Damon can’t forget 9/11 and all the precious things he lost…
It’s ten years after the horror of 9/11. Former NYPD cop Damon Summerfield was there. He lost his firefighter partner, Justin, in the collapse of the Twin Towers and fled to Canada to attempt to rebuild his shattered life. Now he is back in New York for Christmas with his family for the first time since his loss.
Still deep in mourning with no end in sight, he visits Justin’s favorite bar near Ground Zero and there meets Simon, a firefighter with the FDNY and a fellow survivor of 9/11. Simon is smitten by him from the start, but despite feeling the same way, Damon can’t bear to give them a chance, not when he thinks Simon’s job will tear them apart someday too…
Publisher's Note: This book was previously released by another publisher. It has been revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound Publishing.
General Release Date: 19th December 2014
For the second time in a year, Damon Summerfield visited New York—the first had been to be present at the ten year memorial ceremony for the atrocities of 9/11, and now three months later for Christmas.
He’d watched the bagpipe band that September, the girl playing Amazing Grace on a flute, and had stood at the 9/11 Memorial South Pool tracing his fingers over the letters of his beloved’s name. His eyes had welled up, sharp and stinging with a pain he hadn’t known could still cut so deep, then he’d gone to the FDNY Memorial Wall on Liberty Street and seen Justin’s name there too.
Shutting his eyes, he could taste bitter dust and ashes in his mouth again as he ran for his life with the South Tower collapsing behind him and his heart left behind in the rubble.
Damon’s mother had persuaded him to come for Christmas in New York after he’d shunned the city of his birth for the last ten years. But the wounds reopened by the memorial services were still fresh and on Christmas Eve at ten p.m., he found himself in Justin’s favorite bar, a stone’s throw from Ground Zero.
The Full Shilling had changed in ten years, of course it had, but the place still had the hundred-year-old bar that had been shipped from Belfast, the wooden floors, the Irish music and the cozy, bustling atmosphere. Now the pub boasted seventeen draft beers, which was all right by Damon.
A barman in his early twenties smiled at him as Damon climbed onto a tall chair and opened his heavy winter coat, shaking flakes of snow from his hair.
“What can I get you?”
The barman was achingly young, attractive and friendly. For a moment Damon felt a surprising pang of attraction. Surprising because he’d lived like a monk for the last ten years, his interest long dead, buried with Justin. Why look for someone to replace the irreplaceable anyway?
Damon took a moment to peruse the pumps. “Peroni, thanks.”
He followed the barman’s ass with helpless eyes before he realized someone was watching him from two seats down.
A dark-haired man in his late thirties grinned at him as though he read every one of Damon’s desperate, dirty little thoughts. Damon glared back then averted his gaze.
But the stranger didn’t take the hint. He slid off his chair and moved onto the one next to Damon. As the bartender returned with his drink, Damon’s neighbor said, “I’ll take care of that.”
Damon didn’t look at him. “Thanks, I’ll buy my own.”
“Don’t be unfriendly, I’m just being polite.”
Damon turned his head and looked into clear, pale green eyes startlingly at odds with the stranger’s almost black hair. The attractive barman receded from memory as Damon’s attention was grabbed one hundred percent by the stranger’s strong jaw, perfect white teeth and winter porcelain skin. Beautiful, he thought. Utterly gorgeous.
Leaden misery weighted Damon’s stomach. He took a swig of his beer. “Go away.” His palms sweated and his heart raced.
After a moment’s pause, the guy slid from his stool. “No problem.” He walked away, leaving Damon staring longingly after him and remembering various salacious moments of his sex life with Justin. He squeezed his eyes shut, chugged down more beer and finally glanced to the back of the bar where the stranger now sat at a table on his own.
Christ, he was the first man who had stirred Damon sexually in ten years, but not the first he had sent packing. All prospective suitors got the same treatment. Damon wasn’t interested anymore. He’d had his six years of happiness with Justin and those had to be enough to last the rest of his life. He had his memories, his photos, the long-faded scent of Justin on some of the clothes he had kept. Existing had taken the place of living.
Damon looked resolutely away from the stranger who had momentarily interested him. He finished his beer and left Justin’s favorite bar.
Word Count: 18,726
Book Length: NOVELLA
MEN IN UNIFORM
Scarlet likes cats and hats and firmly believes that the only thing better than one attractive man is two attractive men.
Reviewed by Multitasking Mommas
The connection between Simon and Damon is erotically sizzling but it is laced with so manytears and such fear that it was hard to continue reading this at times. Unexpectedly, an angel in disguise comes...
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Reviewed by Nautical Star Books
If you are looking for an emotionally and physically intense read, Nine One One is a great choice!
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Scarlet Blackwell - Guys Like Romance Too feature
Nine-One-One. A play on words because 911, while being the emergency number for the United States, also has another connotation: 9/11. It was this I chose to write about and some of the people who were hardest hit – the emergency services.
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Scarlet Blackwell - USA Today feature
Three books on my keeper shelves:
• Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I've read this book maybe five times or more. I guess I'm attracted to the anti-hero Heathcliff and I shamelessly admit he's the role model for all my heroes. Dark, dangerous and delicious. No one can say they've truly read romance until they've read this book.