Sunday, February 26, 2017

“You’re attracted to me, isn’t that right?” #MMromance for #SexySnippets

Sexy Snippets are seven sentences from a published work or WIP brought to you each Sunday 
From #MMromance Falling Star Valentine

Dale raised a hand and slipped it along Valentine’s jaw. “You’re attracted to me, isn’t that right?”

Valentine could only nod because Dale’s fingertips feathered touches over his ears, sending exciting tingles all the way down his neck that robbed him of speech. Gripped by lust, Valentine soaked up the touch, his eyes closing with pleasure. He knew if he opened his mouth he might beg for a kiss—for more than a kiss.

Dale rested his forehead against Valentine’s face.


A sigh escaped Valentine—and then Dale’s lips were against his.


#MMromance Falling Star Valentine  
Fashion photographer Dale Walker takes a train to his hometown, relocating there after nursing a broken heart for six months in another city. His train makes an unscheduled stop to take on a mysterious passenger.
For a long time, Valentine Steel has hoped to meet a man who will love him. When he sees Dale on the train, he’s overjoyed to find a vacant seat beside Dale.
Dale’s immediate attraction to Valentine has him on edge. He doesn’t want another broken heart, and yet Valentine is so magnetic Dale’s frozen heart begins to thaw.
Valentine sets out to charm and capture Dale in his sparkling aura. He can’t let the chance to have Dale’s love slip away. 
HOP to the next #SexySnippet

sexys

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Will's eyes held warmth, affection and desire #MMromance for #MWTease #teaser

Midweek tease this week comes from A Forever Kind of Thing 
A Forever Kind of Thing
Businessman Will has hoped to meet musician Josh for so long, he’s astonished and elated when Josh finally notices and pursues him at one of the band’s gigs.
After a heady night of love, Josh is devastated when Will turns out to be a millionaire. He’s not a hustler. He couldn’t take and he couldn’t compete. He retreats into his music.
Will is sure they could have something special and tries to prove his love for Josh in the only way he knows how. Trouble is—it’s the wrong way.
Josh is shocked to discover he can’t forget Will.
They want each other. Their chemistry is scorching. Their encounters erotic.
But Josh is running in the opposite direction as Will longs to love him.

Can love triumph?
Teaser

Josh saw Will at one end of the bar and his heart leapt. Flutters started up in his stomach and he took a deep breath trying to steady himself. This encounter had rocked him to the core. He’d never in his wildest dreams expected to feel the way he did about a man whose name he still didn’t know. I want to, though. I want to know all about him. I want him in my life, and from the way he responded, he wants me bad. That’s great. I need it.

He watched the play of emotions cross Will’s face as he approached and stood close.
“Hi, I’m Joshua Winters—call me Josh, and you are…?” He grinned mischievously.

“Will—Will Trenton.” Will’s eyes held warmth, affection, and desire.

A spark of recognition lit in Josh’s mind. “That’s a familiar name, but I wouldn’t have been able to put a face to it. Are you famous or something?” He gestured to the bartender.
“A beer thanks—and for you?” He gave Will a tender look designed to tell the guy he liked him a lot.

“The same but let me … let me get them.”

Josh shook his head. “We have a tab.”

He saw a look of worry flit through Will’s eyes.

“It’s really okay, Will.” Josh moved even closer to Will. The toe of one boot touched the toe of Will’s. He gazed into Will’s eyes. Time slowed for Josh. This man was even more attractive close up with his handsome face lit by the bar’s sparkling white downlights. He took in the shade of stubble and wanted to bite Will’s chin. He ached to grab Will and thrust his tongue between those perfect lips. He recalled the way Will’s thick hair had felt as he grasped a handful. Softness filled his stomach. He didn’t know if this was love, but it sure was tenderness.

The bartender put the two beers on the counter.

Josh snatched up a bottle to hand to Will so that he could touch the strong fingers that had been around his cock. The thought made his balls tingle.

Will took the beer bottle from Josh.

Josh lingered, his fingertips brushing over the back of Will’s hand.

Fuck me he’s so sexy. Waves of sensation traveled down Josh’s spine into his ass.

“Thank you.”

Will’s voice penetrated his fog of lust. Josh took a deep breath, picked up his own beer, and took a sip. “I’ve seen you at all our gigs for a long time. Tell me about that.”

“I like your music and I like you. I couldn’t miss a performance.” Will gave him a little smile.

Josh smiled, too, as he placed his beer bottle on the bar counter. “I know you from somewhere, but I can’t remember where, apart from the fact you’ve been to every gig and haunted my dreams.”

Will’s face lit up radiating pleasure at that statement.

“Hey, so after the show … you and me…” Josh wanted him right then. The fact he’d come in Will’s hands not long ago didn’t dampen the rampant need to feel Will’s naked body against his.

Will gazed hungrily at Josh as he answered, “Sure thing,” with another smile.

Josh considered the happiness present in Will’s eyes. “Are you in the music business?”

“No, no, I read your blog to find out where you’ll be playing next.”

Josh gave him a little punch on the shoulder with his fist, just a tap of affection, wanting to make contact with Will’s body again. “You do. You’re probably my only reader.”

Copyright Elodie Parkes 2016 Encompass Ink
HOP to the next Mid Week Tease



Monday, February 20, 2017

In a world where everyone was against them, they needed a Miracle. #MMromance #PNR from @BalikShea


"Purring With His Mate M/M, Miracle, Book #1"
by Shea Balik
Genre: Gay/Paranormal
Release Date: February 20, 2017
Preorder Amazon
Kindle Unlimited
In a world where everyone was against them, they needed a Miracle. What no one had expected was to find their salvation in an abandoned town that was ready to collapse. Yet, that is exactly what happened when they moved to the town of Miracle, Oregon.
Edrick Rapp, a mountain lion shifter, wanted to kick himself for not moving he and his friends far from their former pack years earlier. It wasn’t until he came upon one of his friends being beaten to death for their sins that he realized his mistake.
Mouse shifter, Nole Hayward, had been punished by his Alpha. Left for dead, he barely managed to crawl away with his life. He ends up hiding out in Miracle, Oregon until a group of mountain lion shifters shows up. Before he could get away he ends up with a building collapsing down around him and his mate rescuing him.
Can Edrick and Nole find love or will they let the ghosts of their pasts tear them apart?
Follow Shea Online
Website – http://bit.ly/SheaBalikWebsite
Facebook – http://bit.ly/SheaOnFacebook
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Twitter – http://bit.ly/SheaOnTwitter
Pinterest – http://bit.ly/SheaOnPinterest
Instagram – http://bit.ly/SheaOnInstagram
Goodreads – http://bit.ly/SheaOnGoodreads
Bookstrand – http://bit.ly/SheaOnBookstrand

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Weekend Snippet from #MMromance Wren and Deverel #LGBT #teaser


Read the snippet
Beau’s face was so close now, and his voice a murmur.
“Lucian, I have this nagging urge to kiss you. Is that awful? I don’t know what I’m thinking of. Sorry.”

Lucian’s stomach clenched as desire burned through his balls. “Do you? Do it. Kiss me.”

Beau gently nudged Lucian’s nose with his own and slowly merged his lips on Lucian’s.

The soft lingering kiss just about drove Lucian crazy. He slipped his hand around Beau’s waist and rammed his hips against Beau’s hard body. 
Little sounds escaped from his lips as Beau broke the kiss to breathe and then kissed him again.

Beau shifted his hand from the wall above Lucian’s shoulder to hold Lucian’s head. He drew away from the kiss. “This is so hot. I didn’t know. I never dreamed we could do this—well, I dreamed about doing it, but never expected we would.”
Copyright Elodie Parkes 2016 Encompass Ink

Friday, February 17, 2017

You are the person I boarded the train for #MMromance #lgbt #teaser and inspiration behind the story @evernightpub

Re-blogged with permission from ParrX blog erotic MM romance 

You are the person I boarded the train for #MMromance #lgbt #teaser and inspiration behind the story @evernightpub

The story ‘Falling Star Valentine’ was inspired by shooting stars. We all know shooting stars are falling meteorites, but the romance remains when one streaks across the midnight blue sky, and when two, in close succession, zoom over the night vista as you stand on your hotel balcony, it’s a sight to behold.
 I travel a little with my day job and in the autumn of 2016, I had to travel a lot more than usual. One night when I couldn’t sleep because I was churning worries around, I went out onto the balcony of the hotel room I was staying in and stared up at the sky. The night sparkled cold and the sky displayed an array of stars suddenly, seeming only meters away, a shooting star flew across my line of vision, then another as if it followed the first.
I’m a die-hard romantic and immediately my sweet but sexy character, Valentine Steel, had formed in my head. He’s Falling Star Valentine on his way to visit earth. Will he find love?

Find E.D.Parr







Find the book

On special launch price at Evernight Publishing





Amazon global link


Teaser, MM sex so please do not read on if you feel you might be offended


Dale turned to him. He grabbed Valentine, pushing him against the wall of the small room to lean against Valentine, molding his hard body onto Valentine’s. “You want sex now. You know it. I want you, too. It’s not a very glamorous environment, but…” Dale rocked his hips and Valentine gasped at the feel of a hard column pressing against his own erect cock.

Valentine lifted his hands and held Dale’s face. He kissed Dale, sliding his tongue on Dale’s lips until Dale opened his mouth and touched the tip of his tongue to Valentine’s. The feel of Dale’s tongue on his sent such intense sensations through Valentine his ass clenched and his cock leaked. He felt the pulse of pre-cum and rammed his hips against Dale’s body.

“Dale, Dale,” he whispered as he rubbed his aching cock on the shape of Dale’s rock hard erection. The fabric of their clothes between their erections made Valentine desperate to touch Dale’s skin. He pushed a hand between their bodies as he ravaged Dale’s mouth in another hungry kiss, and fumbled with the fastening of Dale’s jeans. It had been so long for Valentine. He reeled from the wonderful sensations storming through his body.


Copyright E.D.Parr 2017 Evernight Publishing

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Valentine's #SexySnippet from #MMromance Falling Star Valentine

Sexy Snippets are seven sentences, taken from a work in progress, or published book, brought to you every Sunday.

#SexySnippet

He kissed Dale hard, hungrily, pouring all the hope that surged through him into the caress.
His spirits leapt as Dale responded. The touch of Dale’s nose against his, and searching lips on his, sent him soaring into desire. His body tensed and involuntary needy sounds escaped him. His cock strained against his suit pants and his heart pounded. He lost sight of his plan to entice Dale into intimacy slowly. He drew away from Dale, his eyelids heavy with lust, intending to ask Dale to find somewhere—a place they could give each other pleasure.
Copyright E.D.Parr 2017 Evernight Publishing 
Hot off the press from author E.D.Parr 
#MMromance Falling Star Valentine   
On launch special price at Evernight Publishing 

Fashion photographer Dale Walker takes a train to his hometown, relocating there after nursing a broken heart for six months in another city. His train makes an unscheduled stop to take on a mysterious passenger.
For a long time, Valentine Steel has hoped to meet a man who will love him. When he sees Dale on the train, he’s overjoyed to find a vacant seat beside Dale.
Dale’s immediate attraction to Valentine has him on edge. He doesn’t want another broken heart, and yet Valentine is so magnetic Dale’s frozen heart begins to thaw.
Valentine sets out to charm and capture Dale in his sparkling aura. He can’t let the chance to have Dale’s love slip away. 

HOP to the next #SexySnippet

Friday, February 10, 2017

Falling Star Valentine new #MMromance #SciFi from Evernight Publishing and E.D.Parr #ValentinesDay

Falling Star Valentine new RoTG #MMromance #SciFi from Evernight Publishing and E.D.Parr 
Teaser Time



Fashion photographer Dale Walker takes a train to his hometown, relocating there after nursing a broken heart for six months in another city. His train makes an unscheduled stop to take on a mysterious passenger.
For a long time, Valentine Steel has hoped to meet a man who will love him. When he sees Dale on the train, he’s overjoyed to find a vacant seat beside Dale.
Dale’s immediate attraction to Valentine has him on edge. He doesn’t want another broken heart, and yet Valentine is so magnetic Dale’s frozen heart begins to thaw.
Valentine sets out to charm and capture Dale in his sparkling aura. He can’t let the chance to have Dale’s love slip away. This could be his last chance to stay on Earth the planet he loves.
All new teaser
He gazed at Dale’s mouth as his stomach tightened and he experienced an intense longing to kiss Dale. He hungrily watched Dale’s lips move.

“I don’t want to trouble you with my sad little story.”

Dale’s stoic expression touched Valentine. He felt a thud in the region where his heart was. Then a ripple of tenderness radiated to every part of his body and his heartbeat grew strong.
“Oh, but you must. You wouldn’t trouble me. There’s no shame in having a sad story. I had one myself some years ago.” He pushed his hand over the short distance of the table, longing to touch Dale.

Dale took a deep breath and Valentine knew he was going to share his story.
“I broke up with someone, a lover … it hurt to stay in the same city. I’d moved there for this person and now … there’s no need to stay.” Dale stared at Valentine’s hand and edged his own along the tablecloth.

The server arrived at the table with their order.

Valentine waited, impatient now, until the server spread the food before him and Dale, then left.


“I’m sorry. Do you still love this person?” He avoided saying man, although he knew it was a man. Dale’s sexual preference was apparent in the way he looked at Valentine. His eyes traveled over Valentine’s face with a particular gaze only a gay guy would make. Valentine had long searched for a man who made his heart leap the way the sight of Dale did. When he’d heard Dale reminisce about a man, who could only be an idiot to let Dale go, he’d been elated. He’d yearned for Valentine’s Day then, when he could show himself.

Copyright E.D.Parr 2017 Evernight Publishing
MM romance, gay male erotic romance, contains MM sex
Buy the book
On special launch price at Evernight Publishing

Amazon global link

From the author:
The story ‘Falling Star Valentine’ was inspired by shooting stars. We all know shooting stars are falling meteorites, but the romance remains when one streaks across the midnight blue sky. When two, in close succession, zoom over the night vista as you stand on your hotel balcony, it’s a sight to behold. I travel a little with my day job and in the autumn of 2016, I had to travel a lot more than usual. One night when I couldn’t sleep because I was churning worries around, I went out onto the balcony of the hotel room I was staying in and stared up at the sky. The night sparkled cold and the sky displayed an array of stars suddenly seeming only meters away a shooting star flew across my line of vision, then another as if it followed the first.
I’m a die-hard romantic and immediately my sweet but sexy character, Valentine Steel, had formed in my head. He’s Falling Star Valentine on his way to visit. Will he find love?
Find E.D.Parr



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Yay release day for #MMromance #SciFi Falling Star Valentine @parr_books @evernightpub #MWTease





For Midweek Tease New Release MMRomance SciFi from author E.D.Parr 


Fashion photographer Dale Walker takes a train to his hometown, relocating there after nursing a broken heart for six months in another city. His train makes an unscheduled stop to take on a mysterious passenger.
For a long time, Valentine Steel has hoped to meet a man who will love him. When he sees Dale on the train, he’s overjoyed to find a vacant seat beside Dale.
Dale’s immediate attraction to Valentine has him on edge. He doesn’t want another broken heart, and yet Valentine is so magnetic Dale’s frozen heart begins to thaw.

Valentine sets out to charm and capture Dale in his sparkling aura. He can’t let the chance to have Dale’s love slip away. 


ON Special launch price at Evernight 

#MidWeekTease


A soft sound of regret that he’d given his heart away so easily escaped Dale and then the sudden slowing of the train grabbed his attention. Thrown a little forward by the rapid decrease in speed, Dale huddled back in his seat. No one sat beside him and the magazine he’d placed on the adjacent seat flew off forcefully as the train ground to a halt.
People stood and gaped out of the windows. Dale peered out at the white expanse sparkling in the morning sun, unaware until then that the train had even traveled into snow-covered country. The hum of concerned questions filled the carriage as people looked around and talked in hushed voices. There’d been no collision, no terrible sound of an accident and Dale, in the fog of his misery, waited quietly for some indication of what was going on.
An announcement floated from the practically invisible speaker at the front of the carriage. A pretty sound chimed and a soothing voice stated the obvious before giving information.
“Translines Rail has made an unscheduled stop. We apologize for the inconvenience. There is no need for alarm. We will shortly be mobile again when a passenger has boarded. Thank you and enjoy the rest of your journey.”
Dale bent to pick up the magazine that had fallen to the floor of the carriage. He hadn’t even placed a fingertip on the glossy cover when a hand extending from the cuff of a black jacket sleeve took hold of the magazine, and lifted it.
Dale swiftly looked sideways to see who the hand belonged to, and came face-to-face with a gorgeous man. Something about the man made Dale’s heart lurch, which scared him, and because of the scare his heartbeat increased. He closed his eyes for a few seconds, trying to calm this sudden flare of nerves. He gave up on retrieving his reading material and sat up in the plush velveteen train seat waiting for what would happen next.
“Your journal. Is the seat free?” The man’s gentle voice soothed him only a little as he held Dale’s magazine out, and gave an indicative nod toward the vacant seat beside Dale.
“Thank you, and yes the seat is free.” Captured by his outright beauty, Dale tried not to stare at the man. He dropped his gaze to the colorful shot on the cover, and accepted the magazine, holding it on his lap.
The man sat.
Dale struggled not to look at the passenger beside him, whose cologne now filled up his senses with a delicate, fresh, scent, a fragrance capturing the cool breeze crossing the ocean on a summer night, somehow full of promise. The suit the man wore was visibly expensive. Dale knew quality when he saw it even if it was only on a quick look. As a photographer for major fashion magazines, he’d gathered a knowledge and appreciation for clothes.
Dale stared ahead and wondered if this man was the passenger the train had stopped for. He edged a little away from the central armrest dividing the seats—their size was generous and the man wasn’t even close, but Dale could feel his presence as if gripped by a magnetic force. Finally, unable to help it, Dale chanced a sideways glance.

 Copyright E.D.Parr 2017 Evernight Publishing


Find E.D.Parr

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

New Release JAEGAR @GaleStanley #PNR #ManLove #MMromance @sirenbookstrand


New Release! JAEGAR @GaleStanley #Paranormal #ManLove

Jaegar is book 4 in the Hybrids series. They’re best read in order, but if you haven’t read the others, there’s enough backstory here to get you up to date.

Jaegar
Hybrids 4

Genre: Alternative (M/M, Gay), Contemporary, Paranormal, Shape-shifters
Length: 21,876 words

Blurb
Panty-melting rocker Jaegar Nash is really a hybrid passing as human. Then, he falls for his bodyguard and discovers a jaguar can’t hide its spots.

Sexy Israeli bodyguard Abram Galante can’t resist his attraction to Jaegar, but when he finally makes his move, he puts them both in danger.

When the existence of hybrids was exposed to the world, their creator, Dr. Joseph Shepard, fled to Russia. Now, he’s back in the States and working for Brian Abbot, CEO of a biotech company. With the fear of terrorism so widespread, Shepard and Abbot know the timing is right to create a new army of super soldiers.

And they plan to start with Jaegar Nash.

Get your copy at Bookstrand:


X-cerpt

Jaegar knew he should throw Bram out of his room, the man could be a bounty hunter in disguise, but lust was the enemy of reason. He wanted Bram. Wanted him bad. And he could rationalize it easily. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. It was crucial to find out exactly what Bram knew, and it might be even more important to learn his strengths and weaknesses. That knowledge could be critical to Jaegar’s survival. “Maybe you’re right, Bram.”

“I know I am. I love my job, but my life has been all work and no play. I always thought if I took a risk the sky would fall.

“And what if it does?”

“I think it might be worth it.” Bram leaned in as if he were about to—

Jaegar was totally shocked by the kiss. He’d fantasized about Bram for months, but in his dreams Bram’s lips were always on his cock. He never imagined how warm and soft Bram’s lips would feel against his. Seconds later, Bram took the heat level up a notch. His tongue pressed for entrance, and Jaegar opened his mouth with a low purr. Electricity sparked in the air. The world shifted. Everything changed. It was terrifying and beautiful at the same time.  No other act had ever felt so intimate. Bram pulled him closer and deepened the kiss as if he wanted to swallow Jaegar whole. All rational thought disappeared. Only feelings and sensations remained. Jaegar needed to touch Bram. He slipped his hands under Bram’s shirt and gripped his strong back, moaning at the contact.

The kiss went on and on. Jaegar never wanted it to end, but finally they came apart. Bram rested his forehead against Jaegar’s and they both inhaled deeply.

Jaegar wasn’t prepared for these feelings. He had no idea a kiss could feel so sensuous and intimate. “Bram?”

“I know. I feel the same.” Bram sat back. “Can I stay?”

Way past the point of saying no, Jaegar nodded. Bram stood and started removing his clothes. Jaegar watched for a few seconds, and then got up to close the drapes. The room was dim, but not dim enough to hide the feral features that became more pronounced in the heat of passion. Jaegar’s eyes would intensify to a unique shade of amber and his pupils turned into slits. Few had ever noticed, but Jaegar had a ready excuse. He explained it away by saying he had coloboma, a congenital defect in humans. Trying to hide his subtle differences had become second nature. He climbed onto the bed and assumed the position.

Bram chuckled. “Does this mean you want me to top?”

“You said you wanted to fuck me.”

“Oh, yeah. I want to fuck you until you can’t stand, but what do you want?”
Jaegar inhaled slowly, impatient to feel the big man mount him. He was pleased that Bram gave him a choice, but his ass clenched with the desire to be filled. “Fuck me, Bram.”

“My pleasure.”

Happy Reading!
 
Get your copy at Bookstrand:

Author Bio and Links

Gale Stanley grew up in Philadelphia PA. She was the kid who always had her nose in a book, her head in the clouds, and her hands on a pad and pencil.
Some things never change.




Wednesday, February 1, 2017

How many Matisse paintings do you know? #MMromance for #MidWeekTease #MWTease

This week's Midweek Tease #MWTease comes from
Wren and Deverel
Blurb:
Lucian Wren and Beau Deverel have always been friends. They think they know everything about each other, but they both hide a secret desire. They’re devoted to each other, but they’ve never revealed the depth of their feelings.
When Lucian starts a private investigation service, and Beau joins him in the fledgling agency, little do they know what a delicious, close encounter on their first case will lead to.
This case is bizarre. Is there a hidden reason the client has chosen their newly formed agency for such an important job?
As Beau and Lucian dive headlong into the mystery, their relationship deepens, and their friendship changes forever.

Erotic, romantic—a friends to lovers gay mystery, romance.
Words: 42,881 Encompass Ink December 2016

Read the teaser:

Beau took the stairs two at a time to the office where he expected Lucian to be waiting for him. He strode into the long room. “Hi, how did the meeting go?”

“We have our first job. It’s art theft.”

Beau knew instantly that Lucian was worried. A concerned frown leapt onto Beau’s face.
“You’re not really happy about it. I can tell.” He approached Lucian, dragging a chair with him to sit alongside his friend.

Lucian sat in front of his open laptop and Beau glanced at the screen. He saw a document, full of row after row of small print in columns. “What’s that?”

Lucian took his finger from the trackpad and ran his hand through his glossy brown hair.
“A database—I’m looking for a record of the stolen painting.” His sigh told Beau that he was having no luck.

“Who’s the artist?” Beau watched Lucian’s shoulder’s slump.

“Matisse, but it seems to have no provenance.”

Beau couldn’t help grinning at the specialist term. “You’ve picked up the art world’s language already.” He tried to cheer Lucian. “Matisse is huge you know, famous, sought after, not to mention valuable. Does the painting have a name?”

Lucian twisted in his chair to be face to face with him. “The client gave me a photograph of the painting and on the back there’s a name. I forgot to ask in the meeting. I forgot to ask a few things. I couldn’t look in the databases without a name. I have a weird feeling about this job, Beau.”

Beau’s gaze traced a path over Lucian’s handsome face. A shade of stubble darkened Lucian’s angular jaw. His hair stuck up from his forehead as if he’d run his hands through it a few times that afternoon. His deep blue eyes held anxiety. Beau fought down the urge to reach out a fingertip and run it down Lucian’s cheek to trace the curve of Lucian’s delicious lips. He ached to hug Lucian and comfort him. He stuck to less risky action. “Let me see the photo.”

Lucian moved a pad full of handwritten notes and picked up a photo. He handed it to Beau.

Beau took it, careful not to brush Lucian’s fingers with his, because in his experience the feel of Lucian’s skin made his cock stir. He turned the picture over and read the name aloud.

“‘Before the dance,’ I’ve never heard of it.” He gazed at the photograph. “It doesn’t even look like a Matisse to me.”

Lucian’s laugh brought his head up to look at his friend

“How many Matisse paintings do you know?"

Beau grinned. “Not many I guess.” He gave the photo back to Lucian. “What is it about this job that gives you a weird feeling?”

Lucian took a deep breath. “It’s the way the client, Jack Starling, didn’t answer all my questions, and Beau, if this is a priceless painting, why choose a fledging detective agency to find the thief? I need a cup of coffee. Do you want to go to the diner on the corner? I’d like a decent cup. The stuff I made earlier isn’t good.”

Beau stood. “I’d love to go to the diner. I didn’t get lunch and only had coffee for breakfast. Tell me exactly what happened in the meeting.” He extended his arm, about to slip it around Lucian’s shoulders and then caught himself, and dropped it fast.

Lucian talked as he retrieved his jacket from the coat stand placed against the wall by the door. “Starling avoided telling me if he’d made an insurance claim and if he’d reported the theft to the police. He just seems off—arrogant, rich, controlling, and devious.”

Beau stood next to Lucian as he locked the office door. “Maybe he was nervous. I’m nervous, you know, since this will be our first case. I don’t have much of an idea where to start, if I’m honest.” He led the way down the stairs to the street, his boot heels making a dull thud on the polished wooden treads where Lucian had the old-fashioned linoleum removed.

A fine drizzle of rain dampened Beau’s face as Lucian walked alongside him to the diner.

“I’ve already found the address for the man in Seattle that Jack thinks stole his painting and then disappeared. He owns a gallery. I think we should start there. Go see the guy, if he’s there, if not try to establish his whereabouts, or exactly when he left the city. Someone must know where he is.” Lucian hunched his shoulders and bent his head against the shower.

Beau cast a sidelong glance at Lucian as they walked. “That’s great, well done. When will we go?”

Lucian gave a little shake of his head as he pushed open the door of the diner. “Starling told me the guy’s name and that he deals art in Seattle, so I can’t take the credit, but I did find the exact address and researched the gallery.”

Beau followed Lucian to a table and sat opposite him. He fiddled with the menu enclosed in a plastic stand, running his eyes down the list of sandwiches on offer.

Lucian continued talking. “I think we should go as soon as possible. When can you get away from work?”

Beau brought his schedule to mind. He knew there was nothing to do but take some leave. “I’m owed vacation time. I’ll take a week or two. I need to be with you for this case, for our first case, without interruption, so I’ll tell dad tonight, teach tomorrow’s classes, and then we can take off. It’s about a three hour drive isn’t it?”

“Unless there’s heaps of traffic, but I figure if we start the drive at the right time we’ll miss the rush hour at this end. Is that enough notice for your dad?”

“It will have to be. I never take vacations.” Beau saw the troubled look that flashed in Lucian’s eyes. A surge of tenderness made him lean toward Lucian. One of these days I’ll forget myself, reach out and kiss him. “It’ll be fine, Lucian, really.”

HOP TO the Next MIDWEEK TEASER