Sunday, February 24, 2013

Catching Fireflies - new today!

February 24, 2013
Daytona 500 Sunday

CATCHING FIREFLIES
is available at
AmazoniTunes/AppleBarnes and NobleKobo,
and other online booksellers. 


Dale Langley longs for some triple R time - rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. He accepts his cousin’s invitation to winter over on Ocracoke Island, far away from the hustle and bustle of life on the mainland. He’s always loved being a rolling stone, traveling for his job without the worry of a place to call home, but it’s time for something different. Now Dale anticipates several blissful months to learn how to be still with no demands on his time while he prepares for the next phase of his life.


Aubrey Zimmerman came to Ocracoke to attend a friend’s commitment ceremony. Never one to settle down, Aubrey’s had enough of involvements that took him from man to man without a place to call home. He needs a break - and a little solitude. House sitting while his friend is on his honeymoon is the perfect way to clear his head and catch up on his sleep. At least it seemed that way until Dale arrived and Aubrey realized sleep is the last thing he needs.

Fate has changes in store for Dale and Aubrey, the sort neither one knew they wanted. Sometimes the more you wander the closer to home you get.

INTRO:

His hand on my knee snapped me back to the here and now. I looked around to find everyone hovering over the steaks sharing grilling secrets, and paying no attention to us.

I tried not to notice the warmth of Aubrey’s palm on my skin, but failed miserably. At least if I got hard, I was sitting down and my T-shirt was loose enough to hide it if I leaned forward. Or maybe crossed my legs. Or sank beneath the glider - or the ground. Thankfully, the thought of how embarrassed I’d be kept an erection at bay. Barely.

“You know, hon. I like to walk along the water after dinner. Why don’t you join me?”

I must’ve had a stupid expression on my face. He tilted his head. “No hanky-panky, of course, being that we just met.”

No one even glanced in our direction so I leaned toward him. “Um, sure. A walk would be nice. If I try to hold your hand are you going to stop me?”

“That’s all you can hold tonight, sugar. I don’t know anything about you, and I have to make sure you don’t bite before we get to know each other better.” He looked down then slowly lifted his beautiful gaze back to mine. “And you’re hiding something.”

I shivered as the memories of the vicious blows I’d received at the hands of strangers taunted me.

“I only nibble the occasional earlobe, and my secrets are my own, Aubrey. There’s nothing in them to hurt anyone else.”

He studied me for a few moments, his fascinating blue gaze enigmatic. “Fair enough, Dale.” He sighed. “I do have my own. What?”

“I could stare into your eyes forever.”

Aubrey didn’t blink. “If I had a dollar for every time some tomcat said that to me, I’d be rich…”

EXCERPT:

“That glass had better have the same amount in it when I get back.”

Aubrey swiped his index finger over his heart, specifically his left nipple, up and down then side-to-side. The man was all tease and I liked it. I wasn’t ready for anyone serious.

I carried his glass over to Mark and requested another. I watched as he made Aubrey another drink - virgin. I looked at him, questioningly.

“Apparently Aubrey doesn’t touch anything with alcohol in it. I’ve no clue why. The man’s a mystery to everyone except Chad.”

I thanked him for making the drink as he handed it to me. “A little mystery isn’t a bad thing, is it?”

“No, Dale, it’s not. But don’t expect too much. He’s only here for the commitment ceremony.”

“Thanks. That’s good to know.” I turned and reclaimed my spot beside Aubrey, handing him his drink as I sat. Brett was delivering the first steaks to those who liked to hear it go “moo” when they stuck a fork into it. Aubrey echoed my preference for medium-well to well when Brett asked. I touched my glass to his again.

“Ah, I’ve learned something else about you. Now I’ve got a very important question for you. Sauce, or no sauce?”

“Hon, I’ve been thinking of nothing but sauce since I saw you standing in the driveway.”

I grinned at him, appreciating his wicked sense of humor. “You are so bad. I was talking about steak sauce.”

“If you see me put anything on a steak, you’ll know it was ruined before it got to me, and I’m pretty sure Brett isn’t going to do that.”

“I have a feeling you’re right about that.” I sipped my drink, wondering if I should pry into why he didn’t imbibe. He beat me to it.

“You’re wondering why I don’t drink.”

It was a statement, not a question, and I gave him a nod. “So you’re psychic, too?”

“No, but everyone wonders why a man of my comparative youth isn’t out getting inebriated every night of the week, a behavior best described as gauche.”

“That’s not a word I hear often. Hmm…Brett just motioned for us to get our plates.”

Aubrey batted his eyelashes and smiled at me. I shook my head.

“Nope. You have to go fix your own plate.” I stood and held my hand out to pull him up. He sighed and wrapped his fingers around mine. I was right - his hands were strong.

We fixed our plates with a veritable feast. Steak, grilled mushrooms and peppers, fresh diced tomatoes in light vinaigrette, a cold couscous salad, macaroni salad and fresh fruit. I gathered from the conversation meals at Brett and Mark’s place were somewhat potluck. The hosts simply looked in the larder and presented what appealed to them on the spur of the moment, and whatever leftovers they had in the refrigerator, but it sure worked. I grabbed the last steak knife and squeezed in at the table beside Sam.

Drat that flirty Aubrey for parking his very fine little butt between the two old guys. I’m sure he did it because they fawned over him - and he was just as bad over them. It was honest and genuine, and fun to watch even with so many questions hammering inside my head.

Would he really take a walk with me this evening? The sun was well on its way toward the far horizon, and I loved being along the shore at dusk…crap.

How the hell had this happened? When I crawled out of bed this morning all I had on my mind was a long, peaceful, albeit cold, winter on the island. I was going to rest, relax, rejuvenate - and not get all hot and bothered over any guy that crossed my path. But here I sat doing just what I didn’t want to do.

Funny how life constantly gives a person what they think they don’t want.

Aubrey smiled at me.

Shit. I’d taken his bait and if I wasn’t careful, he’d set the hook.

_*_*_

Catching Fireflies is available at
AmazoniTunes/AppleBarnes and NobleKobo,
and other online booksellers. 

KC Kendricks
website at: http://www.kckendricks.com
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