What Are You Willing to Sacrifice For Love?
Hollywood Bound (Gin & Jazz 1), was just released and is only 99 cents for a few more days – so grab a copy while you can ;-) The Gin & Jazz series begins in 1924, and follows the story of the young and innocent Jack Stone as he travels from a vaudeville theatre in New York - with his best friend and new lover Nick - to Hollywood. They hope to find great jobs there working as set builders at a motion picture studio. It’s such a grand adventure because everything is so new to them. From hopping a train, to being intimate, to the excitement of being in Hollywood – they don’t know what to expect next.
However, sometimes dreams don’t always turn out the way that we plan. When they finally make it to Hollywood, Nick discovers that jobs aren’t as easy to get as he’d been led to believe. He loves Jack with everything that he has, even if he can’t express his feelings out loud. He’s not so good with words. One night, when things are looking very bleak, he leaves Jack at the motel to clear his head. While he’s out, he makes a huge sacrifice to protect and care for Jack. In the following excerpt, Jack is at the motel waiting and worrying about Nick.
Jack and Nick seek fortune and adventure in the silent film era of Hollywood. But their newly-expressed love is threatened by the heady allure of fame, gin and easy money.
It was after midnight and Nick had been gone for over four hours. Jack was frantic with worry, and at a complete loss as to what he should do.
I’m so pathetic. I need to act like a man. Nick might need me. I can’t just sit here.
He resolved to go out and look for him. He would leave him a note so that if Nick showed up, he wouldn’t think Jack had run out on him. That gave Jack pause, and made his legs a little wobbly. What if Nick had been the one to run out on him instead? Maybe he’d had enough of Jack pestering him all of the time, and wanted to make a clean break. He’d paid the rent for the week, and left him with ten dollars and a couple of smokes. Maybe he felt he’d done all he could do by Jack, and was ready to start over somewhere else.
Jack sat on the bed and pondered this. He shook with a raw fear that was born of his own insecurities. There had been nothing said of Penelope, yet she was the ghost that always crept in between them. Jack was certain that Nick would eventually get tired of being with another man, and want to go back to his normal life. One of the musicians back in New York had warned him about that one time. He’d told Jack that there were guys who liked to play around for a while—sow some wild oats—then they would go and take up with a gal to have a family. He had mentioned it to Jack, telling him that he’d had his heart broken like that, and he could see how much Jack was pining for Nick.
Despite all the worry Jack had held in his heart over Penelope, he hadn’t been able to halt his feelings for Nick. How could he not love him? Nick was handsome, strong, smart and always made sure Jack was taken care of. They were best friends. And ever since their relationship had become physical, Jack had never felt so alive.
Oh God Nick. Please don’t leave me.
Jack heard some stumbling on the stairs, and he felt a surge of relief. It must be Nick, but he sounded like he was drunk or something. Had he gone to a gin joint just to get away from him?
Jack ran to the door and yanked it open just as Nick arrived at the top of the stairs. Jack gasped at what he saw. One of Nick’s eyes was almost swollen shut, and there was swelling and a cut on his cheek. His shirt was torn and dirty, and his hair dishevelled.
“Oh my God, Nick! What happened?”
“Shush, Jack. Get me inside before we wake anyone up. You’re makin’ a ruckus.”
Jack helped Nick into their room, wrapping his arm around Nick’s waist, and helping to support him the best he could. Jack led him over to their bed, and eased him down. Nick lay down immediately, covering his forehead with one arm and wincing in pain as he lifted his legs up onto the mattress.
Jack wanted to cry. This was the worst thing that had ever happened to them. They’d never even been robbed before in New York. And even though he’d seen Nick get into a couple of tussles with guys at the speakeasy, it had been nothing like this.
“Let me get you a wet towel for your face. We ain’t got no aspirin, but I’ll go and get you some in the mornin’, first thing.” Jack soaked a towel with cool water, and called out from the bathroom. “Too bad we can’t get a bottle of gin from somewhere.”
Nick grunted. “Don’t tease me, Jacky boy.”
Jack came back into the room with the towel, and laid it gently over Nick’s eye and swollen cheek. He pushed against Nick’s side, and he cried out.
“What, Nick? Are you hurt there too? What happened? Should we call the police?”
“Jesus Christ, Jack. Always with the questions. No police, okay? I don’t want no trouble.”
“But Nick… I don’t understand. Should I take you to the hospital? Are you okay?”
“Fuck. We can’t afford no hospital. Look—I’m all right. I just need to rest. Some guy tried to jump me is all. I fought him off, and that was it. There’s nothin’ else to talk about.”
Nick closed his eyes and Jack felt confused. It seemed there had to be more to the tale, but Nick looked so miserable that he didn’t want to push him.
“Here, I’ll get you a drink of water, then shut out the light so you can rest. I’ll sleep on the floor so I don’t bother you.”
Nick removed the arm that had been shielding his eyes from Jack.
“You’re not sleepin’ on the floor, Jacky boy—got it? Just maybe sleep next to the wall, away from this side.”
He covered his eyes again, and Jack went to get the water. Conflicting thoughts swirled in his head. He was filled with concern for Nick, but also wondered why he’d been gone so long, as well as where he’d been. Something seemed a little off. He didn’t smell liquor on him, so he couldn’t have been at a gin joint wasting their money. He was also wondering what they were going to do now about getting work with Nick so messed up.
Stop being selfish.
All that mattered was getting Nick better. They could worry about everything else later. He came out of the bathroom, and handed Nick the cup. He helped raise his head so that he could drink from it. Nick took several gulps, then laid back down.
“Shit. I need to brush my teeth.”
“I’m sure it won’t hurt to miss one night.”
“No. I really need to rinse my mouth.”
He moved to get up, and cried out.
“Geez, Nick, stay there. I’ll go get the brush and paste. Here’s the cup of water, you can use it to spit in.”
Jack helped him get his teeth clean, and put the items back in their bathroom. After that, Jack got him as comfortable as he could—Nick would only allow him to remove his shoes—then he shut out the light and carefully climbed into bed with him. He moved as close to the wall as he could so that he didn’t bother Nick, but Nick pulled him to his side, squeezing him tenderly, wordlessly conveying his love. Jack could feel it this time. He didn’t need to ask.
To get your copy of Hollywood Bound for only 99 cents:
Totally Bound: https://www.totallybound.com/hollywood-bound
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hollywood-Bound-Gin-Jazz-ebook/dp/B00GDIX064/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1383450453&sr=1-6&keywords=morticia+knight
All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hollywoodbound-1335074-340.html
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