Sunday, May 16, 2010
Tango in the Night by KC Kendricks
Tango in the Night
contemporary gay romance available now at
Jubal Graham is back on the job after a shooter took the life of his long-time partner, and sent him into a coma followed by months of rehab. Determined to have justice, Jubal is focused on finding a killer, not a new romantic entanglement. Ellis Banks, with his smoldering blue eyes and denim-clad swagger is a distraction Jubal can’t afford – or ignore.
Ellis Banks came to Philadelphia to bust a drug operation; one that connects to the same case agency legend Kentuckian Jubal Graham is working. Ellis finds himself drawn to Jubal, but Jubal holds him off. Sure that Jubal is interested, even though he wears his slain lover’s ring, Ellis mounts a determined siege.
Jubal’s surprise at having a suitor develops into a growing affection for Ellis, one clouded with old fears. Fate ripped one lover from his arms, and now Ellis is in the line of fire. Jubal’s courage can protect Ellis, but is it powerful enough to love him?
Once upon a time, I’d been as hot-headed and prone to temper as he was. The years hadn’t burned it out of me, but I did manage it better. A fast-moving lone figure came into sight. I put the window down and slowed.
“Ellis, come get in the car.”
“What for? You don’t want me. You want Cliff.” He stopped and stepped in the street. “Well, guess what, Jubal? It’s too late for that. He’s gone. You don’t owe him a thing, and if you did, there’s no way to repay it.” He started walking again.
I hit the gas, pulled the Jeep across his path, and jumped out, wincing as needles shot up my leg.
“Stop right there. I told you Cliff isn’t your competition. I meant that, Ellis. Damn it! Don’t confuse me trying to…to…do what I need to do to get on with my life with clinging to a memory.” I fisted my hands in the soft leather of his jacket and shook him.
Ellis grabbed my jacket lapels and shook me back. “You put your life on the line for closure? Of what? Your coffin?” He pried my hands open and stepped back. “I want a lover, not a memory.”
“Why do you think I don’t want the same thing?” I reached for him again. He didn’t back up as I rested my hands on his hips. “Ellis, it’s been one helluva long day. I’m beat. Please come home.”
His dark eyes glittered, reflecting the streetlights. He almost—almost—reached for me, but he let his arms drop to his sides. It trickled into my consciousness I’d referred to my house as his home. I wanted it to be his home, but maybe he wasn’t ready to think in those terms.
Ellis looked away, shaking his head. “I don’t know what to do, man. I’m in this weird place with you.”
I took a half step closer. He didn’t move, so I slipped my hands inside his jacket, to his waist, where the heat of his body came through his thin shirt and traveled up my arms.
“Ellis. Love, look at me.”
He shook his head again as his breathing became ragged. “Where do I fit in, Jubal?”
“How do you want to fit it? You fill a lot of dark corners inside me. I want you in my life, if you want it, too. But for you, that means accepting everything about me, even my past.”
And for me, it meant taking a leap of faith with a man whose past I knew very little about. I thought he’d be worth it.
“I’m nothing but the rebound for you.”
“Give me a little more credit than that. There is no ‘rebound’ from the life I had. There’s only forward. With you if you’ll have me.”
“I don’t know.”
My heart fractured a bit, but I thought I understood. I pulled him to me, our chests pressed together. His head rested against mine as his arms held me tightly.
“Let me take you to your apartment, Ellis. We need to get some sleep. We’re both too worn out to stand here and make decisions. I have reports to finish tomorrow, and so do you.”
“No. I can get home on my own, Jubal. I’m a big boy.”
It hurt to release him, to lose his heat, his scent, and not know if I’d ever touch him again. I let him go. He finally looked at me, and I saw the uncertainty in him. I squeezed his hand.
“I know, Ellis. Me, too.”
TANGO IN THE NIGHT
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