It’s funny — whatever I plot, for one of the Fae books, I almost always end up with at least one chapter set on the Acela — the express train between Washington, D.C. and New York City. My Fae can get from one to the other by Fading, but humans don’t take very well to being transported that way. And I hadn’t planned for this scene, but Josh and Garrett got up in my face tonight and told me I had to give them a scene on the train. So, without further ado…




“You’re still glowing.”
Garrett grinned sheepishly. “Yeah, I feel like I am. Which is silly, really.”
“I’ve always believed life’s much easier if you have a low pleasure threshold, myself.” Josh grinned back from his vantage point opposite Garrett. “And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last year or so, it’s to stop feeling silly about being happy.”
“I get that.” Garrett glanced out the window, his grin turning into a more introspective smile. “Hard to believe that six months ago, I hadn’t met Lochlann.”
Garrett knew his fellow human SoulShare would follow his leap of logic. The tattoo artist and his ethereal Fae partner were still so obviously in love, it was hard to breathe when they were both around.
“So what exactly did you tell Terry?” Josh tossed aside the magazine he’d been trying to read and settled back in his seat. “I know the basics, but damn, I haven’t seen Terry look that happy in a long time. Since well before Bryce threw him out.”
Garrett frowned. “Remind me to ask you about that, because I really want to know, but right now that’s harshing my mellow.” He laughed softly, leaning forward so as not to have to raise his voice. They weren’t alone in the car by any means, and even if they weren’t talking about Fae at the moment, his life was nobody else’s damned business. “I told him that Lochlann and I had been to that pole-and-aerial dancer’s performance, at the Atlas Performing Arts Center–Davide Aubuchon–and that watching him lit a fire under my ass.” Truth. The Frenchman had combined pole dancing and aerial work and floor work in a way Garrett had never imagined possible. “Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, and I’m not giving up the pole any time soon, and by that I mean ever, but I told Terry that I really need to push myself. I think I can do that.”
“But you need formal dance training. Or so you think.” Josh raised a brow. “I beg to differ.”
Garrett could feel himself blushing. When he was working the pole, accepting the whistles and shouts and other forms of appreciation showered on him by other men was part of the job. Off the dance floor, though, he still had problems accepting praise. Especially now, when he’d seen what was possible and figured out how hard he was going to have to push himself to accomplish it. “Thanks. But if you’d seen this guy, you’d know what I’m talking about. And I’ve had pickup classes here and there, all different kinds of dance. But I’ve never really studied. And I would feel like a complete idiot walking into a beginners’ ballet class at my age.”
“Terry was obviously okay with you asking.” Josh nodded. “And that made me happy. He took losing his dance company in New York really hard. I don’t think he’s even been in a ballet studio since he moved down to D.C. It’s going to do him a world of good to work with you.”
Josh was happy. Truly happy. Terrence Miller had been Josh’s lover, partner in work as well as in life, until Bryce Newhouse had come along and decided to lure Terry away. Breaking Josh’s heart in the process, Garrett had no doubt, though the hunky tat artist never talked about it. Yet Josh hadn’t thought twice, back when Bryce dumped Terry and threw him out of their apartment. He’d opened his tattoo studio–and even his home, until Terry had been able to get back on his feet. And even now, all it apparently took to make Josh happy was to make Terry happy.
And all it took to seriously piss Josh off was… “What is Newhouse’s shit, anyway?” He was pretty sure his original impulsive desire to meet the investment banker cum dickhead had been a bad idea. He’d still be on this train regardless–Conall was going to need Lochlann, and Lochlann was going to need him–but what he knew of Newhouse reminded him entirely too much of the bullies he’d grown up with. The kind who made people’s lives hell because they could. So they could see they had an impact on the world. They had to hurt others, just to know they themselves existed.
“I’d say I wish I knew, but I don’t think I really want to know how that kind of mind works.” Josh tipped his head back against the seat and closed his eyes, the very top of the head of the black-headed hawk tattooed on his chest visible over the neckline of his t-shirt. “Though I’ll admit, he wasn’t much more than an ordinary run-of-the-mill dirtbag when he first went after Terry. I still think the Marfach had a hand in kicking him out of the house, though. Even Terry has never figured out why Bryce did that.”