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My Strange Encounter with Alonso Darlington: Final Entry

Grange Fell top 1This is it, the final details of my encounter with Alonso Darlington. As I said, I haven’t slept well since I posted the first entry, not really knowing what his response would be to these posts, but, as I said, sometimes social media can prevent a situation by bringing it to public attention. And I have come to the conclusion that if Alonso Darlington hasn’t made a meal out of me yet, and Talia hasn’t invaded either my dreams or my bed, then maybe I’m no longer considered a threat. Still, I have had an obsessive need to finish what I started, which I will now do in the last entry of my strange encounter with Alonso. Then maybe I can rest easy again.

When I wrote Landscapes, the strange erotic tale of Alonso Darlington and Reese Chambers, as a story to be published in the Brit Boys: On Boys Book Bundle, I had no idea what a rabbit hole it would send me down. It was just an interesting sexy story, made more so by the location and the fact that Alonso Darlington was … is a vampire. But after some time and consideration, I’m beginning to think that there’s a lot more going on than even Alonso Darlington knows about. The fact that it’s going on in my head is really beginning to scare me. 

*****

The room was as silent as a tomb after Talia left. God, I didn’t want to think of that analogy, but there it was, popping up in my head, and me alone with the vampire I thought I’d created, but wasn’t at all sure I could trust. Ha! Me being Alonso’s maker! The humour was almost, but not quiet lost on me.

I could feel his gaze rather than see it. But then Alonso’s gaze was nearly as physical as his touch. When it moved over me, I felt as though every part of me had not only been touched, but completely left naked and exposed. I kept my eyes focused on my hands folded in my lap as though I were offering up a white-knuckled prayer. Maybe I was. I honestly don’t know. I do know that I was scared witless. I had absolutely no clue what was going on or what was the significance of the conversation that had passed between Talia and Alonso. I was still struggling to get my head round what had happened and the fact that something so brutal could have been arousing as well as terrifying.

After what seemed like ages, Alonso released a heavy breath and came around the desk. He leaned back on it looking down at me where I sat, still avoiding his gaze. ‘Are you a fan of mythology?’

His question startled me, and I looked up. ‘Yes, why?’

In a move so fast I missed it until I felt the electricity of his touch shoot down my spine, he knelt in front of me and took my face in his hands so that I couldn’t look away. ‘You often write … stories that involve mythology, witches, demons, things that can’t be easily explained.’

I struggled to catch my breath enough to reply. ‘I write all sorts of things. I have an active imagination, like you said.’

He made a sound at the back of his throat that was enough like a growl to make the hair on my neck rise. ‘Your active imagination conjures a lot of very dangerous people.’

My laugh sounded high pitched and thin, bouncing off the stone walls. ‘You make me sound like a witch or something.’

He didn’t smile. ‘Not a witch. Not exactly.’

I couldn’t hold back a shiver, but I caught myself quickly. ‘I write fiction. That’s all.’

He said nothing, only studied me until I closed my eyes to get away from his intense gaze. It was the warmth of his lipsbritboysonboys cover image on mine that caused me to start, his electric touch playing over me like ripples on a pond. The room suddenly seemed tight, airless. I tried to get away from him, but he held me tight. ‘Perhaps she’ll allow you to believe that, but I doubt it.’

Before I could either panic or throw myself into his arms and offer up my neck, he stood and moved back behind the desk. ‘You’re free to go, K D. Talia will take you back to your room, and you have free run of the house for now.’ He gave a huff of a laugh. ‘There isn’t much you’ve not already seen, I suppose.’

He was right. It was an intuitive experience, finding my way around High View Manor. And it was uncanny that I should know the place so well, that it was the place I had created in my imagination for a story I’d written, and yet my creation was stone and wood all around me. I wandered the grounds when I felt claustrophobic inside the stone walls designed to keep a vampire safe from the northern sun – anemic in the winter and tireless in the summer. I wandered the grounds wrapped in the heavy jacket, which I found returned and hanging next to the wardrobe in my room, as if by magic.

I felt as though I’d fallen off the edge of the earth and ‘here be monsters.’ This was the Lake District! I loved the Lake District. My heart felt like it was home the first time I came here. But Lakeland is also a place full of magic and mystery. That the creations of my imagination should take shape in the reality of the waking world made me feel wrong-footed and not quite at home in my own skin. It was unsettling enough to see the world I had created in my head solid and stable all around me, but it was much more so to feel threatened by the flesh and blood people that until now I thought to be only characters in my imagination.

The sun was setting and I had just returned from a wander in Alonso’s garden, shivering from the cold wind that had gotten up some time in the afternoon, and had just been joined by gravy-thick mist. I heard voices in the day room, heard the mention of my name, and stopped short to listen.

‘If Talia didn’t put the story of our relationship in Ms Grace’s head then who the hell did?’ I recognized Reese’s voice and stepped closer on tiptoes.

‘It’s better that you don’t know,’ came Alonso’s reply. ‘Our cat’s out of the bag, so to speak. That means she should have no further interest in us.’ Then he added as an afterthought. ‘Though I honestly don’t know why she would want our story shared in the first place. I’ve kept my distance from her, respected her boundaries, kept her secrets – what few I know of them. I’m no threat to her.’

‘You’re recently returned to Lakeland,’ Talia said. ‘Granted High View and the surrounding fells is all your land, and you keep a low profile, but you’re here, and she’ll want to know exactly why you’re here and what your plans are.’

‘If she’s told my story to the writer, then she already knows my motives and that I’m no threat to her.’

No threat to who? Who the hell was he talking about? I felt like little ant feet were crawling up my spine. Christ! If there were someone out there who Alonso feared, someone whose attention he wanted to avoid, what the hell would they want with me? I was scared enough of him. Whoever she was, I was pretty damned sure I wanted nothing do to with her. I was so lost in my thoughts that I nearly missed Alonso’s next statement with all its implications.

‘Anyone else who she brings to Ms Grace’s attention, well that’s not our problem, is it? And the less we know the better.’

Anyone she brings to my attention? They thought this she, whoever she was, had made me write Alonso’s story? I was beginning to get seriously creeped out.

‘She was in Vegas last spring, our dear Ms Grace. You know that, right?’ It was Talia’s voice I heard now, and I inched still closer to the open door holding my breath. ‘More jet-lagged than usual from what I understand. I wasn’t so concerned when she was there the year before. But last spring, Mr. Graves had … company.’

‘It’s not our concern, Talia.’ Alonso’s voice was tight and irritable. ‘Mr. Graves has nothing to do with us, and if the woman writes his story, if that’s why she was so jet lagged, then better Graves than us. And he can certainly take care of himself.’

‘That’s easy for you to say.’ Talia’s voice, though low and controlled, made gooseflesh prickle up my arm. ‘But Ms Grace is here in the Lakes often, and you’re not the only one who has secrets, Alonso.’

‘What do you want me to do, Talia? Hmm?’ If she’s chosen Ms Grace to write the stories then there’s nothing any of us can do about it, and though Mr Graves might be angry, he won’t take her on, not directly anyway. There’s too much between them.’

‘Who’s she? Who the hell are you talking about?’ Reese asked, his voice raised in exasperation.

Alonso’s reply was curt, sharp edged with warning. ‘We’ll discuss this later, after our guest leaves.’

Talia spoke over a loud clearing of her throat. ‘And just how long do you plan to keep our guest listening at the door, Alonso?’

Before I could turn to flee, Alonso was at my side and with speed matched only by grace, he slid an arm around me and guided me into the day room where I was suddenly the center of attention.

‘I’m sorry. I was just coming in and I heard my name and … well what you were saying was …’

‘Frightening?’ Talia came to my side and smoothed the wind-blown hair away from my face, and the feather touch of her fingers sent the feeling of champagne bubbles bursting all over my body. ‘You have good reason to be frightened, scribe.’ Before I could step away from her, she pulled me into her arms and kissed me.

From somewhere a long way off I could hear Alonso and Reese, voices raised in alarm, but after that everything happened so quickly, I can only guess at events. They came to me like scenes lit by a strobe light, fast, frantic, and disjointed. There was a woman. I can’t recall how she looked, and yet I know if I ever see her, I’ll know instantly who she is. She was achingly beautiful and yet something about that beauty terrified me. I tried to run from her, through an overgrown garden, dark and wild and more alive than it should have been. And there were stones, all around me stones some sculpted, some grotesque, some worn away until I couldn’t tell if they were ever more than just the rock on the fells.

Then someone carrying a flaming torch walked inside me like I were the garden, ignoring all the places that I chose to share with the world and seeking out the darkness in me, the shame in me, the places I never visited myself, let alone invited company in for a look. I cried out, I screamed, I tried to chase the torch bearer away, but the more I tried, the more my darkness was illuminated.

And then I was falling down underground, at first into the ruins of a slate quarry, and then there were bright lights above me, but I walked in caves, through endless tunnels and caverns, and I walked among the dead, all the while knowing that the bright lights were above me and that above me people celebrated, people danced and drank and partied. Yet they were oblivious to the dead just below them, the dead I walked among as I followed the torchbearer through the darkness. I followed until we came to the edge of an abyss, and there, the torchbearer turned to me and spoke against my ear. ‘Write it. Write what I tell you.’ Then with the flat of her hand in the middle of my back, she gave a gentle push, and I fell over the edge.

I woke with a start, gasping for breath. I’m embarrassed to say that I might have actually been screaming. It was Reese who held me, and soothed me back into the waking world.

‘Goddamn it, Talia!’ Alonso was saying. ‘Why the hell did you do that?’

I was lying flat out on the leather sofa with Reese kneeling at my side. But Talia was kneeling next to him.

As I fought to sit up, Talia glided across the floor to Alonso, took his face in her hands and kissed him hard. He gasped as though she had gut-punched him, grabbed at her as though to keep from falling and then stopped trying as his legs gave and he dropped onto the love seat across from me where he sat breathing like he’d just ran a marathon.

Talia pulled herself up to her full height, squared her shoulders and spoke in a quiet voice. ‘Now you know. Now we all know. And there’s nothing we can do about it.’ Then she turned and walked out of the room.

‘Do about what? What did she just do? What did she see?’ Reese sounded as though he wasn’t all that far from the panic I felt in knowing that whatever had happened inside me, Talia had just conveyed to Alonso, and I was pretty sure they both understood it a helluva lot better than I did.

If Alonso wasn’t already dead, I’d have said he looked like death warmed over, and his gaze was locked on me as though I’d just sprouted horns and a tail. Then he pulled his cell phone from his jacket pocket still holding me in a cast-iron gaze. ‘Stephen, see that Ms Grace’s clothes are packed and the car is brought around for her. She’ll be leaving immediately. Oh, and see that the jet is prepped to fly her to Heathrow.

It was full dark when Alonso walked me to the waiting SUV. Up until that time no one had spoken to me, though I had been well-fed, which was good because after whatever had happened to me in the day room, I was ravenous. The driver got out to take my bag and Alonso took my hands in his.

‘It isn’t over, K D.’ Before I could ask, he raised his hand to stop me. ‘I wish that I could tell you more, wish that I could
help you, but I can’t. I know little more than to tell you that you need to be careful, and you need to be prepared because mine won’t be the last story you’ll be compelled to write.’ He shrugged. ‘I’m overstepping my boundaries by even telling you that, but perhaps she’ll forgive me. Perhaps not. Still you should be warned. You should be ready for what’ll be asked of you. At least as ready as it’s possible to be. I am sorry, K D. Truly I am.’ He kissed me on the cheek, then nodded to the driver.

Under the circumstances I would have never thought it possible, but I slept most of the way home, dreaming of things too disturbing and too erotic for me to share outright with you. Most of them involving Alonso and Talia, but during those dreams, I always knew that she was watching. There were moments when I could almost figure out who she was, but then like most dreams, what I struggled to hold on to vanished into mist before I woke up.

I arrived home feeling groggy and raw. In spite of my fears, in spite on that prickly feeling that someone was always just behind me just out of my field of vision, I fell into my own bed without even undressing and slept a deep, dream-filled sleep, often feeling as though Alonso or Talia, sometimes both, were there in the bed with me, and always she watched just beyond the edge of my consciousness. I woke half-convinced that I’d dreamed the whole experience, but for the still-packed bag sitting on the floor in the hall. Even then, I thought perhaps I could have packed it in my sleep. Denial is a powerful thing. It was only after I’d gotten out of the shower and was drying myself that I noticed two tiny puncture wounds above my left breast. But even that I tried to justify as some sort of skin irritation or maybe an insect bite.

As I unpacked, I discovered the series of email exchanges on my iPhone, the iPhone that had been kept from me the whole time I was at High View, between myself and my husband. I had not written any of them, but they were conversational, so typically my own voice that my husband would have just assumed that the visit to High View was nothing out of the ordinary, though surely whoever had written them knew I’d tell him the whole tale when he returned home. But then again, when I did tell him, it wouldn’t make any difference, would it?

In the days that followed, I developed no aversion to sunlight, no desire to drink blood, no powerful urge to return to Alonso. Neither did Talia visit my dreams again. In the days that followed, I constantly questioned myself, tested myself, trying to discover exactly what it was about me that had changed. Something had, and yet I still can’t put my finger on what it was or why or how, but something is different.

Alonso’s parting conversation keeps coming back to me, and I wonder just what I aught to be prepared for, and who the hell she is. I keep trying to make sense out of whatever it was that happened between Talia and me, whatever it was that happened in my head, or in my imagination, or wherever it was. There’s no sense to be made of it, not really. But what I do feel is a sense of heightened expectation, as though something important, something that I need to do or know, is about to happen. But then again, perhaps it is nothing more than my overactive imagination exerting itself a little more than usual.

 

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An Unexpected Encounter with Alonso Darlington Entry 2

From Brian and Vron's windowIt’s taken me a full week to get the courage to post more details of my encounter with Alonso Darlington. I’ll be honest, I haven’t slept well since I posted the first entry, not really knowing what his response would be to these posts, but after discussing them with my husband, we decided that it was best for me to make the encounter known. Sometimes social media can prevent a situation by bringing it to public attention. And I have come to the conclusion that if Alonso Darlington hasn’t made a meal out of me yet, and Talia hasn’t invaded either my dreams or my bed, then maybe I’m no longer considered a threat.  

When I wrote Landscapes, the strange erotic tale of Alonso Darlington and Reese Chambers, as a story to be published in the Brit Boys: On Boys Book Bundle, I had no idea what a rabbit hole it would send me down. It was just an interesting sexy story, made more so by the location and the fact that Alonso Darlington was … is a vampire. But after some time and consideration, I’m beginning to think that there’s a lot more going on than even Alonso Darlington knows about. The fact that it’s going on in my head is really beginning to scare me. 

*****

I remember only one time in my life when I woke up with no memory of what had happened to me, and that was in the recovery room following a major surgery. This time, I woke battling a heavy duvet and found myself in a … tent? It was winter. Why would I possibly be in a tent? By then I’d regained enough of my wits that I realized I was in a bed, a heavy antique bed with velvet curtains pulled around it to shut out the light, and the tight little space around me smelled of strange spices laced with a musky outdoorsy scent I couldn’t quite place. A peek outside the curtain revealed sharply-angled sunlight falling anemically across stone floors and Turkish carpets. The heavy wardrobe and bureau in the room matched the dark wood of the bed. I appeared to be alone.

It was then that the memories flooded back to me, and my heart battered my ribs as I grabbed for my throat, cursing in spastic breathless whispers. With trembling fingers, I examined the place where Alonso Darlington’s lips had been, where his tongue had been, but there were no bite marks I could feel. Christ! Surely he wouldn’t bite me. Why the hell would he bite me? The Alonso Darlington I knew – well the one I’d written about at least – would not have brought me to his own home and bit me against my will. But then until last night, I thought Darlington nothing but a character I’d dreamed up for a story.

I stumbled from the bed, caught my foot in the duvet and fell on my arse. A frantic look around showed an open door through which I could see the dark blue tiles of a bathroom. When I couldn’t find my clothes, I wrapped myself in the duvet and stumbled to the sink. A close inspection in the mirror showed no evidence of bite marks. Then I remembered that the neck wasn’t the only place that Alonso bite people. I dropped the duvet, then twisting and turning like a contortionist, I checked every part of me I could see in the mirror. Then I plopped down on the edge of the claw foot tub to check my legs and groin.

‘Don’t worry, K D, he didn’t bite you.’

I yelped and nearly upended myself in the tub as I looked up to find Talia standing in the door dressed in a red cashmere sweater and black jeans. I quickly grabbed for the duvet to cover myself.

She shook her head and offered me a wicked smile. ‘If he had bitten you, he’d have wanted you to know in detail exactly what it felt like.’ She leaned closer and the smile became dangerous. ‘He’d have wanted you to enjoy the experience completely.’

She looked me up and down. ‘Me, I wouldn’t have cared if you’d known what I was doing to you, but just for your peace of mind,’ she leaned closer still, and once again I nearly fell into the tub trying to avoid her touch, ‘I was otherwise occupied last night.’

I stood up clutching the duvet tightly around me. ‘Then what happened?’ I managed to sound almost calm. ‘Because I don’t remember anything after he …’

Her lips quirked into something that wasn’t a smile exactly, and I felt a chill snake down my spine. ‘You’ll have to ask britboysonboys cover imageAlonso.’ She nodded back to the room. ‘Cook has made breakfast,’ she chuckled, ‘though you’ve slept half the day away. You’ll find your bag has been unpacked and your clothes hung in the wardrobe. I’ll take you to Alonso when you’re ready. In the meantime make yourself at home.’ She turned and left.

I ate like a starving woman, like someone who had been … kept up all night. But surely I would have remembered if that had been the case. After a quick shower, I discovered that my make-up bag and toiletries were on the dressing table near the big window but my shoulder bag and my mobile were nowhere to be found. That left me with an uneasy feeling. Though Raymond had known I was coming to Cumbria, he would be worried if he didn’t hear from me.

Once dressed, I was surprised to find the door to the room not locked. I thought about making a run for it, but one look out the window at the frozen landscape with the heavy cloudbank rolling in over the fells, and the fact that I also couldn’t find the heavy coat from last night made me reconsider. On top of that, I was reminded again that I had no idea where I was, nor had I recognized the route by which I’d arrived last night. I thought I’d recognized the hulking shape of Scafell Pike from the window, but even that was lost behind the cloudbank. I was completely turned around.

There was no time for a Plan B. Talia shoved open the door without a knock, inspected me with a gaze that made my knees weak, then she smiled. ‘Come on. Alonso’s waiting for you.’ What choice did I have? I followed her into an unadorned stone corridor that smelled dusty and muddy with the scent of heavy renovations in progress rather than the scent of age. She led me down a steep stone staircase claustrophobic in its tight twists and turns, and treacherous in its smoothly warm steps. The deeper the stairs descended, the closer the walls became. I’m not fond of tight places, and by the time the space opened out into a pleasant well-renovated sub-basement, I was having a bit of trouble breathing.

‘It’s several hours till dusk,’ Talia said, noticing my distress. ‘That being the case, this is where you’ll have to meet Alonso.’ She offered a throaty giggle. ‘You were right in your written accounts, hon, no coffins, not for Alonso at least.’ Without preamble, she opened a heavy wooden door that screeched against the stone floor, stepped back and nodded me in. I stumbled and nearly ran into Reese who was leaving in a hurry. He didn’t seem pleased.

He grabbed me by the shoulders to keep me from stumbling. ‘I’m very sorry about this, Ms Grace,’ he offered Alonso a hard glare, ‘but he’s a pigheaded prick at times.’ Then he glared at Talia and shoved his way past. I could hear the clumping of his heavy boots receding as he ascended the stairs. Then I turned to see Alonso fighting back a smile.

‘I’m afraid Reese is right, K D,’ he said, giving me the same once-over Talia had only minutes before. ‘I am a pigheaded prick at times, and until I get to the bottom of how you uncovered even my existence let alone such a … vivid view into my private life, I shall continue to be so.’ He nodded to a wingback leather chairs in front of the huge desk behind which he now sat. I settled reluctantly, more than happy for the comforting expanse of the desk between us.

For a long moment, he studied me without speaking, then he leaned over his desk and offered a genuine smile. ‘Did you sleep well, K D?’

Strangely enough I realized I had slept very well, or at least I certainly felt very well rested. Before I could answer, he shot Talia a quick glance and continued. ‘Did you have … pleasant dreams.’

The skin on my arms rippled with gooseflesh. I shivered in spite the warmth of the room, which looked more like the library of a wealthy English manor house than a room in the sub basement of a crumbling ruin. ‘I don’t remember dreaming at all,’ I said, glancing over my shoulder as Talia came forward and settled into the chair next to mine.

Alonso made no response, and neither did Talia, but I could feel all eyes on me. I forced myself to sit perfectly still as though I wasn’t bothered by the gaze of two alpha predators who could, and might have already, done anything they wanted to me, who now were staring at me like I was lunch. Of course I couldn’t do anything about my galloping heart nor my sweaty palms.

At last Alonso heaved a sigh, and I found myself wondering if vampires breathed. I’d read conflicting stories, and in all honesty, I couldn’t remember if the Alonso in my account breathed or not. Christ, if I’d had any idea I’d be meeting him in person I’d have paid more attention. My thoughts were quickly refocused completely on his person when I realized he had somehow, in a heartbeat, come from behind the desk to lean over me, and I definitely felt his breath on my face, warm and sort of spicy, a scent that brought with it intimations of wild remote places. I froze. It wasn’t like I could have done anything else. He mantled me as though he were a bird of prey and I was a fresh kill.

‘You’re telling the truth,’ he said, smoothing my hair behind my ears and cupping my face so I had no choice but to meet his gaze, an act which in and of itself felt like falling off a cliff on the high fells. ‘You honestly believe the story you’ve written about Reese and me is just that, just a work of fiction.’

I fought for breath. ‘I would never violate anyone by putting their private life into my stories. Ever.’ There was no keeping my voice steady. In truth, there was no keeping my body steady. I was shaking like a leaf.

‘No. Of course you wouldn’t,’ he said, his thumb gently raking across my bottom lip, which did nothing to ease my breathing. His dark eyes flashed over to Talia. ‘Which brings us back to the question at hand. How could you have possibly known the truth of what you wrote?’

Talia only shrugged and held his gaze. ‘Interrogate me if you want. I told you it wasn’t me. If I’d visited her bed and shared with her, I’d have taken a great deal of pleasure in sharing it with you, Alonso.’

What happened next I still can’t believe, and it’s not easy for me to write about. I’m used to writing sex and violence in fiction because I’m always safely removed from those acts that evolve in my imagination. But this … this was an encounter in which I found myself the accidental voyeur, way more up close and personal than I ever hope to be again.

In a heartbeat, Alonso pulled Talia up from her chair. I heard her breath catch, heard the bones in her neck pop in the violence of his efforts. Then with a single tug of his fist, he ripped open the front of her sweater and shoved it aside. I think I might have yelped. Not that anyone noticed. Talia gasped, but in that gasp I heard no surprise. She was naked beneath the torn cashmere, and in less than a heartbeat, Alonso pulled her into a back-breaking embrace, cupped her right breast and … brought his mouth down onto the swell of it high above her heavy nipple.

One of them, maybe both of them growled, and as he jerked her closer, I could see the garnet welling up of her blood just before his tongue slid over it, just before his mouth closed around it in a sound that was not unlike a lover’s passionate kiss. And then, I swear, the color of her eyes changed just before she closed them and fisted one well-manicured hand into his hair effectively holding him to her in an act no less intimate and no less violent than his own. Her other hand snaked around his waist and burrowed beneath his tailored black shirt and up his spine.

His response to her touch on his bare flesh was a quick, but violent convulsing of muscles until I feared he’d break bones. Then he groaned and shivered. I remember wondering at that moment if her touch had made him orgasm. I remember thinking I should look away, that I should leave them to whatever strange disturbing intimacy this was, but I couldn’t look away. I knew at that moment that to do so was physically impossibly. Then, to my horror, I felt as though I were the third party in the joining. No, that’s not really a good explanation. I felt as though I wasn’t there at all. I felt as though one second I was Talia being bled by Alonso’s powerful predatory kiss, being nursed upon by his warm lips; and the next I was Alonso being touched, in far deeper places than his bare flesh, being taken over by the succubus. And when I was sure I would pass out from that strange sense of terror and arousal that I couldn’t quite imagine existing in the same instant, Alonso pulled away, stumbled backward against his desk, his eyes still locked on the succubus, and Talia fell back into the chair with a little sigh.

Wiping his mouth and bracing himself on the edge of the desk, he moved back to his own chair. Talia sat straight and square shouldered next to me catching her breath. She made no effort to cover herself and I could see the bite marks
bruised blue and bright red above her nipple. ‘Are you satisfied now?’ she asked, sounding as though she’d just been
out fell running.

He scrubbed a hand over his face, then looked from her to me and back again. ‘If not you, then who, Talia? How the hell did she know?’

‘Don’t be daft, Alonso. You know how. You just don’t want to admit it.’ Then she stood and exited the room with way more dignity that someone who had had her shirt ripped off by a vampire should have been able to manage. It was only with the door screaking closed across the stone floor that I suddenly remembered, I was alone with Alonso Darlington.

 

Buy Links: teasertemplate_BBoBKD

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon AU
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
iBooks UK
iBooks US
Kobo
Smashwords

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bodywork

By Ashe Barker

Alex is doing okay. His body repair shop makes enough to live on, he has a decent apartment, life is fine. That all changes when he runs into Graham in a supermarket car park – literally. He offers to fix the damage to Graham’s car free of charge. The sparks soon fly, and the heat between them has nothing to do with welding equipment.

Breaking the Marine

By M.K. Elliott

Brandon Rosen hadn’t planned for his final night before enrolling in the Royal Marines to involve a hot stranger and a pub car park. And he certainly hadn’t planned for that same hot stranger to turn up at the barracks in the form of his Drill Instructor, Corporal Will Stewart. In the testosterone fuelled environment of the training camp, can Brandon and Will overcome past pains and face up to what they really want? Or will the Royal Marine Commando School break their relationship before it even gets started?

Love on Location

By Lucy Felthouse

When Theo Samuels heads off to film on location in the village of Stoneydale, he’s expecting drama to take place on camera, not off. But when he meets gorgeous local lad, Eddie Henderson, he struggles to ignore his attraction. A relationship between the two of them would be utterly impractical, yet they’re drawn together nonetheless. Can they overcome the seemingly endless hurdles between them? Or is their fling destined to remain as just that?

Landscapes

By K D Grace

Alonso Darlington has a disturbing method of keeping landscaper, Reese Chambers, both safe from and oblivious to his dangerous lust for the man. But Reese isn’t easy to keep secrets from, and Alonso wants way more than to admire the man from afar. Can he risk a real relationship without risking Reese’s life?

The Chase

By Lily Harlem

Steve’s killing time working in a comedy club. Why not? It makes him laugh and both the clientele and the comedians are not just fit but also great company. One stand up joker decides to create a wild goose chase for Steve and his ex Robert. Cavorting around Cardiff on a frosty night, however, does more than just show them the way to a threesome, it also reveals the reasons why they should give each other one more shot.

Dish of the Day

By Clare London

Richie’s sunk all his hopes and savings into a new restaurant in south London promoting British ingredients and recipes. His best friends Craig and Ben should be around to help him celebrate the grand opening, but it looks like it’s all heading for disaster – until his friends step in to tell him some home truths. Then they’ll help him relax and enjoy their loving, intimate menu instead.

E2

By Sarah Masters

When Archie meets Dan after The Change, he realises there is no such thing as a random meeting of soul mates, it’s all mapped out in the stars. Now all he’s got to do is hope those orbiting planets stay in alignment and true love finds him again.

Locked Out

By Josephine Myles

Getting accidentally locked out of his hotel room on Valentine’s Day night is embarrassing enough for teacher Martin Cooper, but the fact he’s stark naked makes it even worse. It doesn’t help that the one person he runs into is Rod, the gorgeous man he’d been checking out earlier in the hotel pool. But when Rod offers Martin a refuge, the night heats up. Now if only Martin could get the hang of this seduction business…

 

 

An Unexpected Encounter with Alonso Darlington

Grange Fell top 1I’ve debated long and hard about posting the details of my encounter with Alonso Darlington. But ultimately the need to share, the need to bring details of this encounter to light, has overcame my fear that readers might think I’m a nutcase and the even bigger fear of what Alonso’s response to my sharing might be.

When I wrote the strange erotic tale of Alonso Darlington and Reese Chambers as a story to be published in the Brit Boys: On Boys Book Bundle, I had no idea what a rabbit hole it would send me down. It was just an interesting sexy story, made more so by the location and the fact that Alonso Darlington was … is a vampire.

This being the case, imagine my surprise when I received an invitation from High View Manor to meet Alonso Darlington in person. I thought I had perhaps spent too much time in my own imagination. I even considered seeing my doctor. But when the first class plane ticket arrived to Manchester, I went. I maybe shouldn’t have, but since I had written Alonso’s story, it seemed that I should meet the man in person.

I arrived in Manchester with the sun setting in the West. The rabbit hole feel of my first encounter with the man became even more vivid when I was picked up at the airport in a black Land Rover with darkly tinted windows kitted out to compete with any limo I’d ever seen. The driver handed me a heavy winter parka and helped me into the back seat, where I found a basket containing freshly baked bread, cheese, meat, fruit, wine and bottled water. I drank the water, but was way too nervous to eat anything, and I certainly wasn’t going to meet Alonso Darlington tipsy from alcohol.

I couldn’t help but feel intimations of Anne Rice as the woman I know only as Talia led me through the renovated areas of High View manor, out into the Cumbrian chill, and down to the night garden Reese Chambers has been landscaping for Darlington. I knew better than to offer Talia a handshake. The woman’s a succubus and she’s a close friend to Darlington – his familiar, I believe is the term. I don’t’ know much about her, and frankly I was nervous enough without losing my wit or my virtue to a sexy succubus. Even her gaze felt far too intimate. The sooner I could get away from her, the better.

britboysonboys cover imageShe led me as far as the stone steps descending into the garden, then nodded to where Alonso Darlington sat on the slate bench with his back to me. She offered me a smile that looked like she could be as likely to consider me dinner as Alonso might, then she left. For a second I stood taking in the sky awash with stars and the dark outlines of the fells all around, giving myself a chance to stop trembling. It didn’t help. It was a rare, clear night, and there was no wind, for which I was thankful because it was still damn cold that high in the Cumbrian fells. I was extremely glad for the coat the driver had given me and a bit amazed that it fit so well. I have broad shoulders, and getting a winter coat to fit is always an ordeal. With the heavy Northface jacket pulled tightly around me, I took a deep breath and descended the steps, just as Darlington stood and turned to greet me.

How can I explain the first time I saw him face to face? How is it possible that I wanted to freeze to the spot like the stone statuary around me, while at the same time, I wanted to rush down the steps, allow him to embrace me, and offer him my neck. How could anyone ever look at the man and think him ordinary? How could Reese Chambers have possibly resisted Alonso Darlington? I don’t remember the rest of the descent into the garden. The next thing I remembered was Darlington extending his hand to me.

‘Ms Grace, it’s a pleasure. Welcome to High View.’ His hand was large, and I took it without question, feeling a little shiver at the unexpected warmth of his skin, wondering if he had fed recently, if that was the cause for the warmth that shouldn’t be there in the Cumbrian chill. That should have been a relief, but instead it served as a reminder that I was in the presence of an alpha predator, and while he loved Reese and Talia was his occasional lover, I might very well be nothing more than the midnight snack.

Of course he sensed my nerves. I mean really, I couldn’t hide them no matter how badly I wanted to. He leaned close to me and smiled wickedly. ‘Don’t worry. I won’t bite, unless of course you want me too.’

God, it’s embarrassing to say, but I might have given just the slightest bit of a yelp as I pull my hand away, a bit quicker than I intended. Not a wise thing to do with a predator, I know. But then I wasn’t at my best at that moment.

‘Thank you,’ I croaked. ‘I’ll keep that in mind.’ Then I blurted out. ‘Why did you invite me, Mr Darlington? I know you don’t take many visitors, especially not … like me.’

His laughter runs up my spine like the feel of soft fur on bare flesh. He nodded me to sit, then sat down next to me on the bench. ‘Like you, Ms Grace? You mean a writer of erotic fiction? A blogger? A dreamer? A woman who lives most of her life in her head making up stories?’ He laughed again, and I shivered, but not from cold. ‘A woman who has a very … imaginative fantasy life?’

Before I could respond, he moved closer to me so quickly and with so little effort that, though I knew he’d done it, I didn’t know how. I only knew that it was definitely not a movement an ordinary person might make. Strangely, I was torn between scooting away, or scooting closer. ‘May I call you K D?’ he asked. ‘Certainly I would expect to be on a first name basis with anyone who knows me as well as you think you do.’ It was a damn good thing I was sitting because I was certain my knees wouldn’t have supported me if I weren’t. He continued. ‘I would say you’re probably even more of a recluse than I am, and I do apologise for the inconvenience of my invitation. I hope that the journey wasn’t too loathsome for you.’ He bowed his head to me slightly and I had the surprising urge to reach out and run my fingers over his silky dark hair. The predator image flooded my mind again and I did scoot back, just a little, and my heart sped up more than a little. Alonso’s knowing smile reminded me that he could hear the heart beating in my chest, he could sense the movement of my blood in my veins. I shivered thinking of everything about me that he might be able to sense, and then I forced my attention back to what he was saying. ‘Really, K D, why shouldn’t I be anxious to see you?’ His eyes were suddenly obsidian bright and colder than the night air around us. ‘After all, you’ve already told everyone who I am. What I am.

Landscapes is a fictional story,’ I managed, unable to keep the trembling of my body from manifesting in my voice. ‘Mr Darlington, I –’

‘Alonso,’ he corrected me with a smile that was so friendly and inviting that I might have thought him just being hospitable if the circumstances had been different. ‘It’s Alonso. After all, we keep no secrets here, Do we, K D?’

‘I didn’t know you were real,’ I continued as quickly as I could, afraid I’d lose my courage, afraid I might actually do something stupid like try to run. ‘Believe me, everything I wrote, everything I published, it came from my head, from my imagination, from nowhere else. I would never –’

He leaned forward and shoved the hair away from neck so quickly that I had no time to do more than gasp. My heart was beating way too fast and I could smell the terror rising in a cold damp sweat against my skin. He was going to take me right then and there, and no one would know the difference. My husband had been away in South Africa when Alonso’s invitation had come, and though I had emailed him, he had no more idea than I’d had as to where High View actually was, and he wasn’t do home for another ten days. I had told no one else because who the hell would believe me?

‘You wrote the story, K D,’ he whispered against my ear. ‘Surely you know I have ways of putting ideas in your head, thoughts,’ his mouth brushed my earlobe and gooseflesh rose along my nape, ‘fantasies.’

By that point in our encounter, things had become a bit vague. To my embarrassment, I confess it could have been fear. ‘Talia?’ I managed in a voice that sounded like it belonged to a frightened child. ‘Did you send her to me?’ I could feel panic rising. Surely not. Surely if he had, I would have remembered something.

He only chuckled softly, and stroked the tender spot behind my ear with the thick of his thumb. ‘Now why would I have done that, K D?’ I felt his warm lips against my throat, and I’m embarrassed to say that there was suddenly another feeling coexisting with the terror and the panic. ‘I’m not going to hurt you. But we do need to talk. We do need to come to an understanding, and I will keep you here until we do.’ And Christ! he actually ran his tongue up along that hammering pulse point where the blood runs so close to the surface, and I remember looking up and thinking I’d never seen such a beautiful sky.

(I can’t possibly share my whole experience in one post and, frankly, writing just this has left me unnerved. Courage is wavering a bit at the moment. I’ll write more later)

*****

Brit Boys: On Boys

From east to west and north to south, these British boys are having a blast in and out of the bedroom with the men of their dreams. They’re topping and bottoming from London to Cardiff, living out fantasies in the wildest fells and hooking up while serving HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

With passion and lust the name of the game, nothing is off limits. Throw in honed muscles, high-strength testosterone and an accent to die for and there is nothing they can’t do and no one they can’t get in this world or another.

Don’t miss Brit Boys: On Boys—a smokin’ hot box set, containing 147,000 words/440 pages of unforgettable M/M erotic romance from eight popular British authors.

 

 

teasertemplate_BBoBKDBuy Links: 

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon AU
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
iBooks UK
iBooks US
Kobo
Smashwords

 

 

Brit Boys: On Boys includes:

Bodywork

By Ashe Barker

Alex is doing okay. His body repair shop makes enough to live on, he has a decent apartment, life is fine. That all changes when he runs into Graham in a supermarket car park – literally. He offers to fix the damage to Graham’s car free of charge. The sparks soon fly, and the heat between them has nothing to do with welding equipment.

Breaking the Marine

By M.K. Elliott

Brandon Rosen hadn’t planned for his final night before enrolling in the Royal Marines to involve a hot stranger and a pub car park. And he certainly hadn’t planned for that same hot stranger to turn up at the barracks in the form of his Drill Instructor, Corporal Will Stewart. In the testosterone fuelled environment of the training camp, can Brandon and Will overcome past pains and face up to what they really want? Or will the Royal Marine Commando School break their relationship before it even gets started?

Love on Location

By Lucy Felthouse

When Theo Samuels heads off to film on location in the village of Stoneydale, he’s expecting drama to take place on camera, not off. But when he meets gorgeous local lad, Eddie Henderson, he struggles to ignore his attraction. A relationship between the two of them would be utterly impractical, yet they’re drawn together nonetheless. Can they overcome the seemingly endless hurdles between them? Or is their fling destined to remain as just that?

Landscapes

By K D Grace

Alonso Darlington has a disturbing method of keeping landscaper, Reese Chambers, both safe from and oblivious to his dangerous lust for the man. But Reese isn’t easy to keep secrets from, and Alonso wants way more than to admire the man from afar. Can he risk a real relationship without risking Reese’s life?

The Chase

By Lily Harlem

Steve’s killing time working in a comedy club. Why not? It makes him laugh and both the clientele and the comedians are not just fit but also great company. One stand up joker decides to create a wild goose chase for Steve and his ex Robert. Cavorting around Cardiff on a frosty night, however, does more than just show them the way to a threesome, it also reveals the reasons why they should give each other one more shot.

Dish of the Day

By Clare London

Richie’s sunk all his hopes and savings into a new restaurant in south London promoting British ingredients and recipes. His best friends Craig and Ben should be around to help him celebrate the grand opening, but it looks like it’s all heading for disaster – until his friends step in to tell him some home truths. Then they’ll help him relax and enjoy their loving, intimate menu instead.

E2

By Sarah Masters

When Archie meets Dan after The Change, he realises there is no such thing as a random meeting of soul mates, it’s all mapped out in the stars. Now all he’s got to do is hope those orbiting planets stay in alignment and true love finds him again.

Locked Out

By Josephine Myles

Getting accidentally locked out of his hotel room on Valentine’s Day night is embarrassing enough for teacher Martin Cooper, but the fact he’s stark naked makes it even worse. It doesn’t help that the one person he runs into is Rod, the gorgeous man he’d been checking out earlier in the hotel pool. But when Rod offers Martin a refuge, the night heats up. Now if only Martin could get the hang of this seduction business…

 

Launch Day! Brit Boys: On Boys

Today’s the day! I’m very excited to announce the launch of Brit Boys: On Boys!  Eight sizzling novellas by eight naughty authors, including yours truly! Don’t miss the fabulous M/M fun!

 

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Brit Boys: On Boys

From east to west and north to south, these British boys are having a blast in and out of the bedroom with the men of their dreams. They’re topping and bottoming from London to Cardiff, living out fantasies in the wildest fells and hooking up while serving HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

With passion and lust the name of the game, nothing is off limits. Throw in honed muscles, high-strength testosterone and an accent to die for and there is nothing they can’t do and no one they can’t get in this world or another.

Don’t miss Brit Boys: On Boys—a smokin’ hot box set, containing 147,000 words/440 pages of unforgettable M/M erotic romance from eight popular British authors.

 

Bodywork

By Ashe Barker

Alex is doing okay. His body repair shop makes enough to live on, he has a decent apartment, life is fine. That all changes when he runs into Graham in a supermarket car park – literally. He offers to fix the damage to Graham’s car free of charge. The sparks soon fly, and the heat between them has nothing to do with welding equipment.

 

Breaking the Marine

By M.K. Elliott

Brandon Rosen hadn’t planned for his final night before enrolling in the Royal Marines to involve a hot stranger and a pub car park. And he certainly hadn’t planned for that same hot stranger to turn up at the barracks in the form of his Drill Instructor, Corporal Will Stewart. In the testosterone fuelled environment of the training camp, can Brandon and Will overcome past pains and face up to what they really want? Or will the Royal Marine Commando School break their relationship before it even gets started?

 

Love on Location

By Lucy Felthouse

When Theo Samuels heads off to film on location in the village of Stoneydale, he’s expecting drama to take place on camera, not off. But when he meets gorgeous local lad, Eddie Henderson, he struggles to ignore his attraction. A relationship between the two of them would be utterly impractical, yet they’re drawn together nonetheless. Can they overcome the seemingly endless hurdles between them? Or is their fling destined to remain as just that?

 

Landscapes

By K D Grace

Alonso Darlington has a disturbing method of keeping landscaper, Reese Chambers, both safe from and oblivious to his dangerous lust for the man. But Reese isn’t easy to keep secrets from, and Alonso wants way more than to admire the man from afar. Can he risk a real relationship without risking Reese’s life?

 

The Chase

By Lily Harlem

Steve’s killing time working in a comedy club. Why not? It makes him laugh and both the clientele and the comedians are not just fit but also great company. One stand up joker decides to create a wild goose chase for Steve and his ex Robert. Cavorting around Cardiff on a frosty night, however, does more than just show them the way to a threesome, it also reveals the reasons why they should give each other one more shot.

 

Dish of the Day

By Clare London

Richie’s sunk all his hopes and savings into a new restaurant in south London promoting British ingredients and recipes. His best friends Craig and Ben should be around to help him celebrate the grand opening, but it looks like it’s all heading for disaster – until his friends step in to tell him some home truths. Then they’ll help him relax and enjoy their loving, intimate menu instead.

 

E2

By Sarah Masters

When Archie meets Dan after The Change, he realises there is no such thing as a random meeting of soul mates, it’s all mapped out in the stars. Now all he’s got to do is hope those orbiting planets stay in alignment and true love finds him again.

 

Locked Out

By Josephine Myles

Getting accidentally locked out of his hotel room on Valentine’s Day night is embarrassing enough for teacher Martin Cooper, but the fact he’s stark naked makes it even worse. It doesn’t help that the one person he runs into is Rod, the gorgeous man he’d been checking out earlier in the hotel pool. But when Rod offers Martin a refuge, the night heats up. Now if only Martin could get the hang of this seduction business…

 

1471165_10152975090380561_5465607820399154587_n

And now here’s a little excerpt from my story, Landscapes:

The moonlight was bright and Reese’s night vision was good, but the path was rocky and steep. He stumbled and went down on his arse, catching himself on one elbow and cursing as the sensation of pins and needles shot up his arm. He forced his way to his feet slipping and sliding the last hundred meters on the dew-drenched stones. He was just about to call out, just about to shout Alonso’s name when the man moaned softly and Reese stopped in his tracks. Not only was Alonso no longer curled on his side, but the man was naked. He lay flat on his back, his knees bent, bare feet resting on the bench, one arm flung over his face, the other curved down low across his belly, his fisted hand moving up and down the length of his cock.

Reese froze, unable to move, unable to breathe. Alonso Darlington was beautiful, like no one he’d ever seen. His body was sculpted, not like polished marble, but with the ruggedness of the rocks of the fells, like he labored to be free from himself, like one of Michelangelo’s prisoners. The muscles of his belly tensed and relaxed and convulsed and relaxed again in response to his stroking. The movement of muscle beneath skin on his biceps and his forearms, on the rise and fall of his chest, on the tensing of the chorded muscles in his neck and throat as he swallowed was like a hypnotic dance. The muscles in his thighs twitched and bulged as he rocked and arched upward until Reese could see the clenched half-domes of his buttocks. He could smell the nutmeg and yeast scent of his heat, charged through with the crackle of ozone. He stood frozen on the spot, his own cock responding to the sensory overload, even as his brain demanded he give the man his privacy, demanded with a sense of half-frightened urgency that he leave as quietly as he could, but it was too late.

Alonso’s arm fell away from his face and Reese could feel the nearly physical press of his gaze.

I’m sorry,’ he managed around a tongue that felt too big for his mouth. ‘I saw you, and I thought that … I’ll go now,’ but even as he said it, Reese stepped forward, feeling reeled into the man like a fish on a line. Alonso eased himself up on one elbow, not taking his hand off his cock, not taking his eyes off Reese. ‘I should leave,’ Reese croaked, but instead he stepped nearer.

In a move that was not quite human in its grace, Alonso sat up and nodded to the bench next to him.

Cautiously Reese sat down struggling to keep his eyes off the man’s cock. He could still feel Alonso’s gaze on him as though he were the one who was naked. ‘I thought … When I saw you out here, lying on the bench at this hour … I was worried.’

‘That’s very kind of you, Reese, but there’s nothing wrong with me. My … afflictions, don’t trouble me much. I’m not ill. In truth, I’m the epitome of health. I’m just … different.’

‘I’m sorry. Of course you would be out after dark. I didn’t mean to offend you. I’ll go now.’ But before he could stand, Alonso’s hand shot behind his head with lightning speed, fingers curling in Reese’s sleep-mussed hair, and in that instant of reaction, the second Reese gasped for his breath, the man’s mouth was on his, warm and hard and terrifying in its command, a command Reese could do little but respond to. Even as fear battled lust low in his belly, he parted his lips, opened his mouth, welcomed the search and conquest of Alonso’s tongue, his own the white flag that instinctively yielded all else beyond the breach, all territories beyond the invasion.

 Buy Links:

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon AU
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks
Smashwords

 

Awesome British M/M Authors

Ashe Barker

M K Elliott

Lucy Felthouse

K D Grace

Lily Harlem

Clare London

Sarah Masters

Josephine Myles

 

Brit Boys: On Boys Cover Reveal

I’m so excited! I’ve been working on something totally different, and totally wonderful with  some totally fantastic British authors, and now, I can say that …

Reveal day has finally arrived! So quick, what are you waiting for? Head on over to GGR-Reviews and check out the awesome cover for the new Brit Boys: On Boys Box Set designed by Posh Gosh. This awesome collection of M/M novellas are all written by British authors and star British characters in British locations and my story NAME is nestled within these seriously steamy pages.

Brit Boys: On Boys is due for release on 30th December 2014 from all good eBook retailers at a bargain introductory price. Find all the links HERE.

 

Brit Boys advert

 

Brit Boys: On Boys

From east to west and north to south, these British boys are having a blast in and out of the bedroom with the men of their dreams. They’re topping and bottoming from London to Cardiff, living out fantasies in the wildest fells and hooking up while serving HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

With passion and lust the name of the game, nothing is off limits. Throw in honed muscles, high-strength testosterone and an accent to die for and there is nothing they can’t do and no one they can’t get in this world or another.

Don’t miss Brit Boys: On Boys—a smokin’ hot box set, containing 147,000 words/440 pages of unforgettable M/M erotic romance from eight popular British authors.

 

Bodywork

By Ashe Barker

Alex is doing okay. His body repair shop makes enough to live on, he has a decent apartment, life is fine. That all changes when he runs into Graham in a supermarket car park – literally. He offers to fix the damage to Graham’s car free of charge. The sparks soon fly, and the heat between them has nothing to do with welding equipment.

 

Breaking the Marine

By M.K. Elliott

Brandon Rosen hadn’t planned for his final night before enrolling in the Royal Marines to involve a hot stranger and a pub car park. And he certainly hadn’t planned for that same hot stranger to turn up at the barracks in the form of his Drill Instructor, Corporal Will Stewart. In the testosterone fuelled environment of the training camp, can Brandon and Will overcome past pains and face up to what they really want? Or will the Royal Marine Commando School break their relationship before it even gets started?

 

Love on Location

By Lucy Felthouse

When Theo Samuels heads off to film on location in the village of Stoneydale, he’s expecting drama to take place on camera, not off. But when he meets gorgeous local lad, Eddie Henderson, he struggles to ignore his attraction. A relationship between the two of them would be utterly impractical, yet they’re drawn together nonetheless. Can they overcome the seemingly endless hurdles between them? Or is their fling destined to remain as just that?

 

Landscapes

By K D Grace

Alonso Darlington has a disturbing method of keeping landscaper, Reese Chambers, both safe from and oblivious to his dangerous lust for the man. But Reese isn’t easy to keep secrets from, and Alonso wants way more than to admire the man from afar. Can he risk a real relationship without risking Reese’s life?

 

The Chase

By Lily Harlem

Steve’s killing time working in a comedy club. Why not? It makes him laugh and both the clientele and the comedians are not just fit but also great company. One stand up joker decides to create a wild goose chase for Steve and his ex Robert. Cavorting around Cardiff on a frosty night, however, does more than just show them the way to a threesome, it also reveals the reasons why they should give each other one more shot.

 

Dish of the Day

By Clare London

Richie’s sunk all his hopes and savings into a new restaurant in south London promoting British ingredients and recipes. His best friends Craig and Ben should be around to help him celebrate the grand opening, but it looks like it’s all heading for disaster – until his friends step in to tell him some home truths. Then they’ll help him relax and enjoy their loving, intimate menu instead.

 

E2

By Sarah Masters

When Archie meets Dan after The Change, he realises there is no such thing as a random meeting of soul mates, it’s all mapped out in the stars. Now all he’s got to do is hope those orbiting planets stay in alignment and true love finds him again.

 

Locked Out

By Josephine Myles

Getting accidentally locked out of his hotel room on Valentine’s Day night is embarrassing enough for teacher Martin Cooper, but the fact he’s stark naked makes it even worse. It doesn’t help that the one person he runs into is Rod, the gorgeous man he’d been checking out earlier in the hotel pool. But when Rod offers Martin a refuge, the night heats up. Now if only Martin could get the hang of this seduction business…

 

And now here’s a little excerpt from my story, Landscapes:

The moonlight was bright and Reese’s night vision was good, but the path was rocky and steep. He stumbled and went down on his arse, catching himself on one elbow and cursing as the sensation of pins and needles shot up his arm. He forced his way to his feet slipping and sliding the last hundred meters on the dew-drenched stones. He was just about to call out, just about to shout Alonso’s name when the man moaned softly and Reese stopped in his tracks. Not only was Alonso no longer curled on his side, but the man was naked. He lay flat on his back, his knees bent, bare feet resting on the bench, one arm flung over his face, the other curved down low across his belly, his fisted hand moving up and down the length of his cock.

Reese froze, unable to move, unable to breathe. Alonso Darlington was beautiful, like no one he’d ever seen. His body was sculpted, not like polished marble, but with the ruggedness of the rocks of the fells, like he labored to be free from himself, like one of Michelangelo’s prisoners. The muscles of his belly tensed and relaxed and convulsed and relaxed again in response to his stroking. The movement of muscle beneath skin on his biceps and his forearms, on the rise and fall of his chest, on the tensing of the chorded muscles in his neck and throat as he swallowed was like a hypnotic dance. The muscles in his thighs twitched and bulged as he rocked and arched upward until Reese could see the clenched half-domes of his buttocks. He could smell the nutmeg and yeast scent of his heat, charged through with the crackle of ozone. He stood frozen on the spot, his own cock responding to the sensory overload, even as his brain demanded he give the man his privacy, demanded with a sense of half-frightened urgency that he leave as quietly as he could, but it was too late.

Alonso’s arm fell away from his face and Reese could feel the nearly physical press of his gaze.

I’m sorry,’ he managed around a tongue that felt too big for his mouth. ‘I saw you, and I thought that … I’ll go now,’ but even as he said it, Reese stepped forward, feeling reeled into the man like a fish on a line. Alonso eased himself up on one elbow, not taking his hand off his cock, not taking his eyes off Reese. ‘I should leave,’ Reese croaked, but instead he stepped nearer.

In a move that was not quite human in its grace, Alonso sat up and nodded to the bench next to him.

Cautiously Reese sat down struggling to keep his eyes off the man’s cock. He could still feel Alonso’s gaze on him as though he were the one who was naked. ‘I thought … When I saw you out here, lying on the bench at this hour … I was worried.’

‘That’s very kind of you, Reese, but there’s nothing wrong with me. My … afflictions, don’t trouble me much. I’m not ill. In truth, I’m the epitome of health. I’m just … different.’

‘I’m sorry. Of course you would be out after dark. I didn’t mean to offend you. I’ll go now.’ But before he could stand, Alonso’s hand shot behind his head with lightning speed, fingers curling in Reese’s sleep-mussed hair, and in that instant of reaction, the second Reese gasped for his breath, the man’s mouth was on his, warm and hard and terrifying in its command, a command Reese could do little but respond to. Even as fear battled lust low in his belly, he parted his lips, opened his mouth, welcomed the search and conquest of Alonso’s tongue, his own the white flag that instinctively yielded all else beyond the breach, all territories beyond the invasion.

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