Losing Better



Superpowered Special Agent Gabriel Genêt's first solo mission: go to Hooperstown, North Carolina, find evidence that Andrew Wynne is operating as a vigilante, then bring him in. Ten years ago, Gabriel spent a summer alternately torturing and hooking up with Andrew as they tried to ignore their parents' embarrassing affair. Of course Andrew, the big puppy dog, will be happy to see his old friend and never suspect a thing. Career-driven, cocky young Agent Genêt can hardly believe his luck.

A covert game of betrayals ensues. Things start out complicated, with Gabriel using Andrew's open arms and attraction to him for all it's worth. Gabriel tells himself he doesn't reciprocate, and then that he can control it, but it's too violent for either of them to deny. As he gets closer to the evidence he needs, a heady combination of nostalgia, genuine affection, and even understanding brings Andrew closer to him. Dangerously close, in every sense.

The stakes are much higher than just their livelihoods. Gabriel begins to fear it'll come down to a choice between everything he's ever believed in, wanted, and stood for--and the only love he's ever known.

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Gabriel Genêt by Astro. Click to enlarge.
Name: Gabriel Genêt
Age: 26
Height: 5'11"
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Current Residence: Washington, DC
Occupation: FBI, motherfucker.
Powers: Electrical.
Level: Medium to high.
Control: Excellent, now you mention it.
Politics: If living in Washington has taught me one thing, it's that politics are best viewed as a hilarious sitcom.
Religion: Is that supposed to be a joke?
Favorite music: Suede is the best band in the world. Too bad that whole reunion tour never made it across the ocean.
Favorite movie/TV: TV rots your brain. (Although, yes, maybe I had a slight weakness for the X-Files, once. And maybe I own them all on DVD. And still watch them occasionally. But that's different.)
Favorite book: Most anything by David McCullough, Annette Gordon-Reed, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and recently Joseph J. Ellis -- though he's apparently a horrible fraud, personally. The current popular writers of American history that everyone loves, I suppose. For fiction, I like the usual stable of classics: Steinbeck, Wharton, Thackeray, Whitman, etc., and I like an old-fashioned detective story ala Doyle. Sometimes I will also admit to a lingering weakness for Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, John Grisham, etc. Trashy espionage, international fuckups, and the imaginings of bored and depraved lawyers. If that gets out, please know that I can and will track you down and make you pay.
Favorite fictional character: Ronald Reagan according to the current Tea Party. I don't know where they get this shit, but it's hours of entertainment.
Favorite food: Spanish.
Favorite drink: A nice Islay Scotch will do the trick, but I also like a Grey Goose and tonic.
Favorite sport: Soccer.
Favorite artist: It's predictable to say Rembrandt, I know, but I always find myself lingering in front of his paintings. Very moody, but with a sense of humor. Occasionally, things are popular for a reason.
Favorite news outlet: The Washington Post
Favorite superhero: Iron Man. I don't know what he does, but I understand that he's rich and clever, and I like looking at Robert Downey, Jr.
Describe yourself in one word: Impossible. And you can take that as "your question is impossible to answer" or "I am utterly impossible". I meant the former, but my mother would agree with the latter. I got it honestly.

Andrew Wynne by Astro. Click to enlarge.
Name: Andrew Wynne
Age: 27
Height: 6'1"
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Current Residence: Hooperstown, NC
Occupation: Properties management. Also other stuff that should probably be hobbies, but I'm obsessive enough to count them as "other jobs".
Powers: Cold thermal
Level: Pretty intense
Control: Good
Politics: Think I'm a philosophical socialist and a practical democrat.
Religion: Uh, how about I just say "Respect"?
Favorite music: I'm all over the place. Prince, anything Motown, Madonna, Public Enemy, Flobots, The Beatles, The Holy Bowie. I also like a lot older stuff, pop standards from the 20s and some jazz and blues, but I keep that for myself. Not really party music.
Favorite movie/TV: I mostly play video games. Get me some Call of Duty and I'm set for weeks.
Favorite book: I don't think I can pick just one. My dad made sure to feed my head when I was a kid, and what still sticks with me is the Harlem Renaissance stuff he got from my grandparents. Pretty sure I had no choice but to get all clingy with Langston Hughes. In college I focused on that era, but branched out into F. Scott Fitzgerald and that kind of shit, which is kinda vapid by comparison, but awfully damn pretty. Modern-wise I dig darker fantasies like George RR Martin, Tad Williams, Stephen King, stuff like that. Harry Potter is totally my boy, too. I'm kind of fascinated by fantasy as a way to talk about social issues.
Favorite fictional character: All of them. No? Okay, then Boba Fett.
Favorite food: I am all about the food porn, doesn't matter what kind. Thinking of doing a garden next year, except I'm afraid I'd kill everything and then feel bad.
Favorite drink: Wine is good. You match it up with food, you invite a bunch of people over, everyone's happy.
Favorite sport: Football, kickboxing, soccer, basketball, hockey, rowing -- Actually, I just like competitive sports in general. But since I went to Duke I'm annoying as fuck during basketball season. Fair warning.
Favorite artist: Jean-Michel Basquiat ever since I saw that movie about him -- which I only watched because Bowie played Warhol in it and ended up loving for Basquiat.
Favorite news outlet: Does twitter count?
Favorite superhero: Nightwing, hands down. Okay, mostly because he's hot as fuck, but seriously. I will play the hell out of some Arkham City. The Nightwing pack made my damn life.
Describe yourself in one word: Sisyphus.

Excerpts

Dessert (PG-13)
I laughed too. “Did you ever consider that I might not still behave like a horny teenager, Andrew?”

“Nope. Wanna know why?”

“You want to tell me, anyhow.”

“‘Cause I never met a person who didn’t. If they  were being honest.”

“You may be right.” If he made this any easier, I might have to feel sorry for him. And what the hell else went into making coffee? Water, beans, and… “Filters?”

“Here, they’re kind of hidden.” He moved to stand next to me and rifled through the overhead cabin.

The smell of him again, still green but cleaner. Like spicy wood—cedar, maybe. It wasn’t a chemical, cologne smell, but the fresh scent of soap and skin. Like most of his kind, even when he wasn’t trying, a faint aura of coolness clung to him.

He found a handful of brown paper filters and lowered his arm, then turned. This put us face to face, as I’d stolidly maintained my position between him and the fridge. His dark eyelashes fluttered as if he hadn’t expected to find me there. “Ah, sorry.” Then he cocked his head. “You used to be a lot shorter than me.”

I raised my eyebrows, enjoying the slow but insistent electric heating of my blood, the overwhelming sensations of the moment. I lowered my voice so he’d have to lean nearer and said, “Did you ever consider that I might’ve grown since I was a horny teenager?”

“Actually, yeah. That, I considered.” He let go of the filters, resting his hand on the counter, and took the bait. He tilted his head and leaned forward. “Once or twice.”

My heart hammered against my ribcage, and my cock, already halfway there, filled out.

How fortunate that I’d had practice controlling him in this state. “Andrew.”

“Gabriel.” One corner of his mouth pulled upward. His breath was cool on my lips, but the scent of wine was warm.

I reached up and flattened my palm against his chest. Cool, yes, but his heartbeat was quick, and it warmed him little by little. I let a faint static charge spiral up from my middle, trip through my arms, and discharge through my fingertips.

His mouth slackened at the tickling sensation. He sighed, lashes drooping low over wide, pale eyes.

I smiled. “Are you about to do something two parts stupid and one part wonderful?”

“Sounds like me, doesn’t it?”

I tilted my face slightly upward to match the angle of his, but moved no nearer. “Yes.”

His lips, almost girlishly pretty even in the hard angles and lines of his face, pressed into mine, barely parted. The scent of wine and him overcame me again, and I opened my mouth. He followed my lead, angling nearer, the fingers of his free hand tucking into my belt-loop and tugging downward.

He paused as if trying me, feeling my reaction.

I slid my palm up the hard plane of his chest, let the charge die, and tangled my fingers in his soft, unkempt curls. His mouth warmed under mine, acquiesced. I dipped my tongue into it, and he snaked his other arm around my waist, pulling me against him. I shifted so my hard cock pressed tight against his—God, magnificent—then rolled my hips to thrill us both. He hummed low in his throat and tightened his embrace until I could hardly breathe. I tickled the roof of his mouth, the back of his teeth with my tongue, and then he did the same for me.

A sound built in my throat, involuntary and unexpected, and I struggled to swallow it. A pathetic sound, like whimper or a moan, the kind that begged for more. Every inch of him all hard and eager for me, and me, wanting it so badly I could taste it. God help me, but I did.

In some part of my mind cordoned off to maintain reason, I realized that this was a bad sign. But there wasn’t much I could do about it when he slipped his hand under my shirt and ran his fingers all over my skin, unnaturally cool to send pleasure bumps racing up my side after them. I pulled away to catch my breath, to swallow that pathetic little moan once and for all.

He put his forehead to mine and continued his appreciative caresses. His voice was full of heat and gravel, though I heard the smile in it too. “I didn’t cook you dinner so you’d let me kiss you.”

“Oh, really?” It was meant to sound flippant. Luckily, breathlessness and flippancy are virtually indistinguishable.

“Really.” He kissed my face, and his chest heaved. That, at least, made me feel better as he continued, “I mean, I did have an ulterior motive, but it’s far out. ”

“Let’s hear it.”

He began disentangling us. Without pulling his hips from mine, he gripped the bottom of my shirt in both fists. Then he grinned, his mouth all red from kissing. “I wanna finish what we started. That day before you left.”

I rolled my hips against his once more, let him feel my approval, let myself feel how much he wanted it. His mouth crushed into mine hard, though we parted again quickly so he could yank my shirt over my head and throw it at the counter. I did the same to him, exposing all that sun-copper skin and those mouth-watering abs, so when we came together again it was skin-on-skin. He was warm now, except for his hands, one of which rubbed at the back of my neck, pulling me into his kisses more deeply, the other running up and down my spine and inducing little shivers. I sent a small shock racing down his back in reply, and he hummed again, a sort of “Mmm, yeah…” into my mouth.

Love, Interrupted (PG-13)

“I loved getting you off,” he said.

Which might easily have sounded like he was talking dirty. But he said it in such a matter-of-fact way, as if announcing that he loved strawberry pie or reading trashy novels or drinking bourbon, that it didn’t have the usual effect. I raised my brows in a silent question.

“For ten seconds you’d stop looking at me like I was just some half-wit, trashy whore, like you looked at Mom—”

“Andrew—”

“—and I’d imagine that was really you. Those times, that was how I realized it wasn’t your fault for hating us. Like, your whole hardcore ‘fuck off’ attitude, it was hot, but it was hotter to know it was just something to hide behind, and you were just that good at it. Your shit was even more torn up than mine. I mean, at least my parents were divorced and friendly.”

I didn’t know what the cold sensation in my midsection was at the time, but in retrospect it seems obvious. It must have been the feeling the frog on the dissecting table would have if he were still alive to see his innermost cavities split wide open and little labeled pins stuck into each important organ in alphabetical order.

As I reeled, he went on, staring into his wine. “I don’t mean…like, I wasn’t glad it hurt you. I just mean that it was nice to know you were the same as me, I guess. We were both keeping our heads above water however we could. Not together, but in shouting distance.”

Then, finally, he met my gaze again.

My heart, pinned or not, would not stay put. It had leaped into my throat, which was extremely inconvenient as it didn’t allow much air to pass. Still, I managed to say, “You might be the most complicated man I’ve ever known, Andrew.”

He gave a little chuckle. As if he had no idea what he’d just fucking done to me, for better or for worse. “That’s almost a compliment. Shit, I keep talking about this. I’m not saying I carried a torch all these—”

“I know exactly what you’re saying.” Stop. Stop there. Don’t say anything else. You are not yourself. He has gotten to you. Integrity is compromised. Abort—“And you’re right.”— mission. Call the game. End it now, before you say something you’ll—“I never thought about it, but that’s why it wasn’t malicious, though I wanted it to be at first.”— regret.

“It was fun.”

“Yes.”

He laughed and took another drink. “Couple of fucked-up kids.”

“We came out all right,” I tried, still speaking around my heart.

“On opposite ends.”

My mouth opened. I meant to respond.

He couldn’t mean—

He sat up suddenly, reached into his pocket, and pulled out the buzzing silver flip phone. He popped it open, and his face, which had already turned serious again, fell. “Shit.”

If he knew about me, he would never have brought that. He would’ve let Hooperstown fend for itself tonight.

Silently hoping the answer would be no, I asked, “Problem?”

“Shit,” he said again. “Sorry, yeah. Look, there’s, ah, an emergency at one of the properties. I gotta run.”

I feigned surprise, even slight injury.

“I’ll explain later. Everything’s fine. Just, um, take the bottle back to your room. Everything’s paid for. I’ll call when I get shit straightened out.” He stood and grabbed his jacket from the back of his chair.
“Andrew—”

He leaned down and lifted my chin with one hand, turning it up to his. “I’m really sorry, Gabriel.” He kissed me, close-mouthed, gentle. When he drew back, his gaze was sharp, full of meaning. “I have to.”

I swallowed. Everything in me shifted to the other side, screamed that he knew. He knew, somehow, what I was, why I’d come, and what I planned to do.

Foolish. Paranoid. Of course he would say that, running out on any date with anyone.

I sat still until he left the restaurant, then leaped to my feet and sprinted across the street and back to my room, mashing the tracking app on my phone to no avail. I yanked open the safe, strapped on the GLOCK, pocketed the amplifier, opened the tracking on the laptop.

Meet Kieran snippet via Superpowered Love
In which Andrew puts Gabriel against the wall via Honey Bunny

2 comments:

Tracy Faul said...

*whimper*

Gimme gimme gimme

*has grabbyhands syndrome*

Tracy Faul said...

OMG LOL -- I *just* got an email notification about this comment... *giggle*