Ben Affleck as a Hero in Batman; Free Excerpt Week

Ben Affleck as a Hero in Batman

The main reason I’m posting this today is because we saw Argo on Saturday night, finally, and we loved it. I know there’s been controversy about the historical facts, but I’m only talking about the film itself, as it stood, without really knowing anything about the topic. Tony and I were too young to remember the details of what happened during the Iran hostage crisis, so for us watching the film was pretty much a blank slate as far as historical details went. I’m talking about the acting, the story, the way it was executed, and the dialogue.

So after seeing how wonderful Ben Affleck was in Argo, I find it hard to understand why so many have gone berserk about him playing Batman. All through Argo I kept thinking, from the POV of a romance writer, he’s the penultimate hero. Argo in a real life Batman story, without the tights and mask. You could take the basic story line from Argo, fictionalize it with a different hostage situation, and turn it into a Batman film and no one would even think twice.

And yet there’s still discussion over whether or not Affleck is right for the role of Batman. And I have to wonder how much more an actor has to prove himself to play a cartoon character.

This is the latest I’ve read:

Speaking to investors yesterday at a conference in the US, Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara confirmed rumours that the new Dark Knight would be a more mature figure than previous iterations. “[He’ll be] tired and weary and seasoned and been doing it for awhile,” he said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch media communications and entertainment conference, adding that the studio thought Affleck was “perfect” for the role and expected the film to be “huge”.

You can read more here.

I think it’s typical of what I post about here sometimes, when authors try to step out of the box, so to speak, and write something in a different genre. Once you’re pegged a certain way, that’s how it remains. Imagine if I decided to write children’s books? It happens to everyone at one point or another. When I owned my gallery in New Hope the guy who owned the candy store was “The Candy Guy.” And that’s how he will remain forever. At least authors can use pen names. Affleck can’t do that.

Free Excerpt Week

This week I’m going to be posting free excerpts from books every day. This one is from a current release from the Bad Boy Billionaire series, The Vegas Shark. I did have to break for an erotic scene, because I can’t post that on google blogger. But the gist of the story is here. And you can read the full excerpt, with the erotic scene, here at my WordPress blog if you are so inclined. And, keep in mind this is from the unedited, raw version, not the review copy or final book.

After they showered and dressed, Treston made coffee. He wanted to sit at the table and talk for a few minutes. He didn’t have to go to work until later and he knew Harlan didn’t have anything planned that day. But Harlan grabbed a chipped mug and said, “We’ll drink it on the way to the bank. I want to take you somewhere special today. Don’t waste time. You talk too much anyway.”
            When he heard Harlan wanted to take him somewhere special, his head went up and he smiled. “Where do you want to take me?” He’d thought they would go ring shopping, but now that Harlan had mentioned taking him somewhere special he decided not to mention rings that morning. This was the first time since they’d met and fallen in love that Harlan had suggested going anywhere during the day.
            “It’s a great big surprise,” Harlan said, as he turned to a small mirror in the living room to put on his dark sunglasses and check out his hair. He was wearing tight faded jeans that made his crotch bulge, a white shirt, and the same black leather jacket he’d worn the night Treston had met him.
            “Can’t you even give me a hint,” Treston said. At that moment, as he stood before the mirror moving his hair around, Treston thought he was the most attractive man in the universe.
            “No hints,” Harlan said. “Shut the fuck up and let’s go now. I never met anyone who wanted to talk so much.”
            Treston knew Harlan hated too much talking, so he took his mug of coffee and followed him toward the door in silence. Treston had decided to wear his new low-rise jeans and a black mock turtleneck. The jeans had cost him over one hundred dollars and he couldn’t even afford them…they were still on the credit card Harlan had maxed out. He didn’t wear a jacket because it was warm out. He wanted to ask Harlan why he was wearing his favorite jacket on such a warm day, but he decided not to say anything. He had a feeling if he did ask Harlan would say he was talking too much again. He’d been trying to make an effort not to do this.
            They drove to the bank in Harlan’s red twenty year old Jeep Cherokee. It was so old there were holes in the seats, rust around all the bumpers, and the steering wheel made a strange crunching noise whenever Harlan made a left turn. One of the springs was broken and the left side of the rear end sagged. But Treston didn’t own a car and he didn’t mind driving around in the old car as long as he was with Harlan. He was so much in love with this strong handsome man he even held his head higher when they pulled into the bank parking lot.
            Before they got out, Harlan said, “I need a little more money.”
            Treston tilted his head sideways. “I don’t understand. Those guys gave you almost a thousand dollars and you said you only needed me to make up the rest of what they owed you. You said you were going to pay off the credit card with the money.”
            “I have to pay a few dudes off first,” Harlan said. “After that, I’ll be completely free and I’ll owe no one. I only need about three thousand to get out of this jam.”
            “Three thousand dollars?” Treston said. He felt a pull in his stomach. “I only have about two thousand in the bank. If I withdraw that much I’ll only have three hundred bucks left.” He’d been saving that money for a long time. He’d skipped meals and worked extra hours just to sock this money away. He knew it wasn’t much, not for most people. But to him it was a small fortune and a little piece of mind in case there was an emergency.
            Harlan sulked and punched the steering wheel. “I knew you’d react this way. You only care about yourself. That’s okay. If you don’t want me to have the money I’ll live. We can just postpone getting rings and getting married for the next six months.”
            Treston took a quick breath. “Calm down now. Don’t get upset, sweetie.” When he saw the expression of defeat all over Harlan’s face he felt a tug in his heart. He reached over and caressed his handsome rugged face. “I’ll give you the money. We’ll figure out a way to pay off the credit card. I’ll just work more hours.” He didn’t want to wait six months to get married…even if gay marriage wasn’t legal.  
            So they unfolded from the old Jeep and went into the bank. While Treston withdrew almost all of his savings, Harlan waited in the background between two brown velvet ropes near the exit. Treston asked the bank teller to give him the money in one hundred dollar bills so he could slip it into his pocket without looking too obvious. He hated carrying so much cash around and he felt uncomfortable all the way back to the car.
            When they were inside, Harlan started the engine and said, “Now I’m taking you somewhere very special. I’ve been planning this wonderful surprise for a couple of days.” He didn’t ask Treston to hand over the money right away.
            Treston sat up and forgot all about the large sum of money in his back pocket. “Can’t you give me a hint?” Oh, how he loved surprises. He didn’t really want to know.
            “It’s someplace you said you always wanted to go,” Harlan said. “And that’s all I’m going to tell you for now. You’ll see soon enough.” Then he backed the car out of the parking space and headed toward the exit.
            It didn’t take Treston long to figure out where they were going. He knew the roads; he’d traveled them all his life. “You’re taking me to Hoover Dam, aren’t you? I can’t believe it. I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve never actually been to Hoover Dam or Lake Mead. I guess it’s like people who live in New York and never actually go to the Statue of Liberty. Or people who live in Washington, D.C. and never actually go to the Washington Monument. I once met a guy from Philadelphia who said he’d been born and raised there and he’d never seen the Liberty Bell. I guess when you live in a place you take all these things for granted. I’ve always wanted to see Hoover Dam, but I always kept putting it off. I feel like that guy from Philadelphia who never…”
            Harlan cut him off. “You’re talking too much again, bitch. It’s giving me a fucking headache.” He spoke with a softer tone, as if he were trying to control his voice.
            “I’m sorry,” Treston said. “I’m just so excited about going to Hoover Dam for the first time I can’t help myself.” They were almost halfway there. It wasn’t more than a forty minute drive and they were the only car on the road.

             Harlan laughed and reached across the front seat. He grabbed the back of Treston’s head, pulled him sideways, and pushed Treston’s face between his legs. “Here, suck my dick for a while. That should shut you up.”

            For the rest of the short trip, Treston remained sprawled across the front seat with his head between Harlan’s legs. At the exact moment they pulled into Hoover Dam, Harlan came with such a violent jerk the old car swerved to the right and almost ran down an older couple walking toward a big silver Buick. Harlan honked the horn at them as if it had been their fault; Treston continued to suck until the car stopped.

            Harlan grabbed the back of Treston’s head and pulled him away from his dick. When Treston sat up and wiped his lips, Harlan laughed and said, “I should have thought of this weeks ago to shut you up.”

            Treston glanced into the mirror at his swollen lips. He was so happy to be there with the man he loved he couldn’t stop smiling. “Stop that. You’re so bad. You know how much I love doing that to you.” But he hated having swollen lips. It always made him self-conscious, as if everyone who looked at him would know he’d been sucking a dick. Whenever he saw someone with swollen lips that’s what he always thought.

            Although Treston didn’t want to complain, his surprise excursion to Hoover Dam did not turn out the way he’d expected it would. They went into the visitor center where Harlan glanced around and shrugged his shoulders. It wasn’t a busy day and Treston could have counted the people on one hand. He thought it would be the perfect time to see everything, and he wanted to go on tours. But when Treston mentioned this to Harlan, he only frowned and said, “Let’s go see Lake Mead. Let’s find a nice private place and I’ll fuck you in the great wide open outdoors.”

            “I kind of wanted to go on the Power Plant tour and the Hoover Dam tour,” Treston said.

            “That shit’s fucking boring,” Harlan said. He set his palm on the small of Treston’s back and led him toward the exit. “Let’s go somewhere and fuck on a rock.”

            So they climbed into the car and drove toward a secluded section of Lake Mead Treston didn’t know existed. Harlan drove off the main road and said, “I did a little research online. There are a lot of little hidden spots where people screw around here all the time.”

            “This looks like the end of the world to me,” Treston said, as the old Jeep bounced and jerked on the unpaved road. He hoped the old car wouldn’t fall apart at the seams.

            A few minutes later, Harlan pulled between to large rocks and turned off the engine. “We have to walk a little, but this is going to be a surprise you’ll never forget, baby. Why don’t you take off all your clothes right now.”

            “Take off all my clothes right now? Right here in the car?”

            “Well not all your clothes. You can leave your boots on,” Harlan said. “I think it would be fucking hot to have you walking naked through the trails.”

            “I could get arrested for that, Harlan.”

            “Don’t worry, baby. I’ll wear my clothes and if we run into anyone I’ll throw my jacket around you. Besides, there’s no one around here. You’ll be fine. People do it all the time.”

            “Are you sure?” Treston wanted to please his lover. Harlan seemed so excited about Treston walking through the trails naked. And he was wearing his heavy black work boots, so he wouldn’t injure his feet.

            “You’ll be fine,” Harlan said. “I’ll take care of you. Trust me, sweet lips.”

The thought of making love to Harlan outdoors made Treston forget all about how far out they were. The thought of walking naked through the trails excited him, too. So he took off all his clothes in the car, and then he got out and followed Harlan up a narrow winding trail that didn’t seem to lead to anything specific. There were no other people around, which made Treston relax about what they were planning to do. The last thing he needed was to get arrested for indecent exposure and public sex. But he trusted Harlan so much he knew nothing bad could ever happen to him.
             Harlan took such big steps Treston had to practically run to keep up with him. He had to hold his dick to keep it from bouncing around. But when they finally reached a small alcove between a group of rocks, Harlan stopped walking and said, “Shit, man. I forgot to bring a condom. I’ll have to go back to the car. You stay here and wait for me.”
            “I’m not staying here alone, stark naked.” He felt a chill up his spine.
            “You’ll be fine,” Harlan said. “I’ll be right back. I’ll run all the way and back.” Then he put his arms around Treston and kissed him with his tongue in a way that made Treston’s knees go weak every time. The way his thick leather jacket rubbed against Harlan’s naked body made him want to submit to anything Harlan suggested.
            When they finished kissing, Harlan slapped his ass and turned toward the trail. Without giving him a backward glance, he said, “I’ll be right back.”
            “Don’t take too long,” Treston said. “I don’t want to get arrested.”
            When Treston couldn’t see Harlan in the distance, he turned around and searched for a flat space to stretch out. He figured as long as he was outside he might as well stretch out and work on his tan. He even removed his boots and his socks so he wouldn’t have a tan line around his ankles.
            The first twenty minutes passed fairly quickly. He didn’t even glance at his watch once. But after an hour passed he started to get an uneasy feeling deep in his gut. It had only taken them thirty minutes to get up there on foot and he started to worry something had happened to Harlan. Maybe he’d fallen; he could have made a wrong turn and lost his way.
            After another hour had passed, Treston felt panicky. Harlan should have been back by now. He pictured him flat on his back with blood trickling down from his temple. He imagined him wandering lost, between rocks and ridges, trying to find his way, the poor helpless thing. So Treston put on his boots and socks and slowly made his way back down the trail to where they’d parked the Jeep. But on the way he started to experience even more panic when he realized there was no way anyone could get lost. It was a narrow trail with more than a few twists and bends, but distinctive enough to keep him on the right path. When he finally reached the spot where they’d parked the Jeep and he found it empty without a trace of Harlan or his clothes, a lump formed in his stomach and he fell down on his knees and started to sob so hard he never thought he’d stop.

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