Next Wednesday, September 28th, sees the release of my first Color Box, Rust red: Galvanized. This novella is a continuation of the story that was started in my 2010 Healing Hearts Charity Sip, Eyes Wide Shut.
When you're used to the adrenaline-filled life of a Royal Flying Doctors Service physician, being chained to a desk with a broken leg would try the patience of a saint. But coming out in the testosterone-driven environment of a Western Australian nickel mine is no walk in the park either. Six months after the mine cave in that almost killed RFDS doctor Adam Taylor, he and his mining engineer boyfriend Chris Barker need a break. A trip to Surfers Paradise to visit Adam's family seems like just the thing, until a chance meeting with an old adversary on the tourist strip makes Chris' private life very, very public. With the nickel mine seething with prejudice and aggression, and Chris stubbornly refusing to admit that his safety is in question, it's up to Adam to persuade Chris that the love they share is more important than Adam's love for his job and the rust-red landscape that surrounds them.
Even if Adam hadn't broadcast to the whole world how much he wanted his cast off, Chris would have known anyway, since he was like a man on a mission once they got to the hospital. Chris was sure that he'd never seen anyone get close to sprinting using crutches before, but woe betide any little old lady who got in Adam's way when he was motoring down the corridor to the Orthopedics Department. A man possessed didn't begin to describe it.
In the end, there weren't any ten cent pieces, gum wrappers, or pots of gold revealed when the cast came off, just a really white leg that was noticeably and disconcertingly smaller than Adam's other leg.
"It's very important that you do your exercises to build up muscle strength in this leg now," the technician told Adam as he wiped his leg down with a wet, soapy gauze dressing stolen from the shelves of supplies lining one wall. "If you don't, this muscle atrophy is going to be a permanent thing, and no one wants that, right?"
"Right." Adam nodded, drying his leg off with another gauze pad. "I'll do them. I'll do them every day, I promise."
"It's not me you should be making promises to," she said dryly. "Get dressed, you're done."
The technician had tried to get Adam to take his old crutches back, to be kind to his newly-freed leg, but he'd refused, so she'd forced a walking stick on him instead. Chris and Adam walked slowly out into the car park, Chris' stomach clenching at the way Adam seemed to be favoring his weakened leg, leaning heavily on the cane. "Are you okay?"
Adam nodded. "Yeah, I... yeah. It just feels weird, that's all. Light. The cast was so heavy and restricting, and now it's gone, so... yeah. It feels really light."
"But not painful."
Adam looked at him across the roof of the car, and the heat in his eyes made Chris' heart skip a beat. "No," he said, smiling slowly, his gaze dropping to Chris' lips. "Not painful at all."
Chris felt his face heating, and he bit his lip, glancing around the car park before unlocking the car. "Get in the car."
Adam's expression turned cheeky. "Bossy now, hm? I hope that lasts until we get home."
When they did get home it was Adam who was the bossy one, practically towing Chris up the driveway by the front of his shirt. Chris would have protested the obvious display of possessiveness, the crossing of the friends-to-more line in public, but there was too much blood rushing to pool in his lower extremities for him to form the words, so he just let himself be towed. As soon as the door was shut behind them, Adam let his walking stick clatter to the ground and shoved Chris against it, kissing him hard. "Time to make good on your promise," he said hoarsely, fingers tugging at Chris' t-shirt to get it over his head.
Chris grabbed at the waistband of Adam's pants and tugged him closer, pressing their hips together. "I promised something, did I? I can't quite remember..."
Adam's chuckle was throaty and full of lust, the sound of it going straight to Chris' cock. "Oh, yeah, you promised all right," Adam said as he rubbed his hips against Chris', his hands moving around to grab Chris' ass. "And you'll deliver, too."
Chris grinned, pulling Adam in for a kiss. "Flattery will get you everywhere," he said, shoving Adam away and bending down to pick him up in a fireman's carry, almost running across the living room to the bedroom.