Story Excerpt
Picture Me Perfect

flame div

 Troy took another sip of his beer and watched Graham shoot the red eight ball across the green felt top table. He chuckled when Graham missed the ball he aimed at entirely, the red ball bouncing off the side of the table then rolling to the middle.

            He liked pool as much as the next guy but he never understood Graham’s fascination with the game. Graham loved it. He probably slept with a pool cue in his bed. From his grouching, Graham wasn’t sleeping with anything else in his bed.

            Now that, Troy understood. He’d been going through a pretty long dry spell himself. He hadn’t been out on a date in months let alone had anyone in his bed. He tried to chalk it up to the new job and all but he knew he was lying to himself.

            Troy was tired of the constant rat race. Cruise the bars and find a guy, take him home and see if he’s the one. After he leaves, try again. Troy could count the number of second dates he’d been on in the last year with one hand.

            He just wanted to find a nice guy, settle down, and have a family. Unfortunately, most of the gay men he’d met lately just wanted to get laid. And while sex was nice, great even, it didn’t hold him in the middle of the night and make him feel loved.

            No, Troy wanted something more. He wanted to build something with someone, have that special person to come home to after a hard day at work. He wanted a partner. And he wanted the great sex that went along with being with someone he loved.

            “Is Sammy going to make it tonight?” Jamie asked. “Do I finally get to meet him?”

            Troy chuckled and shook his head. “I invited him but knowing my brother he’s forgotten by now. The man’s lost without a keeper. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sammy to death but he would forget to eat unless I called him regularly.”

            “Sounds tough.” Jamie chuckled. “I have to warn you, I’m not sure Nicky is much better. Granted, he can cook like a dream but he has a way of getting himself into fixes that defy belief.”

            “He can cook?” Troy stood up straighter. “You didn’t say he could cook.”

            Jamie chuckled. “Did I forget to mention that?”

            “Uh, yeah,” Troy replied. He was a lousy cook but he loved food. The two did not mix. Granted, he cooked well enough to get by on but it wasn’t gourmet. Sometimes it wasn’t even very edible.

“I’m going to go use the john,” Jamie said. “Order me another beer.”

            Troy rolled his eyes and got up from his seat. He started toward the bar, paused and looked over at Graham. “You want another beer too?”

            “Naw, I’m good,” Graham replied, holding up a half empty beer bottle. “Two beers and I’m pretty much done for.” He wiggled the beer bottle in his hand. “This is beer two.”

            Troy chuckled and walked over to the bar. He held up two of his fingers to the bartender then turned and leaned back against the bar, scoping out the people in the room. Peabody’s Pub was actually a nice place for a gay bar.

            The lights were not too bright but enough that there weren’t any guys in back corners getting it on. The place was tastefully decorated, pool tables at one end, tables and chairs at the other, with the bar counter in the middle against the wall.

            Troy was glancing toward the front of the bar when the door opened and the most stunning man he ever laid eyes on walked in. Troy felt the air rush from his lungs as his groin tightened almost painfully.

            The man was smaller than Troy by a large amount. That was something Troy wasn’t normally interested in but in this instance, he was. Troy doubted the man would even reach his collar bone. For some reason, that made Troy want to growl possessively.

            The light brown curling around the man’s high cheekbones and pert little face, the sparkling blue eyes with the longest eyelashes Troy ever saw, and the most kissable lush lips in the world sent Troy’s lust into overdrive.

            He gripped the bar behind him to keep from reaching for the man when he started to walk into the room. His hands ached, not from the firm grip he had on the wooden countertop but from the need to feel the man’s glowing skin under his fingers.

            The man looked ethereal, unreal in the dim light. Troy never considered men to be pretty but this man’s beauty was exquisite, fragile. He literally took Troy’s breath away. Something intense flared through his entrancement as deep blue eyes turned to him and widened.

            Troy couldn’t help but feel pride in his appearance as the little man’s nostrils flared. The man started in his direction as if draw by some unseen force. Troy’s heart pounded as the man drew closer to him, finally stopping right in front of him.

            He couldn’t miss the obvious examination and approval in the man’s glance but the smoldering flame in his eyes startled Troy. The man looked up at him, their eyes locked together as their breathing came in unison.

            A quiver surged through Troy as the man reached out to him, his delicate hand gripping Troy’s. Troy watched the man turn his hand over, then grabbed the other one, turning this one over as well. He was confused by the man’s movements but refused to break the sensuous spell that grew between them.

            “No ring.” There was a gentle softness in the man’s voice that wrapped around Troy and gave him a sense of peace he couldn’t remember ever feeling. “Boyfriend? Significant other? Lover?”

            Troy shook his head, afraid to put sound to his response in case it stopped the sexy little man from doing whatever he wanted to do. No, he most definitely did not have a boyfriend, significant other, or lover. But he was willing to entertain the possibility.


            Troy nodded, unable to tear his hungry gaze away from the man’s gorgeous face. The man’s hand rested on his chest at the opening of his button down shirt. His fingers twined in the soft smattering of brown hair visible there.

            “Is this real?” The man shuddered when Troy nodded. “I’d really like to find out where it leads.”

            This time, Troy shuddered. The mere idea of this man discovering where the trail of hair down his chest and abdomen led to made Troy’s cock so hard he hurt. “I’d love to show you,” Troy murmured.

            “My name is Nicky but you can call me anything you want.”

            Troy smiled and reached for the man. “My name’s Troy. I’d like to call you swe—” The smile suddenly fell from Troy’s face as the man’s name sank into his foggy brain. “Did you say your name was Nicky? As in Nicky Everson?”

            The man’s head tilted to one side, a confused frown making his dark brown eyebrows draw together. “Yes, my name is Nicky Everson. How did you know?”

            “Well shit!” Troy exclaimed as he pushed the man back until there was a respectful distance between them. “I’m Troy, Troy Summers, Jamie’s partner.”

            Nicky looked confused for a moment then his mouth suddenly dropped open, his face paling. He took another step back from Troy. The distance between them seemed as wide as the Grand Canyon. “You’re Jamie’s partner?”

            Troy nodded.

            The sensuous light that sparkled in Nicky’s eyes since he walked in dimmed, leaving behind a dull blue that tore at Troy’s heart. “I’m sorry,” Nicky whispered, his head dipping down toward his chest. “I didn’t know who you were. Please forgive me.”

            Troy reached for Nicky, stopping when the man jerked back. “It’s no problem.”

            “Where’s Jamie?”

            “He went to the john. He should be out in a few minutes.”

            Nicky’s delicate hands fluttered at his neck as his eyes darted around the room. “I guess I’ll just go wait for him over here.” Nicky took a few steps away then paused, glancing over his shoulder at Troy. “It was nice meeting you.”