A Changeling for All Seasons – Volume 9 #Christmas #holidaystories#BoxSet @changelingpress

 

Cool Text - Thirteen tales of Christmas Magic from your favorite Changeling 308426189307600

 

A Changeling For All Seasons 9 (Changeling Seasons 9)

 

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres/Themes: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Christmas
Length: Box Set – 464 pages

Thirteen tales of Christmas Magic from your favorite Changeling authors!

Ayla Ruse — Racing Wild: A wild race can lead to anything — even love.

Anne Kane — Tinsel Wars: Braedon intends to win the final skirmish in the Tinsel Wars!

Ruth D. Kerce — Christmas Cowboy: Chaz breeds horses. What’s a cowboy supposed to do with a herd of reindeer?

Dahlia Rose — Silver Bells: Tia was the sexy little elf that made Danny Grinch’s Christmas that much hotter.

Crymsyn Hart — Sleigh Balls: Instead of snow this Christmas, it’s raining reindeer!

Lena Austin — Ghosting: Ghost hunting means sometimes you find a ghost you weren’t expecting, when you aren’t even looking.

Judy Mays — Jingle Buds: Dr. Jon Claus finds the perfect woman when Emily Olson’s grandmother gets run over by a reindeer!

Julia Talbot — Merry X-Moose: Can a were-moose and a Santa-obsessed Elf fall in love — and save Christmas at the same time?

Lily Vega — Wicked Game: All’s fair in love and war during Santa’s Reindeer Games.

CJ England — Snip! Snap! Dragon!: With a fiery Snip! Snap! a passionate modern day dragon lures his forever mate into the flames.

Ana Raine — White Stag: When the scent of peppermint reaches his nose Crane knows he has to remember or lose it all forever.

Sara Jay — Sleigh Ride: Can one magical sleigh ride deliver love to two lonely Elves?

Sean Michael — Five Golden Beads: When kinky gifts begin arriving, Shay knows it’s time for a visit from his very own special Elf.

 

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Also available in print

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2018 The Changelings
Excerpt from Merry X-Moose (Julia Talbot)

“Seriously, Laird, you’ve lost your mind,” Laiyde said. His sister didn’t pull any punches, even with him being the head of sleigh engineering. “You do remember eight tiny reindeer, right? There’s no way Santa’s team can pull the sleigh with the extra weight you’re proposing.”

“He’s not getting any younger, Lai. Santa needs protection. This little cockpit is nothing. Hell, if Rudolph would just go full time…”

“Rudolph retired to Finland after you created that LED beam, remember?” She rolled her eyes, dark brown like his. They were twins, but thankfully she couldn’t grow a full beard like he did. That would be awkward.

“Right.” Shit. “Well, there are always a hundred young bucks competing at the reindeer games. Just get Sparkle to add two more to the team.”

His sister threw up her hands. “Just add two more. Like it’s that easy! Santa has used the same harness since the fifties! One extra attachment was added then for Rudolph. You can’t just change the whole of Christmas history every year!”

“Hey, I just want him to be safe.” Santa had slipped and damned near fallen off a house last year pulling a package out of the back of the sleigh. Laird thought about the implications of losing Santa and wanted to throw up.

“We all do. You’re going to have to redesign.” She patted his arm. “Talk to the magic team. See if they can make a bubble or something.”

“I did. They can’t make my dome lose any weight, even though they say they can equalize the pressure and keep flight horizontal without loss of velocity and altitude. Best they can do.”

“Well, that’s something.” She smiled. “I’ll make hot chocolate.”

“With star marshmallows?” Laird asked.

“Anything for you, Bro.”

“Cool. Give me an hour to go talk to Sparkle and you’re on.”

She rolled her eyes again, but didn’t say anything. She just waved him off.

Laird pulled his parka on over his flannel shirt and snow pants. While Christmas Elves were well suited to the cold climate, this time of year was brutal. The toymakers and cobblers and all never went outside right now. They had long breezeways between their dorms and the workshops.

The rest of them had to brave freezing their balls off.

He trundled down to the reindeer barns, where he knew Captain Sparkle would be putting the chosen eight through their paces. The pulling reindeer had to bulk up as much as possible between now and the big day, and they all had to learn emergency procedures and weather contingencies.

He stomped snow off his boots once he got to the barn offices, the wind howling behind him when he slammed the door shut.

“Shit, it’s colder than a well-digger’s ass out there,” he mumbled.

“I imagine that’s colder than a witch’s tit.”

Laird whirled around to face the guy who’d just walked up behind him. Then he grinned. “Depends on if it’s in a brass bra.”

“Mmm. What about a sleigh reindeer in a snowstorm’s balls?” the guy asked.

“Nothing is colder than that,” Laird said. “There’s too much ether to fight.”

“I bet. I’m Bruiser, and I’m on desk duty today. What can I do for you?”

“New guy, huh?” He smiled. New guys were few and far between. Bruiser was an amazing newcomer, taller than Elves, even, and contrary to myth, Santa’s Elves were way more Tolkien than Oompa Loompa. This guy was all leg, lanky and surprisingly tanned, with a shock of dark hair. Dark brown eyes shone with humor.

 

 

Celestial Christmas by Judy Mays #holidaystories #Christmas #aliens #scifi #AlienEncounters @changelingpress

Nothing Marc can do will distract Jami from making Brianna’s
first Alalakan Christmas the best ever…

 

A Celestial Christmas (Celestial Passions 2)

 

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight
Genres/Themes: Action Adventure, Alien Encounters, Christmas
Length: 79 pages

Princess Jami of Mediria is determined to give her adopted sister Brianna of Earth a Christmas to remember, even though she’d never heard of the holiday before Brianna described it so longingly. Descending on the snowy estate of the Alalakan clan, Jami plans the surprise celebration.

Alalakan don al’ Marcadras wants nothing more than to be left alone. Years ago he foiled a plot by the woman he loved to murder Mediria’s king. Gravely injured and scarred for life, he retreated to this isolated estate.

Marc’s desire for peace and quiet is pitted against Jami’s insistence on duplicating Earth’s festivities. Nothing Marc can say or do will distract her, not even seducing her. The hot sex they share only further inspires her to make this the best Alalakan Christmas party ever.

Unfortunately, not everyone on the estate gets in the holiday spirit. Some see a Medirian princess’s presence as an opportunity of another sort… The Medirian royal family will pay a great deal of money to get their princess back.

 

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Cool Text - Excerpt 308425910976238

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2018 Judy Mays

“There’s a message from Rodane.”

Looking up, Alalakan don al’ Marcadras, rolled his shoulders. He’d spent the last four hours after dinner hunched over the workstation in his study trying to finish the estate’s yearly reports. After flexing his fingers, he accepted the tablet the housekeeper handed to him, tapped in his code, and perused the message. Then he read it more carefully. Muttering some obscenities under his breath, he looked at the woman standing before him. “We’re going to have guests.”

“At this time of the year? Who?”

“Bandalardrac…”

Before he could finish, she smiled broadly and interrupted him. “Ban’s coming? That’s wonderful.”

Setting the tablet on his desk, he said, “Control your libido, Irinia. A Medirian princess is coming with him, which means at least one Aradab, maybe more, will be coming too as her body guard.”

“A Medirian princess? Ban didn’t get married, did he?”

Marc shook his head. What was it that made almost every woman in the galaxy want to jump in bed with his second cousin? “No, Ban is not married. He says it’s one of his cousins.”

“Which one of his many aunts and uncles is the parent? What does she want here? No one ever visits at this time of the year. Everyone is exhausted from the crafters’ trade show. The chalet hasn’t been properly cleaned in a month, and I don’t know if any of the rooms are suitable for guests.” The woman straightened, crossed her arms over her breasts. “I am not going to wait hand and foot on a spoiled princess who was bored at home and decided to have an adventure in some Drakian mountains.”

Marc grimaced. “I don’t know which aunt or uncle her father or mother is, and I don’t expect you to cater to her beyond what would normally be expected of you, Irinia. You have enough to do in this monstrosity of a house as it is. The princess will just have to amuse herself. If she’s not happy with the accommodations, she can just go home again.” He did raise an eyebrow. “Though I know you well enough to know if there’s one speck of dust in any of the rooms right now, you’d have the servants working nonstop until everything was clean enough to eat off of.”

The housekeeper ignored his last comment. “Why would Ban even bring her here?”
“You know Ban. Once he gets something into his head… He is very fond of all his younger cousins. What’s more, he did get the okay from Rodane so it’s not like he’s showing up with her unannounced or without the family’s knowledge.”

“Well, I don’t like it.”

Another grimace. “I don’t want a spoiled child under my feet any more than you do, but it doesn’t look as if we have any choice in the matter.”

“Is she a child?”

“I’m guessing between twelve and fourteen. Can you imagine a grown Medirian woman wanting to come here at this time of the year?” Marc said with a shrug.

She pursed her lips. “You’re right. With the weather getting colder, she’ll have to stay almost exclusively in the chalet. The water in the lake is freezing so she won’t want to swim there. I think I’ll turn down the temperature for the indoor pool’s heating system. If it’s cold enough, she’ll want to head back to Mediria’s tropical waters as soon as she can.”

“You lower the temperature too much, and you’ll kill the fish. Then you’ll not only have to deal with me but also with my great-aunt. Jenetta will not be happy if her prized opodia fish die.”

Marc could see Irinia weighing the prospect of Jenetta’s anger against any inconvenience brought about by the princess. He knew the moment she decided Jenetta’s ire would be far worse than dealing with one Medirian princess. “When are they arriving?” she asked in a disgruntled voice.

A loud humming noise from outside answered for him. “Sounds like they’re here now. Leave it to Ban to arrive this late at night,” he said. Stepping around his desk, he grasped Irinia’s upper arm before she could exit the room. “I expect you to treat the princess with the utmost respect. The ties between the Hardan and Alalakan families are strong and numerous. I don’t want you to ignore your regular duties because the princess demands something unusual or bizarre, but I will not have any reasonable requests denied. Are we clear about that?”

“Marc! When have I ever been unreasonable?”

“More times than I can count, hence the warning. Besides, you don’t want to disappoint Ban, do you? For all we know, this is his favorite cousin.”

Releasing her arm, Marc chuckled to himself as he strode out the door and headed for the chalet’s landing pad. Although normally even-tempered and genial, Irinia could be a real harridan when she wanted. Invoking Ban’s name would make her think before she did anything the princess would find too infuriating.

On the landing pad, the door of the shuttlecraft was just rising when Marc and the housekeeper arrived. Once the door was braced, the stairway extended. Bandalardrac stuck his head out of the doorway, grinned, and made his way down to the platform.

“Marc! It’s good to see you.” Pivoting away from his Alalakan cousin, he grabbed the housekeeper in an exuberant hug. “Irinia, are you still here? I thought you’d have married some complacent merchant by now and gone off to rule his household!”

“As if I wanted to marry again — unless you’re asking. Besides, I have yet to meet the merchant who can handle me!”

Laughing, Ban set her on her feet and turned back to the hovercraft. “Jami? Are you coming? You’re the one who was in such a hurry to get here!”

“I’m coming!” a musical voice shouted. “I needed to get my coat. That’s a cold wind howling through the hatchway!”

Marc smiled to himself. If she was already complaining about the cold, she wouldn’t last here too long. Then things would get back to normal. Pasting a smile on his face, he waited for whom he was sure would be a prepubescent girl. He wasn’t prepared for the vision wearing a coat that fit like a second skin over her curvaceous body. A sharp gust of wind blew her short, dark-green hair into her face. Combing it away with her left hand, she bit her full, lower lip as she grabbed the hand railing. Hurrying down the steps, she halted in front of him. This was no child. This was a very attractive woman.

Marc cursed silently to himself. Just what he needed, another sexy Medirian woman confounding his life.

“Jami, my cousin Alalakan don al’ Marcadras, manager of the chalet and its grounds, and the housekeeper Sililurtria dem al’ Irinia. Marc, Irinia, this is Jami…”

“Her Royal Highness Jamilinlalissa, Princess Hardan,” intoned a harsh voice from the top of the stairway.

As Irinia gasped, Marc stiffened. Jamilinlalissa? If his memory was correct, she was one of the king’s daughters! He’d expected the daughter of one of Findal’s many brothers or sisters, not someone who could possibly inherit the throne. Then, all thoughts of the princess fled his mind as he focused on the Aradab descending the stairs. Kahn? The Master of the Medirian School of Assassins. What in the seven hells did he want here? Marc had made it plain to all of the instructors that he was through with his training. He certainly wasn’t the first person to have left the school.

Ignoring the cold wind, his arms crossed over his bare chest, the Aradab halted and stared at Marc as if to issue a silent challenge.

Before he could stop himself, Marc clenched his fists. He hadn’t seen Kahn since he’d left Mediria seven years ago, and he wasn’t happy to see him now.

Irinia’s sudden cough shook Marc from his dark thoughts, and he hastily gathered his composure. “Irinia, why don’t you go in and get something warm for our guests to drink?” That should give her time to regain her poise. Entertaining the daughter of a king was not the norm here.

The housekeeper hurried back into the chalet.

Marc watched her go. Now, all he had to do was control his own reactions to his guests.

Ban clicked a button on the control he held in his hand. After the stairs folded neatly back into the hovercraft, the door slowly lowered into place. “Is there anybody to bring in the luggage, or will we have to tote it ourselves?” Ban asked in a cheerful voice.

 

ABOUT JUDY MAYS

Sexier than a Hollywood starlet! More buxom than a Vegas showgirl. Able to split infinitives with a single key stroke!

Look! At the computer!
It’s a programmer!
It’s a computer nerd!
No! It’s – Judy Mays!

Yes, Judy Mays – erotic romance writer extraordinaire who came to Earth with powers and abilities beyond those of mortal authors. Judy Mays! Who can write wild, wanton werewolves; adorable, alluring aliens; vexing, vivacious vamps; hot, haunting historicals; compelling, combustible contemporaries; sexy, surprising suspense, and cagey, cuddly kitty cats; and, who, disguised as a mild-mannered tenth grade English teacher in a small public high school, fights a never ending battle for Hot Hunks, Hip Heroines, and Salacious Sensuality!

Visit her website at http://www.JudyMays.com or join her reader’s group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/judymays

Christmas Carole by Angela Knight #Christmas #holidaybooks #romance @changelingpress

You’ll want a visit from these Ghosts of Christmas Yummy…

 

Christmas Carole (Christmas Spirits 5)

 

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight
Genres/Themes: Christmas, Paranormal
Length: 56 pages

Carole Elzer is no Scrooge — she loves Christmas. But when she’s visited by the ghost of her best friend and business partner, Marley, Carole learns she must make amends for something she hasn’t done — otherwise, Marley warns, she’ll spend the rest of her life in anguish and guilt.

She’s guided on her voyage into Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come by three sexy spirits, all of whom look just like her partner, Bob Crockett. Bob is still grieving for the wife he loved and lost years ago, but Carole nurses a guilty love for him.

As Carole explores her past, present and future with her handsome spirits, she realizes just how high the stakes are. Bob’s young son Tim’s life hangs in the balance. If she doesn’t learn how to save the child, none of them will ever again know a merry Christmas — and she and Bob will have no future together.

 

Get it Today at Changeling Press

 

Cool Text - Excerpt 308424954226578

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2018 Angela Knight

The rambling old Victorian house looked like it had fallen off a Christmas card as it sprawled under the full moon, all white wooden siding, mansard roof, and lacy gingerbread trim. A gorgeous tree stood in an upstairs window, decorated in antique toys and draped in flashing twinkle lights.

“Bah fucking humbug,” I muttered, my breath steaming in the cold as I trudged up the steps, wanting nothing more than my bed. I’d been at work since seven in the morning. It was almost midnight now.

To make matters worse, we’d been shooting a wedding video. Weddings require you to capture every moment, from decorating the church all the way to the last drunken guest stumbling home from the reception. Which makes for a looong day that seems even longer when it’s Christmas Eve.

And did I mention it was a wedding? No other event we shoot calls up old anger, pain, and grief like the joyous union of two people in holy matrimony. Not just for me, either. There’d been ghosts in Bob Crockett’s eyes all day. Which just goes to show, even the best marriages will eventually kick you in the teeth.

My partner deserved better. His wife, Marley, sure as hell had.

My keys jingled merrily as I unlocked the door. As I started to turn the knob, I glanced up at the goofy plastic lion doorknocker Marley had put up at Halloween two years ago. I’d left it up, even changed the LED batteries a couple of times. Looking at it always made me remember her, and smile. Or blink back tears.

It had never made all the blood drain from my face — until now.

Marley glared at me from the spot the lion’s head should be, her eyes blazing red, her brows lowered, teeth bared. Her lips shaped the word, “Idiot.”

“Christ!” I leaped backward, heart in my throat. And stared. The knocker was just a goofy plastic lion again, red LED eyes glaring.

Huh. I really was tired if I’d mistaken the beast’s mane for Marley’s long curls, its snarl for hers. Not that Marley had been the type to snarl without a damned good reason. She’d been more the rainbows and unicorns type, endlessly creative and funny.

Maybe the slice of wedding cake I’d eaten had been laced with cannabis edibles. Which was illegal as hell in South Carolina, but we were talking about the kind of people who held weddings on Christmas Eve. Being the richest fish in the very small pond of Carson, SC, the Grahams didn’t think rules applied to them.

Being Candice Elzer’s daughter, I knew a lot of people like that.

My heartbeat began to slow as I reached for the key I’d left hanging in the lock, twisted it, and pushed inside. I hurried to the foyer alarm system keypad to disarm it. My hand shook as I punched in the code, and I curled my lip in irritation. “Get a grip, Carole.”

Pissed at myself, I stomped over to pull my keys out of the lock and close the door.
My textile-magnate great-great grandfather had built the house a hundred and thirty years ago, and it had been in the Elzer family ever since. It still retained a certain dark Victorian grandeur, between its antique furniture, carved oak wainscoting, and odd little nooks and crannies created by asymmetric architecture.

Which could have been creepy as hell, if I hadn’t decorated the crap out of the house for Christmas. Holly, fresh pine boughs, and mistletoe were everywhere, along with Victorian Santas, angels, and antique toys. I’d put up two different live trees, one in my bedroom, and a twelve-footer brushing the parlor’s intricately carved ceiling details. The whole place smelled like a pine forest.

Unfortunately, my Christmas spirit had died of an advanced case of Graham Wedding around noon. My shoulders ached as I started up the stairs that were ridiculously wide, even by Victorian standards.

Somewhere in the house, wooden flooring creaked, sounding exactly like a footstep. The house had a habit of groaning and creaking to itself like an elderly lady bitching, but something about that particular sound made the hair rise on the back of my neck. I peered over the banister, listening, one hand dipping into my purse to fish for my cell phone.

Nothing. No other sound. Don’t be ridiculous, I told myself. The security system was still armed. Nobody broke in.

I turned to continue up the stairs — and gasped.

Parked on the stairs ahead of me — stairs that had been empty a heartbeat before — a hearse stood, its back hatch swung wide to reveal the coffin inside.

Lurching backward with a yelp, I barely saved myself from falling with a frantic grab for the banister. I spun and raced back down the steps so fast, it was a miracle I didn’t break my neck. At the bottom, I wheeled to peer back the way I’d come.

The stairs were empty.

Dumbass, what did you expect? No way in hell could a set of hundred-and-forty-year-old steps support a couple tons of hearse.

It hadn’t been cannabis that cake had been laced with. It had been LSD.

Bob. I needed to call Bob. Six-foot-four with a broad, muscular build, Bob Crockett could handle anything. One call and he’d be here in ten minutes. Back in his hard news days, Bob had covered everything from shotgun murders to high-speed chases, and nothing shook his cool. Not even his business partner’s overactive imagination.

But it was Christmas Eve, and we’d spent all day working that wedding because the bride’s family had written us a check with a lot of zeros. I wasn’t about to drag him out of bed now. For one thing, he shouldn’t leave his twelve-year-old son home alone just to calm me down.

Tim had gone along on today’s shoot, just as he’d been doing from the age of five. He’d always been a laughing, bright-eyed boy, but his mother’s death had left him pale and quiet. He’d seemed particularly withdrawn today.

Damned if I was going to bother them because visions of serial killers danced in my head. Instead I stood at the foot of the stairs, concentrating on getting my racing heartbeat under control.

I kept a Lady Smith .38 in my upstairs closet. Bob had bought it for me one Christmas, then dragged me to the range to practice until he was sure I could hit what I aimed at.

“I’ve covered too many fucking murders,” he’d told me. “If you’re going to live alone, you’re damned well going to be able to defend yourself.”

Now I took back every time I’d teased him about his paranoia.

Pulling my cell out of my pocket, I started up the stairs almost as fast as I’d come down them. If I heard so much as a floorboard creak, I was calling 911.

And tell them what? demanded the voice of common sense. That your doorknocker turned into your dead partner’s face and you saw a hearse parked on the stairs? The cops’ll search the house for drugs.

Damn it. No cops.

I hurried up the steps and down the hallway to the master bedroom, flipping on lights as I went. Pausing, I gave the room a once-over. The brass bed was neatly made under a beautiful heirloom quilt I’d inherited, like the house, from my grandmother. An antique cherry armoire and bureau stood along opposite walls. Next to the bow window, the Christmas tree was draped in twinkle lights, swags of gold tinsel, and wooden replicas of Victorian toys.

I closed the door behind me and hurried to the antique cherry armoire, where the Lady Smith resided in a top shelf gun safe. Fingers flying, I punched in the code and pulled out the matte black automatic.

Yep, fully loaded, safety on.

Feeling a lot more secure — and a bit stupid at my freak-out — I put the gun down on the cherry nightstand and started undressing. We always dressed up for weddings, but shooting video requires stringing cable on your hands and knees. Not the kind of thing you do in a dress and hose. Today I’d worn a black wool pantsuit and an ice-blue silk blouse. For a moment, I distracted myself with the memory of Bob in a suit. The jacket had needed no padding to call attention to his broad shoulders, narrow waist, and long legs. Not to mention that perfectly muscled ass…

Cut it out, Carole. No lusting after Marley’s husband.

Still, I loved the intent look he got in those gray eyes whenever he was setting up a shot. There was something sensual in the way his powerful hands gripped one of our commercial-grade video cameras, balancing it effortlessly on one strong shoulder…

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New York Times best-selling author Angela Knight’s first book was written in pencil and illustrated in crayon; she was nine years old at the time. A few years later, she read The Wolf and the Dove and fell in love with romance. In addition to her fiction work, Angela’s publishing career includes a stint as a comic book writer and ten years as a newspaper reporter. Several of her stories have won South Carolina Press Association awards. Angela lives in South Carolina with her husband, Michael, a detective with the Spartanburg PD.

 

Ghost Hunting by Mychael Black #GayRomance #Christmas #PNR @changelingpress @mychael_black

Hoping for a real haunting may be the one Christmas wish
Caleb shouldn’t have made this year!

 

Ghost Hunting (Christmas Spirits 3)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres/Themes: Paranormal, Christmas, Gay, Silver Fox

As the resident medium for Southern Kansas Haunts, Caleb Ryan is used to overacting for the camera. He hates it, but the show pays well. The small city of Tory, Kansas, doesn’t have much more to offer, even though he longs for something… real.

Scott Pennington, heir to an aging farm on the outskirts of Tory, desperately needs help. When no other groups will talk to him so close to Christmas, he turns to the crew of the local ghost-hunting show, Southern Kansas Haunts.

Caleb hopes this “investigation” pays off, but he quickly finds more than he bargains for at the old Pennington farm.

 

Now Available at Changeling Press
Pre-Order at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and Kobo for December 7th

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2018 Mychael Black

“Look, I’m just saying that maybe a little more… drama is what we need. Just a little –”
Caleb Ryan threw his hands up, exasperated. “I might say I feel something when I don’t. I might overact for the camera. But I will not pretend to talk an old lady’s dead husband!”

“Um, Caleb,” someone said from behind him.

Whirling around, Caleb continued, “I will not…” He blinked. “Oh. Uh, hi?”

The director’s assistant smiled rather sheepishly. “Sorry to interrupt. This is Mr. Scott Pennington.”

“Scott,” the silver fox said, extending one hand to Caleb. “Just call me Scott.”

Caleb dumbly nodded before managing to kick his brain into gear. “Um, Caleb Ryan. How can I help you? Are you a fan of the show?”

Scott glanced at the assistant and the director, both of whom left. He cleared his throat. “I got your name from a waitress in Pratt,” he said. “She gave me a list of names, people who deal with… otherworldly things. No other groups near here will see me until after Christmas. I’m kind of desperate, to be honest.”

Caleb nodded. “Yeah, I don’t observe it, so I’m usually the one folks come to this time of year. What sort of otherworldly things are you talking about?”

“Ever hear of Pennington Farm?”

Caleb snorted out a laugh. “Are you kidding? Everyone’s heard of that place! The old loon who owned it fled the house and refused to go back. Rumor has it that it’s haunted, but no one’s been able to get in to investigate.” Caleb narrowed his gaze. “Why?”

Scott drew a key from his pocket and held it up. “That old loon was my uncle. The farm is mine now. And I need help.”

“I see,” Caleb muttered. “Um, we’re wrapping up here, but I’d love to talk to you about it. When’s a good time?”

“You free for dinner?” Scott asked.

Ignoring the brief thrill of having a not-date with the gorgeous man, Caleb nodded. “Sure. What did you have in mind?”

“This is the first time I’ve been back this way in almost thirty years.” Scott pulled out his wallet and handed Caleb a business card. “Give me a text or call when you’re done, and I’ll meet you wherever. I’m staying at the Spicer Inn in downtown Pratt.”

Caleb glanced at the card, then smiled and nodded. “Sure thing. Shouldn’t be too long. Maybe an hour or so?”

“That works,” Scott said. “Thanks. I’ll talk to you then.”

Caleb watch the man walk away, unable to stop staring at muscular thighs and a tight butt encased in slightly faded denim. Thirty years? Judging by the hint of silver in the dark hair, Caleb put Scott Pennington in mid-forties, maybe. It didn’t matter. Caleb would sit up and beg just to see lust in those luminous baby blues.

Fingers snapped in front of his face. Caleb shook his head. “Sorry.”

His friend and fellow investigator, Jay, just laughed. “What was that about?”

Caleb studied the business card. “We may be the first to investigate Pennington Farm.”

“What?”

He met Jay’s gaze and held up the card, emblazoned with Scott Pennington, Homicide in dark blue across the middle. Below it, in black: St. Louis Police.

“Holy shit,” Jay muttered.

“Yeah. I’m meeting him tonight to talk it over.”

Jay smirked. “Talk what over? The farm investigation? Or getting into his pants?”

“Asshole. The farm, dude. Yeah, he’s hot, but I doubt he’s gay.”

“You never know,” Jay said with a shrug. “Just because he’s a cop doesn’t mean he doesn’t like guys.”

“I know.” Caleb pocketed the card. “Anyway, enough of that. Let’s get this stuff finished up. I’m eager to hear what he has to say.”

 

cooltext305124175641891

Myc has been writing professionally since 2005, solo and with Shayne Carmichael. Genres include pretty much anything (no steampunk yet), though Myc is well known for paranormal stories. When not writing, Myc is usually playing PC games, reading, editing, watching movies and shows on Netflix and Amazon, or spending way too much time on Facebook.

https://arianderwyddbooks.wordpress.com

Krampus Bah Humbug by Crymsyn Hart #DarkDesire #DarkFantasy #PNR #GayRomance #NewRelease @changelingpress @crymsynhart

Krampus has to get with the holiday attitude or lose all that he holds dear.
Bah, Humbug!

 

Krampus Bah Humbug (Christmas Spirits 4)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres/Themes: Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Bisexual and More,
Christmas, Dark Desire, Gay, Elves Dragons and Magical Creatures

 

When Krampus gets called to help find a missing Incarnation, he finds himself in over his head. It takes a little bit of magic and a help from a couple friends to win the day. More than one surprise looms that will turn his whole world upside down. Krampus has to get with the holiday attitude or lose all that he holds dear.

 

Now Available at Changeling Press
Pre-Order at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and Kobo for December 7th

 

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All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2018 Crymsyn Hart

“Harder, Clo,” Emerald murmured as she bent over. Krampus slid his hands over her appealing ass and squeezed her cheeks. She grunted and shot him a look. He flashed her an innocent smile as he leaned over her and nibbled her neck. He raked his claws along her side and cupped her breasts, fingering her nipples until they firmed against his palm. She pressed her ass into his hard-on and groaned. This only made him pinch them harder until she panted.

“It looks like I’ve interrupted something.”

Krampus glanced up over Emerald’s horns into the dark form of Nyx, the Incarnation of Night. Her black dress illuminated in a starburst pattern. The remains of the comet flew across her chest and down her dress until it disappeared. Her silver hair hung in waves around her back. She took a seat on a kitchen stool and picked up one of the undecorated gingerbread men. Nyx broke off one of its arms and a muffled scream from the dough filled the kitchen. “These are good.”

Emerald straightened up and wiped her hands on her apron. Krampus slung his arm around her and kissed her, tasting the nutmeg and vanilla on her lips. He trailed his fingers through her hair and over her small horns until she squirmed. He couldn’t get enough of her no matter where they were or what she was doing. If he didn’t need to prepare for his holiday duties, he would’ve spent every moment he could fucking her. Krampus broke the kiss, leaving his wife breathless as Emerald moved out of the way for him to get at the dough. She was having a rough time rolling out on this batch.

Krampus rolled up his sleeves and latched onto the wooden handles of the two-foot marble rolling pin. The brown dough quivered as it tried to get away, but he pressed down and rolled it into submission.

“What do you want, Nyx?” Krampus asked.

Emerald went over to their guest and sat on her lap. Nyx — along with several other Incarnations — had been welcomed into their bed over the past few months. Nyx slid her hand along Emerald’s face and met her lips. Krampus tore his gaze away from them making out. Knowing that Emerald enjoying being with others in their bed made it all worthwhile. She didn’t get jealous when he slept with someone else. She knew he always came back to her.

“Your lips taste like cinnamon, Em,” Nyx crooned. “How about we get upstairs and take advantage of the alone time?” She skated her hand under Emerald’s dress.
“That’d be nice.”

“What alone time? Nyx, you’re not here just to enjoy our flesh. Why are you here?” Krampus pounded the rolling pin down on the dough.

His wife moaned when Nyx stopped her caresses. “Right, business first. Pleasure later. Your help has been requested.”

He rolled his eyes. “Not this again. It’s getting close to Christmas. I have things to do and a lot of new bells to forge. A lot of naughty children have cropped up this year, and I’m particularly hungry for flesh that doesn’t come from my farm. The human meat I have here is a bit lean for my taste. The children are all fattening up while they wait for the Claus and baking him cookies.” He gritted his teeth as he thought about his arch nemesis. He might have rescued him and the Mrs. one time, but that didn’t mean all things were kosher between them. Although, he did make Claus promise to visit Emerald since she had nothing to do with their rivalry.

“Sorry, Krampus. They asked for you specifically. They’ve done me a few favors in the past. I couldn’t turn them down.” Nyx got up.

Emerald came back behind the counter and began mixing up another batch of gingerbread, so they could fix some of the older ones whose crumbs littered the house. Sometimes the older ones got a bit ornery and hungry and ate the newer ones. The cannibal gingers were a part of his special creation, but they listened well and got along with the tin soldiers and nutcrackers who kept guard on his property.

“Come on, Clo. You enjoy helping people. You just hide behind that gruff exterior. Big and scary with the horns. The clomping around of your hooves as you chase those poor children,” Emerald joked.

He licked his lips when he thought about the children he would catch. “It’s not just children, love. You know I bring back men, too.”

Emerald made a disgusted face and poured the flour into the mixing bowl. “That’s all you. I’m not into eating human. Remember, I was human until I was cursed because a certain god didn’t like what I told him in the cards.”

Krampus slapped her ass. “You are beautiful with horns or without. Nyx, who am I supposed to be helping now?”

 

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Crymsyn Hart is a National Bestselling author of over eighty paranormal romance and horror novels. Her experiences as a psychic and ghostly encounters have given her a lot of material to use in her books. Vampires, grim reapers, shifters, and other paranormal creatures tend to end up in her books no matter how hard she tries to keep them away.

She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her hubby and her three dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s curled up with the dogs watching a good horror movie or off with friends.

To find out more about Crymsyn, check out her website on: www.crymsynhart.com

Pick-Me-Up by Megan Slayer #PNR #Christmas #GayRomance #LGBT #holidayromance @MeganSlayer @changelingpress

Can a human find forever with a spirit? At Christmas?

Pick-Me-Up (Christmas Spirits 1)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres/Themes: Christmas, Paranormal, Gay

 

Nic Kristol wants one thing for Christmas — a second chance. Being dead makes second chances hard, but the moment he sees Jon, he’s determined to meet the handsome man.

Jon Ruhle thought he’d given up on romance, but along came Nic. He’s drawn to the mysterious man and would love to spend the holidays together. There’s just one problem — Nic’s a spirit. Will he and Nic find their forever together or apart?

 

Get it Today at Changeling Press

Pre-Order for November 30th at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and Kobo

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2018 Megan Slayer

“I’m going to try something new,” Jon said. “Remember me telling you about that bistro, Kim’s Place? That’s the new bar I went to a few times with Brett.”

Willie Gus said nothing — not that Jon expected him to reply. He plopped onto his side and licked his back leg.

Jon marveled at the cat’s dexterity. He swore if he could bend like that, he’d never leave the house. Why have a boyfriend if you could lick your own balls?

He sighed. Why was he telling the cat about his plans for the evening? Because Willie Gus was the only one who listened. Jon had once thought he could see spirits. Hadn’t he spoken to the ghost of his grandmother? Brett swore he was crazy. Maybe so. Jon still believed he’d talked to his MeMaw.

“Anyway, I’m going to see if I can catch the eye of the server, Nic. He’s adorable.” No, adorable didn’t begin to describe Nic. The guy had muscles everywhere, a toned tush, a great sense of style — despite the bland server garb — personality in spades, and those eyes. Jon could get lost in Nic’s deep brown eyes. He focused on the cat. “I love how easygoing Nic can be.” He frowned. “Do you think he’s doing it to get a bigger tip? Or because he’s really interested?” Was he wrong to want to pay for the positive attention? Maybe.

Probably.

His phone rang. The cat growled, then darted from the counter. Jon swiped to check the listing on the screen. The library. What in the hell were they calling him for? He wasn’t on the schedule for that evening and besides, the library closed in half an hour.

He answered, despite his better judgment to leave well enough alone. “Hello?”

“Hi. Are you home?”

He knew that voice. Brett. “No, I’m out.” Liar. He’d be leaving soon, but hadn’t gone yet.

“Why?”

“You sound like I’m being mean,” Brett said. “I wanted to see what you’re doing.”

“I’m out.” He refused to give his ex any details.

“Would you be able to swing by the library and cover for me tonight? I’ve got somewhere I need to be,” Brett said. “I could use your help. You’re always good for a favor.”

“Not tonight.” He kept his voice level, despite wanting to scream. “You’re trying to get out early to meet a guy, and you want me to close so I’ll see you with this guy. It’s your standard operating procedure.”

“I’m hurt.” Brett whimpered. “I don’t do that.”

“It’s seven-thirty and the library closes at eight,” Jon said. “You can cool your heels for thirty minutes. You can handle closing, and I don’t want to leave my date in order to help you. I’m not the boss.”

“Jon.”

The poutiness in Brett’s voice grated on Jon’s nerves. “No.”

“You were more fun when we were together,” Brett said. “You weren’t so angry.”

“Maybe it’s because I didn’t know back then that you were cheating on me,” Jon snapped. “Now I know the truth.”

“I never cheated,” Brett said. “Come to the library and keep me company. It’s cold and snowy. Plus, we can heal old wounds.”

He could stand only so much lying, and Brett had gone over his limit. “I’m out.” He checked his look in the mirror alongside the table. The bistro closed at nine — he wasn’t sure why — but he wanted to try to get a drink with the hottie server. If he was going to go through with his plan, then he needed to get moving.

“Jon.”

“Sorry. You have your job, and you’re scheduled tonight. I’m not. I have places to go after I leave this club.” The excuse didn’t sound great, but who cared?

“Who is he?” Brett asked.

“Nic.” Christ. He wasn’t with the guy, but Nic’s name rolled right off his tongue.

“Do I know him?”

“Maybe.” Jon had seen Nic four times when they’d gone to the bistro, but Brett had paid no attention. Brett had been focused on the other men at the establishment. But that was Brett — he hated to pay Jon much mind.

“Have I dated him?” Brett asked.

“I don’t know, but I doubt it.” Jon stood and finger-combed his hair with his free hand. He wanted to look his best for Nic.

“Let me meet you. I want to check this guy out,” Brett said. “You know, make sure he’s on the level.”

“I’m good.” Jon appraised his reflection in the mirror. He needed all the confidence he could get, but damn, he was cute. Not handsome or drop-dead gorgeous, but cute. “I need to go. Nic’s ready and the bar is boring.”

“Jon.”

He disconnected the call. “Oops.” Once he grabbed his coat and scarf, he stepped into his leather boots. He tucked his phone into his coat pocket, then snagged his keys and wallet from the table. He turned to Willie Gus. “Wish me luck.”

The cat sneezed, then left the kitchen again. So much for the feline’s vote of approval.

“I’m out. Hopefully, it’s a good night.” Jon left the apartment and locked up.

He headed downstairs and the spring returned to his step. Giddiness filled his mind. He was about to ask someone out for the first time in months. Holy shit. Could he do this?

He stepped into the bitter December air and gasped. He tugged his collar and scarf tighter around his throat. Christmas carols played on the loudspeakers along the street. Twinkle lights shimmered from the light poles, illuminating his path. Tinsel Christmas trees rustled on the trash bins, and a dusting of snow added a festive feel to his four-block journey.

Jon loved living in the center of Danielsville. He could walk to the stores, restaurants and even the theater. The library was only five blocks away. The police presence in town ensured anyone downtown would be safe. Why move away from such a wonderful situation?

He ducked into the bistro to find it mostly empty. He’d expected a large crowd, it being a Friday night and not long before Christmas. Where were the throngs of shoppers needing to wet their whistle after strolling downtown? He looked for Nic. Was his favorite server there?

“Hi, you.” Nic sashayed up to him. “I hoped you’d come in tonight. Is it chilly out?”

“Freezing.” Jon swept his gaze over Nic. The burgundy long-sleeve shirt clung to his frame and showcased the strength in his upper body. The long apron covered his lower half. Pity. He loved looking at Nic’s body. He swallowed the whimper in his throat. He’d been cold until now, but the chill evaporated. Heat enveloped him and not because of the fireplace or his coat. “Which section is yours?” he managed. “I want to be in your section.”

“Over here.” Nic grinned. He seemed to shimmer from the inside. Was he wearing glitter? Nic paused and touched Jon’s biceps. “Are you sure you want my section?”

“Of course.” He wished he could lean into Nic. He loved the heat radiating from him. “Lead the way.”

“I’m off once I close out your tab.” Nic gestured to a booth. “But I’m thrilled you came here for me. I’m getting the feeling you like me.”

“I do,” Jon blurted. Fuck. He hadn’t meant to be so blunt. Chalk it up to being bitten by the Christmas spirit.

 

PLAYLIST

I write to music. Sometimes it’s a movie, but most of the time I need tunes. These are the ones that inspired and were listened to while I wrote Pick Me Up, a Christmas Spirits story.

Second Chance by .38 Special

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRkaPdfjzEk

Nic needs a second chance and he’s hedging his bets on Jon.

Sacrifice by Elton John

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrLkTZrPZA4

I just really like this song and the sensualness of it lent itself to the story.

Who Wants to Live Forever by Queen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Jtpf8N5IDE

It’s Queen. It’s sad. It’s sweet. I cry with this one, but it fits how Nic feels.

Sympathy for the Devil – Motorhead cover

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt4Xx3vX3Lg

Nic’s dealt with his share of devils and has to come to terms with what he’s done.

Never Surrender by Corey Hart

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4pg6Jh94Lo

Honestly, I just like this song. It didn’t inspire the story, but it kept coming up on my playlist. I love it.

Other songs that were on there and kept me going during the writing of the story:

Just What I Needed by the Carshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5-rdr0qhWk

Thought I’d Died and Gone to Heaven by Bryan Adamshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTfIr_euGTs

I Want You to Want Me by Cheap Trickhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJs_L7yq5qE

Freak on a Leash by Kornhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRGrNDV2mKc

In the End by Linkin Parkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVTXPUF4Oz4  

Eclectic grouping, isn’t it? That’s me, though. I don’t have many set playlists or specific ones for specific books. These are the songs that were on my lists during the writing of this book.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

When she’s not writing the stories in her head, Megan Slayer can be found luxuriating in her hot tub with her two vampire Cabana boys, Luke and Jeremy. She has the tendency to run a tad too far with her muse, so she has to hide in the head of her alter ego, but the boys don’t seem to mind.

When she’s not obsessing over her whip collection, she can be found picking up her kidlet from school.

She enjoys writing in all genres, but writing about men in love suits her fancy best.

Megan can be found at https://www.facebook.com/theauthormeganslayer.
Changeling Press: https://www.changelingpress.com/megan-slayer-a-161.

 

 

 

 

Painter’s Pride by Emily Carrington #Gay #RomanceBooks #LGBT #Christmas #holidayromance @CarringtonEmily @changelingpress

The Christmas holiday brings Aaron no hope for his art, but Jason does.

Painter's Pride (Christmas Spirits 2)

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight
Genres/Themes: Christmas, Gay, Contemporary

Jason and Aaron have been together since Aaron was a freshman. Now Aaron is a senior and getting ready to pursue his art career in NYC. But Aaron, growing up poor, can’t quite believe that anyone would want to help him support his talent – not even his lover, Jason. As they near the holidays, Aaron sinks into despair.

Jason believes in Aaron, but his boyfriend’s refusal to let him help is pulling them apart. Will the season of hope bring them together or will it destroy their love forever?

Get it Today at Changeling Press

Pre-Order for November 30th at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and Kobo

 

BEHIND THE BOOK

This short story is part of a much longer series tentatively called Year of the Queer. This first installment doesn’t have the series title because it also works great as a stand alone.

Over twenty years ago, I began the series of which Painter’s Pride is the first book. I started these books with a simple idea: what if LGBTQ people from all over a certain geographical area all had one touchstone: a drag queen named Griffin whose own dark past leads her to seek out other broken souls? The series, when complete, will include the following: two full-length novels and five or six novellas. In addition, there will be other “shorts” like Painter’s Pride centered around the holidays in the lives of the characters.

Here’s a little about the one novel and novella that are finished and should be published in 2019:

First story: The Prince and the Painter: This is the story of Jason and Aaron, the couple from Painter’s Pride, and how they find each other during Aaron’s first year of college.

Blurb: Aaron Spencer grew up keeping secrets. The depth of his family’s poverty is the least. When his boyfriend-in-the-closet is murdered and Aaron is raped by one of the murderers, he buries it in the hopes that if he leaves town, he’ll be able to put it all behind him.

Jason Cooper also lost a friend to that murderer. Fully living in the sunlight as a bisexual man, he is taken by Aaron’s grace and androgynous beauty at once. He raws the younger man to him and together they begin a new life.

But the man who raped Aaron still wants him—and this time he means to keep his prize. Can Aaron and Jason triumph over such despotic lust and come to their own love?

Second story: This second story, a novella, is finished but has no title as of yet. (Titles are one of my weaknesses and I may turn the finding of a title into a contest.)

Blurb: Krys is trans, f2m. Krys has cancer, although it is in remission. When he meets an oncologist-to-be who is sexy, passionate, and kind, Krys falls for him immediately.

Daiden enjoys Krys’s company, but Krys’s lingering belief that he’s going to die and leave Daiden as others have left both men in the past makes it impossible for him to truly get close to the person he dreams of day and night.

 

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2018 Emily Carrington

Jason Cooper slung his satchel over one of the sturdy pegs of the oak coat tree. That piece of furniture had been a gift from his brother, Chris, who ran a carpentry business back in their hometown of Lilacville, New York. It could hold at least three heavy bags without tipping over. Jason and his two roommates had repeatedly tested that claim and never found it false.

“So?” one of his roommates, Daiden, asked as he poked his head out of the bedroom he shared with his husband, Krys. “Was your scouting venture successful?” Tousle-haired and bleary-eyed, he’d clearly just woken up. Considering his usual twelve-hour shifts as one of NYC’s best oncologists, Jason didn’t blame him for sleeping in the middle of the day.

“Where’s Krys?” he countered as he kicked off his sandals and left them beside the coat tree. It was a Saturday; he should be home.

“Last I knew, he was going shopping. He said we needed to make a good impression on your guest.”

Good impression. Yeah, right. Krys and Daiden had done nothing but needle Jason about his two-year, long-distance relationship with Aaron. Not because they didn’t know and like Aaron but because… Well, each had his reasons. Krys thought Aaron would miss living in the country too much to ever settle down in Manhattan. Daiden was of a mind that Aaron was too “proud about being poor” to ever live in a vaulted-ceilinged, hardwood-floored apartment with Jason. “The only way he’ll ever settle in is if he strikes gold with his paintings first thing.”

Jason sort of believed Daiden.

“So, how did it go?” Daiden asked.

“I got the tickets. Are you sure I can borrow your picnic blanket?”

“Absolutely. And the hamper too. There’s nothing like sitting out under the sun in Central Park and enjoying a little al fresco lunch.”

Jason was fully aware of the tension crawling up the back of his neck. Even though the tickets had been free, it was a “donations expected” concert put on by the Philharmonic. All proceeds would go to Manhattan’s underprivileged schools for their music programs. Ninety percent of the public institutions in NYC were disadvantaged. Jason worked at one of these schools. Not only had his choice two years ago given him a trial by fire, but his student loans had been forgiven.

He would simply have to find a way to slip the orchestra money without Aaron knowing how much. Because Aaron would only be able to afford a dollar or two.

Jason went into his bedroom and shoved everything in the closet over to the left. Then he began extracting hangers. Aaron was as much of a neat freak as he was; it simply wouldn’t do for his week’s worth of clothes to be crammed into the suitcase during those seven days.

Aaron didn’t visit often and, because of his school schedule, neither did Jason. But now Aaron had said he was ready to take the plunge. After his final semester of school in the fall, he would be moving in with Jason, Daiden, and Krys.

Jason could hardly be more thrilled by the prospect. Just so long as Aaron’s “I have to pay for everything myself” streak of pride didn’t drive him crazy, he could see them settling down together happily. He’d loved Aaron since nearly their first meeting and he could only see joy in any future they made together.

Once he was done preparing the closet, he triple-checked his nightstand for condoms and lube. For six months after Aaron had been raped, they’d used condoms in case the monster had AIDS. They’d both started to enjoy not having to change the sheets as frequently.

Only when he was ensuring that all the squares in his quilt were perfectly straight and flat did Jason admit he was trying to kill time before Aaron’s bus arrived. The fact that Aaron wasn’t coming until tomorrow underlined Jason’s nervousness. Aaron had seen this room in its summer neatness and its mid-school-year disorder. Yes, but last time he wasn’t getting ready to move in here. I want to show him my best face.

* * *

Jason had always asked him to wait in the bus station. Today especially Aaron didn’t mind since he had luggage and it was ten blocks to Jason’s house. On those occasions when Aaron’s bus got in before sunrise, he understood his boyfriend’s caution.

He really didn’t mind waiting for Jason under normal circumstances. It was just the guy scoping him out from three chairs down. He’d gotten on the bus about an hour before this final stop and he’d sat next to Aaron. There hadn’t been many other open seats so Aaron hadn’t argued. But the guy reeked of cologne and he kept trying to chat Aaron up. Once they’d reached their destination and Aaron hadn’t given the man more than his first name and the news that he was going to visit his boyfriend, he’d assumed that would be the end of the matter. But here the dude was, actually approaching him with a sneaky little grin.

He plopped down right next to Aaron, nudging Aaron’s foot with his boot. “Yeah, you know, your ‘boyfriend’” — Aaron could hear the sarcasm quotes –”isn’t here yet. We could go get a cup of coffee.”

Aaron pulled his suitcase closer. He wasn’t really afraid the reprobate would steal it, that didn’t seem to be what he was after, but having the luggage close made him feel safer. “No thank you. Jason will be here soon.”

“If he really loved you, he would have been waiting.”

Jason usually was waiting. Aaron felt a twinge of unease. Not that he believed Jason didn’t love him but it was so unlike Jason to be late for anything.

The hand on his knee startled him. And when it scooted higher, he stiffened.

“Blow me,” the guy whispered. “We’ll go in an alley — I know one nearby. I’ll pay you $50. How would that be?”

Aaron got up, stumbled over his suitcase, and almost fell. Did he look that poor?

“Whoa.” The man was right after Aaron, catching his arm in an iron grip. “Relax. I can’t be the first guy you’ve blown for cash.”

He did think Aaron was that poor. Or that he looked like a prostitute.

“Aaron!” Jason shoved his way between them, acting like he didn’t even see the jerk, although he did take the time to discreetly break the hold on Aaron’s bicep. “I’m sorry I’m late. My alarm didn’t go off.”

Aaron forced himself not to sag against his lover. He looked at the man — and saw him slinking away. Aaron glanced down and saw his suitcase was still where it belonged.

“Are you okay?”

Aaron nodded. “I just… Some guys don’t know no means no.” He decided not to tell Jason he’d been mistaken for a prostitute. He wasn’t wearing anything revealing, although his jeans were a little tight because he found that style the most comfortable.

He squeezed his boyfriend’s hand. “Let’s get out of here.”

* * *

He’d seen the inside of Jason’s apartment before, of course, but Aaron couldn’t help seeing it with fresh eyes. In less than six months, he’d be living here. The hardwood floors, the crown moldings, the built-ins… this place was too beautiful for the likes of him.

That’s not quite true. I deserve as much as anyone else. I survived Vance’s attacks and kidnapping as well as Isaiah’s attention. It’s just that I haven’t earned this yet. Maybe I should have tried to become a teacher.

“Aaron!” Daiden appeared, grinning. He was dressed for work already and had his lunch bag in one hand, his briefcase in the other. “Glad you made it safe.”

Krys was just behind him, dressed in a conservative suit. He’d stopped teaching at State University of New York’s Besker College in favor of working for the United Nations full time about a year ago. He looked good. His second bout of cancer must be abating. He grinned at Aaron. “You looked a little peaked.”

Aaron tried to shrug it off. “Getting up at one to catch a bus at two is a little rough,” he admitted.

“Jason has all summer off,” Daiden said as he headed for the door. “You could have taken a later bus.”

Which would have been more expense. “I don’t mind,” he answered.

Krys and Daiden disappeared out the door.

And Jason came to Aaron’s side, taking his hand and kissing it. “Are you really okay?”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emily Carrington has been writing m/m erotic romance (specializing in urban fantasy) since 2010. She is currently branching out into the other letters of the LGBTQ rainbow. She lives in Maryland with her guide dog. For short stories about the main and side characters in her books, please visit her website.

Website: emilycarrington.com/

Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/4619715.Emily_Carrington

Facebook: facebook.com/emily.carrington.370

Twitter twitter.com/CarringtonEmily