Saturday 20 April 2019

Flashback to Double Dutch Courage

This week I started something new in my Facebook Readers’ Group.

Because it will be some time before I’ll have a new book to announce or new tidbits to tease you with, I’ve decided to share a fragment from one of my earlier books once a week.

There’s a poll in my Facebook Readers' Group where members can indicate which story they’re most curious about. At the moment, Double Dutch Courage holds the #1 spot, so I shared an excerpt from that story last Monday.

I will post the excerpts I share in my group here too. But, if  you want to be first to read them or if you want to have a say about the order in which I share these flashbacks, you can join my group here: Helena’s Book Haven

The following scene takes place at the end of a rather difficult and painful conversation and features the very first time Ronan and Lucas kiss...the very first time Ronan kisses full stop. 

If the excerpt makes you hungry for more, you can find Double Dutch Courage here:


Ronan took a few steps, closing the distance between them, his gaze so intense it sent shivers down Lucas’s spine.
“I didn’t think too much of it at the time, but now I’m thinking he must have been speaking from personal experience. Didn’t you say he’d been looking at your Facebook timeline?”
Ronan nodded again.
“Maybe,” Lucas said, “he regretted leaving as he did but felt it was too late to fix the situation? Did you ever ask your mother? Would she have allowed contact if that’s what your father had wanted?”
He could almost see the cogs in Ronan’s mind working as he pondered the question.
“No, I never asked but I don’t think she would have been okay with that.” A grim smile tugged at his lips. “If she mentioned ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’ once while referring to Paul, she must have said it a thousand times.”
He took the last few steps separating them and dropped to his knees opposite Lucas. “Thank you. I’m not sure where that came from. Like I said, I never used to waste any time thinking about him. I guess living in his house, living his life almost, has triggered some long repressed curiosity and resentment in me.”
Ronan seemed to search Lucas’s face for something, then lowered his gaze until Lucas was convinced he was staring at his lips. He mused that the sunshine had to be getting to him as the afternoon took on a dreamlike quality. Ronan licked his lips, the tip of his tongue tempting Lucas, teasing him. When Ronan leant forward Lucas wondered what was happening, whether he was imagining things. Surely Ronan wasn’t about to —
The soft press of Ronan’s lips against his elicited a sigh from Lucas. He would have been embarrassed about his reaction if he hadn’t been lost in the moment. It was the second time Ronan had taken him by surprise in this manner, except on this occasion he didn’t appear to have any intention of pulling back.
With so many reasons why this was the worst idea ever, it didn’t make any sense that the overriding thought running through his mind was more.
He cupped Ronan’s neck, keeping the pressure light, barely there. Ronan reacted as if Lucas had used force and pressed his lips firmer against his, parting them in the process.
Lucas was helpless against the onslaught. It had taken him days to stop obsessing about Ronan’s mouth after that quick, shy kiss a week earlier. There would be no coming back from this. He had no doubt he would end up hurt. Even as he had the thought, Lucas parted his own lips, slipped his tongue through the gap and tentatively caressed Ronan’s mouth.
“Oh.” Ronan’s soft exclamation meant his lips parted farther and Lucas took advantage. Fuck being sensible. Fuck worrying about tomorrow, or next week, or six months from today. He was here, now, and the tongue hesitantly exploring his was nothing like what he’d expected and everything he wanted it to be.
The kiss transported him back to his teenage years, to the first boy he’d ever kissed. Clumsy and with clashing teeth, it had been as awkward as it had been exciting. Pretty much as it was now, except this time it didn’t make sense.
He pulled back until the tips of their noses were the only parts of them still touching. Ronan’s lashes fluttered before he opened his eyes. They widened and he lowered his gaze.
“That bad, eh?” Ronan directed his words at the grass beneath their knees.
“Not bad.” Lucas tried to figure out what to say. Not sure what he was reacting to, he didn’t know which words to use either, so the truth would have to do. “It just brought back a memory of something I hadn’t thought about in ages.”
Ronan still wouldn’t look at him and Lucas didn’t like it. He lifted Ronan’s chin with his index finger. “It reminded me of when I was fourteen and me and Hans, my best friend back then, decided to find out what the big deal about kissing was.”
“It was like your first kiss?” Ronan still tried to avoid meeting Lucas’s gaze.
“Yes.” Lucas smiled. He couldn’t believe Hans had slipped his mind. They’d done a lot of exploring together before Hans decided he was interested in girls after all. He got so lost in his reminiscence he almost missed the words Ronan muttered.
“Makes sense.”
It hit Lucas like a ton of bricks. Here was yet another reason why getting involved with Ronan was the worst idea ever. If he was right, he would be Ronan’s first in everything. The thought that Ronan’s inexperience might include kissing hadn’t crossed his mind until this moment. He wasn’t sure he could make that journey with Ronan without getting emotionally involved. He had to know for sure.
“I’m your first?”
The combination of shame and defeat Lucas read in Ronan’s expression tore at him. He didn’t need an answer. He also didn’t need to think about what to do next. Yes, he would end up getting hurt, but he’d deal with it. It wouldn’t be the first time or, in all likelihood, the last. He could be Ronan’s first and make it a good, a memorable, experience.
“I want to be your second, too.” He didn’t wait and pressed his lips back against Ronan’s before he could respond.
The change in Ronan was immediate, tension leaving his body as if Lucas had managed to open a valve. The touch of Ronan’s hand against his cheek, his fingertips tentative as they explored the stubble, mesmerized him. Those fingers traced every inch of skin on the right side of Lucas’s face, as if they wanted to commit his features to memory.
He smiled into the kiss when he realized this second encounter was already less messy than the first had been. In fact, it wasn’t just less clumsy, it was also more sensual than any second kiss had the right to be. Ronan appeared to have moved on from shy to curious and explored Lucas’s mouth with breathtaking intensity, making the kiss more sensual with every passing second. Lucas was very aware of his cock filling and grateful they were still kneeling, so it wasn’t quite as obvious.
He lost himself in the kiss, straightening his upper legs and pulling Ronan up with him. Their chests connected, his hands were on Ronan’s shoulders, back, and sliding lower until he cupped his ass and pulled him closer again. He wanted more, he needed to lie down, feel Ronan on top of him, underneath him. It didn’t matter where or how but he yearned to be close.
“Mam, waaromzoenen die mannen?”
The young voice shattered the moment and Lucas drew back, following the kid and his parents with his gaze while releasing Ronan so suddenly he swayed before finding his balance again.
“What’s wrong?” Ronan turned his head in the direction Lucas was gazing. “What did he say? What did it mean?”
“The kid asked his mum ‘why are those men kissing.’”
“Oh.” He tried to be casual about it but Lucas didn’t miss Ronan’s sudden need to inspect his surroundings. “I forgot where we are.”
“Yeah.” Lucas sighed. “That makes two of us. And I should have known better.”
“I thought Amsterdam was pretty tolerant when it comes to same sex relationships,” Ronan said.
“Sure,” Lucas agreed. “But there’s a difference between being tolerant and wanting to witness full-on exhibitions of lust.” He couldn’t stop the grin from spreading. “And that was more than just a kiss.”
Lucas watched in wonder as Ronan touched his own lips. He’d never believed people did that in real life.
He should be grateful they’d been interrupted. He should take this opportunity to talk to Ronan about all the reasons why this was a bad idea. He should remind Ronan of the fact that work relationships had a bad reputation for good reasons. He should… He should… He should… And he already knew he wouldn’t do any of those things. For better or for worse he would take what was on offer while trying to build a buffer zone around his heart so that when—if—Ronan decided to go back to Ireland he wouldn’t be shattered. He had no choice. There was no way he could make himself dim the light that had sprung to life in Ronan’s eyes.

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