Authors: Sean Kennedy
Praise for Sean Kennedy’s
Tigers and Devils
“The love story was beautiful and romantic, the characters were likeable and relatable, but most importantly it was about friendship.”
—Romance Around the Corner
“…a delightfully intricate story portraying the difficulties that would face a gay couple dealing with the present day media in the sports world.”
—Fallen Angel Reviews
“These characters are so well drawn they fairly leap off the page.”
—Read React Review
“This is not an impartial review. I am throwing away all my reviewing integrity by totally pimping this book, which is one of the best things I’ve read in ages.”
“The book is really romantic, with a lot of scenes that will melt the heart of the most romantic reader.”
—Elisa Rolle Reviews & Ramblings
“[Kennedy] has written a true to life story of two men trying to navigate their way through a relationship, and this makes for a refreshing and enjoyable read.”
—Pants Off Reviews
“The romance was absolutely fantastic, with all the highs and lows and the intensity to make you hold your breath at times.”
—MM Good Book Reviews
Tigers and Devils
Wings of Equity
I Fell in Love with a Zombie
Dash and Dingo: In Search of the Tasmanian Tiger
5032 Capital Circle SW
Ste 2, PMB# 279
Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2012 by Sean Kennedy
Cover Art by Catt Ford
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the written permission of the Publisher, except where permitted by law. To request permission and all other inquiries, contact Dreamspinner Press, 5032 Capital Circle SW, Ste 2, PMB# 279, Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886, USA.
Printed in the United States of America
eBook edition available
eBook ISBN: 978-1-62380-029-1
fuck’s sake, Roger. Did you have to bring it along?”
I stared with distaste into the pram. Really, it was cramping our style. Mine, anyway; Roger was oblivious to the fact that some women in the park had zeroed in on him Terminator-style, their readings declaring him to be a total DILF. And Fran wasn’t around to go all Sarah Connor on their arses if they went on the attack.
Funny how a man with a baby caused his attractiveness quotient to be increased. Even I had fallen into the trap of being an extra bit smitten when Declan romped about with his nieces and nephews. Mine were still at the pooey nappy stage, so I tried to stay away as much as possible to avoid getting called into changing duties. I liked kids when you could actually have a conversation with them, not when their level of communication was limited to trying to sing along with Hi-5.
The DILF was glaring at me. “Don’t call her ‘it’!”
I grumbled to myself, now staring at my feet so I wouldn’t have to face his disapproval. “You look like an idiot.”
He didn’t. And everybody in the park seemed to be in agreement. Maybe they thought we were a hot gay couple with a designer test-tube baby. I gave Roger the once-over, trying to imagine how we’d look as a family, and then had to stop myself from laughing out loud.
“Stop staring at me. You’re freaking me out!” my faux baby daddy said. “Oh, and
for being supportive.”
I threw myself down onto the nearest bench. “I wouldn’t have met you today if—”
!” he yelled, clearly at the end of his tether. He didn’t have Declan’s patience for my shit-stirring, that’s for sure. “You’ll wake her up, and I just got her to sleep.”
I didn’t want to push him any further by pointing out that he was being louder than me. “Fine, let’s go.” I jumped to my feet and walked off, the creak of the pram wheels behind me as they lurched back into action. I knew I was being unfair, unsupportive, and all other words starting with ‘un’, but every time I had met Roger or Fran—or both of them—lately, they were accompanied by that
The wheels took on an almighty screech as Roger jogged a little to come up beside me. “I only got two hours sleep last night.” I think it was an attempt at an apology for his snappishness.
“Boo hoo. It was your idea to have it.”
. And it was Fran’s idea.”
“You went along with it.”
“I didn’t have much choice, did I?”
“You could have stood up to her,” I said, knowing that I would
dare to get in-between Fran and what she wanted.
Which Roger knew, of course. “Yeah,
try standing up to Fran and see what happens.”
imagine, and it wasn’t pretty. “I just wanted a peaceful afternoon. Dec’s having Abe and some of the guys over, and they would have driven me crazy watching whatever sport they had planned.”
Roger looked hurt. “Dec didn’t invite me?”
“No offence, but if you’d brought
along, you would have spoiled their fun.” Although I might have actually stayed around to see how the scenario would have played out—all that crying getting in the way of the television and the testosterone. The thing was, Dec would have normally invited Roger along, but even his limits were being tested at the moment with the new arrival.
“I could have swapped with Fran, maybe,” Roger mumbled.
“So you’re saying you would rather be with Dec and his friends than your own best friend?”
,” he mimicked me, “but you’re being a shit. So, yeah.”
I stopped and turned to face him. “I’m sorry. Look, how supportive I can be!” I leaned into the pram and made the most appalling baby talk imaginable. It was like speaking in tongues, and made about as much sense. At least I didn’t bring out the rattlesnakes.
Roger rolled his eyes and walked off. Unfortunately, he also tripped over himself, and the pram rolled away from him with an alarming speed. “The baby!” he screamed.
The pram accelerated as it tore down the small incline leading towards the fountain, glinting innocuously in the sunlight. I gave chase, but I could already tell it was useless. A cyclist appeared out of nowhere, and he wasn’t keeping his eye on the path as he leaned down to adjust something on his iPod. He never even saw the pram coming until the last moment, and when he swerved to try and avoid it, he was far too late. The pram was clipped on the side by a wheel, and as it flew through the air it actually capsized. Even from a distance, I swear time slowed down as the baby flew out over the path and onto the grass beside it, its head separating as it connected with the ground and finally rolled to a stop.
I heard Roger wail behind me, and I slowed down. There was nothing I could do now. The cyclist was now hopping off his bike and, green to the gills, he was slowly approaching the macabre tableau of the crime scene.
Roger overtook me and fell to his knees beside the tiny victim. He looked up at me with dread upon his face. “Fran’s going to kill me.”
I looked down at the “real-life” doll, now in pieces, and back to the cyclist who was bent over, vomiting. I would have to go over and assuage his guilt before he coughed up a lung. “Yep. You’re the world’s worst fake dad.”
I guess that made me the world’s worst fake godparent.
think she’ll really be that mad?” I asked Roger as we stood outside his front door, still too scared to go in and admit to our crime of faux infanticide.
“That baby was expensive. Her cousin bought it to scare the crap out of her daughters when she found one of them had condoms, and she told Fran we’d have to pay for it if anything happened while it was under our care.”
Looking at the remains of the baby, I said, “So this was your taste of what it was like to be parents?”
“You’re obviously going to be accident prone.”
“That’s not funny,” Roger moaned. He sat down on the veranda, and I sat beside him. “How can I be a dad, Simon?”
He was hoping for an answer from me that would make everything all right. But, oh man, he was asking the wrong person. “Sure you can!” I said bravely. “All parents fuck up their children in one way or another. You’ll be no worse than any other dad.”
I was whacked with the baby torso for good measure.
“You’ll be a good dad, Roger. I promise you.”
“How do you know?”
It was still such a struggle at times to say the things that needed to be said, because I was afraid of being cheesy or sounding naff. But years of living with Declan had forced me to open myself more, and I owed this to Roger. “Because you’ve been a good friend to me ever since we were kids, so you can’t be anything but a great dad.”
He looked like he was about to hug me, but we were interrupted by the front door being thrown open. Fran stared out at us from behind the security door.
“I thought I heard voices! Why are you guys out here?”
“Fran.” I got to my feet and spoke with my best policeman-at-the-door air. “I’m afraid we have some bad news.”
“Well, you’re both standing there in one piece, so I assume—
Roger had come to stand behind me, and as he lifted the torso, I held the head before me like an offering.
“What happened?” Fran’s hands were now covering her mouth, and she looked like she was about to cry.
“Roger’s big clumsy feet,” I said.
“The important thing is that the cyclist is okay, and he’s not going to press charges,” Roger said quickly.
Fran dropped her hands. Her mouth had taken on a steely set. “Cyclist?”
“The one who thought he had decapitated a baby.”