Yesterday was the release day for Louise Lyons’ novella On the Outside. This book caught my eye in the RainbowSnippets Facebook group, where the author was sharing a few tasters. It promptly ended up on my TBR list – and I’m very happy to give this story a wave and a cheer. I like the idea that a relationship can grow from expediency and that something good may come (I hope!) from a stint in prison. I can’t wait to find out how Craig and Rocky are going to manage that.
On The Outside
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, MM Romance
When Craig Ferguson is released from prison after a year’s sentence for fighting, he returns home to his father and brother, and the family business. Throwing himself back into the life he left, with family, work, and women, Craig tries to forget his time on the inside, but there’s one thing he just can’t get out of his mind.
Cell mate, Rocky Kirk, still has six months of his sentence to go, and after a year together in a tiny cell, Craig misses him more than he cares to admit. He does his best to forget, but when Rocky is released, and arrives on Craig’s doorstep, homeless and hurt, everything that happened between them comes flooding back.
Craig’s family takes in Rocky, now known as Kirk, and gives him a home and a job, but he’s reluctant to join in with their partying, and never seems entirely comfortable in their home. A few months later Kirk announces he has to leave, and when Craig presses him for an explanation, Kirk blurts out that his unwanted feelings for his friend are hurting him too much to stay. His admission changes everything, but Craig’s uncertainty, and fears of his father discovering their secret, threatens to ruin anything that could develop between them.
Excerpt from On the Outside by Louise Lyons
The next Saturday we didn’t have much work on. Dad and Stuart went out to finish a job that only needed two men, giving Kirk and me the day off. Kirk stayed in his room all morning, and I watched crap TV and fiddled with my phone, wishing he’d come out and talk to me. Eventually, he did and when I looked up at the sound of him shuffling in the doorway, my eyes widened in shock at the bulging rucksack in his hand. The same rucksack he’d arrived with three months earlier.
“Where are you going?” I got to my feet, my stomach clenching.
He avoided my eyes. “It’s time I moved on.”
“Why? I thought you liked it here.”
“I can’t live here anymore.”
“So get another place. Or we can share a house or something. I’ve been meaning to move out for a while. Dad and Stuart would be glad of the extra space.” I hadn’t been thinking anything of the sort, but it was the first thing that came into my head. The idea of him leaving horrified me. I couldn’t imagine him not being here; not being able to see him.
“No.” Kirk shook his head. “I need to go. I’m going back to Leeds.”
“What’s in Leeds? Parents who don’t want you? Poor job prospects?”
Kirk met my eyes at last, his dark with sudden hurt. “Yeah, thanks, Craig.”
“I didn’t mean that.”
“It’s true. But I’ll find something. I can’t be here anymore.”
“Because… fuck it. You have everything you want here. A father and brother who care about you, a great job, a nice home, and enough money to get your own place if you want. A different girl every week.”
“You’ve been sharing all of that. You have a great job and a home, but you don’t have to live here if you don’t want. And how many girls have you brought back? We’ve all heard you.”
“I never brought anyone back here. I made it look like I did. I even fucking talked to myself, and made noises so you’d think I had someone in my room.”
“Why would you do that?” I gaped at him. I had to be missing something. He always got attention from girls when we went out and yet…
He drew in a rapid breath, eyes glistening. “Don’t you get it? I’m gay! Do you remember what happened in that cell? That wasn’t because you were all there was, it was because I wanted it. I wanted you. And when you got out, I got in more fights than ever before, because I wouldn’t let anybody else fuck me.”
My mind flashed back to the countless times we’d been together. We’d never kissed. It had all been about tossing each other off, or him sucking my dick, or me fucking him. The first time he’d begged for it, until I pinned him to the mattress and drove myself into him. He’d always seemed to enjoy it a hell of a lot more than a straight man desperate for release should have. He’d persuaded me to fuck him face to face a few times, and I hadn’t been able to meet his eyes because the look in his had freaked me out. Not because of what I saw there, but because I feared that same look might have been on my face.
Then there was that moment in the bathroom when he cleaned my hand. He met my eyes for a moment, and the expression in his… I hadn’t wanted to think about it at the time. He’d held my hand and it had seemed like there had been something between us; a moment. I’d cursed myself over and over for letting myself think about him like that and now, my heart pounded faster and harder as all of those things filled my head.
About Louise Lyons
Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties.
Posting stories based on some of her favorite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.
Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.
Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.