Fallen Angel [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Eden Winters
eBook Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
eBook Description: Ten years of rescuing lost youth from the streets can wear a man out, and Noah Everett buckles under the pressure of being "The Angel." What began as a two-man mission is now going corporate, meaning rules, regulations and inexperienced volunteers needing guidance in a field Noah makes up as he goes along. On top of this, his latest prospective rescue doesn't seem to go to plan. Is he losing his touch? Normally he'd turn to his mentor, Doc, in times of trouble, but the old man's strength isn't what it used to be. Noah's lover would be the next most obvious choice to share this burden with, but Jeremy Kincaid is about to leave for college. After all Jeremy's endured to achieve this goal, Noah won't stand in his way, even though he fears losing the man to the joys of student life. Jeremy may be young and caught up in his own fights, but he's not blind to Noah's plight, and now questions his own choices. Four years at State with a full ride will launch his future, but his present includes Noah--and a meth addict who's become Jeremy's own personal mission. When a physical attack sends Noah spinning out of control, Jeremy must reevaluate his life and plans before the man he knows and loves disappears forever.
eBook Publisher: Torquere Press/Top Shelf, Published: www.torquerepress.com, 2012
Fictionwise Release Date: May 2012
6 Reader Ratings:
In the middle of checking the camera system in the closed bar one Sunday afternoon, Noah paused to take a break. Spying a bottle of whiskey on the bar, he carried it with him to the end of the polished oak surface, snagging a glass along the way. "Sunday, can't serve drinks," he muttered to himself, adding, "watch me." He held the bottle aloft, admiring the light playing off the swirling liquid. Pouring a shot, he plunked down onto a bar stool. How long since he'd drunk anything stronger than beer? Ten years? Longer? Back in the day he'd preferred rum. Whiskey had been... Noah swallowed hard, remembering.
"Here's to you," he heard Billy say, raising a glass of fiery liquid in toast. Noah raised his glass in the here and now, saluted the friend Billy had been, not the lover, and downed the shot. The amber fluid seared his pipes going down, the distant familiar ache of days gone by.
Three shots later found him in his office, digging through a drawer to find a box he'd tried to forget. He placed it on his desk, pouring another shot, and rummaged through the torturing evidence of his past, tossing aside the first dozen pictures. At last he found what he'd been digging for. A photo taken nearly thirteen years earlier, when he'd hitchhiked to the city with dreams of making something of himself. He'd been lanky, skinny actually, and standing beside a handsome, dark-skinned, dark-eyed Gypsy of a man, who'd found him scavenging garbage cans for a meal.
Of all the streets kids, Billy chose Noah, took him in, shared food, clothing, shelter, and a gorgeous, youthful body. The former Georgia farm-boy wiped away Noah's naive notions, replacing schoolboy fantasies with rough, steamy, passionate sex. The guy had oozed sex appeal from the day they met until the day Billy died -- in Noah's arms.
Noah scrunched his eyes closed a moment, breathing through the hurt. Reaching out blindly, he poured another shot, a chaser for the others. How many did that make?
He stared at the image of the two young know-it-alls, trying to recall what it felt like, the idol worship he'd lavished on a rent boy. Did he still love the man? Well, if he did, it bore little resemblance to how he felt for Jeremy. Was he using Billy as a crutch to keep from moving on? Had he become used to being alone, subconsciously isolating himself to avoid another broken heart?
Sticking a mental thumb in the sore spot of his psyche, in an alcohol-induced fog he finally realized the answer was... possibly. Did he still miss the guy, blame himself for not dragging Billy out of prostitution kicking and screaming? Oh hell yeah. He shuffled somewhat unsteadily back to the bar, fumbling in the lost and found box Mary kept on a shelf. A choice awaited him: Marlboro or Marlboro Lights? Back in the day he'd been a Marlboro man. More searching brought four cigarette lighters to hand. Not giving himself time to think, he lit up a cigarette, drawing the nearly forgotten essence into his lungs. The acrid smoke stung his nostrils, but damn did Marlboros ever go good with booze. He only coughed twice. Returning to his desk, empty peanut bowl in hand for an improvised ashtray, he dropped into the chair, nearly missing.
Taking the picture of him and Billy in one hand, he skimmed his fingers over Billy's likeness, his chest painfully tight. Then, cigarette poised in his lips, he flicked the lighter, igniting the edge of the aging paper. Don't! his mind screamed. Too late, he replied, watching the flames licking up the image with rabid fascination, the paper curling into an unrecognizable black char that he dropped into the bowl before it burned his fingers. He grabbed another picture, one he'd never told Doc about. Noah, Billy, Doc's son, Ben Jr., and a few other hustlers mooned the camera, laughing their half-hidden heads off. The second photo followed the first into oblivion.
Occasionally he'd stop, taking a long, hard pull from the smoke or bottle -- he'd discarded the glass at some point -- but mostly he played arsonist, burning up the darkest part of his life. He'd left his cell phone on the bar and didn't bother retrieving it no matter how many times it rang, or how many different melodies it played. He spent the afternoon drinking and char-broiling his past.