I’ll be giving away an e-book copy of Shiny! and a key fob to one lucky winner!
Following is the excerpt and an introduction:
Sometimes, for me, the anticipation is just as romantic as the “romance” scene. I particularly love this scene because Kenny is trying really hard to convince himself his feelings for Will is strictly platonic, and Will is trying really hard to make Kenny think of himself in a definitely non-platonic way. The resulting confusion is… well, romantic. And frustrating. And makes the first sex scene absolutely explosive. Shiny! is the first full length comic-toned novel I’ve written– and after six months of writing angst and pain, I’m thinking I’ve got another one of these in me. I so love people who can laugh at themselves.
* * * *
He started serving and realized Will was just gazing at him with admiration. “Look at all the stuff you’ve got!” he said in wonder. “Arty bowls, tablecloths and place mats, pasta spoons—wow! Your whole kitchen is just done in grown-up! How does that happen to someone our age?”
Kenny waved his hand and tried for casual. “It’s the gay,” he said, trying not to preen too much. He actually got his liking of nice things from his parents. They went for very Better Homes and Gardens, because that was just the whole of Davis, but he liked eclectic and funky cool as a substitute. “All gay men come with a home decorator card, didn’t you know that?”
Will looked at him with a twist to his mouth—one of the few times Kenny had seen his expression less than open. “I sincerely doubt it,” he said drily. “I’m pretty sure it’s you—and I definitely like it.”
Kenny had no idea something without sexual innuendo could make him blush, but sure enough, his face heated and his hand grew slippery on his milk glass. He was suddenly glad he’d opted out of wine.
“What makes you think so?” he asked, looking down at his plate. He needed to take a bite of spaghetti, but he was painfully aware he’d put on a date shirt and taken off his apron. He didn’t want pasta on his date shirt, did he?
“Well, because you’re you,” Will said enthusiastically. “You’ve got an eye for things, for weird combinations that go together. Like that bowl, the indigo and the plain terra-cotta—that’s it, right? Terra-cotta?”
Kenny looked up at him and tried a real smile, but his throat swelled up painfully instead. Will hadn’t said a word about the little gift Kenny had left on his shoes. Not one word. Kenny didn’t know what that meant—or he did know what that meant, and at the same time it made Will an amazing friend to hang out with, it made him a really shitty one to fall in love with.
Not love. He’s a friend.
“Yeah,” he said quietly. “Terra-cotta.” He was good at making things light—time to do that. “So how do you know it’s not the gay?”
It was Will’s turn to flush. For a moment he busied himself with his food, digging into his spaghetti and using the most excellent bread to sop up the sauce. He ate quietly and then looked up. Kenny had taken a bite himself in the intervening time, but when he’d finished chewing, he was still looking at Will, waiting patiently for an answer.
What he got was another question instead.
“Okay, so you know that bag you left on my shoes?”
Without ceremony or parachute, Kenny’s heart dropped into his balls and his balls dropped to the floor. “Uhm, yeah.”
“Can you be gay if you only use some of what was in there?”
Kenny blinked and tried to remember exactly what had been in that incriminating little bag. “You can be gay even if you don’t use anything that was in there,” Kenny said, some of his embarrassment and anxiety giving way to confusion. “Why?”
Will’s expression turned inward and he gave sort of a sweet, simple smile. “Oh!” he said. “Good—that’s a load off my mind. Thanks!”
And with that he started ripping into his food with his usual enthusiasm, leaving Kenny floundering. He’d promised not to pry, hadn’t he? He’d… he’d promised himself not to pressure the guy! But… he just couldn’t leave it there, right? Just… he… omigod….
“Will!” Kenny said, his voice strangled.
Will looked up from his spaghetti guilelessly, a hunk of bread in his mouth. “Whmf?”
“Was there anything else you wanted to ask me?”
Will’s big brown eyes made one of those careful explorations for the secrets of the universe that might possibly lie in the interior of his mind. They rolled left, then right, then down, then right, and then they looked at Kenny again.
“Well, that, uhm, that plug thing?”
Kenny slurped in a noodle and spattered sauce all over his face and his unexpected date shirt. “Yeah?” he said, wiping his face off with his napkin.
“Do they have anything… smaller? ’Cause I clench up when I look at that thing.”
Kenny closed his eyes and sucked on the end of the napkin, getting it thoroughly wet. Behind his eyes, the vision of Will naked, lying on a bed with his thighs spread, making tentative forays with the butt plug, repeated like an X-rated GIF.
“There, uhm,” he murmured, “are no plugs smaller than that one.” He dabbed at his shirt with the wet end of the napkin. “Uhm, if you think about how men are, uhm, built, nobody is smaller, uhm, in the penile area, than that plug.”
Will stopped chewing for a moment, and his eyeballs did that careful exploration for the secrets of the universe again. “Oh. Oh. Ooooohhh. Okay. I mean, I looked at the pictures and all, but, you know, the plug just looks bigger in life than the picture of the, erm, penile things, even the big ones like mine.”
Oh God. Kenny wrapped his hand around his milk glass. When his fingers didn’t touch, he looked up at Will and tried not to swallow his tongue. “Uhm, how big a, erm, penile thing are you talking here, Will?” And omigod! The secrets of the universe were not right beyond Kenny’s right shoulder!
Will looked at the milk glass and then wrapped his hand around it. He had really big hands—his finger and thumb touched and overlapped a little. Will squinted one eye, adjusted his hand, and pulled his thumb and forefinger apart so they weren’t quite touching. Then he eyeballed the height of the glass and stroked his hand unmistakably up until it hovered about two inches over the brim.
Kenny’s mouth went dry, and he fumbled for a drink of milk, knocking his glass over and sloshing milk all over his plate, and he still didn’t really notice until his lap grew chill and clammy.
“Uhm, is that you? Because, uhm, Will, most men aren’t built that way.”
Will looked up from a contemplation of his fingers, because apparently his approximate cock size was not close enough to real-life for him, and frowned. “Kenny—man, you’re getting milk on your nice clothes. Here, forget about my stupid question. You go change and I’ll clean up and serve you again, okay?”
“Oh—oh shit! Okay.” He stood up and sopped some of the milk with the napkin and then dropped it in his plate and fled.