Unbehold

by J. Hali Steele

Unbehold - J. Hali Steele
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 0.99 USD
ISBN: B07XNL3H3S
Pages: 105

We all meet death sooner or later—it’s not pretty.

Addison Blakemour lost something precious that’s not coming back. Merely a diversion from pain, he dispenses punishment and anyone he deems worthy, they meet death. Lately, he takes little pleasure in revenge. Each day he anticipates nightfall to stalk one more criminal. Minutes, days, months, he waits for deliverance until he encounters a man wearing—lipstick and panties!

Jeremy Hadley’s incident with a lethal man he comes upon fighting in an alley should send him running; Addison Blakemour should repulse him. He doesn’t. Jere tells himself he hangs on and even comes out the closet to prevent the thug from harming others, to hinder Addison’s self-destruction. Lies. He holds on because the terrible man excites him, makes Jeremy feel alive.

Can two desperate people find happiness?

Warning: On-page violence and near-rape experience. Addison Blakemour kills without remorse.

Contains: #angst; #comingout; #drama; #lingerie; #gay; #maydecember; #romance; #shortstory

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  • 2 To Be Read lists
Published:
Publisher: Independently Published
Genres:
Tags:
Pairings: MM
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 36-45
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 3 Age: 46-65
Tropes: Age Difference, Antihero, Big Character / Little Character, Coming Out / Closeted, Criminals & Outlaws, Find Love and Come Out, Love Can Heal / Redemption, May/December
Word Count: 31000
Setting: United States, Pennsylvania, Romansville, Philadelphia
Languages Available: English
Excerpt:

Holding a degree in business management, Jeremy graduated a year ago at the age of twenty-one. Intending to join corporate America, he discovered the world of blogging and he quickly set out to grab some of the hefty advertising dollars floating around by creating a blog for gay men in the dating scene. He could always list it as successful on a resume.

Tried to veer from religion but did broach the subject. Discussed proper attire etiquette for various occasions, meal prep and cooking for the single man, safe sex practices, hot spots, old and new, in and around Philly as well as Baltimore, D. C. and New York. Visiting a few upscale spots for research, he met Sam Moore, a man he hit it off with and they built a trusting friendship but Jeremy hesitated attachments of a sexual nature which would surely lead to him being discovered.

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Hadley’s Haven became an instant hit and a year later Jere made enough to afford a tiny apartment, a used car, and earned spare cash making it possible not to dip into his small inheritance. A full-time job, it was not easy staying thought-provoking as well as pertinent and ahead of the curve which switched directions faster than a hungry hummingbird.

Slowest two weeks ever though he did expect company tonight. Jeremy sat made up to the nines and decked out in a shimmery gold nighty staring at the computer screen. Five-inch strappy gold pumps felt good on his feet as he crossed his legs. “I’ve got to write something.” No recollection of what he intended to type for tomorrow’s blog and, considering advertisement dollars counted on there being one, he needed to concentrate. Comments had been sparse and unremarkable. Flipped through notes that were in as much disarray as his life. Loathe to buy a new cellular though goodness knows why. Did purchase a desk model giving the new number to the church. Heck, had his uncle tried to call without getting an answer, Jere would have been… “Can’t be in trouble. I’m an adult.” Yet, it might have been a problem. Father Thomas Hadley searching him out, checking to see if he’d lost his way again; not a good thing. Fear of being found out, afraid to stand his ground and declare himself gay and proud, Jeremy hid in safety of a closet he only had nerve to peek from once in a while.

Doorbell rang. “Shoot, is it that late.” Made plans with his friend, Sam, over two weeks ago for a night of gabbing and movies while gorging on popcorn and wine. Good Lord! Only now remembered he hadn’t given Sam his new number. He yanked the door open spewing apologies. “Sam, I am sorry. I forgot to call. My phone…did you try calling me?”

“Boyfriend, I’ve visited hospitals and morgues, a police station where I met a hottie and forgot about you.” He burst out laughing. “Okay, I’ve been a wreck with my new job and tried on my way over to see if you needed anything. Figured you’d be in.” He bussed Jere’s cheek. “Ooh, Amuse Bouche. Is that sour cherry? Love the Bite Beauty lipsticks.”

“Maraschino. I could have died and you wouldn’t have known.”

“Not the first time we’ve lost contact for two weeks. Chill, babe.” He fell onto the sofa and curled chartreuse high-heeled bearing feet up. “Adore gold on you. Next time my place so I can be comfy. What happened to your phone? They cut you off. Told you get a real job. Blogging for dollars not working?”

“I make a decent living. I’m considering launching a video channel.”

“A different color bag covering your head each day. That’ll be a hit.”

“You are bad.” He hurled a pillow at Sam. “I could make more money.”

“But you’re not going to show your face. Anyway, when you do, buy a new car; yours is beat to hell. It reminds me of something horrible I can’t remember.”

“I barely use it. Hold that thought while I grab wine.” Returning, he set glasses down and filled them. “My phone was stolen.”

“Jere!”

“I’m fine.” He took a big swallow. “I mean, well I was somewhere I shouldn’t have been but…”

“Heebie jeebies.” Sam shuddered. “You went back to that nasty place.”

“Twice.” Jere expelled air and sat back. “I couldn’t help myself.”

“You have got to talk to Father straight and narrow, come out of that closet so you can go nice places without being terrified you’ll run into someone from your pariah.”

“Parish.”

“They’re pariahs. All stuck up and judgmental, they eat their young. I don’t know how you stood it.”

Coming out was easier said than done when the patriarch, his only living family, was a priest as well as the man who raised him in the absence of parents. Uncle Thomas, fairly new to priesthood since his calling came late in life, was a righteous man and a wonderful parish priest who managed, in spite of today’s sordid publicity, to keep his congregation intact and faithful. Help from nuns provided Jeremy a swell life though his upbringing was strict.

“They’re not all like that, Sam. Publicity about a few has damaged Catholicism.” Wouldn’t know it by the fact Jeremy was caught being fondled by a boy at sixteen and Uncle Thomas pulled him from his all male school to place him under the watchful eyes of sisters where he was treated awfully well but kept on a short leash. Didn’t pray over him, scold, or degrade; nonetheless, he was reminded regularly of scripture and God’s intent that men marry women. Nothing else was acceptable. “Growing up with the nuns wasn’t all bad. Even if I could handle coming out, what about how I dress? I want to wear my pretty things outside. Not keep them shamefully locked away.” Tapped Sam’s shoes. “Bright but I love them.”

“Look, look.” He unzipped his lime green sweatshirt to show off a an all lace white camisole. “Found a new shop in Philly you simply have to visit with me.”

“Why are you all covered up?”

“After what you told me about creepo downstairs, no, uh-uh.”

COLLAPSE

Trigger warning: On-page violence and near-rape experience orchestrated by Addison Blakemour who kills without remorse. He doesn't fight fair and brutally beats victims with his bare hands.

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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