Today is the release day for Backward, so I thought I would put publish an excerpt for you. I love this story and it has some really funny moments. I thought I’d share one with you.
Sequel to Upside Down
Bronco’s Boys: Book Three
Club owner Harry Klinger has had his eye on Tristan Martin for months, but never had the nerve to approach him. He’s watched as Tristan dated Eddie and then reluctantly sat on the sidelines during the emotional breakup when Tristan discovered Eddie was dealing drugs. Now that Tristan seems to be healing, Harry hopes to get his chance.
When Eddie sends his men into Harry’s club to harass Tristan, Harry steps in to help. Tristan is reluctant at first since he admittedly has terrible taste in men, but Harry seems genuine, and Tristan can’t help but think Harry’s sexy as well and begins to hope for happiness for both of them.
Unfortunately, Eddie isn’t behaving rationally, sampling too much of his own product. With his determination to take Tristan back, it’ll take more than Harry’s help to keep Tristan safe as Eddie ratchets up his attempts to get what he wants.
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“I’m not saying you did anything wrong. You didn’t. All I’m saying is that you were in love, and Eddie used that against you. He must have known how you felt, and he twisted that to his advantage. The slimy bastard.”
Tristan couldn’t argue with the last part of that assessment. “I always thought I was a good judge of character. Now I second-guess everything.”
“Nothing has changed, except that in the future you’ll be more careful and probably more circumspect. But don’t stop being yourself. That’s the worst thing you could do. Eddie is a complete shit, but if you let him change who you are, he wins. There are plenty of people who are behind you, don’t forget that, and they’re behind you because they care about you. The real you.” Harry paused, and Tristan wondered if this conversation wasn’t a little deep for five in the morning. “That’s worth a lot. Sometimes it takes months or years before you get to know the real person, and when you do, you find out they don’t like you… or want something from you that you can’t give… or whatever. But you have friends who know you and love you. That’s why they were worried when you were seeing Eddie—because they cared.”
The expression on Harry’s face told Tristan, even in his sleep-deprived and worked-up state, that maybe Harry didn’t have those kinds of friends. “The guys are… I don’t know… they’re the guys. I always thought of us like that Sex in the City show, but with gay guys instead of girls. I saw that show a few times, and they always seemed like such good friends. That’s like the four of us. Zach and Jeremy have… husbands, I guess, but the four of us are still just as close.” He smiled. “I used to think everyone had friends like that.”
“They don’t,” Harry said softly and then yawned. Tristan got the idea the yawn was fake. “I’ll see you in the morning.” Harry turned and went back into his room. Tristan went back to his room and got into bed. This time he must have fallen asleep, because the next thing he knew, light was pouring in through the windows. He groaned and rolled over, trying to go back to sleep. It didn’t work, and after glancing at the clock, he pushed back the covers and got up. He had an hour until he had to be at the restaurant for his shift as a waiter, and he couldn’t afford to be late. He got up and checked the hall before bolting across to the bathroom. Grateful for Harry’s generosity, he found the things he needed and took a shower and shaved. Then he pulled on the sweatpants he’d slept in and did his best to skitter back to his room.
“Are you in a hurry?” Harry asked, coming out of his room.
Tristan nodded and wished he’d pulled on his T-shirt so he wasn’t so exposed under Harry’s intense gaze.
“Let me get dressed, and I can take you to your place and then to work,” Harry said.
“That’s okay. I can get to work if you drop me off at the apartment.”
Harry paused. “What if something’s wrong, or….”
Maybe a ride to work wasn’t such a bad idea. “Thanks. That would be great.” There was no need to be rude, and Harry was being so kind. Tristan hurried to his room, closed the door, and dressed in the clothes he’d worn the night before. He hated the way they felt. There was nothing worse than being clean and putting on dirty clothes. He’d have to change fast before he went in to work. Once he was ready, Tristan stepped out and waited. He wasn’t sure if it was okay to go downstairs. Harry joined him in the hall a few minutes later and disarmed the alarm system.
Tristan followed Harry downstairs, yawning as he went. He needed to remember that staying out until after two the night before he had to work was so not a good idea. He yawned widely. He did his best to cover it up, but failed miserably.
“Let me put some coffee on—I think we both need it,” Harry said.
Tristan yawned again and nodded. He needed coffee bad. “Maybe you could set up an IV drip of the stuff.” He sank into one of the kitchen chairs, his eyes drifting closed. He jumped when he felt something brush his legs and stiffened when he realized it was the cat. “What is it doing?”
“She’s just rubbing against you. It means she wants to be friends,” Harry said. “Come on.” he leaned down and lifted Butterscotch into his arms. “She must like you, or she wouldn’t have come out at all.”
“Maybe she’s waiting for her chance to eat me. I’ve heard stories about people dying and being eaten by their cats,” Tristan said, staring wide-eyed at the ball of furry death in Harry’s arms.
“Those are stories told around campfires and stuff that are meant to scare you as a kid.” Harry put the cat down, and she sat at Tristan’s feet, staring at him with huge eyes that seemed to drill into him. Didn’t the damn thing blink, for God’s sake? Tristan shifted away. He didn’t like cats, and he hated that Harry had seen he was afraid of them. On an intellectual level he knew being afraid of cats was sort of stupid, but even now, with the cat just watching him, his heart raced, and he was fighting the urge to run. But he sat still, clutching the chair.
“Butterscotch, go in and eat,” Harry said to the cat, who completely ignored him. Harry opened one of the cupboards, pulled out a small can, and opened the lid. He showed the cat the container, and she stood up, now watching Harry’s every move. “Cat treats,” Harry said and tossed a few onto the floor a ways away. Butterscotch leaped after them, and Tristan relaxed slightly.