Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Meet Shelton


Thank you, Lynn, for having me here today. Hello, everyone! My name is Shelton (Shelton in Love, Shelton’s Promise, Shelton’s Choice) and Lynn’s been kind enough to let me tell you a little about myself. Despite warnings, I went ahead and fell in love with my best friend and roommate, Nevil. 
In Shelton in Love, I’m already hopelessly in love with Nevil but my happily ever after is still achingly out of reach. The story is about my struggle to win Nevil’s elusive heart and not break my own in the process.
In Shelton’s Promise, I’ve been with Nevil for six months and am more than ready to commit to our relationship for the rest of my life. But is Nevil ready? The man can’t seem to help himself when it comes to flirtations with other men. It takes a near tragedy to get Nevil to see how important I am to him.
Our love comes to a header in Shelton’s Choice. I have to move to another state to take the promotion I’ve been working for, but can our love survive the separation and sense of betrayal such a move entails? We’ll see.
But in the meantime, let me answer Lynn’s questions.
What makes you happy now?
I’ll be moving to Colorado soon, so the thing that makes me happiest now is waking up in the morning with Nevil’s warm body snuggled next to me. I’m afraid there will be some pretty lonely nights ahead, so I savor every minute I have with him. After that, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. Meeting friends for coffee. Watching the sun set with Nevil. I also like when Nevil tucks a note in my lunch inviting me out for the evening. That always brings a smile to my lips. 
What is your greatest fear?
That Nevil tires of a long distance relationship and replaces me with someone closer to home and bed. He swears he never would, but loneliness might change his mind. God, I wish I had never taken that job…
What would you change about yourself if you could?
I wish I had Nevil’s confidence! I do all right, but once in awhile my insecurities get the better of me. Usually over a man I see Nevil paying some attention to. I could probably stand to be a little more aggressive at work as well, but I got this promotion by doing that. Maybe it’s not such a good thing after all.
What’s your favorite color?
I could be mushy and tell you it’s the aquamarine of Nevil’s eyes. But the candy apple red on a vintage mustang is pretty sweet.
What type of vehicle do you drive?
I know I mentioned a mustang above, but I actually don’t drive at all. Sure, I have a license and know how to drive, but for the most part I take the light rail train to work and Nevil drives us everywhere else in the Prius. 
Describe yourself to me.
Let’s see… I’m just under six feet tall. Stocky, though Nevil says I’m deliciously husky. Curly chestnut hair, hazel eyes. I’ve got a decent job. Great friends. I do some part-time modeling. I like adventure movies and some romances, though I’d rather read a book. No horror or even ghost stories. I can never sleep afterwards. Yea, that’s about it.
How would the hero/ine describe you?
Excuse my blush. That’s something you’ll have to ask Nevil. I think he sees a lot more in me than is really there.
What really moves you, or touches you to the soul?
I ride the train around the city a lot. It’s the little everyday kindnesses I see people do for total strangers that really gets to me. Even if it’s just picking up someone’s dropped package or opening a door for someone having trouble with it. There are a lot of nice people in the world and I feel lucky to be a witness to it.
If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?
1. I have to be selfish with this one and hope Nevil is happy with me in Colorado.
2. That everyone is safe with full bellies and warm beds this holiday season.
3. That the New Year be as full of love and joy as the one just past.
What three things would you take to a Desert Island?
I’m assuming there will be food and a place to stay and water to drink. So, number one would be Nevil. Bet you saw that one coming! Number two, a stack of all the books I’ve ever wanted to read but never had the time for. And number three, tanning oil, SPF 30, to rub into Nevil’s sleek skin for that all-over tan.
Shelton’s Choice
After a year of bliss with Nevil, Shelton is offered the promotion he's been working toward at the bank. Unfortunately the new position is in another state, and Nevil doesn't want to move. As tension mounts between them, Shelton is given another challenge in the form of a besotted coworker. Torn between the pressures at work and at home, Shelton has to choose his future. That is, until Nevil takes the decision out of his hands.

Excerpt:
Shelton hurried after him as Nevil wove his way through the boisterous lunch crowd to the front entrance. His heart fluttered when Nevil opened the door of the car for him and kissed his cheek as he climbed into the Prius at the curb. Nevil rarely displayed his affection in public, a sure sign he felt as aroused as Shelton did. He remained silent as Nevil drove through the afternoon traffic, his body tingling in anticipation of their lovemaking.
"What about this blindfold?" he asked, becoming slightly breathless at the thought. Nevil could be so creative.
"That's for later, my dear, when I have you alone and enthralled."
Shelton snorted and enjoyed Nevil's easy laughter. Grateful to be Nevil's friend as well as his lover, Shelton's spirits soared. His days were filled with laughter and comradeship. He thrust Ted's stinging reminder from his mind. He'd keep that discussion for another day and take this precious time with Nevil.
He sat up in the bucket seat as Nevil skirted the city and took one of the smaller highways toward the mountains. "Where are we going?"
"You'll see. We put the last nail in Bill Stanton's place this morning, two weeks ahead of schedule, and Barker gave us the weekend off, with a bonus." Nevil patted his pocket.
"It's only Thursday."
Nevil waved it off. "I'm sure you'll come down with a cold or something by morning. Live a little, Shelton! The bank won't fall apart without you tomorrow. I want to celebrate."
Shelton leaned back in his seat. Who was he to argue, especially when Nevil's gaze raked over him with the promise of passion in his beautiful eyes? The highway ascended steadily up into the mountains, and Nevil turned off along a narrow road, then onto a private driveway. Shelton whistled appreciatively when they pulled up to a modern glass-and-redwood-sided bungalow snug against the lake.
"It's beautiful," he said in admiration, recalling the blueprints for the house on Nevil's desk last winter.
"The Gordans haven't moved in yet and lent it to me for the weekend."
"But why?"
Nevil turned off the engine and moved closer to Shelton. "I told them it was my first-year anniversary with the man I love."
Shelton reached out and cupped the back of Nevil's head, pulling him closer for a kiss. So delicious. He never tired of the taste of this man in his arms. Nevil pressed against him, and the heat of his body ignited Shelton, the scent of Nevil's skin filling him with the longing to run his tongue over every inch of Nevil's body.
Nevil groaned low in his throat and slowly pulled away from him. "Let's go inside," he said unsteadily.
"Absolutely."
Nevil squeezed his hand as they left the car and climbed onto the wide porch surrounding the house. Shelton’s heart pounded with excitement as Nevil fished the keys from a pocket and opened the door. He waved Shelton in and barely let the door close behind them before pulling Shelton tight against his body.
The dark head bent to him. "I love you," Nevil told him and captured Shelton's lips before Shelton could reply.
Dianne Hartsock

2 comments:

wlynnchantale said...

Hello Shelton. Thank you so much for sitting down and talking with me today. Please help yourself to the buffet and open bar. My staff is still a little weary from the Christmas festivities but the food is hot and the drinks are strong.

You story intrigues me. A near tragedy? Wow. I won't ask what happened, I'll find out for myself.

Thank you Dianne for sending Shelton my way.

diannehartsock said...

*Shelton gives Lynn a friendly hug* It's great to be here. Oh, the buffet looks delicious...