Skip to content →

Category: Uncategorized

Home For Christmas Chapter 1

Derek

December 1

Harrison took a swig from his beer bottle and looked toward the fireplace. “You know, when you wrap your woodpile with Christmas lights, it kinda defeats the purpose of having a fireplace.”

I stuck my tongue out at him. “I think it’s pretty.”

He nodded. “It is. I think I’m going to steal the idea for the house. Do you know that your brother has no Christmas decorations?”

“What?” How the hell could that be? He’d lived in his house for over a decade. There was no way my brother didn’t have Christmas decorations.

Harrison nodded at nothing in particular. “Yeah. I went to get them out of the shed after Thanksgiving dinner and there wasn’t a single decoration. I asked him about it and it turns out that he doesn’t have any.”

I took a swig of my beer as I mulled the statement over in my head. “How is that even possible?”

“Poppy!” Carter’s voice echoed through the house. “Poppy! Jack took my crayon!”

Colt shook his head. “Carter, you two should be getting showers, not coloring,” he called up the steps.

“Pop, Carter has marker on his face,” Lydia all so helpfully called down from the steps.

Harrison laughed. “Dude, Colt, I know your sperm fertilized that egg, but he’s so much like Dare at that age it’s scary.”

Colt sighed. “He sure as shit didn’t get it from me.”

“That’s not what your mom says,” I teased as I moved to stand up to go figure out what happened.

Colt stilled me with a hand on my arm. “I’ll get them. You guys have barely had a second to breathe this week. I’ll be very thankful when whatever this phase is finally ends.”

Harrison laughed and pointed at my hand where I’d been jotting notes down while we were in the studio. “I wouldn’t count on it.”

Colt’s answering groan was good-natured. “Am I going to have to scrub you extra well tonight?”

“If I’d known that I was going to get extra attention, I’d have written notes somewhere else.”

Harrison snorted his beer and almost fell out of his chair laughing. “Damn, only you two. Only you two.”

I watched my husband shaking his head at me as he climbed the steps. “You’re trouble,” he called out as he reached the top, and I wasn’t sure if he was talking about me or Carter. Five-year-olds were hell. Then again every age with Carter had been a new form of torture. He’d had broken bones, stitches, and more close calls than the other two combined, and that was just this year.

“You ready for Christmas? I mean, aside from the lack of decorations?” Harrison, my brother, Jasper, and their boyfriend, Greg, had been engaged for nearly a year but had yet to find time to have a commitment ceremony. When Greg’s oldest daughter told them that she’d be in Oklahoma on Christmas Day for a layover, they’d decided Christmas was the perfect time to get married. Harrison and I had stopped at the jewelers in Nashville on the way home that night to pick up their rings, and I might have been a bit jealous of them. The rings were a gorgeous black metal with a black walnut inlay. The wood had come from a branch of a tree on Harrison’s property where Greg had proposed to them. The inside of each band was a different color, and the jeweler had etched the thumbprints of the other two on each ring. They were unique and gorgeous and so perfectly suited for them it was kind of sickening.

Harrison tipped the last of his beer back and stood to grab us new ones. “Honestly, I’m so fucking ready. I never thought I’d be one to marry. After all the shit I’d been through with Neil and the fact that he’d sworn up and down he would never get married and cave to a pointless institution, it seems a bit surreal to be at this point.”

He returned and handed me an open beer. “Neil was an ass. And for what it’s worth, I think it’s totally fucking awesome that after all these years, we’re going to be related.”

Harrison’s cheeks rose with a smile I couldn’t fully see behind his beard. “That’s wild. Growing up, it would have been impossible to be at this point.”

I’d opened my mouth to ask him if he had any plans for his bachelor’s party, but before I could say anything, a blur of pink flew by me and straight into Harrison’s arms. The force of Lydia’s impact nearly toppled the chair backward. “Uncle Harrison!” she squealed as though she hadn’t just seen him a week earlier.

“Hey, kid.” He wrapped large arms around her and smiled. “Shouldn’t you be in bed?”

She shook her head and laughed. “I’m going to Gramma’s house once my brothers are done in the shower. Pop’s gonna be scrubbing Carter for the rest of the night.”

I winced. I didn’t know if I wanted to know what my youngest son had gotten into, but I knew I had to ask. “What markers did Carter get into?”

She shrugged. “Just the normal school ones… but he made his face look like a clown.”

I groaned and Harrison laughed. “Not helping,” I scolded my best friend. We’d been so busy lately, it had been days since I’d had any little time, aside from our bedtime routine. With the kids heading to my in-laws and Harrison as the only other person in the house that night, I was desperate for time to simply forget everything. If Colt was exhausted from the kids, though, I didn’t know if it would happen.

Harrison laughed again. “Sorry, Dare. I’m sure your plans won’t be foiled.”

Twenty minutes later, thundering footsteps down the stairs drew our attention away from the Christmas cartoon we’d been watching with Lydia. Two freshly showered and dressed boys were charging down the steps at a startling speed. It didn’t matter how often we yelled at them to walk or hold the handrail—the two never learned. They always got a stern warning while I usually ended up over Daddy’s lap while he reddened my backside. Sprain my ankle one time over a decade earlier and I still got spanked for it… not that I hadn’t purposely “forgotten” to use the handrails a number of times over the years.

Tires crunched on the gravel outside our house and the kids nearly toppled us to get to the door. I saw where we ranked compared to their grandparents and was still laughing to myself as I made it to the door they’d left hanging open.

“Hey, Derek.” Cheryl greeted me with a smile as she watched the kids scramble to climb into her car. “You guys ready for a quiet night?”

I met her at the bottom step of the porch. “You have no idea. You know you can send them back if they’re too wound up. Hopefully they’ll conk out on you before long; they’ve got school in the morning.”

Cheryl hugged me tight. “I know my son is laid back now, but he and his brother were once just as insane as these guys.”

I’d heard stories, but it was hard to imagine Sheriff Westfield ever being as crazy as my kids.

“We’ll be fine, Derek,” she assured me, then looked up and waved to Colt, who’d just made it to the door. His shirt and jeans were still wet, and he looked thankful to see his mom.

“You can take them whenever you want,” Colt said as he joined us at the sidewalk. He dwarfed his mom in size but still greeted her with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. “Thank you. They need out of the house—badly. They’re driving us nuts.”

“I used to call your Nan and say the exact same thing about you and Mitch.”

Colt let out a belly laugh. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. Mitch and I were pure angels!”

Cheryl snorted and patted him on the cheek. “You keep telling yourself that, baby. Just keep telling yourself that. We’ll see you guys after school tomorrow!” She waved as she headed back toward the car. “Stay warm, boys. It’s cold tonight!” She giggled to herself as she climbed into her car. “Not that I think you’ll have any problems figuring out how to stay warm.” Colt and I both groaned but called goodbyes as we watched her turn around in the driveway.

I sank into Colt’s embrace. It was about damn time we had a night to ourselves… well, mostly to ourselves. Harrison didn’t really count.

“Come on, buddy, let’s get you wiped down. You smell like beer.”

And just like that, the adult world started to fade away; my giggle was softer, I blushed easier, and Colt became Daddy in the blink of an eye. Then Daddy reached out and grabbed my hand to lead me into the house.

As we walked between the living room and kitchen, Harrison slid my train sippy cup across the granite counter. “I’ll make a snack while your Daddy gets you ready for bed.”

Daddy grinned. “Thanks, Harrison. It’s great to have an extra set of hands around here.”

Harrison was already turning around to dig through the fridge, and we were on our way into the bathroom.

“What have I told you about writing on yourself?” Daddy asked as he scrubbed my hands under the warm water.

I laughed—the feel of the water and Daddy’s fingers scrubbing against my palms tickled. “That I should use paper?”

“And didn’t I make sure you had a notebook with you today?”

I nodded my head.

“And where was it?”

“In my pocket.”

“Why didn’t you write on it? You had to reach in your pocket to get the pen.”

I figured telling him that writing on my hand was just more convenient wasn’t what he wanted to hear. “Um, because when I’m in the recording booth, it’s easier to look at my hand than a piece of paper?”

Daddy sighed. “Buddy, you have paper everywhere in there.”

“Sorry, Daddy.”

He finished rinsing my hands and studied them. I couldn’t see anything, but I knew better than to say anything. I wanted to enjoy my toys that night, not end up spanked and heading to bed. There were many nights I’d take a spanking over toys, but not after I’d been stuck in big mode for days.

A kiss was placed to my temple. “Good boy. Now let’s go get you ready for bed.”

I bounced a little. “Train PJs?”

“Yes, buddy, train PJs.”

“Yay!” I cheered, and I realized I’d been too loud when my voice echoed off the walls of the bathroom.

Daddy just chuckled as he led me to the bedroom to strip me and get me into my pajamas. Not even ten minutes later, I was waddling toward the living room, diaper taped around my waist and wearing my favorite train pajamas. Heading over to our Christmas tree with a train running around it, I sank down by the control panel. “Can I turn the train on, Daddy?”

“Carefully,” Daddy agreed, watching me closely as I flicked the train on. As I settled back to watch it, Harrison appeared beside me with a snack of crackers and an applesauce packet. He knew Daddy well enough to know not to give me anything sticky, or maybe he just knew that anything he gave me remotely near sticky would end up all over me.

Harrison took a seat across from Daddy on the couch and the two began to chat. They could talk all night, which was fine with me. My train sounded a lot more interesting. We didn’t have to be in Nashville until ten the next morning, and for all I cared they could stay up all night. I found my coloring books—the Christmas-themed ones that had come out with our decorations earlier in the week—and tucked my legs under me, ready to lose myself for the rest of the evening.

I’d colored two pages before my legs started to get sore. I clicked off the train, put my crayons and coloring books away, then headed over to the couch with my sippy cup and curled up between Daddy and Harrison. Daddy’s big arm wrapped around my body and he rubbed my shoulder. “How about a show?”

Mmm, a cartoon sounded nice. “Blankie,” I mumbled as my thumb made its way to my mouth. I didn’t know how I’d left it in our room, but for some reason it hadn’t been with me.

“I’ll get it,” Harrison mentioned as he stood up. “I need another beer anyway.”

With anyone else it would have been awkward to have him enter our bedroom. Even the kids knew to knock and wait for one of us to answer the door. There was too much of my little stuff in there for me to be able to hide it. Before we had kids, I’d had my own room for little things, but now they were relegated to our bedroom and no matter how big it was, they were obvious.

Harrison had seen it all, though. He’d made me bottles at night while we were on tour, he’d seen me diapered, seen me playing with toys, and he’d known about my blanket since we were kids. Harrison might even have known more about my little side than my brother Ty, and that was saying a lot.

Colt adjusted me so I was mostly across his lap and turned on the TV. He’d tolerated my cartoons for years, but since having kids, he’d found a few he liked to watch. I often tried to find ones we both enjoyed when I had time to watch them in the evenings. That evening I pointed at Scooby-Doo as it scrolled across the screen. It was a favorite of Harrison’s and mine, and I knew Colt didn’t mind it.

“Oh, Scooby,” Harrison mentioned as he handed me my blanket. “This is a good one too.”

Everything faded away as I watched the show, and I would’ve sworn we’d just sat down.

“Hey, buddy, you’re falling asleep.” Daddy’s voice came from above me, causing me to drag in a deep breath. Falling asleep, nothing—I’d been dead to the world, and I burrowed deeper into Daddy’s lap, pulling my blanket over my face.

Harrison’s chuckle on the other side of the couch was what finally pulled me out of my fog. “If you don’t get up now, you’re going to be bitching that you’re sore tomorrow.”

I tried to mumble around my thumb that getting old could go to hell, but a big hand came down on my padded backside. “Well, I was going to warn you about your language, but now I think we need to get you changed.”

Pushing myself up to a seated position, I growled at both Harrison and Daddy, though I got the impression I wasn’t very convincing when they both smiled at me. “Go to our room. I’ll make you a bottle.” Daddy turned to Harrison, a smile still on his face. “Once I get this one in bed, I’m going to collapse as well. We’re going to have a crazy few weeks before leaving for Oklahoma.”

Harrison yawned. “It’s late enough. I’m going to go call Greg and Jasper and head to bed. Hell, Jas will end up asleep in a bit anyway. He still gets up at the ass crack of dawn no matter what.”

Jasper was the definition of an early riser, though Harrison and Greg both said he was sleeping in more often now. Of course, sleeping in for Jasper was seven a.m., but that was practically lunchtime for the guy who used to be up before the rooster crowed.

“Go brush your teeth while I make you a bottle,” Daddy coaxed as he pushed me toward the bedroom. Even when our kids were home, this was a normal night for us. Our dynamic had become so natural to both of us that we slipped in and out of our roles without much thought. There would definitely be a day that the kids started asking questions—like why Poppy cut Daddy’s food up or why he tucked Daddy in before eleven every night—I just hoped it wasn’t for many more years.

I gave Harrison a hug, told him I’d see him in the morning, then headed toward the bedroom to brush my teeth like Daddy had told me to. It was hard to believe we’d been doing this for over a decade at this point. Since Hometown had stopped touring two years earlier, though, I couldn’t remember a night I hadn’t been diapered for bed or a twenty-four-hour period where Colt hadn’t been Daddy for at least a little bit of time.

“Come on, buddy, to bed. You’re about to fall asleep standing there.” I had no idea when I’d zoned out, but I’d finished brushing my teeth and had gotten lost in my own head. We were going to have a busy few days ahead of us before Harrison headed back to Oklahoma. Thoughts of the next few days were enough to have the real world pulling at me and my energy zapping from my body just as quickly. Bed sounded nice. Then again, so did a dry diaper.

I followed him into the bedroom and collapsed onto my side of the bed. A thumb rubbed over my creased brow. “You’re really tense.”

I nodded. “Lots on my mind.”

Daddy hummed. “I can understand that. Let’s see what we can do to help that.” In seconds I was lying in just a diaper and my train pajama top, my snug shorts tossed into the basket of clothes along the wall. I’d found my blanket again and pushed my thumb into my mouth, content to let Daddy work.

The tapes pulling from the front of my diaper was loud, but I’d become so accustomed to the sound it hardly registered in my brain. Then a cool wipe ran over my skin, wiping away all traces of wetness on me. A second wipe along my dick was what had really drew my attention to what he was doing, and blood began to head south quickly. “Mmm,” I mumbled around my thumb, my hips rising to meet his touch as my length began to harden.

“I thought you would like that, but you need to stay still if you want me to continue.”

Evil. Daddy was pure evil. I’d probably have said as much if it hadn’t been for the thumb still shoved in my mouth and the ghost of his breath over the tip of my dick. Instead of words, a long moan escaped around my thumb as I struggled to keep my hips on the bed.

“Good boy. Stay still for Daddy.” Then his tongue was on me, licking my dick from base to tip and sending shivers up my spine. All thoughts of exhaustion fled as my erection filled completely and my thoughts became a hundred percent focused on Daddy and what he was doing between my legs.

“Please,” I whispered as my free hand gripped at the pillow under my head. “Please, please, please.”

My begging had Daddy chuckling against my balls, and in turn I was struggling to stay still against the vibration of his laugh and the way his scruff tickled me. Years ago it had been dark brown but had turned gray with flecks of brown and, if possible, I found it even sexier. Though at the moment I was too frustrated to appreciate it. He was the best at driving me insane with his ministrations.

“You’re being so good for me,” he murmured against the crease of my leg before he lifted slightly and engulfed my length. He’d not quite lost his gag reflex, but he’d gotten a lot better over the years and could take all but the last few inches of me into his mouth at once.

Warm, wet heat wrapping around my cock had me gasping and my thumb pulling from my mouth so I could fist the bedding. “Oh, god. Oh, oh, yeah. There.” Sex with Colt was always something special, but at the moment it became even more special. Maybe I’d been more stressed out than I thought or maybe just more ready to let everything go and let him send me flying before bed. Whatever the reason, every nerve ending in my body was alight. Tingles ran from my scalp to my toes, yet we’d barely begun. I had no idea how I was going to stay still for him, but I’d do my damnedest to try. I needed to cum, and I needed to sleep. Hopefully cumming came before sleep because there wouldn’t be time in the morning.

His hand wrapped around my balls, rolling them gently as he sucked greedily on my dick. I knew better than to cum without permission, but if he kept that up, it was going to be hard.

“A, C, C, C, G, F—”

His lips left my dick and brown eyes looked up at me. “Buddy, what are you doing?”

“Reciting the sheet music for At Home.” Duh.

“And why are you doing that?”

“So I don’t cum.” Duh. Why else would I be reciting sheet music in the middle of sex?

Colt laughed so hard his ass hit the floor. “Twelve years and you still surprise me.”

I shrugged a shoulder. “Twelve years and your lips are still magical. You told me I couldn’t move, and you haven’t given me permission to cum yet.”

“Someone’s being a brat.”

I snorted. “Someone’s being wicked.”

“What you’re telling me is that this isn’t going to last long.”

Bingo! “Yeah, not so much.”

A wicked smile crossed his face. “Five minutes, then you can cum whenever. If you cum before that, I’m putting you in the cage until we leave for Oklahoma.”

I did some quick mental math, not easy when I was rock hard and Daddy was between my legs. Five minutes and I could have more orgasms for the next… seventeen days, or seventeen days of a cage. I was going to try hard to be good. Of course, being caged was frustrating but the orgasms after were out of this world. Then again, being caged at the studio would be uncomfortable.

Daddy didn’t give me time to weigh the decision further. “Ten twenty-three. Can you make it to ten twenty-eight?” And his lips were on me again.

Dammit, it was hard to focus with his mouth wrapped around my cock. I kept watching the clock and I swore time had begun to move backward. It was all sensation: licks, sucks, breaths. My toes were curling, moans escaping my mouth, groans and grunts of pleasure filling the room. How was it only ten twenty-four?

The suction was broken and Daddy looked up from between my legs. “Harrison’s going to hear you.”

I actually laughed. “Do you forget that they were here last month and we heard them three nights in a row?”

“That guest house is sounding better and better.” He didn’t say anything else before he took me back inside his mouth.

The clock clicked over to ten twenty-five. Three more minutes. I could do this. I fisted the sheets. At least thinking about my brother having sex in my house had my orgasm pulling back from the brink just a bit, but it wasn’t going to last. Daddy was not going easy on me, and a few seconds later I was back to screaming into the room as he bobbed up and down on my dick, gagging himself on my length as he pushed me closer to the edge.

Ten twenty-six, and a finger traced my rim. I bit my lip so hard I tasted blood before I shoved my thumb back into my mouth. Involuntary tears sprang to my eyes, the bite to my lip harder than I’d expected. But the finger slipping into my hole made me forget about the pain in my lip.

Ten twenty-seven. I was not going to cum yet. I had made it this far—I wasn’t going to give up now. I might have been submissive, but I was also stubborn as hell and didn’t like losing. Though I was certain the clock had become stuck on twenty-seven. Fine, I didn’t want to go there, but I started thinking about the noises Harrison, Greg, and Jasper had made while they visited. At the time, Daddy and I had laughed about it, but with Daddy’s mouth on my dick while he played with my balls, there didn’t seem to be anything that could bring me back from the edge.

My balls had drawn up tight to my body, my spine was tingling, and the world was graying at the edges. Sweat had beaded across my forehead, and my legs shook from the effort it took to not thrust off the bed. As the world faded completely away, the clock ticked over to ten twenty-eight. “Yes!” I screamed into the room as my orgasm finally crashed completely over me and my vision faded to dark spots behind my lids. “Made it,” I said, gasping after the third time my cock spasmed in Daddy’s mouth.

He adjusted his lips and swallowed everything. I collapsed onto the bed, sated, my heart pounding and my dick still twitching. Daddy pulled off slowly before wiping the back of his hand across his mouth. “There, now you should sleep.”

I hummed. I was going to hear from Harrison about how loud I’d been, but I couldn’t find the energy to care. I’d probably be singing a different tune the next morning while I listened to Harrison, though. Daddy stood up and grabbed a fresh diaper I hadn’t even noticed before. With expert level efficiency, he had me taped into a new one in just a few minutes and then we were snuggled into bed. He was already pulling me close before I remembered that he hadn’t cum yet.

“Daddy, you.” I shook my head, but sleep was already pulling me under. “You didn’t cum.”

He kissed my temple as he rocked his groin into my hip. He was soft, and it took too long for my brain to catch up. “Don’t worry about me, buddy. I came.”

“Oh.” A silicone nipple teased my mouth and I opened instinctively for my bottle.

“Baby, what happened to your lip?”

I chuckled, having totally forgotten about it. “I wasn’t going to cum early.” He growled, and my dick tried to twitch in my diaper. “Not fair.”

“You can’t hurt yourself in order not to cum. I should cage you for that.”

I shook my head. “No, that wasn’t part of the agreement. You just told me I couldn’t cum before ten twenty-eight. And it was an accident anyway.” I closed my lips around the nipple and hummed as the cold milk hit my mouth.

“Night, buddy.”

I smiled around the bottle and let my eyes drift shut.

Undisclosed Attraction Prologue

Dexter

“Okay, you’re all set. That was the last of it.” I pulled Caleb into a hug and kissed his temple.

Caleb dug the toe of his tennis shoe into the dirt at the base of the giant oak tree in the backyard. He sucked his lower lip between his teeth and worried at it. Reaching up, I tugged it loose with my thumb. “Your Daddy will kill me if you go back to the truck with a torn-apart lip.” With my other hand, I swatted at his thigh. “Do not get your new shoes dirty. Travis will never let you come back over here if you keep that up!” Even I had to admit the white sneakers with dinosaurs printed on them were adorable.

Part of me already missed Caleb living here. He’d moved in next door when we were ten, and we’d spent nearly every day together. He’d basically moved into my parents’ house when we were sixteen and we’d lived together or right next door to one another since. Then again, Caleb had hardly been at his place since he’d started seeing Travis, so not a lot would change with him moving. We’d still see each other at work, spend time together on the weekends, and have dinner at least once a week.

“Are you going to be okay?” Caleb looked so lost, his hazel eyes sad as a puppy’s.

My heart hurt for him but I forced a smile. “Of course I will, Cal. You’re in good hands. You’ve earned this, and you really should have moved in there two months ago.” I rolled my eyes playfully at him. “Cal, your Daddy loves you so much. It’s your time to fly, baby bird.”

And it was my turn to stretch my wings. Caleb and I had always been open about his little side. Okay, maybe I’d pushed just a little bit in the beginning, but it had been for Caleb’s benefit. He needed to get it out in the open, and I always made sure to drive him just insane enough that he wouldn’t take himself too seriously. It was a hard job, but someone had to do it. And I’d been damn good at my job.

I hugged him tighter, pressing featherlight kisses on his temple. “It’s going to be fine. And you and Trav are perfect for one another. I’ve never seen you happier.”

Caleb sagged into my arms. “I know, Dex, I know. But you’re going to be here alone.”

My eyes struggled not to roll. I could see Travis hovering in the back door of Caleb’s old town house, and part of me wanted to have him come over and save the day. I think Travis and I both knew Caleb needed to work this out on his own. Travis was giving him that time, yet was ready to swoop in and hold him close if needed.

Shifting foot to foot, I started a gentle swaying motion, effectively rocking us back and forth. The motion calmed Caleb and his shoulders began to sag as stress left his body. “I really do love Daddy.”

The snort of laughter I let out couldn’t be helped. “Oh my god, I know you love Trav. That’s never been in question, Cal. That’s why you need to go with him and not worry. Best friends move away from one another every day. You’re barely twenty minutes from here. You aren’t moving to the other side of the country.”

Caleb drew in a breath and I could feel his resolve strengthening. Finally. I knew he’d get to this point. “You’re right. And I’ll see you tomorrow at work.”

“Like you could get rid of me that easily.”

When Caleb laughed and pushed at my shoulder, Travis finally stepped forward. “Will you come to dinner at our place next weekend?”

I hadn’t spent much time at Travis’s house since Caleb had been living there, but I found myself nodding. “Absolutely. Wouldn’t miss it.”

Knowing we had a set time to see each other outside of work seemed to lift Caleb’s spirits even more. “Okay, I guess we really should get going.” He leaned over and kissed my cheek. “Love you, Dex.”

I squeezed his hand. “Love you too, Cal.”

Watching the two lock up the town house for the final time was more emotional than it should have been, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t choke down a few tears as they pulled out of the parking lot. My own home had a different feel to it, knowing Caleb wasn’t right next door to me.

I stepped into my house, shutting the door behind me and leaning against it. The air conditioning had made the metal cool against my back, and even through my cotton shirt, I felt the satin of the camisole I’d slipped on that morning slide against my back.

I smirked.

Caleb was well on his way to having himself figured out, but I had a lot to learn about myself. More than I’d ever realized.

Undisclosed Curiosity Chapter 1

Logan

My eyes cracked open when the evening sun filtered through the blinds, and I felt the cold spot next to me in bed. That spot had been occupied by Trent Sylvan, my very naked best friend, when I’d fallen asleep. I kept the sad sigh of frustration to myself. This was what we’d agreed to when we accepted that a relationship between the two of us would never work. Post-sex snuggles were no longer in the cards. Well, maybe extended post-sex snuggles were no longer in the cards, because Trent never left me before I fell asleep.

No matter what I said and no matter how well my brain understood that we weren’t still in a relationship, I missed it. At least, I missed it with him. We’d been a thing so fleetingly that we hadn’t even told our closest friends. To everyone we knew, we were still and only ever had been best friends. Hell, I was pretty sure no one in Kingston Springs even knew I was bisexual. Why would they when I didn’t bring guys around?

Then again, why would I bring guys around when I’d already met the perfect man? I had no reason to bring a guy around when I knew I’d never find another man like Trent. I had to accept that best friends with benefits would have to do, at least until he found his Mr. Right and not just Mr. Right Now. Unfortunately for me, I was Mr. Right Now. It would happen eventually. He was too good a guy to stay single forever. The thought sat heavy in my stomach and I struggled to brush it away.

The delicious tenderness in my ass that only came after being fucked long and hard reminded me of why I was in bed to begin with. And the feeling reminded me again that there was only one man who could make me feel so thoroughly used that I didn’t want to move for hours.

The one man I couldn’t have.

I knew we needed different things out of a relationship. It didn’t matter how off the charts our sexual chemistry was or how deep our friendship ran; I wasn’t submissive, and Trent needed a submissive.

On paper, our relationship should have worked beautifully. I was a puppy, and Trent was a Dom. In practice it wasn’t so simple. Even as a pup, I wasn’t submissive. In that headspace, I liked knowing someone was there to make sure I remembered to take a drink or help me keep track of time, but I didn’t like being spanked or doing tricks for a Master. Outside of puppy space, I couldn’t stand someone—even my best friend—keeping tabs on me or trying to set a schedule for me.

Trent thrived on control—he needed it to be truly happy. It took less than a month to figure out that we couldn’t be what the other needed long term. In order to preserve our friendship, we agreed to not date.

I hadn’t told Trent how painful the split was for me, and I didn’t plan on it. Two years later, it sometimes still hit me hard that I couldn’t make it work with my dream man. The last time I’d ghosted him for a couple days—no small task when we lived together and worked in the same office—was because I’d seen him flirting with someone at the bar and it had nearly ripped my heart out. Jealousy at seeing him with someone else turned me into a green-eyed monster, and I didn’t like it.

Despite confusing both my brain and heart, despite knowing what we were doing was making it harder to separate my best friend from the love of my life, we still fell into bed together. Boyfriends or not, once we’d learned how good we were together in bed, our sexual chemistry couldn’t be ignored. I usually fell asleep faster and slept better after a round of sex with Trent than I did with anyone else, but he always slid out of bed before I woke up. If I really analyzed his motives, I would have to admit it was likely his way of trying not to confuse me. While logically I appreciated it, I still hated it. I missed waking up warm and cozy and wrapped tightly in his arms.

A clattering in the kitchen brought me out of my thoughts. My heart pounded in shock for a moment before I realized it was probably Trent making dinner for us. I had plans to go to DASH, the BDSM club in Nashville, and Trent had a late shift at work. We both needed to eat before we left, and Trent would make sure we both got food.

There were still times he’d go to DASH with me as my handler when I wasn’t in the mood to play with someone else, but usually we tried to avoid going to the club at the same time. Seeing your best friend nearly naked, or in my case watching my best friend punishing a naughty sub, wasn’t something we preferred to see on a regular basis. Our schedules at work usually aided in our ability to avoid each other fairly well.

I dressed quickly, doing my best to ignore the tenderness in my ass, before heading to the kitchen. Trent greeted me with a big grin and his sexy as sin wire-rimmed glasses. “Hey, sleepyhead.”

Pretending to be unaffected by Trent was getting harder and harder as time passed. Part of me had even begun to wonder if I could find some modicum of submission in me. Would a little submission be enough for him? I shook my head to clear the thoughts. “First of all, haven’t I told you not to wear your ‘please fuck me’ glasses when I don’t have time to drag you back to bed? And second, how long have I been asleep?”

“Sorry, my contacts are bothering me. Besides, I figured they could help Curious get all horny before going to the club.” He winked. “You never know, you may meet a sexy guy that checks all your boxes.”

I rolled my eyes. The only man for me was Trent. Going to DASH had never been about finding a man, whether he accepted it or not. “You’re seriously messed up. And don’t call me Curious. Jesus, when you do that, you make my dick all confused.”

Curious was the name I’d chosen for myself when I’d first gotten into puppy play over five years earlier. It might have been unconventional to choose my own puppy name, but I’d known that the odds of me finding a handler that could accept I didn’t want to submit were slim. When I sank into that headspace all I wanted was to not think for a while. I’d jumped into puppy play after discovering a book about it. The first thing I thought of to describe myself was curious, and with that, Curious was born.

Trent let out a full belly laugh that had me chuckling as well. When he finally stopped, he slid a bowl of spaghetti and a side salad toward me. “Eat—you need your energy for tonight. You won’t be able to give some poor unsuspecting Master a run for his money if you don’t have food in you.”

I ate a few bites of spaghetti before I spoke up. “Not looking for a Master. And I’m just going to chill tonight. No scene play for me. I may hit up the littles’ room, find that super-soft beanbag thing and people watch, for all I know.”

Trent snorted. “Logan, you can’t sit down for more than five minutes without going stir-crazy.”

I can when there’s a certain cute little who likes to cuddle. I wasn’t willing to tell Trent that. He was convinced I needed someone less controlling than him but still more kinky than vanilla. Aiden, the sweet little who I’d been meeting up with more often than not in recent months, was about as far from a Dom as someone could get. He wanted a Daddy to take control. I couldn’t do that. I was too damn distractible to be a decent Daddy for anyone, but especially someone as sweet as Aiden. We’d met at the club earlier in the year, shortly after I’d sworn off all relationships, male and female. Our almost-relationship, paired with the sex Trent and I shared, is what had kept me from looking for another relationship. That was for the best anyway—every one I’d had ended in disaster.

Aiden and I had made it a point to not allow our relationship to develop into anything more than some frotting or a hand job, usually in one of the BDSM club’s private rooms. But we texted frequently between meetups. A strong friendship had formed between the two of us, and yes, even sexual attraction was there too. I’d already learned my lesson about letting sexual attraction and friendship morph into a relationship with someone I couldn’t meet the needs of. I wasn’t going there again.

When Aiden was diapered and in his little headspace and I was in my puppy gear, I could cuddle with him for hours and never get antsy. I couldn’t even do that with Trent unless I was falling asleep. The only time I ever got restless around Aiden was if someone I didn’t have a good feeling about tried to engage with him.

Just the thought of seeing Aiden again had me ready to rush through dinner.

I must have made a face because when I blinked up, Trent had his eyes squinted, examining me closely. “What’s that look about?”

I shoved a bite of food into my mouth. “What look?”

“Don’t talk with your mouth full.”

I forced myself to swallow, but I flipped him off at the same time. “You’re not my Dom—you can’t tell me what to do.”

“If I were your Dom, you’d never be able to sit down. Now, why did you get that dopey smile on your face?”

I wiggled slightly in my seat. He wasn’t even my Dom and I was hardly able to sit after he fucked me earlier in the evening. I had no desire to have him—or anyone else—redden my ass. Then I remembered Aiden and his cute smile. Too bad Trent wasn’t looking for a little. If I allowed myself to go down that rabbit hole, he ticked every box Aiden was looking for despite Trent being too stubborn to realize it. My best friend had the potential to snuggle the hell out of someone like Aiden. Trent still swore he was the big bad Dom type, but I could see the super-soft teddy bear lurking right below the surface. The older he got, the more apparent it became to me. He wasn’t playing as hard at the club from what I’d heard. Actually, the last munch I went to I’d overheard a few of the Doms saying that Trent hadn’t had more than a spanking scene in over a year.

But it would be weird to introduce Trent to Aiden—the man I’d accepted I loved despite not being able to do anything about it, and the man who had quickly become an important person in my life. I wasn’t ready to say I had feelings for Aiden, but I knew if we spent more time together feelings could easily develop.

It was all sorts of fucked up and, selfishly, I didn’t think I was strong enough to survive the two of them together.

I shook my head to clear the thoughts because, thankfully, it didn’t matter. Trent still tried to go for the brats, even if they were all wrong for him. Sure, he wanted more of a lifestyle relationship, but he’d shut down the idea of being Daddy. The last time we’d talked about it he’d told me it was because all the boys looking for a Daddy at DASH associated him with discipline, so it didn’t matter anyway. He was so oblivious.

It didn’t change the fact that I could see the giant teddy bear who would snuggle a sweet sub to death. I didn’t like going to bed at a certain time, and I didn’t want to have to check in with him multiple times a day. I also didn’t like punishments. Trent needed someone who craved the love, doting attention, and punishments he loved to give and I wasn’t that person.

But where would that leave me?

Yup, I was a selfish asshole.

“Logan…” Trent’s tone had taken a hard edge that made me squirm again. Dammit, he was a good Dom.

He only got growly like that when I wasn’t paying attention. Shit, he’d asked me a question. What was it? I replayed the conversation we’d been having. Friends with benefits, sexy times, awkward to introduce them, funny smile. Oh! “It wasn’t a dopey smile!”

Trent raised an eyebrow at me and inclined his head. “Really?”

“Really. I was just thinking of a… friend.”

The disbelieving look Trent gave me said I probably wouldn’t be able to avoid the question forever, but I didn’t know if I was ready to share Aiden with him yet either. Aiden and I had something special. Almost as special as the decades-long friendship and bond that Trent and I shared, only ours was much newer. I shoved a bite of salad in my mouth in the hope of deterring Trent from asking more questions.

He shook his head at me but changed the subject. “Okay, well, I need to get to work. Finish eating, then have a good night at the club. Promise me you’ll text me when you get home? I’ll worry about you otherwise.”

The lump I felt in the back of my throat was easier to ignore when I swallowed the bite in my mouth. It wasn’t so easy to ignore when I spoke. “Promise. I’ll even text you when I get there.”

The promise made Trent relax. I might not have been a submissive, but I liked making him smile. Knowing I’d done something to put that smile on his face made me happy. He deserved all the happiness in the world. He kissed the top of my head on his way to the steps. “I need a shower before work. Have a good night. And Logan?” He waited until I looked up. “Please remember to text me when you get home.”

I nodded. He’d worry about me all night if I didn’t.

“Have fun. Love you.”

“Love you too.” The words were so automatic by that point it felt weird if we left each other without saying them. The habit had started sometime in our late teens or early twenties. I’d been in the Marines, and as we said goodbye, we’d say it when we hung up the phone. I’d not felt romantic love for him at the time, but over the years those feelings had changed. Now it was so ingrained in us we didn’t think about it. Well, I thought about it, and the words always made my heart race a little. I absolutely loved Trent Sylvan, and I knew without a doubt I always would.

When I was done with dinner, I packed up my bag. I didn’t plan on jumping into a scene and a mosh wasn’t scheduled for the night, so instead of my sexy harness and leather jock, I grabbed a pair of well-fitting sweats, a snug T-shirt, and my show tail. I wasn’t going to be putting a plug in—even my smaller one would be uncomfortable after Trent had fucked me so well. I had a number of leather jocks that would allow me to attach my tail directly to them. But I decided to go more simplistic—and more comfortable—and chose a leather belt instead. Not that Trent would believe me, but a hookup at the BDSM club was not what I was looking for.

Until Trent met his forever guy—whether he knew it or not—I was his. All I wanted to do was curl up with Aiden while he played and gave me belly rubs.

On my way out of my room, I grabbed a package of teething cookies from the box I kept hidden in my closet. It would be too hard to explain to Trent why a box of teething cookies had suddenly appeared in our kitchen, but Aiden had let it slip that he liked them one evening while we were having dinner and since then I never went to the club without a package of them. The smile Aiden gave me each time I handed them over made it totally worth the extra few bucks I spent at the grocery store every once in a while. He’d shared a packet with me and, while they weren’t terrible, I definitely didn’t enjoy them the way he did. Seriously, just give me a real cookie and I’d be happy. Then again, the little graham cracker dog bones Trent bought for me from time to time probably had the same effect on me. I chuckled at the thought as I tossed my bag into the passenger’s side of my truck.

There was something about knowing Aiden would be little at the club without me around that always made my stomach uneasy, so I made sure to be at least ten minutes earlier than we’d planned on. As long as I’d known him, he was the most punctual person on the planet, making it far easier for me to plan my arrival time.

The club didn’t allow electronic devices in the main play areas—privacy reasons—so I always made sure to have a paperback book with me when I went to hang out with Aiden. I spent a moment texting Trent to let him know I’d arrived safely, then dug my book out of my bag and settled in to read until Aiden inevitably knocked on my window. Ten minutes later, at exactly eight p.m., I heard his knock.

Aiden was contemplative as I exited my truck. “Why are you always early?”

I tried to give a casual shrug—I didn’t want him to start arriving earlier than me. “Trent made dinner tonight, so I was running a bit early.”

Aiden gave me a hard look like he didn’t quite believe me, but then he inclined his head toward the door. “Shall we?”

I grabbed my bag and stuffed my book inside. “Let’s go.” I was normally on the go, but after Trent had fucked me so well, I couldn’t wait to curl up and cuddle for the night. Maybe I could sink far enough into my puppy space that I’d be able to push thoughts of Trent out of my head for the evening. For whatever reason, they were invading my thoughts more often than normal. I planned on ignoring the part of my brain that swore I was cheating on him, telling me I shouldn’t be at the club without him despite us agreeing to give each other space at DASH. This was why it was a bad idea to mix pleasure with friendship. Trent and I worked hard to not let our sexual relationship be anything more than sex, but my brain still didn’t seem to get the memo. There was part of me that had fallen in love with my best friend back in high school and I just had to keep reminding myself that we wanted very different things out of a relationship.

Different, and what was beginning to feel impossible for either of us to find. Unfortunately, unmatched chemistry between the sheets and a lifelong friendship didn’t always mean we’d be compatible in base desires.

And now I had put myself in a bad mood to be entering the club.

Alice sat at the registration desk, just like always. As the mother of Master Zachary, DASH’s owner, Alice had been integrally involved since the inception. I couldn’t imagine sharing kinks with my parents, but Alice wasn’t like any other septuagenarian I’d met. She’d also been the receptionist since the day the club opened, and I was sure Dom And Sub Haven wouldn’t be the same without her. She gave us a bright smile, scanned our ID cards into the computer, and let us back into the club.

Aiden’s butt was rounder than normal, telling me he’d changed into a diaper before he’d left the house. Yes, I was inspecting his ass. It was a perfect bubble butt in just a pair of jeans, but when he put a diaper on it was rounder. With him walking toward the locker room in front of me, thoughts of Trent drifted away. The amplified bubble butt and his unstyled brown hair that flopped into his face paired well with his little side. Of course, the dark scruff on his face was decidedly not little and Ienjoyed teasing him about it.

We made our way to the changing room and Aiden began shimmying out of his fitted jeans and sweater to reveal a onesie with puppy prints all over it. For the first time, I was jealous of his attire.

Even jealous, my dick reacted to him. If I thought he was sexy in a onesie and a thick diaper, I could only imagine how Trent would react. Fuck, I was not going back down that track. I focused my brain power on his shirt. “Where’d you get that?”

Color filled his cheeks and he ducked his head. “Umm, someone I know online made it for me.”

“That’s so cool!” It was cute and bright and the aqua-colored paw prints matched my puppy gear perfectly. I forced myself to focus more on getting ready than his shirt, but it was hard. My puppy gloves, tail, knee pads, collar, and finally my hood went on and we were ready to go.

While I’d focused on getting myself ready, Aiden had clipped his binkie to his shirt and dug his favorite stuffed animal, Hedge, out of his bag. The old hedgehog looked kind of sad, and despite him insisting it was clean, its fur was matted. The last time I had teased him about it he’d insisted it wasn’t dirty but well loved.

I made sure to grab the cookies from my bag and pushed them into the pocket of my sweats before I got on the floor. We’d done this routine so many times in the past few months that it had become second nature to me. Aiden got his sippy cup from his bag, then picked my leash up and clipped it to the D-ring on my collar. “Come on, Curious. Let’s go.” He didn’t sound like the man I’d walked into the club with. His voice had softened and there was an excited tone that hadn’t been there before. I didn’t normally like a leash, but with Aiden it didn’t feel like a submissive act. With him, I was simply a little boy’s puppy, nothing more, nothing less.

As we made our way to the playroom, the few people at the club that evening smiled at us. We had to look like quite an odd pair—a little and his puppy strolling through the club with no Dom in sight. Even when I glanced up, I could see the fullness of Aiden’s diaper through his onesie. I got a few pats on my head from people I knew, but we were mainly left alone.

Worth The Risk Prologue

Mark

“Daddy!” Thomas’s voice rang out across the park. “Daddy, watch!”

My body sagged into the park bench. I was exhausted. Beyond exhausted. I’d put in my eighteen hours at the hospital, then rushed home to get Thomas and Eli off the bus. I hadn’t slept during my shift thanks to the insanity that was the emergency room, so I was going on twenty-four hours without sleep. I’d thought that going to the park would give the kids a chance to run off some energy and give me a little bit of time to decompress after my shift.

I was wrong.

Eli called out next. “Daddy, push me on the swing. Please?”

I forced my eyes open and tried to plaster a smile on my face. “Give me a second.” I yawned and reached high over my head, trying to stretch exhausted joints. My back popped, my neck cracked, and a headache sat just behind my eyes, reminding me with each passing minute that I hadn’t slept in over twenty-four hours.

I glanced over to where I heard Thomas’s voice, and I found him high above the playground’s jungle gym, climbing over the plastic tubes. “Thomas, please get down from there.” I’d seen enough injuries from kids falling off playground equipment that it should have sent terror through my heart, except my brain had reached the point where it refused to process it.

Single parenting was hard. No, that was an understatement. Single parenting was something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Living three hours from my nearest family made my job that much harder. When my wife unexpectedly left me six years earlier with a two-year-old and a four-year-old, I’d been dumbstruck. I’d left for work, kissed her and the boys goodbye, and come home the next day to a small moving truck in our driveway and a packet of divorce papers that contained custody documents. She was done. She didn’t want to be a wife, or a mother—all she wanted was freedom. She had kissed the boys goodbye, given me a cold hug, and walked out of our lives. Nicole hadn’t even returned for the divorce proceedings.

I’d dealt with every stage of grief as though she’d died. Sometimes I still found it easier to believe she’d died than to think that she’d left us and never even sent a card to tell us where she was. Over the span of a few years, the boys stopped asking about her, and by that point they had few, if any, memories of her.

Days where I got to work and my feet hit the ground running, only stopping when I clocked out eighteen hours later were, thankfully, rare. Very rare. However, each time I had to come home to parent my boys alone after a full day of no sleep, I found myself angry at my ex-wife all over again.

I made my way to the swings and spent ten minutes pushing Eli before my phone rang. It was on the second ring before my brain processed it was my phone, and it took another two rings for me to step away from the swing and get it out of my back pocket. I was at risk of it going to voicemail before I answered, so I didn’t bother to look at the screen as I swiped up to accept.

“Hello?” I questioned through a yawn.

“Damn, you sound like shit.”

I pulled the phone from my ear and looked at the screen. “Carl?” My brother sounded identical to my dad, which caused me pause every time they called.

“Yup. You okay?”

Even through my exhausted haze I could hear the concern in his voice and was touched by it. He was usually so busy with his job as a government contractor that we didn’t get much time to talk. When he was home, he spent the time with his own family and our parents. Last I’d heard he was supposed to be home in a few weeks. Thinking about the date, I guessed he’d managed to get leave as expected. “Long night at work. At the park with the boys in hopes they wear themselves out so we can all get sleep tonight.”

Carl hummed into the line. “You work yourself to the bone up there in Louisville.”

Between the mortgage, car payment, private school tuition, and the nanny who watched the boys while I worked, I didn’t have a choice. “It can be difficult. Did you get leave just to call and give me a hard time?”

Carl laughed so hard I had to pull the phone from my ear. “Sometimes. Actually, I was calling because I overheard something interesting while I was waiting on Dad’s oil change today.”

I stifled a yawn. “Oh? What’s that?” I didn’t know if I cared much about small town gossip, but Carl sounded excited.

“The doctor here in town is retiring and he’s looking to sell the clinic.”

“Your point?”

Carl blew out a breath like I was an idiot. “Mark, you’re qualified. From what Jeff says, there’s no one in town who wants the job. Apparently, there aren’t many doctors here.”

“Who’s Jeff?”

“The owner of the garage. He’s also a pretty good friend, and he knows Doc well.”

“Carl, I’m settled here.”

Carl blew what sounded like a raspberry into the phone. “You’re alone up there. I talked with Doc, asked him when he’s looking to retire. He says he’d like to be out by Christmas. But if he doesn’t find someone, he’s going to close the clinic.”

I walked to the bench closest to the swings. “I’m not just going to take a job in Fairview because you call me out of the blue.” Work was hard, the hours were long, and of course he’d called me after one of the most difficult shifts I’d had in months, but none of that meant I was looking to make a change.

My job paid the bills and then some. The kids were settled here; everything they knew was here. School, friends, sports, doctors—they were all in Louisville. Did I want to go from a big city to a small town? I thought I remembered my mom mentioning that there were only about ten thousand people who lived there. There were over 600,000 in Louisville. Ten thousand was almost small enough that everyone would know everyone.

Then again, my parents were there. Carl and his family lived there. I could actually see them all without needing to take a day off work or a weekend off activities.

Doctor of a small town clinic sounded a bit too Hallmark Channel movie to me. On the other hand, it would be nice to have people nearby. There was a park in the middle of town, and kids were always there when we went in the summer. The boys would make friends. I yawned and my jaw popped. I was going to fall asleep on the bench if I sat there much longer. “Give me his number. I can at least look into it.” Had I said that out loud?

I could hear the triumph in Carl’s voice. “I’ll send you his number as soon as we get off the phone.” He paused for a moment before he continued. “Hey, Mark?”

“Yeah, Carl?”

“It would be nice to have you and the boys nearby. I miss seeing you. Being gone so often is hard, but coming home and knowing that one of us will have to travel three hours if we want to see each other sucks.”

Twist that knife a little deeper, Carl. “I miss you too. And I miss Mom and Dad. But I don’t know that I’m cut out to be the head of a small town clinic.”

“Just think it over and talk with Doc. He’s a great guy.”

I promised to think it over. First, I needed to get the boys home, fed, help them with homework, and tucked in bed, and hopefully have the energy to make it across the hall to my room before I passed out. I managed to check off every item on my to-do list in short succession, but through it all Doc’s number seemed to be burning a hole in my pocket.

I got the kids in bed at eight. Eli had seemed to be as exhausted as I was, and while it was still early for Thomas, he had picked up on how tired I was and promised to read in his bed until nine. I said goodnight and headed to my room.

I should have fallen asleep quickly. My head should have hit the pillow and I should have been out like a light. At twenty after eight, I was still staring at my ceiling, my thoughts swirling about the job in Tennessee. It wasn’t like it was mine for the taking, and I hadn’t made up my mind, but I needed more information or I’d drive myself nuts. Maybe I’d talk to the guy Carl called Doc and realize I wasn’t a good fit for the position. Maybe the terms would be impossible or the income wouldn’t be there to support a family.

Huffing, I rolled over, grabbed my phone from the charger, and tapped Doc’s number into my phone. I didn’t know why I hadn’t expected him to answer at eight twenty-five at night, but I hadn’t, so hearing a voice surprised me.

“This is Doc.”

Untamed Prologue

Rand

The young man sitting across from me sipping coffee wasn’t what I’d expected when I’d posted an ad for someone to help with the breeding program I was trying to get off the ground at Untamed, the horse ranch I’d inherited from my dad when he died ten years ago. Until now, we’d been a rescue and training center. I had no intention of leaving our roots—the area I lived in didn’t have enough people to take on the unwanted animals as it was. I had an open-door policy at the ranch, and we took in any stray or unwanted animal that came our way, within reason.

My goal was to expand Untamed to be something a little more profitable so supporting all the animals we did wasn’t so difficult. I knew enough about breeding to know I didn’t know nearly enough to do what I wanted to do. That hadn’t stopped me from dismissing the three previous applicants because I didn’t trust that they knew the difference between a mare and a gelding.

Kyle was young, younger than I’d expected when his application had appeared in my inbox a week earlier. His brown hair was cut short on the sides and longer on top, the jeans he wore were fitted but worn, and his plaid button-up shirt was new, but it didn’t appear as though he was trying too hard to impress me. He was impressing me, but not just with his job qualifications. Kyle was gorgeous, well-spoken, and his eyes were mesmerizing. I needed to be careful or I was going to make him uncomfortable with the way I was staring.

“Kyle, how is it you found my job posting exactly?” According to his application, he was living in Columbus, Ohio and had a master’s degree in animal husbandry. I didn’t know how he was old enough to have a master’s degree, and I was perplexed about what he was doing in Tennessee. And judging by his lack of accent, he hadn’t grown up anywhere near the South. 

“I’m looking for a change of pace. I already knew I’d have to leave Columbus if I wanted to find a job doing what I love. Over the last few months, I’ve been keeping my eye on job postings out of state. I wrote a script to scan for job ads looking for positions in my intended field. Your post came up, and it seemed like a good fit. I love horses, and I like the idea of being on board during the beginning stages of a breeding program where we can work together and set something up that works for you and the ranch. Coming into a system that’s already in place and just taking over someone else’s job doesn’t sound as rewarding to me.”

Expanding Untamed to include a breeding program had always been my dad’s dream. Unfortunately, he died before it ever became a possibility. It had taken years of saving, and I’d had to sell off a few acres at the back of the property to a development company to have enough money to expand. My dad would be rolling in his grave if he knew I’d sold the land, but the truth was, it was useless land full of dead earth and more natural hazards than I wanted to deal with. I’d be shocked if the development company found a way to make it useable, though they had paid me a hefty price for the property. The influx of cash had given me the ability to give this crazy venture a go. Finding someone who understood animal breeding well enough to walk me through the intricacies of what I didn’t know had been a lot more difficult. The fresh-faced kid sitting across the table from me seemed to have the drive and the education that just might make it work. Not wanting to show him how excited I was, I forced myself to ask more questions.

“What got you interested in husbandry?” 

The smile that crossed Kyle’s face was genuine. “It’s actually kind of a backward story. I’ve always loved animals. My grandpa had a small farm in Illinois, and I enjoyed spending time there as a child. He died, and the farm was sold before I was even a teenager, but I’ve always associated ranches and farms with my grandfather and happiness. I knew I wanted to do something to make a difference, I just didn’t know what exactly that would be. My parents tried to pressure me into vet school, but that didn’t feel right. I took rural sociology as an elective during my senior year of high school. We studied agriculture and visited a working cattle ranch for a field trip. Most of my classmates were repulsed, but I was fascinated. I knew then I wanted to go into husbandry.”

I appreciated his honesty. I’d already decided I was going to take him back to the ranch to let him meet the horses and the ranch hands and to see how he felt about the place. If we could make something work, we would.

Kyle sat back in his seat and pulled his hands over his head as his brown eyes sparkled with amusement. “Besides, how ironic is it that a gay man who won’t be reproducing has a career specializing in reproduction.”

I almost spit my coffee across the table. 

He didn’t miss a beat as he leaned forward. “Will my sexuality be a problem? Believe me, I knew I was going to have an uphill battle finding a place that would accept me. There aren’t many LGBT-friendly ranches out there. Actually, if there are any, I haven’t found them. So I need to know upfront if my sexuality is going to cause issues. Your ranch sounds nice, and you seem like you’d be a good man to work for, but I’d like to know now if there’s going to be a problem.”

It wasn’t often someone rendered me speechless. Knowing he was gay, I was going to have to work even harder to keep my attraction to him under the radar. I’d be a hypocritical asshole if I told him I had an issue with his sexuality. I was bisexual myself but getting the breeding program off the ground was the most important thing. Even being open with the hands, I wasn’t quite so brazen about announcing my sexuality to people, especially strangers. The guys at the ranch had been introduced to my partners in the past and had never batted an eye, so his sexuality wasn’t going to be a problem. After what was probably too long, I shook my head. “No, your sexuality won’t be a problem at Untamed.”

Kyle’s entire body sagged into the chair as he let out a long sigh. “Great.” All the false bravado he’d been portraying was erased in an instant. It wasn’t until then that I realized how much tension he’d been holding in his body. How many times had his sexuality come between him and a job? I probably didn’t want to know because it would only piss me off.

“Why don’t I take you to the ranch so you can meet the hands and the animals?”

He looked like an excited kid as he nodded. “Awesome!”

Already Home Chapter 1

Greg

Harrison groaned quietly as his orgasm built. It was muffled, and I could only assume he was covering his mouth so he didn’t wake me. I’d worked until the wee hours of the morning because my latest client had a late-night party. I’d ended up being an overpaid and overqualified bouncer. It was easy money, but I was too old to be falling into bed when the sun would be rising in under two hours. 

Knowing there were two gorgeous men waiting for me at home made it even harder to wait out the end of the party. I’d finally gently reminded the guy that his dad expected him at the office before ten, and he should think about calling it a night. Socialites were quickly becoming the bane of my existence. I hadn’t realized how much money was in Oklahoma when I’d asked to take on a few contracts for Oscar. The socialites were all entitled and spoiled, but the adult children of the oil tycoons were the worst. Thankfully, the current client seemed to have a healthy fear of his father, and I carefully chose when to use that information to my advantage. At a party after four in the morning was an appropriate time. 

That left me slipping into bed just after five, trying not to wake Jasper or Harrison who were cuddled together and buried under the blankets. The first cold snap was just hitting Oklahoma, and no one was ready for the chilly late-October air. I drifted off quickly only to be awoken an hour later by Harrison’s frantic whimpers.

I didn’t know how long they’d been going at each other but from the sounds Harrison was making, it had likely been a while. I dared to crack my eyes open and watched as Harrison pressed his fist to his mouth.

Jasper’s mouth popped off Harrison’s dick. “Shh. You’re going to wake Greg.”

Harrison groaned but whispered his reply frantically. “You’re killing me!” 

I don’t know what Jasper did, but Harrison’s eyes went wide, and he shoved his fist back into his mouth. When he finally got himself under control, he carded his fingers through Jasper’s short blond hair. “God, yes, do that again. Please, do that again.”

I diverted my eyes from Harrison and looked at Jasper between his legs. Jasper was tugging frantically on his own cock with one hand while his other hand was buried under Harrison. I assumed Jasper had a few fingers in Harrison’s ass while his mouth was on Harrison’s cock. 

Two months earlier, I’d never have believed that Jasper would be confident enough to be on his knees giving someone a blow job. Yet, there he was, and he was clearly enjoying it. 

When the three of us had fallen into bed together at the beginning of October, we hadn’t had any plans to make it a permanent thing. But it had been clear after just a few days that what we had was far more than a casual hookup for fun. A week later, we’d decided to see where the relationship took us. It hadn’t taken much time for Harrison to be in our bed every night. We couldn’t seem to get enough of each other. But, for the most part, Jasper and Harrison didn’t do much sexually without me.

It had never been a rule, in fact, I’d encouraged them to explore when they had time alone together. Jasper had been hesitant, and Harrison didn’t seem to be comfortable pushing him to do anything he wasn’t comfortable with. I was happy to see them initiating something when I wasn’t actively involved.

Harrison gasped as Jasper’s head bobbed up and down on his cock.

I couldn’t resist saying something. “You two are so sexy.” My voice was raspy and sleep filled, but it caught their attention. Harrison’s eyes widened, and he looked over at me. Jasper’s eyes flicked up to meet mine, and a wicked grin spread on his face around Harrison’s cock. 

“You were supposed to be asleep.” Harrison was still whispering like it would put me back to sleep.

“Um, my sexy men are all over each other in bed. Do you really want me to sleep through that?” 

Jasper hummed, and I didn’t know if that meant no or yes. Either way, Harrison’s hips bucked off the bed and Jasper gagged slightly.

“Sorry!” Harrison’s earnest apology was sweet, and Jasper doubled down on his efforts. 

“Aren’t you going to cum for Jasper, beautiful?” 

Harrison’s deep voice caught in his throat and he whimpered, nodding frantically.

I turned my attention to Jasper. “Sexy, focus on the head. Harrison likes more attention on his tip than his shaft.”

“Fuuuck,” Harrison groaned at my instruction. I liked to direct them, and it was something we did from time to time. Knowing I was watching but still not actively involved was almost as erotic as being part of the action.

Jasper lifted up slightly, letting his tongue flick over the tip of Harrison’s cock. A strangled moan escaped Harrison’s lips, and he dug his fingers into my arm. 

“Cum for Jasper, Harrison. He’s being so patient, but I think he wants to taste you already.” Jasper nodded as best he could with a cock in his mouth, and I heard him hum his agreement.

Harrison’s entire body went rigid, and he threw his head back. He let out a steady stream of curses, and I could see Jasper beginning to swallow deeply. I placed my mouth on Harrison’s and swallowed his screams.

Jasper tugged at his dick a few more times, and his orgasm followed Harrison’s, leaving a sticky puddle of cum on the bedding between his legs. 

When Harrison’s body finally relaxed into the bed, Jasper pulled off his cock. After giving his inner thigh a gentle kiss, he crawled up to the top of the bed and settled between us. We wrapped ourselves around Jasper and quickly drifted back to sleep. 

I woke up sometime later to Jasper wiggling out from between us. “What’s up, sexy?” 

Jasper looked up at me with his bright blue eyes and whispered so he didn’t wake up Harrison. “Gotta shower. I need to get to the office to do payroll this morning.” 

“I’ll go make breakfast.” I climbed out of bed and slipped on a pair of boxer briefs.

I stopped near where Harrison was sleeping before leaving the room. He looked so peaceful curled into the bedding. I brushed his hair out of his face gently, smoothed the blankets around him, and then left him sleeping peacefully. 

Jasper joined me in the kitchen twenty minutes later. I’d just poured two cups of coffee, and he slipped in front of me so he was between me and the counter. When he turned and slid up onto the counter and wrapped his arms around my neck, pulling me into a kiss, my dick began to harden. He may have gotten off already that morning, but I’d only gotten to watch my two sexy men have amazing orgasms and my dick was more than ready for some action. Maybe when Jasper went to work, I could go climb back into bed with Harrison.

Jasper wrapped his legs around my waist. “I love you.”

I nipped at his jaw. “I love you too.”

His right hand came to my chest, and he ran his palm up and down. “Sexy, you’re killing me. I want to take you upstairs and strip those jeans off you and—”

“Whoa!” A deep voice, that was decidedly not Harrison’s, gasped from the doorway.

Jasper went rigid, and my erection, which had been ready to play a few seconds earlier, was now flagging, but it was still not safe to turn around. 

Jasper hadn’t looked at the doorway yet. “Did you lock the door this morning?” 

“Marla gave me a key.”

Declan was one of my best friends, and I’d know his voice anywhere. I just wasn’t expecting it in Jasper’s kitchen first thing in the morning on a Friday. I couldn’t figure out what he was doing in Oklahoma, again, but he was there now, and we were going to be coming out as a couple for the first time.

Jasper unwrapped his legs from my waist, but still spoke directly to me, even though he was talking to his brother-in-law. “Is Ty here?” 

Declan let out a strangled laugh. “That’s what you’re worried about? Not that you’re locking lips with Greg? You know, one of my best friends?”

Jasper’s shoulders sagged in relief, and his head rested on my shoulder briefly. “I’m going to take that as a no.” 

I stepped back, pretty sure my erection was at no more than half-mast at that point, and I hoped my black underwear would hide it well enough. “Hi, Dec.”

Declan’s eyes were as wide as saucers as he took in the two of us. He’d finally stepped fully into the kitchen. He looked over at Jasper. “You’re straight.” Then he looked at me. “And you live in San Diego.”

Jasper’s eyes narrowed. “You were straight until you started dating my brother.”

Declan shook his head. “No, I’d always been closeted. Big difference.”

“We’re not going to argue over who’s gayer and for long. It doesn’t matter if Jasper figured out he’s bisexual yesterday or ten years ago.”

Jasper slid off the counter and stood next to me staring at his brother-in-law, almost challenging Declan to say something else.

Declan took a deep breath. “Okay, you’re right. I’m sorry. I’m in shock. How long?” 

“How long what?” Jasper snapped.

“I don’t even know.” Declan shook his head like he couldn’t figure out what to make of any of it. 

I jumped in before tensions could get any higher. “We got together the night we went to The Stick Pony when I dropped Nate off at school.”

“We hit it off quickly. Things moved fast. Then Greg started taking some jobs for Oscar, and he’s been staying with me.”

Declan blinked rapidly but looked directly at Jasper. “Fuck. I should have listened to that gut instinct that told me there was something there when you met at our place.”

“And you also told me he was totally unavailable.”

“And you told me you were straight!”

“I was dating Kayla at the time.”

“There was something there when we got to the bar too! I told you to be careful. How the hell did this happen?”

My head was spinning with the speed of the conversation, but I was getting frustrated at how accusatory Declan was being. It was like he didn’t believe Jasper could actually be attracted to men and didn’t believe I should be attracted to Jasper. I cleared my throat. “Sit.” 

Declan moved stiffly to the table and took a seat. I handed Jasper his coffee and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. “Go sit down. We need to talk this one out.”

Jasper grumbled but took his coffee to the table and sat as far away from Declan as he could. I shook my head at him. We all knew we needed to start telling people. Declan’s unexpected arrival in our kitchen had just pushed the timeframe up a bit. I set a mug in front of Declan and then took a seat next to Jasper. I made sure to brush my leg up against his so he knew I was there for him.

Declan took a sip of coffee and sighed. “Okay. I think the shock of you two kissing has worn off. Can you tell me what’s going on?”

There was the levelheaded SEAL XO I knew. This Declan was easy to talk to, and I could easily explain what was going on. “I was attracted to Jasper when I met him at your house after you got hurt. At the time, you’re right, I wasn’t ready for a relationship, he was dating Kayla, and half the country separated us.”

“I’ve never been the straight brother. It’s a label everyone else put on me. It wasn’t worth correcting everyone because I’d never been able to fully explore my sexuality with someone I was attracted to.”

Declan blinked. “So this isn’t new?” 

“I told you, I’d never been able to explore with anyone before Greg. That doesn’t mean I haven’t always been attracted to both men and women.”

Declan rubbed his head. “Okay, so you’ve always been bisexual, but you were attracted enough to Greg to want to be with a man for the first time.” It wasn’t a question. I thought maybe he was trying to work everything out, so I gave him time to process.

Jasper nodded after a minute. “When you took me out to the bar and I saw him again, I was just as attracted to him as I had been the first time I’d met him.”

When Jasper trailed off, I picked up where he left off. “We hit it off pretty quickly. You all were off having fun, so we took the opportunity to get out of there and get to know each other a little better.”

Declan’s eyes widened. “You said you didn’t feel well!”

Jasper shrugged. “We lied.”

“Really? You two?” Declan was still surprised, but he was catching on. 

We both nodded.

He tilted his head. “And you’re both happy?”

“Incredibly,” Jasper answered before I could even open my mouth. “Happier than I’ve ever been honestly.”

I smiled and squeezed his leg under the table. “It’s going really well. Jasper’s reminded me what it’s like to have an identity outside of being a SEAL and a dad. I’ve really enjoyed the time we’ve spent together.”

“You guys really love each other, don’t you? I mean, I heard you earlier, but you really do.”

“I love Greg. I can say that without any hesitation.”

“Wow.” Declan looked dumbstruck at the admission.

“I couldn’t have said it better myself. There’s a reason I haven’t rushed to head back to San Diego. I’m enjoying my time here, and I can’t imagine leaving now. The last time I felt anything like this was with Andrew. But the truth is, Andrew and I went so slow and it was such a gradual change, that it was never anywhere near this intense.”

Declan stared at his coffee for a few moments before he finally picked it up and drained almost half the contents. When he set it down, he looked up at us. “Well, congratulations then. Who all knows? Because I would have thought Marla would have told us in a heartbeat. Did you threaten her with her life?”

“You.”

“Me? What do you mean, me?” It apparently dawned on him what Jasper was saying because Declan’s eyes widened comically. “Me? I’m the only one who knows? As in you haven’t told anyone?”

“Well, Harrison knows,” Jasper admitted.

“Harrison? But not Derek?” 

We nodded. “Only Harrison. He saw us kissing in the bar that night.”

“Kissing! You kissed at The Stick Pony? I didn’t know you had it in you, Jas!” 

He flushed and looked at his almost empty coffee mug. “Uh, yeah. I may have gotten carried away.” He looked up at the clock. “Shit, I need to get going. Payroll isn’t going to do itself.” 

I pushed back from the table. “I’ll get you a cup for the road.”

“Thanks.” Jasper beamed up at me.

Declan shook his head like he was trying to clear his thoughts. “Can I tell anyone?” 

Jasper shook his head. “Please don’t. I need to tell people in my own time. We need to make sure to tell Greg’s kids. And I really don’t want Ty and Derek to find out through the grapevine. Unless Ty is with you this trip, I may have to wait until Thanksgiving to come out to everyone else so I can do it in person.”

Declan shook his head. “Ty’s at home with the kids. I’ll do my best to respect that. Uh, I’m happy for you two. Really.” He looked at the clock. “I guess I better get going too. I have a meeting with Oscar this morning at ten.”

I nodded, finally putting the pieces together. “So that’s why you’re back.”

Declan laughed. “Yeah, Marla gave me the key because I wanted to swing by and see if you wanted to do lunch. I kind of forgot to ask that after seeing you two… well, yeah.”

I chuckled at his discomfort. Declan wasn’t normally shy about sexuality, but I could see that this was bothering him quite a bit. I had a feeling it was the newness of everything and him trying to wrap his head around what was going on. 

“Unfortunately, I’m working this afternoon. But if you’re in town for a few days, we’ll catch up.” I handed Jasper his travel mug of coffee as Declan stood up.

“I’d give you a hug, but,” he trailed off looking down at my lack of clothing. 

I chuckled. “Hey, we weren’t expecting company.”

Declan held his hands up in surrender. “I’ll always text from now on. I don’t want to interrupt anything.”

Jasper finally laughed. “Yeah, that’s probably a good idea.” He walked Declan to the door and told him goodbye. He shut the door as Declan walked to his truck shaking his head, still processing everything that had just happened.

“Well, that’s one less person we have to tell.”

Jasper laughed uncomfortably as he put his hat on. He opened his mouth to say something, but Harrison walked down the steps wearing just a towel. “Damn, orgasms make me so sleepy.”

I burst out laughing. Thirty seconds earlier and we would have been explaining a lot more than just my relationship with Jasper. I kissed Jasper then pulled Harrison into my arms. “We know, beautiful. We always make sure there isn’t anywhere we need to be before we make you cum.”

Harrison grinned and leaned over to give Jasper a quick kiss as Jasper opened the door. “Have a good day, Jas.”

“You guys too.” Jasper left, and Harrison and I went to the kitchen. We needed another pot of coffee.

Close to Home Chapter 1

Greg

My daughter’s voice rang clearly through the phone. “Dad, seriously, you need to get out of there.” Emma’s voice was laced with frustration. “You retired six months ago, and Nate and I are both in college. You haven’t left San Diego in years. Go on a vacation!”

My voice was tired with a hint of warning in it when I started, but I wasn’t sure where I was going with the protest. “Emma…” She’d been on me since I’d retired from the navy to get out of San Diego for a while. Now that she was gone and her brother was moving to college in a few days, I was going to be at home by myself. 

“Dad, you need to live for once. You don’t have to live for us anymore. Go out. Get laid. Do something crazy even, like find a boyfriend!”

I gasped into the phone. “Emma Jean!” I didn’t know what shocked me more, the fact that my baby girl had just told me to go get laid or that she considered “crazy” being me finding a boyfriend.

“Don’t ‘Emma Jean’ me! You’re forty-six years old and you haven’t been in a serious relationship since Papa died. I know you didn’t want to confuse us while we were growing up, but that was over seventeen years ago. It’s time to get out there again.” She hesitated before she continued. “Dad, I only have, maybe, one memory of Papa, and Nate was a baby. He got deployed right after the adoption was finalized, there wasn’t time for me to make solid memories. You aren’t going to hurt our feelings by dating and maybe even falling in love. We want you to be happy.”

I sighed and scrubbed at my face with my hand. “When did you get to be so smart?”

Emma giggled, reminding me that she was still my little girl—despite being old enough to drink. “From watching you all these years.”

I ignored the tear that ran down my cheek from her touching words. “Alright, baby girl, I’ll think about it.”

“Which part?” she teased.

“All of it, Emma Jean. I’ll think about getting away, and I’ll think about finding someone.”

My attention was drawn to my son Nate who was sleeping on the couch. I could so easily recall him hardly taking up a cushion on the couch we had when we brought him and Emma home. It was so vivid in my mind it felt like I could reach out and touch it. Emma hadn’t seemed much bigger, even being three years older than her brother. She’d been fiercely protective of him and wouldn’t leave his side for weeks. They’d lost their parents in a car crash, and they’d been hard to place because they were a package deal. Andrew and I had only seen more love to share and the ability to give them biological siblings as well. Looking back, it had been a different lifetime ago. 

At eighteen, Nate no longer fit on the couch stretched out, so he was curled up slightly, his butt hanging off the edge. The house was definitely going to feel strange without him in it when he left for school. 

I sighed and headed toward the garage to find another box to help pack up his bed linens. We were leaving in two days to drive Nate to Oklahoma for college and he was sound asleep on the couch without a care in the world. College was going to be a wakeup call for him. 

Who was I kidding? It was going to be a wakeup call for me too. 

When Emma had left for college three years earlier, I knew Nate would be leaving soon too. At the time, though, with a kid entering the tenth grade, it felt like college was a lot further into the future. All too soon, reality had caught up with me, and I was facing a too big, soon to be too empty, home.

Maybe Emma was right. I did need to get out and date. I needed to meet someone. Would it be horrible for me to fall in love?

My mind flashed back to the only time in recent memory that I had found someone attractive… 

My best friend Cody and I had gone to the home of one of the SEALs on his team. I knew the guy from an LGBT group I was active in on base and when he’d been injured on a mission, I’d spent a number of days popping over to the hospital to visit him while he was recovering—especially before Cody and his team had returned home from whatever jungle they’d been dropped in for that particular mission. 

Declan and his boyfriend Ty had wormed their way into my heart at the first LGBT meeting they’d attended. Ty always had a smile on his face, and they looked at each other like the other had hung the moon. They’d been best friends since childhood, but Declan had been deeply closeted. When he’d finally admitted he was gay, he was ready to embrace his sexuality in both his personal and professional life. 

Ty’s family had come rushing to California as soon as they’d gotten the call that Declan had been injured. They were fascinating, even by southern California standards. Ty’s brother, Derek, was a famous country musician who had come out early in his career. Derek’s relationship with his husband was unique, to say the least. He called the hulking Tennessee sheriff Daddy no matter who was around. I’d met a few Daddy/boy couples in my life, but the way the two interacted was different. It hadn’t taken me long to figure out that Derek wasn’t just Daddy’s boy, he was Daddy’s little boy. That lifestyle didn’t do anything for me, but I wasn’t going to judge them for what worked for them.

Ty’s oldest brother, though, had caught my eye as soon as I’d met him. I’d walked into their small backyard and my eyes had fallen on the blond-haired man who looked exactly like his brothers yet completely different at the same time. He wasn’t as muscular as Derek, though he stood eye-to-eye with his six-foot tall frame. While Ty looked like his brothers, he was shorter and far less muscular. All three Scott brothers shared the same ocean-blue eyes and blonde hair, though there was something different about the way Jasper looked at me with fire in his eyes. 

I purposely avoided talking with him for the first few minutes we were there. Cody had almost swallowed his tongue when he realized that Derek Edwards was Ty’s brother, so that had kept us occupied for a few minutes. But I could feel Jasper’s eyes watching me intently the entire time I was in the yard.

My cock had taken notice of him as soon as we’d come outside. I had initially brushed his attention off. I was sure that Ty had only said that one of his brothers was gay. Jasper was straight, no matter what my dick was saying. When I finally got my libido under control, I stepped over to his chair—maybe a bit closer than I should have—to introduce myself.

I blocked the sun and Jasper slowly dragged his eyes up my body. By the time he blinked up at me through his thick lashes, his mouth had opened slightly, and a blush had begun creeping down his neck. Part of me wanted to know just how far down that blush went, but I’d had to squash those thoughts quickly.

“Hi, I’m Lieutenant Gregory Joseph,” I said to him as smoothly as I could manage. 

“H-hi. I-I’m, uh, Jasper Scott.”

The stammers and the way his mouth was parted slightly were not helping the dirty thoughts racing through my head. I could clearly see him down on his knees with those pretty lips wrapped around my cock as he sucked me off. I needed to get out of there, fast.

Of course, my logical brain was not firing fast enough for my small brain… that brain was all for flirting with the adorable guy in front of me. “I should have known. Are you from around here?” I knew he wasn’t. Ty had told me he grew up out of state, but that didn’t change the fact that I wanted to hear him talk.

He shook his head like he was clearing cobwebs from it. “N-no. I’m just here to help out while Declan recovers.”

“Well, that explains why I haven’t seen you around before. I’m pretty sure I would have remembered you.”

Jasper managed to get something out about managing his family’s ranch in Oklahoma while my big brain caught up with what was going on. 

I was pretty sure I managed to be polite as I made up an excuse to get out of there. “I’d better finish making my rounds.”

Jasper had nodded at me and let me leave, but I could feel his eyes on me the rest of the afternoon. No matter where I’d gone, his eyes had been on me.

Remembering that day reminded me that Jasper was in Oklahoma and I’d be there in a few days’ time. Too bad he was straight. And too bad I had no way of getting ahold of him. Well, unless I wanted to call Declan, and that would be a weird conversation.

Undisclosed Desires Chapter 1

Travis

The last place I wanted to be that morning was a physical therapist’s office. I needed to get to a jobsite, but after having surgery on my ankle following a nasty fall, I had to be there to get rid of a persistent limp and hopefully the dull ache that was beginning to plague me on a daily basis. I’d done the basic PT through a different office, but their schedules never seemed to line up well with my work, so I decided to try a place with earlier appointments for the more intensive therapy I now needed. I just hoped the physical therapist would be able to help me along quickly so I could waste as little time as possible.

My phone was vibrating like crazy with text after text from a jobsite foreman relating to an issue with an order we were trying to track down. It had started with a few missing cabinets for the kitchen and had snowballed to missing pieces and parts for the entire house. The supply company was trying to figure out what had happened to the shipment, and in the meantime, our completion date was shot to hell.

The constant texts and added stress were making it impossible for me to focus on filling out the necessary paperwork for the therapist, and I could already tell this was going to be the Monday from hell. Was it possible to go back to bed and start the day over? Maybe with two or three more cups of coffee before leaving the house.

Ben: Hey, boss, sorry to bother you. I’ve been making some calls. Finally got the owner of Canter’s on the phone. Seems at least part of the order was shipped to another jobsite… not ours.

Me: Fuck! What about the rest?

Ben: No clue. But the stuff that was shipped to the wrong place can be recovered tomorrow. He’s got a new person in the ordering department, he figures there was a mixup with that.

I sighed and ran my hands through my short hair that seemed to be getting grayer at an alarming rate recently. It was now more salt than pepper and it was making me feel every day of my forty-one years. It was probably a good thing I was in physical therapy for a bum ankle and not complications due to a heart attack with the amount of shit I’d been dealing with lately.

Me: Keep on him—

“Mr. Barton!” a high-pitched voice called from the doorway of the waiting room, interrupting my text before I could send it. I shoved my phone into my pocket and plastered on a fake smile, hoping it looked genuine. My nerves were already shot and if I had to listen to this mousey-voiced woman for an hour, I might end up on blood pressure meds by the end of the morning.

As I joined her, limping along and wanting to curse my sore ankle, she smiled up at me. “I’m Lisa. I’ll be taking you back to see Caleb. He’s going to be your therapist.”

First good news of the day—my physical therapist was not the woman who barely looked like she was out of high school. As we entered the therapy space, there were only a few patients working at different machines so, thankfully, the place wasn’t absurdly loud.

Lisa walked me to a chair at the side of the room. “Caleb is running just a minute or two behind. He’ll be with you shortly. If you haven’t had a chance to finish the paperwork, feel free to do so now.” She shot a pointed look at my mostly blank packet as she walked away.

From the small room beside me, two voices could be heard disagreeing… arguing maybe. It took me a moment to hone in on the conversation but once I did I couldn’t help but smile to myself. The deeper of the two voices sounded exasperated. “They aren’t toys!”

The other voice scoffed before responding. “Cal, your desk is covered in dragon toys! I’m pretty sure this one came from a Happy Meal.”

“Leave Puff alone! He didn’t do anything to you. And leave my desk alone.”

The second guy was gasping for air as he laughed. “Cal, dude, they’re named! You’ve named the toys on your desk.”

Voice one sounded irritated when he responded. “It’s Puff from Pete’s Dragon you imbecile.”

My phone buzzed again and I zoned the two out. I needed to figure out what the fuck was going on with my supply shipment and how I was going to get things where they needed to be to avoid further delays. We were into spring and I couldn’t afford to fall behind on even one job because work was stacking up faster than I cared to admit. I’d never been so thankful to have someone like Ben working for me. I pulled my phone out and finished my text to Ben.

Me: Keep on him. We need to figure out where everything is. I’ll be at the office as soon as this damn appointment is over.

Ben: If you keep limping around the office bitching about your ankle, the guys are going to force you to take leave. I recommend focusing on your PT.

I cursed but picked up the incomplete paperwork and began to fill it out. I didn’t get far before the conversation from the office beside me caught my attention again.

“Shut up, Dex. I’m late for my appointment because of you. Get out of my office, now!” the voice huffed.

A tall ginger-haired guy in his mid-twenties was pushed out of the office just ahead of a muscular man an inch or so shorter than the redhead. The office door slammed shut and the muscular guy crossed his arms and stared at his co-worker. There didn’t appear to be any malice in his eyes, so I figured they were friends, though I thought the redhead might be pushing his luck given the stern expression on the muscular guy’s face.

The redhead held up his hands in surrender and walked away shaking his head. “We’re going to talk about your little obsession later, Caleb.”

The muscular guy appeared embarrassed by his friend’s words and turned pink while he shook his head in frustration. “Ugh! You’re impossible. I’m going to lunch with Lisa!” For some reason I suspected the threat was empty.

The redhead shook his head again as he walked across the physical therapy floor and into another small office before shutting the door behind him.

The muscular guy turned his head toward me with a faint pink blush still staining his cheeks. “You must be Mr. Barton.” He held out his hand and flashed me a bright smile that was clearly trying to push his discomfort away. “Sorry to keep you waiting. I’m Caleb Masterson. It seems you’re stuck with me for a while!”

I bristled at being called Mr. Barton. That always reminded me of my dad and made me feel old. “Please, call me Travis.”

Caleb smiled. “Nice to meet you, Travis. You can call me Caleb. I hear you’ve recently had surgery on your ankle?” he probed, quickly glancing down at my work boots. He was likely judging my choice of footwear. I hadn’t thought much about it when I’d left the house that morning. It had been over two months since my surgery, and I was annoyed that the recovery hadn’t been quicker, despite the surgeon telling me it was going to take time. I wouldn’t own a top-rated, custom home building and remodeling company if I weren’t stubborn and impatient. My ankle, however, didn’t seem to realize I had deadlines and projects that needed my attention.

“Yeah. I need to get this thing back in shape. I really don’t have time for a weekly appointment.”

“Twice weekly,” Caleb corrected, fighting a grin.

I balked. “Twice a week?” When had I agreed to physical therapy twice a week?

Caleb nodded while looking at the small laptop in his hand. “Yes, it was confirmed when the appointment was scheduled.”

Ben. I’d left it to him to find me a new physical therapy place when the last one wasn’t working out. It was a good thing the guy was a hard worker and knew his shit because I wouldn’t normally take too kindly to this type of surprise. I had to concede that Ben also knew me too well after working for me for over two years. If he’d told me I was going to be coming here twice a week for the foreseeable future, there would have been no way I’d have come to the first appointment. But now I was here and stuck.

I sighed. There was nothing else I could do. “Alright, we might as well get a move on. What’s first?”

Caleb shook his head. “You’re clearly used to being the boss, but here, I’m in charge. So you can just sit yourself down on the table and take your highly-inappropriate-for-physical-therapy boots off so I can see where we’re starting.”

Big hazel eyes glanced over the clipboard that I’d set beside me. I watched as he looked at the incomplete paperwork on it and shook his head.

“Well, since you didn’t get this all filled out, tell me how you managed to land yourself here when you’d, clearly, much rather be working.”

I gave him the condensed version of events, avoiding an explanation of how I’d broken my ankle, while he focused on my ankle and the scars on either side from the surgery I’d had. “This is my busy season, and I need to get this ankle back into shape quickly. The last physical therapist I was at couldn’t work with my early morning schedule.”

“Well, the only way you’re going to get it there is to put in the appropriate time in therapy and do the exercises I give you. Oh, and don’t do more than you’re ready for. I can already see you’re likely one who will push through the pain and end up injuring yourself more.” He sighed and shook his head. Apparently, I wasn’t the first stubborn patient he’d had to deal with. “So, what did you do to yourself, Travis?”

I couldn’t help the exasperated huff I blew out at my own stupidity. “I was coming down a ladder, missed the last rung, and landed on my ankle. Not one of my finer moments.”

Caleb fought a grin at my expense. I couldn’t deny he was adorable as he tried to remain professional, but the twinkle in his eyes gave away a playful personality just below the surface. Even if I wanted to be frustrated with him, the little dimple that appeared in his left cheek was enough to wear me down slightly. “Sounds like a freak accident. It’s going to help if you wear tennis shoes here, though.” He was rotating my ankle and shifting his attention from my ankle to my face, likely watching for any signs of discomfort.

He squeezed and turned and rotated it more than my doctor had at the last appointment. He seemed to be making mental notes of every tight spot, slight pop, and anything he perceived as discomfort from me. After a few minutes, he went to my right ankle and repeated the process. It felt like it took ten minutes before he’d compared every movement.

Caleb finally opened his laptop and began typing rapidly. The tip of his tongue stuck out slightly as he worked, making him look younger. When he was done with his notes, he asked me all the questions I hadn’t answered on the paperwork and by the time we were done with all that, our time was almost up.

He shut the laptop and smiled at me. “Well, unfortunately, we didn’t get much done today. The good news is, we’ve got all the boring stuff out of the way, so we can get right down to fixing you up on Friday.”

The last thing I wanted to do was spend another hour each week in physical therapy, yet I had a feeling Ben was right—boss or not, the guys were at the end of their rope with me. I was going to find myself persona non grata at my own company if I didn’t start taking physical therapy more seriously.

“Yes, see you Friday,” I agreed reluctantly.

Caleb smiled and nodded like he’d won a battle. “Have a good week, Travis. See you Friday.”

Coming Home Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Declan

I walked across the parking lot, my leather boots making virtually no sound as I zeroed in on my baby, a silver Nissan 370Z. It had been six long months since I had seen it. Hearing the click of the door unlocking settled an unease inside me. I unbuttoned my uniform shirt and tossed it onto the passenger seat.

I finally sank into the driver’s seat and sighed. My team had only been back on US soil a handful of hours after a fairly cut-and-dry deployment turned into anything but. Thanks to weather, terrain, bad intel, equipment malfunctions, hostiles, and injuries, our deployment lasted every single day of six months.

The inside of my car smelled stale. Sitting in the baking southern California summer heat was certainly to blame for that. I turned the key in the ignition and took a moment to enjoy the air, albeit hot and pungent, blowing on my face.

I plugged my phone in, allowing it to charge for a few minutes before I powered it on. The other guys had charged their phones as soon as they were handed back to us on the plane. They were all checking in with their families, their wives, and their girlfriends. I hadn’t seen my family since I’d moved in with the Scotts nine years earlier. Ty Scott had been my best friend since childhood and when my family situation had turned sour, his mom had been there to put my pieces back together.

I hadn’t spoken to my biological family since I moved into off-base housing when I was twenty. The only people I spent time with were my teammates, Ty—who’d lived with me for the last six years—and some of his friends from college. When I was deployed, the only texts I got were from Ty and his family.

My phone finally got enough charge to turn on and I saw hundreds of missed texts, almost all of them from Ty. I swear, the guy texted me at least twice a day, sometimes more. He always texted me to tell me if he was going somewhere, just in case we got home. After six years of living with me, he knew I could be gone for days, weeks, or months at a time whenever my team was called.

I found the last text time-stamped only a few hours earlier. He was headed to a bar that evening. I knew what that meant, so I pulled out of my parking space and instead of turning right toward our condo, I turned left toward downtown San Diego and the popular night clubs.

I knew Ty would be at Bump. It was his favorite gay bar in San Diego. Personally, the place always made me feel weird. I felt like a piece of meat up for grabs. It would have been easier to text Ty and tell him I was back and going home to sleep, but I wanted to surprise him, and I didn’t want to risk him walking into the house with a hookup. That shit was awkward, and yeah, been there, done that—more than once.

Thinking about it, I realized Ty hadn’t been bringing guys home much in the last few years—not that I was complaining. Then again, I spent a good portion of the year away from home and we had long ago decided to keep the finer details of our sex lives away from one another. Not that I had much of a sex life.

I found Bump almost by muscle memory and was able to find parking not even a block away. After paying the parking attendant, I headed down the block to the bar. After months in the jungle, I still wasn’t sure what day it was and it wasn’t until I saw the line stretched around the block, that I realized it was a Saturday night.

“Christ on a cracker,” I groaned when I saw the line. My idea to surprise my best friend was seeming less than likely. I wasn’t going to have the energy to wait in line for that long. I’d be asleep before I made it to the door.

“You looking to get in?” the bouncer asked, eyeing me up and down.

I shrugged. “I thought about it, but I forgot it’s Saturday night.”

The guy winked at me. “Come on, I’ll let you through. The guys inside will eat you up in that uniform.”

I groaned. I was obviously sleep deprived. I’d forgotten I was still in my work uniform, right down to my boots. Thankfully, the guy was giving me an in, so I pulled out my wallet and paid the cover charge. I opened the door and music poured out, causing me to wince at the assault to my eardrums.

Conversations stopped and eyes followed me as I made my way from the entrance to the bar. I wasn’t blind, I knew I had a nice body. Growing up in Oklahoma and working on the Scott ranch had given me well-defined, lean muscle when I was a teen. Now after eight years in the Navy and almost seven as a SEAL, I was a twenty-six-year-old with a chest and biceps that bulged under my t-shirts and powerful legs that filled out my uniform pants nicely. The thousands of squats I did at the gym and during training drills had given me a firm, round ass even I could appreciate.

I scanned the room, ignoring the offered drinks and requests to dance. I had one goal only, to find Ty. I spotted him by the bar, chatting with some tall, young guy who didn’t even look old enough to drink. Even in a crowded bar in San Diego, I could pick Ty Scott out without ever seeing his face. Like that mop of unruly blond hair that was uniquely Ty, so was his outfit of worn jeans that fit him like a glove, brown leather boots, and a white and black plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up past his elbows. He was, hands down, the best-looking guy in the bar.

I sighed and weaved my way toward them. The guy he was talking with looked even younger up close than he did from a distance. His face still showed residual acne marks and his muscles were barely visible through his tiny shirt. Ty may have been shorter than him, but the guy didn’t stand a chance with my best friend.

The growl that emanated from deep in my chest surprised even me. I could tell by the way the guy was flirting with Ty, he was looking for a quick fuck and that wasn’t what Ty wanted. Ty was looking for his prince charming and even from ten feet away, I could tell this guy wasn’t going to sweep Ty off his feet. Hell, the kid probably wouldn’t have been able to lift a spare tire. Ty deserved everything he wanted and more.

Where did that thought come from?

If I analyzed it enough, I would be able to admit where it came from. The same place in my soul that had been in love with Ty since we were teenagers. I buried those feelings for him when my parents kicked me out at seventeen, though lately, they never seemed to be far from the surface whenever Ty was around. I could feel how pinched my expression was as I walked up behind Ty. Of course, Ty never even registered my presence until the scrawny guy stopped talking to him and stared at me with wide eyes. Scrawny seemed so shocked I almost laughed, but then I remembered he was hitting on my best friend and my lips pursed.

Ty turned around to follow his companion’s wide-eyed gaze. It took all of a half second for his blue eyes to widen and for Ty to make a squealing sound that shouldn’t have been able to be produced by a man past puberty. That was all it took for my scowl to soften into a smile.

One second, Ty was standing with his arm resting on the bar, the next he was clinging to me like a monkey. Not only was I thankful for the four inches I had on Ty’s five-nine frame but also for the extra sixty or so pounds of muscle I worked hard to maintain, as Ty jumped up and wrapped his legs around me. I wrapped my arms around his back and smiled. After six hours in California, I finally felt like I’d made it home.

I put Ty down on the ground and he bounced slightly with excitement. “When did you get home?”

“A few hours ago. Haven’t even been back to our place yet,” I admitted. I hated having to yell to be heard over the music. I shot a glance at the guy standing behind Ty who seemed to cower slightly.

“Uh, I think I’m going to get out of here,” the twink said uncomfortably.

Ty managed to look embarrassed. “Oh, uh, yeah. Sorry. Maybe I’ll see you around.”

I rolled my eyes as the guy made a hasty retreat. If I wasn’t careful, I was going to end up giving away too much about my feelings toward Ty. Despite my ever-present attraction toward him, I didn’t know if I was ready to admit I was gay. I didn’t even know for sure that I was gay. How could I know if I’d never done anything with another guy? Yet, in a bar full of men who were offering to buy me drinks and dance with me, the only guy I had eyes for was Ty.

“What’s got you so scowly?”

I shrugged my shoulders. I didn’t know, really. But once the little thing who was hitting on Ty had left, I didn’t feel quite so unsettled. “I don’t know. I must just be tired.”

Ty finished his brightly colored drink and looked over at me. “Are you ready to head home?”

“God, yes, please.” I said, barely containing a yawn.

Be My Home Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Derek

I sat on an uncomfortable stool impatiently tapping the music stand in front of me with the pencil in my hand. We’d been locked in the studio for almost a week and I was exhausted. Okay, maybe I was exaggerating just a little. But not much. Hometown had been in the studio for upwards of eighteen hours a day for the last six days.

I needed sleep.

I needed Daddy.

Gina, our other vocalist, was arguing with the producer over something related to mixing the last song we’d recorded… for the fifth time. Harrison was sprawled out on the couch, his bass guitar clutched to his chest. Neil was sitting on the floor, his back against the couch, a long leg stretched out in front of him, his head resting on a bent knee, and a hand placed gently on Harrison’s shoulder.

Seeing Harrison and Neil being openly affectionate was long overdue. They had danced around telling anyone they were dating for months. Even after I’d come out to the entire world, they had still kept their relationship quiet for almost six more months. Even though the entire band had known, without really knowing, they’d refused to tell anyone for an infuriatingly long time. I’d been both relieved and incredibly happy for my best friend and our fiddle player when they had finally come out to us. But their little touches and stolen kisses when they thought no one was looking made me miss Colt that much more.

After a week of mornings that started before sunrise, and nights that ended after Colt was already in bed, I was officially spent. We were all teetering on the verge of collapse. I needed time to decompress.

I needed to see my boyfriend.

“Good news!” my assistant, Madeline, announced from the doorway, causing everyone to jump. “There’s a snowstorm barreling toward Nashville. Effective immediately, recording has been put on hold so we can all get home.”

A chorus of cheers erupted throughout the room as we began to pack up our stuff. I grabbed my guitar and put it in the case amidst the clattering of guitars, drums, violins, and other random instruments being moved about.

“Thank you,” I said as she came over to me grinning like the cat who got the canary.

“Thank Mother Nature. I’m just the messenger. Though your Daddy may have been texting me for the last hour wondering why you were all still here when Nashville is shutting down.”

I laughed as I snapped the latches of my guitar case shut. “I’m kind of surprised he hasn’t made his way here already.”

“I think he was about ready to by the time I let him know I’d already called a car for you. He was getting kinda growly. You’ve earned this time off, get out of here before the roads close and you’re stuck in Nashville instead of at home with your man.”

I bent down and kissed her on the cheek. “Thanks, Maddie. I’ll talk with you later.” I called a quick goodbye over my shoulder to those remaining in the room and practically ran out of the studio.

Looking around, I was shocked to see how white everything was. Snow covered everything in a heavy blanket. Even the roads weren’t recognizable except for a few tire tracks. Aside from a row of large black SUVs lining, what I knew to be the large semi-circular driveway of the recording studio, everything was white. I scanned the row until I found the SUV with a piece of paper in the window with my name on it and hurried over, trying to pull my coat more tightly around me.

“Mr. Edwards,” the driver jumped slightly as I pulled the back door open and shoved my guitar in before climbing in and slamming the door. “I would have opened the door for you if I had seen you.”

I smiled. “I’m perfectly capable of opening and closing doors for myself. And there’s no point in both of us being covered in snow and freezing cold. Can you get me to Kingfield?” I asked. If Nashville already looked like this and the storm hadn’t fully arrived, I didn’t want to know what was going to happen in a few hours. Kingfield was a small area, the odds of plows having been through were slim to none.

The man nodded. “Yes, sir. The roads are slow going, but we’re getting out before the worst of it hits. In a few hours it will be a very different story. The news is saying it’s going to be a doozy.”

I sighed and leaned back into the seat. “Well, take your time, no point in rushing. I’d rather make it home late than end up in a ditch.”

“You and me both,” he agreed as he eased onto the road.

My phone pinged in my pocket and I fished it out to check the text.

Ty: Hey how’s it going?

Me: Hey, just left the studio. Nashville’s getting a massive snowstorm tonight.

Ty: Snowed in for Valentine’s Day?

Me: Valentine’s Day?

Ty: Tomorrow… Did you forget?

Me: Fuck! I’ve been stuck in the studio for the last week! I totally forgot!

Ty: That sucks. Colt won’t care, he’ll just be happy you’re home.

Me: I need to let him know I’m on my way. Have a good one.

Ty: Stay safe! Later.

I sighed and smacked my head against the back of the seat. How did I forget Valentine’s Day? Easy. I’d been burning the candle at both ends. I’d slept in the studio two of the six days we’d been recording. I’d had no more than four or five hours of sleep a night since the day we’d started. No wonder Colt was getting growly.

I stretched my back and moved to sit up straighter in my seat when I felt my thick briefs hug my balls a little tighter. A year ago, I’d had a hard time imagining giving up my skimpy briefs for thick training pants. Now here I sat leaving Nashville, and my life as one of country music’s biggest stars, to spend a few days snowed in at home with my boyfriend—my Daddy—while wearing a pair of training pants with airplanes on them.

Being Daddy’s boy helped me relax and gave me the ability to deal with the more insane, crazy, and hectic parts of my life—Nashville, paparazzi, touring, and fans. Without the ability to regress from time-to-time, I would’ve burnt out before my career had truly taken off. There was something freeing in giving up control to Daddy, even for short amounts of time, that made the chaos melt away. It didn’t hurt that Colt was unable to turn his Daddy side completely off. He tended to make more decisions than not and was able to read my moods better than I was most days.

Thinking back over the last week, I knew why I was feeling so depleted. Working insane hours had me going home, collapsing into bed, and starting over a few hours later. I’d not even pulled my crayons out of the drawer in the coffee table since the night before we’d started recording. I was overdue for some little time, but as I started yawning I knew it wasn’t going to happen that night.

I opened the messaging app on my phone.

Me: Heading home.

Daddy: Good. Is your driver being safe?

Me: Yes. Very. We’re taking it slow. On the highway, but snow is coming down hard. It’s going to be a while.

Daddy: Just be safe. Love you.

Me: Love you too.

Tears pricked at my eyes and I had to blink them back. I needed to be home, not stuck on the highway in a snowstorm. I wouldn’t have cared if we were in our house, in a hotel, or stuck on a tour bus. Wherever I was, as long as Colt was there, I felt like I was home.