Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Special Delivery PG-13 excerpt

Special Delivery by Deirdre O'Dare Amber Quill Press, Amber Allure Line

Blurb: Monte’s dream of owning his own sporting goods store is teetering on the edge of collapse due to the economic problems. The small conservative eastern California town he chose for the project is not welcoming even though he keeps his gay lifestyle very quiet. Then trouble and a gorgeous package delivery driver fall into his world at the same time. Are they somehow connected?

Jeff, a special agent for Homeland Security, is working under cover to help bust a contraband and drug operation. Tracks lead to the small town of Cameron Creek, California. Who is the ring’s contact at this end? As a delivery driver, he’s scoping things out. When he meets Monte he is smitten at once but evidence begins to link this new friend to the case. Jeff has every reason not to pursue a relationship, but he can’t help himself.

Excerpt 1 PG-13  Monte meets Jeff

30 November
Cameron Creek, CA

Monte Farnsworth stared out the display window of his shop at the bleak wintery-looking street. Business was about as slow and gray as the cold November day. At this rate, he'd be broke before the end of the year, a mere nine months after realizing his long-time dream of opening his own sporting goods store the previous spring.

Just then, a black delivery truck pulled up to the curb, midway between Monte's store and the barber and beauty shop next door.

I don't think I have any deliveries coming in today. Must be for the Hair Apparent.

When the driver stepped out, Monte's breath hitched in his chest. Oh, my gods, that's a beautiful hunk of male. Whew, he could raise my temperature, whatever the weather.

The man must have been an inch or two over six feet tall. In spite of the chill, a pair of brown shorts revealed sleek, muscular legs from mid-thigh down to a pair of dark athletic shoes edged by strips of white ankle-high socks. An open brown windbreaker displayed a broad chest straining the fabric of the tan uniform shirt. The brisk wind ruffled hair that matched the uniform, except it was shiny and vitally alive. Everything about the man seemed vitally alive.

The stranger paused on the sidewalk and glanced up and down the street as if looking for a name or number. Maybe he's new and not familiar with Cameron Creek yet. Drawn by a magnetic pull he could not resist, Monte opened the door and stepped out onto the sidewalk. "Can I help you find a place?"

The deliveryman spun to face him, eyes the color of dark chocolate meeting Monte's gaze in a manner that sent a jolt of erotic heat slashing through his veins.

The other man smiled. "Yeah, maybe you can. I'm not seeing three-fourteen or a place called Icy Heat. This is Hammond Street, isn't it?"

Clearing his throat, Monte found his voice after a gulp. "Yep, this is Hammond. Never heard of such an establishment, but my place is three-fourteen. The number isn't very clear, I'm afraid."

The other man nodded. "I'm guessing you haven't been here long and maybe there used to be another business in your space called Icy Heat? Can't imagine what that would be, except maybe a tea room and ice cream parlor." He laughed.

"I'm not sure what was here before I opened up on April Fools' Day. The place had been vacant for a while, I was told."

"April Fool's Day, huh? That's quite the day to get started." The delivery man smiled at him.

"Yeah, well, I'm afraid the opening date's been symbolic of my success so far," Monte admitted. "Sportsman's Stop is--well, let's just say I wasn't expecting any deliveries. I'm not sure how I'd pay for them if some came or where I'd put any new inventory. Nothing much is moving."

"That's a bummer. I guess everything is slow now, and what business there is goes to the new mall down the freeway at Junction City."

"I suppose so."

"You know...I'm a few minutes ahead on my route and I see there's a coffee shop at the corner. I was thinking about getting a cup. Would you like to join me?"

Monte hesitated. He couldn't quite figure why, but the surprising invitation, though flattering, troubled him. Why would a total stranger--a gorgeous stranger at that--want his company, even for a few minutes?

"Sorry, guess I should introduce myself. I'm Jeff Hardesty. I just took over this route last week, so I'm still learning the town and the area out here. It helps to get to know some folks as well."

Monte took the other man's extended hand. Jeff's grip was firm but not punishing. The contact sent a warm current sparkling along Monte's nerves. "I'm Monte Farnsworth, still pretty new here myself, obviously. Sure, let's go get a cup of coffee. As my uncle use to say, this is a five-cup day--one for each hand and foot and one to drink. That wind must come straight from the North Pole."

"Yep, only one fence post between us and there and it blew down. I'm from southern California, so this climate is a shocker."

Monte flipped the open sign to read "Back Soon" and locked the door. Then the two men set off to the opposite end of the block and the welcoming warmth of Dip 'n' Sip Coffee Shop. They did have good coffee, Monte knew, and served sinfully delicious homemade pastries.

He had to stretch to keep up with Jeff's long strides, but that was okay. Since coming to Cameron Creek, his social life had dwindled to near zilch. It felt good to be with someone as congenial and appealing as Jeff, even if only for a few minutes of casual company. He'd never considered a deliveryman would be his type. He normally gravitated to other high tech guys like he'd known in his prior life in Silicon Valley, or some of the fellow sports enthusiasts who'd inspired him to open his own place.

    Adult excerpt follows in its own post!!

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