Today we give a warm welcome to Liv Rancourt, the author of the soon to be released The Secret of Obedience and she wanted to share with us a bit of how this story came to be, a teaser and some awesome excerpts that have us wanting to read more of this fabulous story! BBJ
Author Guest Post:
Tracy & Mari…
Thank you so much for having me on your blog today. I’m excited to have The Secret of Obedience in readers’ hands, and hope people have as much fun reading about Ronnie and Sang as I did writing their story. Every story I write takes a different path, though Secret’s was a little more complicated than most.
The seed for this story was planted during a class I took last winter. Kerri-Leigh Grady taught Strategies for Writing Fresh over at SavvvyAuthors.com, and most of the assignments she gave us involved taking standard tropes and tweaking them one way or another. Like, instead of Frodo and Sam hiking to Mordor, maybe put Freddie and Shamus in a VW Van and make them drive across country or the world ends.
And maybe they fall in love. And maybe throw in Coyote, or some other trickster character, to give them trouble.
The class was a hoot, but I can’t go into much detail about the exercise that turned into Secret, because there’s a little twist at the end of the story and I don’t want to give it away.
Lalala…not saying…you’ll have to read it yourself…
Soon after finishing the class, one of my Facebook friends asked if anyone wanted to contribute to an anthology to benefit LGBT kids. I volunteered, and it didn’t take long to work the story up. And then, sadly, the anthology got put on hold. I waited for a while, but I liked this story too much to leave it hanging out on my hard drive.
I decided to submit it to Evernight’s RomanceOnTheGo line, and while I was thrilled when they accepted, it felt a little odd to think about making money off a piece I’d written for a benefit project. Instead, I’m going to donate any money I earn to Nova High School, Seattle Public Schools’ alternative high school.
My oldest kid goes to Nova, and I’m a huge fan of the program. A solid percentage of their students fall somewhere on the LGBTQ rainbow, and a number of those kids are either homeless or living independent of their families. For some of them, Nova is the only source of structure in their lives. The teachers, principal, and staff are dedicated and compassionate, and I absolutely believe in the work they do.
So even though the anthology didn’t come together, I’m going to do my part to help.
From an on-line class exercise to release day! The Secret of Obedience had to find its way, and I’m so happy to be sharing it now. One final thought…the title fits the story perfectly, but it does have kind of a BDSM vibe that isn’t in the story. So if you’re looking for kink, Secret isn’t really your jam, but if you’re looking for a fun, sexy read, check it out!
Thanks so much!
Can a jock find love with a hot little hipster? Opposites attract, but secrets divide.
Ronnie Durand is a country boy who transfers to the University of Washington after two years at Central. He'll have to give up playing football, though finishing his education at a major university in Seattle - and being out and proud without having to look over his shoulder - makes the sacrifice worthwhile.
But finding friends at a huge school is tough, especially when the hottest guy Ronnie meets makes him doubt his own sanity.
Sang's been on his own a long time. He's only a couple steps away from living on the street, and he's got dreams so big they don't leave space for a steady boyfriend. Then he meets Ronnie, who just might be strong enough to break through his barriers....as long as Sang lets him in on one big secret.
Buy Links (ARe & Evernight still pending)
Amazon - ARe - Evernight
That first night in the club… (1022 words)
Sang wants to spin, to expand into the space. He shows his desire in the way he raises his arms and sweeps the floor with his gaze. He's wearing a simple white wife-beater over his jeans, but it’s topped with a long navy double-breasted coat with gold trim, the kind of thing worn by Union soldiers in the Civil War. It fits like it was made for him, and my palms burn to touch it.
I move deeper onto the dance floor. I'm broader, wider, and the crowd packs tightly around me. I get as close to Sang as he'll let me, belly to belly. He's only about 5'4", and when he turns his back, he presses his ass against my thigh.
I take it as an invitation. Keeping one hand on his shoulder, I let the other wander. He reaches behind, grabbing handfuls of the denim wrapping my legs. I stroke his throat, bend down to tell him how pretty he is, chicken out and do nothing but breathe in his ear.
Bodies crush, sweaty and raw, shifting us to the center of the floor. My dick's engaged in an argument with the fly of my jeans. I let my hand drift lower, across Sang's chest. His small nub of a nipple hardens under my fingertips, but no softness surrounds it. If he's really a girl, he totally got shortchanged. I sweep my fingers wider. Nah, these pecs belong on a man.
I move my hand lower, going slow, giving him time to stop me. I stick my thumb into a belt loop. He grabs my wrist, tight.
"What?" I ask. The bare, light toast skin of his neck is inches from my lips. I could taste him. I want to. Over the stink of sweat and too many colognes I smell him, some warm spice scent like the incense Mom used to burn.
He brings his mouth within kissing distance. "Don't."
"What you got under the hood, pretty? You packing a V6 or a V8?" I want to kiss him, to taste him, to admire this perfect jewel of a person.
"V6 or V8." He grins, and it's the curve of his lower lip when he smiles that I'll remember, like his mouth is held by a chalice. "Does it really matter?" he asks.
It does, but not in the way he thinks. I leave off my search, but don't move my hand from his belt. See, my stepdad threw me into football when I was eight. I was good at it, good enough nobody messed with me. The locker room's not known for being a gay-friendly place, but being able to dead lift 280 pounds at age fifteen bought me some peace.
I'm still a guy, though, and I like lovers who are smaller and prettier than me. Call me a cave man. Whatever. Sang is my small-town boy's fantasy, and the press of his body has me so turned on I'd think about doing him even if he’s actually a she.
My fingers are trembling with the need to touch, to know.
"Come on, Sugar Cookie. Does it matter?"
I lean in, drawn like his lips are the center of a flower and I'm one very horny bee.
"Oh no." He jerks away, his gorgeous smile extinguished. "No kissing. I don't kiss strangers."
Puzzled, I reach out. He's hemmed in by the crowd, so it's nothing to loop my fingers under his shirt and draw him closer. "No kissing, then." Some guys are like that. He rocks against me, straddling my thigh, giving me a taste of the hardness in his groin. Hell yeah.
"Is your ID legal?" Because somehow it matters that he's at least 21. I can't keep the grin off my face. His dick is going to be gorgeous, and I'm going to suck it, and he's going to scream.
"Of course." He's not frowning anymore. He's sly and shimmering and a little mean. "I do love a man in cowboy boots. The rest of it..." He brushes his hands down the sleeves of my plain white t-shirt. "Not so much. But I'll do you for your boots."
I get both hands around his waist and drag him further up my leg. He hangs onto a handful of my shirt. I'm not sure his feet are even on the floor. The song changes, or maybe it doesn't. They all sound the same. My cock is pressed against him hard enough to make me grit my teeth. "Let's go."
His heavy eyelids drift down until he has to tip his head to maintain eye contact. "Bathroom?"
I guess it's that or an alley. "Sure."
He grabs my wrist roughly and leads me through the disorganized crowd. We go right past the men’s room to the women’s. “Less crowded,” he says over his shoulder.
The restroom smells like piss and semen and sweat. We find a stall, and I get down on my knees before he can argue. The floor is sticky, but I figure I can’t catch anything too scary through my knees, and from there I can nuzzle his belly.
"Are you always like this? I like a nice toppy guy, you know, but he's gotta be able to—"
I don't hear what he thinks a guy's gotta do seeing as I've covered his mouth with my hand, smearing gritty sticky lipgloss with my fingers. The bossy little fuck has just dragged me in here like I'm some kind of prized bull, and now he’s gonna whine about me? There are crinkles of laughter at the corners of his eyes.
"Sang?" I'm not sure what the question is. The door to the stall is at my back, and I'm wrestling with the buttons on his very tight jeans. "Hey, I'm new in town. You should treat me like a guest and let me do what I want."
He drags my hand away. "Now you just wait a minute. What do you think I'm going to let you do? Because if you do anything I don't want, I'm going to scream."
"You'll scream, all right."
No one sees me… (1135 words)
My bike's parked right in front of the club. "Are we going far?" I ask.
"Four or five blocks."
I hand him the helmet. "Get on."
He slides the helmet on, and I help him tighten the buckles. He chitters a laugh, making the moment silly and a little awkward. I straddle the bike, and when he climbs on behind me it turns me on so bad I almost come again. Damn. I want to be stretched out in a bed with Sang, both of us naked, with a box of condoms and a Costco-sized bottle of lube.
With nudges and hand signals, he guides me to a big brick apartment building about a quarter mile away. I park, and he springs off, leaving me with a sharp shiver at the loss of his heat. By the time I get the bike locked up, he's on the front door phone.
"I need your bed, chica."
"I'm in it." The voice is muffled, most likely female, and laughing rather than annoyed.
"Then your couch."
The phone clicks and goes to dial tone, and the door buzzes. I follow Sang through the lobby, where the dark burgundy carpet could be original to the 1940s. We jog up a couple flights of stairs and down a hall to an open apartment door.
"Go." He hustles me in, then throws the deadbolt and taps on a closed door to our right. "Thanks, baby."
An indistinct bleat answers him, likely from the location of the occupied bed. The rest of the apartment is one room with a kitchenette in the corner. It's dark except for the streetlights outside, but Sang knows where to find candles and a match. We're quiet, wordless, working with borrowed solitude. Compared with the thrash of the nightclub and the sleazy bathroom stall, I'll take it.
I dump my jacket and helmet on the dining table. Sang sets two candles on the tiny bookcase, hauls me over to the couch, and pushes me down. I'm laughing, because for a little guy, he's bossy as hell. Then he straddles me, and I want to kiss him without pissing him off. I drag him close and nuzzle his neck, tasting, testing, planting not-kisses in a hot line down his throat. He sighs, and I take it as permission to keep going.
His pants are stretch leggings, so it doesn't take much to get them worked down over his hips to free his dick. It's so elegant, tapered and smooth. I want to suck on it again, to bring him off and make him sputter in Korean or Chinese or whatever language he babbled in last time. If he wanted me to, I'd fuck him, but he'd have to ask. I'm not really much for butt sex. If a guy's into it, I'll do what he wants, but my own preference is for hands and mouths, everything slick with spit and lube. I like messy sex. And kissing. I really like kissing.
I stroke him, rubbing my thumb over the head of his dick, and he flops against me like I've disconnected his spinal cord. The room smells of smoke and roses, and he's fumbling at my zipper, those delicate hands all trembling and raw, so I reach in and help. My hand's big enough to wrap around both of us, the heat of his thrust enough to drive both of us crazy. His lace shirt is tangling in my fingers and around our shafts, so I undo the buttons and shove it off his shoulders. My black silk is already kinda trashed, but he does the same for me, exposing my chest.
Our thrusting goes from eager to urgent to needy, his heavy-lidded gaze trapping me. His climax hits like a rocket, like fireworks going off in a black July sky. I follow, but it's more of a tease, dragged out, slow and seductive until I can't breathe and I arch off the couch. Sang crawls up my chest, hanging on, laying open-mouthed kisses over my ear, down my jaw.
If I'm lucky, this night will never end.
"We need to go soon."
His whisper hits me like a slap. "I'd bring you back to my dorm," I say, "but I haven't given my roommate the homophobia quiz yet."
He raises up and smirks at me. "I don't like him already."
I run a hand over his shoulder, smoothing his ruffled feathers. My calloused fingertips catch in the lace, and I wonder how something so old fits like it was made for him.
"What are you studying in that big school, anyway?" His question is tentative, cautious.
"Exercise science or maybe business. I haven't chosen a major yet." I pause, giving him a chance to ask a follow-up question. When he doesn't I step up. "What about you? What are you studying at that big school?"
He grimaces and shakes his head. "Nothing. I'm not at your school."
"Oh, it's my school now?"
He pats my cheek. "Yes. Your school."
"I see you every day in World History."
"No one sees me.” His lower lip softens, and he catches it with the tips of his teeth. “They see the clothes.” He reaches for the lace blouse, shaking it out and tossing it over his shoulders. “They see a girl or a scenester or a queer.” He stands, shakes his junk back into his stretchy pants, does a little hootchie dance to organize things. “No one sees me. Not even my family.”
Old pain erodes his effervescence, showing through the cracks like basalt under soil. I'm stretched over the couch, on display, my shirt open and my dick hanging out of my jeans. He covers my eyes with his hand, but I knock it away.
“I think you look real good. I’d like to see a lot more of you.”
Which sounds really kind of lame and try-hard, but this is what I came to Seattle for, too. Adventure. Maybe even romance, the kind I can show off in public.
“I want to,” he says.
For a moment he shows me his profile, private, thoughtful, and I give him some space to go on.
“And if I was going to see someone,” he continues with more laughter in his tone, “he’d be a lot like you.”
“So let’s do it.”
I should probably feel bad when he doesn’t respond, but the back-to-back orgasms catch up with me. I tip my head back and close my eyes, fighting sleep. Sang’s rummaging around the apartment. Haven't a clue why he’s lying about school and why he won’t take me up on my offer, but after two evenings he's an itch I won't be able to scratch on my own, so I let it go. Country boys are known for their determination.
Vietnamese cooking… (1096 words – PG-rated)
It's warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt, and the campus is relatively quiet except for a handful of die-hard election enthusiasts who are still passing out flyers in front of the HUB. I ignore the idiots pushing their anti-gay marriage agenda, and sidestep the fans of Senator Whozit. My freakishly liberal mother married a small town Republican, so I grew up taking the fifth on political stuff, more of an agnostic than an actual atheist. I pretty much can't open my mouth without being accused of siding with one of them, so I keep it shut.
But I do grab a pamphlet explaining why marijuana should be legal, because duh.
The Ave is busier than the campus, mostly with college kids wandering through the pizza places to the used book stores to the faded pubs. A steady stream of cars rolls past, blunting the crisp fall air with exhaust. I'm about to duck into the College Inn Pub when Sang comes around the corner of 40th St.
Surprise hits me harder than the coffee I had for breakfast, fading to a rock-hard blast of desire. His long hair is twisted into a bun and secured with a pair of glossy black sticks. His faded gray tunic hits him about mid-thigh, his legs are bare, and he's wearing a beat-up pair of Dr. Martens and a long feathered earring. Maybe I’m weird, but I want him in all his freaky, funky beauty.
I cross my arms and wait. There's no place for him to go except right past me. Across the street, someone bursts out cursing and a driver lays on their car's horn. I glance over. No blood. I glance back. No Sang. Dammit. There's only one store between me and where I saw him last, and it's one of those one-off Asian places where the window's crowded with candies and porcelain bowls and small brass Buddhas. Nowhere else he could have gone, so I push through the door.
The light is much dimmer than outside, and it takes me a minute to adjust. I catch a flash of white in the corner, Sang's feather. He's contemplating a display of colored packages, but all the labels are in some other language, so I don't know what they are. I walk up behind him, close enough to pick up his unique scent through the store's incense and sesame oil smell.
"Don't crowd me, Sugar Cookie." He doesn't turn around.
Right. I take another step, close enough for the hem of his skirt to brush against my shorts.
He spins around and puts his hand on my chest. "What are you doing?" He sounds indignant, but his eyes are laughing.
And his smile strips me bare.
"I was thinking about grabbing a beer next door." I flick the feather with my index finger. "Wanna join me?"
His smile softens, and he tugs my hand away from his earring, lacing our fingers together. "I'm sorry, baby. I can't. I'm working today."
"What are you doing? Do you live down here?" So many questions. Finding him on The Ave pretty much convinces me his "I don't go to UW" line is bullshit.
He brushes my knuckles against his cheek. "I wish I had time to play." He spins back around. "I'm just grabbing something quick for lunch."
Frustration forces me back a little. "Okay well, maybe I should grab something, too. The Husky game starts in about an hour."
"Are you going to watch the Seahawks tomorrow?" He slides a glance over his shoulder and flicks his fingers so I can see his team-colors manicure.
I almost say “only if you'll watch it with me”, but I don't want to get shot down again. "Yeah, if I get my homework done."
"Good. They're playing Denver, you know, and I hate the Broncos."
Talking football with my favorite freak surrounded by a store full of Made In China is a little surreal. My head's pretty spun when he grabs a bag off the rack and shoves it at me.
"Here," he says, grinning so hard he's almost giving himself a dimple. "You need some of this."
The bag is full of little brown balls about the size of peas. "What is it?"
"Bap chien gion. Like corn nuts."
He's still digging through the racks, flipping from package to package. "This one, too." He tosses something back at me.
I do my best to read the label. "Moot dow tai."
"Mut dau tay." He echoes me, but the words sound nothing like mine.
"Is this Chinese or something?"
He gives me an exasperated look over his shoulder and twitches his ass so it bumps against my thighs. "Vietnamese, Cookie."
I feel sorta stupid. I've never met anyone from Vietnam before. Still holding the last package he's handed me, I ask "What are these red things?"
"Strawberry candy. I love them."
Might be a weird combination with the beer I'd been planning to drink during the Husky game, but I don't want to offend him a second time. If I even offended him the first time. It's hard to tell. His energy is as changeable as a river when there are clouds overhead, sometimes sparkling but other times dark as pitch.
"This one's good, too. Hat sen sey kho. Fried lotus seeds." He spins, hands it to me, too close, making it hard for me to breathe. He grabs a couple more for himself and steps up until he's pressed against me. "Come on, Cookie. Get out of the way so I can pay for this." He snuggles his nose against my chest, humming so I can feel the vibration in my sternum.
"I gotta get back to work." His body and his mouth are saying such completely different things that I can't move, don't know how to respond. After a moment he sighs and steps around me. "If I go out tonight, it won't be until very late. I have to work."
Hope and disappointment have an MMA bout in my gut. "Don't know if I'll go out at all."
"Maybe I'll see you next week some time, then."
Hope gets the upper hand. “Will you?”
“What?” His feather flutters in a sudden breeze.
“See me next week?”
“If you get very, very lucky.” He slides some cash to the shriveled old woman behind the register. She speaks to him in Vietnamese, and he laughs and answers back. Then he's gone, but when I go to pay for the snacks he's chosen for me, I find out he already did.
Meet the Author:
I write romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire … or sometimes demon … I lean more towards funny than angst. When I’m not writing I take care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at home or at work. My husband is a soul of patience, my dog’s cuteness is legendary, and we share the homestead with three ferrets. Who steal things. Because they’re brats.
I can be found on-line at all hours of the day and night at my website & blog (www.liv-rancourt.blogspot.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LivRancourt). For sneak peeks and previews and other assorted freebies, go HERE to sign up for my mailing list.
Come find me. We’ll have fun!
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