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The Southern Cross

Netting Neptune
Book One
Colby & Theron
Taming Triton
Book Two
Steve & Austin
Poseidon's Pleasure
Book Three
Brett & Mark

Between the Moon &
the Deep Blue Sea
Book Four
Chad & Darcy
Catching Fireflies
Book Five
Dale & Aubrey
Dale Langley longs for some triple R time - rest, relaxation and
rejuvenation. He accepts his cousin’s invitation to winter over on
Ocracoke Island, far away from the hustle and bustle of life on the
mainland. He’s always loved being a rolling stone, traveling for his job
without the worry of a place to call home, but it’s time for something
different. Now Dale anticipates several blissful months to learn how
to be still with no demands on his time while he prepares for the next
phase of his life.

Aubrey Zimmerman came to Ocracoke to attend a friend’s commitment
ceremony. Never one to settle down, Aubrey’s had enough of
involvements that took him from man to man without a place to call
home. He needs a break - and a little solitude. House sitting while his
friend is on his honeymoon is the perfect way to clear his head and
catch up on his sleep. At least it seemed that way until Dale arrived
and Aubrey realized sleep is the last thing he needs.

Fate has changes in store for Dale and Aubrey, the sort neither one
knew they wanted. Sometimes the more you wander the closer to
home you get.
Catching Fireflies
the sequel to Between the Moon & the Deep Blue Sea
contemporary gay romance, book five of the Southern Cross series

His hand on my knee snapped me back to the here and now. I looked around to find everyone hovering
over the steaks sharing grilling secrets, and paying no attention to us.

I tried not to notice the warmth of Aubrey’s palm on my skin, but failed miserably. At least if I got hard, I
was sitting down and my T-shirt was loose enough to hide it if I leaned forward. Or maybe crossed my
legs. Or sank beneath the glider - or the ground. Thankfully, the thought of how embarrassed I’d be kept
an erection at bay. Barely.

“You know, hon. I like to walk along the water after dinner. Why don’t you join me?”

I must’ve had a stupid expression on my face. He tilted his head. “No hanky-panky, of course, being that
we just met.”

No one even glanced in our direction so I leaned toward him. “Um, sure. A walk would be nice. If I try to
hold your hand are you going to stop me?”

“That’s all you can hold tonight, sugar. I don’t know anything about you, and I have to make sure you
don’t bite before we get to know each other better.” He looked down then slowly lifted his beautiful
gaze back to mine. “And you’re hiding something.”

I shivered as the memories of the vicious blows I’d received at the hands of strangers taunted me.
“I only nibble the occasional earlobe, and my secrets are my own, Aubrey. There’s nothing in them to
hurt anyone else.”

He studied me for a few moments, his fascinating blue gaze enigmatic. “Fair enough, Dale.” He sighed.
“I do have my own. What?”

“I could stare into your eyes forever.”

Aubrey didn’t blink. “If I had a dollar for every time some tomcat said that to me, I’d be rich…”


“That glass had better have the same amount in it when I get back.”

Aubrey swiped his index finger over his heart, specifically his left nipple, up and down then side-to-
side. The man was all tease and I liked it. I wasn’t ready for anyone serious.

I carried his glass over to Mark and requested another. I watched as he made Aubrey another drink -
virgin. I looked at him, questioningly.

“Apparently Aubrey doesn’t touch anything with alcohol in it. I’ve no clue why. The man’s a mystery to
everyone except Chad.”

I thanked him for making the drink as he handed it to me. “A little mystery isn’t a bad thing, is it?”

“No, Dale, it’s not. But don’t expect too much. He’s only here for the commitment ceremony.”

“Thanks. That’s good to know.” I turned and reclaimed my spot beside Aubrey, handing him his drink as I
sat. Brett was delivering the first steaks to those who liked to hear it go “moo” when they stuck a fork
into it. Aubrey echoed my preference for medium-well to well when Brett asked. I touched my glass to
his again.  

“Ah, I’ve learned something else about you. Now I’ve got a very important question for you. Sauce, or no

“Hon, I’ve been thinking of nothing but sauce since I saw you standing in the driveway.”

I grinned at him, appreciating his wicked sense of humor. “You are so bad. I was talking about steak

“If you see me put anything on a steak, you’ll know it was ruined before it got to me, and I’m pretty sure
Brett isn’t going to do that.”

“I have a feeling you’re right about that.” I sipped my drink, wondering if I should pry into why he didn’t
imbibe. He beat me to it.

“You’re wondering why I don’t drink.”

It was a statement, not a question, and I gave him a nod. “So you’re psychic, too?”

“No, but everyone wonders why a man of my comparative youth isn’t out getting inebriated every night
of the week, a behavior best described as gauche.”

“That’s not a word I hear often. Hmm…Brett just motioned for us to get our plates.”

Aubrey batted his eyelashes and smiled at me. I shook my head.

“Nope. You have to go fix your own plate.” I stood and held my hand out to pull him up. He sighed and
wrapped his fingers around mine. I was right - his hands were strong.

We fixed our plates with a veritable feast. Steak, grilled mushrooms and peppers, fresh diced tomatoes
in light vinaigrette, a cold couscous salad, macaroni salad and fresh fruit. I gathered from the
conversation meals at Brett and Mark’s place were somewhat potluck. The hosts simply looked in the
larder and presented what appealed to them on the spur of the moment, and whatever leftovers they
had in the refrigerator, but it sure worked. I grabbed the last steak knife and squeezed in at the table
beside Sam.

Drat that flirty Aubrey for parking his very fine little butt between the two old guys. I’m sure he did it
because they fawned over him - and he was just as bad over them. It was honest and genuine, and fun
to watch even with so many questions hammering inside my head.

Would he really take a walk with me this evening? The sun was well on its way toward the far horizon,
and I loved being along the shore at dusk…crap.

How the hell had this happened? When I crawled out of bed this morning all I had on my mind was a
long, peaceful, albeit cold, winter on the island. I was going to rest, relax, rejuvenate - and not get all
hot and bothered over any guy that crossed my path. But here I sat doing just what I didn’t want to do.
Funny how life constantly gives a person what they think they don’t want.

Aubrey smiled at me.

Shit. I’d taken his bait and if I wasn’t careful, he’d set the hook
About this book in
its series ...
Contemporary gay romance - the Southern Cross series

These stories may be read individually even though the characters
have "cameo" roles in subsequent stories. The author suggests reading them in order:
Netting Neptune, Taming Triton, Poseidon's Pleasure,
Between the Moon and the Deep Blue Sea and Catching Fireflies.