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Excerpt Thursday! The Journey Back

This has definitely been a week with an out-of-this world kind of feel. To celebrate the weirdness I felt it calls for science fiction romance, a genre I can't get enough of. How about you? Now, if only I can push my to-do list along and get to that scifi trilogy written in bits and parts and languishing in its folder. Wish me luck and enjoy this excerpt from The Journey Back, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Summary: Sci-fi romance. Riley had it all. He was the king of Futureball, on top of the world, until a cruel plan stole it from him. Only afterward, sitting in the shattered remains of his life, does he begin to remember that it was the second life he had lost. And one man appears to remind him of what life once had been.

Buy Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=55_128&products_id=1557

A slender figure slid into the stool beside him and he tried not to scowl. There were other stools open, closer to the screen and farther away from him and the colorless corner he sat in. He inched away from the warmth he could feel.

“Hell of a thing, that.”

The voice was soft and almost soothing. But he didn’t want conversation and he didn’t want soothing, did he? He grunted a reply and gestured for the bartender again. He had a few credits left for the night. Not many, but maybe it would be enough.

“You’re hitting the synthol pretty heavy tonight.” He felt that voice low in his gut, almost a vibration. Felt it rather than heard it. For a moment it silenced the feed from the digiscreen and he was almost grateful.

The words forced his eyes up to meet those of the man beside him. Strange eyes. Even in the dim light in the corner of the bar he could tell there was something odd about them.

“Who’s counting?” His voice was rough, a combination of the synthol eating away at the lining of his throat and disuse. It had been a couple of weeks since he’d attempted conversation. Maybe longer since he’d walked out of the medcenter in the middle of the night and left his life and identicard behind. But those eyes refused to let his waver and demanded a response.

“I’ve been.” A sinuous shrug. Dark curls swaying with the movement. Pretty.

Once he could have afforded such pretty. Not anymore.

“Nice try, but I can’t meet your price.” He dropped his gaze back to the glass of synthol. Not only did it taste bad, but the shit stank like Hell too.

“What makes you think I have a price?” The soft voice wasn’t insulted, just interested. When was the last time someone had been interested in what he had to say? When had he last welcomed that interest?

Ryan’s face was back up on the digiscreen. Larger than life and still beautiful. He could remember touching that face, kissing the soft skin and taking his due from the younger player.

Memories. Moans and whimpers. His name murmured over and over again in a broken whisper. Colors bright in the dark. There wasn’t enough synthol to block those colors.

“Of course I’m concerned about Riley.” Odd to hear his name; Ryan’s voice cut through him like a knife. Sharp. So sharp that at first he didn’t feel anything. But then the sharpness dulled and the pain crept up and left him gasping.

“But I know he’d want me to be focused on the game. He prepared me the best he could for today but I also know it’s all up to me.”

Ryan’s eyes were bluer than he remembered; reminiscent of oceans dried and gone ages past. Beautiful eyes but something always had been missing from them. Something he never been able to figure out.

“Every member of the Blue Quadrant Novas is ready for today. Make no mistake, we will win despite these cowardly efforts to knock us out of the game.”

He was almost proud of the younger man. But the anger and confusion that were his constants besides the pain battled with pride for an upper hand. It should have been him. Damn them all! It should be him.

The hand on his cheek startled him, brought him back to the present and turned his face away from the digiscreen and back to the eyes beside him.

“What makes you think I have a price?”

He was uncomfortable meeting those strange eyes and he dropped his gaze to the full lips instead; lips still parted slightly from the repeated words. The hand stayed on his cheek, warm and callused; thumb stroking his cheekbone.

“Everyone has a price.”

He didn’t want to need the touch of that hand.

“What’s yours, then?”

The full lips moved again and maybe it was the icer, maybe it was the synthol but his world suddenly narrowed. All focus draining down to the movement of the thumb on his cheekbone and the colors it left painted on his skin.

“What are you looking for?”

The words left his mouth before he realized it. What was he doing? He wasn’t licensed. Hell, he was barely mobile. He couldn’t run if the Quadrant Enforcers wanted to see his ident and sexcard.

“Sorry.” He thrust the words out; pulling away from the hand still warm on his face and turning back towards the gray. “I’m not…I’m not what you want.”

Dark curls brushed against his cheek. Full lips warm against his ear. “You’re exactly what I want. Exactly who I’m looking for.”

There was a sharp prick against his neck, the sudden dull rush of icer through his veins.

“What…?” The combined surge of sensation left him unable to speak and his eyes closed; body sagging against the lithe form on the stool beside him.

“Come home with me.”

Words soft and whispered against his neck. Riley shivered as suddenly there was a hand boldly grasping between his legs. The hit of icer surged through his bloodstream, cock hardening in response to the drug and the rough touch. Colors rich and suddenly blooming.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 13th, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC)
Hi Tame! I'm doing well, how about yourself? Are you in the hot and dry part of summer in the US or the wet, humid and flooded part?

Hopefully you and your family are kicking back and having some fun.

I hope you like this short. It's one of my favorites and he doesn't seem to get around much.

Edited at 2010-08-13 07:15 pm (UTC)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )