QSFer Sara Rayne has a new queer sci fi book out, book one in the Idle Hands series: Jailbreak.
Jailbreak v. to free a component from the restrictions of its original operating system.
Jailed for a crime she (mostly) didn’t commit, Fox is tired of being the FBI’s pet hacker. But if she closes this last investigation into the Four Horseman MC, she’s out from under her sentence. Only one man stands between her and freedom…
Determined to sway the Fed’s hacker to his side, Coyote focuses his single-minded determination on getting Fox out of the FBI’s clutches and into his own. But once she’s freed, will he be able to let her go?
“Coyote the Trickster. You are clever.” His eyes flashed at her mention of his online handle and he inclined his head in acknowledgement.
Point to Team Fox.
Removing his coat and then her cloak, she draped them on the corner of the bed and sat next to him, circling her knees with her arms. “But I’m not looking for a hero, Tricks.”
“Never said I was one.”
All evidence to the contrary.
He’d stepped up like an honest-to-Rowling champion with barely any prompting from her. But then how much had he already guessed when he decided to help her? Could he have figured out she was part of the Four Horsemen investigation?
And if so, what was his angle?
Something predatory lurked beneath his surface. A well of anger and cleverness bordering on diabolical. An untapped potential she had the gnawing urge to unleash.
“Don’t have to say it. I can spot the ‘rescuer’ type a mile away.” She leaned her elbows back on the bed, reconsidering her play. “No matter how much distress I’m in, I’m no damsel. Appreciate the assist and hide-out, though.”
“You’re welcome.” He shifted to face her. The dyed tips of Coyote’s tousled hair, thick and dark at the roots, tumbled over the sharp angles of his face as he seemed to study her. “So, you don’t want to talk about yourself. What do you want to do?”
She coughed. “Right now, I’m fighting the urge to touch your hair.”
While I wrap my legs around your waist…
He stilled and she could see his throat working. Lifting one nonchalant shoulder, he said, “I’m not stopping you.”
“Few things do.” She reached up to stroke the lock tumbling over his forehead.
“Like the law?” His eyes closed as her fingers slid through his hair, lightly combing the product-crunchy ends.
“Afraid you’re harboring a felon? It’s a little late now.”
“Let’s not dwell on labels.”
NOTE: Contains crossover bikers from The Four Horsemen MC, but each series stands alone & both are KINDLE UNLIMITED!
The Idle Hands Series are New Adult Hacker Romances with both non-straight and straight pairings. These books may contain: Bisexual characters, gay characters, out characters, closeted & struggling characters, first time characters and a demi-sexual character who’s still thinking about things – oh, and straight ones, too! Fan of Nerd, Geek and Cosplay Romance? Me, too. 😉
Sara is giving away three Audible codes for the Audiobook of Hellbent: A Four Horsemen MC Novel.
Fuck the F.B.I.
Nothing spoiled the buzz of a Comicon quite like a Federal escort on her six and a tracking anklet under her knee-high boots. But if Fox ever wanted to experience the unfettered joy of a fandom celebration again, she had a job to do.
Her stomach fluttered, but she shook off her nerves the same way she always did. By recalling the first time she’d failed, when it mattered most.
“Act like a good girl and you’ll get adopted today.” Sister Margaret adjusted her robes. “You can go home with a new family tonight.”
Home. Family. Love.
“I can make them like me.”
Fox bit her lip to stop its trembling. “Can’t be so hard.”
But she’d been very, very wrong. The memory used to make her sad.
Now it made her unstoppable.
Freddy and Nate—her asshole Federal babysitters—had given her non-stop shit since she’d walked out in a hand-sewn body-suit and hooded cloak this morning, but she didn’t give a damn. Her Teen Titans’ Raven cosplay was on point, the cloning program she’d designed was loaded on her phone, and she was smack in the middle of her wheelhouse at Dallas FanExpo.
This will work.
All she had to do was charm one biker into a selfie. How hard could it be?
The biker gang’s hacker was the key to closing the Four Horsemen investigation and finishing off her sentence. As long as the Feds stuck to their word.
Once Fox cleared this last case, she was out—done being the F.B.I.’s lapdog. Childhood phobias of being trapped notwithstanding, jail had been her worst nightmare. And it was her neck if she didn’t come up with some solid ‘legally actionable’ evidence for the G-men crowd.
Sorry, fellas—nothing personal.
The loud rumble of a motorcycle engine echoed through the parking deck, eliciting grumbles and scowls from the crowd making their way toward the Convention Center.
Right now, only one thing stood between Fox and freedom. And he was riding the motorcycle of her dreams.
The tricked-out Harley with the custom TARDIS detailing had to have cost a mint. The paintwork was flawless, rich and exquisite. Sunlight glinted off the blue and chrome work of art as he coasted into a space.
Over six feet of male perfection—wrapped in exquisitely crafted black leather—on a goddamn geek dream machine.
She let out a low whistle. “Shiny.”
Fox adjusted the cowl of her Raven costume, pressing the red jewel glued to her forehead to secure it. She had to admit, a Federal budget did wonders for a girl’s cosplay crafting.
Coyote slid off the parked Harley. He removed a leather vest covered in dusty patches—his colors, according to the background briefing—and draped it over the seat. He had on motorcycle boots, black compression pants and an airbrushed chest plate made from…customized paintball armor?
Pretending to check her phone, she peeked over the blank screen as he removed his helmet and hooked it to the handlebars, exposing dyed hair sticking up through a black head piece. Shaking out a leather trench coat from the bike’s saddlebags, he swirled it around his shoulder and unsnapped a thin, metal staff from the Harley’s side.
A pleased smile curved his sculpted lips, satisfaction flashing in his red-contact covered eyes…and the character came to life for her.
Her stomach dropped, raw attraction rippling through her. Hands down the sexiest character Marvel had ever created, Gambit had starred in all her teenage fantasies. This cosplay was top-shelf, and his spot-on portrayal projected Gambit’s persona through stance and presence alone.
Her heart sped.
You sir, are working that costume.
If she didn’t intend to drag out her day of pseudo-freedom in the field, she’d already be over there, introducing herself, begging for a picture with her arm around him—copping a feel of the exquisitely crafted chest piece.
Sliding a hand down the leather sleeve, the firm muscle of his arm heating the fabric, smooth and soft against her palm…
Her eyes shut, teeth biting into her lower lip.
If he had really made the costume himself, she might have to propose.
Days into the investigation, he had ghosted into the FBI’s instant message service to taunt her. It started with a ‘check’ when he broke the firewall. To teach him a lesson, Fox had locked the entire biker gang out of the top three free porn sites before texting him, ‘your move.’
He retaliated by cancelling the Netflix accounts of everyone working in the field office. She’d had to concede out of sheer boredom, but had immediately replied to his “Checkmate’ with ‘Round two?’
The mental chess match had quickly become her favorite game.
“Oops! Pardon me.” She elbowed her way closer as they approached the exit to the parking deck, narrowly avoiding a trio of Spidermen.
Coyote paused, looking over his shoulder like he could feel her eyes.
Fox spun to the curvy brunette walking a few steps ahead. “Awesome ‘Katniss!’ You look amazing!”
“Thanks!” The girl flashed a smile and flipped her braid over a shoulder. “I like your ‘Raven.’ See you in there?”
“Absolutely!” Fox winked at her, taking a moment to admire the rest of her outfit as she walked away—particularly the way the pants hugged her rounded, perfect hips…
Stay focused. Here to chase the biker, not tail.
On any other day, a crowded convention was her favorite place to do some serious hooking up. So many costumes, so many characters, so many delicious combos… Bang Deadpool in the elevator? Easy. Threesome with Hermione Granger and Harry Potter in the hotel pool? She’d done it twice. Tempting Lara Croft into a rooftop tryst? #LifeGoals.
She’d get back to her old life soon enough, for now—she had a gorgeous cosplaying biker to track. When Fox looked back, Coyote was distracted by fumbling his ringing phone out of his too tight pants pocket.
Fox shook her head. Leather—looks great on the ass, but hell on the pocket storage capacity.
“What? Yeah, I got in safe, Steele. What do you mean you forgot the alarm code again?”
“Really? You’re fracking tech support to them?” Fox muttered.
In Hell, Texas, he might be Coyote, nerdy hacker of the Four Horsemen. But in Fox’s circles, his online handle far preceded his biker persona in reputation.
The Trickster had been the stuff of urban legends.
Back in her non-government-sanctioned hacking days, she’d memorized every whispered internet rumor about The Trickster, from ‘he erased his own life to protect a powerful family’, to how he’d coded his fingerprints into a massive virus, to the theory he’d died in Mexico and was being impersonated by a conglomerate of hackers.
Most of it was total bullshit, she’d guess. But she’d read every word.
Her discovery of the Trickster’s true identity would go down in her personal history book as the first item crossed off her bucket list. But the inside info hadn’t done her investigation into his Motorcycle Club any good.
She’d been trying to get ears on the Horsemen since she arrived, and hadn’t gotten jack-squat. He was hella cagey and wicked smart. She’d gotten half way through the defenses at Inferno Firearms yesterday when he’d shut her down. Then he’d messaged her, ‘check.’ And a wink emoji.
The cheeky bastard.
The Trickster seemed to anticipate her every move.
It totally pissed her off.
And yet the challenge, the rush of meeting someone who could stand toe-to-toe with her, who could beat her even…
Since her forced sojourn to Hell, she’d learned a lot about the plucky little biker gang from the chatter around the station. For the most part, she regarded the Horsemen as relatively good guys. Who didn’t admire a little vigilantism in the world?
The FBI, apparently.
Shadowing him through the parking garage, Fox melted into the massive line funneling into the convention center. The enticing aroma of the food trucks tempted her, but she didn’t want to risk losing him amongst the colorful horde of cosplayers.
Once they finally got in, the raw electricity of the fans pumped exhilaration through her blood. The building energy of controlled chaos thrummed inside her chest.
She was nearly bouncing in her satin cloak, gold bangles twinkling merrily around her waist as she spun and took it all in.
The vendors, the crowd, the costumes…my favorite rush.
She kept her eyes on the tall Horseman through the bustle and awe of making her way to the exhibition floor. Coyote flipped a card through his fingers as he strolled through the main showroom. He picked up a ‘We Aim to Misbehave’ bumper sticker at the Serenity booth, and she nodded in approval.
“Hey mama, nice boots!” A young beast-boy called.
Fox stopped to take a picture with him when she caught a glimpse of the crowd behind Coyote. Two very ordinary suits with familiar faces awkwardly moved with the throng of people.
Hmmm. Maybe Nate and Freddy could serve as a ready-made access point?
Keeping her eyes on the Feds, she back-stepped in the direction of the booth Coyote had been perusing and crossed her fingers. When she heard his warm laugh behind her, Fox dug her heel into the hideous carpet and tipped backwards.
She fell against something very warm.
And very tall.
“You ok?” His hands landed on her waist as he righted her. Fox stared up at Coyote, palms pressed against his chest plate.
Definitely paintball armor.
She met his eyes and had to suppress a gasp. The glittering depths shone like obsidian—the intensity of his focus palpable. Fox swallowed hard and squared her shoulders.
“Yeah, I’m good.” She pushed back, her fingers lingering a second across the hard plating. She couldn’t resist a full scan while she was so close.
Damn fine work. She grinned. The costume’s nice, too.
He caught her eye, raising a brow.
“Just appreciating your craftsmanship.” She adjusted the edges of the cowl to drape behind her ears. Between the make-up and her purple contacts, he’d never recognize her back home—even if they met in line at the Hot Damn Coffee Shop. The anonymity of being weird. Just one more benefit of nerd culture.
“Look all you like, chér,” he replied in Gambit’s dulcet Creole accent.
For the love of Tolkien, he can do the voice, too. She was going to need a very cold shower after this convention.
He touched the silken slide of her hooded cloak. “Not too bad yourself. You make the belt?”
“I roomed with this girl in college who specialized in metal work.” Understatement of the year. Riley was nothing short of a robotics goddess. “She taught me how to shape my own pieces.”
“Where’d you go to school?”
“Sharp Institute of Technology.” The words tasted bitter on her tongue. Maybe she should have lied.
She shrugged, praying he wouldn’t remember the headlines about the van bombing…or the lab explosion…or the server room fire. Fox glanced behind him. Freddy and Nate had posted up closer.
Way to be stealthy, guys.
“Somebody over my shoulder you’d rather not talk to?”
The man was observant.
Fox nibbled her lower lip. “Be casual and check out the two suits behind you.”
Stretching his arms over his head—mercy me, he’s tall—he slowly rolled his shoulders, twisting to get a good, long look at them.
“Let me guess—guys you know in real life?” He all but made air quotes.
“As real as it gets, sadly.”
“They look douchey.” He shifted in front of her, shielding her from Freddy and Nate’s view.
“Tell me about it.” She snickered. “I don’t like running into them alone and my friends can’t meet me until later.”
Like in three to six months, if I’m well-behaved.
“Mm-hmm. Not to sound paranoid, but they seem to pop up wherever I go.” She shrugged. Not a lie. Her custodial agents had a bad habit of tagging along. She glanced down at her costume. “They like to give me a hard time.”
His breath caught and his grip on her tightened slightly. “Are you in some kind of trouble?”
She swallowed, half wishing she could spill the truth. The Feds had their boot on every aspect of her life. But she couldn’t go enlistinghis help. “It’s a really long story.”
“I bet.” Coyote looked her over. His shrewd gaze made her stomach flip. “One of them your ex?”
“Complicated doesn’t cover this particular relationship.” She rolled her ankle under the tracker, shifting its weight.
“As it happens, I’m killing time before meeting someone, too.” He stepped closer to her and she had to tilt her head to see his face.
“Let me guess—online date?”
“It’s an internet connect, but not a date. At least I hope not.” Coyote frowned. “He’s totally not my type.”
“What’s your type?” She glanced up at him. The man was devastating up close, all chiseled features and symmetric lines.
His appraising gaze swept her body. “Hard to describe, but I know it when I see it.”
Fox blushed. “So where were you headed when I tumbled into your path?”
“Cosplay lounge. Everyone from today’s competition will be hanging out waiting for the results there. It’s a great spot to people-watch.” He held his hand out. “Care to join?”
A life spent convincing people not to kick her out of various places had made Fox a skilled people reader. The damsel in distress routine always worked on the hero types. True to form, Coyote had stepped up, every inch the knight in miscreant’s clothing.
Love without Limits
I believe love exists between souls and romance is created when those souls overcome whatever obstacles fall in their way to be together. Love celebrates the connections between all of humanity and pushes us to overcome divides. It transcends race, orientation, gender, status, labels and most of all judgment. Love is love and it should be limitless.
Born and bred in the rust belt of Ohio, Sara spent most of her time lost in stories, Tumblr and fandom. When she’s not writing, over-working her coffeepot or serving as her cat’s emotional support animal, she’s watching Netflix like the rest of us.
‘Happily ever after’ is surrounding yourself with the ones who get you.
Amazon Author: https://www.amazon.com/Sara-Rayne/e/B017GEQ3S0