Rough Cut

by Kendall Morgan

Football players can be gay, too.

Chris Hodak, a former college football defensive lineman, never came out. He didn't think big, burly football players could be gay, but he also never got over his crush on Rohan Moore, a hunky teammate with whom he had a fumbling make out session one night after a game.

Twenty years after that fateful night, Chris, who is now in his 40s, again meets Rohan, an out and proud big, gay hairy bear who owns a barber shop catering to bears. Rohan is still beautiful but isn't interested in Chris because he hates closet cases. For Chris that spark is still there, and it gets even stronger when he sits in Rohan’s chair for a shave and a haircut. 

In order to get Rohan back, Chris must be braver and tougher than he ever was on any football field.

Rough Cut is the first book in the Bearland Tales series, but each book can stand alone. This gay male contemporary love story includes graphic sex and is intended for adults only.

This book is on:
  • 3 To Be Read lists
  • 1 Currently Reading list
Publisher: Tulabella Ruby Press
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 36-45
Protagonist 2 Age: 36-45
Tropes: Coming Out / Closeted, Coming Out Later in Life, Interracial Relationship, Reunited and it Feels So Good, Second Chances
Word Count: 17000
Setting: Chicago, IL
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters

Chris Hodak was in a good mood. He had fun dining with his younger brother, Dave, and his new wife that evening in their new apartment in one of Chicago’s grittier but increasingly hip neighborhoods. Chris had told his sister-in-law several anecdotes from when they were kids, much to Dave’s chagrin. After leaving them, he drove not to the expressway that would take him back to the suburb where he lived but to another, gayer, neighborhood to get a drink at a bar. Maybe he’d look in at the bathhouse where he’d gotten and given blow jobs several times a few years ago.


As he stepped out of his car, he delighted in what a fine late spring evening it was. He marveled at the number of people out and about as dusk moved in. At this time of day in the suburb he called home, the only people he saw outside were those who were walking their dogs or who had listened to their doctor’s advice that walking was good for their health. And the men! Damn, there were so many of them here! And there were so many types of men, too many to choose from. He paid for parking and started walking. It might be enough for him just to walk around and take in the sight of all these men. He smiled as he remembered that song, the one about it raining men. He hummed it tunelessly as he strolled.

Chris noticed that he was getting quite a few glances. His twenties, when he could take his beautiful body for granted, were behind him, but he had been looking good lately. He was taking better care of himself, for one thing. He’d grown a neatly trimmed beard and mustache that looked good on him. And even now that he was nearing 42, he knew he was impressive to look at. He was actually fitter now than he was when he had played football in high school and college. He still had a gut, but he looked as imposing as he had when he was a defensive lineman. He was big at 6 feet, 7 inches tall and 275 pounds. He had floppy light brown hair beginning to get streaked with gray. His sea-green eyes had always been one of his best features, or so he’d been told. A crooked smile made him appear roguish. He used that smile a lot as he passed several good looking men. One young-looking man licked his lips as he passed and another, a drag queen, whistled at him and proclaimed him “a big, bad bear,” which made him burst out laughing. He loved how the men he saw walked with such confidence and style, so different than what he remembered from when he had made infrequent trips to this neighborhood more than 20 years ago.

Being gay had been a quieter thing back then. Sure, there were some who were loud, and he was thankful for them. He was one of the many guys who snuck into this neighborhood then. Now, there wasn’t much sneaking around. It was all out in the open, exactly where it was supposed to be.

He got to an intersection and since the light had just turned red, he decided to keep going around the corner. As he did, he noticed a barbershop to his left, an honest-to-goodness barbershop. He usually got his hair cut at the unisex salon in the same strip mall as his office, but this shop even had a barber pole out front. And then he saw the name stenciled on the front window: Rough Cut. He’d read about it a while ago somewhere online, probably at that blog for bears. He recalled that, while Rough Cut would shave and cut the hair of any man who walked through the door and could pay, it was known to be a shop that catered to the bear community, men who liked to be hairy but neat like him. He also remembered that the owner of the shop was a guy called Rohan Moore. Like Chris, Rohan had been a football player, too, a good one until an injury cut his career short. They had even played on the same team in college, but they hadn’t seen each other in years.

Chris peered in but didn’t see anyone who could be Rohan. There were a couple of guys sweeping and cleaning up. Then he noticed the “closed” sign on the door. A tall brown-skinned guy with long silky dark hair saw Chris looking in. He winked at Chris. The other guy in the shop, shorter and darker, said something to the long-haired guy and the two of them laughed. Chris walked on but only got as far as the next storefront. A party was in progress, and there were more good-looking guys in there. Then the door opened and a couple of people walked out. One held the door open and said to Chris, “You going in?”

Reviews:on GGR-Review:

"I really enjoyed the story line and what the author was telling us. She took us through the struggles of coming out and what it felt like to be with another man in the sense of being with them, and not a quicky in a backroom. I have to commend this author." - GGR-Review

on Rainbow Gold Reviews:

"This book is light, short, and hits the spot."

About the Author

I started writing gay male erotic romance stories in the early '90s, but only gay male porn magazines would publish them. I'm so glad things have gotten more respectable and the readership more broad. I am a lesbian in an interracial same-sex marriage, and I love writing interracial romance stories. I love flipping stereotypes and challenging myself to write characters that are ever further from who I am. I hope you enjoy my stories. I certainly love writing them.

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