As usual, I’m running just a little bit behind the calendar… just finished Chapter 22 of UNDERTOW (SoulShares #7), and this excerpt (part of a flashback/dream sequence involving Lucien de Winter, Purgatory’s lead bouncer) is just perfect for Valentine’s Day. So here’s to the love that’s more than just a day, more than just the heat…



Lucien chuckled as he slid into bed beside Mac. Mac’s shift at Purgatory had been over a couple of hours before Lucien’s, and Mac wasn’t a big one for waking up out of a sound sleep just because someone else was joining him in bed. Truth was, Mac slept like the proverbial rock. But Lucien loved the sounds his partner made when he tried to wake up enough to welcome him home.

“Mrmph to you too.” He worked his way into Mac’s half-awake embrace, relaxing as he breathed in the familiar scent of the oil Mac used on his stump at night. And all the other familiar scents of Mac.

Lucien had been on edge ever since he’d had to help Tiernan and Kevin get rid of the vicious drunk at the end of the bar, earlier tonight – his radar had fucked up big time, that sixth sense that always told him when something was threatening Mac. He’d never let so much as an undercover cop into Purgatory; the fact that the weasel in the leather shorts had made it past him thoroughly pissed him off.

But all the pissed-off could just go piss off, now. There were arms around him and legs were tangling and Mac was making his sweet sleepy noises. Lucien was home.

“Wha’ time is it?”

Lucien felt the breath of Mac’s words against his shoulder.

“Couple of minutes after four. Go back to sleep.” Lucien cupped the back of Mac’s head in his hand. The short hair tickled his palm.

“Maybe I don’t want to.” An arm snaked around Lucien’s waist.

Lucien found Mac’s stubble-rough cheek with a kiss. More than one. Because once he got started, frankly, he couldn’t think of any reason to stop.

He felt Mac’s chuckle, deep down where their bellies were pressed together. And just for a second, he honest to God couldn’t tell whether it was Mac laughing, or himself. He grinned as the last of his tension drained away, and then went back to slow, searching kisses. This was one of the best times, the perfect times. He couldn’t tell where he ended and Mac started. He didn’t care.

Lucien could still remember a time when he’d believed what he’d been told, that men like him never got to have anything like this. Believed that queers like him only pretended to love. Or that love had to be wrapped up in tragedy – that any love story he could imagine himself being a part of would end with someone dying, or going crazy. He’d been young when he met Mac, barely twenty, but those stories had still managed to work their way into him, bone-deep.

But the stories were lies. Lucien knew that now.

Mac’s big hand slid up and down Lucien’s back; a finger traced lazy spirals in what the mirror at the gym told Lucien was a dark pelt scattered with white, then slid down between his ass cheeks. Not demanding anything. Mac, Lucien knew, was just enjoying what was his.

“Love you, Fuzzball,” Mac mumbled. A sleepy kiss brushed the short curls on Lucien’s shoulder.

“Love you more.”