THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED
Blurb: Physics teacher Fenton Keene is looking forward to a summer of doing nothing but hanging out with friends and maybe getting into a little trouble. With his best friend out of town, trouble seems like the best option and it comes in the form of his building’s newest temporary resident, a gorgeous fireman named Kevin.
Fen’s been attracted to men before, but this is the first time he’s considered acting on it. And act he does.
Fen and Kevin have an intense summer fling. Just in time for Kevin to go home, more feelings develop than Fen can ignore, but they don’t stop Kevin from leaving. Once Kevin’s gone, Fen can’t stop thinking about him. That’s when reality sets in and Fen faces the difficulties of distance and fidelity, while Kevin balks at Fen’s reluctance to tell his friends and family. They just need to find a way to make their magic more practical.
Excerpt: “You mind if I sit here?”
Fen sat up at the sound of a low, smooth voice. He was disoriented for a second, sweating from the heat of the day but blind, stuck in muted gray. Then he remembered putting his T-shirt over his face when he felt it getting burned earlier. He dragged the fabric down and squinted at the sudden, overwhelming sunlight. A broad-shouldered dark blotch grew sharper by the second.
“Um, no. It’s fine,” he mumbled. He’d sat his book and his iPod on the deck chair next to him. He reached out and fumbled for them until a warm, calloused hand slid both items into his. “Thanks.”
The guy’s laugh was as low and sweet as his voice. “You okay?”
“Just a bit sun blind and I don’t have my contacts in so you pretty much look like a dark blurry mountain.”
“Uh, thanks, I think.” Another chuckle. And Fen wasn’t usually one to react to things strongly, but damn if that chuckle didn’t send a whole flock of shivers flying up his spine.
This guy has to be new.
Fen had been at the pool all morning. Hell, he’d been at the pool most days that week and in the building for over two years. He’d know if he’d heard a voice like that before. Especially with the way his body seemed to react to it.
Fen blinked at the hand that seemed to materialize out of nowhere right in front of his chest, which was still mournfully pale and freckling more than tanning. “I’m Kevin. Just moved into the building a few days ago.”
So he is new. Summer just got a bit more interesting. Fen checked himself. Wait, why did I think that?
He grasped Kevin’s big, long-fingered hand with his, a bit cautiously. “Fenton, but everyone calls me Fen.”
There were the shivers again. What the hell? He had to see this guy. But wait. That meant…. Fen wanted to groan.
The combination of the over-chlorinated pool and his contacts had made his eyes itch, so he’d simply slung his nerdy glasses on when he’d left for the pool earlier. Now he had to put them back on or else he’d stay in Blind City. But first he had to find the damn things. Fen swept his hands along the ground until he found his glasses. He shoved them on his face and stood so he wasn’t looking up at Mister Shivers from his back. Of course when he stood, it was on his tube of sunscreen, which then proceeded to squirt all over his other leg. He screamed and jumped like a little girl, and then wished he could disappear into the pool and never return.
Kevin chuckled. “You okay?”
“Other than being terminally awkward? Yes, I’m fine.” Fen wiped desperately at the thick spooge of lotion that had made its way all up the inside of his thigh and under his shorts. What a fantastic first impression he made.
“I like your glasses. They make you look smart.”
Fen decided the guy must be fucking with him. He looked up and just about choked. And they make you look like…. Dammmmnnnn.
Earlier shivers be damned. His whole body melted when Fen finally got a good long look at this not-so-mysterious new guy. Yeah. Damn was pretty much the only word his brain had room for. Tall, at least compared to Fen, with dark brown hair that curled up at the ends, big brown eyes, gorgeous smile, golden tanned skin, and his body… fuck. He looked young, probably not much out of the jailbait range, but Fen had to stop himself from drooling visibly. He was already drooling like a damn St. Bernard inside.
See, the thing was, Fen wasn’t exactly straight. Exactly.
He’d spent most of his teenage years panting over the girls who weren’t into his pale, skinny science-geek ass, but a few times he’d noticed when one of his friends stripped off his shirt, or when his college roommate came back from the shower with his towel slung low on his hips. He’d noticed… and maybe got a warm, melty feeling in his belly a time or two. But he’d never done anything about it. He didn’t know why. He just hadn’t. And he was twenty-nine, not a kid anymore, and there was this seriously fucking hot guy standing there, and… was he flirting? Fen didn’t even know. But for the first time ever his body really, really wanted to know. No little warm, melty feeling. That was like saying Niagara Falls was a leaky faucet.
“Uh,” he laughed awkwardly. Glasses. Right. We’re talking about my glasses. “Thanks. They’re pretty dorky.”
Kevin just shrugged and dropped into the seat next to Fen’s. That’s when Fen noticed there were at least six other empty loungers just as close to the pool as his and not next to anyone else.
He sank back into his lounger, lay back, and closed his eyes again, determined not to make anything of it even if he wanted nothing more than to crawl into young Kevin’s lap and touch.
“Hey, you might want to put some more sunblock on—you know, on your shoulders instead of your leg.” Kevin chuckled. Fen wanted to groan. Like he didn’t get enough shit already from his friends for being a moron. Now Hot Guy was doing it too? “You’re getting kind of pink,” Kevin gestured at Fen’s chest.
Wanna help? Fen nearly choked on his own spit. That would go over super well in the first three minutes after they’d shaken hands.
“Thanks. Gotta love Irish skin.” He smiled—at least he hoped it looked like a smile and not some sort of breathy sigh—and reached for his bottle of 50 SPF. “You need any?” he asked, offering the bottle.
Suave. Seriously. Maybe next I can flop on my stomach and moan out “do me first.”
Kevin smiled. His grin was brilliant and easy and made him look so young and sweet and kissable. Fen wanted to kiss him. A lot. He thought.
“Thanks. I’m okay though,” Kevin said shyly. The shyness was cute, and totally at odds with a guy who obviously had no problem plunking himself down right to Fen when there were empty chairs all over the place.
Fen didn’t know what else to say, which was something that had seriously never happened to him before. He just shrugged and lay back on his chair for the third time. He wished he could come up with something witty—banter, flirtation, anything—to keep the conversation going with his suddenly shy new neighbor.
Yeah. He had nothing.
I grew up, and still live, in sunny Washington state and while I love to visit other places, I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home.
I spent my childhood writing stories. Sometime in my early teens, the stories turned to romance. Most of those were about me, my friends, and our favorite tv stars. Hopefully, I’ve come a long way since then…
Right now, I have four books published through Republica Press (click on the link to visit their site), but I’m constantly working on new projects.
When I’m not writing, I love to play the piano and cook and paint pictures…and of course read. It’s nearly impossible to work on my own writing when I’ve gotten myself hooked into a great new book:) I like sparkly girly girl things, own at least twenty different colored headbands, and I have a little white dog with a ginger eye spot who sits with me when I write. Sometimes she comes up with ideas for me too…when she’s not napping.