Monday, February 8, 2010


Title: Fire and Fate
*COMING SOON: 2/19/10*
Cautions: Violence, explicit sex
Genre: M/M heroic fantasy
Publisher: Cobblestone Press
Cover Art: H Hutchinson
Format: E-book

Lad has always feared fire. Secrets surround the fateful night assassins used it as a weapon to rob him of his parents and his true name. The scars left on his body and soul forced Lad into a lonely existence. He roams the countryside as a sword for hire, never feeling safe, never settling down. While on a mission, Lad meets Jai, a dark and mysterious warrior with his own secrets. Jai ignites a very different fire in Lad and the young man knows a new type of fear. Will Lad allow himself to succumb?

Lad threaded his way through the tables and patrons until he reached the staircase to the upper levels. His room was already prepared, his things laid across the bed. The only other furnishing in the room was a dressing table with mirror, and after washing up and changing into his nightshirt, Lad settled himself there, propping his sword nearby. The mirror gave him a perfect view of the door.

Earlier, an envelope was delivered containing his contract and information about the man he was to find. Lad always insisted on these contracts so there were no misunderstandings when he requested payment. Although this one was standard, no matter how long he stared at the words on the page, Lad couldn’t get them to make sense. All he could see was a pair of dark and deep-set eyes staring back at him.
“Damn.” He ran his hands over his face and through his hair. He drew in several deep breaths, willing himself to calm when the sound of footsteps out in the hall drew his attention. Lad expected them to pass by his door but when they halted outside, he tensed like a cat ready to pounce.

Still Lad was not prepared when the door came open with such force it slammed against the wall. The sharp crack of the frame made Lad flinch, his fingers scraping into the polished wood. He was certain he’d locked the door.

The man from the dining room stood in the doorway. A lithe and golden statue, his gaze reflected in the mirror and fixed Lad in his seat. He stood there for a time, unmoving, his eyes roaming freely over Lad’s face and body.

With such a dramatic entrance, Lad was mildly surprised when the man closed the door with great care. The sharp intake of Lad’s breath joined the sound of the door bolt sliding home.

The man approached, his steps careful and deliberate. Lad remained in his seat, an image flashing in his mind of leaping from his chair and grabbing his sword to defend himself, but his body seemed incapable of following his mind.

The dark-eyed man stood behind his chair for a moment. It wasn’t until he touched Lad—a gentle caress with the pad of his thumb down Lad’s jaw line—that he reacted.
He tried to push the chair back, but the man was too close. It was a futile move since the man wrapped his arms underneath Lad’s shoulders and pulled him up as he kicked the chair aside.

Lad grasped the man by his forearms, his fingers pressing into lean muscle, his mind telling him he was trying to break the embrace. Lad knew he was capable of doing so, but the heat from the other man’s body filled him with the craving for the human contact he’d not had in so long.

The man never spoke as his hands pushed Lad’s nightshirt up, revealing the scars that slashed in crude patterns across his torso. Lad had grown accustomed to their presence, but at times a lover would cringe from them.

This man did no such thing. Calloused hands roamed freely across Lad’s chest. The man grasped Lad’s left nipple, rolling it between his thumb and index finger, causing a low grunt in erupt from Lad’s throat. His head lolled back, and the man took full advantage of this. His teeth sank into Lad’s throat at the place below his ear.

Lad grunted as his body gave a single, convulsive jerk. The pain stoked the fire in him. The thought of fire would normally bring on his fear, but he didn’t fear this. His body hungered for it.

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