Dreamspinner Press has Make Me Whole
for their Daily Deal. In celebration, I posted one of my favorite excerpts. One of the first scenes that started the whole story.
Shadows blanketed the hallway, but he had grown accustomed to making his way through the museum with just the security lights for illumination. The museum wasn’t that big, and it didn’t take him long to get to the new exhibit. Galen paused in the doorway, stunned by the sight before him. The security lights hadn’t been set up here yet, but the row of skylights stretching across the roof faced the rising full moon, and the room was awash with a pale-blue glow. In the shadows and light, the statue facing him looked almost alive, ready to move at any moment and finish the action he’d started.
Galen walked over to him, his heart thudding, and laid his hand on the man’s forearm. How surreal. For a moment it almost seemed like heated flesh beneath his fingers and not cooler bronze. “Who are you, Dexios? And why do you seem so familiar to me?”
Silence answered him, and Galen had the insane urge to slip under those embracing arms to press himself up against the man. He stepped back with a short, uneasy laugh and stuck his hand into his pocket. With his luck he’d get stuck. He didn’t want to hear Suzane’s laughter the next morning when she found him entangled with a statue. He’d never live it down.
This obsession, this inability to get these statues out of his mind, was unhealthy. He needed to go home and relax, as Suzane had suggested. Go home and find some way to get Nick out of his thoughts.
“Shouldn’t you prefer flesh and bone to metal? You never were one to put your faith in the mystical.”
Galen stiffened and spun around to face the man in the wide arched doorway. Adrenaline raced through him and his breath quickened. At first all he could see were shadows, and then the man stepped into the moonlight. He wore no undershirt beneath his breastplate and the studded leather fringe that hung from his waist did nothing to hide his muscular thighs. A teasing smile played on his lips and his eyes held mysteries in the shadows and light. Galen couldn’t tell what color they were or what the man intended. “Would you kiss these lips now that I stand before you?”
Galen’s breath caught on a wave of recognition. “Nick?” Wait, no. Not quite, but similar. This man’s hair came to his shoulders in thick waves, unlike Nick’s short, rumpled style groomed to look careless. Old scars ridged his arms and legs. And though Nick worked out, this man had hard muscles all over as if he drove himself all the time. In fact, now that he looked at him closer, Galen was uncomfortably reminded of his sexy statue. They even had scars in the same places.
The back of his neck prickled with uneasy awareness. If he turned around, would he still see it standing in its place behind him? He wavered between looking over his shoulder and keeping his eyes on the strange man before him. It was a ridiculous thought—statues didn’t wake up and move around. He really needed to get away from this place and take a break if he was having thoughts like that.
“Nick? That is an interesting pet name, not one you have used before. What does it mean?”
Galen stumbled back, almost falling as the man moved closer. His hands caught a hold of metal and he clung to the reassurance that he hadn’t lost his entire grip on reality. This man wasn’t the statue come to life. “Who the hell are you?”
The coaxing smile died and his eyes widened. “You don’t remember? A part of you always does. Could it have been so long this time?” He tapped Galen’s chest just over his heart. The physical contact was another small comfort. The strange man wasn’t a figment of his imagination, though Galen supposed an intruder wasn’t a better option. “How can you not remember me, remember us?”
Galen looked over his shoulder at the control panel on the wall. He needed a better nighttime security system, maybe even a guard. “I don’t know how you got in here or what possessed you to dress like that, but I suggest you leave before my security comes.” The man did not react the way Galen expected him to with that desperate gamble. Instead, a puzzled look crossed his face as strong hands settled on Galen’s hips.
“I do not understand the words you say. You look different, yet I know it is you born again to bring me to life.” Those hands on his hips tugged, and Galen gasped as groin met groin with a hot tingle of awareness. Oh yes, hard all over. Damn, it had been so long since he had another man against him. And the resemblance to Nick made it even more disorienting. “Kiss me, Lykon. Make me whole again.”