Monday, June 1, 2009

NEG UB2 excerpt by Rick R. Reed

In NEG UB2 by Rick R. Reed, the sequel to the best-seller VGL Male Seeks Same...(also published by Amber Allure - see excerpt 12/29/08), poor Ethan Schwartz has just had the most shocking news a gay man can get—he’s been diagnosed HIV positive. Up until today, he thought his life was on a perfect course. He had a job he loved and something else he thought he’d never have: Brian, a new man, one whom Ethan thought of as “the one.” The one who would complete him, who would take his life from a lonely existence to a place filled with laughter, hot sex, and romance.

But along with the fateful diagnosis comes another shock—who is this new love? Had Ethan ever really known Brian? And did Brian infect him? As Ethan says, his love history had been more of a haiku than an epic and Brian seems the likely culprit in his new found diagnosis.

The course of true love never runs smoothly, right? And for Ethan and Brian, their new love, once so bright and shining, now appears tinged with darkness and deceit. Can they face this hurdle together with honesty and forgiveness? Or will this revelation tear them apart?

Ethan turns to creating a blog, Off to See the Wizard of Poz, to help him deal with his diagnosis and love troubles, and what he finds there just may be more hope and support in the world than he once believed. And one of his blog readers just might have the key to Ethan’s happily ever after...

NEG UB2 by Rick R. Reed
ISBN: 978-1-60272-516-4 (ebook)
Publisher: Amber Allure (May 10, 2009)


The front door to Brian’s high-rise had never looked more foreboding. Oh, what are you doing, Ethan? Just go home and wait until tomorrow. Sleep on it. You’ll be more prepared come morning. You can think out in advance what you want to say. He hesitated in the shadows of the shrubbery at the front of Brian’s building, uncertain of whether or not he should listen to the voices that were telling him to go home, wait until tomorrow, procrastinate.

But he knew, deep down, these so-called sensible voices were not sensible at all. They were fearful. They were the voices that had Ethan back away in the past from promising relationships, finding fault with every Tom, Dick, and Harry. And Ethan realized now that he was afraid of getting too involved…no, make that he was afraid of being rejected. One way to avoid being rejected was to end things early yourself. You could always take comfort in the fact that you were not the dumpee, but the dumper.

Tell that to the cat you buy to keep you company some cold winter night.

And right now, he knew he was afraid to talk to Brian, to find out where things stood now that Ethan had ended their relationship, told him he was HIV positive, and been just plain mean to him. Maybe now that Ethan was willing to open the door to reconciliation (maybe), he would find that Brian had acquired the good sense to firmly shut it.

It would serve Ethan right.

Tomorrow would be one more night spent in limbo, lost and alone. Tomorrow he might not feel as passionately and may give himself permission to wait one more day and that day might follow another, then another, until Brian was nothing more than a sweet, but flawed, memory, something to think about as he cleaned out a litter box and opened a can of Fancy Feast.

And tomorrow, he would not have the fire that inspired him to leave his apartment, lights burning, computer online, the TV playing in the background. Had he even bothered to lock his door?

He needed the passion that caused him to rush over here to Brian’s.

Several months ago Brian had given him a key to his place. Now, from so many visits, even the doorman knew him by name and Ethan could easily waltz right in, just like any other resident, and go right on up to Brian’s apartment.

But that was before. Now, he didn’t feel right using the key, even if it was in his pocket. Now, he felt demoted to a caller, a guest, and needed to rely on the formality of ringing Brian’s buzzer outside and—hopefully—being let in.

Ethan closed his eyes and breathed in deeply, imagining himself an actor in the wings. He strode up to the intercom box and, without letting himself hesitate, punched in the code that would cause the phone in Brian’s apartment to ring.


Ethan was surprised when he answered so quickly, his voice sounding slow and sleepy…and unbearably sexy. Memories of early mornings and late nights rushed into his brain and, for a moment, Ethan was speechless.

“Hello?” Brian said again. “Anybody there?”

“Hi. It’s me.”

There was a long pause and for a moment, Ethan was afraid Brian had simply hung up the phone. Wouldn’t that be just what he had deserved after how he had treated him? Ethan thought of a bouquet of beautiful purple irises flung to cold concrete, to wither and die among discarded can, papers, and cigarette butts. But then Brian spoke again, “What are you doing? You’re downstairs? Why didn’t you just use your key?”

A good sign! “I don’t know. I guess I didn’t know if that was appropriate…any more.”

He could hear Brian’s sigh come through the box. “Oh, for God’s sake. Do you have your key?”


“Then just get up here.”

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