Suspicion greeted me. It was heartfelt. Nearly palatable in its intensity. Probably because I’d just spoken to the Sinner’s Gin singer a month ago, and he more than likely hadn’t expected me to crop back up so soon.
Personally, I looked upon the interview as revenge for being nibbled on by an irate mallard.
A coffee shop was our chosen dueling field, a recently renovated San Francisco landmark called Marshall’s Amp. Done in a faux Sixties feel with honey oak accents, the place was a riot of soft pinks, lime greens and murmuring conversation.
Oddly enough, Miki St. John seemed quite comfortable here, nursing an enormous bowl of steaming coffee while slouched in a carnation hued swingback loveseat. The glass table in front of him was littered with staff line paper dotted with scatters of black ink confetti and sweeps. A dog-eared notebook lay open on the table, its blue moleskin cover worn nearly to nubby curls on its corners.
The suspicion in the singer’s hooded greenish eyes turned to resignation, and he sighed as I sat down. “Didn’t we just do this?”
“Price you pay for being in the public eye,” I remarked. There might have been a faint tinge of sarcasm in my voice, but I wouldn’t swear to it. I’m sure Miki had other thoughts. “This is quick. Only a few questions.”
“Shit. Fine.” Another heaving sigh and he settled back, sipping at his java bucket as if it were a dram of strong whisky and he was settling in for a long winter. “Shoot, but it’s got to be fast. I’m kind of in the middle of something.”
“Very quick,” I promised. “Mostly it has to do with holidays.”
“Oh God, Valentine’s Day.” He looked as tortured as he probably felt, scratching his temple and shaking his head.
“One of them. Tell me about your Valentine’s Day with Kane.”
“Nothing to tell.” Miki shrugged, tossing his hair back from his face. “I got him some stuff and he got me some stuff. Holidays suck. They’re like little mines set along the year, and I’m never sure if they’re supposed to have presents or what.
“Like Easter. I’m supposed to get Kane a chocolate rabbit or what? And why are we dyeing the fucking eggs? None of us have kids. Not like we’re going to be hiding the damned things, but there we were, smelling like vinegar and crayons on a Saturday night. And you know what’s screwed up? If the egg’s cracked and you don’t see it, you end up with this funky gay pride egg salad because there’s nothing else to do with the fucking things when you’re done all playing dunk the undone chicken.”
I couldn’t follow up any of that so I pressed forward about Valentine’s. “Did you have a good time? Did Kane like his present?”
“Um, yeah,” he grunted, sliding me a look. “Apparently it’s a holiday where if you give a good present, you get laid. So… achievement unlocked.”
“What about you?”
“Did I get laid?” Miki snorted. “Dude, that’s kind of how the whole couple thing works. If there’s only one of us doing it, then it’s masturbation… or cheating. Not something Kane would live through. The cheating. Masturbation he probably could, but why would he need to do that? These questions are stupid.”
“Sometimes they can be,” I concede, trying to hide my smile. “I mean, did you like what he got you?”
“Yeah.” If there was any question about how Miki felt about his lover, it was answered in the softening of his features as he spoke about Kane Morgan. “Hell, I didn’t even think about him getting me something. He’s there. What more do I fucking need?”
A lanky handsome blond ambled out of the kitchen area, and he called out to Miki, pointing to the service counter. The singer shook his head and saluted the blond with his mostly full cup. They exchanged a silent conversation with gestures only they seemed to understand, but whatever ritualistic dance they were planning later, Miki’s attention returned to me and he grinned, jerking his head towards the blond at the counter.
“Gotta finish up. Things we’re doing. Anything else?”
“Just one thing,” I murmured. “How about if we talk about Brigid…and Mother’s Day?”
Miki St. John’s life has been turned upside down but it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to him.
His best friend, Damien Mitchell, is back from the dead. He has a dog named Dude. And more importantly, he and his lover, SFPD Inspector Kane Morgan, now share Miki’s converted warehouse.
For the first time ever, Miki’s living a happy and normal-ish life but when Valentine’s Day rolls around, Miki realizes he knows next to nothing about being domestic or domesticated. Nothing about the traditional lover’s holiday makes sense to him but Miki wants to give Kane a Valentine’s Day the man will never forget.
Can he pull off a day of wine and roses? Or will his screwed up childhood come back and bite Miki in the ass?
Available at Dreamspinner Press
About the Author: Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.
Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.
The Giveaway: THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED
Blurb: Lieutenant Connor Morgan of SFPD’s SWAT division wasn’t looking for love. Especially not in a man. His life plan didn’t include one Forest Ackerman, a brown-eyed, blond drummer who’s as sexy as he is trouble. His family depends on him to be like his father, a solid pillar of strength who’ll one day lead the Morgan clan.
No, Connor has everything worked out—a career in law enforcement, a nice house, and a family. Instead, he finds a murdered man while on a drug raid and loses his heart comforting the man’s adopted son. It wasn’t like he’d never thought about men — it’s just loving one doesn’t fit into his plans.
Forest Ackerman certainly doesn’t need to be lusting after a straight cop, even if Connor Morgan is everywhere he looks, especially after Frank’s death. He’s just talked himself out of lusting for the brawny cop when his coffee shop becomes a war zone and Connor Morgan steps in to save him.
Whoever killed his father seems intent on Forest joining him in the afterlife. As the killer moves closer to achieving his goal, Forest tangles with Connor Morgan and is left wondering what he’ll lose first—his life or his heart.