When my dearest husband read the very first draft of Hiding Behind The Couch (Season One), he must’ve misread ‘Kris’ as ‘Kenny’, because in the ten years since—during which he’s read the first draft of every single story—he’s come up with at least a hundred ways to kill Kris.
My favourites include the morning Kris woke up and found all the bodies of his friends downstairs and realised he was completely and utterly alone (not sure how he died that time, to be honest, probably not murder), the multiple occasions he’s been run over by buses, and when he fell off a cliff for no reason whatsoever…there are times I wonder if I should just open a document and let Nige write the next instalment.
I permit this indulgence, of course. Nige is my alpha reader (sometimes he pushes it and asks, “Don’t you mean alpha male?” Ha.) He tells me he’s joking (about killing Kris, not the alpha male thing) and he’d have nothing left to do if I did follow through and send Kris off to Valhalla or wherever he’s destined to end up. It’s turned into a fun running joke, and I’m lucky to be married to someone who supports my writing and
However, Nige is not the only one who is…ambivalent about my lovely Swedish out-and-proud bisexual.
In Kris’s defence…
Shaunna loves him.
I rest my case. :D
But seriously, come on, guys! He looks like Morten Harket, he’s an actor, his best mate is a beefcake, his first boyfriend was a high school football star, his current boyfriend manages a naked dance troupe, and his wife-ex-wife is a super-hot redhead. Even if he’s got zilch personality, isn’t he worth tolerating for his friends?
Whatever, I like him, and I’m the author, so ner.
Oh my god, she is so not going to kill Kris.
Instead, here are a few insights from Kris’s actor CV:
Name: Kristian Johansson
Hair: Light Brown
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 11 stone
Training: Drama Centre London
Accents and Dialects: Most British (English, Welsh, Scottish) regional accents, RP
Languages: English, Swedish
Role-Playing Ages: 35–45
Place of Birth: Gothenburg, Sweden.
Siblings: Lars (older brother).
Places lived: Gothenburg, Northwest England, London.
Jobs: Radio actor, TV actor.
Interests: Reading, listening to music, visiting the theatre.
Pets: Casper (yellow Labrador).
Greatest Success: Buying a house for Shaunna, Krissi and me.
Worst thing you've ever done to someone: Cheating on Shaunna.
Biggest Trauma: Childhood abuse.
Do you have a secret: Not telling.
Favourite Book: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.
Favourite Food: None. I’m severely allergic to shellfish (and cats—as pets, not food!). It makes eating a bit of a chore.
Favourite Drink: Tea.
Strength: Making sure everyone is happy.
Weakness: Making sure everyone is happy.
Best way to spend a weekend: Walking the dog with loved ones / friends.
Closest Friends: Shaunna, George, Dan.
Love of your life: Ade, Krissi (daughter), Shaunna.
And here is a selection of smoochy snippets. Note: these are moderately saucy.
(from Chain of Secrets (Novella))
(Setting: a high school art lesson—aged 14–15)
Kris walked back to George’s desk and leaned over his shoulder. “Wow, that’s really good.”
“Thank you. How did yours turn out?”
“Well, I was very happy with it until I saw yours.” Kris laughed, and his breath moved George’s hair, making him shiver. Kris pulled out the chair next to George’s and sat down, his knee touching George’s outer thigh. There was no mistaking the contact as an accident.
“You know that I’m…” Kris paused, giving George room to respond. He nodded. “Are you?”
“I like you.”
Kris released a heavy, shaky sigh. “I’ve never had a boyfriend before.”
“So…do you, err…want to come to my house one day next week?”
“I was going to ask you the same thing. Well, not exactly the same thing. My mum doesn’t like people being at ours.”
“I understand,” Kris said sympathetically. “My mum and dad are OK about me.”
“Oh, no, that’s not what I meant. My mum’s always known, and she doesn’t care as long as I’m happy. It’s just…she works long hours.” George didn’t have anything to add to that statement and wasn’t sure where to go next. Had he even accepted Kris’s invitation?
“What day?” Kris asked.
“Any except Halloween.”
“Monday? I live near St. Mark’s school. That’s where you went, isn’t it?”
“Yeah. How do you know?”
“Dan told me. That’s all he said, though. It’ll be easier to meet at the school so I can show you how to get to my house.”
“OK. Monday at St. Mark’s. What time?”
“About eleven? There’s only my brother at home during the day.”
“Eleven is good for me.”
“Great.” Kris got up from the chair, pushed it back under the table and then leaned close to George again, this time with his hand resting on George’s shoulder. “See you on Monday,” he whispered, and left.
(Setting: the treehouse)
The silence resumed, and they drank the rest of their juice. George could tell Kris felt as nervous as he did. He was clinging to his empty glass and drumming his fingers against the bottom of it in a steady pattern, like the fast drip-drip-drip of a tap not quite closed off. There was so much tension between them, and it was difficult to know what to do. They should probably talk more, get to know each other first, and then think about doing other stuff, but George’s gaze kept wandering back to Kris’s mouth. The urge built, became more intense, took him over…
“Did you want—” Kris’s words evaporated as George moved in and kissed him, once, with his lips tightly closed. Kris bounced forward slightly as George moved away, blinking in surprise, his eyes bright, large dark pupils taking over most of the pale blue. He put his glass to one side and climbed onto his knees. George mirrored him, and they kissed again, parting their lips this time.
“Are you sure no-one will come in?” George whispered.
“I can lock the hatch,” Kris suggested. George nodded and sat back on his feet while Kris secured the trapdoor. He crawled back to George, and they tumbled sideways onto the mattress.
For a long time, they kissed, explored with their hands, didn’t speak. It was fulfilling and frustrating all at once, and it was everything George had imagined it would be. Minus the arguments. Those probably came later.
Hiding Behind The Couch (Season One))
(Setting: Kris and Shaunna’s house)
“Mmm. I love the way you cook bacon.” Shaunna prodded the crispy rasher with a fork. “You know just how to win me round.”
“Years of careful observation and well-executed plans, my sweet.” Kris grinned and tended to his own plate. “Now, I want you to forget about things for a little while, eat breakfast, drink tea and read the paper. Then, if you like, we can make love.”
“How about—” Shaunna pushed the tray aside “—we do that in reverse order. Sort of.” She clambered to her knees and leaned over, kissing him, as he reached up to remove the clip. Her hair tumbled onto her bare shoulders, where it bounced and came to rest on her partly covered breasts. She unfastened his shirt, his belt, and then his jeans. He pushed the straps of her nightdress off her shoulders so that it glided over her breasts and down to her waist. Lifting her arms out of it, she sat astride, kissing his lips, cheeks, neck, chest, writhing slowly. The jeans were scratching her bare legs, and after a short while she climbed off, removed them, along with his boxer shorts, stepped out of her nightdress and returned to her previous position. He allowed her to control the action, and slowly, they moved together in perfect tandem.
It didn’t take very long for them both to climax; the tea was still warm, although the breakfast was not.
As soon as they got home, Shaunna went to bed, leaving Kris to deal with Casper and lock up. He expected her to either be asleep or pretending to be when he followed her upstairs ten minutes later and was surprised to find her awake and waiting for him.
“What’s up?” He sat on the end of the bed and took off his shoes.
“Nothing,” she replied, climbing behind him and wrapping her arms around his neck. “Just wanted to tell you I love you. That’s all.”
Kris turned his face towards her and kissed her. “Let me get my clothes off, and I’ll be right with you.”
“Ha ha! I tell you I love you, and you think your luck’s in,” she joked, throwing a pillow at the back of his head. He picked it up and threw it back. Within seconds, it escalated into a full pillow fight.
“I’m gonna get you, Mrs. Johansson,” Kris said, crawling up the bed on his knees, dangling a pillow by its corner from each hand.
“Not if I get you first.” Shaunna laughed and leapt over him, grabbing his pillows on the way past.
“A-ha! The element of surprise!” He reached down to pick up a pillow that had fallen on the floor, but too late! Shaunna now had all of the pillows and was swinging one above her head, ready to launch. “Noooo!” he yelled, backing up against the headboard, where she bombarded him with all four of them, before climbing onto the bed and straddling his legs. He rubbed her thighs with the palms of his hands.
“OK. You win,” he submitted between the kisses.
“Of course! I always do.”
(from Crying in the Rain Novel))
(Setting: Kris and Shaunna’s house)
Kris used his body to roll Ade onto his back and slid against him, gently rocking and pushing, taking it slowly to make the most of every second as their bodies gradually became one.
Ade moaned, taken over by the incredible sensations rising within. He covered his mouth with his hand and they both froze for a second, listening for an indication of where in the house Shaunna was, but then the intensity returned and they forgot all about her, their lips coming together as that irrepressible motion took over. Ade wanted to feel like this forever, yet as soon as that thought registered, it was whisked away by an urgency, a desperation. His body tingled from the pressure, the closeness, the heat of the friction and the desire, all of his nerve endings awakened at once to the glorious pain, the heavenly pleasure—Kris was worried about his short fuse?
This moment was perfect, this crescendo to climax that they were sharing, a voluntary connection of souls, hearts, bodies—Ade’s back arched, and he felt in every part of him the deep, intense thrusts, meeting them again and again, until his awareness was nothing outside of soaring, first one and then the other, as they succumbed to this gift of release, of trust; and themselves.
Reunions (Season Seven))
(Setting: Hayley's hair salon)
Kris took Ade’s hand and led him past Hayley and through the door to the stockroom.
“Ooh.” Ade looked around him in wonder. “This is where they were doing it.”
Kris tugged on Ade’s hand, spinning him in and trapping him against the wall. “Is that a challenge, Mr. Simmons?”
Ade grinned. “What was it he called me?”
“Oh!” Kris could feel his face burning at the reminder of last Christmas’s less savoury events. He coughed self-consciously. “A screamer.”
“Hmm-hmm.” Ade ran his tongue over his teeth. Kris swallowed heavily. He was turned on enough to go along with it, but ‘screamer’ was a very accurate description, and there were three women on the other side of the door that he’d rather didn’t have to hear that. Instead, he offered Ade a kiss that he’d intended to be quick and chaste, but turned out to be nothing of the sort. Ade’s warm hands slid under Kris’s jacket and found their way inside his shirt, spanning his back and working downward, his fingers pushing past Kris’s waistband.
“There’s something about this room,” Ade murmured into Kris’s mouth.
“Mmm.” Kris wondered if it was the chemicals, because there was no way he’d normally consider this level of touching outside of their house.
“We’ve never done it up against a wall.”
“Could be fun.”
“Yes.” One-word answers were difficult enough when Kris’s entire body was responding to Ade’s touch. The rocking pressure against his crotch was getting a little too much to bear, and had the door from the salon not opened, it may well have been too late.
“Did you find them OK, sweedie?” Hayley asked first, saw them second, grinned third. “Ah. I’ll leave you to it.” She reversed her steps. The door closed again.
“Not here,” Kris said, his face hot as fire, but he was laughing. It was fun. Maybe with a couple of shots of amaretto inside him… “Let’s get some mugs.”
“That’s what we came for, after all.” Ade gave Kris one last kiss—lingering, still with tongues—and moved to a safe distance. “OK, so where are these mugs?”
And For Fun:
Red Hot Christmas (Novella))
(Setting: a pub, two days before Christmas)
“If you ever start talking to me again,” Kris said, “I want to ask you something.”
Ade sighed loudly for effect. “I’ll get over it. But you’d better have bought me something amazing for Christmas.”
Kris smiled and kissed him on the cheek. “I love you,” he whispered. “I really, really do.” Ade tutted. “Lots and lots, like jelly tots.” Kris started kissing his cheek over and over again, interspersed with repeats of ‘I love you’.
Ade rolled his eyes and wiped his cheek dry. “OK! Stop. I forgive you.”
“For what?” Shaunna asked.
Kris cleared his throat. “I did something stupid.”
“You’re welcome.” Shaunna grinned. “So, what’s all this about going to Manchester for Christmas?”
“We’re going to Manchester for Christmas.”
“And leaving me with the dog.”
“Nope. Casper’s going to stay at a friend’s house.”
“Since Josh said it was OK. We’ll have to check with George tomorrow, but I don’t—”
Shaunna put up her hand to stop him. “Why? I’ll still be at home.”
“No, you won’t.”
“I said, ‘No, you won’t.’”
“Kristian Johansson. Come this way,” Shaunna got up and grabbed Kris by the scruff, leading him outside. It was pointless, because he wasn’t going to crack.
Ade waited until Shaunna and Kris were out of sight, then turned to Andy and grinned.
“I know where you’re going,” he sang.
“And I know what Kris has bought you for Christmas,” Andy retorted.
“We could trade?” Ade offered.
“Not a chance. They’ll string us up.”
“Yes, you’re probably right.”
“You’d better believe it.”
Thanks for reading!