9 Days Till THE HOLIDAY LIST is Here! AND Part 2 of Asher & Blake’s FREE Short is LIVE!

Can you believe the holidays are officially here? I think I’m as ready as can be for Thanksgiving this year. The turkey and all the side goodies have been purchased…along with a ton of wine! Woohoo. That means THE HOLIDAY LIST will be here soon after, or in 9 days to be exact!

The audiobook is already in production too. I can’t wait to hear Alexander Cendese’s narration of Chet and Sam’s story! With any luck, this audio will release December 3rd also. *NOTE – This is Book 4 in the series, but it’s a true standalone. Check out the other books in the Script Club series here.

Since we have a little, I thought this might be a perfect time for Part 2 of Asher and Blake’s holiday short, THE CHRISTMAS SCRIPT. The final installment will be posted the first weekend of December (right after THE HOLIDAY LIST).

Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate, Happy Holidays, and Happy Reading! Lane xo

THE HOLIDAY LIST Cover/Blurb Reveal! AND…A Free Short Story!

Woohoo! Who’s ready for a little jock/geek holiday fun? THE HOLIDAY LIST is coming soon! Sooner than Santa! I can’t wait to introduce you to the single dad and the adorable Mars maestro. Check out this lovely new cover by Cate Ashwood!

THE HOLIDAY LIST will be here December 3! Book 4 in my geeks/jocks series, The Script Club, belongs to Chet and Sam and a holiday list gone awry. Chet is new to the household and is eager to help his new roommates tackle their neighborly to-do list. One of the items is offering aid to the sexy single dad down the street who seems to be a perfectly nice man…except he doesn’t like the holidays. Who says that? Chet sets out to change Sam’s mind. And of course, shenanigans ensue!

Check out the blurb below and be sure to save THE HOLIDAY LIST on your Goodreads page. Three weeks and counting! All books in the series can be read as standalones, but you may want to check out Books 1, 2, and 3 as well…FOLLOWING THE RULES and RULES OF PLAY, and THE JOCK SCRIPT.

The Holiday List

The Mars maestro, the single dad, and a wish list… 

Chet-

Boy, am I lucky! Finding a living situation with a houseful of passionate scientists just before the holidays is ideal in every possible way. As the newest member of the Script Club, I feel it’s important to step up and tackle the to-do list my friends would prefer to avoid. Item one, address the tutoring request from the neighborhood-hottie-slash-single-dad on the next block. I’ve got this!

Or do I? 

Handsome, older, sporty gentlemen intimidate me. And Mr. McSwoony doesn’t like the holidays. This may be a daunting task.

Sam-

What do you do when a new neighbor shows up on your doorstep with cookies and a wacky plan to spread holiday cheer? I don’t need cheer, but I could use help with some of the experiments my son wants to try. I know football, not science. Hopefully, I can talk Chet into a mutually beneficial trade. The only snag is that I’m seriously attracted to my local Mars expert. He’s unintentionally charming…in the very best way. 

Don’t quote me, but maybe this holiday elf with thick glasses and a mile-long list might be exactly what I need. 

The Holiday List is an MM bisexual, geek/jock romance with a holiday twist featuring a lovable scientist and a single dad who’s probably on the naughty list!

AND…for a fun holiday bonus, I have a brand new short story featuring Asher and Blake from The Jock Script available on my newsletter now. There will be two additional installments in THE CHRISTMAS SCRIPT. Part 1 is LIVE now. I hope to post part 2 this time next week. Enjoy!

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

Lane xo

Better Than & A Kind Of KU News & More…

News Flash! My Better Than and A Kind of Series are available now on Amazon Kindle Unlimited. If you’ve been waiting to catch these titles on KU, now is the time! That’s nine reads at a sweet KU deal.

And in case you missed it, THE JOCK SCRIPT is available now in all formats, including audio! I’m so humbled by the wonderful response the Script Club series. Jocks/geeks is such a fun trope. Stay tuned for THE HOLIDAY LIST cover/blurb reveal next month.

For my OUT IN COLLEGE fans… yes, there will be more college sports shenanigans coming your way in 2022. I have at least two project in that series on the horizon. One of which is already with my editor! Want a quick tease?

Excerpt/Sneak Peek from OUT IN THE SURF (Coming Jan. 2022)-

The hockey player and the surfer…

He had a nice mouth. His lips were full and kind of pouty. And were sexy chins a thing? ’Cause his was hot. I wanted to run my tongue along his stubbled jaw, nibble his bottom lip. He was so…

“Hot,” I blurted.

“You’re hot?”

“No, you are. Very fucking hot.”

Cal grinned. “Gee, thanks. Are you drunk on ocean water, Luca?”

“Yes. Probably. Am I dead?”

“No, you’re fine.”

“Hmph. Barely. I did everything wrong, huh?” 

“Let’s just say you have room for improvement,” he replied kindly.

🏄🏄🏄🏄🏄

Gah!! I can’t wait to share more! For now, I’ll to leave you with preorder/blurb info for JR Gray’s upcoming rock star novel, Pretty Obsessed. This looks so good! Release date is October 18th.  Happy Reading! Lane xo

Check out the blurb for Pretty Obsessed…

Emory Ker

Who makes out with a random guy at a club while someone else is giving him head? Not me—that’s who. I’d never even hooked up with a stranger. Welp, now I had. If you could call what I’d done hooking up. But it was so much more intimate than a hook-up. I’d tasted his lips as someone else made him come. He’d gasped into my mouth.

Now I was sitting in front of him and he was asking me to kiss him again. 

River Wade 

We became famous overnight. 

One day I was a twenty-four-year-old drummer slinging pizzas to make ends meet and the next, I was a member of the most popular alternative band ever.  

Despite being world-famous, there was no connection in it. I’d lost touch with reality. With intimacy. I couldn’t find a place to be normal. I’d lived my entire life straight-edged while watching obsession destroy my best friend. 

Obsession terrified me. 

That is until I met him. 

The first taste left me intoxicated.  

The rockstar obsessed with the writer—rather funny if you think about it. 

After a night with him, he vanishes into thin air, and all the money in the world can’t help me find him.

I have to track him down and convince him there might be millions of people who would do anything to get a chance to sleep with me, but I only had eyes for him. 

Convince this beautiful boy I’m pretty obsessed.

THE JOCK SCRIPT is Available on Audio!

Woohoo! THE JOCK SCRIPT audiobook is LIVE! I can’t wait for you to hear Alexander Cendese’s narration of Asher and Blake’s story. He does nerds and jocks so well! Check out the sample/purchase link here.

The nerd, the coach, the hookup… and the script to set things right!

Asher is a bow-tie wearing scientist and the most unlikely yet best of book boyfriends. And Blake is a high school coach who could use a little help. Of course, shenanigans ensue and sparks fly when opposites attract!

All books in the series can be read as standalones, but you may want to check out Books 1 and 2,…FOLLOWING THE RULES and RULES OF PLAY as well as THE JOCK SCRIPT!

AND yes, I will be releasing an Asher and Blake short story next month to coincide with the blurb/cover reveal for my upcoming holiday novella, THE HOLIDAY LIST. Preorder for THE HOLIDAY LIST is available now for a sweet price!

Happy Reading and Listening! Lane xo

BETTER THAN GOOD on Sale for 99 Cents!

What a deal! BETTER THAN GOOD is a very special story to me personally. This is my first published MM romance and was written in the weeks after my oldest son came out to his dad and me at eighteen. This story is a sort of love letter to him, pledging my unconditional love and acceptance.

My son’s journey is his own and in no way resembles Matt and Aaron’s, but the road to self-acceptance is a universal experience. I can’t tell you how meaningful it has been to hear from readers who fell in love with the law student and the fabulous diva who encourages him to trust his instincts and embrace his truth. If you haven’t had a chance to read Better Than Good, you might want to check it out now!

ALSO…I’m so thrilled by the response to THE JOCK SCRIPT this past weekend! Asher and Blake’s story hit #1 in Gay Romance and LGBTQ Romance. WOW!! Asher might be an unlikely book boyfriend, but there’s something kind of charming about the bow tie-wearing geek with the heart of gold. The audiobook should be available within the next week. I’ll keep you posted!

Happy Reading! Lane xo

THE JOCK SCRIPT is LIVE!

Woohoo! THE JOCK SCRIPT is here! The nerd, the coach, and the hookup… The complicated kind of hookup that requires a script to restore balance. LOL

Asher is a brainiac scientist who strives for perfection. Blake coaches girls’ lacrosse at a private high school who gets by hoping no one notices he’s a hot mess on the inside. In other words, these two couldn’t be any more different if they tried! THE JOCK SCRIPT is a romantic comedy, low-angst nerd/jock love story with a lot of sweetness and a whole lot of sexy!

 🥍A jock 🤓A nerd ❤A sexy one-night stand…📖And a script to set things right!

Each book in the Script Club Series can be enjoyed as a standalone, however, you might also be interested in checking out Book 1, FOLLOWING THE RULES, and Book 2, RULES OF PLAY. And YES…there’s a nerdy holiday novella coming your way soon! Be sure to preorder your copy of THE HOLIDAY LIST!

Happy Reading! Lane xo

The nerd, the coach, and the hookup…

Asher-

Swipe left, swipe left, swipe left. Sure, the idea of a quick, no-strings intimate rendezvous via hookup app sounds oddly thrilling, but it’s simply not me. Or maybe it is me, because it happened…and I liked it. Until I realized he looked familiar for a reason. A bad reason. Now I’ve made a faux pas with the sexiest man on planet Earth, and my internal karma system requires me to fix it. Help!

Blake-

I may seem like I have it together, but the truth is, I’m a hot mess. I’m so deep in the closet that I can’t remember my real name some days. That’s okay. The benefit of one-night stands is anonymity. Until Asher. Not a total surprise. I’ve always had a thing for geeks, but I’ve never met anyone like him. He’s a pint-sized dynamo on a quest for perfection who can help me come out…if I follow his script.

Hmm. I’m in.

The Jock Script is an MM bisexual, geek/jock romance starring a bowtie wearing nerd, a sexy lacrosse coach, and a shenanigan inducing script!

Big City Gay Romance Promo & 10 Days till THE JOCK SCRIPT is Here!

⭐️⭐️Big City Gay Romance Promo ⭐️⭐️

Love a romance set in a bustling city? You won’t want to miss this! There’re some sweet deals…including my bestseller, A Kind of Romance.

#1 2016 Rainbow Award Winner for Best Gay Erotic Romance. When fabulous meets no-nonsense and romance ensues…in NYC!

Yes, Zeke and Benny’s story is just 99cents. I may be biased, but these guys are one of my favorite couples ever. They’re complete opposites who become unlikely friends with an inexplicable attraction that just might lead to a kind of romance. Check out the blurb and purchase info here.

And there’s more! 20+ mm authors are participating in the Big City Promo. Check this out! https://books.bookfunnel.com/citydreamsgayromance/hvyniuyfv1

Participating authors: Elle Keaton, V.L. Locey, Lane Hayes, T.L. Travis, Beth Bolden, Liv Rancourt, Rhys Everly, RJ Scott, Annabelle Jacobs, Garrett Leigh, Rhys Lawless, Clare London, Stella Shaw, Sue Brown, Ali Ryecart, Con Riley, Lissa Kasey, Jamie Lynn Miller, Naomi Aoki

Are you ready for more geeks and jocks? THE JOCK SCRIPT will be here in just 10 days! Mark your calendars and Goodreads pages for September 24!

🥍A jock 🤓A nerd ❤A sexy one-night stand 📖And…a script to set things right!

All books in the series can be read as standalones, but you may want to check out Books 1 and 2 as well…FOLLOWING THE RULES and RULES OF PLAY!

Happy Reading and Happy almost fall! I’m so ready for cooler temps!

Lane xo

THE JOCK SCRIPT Cover/Blurb Reveal!

Ta da! THE JOCK SCRIPT cover and blurb are officially revealed! All I can say is, get ready for Asher and Blake and a sweet, wacky romantic comedy between two men who couldn’t be any more different if they tried! Check out this cutie and the gorgeous new cover by Sleepy Fox Studios…

THE JOCK SCRIPT will be here September 24! This is Book 3 in my brand new geeks/jocks series and this one belongs to Asher and Blake, a one-night stand, and a script. This is no ordinary script though. This “Jock Script” is the key to helping the sexy lacrosse coach come out. And although Asher is a rocket scientist and an accomplished genius, he concedes that might be in over his head. He needs to find a way to help the jock without falling for him. Not gonna be easy!

Check out the blurb below and be sure to save THE JOCK SCRIPT on your Goodreads page. Three weeks and counting! All books in the series can be read as standalones, but you may want to check out Books 1 and 2 as well…FOLLOWING THE RULES and RULES OF PLAY.

The nerd, the coach, and the hookup…

Asher-

Swipe left, swipe left, swipe left. Sure, the idea of a quick, no-strings intimate rendezvous via hookup app sounds oddly thrilling, but it’s simply not me. Or maybe it is me, because it happened…and I liked it. Until I realized he looked familiar for a reason. A bad reason. Now I’ve made a faux pas with the sexiest man on planet Earth, and my internal karma system requires me to fix it. Help!

Blake-

I may seem like I have it together, but the truth is, I’m a hot mess. I’m so deep in the closet that I can’t remember my real name some days. That’s okay. The benefit of one-night stands is anonymity. Until Asher. Not a total surprise. I’ve always had a thing for geeks, but I’ve never met anyone like him. He’s a pint-sized dynamo on a quest for perfection who can help me come out…if I follow his script. 

Hmm. I’m in.

The Jock Script is an MM bisexual, geek/jock romance starring a bowtie wearing nerd, a sexy lacrosse coach, and a shenanigan inducing script!

Brand New FREE Short Story Alert! And More!

As promised, I wrote a second George and Aiden short story (from RULES OF PLAY) and combined them in one handy pdf for you to download onto your Kindle. Rules of Love and Rules of the Heart are two “day in the life” shorts, which honestly, are my faves. There’s something kind of fun about getting a glimpse of a couple navigating everyday life that always makes me smile. Brushing teeth, going for a jog…bring it on! Even more fun when there’s a little sexy time. And yes, Rules of the Heart is NSFW. You’re welcome! LOL Check them out here.

This pdf includes an exclusive excerpt from my upcoming release, The Jock Script, which will be here September 24. I can’t wait to introduce you to Ash and his mystery man! Be sure to take advantage of the early discounted price of $3.99. And look out for the cover/blurb reveal coming in two weeks!

⭐️⭐️ 𝗕𝗢𝗢𝗞 𝗕𝗢𝗫 𝗚𝗜𝗩𝗘𝗔𝗪𝗔𝗬⭐️⭐️ I’m excited to be participating in an 𝘼𝙘𝙧𝙤𝙨𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙍𝙤𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝘽𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝘽𝙤𝙭 𝙏𝙤𝙪𝙧 with some wonderful authors. You’ll have the chance to enter 6 different giveaways that contain a signed paperback and swag, or a $25 Amazon gift card. Details below.My book box will contain…a paperback copy of FOLLOWING THE RULES!

Closeup of couple holding hands

The giveaways will be open from August 18-31st. A winner will be chosen in each group for each giveaway. To enter, you MUST do all of the following. 1) Sign up for the participants’ newsletters here: https://forms.gle/E6DUPhxUmkCPtbzF8 2) Visit each of the reader groups below and comment on their Across the Romance Book Box Tour post. The following reader groups have presents that await! Brought to you by Annabeth Albert, RJ Scott, Annabella Michaels, Garrett Leigh, Lane Hayes, and organized by Eliza Rae Services. 𝙍𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙢𝙗𝙚𝙧 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙣𝙚𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙫𝙞𝙨𝙞𝙩 𝙚𝙖𝙘𝙝 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙢 𝙩𝙤 𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙧.

Happy Reading! Lane Hayes xo

RULES OF PLAY AUDIOBOOK is LIVE & Part 1 of Rules of Love, A George & Aiden Short Story

YES! RULES OF PLAY is live on audio now! You won’t want to miss Alexander Cendese’s narration of George and Aiden’s story. He’s absolutely spot-on! I literally laughed out loud listening to this one. His Newton is perfection. LOL Check out the sample and purchase link here.

And to celebrate the audiobook release, here’s Part 1 in a two-part short called Rules of Love, featuring George and Aiden from RULES OF PLAY. These shorts are vignettes in life rather than two distinct halves of one story, so feel free to binge now! LOL Part 2 should be posted by next week and will be available as a pdf at that time.

Happy Reading and Listening! Lane xo

Rules of Love, A George and Aiden Short Story- Part 1

George-

“Yo, baby, get those shoes on. Let’s go.” 

I turned slowly on my barstool at the kitchen island and eyed my peppy boyfriend suspiciously. Aiden’s workout ensemble of navy nylon-poly blend shorts, a UCLA tee, and running shoes told a story, but I figured it was always best to clarify.

“Go where?” 

“Jogging. We talked about this yesterday. We’ll go slow and walk when we get tired. C’mon, G.” He clapped enthusiastically, the way he sometimes did when a cool play unfurled during a televised sporting event. 

However, he didn’t usually try that with me.

“Jogging is trotting at a sustained albeit leisurely pace. Sadly, that’s not one of my talents. Have fun, honey. I’ll start dinner while you’re gone.” I blew him a kiss then turned back to my laptop. 

“Not so fast.” Aiden pulled a baseball cap on and put his hand on the island beside me. “I need you for moral support. I’m trying to get back into shape and it is not easy. Donuts call my name, waffles with maple syrup know my phone number, and don’t get me started on french fries. I want to eat all those things and somehow look like fitness model…for you.”

“I don’t want a fitness model. I want you.” I leaned sideways and kissed him. “Try to be home in an hour. The new episode of Good Omens is on and—what are you doing?”

He disappeared in the general direction of our bedroom, returning a minute later with a pair of shorts and the only pair of sneakers I owned. 

“Stand up,” he commanded, setting my shoes on the stool beside me before motioning for me to obey. 

“Aiden, I’m working.”

“You’re looking up nebulas. You can do that later. I need you, G. Come on.”

We engaged in a ridiculous stare-down with Aiden making goofy faces and holding eye contact while I glared at him menacingly. Of course, he won. It was probably the raised brows and crazy Cheshire cat grin combo. Either way, I laughed. No one did silly quite like my man. 

“Fine. But I’m wearing my cape.”

“Awesome.”

“Really? Aiden, I don’t run. I may not make it to the corner,” I protested as he pulled me to my feet and unbuckled my belt.

“Sure you will, but if you get winded, we’ll stop. This isn’t about setting any world records.”

He proceeded to undress me in a no nonsense fashion then held up the shorts, wordlessly requesting me to cooperate. I stood there with my arms crossed in my boxer briefs, a Science is Like Magic But Real tee, and black socks looking like a cranky overgrown kid. Aiden wasn’t deterred. He met my gaze, smiling when I stepped into the shorts. 

I waved him away when he tried to put my shoes on for me too.    

“Then what is it about?” I asked, shoving my feet in my sneakers and tying them in precise double knots. 

“You’re helping me get into the habit of exercising after work. And I appreciate it.” Aiden wrapped his arms around my waist and squeezed my ass. “We won’t be long. I promise to make it up to you later.”

“Is there a blow job involved?” 

“Definitely.” He released me then peeked inside my computer bag and drew my cape out. He shook it loose and held it up for me.  

“I probably shouldn’t wear it. My feet will get tangled and I’ll trip, scrape my knees, twist both ankles, and land on a neighbor’s lawn. They’ll never invite us over for potluck again.”

“We won’t be going fast enough to do any damage. But if you do fall, aim for Whitby’s lawn. That guy loves us.” He kissed me soundly and reached for his phone and a house key. “Let’s do this, baby.”

I grumbled without heat, following him outside. 

We stood on the front porch of our bungalow, stretching our calves…or something like that. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I played along with Aiden’s impromptu gym session because for some reason, my presence was important to him.

I couldn’t tell if he was in the midst of a mini crisis of confidence or if he really just wanted me to help him stay motivated. That didn’t make sense though. After he quit his uncle’s garage last summer, he’d started working out regularly. I hadn’t. Sure, we walked all the time, but jogging? Ew.  

Either way, I obviously needed to get to the root of any mysterious new fitness fetish involving me.

I held on to the porch railing and glanced up at the new buds on the liquid amber tree in our front yard. It was late March now. Within two weeks, the tree would be in full bloom and the roses lining the wide pathway leading to the sidewalk would be a riot of color. 

I loved our neighborhood. It wasn’t as quiet as my old ’hood across town, but it was a great location. We were within walking distance to Old Town and close enough to visit family and friends whenever we felt like it.

Honestly, I hadn’t been sure what to think when Aiden bought this house with my brother, Simon, last fall as an investment property. Their plan had been to fix it and sell it immediately. But when they ran the numbers, Aiden realized that with his new job as a junior sports analyst at the university, he could afford the mortgage. And since we planned on living together eventually, it would be even more affordable if I was on title too. So yes, this was my house too.

I’d slowly started bringing my things over after escrow closed, but I’d officially moved in at the beginning of the year. Not gonna lie, I was a little nervous about living with my boyfriend. I couldn’t say why. Aiden and I had known each other forever. We already spent a ton of time together too. But cohabitating was different—and as cute as this bungalow was, it was small. 

Thankfully, I had nothing to worry about. Aiden was easy to live with and even easier to be with. He was good-natured and big-hearted…and sexy as fuck.

I bent my knee to my chest and studied him as he lunged forward, noting his muscular thighs and his talented hand resting on his knee. I had a rogue memory from this morning of those fingers teasing my ass in the shower while he tongue-fucked my mouth, our cocks trapped between us. I’d ended up with my hands flat on the tile wall with his dick inside me a minute or two later, begging him for more…harder and faster.

Ugh…focus, George. Now was not the time to perv on my man. I needed to be sharp if I was going to get to the bottom of whatever incited him to invite me on a jog. 

I lifted my arms above my head and hopped down the steps, making sure my cape flowed behind me theatrically. “Lead the way, Baker.”

“All righty.” He side-stepped around me and clicked his heels together before jogging to the street.

I chuckled as I followed him, sucking in a deep breath of spring air.

It was a beautiful night. The sky had taken on the dusty blue sheen of early twilight. Any second now the remaining sunlight would reflect off the wispy clouds and paint the horizon in shades of pink and orange. Kind of like the night Aiden had rescued me on the freeway.

“Did you know that it’s been a year since Willy broke down on the 210?” I asked conversationally. “That means it’s been a whole year since our first kiss.”

“Ah, yes…the night you stuck your tongue down my throat out of the blue. That was hot. You turned me gay, Murphy,” he teased in a dreamy voice. 

“Yeah, right.” I snorted, waving to Mr. Whitby, the retired octogenarian who lived on the corner. 

Mr. Whitby was super chatty and he loved to talk about cars. When he found out my boyfriend knew his way around an engine, Mr. Whitby sought him out regularly to discuss his ’47 Woodie. Listening to two grown men talking about Woodies never failed to amuse me. But I was a mission tonight and diversions wouldn’t help. Thankfully, Whitby was halfway inside his house before he noticed us. 

“Another plus of running. You just got out of a Woodie conversation.” 

“Now that’s disappointing. I love to talk about wood.” I glanced both ways at the stop sign, bumping his arm as we jogged across the street.

“Pervert.”

“Hmph. We’re a block away from the house and I’m already tired. Are you going to tell me what’s on your mind or am I guessing?”

He didn’t reply for another half block. Then he blurted, “I’m old.”

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me. I’m old.” He hooked his thumb toward Whitby’s house. “My best bud in the ’hood is eighty. Case closed.”

“And that’s why I’m jogging?” 

“No, I’m—” He sighed heavily and continued, “I love my job, but I’m the oldest junior stats man on the team. We just hired two college kids who’re graduating in two months. They’re twenty-two, young, and hungry…and I’m—Methuselah and I feel it.”

“Aiden, you’re twenty-eight. That’s not old.”

“Yeah, I’m gaining on thirty at warp speed. I feel like I should be further up the ladder and I’m not there yet. Which is stupid ’cause I’m a newbie too. I tell myself to be patient and work hard, but some days are easier than others, ya know?”

My heart gave a lurch of sympathy. “I do. I’m sorry you had a bad day.”

“I didn’t. It was fine.”

Nope. If it was fine, I wouldn’t be his running partner of choice. I didn’t say that aloud, but I stopped abruptly and clutched my side. “I can’t go on.”

Aiden jogged backward then set his hands on his hips and gave me a “What am I gonna do with you?” look before fussing with the tie on my cape. “Okay, we’ll walk.”

“And talk. How can I help?” 

“I don’t know. This is a ‘me’ problem. I have to stay sharp so those freaking whippersnappers don’t jump ahead of me.”

“Aiden. You’re mind-fucking yourself. They haven’t even started work yet. You’re halfway through the college season and you’re doing well. The pro baseball season will starting soon—” Yes, because of Aiden, I knew shit like that. And of course, the second I said it, I knew I’d uncovered the real issue. The stats Aiden gathered for the university would be used for future draft prospects. His real test as an analyst was coming up just as the new hires began. “And that’s why you’re nervous.”

“Damn, you’re a genius.” Aiden cast a sheepish smile my way. “Yeah. I’m helping to ‘package’ these athletes. My analysis over the next few weeks will impact careers. It’s very stressful. I’m used to fixing flat tires and picking up vampires on the freeway at rush hour. I’m not used to this.”

I linked my fingers with his and squeezed. “You’ll get used to it. You love the sport and you love your job. You’ll be amazing. I know you will. You’re smart and you’re not afraid to work hard. Good things will happen. You’ll see.”

“Thank you.” He paused and lifted our joined hands and kissed my knuckles. “I need that.”

“I would have told you all that without jogging, you know.”

He snickered. “You really love me, don’t you?”

I smiled, staring into his eyes like a lovesick puppy. “Oh, Aiden. You have no idea.” 

“Yeah, I do ’cause I love you too, G.”

I lay my head on his shoulder for a moment then kissed his neck…vampire-style. “You know, worrying about things you can’t control is against the rules.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Definitely.”

“And lucky for you, I know a much better de-stressing methods than jogging…clothing optional.”

Aiden smiled. “I’m in.” 

I pulled my cape across my mouth then pointed in the general direction of our house and gave my hokiest vampire impression, “This way, human. Bwahahaha.”