The year 2089 finds Australia split between east and west, with a wall to ensure the east stays safe. College student Aiden Taylor is traveling from Perth to Sydney to see Men at Work, who have been revived after cryogenic freezing. Regrettably, only days into his trip, his moped is stolen—and then he meets a naked man from the east. The man turns out to be Matthew King, who offers Aiden a ride—no strings attached—all the way to Sydney.
When another attack occurs the following night, Aiden discovers Matthew’s impossible secret: he’s a were-kanga. At least that gives them something to talk about when they experience delays at the wall. One thing leads to another, and soon friends with benefits turns into something more. But when the summer is over, Aiden must return to school in Perth. How can he leave Matthew behind?
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Coming Out / Closeted, Rescue
Setting: Australia - from Perth to Sydney
Languages Available: English
The campground was busy too; lots of people had stopped for the night, and he was lucky to get a tiny spot way in the back. He was getting rather tired of sleeping on the ground, but he knew it wouldn’t be for much longer as the border was only two days away. He thought he might splurge on a motel room for a night, just to give his back a break.READ MORE
Around three in the morning, Aiden woke with a start, sat upright, and promptly smacked his head on the top of the tent. Thankfully, smacking your head on nylon is pain free if disconcerting. He wasn’t sure what had woken him. He heard a vehicle speeding away down the small road in front of his campsite, and some sounds from the bushes right behind his tent. Shit. Were there actually animals around here? The idiots making so much noise must have disturbed them. What if whatever was out there were Tasmanian devils? He’d left the half-eaten bag of chips in his tent. What if they tore through the side to get them and ripped his throat out in the process? Oh wait, Tasmanian devils don’t live in Western Australia, and it couldn’t be a bear because they lived in North America.
Maybe it was a were-kanga. No, Aiden knew were-kangaroos didn’t really exist. They were an urban legend perpetuated by nasty parents to get their kids to behave. “Be good or the were-kangas will come and get you in the night.” Some parents even tried to convince their kids were-kangas were savage beasts that ate children for breakfast. Yeah, yeah, sure, whatever.
“Take a heart pill, Aiden,” he scolded himself out loud. “Probably just a possum.” Although those things were bloody ugly.
Aiden heard branches being pushed aside. He realized his important belongings were on the moped, and just in case the noise was thieves, Aiden decided to make some indication that he was awake. He coughed loudly, waved his arms around in the small tent to make some noise, and unzipped the tiny door, trying to make the sound as loud as possible. Aiden was greeted by silence, which gave him the courage to climb out and see what was happening. He pulled on his jeans, stepped out of the tent, and, after a quick look around, froze.
His moped. Where in the hell was his moped? The bike had been parked right outside the tent. It was gone. Could he have parked the thing somewhere else? Yeah right, he was in a ten-square-meter space. Where could he have parked it, in the garage? Maybe someone borrowed it. Sure, in a campground. His brain blanked out, and he stood and stared at the empty space where his moped had sat. He heard tree branches once again rustling behind him, and finally turned toward the sound, hoping just a little the intruder was a Tasmanian devil that would tear his throat out or some kind of bear that could swim from America to maul him to death. Either one of those seemed like the best alternative at the moment. Instead, he was faced with a gorgeous guy standing in the night. He had short dark hair—maybe black, it was hard to see—and dark eyes. He was tall, but not freakishly so, with wide shoulders, slim hips, six pack abs… what the hell? Oh yeah, completely naked and… wow, nothing to be ashamed of there.
Aiden continued to stare as the guy stared back, and then Aiden said the first thing that came to his mind. “You’re naked.”COLLAPSE