A steamy MM erotic
romance of first times & lush settings. Will these unlikely lovers find a
Hassan Elsayed wants to find himself and follow his
dreams–at fifty-four, he’s about two decades too late, but who’s counting, really? He’s left
his hometown of Luxor, Egypt for Athens, Greece, and fulfilled his lifelong dream of
becoming a writer.
Now, he’s hungry for love. The woman he’s loved for half
his life has married someone else. When Hassan meets a beautiful nineteen-year-old boy
one summer, their attraction and chemistry are instant, insistent, and impossible to ignore.
But it’s his first time with another man, and Hassan is terrified to step into this new fire. Will
he let himself be engulfed by the flames? Will he open his heart to this unlikely love he
never saw coming?
Set in the lush, sun-drenched Mediterranean summer,
to the backdrop of the ancient ruins of Athens, Book of the Flower Garlands weaves a warm,
romantic story of sex, sensual pleasures, first loves and first times.
In the evening, Marco and I take a long, slow walk around
Kolonaki as the sun is setting. My neighborhood is quiet, steep, cobblestoned. Some parts
are narrow and rambling and old, some are lit up, gilt-edged, gleaming with signs for Prada
and Gucci. There are trendy new restaurants and the older tavernas, like the one where I
work. Young people are drinking cappuccinos at the coffee shops, tourists are taking endless
photos of the sunset. I have tried to make this city home.
We decide to walk up Mount Lycabettus. It’s often part of
our morning running route, but then it is an opportunity for hill work, not a site for its own
enjoyment. Tonight we take a leisurely pace. Children from a family of German tourists
scramble up the hill around us. We stop to admire the intricate patterns on the doors of the
church on Lycabettus, delicate black tracery on glass, illuminated from within by warm
“These old churches almost make me wish I were
Christian,” I tell Marco.
“I see what you mean,” he says softly, his eyes traveling
over the shape of the church, the little white dome on top and the crowning cross.
On an impulse we decide to have dinner at the restaurant
near the summit. “I’ve always wanted to eat here,” I say.
“Then let’s eat here,” Marco says, shrugging. He stops. “Let
me treat you.” “Sweetheart. You don’t have to.”
“Let me. You’re always paying for stuff and cooking for me
and taking care of me. Let me take you to just one dinner at a place you’ve always wanted to
“Okay,” I say. I’d say my Arab ancestors were turning in their
sandy desert graves, but surely those venerable old men have long since abandoned me. I
am head over heels for a boy less than half my age.
Our breath is duly stolen by the view at our table, placed
right at the edge of the mountain, beside a low stone wall. It’s twilight, and every moment
the light flees, bleeding from the sky. That has its own bittersweet significance, but then, as
the night grows blacker, the lights begin to glow to their fullest perfection. The
neighborhoods are tiny handfuls of houses, each block outlined with veins of dark green
summer trees. The lights are coming out like the stars we cannot see, like the lanterns the
white-shirted waiters come out and set on each table. In the far distance we can see the
softness of the sea, in the middle distance the magic radiance of the Parthenon sprawled on
“My God,” Marco says. “I will remember this view for the
rest of my life.”
About the Author
Nikki Ali creates high-quality
erotica where love is for everyone, dreams come true, and sensuality is an integrated part of
Nikki is also the editor-in-
chief of Mistress M’s Community Publishing House (MMCPH), a new, boutique-style, full-
service small publishing house founded on the principles that no matter what our hearts
desire to create, there is an audience seeking it; that, by putting our work out into the world,
our audience will find us; and that there IS space in the marketplace for the offerings of our
In a small New England
town, three men, each facing unthinkable horrors, must rely on their friendship to destroy
an evil beyond imagination.
Four men are about to discover things are definitely not
what they seem…including themselves. Declan Makavoy, small town farmer and single
father, finds out it’s not just his thumb that’s green. Ivan Soresceau, a local reporter, who
always plays with fire in life and love, is about to discover what it means to be burned.
Chester Silberglocke, the ailing but sage chiropractor, finds his death only the beginning of
an atmospheric afterlife. Vinny Pirelli, the local swimming champ may make waves inside
and outside the pool but has no idea he is the last piece in a dangerous and life-changing
puzzle. Seduction and unearthly occurrences are only the beginning in what proves to be a
race against time as Declan, Ivan, Chester, and Vinny are pitted against a dark force beyond
imagination, in the ultimate battle of good versus evil.
The wind carried the unpleasant smell of decay. In the heat
of summer, the odor is nectar sweet, but in autumn, decay is unexpected. In the summer, it
could be tomatoes left too long on the vine, fresh roadkill or sewage wafting up from the
dank sidewalk grates. Autumn chilled the stench, offered it bite and acid. The hair on my
neck stood on end. I dug my hands deeper into my pockets.
Coming out of the tree-lined path leading to the fields
reminded me of emerging from a dream. Overwrought and graphic, like an illustration in a
bad comic, the scene unfolded block-by-block, piece-by-piece. The fields were barren, except
where remains of gourds and pumpkins jutted from the earth like fevered skulls, things
emerging to the cold dreary light. The distant pine trees lined the border of my property like
sentries sent from a general to contain the scene. Beyond the trees, the forest appeared a
black mass; empty and full at the same time. Perhaps Adam’s body—or Adam
himself—waited, hidden in the woods.
They hadn’t found a body.
A new but not unfamiliar wave of pain welled within my
chest so I thought I’d burst. Adam was dead. Dead…How could he be…?
Chester turned toward me, his eyes wide. He
Antonia sat, facing him. She’d been playing house or school
with her gourd-squash students. Her singsong contrasted with the fouled air, unnerving
Behind her, centered in the field, something either unaware
or unconcerned with our presence was consuming the remaining pumpkins.
“Declan,” Chester breathed, “stay still.”
The stench coming from the field hit like a ton of putrid
“Get her.” I heaved, trying to breathe through the stink. “I have to get her.”
Chester restrained me with more strength than I thought he
possessed. “She must stay still.”
“What is it?” I asked.
“I don’t know.”
Just then a huge crow dove and we watched as the creature
reached with a massive clawed paw, grabbed the bird and crushed it. It then stuffed the bird
into its mouth and made horrific bone-sucking sounds of pleasure.
Antonia smiled and called, “Daddy, have you seen the
About the Author
Xavier Axelson is a writer and
columnist living in Los Angeles. Axelson’s work has been featured in various erotic and
horror anthologies including Best Gay Erotica 2016
Volume 2, Best Gay Erotica 2015.
Longer written works include
“The Incident”, “Dutch’s Boy”, “The Birches”, “Earthly Concerns”, “Velvet,” and “Lily”.
He captured a fae prince,
but can he capture his heart?
Lochlann Wilde walks in the shadow of his father, a
legendary summoner who commanded mythical beasts in battle. But Locke isn’t legendary.
He’s barely a summoner, never passing his academy’s trial of the elements.
And then he accidentally summons a fae prince with a
beautiful body and a bad attitude.
Sylvain is fiery and ferocious, stronger than anything Locke
has ever encountered. And hotter, too. But time is running out. Locke must tame the prince’s
wild heart. If he fails his trial, he’ll lose his inheritance and ruin his family’s name.
Without Sylvain, Locke could lose his chance to become a
true summoner… along with his shot at true love.
The invisible entity’s breath rushed on the breeze,
seductive and strong. The faint beat of its heart sounded like the playing of a distant drum.
Above all things else I could taste the overwhelming power on the tip of my tongue, a
palpable flavor of strange, alien magic.
I had to have it. I needed to earn my Summoner’s Crest. It
was finally my time. I had to make my father proud, wherever he could be. I thrust my hand
out, the grimoire levitating at eye level, pages fluttering in an eldritch wind as it turned to
the correct section. The binding, the forging of a powerful contract.
“With iron will and stalwart heart I beseech you, great force
of the ether. Make yourself known. Manifest. In the name of the summoners that have come
before me, hear my words. Heed my call.”
A new wind swirled at my feet, sending leaves tumbling
upward, whipping at the branches. Gooseflesh rose all over my skin, my body’s response to
the tingle and thrum of gathering power. Something was here. Something was
Time to finish the incantation, the barest minimum for me
to qualify for the Summoner’s Crest. Time to complete the Pact of the Unknown.
“I invoke you, thing of the ether, unseen and unnamed.
Grant me time and space enough to bargain and barter, to forge a bond that may yet be
fruitful for us both.”
The wind howled, ripping at my cloak, shearing through my
hair, screaming into my ears. It was coming.
It was here.
Time to bring it all home.
“Nameless of the ether, dweller in the unknown, I call you. I
summon you. Come forth. Reveal yourself!”
Grass, leaves, and petals exploded in a burst from the
center of the clearing, filling the air with a swirl of green and gold. I shielded my eyes,
watching through the gaps in my fingers. Had it worked? It must have. I said all the words
correctly, channeled the torrent of great magic through my soul, my flesh. Nothing short of a
god could have resisted my summons.
And there he knelt in the center of the glade, his head low,
his neck loose, a powerfully built man wearing leather trousers and little else. He propped
himself up by one hand, groaning, rubbing at his forehead with the other, like someone
recovering from a hangover. A side effect of the invocation, possibly.
Black hair fell in soft wisps over his brow, across his pale
gold eyes. They took their time to focus, then filled with defiance, with wild devilry. He
glanced up at me, eyes widening, mouth turning up in anger. But even in fury the man was
devastating. That face, those lips, that — oh, gods, that body. He was the most beautiful
man I’d ever seen.
And then he opened his mouth.
About the Author
Nazri Noor is a California-
based author of Filipino and Malaysian descent. While capable of fluently cursing in three
languages, he only writes in English, and has been doing so in a professional capacity for
over 20 years. His urban fantasy novels feature wise-cracking heroes who save the world
with wits, style, and magic: think sass and class, while kicking ass.
The fast, furry, and furious! A lynx shifter, pursued by a cryptid trophy hunter. A wolf shifter desperate to rescue a lover who’s not just his fated mate—but his one true pairing across past lives. And a love that transcends time.
The fast, furry, and furious! A lynx shifter, pursued by a cryptid trophy hunter. A wolf shifter desperate to rescue a lover who’s not just his fated mate—but his one true pairing across past lives. And a love that transcends time.
Lynx shifter Noah Wilson narrowly escaped being captured by the Huntsman. While recuperating in Fox Hollow, he meets his fated mate, wolf shifter Drew Lowe.
Noah has to return to Canada to finish filming his TV projects, so he and Drew visit when they can and come up with creative solutions to their long-distance relationship. Noah and Drew are sure they’re meant for each other and start making plans.
Drew’s dreams make him wonder if he and Noah are more than fated mates—could they be a true pairing, destined to find each other lifetime after lifetime?
Then Noah accidentally records a murder, and the killer is on his trail. Can he elude a master tracker and reach the safety of Fox Hollow, or will he and Drew have to wait to find happiness in another life?
Again is a thrill-packed MM shifter romance adventure full of sexy shifters, hurt/comfort, one true pairing, reincarnation, sincere psychics, hunky mechanics, first responders, a sexy wildlife photographer, found family, and fated mates.
“I wish you could see this view in person—except for how cold it is.” Noah snapped a photo that didn’t do the colors of dawn justice, and sent it with his text to Drew.
He waited for a reply and realized Drew probably wasn’t awake yet. No one in their right mind is up at this hour.
He’d made the best of the cramped hotel room, knowing from experience to bring an extra blanket, good pillow, books, and power strips. Hotels never had enough outlets to charge his cameras. Fortunately, travel wasn’t a constant, but staying overnight to get the right light or have time to set up cameras happened fairly often.
Will that be a problem with Drew? Will he resent my photography? It’s a demanding job.
Noah cleaned his lenses and checked his batteries as he packed his day bag. Travel made it easy to find overnight company without entanglement, and he’d long ago grown tired of waking up alone. He’d had a serious relationship back in film school, which fizzled after graduation. There were a few boyfriends who lasted more than a month or two, but his irregular hours always ended up being more than anyone wanted to deal with for long.
Can it be different with Drew? We felt such an immediate bond—I’ve never had a connection like that with anyone. It’s like we’ve known each other forever.
“Of course. We’re fated mates,” his lynx reminded him, as if Noah could forget.
He smiled, thinking of their conversation that ended only a few hours ago. It wasn’t just the sex—although that was combustible in a way Noah had never experienced before. Everything took on a different light when it involved Drew. Talking about the trivial activities of the day wasn’t boring. Sharing a movie or even reading the same book and talking about their reactions now felt satisfying and fun.
I’m a Cancer—we’re protective and defend our family. Except I don’t really have any.
Noah didn’t have many living relatives. His father had vanished when he was young, and his mother died two years ago from a bad heart. He had a brother and sister, but they drifted apart, and Noah hadn’t heard from them in years. He wasn’t sure he even had valid addresses for them.
Drew is my mate. He’s my family now. And he has Russ and Liam and their friends. A pack. Someday, they’ll be my pack.
Clowder, his lynx sniffed. Lynxes have a clowder, not a pack.
Sounds like soup.
Clowder is not chowder, silly human. But we could vote to let Drew be an honorary lynx and join.
Vote? Who—you and me?
We are the only ones in our clowder now. It would be nice to add our mate—even if he is a dog.
I’ve fallen hard. And it should scare me. But it doesn’t. When I worry that he might not feel the same, I can’t breathe
About the Author
Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.
On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.
Series include Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!
Contemporary MM Romance, murder, conversion
Young lovers Greg and Tyler secretly meet to spend time
together, until a moment of passion by the moonlight throws their lives into chaos. When
their parents learn about their little escapade, it opens a Pandora’s box that spreads family
discord, resentment, and heartaches. When someone adds fuel to an already fragile
situation, things get out of hand quickly. Will these two young lovers stay safe? How much
can they endure before they break?
Nestled in southwest Alberta’s rolling foothills lies the
quaint little town of Cardston—the Miller and Bradshaw families’ hometown. Cardston
straddled the Lee Creek valley and served as a shopping and tourist hub for southwest
Alberta, and was the unrivalled centre of Mormon life in Canada. Three-quarters of the
town’s residents belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, while the other
quarter was Catholic and Baptist. The town’s social life revolved around family life, team
sports and religion.
Greg Miller was the captain of the town football team, the
Cardston Cougars, and the proud son of John and Teresa Miller. Greg’s parents owned the
only shoe store in town, where Greg helped on weekends and summer holidays.
Greg and his teammates had been busy preparing for their
next big game against the Calgary Golden Bears; it was the Cougars’ opportunity to bring
back home the trophy they lost to the Bears three years ago. Unfortunately, John and Teresa
couldn’t be there to cheer on their son—John had his business to run, and since Greg would
be in Calgary, his mother would have to be at the store instead. Sales had been down, and
closing for even one day could cause the family hardship in the coming months. Tyler had
attended Greg’s practices ever since they met. You could tell in Tyler’s eyes how proud he
was of his boyfriend―his secret boyfriend. Unfortunately, Greg and Tyler needed to be
discreet and hide when they wanted to meet, a drawback of living in a small religious
It was Greg’s last year of high school, and if his team won
the game, it could mean a scholarship for him at the University of Alberta and a golden
chance to play for the Golden Bears. Over dinner, Greg asked his parents once more if they
were sure they couldn’t make the game.
His father looked at him and said, “Sorry, Greg. I wish we
could go, but we can’t close the business. You know how important November is to
“Can’t you ask Steve to cover for you?”
“No. Steve has decided to move on, and even if he was still
with us, I don’t have the money to pay for him to replace me. I’m sorry, son, you’ll have to
do this one on your own.”
“You don’t need us there,” his mother said. “You’ll do just
“I know. It would have been nice to have you guys there,
that’s all. But I understand,” Greg said.
“Besides,” his mother said, “if we went, we’d need a hotel
room and Calgary’s expensive.”
Greg nodded and lowered his head. He quietly finished his
meal, took his empty plate to the dishwasher, and went to his room. He turned on his
computer and browsed the internet for anything and nothing, then went and laid in his bed,
staring at the ceiling. Bummer. I’ll probably be the only guy whose parents won’t be
He texted Tyler about meeting up. Thirty minutes later,
Greg stopped by the living room and told his parents he was going out. He hopped on his
bike and met his boyfriend, Tyler, at Lee Creek Park.
Unlike Greg, who was a Catholic, Tyler was Baptist. Tyler
thought being Baptist was very similar to other denominations, but their parents thought
differently. A typical week for Tyler was packed with religion, beginning with a seminar at six
in the morning, youth group on Wednesdays, and bible school on Sunday. In high school,
Tyler was referred to as the boy who didn’t drink, smoke, or hook up with girls. There was
nothing he’d like more than to be like the other guys his age, but his religion forbade it, as
did his parents.
Tyler was already at the park when Greg arrived, sitting
near the creek, leaning against a tree and lost in his thoughts. Greg quietly approached him
from behind the tree and grabbed one of his arms.
“What the…” Tyler jerked his arm away, and Greg burst out
“You scared me,” Tyler said.
“How’s it going, dude?”
“Okay. And you? Ready for the big game?”
“I think so, but it’s a bummer my folks can’t come.”
“Oh, that’s too bad.”
“Yeah, but what can you do?” Greg said with a
“Would you like me to be there? I can be your cheering
section in the audience,” Tyler said with a smile.
“You would do that?”
“That would be so cool. We could rent a room for after the
“Won’t you have one already?”
“Yeah, but we’re four of us in there, and I don’t think the
coach would let you crash. Besides,” Greg said, leaning forward towards Tyler, “we wouldn’t
be able to do this.” The two of them kissed.
“You have a point there,” Tyler said. “I’ll ask my parents to
reserve a room for me. You need to keep your cash for university.”
“Will they let you go?” Greg asked, excited at the prospect
of being with his boyfriend alone where no one knew them.
“Don’t worry about that. I’ll be there to support you,” Tyler
said with confidence.
“I can’t wait for us to be at university so we can be
together. I’m tired of hiding,” Greg said, looking at Tyler.
“Me too. You’ll have to wait, though, because you’re a
school year ahead of me.” Tyler grinned.
“Right.” Greg made a sad face. “But you can join me the
year after,” he said with a smile.
“Think of what would happen if our parents found out
about us,” Tyler said, lost in his thoughts.
“That’s a scary thought. Come here.” Greg placed his hands
on Tyler’s shoulder and lowered him on his lap.
Tyler rested his head on Greg’s lap, and Greg bent over and
placed his lips on Tyler’s.
About the Author
Kristian Daniels is a published
author. His first novel Stolen Heart was published a little more than one year ago. An
Information Technologist by profession, he retired a few years ago to dedicate his time to his
storytelling. Kristian is passionate about writing. Fiction and coming–of-age stories are what
he likes to write about. Kristian lives and works out of his home in Canada and spends his
summers traveling and enjoying a drink a good book and the sun by his pool.
He has far too much
nerve. He can blow things up with his mind. He’s got anxiety. Yeah. The world should
probably brace itself for this one.
British superheroes, melodramatic Mages, snarky secret
agents, one hell of a found family, and a whole load of weird people. Also, there’s a duck. This is the painfully bizarre origin story of Rexley
Nova. When Rex was four years old, he became one of
the world’s first superhumans. When Rex turns twenty, he feels the drive to use
his scientifically given abilities to protect the world. He leaves home to become a member of
the Secret Superhero Security unit, alongside three of his friends and Danger City’s own
superhero, Polaris. Rex fights murderous Mages, evil organisations,
criminal mafias, his agency appointed psychiatrist, his own anxious brain, and the most
frightening of all, his attraction to a certain blue-eyed superhero.
“Come on, North,” I say, coaxing, spitting blood out of my
mouth. “Don’t be nice.” I get as close as he’ll let me. “Treat me like you’re paying for it.”
Damon’s nose flares, and his lips curl to form a jagged snarl. His
expression changing from robot to human in zero point five seconds flat. He makes a low
sound that’s just the right side of threatening to be a problem for me. And not in the way it
should be a problem for me.
Damon catches my arm at the right angle and twists me
around so my back is pressed against his front. He wraps an arm securely around my waist,
hauling me in even closer. A blaze of heat singes along my nerves when Damon runs his
hand under my T-shirt, his fingers dragging over the hot skin of my belly. I try to kill it dead,
the vulnerable quiver his intimate touch invokes, but that just makes it worse.
A full-on no-shit bonfire lights up inside my stomach. It sends a
fucked-up message to my head, which in turn sends an even more fucked-up message to my
cock. It’s like my body is playing telephone with itself.
You’re not supposed to want to get off with the bloke who’s
making you bruise and bleed. Not without a serious discussion about it beforehand,
Pretty sure Damon and I aren’t going to be doing anything that
sensible. Especially since the most sensible thing would be letting go and walking away
before we can make this situation any worse.
Damon wraps his other hand around my throat, fingers digging
in lightly, his thumb pressing against the edge of my jaw. He tilts my head to the side,
exposing more of my throat to him. I resist the urge to lean my head back on his shoulder.
Because I’m not mad.
My chest rapidly rises and falls as I struggle to breathe. It’s not
really because of all the hits I’ve taken. I’m having more trouble dealing with Damon’s
proximity than I am to what he’s done to me with his hands. A sign that maybe he was
pulling some of his punches.
“You,” I say, barely getting the words out through all the
tightness and the pain and the blood, “have got some serious control issues, North.” I shift
against him, and he tightens his hold in response. I smile, oddly charmed by it.
“Might want—” Another few unsteady breaths. “—to see
somebody about that.”
Damon feels like solid stone against my back, his body so tense
I’m worried he might shatter if I tap the wrong spot too hard. As if in response to my
thoughts, Damon’s arm around my waist changes from tight to crushing. His fingers press
into my neck with clear intention. Not enough to choke. Just a reminder. Or a warning. A
warning to be careful where I’m going with all of this.
My pale skin bruises easily. I can tell I’m going to have some on
my throat. I don’t hate that idea like I should. And something about it being Damon who
made them, whose fingers dug into my skin and left behind a mark, speaks to a primal part
of my brain.
Damon’s mouth skates along my jaw, either by accident or on
purpose, I’m not sure which. It doesn’t really matter. A short, bitten-off moan leaves my
throat in a rush. I clamp my lips together to try to contain the rest of it. But it’s too late.
Damon heard it. A shudder runs through him, a ripple of feeling and skin and warmth. An
answering wave rolls through me, my body set to quaking.
I need to stop.
Damon bends his neck to speak directly into my ear. Our height
and size difference aids him in making me feel completely taken over, enveloped, held in
place, swallowed up and overwhelmed by my temporary loss of autonomy.
“Is this a game?” Damon asks, and he sounds, it beggars belief,
genuinely upset by the idea.
About the Author
BL Jones is a
twentysomething British author who spends all her free time reading and writing and
taming her three little brothers. She lives in Bristol with a temperamental bunny named
Pepsi. She’s been writing stories since she was five, rarely sharing them with anyone except
her numerous stuffed animals. BL has had a difficult journey into discovering and accepting
her own queerness, and therefore believes that positive, honest, and authentic stories about
queer people are very important. She hopes to contribute her own stories for people to have
fun with and enjoy.
Alone and in London for the first time, Alex Anderson is
being hunted by the darkness as the fates have
seen fit to turn his dream holiday into his worst nightmare before he even steps foot out of the airport.
An archaic evil hungers for him and will stop at nothing to
possess the twenty-two-year-old and the coveted secrets that have been hidden from Alex his whole life.
All that stands in their way is a two-and-half-thousand-year-
old spartan Commander named Nikos and his fellow guardian sidekick Jin; a pink haired descendant of the goddess Hekate.
Nikos will move heaven and hell to protect Alex even if that
means protecting him from himself.
When boy meets man sparks fly and an instant bond is felt,
a connection that feels as old as the fabric of time.
But Alex must first learn to trust Nikos and Jin while
fighting his anxieties that have controlled his life if he has any hope of surviving what’s to come.
The Last Son Of Venus is the first in the fast-paced LGBT
fantasy romance series of the same name
featuring queer male characters, high fantasy creatures, magic and the true gods of old. The Last Son of Venus will take you on a long multi-series journey to a well-deserved HEA. So come and join Alex and Nikos and see what the Fates
have in store.
Bitter wind violated my exposed flesh, sending a deep chill
to the very core of my bones. Mother had warned me that London was cold, but I thought
she meant cold like Melbourne in winter, not winter in Antarctica. If it wasn’t for the fact
that my jumpers were all packed down at the very bottom, I would have stopped and added
an extra layer of protection. But I was cold and feeling far too lazy to reorder my bag, so I
went without. Yes, I was an idiot.
As per the map’s instructions, I turned right onto Gillingham
Street. It was becoming really
hard to focus on the map because the streets were barely
lit. I cursed myself inwardly that I didn’t just buy a portable phone charger, but I would be
sure to rectify my error first thing tomorrow. My goodness, this would be a lot smoother if I
was using my phone’s Google Maps. Anyway, what was done was done.
For a Saturday, there was very little nightlife, which I
thought was odd considering what I knew about Londoners and drinking, although I have to
say my knowledge on the subject was like ninety-five percent based on Geordie Shore
reruns. But still, there was not a soul on the street.
I could feel my anxiety grow; it wasn’t helped by the fact
that some random man told me someone was trying to kill me—though he wasn’t some
random man, was he? He knew my name. I felt a shiver run up my arms; I didn’t think I
could feel any colder. Maybe I should have stayed and heard him out before running
away…again, if I had, maybe he had a portable phone charger.
Looking back down at the map, I estimated I had maybe
another six-minute walk ahead, although I wished I had just paid for the stupid cab fare, but
I really couldn’t justify the cost for, what, maybe four hundred metres. I walked further
every day on my morning run.
The light flickered in the lamppost above. How strange. It
flickered again, but this time, it didn’t light back up. I was plunged into darkness as the rest
of the streetlights also extinguished.
THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP
My anxiety started to peak, and my instincts told me to get
out of there fast. All of a sudden, I felt eyes on me. Shit shit shit. My pace quickened into a
slight jog, my bag swinging heavy behind me.
Why did it feel like the approaching darkness was watching
me? I looked up to the sky where once a moon sat giving light to the sky, but now it was
gone, shrouded by darkness. I started to shake uncontrollably; I couldn’t tell if it was from
the cold or my anxiety. Both seemed to be at war for dominance over my body and mind.
A sound emerged through the darkness, muttered voices. I
started to run, every fibre of my body telling me to do so. My flight response was fully
active, I flew down the street, but the voices seemed to be gaining on me. They were now
close enough to hear what it was they were chanting. “Consumptura est lux tenebris.” They
repeated it over and over.
I crossed the street in mere seconds, but was stopped from
going further by a gate of iron. I turned to go around, but to the left of me, I found that the
men were closing in on me. Looking to the right, they were doing the same yet only metres
Fuck fuck fuck, my only option was to jump the fence. It
wasn’t very tall, so I knew I could make short work of it. I put my hands on the spikes and
pushed down, lifting my body. I swung my legs up and jumped down. The hem of my shirt
got caught on a spike, lifting my shirt up, trapping my arms. “FUUUUCK!” I yelled, trying to
fumble myself free. I was shaking so violently, I could barely unhook it, the process taking
minutes rather than seconds.
It came loose just as the men closed in. It was then that I
realised my duffle bag’s strap must have also gotten caught on the spike as it lay broken just
on the other side of the fence, but I could clearly see the men’s robes of red now. I hadn’t
the time to retrieve it. I’d have to let it go and hope I found it later after I had made it to a
Even the darkness seemed to draw dimmer. How was that
possible? Turning, I started to run, pushing past plants and shrubs, pulling my shirt back
down as I ran.
Their chant suddenly changed, I could now hear their voices
ringing in my head as if they were whispering right into my ears. “Arbores et plantae saxa
animari, prohibere eum.” Their chant had changed. It felt as if the trees were drawing
closer, which couldn’t be so.
Something grabbed my foot. I let out a scream as I fell to
the ground hard. What was that? I looked around, but all I could see was grass. I must have
tripped over a root or something, though I couldn’t see one. Getting back on my feet, my
left ankle felt swollen, and as I put pressure on it, I let out a loud scream. I hoped against
hope that it was just twisted and not broken. I tried to run, but the pain was just too great.
CRASH. The gate lifted from the ground and flew into a
tree. The robed men continued to follow me. FUCK.
“HELP! Someone, anyone, help me!” I shouted.
One of the men raised his hand at me, and my voice
faltered. I tried to let out a scream, but my voice was gone. What in the name of Ursula the
sea witch was this? All I could do was try limping away.
Roots lifted from the ground before my very eyes, spraying
moss into the air, leaving the earth a maze of traps, clearly designed to stop my escape.
What was I to do? I tried to hop over them, the pain forcing tears to fall from my eyes. But
the pain didn’t stop me. I continued to push myself, for my life clearly depended on it.
“Corrumpam vineam eius,” shouted one of the robed men.
Instantly, vines fell from the trees and launched themselves at me. I ducked and missed the
first one, but the rest found their target, instantly forcing me to the ground, wrapping
around me like dangerous pythons.
The roots curled up, pulling me to face the robed men,
forcing me to watch as they approached. The men were dressed in robes of red. I could just
make out a crucifix scar on one of the men’s outstretched arms. Wrapped around their
hands were what looked to be rosary beads, but something looked wrong. It seemed like
the beads dug into their hands, drawing out a dark fluid.
The wind changed, and the smell of metallic ooze hit my
sinuses, causing my nose to curl. That answered the question of what the fluid was: it was
blood. I struggled with everything left in my body, but it was no use, the vines just grew
tighter and tighter, almost to the point of breaking bone.
“Help me,” I prayed inwardly. “Someone, please.”
A man in the centre stepped forward chanting with the
others, “Accipere auferat divina virtute.” Something jabbed into me sharp like a needle,
causing unimaginable pain to flow through me. I screamed and screamed, but no sound
escaped me. Whatever it was it felt like it was crawling through my veins.
He continued forward towards me, chanting. Only a few
feet away, I could now clearly make out his face that was hidden by a hood. He looked to be
in his mid-fifties with a full white beard, long hooked nose, and beady black eyes. He
kneeled beside me and raised his outstretched hand over my face. I tried to close my eyes,
but they were forced open. The man squeezed his palm into the rosary beads, which I could
now see were made of jagged barbed wire that cut into his flesh. As the man squeezed,
blood fell like water droplets over my face. On impact with my flesh, it sizzled like acid; it
smelled like it too. I was truly dead. My only thought was on my parents, hoping they would be able to get past my death. My vision started to
fade to black. This was the end of me. My eyes finally closed. I had no strength anymore.
Maybe death wouldn’t be so bad? And with that thought, it all went silent.
The earth reverberated. There was loud running, yelling,
and what sounded like sandbags hitting a wall, but I couldn’t open my eyes to see. They felt
like they were welded shut.
“You must continue the chant!” shouted a voice that felt
like spiders crying in my ears.
The chanting started again. “Accipere auferat—” But was
cut off mid-sentence as what sounded like thunder struck the earth. I needed to run, move,
get up, break the bonds holding me. My brain told me this, but it was as if I was buried
Something dropped beside me. It radiated warmth. I
wanted to lean into it. I tried to but failed. I wanted it closer. “Please come closer,” I begged
the universe, and by some grace, it did. I felt a hand on my cheek; it was warm to the touch.
Who was this? What was this? Again, I tried to open my eyes but failed. I started to panic
again. This couldn’t be the end. My mind started to race. Mentally, I was thrashing back and
forth, wishing my body to do the same. This feeling of disconnection was the scariest thing I
had ever felt.
“By Zeus, Alex, gods fucking dammit, your lips are blue,”
growled a familiar voice. Was it the Adonis? It sounded like him, and for some unexplainable
reason, I hoped it was him. I could feel his hands on me. Everywhere he touched, I felt
“Jin, we’re going to need a recovery charm,” he yelled at an
“Babes, I am fucking busy if you didn’t realise, you know,
holding off the Priests of Bellum Sacrum,” bit back an unknown, effeminate voice.
“Fuck it all to Hades, you couldn’t have just come with me
at the train station.” The Adonis’s voice turned gravelly. But I couldn’t follow him at the train
station because he was a stranger. I didn’t know him; therefore, I couldn’t trust him. But was
he here now to save me? So maybe that meant I could trust him?
“Fuck it, we’ll have to swap,” called the Adonis back to the
person he called Jin, I assumed.
No, don’t leave me! He can not leave me. Don’t take the
warmth away. I’m so very cold. As if he could hear me, he assured, “Don’t worry, Alex, I’ll be
back.” Then he was gone. The coldness set back in, his warmth only a haunting
Thunder struck the earth again; there were more screams
of pain and terror. The smell of metallic ooze grew almost too strong to possibly bear. A
thud beside me. Was it the Adonis? It couldn’t be because this person didn’t radiate warmth
like he had. Was he friend or foe?
“Queen, don’t even stress, okay, I’m here to help you, boo.”
It was that voice again; it was distinctly fem, but like fem male, not a fem female. I assumed
it was Jin, but I really wished I could open my eyes and stop all the guesswork.
“Álysoi kaí desmá nýn spázete.” I felt warmth all over my
body. Suddenly, I felt weightless like I was flying in the air. The darkness began to fade as a
white light came towards me. I tried to meet it halfway.
Light burst into my reality as my eyes flew open,
temporarily blinding me as my eyes readjusted. A man who couldn’t be any older than
myself stood over me, his hair fairy-floss pink, kept neat and short on the side with a front
fringe that covered the tops of his brows.
“Is he awake yet?” yelled the Adonis from somewhere just
out of my field of view. “Yes, fuck, give me a second, Miss Bossy Tiger,” snapped the pink-
haired man. He turned and spoke to me, trying for a soothing voice, but came off very
“Hi, Alex, my name is Jin. I’m going to need you to stand up.
Can you do that for me, dolls?” But wasn’t I tied to the ground by vines?
“Jin, get him the fuck up now. We need to move!” said the
Adonis, running back into view. “I’m trying,” he responded.
“Then try harder.”
Before I could process what was happening, one of the
robed figures instantly appeared
behind the Adonis, bloodied dagger outstretched ready to
strike, going for the killing blow. “NOOOOOOOO!” I screamed, sending out a blast of energy
that felt like it came from my
very soul. I couldn’t let the Adonis die.
Gusts of power forced the robed man into the air, flying
back with a loud crunching sound
into a tree. The dagger burst into smoke. It took me a
moment to realise what it was I had done. My body retracted inwardly, instantly forming a
ball. What had I just done? I started to rock
back and forth, tears falling from my eyes.
THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP
I was a freak, and I may have just killed someone. I needed
my mother to tell me it would be okay, but she wasn’t there, so I didn’t know what to do. I
needed to know I didn’t just kill someone. “Shhhh, calm down, it will all be okay,” said Jin
But it wasn’t going to be okay; nothing was. It would never
be okay again. “Right, fuck this. Get the fuck up now, idiot, before you get us all killed,”
growled the Adonis.
I just looked at him, like was he kidding? Like really, was he
kidding? The rudeness. I was
going through something. Instantly, my anxiety and grief
turned to anger like a light switch. I was standing up, pointing my finger at him. “Who the
hell do you think you are? Do not EVER talk to me like that again, do you understand?”
The corners of his mouth turned up slightly; the barest
whisper of a smile ghosted his face. “That got you up, now didn’t it?”
About the Author
Scottish Australian author Dion Marc lives and breathes queer art. Whether he is
painting, writing, sewing or dancing naked in
the moonlight he does it with pride. He is a practising Hellenistic polytheist who believes in healing the world one hug at a time and that
drinking tea without a biscuit is a horrendous
Dion has spent over eleven years working full time in film and television as a Makeup
Artist, Hairdresser, Wig Maker and Costume
Designer. For the last year Dion has been working on the award-winning theatrical shows Hamilton, Moulin Rouge and more recently
full-time on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
as a hair and makeup artist.
Genres: Contemporary M/M
Romance Suspense – Two men falling in love while budging bullets and chasing bad
Tropes: Mistaken identity /
opposites attract / lone wolf meets stubborn pretty boy / age gap / found family
Themes: Falling in love / chasing
bad guys / overcoming trust issues / finding balance and letting go of other people’s
Heat Rating: 4 flames
It is a standalone book and is
the first in the series to be published. It does not
end on a cliffhanger. Suspense and Romance is
complete, but there’s a 2nd book with a new couple and a continuation of the suspense
Jake Devlin knows trouble when he sees it and he wants no
part of it. His quiet, peaceful life is a hard-fought dream. And the man who stumbles through
the backdoor of Jake’s bar—beaten to hell—he is trouble with a capital T. The last thing Jake
needs is to get involved with the sexy and secretive stranger. He definitely shouldn’t
offer him a place to stay. But…he does…
Murder and mayhem follow Detective Miguel Conway. One
minute he’s working a case, and the next, his cover is blown and he barely escapes with his
life. Con didn’t expect Jake to offer help when he needs it most. And he definitely wasn’t
prepared to fall for the grumpy ex-Marine. But…he does…
Attraction sparks as the two men are thrown together to
figure out who wants to keep Con quiet and why. Well, at least Con is trying to solve his case.
Jake is mainly trying to protect the young, impulsive cop. Midnight stakeouts, a celebrity
wedding, and passion-filled nights—can Jake and Con find the balance between taking risks
and keeping safe? And turn attraction into happily ever after?
But none of that matters if they fail to get the target off
Series: End of
the Line, Book 1 in the award-winning Jake’s
Bar series, is a steamy, M/M romantic suspense featuring a rainbow-colored bar full of
quirky characters, and all the romance you can handle. It’s a place where you can always find
support (and a cold beer) when life spins out of control. So, download today, and get ready
to fall in love with Jake’s Bar.
A gay bar. Thank you, Jesus. A fucking gay bar. Loud and
proud. Con’s kind of place, but none of Murphy’s men would be caught dead in here. Con’s
body hurt all over, but they hadn’t found him. He’d given his pursuers the slip and was out of
About an hour ago—close to two in the morning—Jake had
flipped the lights on and kicked everybody out. People barely dared to finish their drinks
when the big, bulky man with his booming voice told them to go the fuck home. Con would be
surprised if any of them would come back. Damn, Jake was something else. Con had a thing
for guys who took charge and thinking of it sent sparks down his spine.
Jake had offered Con to call it a night as soon as the last
guest had left the place. Clearly, he hadn’t missed that Con was moving slower and slower as
the night progressed. And fuck, his ribs hurt something fierce. Still, he had declined Jake’s
offer to leave right away. The bar owner had raised an eyebrow, but much to his relief, Jake
had started to put the chairs up himself while Con got a broom. And every time he tried to
do anything but sweep, Jake had thundered at him to stay out of the way.
“Are you trying to dig a hole with that broom? I think that
corner is clean enough,” Jake said quietly from across the room, his tall frame propped
against the bar—arms crossed—watching. Jake’s calm focus sent chills over Con’s body as he
forced himself to relax with a few more long inhales and exhales. His overtired brain fired
some images of being at the receiving end of Jake’s laser sharp attention under different
circumstance—with a whole lot less distance between them, and fewer clothes. Jake was
hot in an angry, pissed-off way. Square. Solid. A force to be reckoned with.
Loud tapping of Jake’s fingers onto the bar brought Con
back from his wayward thoughts. For a moment, the impatient rhythm was the only sound,
then Jake let out a huff of air and said, “Listen, I’m not sure how to ask this, but—do you
have anywhere to go tonight?”
“Yes, of course, I—” Con’s answer had been a reflex, but he
actually had no idea how to end this sentence.
“You can stay here if you have nowhere safe to go.”
Nowhere safe. How did he know? Con’s heart skipped a beat and then started to race again in his
chest. His eyes shot over to the front door. How
the fuck did he know?
“Hey, calm down.” Jake pushed himself up from the counter
and walked a few steps closer but then stopped again. “You have no defensive wounds. And,
well, you’re a big dude, so I wonder what happened to you tonight.”
Three against one. I never had a chance.
“It’s fine. You’re safe. Is it okay if I touch you?” Jake was
suddenly by his side, his voice soft. Gently, a hand came down on his shoulder. “It’s okay.
Why don’t you just stay on my couch tonight?”
The warmth of Jake’s hand seeped through his skin. Con
gritted his jaw to steel himself against the sudden need to lean in. Any other time, he’d have
given Jake crap for treating him like a wounded animal, but his beat-up body was starting to
give in on him. “That would be great,” he managed through clenched teeth.
About the Author
Eighteen years ago, AG
Meiers came to the US for adventure and stayed for love. Currently, she lives in New England
with her husband and two awesome kids—balancing work, friends and family, and
When she has some free
time, her favorite thing to do is travel and visit new places. Her past trips have already
brought her to a variety of countries on four continents. She never passes up an opportunity
to experience different cultures, diverse people and amazing locations.
Even though she has been
dreaming up stories all her life, she has only recently started to write them down and share
them with the world. As a writer she loves to put her characters through a lot of challenges,
conflict and heartbreak, before she allows them to find their happy-ever-after.