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New Release: Liar’s Waltz – Becky Black

Liar's Waltz - Becky Black

Becky Black has a new MM sci-fi romance out, Travellers book one: Liar’s Waltz.

Lieutenant Greg Matthews took a transfer to space station Saira to make a fresh start. But a rogue military intelligence officer has discovered the closeted Greg’s secret and forces him to spy on Karl Webster, the owner of the last gay bar on Saira. The disapproving military authorities want Karl’s bar closed, and he’s feeling the heat. He thinks his new lover is an ally in his fight, but Greg is reporting on all of Karl’s plans to save the bar. Despite his fear that Greg is too jittery and unstable to bother with, Karl wants him too much to give him up.

He can’t guess the real reason behind Greg’s anxiety — fear of what will happen when Karl discovers his deception. As the campaign against Karl escalates, Greg becomes ever more reluctant to deceive the man he’s falling in love with. The inevitable revelation shatters their relationship and their lives as the blackmailer takes drastic action to silence Karl. Greg must sacrifice everything he’s been trying to protect to undo the damage and save Karl.

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After the meal, they lingered over wine and then coffee, talking. It was close to midnight when Greg suggested they go back to Karl’s place.

“Can we make it your place?” Karl said. Greg’s heart leaped to his mouth, but he nodded and smiled.

“Of course.”

Didn’t he want Greg to know where he lived? Some wariness would be understandable after the way Greg had twice run out on him so abruptly. He’d have to work on that. He needed Karl to trust him emotionally if he was to stand a chance of an invitation into Karl’s life.

They rode the elevator to the accommodation sectors. When a couple of people got off and left them alone, Greg reached out and stroked Karl’s back. Was it a calculated seductive move? Or should he just admit to himself he couldn’t wait any longer to touch Karl? He moved his fingers under Karl’s shirt, trailed over the warm skin, traced the shallow inward curve of his lower back.

Karl looked at him, smiling, eyes half-closed. “That’s nice.”

“I want to do much more.”

“Not here. Unless you want to give the security center an eyeful.” Karl nodded at a recessed camera lens above the door.

Greg’s heart lurched, and he snatched his hand away. A camera! But as his instinctive panic faded, he remembered he had permission to do this. More than permission. Orders.

So fuck it. He spun around, pushed Karl back against the wall of the elevator car, and kissed him hard. Startled, Karl gasped into Greg’s mouth but then responded. He tasted so good, of spices and coffee. Let the security center watch. Give them a damn good show. He raked his hand over the bristles of Karl’s clipped hair and pulled his head down, making the kiss still deeper. Their tongues were two dancing flames, setting both men alight.

Greg heard the ping of the elevator doors opening but only broke the kiss when he heard a peal of giggles. Reluctant to let go, he held on to Karl’s firm biceps while he looked around to see a party of young women at the elevator doors.

“You fellas carry on,” one of them called out. “We’ll wait for the next car.” More giggles before the doors sealed and the elevator moved again.

“Let’s, uh …” Greg stepped back, straightening his clothes, his senses returning. “Let’s try to restrain ourselves until we get home.”

“Well, you started it,” Karl said, leaning back against the wall, arms folded, an amused look on his face. Greg blushed, but Karl showed no mercy, clearly tickled at the incident. “Don’t play the innocent with me.” He nodded up at the camera. “You’re clearly a frustrated exhibitionist.”

Greg blushed harder. Shit, what had he been thinking? Did they record those feeds? But Karl’s smile calmed him. Karl wasn’t afraid because they’d been caught kissing; he found it funny, and suddenly Greg wanted to laugh too.

“Yeah, I guess I did start it.”

Was this how it felt to be free? Not freezing with fear at the sound of an opening door. Not having to wonder if a room held a hidden camera or microphone. Not waking up every morning wondering if this was the day they would come for you.

“Let’s go finish it.”

That strange mix of defiance and embarrassment faded as they walked to Greg’s quarters, replaced by the old nervous tension. Would Karl be able to tell the rooms weren’t really Greg’s home? That this bare and sterile place was nobody’s home? Trying to preempt possible suspicions, he gave Karl a weak grin when he unlocked the door and they stepped inside.

“I’ve just moved in, so I don’t have much stuff yet.”

“You were a starship officer?”

Greg started. “Uh, yes. How did you know?”

Karl shrugged. “Don’t tend to accumulate much.”

True. Despite his family’s wealth, Greg had spent years owning no more than what he could carry in a couple of duffel bags.

“I’ve got some things en route from Earth.” A lie, and he wondered why he’d told it. But it was useful. It might help to convince Karl that Greg intended to stick around and put down roots. Then maybe he’d take a chance on getting involved with Greg.

Greg offered coffee, and Karl followed him to the kitchen, where he sat on a high stool, watching Greg work at the coffee machine. Greg stole glances at him and thought he saw tension in Karl’s pose. Something more direct than stories about fictional possessions on their way from home might be called for to reassure him he didn’t need to be wary of Greg.

“Karl, I think I should apologize for the way I ran out of your office.”

“You were there to apologize for running out at the coffee shop. Twice does start to look like a pattern.”

Greg passed him a cup of coffee. His stomach flipped at the sight of the small cup in Karl’s big hand. He wanted both those hands on him again, but he had work to do first.

“I don’t have to tell you what it means to be one of us in the military,” he said. “How you can’t stay behind a closed door with anyone for too long. How even if you dare to snatch a moment of happiness, you can’t relax for a second. How you can never trust anyone, not even a lover, because you’re always asking yourself, is this the man who’ll betray me?”

He froze. The words had been spontaneous and sincere. They were the story of his life since the day he’d left home. But talking about betrayal reminded him why he was really here with Karl. Nausea washed over him.

“Sorry.” He spat the word. “I can’t stop fucking whining for a second.”

Karl looked alarmed and stood up. “It’s okay. I understand. But it’s different now. In civilian life, I mean. You’re free.”

Author Bio

Becky likes nothing more than trapping her characters in tricky no-win situations and watching them figure a way out. When not chasing her characters up trees and throwing rocks at them Becky can be found working in an office — where she’s usually drinking tea and thinking about the next rock to throw.

For more information, please visit

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