FREE READ: Attic Dweller Chapter 8

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This is a work of fiction intended for adults only, as it contains explicit scenes not appropriate for minors. By continuing to read, you are acknowledging you are of legal age to do so. All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2012 by AJ Rose

Chapter 8 

The ceiling hadn’t changed much in the last three hours Grady had stared at it. The shadows illuminated by the window had elongated across the ceiling as the sun traveled the sky into afternoon, but that was about it. Grady didn’t notice, staring sightlessly as he was, lying on his back on his bed, arms crossed behind his head. The denial he’d immersed in the last few months, had worn like a shield of validity in the face of his decision to end it with Ty, was beginning to crack, weaken. It was brittle, filled with anger and hurt, but his stomach had been roiling for the last few days—weeks if he was honest—with a deeper, icier pain. What if I was wrong?

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FREE READ: Attic Dweller Chapter 7

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This is a work of fiction intended for adults only, as it contains explicit scenes not appropriate for minors. By continuing to read, you are acknowledging you are of legal age to do so. All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2012 by AJ Rose

Chapter 7 

Veronica, it seemed, had ample amounts of time to spend, whether sitting in a bar people watching, streaming horrible movies on Netflix while sprawled on Ty’s living room floor surrounded by empty Chinese food containers, or just keeping Ty from wallowing alone.  She’d taken to coming over and dragging Ty out of the house, a feat that at first had been akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. He’d fought her, telling her to leave him alone, that he didn’t want company. She ignored him, and after his initial irritation every time she did, he appreciated it.

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FREE READ: Attic Dweller Chapter 6

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This is a work of fiction intended for adults only, as it contains explicit scenes not appropriate for minors. By continuing to read, you are acknowledging you are of legal age to do so. All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2012 by AJ Rose

Chapter 6 

The ringing phone echoed through the silent rooms several times before a mechanical click sounded and a voice filled the silence. It wasn’t Grady, so Ty didn’t move from his position.

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FREE READ: Attic Dweller Chapter 5

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This is a work of fiction intended for adults only, as it contains explicit scenes not appropriate for minors. By continuing to read, you are acknowledging you are of legal age to do so. All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2012 by AJ Rose

Chapter 5

The week from hell arrived, in all its furious glory.

Ty knuckled his forehead to ease the headache that was just the fucking kick while he was down. Several weeks had passed since he’d promised Grady no more drinking, but it appeared the rumors paid no attention to actual events, even embellishing them into heavy drug use. As a result, he’d had several dropped interviews, more than one pass on casting, and his publicist was beside herself whenever he went out for an evening, even if he stuck to drinking water, iced tea, and an occasional Diet Coke.

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FREE READ: Attic Dweller Chapter 4

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This is a work of fiction intended for adults only, as it contains explicit scenes not appropriate for minors. By continuing to read, you are acknowledging you are of legal age to do so. All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2012 by AJ Rose

Chapter 4

The music thumped in time with the flashing lights, and sweaty bodies in various states of gyration on the dance floor were painted in stark relief, then shadowed when the lights strobed with the beat. Grady and Ty watched from the sidelines, both with bottles of beer in hand, standing close, but not so close that an errant picture could expose their relationship to the media. A group of friends circled around them, ducking in and out of the melee on the dance floor, laughter competing with heavy bass.

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FREE READ: Attic Dweller Chapter 3

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This is a work of fiction intended for adults only, as it contains explicit scenes not appropriate for minors. By continuing to read, you are acknowledging you are of legal age to do so. All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2012 by AJ Rose

Chapter 3

“What the fuck are these?” The box of condoms hit Ty in the chest and instinctively, he caught them. Grady glared from beside Ty’s nightstand, his face flushed.

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FREE READ: Attic Dweller Chapter 2

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This is a work of fiction intended for adults only, as it contains explicit scenes not appropriate for minors. By continuing to read, you are acknowledging you are of legal age to do so. All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2012 by AJ Rose

Chapter 2

Grocery hand basket over his arm, Ty reached for the cheese Grady liked and came away with warm fingers instead. Head swiveling around, he smiled sheepishly.

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FREE READ: Attic Dweller Chapter 1

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This is a work of fiction intended for adults only, as it contains explicit scenes not appropriate for minors. By continuing to read, you are acknowledging you are of legal age to do so. All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2012 by AJ Rose

Chapter 1

“Ty?” Grady called from the kitchen, head half buried in the fridge. “Did you drink my last Guinness?” He pulled out a boring light beer, mildly surprised how few of even those were left, and went back to the living room to flop beside Ty on the couch, kicking his ankle up on his knee, taking a pull from the bottle.

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FREE READ: Attic Dweller Prologue

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This is a story I wrote awhile ago, when I was dusting off the ol’ writer brain from a decade long break from storysmithing. Leaving the plot points the same, I’ve basically rewritten the prose in the last couple of weeks. In appreciation for those who followed me from LiveJournal, and for your continued support despite my sometimes overly-emo posts, I’m posting this as a free read. I hope you enjoy, and even if you don’t, please to be offering the feedback.

Disclaimercakes: This is a work of fiction intended for adults only as it contains explicit scenes not appropriate for minors. By continuing to read, you are acknowledging you are of legal age to do so. All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2012 by AJ Rose

 

“May I please speak with Tyler Stull?” The voice was bored and unfamiliar.

Ty, just in from a run, was red-faced and breathing hard from exertion, sweat pooling at the waistband of his shorts, his chestnut hair plastered to his forehead. He threw the pile of mail on his computer desk in the corner of the living room, leaning against it while uncapping and emptying a bottle of water in three gulps before answering. The phone pressed to his ear slid against his sweaty face. “This is Tyler.”

“Sir, I’m calling in regards to your First Credit MasterCard. Our records show we haven’t received a payment in two months. Have you sent in your statement stub or taken care of this online in recent days?”

A collection call? Jesus, he hadn’t had one of those in years. He wasn’t one of those successful actors who blew the money as fast as he made it, and he paid his bills, sometimes months in advance if he was on location or promoting. Then he wondered if this was a joke, someone playing a prank on him. It seemed too simple for Grady though, and he was the only one who ever pulled this kind of shit.

Frowning, Ty shuffled through the mail more thoroughly, seeing an envelope from FCMC. He snatched it up and ripped it open, his frown deepening into a scowl at the past-due balance glaring at him in red. What the hell?

“No, I haven’t made a payment, but it’s no problem. I usually pay off the balance every month. Come to think of it, I don’t think I received a statement the last two months.” He scanned the letter, informing him his account was in danger of suspension if he didn’t make an immediate payment.

His boyfriend and co-star Grady Dolan had been giving him shit about how he still wrote checks and mailed them, but he hadn’t had time to set up online banking and he refused to let someone else handle his money. He’d heard too many horror stories about others in the business that turned over the control of their finances to ‘trusted’ friends or assistants only to be bled dry while the friend lived the high life.

“Sir, our records show your statement went out as scheduled the last two months. Has your address changed?”

Ty murmured a negative, snatching up his wallet and sliding out his debit card.

“The last payment was received September third. If there’s a problem making your payments, we can set you up with a repayment schedule that works for you.”

“Not necessary. I’ll pay the full balance right now.” He gave the caller his bank information and then called his bank, getting instructions on how to set up online payments. By the time he was finished, his shorts and t-shirt were dry again and he felt disgusting, so he grabbed another bottle of water and headed for the shower.

The spray bounced off his body as he stood under the shower head, scowling in annoyed confusion. He’d never let anything like that slide in the past, and he was irritated to have a ding on his credit. He figured the statements got lost in the mail. The promotional tour for their last film had had him and Grady traveling for weeks and when they’d returned, he’d immediately entered negotiations for another action role. He’d stopped his mail until he could get back and things slowed down. The stack he’d picked up had been daunting, and it had taken him days to go through it all. He probably hadn’t been careful enough and had missed the statements. Hopefully, nothing else had fallen through the cracks.

He heard Grady in his head, calling his methods antiquated and archaic. Have another ‘a’ word for old fashioned? He mentally filled in Grady’s answer, drawing on their months’ long word-sparring games. Antediluvian. Ty snorted to himself, lathering up and muttering aloud, “I have an ‘a’ word for you. Asshole.”

But cursing Grady wasn’t helping and made him feel like a dickhead, so he let his mind wonder when he would be by. They had plans for a whole lot of nothing, since both of them had been so busy lately and hadn’t had time to chill.

Even if he’d heard the bathroom door inch open, he’d only have thought it was Grady letting him know he’d arrived. He didn’t notice the hand slip through the crack in the door and steal his jogging clothes.

Enjoying the story? Leave feedback in the comments! I’d love to hear from you. Really enjoying it? Consider purchasing my other titles, which can be found here.

Disclaimer so I don’t get sued: Any resemblance in this work to people living or dead is entirely coincidental and locations are used fictitiously. Registered trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

A Little Something for Free

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The following is a brief excerpt from my second release called The Yearning.

 

 

I figured posting an excerpt of something that’s already available is better than a teaser of what I’m writing now, which may not see the light of day for months, if at all. Feel free to tell me what you think! Compliments are appreciated, but so is constructive criticism. How else will I learn?

The story is told from the ghost, Eric’s point of view.
***

“Babe, it’s just dinner with Darren. He won’t notice your clothes,” I say, floating five feet above the ground, lotus style. “Not that I mind you getting undressed so much in front of me.”

Justin’s standing in front of a mirror in his clothes-strewn bedroom, scrutinizing his fourth outfit. He frowns, turns and stares at his ass. I make a sound of appreciation and offer up a prayer of thanks to the makers of Joe’s Jeans. Apparently he’s going with this ensemble, a button down shirt in a velvety wine color that drapes his lean frame well, bringing out the warmth of his eyes, and jeans that display a perfect bulge to ass ratio. I watch as he gathers up the discarded clothes and puts them away.

He’s a flurry of activity, buzzing around his apartment in an effort to straighten up. Through our link, I feel the hum of his energy, getting quite the charge out of it. The feeling amps up when the doorbell sounds. Outwardly, Justin looks calm and composed, ever the relaxed and smooth friend he pretends to be. Inwardly, he’s a quivering, raucous mess of butterflies.

He’s always like this around Darren.

At first, I didn’t mind it. The boost of energy from his excitement had me feeling like a superhero, but the more I’ve come to care about Justin, the less I like it. I realize it’s stupid to be jealous of the living, especially Darren since he’s so oblivious to Justin’s feelings for him that he’s harmless. Unfortunately, even in death, logic isn’t my strong suit.

For my own amusement, I lean hard against the door as Justin tries to open it. My boosted strength makes it stick, and he grunts with effort. “Darren?” he calls out, hands pulling uselessly on the knob.

“Yeah, buddy,” Darren calls from the other side.

“Door’s stuck. Can you push while I pull?” Justin bares his teeth with the effort and I sigh, easing up on the door to place a kiss at the corner of his mouth. The door yanks open violently and Darren spills over the threshold, through me and straight into Justin’s arms.

“Well that backfired,” I mutter, turning away to keep from seeing them disentangle.

“Have to call the property managers about that,” Justin says, trying to look nonchalant while inspecting the door. I hear him open and close it a few times while I’m busy in the living room messing up the magazines he neatly stacked on the coffee table. He frowns when he sees them scattered on the floor. I check out his ass again when he bends over to pick them up.

“So where are we going?” Darren asks, rubbing his hands together in anticipation. Dressed as he is in a t-shirt and jeans instead of his EMT uniform, he looks a lot younger and more playful, his dark eyes warm and eager. I roll my eyes at him. They do dinner together every week, usually Wednesdays, and it’s Justin’s turn to pick the venue.

“Actually, I, uh… thought maybe we could just stay here, order in. I, um… have something I want to talk to you about, and I don’t think it would be good to be overheard.” Darren and I both snap our heads up to look at Justin, his face curious, mine horrified.

“What are you going to tell him?” I demand at the same moment Darren speaks.

“What’s on your mind?”

Justin freezes as if he heard us both. He listens for a tick, ear cocked in my direction then asks, “Well, is staying in okay with you?” He pulls out a Chinese food menu from the place a few blocks away when Darren agrees.

“You went to a lot of trouble to look nice for only lounging on the couch all night,” I mumble, annoyed.

They place their order and Darren makes himself comfortable in the oversized chair beneath the window. Justin disappears into the kitchen for drinks, and I’m relieved to see him return with beer instead of wine, a date-like drink. I’d be forced to knock one of their glasses over. The way things are going tonight, I’d end up spilling it on one of them, forcing whichever one to take off his shirt, and who knows where it would go from there?

Yes, I’m a little dramatic. It’s a flaw.

Justin sits on the end of the couch closest to Darren’s chair and clears his throat, fidgeting. The air in the room grows heavy with expectation, but Justin doesn’t speak for a long moment. Finally, Darren leans forward, elbows on his knees, hands hanging down.

“You know, you can tell me anything, Justin. Even if it’s completely ridiculous and I laugh at you, I’ll still be your friend.”

“I’m just hoping you won’t think I’m a lunatic,” Justin swallows, his Adam’s apple bobbing repeatedly.

“I already do. It’s one of the reasons I like hanging out with you. Never a dull moment, right?” Darren reaches over and lightly punches the side of Justin’s leg. “Out with it.”

“Okay.” With a big sigh and a wince of embarrassment, Justin plows ahead. “I think I’m being haunted.”

That is so not what I expected him to say, and relief floods over me, quickly followed by elation. He knows I’m here. He can feel my presence. I knew there was a spark between us. Granted, I’m more of an expert on compatibility since my death because I can feel it immediately when I anchor to someone, and no one has felt as right to me as Justin. But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. I stop my celebration dance in the corner of the room and tune in again.

Darren seems to be recovering from his own surprise and I wait for him to laugh, to tell Justin he’s nuts. Here’s where my confusion sets in. If Darren says he never wants to see Justin again; that he’s crazy and needs help and until he gets that help, Darren can’t be his friend, I won’t be shattered by the disappearance. But a wave of guilt rises at wishing, even moderately, that Darren would do or say those things. The look on Justin’s face right now, the hope, the fear, how devastated I know he’d be if Darren left in a huff, all of that conspires against my self-centered soul. Hope that Darren’s as good a friend as he professes to be springs in my chest.

A chuckle puffs from Darren’s mouth. He looks at his hands, shakes his head, looks around the room, takes a swig of his beer, and then bravely meets Justin’s eyes.

“Justin, babe, you’re a mortician. I would be surprised if you weren’t haunted. Doesn’t it sort of come with the job?”

The air in the room lightens considerably on the gust of breath Justin releases in relief. His lips tug up at the corners and his eyes dance. I can practically read the thought on his face: Darren called me ‘babe’. Much as I would love to gather all the energy I have and punch Darren in the face for that, I can’t. Justin wouldn’t have it.

“If you believe in ghosts, sure, I guess it does come with the job.” The self-deprecating chuckle Justin emits makes him look adorable.

“So why do you think you’re being visited from beyond the mortal veil?” Darren leans forward, and I watch Justin’s pupils dilate as he draws nearer.

“Well, for starters, things around my apartment are out of place when I know I didn’t move them.” He gestures to the magazines. “I picked up before you arrived, and yet these were scattered on the floor a minute ago. I hear sounds, footsteps when I’m alone. I’ve seen doors open and close by themselves. Just now, I thought I heard a voice from that corner,” a finger levels in my direction. “I feel watched all the time.”

“Do you think it’s a good ghost or an evil ghost?” Darren asks, warily eyeing the room.

“It’s probably more than one. Like you said, my job lends to being haunted. I do feel a familiar presence often, though. Last several months, at least.”

“Maybe it’s Judy Garland?” Darren suggests hopefully, and I bark out a laugh.
Justin snorts. “Why on earth would she deign to visit me, let alone repeatedly?”

“Maybe she’s determined to help your fashion sense,” Darren quips, standing to get another beer. Justin looks down at himself.

“What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”

“Nothing. But all those fugly shoes and stupid hipster t-shirts in your wardrobe leave a lot to be desired.”

“You’re one to talk. You own six of the exact same black t-shirt and jeans ensemble. If anyone wants a closet to haunt –” Justin’s voice cuts off as he hears something. I smirk, amused. It’s the ice maker, not me.

They investigate and return, satisfied that they’re still alone.
“Maybe we could try to talk to your ghost. Find out what it wants.” Darren looks a little spooked, despite his attempts at lightheartedness. Sparks of energy erupt around me, euphoric little fireworks that surprise me. They both look around the room as if they feel the charge. Interesting.

“Talk to it how?” Justin asks cautiously. “I’m not whipping out a Ouija board. No fucking way. My luck, we’d end up talking to that murder suspect I worked on last month, the one who shot his whole family and then went on a rampage through his neighborhood and died in a hail of bullets.”

“Yeah, good point. But it would be nice to know what this ghost wants. Unless it just likes to look through your GQ and Men’s Health magazines. Or maybe he is expressing distaste that you’re not reading Out and Unzipped.” Darren’s eyes flash with mirth.

“He? And please. Who says I don’t have a copy of Out in the bathroom and Unzipped hidden under my mattress?” Justin asks, dramatically rolling his eyes.

“Hidden under… Do you still live with your mother?” Darren grips Justin’s shoulder and adopts a falsely supportive tone. “Justin, you are a grown man. It’s okay to have your wank material out in the open, or at least easily accessible. You have much to learn, young padawan.” Justin’s hand disappears into his pocket, his expression challenging and flirtatious. Darren drops his hand and covers his eyes, crowing dramatically. “I didn’t mean for you to fist the mister right here and now, in front of me!”

The urge to step between them and push them apart is dampened by my own amusement. I have learned more slang from Darren and Justin’s sophomoric conversations than anyone else in my decades of anchoring to people. When Justin simply whips out his smart phone, I exhale in relief and chuckle.

“I have my wank material easily accessible. Internet access. Kindle app. Megaupload . It’s the information age, Darren. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?”

“That’s it!” Darren exclaims, jumping up from his chair.

“What’s it?” Justin asks puzzled.

“Your phone.” He gestures wildly to the device in Justin’s hand and I begin to think he’s really lost it.

“What about it?” The puzzlement on Justin’s face mirrors my own – if my face could be seen by anyone.

“Modern day Ouija board, doofus,” Darren says excitedly, abruptly sitting so close to Justin their legs touch. Darren takes the phone from Justin’s hand, taps his fingers to bring the screen to life, slides it open to reveal the keyboard, and sets it on the coffee table in front of them. “We can ask questions and the ghost can answer on it. They say spirits get energy from electronic devices anyway, so it might work better than a stupid board and plastic arrow.”

A look of nervous anticipation crosses Justin’s face, but it’s nothing compared to the thrill coursing through me in that moment. I barely stop to wonder if the thrill is from another burst of energy at Darren’s close proximity to Justin. The prospect of communicating with Justin blots out all else. I position myself on the opposite side of the table, staring at the phone. It has little squares with letters on it, and I know how it works from years of watching people use them, but it never occurred to me to try to manifest a message through one.

In that moment, I really like Darren, despite him nearly sitting on Justin’s lap.

“Well?” Darren asks after a few moments of silence while waiting for Justin to ask me something.

“Uh…” Justin hesitates. “I’m not sure I want to know.” This is said quietly, and disappointment floods me. “I’m a little freaked out by the idea of being haunted, you know?”

“Okay,” Darren says slowly. “Well, look at it this way, if you know for sure, you can also ask if he means you harm. If he’s friendly, there’s nothing to worry about, right?”

“I guess.” Justin’s dark eyes flit back to the phone before him, and he lets out a gasp. A message slowly appears beneath my careful fingers.

I mean you no harm.