#TeaserTuesday – 3/7/17

Hello, all! This week’s Teaser Tuesday is a snippet from Seb and Hudson’s book Darkest Hour Before Dawn which is book nine in the THIRDS series, and now available for pre-order! Enjoy!

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“We wanted to come see you when you were in the hospital, but Seb…. He thought it would be best if we didn’t.”

Hudson nodded. He shoved his hands into his pockets, regret filling him. “He was right. It would have been too difficult. It was hard enough having him there.” Hudson cleared his throat. “He wouldn’t leave my side.”

Thomas nodded his understanding. “I expected no less of him. Thank you for saving his life. I don’t know what we would have done without either of you.”

Unable to stand the heartache in Thomas’s face, Hudson pointed to the bag behind him. “I made you my Cornish pasties.”

Thomas’s eyes sparkled, and he grinned like a little boy. He put the armrest with the controller down and moved to the table to take the bag and place it on his lap. With a deadpan expression, he met his wife’s gaze.

“If the boys ask, these were never here.”

Hudson laughed, watching as Thomas headed for the kitchen, calling out over his shoulder, “Especially Ethan. That boy eats more than the other two combined. I swear he has a black hole where his stomach should be.”

“He’s a growing boy,” Julia cooed, following Thomas into the expansive country-style kitchen. She took the bag from him and placed it on the island counter.

Thomas let out a snort. “Growing boy my butt. Darling, he’s thirty-six and almost as big as Seb.” He wrapped an arm around her waist and tugged, lifting his face for a kiss, which his wife happily gave. Hudson all but melted, leaning against the counter and wondering how Julia and Thomas did it. They’d been through so much—losing everything, watching their boys have to work before they were of age, working through Ethan’s selective mutism and social anxiety, through Thomas’s condition. How had Julia and Thomas Hobbs survived all that and still looked at each other as if they were falling in love for the first time?

At the first crisis that hit them, Hudson and Seb had crumbled under the weight. Hudson cleared his throat, fidgeting from one foot to the other.

“How do you do that?” he asked softly. Propriety scolded him for being so intrusive and brash, but he was desperate to know.

They turned to him, Julia’s hand on Thomas’s shoulder and her expression tender.

“How do you forge ahead, never losing yourselves or the love you have for each other, after… everything?”

No question what Seb would look like when he got older—Seb and Ethan were both the spitting image of Thomas Hobbs. At sixty-five years old, Thomas was a handsome man, with a square jaw and green eyes that sparkled with life and mischief. His once-black hair was now salt-and-pepper, and although some of his leg muscles had deteriorated over the years due to his condition, he was still a tiger Therian, strong-bodied and strong-willed. Much like Ethan refused to allow his condition to define him, Thomas refused to be defined by his Therian Acheron Syndrome. Life had never been easy for the Hobbs family, but they endured, always together.

“Son, love is a precious gift, but love alone isn’t enough to weather the storms in life. You know as well as I do that life can be hard, messy, infuriating, terrifying, and unfair, and love will certainly help ease the pain,” Thomas said, taking Julia’s hand in his. “But unless you use that love as a foundation to build on, you’ll get swept away in the maelstrom.”


Copyright © 2017 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press. 

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THIRDS Thursday – 3/2/17

Prompt: Would love to see Cael and Ash baking on a lazy rainy Saturday. Cakes, cookies, all kinds of heavenly sugary goods. Maybe Ash finally sharing or showing the how-to of a recipe Cael just never could get right. Just them goofing off and having a good day. Would like it to be after they got officially together. And as always, a little touchy-feely never hurt anyone. ;)

****SPOILER ALERT**** This takes place after Thick & Thin.


Ash rolled onto his back and stretched, the cool sheets comfortable against his skin. Cool? He opened his eyes and frowned. Usually he woke up with a warm, softly snoring Cael plastered to his back. Ash couldn’t help but grin at the image. It said a lot about how he felt about Cael. Ash never liked anyone touching him while he slept, not that he’d given anyone much opportunity to. Very rarely had he stayed to sleep with someone after having sex, and he never invited anyone to his apartment. On the rare occasions that he had stayed, he didn’t like anyone clinging to him. With Cael, not only did he love waking up to him holding onto Ash in some way, but Ash often woke up wrapped around Cael.

Ash placed his hand to Cael’s side of the bed. His boyfriend had clearly gotten up some time ago. He sat up and rubbed his eyes. Cael was an early riser. Like, ridiculously early, but when Cael stayed over—which was pretty much all the time now—he stayed in bed with Ash, usually reading a book or browsing the web on his tablet.

Getting out of bed, Ash rounded his shoulders then stretched his back. He grabbed his boxers off the trunk at the end of the bed, pulling them on before he headed into the bathroom. His heart did a little flip at the sight of Cael’s toothbrush next to his. Man, he was such a freaking sap, grinning like an idiot over a toothbrush. Then again, who the fuck cared? He liked seeing Cael’s toothbrush there. Liked seeing Cael’s toiletries in the bathroom alongside his own, Cael’s clothes in Ash’s bedroom. He liked having Cael with him, occupying the same space. It was a first for Ash.

Finishing up in the bathroom, he headed downstairs in search of his cheeky cheetah. Not surprising, Ash heard Cael moving around in the kitchen. Whatever he was making smelled amazing. When he reached the part of the stairs where he could see into the kitchen, he paused. Were Dex and Sloane coming over for breakfast? He groaned. It was way too fucking early to deal with Dexter J. Daley. Had Ash forgotten? They were supposed to be meeting up later for dinner and a movie. It was quite possible Dex had said something and Ash had just tuned him out. Wouldn’t be the first time.

“Morning, sweetheart.” Ash walked over to Cael, drew him into his arms, and kissed him. He had to hunch over a little, and Cael had to stand on his toes, but it always made him smile. He hummed at the sweet taste of Cael’s mouth. He’d been eating fruit.

“Morning. I made us breakfast,” Cael said, motioning to the counter.

Ash blinked at him. “You made all that for just the two of us?”

Cael nodded. “It’s all gloomy outside, so I thought we needed some tasty awesomeness. I made three kinds of pancakes. Blueberry, chocolate chip, and cranberry. Then I thought you might not want pancakes, so I made French toast and cinnamon rolls. But then I remembered that sometimes you don’t want to eat sweet in the morning, so I made scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, and buttered toast. It’s all piping hot. And there’s coffee, and hot chocolate.” Cael gasped, his eyes going wide. “I didn’t make any muffins. I’m sorry.”

“Baby, you know I love everything you make.” Ash studied Cael. “Talk to me.”

“I am.”

“Not about breakfast. Tell me why you made more food than even your brother could eat.”

Cael craned his neck around Ash to look out the huge glass window in the living room. “Wow. It’s really coming down out there, isn’t it?”

“Sweetheart,” Ash nudged gently, nuzzling his temple. “What’s on your mind?”

“We should eat before everything gets cold.”

Cael wasn’t ready to talk. Ash could wait. When Cael was ready, he would tell Ash what was wrong. Whatever it was, it was big if he didn’t even want to address it. “Sure.”

“Great!” Cael smiled, but whatever was weighing heavily on his mind was there behind his beautiful big gray eyes. Ash kissed his cheek then turned to grab a plate. He didn’t usually eat sweet stuff for breakfast, but Cael had spent who knew how long making all this, so Ash filled his plate with a bit of everything. Sometimes Cael forgot that the rest of them didn’t burn through calories the way he did. Next to Dex, and from what he gathered, Hudson, no one ate as much as Cael. Dex’s appetite had been scary when he was Human. Now he could eat almost as much as Sloane and Ash combined. Hudson was a wolf Therian, and wolf Therians loved food. They were also always running around, rarely still until they wore themselves out, or had someone to keep them grounded. Cael burned through calories by just breathing.

Sitting at the counter, Ash made sure Cael’s chair was close to his before Cael took a seat beside him with his small feast. Most his selection was sweet except for the tiny mountain of bacon piled next to his tower of pancakes. They ate, and made small talk. The food was damned good. It always was when Cael made it. Cael had seconds and ate every bite except for a rogue blueberry he was rolling around his empty plate with his fork. Ash took a sip of his coffee, and waited.

“It’s kinda gloomy out, isn’t it,” Cael murmured, still looking down at his blueberry. That was the second time he’d said that. “Did you know in some countries they sentence Therians to death just for being Therian?”

Ash almost choked on his coffee. He quickly swallowed, and grabbed a napkin to cough into. When he was no longer in danger of choking to death, he turned to stare at Cael. “Um, yeah.”

Cael looked up at him then, eyes glassy. “What if Dex and Sloane get sent to one of those places by TIN? What if they get caught?”

It took Ash a second to catch up. Shit. TIN. This was about Dex joining TIN. He should have known. Cael had managed to fool him this long. He’d acted like he was fine with it. Clearly, he wasn’t. Ash had to do something before Cael lost anymore sleep, or worked himself into a panic, because Ash could see it in his eyes. How the hell was he supposed to make Cael feel better about something he knew nothing about?


Part two next week on 3/9/17!


Copyright © 2017 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press. 

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#TeaserTuesday – 2/21/17 Darkest Hour Before Dawn (THIRDS, Book 9)

Hello, all! This week’s Teaser Tuesday is a snippet from Seb and Hudson’s book Darkest Hour Before Dawn which is book nine in the THIRDS series, and now available for pre-order! Enjoy!

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“How are you doing today?” Hudson tried to summon a smile. The least he could do was be civil, for Seb’s sake. The brothers were closer than ever, and Hudson wasn’t about to come between them. Rafe squinted at him, and Hudson let out a soft sigh. “I’m not being snide. I’m genuinely interested.”

Rafe still had a way to go to redeem himself in Hudson’s eyes, but Hudson felt for him. Having known the Hobbs family for years, being present for some of Thomas’s worst days, Hudson wouldn’t wish the condition on anyone. The knowledge that Rafe would one day end up in a wheelchair like his father, at the mercy of agonizing pain, hurt Hudson. Rafe was Seb and Ethan’s big brother. A huge tiger Therian, built of what seemed like solid muscle. At seven foot two and over three hundred pounds, he eclipsed Hudson’s smaller wolf Therian frame. As big as Seb was, Rafe was just that tiny bit bigger, certainly broader. It saddened Hudson. Rafe hadn’t always hated him. Once upon a time, Rafe had been kind to him, even smiled.

“I’m okay,” Rafe replied. He cleared his throat, looking larger than life as he sat across from Hudson. “Thank you for asking.”

Hudson nodded. “What can I do for you?”

“I wanted to talk to you about Nina. I know things are still strained between the two of you, and it’s my fault. She did it to protect me. Please, don’t be mad at her. She loves you, Hudson. If you could only see how much pain she’s in, how much she misses you.”

The last six months had been rather awkward. Although Hudson was on speaking terms with Nina, their relationship had suffered greatly. How could they get back to the way things were after she’d purposefully kept him in the dark? For months, day after day, she’d looked him in the eye, going on as if nothing had happened, and all the while sharing Rafe’s bed.

“I would have thought you’d be happy to be rid of me once and for all. She’s the only connection left between me and your family.” There was no bitterness in Hudson’s voice, only sadness.

Rafe straightened, looking affronted. “How can you say that? You’re connected to my brother in the most significant way possible, which, by the way, I don’t get you. You took three bullets for him, are obviously still as much in love with him now as you were then, and he worships you, yet you keep pushing him away. Why won’t you come home?”

Hudson inhaled sharply. Rafe’s words hit him harder than expected. “Why… why would you say such a thing?”

“That you two should be together?”

“No. That I should come home.”

Rafe raked a hand through his hair and let out a heavy sigh. He appeared to give a lot of thought to the question, as if trying to find the right words.

“Fuck it.” Rafe met Hudson’s gaze, his eyes intense. “Because you’re a part of our family, always were. You’re his home, Hudson. He’s been lost since you left, and I don’t want to see him in pain anymore. He deserves to be happy, and that’ll never happen without you. He needs you. My family needs you. My mom misses the hell out of you. She’s always asking about you. Ethan misses you, my dad—”

“Don’t,” Hudson pleaded, blinking back the tears in his eyes. “Please don’t use Thomas.”

“It’s the truth. You may not want to hear it, but that’s the way it is. We are your pack, Hudson. You walked away from us, and yes, I hated you for a long time for what I believed you were doing to my brother, but I think I also resented you.”

Hudson was stunned. “For what?”

“For leaving. No one blamed you. Okay, I blamed you, but I was an asshole. My mom, dad, Ethan, Seb, none of them blamed you. They just wanted you home.”


Copyright © 2017 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.

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Darkest Hour Before Dawn (THIRDS, Book 9) Pre-Order Now Available!!!

Hello, all! I am super excited to announce that Darkest Hour Before Dawn, the 9th book in the THIRDS series is up for pre-order at Amazon and other third party sellers!! I can’t wait to share Seb and Hudson’s story with you! These two sent me on an emotional roller coaster ride to rival Dex and Sloane. I’m telling you, I thought they were trying to kill me. Finally, after 8 books, we get Seb and Hudson. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do!

PRE-ORDER FROM:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lJxEu7
Barnes & Noblehttp://bit.ly/CCDHBDBN
Kobohttp://bit.ly/CCDHBDKOBO
iBookshttp://bit.ly/2CCDHBDiBooks

This is a special early pre-order event, so Dreamspinner Press pre-orders for Darkest Hour Before Dawn will go up on the Dreamspinner website  March 25th.

Darkest Hour Before Dawn is out April 25th!

Check out the amazing cover form the fabulous L.C. Chase!

Genre: Paranormal Gay Romance, Shifters
Length: Novel
Published: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Ebook ISBN-13: 9781635336092
Paperback ISBN-13: Coming Soon

ABOUT

THIRDS Team Leader Sebastian Hobbs and Chief Medical Examiner Hudson Colbourn are as much in love now as they were nearly seven years ago when a tragic event on the job destroyed their relationship. The two drift together only to be pulled apart time and time again. When Hudson draws the interest of dangerous enemies, both within and outside the organization, Seb wants nothing more than to protect the man who still means everything to him.

As life-and-death events, an uncertain future, and startling truths draw Hudson and Seb to each other yet again, they must make a choice: trust their love and take strength from what they share, or lose what matters most… for good this time.

READ CHAPTER ONE HERE

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SeriesOrder

Hell & High Water (THIRDS, Book 1)
Blood & Thunder (THIRDS Book 2)
Rack & Ruin (THIRDS, Book 3)
Rise & Fall (THIRDS, Book 4)
Against the Grain (THIRDS, Book 5)
Catch a Tiger by the Tail (THIRDS, Book 6)
Smoke & Mirrors (THIRDS, Book 7)
Thick & Thin (THIRDS Book 8)
Darkest Hour Before Dawn (THIRDS, Book 9)

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Dex and Sloane THIRDS Valentine’s Day Flash Fiction!

Hello, all! We have a special Valentine’s treat for you! The fabulous RJ Scott is hosting a number of authors on her blog to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and today we have a fun little Valentine’s Day flash fiction story featuring our devious duo Dexter J. Daley and Sloane Brodie. Check out what mischief Dex is up to on Valentine’s Day.

http://rjscottauthor.blogspot.com/2017/02/a-dex-and-sloane-thirds-series.html

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Pré-commander Grandeur et décadence (THIRDS Tome 4) de Dreamspinner Press!

Grandeur et décadence

THIRDS, tome 4

Les rues de New York sont plus dangereuses que jamais maintenant que l’Ordre d’Adrasteia se retrouve sans leader, et la Coalition Ikelos, un groupe Therian nouvellement apparu, en guerre. Des civils innocents sont pris entre deux feux et bien que le THIRDS rassemble de plus en plus de membres de l’Ordre dans l’espoir d’empêcher le groupe volatil de se réorganiser, les membres de la Coalition continuent de s’échapper et de causer des ravages au nom d’une justice de défense auto proclamée.

Pire encore, quelqu’un à l’intérieur du THIRDS fournit des informations à la Coalition. C’est à Destructive Delta que revient la tâche de débusquer la taupe et de mettre fin à la guerre avant que quelqu’un d’autre soit blessé. Mais pour remplir cette mission, l’équipe devra accepter les séquelles causées par l’explosion du Centre de Jeunesse Therian. Un accrochage avec des membres de la Coalition conduit l’Agent Dexter J. Daley à une découverte choquante et soudain, il devient clair que la violence aléatoire n’est pas si aléatoire qu’elle en a l’air. Ce qui se trame est plus important que Dex et Sloane le croyaient à l’origine, et leur fougueux partenariat est mis à l’épreuve. Alors que l’affaire prend une tournure explosive, Dex et Sloane courent le danger de perdre plus que leur relation.

ISBN13-978-1-63533-727-3
Pages: 278
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Translator: Ingrid Lecouvez

Pré-commander:
Dreamspinner Press eBook
Dreamspinner Press Paperback

28 Mars 2017 (25 Mars au Livre Paris, Salon du Livre de Paris)

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2016 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards!

Hello, all! I’m super excited to announce that I’ve been nominated in the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice Awards alongside some fabulous fellow authors! If you fancy voting for me and the fellas, you can do so here:

http://www.paranormalromanceguild.com/2016-awards

Categories:

M/M Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

THIRDS Beyond The Books – Vol 1 by Charlie Cochet

Smoke & Mirrors – Thirds Series Book 7 by Charlie Cochet

M/M Paranormal/Urban Fantasy – Series

Smoke & Mirrors – Thirds Series Book 7 by Charlie Cochet

M/M Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Novels & Novellas

Love in Retrograde by Charlie Cochet

 

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Thick & Thin Release Day & Blog Tour!

Hello, all! Today is release day for Thick & Thin!! Woot! And to celebrate we have a blog tour with some super fun posts. We’ve got an interview with Dex, a Q&A with Sloane, the Thick & Thin playlist reveal, Destructive Delta sharing their top pet peeves, some rapid fire questions with Destructive Delta, and fun facts you might not know about the THIRDS! Make sure you follow the tour so you don’t miss any of the shenanigans! Plus there’s a giveaway!

TOUR INFO

Feb 1st – TTC Books and More – Interview with Dexter J. Daley
Feb 2nd – The Novel Approach – Q& A with Sloane Brodie
Feb 3rd – Two Chicks Obsessed – Thick & Thin Playlist
Feb 4th – Love Bytes – Destructive Delta’s Pet Peeves
Feb 5th – We Three Queens – Destructive Delta Rapid Fire Questions
Feb 6th –  Joyfully Jay – Fun Fact About the THIRDS series

ABOUT THE BOOK

Genre: Paranormal Gay Romance, Shifters
Series: THIRDS
Length: Novella
Published: Feb 1st, 2017
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Ebook ISBN-13: 9781635333893

In a matter of days, Dex has been kidnapped, tortured, killed, revived, become half-Therian, offered the chance to become a spy, and accepted a proposal to marry his jaguar Therian boyfriend, Sloane Brodie. It’s been a lot to take in, and although Dex is still trying to wrap his head around everything that’s happened, he knows he has to move forward. After the events of Smoke & Mirrors, Dex and Sloane find themselves in one of the most frightening situations of all: revealing the truth to their Destructive Delta family. When the dust settles, nothing will ever be the same, and it’s up to Dex to prove that in the face of change, the one thing that will always remain the same is family.

ADD TO GOODREADS

ORDER YOUR COPY FROM

DREAMSPINNER PRESS | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charlie_Cochet_by_madison_parker150Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website | THIRDS HQ | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram | Newsletter | DSP |Amazon |Goodreads

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THIRDS Thursday – 1/26/19

Prompt: Ash and Dex team up to take care of Cael while he is sick, like a couple of mother hens. :P


Ugh, he was so tired of these stupid algorithms. He’d been doing them all day. Why couldn’t Defense agents program their own stuff? He supposed he couldn’t be too mad at them. They had enough to worry about out on the streets without having to break their brains trying to talk to Themis. Sometimes he wanted to tell Themis where it could—

“Cael!”

Cael gave such a start he almost fell out of his chair. “What?” He snapped at Dex hovering over him.

“Jesus, you don’t have to bite my head off. What’s with you? You’ve been such a grumpy McGrumpy Pants for the last two days. Are you feeling okay?” Dex leaned in and put his head to Cael’s brow, his eyes going wide. “I think you have a fever.”

Cael swatted his brother’s hand away. “I’m fine. I’ve just been busy.” He frowned and went back to his desk interface. “Did you want something?”

When there was no reply, he looked up and peered at Dex. His brother was studying him, eyes narrowed.

“You’re kinda creeping me out,” Cael muttered. Then again, it was just Dex being Dex. “I’ve got a lot of stuff to do, so….” Hint. Hint. Hint.

Dex got up and walked out of the room. Cael stared after him.

“What the heck was that about?” Seriously, he worried about that guy.

Cael lost himself in his algorithms, stopping only long enough to pull a tissue out of his desk drawer. Stupid allergies. His nose was all stuffed up.

“Cael, are you all right?”

A shadow loomed over him, and Cael lifted his gaze, finding Ash looking down at him worriedly.

“Dex said you were sick.”

Cael leaned back in his chair to glare at his brother who was very smartly hiding behind Ash.

“I’m fine,” Cael said. “Dex is overreacting. Again.”

Ash seemed to be mulling that over. “While I will agree that your brother is prone to exceptional feats of ridiculousness, it would ease my mind if you let me check your temperature.”

Cael stared at him. “Take my temperature?” He shook his head. “Ash, I’m fine.” Of course the moment the words were out of his mouth, he sneezed.

Ash removed a small device from his pocket.

“Please tell me you didn’t bring a—”

The thermometer was place to his head, and Ash’s expression was very stern when he spoke. “Hold still.”

Cael was surrounded by crazy people. Should Cael be terrified right now? It would appear his brother’s crazy was rubbing off on Ash. Cael sighed, and the gadget beeped.

“You have a fever,” Ash declared, and Dex leaned around him to thrust a finger at Cael.

“I knew it. You’re sick. Do you want to go to the medic?”

Cael scowled at him. “No. My partner is a medic, remember?”

“Right.” Dex looked up at Ash. “He needs to be home under lots of fluffy blankets with pillows and chicken soup and one of those smoky-breathy things.”

Ash rolled his eyes. “You mean a humidifier?”

“Yeah, one of those.”

Cael groaned. “I’m fine. You two need to go away. I’m busy.”

“But—”

Cael jumped to his feet to yell at his brother when a wave of dizziness slammed into him, and he would have fallen over his chair if Ash hadn’t caught him. “I’m fine,” Cael grumbled.

“Sweetheart, maybe you should take the rest of the afternoon. You’re looking a little pale.”

“That’s just cause it’s so cold in here. Rosa probably turned the temperature down before she left for lunch.”

“Speaking of,” Ash said, running a hand over Cael’s head. It felt nice. “Why aren’t you eating lunch?”

“I wasn’t hungry, and I wanted to get these algorithms done.” He was going to once again say he was fine when he noticed Dex was gone.

“Where’s Dex?”

Ash straightened and turned around. “He was just here a second ago.”

Tony strode into the room, grumbled at Ash to move aside, and put his hand to Cael’s brow. Before Cael could say yet again that he was fine, Tony spoke up.

“You’ve got a fever. Go home.”

“What?” Cael sputtered, shutting his mouth when Tony gave him that look. “Yes, sir.” Cael let out a heavy sigh as Tony left. His dad was very strict when it came to agents getting sick. He’d rather have an agent be out for however long it took and get them cover than have a bug go around infecting everyone. Covering for a couple of agents was preferable to having to cover whole teams.

Dex walked in looking smug, and Cael gasped.

“Oh my God, did you just narc on me to dad?”

“No, I narced on you to our sergeant. Very different.”

Cael would have strangled him if he had the strength.

“Listen,” Ash said, kneeling beside his chair. “Sloane owes me some overtime, so how about I take you home and we get you settled down on the couch and I’ll make you some soup.”

“I can make soup,” Dex chimed in.

Ash waved a hand dismissively. “I’ve got this, Daley. Go make a menace of yourself elsewhere.”

“But, I always make him soup. And chocolate chip cookies.”

Ash stood, and slapped a hand on Dex’s shoulder. “And now he has me to make him soup and chocolate chip cookies. Don’t you have a job to do?”

Dex folded his arms over is chest. “Taking care of my family is my job.”

Cael sank farther down his chair. It was like watching a tennis match that never ended because neither side was giving in. Cael just needed a little sleep, that’s all. He logged out of Themis, and shut down his desk interface while Dex and Ash argued over who would look after Cael better. Taking it slow, he pushed himself to his feet. No dizzy spell. Good. He turned and sighed. They were still arguing? Jeez. These two. Pot and kettle.

“How about,” Cael said loudly, halting the argument, “Ash makes the soup, and Dex makes the cookies?”

They both narrowed their gazes at him.

“Or, you can both stay here arguing, while I go home, all alone.” He pouted. “Sick.” Cough. Cough.

“You got it, sweetheart.” Ash wrapped his arm around Cael.

“Chocolate chip cookies,” Dex agreed. “I’m on it.”

Cael blinked up at Dex. “Can I have double chocolate chips?”

Dex threw his arms around Cael’s head, petting it. “You can have all the chocolate chips, Chirpy.”

“Wow. You two are total suckers.”

Dex pulled back, puzzled. “My precious baby brother is sick, Cal.”

Cael looked up at Ash, bottom lip jutting out. “I’m not feeling so good. Can we go home?”

“Of course, sweetheart.” Ash led him to the doorway when Ash and Dex were called over by a fellow agent. “Be back in one second.” Ash kissed the top of Cael’s head before he and Dex hurried off. Cael turned to thrust a finger at Calvin.

“You do anything to ruin this for me, and I will end you, Summers.”

Calvin chuckled. “Man, you are evil.”

“Cal, my boyfriend is best friends with my brother’s boyfriend. Which means Dex and Ash are in each other’s hair more than ever, which means they spend a good portion of their time arguing and driving me and Sloane nuts. I deserve soup and chocolate chip cookies when I’m sick, Cal. If I don’t get my cookies, and some hot chocolate with enough whip cream to choke a mule, I’m going to shank someone with a spork! Do you hear me, Cal? A spork!”

Calvin took a slow step back, his eyes wide. “Um, how about I bring you some of my mom’s pecan pie?”

Cael smiled wide. “Aw, that’s very sweet of you, Cal. I would love that.”

“You’re kinda scary sometimes.”

“You would be too if Dex was your brother and Ash was your boyfriend.” Cael gave Calvin’s shoulder a pat. “Don’t forget the whip cream.”

Ash jogged over, his expression worried. “You okay? Sorry, just had to answer a couple questions about our last case. Ready?”

Cael coughed. “Ready.”

Thankfully they didn’t hit a lot of traffic on the way home. Cael was feeling pretty gross. His head hurt, his nose was stuffed, he was cold, his whole body ached, and he was so tired. Once inside, Ash helped him into his comfiest pajamas, and helped him over to the couch. He brought down half a dozen warm fuzzy blankets, several pillows, and even made Cael a hot water bottle because he was shivering. By the time Ash was done, Cael was ready to hibernate in his cave of fluffy warmth. The only part not covered by the blankets were his eyes.

“Better?”

Cael nodded.

Ash put on one of the science fiction movie channels before turning and kissing Cael’s brow.

“I’m going to go make that soup. If you need anything, you just let me know, okay?”

“Thank you,” Cael said, genuinely thankful Ash was here. He was so good at taking care of Cael. Even if his boyfriend did sometimes drive him crazy when he was around Dex, Cael still loved Ash like crazy. He really was such a good boyfriend.

Somewhere in the middle of a so-bad-it’s-good movie, Cael fell asleep. When he woke up, he could hear Ash and Dex arguing. It was hilarious though, because they were whispering arguing. There was nothing like hearing Dex and Ash insulting each other in whispers. There was movement around the kitchen, so clearly they were cooking while arguing. Cael couldn’t help his smile. They were such dorks.

Cael must have fallen asleep again, because the next time he woke up, Sloane was sitting on the couch, socked feet propped up on the coffee table in front, reading from his tablet. He looked over at Cael and smiled.

“How are you feeling?”

Cael let out something that was a cross between a moan, a groan, and a hiccup. Ash and Dex appeared before him. Jeez, how did they do that? It’s like they learned how to teleport or something.

“Hey, Chirpy. Are you okay?” Dex put his hand to Cael’s head. “Still feverish.”

Ash shoved Dex aside and knelt in front of Cael. “Want some soup, sweetheart?”

Cael nodded.

“Ha!” Ash thrust a finger at Dex. “I told you.”

“Can I have a cookie too?” Cael asked.

Dex bounced around on his toes pointing at Ash with his index fingers. “And I told you.”

“You better not eat all my cookies,” Cael warned his brother.

“Please. Just what do you take me for?”

Ash opened his mouth to reply, and Dex cut him off.

“Shut it.” Dex turned his attention back to Cael. “I made my own batch.”

Of course he did. Oh God, if Dex didn’t stop bouncing….

“Babe,” Sloane said gently. He patted the couch next to him. “Come here.”

Dex bounded over and dropped onto the couch next to Sloane. “Yes, my love?”

Sloane smiled warmly at him. “Nothing. Just wanted to give you this.” He leaned in and kissed Dex. Dex melted against Sloane with a dreamy sigh. He pulled up his legs, and snuggled up close to Sloane, his eyes closed. Still. Not fidgeting. Sloane winked at Cael before going back to his book.

And that was why the man was made for Dexter J. Daley.

Cael had never known anyone in his life who could calm his brother with just one look, one word, or one kiss. It was astounding.

“You okay to sit up?”

Speaking of astounding….

Cael sat up, and smiled at Ash. “Thank you, Ash. I really appreciate it.” He carefully moved aside his blankets so he could sit up. Ash placed the tray over his lap, and kissed his head.

“Anything for you, sweetheart, you know that. Oh, and Cal dropped off some of his mom’s pecan pie and a tub of whip cream.” Ash shrugged.

Cael’s heart swelled, and as Ash got under the covers beside him, wrapping him up just enough to keep him warm while he ate his chicken soup. Cael couldn’t be happier.


Copyright © 2017 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press. 


THIRDS Thursday is on hiatus for the month of February for the release of Thick & Thin and returns March 2nd! 

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