For those that have read the books in the Liaisons Series, the mention of character Christian Blakely usually brings one thing to mind: tattoos. Most of Christian’s body is covered in tattoos, and the third book in the series, Lost Won, discusses some of that artwork and Christian’s thought process behind it.
In imagining that artwork—how far it went, the placement on his body—I was taking advantage of another great thing about being a writer. I got to take on a job that I wouldn’t be likely to try in my own life. I became Christian’s tattoo artist. In my imagination, I was able to discuss what he was looking to add, what he wanted to say through it, and…ahem…where he wanted the artwork to go. And, wasn’t that a pleasure!
With other characters, for instance, Zane Whitlow, I become an agent or a radio interviewer. I’m thinking up movie scripts, set ideas, troubles with paparazzi. With Alarik, one of the new characters in Fall Apart, released on October 28, I get to be a photographer and travel the world to exotic locations, snapping pics of yummy people.
I think that’s one of my favorite parts of writing; it turns me into a kid again, imagining different worlds and far-off places, jobs I could do, and things I’m scared of. That’s part of why I always encourage people to write if they feel even an inkling of an urge to do so—maybe just journaling is the best thing—but in so many ways, it can set you free.
Dodging his ex, giving the Best Man speech, and smuggling home extra slices of wedding cake are Damon Wright’s only plans on his buddy’s wedding day. Capturing the attention of a renowned photographer with twice the sexual magnetism of James Bond doesn’t even make the list. Accustomed to a life spent keeping his head down, managing family obligations, Damon is unprepared for even a lukewarm pursuit, much less the hot, focused advances of a man like Alarik whose sophistication leaves Damon reeling.
Tired of the vapid, morally bankrupt and grasping fellows so common in his line of work, Alarik is through serving as just another step for mercenary men on the ladder to success. Damon’s kindhearted reserve excites a profound response within him, enticing him with the idea of an honest future. Compelled to dig beneath the surface in search of something lasting, Alarik can’t help but wonder if falling in love can be as easy as breathing.
Yet, fairytales don’t exist in the pace of real life; they disappear in shadow. Absorbed by the happiness of finding one another, Damon and Alarik never see the darkness coming…
“There you go again, giving me that look,” Alarik whispered and Damon saw the heat in the other man’s eyes in the quick moment before Alarik slipped a pair of sunglasses on that he’d pulled from his pocket.
Desire…and Alarik was trying to hide it.
Where was that crash cart? Charge! Clear! Kaa-chooog!… We have a heartbeat.
“What look?” Damon answered huskily, his voice hitching as he immediately forgot about maintaining his composure. What if his mother walked out and witnessed this fraught moment?
Alarik gave a low groan and glanced away, his fingers combing through his hair again. He wasn’t going to answer. He removed his jacket roughly and then grunted in embarrassment as he folded it over his arm. “Forgive me, but if you could see your face, you’d know what I was up against.”
“Is this you leaving? I thought you were taking me to lunch.”
“Am I?” Alarik gave him a sideways glance.
“I’m begging you.”
Damon was vaguely aware of the folks seated at the tables in front of the coffee shop, but they turned into mist as Alarik slowly and purposefully closed the distance between them, his hand reaching up to grasp Damon’s chin. He could see his reflection in the other man’s sunglasses. He looked weak-kneed and turned on, and his fucking fifteen freckles were standing out at high alert. Alarik still hadn’t spoken, but his breathing was quick, his sensuous mouth tight.
“Look at you,” he finally whispered, then seemed to realize what he’d said and done and stepped away.
“Mr. Wright,” he tut-tutted. “You make it easy to forget how to be a gentleman.”
About the Author:
S.E. Culpepper lives and works in Oregon. After graduating college in New Mexico, she served as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard for four and a half years before deciding to strike out on her own as a writer. S.E. is addicted to YouTube, reading, and chocolate, not necessarily in that order. In her free time, she visits parks with her son, studies for her Masters, and bakes.
S. E. Culpepper loves to hear from her readers and makes it a point to get back to them.
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