An Exclusive Excerpt from Sleigh Ride
Gabriel had decided Paul was right, that Arthur would show up, but he’d planned to not let him in. He understood this was hard for Arthur, but he was still angry, and he didn’t feel like being generous.
He’d seen the label deer steaks on those packages, though. There was principle, and there was venison.
He wasn’t yet sure Arthur did know how to cook. He stood in the doorway of the kitchen as he watched Arthur putter around, poking for pans and indexing his spice cupboard.
“Coriander, thyme…you got any sage? Lemon pepper?”
Okay, so Arthur knew a few spices. “They should be there. Maybe on the second shelf. Wait—top shelf.”
Arthur leaned around the door and gave Gabriel a look. “So are you getting them for me or telling me where you keep your step stool?”
Gabriel frowned. “I don’t have a step stool.”
“Then get over here, Legs.”
Oh. Gabriel pushed off the wall and came over to fuss around on the top shelf until he found the sage and lemon pepper. When he handed them down, Arthur glared at him.
“Not even on your tiptoes.” Arthur took the spices and bumped Gabriel with his hip—which met Gabriel mid-thigh. “You’d think up north the lack of sunlight would stunt your growth, but no. Or maybe this is all you trying desperately to get at the sun.”
“What’s your excuse? They drop a tree on you when you were out logging?”
Arthur swatted him on the ass, and Gabriel yelped. But he grinned, and so did Arthur.
They made the dinner together. Arthur thawed the steaks in the microwave, which he said he hated to do, but had to because he hadn’t planned ahead. Gabriel pointed out they could partially thaw them that way and finish them in the sink, which was what they ended up doing.
“But how are you going to cook them? I don’t have an outdoor grill.”
“In the oven, in a cast-iron pan. Done it before.”
Gabriel bit his cheek. “Yes, but I don’t have a cast-iron pan.”
“Then it’s good I have one in the truck from the last time I went camping.” Arthur winked at him. “No worries, babe. I got this.”
The wink, the endearment—they were sweet, almost perfect—which was why Gabriel got nervous. “Arthur—what are we doing?”
Arthur cocked an eyebrow. “Making dinner?”
Gabriel folded his arms over his chest and waited.
Arthur sighed and went back to massaging the steaks in the cool water through the Ziploc bag. “I wanted to see you. To get you to not be pissed at me.”
“Who says I’m not still pissed at you?”
Arthur grunted. “Well, I didn’t get here and find you in bed with my best friend, so I figure everything from here’s downhill.”
God, Paul had been right. Gabriel’s arms loosened a bit. “If you were jealous, why did you run off the other night after our date?”
“Because I’m a chickenshit.”
Gabriel watched Arthur poke angrily at the steaks, looking like a self-conscious boy, and his heart melted. But only a little. “So should I expect you to go tearing off in the middle of the night?”
The wicked grin Arthur tossed Gabriel caught him off-guard and made him dizzy. “Oh, so I get to stay the night, do I?”
Gabriel cleared his throat. “That depends. Though I was told I should get a blow job from you.” When Arthur stilled, his grin fading into something dangerous, Gabriel regretted his bold teasing. Arthur dried his hands on a towel and came at him, and Gabriel backed himself into the wall and started toward the door to the living room. “Arthur—that was a joke. Stop.”
Arthur kept coming, a wolf stalking his prey. Or rather, a bear. “So you don’t want me to suck your dick?”
Gabriel put his hand on the edge of the door’s molding. “Not right now. We’re cooking.”
“Steak needs a good half hour in water to finish thawing.” His grin split his beard, full of teeth. “How ’bout I get you heated up right now, honey?”
Arthur took a step closer, and Gabriel slipped away, though he wasn’t entirely sure why. “Just—slow down.”
“You don’t want me to slow down. Look at you go. You want to be chased.”
“I do not.” Gabriel slid farther into the living room, yet he didn’t run, nor did he tell Arthur to stop.
Oh shit, he did want to be chased.
About Sleigh Ride
The way to a man’s heart is on a sleigh.
Arthur Anderson doesn’t want anything to do with love and romance, and he certainly doesn’t want to play Santa in his mother’s library fundraising scheme. He knows full well what she really wants is to hook him up with the town’s lanky,prissy librarian.It’s clear Gabriel Higgins doesn’t want him, either—as a Santa, as a boyfriend, as anyone at all. But when Arthur’s efforts to wiggle out of the fundraiser lead to getting to know the man behind the storytime idol, he can’t help but be charmed. The least he can do is be neighborly and help Gabriel find a few local friends.As their fiery arguments strike hotter sparks, two men who insist they don’t date wind up doing an awful lot of dating. And it looks like the sleigh they both tried not to board could send them jingling all the way to happily ever after.
Product Warnings: Contains a feisty librarian, a boorish bear, small town politics, deer sausage, and a boy who wants a doll.
Available at: Samhain Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes
About Heidi Cullinan
Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and ten-year-old daughter. Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and is proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality. Find out more about Heidi, including her social networks, at www.heidicullinan.com.
As part of this blog tour, Heidi is giving away a Sleigh Ride Prize Pack!! This Prize Pack includes an eBook copy of Sleigh Ride, a signed paperback copy of Let It Snow, a copy of William’s Doll, a snuggling moose figure and a Minnesota flask. To enter, just click the link below!
Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway unless otherwise stated but are still welcome anyway.
Don’t forget to check out Nikyta’s review of Sleigh Ride to see what she thought of it!