This novel currently titled Freak Experts: The New Partner (title is likely to change) is about how they came together. This excerpt is the pivotal scene when they first make love. I'm not starting the novel there, but it's the section that I really have to get right, so I'm going to workshop it here. Opinions are welcome. For more on the film version, go to: http://freakexperts.com.
Without further ado:
CJ didn’t know why he was on that road. He should have taken the last exit. There were a few nice long-term hotels near LAX. He had babysat a few witnesses in one that even had a kitchenette and wfi. That one was right off the freeway on ramp. Getting to work even in bad traffic would be under a half an hour. Instead, CJ was hugging the coastline in the darkness enjoying the sudden biting crispness in the air. CJ breathed in the salty, fragrant breeze as he wound his way through the narrow complicated neighborhood without really thinking about where he was going.
“This isn’t a convenient place to live at all,” CJ observed to himself as he squeezed into a parking space on a street crowded with cars. Even the ones in driveways jutted out to almost illegal lengths. His destination didn’t even have a space for a second car. “What the hell am I doing? God, I’ve actually left Marilyn.”
CJ’s eye filled and almost spilled over at the thought of the anguish on her face as he closed the front door behind him. But her last words propelled him the remaining distance to the front door. He didn’t think about why he brought his suitcase.
Jordan looked tired when he came to the door. He may have even been asleep. CJ thought briefly about how tedious and draining it was biding time waiting to testify. He found it harder than working cases.
CJ blinked at Jordan’s sleepy blue eyes.
“It’s not just lust,” CJ blurted out. “For me, it isn’t.”
Jordan’s eyebrows raised. “But some of it is.”
“Some of it’s what?”
“Lust,” he replied. There was a lot in those big blue eyes then. There was befuddlement worry and something else that made CJ swallow hard.
“Yes,” he almost chuckled. How could he want to laugh now?
Jordan stepped back and waved him inside the living room. “Take a load off. I’ll get you a drink.”
“Nah, I’m driving.”
“No you aren’t,” Jordan replied firmly. His voice was floating in from the kitchen.
The tension in CJ eased then. There was something really pathetic about a lone guy checking into a hotel in his own city. How many guys had he interviewed that were living in one room with a hot plate? He never wanted to be that guy. Jordan’s sofa was really comfortable. Actually sleeping was suddenly a possibility.
CJ drifted mindlessly as he watched cable news. He hadn’t realized that a little time had passed until a small plate was deposited in front of him on the coffee table. It was an appetizing square of lasagna. A glass of red wine was placed next to it.
“You should eat something,” Jordan said settling next to him with his own plate and glass.
“You Italian?” CJ asked after sampling a forkful of the food.
“On Mom’s side, but I didn’t make it,” he replied. “Italian deli down the road.”
“Thanks. I didn’t eat dinner.”
“Knew that. Looks like you packed instead,” he said. His eyes were sad as he looked at the bag. “She told you about lunch.”
“Yeah. I’m sorry...so sorry,” CJ muttered. There was suddenly a lump in his throat. He put his fork down.
“Sip the wine, and keep eating,” Jordan said gently. “You’ll feel better.”
Keeping his mouth full was easier than talking. CJ didn’t know if he could really talk about what happened that night.
“I’m not going to be a good friend to you, Ceej,” Jordan said quietly as he eased back on the sofa.
“Hmmm?” The declaration surprised him mid sip.
“A good friend would get you a pillow and a blanket and make you eggs in the morning then help you find a furnished apartment,” Jordan replied sipping his wine.
“You aren’t going to do that?”
CJ put down his empty plate then turned to look at Jordan. He leaned back on the sofa as well with glass in hand. “What are you going to do that’s so bad, Jord?”
Jordan looked him straight in the eyes. He wasn’t befuddled or worried any longer. “I’m taking you to bed, Ceej. It’s a very bad idea. It’s the last complication you really need, but I have to.”
“Oh yeah,” he replied considering CJ almost lazily. “There’s something about you...makes me want to drive you crazy.”
CJ was fully confident that Jordan could accomplish that without ever touching him, but that wasn’t the matter at hand. “Is it more than lust for you?”
He looked CJ in the eyes again. Forget swallowing. Breathing was getting really difficult. “Then, why can’t you be more of a friend?”
CJ didn’t know why he was asking all those questions. He wanted Jordan to make him stop thinking. Maybe some part of him wanted to make sure he was acting with his eyes wide open. For his part, Jordan’s intense vibe hadn’t changed. He just seemed more agitated about any delay.
“I’m not perfect,” he said quietly. He deliberately placed his wine glass on the coffee table. He then took CJ’s glass and put it aside. “We aren't here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die. Now, I want you to come with me and get in my bed.”
CJ stared at him. “You’re quoting Moonstruck to me? Jord, that’s so gay.”
Jordan had him by the shoulders and his head was angling perfectly. “You knew it was Moonstruck. How gay is that?”
Jordan's lips sealed with CJ's. A talented tongue invaded his mouth. That clean, spicy scent filled his nostrils. It seemed to CJ that Jordan was possessing him, and he didn't mind. CJ moaned into the kiss wrapping his arms around Jordan and holding on.