(Book 1 of the Stone Magic series)
Ky’s fought his way to the boxing championship for the third time, but now the fight of his life isn’t against an opponent in the ring. He’s battling a darkness within himself that he can’t ignore and can’t control. If he fails, everything he’s spent his life working for will be gone, and he can’t see a path to victory. Only a a hunch sends him looking for help in the most unusual places.
Blue’s a quiet guy, living for his family and the art of his tattoos. He’s created his shop, Blue’s Dungeon, to be a place for the celebration of art on skin—simple, friendly, and mostly uncomplicated—and Blue likes it that way.
But when Ky shows up in Blue’s tattoo parlor, desperately searching for a lifeline, it’s the beginning of something magical for both men...
Heat Level: 3
Length: Extended Novel (72k words)
Read a short excerpt...
...Blue was pretty happy with his work. For being nothing more than a series of moon phases on the inside of Ky’s arm, it had turned out pretty awesome. It struck a chord in his memory, too. Maybe he’d seen it in a book or Ky had taken it from somewhere Blue had been. It didn’t matter, just as long as it had turned out the way his client wanted it. He’d stopped trying to match people with the tattoos they wanted. It was all personal preference, and if anyone should understand that concept, it was him.
Still it was a strange choice for someone who obviously took the term “tough guy” to heart, and had molded his body to fit the image. He wasn’t huge, like some of the muscly boys Blue had met or been attracted to. More toned and sculpted, hard lines visible through his T-shirt and the tight fit of his sweatpants. And despite the bruises, and the scar down the side of Ky’s face, he was fucking hot.
Ky had insisted the tattoo be outlined in dark blue instead of black, something not so common in Blue’s experience. Most people wanted the inside colored and the outside standard black, or the whole thing completely black, as was most often the case. But Ky had wanted the opposite; the four moons shaded and swirled with black and blue, but the silhouette the exact shade of blue of the skull on the wall.
He examined his work a little more closely, lightly holding Ky’s wrist, while he wiped away the excess ink and trails of blood. He was hyper-aware of Ky’s breath warming his shoulder and the side of his neck. It stirred something inside him, something he wasn’t altogether comfortable with. Something akin to desire, but more.
When he started to pull back, loosening his grip on Ky’s arm, calloused fingers wrapped around his hand. He looked up into bleary green orbs, their hold both mystifying and uncomfortable. Blue supposed he might have lost his mind when he leaned over and let Ky press a kiss to his lips. Later, the whole thing was hazy at best, except for the sweet taste.
The kiss was tentative at first—muted, wary, little unsure touches—but it escalated quickly to desperate and sloppy when Ky tucked his arm closer to his body, moving it from the armrest and extending his neck. He reached for Blue, awkwardly securing him with one hand around the back of his head. They slotted their mouths together harder, in an uncoordinated clash of lips, with no direction or consideration for just what the hell they were doing.
Blue eased back as soon as his mind unscrambled, his common sense overriding the lust playing havoc under his itching skin. “Wow,” he groaned, swiping the back of his hand over his mouth. “That should not have happened.”
Ky turned a lovely shade of pink as he jumped from the chair, stumbling over his own feet in his haste to move. “I’m sorry. Did I…fuck, I thought you were sending off some hard signals. I never meant to—Jesus, I’m an idiot.”
“No you’re not.” Blue stepped closer again. He stroked a hand down Ky’s back, careful to make the connection purely platonic even though his lips still burned from the kiss. “Let me wash up, then get you bandaged, yeah?”
Ky’s face retained some of the blush, but at least the palpable tension appeared to fall away as Blue smiled and motioned to the couch in the corner. Ky settled into the cushions, but stayed precariously on the edge, his fingers white-knuckling his thighs. Blue struggled with not kissing him again when he returned.
Ky’s face shone with embarrassment, his eyes clouded with what Blue hoped wasn’t disgust...