My upcoming novella, Shaken, is still available for pre-order.
When Sebastian learns his cancer is in remission, his husband Patrick wants to celebrate with a dream vacation. But Sebastian has been shaken to his foundations, and in his efforts to rebuild himself he reassess his life, his goals, and his relationship.
Is Patrick still his bedrock, or is it time for Sebastian to move on?
This novella is available for $1.99 USD. (If I get enough pre-orders, there will even be a pretty cover.) The planned publication date is March 31, 2014. Pre-orders will be sent out on that date, and you will receive a .pdf copy of the story and my everlasting gratitude.
An excerpt is below the jump.
Sebastian flopped face-first onto the bed. They had driven home in silence, though Sebastian had felt every worried glance Patrick gave him. That would be the story everyone would tell, Sebastian thought, that he was so far gone that he couldn’t even give the Heimlich maneuver anymore.
By the time Patrick came upstairs, Sebastian had put on his pajamas and brushed his teeth, and was already under the covers when he heard Patrick’s feet on the stairs. “I looked for your ring,” Patrick said as he lay at Sebastian’s side. “No sign of it downstairs or in your truck.”
“I told you I looked for it already.”
“I know, but I thought I’d look again. A fresh pair of eyes, you know.”
Sebastian sighed. “Thanks.”
Patrick nodded, then moved onto his side and propped his head on his hand. “You were going to tell me something before we were interrupted.” He put his other hand on Sebastian’s chest. “I can handle it. If the cancer’s metastasized or spread somewhere worse we’ll just fight harder. I know you’re worn out but we can do it, sweetheart. I need you to fight.”
Sebastian put his hand on top of Patrick’s. “I’m in remission.”
For a moment Patrick didn’t say anything, and then he thumped Sebastian hard on the chest.
“Ow!” Sebastian said, rubbing where he would probably have a bruise tomorrow, but he couldn’t stop himself from grinning, either. Patrick getting rough with him was a good sign.
“You asshole! Why didn’t you say something sooner?” He threw himself onto Sebastian and kissed him. “I have been so worried about you all day and then you have news like this. The best news ever. God, I love you so much and I get to keep you longer and it’s the best day ever.”
“I was going to tell you at dinner,” Sebastian said. “That was when I thought it was just going to be the four of us, though, and I didn’t want to in front of a big party.”
“Why not?” Patrick held himself over Sebastian to look into his eyes.
“Because it would be weird. It was already a weird night. By the way,” he added, “that picture of me after surgery was not cool.”
“Most of our friends have already seen it.”
“It doesn’t help the weirdness. Nobody wants to think about dying, and they don’t want the reminder than I am. Was,” he amended. “Either way, don’t pull that on me again.”
“Okay,” Patrick said, and then threw himself onto Sebastian and kissed him again. “Sorry about the picture. I love you. I’m so happy you’re okay that I can hardly think straight. Say you’re happy, too, Sebastian.” He pulled back to look at Sebastian’s face. “Please say you’re happy too.”
“I’m happy too,” Sebastian said begrudgingly, and then laughed as Patrick peppered his face with kisses. All right, maybe he was actually happy. If Patrick had been putting on an act, this at least was genuine.
Patrick kissed his mouth, then pulled back with faint smile and kissed him again, slower and deeper, his arms sliding around Sebastian’s neck. “We should do something to celebrate,” he murmured as he slid his nose along Sebastian’s.
“You mean aside from dinner with twenty of our closest friends?”
“You know how long it’s been since we’ve had sex?” Patrick said, his fingers tangling in Sebastian’s hair. “A very, very long time. Hardly at all for months.” Sebastian looked away, and Patrick stroked his cheek until he looked back. “If you’re tired I could do all the work.”
“It’s not that.”
Patrick pressed his lips together, his eyes tender and his expression distressed. “I’ve seen your scars.”
“You’ve only seen the ones from the lymph nodes. You haven’t seen the others.”
“The ones from the orchiectomy can’t be worse.”
Sebastian let go of Patrick and sat up, grimacing at the need to push himself upright. “They’re bad enough.”
Patrick sat back on his heels and regarded Sebastian with that loving, concerned look. “Let me see them.” Sebastian looked away again, and Patrick whispered, “Don’t hide from me, Sebastian.”
Sebastian ran his hands up Patrick’s sides. He’d been too exhausted and in too much pain to want sex since before winter began, but Patrick’s weight on top of him and the gentle press of Patrick’s hips sent a desire to touch Patrick coursing through him. His fine pale skin, his soft red hair, the muscles in his chest and arms — he wanted his hands on them.
He tugged on Patrick’s sweater with a muttered, “Take off your clothes.”
Patrick grinned, delighted, and pulled off his sweater and the crisp white shirt beneath it. Sebastian stroked his chest, and then caught Patrick’s hands when Patrick tried to push up his pajama top. “Nope.”
“Oh, really?” Patrick trapped Sebastian’s hands over his head. “I don’t think you’re the one making decisions here.”
Sebastian smiled naughtily and rocked up his hips. “Gosh,” he said in his most innocent tone, “whatever could you do to me in this position?”