BOOK EXCERPT: Angel Heart ~ Sharon Maria Bidwell

“I’m tired,” Dean said. It hardly surprised him to hear that he

sounded it, too. “I didn’t expect to get this tired so quickly.”

“Tired…of me?”

The subtle tones in that question caught Dean’s attention. He looked
across the room. Jay stared at the floor, standing straight, hands
clutched into fists at his sides. Dean recognised that pose. He often
used it himself. That tone though, the almost plea, the dread of
hearing something he didn’t want to hear, the brave way Jay so
evidently struggled and prepared for the worst… “No,” Dean said
gently. “Not of you. Of what people think of me. Of what they expect
me to do. They all expect me to hurt you.” He swallowed, fighting an
odd twinge that threatened tears. That feeling was too like the onset
of grief when you first heard someone was very ill, and you didn’t
know if you were going to lose them or not.

“We shouldn’t be about what others expect.”

“No. I know. It’s just…” He didn’t know how to put what he meant into words, and for someone who wrote whenever he could find the time, that felt like the greatest insult of all. His thoughts kept returning to the kiss. Not the stupid incident several years ago where he’d kissed Jay by accident, mistaking him for April, or any of the kisses in between not even the one where he’d first realised he was stuck in a relationship that he didn’t want to be in.

No, that wasn’t true either. Not exactly, and it was beside the point.
What haunted him now was the kiss he hadn’t bestowed on Jay’s brow earlier today. He’d hesitated and then been unable to go through with it because there were so many people in the room, but if Jay had been a girl, he would have done more than kiss her forehead. He couldn’t understand and hated the emotions ripping through him right now, but he didn’t seem able to stop feeling so much.

“Am I that unlovable?” He wasn’t even sure the question made sense but he hadn’t realised he was going to ask it aloud until he heard his voice.

“You can’t be,” Jay told him. “I love you.”

“Everyone else hates me.”

“No, they don’t.” Jay stepped farther into the room, but something in Dean’s posture must have changed his mind for he went still. About three long paces separated them, but the short distance might as well have been a mile.

“Okay. Then April hates me.”

“She’ll get over it.”

“And if she doesn’t?”

“I don’t care what April thinks.” Jay’s voice came out more forcefully
this time. Dean lifted his gaze to Jay’s face.

“Not even about our lovemaking?”

Angel Heart. The novella sequel to Snow Angel, now available:

Sharon Maria Bidwell
aonia – where the muses live —

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