Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Silver Flash

Now that I have a blog I decided to make good on all my promises to Ryssa Edwards and actually write a flash fic as part of the Silver Flashers.  I actually made it in time for this week's flash. 

The prompt for this week was, "I've got a bad feeling about it this time."

 
You Know You Want To
Copyright © 2011


Andy leaned over the wall of Tanner’s cubicle. “Hey Tanner, let’s go out tonight.”

“I can’t. Not tonight,” Tanner lied.

Andy grinned. He came right into Tanner’s cubicle and sat on the edge of Tanner’s desk, next to his keyboard.

Tanner froze. His hands were still on the keyboard. If he reached out with his left hand he could stroke Andy’s thigh. He placed his hands in his lap and wheeled his chair a couple of inches to the right. Andy’s thighs were off limits.

“Come on. You know you want to.”

Tanner looked up at his friend and shook his head. “No. Actually, I don’t.”

“Why not?” Andy asked. “You always say yes when I ask you to come drinking.”

And every time I do, I end up watching you drink and flirt and make out with someone else, Tanner thought. It was getting harder to watch; Andy’s behavior was bordering on dangerous. He was drinking more and had graduated from dancing and groping to sex in bathroom stalls or dark alleys behind the clubs. It was sheer luck that he hadn’t gotten arrested or beaten up.

“Yeah, well. I've got a bad feeling about it this time,” Tanner said.

“But if you’re there, you can look out for me,” Andy argued. “Anyway, you worry too much. You need to relax.”

Andy placed one oversized paw on the nape of Tanner’s neck. “Jesus, you’re tense. You’ve got to loosen up.”

He pushed off the desk and stood behind Tanner, kneading his shoulders as Tanner bit his lip and tried to think of something gross like his dad's toenails or cleaning fish.

Andy sat down again. “Better?”

Tanner managed a nod.

“Come on. It’ll be fun,” Andy coaxed. He gazed hopefully at him, pummeling Tanner’s resolve with his big brown eyes before he delivered the final body blow. “Please, Tanner. I need you.” 

Tanner sighed. When Andy looked at him like that, he couldn’t say no.

“Fine.”

“Attaboy! I can’t go out without my wingman. You’re my good luck charm.”

“Yeah. I’m your lucky fucking rabbit’s foot,” Tanner said bitterly.

Andy looked at him in surprise. “Tanner!”

Tanner got himself back under control. “Sorry. I’m guess I'm just stressed about next week’s proposal.”

Andy frowned and Tanner thought maybe he wasn't going to buy it, but then he laughed. “Hey, man. You’ll be fine.” Andy squeezed his shoulder and ruffled his hair. “You’re a hard worker and the smartest man I know.”

Tanner dug deep and dredged up a smile. “Thanks.”

“No problem. I’ll see you tonight okay? I’ll pick you up.”

Andy gave him a friendly punch on the arm and wandered away whistling.

Tanner stared blindly at his monitor. He could still feel the ghost of Andy's hand on his shoulder. Andy was a touchy-feely guy and Tanner loved and hated those casual touches. Being in love with your best friend sucked.

“You gave in again, didn’t you?”

Tanner turned. Jeanne, Tanner’s cubicle neighbor, was looking at him with sympathy.

“Yeah.”
 
"He still has no idea how you feel?"

"Not a clue." Tanner shrugged. "I guess he's too busy looking for a good time."

Jeanne shook her head sadly. “If he can't see what's right in front of him, he’s an idiot.”

Tanner grinned. “I know.”

***

The bar was crowded for a Thursday night. Tanner nursed his beer and watched Andy out on the dance floor. 

Tonight was different. Andy wasn’t drinking much and he hadn’t disappeared once. He only danced when he was dragged off by his club buddies. He kept coming back to Tanner and trying to make conversation or get him to dance. It was weird. When Andy wanted to leave before closing time Tanner knew something was wrong.

In the truck on the way home Tanner was silent. He wondered if Andy was mad at him for somehow spoiling his fun. Andy kept looking over at him as if he wanted to say something. Maybe he wanted to chew him out for being a killjoy.

He was so busy thinking, Tanner didn’t notice where they were until the truck had stopped.

“Hey idiot, this is your place,” Tanner said.
 
“Yeah.” Andy flicked a glance in his direction. His hands were gripping the steering wheel. “I was wondering if ... maybe ... you wanted to come in.”

Tanner sighed. “We’ve got to work tomorrow and I need some sleep.”

“You could sleep here.” Andy’s voice was soft, tentative.

“What?” Tanner’s eyebrows rose into his hair. “No way. I’m not one of your tricks.”

He reached for the door handle and opened the door. He’d walk home. Tanner was mad and hurt, mostly hurt. He tried to get out of the truck but he was still wearing his seatbelt.

“Wait. Don’t go.” Andy reached over and grabbed his thigh, up high, near his balls.

Tanner blinked at him in shock. The heat of Andy’s fingers burned through his jeans and branded his skin. His dick was already half-hard.

The door was still open and the interior light was on. Tanner could see Andy’s expression. He looked ill or maybe scared. It didn’t make sense.   

“You’re not a trick, Tanner.” Andy ducked his head. “I’ve had this thing for you for a while now and I’m starting to think maybe ... you might have a thing for me.”

Tanner saw him steal a look at him from under his lashes as Tanner sat rigid, his mouth hanging open.

“Tanner?” Andy’s voice was lower than usual, as if his vocal chords were tight with anxiety. He was still gripping Tanner’s thigh.

“This is a joke, right?” Tanner whispered. His heart was trying to punch its way out of his chest and his palms were sweaty. He wasn’t sure what freaked him out more; Andy finding out about his feelings or Andy confessing his own.

“I’m not joking.”

Andy undid his seatbelt and slid along the bench seat. His hip pressed up against Tanner’s. He took his hand off Tanner’s thigh and wrapped it around his waist.

“I don’t want anyone else, Tanner. I've always wanted to be with you, even if you’re too smart and too good for me.”

“I’m not too smart or too good for you.”

He hadn’t meant to say that. He’d meant to say something about friends becoming lovers and how that was always a bad idea.

Andy was smiling. “So will you come in? You know you want to.”
 
Andy had the most soulful brown eyes—and the sexiest smile. Tanner felt his willpower crumble but this time it was okay. He smiled back. “Fine."


The End.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's official

I've made the move from writer to published writer — well almost.

On April 9th, less than seven weeks from now, my story Scent of Attraction will be released by Silver Publishing. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. In fact, I've been having trouble sleeping ever since Silver accepted my manuscript. It's only gotten worse since their wonderful Art Director, Reese Dante sent me the cover image. Isn't it lovely?

Somehow seeing my name displayed across a half-naked man's chest makes it all the more real. Actually he might be totally naked since his lower half isn't in the photo. Hmm.

Since Scent of Attraction is a short story — about 13,000 words — I don't get my own one-of-a-kind cover. Reese's covers are so beautiful though that I'm inspired to polish and submit one of my other stories. That way maybe I might get a cover made just for me.


Here's the blurb.

There's plenty of fish in the sea. So why is Shawn still thinking about the one that got away?

When Shawn takes a job at a cologne counter in a busy department store he hopes it’s the beginning of a successful career in the health and beauty industry.

But almost two years later Shawn is frustrated with his job and his love life.  He’s still working the cologne counter, still single and still spending every night alone.

His job allows him to meet plenty of good-looking men but most of them are straight, and even when they aren't, Shawn is shy. He gets nervous and tongue-tied when he’s around a hot guy and the thought of going on a date with a complete stranger makes his stomach churn nervously.    

When he meets friendly and outgoing Graham, the attraction on both sides is intense and immediate.

Shawn might be willing to step out of his comfort zone this time but there’s just one problem. Graham's already with someone else.  

Is their relationship over before they even share a kiss?