**Welcome to Lei Carol, one of the GRL 2016 Supporting Authors. And a HUGE Happy Birthday!!! We are so excited to have Lei here!!!**
Hey guys, I’m Lei Carol and I want to first start off by saying thank you to Two Chicks Obsessed for having me on their GRL Blog tour today of all days. You see, today is my favorite day of the year, even more so than any holiday. What’s so special about July 12th, you ask? Well, it just so happens to be my birthday and I love my birthday more so than any other holiday out there. So thank you for taking a moment out of your day to spend it with me.
This will be my second year attending GRL as a supporting author. Last year was the first time I have attended a convention, let alone been part of one. I was so nervous and scared because I don’t like large crowds but I have to say, I had a blast. Everyone was so nice and welcoming. I have been counting down the days since last October.
Currently, I live in Southern Oregon with my 2 cats, Outkazt and Torilei. I’ve been in Oregon for the last 11 years and am almost ready for a change. So where I might wind up, I’m not sure but I am hoping where ever it is, it feeds my muse. When I sit down to write, I have to have music playing because I find inspiration from songs to stories I’ve heard from others and even people I’ve met. So much so, I have a story I have been working on where the main character is based off of a friend from work. Hell, even my cat Outkazt has appeared in a couple of my books and I am sure it’s only a matter of time before Torilei winds up in her own story.
I had planned to tell you about my book, Unlocking the Past, today but with it being my birthday I have decided to give you all a sneak peek at my next release. I am hoping for it to be out in August. This will be the first book in a series based off of each state.
I want to thank all of you for stopping by today as well as Two Chicks Obsessed for having me and celebrating my birthday, even if it’s just by reading the first chapter of my next release. I hope you all have a wonderful day!
All my love, Lei Carol!
Instant Summer Love By Lei Carol
Just what was he doing here? He’d never been this adventurous in his life and yet here he was, wandering the big city of Chicago on his own. His friends had told him it’d be fun and a great way to get out of the house and hopefully out of his depression but honestly what did they know?
The most adventurous thing he had ever done was leave his ex, whom he had thought he’d been in love with at one point in time. Only now, Jonas Blackson knew it had just been loneliness that had attracted him to his ex-boyfriend. It had taken him five years to realize what they had was not a healthy relationship, and what he had felt was not love. Then it took another two years for him to grow enough courage to walk away.
That was probably the hardest thing he had ever done, besides traveling to a new city without anyone. Then again, he’d never expected the child he had helped raise to call the cops and tell them that Jonas was abusing her, nor had he thought his ex’s idea of fixing their relationship was bringing in a third partner. A female one at that. Yuck.
So Jonas had packed his bags after spending four hours being grilled by the police, grabbed his cat, and hit the road. Thankfully he had been able to call his mom and have some place to go. That was probably one of the things that had held him back the longest. Being unsure where to go or who to call. It’s not that his ex-had been physically abusive, just mentally, and talk about controlling. Jonas had to work the exact hours Blake wanted or he’d throw one hell of a fit.
Jonas was the one being the parent not Blake, but at the same time Jonas was the one working a steady job during each and every one of Blake’s get rich quick schemes. As well as the one dealing with each and every melt down and screaming fit Blake’s daughter would throw.
After the shock of leaving wore off, Jonas couldn’t believe how amazing he felt. He no longer felt as if the weight of the world was resting on his shoulders. He was able to meet people and have friends without being worried his ex would either hit on them or chase them away.
Hell, he was able to get a job and then a second job on top of the first one, not because he needed the money, but because he wanted to. Within just a few short months he was able to get his own house, albeit not in the best of neighborhoods, but it was his own.
He was paying his bills and living his life. He was happy. Truly happy, all the way down to his toes.
Then, it all went to hell in a handbasket. Jonas wished he could say it was because of a guy who had been battling depression as bad as he had. Well it was because of a guy, but not one he had been romantically interested in. It was because of his older brother. His bubba.
They hadn’t always had the best of relationships, as his brother was eight years older than Jonas, but he had tried to be there as best as he could until he met her. You see Matthew, Jonas’ older brother had met this girl through their parents and had fallen head over heels in love with her. The kind of love everyone dreams of finding one day. The, can’t sleep without their last and first thought being about the other person kind of love. The kind of love he’d once heard described in a movie as, can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, world series kind of love.
After probably six months, their relationship fell apart. Matthew was always drinking and stoned, while his girlfriend started getting into meth and other drugs, and the next thing Jonas knew they were split up. For an entire year, Jonas and his family listened to his brother cry, whining how it wasn’t fair and how he loved her so. But Matthew wouldn’t do anything to try to win her back. He didn’t quit drinking, wouldn’t quit smoking, and then one day six months ago, he’d seen her out on a date with another man and lost it.
Two nights later, Jonas had received a phone call from Matthew that just didn’t sit right. Even though his brother was calm and collected, he just didn’t sound right. Even after hanging up the phone, something felt wrong so Jonas got up and headed out the door to drive the hour to his brother’s house.
Never would he wish the sight he walked into, on anyone. Not even his worst enemy. No one should ever have to walk into their older brother’s house and find them, bleeding out from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Matthew had died right before his eyes, before the EMTs and police could even get there. Before their sirens could be heard coming down the road.
So since that day, Jonas had been in a fog. A depression of sorts. Not the type that would cause him to even consider doing something like what his brother had done, but different. Yet again, he was left feeling like a failure. Maybe if he had just been there more. Tried harder. Something. Anything.
That’s the thing about hindsight, it’s always twenty-twenty when looking back. Jonas knew he needed to get a hold of his grief as it was affecting his life and his relationships with his friends and co-workers, but he didn’t know how. Even his dragon lady of a boss had called him out on it, “Now Jonas, we all understand you went through a horrific loss, but you’re starting to become toxic to the entire team. You’re no longer your normal happy self. I don’t know what you need to do to change this, but you need to do something and fast. We need the old Jonas back. Not this person pretending to be Jonas.”
Hence the reason he called her the dragon lady. Well, that and because she’s always yelling at everyone to be quiet and to talk softer. Does she not understand there is usually four to five people at the front desk at a time? While helping elderly guests who can’t hear, you have to speak up for them to know where their room is or how to find the casino.
Which is why Jonas had allowed some friends to talk him into flying to Chicago for the big holiday weekend. It had been fun at first. But then, they’d ran into a group of the hottest guys Jonas had ever seen. They were all tall and fit. Everything he wasn’t.
Jonas was five seven at best and he had a bit of a pudgy stomach. But it was something he was working on changing. He’d recently bought one of those fancy step counters that synced with his phone and he was out walking every day, but to some people looks were more important. So he’d told his friends to go have fun. He’d catch up with them later.
As it was, he’d seen the looks they gave him when he didn’t laugh at a joke, or when hot guys would walk by and curl their lips. Jonas knew he was that one friend that everyone wished had just stayed home. The one that was invited just to be nice, but at the same time everyone was hoping he’d say no and stay home.
So here he was, wandering Lincoln Park by himself. Slowly making his way towards the zoo. He had never been someplace with so many people before. It was a sea of bodies, bumping and pressing against one another as they tried to make their way past each other for whatever vendor or ride they wanted to get to next.
There were food vendors calling out their wares, trying to tempt everyone to come try the best hot dog or pizza in Chicago. Not that he wanted either. Jonas wanted to try something that he couldn’t get in his little one street town in the middle of BFE Oregon.
Making his way past the different tents and trailers, Jonas felt as if his stomach was trying to eat its way out of his body. It felt like he hadn’t eaten in days instead of earlier that morning. But what to eat? Jonas wondered, looking around at all the different vendors.
He could smell all the different meats cooking at each of the different stands, along with all the normal food smells that one associates with a carnival; corndogs and funnel cakes, churros and elephant ears, but what really caught his attention was the booth that had four large grills set up with only one man manning all of them, while three others worked to put the food baskets together.
Whatever it was they were cooking had his mouth filling with saliva and his stomach snarling. He stood there watching for who knows how long. Watching as they would take a plate piled high with meat and place a few pieces on a thick pita bread before piling it high with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers before pouring different sauces on it and wrapping everything into this enormous wrap. How they get the pita bread to roll and not fall apart, Jonas couldn’t figure out, but at this point in time, he really didn’t care. He just knew he had to try it.
Stepping up to the line, Jonas was all but moaning as the smells became overwhelming. He was to the point of hunger that he was becoming physically sick, his stomach was now beginning to roll with nausea and he knew it wouldn’t be long before his body started shaking and he’d start getting dizzy.
“Woah there, kid. Careful. You just about fell over. Are you alright?” Came a voice from right behind him. Startling Jonas from his thoughts as he felt the man’s hands grip his arms, keeping him from face planting on the ground. There was something about a man’s voice that could hit all of his triggers faster than anything else.
Especially when the voice is a deep, rumbling baritone. Jonas turned to look over his shoulder to find himself face to stomach? Slowly running his eyes up to what had to be the tallest man he had ever seen, Jonas could hear his neck pop when he finally finished looking up. “Wow.” Jonas whispered softly. This man had the darkest, most piercing eyes he had ever seen.
His brain was screaming danger, but he didn’t want to move.
Starting at the man’s feet, Jonas travelled his eyes slowly up the stranger’s long legs, chiselled stomach, arms with more muscles than what he knew what to do with, and tattoos that ran from his knuckles up his arms and then across his chest. It left him wondering just where the tats ended and blank skin began. How he longed to trace each and every single one of the tattoos with his tongue.
Forcing himself to look away from all the artwork, Jonas tipped his head back to be able to look into his brown orbs once more. For the first time in his life he longed to use this specimen of a man as his own personal jungle gym, climbing up his fine body, until he was able to sit back onto what he hoped was a large cock.
Running his eyes over the man’s face, taking in what had to be the perfect length of facial hair, it was nice and thick but not too long or straggly looking. Running his eyes over his bronzed skin, Jonas couldn’t believe how fast every one of his triggers were being flipped.
Watching as a smirk crossed his face and one eyebrow raised, Jonas quickly became embarrassed when the guy asked, “Well, are you?”
Trying to uncurl his tongue, Jonas asked, “Am I what?”
“Are you alright? I can hear your stomach growling and when you almost fell over I had to make sure you are alright. By the way, I’m BB.”
Licking his lips, Jonas glanced from BB’s outstretched hand back to his eyes before looking down once more. “Yeah, I’m okay. Thanks.”
“So, what’s your name?” BB asked, still with a smirk on his lips.
“Oh, um, it’s Jonas.”
Hearing the lady holler for the next person in line, it wasn’t until BB gripped his shoulder to spin him around and gently push him towards the window. “Do you know what you want, sugar?” BB asked while sliding his arm down Jonas’ arm so he could hold onto Jonas’ waist as Jonas could only shake his head at the question while trying not to hyperventilate over the fact someone was so openly holding onto him. He’d never experienced anything like it.
Jonas could feel BB’s voice rumble from the way he was pressed against BB’s chest and it was such a distraction that he didn’t even know what it was that BB ordered. “Do you always just step in and take control?” Jonas managed to ask once they had moved towards the second window.
“Yeah, I do. Is that a problem?”
Was it a problem? Jonas had to think about it for a moment before he could shake his head in response and just look at the man who just stood there with the sunshine beaming down on him which created a golden halo around his dark brown hair.
“Good,” BB said, winking at Jonas before pulling him close to wrap an arm around his shoulder. “I hope you don’t mind, but I love touching and you are the perfect size to fit up against me.”
As discreetly as he could, Jonas looked left and right, expecting to see people with tar and feathers, ready to skin them alive for the public display of affection, except no one cared. There wasn’t one person paying any attention to them, except maybe the lady in the booth who was shooting daggers towards him because BB had his arm wrapped around his shoulders. But he could see the jealousy in her eyes so Jonas couldn’t find any part of his soul to care.
As wrong as it probably was to allow this stranger to hold onto him the way he was, Jonas didn’t care. There was this little voice inside his head telling him to fuck what anyone else thought and just enjoy the moment for what it was. So taking a deep breath, Jonas told himself to shake off the bad feelings, the depression and unhappiness and to enjoy the hot summer day with this hunk of a man who wanted to give him some attention.
Accepting the food basket that was handed to him, Jonas watched as the woman behind the counter tried to slip BB her number while showing off her large ample breasts. But what stood out the most to him was how BB didn’t even seem to notice and when he walked away the napkin with the woman’s phone number and offer of a good time still sat on the counter where she had put it.
It took everything he had in him to not toss a smirk over his shoulder as BB wrapped his arm around him to lead him away to find a place to sit in the shade and eat.
“So, where are you from?” He found himself asking as he watched BB squeeze what had to be eight ketchup packets onto his fries. He sat there in awe, watching wondering how this stranger could possibly know how he liked to eat his fries, unless he liked them the same way?
“Well I was born and raised in a little town down south, but I moved here about six years ago. I’ve worked at the same bar in the part of town known as Boystown as a bouncer for five of those years. What about you?”
Until their food was gone and their bellies were full they went back and forth one at a time asking questions, waiting for the other to answer before answering themselves. He learned that BB had done a stint of time working in gay porn before getting out of the industry and that BB hated the way most people would stereotype him as this bad ass thug before really getting to know him. Jonas couldn’t bring himself to talk about losing his brother yet, but he told BB all about living in Oregon and how his friend had moved to sunny California and was now working in a gay bar as a gogo dancer while occasionally acting in porn.
He didn’t know how long they had sat there talking and getting to know one another, but what he did know was he didn’t want it to end.
Watching as the sun set over the water before him, Jonas was loathed to call the night to an end. He had never felt such an instant connection with anyone ever before. He loved every second of the time he had spent with BB. They had spent part of the sweltering day wandering around the park, looking at all the booths before moving onto the local zoo. Jonas couldn’t believe when they got there and he found out it was completely free.
They probably spent the longest time standing in the cat house watching as the tiger and jaguar paced back and forth in their areas. Each panting, as they tried to cool themselves off, but even with all the large fans blowing, it was hard to do.
He did love seeing the baby monkeys hanging onto their mother’s chests, occasionally peeking out to look at the crowds before tucking their faces away.
Before Jonas knew it, it was dinner time and his stomach was rumbling once more. Only this time, BB took him to a really nice restaurant where they were able to sit and continue talking. It was as if they were long-time friends, just catching up on everything. The best part of dinner was when their desserts had been delivered. He had only ordered vanilla ice cream but BB had ordered the fresh apple pie. They had spent the longest time not saying a word, just feeding one another from their own desserts.
It was the most erotic experience Jonas had ever had and he was sad to see the day was ending. He knew they still had fireworks to watch over the Navy Pier, but once that was over he’d have to head back to his hotel and in the morning head to the airport to go back to his life. But damn, he didn’t want to go. He wanted to stay right here, wrapped in BB’s arms, be kept warm and safe.
After being shown that happiness was possible, even when fighting his crippling depression, Jonas didn’t want to let go. He was afraid of what it would be like going home to his empty house except for his cat. Would his depression come back only worse than before? Would BB even want to stay in touch with him? Or was he just looking for an easy lay and figured this was the best way? Look for the kid who was so desperate for anyone’s attention that all he had to do was be nice and that said kid would fall into bed with his legs open wide.
“If you keep thinking whatever is going on in that pretty head of yours, I might be tempted to go toss you in the water.” You couldn’t have startled Jonas more if you had tried right then in that moment. To have BB’s voice whispering in his ear, it was music to his soul, the chap stick to his lips. Just another reason why he didn’t want to go home.
“Sorry, was just thinking about going back home tomorrow. Today has been the best day of my life and I don’t want it to end.” He explained as he leaned back to rest his head against BB’s chest. Giving into his instinct, Jonas stretched his neck up to place a gentle kiss against BB’s stubbly cheek.
“Awe, babe, quit thinking about tomorrow. We have the rest of tonight to get through. But let me make this promise to you now, when you leave for the airport tomorrow, you will have my phone number, just as I will have yours. Until we are able to see one another again, we will talk and text and maybe we will be able to webcam with each other. I’m not letting you go so soon after I just found you.”
Jonas could feel the tears fill his eyes at the raw emotion in BB’s softly spoken words. He could hear and feel the truth radiating from BB, not only in the way he tightened his arms around Jonas, but to the way he rested his head against Jonas’ shoulder. It took everything he had in him to not start crying in that moment.
“Can I tell you a little story while we wait for the firework show to begin?”
Nodding his head for BB to start, Jonas sat there, staring out at the water as he listened to BB’s soft rumbling voice, “When I was a little boy, I lived with my grandmother, who some believed was crazy, but she was my grandma so I didn’t care. I still don’t. Anyway, when I was twelve and she was on her deathbed, my grandma told me that one day, when I least expected it, I’d meet the other half of my soul. She said I’d know it the moment I see him. She explained that while we wouldn’t be able to be together right away, he’d need me to be there for him in ways that no one else had ever been there for him. It wouldn’t be easy and we’d have our ups and downs, but in the end, it’d be worth it.
So all this time, I’ve been waiting for us to cross paths. I knew eventually I would find you and when I did, it would hurt like hell to let you leave, but I knew that I’d be here, waiting for you to come back to me when you were able too.”
Jonas wished he could say he lasted through the entire story without bursting into tears, but he couldn’t. Pushing away from BB’s comforting arms, Jonas twisted and turned until he was sitting with his arms and legs wrapped around BB while his face was buried into BB’s shoulder as he cried.
“Is it too soon to tell you that I think I might be falling in love with you?” Jonas asked once his tears had slowed enough that he could get a word out.
“Oh, babe, it’s never too early to tell someone you love them. Love is what makes the world go around. Whether it’s just a simple hook up or if it’s something longer, telling someone I love you is the best thing anyone could ever say. But from the moment I seen you with your big sad eyes, you held my heart in your palms, even if you didn’t know it. So when you leave tomorrow, it won’t be goodbye. It’ll be until next time. Alright, babe?”
Nodding his head in agreement, Jonas buried his face into BB’s shoulder once more and cried until he couldn’t shed another tear. Hearing the announcer start speaking over the speakers, Jonas wiped his face with the sleeve of his sweatshirt before moving to lay with his head in BB’s lap, content to watch the fireworks splash and light up the sky through BB’s dark eyes.
Knowing that no matter what happened when he went back home, he’d be alright, because even though they wouldn’t be together right now, they would be someday soon and he was okay with that. They’d do the long distance relationship until neither could handle it anymore and then they’d see what life threw at them and where they’d wind up, as long as they had each other nothing else mattered.