A Birthday Gift for You!

It’s my birthday! *throws confetti*

AdobeStock_58290641.jpeg

To celebrate my 36th birthday, I’m offering 36% off on all of my self-published titles!

Click on the PayHip button below to go to my PayHip storefront, add the books you want to your cart, and enter “BIRTHDAY” when you checkout. There’s no limit on how many books you can use it on and it expires on December 25.

payhip-button

 

 

New Book – “Not So Suddenly” (Happy Birthday, Shell!)

Image

I have a third book available for sale!

Amazon: Not So Suddenly

Smashwords: Not So Suddenly

Nook: Not So Suddenly

Blurb: When Spencer Abrams surprises Austin Mead with tickets to Antigua, he’s hoping a romantic trip will finally give him the courage to confess his feelings for his best friend. Austin thinks he’s just there to help Spencer get over a breakup with his ex. If Spencer finally tells Austin how he’s feeling, will Austin be willing to take the leap from friendship to love?

Exerpt: When Austin didn’t come out, Spencer went for a long, lonely walk on the beach, and now he was in the plunge pool just outside the cottage, wondering where the plan to seduce his best friend had gone so awry. He leaned his head back against the edge of the pool and closed his eyes. So, maybe it was a little weird that he’d dragged Austin all the way to Antigua to tell him he had feelings for him, and maybe he should have thought through giving him so much wine with dinner, but this was not how he’d seen this night going.

He didn’t really know when he’d fallen for Austin, exactly. He’d been dating Amber for a while, he knew that. She was the hottest girl he’d ever been with and then suddenly he just wasn’t that into her anymore. She seemed to be getting on his nerves more and more, and one night he finally realized that he’d rather be spending time with Austin. He’d rather be kissing Austin than Amber.

Then he started dreaming about his friend. Vivid, explicit dreams that left him aching. Knowing Austin was gay didn’t exactly discourage his interest either. But every time he tried to tell Austin how he felt, he froze. He hadn’t really gotten around to dumping Amber either, and by the time she dumped him for the prick from the shoe store, he really didn’t give a fuck about it at all. But Austin was extra sweet when he thought Spencer was depressed, and he kind of liked the additional attention. He really had originally planned to take Amber to the Caribbean; he’d bought the tickets months and months before, but the idea of taking Austin instead was way more appealing.

And now, his very hot, and apparently very drunk, friend was passed out on the King-size bed and Spencer was alone in the seaside pool feeling like an idiot.

Normally I write a very short story as a birthday gift.  For Shell’s birthday, I went a little overboard.  I ran across this photo and fell in love with it. I knew it would make the perfect story for Shell. 

Image

The problem is, the story got a little out of control and She’ll birthday came and I was still writing.  Austin and Spence just wouldn’t stop talking.  At almost 9,000 words it was well above the usual 3-5k stories I write.  I told Shell it was going to be a little late and she was very sweet about it.  When I asked how she’d feel if I published the whole thing instead of posting a very short snippet here, she was all for it.  So with Shell’s blessing, I published “Not So Suddenly.”   Of course, I sent her a free copy, because the birthday girl more than deserves it!  Shell’s been a sweet friend who has given me a lot of support and I really hope she loves Spence and Austin as I do.  I hope you do too.

Happy Birthday, B

One of the very lovely people I’ve gotten to know in the last few years is B.  I’ll call her B since she isn’t overly fond of her first name, and the nickname she goes by online tends to be a little confusing.  Her birthday is a few days from now, on Halloween, but since she’s going to be out of town on Thursday, I thought I’d post a little early.  She’s a brilliant writer in her own right, and one of her stories will be published in the same anthology as mine.   She is also wicked with her red pen and a very good friend.   I hope you enjoy the story I wrote for you.  Happy Birthday, B!

Image

Better Late Than Never

With the kitchen window cracked open, Marc could smell the cool damp air.  It smelled like wet leaves, and as he glanced up, he saw that it was raining harder.  It had been misty all morning, but the rain was coming down steadily now; more than a drizzle but less than a full-out downpour.  Marc sighed and let out the breath he’d been holding, pushing his empty coffee cup away.  Fall made him melancholy.  It wasn’t just the shortening days or the gloomy weather.   It was the fact that it was his favorite season.

Marc’s heart clenched at the thought of John.

Cooler nights meant piling on more blankets, trying to replace the missing warmth in his bed.  It had been … six months, Marc thought hollowly.  Six months since he’d felt John’s arms around him, fallen asleep with John’s taste on his lips.  Half a year since half of his life was ripped away.

His friends were growing impatient with him.  They wanted him to be over it, for him to just move on.  But how could he move on?  How could he forget about the man he loved?  He let his chair rock back, balancing on the back two legs, and his lips curved up at the corners in a melancholy smile.  John had always yelled at him for that.  Of course, their little domestic squabbles had usually led to the two of them ending up in bed together.  Sometimes, he’d done it just to provoke John so he’d get drilled through the mattress.  He couldn’t imagine that with anyone else.

Sure, there had been a few interested men in the past six months, but he’d turned them down.  Even the blond with the ridiculously tight ass who looked just like the guy he’d lusted over in high school.  He felt his cock twitch in his shorts at the memory, and he sighed and let the chair fall forward again, the legs making a muted thud as they hit the floor.  He was being ridiculous and he needed to get out of this funk.  He needed to stop thinking about John; thinking about him wasn’t going to change anything.  Their life together was over and maybe his friends were right.  Even if he didn’t move on with another man, it was time for him to start living again.  Even if the idea of dating seemed unfathomable right now, it didn’t mean he had to be a hermit.

His head still felt muddled as he put away his breakfast dishes, and he decided to take a run.   Outside, dressed in lightweight running gear, the cold, damp late-October air was like a slap in the face.  It woke him from his lethargy, clearing the mingled depression and arousal from his mind.  By the time he’d finished the first mile, he was in the zone, his rhythm and stride easy and relaxed.  He focused on the familiar sights of his neighborhood, the carved pumpkins lining the front stoops, the splashes of color bright against the dreary greyness of the day.

The suburban sprawl disappeared as he headed into a wooded area.  Concrete sidewalks became a dirt path littered with brightly colored leaves.  He breathed deep, letting the earthy scent calm him.  This had always been his favorite running route.  He liked the cleaner, fresher air and the stillness of the woods.

John hated it, he preferred running on a treadmill.  Liked the absolute control it gave him.  But John had always liked being in control.  Marc had grown used to it in the twenty-odd years he’d known the other man.

Christ, hard to believe it had been so long. It made Marc feel old.

They’d met in college, working at a pizza joint and bonding over calculus homework and Nirvana CDs.  Life as a gay man in the early 90s wasn’t necessarily an easy one with the threat of AIDS looming over them and more than half the gay men he knew still in the closet.  Neither he nor John had been closeted, although they hadn’t been particularly out either.  It had taken them six months of hanging out at bars and studying together to finally broach the subject.  After that, they’d pretty much fallen into bed together.  They’d dated other people, drifting back to each other when they were both single.  They’d lost contact for a few years in their late twenties, caught up with work and their partners at the time.

After Marc’s father had died, John had been there for Marc.  And when Marc moved into the childhood home his father had left him, and John had been looking for a place to live, they moved in together.  Without real thought, they’d established a life together.  If it hadn’t been the life Marc had been looking for, it had been a good one, and John being gone left him feeling hollow and adrift.

Wet leaves brushed against his bare arms as he navigated around a fallen branch and tried to ignore the ache in his chest.  He’d never thought of John as his soul mate, or his other half, but with him gone, it felt like a huge chunk of himself was missing.  Some fundamental part of who he was had disappeared and that was what he was struggling with.

Pondering the ways he could start to rebuild his life, the miles disappeared and the looped trail returned him back out into his neighborhood.  Lost in his thoughts, he didn’t see the runner headed into the woods until it was too late and pitched forward, slamming into the other man even as he tried to stop.  Off-balance, it was only the man’s strong arm that kept him from falling into the mud.  He felt the rumble of laughter against his chest as the other man laughed.

“Hmm, well I’d always hoped to sweep you off your feet and get you to fall for me, but this wasn’t really what I had in mind.”

Marc managed to right himself finally, but the arm didn’t release him.  He looked up into the smiling face of his neighbor who lived three doors down.  The one with the great ass who was way too young.   “Jason,” he gasped.

He felt Jason’s hand slide across his lower back and was surprised by the sudden rush it sent through him.  Had it been over ten years since he’d been with anyone but John?  The time had flown.

“How was your run?”

Marc shrugged, suddenly aware of the ache in his knees and the tightness in his calves.  “All right.  I think I pushed myself a little harder than I should have though.  I’m going to feel it tomorrow.”  He laughed ruefully to himself; Jason probably didn’t have that problem.  He was what, twenty-seven, twenty-eight maybe?  Too young to know what it felt like to be a runner over forty.

Jason’s blue eyes sparkled and his lips twisted into a smile.  Marc had never noticed before how full they were. “I’d really love to help you out with that.  I give a killer massage.”

Marc smiled despite himself, flattered by the younger man’s attention.  “Thanks for the offer.”

Jason shifted forward, closing the already narrow distance between their bodies until he was so close to Marc they could have kissed without any effort at all.  “But it’s still a no, isn’t it?”

“I …” He sighed.  “Yeah.  It’s a no.”

“Look, I understand you miss your partner, but you can’t close yourself off to everything forever, Marc,” Jason said gently.  “Do you want something casual at first?  I can do that.  Or if you want me to wine you and dine you, I will.  I just want a chance.  I like you, Marc, and I really think there’s something between us.”

Marc closed his eyes for a moment.  Jason’s tone was sincere, and his offer to go with whatever Marc felt comfortable with was generous, but as much as he’d tried to convince himself that he needed to move on from his life with John, he just wasn’t ready to take that step.  He shook his head and opened his eyes in time to see the other man’s disappointed expression.

Jason stepped back, crossing his arms over his chest.  “Is it the age thing, Marc?”

“That’s some of it, yeah,” Marc admitted, “but more than that, I’m just not in the right place mentally yet.”

“Does that mean you could change your mind someday?” Jason asked, flashing Marc a wide, hopeful smile.

“Let’s put it this way, when I’m ready to move on, you’ll be the first to know,” he promised, surprised to realize he was flirting a little.  And enjoying it.

“That’s fair,” Jason agreed with a crooked grin.  “Now, how about a kiss so you’ll have something to remind you of what you could have?”

He covered Marc’s mouth with his own before Marc could even think to protest.  Jason’s lips were warm, and the kiss was one of the best damn kisses he’d ever had.  It was brief but intense.  When Jason drew back with a self-satisfied little hum, Marc almost regretted not grabbing him and kissing him again, but he knew he wasn’t ready to move on.

Still, the kiss had been a great boost to the ego and Marc had needed that.  He let his hand linger against Jason’s firm chest for a moment and he smiled up at the other man.  “Thanks for that.”

“Just knock on my door any time you want a repeat,” Jason said, his voice dropping to a low, husky purr.  “Or anything more.”

“I will, Jason,” he promised, and he meant it.

He said his goodbyes to his neighbor and jogged home, only turning back once to stare at Jason’s ass.  He sighed and shook his head at himself before resolutely looking away.

The moment he got home he took a leisurely hot shower.  Long after he’d soaped his body and washed his hair, he was still thinking about Jason’s kiss and about all the man had offered him.  Half-hard, he stroked his dick, throwing his head back against the shower wall when a surge of pleasure raced through him.  Desire made his stomach clench but the ring of the doorbell was like a bucket of cold water, making him pause mid-stroke.  He tried to ignore it, closing his eyes and chasing that desperate need to come, but the person outside the door was insistent.  With a grunt of frustration he turned off the shower, yanked a towel from the rack, and wrapped it around his waist as he stalked toward the front door.

Not really wanting to flash the mailman, he peered through the peephole to see who was still impatiently ringing it.  His irritation melted away as he caught a glimpse of the man on the other side of the door as he turned his head to the side.  He opened the door with a laugh.  “Jason, I told you I’d let you know if I changed my mind about the date.  You’re certainly persistent, I’ll give you that …” his voice trailed off as the man on his front step turned to face him.

The blood drained from his face, his heart beating a sudden quick rhythm in his chest.  “J-John?”

His former lover’s eyes met his, and his tone was acidic.  “Who the hell is Jason?”

“What—” he swallowed hard— “what are you doing here, John?”

John didn’t answer, just stared at him, his eyes traversing Marc’s bare chest.  Marc shivered, but whether it was from the cool outside air blowing across his damp skin or the way John was looking at him, he wasn’t sure.

John stepped forward and Marc automatically took a step back, his heart racing and his breathing shallow and quick.  John’s gaze was so intense, so heated and hungry.  When John had walked out of his life, he’d never expected to see him again.  He struggled to grasp the idea that John was here, inside his house.  Inside the house they’d lived in together for the better part of ten years.

Marc let out a shaky breath, trying to put together the words he wanted to say, the questions he had for John.

He never had the chance to speak them.  With a few short strides John was in front of him, pinning Marc to the wall behind him.  Marc’s mouth opened to protest but John’s lips descended, and he forgot everything but the familiar taste of the man he still loved.  The man who had left him.

Anger flared in him but it mingled with the desire.  John’s hands were cold, but they still burned against his skin, made need crackle through him.  He panted into the kiss, his head swimming as his hands involuntarily reached for John.  His hand slid under John’s jacket, gripping his shirt.  John’s kisses were hard and needy.  He’d always been an aggressive lover, but Marc could feel his desperation in every touch.  John’s lips moved across Marc’s jaw and to his neck.  He bit down and the stinging pleasure made Marc moan.

Without another word, John pulled Marc away from the wall, walking him backward toward the bedroom, one hand in Marc’s hair and the other arm tight around his waist.  A part of Marc knew he should stop John, tell him they needed to talk, but all he could do was feel.

In the bedroom, John spun him around and bent him over the bed, his hands making deft work of Marc’s towel.  Marc shivered as John’s hands ran possessively over him before he stepped back to rummage in the side table for lube.  Marc hung his head, his hands curling into fists on the bed as John moved slick fingers between his cheeks, first one finger then two pushing into him.  He was shivering, shaking from the desperate need he had.  It had been six long months since John had been inside him and he held his breath as John sheathed his cock with a condom and positioned himself at Marc’s entrance.

He threw his head back and let out a deep, throaty moan at the feel of John filling him.  “Missed this,” he panted as John began a hard, almost punishing rhythm.

John’s arm slid under his, pulling him nearly upright.  John panted in his ear, his breath harsh and hot against Marc’s cheek.  Marc let John set the pace, his body tensing against his lover’s.

Pleasure gathered in his lower belly, his groin tightening as John wrapped a hand around his cock, jacking him hard.  Marc threw his head back against John’s shoulder, his body shaking and shuddering as he came.  He groaned, feeling like he would turn inside out from the toe-curling pleasure; John swiftly following behind him.

Marc’s knees gave out and John let him collapse onto the bed.  He rolled onto his back, staring up at the man in front of him.  Panting and shaking, John dropped to the bed beside him, burying his head in the crook of Marc’s neck.  The familiar whoosh of his breath and slide of his sweat-dampened skin made Marc’s head spin.  They were both silent for a long time.  Eventually, John sat up and turned away, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed.  Marc heard the wet splat of the condom landing in the trash and he shuddered.   John rested his balled-up fists on the mattress beside his hips, bowing his head.  It made his back curve, and Marc reached out tentatively, wanting to touch the smooth expanse of golden skin.  He hesitated though, fingers just millimeters from John’s body, so close he could feel the heat.  “Did we need the condom?” he asked roughly.  It wasn’t what he’d intended to say, but the words slipped out before he could stop them.

John stiffened.  “I don’t know, did we?”

“Not on my account,” Marc snapped.

“Because you’ve been careful?” John asked, his voice sounding thin and strained.

“Because I haven’t been with anyone else.”  The wounded tone in Marc’s voice surprised them both.

“Who the fuck is Jason?” He turned to stare at Marc, his blue eyes meeting Marc’s brown.

“Jason is the guy three houses over.  The one who asked me out today,” he snapped.  “But I turned him down, and no, I haven’t slept with him.”

John let out a long huff of frustration.  “I’m sorry, okay?”

Marc swallowed hard and fell back onto the bed, his arm coming up to rest over his eyes.  At the moment, he couldn’t even look at John.  “Sorry for what? For leaving without giving me a chance to follow you? For telling me I should fuck someone else because we were over?  Or for the fact that you’ve been with others?”

The mattress shifted under John’s weight, but Marc didn’t open his eyes, even when John finally replied.  “I am sorry for leaving.  At the time … I thought it was best.  We’ve never been …”

Marc’s jaw clenched.  John was right.  They had never been anything, really.  Friends, companions, roommates, lovers … but never official.  Never nailing down what they were to each other.  They’d never used the words boyfriends or partners.  Their prior exclusivity had been about their health, not about emotional commitment.  It wasn’t John’s fault that Marc wanted more.  That he’d always wanted more and had never had the guts to tell him.

Marc sighed and lowered his arm to the bed; when his eyes opened, they met John’s.  The blue eyes were worried, almost tender.  “I’m sorry, too,” Marc admitted.  “I was being unfair to you.”  He sighed heavily and his voice cracked when he spoke.  “I just can’t believe you went off to California for your job without ever asking me if I might want to follow you.”

“I … you have a home here, a career,” John protested, his forehead wrinkling in a frown.  “I didn’t think you would want to uproot your whole life.”

“You should have at least given me the chance,” Marc shouted, sitting upright.  “You told me you were being relocated and that you were leaving.  You told me that we should both move on.”

John sighed, his eyes dropping to the bed. “I didn’t know you cared.”

“Didn’t know I cared? I loved you.”

John’s breath caught and the hurt in his eyes was palpable when he met Marc’s gaze again.  “Loved?  You don’t anymore?”

“Fuck, of course I still love you, John,” he said, reaching out to touch the other man’s cheek.

“Why didn’t you tell me before?” John asked, uncharacteristic vulnerability on his face.

“I … I didn’t know how you’d feel.  Didn’t know if you even wanted to hear it.  You’ve always been so strong, so solitary.  I thought if I told you that, you’d leave, that things between us would be over,” Marc replied quietly.

“I never meant for you to think that, I swear.”  John’s voice was rough and husky.  “I thought you knew how I felt.”

“How do you feel?” Marc asked, sitting up and wrapping one arm around his sheet-covered knee.

“Lost without you.  Like something’s … missing.” He sighed heavily.  “Lonely.  I thought my job was what mattered.  I thought it was what made me happy, but I was wrong, Marc.  I need you.”

The anger and hurt Marc had been struggling with for the past six months dissipated, wiped away by the words he’d been waiting so many years to hear.  He didn’t know when it was that he and John had gone from being friends and lovers to something more, or when he’d realized he needed to hear John say how much he needed him.

“I shouldn’t have left,” John continued.  “I love you, too, Marc.  I … I quit my job to come back here.”

“You what?” Marc breathed, shocked by both the declaration of the other man’s feelings and the gesture he’d made.

“I sure hope you want me back—” John laughed nervously “—because I’m homeless and jobless at the moment.”

Marc chuckled too, but he felt his chest tighten at what John had done in order to come back here to be with him.  “I think I might know of a place you could stay.”

John’s gaze was hopeful.  “You mean that?”

“Of course I do.”

John shifted onto his side and Marc lay down beside him, twining their legs together.  They kissed lazily for a long time, reacquainting themselves with each other.  When Marc pulled back, it was only far enough to look at the other man.

“I swear you’ve gone greyer since I left,” John said huskily, running his fingers through Marc’s salt and pepper hair.

“Fuck you,” Marc said with a snort.  “You’ve got more wrinkles.”

John shrugged.  “The California sun isn’t kind to a blue-eyed blond.  I’m better off here in Massachusetts.”

“You’re here to stay?” Marc asked more seriously.

“Yeah, I am,” John said huskily, his hand wrapping around the back of Marc’s neck.  “Or if I go anywhere, it’ll be with you.”

With those words, the last of the lingering hurt and anger was gone and Marc relaxed, leaning in for another slow, passionate kiss.

“I suppose it’s time I took you on a date, isn’t it?” John asked with a rueful smile when the kiss finally ended.  “Never have before, but it seems like it’s about time if we’re … dating.”

Marc tried to laugh but his throat felt tight with emotion.  “Only took us twenty years.”

“Best damn twenty years of my life,” John said more seriously.  “I’m only sorry it took me so long to figure this all out.  What the hell was wrong with me?”

“We were both a bit blind,” Marc admitted.  “But better late than never.”

Marc smiled to himself, suddenly remembering the thought he’d had when he’d caught a glimpse of John through the peephole.  It hadn’t been his high school crush Jason had reminded him of, it had been John.  He was such an idiot for never seeing that, never realizing that it had been John he’d wanted all along.

“Jason is going to be so disappointed,” Marc said with a wry smile.

John’s eyes narrowed.  “Maybe I’ll have to put a ring on your finger to show him you’re taken.”

Marc felt his heart stutter in his chest at the unexpected words.  “Are you serious … but we just—”

John stopped his words with a finger against his lips.  “Maybe not yet.  But someday.”

“You really go from nothing to everything, don’t you?”

“I suppose.  Might take me another twenty years though.”

“I can wait.”

Happy Birthday, Jordan

Of the people I’ve written short stories for, Jordan is the one I’ve known the least amount of time.  That being said, he’s been an incredibly inspiring person.  He’s passionate about equality and rights for the LBGT community and isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

I spoke with Les, one of his very close friends, and she helped me brainstorm some ideas for this story.  I googled a few things and found some inspiration pictures to use.  Two  men holding hands, a Ferris wheel, and a compass rose tattoo.

Image

The story wasn’t quite what I originally planned, but your outspokenness wove its way into the plot.  It took on a life of its own, like they do sometimes, but I sincerely hope you enjoy it, Jordan.

Image

Finding North

Danny wrapped his fingers around Ben’s narrow hips, pulling his boyfriend a little closer.  He rested his chin on Ben’s shoulder and sighed, impatient already.  He hated waiting in line, but Ben really wanted to go on the Ferris wheel and he couldn’t deny Ben anything when he pouted like that.

“I can feel you fidgeting,” Ben muttered.

Danny let out a huff of laughter. “Yeah.  You know me.”

“I do, baby.  You have the attention span of a squirrel on speed.”

“Asshole,” Danny countered.

Ben turned his head, his shaggy blond hair brushing Danny’s cheek.  “Your asshole.”

Danny snorted. “I feel like there’s a bad pun in there somewhere.”

“There always is.”

Just because he knew it drove Ben nuts, he leaned forward and licked his ear.  Ben shrieked and swatted at Danny, but he was laughing as he bent his head to the side and wiped his ear off on the soft flannel of his shirt.  “Gross,” he muttered.

Danny chuckled.  “C’mere, baby.”

Ben narrowed his blue eyes at Danny and shook his head, his lower lip sticking out in a bit of a pout.  “You’re kidding me.  You lick my ear and then you want to cuddle?”

Danny caught sight of a couple standing off to their right who were laughing at their antics, grateful that everyone around them seemed amused rather than disapproving.  Sometimes,  Danny forgot that the whole world wasn’t like their friends and his own parents. They’d had a few unpleasant reminders of that fact, but it seemed like tonight at least, they’d have some peace.   He grabbed Ben’s hand and tugged his boyfriend back against him.  “Come here. I promise I won’t lick your ear again.”

Ben huffed but wound his arms around Danny’s neck anyway, leaning in to speak in his ear. “I can think of somewhere better for you to lick.”  He ended that dirty little suggestion with a sharp stinging bite to the ear that made Danny shudder.

“Tease,” he grumbled.

Ben responded with a raised eyebrow and a cock of the chin that never failed to make Danny laugh.  Ben liked to tease, and when he was feeling especially good, he tended to adopt a playful, campy attitude.  He’d been a lot more reserved when they first met, the pain from his past dulling the real Ben.

Danny’s coming out had been easy enough.  His parents were initially surprised and slightly bewildered, but they were supportive.  His father had bought out the entire self-help section of Barnes and Noble aimed at heterosexual parents who wanted to support LGBT children, and his mother promptly joined PFLAG.  Although their support was often downright embarrassing—he could have lived his whole life never discussing rimming with either of his parents—he was grateful.  Ben hadn’t been so lucky when his parents found out he was gay.  They had been emotionally abusive to begin with and had broken his nose, arm, and leg when he came out to them.  The best thing they’d done for him was kick him out of the house.  He’d ended up moving across the country to stay with an older cousin who just happened to live in the same town as Danny.  They’d met shortly after that, and they had been inseparable since.

Now both twenty-three, they were living together in a little apartment.  Danny worked at a local radio station while he went to school for broadcasting, and Ben worked as a cook at a diner while he worked on his GED.  Their life together was certainly nothing like he’d imagined when they were both seventeen, nervous and awkward, fumbling in the backseat of Danny’s beat-up car.   They were just horny teenagers discovering sex together.  They never dreamed love was what they’d find.

The line moved forward again, and Ben and Danny found themselves at the front.  Fingers hooked together, they stood there in silence, mesmerized by the bright lights as they spun round and round.  Danny glanced over at Ben and frowned at the melancholy expression on his face.  “What’s wrong?” he murmured.

“Just reminded me of something from when I was little.”  A shadow crossed his face.  “Mom took me to the fair.”

Danny swallowed, his heart aching for the man beside him.  Ben might have moved forward, but there was always a small part of him that hadn’t quite healed from his parents’ horrible reaction to his coming out.  As far as Danny was concerned, they were monsters, but the pain lingered for Ben.

“One of the few good memories I have,” Ben said quietly.

Danny nodded.  “Well, let’s add some more tonight.  What else do you want to do after the Ferris wheel?”

Ben’s face brightened as he begged for a corn dog, a ride on one of the rides guaranteed to make Danny nauseous, and for Danny to win him a stuffed animal at one of the carnival games.  Danny groaned, he hated all three of those things, but the brilliant smile on Ben’s face was impossible to resist.  Ben lit up when he was happy, his eager enthusiasm pulling everyone along in his wake behind him. “Sure, baby,” Danny promised.

When their turn came, they settled into the gently swaying seats of the Ferris wheel, Danny’s arm closing around Ben’s shoulders as he snuggled close.

The wind ruffled Danny’s hair as the Ferris wheel rose.  The heat of the day had dissipated, and the cooler breeze felt nice.  When the wheel reached the top he could see out over the whole fair.  Lights glittered in the darkening night, the sunset a deep, red-purple, the edges bleeding into black.  He turned to look at Ben who was giving him the smile that always made Danny weak in the knees. “Thanks.”

“For what?” Danny leaned in, brushing his lips against Ben’s.  “Waiting in line so you could ride the Ferris wheel?”

“Yeah, that, but for the rest of it.  Being there for me when things got so hard.”  Ben rested his head on Danny’s shoulder, and Danny tightened his arm around his boyfriend.

Things had been hard for Ben.  He’d struggled with depression for years; some days it was so bad he could barely get out of bed.  Danny had stuck by him through it.  He wasn’t going to lie, it was hard.  There had been days he’d thought about walking away, but he couldn’t imagine his life without Ben.  Living without his sweet smile, without the familiar scent of the skin in the crook of his neck, without the sigh he always let out when Danny pushed inside him, was unimaginable.

His life might be easier without Ben in it, but it certainly wouldn’t be better.  Ben had been there for him as well.  When Nancy, Ben’s mother, had been in a car accident and Danny had been terrified he’d lose her, Ben had been there to support Danny and his father, Jack. Hell, Jack had cried on Ben’s shoulder, terrified he was going to lose his wife of twenty-seven years.  Ben had been there through her slow, painful rehabilitation and that following year had cemented their relationship.  Whatever rough times they’d had, they were both in it for the long haul now.

“I fucking love you, Benji,” Danny said hoarsely, pulling him closer and kissing the top of his head.

“You know I hate that nickname,” Ben muttered, but he snuggled closer to Danny anyway.

“Yeah, I know.”  Danny grabbed Ben’s chin and turned his head, capturing his lips in a kiss.  Ben still tasted like the elephant ear he’d devoured earlier, like cinnamon and sugar.  He pressed his forehead against Ben’s for a moment.  As much as he rolled his eyes at Ben’s child-like excitement about the fair, it was fun to see it through his eyes.  Danny never regretted indulging Ben’s whims.  And he couldn’t lie, kissing on top of a Ferris wheel was pretty damn romantic.  Up in the air it was quiet, far from the din of rides and games, the excited shrieks of children, and the chatter of the adults.  It felt private, like their own little glimpse of heaven.  He shivered and he wasn’t sure if it was from the cool breeze or the moment.

When the Ferris wheel stopped and they stepped out of the car, Ben pulled Danny along the midway.  Danny managed to convince Ben to go on the stomach-churning ride before they ate corn dogs, and gulped down a frozen Coke after, hoping the icy drink would keep him from yakking all over his boyfriend’s shoes.  They spent a while wandering through the animal barns, Ben cooing at every furry creature there.  Danny groaned, half-terrified they’d somehow end up with even more pets than they already had; two dogs and three cats was plenty, but Ben was a softy for injured and abandoned animals.  At least the ones at the fair were well-treated, so Ben didn’t have that as an excuse.

Eventually, they wound up at one of the ring toss booths.  Danny spent an obscene amount of money, but he finally managed to win Ben an obnoxiously large stuffed gorilla.

“Oh my God,” Ben gushed.  “I can’t believe you won this for me.  I am going to sleep with it every night.”  Danny laughed quietly and shook his head, knowing that Ben would end up shoving it off the bed every night like he did with his pillows.  Instead he’d clutch Danny in his sleep, narrow arms wrapped around him like he was terrified the other man would disappear in his sleep.  As much as Danny hated that Ben needed that kind of reassurance still, he loved that he could be there for him.  He’d grown used to the tight grip of Ben’s arms, the feel of his cheek pressed to Danny’s shoulder, and his breath warm against his neck.

Danny was just about to ask Ben if there was anything else he wanted to do before they went home when a loud voice shattered their peaceful night.  “Isn’t that sweet?  You won a big stuffed animal for your bitch.  Oh, wait, I’m sorry, is that your girlfriend?  I wouldn’t want to be politically incorrect.”

Danny gritted his teeth together, wrapped a protective arm around Ben, and turned to face the asshole who’d spoken.  There was a small crowd of people around, and the man who spoke appeared innocuous enough, he wasn’t the redneck in the John Deere cap, or the one who looked like he hadn’t bothered to bathe after mucking out a barn.  Just your average, ordinary asshole.

“I won this for my boyfriend, yeah.  And you owe him an apology,” Danny snarled.

The man was clearly trying to bait Danny.  Ben might carry himself a little more delicately, and he certainly had a slighter build than Danny did.  Sure, Danny’s square features, dark hair and eyes, and heavy stubble made him look older and tougher than Ben, but they were dressed similarly in jeans and flannels.  Nothing about Ben looked feminine.   No, the man just wanted to get a reaction from Danny, and damn it, he was having a hard time not giving the asshole one.

He heard a low growl from Ben, who shoved the gorilla at Danny and squared off with the guy, arms crossed over his chest.  Ben might be skinny, but he was a lot tougher than he looked.  “So, you think that because we’re a gay couple, one of us must be the bitch, right?  And clearly, you’ve decided that’s me.”

The man scoffed.  “Come on, like it isn’t obvious which one of you takes it up the ass?  Everyone knows you’re the woman.”

Ben arched a brow at him.  “First of all, I’d like to know what right you think you have to ever ask someone a question like that.  Do you see me inquiring about your sex life?  I don’t think so.  Besides, I’ve had my cock in his ass just as often.  I may not be your idea of what a man is, but trust me, he knows I’m all man.”

“I’m just saying it’s unnatural,” the man spat back.  “You should be praying to God you’ll see the truth before He punishes you.”

Ben’s face went white and his hands clenched into fists at his side.  “Do you know who the last person was who said something like that to me?”

Danny’s stomach lurched, knowing he was referring to his asshole of a father.  He clenched his jaw; it was a struggle not stepping in, but he held back, knowing Ben could handle himself and that he needed to let him fight his own battles.  He’d be there waiting though, if Ben needed him after.

The man sneered at him and Ben continued.  “It was my father.  Before he split my lip, broke my nose, and pushed me down the stairs. Before he made me crawl out the door with a broken leg and arm, making me swear I’d never come back.  He’s the one who deserves to be punished, not me.”

Ben yanked at the cuff of his flannel, ripping off the button in the process as he pulled it up his forearm and turned his hand so his palm was up.  Danny knew the man could clearly see the shiny white patch of scars covering his arm where surgeons had placed the pin to repair the break.  He cocked his head when he saw the white gauze covering Ben’s forearm.  That was new though.

“You think God is going to punish me for loving someone?” Ben continued.  “Just because he’s a man?  That man over there has loved me more than anyone else in my life ever has.  He’s stood by me through the kind of hell you can’t even imagine.”

Ben ripped away the taped-on gauze, not even flinching as it pulled at his skin and hair before coming away.  Danny stepped forward, gazing at the tattoo underneath.  It was red, clearly new, and Danny couldn’t believe Ben had kept it a secret from him.  Danny’s eyes traced the mark, the sight of the compass rose made his heart feel so full.  “Your north,” he whispered.  It was something Ben had called him for years.

Ben glanced over at Danny and nodded once before he met the man’s gaze, unflinching.  “He’s pulled me out of hell and back.  He’s the love of my life and the man I plan to spend the rest of my life with.  He’s my north; without him, I’d be lost.”  He leaned in, his voice dropping.  “I suggest that the next time you feel the need to make bigoted comments about a gay couple, you think twice.  I’d happily be called his bitch any day of the week if it meant being with him, but you’re wrong.  We’re partners, equals.  You’re a bigoted asshole; I can’t change that, but don’t you dare tell me that my relationship isn’t every bit as important to me as yours is to you.  If I could marry this man today, I would, but people like you have stopped that from happening.”

Ben’s voice cracked.  “People like you are why so many gay kids are homeless, why I’ve lost friends to depression, drugs, and suicide; you’re why people have to hide who they are.  I hope you feel good about yourself.  All I wanted to do tonight was have a nice night with the person I love, is that too much to ask?”

He glanced around the crowd defiantly, and Danny stepped forward, wrapping an arm around Ben’s waist.  The man had the courtesy to look ashamed, and he slunk away without another word.  The crowd that had gathered around them was silent for a long moment, and then someone began to clap.  It was hesitant at first, a lone pair of hands applauding, but then it grew, the crowd joining in.

Ben turned his head into Danny’s neck.  He wasn’t embarrassed, but he wasn’t really used to that kind of attention either.  The applause died down after a few moments, but people stepped forward, quietly thanking Ben, or telling him how much his speech had affected them.  Danny felt a surge of pride for the quiet, timid boy he’d met six years prior who was now strong enough to stand up for what he believed in, to face down the bullies and haters, to proudly proclaim his love for Danny in front of a crowd of people.

Eventually, they escaped the crowd, hurrying toward their car, needing to be alone.  Ben was silent on the drive home, but he didn’t seem upset, mostly quiet and contemplative.  Danny threaded their fingers together and lifted their joined hands to his mouth, kissing the back of Ben’s hand.

Back at their apartment, Danny made love to Ben.  Stretched naked on the bed, Danny let his lips trail from Ben’s mouth and down over his collarbone.  Ben laughed, squirming as Danny licked his skin, and chuckled to himself; Ben was very ticklish.  Ben’s laughter turned into moans when Danny reached his very sensitive nipples and the moans grew loud when Danny’s mouth wrapped around his cock.  It was slow and teasing at first, and Ben continued to squirm under his touch.  Danny prepped Ben just as slowly, opening him up just as gently as he had the first time.  He brushed his cheek against Ben’s thigh, feeling the soft tickle of the hair there.  Danny sucked him more deeply when Ben’s fingers buried in Danny’s thick hair.

“Stop, stop,” Ben begged after a while.  He was panting and sweat coated his chest, his hair damp against his forehead.

Danny released Ben’s cock with a quiet, wet pop and walked his way up Ben’s body on his hands and knees.  Kneeling astride Ben’s thigh he slicked his cock and then leaned down for a kiss.  Ben’s lips and tongue kissed him back greedily, his hands grasping at Danny.

Danny smiled against Ben’s lip when Ben let out a familiar sigh as he pushed inside him.  “Love that sound you make,” he murmured, pushing all the way inside.  Ben grasped Danny’s body, pulling him even more tightly to him.  Danny felt the other man’s heels dig into the back of his thighs, and he gasped when he began to move.  He dropped his head, his temple pressing against Ben’s.  Danny could feel Ben’s breath against his cheek and the damp slide of their skin together.

Unable to hold out any longer, Danny urged Ben to come.  After a few deep, hard thrusts, Ben threw his head back, his shoulders and neck tensing with the pleasure.  Danny dropped to his elbows, burying his head against Ben’s neck, his entire body going rigid with pleasure as he came inside his lover.

The strength left his body, and he collapsed onto Ben.  Tangled together in a sweaty, messy heap of limbs on the soft blue sheets, they held each other tightly.

Danny gently traced the unmarked skin just under Ben’s fresh tattoo.  “I can’t believe you got this,” he said reverently.

“That wasn’t how I planned to show it to you.  I was going to do it tonight after we got home.  When we were alone.”  Ben frowned, clearly disappointed.

“It doesn’t matter,” Danny reassured him.  “I just can’t believe you got it.  What made you decide to do that?”

Ben shrugged.  “I wanted you inked onto me.  I realized I have all of these tattoos with meaning on me, but none that are specifically for you.”

Danny nodded.  Ben had amassed an impressive collection of ink in the last few years and he was honored that Ben would carry that mark around with him for the rest of his life.  “Why today?”

Ben blushed and it made Danny smile; he didn’t do it often.  “It’s dumb.”

“C’mon, tell me,” Danny coaxed.

“It’s the anniversary of the first time you kissed me.”

Danny shifted on the bed, pulling Ben closer.  “Oh, baby, I can’t believe you remembered the date.”  He laughed softly.  “I sure as hell didn’t.”

Ben shrugged.  “It was a big deal to me.  You were the first person who saw me.  Not the scars, not the fucked up kid I was, but the real me.  You kissed me, and I knew I’d found where I was supposed to go.  Who I was supposed to be.”

Danny blinked back tears.  It wasn’t the first time he’d cried in front of his boyfriend and it wouldn’t be the last.  “I’m so fucking proud of you for tonight.”

Ben shrugged.  “I was just doing what was right.  He probably won’t learn anything from it, but you heard some of the other people there, I changed some of their minds, made them see things differently.  It was worth it for that.”

“You’re amazing,” Danny insisted.

Ben flushed and turned over, brushing Danny’s hair out of his eyes.  “I think I want to get involved at the shelter, or with a group for gay teenagers or something.  I feel like I need to be a part of it.”

“Okay,” Danny agreed.

“Just like that?”

“Just like that.  It’s important to you,” he said simply.  “Maybe I’ll come, too.”

“You’ve never been the joining type.”

Danny shrugged.  “Maybe not, but this is important.  Speaking up, getting involved, it’s the only way things are going to change.  We’re lucky, we have each other, but not everyone has that.  I don’t like the thought of what would have happened if it wasn’t for your cousin, if we’d never found each other.  I have nightmares about it sometimes, thinking of you alone on the streets.”

Ben squeezed him tighter.  “I know.”  He kissed Danny slowly and sweetly before sighing and touching his forehead to Danny’s.  “Love you.”

“I love you, too.”  Danny’s voice grew husky, wondering if he should get a matching compass tattoo.  “You know, you’re my north, too.  I’d be just as lost without you.”

 

Happy Birthday, Viv!

Another one of my very favorite people has a birthday. Today is my online wife’s birthday, and this one I’ve been planning for a while.  I’ve had a plot idea brewing in my head for a long time now, and the moment I decided to do write something for Viv, I knew I had to go with it. 

So, with the help of Karen, and my ever-fabulous editor, Sally, I give you, “Dirty, Anonymous.” Here’s some kink for you, hope you enjoy it, wife! *smooches*

 

Image 

Dirty, Anonymous

If you looked out your window and saw a man masturbating, what would you do?  Would you look away and close the curtains?  Or would you stay and watch?

My decision to stay and watch changed everything.  Five weeks later, I couldn’t look out the window without getting hard.  I couldn’t hear my phone vibrate without getting hard.  I couldn’t think of his rough, husky voice without getting hard.

~

 

The first time I saw him I was on my way home from a gig, flushed and amped up from playing.  I lived in a loft apartment, a converted warehouse in a neighborhood just this side of sketchy.  I usually went out with the guys in the band immediately after a gig, but I’d left my wallet at home in my rush to get out the door. 

I didn’t even bother to flip on the lights in my place when I entered, knowing exactly where I’d left it.  The yellow glow of the light pollution from the city streamed through the dirty windows, allowing me to navigate through my spartan apartment to the bed against the far wall.  I grabbed the jeans I’d dumped on the floor next to the bed and dug through them, finding my wallet just where I’d left it.  I shoved it into my pocket, tossed my guitar case on the bed, and made my way back toward the door. 

Something caught my attention—movement, or a change in light, I wasn’t really sure which—and I peered out my window at the apartment facing mine.  The U-shape of the building allowed me to see into other apartments.  The piss-poor job the previous tenants had done hanging blinds to cover the massive windows usually meant that I was too lazy to bother to put them down, not giving a fuck if my neighbors saw me or not.   Usually, I didn’t give a fuck about looking at them, either.  The apartment across from mine was lit up, and a gap in the curtains showed the naked body of a man.

I stopped in my tracks, mouth going dry at the sight of him.  It wasn’t his hand on his cock or even his naked chest I saw first.  It was his throat—head thrown back, muscles straining, jaw clenching tightly—that I noticed.  Of course, it wasn’t hard to guess what was happening, so my eyes quickly dropped to his cock, watching as his hand flew over it, his fist moving in rough, choppy strokes.  Just a few moments later, he came, and I watched as his body jerked and shuddered.

My hand drifted down, gripping my own cock through the rough fabric of my jeans and squeezing.  I was always worked up after a show—performing made me horny—and watching the brief display my neighbor put on had me aching.  I unzipped my jeans, pulling my dick out, suddenly really fucking grateful that I’d been too lazy to do laundry and was going commando tonight.  My dick was in my hand, heavy and leaking already, and a quick lick of my palm slicked it enough.  The rough friction made me moan as I jerked my cock, imagining the man across the courtyard.  I came fast and hard, come dripping from my fingers as I staggered back toward the couch.  By the time I caught my breath—a little shocked by the force of my orgasm—the man was gone and the lights were out.

Disappointed, I went to clean up and then collapsed onto my bed.  Earlier, I’d had every intention of going to the bar and picking up the first person—male or female—who was interested in me.  That was my usual M.O., but sated by the quick and dirty orgasm, it felt like too damn much effort.  Instead, I texted my bandmates that I wasn’t going to be there, stripped out of my clothes, and passed out.

For the next few weeks, I watched for the man in the apartment across from mine, but I didn’t see him again.  Late, late one night, after a gig and a really unsatisfying fuck with a groupie, I staggered home drunk.  I stripped out of my clothing, turned on the lamp beside the couch, and thought about the man in the apartment across from me. 

I had no idea if he—or anyone else for that matter—was watching, but I put on a show anyway.  Sure, I ran the risk of someone seeing my display and calling the cops on me, but wasn’t that half the fun?  I’d spent a few nights in jail before for barroom brawls and a drunk and disorderly charge, and I liked the thought of someone watching me.  

I was a twenty-four year old guitar player in a pretty decent punk band and had never had a single bit of trouble finding someone to fuck.  Sex was starting to bore me though.  I was bisexual and pretty much open to trying anything.  Male, female, I didn’t care, and the kinkier the better.  My band had gone on tour the previous summer, opening for a better-known band, and the number of groupies we’d pulled in was unreal.  There was little room on the tour bus for modesty, and I’d grown rather used to fucking with an audience.  The problem was, I’d done just about everything except for some really hardcore kink, and there wasn’t a hell of a lot that got my heart racing.

I’d done anyone and everything, and although I was careful enough to be sure that I didn’t pick up anything nasty, I knew I was getting riskier and riskier.  Sure, I drank, smoked, and dabbled in a few drugs if I got bored enough, but it was sex I really wanted the thrill from.

I craved it.    

Standing stark naked, my body on display for anyone to see, sent a sharp jolt of arousal through me that had been missing for a while now.  I closed my eyes, ran my hands across my body, and grabbed my cock, roughly gripping it for a moment as I rolled my balls in my palm. 

Although I was hoping someone was watching, I didn’t spend a lot of time on teasing myself.  This time I did have actual lube, and after slicking my palm and then my cock, I began.  Jerking off itself was boring as shit, but the thought of someone watching me like I’d watched the guy across the courtyard made it so much better.  I came with a hoarse grunt, my eyes glued on the dark apartment across from mine.  Still naked, with come covering my stomach and hand, I stepped closer to my window, peering out, hoping to see him again.

I repeated the show several times over the next weeks and finally, one night, I saw the light in his apartment click on as I finished.  Still panting, I staggered to the window and stared at him.  He was standing by his own window, wearing a snug pair of leather pants and nothing else.  He looked taller than me, and although narrow-hipped he had broad shoulders, and something about the way he stood made him seem imposing.  He was older than I was, maybe in his early thirties, and in fantastic shape.  I licked my lips at the sight of the tattoos that covered his right arm, and the one over his left pec.  His hair was short, shorn on both sides and left longish on top in a casual, messy Mohawk.  Angular, sculpted features contrasted with the stubble on his jaw, and his gaze was so intense that it pinned me in place, made me freeze as his eyes locked on mine.

He waited a moment and then lifted his hand, pressing a sheet of white paper with clear, black lettering against the window.  It read, I want your number.

I didn’t hesitate, didn’t think twice about it; my heart racing, I dug through my desk, finally finding a Sharpie in the scattered mess of papers and swiping my phone from the table, too.  My nerves faded a little as I focused on writing my number legibly.  I could hear the squeak of the marker against the glass and the pungent smell of it as I struggled to write it backwards and large enough for him to see clearly.

Even though I was expecting it, I still jumped when my phone buzzed in my hand.  I cleared my throat three times before I accepted the call and brought the phone to my ear. 

He spoke first, his voice calm and relaxed, firm and sure.  “Hello.”

“Hey.” My own voice was raspy, a little choked sounding.

He chuckled, but rather than setting me on edge, it relaxed me, sent a warm jolt of arousal through me.  “I enjoyed your show.” I closed my eyes for a moment, almost forgetting that he could see me.  “Did you enjoy mine a few weeks ago?”

“Yes.  Fuck, that was hot,” I confessed.  I opened my eyes and stepped closer to the window again.  I could see his wolfish smile, despite the distance between our apartments. 

“I want you to jerk off for me again.  Will you do that for me?”

My mouth went dry.  Jesus, there was something about his voice, so sure, so commanding.  I didn’t hesitate.  “Yes.”

His voice grew lower, deeper.  “Will you do everything I tell you to?”

I groaned, my hand automatically going to my cock to palm it.  “Yes.”

And so it began.  He called me almost nightly, and I found myself going out less and less after gigs, wanting to be ready for his call.  When the light by the window came on, it was a signal that I was available and he only kept me waiting a few times.  When he did, I was always so worked up I came even harder, and I’d catch a smirk on his lips as if he enjoyed teasing me immensely. 

He had me buying sex toys and using them while he watched.  He dragged every fantasy out of me that I’d ever had, and then found a few more: bondage, being spanked, and a particularly dirty, secret desire I had about a man grabbing me, blindfolding me, and having his way with me, without me ever seeing him.  All of my secrets spilled out, and I kept hoping he’d tell me he wanted to meet, fulfill those fantasies for me in person, but he never did.  He just teased me on the phone.  I wasn’t even fucking groupies anymore—or anyone else for that matter—I was way too damn wrapped up in him.  I didn’t even know his name, he didn’t know mine, but he owned me. 

Almost five weeks to the day this had started, I warned him I was going to be late getting home the next night.  We had a gig a couple of hours away, and it would probably be closer to early morning before I made it back.  He nodded and shrugged.  “I’m not going to be around anyway.  I have plans.”

He didn’t elaborate, and I didn’t ask.  By now, I knew better than to ask, any time I asked any sort of personal question, he brushed it off and ignored me.  The hot, tattooed man who lived across from me was a mystery, but a part of me had to admit that I liked that.  That was what made this so dirty, so hot.  It was why I wasn’t feeling jaded and bored anymore. It was the reason I belonged to him.

After the show the next night, I helped the band pack up their gear. Most of the guys were going to stay and pick up whatever tail they could get their hands on, but I’d volunteered to help our bassist drive the van with our gear back home.  He was married and wasn’t interested in screwing around. I was just too busy thinking about the man who owned me.

Although he’d told me he wasn’t going to be around that night, I couldn’t help but hope I’d see him.  Even a glimpse of him. 

“You’re restless tonight,” the bassist commented to me about halfway through the ride home. 

Pulled out of my thoughts, I stared at him blankly for a moment.  “Huh?”

“You seem restless.  Actually, you’ve been weird in general, dude, and I can’t think of the last time you picked up someone.”

I nodded, unsurprised that he’d noticed.  “Yeah.”

“You dating someone or something?”

I snorted.  “Dating?  No, not even close.”

“But there is someone?”

“Something like that,” I muttered, playing with the rings on my fingers.  The black nail polish I’d put on for the show was nearly picked off by the time I got dropped off at home, and I was distracted and edgy as I grabbed my guitar and headed into my building.

Maybe it was that distraction that had me not paying attention to my surroundings as I dug in my pants for the keys to my apartment, maybe it was disappointment knowing that my neighbor wouldn’t be standing in his window waiting for me.  Whatever it was, I never saw the man coming.  One minute I’d fished the keys out, and the next I was slammed flat up against my door with a muffled gasp.  The keys were out of my hand and both arms were bent behind me and held in a firm grip before I even knew what was going on. 

My heart hammered in my chest, terror making me struggle against the tight hold.  A voice spoke low in my ear.  “I told you I had plans tonight.  Now, are you going to be a good boy and behave for me?”

I went still immediately, the husky, commanding voice that I’d been hearing on the phone more familiar to me than any other in the world.  I couldn’t have told you what my mother’s voice sounded like, but his I knew.  I closed my eyes, panting harshly as I rested my forehead against the door.  I opened my mouth to speak, but I couldn’t force the words out, all I could do was nod. 

“Good.  Stay still.” With quick, deft movements, he had a soft piece of fabric wrapped around my eyes and had unlocked my apartment door before I even knew what was happening.  He nudged me forward, and I walked blindly, his hand on my crossed forearms the only thing guiding me.  The blindfold was so effective that although I heard the light turn on, I couldn’t see a thing.  The door closed behind me with a muted thud.

The good thing about a loft was that even from the doorway you could see every part of the apartment, and when he steered me to the left, my heart rate picked up, knowing he was taking me toward the bed.  My toes hit the bottom of the mattress sooner than I expected, and I would have pitched forward if not for his tight grip on me. 

“Now,” he spoke softly,  “I’m giving you a chance.  If you want out of this, tell me.  One word and I’ll leave.  Or, I can stay, and make one of those kinky fantasies you’ve described to me come true.  What will it be?”

“Stay,” I croaked.  I was hard in my jeans, feverish and eager for this.  For him

 He chuckled lowly.  “Good boy.  I was hoping you’d say that.”

I flushed, not really understanding how a single word of praise from him could make me feel so damn good. 

He didn’t speak again, just let go of my arms.  I let them fall to my sides, waiting.  His hands were sure and steady as they worked my shirt off my torso, and before I could blink, he had it twisted around my forearms, holding my arms immobile.  I was helpless, and if the way my cock was throbbing was any indication, I really fucking liked it.  Somehow, he got me out of my boots and jeans, and then I was naked and blindfolded, restrained and helpless in front of him. 

He stepped closer to me, and I felt the heat of his body against mine.  His clothes brushed my bare skin, and that only made me harder, knowing he was fully dressed while I was naked.   I jumped when he finally spoke.  “I’ve been watching you for a lot longer than you ever realized.”

I licked my lips, trying to force my dry mouth to make words, but he continued on like he wasn’t expecting me to continue.  His hands began to run across my bare torso as he spoke.  “I watched you move into this place, watched you fuck the ridiculous little groupies, and watched how they bored you.”

Suddenly, his fingers buried themselves in my hair, gripping hard.  I could feel his breath, hot against my bare neck, and I whimpered.  “This whole time you’ve been wanting more, haven’t you?”

I nodded, my head going fuzzy with need for him.  “I think you’ve been waiting for me.  Waiting for me to show you just how good it can be.”

Jerkily, I nodded again, even though the movement pulled sharply at my hair, still in his grip.  Abruptly, he bent me forward, and I shuffled awkwardly onto the mattress on my knees, struggling to balance.  He lowered my torso to the bed, and with my arms still pinned behind me, I had to rest on my shoulders and chest, my head turned to the side. 

With my ass in the air, I felt vulnerable, exposed, but rather than the awkward, discomfort that it should bring, it made me shiver in anticipation.  He stepped away from me, and I heard his quiet footfalls as he walked around the bed.  “I’ve watched you for so long, I know where everything I need is.”  A drawer slid open.  “For example, your condoms and lube are right here.  Do you want me to use them on you?”

“Yes,” I choked out.

The footsteps returned to the spot behind me, and I heard him chuckle.  “You don’t really talk a whole lot, do you?  I know you can, I’ve heard you telling me your every dirty little fantasy.  So that must mean you’re too excited about what’s going to happen tonight.”

He slapped my ass, and a quick, stinging pain spread across my right ass cheek.  I grunted and heard him chuckle again.  “Oh, you are going to be fun, boy.  And tonight, I think I like the idea of you not talking.  You stay quiet while I have my way with you.”

I nodded and took a deep breath, bracing myself for whatever was to come.  There were few things I wasn’t willing to do—he’d had me tell him what they were over the phone—and strangely enough, I trusted him.  Turning my fantasies over to him felt like the most natural thing in the world.

His hands were more purposeful now as they roamed over my body.  Behind the blindfold, I closed my eyes and let it all wash over me.  Letting go was easy; he touched and I responded.  His slick fingers pressed inside me, opened me up, and readied me for him.  I was shaking by the time his cock pushed into me, the only thing anchoring me was the tight grip of his hands on my hips.  His hard, steady strokes had me gritting my teeth until my jaw clenched.  My cock was hard and leaking as it bounced against my stomach with every thrust inside me.

“Your ass is every bit as good as I imagined,” he said.  I would have thought he was totally unaffected by what we were doing, but there was a small tremor in his voice at the end.  My breath hitched when his thumbs spread my cheeks.  I could almost feel his gaze on me.  “My dick looks so good inside you.  I almost wish you could see it.”

With every word he spoke, I could feel myself growing harder, my balls drawing up, pleasure coiling my belly, and the urge to come getting stronger and stronger.  I hated not being able to jerk off while he fucked me, and for a moment, I struggled against the shirt that bound my arms together.  One hand on the middle of my back calmed me, his warm palm just resting there.  He leaned forward, his chest covering my back.  “What do you need?” he asked huskily.

“Hand on my cock,” I gritted out.  “I need to come.”

“You can’t have a hand on your cock.  I want you to come without it.  You’re going to come with just my dick in your ass.”  I felt his breath on the back of my neck, hot and damp.  His teeth grazed the skin there, biting down until it stung.  “And you’re not going to come until I tell you to.  Just like you did over the phone.”

I turned my head to the other side, offering up my neck so he could access it better.  His tongue lapped at the spot he’d just bit down on, and I shuddered.  “You’re mine, boy, and I’m in control of when you come.”

I nodded, my cheek rubbing against the sheets.  I was his, that’s all I needed to remember.  He sat up then, running his blunt nails down my back.  I bucked against him and let out a strangled gasp when the movement made his cock press against my prostate.  He sped up, fucking me harder, pushing my arms against the small of my back with both hands.  I was panting, sweat slicking my skin, my head swimming. 

“Please,” I begged.  “Please, please.”

“You’d do whatever I wanted, wouldn’t you?  Anything to come.”

“Yes,” I gasped.  “Anything.”

“Would you let me film you being fucked?”  I nodded.  “What about letting someone else fuck you?  Someone I wanted to take you?”

“Okay,” I granted, so desperate to come I’d agree to anything. 

“What if we both fucked you at the same time?” he teased, one hand reaching forward to grip my hair hard.  “Him in your mouth, me in your ass?”

I moaned, and that was all the answer he needed.  “You like that thought, don’t you?”  He chuckled and twisted his hand in my hair harder.  “What about both of us in your ass? Filling you so full you’ll feel us in you a week later?”

With a strangled shout, I shuddered, barely stopping myself from coming.  “Oh, you like that,” he grunted.  “You like that a lot.”

He gave me three, hard thrusts and then he leaned forward, speaking lowly in my ear.  “Come on, boy.  Show me how good of a pet you are.  Come for me.  Right. Now.”

Once the words registered, I let go, come spattering against my chest, dripping onto the sheets below me.  “Good boy,” he growled as I shivered under him.  His hips stilled, and I felt his cock jerk inside me, filling the condom.  My head swam, and when he pulled out, I collapsed onto my side.  I was barely coherent enough to realize he was unwinding my shirt from my wrists.  He rolled me onto my stomach and disappeared for a moment.  I heard the sound of the condom being discarded and then the mattress dipped under his weight.  His warm hands rubbed my aching shoulders, easing the tension I was only beginning to become aware of.  My frantic heart rate had slowed, the sweat had cooled, and I was limp and relaxed by the time he was done. 

He leaned down, his lips brushing against my ear.  “You’re such a good boy.  I want you to do one more thing for me, okay?”

I nodded, feeling the heavy pull of sleep already.  “I’m going to take the blindfold off, but I want you to keep your eyes closed until you hear me leave.”

“Okay,” I agreed.

He ran a hand along my back, and I sighed with contentment.  The blindfold disappeared from around my eyes, but I clenched them tightly closed.  He got up to leave, but I blindly groped for him, managing to catch his wrist.  “This isn’t the end, is it?”

He chuckled and loosened my grip on his arm.  Running a hand through my hair, he leaned forward again, brushing his lips against my cheekbone.  “No,” he murmured.  “This is just the beginning.”

Happy Birthday, Jules!

Update: 5/16/14  – With Jules’ permission (because these boys are hers)  Sunburns and Sunsets has been expanded and is now available for purchase.

Apparently everyone I know is born this time of year, because I have another birthday to celebrate. Jules has been a loyal pre-reader for me for years, on both the het stories and the slash. She is a lovely, lovely person and I couldn’t let her birthday go by without writing her a little something.

This gif inspired this short story. I hope you enjoy it, Jules! Happiest of Birthdays to you.

Happy Birthday, Jules!

p.s. And big thanks to Sally who whipped this story into shape in no time.

Sunburns and Sunsets

Happy Birthday, Karen!

To celebrate the birthday of someone who has become a very close friend and writing partner, I wrote a short story.   Life has been crazy for me lately, and it wasn’t until a reminder last night from a mutual friend that I remembered it was Karen’s birthday today. This plot idea has been in my head for a while, and I was able to write a fun little short story for her.  I had help from two other really wonderful people, Jules and Born, and I thank them immensely for the beta work and help with the story title. 

To Karen: Happy Birthday, Gorgeous!  I know how much you love slash and I hope you enjoy Peter and Vince’s story.

Image

Igniting the Embers

Warm arms slid around Vince’s waist and he shivered at the feel of heated breath and soft facial hair against his neck.  “What are you doing out here, baby?” a low voice murmured.

“Just relaxing.”  Vince closed his eyes and sank back against his lover, reveling in the feeling.  It had been months since the two of them had been together like this.  Life had a way of taking over, even when they tried to make time for each other.  They’d been together for seven years and although their relationship was strong, they’d let things slide lately.  Too much taking each other for granted, too much time spent focused on their careers.  Too little time spent together.  They’d taken this trip to Stowe to get back what they’d had before.

To reconnect.

And reconnect they had.  Multiple times, on multiple surfaces of the rustically decorated but luxurious cabin they’d rented for a week.  Vince groaned, remembering the feel of Peter’s thick cock so, so deep inside him the night before.  They’d passed out after, sweaty and sated, covered in lube and their own spunk.  Waking up still a mess had been less than pleasant but Vince couldn’t deny that there were few things better than being wrapped around the man he loved, mess or not.  “I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep,” he explained.  “I took a quick shower and decided to come out here with a cup of coffee so I didn’t wake you.  You looked like you were sleeping so well.”

“I did need the sleep.  You wore me out last night.”  Vince could smell Peter’s body wash; clearly, he’d taken a shower, too.  He imagined his lover with water dripping over him and was suddenly sorry that he hadn’t waited so they could shower together.

“I wore you out?” Vince asked, laughing.  “I beg to differ.  You wore me out.”

Peter chuckled and kissed the back of Vince’s neck, letting his hand slide under Vince’s thin, cotton shirt.  Vince’s skin was chilled from the cool, morning air and he shivered again.  “Are you cold, baby?” Peter asked, concerned.

“Mmm, I guess I’ve been out here a while.”  Vince gestured to the no longer steaming mug of coffee he’d been sipping, now resting on the rough wooden railing of the deck.   It was October and they’d been blessed with perfect fall weather the entire trip.  Cool enough for sweaters and jackets, for cuddling in front of a roaring fire, eating thick beef stew and fresh bread that Peter made, and sleeping under thick down duvets.

Stowe had been Peter’s idea, and Vince had been reluctant at first.  Peter was a country boy who’d grown up on a New Hampshire sheep farm, but Vince was a city boy through and through.  Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he’d eventually settled in Philadelphia, where he’d met Peter.  They both ended up in the city because of their careers, never expecting to build a life there.

Both had planned to move somewhere else after they gained some experience in their respective fields.  However, once they met each other in the small bookstore that adjoined the two neighborhoods they lived in, their plans had changed.  Their relationship had progressed quickly, both men ready to settle down once they met the person they wanted to spend their life with.

Their families got along well, their groups of friends meshed, and the only real bump in their relationship had come in the last year when they’d both become too wrapped up in their careers.  There had been shouting matches and a few nights spent in separate beds, but ultimately, they’d realized that it was time that they got their relationship back on track before they lost what really mattered.  Vince had been the one to propose a trip away, and Peter had enthusiastically suggested Vermont.

Vince wasn’t sold on the idea of a rustic cabin, hiking in the woods, and no television, but Peter’s fervor and the promise of a hot tub had swayed him.  Neither of them had regretted the decision.  Although the cabin looked rustic, it was every bit as luxurious as a hotel, with more amenities than they could ever use in a week.  The couple had even gone into town for several nice dinners and indulged Vince’s need to shop.  They’d found the perfect painting for over the fireplace and a few other knick knacks to decorate the condo they shared.   The men had spent hours relaxing: reading on the leather couch in the living room, playing Scrabble and Chinese checkers, listening to music.  There were mornings lazing in bed, stacks of pancakes eaten in pajamas, a picnic lunch on the trail when they went hiking.  And best of all, a chance to catch up with each other, a chance to show their love.

They’d also indulged in several sexual fantasies they’d discussed over the years, including a frantic blow job Peter had given Vince that had nearly been discovered by hikers.  They’d spent hours and hours making love, kissing leisurely, planning their future together.

It had been a perfect trip.

They’d be leaving the following day and had to go back to work two days after that, so Vince wanted to enjoy the last full day of vacation.

He turned in Peter’s arms, smiling down at him.  At 5’10”, Peter was a few inches shorter than Vince, and he marveled at the way they always seemed to fit just right together.  Peter smiled back, his blue eyes lighting up, his lips parting in anticipation of the kiss to come.  Instead, Vince wrapped himself more tightly around his partner, letting the bridge of his nose skim Peter’s cheek.  He’d grown a beard in the last year—another thing Vince hadn’t been so sure he’d like—but he loved it now.  The golden brown hair was thick and soft, groomed short and neat against Peter’s face.  He looked more rugged now, less like the pretty boy that Vince had fallen in love with.  He’d mellowed, too, no longer the cocky med student he’d been, but a steady, caring pediatrician.

Of course, Vince wasn’t the same awkward boy he’d been then, either.  He’d grown into himself and his looks.  A square jaw, high cheekbones, hazel eyes, and thick brown hair that often fell over his eyes was appealing to plenty of people.  But when he’d met Peter, he’d felt gawky and awkward, unsure of himself.  Peter’s love had helped him become more self-assured and now he carried himself with confidence, both in his career as a political news anchor and as a man.

They’d both changed over the years, physically and mentally, but that was the strength of their relationship.  They’d grown together, changed, and yet they were still solid.  Sure, they needed to work to not let things slide like they had recently, but they were meant to be together, Vince was sure of that.

“Love you,” Vince whispered against Peter’s temple, and Peter sighed, melting into Vince’s body.

“Love you, too.”  Peter turned his head and captured Vince’s lips with his.  The kiss was hot and needy, like they hadn’t fucked until they were both panting, desperate messes, not twelve hours before.  Vince moaned against Peter’s lips, tasting the familiar mint of Peter’s mouthwash and the man himself.

“Take me inside,” Vince said, his voice gritty and hoarse, his cock pushing at the soft blue and white striped fabric of his pajama pants.

Peter’s answering look was heated and promising, and after one last deep kiss, he stepped away.  With shaking fingers, Vince grabbed his coffee mug and followed.  In the cabin, Vince had just enough time to deposit the dish on the kitchen island before Peter took his hand and pulled him toward the bedroom.  Vince’s long legs barely managed to keep up with Peter’s eager strides.

Peter pushed his lover over the bed, running his hands along Vince’s back as he braced himself against the mattress.   “Are you too sore from last night?” he murmured.

Vince shook his head, his cock hardening at the memory of the way his lover had fucked him roughly.  “Not too sore to take you again,” he countered.  “Besides, you know I like it when I can feel it the next day.”

Peter flushed and pressed his cock against Vince’s ass, rutting slowly against the other man.  “Yeah, I know.”

Peter didn’t mind bottoming, but he didn’t revel in it the way Vince did.  They switched, when they were in the mood, and the last few days they had both been feeling pretty versatile.  Right now though, all Peter wanted was to be buried inside the other man.

“Wanna kiss you,” Vince pleaded and stood up, twisting in Peter’s arms so he could press their lips together.  Hungry, desperate kisses led to wandering hands as the men undressed each other.  Peter pressed Vince down onto the sheets, making the man writhe under him when his skillful mouth sucked and licked at his neck.

Vince’s hands grasped Peter’s back, feeling the strength of the muscles bunching under his touch.  Vince was lean and toned from his regular running but Peter lifted weights, and it showed.  He wasn’t bulky, but he had no trouble pinning his lover to the bed when it suited him.  He grinned teasingly down at Vince, who moaned when Peter’s hands wrapped around his wrists.  The playful way he pinned Vince down to the bed made him moan and buck his hips up, his cock rubbing against Peter’s.

The men kissed, rolling to their sides, their bodies twining and twisting together in desperation, as things grew more heated.  Vince reached for the lube they’d left on the bedside table, slicking both their cocks and grasping them both in his long-fingered hand.   Peter panted against Vince’s mouth at the feeling of his cock sliding against his lovers.

Vince watched Peter’s full, parted lips, his thick lashes fluttering against his cheekbones as Vince slowly jacked their cocks.  Their chests were both heaving by the time Peter fumbled for the discarded lube, hitching Vince’s thigh over his so he could reach behind him.

With a gasp, Vince felt his lover’s slick finger sliding between his ass cheeks.  The rhythm of his hand faltered for a moment, but at Peter’s rough, whispered encouragement, he continued.  Peter’s finger pressed more firmly, sliding into him, and he gasped, burying his head against Peter’s neck.   “Oh, God,” he panted.  “More.”

Peter quickly added a second finger, and they both slid in easily.  “You gonna come for me, baby?”  Peter’s hoarse voice and the way he crooked his fingers only ramped up Vince’s need, and he shuddered against him.

“I’m close.”  He closed his eyes and gritted his teeth, pushing gently at Peter’s chest.  “Wait.”

With a groan, Peter let his hand fall to the bed and Vince’s grip on his cock loosened.   Peter pouted at him and Vince laughed, capturing his lips in a quick kiss.  “I want you inside me when I come.”

“Fine, fine,” Peter grumbled, but Vince saw the dimple at the corner of his mouth and gently pushed him to the bed, knowing his lover wasn’t that disappointed.  With another quick slick of lube on Peter’s cock, Vince straddled him, sinking down onto his lover.  He was sore, but his need to have the man he loved inside him trumped any discomfort.  Besides, he liked the idea of still feeling Peter in him as they drove home the next day.   Peter tensed underneath him—it felt too damn good—and Vince ran his hands across his chest and stomach, soothingly.

When Peter was buried inside him, Vince began to move, rising and falling over his cock in a slow, easy rhythm.   The pace was languorous; sweet, easy movements that felt like they could go on without ever stopping.   He leaned back, bracing one palm on Peter’s strong thigh.  With a groan, Peter’s hands slid up over Vince’s hips, caressing his sides.  Vince’s heart stuttered when Peter’s bright blue eyes met his.  The intensity, the love there, hit him square in the chest and he swallowed hard, leaning forward to mesh his mouth with Peter’s, needing to reassure himself that the man wasn’t going anywhere.

When he moved to sit up again, Peter followed, bracing an arm on the bed behind him so they could continue to kiss as Vince rode him.  God, he loved this man.  He was everything to him, and the thought that they’d let their relationship get to the point it had made him cringe.  He kept his eyes closed as Vince rested his forehead against his, wrapping a hand around Peter’s neck.  Slick and tight around his cock, Peter could barely breathe through the need he had for the other man.

“I love you.  God, I love you so fucking much,” he muttered against Vince’s lips.

With a needy whimper, Vince collapsed against his chest, forcing Peter flat on the bed.  He gripped Vince’s ass, holding him tight as he rolled their joined bodies over so Vince was underneath him.   Elbows on the bed, arms hooked under Vince’s, Peter thrust into him again, but this time he was controlling the tempo.  There was a desperation that hadn’t been there before, the very thought of losing the man he’d laughed with, cried with, and loved so fiercely for the last seven years made him crazy.

Vince’s hands threaded through Peter’s hair, and his long legs wrapped around the other man’s hips.   It wasn’t enough, he wanted his entire body to merge with his lover’s, but it would have to do, and the telltale tightening in his groin reminded him that they couldn’t go on like this forever.   “You’re never gonna lose me, okay?” he said, his voice cracking.

“Promise me,” Peter begged roughly.

“I promise.  I’m yours.”

The pace sped up, desperation fueling their need and Vince clutched at Peter, anchoring him as he drove in and out of his body.   With a hoarse cry, Vince came, painting their bellies and chest with white just a scant few moments before Peter spurted into Vince.

They shuddered together and Peter dropped onto Vince’s chest.  Vince winced at the weight, but wrapped his arms tightly around his lover anyway, holding him close.

“Whatever it takes, we’ll make our relationship a priority, right?”

“Absolutely,” Vince promised, meaning every word.  Peter pressed his lips to Vince’s smooth chest and Vince tugged at his arm so they could thread their fingers together.

Half-drifting, drowsy and sated, Peter could feel Vince’s heart beat finally beginning to slow and he sighed, rolling them just enough that it took the weight off Vince’s body.   No longer inside him, he twined their legs together, sighing with contentment.

With a sleepy chuckle, Vince threw the blankets over them, cocooning them in down and soft sheets.

“Marry me.”  The words popped out, unplanned—but not unfelt—and both men paused.  The words had been lingering on both their tongues, but neither had intended to speak them at that moment.

“You mean it?” The other man asked quietly, wanting to be sure.

“I know I want to spend the rest of my life showing you—and the world—how much you mean to me.  Yeah, I do,” the first man replied quietly.

“Yes,” the second said gruffly, carding his fingers through his lover’s thick hair.  Fiancé, he thought with a sleepy smile, remembering the ring box tucked in his own luggage.  “Of course I’ll marry you.”