Partners with benefits

by Val Francis

Partners With Benefits - Val Francis - Kolar Creek Tales
Part of the Kolar Creek Tales series:
  • Partners with benefits
Editions:Kindle - First: $ 4.99
ISBN: 978-1-4874-1882-3
Pages: 181

Two straight guys sharing a sleeper…harmless…nothing’s likely to happen…is it?

When Michael Broadhurst invites a total stranger to share his sleeper on the overnight train, he’s asking for trouble—not that his life could get any more complicated than it already is.
After years of working on outback properties, Gazza Kelly is finally heading back to the city. With his criminal past behind him, Gazza has no plans until he’s invited to spend the night with a guy he’s never met before.

Excerpt:

Thirty minutes into the overnight journey, he could feel the walls of his tiny sleeper starting to close in on him. What had initially been cozy suddenly felt claustrophobic, and he had to get out. With his mind preoccupied, Michael failed to look where he was going as he left his compartment. A sudden lurch of the train threw him against another passenger. Strong hands steadied him as the train lurched a second time. Michael saw the tattooed arms first, and where the hands held him, it felt as though his skin was on fire.
“Shit, mate, we seem to be making a habit of this.” The stranger stood there, managing a smile, still holding onto him, neither of them attempting to move.
Michael tried to swallow but couldn’t. “I’m not usually this clumsy.”
He saw the man’s hazel eyes looking him up and down.
“I don’t mind, mate. Feel free to bump into me anytime.”
That smile again, Michael thought. Speech refused to come.

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Looks as though we’re headed in the same direction.”
“What?” Michael sounded confused.
“The buffet car.”
“Oh…yes.” Michael struggled with his words, aware only of the hand still holding his arm as he remained rooted to the spot.
“Shall we go then, mate?”
By some miracle, Michael’s feet finally moved, and he followed the stranger along the train to the buffet, two cars down. The only other customer, a grazier, Michael guessed from his appearance and the fact that a copy of Queensland Country Life lay folded next to his laptop, sat at one of the far tables.
“Can I buy you a beer to make up for my clumsiness?”
The stranger smiled, nodded, and sat at one of the tables while Michael went to the counter to buy them.
“Michael Broadhurst,” he introduced himself as he put the beers down.
The stranger offered him his hand. “Garry, Garry Kelly. But my friends call me Gazza.”
Michael disliked handshakes, as too often guys would attempt to crush every bone in his hand in an attempt to assert their masculinity, his father being one of them. Gazza’s grip was simply firm, and Michael enjoyed the feel of it.
“It’s a bloody nuisance all the flights being canceled because of the weather.” Michael attempted to start a conversation.
Gazza grinned at him and said, “Wouldn’t know mate, never been up in a frigging plane…not planning to, either.”
“No?” Everyone flew, didn’t they?
“Train’s enough for me, a lot closer to the ground and not so far to bloody fall.”
Michael laughed. The guy could be a comedian even if he didn’t know it. “A lot quicker,” he said as though trying to justify his statement.
Gazza shrugged. “I’m not in a hurry.” Stretching his long legs under the table, Gazza ended up with one of them pressed against Michael’s calf. Neither of them moved. Gazza gulped a mouthful of beer and then asked, “So, mate…why the rush to get to Brisbane?”
“Rush?” Michael shrugged. “I’m not rushing. It’s just I find trains boring.”
“You reckon?”
“Well, don’t you want to be somewhere else rather than sitting on a train for a day and night?”
Grinning, Gazza said, “Depends on who you’re on the train with…though I guess whoever it is you want to be with is waiting for you in Brisbane.”
Michael thought about Helen. “I doubt it…how about you?”
“Me,” Gazza said a little too brightly. “I’m as free as a frigging bird. The only way to be, Michael.”

COLLAPSE

About the Author

Life is full of exciting opportunities and unless we are careful, all too often, too late we discover others we have either missed or been too afraid to grasp. Some years back now, Val had the chance to live on a property in Central Queensland for a year. At the time having recently arrived from the UK, Val had no idea what the real outback would be like, and the trip from Sydney to the property turned out to be one that opened Val’s eyes as to the enormity of Australia. Absent were any reminders of the verdant green fields of the UK countryside as Queensland was at the time in the grip of a major drought where brown had become the standard colour of the landscape. Finally arriving at the property, the lessons began. The challenge of saddling up a horse that doesn’t want to be was inevitably followed by the far more difficult test of staying up there when your horse had other ideas. With thousands of sheep lambing at the time, Val soon learned which end of the sheep was for eating and which was for… Perhaps the most important lesson learned in the Bush was not to get too friendly or try making pets of an animal that might be a lamb roast the next day. Eventually heading back to Sydney Val never made it that far and fell in love with Brisbane which was to become home. Apart from earning a living, Val has enjoyed stage acting, relishing the opportunity to stand on a stage in front of an audience and become a different character for an hour or two. At the same time, Val also wrote for the stage and earned enough dollars from it to starve. Since then, Val has worked at a lot of different things, traveled extensively in Australia and overseas, painted and lead a full life. These days, living on the Gold Coast in Eastern Australia, Val has finally returned to writing. Spending six days a week at the keyboard, transferring imagined characters and their stories to the page, Val has a passion for writing M/M Romance. When not typing away, Val and partner will mostly be found either with their dog, Barney, taking long walks by the ocean or traveling the world somewhere.


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