Welcome to Suki Fleet, with an exclusive excerpt from her new novel, Foxes, a book that our very own Sammy reviewed and loved.
Blurb: When Dashiel’s body is found dumped on an East London wasteland, his best friend Danny sets out to find the killer. But Danny finds interaction difficult and must keep his world small in order to survive. By day he lives in an abandoned swimming pool and fixes electrical devices to trade for supplies, but by night, alone, he hunts sharks—a reckless search for dangerous men who prey on the vulnerable.
A chance meeting with an American boy selling himself on the streets throws this lonely existence into disarray. Micky is troubled, fragile, and Danny feels a desperate need to protect him—from what, he doesn’t know. As Danny discovers more about Micky, he realizes that what Micky needs saving from is the one thing Danny can’t help him fight against.
To save Micky, Danny must risk expanding his world and face something that scares him more than any shark ever could: trusting he will be accepted for who he is. If a freezing winter on the streets, a sadistic doctor, and three thousand miles don’t tear them apart first, that is.
Excerpt: “I know. I promise I’m going to try, okay.” He grips my hand so hard that I think the pen still caught between my fingers is going to snap. “I’m going to eat. When I’m with you, it’s the only thing I wish was different. When I’m with you, I don’t want to disappear.”
His voice has gone all husky, and I know he’s getting upset.
You’re beautiful, I write, while he’s still holding on to my hand. The words come out all spidery and crooked. You glitter like no one else. Like stars are inside you.
I want him to believe it. I want him to know what I see when I look at him. With my hand tight in his, I tug him outside, barely hearing the old lady calling after us, saying good-bye.
We lie outside the café on the icy pavement away from the road. I know he likes looking up at the sky like this. We make a T shape—Micky lying with his head resting on my chest, over my heart. I put my arm around him, holding him close, in case he should somehow float away from me.
We’re taking up the entire pavement, but there’s no one around. Only stars above. All the stars. All the bright and dying lights burning through the dark. There is no lid on the sky tonight. It’s endless. Forever.
I know space is supposed to make me feel small and insignificant, but somehow it doesn’t. What it makes me feel is special: I’m here, despite a million odds, in this moment, in this single point in time, with a boy I’m so completely in love with. Maybe Micky’s right and there is no limit. Maybe this feeling is what he means.
“I’m so happy,” he whispers, and I hold him close.
About the Author: Suki Fleet grew up on a boat and as a small child spent a lot of time travelling at sea with her family. She has always wanted to be a writer. As a kid she told ghost stories to scare people, but stories about romance were the ones that inspired her to sit down and write. She doesn’t think she’ll ever stop writing them.
Her novel This is Not a Love Story won Best Gay Debut in the 2014 Rainbow Awards and was a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Awards.