Friday, August 28, 2009

En Garde by Will Belegon

“I’m telling you, I’m fine. I’ll just snag a cheap motel room.” I wasn’t drunk. Not really. Barely buzzed. But combine barely buzzed with midnight and a three-hour drive, and the folly of me heading for home was obvious. Luckily, the only one waiting for me was the cat, and there was plenty of food and water out.

“No way, old timer.” Kelly shot the idea down casually. “I’ve got an extra bedroom since Donna moved in with her boyfriend. Besides, we can’t let our favorite mid-life crisis poster boy sleep in a sleazy motel. You’re either coming home with me or with Liz and Wilson. And they have a need for privacy tonight. Don’t ya, Liz?”

Later, I would remember the conspiratorial smile between Kelly and Liz. At the time, I was too busy defending my dignity.

“I appreciate the invitation. I really do. But it wouldn’t really be proper and you know it.”

That generated a guffaw from Wilson, his first comment in the discussion.

“Tell me you didn’t go there, John. That won’t work with these two. Believe me, I know. Public appearances? I once watched Liz and Kelly lock lips in the middle of a party just to tweak a frat boy who was talking about lesbians in intercollegiate sports. And believe me, man, if Liz had any desires in that direction I would have long since known about it. At least, I hope I would have.” The quick glance he sent his fiancĂ©e was full of not-so-subtle overtones. She played off it, sneering back at him and blowing Kelly a kiss. “They both get off on shocking people, so the whole bit about you looking like a dirty old man ain’t gonna fly. Give it up. You got an urge to spend sixty extra bucks, you can take the three of us to breakfast. Liz and I live just down the street. But you aren’t gonna talk Kelly out of this. She’s got that antisocial rep to maintain, you know. You don’t have a chance.”

“Nope. I don’t give in easy and I always get what I want. That’s why half the campus is afraid of getting in my way.” Kelly punctuated her declaration by giving Wilson her best fuck-off-and-die glare. He rolled his eyes.

“No, half the campus is not afraid of a skinny pixie-sized Joan Jett clone with a sword and an attitude problem. What they’re afraid of is getting charged with child abuse if the cops are too hyped on sugar and caffeine to notice your tattoos.” Wilson and Kelly were notorious for poking at each other like this but, like my nickname, Kelly’s verbal bouts with Wilson were a sign of the respect between them. “Still, old timer, she means it when she says she won’t quit. Your best bet is to give in before she starts hitting you.”

Kelly grinned and brandished a petite fist. “You give? Or do I have to get medieval on your ass?”

“Alright, alright. I give up. I’ll take the bed rather than the beating.” I bowed to my assailant, earning another laugh from Wilson.

“Wise choice, man. I assume you’ll be heading out early, so we’ll see you next month. Unless you really do want to buy us breakfast in the morning?” Wilson shook my hand while the girls shared a hug, then he and Liz headed for home. Kelly grabbed my elbow and pulled me toward the opposite side of the parking lot where we had left her yellow VW and my truck.

“Follow me home, John. There’s plenty of parking. And if you pull into a motel on the way, I really will hit you.”

“Kell, are you sure about this? I don’t want to impose.”

“You’re not, I told you already. And wouldn’t you do the same for any of us? Besides, what do you think, I should be worried about you raping me or something?” She murmured something under her breath as she headed for her car, but it couldn’t possibly have been the words I thought I heard. As she opened the door, she called out, “Besides, I already kicked your ass once tonight. I can do it again.”

As I followed her through the dark city streets, I tried to rein in my imagination. The evening had been filled with thinly veiled innuendo that seemed harmless in a bar between friends, but had other overtones once it was just me and Kelly. The pictures in my mind were not something I wanted to concentrate on with her on the other side of a thin wall. It would be far too tempting. The motel idea was growing more appealing, if only to keep me from wanting something I could not have.

A Knight at the Speedway by Jaxx Steele

Artis followed Josh from the suite and down the elevator. Once outside, they saw a crowd of people that wore the same lanyards around their necks heading one direction and trailed after them. The crowd started to take shape and form into a line that disappeared inside a large tent. Artis smiled at the sight of the name above the tent. Kris always drew a crowd.

“Damn, is it always like this?” Josh asked his friend, stunned.

“Yup. He’s popular.” Artis shrugged it off as nothing.

Josh shook his head. “Look, dude, I’ll wait for you in the suite. I only came to this thing for the food and drink. This part is all you.” He nodded his head toward the tent.

Artis chuckled, slapping his friend five and then took his place at the end of the line. After almost two hours of waiting, there was only one person separating him from Kris. Artis could feel his heart pumping faster at the thought. The woman in front of him entered the tent and he moved up. From his new position, he could see inside the tent. His hair was long, resting along his broad shoulders with thick damp strands hanging on his forehead. The white tank top that clung to his chest was only half tucked into his dark jeans and his jacket was thrown across the chair in front of him.

Artis stared attentively as Kris leaned on his bike and took the woman into his arms. After instructing the photographer they were ready, he flashed one of his amazing smiles and Artis felt his cock jump in his shorts. With the picture taken, the woman rushed over to the photographer and waited for the copy to come from the printer. She returned to the table with the glossy photo of them and a pen. Kris signed the picture and handed back to her. She kissed him on the cheek and left, giggling happily. Artis took a few deep breaths to calm down before he walked into the tent and stopped at the table.

“Artie? Is that you?”

Artis let out a shocked breath, his heart swelling within his chest. His chest rose and fell so fast he could hardly get any air into his lungs. He nodded, jerking his head wildly, unable to speak.

Kris left the bike and walked around the table to him. “Oh my God, it is you,” he said happily. He wrapped one arm around Artis’ neck and the other around his waist and pulled him into a hug. “I was hoping I got the chance to see you while I was here.”

Artis melted in his embrace. Although he was stunned at the turn of events he recovered quickly and returned the hug, loving the feel of Kris’ body pressed against his.

“I didn’t think you would remember me,” Artis finally whispered.

Kris released him. “Remember you? Are you kidding? I could never forget you!” he exclaimed, holding his shoulders, laughing. He turned to the photographer. “Ralph, this is my best friend, Artis! He lives here in town. We went to school together.”

“Hey,” was all Ralph murmured from behind the camera.

“Come on, Artie, let’s take a picture.”

Artis was elated. Kris remembered him and he was about to take a picture with his bike. And what a bike it was! The royal blue Kawasaki Ninja was amazing. It was still dusty from the ride, but that just made it more appealing as far as Artis was concerned. He slowly ran his hand over the crotch rocket as the memory from his first ride on a motorcycle came to mind.

“Go ahead and get up there, Artie. I know you want to,” Kris offered with a sly grin nudging him.

Artis didn’t hesitate. He threw his leg over the powerful machine and a rush of adrenaline surged through him as he gripped the handles. He closed his eyes and bit his bottom lip enjoying it.

“Quick, Ralph, take this picture,” he heard Kris say through his heady daze.

He kept his eyes shut, but he still saw the flash although it was dimmed. Before he could open his eyes, the bike dropped down from extra weight added to it. To his amazement, he felt Kris’ arms slip around his waist. He looked to his left as far as his gaze could go without turning his head. His cock surged to life at Kris’ closeness.

“Take this shot, too, Ralph. We would have had one like this years ago when I took him on his first ride, but no one was around to take the picture.”

His stunned face was surely captured on film. Kris’ arm around him for a second time was more than he could imagine would happen when he woke today. At best, he was hoping to just talk to him. Now he sat on this incredible bike with Kris behind him, resting his chin on his shoulder holding him in his arms. This day had moved up to the best of his life in a matter of minutes!

For years he wondered what it would feel like to be held by Kris’ strong arms. At long last, he knew they felt wonderful. Strong and muscular, holding him firm without crushing him. Kris’ torso pressed into his back and his cock against his butt…mmm. An erotic shiver went through his body at the revelation. It left a tingling sensation in its wake. He closed his eyes again. If this was a fluke, it was something he never wanted to forget. Taking a deep breath, he reveled in the feeling and then it was gone. Kris released his hold on Artis and slid off the back of the bike.

I Can't Drive 55 by Jade Falconer

The cop leaned down, one hand on the car, peering into the interior. He had a small flashlight in his hand and he pointed it at Kyle’s face. “Hello, sir. Do you know why I stopped you tonight?”

Kyle blinked into the light, his hand coming up to shield his eyes. “I suppose I was going a bit fast? Inspired as I was by the beautiful night, some sweet rock and roll, and this amazing stretch of unpopulated road.” He let his hand drop, trying to look up innocently at the officer. He licked his lips. “Was it really doing anyone any harm?” he asked.

The cop’s mouth quirked. “A bit fast? I clocked you at one-ten. That’s reckless driving territory, you know that?” He held out his hand. “License and registration, please.”

Kyle handed over the two cards, relieved when the flashlight diverted away from his eyes. “It can’t be very exciting watching this lonely stretch of road at two in the morning,” he said conversationally. “I suppose you’re almost relieved to catch someone, just to break things up.” He tilted his head to the side and rubbed his damp hands on his jeans. He shifted his hips forward on the seat just slightly, more to draw the officer’s attention to his obscenely tight jeans than anything else. If he looked at him, Kyle would be able to tell. He’d know if he had any hope.

The cop examined the two cards, gaze flicking from them to Kyle. “Mr. Edwards,” he said. “Is this your current address?”

Kyle smiled. “Yes, sir,” he said breathily. He had noticed the glance, but the cop’s manner was still brusque. “You know...I could make your evening even more...interesting.” He looked up at him wide-eyed. The more he studied the cop, the more he thought he might want to do him even if he wasn’t trying to get out of a ticket.

The cop stared into Kyle’s eyes for a moment. “It’s already gotten more interesting,” he said finally, his voice deeper. He leaned closer. “What exactly did you have in mind?”

Kyle could hardly keep still. His mind latched onto how dirty it would be to offer to suck off a cop to get out of a ticket, and it caused his cock to stir. “Maybe I could do something for you, and...you could do something for me,” he suggested. He wet his lips again.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Drawing the Veil by Stevie Woods

Malik felt the pirate’s arm tighten around his chest even as the man’s other arm wrapped around his neck, tightening across Malik’s throat as the pirate forced his head back. He was totally immobilized and could hardly breathe, but he struggled to keep his eyes focused on the water beyond the opposite railing, praying.

Suddenly a large black man broke the water, a young slender man held close against his body. Malik’s eyes closed for a second and he felt utter relief. He soon opened them again to confirm what he had seen, gaze straining at the distance between him and the small figures in the roiling sea.

Not wishing to draw the pirate’s attention to his friends, Malik kept his reactions internal. Robert was so pale he looked half-dead, but Malik knew that when Aram had jumped into the water Robert had been very much alive, shouting in frustrated anger and thumping at his friend’s body. Malik sagged a little in his captor’s grip as he saw Robert coughing and retching, Aram holding him firmly above the waves. He was grateful that the pirates were too busy on board the captured ship to bother to look over the side into the sea.

Malik was aware that Robert hadn’t wanted to leave him behind, but he had been trapped on the other side of the deck. Whatever else Aram was, he was completely loyal to Robert Charteris and Malik knew he would do everything in his power to keep Robert safe. For that, Malik would be eternally grateful.

Even though it meant abandoning him to the Barbary pirates.

Malik felt tears pricking his eyes but he wouldn’t let the bastards believe he was afraid of them and he stubbornly forced the tears back. As useless as he knew it probably was, he renewed his struggles and only stopped when the pirate pressed his arm so brutally against Malik’s throat again that his vision began to darken.

“Be still!” Malik heard the pirate’s words as if from a distance. “I’d rather keep you alive, don’t make me kill you,” the man snarled at him and being no fool, Malik let his body go limp.

A deep voice boomed out, cutting across the noise on deck. “Sweep the dregs overboard, line up the rest.”

It didn’t take long for the pirates to dispose of the dead. Though Malik could not be certain, he thought they might have finished off a couple of badly injured sailors before throwing them into the sea with the rest of the dead. The ship had been damaged and even to Malik’s inexperienced eye it was obvious it was sinking. The ships had been grappled together when the pirates had attacked. Now a wide plank dropped onto the deck of the English ship so the prisoners could be quickly herded across onto the Corsair ship.

Malik was dragged over to the centre of the main deck and shoved into line with the other survivors. The passengers were mixed up with the crew as they were gathered together. As far as he knew only Robert and Aram had escaped from among the passengers. However, he had seen the body of Mr. Holmes lying crumpled up near the steps to the upper deck where he had fallen. It had been chilling to see a sword slice into the man as he tried to keep his teenage son safe; but it had perhaps been more chilling to watch as the poor man’s corpse was unceremoniously dumped into the sea along with the dead sailors, Corsair fallen along with the English dead.

Malik glanced over to where young Ernest Holmes now huddled, arms wrapped around himself, pale and shaking, gaze darting from one pirate to the next. Malik wished he could do something to comfort the boy but there were half a dozen men between Malik and Ernest. Most of them were sailors who were older than he was, let alone young Ernest, yet no one seemed to think about comforting the lad whose father had just been murdered in front of him. It seemed that only the few ladies on board were considered worthy of that kind thought. Perhaps it was his own recent abandonment, as necessary as it had been, but at that moment Malik admitted to himself that he wouldn’t have refused a little comfort if it were offered. With that thought in mind, he edged backwards a step behind the man next to him and then moved slowly but steadily towards the lad.

He had almost reached the boy, his hand snaking out to touch Ernest’s arm, when a sharp voice demanded, “And where do you think you’re going?”

A large hand shot out and grabbed Malik by the shoulder and yanked him forward. He looked up into one of the ugliest faces he had ever seen; it was a pity that Malik had seen him before when he had forced Malik’s head back with his arm across his throat. His had been the last face Malik saw before his sight dimmed. Not a nice sight, he mused, when it might have been his last.

“Captain, I think you might find this one of interest,” the pirate said in a particularly snide voice.

A man approached, swathed almost completely in dark green robes edged with silver thread. His veil trailed across his shoulder so his face was visible and the scar cutting across his face from lower left jaw to just below his left eye lent his visage a cruel air. He was not as tall as Malik but he was of a heavier build. His eyes were dark, and Malik got the distinct impression the darkness was more than merely the colour of his pupils, it was a darkness of his soul.

Malik wondered at his own fanciful thoughts, thinking Robert would have laughed at him. Robert. God, did he even still live? Aram had taken a terrible risk leaping into the sea like that, but he had sworn never to allow himself to be taken for a slave again. The ex-slave had tasted freedom again during the last few years and had preferred to jump into the sea, trusting he could find a way to survive. He entrusted his life and that of his charge to the waters—probably hoping to find a piece of wreckage from their vessel to cling to—rather than risk being enslaved once more.

Slavery, that was to be Malik’s future now. A fact he hadn’t really faced until that moment.

Malik hissed sharply as the captain grabbed a handful of his hair and yanked him further forward, away from the other prisoners. The captain roughly spun Malik around, looking him up and down from every angle. Malik almost fell before the captain grabbed him again and he was turned to face him. Malik became acutely aware of the gleam in his captor’s eyes and he was suddenly afraid for another reason entirely. The captain grinned and turned to the pirate who had captured Malik.

“Take him to my cabin, Ali. Secure him.”

“Aye, Reis,” the pirate acknowledged his captain, even as he took Malik’s arm. “Jabbar,” he called and another pirate approached, pulling a thin cord from his sash as he did so. The pirate tied Malik’s wrists together and pulled him forward by the rope, forcing him to stumble along as quickly as he could. Jabbar followed on behind, giving Malik a push to hurry him along, and Malik was totally unnerved and confused by what was happening.

Malik was dragged below deck and chivvied along to the stern where the captain’s cabin was located.

“Hurry boy, the captain needs us,” the one called Ali snarled at him as if he could go any faster in the narrow space.

When they finally reached the narrow door, Ali kicked it open and shoved Malik inside ahead of him, still keeping a grip on the twist of rope binding his wrists together. The rope had already rubbed the skin and Malik was convinced that if they kept jerking him around by the cord, his wrists would soon be bleeding. It seemed odd that his thoughts still dwelt on such simple problems when his whole life was falling apart.

He was shocked as a pair of hands clamped onto his waist and Malik went rigid.

“Ready?” Jabbar asked his colleague and Ali just grunted assent.

Ready for what? Malik panicked as a lump settled in his stomach.

Watch Me Hide by Eliza Gayle

“Em, are you really going to go through with this?” Katie yelled over the loud music pounding through the club.

“Of course I am. It’s what I’ve been working up to for months now. Why would I back out now?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Because maybe when you take off that mask and Rio gets one look at the real you, you’ll be a dead woman.”

Em looked at her friend’s frightened expression, trying not to laugh. It had taken a long time getting to know the people here at Purgatory before she’d built up the nerve to tell anyone who she really was. Now she was tired of hiding, and ready to unveil her identity once and for all. She didn’t want to think about the public humiliation Rio could put her through if he made a scene. She worried too much about him as it was.

“You know they don’t allow masks at the private after-hours party. If I want to take the next step in my journey, and I do, then I have no choice but to reveal myself. Rio be damned.” If the man wasn’t already damned. She looked up at where he stood, watching one of the play stations. Master Z’s station, of course. She couldn’t tell what he was doing tonight, but she knew it was one of the more hardcore stations they offered where they did things like violet wand or needle play.

From this vantage point, she stared at Rio’s profile. Wavy dark hair, tanned skin from working outdoors with her brother, and all black leather—from the vest to the pants that hugged what she knew was the most perfect ass on the planet, to the black leather boots he wore on his feet.

Here in this environment, he made it impossible to read his body language. She found him guarded, more often than not with a stern expression. Some referred to him as El Diablo, the devil himself.

“Em, last dance of the night and I have a slot center stage with no one to fill it. You want it?” Gabriel, the club manager, had sneaked up behind her while she ogled Rio for the umpteenth time that night. She tore her gaze away and turned to Gabe with a smile on her face.

“You want me?”

“Ahh, my dear, you have no idea. Everyone wants the elusive Em.”

“I find that hard to believe.”

“Why is that?”

She shrugged. She wouldn’t get into her insecurities with Gabe. Here in the club things were different for her. She wasn’t the sweet little Emerson whom no one ever spoke to.

No, here she was bold and wanton, and reveled in the attention of the many patrons who liked to watch her. Even Rio. He’d been cool about it, of course, never showing too much interest, but there’d been a few times where she’d caught his gaze as he watched her play. She’d thought the heat in his eyes matched the arousal coursing through her body at his perusal, but so far he’d been aloof, never approaching her.

“So, darlin’, do you want to take the chains?”

She’d been eyeing that platform for a long time, wondering what it would be like to get up there, helpless in front of everyone.

“Yes, actually I do.” Already her body hummed with anticipation. What better way to start the rest of her night than by putting herself out there in a new way?

“Come with me then and I’ll get you set up.”