No surprise that I have a story in this then:
Toy Box: Rope
Edited by M. Rode,
featuring stories by James Buchanan, Kiernan Kelly, and HB Kurtzwilde
41 pages / 18000 words
Available file types - html, lit, pdf, prc
Buy it Here: http://www.torquerebooks.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=96&products_id=853
Ever dream of being tied up and had wicked things happen? That's what the ropes Taste Test is all about. In James Buchanan's A Little Trust, Nicky and Brandon from the popular Cheating Chance, have a near miss after a rotten day at work for Brandon. Can they make the most of the adrenaline?
Cobalt Dynamus from HB Kurtzwilde features Alous, an aerialist who's invited to join a new act, one with two beautiful men who fly on silken ropes. Can he find a place at their center?
Finally, Kiernan Kelly creates a world for country singer Travis, who needs some time away. His old friend Booger picks him up, and ties him up, and Travis has to figure out what's important in life. Wrap yourself up in this one today!
By James Buchanan
Something wasn’t right.
It crawled up Brandon’s spine and nestled into the base of his skull as he headed toward his apartment. Indefinable, subtle, yet definite enough to set all Brandon’s senses on overload, the feeling wouldn’t let up. Nothing looked pried on the window screen or the door to his unit. The porch light flickered a jaundiced yellow, just as it had last night and the night before that. He couldn’t see more than darkness through the kitchen window, the only view into the apartment from the second floor walkway.
Still, the sensation lingered. Maybe the doormat had been moved. Or the beer bottles he kept lined up on the kitchen sill had been rearranged. The inside light: that was it. There should have been a light on in the very back of the apartment. Brandon didn’t like walking into a pitch-dark house. He liked being able to see any room he stepped into. And while the fifteen-watt bulb didn’t throw off much light, it was enough to bleed through into the kitchen.
Slowly, Brandon eased toward the door. In seconds he processed his surroundings. Hard line bass drifted in from the street. A child fussed somewhere close by. Otherwise, only the typical Riverside sounds, rumbles of semi-trucks on the freeway, helicopters, and the occasional unseen jet, broke the sleepy stillness of two in the morning.
Brandon took a deep breath and reached for his gun. Easing it from the slide holster at his hip, Brandon drew on the calm the familiar weight offered. What wasn’t so comforting was the gook slicking down the grip. He licked his lip and tasted rank water. At least he’d forced that punk-ass perp to swallow more of the shit they were rolling around in than he had.
A cautious step forward earned Brandon a squelch from his boot. Oh yeah, he needed to put a justifiable hurt on someone tonight. Whoever, whatever, waited behind that door was about to get the wrong end of the stick from a detective’s crappy day.
He moved to the side, pressing his body against the foot of stucco between window and door. Crouching down, he kept the gun raised near his right ear. Drawing his gun twice in one day -- what a way to break in the brand new Sig Sauer P229. He probably wouldn’t need all twelve of the .40 caliber rounds.
He wrapped his other fist around the tangle of keys -- bike, station locker, home -- and slipped the fob out of the saddle. His holster and the key keeper: two hold-overs from his uniform days. Rubber rings on each key kept the jangle down to a bare minimum. With his left hand he slid the key into the lock. Then he counted to fifty. Patience paid off many times over; Brandon had learned that early on. Make a sound and then wait for the effect to wear off before you move again.
Seconds often stood between him and death.
He twisted the key in the lock. A loud snick sounded. This time Brandon cycled through various VNV Nation lyrics. Three full songs worth, or at least the portions he remembered, kept his mind busy. At that point, well, there was no point. Either the perp knew he was there or he didn’t. Brandon reached out and slowly turned the knob. When he felt the catch give, he took a breath. Again, painfully slowly, he pressed the length of his left arm along the surface and eased the door open. Brandon’s position only let him get it about half way, but momentum kept the door swinging until it bumped into the wall.
Buy it: http://www.torquerebooks.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=96&products_id=853