5/04/2015

Story Orgy Superheroes: A Man of Unusual Talent Part 2 #mmromance #storyorgy




Welcome back and good morning all! 

Are you ready to rejoin CC and Mat? Me too! Writing these two is just so much fun. 

My story is based on  a prompt suggested by Cheri Taylor 1)Ability to magically manifest a giant pile of marshmallows 2) accidentally setting one's car on fire (on the inside) 3) a vegetable peeler. 






Story Orgy Superheroes: A Man of Unusual Talent

May 4th: He was better than that.

“No! Oh Jesus…” Snapping from fantasy to reality as he choked on acrid smoke, CC slapped frantically at the spark, jumping back and shoving his finger in his mouth as it burned. The gray fabric of the passenger seat was blackening, turning a glowing orange. What seconds before had been a tiny dot of ash…the glowing cherry from the tip of his cigarette…was now well over the size of a quarter.
He’d have it cover it with duct tape…
The orange glow burst into a crackling flame and CC jumped. “Shit!”
The interior of the car was already smoky from his cigarette…but the synthetic fabric of the seats and the foam beneath where doubling that. What do I do now? CC dug around the bottom of the car hoping to find a half full water bottle to pour on the small flame.
His fingers tingled…heat welled up rapidly and…
Plop.  He shoved aside a book without checking the title. Reached further back.
Plop. Contorting, CC peered into the emptiness of the back seat.
Plop. Panic rising, he turned back to the front...
“No.” He moaned softly…unable to stop either the rapidly growing flame or the…other…
“How could this happen?”
But he knew. The answer was, as it always was, it could happen because CC was book smart and real life stupid, and lacking in common sense. He’d been sitting in the parking lot at work, smoking a cigarette before his shift began, and as had happened more than once in the last week, he’d begun daydreaming about Mat Giraud.
His mind had been on those pretty blue eyes, the plump curve of his lower lip, the way Mat’s broad shoulders filled out that uniform… CC shuddered. Smoke was fogging the interior of the car. It clung in his nostrils and choked him.
Thinking about sex and Mat Giraud and he’d lost awareness of where he was and the cigarette…
Damn it. He had a water bottle in here, he knew it.
Plop.
Plop.
Plop.
Tap. Tappity-tap.
“Sir! Open the door! Are you all right?”
Shit. He became aware once again that his mind had wandered, and how that was even possible when he’d just set the interior of his car on fire he didn’t even know. Steeling his resolve, hoping no one would notice the mess, he rolled down the window. “I’m okay.” He looked up, way up, and his heart sank into his toes. Of course it was. “I’m okay Officer Giraud.” The object of his fantasies, the cause of his plight, stood looking down at him.
Mat’s eyes widened and he reached for the door, yanking at it. “CC… your car is on fire! Get out.”
“It’s no big deal.” He tried to sound nonchalant, but he could feel the heat of the flames growing next to him, could actually hear the fire crackle and snap. “I dropped a cigarette.” He explained as Mat succeeded in opening the door and dragged CC out of the car. “I’ve got a water bottle…I was just looking for it so I could put out the flame.” He continued lamely, as he stumbled into the trashcan from the force of Mat’s shove.
Mat pushed him away, and CC stood in silent misery as the man and another policeman, who could only be Mat’s brother…one of them, anyway, went into action dousing the interior of his car with a fire extinguisher.
His boss Deana and the other day shift clerk came out of the store and stared. People driving by on the road in front honked. Some slowed down and called insults out the windows of their cars before speeding off again.
Deana walked over to him, put an arm around his shoulders. “CC, honey, what happened?”
“I was looking for a water bottle to put out the fire,” he explained. “It was just a cigarette.”
“Are you okay? Do you want the day off? I can call in Freddie.”
“No. I’m fine.” He mumbled the answer, unwilling to admit that he needed the day’s pay more than ever. “I can work. I’ll be in as soon as…” He waved at the two cops and the small gathering of customers and on-lookers. “As soon as this is all over with.” Was he going to be arrested? Had he committed a crime? Was anyone going to notice the marshmallows?
“Okay honey.” Deana gathered her clerk and urged the customers into the store. “Come on y’all. Let’s let these folks take care of their business.”
CC could still feel eyes on him, but he didn’t look up.
“What happened CC? Were you making s’mores with your car lighter? There’s marshmallows all over.” Mat’s voice shook him. His features showed a dizzying mix of concern and amusement.
CC’s heart raced, he felt a little unsteady on his feet and clutched at the trash can behind him before forcing himself to stop cowering and stand up straight.
“What? No, that’s crazy.” He should have said yes. Lying would have been so much better than the truth. And making s'mores with his cigarette lighter was not even half as crazy as the truth. “I was…smoking.” He glanced over at his car where Mat’s brother stood shaking his head, a disgusted sneer lifting the corner of his lips. CC”s little car…the white Jetta he’d been driving since high school looked pathetic. White foam and debris spilled out the driver’s side door. Streaks of the flame retardant chemicals smeared the windows. His gaze zeroed in and got stuck on a fat white marshmallow lying on the pavement just in front of the door. “I just washed it.”
“I’m sorry. It’s not that bad. Just where the marshmallows burned. It’s sticky and… Anyway.” He stopped, and stood looking at CC.
CC fidgeted, let his gaze stray over Mat’s shoulder. The other cop was sitting in the patrol car now.  “Um… Am I going to be arrested?”
“No. Nothing like that. I just…wanted to make sure you were all right.”
“I’m fine.” Embarrassed, humiliated, dying a little inside…but hey. His secret was safe and his car was functional, and…Mat’s eyes were so concerned and sweet.
“Are you sure? You want me to give you a lift home?”
CC glanced at the police cruiser again. Mat’s brother’s head was turned in their direction, his lips a slash of impatient red. “I have to work. Thanks for the offer.”
“I can come back when your shift ends.” Mat put a steadying hand on CC’s shoulder.
“Mat…I have to drive my own car home. I can’t leave it here.” CC jerked away from the touch, crashing against the trash can again.
“CC… Why are you being like this?”
His heart lurched. “Because this is who I am. And you’re who you are and…I have to go.” His anger was misplaced…he knew that, but his fingers were tingling again and his arm… Jesus where Mat’s hand had touched him his arm burned. What did that mean? Was he going to explode into a huge pile of marshmallow goo just… “See you around.”
“Right.” Mat’s lips pressed together tightly, his eyes narrowed. “I’ll come by and check on you before the end of my shift.”
“You don’t need to do that, Mat. I’m fine. The car will be fine. If I’m not going to be charged with anything…then I don't see the point.
The cop in the car honked, and Mat flipped him off. “You could be in shock. And I could need a Tony Stark/Ironman cup to go with my Thor one. See you later.”

***

“Are you done flirting? Can we go now?”
“I’m not…”
“Who is this guy anyway? He looks familiar.”
“CC? Collin Crane. He was two years after me in high school.” And had the most incredibly haunting green eyes…beautiful whispy brown hair that looked like it had been tossed by the wind. And he smelled like marshmallows, which reminded Mat of campouts… “He’s cute, don’t you think?”
Dillon scowled fiercely. “No, I don’t think. And you’d better hope Pop doesn't hear you talking like that.”
“He knows I’m gay, Dill.” Mat had come out directly after returning to his hometown after college, and it had gone over fairly well with almost everyone. His parents were supportive… Pop Giraud though…he had rolled his eyes and told Mat to keep his private life private if he knew what was good for him. It had seemed like sound advice at the time, given the conservative nature of their small town, but…
Driving into the next big city for a night out, not dating locally…it had grown old quickly. “I’m not going to hide who I am.”
“Neither am I, Mat. And I’m not saying you should. I’m just saying that discretion is a virtue. And that kid… He’s not discreet. Dating him would be like painting a big Gays R Us sign on your front door.”
Snorting, Mat punched his brother on the shoulder lightly. “Right. It’s not like he’s wearing drag and eyeliner.”
“No, but he’s got…one those little soft voices and he…look. If you put him in a room with fifty other men and said pick out the gay, he’d get the most votes.”
“Dill…quit being a dick.” Mat bit his lower lip and stared ahead through the windshield for a minute. They were heading into town. “Are we going back to the station for some reason?”
“Yeah. Got a call while you were chatting up pretty boy back there.”
“He is pretty, isn’t he?” Mat contemplated CC’s eyes, the deep green pools, his delicately colored cheeks…the way his rosy mouth seemed always to be pulled down in a frown. “I need to go back over there before our shift ends. What’s up at the station?”
CC Crane was just the type of person Mat had always been attracted to, the kind of man who needed someone to look out for him. Every time Mat saw him, he seemed so sad and lonely… It made Mat want to wrap him in his arms and ward off the world.
“Just a quick meeting about some bank robberies that have been happening in nearby towns. They’ve got a description of a couple suspects they want people to be on a watch for.” Dillon’s grip on the wheel tightened, and Mat could hear him grinding his teeth. “Mat…don’t.” Dillon’s voice was quiet and sober.
“Don’t what?” But he knew… Don’t fall in love. Don’t imagine there’s more than there is. Don’t be a romantic fool.
“Being a cop, joining the force, that’s how we do good in today’s society. Playing super heroes is a kid thing…you can’t save Collin Crane. There’s no arch enemy to defeat, and…”
“I’m not playing super heroes. I think he’s cute, I know he’s smart…” Mat bristled at the familiar lecture. Immediately he leaped to CC’s defense, and his own.
“He works in a convenience store.” The scorn in Dillon’s voice rankled. His brother twisted the steering wheel abruptly, drive into the station parking lot.
“He was reading a book on quantum physics last week.” Mat had been surprised when he caught that glimpse of CC’s reading material. “That’s over both your head and mine.”
“He set his own car on fire,” Dillon pointed out reasonably, shutting off the car engine. “That does not argue for intelligence.”
“That could happen to anyone. It was an accident. He was smoking.” Mat ignored the fact that he’d actually never heard of it happening to anyone else.
“He’s a slob. There were marshmallows all over his car.”

“I like marshmallows.” Or at least, he liked the way CC smelled of marshmallows.


To Be Continued 

If you enjoyed my post, click on over to the rest of the Orgiasts and read more! 

5/03/2015

Office Romance Gone Wrong... Can the relationship be salvaged? #mmromance #erotic #heroestohate




Loving Jacob

An M/M Contemporary Romance







Loving Jacob
Prologue

Malcolm Jenner kept one eye on the silent, dark-haired man standing at the rear of the room as he made his way toward the glass door leading to the riotous explosion of color that was Penny's garden. Jacob didn't look like he was doing very well. Against the smooth blue paint of the walls his face was pale, his violet eyes red-rimmed and damp-looking. Disarrayed dark curls testified to the fact he'd been running his fingers through them, a habit that Malcolm remembered well from their time together. Malcolm had no intention of allowing Jacob to leave the reception until he'd spoken to him, but the other man did a very creditable job of keeping people between them and avoiding eye contact with Malcolm.
Malcolm eased his way around the room, dodging chatting guests in their wedding finery and caterers in black pants and white shirts alike, moving ever closer to his target. He'd given his brother, Rick, the neurosurgeon, the task of capturing Jacob's attention and unobtrusively leading him to the patio doors, where they now stood engaged in conversation. Rick now watched Malcolm's approach and attempted to keep Jacob from doing the same.
He slipped behind the other two and reached out to grasp Rick's hand in a quick shake. "Thanks, Rick, I'll take him from here."
Jacob whirled around, dark curls scattering. He raised his face, and Malcolm's heart ached at the pain in those violet eyes. He extended a slightly shaky tanned hand to brush the hair away from Jacob's forehead, but pulled it back quickly when Jacob flinched.
"Jake, baby, I'm so sorry. I know how hard it must be to be here without Peter. Come outside and talk—" He broke off as Jacob began shaking his head.
"No. No, I can't be around you right now. Don't want to talk to you, Malcolm." Tears leaked in a tiny silvery stream from Jacob's eyes, and his slightly muscled frame appeared to vibrate, he held himself so tensely. The slender hands that had once stroked his flesh with urgent need rose to push him away, then run again through the overly long black curls nearly touching his shoulders. Malcolm wanted to embrace the other man, to absorb all the hurt this day had brought his beloved, and replace it with warmth and security.
"I have to talk to you. There are things you need to know; things we need to discuss." Malcolm's heart broke for many reasons: to see the desolation on Jacob's face, not least because he knew, deep inside, he actually felt a glimmer of happiness that Jacob was unattached again. It had to be difficult for Jacob to be here, surrounded by Peter's family at his sister's wedding. He had a distinctly uncharitable wish that some of the obvious sorrow and anxiety Jacob so clearly felt was on his behalf.
"Not today, Malcolm. Today is for Peter, his family and friends." Jacob didn't seem like he could handle much more stress on top of the wedding, and Malcolm was willing to wait. He had, after all, been waiting for Peter and Jacob to end their relationship for the past five years, hadn't he? He had been highly skeptical that it would even last that long, had been positive that Jacob's relationship with Peter had been a deliberate attempt to hurt himself. He frowned. He hadn't ever wished for Peter's death, though. The traffic accident the previous year that had taken Peter's life had been traumatic for Jacob, and he'd wished fervently that he could be there to help the other man through the devastation of the loss. Loss was something he had felt fully capable of dealing with.
"I was surprised—Penny and I both were—that you accepted the invitation. We appreciated your coming." Especially since it gives me the chance to be here with you, to establish contact again.
"Of course I came. This is about family. Peter would have wanted me to come. Family was everything to him. Penny practically raised him, you know, after their parents died." Jacob's confidence that he was doing the right thing showed in his steady voice.
Malcolm understood that, too. How could he not? For so many years, family duty and responsibility had been his guiding force. Every decision he'd made had been considered from their perspective. What would his father, the neurosurgeon, think? What would his mother, the society wife, have to say? How would their society friends and neighbors view his actions? Since he'd married Penny twenty years ago, her brother Peter had been a part of his family. At one time, he'd considered his responsibilities to his family more important than even this man before him today. That time had passed, though it had taken a boot in the ass from an unlikely source for him to see it.
"How about if I come by in the morning with breakfast? Will someone be staying with you? I don't think you should be alone after this." Attending Peter's sister's wedding without his husband of five years had been a surprising action on Jacob's part. He and Penny had fully expected Jacob would say good riddance to bad rubbish without a backward glance at his deceased spouse's remaining family. Hardly a charitable view, but Jacob had plenty of reasons to dislike Penny and him.
Jacob nodded and gestured toward a fair-haired man in his midthirties. "Peter's cousin, James, is staying at the condo with me. He's taking care of things." The condo he referred to had been Peter's when they’d first met, and Peter had kept it as a vacation rental property after moving to Vermont to teach in the education department at the University of Vermont.
As though sensing he was the topic of conversation, the blond man turned in their direction, and seeing Jacob talking to Malcolm, broke off his conversation with the group of people where he stood and headed in their direction.
"All right, early tomorrow morning. I'll bring you breakfast from the Black Forest Deli. I really want to talk to you and clear the air between us." He wanted more than that, but was unwilling to speak of the want and desire that pulsed through him in the blond man's presence. Mentioning the gooey cherry pastry from the deli they had frequented as a couple was a deliberate, and he admitted, slightly underhanded way of bringing their past to the present. In the months that their affair had run hot, he had made a habit of gifting Jacob with the sweet treat on lazy Sunday mornings after long hot nights of steamy sex.
"Excuse me," the blond interrupted them. "Jacob is needed in the other room."
Jacob nodded and took the other man's hand in a white-knuckled grip that didn't escape Malcolm's notice. Good, Jacob had feelings for him still, even if they weren't the warm fuzzy kind of feelings Malcolm had once denied wanting from him. That white-knuckled grip denoted the strength of the feelings involved. Given half a chance, he'd turn Jacob's hatred into love again. He could battle anything but indifference. "I'll see you in the morning, Malcolm."
James's blue eyes burned into Malcolm's. He possessively raised Jacob's hand to press it into the crook of his arm. Stepping fractionally closer to the younger man, he smiled disdainfully. "Not too early, Jenner. We need our sleep."
Malcolm followed the other two men with his eyes as they left the room, his gaze locking on that spot where the two hands clasped together. Fuck. Had Jacob already moved on from Peter's death? Not again, he vowed. You're coming back to me, where you belong. He wouldn't take a backseat for another man in Jacob's life ever again. Once before, that beautiful man had been his, and he would be again. Malcolm had learned a lot in the last five years, and most of that learning had been done the hard way.
An attraction unlike any he'd ever felt for another man in the years before and since Jacob still pulsed between them. Just being in the same room with the slight dark-haired man sent prickles of awareness rushing through his body and thickened his cock in anticipation. Though he'd tried like hell to deny it, he'd known when he first set eyes on the younger Jacob, newly hired to work in the technology department at his office, that they were meant to be together, and this time out, he would do anything and everything in his power to guarantee that outcome. He'd made the mistake once before of putting another's needs before his love's, of believing that only he could direct their future. The duty and responsibility that his parents had drummed into him from birth to carry on the family name had been fulfilled. The price it had cost him had been more than he would have willingly paid if he'd been aware of the consequences of honoring his family name above all others.

So yeah, he'd bring up the past any chance he got, remind Jacob as often as possible how good things had been between them from the start. 

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Amazon KDP Free Titles For May


Pulp Friction 2013's Chances Are  Free May 2-4


His Grandma always said he'd come to no good. Chances Are, she's right. 

Meet Aaron "Chance" Dumont:

"I'm Chance, this is my place. You want me; this is where you can find me."

The problem with that, of course, was that it wasn't my name. My name was actually Aaron Dumont.

I picked up the name Chance as a kid when my grandma kept telling me "Chances are you'll come to no good, just like your pa." She had said it so often, it just kind of stuck. I've been Chance ever since. When she passed away and left me the remains of her estate, I sold everything but a few special items then invested it all in a nest egg for a rainy day.

I figured that's what she'd intended it for anyway. She'd said as soon as I joined the police force back in the eighties. "Chances are you'll come to no good there. It's a dangerous job and you're an accident waiting to happen."

She was right too.


5/02/2015

Chances Are #FREE at Amazon May 2-4 #pulpfriction #gethooked

Hey everyone!

Just a heads up that the first book in my Pulp Friction 2013 serial- Chances Are- is free from today through the 4th! Pick up a copy today and get hooked!



BLURB: 

His Grandma always said he'd come to no good. Chances Are, she's right. 

Meet Aaron "Chance" Dumont:

"I'm Chance, this is my place. You want me; this is where you can find me."

The problem with that, of course, was that it wasn't my name. My name was actually Aaron Dumont.

I picked up the name Chance as a kid when my grandma kept telling me "Chances are you'll come to no good, just like your pa." She had said it so often, it just kind of stuck. I've been Chance ever since. When she passed away and left me the remains of her estate, I sold everything but a few special items then invested it all in a nest egg for a rainy day.

I figured that's what she'd intended it for anyway. She'd said as soon as I joined the police force back in the eighties. "Chances are you'll come to no good there. It's a dangerous job and you're an accident waiting to happen."

She was right too.


4/27/2015

Story Orgy Superheroes: A Man of Unusual Talent #mmromance #storyorgy




Welcome back and good morning all! 

Today we begin a new project... Superheroes! 
My story is based on  a prompt suggested by Cheri Taylor 1)Ability to magically manifest a giant pile of marshmallows 2) accidentally setting one's car on fire (on the inside) 3) a vegetable peeler. 

Meet CC and Mat. 







Story Orgy Superheroes: A Man of Unusual Talent
Chapter One
April 27th- Don’t Waste Your Time

“Hey.”
“Yeah.” CC didn’t look up from the book he was reading. He’d just gotten to the interesting part…where he kept getting stuck on the theory and lost the whole concept. Quantum physics was way above his pay grade, but it just might hold the secret to well…his secrets.
“Pump nine ain’t pumping, dude.”
“Huh.” Putting a strip of cash register receipt, that proved he’d paid for his cigarettes three days ago, in the crease of the book to mark his page, CC glanced up. Going out and messing with the pumps wasn’t something he wanted to do, not while he was alone in the store. “Let me check.” His gaze automatically went to the window. The area was well lit, and practically deserted, which was his favorite part of working the night shift. All the pumps except nine were empty. There, a battered, rusty old Jetta had stopped at a slight angle so he couldn’t read the plates. “How about you just pull up to number ten and give that one a shot?”
“Can’t. I swiped my card already.”
Something flickered in the teen’s expression as he met CC’s gaze. CC found himself flinching in reaction to that micro expression. What had it even been? The kid’s face was still sober, his eyes a little red, as though he’d spent the night either crying or smoking dope.
“I can fix that.” CC sniffed the air cautiously. No odor of bud clung to the guy, and he was so small and thin that CC could probably take him one-handed, which was saying something, but… “Okay. I cancelled the sale on nine. Pull forward to ten and you should be good.”
He turned his attention back to his book but couldn’t find the train of thought he’d been following. “Damn it.” Warmth flooded his fingertips and he bit his lip, hard. Not now. Please. Not now. Raising his head he stared blankly out the window. He’d spent years learning to control his…talent. He even sneered inside his head when he thought it, that’s how awful it was. Since he’d lost his focus he decided now was as good a time as any to put that out of order sign on pump nine. Let Deana deal with fixing it in the morning when she had extra staff. That was the negative to the night shift. You were alone from basically midnight to five am. Five hours of blissful solitude. Just him and the closed circuit TV cameras.
When he opened the door he realized at a glance that the teen who’d entered the store wasn’t alone. CC hesitated for just a moment. It was well after midnight, and self-preservation said it might be best to just wait ‘til the two young men had left before he put up his sign.
He stood in the doorway for a minute, watching.
The second kid wasn’t any bigger or taller than the first. If anything he was more waif-like and fragile looking. They both wore dark hoodies, and black jeans. Their faces were whitish blurs in the distance, but he could tell that they were talking…and they kept glancing back at the door of the convenience store.
That was enough for CC. He could wait. No point in messing with potential trouble. He tossed the sign on the counter and went back to his book, flipped back to the beginning of the chapter to start over.
The door hissed open.
“Argh.” He muttered under his breath, glancing up. He froze as he saw the two teenagers walking toward him, one looking determined, and the other a little red faced and frantic. “Can I help you?” He made his voice as cold as the panic he felt would allow.
“You’re him, aren’t you?” The first boy said, while the second ducked his head and toed the ground.  
CC tensed. Yeah…he got that the boys weren’t here to rob the place, at least they weren't giving off any dangerous vibes. Not that his vibe meter was what you could call fully functional, but he’d learned…God how he’d learned to be wary. “Him?” He asked politely, straightening to as tall as he could, puffing out his chest and squaring his shoulders. Take up as much space as possible. That’s how animals intimidated one another, and… He immediately felt like a shit heel as the shyer boy took a step back and the one who’d spoken flinched. Holding his ground was feeling an awful lot like being a bully, and he didn’t like it. CC took a deep breath and forced himself to relax.
“Collin Crane.” The teen grabbed his friend’s hoodie, as though preventing him from fleeing. “I knew when I came in before you looked familiar. I’ve seen your picture every day for the last four years. You’re still number one man.”
Dread. His old friend and longtime emotional companion jumped him in a savage embrace. “I don’t know what you—”
“No one has ever figured out how you did it, or been able to top it. That was the senior prank to end all senior pranks.”
The two boys were staring at him now, and he knew he looked like an idiot, mouth gaping open and shut as he struggled to find something to say while at the same time trying to keep his…talent…under control, because that was the absolute last thing he needed. “Well, it was a long time ago.” He finally offered lamely.
“Tell us how you did it.” The second youth finally spoke up. “How’d you get all those marshmallows into the second floor boy’s restroom without anyone seeing you?”

***

Acrid, cleaning fluid odors stung his nostrils. Mathias tried to breathe through his mouth. He pushed the button to let the window down a crack, blow away some of the smell. Dillon was such a freak about germs, he’d wiped down all the seats and the entire dash with Lysol wipes before getting into the cruiser. How he’d survived childhood in their cheerful unapologetically messy mom’s house, Mat couldn't understand. Maybe the clean freak was a rebellion against the mess they’d grown up in.
Scenery flashed by. Or crawled…Dillon managed to keep his speed at just under the thirty mile per hour limit. The radio crackled occasionally, but not with anything they needed to hear. Mat focused his attention out the window again. Houses, mostly dark. A few security lights. Very little traffic. Typical for Morrisonville on a Thursday night. Nothing to do but drive the same ten mile circuit endlessly, making sure the parks were empty, that no one was breaking into the high school. That was the priority for the next three weeks.
Senior pranks. Twas the season.
Mathias squirmed on the seat. Had to piss. He cast a glance at his partner. Dillon was such a hard nose. “Hey…how about you pull into that gas station over there? I got to take a leak.”
Dillon’s lip curled, but he swung the patrol car into the convenience store parking lot. “I told you not to get the grande coffee at Mabel’s. Good thing it’s dead tonight.”
“Want anything while I’m in there?” Mat paused with his hand on the door latch, cocking his head at Dillon. Guy wasn’t so bad…just a walking encyclopedia of procedure and a nitpicker. He gave out more jaywalking and broken taillight tickets than any cop on the force.
“No eating in the squad car.” Dillon turned to face him, lips narrow and tight, radiating disapproval.
“You know…if you weren’t my brother…” Mat shoved the door open with unnecessary force. The captain was punishing him…all because he’d missed last Sunday’s dinner with the family. Well Pop should learn to separate work from personal. Riding with Dillon for a week was going to be torture. If Pop…Captain Giraud, head of Morrisonville’s twenty-five man police force…made good on his threat to force his grandsons to ride together for a month they’d be lucky if the both of them survived.
Shaking his head, Mat slammed the cruiser door as forcefully as he opened it. A poster on one of the convenience store’s huge plate glass windows boasted of sixty-four ounce sodas in refillable Hulk, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Black Widow and Thor cups. Mm. I need to go see that new movie. “I’m getting a soda.” He called over his shoulder to Dillon as he opened the door. “Can I get the restroom key?”
His gaze automatically surveyed the interior, noting it was deserted except for the cashier…a cute little guy named CC he vaguely remembered from high school…and two hoodie wearing teens. “Everything okay tonight, CC?” He asked. Not that he expected a negative answer, it was just that Collin Crane looked a little freaked. The two kids weren't any bigger than Collin, and weren’t familiar to Mat, so he figured they weren’t trouble makers. Generally he’d had dealings with most of the town’s rowdy teens.
“Yeah, fine these two were just getting gas. Thanks for coming in fellas.” CC stepped back, grabbed the restroom key off the hook and tossed it to Mat.
Mat caught the keys, watching the boys leave without speaking. “Seriously, CC. Those kids giving you trouble? I can talk to them.” Something about the smaller man…regret probably, for ignoring the way the kid was bullied in high school…made him feel a little protective. It was weird, but Mat had learned a lot since he’d turned his back on bullying when he was a kid. Then he’d thought it was enough that he didn’t participate when Jake and Thorn when the others messed with the younger kids. Now…social guilt? Whatever. He was a better person at thirty than he had been at fifteen.
CC looked up, cheeks flushed a little, lower lip trembling. “No…it’s okay. They just wanted gas.”
“Okay. I’ve gotta go, but I want a Thor cup when I get back.” He nodded and walked toward the narrow hall lined with empty boxes which led to the restroom.
“You a fan of The Avengers?” CC called after him.
Mat paused and glanced back over his shoulder, letting his smile widen. “I’m a huge fan of Thor…that is one well put together man.” He was still chuckling over CC’s strangled response when he closed the restroom door.

***

Don’t waste your time. He remembered Mathias Giraud from high school. Who wouldn’t? Athlete, scholar, popular. Handsome. Untouchable. Elite. “He’s not gay. Wasn’t gay in high school, isn’t gay now.” CC glanced at the Thor cup…golden hair, piercing blue eyes, lovely square jaw…bulging muscles… Chris Hemsworth really was well put together. Maybe some straight guys could appreciate that too.
“Uhem.”
Realizing he’d been staring at Thor, CC jerked his gaze up, and felt the heat in his fingertips again. Mathias Giraud was back from the restroom, holding out the key. “Yes?” He reached for the key. Giraud pulled it back, and CC whipped his hand behind his back before freezing. Mathias hadn’t been one of those jerks in high school, but teasing… The warm buzz in his fingers turned to a full on tingle. Damn it. No!
“Are you a fan?” The keys rattled as Mathias gave up on CC taking them and just let them fall to the counter.
CC watched them fall in slow motion as his heart hammered painfully loud. Control yourself. One… “Of Thor?”
“Yeah. I’m a big fan of superhero movies. This one opens next weekend.” Mathias stared at CC expectantly.
CC stared back. He was really busy trying not to make a total idiot of himself, but it almost sounded like Mathias Giraud was hinting at something. Like maybe he wanted CC to ask him to the movie? On a date? He shuddered. “No.”  
Once upon a time, he’d been enamored of every superhero from Batman to the Power Rangers. Every pair of underwear he’d owned from birth to age ten had been imprinted with some sort of superhero emblem. Even in junior high he’d had a large collection of Batman and Spiderman t-shirts. He’d broken his arm trying to fly like Superman at five. Broken his nose trying to perfect his own version of a batarang at nine.
He’d outgrown it though…the fascination with superheroes sometime between sixth grade and freshman year, when it became damned clear that no Clark Kent was waiting in the wings to save him, or anyone else for that matter. He was damned sure over it completely senior year. By the time he’d run into the second floor boy’s bathroom to escape Frank Conrad’s bullying, Collin Crane knew the only one he had to count on for a speedy rescue in life was himself…
“Uh…okay. Can I get my cup, please?”
Oh shit. Right…just keep dreaming. “Oh, sorry. Yeah.” He smiled lamely. His fingertips felt like they were on fire now. “Long night.” He handed over the cup, and pretended to be doing something with the paperwork while Mathias went and filled it.
“What do I owe you?”
“Nothing.” CC didn’t look up. He couldn’t bear to see mockery or amusement or pity in Mat’s blue eyes. “Management policy. Deana wants to encourage our men in blue to stop by frequently to discourage…um…stuff from happening.”
“Okay. Well…then how about it? You want to see Age of Ultron with me when it comes to the Baynard?”
What the ever-loving fuck? Not just go to the movie with him, but at their local theater no less? Where everyone could see them? “No, thanks, not a fan of men in tights.”
“So, asking you to go to the Nutcracker recital next year is out of the question too huh?”
Plop. Plop.
“No.” He said miserably, focusing his gaze on the restroom key. The wood block was grubby and worn from use. He meant it more as a reaction to the events Mathias couldn’t see…below the counter, where his fingers tingled crazily, but he could see that Mat took it personally.
The other man stiffened, his face going still. “All right then. Thanks for the soda, but Captain Giraud would have a fit if he thought his crew were accepting bribes, however small.” He dropped a dollar on the counter and left.






To Be Continued 

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Be Yourself

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955