I began the weekend filled with melancholy. My e-mail is filled with the details for this year’s Marche du Cannes and the Cannes Film Festival. We were planning on attending this year, but the fates in filmmaking, and condo conversion conspired against us. I am really missing the singular loveliness of Paris in the springtime (cliché, perhaps, but true). I even find the city beautiful in the rain. I really miss the food and the light in that city. I even miss the subways with commuters who could give New Yorkers a run for their money. I miss the TVG train with its lovely baguette sandwiches and beautiful countryside complete with the world’s prettiest and happiest cows. And of course, I miss Cannes with its lazy cafes and beautiful sea and sky. I am running out of herb de Provence (and Thyme and Tarragon and Basil) purchased there. I need a fix! Ah well, I shall have a chocolate truffle and remember.
Many things are happening at once. I’ve been researching costumes and hair and locations for the Gift of Surrender short. It looks like everything will be in place for a June shoot. I’ll start a photo blog of the process as soon as we start costume construction. I’ll also post the script as soon as it’s finalized.
Major spoilers ahead for those who haven’t read A Soldier’s Choice! And an excerpt from the bonus chapter follows.
I haven’t been online very much with Jon on the PC working on the various titles and promotional materials. I’m online to check e-mail and look at artwork of half naked men (for Sybaritic Press business only). So, my spare time is spent with pen in hand working on the sequel to A Soldier’s Choice. Of course, I have no title yet. I’ve had to do some research before starting. I always research before I begin a new novel. Even romances need a basis in reality, in my opinion. I needed to know about the current state of military food since it is one of Vincent’s obsessions. Of course, there is a website dedicated to military cooking , but I needed first hand information from those who have had to eat it. I found some accommodating ex-soldiers willing to share their thoughts (the internet is a wonderful thing). I was surprised by the information I found. The website reveals a great deal of thought and effort amongst those who prepare troop meals. And there was as much praise for the quality and variety of meals as there was criticism of the same. That information caused me to re-think one of the main threads of the novel. Why do villains always have to be complicated?
The timeline of the novel encompasses from the January after A Soldier’s Choice ends through the end of Bobby’s first mission as a fully trained Altered soldier. There is much in the way of angst along with my usual twisted humor and numerous hot scenes. My beloved soldiers are besieged by all manner of being both well-meaning and not. I have my characters sketched out and the entire plot dancing in my head. I’m off in a moment to finish the first chapter.
And now, here is an excerpt from the bonus chapter of A Soldier’s Choice. The boys realize that Christmas is a mere few days away at the end of their adventures in the novel. Shopping proves dangerous from the attentions of amorous females and abundant mistletoe. The boys have to use their best military skills to keep away unwanted lips. This scene is after they return home.
We were keyed up from the Mistletoe op even after a big, tasty chicken dinner. Sometimes it’s hard to turn off the adrenaline after being on alert for hours. We used the energy to decorate the tree and the house. There was something calming about weaving the string of tiny lights along the trunk of the tree then matching symmetry and color while gently hanging the delicate ornaments on the slender tree branches. Vincent also fastened ornaments along the garland on the mantle and around the doorframe. We picked glass ornaments in deeps reds and green and gold. The candles were also deep red or green. The whole place looked festive and inviting, but not gaudy. With the fire going, our home made me feel warm and happy inside. The Grevens felt the same way. The young men both had soft expressions full of wonder. Vincent hugged me close.
“Thank you for making this home for us,” he murmured.
“Yeah,” Bobby said softly. “This mean a lot.”
I motioned for the younger Greven to join us and hugged them both. Some deadly weapons we were. Then, I smiled. My heart felt fuller than I could ever remember. I also felt very right.
My lover was very quiet for what remained of the evening as we reclined entwined on the sofa, but I said nothing until Bobby went to take a shower before bed.
“You’re troubled by something,” I said quietly.
“I feel like a jerk,” Vincent replied glumly.
“Why?” I asked stifling a chuckle.
“I don’t like smelling anyone else on you,” he admitted. “It pisses me off even though I know there was no help for it. I mean I know you can smell them on me, but you aren’t pissed off about it.”
“I’m not happy about anyone touching you,” I replied, kissing his temple. “But I can’t say that I’m pissed off. I don’t know how people keep from touching you. Must be the scowl.”
“ I do know how we can get past this intrusion, and I know we’ll enjoy it.”
“How?” Vincent asked, peeking at me through that fringe of blonde hair.
“We shower together, and you take every trace of them away. Then, you re-claim me in bed,” I said softly against his temple. “And I do the same.”
That got his attention. He shifted in my arms to really look at me. His eyes had a very wicked glint in them.
“And every time this happens...”
“We reclaim each other,” I said softly.
He smiled at me. It was a very wicked smile. “I really like this plan, Colonel. Will you write a report about that?”
“Brat,” I muttered, swatting his ass.
“Yeah, we’ll see,” he said. “I’m claiming you first.”
“Like that’s a surprise.”
Vincent was very serious about obliterating any trace of another’s touch on my skin. He was very gentle but extremely thorough spreading thick lather over my face then rinsing it off. I laughed when he lavished the same attention on my body. I believe he wanted to clean any area on my body those women were even thinking about touching. Still I enjoyed the thorough exploration and gladly returned the treatment on his lithe, elegant muscles and smooth, tawny skin.
The meticulous shower was not the end of my lover’s reclamation. He even had me brush my teeth and extra long time and gargle with a stronger solution of mouthwash even though I insisted that no tongue had breached my lips. Once I was cleansed of all evidence of the incursions on my person, I was dragged across the livingroom and shoved onto the bed. Thank goodness that Bobby had retired to his bedroom. I really don’t think Vincent cared what his brother saw. I’d never seen him that intent on having me.
What I didn’t expect from my lover was being straddled and my wrists tied to the headboard. I knew he wasn’t going to hurt me, but I was still startled. Vincent sensed that, and gently caressed my face and body until I calmed.
“I saw you like this once, but you still had pants on” he murmured as he ran his hands gently over my torso. “Do you remember?”
“Yes, my one and only undercover op,” I murmured vaguely, lost in his touch.
“I couldn’t figure out why the target did that to you,” Vincent said with a frown.
I arched into his touch with a moan. “Do you know now?”
“Yes,” he replied. His voice had quite an edge to it. “Now, I really want to kill him. I tried before, but because he had hurt you.”
“I hurt him pretty good, believe me,” I moaned in reply. “He didn’t get what he wanted, love. Forget him...reclaim me...please, Vincent...”
He was driving me absolutely crazy. Thankfully, I got through. Vincent finally kissed me, deeply and possessively. The kiss was almost rough in its intensity, but his hands were gentle. He caressed my face lovingly once he pulled free of the kiss. His fingers ran over my forehead then down my cheeks, his eyes intent upon me. I wondered what he was thinking before he kissed me again. Then, I couldn’t think at all. My focus narrowed to his lips and his hands on me.
All of Vincent’s considerable focus was unleashed on my captive body. He used all his knowledge to arouse me quickly. He stroked, and licked and sucked me until I was writhing wantonly beneath him.
“Say it, Rik. I need to hear it...” he rasped, positioning himself between my legs.
“Yours, love...I am yours...” I moaned before he pushed into me.
Lord, how he could fill me and move me with the lithe, strong body. No one else could make me feel the way Vincent did, wanted and needed, possessed and loved. My gaze locked with his as he had me. I let him see all that I was feeling as the power arced between us.
“God, Rik...I love you...”
I came then, in a near blinding flash. I felt my lover follow, gasping my name in that helpless way I couldn’t get enough of hearing.
I was barely aware of anything when I felt my wrists being freed. My arms wrapped around Vincent of their own accord, and he snuggled closer to me. For a while I couldn’t speak. I simply held him, breathing in his scent. Some time passed before I could form thought coherent enough to voice.
“Have you reclaimed what is yours?” I asked while stroking his back.
I smiled at the contentment in his voice.
“How long have you wanted me that way?” I asked softly.
“Since the night of the rescue. I’m embarrassed considering what was done to you,” He replied against my shoulder. “It’s the only way I thought I could have you.”
“Hey, what you wanted and what he wanted were two vastly different things,” I replied reassuringly. “And that tact may have worked just fine. I’m no saint.”
Vincent looked up at me then. His eyes were glittering with mischief. “I know you aren’t. You want to tie me up or hold me down. That’s why you always have me by the hair or pressed against a door.”
I actually blushed under that gaze. “I spent a long time wanting to contain you. It’s a hard habit to break.”
Vincent rose up on his knees. He held the robe belt in his hand. “Do it, then. Take me.”
“So soon? You are insatiable.”
“You keep saying that, but you never complain,” he smiled. “That’s why I didn’t suck you off. I wanted you to do me.”
“Very considerate,” I murmured dryly, snatching the bathrobe belt. “Don’t lie down. I want to be able to touch all of you that I can.”
I maneuvered around on the mattress until I was kneeling behind Vincent. I gently took his wrists in hand then quickly tied them at the small of his back. The first thing I did was nuzzle the skin between his shoulder blades then lick down the length of his spine.
“You have the most beautiful back,” I murmured against his skin.
Vincent tried to reply, but the sounds turned into a gasp when I nipped the flesh along one of his hips. I was really enjoying this. My mercurial lover was contained and compliant. I grasped his forearms to keep him still while I explored the smooth tawny planes of that elegant back to my heart’s content.
“Please...Rik...” He murmured after a long while.
He had been so patient. It was time to give him what he needed. I took him from behind, so I could press my face against the nape of his neck. He didn’t mind the press of our bodies against his bound wrists. In fact, he pushed back against me to have me deeper within him while I stroked his erection. We didn’t last long. I didn’t care. It was the second time in an hour that I came so hard, I couldn’t see. The energy surge sizzled along our nerve endings, exhausting us both. It took almost every bit of will I had left to untie Vincent and maneuver our lax bodies under the blankets.
“Such a freak, getting off on my back,” He murmured with a sleepy smile.
“Pot, kettle, brat,” I replied with a soft chuckle.
“I am yours,” Vincent sighed.
“I know, love.”
Well, I’m going back to my notepad.