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Book Blast – Love Him/Hate Him by Chris Bedell @ChrisBedell #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Love Him/Hate Him

Author: Chris Bedell

Publisher: Between the Lines Publishing 

Release Date: February 16, 2021

Genre: YA LGBTQ Thriller

Heat Rating:  3 flames      

Length: 185 print pages

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited and Paperback

Amazon US   |   Amazon UK 

 

Connor is out. Liam is the secretly gay football player. Together they must navigate a hush-hush relationship while working together to solve the murder of Liam’s sister.

 

Blurb

17-year-old Connor doesn’t believe his best friend’s death was an accident. Falling down the stairs was random, and Connor can’t help but wonder if someone might’ve pushed her… 

Determined to find out the truth, Connor starts his own investigation. Along the way, he discovers Evelyn’s affair with a married man and thought she was pregnant before she died. Connor thinks he’s found her killer, but an airtight alibi forces him to look in a new direction. Perhaps closer to home. 

Complicating the situation more is Connor’s own secret – an unexpected hook up with Evelyn’s twin brother, Liam, at a party the previous spring. Afterward, Liam goes on a homophobic rant and punches Connor, leaving him confused. His confusion deepens when, after Evelyn’s death, Liam apologizes and they start to hook up secretly. 

Liam is trapped between his attraction to Connor and his abusive father. Connor struggles with his growing attraction for Liam. Their secret rendezvous are fun, but if Connor is going to have more with Liam, he’ll have to be honest about his feelings and his suspicions on who killed Evelyn. Will either survive the truth coming out? 

 

Excerpt 

I left the hair salon the following evening. 

A faint chill permeated the air, and the waxiness of the full moon glinted against the ground, providing extra lighting while I walked to my Mercedes.

Normally, I wouldn’t have picked a 7:00 P.M. appointment, but it was all the hair salon had had on such short notice.

“The fuck you doing at a hair salon?” someone called.

I whipped my body around. Liam stood about ten feet from me. 

“I’ve gotta go.” I pulled out my car keys, then grabbed the car door handle. 

“Please don’t leave,” he pleaded.

I looked over my shoulder, meeting his eyes. “Why would I do you any favors?”

“Because I wanted to apologize.” 

Wow. Lucky me, getting two surprises in less than a week. First Evelyn’s death, now this. The only difference was that there was a chance this surprise would be wanted.

 

About the Author 

Chris Bedell’s previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Entropy Magazine, Chicago Literati, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, among others. His debut YA Fantasy novel IN THE NAME OF MAGIC was published by NineStar Press in 2018. His 2019 books include his NA Thriller BURNING BRIDGES (BLKDOG Publishing) and his YA Paranormal Romance novel DEATHLY DESIRES (Deep Hearts YA). In addition to his YA Thriller BETWEEN LOVE AND MURDER, Chris had several other books released in 2020, including his YA Contemporary I’LL SEE YOU AGAIN (Deep Hearts YA). Furthermore, Chris graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2016.

 

Social Media Links

Twitter  |   Instagram  |   Amazon

 

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

$25 Amazon gift card or a $10 Between the Lines Publishing Gift Code

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions


Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

Cover Reveal – Under Five by Michael War #CoverReveal #gay #UrbanFantasy

COVER REVEAL

 

Book Title: Under Five

Author: Michael War

Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju

Genre/s: Gay, Contemporary, Urban Fantasy

Release Date: May 30, 2018

 

Blurb

Mike is good looking, charming, and has no trouble attracting men—as long as his clothes stay on. But the moment they come off, something always seems to go terribly wrong. When his sister takes him to a faith healer to fix the problem, he is provided with a spell—and left with a lot of doubts.

But after meeting Kevin, Mike decides to give the spell a try…

 

About the Author

Michael War is a writer whose real life tends to be on the boring side, which is why his imagination seems to float towards gay romance. Aside from writing about beautiful gay men of all types (bears, jocks, twinks) getting it on, he also enjoys writing poetry and screenplays. War holds an MFA in Creative Writing and plans to write more romance themed books in the near future. Follow him on Twitter (@michaelwar1) and Facebook  (facebook.com/michaelwar1) for updates on upcoming stories or with any questions or comments. Or, you can read his blog for some mindless ramblings.

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

Book Blast – The Loss of Self by Alek Martin

An Intimate Autobiography

Book Title: The Loss of Self

Author: Alek Martin

Publisher: Alek Martin

Cover Artist: Guillaume Beauchamp created the cover but isn’t the Photographer

Alek Martin is the guy on the picture and holds all the rights

Length:  54 549 words/ 288 pages

This is an intimate autobiography not fiction.

 

About The Loss of Self: My path of Self-Destruction to the point of total humiliation

A very private and intimate Autobiography of the last seven years, my fall from “Grace,” as I like to describe it.

Death, Sex, lots of absurd, artificial

An appalling Break-up, which was the Catalyst to it all.chemed-Sex.

H.I.V., Bankruptcy, Almost-Suicide, Meth and so much more!

I lost faith in humanity

I lost myself.

I always had rules, goals and boundaries which I lived by endearingly, but after the Death of my beloved Grandmother, I started a Path of Self-Destruction to the point of total shame.

Do you know what it feels like to be standing on the Edge of a building, you have nothing to lose, and the only thing that keeps you from jumping is to return to an abusive Boyfriend who has nothing else to offer you, but to lie to you, to control you and to take the next puff of the Meth pipe!

Would you go back?

I did!

Back to the gay Lifestyle I never asked for.

To a Lifestyle where I ended up having Sex for Cash, me of all people?

Why, one must wonder, why?

I kept on punishing myself.

I accepted that my own boyfriend brought guys home and had sex with them in front of my face, looking me straight in the eyes.

And his eyes were saying:

“ I’m going to break you, and you will accept everything I am going to give you ”, and I did with little resistance.

I enforced his behaviour by overeating and

I lost my body.

Why did I let this happen?

What is my problem?

Why on earth would I who was successful in business and Life, always had monogamous, and highly Moral Relationships accept all this?

After 44 years on this earth, I finally discovered why!

My “Core Problem” wasn’t the people I met,

they were merely clones that I choose very distinctively yet totally unaware.

I recreated the worst of all relationships, the one I never had,

The one I never understood.

The relationship between my mother and myself!

It’s about the fact that she never fought for me,

she never placed me first, and that behaviour made me feel not worthy, not good enough.

She never chose me!

But you have to fight and understand your

“Core Problem”

and deal with it, as harshly and honestly as you can!

It will hurt, and sacrifices will have to be made,

but the pain isn’t anything compared to the pain that you will encounter if you don’t!

 

 

Buy Links – Available on KU

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

EXCERPT FROM THE LOSS OF SELF BY ALEK MARTIN

The Miami Moment

Menintogear was down the drain; the official news came in from my accountant!

I was officially broke!

My investors drove me crazy,

and I was totally and utterly financially dependent on Georg.

I had sold everything.

This was the first time in my grown-up life that I was dependant on someone else.

His ways were worse than ever, careless, drunk and high all the time.

His drunken abusiveness became more frequent, targeting only me!

He screamed,

he threw things around,

I couldn’t take it anymore!

Yes, I went back to him even after the Boston incident.

That is what this book is about co-dependence at its best.

The weather here in Miami was Stormy and flooding was everywhere.

I didn’t know anymore what to do, how to get myself out of this situation, where to turn and I had no one to talk to.

I was estranged by my fault with all my friends, as they were sick and tired of listening to me about the same story over and over.

I was in this mess all by myself.

Georg had to be conquered, but I just didn’t know how to.

Georg made all the money and kept it very well hidden.

My desperation was immense.

My primary investor was infuriated with me, as he believed it was my fault that the Project Menintogear went down the drain.

But it wasn’t. I still felt tremendous guilt.

Could I have done more? No, but yet again my trust in the wrong people broke this wonderful project.

I understood him very much, as I would’ve been mad as well, But what was I supposed to do?

Kill myself?

And for the first time in my life, the Idea of killing myself became a daily thought, and I was starting to worry about my safety very much.

The situation was simple; I was broke,

except for the 15000 Euros from Georg, which he wasn’t gone pay me back,

I was homeless, and I refused to Escort,

I had to vomit when I thought about it and got extremely depressed and mad when he did it, even now, after I no longer loved him, it still bothered me.

The day came where physical violence took over, and he and I went at it.

It was terrible, and it started with the fact that I told him to please stop doing chems with his customers, as I wanted to have a break from it all,

a well-deserved break as I needed to make better decisions so staying sober and focused was key.

And let me tell you that Georg without Chems was rather boring but high he was a terror a fucking horror,

but Georg on chems and alcohol was unbearable!

Either I would strike him that he would die and I would end up in jail for the rest of my life, or I needed to escape, but how and one of a sudden the idea of suicide was the only way out, and it was calming me tremendously.

So the day came

It was a very stormy outside, and I love those days, if I am happy and content, which haven’t been now in 2 years and six months.

I looked out the window and had no idea what I thought about. I was staring at whatever without any thoughts! I was empty!

I got dressed looked at the flat and saw this mess of a man,

in bed sleeping,

which was the only time I had peace of him, and I left the flat, sometimes I just sat there feeling the peacefulness of the situation, and that became my sanctuary.

The flat was about 200 meters away from the Ocean, which I walked towards.

The waves that normally calmed me were wild and tempered.

I couldn’t relax as my back was against the wall.

I didn’t see the solution, so I walked and walked until I ended up on some building, I don’t know how many floors up, but it was as high as I’ve ever been!

I stood on the edge and looked around being almost blown off.

And here are my thoughts:

I’m alone,

My grandmother is gone,

My mom the person that raised me,

my family and I don’t talk anymore since,

I lost my business, my car, my dignity,

my belief system and

I am raping myself over and over.

I am afraid of Georg, so much that at times I can’t breathe,

I am broke,

Menintogear which was a chance to get out of this mess,

is down the drain,

not because it was a bad idea but because I got framed, yet again

and I have no one to talk to,

My investors might eventually sue me.

I felt no way out and slowly, but surely the thought of leaving life was making me feel relaxed and chilled, and I moved towards the edge.

I stood there for hours, and then a thought hit me:

“What about my sister, how will she feel, when she gets the news of my suicide and what about my beautiful little niece?”

And then and there the fighter within me arose back to life.

I told myself:

I’m not jumping because I don’t have the guts, but because I’m not done with this life,

and no Georg will send me to hell.

If so, I will decide and no one else.

“You will go back to this horrible and unbearable situation and take all,

all you can handle,

and when that moment arrives, you will exit this hell.”

And so I did!

I walked back to him, and his degrading, immoral Lifestyle.

I went into the house, and he was awake, high already, the pipe loaded with meth and the GHB bottle next to it.

But I didn’t care anymore.

Something within me knew what to do, and I can be very persistent.

I looked at him, went into the bedroom and for the first time locked it and put my headphones on, and longed for the day when it was all over.

That was the day where I started to plan my Exit!

 

About the Author

“I used to lie and embellish, so I could somehow function and deal with my life, my family! I dared to face the truth and since then I’ve been able to rebuild and found the real meaning of my life!”

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook Author Page

Twitter

Instagram

 

BOOK BLAST SCHEDULE

January 15

Blazing Zane Book Blog, Love Unchained Book Reviews,

Book Review Virginia Lee, T.N. Nova Author,

Sur l’étagère, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings,

Rainbow Gold Reviews, Gay Book Promotions

January 16

Valerie Ullmer,  Stories That Make You Smile,

MM Good Book Reviews, Lily G Blunt

January 17

Books Laid Bare Boys,

Bayou Book Junkie

January 18

OJ He Say!

Gay Book Reviews

January 19

Tangents and Tissues, Louise Lyons,

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

~

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Review and Book Tour – Why I Left You – Colette Davison

REVIEW AND BOOK TOUR

Book Title:  Why I Left You

Author: Colette Davison

Publisher: Smudged Ink Press

Cover Artist: Charlotte L R Kane

Genre/s: gay contemporary romance

Length: 72,000 words/234 pages

Release Date: November 7, 2017

 

Blurb

Jamie is struggling with university, money and depression. The last thing he needs is for Brett—the guy who left him four years ago—to walk back into his life. Yet it could be just what he needs.

Ever since Jamie left him, Brett has been running away from commitment. But when he meets Jamie again, he’s forced to re-examine every aspect of his life.

Brett and Jamie are drawn back together by an undeniable spark, but unless they can come to terms with the past, their relationship won’t survive the present.

**Contains explicit language and scenes**

 

Buy Links ~ Available on KU

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Add on Goodreads 

 

Excerpt

Holy shit. Jamie was kissing him. Brett’s head told him to back off and walk away, but his body remembered those lips and how much he’d once enjoyed having them pressed against his own. His body wanted to lean into the kiss and respond with four years’ worth of regret. For a few precious moments, he let himself give in to desire. His heart hammered against his ribs, desperate to escape his body and reclaim what it had lost. His fingers tingled as he wrapped an arm around Jamie’s shoulders and held him tightly, his thumb making small circles on Jamie’s shirt.

Then his brain kicked into gear again. What the fuck was he doing? This was the guy who had ripped his heart out in the worst possible way. Besides, Jamie was clearly at least half-gone. What they were doing was a mistake at best.

He pulled away, breathing heavily as he stared at Jamie, whose pupils were blown wide.

“You’re drunk,” Brett said in the most matter-of-fact tone he could manage.

Jamie curled his upper lip and turned away, shaking his head. It was dumb for Brett to follow him, but he did it anyway. They’d been best friends long before they’d realised they were attracted to each other. Brett had always looked out for Jamie, back when they’d lived next door to each other. Those instincts kicked in.

“Let me walk you home.”

Jamie stopped and rounded on him, fists clenched, teeth gritted. “Don’t pretend you give a shit.”

 

About the Author

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairy tale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website 

Facebook 

Twitter

Bookbub

 

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

REVIEW AND BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE

DECEMBER 16

Books Laid Bare Boys  REVIEW

Tangents and Tissues   

The Day Before You Came

Millsy Loves Books

DECEMBER 17

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

MJ’s Book Blog and Reviews  

Stories That Make You Smile    

DECEMBER 18

Louise Lyons

Lily G Blunt

DECEMBER 19

BFD Book Blog  REVIEW

Nell Iris  www.nelliris.com

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words  REVIEW

DECEMBER 20

Sur l’étagère, derrière la sirène en plastique  REVIEW

Love Unchained Book Reviews REVIEW

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

DECEMBER 21

Drops of Ink

MM Good Book Reviews REVIEW LATER

DECEMBER 22

Bayou Book Junkie  REVIEW

Blazing Zane Book Blog  REVIEW

MM Midnight Cafe   http://mm.midnightcafe.uk/mm/   REVIEW

Smokin’ Hot Reads Book Blog  REVIEW

~

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

 

Blog Tour and Giveaway – In Pain and Blood – Aldrea Alien

BLOG TOUR

 

Book Title: In Pain and Blood (Spellster Series Book 1)

Author: Aldrea Alien

Publisher: Thardrandian Publications

Cover Artist: Aldrea Alien

Genre/s: Epic Fantasy M/M Romance

Length:  309000 words/740 pages

It’s a standalone story and first in a series of standalones.

Goodreads Link

Buy Links ~ Available on KU

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Blurb

It wasn’t meant to be like this.

Dylan’s life in the spellster tower has everything he should want: magical knowledge, safety from the King’s Hounds and frequent clandestine affairs with women. All at the cost of his freedom. So when the chance to leave the tower—even as a leashed weapon for the King’s Army—arises, he seizes it.

When his first scouting mission goes awry, Dylan is left alone in a hostile world with the tower a distant beacon of safety. Only the flirtatious Tracker, an elven man whose very presence awakens Dylan’s long-repressed desire, can help him return to his old life before the crown discovers his unleashed status.

But the risk of being branded a deserter may be the least of his concerns as whispers of an armed presence in the North threatens his home. Dylan must rely on Tracker to protect him even as everything he thought he knew begins to unravel around them.

 

Excerpt

The dagger was the first thing he saw. Curved and sharp. In the lantern-light peeking out from the street, the blade bore an insidious purple sheen.

Barely daring to breathe, he followed the blade down to the bronze hand and onwards to the elven man glaring up at him. “If you’re after money. I have none.”

The elf’s sharp eyes, in a shade that reminded Dylan of rich honey, narrowed. “Money?” The man sneered. “My dear spellster, do I look like I need your paltry coin?” He spoke with the vaguely similar smooth accent of his old roommate, Sulin. The words tumbled off his tongue much like rock down a hill, catching occasionally on a soft trill or hiss. Only those from Wintervale spoke in such a way.

“I don’t—” The man knew he was a spellster? That could become problematic if he also knew of a hound in the area. Dylan lifted his hands, careful to ensure his palms remained facing away from the elf. As well as sharing a similarity in accents as his old roommate, the man was quite tall for an elf. Not quite as much as Sulin, but the top of the man’s head easily reached the base of Dylan’s neck. “Look, I really don’t want to hurt you.”

The dagger flashed up with barely a twitch from the elf, the flat of the blade tapping Dylan on the lips. “No more talking. I have been looking all over this village for the spellster everyone says is here and now I have you.” The point returned to his throat. “Now lower your hands. I am sure it has occurred to you that attacking me will do you no good. You would be dead well before I.”

His gaze dropped to take in the man’s armour. Hard to tell in the watery light, but it looked well-made and leather. Not a common thief, then. A mercenary, perhaps? Something about the style nagged at him. He’d seen it before, as far back as the tower. Not on the guardians, but— The hound. Fetcher might have been human and a woman, but she’d worn the exact same armour. “You’re a hound,” he breathed, amazed he could say a word when it felt like his heart had relocated to his throat.

The man’s full lips twisted into a humourless smile. “How very astute of you. At least you are not entirely without your wits.”

“You have to help me.” Was it not a hound’s job to bring spellsters to the tower? Just like they’d done with Sulin and Launtil and countless others who’d been born outside the walls. And this elf would know the quickest route. “I need to get back to the tower.”

“So you admit you left.”

“Well, yes, but I was—” The minute change in the blade’s pressure against his throat stilled his tongue. The hounds will hunt you. His guardian’s words echoed in his ears. Safe in the tower, safe with a neck banded in metal, but venture outside without being leashed? Practically a death sentence. Any spellster rumoured to have fled the tower weren’t heard from again.

“The crown does not exactly take kindly to runaways.”

 

 

About the Author

Mother. Animal Lover. Vampire. Fangirl.

Aldrea Alien is a New Zealand author of romantic speculative fiction of varying heat levels. She grew up on a small farm out the back blocks of a place known as Wainuiomata alongside a menagerie of animals, who are all convinced they’re just as human as the next person (especially the cats). She spent a great deal of her childhood riding horses, whilst the rest of her time was consumed with reading every fantasy book she could get her hands on and concocting ideas about a little planet known as Thardrandia. This would prove to be the start of The Rogue King Saga as, come her twelfth year, she discovered there was a book inside her.

Aldrea now lives in Upper Hutt, on yet another small farm with a less hectic, but still egotistical, group of animals (cats will be cats). She self-published the first of The Rogue King Saga in 2014. One thing she hasn’t yet found is an off switch to give her an ounce of peace from the characters plaguing her mind, a list that grows bigger every year with all of them clamouring for her to tell their story first. It’s a lot of people for one head.

Social Media Links

Blog

Website

Facebook Author Page

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

GIVEAWAY

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of two prizes:

One prize: 1 x $5 Amazon Gift Card. 1 x Pair of character-inspired scented candles. 1 x Map poster. 1 x Bookmark.

Two other prizes: 1 x Map poster. 1 x Bookmark.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

December 15

Men & Men Midnight Cafe   GUEST POST

Nerdy Dirty and Flirty  REVIEW

 Hoards Jumble   GUEST POST

  Millsy Loves Books  

 Tangents and Tissues 

  Queer Sci-fi  

December 16  

Stories That Make You Smile    GUEST POST

 MJ’s Book Blog and Reviews   

December 17

Gay Book Reviews

December 18

Lily G Blunt

December 19   

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author   

  We Three Queens   REVIEW

  Love Unchained Book Reviews 

December 20  

Zipper Rippers   GUEST POST

December 21

Drops of Ink  GUEST POST

Squirrel Talk   GUEST POST

 MM Good Book Reviews   REVIEW

December 22

 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words   REVIEW

Dawn’s Reading Nook   REVIEW

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews  GUEST POST

December 23  

The Novel Approach  GUEST POST

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

Blog Tour – Ghoulish by Kat Bellamy

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Ghoulish

Author: Kat Bellamy

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Self-made

Length: 332 pages

Release Date: October 22, 2017

Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy, MM fiction

There is an HFN ending, but the book is the first in a continuing series.

 The next book will be available for review January, 2018.

Blurb

Colt Jager never knew what happened to the parents who abandoned him, and he never cared–until he inherited their ghoulish secret.

Raised as a human who had no idea he was anything but a blue-collar construction worker until the night of his 25th birthday, Colt finds it hard to adjust to life in the Kinship, a hidden world woven discreetly into human society.

After a grisly encounter with his true nature, Colt meets a family of human-friendly ghouls who teach him that there’s a way to be inhuman without being inhumane. But things get complicated when he realizes that the “wolf attack” responsible for killing his boyfriend’s brother was actually committed by a ghoul on the hunt.

When an elite family of especially monstrous ghouls called Alphas threatens the man he loves, Colt will have to lie to Jason to keep him safe. Can a predator ever truly be a hero, or will the man he loves become his prey?

 

 

Buy Links ~ Available on KU

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Goodreads Link

Excerpt

“You could help people lots of ways. I just don’t see why you have to pick the one that could get you killed.”

“I’ll be pushing papers for the DA, not infiltrating a crystal meth ring,” Jason shot back.

The argument had been brewing for some time, and Colt knew that he didn’t stand a shot at winning now that they’d finally gotten around to it, but he could hardly take the news that his boyfriend had just signed up for the most dangerous job in the city sitting down.

“And what happens if some psycho gets pissed at your boss for putting him in jail and you get caught in the crossfire?”

“Then I’ll have a hard time holding water.”

“I’m glad you find this so funny.”

“Colt,” Jason pleaded, taking Colt’s face in his hands. “It was a joke.”

“I guess I just don’t find the very real possibility of losing you all that funny.”

Jason’s face fell. “I’m sorry,” he said softly. “But I can’t give up on my dream. Not even for you.”

Colt clenched his jaw. “Why is this so important to you? Why does it have to be this field?”

Jason settled back against the couch with a heavy sigh. “You remember how it was when Luca was killed. We all spent months reeling, grasping for something to make sense of what happened. I’d listen to my dad reaming out Fish and Wildlife reps for hours on end, demanding reports and explanations for how a lone wolf in an area where there wasn’t supposed to be anything other than coyotes and fisher cats just showed up and killed his son. It made no sense, and we desperately needed it to, even though we knew logic wouldn’t bring him back. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized there are some things in this world you just can’t make sense of. Things that you can’t explain no matter how hard you try, and even if you could, it wouldn’t change anything. But there are tragedies that can be explained, and there are families out there who suffer needlessly until someone finds the answers. I want to be one of the people who finds those answers, Colt. I don’t want anyone else to feel the way my family did if it can be helped.”

Colt’s stomach churned as Jason spoke. The conviction in Jason’s voice alone was enough to soften his anger, but more than that, it was the doubt it caused in Colt that unsettled him.

What if it hadn’t been a wolf that attacked Luca, after all? Colt had never questioned the official narrative as a preteen, but knowing what he knew now as an adult, “animal attack” rang as nothing more than a callous euphemism. If one of his own kind had killed Luca, keeping this secret about his own identity was more than just a lie. It was a betrayal.

“Please tell me you understand,” Jason said, searching Colt’s face.

“I do.” Colt cleared his throat. “I’m not gonna pretend like I’m happy about it, but I get it. If this is what you want, I won’t try to stop you, but I am going to ask you to be careful.”

Jason smiled, leaning in for another kiss. “And that’s where you’re different from my family.”

“I would hope I’m different in a few more ways than that,” Colt teased, pushing Jason back against the sofa.

Jason laughed. “Well, kissing you is a lot more fun than kissing great-aunt Gertrude. Less stubble.”

Colt shuddered. “You know how to paint a picture.”

“I could paint a better one if you come camping with me,” Jason purred, winding a strand of Colt’s hair around his finger. “Please?”

Colt sighed. “How am I supposed to say no to that?”

“You’re not,” Jason whispered against his lips.

Colt moaned as Jason’s knee slipped between his thighs and the friction of their jeans made his grinding pure torture. Colt reached underneath Jason’s shirt, tracing the lines of his abs down to the sharp cut of his hips. His hand drifted lower just as the phone on the coffee table buzzed.

“Ignore it,” Colt murmured, capturing Jason’s lips. The phone kept buzzing.

“They’re not giving up,” Jason gasped, breaking the kiss. “Maybe you should answer it.”

“Fuck whoever it is.”

“What if it’s the secret girlfriend you’ve been running off with lately?” Jason asked in a teasing tone. Colt could tell there was a hint of genuine suspicion in it.

“Fuck her, too.”

Jason gave his shoulder a playful shove and reached for the phone. “Hello?” His face went blank and Colt sat up sharply. How he hated technology. “No, sorry. I’ll put him on.” He pushed his finger against the speaker and whispered, “It’s the Sheriff.

Colt winced, taking the phone. “Sorry. I should take this.”

Jason’s eyes were full of questions, but he said nothing as Colt stood and crossed the room, pressing the phone to his ear. “Sheriff Venson. Hi. What can I do for you?”

“I assume that was the mysterious boyfriend Susan’s always speaking of,” Roland said in a dry tone. “Does he know?”

“Not at all, sir. Did you need me to answer any more questions about Chuck?”

That seemed to satisfy Jason’s curiosity, or at least convince him to pretend like he was interested in his own phone.

Roland chuckled. “A word of advice. If you care about him, keep it that way.”

“That’s what I was planning on.”

“I won’t keep you. Just wanted to check in and make sure Wilbur hasn’t tried contacting you again.”

“No, I haven’t heard anything but I’ll let you know if he calls.”

“Good man, Colt. Keep your head down,” the Sheriff said before hanging up.

“That was about Chuck?” Jason asked, leaning over the back of the couch.

“Just a few follow-up questions.”

“Follow-up?” Jason frowned. “They questioned you about Chuck’s death?”

Shit. “Uh, yeah. It was routine.”

“For an animal attack?”

Colt could see the wheels turning in Jason’s head and knew he needed to stop the investigation train before it ran off the tracks. “Yeah. I guess his wife is insisting on it. Can’t bring herself to accept what happened,” he said, cringing internally. He felt like scum before the words were even out of his mouth.

“Poor thing,” Jason said sadly.

“Yeah. So,” Colt said, clearing his throat. “Where were we?”

“I was trying to convince you to go with me on that camping trip.”

“If your mind’s made up, so is mine,” Colt said with a shrug. “I’m not letting you go out there alone.”

Jason scowled, but there was more amusement in his gaze than irritation. “I’m not sure I like the new caveman Colt.”

“Get used to it, he’s not goin’ anywhere,” Colt half-teased, leaning over the couch to kiss Jason. “Especially not if you’re working for the DA.”

“I haven’t even gotten the internship yet.”

“Oh, you’ll get it. You get everything you want.”

Jason grinned. “That’s very true. As a matter of fact, there’s something I want you to give me right now.”

It just so happened to be something Colt was more than willing to give.

 

 

 

About the Author

Kat Bellamy is a nonbinary author of MM fiction and urban fantasy. Ghoulish is their debut series. When they’re not writing, they spend their time watching bad horror movies and losing board games.

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