Good September Monday morning, and Happy Labor Day! Your Story Orgy writers aren’t taking a holiday so you can enjoy more fun, feisty gay romance reads. The weather’s going to start getting cooler, there will be a crispness to the air, and leaves will start to turn soon. Perfect weather for a bit of a scare, don’t you think? And the perfect time to get back to Parson’s Hollow to hang out with Demetrius and Cody while they try to figure out those vicious murders.
Before we jump back in with Cody and Demetrius, a couple of announcements.
This Friday, September 7th, Lee Brazil’s next book in the Truth or Dare series will be available. Are you ready for Risking It All? Click on HERE to Pre-order your copy today!!
JR Boyd is taking some time off from the scheduled Story Orgy posts to focus on school work and other things. He may pop in now and then with a bit of writing, and he’ll still be around on Facebook leaving sassy comments or a friendly smack on the hiney. Because we’re back down to four Story Orgy postings each Monday, we’re going to do away with the Hook Ups and give you four full length posts each week! That’s right, all those words will be coming at you hard and fast every Monday morning! Think you can handle it? I think you can!
Today’s prompt is: It was the kiss.
Parson’s Hollow Series, Book 1
by Hank Edwards
Demetrius leaned unsteadily against the juke box stuffed in the back corner of the Hollow Leg bar. It was Parson’s Hollow’s oldest building, and it showed. Set off a bit from the rest of the downtown area, the rectangular brick building had weathered many storms, including the 2011 Super Bowl when the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Green Bay Packers. For a small town in Pennsylvania, the Steelers were the only team to root for in the NFL.
After what had felt like days sitting in a tiny conference room and answering questions at the Parson’s Hollow Police Department, Demetrius and Cody had finally been released. It had seemed to Demetrius that Lucia was more than a little reluctant to let them go. He supposed he could understand her point of view. They had, after all, been the first ones on scene at the two most violent murders their little town had ever seen: Ian McLeod and Lillian Hackett.
Instead of going to their homes like any well-adjusted citizens might do, Cody had convinced Demetrius to stop in at the Hollow Leg for a drink to take the edge off. Once Demetrius had finished his first drink he realized he had more than one edge inside him and ordered another. And another. And another. And now, he lay across the rounded glass top of the juke box, pressing the button to flip through the selections as he searched for the perfect song to reflect his mood. One more flip and he stopped, transfixed by the CD cover and the song title that practically screamed PLAY ME through the fingerprint smeared glass.
“This is it,” Demetrius whispered to the juke box, then turned to shout over his shoulder at Cody who sat slumped at the bar, “This is it!”
“If this is it,” Cody responded, singing in a drunken, off-key voice. “Please let me know.”
“No, no, no,” Demetrius said before turning back to the juke box. He swayed as he dug in his pocket for change, took a moment to line up the quarter with the slot, and pushed it home. He squinted hard at the selection number and carefully punched it into the key pad. The music started, a series of frantic electronic drum beats that sent Demetrius to the vacant dance floor, barely registering the three other people sitting at tables around the edge of the dance floor. He staggered a bit, righted himself, and pumped his fist as he shouted the lyrics.
“Where have all the good men gone, and where are all the gods?”
Demetrius danced and shouted/sang the lyrics to Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out For A Hero,” and when the song was over, he bowed elaborately to no applause, and nearly fell over. Finding his balance once again, he made his way back to the bar stool next to Cody and climbed up. A fresh drink sat before him and Demetrius blew out a breath as he eyed the new beverage.
“Bonnie Tyler again?” Cody asked.
“It’s the song of my life,” Demetrius replied. He grabbed the drink, took a breath, and drank half of it at once. “Wow. What was that?”
“Water,” Cody said and patted him on the back. “Thought you might need to hydrate a bit.”
Demetrius sighed and nodded. “Yeah. You’re right.” He sat up straight, nearly toppled backward off the stool, then turned to point a finger in Cody’s face. “Do you know what the biggest lie is in movies and books and TV shows? Do you?”
Cody shrugged. “It’s all natural?”
“Nope.” Demetrius got off the bar stool and spread his arms wide, forcing a waitress to duck as she walked past. “It’s the kiss.”
Cody narrowed his eyes. “The kiss?”
Demetrius nodded. His thoughts were getting tangled up, scenes from each murder worked their way into memories of his time with Clint, his ex, as well as mini fantasies of Oliver, the attractive new reporter with the Parson’s Hollow Herald. Demetrius cleared his throat and tried to explain.
“It’s always the kiss that seals the deal, you know? It’s like electricity, or the spark from an arc welder or something.”
Cody grinned at him. “An arc welder?”
Demetrius hit him in the arm. “Don’t patronize me.”
“Wow, big word for a drunk guy.” Cody pushed the glass toward him. “Drink more water.”
“In a minute. Listen, this is important.” Demetrius paused to collect his scattered thoughts, tried to remember the point he had wanted to make, but settled instead for saying, “It’s the kiss the artists make such a big deal of. Right? The writers, the filmmakers, the painters. All of them. But it’s not the most important thing in the beginning of a relationship.”
“It’s not, huh?” Cody said. “What is?”
Demetrius settled on his stool again, fixed his gaze on Cody’s face, and said as quietly as he could manage, “That first look.”
Cody smiled and leaned in a little closer. “You mean when you first catch the other person’s eye?”
Demetrius smiled and nodded. “Yeah. That one. The kiss is nice, don’t get me wrong, but that first look, the first eye contact. That’s the killer, isn’t it? It’s all there in the other person’s eyes: the interest, the promise, the invitation. And it’s all before the kiss, before any physical contact.”
“You, my friend, are a squishy romantic fool.” Cody put an arm around Demetrius’s shoulders and pulled him in for a tight hug. “And I love you.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Demetrius said with an eye roll even as he snuggled up against Cody’s muscled chest. “I bet you say that to all your gay best friends.”
“Yeah, I do.” Cody released him and fished his wallet from his pocket. “But with you, I mean it.”
“Aw, that’s sweet,” Demetrius said, and reached for his wallet, but Cody stopped him.
“This night’s on me, buddy,” Cody said. “You get the next one.”
Demetrius nodded and pushed off from the bar. He shoved through the door into the chill night air and stood under the flickering neon beer sign. It was dark, the moon on its way to full and hanging just over the tree line. Somewhere in the woods around the parking lot an owl hooted — who, who, who — and Demmy replied, “Me, me, me.”
Cody pushed through the door and stood tall beside him. He drew in a deep breath, held it, then let it out and smiled down at Demetrius.
“I think we’d better walk ourselves home this time, Demmy.”
Demetrius nodded. “Yeah. I think you’re right.”
“Let’s get to hoofin’ it then. Sooner it’s started, the sooner it’s done.”
They headed off, crossing the parking lot and walking along the gravel shoulder. Rocks crunched under their shoes and their shadows stretched out before them in the moonlight.
“Nice night for a long walk home,” Cody said.
“Good thing,” Demetrius agreed. “And it’s not that long of a walk.”
“Is not, you’re lying.”
“Three miles if it’s a block,” Cody said. “Bet you”
Demetrius reached over to shake with him, his brow furrowed as he tried to figure out just how far the Hollow Leg was situated outside of town. “Deal.”
Cody stopped in his tracks, still gripping Demetrius’s hand, and pulled him up short. Demetrius tried to pull his hand free but Cody’s grip was strong and he wouldn’t let go.
“Hey,” Demetrius said as he tugged and tugged. “Let me go.”
“Sh,” Cody told him, and it was then that Demetrius noticed how wide Cody’s eyes were, his gaze fixed on something in the road up ahead.
Demetrius had ended up with his back to whatever held Cody’s attention. As he slowly turned his head to look over his shoulder, Demetrius’s pulse kicked up several notches and a cold tingle of dread started from a place deep in his belly. The hair on the back of his neck stood up and gooseflesh broke out along his arms. The tendons in his neck crackled as he turned and his breathing quickened to quiet pants.
Something stood in the road fifty yards ahead of them. It was tall, seven feet, maybe eight, and covered in thick, dark fur. Its head was enormous with a long muzzle and pointed ears that stuck straight up toward the starry sky. A low, ominous growl rolled over them and Demetrius watched, wide-eyed, as the beast shifted its weight on its large, clawed back feet that straddled the double yellow line.
“Were—” Cody whispered.
“Wolf,” Demetrius finished for him. His hand was the only piece of him that felt warm, and that was only because Cody still held onto it.
The monster standing down the road lifted its great snout toward the moon and let out a long chilling howl. Moonlight glinted off fangs and a long, black tongue that made Demetrius think about a chow that belonged to a next door neighbor when he had been young.
He had hated that dog.
The werewolf lowered its heavy, shaggy head and fixed them with a hungry glare.
“We are so fucked,” Cody said.
~~ * ~~
Well hell, looks like Demetrius and Cody are in a bit of trouble. Eep! Be sure to stop by next week and see how (if?) they get out of this mess! For now, however, hop on over to the other Story Orgy blogs with me for more hot, smexy reads.
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