Thank you so very much to Brynn Stein for giving me space on her blog today! I’m just finishing up the “Book cruise” for my newest release, What About Now! Each stop has an exclusive excerpt and today, I’d like to offer up a bit with Braden and Rafe seeing each other for the first time in five years.
“No.” Braden stared at Rafe for a long moment, but Rafe forced a smile onto his face. He’d been expecting this.
“I’m sorry?” Janie asked, looking thoroughly confused.
“No. He can’t win me.”
Janie opened her mouth, but Rafe raised a hand, working to keep the smile in place. “It’s okay. Go ahead and pull a different ticket.”
Janie glanced from Braden to Rafe, who nodded. She looked worried but took another ticket out of the bag. “Uh…. Rafe Jessen.”
Braden’s scowl deepened. “No. Keep going.”
Rafe tried not to let Braden’s reaction hurt. He reminded himself he knew this would happen. He nodded in silence at Janie, who pulled another ticket.
“Um….” She looked from Rafe to Braden and back again, then shrugged helplessly. “Rafe.”
Braden took the bag from her and started pulling out tickets, reading each one and handing them to Janie. “You rigged it?” He rounded on Janie. “Did you have something to do with this?”
Janie swallowed and frowned, obviously at a loss.
Rafe reached out toward Braden—though didn’t touch—to pull his attention back. “No, she didn’t.” Rafe shook his head. “I wouldn’t call it ‘rigging it’ either. I bought all the tickets quite legally. Jacob’s Place still gets the money. I just… made it extremely improbable mathematically for anyone else to win.”
Braden’s eyes narrowed, and Rafe feared for a moment that he’d seriously miscalculated. He’d been counting on Braden wanting Jacob’s Place to get the money. Braden’s gaze darted around the room, and Rafe took a half step forward. He threw a smile at Janie, then leaned a little closer to Braden and dropped his voice, though he was sure most of the room would still hear them. He could have heard a whisper from the back.
He swallowed his nerves. “Let’s talk about this. If… If you still don’t want to after we do, Janie can draw until she gets someone else.”
Braden didn’t speak for a long moment, then finally nodded slowly.
Relief flooded Rafe, and he held a hand out to the side. He gave Janie a shaky smile. She looked as relieved as Rafe felt and took the bag from Braden before turning back to her list. Rafe led Braden through the doorway to the lounge and out into the hallway.
Rafe had also been expecting this. “Because—” He paused and closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. He was pretty sure he had one chance to get this right. “Because I have spent every night of the last five years regretting what happened. Every single night missing you as if I’d lost a limb. Needing you as I’ve never needed another before or since.”
Braden stared at him, eyes wide. Rafe waited, and Braden blew out a breath. “How the hell am I supposed to answer something like that?” He shook his head and turned around. Rafe thought, for a few heart-stopping seconds, Braden was walking away despite it all. But he simply paced a few steps, then turned around and came back. He paused, looked at Rafe for a long moment, then shook his head again and turned around once more. Another lap and a third; then finally he stopped.
“Okay. One date.”
Thanks for reading and thanks again to Brynn for the space today! If you didn’t follow the What About Now book cruise, be sure to check it out at the link below the tour graphic. There’s still a chance to win a prize for each stop, and each entry will give you an opportunity to be entered to win one of the three big prizes!
Five years ago, everything went wrong. Braden Kirk and Rafe Jessen’s long-term relationship started unraveling. They stopped talking, fears mounted, then Braden walked in on Rafe and another man, completely misreading the situation. Without giving Rafe a chance to explain, Braden walks out. Out of their home, their relationship, and the game development company they started together in college.
After months of therapy to deal with the attempted rape Braden walked in on, Rafe begins to understand that his dominant tendencies in the bedroom aren’t a bad thing and that Braden’s submission is likely what scared his partner into silence. But Rafe isn’t ready to let go of the man he loves more than life itself. He arranges for himself and Braden to end up on the same charity cruise, knowing Braden won’t let his phobia—terror of vast, deep waters—rule him.
With a plan and twenty-eight days, Rafe is determined to get Braden back, make him see there’s nothing wrong with being submissive, and find a way to get Braden to stay with him when they get home to LA.
* * *
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Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.
A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.
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