Sunday, March 30, 2008

Flashback Friday on Sunday--Mosaic Moon

The third book of the Master Chronicles is Mosaic Moon. It's the first menage in the series, as Jesse and Emma finally come to terms with the fact that they really, really like each other a lot...oh, let's not be coy. They love each other.

Emma Coolidge is accustomed to isolation. Born with the ability to read emotions, Emma reached adulthood without learning how to control her special gift, leading to a life of self-imposed seclusion. Until she meets Gideon Keel and Jesse Madding, a vampire fighting for good and his human lover. Both men befriend her and introduce her to people who can help her create a normal life for herself. Everything is great for Emma for the first time in her life—except for one small problem. She longs to be part of Jesse and Gideon’s lives, and their darker games involving bondage and sadism, but believes her desire can be nothing but a private fantasy.

Gideon adores Jesse and wants nothing more than to give him everything he wants. When Gideon realizes Jesse wants Emma, as well, he decides to invite Emma into their games. But a disturbing new crime distracts Gideon from his goal. Jesse and Gideon are forced to investigate a string of grave desecrations that are somehow siphoning power from the most powerful mage in Chicago. They must unravel the mystery of who is stealing Black John’s power, why, and how to reverse it before they can devote their time and energy to their mutual desire for a third in their bed.

Genres: Gay / Ménage (M/M/F) / Bisexuality (M/M) / Dark Fantasy / Vampire / BDSM / Fantasy / Witchcraft / Magic / Mystery / Detective / Series
Heat Level: 3
Advisory: This book contains graphic violence, hardcore bondage and punishment, and blood play. May not be suitable for the more sensitive reader.

And now, for a never-before-posted excerpt.

Emma laughed. "I think you've even got Jimmy Hoffa in there." Her attention returned to Jesse, and she caught her lower lip between her teeth for a moment before adding, "Why don't you come with us? You can see how much a fool I make of myself live and in person then."

A night in Ethan's company, even if it meant spending time with Emma, was not his idea of a good time. He'd probably punch the other man in the face, for one thing. Gideon would approve, no doubt, but Jesse knew he shouldn't put himself in the path of temptation.

"I can't tonight," he said with genuine regret. "We don't really have the time to spare."

"White might be too young for him," Ethan said.

Jesse frowned. He knew the popular dance club, though he really never got the chance to go. "What is that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing." Emma shot Ethan a small frown. "Ethan just doesn't know you like I do."

"I'll take you dancing, Emma, as soon as we take care of John's case. How does that sound?"

The suggestion was out of Jesse's mouth before he thought to stop it, but the delighted smile she turned in his direction banished any residual anxiety he had about making it. "I think that's a great idea," she said. "We've never had a chance to do that before now. Well, there was Sangre, but..." For a moment, her eyes flickered to his neck, and he knew she was remembering the leash and collar he'd worn the first time they'd met. Her blush deepened, but there was a twinkle in her eye when their gazes met again. "You can handle wearing clothes at a club, right?"

Jesse's lips twitched. "I don't know. I never tried." With a smirk he added, "I guess what I used to go dancing in could generously be called clothes."

"You used to go clubbing?" It was genuine surprise in Gideon's voice. "You never told me that."

Jesse looked up, tearing his attention away from Emma for the first time. "I guess it never came up. But, yeah, I used to go all the time." He smiled a little sheepishly.
"My whole first year at Cambridge is more or less a blur."

"A blur?" Gideon cocked a brow. "I don't believe you."

Emma laughed. "Why would he lie about something like that?"

"Because Jesse never likes to do anything halfway," came Gideon's amused response. "He just wants us to think he was the biggest clubber ever."

"Maybe he was." She turned to Jess, taking a step closer. Her breasts just barely brushed his arm. "Are you sure you can't come tonight? We need to prove Gideon wrong."

Jesse was very tempted to take her up on her offer. The thought of her on the dance floor made him throb. But Ethan shuffled his feet at the door and cleared his throat, bringing Jesse back to reality. But there were other ways to prove Gideon wrong.

"You don't believe me? I have proof."

Gideon leaned against the jamb. "This ought to be interesting."

"Don't move," Jesse ordered before turning to the stairs. He couldn't believe he was doing this. He had never mentioned his clubbing days to Gideon because they were hardly the bright point of his life. And the pictures that remained of those days were private, and probably more than a little silly. Was it some misplaced sense of pride? Was he trying to impress the woman he had already decided would never be more than a friend?

Maybe he just felt like showing off.

He found a half-dozen photos stashed away in an old picture album that he kept in the closet. Each one featured him and one or two other young men--the faces changed from photo to photo, and he had been fucking most of them. Which might have been one reason why he never showed them to Gideon before. His own youth surprised him, and he was half-naked in all of them, his leather pants hanging low on his hips. His eyes and lips were heavily accented with make-up.

He returned to the office and presented them to Gideon. "That's all that still survives."

"No way he gets to see and I don't," Emma announced.

She bounded around the desk to slip past Jesse, into the narrow space left in the doorway at Gideon's side. Her face was bright with expectation, but as her dark eyes settled on the pictures in Gideon's hand, they widened, her smile fading into something more lax. When Gideon slid the top to the bottom of the stack, her full mouth made an o shape, and stayed like that for the duration of the slide show.

She took them from Gideon when he'd gone through all six, flipping through them again more slowly, deliberately, as if she didn't want to miss a single detail.

When she started a third rotation through the pictures, Jesse reached for them and gently pried them from her fingers, feeling suddenly uncomfortable. He pulled the top drawer of his desk open and slipped them inside. "I suppose Gideon could argue that those pictures were posed and don't really prove anything at all," he joked lamely.

"They prove you look hot in eyeliner," Emma offered.

Jesse smiled self-consciously. It was the same smile he always offered when Gideon complimented him. "That's what they used to tell me."

"They also prove you don't have nearly enough leather in your wardrobe." As Gideon shifted his weight, Jesse noticed his definite bulge. "I'm going to have to fix that."

"Yes, I'm sure he looks great in eyeliner and leather," Ethan said from the door. "Emma, didn't you want to get dinner before we went to the club?"

Emma jerked at Ethan's voice, and a flush of satisfaction coursed through Jesse when he realized she'd momentarily forgotten about Ethan's presence. It dissipated quickly, however, when she hurried to his side, slipping into his arm before glancing back at Jess and Gideon in apology.

"Call me about when you want me to help you with this grave robber thing," she said.

Jesse nodded. "I will. Have fun tonight."

She waved and the door clicked behind them. His gaze remained on the empty space she left behind, as though he could conjure her back if he concentrated hard enough. The room seemed empty without her in it. Until he looked over his shoulder and noticed Gideon was watching him--staring at him.

"Well, that was a brilliant move, Einstein," Gideon said dryly.


"Getting the girl all worked up and then letting her just walk out of here. I'll bet Ethan thanks you in the morning."

Jesse frowned. "I didn't."

"And you didn't have to pry those photos--those fucking hot photos--out of her greedy little hands, either, right?"

Jesse sat down heavily. "Was she flirting with me, too?"

"She asked you to go out with them. Twice. You do the math."

The math said he might have to admit that Gideon was right. "Was she really worked up? I mean, could you tell she was...aroused?"

The question was the first thing to draw Gideon from his office doorway, coming to the desk to perch on the corner. "Jess, I've been telling you this for days now. Yes, she was excited. It started when you offered to take her dancing yourself, but the second she saw those pictures..." He shook his head. "You never listen to me."

"Oh, my God, and we let her go out with Ethan."

"And you know he's going to take advantage of the situation."

Jesse grimaced. "I can't stand the thought of him touching her."

"Then don't let him." Gideon rested his foot on the chair between Jesse's legs, nudging his aching balls with his toe. "Let's get dressed and go to White."

Jesse looked at him through his lashes. "You do realize I won't be wearing a collar there, right? And I don't own any leather pants any more."

"Trust me. You don't need to get glammed up to get Emma's attention. You walk in there, you ask her to dance, there is no way in hell she is saying no." Grabbing Jesse's hand, he pulled him to his feet, standing at the same time. He grasped his hips, rubbing their hard cocks together with a wicked gleam in his eye. "Do you think you'll be hard like this when you dance with her?"

"Oh, yes." Jesse sighed. There would be no hiding his arousal from her then. The thought sent a hot jolt straight to his groin. He had gone out of his way to hide any sign that he thought of her sexually for the past several months, but knowing he was going to be honest left him relieved. And very excited. "Will you dance with us, too?"

"I think I'd rather watch this first time." Gideon leaned in and licked along Jesse's jaw, ending at his ear. "I'll save my dance for when we get her home tonight."

Jesse shivered. All of his fantasies were so close, almost within his grasp. Could he be just a few hours away from everything he wanted? "I do love it when you watch." He turned his head and kissed Gideon's neck. "Come on, let's get dressed before I change my mind."

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