A Peek at Down and Dirty

Down_and_Dirty_RhysFord_small

Bobby and Ichi’s Story.
Coming from Dreamspinner Press; December 2014

The interior was mostly faux-Italian, full of sweeping plaster embellishments, lush velvets, and trompe l’oeil vistas meant to whisk theatergoers to a lush Vienna celebration. The balconies were reminiscent of gondolas, toothy woodwork and black with swirling gold curlicues amid a sea of spangled stars and dusky skies. A pair of balconies wide enough to hold two or three people sat near the top of the stage opening, once meant for an operatic chorus to stand in during performances, and it was one of these outcroppings Jae was struggling to get to, using a slender shelf nearly a story up off the theater floor as a bridge.

Someone in the theater’s past bricked off the platforms and removed the access stairs, most likely during its revival as a cinema. If Ichiro could go back in time, he’d punch that someone in the face, because watching Jae inch his way to one was going to give him ulcers.

“Should you be doing that anyway?” Ichiro couldn’t stand it any longer, and he paced down the side of the theater floor, walking down the steeply angled aisle until he was directly below his friend. “You were shot.”

“I was shot months ago, and the doctor said I could resume normal activity—within reason.”

“This is so not within reason.” Ichi’s heart leaped up into his throat as Jae reached the balcony and threw one leg over the balustrade. “I don’t think he’d agree being Batman was normal activity—or even close to reasonable.”

“This is nothing. You should see—oof—what Cole and I—”

“I don’t want to hear that. Not about my brother. Or you. I don’t need that in my head.” He took a few more steps, hovering beneath his friend. Jae’s camera swung from a strap around his neck, and the lens nearly caught against the railing when Jae slid over into the balcony. “I’m not sure I’m going to survive this.”

34 thoughts on “A Peek at Down and Dirty

  1. Sky Dancer

    I’m not sure I’ll survive the wait till Down & Dirty’s release! I’ll have you know I cursed out loud at Bobby’s last line in Dirty Deeds. I can imagine what Cole does in the story. Thanks for the sneak peek, its a balm to my sanity. LOL

  2. Have a question where I can buy black dos blues.. the link to Amazon does not work..I have all your books except this one.

    1. Ah, Black Dog Blues is actually going to be re-released by Dreamspinner in February. So soooon. I’ll let you all know 😀

  3. Patricia

    So many questions about this sneak peek. Cute how you worked in that
    “positions with Cole” thing. ;-D

    1. You were spread out over the scene a bit.

      They chattered, already falling into a pattern of bantering while asking Ichi if he needed anything as he worked on his client, Karin. She’d already sat for him three times before and now, going into the final hour, they were both impatient to see the piece done but mindful of her body’s stress. He dipped his needle into the cerulean he’d mixed up to highlight the scales of the nearly completed blue dragon winging its way over her shoulder and down her arm.

      “You doing okay?” He caught a bit of movement out of the corner of his eye, watching intently as Karin worked her fingers in and out as much as she could while he daubed at some run-off near her bicep. “We can stop. I’ve got about ten or fifteen minutes left to go but—”

      “Oh, no.” The spiky-haired woman grinned up at him from her lounging sprawl on his padded table. Shifting so she could see over her generous breasts, she wiggled her eyebrows at him, laughing when Ichiro snorted in return. “Hey, my rheumatoid arthritis is just going to have to suck it up. How often do I get a pretty Asian guy leaning over me and rubbing me down?”

      “I’d say pretty often,” he teased back, winking when her grin grew broader. “I keep this going much longer, I’m going to owe you money for your company.”

      “Nah, I quit doing that. I kept giving it away for free,” Karin chuckled. “Let’s blow this puppy out.”

      “If you need to stop, you let me know, okay?” He bent back over her arm, edging his rolling stool away from her crimpled fingers and twisted wrist. “I’m going to be highlighting its tail down here. Adding some white spots so breathe through it. White hurts like a motherfucker.”

      “Never did understand where that phrase came from,” Karin hissed through the burr of the machine as it began to tick into motion. “Go for it, Ichi. They’re kind of numb anyway. So, onward McDuff.”

      He took nearly the full fifteen, laying down the white through the filigree swirls he’d dappled through the dragon’s tail fluke. She bore the inking in silence—relative silence anyway if he ignored the wolf whistle she gave when Quaide nearly lost his shirt on a coat hook as he hung a piece of artwork up in the hallway to the back door.

      Wrapping Karin up, Ichiro sniffed derisively at her credit card when she dug it out of her wallet. “No, last session, this one is on me. You just let me take a picture of it after it’s all healed and we’ll call it even.”

      Half an hour later, the studio was empty and he slumped down onto one of the couches in the waiting area, toeing off his sneakers with a grateful hiss and wiggle of his toes.

  4. Ka

    Omg…RHYS…. LOL…….. I’m going to have to get a paperback when it comes out and send it for signing. LOL.. Ample breasts…. You have no idea pmsl

      1. Ka

        *falls over heehawing* the picture that conjuors ain’t pretty 😅 you are a treat, thanks for that xxxx

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