Yay! The "oh so hot" excerpt of Strongman by Denise Rossetti.
Strongman is now available in print at Ellora's Cave. (you can get it here). She has the best covers doesn't she? I'm glad I have an excuse to put it on the sidebar for a while, 'cause that's just hot :)
Thanks again Denise!
Griff wiped his mouth with the damp cloth Fort handed him, careful not to get grease on his costume. Sourly, Fort reflected it had obviously been designed to showcase and flaunt the body, with a standing collar to frame the tumbler’s lively face, the smooth, strong muscles of his shoulders and arms exposed by the singlet-style top. Golden-brown hair curled rakishly over his brow, tumbled over the collar. It needed cutting. A light mat of hair furred his chest, golden down dusted his forearms, glinting in the lamplight.
The tights were so positively, gloriously indecent, Fort had to keep dragging his gaze back to Griff’s knowing eyes. He could swear the other man was laughing at him, completely unabashed by the outline of a more-than-adequate cock stretching the knit fabric, clamped against his flat belly by the material.
“So the deep-fish pie was all right?” inquired Griff politely. “I wasn’t sure, but Ember loves me, so I begged for noodle cakes as well.”
Fort frowned from where he sat on the edge of the bed, the shaving lather drying on his face. He’d bolted the food, made them a cup of hot roberry, keen to finish the job and get rid of Griff’s confusing presence. He tightened his grip on the razor. “She loves you?”
“Sure.” Griff grinned. “All women love me. It’s part of my peculiar charm.” He blew on his roberry.
“Peculiar is right,” grunted Fort, grimacing as he scraped. “Who’s Ember?”
“The glass-blower. Makes all sorts of baubles. And she can cook.” Griff sighed and ran a hand through his hair. Immediately, it tumbled back over his forehead. “She’s a lovely woman, but so sad. And she won’t tell me why.”
“Some people actually have dignity, reserve.” Fort pulled the skin of his cheek taut. “You wouldn’t understand that.” The razor whispered over it, leaving a chill in its wake.
“Mmm. But everyone needs someone to love.” Griff drained his cup.
Fort laid down the razor. “To fuck, you mean.”
“That too.” Griff examined his features so boldly, a wave of heat rolled through Fort’s belly, washing over his aching cock, his balls lifting in automatic response. The tumbler said, “You missed a bit.”
“No I didn’t.”
“Here, hold these. I’ll get it.” Griff thrust the shaving brush into Fort’s left hand and the soap dish into his right. “Lean back a bit.”
“Griff — oompf!” The tumbler clambered onto the bed and knelt across him, Fort’s thighs between his knees. He pushed Fort’s chest with the heel of his hand, and to his own bemusement, Fort felt his shoulders hit the wall behind him.
The chill of the razor iced across his neck. “Lift your chin and don’t move.”
His stomach knotting with apprehension and arousal, Fort did as he was bid. Controlling his problem absorbed his entire attention. So did the heat of the tumbler’s body, his clean scent, of soap and flesh and muscle. Nothing like a woman’s soft feminine smell.
A woman. Desperate for balance, for normalcy, he lassoed a random thought. “Can Katahaya really wrap her ankles around her ears?”
“Don’t know.” Humming under his breath, Griff drew the razor over Fort’s chin, one strong hand cradling his jaw, holding him still. “But she sure wrapped them around mine. Don’t move, I said!”
“You’ve had her? But I thought—”
“I only fuck men?”
This time, the flush felt like a fever. Fort knew he reddened, clear to see without the protection of the whiskers. He made an indeterminate noise in his throat.
“Then you’d be wrong,” said Griff calmly, but a drop of sweat coursed slowly down the side of his neck. “Usually, I prefer women. I’m making an exception for you.” Carefully, he ran the razor under Fort’s chin.
Fort could scarcely believe his ears. Or his reaction. The surge of his blood was so violent, it made him light-headed, stupid. When the other man drew back, running a considering thumb over freshly shaved skin, he said, “Gods, Griff, you’ve got balls.”
As soon as the words were out, he could have taken the razor and sliced his tongue off at the root. “I mean…ah, hell. Get off!” He heaved with his hips, but all that accomplished was to press his hungry cock against the tumbler’s hip.
Griff froze, exhaling in a gusty rush. “Not yet,” he said absently. He plucked the towel from around Fort’s neck and wiped away the last of the foam, taking his time, grinning when Fort swore at him. “There.”
He leaned back a little, his right hand braced on Fort’s shoulder, still holding the razor. “You look…” A slow flush crept over his golden cheek and his sloe eyes narrowed. “Uh, lots better. That’s how you look. Your eyes have gone all dark and smoky.” His hands clenched, closing over muscle and bone. “Fuck, I can’t do this slow anymore.” He sucked in a deep breath. “Remember the razor.”
Griff’s lips came down on his, surprisingly soft and hot. Gods, so hot!
The shock stiffened every muscle in Fort’s body. Especially one. In panic, he tried to jerk his head away, but Griff murmured, “Nu-uh,” into his mouth and something cold pressed under his ear. Shit, the razor! He froze and Griff chuckled.
When he opened his mouth to curse, Griff slipped his tongue inside, humming with delight. Hot chills raced up and down Fort’s spine and then Griff curled his tongue around his and the world went away, lost in some sort of soft red explosion of lust. His fingers relaxed and the soap dish bounced to the floor. The shaving brush followed with a wet splat. Dimly, he heard a clatter as Griff tossed the razor aside, but he was completely preoccupied with the amazing sensations careering through his body. He’d never been kissed like this before, with such strength and ruthless expertise. Griff seemed to read his mind, knowing exactly when to push and when to pull, when to lick, when to suck.
Strong fingers speared into his hair, gripping the back of Fort’s skull, tilting his head for better access. Griff pressed hard into his body, chest to chest, his cock mashed into Fort’s stomach. He shifted his hips, enough that his stiff length rubbed all along Fort’s. The coarse fabric of Fort’s working trews rasped over the sensitive head of his cock, Griff’s shaft throbbing against his, right through two layers of clothing. The other man did it again.
White-hot instinct obliterated conscious thought. Rearing up, Fort wrapped one arm around Griff’s waist, the other around his shoulders. He took them down to the mattress, rolling so the other man was pinned beneath him, taking advantage of his weight and size. Bracketing Griff’s head between his forearms, he nipped at his lips, ran his tongue over the tumbler’s crooked tooth, growling deep in his throat.
Griff growled back and one hand clamped on Fort’s buttock, the fingers digging in hard.
The sound of it, so deep, so masculine, hit Fort like a shower of cold water. Fuck, fuck! What the hell was he doing?
He wrenched himself away. Panting, they stared at each other.
Fort’s head felt curiously empty, wiped clean of coherent thought. Finally, he said, “You’re shaking.” He’d get up in a minute, of course he would, but Griff had spread his thighs to accommodate his hips and he wasn’t particularly uncomfortable. Not physically, anyway.
“That’s because you’re going to kill me. But I’ll die reasonably happy.”
Strangely, Fort had to fight the desire to laugh, though the fact there was no air left in the wagon made it easier. “Only reasonably?”
“One lousy kiss isn’t worth dying for.”
Fort blinked, stung. “It wasn’t lousy!”
“We can do better.” Griff smiled like a hungry fellwolf and ran his hand into the open neck of Fort’s shirt, the pads of his fingers brushing a nipple. Fort could have sworn the tingle coursed all the way from his chest down to his toes, with a significant detour to the groin area. Under him, Griff murmured, “Care to try again?” sworn the tingle coursed all the way from his chest down to his toes, with a significant detour to the groin area. Under him, Griff murmured, “Care to try again?”