So, we’re into a new year and I hope it’s a good one for everyone. I am busily at work on my next novel and will keep you posted. Today though I thought you might enjoy a free snippet from my new M/M novel ‘Hidden.’ It follows below. I am now into the next project.
My new novel has called for lot’s of research. I am a stickler for research. Even for a short story I will do loads of digging around making sure I get the costumes and transport of the correct era. This was especially brought home to me when I read a scathing review posted on a top author. Let this be a lesson for all of us climbing the tree. The author in question was taken to pieces by one learned reader who had identified costume and transport errors. You and I won’t become like this when we inhabit that lofty sphere will we? It would be nice to think as people who appreciate books and the written word that we will give our literture it’s due and treat it with respect; giving our all to each small piece we do. Research can be a pain, but it is well worth it. I think then we can truly be called authors. Now enjoy Hidden, published by Xcitebooks and available as ebook and print from most platforms. Welcome to my new followers, it is you who make this all worthwhile.
‘Hidden’ By Alcamia Payne
‘Do you think this has been easy for me? Well, do you?’ Darren exploded. ‘You’ve turned my whole life upside down and messed with my heart.’ All the pent-up anger and confusion of the last few weeks was ripping through his carefully constructed defences and it was scary but good. ‘It’s like I’m making most of the emotional sacrifices when all you do is run away and try and hide from whatever it is that’s bugging you. I should know, because I’m an old hand at it. It’s what I used to do.’ He was beginning to falter. ‘When you came along, for the first time in my life I decided to stick it out, no matter how difficult it was; stick it out because I knew I was beginning to love you. I decided I’d be brave, and there were times when, hell, I didn’t feel brave, Jake. There were times when I really thought it would be best to let you go before I got hurt. But I toughed it out, hoping one day you’d explain to me about the secrets; the phone calls and all that shit.’ Darren was numb. It was as if Jake had clammed up, and that infuriated him.
‘Have you finished, Darren, are you ready to listen to me?’
Darren spread his fingers over his face. He didn’t want to listen but this was why he’d come all this way. There were tears in his eyes when eventually Jake prised his hands away. He didn’t fight him, that would be too immature, but he felt like punching him.
‘Here’s what I want to say. I can’t believe you’re here. Why did you turn up here? Why did you have to come and make things so fucking difficult?’
‘Because I don’t think it’s over, Jake, and I need you to make a choice between me and this other guy. The least you could do is think about taking a gamble on me, like I’m doing with you. Whoever he is, he doesn’t seem to be making you happy.’ Darren’s wildly thumping heart seemed to have slowed down and he felt more rational. He supposed he’d had enough time to get used to the feeling of losing Jake. He made a claw of his fist and dug it into the warm sand.
‘Who told you I was here?’ Jake continued. ‘No, don’t tell me.’ He forced a weak smile. ‘It was Colleen, wasn’t it?’
‘Yes. She said this is where you always come, back to … to see …’ Darren paused. ‘Adam.’ He was staring icy hard at Jake. ‘Adam, your lover. It’s kind of an appropriately biblical name for a snake in the grass, isn’t it?’
The breeze was warm and gentle on his cheek, like a lover’s kiss, the sun a warming hand on the back of his neck. For some reason, he felt so much calmer and braver now that this was all out in the open. That was another thing he’d give Jake. Jake had made him more than himself. Jake had slain the dark monsters which had been stalking him for so long: the shyness, the low self-esteem, the lack of confidence. ‘You don’t have to give me the details, I simply need to know.’ He shook his head. ‘I was so stupid because all the signs were there since day one. The things that you wanted to say and almost told me so many times before you clammed up. The fact you wouldn’t let me pick up your phone. It’s classic lovers’ games. Well, I just want you to understand the fault’s mine and not yours. I walked into this with open eyes, Jake. I just need the truth.’
Jake was sitting so close his bare thigh beneath the hem of his denim shorts was touching Darren’s. Despite everything, Darren was turned on by it and his desire eclipsed his hate. If he’d been another kind of guy, maybe he could have been magnanimous enough to share Jake. But Darren was monogamous; he couldn’t do that. He only wanted one lover and he wanted the other guy to feel the same way.
‘I’m sorry,’ Jake said, the wind ruffling his hair as he stroked particles of sand off his arms. ‘But despite what you think, I’m not as together as you are. You’re right, Darren. I handled this all wrong and I realise I should have come clean ages ago. I know what you’re going to say, but what you see of Jake Fromberg is a mask. I’ve got good at coping with things over the years, good at running away. The fact is I shouldn’t have got involved with you. It was the wrong time; indeed I doubt it would ever have been the right time. That night when we hooked up, I’d reached breaking point. The sad thing is you got me, Darren. You hooked me. You turned out to be something special.’
‘Yeah, me, the mug. The soft touch.’
‘No, never that. Believe me, you’re a wonderful guy with a wonderful imagination. A guy with an incredible heart and soul and bleeding with all that raw emotion.’
‘You thought that about me?’ Darren mumbled.
‘Yes, and before I knew it, I made a huge mistake and I couldn’t prevent it happening, it was so good. I did love you, Darren.’
Did love you . The words he’d wanted to hear, but quoted now in the past. Boy, did that hurt. So, he was right; it was over. Jake had flown to California to see this guy and now it was finished. All the time, he’d clearly been seeing this Adam. Perhaps he’d even been married for years. Well, that would be the icing on the cake, wouldn’t it? But it happened, happened all the time. Darren felt stupid and gullible.
Jake was staring at him, an expression on his face Darren didn’t understand. Confusion, love. He didn’t want to read too much into it. ‘I don’t want to hurt you. You know, more than anything I’d like to be able to explain things to you, but that would take ages and I don’t have too much time. I have something I have to do and it’s very important, more important than we are. I never wanted for us to be over, but I couldn’t see any other way out of the fuck-up I’d created.’ He raised his hands, pressing them to his temples. ‘It’s such a fucking mess. I think we both have to face the fact that it was the wrong time for both of us. Maybe in another time and place …’
‘No way. I won’t let you get out of it that easily with no bloody explanation,’ Darren exploded as he leapt to his feet. ‘I can’t believe you, Jake. Don’t you think you owe me that?’
‘Yes, and in time I’ll tell you everything, but it’s gonna have to wait because something’s happening and it may be the most important thing in my life.’
‘Fuck this most important thing. It has to do with Adam, doesn’t it?’
‘Too right it’s to do with Adam, and I don’t need this shit.’ Jake stood up and began walking back towards the path leading to the road.
‘I hate you. How could you do this to me?’ Darren caught hold of his arm, spinning him around. ‘Don’t walk away, don’t you ever walk away from me. You owe it to me.’