And now the excerpt:
Er. No spanking in this one. Sorry. :(
Title: Blue on Black
Blurb: Kimolijah Adani—Class 2 gridTech, beloved brother, most promising student the Academy’s ever been privileged to call their own, genius mechanical gridstream engineer, brilliantly pioneering inventor... and dead man. But that’s what happens when a whiz kid messes with dynamic crystals and, apparently, comes to the attention of Baron Petra Stanslo. Young and brilliant and killed for his revolutionary designs, Kimolijah Adani had been set to change the world with his impossible train that runs on nothing more than gridstream locked in a crystal that shouldn’t even be possible but nonetheless works.
Bas is convinced the notoriously covetous and corrupt Stanslo had something to do with Kimolijah Adani’s tragic and suspicious death. A Directorate Tracker, Bas has finally managed to catch the scent of Kimolijah Adani’s killer, and it leads right into Stanslo’s little desert barony. For almost three years, Bas has been trying to find a way into Stanslo’s Bridge, and now that he’s finally made it, “shock” is too small a word for what—or, rather, whom—he finds there.
“Kimo....” Bas growls and paces a few jerky steps in front of the wide barn door. “Goddamn it, I don’t want to threaten you, I don’t want to make it worse for you, but I have to know what—”
“Okay,” Kimolijah cuts in. “Yeah, okay, then.” He turns slowly, eyes huge in the slats of graying gloom skimming in through the laths of the loft window. His smile is... strange, like he’s embroidering it on in slow, carefully hidden stitches, and still it’s probably one of the most heart-grabbing sights Bas will ever see. “Did you know,” Kimolijah says, soft and with a coy glint in his eye, “that most men become”—he pauses for a second, gaze traveling to the ceiling, like he’s thinking, then looks square at Bas with a smirk—“aroused during conflict?” He shrugs and slinks a step toward Bas. “It’s a primal thing. Asserting one’s dominance and such.” He pauses then shakes his head. “You really do have pretty blue eyes.”
He takes another step and it’s all Bas can do not to back away. Or step in. Because okay, yeah, there’s the adrenaline flooding his veins and shoving all his blood south, and his head’s telling him it’s an inconvenient bit of reaction he needs to ignore, overcome, but everything else is rushing at his libido like iron filings to a magnet, and the heady pull is dragging him in and in and in.
“What?” says Kimolijah, right up close now, staring up at Bas with gigantic eyes leaking doe-eyed vulnerability and teeth-gnashing sexuality all over the place, and God, he knows what he’s doing, he has to know what he’s doing. As if he's heard, Kimolijah smirks and says, “Did you think I don’t know exactly what I’m doing here? That I don’t know what my life is and how to keep living it?” He grins. “Did you think I don’t like ‘a rough night between the sheets’ now and then?”
Bas opens his mouth and then promptly chokes, because Kimolijah’s hand settles right over Bas’s groin, squeezes. The sensation shoots right into Bas’s gut and fountains up into his chest, and the resulting explosion takes out every reasonable thought in his head in a scatter of principled shrapnel. This is wrong goes up with the slide of strong fingers. It’s deflection and distraction dies a quick death with the quick rush of cool air over abruptly burning skin as Kimolijah deftly opens Bas’s trousers.
“I’ve seen you looking,” Kimolijah whispers, “watching me,” hot breath fanning over Bas’s collarbone, right down the open V of his shirt, and swathing his chest. “Did you not see me looking back?” It’s sultry, nearly breathless, almost believable. And then he licks.
“I know what you’re doing,” Bas manages, just as Kimolijah gets a hand on him, and yeah, he’s hard, Kimolijah knew he was, that’s the point, and Bas’s head knows that, but he can’t seem to talk the rest of him into doing anything but shoving forward into the grip that latches on and strokes.
Bas has so lost this game.
“Oh good,” says Kimolijah, and he grins. “I was worried for a second I’d have to explain the concept of blowjobs to you.”
And then he’s on his knees and Bas is choking again, and he doesn’t really have so much as a second to process the words that have just melted his brain, because Kimolijah’s wide, sinful mouth is on him, hot and wet and bloody fuck God, Kimolijah knows what he’s doing. Swirling tongue and scorching suction, he doesn’t mess around, gets right to it, and Bas’s hand is buried in Kimolijah’s—soft, so soft, God, I knew it would be—hair before he even remembers that he has one. Two, actually, and the other goes to grab for something, anything to steady him, and ends up brushing against his holster before finding the rough boards of the door behind him.
His holster, with the gun inside it he’d only minutes ago had tucked beneath Kimolijah’s chin. A spasm rocks through Bas, and not the kind he usually has when someone’s sucking his brain out through his dick. His other hand inadvertently fists in Kimolijah’s hair, and Kimolijah fucking groans, which almost, almost scatters Bas’s mind again, but he clings to the wispy thread of reason he’d snagged only a second ago and wrestles it into an actual thought:
Threats and accusations of spying, and manhandling Kimolijah into a deserted barn in the wee hours and interrogating him. Getting him alone and holding a gun beneath his chin. And fuck, Bas knows exactly what this is. Most of him doesn’t care, because guys don’t say no to blowjobs, they just don’t, but there’s a tiny bit that knows it’s wrong, horribly wrong, and that bit fights for and, after a violent bloody struggle, wins control of Bas’s motor functions.
He clenches his teeth, tightens his fist in Kimolijah’s hair, and pulls.
Kimolijah’s obviously surprised, because he goes at first with hardly any resistance, but then he’s pulling against Bas’s grip, leaning in, then gripping at Bas’s hipbones through his trousers. Kimolijah makes a noise of protest that vibrates right through Bas, and Bas almost forgets why he’s fighting this, but reason has been prodded into morality, weak-willed though it may be, so Bas sets a palm to Kimolijah’s forehead and almost shoves.
Kimolijah wobbles back and off with a slick, dirty pop that almost melts Bas’s knees, but he sets his jaw and doesn’t let go. “Playing the whore so easily, Kimo?” he says, embarrassingly hoarse.
The black wing of an eyebrow goes up, and Kimolijah narrows his eyes. “Didn’t anyone ever teach you it’s wise to be nice to the man with his teeth right next to your dick?” He tilts his head, annoyed. “What's the problem? From what I hear, you have a bit of a thing for little boys on their knees.”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” Bas mutters. He’s never going to hear the end of that one.
“Aw.” Kimo lifts his eyebrows, all innocence. And then the little bastard pouts, and blinks his giant eyes up at Bas. “A little too old for you?”
Bas’s knees have been unreliable since the second Kimolijah set a hand to him, so he figures fuck it. He drops down into the scattered straw, gets a hand behind Kimolijah’s back and wrenches him in, slides his thigh tight between Kimolijah’s. It’s kind of a toss-up between wincing and smirking, because—
“God, you’re not even hard.”
And, okay, the wannabe-badass in Bas is a tiny bit emasculated and petulant. Because some part of him, even the part that knew, wanted Kimolijah to want this, want him, wanted this to be real. The idealistic illobook geek in him—the one that couldn’t stop reading those journals, couldn’t stop admiring those formulae and theories, and fantasizing about the mind behind all of it—is hugely relieved, because this is not brilliant, promising Kimolijah Adani corrupted and ruined and content to be a trophy for a wealthy desert baron; it’s brilliant, promising Kimolijah Adani stuck in a no-win situation and using whatever tools he has to turn it to whatever small advantage he can wring from it.
Kimolijah’s teeth are set tight, his back up like a wary porcupine, and his mouth heels a curve, like he’s trying to dimple up into that sultry grin again and just can’t. “What d’you care?” he says, almost a growl, and he slips his hand through the fly of Bas’s open trousers.
“The fact that you even have to ask that question,” says Bas, as mild as he can make it as he snaps hold of Kimolijah’s wrist and stills his hand, “and that you’re serious about it....” He trails off and shakes his head. “A decent man prefers that everyone is willing and gets to have equal fun. A decent man takes just as much enjoyment out of his partner’s pleasure as his own.”
Kimolijah smirks. “Good thing there’s no decent men here then, yeah?”
“You keep telling yourself that,” Bas says then jerks Kimolijah yet closer, chest to chest, and dips his head down to lick at the strands of black ink slicking up the side of Kimolijah’s neck, pauses for a second when he tastes lemons, and it pings at something in the back of his brain, but then Kimolijah puffs out a surprised breath, heat all over Bas’s throat, and the thought just... skitters away. There’s no resistance, merely a barely-there shudder, so Bas bites down gently, black swirls over brown skin, enough so Kimolijah feels the pressure but not enough to leave a mark. Bas shuts his eyes for a moment, sucking in the heady cocktail of salt and sweat and leather and peppery ozone, then he slides his mouth over the crook of Kimolijah’s neck and breathes, “You don’t kiss.”
Kimolijah’s chest hitches and his breath stutters out over Bas’s ear, hot and damp. He doesn’t say anything, but Bas feels a small jerk of his head, just once, back and forth. No.
“You’ve never kissed him.” Not a question, not really, and Kimolijah doesn’t answer with words, or even a shake of his head this time; it’s a small, startled sound, down deep in Kimolijah’s chest, and a slight dip of his head to the side, baring his throat beneath Bas’s mouth, inviting.
Bas takes hold of Kimolijah’s hair again, fists it, then pulls his head back until Kimolijah looks him in the eye.
“But you’ll kiss me.”
Again, Kimolijah doesn’t say anything, but he doesn’t negate it this time, doesn’t do anything but stare at Bas, eyebrows quirking then smoothing, quirking then smoothing, like he can’t decide if he should be pissed off or not. So Bas slides his hand in between them, lays it over the bulge in Kimolijah’s trousers that wasn’t there just a moment ago, and presses.
“You’ll kiss me,” Bas says, through his teeth this time, and he tightens his grip on Kimolijah’s hair, smoothes his palm over Kimolijah’s groin, and smiles a little when Kimolijah sucks in a quick, tight breath. “And better yet,” Bas goes on, low and smooth, “I’ll kiss you. And then we’ll see what it’s like when we both want it.”
He doesn’t wait for Kimolijah to speak or move or even breathe. With a rough jerk of his hand, Bas wrenches Kimolijah’s trousers open, dips in, and drags Kimolijah into a rough, wet, searing-hot kiss.
It’s not perfect. It’s sloppy, for one, and there’s a thick, shameless high in knowing that it’s clumsy because it’s one thing Kimolijah’s not good at, one thing even a brain the size of a planet can’t figure out without at least some practice, and the lack of finesse means the I don’t kiss thing wasn’t a come-on and it wasn’t for show. Kimolijah doesn’t do this because he doesn’t want to do this, not with Stanslo, and how Kimolijah’s managed to maintain that stipulation is something Bas wants very badly to know, but not so badly he’ll actually stop and ask.
None of it’s enough. Bas wants a bed, he wants soft, worn sheets, he wants time, and he wants to map with careful fingers every swirl and flourish of all that black ink on brown skin. He thinks he could, he thinks he might even be able to trace the shapes without even looking, because it’s all been imprinted behind his eyes without him even realizing it. Bas wants it all, but there’s only this, only here, only now, right now, so he takes what he’s got and shuts away everything that’s wrong with it.
Kimolijah’s frowning when he draws back, all pinched and confused, like he can’t figure out exactly what’s happening and how he got here, on his knees in a barn with Bas’s hand down his pants, but when Bas tightens that hand, pulls and strokes, Kimolijah merely groans and arches, pushing his hips in, in, in, then he dives back in for another kiss. It’s bolder this time, more raw and a little bit dirty, teeth nipping and tongue swiping, and when Kimolijah’s hand finally, finally starts moving on Bas again, Bas gives him a groan back and just moves.
It’s not perfect, it can’t be perfect, and it’s not anything like what Bas never allowed himself to imagine back when he’d thought Kimolijah dead, and the ghost Bas had made up in his head was a wisp of a fantasy he’d never actually have in his hands. It’s not an illobook scene with everything drawn in soft sepia tones and no wrong moves, no accidental pinches, no tugging of sensitive hairs that result in quick hisses and apologetic nips. Grunts instead of breathy moans, grasping that’s a little too rough and gets desperate a little too quickly, slick slides of lips that are too slippery and too breathless, and God, hips shoving and hands taking and mouths demanding more in vaguely syllabic mumbles that never really turn into words but manage to convey meaning.
It’s crude and a little bit raunchy, grips gone slippery with sweat, and lips too swollen to be skillful, and arousal too high for dexterity and a touch of flair. But it’s good, so fucking good, Kimolijah with his tiny noises that get stoppered up at the base of his throat, and Bas has to—he has to lean in and lean down, run his tongue over the knot of them as he speeds his hand, firms his strokes, and holds tight as Kimolijah’s spine bends and his head falls back.
He’s not all elegant curves and rhapsodic beauty when he comes. He’s clenched teeth and scrunched face and hands that clamp too hard onto Bas and fucking hurt so bad that it wrings Bas’s own orgasm from him in a hard, hot tangle. But God, he’d fucking magnificent, the gray of dawn lumbering in through the loft slats and lending brown skin soft, fuzzy radiance as Kimolijah peaks hard and too obviously clamps a yell behind his teeth. His whole body shudders with the force and he looks so much like bliss and abandon personified that it wrenches something hot and tight from Bas’s chest and pushes another few waves of pleasure into his climax.
He watches, panting, as Kimolijah comes down, drags in one long breath after another and then slumps into Bas like he trusts him, like he’s wrung out and raw and knows Bas will keep hold of him ’til he’s not anymore.
So Bas does, just reels him in, presses the mess between them, hot and sticky, and molds his palms to the curve of muscle and the solidity of bone, dips his head down until his face is wedged into the crook of Kimolijah’s shoulder and just... breathes.
(Blue on Black will be available from Dreamspinner Press in late 2014/early 2015)
In the meantime, try the Wolf's-own series. Assassins! Magic! Conspiracy and intrigue and gods and family and betrayal, and somewhere in there, an unconventional love story that may mean the difference between sanity and... not.
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. Have fun and good luck!Okay, so the story question:
What color are Bas's eyes? (Don't forget to leave your email address!)