Exclusive #Excerpt – Grounded by Aidan Wayne #Giveaway

Title:  Grounded

Author: Aidan Wayne

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: August 21

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 40000

Genre: Contemporary, chefs, children, contemporary, sports, gay, pansexual, trans

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Synopsis

Between raising his daughter Camille, his work as a full-time pastry chef, and his hobby of capoeira, Baz’s life is pretty full. He may be a little lonely, but he’s too busy to think about it all that much.

When his cousin Alaina introduces him to Terry, another capoeira student, Baz is instantly drawn to him. Though quiet and withdrawn, Terry ends up being a fun, interesting person who Baz can’t help but fall for. And when Baz does things, he doesn’t do them halfway.

Terry is a successful voice actor and a talented martial artist. But the fact that he’s shy, on top of being a trans man, has kept him from really dating. He likes Baz, he does—he just doesn’t want to mess up their friendship by failing at romance. Still, Baz is nothing if not stubborn, and Terry is willing to give things a try.

Excerpt

Grounded
Aidan Wayne © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

Baz was going to throw up.

It was finally time for the Roda Capoeira showcase. Baz’s martial arts school put on a demo once a year, and he was one of two people demonstrating advanced flips. He was ready, he’d been practicing for weeks, the show started in ten minutes, he was the eighth performer out of twelve, and he was going to seriously throw up if he thought anymore about performing in front of an audience. He was fine with regular capoeira games, the fighting dance performed in a rodacircle. But for some reason this felt a lot different from playing a game with his regular group.

Maybe it was because Andre and Aunt Emma had collaborated with the local community broadcast system, so there were television cameras around.

There was a quick rapping on the dressing room door—three sharp knocks to warn them all before it was pushed open. Someone Baz had never seen before walked in, looking for all the world like they belonged there.

“Terry!” Lydia, who was closest to the door, immediately rushed at them, throwing her arms around their neck. They looked tiny next to Lydia’s five-ten frame but didn’t buckle after being practically jumped on. “Oh my god, Terry, you’re back! Guys, Terry’s here!”

Baz turned to get a better look, grateful for the distraction, as all of the eleven other performers made their way toward the door and the short dark-haired newcomer, who quickly disappeared underneath a multitude of hugs. Dee, who had been putting on their makeup, practically tripped over themselves to run forward.

“Hey everyone,” Terry said, muffled under Dee and Alaina. “Missed you.”

“I’m glad you made it. Welcome back.” Andre grinned, clapping Terry on the back.

“Well, I couldn’t miss the showcase,” Terry said, smiling down at the floor. They spoke quietly, but in a way that carried. “And I’ll be coming back to classes finally. Got my schedule changed around. Just wanted to tell you all that I’m here. Put on a good show so I can see what I missed?”

“Yeah, of course,” Lydia said.

“I’ll let you guys finish getting ready. See you all soon.”

They left with a wave and a bunch of goodbyes, with a promise to Andre they’d come backstage again after the show.

Baz caught Alaina’s arm as she made her way back to the mirrors to finish helping Dee with their makeup. (Dee used they/them pronouns, so when it doubt, that was what Baz had learned to default to.) “Who was that? I’ve never seen them before.”

Alaina looked delighted. “That was Terry. I think I’ve mentioned him to you before? He’s the guy who does Tae Kwon Do and likes all the same bands as you. You’d be great friends. I’m so glad he’s back—I’ve been dying to introduce you. And, you know, see him again.”

“Has he been coming to capoeira for a long time?”

“He’s been pretty off and on. But it sounds like he’s going to be back.”

“Five minutes till curtain, everyone,” Andre called. “Let’s get into our seats.”

The performers all rushed around finishing up last-minute touches, and Baz was distracted enough by the commotion and the rest of the showcase that his nerves died down, at least a little bit.

Exclusive Excerpt

They hadn’t talked much about the future, or what either of them was hoping to get out of dating. Baz figured it was too early to bring it up though he was planning on checking in with how Terry felt the next chance they had to talk face-to-face. It’d be a good idea to learn how Terry thought things were going. Because Baz thought they were going pretty well.

And I will take you out to dinner, Terry wrote back. Just give me the name of a place you approve of. Can’t take the professional chef somewhere substandard.

I’m a pastry chef, remember, not a full chef.

Can’t take the professional PASTRY chef somewhere substandard. And desserts are a VERY IMPORTANT part of the meal.

I still need to make you dessert too.

Hey, I am down for dessert pretty much anytime.

Okay then, are you free tomorrow sometime to come over and eat desserts?

There was a little delay in the reply, but one did come.

Actually I am. I’ve got a recording at nine that’ll take a couple hours, but I’m free after.

Awesome. Come over?

Hahaha, yeah, okay, if you want me.

I do. In multiple senses of the word. Baz did not tell Terry that. Terry was just getting a feel for kissing. Baz had no idea how he’d react to anything else, and it was early enough in their relationship that he didn’t feel like rocking the boat to ask. If your recording is at nine, do you want to come over at noon? I can do lunch and dessert.

You sure?

Of course. Besides, feeding people is pretty much how I express affection.

Haha, okay, yeah, noon would work. I’ll call you if I’ll be late?

Sounds good.

Okay. You have a good rest of your night.

You too.

During the rest of his shift, Baz planned his menu for lunch with Terry. Spinach quiche would be good, and he already had all the ingredients for it. He could prep the crust in the morning before he took Camille to camp, do the weekly grocery shopping after he dropped her off, and come back home with plenty of time to clean the apartment up a little before finishing the quiche and throwing it in the oven. A roasted vegetable side would cook up alongside the quiche at the same time.

And what to do for dessert?

His first thought had been a cheesecake, but quiche plus cheesecake seemed too heavy all together. So a lighter dessert, but something interesting. Fruit mousse! He had a great recipe for a strawberry-vanilla mousse. Pair it with some nice cut-up mango, and yeah, that would look nice and taste great. Luckily he had some ripe mango he could use. Perfect, okay, menu officially planned.

Baz was looking forward to spending an entire afternoon with Terry. Since it was Monday, he wasn’t going to have to rush to cut things short to take a nap before work. He would have to pick Camille up from camp at three, but that was still three hours of Terry-time and more than they’d seen each other in a couple of weeks.

The next morning, after dropping Camille off at camp and on the way to grocery shopping, Baz texted Terry. Hey, if you want, you could bring or wear some clothes that are easy to move in and we could have that capoeira teaching spar we’ve been talking about.

A couple hours later, when the mousse was setting and Baz was about to put the quiche in the oven, Terry texted a simple, Will do! Looking forward to it. Followed by, And we wrapped just now. So I’ll definitely be there at 12. Gives me enough time to go back home and change.

Sorry for the short notice. I just thought of it.

No, it’s fine. It should be fun. Even if we’re going to do strenuous activity right after eating =p

Baz grinned as he tapped out, I’ll go easy on you, I promise.

Please do. I’ll see you in an hour.

Right. An hour. He had plenty of things to keep him busy until then.

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Meet the Author

Aidan Wayne has been a jeweler, paralegal, neurofeedback technician, and martial arts instructor. And that’s not even the whole list. They’ve been in constant motion since before they were born (pity Aidan’s mom!)—and being born didn’t change anything. When not moving, Aidan is usually writing, so things tend to balance out. They primarily write character-driven stories with happy endings, because, dammit, queer people deserve happy endings too.

Aidan has several plants: Viola and Baby V., the African violets; George, the ponytail palm; Antigone, the orchid; and an unidentified succulent, the-plant-that-has-not-yet-been-named-but-is-often-called-Steve. They live with their plants on the seventh floor of an apartment building. The building has an elevator, but Aidan refuses to acknowledge its existence.

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Tour Schedule

8/21    Hoards Jumble

8/21    Urban Smoothie Read

8/21    Boy Meets Boy Reviews

8/21    Happily Ever Chapter

8/22    The Novel Approach

8/23    Hearts On Fire Reviews

8/23    A Book Lover’s Dream Book Blog

8/24    Bayou Book Junkie 

8/24    Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

8/25   Love Bytes Reviews

8/25   Stories That Make You Smile

8/25    Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

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