Happy Release Day!
Unsteady by Melissa Collins
A stand alone, M/M romance
IS NOW LIVE!
Free to read with Kindle Unlimited
Grab your copy here –> AMAZON
Cover design: Sommer Stein at Perfect Pair Creative Covers
Photography: Wander Aguiar at WANDER AGUIAR :: PHOTOGRAPHY
Models: Jacob Cooley and Ryan Dick
Micah Hudson and Jude MacMillian were both lonely teenagers. One the new kid and one the target of relentless bullying, they quickly became friends. But when friendship grew into more, the relationship was too much for either to handle. As their tenuous bond was tested, everything tumbled down, leaving them lonely once again.
A decade later, Micah is on the brink of losing his will to live. Beyond exhausted from lying to everyone, including himself, Micah thinks of the one person who knows his deepest secret. Desperate and alone, Micah makes the only decision he feels he has: he must leave. But his need for closure depends on one thing.
Can Jude make room in his Unsteady life for Micah once again?
Join me on Facebook where you will find a $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!
Melissa Collins Author Page
As I closed the refrigerator, a flash of something dark moving by the sliding glass doors caught my attention. “What the?” I said to no one as I opened the door. Squinting my eyes, I could’ve sworn I saw a wolf running on the edge of my backyard.
A high-pitched whistle came from the side gate and what I thought was a wolf, turned into a dog simply responding to the call of his owner. “Poor guy must’ve gotten out,” I said to myself as I walked over to the open gate to let who I assumed to be the dog’s owner into the yard.
“Here let me help you.” As I walked toward the gate, I saw the man struggling with a backpack and another bag. “Big guy get away from you?” I asked the pointless question.
With his back to me as he latched the gate behind him, I couldn’t see more than the too-long hair hanging just above his shoulders. The metal clang of the gate rang in my ears and time stood still as the man turned around. “Micah,” I choked on his name.
Shock wasn’t even remotely close to what I felt when my eyes landed on him. His eyes were the same, vibrant green, burning holes into whatever they stared at. But the dark bags underneath were new, casting heavy shadows on his face. The heavy stubble covering his face did nothing to hide the hard line of his jaw. It was both him and not him.
At least not the Micah I remembered.
“Jude,” he spoke my name as he dropped the bags to the ground. It was Micah standing in front of me, but I couldn’t help but wonder if I imagined the whole thing. “I, uh,” he stuttered. “Sarge,” he called out, his voice booming the command.
I watched in awestruck silence, my world seemingly moving in slow motion as the dog trotted up next to Micah before sitting like a statue at his side. “He was the other guest you mentioned?” I asked stupidly since it was clear there was no one else around.
“Yeah. Is that okay? I can stay somewhere—”
“Of course it’s fine.” I cut him off because the idea of him being anywhere but here was not one I wanted to entertain.
Shaking away the nervousness I’d expected but wasn’t prepared to deal with, I stepped forward, extending a hand to Micah. He stared at it as if it was the most foreign gesture he’d ever seen. “Uh, thanks,” he muttered with a hint of anger as he pulled his right hand out from behind his back. “But I’m fresh outta hands to shake.” The lame attempt at a joke was lost on me as I tried my hardest not to stare at the prosthetic before me. It was black metal, sleek, and modern. Looking nothing like those flesh-colored plastic pieces, it was as if it was out of the Terminator movies.
“Oh shit,” I cursed, unable to come up with anything else. “Micah.” His name came out sounding like an apology, and I immediately wanted to take it back.
A decade worth of moments filled my brain. Micah walking away from me when I told him to leave me the fuck alone. Graduating college. My first day teaching. Buying my own home.
All of those moments paled in comparison to those that must have filled Micah’s years.
Thankfully, he cut the thick silence when he asked “Got another one of those for me?” as he tipped his head down to the unopened beer in my hand.
“Uh, yeah. Of course,” I stumbled over my words as my feet began to move. “Come on inside.”
The dog tagged alongside him as he followed me into the kitchen.
I had hoped to keep the conversation light and casual.
How have you been?
Where did you end up going to college?
Why did you leave me behind?
Okay, maybe that last one was a little heavy.
But knowing he’d lost his arm massively complicated the task, as did the sadness in his eyes.
As we made our way to the refrigerator, I shook those thoughts out of my head and struggled to find something to say. My hands worked as my brain couldn’t. After opening his beer, I slid it across the granite countertop to his waiting hand.
The real one. Fuck.
Silently, I cursed myself for even making the acknowledgment.
His voice competed with the sound of me cracking open my own beer. “Nice place,” he announced as his eyes roamed around the kitchen.
“Thanks” was all I could muster up. Before sliding off the bar stool, he let go a sad-sounding chuckle.
He walked over to his bags, running his hand through his hair and tucking it behind his ear. It didn’t stay there, flopping in front of his face. “I had to get him some food,” he explained, answering the question I hadn’t asked.
And honestly, if I had asked him anything, it wouldn’t have had anything to do with where he went just now.
It would have had everything to do with where he’d been for the last ten years.
“Over here okay?” His question cut through my distraction. Squatting in the corner, he set up the dog bowls so they were out of the way. A small smile pulled at my lips. Having toyed with the idea of getting a dog for myself, I’d often thought of using that exact place for food and water, but I always dismissed the idea of adopting a dog since I was never home. It didn’t seem fair.
But instead of getting into that—because how fucking stupid would that sound Sure. Over there is fine. I always wanted a dog. But I’m just so busy with my full life to even think about taking care of another living thing—instead of making a fool of myself, I simply said, “Of course” as I brought my beer up to my mouth, nodding like a fool. Deciding I needed to get my head on straight, I went with what I figured was a normal line of conversation, hoping to get back on some kind of even keel.
Because from the second I laid my eyes on Micah, my entire world had been thrown off kilter. And paying mind to that feeling was far too much to deal with right now.
Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest