WAVES BREAK MY FALL
HAS BEEN RE-RELEASED!
Waves Break My Fall is available NOW at All Romance eBooks! Re-edited (by Kris Jacen), and with an additional 20,000 words, it’s now an entirely fresh, new story. It even has a lovely new cover, also courtesy of Kris Jacen.
Where the first edition of Waves Break My Fall ended when Zach and Kage returned home to San Diego, this second edition continues to tell their story as they settle into their new lives, and their new relationship.
Waves Break My Fall is currently available in .mobi, .epub, and .pdf at ARe. Availability is pending at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel.
Kage is a Marine, struggling to adjust to life after combat. He tries to decompress with a quiet trip to Puerto Vallarta. Zach just graduated from college. He’s facing the realities of adulthood, and a new career.
They meet in Mexico, and their erotic vacation fling leaves them both wanting – and hoping for – more, once they’re home. Zach enters the police academy, Kage reports to Camp Pendleton, and they settle into daily lives as a new couple.
When Kage’s post-combat issues nearly destroy everything he and Zach have built, can they find the right help? Can they hold on, even if they do?
The neighborhood was quiet, as they walked to their car. Kage took a deep breath, enjoying the chill of the air in his lungs, and let it out slowly.
“Are you okay?” Zach asked. He couldn’t quite hide the concern and tension in his voice. Things were a hell of a lot better between them, than they had been, but they still had a long way to go. Kage knew it would be a while before Zach stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop, always sure he was just a moment away from losing his shit again.
“I’m good,” he replied reassuringly. Tentatively, Kage gave Zach’s shoulder a squeeze. “Just working through some shit. I’m a little tired.”
“I’m not surprised,” said Zach. “You lasted several hours, which is amazing. My parents are probably celebrating, right now.” He chuckled quietly. “They missed you.”
Kage suspected it was Zach’s smile his parents had missed, but he kept that thought to himself. He disarmed the car alarm, and they both climbed into their seats. Kage should probably say something to Zach, to let him know he was aware of how hard he made things between them. He didn’t mean to, but his therapist said it might help them both, if Kage acknowledged it.
They were silent on the drive to the freeway. Once he was up to speed, Kage cleared his throat nervously. “Your parents know I couldn’t help how I felt, right?” he asked carefully. “They don’t think I was just a dick, and refused to visit them, do they?”
“No, no one thinks you were just being a dick,” Zach reassured him quickly. “We all knew you were struggling—that you’re still struggling—with issues. Nobody was pissed off at you, we were all just worried.”
Kage snorted in disbelief. “There were times I know I pissed you off, no matter how hard you tried to hide it.”
“I was never pissed at you,” Zach denied vehemently. He looked over at Kage, expression aghast. “I understand what’s going on, and why. I know you weren’t always in control of it. But you’re working on getting better.”
Kage shook his head. He resisted the urge to accept Zach’s denial and move on, cause then he’d be a chicken shit. “You understand, but it used to piss you off just the same, when I couldn’t go out into a crowd.” He tried to wet his lips, but his entire mouth had gone dry. “It still makes you mad when I can’t talk about the fucked up shit in my head.” He was sure Zach seethed silently when Kage’s dick failed to work—again—but he still couldn’t even talk to his therapist about that.
“Yeah, I’m angry at the situation.” Zach shrugged, looking out the passenger window. “But I don’t get angry at you. I hate that your own brain and body hijack your life, and there’s not a fucking thing I can do.”
Kage thought back over all the times Zach had reached out to him, sometimes begging him to talk about the things that tied him up in knots. For the longest time, his own emotions had evaded him. He sensed them, sometimes Kage thought he could touch them, if he reached out. But he didn’t really feel anything, right up until he felt everything all at once, and it only released its hold on him when he cut himself open.
“You help,” Kage said, barely loud enough to be heard over the hum of the car engine. He took a deep breath to gather his strength, but he exhaled shakily. He sensed his control slipping again, his shoulders lifting, and his back tightening with rising tension. Christ, he was never going to get his shit together, was he? He was on borrowed time already, why the fuck didn’t his life just end, so Zach wouldn’t have to suffer through this misery anymore?
“Hey. Where’d you go?” Zach’s calm voice cut through Kage’s thoughts, jerking him back into the present. “We were talking, and you just faded out. Everything’s okay. Nothing pressing in on you.”
Kage nodded stiffly, starting his breathing exercises in earnest. He backslid so fucking quick, still. He should probably be grateful he could drag himself back out now, almost as quickly.
“Can I touch you?” Zach’s tone was deceptively casual. Touching was still like a walk through a minefield, for them. “Just your hand, or your leg. For comfort.”
Kage tried to answer, but his voice wasn’t working. He cleared his throat. “Yeah. Yes. That’s a good idea.” He rested his arm on the center console.
Zach was paying close attention, like he always did. Kage exhaled with relief when Zach’s hand settled on top of his, gripping gently. Kage squeezed in return, not caring if it seemed like he was clinging. They’d lost this, for a while, and he’d missed it. He should tell Zach how much he’d missed it, and how glad he was they could touch each other again.
“You do help,” Kage managed to say, his voice rough. “It doesn’t seem like it, I know. But you do.”
Zach gave Kage’s hand another squeeze. “Good. I’m really glad to hear that.”
“There’ve been times when I woke up in the middle of the night, in a panic.” Kage swallowed hard, his throat suddenly tight and painful. “And then I felt you in bed next to me, and sometimes I could even smell your scent on the sheets, and the panic went away.”
“It makes me happy to know that.” Zach’s voice was low, but he sounded sincere.
“I know I’m not easy to be around, most of the time.” Kage took a couple of deep breaths, struggling to stay calm long enough to say what he needed to. “I know I put you through hell. You should have dumped my sorry ass a long time ago. But I’m glad you didn’t. So I’m trying.” He’d managed to say what he wanted to say. Whatever else happened, he’d accomplished that.
“You’re doing more than trying,” Zach surprised Kage by saying. “You’re succeeding. Every day, I see you conquer something else. Lately, it’s been like having the real Kage back, and I’m glad I stuck around for that.”
Kage was glad, too. Except he was painfully aware that he wasn’t all the way back to his old self. “Not exactly how you pictured things would be, when we left Mexico,” he said darkly.
“And you had all this planned out?” Zach chuckled, and Kage smiled at the sound. He’d missed Zach’s smiles, and his laughter.
“You know…” Kage paused, searching desperately for the right words. “You know…nothing…none of this had anything to do with you. It was all me. It is…all me.”
Zach was silent for a long while, staring out the passenger window. Kage tried not to read into the silence, like his therapist advised him.
“My head knows that,” Zach finally said. “But my heart doesn’t have the same firm resolve.”
“Yeah, I get that,” Kage said on a heavy sigh. “My body is still being hijacked. I’ll get back in line with my head…and my heart.” He took another steadying breath. He’d reached his limit for the night, Kage just hoped to hell he’d said everything he should say to Zach. He wondered if it was too much to hope that he’d said everything Zach needed to hear.
“Well then,” Zach said slowly, as if choosing his words carefully, “all the more reason to stick around, I guess, to see how this all turns out.”
Kage gave Zach’s hand a squeeze, to let him know he’d heard. He couldn’t trust himself to say anything else. It didn’t matter, though; Zach kept his hand on top of Kage’s. They made the rest of the drive home in a comfortable silence.