J.P. Bowie Kimberly Gardner P.A. Brown Victor J. Banis William Maltese

Price: $6.99


An erotic romance with a dash of ice cold water, a cricket, a pebble, the scent of blood oranges and the color red. With stories from some of the genre's luminaries as well as some newer names, this collection is sure to make you see RED.

SENSE AND SENSUALITY by JP Bowie ~ Alan Robinson has been left a fortune, but what he really wants is someone to love him. When he meets writer Jim Thornton it seems as if his life will now be complete - but can they survive the dysfunctional family that surrounds them?

SCARLET LOVER by P.A. Brown ~ After a rocky start, Jason and Spider have become a couple. Will a visit from Jason's sister help bind the couple or disrupt the still fragile bond between them?

LUDUS SCAENICUS MORTIS RUBRAE by William Maltese ~ Edgar Allen Poe made the party famous; William Maltese provides yet another perspective of the deadly goings-on through the eyes of two lovers.

THE FINAL CURTAIN by Victor J. Banis ~ Be careful what you wish for. Nick wanted the ephemeral young man in the worst way...

BLUSH by Kimberly Gardner ~ Once Vinn might have believed that vampires were nothing but legend and myth. But when his life is threatened by a legend, it takes a myth to save him.

PUBLISHED BY: ManLove Romance Press
CATEGORIES: Romantic Fiction, Anthology, ManLove
KEYWORDS: gay erotic romance

EBOOKS BY ManLove Romance Press

EBOOKS BY William Maltese

COPYRIGHT William Maltese/2010

Chapter One

Vinn watched as the waiter filled his glass, the wine as dark and rich as liquid garnets. Or blood, he thought, with a little shiver of excitement.

The waiter turned to Julien. But when he raised the bottle to pour, Vinn’s companion covered his glass with one long elegant hand and shook his head. “Not for me. I’m driving.”

“Very good, sir.” The waiter nodded and retired, giving them back their privacy.

Vinn chuckled. “I’m driving? That’s rich.”

Julien lifted his shoulders in one of those Gallic shrugs that were so Julien. “And what would you have had me say instead? Sorry, my good man, no wine for me. But if you’ve a pint of AB negative on hand, by all means, serve it up.”

“It might have been worth it just to see his face.”

“Hardly.” But Julien smiled and motioned toward Vinn’s glass. “Go on, taste your wine.”

Enrico Caruso played quietly in the background. Vinn knew it was Caruso because Julien had told him. Opera wasn’t his thing, but it suited the little Italian restaurant perfectly.

Vinn raised his glass. He paused and inhaled the fragrance of the wine, just the way Julien had taught him. The rich, fruity aroma blended with the scents of garlic and spices wafting up from his plate of pasta. He felt very sophisticated.

He swirled the wine then held it up to the light, the way he’d seen people do on TV. Sure enough, there were the legs. He grinned and took a tentative sip. It was good, not nearly as sweet as he’d been expecting, nor as tart as the swill he and his friends chugged down on the rare occasions when they bothered with some beverage that didn’t come in a can with a pop top.

Julien’s lips curved. He was laughing, silently, but he was laughing.

Vinn set his glass down. “What’s so funny?”

“What are you doing, Vincent?”

“I was looking for the legs.” He felt a little silly admitting it, but he ploughed on anyway. “You can tell how good wine is by whether it gets these lines on the sides of the glass when you swirl it. How come you don’t know that if you’re such a wine connoisseur?”

It was rare that he ever knew anything Julien didn’t, so silly or not, Vinn enjoyed it.

Julien shook his head. He was laughing outright now. “I do so enjoy you, Vinn.”

“What?” Vinn felt the heat rising to his face.

Julien sighed. “The legs, or tears as the French call them, have nothing to do with the quality of the wine. That’s a myth, given credence by pretentious fools who know nothing yet pretend to know everything.”

“I saw it on TV.”

“Which carries it into the realm of the utterly credible, no doubt. Oh, my dear, don’t be obstinate in your ignorance.” Julien reached across the table and took Vinn’s hand in his. Julien’s skin was as white as the linen tablecloth, his fingers chilly. “Let me educate you, my darling Vinn.”

He didn’t want to be thrilled by the hand holding, but he was. None of the other men he’d been with had ever held his hand so openly in a restaurant. Sure, they might fuck him in the back room of some bar, or suck his dick in an alley, but hold his hand in a restaurant? Not a chance.

So Vinn listened as Julien explained that the streaks that formed on a wineglass when you swirled its contents had only to do with alcohol content and surface tension and nothing at all to do with quality.

So you see, if I cover the wineglass like so.” Julien released Vinn’s hand and used his palm to cover the top of the glass. “Then I swirl the wine like so.” He held it up for Vinn to see. “No tears this time, because alcohol doesn’t evaporate without the air.” He replaced Vinn’s glass and sat back. “You see?”

“How do you know this shit?” Vinn reached for his wine, lifted it and downed the contents. He thumped the empty glass down on the tablecloth, opened his mouth and belched. Julien had made him feel silly and he hated that.

His companion rolled his eyes. “Eat your dinner, Vincent, or we’ll be here all night.”

Forty-five minutes later, as they left the restaurant, Julien once more took Vinn’s hand in his. “What would you like to do now? We could go dancing, if you want. We haven’t been dancing in a while.”

“Let’s go home.” Though he knew Julien’s hearing was excellent, Vinn leaned close and placed his lips next to his lover’s ear. “I want you to fuck me.”

Dark eyes met Vinn’s and Julien’s lips curved. “Oh, I plan to, my darling. But before I do, I need to have my dinner. But I can take you home first.”

“No.” Vinn stopped the other man when he lifted a hand to flag down a taxi. His heart drummed hard and fast. “Take me with you. I want to watch you hunt.”

Julien’s smile faded. “We’ve been over this, Vinn. I’m not taking you with me.”

“Why not? It’s not like I don’t know what’s going to happen. You’ve—”

“Hush.” The single word was sharp as the crack of a gunshot. “Keep your voice down.”

A cab swerved to the curb directly in front of them. Thunder rumbled overhead. Several fat raindrops fell, darkening the sidewalk.

Julien tugged on Vinn’s hand. “Come now. Let’s go home.”

Vinn planted his feet. “No. I don’t want to go home.”

Julien let go of his hand and walked to the cab. He opened the rear door then turned and looked at Vinn. His eyes were hot even if his expression was utterly impassive.

Get in the car, Vincent.

Though Julien’s lips never moved, Vinn heard the words. He heard them inside his head and his feet began to move, seemingly of their own accord.

Inside the taxi, Vinn slid to the farthest corner of the seat and turned his face toward the window and the not-quite-darkness beyond. Rain spattered the window, big, splashy drops that left streaks in the grimy glass.

Julien gave Vinn’s address to the driver then sat back. “I’ll drop you off, but I won’t be coming up.”

So he was being punished for that little display outside the restaurant. On any other night, Julien would come upstairs, the two of them would fuck or suck or jerk each other off and Julien might even spend the night. But Vinn knew he had made his lover angry, not so much with his request, which he made on a regular basis, but with his insistence and what Julien would no doubt call his childish display of temper on the sidewalk.

As the streets of Northern Liberties rolled by, Vinn watched out the window. Despite the late hour, the sidewalks were crowded, the bars and restaurants doing a brisk business. Expensively dressed young professionals and club kids attired in ragged chic all hurried through the rain, most without umbrellas. The driver’s partially open window admitted the distant murmur of conversation and occasional laughter, along with the hiss of tires and the rumble of engines.

The sounds lulled Vinn and he felt his eyelids growing heavy.

He wondered if Julien had meant what he said about just dropping him off. Or would he maybe stay after all and give Vinn the sex he so desperately wanted. That depended on how angry Julien was and whether he could get him over it with the right mix of flirtatiousness and apologetic regret. In any case, he intended to try, because sex with Julien, that special brand of sex, was so freakin’ amazing.

Inside his jeans, Vinn’s cock stiffened. He shifted and adjusted himself. He would do just about anything to get Julien’s dick inside him. He supposed that made him a slut, but what if it did?

They reached his building, a high-rise of student apartments in the heart of West Philly on the border between the campuses of Drexel and the U of Penn.

The taxi pulled over to the curb and Julien opened the door. He got out and held out a hand to help Vinn. “Good night, Vincent.”

When his lover would have gotten back into the cab, Vinn held on to his hand. “Julien, wait. I’m sorry. Please, come up with me?”

Julien hesitated and Vinn held his breath. Seconds spun out but then Julien reached for his wallet and Vinn breathed a sigh of relief. He was forgiven.

Vinn followed docilely, still clinging to Julien’s hand, as his lover mounted the steps and crossed the courtyard. Neither of them spoke. In the lobby, Vinn took out his student ID and showed it to the security guard who grunted and hardly glanced away from the small TV behind the desk.

“I’m glad you’re coming up.” Vinn said.

Julien chuckled and punched the elevator up button. “Me too, Vincent.”

The apartment was as bad as Vinn expected. The laundry piled in the corner was beginning to reek. Textbooks littered the futon where he slept, studied and did just about everything else as it was the sole piece of furniture aside from a desk and straight-back chair. The air was a little sour since he’d forgotten to take his trash out to the shoot. But under the detritus of study material the futon was made up and, unless he was misremembering, the sheets weren’t more than a few days slept in. And Julien was here, so it was all good.

Not bad, Vinn thought a little smugly.

He walked to the window and opened it to the cool spring night. He could hear music coming from one of the other apartments, an old Billy Idol tune about being caught between flesh and fantasy.

He turned from the window, found Julien standing in the center of the room watching him, his expression unreadable.

“What’s the matter? I said I was sorry.”

Julien nodded. Sighed. “You always are.” But he held out his hand. “Come here, Vincent.”

Vinn went to him, slid his arms around Julien’s neck and pressed close. Julien’s arms slipped around Vinn’s waist and he nuzzled the corner of his jaw. “What do you need, my love?”

“You know what I need. I need your cock in me.”

Julien’s lips traveled down Vinn’s throat, raising goosebumps all over his body. “You know that isn’t possible until I’ve fed.” He nipped lightly at Vinn’s pulse. “And I’ve yet to feed tonight.”

Vinn shuddered and his dick throbbed. “You can feed on me. I want you to.”

“I know you do. And you know I won’t, not more than a taste. I should never have taken even that much from you.”

“I like it. It’s like coming, only more…”

“I know.” Julien rubbed his lips over Vinn’s pulse. He slipped his hand between their bodies and cupped the bulge in Vinn’s jeans.

“Please?” Vinn shifted his hips, pushed into that touch. “I need.”

“I know what you need, my darling. I know everything about you.” Clever fingers made short work of Vinn’s button and zip even as Julien walked him backward toward the futon.

The backs of his knees bumped the edge and Vinn teetered. Julien supported him and slid his jeans down his hips revealing his cock.

“Take them off, then lie back and spread your legs.”

A little awkwardly, Vinn toed out of his sneakers then kicked free of his jeans. He sank down on the futon, shoving books and papers out of the way as he did. He lay back and spread his legs as instructed. In this aspect of their relationship, he always obeyed Julien’s instructions. And his obedience was always rewarded.

Julien knelt between Vinn’s splayed legs and rested his cool hands on Vinn’s bare thighs. “I should punish you for being so recalcitrant.”

“Yeah, you should. But please don’t,” Vinn whispered. “I promise I won’t do it again.”

“Yes, you will. But I’m weak for you, Vincent. And giving you pleasure is one of my greatest joys. So I forgive you.”

Lowering his dark head, Julien rubbed his cheek over Vinn’s cock before softly kissing the tip.

Vinn caught his breath but when he reached for Julien’s head and tried to direct him, the other man caught his wrists and returned his hands to his sides. Knowing what would happen next, Vinn reached once more for Julien. This time those coldly beautiful hands held him down, pinning his wrists against the blue and green cover of the futon.

Vinn’s hips lifted in response to the small restraint. He loved it when Julien held him down. He whimpered.

Julien’s lips slid over the head of Vinn’s cock, his tongue stroked and swirled, teased and tormented just the tip.

“Please,” Vinn begged. He would die if Julien didn’t take more of him into that amazing mouth.

Be still, my beautiful boy.

Vinn heard the words in his head and resisted the urge to struggle. Even after a month together, it still blew his mind when Julien talked inside his head like that. Damned convenient though, at times like this when his lover’s mouth was filled with his dick.

Julien began to move his head. Up and down, up and down, with excruciating slowness and care.

Vinn knew this was as much to torment him as it was to ensure that Julien’s teeth didn’t inadvertently nick Vinn’s cock.

The wet, silky slide of Julien’s mouth, the play of tongue against smooth, hard, and oh so sensitive flesh, as Vinn shut his eyes and concentrated on not coming too fast. He wanted to make this last, even if he knew his will power was no match for his lover’s skill.

Julien took Vinn deep and swallowed around the head. He dragged his tongue up the big vein before flicking it inside the slit.

Vinn thrashed his head from side to side and squeezed his eyes shut as need and lust fisted low in his belly and little zings of electricity sizzled along his thighs.

As if sensing Vinn’s breaking control, Julien sped up, sucked harder, pushing Vinn ever nearer the knife’s edge of his own release.

“Julien,” Vinn gasped. “I don’t want—”

But that was the moment Julien once more took him deep, the moment when Vinn felt the prick of Julien’s fangs at the base of his cock and he exploded.

His orgasm burst through him like a wave. It lifted him and tossed him down. Colors burst and sparkled behind his eyes as everything inside him, everything he was, rushed out through his dick. He felt the excruciating drawing down as his lover sucked him, pulse after pulse of cum shooting down Julien’s throat.

But that’s not all, a part of Vinn’s mind cautioned. Spunk isn’t all he’s taking.

But Vinn didn’t care because this was what he wanted, what he’d begged for and what no one but Julien could give him. Even if it was bad for him, and he wasn’t convinced that it was, even if Julien was bad for him, he would cling to this feeling with everything he had in him. And one day, he promised himself, he would have even more. He would have it all.



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