Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday's Safe Word Shelf: Between Friends by Sean Michael

Between Friends #1
Two very different couples. Two very different lives. Yet somehow they manage to keep things between friends. Schoolteacher Jason and Harry the cop have a pretty good life together. Or at least they always have in the past. When Harry starts acting strangely, withdrawing from Jason and displaying bouts of mysterious anger, Jason starts to wonder if he's losing his hold on what he and Harry share. He turns to his friend Samuel, a college roommate, for a little moral support. Antique dealer Samuel has enough on his plate, buying a new house with his lover, Peter, and keeping up with their inventive love life. Luckily for Jason, Samuel's lover, Peter, is also a good friend of Harry's. When Peter hears about the troubles between Harry and Jason, he forced Harry to confront his demons, and to give Jason the chance to help. Can Harry and Jason come to terms with secrets that might change their lives forever? With Samuel and Peter's help, they just might, as they find out what friends are for, and what it means to let someone help share the load. Sean Michael creates a finely woven web of friendship, where two couples and two sets of friends become family, and where the intricate dance of everyday life comes alive in the most beautiful way.

When Harry Met Jason #2
The world met Harry, Jason and Sammy in Between Friends, Sean Michael's popular novel about a pair of couples and the troubles they face.

When Harry Met Jason goes back in time to when cop Harry met just-graduated Jason, who's living with his college roommate Sammy and worrying about trying to find a job. When a frat party goes bad, Jason ends up more than just drunk, but Harry shows up just in time, policing the party and taking Jason home. That's the start of something neither one of them can deny, a relationship that Harry wants to take slow, while Jason would like to go in fast forward.

The party starts something for Jason's best friend Sammy, too, something not so great. He's been hurt, and is being stalked to boot, which makes Jason hesitant to leave Sammy alone to pursue Harry. As Harry and Jason become closer and closer, Sammy's stalkers get more and more violent, until finally something has to break. Can Harry and Jason keep Sammy safe and fall in love all at the same time? Read this wonderful love story today and find out!

Sammy's Place #3
The boys from Between Friends are back in the story of Sammy and Peter! Sammy has the worst luck with men, and too often it shows on his face, or his body. His best friend Jason worries about him, and finally convinces Sammy to come stay with him and his lover, Harry. Sammy hates feeling like a failure, but he doesn't know what else to do. Peter has been Harry's best friend for a lot of years, but somehow he's never managed to meet Sammy. When he does, he knows just what Sammy needs, and he's surprised to find that he wants to be the one to give it to the beautiful young man. Sammy's not so sure. He likes Peter, a lot, but he's messed up every relationship he's ever had, except for his friendship with Jason. Peter's pretty convincing, especially when he ramps up the BDSM lifestyle that Sammy craves. Between Harry, who's worried that his old friend Peter is no better than Sammy's other men, and Sammy's ex-boyfriend, who isn't willing to let go, Sammy and Peter face one challenge after another. Can they find a way to make their love work, or will Sammy walk away from the best thing he's ever found?

Trial by Fire #4
In this new installment of the Between Friends series, Harry is not just Jason's hero. He's a cop who wants to help people, who wants to make a difference. The thing is that Harry isn't so sure that moving from Homicide to Vice is such a great idea. He hardly ever sees Jason anymore, he doesn't get to hang out with their best friends Sammy and Peter much, either. Jason isn't thrilled with Harry's new position, either. The job is far more dangerous than it used to be, and the drug dealers Harry is trying to catch red-handed might just be too hard to handle. Meanwhile, Sammy is wearing himself out trying to look after everything, from his best friend Jason to the shop he runs to his lover, Peter. He's worried about Harry, too, because Jase is keeping him up late at night with frantic phone calls. Peter knows that Sammy needs a little mastering to keep him from wearing himself out, but when the worst happens and Harry is put in terrible danger, nothing goes right. In fact, the boys aren't sure that anything will ever be the same again.

Between Friends #1
"Ah, there you two are -- we were going to send a search party. Oh, my, Harry, you are man enough to pull off pink." Laff chuckled and pointed to lane four. "We're right over here."

"Fuck you, Laffy." Three beers and a glass of Coke were at the table, along with bowling shoes in a thirteen and a huge burger with fries. "Oh, Sammy. You're a doll."

"You looked hungry, honey. Sit. Eat."

Jase patted his shoulder and then gave Sammy a hug. "We've already decided the order, Harry, you're going last. I'm not sure that it works like it does in baseball, but we figured you'd do well in 'clean-up.'"

"I'm leading us off. Then Sammy, then Jase." Laff shook his head. "This is actually more fun than I was expecting."

He chuckled and nodded, relaxing a little, taking two of the little pills Jason gave him. "Sorry I was late, guys. I had to save the world from schizophrenic old men." Schizophrenic old men with knives who attacked a mannequin at Ginny's Boutique. Christ.

"Your job is never dull, is it?" Laff stole several of his French fries, and Jase slapped the man's hand.

"Nobody steals off Harry's plate. Unless they're me," Jase added, snagging a few fries for himself.

Possessive little ass. Harry adored him. "That's my babe. Go bowl the first set, Laffy."

When Harry Met Jason #2
Oh, God. Jason was drunk. He was so drunk he couldn’t stand. He was so not driving. Which, as he didn’t have a car, was probably a good thing. Plus the so drunk he couldn’t see thing. Or was that stand?

He opened his eyes, the world sort of spinning, people with amazing auras wandering around, merging, dancing. One of them was waving at him, or pointing or something. Okay, he could see. Mostly. Sort of. And he was on the couch, so he was sitting. Not standing. Then he was too drunk to stand, which made him too drunk to drive and he’d just stay right here.

He’d be happier staying right here if it wasn’t so loud. Who knew graduation could be so loud? He did. Now.

Graduation. Him. Done. All graduated. Him.


He had his little fake diploma somewhere. Back at his little apartment, he thought. He’d gone there first, before coming to the Phi Beta Delta Gamma Quadrant Fraternity House. Wait. Was that what it was called? Hell, he wasn’t rushing for it; the name didn’t matter. He was just here for the party. Which was really loud, and kind of incoherent. And he’d only been drinking beer.

He looked down at the beer in his hand. Only it wasn’t a beer it was a high ball tumbler and it was empty but for a cherry at the bottom. Maraschino cherry. He liked those. He started fishing for it, letting the party fade out around him. He nearly had the fucker, too, when everything got loud again -- a not ignorable loud, at that.

A face pushed suddenly into his. “You have to go!” shouted the face. “The cops are coming.”

He tried to figure out just how those two things were related. The cops were coming so he had to go... but he wasn’t sure why. Sure he was drunk, but he was legal -- he’d turned twenty one the week before. So it couldn’t be that. And he wasn’t making any noise -- he was just sitting here, feeling groovy from his head to his toes. He wiggled his toes -- yeah, them.

No, he didn’t have to go. He’d just sit here and if the cops came, well good for them.

People came and went and the music disappeared and he just sat there and watched the cops. For they had indeed come, and damn, a couple of them were hot. It was probably the uniform. They said everyone loved a man in uniform and he’d certainly lusted after his fair share of them.

There was one cop in particular he was lusting aft-- looking at. The guy was big. Not just tall, but buff. And he had short blond hair. And he was hot. He was a stud. Man, he had to be way over six feet tall, Jason thought, tilting his head to look up and up.

He was even hotter close up and hey. When had the stud cop gotten so close?

Jason grinned and raised one hand waving his fingers. “Hi there, Officer.”

Sammy's Place #3
"I'm going to go back to the room, honey." Sammy wasn't dressed up. He wasn't having fun and he wasn't in the mood to blow everyone else's night.

Harry was hanging out with somebody pretending to be a leatherdaddy. Jason looked beautiful in the frock coat, and what little food Sammy'd eaten at supper hadn't settled.

"Oh, no, Sammy! No, please. Harry, I'm going to go dance with Sammy." Jase had that worried, sad look in his eyes again.

"Jase. Grab Harry. He's been checking you out all evening." He found a smile for Jason, patted his arm. "Go. Dance. Shake your groove thing."

Harry's pretend leatherdaddy friend came over, giving him and Jase a soft smile. "I was wondering if you wanted to dance?"

"I." Sammy started to shake his head -- he really was in the middle of a huge pout -- but then the music changed to something fun and light-hearted and yeah. Yeah, he sort of wanted to dance.

"Come on. A pretty little thing like you should be out on the dance floor, shaking your ass."

"Fuck, I'm not pretty, but yeah. I'll have a dance." He stood and took the guy's hand, heading them out.

The hand in his was warm and smooth, strong. It was almost a shame to drop it so they could dance.

He started moving, closing his eyes and just going with it, rocking and bopping away. It was like being in his own fucking world. A hand landed on his hip, fingers curling around, tugging him into leatherdaddy's space.

Sammy blinked, the touch surprising him a little. "Hey."

Leatherdaddy smiled down at him. "You really lose yourself in the music."

"You have to lose yourself somewhere." Another wave of sadness hit him and he sighed. "You know, I'm going to go. I hope you have a great night. Tell Jase... Fuck, tell him I found someone to go home with. That'll keep him from worrying."

"That's it? I get thirty seconds of dancing, and you're in your own little world for twenty-five of those, and then you're off?" Leatherdaddy shook his head. "If you don't want to dance, that's fine. But then let me buy you a cup of coffee."

Oh, man. "I'm sorry. Really. I just." Somebody bumped into him and he stepped into strong arms, both of them still moving, dancing.

The guy smelled like leather, and he was strong, chest muscles solid against him, the arms around him holding him loosely, but somehow securely. "That's more like it."

"You smell good." The words escaped him, like he'd had way too many. Jesus.

He got a slow smile for it, though, one that went right to the man's eyes. "Thank you. I love the smell of leather, myself."

Sammy nodded, moving easily, being led so well that he didn't have to think, he could just move.

"I'm Peter, by the way."

"Sammy. I'm Jason's old roommate." Peter -- great name for a gay man, really.

"Samuel. It's good to meet you." Peter pulled him around smoothly, out of the way of two guys who were starting to get a little too enthusiastic with their dance moves.


Peter was tall, hair dark like his, but not a mop. Not messy. Not like a forest creature. Jesus.

"So how come you're not dressed up?"

"I didn't feel like pretending to be happy."

"And why aren't you happy?"

"How the fuck should I know?" He laughed, the sound bitter in his ears. "People are unhappy. It's the natural state of being."

One eyebrow went up. "I disagree. I also would prefer it if you didn't curse. Such foul language should not come out of such a lovely man."

Well, what the fuck did you say to something like that?

Trial by Fire #4
"I hate monkey suits, man."

Sammy chuckled, shook his head at Harry. "He looked nice, love. Very official."

"He looked amazing." Jase's eyes shone, his best friend looking more in love than ever.

Peter chuckled, too. "I have to side with the boys on this one, Harrison."

"Laffy, it was ridiculous." Harry leaned back, huge and broad in a T-shirt and jeans. There was a tiny hickey on the underside of the big man's jaw.

Sammy saw Jase notice it and smile, lick his lips.

"What's that? The way your lover looked at you? Or the way the commissioner's wife did?" Peter winked as he teased.

"I looked like a gorilla in a suit."

Sammy snorted in his orange juice.

"Oh, no, you didn't." Jase stroked Harry's arm. "You looked like a stud. My stud."

Harry turned toward Jason and smiled at him. "You're in love."

"That doesn't invalidate my opinion!"

"Are you using those great big words again?"

Sammy started chuckling like a fool..

"Oh! You!" Jason laughed and poked Harry. "I am! And you know what it means."

Harry's laugh rang out and so did Peter's, and that warmed him, down deep.

"So, what are we doing this afternoon, did someone decide?" Sammy looked around, waiting for an answer.

"I'm easy." Peter held up a hand before he could say anything. "As long as it doesn't involve shopping."

Harry groaned. "Oh, thank God."

Sammy rolled his eyes, mouthed 'asshole' to Harry.

"Damn." Jason pouted. "There's a flea market on Ocean Drive..."

"Oooh... We could look for credenzas..."

Peter groaned. "Samuel."

Jason just giggled. "Oh, we could!"

He reached over, squeezed Jason's hand. "Or we could go to that five-story bookstore. There's a coffee shop, truffles, books, cushy couches."

"Oh!" Jason squeezed back. "That would be awesome. Harry, you like books." Jason giggled. "And truffles."

Author Bio:
Often referred to as "Space Cowboy" and "Gangsta of Love" while still striving for the moniker of "Maurice," Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organizing his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and persuing the kama sutra by channeling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to "Chicago."

A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.

Barring any of that? He'll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.


Between Friends #1

When Harry Met Jason #2
B&N  /  iTUNES  /  ARe

Sammy's Place #3
B&N  /  iTUNES  /  ARe

Trial by Fire #4
B&N  /  iTUNES  /  ARe