Tuesday, November 1, 2016

First of the month first chapter from #MMromance Love Unmasked @EncompassInk #LGBT #gayfiction

Love Unmasked
At the Candy Apple
Chapter One

“Where’s the usual guy?” Tom Wells signed for the alcohol delivery on the PDA, and then stepped back into the shelter of the overhanging roof at the back entrance of the Candy Apple. Rain fell in sheets from a sky so gray it turned early morning into twilight.
The man before him slipped the electronic device under his yellow rain jacket and answered as he turned to leave. “Taken ill—it’s serious by all accounts—might not be back for a long time, if ever. Did you know him well?”
Concern put a frown between Tom’s eyes. “Not really, but Joe’s been delivering here for years. All the time I’ve managed the bar, in fact. I hope he gets better. Will you be doing his rounds in future?”
“Nah, just today, there’ll be a new guy next week. He’s taking over from Joe.” He pulled the peak of his baseball cap down a little as a gust of wind threatened to take it from his head. “I’ll get going. Have a good one.” He spun around and sprinted to the truck parked in the narrow entrance of the delivery yard.
As the guy hauled ass into the drivers’ seat, the wet yellow jacket glimmered when a car sped by with its headlights on full beam in the dirty weather. The truck roared into life, trundled onto the sidewalk, and then joined the stream of traffic as the lights changed at the intersection allowing the buildup of commuters to forge on toward their workplaces.
Tom closed the door, and went to update the inventory, before he drove home to get some rest before his evening shift started.
He’d been at the Candy Apple for five years. He hadn’t meant to stay so long. Tom had taken bar work to pay his student loans and rent until he found employment in his chosen field after graduation. The recession threw him off track. Openings were few and he missed out on winning an appointment. Little by little it ceased to matter to Tom as he enjoyed more responsibility and eventually became the bar manager. His parents were disappointed, but that was nothing new. Tom had learned how to shield himself from his dad’s barbs early in life. Tom thought it weird that when it became obvious to his parents he’d settled into the hospitality trade, they paid off his loans. Then they retired to Costa Rica.
Tom was content with his life. He loved his job. He had a good car. He lived in a renovated apartment, one of three in a huge converted house. The only thing he didn’t have, and occasionally wished for, was love. Tom could easily get casual sex. He didn’t often have a night off, but when he did, if he needed sex, he’d find it at a different nightclub. Tom didn’t mix work with pleasure even though he’d received advances in the Candy Apple.
With the inventory updated and new bottles of bourbon and vodka inserted into the dispensers behind the bar, Tom called the main office on the internal phone.
“Charlie, I’m about to leave. Do you need anything?” He could hear the smile in her tone of voice as she answered.
“I’m good sweetie, off you go. See you later.”
“Yeah, see you later.” He grabbed his jacket from the stockroom bench, and pulled it on as he left by the back door, knowing the club owner, Charlie, would see him on the video surveillance camera. The door locked behind him and only those with a key and a code could get in.
Tom climbed into his truck, an old Ford five hundred he’d restored with the help of a college buddy. He’d spent many mornings in his friend’s parent’s huge garage as they worked on the car. Then another friend, Jeremy, had spray painted it crystal black. Jeremy had a business doing custom spray painting. Tom drove home against the traffic thankful he wasn’t heading to some high-rise office for a day’s work.
His apartment building had a carport at the back where each tenant was allocated two spaces. The couple in the top floor apartment rented their spaces out. They told Tom he should rent out his second allocation in the carport and earn a small fortune in the parking spot starved city, but Tom used it to house his bikes, bits, and pieces. He slipped the truck smoothly into the carport wondering if he should have called into the market for supplies.
He let himself into his apartment, tossing his keys onto the hall table as he passed, and then deposited his jacket on a chair. He headed for the fridge and hung off the door checking out the contents, but then he decided to shower before he ate.
As he showered, he sang. Tom loved to sing. His friends had urged him to take it up professionally, but Tom didn’t believe in himself enough to do that. He wrapped a huge towel around his muscled body and padded to his bed. Maybe he’d lie down for a few minutes before he made a sandwich. Tom threw off his towel and pulled the quilt up over his waist. He closed his eyes thinking about Friday, his designated monthly full day off work. He’d arranged to meet friends at the sailing club for the first outing this spring, but if the filthy weather kept up, they’d forgo it. Tom organized the duty roster. The days were rotated so that no staff member missed having a Friday or a weekend day. He liked to be fair to everyone. His thoughts drifted and he fell asleep.
Copyright Elodie Parkes 2016 Encompass Ink 

Who's under the black velvet mask?
New release erotic #MMromance with a fun twist, from Encompass Ink
'Love Unmasked'
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Also available on kindle unlimited

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