New this week at Evernight Publishing (May1-5) #Romance #1Click #99cents @EvernightPub

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Happy Saturday!

Another week has flown by, which means many new Evernight Publishing titles for you to enjoy!

Click on each book cover for more information. This week’s releases for the week of May 1 – 5. Lots of great titles and authors for readers to enjoy!! Be sure to check out the 99 Cent specials link at the post’s end, too!

Remember, all new releases are 25% off if you buy directly from Evernight’s bookstore.

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Tempting the Flame by DJ Michaels
The Jendari # 1
flameGenre: : Erotic Sci-Fi  Fantasy Romance
Heat Level: 3
Author Link

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Hiring the Tiger by L.J. Longo
Heart of the Mountain # 1
tigerGenre: Erotic Paranormal, IR, BDSM, Romance
Romance on the Go

Heat Level: 3
Author Link

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Kiss of Death by Annie Harland Creek
Blood Brothers # 1

kissofdeath
Genre: Paranormal Shifters, Suspense, Romance
Heat Level: 2
Author Link

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Sinner’s Possession by Sam Crescent
Chaos Bleeds # 9
crescentGenre: Erotic Contemporary, Rubenesque,
MC Romance
Heat Level: 3
Author Link

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Be sure to check out the 99 Cent Specials >>> Click Here

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Happy Shopping!!

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2016-06-23-16-43-16EvernightPublishing.com

Exclusive Excerpt from It Took a Zombie Apocalypse by Jessica E. Subject @JSubject #SFR #IR #Military

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IT TOOK A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE
by Jessica E. Subject
Release date: January 30, 2017
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, New Adult, Zombie Apocalypse
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-988428-03-1
Editor: Kate Richards
Cover artist: Fantasia Frog Designs
# of pages: 64 (ebook)
# of words: 18,220

BLURB: 

It started with a kiss.

Then the zombies came. Now, Missy must work with the neighbor her parents hate if she wants to survive. But zombies aren’t the only threat to her life, or her heart.

 

EBOOK BUY LINKS:

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N7R0JKQ

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N7R0JKQ

Amazon Canada – https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01N7R0JKQ

Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1125465647

Google Play – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jessica_E_Subject_It_Took_a_Zombie_Apocalypse?id=fyffDQAAQBAJ

iBooks – https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/it-took-a-zombie-apocalypse/id1193867280?mt=11

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/it-took-a-zombie-apocalypse

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33839754-it-took-a-zombie-apocalypse

 

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EXCLUSIVE EXTENDED EXCERPT

from IT TOOK A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE by Jessica E. Subject

“Fifty dollars for a kiss.” RJ held the bill and waved it across the counter. “It goes in the jar if I get a kiss from you.”

“I’d do it for five.” She pointed to the paper sign on the jar. “But if you’re willing to donate more, go ahead.”

He walked into the booth and sat on the bench. “You misunderstand me, Missy. I don’t want a peck on the cheek. I want a real kiss, your lips on mine.”

Her cheeks reddened, making her all the more adorable, and she stepped back. “I, um…. It’s not…. I can’t.”

“It’s one kiss.” He waved the money around again, enjoying her discomfort. “The same money you’d make kissing ten old guys w
ith beards, or ten creeps who gawk at your cleavage when you bend over to kiss them.”

The flush on her face disappeared. Maybe he shouldn’t have included that last observation.

“Hey.” He needed her attention back on him. “One kiss, and you never know, you just might like it.”

“Really?” She placed a hand on his knee then waltzed in front of him with a confidence he’d never seen from her before. “You’re that confident of the power of those full brown lips, are you?”

Before he had the chance to think of a response, she snatched the bill from his hand, leaned between his spread legs, and kissed him. He barely had a chance to close his mouth when it was all over.

“Thank you so much for your support.” Missy curtsied then stuck the money into the collection bottle.

RJ gripped the bottom of the bench, trying to process the fact the kiss had already happened. He’d hoped for so much more.

“Another.” He stood and yanked his wallet from his back pocket. “I’ll give you one hundred dollars if I can kiss you.” Yanking the bill from inside the leather fold, he held it out in front of him to prove he was good for it.

“Now, that’s against the rules.”

Her jaw shifted to the side, but when she tilted her head, he hoped she was actually considering his proposition.

RJ hopped off the bench and took a tentative step forward. He’d didn’t want her to automatically say no. “You know I’ve never played by the rules. Why would I start now?”

With a laugh, Missy playfully pushed on his chest. “You’re trouble, RJ. And you’re looking to get me into trouble with you.”

Returning to the stool, he stared into her crystal-blue eyes and smiled. She hadn’t said no. “Just a kiss.” He nodded to a patch of bushes with a bench set amongst them. “No one will see us over there.”

“Is that brown boy bothering you, Missy?”

The twang in the woman’s voice bothered RJ more than her reference to the color of his skin.

“No, Shelley.” Missy turned her back to him. “He was just leaving.”

“Good.” Shelley, another of their classmates, sized up the jar of money. “’Cause we don’t need his cash. We’re doing fine here without it.”

The punch to the gut that used to come with such ignorant comments never came. Some people refused to change, especially in this town. But he’d always believed Missy to be different. Maybe he’d been wrong.

“Are you taking over for me, then?” she asked Shelley.

“Yeah, your dad followed me around for the last fifteen minutes to make sure I was here on time. He was really freaking out about your kissing guys on the cheek.”

RJ walked away. He’d been dismissed. And if Missy’s father was that upset, he was probably waiting with disinfectant or something.

No, there was nothing good about coming back to West Vitula for the summer. His dad still worked the same long hours, so except for the day spent together on the anniversary of his mother’s death, RJ was spending his summer alone.

“Wait!”

He turned with the hope Missy was talking to him for some reason.

And she was, standing right in front of him. She grabbed the money he still held in his hand. “You forgot to put this in the jar.” Without giving him a chance to question her, she jogged back to the booth and shoved it through the glass bottleneck.

Did that mean he was going to get his kiss?

***

Missy raced back to RJ, grabbing his hand then pulling him toward the alcove in the bushes he’d pointed out earlier. She only had a couple of minutes before her father would be breathing down her neck again.

No, if she was to have anyone’s breath on her neck, she wanted it to be RJ’s. After he’d finished kissing her. Or maybe during. But, if her parents caught her lip to lip with him, she’d be dead. At least grounded until she left for Cremshaw again. They still believed her to be a good girl, pure until she married. No way would she confess she’d lost her virginity to a guy she didn’t even know. Still didn’t, only the smell of his cologne. And she’d said RJ’s name in the middle of sex with the stranger. That’s when the guy up and left, leaving her in the dorm bathroom to get dressed before someone else walked in.

She’d crushed hard on her neighbor for years but never had the courage to go against her parents’ expectations until she’d left home.

Sitting on the bench, she pulled him down beside her. “This is long overdue.” She fisted the front of his shirt and leaned into him, closing her eyes. His warm, minty breath met her lips before his soft skin. She nearly melted at the contact, unable to pull away.

What started as a gentle, sweet ballet of a kiss quickly turned into a frantic lambada. Missy clung to him, desperate for more. She straddled his lap, pushing against him. Why had she waited so long to act on her feelings for him? She’d had plenty of opportunities to be alone with him. Yet, what her parents thought had always seemed to matter. Not anymore.

When he slid his hands under her shirt, she moaned, anxious to feel them all over her body.

“Get your hands off my daughter!”

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jessica E. Subject is the author of science fiction romance, mostly alien romances, ranging from sweet to super hot. Sometimes she dabbles in paranormal and contemporary as well, bringing to life a wide variety of characters. In her stories, you could not only meet a sexy alien or two, but also clones and androids. You may be transported to a dystopian world where rebels are fighting to live and love, or to another planet for a romantic rendezvous.

When Jessica is not reading, writing, or doing dreaded housework, she likes to go to fitness class and walk her Great Pyrenees/Retriever her family adopted from the local animal shelter.

Jessica lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two energetic children. And she loves to hear from her readers. You can find her at jessicasubject.com.

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website – http://jessicasubject.com

Newsletter – http://eepurl.com/eX1Zw

Twitter – http://twitter.com/jsubject

Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessica-E-Subject-author/205759796126370

Facebook Reader Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/175887792592903/

Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/jessicasubject/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jessicaesubject/

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/100079570422204018357/posts

Amazon Author Page – http://amazon.com/author/jessicasubject

Goodreads Page – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4959083.Jessica_E_Subject

Authorgraph – http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/jsubject

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New Releases at Evernight Publishing (Dec 26-Jan 6) #Ebooks #Romance #OneClick @EvernightPub

 

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Happy Saturday!!

Another week has flown by, which means many new Evernight Publishing titles for you to enjoy!

Due to a death in my family, I was not able to post December 31, so today I’ve included releases from December 26 to January 6, which were fewer due to the holidays.

Click on each book cover for more information.

To Claim His Girl by Sam Crescent
cresecentGenre: Contemporary, New Adult, Rubenesque
Heat Level: 3
Author’s Website

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Beyond New Haven by Angelique Voisen
Wolves of New Haven # 11

voisenGenre: Erotic, Shifters, LGBT, MM, Humor, Paranormal
Heat Level: 3
Author’s Website

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A Different Kind of Therapy by Charlotte Howard  therapyGenre: Contemporary, Erotic, Interracial, BDSM
Romance on the Go
Heat Level: 4
Author’s Website

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Random Meeting by Maggie Mundy
Death Isle Series  mundyGenre: Erotic, Paranormal – Ghosts, Rubenesque,
Contemporary, Suspense
Heat Level: 2
Author’s Website

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Everything I’ve Dreamed Of by Norah Bennett
Love in Lakes Crossing # 2

bennettGenre: Contemporary, Mainstream, Suspense
Heat Level: 2
Author’s Website

 

 

Happy Shopping!!

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2016-06-23-16-43-16EvernightPublishing.com

New this week at Evernight Publishing (Dec 19-23) #Ebooks #Romance #OneClick @EvernightPub

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Happy Saturday!

Merry Christmas!!!

Another week has flown by, which means many new Evernight Publishing titles for you to enjoy!

Click on each book cover for more information. This week’s releases, December 19 – 23, need to be on your ereader!

Cursed by April Zyon
Warriors of Light # 6

yonGenre: Contemporary, Erotic, Paranormal, Suspense
Heat Level: 3
Author’s Website

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An Assassin’s Kiss by Serenity Snow
Assassin’s Trilogy # 1

assassinGenre: Erotic, BDSM, Contemporary, Lesbian, Interracial,
Shifters, Paranormal, Suspense
Heat Level: 4
Author’s Website

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His Plaything by Mackenzie Williams
Slade Inc. # 2
playthingGenre: Contemporary, Erotic, BDSM
Heat Level: 4
Author’s Website

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The Dishonest Lover by L.J. LongolongoGenre: Erotic, Contemporary, Interracial, Dark Romance,
BDSM, Suspense, Seasonal, LGBTQ
Heat Level: 4
Author’s Website

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Happy Shopping!!

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2016-06-23-16-43-16EvernightPublishing.com


Sunday Snippet ~ The Hotter the Love by Lea Bronsen #IR #ERom #OneClick @LeaBronsen @EvernightPub

Hi and thank you so much for hosting the third and last book of the Hot Model Mine trilogy!

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After sexy cover model Yushka proposed, life is more turbulent than ever for erotic romance author Andrea. He is expecting a baby with his ex-girlfriend, who says she doesn’t want to keep it. How will Andrea’s sons take upcoming life changes? To make things more complicated, her ex goes to great lengths to coax her back, and one of her sons’ girlfriend is a tad too interested in Andrea’s young and very handsome fiancé…

On the writing front, Andrea anxiously awaits news on her latest manuscript submission, and she has to decide whether to accept her publisher’s offer to model in a sexy photo shoot—the same kind she and Yushka did in Cannes—in the hopes of making a new “Cover Photo of the Year”. Considering the erotic poses the previous photographer demanded, can Andrea model with another guy other than Yushka?

 

Snippet …

We enter a hall so big the tiniest sound echoes. It’s quite humbling. I shrink in my clothes and barely dare to breathe. Dark wood furniture towers over us, with a mix of contradictory smells—orchid-scented sanitizer and old dust—filling the space.

Shoes clamping on a hardwood floor, we follow the tall, silver-haired man into a living room with exquisite furniture, gold-framed mirrors, and classic paintings on the walls. Heavy velvet curtains adorn the windows, and an impressive floor-to-ceiling library on one side has to contain literary curiosities from every part of the world. Marveling, I study each magnificent object.

The man stops and glares across the room, his facial expression clearly one of annoyance. What an oppressive atmosphere.

Yushka stands beside him and stares in the same direction.

I follow their gaze. A young and strikingly beautiful woman is half-seated on a green velvet couch with her legs folded underneath her. Dark doe eyes and pink lips stand out in a pale, oval face. A waterfall of rich, glowing auburn-colored hair contrasts with her white dress. She looks cast in a scene from the Russian classic Doctor Zhivago. Beneath full breasts, a pregnant belly protrudes, far too round and big for her frail frame. Jekaterina?

My chest tightens. The more I look at her, the more her beauty takes my breath away. She’s the woman Yushka was in love with last year. The one he slept with and impregnated.

Her gaze is riveted on him, the recognition and warmth fiery.

I shoot him a glance. His features are tight, as if he’s trying to hide his reaction, but he doesn’t take his gaze off her. This is exactly what I feared. They’ve had feelings for each other. Maybe meeting now will revive them. He has fallen for her once, so why would he not fall for her again?

I feel bad, nauseous, want to get out of here. But she’s carrying the baby girl I’m going to call mine very soon. I need to overcome my unease. Hopefully, once the formalities are done, this is the only time we’ll have to meet.

She tells him a few words in Russian, her voice the cooing of a turtledove.

Yushka replies calmly, but his throat sounds choked. He grabs my hand, palm sweaty, and leads me to a sofa opposite hers. His discomfort is more than clear in his features. He tears his gaze from her and searches me, his expression vibrating with an intensity I seldom see. It hits me—he’s afraid.

I squeeze his hand. “Is everything okay?”

“Yes,” he replies instantly, but his tension is palpable.

My chest tightens to a painful level. What is he so nervous about? From his interaction with Jekaterina, this has nothing to do with the baby. It’s about them, their relationship, and me. Is he afraid he’ll have to choose between us?

Goodness, I’m delirious. I sit very still, take small, shallow breaths, and pray for everything to be all right. Then bolt out of this house after the arrangements are resolved.

Jekaterina addresses me, her dark pupils glimmering. “You’re very beautiful. Are you a model, too?”

I’m as taken aback by her speaking a fluent English as I am by her compliment, and need a few seconds to shake myself. “Um, no, I’m not.”

She raises a brow. “That’s funny. I would’ve sworn you were a model. So how did you two meet?”

“At an author conference.”

Yushka clears his throat. “Andrea writes books, and I’m featured on the cover of her last one.”

“Oh, how exciting.” Her lips curve upward. I can’t decide whether it’s a genuine smile or she’s faking it.

“Yes,” he continues. “That’s why we … uh … were bound to meet. They had organized a Meet-and-Greet for authors and cover models of their books.” Why does he sound like he’s trying to make an excuse?

She flutters her long lashes at me. “What kind of books do you write?”

Before I can answer, her father walks over to a cabinet and picks up a bunch of papers. “All right, enough chit-chat.” His voice booms like thunder.

 

Book trailer

 

Book links

Evernight Publishing / Amazon.com / Amazon.uk / Bookstrand / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / All Romance eBooks / Goodreads / Pinterest

 

About the other books in the series

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The Perfect Shoot (book #1)

When Andrea Johnson, writing as author Cindy Vega, signed up for a Meet & Greet with the cover model of her latest book, she didn’t expect sparks to fly. Yushka is dangerously good-looking and too young for her. But their connection is instantaneous, and during a photo shoot with the two, the photographer picks up on their growing attraction. Seeing the potential for THE cover photo of the century, he decides to push their comfort limits…

Get The Perfect Shoot at http://www.evernightpublishing.com/the-perfect-shoot-by-lea-bronsen/

Mine to Love (book #2)

The writing conference in sunny Cannes was fantastical, a dream. Back at home, reality catches up with author Andrea Johnson and the sexy cover model of her book, Yushka. With tough working schedules, challenging family relations, and seductive temptation from all sides, the couple’s explosive romance is put to the test. Will their love be strong enough to have a future?

Get Mine to Love at http://www.evernightpublishing.com/mine-to-love-by-lea-bronsen/

 

About the author

Lea Bronsen

I like my reads hot, fast, and edgy, and strive to give my own stories the same intensity. After venturing into dirty inner-city crime drama with my debut novel Wild Hearted, I divide my writing time between psychological thriller, suspense romance, and erotic dark/contemporary romance.

 

I love to hear from my readers! Write to leabronsen@yahoo.com or meet me on:

Website / Lea’s Crazy Nights Blog / Facebook profile / Facebook page / Twitter / Amazon

 



 

Desert Heat & Native Tongue by Lucy Felthouse Audiobook Release! #audiobook #military #interracial #erotica #romance #gay #mm (@CW1985)

 

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The critically acclaimed military erotic romance duo, Desert Heat & Native Tongue by Lucy Felthouse are now available in audiobook format. Narrated by popular voice artist Joel Leslie, you can now listen to these stories on the go!

Blurb:

Desert Heat:

Their love is forbidden by rules, religion and risk. Yet still they can’t resist.

Captain Hugh Wilkes is on his last tour of duty in Afghanistan. The British Army is withdrawing, and Wilkes expects his posting to be event-free. That is, until he meets his Afghan interpreter, Rustam Balkhi, who awakens desires in Wilkes that he’d almost forgotten about, and that won’t be ignored.

 

Native Tongue:

They may be back on British soil, but the battle isn’t over.

When Captain Hugh Wilkes fell for his Afghan interpreter, Rustam Balkhi, he always knew things would never be easy. After months of complete secrecy, their return to England should have spelt an end to the sneaking around and the insane risks. But it seems there are many obstacles for them to overcome before they can truly be happy together. Can they get past those obstacles, or is this one battle too many for their fledgling relationship?

 

Audio links:

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Audible UK
Audible US
iTunes UK
iTunes US

eBook and print links available here: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/desert-heat-native-tongue/

 

Reviews:

Desert Heat:

“I enjoyed this story. The build up of the sexual tension between Wilkes and Balkhi had me at the edge of my seat up until the explosive moment when it came to a head. Another great novella, a quick and enjoyable read and easy to recommend.” 4 out of 5, Love Bites and Silk Ties

“What a great start to the story this was! I absolutely enjoyed this story. One thing I loved about this book was the quality of the detail. The descriptive is brilliant and it allowed me to submerge in the place and the characters. Thank You Lucy for allowing to read this instalment. Have read the sequel so watch this space!” 4 out of 5, Jo&Isalovebooks

Native Tongue:

“All in all, this is a fantastic story that brings the story of these two characters to a wonderful happy ever after. For sure, this is my favourite book from this author.” 5 out of 5, Love Bites and Silk Ties

“Native Tongue is the perfect, sweet ending to Hugh and Rustam’s story. One that starts off with a lot of stress, hardship and hiding. Now they can be together and there for each other in the open, with support and no fear. Perfect!” 3 Chicks After Dark

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller) and Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller). Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 140 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, is book editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter and Facebook. You can also subscribe to her monthly newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

 

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Release blitz hosted by Writer Marketing Services.

 


 

Mid Week Tease: “…his smile strips me bare.” #LivRancourt #RoTG #MWTease @LivRancourt

MWTease15Happy Wednesday Friends! I hope everyone is doing great!

Special thanks to Angelica Dawson for rallying authors together to share teases every week.

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Today’s tease I’m sharing with the awesome Liv Rancourt.

Here is a look into “The Secret of Obedience”, Liv’s latest release….

 
The
Secret of
Obedience
 
Blurb
 
Can a jock find love with a hot little hipster?
Opposites attract, but secrets divide.
Ronnie Durand is a country boy who transfers to the University of Washington after two
years at Central. He’ll have to give up playing football, though finishing his education at a major university in Seattle – and being out and proud without having to look over his shoulder – makes the sacrifice worthwhile. 
But finding friends at a huge school is tough, especially when the hottest guy
Ronnie meets makes him doubt his own sanity.
Sang’s been on his own a long time. He’s only a couple steps away from living on the
street, and he’s got dreams so big they don’t leave space for a steady
boyfriend. Then he meets Ronnie, who just might be strong enough to break
through his barriers….as long as Sang lets him in on one big secret. 
 
Buy
Links
 
Amazon   –   ARe   –    Evernight  –  Barnes
& Noble
Tease

Vietnamese cooking…

It’s warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt, and the campus is relatively quiet except for a handful of die-hard election enthusiasts who are still passing out flyers in front of the HUB. I ignore the idiots pushing their anti-gay marriage agenda, and sidestep the fans of Senator Whozit. My freakishly liberal mother married a small town Republican, so I grew up taking the fifth on political stuff, more of an agnostic than an actual atheist. I pretty much can’t open my mouth without being accused of siding with one of them, so I keep it shut.

But I do grab a pamphlet explaining why marijuana should be legal, because duh.

The Ave is busier than the campus, mostly with college kids wandering through the pizza places to the used book stores to the faded pubs. A steady stream of cars rolls past, blunting the crisp fall air with exhaust. I’m about to duck into the College Inn Pub when Sang comes around the corner of 40th St.

Sang.

Surprise hits me harder than the coffee I had for breakfast, fading to a rock-hard blast of desire. His long hair is twisted into a bun and secured with a pair of glossy black sticks. His faded gray tunic hits him about mid-thigh, his legs are bare, and he’s wearing a beat-up pair of Dr. Martens and a long feathered earring. Maybe I’m weird, but I want him in all his freaky, funky beauty.

I cross my arms and wait. There’s no place for him to go except right past me. Across the street, someone bursts out cursing and a driver lays on their car’s horn. I glance over. No blood. I glance back. No Sang. Dammit. There’s only one store between me and where I saw him last, and it’s one of those one-off Asian places where the window’s crowded with candies and porcelain bowls and small brass Buddhas. Nowhere else he could have gone, so I push through the door.

The light is much dimmer than outside, and it takes me a minute to adjust. I catch a flash of white in the corner, Sang’s feather. He’s contemplating a display of colored packages, but all the labels are in some other language, so I don’t know what they are. I walk up behind him, close enough to pick up his unique scent through the store’s incense and sesame oil smell.

“Don’t crowd me, Sugar Cookie.” He doesn’t turn around.

Right. I take another step, close enough for the hem of his skirt to brush against my shorts.

He spins around and puts his hand on my chest. “What are you doing?” He sounds indignant, but his eyes are laughing.

And his smile strips me bare.

“I was thinking about grabbing a beer next door.” I flick the feather with my index finger. “Wanna join me?”

His smile softens, and he tugs my hand away from his earring, lacing our fingers together. “I’m sorry, baby. I can’t. I’m working today.”

“What are you doing? Do you live down here?” So many questions. Finding him on The Ave pretty much convinces me his “I don’t go to UW” line is bullshit.

He brushes my knuckles against his cheek. “I wish I had time to play.” He spins back around. “I’m just grabbing something quick for lunch.”

Frustration forces me back a little. “Okay well, maybe I should grab something, too. The Husky game starts in about an hour.”

“Are you going to watch the Seahawks tomorrow?” He slides a glance over his shoulder and flicks his fingers so I can see his team-colors manicure.

I almost say “only if you’ll watch it with me”, but I don’t want to get shot down again. “Yeah, if I get my homework done.”

“Good. They’re playing Denver, you know, and I hate the Broncos.”

Talking football with my favorite freak surrounded by a store full of Made In China is a little surreal. My head’s pretty spun when he grabs a bag off the rack and shoves it at me.

“Here,” he says, grinning so hard he’s almost giving himself a dimple. “You need some of this.”

The bag is full of little brown balls about the size of peas. “What is it?”

“Bap chien gion. Like corn nuts.”

He’s still digging through the racks, flipping from package to package. “This one, too.” He tosses something back at me.

I do my best to read the label. “Moot dow tai.”

“Mut dau tay.” He echoes me, but the words sound nothing like mine.

“Is this Chinese or something?”

He gives me an exasperated look over his shoulder and twitches his ass so it bumps against my thighs. “Vietnamese, Cookie.”

I feel sorta stupid. I’ve never met anyone from Vietnam before. Still holding the last package he’s handed me, I ask “What are these red things?”

“Strawberry candy. I love them.”

Might be a weird combination with the beer I’d been planning to drink during the Husky game, but I don’t want to offend him a second time. If I even offended him the first time. It’s hard to tell. His energy is as changeable as a river when there are clouds overhead, sometimes sparkling but other times dark as pitch.

“This one’s good, too. Hat sen sey kho. Fried lotus seeds.” He spins, hands it to me, too close, making it hard for me to breathe. He grabs a couple more for himself and steps up until he’s pressed against me. “Come on, Cookie. Get out of the way so I can pay for this.” He snuggles his nose against my chest, humming so I can feel the vibration in my sternum.

“I gotta get back to work.” His body and his mouth are saying such completely different things that I can’t move, don’t know how to respond. After a moment he sighs and steps around me. “If I go out tonight, it won’t be until very late. I have to work.”

Hope and disappointment have an MMA bout in my gut. “Don’t know if I’ll go out at all.”

“Maybe I’ll see you next week some time, then.”

Hope gets the upper hand. “Will you?”

“What?” His feather flutters in a sudden breeze.

“See me next week?”

“If you get very, very lucky.” He slides some cash to the shriveled old woman behind the register. She speaks to him in Vietnamese, and he laughs and answers back. Then he’s gone, but when I go to pay for the snacks he’s chosen for me, I find out he already did.

 

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