Tender Distraction

by J. Hali Steele

Tender Distraction - J. Hali Steele
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 2.99
Pages: 97

Hot men, the grim reaper, and an archangel who is—nasty!

A near collision sidetracks two lives.

Cristophe Kingston hasn’t dated since… Okay, it’s been months. Hands in his pockets, he watches an endless line of revelers enter a club he frequents. Something, an odd chill, forces Crist to hurry away and he carelessly lurches into traffic.

Already late for a deadly assignation, Lex Torcher figures what the hell—a perfect diversion. Too many years on earth has Torch craving human touch. The stranger who steps in front of his bike will surely have gentle, soft hands, hands capable of performing what others never do.

Torch’s momentary distraction, his brief interlude, pits him against his boss culminating in an all-out battle for Crist as Torch’s employer is none other than—the Grim Reaper, an unpredictable and greedy monster!

MM Paranormal Romance/ReligErotica

Contains sex between two hot men, there are religious themes, an archangel helps out, and they curse...quite a bit!

Publisher: Independently Published
Pairings: MM
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 36-45
Protagonist 2 Age: Ageless/Immortal
Protagonist 3 Age: Ageless/Immortal
Tropes: Arranged Pairing, Everyone is Queer, Slow Burning Love, Tease and Denial, Villain to Hero
Word Count: 24000
Setting: USA, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Devon, Purgatory, Hell
Languages Available: English

Mundane thoughts about Torch’s early arrival and prime parking spot in front of the club occupied Crist’s mind long enough to allow him to invent a façade of calmness while Torch spoke with a parking attendant regarding Crist’s vehicle.

Crist climbed into a car with a life force fully acquainted with the Grim Reaper.

Crazy but he did it anyway.

Unable to bank the furnace in his gut, Crist marveled the woolen blanket he previously envisioned surrounding him two weeks ago felt less scratchy.

In this being’s presence, loneliness slipped away.


Couldn’t say how long it took to get to Torch’s or name streets traveled. He rode dazed in the passenger seat recreating the last hour. The idea this couldn’t be real crossed his mind but the main reason he kept his eyes closed and head plastered back—he worked extra hard ingraining bits and pieces of data which pulsed into his mind after handling Torch’s jewelry. Making heads or tails of it remained weirdly distant.

It set there, Crist felt it, had ability to run it back and forth like a black and white movie being edited while strips of deleted film drifted to the floor. No color.

Nothing tied together.

Especially a shadowy figure lurking at the perimeter holding a cross and praying. If he didn’t know any better, Crist would swear…

“We’re here.”

Torch may not harm him but an odd sensation neither of the other creatures would hesitate settled heavily on his shoulders.

Muted light from sparsely placed light poles, assisted by moonlight, revealed the outline of a massive house. Smells assaulting his olfactory organs impacted Crist’s senses. Tall, stately blue spruce flanking columns explained the piney aroma. Multiple pillars on each side of the entrance stretched upward abutting a balcony.

“Where are we?” Crist had never seen a home as expansive or well-designed as the one he made out in semi darkness appeared to be. Working from home lately, he spent insignificant time in either of his two offices but he was sure they never had a listing like this. Damn sure didn’t when he started out as an agent. He currently resided in a loft apartment of one his buildings but he grew up in an affluent, old money neighborhood and his parents still lived in their luxurious home. Nothing this secluded existed near them.

“Outskirts of Devon. Built and decorated exclusively for me.”

“Damn.” Two sets of headlights approached and one stopped right next to Torch. His car. “You had them deliver my car?”



“You can leave any time you choose.” Torch exchanged a few words with the driver before he retrieved and placed Crist’s keys in his pocket. The man climbed into the second car which proceeded around the drive and disappeared. “I’d like you to consider staying but it’s your choice.”

“What are you protecting me from?”

“Here, nothing.”

“I’m capable of taking care of myself.” He gazed at Torch. Lord knows it’s not what should be on his mind but the beast enticed him, raised a carnal hunger he no longer wished to deny.

“I’m not an animal, Crist. I don’t turn into one. I enjoy various supernatural powers and I’m immortal. My kind have lived among yours forever. I find the word beast off putting.”

“Then I won’t think it again.” Would be sweet to have him for one night. Hope you got that. “Why should I stay?”

“I got it.” Torch smiled. “Stay because I want you.”


“Understand something, Crist. Walk through my door and I will take everything.”

“And to the point.” What the hell did he have to lose? Nothing. Not a damn thing. He’d become damn near reclusive hiding from who he was and he refused to do it anymore. He didn’t want to miss out on possibly finding… It wasn’t here. Not what Crist ached to have. Yet, inexplicably, he didn’t wish to leave. Spinning, he started up the lit pathway. Not hearing footsteps behind, he stopped and looked over his shoulder. “You coming?”


About the Author

J. Hali Steele wishes she could grow fur, wings, or fangs, so she can stay warm, fly, or just plain bite the crap out of... Well, she can't do those things but she wishes she could! Multi-published author of Romance including Contemporary, LGBTQ, Paranormal, and ReligErotica stories where humans, vampyres, shapeshifters and angels often collide—they collide a lot! When J. Hali's not writing or reading, she can be found snuggled in front of the TV with a cat in her lap, and a cup of coffee.

My Quotes:

Growl and roar—it's okay to let the beast out. – J. Hali Steele

Death is overrated as punishment. – J. Hali Steele (from The Descendants)

Life is complicated, it’s loud, death arrives silently. – J. Hali Steele (from Twice the Burn)

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