Today I am so pleased to welcome Megan Derr to Joyfully Jay. Megan has come to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, Fighting For You. She has also brought along a tourwide giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Penli wanted very badly to get drunk. If he had to go one. More. Wretched hour of this tiresome dinner without the cushion of liquor, he might very well do something drastic, like burn his favorite sash. Which would be a travesty, since it was made of the finest silk and dyed the loveliest purple ombre with pink flowers.
Maybe he would simply use it to throttle Lord Tishasanti. Done properly, he could kill the odious bastard and still have the sash to wear to the homecoming fete everyone talked about ceaselessly. He hoped the poor bastard returning home to marry Tishasanti knew what he was in for and was up to the task.
He shared a surreptitious look with Shanna and then cast his attention back on his food, which was sumptuous and easily his favorite part of living in Morentia. Well, second favorite. His favorite part was the lack of family pressuring him to do what they wanted without ever once considering what he needed.
His gaze slipped briefly to Shanna again, who laughed at something Kallaar said and then smiled at him like he was the reason the sun rose every morning. Her gaze drifted briefly to the man against the wall, Kallaar’s bodyguard—now their bodyguard, and also their lover.
Threesomes were not something Penli had ever considered. He’d participated in one years ago, but the situation had been decidedly tepid and so he’d never bothered again. The happy trio at the far end of the table made him wonder if perhaps more experimentation was in order. Then again, he’d never managed to keep one lover for more than a matter of weeks, so he sincerely doubted he could manage to find two who wanted to build a life with him. Whatever his wishful thinking, life had made it clear he would always be alone in that respect. At least he had Shanna.
He poured more wine from the pitcher in front of him—a pale, dry and crisp wine he muchly admired. The few things he did miss from home were more than made up for in the food, drink, and clothes that Morentia provided. He had not been there since he was a young boy, fostered out for a few years to learn the language and customs. Though his parents had ever ignored his wishes, Penli had always tried to fulfill theirs.
But ignoring him when he was arrested by King Mercen under false charges—after Mercen ordered his arm broken—was a bit too much. He was not remotely sorry he had thrown everything away to side with Shanna. She had accepted him and loved him when everyone else was embarrassed by and for him. He would do anything for her, and she for him.
Still, it stung that the family he had always worked so hard for had abandoned him the one time he truly needed them. By now they must know where he was, for it was impossible to keep his presence in Morentia a secret, and still they said nothing. He could pretend it was because Mercen thwarted them, but the unfortunate truth was that he wouldn’t have to; Penli’s family had always been happy to be Mercen’s lapdogs. Now that he was no longer there to marry off to a prince that would prove useful to his family and Mercen, he may as well be dead to them.
Which was fine. Except for the fact that, save for those hours he got to spend with Shanna, he felt more alone than ever. He might have been laughed at and mocked back home, but he’d had power and skill enough where it mattered that no one dared snub him.
Here, despite his close friendship with Shanna, they either snubbed him for being a strange foreigner, or avoided him because of the mutual hatred between him and Tishasanti. A combination of pride and pure stubbornness kept him from doing or saying anything that would change the court’s mind. Let them think what they wanted. He would get through the banquets and the fetes and the outings and otherwise keep his skills sharp and bide his time. One day they would wind up with cream on their faces and then they’d see who laughed longest and loudest.
So he drank his wine and ate his food and conversed with the people around him, pushing and pushing until they stopped being stuffy and started chatting. Honestly, they were not going to burst into flame or otherwise suffer simply because Tishasanti hated his guts. Tishasanti didn’t care enough about any of them to make a fuss over who they talked to—unless it affected his income or reputation. And as to the few who didn’t know how to handle his florid manner or beautiful clothes: that was their problem, not his. He looked magnificent, and it was their loss if they couldn’t appreciate that.
All Penli wants to be is left alone. After nearly a decade of blood and violence, and a lifetime of enduring his cold, ambitious family, it’s almost a relief to be practically alone in the middle of a desert kingdom with no way to return home because of the warrant out for his arrest.
The very last thing he needs is to be consumed by a fit of honor and nobility—but he would much rather die than ever see the two sweet, intriguing men who cross his path forced apart, one to be thrown to the streets, the other to marry a malicious bully Penli has despised for years.
Though he means only to free them, having no desire to marry after barely escaping one unwanted marriage, with each passing day Penli fears the only thing more difficult than throwing his life away will be resisting the urge to build a new one with two men he barely knows.
Megan is a long time resident of LGBTQ fiction, and keeps herself busy reading, writing, and publishing it. She is often accused of fluff and nonsense. When she’s not involved in writing, she likes to cook, harass her cats, or watch movies. She loves to hear from readers, and can be found all over the internet.
One lucky winner on the tour will receive a $10.00 NineStar Press Gift Code! Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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Best wishes on the release of Fighting for You, Megan! Thanks for sharing the excerpt and for the giveaway chance.