The weather in the Florida swamps is looking a little rocky for retired football player, Galen, his laid-back lover, Shane, and their gator, Vic.
When Galen buys into a football team, promoting and wheeling and dealing are the name of the game. He’s so busy he hardly gets to see Shane anymore, which means a lot of lonely naps on the couch.
Shane is tied up with managing the bar, covering for unreliable bartenders, and serving drinks to good-time party boys. Used to be Galen couldn’t get enough of him. Now he can hardly pry Galen away from the phone, and Shane starts to wonder where he stands in Galen’s life. Will things ever be the way they were?
When Galen starts to forget their dates, the pressure builds, jealousy and hurt swirling into a tropical storm. Galen and Shane need to seek shelter in each other before everything they’ve built is washed away.
- 1 To Be Read list
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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: 58000
Setting: Small Town Florida
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
SHANE POURED himself a double, topped off with some lime juice, and knocked it back before toodling out onto the back deck. Man, Sunday afternoons? His absolute favorite. He heard the guitar of the Changos’ new song as he hit the door. “Len? Turn the music up? I fucking love that song.”
The sun was beating down, and his favorite kiddie pool was filled and on the deck, a floaty in the bottom to cushion his ass. The scent of some hunk of meat on the grill was spicy and rich. Mmm… spicy. Galen’s come tasted wicked sharp after spicy….READ MORE
Shane stopped. Blinked.
He’d only had two.
The alligator hadn’t been in the pool when he’d filled it this morning….
“Yeah, darlin’?” Len sounded relaxed, happy. Perfectly normal.
“Can you bring me the hose?” He squinted. Man, those claws were so bad for his floaty.
“What? You can’t be out of water in that thing.” But he heard Len coming, dragging the hose. “You make me burn the grilled veggies and… shit.”
“Uh-huh.” Okay, cool. So. Real alligator. Not a hallucination. Good to know. “Gimme the hose.”
Galen handed it over without a word and went to turn it on, then came back to look over his shoulder. “That’s pretty good-sized.”
“Uh-huh.” He took a stance and aimed at the gator’s nose, then squeezed the little yellow gun-end-doolie.
The first shot of water hit the gator right on the snout, and all it got him was an open mouth full of teeth and a fucking ominous hiss. That big tail swished, Shane’s pool creaking.
“Damn, Shane. Piss him off, why don’t you?”
“Well, he’s in my pool, Len.” He sprayed again, this time in the ass. “What if it shits in it? The floaty’s already a loss.”
“Well, we can always get another pool, darlin’. We can’t get another you.” The hose’s spray cut off abruptly.
He frowned, blinked at the hose, then back at Galen. “Let up on the hose, Len. I can’t move him if you don’t.”
Galen blinked innocently at him, toes moving off the hose, letting water flow again. The water splashed up in his face, making him shake his head and sputter. “Oh. Oh, you’re a bastard. Gonna stick this hose up your ass and fill you up like a balloon.”
“Promise?” He got an evil, one-side-kicked-up grin before Galen frowned back at the gator. “’Course it won’t be any fun if we gotta watch our asses with this dinosaur. You know, they always say if you distract them with food or something, you can grab them by the tail and move them.”
“Yeah?” He nodded. “Okay. You want to distract or grab? I bet we still got some bacon from last night.” He thought so anyway. Last night was sort of a blur of fucking and coming and Galen’s voice driving him higher and higher and….
You can’t chase alligators with a hard-on.
“You distract. You’re good at it. I’ll grab.” Galen grinned at him again and popped his butt, then moved around behind the pool.
Shane started wiggling his ass and waving his arms. “Woo! Hey! Alligator! Outta my pool, beast! You got a whole fucking swamp. The green plastic turtle is mine!”
He got another one of those openmouthed hisses, those jaws seeming enormous. But as soon as Galen moved in from the back to grab the tail, that gator whipped around, jaws snapping, making Galen yelp and jump back a good ten feet without ever touching the ground. “Holy Jesus fuck, Shane. Did you see that?”
Shane stood there, hands in the air, blinking. “Uh-huh. I’ll buy another pool. They’re four bucks at the Walmart.”
“And the floaties are what? Two?” Len edged around, grabbed his hand, and hustled him back from anywhere near the edge of the pool. “Which still doesn’t tell us how we’re gonna get that monster off our deck.”
“We could poke him with your pool cue. It’s long.”
“You even think about it and I’ll tan your ass with it. I paid a lot of money for that cue.” They stood there and stared as the big old armor-plated monster got comfy again, mouth closing, a satisfied grunt coming from it.
“You’d have to catch me first.” He tilted his head, vastly unconcerned about an imminent attack on his ass. “We still got Black Cats and Roman candles?”
“I bet we do. I’ll get ’em. See if they’re still dry.” Galen wandered off, pulling him along until he was another five feet away from the gator.
He leaned against the house, looking, staring. “You look sorta like something on a pirate movie. Or you would, if you weren’t in my pool, stupid thing.”
“Darlin’, if he starts talking back? He can have the house, and we’ll go to a hotel.” Galen came back, hands full of firecrackers.
“Shit, if he starts talking back, we’re taking the camera and filming it all.” Shane took a couple of Roman candles, trying to remember if you pointed the lit end or the other end.
“Maybe we ought to have supper first. Have a beer. Think on this.” Oh. Len was smart. Besides, there was that whole spicy meat thing.
Shane nodded, stepping back toward Galen. “Maybe he’ll get bored and go home.”
Then they could use the camera for more fun things.COLLAPSE