Galen Frost buys a house and a bait shop in a small Florida town to get away from his life as a semipro football player. When he meets good-time bartender Shane Barton, the heat between them is instant and intense—like the burn of good whiskey.
Galen and Shane don’t have much in common beyond their healthy libidos and their love of a good time, but the intoxicating heat brings them together like rain on the ocean, whipping up a frenzy of weather… good and bad. When trouble blows ashore, they will have to ride out the storm that breaks between them as Galen’s past rears its ugly head.
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Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Tropes: Hurt / Comfort
Word Count: 72,000 Words
Setting: Small Florida Town
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
MAN, THE joint was rocking, the new band loud enough to make the bar mats vibrate all along his legs and up through his balls. Jake and Lee both fucking showed up and were working—Miss Lynn must’ve torn them new assholes after their last little Saturday night stunt. Pricks.
Shane grabbed a bottle of Cuervo and started pouring a round of shots, laughing at Vic’s lame-assed joke about titty bars and avoiding Old Man Roberts’s roving hands, all the time moving to the music, knowing his ass in those jeans in the big mirror behind the bar? Money in the bank, baby.READ MORE
Everybody who was anybody stopped by, chatted him up a second, grinning and trying to talk over the music. Jake kept giving him that “how do you do that,” stupidass, monkey-face look. Shit, he’d been tending bar here for a good long time—since spring break in ’95, just under seven years ago. He’d come down to play with a couple three baby faces from college and sorta got stuck in the sand and the surf and the good life.
He was thinking he’d not go home after his shift tonight. He liked the crowd, liked the band, and got his booze for free. That way he wouldn’t have to deal with that… smell in his apartment.
Whatever the hell it was.
“Can I get a whiskey?” He could hear that voice right through the music, maybe because it had a drawl that wouldn’t quit. Brown eyes, cowboy hat pulled low, and tall enough to lean right over the bar.
“Sure enough. You got a preference to type?” Oh, now, that was fine enough to lick off a spoon.
“I’m not picky. Jack is fine.” Fine and looking right back too. Those sloe eyes went from his face to the mirror behind him and back, not a bit shy.
He flipped the bottle, singing along with the band, distracted by Tall, Fine, and Studly enough that Old Man Roberts managed to sneak a feel of his pecs. “Watch yourself, man. You know the rules—Miss Lynn don’t allow that at the bar.”
“Thanks. He do that a lot?” The fella nodded toward their pervy old fixture, hat dipping.
“Yeah, he tries. Was better when Keith was here. Kid had a nipple ring and kept him busy.” Winking, he pulled the rag from his back pocket and wiped down the bar.
“Well, I can see why he’d be after yours.” Well, now, that was bold as brass and twice as shiny. Shane flexed a little, knowing he managed just fine, even after a full shift and a shitload of beer splashed on him. Lifting his chin, Mr. Brown Eyes looked down the bar, then back at him. “You working all night?”
“Nah. I’m off in—” He craned his neck to see the clock, back popping as he stretched. “—eighteen minutes.”
“Good.” There was a wealth of satisfaction in that single word. “You want to do something when you get off, you come on over to the corner over there.” And the guy was gone, turning and showing him a fine, fine ass in Levi’s on the way.
Fuck, he was easy as “Come to Jesus” in whole notes.
Shane did his side work and got his share of the tips before slipping upstairs. He stripped off his black T-shirt, threw on something whiter and nicer, and grabbed his hat before bebopping back down the stairs. Sure enough, his admirer was right where he said he’d be—sitting in one of the cushy old chairs in the corner farthest from the bar, kicked back, legs spread wide, and feet planted. Watching him.
He resisted the urge to smooth his shirt down, nudging his too-interested prick and tell it to be good. No, he moseyed over, chatting a bit, tipping his hat a little. Looking at Fine and Sexy a lot from under the brim of his hat.
Well, he might have feigned a little disinterest, but there wasn’t any playacting on the other end of that stare. It was like a laser, cutting through the gloom and the smoke and the dance floor lights, just like a physical touch. And fuck if he didn’t head right over, moth to the flame, body buzzing like he’d had a hit of something wacky.
“Hey.” Nodding to the chair next to him, the guy looked him over again, and damn. Obviously the once-over Shane’d gotten at the bar had been restrained, because this one made him feel naked—and half-fucked to boot. He got offered a hand to shake. “I’m Galen.”
“Shane. Pleased.” His own Tennessee upbringing started to show a little, sorta like the heat in his jeans, which was starting to show a lot.
“Yeah. Same here.” They shook hello, Galen holding on to his hand a good bit longer than he ought, which should have been as predictable as Old Man Roberts was, but came off as hot instead. There was something about the press, the slow circle that thumb drew on the heel of his hand, that sent messages straight to his privates. “So is this the best watering hole down this way?”
“Well, I’m thinking so. There’s pricier places, but nowhere you get booze and music and all together. You here for vacation?”
“Nope. I bought Old Man Dewey’s bait shop. He was a friend of my great-uncle’s.”
If he moved a bit closer, his leg would nudge Galen’s knee, and damned if he couldn’t feel the heat of the man, even that far away. “No shit?” He stretched, letting the motion slide them together. “I’ve been down that way a lot.”
“Yeah? It’s right nice.” Galen’s knee nudged his leg, bouncing to the rhythm of the music, sliding suggestively.
His eyes traveled right along the seam of those jeans, following them straight to heaven. “Yeah, buddy.”
Galen grinned, bright and hot. Lord, that was lethal, lighting up Galen’s eyes and putting dimples in the close-cropped little beard. “Wanna go there now?”
“Oh, yeah. I want.” Gotta love a man who didn’t bullshit.
“Well, come on, then.” Galen got up and waited for him, gesturing for him to lead the way out. He stood and headed for the door, knowing those brown eyes were on his ass, feeling them.
Once they got outside, he felt a hand on his ass too, sliding against it gently to turn him the right direction.
Oh, sweet heaven. He swallowed his moan and followed along, the neon sign turning his shirt red and purple. “You don’t want me to follow you in my Jeep?”
“Well, you can. But I’m not planning on being done with you until well into the morning. I can drop you off.” They got to a big diesel pickup at the far end of the lot, and Galen was on him, turning him around and pushing him up against the warm metal of the wheel well. He got a kiss that curled his toes, his hat flying off into the bed of the truck.
He groaned, pushing right into it, heat flooding him. He didn’t back off at all, hands rubbing right up that fine fucking body. Galen was built like a brick shithouse, muscles under his hands bulging. Something else was bulging, and it wasn’t just him—Galen’s hardness pressing against his hip, open long thigh sliding between his legs to press against his own cock, making it rub hard behind his zipper.
He rode that thigh, their teeth clicking together as the kiss lit him afire, burned him down deep. The kiss tasted like whiskey and smoke—and copper suddenly, as someone’s lip split under the pressure of it.
His hands curled into Galen’s shirt, fingers pushing into those hard-as-fuck muscles, hips rocking faster, harder. Shit, they were both gonna go off right there in the parking lot, the way they were going. Galen’s hands slid between him and the truck to cup his ass and lift him, his feet leaving the ground as Galen humped against him. He wrapped one leg around Galen’s waist, boot heel digging into that fine ass.
“Uhn.” That got him a grunt, got him shifted around until his hips were pressed right up against Galen’s, their cocks pushing together through their jeans, and Galen upped the tempo, pounding against him.
“Fuck!” His eyes went wide, balls tight as little stones. “Gonna. Fuck.”
“Yeah. Yeah, now.” Galen’s lips were swollen from kissing him, those dark eyes almost black. “Now.”
It felt like fucking lightning shot through him, cock filling his jeans like he was a virgin under the bleachers with the quarterback.
“Fuck, yeah.” He wasn’t the only one, because Galen’s narrow hips pumped against him, and damned if he couldn’t smell it, sharp and earthy as Galen came against him.
“Damn….” Was this for real? Fucking hell.
“Yeah. That was a nice start.” There was that wide, white grin again, pure devil shining out of those eyes. “You still want your Jeep?”
“No, I’ll ride.” His heart was pounding, and he’d be fucked if he could remember exactly where the fucking Jeep was anyway.
Galen bent and kissed him, licking at the spot on his lip that still throbbed where it had split open. “Yeah. I think you probably will. Come on.”
Brazen asshole. Hot, fine fucking brazen asshole.
He dug in his pocket and found a handkerchief, fetched his hat, then climbed up into the truck and cleaned himself off a little. They rode in silence, the radio seeming loud and cheerful in the odd quiet that followed what they’d done. The bait shop sat a ways out on the strip, far enough to be out in the swamps, and it had a little house behind it. Even in the dark, he could see it had a new coat of paint. Place had been plumb run-down, but it was looking good. Galen parked behind the house and hopped out, then came around to open the door for him.
He slid down, half-jumpy, half-vibrating, and three-quarters horny as hell, which was dumb given the vaguely damp state of his jeans. “You’ve done some work.”
“Figured it was looking sad, and I have the time, you know?” They headed inside, one of Galen’s hands riding the small of his back, just above his ass.
“Yeah.” Well, not really. He worked and partied and slept in the sun. Periodically went home with studs in hats and jeans.
“It’s not much, but it’s home.” They got inside, Galen flipping the light on to show him a diner-style chrome-and-red kitchen. “You want a beer or something?”
“Sure.” He took off his hat, fingers brushing over his crew cut, bristles tickling. “Nice place.”
“Seemed as good as any to settle.” That ass almost gave him a heart attack as Galen bent to pull them out a couple of beers.
He stepped forward, took a quick feel. Only fair, given it was offered up so pretty.
Galen chuckled low, backing out with the beer, rubbing against his hand before straightening. “You like it, huh? ’Cause I gotta tell you, I’m looking forward to seeing yours out of the jeans—it looks so good in them.”
“I like. In fact, I’d be lying if I didn’t say the whole package was right on fine.”
“Well, that’s a good thing. I’m thinking it’s mutual. Come on, we can act civilized for a few seconds and sit on the couch before round two.”
“So long as I’m just acting, I should be fine.” Mmm. Round two. He liked the sound of that, yes, sir.COLLAPSE