Happy New Year, readers! I hope you had a wonderful holiday, and I wish you all the best for 2018. I have so many plans for 2018, including two new books for the Welcome to Alvarado series, a new Stables series book, and a new Corwint series book! To start off the new year, I will first be publishing a stand alone MM Romance, Two Boys, One Cabin. Below you can find a preview of Chapter 5.
About the Book:
When Alex agreed to spend spring break camping with his best friend from college, he expected Emily to actually go with him. Stuck in her dorm with the flu, Emily convinces Alex to go enjoy the outdoors and finish working on his master’s degree thesis. Alex has never been much for the great outdoors, but some peace and quiet away from a bustling college campus is too tempting to pass up. Loaded down with hastily bought camping supplies and enough bug spray to fumigate an apartment complex, Alex heads off into adventure.
But, Emily forgot to mention one minor detail: her brother, Ryan. Now Alex is stuck inside a tiny cabin in the middle of nowhere, with no cell service, no heat and a distractingly handsome man who is completely off-limits. As his thesis goes nowhere, Alex may go insane from attempting to act as hetero as possible around Ryan, if the mosquitoes don’t eat him alive first.
Sipping my beer, I close my eyes and inhale deep. Aside from the crickets, the forest is quiet. No birds are singing in this growing darkness. The woodpecker has gone to bed. There’s no mosquitos around, perhaps too early in the year and cold at night, but there are moths. I can hear the occasional zap as one flutters too close to the light over the back door.
There’s another sound, lower, under the familiar chirp of crickets. I have no idea what it is. Frogs, maybe? I wonder how close we are to the river, and I laugh at the fact I don’t know what frogs sound like in the wild. It’s not like they’re saying ‘ribbit, ribbit’…
The screen door behind me opens, and I hold back a self-directed laugh about the frogs. Last thing I need is for Ryan to think I’m a loon, out here laughing at the moon. The moon… Where is-
I turn around a bit, face angled up at the sky, searching for the source of a blue tinted glow giving the clouds overhead ghostly silhouettes. I spot it, towards the front of the house, then I spot Ryan standing in his doorway, plates in hand, staring at me.
“Oh,” I startle a bit from my moon gazing. “Sorry, was just… The moon,” I lamely point.
“It’s only a quarter-moon tonight,” he says. “And it’s cloudy. Expecting a bit of rain to roll through. Some nights though, that moon lights up the whole sky so bright, it’s hard to sleep.”
“I bet. You probably have a good view of the stars, too, all the way out here.”
He nods and sets two paper plates on the table. He’s finished prepping the buns and added some potato chips to each plate. And… a pickle. I wrinkle my nose a bit at that but don’t say a word.
“Oh, yeah,” he says as he walks over to the campfire. “Lots of stars some nights. Maybe these clouds will clear out and give you a good view in a few nights when the moon isn’t showing his face. You ever seen the Milky Way?”
“Unless you mean a candy bar, no.” I smirk and he laughs, so I laugh with him. Like Emily, he takes pity at my sad excuses for jokes. “In Boston, you’re lucky if you can see the North Star, much less the actual Milky Way, like you see in textbooks.”
“Too much noise pollution.” He glances up at the sky. “If Ashwood gets any bigger, won’t be long until you can’t see the Milky Way here, either.”
“The price we must pay for progress,” I spout like a first year philosophy student, and once again the conversation dwindles down like the campfire we’re both staring at. I’ve never been good at keeping small talk going, except with Emily. To her credit, she tends to carry a conversation rather well on her own. I’ve never seen the need to fill in the quiet spaces with idle chatter.
As the silence lingers, however, I begin feeling that awkward sensation you get when you’re alone with someone you barely know. Like you’re standing at the back of a party, two wallflowers, tempted to join in but unable to even mutter a polite hello to the guy standing next to you sipping his beer. Ryan and I are spectators to a campfire, our only connection being a girl who is probably asleep in bed a hundred miles away.
And oh, how I wish Emily were here to carry us through the moments like this, when Ryan and I have little to do but stand here, staring at the stars.
My eyes sneak a side-glance his direction. His features are lit by a gentle glow by the lamp behind and the embers ahead. A thoughtful gaze is cast upwards to the moonlit clouds, his beer in one hand and his other hand tucked in a front jean pocket. A tattoo peaks out from below the rolled cuff at his elbow, but it’s too dark to make it out. His shoulders are broad, his profile handsome, and his ass is-
I take a full swig of my beer and force it down. Nervous energy zings through me, sparked by the taboo nature of the desire. You can’t blame me, Ryan is… He’s hot. So. Damn. Good-looking. I have a thing for beards, okay… And it makes a guy wonder if he’s as much a bear underneath his clothes as I think he is.
Oh, God. Stop now. Abort. Abort!
Too late. The image is nearly completed in my head. Both heads. Ah, crap.
I set my beer down and get ready to run. “You said the bathroom was next to the guest room?”
He blinks away from the night sky. “Yeah.”
“Thanks. Be right back.” I head for the door, open the screen, and stop. “Uh… It’s all… normal? I mean, you don’t have one of those composting toilets I’ve seen on those tiny house videos, or something like that?”
He chuckles. “Nah, it’s a septic system, so just use the toilet like normal.”
“Ah, cool.” And now I feel horny and silly.
“Just be sure to wash your hands,” he smirks.
For some reason beyond imagining, I salute the man. Catching myself, I flee into the house before I say something stupid like ‘aye, aye Captain Godly Beard’, or ‘can you show me how the toilet works?’. Maybe the beer is going to my head.
Or maybe I need a stiffer drink.
Read the entire chapter on Patreon. Patreon Coffee Club subscribers will get Two Boys, One Cabin at no additional cost and at least two weeks early. Thanks for your support!