First, let me apologize, readers, for allowing this milestone to slip by without commemorating it on the day it actually happened. Yes, I now am officially over the 100 review mark on Amazon, but I’m still chipping away on GoodReads (I’m about 21 ratings short, and 61 reviews short).
I’d anticipated providing a bit of a sneak peek of the, as yet unnamed, second book in the quadrilogy to celebrate, but between traveling around the holidays and coming back to a very labor-intensive work schedule on my day job, I’ve had to let some things go. Because writing daily on the second book isn’t one of those things, sadly my promos and engagement with you on the social networks have truly suffered. It is my hope that this sneak peek of a scene in book two (between Tristan and Nate after Keisha leaves) will give you enough inspiration to send all your special thoughts and positive energy my way, so I can get this baby done!
Disclaimer: This has not been edited, so forgive any grammar, punctuation faux pas, and if this scene in its current form doesn’t survive the editor’s pen.
So without further ado, here’s the set-up: After Keisha packs her things and leaves, Tristan goes into his gym to work off some steam. He’s rather over-zealous and trashes a couple pieces of gym equipment in the process. He’s forgotten that Nathan comes by every Saturday he doesn’t have an away game for their fencing match. His brother finds him collapsed on the gym floor watching the sand cascade out of a heavy bag:
Chapter 2 – Book 2, Excerpt
Nathan is half-way across the gym floor when he sees Tristan’s expression and visually recoils.
“I’ve only seen that look on your face twice,” Nate says. “When Mom died, and after Aimee’s accident. What’s up?” He’s in his fencing whites, clearly having expected they would have their standing Saturday morning match since he wasn’t on the road.
“Nothing to the tune of those tragedies,” Tristan says, swallowing a bolus of denial. He stands up, glowering at his brother.
Nathan finally sees his hands. “Whoa. What the fuck? Tristan, you’d better clean that shit before it gets infected.”
When Tristan doesn’t move, Nathan sets his gear on the floor against the wall and grabs some peroxide, Neosporin and gauze off a shelf in a cabinet below the wet bar. “Plant your ass on this bench over here.”
Tristan gives Nate a baleful glare, but does as he says. Nate sits beside him, takes Tristan’s hands and quickly cleans them with the peroxide, applies the antibiotic and begins to wrap his hands to absorb the blood seeping from his thoroughly bruised knuckles.
Nate breaks the silence sooner than Tristan anticipates. “So, you want to tell me what’s got you beating the hell out of your gym equipment?”
“I’ve got to find another goddamn submissive,” Tristan says. “And I don’t have time for this shit. I’m leaving for Hong Kong next week.”
“Then why’d you end it now?” Nate finishes off the first wrap, secures it and begins on the next one.
Tristan contemplates letting him believe he ended the arrangement, but Keisha’s roommate is Nate’s submissive so that won’t fly. “I didn’t end it she safeworded.”
“No way! Jada says her roommate was really into your buttoned-down ass. How’d you let this shit happen?”
“I didn’t let anything happen. She started having anxiety attacks in the role-play room. It frightened her. I tried to get her to stay so we could work it out, but there was nothing I could do to convince her.”
“There is something you could’ve done.”
“You could’ve given her some hope.”
“What the hell does that mean?”
“You always follow the letter of the contract with your submissives, and you tell them up front it’ll never amount to anything more. Mine have stayed longer because they’ve believed, however, erroneously in most cases, that the relationship could eventually be more. Didn’t that shit that went down with Aimee teach you anything?”
Tristan jerks his hand away and clamps it around Nathan’s throat. His hand hurts like a bitch, and even more so when Nathan pries it away, grips the sore hand and squeezes it mercilessly for good measure. It’s like they’re ten-fucking-years-old again and squabbling like they did all the time.
“Fuck!” Tristan yells, and wrenches his hand away, scowling.
“Stop bitching and left me finish this.” Nathan reaches in and finishes the wrap. “There.”
Tristan eyes the gauze already soaked through on the hand Nate squeezed. “I knew I should’ve called Angel to do this. You don’t have a goddamn clue about ‘first do no harm.’”
Nate looks at the sad deflated speed ball, and the heavy bag still dripping sand. “This from a guy who just took out his frustration on his gym equipment? Dude, you better get Keisha back, because I don’t think your gym, or a new submissive can survive you going back to being the asshole you were after Aimee.”
Tristan stands and stalks away, throwing as much vitriol as he can into three parting words over his shoulder. “Fuck you, Nathan.”