A drabble is an extremely short work of fiction of exactly one hundred words in length, not necessarily including the title. The purpose of the drabble is brevity, testing the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space.***

Friday, January 11, 2013

One Day-Chapter Two-Are you ready?



The Look in Your Eyes

Jared eyed the tense line of Alex's body. His back to Jared, Alex stared out the window watching the snow fall. Jared didn't doubt that Alex stood there wrapped not only in the dark gray sweater that had become his armor, but also in memories of the day exactly a year ago, two weeks after Alex's thirty-first birthday, when fire changed their lives. Jared recalled with painful clarity the easy companionship they'd shared before he left for work that day. The last time Alex flirted back with him like an equal. The last time Alex hadn't flinched away from his touch.

"Go to work, Jared. I'm fine." Alex didn't turn around.

The most likely scenario for getting to hold Alex had become hugging him from behind, but Jared kept his distance. Alex would allow it, but he wouldn't relax and Jared didn't know if he could withstand another rejection. Alex wiped the fog of his breath off the window pane and continued to gaze out at the snow.

"If I leave, you'll spend the entire day brooding. Your surgeon released you last week; it's time to start thinking about the future." Jared's spirits flagged when Alex's arms tightened around his waist, the set of his shoulders unchanging.

Jared's eyes slid away from Alex to take in their surroundings, the apartment contained little but the bare essentials. A sofa. Alex's recliner, where he'd spent hours recovering from what seemed like endless medical procedures. In Jared’s mind, that chair, large enough for only one, underscored his unwillingness to let Jared close.

Jared sympathized with Alex. Even for Jared events the day of the fire had been traumatic. His memory of coming home and finding their house ablaze, flames reaching for the sky despite the fire department's efforts to put it out, could still fill him with horror. Alex's car and Clark's truck had been parked in the driveway with no sign of either man. The certainty Alex had been inside when the stove exploded came close to immobilizing Jared, and even the discovery neither man had died in the blaze erased the terror he'd suffered during the excruciating minutes before he knew their fate. Alex's fate. A year later they continued to feed his nightmares, and things did not always turn out alright.

Clark suffered, singed eyebrows, a flash burn that made him look like the first cousin of a lobster for a while, and second degree burns on his palm all acquired saving Alex's life. Jared had learned later that Clark pulled into the driveway moments after the explosion to find the back of the house in flames. He'd searched frantically for Alex, locating him when Clark stumbled over the pile of stuff outside the bedroom window. A glance inside revealed Alex wasn't trying to get out. He didn't respond to Clark shouting his name and so Clark had gone in through the window just in time to race across the room and reach around Alex to slam the bedroom door shut before Alex pulled it all the way open. Flames, eager for fresh oxygen, had roared through the narrow opening, and except for Clark's instinctive reaction, they both would have died.

Alex had been burned more severely in the rush of fire. He used his right hand to shield his face, and suffered third degree burns on the back from his fingertips to wrist. His right cheek, jaw, and neck had the same degree of damage. Second and first degree burns covered almost half his body, less serious injuries, but they contributed to the danger of infection and dehydration.

Their home burned. Jared and Alex had lost everything except the few things Alex had managed to shove out the window before he'd tried his ill-advised attempt to access the rest of the house. Jared glanced at the boxes Alex pushed out into the snow a year before. They stood stacked against the wall, untouched since they'd moved in. Their wooden memory boxes, and a cardboard container filled with Alex's early building designs and a few pieces of art he'd tried his hand at over the years.

Sixteen years.

Once, their future happiness appeared written in stone; Jared never imagined anything could bring them to their current impasse. Suffering from depression, brought on by the fire and his injuries, Alex seemed frozen in time and unable to leave the tragedy behind him.

Jared had tried to take the first step towards the future by renting a furnished apartment for them. He imagined after Alex's release from the hospital, they'd snuggle in and make a temporary nest while they waited out the last of Alex’s physical therapy and plastic surgery. Jared hadn't anticipated Alex's severe withdrawal. They'd survived the last year through sheer determination, but the act of doing so had created a gulf between them Jared hadn't found a way to bridge.

The apartment looked like they'd moved in the week before. There were no other boxes sitting around simply because there hadn't been anything to unpack, but the bleak d├ęcor looked more like a hotel room than a home. Jared knew austere surroundings weren't good for Alex. He needed… Jared's shoulders slumped with defeat. For the first time in their relationship, he didn't know what Alex needed, but he doubted their impersonal living space helped either of them.

Giving in to his need to be close, regardless of Alex's reaction, Jared closed the space between them, wrapping Alex in strong arms. He didn't respond but he didn't move away and over the last months Jared had learned to take what he could get.

He pressed a kiss into Alex's dark hair. "Have you started drawings for the new house?"

"Poked at it some. Not really inspired." Alex's voice sounded rough. It hadn't recovered fully from the smoke and heat damage.

After a year Jared thought Alex might never sound the same as he had before the fire, but Jared didn't mind the husky rasp. He thought it sounded sexy; Alex didn't agree. How he sounded became one more thing adding to his withdrawal.

"We can use the old plans. Or stay here." Alex's shrug said he didn't think it made a difference.

Unexpectedly, Jared found himself in a silent wrestling match with his temper. Crossing Alex's boundaries for the first time, Jared gripped his shoulders and turned him around. "Look at me."

Alex focused on Jared's chin. Jared cupped Alex's face, tilting it to meet his eyes. "Talk to me." Jared's fingers moved in an instinctive caress of Alex's cheek.

The incisions from his plastic surgery had healed completely, but the thin scars had yet to fade though the surgeon promised they would with time. The prickle of the beard growing in to disguise the sensitive red marks along Alex’s jaw and down his neck felt foreign to Jared, but he'd get used to both. He felt less hopeful about the empty look in Alex's eyes and his failure to respond to Jared's caress.

"Talk about what? I'm fine. You're fine. Everything's great." Alex made no effort to hide the apathy in his voice.

Jared's fingers tightened against Alex's face, and his heart clenched painfully at the indifference in Alex's words. "No, everything is not fine. Tell me what to do. Help me fix this. I don't know how to help you."

Alex stepped back, pulling away from Jared's touch. "I don't know if you can help, if anything can."
Jared traced Alex's remaining scars with his eyes. They'd used a skin expansion technique to repair the third degree burns on Alex's face, neck, and the back of his right hand. Alex had gone into the procedure laughing about being turned into a human balloon to preserve his beauty. The lengthy process of stretching his skin to get the flaps necessary to cover the damage had leached away his good humor. When the procedure temporarily disfigured him, Alex refused to leave their apartment except for visits to the doctor. He stopped seeing anyone but Jared and had withdrawn completely by the end.

Alex's therapist and his surgeon assured Jared the reclusiveness and depression were not uncommon and Alex would bounce back once the treatment ended. So far that hadn't happened. Jared wondered if the antidepressants they treated Alex with were helping, because if they were, Jared didn't want to know what would happen to Alex without them. Sometimes he seemed so morose Jared worried every second they were apart, terrified he'd return home to find Alex in bed with a razor. Jared struggled to understand, Alex hadn't ever been vain, and the surgery had returned him closer to his pre-fire appearance than either of them expected. They'd had a rough year, Alex's had been harder than tough, but they had made it and Alex's inability to cope frustrated Jared.

"We can't go on like this." The look on Alex's face made Jared wish he could snatch the words back, keep Alex from hearing them.

Alex pulled the sweater closed around him, the bulk helped hide how thin he'd gotten. The last time Jared saw Alex without a shirt his ribs and the bones of his spine were clearly visible. No longer secret Braille to be read by the whisper of Jared's fingers against his skin, they could be counted from across the room. That day Jared began to fear, despite Alex surviving the fire, he might be lost after all.
"I need space, time…" Alex stared at the wall over Jared's shoulder.

The vague dread Jared had been living with took form and chilled him. "You're leaving?" The thought stole his breath, leaving Jared barely able to form the words.

Looking surprised and then remorseful Alex shook his head, though he didn't move any closer to Jared. "No, of course not. I didn't mean that. I'm not ready."

Puzzled, Jared resisted the urge to reach for him. "Not ready for what?"

"For anything." Alex turned and walked into their bedroom, leaving Jared alone with only the whisper of the snow against the window for company.

~*~

Find out how things turn out, buy your copy of If the Stars Fall from Silver Publishing today. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Two Days - One Chapter - Free - If The Stars Fall

(some of you read the excerpt at my interview on the Silver Publishing Blog, that was about half the first chapter)


How Long Since this Story Began

Standing beside their bed Alex Douglas-Ross braced his forearm against the wall and watched his husband sleep. Alex noted that over the last few weeks a few white strands had dared to salt themselves through Jared's dark auburn hair matching the silver at his temples. It didn't make Jared look old; no one ever put him at fifty, much less his very real fifty-five. With an unconscious need for physical contact Alex reached out to touch the silk of Jared's hair, but jerked his hand away just before his fingers brushed against the fine strands. Jared needed his rest.

Jared's naturally fair skin never tanned well, but the sight of his current unnatural pallor against the dark blue of the pillowcase constricted Alex's heart, making it painful to breathe. The stark visual, an uncompromising reminder of how long Jared had been out of the sun, inevitably brought Alex's mind back to the afternoon he'd come home to find Jared lying in a pool of his own blood.

Fighting back tears, Alex buried his face against his arm. He felt ridiculous. He hadn't cried once in the weeks following the accident, but after receiving the doctor's assurances of Jared's full recovery earlier that day, Alex began to unravel. Now, silent tears wet his face, out of his control.

Despite Alex's efforts not to disturb Jared, he moved, restless, as if sensing Alex's distress. Dark blue eyes blinked open and Jared's voice broke the silence.

"Hey, come here."

Alex considered reaching for Jared's outstretched hand, but unwilling to burden Jared with after-the-fact hysterics, he turned to leave.

"Alex, please."

Alex stopped, torn between the sanctuary offered by the bathroom door and his inability to deny Jared. Slowly, Alex returned to the place he'd been standing. Jared didn't say a word as he lifted the blanket in silent invitation. Alex hesitated only a moment before toeing off his shoes and crawling, fully dressed, into the haven of Jared's arms. Alex pressed his face against Jared's chest. The security of his embrace, the familiarity of his scent, overwhelmed Alex and toppled his last barrier.

"You scared me," Alex accused, struggling to stem a sudden rush of emotion that threatened to break free in another torrent of tears. He pulled away, sitting up to snag a tissue from the nightstand to wipe his face and blow his nose.

"I know I did." Jared reached up and cradled the back of Alex's head, fingers tangling in his hair, tugging a little, attempting to coax Alex into lying down again. "I'm sorry."

With a sniff and a resigned sigh, Alex settled back into the warm niche against Jared.

"Maybe the next time you get sick you could say something and skip the whole passing out, bashing your head on the cabinet thing?" Alex buried his face into the strength of Jared's shoulder, an unsuccessful attempt to ward off the haunting memory of Jared lying in a pool of blood. His skin too pale, his breathing shallow, and his body burning like a furnace under Alex's hand.

"I promise. I thought I just had the flu or something. You know the fever didn't crop up until days after my stomachache. I didn’t realize there might be a connection."

"I know." Alex shuddered, only slightly comforted when Jared's arm tightened around him.
Alex had heard the story more than once in the last weeks. Feeling achy and feverish Jared had been determined not to miss work and on his way out, he stopped by the kitchen to grab a couple aspirin. He passed out and didn’t remember falling or hitting his head on the marble edge of the countertop.  The resulting gash on his forehead accounted for the pool of blood that Alex claimed had knocked years off his life.

"Anybody else would sue them for the misdiagnosis that almost killed you," Alex grumbled. He didn't really believe the doctors had been negligent but he couldn’t help holding someone responsible for his terror as he’d waited for them to figure out what was wrong with Jared.

 Jared hugged Alex a little closer. "You know it wasn't a misdiagnosis, just incomplete. I did have septicemia. It's not the hospital's fault that instead of getting the blood infection from some outside source, I walked around being poisoned by my own body. They saved me. By all rights, I should be dead."

Alex shuddered in response to Jared’s statement.

Ruptured appendix.

Alex had appendicitis as a child. They'd cut out the useless scrap of organ and, much to his mother's dismay, he'd tried to go back to school three days later. As a result, he'd never thought of having appendicitis as being serious, much less life-threatening. His simple laser surgery was a far cry from what Jared had gone through after walking around for two or three days, poison leaching into his entire system. Jared hadn't regained consciousness after arriving at the hospital. Even after they began treating the infection he laid still and silent, white as the sheets covering the sterile hospital bed. The continuous drip of antibiotics into his arm from an IV the only thing standing between him and death.

"You should not be dead, so don't say that. Not ever." Alex choked out the words, tears threatened again and he held on to Jared refusing to acknowledge the few that squeezed out to trace his cheeks.
Alex's lack of control made him feel half his age. He'd been a pillar of strength throughout the whole horrifying experience. His fear for Jared's life had only increased once the doctor explained the source of his infection. A burst appendix often proved fatal under the best circumstances. Survival usually dependent upon swift and accurate diagnosis, Jared had received neither.

Alex remained steadfast; he made decisions about Jared's life with unwavering confidence. Alex stayed at Jared's side, holding his hand, talking to him, and showing no sign he believed in any outcome short of full recovery. Alex's assurance worried the hospital staff. Jared’s doctor and his nurses had gently tried to prepare Alex for the unfortunate reality that things may not turn out as he hoped. Alex waved them off, refusing to listen. He didn't have the will to contemplate the idea of losing Jared. As long as Jared breathed, hope beat in Alex's chest.

"Alex." Jared inhaled deeply, he had more to say. It weighed between them, but instead of speaking, he buried his face in Alex's hair.

Alex clutched Jared. After the surgery, he had been so pale he seemed bloodless and Alex still didn't remember exactly what the doctors had said they'd done beyond removing the appendix. He had a vague impression of them washing Jared's insides, but that couldn't be right and whatever they had done wouldn't have been in the sudsy kitchen sink that tormented Alex's dreams. He had better recall of his elation when after the surgery the antibiotics had begun to work. The doctor grew cautiously hopeful, and though still hospitalized, and rarely conscious Jared regained a little color. The day they'd taken out his staples, leaving a glaring red wound across his abdomen that made Alex wince every time he saw it, the doctor finally told Alex in plain English that Jared would be fine. Not long afterward he graduated to oral medication and Alex got to take him home.

"You know the chances that you and I are going to exit this world at the same time are very slim." Jared finally voiced his thoughts, though spoken with gentle compassion the words tore at Alex's heart.
"No. You are not allowed to leave me." Alex’s jaw clenched and his hold on Jared tightened.
Bringing Jared home had been the beginning of a new trial for Alex. Keeping Jared in bed when he felt so much better had often been a practice in futility, but Alex had suffered every moment with grace and patience. Only two things mattered. Jared was home and healing. The horrible alternative had been avoided. Knowing what could have been turned the endless arguments over whether Jared was ready to climb the stairs, cook dinner, or water the plants into a strange celebration of life.

If he's arguing, he's improving.

Alex had taken the doctor's words to heart. He'd weathered it all just to fall apart when he had nothing left to worry about, since, beyond all medical expectation to the contrary, Jared had recovered.
Jared cupped Alex's face in his hand, and used his thumb to swipe away the few straggling tears. "We have to face reality. I'm fifty-five, you're fifty-one. We aren't getting younger and this could as easily have been a stroke or a heart attack."

"Shut up." Alex propped on an elbow to glare down at Jared. "Shut up or I'm never letting you eat bacon again."

"No bacon?"

Alex smirked at Jared's dismayed expression. "Not a single bite. We've ignored the reality that something might happen to one of us for the last thirty-five years and I don't see any reason to change that habit just because you think you're old. We'll go vegan if that's what it takes to make you stop talking about heart attacks and strokes."

"Vegan?" Jared looked horrified.

"Vegan." Alex kept his voice firm despite the urge to laugh at Jared's reaction.

"Well, now that I consider all the circumstances, I think it's much more likely we'll die peacefully together in our sleep on our one hundredth anniversary." Jared hurried to change his tune and even managed to look as if he had convinced himself.

"Exactly."

With Jared's insistence they talk about surviving one another safely averted one more time, Alex could relax and enjoy being in bed with Jared for the first time in too long.

* * * *

Silence fell between them allowing Jared time to study Alex's face; he understood what Alex was going through. His recent illness hadn't been the first time one of them had a brush with death. Tilting Alex’s face with a gentle touch, Jared brought Alex's mouth to his and tasted tears in the kiss. His misery wrenched Jared's heart, driving him to make impossible promises.

"I'll never leave you."

"I know," Alex breathed. His fingers slid into Jared's hair and his body pressed close. Jared's breath caught at the feel of Alex against him despite the layers of clothing.

Hand sliding under Alex's shirt to the small of his back, Jared brought their hips together, allowing Alex to feel his rising interest. "You know, the doctor cleared me for all activity and I've missed you, Alex." Jared stroked the tender skin under his fingers.

Alex made a sound low in his throat, fingers tightening against Jared's scalp as he rubbed against the thigh Jared pressed between his legs.

"Oh God, Jared."

Growling in reaction to Alex's soft sigh of submission, Jared deepened their kiss, pulling Alex's slighter form under his as he worked the T-shirt off Alex's arms, parting long enough to get it over his head before locking their mouths together again. Settling into the welcoming cradle of Alex's hips, Jared plundered his mouth, licking deep before tangling their tongues. Alex suckled hard in return, sending tiny shocks of pleasure through Jared, and he groaned, rutting against the hard bulge of Alex's cock. Jared's tender scar rubbed against the rough denim of Alex's jeans, causing him to hiss and jerk away from the painful contact.

Alex's expression transformed from passionate to concern in the blink of an eye. "We shouldn't be doing this." Propping up on his elbows he tried to move but Jared restrained Alex with a reassuring hand on his chest.

"It's fine. The doc said the scar will be sensitive for a while. There’s an easy fix." Jared's hands went to the button fly of Alex's jeans. "We'll remove the source of my discomfort."

Shaking his head, Alex opened his mouth to protest but whatever he'd been about to say died on his lips when Jared's talented fingers slid the buttons of Alex's fly free, one after the other. Jared's knuckles brushed the soft skin of Alex's belly causing both to tremble.

They hadn't been together for weeks, not even a stolen hand job to help pass the time. Alex's fear of losing Jared kept them on the straight and narrow all the way through his lengthy convalescence. Jared had never been so relieved to hear the words 'you may resume full activities'. He blushed a little remembering the amused curl of the doctor's lips at his questions meant to ensure Alex understood 'full activities' included sex.

When the last button opened, Jared raised his gaze to meet Alex's, sliding his fingers inside to rub the hard length of Alex's cock through the soft cotton of his boxers.

Alex's eyes closed and he groaned, lifting his hips into Jared's touch. "How do you do that?" Alex gasped. Still propped on his elbows, he let his head fall back.

Heat licked through Jared's veins at the sight of Alex's exposed throat.

"Do what?" Jared leaned forward unable to resist the temptation to lick a long line from the hollow of Alex's neck to behind his ear.

"Make me feel like if you don't touch me I'm going to die." With a low moan Alex dropped from his elbows to lay sprawled under Jared.

Continuing to torment the soft skin behind Alex's ears, Jared's fingers found the opening in the front of Alex's boxers and slid inside, brushing against the heated flesh trapped there. Crying out softly, Alex arched into the brief touch.

"Oh God, just like that."

With a low murmur of appreciation, Jared eased Alex's jeans off his hips. "Mmm." Jared licked along Alex's jaw, lapping at the sandpaper texture of his chin. Jared's beard grew in slowly making it possible, even in his fifties, to skip a day shaving if he wanted. Alex's coarser hair gave him the beginnings of his five o'clock shadow by late afternoon. It annoyed him, but as much as Jared enjoyed Alex's habit of manscaping elsewhere, he'd developed a weakness for the rough masculine feel of Alex's stubble against his skin.

Alex turned his face away without warning and with a gentle touch, Jared cupped Alex’s chin and turned him back to meet Jared’s heavy lidded gaze. The doubt Jared read on Alex's face came as no surprise. His exuberant confidence had been taken a beating many years before and though he’d healed; it often gave way before his worry about aging.

His eyes shadowed, Alex fingered his stubbled chin. "Don't you ever miss the boy?"

The dark places Alex sometimes slipped into didn't concern Jared as they once had because over the years he had learned how to dispel them. He rubbed their cheeks together before pressing his lips to Alex's ear.

"Why would I miss the boy when I am so enamored by the man he grew into?"

Gasping when Jared’s breath brushed his skin, Alex quivered beneath him. Alex’s eager response quickened Jared's pulse, reminding him of everything he'd missed while being sick.

Stripping Alex the rest of the way out of his jeans and boxers with practiced hands, Jared returned to his place between Alex's thighs with a hum of pleasure. The slide of their cocks a familiar caress of satin encased steel. Jared felt the pulse of his lust with every beat of his heart. He braced over Alex, struggling for control, determined to pleasure Alex first.

Jared wanted to drive Alex to heights of passion that would leave him sated and boneless, relaxed in a way Jared knew had eluded Alex for weeks. With that goal in mind, Jared mapped Alex's body with his eyes, smiling with smug satisfaction when Alex quaked with anticipation. Jared leaned and nibbled along Alex's collarbone causing him to shiver under the contact with a quiet gasp. Jared gave a quiet growl of satisfaction, licking and biting his way down Alex’s chest. The lube Alex tried to press into Jared’s hand caught him by surprise. It wasn’t like Alex to skip straight to intercourse. He loved foreplay so much sometimes Jared thought he liked it best. 

Worried his illness may have triggered more than Alex’s brief struggle with his self confidence, Jared looked up to meet his eyes. "Alex?"

Seeing the shadow haunting Alex’s eyes troubled Jared more than Alex's nonsense about aging ever did. In an effort to help him loosen up Jared ignored the offered lube, nuzzling the Alex’s belly and dipping the tip of his tongue into Alex’s navel. His hips rocked communicating his pleasure, but Alex didn't relent urging Jared to take the lubricant. Uncertain, Jared’s fingers closed around the tube.

"I need you now, Jared, please." Breathless Alex tugged at Jared. "We can play next time."

Jared couldn’t resist such a plea. Heat coiled in his belly at the idea of being inside Alex, and Jared's hard-won control slipped another notch. Bracing a forearm on the pillow beside Alex's head, Jared leaned down for a kiss, at the same time slipping a well-lubed hand between them. Alex gasped, spreading his legs, heels digging into the mattress.

"That's good," Jared whispered pulling back to watch Alex's face when he pressed a slick finger inside.

Alex gazed at Jared through half-closed eyes, his body a tense line of anticipation as he waited for Jared to continue. Jared ignored the need burning through him, to gauge Alex's reaction, watching closely for any indication of pain or discomfort. Seeing no sign of anything but Alex's hungry desire evidenced by his impatient shifting against the sheets, Jared added the stretch of a second finger.
"Jared." Alex moaned clutching Jared's shoulders. His hips moved in rhythm with the slow glide of Jared's fingers. A third finger joined the others; Alex gasped arching off the bed.

"Oh God. Jared." Alex's head fell back baring his throat, fingers digging deep into the muscles of Jared's arms.

Heart racing, Jared ran his teeth along the taut tendon in Alex's exposed neck, and Alex quaked under him. After so many years together, Jared didn't have to be told Alex was ready. He ignored Alex's grumbled half-hearted protest when Jared's fingers left his body, and shifted position to kneel between Alex's thighs. Slicking his cock with long slow strokes, Jared trembled under the touch of his own hand. That, combined with the sight of Alex sprawled under him, almost snapped what little restraint that remained to him. Jared gasped and clenched his teeth, the muscles in his jaw bunched and jumped.

"Not going to last." He panted. The sight of Alex spread out for him always pushed him to the edge. "God, you're so hot."

With a wicked grin, Alex edged his legs up Jared's thighs until they wrapped around his waist.
Jared whimpered when Alex's hand covered his, urging him to stroke faster. His entire body shook in reaction.

Their eyes locked, Jared grasped back of Alex's straining thighs, leaving Alex to guide his cock into position. Panting, sweat beading his skin, Jared pressed forward breaching Alex’s body in a slow steady movement that didn't end until his hips met Alex's ass. Buried to the hilt, Jared hunched over Alex, letting go of his legs, Jared braced his hands on the pillow on either side of Alex’s head. He rocked his hips and Jared groaned at the feel of Alex's body moving on his cock. His eyes clenched tight, his hands fisting in the pillow.

Alex went perfectly still under him. "Does it hurt?"

"No." Jared cupped the back of Alex's head, fingers threading through the persistent curls. "You're still thinking too much." He brought Alex's mouth to his in a bruising kiss.

Alex grabbed Jared's arms; a moan of pure pleasure escaped his parted lips as Jared pulled out in a single smooth motion before burying himself inside Alex's body once more. Jared's cock slid over Alex's prostate with long, slow pressure that came from years of practice and left Alex shuddering and gasping. Lowering himself to lean on one forearm, Jared gentled their kiss to a caress, tongues sliding together languidly. Jared's thumb rubbed the stubble covering Alex's jaw as he slowed the movement of their bodies. Loving Alex with every touch, with each stroke until Alex quivered beneath him breath coming in ragged pleas for more.

The heat of Alex's body gripping him coupled with Alex's intense reaction undid Jared, and gentleness burned away in the raw hot need that flared between them. Kisses bruised, teeth bit, and hands grabbed.
Jared pounded into Alex's body, and Alex’s legs edged higher, locking around Jared's ribcage. Heat curled Jared's toes, bringing alive every nerve in his body. He dug his hands deeper into the pillow for leverage as he thrust into Alex.

"Touch yourself," Jared panted. "Now, Alex."

Alex's hand brushed Jared's belly when it closed around his cock, settling into the familiar motion between them. Alex gasped and tensed, his body tightening around Jared's sex. The combination pushed Jared over the edge. He drove into Alex a final time, back arched, muscles quaking, Jared shouted his release.

Coming down from his own high, Jared rested his forehead on Alex's, breathing his air. Jared knocked Alex's hand away from his cock, closing his own around it with a tight grip and a flick of his thumb he knew drove Alex crazy. A second stroke paired with a well timed twist and Alex cried out, shuddering as his dick jerked and cum coated Jared's chest. Alex clutched Jared, close to sobbing as he quaked against Jared in the aftermath of his release.

Jared caught Alex's mouth in a gentle kiss, hand stroking his softening sex, easing him down.
"Shhh, I know. I know. I missed you too, so much." Jared murmured nonsense words into their kiss in an effort to soothe and comfort him. Alex's trembling faded and his tongue licked into Jared's mouth, sliding against his with familiar ease.

Holding Alex close Jared's heartbeat began to slow and his breathing quieted, but as the adrenaline rush from making love faded, Jared's arm trembled from the strain of bearing his weight and he broke the kiss. Alex, of course, identified the problem immediately.

"Damn it, Jared." Alex pushed at him. "Lie down."

Jared reached to uncouple them, unable to suppress the moan of regret at being separated from Alex.
"Jared." Alex’s tone threatened dire repercussions if Jared didn’t follow instructions.  

"Shhh." Jared attempted to placate Alex with a pat on his hip, but he didn't relax until Jared eased onto the bed, urging Alex to onto his side and pulling him close. Jared spooned behind Alex, and the simple embrace felt like coming home in a way nothing else had.

"We need to clean up," Alex commented but he didn't move.

"Later." Jared had no desire to get up and wasn't sure he could if he tried. His hand slid up through the cooling cum on Alex's chest and he nuzzled the dark curls at the back of his neck. Shot with gray in the light of day, they were as dark as those of a boy in the shadowed room, reminding Jared of Alex's  question.

"Do I miss the boy? How silly are you?"

An embarrassed shrug indicated Alex's need for such reassurance had fled. Relieved, Jared pressed a kiss to the back of his neck, hand moving to cup Alex's hip, fingers pressing into the tattoo of their names imprinted on the tender skin.

"We'll be together forever, I promise."

At his words Alex sighed happily, reaching to cover Jared's hand with his own. Satisfied all Alex's worries had been sidelined; Jared entwined their fingers and tangled their legs. Sleep tugged at him. Cleaning up would have to wait until he had some energy. He let go of Alex's hand long enough to pull the blanket over them. Alex didn't protest. Instead, he snuggled against Jared.

Smiling Jared, pressed warm lips against Alex's ear. "I want to grow old with you."

Alex gave a sleepy laugh. "I think we've already done that."

"You haven't seen anything yet, I'm just getting started."

Alex sighed, content. His breathing deepened as he slid towards sleep.

Jared squeezed Alex's hand. "I love you."

The only evidence Alex heard came in the slight hitch in his breathing and the way he melted against Jared, warm and trusting.

His face buried in Alex's soft hair, and surrounded by his scent Jared swallowed against the emotion choking his throat. "God, how I love you."

Alex breathed deep, already sleeping he missed the unprecedented repeat declaration of Jared's affection, but Jared didn't care. The warmth of their love spread through him, a therapeutic solace that gave Jared had everything he needed to finish healing. Their love always had been enough, no matter what.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Three Days and counting, Micro-Excerpt 4



"It's not easy for a dad to just hand his child over to someone. I know I've left you in Jared's care for years but this feels different. Permanent." Frank studied Alex searching his eyes and face. "You are happy?"

Alex laughed. "I'm getting married, to Jared. I'm so happy I'm giddy."

(Don't forget, Free Chapter tomorrow, same time, same place)

Pre-buy from Silver Publishing: If the Stars Fall, The Making of a Man Book Five

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Silver Publishing's Author of the Month

And that's me! If you'd like to find out more about me than you ever wanted to know, then come by and read all about it!

There's also an excerpt from If the Star's Fall, The Making of a Man Book 5 and a calendar of appearances I'll make this month to celebrate my book release and my featured author status!

It's exciting to be in the spotlight and I hope you'll come help me celebrate!

Diane Adams, Author of the Month