Jason Spade is around 5’9″ tall, with short, brown-blond hair and iced-vodka blue eyes.
Right now? He’s pissed off at me.
“What?” I ask. I’m sitting at my computer in my completely awful kitchen, and he’s glaring at me over my shoulder.”
“I’m not entirely convinced,” he says, looking at something on his phone.
“What?” I ask. “What did I get wrong?”
“I just don’t think the guys in the vodka ad are us,” he scowls. He looks at his partner–in business and in life–who smiles and shrugs back.
“She got my goatee right!” Quent Jackson says, and I grin at him. He winks. He’s not nearly as scary as Jace.
“And your brown hair and eyes,” I say, trying to be conciliatory. It’s not nice to pick a fight with your characters. Those things usually come back to bite you in the ass in the way of disturbed dreams and unexpected sex scenes.
“That guy’s eyes are green,” Jace sulks.
I look at the commercial, which is in black and white. “I, uhm, can’t tell,” I say, feeling panicked, and Quent does some mojo magic and comes up with a picture of the actor on his phone.
“And I’m not nearly that expansive,” Quentin concedes. “But you’re looking good in that one,” he says to Jace, and he smiles so sunnily that even Jason Spade thaws.
“I look sheepish,” he grumbles, and I think I’m home free. HA! I should be so lucky.
“I’m glad you let your hair grow out,” Quent says softly, running his hand over Jace’s head so intimately, it seems to suck all the air out of the room.
“Me too,” Jace says, and the intensity of his gaze into Quentin’s eyes changes, and you can see Quent’s neck grow blotchy with flush. I grin at them together, a little gooey eyed, I admit, because they’re my first first contemporary m/m match, and now that I’ve added nearly 60K to their original short story installments, I love them that much deeper, that much more. Watching them make out in my kitchen is just as hot now as it was when I first hit the link to the video, and they appeared, fully developed, and started frotting in my head immediately.
But Jace catches me mooning at them and goes immediately goes on the offense.
“If you’re going to keep watching, you’d better pay us a percentage,” he bargains sharply, and I blush.
“You, uhm, don’t pay characters for providing your entertainment,” I tell him, trying to be gentle. “You guys, uhm, pretty much just go about your lives and we take it down.”
Those vodka blue eyes narrow. “Bullshit,” he says flatly.
I smile winningly, and Quentin gives me an encouraging grin for standing up to Jace. “Bullshit?”
“Those guys in the ads– they’re not us! You’ve already admitted that Quentin doesn’t really look like that, and neither do I!”
Oh dear. How to explain the creative process to two pissed off men who are always a hair’s breadth from banging each other over the kitchen table?
“Well, yeah!” I say. “But that’s how you started! I saw the ad, and then I wrote the short story, and then I wrote the other short stories, and then I went back and added your point of view and made the entire, complete novel–
But that’s still not… not us!” he snaps. “What on earth made you think about us when you saw those ads?”
I thought about it, then looked at the ad again and melted a little inside.
“Well,” I said, thinking hard, “I saw that grin on that guy who plays Quentin, and I thought, ‘Gee, he looks happy! What possibly could have made that guy so happy?’ And then I saw the guy who plays you, and I thought ‘That guy looks like he could definitely keep the other guy happy!’ But I do admit, as soon as I wrote that first scene in the locker room, you guys definitely became someone else.”
“And now?” Jace demanded.
I smile at him– I just can’t stop mooning at him– he’s so decisive, and handsome, and amazing, and hot. “Now,” I say, dreaming a little, “now that I’ve written more than a short story, or even two? Now, that you’ve got an entire novel written about the two of you?”
“Yeah! What now?”
“Now you’re definitely someone else. But still– there’s that spark, that moment in his smile, that moment when you think, ‘Geez, these guys would look really good boning each other stupid. How would that work?'”
Quentin made a purring sound, and Jace looked at him quickly, before shifting his stance like something was suddenly really uncomfortable. “What?” Jason asked, but he knew.
“Guess what I’m thinking about?”
Jace’s flush was just as dramatic as Quentin’s. “Food?” he said hopefully.
Quent’s grin was wide and expansive, and the kitchen suddenly got much hotter.
“French fries,” he said smugly, and Jace made a noise then, a “gununughhhhhhh…” sort of sound, and now I was sweating.
“Uhm, guys?” I ask, a little desperately, “you, uhm, wouldn’t want to go find a private place to eat those fries, would you?”
“Like the back of your brain?” Jace asked smugly, and I bang my head against my keyboard as a “Yes!”
“Good,” Jace says, sounding very pleased with himself. “We’ll just go… eat french fries… in your head, and you keep writing. Really. You enjoy that. You write all you want about it. We’ll just be here… on the table… in the bathroom… in the copy closet…”
His voice fades away, and I’m left looking at the two vodka ads that let those particular genies out of the bottle. I pour myself a shot of Jace and Quent and down it, feeling the burn of excitement travel up from my stomach. The best thing about having characters this strong, this real, this inspired, is the chance to share.
Oh– by the way? Gambling Men is out on amazon.com, ARe, and Dreamspinner Press–if you’re interested in seeing how much more of their story is in the novel (and it’s a LOT) and exactly what’s so awesome about french fries for lunch? You can find my guys doing their thing (and doing it well, and a lot!) right there:-)