As many of you would already know, (because I keep blabbing about it!!!) I’m determined to finish Jaxon and Liam’s story from the How The Light Gets In series.
Began their journey…
He was like the only splash of color in a black-and-white photograph.
The man was beautiful.
At an exhibition opening in Sydney, jaded Hollywood heartthrob Jaxon Moncrieff lays eyes on publicity-shy artist Liam Lassiter for the first time and is immediately captivated. But he doesn’t get far into their first conversation before he realizes what he’s feeling is attraction, which brings him up short. Jaxon has always been a womanizer.
Despite his reservations, Jaxon makes a play for Liam, but Liam has his own issues. Unlucky in love and orphaned at sixteen, he is reluctant to open his heart to anyone, and dismisses Jaxon out of hand.
Driven by a need he doesn’t understand, Jaxon organizes a return to Sydney to film his next project. If he can’t be with Liam, maybe they can be friends. Of course, that creates a whole new problem. Now Jaxon is falling in love for the first time. How can he move their relationship from friends to lovers without destroying the trust he’s worked so hard for?
Hollywood heartthrob Jaxon Moncrieff and Liam Lassiter are finally on the same page: committed and in it for the long haul. Now they just have to prepare for the inevitable fallout when they reveal their relationship. Between Jaxon’s career and Liam’s need to prepare for a life in the limelight, they decide to wait until filming of Jaxon’s latest project has wrapped.
Unbeknownst to them, the relentless paparazzi photographer Rafael Cacciatore, aka the Hunter, notices a change in Jaxon and is determined to be the first to break the story of who has captured Jaxon Moncrieff’s heart. In the meantime, Liam and Jaxon have enough on their plate working out the not-so-little issue of how and when Jaxon will come out to his family. The paparazzi aren’t even on their radar. The race to out Jaxon is on, and Liam and Jaxon don’t even know it.
Will finish their story.
The question is… how?
LOOKING around at my motley crew of teammates and opponents as we all did our warm-up stretches in preparation for our informal, local, monthly soccer match, I felt the need to pinch myself.
Life was good.
Life was very good, and had been for a few years. Sometimes I was scared it was too good, and the universe would send some crap along to throw a wrench in the works. So far, though, the heavens had been kind.
One by one, I studied the people who populated my life. Naturally, the first place my gaze made a pit-stop at, was Liam. My gorgeous Liam. He had a few more crinkles around his eyes than when I’d first spied him across Garrett’s crowded gallery. They didn’t seem to age him, though. Perhaps, it was because they were happy crinkles, made from laughing and smiling. I loved each and every one of those creases and I made sure to kiss them every day. My guy was still long and lean and coltish despite now being in his thirties, and man, his legs looked good in his little blue soccer shorts. My best friend, Ally, or Tink, short for Tinker Bell, as I usually referred to her, bought them for him. In fact, she’d bought everyone’s, and true to her irreverent nature, they were all far tighter, and shorter in the leg than regulation soccer gear. Garrett deserved a medal for putting up with her cheekiness.
Thinking about Garrett’s unending patience made me seek out my friend. He was the closest thing Liam had to a father and the wisest man I’d ever known. I smiled. If anything, he looked younger than when we first met, so maybe Tinker Bell’s naughtiness was a good thing. It certainly seemed to agree with her man. It seemed to sit well with Ally, too. She looked radiant 24-7.
Gazing beyond them, I tried not to frown at the sight of Rafael. It wasn’t like me to hold grudges, but with him, I couldn’t help it. I wasn’t alone in my feelings, either—both Ally and Garrett had their reservations as well. Every time Liam got frustrated because couldn’t remember what he’d done with his car keys, or forgot to buy something we needed when grocery shopping, because his short term memory wasn’t what it used to be, or worse, he had one of his crippling headaches, a part of me was tempted to leave his side and punch Rafael’s lights out. That, or bring him back to our house, so he could see firsthand the effects of his covetousness. The only thing that stopped me was Liam himself. Rafael, or Rafe, as Liam called him, was his friend. That little gem never ceased to amaze me. Out of respect for Liam, I was always polite and civil, but no way on God’s green earth could I bring myself to call him Rafe as if we were close buddies. Even knowing he’d do just about anything for Liam, and how devoted he was to Liam’s beloved, Mrs. Baird, could make me warm to him. His photographs, outting Liam and I, had set into motion a chain of events that nearly cost Liam his life, left him scarred, and with health issues which, though minor in the scheme of things, were issues nonetheless. For that, I couldn’t forgive him. I tolerated him for Liam and Mrs. Baird’s sakes, as did Ally and Garrett, but that was my limit.
It irked me that he always played on my team, but with Liam and Garrett declaring they had to play together, my side was doomed to failure without him. Against their combined skills, I needed all the help I could get, and there was no denying Rafael’s abilities on the field. All three were huge soccer fans, having grown up with the game, whereas I hadn’t started playing until well after I met Liam. I also suspect Rafael being on my team was Liam’s way of trying to forge a bond between me and his unlikely friend.
I shifted my gaze to my brother-in-law, Hal, my good humor returning immediately. So much so, I had to bite my lip to stifle a laugh. The poor bastard probably rued his and Zoe’s decision to come visit for a month. He was wearing red shorts, which was my team color, but being a visitor, he was wearing a spare set which were so tight they left little to the imagination. My hulking brother-in-law was going to have to run taking dolly steps, or risk splitting them in half. Part of me hoped he’d forget and take a long stride. The thought had no sooner occurred to me when Zoe jogged up to him in her skimpy blue shorts, discreetly palming his squashed cock while smiling at him. In what I suspected was the first time in history, he swatted her hand away. This game, I decided, could get very interesting. Which would win? Hal’s competitive streak or his desire to keep his shorts intact?
I scanned the spectators, looking for my other little guy—Liam’s and my adopted son, Nathaniel. In the process, it dawned on me how our regular monthly soccer and baseball matches drew quite a crowd these days among the locals—it looked like half the town and surrounding district had turned up with picnic baskets in tow.
No surprise, my search ended where it began—with Liam. Nate was standing dutifully still and patient while my mother-hen of a lover kneeled before him, slathering him in sunscreen. Seeing my two boys together brought moisture to my eyes and made my heart do its usual clenching thing. The mere fact that our little Nathaniel was here to play and not observe made a lump form in my throat.
He’d only been okayed by his doctors to participate for the last three months after three plus years of operations and physio. Shortly after the adoption became final, we discovered Nathaniel having one leg markedly shorter than the other was causing curvature of his spine. With the help of the doctors, we explained to Nate his options, giving him a say in his treatment. Neither Liam or I was surprised when he wanted us to choose the most effective, yet at the same time, the most painful method. He was our little smiling angel with the heart of a lion.
It hadn’t been easy watching them have to break his shin and thigh bones again and again, each time leaving a tiny gap between the broken ends and forcing the bones to build a bridge between them. Three years of special leg and spine braces. Three years of watching him grit his teeth and pushing himself through the exercises set by his physiotherapist to strengthen his muscles. Still, I couldn’t regret those years, for in spite of the difficulties, we were all happy. If anything those years managed to bring Liam and me, through our mutual desire to nurture and protect Nate, even closer together. It made us a family, a close-knit team. Neither of us could imagine our lives without our boy anymore. I was in awe of the little guy. Despite the pain and inconvenience, he’d remained unfailingly cheerful and positive throughout, and so, so happy. To observe Nate now, eager and able to run with the other boys, made it all worthwhile. Seeing him run was like watching a previously caged animal be set free. His joy in the act was palpable.
Today, he was playing with my team. Next month, it would be Liam’s. Prior to his first game, when Liam and I had been arguing as to whose side he would play on, we’d both been chastised most sternly by Nate and told we had to learn to share. Garrett assured me, with the biggest, smuggest grin on his face, we could look forward to more such lectures from our nine going on nineteen year old son over the coming years… he also mentioned something about karma being as sweet as revenge. Liam denied all knowledge of knowing what Garrett was alluding to…
Seeing him throw his thin arms around Liam’s neck in an enthusiastic hug made me want one for myself, and so I jogged over to join them.
“Hey, little man, where’s mine?”
“Right here, Jax-Dad!”
The next thing I knew I had a giggling, writhing monkey wrapped around my torso, and I loved it.
“You ready to kick some ass, kiddo?”
Nodding energetically, he swiveled his upper body to grin at Liam. “We’re going to kick your team’s butt today, Li-Dad!”
Liam laughed, ruffling Nate’s hair. “Oh, are you?”
“Yep,” declared Nate, making a popping sound on the ‘p’. He wriggled free of me. “Jax-Dad said he’s going to cream your butt.”
“Oh, did he?” Liam quirked an eyebrow at me.
“Yep. Sure did.” And then he was scampering off, calling out to Danny, his best friend.
“Sure you don’t want me to cream your arse instead, Pretty Boy?”
His lips were at my ear and his hand on my bum, his middle finger running a firm line up the center seam of my shorts starting between my thighs and ending at my clothed rosebud, where he circled and pressed. Thank God we were at the edge of the field with no one standing behind us—they’d certainly have gotten more than they’d bargained for.
“Hmm, love? What do you think? Shall I cream your arse?” His breath felt hot against the flesh of my throat, and with his finger circling my bud so enticingly, I could hardly string together a coherent thought, let alone verbalize it.
“Maybe later,” I squeaked, in real fear Buddy, my Liam-loving cock, was going to peek out above the waistband of my shorts and wave to the crowd. Hell, he’d probably want a standing ovation.
Liam threw back his head and laughed, and the pleasure I felt at hearing it was as intense as the first time I heard it, all those years before.
“You’re still my needy, greedy-arsed, cock-slut!”
“Yes, just yours,” I whispered, turning my head and seeking his lips.
“I love you and your needy, greedy arse,” he whispered back against my mouth before deepening our kiss, which earned us a chorus of ‘Get a room’ and ‘Stop fraternizing with the enemy’ type comments, and Hal’s absolute gem, ‘Are we here to play soccer or watch a QAF episode?’
Garrett and Rafael’s joint cry of, “It’s not soccer, it’s football!” made me pull back and laugh. Whether the game was billed as a soccer or football match was an ongoing debate between the English-cum-European contingent and the American-Aussie alliance.
Giving the cheek of my bum one final squeeze, Liam stepped back. “Good luck, love. You’re going to need it, ‘cause I’m not only going to, ah, cream your arse later, I’m about to cream it on the field too!”
Blowing me a final kiss, he turned and jogged over to Garrett, my sister, Zoe, and the rest of his squad. I had to drag my eyes away from the sight of his butt flexing and contracting with the movement, or I was going to sprout a full-on boner, which wasn’t going to help me put a stop to any on-field ass creaming!
Since Nate’s addition to our family, our lovemaking had changed a little, but it was no less passionate. No, if anything, the lesson we learned from Nate’s first morning with us was to grab our opportunities when they presented themselves. Noisy late-night lovemaking was pretty much a thing of the past, but energetic fucking after Nate was safely ensconced on the school bus was alive and well. We’d also become the Gurus of Sneak, the Princes of Slip One In Quick, and I’d almost mastered the art of being silent as I came… okay, that may be helped by Liam shoving whatever was nearest into my mouth.
Remembering Nate’s first morning with us made me smile like a goon.
It was early. I could tell by the faint rays of light that slanted over Liam’s back in even bands, contouring themselves to his body. I couldn’t help admiring the way they followed the fan of his muscles, shifting as he moved while he lay sprawled out on his stomach trying to regain a normal breathing pattern. The sheets were a tangled mess about his rump. A rump, I’d just pounded into the mattress. A rump I’d pounded into the mattress several times over the last few days; ever since Liam had seduced me after months of abstinence due to him recuperating from the injuries he’d sustained from the assault. Buddy, it seemed, was on a mission to make up for lost time.
“Jax? Liam?” Nate’s voice was soft and a little hesitant.
Liam stiffened beside me.
“Yeah, Nate, what’s up? Couldn’t you sleep?” I asked, sitting up and being careful to keep the sheets over my groin. I smiled at him. He looked so cute standing in the doorway wearing his little Sesame Street PJs, his blond hair poking out everywhere.
“I heard you both groaning, so I got you’s some orange juice. Are you sick?”
“Um, yeah, I think the Chinese we ate last night didn’t agree with us. How are you feeling, kiddo?” I replied, using his excuse offered so innocently. Liam was positively rigid beside me.
“My tummy’s fine.”
He limped further into the room, and my heart stuttered to see his little hands grasping and balancing a huge tray upon which rested two glasses of orange juice. Liam rolled over onto his back with care, before bringing himself to a seated position beside me.
“Hey, little man. Thanks.” My heart did the little flutter thing again to hear the gentleness in his tone. “How about, since we’re all awake, you go grab a few of your books, and we read together before Jax makes us all some pancakes?”
Nate’s enthusiastic nod made the juice slosh against the upper rim of the glasses, threatening to spill over. Winking broadly, I grabbed the tray from him and placed it on my bedside table. I couldn’t help smiling when I saw his grin as he turned and scampered off with his uneven gait to retrieve some books.
“I bet you ten dollars that one of the books he comes back with is Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy,” I began, but Liam had already leaped out of our bed and was dashing to the walk-in closet. “What are you doing?”
“Quick! Hurry! We’ve only got a minute!” he squawked.
“What?” I asked again.
“Jesus Christ, Jax! Were you never a kid? Didn’t you ever cuddle up with your parents in bed on the weekends? He wants to snuggle with us! Do you want him hugging you with your tossle hanging naked and free and ruddy sticky with cum?”
“Oh crap! Right! Yeah… gotcha!”
I clambered to my feet, but panic had my sex-addled brain refusing to function, and I stood hopping from one foot to the other, not knowing what to do.
“Here, put these on.”
A pair of dark-green silk boxers landed on my head, covering my face. Yanking them free, I glanced from them to Liam. “But they’re not mine.” The withering look Liam gave me could have stripped the leaves from the trees. “Okay. Right. Irrelevant detail.”
“Damn it, Jax, did you deposit the entire contents of the Hudson River up my arse?” complained Liam quietly as he used a clean pair of underpants to wipe his butt and thighs before tossing them into the hamper and practically throwing one leg after the other into a pair of red satin boxers.
Had I not been so busy trying to rein in my own hysteria, I might have laughed—Liam was putting on a pair of my underwear. But busy, I was; never in my life had I donned a pair of boxers so quickly.
Next thing I knew Liam was running around the room spraying air freshener. That I even had a container of it in my closet was news to me. I watched, mouth hanging open as he paused and sniffed the air. He was obviously satisfied with what he smelled as he threw the can with reckless abandon into the far corner of the walk-in. Thank God, it didn’t explode.
Simultaneously, Liam and I dived back beneath the covers, roughly pummeling the pillows and repositioning them behind us.
Nate galloped back into the room with an armful of books, somehow managing to clamber onto the bed without dropping one.
Luckily for us, he was six and not sixteen, because two guiltier looking guys you’d have been hard put to find.
Liam lifted the covers and Nate scooted in between us, dumping the books on our laps.
Nate sniffed the air, looking uncannily like Liam had but moments before. “It smells like oranges and lemons in here now.”
“Um, yes, well, I had to spray some air freshener, ‘cause Liam’s tummy is very upset.” That innuendo earned me a punch from my lover, but a fit of giggles from Nate, so it was worth it. The kid loved toilet humor. Any mention of peeing, pooping, or heaven help me, farts, and he’d be off. Kookaburras and hyenas had nothing on him once he got going.
“You owe me ten,” I muttered to Liam, picking up the children’s classic by Kiwi author, Dame Lynley Dodd. Opening the cover, I began, “Out of the gate, and off for a walk went Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy.”
(PLEASE NOTE: The above excerpt is an unedited draft)
NOW PLEASE FEEL FREE TO NAG ME OFTEN TO HELP KEEP ME ON TRACK FOR RELEASE IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2015!