Emory Jones loves two
things: horror movies and Connor Nichols.
Emory Jones loves two things: horror movies and
For the past four years, Emory, Connor, and their families
have vacationed side by side on Longboat Key, Florida. Eighteen-year-old Emory has pined
for his neighbor from behind the covers of Stephen King books, but college boy Connor has
never noticed him. Probably because Emory looks like Jack Skellington with good
Emory anticipates another predictable summer of sunburn
and disappointment. Instead, he ends up with a mystery on his hands when a beloved beach
bum goes missing, and Connor volunteers to help with the search. Turns out it’s not just
scary movie cops who are worthless, so the boys start an investigation of their own—leading
them straight to an abandoned beach resort.
Despite the danger, Emory and Connor grow closer, but as
Emory’s gay dreams start coming true, so do the horror movie tropes he so loves. Even
though he knows that sex equals death in slasher flicks, Emory can’t keep his hands off the
guy of his teenage dreams.
About the Author
Sara Dobie Bauer is a
bestselling romance author and mental health / LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing
degree from Ohio University. She lives with her hottie husband and precious pup in
Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film.
A young man searching
for his future, an older man living his life single.
Can they both find the
love they desire?
“Grayle Meadows was like no other man I’d ever met. He
was tall, handsome, sophisticated, and sexy as hell. Eyes so blue you thought you were
swimming in a seductive ocean, and you could lose yourself and never come up for air, and
he was the first man I ever loved. I could have spent my life adoring and loving him, but for
one thing, he said, ‘You’re too young.’ Twenty five wasn’t that young. I was just hitting my
A young man searching for his future, an older man living
his life single. Can they both find the love they desire?
Submission series is an age gap (25/35) M/M
Romance with HFN. The first book contains fake boyfriends and friends to lovers.
I’ve seen men, great-looking men. Some average, some tall,
beautiful, handsome men, but I never thought much of it. However, when I laid eyes on
Grayle Meadows for the first time, I knew I’d missed a lot in my life.
The day I first caught sight of that man, I knew he was out
of my league, but hey, foolishness and dreams are for young men, and I was going to dream
until something, or someone woke me. However, it wasn’t happening today, because today
my eyes were feasting on Grayle Meadows—hair perfect, eyes blue, face magnificent, suit
perfect, wide muscular shoulders, thin waist, and he was stunning.
All man, and I saw him first.
I’d like to think I was the first to see Grayle. However, it was
delusion on my part. I was sure there were many who laid eyes on this beautiful,
handsome-looking man before I’d entered the picture called life.
He appeared to be ten years my senior, therefore, to say
others had seen him first had to be inadequate, and superfluous. In other words,
unnecessary to say the least, because there was the likelihood that his mother and father
saw him long before I did. Maybe a brother or sister or two could claim that trophy if they
were giving them out for who spotted the handsome, sensuous, blue-eyed Grayle Meadows
I’d throw in my medal for him being the sexiest, and most
compelling man alive. I was sure he could have any woman, or man, if that was his choice,
but I wanted him to pick me, and why not? I was young, gay, and available. Willing to go the
distance if it called for that. He exuded sex in the way no other man could. He didn’t just
walk, his steps measured, he sailed across the floor with no wind at his back, and when he
spoke it was with a low raspy baritone voice.
I’d gladly hand over a medal, but no one could claim that
they saw him the way I’d pictured him in my mind, then in my dreams, and how he’d
invaded my senses when he first strolled into the shop where I’d worked every summer
since my parents allowed me to have a summer job.
I smelled his manly scent among all the customers standing
at the counter waiting to be served. When I spotted him with his beautiful, strong face, deep
intense eyes, I knew he was the man for me, and he’d be my first and only love.
I dropped what I was doing and rushed over, elbowed one
of my fellow workers, and my best friend Lane, took the scoop from his hand, and I stood
waiting for my first and only to open those full lips, and tell me what he wanted—a blowjob
from me, or a piece of my firm, hard, young ass.
Name it. I’m here to please, I thought, wearing a wide smile.
I looked over at Lane. “Who is he? I saw him first.”
“His name is Grayle Meadows.”
I pushed Lane aside and stared at him, daring him to say a
word, or take a step in Grayle’s direction, because he was mine, and I had dibs on him.
Grayle leaned over, trying to decide on which vanilla flavor
to order, and I couldn’t help but take in his scent on this hot false-spring day. Not even the
heavenly smell of chocolate, strawberry ice cream, and lime sherbet could dull my senses,
because his shaving lotion had overtaken me along with the flash of his big blue eyes, and
his dark-auburn curly hair. It was a bad hair day for me, but not Grayle Meadows. I doubted
he’d ever had a bad hair day or anything else, because there wasn’t enough heat and wind
in the world to disturb and disrupt that full mane of beautiful shiny hair.
I watched his large hands move to his hair, and his long
fingers raked through it as he bent once more to look at all the flavors, and when he raised
his head, his eyes locked with mine. He smiled and moved on. My heart lurched and my
cock twitched. He was my first. Never had I had that feeling about anyone before where my
dick involuntarily set off a firestorm that had gotten out of control.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Sky
I write steamy M/M romance
books, and I love to read hot M/M romance. Maybe steamy is too mild a term for my books.
Maybe I should say that my gay romance books are hot, hot, hot. I enjoy writing about
strong, flawed men who don’t mind saying they’re sorry when they hurt the ones they
I read and write across
genres and what gives me pleasure, and there is nothing more pleasurable or satisfying to
me than to write a happy ever after hot M/M romance with a kink or two.
My favorite books to read are
anything M/M, vampires, werewolves, mystery, and steamy romance. I have been busy with
reading and writing to bring you the best M/M romance books. Enjoy!
Emory Jones loves two things: horror movies and Connor Nichols.
For the past four years, Emory, Connor, and their families have vacationed side by side on Longboat Key, Florida. Eighteen-year-old Emory has pined for his neighbor from behind the covers of Stephen King books, but college boy Connor has never noticed him. Probably because Emory looks like Jack Skellington with good hair.
Emory anticipates another predictable summer of sunburn and disappointment. Instead, he ends up with a mystery on his hands when a beloved beach bum goes missing, and Connor volunteers to help with the search. Turns out it’s not just scary movie cops who are worthless, so the boys start an investigation of their own—leading them straight to an abandoned beach resort.
Despite the danger, Emory and Connor grow closer, but as Emory’s gay dreams start coming true, so do the horror movie tropes he so loves. Even though he knows that sex equals death in slasher flicks, Emory can’t keep his hands off the guy of his teenage dreams.
I’m about to follow a mysterious rat into the darkness when a hand lands on my shoulder. I suck a panicked gasp in through my lips as Connor says, “Sorry! Sorry.”
I put my hands on my knees and relearn breathing.
He stands there, backlit like some kind of hot angel, and shrugs. “Maybe you should be thanking me.”
“You like to be scared,” he says.
He’s right. Haunted house in the neighborhood? I’m first. Spooky cemetery? Coming through. Maybe that’s part of the reason I always let Liz drag me to parties at the Outpost. It feels like being in a scary movie. I’m waiting for Leatherface to show up and murder the morally reprehensible youth. Of course, if horror movie rules are true, I’m totally dead. I lost my virginity at sixteen and more often than not spend “happy hour” sharing malt liquor with Longboat’s famous homeless dude, Leland.
“What are you doing over here?” Connor asks.
“Befriending local wildlife.” I glance over my shoulder into the dark. I shove hair out of my face—a nervous tic I’ve acquired since growing it out. Because I needed another nervous tic. “What are you doing over here?”
“Talking to you.” He grins, but I can feel a disconnect.
Connor and I have always had a mutually agreed upon rhythm. He’s the big, gorgeous straight dude who puts up with me, the skinny, little gay kid.
No one knows I’m gay down here. Florida is for family, not fu— Anyway.
In summers past, Connor wrestled me and tickled me, and I pretended not to like it. We talked about some things, mostly scary movies, but kept an emotional distance. He accepts me being a drama queen, and I never let him know I would climb Everest for his kiss.
Staring at me with a dumb look on his face is not our rhythm.
I finally lose my shit. “Jesus, am I bleeding from my eyes?”
He coughs out a laugh. “What?”
“You’re looking at me funny.”
He looks away. “Oh.”
I cross my arms. I have, in fact, filled out a lot since last summer—and the lifeguarding helps—but I’m still self-conscious about my small frame and will probably never forget the jocks calling me “Tinker Bell” from seventh to tenth grade. I press my lips together and side-eye the kids dancing to some club beat on Liz’s phone. “Everyone’s looking at me funny, actually.”
Connor clears his throat and plucks at the front of his tight, white T-shirt. He looks like he wants to dive headfirst into the empty pool at his back.
“You don’t have to talk to me, you know.”
His blue eyes flit back my way. Even in the dark, I know they’re blue. He says, “But I like talking to you.”
I hug myself tighter and lift a shoulder. “Seen any good horror movies lately?”
His smile is back. “Tons. I saw this French one called Raw.”
I bounce up on my toes. “Cannibals! Oh my God, that movie was so good! The writing.” I tear at my hair in euphoric bliss.
He nods. “And the scene with the roommate.”
“And the ending!” I poke him in the chest. “Dude, I tried to get Liz to watch it. She’s all vegetarian now because she dated this hippie dude senior year. She said she gave up meat for her health, but I think it’s because he said he tasted death in her mouth.”
Connor does the silent open-mouth laugh thing that happens when my storytelling reaches peak levels of absurd.
“She made it thirty minutes into the movie before she had to leave the room and vomit. Meanwhile, I was sitting there eating, like, spaghetti.”
He puts his hand on my shoulder as he keeps laughing. I smell his deodorant: sporty man stuff. “I can’t believe I almost didn’t come this year.”
That steals the air from my lungs. Sure, I should be avoiding the guy, looking forward to the future, but all of a sudden, I can’t imagine a summer without Connor Nichols making me blush.
About the Author
Sara Dobie Bauer is a bestselling romance author and mental health / LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. She lives with her hottie husband and precious pup in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film.
Kyle must choose between the love of his past and the man he could love in the future
For fifteen years, Kyle and Dustin seemed like the perfect couple. That was until Kyle came home to discover Dustin in bed with a yoga instructor half his age and twice his flexibility. Two years and countless therapy hours later, Kyle has almost put the incident behind him. Being nearly forty and single makes a man bitter, but he’s making do.
Yet, when Kyle’s best friend asks him to be her Man of Honor, on her ten-day Caribbean wedding cruise, Kyle finds himself in a most uncomfortable situation. He ends up trapped on a seafaring vessel for ten days with the man who practically destroyed him.
Face to face with Dustin for the first time since the breakup, unresolved feelings float to the surface, and Kyle and Dustin both begin to wonder if their story is as over as it seems.
While navigating unchartered waters with Dustin, Kyle also meets Jax, a sexy Australian who likes to cruise in more ways than one. Kyle is more than happy to let Jax distract him for ten days. Still, when Jax suggests that he might want more than just a few days of fun, Kyle must choose between the love of his past or the man he could love in the future.
No, absolutely not!” I nearly choked on a spinach leaf.
“You have to come,” Sapphire insisted. “I want you to be my Man of Honor.”
“A) That’s not a thing. B) The answer is still no.”
“I can’t get married without you.”
“Sure, you can. There’s no law against it. People do it all the time.”
When Sapphire offered to take me to lunch, I should have suspected something treacherous was afoot. Sapphire and I were like sisters. Sisters of different races and one of them with a penis, but sisters, nonetheless. Our relationship was something enormous and incomprehensible to most people. On paper, we had nothing in common. We had completely different backgrounds and cultural experiences that cultivated entirely different perspectives of the world around us. Despite those differences, we had found each other.
As close as we were, the girl had never offered to buy lunch. She seldom volunteered to pay for anything. That should have been warning number one. When she suggested my favorite Italian restaurant, Armando’s, that should have been warning number two. When she volunteered to foot the bill to attend her destination wedding cruise, I should have known to prepare myself for the Armageddon of bad news.
“You spent fifteen years with the man. What are ten more days?” She spoke with her hands. A piece of chicken flung off her fork and onto the table beside us. The senior couple, who were trying to enjoy their eighteen-dollar salads, glared at us like we each had two heads.
“I’m so sorry,” I mouthed to them.
“I can’t believe you would miss your best friend’s wedding over a tiny, little, uncomfortable inconvenience like this.”
“A cockroach infestation is a tiny inconvenience. Gonorrhea is uncomfortable. What you’re asking me to do is far worse.”
“Don’t be dramatic,” Sapphire said, waving her hand. “Dustin is not that bad.”
“Isn’t he?” He was too tall, too fit, too classically pretty, and all too aware of the fact. He was narcissistic and untrustworthy, but he was also charming and exceptionally good at putting on an innocent act. He could flash his white teeth and his dimples and get people to believe anything he wanted. Still, if you looked into his eyes, you could tell he was soulless.
“Why would you want everyone to join you on your honeymoon, anyway?” I shifted focus. “I hate to tell you this, but if you can’t stand to be alone with Justin for ten days, you probably shouldn’t marry him.”
“Very funny,” she said dryly. “I want everyone there because I want my wedding to be an experience. An amazing memory we can all look back on together.”
“I am not spending ten days, on a tiny boat, in the middle of the Caribbean, with him.”
“It’s a cruise ship,” she corrected. “Besides, you won’t be with Dustin. You’ll be with me.”
“Lies!” I wasn’t buying any of it. “I know exactly what will happen. You and Justin will be too busy enjoying your Caribbean honeymoon to spend any time with me. Then I’ll be trapped, in the middle of the ocean, with no one to talk to except Beelzebub’s concubine.”
“He’s not going to be the only other person there, you know. Several other people will be in our group. You can make one of them your wingman. My father loves you. You can hang-out with him.”
“Honey, don’t take this the wrong way. If I’m on an exotic vacation, and the only man who wants to spend time with me is your sixty-five-year-old arthritic father, I might drown myself in a bathtub.”
“Don’t be silly,” Sapphire dismissed. “You’ll be surrounded by water. There’d be no need to draw a bath.”
I did not look amused.
“I can’t believe you’re still so angry. It’s been over a year.” It had been eighteen months since the breakup, and yes, I was still harboring, hurting, and hating.
I hadn’t seen or spoken to Dustin since the incident. As instructed, he had been gone when I returned to the apartment. With Sapphire’s help and some very strategic planning, I had avoided him throughout the entire decoupling process.
I left yellow Post-it Notes on everything he could take and was extremely vindictive about it. He could have the Blu-ray player, but not the discs or the TV. He could take the kitchen table, but not the chairs. I even kept the Keurig, though I permitted him to take his pods. What kind of monster drank decaf anyway? I also instructed Sapphire to guard the jazz record collection with her life. I detested jazz music, and we both knew it. I planned to pawn or destroy the albums later.
The first few weeks after the breakup, Dustin tried tirelessly to communicate with me. He sent me text messages that I didn’t answer and left voice mails that I refused to listen to. Dustin tried everything short of smoke signals. He even sent me an old-fashioned letter, which I didn’t open and burned immediately. I had nothing to say to him and had no desire to hear what he had to say to me. I had never been an incredibly trusting person, and his betrayal had reinforced all those walls that I had been trying, for years, to dismantle.
Being the forgiving person she was, Sapphire tried to convince me to give Dustin a second chance. Still, I refused, steadfast in my determination that he’d had his chance. Since then, she had been careful not to mention him. Even though I knew full well that she saw him regularly. He was her fiancé’s twin brother. She had to remain cordial. I did not and had no intention of ever being so.
“You simply have to come. We’re going to so many beautiful islands: Turks and Caicos, Bonaire, St. Thomas, and Aruba. You’ve always wanted to go to Aruba.”
That was true, but still, “If you put us on a ship together, I promise you, I will throw him overboard.”
She smiled wide, her teeth gleaming white against the contrast of her chocolate skin. “That’s fine! Just promise you’ll make it look like an accident.”
“Duh,” was the most mature response I could muster. “I don’t want to end up someone’s bitch in a Caribbean prison.”
“Don’t you, though?”
Dirty, prison sex would have been the most action I’d seen in a while. Thirty-nine may have been young by hetero standards, but in the queer world, I was practically a spinster. Being classified as an elder gay meant that my dating pool had been reduced to a few categories. First, those men who were so weird or creepy that nobody wanted them, or second, those who were so bitter and jaded by relationships past that dating them was like trying to build a house out of straw. I was a card-carrying member of category two.
Of course, there was always a third group. Younger men. They were excellent in theory, with their zero percent body fat and their permanent erections. However, too often, their perfect bodies and sexual appetites only camouflaged the fact that they lacked any real substance. If brains were dynamite, most of them couldn’t blow their nose. There were always exceptions. Old souls that knew how to converse about more than just Rhi-Rhi’s new album or T-Swizzle’s latest boyfriend. Those younger men wanted more than sugar daddies. Though, I still couldn’t imagine having enough in common with someone who hadn’t even been alive during the original run of Friends.
It wasn’t that I couldn’t get a date. Even close to forty, I was still cute. Not as attractive as I was at twenty, but I wasn’t a hunchback or anything. My deep green eyes matched my red hair, which I kept cropped short to avoid the bozo-clown-realness it would become if left to grow-out. I was tall and still decently shaped, a little thicker in some places than I’d prefer, but that came with age. At least, that’s what I told myself. I had a good understanding of where that put me in the queer hierarchy. Guys would still bang me; they just wouldn’t brag about it anymore.
Admittedly, the realization that I was no longer prime real estate took some getting used to. Before Dustin, I had been a penthouse in Manhattan, but after fifteen years in couple-town, I was shocked to discover I was now a brownstone in Queens. Next stop? Condemned building in Jersey!
That being said, I was optimistic about my life, even if it meant spending it alone.
“The ship is huge,” Sapphire was still talking. “You won’t even really have to see each other. There are also excursions at every port: zip-lining, snorkeling, hikes, surfing. Come on. You can orbit around each other for ten days without committing a violent felony.”
“Great, so I can spend the entire time by myself?”
“There’s going to be thousands of people on this ship. It’s a floating city. If you’re so worried about being by yourself, you could always try making friends.”
“You’ve known me for twenty years. Am I the type of person who makes friends?”
I was about to find out.
About the Author
This is Patrick Benjamin’s second novel. He was excited to try his hand at something lighter and more humorous than his debut novel (The Road Between). Patrick can most often be found spending quiet evenings at home with his husband, Jarrett and his puppy, Dax. When he’s not writing, Patrick can often be seen performing on stage as his glamorous drag persona Tequila Mockingbird. He also volunteers on the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization that has proudly served the LGBTQ2S+ community for 45 years.
Griffin Caldwell can’t wait to make a fresh start: new job, new town, new house. He’s even realized the lifelong dream of owning his own home. Except when he arrives, nothing is what he expected, and Griffin’s celebration turns from triumphant to terrible. Not only is his “cute bungalow” a derelict heap, it needs major remodeling work to be livable. And it turns out there’s only one person in town who’s even willing to commit to the project. The first time David Webber talks to Griffin about his disaster zone of a house, he’d like nothing better than to hang up the phone. But he’s stuck. All his grumpy behavior has gotten him is a whole stack of bad reviews online and no clients. From the moment they collide over a busted toilet, sparks and snark fly. The only thing that might be hotter than their mutual animosity is their intense chemistry. Neither of them wants to admit it at first but as the project evolves and their lives intertwine, maybe what they’re working on isn’t just a house. It might even be proof that a caring partnership can build a strong, long-lasting foundation–and an even fiercer love.
“What are you doing?” he asked when he stepped inside and spotted David ripping into a wall.
“Baking a cake,” he responded dryly before muttering to himself, “what does it freaking look like I’m doing? Knitting a damn sweater?”
“What flavor?” Griffin asked, choosing not to respond to the rest.
“The best flavor—chocolate.”
“I beg to differ. Chocolate is good, but nothing beats a super moist red-velvet cake with delicious cream cheese frosting.”
David stared at him, crowbar in one hand, sledgehammer in the other. “Are you saying chocolate cake can’t be moist? Because if so, you’re having the wrong cake.”
“No, not at all. I’ve had some decent chocolate cake. It’s just more dense than other flavors.”
David snorted. “Was there anything else you needed? Or did you just stop by to tell me my choice in cake is dense?”
Griffin crossed his arms over his chest. “You brought up the cake conversation, not me. All I did was ask what you were doing.”
David sighed and looked toward the sagging ceiling, as if searching for a way to respond to Griffin. The ceiling was another thing that had given up in that house. The entire thing looked like it’d just had enough standing up in the battle against the elements, animals, and trespassers. And had definitely gotten tired of doing so alone—since it’d sat empty for so long. It’d given up, finally waving the white flag as tree roots took over and the crushing weight of snow had caused certain parts to cave in. The thought of seeing the house in such despair and feeling the sadness among the walls hurt Griffin’s heart, and he hoped all the time, money, and arguments with David were worth breathing new life into the house. It deserved a chance to shine in all its glory, and even though it didn’t look like much now, the bones were still solid. It just needed some love.
“When I get asked a question where the answer is obvious, I can’t help but respond with sarcasm.”
“What was that?” Griffin asked, startled by David’s voice. He’d been so lost in thought about his depressing home that he’d forgotten he was in the middle of a conversation with David.
David sighed loudly and muttered under his breath again. “Did you need something? I’m a bit busy here.”
He waved his arm around the room, the one Griffin intended to be his master bedroom, to indicate the piles of drywall he’d ripped down.
“Just wondering if you need any help.”
“We’ve already had this conversation more than once, Griffin. Right now, it’s best if you stay out of the way until I have the basic demolition finished.”
Griffin pursed his lips as he tried not to stare at the way Griffin’s sweaty T-shirt clung to him like a second skin and his jeans hugged his thick thighs like they were drawn on him. Jesus. He could crack walnuts with those thighs.
Even though it was still fairly early in the morning, the sun was already high in the sky and the humidity was even higher. And just walking outside to collect the morning paper would cause sweat to bead on your upper lip and temples. And while Griffin hated it, he had to give his thanks to the weather gods since David had taken his shirt off more than once while doing work. And Griffin couldn’t help but accept the gifts in the form of his bulging, sweating muscles, eagerly. It’d be rude not to, after all.
About the Authors
A lifelong Oregonian, Beth has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband and their sweet kitten, Earl Grey. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just as weird in Raleigh. Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published twenty novels and six novellas.
Brittany was born in Enterprise, Alabama and moved to a small town in Indiana when she was thirteen. And, even though the town is named Kokomo, it’s nothing like the Beach Boys song. During her free time, she loves to read amazing books, watch mindless television, and spend time with family and loved ones. Oh, and squeeze in writing some time throughout the day as well. She is also the mom to an adorable, yet precocious, Border Collie named Delilah. When not doing any of those fun-filled activities, she works at a hospital as a switchboard operator.
Because sometimes it takes dying to have the time of your life.
Nord wakes up to find himself sort of dead. Well, that is to say, he’s dead, alright—murdered, in fact—but not in heaven, at least not yet. In this limbo-like state, he meets Max and learns that everyone there is waiting for the final poof, hopefully to a better place. Only, with unfinished business back in the real world, like bringing his murderer to justice, Nord’s poof is nowhere in sight. And so, he and Max set out to find the killer and make things right again. Of course, that’s easier said than done when you’re nothing more than a couple of randy spirits.
With the help of Voltan, a diminutive mystic with a predilection for turbans, and Clark, a nerdy computer geek eager to shed his loner past, plus a ghost accountant, Bruce, Bruce’s drag queen brother, Eve O’Destruction, and Nord’s kick-ass mom, the newly enamored pair set out to hunt for the murderer, and are quick to discover how much they’d taken for granted when they were alive.
In this hysterically funny and often poignant mystery about fate and love and family, it ultimately takes dying for our heroes to have the times of their lives.
I woke with a start and stared up at the ceiling. “That’s weird,” I said. “Where’s my ceiling fan?” I blinked. I blinked again. I thought to make it a trio, but then realized I hadn’t blinked the first two times—which is to say, I blinked but there wasn’t that whole ceiling, no ceiling, ceiling, no ceiling thing, which is what happens when I blink and I’m staring up at my ceiling. Not that what I was staring at was a ceiling to begin with, but still.
I continued staring up. I supposed what I was staring at was white, given that it looked white, and I supposed that what I was staring up at was a ceiling because, give or take, most ceilings are white, mine included, but the white I was staring at sort of shifted around a bit. FYI, my ceiling didn’t do that, except perhaps when I was drunk.
“Did I get drunk last night?” I asked myself. Only, I couldn’t remember last night. I couldn’t remember going to sleep, even. I remembered waking, but that was it. And I didn’t feel drunk. In fact, I felt great. Better than great, actually. Blissful would’ve been a good word for it. Light, too. As if I’d been weighed down and now I wasn’t. “Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty—”
“You can try, but He doesn’t seem to listen,” I heard, then jumped in place.
My head whipped right. Nothing. My head whipped left. “Um, how did you get in my…” My what? This wasn’t my room. This wasn’t my ceiling. Was what was above me a ceiling anyway? “Wait, who doesn’t seem to listen?”
The man to my left grinned. He looked about my age, early thirties, give or take, nice looking guy, too. Very Bradley Cooper like, stunning blue eyes and all. He was prone. He was lying next to me. He was naked. I stared down at my body. I, too, was naked. I continued staring down. There was no bed. There was my body, there was his body, there was that shifting white. “Don’t freak out,” he said.
My heart wasn’t madly pumping in my chest and I wasn’t sweating, but I felt like I was freaking out, nonetheless. Especially because my heart should’ve been madly pumping and I generally start to sweat when I’m freaking the fuck out. All that is to say, I was FREAKING THE FUCK OUT!
“I’m freaking the fuck out!” I shouted his way. “Who are you? Where are we? Why is the wall and ceiling and floor shifting?” I blinked. It felt like I blinked, but I didn’t get the right effect again. “And where are my fucking eyelids?”
“You get used to that,” he replied.
I sat up. That is to say, I tried to sit up. Only, I didn’t think I was actually lying down, and you can’t sit up if you’re not lying down to begin with. “Stop the ride,” I squeaked out, “I want to get off.”
I was still staring at him. He was still grinning. “Give it a minute,” he said. “Takes about five minutes for all of it to right itself.”
“All? What all?” I continued staring. It seemed like a minute went by. I was no longer lying there. I was standing. He was standing next to me. The not-a-ceiling was now not-a-wall, and it was still shifting, and I was, duh, still freaking out, fuck and all.
“You were lying down before you got here, so it seemed like you were lying down when you arrived. Get it?” He said it very comfortingly. I felt less than comforted. Very.
“Max.” He held out his hand. I shook it. I felt his hand in mine. There was indeed comfort in that.
“Nordstrom,” I said.
He laughed. He had a nice laugh. He had a nice grin. Max seemed nice. “Did your mom have a penchant for upscale shopping?”
I shook my head. “I was born in one. And my mom had a penchant for making sure I was teased well into adulthood.” I let go of his hand. “Nord. My friends call me Nord. Otherwise, they don’t get a Christmas present.”
About the Author
Rob Rosen is the a author of the award-winning novels Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort, Fate, Midlife Crisis, Fierce, And God Belched, Mary, Queen of Scotch, Ted of the d’Urbervilles, and Sort of Dead, and editor of the anthologies Lust in Time, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015, and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4.