Hello all! Thank you so much for joining me here at The Novel Approach for the next stop on the Catch a Tiger by the Tail blog tour. The romance between Calvin Summers and Ethan Hobbs has been building throughout the THIRDS series. From the beginning we get hints that there’s something going on between these two, and then in Blood & Thunder, Dex walks in on Calvin and Ethan having their first kiss. The kiss that changed their relationship. Today I’m sharing an exclusive flash fiction story about that day. Enjoy!
“I can’t believe I almost lost you.”
Calvin put Ethan’s hands to his lips for a kiss, and had to shut his eyes tight in another attempt to keep his tears at bay. Yet even behind his closed eyes there was no peace. All he could see was Ethan’s lifeless body as the Therian EMTs lifted him onto the gurney. His body covered in grime and ash. If it hadn’t been for Dex going back into that room and dragging Ethan out, Calvin would have lost his best friends. His other half.
What would he have done? How could he face Ethan’s family? Julia and Thomas were beside themselves. Ethan might be almost seven feet tall and weigh nearly three hundred pounds, but to them he was still their baby boy. Knowing he was lying in a hospital bed after being caught in an explosion had come as a terrible blow to them. Ethan’s big brothers, Seb and Rafe were on the warpath, needing to release their anger and hurt on someone for what happened to their little brother. Unfortunately, that someone was Sloane, but that was his job as Team Leader. To calm and reassure.
Calvin lost track of how many hours he’d been sitting here holding Ethan’s hand, waiting for him to wake up. His best friend needed lots of rest. He’d been treated for smoke inhalation and was on antibiotics. Thankfully his lungs hadn’t been damaged. The broken ribs, nasty bruises, and bloodied scratches would soon heal. It could have been so much worse. From the moment he’d arrived at the hospital all he could think about was how lost he would be without Ethan.
Hours later, Calvin woke with a start. When the hell had he fallen asleep? He sat up and stretched, smiling when he saw Ethan watching him.
“Hey, you. Have you been awake long?”
“Why didn’t you wake me?”
Ethan pointed to Calvin, his voice hushed and rough when he spoke. “Tired.”
“Yeah, I’m sure I look real pretty at the moment, but I’m good.” Calvin gave him a wink. “All those late nights staying up watching movies and playing video games has trained us well. Oh, um, Dex wanted me to give you a message for when you woke up. He said you need to go on a diet, because he may have pulled something.”
Ethan shook his head with a chuckle. He tapped his head and put his thumbs up. Calvin agreed.
“Yeah, he’s a bit of a nut, but he’s a good guy. I can see why Sparks picked him. Not the first time he’s had our backs.”
Ethan smiled, and it reached his green eyes. It hit Calvin hard then, how deep he’d fallen. He stood, cursing under his breath. He needed to get a hold of himself. They’d been through so much together, fighting their away through life, always together. The thought of Ethan with someone else…. The thought of him gone from Calvin’s life…. Was he being selfish? Was it just because he wanted Ethan around? Was he afraid of losing him to some other guy, or was it more.
The soft raspy call of his name had him turn around, and Calvin knew in that very moment Ethan was the one who made him stronger, the one who inspired him to fight, and the one who kept him from turning his back on the world and feeling numb.
“I was so scared.” Calvin brushed away the tear that escaped. He told himself he wouldn’t cry. Ethan was safe now. That’s all that mattered.
Ethan frown and pulled him close. He patted the bed next to him. It was Therian size, so there was plenty of room for Calvin to sit. He did so, facing Ethan, not sure of what to say. There was so much he wanted to say, but Ethan needed rest.
No. No more excuses. What if he’d lost Ethan and never got the chance to tell him how he really felt?
“Ethan, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Remember when we had that big fight at the Fourth of July party, and I told you I didn’t want you with anyone else because somewhere along the way, things changed for me?”
Ethan nodded slowly.
“I was still trying to figure out what I was feeling, and you said we’d work it out.” Calvin stood and paced before turning to Ethan. He just needed to spit it out. “Well, I worked it out, and….” Calvin took a deep breath and cupped Ethan’s face. “Ethan, I’m in love with you.”
Ethan’s eyes widened. He sat exceptionally still as he stared at Calvin. Like a sweet tiger Therian caught in headlights. Well, he’d come this far. What if…. Calvin dropped his gaze to Ethan’s lips. What would he taste like? He’d wondered for so long. Would he taste as good as he did in Calvin’s dreams? He moved his eyes up and was caught aback by Ethan’s dilated pupils. It could just be the meds. Ethan licked his bottom lip, his eyes lowering to Calvin’s mouth. Okay, it wasn’t the meds.
Do it now or regret it for the rest of your life.
Calvin cupped Ethan’s face again and kissed him. Ethan stiffed, his lips parting in a gasp, allowing Calvin to slip his tongue inside. For the slightest moment, Calvin feared Ethan would pull away, but then he felt Ethan’s fingers gripping his arms, and Calvin’s heart almost burst when Ethan returned his kiss, eager and hungry. Ethan was kissing him, and it was even more amazing than he could have dreamed. It had taken him months to figure out what his heart had known all along. There was nothing and no one he wanted more than Ethan, and maybe, just maybe Ethan felt the same.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Genre: Gay Paranormal Romance, Shifters
Length: Novel, 216 Pages
Published: Feb 5th, 2016
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Ebook ISBN-13: 9781634769099
Paperback ISBN-13: 9781634769082
Calvin Summers and Ethan Hobbs have been best friends since childhood, but somewhere along the line, their friendship evolved into something more. With the Therian Youth Center bombing, Calvin realizes just how short life can be and no longer keeps his feelings for his best friend a secret. Unfortunately, change is difficult for Ethan; most days he does well to deal with his Selective Mutism and Social Anxiety. Calvin’s confession adds a new struggle for Ethan, one he fears might cost him the friendship that’s been his whole world for as long as he can remember.
As partners and Defense Agents at the THIRDS, being on Destructive Delta is tough at the best of times, but between call-outs and life-threatening situations, Calvin and Ethan not only face traversing the challenges of their job, but also working toward a future as more than friends.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.
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