G’day everyone! Welcome to my Pulling Leather blog tour and a peek into the world of rodeo cowboys. (The official schedule can be found here.) This wouldn’t be a proper tour without some prezzies, of course, so read on for giveaway details. Thank you to Sinfully Sexy for hosting my cowboys, and to all of you for hopping in the saddle to ride along!
Today, I thought I’d do a little excerpt for your reading pleasure. Hopefully. :-) This scene follows an attempted kiss the night before Scott is having troubles coming to terms with himself and freaked out a little, which of course left Cory feeling a little rejected. But not for long!
*Sigh* That First Kiss…
by L.C. Chase
“What are you doing here?” Cory asked, his heart pounding.
“Looks like I came to get the same cooler,” Scott said, and Cory couldn’t tell if there was a hint of humor or apology in his voice. “Cory, listen . . .” Scott sounded more gravelly than usual, but the plea in his tone was sharp as a knife.
Cory wanted to hear Scott out, but at the same time he didn’t. He refused to be played the fool. He shook his head and sidestepped left to walk past him, but Scott copied his move and blocked him. Crap. Cory stepped to the right, and Scott mirrored him again. Now he looked up and met warm, open eyes that reached out and stalled his intention to toss his darkest glare at the man.
Crap, crap, crap, why did I look into his eyes?
“Please, Cory? Just hear me out, and then you don’t have to see me ever again, if that’s what you want.”
He sighed, and Scott gently extracted the cooler from his hand, placing it on the ground beside them, his eyes on Cory the whole time.
He stared at Scott’s chest again, and suddenly feeling exposed, he crossed his arms. Waiting.
“This is really hard for me,” Scott whispered, and the sincerity in his deep, rough voice struck a chord that Cory couldn’t help but respond to. “I’m trying to get there, to be comfortable in my skin, for my mind to catch up to what . . . to what my body wants.”
Cory shifted his gaze to Scott and saw naked desire dancing behind the humility in Scott’s eyes. His pulse quickened, and his heart pounded a little faster. He had no idea what it was like not to accept yourself. He’d been out since he was born—that’s the way God made him so what was there to fight? Probably couldn’t hide it if he tried, anyway.
“I . . .” Scott took his hat off, ran a hand through his hair, and then gripped the brim with both hands instead of putting it back on. His words came in a rush. “I made a mistake last night. Fell back a step. Progress doesn’t come without a few hitches along the way, right? That’s what Brandi says. But I swear to you, I didn’t mean anything I said. Please believe it was all knee-jerk and every word tasted like the lie it was. I’m not ready to announce to the world that I’m . . .”
Scott swallowed. “Yeah. I’ve accepted that I am, am trying to stop fighting it so hard, but I’m still having trouble saying it out loud. Just . . . I’m going to fall back sometimes, but I’m hoping . . .”
Scott looked away now, a light blush covered his cheeks, and his Adam’s apple bobbed.
“Hoping . . .?” Cory prodded.
“Hoping you’ll forgive my slips and be patient enough to stick around because . . .”
“Because your body wants me?” Cory asked and smiled as the flare in Scott’s eyes pushed out the last hint of guilt and anguish. This close, in the full light of day, he could see his irises weren’t as dark as they’d appeared at a distance. They were a deep walnut-brown with amber flecks around the pupils. And they were beautiful.
“Yes,” Scott croaked. That one word was loaded with such need, such want, that Cory fisted his hand in Scott’s shirt and tugged gently, urging him closer but letting him decide how far he wanted to be pulled. Then Scott’s gaze dropped to his mouth, and Cory knew he had him. He licked his lips and left them slightly parted. Waiting. But he didn’t have to wait long. Scott closed the remaining distance between them and tentatively brushed his lips over Cory’s. Everything in Cory wanted to draw Scott tighter against him, wanted to wrap his legs around that solid waist, to devour and claim Scott, but he held his reins tight. This first time had to be at Scott’s pace, and he prayed to the heavens there would be a next time.
Scott pressed a little closer, angled his head slightly to deepen the kiss. He was still exploring, still testing, but he was becoming bolder with each slide of their mouths. The tips of their tongues met, and Cory snaked his hand around the back of Scott’s neck.
Scott moaned, eliciting a whimper from Cory, and dove in, all trepidation flying out the window. He moved closer still, and the hard outline of Scott’s straining erection dug into Cory’s navel. Hands were in his hair, his hat falling into the dirt. A knee was pushing between his legs, lifting up under his balls, and oh God, the blessed pressure sent sparks and tingles raging in every direction.
Any of Scott’s previous inhibitions seemed to have fled, and he was giving Cory one of the most amazing, powerful, and consuming kisses he’d ever had the pleasure of receiving. There’d better be more of these.
One of the hands tangled in his hair let go, slid down his back, and came to rest on the rise of his butt cheek. Lower, lower. He rocked his hips, hoping Scott would understand the message.
“What the hell?” Toby’s voice, hard as ice, cut through the moment of glorious bliss like a razor. Scott released him, jumping back, his chest rising and falling at a frightening rate, and Cory felt like his insides were spilling out onto the ground. If he went with his heart—and other parts that didn’t require logical thought—and got involved with Scott, he’d be dating a man in the closet. How the hell would that even work?
“What did I tell you, Core?” Toby strode forward, his posture aggressive. It would be threatening to anyone who didn’t know him, but Cory knew his brother would never do anything physically. He barked loud, but he never ever bit. Scott didn’t know that, though, and he stepped between them.
Toby didn’t seem to notice because he kept on. “I told you to stay away from this guy. He’s no good for you.”
“And I told you to back off.” Cory moved to the side, still a step behind Scott but where he could see his brother better. Scott angled a glance at him and then resumed his guard-dog stance; Cory’s heart swelled a little.
“Don’t think I didn’t notice that you were upset last night and this morning. I know it was because of him.” Toby jabbed a finger in Scott’s direction. “Already he’s hurting you, and here you are kissing him?”
Embarrassment crept in alongside Cory’s anger. Why couldn’t Toby just let him live his own life already? “You have no idea what’s going on, and none of it is your business.”
“It is my business. You’re my brother, and you’re being stupid.”
Cory opened his mouth to rip into Toby, but Scott took two long strides forward, pitting him face-to-face with Toby, who was a few inches shorter and no match for the likes of a man Scott’s size.
“That’s enough.” Scott’s voice was commanding, cutting, and if it had been leveled on him, he’d have cowered at the man’s feet. Toby’s eyes widened, but he didn’t back down. “Cory is a grown man who can make his own damn decisions and mistakes. If he falls, it’s up to him to pick himself back up. That’s how life works. We dust off and get back in the saddle.” Scott glanced over his shoulder, and Cory fell in love a little bit right then and there. “You’re right that I’m probably not the best choice for him, but I swear to you, I have no intention of hurting him. Not if I can help it.” He turned back to Toby. “But if you really to want to rail at someone, rail at me. I’m the bad guy here. Not Cory. Not ever Cory. You get me?”
Toby stared at Scott for a long moment, dumbfounded.
“It’s time to trust your brother,” Scott said, the threat in his voice a little softer around the edges.
Toby jabbed his finger at Scott again. “Swear to God, if you ever hurt him . . .”
Scott nodded. “Understood.”
Toby cast one more warning glare at Cory and then stormed off. When he was gone, Cory smiled at Scott. He’d defended him, stepped up, and played his hero, and that gesture right there appeased any worries he might have had about hiding in the closet with this cowboy.
Whether Scott realized it or not, he’d just staked his claim.
Pulling Leather (Pickup Men #3) by L.C. Chase
Title ~ Pulling Leather (Pickup Men #3)
Author ~ L.C. Chase
Publisher ~ Riptide Publishing
Published ~ 1st September 2014
Genre ~ M/M Contemporary, Cowboys
The toughest ride of his life is all in his head.
Bull rider Scott Gillard has a reputation for quick fists and harsh words. What no one knows is where that anger comes from. After a shocking incident sends him into a tailspin, he knows he needs help: he’s been fighting a battle he could never win. Now he's trying to navigate a new life and embrace his true self, but some days are easier than others.
Pickup man Cory Ackerson has suffered his share of harassment, but his light still burns bright. He doesn’t let anything or anyone keep him down, so when he meets the rugged cowboy with a battered chip on his shoulder and regret in his dark eyes, all he wants to do is help.
As their unlikely friendship grows into something deeper, Scott must overcome his past to be the man Cory deserves, or lose his best chance at his own happily ever after.
Click on teaser below to read
Macky’s 5 Star Review
Buy it Here
About L.C. Chase
Cover artist by day, author by night, L.C. Chase is a hopeless romantic and adventure seeker. After a decade of traveling three continents, she now calls the Canadian West Coast home. When not writing sensual tales of beautiful men falling love, she can be found designing book covers with said beautiful men, drawing, horseback riding, or hiking the trails with her goofy four-legged roommate.
L.C. is a 2014 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Pickup Men; a 2013 EPIC eBook Awards Finalist for Long Tall Drink; and a 2013-2014 Ariana eBook Cover Art Awards Finalist. She also won an honorable mention in the 2012 Rainbow Awards for Riding with Heaven.
You can find out more about L.C., story extras, works in progress, and cover designs below…