Crawl in Bed With Andy Slade & Ali Wilde

Crawling Into Bed With Ali Wilde & Andy Slayde
And a Good Book

*crawls across bed* Important things first, are these sheets silk or cotton?
Ali: Cotton, it’s cooler than silk for the Aussie climate. They have a high thread count, though, and match the continental quilt cover.
Andy: Cotton is very nice. We’re lucky we have a bed big enough for the three of us.

Yes...this is rather a large bed, isn't it? What are you wearing?
Ali: black pajamas; singlet and shorts in that T-shirt material. They do have some lace... 
Andy: A white and black striped nightshirt.  I left my flannel pengie jammies at home.

Y'all make me feel a bit under-dressed in my sweats...but they're black so we're all color coordinated, at least. What are we snacking on in bed while we read tonight?
Ali: Pringles, honey mustard.
Andy: Nothing. Hate getting crumbs in bed. *scoots over to the edge*
Ali: I don’t waste Pringles by dropping crumbs.
Andy: Well it’s not my bed... So I’ll have some macadamia nut cheesecake.
Ali: And you’ll be sharing that, won’t you?
Andy: I’ll give you a slice or two for some Tim Tams and Cherry Ripes.
Ali: Like I’d be able to hold you back if you spied them. Andy: *laughs* You know me so well.

Nice...If I open this nightstand drawer, what will I find?
Ali: No! Don’t open that! *BOOM!* Ooops... No, seriously? Books, candles, lip balms and Tarot Cards among a lot of papers and some jewelry. I really need to clean this out.
Andy: Really? *leans over and opens the top drawer and starts pulling things out*
Ali: *smacks grabby hands* Now you’ve made a mess. Happy?
Andy: Aww, I’ll put it all back. I swear. I don’t have a nightstand so I like to see what other people have in theirs.

Now now...no need to resort to violence. Do you roll up in the blankets like a burrito, or kick the covers off during the night?
 Ali: Roll up, at the moment, hence the king size quilt on the queen size bed. We might all get some. 
Andy: We should have used my bed. I have enough blankets/quilts/comforters/whatever you want to call them on my bed so we can all roll up.

I've learned over time to bring my own, just in case. Can I put my cold feet on your calves to warm them up?
Ali: My calves will be colder than your feet.
Andy: Sure, but you’d have warmer feet if you stuck them under Mr. Big Paw’s feet. Did I forget to mention I brought my cat?
Ali: No cats in my bed. 
Andy: Fine, you try and shove him off.

Good thing I left MJ, my Great Dane, at home then. What are we reading?
Ali: A Bitter Taste of Sweet Oblivion by Jordan Castillo Price. 
Andy: Lord John and The Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon

Oh come on...your book! I came over here to listen to you two read to me from YOUR book, How Was He Supposed to Know?

Why does Reece need to carry a color chart on a night out? When his bandana gets him into trouble, longtime-crush Lane saves the day, turning Reece's world--and future--upside down.

Who knew the bandana Reece wears and uses on his family dairy farm could cause so much trouble? Reece's main company is his family and the cattle. So, when the opportunity for a night off arises, he grabs it with both hands and heads for the only gay club within fifty miles.
Reece has had a crush on Lane--one of the bartenders--forever. But Lane's leaving town at the end of the week. What good would come of hooking up with him now? Should that stop Reece from going home with Lane and finding out what Lane's bandana really means?

Excerpt: It was official: the Fates were conspiring against him. Friday night had arrived and Reece had finally talked his brother Liam into handling the morning milking without him, which meant Liam was going to have to get either Darryl or Keith--the farm hands--to help him. In return Reece would have to get up early two mornings in a row, once with Liam and once with one of the farm hands, to milk. A small price to pay in order to go out, blow off some steam, have a few drinks, and possibly get laid, without having to be back at four in the morning to milk cows which didn't want to be up at that hour any more than he did.

The only thing standing between him and his night of freedom was one calf. One ornery calf. You wouldn't think a little calf--in a pen--could be difficult, but oh, they could be. This one had run around on its long wobbly legs, doing everything in its power to delay Reece's departure.

The little calf stood in one corner of the pen, its gaze momentarily off Reece. Reece made his move, rushing the calf, straddling it and shoving the bottle in its mouth. Even though the calf was suckling greedily from the bottle, it still squirmed and thrashed about. Great. No doubt there would be bruises. And bruises were so sexy. Well, such was the life of a dairy farmer. Bruises, cuts, and scrapes were all par for the course. If he hooked up with anyone tonight, he'd make sure the lights were off when they got down to business.

Reece pulled his bandana from his back pocket and wiped his face and neck. Now he needed a long, hot shower. Even if he still ached a bit, he wouldn't smell like cow and straw and... worse.

He'd never been to The Ice Cave in Summerset, and now was as good a time as any. Lane wouldn't be bartending there much longer. Hell, he wouldn't even be around the farm and hanging out with Liam anymore. Reece didn't want to dwell on Lane leaving. And he didn't delude himself into thinking he could change Lane's mind.

"So, I'm off to New York City in two weeks time."

Those words, spoken by Lane just last week, would be forever etched in Reece's mind. Lane leaving was probably for the best as it might enable Reece to get over the crush he had on his brother's best friend and concentrate on finding someone closer to his own age, someone who didn't treat him like a little brother and fondly tousle his hair. Okay, yeah, that hadn't happened for a few years, but it seemed as though Lane still saw Reece as Liam's thirteen-year-old brother. That's how old he'd been on Lane's eighteenth birthday when Lane had left for Summerset.

The rural community of West Summerset had never been exciting enough for someone like Lane. He had a kind of rock-star glam thing happening that had been so out of place there. Hair that had gone through many color changes and styles was now white-blond and cut short but for long bangs falling over his wide blue, immaculately kohled and mascaraed eyes. Nail polish, earrings, and a lot of black leather clothing, usually tight, so unlike everyone else in town, marked him as different. He'd been like that since he was about fifteen and come out to his parents and, essentially, the rest of West Summerset. Lane's parents had hit the roof and thrown him out, but Reece's parents defied most of the town's bigots and taken Lane in. With model looks and a flamboyant style, there hadn't been many days when Lane hadn't come home from school without a new cut or bruise from being jumped by kids. Liam had done his best to deflect the bullying, but he couldn't be around Lane all the time, and besides, Lane hated dragging Liam into his problems, preferring to settle them himself. Lane was no wimp, despite his glam looks.

When Lane had spoken the words that broke Reece's heart, he'd pushed the hair out of his eyes and gazed happily at Liam. Liam had looked stunned for all of five seconds and then embraced Lane in a manly hug, congratulating him and wishing him all the best of luck, while extracting promises that he'd come back to be best man at Liam and Julie's wedding later in the year.

And all Reece could come up with had been, "But... you can't go."

Two pairs of eyes; one green, so like his own, and the other slightly tilted and lined with black eyeliner, had looked at Reece. "Why?" Liam and Lane had chorused.

Why? Wasn't it obvious? On one hand, Reece thanked his lucky stars neither Lane nor Liam had noticed his crush; on the other, he was kinda disappointed. He'd mumbled something inane about Liam needing his best friend around, about needing help on the farm--yeah, that one had got a laugh. Lane was not the farming type.

And then, to make matters even worse, Lane had explained patiently--like Reece was still thirteen and really had no clue--that he couldn't stay. He'd set up a ten-year plan to make enough money to go to New York City and find what he was looking for: bright lights, glitz, fun, glamour. And that deadline had all but arrived. So, after spending ten years in Summerset, tending bar at The Ice Cave--and being where Liam could always get in touch with him, only twenty minutes away--he'd finally handed in his notice and would be gone in a week.

New York City was too far to drive back and forth on a whim. Reece couldn't take the time off anyway. And why would Lane come back to a place which held nothing pleasant for him except Reece's family? Nah, it had taken ten years of Lane's life to accomplish what he had. No one, least of all Reece, would be able to talk him into staying.

So, no, he wasn't going to The Ice Cave to try to hook up with Lane. That would be a mistake on so many levels. He was going to The Ice Cave to meet someone who didn't know his brother and parents and grandparents and every other boy he'd ever dated or even made out with. Someone whose name he didn't know and someone he could flirt with, trade small talk with and get to know over a couple of beers.

He looked at himself again in the full-length mirror on the wall of his bedroom. God, he hoped the other men at The Ice Cave didn't all look like Lane. If they were all glam, he'd stick out like the country boy he was, wearing the fanciest clothes he owned: a pair of tight blue jeans, black T-shirt and black cowboy boots. The casual look had always seen him right at the local watering hole; he hoped it'd be okay for a gay bar in Summerset.

Reece took his wallet off the dresser, ensured the couple of condoms were within their use by date and stuffed the wallet in his back pocket, with his bandana. It was now or never. With a deep breath and keys jangling, Reece raced down the stairs from his loft bedroom two at a time and walked briskly to the front door. Before opening the door, he gave the loft and downstairs area a cursory glance to ensure lights were off, and then jogged to his pick-up truck.

Time to have some fun, and forget about milking cows, mowing fields and shoveling shit--if just for one night.

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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