Thursday, February 8, 2007

At The Edge - Marty Rayne

At The Edge - Marty Rayne
February, 2007 - ISBN 978-1-59426-592-1
$2.50 eBook (five formats) - Buy Now!
Author's Backlist: Marty Rayne

Michael pulled his jacket closer to his body. Still the cold February wind seeped in, making him shiver. He should have known that coming to New York this time of the year it would still be winter, and he wished he'd brought a heavier jacket. But, as another cold breeze slapped at him, he relished the stimulating sensations. It made him feel real. Alleviated some of the burden on his heart.

The city was alive all around him as lights blinked off and on and the never-ending traffic passed by. The sidewalks were still teeming with people coming and going even at this late of an hour. He wished he felt as alive as those around him.

Michael knew that he should be in a much better mood. He was in New York City. The Big Apple. The city that never sleeps. But why did he feel so alone in a city full of so many people?

He crossed the street with a group of strangers when the light told them to walk, his body on automatic. Knowing that this was the way back to the hotel where he was staying. He would have already been there by now if he'd taken a cab, but he opted to walk. He wanted some fresh air along with time alone from the others.

Thinking of his friends, Michael's cell phone started ringing. Seeing who it was, he reluctantly answered it.

"Michael Tanner," Shannon's voice called loudly over the heavy beat of music in the background, her tone scolding, "how dare you leave so early!"

Michael sighed. Shannon was his best friend and the reason for them being in New York. A music scout had heard a demo Shannon had made and insisted that she come and do more recordings. As part of the incentive, the company interested in her work had also taken care of the bill for four of her friends to join her. An all paid, five-day vacation for himself, Shannon's boyfriend Riley, and her twin brother and sister, Christopher and Hannah.

It had been a whirlwind trip as the quartet visited museums and saw the sights while Shannon busied herself at the recording studio during the daylight hours. The music company also supplied their newest interest with tickets to a Broadway show their first night. The rest of the nights had been spent gaining access to several of the top dance clubs in the area where it was a usual sight to be next to hot young movie stars and musicians. Fun to be had by all. Or, that was the idea.

Yes, Michael had enjoyed his trip to the 'Big City,' but still felt saddened despite the excitement of seeing it for the first time. He only wished that Todd could have been the one to experience it along with him.

Todd Long. Michael's Mr. Right. Or, so he thought. Now he wasn't so sure. Things had been a little rocky in their relationship lately. Michael felt as if they were getting into a rut. A routine that was sure to make any relationship wither and die. Michael was only twenty-one years old, being younger than his lover by seven years, but he knew the signs. Their lives revolved around Michael's school and their jobs. They socialized little anymore and their sex life ... well, let's just say it needed help. They were so busy with other things in their life; they hardly made time for intimacy.

"Earth to Michael." Shannon's voice brought him back to the present.

"I'm sorry, sweetie. My head is pounding so I thought I'd turn in early." They had been tearing up the town for three nights straight. He was indeed tired. "Besides, we have a plane to catch tomorrow, remember?"

"Pah ... sleep is overrated," she huffed. "Besides, it's Valentine's Day. We are supposed to be celebrating it all together."

"I know, but I'm tired. I'm almost to the hotel now. You be careful, and I'll see you in the morning." Before she could protest further, he closed the phone and tucked it back into his pocket.

It was Valentine's Day, and here he was alone in a strange city. He would rather be back in Florida with Todd, but he wasn't sure if it would have been any more enjoyable. Todd had been so distant lately, and Michael knew he was partially to blame. He had come on this trip hoping that their time apart would give each of them a chance to evaluate their relationship. His only thought had been to be back home spending his time with Todd again.

Michael nodded to the doorman before entering the posh hotel that Shannon's benefactors of this little trip had set them up in. As a full time student with a part time job, Michael knew that he wouldn't have been able to afford even one night in this place on his own accord. It was top notch. The sucking up they were doing to Shannon was giving all of them a ride. This may be the only time he would ever get a chance to stay in such an elegant place. Teachers normally didn't make huge salaries, but his love of teaching outweighed that of monetary greed.

Stepping into the elevator, Michael turned his thoughts back to Todd and the reasons for his distance. The notion of kicking himself really hard crossed his mind, feeling he was the cause of the further distance between them. Michael had thought that maybe if they brought a little spice into their love life, it would help draw them closer again. So one night, after drinking nearly a whole bottle of wine, he made a confession to Todd.

Michael had always had a specific type of fantasy tucked away in the back of his brain. One he'd told no one before. A fantasy that had made his hands shake nervously as he looked at his lover. Michael had always wanted to try bondage. He had many times fantasized about being bound and helpless at his lover's mercy but was always unsure about seeing anyone's reaction to what he craved, until now.

Todd's reaction to Michael's confession was startling. Michael had held his breath waiting for the expression of disgust, revulsion, or shock to form, but Todd's expression was blank and remained that way. He nodded but said nothing about it. In fact, he kissed Michael on the cheek affectionately before leaving the apartment they shared together saying he would be back later. Later, as in six the following morning later.

That was four days before Michael left for New York, and Todd never did make a comment about Michael's confession or say where he went that night. Now Michael was beginning to regret ever taking the risk.