Tag Archives: snippet

Whoops! Running to Him ran early!

Just when I think I’ve got Amazon figured out, and factored in the current chaos in the world, and build in a safety margin that would have been good to have the last time out of the gate, it all changes.

Running to Him is live! Twenty-four hours earlier than I expected. Of course.

Some early reviews are coming in at Goodreads.  Five stars at a time.  😀  Some folks are liking the May/September, first time sweetness, and the oh-dear-lord-what-did they-just-do? plot.

So, how about a little snippet?

———————————————

So much for the printer workstation being a high output business model. The damn thing needed a full-time babysitter, and somehow Carson Eddinger found himself elected to the job. Maybe if his colleagues didn’t feed the hapless machine a steady diet of rubber bands and staples along with the endless paperwork to be faxed, scanned, copied, and otherwise dumped into the bowels of the business, he wouldn’t spend so much time on his knees at work.

Hell, there had to be rent boys who spent less time on their knees and got more joy from it.

What lunatic excuse of an engineer put the paper feed in so it needed two levers and a twisty knob to extract a jam? Perhaps he should be grateful it didn’t require a blood sacrifice and an incantation.

This time. He dropped a mangled yellow sheet on the floor and hoped he’d gotten all the shreds.

Carson stayed on his knees a little longer than he needed to extract the toner cartridge, which was empty again.  With his head stuck in the machine and his butt out to the world, he could avoid speaking to The Harridan From Hell™. Yay, she was moving with purpose, and double yay, a small sip of revenge was his—Carson was only sorry that he was in the right position and wrong venue to slap his ass and tell her to “Kiss this!”

Now, the cutie she was towing behind her… Cutie ought to get a proper introduction to Carson’s backside, with any slapping to be done for much better reasons. And knees time without any copier involved.

Dream on. So much time had passed since Carson’s last enjoyable knee time that he couldn’t rightly recall. Or didn’t want to recall. He’d thought no strings attached was the way to go, until the emptiness of getting called someone else’s name, or no one’s name, became too much. Maybe if he was willing to take someone home, even let him spend the night, he’d have a better chance of something lasting.

He needed a name for Cutie. The spank bank needed a deposit. Or maybe not.

The guy was young, had to be at least ten years younger than his own thirty-three, and might not have a thought in his head.

Which wouldn’t matter one single bit: fantasy fodder only said things that Carson wanted to hear. He could imagine erudite lines from Cutie’s mouth, along with more dangerous imaginings. “Fuck me, I love you, keep breaking from the damn window, Romeo!” ought to satisfy all the needs Carson’s right hand wasn’t meeting.

His hang-dog demeanor could be fixed in Carson’s head too. He might look a lot more confident in different company. Wouldn’t anyone getting dragged into Lorraine Ratliff’s office look like they wholly regretted the events leading up to imprisonment? Carson certainly hadn’t enjoyed his last session in the Chair of Tears. Not that he’d ever give that bitch the satisfaction of knowing.

She couldn’t possibly not know how much he enjoyed being able to produce two emails from higher up, plus an invoice that she’d insisted didn’t exist. Write him up for nonsense, would she? Not that he hadn’t sweated bullets hunting for that invoice, which his nemesis the workstation had scanned into the wrong folder. She’d been so confident she had him good that time.

He’d get another glimpse of Cutie if he stood here long enough, but Angie cleared her throat behind him. He jumped guiltily—how long had he been wool-gathering?

“Do we need to call the service center?” she asked, rattling the sheaf of papers at him. “I have to get these sent out on the afternoon mail, and if I have to run over to shipping to use theirs…”

“Honestly, government. You’d think they’d come into the twenty-first century and use electronic documentation already.” Carson inspected the toner cartridge’s change date, information he’d added a month ago with a silver Sharpie on the black plastic. “No, this will only take a minute.”

Movement at an office door attracted their attention—he and Angie both swiveled to look. Jerking his eyes back to the cartridge almost as fast as he’d looked, Carson felt his fantasies evaporating like the mist they were.

“…Mom until you have an employee badge, Tim,” had to be the biggest boner-killer ever uttered.

So Cutie had a name. Tim Ratliff.

And The Harridan from Hell™ was his mother.

Why hadn’t she just named him “My Mommy Has My Balls In Her Purse”? Because that would explain his hunched over gait. His friends could call him Percy. If she let him have friends. Who in their right mind would risk dating anyone who came with a controller like her? Look how she was planning his life. And he was taking it.

If the poor guy ever managed to lose his V-card, Carson would bet either Mommy was leaning over the bed giving instructions, blurgggggggg, or he was a lot more accomplished at sneaking around than the CIA. Or he wasn’t, and the unfortunate partner was composting six feet down in the petunia bed in the back garden.

Nope, not a risk to take.

Not even a risk to imagine taking.

Back to dealing with the copier, which at least the bitch appreciated. Or at least she appreciated not being inconvenienced as frequently as the machine attempted. Not that she appreciated Carson dealing with the balky thing. Hadn’t she ridden his back about “taking time away from your assigned work” for touching its innards? Like he could get anything done without a functioning copier/scanner.

First thing, seal the cartridge, or it would puke greasy black toner all over the packaging on the way to recycling. Carson turned it over gently, hunting the tabs.

Damn it all, here came Lorraine, with blood in her eye, and her mouth all pursed up like a cat’s butt. “Don’t you even think about it!”

He’d apologize to Angie later. “Okay. I won’t. You deal with it.”

Carson thrust the cartridge into her hand in a puff of black dust.

——————————————-

Read the rest. You know you want to.  Available at Rocky Ridge Books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, and other retailers, in mobi, epub, and print.

Yes, the Rocky Ridge link is new: we’re setting up a publisher’s store, run by the rock-solid folks at Payhip. You can get the mobi or epub there. Check it out.

A Snippet from Concierge Service

Hi, guys!

There really has been a book brewing all this time. Concierge Service, featuring Joshua Hannes, concierge in one of New York City’s premier hotels and Craig Ridley, the guest in the penthouse suit, is in the final stages  of launching.

I should give you a taste, shouldn’t I?  Here’s our two guys, sitting down together for the first time. Craig’s in New York on business, has chased his CFO out of the penthouse suite for being a pain in the ass, and plans to test her assertion that the concierge desk could provide anything he desires. So he’s called downstairs for a “rent-a-friend.”

*****

The rap at the door slightly after eleven jerked Craig away from the e-book he was reading with indifferent attention; if this was a thriller, he wasn’t nearly as thrilled by the text as he was by the interruption.

Perhaps he should have peeked through the peephole, but anyone who knocked on this door had to use the passcard in the elevator, soooo… He opened the door.

Very scenic.

The vision he’d seen coming out of the suite earlier greeted him. Brown eyes under full brows, a perfectly straight nose over a sunny smile, wide shoulders dressed in a decent suit—the same label as the one Craig had treated himself to when he’d sold his first company.

He jerked his gaze back to his visitor’s face—a laser dissection of the visitor’s charms was just not okay. Not when Craig made it abundantly clear he wanted nothing but company. The guy was worth looking at—and an unknown quantity as to what kind of person he’d prove to be.

Ten seconds of admiration for the view. Would this stranger last longer once words started coming out of his mouth?

“I’m Joshua Hannes. You rang?” The smile faltered for a scant second.

Craig found his voice and the memory of why he needed it. “I’m Craig Ridley.” Oh, that was stupid, of course rent-a-friend would know that, but… “Didn’t I see you earlier?”

“You did—I arranged your dinner. Now I’m back. If that’s okay.” Joshua remained in the doorway, a bag dangling from his fingertips.

Oh, right, Craig was keeping him standing. He ushered his guest in. “Hope you brought the Scrabble board, or that there’s one tucked away in some yet to be explored corner here.”

“I don’t think so, but I found us a deck of cards. We could play gin rummy, or War, or Go Fish.” Joshua pulled the sealed deck from his bag.

“Definitely more social than watching a movie.” Craig slit the cellophane wrapper to shake out the cards. “Or we could talk politics and possibly have our first fight, or compare weight lifting routines if we both lifted… Sorry, I didn’t even think about going downstairs to the gym to burn off some energy—I’m exhausted but my body still swears it’s two hours too early to go to bed.”

“No problem.” His visitor’s smile looked genuine. “I brought some Izzes.” He found coasters in the sideboard inlaid with enough exotic woods to endanger an entire rain forest, and two cut crystal tumblers, which he filled with ice from a minifridge disguised as more finely milled cabinetry. “Pomegranate, blackberry, or peach?”

Craig studied a maroon can, searching for symbols. Packaging had betrayed him before. “Is this kosher?”

Joshua examined his own can. “I don’t think it’s certified, but it’s vegan. Is that close enough?”

“Sure is. Blackberry sounds good.” He poured and offered to clink his glass against Joshua’s peach drink. “To new friends.”

Josh gave him that look again, a nanosecond of I don’t understand. “L’chaim?”

“La kayim,” Craig agreed. Whatever that meant. Probably New-Yorkese. That gravelly consonant might just be another regional thing. Craig sipped again, the fruity bubbles dancing on his tongue.

Nice choice—Craig could appreciate the subtlety of not bringing wine or liquor. This wasn’t a date. What the hell did they do next? Cards, okay—another nice choice. Joshua hadn’t mentioned poker. Not when that could go lascivious. Not that Craig would mind in the least demanding shirts and trousers as forfeit.

Stop. That. One more stray thought and he’d have to adjust himself. The thin sweats he’d changed into for lounging wouldn’t hide a thing. Besides, where the hell had that thought come from? That was twice now. His interest hadn’t been piqued like this in years.

“So, gin rummy?” Craig offered.

“You’re on.” Joshua produced a pad and pen from a work of art generally shaped like a desk.

They sorted out their versions of the rules into mutual agreement, and Craig dealt out the cards. “We need some stakes.”

“Money?” Joshua stilled. “Or…?”

Damn it—even the small things worked against this rent-a-friend business. That “or” had to be exactly why his companion hadn’t mentioned poker. He hadn’t removed his suit coat, only pulling the knot of his tie away from his throat and undoing the top button.

Craig liked the lack of assumptions. What else could he like about Joshua? “Lose a round, answer a question, is that okay?” Damn it, that could go bad again fast—Joshua stopped sorting his hand. “Getting to know you kind of questions, nothing super-personal.”

“That works.” Joshua relaxed again. “Prepare to lose.”

“You can try,” Craig shot back, and took the top card from the stack.

*****

The rest will be along shortly!