Cover by P.L. Nunn
Page contents
3. Excerpts (PG // PG-13 // Bonus)
About Equilibrium

Econ student Hansen Marks has been hot for Sam MacLeod since they first bonded over their secret superpowers--literally hot, since Hansen can produce fire from thin air. But soccer star Sam was always covered in girls, so Hansen kept his attraction in the closet and convinced himself that "best friends" was better than nothing.

When Sam's electrical powers freak out in public, Hansen has a sinking feeling they're spotted by unfriendly eyes. While dealing with the fallout, Sam's emotional dependency on Hansen forces their mutual attraction to the surface. Even after they give in, Hansen is afraid to admit he's in love. Sam doesn't really like guys, he's just feeling vulnerable... right?

Just as their nights are heating up, it becomes clear Sam's electrical explosion was seen, and now someone has it in for both of them. They'll have to save each other, both from the haters and from their own fears, if they want to maintain equilibrium.

They don't call it "game theory" for nothing. Who knew Econ could be so hot?

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Character Stats
Hansen by painted-bees. Click for full-sized awesome.
Name: Hansen Marks
Age: 23
Height: 5'10"
Hometown: Charleston, WV
Current Residence: Marietta Falls, WV
Occupation: Graduate Teaching Assistant in Economics at Falls State University
Powers: Thermal (hot)
Level: Average
Control: Good. Probably great, but you can't say that and not sound like a dick, can you?
Politics: Always entertaining.
Religion: None for me, thanks.
Favorite music: Interpol, Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, BRMC, that kind of thing. Bach is good for writing papers or studying. He's audio math.
Favorite movie/TV: Barry Lyndon. Amadeus is pretty good, too. Maybe it's the wigs. Best not think too hard about that one.
Favorite book: Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis
Favorite fictional character: Bilbo Baggins
Favorite food: No food with a face, man. Vegan gingersnaps are man's finest invention.
Favorite drink: Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. Also, liquor has its uses.
Favorite sport: Wait, I get a choice? Someone tell Sam, please. Fucking roommates.

Favorite artist: Huh. That's a good question. I guess Andy Warhol. Irony is good.
Favorite news outlet: The Wall Street Journal.
Favorite superhero: Mr. Fantastic. Nerds = Hot.
Favorite supervillain: I forget who the Fantastic Four hate. Dr. Doom. Right, also a nerd. Pretty sure he used to be hot. See?
Describe yourself in one word: Awake

Sam by painted-bees. Click for full-sized shockability.
Name: Sam MacLeod
Age: 23
Height: 6'1"
Hometown: Wheeling, WV
Current Residence: Marietta Falls, WV 
Occupation: Junior Consultant. Yeah, I don't know what it means either.
Powers: Electric
Level: High
Control: Piss poor, thanks for asking.
Politics: I... vote?
Religion: Stop with the awkward questions.
Favorite music: Whatever Hansen decides it is that day. Roommates, right? Johnny Cash was a badass, though.
Favorite movie/TV: I'll assume you mean movies with a plot beyond a hot pizza guy showing up. A Clockwork Orange. And that movie about Johnny Cash.
Favorite book: Watchmen by Alan Moore
Favorite fictional character: Dude, Rorschach. Come on.
Favorite food: Junk. Kind of amazing I have any teeth left, actually. (Yeah, yeah, insert West Virginia joke here...)
Favorite drink: Honeyed Fox Ale and the blue Gatorade, whatever it's called.
Favorite sport: Fulham FC FTW! My boy Dempsey, all the way!
Favorite artist: I like the guy who draws the Freakangels comics, Duffield. That's good shit.
Favorite news outlet: ESPN
Favorite superhero: Batman, hands down. He's so fucked up.
Favorite supervillain: The Joker is the only person more fucked up than Batman, so I've got to go with him. The Killing Joke traumatized me.
Describe yourself in one word: Um... hungry?


“How’s it feeling today?”
“Crackly,” Sam admitted. “Sent a little shock into the car this afternoon, but nothing bad.”
“Lemme see it.”
He pulled off his button-down and put it next to his belt, and I watched with a lump in my throat. If he noticed, he didn’t show it. Once he was bare-armed in his undershirt, he held his hands out, splayed wide between us. His eyes fixed on them, narrowed, lashes fluttering. The little strings of lightning started seconds after, flashing from fingertip to first knuckle, then down and over his large, fine hands.
The hands of an artist or a poet. Maybe that was why he was so utterly indifferent to his job. Meant for something else entirely, wasn’t he?
“Feels okay,” he said.
I watched the blue-white arcs flash up and down his skin like magical veins. And maybe they were -- maybe this was what he was made of, made for. Maybe our minds awoke to whatever was inside us. And maybe Sam was pure electric, just like this. “It’s beautiful.”
When I raised my eyes, he was smiling at me lopsidedly. “Think so?”
“Can I touch it?”
He winced, and the electricity died down, just one or two strands arcing around the fingers of each hand. “I don’t know…”
I held out my hands. “Just give it a little juice. Like that.”
He concentrated on it again, held it steady. The two little arcs swirled and bolted around his fingers like strange fairies.
I touched his right index finger with my left and felt a tiny jolt, almost like a tickle. It raced over my finger and then back down his and started all over his hand again.
“Whoa,” I said, the aftermath dancing all through my hand, then down my arm until it died.
“Did it hurt?”
“No. Felt awesome.”
It hit me again, danced up my finger, then back again. That time I laughed.
He did too and pulled his hands back, letting it all go. The lightning disappeared. “How’d you know it could do that?”
I eyed him up over the counter, considering.
He furrowed his brow. “What?”
“Wanna take your shirt off?”

“Maybe we should move after all,” I said, smile going lopsided.
“What, buy a house?” He smiled back. “Nice yard for me to go electric and a dog to run around. White picket fence. Hi, honey, I’m home.”
“Only if you’re ‘honey’ --”
But he shut me up with his mouth, bringing his far hand over to hold my chin up, then run it through my hair while he kissed me. Weirdly gentle, but deep and warm. “I don’t care where I live. I’ll move to fucking Siberia if you want.”
“Sure, Siberia. I like snow.”
He held my face in both hands, like he had that day in the living room, right after he’d blown up the ancient TV. Stared at me long and hard, until I forgot everything but his impossibly sincere eyes.
“You’re so fucking stupid, for a smart guy,” he said. And then he burst into that blinding grin of his.
I was willing to believe him, but if I was stupid just then, it was his fault. Him and his pretty lips and brown eyes and shiny hair and perfect thighs. “Uh, am I being insulted or complimented?”
He kissed me again, this time more quickly. “Yeah.” Then he looked over my shoulder, through the woods toward the cabin. “Better get up there. Your grandma threatened me with no dinner if we were late.”
Something felt off -- like there had been a conversation that was supposed to take place there. But since he was suddenly in such a good mood, I figured I’d let it go. We got to our feet, brushed off, and started back toward the house. But just after we stepped onto the grassy trail, he grabbed my hand and pulled me into the trees, like he had somewhere to be.
Seeing as we were sporting bare feet, this didn’t seem like the best plan to me. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. Just come here.”
“But --”
He turned around, put me against a tree, and pretty much threw himself at me. He kissed me -- that kiss that meant he was hoping for something more -- and didn’t waste any time unzipping my fly.
“Sam --”
“Fuck dinner,” he said, yanking on my pants and kissing my neck.
Sound argument. He had his hand down the front of my shorts already, and I was half tempted to step out of my pants so I could ease my legs apart and get him between --
He bit at my neck and wrapped his hand around my cock at the same time, and anything resembling a thought disappeared right quick. I arched my back against the tree. It scraped through my T-shirt, and even that felt good. “Oh fuck.”
“Yeah?” He bit down on my earlobe.
He tucked my hair behind my ear with his free hand. “I really, really” -- a little breath there, like a stutter or a wince -- “want you.”
I cleared my throat to push out, “You got me.” Always have, always fucking will.
He kissed my cheek, the corner of my lips, feeling me up through my underwear. I clutched at him and swallowed a growl, bark digging in hard.
“Can I suck your cock?” he asked.
This time, it wasn’t a dumb question. This time, it was fun. I smirked. “Uh, let me think about it.”

Bonus Excerpt via Equilibrium Mixed Tape posts! (PG-13 for nudity and language)

Check out what others have said about Equilibrium...

Beatrice @ MM Good Book Reviews - 4 (of 5) hearts
Raine @ Reviews by Jessewave - 4 1/2 (of 5) stars (A Recommended Read)
Midia @ The Romance Reviews 4 (of 5) stars
Daisiemae @ Night Owl Reviews 4.25 (of 5) stars
Jay @ Joyfully Jay - 4.25 (of 5) stars + 4.75 (of 5) stars for the freebie shorts: "Jealousy" and "Best Gift Ever"
DarienMoya @ Pants Off 3.5 pants off (of 5)
Buffy Kennedy 3 stars (of 4)
Sean @ World of Diversity Fiction 5 stars (of 5)
Teresa @ Prism Book Alliance 4.25 (of 5) stars
Sammy @ The Novel Approach 4 (of 5) stars

Short Stories
Find Equilibrium-related short fiction at the Free Reads page!

1 comment:

Erica Pike said...

Started reading this on the treadmill today. Time flew and before I knew it I'd been walking on a very fast speed for 35 minutes. Can't wait to read more. Unfortunately I have two deadlines before I can finish - Whaaaa - but I aim to sink myself into Equilibrium again on Easter Day (or maybe I'll steal a read now and then until I can finish off the whole thing. Loooove the voice and writing style.