Posy Roberts’ Tangled Mind
I’m so excited to have Posy here with me today. I cannot wait to read her newest book Tangled Mind. It sounds amazing and heartbreaking at the same time. Posy shared with us a scene that you can’t read anywhere else. It’s a bit of a prequel that shows a time when Timothy and Beck were just friends before they were dating. After the guest post that Posy wrote for me, read all about the book. Be sure you don’t skip the excerpt because it will bring out so many emotions in such a short period. At the very bottom be sure to enter for a chance to win a copy of the book.
Thanks for inviting me to visit your blog today. I decided to share a little prologue to my story Tangled Mind where Timothy and Beck are best friends. This is the Christmas season before the start of the story, and it’s told from Timothy’s POV, which you don’t get to see in Tangled Mind. Enjoy.
“Six cups of flour. Six?” I leaned over the recipe card to get a better look, then held it up to the light for a better view. “How many cookies am I making?” I couldn’t find the answer on my hastily scrawled card.
The oven beeped to let me know it had preheated, so I quit talking to myself and dumped the first of the six cups of flour into my mixing bowl, gradually combining it with the peanut butter, butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. By the time I was done, a mound of dough that promised to feed an army confronted me. All I’d wanted was a few dozen cookies to treat myself and have a dozen or so to take into work.
I was going to have well over a hundred peanut butter cookies at this rate. Maybe two.
“Whatever,” I said to my empty house as I rolled a small amount of dough between my palms, dipped it in white sugar, and set it on the cookie sheet. Digging my fingers in the sticky goo was satisfying, and before long, I was singing along to the cheesy Christmas music pumping through the speakers and carefully pressing a sugared fork to the cookies, making the ubiquitous crosshatch marks every peanut butter cookie lover recognizes from afar.
A few hours later my kitchen counters as well as the table were covered in cooling cookies. I pulled the last batch out and saw there was nowhere else to let these cool. I ended up piling them atop the first batch from ages ago.
The sheer numbers overwhelmed me and my feet were sore. I should’ve worn shoes.
Tomorrow. I’ll deal with all of this tomorrow.
I flopped face-first onto my bed and passed the fuck out.
The next day, I was still overwhelmed. I didn’t even own enough storage containers to put them away, so I resorted to plastic bags.
Apparently Mom had given me the recipe she followed when she baked for her church. Now I had to get rid of eighteen dozen cookies, unless I wanted to look like Santa in a few weeks, so I shoved the bag in a large box and headed for my car to deliver them.
I save my best friend for last, hoping we’d be able to sit down and eat a few cookies together while sipping on the coffee I now carried in a flimsy beverage carrier. Somehow I managed to balance the three coffees and five bags of cookies while ringing Beck’s doorbell. Brady, his prick of a boyfriend, answered with a sour look on his face.
“Merry Christmas,” I said, forcing myself to smile. “I come bearing peanut butter cookies and coffee for all.”
“Huh. Come in then.” Brady opened the door wider, but rather than offer to take the pro-offered gifts, he turned around and walked away. “Beck, Timothy’s here for you. He brought cookies.”
“Really? What kind?” The sound of Beck’s muted voice pushed warmth from my chest all the way to my extremities.
“Peanut butter,” I shouted so he could hear me down the hall.
“My favorite.” Beck bounded in to the room and immediately took the coffee carrier from my grasp. Then he leaned in and kissed me on the cheek. “Thank you. What a great surprise. Come into the kitchen so I can have a taste.”
My mind conjured very impure images at that, which I immediately shoved away.
“I brought a coffee for Brady too. His favorite.”
I followed Beck, who found which coffee was meant for Brady. “I’ll just go give this to him. He’s not….” Beck didn’t finish, unless you considered a grimace to be punctuation.
When Beck returned, he still had Brady’s coffee in hand, but now he had an apologetic look in his eyes. There was some commotion down the hall that drew my attention, and soon, Brady was slamming the front door and driving away.
“Did I cause a problem?” I asked while Beck pulled a cookie to his mouth. He took a bite and moaned while he chewed. The sound was sinful.
“He’s just in a funk. Has been all day, and no matter what, I can’t seem to get him out of it.”
“That’s not really your job,” I said.
Beck threw off my comment with a shrug making it obvious he didn’t believe me. I took a cookie from the bag.
“It’s hard watching him treat you like this. Was he mad because I stopped by without calling?”
“Timothy, it’s my issue, not yours. Don’t worry. So, thanks for the treats. That was really nice of you to think of us.”
I was thinking of Beck, not Brady. I knew he loved peanut butter cookies, and it was my hope they’d help him put on a little weight. He’d lost quite a lot recently because of the stress Brady was putting him under, but Beck never saw it that way. I knew Beck wasn’t entirely blameless, but I was more than willing to put the fault directly at Brady’s feet. He treated Beck like an emotional punching bag, and if anyone in the world didn’t deserve that, it was Beck.
I’d never treat him like that, if he’d only give me a chance. I knew the likelihood of that happening was slim to none.
“Oh!” Beck said as he jumped to his feet. “I have a present for you. I’ll be right back.”
“You didn’t have to do that.”
“Yes I did,” he said as he disappeared, his voice getting softer and then louder again. “You just brought me a mountain of my fave cookies in the world, and they’re better than anything I’ve ever tasted.”
He returned with a small, flat box as I told him, “It’s my mom’s recipe, but she didn’t tell me how many cookies it made. I have millions of them. If you want more, I still have five or six dozen at home.”
“I might take you up on that. Now here. Open!”
I looked into his sweet blue eyes that practically sparkled with excitement. He didn’t know how amazing he was, how much I desired him. He couldn’t know, because then Brady would sniff it out. Brady was already a jealous fuck, unwilling to share Beck’s time, which drove me crazy.
“Come on. I don’t have all day.”
I knew what that meant. Brady was going to be coming home sooner rather than later. He’d probably gone out to meet his dealer, so I tore into the wrapping paper.
When I tugged the lid off the box, I was astounded. “What did you do?” There were several images on a page with my name prominently featured on each one.
“I was sketching the other day and thinking about what you said, about wanting to start your own business. One of the most important things for a new business is brand recognition, so I drew up a few logo ideas. If you don’t like any of them, I can tweak the designs. It was just for fun, but if you’re serious about the furniture-making thing, you can start small by handing out business cards… ya know. See how much interest is out there.”
I stood up, walked around the table, and pulled him to my chest where he was nearly swallowed up. He was so thin, especially next to my more than burly size. His hair smelled good, so I buried my nose in the blond strands and breathed him in as I squeezed my thanks into his lithe frame. He was hesitant at first, but then hugged me back nearly as tight.
“Thank you. I’m not sure you know how much I appreciate this.”
When I pulled away he grinned, obviously pleased I’d enjoyed his thoughtful gift. It took everything in my power not to kiss him. And then he licked his full lips, pinking them up even more than they already were.
“I’m glad you liked it,” he said. “And thank you for the cookies. They’re awesome. Maybe I’ll make a few into ice cream sandwiches that we can share some day soon. Oh, and the coffee too.”
I could tell I was being dismissed, and when I heard Brady’s noisy car driving up the street, I knew why.
“Well, I’ll get out of here. Have a great Christmas.”
“Say, if you need anything, call me. I’m only going home for Christmas Day. Otherwise I’ll be around. We could hang, go to a movie, talk about logos. Whatever you want.”
“If I can. It sorta depends on Brady, ya know.”
I nodded and force myself to smile. Before Brady could come in, I decided to lean down and kiss Beck on the cheek, and I lingered for a second or two more than usual.
Grabbing my coffee, I headed toward the front door where a relieved looking Brady greeted me. “You guys have a great Christmas,” I said with what I hoped came off as merriment. “I’ll see you at Isaac’s New Year’s Eve party, if not before then.”
“Yeah,” was all Brady said before disappearing around the corner.
Beck stood in the doorway lit by the setting sun shining through the window behind him. I couldn’t help that I thought he was perfect, especially in lighting like that.
We both said our goodbyes before I shut the door. “I love you,” I whispered to him through the thick wood before driving away so I could drown myself in peanut butter cookies.
Who knew how long I’d have to wait for that ice cream sandwich. He would be worth the wait.
For years Beck Lund has taken care of his volatile boyfriend Brady, always putting Brady’s needs above his own and walking on eggshells to keep the peace. After Brady overdoses on heroin, his death devastates Beck. Thankfully his best friend, Timothy Kallis, finds him the help he needs. Beck slowly starts to recover and moves in with Timothy to get back on his feet, but he’s oblivious that Timothy is secretly nursing romantic affection for him.
Beck focuses on his own healing for the first time in his life. After months of challenging his codependent tendencies and learning how to stand up for himself, Beck finally starts to trust his gut and hopes to one day love again. Timothy is patient throughout, taking care of Beck in ways no one ever has. But if Beck can’t recognize Timothy’s affection for him, it might be too late for them to move beyond friendship.
Before I had a chance to shut the front door, the sound of Brady choking on his own vomit pierced my eardrums. I was in our bedroom within seconds to witness him take what ended up being his last breath. Immediately I rolled him to his side to help him clear his airway. He flopped onto his back.
Abdominal thrusts. I slapped his face and shouted his name.
I followed the directions the dispatcher gave me on speakerphone, putting my effort into every motion as tears ran down my face.
“The paramedics are on their way. Do you hear the sirens yet?”
“Yes,” I said as I used my full weight to come down on Brady’s torso, trying to dislodge whatever particle had stopped all air from moving in and out of his lungs.
Nothing helped. He just stared up at me with glazed-over eyes and refused to breathe.
“Goddammit. Don’t you dare leave me like this!”
I blankly watched as the paramedics swarmed into the bedroom, shooing me away so they could assess Brady’s condition, and I saw the grim looks on their faces when they realized what had really happened. The frenzied activity ceased, and their demeanor changed the second they found the syringe, spoon, and lighter.
Posy Roberts writes about romantic male love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.
Posy is married to a man who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep; her daughter, a budding author and dedicated Whovian, helps her come up with character names. When Posy’s not writing, she enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make normal seem more interesting.
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