Old Movie Nights
by Jacqueline Grey
Thank you so much for having me here today and letting me share the re-release of Shoot the Moon, the second book in the Suit of Harte’s series. I’d like to talk about something a little more serious today.
In Shoot the Moon, the main character Adam and his friend Ash have a classic movie night. I realize the definition of “classic” can change depending on someone’s age, so let me clarify that I am referring to films released before 1970. Adam and Ash start the evening with Some Like it Hot starring Marilyn Monroe.
When I first set out to write this post, I wanted to talk about my favorite classic films. I wanted to share with you which actors I like and ask you what your favorite movie night themes are, but as I contemplated which movies and actors I wanted to talk about, I inevitably came across James Stewart and his film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Thinking of that film made me examine what I wanted to say with this post.
As I write this we are surrounded by news of riots and racism. We are fighting a fight that has been going on for over four hundred years and the emotions are overwhelming. Granted, we are fighting for something much bigger than Mr. Smith’s campsite, but the topics of standing up against corruption in government and against the injustice of people who would make innocents out to be criminals to suit their own ends are still valid.
These thoughts made me take a second look at the classic films I love and brought to my attention one of my favorites: 12 Angry Men. This is a film about a jury who must decide the fate of a teenager accused of murdering his father. The teenager is a minority and the “12 angry men” are mostly white. Eleven of the jurors are quick to decide the kid is guilty. Only one man, Juror #8, thinks differently. He clearly states that he hasn’t decided if the accused is innocent or not, but he believes they should look at the evidence and discuss the case before making a momentous decision that will affect a person’s life.
Over the course of the film, the other jurors’ motivations for their guilty verdict come to light. These reasons range from racism and personal grudges to just plain indifference. When thinking of this film, it was the last that struck me the most and it is best shown in Juror #7. Throughout the film he tries to hurry things along because he has tickets to a baseball game and does not want to miss it. As the movie continues and the tides change, he even switches his vote, not because he thinks it’s the right choice, but because he thinks it will get him home faster. His entertainment is more important than the life of a young man.
I’m not the only one offended when he does this. Even one of the other jurors around the table point out that this is not a good motivation to change one’s vote. He should pick a side because he believes in it. Desmond Tutu once said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” It’s easy to see the fight that’s in front of you when you look at the news and social media, but we also need to engage the people we don’t see, the ones who are doing nothing and staying silent on the sidelines.
It’s one thing to clamor for change, but as I learn more about systemic racism, I feel not only rage but despair. Systemic racism is deeply entrenched in every facet of our society, but even though it’s a daunting task, we must plan a course of action to eradicate this problem systematically. We need all the help we can get. If we could change indifference to action, imagine all the things we could accomplish.
About Shoot the Moon
All Adam Kern was looking for when his best friend dragged him to the club Harte was some good dancing and a little flirting to distract him from his troubles. He never anticipated meeting the club owner, Jesse Harte, and having a whole new world of experiences opened up to him. On an impulse, Adam follows Jesse to the upper, kinkier floors of the club where an informative tour ends in a steamy scene that both men are looking forward to repeating. The attraction between the two is scorching and over the next few weeks their adventures into kinky sex are nothing short of daring.
Adam loves the thrill of sex with Jesse but soon a gnawing fear sows doubt into his mind about the possibility of a relationship with the other man. Though he loves every moment he spends with Jesse, he fears what these sexual explorations may mean for him. Jesse is successful, an entrepreneur, and a well-known Dominant in the BDSM community, but Adam cannot see himself as a submissive. What sort of future could they have if he is unable to give his lover what he needs?
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An Excerpt from Shoot the Moon
“We’re going to Harte.”
Ash said this as if Adam would know what the hell he was talking about.
Ash waved the question away with a flick of his wrist and an expression that clearly said it didn’t matter. “You’ll know when we get there. Now, come on.” He linked their arms and half dragged Adam out the door.
On the taxi ride to wherever they were going, Adam tried to get more details, but all Ash would tell him was that Harte was a local nightclub.
“You didn’t let me get dressed.”
“Why do you think I lent you that shirt to begin with? You look fantastic. Trust me.”
The crowd outside the club wrapped around the side of the building and back again. Thankfully, it wasn’t too cold out, or they would have frozen solid before getting inside.
“Is this place always so crowded?” Adam asked as they took their place at the end of the line.
“Packed like sardines,” Ash confirmed. “Best place in the city for good drinks and dancing.”
A man in skintight leather pants and what Adam guessed was a harness walked by. “Varied crowd,” he said.
Ash spotted the man and did that wrist-flick thing again. “He’s headed around back for the upper floors.”
“The upper floors?”
“Yeah, the nightclub is only on the first floor. It’s got three dance floors, each with their own bar, and a backroom, which was most likely meant to be a bathroom but is usually otherwise occupied. Upstairs is the kinky stuff. From what I hear, Harte has the best dungeon in the city, and he’s known to be top-notch on safety. It’s pretty well-known despite being members only up there. The entrance to the second floor is in the back, though, because there’s a difference between exhibitionism and indecent exposure.”
“Huh.” Adam had never been to a kink club. Granted, they didn’t have plans to head upstairs, but this was the closest he’d ever been to one.
Eventually, they made it inside. With the beat of the music and the press of sweaty bodies grinding around him, it was easy for Adam to be distracted from thoughts of the upper floors. It wasn’t long before he’d lost Ash to the throng as well. His friend tended to sidle toward the nearest hot guy before passing him up for the next one on the dance floor. It gave him more exercise than the dancing itself. When he wanted a break, he’d pop up next to Adam as if finding someone in a crowd was the simplest thing to do.
Tonight, Ash’s method fit Adam’s mood. He scanned the floor for someone to dance with. It didn’t take him long to find what he was searching for.
The man was dancing alone and, apparently, without a care in the world. He seemed lost to the music, his body moving with enviable grace and confidence. He was lean with boyish good looks and the kind of face that would still look thirty when he was fifty-five. His light-brown hair was just long enough to be spiky, and though his clothes were casual, he dressed stylishly.
When the dancer turned his head, he caught Adam staring. A jolt ran through Adam, but he couldn’t look away. Even from a distance, the man’s pale eyes had him trapped, and Adam found himself moving through the crowd as if pulled by an invisible string. When he was close enough, he reached for a seductively swaying hip. The touch of a hand on the back of his neck encouraged him to move even closer.
They moved together for a while, sliding their bodies against each other but in no hurry to make it anything more than dancing. They simply let the pleasure of touch build on itself. The feel of his partner’s body against his was electric.
Adam was about to ask if they should find the “bathroom” when the man asked, “Care to go upstairs?”
Adam hesitated. “Isn’t it members only?” He figured that was a simple way to change the subject without having to turn the guy down.
“I can bring a guest if I want to.”
There went his easiest excuse. His reluctance must have shown on his face because the man asked, “Not your thing?”
“Not really,” Adam admitted.
“Ah” was the only reply, but Adam heard the disappointment in the word.
Truthfully, Adam had never given kink much thought. He’d heard about it, read a little online, but he’d never considered putting what he’d read into practice.
About Jacqueline Grey
Jacqueline Grey currently lives on an island on the east coast of the United States. She spends her time outside her day job juggling her many interests which include reading, writing and drinking tea. She loves M/M romance, usually focusing on stories that include BDSM themes to one degree or another.
Jacqueline has always been driven by characters. She loves a good plot, but it’s the characters that pull her into a story. She loves romance and believes everyone has a right to be happy. She enjoys seeing her characters find that happiness for themselves.
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