Blog Archive - May 2016

THIRDS Thursday - 5/26/16

THIRDS Thursdays Prompt: Could we maybe see Tony and Dex’s parents? Could be before or after Dex was born. :)

“I blame John.”

Tony chuckled and looked up from his newspaper. Gina groaned as she slowly walked around the living room.

“It takes two to tango,” Tony said, motioning to Gina’s big pregnant belly. She was due any day now, and the closer she got to giving birth, the more she blamed John. Of course John never took it to heart. He was a loving husband who did his best to make sure Gina had everything she needed to be comfortable. They were as prepared as two soon-to-be parents could be.

Gina arched an eyebrow at Tony before her pale blue eyes narrowed. He gingerly lifted the newspaper in front of him to hide his face from her. If she had the slightest inkling he found her amusing she’d launch a throw pillow at his head. Wouldn’t be the first time. John said that for a pregnant woman, she had reflexes like a ninja.

“That’s not what I meant.” She groaned again, and he looked up to make sure she was okay. She rubbed her belly as she walked. “This kid thinks I’m an obstacle course. He’s like John. Always fidgeting.”

“Yeah, but you love the big dope.”

Gina let out a school-girl sigh. “I do. He’s so pretty.”

Tony laughed. “That’s why he gets away with everything. He just bats those pretty eyes and you’re a goner.”

Gina let out a very indelicate snort. “Please. Like you’re immune to that smile.”

“Smile doesn’t get me,” Tony replied with a shake of his head. “It’s that damned dimple. That and the fact he does whatever the hell he wants anyway.”

“We both love the dope, so you’re as screwed as I am. What’s today’s headline?”

“Oh no.” Tony quickly closed the paper and folded it up as Gina glared at him. He’d been given very clear instructions not to let Gina read the papers. A few months ago the government started the Therian database, requiring Therians to go to their nearest CDC clinic for classification. It was rumored they were creating a system that would have Therians marked. John had been furious, as had Tony. Gina had been livid, launching a campaign against the movement and becoming the first medical officer at the CDC Registration Office to volunteer working specifically with Therians, a position she’d demanded be introduced. No one said no to Gina Daley.

John decided that reading the newspaper was off limits for a while. The headlines upset her too much. Of course Gina was as stubborn as her husband. Telling her she couldn’t do something was like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

Gina Daley was a stunning young woman who stood at five foot three without heels, had dirty blonde hair and the palest blue eyes Tony had ever seen. She looked angelic in her pink flowered maternity dress. She could also put the fear of God in any mortal, including him.

“Tony, give me the paper.”

He blinked up at her innocently. “It’s under my butt.”

“I don’t care. Besides, I’ve seen your butt.”

Tony felt his face burn. “That wasn’t my fault.”

“Of course it wasn’t,” Gina agreed, “but that’s what you get when you let John convince you to take your clothes off in protest of campus Therian segregation. That wasn’t going to get you two anything other than some serious rubbernecking. It was like a feeding frenzy. You know how many fellow students I had to chase off that day? Geniuses you two.”

Tony shrugged, and did his best not to laugh at the memory. “We were a couple of stupid college kids.” Poor John. It said something that he was more terrified of losing Gina to his shenanigans than he’d been about getting kicked out of school. Gina had been annoyed with her fiancé, but she adored John, crazy antics and all. He learned pretty quick after that. “That was such a long time ago, Gina. We’ve both matured.”

“That was two years ago.”

Tony pursed his lips. “I got nothing.”

“Between your ears apparently. Like John. Give me the paper.”

Tony put a hand to his chest. “Ouch. You want me to get you some chocolate or something?”

“Anthony Maddock, so help me if you don’t give me that damned newspaper I’m going to—” She let out a groan/yell combo that scared the shit out of him. She was either about to kick his ass, or she’d just had her first contraction. They stared at each other, wide-eyed.

“Was that…?”

Gina nodded.

“Do you think it’s time?” He watched as Gina walked around, breathing in and out through her mouth. Less than a minute later another contraction hit and nothing she did made it stop.

“I blame John!”

“Yeah, it’s all John’s fault. Just breathe. I’ll get your bag.” He jumped from his chair, making a swipe for the newspaper before Gina could grab it. He shook his head at her. “Woman, you’re going into labor! Forget the damn newspaper!”

“Fine!” She breathed deeply in and out as he ran to get her overnight bag from the hall closet where he knew it was. The three of them had come up with an action plan in order to be prepared for this day. Another scream soon met his ear, and he hurried back to the living room. Where the hell was John?

As if by magic, John walked through the door. “Hey, baby. I got you your chocolate chip ice cream and potato chips.” He grinned that big school-boy grin of his.

“John, this is all your fault!” Gina shrieked.

“What?” John looked between her and Tony. “What did I do?” His eyes went wide and he gasped. “I swear, it’s just a scratch.”

Uh-oh.

Gina turned to face John as she huffed, doing her best to control her breathing. “What’s just a scratch?”

“Um….” He looked to Tony for help, but Tony had no idea what the hell his best friend was talking about. Knowing John, it could be anything. Realization hit John, and he stared at Gina. “Wait, are you… are you going into labor?” John rushed over and took hold of her hand. His eyes got all teary and a grin stretched across his face. “We’re having a baby.” His dimple appeared, and Gina was a goner. She burst into happy tears.

“We’re having a baby.”

“Okay. We need to um….” He ran to the hall, opened the closet then released a panicked cry. “It’s gone!”

“John,” Tony called out, trying to get his friend’s attention as John frantically ran around the house, opening and closing doors. He ran back into the living room.

“The bag is gone! Oh my God, I’m not prepared for this!”

Gina let out another painful cry, and John Joined her. Tony didn’t know whether to laugh or join in too. He lifted the bag in front of him.

“John. The bag’s right here.”

John snatched it away from him. “You couldn’t have said something sooner?”

“I tried,” Tony said, holding back a laugh.

“All right, let’s go.” John took Gina’s arm and breathed with her as they headed for the front door. Tony locked up, seeing as how John was occupied with other thoughts like not freaking out. John helped Gina into the back of Tony’s black and gold Firebird then climbed in after her, leaving the overnight bag on the floor. With a smile, Tony placed it in the front passenger seat. It was probably best he hold onto it.

Tony stayed calm, letting John do all the breathing and creaming as he got them to the hospital. It was adorable watching his best friend all but carry Gina inside. He hovered over her, talking to her, breathing with her, comforting her. He asked a million questions, hovered over the nurses, asked them about things he’d read in books. While John took care of his wife, Tony took care of John. If he didn’t, who else would? Tony kept John in fresh supply of coffee, and when the time came, Tony was asked to wait outside by the nurse. Only family was permitted to stay, and usually that just entailed the parents.

“No.” John shook his head at the nurse as he held on tight to Gina’s hand. “He’s family. He stays.”

Tony swallowed past the lump in his throat. “John, it’s okay.”

John looked determined. “I want you to stay.” His expression softened. “Please.”

How could Tony say no? He nodded, and tried his best not to give into the tears that threatened to break free, especially when Gina threw her free hand out to him. He quickly took hold of it, and cursed under his breath when Gina all but broke his fingers. John laughed, tears running down his face.

“Now the pain’s evenly distributed.”

Tony would have flipped him off if the room wasn’t full of hospital staff. For what seemed like hours, Gina screamed, breathed, pushed, cursed them, threatened them, burst into sporadic laughter then tears, while Tony and John did the same. Next thing Tony knew, there was a hearty cry, one that hadn’t come from Gina, her husband, or Tony.

“Kids got some lungs on him,” Tony said with a laugh.

“Gets it… from… John,” Gina huffed, breathless.

“Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Daley, it’s a beautiful, healthy, baby boy.” The nurse handed a wrapped bundle to Gina, who burst into fresh tears. Tony had to pull out his own handkerchief. Man, they were bawling worse than the baby. The room quieted, and John kissed his wife. Tony’s heart swelled, and he had to turn away from the tender moment. There was so much love coming from those two as they held their little boy. Tony felt blessed to be a part of this. Gina and John weren’t just his best friends. They were his family. He loved them fiercely.

A pair of strong arms wrapped around Tony, and he felt John press his head against his back. “Thank you.”

Tony chuckled. He turned and hugged John back. “For what?”

“For being the brother I never had.”

Sweet baby Jesus, the man was going to be the death of him. “Being a daddy’s made you sappy.”

John laughed, his blue eyes sparkling. He pulled back, his grin huge. “I’m a dad!”

“Heaven help us all,” Tony teased. “That boy is going to be spoiled rotten.”

“By who? You?” John walked back over to Gina who was singing softly to her baby boy.

“I plead the fifth,” Tony said as Gina motioned for him to come over. She moved the soft blue blanket so Tony could get a look at the little wrinkled bundle. He had Gina’s big blue eyes and pouty pink lips with rosy cheeks. He was absolutely adorable. Tony loved him already. Gina smiled lovingly at her baby.

“Anthony Maddock, meet Dexter Justice Daley. Dex, meet your Uncle Tony.”

Dex stared up at him before putting a tiny fist to his mouth. He wasn’t still for a moment, wriggling and making baby noises, like he was ready to start talking already.

“Oh Lord, this one’s gonna be a handful.” Tony couldn’t stop smiling. He kissed Gina’s cheek. “Congratulations, sweetheart. He’s beautiful.”

John cooed at Dex before clearing his throat. “I may have put a little scratch on your Camaro.”

Tony put his hand up and took a step back. “I had nothing to do with it.”

“You’re lucky I’m too tired and too in love with my baby boy to strangle you.”

“I love you too.” John chuckled and kiss the top of Dex’s head. “And you, my little man. Here’s your first lesson. Never, ever put a scratch on mommy’s car. It’s precious. Not as precious as you though.” He made cooing noises, and Tony shook his head in amusement. “We need a picture.” John hurried over to Gina’s overnight bag.

“John, I look terrible.”

John rushed back, his shiny new 35mm Canon camera in hand. He kissed Gina, and ran a hand lovingly over her head. “Baby, you’re glowing. Come on. It’s Dex’s first day with his new family.”

There was that dimple again.

“Okay.” Gina held Dex, and Tony situated himself closer as John instructed the nurse how to take the picture. When he was done, he took position beside Gina. He gave Tony and wink and they both leaned in to give Gina’s cheeks a kiss, making her giggle. There was a “click”, and the nurse took a few more photos before Gina said she was tired. The nurse took little Dex, but not before they all showered some more love on him.

They left Gina to rest, and went to get some more coffee. John was quiet, which was unusual for him.

“Hey, you okay, man?”

John nodded then wiped another tear form his eye. “I’m a dad.”

“Yeah, you are,” Tony said with a smile when John’s brows furrowed. He was worried. “Hey, you’re gonna be an amazing dad.”

“It’s kind of terrifying, knowing how much he’s depending on me. He’s going to be looking to me to for everything. Whatever I say, whatever I do could impact the kind of man he’s going to become. What if… what if I mess up?”

Tony took hold of John’s shoulders. “John, Dex is going to be just fine. You know how I know that?”

“How?”

“Because he has you for a father.”

John smiled. He sniffed and wiped at his eyes. “Thanks.”

“Between you and Gina, that little boy couldn’t be more loved.”

“He’s got you too,” John reminded him.

“That he does.” Whatever Dex needed, Tony would always be there for him. “Poor Gina. Now she’s got two kids wreaking havoc.” If Dex was anything like his daddy, he was going to drive her up the wall.

“Hey!” John gave Tony a playful shove. “I resemble that remark.”

Tony laughed and the two of them walked out into a small garden outside the café. It was peaceful. They sat beside each other, sipping their coffees. Every time Tony looked over at John, he had a big dopey grin on his face. Yeah, John was going to be a great dad.

“I can’t wait,” John said softly.

“For what?”

“For all those first family moments. Just the four of us. Dex’s first Christmas, his first tooth, his first steps. First birthday. First day of school.”

“First crush. His first date.”

John pouted. “His first broken heart.”

Tony patted John’s back and smiled. “His first day at college. First love.”

“Yeah,” John let his head rest against Tony’s shoulder with a sigh. “It’s gonna be great.”


Copyright © 2016. Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.

Over at Love Bytes chatting about Beating the Burnout.

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Hello all! Today's my monthly column over at Love Bytes and I'm chatting a little about burnout and how important it is to step away from the computer and do something different, something to soothe the heart, mind, and soul. Authors aren't the only ones in danger of burnout. So what do you do to get away from it all? Drop by and share.

http://lovebytesreviews.com/2016/05/24/beating-the-burnout/  

Dex is a guest over at Nicole Dennis' blog, plus there's a giveaway!

My 40th Birthday Celebration Party

Hello all! Nicole Dennis is celebrating a milestone birthday this month, and she's asked friends and fellow authors to join in the fun! At the mention of birthday stories, a certain cheesy doodle crunching agent jumped at the chance to share his own milestone birthday story. Join Dex over at the blog as he tells us all about his thirtieth birthday, and pre-birthday-party party. So grab yourself a delicious cup of coffee, tasty tea, and maybe a few snacks and brace yourself. It's undoubtedly going to be a bumpy ride.

http://nicoledennisauthor.blogspot.com/2016/05/birthday-guest-charlie-cochet.html

Dexter J Daley T-shirt


THIRDS Thursday - 5/19/16

THIRDS Thursdays Prompt: I would love something romantic with Dex and Sloane again - the end of Catch a Tiger has given me such a craving for my favorite power couple!

“You need to think about what you just said.”

“There’s no thinking necessary, Sloane. Only doing.” Dex wasn’t budging on this. He was right. How could Sloane even think otherwise? It was madness?

Sloane shook his head. “Thinking is always necessary.” He quirked a smile. “For most of us.”

Dex was not giving into that sexy smile. No, sir. “I can’t. We are not living in a crazy house!” Dex threw himself onto the couch dramatically, his face buried in a throw pillow.

“I hate to break it to you, babe, but that ship sailed a long, long, very long time ago.”

Dex thrust his middle finger out at Sloane, or at least in his general direction. Dex could hear him moving around the living room. That and Sloane’s chuckle. Bastard.

“So this is what it’s like when you don’t get your way, huh? Interesting.”

Dex’s voice was muffled by the pillow as he spoke. “Oh, I am so getting my way.”

“Nope.”

He thrust a finger in the air. “I always get my way!” It shall be so!

Sloane grabbed him by the waist, and Dex yelped as he was lifted off the couch. He refused to let go of the throw pillow. Begrudgingly he allowed Sloane to pull him onto his lap.

“Babe, it makes no sense.”

“It makes perfect sense!” Dex shook his pillow since he couldn’t shake Sloane. “Genre first, then alphabetical within genre. How does that not make sense?” Dex’s whole body was practically vibrating with the need to fix and tidy. There were boxes all over the living room. Untidy open boxes that he’d tried to straighten and organize, but he couldn’t finish because they were still working on the other boxes. They’d been unpacking what was left of Sloane’s stuff from the move, and it was time for Sloane’s movie collection to make sweet love to Dex’s movie collection and they would multiply into a beautiful family of awesomeness. Except Sloane wanted to alphabetize the whole collection, and that was just chaos!

Sloane let out a sigh. He was clearly trying his best to be patient. “Babe, your genres are not normal people genres, and I won’t be able to find the movies I’m looking for.”

“It’s easy.” Dex got up and went over the to their new shelving unit against the right wall. Seriously. His boyfriend was a Team Leader for the THIRDS. How could he not grasp Dex’s simple movie filing system? “We start with musicals, then go into the classics, followed by gangsters, then—”

“Why does the Wizard of Oz go under musicals instead of classics?”

Dex blinked at him. “Because it’s a musical.”

“But it’s also a classic.” Sloane sat back, crossing his beefy arms over his chest and making the fabric of his black T-shirt stretch over his biceps. Why was his shirt so snug? Where were his shirts that fit? Why was Dex complaining? Right! Movies chaos. Dex narrowed his eyes. Sloane was trying to distract him. No dice, Brodie. This is happening whether you like it or not.

Dex smiled sweetly. “If it had no music, it would be under classics. After gangsters, we have modern movies set in the 20s, 30s, 40s, and early 50s, followed by time periods, and eighties movies. Then we have movies based on books, comic book movies separated by studio, action, crime, suspense, drama, horror, noir, science fiction, fantasy, comedy, romance, other historical, war, 3D animated, 2D animated, documentaries, and TV shows. Boxsets go under their genre.”

Sloane studied him. “Why doesn’t noir go with classic?”

“Because we have neo-noir titles which aren’t classics.”

“Right. So L.A. Confidential would be…?”

Clever bunny. Sloane was trying to trip him up. Dex almost scoffed. Like he wouldn’t know what genre to put his own movies under. “It’s set in the early 50s.”

“But it’s also neo-noir, thriller, drama, and crime.”

He knows too much. You know what you have to do.

Sloane’s eyes danced with amusement. “And the Blu-rays? Why do they have to be together again?”

Dex gasped and threw a hand to his chest. “Are you kidding me? Because they’re Blu-rays! It’s a different format, and the boxes are smaller than DVD boxes! And they’re blue!”

Sloane nodded. “Right. What about Avatar? Would it go under science fiction, fantasy, or 3D?”

Don’t fall for it. Ignore the dimple. Ignore the dimple. “Science fiction,” Dex replied, doing his best to remain calm. His system made perfect sense. It was a logical procession of movie magic.

“Really? Because the majority of that film is animated.”

Breathe. Just breathe. “But there are live people in it.”

Sloane stared at him. “Well of course there are. I don’t think audiences would approve of using dead ones.”

Dex pitched the throw pillow at Sloane’s head. It was batted away with a laugh.

“You’re not taking this seriously,” Dex huffed. He folded his arms over his chest, his bottom lip pouting. He was being petulant, he knew it, but… it’s how he’d always organized his movies. Why did he have to change it now?

Because you’re an adult. Sort of. And that’s what happens when your boyfriend moves in. You compromise. His stuff merges with your stuff to become our stuff.  

A gentle hand landed on his head, and Dex looked up, surprised to find Sloane smiling warmly at him. Dex had been so lost in his own pouting he hadn’t seen or heard Sloane get up.

“Aw, this is really bugging you, isn’t it?” Sloane pulled Dex into his embrace. He wrapped his arms around Dex’s waist, and kissed the tip of Dex’s nose.

“I know it’s stupid.”

“It’s not stupid,” Sloane replied before placing a kiss on Dex’s right cheek. “It’s one of your quirks. Like the cleaning and tidiness. I get it.” He placed another kiss to Dex’s cheek, on the left this time.

Dex wrapped his arms around Sloane, melting into his warmth. He met Sloane’s amber gaze. “I’m sorry. This is our home now. I shouldn’t be such a controlling douchnozzle.” A lot was changing, and it was everything Dex wanted. He just had to learn to give up control a little in areas he wasn’t used to giving up control in. He hadn’t lived with anyone since Lou, and Lou hadn’t cared how things were organized.

“You’re not being controlling or a douchenozzle,” Sloane assured him. “You have your needs, and I respect that. I didn’t mean to tease you. Of course you can organize the shelves however you want. If it makes you happy….” He brushed his lips over Dex’s. “It makes me happy.”

Dex searched Sloane’s eyes, his heart swelling at the love in that molten gaze. How had he ever gotten so lucky? Did Sloane really not care, or was he just saying that to make Dex happy? “Really?”

Sloane nodded. “I promise. Just because I’ve moved in doesn’t mean you have to change everything. If it’s important to me, I’ll let you know, and we’ll compromise. The bedroom went smoothly, didn’t it?”

“True, but I was hardly about to organize your clothes. How you sort your sock drawer is none of my business, though I can’t promise some fun socks won’t make their way into that black hole of monochrome cotton you’ve got going on in there.” Dex had never seen so many pairs of black and gray socks. He needed to add some color in there, or better yet, some Star Wars socks. Sloane wouldn’t say no to those.

“Whatever you want.”

Dex felt his tension melt away. He lifted a hand to Sloane chest, and smiled up at him. “You really mean that, don’t you?” Sloane understood him like no one else, and what he didn’t already know, he was quickly learning. Despite Dex’s growing list of weirdness, Sloane happily went along with it because he loved Dex. It suddenly hit Dex, and he could barely contain his grin.

“Hey! You’re here!”

Sloane’s soft laughter made Dex weak at the knees. “Yep. I guess we’re kinda stuck with each other now.”

It was amazing how Dex didn’t have to explain. Sloane just knew what he meant. He didn’t know whether it was the bond, or how far their relationship had come, but Dex cherished it. He cupped Sloane’s face and brought him in for a kiss. Dex loved kissing Sloane. Loved when they spent what felt like hours on the couch, or even standing against the counter in the kitchen just kissing. He wanted to stay like just like this, wrapped in Sloane’s strength and love.

Dex smiled against Sloane’s lips as Sloane began to sway. He moved Dex with him as he started quietly singing Ray Orbison’s I Drove All Night. Dex loved that song. Mostly he loved that Sloane had picked a song from his Favorites playlist to sing to him.

“How about we go upstairs to the bedroom, and see if there’s anything left to unpack. From the bed,” Sloane teased, nibbling on Dex’s ear.

“Definitely better vantage point,” Dex agreed. “I love you.”

Sloane gave Dex’s lips a kiss that made his toes curls. “I love you too, sweetheart.”

As Sloane led Dex up to their bedroom, he was filled with excitement. This was the start of something new for them. Whatever came their way, they’d face it together.

 
Copyright © 2016. Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.

Sito web dei THIRDS in italiano!

Ciao a tutti! Sono felicissima di annunciare l'apertura del sito web dei THIRDS in italiano, tradotto dalla meravigliosa Chiara Seri che si sta occupando della traduzione della serie THIRDS e anche di questo post! Mi piacerebbe sapere parlare in italiano per potervi dire quanto entusiasmo e amore sta ricevendo la serie da voi lettori italiani. Grazie infinite! Nel sito del quartier generale dei THIRDS troverete un sacco di informazioni sui personaggi, un quiz, dettagli sull'organizzazione, approfondimenti sui teriani e molto altro. Ancora grazie per avere seguito le avventure di Dex e della Destructive Delta!

http://it.thirdshq.com/

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All my book are 30% Off in Dreamspinner's Anniversary Sale!

Year6-7_DSPsite Hello all! Dreamspinner is having a fantastic sale to celebrate their nine year anniversary! This week, as a sixth year author, all my books are 30% off until May 21st! Woot! That includes my latest release Love in Retrograde which is just $2.79 right now. Happy Reading! Love in Retrograde at Dreamspinner Press: http://bit.ly/CCDSPLIR Charlie's Books on Dreamspinner Press: http://bit.ly/CharlieCochetDSP LoveInRetrograde400 Genre: Gay Science Fiction Romance Length: Novella Published: May 11, 2016 Publisher: Dreamspinner Press Ebook ISBN-13: 9781634772150

SYNOPSIS

Enthusiastic, play-it-safe Kelly Sutton is an American intern at the Photonic Royal Society in New London. He’s been working on Project Mars for over a year, a mission kept so secret by the Society even Kelly doesn’t know exactly what it is. What Kelly does know is his contribution to the task will benefit mankind, and that’s enough for him.

Kelly’s world turns upside down when concerns over his mentor’s behavior lead Kelly to investigate and stumble upon a wicked truth. What is supposed to be a project to advance human life turns out to be an endeavor capable of mass destruction. The terrifying reality forces Kelly to choose between looking the other way to keep his job, as he’s always done, or risking his career and even his life to do the right thing by saving the man who’s captured his heart.


Over at the Shepherd's Bean with B.G. Thomas!

Hello all! The fabulous B.G. Thomas invited me over to the Shepherd's Bean for a fun chat over a latte or two! I had such a fabulous time! Join us as we talk about writing, THIRDS, upcoming books, fur-babies, and more! Plus there's an excerpt from Love in Retrograde!

https://bthomaswriter.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/look-who-dropped-in-at-the-shepherds-bean-charlie-cochet/

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