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Possessions of the Dead

Possessions of the Dead
By Elliot Arthur Cross

ISBN: 9781611525489

$2.99

30 reward points

GENRE: Gay Paranormal Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 13,000 words
RATING: flame rating 3

As a way of dealing with being dumped by his boyfriend for being unemotional, college junior Alex Corrigan pours all his energy into his studies. He jumps at the opportunity to sub for one of his favorite professors who’s called away on unexpected business. While answering questions about an upcoming mid-term paper, Alex finds himself immediately drawn to roommates Ben and Gage.

Ben plans on debunking the local legend of a haunted cabin for his research paper. For years, college kids have passed around the story that trespassers on the wooded property who steal something from the cabin are cursed with horrible, and potentially deadly, luck. Alex gives Ben advice on conducting research, then turns his attention on getting to know Gage.

Over the next few days, Alex manages to befriend the freshman while simultaneously talking himself out of making any moves. But as Alex spends more time with Gage, he finds himself drawn into Ben’s haunted project. When a series of startling events occur, Alex is forced to face the cursed cabin. Is it simply an urban legend college kids use to scare each other, or will he discover truth in the story?

EXCERPT:
Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.

    I tried not to act like a complete perv when Gage showed up at the front door. He wore a loose-fitting shirt with stripes on the arms and tight pants. He stood at the doorway with his hands in his pockets, rocking back and forth on his heels.

    “Hey, come on in,” I said, affecting a casual tone.

    “Thanks.” He followed me into the living room where I gestured to the couch. I wanted to sit next to him, but I chose a chair a few feet away. I’d turned the news on so he’d think I was worldly, and muted it once we settled in. I wanted to sketch him so badly. Maybe for my final. How do you ask someone to pose for you? Do you show your artwork beforehand, work it into the conversation, or try to make him think it’s his idea?

    What, you think it would be fun to strip and lay on my bed while I stare at you with a pencil forgotten in my hand? Okay, I mean, if that’s what you want.

    “You, uh, want a beer or anything?”

    “Man, I’m only nineteen,” Gage said. I blushed and started to stammer. My only goal of the day was to not come off as a perv and the first thing out of my mouth was a sketchy misdemeanor. Gage looked at me with a dead serious expression for another second or two before bursting out in laughter. “I’m just screwing with you. I’d love a beer, yeah.”

    “I am twenty-one,” I blurted out and then dashed out of the room. Did he realize what an effect he had on me? Maybe he didn’t even know I was gay. Life would be easier if we all had bar codes on our foreheads, so you could quickly tell sexual orientation and IQ. It would save a lot of fuss. I grabbed two beers from the fridge and hurried back to the living room. “Here you go.”

    “Thanks.” He cracked it open and took a swig, moisture collecting at the edges of his lips. I fumbled with my own beer and gulped some down.

    “How’s Ben’s project going?”

    “All right. They headed out there last night and took some stuff,” Gage said.

    “Why didn’t you go out there with them?”

    “I don’t really believe in the curse, but I don’t believe in tempting fate, either,” he said with a chuckle. “Ben’s acting weird today, but not much different than any other day.”

    “How’s your paper going?” I tried not to think back to Ben and those shorts.

    “Okay, relatively speaking. I’m kind of hitting a dead end in my research.”

    “Ah, yeah that happens to Professor Stanley a lot. He calls it the pitfalls of niche academia. What’s your thesis?” I hope it doesn’t suck. I want you to be smart.

    “I’m looking at mental health histories of paranormal investigators.”

    “Who watches the watchmen,” I said with a nod. “I don’t have much in the way to help you, but I know Professor Stanley does.”

    “You think he’d lend me some of his books?” Gage asked.

    “Of course. He’ll get back Monday. I’m sure you can borrow some research material then.”

    “Cool.”

    “Cool.”

    He took a drink, so I took another one.

    What do I say? Does he want to leave? Should I offer him food? Is there any food?

    “Food?” I asked. Smooth.

    “I’m all set, unless I interrupted your dinner.”

    “I already ate.”

    “Cool.”

    “Cool.”

    We drank in silence again.

    Do something cool. What? I don’t know, anything, stupid. He wants to leave, don’t let him with your socially inept hosting skills.

    “Are you a psych major?” It was all I could think of to ask.

    “Theater,” he said. “I know, it’s a bit stereotypical, every gay boy from a small town is a theater major.”

    Not every small town gay. I went into psychology. Wait, so he’s gay? He’s gay! Don’t do cartwheels or freak out.

    “I’m taking a couple psych classes for the credits,” he added. “And I heard understanding human behavior can help actors.”

    “It can’t hurt.”

    “Yeah. Ben likes this girl, Lisa, who took the class last semester and told us how cool it was.”

    Ben’s straight then? So what, Gage is so much better. He probably has even nicer shorts.

    “Cool. Are you and Ben roommates?”

    “Yep. He’s kind of messy but cool.”

    “You’re uh, boyfriend, isn’t jealous you live with him? Ben probably walks around in his tight briefs ... and I just lost my train of thought.”

    Gage laughed and shook his head. “The eye candy is nice, but my ex left me for some junior who appreciates his dramatics. A big shot in the philosophy department.”

    “Carter Bingham?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.

    “Yeah, he’s an asshat.”

    “Carter left me two months ago.”

    “Oh, um ...” He trailed off with an uncomfortable look on his cute face.

    “What is it?”

    “Carter started dating my ex three months back,” Gage said.

    I downed the last half of my beer and asked, “You want another?”


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This book was published on July 01, 2010.