Sleeping Stone

Jazz Stone is full of life and energy, the kind of person that others gravitate to, and when Chris meets Jazz, he's instantly smitten. But the course of true love never runs smoothly.

Just as they seem to find solid ground to stand on, Jazz's former lover Richard shows up, strewing an already rocky road with gravel. When Jazz has a serious motorcycle accident that threatens to end his life, Chris and Richard try to carry on without him. Can they find common ground of their own?

This book is currently unavailable.

Click here to read "Always and Near," a short story set during Sleeping Stone (and which could therefore spoil the book for you if you haven't yet read it!)

Click here to read "Dream Yourself Awake," also set during Sleeping Stone.

Click here to read "Best Laid Plans," a short story about Chris, Jazz, and Richard set after Sleeping Stone.

Click here to read "What I Cannot Fear," a short story set on the one year anniversary of Jazz's accident.

Click here to read "Understatement of the Year," a short story about Chris, Jazz, and Richard set after Sleeping Stone.

Reviews:

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Read Literary Nymphs' review of Sleeping Stone

Excerpt:

At four-thirty Chris' computer locked up after he'd spent the previous two hours getting the web site he was working on just right. He hadn't saved his work in that entire space of time, and nothing he could do would get the computer back to rights. Two hours worth of work down the drain. What a pain in the ass, even if it was partially his fault.

At five-thirty, having given up on the project for the day, Chris went out to his car, only to discover that he'd left the lights on that morning and the battery was dead. Totally, completely dead. Not even a click when he tried to get it to turn over. "Fuck," he said, and his voice sounded despairing even to himself. What a day.

Chris climbed out of the car and thanked the universe that at least it wasn't raining. As soon as the thought had crossed his mind he glanced up at the sky, wondering if he'd cursed himself, but it was relatively cloud-free. Scowling despite the one break he'd had all day, Chris kicked the front tire of the car and said it again. "Fuck."

"Are you okay?"

Chris looked up and saw a young guy juggling a plastic bookstore bag, a cup of what had to be espresso based on how small it was, and a funny-looking cactus-type plant. The guy's hair was long and dark and held back with what looked like a woman's hair scrunchy. He was trying to hold all of his stuff and open his car door at the same time.

Moving forward automatically, Chris took the bag and the plant from the guy's hands so that he could open his car door. Somehow, that seemed to make more sense than just opening the door for him, and okay, obviously this guy was the trusting sort to just let a complete stranger, who'd been swearing in public seconds before, take his belongings out of his hands. For all he knew, maybe Chris was gonna run off with the book bag and the valuable... cactus... okay, well, maybe not.

The smaller guy grinned at him and took the stuff back, throwing the bag over into the back seat of the car and placing the plant gently on the passenger seat. "Car won't start?" he asked.

Chris nodded. "Yeah, I must have left the lights on this morning. Battery's dead."

"There's a pay phone in the lobby right in there," the guy pointed. "But then, it must be after five, so you probably work around here. I guess you can call from your office, huh?"

"I've got Triple A. Fuck." Chris heard what he'd said and felt himself flush, even though he didn't know this guy from Adam and he'd already heard him swear. "Sorry... it's just been one of those days, you know?"

"S'okay. I won't take it as an invitation, considering we just met." The guy's eyebrows wiggled up and down independently of each other.

Chris knew he'd missed something, but he wasn't sure what.

"You want a lift?" the guy asked.

Chris thought about it. If he called AAA now, he'd be waiting for at least an hour before they came out to jump the car. If he got a ride home now, he could call AAA in the morning and the time he'd kill waiting would be work's, not his own. And Barry had pissed him off just enough that he didn't think he cared. "Are you sure?"

"I don't offer unless I mean it. As long as you don't mind riding in what my mom generously refers to as the 'coffin on wheels.'"

Chris really looked at the guy's car for the first time. The paint was flaking off in several places, he could see spots where rust had eaten totally through the body, and the side he was standing on had no hubcaps. The back seat was crammed with so much junk that no one could have sat in it.

"Don't worry, it runs. Better than you'd expect. It's just not pretty to look at."

"You sure?" Chris asked again. "I live twenty minutes away."

"S'okay by me. I don't have anywhere special to be."

Nowhere special to be, that pretty much reflected Chris' evening, as well. His whole life, in fact, but he didn't want to think about that now. "Thanks," he said, rather awkwardly.

"No problem. You mind holding the aloe on your lap? I'd like to see if I can keep it alive at least long enough to get it home."

Chris looked at his rescuer blankly.

The guy gestured to the plant sitting on the seat. "Aloe. Plant."

"Oh. Sure."

It only took the guy a few seconds to find the right key, even thought his key chain was more like six key chains all attached together and dangled down onto his knee when he sat behind the wheel.

"Oh yeah," the guy said, turning to Chris and crinkling up his nose. "I'm Jazz."


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