When Lio’s lover cheats on him, he’s forced to give up what he thought was the idyllic romance he’s lived with Maks, including their stunning, scenic Waikiki apartment. He rents a cheap house with magical views on the other side of the island. So why is it so cheap?
He soon becomes haunted by dreams in which a fearsome yet sexy Hawaiian man begs him to rescue him. Lio is certain he’s going nuts until one night in the midst of a tropical rainstorm he follows the man’s urgings and digs a hole in a church graveyard. He finds a gigantic, ancient stone statue with scary eyes…that soon gives Lio the power of…THE LAST WARRIOR…
We shared a slice of the pie I’d never tried before. It was like eating a giant orange Creamsicle. That’s when I remembered why Hau’ula was familiar. I’d come here many, many years ago on a school excursion.
“Isn’t there a great trail into the rainforest around here?” I asked him.
“Why, yes.” He grinned at me.
I recalled quite clearly going with my class. We’d bought ice creams from a portable ice cream stand as we were leaving. Orange Creamsicles.
“Do you hike much?” I asked.
“Every chance I get.”
“Wow, that’s great.”
“You like to hike?” he asked, pushing the last bite of pie toward me.
“Yeah, my ex hated it, though.”
“I’m always up for a hike,” he said. “Give me a shout some time.”
Speaking of shouting, the volume rose considerably with some newcomers so we gave up our table. Outside, I inhaled a mouthful of sweet night air.
He was giving me so many mixed signals, or so I thought. Sometimes he reached out to me, then pulled his hand away. I was certain he was staring at my mouth in a hungry way. I sure as hell wanted him to kiss me. He smiled at me a lot. Maybe he was being kind, but I felt certain we were on a date. When he took me to his own home, I didn’t think I was wrong. His beach cottage sat right on the reef, and I was stunned by his uninterrupted view of the ocean.
Kord’s life seemed to be straight out of my childhood. Everything on the walls and sideboards was found art. He’d discovered gigantic shells, sea glass balls, bleached pieces of driftwood that almost looked like antlers. He’d even made a hammock out of an old fisherman’s net.
He showed me his home office, which took up most of the space. He pointed to the garage. “That’s where I build stuff.”
I had a sense he didn’t bring many people here. I almost felt glad I didn’t see any chick stuff. His home spoke of a solitary existence.
“Take a seat.” He pointed outside. I swung in one of the aged rocking chairs on the lanai as he brought me a beer. Longboard. My favorite.
“You had a recent breakup too,” I said. “Isn’t that what you told Marcella?”
“Sure. It never works out for me with women.” He scowled.
“Why’s that? You’re a great guy. Handsome, hard-working—”
“Thanks. That’s part of the problem. I love to work.”
The words swayed between us like a coconut palm. “I have a hard time with women because…because…”
He didn’t finish the sentence. He didn’t want me to know he was bi. I sensed he didn’t want to give me ideas. It was okay. I didn’t need any. I was too busy licking my own wounds and couldn’t have handled any confusion.
When he dropped me home and kissed me on the lips, I felt my spirit and my body reacting.
“Have a great night,” he said, then watched as I let myself inside Dad’s house.
As I closed and locked the door behind me, I felt something shifting. I couldn’t explain it as I leaned with my back against the blue stained-glass mermaid and felt her coolness seep into my hot skin.
Aaaahhh…something had changed. Something good. I touched my lips. We’d had a great date. No, not a date. He was being kind.
So why did he kiss me?
We’d had a swell time. A gentle time. I hadn’t had such a sweet evening with a man in a very long time. When I’d cleaned my teeth, I fell into bed. I could almost feel his dark hair on my face, his lips on mine. I tasted salty tears. Yeah…something was changing. I didn’t know what.
I dreamed of fishermen’s nets, mad laughter, and mud.
At around three o’clock in the morning, I awoke from a strange dream.
No. They were not coming back. I wouldn’t allow them to come back. Not the dreams. Not those ones. I closed my ears to the voices whispering…
I worked very hard to forget. To think of nothing but the soft press of Kord’s lips, wishing for more. So much more.
A.J. Llewellyn is an author whose obsession with myth, magic, love, and romance might have led to serious stalking charges had it not been for the ability to write. Thanks to the existence of some very patient publishers, A.J.’s days are spent writing, reading, and dreaming up new worlds. A.J. has definitely stopped Google-searching former boyfriends and given up all ambition to taste-test every cupcake in the universe to produce over 150 published gay erotic romance novels.
A.J. wants you to read them all.
You can find this author lurking on Facebook and Twitter—part-time class clown being another occupation. When not writing or reading, A.J.’s other passions include juggling, kite-boarding, and spending a fortune buying upgrade apps for Diner Dash.
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