GENRE: Gay Paranormal Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 30,272 words
Mason’s more scared of love than he is of the walking dead.
Mason is facing more than one apocalypse. The darkest hours are those spent alone, when memories surface and the touch of his lost love can make the most erotic of dreams horrifying. He’d rather face danger than recollect how he loved Antonio and what he was prepared to give up for him. He’s never going to fall in love again ... a vow that wavers when he rescues Kyle.
Although Mason is certain luck had more to do with saving Kyle than anything he did, now he fears something more than the walking dead. He’s afraid giving in to lust may lead to love, if homophobic hatred doesn’t murder them first.
Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.
“Did things go wrong?” Kyle slid a little lower in the bed, sinking into the pillows, although he was so light, it was surprising he made a dent.
“Understatement. Close calls.” Mason shrugged. “They happen.”
“Ever wonder which are worse?”
Uncertain as to his meaning, Mason studied those dark eyes. Darker than Antonio’s. His subconscious must have picked up on the fact as well as the slight unevenness to Kyle’s teeth. These were the eyes from his dream. As for the colour, hard to believe it possible; he once assumed no one could have darker irises than Antonio. As Kyle settled back, light fell into his eyes, creating pinpoints of illumination. Mason stood and paced, pretending to stretch, though his real reason for movement was to edge closer. If not mistaken, Kyle’s long eyelashes were the sort for which women contemplated murder. His lashes framed almost black pupils, and those eyes were the man’s best feature, at least for now while he still bore the appearance of the living dead. When Kyle put on weight, his cheekbones would stand out, underscoring those eyes.
“Sorry?” He’d forgotten Kyle’s question.
“Ever wonder which is worse? The zombies or the humans who hurt each other, though the world’s gone to hell?”
The world might have always been hell; Mason flashed back on how he and Antonio had fought for acceptance, but he didn’t have the heart to say so.
“The humans.” He needed only a slight pause.
Kyle swallowed. The scrawniness of his frame made his Adam’s apple bob in both a grotesque and inviting way. “Glad I’m not alone in thinking so.” He sounded unhappy.
Mason stared at the man in the bed, and the man stared back. Kyle’s tongue flicked out, vanished into the recesses of his mouth. He grimaced.
“Doc says licking my lips is not doing them any good. He gave me this.” Kyle shifted, making a weak attempt to reach for something on the bedside table. Almost by reflex, Mason walked over and picked up the object -- a small jar labeled with spiderlike writing.
“A woman -- Patricia? She’s making this stuff?”
Mason nodded. The people here by necessity returned to basics for many things -- food, drugs, items like salve. He glanced up in time to see Kyle almost lick his lips again, once more resist. Mason focused on the condition of Kyle’s mouth instead of the pink and enticing flash of his tongue. At least his lips had improved -- dry instead of cracked, except for one nasty fissure where his lower lip had split and bled.
Kyle’s eyelids fluttered and closed. His head slumped into the pillow.
Mason unscrewed the lid of the jar, hesitated, mindful enough to check the cleanliness of his fingers. He washed his hands when he arrived -- Miles insisted there be no infection in his ‘hospital’ -- but still, he checked. Satisfied, he dabbed a small amount of the salve on his index finger before sitting on the side of the bed to lean over the patient.
Mason had to be careful -- Kyle’s lips were dry -- but tracing them at first gave Mason a peaceful connection not enjoyed for a long time. He intended nothing sexual, took a simple delight; caring for someone took him out of his skin, silenced his mind. The act of kindness was one Antonio would have applauded. The thought comforted ... until sensation spread from his groin. He suppressed a gasp caused by sudden, unexpected, and intense arousal -- made worse when Kyle opened his eyes. For a second, they gaped at each other. Kyle’s mouth unlatched. He took the tip of Mason’s finger between his teeth. Seeming almost unnecessarily cautious to make sure the forefinger didn’t drag over his lips, Kyle applied pressure with his teeth before using his tongue to lap what remained of the salve from Mason’s fingertip.
The hot, wet, fluttering sensation against one of his digits did nothing to make Mason’s erection wither. He should pull free but he might hurt Kyle if he did, cause his mouth to bleed. Kyle needed to be the one to withdraw, which he eventually did, to swallow and say, “Tastes pretty nice for an ointment.”
“Salve,” Mason corrected. “Pat uses honey in many of her concoctions. It’s healing.” If Pat made a kind of balm for heartache, he could sure use a ton of the stuff. He stood, screwed the lid back on the jar, and popped it in place on the table. His eyebrows had gathered in the centre of his brow; he fought to quit frowning. A weight resided in his chest, and his breathing tightened. Did the Doc keep any inhalers around?