Author Noel York – Exploring complex relationships one controversial book at a time.

February 21, 2012

Upcoming Gay Erotic Romance – Birds of a Feather – Randy and Edward

I’m pleased as punch to announce my first M/M erotic romance releases soon. (Exact date not yet known, but I expect to hear something any minute now).

The title is Birds of a Feather: Randy & Edward, and it’s the first in a series of three BoF books. Here’s a little teaser to whet your appetite (and hopefully make you want more! LOL):

***

“Randy, this is Edward, Donald’s best friend and best man.” Denise made the introductions over dinner a short while later. “Edward, this is Kat’s brother, Randy. As you no doubt noticed, he’s agreed to give away the bride tomorrow.”

Following the rehearsal, the wedding party had adjourned to the hotel restaurant’s terrace. Due to his position in the ceremony, Randy had found himself seated at a table with Donald, Denise, Cindy, Kat—who would serve as Denise’s maid of honor—and Edward.

“Edward, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” Randy shook the man’s outstretched hand. “Do you live here in San Diego?”

“I do. Born and raised here, actually. You?” Edward sat back, obviously relaxed, and ran a fingertip around the rim of his wine glass.

Randy took in the man’s long, tapered fingers with their well-manicured nails and stifled a sigh. He’d always had a weakness for nice hands, and Edward’s were those of a pianist. “Yes, I have a place up in Hillcrest, but I’m originally from Seattle. Been here about five years.”

“Hillcrest, hmm?” Edward gazed at him from beneath lowered lashes.

Randy heard the insinuation in the man’s question. Hmm, is right. Did Edward recognize a kindred spirit? And the look in his eye . . . was he flirting? He decided to go for broke and play along.

“Yes, Hillcrest. I find the area much more . . . welcoming than other areas I’ve lived in.” He leaned forward, rested his chin in his palm, and returned Edward’s steady gaze.

“I’m familiar with the area. I used to live there myself, but that was years ago, right after college. It’s an accepting community, very eclectic, lots of culture.”

“Right. That’s what I love about living there. It’s a mix, and there’s always something to see or do.”

“Are you into the club scene?”

Randy hesitated, then decided on the truth. If Edward preferred men who lived to party and partied to live, the two of them wouldn’t get on well, anyway. “No. I mean, I used to go out a lot, when I was younger. But these days, not so much. I have a few close friends, and we’ll hit the corner bar for a few beers and a game of pool now and then, but I’m not into the club scene anymore. Too much like a meat market. Besides, I’m old.”

Edward chuckled and finally leaned forward, shifting to face Randy, his back toward Denise. The intimacy in both the laugh and the body language wasn’t lost on Randy, and for a brief moment, he felt a wave a discomfort. What if someone noticed? He gave himself a mental shake. So what if they did? If he was straight, and Edward was a woman, he wouldn’t think twice about flirting at the dinner table in front of a bunch of near strangers. More importantly, no one else would think twice. How sad, in this day and age, that he still found himself worrying about how other people would view him.

“I’d hardly call you old,” Edward said, interrupting Randy’s thoughts. “What are you? About thirty-eight, thirty-nine?”

“Damn. You’re good. I’ll be forty next month.”

“I’m forty-six. We aren’t dinosaurs. I’d call us . . . well seasoned.” Edward winked and chuckled again.

Randy shivered. God, that throaty laugh made his balls ache. He cleared his throat. “Yeah, well seasoned. I’ll remember that the next time some young punk calls me Pops.”

“Pops. Are you kidding me? I didn’t think anyone used that term anymore. It’s like Daddy-O.”

Randy nodded. “They still use it. Believe me, I’ve heard it often enough.”

“So, what do you do for a living . . . Pops?” Edward asked.

Randy grinned, enjoying the easy banter. “I’m a web developer. Freelance, for various companies. You?”

“I’m retired, actually. I used to work in city government. There were a lot of spending and budget cuts, and rather than wait around until they laid me off, I accepted an early retirement incentive package. So now, I spend a lot of time gardening.”

“Gardening.”

“Yeah, I grow weed.”

Speechless, Randy stared. He had an inkling he looked like a beached fish, with his eyes wide and his mouth hanging open, but he couldn’t help his reaction.

“I’m kidding.” Edward’s deep chuckle had one of the bridesmaids at the next table turning their way. Randy couldn’t blame her. That laugh did crazy things to a person.

“You’re kidding?” He finally managed to do something with his mouth besides acting as if he were catching flies.

“Not about the early retirement, but about the gardening. And definitely about the weed.”

“Damn. You had me going there. I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with . . . gardening. It’s just . . . .”

“I know what you mean. But believe me; I’m as straight as they come.”

“Straight?” Randy cocked his head. Had he misjudged the man? Surely not . . . but then again . . . .

Edward looked into Randy’s eyes, and for a moment, neither of them spoke. As Randy watched, a change seemed to come over the other man. His gaze grew distant, his jaw tightened, and he lost his easy manner.

“I was married for six years,” Edward said. “We divorced three months ago.”

Randy waited in silence, hoping Edward would utter that deep chuckle and say he was kidding again, but in his heart, he knew he waited in vain. Shit.

“So, you’re not . . . ?”

“No. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize where you were headed, what you thought, until just a moment ago.” Edward leaned back in his chair.

Randy studied him closely, noting the slight tremble of his hand as he reached for his wine glass, and the way he wouldn’t quite meet Randy’s gaze head on. Was he lying? He had to be. Randy hadn’t imagined the chemistry between them, and his instincts had never been wrong in this regard. He’d always been able to spot the gay man in a room. Birds of a feather . . . .

But for some reason, Edward had chosen to play it straight. Had he decided he wasn’t interested, and rather than hurt Randy’s feelings, decided to pretend he was heterosexual? That scenario didn’t make sense. No one made up a wife—an ex-wife—on the spur of the moment like that. And besides, up until five minutes ago, they’d been getting along great, and Edward definitely had been interested.

As Randy leaned in to question Edward regarding his sudden change in demeanor, the door to the restaurant flew open. A young girl raced out onto the patio, dark brown curls bouncing, frilly dress swirling around her bare knees.

“Daddy, Daddy! There you are! Mommy says you’re to come inside right this minute and speak with her.” The little girl, who Randy judged to be around three years old, launched herself up onto Edward’s lap, nearly toppling him from his chair. She wrapped her arms around his neck and delivered a smacking-wet kiss on his cheek.

“Ivy, sweetheart, easy. You’ll send us both onto the concrete.” Edward gently extracted himself from the little girl’s embrace. “You say Mommy’s inside?”

“Yes.” Ivy nodded enthusiastically. “And she’s very mad. You were supposed to meet us out front, remember?”

Edward looked at his wristwatch, frowned, then looked up at Randy. “She’s right. I lost track of time.”

“Oh. No problem. It was nice meeting you, Edward.” Randy stood and waited while Edward got to his feet.

“Nice meeting you, too, Randy.” Edward juggled Ivy onto one hip and held out his hand. “I’ll see you tomorrow at the wedding.”

“Sure. Right. Um, I’ll see you. Tomorrow.” Randy struggled to string more than three words together at once as he returned the handshake.

Edward gave him a quick nod, then turned and strode inside the restaurant, his daughter bouncing on his hip.

His daughter.

Christ, Randy thought, could I have been that wrong?

***

So, that’s it. Was Randy wrong? 🙂 You’ll have to wait until the book’s release to find out.

Meanwhile, I’ve set up a Facebook page and I’m working on all the other social media sites. There sure is a lot to do! I hope you will follow/friend/link to me. Assuming you can find me and I can find you. :-/ I am Noel York on Facebook. I think you can search under my Gmail address and fine me. author.noel.york@gmail.com.

See you around the ‘net!

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