Today I am so pleased to welcome Jayce Ellis to Joyfully Jay. Jayce has come to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, Jeremiah. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Jay, thanks so much for having me here and helping me celebrate the release of my first full-length novel, JEREMIAH. This is the first in the High Rise series, about living in loving in the DMV (which does not mean Department of Motor Vehicles, but rather DC, Maryland, and Virginia). Jeremiah is the embodiment of the guy who abhors change, and he runs head-first into Collin, for whom indecision has been the word of the year for…like, ever. And since they get off to a bit of a rough start, getting past those initial impressions takes a bit of time. Good thing they’re hot for each other. 😉
“Jeremiah, can I talk to you?”
He didn’t break stride, not even for a beat. I quickened my step to catch up before stopping a few feet away.
He paused, like he was considering it, and took another step. Then he turned, his jaw so tight I could see the muscle twitch, his shoulders squared off, fingers flexing at his side. Not anger. More like tightly held control. And why was I persisting? To prove I wasn’t the scaredy-cat I’d been the first time?
“What is it?” His voice held none of the warmth from last week, none of the kindness he’d given Ryan.
I gulped. “I just—thank you for helping my friend.”
“It’s my job.”
“Tonight, maybe, but not this weekend it wasn’t.”
He lifted his shoulder, like it wasn’t a big deal. Like anyone would have done the same. They wouldn’t, and I knew it. And he knew it.
I took another step. “I’m sorry for blowing you off before.”
That stopped me. The single-word question rolled off his lips so easily. Why. Why was I sorry? Because I’d been immediately attracted to him, or because I thought, for a split second before I screwed it up, that he might reciprocate it, and the idea scared me shitless?
Some of the above? All of the above? Another reason entirely?
He kept talking. “Look, don’t trip. It’s late, your boy’s going to be here for a minute, and I’ve got to go.”
But he didn’t move. So I took another step. He looked up, away from me for the first time, scanning the parking lot before resettling his attention. I closed the gap between us, until we were at the cusp of personal boundaries.
“I want to thank you,” I said. And holy hell, what the fuck was I doing?
Jeremiah’s brow shot up. “What does that mean?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. Coffee, dinner, or…” I didn’t know how to finish that. The hell you say. You know exactly how to finish that.
Jeremiah took me in, surveyed the lot again before he finally took a step, eviscerating the space between us in one move. “Or what?”
I jutted my chin up and stared him in the eye. “Whatever you want.” Blood pulsed through my veins. Jesus hell, what was I doing?
He smiled, a slow, boxers-dropping smile, and I swallowed a moan that threatened to burst free. “You offering to thank me with sex, baby?”
I gulped. “I mean, if that’s what you want.” My voice sounded breathy, like it belonged to someone else. Someone stronger, someone unashamed to admit what he wanted.
Jeremiah straightened and looked behind him, and I remembered he wasn’t alone. His partner was around here somewhere, but for the life of me I couldn’t see the ambulance. I didn’t know if that would stop me if he wanted me. I didn’t know if anything would stop me if he wanted me.
Jeremiah turned back, then trailed a long finger against my jawline, bringing me imperceptibly closer to him. I leaned into his touch, knowing already that it wouldn’t be enough. Nothing but everything would be enough. Heat radiated from him and I was desperate for more.
“Goddamn, you’re beautiful,” he whispered in my ear, his breath ghosting across my skin. I felt him even after he pulled away.
“Th-thank you.” Still breathy, but with a pounding heart and a painfully hard cock to match.
His lips wisped across my ear. “But maybes and if yous aren’t yeses, and that’s the only sex I get down with. Besides,” he said, pulling away and walking backward to the alley next to the side of the entrance, “I don’t know your name and I’m sure your mans is waiting for you.”
He turned away, and my false bravado collapsed with it. I watched his back, the uncaring way he moved proving what shot I’d had was gone.
Jeremiah Stewart’s sexuality is no one’s business. Not that he’s hiding it. When—if—he finds the right one, he’ll absolutely introduce him to Mom. But a late-night brush with a sexy stranger in too much lip gloss has him rethinking nearly everything.
To Collin Galloway, direction is a four-letter word. Sure, he hates his job, he hates living with his parents and he really hates watching everyone move on without him. But he doesn’t know what he wants to do, long-term, and he won’t figure it out by thirsting over Jeremiah, the superhot, superintense paramedic who is suddenly everywhere Collin looks.
When Jeremiah’s faced with losing all he’s worked so hard to build, he reluctantly accepts Collin’s help. They’re both determined to stay professional…which works about as well as either would imagine. But Collin only does closets with clothes, and Jeremiah has to decide if he’s finally found the one worth bringing home to Mom.
Jayce Ellis has three loves: her husband and her two turtles. Hubby loves her back. The turtles she’s not so sure about, but they do love their sports (Bay Area teams FTW!). She still hasn’t figured out why she lives in Northern Virginia, where there’s weather, instead of California, where she’s from, and where it’s just…pretty. Jayce spends her days divorcing happily-married couples (or so she’s been told), and her nights talking maniacally to herself. Thankfully the recorder catches her rumblings and magically turns them into words on a screen. Painting nails is way easier when you don’t actually have to type, and with well over 600 polishes to get through, there’s a lot of painting going on.
Notwithstanding her no-good, very bad, horrible day job, Jayce seriously believes that true love conquers all. Even Maleficent said it. Sure, she was having an epic Mean Girls moment at the time, but she still said it. And she’s right. The only thing Jayce loves more than writing about true love conquering all, is hearing from readers who feel the same way.