About this book in its
series ...
Memphis is a stand-alone
story with a tie-in to Bored,
Stroked, and Blueprinted
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Memphis
FAQ
Jake Soames is the quintessential everyman. He survived a
wild youth and grew up strong. The only thing missing from
his life is that one special guy to tilt his world. A man to walk
beside him without playing head games with him.

With nowhere else to go, Memphis Wheeler knocked on the
door of a former cellmate and found the refuge he’d been
promised. His spirit is wounded, and he needs a place to
rest and recover from years of physical abuse. He worries
he’ll never be able to allow another man to touch him again.

When Jake meets his buddy’s houseguest, he’s instantly
drawn to the shy, retiring younger man. Memphis doesn’t
say much and seems skittish around him, yet when Jake
proposes they participate in a road rally, Memphis agrees to
be his navigator. But there’s no timed course to traverse to
reach the future Jake envisions with Memphis. It’ll take
patience and understanding to help Memphis to move on
from his past and say yes to more than an afternoon
together.
EXCERPT

“What is going on, Memphis?”

There wasn’t one fucking thing going on except that instead of panic, he felt a surge of annoyance at Jake
for pushing at him. “Let. Go. Of. My. Hand.”

Jake released him. “Maybe you’ll let me hold your hand when they can’t chaperone, huh?”

He took a step back and finished ripping open the envelope. The man said to divide the money. He took fifty
for himself and handed the envelope back to Jake. “And don’t argue with me about the split. I don’t want to
hear it.”

“I wouldn’t dream of. I think I’ve crossed a few too many of your boundaries for one afternoon.”

So he recognized that, did he? They were both still standing. Jake because his transgressions were minor
and himself because…

He liked Jake.

Admitting that was a risk. The sky could fall or something equally nasty occur, but it hadn’t happened yet.

“Okay, Jake. Let me tell Logan I’ll be home later, and we can go get me a phone and you can buy me
something non-alcoholic and fizzy.”

Jake side-stepped him and waved his arm. “Logan! I’ll have him home before midnight.”

Before Memphis could protest, Jake grasped his elbow and pulled him towards the car. Logan took two
steps in his direction before Mick stopped him. Memphis waved and smiled, mouthing “it’s okay” at the
guys.

He was going to have some explaining to do when Jake finally took him home.

Jake opened the car door for him, again. He flashed him a smile and dropped into the passenger seat.

“Where are we going for this phone,” Jake asked as he started the engine.

“Cheapest place in town, please. I need to start small until I actually get a job.” That was embarrassing to
admit, but he didn’t have a choice. His small allowance from the government wouldn’t go far or continue for
too many months.

Jake put the car in gear and headed toward Centerville. “I think I know where to go.”

In only a few minutes they arrived at a shopping center with a big box store on the north end located on the
outskirts of town. An hour later, Memphis had a basic phone and a cheap monthly plan. He pushed buttons
as Jake guided him back to the Camaro. It didn’t have many frills, but it would do.

He leaned against the car as Jake fished his keys out of his pocket. “Thanks, Jake. Tell me your number and
you can be my first contact and call.”

Jake unlocked the car door and straightened. He put his hands on Memphis’s shoulders and closed the
distance between them. His focus on his new toy, Memphis realized his intention a split-second too late. He
licked his lips to speak but never got the words out as Jake’s lips touched his.

Everything inside him froze. Blinding white panic welled up inside him but bled away as Jake’s soft lips
moved over his. He inhaled sharply, breathing in the scent of the man beneath his soft musky cologne. Jake’
s heat reached him a moment before his arms drew him into a loose embrace. He did the only thing he could
do. He kissed Jake back.

Fear that he’d forgotten how to kiss flashed through him. He hadn’t. How could he? He touched his tongue
to Jake’s lower lip, tasting mint. Surprise and joy streaked along his nerve endings as Jake jerked. He
rested his hands at Jake’s waist and leaned in closer. Jake held him tighter.

Sanity reared its ugly head. Memphis pulled away and sucked air down into his burning lungs. Reluctant to
give up Jake’s warmth, he rested his forehead on his shoulder. Jake didn’t move or speak.

Here was a respite, a moment of peace inside surreal clarity. He slid his hands up Jake’s sides, pulled him
even closer, and relaxed against him.