A snippet from my new book, The Angel’s Lounge:

Breck looked over and saw the water and the towels.

“I’ve already been baptized, Jean-Philippe, you can save your holy water. I’m beyond salvation.”

“No, you’re not, but you are beyond your expiration date. You’re funky, friend. Three days in a bed without airing you out has made you rancid. Time for a cleaning.”

Breck lifted the duvet and took a whiff.

“You may have something there. You’re not going to let me get up and showered?”

“Are you kidding? You’re half-drugged, weak and groggy and you don’t know what day it is. That’s all I need is for you to take a header and crack your skull on the tile. We’re doing this right here.

“Once I’m finished cleaning you, I’ll have the guys help me with the bedding and you’ll have fresh linens. You don’t get to argue this with me.”

Jean-Philippe disappeared into the bathroom and returned with a bottle of soap.

He pulled back the duvet and removed the bandages and packing from Breck’s shoulder and neck, tracing his hand down the line that had been cut.

Jean-Philippe’s hand ran the length of Breck’s chest, his own blood pressure rising with the warmth of Breck’s skin under his fingers.

It aroused him and his breath quickened at the pulsing blood through Breck’s carotid artery, a tempo he timed with the flow of his own blood. The pores of Breck’s skin rose in gooseflesh under his touch and his nipple rose to a small mound at the brush of his fingertip.

Christ, not now…

He moved to his knees at the side of the bed to conceal his clamoring libido.

Slow down; focus.

Willfully deterred by the water in the copper kettle, hoping Breck wouldn’t see the blush of his cheeks, Jean-Philippe’s finger traced the incision on Breck’s shoulder from where it started at the far point of the glenohumeral joint to where the humerus meets the scapula, and continued at an angle inward across his chest to end just above his nipple, about seven inches in length.

Across his neck from his ear down, over the right side of his chest, and down his right arm to his elbow were pock marks that looked like the inside of a pomegranate. The underlying skin was the color of pink lemonade, decorated with black holes, each roughly the size of pea.

Out of each of these gruesome openings, Adrina and I had worked effortlessly to remove every projectile that had invaded Breck’s body.

Though dressings had been tended while Breck slept, the gauze was once again soaked with his blood.

“Hold your breath; this batting is matted in your incision and I need to pull it out. It might sting.”

“Pull away, I can take it.”

“Do you want a pain killer? I’m not sure it would kick in before the water gets cold.”

“Nah – just get on with it.” He closed his eyes and breathed deeply.

The slow pull of the cotton gave way to dried blood cracking, the batting pasted into the gouge in his chest and the cool air of the room felt refreshing when it hit the stagnant stitching on his neck.

“Got it. Not as bad as I thought.” Jean-Philippe tested the water to make sure he wouldn’t scald his hands or Breck’s skin, immersing the sponge and squeezing excess water from it, he dabbed soap gel on his fingers and rubbed it onto the surface of the sponge then lightly into the incision.

“You can scrub harder than that,” he directed his bather. “I’m not china – I won’t break and you’ll be the first to know if you’ve hurt me.”

Jean-Philippe applied greater pressure on the sponge as he cleaned the wound, wetting and lathering his free hand to wash across the rest of Breck’s chest at the same time. His hands slid in the soapy lather that he directed further down his torso.

“You make a great sponge nurse,” he playfully observed without opening his eyes. “Are you for hire?”

“You can’t afford me,” Jean-Philippe dryly shot back at him.

He felt Breck’s diaphragm tighten with laughter.

“Remember, JP, slaves can be bought.”

“I’m cheap, but I’m not easy, Breck.”

“That’s not what I’ve heard, JP.”

“You would be the one to know about that, Breck.”

“I learned from the best, JP.”

The spirited banter was Jean-Philippe’s foreplay.

“I’ll rinse off the soap and pat you dry so you don’t catch a chill.” Jean-Philippe used the thick, soft towel to carefully dab the water left on Breck’s skin, giving careful attention to his shoulder and neck and draping his upper body with warm dry towels.

The caretaker repositioned the soft down duvet to expose one of Breck’s legs and his groin, swallowing his thundering adrenaline and re-soaping the sponge.

He turned to wash his lower extremities, the body beneath his hands responding to the caress; down his hip bone, over his thigh, his knee and bending his leg to clean his calf before working his way back up Breck’s leg, lathering as he moved. And Breck was watching him. The room eerily still, Jean-Philippe’s head was pounding louder with the drum of his pulse.

Jean-Philippe took up all of Breck in his wrinkling hand and stroked his erection gently at first, waiting for Breck to tell him to stop.

“It’s ok, keep going,” came the encouraging whisper in his deep silken voice, the sound of which sent a bolt through Jean-Philippe’s loins.

His breath constricted, wading into the sensation of the phallus in his grip, Breck pitched to the tempo of Jean-Philippe’s hand. With persevering caresses he moved on the bed next to Breck, dropping into the down and shifting the towels to expose his bare upper body.

Even if the injuries that plagued Breck hadn’t been kind to him, the years and gravity had been more than gracious. With the exception of some expansion of Breck’s midsection, the muscle tone built up over years of beating on drums was still solidly defined and his skin was still olive and taut, his black hair still soft and long and now peppered with little grey.

He is more stunning now.

Jean-Philippe leaned closer to Breck and petted his cheek with his free hand, never losing the cadence of stroking the soft skin of his erection and the smoothed ebony mane splayed across the pillow. Closing his eyes again he met Jean-Philippe’s kiss on his lips, succulent and warm and firm and he surrendered to his shuttered lover’s weakness and he released his grip to rip off his own shirt and submit his naked body.

One impetuous swing of his leg over Breck’s waist brought Jean-Philippe straddled and he pulled the tie from his own long hair, dropping his crowning glory to his shoulders and just as animatedly Breck pushed him off, snagging him with his one good arm before he hit the floor, pinning his lover from behind to the adjacent bathroom doorjamb with his chest.

He yanked loose drawstring of his lounge pants, sending them to his ankles and locked his wrist above their heads to bury his face in JP’s neck, biting and kissing it while thrusting his hard-on into his back.

Jean-Philippe repositioned his hip to minimize the discomfort of his pulsating dick rubbing on the wood of the doorway and he fumbled for massage oil stored just inside the cupboard against which he was now held captive, flipping the cap of the bottle with the thumb of his free hand he tipped the bottle to douse Breck’s cock, releasing the bottle to the floor. Breck lessened his squeeze long enough to coat his erection in the oil.

“Spread your legs,” he hissed in Jean-Philippe’s ear; he tapped the inside of his ankle with his toe to widened his stance and bore into him again.

Breck kneaded his ass cheek, tracing the crack with a single finger and pushing his erection further into Jean-Philippe’s back, tightening the grip on his wrist.

With one twist Jean-Philippe swiped at Breck’s waist with a smacking slap, swiveling his palm down against the cabinet for leverage against Breck’s pushing where the cool air in the room met the wet pre-cum on his back; a chill barely noticeable against the electricity consuming the rest of his body.

He moaned as Breck’s finger penetrated him and he swooned, delirious with ecstasy at his lover’s force; that he was in such wounded state made the sadism that much more arousing to Jean-Philippe.