Today is the official release day for my male/male contemporary novel Love Like Vampires! So today, I’m sharing an exclusive excerpt here. You can get your copy of the book in ebook or paperback from Dreamspinner Press.
“You’re off in the ozone somewhere.” Bryan took a deep breath. “High?”
“Don’t start,” Thaniel growled. He caught himself before he explained that he’d been stressed about Shane bugging him, among other things. He didn’t owe Bryan any explanations. He was a big boy. If he wanted to smoke a bowl, it was no one else’s business.
“I’m not starting,” Bryan said.
“Yeah. Good.” Thaniel leaned over to pick up the bowl from the floor where he’d dropped it and almost fell off the couch. “Fuck! Anyway, you want some?”
“No thanks.” Bryan stood. “I’m going to go change. I have grease and smells all over me. Let me know when Shane shows up.”
He went into the tiny room where he slept. Allegedly it was the apartment’s second bedroom, but Thaniel’s mom’s walk-in closet was bigger. Thaniel thought about throwing the bowl at Bryan’s door. Fucking judgmental prick. He smokes enough shit himself, he doesn’t have any right to start on me. It’s fucking weed. It isn’t drugs.
He only smoked the shit to relax. Plenty of people did. His brain went off on a rant about people who thought they were better than him and who judged shit they didn’t understand. The usual thing.
Yeah. Paranoia. In reality, he knew damn well the guys didn’t care if he smoked. They got on his case about it to make sure he didn’t overdo it, but a bowl every couple of days wasn’t too much. He played high sometimes, but who could manage stage fright without some help? None of them bugged him a lot, and it didn’t bother him when they did. It was kind of nice to know they gave a shit.
That didn’t stop him from sometimes thinking how much he wished people would leave him the fuck alone and let him live his life.
Shane walked through the door, interrupting Thaniel before he could hit major rage point. That was probably a good thing. Riding half an hour with Shane and Bryan would be enough of a pain in the ass without wanting to kill someone.
“You okay?” Shane stopped right inside the door.
“Yeah. Dandy. Close the door before all the frigging roaches come in from across the hall.” Thaniel leaned back and closed his eyes. The door clicked, and he took a deep breath. “You get my text?”
“Yeah. I called two of the three.”
Thaniel waited a few seconds, but Shane didn’t go on. Impatiently, he opened his eyes and glared at his friend. “And?”
“Didn’t get to talk to either of them. Their receptionists wouldn’t put me through.” Shane sat in the armchair and his shoulders sagged. “Guess we aren’t on the approved caller lists. One of them let me leave a voicemail, though, so maybe we’ll hear back.”
“I hope you’ll have better luck with the third one.” That kicked-puppy look got Thaniel every time. He couldn’t let Shane feel like shit for something that wasn’t his fault. “You tried, man. That’s all you can do.”
“Maybe they just hadn’t had a chance to mention our name to the receptionists or something.” Shane shrugged. “Who the fuck knows? It isn’t worth worrying about. I can’t exactly walk into the offices and demand that they talk to us.”
“Why not?” The mental image of Shane being all intimidating and shit was fucking hilarious, and Thaniel started laughing so hard he almost fell off the couch again. “You could tell them you’ll turn them into vampires if they don’t let you talk,” he choked out. “Big bad vampire boy.”
Shane chuckled. “Shut up, dude.”
“Hey, Mr. Manager, you’d better listen to my friends and me or you’ll be eternally undead!” Thaniel laughed even harder. “I vant to suck your money!”
“What the fuck?” Bryan’s door slowly swung open, and Bryan stared out with his arms folded. “Okay. You guys are nuts.”
“Could be, but we’re musicians. It goes with the territory.” Shane grinned. “Never mind. We have to go. Jace called, said his sister’s coming over tonight with her baby and his parents want us out of there at a ‘reasonable time.’” He made air quotes. “Meaning before the baby’s bedtime. Nine or so. Maybe ten if we beg.”
“I thought his family didn’t believe in bedtimes and shit.” Thaniel giggled. “They’re all crunchy granola, let the kids do what they want.”
“Jace’s parents are. His sister rebelled by being strict.” Shane stood. “Come on. Quit with the maniacal laughter and let’s get out of here.”