What if your first love was abducted and presumed dead—but returned twenty years later?
That’s the dilemma Cole Weston faces. Now happily married to Tommy D’Amico, he’s suddenly thrown into a surreal world when his first love, Rory Schneidmiller, unexpectedly reappears.
Where has Rory been all this time? What happened to him two decades ago, when a strange mass appeared in the night sky and lifted him into the heavens? Rory has no memory of those years. For him, it’s as though only a day or two has passed.
Rory still loves Cole with the passion unique to young first love. Cole has never forgotten Rory, yet Tommy has been his rock, by his side since Rory disappeared.
Cole is forced to choose between an idealized and passionate first love and the comfort of a long-term marriage. How can he decide? Who faces this kind of quandary, anyway? The answers might lie among the stars….
SKY FULL OF MYSTERIES: “Abduction,” An Exclusive Excerpt from my alien abduction gay romance
A Guest Post by Rick R. Reed
Sky Full of Mysteries is, in the end, all about love, yet alien abduction is what propels the plot. Here, come along with our main character, Rory, as he leaves this earth. He will be gone for about twenty years, although, to him, the passage of time will feel much, much briefer.
Rory made his way a little to the west and found the perfect alley. The streetlight had burned out, and there was a large dumpster for additional cover. High-rise apartment buildings rose up all around him for protective cover. Hand on his fly, Rory wanted to laugh with relief. The quiet and dark little spot appeared as an oasis, the perfect solution to an embarrassing problem.
Rory stood next to the dumpster, unzipped his fly, and then, hand on the brick wall and leaning his weight into it, let go.
The relief caused a deep sigh to issue from his lips. The release was so pleasurable it was a slice of heaven. His sigh approached a growl of contentment, almost sexual. He closed his eyes with delight.
And then, from even the cover of his closed eyelids, he saw it. Bright light.
Shit was the first thought that sprang to mind. The cops was the second. Rory opened his eyes, trying to make his stream go faster, to finish up, because there was no way he could stop himself now. He wanted to bark out some giddy, hysterical laughter, even as he imagined calling Cole from a police precinct to bail him out on a charge of indecent exposure.
All this went through Rory’s head in a millisecond. When he finished—because he had to finish, it didn’t matter who was watching— he looked around.
Sigh. There was no police car at the mouth of the alley, no beat cop shining a flashlight on him in all his unzipped glory.
No, the light, Rory realized, was coming from above. He quickly shook off and stuffed his dick back in his shorts. He raised his head, shielding his eyes from the brilliant light and squinting into it at the same time, but even those measures were feeble against the blinding illumination. The light was so bright it ignited a shooting pain in his head, made him fear scorching his retinas.
There was a grinding sound too. It took him a moment to notice that, because he was so stunned by the hovering light of a thousand suns above him. It was like the mechanical drumbeat of machinery going about its business. Boom, boom. Boom, boom—like the beating of a clockwork heart.
Rory was too stunned to be afraid. He turned and leaned back against the wall, a little breathless, and closed his eyes to witness myriad suns, orange and red, pulsating on his inner eyelids.
When he opened his eyes again, careful to keep them cast down on the bricks of the alley, he noticed how the shining illuminated everything at his feet—the crushed Old Style beer can, the used condom, the coffee grounds, and the oil stains. He took this in dully, like he was observing these mundane castoffs as someone who was studying them, but for whom they were foreign. Like an archeologist peering down at relics from an ancient civilization.
For a jarring moment, he couldn’t, for the life of him, recall where he was.
Maybe this way of occupying his mind was a defense, he realized at last. A defense against horror and recognition.
Because, with a certainty that approached 100 percent, Rory knew what was issuing the bright light above him, knew without having to go to the trouble to peer into its blinding white light once more. The realization made him shiver, despite his racing heart and the light sheen of sweat that covered his face.
It was it. The membrane, the cloud, the ship. It was not in the distance, as before, but directly above.
The cold seized his limbs, paralyzing, like the very blood in his veins was slowing, freezing.
And then he felt nothing at all, save for a few vague physical sensations—a pulling at the top of his head, so hard he could feel his hair rise, strand by strand, then faster, until all of it stood straight up. His limbs followed, arms stretching up above his head, but not of their own accord.
And then, with a terror so acute it made him not scream but laugh hysterically, his feet lost contact with the ground as he rose slowly into the light.
Rick R. Reed wrote this amazing book, and still hours later, I really have no idea what to say about it. Go read it! Give it a chance, even if “sci-fi isn’t my thing” is a mantra for you! There, my work here is done. Okay, since I am guessing that will not work as a review, I will try to put my feelings into words about this book, but it will not be easy. I am not a sci-fi person either…ever. And I really try never to do books that will make me cry like a baby, or are extremely antsy…but since it was Rick, well, here I am.
First, I will say, that I really only give 5 pieces of eye candy, if I will read a book again, which I can’t…not that I won’t…but I can’t…because that much crying is hard on me! But those 4.5 pieces of eye candy should really be 4.99999 pieces. This book had so much emotion in it. I cried…not a little, but I bawled, and I normally avoid those types of books, because I am not an angsty read kind of girl. But Rick writes so well, with so much emotion, that I can’t NOT read something he wrote, so bawling it will be. 🙂
More than the first half of the book is Cole and Rory, the aftermath of Rory’s appearance and Cole meeting and connecting, more than once with Tommy. It takes place in 1997. And the heartbreak that Cole goes through is unfathomable to me. He finds the love of his life, they move in together, and just weeks later, he disappears without a trace. When Rory disappeared, he took Cole’s light, not just the light of his life, but his own light. It was difficult to read how angry, despondent and closed off from everyone that Cole became, as a result.
Rory’s disappearance had no effect on his life…that he knew of. He had no memory of his time away, just brief flashes. Meanwhile, his disappearance destroyed three lives beyond any impact anyone could understand. His reappearance, 20 years later, changed his entire life in an instant, even as everyone had moved on as best they could.
Tommy could not have been more loving to Cole, even when Cole deserved nothing but anger and disappointment. Meanwhile, at times it was hard to love Cole, yet you couldn’t help it because it was so obvious to the reader how torn he was. The author did an amazing job of creating a character in Cole that really had a difficult time with the choices in front of him, for his entire life. The reader felt awful for Cole, and then when Rory reappeared in his life? Another choice to be made.
At that point, I was completely in awe how Rick was able to make me want a happy ending for all three of the men, knowing there was no chance of that happening (yes, I am crying again as I type this…that is how much this book affected me). Small spoiler: all three get a happy ending, but not in any way that you would think they would.
How Rick made all these characters so believable in their reactions, in their realization of their needs and wants, and their emotions is beyond me, but he conveyed them so well in his portrayal of them. And Rory’s mom…my heart still hurts for her pain…(Yep, still crying! Dang you Rick R. Reed!) Few books have ever left me with book hangovers…I believe prior to Sky Full of Mysteries, the total was two. I’m up to three now. And looking up, it appears I was able to find a few words to say about it. 🙂
Please read this book! It truly is about a love across time and space.
4.5 pieces of eye candy
Real Men. True Love.
Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” You can find him at www.rickrreed.com or www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband.
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