Despite what anyone says, Jordan Kane is not lonely. He’s not. Being alone is not the same as being lonely. At least, that’s what he tells himself. But it’s hard to hold onto his more hermit-like habits when Avery O’Sullivan blows back into town. The sweet–if hapless–writer is hardly prepared for Belleville’s harsh winters, and Jordan can’t help inviting the other man into his home for the holidays.
Two strangers find happiness between a dozen cups of coffee and writer’s block in this sweet M/M short romance. A Palouse County Romance #1 featuring stories big and small from Eastern Washington.
This is a novelette approximately 50 pages long. It contains minor language, some adult themes and a romantic relationship between two men.
Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten B&B Book 3. Even as I type up with quick blog announcement, I’m sitting in Starbucks with scrivener open to get some writing done. My goal is to have The Symbiotic Law finished before Christmas and published close to the new year so say posted.
I’ve kept this book pretty under my hat for awhile now but I’m really excited about it. It’s quite different from the first two books. But I can tell you it picks up RIGHT where book 2 left off–with the boys back in trouble again. It features a whole new cast of supporting characters as well as a couple old faces from books 1 & 2!
When I sat down to conceptualize the Blood & Bone Trilogy, I thought of book 1 as a “mystery” and book 2 as a “horror” novel. Book 3 is definitely the “adventure” novel of the trio and I think you guys will enjoy it.
Ethan stared out his balcony window until he heard the front door close. He felt sore, but more than that, his stomach wouldn’t stop jumping around, excess adrenaline still flooding through his veins.
He shivered and dug out a soft, long-sleeved shirt and put it on.
It was the middle of the afternoon. So far he’d watched a man get put in the ground and had his suspicions confirmed: fucking werewolves.
Ethan rubbed at the ache in his chest and startled when someone knocked on the front door. Well, hammered might have been a better description. It was too soon to be Patrick returning with their food.
He checked the peephole and jerked back. The door wasn’t even locked; it swung open.
“Uncle Eoin?” he asked, his voice pitched up in shock. His mother’s brother stood on the other side, disheveled, dirty, and with purple bruises under his eyes. Eoin had a fat lip and a cut across the bridge of his nose, crusty and only half healed. He smelled like the sea.
“Ethan. Thank the goddess.”
Ethan’s uncle stumbled inside the apartment, one hand falling heavy across Ethan’s shoulder and squeezing hard. His eyes were wide and bloodshot, his dark hair lank and slipping free of its tie.
“What the hell happened? Are you okay?”
“I’ll be fine.” Eoin waved his concern away. “I sent you a telegram. Several in fact. When I didn’t hear back from you I feared the worst.”
“I haven’t had any messages,” Ethan said, leading him over to the kitchen table and pulling out a seat.
Eoin dropped dropped into it with a squelch and watched Ethan as he grabbed the stack of junk mail he’d left to pile up.
“What’s going on? You look—” Ethan’s words dried up at his Uncle wan face. A shiver raced down his back.
Eoin gave a low, wry laugh and pushed his hair off his face. He had green eyes like Ethan but his coloring was darker, tanned and wind burned, hair like a raven in a ponytail, with callused hands.
“I don’t suppose I could get a drink of water?”
The mail slipped between numb fingers. Ethan grabbed water and a granola bar for Eoin and sat down in the chair across from him.
“What’s going on?” he asked again.
“I had a visitor, down in Auckland. Not a very friendly fellow, let me tell ya. He was looking for something of your mother’s.”
Dread curdled Ethan’s stomach. Without his leave, his eyes darted past Eoin’s shoulder to the empty kitchen drawer.
Eoin’s eyes narrowed. “You know what he was looking for.”
“Maybe? Who’s ‘he’?”
“Didn’t get a name.” His uncle crammed the end of the granola bar in his mouth and crumpled up the wrapper. “Some sort of retrieval specialist.”
He leaned over the table, eyes intent on Ethan’s face.
“Was he here?”
Christophe’s face flashed across Ethan’s mind but he took in Eoin’s scrapes and couldn’t imagine his ex being responsible for that kind of violence. Christophe never lifted a finger if his mouth would do the trick.
“I don’t know.”
Eoin hummed to himself and sat back. “Oh, I think you’d know if t’were the same fellow. He was looking for a stone. Your mother kept it on a pendant chain.”
Ethan swallowed down bile and nodded.
“A bloodstone,” he said flatly.
His uncle’s eyes worked over his face for a long, tense moment before he said, “That’s one word for it. So, he did come here first?”
Ethan pushed back his chair. “It might not have been the same—” He gestured at Eoin’s face. His uncle grimaced and touched a finger to the cut on his nose. “I had a friend, a former friend, from Toronto show up a couple months ago. He said he was looking for something called a bloodstone.”
“Did you give it to him?”
“No. I didn’t have it.”
“What?” Eoin demanded. The dining chair screeched across the wood floor.
“At the time. It was at the jeweler’s.”
This news seemed to settle Eoin who sat back down and finished his water.
“But you have it.”
“This friend, what’s his name?”
“I don’t suppose he told you what he wanted with it?”
Ethan shook his head. He hesitated before he blurted, “He said my f—father sent him for it.”
Ethan watched his uncle’s expression collapse on itself, grim and dark under heavy brows. He fanned out his junk mail across the table while he waited for him to say something. It was all bills and ValuePaks and advertisements for Domino’s Pizza.
“I was afraid….” Eoin stared at a scratch in the wood grain under his hands. He sighed and grabbed Ethan’s wrist, holding it tight. “You might have fooled your friend Granger but you won’t be able to fool this fellow. He didn’t seem to be the sort that’s easily dissuaded from a task.”
“Ran away by the skin of my teeth. I put sail to wind and came straight here. I had hoped that you’d get my message and be long gone already.”
Ethan frowned. “I don’t understand. If they don’t think I have it, which they must if they went looking for it from you, then why—” He stopped at Eoin’s guilty expression.
“Your Uncle Liam’s boy—Aiden—he might have let slip something about you inheriting everything. Whatever you convinced your friend Granger to believe, I wouldn’t count on this retrieval man to take it at face value. He’s was a professional. And if there’s one thing you can say about professionals, they don’t leave loose ends to amateurs. That’s what makes them professionals.”
“But we don’t know that,” Ethan protested. His bare feet were cold and his shorts slid down uncomfortably low on his ass. He still smelled a little like sex despite cleaning up and Pat—no, Clanahan—Clanahan would be back with their take away any minute.
“You willing to take that chance?”
“I have a job, I can’t just leave. Shit, I’m a cop. If this guy attacks me I’ll throw him in a holding cell.” Ethan stood and started pacing across his kitchen, agitation making his stomach jump and fresh sweat break out under his arms. His heart beat too fast to be comfortable.
“You can’t stay here,” Eoin protested, his voice grim. It grated against Ethan’s skin. “Men like this don’t work inside your legal system.”
“You’re saying I should be afraid of a shadow that attacked you? That might not even come here? Not going to happen.”
“I didn’t think you’d grow up to be such a foolish boy.”
“Foolish? Me?” Ethan laughed, if you could call the ugly sound coming out of his throat a laugh, and slapped the table between them.
He watched Eoin retreat into himself. Catalogued his weathered clothes, dirtier and more torn than they usually appeared. He hardly knew the man—hadn’t seen him in years, not since late fall ’07 or ’08, he couldn’t even remember exactly.
Eoin, like the rest of the family on his mother’s side, preferred to come and go with little warning or fanfare. They drifted across the world on their boats and barges at the wind’s decree, never settling in one place longer than a season. Nomads, gypsies, wanderers, whatever you wanted to call them, people that Ethan didn’t bear much resemblance to. Despite living in a city surrounded on both sides by water, he hadn’t been out on a boat since—well, since whenever Eoin’s last visit had been.
He looked at his uncle now, the shadows under his eyes, the way his shoulders tensed up around his ears and his fingers gripped the edge of the table until his knuckles turned white. He didn’t know this man, not well at least, but he knew what fear looked like.
Eoin was worried. Worried about Ethan’s safety. The concern both grated and soothed a tattered edge in Ethan’s brain.
He blew out a frustrated breath and sat back down, reached his hands across the wood, fingers held loose.
“I can’t just pack up and disappear. I have responsibilities,” he said.
“Are they more important than your life?”
“Whatever you think is going on, my life’s not on the line.”
“You sound very certain.”
“So certain that your father won’t…” Eoin grimaced.
“He hasn’t so far.”
“Ah, but you used to be a child, that always affords some protection. Now you’re a man with something he wants badly enough to send someone halfway around the globe to get it. You think he’ll stop at asking you? At threatening? Perhaps. You would know better than I.”
Eoin’s words squirmed in the back of Ethan’s brain where a healthy fear of his biological father—none other than Alexandre Pellatier, the patriarch of the oldest magical family in Quebec—slumbered. The decade since Ethan had run away from Alexandre had done little to squash the instinctive recoil he felt at just the insinuation of his name.
He’d be a liar if he tried to argue that there was no truth in Eoin’s argument. Alexandre Pellatier had not risen to his position of power through niceties and being soft. He was hard, the unbending steel rod running through the spine of their family, holding most of the wizards along the Eastern Seaboard in his grasp. All of it smoothed over by impeccable manners, money, and the irrefutable veneer of politeness.
The clock in the hall ticked off the seconds, loud enough it sounded like the crash of brass symbols reverberating in Ethan’s head. He dug his fingers into the table.
“There’s nowhere for me to go.”