Story Orgy's anthology is out...today!!!!!! Word Play is five terrific stories ... a little something for everyone ...
|Available from Breathless Press|
Off the Beaten Path
Best Friends and landscaping entrepreneurs, Mitch Sterling and Colby Merritt, enjoy their comradeship. Can scouting country roads for business opportunities unveil a lifetime of passion?
The Park at Sunrise
First they were three, now there are two. Can Jason and Morgan make a relationship work without Paul?
A sexy, bad boy neighbor, a handsome detective investigating an unsolved murder, and a ghostly warning help Kirk uncover the deadly secret within his new house.
Havan Fellows (me!!!)
Ryder made a mistake Harlan can't forgive. Will Ryder cross a line no man should cross to obtain a second chance?
When Harper finally sees the light and dumps his cheating boyfriend, can Pitt convince Harper to trust him enough to let it all go?
The first chapter from Harlan's Ryde
Harlan Mychels grabbed sodas out of the fridge for him and his man. He loved saying that. His hot-as-all-get-out, buff, and delicious man. He sneaked a peek into the living room at the man in question, Ryder Halloway.
Harlan couldn't believe his luck as to have Ryde's attention, not because of any college status scale, or because of his Roman-gladiator build, or even because Harlan lacked self-esteem—which he didn't; realists ran in his family. No, he couldn't believe it because Ryder had never hung around Harlan's crowd; they attended the same university, but they ran in different circles. Harlan didn't even know that he blipped on Ryder's screen until the day that Ryde had approached him with the charming line, "Yep, I'm taking you out to dinner tonight. Hope you do Thai, and me." Then the smirk came and down Harlan went. Figuratively, not literally—well, not that night, at least. He couldn't even get pissed at Ryde's audacity; that smirk gave him a free pass. It flustered Harlan so badly he had jotted down his phone number with a pathetic doodled heart on Ryder's hand, then gone home and sat by the phone waiting.
That happened six months ago, six of the best damn months of Harlan's life. He looked forward to the next six months, hell, the next six years. He knew a keeper when he saw one; he could feel it. Today, here, now—time for this discussion had come. He returned to the couch and looked into his soulmate's eyes. No matter how corny it sounded, Harlan was positive.
They drank their sodas and discussed inconsequential items, the nice easy banter that doesn't fill up the silence but enriches it. Then he did it. He faced Ryder on the couch, took his hand, and let it rip. "Ryder, half a year, you and me for a half a year." He swung his pointer finger between them and smiled. "That isn't a long time for people just starting their adult life. But long enough for me to know for sure, this works. We work. When I wake up in the morning, I think of you. I have to stop myself from calling you and hearing your voice. I make breakfast based on your favorite things to eat. I get dressed according to what you like to see me in, even if I don't plan on meeting you that day. When you aren't around, I miss you, and when you are, I can't touch you, look at you, be close to you enough." He stopped to catch himself before he started blubbering. He aspired for maturity here. "What I'm trying to say is I love you, Ryder. I want us to have a long, happy life together, and I think we should start that life by finding an apartment of our own."
Harlan sighed with relief that he had actually gotten through his spiel without making an ass out of himself and smiled at Ryder. For all the doubts he had about himself, this he didn't doubt. He knew in his heart how Ryder felt.
Seconds turned to minutes, and his smile froze on his face. Why wasn't Ryder professing his own love in return? He watched as the light left Ryde's eyes, as the smile faded. What had he said wrong? Ryder loved him, he knew it; he just knew it.
Ryder began to talk, but the visuals Harlan got from Ryder's face and body language were so strong that he only caught half the words: drunk, wrestler, future, fling, satisfied.
Finally Ryder's ramblings stopped and they just sat there looking at each other.
The silence between them was no longer amicable. Harlan ingested the words spoken, his brain finally arranging them into the proper order. He didn't satisfy Ryder. Ryder had sex with another man who did. Harlan felt his lips start to tremble, felt the moisture pool in his eyes, and knew he had to get out of there. He couldn't—no, he wouldn't—cry in front of the man he had just spilled his heart out to.
One fact was clear in his mind above everything else. His future didn't have six more months, much less six more years. His future didn't have any more anything.
He dropped his half-empty can of soda on the table and watched it teeter, then fall off the edge. He stood, using every ounce of strength not to fall the same way that can of soda did. The pain shooting up his left side and landing in his heart felt real. His heart pounded, thundering against his chest, threatening to break right through. It felt real. But hey, everything healed in time.
Without uttering a single word to Ryder, whether in retaliation to his confession or in anger to his own hurt, Harlan made a beeline for the front door and out of Ryder's life. He changed his phone number that very same night and instructed his family not to pass any information either way. He transferred to the local community college, needing the distance away from his first broken love to have any hope in completing his studies. He had successfully blocked all means by which Ryder could hurt him again...