(Book One in the “Itch” series)
Release date: 21 October 2013 (Dreamspinner Press)
Love is a many-gendered thing. With a new paranormal novella called Horn Gate out in May, and its companion series launching October 21 with a contemporary called Bad Idea, 2013 has been a banner year for Suede in the the churning waters of gay romance and LGBT genre fiction.
2012 was a helluva ride personally and professionally. Deep gratitude to everyone who made it so wonderful. More books are on the way, with Hard Head delayed but moving along at its own strange clip, a new contemporary romantic comedy nearly finished and the oft-postponed steampunk novel two-thirds done…and more besides. I’ve just been made the president of the Rainbow Romance Writers (RWA’s LGBT romance chapter) and our genre is exploding.
Want to know where Damon’s headed? Check out the Events page for all the poop that’s fit to scoop. The happiest endings come at the end of a road that is soft and rough…
They’ve attended the Nerd Herd’s cosplay screening of Catwoman with Silas donning his He-Man gear and Trip playing it safe in a T-shirt & jeans.)
Trip held open the door to Twenty-Third Street for his date. He prayed Silas wouldn’t try to take his hand out here, and somehow he knew not to. Trip wasn’t sure what happened next. He didn’t know how to ask, so he let the current drag him and trusted Silas would steer them in the right direction.
They strolled downtown in easy silence. Eighth Avenue was busy for a January Thursday, and guys stared at Silas’s naked skin. Hard for the lonesome barflies to miss a hot barbarian at moonrise. Silas didn’t pay any attention. When they hooked a right onto West Seventeenth, he bumped their shoulders together a little.
Pleased to sneak off together, Trip smiled, more than willing to skip the rest of the Nerd Herd’s night out. He hadn’t liked that snippy guy dressed as Gleek. And he wanted to keep the Human Torch’s paws far away from Silas. One thing he’d learned, Silas had dated a lot of men in this city. One had sat behind them with his new Punisher boyfriend, who’d looked about as delighted as Trip at the idea. At least three other exes floated around the Herd’s margin.
Whether two-year exes or two-hour exes, he didn’t know and didn’t want to. Silas had invited him tonight, and with those losers stuck as a decorative, envious background.
“Here’s me.” Silas stopped in front of a poky building on West Seventeenth and climbed one step so that he stood a couple of inches taller, then shifted his weight foot to foot. He almost shone with contentment, the face of a farmer at an Impressionist picnic.
The streetlamp spilled sallow light over them; the glitter on Silas had rubbed off on Trip’s arm and jeans and left hand: borrowed sparkle. At the top of the four stairs, a dim front vestibule almost hid the door where the lamplight didn’t reach.
Trip had calmed down, away from the crowd and all the flirty fan boys. He’d stopped itching as well. He hadn’t realized the walk was so short. He snuck a peek at his watch. Was the date over at 10:20? He stepped closer. “You must be freezing.”
Silas nodded but didn’t climb up or down. He waited as if he’d asked Trip a casual question.
“I had a way better time than I expected.” Trip’s eyes went wide. “No! Wait…. Not with you, but with Catwoman. I get it, I think. The Nerd Herd deal.”
“Cool.” Silas glanced at the street, where a cab had slowed down. He looked oddly nervous. “So…?”
Trip had never struggled so much trying to read someone… but somehow had gotten addicted to the warm discombobulation. Fuck it. He backtracked to the steps. “Wait, I suck at being cool.” Take a risk. “I mean, we could just make a plan right this second.”
Silas laughed, but he didn’t come back. “Sure. Name the place.”
Trip stepped nearer, his stomach knotting. He scrabbled through the credible options. Gallery? Dancing? Fancy dinner? Bowling? Orgy? He had no idea what Silas expected, so he had no idea how to meet the expectations. How the hell was he supposed to come up with a killer date when he could barely survive one?
“Unless you don’t want. I mean, you don’t have to decide right now.” Silas shuffled on the steps. He didn’t seem impatient, more confused.
Trip swayed. Manhattan offered anything at all. Hell, he lived here; he could have anything delivered to his damn door. But with a cleft-chinned hero smiling at him like a gun at his head, he couldn’t muster any suggestion that didn’t sound dumb or tacky. “I do.”
A car drove by slowly, searching for a parking space. They watched until the cone of headlights reached the end of the snow-dusted block.
“Well….” Silas inhaled raggedly. “I want—”
Trip turned first, admiring Silas’s profile. “You want…?”
“You.” Silas swung the hazel gaze back, almost green in the amber light, and considered Trip’s waist, shoulder, chin, eyes. “I want you to come upstairs right now.”
“I don’t think that’s such a good idea.” Trip took a breath of that vanilla-and-ink smell he’d come to associate with Silas. “Right away.”
“Sorry.” Silas shook his head and crossed his arms. “Do-over.” He wiped his hands on his coat. “You make me so fucking nervous.”
“I do?” Maybe they weren’t so different.
“Everything.” Silas looked up at the cloudy night sky, then back. “Y’see? All I want is for you to come upstairs right this minute and help me take all this crap off so I can make you dessert and we can get into my bed.” Head shake. “Eventually. Eventually, y’understand? I want the next thing. But then, of course, I don’t want any of that because I don’t want just that. You, I mean. That is, all that would probably be a horrible mistake because it’s what I would do, not what I should do.”
Not a question. No script again. Did Silas want an answer? He seemed happy and smelled delicious, but the cold had started Trip shivering—and he was wearing pants!
“You make me nervous too.”
“Sorry.” Silas frowned. “I don’t mean to.”
“Not in a bad way. I guess—” Trip took a step back. “Thank you for, I dunno, a super evening.” His bones buzzed with that strange calm.
Trip grinned. “Date, yeah. I’m gonna… catch a….”
“Cab.” Now Silas mirrored his Joker’s grin. “Right.”
Before Trip questioned the impulse, before he stopped his feet or his hands, he closed the three yards between them, brought their mouths together, and… kept going, actually, so that instantly his arms were full of peacoat and barbarian.
“Tha—” Trip swallowed whatever Silas almost said when their mouths came together again. His coat gaped to let Trip take hold of him.
Trip’s momentum pushed Silas against the front door, so they kissed in a pocket of shadow created by the overhang. The harness pressed against Trip through his T-shirt.
“Gnnngh.” Silas wrapped those corded arms around Trip and rolled over him, shielding them from the street with his broad back, and pressed Trip’s spine against the cool metal door. The surface warmed quickly. They struggled to get at each other, tugging at clothes.
Silas crushed Trip under his brawn and scrubbed his shirt between them. He sucked and bit at Trip’s mouth, chin, and throat with a hunger that tore Trip open with spikes of heaven and involuntary shudders. Trapped against his inner thigh, his bulge strained against the denim.
Trip chuckled and bit back. Silas didn’t complain. Not so terrible after all.
Excerpted from Bad Idea,
Coming 21 October 2013 from Dreamspinner Press
Copyright 2013. Damon Suede. All Rights Reserved.
Damon Suede grew up out-n-proud deep in the anus of right-wing America, and escaped as soon as it was legal. Having lived all over, he’s earned his crust as a model, a messenger, a promoter, a programmer, a sculptor, a singer, a stripper, a bookkeeper, a bartender, a techie, a teacher, a director… but writing has ever been his bread and butter. Though new to gay romance, Damon has been a full-time writer for print, stage, and screen for two decades. He has won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year. Get in touch with him at DamonSuede.com.