I am delighted to report I penned the last word (okay, typed it) last night! Well, of the rough draft, that is. I'm sure it will go through a few more iterations before it's finally done, but I'm still on schedule for an early November release, and quite excited! I am going to post a few snippets here to give you a taste of the novel. It's about a guy named Tyler Sutton whose standard MO has been to run from things that scare him, like his deeply held masochistic and submissive yearnings, and the bully who twisted his trust for his own gain... Enter Clint Darrow, a confident but laid back cowboy with a dominant mindset and a heart of pure gold...
Here are a few excerpts for you!
from chapter one...
He shot a glance at Clint, whose direct gaze made Tyler’s heart skitter around like a loose pinball. “That’s one of the great things about poetry,” Clint said. “Each person gets something different out of it, maybe something the poet never intended, but it’s no less valid because of that. If anything, those added layers give the poetry more life and meaning. What was it, exactly, that you heard behind the words?” Clint’s voice was low and raspy, as if it were laced with whiskey, smoke and hard living. There was a kind of power to it that drew Tyler and distracted him, despite his best effort to wear his reporter’s hat.
Tyler licked his lips, unable to look away from Clint’s dark gaze, even if he had wanted to. “The reference to an exchange of power,” he finally breathed, his words coming out in a whisper. Clint knew he was gay too. He was sure of it now. The small tape player whirred on, but Tyler knew he wasn’t going to complete the interview just then. He could barely remember his own name, much less the questions he’d had planned.
His eyes on Tyler’s face, Clint dropped his hand to Tyler’s thigh, his touch radiating like heat directly to Tyler’s aching cock and balls. “Go on,” Clint said softly. “Tell me more about what you heard in the poem.” Tyler was aware suddenly of the silence in the courtyard. Other than a few stragglers smoking cigarettes along the fence, the place had emptied, folks going inside to hear the music, Tyler supposed, or going home now that the readings were over.
He closed his eyes, distracted by the rhythm of Clint’s breath, the pitch of his voice, the feel of his hand still pressing against Tyler’s denim-clad thigh, the fingers brushing carelessly close to his groin.
He opened his eyes and their gazes collided. When Tyler spoke, his voice came out gruff. He cleared his throat and tried again. “The image of submission, of the horse giving over its power to its master. I felt like maybe you were saying something more…” Tyler swallowed, unwilling to go on, afraid he’d already exposed too much of his closely held feelings.
“You’re very perceptive.” Clint tilted his head as he tightened his grip on Tyler’s thigh. “I could be wrong. Lord knows it wouldn’t be the first time. But I sense by your reaction that you identify with the wild stallion, the one who longs to be tamed by a real master.”
“Oh,” Tyler said, the word pulled from him. The night air was almost cool but Tyler felt a sweat break out on his upper lip and beneath his arms, as a shudder moved through his body in a snake of pure, raw lust.
“I take it that’s a yes?” Clint’s covered Tyler’s throbbing crotch with his large, strong hand.
Grateful for the semi-darkness that blanketed the courtyard, he thought about pulling away from Clint’s forward touch, but found himself rooted to the spot. He opened his mouth to answer, but no words came.
They stood in the parking lot, their mutual decision to leave the bar together tacit but clear. Tyler followed Clint to a pickup truck, unable to deny the magnetic, almost overpowering pull of his attraction to this man who had somehow honed right in on his most secret thoughts and desires.
Not since the mess with Wayne Hurley that had sent Tyler running had he even allowed himself to think along these lines. …tamed by a real master…Those fantasies, fueled by the quiet desperation of a lifetime of vague longing, had flared into a brief but powerful reality with Wayne. What they’d shared had been forbidden and, for Tyler, filled with shame, but charged with power just the same.
“I’m stayin’ at the Motel Six, just down the road,” Clint said. “I could use some company.”
Tyler didn’t reply. He felt like he was burning up, desires he thought he’d left behind at the ranch six months before fanned into flame by Clint’s compelling presence. Though he wasn’t sick, he could feel the flush moving over his skin like a fever. Clint stood loose and easy, as if he had all the time in the world. He waited a long beat before adding, “I knew it, before you even said a word. You’ve got that wild stallion inside you. But I can see it gives you no peace. You’ve been mishandled, I’d wager. You need gentlin’ by a firm, sure hand.”
Tyler tried to laugh but it came out hollow. “I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.” He’d meant to add a sneer to his voice, but heard instead the defensive protest in his tone, which even to his own ears lacked conviction.
“Sure you do. No cause to deny it. Not with me.” Clint opened the passenger door to his truck and nodded an invitation toward the empty cabin. He walked around the front of the truck and climbed into the driver’s seat.
Tyler stood a moment, trying to tell himself he should bid this stranger who assumed way too much a good night, or at the very least tell him that he’d take his own car, thank you very much.
Clint started the engine, the barest hint of a smile moving over his face.
Tyler climbed in.
He fell back against the mattress, their sweat-slick bodies separating. Tyler at once curled into him, resting his head falling against Clint’s chest. Clint drifted a moment or was it longer…? When his heart had slowed enough to where he could catch his breath and regain the use of his muscles, Clint reached down, stroking the wet, matted hair from Tyler’s damp forehead.
Tyler opened his eyes, staring up at Clint with such naked adoration that, had Clint been the blushing kind, he would have colored to the tips of his ears. Leaning up slightly, Tyler kissed Clint’s chin and smiled the smile of a baby drunk on mother’s milk. A feeling of overwhelming tenderness swept through Clint, leaving him, for that brief moment, utterly defenseless.
“Thank you,” Tyler whispered, so softly Clint wondered if he’d only imagined it. He experienced a sudden sense of loss. It had been far too long since he’d felt that eager puppy spark, either in himself or from another. When had he traded in the promise of that kind of wild, powerful love for a life of satisfied, placid contentment?
Clint realized with a jolt that, if things had gone according to plan, he would be in the arms of his familiar, tried and true old friend and sometimes lover, as comfortable as an old quilt, and about as exciting. These poetry festivals and readings, away from the ranch and his usual life, were a good opportunity for a little stolen sweetness, but in the end, that’s all it was.
Was this time different? He knew it was crazy even to speculate. And yet the aching tenderness for the young man cradled in his arms still lingered. Something in Tyler called to him like a lone coyote’s howl, plaintive and filled with longing.
Would he be able to break through the walls Tyler had erected between himself and his desires?