Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Excerpt: Beautiful Music: Finding the Chords--Erik

Every time Erik made love to Kayla on his own -- and he was well aware he was about to enter double digits, which thrilled and amazed him, but made him ashamed he was counting -- he faced the same dilemma. He wanted to make it last, make it good for her and savor every moment in case it turned out to be the last time. But his body wanted everything he could get, as quickly as he could get it. Wanted to pound into her hard and fast, animal, mark her as his, take Jason’s smell off her skin.
He wasn’t proud of his body in those moments.
This time, though, he felt a little different. She’d actually said it -- told him she loved him. He’d been resigned to always being second choice for her. He knew she loved Jason, and had since probably the first time they’d locked eyes. He was just… extra.
But maybe he wasn’t. Maybe he was more to her than the guy she could have sex with when Jason wasn’t around, or Jason’s second dick when the three of them were together. Yeah, he’d thought about it that way before, more than once. Now he felt bad about it. Not that he hadn’t felt bad about it before, but he felt even worse now.
She loved him. He could swear he could almost taste the change on her skin as he let his tongue explore her nipples, the space between her breasts, the indentation at the center of her collarbone. She arched her body up toward his, bringing her belly against his, bringing her sex up to rub hot against the front curve of his pelvis. Her legs went around him, and he could feel the heat and the wet where she was so ready for him he could smell it.
“God,” he murmured, and she opened her eyes to look at him, one hand brushing his cheek.
“Nothing.” He said it automatically, but it wasn’t what he wanted to say. “No, not nothing. You’re just…” He looked her in the eye. “I love you.”
Her smile melted him. She leaned up to kiss him gently, on the mouth, then on the forehead. It could have been patronizing, but it wasn’t. It was sweet, tender, and he closed his eyes at the flood of feeling that moved through him.
“I’m sorry it took me so long to say it.” Her voice was quiet.
He just shook his head. He didn’t want to tell her it was okay, although it was, and he didn’t want to say anything that would make her feel bad. Instead he cupped her breast and pressed his hips between her legs, bringing her a little closer to him.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Excerpt: Beautiful Music: Finding the Chords--Jason

UNEDITED Excerpt from Beautiful Music: Finding the Chords, coming in June from Changeling Press

Art by me. :-)

Daze on End is performing a farewell concert in Indianapolis. Jason realizes he's coming down with a cold, but won't back out of the show. As the performance progresses, he starts to feel worse.

It wasn’t until he took that detour offstage that he realized he was dizzy and achey. Great, he thought. Fever. With his luck, this was more than just a cold—it was the fucking flu or something. He zipped up, splashed cold water on his face and headed back to the mic.

The crowd seemed not to notice anything amiss, which was gratifying, because the band was all working overtime to be sure nothing looked amiss. This was their last show in Indy for a long time, and the crowd was invested enough not to notice when Jason’s voice cracked a few times on the last couple of songs.

He came off stage to a chorus of fans offering thanks and congratulations. He shook hands, posed for pictures and passed out hugs and autographs, all the time hoping he wasn’t spreading some kind of Stephen King level apocalyptic flu to everybody within four feet of him.

Finally, with Erik and Randy running interference, he made his way backstage. He just wanted to collapse on that Godawful germ-ridden couch for a few minutes, get his breath back and settle his head, which had started pounding during the second encore. And maybe grab more tea. He wondered if it was possible to overdose on slippery elm.

He was mulling the embarrassing music blog headlines that would result if he died of a horrible Throat Coat accident as he half-stumbled through the door. As a result, it took him a moment to realize he was not alone in the room.

There was a girl on the couch. She looked vaguely familiar. She’d probably been to his shows before. Hell, he’d probably fucked her — he’d fucked a lot of girls backstage after the show.

That was definitely what she was after. She’d taken the initiative of removing her top, and her pert, smallish breasts jiggled as she tossed back her too-blonde hair. Her nipples were small and pink and, in his fever-dazed state, seemed to be staring at him.

He stared right back, his brain struggling to parse what was going on.

She wanted to get laid. That much was obvious. From the pressure he felt in his groin, all his parts were working and ready to go in spite of the chills crawling over his skin, the throbbing headache behind his eyes and the intermittent vertigo. Besides, he had to, didn’t he? Had to take what he could from the groupies after the show, before the show — whenever — so he could give what he got back to Erik, to keep him alive and well. They’d done that for years.

But now… there was a reason he shouldn’t. Wasn’t there? He could… but he shouldn’t. For a strange second he felt like he was floating above the floor. God, how high a fever did he have?

“Jason?” the woman said, stroking a hand over the curve of one breast. She stood slowly and stepped toward him. “You remember me, don’t you?”

“Not… not really.” It was always embarrassing to have to admit that. God, he was such an asshole. Had been. He wasn’t now. Was trying very hard not to be, anyway. He was —

The girl kissed him. Hard and full, her tongue pressing into his too-hot mouth, her naked breasts almost cool against his fevered skin. Flu, he thought hazily. Everybody’s gonna get the flu. It’s gonna be like The Stand. Dude, I hated that book. Too fucking creepy. And long…

She drew back, looking into his face with wide, adoring blue eyes.

“Kayla,” Jason said, remembering then what the heat in his fevered brain had forced back.

The girl’s face fell. Jason thought she might be about to cry.

“That’s not my name.”

“No,” said a voice behind them. “That would be me.”

And Jason knew at that moment that he was well and truly screwed.