Thursday, 27 May 2010

Excerpt Day - Allegro Vivace © Cat Grant


...The sidewalks got crowded down here on Friday nights, but it was still early. I took a leisurely stroll, stopping to browse in my favorite bookshop, smiling wistfully at the laughter and appetizing aromas wafting from all the bars and restaurants. Time was, I couldn’t go more than a couple of blocks without running into someone I knew, but tonight no one paid me the slightest attention. Gorgeous men of various sizes, hair colors and ethnicities passed me by—just like the last decade of my life. I might as well have been invisible.

I shoved my hands in my pockets and walked on, weariness starting to creep over me. Up ahead, bright, warm lamplight from Kev’s and my once-favorite watering hole crooked a plaintive finger in my direction. I hesitated a moment before going in.

There were still a couple of tables left near the big picture window overlooking the street, so I grabbed one, waving over a handsome young waiter to give him my drink order. I decided to splurge on a double Glenfiddich, neat. If I was going to toast Kev’s memory, I’d do it in style.

The amber liquid went down smooth as butter, warming me from the inside out. It also served as a hollow-bellied reminder I hadn’t eaten anything since noon. One drink, then I’d head home. Terence was probably getting just as hungry as I was.

A not-so-unpleasant lightheadedness swept over me as I savored the delectable, peaty-tasting single malt. “Here’s to you, Kev,” I murmured. “Rest in peace, love.”

Oddly enough, I didn’t feel like crying. I’d done my share of that over the past two years. The overwhelming sadness that had hung on me like a wet blanket for so long now appeared to have lifted. For how long was anybody’s guess.

I’d no sooner knocked back my last swallow than my glance zeroed in on a familiar face passing by outside. Matt, flanked by two other students I vaguely recalled from the corridors at school, all engaged in animated conversation. I considered making a discreet dash for the back door, but it was too late—Matt’s intense blue gaze had already locked on mine. A cocky grin slid across his lips, just like that day when he’d first strode into my classroom.

He said something to his companions, then turned and marched inside, making a beeline for my table. Shit. Not good. Not good at all.

“Is this seat taken?” He didn’t bother waiting for my answer, just yanked out the chair across from me and sat down.

Fortunately, I was still seated myself. That blinding smile of his had made the crotch of my jeans uncomfortably tight. “Are you old enough to be in here?”

“Ever heard of a fake ID?”

Well, hello again, Mr. Smartass. “As your teacher, I feel honor-bound to voice my disapproval.”

“You’re not my teacher—not in here, anyway.” He shrugged. “In here, we’re just two guys having a friendly chat.”

I forced a chuckle. “Thank God for chance meetings.”

“Not really. I was having dinner at that Thai place up the street. I saw you walk by.”

“Oh, so you’re stalking me now? Should I be worried?”

“I guess that depends on whether you’re flattered or creeped out.”

That certainly settled the “Is he or isn’t he?” question, though not in a way that put me any more at ease—in fact, quite the opposite. Trying to deflect with more witty banter would only encourage him. Time to shut down this conversation.

I climbed to my feet and hastily zipped up my rain jacket. “I should be getting home. Have a pleasant evening, Matt.”

I knew without looking that he’d trailed me to the bus stop. The rain had started again, so I ducked under the overhang. Matt stood a few feet away, out in the open, the hood of his jacket up. I could still feel his eyes on me.

Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore. “What do you want?” I barked in the same tone I used in class whenever I wanted to scare the crap out of someone.

Didn’t work. His smile only grew brighter. “I was going to offer to buy you a drink and let nature take its course, but it looks like that’s off the menu.”

“Knock it off, okay?” I sighed. “This isn’t funny.”

“Sorry. Thought you might be in the mood for a little flirting.”

“Not really. But I’m sorry if I gave you the wrong impression.”

He stepped closer, close enough to touch, those beautiful eyes of his raking me from head to foot. His gaze settled just below my belt. “Not at all.”

The air was suddenly thick as ice. It was too damn hard to breathe. He gently brushed his hand across my cheek. Its heat burned worse than the tendonitis in my own hand, searing me inside and out. And God help me, I never wanted it to end.

“What do you want from me?” I rasped.

“The same thing I’ve wanted from that first day. The same thing you’ve wanted, too.”

“You’re wrong.”

“Really?” he breathed. Then he showed me what a liar I was by capturing my mouth with his...

all rights reserved © Cat Grant

Allegro Vivace

Author: Cat Grant

Publisher: Amber Allure

Genre: Contemporary GLBT


Sparks fly when brash young violinist Matt Dugan strides into professor Aaron Parrish’s classroom. Aaron’s intrigued by the twenty-year-old virtuoso, and agrees to take him on for private lessons. Things get off to a rocky start that’s complicated by a growing mutual attraction.

But Aaron, still reeling from the loss of his partner two years earlier, resists—until the afternoon Matt seduces him in his office.

Teacher and student embark on a passionate affair. Matt wants to tell everyone, while Aaron fears their twenty-five-year age difference will make them objects of scorn and ridicule. Can Aaron conquer his doubts, or will he lose Matt forever?


2 Speak To Me:

Chris on 27 May 2010 at 03:45 said...

Ack - I'm not sure I can get past a 25 year age difference!

Cat Grant on 28 May 2010 at 04:04 said...

Thanks for posting this, EH! Hope you enjoy it. :)