The unlikeliest of lovers. The sweetest of loves.
Blurb:Merle Justice wants to reach for the stars, but it’s tough to get respect when playing a teenybopper vampire on TV. Then he meets a famous director anxious to give him all he thinks he wants—and maybe a bit more. Everything’s looking up until a life-threatening encounter with some homophobes on Main Beach puts Merle face-to-face with a Sasquatch-sized hero in a pink puffer coat.Tom Henry defies description. As unsophisticated and simple as an angel, he walks through life content with who he is and asking for very little except to care for his sister, Lily, and the dogs he loves. Then he meets Merle, the embodiment of dreams he barely knows he has. Merle knows the people who hold his future in their hands might love Tom—but they’ll never understand Merle and Tom together. Tom knows it too. With lives this far apart, who’s really the fool of Main Beach?
White bursts of light flashed in front of his eyes and a river of burning bile filled his mouth, oozing around the pressure of the big asshole’s arm on his neck. Damn. Damn. Who the fuck wants to die on the beach in a tuxedo?
Merle staggered backward as the brother tightened his grip and the other sibling from hell moved in to do more damage. Brother One pulled back a fist—and suddenly flew through the air, practically knocking Merle and his captor off their feet.
Standing behind where Brother One had stood was—Sasquatch. It had to be—this huge man, easily six foot six, dressed in what might be a pink puffer jacket, with a shock of curly, dark hair flying around his face. He stopped his forward momentum and snapped a fist at Ritchie, who was staggering back to join the fray. Only the smallest interface between that huge hand and Ritchie’s chin signaled bye-bye, Ritchie. The dude staggered back and fell on his ass. Merle would have cheered if his neck wasn’t breaking. Sweet Face held up his hands, and Sasquatch nodded with a smile more appropriate to a kindergarten class than a beach brawl.
Then the giant turned to Brother Two, who still held his arm painfully around Merle’s throat. Brother hissed in Merle’s ear, “Don’t come any closer or I’ll break his neck.”
Sasquatch cocked his head and gave that weird smile again. Is the guy nuts? “It’s very hard to break a person’s neck, did you know that?” He walked slowly forward. “You don’t want to hurt him.”
The arm around Merle’s neck trembled and tightened convulsively. Merle made a gagging sound.
Sasquatch frowned, an oddity on what appeared to be a young, pretty face. “It will be very bad for you if you hurt him, you know? But if you let him go, I won’t hurt you.” He looked over his shoulder. “See. Your friends ran away already.”
Sure enough. They’d melted into the dark the second they got the chance.
“You should go too.” Sasquatch stepped forward again. “Go now.”
Brother Two released Merle and ran like a rabbit toward the water as Merle collapsed onto the damp sand. “I hope you fucking drown.” He rubbed his neck and tried to get a full breath into his lungs.
The big man knelt down beside Merle.
Merle glanced up. Yes, on closer inspection the face might have been a choirboy’s—on the body of the Jolly Green Giant.
The big man bobbed his head. “You’re okay, right?”
“Yeah. I think so.”
“How can we know?”
Merle almost laughed. “Uh, I guess you can help me up, and we’ll check it out.”
“Okay.” The giant reached down, grasped Merle at the waist, and whoa—sent him flying to his feet. This time Merle did laugh. “Was that fun?” The big man smiled, and huge dimples popped out in his cherub face.
“I could do it again. I like lifting you.”
“No, that’s okay.” Funny how that gave him a little flip in the stomach. He rotated his neck very gently. “I think I’m okay. How does my tux look?” He stepped back and wiped sand from his butt.
“Oh, my clothes.”
“Good. Really pretty.”
“Thanks. A friend designed the clothes for me, and I’d hate for those assholes to ruin them.”
“Yes. That would be bad. Disappointing.”
“Yes, it would.”
“Friends are good.”
Merle stuck out his hand. “I’m Merle Justice, and I’m extremely grateful to you. I think you might have saved my life.”
The big man looked at Merle’s hand for a minute, then grinned and shook it enthusiastically. “I’m happy to save your life.”