THIRDS Thursday – 1/21/16

Prompt: I would like to see Calvin supporting Hobbs during the situation that arose with Hobbs (trying to say without spoiler) in Against the Grain. It was a big part of the background in that book and since the next story is about Cobbs, I would love to see more of what is going on with them. Thank you.


Time to get up.

Calvin stretched with a groan before rolling over. His bed was nice and warm, but he really should get his ass out of bed. Rubbing his eyes, he sat up with a yawn. What time was it? He grabbed his phone from the nightstand, and frowned at the screen. Shit. It was almost nine. Ethan probably already had breakfast. Forcing himself to get out of bed, he let out another yawn before getting his butt in gear, and making use of the bathroom. After washing up, and brushing his teeth, he headed for the kitchen. Man, he was beat.

It had taken Ethan longer than usual to fall asleep last night. Now that he thought about it, it had probably been about three or four in the morning when he finally crawled into bed. At least Ethan had slept through the night. If he’d had nightmares, he would have ended up in Calvin’s bed. His best friend had been having a rough time with his anxiety lately. It hadn’t been this bad in a long time. Ethan had his really rough days, but since he’d started his medication back in college, he’d been having fewer of them. Calvin was at a loss to what had changed.

When Calvin reached the kitchen, his heart sank. Ethan wasn’t up yet. Ethan was always up before him. The only reason his best friend would still be in bed was if he wasn’t feeling well, or because of his anxiety. Hopefully he could get Ethan to eat something.

Calvin made them both breakfast sandwiches. He made some coffee for himself, and some hot chocolate for Ethan. When he was finished, he placed everything on a tray, and headed for Ethan’s bedroom, knocking before he went in. As expected, Ethan was buried under a mass of duvets, surrounded by scores of pillows. Calvin couldn’t even see him, just the big lump in the middle of the bed. His heart squeezed in his chest. It was pretty bad. He placed the tray on Ethan’s dresser before walking over to the bed, and taking a seat on the edge of it. The big lump moved away, so Calvin knew Ethan was awake.

“Morning, sunshine. I made you your favorite breakfast sandwich, and some hot chocolate.”

There was no reply.

“Do you want me to go, or stay and have breakfast here with you?”

The lump moved, and a hand slipped out from under the duvet, turning over palm up. Calvin tickled Ethan’s palm, same as he’d been doing since they were kids. When Ethan used to hide under his blankets and refuse to come out, Calvin would find his toes or his hand, and tickle him. The lump moved again, growing taller as Ethan sat up under the duvet, pulling it down to wrap around his shoulders. His hair was sticking up, and his cheeks were pink from the heat.

“Want some hot chocolate?” Calvin asked, receiving a nod in response. He wasn’t talking. Not good. Calvin got up and went to the dresser. He brought back the mug and held it out to Ethan, who took it with a nod of thanks. He sipped it, a small smile coming onto his handsome face. It always broke Calvin’s heart seeing Ethan so vulnerable. When people looked at Ethan, they couldn’t understand how it was possible for a huge three-hundred pound tiger Therian—a man who stood at almost seven feet tall, with the strength of several Humans—to be left debilitated by such a thing as anxiety. Calvin understood. He also understood what it meant to love someone who suffered from Selective Mutism, and severe Social Anxiety. As such, his purpose wasn’t to put up with Ethan, as some believed. His purpose was to love and support Ethan in every way he could, during the good days, and the more challenging days.

“We can stay home today,” Calvin said, getting up to bring their sandwiches over. He put the tray on the bed between them, careful not to spill his coffee. Ethan shook his head.

Ethan’s smartphone went off, and he looked at the screen. He motioned for Calvin to pick it up. It was Julia, Ethan’s mom. Calvin tapped the screen, and put it to his ear.

“Hi, Julia. It’s Cal. I’m good, thanks. Ethan’s just having some hot chocolate in bed. It’s getting pretty chilly out isn’t it?”

Because of Ethan’s anxiety, he needed routine, as well as habits. Hot chocolate in the morning, in bed was usually a signal to Julia that Ethan was having a tough day. They didn’t tell Ethan that because it would only make him feel guilty, and Lord knew Ethan felt guilty about enough as it was.

“I’ll tell him. Thanks. Take care, and give my mom a hug for me. Tell her I’ll call her later.” They exchanged a few more pleasantries before he hung up. He took a sip of his coffee. “If you’d rather not go out today, it’s no big deal. We could stay home, watch some movies. Your mom said she’d drop off some food.”

Ethan shook his head, and Calvin nodded. They ate their sandwiches quietly. The silence was never awkward between them, but Calvin knew Ethan was already beating himself up for feeling the way he was feeling, as of he could help it. Once they were done with breakfast, Ethan motioned to his closet.

“Sure thing.” Calvin walked over to pick out what Ethan was going to wear to Thanksgiving dinner. As he did, he pretended not to see Ethan sitting on the edge of the bed, a deep frown on his face as he glared down at the floor. With a deep breath, Ethan stood, took a step forward then shook his head, and went back to the bed. He dropped down onto it, and closed his eyes. Calvin wanted to tell him again he didn’t have to, but that would only frustrate Ethan, because he knew he didn’t have to, but he wanted to, and because he wanted to and couldn’t, he’d get upset.

Calvin picked out Ethan’s clothes, checked his email, then spent the next three hours soothing Ethan, and helping him get out of bed. They had a light lunch in the kitchen, but Ethan still wasn’t talking. Calvin made his best friend some tea, which helped soothe him, but he was still on edge. They showered, dressed, and put on their coats. It took a couple of tries, with Ethan heading back upstairs after reaching the sidewalk on the first attempt. Calvin followed him up, comforted him, and assured him whatever he wanted to do would be fine. Calvin didn’t mention how no one would be upset with him because Ethan would only hear the part about folks being upset, and him. At times like this Calvin had to be exceptionally aware of how he phrased his words.

Soon they’d arrived at Ethan’s parents’ house, and Ethan managed to give him mom and dad a hug. Calvin hugged everyone. His mom had been there since early morning helping Julia cook Thanksgiving dinner. When Seb hugged Calvin, Calvin whispered in his ear about Ethan having a rough day. Seb gave him a nod. When dinner was ready and on the table, Seb sat himself at the end, opposite his dad who was at the head of the table. Seb placed Ethan between him and Calvin so he’d feel safe. Rafe was running late, so Julia insisted they go ahead and start dinner after Thomas Hobbs said grace.

As they ate, Calvin kept an eye on Ethan. It was good to see him smile, even though Calvin knew Ethan was trying so very hard to make it seem like nothing was wrong. The door opened, and Calvin held back a curse when he saw someone unfamiliar come in with Rafe. In a matter of seconds, all hell broke loose. Ethan jumped to his feet, accidently knocking into the table. The glasses fell over, red wine spilling across the white linen. Rafe threw his hands up as he walked over.

Calvin quickly stood at Ethan’s side. “It’s fine, Ethan. Breathe. It’s okay.”

Julia and Calvin’s mom began to mop up the spilled liquid while Seb grabbed his older brother, growling quietly at him. “Why the hell didn’t you call first?” He sniffed at Rafe. “Have you been drinking? Are you drunk?”

“Get off me,” Rafe snapped, removing Seb’s hand from his arm. “I shouldn’t have to call just to say I’m bringing a friend to dinner.”

Ethan began to make wheezing noises, and Rafe started yelling. What the hell was wrong with him? He knew better than to just spring someone up on his brother like that. Meeting strangers was difficult as it was for Ethan, much less when he was having setbacks with his anxiety. Calvin glared at Rafe, warning him to stop. All he was doing was making things worse.

“Ethan baby, it’s okay,” Julia said, coming over to pat his arm gently. It would have helped if Rafe would just stop his damn shouting.

“Stop coddling him. That’s why he does it,” Rafe fumed, turning his attention to Ethan. “That’s enough, Ethan! You’re a grown man, for fuck’s sake. Stop acting like such a child. You have everyone’s attention, now stop it.”

“Rafe!” Julia gasped. She glowered at him. “You know better than that.”

“He’s doing it for attention!”

Rafe’s friend looked Ethan over before he started laughing. “Man, you never said your brother was such a spaz. He’s almost as big as you are. What’s the big deal? Wait, isn’t he supposed to be a THIRDS agent? Seriously? This guy? He looks like he’s about to cry.”

“You son of a bitch!” Calvin rounded the end of the table and tackled the guy, the two of them tumbling to the floor, and bringing chairs crashing down with them. Calvin landed a good punch across the guy’s jaw.

“Cal! Baby, please!” His mom called out across the room, but Calvin was too busy smacking the stupid out of the jerk.

“Cal, come on,” Seb pulled Calvin off. “He’s not worth it.”

“You asshole! What the hell’s the matter with you?” Calvin spat out as he tried to get away from Seb. “Who the hell do you think you are coming here and talking shit about someone you don’t even know? You don’t know him!”

Julia’s tearful call of his name snapped Calvin’s attention away from Rafe and his asshole friend. He turned to find Ethan on the floor, his hands covering his ears, as he took in big gulps of air. His whole body was shaking, and if they didn’t do something quick, Ethan was going to have a full blown panic attack.

“Seb, help me out.” They gently helped Ethan to his feet, and quickly but carefully led him to his old bedroom. It was just as it had been before Ethan had moved out for college, with posters of his favorite TV shows, movies, and music bands. Everything decorated in shades of calming blue. Luckily the bed was Therian-sized, so Ethan still fit. There was even enough room for Calvin to climb in with him, but first he had to make Ethan comfortable.

“Thanks, Seb. I got it.”

“Just call me if you need anything,” Seb replied. He left the room, closing the door behind him. Calvin didn’t waste time. He sat Ethan down, and pulled off Ethan’s sweater, knowing it would soon feel stifling to him. Then he knelt down in front of Ethan and pulled off his shoes and socks. Once he’d done that, he unbuckled Ethan’s belt, and gently tapped his flank.

“Lift up for me, buddy.”

Ethan did as asked without thought. They’d done this so many times that Ethan checked out for a good deal of it. He lifted his hips, and Calvin pulled off his slacks. As soon as he wore nothing but his undershirt and boxers, Calvin lifted the duvet.

“Okay, time to get all snuggly.”

Ethan lay down, and pulled his legs up, a heart wrenching sigh escaping him as he pulled the duvet around him, followed by his pillow. He had all but his face covered as he burrowed himself in his blanket cave. Soon he was breathing better. Calvin removed his clothes, staying in just his undershirt and boxer-briefs. He sat on the edge of the bed, smiling warmly at Ethan who shimmied back, and lifted the covers so Calvin could get in beside him. As soon as he was in, Ethan pulled him and the duvet close, wrapping the two of them up in fluffy, comfortable warmth. Now Ethan was safe. His body visibly relaxed, the tremors easing.

“I’m sorry,” Ethan murmured quietly.

“There’s nothing for you to be sorry for. You did nothing wrong, Ethan.” He ran a soothing hand down Ethan’s arm. “It’s okay. We’re okay now. Just you and me.”

“I ruined Thanksgiving.”

“No, you didn’t do anything. Rafe knows better than to do what he did, and what’s more he was drunk. He showed up to the house, to Thanksgiving dinner, drunk. None of this is on you. You’re loved, Ethan, you know that. Your mom will probably make us some big turkey sandwiches with all the trimmings. Your mom makes the best Thanksgiving subs.”

Ethan laced their fingers together, giving Calvin’s hand a squeeze. His eyes were glassy, but he managed a small smile. “Thank you, for all you do for me. I don’t know where I’d be without you.” He inhaled deeply, and let it out slowly. “You’re the only one who makes me feel safe.”

“You know whatever you need, I’m here for you.”

Ethan snuggled closer. He placed a kiss on Calvin’s brow. “Yeah.” When he pulled back, Calvin was surprised by the tears in his eyes. “Don’t leave. Don’t ever leave.”

“Never, Ethan.” He put his hand to Ethan’s cheek, smiling warmly when Ethan closed his eyes and leaned into the touch.

Ethan opened his eyes. “Promise?”

“I promise.”

“Okay.” Ethan closed his eyes, his fingers still laced with Calvin’s.

Calvin stayed awake like he always did, until Ethan had fallen asleep. He placed a kiss to Ethan’s cheek. “I’ll be right here. Always.”


 

Copyright © 2014 Charlie Cochet. All Rights Reserved. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.

Release Day! Blog À feu et à sang, THIRDS, tome 2 (Blood & Thunder French Translation) now available!

Hello all! À feu et à sang, THIRDS, tome 2 – the French translation of Blood & Thunder is now available from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.com, Amazon.fr, Barnes & Noble, and other online book sellers!

perf5.830x8.270.inddQuand une série de bombes explosent dans un Centre de Jeunesse Therian, blessant les membres du THIRDS de l’équipe Destructive Delta, et provoquant un désaccord entre les agents Dexter J. Daley et Sloane Brodie, la paix semble impossible à atteindre. Plus encore quand un nouveau groupe semant la terreur, l’Ordre d’Adrasteia a toujours l’air d’avoir une longueur d’avance. Avec la panique et l’intolérance qui se propagent, et les rues jonchées de la propagande de l’Ordre, l’hostilité entre humains et Therians croît à mesure que les jours passent. Dex et Sloane, avec le reste de l’équipe, sont déterminés à faire tomber l’Ordre et à rétablir la paix, sans parler de régler un différend personnel. Mais plus l’équipe s’investit dans l’enquête sur les attentats, plus ils croient à un motif plus sinistre que le simple désir de répandre le sang et semer le chaos.

Quand il découvre l’horrible vérité derrière les intentions de l’Ordre, Sloane est forcé de faire face aux secrets d’un passé qu’il pensait avoir à tout jamais laissé derrière lui, un passé qui pourrait non seulement le détruire, ainsi que sa carrière, mais aussi la réputation de l’organisation qui a fait de lui ce qu’il est aujourd’hui. Maintenant plus que jamais, Dex et Sloane ont besoin l’un de l’autre, et, avec la confiance, la force de leur lien fera la différence entre la justice et la guerre totale.

ISBN-13: 9781634771962
Pages: 272
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Translator: Ingrid Lecouvez
Release Date: Jan 19th, 2016

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Catch a Tiger by the Tail is now available for pre-order from Amazon and ARe!

Hello all! Catch a Tiger by the Tail is starting to go up for pre-order on third party sites! It’s up on Amazon and All Romance eBooks for pre-order, and I imagine Barnes & Noble will follow pretty soon. Woohoo!

CatchATigerByTheTail200Catch a Tiger by the Tail
THIRDS: Book 6

ABOUT

Calvin Summers and Ethan Hobbs have been best friends since childhood, but somewhere along the line, their friendship evolved into something more. With the Therian Youth Center bombing, Calvin realizes just how short life can be and no longer keeps his feelings for his best friend a secret. Unfortunately, change is difficult for Ethan; most days he does well to deal with his Selective Mutism and Social Anxiety. Calvin’s confession adds a new struggle for Ethan, one he fears might cost him the friendship that’s been his whole world for as long as he can remember.

As partners and Defense Agents at the THIRDS, being on Destructive Delta is tough at the best of times, but between call-outs and life-threatening situations, Calvin and Ethan not only face traversing the challenges of their job, but also working toward a future as more than friends.

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BOOK DETAILS

Genre: Gay Paranormal Romance, Shifter
Length:Novel, 216 Pages
Published: Feb 5th, 2016
Publisher:Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist:L.C. Chase
Ebook ISBN-13: 9781634769099
Paperback ISBN-13:9781634769082

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PURCHASE LINKS

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2015 Paranormal Romance Guild REVIEWER’S CHOICE AWARDS!!

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Hello all! I’m super excited to announce that I’ve been nominated in the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice Awards! The PRG have chosen their favorite reads of 2015, and now it’s your turn to vote! So many amazing titles have been nominated! I’m thrilled to be a part of this fantastic lineup.

Against the Grain has been nominated in the M/M Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy category. And the THIRDS has been nominated in the M/M Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Series category! Woot!

If you fancy casting your vote, you can do so here://www.paranormalromanceguild.com/prgawards2015.htm

THIRDS Thursday eBook News!

THIRDS Thursdays

Hello all! I have some exciting news about the THIRDS Thursdays Flash Fiction stories. For several months now I’ve been asked if the stories will be released in eBook format. I’m super excited to announce they’ll be released through Dreamspinner Press, and there are currently two volumes in the production process! So what does that mean exactly?

I wanted readers all over the world to have access to the eBooks, so we discussed the best way to do this. If the eBooks were offered for free, they would only be available for download through the Dreamspinner Press website, which isn’t accessible to some folks, especially a good number of International readers. In order to make the eBooks available through a larger number of online retailers, just like the THIRDS series, the flash fiction eBooks would need to be placed on sale. So we decided on the low sale price point of 0.99 cents. Some folks may be wondering: Why would I pay for something I got to read for free? Good question.

Each volume will be roughly 40,000 words in length, and include a brand new, previously unpublished flash fiction story. The stories will be professionally edited, and have professional cover art. Plus, all the royalties I earn from these two volumes will be donated to Big Cat Rescue, a sanctuary for abused and abandoned big cats. So for your 99 cents, you get a long novella length eBook with added brand new content, you get the THIRDS Thursday stories on your e-Reader, but most importantly, you’ll be helping a wonderful cause.

So what does that mean for those stories on the blog and Goodreads?

Since the two volumes are under contract, these stories will need to be removed from the blog and Goodreads group, but ONLY the stories written up to and including December 10th, 2015. They’ll be removed at the end of February/early March while the eBooks are in edits. Any stories written after December 10th, 2015 will remain on the blog and Goodreads group, and THIRDS Thursdays will continue as normal with new stories. The plan is to release Volume 1 in June, and Volume 2 in October, between regular THIRDS series releases.

Obviously, you don’t have to purchase the eBooks, but if you do, know the royalties are going to help a wonderful charity. Thanks to this series, I’ve learned so much more about big cats. I had the pleasure of visiting Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida, and the stories I heard about some of these cats were heartbreaking, so it warms my heart knowing we can do a little something to help. <3

x Charlie

THIRDS Thursday – 1/14/16

Prompt: Is there any way we can get a story from Zach’s POV? Does he think about Austen? Does he think about Dex and the Cheesy Doodles? I just want to know what he thinks about.


Thank goodness that was over.

As much as Zach enjoyed working protective detail for Unit Beta, babysitting the Therian teenagers of visiting foreign dignitaries was not his favorite. Most were no trouble, but occasionally some of them regarded themselves as celebrities, and their entourage had a habit of treating him like he was their personal butler instead of the highly trained THIRDS agent he was. This time around was the worst yet. The eighteen-year-old leopard Therian and her half a dozen friends were terrifying.

They kept poking his abs, making him hold out his arms to see how many of them could hang off his biceps. One of them even grabbed his butt. Five hours of giggling, of being made to show how strong he was, of being asked completely inappropriate questions about his anatomy, had exhausted him. It was all submitted in his report, and his sergeant was very good at following up on claims of impropriety. The hiring agency would be warned about conduct for future contracts. The THIRDS wouldn’t permit their agents to be harassed, no matter who they were working with.

Zach didn’t want to get the girls in trouble, but his partner had told him it was an important lesson they needed to learn. At least it was over. Now he could enjoy his break and his favorite—

“You,” Zach muttered, his eyes narrowed at the blond Human.

Dex looked up, pale blue eyes wide. “Me.”

Zach didn’t know what to do with agent Dexter J. Daley. He was strange. No. That wasn’t right. Even strange wasn’t strange enough for him. Of all the vending machines at HQ, why did Dex always end up at the same one Zach intended to use? And why was there only ever one darn packet of Cheesy Doodles left? He supposed the answer to that stood in front of him. The guy ate almost as much as Zach did. Besides, the Cheesy Doodles should be his considering this was Unit Beta’s canteen.

Let me guess,” Dex said with a big grin, “these are yours?” He pointed to the lone pack of tasty Cheesy Doodles behind the glass.

Zach nodded.

“I don’t suppose my telling you I was here first would resolve this?”

Zach arched an eyebrow at him. Not even close.

“I didn’t think so,” Dex sighed. “I’ll tell you what, big guy. I’m beat, so outrunning you today is not in the cards, as fun as that is.”

Dex didn’t really outrun Zach. It was more like he squeezed himself into places Zach didn’t have a chance of fitting into. Like the laundry chute in Sparta. Zach had to give the guy credit, he meant business when it came to Cheesy Doodles. No peril was too great, or equipment locker too small. The man went to great lengths to escape with Zach’s cheese snacks.

“How about we share?”

Zach considered this. Share his Cheesy Doodles with Dex, or be forced to chase the agent all around the building, and in the end lose his snack. Although Dex did say he was too tired to run today.

Dex put his change into the machine and tapped the digital screen. The bag plopped down. Zach readied himself. Dex was going down. Those Cheesy Doodles were Zach’s.

“Man, for a small guy, Austen is one tough little bastard.”

Zach straightened. “Austen Payne?”

“Only Austen I know,” Dex replied with a nod. He grabbed the packet of Cheesy Doodles and motioned over to an empty table. Zach followed, but only because he didn’t want to lose sight of his Cheesy Doodles. Not because he wanted to know about Austen Payne. Zach scrunched up his nose. That was a lie. He wanted to know more about the mysterious cheetah Therian he’d looked after in the abandoned building a few months ago.

Zach sat down across from Dex, his eyes on the packet. It made a lovely sound when it was opened. To his surprise, Dex offered him first dibs. Zach grabbed a couple and waited for Dex to say whatever he was going to say. The guy was very smart, despite playing the fool. Zach had seen him in action plenty of times, out in the field and training in Sparta.

“You asked Sloane about him.”

There was no teasing or malice in Dex’s tone. It was simply a statement. Zach nodded. He ate one of his Cheesy Doodles.

“I asked him how Austen was doing,” Zach admitted.

“Still alive and kicking. And being a pain in everyone’s ass.”

Zach shrugged. That was Dex’s opinion. Zach didn’t think so. “He does what you do.”

“And what’s that?” Dex asked, his head cocked to one side in thought.

“Act like a clown to hide the truth.”

“And what truth might that be?” Dex popped another Cheesy Doodle into his mouth before offering the bag again. “Also, Austen and I are nothing alike. The guy’s like an obnoxious little ninja. You know he breaks into my house to steal my Cheesy Doodles?”

Zach stared at Dex before letting out a quiet laugh.

“That’s right. Your boyfriend’s a thief.”

Zach stopped laughing. He narrowed his eyes. “He’s not my boyfriend. The truth he hides is his true feelings. You make jokes to hide insecurities.”

Dex studied him. “Interesting. However, we’re not talking about me, we’re talking about Austen.”

“I just wanted to know if he was okay.”

“Because you were thinking about him.”

Where was Dex, going with this? Dex peered at him, and Zach was forced to look away. Okay, so he had been thinking about Austen. There was something… sad about him. Zach didn’t know that much about Austen other than what Sloane had told him, but the thought of the spirited cheetah Therian being all alone in the world made Zach sad. He’d never been alone. Heck, he’d grown up with eight brothers and sisters, plus cousins, aunts, and uncles. The Zachary clan was huge.

Zach shrugged. He couldn’t deny he’d been thinking about Austen. Whatever Austen did as an SSA, his job was very dangerous. Zach knew that much. At least he cared about what he did, considering he’d been helping Sloane out when he got hurt. From their short time together, Zach had been able to gleam some insight into Austen. It was obvious that outside of Sloane, Austen wasn’t used to anyone being kind to him without wanting something in return. Zach cleared his throat.

“So, you’ve seen him recently?” Zach wasn’t particularly pleased by the impish smile on Dex’s face, but he ignored it.

“Today, actually. We had a training exercise and he wiped the floor with us.”

Zach’s brows shot up. “Us? Who’s us?”

“The whole team. Hobbs, Ash, Sloane.” Dex shook his head in shame. “That’s what we get for underestimating him. Dude’s got mad skills.”

“Good,” Zach said, pleased.

“Good we got our asses handed to us?”

Zach laughed at Dex’s stunned expression. He shook his head. “No, silly. I’m glad that he can defend himself against bigger Therians.”

“I think he’s been training harder, after what happened with those Coalition jerks. I get the feeling Austen doesn’t like getting caught.” Something in Dex’s eyes made Zach pause. There was more to that declaration.

“Anyway, thanks for the chat,” Dex said as he got up, handing Zach the rest of the packet. “You know, just because you don’t see him, doesn’t mean he’s not around. He likes to keep tabs on people close to him. He just doesn’t like them to know he’s keeping tabs on them. The guy’s about as emotional as an armadillo.” Dex patted Zach’s shoulder and gave him a wink. “Until the next pack of Cheesy Doodles.”

Zach nodded. I look forward to it.

The rest of the day went quickly, and soon he was home. After a hot shower, he came downstairs in his T-shirt, and loose pajama bottoms. His feet were bare as usual. He wasn’t a fan of socks. He fixed himself dinner, talked to his mom on the phone, and promised he’d be there for his dad’s birthday party that weekend. He was too tired to go out, so he stayed in watching TV. During the commercial break, he headed into the kitchen for a bottle of water and his Cheesy Doodles. He opened the cupboard where he stored them, and frowned.

They were gone.

This morning there had been a full bag. He was certain of it.

A slow smile crept onto his face.

He went to the fridge and scribbled a quick grocery list, adding Cheesy Doodles to the bottom.

Better make that two bags.


 

Copyright © 2014 Charlie Cochet. All Rights Reserved. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.

My THIRDS Interview over at Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents!

AuthorInterview

Hello all! I’ve been interviewed by the lovely Toni Hawks over at Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents! Check out the interview along with what Dex and Sloane have to say about their favorite decade, musical, ringtone, and more! Plus there’s an excerpt from my upcoming Dreamspun Desires story Forgive and Forget!

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My schedule for the Coastal Magic Convention Feb 4th – 7th!

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Hello all! The Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona Beach, FL is almost here, and I’m super excited! This year I’m attending as a Featured Author and I’m taking part in several panels. Here’s my schedule, though I’ll also be attending events and checking out other panels as well, but this is what I’m scheduled to participate in.

Friday, Feb 5th: 10.15 – 11.15 am

Romanctic Men: Busting the stereotype that men don’t express feelings… gay romance authors discuss how their characters both “show” and “tell” their emotions. Amy Lane, Charlie Cochet, B A Tortuga, Julia Talbot, Kiernan Kelly

Saturday, Feb 6th

3.30 – 4.30 pm: Meet & Greet: Urban Fantasy (Theme coming soon) Jennifer Estep, Nancy Holzner, Charlie Cochet, Jocelynn Drake, Dianna Love, Eric R Asher, Lucienne Diver, Dina Given, H D Smith

5:30pm – 7:30pm:Public Book Sale / Signing – All Featured Authors will participate, along with additional “signing only” authors. You can see the full list on the Charity Book Signing page. All attendees welcome – also open to the public. PLEASE NOTE: Limit of 3 books brought from home for authors to sign. Please consider purchasing additional books from our authors directly, and/or our on-site bookseller.

Sunday, Feb 7th: 10 – 11 am

Paranormal In Gay Fiction: Urban Fantasy authors discuss equality in paranormal worlds. If/how including non-human characters (without the same “human” prejudices) changes the story landscape for their LGBT+ characters. K C Burn, Kiernan Kelly, Charlie Cochet, Amy Lane, T C Blue

Sunday, Feb 7th: 11.15 – 12.15 pm

Ensembles In Romance: A chat about the friends and family who support our favorite couples. How do they help create a dynamic story in their own right? What does it take to make a secondary character in one book, the lead in another? Charlie Cochet, Chudney Thomas, Shayla Black, Lexi Blake, Poppy Dennison, Kit Rocha

Check out the rest of the schedule here.

Also, for those attending, Dreamspinner Press will have paperback copies of Catch a Tiger by the Tail, However there will be a limited number of copies on hand.

Hope to see you there!

À feu et à sang, THIRDS, tome 2 (Blood & Thunder French Translation) now available for pre-order!

Hello all! I’m super excited to announce thatÀ feu et à sang, THIRDS, tome 2 – the French translation of Blood & Thunder is now available for pre-order from Dreamspinner Press!

perf5.830x8.270.inddQuand une série de bombes explosent dans un Centre de Jeunesse Therian, blessant les membres du THIRDS de l’équipe Destructive Delta, et provoquant un désaccord entre les agents Dexter J. Daley et Sloane Brodie, la paix semble impossible à atteindre. Plus encore quand un nouveau groupe semant la terreur, l’Ordre d’Adrasteia a toujours l’air d’avoir une longueur d’avance. Avec la panique et l’intolérance qui se propagent, et les rues jonchées de la propagande de l’Ordre, l’hostilité entre humains et Therians croît à mesure que les jours passent. Dex et Sloane, avec le reste de l’équipe, sont déterminés à faire tomber l’Ordre et à rétablir la paix, sans parler de régler un différend personnel. Mais plus l’équipe s’investit dans l’enquête sur les attentats, plus ils croient à un motif plus sinistre que le simple désir de répandre le sang et semer le chaos.

Quand il découvre l’horrible vérité derrière les intentions de l’Ordre, Sloane est forcé de faire face aux secrets d’un passé qu’il pensait avoir à tout jamais laissé derrière lui, un passé qui pourrait non seulement le détruire, ainsi que sa carrière, mais aussi la réputation de l’organisation qui a fait de lui ce qu’il est aujourd’hui. Maintenant plus que jamais, Dex et Sloane ont besoin l’un de l’autre, et, avec la confiance, la force de leur lien fera la différence entre la justice et la guerre totale.

ISBN-13: 9781634771962
Pages: 272
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Translator: Ingrid Lecouvez
Release Date: Jan 19th, 2016

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THIRDS Thursday – 1/7/16

Prompt:I recently saw the new Star Wars movie. The whole time, I imagined what date night would be like with Dex and Sloane. So, Charlie Cochet, will you write a short scene of our two beloved delta force men getting their geek on, eating popcorn and gummy bears, watching the new Star Wars release?


Sloane let out a low moan and rolled onto his side. He really wasn’t ready to get up yet. Then he remembered he didn’t have to. His eyes fluttered open and he found himself staring into two wide eyes of pale blue. Full lips curved into a big boyish grin.

“Hi.”

Sloane stared at Dex, kneeling on the side of the bed, his chin resting on his folded arms as he smiled at Sloane. “Um, hi. What are you doing?”

“Do you know what day it is?”

Sloane wasn’t fully awake yet, but considering his boyfriend was all but vibrating with excitement, whatever day it was, it was important. “I haven’t had coffee yet. Can you help my brain along?”

“Today’s the day,” Dex said. “Everything I’ve done in my life has led me to this moment. Our lives are about to change.”

“Is that so?” Judging by Dex’s expression, Sloane would say this wasn’t so much a life altering moment for them as a Dex life changing event. It could be anything.

“Yes! I’ll give you a hint.” Dex jumped to his feet and proceeded to perform a one man show of what Sloane immediately recognized as several scenes from Star Wars. His enthusiastic boyfriend marched around the room, breathing heavily through his hand while his phone played The Imperial March. Sloane propped himself on his elbow, watching the spectacle in amusement. This had to be the most entertaining thing he’d seen in a long time. When Dex was done with his lively performance, he was almost panting. “It’s heeeeere!” He let out a high-pitched squeal/shriek, jumping up and down, waving his arms around, before running around with a pretend blaster complete with “pew pew” sound effects.

“Are you excited?” Sloane teased.

“Oh my God! Han! Haaaan!” Dex leaped onto the bed then crawled over to Sloane. “Han! Did you see Han?”

“Is he going to be in this? I wasn’t aware.” Sloane couldn’t help himself. Dex had brought it up at least once a day since he’d seen the trailer. Sloane wasn’t surprised when Dex put in a request for him, Sloane, Ash, and Cael to have the day off. Ash really didn’t care, but he couldn’t ignore Cael’s excitement, and he was hardly about to leave his boyfriend alone on date night, even if it meant exposing himself to “a sea of nerds” as Ash so eloquently put it. Ash was up to date with all things Star Wars, thanks to Cael and Dex’s movie marathons, books discussion, animated Netflix marathon, and several PowerPoint presentations. Sloane had no idea Cael possessed such PowerPoint skills. It was truly a sight to behold.

“There’s so much to prepare for.” Dex scrambled off the bed, his hair still sticking up in an unruly mess. He’d even changed into his Darth Vader pajamas at some point that morning. Probably when he got up to make himself his morning pre-coffee coffee. Dex sped from the room, and Sloane chuckled. His boyfriend was adorable.

Sloane was about to get up when Dex sped back in and gave him a kiss. “I’m sorry. I’m not ignoring you. I just—”

Sloane chuckled and cupped Dex’s face. “I get it. This is monumental. You freak out to your little heart’s content.” He gave Dex’s lips a kiss, his heart squeezing at Dex’s glassy eyes and the smile that stretched from ear to ear.

“That’s why I love you. You get me.”

“Of course I do. Now I’m going to have some coffee, and you can tell me all about your Force Awakens agenda over breakfast.”

“You’re so awesome,” Dex said with a sniff. “I would give up my movie ticket for you.”

“Aw.” Sloane was touched. He knew what that meant in Dex speak. He drew Dex into his arms and kissed him, before sending him off to coordinate his day. From what Sloane had seen, there was a printed agenda, shopping list, post-movie mini party here at Dex’s house later in the evening, and who knew what else.

During breakfast, Dex excitedly rambled on, explaining the day’s agenda. It was going to be a busy day. He’d already coordinated costumes with Cael. Dex was wearing his Han costume, and Cael was going as Luke. Sloane wasn’t dressing up, but he’d agreed to wear his dark brown cargo pants and the long sleeved Wookie T-shirt with printed fur and bandolier. He was in for a world of teasing from Ash, but Sloane didn’t care. As much as he loved Star Wars, this was Dex’s day. So if it made Dex happy, he was game.

As Sloane went about his day, if he hadn’t known what was going on, he would have thought there was some kind of military operation being coordinated. Dex was on the phone to several people. He even called the movie theater to make sure all the equipment was running smoothly. At the time of ticket purchase, Dex had his map of the screen, and knew exactly what seats they would all have. A favor called in by Maddock made certain Dex got the exact seats he wanted. Everything was times, including theater arrival time. They were taking Dex’s challenger and picking up Ash and Cael at Cael’s apartment. They were parked at the curb waiting, and when Ash emerged, Sloane had to hide his face.

Cael looked adorable in his Luke costume, as expected. And Ash….

The two got into the backseat. Cael and Dex bounced a few times, sharing their excited ramblings. Sloane met Ash’s gaze through the mirror.

“Don’t fucking say a word,” Ash growled at him. Sloane couldn’t look at him. It wasn’t a full costume, because Ash would never go for that, but somehow someone had convinced him to wear all black, from his T-shirt to his pants, and boots. He wore a red belt, and a glowing red neon bracelet around his wrist. Didn’t take a genius to know which character his outfit pertained to. Before they drove off, Dex turned in his seat and wriggled his brows at Cael.

“Hey, bro. Who’s your daddy?”

Sloane erupted into laughter.

Ash folded his arms over his chest, pouting at Cael. “I told you this wasn’t a good idea.”

“Aw, ignore him. He’s one to talk. His boyfriend’s a Wookie.”

Ash snickered, and Dex flipped him off before they headed for the theater. As expected, the place was packed. Several moviegoers were dressed in full costumes. There were glowing light sabers, glow sticks, themed outfits. Ash was horrified. He grabbed Sloane’s arm, leaning into him to talk.

“Make note of all the emergency exits.”

“Why? In case there’s a fire?” Sloane asked, looking around.

“No, in case I need to make a run for it.”

Sloane chuckled, and patted his arms. “You’ll be fine.”

“Look at them!” Ash hissed quietly. “We’re outnumbered!”

They joined the line for snacks, Ash on alert like he was waiting to be assaulted by the waist-high Stormtroopers.

A lanky teen dressed as Darth Vader leaped out from behind the trash bin, tapping Cael’s wrist with his plastic light saber. Sloane grimaced.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Ash growled. The kid pushed his mask up and gaped up at him.

“Uh, I’m chopping off Luke’s hand.”

“Touch my boyfriend again and you’ll be losing more than a hand.”

The kid bolted from the place like he was being chased by Jar Jar Binks.

“He was just roleplaying, Ash,” Cael said sweetly, soothing him. Judging by the laser beam stare, Sloane would say Ash had a different idea of what roleplaying meant.

“You saying that little twerp was coming onto you?”

Cael blinked at him, confused. Dex whispered in Cael’s ear and Cael’s face went crimson.

“No! Not that kind of roleplaying. I meant pretend. He was pretending to be the character.”

“Oh.” Ash crossed his beefy arms over his chest. “Still don’t like it.”

Dex finished ordering snacks, and Sloane wasn’t sure they had enough arms to carry everything.

“Jesus, Daley. You really think we’re going to eat all that?” Ash shook his head in disbelief.

Dex grabbed the colossal bag of Peanut M&Ms, and arched an eyebrow at him. “We? Who said anything about we. These are my snacks.” Dex scoffed. “We.” He turned to Sloane and batted his lashes. “I’ll share with you because you’re my snuggle bunny.” He kissed Sloane’s jaw, and squeezed his bicep. “And because you can fit a lot in these sexy arms of yours.”

Sloane grabbed the bucket of soda, and a bag of popcorn big enough to hide Cael in, while Dex grabbed another smaller bucket which Sloane discovered was filled with gummy bears.

“How did you manage that?” Sloane asked, stunned. “They don’t sell those.”

Dex gave him a wink. “I have connections across the galaxy.”

It took a great deal of effort, and Ash threatening at least two to four people every few steps he took, but eventually they made it to their seats. Dex and Cael were practically bouncing. Sloane was charmed by the brother’s boyish glee, and when the movie’s opening crawl appeared, the two screamed, making Sloane laugh. Once they’d calmed down enough to watch the movie—a movie they would undoubtedly be watching again and again until it left theaters—Dex took hold of Sloane’s hand.

Sloane smiled, and leaned in, murmuring in his ear. “Thank you for letting me share this with you.”

Dex’s smile left him breathless. “There’s no one else but you.” He kissed Sloane and turned his attention back to the movie.

Sloane knew he was missing precious seconds of the movie to watch Dex, but he realized then that the man at his side, was the most precious gift of all.


 

Copyright © 2014 Charlie Cochet. All Rights Reserved. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.