No One Ever Stays.
Dylan Dosi, lead singer of a famous rock band, battles with his personal demons ? an internal battle of hurricane proportions that threaten to overtake him at any given moment. Untrusting, hyper-aware, and always on edge, Dyl keeps people at arm’s length while giving the appearance that everything is okay.
Oswald ?Oz? Walter is a graphic artist who battles his own internal tempests ? ones that cause him to lash out at the most unexpected times. In a constant push/pull struggle within him, Oz stays distanced from people yet craves their company as much as he fears it.
When their individual perceptions can cause the two men to see things in different lights, can Dylan and Oz learn to trust each other? Or will they fall prey to their own self-fulfilling prophecies when yet again no one ever stays?
This book contains realistic detailed depictions of mental illnesses as well as portraying BDSM and a D/s lifestyle.
?That had to have helped, when you were up and coming as a singer,? Oz remarked a bit dryly, trying to make his heart stop hammering in his chest at the idea that the other man might want to see him again.
?What?? Dylan asked.
Oz carefully portioned out the food into as few containers as possible, then looked up and flashed him a shy smile. ?The fact that you know what you want and you go for it. You may not be fully confident about it, but you do it anyway. I admire that.?
?I really do enjoy when you smile,? Dylan said quietly. ?I want to see more of them. The natural true ones like that one I mean. Not the forced ones that are meant to hide the pain.? Dylan tacked on.
Those were the smiles Oz was best at giving.
?You?re deflecting,? Oz retorted. His cheeks heated with a flush that he could feel creeping toward his ears and down to his neck.
?I like when you blush too. It?s sexy,? Dylan added.
?Stooop,? Oz whined, shooting the singer a look.
?I?m only telling you the truth!? Dylan exclaimed with a giggle.
The singer actually giggled? Oz couldn?t stop the laugh that passed over his lips.
?It?s exhausting.? Dylan sighed quietly.
?What do you mean?? Oz sobered, confused.
?My therapist said I?m hyper-aware ? or hyper-vigilant ? of my surroundings and the people around me,? the singer explained. ?It?s like, I?m working so hard to seem like everything?s fine and watching every detail of what?s going on around me, that I?m always acutely aware. Afraid that I?m going to miss something that?s important, or that I might need to know, or to be acutely aware that someone might be out there ready to pose a threat, or that I?m being judged so I have to watch everything I do and judge myself harder than I should, or?? Dylan shrugged dismissively.
Finishing with the last of the dishes, Oz set the plate in the drying rack with the others. He turned around to face Dylan, watching him as he spoke instead of simply listening.
?Well, I could go on but yeah, always going after what I want sometimes can be exhausting. My anxiety brain tells me I?m not good enough, my logical brain tells me I have to prove that I am. So I push myself to go after what I want even when inside all I want to do is crawl under the covers and sleep for a few hours, or a few days.?
Dylan frowned, frustrated with himself. Disappointment mingled with that emotion, as well as growing exasperation and annoyance. None of it was directed toward Oz though. This was all internalized ? pushed upon himself for being as messed up as he was.
Why couldn?t he be normal like everyone else instead of a broken mess with a list of issues that kept growing?
He?d been told that he had no tact before, that even though he spoke the truth about everything, it came across badly at times. People said they liked his bluntness and that they appreciated he was straightforward and honest.
It never ended up being true, though. People?s words and actions never aligned themselves. How could a person trust someone?s words when their actions contradicted what they were saying?
And didn?t that just suck the royal lion king?s ball sac?
?Aw, man,? he whined as they exited the area. ?How long are those rounds??
Dylan checked the passes they had. ?Seven minutes. But I bought us like five of them, so don?t pout.?
Oz pouted deliberately, feeling freer and lighter than he had in a long time. He didn?t know why, but there was something he loved about Dylan?s daddy act.
Dylan hovered his lips near Oz?s ear. ?You did that on purpose,? he murmured. ? If I didn?t know better, I?d swear you?re looking for a spanking.?
?Who, me?? He flashed Dylan an angelic smile. ?I?m innocent! I would never do that.?
?Innocent, my ass. Don?t try to convince me of that, young man,? Dylan laughed. ?Unless it?s the new code word for acting like a sassy little. Then okay, I?ll give you that.? He winked. ?How about some air hockey while we wait for the next round? I?ll try not to beat you too badly.? Dylan flashed Oz a cheeky grin.
A sassy little.
Despite the explanation Dylan had given him and the little bit he?d read, he hadn?t understood just what it had meant until today. Dylan was letting him act like a child without judging him. Hell, he was encouraging Oz, at that. ?Ohh,? he breathed out, nodding to himself. ?C?mon, Daddy,? he said with more purpose this time. ?Let?s go get your ass kicked at air hockey before the next game.?
?We should get going before your brother gets back. Otherwise we may never get to my place for dinner.? Dylan laughed lyrically. ?I hope you don?t mind tonkatsu and steamed rice with stir fry vegetables? I made a side of sushi for you too just in case?? Dylan said. It came out more as a question than a statement.
?You can make sushi?? Oz asked, flabbergasted. He outright stared at Dylan, and it seemed there was more awe in his expression than any time they?d talked about him being a singer ? like this was something far, far more difficult.
In truth, it was. He was a natural singer, but he?d had to work to learn that skill.
?Yeah.? Dylan nodded with a slight smile. One of his shoulders lifted in a shrug as he tried to pass it off as no big deal even though he blushed a bit himself. ?It was something I learned when I was touring in Japan a few years back. An older couple in a hole in the wall restaurant I went to decided they wanted to teach me.?
Dylan rolled his eyes playfully.
?I?m not sure why but hey, I was willing to learn.? He laughed, remembering his initial bewilderment. ?I remember you said you liked Japanese food, so I picked a few different things to make.? he continued while Oz turned to lock up.
T.N. Nova, Terri to her husband and Blazing Zane to her daughter, is the author of contemporary and paranormal gay romance. She’s lived in the desert southwest all of her adult life, most recently in Phoenix.
Her guilty pleasures are Minecraft, music, geeky stuff, diet Dr. Pepper, and all things Thor and Loki. She’s addicted, so now you know how to bribe her.
- Phoenix (code name: Raissa) has an unhealthy fascination with contrasts: light and dark, humor and pain, heroes and villains, order and chaos. She believes love can corrupt, power can redeem and that the best of intentions can cast shadows while the worst can create light. She agrees with those who say that the truth is best told through fiction ? even though fiction has to make sense while reality can be utterly baffling.
She loves chatting with readers, though she often awkwardly rambles. No matter how much she tries to keep her bad and often perverted sense of humor in check, it seems to escape at the most inconvenient moments.
(Thanks, universe.) Feel free to friend Raissa on Facebook and chat or send her an email!