My Tuesday Teaser today is from Strays, a scifi/romance.
More people were rushing at the shore from the vans, having shed their assault uniforms. Pierre let go and Daniel reached the water slapping on the shore as the diver surfaced, Kyle dangling from his arms, coughing and sputtering.
When his feet touched on the sand, Kyle stumbled away from the diver and at Daniel. Someone was shouting for blankets and dry clothes. Someone else was calling for one of the vans to be brought closer.
Grabbing Kyle’s arm, Daniel started yanking on his jacket and sweatshirt, pulling them off. “You need this stuff off now.”
“H-her-re, in fr-fr-front of every-bo-o-dy?” Kyle grinned but let Daniel tug his clothes off.
“Shut it! What the hell stupid thing were you thinking?” He looked around. “I need blankets over here now!”
Kyle’s teeth were chattering and the second he was stripped from the waist up, he wrapped both arms around his chest, hugging himself. His abs sucked inward, giving a concave look to his form, curving up in a smooth line to his expanding and contracting chest.
Pierre rushed up, Daniel’s gear slung over one arm. He must have gone back and retrieved it once Kyle was out of the water and Daniel in no danger of going in after him. “This kid of yours is a real trooper, Dan.”
“He’s not my—” Daniel turned to snap at him, but looked back and saw Kyle’s face. All of his anger flooding out of him, replaced by relief and a surge of pride. Daniel put his hand on the back of Kyle’s neck. “He sure is.” Giving Kyle’s neck a squeeze, he nodded at him. “You did good.”
Kyle grinned like a loon. Digging in his pocket, he pulled his hand out and extended it, palm up. “I- I- I- g-g-g-got-t it-t,” Kyle announced between the chattering of his teeth.
Strays is available on Amazon and is in Kindle Unlimited.
Todd had heard the rumors and stories of special slaves, a group kept secret by the government for years and had no idea how Nick or his ability were involved, if at all. Todd wasn’t even sure he completely believed all the rumors, which were sketchy at best. Even those rumors couldn’t explain this.
Mind racing, he went through scenario after scenario, not wanting to face any of them and completely panicked by the realization he’d have to face them all.
Pounding on the front door made him start and gulp air into his constricting lungs. Three days, the letter said three days; why was someone here now? It took a few seconds for him to process that someone on the other side of the door was calling his name and it was a voice he recognized.
Todd staggered from the kitchen to the front door, and yanked it open without checking to see who it was, something he’d never done before. Apparently, Nick wasn’t the only one who was going to freak. Todd was well into his own freak-out.
His vision swam, and he stood staring at the man in front of him for a few more seconds before croaking, “Jimmy?”
The older man brushed past him and into the apartment before shutting the door firmly behind him. Hands gripping Todd’s shoulders hard, Jimmy gave Todd a slight shake as his eyes scanned the apartment.
“They can’t do this!” Todd backed up a step. “No one can do this. They can’t just take him. Can they?”
Jimmy’s hands dropped to his sides. “Hell, kid, I wouldn’t have thought so. I don’t know. Todd, where is he?”
“Eminent domain is for property, to build roads and hospitals. Not to take people.”
“Todd! Where the hell is Nick?”
Blinking, Todd lifted his gaze from the paper in his hand to Jimmy’s face. “He’s…it’s Sunday.” Jimmy literally snarled at him. Shaking his head, Todd cleared his throat and concentrated. “It’s Sunday. When we’re in town, we get breakfast at a café near here. He went to pick it up. That’s where I get the coffee you and Nick like so much. Nicky loves the coffee…” Todd’s voice trailed off.
Did Jimmy mean to imply they’d snatched Nick off the street?
My teaser this weeks is from Electric Candle, book 2 of The Sleepless City, a paranormal romance/urban fantasy series written with Anne Barwell.
Forge dragged in a deep breath, stepped back, and sat on the bed, pulling Blair into the vee created by his thighs. “Particularly because you’re not Declan.” He took another deep breath and squeezed Blair’s hand. “I’ve spent a large part of my life trying to convince myself I didn’t need or want a soulmate. I had Declan and he was enough for me. The truth is, I never succeeded. I love Declan, that will never change, but he and I can never have the type of bond you and I have. I know I tried denying it, but I like that bond, and it feels good. I was an ass to try to convince myself otherwise.” He stopped and bit his lower lip before continuing. “It wasn’t fair to you. When I thought you might die, I felt like a huge piece of me had been ripped up and shredded.”
Blair thumped his solar plexus. “Just thinking about going back and being in that house alone makes it hurt, here. All my dad’s things are in New Mexico. They’re all I have left of him. Almost everything I own is there.”
“Hear me out. A long time ago a man, Declan, showed me kindness and taught me to be a person again. Hell, even the wild animals didn't want to be around me. Declan loved me and protected me and cared for me during a time I desperately needed that. He made me see that being a homosexual wasn’t a sin. Most importantly, he was taught to be a vampire. In turn he taught me to be a vampire.
“You need to learn how to be a vampire. Let me teach you. We'll work this bonding thing out, or figure out how to break it, if that's what you want. I only want you to be happy. Let me, or Simon or both of us, teach you about what being a vampire is. There's a lot of good that goes with what we are.” Forge snickered. “A lot of cool stuff. The point is, you lived in isolation and you don’t have to do that. There’s no reason you can’t play on a softball team or have a dog. You have a family in us, even if you’re halfway around the world. We take care of each other.”
“Like Declan lived on another continent for a while?”
“Yeah, exactly like that.”
“I like it here,” Blair confessed. “Your friend was right. This town grows on you. I didn’t realize how lonely I was until I came for a visit. I wouldn’t mind staying a little longer, but I’m not committing to moving here, not yet. And if I do stay, I might get my own place.”
Forge’s eyebrows went up, but he didn’t argue. Blair knew he sensed that regardless of what Blair said, his heart screamed at him to stay. Even he didn’t believe his own words.
“That’s fair. We can deal with getting whatever you’d like shipped here in the meantime. People have been packing their stuff and moving since way before I was born.”
“That’s a really long time,” Blair said and smiled. “Did they use stone wheels?”
“No promises.” Blair took a deep breath. “Well, the sex is decent.”
“Decent?” Forge arched an eyebrow.
“Pretty awesome for an old guy like you,” Blair said.
Forge laughed and pulled him down for another kiss. “Yes, it is. And if you don’t like Declan, it’s okay.”
Blair tilted his head to the side and watched Forge for a few seconds. “I want to like him. I want him to like me, and I’ll do everything I can to make that happen. You two are important to each other. He will always have known you longer, and there isn’t anything about you that he doesn’t know. I guess the three of us are sort of a package deal.”
Forge stood and pulled Blair in for another kiss and a hug. “You’re a good person, Blair. Better than I deserve.”
“Nah… you’re a hero, and heroes get the best.”
All four books in the series are available on Amazon
and in Kindle Unlimited.
My teaser this week is from my new release, Code Name Jack Rabbit!
Blair sucked in a breath and rubbed one ear with his palm. Lucas grabbed the device and switched it off in a hurry. “So, some sort of ultrasonic signal.” He pulled a small clear-plastic evidence bag containing one of the scales from his pocket. “Can you tell me about this?”
“Where did you get this?” Bronwen asked.
“From the hull of your damaged boat,” Lucas said without skipping a beat. “I saw the DNA sequencing for this thing.”
Bronwen looked from Lucas to Blair. “I can’t…. Mr. Grier….”
“You don’t have to be afraid of him anymore. He’s in jail and staying there,” Blair said. “What did he do that made you so afraid of him?”
“You wouldn’t believe me. It sounds crazy. No one would believe me.” She sat in the seat beside Blair.
“Try us,” Lucas said.
Bronwen focused on him for a second. “Who are you, exactly?”
“Oh, I’m a medical examiner.”
“You know about the genetic sequence for that scale. A medical examiner for who? The NSA?”
Lucas rubbed the back of his neck. “Boggslake PD.” He pulled out his wallet and showed her his police ID.
“You kept asking me if I believed in mythological creatures. Was Grier one?” Blair asked.
“His eyes and fingers would change and he’d get teeth like a wolf,” Bronwen said. “It’s crazy, I know, and I have no idea how he did it, but—” She shook her head. “It sounds insane, and I don’t blame anyone for thinking I’m unbalanced.”
Lucas looked around the dock, assuring himself they weren’t being watched, and turned so his back was to the marina. He began to unbutton his shirt.
“What are you doing?” Bronwen’s voice rose, and she began inching out of the seat.
“Don’t panic.” His voice was deeper, gravelly, and he had to speak more slowly after he changed just far enough he could still talk. Lucas kept his gaze riveted to her. As his facial features changed, long hair sprouted from his hands and chest, and his body shape morphed, Bronwen gripped her seat so hard her knuckles went white. Her breathing sped up, and Lucas smelled sweat more prominently than if it was just from the weather.
Bronwen’s eyes widened and her jaw dropped. “You’re like him."
My #TuesdayTeaser this week is from Shifting Chaos, the final installment of The Sleepless City, an urban fantasy series written with Anne Barwell.
Lucas was still going on about the as yet un-started painting when they were halfway down the stairs to the kitchen. He stopped and scrunched his nose.
“What is that smell?”
The all too familiar sound of Jonas and Simon arguing accompanied the foul odor up the steps. They’d had words almost every day for the last five days. The same amount of time Blair had been gone.
Declan skirted one way around them and Lucas the other. Lucas poured some coffee and stood off to the side.
“When was the last time you ate decently?” Simon barked.
“I had a bag of blood yesterday, mom!”
“Don’t take that tone with me,” Simon shot back.
“Don’t take that tone? I’m not…”
“If you weren’t acting like a petulant child, I wouldn’t treat you like one!”
Ben rubbed the spot between his eyes, looked over at Declan and mouthed, “Stop them.”
“Jonas, Simon is worried, we all are,” Declan said softly. At the same time, he took Jonas’s arm and turned him away from Simon. “Ach, what happened?”
Jonas huffed and deflated. “I was on a call and some drunk threw up the last week’s meals all over me.”
“I see that.” Declan put a hand on either side of Jonas’s neck and forced him to look directly at Declan. “Mon ami, go change your clothes, then drink some coffee and have some breakfast. Take time off, stop making us all miserable and go to New Mexico and be with Blair for as long as it takes him to make his arrangements. Please.”
Jonas’s face fell and his shoulders sagged. “I tried. He told me he didn’t want help. I’m not even sure he’s coming back.” He picked up his damp tie and let it fall back into place. “Blair gave me this tie.”
That made Declan feel about two inches tall. “Of course he’s coming back.”
“How can he not come back? You’re soulmates.” Simon’s tone changed from angry and frustrated to concerned in a heartbeat. He and Jonas might’ve fought like rabid dogs at times, but they cared very deeply for each other.
“According to Lucas and Ben, Blair did consider an apartment closer to downtown,” Declan said.
Simon twisted around and sized up Ben. “You knew about this? And didn’t say anything?”
“Bloody hell.” Ben shook both hands at them. “The three of you have been so wrapped up in each other’s lives for a hundred and whatever years you have no clue what’s it like to be the new guy. Lucas was new once, too, but you took him in for completely different reasons.” Ben stopped and ran a hand through his hair. “Yes, I went with Lucas and Blair and we looked at a few apartments about a mile from here six months ago!”
“You went with him?” Jonas turned to Lucas.
Lucas sighed. “Don’t look at me like a kicked puppy. Yes. Blair is my friend and he asked for help. All he needed to do was look around at his options. He spent five years in seclusion. You have to admit we can be a bit…”
“Insane,” Ben finished for him. “I mean, this run around and dispatch ghosts and goblins and whatever else is thrilling and all but can be a little overwhelming. Never mind dealing with the Supernatural Council and their bullshit. The four of you have a system, Blair and I are learning to fit in.” He looked at Simon. “I never said anything because I didn’t want you or Forge or Declan to take my words the wrong way and hurt your feelings. Lucas and I lived with other people before we came here, and our only other family hadn’t died.”
“Jonas, people deal with change and loss and transition in different ways. Ignore what Blair said and go to New Mexico.” Declan gave Jonas’s neck one final squeeze before letting go of him.
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