Snippet Saturday – Author’s Choice
I seem to be in a bit of a mood so, let’s go with something a little different…
This snippet is from something new I’ve just turned in and that I’m now waiting on an answer from my editor. It’s called Malachi’s Heart (I’m not sold on the title yet either) and it’s a M/M Contemporary Western…
Last call at the Bar Next Door. In about an hour, Malachi could go home. Eli would handle the end of clean-up, per their deal. Malachi would open the bar and Eli would lock the door at the end of the night.
Last call. Much as he loved the bar, he sometimes loved leaving it just as much. Especially tonight. Danny was here again and almost too drunk to sit steady on the barstool and way the hell too drunk to stand, walk, or drive himself home. When he was sober, he was Daniel. All grown up and hotter than fire, tempting every man and woman with his crooked smile, his whipcord frame, and his bright green eyes. When he was drunk though, as he seemed to be more often than not lately, he was Danny. All grown up and acting like a teenage kid, full of angst and sadness.
“C’mon Danny. Time for you to go.” Malachi ‘Mal’ Rhalston picked up Danny’s half empty glass of whiskey.
“Hey asshole. I wasn’t done with that,” Danny said, louder than necessary with Mal standing right in front of him. Mal held up the glass and and swirled the amber colored liquid against the sides.
“This? You weren’t done with this?” Mal looked at it. “It is a bad idea to waste such good whiskey.” He downed it himself in one swallow, feeling the burn all the way to his soul. Danny wasn’t the only one suffering over anything, but he always liked to think he was. Selfish prick.
“I was right. You are an asshole.” It was said without heat or rancor, only a weariness that hurt Mal to hear.
Mal smiled his typical bartender smile. It wasn’t one he usually gave Danny being they were best friends and all, but right now, it was all he could muster. “Never said I wasn’t.” He wiped down the bar in the immediate area of Danny. The man never wore cologne, but had a spicy, earthy scent all his own that Mal would know anywhere. He didn’t know if anyone else could smell it and it didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was that he could, that he knew Danny so well… He mentally shook himself and focused his attention once again on Danny, on his face. “So, what had you in here tonight tyin’ one on?”
“Same shit, different day.”
One thing Mal always admired about Danny was the fact that the man could be stinkin’ drunk and still speak without slurs or ripples in his words. Most men in the bar that got that blasted couldn’t string the syllables of their own names together, much less carry on an actual conversation. To talk to Danny, one wouldn’t know he was fifteen sheets to the wind aside from the lack of balance and the smell of his breath. “Which shit would that be? Job shit or man shit?”
Danny was working his own place a few miles outside town. It was something neither of them ever wanted years ago when they had a chance to own a ranch, but Danny had found a small one that needed a lot of work and he’d thrown himself into it.
“Man.” Danny spat the word with disgust and Mal wiped the bar again just to be on the safe side. “It’s always about a man.”
“Things not work out with that pretty thing you carted out of here the other night?” The glare Danny leveled at Mal would have frightened a lesser man. Mal wasn’t now nor had he ever been scared of Danny. Their friendship went back too far. They knew everything about one another. Danny, drunk or sober, wouldn’t hurt anyone unless it was to protect someone else and he sure as hell would never strike Mal.
“You should know the answer to that one.” Mal did know and secretly, whether it was the right thing or not, he was always glad. Danny always did do things the hard way.
“Then why do you bother?”
“Can’t have who I really want.” The words were miserably spoken, full of sadness and resignation. Mal understood exactly what it meant and felt like to want someone so much and not be able to have them. He’d been dealing with it most his life, but hearing those words from Danny… Well, it was the first time the other man had admitted he felt something for someone.
“You mean there is someone? A serious someone?” He desperately wanted to ask who the man was that had Danny all fucked in the head and drinking the desire away every night. He wanted to know who had been lucky enough to garner Danny’s romantic interest so he could help the guy get his head out of his ass. Danny was special and deserved someone just as… Mal should know. He’d always wanted to be the man Danny fell in love with.
“Where the hell have you been? Of course there’s a serious someone. You think I like fucking a different ass every other week? Damn, Mal. I thought you of all people would… Shit. I’m outta here.”
“I’ve been trying to get your ass outta here for ten minutes.” At Danny’s confused looked, Mal laughed and hoped he’d pulled it off as nothing more than friendly. “Last call, remember?”
(a little man candy for y’all since there’s no hot cover)
Now, please have a wonderful Saturday and make sure to drop in on the other authors participating in Snippet Saturday: