17/01/2020

Cover Reveal - A Summer of Smoke and Sin by TJ Nichols

COVER REVEAL


Book Title: A Summer of Smoke and Sin

Author: TJ Nichols

Cover Artist: Tiferet Designs

Release Date: February 28, 2020

Genre/s: M/M historical urban fantasy/paranormal romance

Trope/s: British detective, serial killer, Victorian London

Themes: Found family

Heat Rating: 3 flames 

 
   

To stop a serial killer a detective will need to explore his own vices…

Blurb

Nathanial Bayard wants nothing more than to find the nobleman creating snuff pornography. If he fails, his career in the recently formed nobility task force will be over and as the youngest son he’ll be forced to obey his father and join the church. But a life of celibacy doesn’t appeal. Nathanial has never even kissed another man, fearing for his soul and his reputation.

Jericho Fulbright has never lived a wholesome life. After behavior unbecoming he was discharged from the army and sent home in disgrace. His inventor and nouveau riche father refused to have anything to do with him, so Jericho turned to what he knew best: opium, gambling and sex.

As the owner of the Jericho Rose, a club for gentlemen who like men, he enjoys a certain notoriety. Some would say he has a golden tongue, but the truth is a succubus lives within him feeding on souls. Once he needed her help, now she is a burden that keeps him from getting close to anyone.

After the unfortunate death of a young nobleman in Jericho’s bed, Nathanial is sent to investigate. He is scandalized and intrigued by Jericho, but soon realizes that Jericho could be exactly who he needs to help break the snuff case. Together they are drawn into a web of lies that will result in Jericho facing prison unless Nathanial can unmask the real creator of the snuff, a man with rank and privileges that reaches almost to the King.

 


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Excerpt

Nathanial scanned the room. Everywhere he looked there was artwork or statues of naked men. On the small tables were smoking implements, and opium residue stained the glass. He’d never been in such a place before, but it was obvious what happened here.

The owner, Jericho Fulbright, stood in the middle of the room in his garish blue floral robe. The robe didn’t hide his yellow pajamas. He was as extravagant and lacking in morals as the scandal sheets declared. Who wore yellow pajamas? Sensible men wore night robes. “Would you like to dress appropriately before I interview you?”

Jericho smiled. “Would you prefer me to dress?”

Nathanial glanced at his notebook. Yes, he would. Because all he could think about was the two thin layers of fabric that covered Jericho’s body. He’d heard of Jericho Fulbright—who hadn’t?—but the sketches had done him no justice and the cartoon of his flamboyant dress had made him appear to be quite devilish in appearance. He was no devil, though. Just a man.

“I do not care either way.” He was sure he could see the word liar on Jericho’s lips, as though he knew exactly what Nathanial kept hidden.

“Very well then, let’s sit. I’ll call for tea.” Before Nathanial could agree or disagree Jericho rang a small bell, then sat on one of the chaises.

Nathanial perched on the edge of an armchair. “What exactly is this place?”

“Is this part of the interview?”

Nathanial considered Jericho for a moment. His dark hair hadn’t been combed and he hadn’t been shaved. His moustache was unkempt, and he had the general appearance of someone who’d just gotten out of bed. What kind of gentleman went wandering through the house in such a state? “Yes.”

“It is a gentleman’s club.”

Nathanial pointed to a painting of two naked men wrestling, and then a statue of a naked man on his own in what seemed to be either the final throws of death or pleasure; his back was arched, and his mouth was open. “With very specific art.”

Most clubs were much more subdued with art depicting scenes of hunting.

“For gentlemen who appreciate the male form.” Jericho’s voice was as smooth as silk and in that moment, he seemed impossibly pretty and extraordinarily predatory. “Are you suggesting something illegal happens here?”



About the Author


Urban Fantasy where the hero always gets his man

TJ Nichols is an avid runner and martial arts enthusiast who first started writing as a child. Many years later while working as a civil designer, TJ decided to pick up a pen and start writing again. Having grown up reading thrillers and fantasy novels, it’s no surprise that mixing danger and magic comes so easily. Writing urban fantasy allows TJ to bring magic to the everyday. TJ is the author of the Studies in Demonology series and the Mytho urban fantasy series.

With one cat acting as a supervisor, TJ has gone from designing roads to building worlds and wouldn’t have it any other way. After traveling all over the world TJ now lives in Perth, Western Australia.
 


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16/01/2020

New Release - Dravyn’s Garden (D’Vaire, Book 15) by Jessamyn Kingley #KindleUnlimited

RELEASE BLITZ


Book Title: Dravyn’s Garden (D’Vaire, Book 15)

Author: Jessamyn Kingley

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson, Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: January 16, 2020

Genre/s: M/M Urban Fantasy

Trope/s: Fated Mates

Themes: Love, Facing Reality, Power

Heat Rating: 3 flames

 


Buy Links - Available on Kindle Unlimited




In one extraordinary garden, is it possible to grow love?

Blurb

Drindyr Duke Dravyn D’Vairedracon is is a quiet man who finds happiness amongst his plants. His affinity for living things astonishes those around him since he doesn’t have a drop of druidic blood in his veins. Awed by his talent, his family grows convinced that someday when Fate pairs him, it will be a druid that is at his side. Someone to care for and who shares his love of gardening would be a dream come true for Dravyn.

Killian the Dwyer is a man broken and his secrets are plenty. Once the leader of the Circle of Druids, he handed off his duties and escaped, his whereabouts unknown. Rumors abound that he makes his home high in a tree in a faraway land. He is missed, and many who care for him reach out to no avail. Full of pain and taking comfort in his solitude, Killian only leaves the sanctity of his leafy abode to answer an invitation he finds himself unable to ignore.

Killian makes his first public appearance in centuries, and when he locks eyes with Dravyn, they discover they are mates. Astonished, neither man says a word and Killian retreats. Two and a half years of silence on Killian’s part have passed, and Dravyn is tired of waiting. He wants the other half of his soul but is convinced Killian won’t do for the job. Fearful of what the future holds but afraid of defying Fate, Killian cannot help being intrigued by the talented dragon. As they settle in Dravyn’s expansive garden, if the pair can find common ground, they might just discover the seeds to grow a love without limits.



Excerpt

Yanking off his gloves, Dravyn crammed them into the back pocket of his cargo pants. Crossing his arms over his chest, he waited for the guy to cross the distance between them. He was the last person on this planet Dravyn wanted to see, but if he wanted his freedom, he was going to have to deal with Killian the Dwyer.

“This is an amazing garden for a dragon,” Killian said once he was a few feet from where Dravyn had his boots planted into the sandy dirt.

“For a dragon?”

“Shifters aren’t normally known for their cultivating skills.”

“What exactly do you think we are known for?” Dravyn asked, wondering why the hell they were having this weird-ass conversation. He didn’t think Killian could be any more condescending if he tried.

“The obvious answer is for going from man to beast.”

“And when we aren’t in beast form, what is it you think we do?”

“I don’t know. I’ll confess I don’t really know any shifters.”

“You live in a tree; do you know anybody?”

“What’s wrong with living in a tree?”

“Look, I don’t give a shit where you live. What are you doing here?”

“I thought that would be obvious. We’re mates. I’m here to see if we can make things work.”

“I wrote you letters for two and a half years. You ignored them,” Dravyn pointed out. “So, excuse me if I’m surprised you have any interest in Fate.”

“Druids believe in Fate.”

“Apparently on their own sweet-ass timetable, with no concern for anyone else’s feelings.”

“I know you’re angry, and you have every right to be but—”

“But nothing, Killian the Dwyer. Go back to your tree.”

“I have a lot of explaining to do and—”

“Excuses to make.”

Killian’s brownish-green eyes with their interesting glints of gold narrowed. His face was even more remarkably handsome than Dravyn recalled, which only pissed him off more. The glossy hair was shaggier, and he seemed to have forgotten to put on shoes, but Killian was a perfect male specimen of lanky proportions. “Are you going to let me finish a statement?”

“You can talk all you want,” Dravyn retorted. He pulled his gloves out of his pants and tugged them on. “I’ve got work to do. Take your damn plants back too, I don’t want them near my garden.”

“I wasn’t going to leave them behind, so I’m going to need space in your precious garden.”

“Nope, get lost. You’ve got experience in that. Like when you walked into a ballroom and refused to acknowledge your mate, then teleported home to your tree.”

“You seem very bitter about the tree thing.”

“Must be nice to ignore your responsibilities and hide in a tree.”

“Hiding?”

“You heard me. Now beat it so I can work,” Dravyn growled as he crouched to check on his hybrid. There was no way he was going to lose another one. This plant had taken over a year of work to create, and each time he took one out of his cramped greenhouse, it refused to bloom and died. He wanted to give a cutting to Ellery for his solarium, so he had to solve this puzzle.

“I don’t know where to go. Where’s our room?”

Dravyn rocketed back to his feet and whipped around. “Our room?”

“I’m guessing you don’t sleep in a tree, as you’re strongly opposed to anyone occupying one. I promise you it doesn’t hurt the tree in question.”

“I’m not opposed—shit, who cares. That’s your business, not mine. What you aren’t doing is sleeping in my room.”

Killian took off and marched toward the deck that accessed Dravyn’s section of the house.

“Hey, where the hell do you think you’re going?” Dravyn demanded as he stalked after the sexy druid.

“That deck.”

“Stay away from it,” Dravyn snarled, but Killian was already thundering up the wooden steps.

“Wow, you hypocrite. Look at this,” Killian crowed once Dravyn got up to the wide deck. “That’s a bed in a tree.”

“Get off my deck.”

Killian stuck his head into the open doors of Dravyn’s sitting room. “Indoor and outdoor living. Very nice. Oh, and there are two beds, so we don’t have to share right away.” Killian dropped his bag on the one nestled in the tree. “I’ll take this one until we get to know one another better.”

“You aren’t sleeping in my room.”

“It’s a beautiful space.”

“It was until you marched into it.”

“It’s okay, we have to try. We might not be able to make this work, but at least we’ll have given it our best shot.”

Dravyn shook his head and pulled his baseball cap lower, over his eyes. The druid was stubborn, and he wasn’t going to sacrifice his hybrid for this asshat. “You need to go. Take your plants, your bare-ass feet, and get lost.”

Killian’s gaze dropped to his toes as Dravyn stomped back down the stairs. “I hate shoes.”

“Well, I hate you.”

“Okay, I deserve that,” Killian called after him.

“You should also think about a haircut.”

“Look who’s talking.”



About the Author 

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

Visit her website. Follow her on Facebook She loves to engage with readers there.



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15/01/2020

Cover Reveal - Hold Me Up (Chasing Gold Book 1) by Colette Davison

COVER REVEAL


Book Title: Hold Me Up (Chasing Gold Book 1)

Author: Colette Davison

Publisher: Independently Published

Cover Artist: Colette Davison

Release Date: January 29, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Second chance, sports, slow burn, hurt/comfort

Themes: Forgiveness, trusting others, dedication, self-care

Heat Rating: 2 - 3 flames

Length: 68 500 words

It is a standalone story.



Blurb

Can second chance love survive past trauma?

Reece has one goal: to compete in the Olympic Games. With the gymnastics World Championships looming, his dream is one step closer to becoming a reality.

When his childhood sweetheart, Alex, walks back into his life unexpectedly, Reece’s world is turned upside down. Alex was the boy who inexplicably pushed him away and broke his heart; the boy he still loves.

When the truth behind their break-up is revealed, Reece wants to hold Alex up and give him the strength to heal.

But can Reece be Alex’s rock, and remain focused on his training, or will his Olympic dreams suffer in the process?


Hold Me Up is a MM second chance romance, with a slow-burn relationship and lots of hurt/comfort. It’s the first in a series of books that follows male artistic gymnasts as they chase gold.

Trigger warnings: Hold Me Up features a character who suffers from anxiety and panic attacks due to a past event that is briefly described.




Excerpt


“What the fuck are you doing here, Alex?” Reece demanded, not even trying to hide the anger in his tone. He couldn’t miss the fact that Alex flinched, and he felt a pinch of guilt.

“Writing an article.” Alex’s eyes were wide and imploring, in a ‘can we just get this over with?’ kind of way.

Reece sat down at one of the tables. “Go on then, ask your questions.”

Alex grimaced as he sat down at the next table along. “How have you been?”

Reece rolled his eyes. “You’re not here to chit chat.” God he was being an arse and he knew it, but he wasn’t sure what else Alex expected from him.

“Sorry.” Alex stared down at the table for several seconds, his fierce stare reminding Reece of the night Alex had ended not only their relationship, but their friendship, too.

After a while, Alex opened the small rucksack he’d brought with him and pulled out an electronic recorder, a notepad and pen.

“Do you mind if I record our conversation?”

“Go for it.”

Alex touched his finger to the on button, but didn’t press it. His mouth quivered, as though he wanted to say something, but either couldn’t find the words or the courage. An urge to bundle him up into his arms struck Reece, and it was all he could do not to stand up and do exactly that. He had no right to embrace Alex, and doubted the guy would appreciate it if he did.

“Are you going to ask me questions, or what?” he asked instead, painfully aware of the gruffness in his voice.

“I’m sorry for surprising you,” Alex said at last.

Reece stiffened. What he’d really wanted to hear was an apology for the way Alex had treated him four years ago, but obviously that was far too much to ask. “Just get on with it,” he growled.

Alex glanced around the room. “This place hasn’t changed.”

“It’s had a lick of paint.”

Alex nodded. “There’s some new equipment in the gym.”

“It’s been four years, Alex, the equipment needed updating.”

Alex’s jaw flexed.

“I’m really not interested in small talk,” Reece said. “You made it quite clear four years ago that you wanted nothing more to do with me, so stop sitting there pretending to be nice.”

“I—” Alex clamped his mouth shut and looked at the floor. He grasped the pen and began to tap it against the closed notepad, the fast sound was incessant and loud in the empty room. With his other hand, he turned the recorder on and pushed it across the table, closer to Reece, before flipping the pad open. “How did it feel to be selected to compete in the World Championships?”

Reece narrowed his eyes. He’d heard that frosty, not-quite-neutral tone before and it made his skin crawl. “Like a dream come true,” he muttered. “But it’s just one step towards my real goal.”

For the first time, Alex lifted his gaze to meet Reece’s stare. “Your real goal?” he echoed.

Reece resisted the temptation to snap out a sarcastic comment about how Alex must have known what that was. “The Olympics.”



 


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 fairytale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

 
 


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a $10 Amazon gift card.






 

 

14/01/2020

New Release - His Fake Prison Daddy by Thursday Euclid and Clancy Nacht #KindleUnlimited

RELEASE BLITZ


Book Title: His Fake Prison Daddy

Author: Thursday Euclid and Clancy Nacht

Publisher: Eine Kleine Press

Cover Artist: Clancy Nacht

Release Date: January 15, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Forced Intimacy/prison

Themes: Opposites attract

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Length: 62 000 words/ 249 pages

It is a standalone story.

 
 


Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited




Beauty and the Beast, but with more daddy issues and violence.


Blurb

When eighteen-year-old hacker Elias Stuyvesant ends up in a maximum security state prison, he's woefully unprepared despite his time in juvie. On day one, he's thrown in with a man known as the Santa Fe Slayer, Ambrose Hughes.

Hughes is quiet, disfigured, and weirdly urbane. Elias was so young when Hughes committed his crimes that he has only the faintest idea what Hughes is in for. However, Hughes makes clear that Elias is his ideal victim type...and there's no one to protect Elias from the much larger man with his prison-jacked body and that hard gleam in his dark eyes.

Whoever paired them has it in for Elias; that much is obvious.

Elias is terrified of Hughes, but he soon realizes the other prisoners are worse. If Elias is going to survive, he'll have to choose the lesser of the evils: To preserve himself, he'll need Hughes for his Daddy. And given Hughes's skewed morality, they'll have to fake it till they make it.




Excerpt 

Then the guard exhaled and stopped outside a heavily reinforced door set in a wall of solid concrete. It looked nothing like the cell blocks they’d passed earlier, with their steel bars or Plexiglas, open to the guards’ gazes and Elias’s curiosity.

“This is…” Elias searched the guard’s face for clues, unable to finish articulating his question.

“Yeah, this is it. You’re in with—” The guard licked his lips with what looked like legit nervousness. “Ambrose Hughes.”

Elias blinked at him, not grasping the gravity invested in that name. Who the hell was that?

The guard looked at Elias with visible pity. “The Santa Fe Slayer.”

Shit.

No.

Shit shit shit.

The Santa Fe Slayer was fucking crazy. Not that Elias knew precisely what Hughes had done beyond killing people, but if he’d been active in most other states, he’d be on Death Row. But motherfucking New Mexico abolished the death penalty, so Hughes was just waiting to die in prison, no hope of parole.

Which meant, Elias quickly grasped, that he really had nothing motivating him to behave. What was one more murder to him?

He was already serving like twelve consecutive life sentences. Was he one of those who ate people?

Elias didn’t have time to collect his wits or steel his bladder before the guard knocked politely at the door and then unlocked it, pushing it open to reveal a windowless room thick with shadow. It was somehow even smaller than Elias had expected, with nothing to look at but a sink, a toilet, a little shelf built into the wall currently stocked with what looked like battered novels, and a bunk against the far wall, its bottom bed stripped bare, waiting for the bedding Elias carried. It took him a moment to realize the big shadow up by the ceiling was his cellmate.

Hughes stretched languidly and started to slide off the top bunk with the predatory air of a panther. “Garcia, sweet man, who have you brought to visit me?”

“New cellmate.” The guard—Garcia?—stepped back through the door and quickly removed Elias’s cuffs before shoving him forward toward the Santa Fe Slayer’s approach.

Elias looked desperately back at the guard as the thick steel door clicked shut. It beeped as it locked. A small, barred hole at eye level revealed that Garcia had already turned away.

“Hughes,” the man said, his voice pleasantly deep and drawling but edged with something unpredictable. Excitable. “Welcome to Hell.”

Elias clutched the bedding to his chest as if it might ward off attack, or maybe just because he needed to hold something.

This was why Edward Snowden ran. The government clearly sent Elias here to be murderated. Well, if he was lucky, he’d be murdered before this dude started to eat him.

Though he wasn’t even conscious of moving backwards, his heels hit the closed door behind him, leaving him nowhere to run.

In some ways, it reminded Elias of his first day in juvie, when he’d been so terrified, but at least then he was of comparable size and flexible enough sexuality to avoid becoming a target.

Taking a deep breath, Elias tried to collect himself, put on a brave face, and lifted his chin proudly. “Do you prefer being called Hughes? I mean, if it was me, I’d want to be called Slayer. Or Hannibal or something. Not that you probably need a badass nickname, I guess.”

Rambling. Fuck.

Awkward since the man just kept watching him, Elias gathered his bedding in his left arm and offered his hand to shake. “I’m Elias or Stuyvesant, or, you know… whatever.”

Hughes stared at him, dark eyes glinting dangerously in the low light. Something was wrong with his face, though it was hard to tell with how dim it was, but the texture was wrong, too reflective, scarred. He cocked his head to the side and said, “Maybe I’ll call you Bitch. Do you answer to that?”

He didn’t take Elias’s hand. He just stood there, looming, radiating amused malice.

“Um, well, I guess I could, but… um…” Great. So they were already going there. He was being fed to this Freddy Krueger motherfucker and there wasn’t a lot he could do about it. “I mean, this is prison. Won’t there already be a lot of people responding to that name? Wouldn’t want to step on any toes or cause confusion.”

What am I saying?

On the bright side, if he pissed this guy off, he might die quick.

In the silence, Elias was aware of Hughes’s shoulders shaking as his breathing turned choppy. Then, with mingled relief and horror, he realized Hughes was laughing at him.

With him?

At him.

“Stuyvesant then. No one else will carry that moniker surely.”



About the Authors 

Thursday Euclid

Thursday Euclid (he/him) is the m/m romance pen name of Rainbow Award winning author Will Craig, a thirtysomething disabled, fat, white, queer trans man from Houston, TX. For those who care, he is an Aquarius, and if you’ve met him, you probably can’t imagine him being anything else.

Proud da to two incredible queer, nonbinary kids aged 16 and 18 and honorary da to a 17-year-old black trans girl, Thursday spends a lot of time cooking vegetarian food in his Instant Pot while listening to Radiohead and dishing out advice and hugs to the younglings. Many of those scorching sex scenes were written or edited while obnoxiously loud teenagers danced to BTS in the living room.

When he’s not playing World of Warcraft with his handsome trans boyfriend, he’s probably watching horror movies or talking to his best friend and frequent collaborator Clancy Nacht. 

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Clancy Nacht

Clancy Nacht is a bisexual genderqueer person who lives in Austin. Clancy has published several bestselling romances. Many of her books have been honored with Rainbow Awards; Le Jazz Hot won for Best Bisexual/Transgender Romance & Erotic Romance. In 2013, Black Gold: Double Black was a runner-up for a Rainbow Award. In 2015, Gemini won an Honorable Mention for Gay Erotic Romance and in 2016, Strange Times won an Honorable Mention for Science Fiction. Wyatt’s Recipes for Wooing Rock Stars was a finalist in the highly competitive William Neale Award for Best Gay Contemporary Romance. The Phisher King won second place in the Rainbow Award for Romantic Suspense, 16th for Gay Book of the Year.



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Book Blast - Damaged Hearts: The Boys of Venice Beach, Book 1 by Jan St. Marcus

BOOK BLAST


Book Title: Damaged Hearts: The Boys of Venice Beach, Book 1

Author: Jan St. Marcus

Publisher: SBPRA (Paperback), Blue Ascot Media (eBook)

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, LGBTQ Romance, LGBTQ Fiction

Trope/s: Hurt/Comfort, First Time Gay

Themes: Rescue Me, Romantic Thriller

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Length: 138 000 words/ 466 pages

It is Book 1 of a planned Series

 


Tragic Pasts. Unexpected Love. Unseen Danger.


Blurb

When 19-year-old military veteran Brandon Hawkins is attacked on Venice Beach by a gang of frat boys, he is saved by Michael Angelo Curtis, a passer-by. Michel Angelo was roaming the boardwalk grieving the death of his twin brother six months earlier. The two men’s unexpected encounter forges a strong bond between the damaged and lonely men.

Inviting the homeless Bran to his place for some food and a shower, 25-year-old Michel Angelo finds himself drawn to the younger man. Neither of the men is gay. But before long, their friendship morphs into something like love and takes them both by surprise.

And they have something else in common: The frat boys are out for revenge.


  Trailer Video   

 



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Excerpt

BRANDON

But a little ways down, the pizza joint is just closing down. They have those ridiculously big slices of pizza and most people who don’t weigh at least three hundred pounds can’t finish their slices. Fuck the hot dogs. Half of a giant slice of pizza will do me just fine. Besides, trying to remember to say “catsup” instead of “ketchup” would make my brain hurt. And if I’m being honest, I do see the frat boy douchebags laughing and being all loud and douchey, but I really want to see if they’ll leave some of their slices uneaten. So I hang back a little and pretend to be looking for something on the ground. After about a minute or so, they drop their slices on the counter and start walking away. Score! I walk towards where they left their pizzas with my head down, like I haven’t noticed what they left for me. They’re about twenty feet away when one of them turns back and clocks me checking out their pizza. The fat one grabs the other one’s arm and points to me. I look up and see them seeing me seeing their pizza. Did that make sense? Fuck it. So anyway, as soon as they notice me, I kind of figure that they are going to be douchebags about their pizza, but I hold out hope. The fat one doesn’t need any more pizza, that’s for sure, but my stomach is getting the better of me, so I speed up a little bit. They’re closer and they return to the counter, beating me there by three steps.

Then the fat one, who seems to be the leader of this fucked-up pack of douchebags, picks up what’s left of his slice and lifts it up in my direction, like he’s offering it to me. Really? Maybe they aren’t such douchebags after all. I lift my eyes and start to smile. I’m going to thank him. I’m actually going to say “Thank you.” I do manage to smile as I approach because I realize that I haven’t said two words to anyone all day. He looks me in the eye and when I start to reach out my hand, he hocks a big ol’ lugey and splats it right on the pizza. Then he holds it out like I still want it. Okay, I know it’s probably gross, but I do still want it. His aim was pretty good and the glob of spit and snot has landed pretty much in the middle of the slice. But I could tear the pizza around the gross part and still have a pretty good amount of food. So I reach for it and he must have seen my eyes studying the pizza because he hocks another one and it lands on one of the good sides. He starts laughing and then his friends start laughing and they’re staring at me and laughing like it’s the funniest thing in the world. Assholes.

I turn around, about to say, “Fuck my life” again when one of the other guys apologizes and offers me his piece. It’s not as big as the fat guy’s, but it still looks good to my hungry young ass. And I can’t believe I am so hungry that I start to walk back over and take it, but I do. You can probably guess that he does the same thing his leader does and hocks a lugey and spits on his piece, too. My stomach growls with as much anger as I am feeling and I turn around and start walking back towards the boardwalk. It’s going to be a long night.

Their laughing stops and I hear a deep voice talking to them. “Why would you do something like that? What kind of asshole do you have to be to fuck with someone who is obviously hungry?”

As I turn around, I see the fat guy step in front of the other guy, who is six inches taller, and the frat-boy leader guy speaks in this bullshit little sing-song voice: “What business is it of yours, asshole?”

The guy just stands there, hands by his sides, not seeming to be bothered by the fact that there are three of them. Then he laughs. He looks right at the fat-assed guy and laughs.


 


About the Author 

Jan has been a professional writer since he 15 and got a job writing for a local paper in the Washington, D.C. area. Since that time, he has travelled the world and enjoyed a myriad of experiences, meeting interesting people and sharing epic experiences. He is currently a full-time professional photographer and completed his first novel, DAMAGED HEARTS, the first book in a series partially inspired by his experiences living and working in Venice Beach, California.


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