Welcome to Amber’s Birthday Bash. Sorry I don’t have a cover to share with you as this isn’t due out until the very end of the year, and I cannot guarantee the anticipated release date of 30th December. Still, I could not let this November bash pass without introducing you to what I hope will be only the first of A Detectives Dick and Silcox Mystery. I’d love to write more with these guys–just need one of those pesky things called a plot.
One lucky person can have a free book–either from my backlist or if they’re happy to wait they can have a copy of Wildest Dreams (title to be confirmed) as soon as it’s released at Loose Id.
Now, let’s see where Frederick Dick has whisked Riley Silcox away to.
The last time Riley Silcox had been on a train with Frederick Dick, the scenario had been very different. The gentle rocking had soothed him, and like always made him consider what sex would be like during the journey. Unfortunately, the only candidate was his colleague. Riley hadn’t been entirely sure Fred was straight, but throw the fact of their being on assignment into the mix and he’d been out of luck.
“How long before we arrive?”
“Too long.” He meant too long to wait until he could his hands on the other man, and was certain Fred knew it.
The last train trip he’d spent a good deal of the time considering sex with Fred, believing the man wasn’t interested. This time he was thwarted from the outset by the arrival of fellow passengers. He and Fred had exchanged looks before settling back to wait. Last time, they’d been en route to Scotland; today Fred was whisking him away to Ireland. Hadn’t some saint chased the snakes out?
Riley pondered that, gaze firmly fixed in the general direction of Fred’s groin watching one burgeoning serpent.
“Snakes on a train,” Riley muttered as soon as passengers filed out leaving them alone again.
Riley grinned. “Paraphrasing. Thinking of things I shouldn’t. You didn’t have to go to so much trouble for my birthday. I shall have to think of some way to repay you.”
Fred leaned forward, hands clasped, elbows on knees. “I’m counting on it.”
As soon as the train pulled into the station, Fred led the way. A couple of signed forms later and a quick transfer, and they were seated in a hire car. Fred got out the Satnav.
“You mean you can’t detect the way? Haven’t investigated the route?”
“Don’t start. I can only take so many Detective puns for one night.”
Riley grinned. The banter was harmless and despite Fred sounding grouchy, he was smiling, a thing he did more of lately but still didn’t do nearly enough. “It’s cold.” Riley rubbed his hands together.
“We’ll be on our way in just a minute and then I’ll turn the heater on.”
True to his word, Fred did just that and soon they were driving out into the countryside. Riley gazed around, glanced over at the Satnav. “I was joking but I really do hope you have some idea where we’re going. I’d hate to have the spend the night out here.” They appeared to be heading away from civilisation.
“Easy there.” Fred reached out and gave his arm a squeeze. One glance revealed what Fred was thinking, that he knew what was truly up with Riley. Last time they’d been in any kind of wilderness it was because he’d run wild…literally. Riley felt heat rising into his face as he recalled a forest clearing, nudity, raging arousal.
He coughed. “Think I’ll close my eyes for a few minutes.” He’d worked late last night so Fred didn’t question his tiredness.
The car moved through the evening gloom, and the few times Riley opened his eyes it was to see ragged black shapes passing by silhouetted against a dark grey landscape.
Riley sat up, blinking, trying to focus. “What the…?” He wanted to say castle, but he supposed mansion was more accurate. The magnificent building loomed, its very bricks appearing to be imbibed with an odd combination of romanticism and ghostliness.
“I’m not…sure.” Clearly the remark took Fred by surprise. “I mean, I pictured…” He shrugged, waved his hands around.
“What? Something like the Ciderpress Inn?” That was where they had stayed on assignment in Scotland.
“Of course not.” He had though, and it unsettled him that Fred had guessed. He’d expected something small. Something quaint. An abode with roaring log fires. This place might have open fires though. “I’m not disappointed. Just surprised.”
Oh gawd but he couldn’t stand the look on Fred’s face. He leaned over, kissed him, first on the side of the mouth and then on the lips. “Thank you.”
“Liar.” Fred reached for the door handle and stepped out.
Way to go, Riley. Spoil it from the outset. Riley followed, gasping at the chill air as he opened the door. He really did hope they had a fire burning now.
He stood and looked up at the edifice. As Fred came around the car to stand by his side, he had to ask him. “Why this place?”
“Because of the suite I’ve booked for us. You’ll love the room.”
“Room?” Riley turned his head to stare at Fred. “You mean…?”
“Yes, we’re sharing a room. We’re sleeping in the same bed.”
Oh my God. Their first public appearance as such. A slow spreading grin took over Riley’s face, and this time what he saw in Fred’s expression was nothing but a beautiful mix of love and an understandable amount of smugness. He kissed Fred again, and this time put everything he was feeling into the pressure of his lips.
“Come on,” he said breaking away breathless. “Let’s go see our bed, and who knows…” He waggled his eyebrows. “Maybe we’ll find a mystery hidden under some ancient flagstones.”
He ran over the gravel and up the steps, leaving Fred to carry both suitcases.