Hiding Place by Jackie Keswick
Book Title: Hiding Place
Author and Publisher: Jackie Keswick
Cover Artist: Avery Daisy Book Design
Release Date: March 31, 2023
Genre: Contemporary M/M Mystery Romance
Tropes: Opposites attract, hurt/comfort, murder mystery
Themes: grief recovery, letting go and starting over
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 43 000 words
It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.
Universal Link | Author's Website
Can a house with a secret bring two grieving men together?
Can a house with a secret bring two grieving men together?
A 43k m/m mystery romance, featuring a neglected old house in need of TLC, an unsolved murder, a grieving musician looking for a distraction, and his stern, intense neighbour who really should smile more.
“Whoever said that house hunting was fun can’t have done that much of it,” I muttered as another stack of envelopes from my property search agent flopped onto my doormat. Paper slid over paper with a soft whoosh like messages skating in freeform. “Unless it’s the hunting they enjoy, and never mind if they find a house or not.” That’s where we differed, I supposed. I wanted to find a house, not spend my time hunting for one.
Cradling the stack of clammy envelopes I returned to the living room, where property particulars covered the surface of my dining table, neatly sorted into ‘absolutely-not’, ‘no’, and ‘maybe’ stacks. An empty space, the space for the ‘yes’ pile of particulars, glared accusingly from the centre of the table.
Maybe the house I was looking for didn’t exist.
Or it existed only in my mind.
Ever since the night the police had knocked on my door, I’d yearned for a hiding place. Somewhere nobody offered sympathy or told me what I should do next. Where I didn’t have to put on a brave face and be Halcyon songwriter and keyboard player Zach Hellig.
I yearned for a place where I could grieve in private.
There was no such place, of course.
The paparazzi found me sooner or later. As did the fans, though—to my surprise—they’d proved unexpectedly compassionate after that first insane outpouring of grief.
Many expressed the wish I would continue writing the music they had loved us for. Or that I’d start over with a new band. I had no answers to give them, but as I started to process the aftermath of the accident, my need for a place to grieve had turned into a wish to rebuild my life in a shape and form it hadn’t had before.
I’d dissolved my contract and had set about finding a house for myself.
My requirements had seemed simple: a house with a largish garden in a remote location, maybe in need of renovation. I hadn’t expected this to be a challenging brief for any self-respecting property search agent.
Apparently, it was.
In the last four months, I’d seen a score of houses all over the country. On the surface, they all fulfilled my requirements. I just couldn’t imagine myself living in any of them.
“This lot won’t make a difference either.” I settled in the armchair under the window, envelopes in my lap. The agent could have emailed me the particulars, just as I could have spent my days on the various property sites, hunting for suitable houses myself.
It wasn’t how my mind worked, though. I wanted the madness in my life to slow down and I was hoping that doing things the old-fashioned way—hiring an agent to help me find a suitable house and scrutinising potential homes on paper—would help me do that.
Or, as my counsellor had suggested, I was avoiding both people and the internet.
I picked up the first envelope and felt a tiny spark of something bright in the back of my mind. A promise? A touch of hope?
One after the other, I opened the envelopes and scrutinised the contents. One after the other, the sheets fluttered to the floor.
Until the last of the offered properties had me sitting up in my chair.
The brochure described the house—Charnbarrow Pele—as a 17th century farmhouse with courtyard, stables, and walled garden, attached to a 14th century fortified tower.
It fit the list I’d given the agent, but what gave me the fluttery feeling was the photo on the front of the brochure: A house sitting lost and lonely, waiting for an injection of life.
No doubt I was being fanciful. I’d also seen what could be achieved with a few photoshop skills.
None of that mattered. Hopeful for the first time in months, I placed the brochure in the empty space on my dining table.
Then I reached for the phone to call the agent.
About the Author
Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She's worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.
Jackie loves unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who write their own rules. She blogs about English history and food, has a thing for green eyes, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.
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Book Title: Fauxmance in the Falls
Author: J.E. Birk
Publisher: Maple Mountains Press
Cover Artist: Cate Ashwood
Release Date: April 20, 2023
Genres: Contemporary M/M Romance, small town romance
Tropes: Fake relationship, small town, age gap, alpha doctor, grumpy/sunshine
Themes: Redemption, coming out, found families
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: Approx. 92 000 words and 331 pages
It’s the first book in the series and does not end on a cliffhanger.
Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Never date your dream doctor
I'm here to destroy this town. How did I end up in a fake relationship with its hero?
I've spent my life proving to my grandpa and dad that I'm more than just the Lewis family mistake. So when Grandpa sends me to Devon Falls, VT to take some ridiculous leaf festival to court, I head straight there and get to work.
But Dr. Jack Lancer keeps getting in my way.
He's everywhere. Helping me out with my migraines, making me dinner, insisting people be nice to me even though I’m the enemy. Who is this guy? The next thing I know I'm pretending to be Jack's boyfriend to get him out of a bind. I swear he's putting kindness pills in my food or something.
Jack thinks he can fix me the same way he fixes everyone else. But I'm not broken. This podunk town will be when I'm done with it, though. And Jack? Well, he's about to learn the meaning of the term "collateral damage." Because I'll do anything to win this case and end this festival.
Even if it means losing something that feels an awful lot like love.
Fauxmance in the Falls is an age-gap romance featuring a small town full of quirks, a grumpy lawyer and a charming physician, a fake relationship gone wild, some inappropriate use of a doctor’s office, and a healthy mix of humor and angst. It stars Benson Lewis, who first appeared in the book Counterpoint.
About the Author
J.E. Birk was raised in Vermont and is now adulting in Colorado with intermittent success. She is a long-time lover of stories, and she writes and reads in worlds where imperfect characters find their happily ever after. Snag free bonus content and stay up-to-date on J.E. Birk's news and releases by signing up for her newsletter.
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Cover Reveal Enchanted Ink by Robin Lynn
Book Title: Enchanted Ink
Author: Robin Lynn
Cover Artist: Art by Gio Guimaraes, Design by Katie Marlin
Release Date: June 1, 2023
Genres: LGBTQ Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy
Tropes: Fantasy/Magic/World-building, Tattoo artists, Hurt/Comfort, Meet-Cute, Secret Identities, Celebrities, HEA, Queer romance
Themes: Self-acceptance, trauma recovery, transformation, Demisexual representation.
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 60 000 words
It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger
When it comes to transformation, magic only fixes what's skin deep…
In a world where an artist's magic brings tattoos to life, ink gone wrong can spell lasting heartache for those unlucky enough to experience it. Jaded and cynical on both life and love, tattoo artist Ashton is about to find out that even the most deeply-etched scars can be transformed into something beautiful when the right person is holding the pen.
About the Author
Robin Lynn is a 36-year-old queer, autistic mother of two, an unabashed fangirl sometimes known as “Wings,” and a disabled former firefighter, paramedic, and registered nurse. She writes for queer audiences with the goal of reflecting and centering the lgbtqia2s+ community in more media, because everyone deserves to see relatable, imperfect main characters who mirror themselves simply existing and getting their happy endings.
Last Generation by E. Robert Dunn.
E. Robert Dunn has a new queer sci-fi book out, Echelon's End book one: Last Generation.
The year is 6752, A.T. and Earth is but a memory to its space faring descendents. The urbane beings of The System embark on a test-colonization mission to a far off solar group called Mira. The AST [Aidennia-System Transport] Saarien's flight path is ended abruptly and the colonizing supership explodes under a hail from Tauron Starhounds; a century of peace with the Tauron Empire is fractured. Six Aidennian survivors jettison in a terra-forming conestoga Pioneer Pod.
Now, a young male echelon couple and their fellow crewmembers must deal with a reality in which their peaceful existence is shattered by war and prejudice. The only solace appears in the form of an unknown, arid planet in a ternary star group.
Upon the Pioneer Pod Four's descent into the planet's atmosphere, a defense planetary shield is activated and causes the Pod 4 to crash land in an ancient, dried-up seabed. This sets the Aidennians on a jarring adventure where survival is a game of chance with the life forces of the Universe.
Warnings: There are adult (sexual) references and interaction in several of the books.
Universal Buy Link | Goodreads
SYSTEM STAR CYCLE: 6752.0719 A.T.
A tranquil sphere hung in Space under a white cloud.
“I don’t know why,” Medical Commander Dara Lidasiress muttered to herself out loud, “but I have a bad feeling about all of this.”
From a vantage point some four hundred kiloretems above, Dara was watching it beyond the thick syntheglass of an observation viewport; the sight was dizzying, fascinating. The cloud‑shrouded planet Aidennia. It seemed to lie almost in the trajectory of the Orbiter 1: Aidennia Station. The light of a strong, middle‑aged sun cataloged as Pintarus 19 fell on the cloud.
“Count now stands at minus zero two nodes and thirty-two, and counting,” the station controller announced over the station PA. “All networks are green and go.”
Dara smiled nervously, distracting herself by the vista beyond and beneath her view. “Calm yourself,” she said aloud. “Feeling anxious is normal and natural. It is part of the system that evolved to keep us safe and well.” She took a deep breath. Being the only one in the observation lounge, she felt somewhat silly being self-conscious about her anxiousness. “Come on. Give it a chance.”
There was still plenty of time before she would be called. Dara shifted her attention and the room seemed to slip away, walls became gossamer and ethereal.
She was suddenly thinking of other times, and other places…
The public address net hummed again, then the controller was back with another update. “Minus zero two nodes and fifteen and counting. Technicians, complete final checkouts.”
Dara's attention refocused as her peripheral view caught a glimpse of her reflection coming off the window. A tall, powerful slender, fine-boned figure, with high cheekbones and penetrating chocolate eyes that gave a look of great delicacy founded in extraordinary resiliency framed by a neatly cropped mane told that she was no shallow youth, but a fully mature adult.
Saying good‑bye had not been easy, especially to her elder sibling, Aspera. A sadness that had kept a small place in her heart now pulsed as Dara viewed Aidennia below.
“Medical Commander,” an unexpected, disembodied page intoned over the still airwaves.
“There’s a planet to orbit call coming through for you.”
“Fine. I will take it here.”
The stylized blue-and-white ovals of the Spacecorps logo flashed holographically off a communication set. A dark-haired female holograph, an avatar of the real person making the summons, coalesced into view. The similarities between the two females were undeniable. Broad smiling features caused Dara’s voice to fill with emotion, her features melting into sudden recognition.
“Aspera!” Dara gasped, excitedly.
“I know your life is anything but normal right now, but I just had to say one last farewell.”
Feelings of euphoria swept repeatedly over Dara as she spoke without turning her eyes from the miniaturized figure on the holo-emitter. “I welcome any communication from you.”
“How are you doing?”
The female holograph laughed warmly, flashing a set of perfectly formed white teeth. The sound fell on ears that were eager to hear such a resonance.
“You would not be you without being that.” Aspera smiled. “You have much responsibility on your shoulders being peret of the vanguard for generations of clans to come. The first settlers on a new world where unlimited food and water will be the birthright for all…”
“You’re quoting incentive simulations.”
“Well, it is true. Regardless of the stature you have been elevated to by Spacecorps,” her smile broadened more. “You will always be my little sister.”
“A title I will always be proud to have…”
Dara was cut off as another controller announcement echoed throughout the towering launch apparatus.
“This is Spacecorps Launch Control,” he said. “Complete close-out preparations. Check command-apse switch configurations. Complete inertial measurement unit preflight alignments. Transition onboard computers to launch configuration. Start fuel cell thermal conditioning. Close vent valves. Transition backup flight system to launch configuration.’
“Sounds busy up there,” Aspera mused, undeterred.
Dara nodded. “Never-ending.”
“Are you alone?”
“Where are the others?”
“Capel’s attending a mission commanders final briefing. The children are completing their concluding physicals with the other Pod crews, so I am just…”
“Seeking some solace before the launch.”
“You know me too well.”
Aspera hesitated, wanting to be near her sister, to soothe, to remind, to strengthen familial bonds. Another female would, perhaps, have flushed a little, she did not. Her face grew urgent. Meeting her younger sibling’s eyes, she said, steadily, “Then I best let you get to it.” She paused, more from emotion than for dramatic effect; she fought back sudden tears. Finally, she added, “Always know you are loved.”
There was another hesitation. A non-verbal exchange. The secret language between siblings.
“Are you more at peace with your decision?” Aspera asked.
“About the children?”
Aspera simply nodded.
“Capel and I have lived a good part of our lives,” Dara waxed. “The children are just starting out. If someone should be apart of this colonization effort, it should be Capel and me...”
“Do you remember when you were discussing your plans for the space flight? You could not decide whether you had the right to bring Moela, Retho, and Lunon along.”
“Yes. I remember.”
“Do you regret your decision?”
“You want the truth?”
“Well, not knowing how long we can last out there...” Dara stifled a sob. “They deserve something more than that.”
“Having them with you …Is that what you want?”
“Yes.” Dara regained her composure, adding, “I suppose so.”
“They are degreed and qualified.”
The two siblings gazed at each other. Dara closed her eyes to show how she felt. Their bodies yearned across the void to reach each other, but they remained motionless. Aspera clenched her teeth.
“Until we meet again.”
Dara drew in her breath. Her voice was cracked with emotion as she replied, “Until then.”
Aspera sighed as she and her smile disappeared.
Born in the Midwest, raised in the Northeast, E. Robert Dunn began writing at the age of 14 and continued through his higher education in the Southeast where he currently resides. In addition to penning the science fiction series “Echelon’s End”, E. Robert has also written two off-Broadway plays, “LipSync” and “A Dragged Out Haunting”, and solo-penned the short-play entitled “VOiCES”. Additional works include, “The World We Live In”, The Life Of Another”, and “Are You Happy?”.
Robert was a contributing writer to the online STAR TREK: Odyssey’s Season One Finale webisode [featured in STARLOG Magazine, January 2008, “Beyond Hidden Frontiers”, p.89]. E. Robert has become a regular at SuperCon events on panels and participating in book signings/readings.
Besides being a produced playwright and published author, E. Robert has had articles printed in local newspapers as well as medical newsletters. He has also graced many a stage by his given name: Eston Dunn. He is the founder of the nonprofit organization artsUnited, Inc. A recent project is founding another non-profit online webcasting charity to educate while entertain through programs that unite those that are separated by the walls of stereotyping, prejudice, and bigotry (www.watchoutweb.org).
Author Website: https://www.erobertdunn.com
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/e.robert.dunn
Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/erobertdunnauthor
Author Mastadon: @firstname.lastname@example.org
Author Instagram: @erobertdunn
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/548150.E_Robert_Dunn
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/stores/E.-Robert-Dunn/author/B001JRVEIK
Rainbow Snippets 3/26/2023
My snippet this week is from Jewel Cave, book 3 of the Circles series.
“Hey, what are you—”
Dylan’s words cut off when Clint grabbed the small pickaxe stored with the extra lights and flung it, hitting Dylan in the face. Dylan howled with pain, swore, and lunged at Clint.
“Fuck you, asshole!” Clint shouted. He swung his legs over the side and shoved off the edge, dropping through thin air.
“You promised!” Dylan screamed.
Clint had practice and desperation on his side as well as all the coaching Griff had offered over the years. The chains made his descent awkward and bumpy, but Clint didn’t care as long as he reached the lower ground first.
Moving fast, Clint wasn’t far from the ground when shots rang out. “Don’t fire a gun in a cave, moron!” he shouted. “The bullets ricochet.”
A second rope dropped along the rock face only a few feet from Clint. He glanced up. The fool had tied his rope to the same anchor Clint used. Dust and grit rained down. It was Clint’s only warning before he heard the grind of metal against stone.
“Dylan! It won’t hold us—” Clint swallowed his words when the anchor gave way and his rope didn’t support him. His drop was only ten feet or so, but Dylan’s harness finally let loose, and he fell twice that distance.
They landed very close to each other in a heap. Staggering to his feet, Clint spared a glance at Dylan. He was breathing, moaning, and moving his arms and legs slowly. Clint pulled the chains up as far as he could and began running for the entrance, stumbling every few steps.
The chains pulled against his ankles, tripping him up and sending him sprawling more than once. He heard footsteps and Dylan yelling at him in a screechy, insane voice. Clint ignored him and forged ahead. He could see the light from the tunnel entrance. There was the sound of a helicopter overhead and shouts of other people.
Voices of people he knew. Clint tried to pick up speed and ended up pitching forward and falling on his face. His feet and hands tangled in the chains. A bullet chipped off a rock very close to his head, and the bang from gunfire was deafening. “Griff!” He choked on the word, sure no one could possibly hear him.
There are many more snippets in the Rainbow Snippet Facebook group.
Jewel Cave is available in eBook, paperback
and through Kindle Unlimited.
Worth the Fight by Denver Shaw
Book Title: Worth the Fight
Author and Publisher: Denver Shaw
Cover Artist: Steamy Designs
Release Date: March 21, 2023
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Tropes: Opposites attract, sports romance/MMA romance, grumpy/sunshine, multicultural characters, found family
Themes: Protect who you love
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 56 600 words
It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.
Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited
A bad boy who lives outside the law. A compassionate soul focused on helping others. Sometimes rules are meant to be broken... for love.
I texted Austin that I was here and that he needed to get his skinny butt to the entrance.
I got back what looked like a seat assignment from him, but this place was a maze. There was a man nearby who looked like he knew his way around, or was someone that worked here. Even if he didn’t, he might know where the seats were. But my breath caught in my throat as I surveyed him: black pants, white shirt; tall, muscled; short, blackberry-colored hair and honey-gold eyes. On their own, his features were possessed by dozens, perhaps hundreds of other men, but there was a certain something about this particular man. He exuded an easy confidence, a sex appeal that drew me in. It had been years since I’d been in a serious relationship, months since I’d had sex, and looking at this guy made me seriously think, albeit fleetingly, that maybe I should put myself back out there and at least consider dating again.
I shook myself from the temporary brain paralysis the man had reduced me to.
“Pardon me, sir,” I said, “I haven’t been here in a long time; I’m trying to figure out where seat F3J is. Do you have any idea?”
He smiled down at me. I felt the caress of his gaze roaming over me, but not lingering too long in one spot, which took him out of the ‘creep’ category and put him into the ‘typical male’ category that he probably couldn’t help being in anyway. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I did have on my burgundy suit, which perfectly molded to my body.
Was he gay, or at least bisexual?
“F3J,” he repeated, smirking about something. “F3J…well, I might be able to help you hunt it down. Are you…here with someone?”
“I am,” I said. “Young guy, skinny, mixed.”
“Anything serious?” the man asked, casually—too casually.
I laughed. “Um…no, he’s my nephew.”
“Oh!” He wiped imaginary sweat off his forehead. “I see. That’s good.”
“Is it, now?”
“Well, see,” he said, “I figured there was no way I was lucky enough to meet a single guy in a place like this. I mean, what are the chances a man like you is unattached?”
Well, he answered my question. He was definitely gay or bisexual.
I pursed my lips and gave him the look I gave the kids that tried to bullshit me at work. “Oh, you’re a little slick. What, just because I’m here without a guy, I must be unattached?”
He shrugged. “Are you?”
“Here without a guy?”
I made him wait a second. “Maybe I am.”
“Here’s the thing,” he said, leaning in a little bit. He smelled like a minty aftershave and sweat, the clean sweat of a man straight after a workout. “I figured any man who was with you wouldn’t stay behind if you left the house looking like that. I know I wouldn’t.”
“What, so he’d own me?” I wanted to be righteously angry, but it was hard. Those eyes…
“No,” the man said. “But he’d never miss a chance to be with you. I think you’d probably own him.”
“Oh, okay. Okay.” I nodded slowly, smiling now. “You’re slick and smooth at the same time. Listen, can you help me find my seat or not?”
“Is that an interview question?”
“I’m not taking applications.”
“Give me your phone number, and I’ll take you straight there.” He winked at me.
I almost did. It was fun, and it had been a long, long time since I’d been flirted with by anybody that wasn’t an inappropriately forward client. That happened plenty. This, though, was a bona fide stranger who didn’t know me from Adam, and seemed like he thought I was looking cute.
But, let’s be honest here; the little fantasy I had a few moments ago about putting myself out there was just that, a fantasy. I ate takeout every night for dinner. I ate most of my lunches at the office. I had heard about days off, and I vaguely remembered having them…or maybe I only dreamed about that once. That stack of case files on my desk? It hung around the back of my head like it had astral projected itself to follow me around the world outside my office.
It was a nice thought, but no, sir; the next date I had time to go on would be the one day off I would get between the day my office burned down and the day they relocated me to another one and printed out all my files again—thank God for the cloud.
“It’s not that easy,” I said with my own wink. “But good try. You’ve got real skills. I applaud your smoothness.” I stepped away from him. “I’ve got no time for guys who hit on guys for sport.”
He feigned a wound to the chest, but he was still smiling. “Fair enough,” he said. “I’ll keep that in mind, then. I’ll at least give you a hint, though.” He pointed toward the ring. “F stands for ‘floor’—your seat’s near the ring. Enjoy the fight!”
Yeah, I felt a little bad about being so hard on him, but you’ve got to shut all that down hard if you’re gonna shut it down at all. A man like that, yeah, okay, probably he’d be good for a short-term thing. I could admit that. All that muscle and sweat…
About the Author
Denver Shaw is a girl who enjoys the simple things in life: the first sip of coffee in the morning, the changing colors of sunset, and clothes fresh out of the dryer- although she doesn’t enjoy folding them. When she isn’t reading romance stories, she spends her time plotting and writing them.
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What's Up This Weekend?
Malena MCD by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus
Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus have a new queer sci-fi book out (bi, pan, poly), the latest tale in their Virasana Empire: Malena MCD.
Mauve is a pet, a human pleasure slave. He is smart, ambitious, horny – and the only witness in a murder case. Or rather, he is 'evidence'.
Luckily, the crime was committed on Malicorn, where an unsolved murder would disturb its profitable reputation as the safest planet of the Empire. So Mauve ends up in the hands of the Malena MCD, the local Major Crimes Division, run by ex-space-marine Alexej Sirenkov and his brilliant wife Andrea. Unwilling to see him stored in the evidence locker, the Sirenkovs take him home for a few days. And while Mauve hopes they might just be the perfect forever-owners, he has no idea of Mistress Andrea's plans for them...
Written by award-winning authors Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus, 'Malena MCD' is a funny, naughty, police procedural throuple rom-com set in the wildly diverse, hopeful 'Virasana Empire' universe and can be read as a stand-alone.
Warnings: First Person POV, Slavery, MMF threesomes, Graphic Sex Scenes, Violence. And pigs, of course. We're on Malicorn.
Universal Buy Link
“We can't just leave him here on the couch, you know?” The drone of voices nearby had slowly been pulling me out of my nap for a while now, but these were the first words to actually penetrate the haze.
“Well, I won't put him in those evidence holding cells!” Alexej's voice got me wide awake. So he had returned to the headquarters. And they were talking about me. “Have you ever been there? It's horrible!”
“Yes, love, I have been there.” Mistress Sirenkov, calm and patient. “And it's not horrible. It's clean, they get fed regularly.”
“They just sit in their cells, staring off into nothing. Do they drug them?” He sounded livid.
I cracked an eye open to locate them. They were standing right outside the office in the corridor, arguing.
“Alexej... what do you expect them to do? Sing and dance for your pleasure?”
She was being sarcastic, of course, but she did have a point. Granted, there wasn't much to do for a slave impounded at the evidence locker. But for a slave, that wasn't necessarily something negative. When else did you ever get a chance to just sit around and do nothing without having to worry about your owner violently objecting to your inactivity?
“I don't know! I... I won't let them have the kid.” He sounded much less outraged than frustrated by now. “Can't we just take him home with us?”
Take me home?! Now that sounded like a spectacular idea. I would be able to work in Alexej's house!
And they were commoners, so with a bit of luck they didn't have too many slaves yet and I could make myself indispensable. Not sure how to do that, though, without any useful skills. As a bargain bin pet, what little training I got had barely covered the basics of how to give a blowjob or how to keep still when being fucked.
But I was smart and had picked up a few things along the way. How to make coffee, how to hang up laundry or do dishes and a smattering of other housekeeping abilities. A bit like a proper household slave, and that was infinitely better than being a pet. Householders got more valuable with age, while every pet had a doomsday clock ticking over their heads counting down to the day when they would be too old and used up to be desirable anymore. That thought had kept me motivated over the years. And I was a fast learner.
So this little sliver of a chance made my heart pound in my chest. Plus, being around Alexej all the time? The mere thought of seeing his gorgeous ass every day made me half hard. It would be torture, not being allowed to touch and lick him all over – but what sweet, sweet torture that would be!
“After all, he is evidence, and he might still prove useful in our investigations.” Alexej sounded like he was pleading a case, though the argument he chose wasn't exactly the reason I had hoped for. “We should question him further tomorrow and see what else he can tell us about his late master.”
Mistress Sirenkov remained curiously quiet for a while. “I guess there's no harm in that,” she eventually agreed. There was an odd undertone in her voice that I couldn't identify, but Alexej seemed oblivious to it.
“So that's settled then,” he stated and I quickly closed my eyes, pretending I was still asleep when he entered the office.
The couch dipped as he sat down on the edge and a comfortingly big and gentle hand nudged my shoulder. “Hey kid, wake up.”
I blinked at him sleepily, trying to give a credible show of just waking up. He still looked as delectable as he had earlier, only now his hair was more tousled and the shadow across his jaw more pronounced. I also noticed Mistress Sirenkov standing in the doorway behind him, her arms crossed over her chest, watching thoughtfully.
Alexej turned his reassuring smile on me and Mistress faded out of focus as all my attention was drawn to this gorgeous man.
“You look much better already.” Of course he didn't mean it the way I wanted, but rational thought was hugely overrated anyway, especially when faced with so much attractive manliness. “I have to quickly take care of a few things here but then we'll go home,” he continued. “We've decided that you'll be staying with us for the duration of the investigation.”
I wasn't sure if he expected a proper answer to that so I just nodded.
“Now, kid, I want you to do something for me...” A blowjob?! I'm good with blowjobs! Really! No one has ever complained! I'll...
“I want you to start thinking about a name for yourself. We can't just keep calling kid, can we?”
I really needed to get a handle on my reactions to this man, or very soon I would make a complete idiot of myself and probably gross him out completely. I wasn't exactly an expert at seduction since my owners hadn't wasted a word on me except maybe 'kneel' or 'hold still'. So apart from my probably rather useless knowledge from romance holonovelas, I had no clue how to get into his pants. And if I had, it would have been a very bad idea to try, with the wife and the daughter. With a professional attitude, I might have a chance at prolonging my presence in Alexej's household, but if I behaved like the cheap slut I was, I would ruin whatever slim chances I had.
“Think you can do that?”
Right, think of a name. In all honesty, I had no idea whatsoever. How does one pick a name for oneself? But I nodded anyway, just to please him. I would do anything just to see that smile of his again, so I needed to fucking figure out a name for myself. How hard could it be? I was well aware that it would be a temporary thing, anyway. I would only have it as long as I was with Alexej and the Mistress. Which, judging by my lack of self control, wouldn't be overly long.
“I won’t be long. I’ll see you in a few minutes.” Alexej reached out and tousled my hair like I was some cute kid or dog.
Fuck, it was insulting.
Maybe I wasn't as drool-worthy as other pets, but to be shown he didn’t consider me sexy at all plain hurt. Still, his touch made me tingle all over and I wanted to hump his leg. What was wrong with me?! Granted, he was pushing all my buttons, but that didn’t explain why I was an inch away from begging him to fuck me. I wasn't this needy usually.
Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus are a couple currently living their happily ever after in the very heart of Germany, under the stern but loving surveillance of their cats.
Both are voracious but picky readers, love telling stories and drinking tea, good food and the occasional violent movie. Together, they write novels of adventure and romance, hoping to share a little of our happiness with our readers.
An artist by heart, Beryll was writing stories even before she knew what letters were. As easily inspired as she is frustrated, her own work is never good enough (in her eyes). A perfectionist in the best and worst sense of the word at the same time and the driving creative force of our duo.
An entertainer and craftsman in his approach to writing, Osiris is the down-to-earth, practical part of our duo. Broadly interested in almost every subject and skill, with a sunny mood and caring personality, he strives to bring the human nature into focus of each of his stories.
Author Website: https://www.brackhaus.com
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Tuesday Teaser 3/21/2023
My teaser for this week is from For the Long Run!
“Eri—you have Jay’s phone.” It wasn’t really a question but a statement of fact. “Is Jay, is he—” Her voice faltered and cracked.
Eric straightened in the chair and took another deep breath. Letting his training take over, he shoved his own emotions away. This woman obviously realized something was wrong with her son, and it was his duty to see her through it no matter what the outcome.
“Mrs. Molloy,” Eric sighed and smiled when she snorted at him. “Jeanette, Jay was with me last night, and this morning we were at the resort. We were supposed to meet around lunchtime, and when he didn’t show, I looked for him. He met his father earlier today. The last anyone at the resort saw of him, he was with the senator.” Eric purposely refrained from referring to the man as Jeanette’s husband. “I take it you haven’t heard from him. Either of them?”
“No. Jay and his father had a horrible argument after the party the other night, much of it because of his relationship with you. Stephan seems to have the idea that Jay is gay simply to spite him. They got pretty heated and it was ugly.”
“Jay told me. I’m sorry.”
“It’s not your fault and was a long time coming, long before Jay ever met you. Do you think he… Jay… all those dead men?”
“Right now, no, I’ve got no reason to think the killings and Jay being gone are in any way related. I went to his house, his Jeep is there, and I took the keys so it can’t be moved. I found his phone under the couch. Have you heard from the senator? I haven’t seen him or his car since the other night.”
“No, I haven’t, but that’s not unusual. These days we only return one another’s calls when it’s for official business, if you get my drift. It’s been that way for a long time between us.”
“I’m… Jeanette, I don’t know this area very well. I’ve checked wherever I could think of, but is there anywhere you can think of Jay might go?” As the words left his mouth, Eric was up, fishing his wallet from his pocket. He cradled the phone on his shoulder and against his ear as he dumped the contents out. Shuffling through paper money, a few notes, and some receipts, Eric found what he was looking for.
“There is a bar. I know it’s not close, but I don’t know the name or even which direction it’s in.”
“I do, I know it. I’ll check it out. Anywhere else?” Eric held the receipt to the motel and his credit card receipt up and smiled at them as if they were a trophy. “Maybe a favorite spot you fished, or hiked?”
“No. Wait, yes. When he was maybe thirteen or fourteen, there was a spot he liked that overlooked much of the resort and had a good view of sunrise.”
For the Long Run is available in eBook, paperback
and in Kindle Unlimited.
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