On April 13 and again on August 10, I gave readers a peek at the fifth novel in the BJ Vinson series called Abaddon’s Locusts. After the first post, a couple of people ventured guesses who the youth on the bed in a motel room was. In the second one, I revealed that it was Jazz Penrod, a handsome, happy-go-lucky, half Navajo youth who fully embraced his homosexuality. We first met him in The Bisti Business when he and his half-brother Henry Secatero help BJ solve a case and rescue a young man. I decided to feature Jazz in another novel, and Abaddon is that book.
All of the BJ Vinson books to this point are told from BJ’s viewpoint (viewpoint is a biggie to authors), but I strayed from the norm for this one. In a few chapters, we are in Jazz’s “head” and view things through his eyes. I’d like to give you a snippet of the book from that viewpoint.
The following scene comes at the beginning of Chapter 5. Jazz, seeking a loving and lasting connection, is lured to Albuquerque for a face to face meeting with a young Hispanic named Juan. Things are good, but Juan says they can be better and introduces the naïve young half-breed to crack cocaine. Once Jazz is hooked, he’s turned over to an obviously wealthy white man identified only as Silver Wings because of his hair coloring. Let’s see how Jazz is handling the situation. One thing is clear. He’s not as likable as when we met him in Bisti.
I hope the read is interesting.
|Courtesy of Pixabay|
“Hey, wake up. Need to ask you something.”
Jazz roused from a dream as Juan shook him roughly. “Le’ me alone,” he mumbled, seeking to recapture the reverie. Water Sprinkler and some other Navajo Yé’ii had been in it. He grew surly when he realized the details escaped him. Wouldn’t have mattered much if he could recall. He wasn’t raised on the old legends like most guys his age and didn’t understand a damned thing about that side of his blood. Water Sprinkler was the rain god—that much he knew. So likely that meant his parade was going to get rained on. Big time.
“Man, that crack shit’s taking you over. All you do’s fuck and bitch. Come on, man. Wake up.”
Jazz pushed himself against the headboard and tried to focus. The sheet fell away to reveal his naked torso. Seemed like he was always naked nowadays. Juan reached out and stroked his pecs. Juan liked to touch him. Jazz had liked it too…once. Now not so much. He shrugged the hand away. “Leave me alone. I finally got to sleep and you wake me up. I need a pipe, okay?”
“A shower’s what you need. Silver wings wants to meet you tonight.”
Jazz’s stomach did a flip-flop. “I don’t like him.”
“Well, he digs you. Think he’s gonna want you to move in with him.”
The idea struck Jazz like a crowbar jammed into the gears of an engine. His thinking came to a halt. He needed a pipe. That was the only good thing about Silver Wings. Jazz always got good crack before the man arrived. “Smoke,” he mumbled.
Juan shoved two photos at him. “Later. Right now, I need you to look at these pics.”
Jazz struggled to focus as he scanned the photos. They were the same handsome man, one with a shirt, the other without. His stomach cramped and he felt itchy. “Who’s this?”
“You tell me. He says he knows you. Says you told him about me?”
“You know him?”
Jazz blinked a couple of times and moved one picture back and forth until it became clearer. Struggling to get his mind to work, he rubbed his eyes before taking another look. The guy seemed familiar. But Jazz associated him with someone else. Someone he liked. Admired.
“Dude lives here in Albuquerque,” he said aloud. “Don’t remember his name.”
“Does the name Paul mean anything to you?”
“Yeah. That’s it. Paul.” Jazz had no idea if that was correct, but it was easier to agree with Juan.
“I dunno. Just Paul.”
“You tell him about me? Send him my photo?”
“He says I did, I guess I did,” Jazz mumbled, sliding back beneath the thin covers. His eyes were closed as Juan left the room with a warning they’d have to leave for the meeting with Silver Wings in an hour, but Jazz was struggling to think. Make connections. Paul. Barton! That was his last name. And they’d never exchanged Emails or pictures. He’d only seen the good-looking dude once. In Farmington. In some motel room. Had they got it on? Could be.
Jazz came upright in the bed as a shadowy figure flitted just out of reach in his head. BJ! BJ’s Paul was talking to Juan? Was the fucker two-timing BJ? His skin crawled as he shook his head. No. No, Paul contacted Juan because… because BJ was looking for him!
Jazz lay back and battled his emotions. He had ventured out of his comfort zone for the promise of a steady connection. A loving, intelligent, exciting man of his own. Like BJ had with Paul. And it had been wonderful for a while. Everything he’d ever dreamed of. But it all turned to ashes. Pipe ash.
Why had he let Juanito talk him into smoking the crack? His new life had been wonderful without the crap. But Juanito promised him they’d make things even better. And they had—for a bit. Then it changed. He changed. The world changed. Now he pleasured men in exchange for the pipes. Men? Well, Juanito and Silver Wings. But he knew there would be more men one day. Probably when they took that trip to Mexico Juan talked about.
His frazzled mind called up the image of BJ. BJ was a detective. He’d find him and drag his ass out of this tangled mess. His heart soared until it nearly burst before abruptly slowing, leaving him woozy. Did he want out? Yeah, it would be good to go home. See his mom and Uncle Riley. Henry. His father. But if BJ got him out, the man he idolized would see what he’d become. His stomach plummeted as an overwhelming sense of shame drove him to bury his head beneath the bedcovers.
Jazz sobbed and willed his heart to stop. To cease. To spare him anything that lay beyond this moment, this room, this bed. But Coyote refused to throw a rock into Black Water Lake to summon death, so his heart ignored his wishes and thudded against his ribs in a stubborn, determined beat.
Sounds like Jazz is in deep do-do. Can BJ save him before he gets so depraved by sex trafficking and drugs that he is no longer the man he was?
Following the recent release of THE CITY OF ROCKS, I’ve decided to take a greater interest in promoting my books. In pursuit of that, I’d like to build a database of email addresses of my readers. Nothing nefarious, just to let readers know when something significant happens, such as the release of the next novel, THE LOVELY PINES. If you send your address to firstname.lastname@example.org, I will do nothing more with it than to send you timely messages.
The following information provides contact information and the DSP Publications links:
Don Travis Email: email@example.com
Facebook: Don Travis
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-city-of-rocks-don-travis/1126419974
As always, thanks for being a reader.
New blogs are posted at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.