Waiting for someone else’s child to die so yours can live is the worst kind of Hell.
Celebrated Young Adult author Julian Holmes pits the heroic characters in his Black Heart series against all different kinds of monsters. But when a critical heart defect threatens his son’s life, he finds he has no champion. No amount of books, classes, or practice can prepare Julian for the fight to save his beautiful son’s life Suddenly there are hospitals, transplant lists, and the nightmare of insurance red tape to navigate. In the midst of his trouble, Julian meets Simon Phelps, the insurance coordinator for Robbie’s case. Simon lives so deep in the closet he might never find his way out, but he dreams of exactly what Julian has. Then one night, drunken need and desperation brings them together, and a new fight begins.
BUY LINKS – DREAMSPINNER PRESS:
“You want Daddy to tell you a story?”
The sweet boy snuggled down closer to his father, as if waiting to hear his story. Julian smiled, rubbing the unbandaged side of Robbie’s head with his thumb as he held the baby snug in his arms, oxygen tube in front of his rosy cheeks.
Somewhere in the back of his mind, Julian felt Liam smile.
“I’ve probably had stories in my head since I was your age, only they didn’t start coming out until I was a little older and could talk. Once I was able to spell, that was it for me. So, let’s see, a story for my Robbie. Okay, once upon a time, there was a prince named, uhm, Bobby. Now, Bobby was out one day in the forest around the castle playing with one of his friends. The boys were hiding from each other, catching frogs, you know, things that boys do. Anyway, they happened across a robber. He must have been a foreigner, because he didn’t recognize Bobby as the prince over that land.” Robbie’s eyes fluttered closed, soothed by the sound of his father’s voice.
“The other boy ran, telling Bobby to come with him, but Bobby was a prince. No way would he give up his gold to some mere commoner. His father wouldn’t allow it. His father always protected him. Only this time, he didn’t. The robber took Bobby’s gold and put a blade into his chest. By the time the other boy brought help, Bobby was in bad shape.”
Julian stroked Robbie’s little cheek with his thumb.
“King… uhm… Cerulean, okay, don’t make fun, you don’t know that word yet,” Julian whispered to Robbie with a laugh and actually heard Liam roll his eyes from the little spot in the back of his mind. “Anyway, the king, well, he didn’t take any chances and rushed Bobby to Merlin, the greatest wizard in the land. He begged Merlin to help his son. Merlin put the boy on a table and examined him, muttering incantations under his breath. He touched the boy’s pierced chest and felt the coolness of his skin. He told the king that the only way to save his son was to cut out the heart of a dragon to make a very special potion for Bobby to drink. Only that would save the boy’s life.”
Robbie lay quiet in Julian’s arms, his breathing slow and rhythmic in sleep. Julian decided to continue, even if just for himself.
“And he did it, Robbie. That king went out and searched day and night to find a dragon. Finally, he did. He risked his own life to bring the heart back to the old wizard. Merlin used the heart to make a potion for the prince, and once he drank it, the wound in his chest closed up, and he was right as rain.”
He pulled Robbie a little higher on his chest, bringing his lips down to whisper in his son’s ear.
“I’ll find that dragon, buddy. I promise.”
ABOUT J.P. BARNABY
Award winning romance novelist, J. P. Barnaby has penned over a dozen books including the Working Boys series, the Little Boy Lost series, In the Absence of Monsters, and Aaron. As a bisexual woman, J.P. is a proud member of the GLBT community both online and in her small town on the outskirts of Chicago. A member of Mensa, she is described as brilliant but troubled, sweet but introverted, and talented but deviant. She spends her days writing software and her nights writing erotica, which is, of course, far more interesting. The spare time that she carves out between her career and her novels is spent reading about the concept of love, which, like some of her characters, she has never quite figured out for herself.