It’s time for Tuesday Tales!
Today we have an excerpt from Between the Pipes, an upcoming M/M hockey romance series, the Watkins Glen Gladiators, debuting in January 2023.
Please do bear in mind that these snippets are unedited so please be kind if you find any mistakes.
This story may have gay erotic scenes, strong social issues addressed and mature language. If those things offend now is the time to move onto another Tuesday Tales blog. Thanks for stopping by!
“Good.” He moved around me and pulled out my chair. Our gazes met. “I’m sorry. Am I making you feel uncomfortable with all of this genteel gentlemanly stuff?”
“Not at all. I’m pretty secure in my masculinity.” I sat down then snickered when he tried to shove my chair in. “Don’t pull anything,” I teased then moved closer myself.
“You’re considerably heftier than the last person I took out for a romantic meal.” He sat across from me as several couples walked by in search of their tables.
“And who was that lucky person?” I enquired offhandedly, my sight moving out to the pier to enjoy the sunset glow on the small sailboats moored at the docks.
“That would have been my wife.”
My gaze flew from the marina to Tarcy. A wild breeze snapped the flags behind me, pulling at his hair as he met my shocked look with one of quiet resignation.
“Really?” It kind of fell out of me and I instantly regretted it. “I mean, wow. That’s a long time without a date.”
“So my children kept telling me. Now they can stop haranguing me.” His smile set off a swarm of ticklish bees in my belly.
“Oh, so I’m just here to get your kids off your back,” I joked.
“Not at all. You’re here because someone up there…” He waved a hand at the clear skies, “decided to throw a blessing on this good old boy from Georgia.”
Those bees began to swarm, settling around my heart, lighting with delicacy. That happy bee swarm was not good. I’d felt them before once. In France with another handsome older man. And that was, also, an ill-fated affair just as this was sure to be.
“I’m not sure I’m a blessing,” I managed to say.
“I would disagree,” Tarcy replied, stealing my breath with the adoration in his eyes. Oh God, this was not at all just sex. This was buzzy bees and roses, sweet smiles and long looks. I seemed to be unable – or unwilling – to pull back from the feelings that were growing with each touch or glance.
A twinky looking guy with bright red hair and a spattering of freckles across his nose arrived at our table, thank God, his eyes wide as he gaped at the roses still resting in my arms. He was maybe a hundred pounds soaking wet and topped out at five foot six if he were on tiptoes. If I were into twinks I’d be drooling but I was an admirer of mature men with some muscle. Still, the waiter was adorable and put me right at ease.
“Oh my gosh, those are gorge! Would you like me to find something to put them in?”
“Yes please,” I said.
“Off I go!” He scampered off, his gold apron strings flying behind him.
I glanced out at the hotel standing tall right beside the lake. It was a six-story beauty with hundreds of windows facing the water.
“I wonder if the boat and the Seneca Starlight Hotel are linked somehow,” Tarcy asked, looking to me as if I had any clue. Okay cool, we were changing topics.
“I don’t know. You’ve probably spent more time in Watkins Glen than I have,” I replied then sat back to allow our cute redheaded server to place a beer pitcher filled with water to the table.
“Here we go! That should do. I even sprinkled some sugar in the water down at the bar. That helps to keep them fresh. So, now that the floral emergency is taken care of let’s get to my nicely memorized speech. Welcome to the Seneca Starlight! My name is Criswell and I’ll be your server tonight. Can I bring you anything from the bar?”
“Just some sweet tea if I can get some?” Tarcy answered.
“Same for me,” I said and Criswell bounded off, stopping at a few other tables to take their drink orders. “Do you like boats?” I asked as the sound of the engines far below filled the air. The boat lurched a bit as the paddles engaged, and we began to slowly back away from the dock.
“Love them. I spend as much time as possible fishing when I’m home, or on the road, although personal time on the road is limited as you must know.” He sat back, his shoulders loose, his left arm draped over the railing, the wind tousling his hair. My fingers were really jealous of the wind right now. “I have a bass boat that I take out on Lake Lanier when I’m home.”
“Where is home? I mean, I know its Georgia, but do you live in in a big city?” I sat back as our sweet tea arrived. Criswell gave us a wink then hurried off to deliver the other refreshments on his tray, the movements of the boat seemingly not felt by any of the servers onboard. Guess you couldn’t be waitstaff on a boat if you couldn’t handle the motion.
“I live in Sunny Branch, population roughly ten thousand unless Marvin Leeds and his five brothers have been arrested again, then we’d be under ten thousand fine folks.” Tarcy smiled with fondness as he talked about his hometown. “The town rests on a pretty little cove on the eastern side of the lake. My cabin is right on the water. Most days I’m out there early, just me and my Ranger bass boat enjoying the quietude.”
“Sounds nice. Peaceful.” I took a sip of my tea as the boat began to turn around to get the paddles behind us.