Mmm. I wonder if Pascal is having a croissant avec son café. Some days that are celebrated are just weird, but I can get after National Croissant Day! Or maybe the croissants will get after me by attaching themselves to my...
Ahem, anyway, the thought of those nommy pastries makes me think of France, so let's take a look back at Chasing the King of the Mountains. Here is some of the nice promo artwork we got for that release, most of which I haven't seen in a while. :)
How about an exclusive excerpt? This exchange always makes me smile. :)
Laurent changed the subject. “So what races do you have coming up then?”
“I’m riding in La Fleche Wallone in Belgium in April and the Giro d’Italia in May as well. Possibly the Tour de Suisse if my body is up to it, though it is closer to the Tour than I like.”
Laurent was glad to hear that his friend was going to be in the Italian race in particular, which was one of the biggest on the World Tour along with the Tour de France.
“That’s great, Pascal. Once I get my assistants at the network up to speed, I’ll make sure we have a crew at the races to get some footage to work into my coverage later on. And I’m sure you’ll be up to it. I’m not a trainer, but from outward appearances, you look to be in the best shape I’ve ever seen you.”
“Thanks. I have to be because I’m probably going to be the oldest rider on the Tour. I have to be in better condition than the young ones. It’ll take longer for my body to recover after each stage.”
Laurent frowned, not liking the faint edge of worry he thought he heard in the usually confident Pascal’s voice. “You aren’t pushing yourself too hard, are you? I want you to reach your goal, but your long-term health is the most important thing.”
As he spoke, he let his gaze drift down over Pascal’s admittedly fit and hard body, currently clothed in well-fitting, casual attire. Laurent superimposed a memory of his friend in his typical tight racing attire, then firmly shoved that wayward mental path to the side. He wasn’t blind—Pascal was an attractive man with a superb body—but he was also a dear friend. Jan and Pascal both deserved better than Laurent ogling him…even if it had only been for research purposes.
He gave a snort that caught Pascal’s attention.
“What are you thinking? Oh, and don’t worry. I’m not pushing myself too hard. I’m being very careful about how much training I do. I have to be at the peak of physical condition when we get to the mountain stages of the Tour.”
“I’m glad you have a plan.” He hesitated then remembered his decision earlier in the conversation to be more open with Pascal, especially since they would soon be spending a lot of time together, taking their firm yet casual friendship to a more intimate level. “I laughed because I rationalized checking you out by telling myself it was purely professional interest.”
“You were checking me out?” Pascal waggled his eyebrows at him.
“Don’t let it go to your head,” Laurent warned, trying to be serious, but finding that his enjoyment of being with his friend made that all but impossible. “No matter how incredible your body is or how amazing you look in your biking gear, my interest in you is pure as the driven snow.”
Have a great weekend, everyone, and eat a croissant today if you can! :)