Friday, February 14, 2014

Excuses by SE Jakes ~ Exclusive Prophet & Tommy Valentine’s Day Short Story & Giveaway

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WOOHOO!!! …It’s SE Jakes, I need say no more!!!

 

This is just a vignette that came to me after Monique asked me if I’d write a Prophet and Tommy Valentine’s Day coda—and for Monique, I will always say yes! The way it came out isn’t typically my style but when my guys talk, I listen and I write. Most of the time, I feel like I’m just their scribe anyway, which is a position I’m pretty honored to have.

In my mind, this is set before Daylight Again. Before Dirty Deeds #1, too, since they take place during the same timeframe. So figure this is all about a month or two before the above mentioned books.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

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Excuses by SE Jakes

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Tom thinks about Valentine’s Day once February hits, mainly because he always sends his Aunt Della flowers and he needs to make sure he keeps track of that. He ponders getting Prophet something, but Tom thinks that Valentine’s Day’s an excuse, and Proph doesn’t need any excuses.

Everyone thinks Prophet’s notoriously bad at romance, like can’t even define the word bad at it. Like doesn’t even know it exists. Blue’s mentioned it, and so has Mick and Doc too. If Tom ever tells them that Prophet’s actually one of the most romantic people he knows, well, Proph will kill him. So Tom keeps it to himself. Besides, maybe no one will believe it anyway, and Tom likes that, likes thinking that he knows Prophet maybe better than most people on the planet. At least parts of him.

Or maybe Proph just thinks he’s got everyone fooled, and they all humor him, because he likes it that way. It’s amazing what Proph lets the people he loves, the people who love him, get away with.

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It’s five days before Valentine’s Day when Tom notices the box. Prophet’s saved the sketchbook Tom gave him for Christmas—that’s a given. But he’s also got all the printouts of the sketches and the emails Tom sent him when they were separated—Tom found them in the box on Prophet’s dresser. It’s not as if Prophet was trying to hide them, because there’s no top on the box and it’s not a special one or anything. In fact it looks pretty beat up, like something’s tried to chew it and Tom can’t tell for sure but it looks like there might be a bullet hole on one side and there’s definitely sand around it, but that doesn’t stop Proph from stacking the papers in there, not that neatly, along with a picture of Tom that Blue had taken a month ago, when he was concentrating on drawing something or another.

He remembers what he was drawing—another dreamcatcher, a different configuration because he needs to get it just right, but he’d been apparently so involved he didn’t notice Blue taking pictures.

Prophet had. And now the photograph of Tom’s head bent in the sunlight sits in this box of memories and bulletholes, along with the keys from Tom’s first apartment, where he’d spent maybe a grant total of twenty nights and other odds and ends. Like a movie stub. And handcuffs.

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A package from King addressed to Prophet arrives on Valentine’s Day, when Tom’s finally decided to just draw Prophet some more sketches, the way he does all the time anyway.

King’s present has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day—not to King’s knowledge anyway, as far as Tom knows. And he’s got to admit, the timing’s perfect.

What the fuck’s this?” Prophet asks, unwraps the gift to find package containing a life-sized blow up alligator, with the card signed, Love, Your bayou friends.

“That is so not fucking funny. The goddamned thing almost killed me,” Prophet says indignantly.

“Imagine what he’d do if he knew if was your porn,” Tom murmurs innocently.

Prophet looks up and glares at him. “You make it sound so dirty. I feel unclean.” And then he’s looking back at the alligator, frowning. “There’s no duct tape.”

Tom reaches into the pocket of his cargoes and pulls out a roll.

“Did you know King was sending this?” Prophet demands.

“No. I’m just always prepared now.”

Tom knows Prophet’s intrigued. Proph glances at the alligator again, blows it up and then sighs while the large green plastic toy simply sits there, saying, “It’s not the same. There’s no inherent danger.”

Tom smiles. “I’ll give you danger, Proph.”

Proph rolls his eyes, but before he can say anything, Tom tackles him to the ground.

“Yeah, that’s good, Tommy. That works,” Proph grunts from underneath him, and then groans at the sound of Tom ripping the duct tape.

Tom thinks about how most people wouldn’t think fucking while playing alligator isn’t romantic but really, it is, because the damned thing’s so fraught with memories—good and not so good—it’s all a potential landmine and even though the sex is hard and fast, rough and hot, there’s also tenderness mixed in.

Even when Prophet does get control—because Tom lets him—and slaps his ass more times than Tom can count, there’s a gentle resonance there, a reminder of what Tom is to him.

Mine.

Together, they’re both each other’s mine.

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“You have really sick friends,” Tom tells him later, because King sent the alligator to remind Proph of the time he was left to die in the bayou with alligators surrounding him.

“Tell me something I don’t know,” Proph says. He’s lying on his belly, duct tape still half on his wrists where neither man’s bothered to take it off.

Hours have passed, because these days, when there’s time, they take it, like they know that there are days when there might not be. Proph’s got no casts at the moment, but Tommy doesn’t need anything else but Prophet’s skin. Proph’s letting Tom draw on him, and he’s taking his time as he maps out the space almost reverently.

Tom’s own newest tattoo is almost healed—a replica of the bracelet Prophet gave him to wear on their first mission together. Tom still wears the actual bracelet over the tattoo, figures that, when the universe is ready, the bracelet will either fall off on its own accord or Tom will find someone to pass it along to, the way it was originally passed onto Prophet.

But all Tom cares about is that he’ll always have that goddamned bracelet and what it symbolizes. No one’s ever taking it from him, or making him take it off, and it doesn’t matter what happens from here. That bracelet’s always going to be good luck as it circles his wrist, much in the same way Prophet circles him, in bed, in missions…in life.

Now Proph’s asking, “What’s that?”

“Another dreamcatcher.”

Proph doesn’t comment, which means he approves. Tom knows the drawing will fade away, but that’s not the point. What’s important is that it’s there now. Tonight. That the ink’s a part of him.

“You think you’ll ever get a tattoo?” Tom asks after a few more minutes. It’s a topic that always comes up when he’s drawing on the man’s skin, and Proph humors him with the same answers every time. It’s a ritual, the same way the drawing is.

“Are you gonna draw it for me?” Proph asks.

“Yes.”

“Then I’ll give you a solid maybe.”

“I know you’re going to make me do something in return.”

Prophet grins over his shoulder. “Yep. And you know you’ll love it.”

Tom shakes his head, but he’s smiling. He glances at the clock for a brief second, notes it’s nearly midnight. “I know Della’s flowers got delivered, but she hasn’t emailed or called. Which isn’t like her.”

“Maybe because of who delivered the flowers,” Proph murmurs sleepily.

“Are you saying my aunt’s having some kind of Valentine’s Day fling with the flower delivery guy? Because that’s a little sordid, even for you.”

Prophet shifts his body so Tom loses his balance a little. He’s looking over his shoulder, smiling, but he’s not saying anything.

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It’s not until the next day, when Della does call, that Tom knows exactly what Prophet’s done. How Proph tracked Connor down is a mystery, one Tom knows Proph won’t reveal, and that’s okay. Because Tom truly believes there was magic in the man nicknamed Prophet, who’s barreled into his life and shares his bed, and Tom has no need see beyond the curtain.

Instead, Tom will content himself with blow up alligators and finding various things of his saved on Proph’s dresser, with his drawings on Proph’s skin, marking him daily with ink and his tongue and teeth and hands. Before Tom goes to sleep, he notices there’s a brand new sketchbook Proph’s deliberately left on the table where Tom does a lot of his drawing. And a new roll of duct tape.

So yeah, Tom still thinks that Valentine’s Day’s just an excuse…and Proph doesn’t need an excuse.

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About SE Jakes

SE Jakes writes m/m romance. She believes in happy endings and fighting for what you want in both fiction and real life.

She lives in New York with her family, and most days, she can be found happily writing (in bed). No really...

WEBSITE | TUMBLR | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS |

GOODREADS AUTHOR GROUP

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Series Reading Order & Review Link

Book 1 ~ Catch A Ghost

Book 2 ~ Long Time Gone

 

Books by SE Jakes

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Giveaway

We are gifting to one lucky reader a Kindle eBook of your choice from SE Jakes backlist. Just leave a comment and enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.

Good Luck!

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71 comments:

  1. Loved it! Prophet is a secret romantic, in his own way. Love that Tommy knows that and doesn't need The Big Gesture.

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  2. Love seeing more of Prophet and Tommy.

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  3. That's lovely, SE! Nicely done. :-)

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  4. I have missed Tommy and Prophet. Thank you!!

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  5. So good! I really enjoyed it. Thanks!

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  6. Sigh ... I love Tommy and Prophet.

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  7. Awwww, the boys. =)

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  8. That was so sweet SE...completely unlike you or the guys!! Loved it. <3

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  9. That was so sweet :) Thank you for more insight into their hearts

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  10. Loved it! I can't wait for more of those two!

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  11. I just can't help grinning when Tom pulls the duct tape out of his pocket. Love this short story. Happy Valentine's day to us, we get to share it with Tommy and Prophet.

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  12. can't get enough of these guys...love them!!!!

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  13. Prophet may be a romantic, but Tommy is a sap...and I just love it that way. I love the bracelet tat too :)

    Thank you!!!

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  14. Sigh, I will never get over Prophet & Tommy together. They are the perfect match!

    And thanks to them, I'm starting to develop a duct tape kink!!

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  15. Makes me want to get the first two books even more (on my wishlist).

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  16. Love the two of them, great story.

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  17. So sweet! I can't wait for Prophet to finally ink one of Tommy's drawings on permanently. :)

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  18. That was lovely--I have to start this series!

    --Trix

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  19. I've never read any of these books: Now would be a good time to start!

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  20. That was fabulous! Thanks so much SE! :)
    Macky.

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  21. This was a great story! Loved it! :) Happy Valentine's Day!

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  22. Sigh, so good. Thank you for the short story :)

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  23. Wow! I can't wait to read these, thanks for the chance

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  24. I can never get enough of these two. Loved the short story. It just makes me fall harder for them both,

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  25. Wow - such a treat - Love these guys - can't wait for their next story.

    lgrant1@san.rr.com

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  26. Have not read the book yet! On my TBR

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  27. Thanks for the giveaway!!! Love the story!

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  28. This was a great valentine's day present, thank you!

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  29. sounds fantastic!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  30. SE Jakes is a great writer and I loved the story!

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  31. Enjoyed it very much. Thank you.

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  32. Ahhhh, that was great! Thanks for sharing this little vignette. I love this nice down time scene.

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  33. I love all of ur books. Have reread several. Cant wait for more Mal and Cillian

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  34. Even though it's Valentines Day I had not smiled today but reading this little short made me giggle and smile... Now I think I will go check out a few of your books...
    GMCLEVELAND43@GMAIL.COM

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  35. I did enjoy the story and it makes me really want to read the series. Definitely going to have to do that soon :)

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  36. Great story! :)

    terrihawk66@yahoo.com

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  37. I must admit I'm a bit lost in regards to these characters but that's because I haven't read their story yet. I like the writing style.

    blackasphodel(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  38. Thanks for the enjoyable story and the giveaway!

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  39. Yes, I really enjoyed the short story. Thanks a bunch for sharing it and for the giveaway!
    cguidroz2 (at) cox (dot) net

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  40. love it....Tommy and Prophet are sooooo good!

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  41. Love the writing! Thanks for sharing!

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  43. I haven't heard of these... I think I need to look into them, now! Thanks!!

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  44. I just ran across this today and loved it. I just can't seem to get enough of these boys!

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