Eran’s Release #rainbowsnippets #amwriting #amediting #lgbtqia+

RAINBOW SNIPPETS (1)Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! enjoy snippets from a cool group of writers and bloggers. You might find historical fiction, YA, something sweet or something spicy, but the common thread is that all main characters will identify as LGBTQIA+

Today, Paul and Eran share a sweet moment…

*  *  *

He chewed his lips as he eyed the couch against the wall bathed in the soft lights of the Christmas tree.

“Eran?”

Color tinged Eran’s cheeks, but he met Paul’s gaze steadily as he picked up Paul’s hand and deliberately pressed his lips against his palm. Paul shivered with the soft contact.

“Come here, baby.” Paul slipped an arm around Eran’s waist and led him to the couch, sitting beside him. He stared in wonder at the full lips that had caressed his palm. Eran was really in his home. “Can I kiss you?” he asked, feeling breathless.

*  *  *

sheltonERAN’S RELEASE

Paul’s falling in love with the barista at the new-to-him coffee shop. He can’t help it. Eran’s shy smiles and heated gaze across the room is driving him wild.  Now to convince the beautiful, intelligent guy to go out with him.

But Eran’s shyness has been painfully earned. Physically and emotionally abused by his Father and then again by his sister’s brutish boyfriend, he’s wary of intimacy. He jumps at shadows, expecting violence, and is convinced he’s undeserving of anyone’s love.

Paul is determined to show him otherwise. In fact, his friend Shelton agrees that Eran is lovely enough to be a model, and that with a little confidence, he believes Eran can be anything he desires. With the help of a counselor and attending self-defense classes, Eran is making progress, but it just might take Paul’s love to uncover the bold, sexy man hiding inside him.

 

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THE BASEMENT book blast tour! #newbook #rafflecopter #giveaway #booktour

thumbnail_TourBanner_The Basement copy

Welcome to my Virtual Book Blast Tour for The Basement, a Paranormal Horror available now from Solstice Publishing, given by Goddess Fish Promotions. The Book Blast Tour will take place April 1 – 5, 2019. 

I’ll be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, so be sure to check each stop!!

April 1:

1: Casey’s Corner

2: Christine Young

3: Danita Minnis

4: Fabulous and Brunette

5: fundinmental

6: FUONLYKNEW 

7: Readeropolis

8: Andi’s Book Reviews

 

April 2:

1: BooksChatter

2: Wake Up Your Wild Side

3: Edgar’s Books

4: Sharing Links and Wisdom

5: Straight From the Library

 

April 3:

1: All the Ups and Downs

2: Jazzy Book Reviews

3: Kit ‘N Kabookle

4: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart

5: The Avid Reader

6: Tina Donahue Books – Heat with Heart

 

April 4:

1: Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews

2: Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

3: It’s Raining Books

4: Long and Short Reviews

5: Welcome to My World of Dreams

6: wendi zwaduk – romance to make your heart race

 

April 5:

1: Iron Canuck REVIEW

2: Just Books REVIEW

3: T’s Stuff REVIEW

4: Blog of Author Jacey Holbrand

5: JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder

6: Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters

7: Independent Authors  

THE BASEMENT3

GF_Header2 copy

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Eran’s Release #rainbowsnippets #amwriting #amediting #lgbtqia+

RAINBOW SNIPPETS (1)Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! enjoy snippets from a cool group of writers and bloggers. You might find historical fiction, YA, something sweet or something spicy, but the common thread is that all main characters will identify as LGBTQIA+

Today, Paul asks the tough question…

*  *  *

A haunted expression crossed Eran’s face. Paul could tell he wanted to run, but he’d be damned if he’d let him. He carefully leaned closer across the table. Eran’s warm breath caressed his face and, despite the circumstances, Paul ached for a taste of his parted lips. He wanted to kiss him until the pain left his eyes.

Who hurt you?” he asked gently.

*  *  *

sheltonERAN’S RELEASE

Paul’s falling in love with the barista at the new-to-him coffee shop. He can’t help it. Eran’s shy smiles and heated gaze across the room is driving him wild.  Now to convince the beautiful, intelligent guy to go out with him.

But Eran’s shyness has been painfully earned. Physically and emotionally abused by his Father and then again by his sister’s brutish boyfriend, he’s wary of intimacy. He jumps at shadows, expecting violence, and is convinced he’s undeserving of anyone’s love.

Paul is determined to show him otherwise. In fact, his friend Shelton agrees that Eran is lovely enough to be a model, and that with a little confidence, he believes Eran can be anything he desires. With the help of a counselor and attending self-defense classes, Eran is making progress, but it just might take Paul’s love to uncover the bold, sexy man hiding inside him.

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Eran’s Release #rainbowsnippets #amwriting #amediting #lgbtqia+

RAINBOW SNIPPETS (1)Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! enjoy snippets from a cool group of writers and bloggers. You might find historical fiction, YA, something sweet or something spicy, but the common thread is that all main characters will identify as LGBTQIA+

Today, Eran and Paul share their first date…

* * *

The band picked up the tempo and Eran put his hands in the air, laughing as he twirled and did an impromptu jig.

Paul stepped back, admitting he’d found a new guilty pleasure as he watched Eran’s sleek body sway and swirl to the wild music. But he loved dancing and quickly rejoined Eran, stomping and clapping along with the others as the music quickened further, laughing when Eran flung an arm around his waist and turned with him, the crowd at the bar cheering on the dancers.

They ended up at the back wall and Paul leaned against the dark wood to catch his breath. Eran winked at him, twirled away, and Paul straightened, instantly sobered by the flash of Eran’s skin as his shirt rose and he caught a glimpse of the dark bruise he’d momentarily forgotten. God, who could ever hurt this beautiful man?

*  *  *

sheltonERAN’S RELEASE

Paul’s falling in love with the barista at the new-to-him coffee shop. He can’t help it. Eran’s shy smiles and heated gaze across the room is driving him wild.  Now to convince the beautiful, intelligent guy to go out with him.

But Eran’s shyness has been painfully earned. Physically and emotionally abused by his Father and then again by his sister’s brutish boyfriend, he’s wary of intimacy. He jumps at shadows, expecting violence, and is convinced he’s undeserving of anyone’s love.

Paul is determined to show him otherwise. In fact, his friend Shelton agrees that Eran is lovely enough to be a model, and that with a little confidence, he believes Eran can be anything he desires. With the help of a counselor and attending self-defense classes, Eran is making progress, but it just might take Paul’s love to uncover the bold, sexy man hiding inside him.

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Me Lucky Day! #flashfic #StPattysDay #magic

marcel 10“That will cost ye.”

Teri’s gaze shot up from the gurgling spring and he gaped at the figure sitting not two paces from him. A man, but something more, a beautiful, terrible presence.

“Who are you?” he managed to whisper, fear clutching his throat. His heart slammed against his ribs. The guy was breathtaking, but he hadn’t been sitting there seconds ago.

“Answer me question first. Ye are…”

Teri wanted to answer, but the wicked mischief dancing in the brilliant green eyes distracted him. He forgot how to form words. Heat flushed through him, equal parts embarrassment and attraction as the full lips lifted in a sensual smile.

“Ye been following me rainbow all day. Now ye drink from me spring. Will ye be after me pot o’ gold next?”

“Gold?” Teri ran a hand over his face. Had he been bewitched? Was the water enchanted? Yes, he had been following the rainbow, but it didn’t—

Dazzling color flashed in the sky behind the creature, the rainbow’s end. Teri scrambled to his feet and the man rose also, standing much too close for his comfort. Heat from its body wrapped around Teri and he felt suddenly, deliciously trapped.

“It’s me lucky day,” the man drawled, and bent to whisper in Teri’s ear, his voice a caress. “I’ve caught ye and now ye must grant me wish.”

Teri’s mind raced. He tried to recall everything he’d read about leprechauns. “That’s not quite right. You owe me three wishes.”

A warm breath feathered against his cheek. “Wrong, me darlin’. Ye didn’t catch me. Yield to me. Grant me wish.”

Teri swallowed, mouth gone dry.  “What is it?”

The creature dropped his bright gaze. “See, it’s me shoes…”

“What?” Teri looked down. The man wore a pair of sturdy leather boots, slightly scuffed. “They look fine to me.”

The leprechaun shook his head, his expression woeful. His shoulders slumped. “No. They’re terrible dangerous. Soles come loose and I’ve lost me wee hammer to fix them. “He slid a glance at Teri, a gleam in the green eyes.  “If ye could be seeing your way to loaning me your boots… I can go find me tool. Won’t be going further than yonder hill.”

Teri glanced over the glen to the hillock he’d crossed earlier. It wasn’t very far, and yet… He looked back quickly at the leprechaun. The man met his gaze with wide, guileless eyes, framed by the thickest lashes, scraps of lace against the lightly freckled skin. The green gems blinked, captivating Teri. Warning bells sounded in his head, muffled by the pounding of his heart. Surely one so beautiful couldn’t mean him harm?

“No Faery tricks?” he asked, giving in with a sigh when the leprechaun looked offended. Heat flooded his face when the creature knelt and undid the laces, pulling off Teri’s boots.

Quick as a wink, his own were off and he stomped into Teri’s, a delighted smile touching his full lips. “Perfect fit! Thank ye, darlin’.”

Teri watched, nonplussed, as the leprechaun sauntered off with his boots.

“You’ll come back?” he called after the retreating figure. The leprechaun lifted a hand. Teri watched the lowering sun with trepidation. Shadows crawled across the glen, and when dusk settled its blanket across the sky without the creature’s return, he sighed and pulled on the leprechaun’s boots. Just his luck, they fit like a second skin.

But then the world gave a funny lurch under him. Colors burst around him, everything becoming sharper, brighter. He smelled moss and damp earth and the heather on the far side of the glen. Crickets chirped, a bee buzzed lazily, the air tasted crisp and pure.  The world tilted. Dizzy, Teri swayed, stomach rolling, senses overwhelmed. What did it mean?

His ears popped and the world righted itself around him. A rainbow painted the sky, touched by the last rays of the setting sun.

“Oh yes, me pot o’ gold!” he said with a smile, and trotted towards the hillock, the end of the rainbow. He crested the hill, grinning when the rainbow touched ground. An owl hooted in the distance and a vague unease touched his thoughts. Wasn’t there something else he should be doing? Somewhere else he should be…

A stray sunbeam glinted on a bit of silver in the grass. “Ah, me wee hammer!” he cried out. Sitting, he set to work on his boots, pleased with his good fortune.

Artwork by One Good Eye Photography

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Eran’s Release #rainbowsnippets #amwriting #amediting #lgbtqia+

RAINBOW SNIPPETS (1)Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! enjoy snippets from a cool group of writers and bloggers. You might find historical fiction, YA, something sweet or something spicy, but the common thread is that all main characters will identify as LGBTQIA+

Today, Paul takes a chance…

* * *

His body reacted instantly, catching fire. Paul trembled with the control it took not to ravage Eran’s delectable mouth, regardless of the lights and windows. But something was going on with him. Something not nice. He needed to go carefully, find out what. He promised himself, then and there, to keep Eran safe. He didn’t know how, but he’d make sure no one ever struck him again.

“Will you come out with me?” he repeated, desperate not to frighten him off.

* * *

sheltonERAN’S RELEASE

Paul’s falling in love with the barista at the new-to-him coffee shop. He can’t help it. Eran’s shy smiles and heated gaze across the room is driving him wild.  Now to convince the beautiful, intelligent guy to go out with him.

But Eran’s shyness has been painfully earned. Physically and emotionally abused by his Father and then again by his sister’s brutish boyfriend, he’s wary of intimacy. He jumps at shadows, expecting violence, and is convinced he’s undeserving of anyone’s love.

Paul is determined to show him otherwise. In fact, his friend Shelton agrees that Eran is lovely enough to be a model, and that with a little confidence, he believes Eran can be anything he desires. With the help of a counselor and attending self-defense classes, Eran is making progress, but it just might take Paul’s love to uncover the bold, sexy man hiding inside him.

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Eran’s Release #rainbowsnippets #amwriting #amediting #lgbtqia+

RAINBOW SNIPPETS (1)Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! enjoy snippets from a cool group of writers and bloggers. You might find historical fiction, YA, something sweet or something spicy, but the common thread is that all main characters will identify as LGBTQIA+

Today, Eran finds his courage…

* * *

Then Eran pressed his lips together as if gathering his courage and stood as well. Paul sucked in a breath. Their bodies nearly touched and he watched the tremor that passed over the lean body as Eran stood his ground, permitting the intimacy.

Fuck. Eran’s blue eyes were wide-open, vulnerable, exposing fear and dawning wonder. No one had ever looked at him with such eyes before. Thick lashes fluttered down and Eran turned his head, shying away, but not before Paul had caught the flicker of desire in the sky-blue depths.

* * *

sheltonERAN’S RELEASE

Paul’s falling in love with the barista at the new-to-him coffee shop. He can’t help it. Eran’s shy smiles and heated gaze across the room is driving him wild.  Now to convince the beautiful, intelligent guy to go out with him.

But Eran’s shyness has been painfully earned. Physically and emotionally abused by his Father and then again by his sister’s brutish boyfriend, he’s wary of intimacy. He jumps at shadows, expecting violence, and is convinced he’s undeserving of anyone’s love.

Paul is determined to show him otherwise. In fact, his friend Shelton agrees that Eran is lovely enough to be a model, and that with a little confidence, he believes Eran can be anything he desires. With the help of a counselor and attending self-defense classes, Eran is making progress, but it just might take Paul’s love to uncover the bold, sexy man hiding inside him.

Posted in book quotes, New Book, Rainbow Snippets, ramblings, Uncategorized | Tagged | 19 Comments

Eran’s Release #rainbowsnippets #amwriting #amediting #lgbtqia+

RAINBOW SNIPPETS (1)Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! enjoy snippets from a cool group of writers and bloggers. You might find historical fiction, YA, something sweet or something spicy, but the common thread is that all main characters will identify as LGBTQIA+

Today, I’m still posting from Eran’s Release, a contemporary romance I’ve just finished 1st round edits on…

*  *  *

“Oh, right. Eran, this is my co-worker, Shelton. We work in the loan department at the same bank.” Paul motioned in Shelton’s direction, sure he was babbling. “I’m keeping him company while his lover’s out of town.” He rushed on as Shelton snorted and Eran raised a brow. “I mean, we’re just friends. If you were wondering,” he added lamely.

A smile touched Eran’s face and he leaned over and tucked a strand of Paul’s hair behind an ear. “In that case, the shop does close in five minutes, if you want to meet me out front.”

*  *  *

sheltonPaul’s falling in love with the barista at the new-to-him coffee shop. He can’t help it. Eran’s shy smiles and heated gaze across the room is driving him wild.  Now to convince the beautiful, intelligent guy to go out with him.

But Eran’s shyness has been painfully earned. Physically and emotionally abused by his Father and then again by his sister’s brutish boyfriend, he’s wary of intimacy. He jumps at shadows, expecting violence, and is convinced he’s undeserving of anyone’s love.

Paul is determined to show him otherwise. In fact, his friend Shelton agrees that Eran is lovely enough to be a model, and that with a little confidence, he believes Eran can be anything he desires. With the help of a counselor and attending self-defense classes, Eran is making progress, but it just might take Paul’s love to uncover the bold, sexy man hiding inside him.

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Eran’s Release #rainbowsnippets #amwriting #amediting #lgbtqia+

RAINBOW SNIPPETS (1)Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! enjoy snippets from a cool group of writers and bloggers. You might find historical fiction, YA, something sweet or something spicy, but the common thread is that all main characters will identify as LGBTQIA+

Today, I’m posting from Eran’s Release, a contemporary romance I’m doing 1st round edits on…

***

“Anything else, sir?”

Paul looked up into pale blue eyes, clear and earnest as they met his. Men shouldn’t be allowed to have such pretty eyes. Especially not when they were surrounded by soft layers of dark hair cut in a bob at the chin, giving the man an almost feminine beauty.

“Can I have another espresso?” he asked, cursing himself for not requesting Eran’s phone number instead. Eran was the main reason Paul had started favoring this coffee shop. He’d chatted the young man up, soon realizing he was both witty and friendly, though he danced around any personal questions. That had only intrigued Paul further. What was his story?

***

sheltonPaul’s falling in love with the barista at the new-to-him coffee shop. He can’t help it. Eran’s shy smiles and heated gaze across the room is driving him wild.  Now to convince the beautiful, intelligent guy to go out with him.

But Eran’s shyness has been painfully earned. Physically and emotionally abused by his Father and then again by his sister’s brutish boyfriend, he’s wary of intimacy. He jumps at shadows, expecting violence, and is convinced he’s undeserving of anyone’s love.

Paul is determined to show him otherwise. In fact, his friend Shelton agrees that Eran is lovely enough to be a model, and that with a little confidence, he believes Eran can be anything he desires. With the help of a counselor and attending self-defense classes, Eran is making progress, but it just might take Paul’s love to uncover the bold, sexy man hiding inside him.

 

 

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THE BASEMENT is out! #newbook #ghosts

the basement-001THE BASEMENT

            Amazon

Alex is haunted by visions of the dying, but now it seems the ghosts he’s seeing are real as well.

In this sequel to ALEX and THE SHED, Alex wonders if he’s seeing ghosts. His friend Justin has bought the Fulton place, a beautiful old mansion on the edge of Oakton. But something’s wrong in the house. Alex has visions of a small boy, trapped in the basement, and a man at the top of the stairs who won’t let him leave.

And Logan Fulton has come to town, Helen Kramer’s cousin, a psychic medium who wants something from Helen, whatever the cost. He and Helen had spent time in the Fulton house as children and Alex suspects Logan has something to do with the spirits now awakening in the old mansion. But whether Logan is calling them forth or if something else is controlling them, Alex can’t be sure.

The child’s spirit calls to Alex, as do others trapped in the house. There is a dark entity holding them there, keeping the child forever in the basement, the others for his amusement. But Alex has never believed in ghosts, so what is really going on? As he strives to learn the boy’s secret, his friends are one by one pulled to the Fulton place and put in danger while Logan works against Alex, having an agenda of his own. Will Alex be able to solve the haunting of the old house, or will he and his friends be taken one by one, doomed to walk the dark hallways forever?

EXCERPT

Cold air swept onto the porch, heavy with the threat of rain, smelling of damp and rotting things. Alex shivered, shoving his hands deeper into his coat pockets. The nights were growing chilly with the promise of snow in the coming week. He’d love to go inside and sit by the fire he’d started earlier in the living room, cozy on the hearthrug with Jane wrapped in his arms. But Christopher McAllan had another twenty minutes to go on his lesson, and the last thing Alex wanted to do was disturb him. He’d taken time off work at the bookstore to be there Friday evenings. If painting with Jane gave him some comfort, Alex was glad for it.

The wind picked up, a roar in the pines circling the garden, the caw of crows riding the air. Alex braced himself against the rain splattering his face like the brush of icy fingers in a dark room. He started as a shadow formed beside him, blacker than the night, growing tall, looming over him…

A whimper escaped him, and he cringed back, hugging his small, starved body as he waited for the blow. It never fell. The dark thing moved away without a word, shuffled up the stairs, leaving him shivering on the cold cement floor.

“Papa?” he called, but only silence answered, and no one came to wipe his tears and keep him safe.

Alex caught back a sudden sob, blinking his stinging eyes. He’d been learning to anticipate his visions, but this one had struck hard, without warning. Should he call Doctor Reid? No, he’d see him in the morning. Besides, it was Friday night. His psychiatrist was probably on a date with Art Peters. A smile tugged at his lips. Peters owned the art studio in Fort Collins where he and Jane showed their work. Scott Reid had been dating the flamboyant man for the last month, two lonely souls who’d found each other.

He glanced at the house behind him. Kind of like him and Jane. Though he’d been the lonely one. Jane could have had her pick of husbands. In fact, she’d almost married someone else. Why she’d chosen him…

The light went on in the kitchen, and Alex hurried across the porch to join them inside, the unsettling images already fading. He let them go. If they meant anything, they’d resurface. His new motto in life was to enjoy every minute he had free of visions, since clairvoyance seemed to be a part of him. There was no escaping it. Scott Reid concurred and was currently helping Alex learn to control his visions. Before, Alex would blindly follow where a vision led him, without thought. Using Scott’s suggested techniques, he hoped to keep from doing that.

The back door squeaked on its hinges as he opened it and Jane and Christopher glanced up from the table. Jane looked as lovely as ever, dark hair sweeping her shoulders, her blue-green eyes like gems in her pretty face. Christopher’s hair, dyed a rich auburn this week, was held back with a rubber band. His blue eyes were startling in a pale, thin face. He’d been kidnapped and spent weeks imprisoned at the bottom of a dry well, on the edge of death when Alex and the police finally found him.

That had been a month ago, and his clothes still hung loosely on his too thin frame, but it would take a long time for Christopher to recover. Nightmares stalked his sleep. Nick Kramer, a former detective on the Gibson Murders’ case last summer, had abducted him and his brother Caleb for no other reason than to draw Alex to him. Kramer believed Alex had been working with Jack Gibson when Gibson tortured and killed his daughter, Mariam, though Alex had tried to save the victims. Kramer had killed Caleb in a fit of rage, but through his visions, Alex had been able to track Kramer down before Christopher had lost his life as well.

Christopher jumped to his feet when Alex entered the room, but he settled back down into his chair, the fear slowly leaving his eyes as Alex crossed over to them. Alex sighed inwardly, noting the blue aura surrounding Christopher was still bruised by his ordeal.

“What are we working on?” he asked gently, careful of Christopher’s taut nerves. Alex had seen him take a breath, the trembling lips firm, the moment Christopher was no longer a victim. He liked Christopher, admired his courage. They’d buried Caleb a few weeks ago, and Alex recalled Christopher’s grief-stricken face as he stood over his brother’s grave. He still jumped at shadows but continued doggedly to put his life back together. Alex would help him all he could.

Giving him a shy smile, Christopher turned the still wet canvas on the table toward Alex, who made a sound of surprise. Where he and Jane used bold strokes and vivid hues in their work, Christopher painted in pastels. The field of iris was done in watercolor, delicate, sweet. Though Christopher had only met with Jane twice before, there was promise in his use of light and shadow and the depth caught in the picture.

“This is very good,” he murmured, tilting the canvas carefully to the light. “What’s the plan for next week?”

“We’ll add the final touches to this picture, and then I’d like Christopher to make a charcoal sketch of the iris for me.”

“She wants me to practice shading,” Christopher put in before Alex could ask why, and they grinned at each other. At times, Christopher seemed able to complete his thoughts. Alex wondered if his time alone in that terrible well had made him more empathetic to those around him. Whatever the case, Alex welcomed it. There were so few people in his life who got past the wall he’d put up against a world that was often cruel. Most people didn’t bother.

A sudden thought struck him, and a shiver of apprehension crept up his back. He’d made a connection with Christopher while he was trapped in that well, at one point his vision so intense he’d actually joined him in that terrible place, spoke to him, touched him. Was that the reason Christopher could read him so clearly now? What did that mean for them?

He must have been staring too long because color tinged Christopher’s cheeks and he glanced aside. Oh, shit. The last thing Alex wanted to do was make him feel uncomfortable in his house.

“Hey, why don’t you grab your stuff and I’ll give you a ride home?” he offered, wanting to talk with him alone, voice his concerns. Jane lifted a brow in question, but Alex gave her a slight shake of his head. He’d had his license for over a week now. “I’ll drive like an old grandmother,” he promised her.

Christopher snorted. “What else is new?” he muttered under his breath, though his teasing smile took the sting out of his words. While he fetched his backpack from the living room, Alex pulled Jane into his arms.

“I’ll come right home,” he promised against her lips.

“I could drive him—”

“He’s been on his own for a week now. I want to see his apartment and ask him how he’s doing. It was probably hard moving out of his parents’ place, whatever he says.”

“You think he’ll open up to you?”

“I hope so.” Alex studied Jane’s lips, then kissed their softness. She murmured encouragement, and he pulled back with an unsteady laugh. “I’d better get going.”

“If you say so,” she teased, placing her hands on his hips, pulling him against her.

Alex caught his breath. “I’ll be right back,” he growled, letting her go with reluctance. Christopher was putting on his coat by the front door, and Alex joined him, pulling a thick sweater over his head. For early December, it was already dipping below freezing at night. Seemed it would be a hard winter in Colorado this year. No big surprise. The year had been difficult all around.

“Ready?” he asked, disconcerted when his head breached the sweater, and he found Christopher’s gaze on him. He looked quickly away, but Alex frowned to see his cheeks redden. What was going on with him?

Christopher hitched his backpack on his shoulder, and Alex led him outside. Cold air struck them, and they hurried to the small sedan parked at the foot of the porch stairs. Christopher scooted into the passenger seat while Alex rounded the driver’s side, turning up the heat as soon as he had the car started. Having driven it earlier to pick Christopher up, the car quickly warmed, and Alex eased the sedan into reverse, turning to take the gravel road into town.

The wooden planking on the bridge thumped loudly as they crossed it and Christopher made a soft sound. “The infamous bridge, huh?”

“What do you mean?”

“I felt the echo of an old fear from you as we crossed it. Is this where you kept hearing Bobby Gibson this past summer, even before his dad tossed him in?”

Christopher alluded to the murders last summer and the time Alex rescued Bobby from drowning under the bridge. Jack Gibson had tied him in a sack and thrown him in the river for spying on him with his victims. Alex gave Christopher a sharp look, but couldn’t see much in the dark. “You felt that from me?”

Christopher lifted a shoulder and Alex frowned. “We need to talk,” he said, turning his attention back to the road. They reached Oakton in short order, and Alex’s heart sped up as they turned onto Christopher’s street. Homes that had been set aside as low-income housing for college students rested between tall maples and pine. Kyle Bronsin had taken Alex to his rooms here once last summer and kissed him. Before Gibson murdered him in the park. Alex touched his lips with his tongue and tasted wine. The coppery stench of blood filled his nostrils, and he forced his hands to relax on the steering wheel, not daring to look at Christopher and pass on the heart-wrenching emotion.

They pulled into the parking lot of the apartment complex at the end of the street, and Christopher tentatively touched his arm. “Will you come inside, just for a few minutes?”

“Of course. I haven’t seen your apartment yet.” And we really need to talk.

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