Exclusive Excerpt from People Like Us
by Ruby Moone
Joseph arrived clutching two tankards of ale. He put them down and settled himself opposite.
“Your good health,” he said, raising his ale, before taking a long drink then wiping the residue from his whiskers which the back of his hand.
Arthur took a smaller, more delicate sip, tilted his head, and regarded Joseph. “You know, you should let me shave you.”
Joseph’s eyes widened with alarm. “Why?” He ran what looked like a protective hand over his face.
“I’ll wager you’ve forgotten to trim your beard for a while.”
Joseph shifted uncomfortably.
Arthur gave him a playful pout. “I suspect there’s a jolly handsome man under all that fur.”
Joseph’s gaze dropped to Arthur’s mouth. Arthur’s mouth promptly went dry. Blinking rapidly, he took a long drink of the ale.
“How old are you anyway? It’s hard to tell with all that hair.”
“Five and twenty. Why, how old are you?” Joseph was still watching his mouth. Intently.
Arthur sighed in a theatrically wistful manner and waved a careless hand. “I can almost give you twenty years. You’re a babe in arms.”
He expected a witty retort, but instead Joseph’s arm stilled in midair, holding his tankard.
“I’m no babe.”
Arthur held his gaze for a moment, then swallowed and looked away. “No. No, you’re not.”
Joseph took a long drink of his ale, still looking directly at him. “You can shave me if you like.”
Arthur swallowed. Wondering just what Joseph was agreeing to. “Thank you.”
They drank in silence for a while. It wasn’t a comfortable silence, unlike previously. From nowhere, Arthur’s body was humming in a way it hadn’t done in years. He was aware of each movement Joseph made. Aware of his hands, large and work roughened around his tankard, the way his eyebrows plunged in a frown that looked entirely forbidding, but Arthur now knew that he was simply thinking. The swipe of his tongue over his lips to collect the foam from the ale that left them soft and glistening. Arthur drew in a long, slow breath and realised he might be in trouble. He was hard in his breeches, but the biggest worry was the ache in his chest. The pleasurable ache in his chest, he noted, that came when he watched Joseph Wilkinson do anything at all. The realisation that he could happily spend a long time just … watching him. It was an attraction that caught him completely unawares. He’d acknowledged at some level that Joseph was an extremely attractive young man, but this… He sighed. He needed to get things back on an even keel.
He glanced up at Joseph. Those penetrating blue eyes were wary, but curious.
Arthur smiled, raised his tankard, looked away, and took a long drink. It was the best he could do.
About People Like Us
Arthur Fitch clawed his way out of the violence and poverty of the slums of London to become a valet to the aristocracy. His ambition to secure a higher position led him to a disastrous appointment with a cold, brutal man, and when things come to a head, Arthur is forced to flee into a snowstorm to find safety.
Joseph Wilkinson is the Winsford Green blacksmith. He has a good life, good friends, owns a thriving business, but at the end of the day when he goes home, loneliness consumes him. When he stumbles upon a small man determinedly trudging through the snowstorm, he invites him into his home to shelter.
Arthur Fitch is older, smart-mouthed, and as prickly as hell. But, as Joe peels back the layers, he discovers a warm, funny, vulnerable man whose tastes in the bedchamber leave Joe gasping and desperate for more. Trouble is, having found the real Arthur Fitch, how can he convince him that life in a small town can be infinitely better than working for an Earl? That love really is possible for people like them? Particularly when Arthur’s past catches up with him in horrifying fashion.
Available at: Amazon
About Ruby Moone
My name is Ruby Moone and I love books. All kinds of books. My weakness is for romance, and that can be any kind, but I am particularly fond of historical and paranormal. I decided to write gay romance after reading some fantastic books and falling in love with the genre, so am really thrilled to have my work published here. The day job takes up a lot of my time, but every other spare moment finds me writing or reading. I live in the north west of England with my husband who thinks that I live in two worlds. The real world and in the world in my head…he probably has a point!
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