THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
They met at ten, they kissed at twelve, and were madly in love by eighteen.
Caleb Deering is the captain of the swim team and the hottest senior in school. He comes from a loving home with a kind father and a caring, but strict, mother who is battling breast cancer. Nico Caro is small and beautiful, and has a father who rules with an iron fist–literally.
One morning Caleb forgets himself, and he pecks Nico on the lips at school. A teacher sees them and tattles to the Headmaster. The accidental outing at school might be the least of their problems, because the ball set in motion by the school’s calls to their parents could get Nico killed. In the face of that very real danger, Caleb knows he has only one mission in life: to keep Nico safe.
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A special Halloween Bonus Scene with Nico and Caleb
©2013 C. Kennedy, all rights reserved.
Caleb carefully straightened Nico’s wings and turned him by the shoulders to face him. “Love that suit on you, babe. You look hot,” he admired.
Nico flushed a pretty, dark rose. “The wings are bigger than I am.”
“They’re supposed to be. See?” Caleb reached for the picture of Archangel of the X-Men up and held it up so Nico could study it.
“They’re going to drag when I walk.”
Caleb pulled small Nico into a hug and kissed his forehead. “As long as you don’t walk backward and trip, you’re fine.”
“I’ve never done this before.” Nico’s blue, blue eyes reflected the uncertainty in his voice.
Caleb’s heart twisted in his chest. He still couldn’t believe Nico’s father never let him go trick-or-treating. Then again, the guy was hateful bastard. “I know, but you’re gonna do fine. Besides, I won’t let anything happen to you.” Caleb placed a chaste kiss on Nico’s lips before stepping back and slipping his plastic ruby-quartz glasses on. “Ready?”
Nico giggled his infectious giggle. “You don’t look anything like Cyclops.”
“What are you talking about? I totes look like Cyclops. The only drag is, he gets all the girls. Ughh, puh, puh,” he mocked spit.
Nico laughed softly. “Your blond hair ruins it.”
It was Caleb’s turn to laugh. “It’s trick-or-treating for one night. No one’s going to care what I look like. C’mon.”
Nico followed Caleb into the den and they stood side by side.
“Nico says I don’t look like Cyclops,” Caleb announced.
Mrs. Deering looked up from her book and smiled. “It’s trick-or-treating for one night. No one will care what you look like.”
Caleb turned to Nico. “See?”
Mr. Deering muted the television. “Your father called, Nico.”
Caleb made a rude noise as Nico’s face clouded over. “What did he say?” Nico asked softly.
“More of the same and I reminded him that you’re eighteen and capable of making your own decisions.”
“No thanks necessary, Nico. Caleb, did you tell him what to expect?”
“Yeah. There’s nothin’ to it. You ring the doorbell and yell Trick or Treat when the door opens and make off with as much candy as you can.”
Mrs. Deering shook her head in mock disgust. “You taught him well, honey.”
“I did, didn’t I?” Mr. Deering boasted.
“Here.” She held two neon orange pillowcases out to them.
“Loud, Mom,” Caleb said.
“They’ll keep you from being hit by a car.”
“Sure they will,” Caleb said sarcastically.
Mr. Deering stood and put a hand on each boy’s shoulder. He guided them to the front door and reached beneath the table in the foyer. “I think Mr. Garth’s pine tree needs attention,” he whispered as he placed a roll of toilet paper in each boy’s bag.
Caleb smiled wide. “Thanks, Dad.”
Nico looked bewildered.
“I’ll explain,” Caleb whispered.
Nico laughed and shook his head as they walked. “Are you serious?”
“Yeah. The trick is to do it fast so you don’t get caught,” Caleb said with a huge grin.
A group of small kids followed by two parents passed them heading in the opposite direction and Nico looked on. “What are they supposed to be?”
“Minions from Despicable Me.”
Nico cracked up. “Why are the parents dressed up too?”
“Hey, my dad used to dress up as Frankenstein and scare the crap outta little kids on purpose.”
Nico was still laughing when they stopped at the first house. “Okay. Evidence check?”
“The porch light is on, the house is decorated.” Nico answered.
“Excellent. Let’s go.”
A group of kids dressed as the characters from the Rocky Horror Picture Show rushed passed them on the walk and up the steps of the porch. The tallest of them who was dressed as Dr. Frank N. Furter pressed the doorbell button repeatedly. A cacophony of noise sounded from within and the door opened. They shouted, “Trick or Treat” and Nico started.
Caleb was immediately concerned. “You okay?”
Nico nodded. “I don’t think I can yell at someone like that.”
“Okay. We’ll say it normally.”
The cast of the Rocky Horror Picture Show left the porch and took off down the walkway, nothing but a blur of costumes in their departure. The old man at the door waited patiently having noticed them.
“Ready?” Caleb asked.
Nico nodded and followed Caleb up the steps.
“Trick or Treat.”
The man smiled and pointed to his hearing aid. “What’s that you say?”
Caleb looked at Nico. “Guess we have to yell. You up for it?” Nico nodded. “On three. One, two, three!”
“Trick or Treat!” the shouted in unison.
“That’s more like it, Cyclops. Here you go.” The old man held a large stainless bowl brimming with candy out to them.
Caleb took a heaping handful of candy and threw it in his pillowcase. Nico took a Snickers bar and a package of Kit Kats and deposited them in his bag.
“Oh, come on, you can eat more than that, Archangel! Hold out your bag!” the old man insisted.
Nico did as instructed and the old man dumped a ton of candy in Nico’s bag. He looked up at Caleb, his eyes as big as saucers.
“Thanks! Hey, how’d you know who we w—” Caleb stopped abruptly, re-evaluating his question. It sounded kind of rude to say, “You look too old to know who the X-Men are.”
The old man laughed, seeming to intuit Caleb’s thoughts. “The X-Men were around when I was a kid too. In comic books.”
“Oh, yeah. I forgot. Sorry.” Caleb said through a laugh. “Thanks!”
“Welcome. Run along, now.”
“Score!” Caleb said as they reached the sidewalk.
“I can’t eat all this,” Nico said, his voice filled with incredulity.
“Mom makes me put it in the freezer so I don’t eat it all at once.”
“You can freeze candy?”
“Are you kidding? The stuff contains enough preservatives to keep your stomach alive for centuries after you’re gone. Totes unfair. C’mon.”
Two hours later, their neon pillowcases were nearly full and it was getting late. Most of the houses were dark now and they decided to head home with their loot—right past Mr. Garth’s house. Someone trotted up behind Caleb and snagged the ruby-quartz glasses from his face.
“Hey!” Caleb shouted and turned.
There stood Liam, Caleb’s straight best friend, wearing the glasses and a giant grin. “How do I look?”
“Stupid,” Caleb said.
“Hey, I look better than you. Your blond hair ruins it for you.”
Nico burst into laughter.
“No comments from the peanut gallery,” Caleb teased as he snagged the glasses back from Liam.
“What are you doing in our neighborhood?”
Liam hooked a thumb over his shoulder. “The momz thought it would be safer for Patch. Our neighborhood is a little dicey. Last year we got egged.”
Liam was adopted and had two mothers who he always called “the momz.” It pissed Caleb off that their neighbors had always been haters. Patch was his four-year-old sister. How someone could name a kid after a Cabbage Patch doll, Caleb couldn’t fathom. “Sorry to hear that, bro.”
“No big. You armed?”
“Armed and dangerous,” Caleb answered. “My dad chose Mr. Garth’s pine.” He pointed two houses away.
The house was dark and the neighbors’ houses were dark too.
“Let’s do it.”
“Now?” Nico asked. “Your mothers will see us.”
“Hey, they’ll help,” Liam said through a laugh.
Nico looked horrified.
Caleb hooked an arm around Nico’s waist, careful of his wings. “It’s harmless,” he promised.
Liam put two fingers in his mouth and whistled to get his moms’ attention. They waved and he pointed to Mr. Garth’s tree. They gave him two thumbs up. “Let’s go.”
They surrounded the tree, each with a roll of toilet paper in his or her hand. “Okay. Pull a lot of paper off the roll like this,” Caleb said as he demonstrated by creating a mountain of toilet paper on the ground. “Then, throw the roll as high as you can at the tree. When it comes back down, do it again and again until there’s no more toilet paper left.”
Nico looked up at him.
“What?” Caleb asked.
“Why are we doing this?”
“Won’t he be mad?”
Liam chuckled. “That’s the goal. Ready, man? You have to do it fast then run like a bat outta hell so you don’t get caught.”
“Okaaaay,” Nico agreed dubiously.
Over the next ten minutes, they ran around throwing toilet paper rolls high into the tree while Patch looked on and squealed her little girl laughter on the air. When their supply of ammo was exhausted, they grabbed their pillowcases and ran.
They collapsed on Caleb’s front lawn, still laughing their asses off, and Mr. Deering opened the front door. “Mission accomplished?” he asked as he stepped off the porch.
“The boys made bonnie good work of it,” one of Liam’s moms said. Posy was from England and Caleb loved her accent.
“Helen, Posy, it’s good to see you again,” Mr. Deering said as he shook each woman’s hand. “I didn’t know you’d be in our neighborhood tonight.”
“Still the usual crap in our neck of the woods,” Helen said brusquely.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Mr. Deering said, concern evident in his voice.
“Hey, Dad? We’re going inside to sort our candy. Liam, you coming, bro?”
Patch yawned and Posy said, “We’re going to head back.”
“I’m gonna stick with them, but thanks. I’ll see you Monday,” Liam said.
Caleb half high-fived, half shook Liam’s hand. “Later.”
Caleb and Nico had been sitting on Caleb’s bed trading candy for an hour and finally had it all sorted out. Nico was a serious chocolate freak and Caleb didn’t eat much candy at all, so he gave almost everything to Nico. “Did you like your first trick-or-treating?”
Nico’s blue, blue eyes held silent laughter. “Yeah. I’m still not sure about the TP thing, though. I mean, what’s the point?”
Caleb chuckled softly as he leaned forward over their carefully separated piles of candy, his lips hovering just above Nico’s, but a breath away. “You had fun, right?”
Nico nodded as he eyed Caleb’s lips.
“That’s the point.” Caleb kissed Nico’s soft lips once, twice, and then kissed Nico in earnest.
They fell into each other and down on the bed, their neat piles of candy destroyed and forgotten.
SIX CHANCES TO WIN SAFE!
October 21st – The Novel Approach – Halloween Bonus Scene and a chance to win an ecopy of Safe!
October 24th – Release Day Giveaway with Author Shira Anthony!
October 26th – Harmony Ink Press on Facebook – Meet Cody Kennedy and a chance to win an ecopy Safe!
November 1st – Sid Love Blog – An interview with Cody and a chance to win an ecopy of Safe!
November 2nd – Queer Town Abbey – Cody talks about Str8washing and a chance to win an ecopy of Safe!
November 8th – Joyfully Jay – Excerpt Day and a final chance to win an ecopy of Safe!
Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Cody Kennedy doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Cody contemplates such weighty questions as: If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Cody can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary.