Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cowboy Way - coming June 2nd


Blaecleah Brothers 3

Coming June 2nd.

Available for pre-order today!

Matthew McCallister knew coming out to his father, a very conservative minister, would be the end of life in his hometown. With his younger brother, Ruben, by his side, he flees their hometown only to be arrested for kidnapping and theft. But the sheriff of Cade Creek seems to believe in Matty's innocence and suggests that he and Ruben hide out at the Blaecleah ranch.

Matty is in no way prepared for the Blaecleah family, especially Quaid Blaecleah. The man is gorgeous and kind, a combination Matty isn't used to in men he's attracted to. When Quaid proposes marriage as a way to save him from his father, Matty is terrified to agree because he's been used in the past. He's just as afraid to say no. Quaid intrigues Matty in a way he's never experienced. When Matty's father arrives in town and starts making threats, can Matty trust Quaid to keep him safe, or will he be burned again?


Matty drew in a deep breath as the door closed behind Quaid then looked over at his brother. Ruben seemed partly confused and partly pissed off.

"What was that all about?" Ruben asked as he gestured toward the door Quaid had walked through moments before. "Does he think I'm going to hurt you?"

Matty smiled. "No, he's just protective."

"Of you?"

"Yes." Matty frowned. "Is that so hard to believe?"

"Considering we just met the man last night, yeah, I'd say it is hard to believe."

"A lot has happened since then." That was an understatement of epic proportions. Ruben was going to flip his mind when he found out about Quaid's proposal, especially after their discussion about marriage yesterday.

Matty decided he needed to be dressed to have this conversation with his brother. He walked over and started digging through his bags, pulling out a clean pair of jeans and a white cotton shirt.

"Matty, what's going on?"

"Let me get dressed first and then we'll talk."

Matty made quick work of getting dressed, pulling on his jeans and shirt then searching for his boots. He didn't wear them often, usually when he was going out, but being on a working ranch, they seemed appropriate.

Once Matty was fully dressed and his bags stacked neatly against the wall, he turned to face his brother. Rube was sitting on the end of the bed, glaring. Matty blew out the air in his lungs.

"Okay, what do you want to know?"

"Have you lost your fucking mind?"

"Not that I know of."

"Then what in the hell are you doing moving into Quaid's room?" Ruben's hands clenched as he jumped to his feet. "If I remember correctly, we're trying to stay under the radar here, not shack up with some cowboy."

"I'm not shacking up with Quaid."

Ruben glanced at the bed behind him then to Matty's suitcases before looking at Matty. "It sure as hell looks that way to me."

"Quaid asked me to marry him."

"He—" Ruben's mouth dropped open. "Are you serious?"

Matty nodded. "Oh yes, I'm very serious."

"Are going to say yes?"

"I wish I knew." Matty walked over and sat down next to his brother. "There's a part of me that wants to say yes. I mean, have you seen the guy? He's the poster boy for gay sex. Every time I see him all I want to do is lick him from head to toe."


"Marriage?" Matty shook his head. "I just don't know about that. What do I even know about the guy?"

"You mean besides the fact that he's drop dead gorgeous?"

"Yeah, besides that," he said through clenched teeth. Matty almost growled. He didn't like the idea of anyone referring to Quaid as gorgeous, even if he was.

Ruben's eyebrows shot up. "Man, maybe you should consider it."


"Because if you get that upset over me saying Quaid is sexy, then you're already falling for the guy."

Matty looked down at his hands, twisting his fingers around each other. "But I'm scared that he's not falling for me."

"So, make it a long engagement, give him time to get to know you," Ruben said. "You can always call it off if it turns out he's just after a piece of ass."

Matty chuckled. "I told him I wouldn't have sex with him."

Ruben whistled. "I'll bet that went over well."

"Actually." Matty grinned. "He agreed with it."


Matty nodded then flushed when he remembered getting Quaid off in the shower. That had been hot, hotter than anything Matty ever remembered doing. His main complaint was that it hadn't lasted longer. He still wanted to lick Quaid from head to toe.

"What's that look for?" Ruben asked.

Matty felt his face burn even more. "We took a shower together this morning."

"Oh?" Ruben grinned and wiggled his eyebrows. "And how was that?"

"You should see this guy, Ruben, he's—" Matty's eyes widened as he realized what he said. He quickly shook his head. No one needed to be looking at Quaid when he was naked. "No, you shouldn't."

Ruben burst out laughing, dropping back onto the mattress. "You're a riot."

Matty rolled his eyes. "Get your butt up. We're supposed to be heading downstairs for breakfast and then a ride around the ranch. Not lying around in bed all day."

"Can you believe how early these people get up?" Ruben asked as he climbed to his feet. "I'm not sure that’s natural."

"You've been up this early before."

"Not because I wanted to be."

Matty grimaced, knowing exactly what Ruben was talking about. The good reverend liked to wake them up early on Sundays and make them clean the church. He wanted it just right for his parishioners and he didn't feel he needed to pay anyone to clean it when he had two sons.

"Yeah, well, it looks like our early mornings have just begun so you'd better get used to it." Matty pushed Ruben ahead of him out the bedroom door then closed it quietly behind him. "If we're going to be staying here, we have to pull our own weight."

"Yeah, I draw the line at plucking feathers or milking cows."

Matty laughed and bumped his shoulder against Ruben's as they walked down the stairs side by side. "Like you'd know how to pluck a chicken in the first place. You'd probably run screaming from the chicken coop the first time one walked toward you."

"Hey man, have you seen the beaks on those things? They're deadly, I'm telling you, one peck and wham!" Ruban smacked his fist into his hand. "You have gangrene and they have to cut off your foot. It just goes downhill from there, one body part at a time."

Matty started flapping his arms and making chicken noises until Ruben's eyes got as round as saucers. Matty froze then swallowed hard. He dropped his arms back down to his side and turned to see who was watching. When he saw Mr. Blaecleah standing behind him, he had a strong wish that the floor would just open up and swallow him whole.

"Oh hey, Mr. Blaecleah." Matty's face was so hot he could have boiled on egg on his forehead. "I was just telling Ruben he needed to learn how to pluck chickens."

Mr. Blaecleah stared for a moment then shook his head. "Sorry to ruin your fun, boys, but we don't actually have any live chickens here on the ranch. Ma buys her chickens at the butcher. But if it's that important to you I'm sure we can get some."

"No, no," Ruben said quickly. "That’s okay. I'm not a real big fan of live chickens anyway."

"Nasty creatures anyway," Mr. Blaecleah said as he started turning away. "They can cause gangrene, you know."

"See?" Ruben whispered loudly. "I told you."

Matty could see Mr. Blaecleah's shoulders shaking and knew the man was silently laughing. It was clear to Matty that the man had heard their entire conversation. Matty could only hope that he kept it to himself. He didn't want to seem like a complete idiot, even if he was giving it his best shot.


"How long are you going to watch me sleep?" Matty suddenly mumbled.

"Until you wake up and open those beautiful copper eyes." Quaid grinned and laid his head down on the pillow next to Matty, just inches from his face.

Matty's left eye popped open followed slowly by his right. He lifted his head and blinked at the bright light shining through the windows. "What time is it?"

"A little after five."

Matty's eyes widened. "In the morning?"

"Yes." Quaid chuckled.

"Why would anyone be awake this early in the morning?"

"We're awake because this is a working ranch and we need to get up and work it." Quaid leaned in a grabbed a quick kiss from Matty before the man was awake enough to deny him, then swatted him lightly on the butt.

Matty groaned and buried his face in the pillow. Quaid chuckled and rolled to the side of the bed. "Come on, angel, breakfast should be waiting for us downstairs. We have just enough time to grab a quick shower."

"Don't wanna get up," Matty mumbled.

"Not a choice, angel." Quaid turned and reached back for Matty, lifting the man into his arms. Matty yelped, his arms flailing for a moment until they reached desperately for Quaid, wrapping around his neck.

"Warn a guy when you're going to do that."

"Fair warning, angel," Quaid said as he carried Matty into the bathroom. "I like holding you in my arms. I'm going to do it as often as I can."

Quaid set Matty down on his feet then leaned into to turn on the shower. Matt's eyes were huge when he turned back and started sliding his pajama bottoms down his legs. Quaid kicked them away then looked at Matty.

"Aren't you going to get undressed?"

Matty eyes dropped down and Quaid knew he was looking at the hard cock that jutted out from his body. Quaid couldn't help how holding Matty made him feel or the responses of his body. The man was hot.


Matty's eyes darted up. "I told you I won't have sex with you."

"We're taking a shower, Matthew, not having sex," Quaid said as he waved toward the running water. He tried not to let his disappointment show. It wasn't easy but it did make his hard on start to soften.

"But you're… you're…" Matty pressed his lips together and gestured toward Quaid's cock.

"I'm hard, Matthew." Quaid wanted to scream in frustration. He could see the desire burning in Matty's eyes and couldn't figure out why he was fighting it so hard. "I can't control my body's response to you but I won't take anything from you that you're not willing to give me."

Quaid stepped into the large shower then glanced over his shoulder at Matty. He was concerned by the way the man was biting his lip and pressing his hands together. He tried to soften his voice when he spoke again, not wanting to scare Matty.

"I'm going to take a shower, angel. I'd like you to join me. And no matter how aroused I become, I will not touch you if you don't ask me to. You're safe here, Matthew, I promise."

His words said, Quaid stepped into the shower. He hoped Matty would join him but he promised himself he wouldn't be upset if he didn't. Quaid knew he had to give Matty time to get used to him. That was the only way Matty would become comfortable with him.

Quaid was just pouring a shampoo into the palm of his hand when Matty stepped into the shower. He tried to keep his eyes glued on Matty's face and not look down his naked body but it took every bit of control he had.

"Would you like me to wash your hair?"

"I… I guess," Matty whispered.

"Well, turn around and get your hair wet then."

Matty's movements were hesitant as he turned around and stuck his head under the shower spray. Quaid almost cried. Matty's shoulders were tense as if he expected Quaid to jump him at any moment. Quaid realized that Matty was nervous. Hell, the man was scared.

A wave of tenderness swept through Quaid as he started washing Matty's wet hair. Matty groaned and leaned into his touch, his head falling back on his shoulders. The man was so starved for the simplest of touches.

"Have you never had anyone wash your hair before, angel?" he asked quietly so he didn't break the euphoric bubble Matty seemed to be floating in at the moment.

"No," Matt groaned.

"I'll wash it for you every morning if you wish?"

Matty glanced over his shoulder. "You'd do that?"

"I would, if you want me to." Quaid quickly rinsed the soap off his hands then pushed Matty toward the water. "Time to rinse off."

While Matty rinsed off, Quiad grabbed the body wash and poured some on a clean washcloth. He rubbed the soft material together until he had a good lather going then started scrubbing his body.

"Can I do that?"

Quaid glanced over at Matty and found him looking at the washcloth. He held it up. "You want to wash up? There's another washcloth on the counter or you can use this one when I'm done."

Matty's face colored furiously. "No, can I wash you?"

Quaid swallowed hard and held the washcloth out to Matty. He barely kept his groan behind his teeth when Matty bit his lip and leaned toward him. The feeling of Matthew's hands on his chest, even if it was just for washing, was heaven. Quaid felt his cock take renewed interest and start to harden back up.

When Matty's hand started moving further down his chest to his abdomen, Quaid reached out and grabbed his wrist to stop him. Matty's eyes snapped up to his, his eyebrows furrowing with worry.

"If you go any further, you need to know what you're going to find, Matthew."

Matty glanced down then swallowed.

"I told you, I can't control my body's response to you. You turn me on a lot, Matthew. I won't pretend otherwise. The feeling of your skin, your smell, even the way you talk, all of it arouses me. I've pretty much been like this since I met you and I don't see it going away anytime soon. As much as I want you, I have no doubt that I will feel pleasure if you touch me there."

"But you said you wouldn't—"

Quaid grimaced. "And I won't touch you until you ask me too. That does not mean that I won't enjoy feeling you touch me."

Matty chewed on his lower lip, a gesture that Quaid was coming to equate with the man thinking deeply. His knees nearly collapsed beneath him when Matty suddenly pressed his lips together and reached down to wrap his fingers around his cock.

"Holy—Matthew!" Quaid groaned. His head dropped back against the shower tile. The pleasure that raced through his body at Matty's simple touch was unlike anything he'd ever experienced.

Matty's hands continued to move over Quaid's body, touching and stroking. At some point, the washcloth dropped away and then all Quaid felt was Matty's fingers touching his skin. When Matty moved down past Quaid's hard cock, Quaid spread his legs. They started shaking when Matty gently massaged his balls until they drew up close to his body.

Quaid knew he was about to come. How could he not when the man of his dreams was touching him? "Matthew, angel, if you keep… keep doing that…" Quaid panted. "I'm going to come, angel."

Quaid groaned and humped his hips when Matty's hand tightened around his aching length. "Angel, please!"

"So come already," Matty whispered.

For more the Blaecleah Brothers, visit my website at

Monday, May 16, 2011

Midnight Matings - Coming May 24th




Squeak & A Roar
Midnight Matings 1
by Joyee Flynn

The gathering is called. The spell is cast. There is no escaping the Midnight Matings. The only thing Gavin and Ant have in common is how happy they are with their solitary lives—until they must mate each other. Neither Ant nor Gavin are prepared for the feelings that arise. Will the two men continue to dance around each other or will they pounce on love and never let it go?

Scales & A Tail
Midnight Matings 2
by Stormy Glenn

The gathering is called. The spell is cast. There is no escaping the Midnight Matings. Beauregard Stratford is a bunny. Simple enough, right? Well, not in his case, especially when he finds himself mated to a dragon, the biggest and most dangerous shifter in the paranormal world.

Fire & Ash
Midnight Matings 3
by Gabrielle Evans
The gathering is called. The spell is cast. There is no escaping the Midnight Matings. Zaiden lost his elven magic years ago and spends his life hiding in the shadows. Asher lives a life full of color and excitement as one of the few remaining phoenix shifters. Can the pair find common ground, or was their unintentional mating doomed from the start?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Special One Day Sale!

In celebration of Blog Blast 2011... Noble Romance Publishing has graciously agreed to place my books...

on sale for $.99 for today only!


And please join us for

Blog Blast 2011

Authors GA Hauser, Stormy Glenn & Rie McGaha have teamed up for a day of fun and give-aways. More than fifty blog hosts are participating in this, (courtesy Goddess Fish and Blog Exchange) and GA, Stormy, and Rie will be giving away autographed books, e-books, t-shirts, bookmarkers, posters and more!

The day will begin with a few questions on each of their websites that will direct you to the answers on the blogs. We'll be giving away e-books all day long, culminating with a podcast at Blog Talk Radio with host Marsha Cook. You will be able to call in to the show, ask questions, and the chat line will be open as well. Following the broadcast the authors will be at the Yahoo Group Erotic Promo chatting, posting excerpts and giving away more goodies. If you're not a member of Erotic Promo, it only takes a moment to join and be there for Blog Blast 2011 with GA Hauser, Stormy Glenn & Rie McGaha!


GA Hauser http://authorgahauser.com/

Stormy Glenn http://stormyglenn.com/

Rie McGaha http://www.riemcgaha.com/

Book of the Week Nominee

Whipped Cream erotic romance reviews wants to know which book or story sounds like the best read based on their reviews. The winning author gets a nifty button and the privilege of having their book or story featured at the top of that page the entire next week, as well as getting a custom made video from Goddess Fish Promotions to publicize their review and the win!

My "Love Sexy" was reviewed this week and is up for Book of the Week honor this weekend (voting runs from Saturday, May 14th through Sunday May 15th). You can find the information here on Saturday:



May 14, 2011 is a day you will want to save the date for the biggest blog blast we've ever done! Authors GA Hauser, Stormy Glenn, & Rie McGaha have teamed up for a day of fun and give-aways. More than 50 blog hosts are participating in this, (courtesy Goddess Fish and Blog Exchange) and GA, Stormy, & Rie will be giving away autographed print books, e-books, t-shirts, bookmarkers, posters and more!

The day will begin with a few questions on each of our websites that will direct you to the answers on the blogs. We'll be giving away e-books all day at Blog Blast 2011 blog, Erotic Promo, and A Good Story is a Good Story with host Marsha Cook. You will be able to call in to the show and talk to us, ask questions, and the chat line will be open as well. Following the broadcast we will be at the Yahoo Group Erotic Promo chatting, posting excerpts and giving away more goodies. If you're not a member of Erotic Promo, it only takes a moment to join and be there for Blog Blast 2011 with GA Hauser, Stormy Glenn & Rie McGaha!

We've got prizes! Free e-reads, autographed print books, t-shirts, and more! Don't forget to "follow" our blog to be entered into the grand prize drawing!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Best Friend's Boyfriend

By GA Hauser

Buy Your Copy Today

Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc), Epub, HTML, Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket (.mobi)

About the book
If Gavin Mecklenburg thought his job of working on high voltage power lines in Seattle was risky, he was taking an even bigger chance for a disaster by messing around with his best friend’s new boyfriend.

Trina Yamagachi was what Gavin called a ‘serial engager’. She chewed men up and spit them out, breaking off relationships with men just before her wedding day.

Gavin met Trina one afternoon while buying a watch for himself at the jewelry store she worked for. He and beautiful Trina became best friends instantly. But when Gavin realizes that his new handsome neighbor- the one he has become infatuated with- is Toby Montgomery, Trina’s latest conquest, Gavin doesn’t know what to do.

As friendships are tested, and choices become harder, Gavin has to wonder if getting involved with his best friend’s boyfriend is more trouble than it’s worth.

Sometimes the rules of attraction and lust win and sometimes they make you lose, but in the end, it’s all about finding the one you love and being true to your heart.

An excerpt from the book
Timing in life was everything.
And his timing presently sucked.
If he had met Toby first, he could have easily found out if he was gay and available. Now that Trina had met him and started a relationship, Gavin was stuck.
If he were to place this decision on a scale—try to date Toby ‘if’ he is gay, or lose Trina if he did date him—there was no decision. He would not jeopardize his relationship with his best friend for a remote possibility of a date or two. Right? Isn’t that sensible? But what if Toby is the one?
Exhaling loudly at his dumb luck, Gavin grabbed his empty lunch bag and thermos, getting out of the low slung car. He shut the car door and straightened his back, seeing Toby exit the lobby door, smiling at him, looking like a model out of an International Male catalog.
Gavin’s heart stopped.
“So. We meet again.” Toby didn’t hesitate as he closed the gap between them.
Black, curve-hugging spandex bike shorts and a blue and white cycling jersey clung to Toby’s body like a second skin. Immediately Gavin’s gaze was drawn to the bulge between his legs. It wasn’t until Toby was right next to him that he met his smoldering brown eyes.
Toby tapped Gavin’s chest, saying, “Seattle Power Source? Yeah? You fix power lines?”
As if just coming out of a daydream from the sight of Toby’s unbelievably toned legs, narrow waist and large package, Gavin felt as if he was drunk. “Yeah. I’m a hot primary apprentice.”
“I’ll say.” Toby smiled. “But, uh, what does that mean?”
“Oh. Sorry. I’m a lineman. Power lineman. Apprentice lineman. I fix things.” I’m an idiot.
“You work on high power electrical lines?” Toby’s eyes widened as if he were impressed.
“Yes.” Gavin shifted his weight side to side, feeling nervous.
“Wow.” Toby took another look at Gavin’s body. It was so sultry it made Gavin’s throat dry up when he tried to swallow.
“You…uh…going riding?” Gavin pointed to Toby’s outfit, but ended up gesturing to Toby’s crotch.
“Yes. Would you ever consider a bike ride?”
“I should. But the work is so physical.” Gavin put his lunchbox and thermos on the car. “I do go to the gym a few times a week.”
“I’m a pencil pusher, or should I say, computer keyboard tapper.” Toby smiled, showing perfect teeth. “I need to make an effort to keep fit.” Toby’s attention moved to Gavin’s car. He smoothed his hand over the silver paint. “She’s a beauty. Did you restore it?”
“No. Just took great care of it.”
“Did you buy it new?”
“No. My dad did.” Gavin cleared his throat. He should be thinking about Trina, but at the moment he was thinking about how amazing Toby’s balls looked in black spandex.
“Yes. Duh.” Toby hit his forehead with the heel of his palm in a cliché gesture of sounding stupid. “If you bought it new you’d have to be in your mid to late forties.” Toby gave Gavin another once over. “And you’re not in your forties.”
“If we used that logic, you’d be in your sixties.”
“Sorry. I’m not usually this dumb.” Toby appeared to become distracted by Gavin’s biceps. He smoothed his hand over it and asked, “How much can you bench press?”
At the touch Gavin nearly swooned. His cock throbbed and he looked at Toby’s crotch out of reflex to see if he was interested as well. “Um…bench press? Uh…” Gavin watched the nicely shaped bulge in Toby’s pants grow larger. He had to shake himself out of his daydream and stop staring as the outline of Toby’s cock became visible.
“It wasn’t a trick question.” Toby laughed.
On the tip of Gavin’s tongue was Trina. Asking Toby about knowing Trina. But it didn’t materialize. Selfishly Gavin didn’t want to change the subject and didn’t it sound stakerish if he knew anything about Toby’s personal life? “Nearly three hundred pounds.”
“No!” Toby appeared suitably impressed.
“One time.” Gavin held up his index finger. “But I don’t work out that heavy.”
Toby ran his fingers across Gavin’s chest. “You have amazing pecs.”
Gay. No question whatsoever. What are you doing with my Trina? Bi? No. Oh no, not bi. Gavin didn’t even want to speculate what Toby’s motivation was with leading Trina on. If he was. Maybe Toby wanted to be friends with Trina, like he was.
“Are you out?” It seemed like a safe question for Gavin to ask. Now that Toby had made the advance and touched him rather intimately. Not to mention his raging hard-on—over six inches and cut, if Gavin had to guess. And he had to.
Gavin could see the distinct outline under the material and the urge to stroke his hand over it, the way Toby had done to his chest, was nearly irresistible.
That puzzled Gavin. Toby wasn’t ‘out’ to Trina. “Out to everyone?”
“Yes. Why? Should I not be?” Toby crossed his arms, a defensive pose. “Am I embarrassing you?”
“No. I just…” Gavin kept hitting a wall in how to handle a very sticky situation. Why would Toby lie?
“I take it you’re not?”
“No. Not at work. All my friends know.”
“Ah, macho linemen? Really? I never would have guessed in this town.”
“Not like Corvallis, huh.”
The look on Toby’s face changed.
Gavin realizes his faux pas. Toby had told him he was from Oregon but not Corvallis.
As if trying to determine if he had told him, Toby asked, “Did I tell you that?”
Lying, Gavin said, “Yes. The other day by my deck.”
Toby tilted his head as he thought about it. “Oh. I can’t remember anything anymore.” He let it go and his smile returned.



Monday, May 2, 2011

My Eternal Love


Dark Court 3

Available Today!

Brandon Thomas liked his job as an orderly at the Gervais Institute of Study, but then, things had started to get a little weird. The military moved in, and armed soldiers roamed the halls. Told to report to his supervisor, he's surprised to learn that he has received a promotion.

Brandon's promotion turns into a nightmare when he finds himself poked and prodded by a mad doctor and told he's become part of a government experiment. Escaping seems impossible, until a sexy man with beautiful blue eyes comes to Brandon's rescue.

One thing leads to another, and Brandon finds himself bonded to a Seelie elf from another world. On the run from the institute's retrieval team, Brandon tries to understand everything Kavin is explaining about his world and his kind, all the while wondering if the man is crazy. He has to be, right?

Seeking to keep Brandon safe, Kavin forces the man through the veil between worlds. When circumstances prevent Kavin from immediately following Brandon through the veil, Brandon ends up in the Unseelie Court and in the hands of a total stranger. With no hope of escape, Brandon wonders if he will ever see his perfect elf again.

Chapter One
An orderly a day keeps the doctor away.

And playing golf,

With all his millions,

And his brand new Mercedes,

While I live in a one bedroom crappy apartment and ride the bus to work every day,

An orderly day keeps the doc—

"What are you doing?"

Brandon Thomas stopped humming the little tune in his head and swung around to find an armed guard glaring at him. The man looked pissed . . . and like he ate rocks for breakfast. Brandon took a step back and fingered the ID tag hanging around his neck.

Oh, no. Not again.

"I'm an orderly. I work here," he said.

"What's your security clearance?"

Brandon arched an eyebrow. Every level of security had a different color. The bright, neon orange ID tag around his neck said he had level-seven security clearance. Was the guard blind as well as dumb?

"Level seven," Brandon answered.

He really hated those muscle-bound morons that inhabited the halls of the institute he worked in. And lately, they seemed to be paying him particular attention. If he didn't need the paycheck to pay the bills, he would have found another job months ago.

Unfortunately, the institute paid better than any other place in the small, piss ant town he presently lived in. If he could save up enough money to move somewhere else, he'd leave this place behind in a cloud of dust.

Another daydream.

"What are you doing?"

Brandon glanced down at the cart filled with clean sheets. Seriously? Where did they find these guys? There had to be some sort of school for idiots that produced these dummies by the hundreds; the institute seemed to be filled with them.

Lucky us.

Brandon gave the guard a forced smile. "I'm restocking the utility closet with clean sheets. It's part of my job requirements."

The guard lifted several sheets and looked under them. Brandon didn't know what the guy hoped to find, but he wished the armed man would just get it over with so he could get on with his work. He needed to get the restocking done before he could go to lunch.

"I'll need your name." The guard pulled out a pen and a small pad of paper.

Brandon held up his ID tag. "Uh, Brandon Thomas."

The guard scribbled something down. Brandon didn't like the way the man seemed to size him up, his gaze roaming up and down Brandon's body. His skin crawled beneath the creepy perusal.

"Okay, you can go."

Gee, thanks.

Brandon smiled and pushed his cart down the hallway as fast as he could. He glanced back over his shoulder, shuddering a little when he saw the guard still watching him. He spoke into the small communication piece in his ear, but his eyes were intent on Brandon.

Brandon turned away and hurried down the hallway. His breath caught in his throat until he reached the utility closet and could hide inside. He pulled his cart in after him and shut the door, then leaned back against the wall to take several deep breaths.

That was really weird. Brandon hated the armed guards that roamed the hallways. They always seemed to want to harass him, even if he didn't do anything. So much so, Brandon had taken to going out of his way to avoid them.

His job as on orderly at the Gervais Institute of Study was quickly losing its appeal. Maybe the time had come to look for a new position, even if it paid a little less. Things were just getting a little too weird around here.

Brandon had only been working at the institute for a little over six months, but in that time, the number of armed guards onsite seemed to have doubled. The security measures certainly were greater than before.

Everyone coming into the institute had to have an ID tag. There were a series of security checkpoints to pass through, every one of them manned by a number of armed guards. And now, they seemed to freely roam the hallways.

Brandon wasn't allowed in the lower underground levels of the building. His security clearance wasn't high enough, but he'd heard stories of strange things happening—military testing, alien experimentation, even genetic manipulations.

Brandon had thought the stories outlandish, but he started to think they might be true. The military had commandeered the institute's lower levels three months ago and things had been extremely strange ever since.

Brandon shook his head, laughing at his crazy ideas. Dr. Harold Gervais had established the Gervais Institute of Study in order to study genetics and their effects on the human body or some such shit like that. Brandon didn't much care. His position here wasn't some exciting career; it was just a job.

He quickly stacked the clean sheets on the shelves, then wheeled his cart out. He purposely went in the opposite direction from where the guard stood. Meeting up with him twice in one day would be more than Brandon could handle.

Brandon had something of a smart mouth, and he knew it. He didn't think he could keep his mouth shut if faced with the guard a second time. Knowing his luck, he'd get shot instead of just fired.

Brandon hurried down the hallway, took his cart back to the laundry area, then checked out for lunch. He grabbed his iPod and sack lunch and made his way to the cafeteria. He waited in line to grab a juice, then found a quiet corner to eat in.

Plugging the earphone buds into his ear, Brandon ramped up the music, drowning out all of the sounds around him. He dug into his lunch, and as he ate, he watched out the window. Brandon worked the night shift, so the darkness outside was no surprise.

What did surprise him was the level of activity visible through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Armed guards ran around by the main gate. A black car sped up the driveway. The vehicle stopped at the security gate, then drove on through.

Brandon pushed the top of his head against the glass so he could watch. A guard opened the car door, and three men in military uniforms and a couple more in business suits climbed out. They spoke with the guard briefly, then walked into the facility.

Okay, that was a little weird. Brandon didn't think it was normal to get visitors late at night. He preferred the nightshift because the place was quiet, most of the personnel having gone home for the night. Visitors this late—especially ones wearing full-dress military uniforms and looking rather intense—couldn't be a good thing.

Brandon went back to eating. Visitors or not, he had work to do, and he only had ten minutes left for lunch before he had to get to it. Besides, he was just an orderly. Whoever those people were, they meant nothing to him.

Someone touched Brandon's shoulder, and he jumped. He swung around to find his supervisor standing beside him. He pulled off his earphones and waited.

"As soon as you are done with your lunch break I'd like to see you in my office, Mr. Thomas."

"Uh, yes sir."

Brandon's heart began pumping again as he watched his supervisor walk away. He racked his brain, trying to think of anything he might have done to get called before the big boss but came up blank.

He did what was required for his job. He wasn't late for work, ever. Mostly because the last bus to the facility dropped him off a half hour before his shift started. The busses didn't start running again until an hour before he got off work.

With shaking hands, Brandon gathered up the remains of his lunch and dropped it in the garbage bin. He pulled his iPod off, shoved it into his pocket, and made his way to the supervisor's office. The entire time, he prayed he still had a job.

Brandon knocked and waited for permission to enter. Mr. Clausen called out, and Brandon opened the door and walked in. Mr. Clausen sat behind a large desk, typing away on his computer.

Without waiting for an invitation, Brandon sat down in the wooden chair across from the man and waited. As he did, he glanced around the room. The office seemed pretty typical of a supervisor's office—one large desk, a filing cabinet, a bookshelf with books, and a couple of chairs.

The room was sterile, not a personal item in sight, just like his supervisor, Mr. Clausen. Brandon never really liked the guy, but what could he do? Mr. Clausen had been at the facility for years. Rumor was they'd built the facility around the man.

Mr. Clausen finally looked up at him, and Brandon braced himself for the loss of his job. His nerves didn't settle much when the man flipped open a folder in front of him, and Brandon recognized it as his personnel file.

"You've been with us for almost six months, Mr. Thomas, correct?"

"Yes, sir."

"Uh huh, and during that time, you've served as an orderly?"

"Yes, sir."

Mr. Clausen closed the file and folded his hands together, looking at Brandon. "Do you like your job, Mr. Thomas?"

"Well, it's not what I want to do for the rest of my life, but I suppose I'm happy enough with it for now." Brandon knew that probably wasn't the best answer he could have given his boss, but he wasn't going to lie. He figured the man was smart enough to see right through him if he tried, so why bother?

"Your immediate superiors have very good things to say about you, Mr. Thomas. You've never been late for work, you haven't taken any sick days, and you complete each task set before you in the allotted time."

Brandon twisted his hands together. He really hoped all the things Mr. Clausen said were good things. "Uh, thank you, sir."

"After some discussion, we've decided to promote you."

"A promotion, sir?" There was higher level to being an orderly?

"Yes, report to the south elevator," Mr. Clausen said. "A guard will escort you to level three, where you will receive a complete physical, which is required for your new position." Mr. Clausen handed over his personnel file and a red security pass. "Do you have any questions?"

"Uh, what is my new job, sir?" Brandon asked, completely bewildered. One moment he'd been sure he'd lost his job, and the next moment he'd received a promotion. Talk about an emotional rollercoaster.

"That will be explained to you after your physical, Mr. Thomas. Now get going. They're waiting for you."

"Yes, sir." Brandon left his former supervisor's office and walked down the hallway toward the south elevator. For the life of him, he couldn't figure out how he'd ended up with a promotion. He was an orderly. It didn't take a rocket scientist to be an orderly. He restocked shelves, ran errands, and cleaned. He wasn't trained for anything else.

He wasn't sure he wanted to attend college, mostly because he didn't know exactly what he wanted to do with his life. Growing up in the foster care system didn't give him a lot of good role models to follow.

Brandon knew there were good foster parents out there; he just seemed to have been placed with ones who didn't care for him beyond the money the state supplied for his upkeep. They weren't bad foster parents. They just didn't seem to care. He left as soon as he was legally able to.

After graduating from high school, he'd wandered for a couple of years, working one job for a little while before moving onto the next. The six months he'd had this job was the longest he'd ever been employed.

In Brandon's mind, he wasn't "promotion" material. There were a lot of other people who worked here a lot longer than he did. So, why had they picked him? Brandon pondered the question until he came to the south elevator and faced the two armed guards there.

Brandon held up the red security pass Mr. Clausen gave him. "I'm supposed to report to level three."

One of the guards took his pass and checked it over while the other just stood there and eyed Brandon. Again with the creepy perusal. Brandon hid his shaking hands behind his back. He swallowed past the lump in his throat and tried to look anywhere except at the guard.

He used to think men in uniform were the sexiest creatures on earth. He spent hours upon hours watching war movies, looking through military magazines, and hanging out where ever military men were.

And then he had come to work at the institute. At first, Brandon had gloried in all the muscle-bound men surrounding him. Then, little by little, he had come to realize that the ones stationed at the institute were complete morons and quickly lost his fascination.

If they weren't harassing him, they were pushing him around and making crude jokes. Brandon knew he wasn't some muscle-bound freak, but he wasn't exactly small, either. He stood five-foot ten-inches and weighed upward of 180 pounds, big enough.

"Come this way." The guard finally finished examining Brandon's new ID.

Brandon glanced up, watching as the guard inserted a passkey into a small security pad and typed in an alphanumeric code. A moment later, the elevator doors opened up to reveal two more guards. Brandon was ushered in.

A wave of anxiety nearly forced Brandon to step back off the elevator. No job was worth this, he thought, but someone pushed a button and the elevator doors closed before he could move. They had to see the sweat pouring down his temples; he sure could feel it.

The elevator ride seemed to go on forever, which Brandon found very strange. There were only six floors to the entire building, three of them at basement level. The military occupied the bottom three. It shouldn't have taken more than a few minutes to reach any of them.

Finally, the car came to a stop. The doors slid open. Brandon spotted two more armed guards outside the doors. Three more waited directly across from them. One of man stepped forward.

"Brandon Thomas?"


"Come this way, please."

Brandon fell in behind the guard, two more following behind them. The hallway they walked through looked stark. The walls were white. The doors lining the corridor were white. Even the tiles on the floor were white. Everything seemed to be blaringly white.

The only things relieving the stark lack of color were Brandon and the three guards escorting him. Creepy, Brandon thought. And what did his new job entail?.Why would they need an orderly?

"Wait in here," the guard said as he opened a door and gestured for Brandon to enter. Brandon stepped into the room, quickly glancing around. Again with the white everywhere. He was beginning to see a theme in the color scheme.

The room's decor was just as sterile as the hallways. An exam bed sat in the middle of the room. Cabinets with metal handles ran all along one wall. Another wall had a sink and countertop. Beyond a single chair, there was nothing else.

Brandon tried the cupboards but found them locked. He could see little bottles of stuff and trays through the smoky glass, but he couldn't tell what they were. He wandered around the room for a few minutes, pacing as his nervousness increased.

When the door opened and a man in a white doctor's coat walked in, Brandon nearly jumped out of his skin. The man had a clipboard, and he seemed to be reading it and making notes.

"I'm Dr. Carson. Are you Brandon Thomas?" the man asked as he glanced up.


"Please disrobe and get on the table."

"Excuse me?" Surely Brandon hadn't heard what he thought he'd heard.

The man waved his hand at him. "Take off your clothes and get up on the table. I need to examine you."


"It's for your benefit, Mr. Thomas," Dr. Carson said as he walked to the counter. "I need to assess your level of health."

"I was perfectly healthy being an orderly before," Brandon replied. "I should be perfectly healthy being an orderly now."

"Orderly?" Dr. Carson chuckled. "Who told you that you were going to be an orderly?"

"My supervisor, Mr. Clausen. He said I was getting a promotion."

"Oh, my, that is amusing." The man chuckled again. "I don't think I've heard that one before. I'll have to remember it. My colleagues will find it very entertaining. Now, disrobe and get up on the table, dear boy. I need to complete my exam."

Brandon started backing toward the door. "I don't think so. I think I'd rather pass on the promotion and go back to my other job."

"I'm afraid that's not possible, Mr. Thomas. You've already been chosen."

"Chosen for what?" Brandon asked as he took a couple of more steps toward the door. He was beginning to think someone was playing a huge joke on him. Either that, or this guy was nuts.

"All in good time, dear boy." Dr. Carson patted the exam table. "Now, off with the clothes."

Brandon shook his head. No way, no how. No crazy-as-a-loon doctor was getting a gander at Brandon's nether regions. Not for all the tea in China. Brandon grabbed the door handle and opened the door. He turned to run and hit a solid wall of hard flesh.

Brandon had just a moment to look up and see the face of a guard before the man picked him up and placed him on the exam table. Brandon tried to get away, struggling, hitting, and biting, but strong hands grabbed him, holding him down until the doctor wrapped restraints around his arms and legs.

Once Brandon lay secured to the table, the doctor retrieved a small bottle of clear liquid from the counter. He turned back, shaking his head as he stuck a syringe into the bottle's rubber stopper and pulled back on the plunger to fill the tube.

Brandon watched, wide eyed and speechless, as the doctor wiped a spot on Brandon's arm with an alcohol swap, then inserted the needle and the liquid into his arm.

"This could have gone much easier on you, Brandon," Dr. Carson said, "if you had just cooperated. Now we have to do this the hard way."

Brandon tried to protest, but his tongue started to feel funny, thick like, and it kept sticking to the roof of his mouth. His head began to grow heavy, so heavy he couldn't lift it. When the guards released his restraints and started to cut away his clothes, Brandon tried to stop them, but his arms wouldn't move. Nothing worked.

After that, things grew fuzzy. He knew several people came and went. He knew they stuck a syringe in his arm quite a few more times. He thought they took blood at one point but didn't have the strength to lift his head to see.

All Brandon could do was lie there while people did things to him—insert probes, draw bodily fluids, give him shots, and examine him from head to toe, inside and out. He felt invaded, attacked, but he couldn't do anything but whimper.

Someone pushed his hair back from his forehead. Brandon looked up to find the doctor from when he first came into the room leaning over him. He moaned in fear. The man was smiling down at him as if he were proud or something.

"You've done very well, Brandon," Dr. Carson said. "I'm going to give you something to help you sleep, and then you'll be taken to your room to rest. I'll check in with you in a few hours."

Brandon tried to shake his head, groaning when he felt the small pinprick of a needle entering his arm again. Within a few moments, his eyes grew very heavy, and he only wanted to sleep. He caught sight of two guards walking into the room right before he lost the ability to keep his eyes open.