Delilah – Monday Flash Fic., Feb. 12

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This wasn’t the way it was supposed to happen, Paul thought, staring at the tiny infant beside him in the double bed he shared with Aiden.

They’d discussed the idea of children. Although there wasn’t anything lacking in their relationship they’d at least visited the idea of adding a child to it. And then summarily rejected the thought.

They liked their freedom, their financially stable lifestyle. Bringing a child into it meant uncertainty at the very least. What if they didn’t like being parents? There was no going back once the deed was done, even with adoption. The commitment scared the hell out of them both.

But now parenthood had been forced upon them. The infant in the bed was Aiden’s two month-old niece, Delilah. A gift from the will of Aiden’s thirty year-old sister, Mary and Mary’s husband, Gabe. Two incredible people who’d perished in a car crash only three weeks ago.

Aiden had been wracked with grief at the loss of his sister, but he’d manned up to the challenge of taking on Delilah, since it was Mary’s wish that the child be with him and Paul. Paul admired Aiden’s courage and his commitment to his sister’s wishes but, truth be told, he was scared to death.

He gazed at the tiny, diapered baby in the bed beside him. Where had Aiden gone? When would he be back? Paul knew nothing about babies.

Delilah burbled, her tiny fists moving, her chest going up and down. She stared with wide blue eyes at the ceiling, then at the wall, then at Paul, her head jerking with the unsteadiness of her new reflexes. She reached out an arm and placed her small hand on Paul’s open mouth, her tiny finger reaching bumped his nose. Her eyes fixed on his and she moved her mouth as if she were trying to say something, but all that came out were puffs of air and tiny little chirps.

He loved Aiden. More than he’d every loved anyone in his life before. If this was what had come unbidden into Aiden’s life then Paul had a responsibility to rise to the challenge, as intimidating and all-consuming as it seemed.

As he stared into the baby’s limpid gaze he felt a small stirring of something inside him. Was it love for Aiden transferred to this flesh of Aiden’s flesh? This child was a part of Aiden, as much as any child would ever be a part of Aiden. Paul could see his partner in this small child and his heart expanded, in wonderment and fascination.

They would be okay — he and Aiden, and Delilah. They would be a family, whatever that might mean.

 

But First, Coffee – Friday Flash Fic., Jan. 25

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The final shot I wanted to get was of the luxurious Master bathroom with the view out the sliding doors to the hardwood deck and the sliver of beach, the expanse of blue ocean stretching to infinity. It took about five tries to get that perfect shot.

“And, done.”

Mr. Yanofsky grinned. “I can’t wait to see them. When will the issue be out?”

I looked everywhere but at Mr. Yanofsky’s intense grey eyes, because I felt safer behind the camera. Safer from my own desires. “Uh, well, it’s the July issue, so probably beginning of June. But they’ll send you a copy earlier.”

Mr. Yanofsky nodded, his hands in the pockets of his snug beige board shorts. “Would you like a coffee? I’ve got a lovely dark roast from Venezuela…”

I fiddled with my camera, pretending to readjust some settings before I put it away. “Sure, yeah. I could use some coffee.” I smiled, letting my eyes meet his and seeing something very attractive there. In a spur of the moment move I lifted the camera and took a quick shot of him standing, looking at me.

“Sorry,” I blushed. “Couldn’t resist.”

He smiled, and yeah, there was definitely something there. “Come on.”

I followed him to the absurdly beautiful main room of his luxury beach house where he bade me make myself comfortable while he moved into the adjoining kitchen and began to prepare a pot of coffee.

“How long are you in Fiji, Mr. Stone?”

I looked over at him from my seat on his white leather sectional. “Hmm? Oh, I go back Friday. I’m shooting two other homes while I’m here.”

“Will you have time for sightseeing?”

I nodded. “I hope so.”

“If you like I could take you around some of my favourite spots.” Mr. Yanofsky’s voice held a tenor of insecurity, like he wasn’t sure of my answer.

I was, however, positive. “That would be great. Sure.”

Mr. Yanofsky finished in the kitchen and set the coffee to brew, then walked slowly over to where I was sitting. He stood directly in front of me, a little closer than two relative strangers would normally be comfortable.

“Well, then. It’s probably a good idea to be on a first name basis, don’t you think?” He smiled down at me.

I straightened my position on the sofa, finally letting my eyes drift down Mr. Yanofsky’s trim form and back up to his eyes, in which the invitation seemed plain as day now.

“Jameson,” I breathed, anticipation and arousal swirling inside.

“Kevin,” Mr. Yanofsky said in a soft tone that seemed to stroke over my skin. “Of course you’ve already seen my very favourite spot on the island.”

“I have?” I said, clearing my throat and trying not to stare.

Kevin nodded, a pink flush spreading across his cheeks. He laughed softly and sat down beside me. “Well, that would be my bedroom.” He reached out a hand and touched the back of my own. “Would you, maybe, like to see it again? No camera this time?”

I flipped my hand over so his fingertips grazed the sensitive skin of my palm, and said, “No camera.”

When he leaned in and kissed me with a polite, testing pressure that only teased of the future possibilities here, my body responded.

He pulled back and assessed me with satisfaction.

“But first, coffee.”

 

Science Fiction Double Feature – Friday Flash Fic., Jan. 19

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“Rocky, just sit back and enjoy the show,” Dr. Frank N. Furter suggested in his sensuously deep voice with a smirk of his luscious red lips. “It’s a science fiction double feature!” His pink tongue slid over those lips as he raised his eyebrows, clapping his manicured hands together. “My favourite!”

Rocky grunted, glancing at the man who had shocked him into consciousness just days ago.

Frank N. Furter was … well, he was something. Something Rocky was just starting to figure out.

Oh, he knew all about him physically. Frank had made sure of that, having created Rocky, he assumed, expressly for that purpose. And being new to the entire experience of living and fucking, Rocky had participated enthusiastically in that lesson.

Frank N. Furter was a gourmand in the excesses of the flesh. A veritable connoisseur of sexual pleasure. Nothing stood in the way of Frank getting what he needed or wanted but he was a seducer, not a cad. He made sure the objects of his affection were entirely willing participants in every delicious act of debauchment.

Something about him, something perhaps a bit otherworldly, convinced most people that Frank would enrich their experience and bring them home.

Rocky glued his eyes to the screen and tried to ignore what Frank’s hand was doing as it traced a path up his thigh to the very tight gold lamé trunks that had been given to him to wear. The movie was a classic B-Grade science fiction movie. Frank had explained the appeal of these movies to Rocky in vivid detail, and Rocky wanted to see for himself.

But he couldn’t help glancing down at Frank when the hand made it’s gentle way to…

“Oh Rocky!” Dr. Furter exclaimed when he reached his specific point of interest.

Rocky smiled down at the curly haired man in bustier, fish net stockings and high heels who appeared so very excited at the size of Rocky’s … endowments. Well, he’d been made to order, hadn’t he?

“You’re so … so … dominant! Such a perfect specimen of manhood! I’m so proud of you, Rocky.”

Rocky blushed, smiled and grunted again, this time with much pleasure and anticipation, the movie suddenly forgotten.

Wo oh oh oh oh,

At the late night, double feature, picture show…

The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Wallpaper #1

Tease – Monday Flash Fic., Jan. 15

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Are you in the building?

I glanced down at my phone. It had buzzed as I’d exited the elevator on Sam’s floor.

Grinning at his eagerness, I texted back: Down the hall. Be there soon.

My phone buzzed again.

Don’t come in.

I stopped in my tracks, confused. That was unexpected. What? Why?

Because I have something to show you.

Now I was completely confused, but I made my way to his door. The number 325 stared back at me from the antique wood as I awaited further instruction.

My phone buzzed again.

Look through the keyhole, Gordon.

My heartbeat increased exponentially. What was Sam playing at? I couldn’t wait to find out.

A restored historic building, the doors still had keyholes which I’d pointed out was kind of a violation of Sam’s privacy and a security hazard. He hadn’t really cared.

And when I crouched down to look through the tiny opening, I was glad.

I could see Sam, straight ahead in the armchair from the corner that he must have carefully positioned in direct sightline of the keyhole.

Fuck.

He was dressed in only a pair of tight boxer briefs that outlined his swollen prick, leaving nothing to the imagination.

I loosened my tie, wondering what kind of game he was playing.

My phone buzzed again. I didn’t want to look down, but I did:

Can you see me?

My thumbs fumbled my answer: Yes.

Watch.

My eyes flew back to the keyhole.

He stared right at me, knowing I was there. The shadow of dark stubble on his face followed the curve of his jaw and emphasized his cheekbones. He licked his full lips and brought his right hand to gently stroke the outline of his cock over the cotton of his boxers. His cellphone, resting on the arm of the chair, cast its soft blue light over him.

I shuddered, feeling like a pervert but loving every minute of this. Sweat had formed under the collar of my suit jacket. I glanced quickly to either side of me. Luckily, there was no-one else in the hall.

I tried not to let my breathing become too heavy but it was futile. Fumbling with my cellphone, I sent the following:

Take it out. I want to see it.

I watched as his phone became brighter and heard the small noise it made. He glanced down at it and laughed, glancing back at the keyhole where I was crouched, watching, waiting. Lifting his chin, he pursed his lips and sent me a kiss while he snaked his hand beneath his shorts and brought out the prize.

But he teased me even still, keeping his balls and the lower part of his cock covered, just showing me the leaking tip while he moved his hand back and forth, his thighs clenching with each stroke.

Christ, I was going crazy and my back had started to hurt. Plus I was sweating like a pig in my work clothes.

Ah hell. Please let me in. I texted.

This time he stood, peeled off his briefs and sat back down, lazily stroking himself and crooking a finger at me with his other hand before using it to type a new text:

It’s unlocked.

I let out a breath, not even realizing I’d been holding it, and cursed quietly.

Then I stood. But before I entered the room I texted him one more time. I wanted to make him wait now. You’re naked and jerking off with the door unlocked? What if some pervert gets in?

I waited a moment and was pleased when my phone buzzed quickly.

I’m counting on it. Get in here.

I couldn’t help the smile that spread over my face as I grabbed the handle and twisted.

 

 

 

 

 

Soulmate – Friday Flash Fic., Jan. 12

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“So then Tucker hauls back and punches Jessica in the mouth.”

“WHAT?”

“Right in the fucking mouth! That’ll teach her to think before she uses that word again,” Mikah said with some satisfaction.

“Oh my God, that is EPIC. Also proves that just because a guy is gay, doesn’t mean he can’t have a good left hook,” I said.

I laughed again, maybe a little too loudly. A couple of people studying at the desks near the window shot me dirty looks but I didn’t really care. This was the best story I’d heard in weeks.

“Do you think she’ll – ”

“Excuse me, but you’ll need to keep it down if you want to stay here,” a deep voice murmured in my ear, so close I could feel the person’s breath on my cheek. I jumped and spun around, ready to give this intimate intruder a piece of my mind.

“I’ll what…I mean, what…I mean, pardon?” was all I managed because I was now looking into the vibrant, and somewhat pissed off, blue eyes of a veritable bear of a man.

The guy was huge, with a thick but neatly trimmed brown beard and soft brown curls peaking out from under a backwards baseball cap. My eyes flew to his huge biceps which were covered with tattoos.

I glanced over at Mikah, who was staring at the dude with an equally awed expression.

“This is the campus library, in case you weren’t already aware, and you need to keep it down.” His voice dripped like molasses over me.

I cleared my throat and let my eyes drift down over the dark jeans that encased muscular thighs and thick calves, to the pair of quality Vans on the guys’ big feet. I fleetingly wondered if – no, it was best not to go there right now.

“I’m sorry if I was disturbing you,” I said, “My friend was telling a funny story.”

Bear guy smiled, and if that smile didn’t light up his whole goddamn face so hard I started to hyperventilate…

“Are you all right?” he said, while Mikah moved toward me.

“Cam? You okay?” Mikah asked.

I nodded, embarrassed and aroused and freaking the fuck out. Who was this guy anyway and why was he busting my balls, and working them up as well?

“I’m fine. Name’s Cam,” I said holding out my hand.

Both Mikah and the bear guy looked at me like I was insane.

The bear guy took my hand and smiled again. I almost fainted.

“I’m Grady. And, as the campus librarian I need to ask you to be quieter.”

“The campus lib-” I stuttered. “You’re the campus librarian?”

I saw Mikah slice a hand across his own throat as if to say shut the fuck up right now. But did I? Fuck no.

“THE LIBRARIAN?” I said, more loudly than I’d been speaking before Grady had intervened.

Grady squeezed my hand and grimaced slightly, nodding. “Yes. Why is that so surprising?”

I gulped, gesturing at his beard and his arms and his tattoos. “Because. Well, because…because I’ve never seen a librarian like you before.”

He seemed to find that very amusing and gave me the neuron-killing megawatt smile once more. I swear the guy was going to kill me.

“Well, get used to it. I’m gonna be riding your ass for the next few months since I can now plainly see you’re a troublemaker.”

Mikah’s chin dropped at this blatant display of what appeared to be … interest? Was Grady flirting with me? In a really obvious and aggressive way? He didn’t seem to be mad so it was a logical assumption.

I squeaked out a meek, “Okay then. I’ll try to behave myself, sir.” as I saw his gaze drift over me.

He licked his lips. “Good.” Then he turned and walked away and I grabbed the nearby table for support.

The back of his t-shirt read:

Librarian – the hardest part of my job is being nice to people who think they know how to do my job.

I grabbed Mikah’s arm in a death grip. “Mikah?”

“Yeah?”

“I’m going to marry that man.”

Mikah’s chin dropped again.

“Or fucking die trying.”

 

Dilemma, Friday Flash Fic., Jan. 5

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What am I even doing here? This is a mistake.

Jordan hesitated in the hallway outside Michael’s bedroom. Naked except for a pair of Michael’s boxers which were slightly big on him, he wondered if this was all just a huge, fucking mistake.

“Jordan?” Michael called. “You coming?”

“Um, just a second,” Jordan said, starting to panic.

On the one hand, Michael had shown him things in bed he’d only ever dreamed of. They’d already had a couple of fun romps but this time had been different. Jordan was feeling more than just the sex. But was Michael?

Maybe I should go. Make up some excuse and get out of here before I fall even deeper for someone who just wants a fun night here and there…

The bedroom door opened and Michael stood there, completely naked, with a puzzled frown.

“What are you doing?” he asked, his brown eyes searching Jordan’s.

“Thinking,” Jordan said.

“Can’t you do that in here?”

Jordan laughed nervously. “You’re a little distracting.”

Michael grinned. “Thanks, I guess. Whatcha thinking about?”

Jordan swallowed and scratched his head. “Um, you. Us. Is there an … us?”

Michael seemed taken aback. “Well, uh. I thought so. Until right this minute…” The vulnerability in his gaze raised a tiny hope inside Jordan.

“I mean, this is fun and all. But … is that all?” Jordan raised his eyebrows at Michael. “Because I think I’m having a little bit more than just fun right now. And I need to know if you feel the same. Because if not, then I need to go.”

Michael reached out and wrapped his hand gently around Jordan’s wrist. He only said one word but the look in his eyes and the touch were all Jordan needed.

“Stay.”

Rock Solid – Monday Flash Fic., Jan. 1, 2018

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“There. Stand on that rock with the pond behind you,” my sister, Martha, directed.

I glanced at Grayson and raised an eyebrow. He shrugged.

Martha took out her phone and expressed impatience. “Guys. Seriously. It’s your one year anniversary. I need a good photo. You need a good photo. It’s been a hell of a year.”

She was right. It had been a hell of a year.

I reached out and laced my fingers with his, leading him up the shore and onto the flat rock my sister had indicated. We’d hiked for an hour to get here and the view was spectacular. Might as well record it for posterity’s sake. And it was, in fact, the one year anniversary of me asking Grayson to move in.

He’d been reluctant, if only because he prided himself on his independence and worried about becoming that couple who always stayed in and never did anything exciting anymore. And, well, maybe we had become that couple in a small way, but it was only because we enjoyed each other’s company so much we didn’t feel the need for anyone else much of the time. We still made an effort to go out and meet up with friends at the bars and there were lots of family events too. We were lucky to have people who believed in us and our relationship and who celebrated us as much as our more conventionally married siblings.

As we stepped onto the rock, Grayson slipped and clutched my fingers.

“Shit,” he laughed, as I steadied him.

“You okay?”

He moved close to me and squeezed my hand. “I’m better than okay, Brian. I’m awesome.”

I smiled at him, my other half, my lover, my best friend. “Me too,” I said, leaning in to kiss him.

“Got it!” My sister said happily.

But we ignored her and kept kissing, content in ourselves and each other and the commitment we’d made.

Unwrapped – Friday Flash Fic., Dec. 22

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So this guy totally reminds me of the character of Sebastian from The James Lucas and The Loft trilogies.

A bit of background: Beyond the Edge (book 1 in The James Lucas Trilogy) tells the story of 27 year-old Tate who finally has a chance to sub for well-known and respected Ottawa Dom, James Lucas. But, surprise, surprise, James actually has invited another young man to sub alongside Tate during his much-anticipated BDSM weekend. As soon as Tate sets eyes on 23 year-old Sebastian and sits down with him for an introductory coffee the week before the big event, he knows it will be something extraordinary.

Sebastian eventually wins James’ heart as well, after James and Tate discover that they cannot be apart, and the three men establish a successful three-way relationship.

Sebastian is a natural submissive, enjoying everything about being dominated and under someone else’s control. He loves to do whatever James asks of him and he usually does it with little questioning and little delay whereas Tate enjoys aggravating James almost as much as pleasing him. But since James gets a kick out of Tate’s bratty nature, the relationship works.

In The Little Drummer Boy, my 12,000 word free NSFW, 18+, Christmas story, Tate is frustrated by James’ unusually busy work schedule and Sebastian’s need to study for his college finals but James promises and delivers some seasonal playtime in the loft, his attic playroom, after teaching Tate an important lesson in self control and denial.

For today’s Friday Flash Fic challenge, I will be writing about a little – well not so little – Christmas surprise that Sebastian has in store for Tate and James on Christmas morning, after the presents are all unwrapped.

Or are they?

###

After we’d finished the exchange of gifts on Christmas morning and gotten all the “Thank you’s” and “You’re welcomes” out of the way, James and I lounged on the sofa sipping our coffees while Sebastian excused himself to try on some of his new clothes.

James watched Sebastian’s retreating back with interest and some amusement.

“What?” I asked, since he seemed to know something I didn’t.

He shrugged.

I narrowed my eyes. “No, come on. What’s going on?”

James looked genuinely innocent as he said, “I really have no idea, except that he had me help him with something this morning that has my curiosity … piqued.”

“Really,” I said, wondering what Sebastian was up to, but too relaxed and happy to get up and follow. Besides, James probably wouldn’t let me, lest I “spoil” the surprise, whatever it was going to be.

I picked up the new tablet they’d pitched in to get me and started the registration process while waiting.

“I need a good password,” I said, looking at James expectantly.

“Hmm. How about ilikegettingmyassspanked?”

“Too obvious. Try again.”

“Okay. What about myasslooksbetterafteragoodhiding?”

“Too long. And, again, too obvious.”

“Let me think.” His brow furrowed.

After several moments he took the pad of paper and pen from the side table and wrote something down. He passed it to me. “That should fulfill all the requirements.”

paddleslut&69*

“Paddle slut and sixty-nine star?” I smiled, nodding. “I like it. Still kind of obvious but, meh. It’ll do.”

Sebastian’s voice came from the kitchen. “Um, can you guys help me with something in here, please?”

James and I exchanged a glance. Then, picking up our mugs we made our way out of the living room.

What greeted us upon entering the kitchen area was a wonderful sight indeed.

“Oh yes,” James said, a huge smile on his face.

“Well,” I said, looking Sebastian over, “that’s just beautiful.”

The only pair of new clothes he had on were the red cotton boxer briefs I’d put in his stocking, which fit him perfectly. Meaning they were snug enough to show off the line of his semi-hard cock and the curve of his balls. I think my mouth might have dropped open after I’d gotten the words out.

On his chest, in black body paint, was scrawled: “Naughty or” and on the top of his six-pack the word “nice?” with a question mark finished off the effect. James must have done that for him this morning.

A Santa hat perched jauntily on Sebastian’s head while he pointed at me with a spatula. I felt a thrill of excitement before he said, “Tate, you’re gonna beat some eggs. And, James, you’re gonna chop some mushrooms and onions.”

James raised his eyebrows. “Shouldn’t I beat the eggs? I do have the most experience with beatings.” He winked at me.

Sebastian laughed. “Thing is, I don’t want them too beaten. They need to be beaten just right.” He said. “Sir.”

James looked supremely offended but shrugged his shoulders. “Whatever. As long as I get to sit here and watch you move around I’ll do whatever you want.”

I closed my mouth, realizing that Sebastian had entrusted me with the job of doing the eggs over James and feeling my chest puff out a bit. “Whatever you say, darling.”

“Good. That’s all I need help with. I’ll do the rest and you two can watch me whip up the best brunch you’ve ever had.” He gazed at me with fire in his eyes. “And then, after you eat what I cook for you, you can, um, have me for dessert? I mean, if you want?”

“I want,” James said, taking the cutting board and vegetables that Sebastian passed him.

“Hell, yeah,” I said, “Pass me those eggs.”

Luckily, it was easy to beat eggs while keeping my eyes glued to Sebastian’s ass in those tight boxer briefs as he moved around the kitchen. He didn’t cook very often and never attempted to make a complicated meal like James or I might. But he was pretty good with breakfast foods and would whip up scrambled eggs and pancakes for us every once in awhile. Never before while so alluringly underdressed, though.

James had a harder time with the chopping and dealing with blurry, teared eyes from the onions. He almost injured himself at one point. I’d never seen him quite so distracted.

“Fuck!” He said, as he almost sliced off his little finger. For the second time.

“Jesus, James, you need all your fingers,” I reminded him.

“I’ll be more careful.”

“Good. You can ogle him when you’re finished,” I said.

He stuck his tongue out at me, which was so juvenile a thing for James to do I burst out laughing.

My mouth was watering for more than food by the time Sebastian served us his masterpiece on the breakfast bar. While we ate I kept stealing glances at Sebastian’s naked chest and belly with the words “Naughty or nice?” painted there.

When I’d finished I wiped my hands on the napkins he’d provided and pressed my palms flat on the counter. “So, what are you?”

Sebastian looked up from his plate, chewing on a piece of bacon.

I pushed off the stool and rounded the bar, glancing at James who had stopped eating to watch. Turning back to Sebastian I gently made him put his utensils down. Then I turned him on the rotating stool and nudged his thighs apart.

He sat up straighter as I stepped close and poked the place on his chest where the word “Naughty” was written.

“Are you naughty?” My finger trailed down to the other word. “Or are you nice?”

“Fuck,” James said, this time without his finger in jeopardy. He watched us with wide eyes and licked his lips.

I focused on Sebastian who breathed loudly and didn’t seem to know where to put his hands.

“Hmm?” I pressed, leaning in close and licking syrup from his stubbled cheek. “I mean, I already know. But I want to hear you say it.”

“Oh fuck, Tate,” he breathed, his hands resting lightly on the waistband of my PJ pants. “I’m so naughty. So, so naughty.”

I nodded, licking syrup from the corner of his lips. “Oh I know just how naughty you are, Sebastian.”

James cleared his throat. “So do I,” he said, voice husky. “Maybe we can all be naughty up in my room?”

I nodded, leaning in and licking the lobe of Sebastian’s ear under the Santa hat, making him sigh.

“Oh, yeah,” I said, sliding my hands under the waistband of those red boxer briefs. “I think he needs a bath first. He’s just covered in syrup and we need to wash this paint off.”

Sebastian whimpered and turned his head, catching my lips with his. We kissed roughly, hungrily, until James cleared his throat again.

“Upstairs, the both of you. I’ve never seen two dirtier boys in my life. I’ll run the bath.” He made for the stairs while Sebastian and I kept kissing, unable to keep our hands off each other. I wasn’t sure we’d make it upstairs.

James enjoyed the view for a moment before he spoke again. “Hey. I’m not kidding. Upstairs now, or God help me I’ll tan both your hides this afternoon and make your asses as red as Rudolph’s fucking nose.”

We started laughing which effectively ended our kiss. I took Sebastian’s hand, pulling him off the stool. “I guess we’d better do as we’re told.”

He sighed. “Yeah. Even though a Christmas spanking sounds kind of nice.”

“Oh, you are naughty, aren’t you?” I said, leading him up the stairs and ogling his now solid bulge under the red cotton.

“As if there was ever any doubt,” James said.

###

Tutorial_christmascard

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and an extraordinary New Year, with many goals achieved and challenges faced!

Here’s hoping 2018 is full of fun times and sexy reads!

XOXO

Liz

 

 

 

 

No Regrets – Friday Flash Fic., Dec. 15

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“Dude, when are you getting that horrible tattoo covered up?” I asked, for about the hundredth time. I hated the thing — God is a righteous judge, a God who displays his wrath every day. It marred, in my humble opinion, an otherwise perfect body.

Dominic cuddled Shamus, our Golden retriever, closer. Shamus didn’t really like to be picked up, but he let Dominic do whatever he wanted. He was Dominic’s dog more than mine.

Dominic shrugged. “It’s expensive to get a tattoo covered up. Plus I keep forgetting it’s there. It’s completely irrelevant to my life now.”

“I still don’t understand what made you do it in the first place.”

He sighed and put the dog down. Shamus shook himself violently then raced toward the water.

“I was pissed off at my Dad. It was kind of a warning to him. That this “God” that he spoke of so often was judging him for what he did to me and mom, and not judging me because of the path my life took,” Dominic said angrily, picking up a rock and trying to skip it across the water. It hit the surface and jumped, then landed and sank. “Of course, he thought it meant I was finally coming around. Joke was on him though.” Dominic laughed, pursing his lips into a kissing shape and puckering at me.

“I just wonder if some people might read it and take it the wrong way,” I said. Anything remotely religious made me extremely uncomfortable. I’d faced bigotry and hatred most of my life and it was always from ultra-religious freaks who quoted God at every opportunity.

Dominic shrugged. “Who cares? I feel like it’s a private joke between me and,” he pointed up at the sky, “whoever might be up there.”

I nodded. I kind of got it. It did make sense the way he described it. Like the perfect flipping off of his Dad that kind of went under the wire until Dominic was ready to actually leave.

“I still think you should get it covered up,” I said, picking up my own rock and making a much better throw. I watched it hit the very top of the water once, twice and a third time before it disappeared. “Or at least get another tattoo that says I LOVE PATRICK MORRISON. Maybe on your ass.” I laughed.

Dominic smiled and rolled his eyes. “You’re an idiot.”

“I know.”

He whistled for Shamus and we started back for the cabin.

“I’d settle for just my first and last name. One on each cheek,” I said archly, starting to run when I realized Dominic was chasing me.