Weddings are stressful under the best of circumstances, which this certainly isn’t. Following the release of his debut movie, No Apologies, Greg Falkner is working hard to be a better man to fiancé, Aaron Blake, despite his baser instincts. When their alma mater contacts Greg and asks him to serve as their celebrity auctioneer for an upcoming charity gala, he grudgingly accepts at Aaron’s urging.
Aaron admires the new man Greg has become yet craves the old independence of his lover. He’d love to strike a compromise in the relationship and hopes that returning to their beginning will help Greg lay some of his personal demons to rest.
Neither man anticipates the violence that will befall one of them, potentially changing both lives in unimaginable ways. What emerges from the darkness, through frustrations and determination, is a remarkable story of true love with Full Disclosure.
NOTE: Full Disclosure follows Aaron and Greg’s lives after No Apologies, but can be read as a stand-alone novel.
For more Aaron and Greg, you might also enjoy Kit Harris and Jeremy Ash’s novel, Acting Out, in which the story of the making of Greg’s film, No Apologies, is told.
In less than two weeks, on August 14, 2012, Loose Id releases the follow-up story to No Apologies, titled Full Disclosure.
So many readers asked for more insight into Aaron and Greg’s relationship and their lives after No Apologies that my Muse brow beat me into complying. The result was a story that is as personally profound, ragingly sensual, and can’t-look-away compelling to me as No Apologies
If it weren’t for your votes of confidence in these fellas, and your cries for more, I might never have found the next chapter in Greg and Aaron’s story. You have given me such an amazing and unexpected gift with your support. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.
When Full Disclosure was in draft stages, I posted a piece of the following scene (behind the cut), somewhere on the internet. Perhaps here. I wasn’t able to locate it in a search, however, and was going to suggest it might be fun and interesting for you to see the pre-edited and edited versions. Alas, unless someone can find the original and posts the link in the comments, this was not meant to be.
The teaser is longer than the one I previously posted. Other than a few swear words, it’s pretty safe but to my mind’s eye it’s one of the most sensual and beautiful pictures of two characters that I can imagine. I hope it reads the same way to you, because my heart aches with the desire to share these fellas and their lives with you.
My publisher would like me to remind you that what is behind the cut may change before the book sees publication since it comes from the last line edited draft of the novel before it went to layout.
Full Disclosure Teaser:
GREG KNOTTED HIS tie with shaking fingers. Thoughts and emotions confused his motions until Aaron stepped forward and pushed his hands out of the way. Jerks of his lover’s fingers deftly tightened the fabric around his neck until it snugged against his Adam’s apple. Aaron held out his jacket, and Greg shrugged into it.
Numb and reeling, he barely noticed the hushed quiet and shadowed recesses of the dorm as they walked the halls and descended the stairway. A light breeze blew, lifting his hair from his scalp as they crossed the courtyard toward the great hall. The strains of classical music wafted from open windows, mingling with voices elevated in conversation and laughter.
White clouds shone silver against the moon, drifting across her surface and caressing the sky. Greg watched the beauty of the scene as if from outside it, like a film. It became something he could choreograph and control if he molded it with paper and ink, light and celluloid, actors and dialogue. Aaron led him forward into the great hall. Greg hung back at the entrance and watched the glittering gowns and shining buttons drift by, a kaleidoscope of color and motion. He’d use this someday, he knew. It’d appear in a film, entertaining thousands and lifting him above and outside the reach of their petty hate.
Aaron’s mother and stepfather waltzed past, and Greg snapped his gaze to Aaron. Aaron seemed poised on the balls of his feet, watching the crowd as if timing its steps. Waiting for something. The music paused. Aaron inhaled deeply and grabbed Greg’s hand to pull him onto the glossy parquet. Stunned, Greg tripped onto the floor with him. The music changed to a sweet, somewhat delicate waltz.
Greg stared into Aaron’s eyes and shook his head very slightly. In response Aaron brought one hand to Greg’s waist, the other to his shoulder. In mute obedience to the silent command in Aaron’s gaze, Greg mirrored his gestures and stepped backward as Aaron led him into the waltz. A ripple went through the crowd. Classmates and teachers, staff and spouses murmured to one another.
“When this is over,” Aaron said, staring somewhere over Greg’s left shoulder, “I’m gonna tongue-fuck you in front of them all.”
Greg stiffened, almost stumbled. Aaron’s grip steadied him as he looked him in the eye.
The line of his lover’s jaw hardened to match his flinty gaze when he said, “It’s about time you, and they, realized exactly what you mean to me.”
Breath barely squeezed past the constriction in Greg’s chest. Choked with emotion, Greg could only nod in response. Greg tightened his grip on Aaron’s waist, finding reassurance in the muscled torso beneath his hand. The push and pull of Aaron’s directing motions guided Greg into the dance just as he always seemed to guide him through this turbulent life.
“I love you,” Aaron said, loud enough for the now-hushed dancers to hear. “And nobody is gonna change that. Not Sully. Not my parents. Nobody.”
Greg closed his eyes and drank in Aaron’s statement, discovering a touchstone not only in Aaron’s words, but also in the familiar scent of sea salt and cocoa butter under crisp starch. Greg’s heart expanded to let emotion trickle in until he found Aaron’s love impossible to ignore.
Compelled to believe in Aaron and in himself, Greg opened his eyes and replied with no little wonder, “I love you too.”
The ridges of Aaron’s cheekbones flushed with color, and he nodded once, gratitude and relief apparent in the softness of his partly opened mouth.
They wove in and out of the other couples, the music caressing them in a rhythm that swayed them together like the early summer grasses they’d once lain in to make love. Greg remembered the honey wheat of Aaron’s hair in the golden sunlight, birds swooping overhead, and the sound of sweet sighs and the scent of sweat. Then furtive glances in class the next day as they counted the moments until they could engage in the pleasure and newness of this wonderful discovery again.
Good to his word, when the music halted and the other dancers turned, almost automatic, to watch them, Aaron cupped Greg’s face in both his palms and held him still for a kiss no less tender for all its fierce plundering and shaking need. Lips tingling, cheeks heated, Greg stepped back when Aaron released him from his spell. Aaron took his hand and led him across the dance floor, past his pinch-faced mother, past a glaring Sully, and back into the night air.
Outside, Aaron halted their progress across the courtyard. Still lost in the unreality of having waltzed with his gay lover in front of two hundred people, Greg stumbled, his hand going reflexively to Aaron’s shoulder to steady himself.
“Sorry,” Greg said, trying to shake the dance-floor haze from his brain.
Aaron ignored his apology and frowned up at the sky.
“That guy who was s’posed to be me in No Apologies?” Aaron asked pensively, seeming to search for answers in the alignment of the stars sprinkled across the heavens.
Greg looked around automatically to gauge the nearness of other guests. Finding the courtyard empty, he relaxed and responded, “What about him?”
“Why’d you paint him so wonderful and amazing?” The anger and frustration from their earlier argument still shone in the depths of Aaron’s eyes. “Like such a saint?”
Greg raked his free hand through his hair, knowing as he did so that he tumbled the locks in a way Aaron never failed to find irresistible. Sure enough, Aaron lifted his fingers to adjust the unruly strands over Greg’s forehead, brushing them to the side with a gentle tug. Greg didn’t want the argument to continue. He wanted it to be over, and he didn’t like the new direction Aaron was taking them in.
“Because it’s how I see you,” Greg answered, hoping the meager explanation would suffice.
Aaron’s hand paused, hovered. “I’m not.”
“To me you are.” His voice a dry whisper, Greg wet his lips.
Aaron ushered them closer to the granite steps leading into the dorm. They sat side by side in the glow of the electrified coach lamps. Aaron rested his elbows on the step behind and tilted his head back, a pained expression drawing the skin tight around his mouth, setting his lips and jaw into a grimace.
“Did you ever hear any of what me and my fellas planned…what we did to those kids who got kicked out in our junior year?”
Unease settled around Greg’s shoulders, tightening the muscles in his neck. In his usual seat at the isolation table, Greg couldn’t help but hear Aaron and his group planning some of their more sordid escapades. Aaron knew that now, though he hadn’t before he’d seen No Apologies. At one time Greg had wondered if Aaron would ask about it, but he hadn’t expected it to take him so long.
“I did,” Greg answered, reluctant to examine Aaron’s imperfections too closely.
Pinning him with his gaze, Aaron asked, “Exactly how d’y’all define saintly as getting kids half my size with a quarter of my family’s wealth expelled just because they didn’t fit?”
Greg shook his head, unable to answer.
In response Aaron stood, pulled Greg up in a rush of motion, and began to run toward the school’s wrought iron gates. They rounded the grassy shoulder by the curving country lane before Greg realized where they were headed. He tried to stop, but Aaron forced him to come along with momentum and will. They spilled into the graveyard, its mossy stone crypts and crooked headstones a jumbled mass of jagged edges in the moonlight. Aaron stopped abruptly next to a raised crypt and whirled to face Greg.
“Do you remember this?” Aaron pointed to the tomb.
Greg looked away.
“I know you do.” Aaron grabbed Greg’s chin, forcing him to look up. “You remember it very well.”
Against his will, Greg’s gaze went to the patch of ground where he remembered falling to his knees.
“Yeah. I put you there.” Aaron snorted his disgust with himself. “And now you hero-worship me for it. Tried to make it into some romantic gesture where I saved your ass from my so-called friends.”
Greg shook his head, not wanting to hear the rest. He needed to believe the story he’d painted for himself and for the world in No Apologies. Believing in Aaron was all he had. All he ever wanted. He bent over, hands on his knees, and tried to contain the ache in his heart that threatened to spill out in ways too messy for him to clean up.
“Stop.” Greg’s voice sliced into the darkness, shredding the velvet silence. Then more hoarse. Desperate. “Stop. Please.”
“I am who I am because you allow me to be. You let me be strong. Brave. And good.” Aaron’s tone implored him to believe the truth in his words. “You’re the angel here, Greg. Not me.”
Greg stood and would have stalked away had Aaron not stayed him with a gentle touch to his shoulder.
“Because you allowed me inside your hurt and let me show you how to love yourself, I learned how to love too.” Aaron took his hand and held it, weaving his fingers tightly with Greg’s until their knuckles shone side by side, an alabaster sculpture in the light of the moon. “I was gay before I met you, but I was never a good person until you made me want to be.”
“I don’t believe you.” Greg’s whispered reply lacked the force of denial behind it.
“Sure you do,” Aaron said with a sad smile and a kiss to Greg’s knuckles. “But I love you even more for needing to pretend different.”