Saturday, March 8, 2014

Rogue Phoenix Press Present: Tea Time Boys by Kevin Voglino


Title: Tea Time Boys
Author: Kevin Voglino
Genre: Gay
Excerpt Heat Level: 5
Book Heat Level: 1

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Tea Time Boys is about the mysteries discovered while searching for a murderer. Together, the boys unravel the secrets of the killer by delving into a dirty Judge’s corrupt actions. Each boy has his own private battle to contend with in the search. Mason continues to suffer from a complex Aphasia where he confuses English words with French. He meets a blind boy, Cassander who sees color waves. Mason’s speech dilemma disappears in his presence. Pekoe, an eccentric white haired British boy who acts and plays an accordion, searches for his mother in a Newark graveyard, having lunch and tea with dead mother candidates before the threat of nightfall and a rumored wolf. Grey continues to practice track with high potential for the Olympics while dealing with the murder. The boys commit to unthinkable acts to find the truth.

There was an air of daze. A snap of laughter brought Mason out of his daydream. Riding on buses always made his mind wander and his dick harder. His tour of Bonneville, a little village in Haute Savoie took about a half hour from Lake Annecy. There, the Alps formed Mt. Saxonnex, extending into cerulean skies where peaks became trussed components meshed in feathery clouds. Mont Blanc had become a canopy for Haute-Savoie, protecting Mason, but still igniting his fear of flying every time the mountain ranges came into view. He clutched the seat's arms, whitening his knuckles.

He'd remember researching the Alps, discovering reports of two Air India crashes in 1950, then in 1966 where both planes had been approaching Geneva airport, crashing into the summit.

In the school bus, he sat, legs bunched to his chest, staring at the mountainside, looking for scars in the R├ębuffat platform to clarify the long-ago incident.

Outside the window, the springy branches of the Scots pine and Norway spruce, bent over like a sad bow, which his mother had told him, allowed snow to slide off the tree, protecting its branches. Even at twenty, his mother taught him as if he was thirteen. After coming out to her years ago, their relationship changed. It had become brilliant. She still saw him as that scared thirteen-year-old, sobbing in her arms as she stroked his hair, never once alluding to what he'd told her was a major concern.

"Is that why you always wear tank tops?" she'd asked.

They both had laughed so hard at that. He loved her so much for those moments.

Pine scents drifted throughout the bus, mixing with Tyrolean cheese and Osso Buco. A sexy guy from his class ate in front of him. A Rosemary and pepper fragrance permeated his thoughts when he said the boy's name in his mind. Armin.

Armin had long blonde hair, opalescent skin, matching the snowcaps of the ranges in front of Mason. If the boy would stop eating, he could imagine kissing him, but his lunch became a mess, layering his cotton tee. He'd seen the boy on campus earlier at the start of the semester; hopeful they had similar majors. When Mason had seen him get on the bus before the day trip, his mind wandered to inner dialogue of knocking on his dormitory door later, drinking wine, laughing then rolling in an embrace on his bed.

Armin had complemented Mason's hair before getting on the bus. "You're hair is the color of acorns," he'd said. Then he'd touched it. "And soft as a Lipizzaner." Armin's favorite horse had been drawn on his notebook. He'd mentioned how his father raised the breed.

Mason's mother watched him now, smiling. "You enjoying our trip?"

"Of course, Mother."

"I'm glad you chose this university over a New York campus. Your father seemed pleased."

"He's just glad I'm out of the way while he becomes Senator Conrad Askew."

"You don't give your father enough credit. Senator Conrad Askew loves you. He'll show you some day."

The wide meadows of the Alps passed them in bumpy strides. Sheep farmers and trace outlines of goat herders dominated the landscape. Lush emerald grasses splashed with pink flowers of rhododendron blinked like jewels in the sunshine over the fields.

"He chose this school over New York. I wanted to go to Westen University. But I'm starting to get used to a French school." He gazed at Armin, smelling the lavender soap the boy had used to wash his body with that morning in the dormitory. He'd dared a glance in the showers--he had a hot ass.

"You need to practice your French lessons. How are they going?"

"Tre petite. But I'll try harder."

"This is our last day, before I go back to the states." His mother had visited twice a year since his enrollment at the University over two years ago.

"Why are you staring at me, Mama?" His smile matched hers. They've had always been told they shared the same facial expressions.

"You're grown up. I'm proud of you."

"Mom, I'll see you on holiday in November. I'll email you every day."

"I know, but it's only August."

"Je l'aime Mama."

"Je t'aime maman."

Her giggles confirmed he'd made a mistake. "What did I say?"

"I love you too, dear." She stared at Armin.

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