New Release—KAGE; by Maris Black: Guest Post and Giveaway
My name is Jamie Atwood, and I’m an addict. I never thought I’d say such a thing. Never had a problem being overly-attached to anything in my life. I came from a perfectly middle-class family, made good grades, and had a hot cheerleader girlfriend. But the truth is, nothing ever really moved me. So how did a guy like me become an addict?
I met Michael Kage.
Kage is an MMA fighter. A famous one. I like to think I helped him get that way.
He’s charming as hell, with looks to rival any movie star and talent to back it up. So why did he need to hire me as an intern Publicist? Simple. He has a darkness in him– like a black hole so deep it could swallow him, and me, and everyone we know– and that’s not good for business.
The first time I met him, I felt the pull. I think the addiction began at that very moment. And even if I’d known then what I know now, I would have fallen for him. How could I not?
For me, Kage is everything.
“What is it that you don’t want me to see?”
“I guess I just don’t want you to see me differently.” He didn’t look me in the eye as he spoke, just kept watching his finger tracing that figure eight, which seemed to have literally become an infinity sign. “You don’t know how brutal it can get in there, Jamie. How brutal I can get. I kinda like the way you look at me now.”
“Like I want to eat you alive? You like how I’ve got the cannibal thing going on, huh?”
He laughed quietly. “Yeah, I like that.”
“So what makes you think that will change?”
“Fighting is different when it’s someone you know.” He finally met my eyes, and there was a haunted look in his. “You want to see me get punched in the face so hard my knees buckle? Or kicked in the kidney so hard I can’t stand up straight?”
I stared at him, my eyes wide, imagining the things he was describing. He was right. I wasn’t sure if I could sit on the other side of a chain link fence and watch Kage get hurt.
“What, no comment?” he asked.
There was a change in his voice, and in his demeanor. That little light his eyes had when he looked at me— the one that made me believe he might see something special— was gone. Snuffed out and replaced by a cold darkness. Then the barest hint of a sneer tipped one corner of his lips, and I pulled away.
“Think you can handle watching me bend a gown man’s arm backward, hearing the bone snap before he has a chance to tap out? How about punching a man in the face until there’s blood spewing everywhere and he’s lying there limp like a rag doll, head flopping as I bash his fucking head into the mat? Have you ever seen a guy kicked in the face so hard you think his neck snapped? How about seeing me choke a man unconscious and wondering for the next sixty seconds if he’s ever going to wake up again?”
“That’s what I do, Jamie. I hurt people. Do you know what they call me in there?” He gave me a smile that was one part sarcastic, two parts cruel. “They call me the Machine. Do you think you can have feelings for a machine?”
Feelings? Did he want me to have feelings for him? Because I was pretty sure I already did.
My name is Maris Black (sort of), and I’m a Southern Girl through and through.
In college, I majored in English and discovered the joys of creative writing and literary interpretation. After honing my skills discovering hidden meanings authors probably never intended, I collected my near-worthless English degree and got a job at a newspaper making minimum wage. But I soon had to admit that small town reporting was not going to pay the bills, so I went back to school and joined the medical field. Logical progression, right? But no matter what I did, my school notebooks and journals would not stop filling up with fiction. I was constantly plotting, constantly jotting prose, constantly casting the people I met as characters in the secret novels in my head.
Yep. I can blame my creative mother for that one!
When I finally started writing fiction for a living, I surprised myself with my choice of genre. I’d always known I wanted to write romance, but the first story that popped out was about a couple of guys finding love during a threesome with a woman. Then I wrote about more guys, and more guys, and more guys. I was never a reader of gay fiction, and I’d never planned to write it. The only excuse I have for myself is: Hey, it’s just what comes out!
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