New Release Giveaway!
Illumined Shadows By G.R. Lyons
2 Lucky Winners – Each receive a digital copy of Illumined Shadows
**Giveaway Eligible in US Only**
When Victor Lucius was sixteen years old, a few cruel words out of his mouth led to a brutal tragedy, one that Vic has been trying to make up for ever since. Now, working as a missing persons expert, Vic tracks down and rescues people from abandonment or abuse, trying to alleviate the guilt constantly weighing him down.
His latest case—a boy who was kidnapped at the age of two and then held captive for nineteen years—is by far the darkest of his career. If there’s any chance of Vic finally redeeming himself, helping this boy might be it.
But rescuing Colby from his basement prison is only the beginning, and brings a whole new struggle to Vic’s life:
(Note: This story takes place in a fictional world, the same as in the Shifting Isles Series. There are multiple gods, different names for the days of the week, etc. A glossary is included.)
Illumined Shadows excerpt:
Vic started off the first piece, the notes sounding rusty and jarring until the violins joined in. He looked up at Ryley and Zac, trying to focus. The piece was an old favorite of theirs, one he should have been able to play in his sleep, but it just wasn’t coming out right.
Halfway through, Ryley swung his bow out to the side and called, “Stop. Stop.” A screeching halt sounded as Vic and Zac both stopped their own bows. Ryley sighed. “Vic, this piece is supposed to be romantic, not…I don’t know…stalker-ish.”
Zac snorted a laugh.
“I know, I’m sorry,” Vic said. He blew out a breath, and tried to find the right headspace. Romantic. The best he could do with that was try to recall how it felt to play with Ryley when they’d been together. Probably not an ideal thought with Asher sitting right there, but it was all he had to work with. He looked at Ryley and gave a nod.
“From the top,” Ryley said, and he and Zac both lifted their bows, waiting for Vic to start them off again.
Vic took a deep breath, set his bow to the strings, and started to play, drawing out that first soulful note. It still didn’t sound quite right, but he ran with it, and moved on to the next note, then looked across the room, trying to ignore all the sets of eyes on him.
Straight ahead, right in his line of sight, he saw Colby’s door open. Just a few inches, just enough for the boy to peek out, but enough for Vic to see Colby staring at him.
Vic frowned, and kept playing, watching the boy. After a few seconds, Colby inched the door open even more, then again until the gap was wide enough for him to crawl through. The boy shuffled forward on his hands and knees, keeping close to the wall.
His eyes never left Vic’s hands.
Vic stared, playing purely by muscle memory as he watched Colby inch closer and closer. He couldn’t even begin to guess what the boy was thinking or feeling, but if it got him out of his room—and with strangers in the house—it had to be good.
Colby stopped where the hallway opened up into the living room, and shrank back slightly. Vic kept playing, and waited. After a moment, Colby darted forward and hid behind the chair in which Adrian sat, then slowly leaned to one side to peek around it, his eyes still focused on Vic’s hands.
Somehow, Vic kept playing without any conscious effort. A small part of his brain wondered if he was even doing it right, except that Ryley hadn’t called another stop to things, but all he could really focus on was Colby.
The little guy was absolutely riveted.
And the sight of it was doing all sorts of horribly delicious things to Vic’s body.
The piece came to an end, the final notes fading off into silence until Vic heard Ryley say, “Wow.”
Vic blinked, tore his eyes away from Colby, and looked up at the man. “What?”
Ryley was staring at him. So was Zac, for that matter.
“I–” Ryley began, then blinked and shook his head like he was trying to get his thoughts in order. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you play with so much…”
“Feeling?” Zac supplied, looking just as dumbfounded as Ryley.
“I was going to say passion,” Ryley said.
Vic frowned, not quite following what they were getting at.
“What the hells got into you just now?” Ryley asked.
Vic’s eyes darted back to Colby’s face. The little guy was still there, huddled behind Adrian’s chair, staring intently at Vic and looking like he was both ready to bolt and hungry for more of whatever Vic could play.
Hoping Colby couldn’t see it past the chair, Vic held out his bow arm and pressed down as he looked at all the other men, silently telling them to stay still and quiet. Ryley frowned, then glanced in the direction Vic had been looking. The man leaned slightly, trying to peek around Adrian’s chair, then his eyebrows went up and he mouthed, “Oh.”
“What?” Zac whispered, leaning close to him.
Ryley tucked his arm close to his chest and pointed. Zac started to look, then turned to Vic instead and raised his eyebrows in question. Vic nodded.
Zac cleared his throat. “So, how about we try Celestial Light next?” he asked pointedly.
Vic gave him a grateful smile when he saw everyone else catch on. They were going to pretend Colby wasn’t there, not wanting to spook the boy.
The three musicians raised their bows and started to play. Vic only got through the first few notes before he looked at Colby, and once again, the boy’s complete attention was on Vic’s hands.
Vic’s hands, playing a piece that Vic had composed, and it was enough to rouse the boy from his room despite his fears. The thought sent a bolt of desire right to Vic’s core.
Oh gods. He was in so much trouble.
About the Author:
While daylighting as office manager for the family auto repair business, G.R. Lyons can often be found working on one of multiple manuscripts or desperately trying to keep up with the TBR pile.
Anarcho-capitalist, quietly ‘out’ trans guy, former belly dancer, coffee guzzler, highly-sensitive introvert, CrossFit enthusiast, and lover of m/m romantic fiction.