by Susan Mac Nicol
Nick Mathers pulls Owen Butler from the freezing waters off the Norfolk coast, but Owen’s love can carry Nick back from the edge of oblivion.
At the edge of the sea cliff, Nick Mathers was overwhelmed by the sudden urge to step into thin air. He imagined his body sailing free, finally finding shattered peace on the rocks below. He closed his eyes, swallowing as the insidious pull of need threatened to take him over.
This last nightmare had really done a number on him.
A deep rumble of thunder shuddered through the air like a bell tolling, mocking him with its sonorous tone. Freezing rain stung his face like flicks of a multi-tasselled whip.
Maybe this time he’d make a better job of it. It was the story of his life. He couldn’t succeed at anything, even dying.
Nick choked back a sob. He opened his eyes and screamed hoarsely into the air. “You motherfuckers, you want me, come and fetch me!” The uncaring gale snatched his words away. Looking down at the shore, Nick judged his flight path. Then he saw movement on the windswept beach below and froze. Something blue lay at the surf line in the frothing waves.
Jesus Christ, it’s a person.
The figure stirred. His anguish momentarily diverted, Nick turned swiftly, sprinting down the gravel path of the cliff to the beach then running across the flat sand toward the figure. Waves spilled over the body then receded like a lover’s caress. Nick dragged the body out of the surf and knelt beside it. The man’s arms were outstretched, face upturned to the rain as if in supplication. He was dressed in a dark blue suit, his coal-black hair plastered to his white face and his lips as pale blue as his shirt. He groaned, his eyes flickering. Nick watched as his chest rose and fell shallowly.
“Jesus, where the fuck did you come from?” Nick tore off his jacket, jerked him to a sitting position and wrapped the jacket around the shivering man. His head fell against Nick’s chest as he held him close, trying to instil further warmth. In this sea and this weather, hypothermia could be a bitch. Nick picked the man up, grunting a little as he slung him over his left shoulder. A slight whoosh of air escaped his burden as he did so.
Shit, he is bloody heavy.
The path upward back to the warmth of his cottage was treacherous with his heavy load, and Nick swore more than once as he lost his footing. His chest pounded, his throat on fire with the exertion. Rain whipped around them both, drenching them in its freezing embrace. At the top of the cliff path, Nick stopped and stood gasping, sucking breath into his straining lungs like a desperate man.
He definitely wasn’t as fit as he’d used to be.
The man over his shoulder murmured something inaudible.
“Are you okay? We’re nearly at my home.” Nick panted, jogging toward the welcoming lights ahead.
“Leave me.” Whispered words said between chattering teeth. “Let me die.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Susan Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. At the age of eight, her family moved to Johannesburg, South Africa where she stayed for nearly thirty years before arriving back in the UK in December 2000. She has written nine novels, two novellas and a screenplay since February 2012 and clearly believes in keeping herself busy. She has found herself wanting to stay in the genre that is M/M Romance so more can definitely be expected.
Sue is a member of Romance Writers of America and Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She is also a member of a rather unique writing group, called the Talliston Writer’s Circle, which in itself has a story all of its own to tell and lives in the rural village of Bocking, in Essex, with her family. Her plan is to keep writing as long as her muse sits upon her shoulder. Her dream is to one day make enough money to give up the day job and get that big old house in the English countryside overlooking a river, where she can write all day and continue to indulge her passion for telling stories.
Susan will be awarding one randomly drawn commenter a digital copy of SAVING ALEXANDER and STRIPPED BARE.
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