What if your company was dying because of lies you told? What if you had one chance to right the wrong? Then what if the very man who might be able to help you sort out your evil ways you couldn’t stand? Hmmm… Could there be a chance at love? In my latest installment of Sizzling Winter Nights, my hero tackles these very questions and much more. Come take a taste of my interracial piece – sure to keep you warm on a cold winter’s night.
SIZZLING WINTER NIGHTS – QUEBEC
Stephen Zane hated traveling, loathed cold and bleak hotel rooms and would just as soon never step foot on a plane again. If he had his choice he’d be barefoot and living in a hut on the Cayman Islands, playing bartender to tourists, but life had taken an interesting turn. Unfortunately owning the most prestigious software development firm up and down the East Coast prevented simply jetting away for sheer entertainment. In the midst of developing a new game, one that would take his firm into every other country, he’d been tasked with putting the final creative pieces together. The concept so hush, hush, few knew what was going on behind closed doors. Competition was ferocious and betrayal happened every day. Heading to Quebec for a short stay, he hadn’t anticipated the nasty weather upon arrival. He quickly realized he was going to be hunkered down for an undetermined amount of time. What few knew was that he needed a business partner or he was going to be forced to sell. His self-indulgent lifestyle and being a new father didn’t play well together. Unfortunately his secret needed to remain just that – at least for the time being.
Marcel Dumaine wasn’t thrilled with the idea of garnering a new business, and certainly not a partner for that matter, but the Board of Directors of his firm insisted. After all, he’d worked long hours for over three years to place his highly coveted entertainment company into the forefront of everyone who savored playing a game. He’d heard enough about Stephen’s difficult reputation to realize what he was going to have to endure. During a raging snowstorm he finally met the man and was intrigued with more than just his business savvy. He could easily tell the ultra-conservative man held a secret, one he was determined to uncover. As the raging snowstorm blanketed the city, affording them time to get to know each other, sparks flew and a sizzling winter night of passion embroiled both men. Yet the ugly secret remained and when the mystery unraveled, he was left with a difficult decision and one that would change both men forever.
“You’re a fraud, a liar and you’re going to pay with every fucking thing you hold dear. You’re going down for what you’ve done. You played me. You fucking played me and my trust. My faith. You’re pathetic. Fuck!” His body shaking he pointed his finger, fear and horror racing through every cell in his body.
“Played you? I think you need to look yourself in the mirror, buddy. You used me and for months. Used me. And you’re going to be the one to go down. You think you I’m going to take this? After the man you’ve been? Not a chance. You’re the pathetic one and you’re going to be alone because of your attitude and actions.” Laughing, he walked closer and shook his head. “You know what? You have no idea how much fun this has been.”
“What is wrong with me?” Dear God, the tangled webs men and women could weave. The ugly words would never leave Stephen Zane’s mind. How could they? They were true and something he was going to have to deal with soon enough. Let it go. Yeah, like he could. Secrets and lies were going to burn him into the ground. He hadn’t been able to sleep for months. Why the hell had he allowed this to go on for so long? Why? He knew why, some ridiculous sense of loyalty. By the time he’d been able to grasp what was happening, the spiral was already way out of control.
“James, you fucking asshole.” A few darting and disdainful looks reminded him he was in the middle of an overpopulated space. He’d said more than these words the last few weeks. He’d spent months of healing and weeks of longing to turn to a bottle. Unfortunately he couldn’t even drown his sorrows. After all, Stephen had responsibilities and ones that denied him the luxury of sitting on the pity pot. Wringing his hands, he grabbed his briefcase from the floor and thought about what in the hell he could do. The threats had been escalating as of late, almost as if someone knew he was going to Quebec to handle the final details of an extremely important business deal. The one he’d fought hard against for so long and perhaps one that was meant to be in some land of Karma.
He was out of time, out of money and exhausted. And still he couldn’t get him mind off of James and what he thought they’d shared. Everything in his life seemed to be one huge lie. Let it go and fight. You have to keep fighting. How many pep talks had be given himself over these long months? Too many. There was little making sense of the decisions he’d made and the agony he continued to go through.
Groaning, he stood in the middle of the crowded airport and for the life of him couldn’t remember details of the upcoming meeting. Rubbing his eyes, he scanned the flight board and shook his head before glancing at his watch. His flight had already been delayed by two hours. At this rate he was going to get into Quebec at midnight. “Hell.” Stephen hated this deal and knew the shit just might hit the fan. His gut and certain inquiries into some business dealings told him that clearly. Maybe if the deal was signed just like everyone wanted he could salvage things. Maybe. Dear God he had to.
The continuing light snow falling just outside the window drew his attention and he couldn’t help but think about how much he hated traveling. He loathed bleak hotel rooms and bad room service food, carting luggage and cocktail lounges that reminded him of the eighties. Visions of cabana boys and lightly wafting breezes, gently rolling waves and tall cocktails remained firmly planted in the back of his mind. Raising one eyebrow, he glared at the screen again and had to fight not to give the metal and plastic board his middle finger. The ugly thought of spending another few days in yet a city he’d probably never care to see again made him angry. Why? There were many reasons but mostly because it was wintertime and he loathed being away from home.
Home. He’d never cared about being or staying at home before the last few months. Now he only wanted to be able to go to his home and be a real person. Real? He was the masked man waiting for the shoe to drop, crushing him into oblivion. What the hell was he thinking? Still, being at his house and enjoying nothing more than watching a movie had taken on new meaning. Of course he knew his house could have been a model home for some builder before two months ago with the little love or attention he’d given to any room. There had been no plants and barely pictures on the wall. Of course he had his big screen television and booming sound system as well as a wine cellar and not one but two humidors, but there had been no life. Until now. Now he was indeed devoted, which was one reason he had to save his dying company. He just had to. Being a software mogul had its perks until about two years ago. He’d been captain of the industry, holding nearly forty percent share of the gaming software and then all shit raced down hill. A couple of bad decisions and the business sections of nearly every corporate magazine had his firm washed up, tossed and dead. Stephen was going to show the naysayers. Uh-huh and pigs fly in winter. Tell yourself another lie.
“Flight 183 to Quebec has been delayed. We anticipate its departure in forty-five minutes to an hour.”
“Damn. I hate traveling!”
I hope you enjoyed!