Hi peeps, we have Santino Hassell stopping by today with his new release Interborough, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~
The Raymond Rodriguez from a few years ago wouldn’t recognize the guy he is today. He’s left his slacker ways far behind him and is now juggling two jobs and school. But the balancing act doesn’t allow much time for the man he loves.
David is doing his best to be supportive, but problems at work and his own insecurity leave him frustrated—in more ways than the obvious—whenever he goes to bed before Raymond gets home. The heat and affection between them is still there, but they barely have the time or energy to enjoy it. And it doesn’t help that Raymond is still hiding David from his colleagues.
The stress mounts so high that a vacation in paradise is filled with turmoil instead of harmony, and culminates on their return to the five boroughs with broken promises and heartache. They have to figure out how to stop allowing their differences to overshadow their love. It’s the only way they’ll make it to forever.
I nipped at his earlobe. “Useless as fuck and too much for that small-ass apartment. But anyways, if it’s Tonya you’re worried about, don’t be. Even before she went to Iraq, she was never the most outgoing or trusting person.” David nodded and looked at our reflection in the mirror. I grinned. “But if you don’t want it to be obvious, you should prob make up some landlord story.”
“Oh, that wasn’t a lie. Mr. Green texted me some weird message. Basically just told me to tell you to call him, and that you weren’t picking up your phone.”
“Huh.” Landlords wanting to have chats when the rent wasn’t overdue didn’t seem like a good sign. I glanced at my phone and saw that I had three missed calls and a text message asking that I return them. “I wonder why.”
“Well, I wonder why he couldn’t just talk to me. Since when am I the middle man? My name’s on the lease too.”
“Yeah, but he doesn’t like talking to you.”
David’s eyes narrowed. “Excuse me?”
“He expects you to flip out over small shit, I guess.” I shrugged. “I told him he shouldn’t hold your temper tantrums over closet size against you, but he wasn’t trying to hear it.” When David’s jaw dropped, it was an epic struggle not to laugh. “It’s fine, babe. I’ll handle it.”
“I don’t want you to handle it! What the fuck, Raymond? You let our landlord talk shit about me?”
Why had I thought he’d find it funny now when I’d avoided letting him in on this little tidbit of info for the past year and a half? Oh right, because I’d just blown my load hard enough to have lost all common sense and self-preservation instincts. My lizard brain was on a postorgasmic high.
“Look, it’s not a big deal. He wasn’t really talking shit. It only came up because that old motherfucker next door kept complaining about how loud you get when we’re fucking, and Green figured you’d get pissed and confront the guy. He was trying to avoid neighbor drama by telling me instead of you.” David’s eyes went as wide as saucers, so I rushed on. “And since I knew you really would be embarrassed, I didn’t tell you about it. It just so happened that me and Green ended up bonding.”
“You bonded . . . over how loud I get when you dick me out.”
“No. Just . . . The situation—” There was no saving this. “Whatever, man. We just had a good laugh about uptight people in the building. He didn’t care at all. From that point, he just always hit me up first if he needed something.”
“Why are you mad? Do you just want to be mad?”
David’s lip curled. “No, you ass. I want to not feel like you think it’s hilarious that our chauvinistic landlord has decided I’m the emotional little woman in this relationship, and you’re the one that handles things and makes decisions.”
“Wow, no one thinks that.”
“Yes. They do. People either respond with shock and awe that we’re a couple at all, or they shove us into stupid heteronormative roles.”
“Who cares? People are idiots.” If looks could kill, I would have already died like eighty-three times. So I stopped fighting. Besides, I had no idea if he was right or not. None of my friends acted that way, but who knew what people said to David when I wasn’t around. I sighed. “You want me to call him now and put it on speaker?”
“Bet.” I leaned against the dresser, hit Green’s name, and hoped the shouting and laughing from the living room wasn’t too loud through the door.
“Hey, Marty. What’s good?”
“I’m here too,” David butted in.
My boyfriend. Subtle like a brick in the head.
“Hi, David,” Mr. Green said calmly. “Thanks for passing along my message.”
David’s eyes narrowed to slits. “So, what’s going on? Rent’s not due for a couple weeks.”
“No, I know. I was trying to get in touch with Raymond about the plumbing situation.”
I could practically hear David’s teeth grinding. Clearing my throat, I avoided making eye contact. “Good, because that toilet runs nonstop, so your water bill is going to be on some next level bullshit. Also, the faucet in the shower is barely working.”
“Right, I know. I can get my son-in-law out there on Monday evening at the earliest.”
“Oh, that’s perfect,” I said. “I won’t be home, but David—”
“Uh, no, that’s not perfect.” David shook his head at me as his brows drew down fiercely.
There was an audible sigh on the other end of the call. “What’s the matter, David?”
“Look— Wait, actually, can you hold on for a minute?”
“Jesus Christ, David, what the fuck—” David snatched the phone out of my hand and jammed his finger down on the mute button. I glared and pushed him away, taking the phone back. “This is why the guy thinks you’re a lunatic. You always be doing some weird shit.”
“I’m not being weird! His son-in-law is a total fucking creep, and I refuse to be alone in the apartment with him for however many hours it takes to fix the bathroom.”
I squinted at David. “Say what?”
“You heard me. When he came to do the sink, he was being a weirdo. Staring and lingering and being a creep.”
My hackles rose. “Why didn’t you say something before?”
“Because . . .” David gestured in frustration. “I don’t know. It’s not like he did anything. He was just creepy.”
“Fine, then I’ll tell Marty to send his ass over when I’m home.”
I unmuted the phone. “Hey, bud. Can you send your boy over on Wednesday?”
“Or,” David cut in, “you could send a real plumber?”
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. This kid was dying to make an enemy of our landlord. I pinched his side and ducked out of the way when he swung out his arm in annoyance.
“Stephen is a real plumber, David,” Mr. Green said flatly. “But thank you for your concern about his credentials.” A loaded pause in which David looked close to destroying the entire borough of Brooklyn. “Anyway, he will be around on Wednesday.”
We said our good-byes, and I hung up while David seethed beside me. “What?”
“I don’t know what to say.”
David stared at me incredulously. “I didn’t want his creep son-in-law in our apartment at all!”
“But I’ll be—”
“It doesn’t matter if you’re home. The guy is probably a sex offender.” David’s scowl deepened. “It just irritates me when you make decisions and don’t let me have a say. You could have heard me out before giving him the okay to send Captain Creeper to our apartment.”
“It’s not that big of a deal.” I put an arm around him and drew him closer. He tried to wiggle away, but I held him tight against my chest. “You’re making this into drama for no reason. If he does something out of hand, I’ll put him in his place.”
“It’s not drama, and I don’t need you to be my bodyguard. I just hate Green and his stupid son-in-law. I hope he dies on the way from Long Island.”
I couldn’t help it, I burst out laughing. “God, you’re cute when you’re fired up.”
“Mmm.” I bumped my hips against his ass and pressed him up against the taller dresser. “Right here?”
“Stop,” he complained, but his voice dipped lower when I bit the side of his neck. “Ray, quit it. You can’t fix everything with sex.”
Sighing, I eased off. “Fine. I’m sorry I was oblivious that he’s kind of a douche bag to you. I didn’t even realize he was doing it.”
“Yeah, because you never had to deal with that type of homophobic crap. I don’t pass for straight, so I do.” David tilted his head back against me. “But more importantly, can we start making more decisions together? Even if it’s just something like which plumber comes to the apartment. I know it sounds dumb, but it bugs me.”
“We can.” I kissed him again. “And maybe we’ll actually be able to move out of that damn building at some point so you won’t have to deal with him anymore, and I won’t have to deal with our shitty neighbors.”
“Fat chance,” David said. “I look at the listings sometimes, and it seems like we got the last good deal in the city. Everything that size is like three or four hundred more these days.”
“Well, that figures, don’t it?” I shook my head. “Can we go clean up and watch the fights?”
“Promise you’ll keep me in the loop about things, and stop dismissing me when I worry about something.”
“Babe, I’m not trying to dismiss you or hide shit from you. It just makes me feel good to be able to handle things for a change. You know?”
David’s expression softened. “I know. But I still want you to promise.”
David let me nudge him to the bathroom, but I had a feeling he wasn’t convinced.
Read more at: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/interborough (just click the excerpt tab)
Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twentysomething, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.
Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of LGBT fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.
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