Today I am so pleased to welcome J.R. Gray to Joyfully Jay. Gray has come to share an exclusive excerpt from his latest release, Oasis. Please join me in giving him a big welcome!
The ocean lured me. It whispered lies, and I wanted to listen. Parts of me craved the lies it whispered. I wanted to run away from my life. From both our lives. As I stood gazing at the ocean, the breeze whipped around me and pulled me into a false sense of reality I tried to hold on to. The salty breeze burned my nostrils.
We could stay here, both abandon our obligations, but this wasn’t reality. We couldn’t hide out here forever, but I was dying to ask him. What if we both gave up our lives? Then neither one of us would resent the other for the price it cost. In theory.
Neither one of us could be idle though. We’d tear each other apart and then succumb to boredom. Maybe it was only as good as it was because we’d never spent more than a few days in each other’s company. The distance kept the need alive and burning in our veins. We very well could fizzle if we spend too much time together. Being outside of New Orleans was weird. I’d traveled plenty before settling down, but there would always be a piece of me in NOLA.
None of those thoughts stopped me from imagining what ifs. While Kai and Remi caught waves, I created lavish fantasies. These fantasies plotted to slowly kill my mind. And I didn’t stop at the small things, like waking up to him every day, I went bigger. Ideas of the kind of life I’d wanted with Masen. Something I’d never thought I deserved but found with him. A life.
I’d been denied my happily ever after once before and fear cut through my veins like ice to my stability. The universe would deny me again. I felt it coming. Did I deserve such petty and petulant actions? Was He such a vengeful God?
I wanted for once to be insignificant. I wanted to wake up and drink coffee and be stressed about something as silly as my dog, or coworkers. I wanted to wake up here. I wanted to breathe Remi in at every opportunity.
I’d squandered my last life by working late and taking for granted what I had. Thinking it would be there forever. This was my penance. Happiness always out of reach.
“This shit is starting to burn.” Remi walked up, with his skin golden. The sun looked good on him.
“I told you not to swim with a fresh gunshot wound.”
Kai snickered. “He’s right. You’re insane.”
“What do you two expect me to do? Sit inside all day?”
“And recover like a normal person? What an idea,” I replied, flat.
“I’ve taken enough time, and since I have to hide out, I’m going to enjoy myself.” Remi knocked his shoulder into mine as he walked past.
“You could do with a little more downtime before you have to assume the position to get fucked by all of Vegas,” Kai said.
“See, Kai agrees with me.”
“Letting you two become friends was a mistake.” Remi slipped inside and went to the stairs.
I followed behind him but didn’t help. He struggled and pride wouldn’t let him stop. The surfing was too much.
“I’m going to go see Kyle,” Kai said before going into his room.
Remi’s mask slipped and I could see the agony Kai leaving caused him. I stroked my fingers up his spine.
“It will be nice to have some alone time with you.”
His mood lifted. “How many of your buttons am I going to have to push to get you to beat me?”
“It’s not happening. Your body can’t take any more stress.”
“You hate me,” Remi said entering our en-suite.
“Yes, wanting you to heal so we can both return to our lives means I hate you.”
He pushed off his shorts. I drank him in, not showing a drop of emotion. His nostrils flared but he said nothing.
“Aren’t you going to shower?” I prompted.
He scowled at me and I felt it all the way to my cock.
“If you insist.”
“I wouldn’t want you to get into bed sandy,” I said like it was nothing.
“I’ll shower if you’re going to join me.”
“It probably wouldn’t be productive if I did.”
“And why is that?” he said through his teeth.
“Because I’m sure the moment I get in there your focus won’t be on getting clean.”
His eyes narrowed.
“So filled with emotion these past two weeks,” I said.
“I can do both.” His eyes were like windows to his thoughts now, they showed me what he’d hidden fiercely before.
We’d both changed with the pain.
“I’m in doubt.”
He dropped to his knees and then to all fours on the hard tiles. I would be lying if I claimed I wasn’t rock hard as he winced. The way his muscles retracted and pulled in pain as he crawled across the expanse of white marble was lovely. He was giving me this gift in the form of knees on stone, offering his pain on a silver platter. He struggled to get back to his knees when he was at my feet. I kept my hands at my sides playing the part. He pressed his face into my groin and nuzzled. My resolve broke. I slid my fingers into his hair and held him there. He sighed with pleasure, and my skin heated.
“You need to heal.” The words stuck in my throat.
“I need my mind clear more than I need my body healed.”
I yanked him by the hair so I could look into his eyes. “Please don’t ask me to do you harm.”
“I’m asking for you to give me what I need mentally to get out of my head before I have to do this thing.”
“Before you have to return, you mean?”
“Yes.” His hot breath blew over my dick and made it ache.
“How easily you do this to me.”
“At least something in my life is easy.” He glanced up and I drank him in.
“Nothing in our lives will ever be easy.” The fates had taught me as much long ago. It was time we accepted it.
“Why can’t they be?”
The images of us staying here returned to my mind, and lord I wished they could be.
“Because of choices we both made. You’re not willing to walk away from any of this, and neither am I.” Or was I? But I couldn’t say the words out loud. I couldn’t ask him to walk away from everything.
“You’re right.” There was sadness laced in his words but I didn’t press. I couldn’t carry his pain and mine at that moment.
“Hurt me,” he begged. “I can’t spend another minute in my head.”
His words rang out in my soul, echoing through my bones.
“Get in the shower,” I said against my better judgment.
We both needed this, I told myself. He crawled to the shower, that bastard. If I was having any second thoughts, the image of him doing what I’d asked in an entirely submissive manner drove them out of my head.
He didn’t hesitate in stripping off his clothes before climbing in. It wasn’t anywhere close to our usual play area, but we were no longer the people we’d been there. I followed him, my feet moving of their own mind. How could I ever stay away from him?
I grabbed a belt and a tie from the closet before following.
“Clothes?” he asked, getting to his feet to stand in the water.
“It’s shorts and a tank. You think they can’t get wet?”
“I want your skin.” The jade in his eyes dark in the low light. Need etched in the strain of his tendons.
“You have to earn my skin.”
He grabbed my hip and hauled me under the water.
“That’s going to cost you.”
He pressed himself against me. “I’m counting on it.”
I wrapped the belt around his neck and tightened it. His back arched and his neck relaxed, long and open. Like he was breathing for the first time since it happened. I was drunk off the power. This simple gift I could give him. I tied his hands behind his back and tension bled out between us. He slumped forward resting his face in the crook of my neck.
I trailed my fingers down his spine, warm water dripping off of us, holding him there. I cinched the belt tighter, an eighth of an inch at a time. Not enough to cut off his blood supply, but enough to assert the control he wanted. It was about pressure, not suffocation. A reminder who he belonged to. If I wanted to cut off his oxygen, I’d use my hand, a much safer way if there was a safe way to hold someone’s life in your hands.
“Please.” Anger edged into his voice.
I ignored him. “On your knees.”
He dropped and I kept the slack of the belt in my hand. He tried to pull against it to make it tighter, but I dropped it. He begged me with his eyes and I slapped him. A whimper left his lips but the smile betrayed his pain.
I opened the button on my shorts and shoved them down low enough to reveal my hard on and nothing else. His gaze met mine again.
But the image of him dripping wet with the belt around his throat did more harm than good. It planted seeds in my brain. Images and feelings. As I slid a finger between his skin and the belt, I knew this is how a collar would feel. The control I could wield with it, and the simplicity of the ownership visible to all.
It did things to me. Made me want things we’d never agreed to. I wanted him.
I skimmed the tip of my cock over his lips. “You want it?”
I pushed my head between his lips, taking hold of the belt again.
Steam curled around us as I took his mouth, lifting the scent of the ocean from his skin. Salt and sand and sex permeated my senses.
I forced myself deeper into his mouth holding him with a single finger in the makeshift collar. I was lost to him. More lost than I’d been to Masen and I didn’t know how much longer I could suffer through the distance when I wanted more.
I came with his name on my lips and he drank down every last drop of me.
He stumbled as he pushed to his feet and I caught him easily, stripping off the belt and tie around his wrists before lifting him into my arms.
“I don’t like all this carrying.”
“I don’t want you to slip. Who covers the floor of every room in the house in white marble?”
“Blame Kai for that.”
I grabbed a couple of towels on the way to the bedroom, laying one on the bed before setting him down. I ran another through his hair and then over his chest and arms.
“Shouldn’t I be the one drying you?” he asked.
“I’m allowed to take care of you,” I said, leaving him to do the rest as I returned to the en-suite to strip off my wet clothes, opting for sweats and another tee.
Remi was curled up naked on the white sheets. Everything was white. The palace of white, light and marble, contradictory to the rest of the black in both our lives.
I slipped into bed and pulled the comforter over us, collecting him in my arms. His hands worked their way under my shirt and I welcomed the contact.
“You don’t want to do it, do you?” I asked as we laid there basking in the afterglow coming down.
“What makes you think that?”
“It’s true, isn’t it?”
He didn’t answer.
“I thought so.”
“No, I don’t want to. No one wants to kill their father, but I will. I have to. It’s him or me. We can’t go on without one of us passing into the fade.”
I worshiped at the altar of pain, surviving on avoidance, physical to avoid the mental, anything to forget what I’d lost. When Remi walked through the door, I felt like I’d paid my price for the passage through hell and been granted a taste of Eden. Remi was my oasis and I was going to drown myself in him.
But life takes with no remorse and everything was a mirage. The past won’t stay dead and a cruel phantom comes to destroy our happiness. The more we need each other the further apart our lives drive us. I’m torn between my perfect past and the hope of an oasis, and either choice demands I cut out part of my soul.
Gray is a cynical Chicago native, who drinks coffee all day, barely sleeps, and is a little too fashion obsessed. He writes realistic and damaged characters because everyone deserves a happily ever after.
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