A fan asked me to post an excerpt from Color My Passion. I’m going to try and write this one sometime this year. Since I’ve been a bit behind in the blog I’ll post a longer excerpt. Remember this is Unedited
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Zio Botticelli, looked in the mirror as he tied his tie, untied it, tore it off and tossed it onto the bed with the other three crumpled bits of cloth previously masquerading as neck wear.
“Why did I agree to this?” he asked his reflection.
He didn’t have time to back out. He’d already agreed to go and John would rip off his balls if he left him hanging.
The doorbell rang, the cheerful sound of doom echoing in his ears like a death march.
With a groan he marched the short distance to the front door and yanked it open. His mouth dropped open when he saw his friend.
John leaned against the doorframe wearing a pair of the tightest leather pants he’d ever seen, a skintight T-shirt and a pair of silver studded black biker boots.
His friend gave him a sly smile before his expression changed, turning disapproving. “Zio, tell me you’re not going to wear that!”
“Well I’m not going to wear anything like that.” Zio waved at his friend’s outfit. Not to mention he sure as hell didn’t have a pair of leather pants in his closet.
John laughed. “And I thought you were the artist. Aren’t you all supposed to be all kinky and shit?”
“I think you have all the kinky cornered by yourself,” he said with a nervous laugh.
“Come on. I can’t take you to the club looking like that. You’re one step from wearing a tie.” Grabbing Zio’s wrist, John dragged him back to his small bedroom. He started laughing when he saw the pile of crumpled ties on the bed. “Oh dear, I came just in time.” After pushing Zio to sit on the mattress John went to examine Zio’s closet.
“You’re not going to find a lot in there,” Zio warned. He was an MFA student, he didn’t have an extensive wardrobe.
“Take your shirt off!” John ordered.
Standing up Zio stripped off his shirt.
“Ooh nice, you waxed.”
“I always wax.” Zio’s Italian ancestry made him frighteningly hairy if he didn’t keep it under control. Besides, he’d deny it to his last breath, but he liked the pain.
“For an art nerd you’re pretty hot.”
Zio was never so happy his dark complexion hid his blushes than at that moment. “Shut up,” he muttered at his teasing friend.
John laughed. Silence reined as John flipped through his closet.
“Here wear these.” A pair of jeans flopped onto his head. Zio pulled them off and gave them a confused look.
“These are my painting pants.” Multi-colored splatters of paint covered the dark jeans.
John pointed at them accusingly. “They are the most interesting pair you own and they hug your ass great.”
“You’ve been checking out my ass?” Zio didn’t know how he felt about that. John was a good friend but he didn’t appeal to him sexually. He preferred his men bigger, stronger and able to hold him down during sex.
“Nothing personal, hon, I check out everyone’s ass.” He tossed a plain green T-shirt at Zio who caught it before it smacked him in the face.
“This shrunk when I washed it last week,” he protested.
“Yeah, I know. Get dressed. To preserve your maidenly modesty I’ll wait in the living room.”
Zio threw a pillow at his friend as he passed. John laughed and ran out the door.
Knowing they’d never leave if he didn’t do what John wanted, Zio stripped out of his clothes and put on the jeans and T-shirt. Avoiding the mirror he pulled on his own pair of plain black biker boots, a gift from his sister, and went to join his friend.
John’s eyes went wide when Zio came out. “Now that’s what I’m talking about.”
Rolling his eyes, he grabbed his jacket, keys, and wallet, and headed for the door. “Come on.”
He heard the thump of feet behind him then a sharp pinch on his ass. “Ow!”
“Get used to it. As hot as you look in those pants you’re going to get a lot of pinches.”
“Great!” Just what he wanted a black and blue ass.
The line to the club was long. Sighing, Zio leant against the wall checking out the other people waiting. They looked like the usual club goers with lots of leather and tight clothing.
“Don’t worry we won’t wait here long.” John’s confident tone made him smile. There was never a lack of nerve with his best friend. The only reason they remained friends was John’s constant determination to drag Zio out of his comfortable art studio and into the world. He always succeeded by telling Zio if he hoped to explore the world through art, first he had to explore the world.
A large bouncer walked the line. Zio had seen people do that in movies but never in real life. The big man stopped in front of John.
“John Draper, nice to see you.”
The two men exchanged handshakes. Zio’s observant eyes saw the flash of green paper pass from one hand to the other. “Come to the front,” the big bouncer said, lifting the rope that kept people in a haphazard line.
John pointed behind him. “I want my friend to come with me.”
The bouncer’s eyes widened when he caught sight of Zio. “Sure come on up. I would’ve let him in anyway. He’s too fuckin’ cute to leave outside.”
Wondering what he got himself into, he docilely followed John and the bouncer to the front of the line ignoring the catcalls and not so friendly noises.
“Settle down,” the bouncer shouted to the people in line. “Or you’re never getting in.”
The big double doors were opened as they approached. With a shaky sigh, Zio followed his friend inside.
He’d entered a different world. The normal people outside transformed into creatures of sensuality once they passed through those doors. Layers stripped off to reveal naked torsos, breasts covered by strings and beads, and asses barely covered in strips of fabric. Zio felt his heart skip a beat as a man in little more than a tiny scrap of leather shorts passed by. All those muscles exposed and obviously oiled caught his attention, his fingers yearned for a pencil, a pen, hell he’d take a crayon, to sketch the man, especially when he spied the tattoo on his back.
“Watch where you’re walking,” John whispered yanking him out of the path of a pair of men walking towards him.
They reached the line for the coat check and Zio obediently handed over his light jacket.
“Take off your shirt,” John demanded.
“Do you see anyone with a shirt?” John waved to the half naked people around him.
Zio had to admit he didn’t. “Then why did it matter which one I wore?”
“I don’t want to be seen with a moron. Now take off your shirt.”
Zio yanked off his shirt and threw it at his friend.
“Temper, temper,” John clucked. A wide smile crossed the blond man’s face. Zio was going to punch his friend, soon.
John stripped off his shirt and handed them over to the shirt keepers. “One red and one yellow please.” Without asking, John tied a red cloth around Zio’s right arm.
“What’s this for?”
“It means you’re untouchable.”
“What’s yours mean?”
Zio looked back at the coat check. “How many colors are there?”
Images went through Zio’s mind of what they could all mean artistically. Bright red backdrop behind a shadowy untouchable figure flashed into Zio’s mind. He could do a series. His mind still spinning with new ideas, he blindly followed his friend into the club, between crowded tables, and towards the bar.
“What do you want to drink?”
For a club it was pretty quiet. Still focused on the painting concept going through his head, Zio followed John’s bare back not thinking of anything but his image and his desperate need for a pen. Pictures flowed through his mind, colors, images, and people.
He needed a pen.
A table floated in his periphery, a felt-tipped pen sitting on the surface.
Without thought, Zio snatched it up. “I’ll return it, promise,” he shouted as he walked. Paper. He needed paper.
John stopped in front of him. His bare, smooth, back beckoning Zio like a siren call. As the images ran through his mind he clamped a hand on his friend’s shoulder, pulled the cap off with his teeth and started to draw.
Edward Clark watched as the young sleekly muscled man with curly black hair swiped his pen.
He was going to protest, he was, but the brief sparkle of warm brown eyes stopped his words. When the thief stopped the man in front of him and started drawing on his back Edward became intrigued and by the time the man stopped sketching, the art on the other man’s back had him one step from obsessed.
The young man was fascinating. When was the last time he’d met someone new and interesting?
“Who’s the budding artist?” The familiar voice of his friend Robert Mayfield spoke behind him.
“I don’t think he’s budding. I think he’s brilliant.” Having traveled the world and bought art from several countries, he knew talent when he saw it. He didn’t own sixteen galleries for nothing.
“Are you going to introduce yourself?” Robert asked.
The urge to grab the other man and find a nice corner to explore him in every way possible filled Edward. “Maybe.”
“If you don’t do it someone else will soon.”
Apparently finished with his initial design the man stepped back, pulled out his cell phone and photographed his partner’s back.
“Oops. No one told him he couldn’t take pictures.”
“I’ll deal with it.” He intercepted the bouncer who started heading over as soon as he saw the flash. “I’ll take care of it.” He handed over a few bills and turned to catch the artist’s arm.
“I’m going to have to confiscate your phone.”
“What?” Dreamy eyes turned towards him. He felt an insane urge to get the other man to focus on him.
“You can’t take pictures in here.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. It was only of John’s back, I promise.”
“Still, I’ll have to take it until you leave.”
The confused look was delicious. Edward wanted to tie the young man up and confuse him all the time.
“That’s all right honey. I’ll stay close so you can have it back.” The red tie on his arm would have to go. “Would you care to come have a drink with me. I’m Edward Clark.”
“I’m Zio Bottecelli.”
“I’m very pleased to meet you Zio.”
Zio sent a desperate look at his friend. Edward recognized John and gave him a friendly nod. Luckily he’d never played with the other man, he didn’t like awkward encounters.
“I’ll vouch for him,” John nodded at Edward.
Zio flashed a look of panic at his friend but followed Edward compliantly enough. He wondered what else the other man would be willing to do.
Zio didn’t know what to do with this older man with hard blue eyes and a square jaw. There was something militant about Edward that told him not to argue. He followed Edward until they reached a quiet corner of the club.
“There are privacy issues which is why no one is allowed to photograph people inside the club.”
“I’m so sorry!” Zio’s stomach churned at the look in the other man’s eyes. “John didn’t tell me.”
“There are signs posted.” Edward pointed to couple.
Zio blushed. “Sorry I was a little focused.” He didn’t notice anything when he worked on his art.
Edward looked him up and down. “I’m sure you have amazing focus.”
Zio didn’t know where to look. He regretted leaving John. At least he knew what to expect from his friend. This guy was hot and Zio didn’t want to drool over his amazingly muscled chest. Zio didn’t have anything to be ashamed of. He didn’t have any fat but it was more due to the fact he forgot to eat while working than any heavy work out plan. A lightly muscled chest and flat stomach couldn’t compete against the hard muscles parading around the club.
One man walked by with an intricate dragon tattooed across his back Zio had images of him painted on a canvas. Instinctively he turned to follow on to be brought short by a hand on the back of the neck.
“Hmm.” Zio turned his gaze to Edward.
“On me!” The command in Edward’s voice had him blinking at the other man.
He didn’t really concentrate on Edward though. Images of other paintings flashed through his head. The man with the dragon tattoo needed to be green.
Hard lips clamped down on his.
Heat and desire ripped through him like a fiery tsunami. “Mmmm.” He moved to touch but his wrists were held behind him in a firm grip. His cock hardened in his pants as shifted closer to the muscled man who knew exactly what he was doing with his mouth.
“Edward you’re going to have to release him. He’s wearing red. You’re setting a bad precedent.”
The magical mouth lifted from Zio’s, an embarrassingly needy sound came from his throat. Instinctively he tried to follow the delicious taste. Edward gripped his chin. “You want me to remove your band?”
Edward expected an answer, Zio could tell from the demand in the other man’s eyes but what was the question?
What had he asked?
“Do you want your red band gone?”
Zio’s brain kicked in. Did he want his protection torn away? He couldn’t be touched if he wore the red band. Meeting Edward’s eyes he had to wonder what was the beauty of being untouched? His brain couldn’t make the connections. Did he want the band or not?
“Zio.” John’s voice broke through the fog of lust shrouding his mind.
Yanking his chin out of Edward’s grip he turned to his friend.
John stopped beside him, his eyes wide with worry. “Are you okay?” He flashed a warning look at Edward. “No offense sir, but you know the rules.”
Zio rarely heard John pull the serious voice. John must feel strongly about something. He stepped closer to John, instinctively seeking his friend’s protection. John knew the rules. He’d keep Zio from getting into trouble.