JMS Books will be re-releasing my short story collection next month. Rough Cut has been out of print since 2014, and I have, I think, two or three actual hard copies tucked away in one of my book boxes. This gathers almost all of my gay romance short stories in one place!
In prepping for this new release, I went back through the pieces, and had forgotten some of the little turns of phrase I’d used, had forgotten some of the story plot lines. It was kinda fun to see them again.
Most of the stories were originally written in the early 2000s so texting and smartphones and social media aren’t much of a factor in the stories. The men in these stories connect initially from long glance, a chance meeting at a barn, or literally by accident. I try to ease into passion in my stories and work hard to add some emotional moments even in the midst of a hot make-out session.
EXCERPT FROM Holding the Reins
They were almost back to his stall when some idiot in the parking lot let a tailgate slam down onto the ground. The metallic crash woke up every horse in the barn area; there were snorts and the sounds of quick movement up and down the walkway. Gabby yanked his head back and jerked to the left. He slammed Philip and Marcus into the concrete wall; Marcus felt the rough wall scrape on his left arm. Gabby kept them pinned for a few seconds, his nostrils blowing, his big brown eyes lurching from side to side. Philip was pressed against Marcus’s side for a few pleasant seconds, his body heat warming Marcus.
“Hey, hey, Gabby boy, it’s all right, everything’s okay.” Philip put one splotched hand on Gabby’s neck and spoke quietly. “Easy, easy, big boy, step away, now, step away.” With Philip’s light pressure on his shoulder, Gabby relaxed and stepped back.
Philip looked over at Marcus. “Sorry ‘bout that.”
Marcus only grinned. “I’m not.”
And that was how it started.
They left Gabby in his stall, and strolled the fairgrounds outside the equestrian center, the closed-up exhibits looking forlorn in the afternoon sun. Marcus occasionally bumped against Philip’s shoulder or let his hand brush against Philip’s hip. Marcus felt a prickle of sweat ease down his back.
This really is like junior high again. Geez.
They stopped at the gazebo outside the Florida history exhibit. Brown lattice surrounded the wood decking, and golden pothos had snaked over the panels to create privacy. Marcus nodded towards the shady enclave. The air inside was green and gold from the vine’s leafy shield.
They sat on the picnic tables inside the gazebo, feet on the benches, legs apart. Marcus deliberately pressed against Philip, no subtlety this time. He took Philip’s hand in his and ran his fingers over the blotches on the other man’s skin. “So, what is this exactly?”
“Vitiligo,” Philip answered. “It’s a defect in the pigmentation; I don’t produce melanin anymore, so I’ve got this pinto effect.”
“That’s why the sunscreen?”
“Sunscreen all the time.”
Marcus raised Philip’s hand to his and kissed it gently. “I think you’re gorgeous — pinto, palomino, or bay.”
Philip held his hand, strong fingers intertwined against Marcus’s own. “You’re pretty gorgeous yourself. I could use an escort for the awards banquet tonight. Care to join me?”
“I thought Mrs. Reese had dibs on you for tonight.” Marcus replied. “Rumor has it when she contracts a rider, she really contracts a rider.”
“She might be selling it, but I’m not buying.” Philip said.
“Really? So what are you in the market for?”
Philip gripped Marcus’s hand and pressed closer. His gaze traveled over Marcus’s body, a small smile on his face. “Something a little more masculine, I think.”
“Ya think?” Marcus knelt on the bench between Philip’s legs. He caught the coconut scent of the sunscreen again, then was lost in the smell of Philip’s clean skin and hair. Marcus brushed his lips over Philip’s burred haircut; the stiff, short hairs tickled his mouth. He wrapped his arms around Philip’s waist and tugged Philip tightly against his own pelvis.
Philip stroked up Marcus’s arms to his shoulders. “God, you’ve got great arms.”
“No more talk. Kissing. Now.” Marcus swooped down and feathered a kiss on Philip’s forehead. The scent-taste of the bitter sunscreen made him grimace and then he was lost in the butterfly kisses, and Philip’s soft lips, his warm tongue, the thick sparkle of them together. Marcus’s cock stirred inside his loose jeans.
Philip moaned and Marcus felt the vibration in his own mouth. He pressed Philip down on the table, their bellies together, and Philip wrapped his legs over Marcus’s waist. Philip’s grip was tight around him; he doubted he could lift away, not that he wanted to.
I was right. Great thighs.
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