Sunday, February 1, 2015

Top Seven Reasons Why Online Superbowl Parties Are Better For Writers

I do like watching football, but nope--not going anywhere today. Seems like everyone has someplace to be on Superbowl Sunday, but the glaring exception I've found is with writers I know.

But really, that makes a lot of sense to me...and here's why.

Top Seven Reasons Why Most Authors Would Rather Rock Online Superbowl Parties Instead of IRL Ones:

  • You always have a place to sit. This is a thing--I don't think I've ever found comfortable seating at a Superbowl party. You either end up standing by the food table the whole time while the outgoing people get prime recliner and couch positions, or you're squeezed in between people getting pummeled...and not in the good way.
  • Superbowl parties are really bad for food choices. Some people embrace it like they do Thanksgiving Day--hey, it's only one day a year! But for people who spend the majority of time on their ass, this isn't a selling point.
  • Day drinking makes it pretty impossible to write later that night, no matter how much coffee you drink when you get home. Trust me, I've tried.
  • You retain control of the remote. So if you want to fast forward, mute or rewind, it's all yours, baby.
  • Live tweeting your opinions on crazy stuff that happens or opinions on the commercials makes you engaged rather than antisocial.
  • You can work on your WIP in between plays. Multi-tasking at its finest. No one except a bookie can get away with being glued to a laptop during real life Superbowl parties.
And last but not least:
  • The variety of photo coverage on social media is much more to your taste than on the television:
 THIS:






INSTEAD OF THIS:


Or worse, THIS:



Whatever you end up doing today, have a great time. And if you're at loose ends, I'll be partying on my laptop with TA Chase. Message us! :)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

New Reader Newsletter and $25 Gift Card Giveaway!


You still have time to sign up for my new reader newsletter before I send out the very first one! :)

I'm FINALLY doing something I've planned for a long time--starting a reader newsletter. It seems like it's increasingly hard to know who is seeing my updates and news on social media, so I thought a monthly email would be more of a sure thing for my readers. :)

If you would like me to add you to my subscription list, either leave your email address in a comment below or send it to me at devonrhodes at hotmail dot com, and I'll be sending the first newsletter out very soon!

As a special treat for my readers, in that first newsletter will be instructions on how to enter to win a $25 gift card to either Amazon or ARe! Subscribe now so you can be part of the giveaway. :)

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Look Forward to 2015: My Coming Soons and To Be Writtens!


I did my look back at 2014 earlier this week, so how about a look ahead at 2015?

I have two books scheduled to come out early this year. The first is a sequel to A Ring and A Promise, titled A Ring and A Vow. It will first release in the Semper Fidelis anthology this month, then late spring it will come out as a single. Here are the covers and the blurb:



Every promise must someday be fulfilled, and the best way Owen knows how to reward Cary’s faith is with a vow.

It’s been nearly five years since Owen went down on one knee with his Academy ring and promised Cary he’d someday do it for real. With Cary being a Naval aviator and Owen a Marine officer serving in Iraq, they’re rarely on the same continent, let alone together.

About time for them to fill out paperwork to re-up, Owen realizes that if they were married, they’d have a much better chance of being stationed nearby. But time is not on their side so he’s forced to compromise on his proposal in order to make it work.

Cary has been waiting for Owen for years—there was no chance he’d ever say anything but yes. Owen is coming home at last, and wants to make a home with him. However, between the chronic nightmares he’s been fighting and the ever more complicated wedding plans, the next month could be anything but a dream. 

********

I also expanded my very first story from years ago, Remarkable Restraint, from a short story to a novel and I'm re-releasing it next month as the first book in a new series called Grad School Guys.


 When Justin gets fed up with his best friend Chaz avoiding him, he decides it’s well worth sacrificing his favorite T-shirt to try to save their relationship.

Chaz is finding it impossible to hide his attraction for his straight roommate, so he tries avoiding Justin until he leaves for the summer. He just has to get through a few more days, then he’ll be home free—at least until Justin comes back in a couple of months. Still, he firmly believes that space between them is the best answer for now.

But Justin is not a man to be ignored. He’s known Chaz for almost a decade, and can tell when something is weighing on his mind. And being shut out is not acceptable, especially just when he’s finally ready to commit to more than friendship. When closer than usual proximity just before his trip to Central America turns up the heat between them, he takes matters into his own hands by restraining Chaz’s hands—and feet—until he gets some answers.

The results are explosive and more than either could have dreamt, but the abrupt shift in their relationship is almost impossible to reconcile in the short time they have left together. It will take remarkable restraint from both to find a way to weather the separation, to stay friends…and to grow into something more.
 


********



I've already worked out my writing schedule for the year. It took some time consulting with TA Chase, my frequent co-author, and looking at my Ideas list while figuring out how many words I can comfortably commit to writing each week. Here are the books that I plan to get written:
  • Two MF books in a new series (tentatively called Women of the World) set in the Int'l Men of Sports world, which we'll write under our het pen names, Stacey Lynn Rhodes and Tiffany Aaron. We've created some great female characters while writing that series, so we decided to give a few of them their own stories. The first two books will be Caroline (from Blindsided) and Chelsea (from Burning Up the Ice).
  • TA and I have also planned out a brand new MM fantasy series and want to get the first two novels done this year.
  • I showed you Remarkable Restraint in the Grad School Guys series above. So I'll be writing at least the next three books in the ongoing series.
  • And of course, we'll be doing another Unconventional anthology this year before GRL. This year we'll be writing a paranormal anth with all the original writers back once again (and yes, that includes Carol Lynne!).
That may sound like a lot, but since many of them are co-written, I have a little more free time. Some other books on my short list (I may or may not get to all of these!):

********

Any thoughts on the list? Any you'd hoped to see that aren't on it, or one you want first? I'd love to hear some feedback to motivate me, and who knows? Your comment might push your choice to the top of the list!  xoxo

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My 2014 Month by Month--A Look Back in Photos


2015 is quickly coming this way--19 hours and counting in this time zone--so here is a short peek back at 2014 as it was in my world.


January

I kicked off the New Year working hard on multiple writing projects. Winter is always a productive time of year for me, writing-wise. Also took a last-minute, surprise family trip to Oahu and lolled around on the beach.


I was also surprised to have my picture in the RWA magazine I got that month...twice!! :)





February


I turned 40-something and basically watched the Winter Olympics all month. :)

Speaking of which, I also finished and had a book come out with TA Chase, our Canada, curler/hockey player, International Men of Sports book, Burning Up the Ice.



March

Decided to drive south on spring break to So Cal seeking warmth, and enjoyed the beach, Disneyland and spending time with the girls. <3



In time for Carnivale down in Rio, we released Serving Love in Carnival, our Brazil book about a carnival dancer and a pro beach volleyball player.



April

I got to show off my city to the Dreamspinner gang when they held their annual authors retreat here in Portland. Had a fab time seeing everyone,  though it was a bit weird going from checking on the kids to people from my "other life" each day. :) Spent quality time with a lot of people I rarely see, including Paul Richmond.



May

Of course, May is RT month and this year it was in New Orleans! I went down a bit early and did some sightseeing with TA before the conference.

 


In May, we lost a friend and fellow dance mom to breast cancer, and it hit me harder than I ever imagined. She left behind two young teenaged girls. Not much to say on that except:




June

School's out for summer! Which means my whole month getting to that point is taken up with end-of-the-year activity after activity. It's amazing I get anything done. But thanks to the organizational efforts of Anne Tenino, I went to my first Pride and shared a booth with other gay romance authors in the region.



TA and I had a release in time for the Formula One race in Monaco, A Grand Prix Romance.


It was after Pride that I decided to cut off my hair again and donate it to charity, in honor of Karen's memory. This was my fifth time donating hair: over the course of fifteen years I've donated my height in hair--63"!!

 

July

Road trip! I always take the girls back to the Midwest to see extended family in July, and we always drive from Oregon. It's over 1600 miles each way to our destinations of SD and NE, so it's a true road trip and a time that I really get to focus on the girls. :)




August

We've really enjoyed putting out the GRL Unconventional anthologies, and this year we took a slightly different approach, setting our stories in an alternate reality Chicago where mobs rule the city.


September

Back to school and September is also my treat to myself--a trip to Seattle to spend time with Rick and Bruce (and Lily) while I go to GRNW. Love them!





October

GRL month! Before that, though--literally a day before--I got in a car accident that tried to put a damper on my trip, but I wouldn't let it! Always so great to spend time with the tribe, especially TA and Jared.



We also had a release that week, our tennis story, An Ace in the Tiebreak. 

 


In October, we ended up adopting the kitty we'd found and sheltered for a few days last fall. Ron turned out to belong to neighbors down the street, but he obviously liked us because he'd come back and hang out here. Finally, they offered him to us since he seemed happier here, and we were happy to accept. :)



November

I always come back from GRL renewed and ready to write. This year, in addition to that fire, while I was at GRL, I met with my bosses and they offered me a new job, which I was thrilled to take on. So, most of November was transitioning between jobs and getting to know my new roles.

I had a lot to be thankful for this year. <3
December

The holidays are always fun with the girls, and this year was no exception.




 


So as the year winds to a close, I thought I'd take one thoughtful look back before focusing on 2015. It was a meaningful exercise for me to look back over 2014, and I hope you enjoyed seeing a little of it from my point of view.

See you in 2015!! Happy New Year!!



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Interview With One of the Mockettes from The Twelve Gays of Christmas video

Here I'm reprising my annual interview with Brad and The Twelve Gays of Christmas video, aka the  Mockettes! (**I did this interview two years ago and it's unedited as originally given, so references to time are two years out of date. :) )

You've seen it, you love it! It's become a holiday icon. And today, I'm actually interviewing one of the flexible men making your holiday merry!






If you been a follower of my blog, you've seen my annual Twelve Gays of Christmas post, or maybe you've watched it elsewhere around the internet. This year, I wanted to do something a bit different, so I'm very excited to share that I have my very dear friend, Brad--one of the original Mockettes!--here on my blog with me today!

Hi, Brad. Kiss-kiss. So glad to have you!

Thanks, Devon, for asking me to be a part of your blog!


Thanks for indulging me! :) Can you tell us a little bit about how this routine came to happen?

I can't believe it was 6 years ago that the chorus boys of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular performed 12 gays of Christmas.

It all came about one day when we were nearing the end of our run of the show. That year the Rockettes had learned a new number called 12 Days of Christmas. It felt like it went on for 12 days. So that year the girls would comment on how hard the dance was, but loved performing it. The chorus boys would be backstage getting ready for the next number watching them and, of course, trying to do the dance moves. I'm sure the last thing the Rockettes wanted was a bunch of dancing boys backstage doing a kickline:)

Anyways, one day one of the boys decided we should surprise the girls with our version of the 12 Days of Christmas. We would present it to them on our last show day. So, in between shows, we would go up to the rehearsal hall at Radio City and put together 12 Gays of Christmas.

I must've watched this video about 100 times, and I smile every time I do. Describe for the nice people what your outfit is like so they can gawk at you when they watch it. ;)

I was in a white t shirt and blue pants [note from Dev: and a long scarf]. I'm the guy on the left in the beginning.


Who did the choreography?

Drew Franklin did the choreography and staging.

It was fabulous! What was it like being a part of the Rockettes show?

Being a part of  the Radio City Christmas show is an amazing experience. It  is one of the hardest productions I have ever been apart of. We would have 2 to 4 shows in a day. Every move had to be perfect and performed like it was opening night. We had dance captains and directors watching every show letting you know if you didn't hit your mark. 

There is nothing like being on that stage having the orchestra playing the overture and up goes the curtain. The energy is amazing and I will never forget it.

One of my favorite memories is when my family came to NY to see the show. Now, I have been performing and in the business for a long time and my family always came out to support the shows that I was in. However, I came out to meet my family and here is my dad who grew up in a small town in Oregon (kinda a country boy) sitting there in the theatre with a tear in his eye giving me a big hug and saying congrats.

I don't know why that memory sticks with me but I love it!!

That's so sweet. No wonder that stick with you. And two to four shows a day! Wow! Can you describe a typical day during the run of the show?

Oh a typical day. Well, we would get there about an hour before the show. Go to the dressing room to check in. Then go up to the green room and warm up, watch some TV and, of course, gossip about drama with in the cast. :) Just kidding--we always got along. :) Then we would have notes at half hour, start to put on makeup and get into our first costume. We would always push it to last second to get our costumes on. Our wardrobe dresser would get so anxious with the boys. "You better not be late." Then we would run to the stage hit our mark and up goes the curtain.

During the show we would be focused...however I was kinda known for putting on a side performances in between numbers.

After the show, we would be tired so we would get food and rest to start it all up again. 

That doesn't surprise me in the least that you'd be making a side-show of yourself. :)



Okay, so there are Twelve Gays. What number is yours and why? LOL!

My favorite number would be 2. I don't know why. I love the number 2!

What was your favorite move? Most difficult?
Well, the most difficult would be the jump splits. I think I'm still recovering 6 years later! My favorite move would have to be the Fosse walk, with our arms swaying from side to side while we walk.

Back to the serious questions. Tell the truth: Did you date anyone in the show? And were they cute, hot, fun, or sweet? 

Cute, hot, fun AND sweet--yes!!!! There nothing like being a chorus dancer and being gay. :)
Did I date anyone? Well, let's just say I think he is the one I let get away.

Aww. :( So, are you still in touch with any of the cast members?
I'm still in touch with the cast. Some of them are my very close friends. It is hard because we all have moved on. Some still performing in the show others, like myself, retired and started something new.
There had been talk about getting the boys back together for a reunion for the Gypsy Awards in NY. We couldn't get our schedules together. I think we are hoping for next year.

What do you think about this being a viral video so many years later?
I love it that it became something that people enjoy. I didn't even know it went viral until you mentioned it to me a few years ago. :)



You had an amazing career in New York! Tell us about what you moved on to after this show wrapped.
After the show was done, I had decided to make a change in my life. I was ready to slow down and move closer to family. I had a couple of projects to be apart of, but once I finished those, I moved back to Portland. I now direct a dance academy in Oregon.

Are you single?

Yes, single. :(


Hear that? What's wrong with you guys? Okay, Brad, so indulge us and describe your dream date for us. :)

LOL, my dream date? Well, a guy who has a passion for something, who isn't afraid to do a heel kick once and a while:)



Look at that blush! Okay, I'll let you off the hook for now. Thank you so much for coming on and making this video that much more enjoyable for us!! *air kisses*

And to all my readers, thank you for stopping by! If you have any follow-up questions for Brad, just leave them in the comments and I'll do my best to get them answered for you!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Wow! Three Men of Sports books are Finalists in the Rainbow Awards!


Very excited that THREE International Men of Sports books with TA Chase have been announced as Finalists in the 2014 Rainbow Awards! :) All are in the Gay Contemporary Romance category, and we're in pretty heady company there...so, as the joke goes, it's just a thrill to have been nominated. :)

Here they are!


Blindsided (our Australia book where lonely rugby player meets outgoing lifeguard):

When Liam is transferred to Melbourne, he’s blindsided by his growing feelings for the hottest lifeguard on the beach. Luckily Matty knows mouth-to-mouth…

How did alone turn into lonely? Rugby player Liam Holmes is forced to ponder that when he’s transferred from Canberra to Melbourne, away from his cousin and all that’s familiar. It’s part of playing pro, adjusting to a new team and teammates, but Liam finds himself searching for something more than his career.

Matty loves the beach and being a lifeguard is all he’s ever wanted to do. He notices the new hottie at the beach right away and wonders what his story is. When he encounters him at the pub, he takes the reserved league player under his wing and into his group of mates, and they soon become fast friends.

Friends isn’t all they want to stay, however. And once they give in to their attraction, the two are blindsided by the emotions that come with their deepening relationship. Can two men without any experience at relationships both navigate their way to steady ground?


Serving Love At Carnival (our Brazil book where a pro beach volleyball player meet a carnival dancer):

Anything goes during Carnival, and two men are about to discover just how hot the nights can get in Rio.

A long-time member of a samba school, Pablo knows that Carnival in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro is always hot, and the tall, sexy man he hooks up with during the festivities is even hotter. He usually doesn’t go back for repeats, but something about Diego has him working harder than he ever has to try to meet up again.

Diego travels all over the world on the pro beach volleyball tour, but has found that the sexiest man he’s ever met lives right there in Rio. After a few false starts, they finally seem to hit a groove, but as time goes on, ghosts from Pablo’s past begin to affect their present.

It’s tough being the partner of a professional athlete, competing with travel, fans and training for their limited time. Pablo’s always been let down by people who found it easy to leave him behind. Is he prepared to accept what Diego can offer?


A Grand Prix Romance (our Monaco story involving a Formula One driver and a soccer goalie):

Two men who share a passion for speed find out what can happen if they slow down enough for a Grand romance.

Paolo’s more than just a football player—he plays at life. But underneath the party boy image, he’s well aware that his career is stagnating and a big move might be needed. Before anything like that can be decided, though, he’s going to enjoy his annual trip to Monte Carlo for the Grand Prix.

The only thing Johann loves more than his Formula One racing is gambling in the glittering atmosphere of Monaco. This year, he finds that high stakes applies to more than just cards—his heart is going all in and if he bets it all and loses, it could cost him everything.

Reader Advisory: This books contains characters from At First Touch but can be enjoyed as a standalone.

***************

You can find excerpts and more information on the series at Totally Bound and on our websites. :)

Congratulations to all of the other Finalists, who are listed HERE, and I'm very proud to be involved with the wonderful Elisa Rolle's annual awards that do so much to support LGBT charities.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Reintroducing Paolo...




Paolo Lancaster was a character we first introduced in At First Touch, the Germany Football (Soccer) story in the International Men of Sports series with TA Chase. Since we work together on our books, it's really helpful (and damn near required!) for us to find photos of the characters as we envision them in our heads to help out the other author. It was pretty easy for me to choose a real life person (in this case Thyago Alves) who fit my mental image of our highly paid, partying, prima donna of a goalie.


Here's an excerpt from At First Touch where he begins to grow from a two-dimensional background character into a secondary character who ended up needing his own book:


“King’s right, Paddy. You gotta watch what you say. Kids out there look up to you and when they hear you say shit like that, they think it’s okay for them to say it.” Paolo rested his hand on Padraig’s shoulder. “Then those kids treat other kids like that. It’s a vicious cycle, man, and we have to figure out how to break it.”

Blinking, Ewansiha wondered where this Paolo had come from and who had switched them. Whatever Paolo’s opinions had been before this, the man had never expressed them, and he was Padraig’s best friend, so he should’ve been the one to say something earlier. 

“But why would they think that?” Padraig looked puzzled. “And anyway, why shouldn’t I speak up when I think something’s wrong?”

“Because the way you do it encourages anger and hatred against people who aren’t any different from you.” Paolo took a deep breath then said, “If I told you I was gay, would it change how I play football? Would it change how you think of me, and what you thought you knew about me?”

Shocked silence reigned while Padraig’s eyes widened. Ewansiha saw him pale. 

“Are you?” Padraig whispered, and only Paolo and Ewansiha heard his question.

Paolo licked his lips, then shot Ewansiha a quick glance before he smiled slightly. “Nah, but see? My question got you thinking, didn’t it, Paddy? That’s all I’m asking at the moment. Just think before you speak.”



Right now we're working on A Grand Prix Romance, in which Paolo heads to Monaco at the end of the season for the Grand Prix. He loves high performance cars and all of the glitzy party atmosphere that goes on in Monaco, both at the casinos and having to do with the race. But he's needing the annual trip more than usual this year because he's beginning to wonder what the point of his current lifestyle is.


********
 
Paolo glanced at his phone and grinned before answering in German, “Hey, kid.” He’d been about to get out of his car but settled back into the Ferrari’s driver seat to be comfortable for the conversation.


The animated voice of Xav, his teammates’ teenage foster son, came across the line. “Oh my God, I just read online that you got called up to the national team. What does that mean? Are you moving? I didn’t even get to see your last game with our team--”

At the growing disappointment in Xav’s voice, Paolo cut in and soothed, “Whoa, whoa. Slow down. It wasn’t my last game here. It’s pretty common for players to get called up to fill a hole for a game or two, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to be a permanent member.” Not unless the fantastic goalkeeper Germany had either got injured or retired--unlikely to happen anytime soon, maybe not even in his career since they were the same age. He inhaled to try to rid himself of the familiar and gnawing sense of futility, that he’d reached the pinnacle of his career without any future advancement in sight...unless of course he moved to a different country and started over.  

“Oh. Does that mean you aren’t going to be on the World Cup team then?”

“No.” He strove to keep the bitterness out of his voice. The kid didn’t deserve his drama. “Not this time.” And with four years between World Cups, he’d be lucky to still be playing for two more, much less make it onto the German national team’s roster.

“Huh.” Xav sounded deflated. “I’m not sure if I’m happy or disappointed.”

Paolo had to smile. Nothing like a young person to lay it all out there and keep things in perspective. “Yeah, I know what you mean.”

“Okay, well, I know you’re probably late to practice as usual, so I won’t keep you.”

“Brat.” It was true, though, so Paolo couldn’t be mad about the tease. “I’m already at the stadium.” Technically. He was in the parking lot. “Don’t worry. You’ll be seeing plenty of me. Can’t get rid of me that easy.”

They said their goodbyes then Paolo reluctantly got out of his beloved sports car--the latest in a long line of favorite high performance cars. His previous Ferrari had been totalled by a one-week stand who had taken it for a joy ride while Paolo had slept off the late nights and too much alcohol. Thankfully the woman hadn’t been injured, but his baby’s frame had been irreparably damaged, so he’d been forced to replace her--the car, not the woman.

********


Sergio rose and walked with Paolo to the door to the corridor leading towards the field. “I…” He cleared his throat, and Paolo glanced down at the usually self-assured trainer in surprise.

“What is it?”

Sergio evidently changed his mind about what he’d been about to say because his expression went from ill-at-ease to his usual humor. “It’s time you stopped with the Greta Garbo ‘I vant to be alone’ bit. We’ve missed seeing you at Lukas’. Maybe you could stop by sometime. Like tonight.” 

Paolo knew a command when he heard one. He supposed he was just lucky they’d let him get away with it this long. “Fine,” he sighed. “Gotta go or practice will be over before I get there.”

“Go on then.” Sergio patted his ass then headed to his office. 

Paolo just shook his head and jogged out to the field. Lukas and King each gave him a wave from across the pitch as he ran towards the far goal. He glanced at Paddy, but no change there. He was doing a great job of pretending Paolo didn’t exist.

While he warmed up, he put his game face on and pretended he didn’t care. The season would be over soon and he’d be heading away from everything and everyone to indulge in his favorite treat--Monaco during the Grand Prix. The high performance machines, casinos, glitz and glamor, constant parties. He was ready to leave behind the disappointing stagnation of his life here and lose himself in the hedonism that combined everything he loved. Maybe he’d even get his libido back and find someone to have a holiday ‘romance’ with.

Paolo put his gloves on and clapped them together several times, giving the player facing him a cocky nod. “Bring it!” he shouted. Time to do what they paid him for.







Here's hoping Paolo finds some answers--or at least a little bit of fun--in Monaco... I have a feeling he will. :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

WIP Excerpt--Untitled (with Andy from RR and Jesse from Silver and Gold)

Happy New Year! Going to be better about posting--it's a resolution. *nods*

Here is a short scene I put together in November for Amber's birthday blog party, and it got a really nice response, so I'm planning to write the book this year. On her blog I had challenged her readers to name what story Andy is from, and eventually someone remembered him as Chaz' best friend and neighbor from Remarkable Restraint.

Meanwhile, Blue is Jesse, the old flame from Silver and Gold, and Red and White are his twin sons who he's moving in to their first off-campus apartment.

Enjoy!

********

“Triplets? Oh, happy birthday to me,” Andy breathed as he pressed his eye so closely to the peephole blinking became a problem, his hands and chest flat against the door.

He tried every possible angle and even switched eyes to try to get the best close-up view of the activity outside his front door, growing increasingly frustrated with his inability to confirm his suspicion. But no way was he going to go out and have their first impression of him be at his least primped.

The fish-eyed view only allowed Andy to see one blurry face at a time, but the three tall, jeans-clad, yummy men hauling furniture and boxes into his friend’s old apartment looked enough alike that the only difference Andy could see was their shirt color. And their hairstyles. All were the proverbial tall, dark, and handsome with identical builds and height. But the guy in the tight, white tee had his hair loose, just brushing the tops of his broad shoulders; the man with the red tee might have the same length as his brother, but he wore it tied back at the nape of his corded neck; and the beauty in marine blue wore his in a short, conservative cut.

Sweat freely rolled down their tanned faces and necks, darkening their shirts at the typical places, their muscles flexed and bunched, passing by too quickly as they moved in and out of Andy’s limited view. He could hear deep masculine voices alternately griping and teasing as they worked together with easy familiarity. At one point, they had a huge leather sofa stuck halfway in the door at a funny angle, with Mr Red Hot yelling at Tight-White as they argued about whether to pull it out or push it in to loosen it.

Muffled expletives and names were flying as Blue Boy came up the stairs to the landing and said something in a low, authoritative tone which quieted the other two down in a hurry. Andy squinted and looked more closely as a blurry Blue lingered obligingly in his line of sight. Not triplets then. Probably an older brother or something. The way he carried himself bespoke a maturity that was beyond college-aged. Just as well. College-aged was getting a bit young for him.

He bent over to set down a large box, and on tip-toe, Andy almost killed himself craning up and around trying to see his ass, which was tantalizingly out of focus at the bottom of the peephole. He grimaced as he rotated his neck, finally noticing that he was painfully stiff, and not just his cock at this point.

“Is this really the impression you want to make on your new neighbors? Settle down, boys.”
Looking out in time to see Blue gesturing at his door, Andy revised his mental estimation of the man’s age up another half-decade or so, now into his thirties. Much older brother then. Or cousin? Uncle? This was getting better and better. Older guys knew what they were doing.

He flattened himself against the door, eye on Mr Blue, and playfully humped the door as he watched the three work to pull the couch back out and set it down on the landing. Fuck, it’d been a long time since he’d gotten laid. Almost a month. Maybe he’d get lucky and one–or more–of these three would be gay.  Or curious. Yeah, curious was fine with him.

At a low command from the oldest, Tight-White clambered down the stairs and reappeared a minute later lugging a cooler, joining the other two seated on the couch.

Diet Coke break, sweaty boys. C’mon, someone lose a shirt already.

He almost laughed out loud as right on cue, Red Hot pulled his shirt over his head and used it to mop his face and neck while Blue took charge of distributing drinks.

Wow.

Finally motionless for the first time in the hour he’d been watching, Andy was finally able to appreciate the three. Good genes in this group, and they were definitely related. White and Red had to be twins, they were indistinguishable. And Blue was a slightly older carbon copy. He stifled a snort as it hit him.

Red, white, and blue, how patriotic. Making me salute. Oh yeah.

Damn fine, and built like brick shithouses, all three. Andy was ogling Red’s ripped chest and abs and actively rubbing himself through his pants when his phone rang. He jumped as if someone could see him, yanking his hand away from his crotch and racking his not-so-funny bone against the doorjamb with a loud thunk.

“Shit!” That fucking hurt. Andy struggled to get his cell out of the front pocket of his tight designer jeans, made even tighter by his star-spangled erection. Finally succeeding, he looked at the display and chanced a peek out the peephole again and all three men were staring right at him. Or rather, at his door.

“Hey,” he whispered, caught in the invisible stare-down with the trio.

“Andy?” His best friend Chaz sounded wary. “Why are you whispering? I didn’t interrupt anything, did I?”

“Nope, just checking out the new neighbors.”

Blue looked away first, stretching his arms up over his head before rummaging through the cooler.

“And you’re whispering because…”

“No reason, babe.” Andy watched as the ringleader pulled out a handful of ice and started crunching it a cube at a time. The twins both lunged for the cooler at the same time, fighting for dominance before Red managed to shove his brother aside, grabbing his own handful of ice and shoving it down his brother’s tucked-in t-shirt.

“Hey!” Andy could hear White’s outraged yell clearly through the door.

“Well, you’ll have to tell us all about them at dinner tonight.”

“Dinner?” Andy echoed absently. The twins were wrestling in earnest, White laughing evilly as he took Red to the ground and thrusting a chunk of the freed ice from his shirt down his brother’s jeans, then sat on him, refusing to let him use his hands. Blue was laughing at their antics, and Andy was torn between watching the weirdly arousing fraternal wrestling and the breathtaking, laughing face of their sibling.

“Yes, you’re coming to dinner tonight.”

Andy stood up straight, abandoning his clandestine surveillance. “Wait a minute, since when?”

Chaz spoke gently. “Since we haven’t seen you since we moved. I miss you, we both do.” He sighed. “It’s your birthday, and I have a sneaking suspicion that you have no plans. You probably haven’t been out for weeks. Andy, you know…”

“Don’t go there, babe. And thanks. I’ll be over. You know me too well.”

They said their goodbyes then Andy took one last look out the peephole, before sighing and heading to get ready to actually join the real world, wondering if the boys would still be out there when he left for his command performance birthday dinner…