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Excerpt Day: Off the Beaten Path by Katrina Strauss

Off the Beaten Path by Katrina Strauss
Release Date: July 28, 2009
Publisher: Loose Id
ISBN: 978-1-59632-982-9
Publisher Link: http://www.loose-id.com/prod-Off_the_Beaten_Path-982.aspx

Blurb: Gay athlete Travis Bell doesn't hide his sexuality, but he won't be defined by it, either. When he covers for a friend´s misdeed, he´s forced to negotiate his future without losing his lacrosse scholarship. The last thing he plans on is a wilderness vacation with Omega Beta Pi, aka Off the Beaten Path, a fraternity devoted to gay rights and environmental causes. Worse, Travis must share a tent with Kyle, an opinionated activist who´s also the hottest guy Travis has ever met. A proud activist, Kyle Schafer disapproves of Travis´s indifference toward issues affecting the environment and gay community. To his greater annoyance, Kyle finds himself attracted to his shallow tentmate on a purely physical level. Travis goes against everything Kyle believes in, but that doesn´t dampen the chemistry that sparks between them. In a battle of wits and libido, Travis and Kyle venture into the uncharted territory of their deepest desires... and learn the path less traveled can lead straight to the heart.

Excerpt:

Travis´s eyes fluttered at the chirping of birds and the barest hint of light. Vaguely, he comprehended his whereabouts. His back felt cold, while the soft mass cradled against his front proved warm. He snuggled closer. In turn, the warm bundle pressed back, pillowed layers giving way to something firmer beneath. Travis felt his prick stir at the contact. Emitting a low groan, he involuntarily ground his hips. He sniffed, inhaling a light herbal scent. He nuzzled his face deeper. Soft hair tickled his nose.

Travis opened his eyes and froze, mortified to discover he´d spooned with his tentmate during the night. Granted, they had sleeping bags between them, but their position still proved too intimate beyond propriety.

He stopped short of jerking away for fear he´d awaken Kyle. Aside from his errant morning wood, Travis couldn´t help but notice how perfectly their bodies fit together. And damn, Kyle´s hair smelled nice, Travis thought, indulging in another involuntarily whiff.

On some cruel unspoken cue, Kyle shifted, his rump grinding harder against Travis. Emitting another stifled groan, Travis remained still, his cock throbbing against the solid swell of Kyle´s ass.

Travis carefully rolled onto his back. His front instantly went cold, yet his libido raged, his cock tenting the sleeping bag with a noticeable lump. He slid a hand down his sweatpants and gripped his balls. He gave a squeeze, hoping to relieve the pressure, succeeding only in sending another rush of blood to his prick. He considered tossing off, but didn´t know what to do with the resulting mess.

His breath hitched in his throat as the other man rolled toward him. "Come back here," Kyle mumbled. "You´re warm."

Yeah, and hard, Travis thought. He swallowed nervously, balls still cupped in his hand. "Don´t get all Brokeback Mountain on me, dude. That story had a crappy ending."

"Huh?" Kyle´s eyelids fluttered. He stared at Travis, his dazed expression giving way to realization. He sat up with a start, the sleeping bag pooling at his hips, and looked away. "Sorry. I thought you were someone else."

A flash of embarrassment tinged with insult seared through Travis. Face going hot, he rolled away, hoping Kyle´s eyes hadn´t lingered or adjusted enough to make out the evidence of his arousal. "Wow. I feel so cheap," he muttered, attempting to mask his awkwardness with another crack. The joke fell flat, his humor eluding him.

He heard the zipper slide on Kyle´s sleeping bag, followed by the rustle of clothing. He peered back over his shoulder to see Kyle hurriedly slip into hoodie and sneakers.

"Got to do my morning workout," Kyle said, crawling across the mattress.

"Really?" Travis asked, latching onto any semblance of casual conversation that he could. "What sort of workout?"

"Yoga followed by a light run."

"Cool. I run, too. Maybe we could --"

Kyle slipped out of the tent and zipped the flap shut before Travis could suggest they jog together. Then again, with his cock weighing between his legs like a heavy pendulum, running might prove a bit difficult, while it might be best to keep a safe distance from Kyle.

Down boy, he told himself. Footsteps sounded outside, leaves and twigs crunching in their wake. Mac´s voice wafted through the canvas of the tent. "Hey, Travis. You awake?"

Travis started to speak, then cleared his throat. "Yeah, I´m up."

He cringed as the unintentional pun slipped from his mouth. Thank god Mac had no clue, exactly, as to how "up" he was.
Tags: author: katrina strauss, excerpt
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