Read a witty, exclusive scene with Amy Lane’s Fish Out of Water characters #giveaway #CMCon17 #FlashFiction
Please help me welcome Amy Lane, author of GraveTells’s May Book of the Month!
May’s BotM was Selfie (click here to read my review and find out why I loved it so much), but today Amy has brought us a special exclusive scene from the characters in her newest book, Fish Out of Water. Amy is one of the Coastal Magic 2017 Featured Authors, and my challenge to her was to write a piece of flash fiction that satisfied as many of the following requirements as possible…
- Length: 500-800 words
- Setting: A bustling beach in a tourist town
- Headline of a news story to somehow incorporate: “An Epic Lego Shipwreck Has Been Washing Thousands of Lego Onto Beaches”
- Character mindset: The character is perplexed about some upcoming decision (take that however you like)
- Tone: Whatever works best, but if you need another parameter to guide the story, go with comical and/or ironic with maybe a twist of angst
- Photo for additional inspiration:
Amy took on the challenge with enthusiasm, and the scene is certainly entertaining. I think you’re all going to enjoy it, especially if you’re a fan of gay romance and stubborn detectives. *wink*
*** SPOILER ALERT ***
The scene below contains minor spoilers for Fish Out of Water. It’s set in a time frame not long after Fish ends, so there are a few things that hint at what happened. [Editor’s note: I have personally not yet read Fish Out of Water and I did not feel cheated by the small spoiler in the scene below. If you are the type of reader who wants ZERO info about the storyline events, I recommend just skipping to the bottom to enter the contest. The bonus entries are just bonus, so you’ll still be able to enter if you want to avoid all spoilers.]
No Day at the Beach by Amy Lane
Jackson shifted in the front seat of the car, willing himself not to take another pain med, although the last one had worn off hours ago.
He was not going to be an addict.
And he was done living off Ellery’s charity and the firm’s paid sick leave. Yeah, sure—they promised they’d hold his job for him as long as he needed it, but there were always cops retiring who thought PI’ing for a defense firm was a cushy way to beef up their social security.
Jackson was there first, dammit.
He shifted again and grunted, pulling out his binoculars to see if the prosecution’s star witness had emerged from the bar yet. Nope. This guy was getting good and plastered before he got behind the wheel.
Jackson checked his phone to make sure it was charged up and ready to take pictures that would blow the witness out of the water. The phone started to ring and he almost dropped it, straining his healing shoulder in an effort to get the phone back.
“Goddammit!” he snarled, just as he pushed the button.
“Nice to hear from you too. Why aren’t you home?”
“Because home is still being repaired,” he said sulkily. He had another month before the AC unit came in, and the structural damage still had not been repaired. He was starting to suspect his tenant was bribing the construction crews to go slow in the hopes that he and Ellery stuck, and Jackson wouldn’t need to move back in.
The idea was tempting.
Apparently Ellery thought so too.
“Bullshit. Home is where your cat is throwing up on my loafers. Right now that’s here on American River, which is where I am, which is how I know you’re not. What are you doing?”
A guy came out of the bar and Jackson stiffened, and then relaxed. Nope. Not his scumbag.
“Waiting for the star witness of the prosecution for the Stanley case to drive intoxicated.”
“Are you kidding me?” Ellery’s voice broke, which was adorable.
“Well, you said he was usually unflappable.”
“I know what I said.”
“You said he was a perfect witness, and you wish you had something on him.”
“I know what I said!”
“You said that if only you could puncture this guy’s credibility, you could give poor Gilbert Stanley a chance to stay out of jail because just this once, he wasn’t doing anything wrong and he really does take care of his saintly old mother in San Di—“
“I know what I said!” Ellery roared. “I did not mean for you to go back on stake out so soon after you got out of the hospital!”
“Well what did you expect me to do? Spend my days down at the river, cooking on the beach?”
“You have three months of paid leave and the most luxurious you can possibly get is the river?”
“Where do you expect me to go? San Diego? Those beaches are dangerous—haven’t you read the headlines?”
Ellery’s long-suffering sigh indicated that yes, he had read the headline Jackson had sent him as a joke. “An Epic Lego Shipwreck Has Been Washing Thousands of Lego Onto Beaches,” he intoned dryly. “It’s hardly life threatening, Jackson. It might even give you something to play with while you’re there.”
“Don’t I get to play with you?” Jackson mock-pouted. “You’re going to send me down to a bustling seaside town to get maimed by legos and I don’t even get to play with that thing you don’t want me to le-go?” He chuckled, because puns! They beat recrimination and guilt.
Apparently Ellery wasn’t a fan. “If I take a week off and come with you, will you for fucks sake stop working and heal?”
Jackson grunted and put the phone on speaker. This guy who couldn’t walk straight—this was his scumbag. “I am trying to help you wrap up your case,” he pouted. “Hold on a second.” Click. And there was the guy emerging from the bar. And Click. There was the guy obviously staggering. And Click, there he was on his knees, throwing up. Godammit.
“Ellery, here, I need to move the car and call the cops, okay?”
“Dammit, Jackson, you’d better not wreck the fucking car!”
Yeah, sure. Whatever. Jackson hit speeddial for his one friend left in highway patrol.
“Rivers? What in the hell—this is my work line!”
“I know. But I’m at a dive bar on F Street, taking pictures of a guy who’s about to get behind the wheel after throwing up in the gutter. I don’t want that on my conscience, do you?”
“Oh Jesus. No. Can you stop him?”
“I’m on it,” Jackson muttered, easing his new Honda CR-V into traffic. The guy was parallel parked, so blocking him was easy. But it wasn’t going to make Jackson a whole lot of friends.
He cruised forward, stopping next to drunk guy’s vehicle, pulling just forward enough that for the guy to get out would be mean his passenger door. Then he put the car in park and turned on his hazard lights, pulling out his Sudoku so he could settle in for the wait.
Then Emile Dellacorte staggered to his feet and hauled his puke-ridden carcass to the driver’s side of his old Mercedes, swearing at Jackson as he wobbled.
“Get out of my way, asshole!”
“Sorry! Car broke down! Won’t get out of park!”
Emile started swearing at him, and Jackson rolled his eyes and feigned deafness while rolling up the window.
It was probably a dick move to antagonize a drunk guy—at least Jackson thought so on retrospect.
That was not what he was thinking when Emile got into his car, revved his engine, and took off the brakes.
• * * *
God, those highway patrol guy could talk.
Two hours later Jackson dragged his sorry ass into Ellery’s lovely, air-conditioned, comfortable home and limped to the couch. He collapsed there, wondering if he could convince Billy Bob his cat to go get him his pain meds, the rockin’ ones in the bathroom cabinet that he didn’t carry with him because they didn’t let him drive.
“Jackson?” Ellery came out of the kitchen smelling like herbs and vegetables and some sort of chicken. He could cook. It shouldn’t have endeared him to Jackson, but it did. “Jackson, are you okay? Oh my God! Your face! Is that—did your airbag deploy?”
“Sorry about my face,” Jackson mumbled, “And yes. Yes the airbag did deploy. Davis had the Honda towed to the shop and dropped me off.” Davis, one of Jackson’s few friends from his academy days, had almost shit himself laughing, too. Jackson Rivers? Here? Well, it was a mystery to Jackson as well.
“Oh my God! Jackson! Did you even go to the doctor?” Ellery’s hands on his cheeks, checking his bruises and the bag burn on his forehead, felt absurdly wonderful. “Why didn’t you call me?”
“No doctor,” Jackson said, stubborn. “Had enough of that noise for a long time.” He’d spent over a month healing from a gunshot wound. God, what a waste of time.
“Fine—can I get you something?”
“Pain meds?” he almost whimpered. “Please?”
“On one condition.” Ellery folded his arms, glaring, his dark brown eyes snapping and serious and his long jaw set just as stubbornly as Jackson’s.
“Will it get me drugs?”
“Sure. I’m going to call Arizona and tell her that her witness is fucked, and she’s going to ask the judge for a continuance. It won’t do her any good, but it will give me a week between shit I absolutely must do.”
“Oh God,” Jackson moaned, knowing where this was going.
“I want to hear that some from you,” Ellery told him sweetly. “When you’re naked, in bed, and on the bottom. But right now—“
“Yes. All I want to hear from you is that you and me are going to fly down to San Diego, and you are going to spend a week on the beach while you recover!”
“Can live with Jade. She’ll agree with me on this, Jackson. She thinks you’re overdoing it too.”
“Oh God!” Couldn’t he even—
“Jackson?” Ellery had drawn even with him and was staring at him from about six inches away.
“Yes?” he gasped, his arousal stirring in spite of his pain.
“We’re going to San Diego—“
“Do you want me to maim myself on giant Legos?”
“Sure. Knock yourself out. I also want you to fuck me blind. Several times. And then sleep in the sun to recover.”
Jackson slow-blinked, and tried to wipe the picture of a giant Lego guy supine in the sand right out of his catalog of mental images.
He replaced it with Ellery, supine in bed, legs spread, pale, patrician features blotchy and flushed with lovemaking, Jackson’s come running from his mouth and backside, too stoned with sex to move.
“Okay,” he said helplessly. “Fine. You want to take me to the beach, I don’t mind.”
Ellery’s shark smile showed that Jackson had caved easy, but Jackson couldn’t hate himself for it. “That’s a good boyfriend. Let me go get you some drugs.”
Abruptly Jackson’s aches fell back on his body with a vengeance, and he accepted the meds gratefully.
Not even Oxy could obliterate that image of Ellery in bed though. It was totally worth going to the beach if he and Ellery could make that come true.
More about Fish Out of Water…
PI Jackson Rivers grew up on the mean streets of Del Paso Heights—and he doesn’t trust cops, even though he was one. When the man he thinks of as his brother is accused of killing a police officer in an obviously doctored crime, Jackson will move heaven and earth to keep Kaden and his family safe.
Defense attorney Ellery Cramer grew up with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but that hasn’t stopped him from crushing on street-smart, swaggering Jackson Rivers for the past six years. But when Jackson asks for his help defending Kaden Cameron, Ellery is out of his depth—and not just with guarded, prickly Jackson. Kaden wasn’t just framed, he was framed by crooked cops, and the conspiracy goes higher than Ellery dares reach—and deep into Jackson’s troubled past.
Both men are soon enmeshed in the mystery of who killed the cop in the minimart, and engaged in a race against time to clear Kaden’s name. But when the mystery is solved and the bullets stop flying, they’ll have to deal with their personal complications… and an attraction that’s spiraled out of control.
About the author
Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.
Amy is giving away an e-book to two lucky readers on today’s post! One winner will receive an e-copy of Fish Out of Water and the other will have a choice of any other book on Amy Lane’s backlist. To enter to win, just fill out the prize widget below. And stop on in to leave a comment and chat with Amy below!
Still not registered for Coastal Magic?
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