I'm working really hard on coming out of the woods, so, in an attempt to be more present on social media as well as forthcoming with behind-the-scenes updates (i.e. work in progress), here's an excerpt from what's currently cooking in the TVD Story Pot. :-)
Series: Caribbean Tales
Setting: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Noelia glanced at Cuca, then turned on the bench they were sitting
on and gave Gael her full attention, dead giveaway she was about to get
serious. “You’ve always been an overachiever, focused on your studies
and plans for the future,” she said in a much lower voice, as is she was
scared Cuca might off her if he heard her speaking negatively about
him. “Don’t you want to be with someone as driven as yourself? Weren’t
you listening when your mom warned you against guys that look like him?”
“See, that’s another difference between us.” Gael focused on Cuca,
doing his best not to snap at her. “When it comes to guys, you always
measure their worth from a potential relationship perspective, whereas
I’m only interested in measuring their cocks and finding out how many
times they can make me come.”
That wasn’t true, but he wasn’t
ready for Noelia to know he had a mega crush on a guy she clearly didn’t
approve of. Gael needed her to back off.
“I give up.” Noelia shook his head and sighed. “You’ve got to be the biggest horn dog in the world.”
That he was. The kind of overachiever with a carefully mapped out life that always made sure to have time for a hot guy.
“You know it.” He gave her a quick side hug, grateful she’d taken the
hint, then went back to ogling Cuca. “He has such a mysterious aura
around him.” Gael’s breath rushed in and out of his lungs, and
butterflies fluttered in his stomach. He had it bad—there was no denying
that, but he didn’t care. He wasn’t scared of feelings and emotions
whether they were positive, hurtful, or worrisome. “I’m drawn to him
like a moth to a flame.” And his knees wouldn’t stop wobbling, and his
breath kept catching in his throat, and it was all he could do not to
cross the promenade right now and say Hello.
He truly hadn’t felt so damn giddy, confused, or exhilarated before.
No. Scratch that.
The first time he and Cuca had gotten past the not-so-casual glances
and locked eyes, Gael’s mind had gone completely fuzzy. He’d been in the
middle of his well-practiced narration of the history of one of San
Juan’s forts and some of the battles fought there centuries ago, and
he’d gotten so flustered, he’d almost swallowed his tongue. It had taken
a great deal of effort to stammer his way through the rest of the tour,
and by the time he finished retelling stories from ancient soldiers
tasked with defending and protecting Spain’s most precious colony in the
New World, he was a goner.
He was in lust.
He wanted to drag the guy to San Cristóbal’s dungeon and get it on.
“He doesn’t have a mysterious aura.” Noelia’s soft voice pulled him out of his thoughts. “He has a dangerous one.”
“Even better.” Gael sighed. “I’ve always had a thing for big bad alphas.”
“There’s a difference between bad boys and bad news, and that guy’s
appearance screams trouble. He looks like he’s on guard. I don’t like
it. Do yourself a favor and stay away from him. You don’t need that kind
Gael gnawed his inner cheek. “Wonder how long he’ll stay there staring at the Master of the Master of the Seas—”
“Are you even listening to me?”
“—pretending he isn’t here to see me.”
“Well, he hasn’t tried to talk to you, so maybe he isn’t,” Noelia
rationalized, something she did as often as Gael ignored her attempts to
burst his bubbles. “Maybe the six times you’ve seen him around since
your first encounter are pure coincidence. Maybe he truly is a dangerous
stalker. Maybe he’s a homophobe who’s seen you on the news and wants to
silence you by beating you up. Maybe—”
“He’s shy, or confused
about his attraction to another guy, or freaked out, or afraid to take
the next step, or being careful no one sees him,” Gael cut her off,
throwing the rest of his piragua into a nearby trash can and wiping his
hands on a napkin. “It could be so many things, but twenty bucks say
he’s into me and trying to decide where to go from here.”
Or leaving it up to Gael.
It was a legitimate possibility.
Cuca had never approached him, but he’d gone out of his way to learn
Gael’s schedule. He’d been showing up at his place of work for three
weeks, and now he was standing there—glancing at him from under lowered
lashes. Showing interest. Visibly anxious, yet determined. Waiting.
Yeah… If all that didn’t mean Cuca wanted to hook up, Gael would eat his gay card for lunch.
“Well, you don’t have a shy bone in your body, so how come you haven’t
approached him and gotten things rolling?” Noelia narrowed her eyes.
“Also, why are you so sure of what he’s experiencing? You’ve never
talked to him. Are you a mind reader now?”
“I refrained from
approaching him because watching him take baby steps toward me thrilled
me to no end. That, and I didn’t want to scare him away with my
trademark bluntness.” Gael didn’t know his name yet. He didn’t have a
phone number or an email address he could use if the guy disappeared
from his life. He’d been afraid coming on to Cuca too strong before
securing a way to find him would be detrimental to Gael’s plan to get in
his pants. But he wasn’t afrad anymore. “And no, I’m not a
mind-reader—I’m just gay. Hard not to imagine what he might be going
through when I’ve been there myself.”
“Navigating the sexual orientation affirmation process we queers have to
go through at one point or another.” Gael smiled at Cuca, which
prompted the guy to glance around nervously, but then he stared at Gael,
quickly licking his lips as he angled his long body toward him. “God,
I’m so happy I rock at reading body language.”
“What are you talking about?”
Encouraged by Cuca’s inviting gestures, Gael asked, “How do I look?”
Noelia surveyed him from head to toe, but she didn’t give him an ego
boost like she was supposed to every time he asked that question.
Instead, she moved closer to him, gripped his shoulders, and spoke in a
steady low-pitched voice, as if she was trying to hypnotize him. “You
look like a guy who knows better than to ignore his friend’s advice.”
Gael gave her an amused smile and chucked her under the chin. “Nice
try.” He then patted his hair to make sure every black strand was in its
place, brushed his eyebrows with his fingertips, and popped a mint into
his mouth. “I’m going over there.”
He only had a few minutes
before he had to get to work, but he was a firm believer in opportunity,
and he’d waited long enough this morning. He’d shown Cuca that he was
attracted to him, and given him what felt like a decade to decide if he
wanted to scram. Now the time had come to initiate conversation, and it
was clearly up to Gael, because when the mountain couldn’t bring himself
to come to Muhammad, it was up to Muhammad to go to the mountain.
“You can’t.” Noelia grabbed his arm before he could move and pointed at
the Master of the Seas. “Our cruisers are disembarking.”
Stepping back, Gael removed her hand from his arm and said, “This won’t
take long,” then, shaking inside from anticipation, nerves, and yes, a
healthy dose of apprehension as well—because what if Noelia was right—he
went after the guy he wanted.
Five seconds later he almost choked on his mint as he realized he was screwed.
Up close and personal Cuca was a million times cuter.
“Are you an adult?” Gael blurted the instant he got close enough to
smell his cologne. “Please tell me you’re old enough to buy sex toys and
The guy nodded slowly, amusement sparkling in his gorgeous eyes. “I’m eighteen.”
“Gracias a Dios.” Gael sighed in relief and quickly made the sign of
the cross. Despite everything he’d said to Noelia, he had principles,
morals, and hard limits. Doing baby gays was one of them. “I have two
questions for you.”
Cuca stared at Gael with searing intensity as
he levered his body away from the balustrade and straightened to his
full height. “Let’s hear them.”
Ready to answer, Gael looked up
and opened his mouth, then closed it again when his words jumbled
together in his head, rendering him incapable of forming a coherent
He hadn’t expected Cuca to smell so good, or to have
adorable freckles splattered across his cheeks and nose, or to sound so
deep and commanding, and he certainly hadn’t expected to feel dwarfed by
Seriously, what the heck was that? At six-feet and 155
pounds, Gael wasn’t a small guy by any stretch of the imagination, but
here he was, feeling totally…overpowered by Cuca, who was a mere couple
of inches taller and hadn’t even touched him yet.
Mildly put, it was the most unsettlingly thrilling feeling in the world, and Gael loved it. Jesus, did he love it.
“Qué pasó, papi—cat got your tongue?” A knowing little smile stretched
Cuca’s kissable lips. His sexy voice pushed Gael’s libido into
overdrive. His demeanor proved this wasn’t his first rodeo with a gay
man. “Ask your questions.”
Heart thudding wildly, Gael cleared
his throat and rolled his shoulders. “Should I be flattered by your
interest in me or should I be worried?”
“You’ve got nothing to
worry about.” He watched Gael quietly for several moments, mesmerizing
him with the look of naked hunger on his face and almost making him
self-combust before dropping his gaze to Gael’s lips. “I’m harmless.”
“Is that so?” Gael brushed his shoulder against Cuca’s casually as he
leaned over the balustrade—making sure physical contact was welcome
before taking the plunge. “Because you look like you want to wreck my
hole and fuck me senseless.”
“Among other things.” Pressing his
back to the balustrade, Cuca propped his elbows on the concrete railing
and watched him out of the corner of his eye. “Can I?”
Gael gulped. “The sooner the better.”
He was ready. He had a damn boner. He was so consumed by his desire for
this guy, he didn’t care who he was, where he was from, or what he did
for cash. Nothing mattered other than dragging him to the nearest
surface and getting him horizontal.
Cuca’s eyes shone with
predatory intent, and he made a harsh sound deep in his throat at Gael’s
words. “What’s your other question?” he croaked, further confirming he
was feeling Gael the same way Gael was feeling him.
“Can I have
your number?” Cuca gave him a jerky headshake in response. Gael wasn’t
surprised. Lots of queer guys were extremely cautious when it came to
revealing their identity. “I take it you’re in the closet?”
“Most likely for life, so I’ve got to be careful.”
“You can trust me with your name.” Gael looked him in the eye, silently
demanding honesty. He didn’t know why but he didn’t want for this guy
to be a total stranger when he finally took him to bed. Learning that
detail felt non-negotiable and extremely important. “Your real name.”
Cuca averted his gaze. A muscle jumped in his jaw as he studied the crowd and pondered what to do.
Moving swiftly, Gael blocked his line of vision and put out his hand. “I’m Gael.”
“I know.” His little smirk almost made Gael swoon. “I’m Damián.” His
guttural voice and his all-around hotness consumed Gael as they shook
hands. “You need to get to work.” He rubbed the inside of Gael’s wrist
with his thumb before dropping his hand and stepping back.
fisted his hand. His skin wouldn’t stop tingling from the electric buzz
that had shot from Cuca’s fingertips to Gael’s chest. “What other
things?” When Cuca tilted his head sideways in confusion, he explained,
“You said among other things.”
“I noticed you like rosé.” Cuca
smoothed out his jersey and scratched his chin, then looked him straight
in the eyes and added, “I thought we could drive somewhere. Have some
vino and get to know each other…providing you’re okay with playing it
cool, of course.”
Palms damp, mouth dry, and heart pounding, Gael rasped, “I’d love that.”
“Great.” Cuca flashed him a blinding smile. “I’ll find you soon to let you know when.”
And just like that he was gone.
“What the heck was that?” Gael shook his head and swallowed hard. “How
did I go from trying to schedule a hook up to agreeing to go on my first
date with a guy?”
He’d been asked a few times, but he’d kept
things simple since becoming sexually active at seventeen. Scratching
the itch when in need and getting back to business as usual was his
thing, mainly because it’d been damn easy to walk away every single
None of his sexual partners had knocked his socks off after
a look or a conversation, or even a few rounds of sex. No one had
gotten under his skin, and no one—not once—had made Gael feel like he’d
die if he didn’t see him one more time.
But Cuca did.
There was no way in hell Gael wasn’t going out with him.