Good Monday morning, Orgiasts! Welcome to another week. Let’s hope this one plays nice, eh?
A few announcements this week. Bait, the second book of the Venom Valley Series, my self-published gay romance paranormal set in the Old West, is now available! You can download a copy at Amazon, All Romance eBooks, or Smashwords. I hope you enjoy the further adventures of Josh, Dex, and Glory as they fight off the vampire Balthazar and his new army of the undead. The book is available for an outrageously low $1.99, and I’ve dropped the price of Bounty, the first book of the series, to $1.49!
Lee Brazil is having a contest to celebrate the release of his book Willow, available from Breathless Press on November 16th. Click HERE to go to Breathless Press and pre-order your copy today, and click HERE to jump to his blog and leave a comment for a chance to win a gorgeous pendant crafted by the uber-talented Amara Devonte!
Just one more announcement before we jump back into Parson’s Hollow. It’s officially Halloween month, and nothing says Halloween better than a collection of spooky stories (well, maybe a body in the freezer of your basement, but that’s besides the point). Freaky Flashes, a collection of short, spooky stories, is now available for pre-order from Breathless Press. Inside its sexy, creepy cover, you’ll find flash fiction from Lee Brazil, Havan Fellows, Dianne Hartsock, and yours truly, Hank Edwards. Click HERE to pre-order your copy today!
Okay, that’s it for the announcements. Ready to see about our boys in Parson’s Hollow? Let’s see what they’re up to now, as the days tick away to the next full moon.
The prompt for this week is: Nothing has changed.
Parson’s Hollow Series, Book 1
by Hank Edwards
Demetrius pulled up alongside the curb in front of his Aunt Amelia’s house and put the truck in Park. He took a few minutes to scoop the books, papers, gloves, masks, invoices, and various other crap off the passenger seat and chuck it onto the narrow bench of the backseat to make room for her. When he looked up, he saw his Aunt Amelia picking her way along the step stone path to the passenger door of the truck.
“I was about to come up to the door,” Demetrius said as she climbed into the truck.
“Well, it’s good to see you.” Demetrius leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. “So, we’re off to run errands today?”
“If you’ve got time,” Amelia said. “I don’t want to take you away from your business.”
“I’ve got time,” Demetrius assured her, and pulled away from the curb. “We could use less free time. Business is slow.” He glanced over at her. “How’s your possum situation? They staying away?”
Amelia nodded. “No sign of them since you evicted the little pine cones.” She opened her purse and fished out a stack of bill payment envelopes needing stamps. “First stop, the post office.”
After an hour of driving Amelia to the post office, then Parson’s Pharmacy, then the dry cleaner, and then both grocery stores to take advantage of competing double coupons, Demetrius felt the first rumbling of hunger.
“How about lunch?” Demetrius asked. “My treat.”
“Oh, lunch sounds wonderful,” Amelia said. “Margie’s always has the freshest pies.”
“Margie’s it is.”
After parking and helping Amelia down from the truck, Demetrius held the diner door open for her and they were waved to a booth by Margie herself. They settled in, gossiped a bit with Margie, and then ordered lunch. Once Margie had gone off to give their order to the cook, Amelia caught Demetrius’s gaze and nodded toward the front window. He turned to look over his shoulder and blushed at the sight of Oliver peering in at them through the glass. The man waved and Demetrius waved back, relieved and disappointed when Oliver continued off down the sidewalk without coming in the diner.
“He’s a cute one,” Amelia said. “He your new fella?”
Demetrius sighed. It still felt weird talking with his aunt about dating men, but he knew it was good for both of them. And Amelia had always been supportive ever since he came out to her his junior year of high school.
“I don’t really know yet,” Demetrius said. “It’s complicated.”
Amelia nodded and sipped her iced tea through the straw. “Isn’t it always? I have a fella, you know.”
Demetrius blinked in surprise, then smiled. “No, I didn’t know. Come on, tell me more.”
“He lives in the independent senior section of Parson’s Pines,” Amelia said with an adorable rosy tint in her cheeks.
“His name’s Otis Bogdanovitch, and he’s quite the catch.”
“Oh yeah? Well, good for you, Aunt Amelia. I’m happy for you.”
“I met him at the senior center,” she went on. “It was during the Homecoming Dance for Seniors. I was there with Lillian Hackett and Barb Aikman.” Her gaze clouded a bit, and Demetrius felt a chill go up his spine at her mention of Lillian Hackett, the second victim he and Cody had discovered. She had been torn apart right inside her kitchen as they had been out setting up traps by her chicken coop. It had been the middle of the afternoon, and they had heard her scream once from her house, but by the time they’d run up onto the screened in back porch, it had been too late.
“I’m sorry about Lillian,” Demetrius said quietly. “It must really hurt sometimes.”
Amelia looked up at him and smiled though she had tears in her eyes. “It does. If she had gone in a more… peaceful way, I don’t think it would bother me so much.”
“I understand.” He reached out and squeezed her hand, her skin chilled from holding to the iced tea. “But, you were telling me about Otis.”
Amelia gave a decisive nod. “I was, and I will. He’s quite the whip, but I have to tell you, that senior center is just like high school. It’s been, what? Fifty or sixty years since we’ve all been in high school? Well, nothing has changed. It’s just like being back there all over again. You’ve got your cliques and popularity contests. Why, there’s even a group of jocks, only now they play golf and shuffleboard instead of football and basketball. They mostly hang around with the prom queens, who only look that good because they go to the beauty shop twice a week and take aqua aerobics every day to stay fit. Oh, and then there’s Mr. Kelmer. He’s a real treat. Comes in and tries to take over all the activities and the TV programs. Grouchiest man I have ever met in my life. Most unpleasant. Why, he and Lillian had a bit of a row just before… Well, they had a disagreement over how she had parked her golf cart.” She shook her head and sat back as Margie placed their lunch plates in front of them. As she unrolled her silverware from the paper napkin, Amelia leaned over the table and said in a low voice, “Only thing that’s different between high school and the senior center is that half the time the seniors don’t remember what they say or do because they’re so damn old!”
They both laughed over that and tucked into their food. After they had taken a few bites in silence, Amelia smiled at him and asked, “So what’s complicated between you and your fella?”
Demetrius looked into her eyes for a long moment, weighing his options. He wanted her to be safe, wanted her to stay inside with the doors locked and the window shades drawn during the full moon, but even that wasn’t a guarantee she’d be spared. He had seen the monster up close and personal, he knew how strong the thing was. Should he spill his guts and tell her everything, including his suspicions about Oliver? And, to be fair, his confusion about the man as well. Because he was attracted to Oliver, very much so, and he really did like spending time with him. They had laughed about Cody’s crazy behavior the other night when he had interrupted their dinner at Antonio’s, and the evening had ended with a soft, lingering kiss.
“Demmy?” Amelia said, pulling him back into the moment. “You okay?”
He smiled and nodded. “I’m fine. It’s just complicated because he’s new to town and… Well, and Cody doesn’t really trust him yet.”
“Cody’s very protective of you,” Amelia said. “Not everyone is lucky enough to have a friend that faithful.”
Demetrius nodded as he cut into his turkey sandwich. “I know. I just wish he was faithful in moderation sometimes.”
“Oh, sassafras trees,” Amelia said and pointed her fork at him. “Demmy, you be grateful for what you’ve got. Before you know it, some monster might snatch away your Cody and leave you all alone, and then you’ll be no better off than me.” She pressed her lips together and sat back, using her napkin to dab her eyes. “I’m sorry. I’ve been trying to keep a positive attitude, but it’s difficult sometimes.” She drew in a long, shuddering breath and let it out. “It’s just, when your friend is ripped apart by a werewolf, it takes some time to get over it, you know?”
Demetrius dropped his fork and it clattered against his plate, drawing the attention of everyone else in the diner as the bell above the door jangled. Amelia looked up and smiled shyly. “Well, hello there.”
“Hello.” The familiar voice pulled Demetrius’s shocked gaze from his aunt’s face, and he looked up to see Oliver standing beside the table.
“Oliver!” Demetrius said, his voice a little too loud. “How are you? Why are you here?”
Oliver frowned at him before pointing over his shoulder with his thumb. “I had an errand to run, but thought I’d stop in on my way back to the office and get a bite to eat. If that’s okay?”
Amelia extended her hand. “I’m Amelia Rosinski, Demetrius’s aunt.”
Demetrius watched Oliver shake with her, tried not to envision claws tearing through the flesh of Oliver’s hand and ripping into Amelia’s skin. He chugged some of his iced tea and slid over to make room in the booth for him. As Oliver sat beside him and reached across him to grab a menu from the holder, a ball of sweat ran down Demetrius’s side and he knew this would be the longest meal ever.
~~ * ~~
Seems like Aunt Amelia is a little more in tune with what’s going on than expected! This should prove to be one heck of a meal, eh? I’m looking forward to GRL this week and meeting a lot of you out in Albuquerque! If you’re going, make sure you come up and introduce yourself, and definitely come to the Gentleman’s Juke Joint party that I’m part of. It’s going to be a lot of fun and with some hot, hunky cowboy dancers around, woo doggies! Be sure to stop by next week and see what happens next with Demmy, Cody, and Oliver. For now, however, hop on over to the other Story Orgy blogs with me for more hot, smexy reads.
Follow our tweets during the week:
J.R. Boyd: @JR__Boyd
Lee Brazil: @leebrazil
Hank Edwards: @hanksbooks
Havan Fellows: @HavanFellows
Em Woods: @EmWoodsAuthor