Friday, April 24, 2015

Hot Kiss Friday

Chet Baker partly inspired my character Skip.

Every week on Friday, the Book Boyfriends Cafe runs a Hot for Friday meme, and the last Friday of the month the theme is "Hot Kiss". There are a bunch of blogs participating (jump HERE to see the full list), so you'll have plenty of Friday kissing action. The rules don't specify whether it's the characters' first kiss or not, but in this case, it is. This snippet is from my mid-century m/m romance Aqua Follies. Russell & Skip are at a bar that caters to "their kind", and after a long and tortuous delay, things finally heat up...


The 1950s. Postwar exuberance. Conformity. Rock and roll. 


Russell Haunreiter accepts his aunt’s offer of the assistant coach’s job for her water ballet team, and travels with them to Seattle, where they will perform for the Aqua Follies. He’s just along for the ride until the night of the dress rehearsal, when the trumpet player’s solo hits him like a torpedo, blowing apart his carefully reconstructed life.

From the orchestra pit, Skip Johansson watches Poseidon’s younger brother stalk along the pool deck. It never hurts to smile at a man, because who knows what will come of it, so once the last note has been played, he gives it a shot. A flash of panic and heat tells Skip he’s guessed correctly. None of the girls on the team are Russell’s type, but even Skip can’t see the wounds the other man is carrying. 

Seattle may be more open than Russell’s home town of Red Wing, MN, but no place truly welcomes their kind of love. Is the strength of their bond enough to take a chance on a very uncertain future, or will the ghosts of Russell’s past stop them before they get started? 

Harry Connick Jr is also an inspiration for Skip. Because yum.

Hot Kiss

The bartender interrupted Skip to ask if they wanted another round.

“What time is it?” Skip guessed it was close to midnight.

“Half past twelve.” Russell’s eyes were heavy, and Skip’s alarm was going to go off at five o’clock. It was time to move.

“We can sneak out the back,” he said. “It’ll be closer to where we parked the car.”

He hadn’t quite told a lie, but close. They paid for their drinks, and he led Russell toward the back of the narrow room. As soon as they were in the dark hallway, between the tavern and the restroom, he launched himself, forcing Russell against the wall. He gripped his face with both hands, holding him in place.

“Nobody can see,” he murmured, so close the warmth of Russell’s breath moistened his lips, his internal thermostat driven to the red line by all the teasing and flirting.


For a screaming instant he almost stopped, afraid of chasing Russell off. The man had been so skittish, so to make his intentions plain, Skip pinned him with his hips. In return, Russell’s hard heat thrust against his thigh. 

“Last chance to stop,” Skip said.

“Oh God.” The words came out in a gasp, and Russell closed the distance between them, meeting Skip’s lips in a soft, tentative brush. 

Skip didn’t need any more of an invitation. He rocked his hips a couple times and dove in, satisfying an urge that had been growing since he’d first seen Russell stalking along the pool deck. 

Russell’s body was solid, his touch was warm, and he tasted of whiskey. His lips softened under the rush of Skip’s kisses. A groan vibrated up from Russell’s belly, and Skip went crazy, both hands gripping the lapels of the other man’s jacket to keep from reaching for his cock. The energy running through him since the gig went off like a match thrown in gasoline. It was hard to breath, hard to stand still. Kissing the gorgeous swimming god took every ounce of his concentration and hardened a harmless flirtation into bone-deep need.

Russell’s lips parted, giving him something new to attend to. He opened up, sliding his tongue along Russell’s lower lip, letting his hands roam over his high cheekbones and close cropped hair. Their tongues tangled. Rough whiskers burned. Russell nipped his lower lip and almost dropped him to his knees.

They didn’t ease off the throttle until someone came looking for the rest room. The man passed them with a murmured, “Careful, boys,” and kept moving. 

Russell jerked, stiffened, and pulled away. Skip rolled to the side so they stood shoulder to shoulder, their backs to the wall and fingers interlaced, their hearts pounding on a backbeat.

“Okay, so this wasn’t my classiest move, dragging you back to the john.” Skip flipped his head to clear the flopping bangs out of his face. “That fellow’s cool, though. He won’t rat on us.”

Russell shook their clasped hands. “You don’t hear me complaining.”

“Yeah, but if Demetrio or the bartender finds us, we’ll be out on our cans.” Reality kept raining down. “I’d bring you home with me tonight, but I have to work early in the morning.”
Russell tipped his head back against the wall and chuckled. “What are we doing here then?”

“I told you. I wanted to spend some time with you.” Skip kissed the back of Russell’s hand. The kiss turned into a caress. 

Russell cleared his throat, more of a grunt, as if he was cramming something down deep. “I’ve got to lead calisthenics at seven in the morning, anyway.” 

Skip knocked him with his shoulder. “Do you have to be coach all the time, or can you break away?”

“Saturday afternoon.”

“It’s a date.”

This one's out on submission, and you will hear it here first when it gets contracted. Happy Friday! Cheers!

Don't forget to check out the full list of participating blogs on this Hot Friday. And if you want to see more of the pictures that inspired Aqua Follies, check out my Pinterest board HERE.


  1. Whew! Hot. And that photo of Harry Connick - WHEW!!!!

    1. Thanks! I LOVE HCJr, and that photo is prolly my favorite.

  2. Love. LOVE! Absolutely adore this!

    1. Thank you, my dear! Your cheerleading the other night was just what I needed.

  3. Love the tension between these two. Whew! And Harry Connick Jr.'s not too bad either. :)

    1. Now I'm thinking I should have posted a pic of Russell, too. (Don't tell, but he was inspired by Paul Newman.)

  4. Hi Liv, is it done? Did you make it into a full length novel? Yay!! Best of luck with submissions. It's a great story and nice excerpts and pics ;)

    1. Yep Debbie, it's a grown-up novel now, and I'm waiting (im)patiently for it to find a home.

  5. so looking forward to reading :-)

    1. Hopefully someday soon, Ellen...