June 25, 2016

Rainbow Snippets is a fun Facebook group where authors share weekly bits of their writing. My contribution this week comes from yet another WIP–this one in the Partners universe. unedited

Rider and Nicco have moved in together and are attending the yearly function for their police station.

 

Rider looked around. At their table, Nicco was laughing with Chelsey, who had taken Rider’s seat. Eric and Delia were on the dance floor. Resigned, Rider took the seat next to Chelsey.

“How are you doing,” he asked her with a smile that probably didn’t reach his eyes.

“Good, Rider. How are you?” Chelsey had dimples and a button nose. Rider recalled she used to sit on Nicco’s lap a lot. “Nicco says you two have gotten a place together.”

Rider glanced at Nicco. How much had he told her? “Yeah. Sure did.”

Chelsey laughed. “We practically lived together when we were dating. He’s a mess, isn’t he?”

Rider reached over for the drink he’d left on the table and belted down the rest.“Definitely.”

“I’m not that bad,” Nicco said good-naturedly. He seemed to be enjoying Chelsey’s attention, but when she got her phone out of her purse and looked at it, he mouthed at Rider, “You okay?”

Rider nodded.

“You look kinda freaked out.”

Jesus, Nic, what do you expect, with you sitting here talking to your ex? Rider just shook his head.

Chelsey got off the phone. “Dance with me, Nicco. For old time’s sake.”

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June 18, 2016

Rainbow Snippets is a fun Facebook group where authors post pieces of their works.

This week, my snippet is from my contribution to the Love is Proud anthology that JMS-books is putting out to help the Pulse shooting victims’ families. It continues the story of cops Nicco and Rider from Partners and Lovers but can be read on its own. You can pre-order the Love is Proud anthology here.

Nicco rolled over, immediately on alert. A noise had awoken him. As he sat up in bed, he heard it again, and his sleep-addled brain struggled to process who could be using a key to get into his apartment. There were only two people who had one, and one of them was lying asleep beside him, a pillow over his head and the sheet barely covering his bare ass.  The other was four thousand miles away.

Shit.

March 5, 2016

Rainbow Snippets is a fun group on Facebook where authors can post six sentence snippets of their work. Join us!

From Lovers, sequel to Partners, live tomorrow. Nicco and Rider struggle to take their long friendship and partnership to a new level.

“Shit,” Rider said, kicking a broken stool out of his way. “It was too good to think the bastard would be here, and we might finally get some answers.” Nicco nodded, looking as tired and frustrated as Rider felt.

The case was beginning to take its toll; their nerves were frayed and patience worn thin. They’d begun sniping at each other, and Rider didn’t even have the ability anymore to be able to judge if he was overreacting.

“You really want to end things between us?” Nicco suddenly asked. He looked uncharacteristically vulnerable standing there fiddling with the hem of his jacket.

February 27, 2016

Snippet from Rainbow Snippets–Authors, join us!

This is from Lovers, sequel to Partners, due out March 6. Pre-order now. Long-time partners on the LA police force, Rider and Nicco have taken their relationship to a new level.

Rider’s stomach sank. He hadn’t thought that far ahead, but Nicco was right. He propped his head on one hand, and brought his other to rest on Nicco’s flat belly. “I don’t want another partner.”

“Neither do I.”

“But I don’t want to give this up, either.” Rider played with the dark hairs beneath Nicco’s navel.

“Yeah. Me, neither.”

“So…what do we do?” Rider asked.

excerpt from Partners

Nicco couldn’t help but be glad Alex was leaving. A hundred girls could look at Rider with interest, and Nicco would be fine with it, but watching Alex do it set Nicco’s teeth on edge. As yet, Nicco wasn’t up for exploring the reasons for that.

When they’d finished their meal, they cleaned up the remains and drifted back into the living room. “I think I’ll head for the shower,” Nicco said, feeling tired, grimy, and irritable.

”I’ll be gone when you get out, Nicco,” Rider said. “Talk to you tomorrow.”

Nicco patted Rider’s shoulder in reply and went into the bathroom, pulling off his shirt and throwing it into the corner. He could hear Rider and Alex talking softly on the other side of the wall. Unable to resist, Nicco gently pulled the door open a crack and looked through. He could plainly see the two men standing by the front door, talking. Rider put a hand on Alex’s shoulder, probably telling him to take care on his trip. Alex smiled … Nicco could see his face clearly from this vantage point. Then, as Nicco watched, the younger man suddenly leaned in, hand curling around Rider’s neck, and kissed him right on the mouth.

Nicco jerked, almost giving his spying away. He wanted to move back from the door, but found himself rooted where he stood, waiting to see what Rider’s reaction would be. Unimaginably, but undeniably, Rider leaned into Alex’s embrace … actually wrapped his arms around the younger man and kissed him back.

Kissed him. Open-mouthed and full of tongue, exactly the way Nicco had seen Rider kissing women on many occasions in the past.

If an elephant wearing a tutu had entered the bathroom through the small window over the shower, Nicco couldn’t have been more blown away.

He heard the front door close and hurried to turn on the shower. Standing under the spray, chest heaving as though he’d been running, Nicco put his hands to his head. What was that? What the hell was that?

Sure, Nicco and Rider teased, maybe even flirted, dancing around each other in that way they had; but it was something they’d always done and just a part of who they were together. At least, that’s what Nicco had thought. Now he didn’t know anymore. How could Rider be interested in men and Nicco not know about it?

It took all Nicco’s concentration to wash off properly, his mind returning again and again to the kiss he’d witnessed until he finally switched the water on cold to alleviate the undeniable erection that he’d gotten from thinking about it. Pressing his face to the cool tile, he took several deep breaths and willed himself to calm down.

It hurt, dammit! It hurt to see Rider that close with another man, and Nicco didn’t know what that meant.

Nicco did his best to act natural when he left the bathroom and said goodnight to Alex. Confused and heart-sick, he headed for bed, only to lay in the darkness, eyes wide open.

excerpt from Lovers

“We need to talk,” Nicco said.

“Nothing to talk about.” Rider feigned a casual shrug. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”

“You’re pissed off.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Like hell.” Nicco leaned out of his seat into Rider’s space. “I know when you’re pissed off, and right now you’re near boiling point.”

Rider pushed Nicco away.

“Back off. I said I wasn’t mad. I get it; we can’t tell your folks or anybody else.”

Nicco crossed his arms over his chest, muscles bulging beneath the short sleeves of his black T-shirt. Typically hot blooded, he’d stuffed his heavy jacket in the overhead compartment before they sat down.

“Ry,” Nicco said. “Come on.”

Rider tried to visualize them walking into Nicco’s childhood home and announcing they were a couple. It was ludicrous. In fact, Nicco acknowledging their relationship anywhere outside their own apartments took some stretch of the imagination. For the first time, Rider let it sink in that by opening this door between him and Nicco, he’d effectively sentenced himself to a life of hiding. And that wasn’t something he was willing to do. Nicco was still staring at him with that know-it-all look he got when he thought Rider was being obstinate.

“I get it, okay?” Rider barked. “As far as your family’s concerned, there’s nothing between us.”

Nicco’s mouth fell open. “Since when has there ever been nothing between us, you dickhead? My folks know you’re the best friend and partner I could ever have — Lord knows I’ve told them often enough. Ben gives us enough ribbing about how touchy-feely we are with each other, and Ma loves that we’re so close.”

“Yeah, I’m good enough to be your best friend and partner, but not good enough to be your lover.” Rider wished he could just let it go, but he couldn’t help himself; the words were tumbling out of his heart, completely disconnected from his brain. It was unfair; he would be proud for the whole world to know he was in love with Nicco, but Nicco would never be anything but ashamed, because he was brought up to think that being gay was disgusting and dirty. Sure, Nicco knew better than that, but it was hard to overcome years of conditioning.

“Rider.” Nicco rubbed a hand over his face. “You know my old man. And my brother –”

“Ben isn’t a homophobe,” Rider cut in. “Have you forgotten his best friend is gay?”

“How could I forget?” Nicco’s voice held an unmistakable edge, but his jealousy at the mention of Alex was only a temporary balm to Rider’s feelings.

“My dad would not take it well,” Nicco said. “And we can’t ruin Thanksgiving for the entire family.”

Nicholas Santori was a tough, seasoned ex-cop with a military background who would probably flip his shit if Nicco came out as bisexual. Added to that, the holidays were big events for the Santoris. Rider knew all this, but he still had trouble giving up the dream.

“I get it. I really do,” Rider said softly. He stared at his hands. “It’s just — I don’t want to pretend, Nic. This may be easy for you, but it’s not easy for me.”

Nicco took one of Rider’s hands in his. “It’s fucking hard for me. You’ve been the most important person in my life for years, but I never realized until recently that we could be even closer than we were. You’re everything to me, you ass, whether the rest of the world knows it or not.” He reached out and tilted Rider’s face with a finger. Nicco’s eyes were dark with emotion, and as he leaned over to kiss Rider, Rider melted into him.

The softness of the kiss and all the feelings Nicco put behind it drowned Rider in emotion, and he reached up, pulling Nicco closer, fingers delving into his curls. The sound of someone clearing their throat across the aisle brought them apart. For a moment, Rider had forgotten where they were, and it was obvious from the look on Nicco’s face that he had, too. Nicco leaned back and turned to look out the window, face flaming.

January 30, 2016

Rainbow Snippets

From Lovers, the sequel to Partners, due out March 6. In Partners, Nicco discovers new feelings for his police partner, Rider. In Lovers, the two men struggle with their new relationship. This scene takes place at Nicco’s parents’ house over Thanksgiving.

In Partners, Nicco discovers new feelings for his police partner, Rider. In the sequel, Lovers–due out in March, the two men deal with their new relationship. This scene takes place at Nicco’s parents’ house over Thanksgiving.

“Shit!” Rider jumped and turned on a light. “What the fuck are you doing?”

“Waiting for you. Keep your voice down, would you?”

Rider closed the door. “Your dad’s got some all-football-all-the-time channel, and everyone’s watching it. The house would have to blow up for anyone to notice.”

He dropped his towel, reaching for his pajama pants, and Nicco was suddenly on him, hands everywhere, mouth licking and sucking at Rider’s neck.

December 27, 2015

Rainbow Snippets

From Partners, a short story, sequel due out March 6.

“I took those clothes home to wash, and I need a shave;
your razor’s always dull.”

“That’s ‘cause of my heavy beard.” Nicco felt his face,
already scratchy with stubble. “My macho Italian roots. Your razor lasts months.” Nicco gave his partner a slap on the ass as he edged past him to put the cards away.

Lovers

Rider has secretly been in love with his partner, Nicco, for years. When he finds out Nicco feels the same way, Rider is euphoric. But Nicco is having trouble accepting he’s in love with a man. Rider wants to take their relationship to the next level, but his partner vacillates between hot desire and cool indecision.

A trip to Nicco’s family’s for the holidays only makes things worse; Nicco’s father is homophobic, his mother wants grandchildren, and an unexpected guest makes Nicco jealous.

Back home, the two men must make a decision between pursuing their romantic relationship and saving their partnership.

Order