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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Snippets from Love In Exchange 10

I'm not settled on a title yet, though I'm mulling one over. We'll see what happens there. Meanwhile, here's the 3 snippets I've posted on FB-- unedited, of course:
(I will probably only be posting one more snippet after these three. I'm contractually limited to how many words I can share)

Copyright 2015
Bailey Bradford

Love in Xxchange 10

Snippet 1:



There was something familiar about the short, lanky man who entered The Xxchange. Xavier Talbot leaned back in the booth and nudged his husband’s foot under the table. “Chase? Does that guy look familiar to you?”
Chase Murphy looked up from the lighting catalogue he’d been studying. Though The Xxchange had undergone a rather elegant transformation five years ago, Chase was always looking for was to keep the place updated and hip—and classy. It wasn’t the hook-up, meat market, fuck in the bathroom or on the dance floor kind of place it had been once upon a time.
Now, smooth, live jazz music filled the place with warmth and a smoldering sensuality. People came here looking for a different kind of enjoyment than they used to.
But for those who missed the dim lighting and sweaty bodies, there was a club for them, too. Xavier and Chase had quickly developed enough business acumen to know they’d need the profitability of a place like that, and neither wanted to deny the hot and horny clubbers a place to go.
Chase stared at the newcomer for several minutes, not moving except for the occasional breath and a couple of slow blinks. The stillness with which Chase held himself was always an incredible thing to see.
It made Xavier want to spread his husband out on the table and fuck him right there, to chase that stillness away and replace it with gasping, moaning, curses fired by need.
Xavier shifted on his seat, reaching down to adjust his erection.
Chase smirked, one side of his mouth curling up. His gaze never left the customer who was hovering just beyond the bar.
“You do that whole serious, predator watching prey thing just to get to me,” Xavier accused.
“That’s just a benefit of me being a serious bastard,” Chase corrected, narrowing his eyes slightly. “We know him, somehow.” He dipped his head, gaze still on the man in question. Chase’s blond curls were caught perfectly in the overhead lighting, making the silky strands gleam.
Xavier itched to run his fingers through them. Of course, if he did so, he’d next be pulling Chase to him for a kiss. The kiss would lead to that exact fucking on the table Xavier had thought of moments before, and hadn’t the whole reason they’d re-branded The Xxchange was because he and Chase were tired of the old club being a tawdry place where people fucked…on the tables?
Xavier huffed and folded his arms over his chest. He forced himself to look at the man Chase was studying. Short, not even five-four if I’m right. Skinny, not necessarily the healthy kind, either. Guess he could just be one of those people who runs to scrawny no matter what. Asshole. Xavier tried not to feel jealous of the fact that the older he got, the harder he had to work to stay in shape. Mousy brown hair. Clothes are too big. They hang on him.
“He’s either sick or desperate,” Chase observed, speaking in his usual quiet tone. “Cheeks are hollowed out and he has deep circles under his eyes. Could be recovering from the flu or something. He’s nervous or high—I’m leaning toward nervous, though. His clothes are clean even if they don’t fit him, he’s not twitching like he’s agitated, but like he’s scared.”
“How can you tell the difference?” Xavier asked, trying to discern that himself. He saw the customer bite his bottom lip and glance at the bartender, Fred, as Fred prepared a drink for someone else.
“Just can,” Chase said.
Xavier glared at him.


Snippet 2:

Fred kept sneaking glances at Remy. His curiosity was growing by the minute. Remy was better looking now than he had been, except for the whole worn-out thing. Back when he’d worked at The Xxchange, Remy had bleached and died his hair, and he’d worn makeup that had made him look cute but kind of like a tart. Lots of the wait staff did the same. They’d claimed it earned them better tips.
And Remy, as Martine, had been flirty and snarky, and yeah, too pushy and grabby, but he’d been cute and he’d made good tips.
Without all the hair dye and makeup, Remy looked young and fragile, and hauntingly beautiful despite the circles under his eyes.
No. No, no, no. We are not going there. Fred kept telling himself that until they walked into his apartment complex. Remy shivered almost constantly, but he’d insisted on carrying in the drinks, which couldn’t have helped him warm up any at all.
“I wasn’t expecting it to be cold today,” Fred observed. He spotted Mr and Mrs Haverly. They were dressed up, Mr Haverly in a dark blue suite and Mrs Haverly in a dress nearly the same shade of blue. Fred waved at them. “Hey, Mr and Mrs Haverly! Y’all are looking sharp today.”
The Haverlys looked at him, then gave Remy, who’d stopped walking and was standing there, still as a spot-lit deer, a thorough once over.
Mrs Haverly’s eyes were red-rimmed and Fred knew he’d made a big mistake. The solemn color of their clothing as well as the lack of smiles from the generally happy couple all pointed to nothing good.
Mr Haverly patted his wife’s hand. “Now, Fred, we’ve told you to call us Ed and Mary.” He added a kindly smile. “It’s hell getting old. You lose so many people. Mary’s best friend passed away Friday. We’ve just on our way to her funeral. I know you didn’t know, so please don’t feel bad for being happy.”
Mrs Haverly sniffled.
Fred wanted to disappear, but he’d settle for not being an ass. One thing was certain, he sure wasn’t happy now. “I’m sorry for your loss, Mrs—Mary.”
“Me, too,” Remy said. He cleared his throat. “My condolences, Mrs Haverly.”
“What a nice young man you are,” Mrs Haverly said, her attention on Remy. “Fred, too, of course.” She gave Fred a wobbly smile. “You are always a treasure.”
Fred ducked his head and murmured, “Thank you.”
“What’s your name?” Mrs Haverly asked.
He watched her slowly cross over to where he and Remy stood. Her husband escorted her, one hand on her lower back, the other cupping her elbow. It was sweet to see the two of them together, still in love after so many years together. They’d had their sixty-second anniversary only a few months ago.
Remy still had the drinks. Fred took one of them so Remy could shake hands. “Remy.”
“Just Remy?” Mrs Haverly asked as Mr Haverly arched a brow at Remy.
Remy’s cheeks darkened with a blush. “Er, Baumgartner. It’s Remy Baumgartner.”
“Baumgartner—“ Mr Haverly tipped his chin up. “You’re not any relation to that Baumgartner--"



Snippet 3:

Fred shook off the unpleasant memories and focused on not acting like he was nervous. He smiled at Josh. “Haven’t seen you and Nick at The Xxchange in a while.” 
Josh was all but shining with joy. “No, no we won’t be hitting up clubs until the kids are a lot older.” 
“Everybody’s having kids,” Fred muttered, not unhappy for his friends. “I’m going to be the only single guy in town.”
“I’m single,” Remy said, then immediately coughed and jerked his hand away from Fred’s wrist. 
Josh snickered. “I remember you, Martine. Remy. Remy-Martine. What brings you back to town?” 
Remy’s eyes went wide and his complexion turned ruddy. 
Fred leapt to his defense, even though he wasn’t sure Remy was being picked on. “That’s kinda personal, isn’t it?” He tried not to sound snappish. 
Josh arched one thin brow at him. “Well, well. So that’s how it is?”
“How what is?” God, Fred was confused. 
Remy cleared his throat. “Can we maybe get out of the waiting room?”
“Ha!” Josh was back to smiling like everything in life was perfect. “Yeah, that’s a great idea, and sorry, Remy. I didn’t mean to poke my nose in your business. Well, I did, because that’s just me.” He batted his lashes ridiculously as they walked down the hall to a room at the end of it. “I talk all the time and want to know all the details,” Josh drawled, smirking unrepentantly. “But I only ask because, let me tell you, I give the best advice, so you feel free to come to me with anything you need.”
“Okay?” Remy asked, darting a glance from Josh to Fred. 
Josh patted Remy’s arm. “Okay, let’s check your vitals. Fred, you can have a seat right there.” He pointed to a chair a few feet away from the examination bed. “Remy, hop up here.”
Fred tried his best not to pay any attention to the questions Josh asked or the answers Remy gave, especially the ones that were really personal. When Josh started in about Remy’s sexual history, Fred excused himself from the room and hoped Remy wouldn’t get upset. 
He checked up front and made sure payment arrangements had been made—Xavier had said it’d be handled and Remy could make payments. The medical receptionist told him it was taken care of. Fred asked her to let Remy know he’d be waiting out in the car. 
Almost an hour later, Remy came outside, looking more worn than when he’d gone in. Fred contemplated getting out and asking if Remy needed help, but considering he’d bailed on the guy inside, it seemed dishonest to offer help now. 
When Remy got in, he sighed and leaned his head back. Closing his eyes, he groaned. “God, I fucking hate having blood drawn. I almost passed out. I was so humiliated. What a wuss.”

21 comments:

Tekikat said...

Interesting....can't wait to read this one!

Donna said...

Oooh, yes please! *bouncing excitedly*

L.M. said...

Ooooo! I'm going to have to reread the series again now! Can not wait!

nikirenee said...

OK I'm hooked.

Julia Matthews said...

Going to have to read this one. Can't wait.

Shorty Chelle said...

Can't wait to be able to read the entire book.

Eric Roberts said...

sounds great

Jess1 said...

Good snippets that had me wanting more.

Avalie said...

I'm looking forward to this one.

darabaer said...

Oh the hardship (LOL) of having to reread the series again to get up to speed for the new addition. Can't go wrong rereading any Bailey book.

Bailey;-) said...

Thank you!

Bailey;-) said...

Lol, thanks, Donna!

Bailey;-) said...

I had to go back and read some of the books, too. I hope you have fun doing it-- I did!!

Bailey;-) said...

Heh, well thank you!

Bailey;-) said...

Thank you!

Bailey;-) said...

Thank you, Shorty Chelle <3 ***huggz***

Bailey;-) said...

Thanks!

Bailey;-) said...

Thank you :D :D

Bailey;-) said...

Thank you very much, Jess1!

Bailey;-) said...

Lol! Thank you! You put a grin on my grumpy face :D

Demetra said...

Loved the snippets Bailey - looking forward to reading the book

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