Teaser Tuesday – 10/5/22 – Shades of Sepia

This week’s #teasertuesday is from Shades of Sepia, book 1 of The Sleepless City series I wrote with Elizabeth Noble.

Ben answered after a few moments. He wore very form-fitting black trousers, and the buttons of his shirt were still undone. Simon tore his gaze away from the dark chest hair and flat stomach with some difficulty and cleared his throat.

“Hello. I’m sorry. I’m a little early.” Simon went to take a step forward, then caught himself in time. Bouncing off the invisible barrier that prevented him from entering a private dwelling uninvited was something best avoided as it would be embarrassing, to say the least. Only very old vampires could cross a threshold without an invitation. “Do you want me to wait outside while you finish getting ready?”

“You’re not that early, and I’m running late. I had a difficult customer at the last minute, so I got held up.” Ben waved his hand to invite Simon in. “If you make yourself comfortable, I won’t be long.”

“Umm…” Simon froze. Ben hadn’t said the words, and a gesture wouldn’t suffice. What the hell was he going to do now? “I can’t…” The explanation died on his lips. He couldn’t do this, not now. Not tonight. Maybe not ever.

This was a mistake. He started to turn away, to run. Better that than Ben’s reaction when he discovered the truth.

“It’s fine, really.” Ben kept talking. “Come in, Simon. I can give you the five-second tour if you’d like. With the size of the place, that’s about how long it’s going to take.”

Simon heaved a sigh of relief. “That sounds good, thank you,” he said, walking into the apartment. He really hated that stupid rule. Of all the things that were believed of their kind, why did that need to be one that was actually true?

You can read more of this story here.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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