Whoop! Look who has come for a visit! It’s Lou Sylvre and the wonderful Because of Jade! Not only does Lou bring an incredible Giveaway to you, Lou also slogged away long into the night to bring you an exclusive snippet from Sonny, Luki and Jade’s travels in Further Adventures of the Vasquez-James Family, so guys enjoy Lou’s post and remember to leave a comment so Lou can pick a winner and good luck <3 ~Pixie~ Thank you Lou for visiting us today and I do apologize for the larger nekkid pic…. I just couldn’t get it to post small *cough* 😀
Hello! I’m Lou Sylvre, and before I say anything else, let me say thank you, sincerely, to MM Good Book Reviews for letting me bring my Because of Jade blog tour here. Jade is a Vasquez and James novel, released by Dreamspinner Press on May 23rd. My theme for the blog tour this time is “Further Adventures of the Vasquez-James Family.” If you’d like, you can find the three earlier episodes on Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews, Rhys Ford’s blog, and The Novel Approach. This time, the family goes to the beach near Tokeland, Washington, for some good kite-flying territory.
There’s a giveaway connected with this post—an e-book copy of Because of Jade—and all you have to do to enter is comment on the post. Say what you think about the post, ask me a question, or maybe share your own kite-flying story. Whatever you’d like to say, a lot or a little, it will get you in the running for the giveaway drawing.
Exclusive blog story!
Sonny found he couldn’t sketch fast enough to keep up with the joy he was witnessing on the wide beach below. Luki and Jade ran along the firmer sand near the waves, the wind whipping Luki’s longer-than-usual curls back from his face as he called out instructions on kite-flying.
The husbands had decided to drive south for their kite-flying day, to this long stretch of sandy shore and dunes near Tokeland, a place Sonny knew from his youth. He’d had cousins living at Shoalwater Bay, not far away. Now he sat on a half-buried log on a hummock just beyond the dune front, watching his husband and little girl play. At first, he’d planned to run with them and enjoy the wind, but when they arrived, the light had glowed with a barely-there golden tint, a little misty so that it softened everything it touched.
The setting and Jade, with her little sunsuit and her hair already coming out of the braids he’d given her that morning, made Sonny want desperately to weave. His sketches would form the planning material for a tapestry, the first one he will have made with her likeness, and he couldn’t think of a more perfect setting. The tableau reminded him of Mary Cassatt’s paintings, all sunshine and child.. And he understood thoroughly at that moment, why Cassatt’s mothers sometimes looked so youthful—he could swear that as long as Luki stayed out there with Jade he’d be young forever. Younger even than his age ten years ago, when they’d met.
Maybe Luki had started getting younger last night, when he’d brought the kite out to show it to Sonny after Jade went to bed. They’d wanted to get something special for her, because it had been a year since the day they’d brought her home, but they didn’t want to make a celebration out of it, because she’d lost her parents only weeks before that, and it hadn’t been a purely joyful time. Sonny had been surprised that Luki had taken it on himself to get the kite, but he agreed it was a wonderful idea—the right time of year, and a perfectly understated gift—no need to tell Jade why, they could just watch her smile and enjoy the day with her.
As he sat sketching like mad on his driftlog perch, Sonny smiled, remembering the previous night.
“Jade’s first kite ever,” Luki said, so proud of his purchase as he showed it off to Sonny in the secrecy of their midnight bedroom.
“Brilliant idea, honey. She’s gonna go all high-pitched and jumpy when she sees it. What made you think of it?”
Really, Sonny didn’t need to talk, could have been content with just watching Luki even then. Luki was practically shining with self-satisfied pride and happy anticipation. Like a boy—like the boy he must have once been. And when Luki answered, that was pretty much what he said, though the shine softened then to a more or less to a wistful glow.
“Nebraska,” he’d said. “A great place for kite-flying—plenty of wind, and even when the fields are too high there’s always a long, flat dirt road somewhere nearby. And… and it was something my dad loved—reminded him of when he was a boy.” He stopped speaking for a moment, and though his eyes seemed to be fixed on Sonny’s, Sonny could tell he was seeing something from a time long since passed away.
“When I was really little—maybe three or four—I remember him taking me out in the field with this big, green paper kite. He had string wrapped around one of my mom’s sandals, and he’d torn some old thing into rags and tied them on as the tail. We got there to the field, and…. God I can’t believe how clear this little bit of memory is. The sun was just brilliant, a few clouds, I think, and the hayfield was that new green that seems like it has a light on inside. You know?”
“Yes. An amazing color. Special, and it passes so quick.”
Luki blinked at that point, like he wondered what the hell Sonny was talking about, but Sonny felt so good just knowing Luki saw the color. He felt proud, believing he was the one who taught Luki to see that way. Or maybe just reminded him. Luki wasn’t done with his story, though.
“Anyway, he took me out there, and hugged me, told me to stay where I was and he’d be right back. He looked one way and then another—I suppose he was checking out the direction of the wind—then he laughed, of all things, and started running. The kite rose right up behind him just as if it was under his spell. Like me. I was under his spell then. I would never have believed a boy could have a more wonderful father.
“Dad stopped and let string out a bit at a time, the kite going higher and higher, and then he called me over. When I got to him, he crouched down and said, ‘Climb on, big boy.’”
Luki laughed at that thought, then sobered a bit and continued the tale, softly, as if his voice had gone back there to the little boy’s life it described, and now came to Sonny from a distant time.
“I got onto his shoulders and he moved back slowly, let me hold the string, and made me think I was flying it all by myself. I think it might be the very best memory I have of my dad. I was too young to see his hard side, if it was there then. My mother hadn’t gotten sick. Kaholo was away a lot working on farms and ranches nearby. And… you know what, Sonny? I think… I think I knew that he loved me then. It must have been before he realized ‘what I am’.”
Sonny answered Luki after he was quiet for a moment.
“Yeah, husband,” he said. “I’ll bet it was. But also, maybe it was before he got so afraid to lose you—maybe before he started thinking he’d lost more than he could handle.”
“He wasn’t a bad man, Sonny. I know that now. He hurt me, but that was never what he set out to do.”
“I know—I see that. From what you tell me, and because I know his son very well. And I think you might have been wrong when you said he never taught you anything about how to be a good parent. I think maybe it’s just that you learned what he taught you so early and it’s down so deep inside you that you don’t even know it’s there.”
Luki looked very serious and intense, staring right into Sonny’s eyes for a number of seconds—long enough for Sonny to fear he’d pissed him off. But then Luki nodded.
“Yes,” he’d said. “You might be right. And it comes to mind that maybe it’s time I started to forgive him.”
Sonny was so surprised by the words that he just sat there, checking his memory to be sure he’d heard right.
Luki laughed. “Before I get too old and crotchety, and I can’t manage it anymore.”
After that, the discussion was quite over, because Luki pushed Sonny back on the bed and straddled him, running his hands up under Sonny’s shirt none too gently until he found his nipples and squeezed—right about the same moment his face came down close to Sonny’s. He licked across Sonny’s lips, corner to corner. Sonny felt himself turn into six feet, two inches of sex at that very moment, instant erection. Then Luki pushed his crotch down against Sonny’s and rocked his hips.
“Yeah!” Luki said it kind of viciously, almost a growl, and then, “That’s what I like, baby. That right there.” After a little more, he said, “Makes me glad I am what I am.”
“A gay man?” Sonny was panting hard but got the question out.
“A gay man who loves you.”
Luki kissed him hard. “Forever, baby,” he answered. “For-fucking-ever!”