SIGHTLINES (The Community #3):
Chase Payne is a walking contradiction. He’s the most powerful psychic in the Community, but the least respected. He’s the son of the Community’s founder, but with his tattoo sleeves and abrasive attitude, he’s nothing like his charismatic family. No one knows what to make of him, which is how he wound up locked in a cell on the Farm yet again. But this time, the only man he’s ever loved is there too.
Elijah Estrella was used to being the sassy sidekick who fooled around with Chase for fun. But that was before he realized the Community wasn’t the haven he’d believed in and Chase was the only person who’d ever truly tried to protect him. Now they’re surrounded by people who want to turn them against their friends, and the only way out is to pretend the brainwashing works.
With Chase playing the role of a tyrant’s second-in-command, and Elijah acting like Chase’s mindless sex toy, they risk everything by plotting a daring escape. In the end, it’s only their psychic abilities, fueled by their growing love for each other, that will allow them to take the Community down once and for all.
SIGHTLINES is out 10/9/2017 from Riptide Books.
Subgenres: m/m paranormal romance; psychics; finale.
Elijah gave little resistance as he collapsed in the armchair, sweating, but his big dark eyes were still conveying his betrayal.
“Chase,” Richard said. “Tell me about our friend. When we first brought him in, you were a little . . . preoccupied, and he refused to talk.”
Preoccupied had been more like sedated when he wasn’t being mentally skewered by Jasper. All he’d known was that Jasper had dangled Elijah in front of him like a threat. And now they were going to do it again, unless he and Elijah got on the same page.
So Chase nodded, not breaking Elijah’s stare as he relayed all of his information like a fucking soulless computer. “His name is Elijah Estrella. He’s from Wisconsin, and ran away at seventeen. His mother’s boyfriends were abusive, and he’d seen the Community, and New York, in a premonition. But he’s not powerful. That’s why no one notices him as anything other than a twink with a nice ass who hangs around with the right people.” Elijah flinched, but said nothing to interrupt Chase. “But we noticed him at the club. Set him up with a job, rented him the room in my apartment, and introduced him to the band. For the past three years, Elijah was a success story. An example of the good the CW could do.”
Elijah closed his eyes, but he didn’t disagree. He couldn’t. He’d sung the Community’s praises so many times in the past, even to Theo and Nate, that there was no denying how infatuated he’d been. How loyal.
“And your relationship with him,” Richard said. “What is it?”
Here it was. The real test of whether Chase was willing to say anything and everything. Whether all their years of programming had fully brought him under their control. So he let his shield slip, just a bit, like an accident, and allowed Richard to feel this truth.
“He started fucking me because Holden wouldn’t give him the time of day,” Chase said flatly. “He sees me as a convenient dick, and Holden as the prize.”
Elijah shook his head, eyes growing rounder. “Chase . . . no.”
“And how do you see him?” Richard asked, speaking over Elijah.
“As someone I love.” Humiliation wasn’t an emotion Chase experienced very often, but it scorched through him without remorse. “But it doesn’t fucking matter. Because I’m the freak—”
Elijah shook his head more vehemently, his lips trembling, eyes red and damp. “It’s not true.”
“—in the family. Just someone he’ll hop on when he’s horny and bitter over Holden. ’Cause he knows I’ll never turn him away. ’Cause he knows I would do anything for him.” The amount of vulnerability needed to strip himself this bare, to show his insides, made Chase want to throw himself out the window. Sweat trickled down his face, and his body felt cold. “I’ve never told him because he doesn’t think I’m capable of feelings. He thinks I have no heart.”
Elijah looked so stricken by the words, so absolutely fucking broken that Chase felt sick. Even though it was true. All of it was true. He’d been the one to beg for a job for Elijah, the one to offer his apartment, the one to bully Jericho and Lia into giving Elijah a shot at joining the band even though auditions had been over. But Holden had gotten all the credit. It was Holden, in Elijah’s mind, who had saved him. And Chase was just there to fuck him when he was bored.
About Santino Hassell:
Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.
He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.