Cover Artist: Guillaume Beauchamp created the cover but isn’t the Photographer
Alek Martin is the guy on the picture and holds all the rights
Length: 54 549 words/ 288 pages
This is an intimate autobiography not fiction.
About The Loss of Self: My path of Self-Destruction to the point of total humiliation
A very private and intimate Autobiography of the last seven years, my fall from “Grace,” as I like to describe it.
Death, Sex, lots of absurd, artificial
An appalling Break-up, which was the Catalyst to it all.chemed-Sex.
H.I.V., Bankruptcy, Almost-Suicide, Meth and so much more!
I lost faith in humanity
I lost myself.
I always had rules, goals and boundaries which I lived by endearingly, but after the Death of my beloved Grandmother, I started a Path of Self-Destruction to the point of total shame.
Do you know what it feels like to be standing on the Edge of a building, you have nothing to lose, and the only thing that keeps you from jumping is to return to an abusive Boyfriend who has nothing else to offer you, but to lie to you, to control you and to take the next puff of the Meth pipe!
Would you go back?
Back to the gay Lifestyle I never asked for.
To a Lifestyle where I ended up having Sex for Cash, me of all people?
Why, one must wonder, why?
I kept on punishing myself.
I accepted that my own boyfriend brought guys home and had sex with them in front of my face, looking me straight in the eyes.
And his eyes were saying:
“ I’m going to break you, and you will accept everything I am going to give you ”, and I did with little resistance.
I enforced his behaviour by overeating and
I lost my body.
Why did I let this happen?
What is my problem?
Why on earth would I who was successful in business and Life, always had monogamous, and highly Moral Relationships accept all this?
After 44 years on this earth, I finally discovered why!
My “Core Problem” wasn’t the people I met,
they were merely clones that I choose very distinctively yet totally unaware.
I recreated the worst of all relationships, the one I never had,
The one I never understood.
The relationship between my mother and myself!
It’s about the fact that she never fought for me,
she never placed me first, and that behaviour made me feel not worthy, not good enough.
She never chose me!
But you have to fight and understand your
and deal with it, as harshly and honestly as you can!
It will hurt, and sacrifices will have to be made,
but the pain isn’t anything compared to the pain that you will encounter if you don’t!
Menintogear was down the drain; the official news came in from my accountant!
I was officially broke!
My investors drove me crazy,
and I was totally and utterly financially dependent on Georg.
I had sold everything.
This was the first time in my grown-up life that I was dependant on someone else.
His ways were worse than ever, careless, drunk and high all the time.
His drunken abusiveness became more frequent, targeting only me!
he threw things around,
I couldn’t take it anymore!
Yes, I went back to him even after the Boston incident.
That is what this book is about co-dependence at its best.
The weather here in Miami was Stormy and flooding was everywhere.
I didn’t know anymore what to do, how to get myself out of this situation, where to turn and I had no one to talk to.
I was estranged by my fault with all my friends, as they were sick and tired of listening to me about the same story over and over.
I was in this mess all by myself.
Georg had to be conquered, but I just didn’t know how to.
Georg made all the money and kept it very well hidden.
My desperation was immense.
My primary investor was infuriated with me, as he believed it was my fault that the Project Menintogear went down the drain.
But it wasn’t. I still felt tremendous guilt.
Could I have done more? No, but yet again my trust in the wrong people broke this wonderful project.
I understood him very much, as I would’ve been mad as well, But what was I supposed to do?
And for the first time in my life, the Idea of killing myself became a daily thought, and I was starting to worry about my safety very much.
The situation was simple; I was broke,
except for the 15000 Euros from Georg, which he wasn’t gone pay me back,
I was homeless, and I refused to Escort,
I had to vomit when I thought about it and got extremely depressed and mad when he did it, even now, after I no longer loved him, it still bothered me.
The day came where physical violence took over, and he and I went at it.
It was terrible, and it started with the fact that I told him to please stop doing chems with his customers, as I wanted to have a break from it all,
a well-deserved break as I needed to make better decisions so staying sober and focused was key.
And let me tell you that Georg without Chems was rather boring but high he was a terror a fucking horror,
but Georg on chems and alcohol was unbearable!
Either I would strike him that he would die and I would end up in jail for the rest of my life, or I needed to escape, but how and one of a sudden the idea of suicide was the only way out, and it was calming me tremendously.
So the day came
It was a very stormy outside, and I love those days, if I am happy and content, which haven’t been now in 2 years and six months.
I looked out the window and had no idea what I thought about. I was staring at whatever without any thoughts! I was empty!
I got dressed looked at the flat and saw this mess of a man,
in bed sleeping,
which was the only time I had peace of him, and I left the flat, sometimes I just sat there feeling the peacefulness of the situation, and that became my sanctuary.
The flat was about 200 meters away from the Ocean, which I walked towards.
The waves that normally calmed me were wild and tempered.
I couldn’t relax as my back was against the wall.
I didn’t see the solution, so I walked and walked until I ended up on some building, I don’t know how many floors up, but it was as high as I’ve ever been!
I stood on the edge and looked around being almost blown off.
And here are my thoughts:
My grandmother is gone,
My mom the person that raised me,
my family and I don’t talk anymore since,
I lost my business, my car, my dignity,
my belief system and
I am raping myself over and over.
I am afraid of Georg, so much that at times I can’t breathe,
I am broke,
Menintogear which was a chance to get out of this mess,
is down the drain,
not because it was a bad idea but because I got framed, yet again
and I have no one to talk to,
My investors might eventually sue me.
I felt no way out and slowly, but surely the thought of leaving life was making me feel relaxed and chilled, and I moved towards the edge.
I stood there for hours, and then a thought hit me:
“What about my sister, how will she feel, when she gets the news of my suicide and what about my beautiful little niece?”
And then and there the fighter within me arose back to life.
I told myself:
I’m not jumping because I don’t have the guts, but because I’m not done with this life,
and no Georg will send me to hell.
If so, I will decide and no one else.
“You will go back to this horrible and unbearable situation and take all,
all you can handle,
and when that moment arrives, you will exit this hell.”
And so I did!
I walked back to him, and his degrading, immoral Lifestyle.
I went into the house, and he was awake, high already, the pipe loaded with meth and the GHB bottle next to it.
But I didn’t care anymore.
Something within me knew what to do, and I can be very persistent.
I looked at him, went into the bedroom and for the first time locked it and put my headphones on, and longed for the day when it was all over.
That was the day where I started to plan my Exit!
About the Author
“I used to lie and embellish, so I could somehow function and deal with my life, my family! I dared to face the truth and since then I’ve been able to rebuild and found the real meaning of my life!”
When ex-cop Jake Chivis is woken by the police and questioned about the mysterious death of his neighbor, he thinks his day can only get better. Things go from bad to worse when his lover, Mari Gale, brings him a horrific sex tape which appears to show a man being murdered. As they begin to investigate the origin of the video, nothing is as it seems. Will they find the killers before they strike again? Or will dark secrets rising to the surface in their own lives erupt and tear them apart?
Finally! The third installment of the Elemental Evidence Series is here, so when the extremely talented duo of Sadie Rose Bermingham and Bellora Quinn asked if I was interested in doing the cover reveal for Surfacing Secrets I was flattered. Of course I was interested. This is one of my favorite series and I am dying to see where the relationship between Jake Chivis and Mari Gale is going after the glimpses we got in Book Two of Mari’s sexual predilections.
If you haven’t read the first two books of Elemental Evidence, Breathing Betrayal and Burning Boundaries, I urge you to read them first before Surfacing Secrets – they are awesome!
Former Detective Jake Chivis is a Fire Elemental who uses psychometry to see the past. Doctor Ilmarinen Gale is an Air Elemental, a human/cybernetic interface, able to infiltrate even the toughest information systems. Together they find out just how potent a combination Fire and Air can be when it comes to solving crimes.
Amid murder, conspiracy and a world that views them with suspicion, and sometimes contempt, Jake and Mari circumvent the conventional. While the police aren’t always appreciative of their methods, they can’t deny the results.
When they aren’t busy consulting for the police, figuring one another out is their next big mystery. One that proves as frustrating as it is passionate. Between hunting killers and avoiding competing government agencies that want the two of them working on their side, they just might have enough time for love.
Pre Orders for Surfacing Secrets, Elemental Evidence Book Three, via Pride Publishing, begin on January 30th, 2018, and the release date is March 13th, 2018.
ENTER OUR RAFFLECOPTER
1st and 2nd prizes are signed editions of Breathing Betrayal and Burning Boundaries.
3rd prize is a $5 gift card to Pride Publishing.
Originally hailing from Detroit Michigan, Bellora now resides on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida where a herd of Dachshunds keeps her entertained. She got her start in writing at the dawn of the internet when she discovered PbEMs (Play by email) and found a passion for collaborative writing and steamy hot erotica. Soap Opera like blogs soon followed and eventually full novels.
The majority of her stories are in the M/M genre with urban fantasy or paranormal settings and many with a strong BDSM flavour.
Sadie Rose Bermingham:
A storyteller since before she started school, Sadie also enjoys reading, photography, live music and long walks on the beach.
Sadie has worked as a bookseller, a pedigree editor for the racing industry and a local and family history researcher. Originally from the north of England, she has been working her way across the UK ever since. She currently resides on the south east coast with her long term partner, where she hopes to buy a mobile home and establish a whippet farm.
Rod burners. Scaff dawgs. Laggers. Bucket dumpers. Lerps. Duct monkeys. Tin knockers. Lumbergs. Artificial big guys. Product of a troubled firm. Brobots.
They’re easy to treat like trash. But they’re not so easy to ignore; especially the ones experiencing “the wake up.” The idea was that they could work hidden in society’s plain sight, allowing humanity time to get used to the fact of sentient machines.
But it’s all too easy for others to take advantage of those who live on the edge. What they, and their allies, must do is work out who, and why, before it gets too late.
Brobots is a work of substantial science fiction with gay characters told across three continuous books.
Brobots, Brobots Trilogy Book 1 by Trevor Barton
Rating: 5.0 stars
I guess some things are just meant to be, eh? No, I am not Canadian and this book was truly serendipitous for me. I had been searching aimlessly on Amazon for some science fiction with gay characters when I came upon Brobots. What is this, thought I. It actually looked like good, quality science fiction with gay MCs. Something I could sink my teeth into just for my own enjoyment, so I one-clicked. Damn you Amazon and your one-click!
A few days later I received a message via my blog from Mr. Barton wondering if I was interested in reviewing his trilogy. I was so surprised I just sat there for a minute staring at the monitor and quickly answered him back.
Hey Bros, I’m so glad I got to know Mr. Barton!
Jared was immensely curious, a little (okay, a lot) geeky, loved to code, and to put it plainly just couldn’t leave this stunningly handsome broken machine behind in an oversized trashcan. Wiener and geekery were winning out over sanity…
He was adorable. He had a polished-looking button nose and big dark eyes peeking out from a chubby face. It would be puppy fat, but he somehow looked older than ‘twenties.’ Kind of Jared’s age: mid- to late thirties. He had something of a gentle look about him too. The craftsmanship was amazing.
Jared was indeed, by all measures, cute. He had looks. Blue eyes. Fair, short hair. He was tall, and built. Coding hadn’t done that, but dog walks and gym trips had done their work. He’d never considered himself to be a looker; always judging himself by what he wasn’t: not a model, not a bodybuilder, more of an otter than a bear, no longer young enough to be a twink. His penchant for scruffy clothes probably didn’t help. De rigueur though his outfits were for code monkeys, they might not be right for his age any more. A man couldn’t get away with tees, cargo pants and trainers much beyond 35.
I can’t tell you just how good this story is. It’s really, really good. Like hardcore science fiction good, enough to start me to get my geek on with the first book in the trilogy and a whole new, to me, trope. It’s set just far enough into the future to have it be real.
Do you have an Alexa? Perhaps one of those Google home things? I have an Alexa. I have two Alexas so I’m not far from her, ever. She controls our AC, which I’ve named Hal 9000. She controls our ‘smart’ air purifiers, which I’ve named Chucky 1 and Chucky 2. She starts my car from our apartment and sets the temperature on it so it’s warm/cool when I get to it (it’s a Florida thing). She controls all our lighting in the apartment through a hub, which I’ve named The Borg. Go ahead and ask Alexa if she’s Intelligent. Oh, go ahead. Really. And while you’re at it, ask her her IQ. I dare you.
So, what I was getting to is that in the next ten years, maybe even sooner, we’ll be seeing an exponential increase in AI and robotics. Are we ready? I think not, and that’s exactly what this book is all about. We are going to undergo seismic shifts in our lives and culture unlike any before, not even the industrial revolution. Hold on, sweetie, this is gonna be a hell of ride.
This story is about that shift and one potential outcome. It’s timely, well set in the time continuum, and has excellent nods to a group that ‘may’ have just gained legality but will struggle with acceptance and pushbacks for years to come. LGBTQ, anyone? It even has the development of new, non-conventional family structures. Color me surprised.
The ending is phenomenal. Took me by surprise, that’s how deep I let myself fall into the story. Well done, Mr. Barton.
Please think of Book 1 in the trilogy as the appetizer and soup in a multi-course dinner. There’s a deeper story yet to develop and I, for one, can’t wait!
Oh, one last thing about the story: have you ever wondered what it feels like for an android to have sex? Well, what are you waiting for? Come and find out.
Mr. Barton’s writing was crisp, well-crafted, and to the point. It’s not florid and it doesn’t go into a lot of needless detail. Yeah, it’s a tad geeky and that’s part of what makes the book so enjoyable.
The characters are well developed for a science fiction book. This isn’t a romance book, boys and girls, it’s science fiction. Good, solid science fiction and yes, some darn hot sex! Yes, there are relationships that are well crafted in the book, but we don’t need to get deep into why Jared does what he does. Suffice it to say that it’s adequately covered in the book and let’s get on to the shenanigans at hand, and those there are aplenty!
Trevor Barton was born on the south coast of England to a biker and a supermarket attendant (whose brother was a trucker). He got sent to Air Training Corps for toughening up. His curious local town was into line dancing and hard-line Baptist theology (making it closer in vibe perhaps to a southern US State than to South East England).
“Myth of the Cyborg: The Perpetuation of a Cultural Fantasy” was the title of his M.A. Dissertation in 1998. Part of this involved studying the philosophy of artificial intelligence with Ray Monk and looking at issues in representation with Deniz Göktürk (now at Berkeley).
There not being many jobs in Cyborgology, Trevor took the editorial helm of a U.K. search engine (because Google U.K. had not been heard of then). His tie-in magazine had distribution throughout the U.K. and the actor who plays Blackadder’s Baldric was the advertising voice.
With later jobs involving a great deal of U.S. business travel he’s published globally recognized websites, bar-crawled around Nashville and taken sidewalks with alligators in Florida. He’s also slept rough (for charity), established a peace center, helped save four lives, been ordained as a Buddhist and cleaned satellite dishes with a mop and bucket.
Trevor has lived experience with mental health. His mother died when he was 16 and his father was disabled. Trevor lives in the U.K. with his husbear.
Hey ma, look! There’s no disclaimer. I bought the whole darned series just before Mr. Barton reached out to me. So there, Claire!
Cam regarded Hunter seriously. “I can’t flog you, Hunter. Not like before, we talked about this.”
“I – just – you do that in sex, too, don’t you? You’re a fucking Dominant sadist.”
“Yeah. And sometime I will flog you, Hunter, trust me. And we’ll both enjoy it, in our own ways,” he said. “But not for this, not now. You need to go to the club.”
He was referring to Scene and Not Heard, the very discreet BDSM club where they had met and Hunt had knelt. Only four weeks had passed since that night, but with all they’d been through, it seemed like months.
“Why would I go to the club? I just said I was feeling peaceful and safe.”
“But you aren’t,” Cam said. “Not inside. So you started thinking about that night, about me giving you what you needed. I can’t. It would get all tangled up with feelings and sex. What we have, it’s just too fragile.”
Hunter huffed a bitter laugh. “I can’t go to the club for it, anymore, either.”
Cam frowned. “Tell me.”
Hunter sighed and shifted until his knee rested on Cam’s cast, and they were facing each other more directly.
“The Doms, most of them, it’s sexual for them. They use me to get off.” Hunt shook his head at Cam’s startled and none-too-pleased look. “No, you were the first who – it was a hard limit, no one touched my asshole.”
Cam relaxed. “I heard. You had many hard limits. You didn’t swallow, either. Why?”
“It wasn’t fair to ask them to give me what I needed, to help me get where I had to go and not give them something back. They got off on me in a lot of ways. One of them used to hold my head down and shove his dick between my chin and neck.”
“No shit? Must be the all-around rasp,” he mused. “Your 5 o’clock shadow is more an inky darkness.”
Hunter shrugged and pulled the afghan tightly around himself as the wind’s muffled howl became louder. “They came on me and over me and against me. They used my mouth. But I never swallowed. I didn’t let them in me.”
“But you did all that for me, Hunter.”
Hunt’s gut clenched in response to the intimate tone that made him stretch and fill.
“What else will you do for me?” Cam held him with a searing look and pulled his shirt off.
Hunter felt the familiar tightening in his core at the sight of Cam’s bare torso in the lamplight. He was wide and solid, his chest deep. A line of light highlighted the slope from shoulder to neck, casting a deep shadow in the hollow behind Cam’s clavicle that Hunter longed to have his tongue in.
“Anything,” Hunter answered.
Snowed In is the fourth title in the award-nominated Hunt&Cam4Ever series
After running from a past destined to kill him, Snow has been hiding on the streets.
Tell nobody your name.
Tell nobody your secrets.
These are the rules of the streets.
His entire life changes when he saves an eight-year-old boy from a violent end. Christopher Manos is one of the most powerful crime bosses in the country.
Don’t ask anyone to do something you aren’t willing to do yourself.
Secrets can get you killed.
These are the rules he lives by.
When his eight-year-old nephew disappears, he never expects the boy’s savior to end up being his own. A man with a dangerous past and a man with a dangerous future find love amidst murder and mayhem. But with Snow’s life being threatened at every turn, will Christopher’s best be enough to prevent Snow Falling.
When I saw that Davidson King was going her debut novel I was really, really hoping that it would all work out for the best, after all not everyone can go from reviewer to author, and vice versa, but if anyone could I knew King could.
I wasn’t wrong. I was, however, wrong about the impression I got from the cover until I read the story and went ‘yup, I get it now’. The model is gorgeous, breathtakingly so, and I see now how it works with the story. Read on, you won’t be disappointed.
I never loved that nickname, but that was the thing about a nickname—you rarely get to pick your own. The second I hit the streets five years ago with my white blond hair, ice blue eyes, and fair skin, people said I blended in with the snow. And no way would I give anyone my real name. That was never a safe thing to do on the streets. Especially, not for me.
When we came to the stone steps and I looked up, I came face to face with not only the most dangerous man in this city, but the most gorgeous. He was broad, and I could see the muscles in his arms and legs even through his expensive suit. He had midnight black hair and obsidian eyes.
And here’s where I was surprised. To say surprised is mild. This is a really good story! I mean, I haven’t really seen this particular mafioso trope before, although you can definitely say it is ‘the bad guy as hero’ trope and man, does it ever work for Ms. King.
Christopher Manos is the heir, and don, of House Manos, a leading crime family/syndicate in town. Christopher Manos is also the guardian of his deceased sister’s son, Simon, and while out with his bodyguard driver Simon decides he’s going to leave the SUV and go out for a stroll whilst the ill-fated bodyguard gets him ice cream. During his wandering, he’s corralled by some nefarious characters who are out to no good.
Snow has been living in the mean streets since running away from home, and his no good father who has been using him for less than honest pursuits, when he comes upon Simon as he’s being cornered by some sinister characters obviously up to no good. He manages to get Simon out of the clutches of these characters, promising to come back and stand in Simon’s stead with the leader of the gang that is trying to take advantage of Simon.
Since I don’t do spoilers, here is where the real action begins, and action it is. This is a thoroughly good story and an excellent start for a debuting author. I am thinking of at least one spin off possibility off of this story, should the author wish to go that route. Regardless, I think she’s definitely found a good style.
The writing was solidly good and enjoyable. There was a good flow to the story, no hiccups and WTFs; crisp and clean throughout. This author pays a good amount of attention to detail in her story lines, without inconsistencies, and I must say excellent editing. Some of the best I’ve seen.
There is definitely a good style to this debut author’s writing, an enjoyable cadence that made the story a pleasure to read.
Davidson King, always had a hope that someday her daydreams would become real-life stories. As a child, you would often find her in her own world, thinking up the most insane situations. It may have taken her awhile, but she made her dream come true with her first published work, Snow Falling.
When she’s not writing you can find her blogging away on Diverse Reader, her review and promotional site. She managed to wrangle herself a husband who matched her crazy and they hatched three wonderful children.
If you were to ask her what gave her the courage to finally publish, she’d tell you it was her amazing family and friends. Support is vital in all things and when you’re afraid of your dreams, it will be your cheering section that will lift you up.
I would like to thank Davidson King for providing OJ He Say! with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
INTERVIEW: Mike Merisi from Dancing Men – Hunt&Cam4Ever Series.
OJ: Hi Mike, welcome to OJ He Say! Thanks for stopping by for a bit.
Mike: That’s okay. Beats proofreading an operations manual. OJ: I’m so happy for you about Little Favor. It’s awesome when someone finds ‘the other’. Tell me, what first drew you to Cal. I mean, obviously his looks and personality, but did you see something special that rang your bells?
Mike: Dane said these could get personal. … Uh … I guess it was how he handled it all. Those construction guys are big. Tough. But they all respect Cal. Cal is the most together dude I ever met. I guess smart and practical are sexy to me. OJ: Have you heard from your ex, Kenneth? It sounds as if he could have been a problem.
Mike: Nah. He hooked up with another kid. Metro State freshman, if I remember. He turns 30 this year. I’m expecting a breakdown. OJ: In Little Favor we find out how you came to get your appointment to the Denver Police and that you’d wanted this all your life. Care to tell us why police?
Mike: The challenge. Always changing, never know what you’re going to do at work. Same kind of call, way different actions. To be good at it, it demands everything, all the time.
You get to fuck with bullies and you’re supposed to. Make cases work in court. Screw over defense attorneys. I miss the street already and it’s only been a month. But working with Dane and everybody… amazing. I learned so much, already. Jesus, Camden goddamned Snow? You don’t get to see him ski, here, do you? Never watched him own a whole mountain. Smart son of a bitch, sweet as cajeta. [shrugs] I don’t know if they’ll even keep the unit together for long. OJ: So, where did you learn your Spanish?
Mike: At home, like most people. We’re Spanish, Basque, on my mom’s side. Jasone de Arraioz. They came with Juan de Oñate in the 1500s. My ancestors traded all up and down the Front Range with the Navajo, Zuni. [grins] Tried to make ‘em all Catholic. Mom met my dad in high school; it was like Tony and Maria the way Papa tells it. The Sharks and the Jets, only nobody died. OJ: I must admit, after reading Little Favor I really enjoyed your ‘moments’ with Cal, so incredibly hot! Tell us, what is it that he brings out in you? What’s that ‘spark’?
Mike: You should talk to Cal. The only way I let August write about it is that no one would read it where we live. The whole story is about the spark. OJ: You know, you were his first, ever. Did it worry you, or…?
Mike: At the time, I thought about it. Like that day after I left, I mean. You know, it was my first time, too, in a way. Cal always knew exactly what he wanted, he just never thought he’d get it. I found out what I wanted right there. With him.
I kinda shocked myself. And then I promised … well… you know, you read the story. I was a kid last time I did that and it was only a couple times and, you know how there’s all the awkward slipping around and … Anyway … I had to … not get so carried away, so he’d be okay. So, yeah, I thought about it. But after that night—man, he was amazing—I never worried at all. OJ: Sounds like he always wanted to have what you always wanted give.
Mike: I guess. For me, Cal was yes in a world of no. OJ: Well, thanks so much for stopping by. I must admit that I’ve wanted to meet the young, quiet, sharp Mike Merisi ever since I met him in Dancing Men. And now, on to Little Favor.
Featuring a character from the
Hunter Dane Investigation novels Matchstick Men and Dancing Men.
“How is it when I say ‘Go away and don’t come back,’ you hear ‘Come on over and shove your dick up my ass’?”
Mike Merisi buttoned his top button and watched himself tie his tie in the dresser mirror. He needed a haircut. Maybe if he got out of here in a few minutes …
“There’s no reason to be hostile, I simply said we could try again.” The voice came from the cell Mike had set on the dresser top.
“And why,” Mike muttered as he slid the knot home, “Did I put my phone on speaker instead of mute?”
“I can hear you.”
“It was a good run. Almost two years. It’s over. Let go,” Mike told his former lover, loading his pockets from the dresser top. “We can remain … pleasant to each other.”
“I have feelings, Michael. I’m not ready to let go.”
Mike shrugged into his coat. Car keys. Breath mints. Check.
“It’s Monday morning. You cruised around all weekend and couldn’t connect. You’re horny as an old man’s bunion so you called me looking for a convenient hole to fall into.”
“Michael! How can you be so crass?” Wounded outrage. A Kenneth Special.
MICHAEL ANGELO MERISI had been an inexperienced nineteen when he met Kenneth. The tall blond, twenty-five, seemed urbane and sophisticated. He took what remained of Mike’s virginity and coached him in the finer aspects of sucking cock, choosing wine and knowing what to wear, and where to wear it.
But Mike was always the thrustee, never allowed to satisfy his growing need to push inside Kenneth’s admittedly fine ass. Mike’s vague dissatisfaction turned to resentment that hardened into an ultimatum: take it by turns or give me back my door key.
“You can’t understand, Michael, I’m a natural Dominant. I simply couldn’t.” Kenneth started the Keurig and selected a flavor enhancer.
“Manipulative, self-centered and anal-retentive do not a Dominant make,” Mike had informed him, arms crossed over his chest.
Watching Kenneth measure a precise amount of hazelnut-mocha into his cup, Mike knew he did not want Kenneth to give a huge sigh and say “fine.” In fact, Mike didn’t want Kenneth at all.
It wasn’t that Mike believed himself such a catch; he was the most average guy he knew. His northern Italian heritage didn’t leave him with the smoldering dark coloring of his southern cousins. His hair was a warm brown, his eyes a lighter shade of same. Medium-toned skin, his face more round than long—he did not stand out in a crowd.
Five feet, nine and a half inches of average build. Though he’d begun working out and his shoulders had begun to stretch his shirt. He was almost six inches when serviceably erect. Not sausage fat or pencil-dicked, just a penis that worked well. Average.
High-cheekboned Kenneth was seven inches. Six feet as well as six-packed.
Pretentious, long-suffering fussbudget.
“Leave your key on the counter,” Mike had told him, and gone to shower.
THREE WEEKS LATER, Kenneth still couldn’t seem to lose his number.
“I have to go to work,” Mike told him, grabbing his cell off the dresser. “I’m hanging up, don’t make a drama out if it.”
He dropped the cell into his inside breast pocket, grabbed his laptop case from a chair and was out the door.
Today, he had important things to do.
MIKE TOSSED HIS laptop case into the passenger seat wondering again if he was heartless. He hadn’t felt a second of hesitation hanging up on Kenneth. In fact, he felt … buoyant.
Maybe it was the working out. In the last weeks he’d had to move up a shirt size. His suit pants tightened around his thighs when he strode along. He just felt damned good.
His cell chimed as he put the key into the ignition. Mike steeled himself, but it wasn’t Kenneth.
“Nora. Let me guess, tower two collapsed and he’s running late.”
“Almost,” the lilting soprano of Cal Derricksen’s assistant came back. “Electrical inspectors. I have to push you back an hour.”
“It’s all good. I’ll grab coffee, get a haircut, and be bright-eyed and well-groomed when he’s ready for me.”
“You can be half-asleep and shaggy-haired as long as you have the competitive bid analysis for parking lots and landscaping.”
“Hang on,” Mike said. “I thought ventilation and water systems was today.”
“What! Are you shitting me?” Absolute panic.
“Yes, I am,” he said pulling out of the lot. “Gotta go, no cell allowed while driving.” He clicked off, grinning.
He really liked Nora. In her late forties, she combined the best qualities of supermom and meth-head piranha. She took care of her boss by tearing strips of flesh from anyone who failed, disappointed or opposed him.
Calvin W. Derricksen was all sharp intelligence and total control. He was a human dynamo in tan side-pocket chinos and a light blue denim work shirt. His navy tie always loosened, a brushed silver tie clip held the end out of his way. A black poplin jacket hung on the back of his executive desk chair.
He wore brown leather slip-ons with white socks. A pair of scarred work boots waited near his desk. In under two minutes, he could be in them, jacket on, tie up, and out the door. His sudden exits from his office to the big construction site were common.
Cal dressed the same way every day. He said it saved time not thinking about irrelevant crap when he had so many critical things to keep track of. Like making sure a building he built didn’t fall down with the occupants inside.
But as demanding as Cal was as a site manager, as focused and no-nonsense, he ran out without bothering with boots or coat when one of his crew was injured. Cal laughed and lifted heavy loads and sometimes drank beer with his guys. That’s what he called them: “My guys.”
Once, after one of Cal’s dashes from the office, Mike spotted him a half-hour later through the window wall, leaning against an upright. He was laughing with one of the workers while standing on a girder, ten stories up.
It was hot. So was Cal’s wavy black hair, warm hazel eyes, dusky rose slash of a mouth and tight round buttcheeks. The soft fabric of his pants stretching over his ass as he reached across his drafting table’s wide, slanted top didn’t hurt, either.
Mike Merisi had a hell of a crush.
TAKING HIS COFFEE into Cut Lass, Mike relaxed in the salon’s waiting area and thumbed through a style book.
Ten minutes later, Valeria settled him at her station. Val was a blue-streaked, caramel-skinned, seriously ambitious Guatemalan import. Most of her family worked in her shop. Mike understood the struggle starting a family business. His father and Uncle Leo launched Construction Accounting Consultants from Leo’s garage. Mike did Val’s books for free and in return, she cut his hair. He was a generous tipper.
“Saw you lookin’ through the book,” she said. “Now you grinnin’ like my nephew with a fistful of wiggle worms. You get some news?”
Mike fished a business envelope from his pocket. The letter had come yesterday; the paper already softened from many rereads.
“Greetings from the City and County of Denver. Dear Mister Merisi,” she read out. “We are pleased to offer you an appointment to the position of police officer …”
Val whooped and threw her arms around his neck. “About time, man, you been after this for like, a year!”
“I start at the academy in a few weeks,” he said, unable to suppress the grin that split his face.
After civil service testing, background checking and psychological evaluationing, he’d been found fit to hold people’s lives in his hands. To be trusted with a deadly weapon and the decision to use that weapon. He and thirty others had emerged from the pack of almost two thousand who’d sat the Civil Service exam. Mike Merisi was one month from realizing his dream.
“New life, Val. I need new hair.”
“How ‘bout a low taper fade,” she asked, running her fingers through his medium length locks. “This is good. Thick. Not too big a change, but sharp.”
“Let’s go wild. How about a mid?” He took his letter back and put it safely in his breast pocket.
“You got it. You gonna be edgy. Hot. You gonna be the Man, you know? Officer Muh-ree-see.”
She helped him off with his suit coat and shook out the cutting cape.
LAPTOP CASE OVER his shoulder, Mike grabbed the clear document tube of parking lot schematics from the trunk. He took the six steps to the 12-story building’s entrance in two long strides. Cool air met warm skin where his hair was newly shorn. It felt pleasantly sensual.
Pausing in front of the doors, he yanked off his tie and shoved it into his pocket. Opened the top two buttons of his shirt.
Mike made his way through the building’s unfinished lobby, heel sounds dulled on the exposed concrete. Hammer strikes, power saw teeth on metal and men’s shouts echoed off unfinished walls.
One car was in service in the six-car elevator bay. Inside, the walls hung with protective canvas, Mike pushed twelve. The powerful upward surge of the car triggered a familiar flow of warmth, like electric pinpoints. His pants tightened at the crotch. He smiled at himself. Anticipation makes you horny.
Mike had caught subtle glances of interest across the desk from Cal Derricksen during several of their meetings. He was sure there’d been some hand on crotch dick-shifting under the desk. But he’d waited for Cal to make the first move; he was the client and a very important one. To Mike’s disappointment, Derricksen had never given him any encouragement.
Maybe he had his own Kenneth at home. But Cal’s hesitation could have to do with his stature. As much of a powerhouse as Cal Derrickson was, he couldn’t be more than 5’5.” At most. A really hot guy who probably bought his shirts in the boy’s department. That was okay with Mike.
What he intended doing with Cal, did not require height. Or a shirt.
Mike had already decided to ask him out when the job was over. But since the letter, today was the day. For the next few weeks his brother Andrew would come with him so Mike could orient him to the work and Cal. And Nora. Then Mike would be off to the police academy and Drew would take over.
If Mike was going to make a move, it had to be today. And today, he was primed for it.
CALVIN WILCOX DERRICKSEN held the phone to his ear with his right hand and the top of his head on with his left, clutching a handful of wavy dark hair. He paced in front of the floor-to-ceiling window, listening to nonsense.
Outside, a construction crane set an enormous I-beam delicately in place on the twelfth story of the building next to this one. A twin of the one he stood in.
“You can’t just drop two more stories on top, Denkler, you know how that changes the dead load? … Tell you what, call a civil engineer and get him to explain it to you. … Yeah, well, he’ll be polite.”
He tossed the phone onto his desk.
Mike Merisi was leaning against the door jamb, grinning at him. Oh, man, what’s the kid done to himself? He looked older. Harder, somehow. Hotter.
Thankfully, Cal was behind his desk, the top level with his waist. Cal Derricksen’s pants never tightened. They just rubbed the end of his willy. Irritating.
Merisi came off the door and took a couple steps toward him, eyes locked, grin fading. Willy wept.
Cal felt the old familiar tensions—of his stomach, where the anger lay. His throat, where the sadness hid.
“You want to put your shit down over there and bring me the plans?” Cal asked. Terse. He pointed to a conversation area, complete with sofa and chairs. His office was the only finished space in the building. It served as a showpiece for prospective tenants.
Merisi paused and cocked his head, as if considering Cal’s directions. Cal’s heart pounded in his ears. What if he doesn’t do it? What if he … says something?
The accounting consultant Cal called “kid” in his mind, seemed not at all kidlike standing tall and strong and calm. Mike nodded and turned away.
Hurrying out from behind his desk to the drafting table, Cal pulled himself into place on the tall chair. He always did it like this, before a visitor came in or while they were distracted. He hated anyone seeing him clamber up, like a child at the grown-ups table.
Once settled, glasses in place and willy subsided, Cal was ready. At thirty, he was one of the youngest high rise construction managers around. This was his domain. His world, his expertise. And if the crushing responsibility sometimes seemed like it would do just that, no one around him could tell.
He cleared papers from the slanted top of the drafting table. “Let’s go,”—he glanced over his shoulder—“I…”
Mike Merisi closed the office door and walked toward him.
He wasn’t carrying the tube.
GET SET …
Michael! What are you doing?
Whatever the hell I want, for once.
Cal had licked his lips when he saw Mike in the doorway. His face flushed; his eyes got big. He’d shifted his hips behind the desk.
I should have gotten this haircut a long time ago. Mike Merisi might only be twenty-one, but he knew when a guy responded to him. He’d turned his back to close the door, knowing Cal would escape to his drafting table. On the tall chair, he was close to Mike’s height.
No escape, today. Determined, Mike had started across the room and Cal had looked back. Mike fixed his gaze on Cal’s. Held him.
Jesus, I’m making him look at me. He looks turned on and … scared? Oh, man, that’s hot.
Cal’s lips parted; a pulse throbbed at the side of his neck. Every one of his responses made Mike feel taller. Denser, somehow. His cock wasn’t tingling; he was hard and hot and tight. Mike stopped thinking about what he was doing and went with it.
He halted two steps from Cal, seemingly mesmerized by Mike’s hand pushing under his own waistband. Cal’s eyes followed as Mike adjusted himself, lingering a second for one hard squeeze.
“Oh, God,” Cal breathed. He didn’t look away until Mike took his hand out and placed it flat on the tilted top of the drafting table. He put the other hand on the back of Cal’s chair.
Cal’s eyes darted around, from Mike’s hands, to the door, to the window. Back to the almost vertical ridgeline next to Mike’s zipper. Anywhere but on Mike’s face.
“Look at me, Cal.”
The little man made a high sound in his throat and Mike’s gut clenched and heated. He swivelled the chair Cal perched on, so the site manager faced him.
Cal looked up. And Mike Merisi knew then what Cal wanted. His obedience wouldn’t surprise Mike again. “Are you with anyone?” His voice was hoarse.
Cal shook his head. He wriggled slightly in the chair.
“Hold still.” Mike only had to lean forward to be between Cal’s knees. He stared pointedly at Cal’s crotch.
A small dark spot. “You’re wet for me,” he said. It was what straight guys said to girls, but he knew, somehow, it would excite Cal, who choked on an intake of breath. Yes.
“Nor- Nora might come in,” Cal said.
Mike smirked, still looking between Cal’s legs. “She might. Probably will.” Oddly, he didn’t see a bulge. But the spot was unmistakable. He caught Cal’s eyes again. “I don’t think she’ll stay long.”
“Goddammit it,” Cal said softly, shifting in the chair. Mike’s cock jerked. He reached out to cover Cal’s erection with his palm, to squeeze and knead and-
“No!” Cal shoved back from the table, twisting, and almost toppled over. “Stop it, leave me a—”
Mike’s tongue obliterated the rest of the word. He held Cal by a fist in his hair, tilting his head back. A light dusting of stubble grazed his fingertips, digging in above Cal’s jaw, keeping his mouth open.
But Mike didn’t ravage him; he probed. Tasting, feeling. Finally.
A small hot tongue, tentative, stroked back along Mike’s. He held Cal’s face between his hands, thumbs sliding along lips, tips dipping into the dark, wet warmth.
Cal trembled and moaned and clutched at Mike’s sleeve, pulling instead of pushing away. For a few seconds. Then he put two hands flat on Mike’s chest and pushed. Hard.
“Time out,” he said. It wasn’t a request.
Mike pulled back, but not away. “Nora went to the printer’s and then to lunch. The door’s locked.” He smiled. “I had planned to say – something – you know. But … you are so goddamned sexy.”
Cal shook his head and blew out a breath. He had his hands over his crotch.
“It can’t just …. happen,” Cal said. “There’re things to discuss.”
“I know. I have stuff in my bag. Condoms.” He didn’t mention the lube or the wipes. “But I couldn’t wait to touch you.” He slid a palm over Cal’s upper arm, well-muscled from years of working around construction sites.
“Conversation,” Cal said firmly, pushing Mike’s hand back toward him. “A lot of conversation. There are things for you to know.”
What would he have to know that took so much talking? Mike considered. Cal was small for a man, but well-proportioned. He couldn’t be …
“Cal, are you trans?”
Cal shook his head, turning the chair away. He moved to his desk, motioning Mike toward the visitor’s chair. “Please,” he said.
Mike complied as thoughts of HIV and genital warts flashed through his mind.
Cal sat with his elbows on the desktop, hands clasped. It felt for all the world like Mike was in front of the teacher’s desk about to be lectured on getting his homework in on time.
“In terms of … endowment,” Cal began. “Nature has shown me little favor.”
Endowment. Little favor?
….. Oh. “Okay. Is there more or is that what I had to know?
Cal blew out a breath. “I don’t think you understand how … unfavored I am.”
“I’ll find out for myself, shortly,” Mike smirked. He cocked his head. “What’s your position on anal?”
Cal started. “I haven’t—I haven’t had much experience.”
“I’ll change that.” Mike’s wilted cock perked up when the flush revisited Cal’s cheeks and his eyes widened. “I was thinking I’d top. You good with that?”
Cal licked his lips. He was good with it. “Now?” His voice was thick. Yes.
Mike stood up. “We’ll see. First”—he moved around the desk behind Cal, hands flat on the desktop next to his elbows, lips brushing Cal’s ear—“I’m going to touch you.”
He was rewarded with a low moan. “Stand up, you’re in my seat.”
Mike grabbed the arms of the chair and pulled it slowly back from the desk. Looking down, he saw the tiny wet spot on Cal’s pants had been joined by a short streak. Not a larger spot. A streak. As if his leaking slit was dragged across the inside of his pants.
Very little favor, then.
Cal didn’t stand up. But he didn’t refuse.
THIS WON’T WORK, you know that.
Cal Derricksen fought to regain his equilibrium. His few forays into sexual congress had not ended well. While Cal hadn’t experienced deliberate cruelty since high school, the looks, the embarrassed for him but polite excuses, were somehow worse.
Pity was worse.
And he really liked Mike Merisi. Sweet, smart, shrewd. A hell of a work ethic. He smelled good. He dressed professionally, he usually unbuttoned his collar. It was the notch, the shadow, the faint sprinkle of hair that promised more. His fine hands and dry humor.
“What’s your position on anal?”
Cal wanted to chuckle at the wordplay, but his pain was too acute, knowing it would never happen. And he’d never suspected the streak of dominance. It undid him. Toppled his wall of sensible reserve.
Damn it. Godfuckingdammit all to hell.
His father says he’s leaving. That’s why he’s doing this. It’s the last time. Get it over with. Make sure you get the schematics and figures before he walks out.
Cal Derricksen stood up.
He felt Mike slide into the seat behind him. His chair was set at maximum height, of course. When Mike spread his legs and rolled the chair up to the back of Cal’s legs, his knees pressed firmly into Cal’s hips on either side.
Strong arms wrapped around his shoulders, warm breath moved over his ear. “Shoes off.” Cal shivered and his insides clenched.
He toed off his loafers, kicking them further into the well of the desk. Mike leaned into him and he felt the expansion of Mike’s chest against his back with every intake of breath.
He feels wonderful. Tears pricked at his eyes at the imminent loss of the strength and comfort of another man’s body against his own.
“Jesus you feel good,” Mike breathed, hands gliding over Cal’s chest and abdomen. He opened Cal’s belt and pants, pulling him closer. Mike’s right hand slid down, over Cal’s plain white jockeys. His left, flat on Cal’s stomach, kept him close, a sweet restraint.
Cal felt a tear track down his face. Mike’s fingers found his three-and-a-quarter inches poking out a stretched leg hole. Felt him, seeking the rest. There was no “rest.” The fingers tightened around him. His willy felt like it would split open. His chest felt empty. Dead.
“Jesus, Cal,” Mike said, a bit of wonder in his low, tight voice.
Here it comes …
“You could etch glass with this thing. Or melt it.”
Then there were only Mike’s hands, sliding under, tearing his pants off, lifting turning. Mike stood and laid Cal on his back on the desk, pushing his thighs apart, staring down between his legs.
MOVING HIS PALMS over Cal’s strong thighs and onto his abdomen, Mike kept his eyes on the small, succulent prize. The shiny red glans sat on a solid stalk of turgid flesh, a narrow vein snaking along briefly to dive underneath. Cal’s sac was compact and dark red, the mounds of his balls offset. It was all in proportion, framed by a halo of dark curls.
“Perfect,” Mike said again, hands moving to each side, and down, he laid his thumbs on each side of the thickened root. Dear God, what I could do.
Reaching down, he lifted Cal’s legs. “Feet on the edge of the desk.” Cal complied; Mike opened his knees. “Give me your wrists.”
Mike extended his hands along the outsides of Cal’s thighs and manacled each wrist with his fingers. He pulled Cal toward him, shins pressing into Mike’s biceps, his perfect package inches from Mike’s mouth.
“I’m going to suck you off. Right here. Now.” Mike tried to sound controlled, but his urgent need to ravage this man tightened his throat and the words came out a growl.
Cal’s deep brown eyes grew larger. “Why?”
Mike surged up and over, hands over hands, holding them down next to Cal’s head. Body over body, driving him into the surface of the desk. He loomed over the man beneath him and glared fiercely into his face.
“Because I want you more than I ever wanted anyone. Because I’m going to make you feel so good you’ll fight to get away from the pleasure and need to come so bad you’ll feel like you’ll lose your mind if you don’t. And I’ll love the way you’ll struggle and plead. And because you want me to, little man. You want me to, don’t you?”
Cal’s head moved in a bare nod of acquiescence.
“Say it,” Mike snapped.
Cal shuddered and moaned. “I want you to,” Cal whispered, eyes bright with humiliation and need.
For a nanosecond Mike wondered at himself. But he knew with more certainty every second, at every response. Like coming home to a place he hadn’t known he missed. He was the one who gave and withheld, drove and shattered.
He was the one who owned.
Mike undid himself and brought his aching length out into the air. He wrapped both hands around, the head disappearing and squeezed. Wait. Wait until you’re in his mouth. Precum gushed through his fingers at the thought.
Mike knew he could come in a couple strokes at the sight of Cal laid out before him. Legs still drawn up, knees open, shaft tight back in the thatch of hair. Stomach fluttering with each ragged breath in anticipation of Mike’s touch.
And just above the desk edge, a tight pink star beckoned.
“Oh, fuck yeah,” he whispered. He tucked himself inside his boxers, finding a dry spot.
Taking Cal’s wrists firmly in hand, Mike Merisi lowered his head.
Cal’s three-and-a-quarter inches of stiff, searing flesh fit completely inside Mike Merisi’s mouth. It startled him and thrilled him—oh, what he would be able to do with his tongue to this straining, fiery stalk.
Mike pressed upward with the rougher back of his tongue and stroked the frenulum and delta, over and over. The cock in his mouth leaked and Cal cried out some garbled version of “Oh my God.”
Jesus, I might come on myself. Sucking off Call was the most incredibly exciting thing Mike had ever done to a man. He’d never had a whole dick in his mouth at once, ever. Kenneth was a log he’d taught himself not to choke on. And while his lover getting off in his mouth was something of a turn-on, there wasn’t much in it for Mike but an aching jaw.
But this … He backed off before he made Cal shoot. Slipping his tongue over the top, he lodged Cal in the soft underflesh.
Cal squirmed, struggling to thrust, but Mike gripped him hard, keeping his legs folded. By changing the angle of his body, Mike completely controlled how much Cal could move hips. And right now, that amount was zero.
Mike scraped the short stalk with his teeth and polished the burning head against the silky, softness under his tongue. Mike tasted the precum that welled up. With a feral cry, Cal’s head jerked back, but Mike’s hold kept his back flat and he shook with the effort to escape the very thing he sought.
Cal Derricksen was a strong man, but Mike Merisi had him locked down.
“Oh. Fuck. Oh. Fuck.” Cal panted so hard Mike feared he’d hyperventilate. He pulled up, keeping the suction on until the head of Cal’s dick slipped out and rested on his lower lip. He teased the slit with the tip of his tongue. Cal’s every breath a harsh rasp.
“You need to get a grip on yourself, little dude. I’m just getting started.”
“Mike, oh God, Mike, I’m – I’ll come if you do keep doing that.”
“You always come this fast?” He ran his nose along the sides of Cal’s swollen prick, again hidden in the thatch of pubic hair. He inhaled Cal’s musky scent, felt his hips flex, as if seeking Mike’s mouth, again.
“Well?” Mike asked, the word muffled by flesh and hair and skin and lust.
“No one ever did this to me before. I mean … oh, fu- uh – they…”
“Tell me,” Mike ordered, running his chin up and down Cal’s length, knowing he’d be prickly by now, an erotic rasp.
“Uh … uh … oh God … start … they’d start and … Jesus, please … stop—they’d stop when they saw me.”
That made Mike stop. He’s a fucking virgin. He rested his forehead on Cal’s abdomen, the muscles tight with arousal, rising and falling with each breath. No one’s touched him? Entered him? … The next thought was immediate, primal … mine.
Mike Merisi raked his eyes over the panting, suffering, needing man. A savage need to torment, delight, invade, imprint himself on every one of Cal Derricksen’s raw nerve endings possessed him.
He lifted enough to catch Cal’s eyes, glimmering with his arousal. “Then you’d better think about ice storms, because you don’t come until I let you and I’m about to make up for lost time.”
Cal’s eyes widened with uncertainty and anticipation.
Mike moved down further and sucked lightly on Cal’s ballsack, also smaller than normal, hot and tight.
He stroked the short raphe with the tip of his tongue. Pressing hard, following the seam up and into Cal’s sac, teasing his nuts apart, he sucked each in turn, between his teeth. Trapped, Mike teased his prize with his tongue while Releasing. Repeating.
Cal Derricksen struggled and keened, wept and finally howled. Mike’s cock jerked hard, flash fire raced along a web of nerves to his hole, to his spine. His fucking toes tingled.
He revelled in the ease with which he could access every bit of Cal’s most closely-guarded shame. Hardening the tip of his tongue, he traveled the short distance down and probed the center of Cal’s hole.
“No – no – that – ah – not – oh … fuck … oh … God …”
With every cry and increasingly frantic movement, Mike gloried in his power to make Cal insane with need and desperate for release. This was his domain.
Moving up, he sucked the purple head and rubbed it back and forth between the slick silken inside his lips and the washboard of his front teeth.
Mike dropped his jaw as Kenneth had taught him and took all of Cal into his mouth, cock and balls and a flood of precum.
Mike’s tongue was folded against the curves and ridges in his mouth and he could only move it slightly, but with every press and slide Cal writhed against him, seeming torn between driving deeper or escaping the unbearable pleasure. His whole body trembled and the table vibrated and swirled his tongue underneath Cal’s balls and felt the vibrations of his cries through his lips.
The totality of Mike’s control over the movements and feelings of the man under him, drove him to the pinnacle of excitement and depths of lust. He flashed on restraints and spreader bars and his fingers in Cal’s ass as he lay over the desk, clawing at plans and papers …
And with a cry of “Oh, my God,” that sounded more like a sob, Cal went suddenly limp. “Please,” he begged in a whisper. “Oh, please. Mike, I have to, please …”
Mike came abruptly back from what felt like an altered state. Jesus, it’s his first time.
He repositioned Cal against the roof of his mouth and stroked with his tongue, as he had at the beginning. Relaxing his grip slightly, moving a little, encouraging Cal to pump.
He let go of one wrist and moved Cal’s hand until fingers clutched at his hair, allowing Cal more control.
Freeing his own throbbing cock, Mike jacked himself while Cal rocked and wept, chasing his orgasm. Mike held him tightly in his mouth, relishing Cal’s deepest thrusts. He felt every one in his own body, as if Cal’s straining dick plunged into the spreading mass of heat and need behind Mike’s balls.
He tightened his grip on himself in the sticky-slickness of precum, riding the rush to his own orgasm. With a rasping groan, Cal pumped cum down Mike’s welcoming throat. Once .. twice … three spurts of warm salty fluid. A surprisingly large amount for so small a package. That triggered Mike and all went dim and silent for a few moments as his orgasm overwhelmed him. Hard, so hard. Like the cum was a solid thing rammed through his dick, and his balls would float away from the relief.
He released Cal and sat back, catching his breath. How did he not think to put a wad of tissues in his suit coat pocket?
CAL LAY BONELESS, arms thrown wide, legs over the edge of the desk, his feet on Mike Merisi’s knees. You still have your shirt and tie on. And your socks. One of his hands was lying on the keyboard of his open laptop. He Ready for a porn video.
His willy was cold, after the warm wet, in the office air. Balls, too. Fuck, what he’d done with my balls … Instinctively he wanted to close his legs, cover himself with his hands. He didn’t have the strength. And Mike might not approve.
Cal couldn’t manage to process what had just happened. Feelings he’d never imagined existed. Exhilarating, torturous arousal. Wondrous humiliation. A joyous sense of utter powerlessness. Worked into mindless frenzy and total surrender—to his accounting consultant.
It was all perfect.
Almost. You almost couldn’t come. He’d been so worried he’d come too fast. But when Mike took pity on him, helped him, it was like chasing a ball bearing inside a water balloon. It kept slipping away. This is what you get after a lifetime of wanking willy.
It was when he heard Mike panting, jerking his own shaft, doing only inches away what Cal had imagined watching him do so many times, that Cal found his release.
As if in answer, two warm hands ran over his thighs. Used him to push on, to stand up. Mike’s face came into view. “Hang on,” he said.
He retrieved Cal’s pants, shook them out and laid them on the table top. Mike leaned over and cocked an eyebrow.
“Glad you liked it, but you have to stand up, now. I have my own pants to deal with.” He grinned.
After Mike got his briefs off and folded up in his pocket and his pants back on—after Cal made himself neat and slipped into his shoes—Mike perched on the edge of the chair.
“I was going to invite you to dinner,” he said.
“That was my big bold plan. Last day just us together. I was going to say let’s have dinner.” He pulled Cal close and draped his forearms over Cal’s shoulders. “But then you gave me that superheated eye-laser thing when I came in and shit, I just had to-” He shook his head.
Cal’s face had gone still. “And what about now? What do you want, now?”
Mike searched Cal’s face. “I want you to tell me you’re okay. You made me crazy. I – maybe got a little carried away.”
Cal felt his face heat. “You were – it was …”
Mike grinned. “Good?” Cal nodded. “Dinner later?”
That’s it? Now we have dinner? “It doesn’t bother you?”
“It’s killing me, I want to fuck you over the desk right now. But we need to have our meeting because Sandusky recommends a parking garage. Fact is, the numbers are in his favor.”
What? “Nonono. We never even considered another structure,” Cal said, looking around. “The numbers say yes? Where’re the figures?”
Mike crossed his arms pulling Cal close and kissed him. Mouth and tongue and shoulders and whiskers. Cal let go again, his arms went around Mike, and he kissed him back. It was every kiss he’d ever dreamed of, hot and romantic, slow and strong. It was the kiss he thought he’d never receive, never give.
Mike disengaged, and smiled. “I’ll get the plans. Meet you back here in a sec—your chair.” He slid off to retrieve the plastic tube.
“Wait!” Cal said.
“I meant my willy. The way it is. It doesn’t bother you?” Cal’s breath caught as Mike’s eyes went immediately dark. He reached between Cal’s legs and cupped him with firm authority.
Cal whimpered, stretching and filling. Again.
Mike took him between his thumb and two fingers, rolling and stroking him through the fabric. “Bother me? Yes, it most certainly bothers me.”
Mike’s voice, again suffused with lust, seemed to stroke Cal along with his fingers.
“It will bother me through the meeting and for the rest of my the day and every minute of our dinner. After which, we’ll come back here. Because the very thought of this”—he gave willy a hard squeeze—“will be bothering me so very much.
“I’ll bend you over that desk in the dark and you can watch the city lights while I open you and stretch you and slick this very bothersome little dick with lube. I’ll tease little willy until you beg me to fuck you and I swear Calvin Derricksen, when I finally let you come, you will scream.”
Cal felt the pulse pounding in neck. “Oh.”
“Nature,” Mike told him, “Did me a hell of a little favor.”
Burning Boundaries – Elemental Evidence Book Two,
by Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham
Rating: 5.0 stars
Their passion isn’t the only thing creating flames.
Mari Gale’s life has been a whirlwind since meeting Jake Chivis. A new job prospect and his mother’s health preoccupy him, so when Jake invites him on a date he’s ready to cut loose. Their night out turns into a nightmare when a fire breaks out in the basement of the bar and they barely escape.
Soon Jake learns that the horrific accident is being investigated as a possible homicide, and it’s not the only case. Detective Inspector Cordiline of the London Met hints at spontaneous human combustion, but as far as Jake knows, SHC doesn’t exist.
When Mari looks into a group called Birthright, he finds a connection to the victims of the fires and Jake risks himself to go undercover at the shadowy organization. The race is on to determine the truth before Jake becomes the next target.
I had been patiently awaiting this sequel to Breathing Betrayal and was so excited when it came out, my only regret is that because life happens it’s taken me a minute to write this long deserved review. This is an excellent series that I hope continues as I feel these characters have still a ways to go in their story.
A smile twitched his lips again as he thought of Jake Chivis, part-Irish, part-Native American and a fellow Elemental. Jake had been a detective with the Detroit PD in a former life, before SEWN— the Six Elements Worldwide Network research program— had brought him to London, throwing him together with Mari as if that was their destiny.
Chivis was a trained inquisitor, even without his Elemental talents. His element was Fire and his gift was enabled through physical contact with material objects.
Ilmarinen (Mari) Gale:
While Jake couldn’t really remember a time when Mari wasn’t smartly dressed, he’d certainly put some extra effort in tonight. His nearly white blond locks were artfully messy and he wore a silvery, near-translucent tank top under a fitted, tan leather jacket and teal jeans that Jake already wanted to peel him out of.
The story picks up after Breathing Betrayal and we find Jake and Mari further along in their relationship, spending more time together and starting to finally enjoy each other, dating and going out and having fun when they are thrust into a series of incidents that start drawing them in.
As Mari and Jake become more entangled with investigating an obscure organization for MI5 as Jake is ‘drafted’ in to help, this dark organization for Elementals called Birthright turns out to have very sinister plans indeed. Not only do Jake and Mari discover the darker side of Elementals, they also discover new things about each other and their relationship.
Mari’s fascination with SM and his desire to be spanked is brought out by a Dom they meet in a bar during BDSM night. Colm Fleming not only has a keen interest in Mari, he also brings out the Dom in Jake and Jake’s willing, if hesitant, desire to satisfy Mari.
The writing of these two authors is nothing if not absolutely superb. The story flows smoothly, at a good pace, allowing the characters to develop and grow naturally. The developing relationship between the two MC’s is like the every day progression we all experience in real life. Not progressing at blinding speeds, but at a more measured pace. There is the hesitancy and questioning and insecurities we all feel that are allowed to come out between Jake and Mari and we feel their angst and love grow.
I cannot wait for Elementals Book Three!
Originally hailing from Detroit Michigan, Bellora now resides on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida where a herd of Dachshunds keeps her entertained. She got her start in writing at the dawn of the internet when she discovered PbEMs (Play by email) and found a passion for collaborative writing and steamy hot erotica. Soap Opera like blogs soon followed and eventually full novels. The majority of her stories are in the M/M genre with urban fantasy or paranormal settings and many with a strong BDSM flavour.
Sadie Rose Bermingham
A storyteller since before she started school, Sadie also enjoys reading, photography,
live music and long walks on the beach. Sadie has worked as a bookseller, a pedigree editor for the racing industry and a local and family history researcher. Originally from the north of England, she has been working her way across the UK ever since. She currently resides on the south east coast with her long term partner, where she hopes to buy a mobile home and establish a whippet farm.
I would like to thank Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham and Pride Publishing for providing OJ He Say with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
You can read this book stand-alone. There’s plenty of information about what happened in the first two parts of Hunt and Cam’s story for you to easily follow their relationship arc. The mysteries are always complete within the stories.
BUT – if you’re a romance lover, the relationship story is not a romance. It is a love story. But it’s also the story of two independent Alpha males: one gay and one bisexual, one Dom and one switch with a preference for BDSM. And they aren’t simple, take from someone who shares headspace with them.
I love these guys. They surprise me and challenge me and break my heart, sometimes. They inspire me. Just some FYI for the new readers. Hi. Welcome.
You have to bury the past, or the past will bury you.
An ancient burial urn, empty for millennia, is suddenly not so empty.
When Detective Lieutenant Hunter Dane probes the murder at Natural History Museum, it’s his own past that haunts him. To solve the complex case, Hunter needs the talents of Camden Snow, the brilliant, beautiful, “no limits” Dom who’d helped him unravel a very peculiar, and very personal, murder.
But Cam’s ready to kill Hunt, himself! Their high-intensity D/s relationship that began in a playroom, ended in an emergency room.
“If you want to be with me, you’ll have to do more make some big re-entry gesture,” Cam said. “That’s just more drama. You’ll have to work for this, Hunter.”
“All right. What work would that be?” Hunter asked, eager to perform any penance Cam gave him.
“You’re the champion puzzle-solver and ace detective. Unravel a mystery.”
Hunter’s brows pulled together. “What mystery?”
Having read the two previous books, On His Knees and Matchstick Men, thanks to being prompted by a very dear author friend of mine, I had already pre-ordered Dancing Men. Imagine my utmost delight when Ms. August emailed me and asked if I’d be interested in an Advance Review Copy of her new work. Duh! But of course, mon cher.
This being the third book in the series, I was already familiar with the two MC’s and thirsting for some more Hunt and Cam, and in this the book delivers in spades, and more. These two characters deliver an action packed ride, never boring and always intense and always hold true to their personas. They don’t veer off making you go ‘huh?’ Two strong alpha types, testing each other’s limits to see who comes out the winner. One of the beautiful things in this book is to see how their relationship starts to mature and become a real relationship, not just a friends with bennies thing.
Hunter Dane was at least 6’2,” which she hadn’t seen in the diner where he’d always been sitting. He was lean and well-muscled, like an athlete, not a gym bunny. The head of a black panther covered most of his right pec. Golden eyes. A paw, claws digging into flesh, rounded his right biceps. On the left, the panther’s tail wrapped around his arm just below the shoulder.
Sexy, hot, dark and handsome Hunter Dane. A photographer’s model who had used his stunning good looks, posing for romance book covers and other modeling gigs, to pay his way through college, is the ultimate alpha male. Inaccessible, not making intimate emotional connections with anyone, always using sex to simply release his tensions whether as a top with women or as willing, submitting masochist sub with men. Except for the one he was drawn to like a moth to flame. Cam. Cameron Caulfield Snow. His ultimate downfall.
Cameron Caulfield Snow – ‘Cam’:
I was looking for Cam. Camden Caulfield Snow. Earner of five Gold and two Silver winter Olympic medals, his classic blond beauty graced a billion drink cups and a thousand Tumblr blogs – a Norse god in the guise of unpretentious youth… A gentle soul morphed with a supremely competitive, athletically gifted, Alpha male… Only his steel blue eyes gave evidence of the Dom who took whomever he wished, whatever way he wanted, with a look and a nod.
From:On His Knees, Hunt&Cam4ever, Book 1, Adira August
Strikingly handsome, twenty three year old Camden Snow. Multi gold winning Olympic athlete, an athlete at the very top of his Olympic winter sport, a Norse God of a man, all golden blond with a beard to match, all muscles and 100% alpha dom. When you subbed for Cam, you subbed at his complete whim. No safewords, no hard limits, no prevarications. He alone would determine your limits, what you wanted and he could read you like the back of his hand. And there was one man he had been waiting for, the one man he wanted most of all. Hunter Dane. A true Dom/sadist.
So here’s the amazing thing about Adira August: she gives you a story!
No really, there’s a story here, actually two stories. There’s the love story that is Hunt and Cam and then there’s the story in which all this develops, the whodunit of a murder in a museum, with the backdrop of ancient burial urns from millennia artifacts from India, an old turn of the 20th Century love story with a family drama wrapped in a scandal. This is seriously good story telling, no kidding. I couldn’t put this down.
The love story between Hunt and Cam is a beauty to behold. The way these two alpha men come into their own with each other is extremely well crafted and remember, Hunt was given a task: unravel the mystery that is Cam. I want to know your reaction to this. Please let me know. I know my reaction and rarely have I had this happen to me in a book.
And then there is the adult portion of the story. Holy Cow, Batman! These are some of the hottest, most intense BDSM, Sadist/Masochist, D/s scenes I’ve ever read. Sit down, buckle up, and shut up! Just enjoy! There is one BDSM scene that is rarely seen in print in this story and the way Ms. August gets into it, describes it, goes into the feelings and sensations? Wow! Just wow! Only someone who has experienced this knows that it is spot freakin’ on! Take a bow, Ms. August.
I literally read this in one day, non-stop, fixated, just getting up to get some munchies and adult beverages every once in a while. Yeah. That’s pretty darn good for me, I’m not a read it in one sitting kind of guy. To me a book is like a fine candy, or wine, something to be slowly savored and enjoyed. This was a Thanksgiving Day, burst at the seams, joyful binge.
Ms. August’s writing is silky smooth, well constructed and utterly enjoyable. The prose simply flows, allowing for an easy, effortless enjoyment of the story. This is what makes good writing, when the reader can just get lost in the story and become one with the characters.
The attention to detail is phenomenal. Every police/investigative detail is very well done. The secondary characters are well developed in their own right, so much so that I would love to read more about some of them in other, future books.
TYPOS ARE MY TRADEMEARK
I write mostly BDSM EROTICA because I love exploring the power dynamics in terms of the love relationships. The work is explicit. It’s always consensual. If you have triggers about certain kinds of practices, use discretion. I do not make kink lists for my titles.
I went to school interminably, it seemed like. I studied anthropology and paleontology and genetics and literature and theology and ancient Greek. I chased down bad guys, raised children, climbed mountains, played poker, searched for dinosaurs and have had a rather large number of lovers. (I’m not giving up any numbers because TMI) Through it all, I wrote.
No wonder I’m so tired.
I would like to thank Adira August for providing OJ He Say! with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Sometimes it’s the cop who needs to hit the floor…
As a homicide cop, every blood-soaked crime scene settled in my bones and snaked around my spine. There was only one way to exorcise the images from my soul …
Inside the club, I stopped to scan the room. He was here, Camden Snow. A Norse sex god in the guise of unpretentious youth. Only his ice-blue eyes gave evidence of the Dom who took whomever he wished, whatever way he wanted, with a look and a nod. Merciless.
Cam found me watching him and fixed me with his arctic gaze. This time, I didn’t walk away. He cocked an eyebrow. Well?
The last thing I needed was mercy.
I dropped to my knees.
— THE HUNTER DANE-CAMDEN SNOW ORIGIN STORY —
M/M BDSM 13k words. A frank exploration of the D/s dynamic between two powerful men.
Help us celebrate Cam’s birthday with this fantastic giveaway and introduction to one of the best D/s; BDSM; Erotica; Detective series we’ve read in a long time! Camden Caulfield Snow and Hunter Dane. An amazing story. Claim your copy of the the book that started it all.
And now I give you our interview with the fabulous Adira August
First of all, thank you for this interview with us, it’s a pleasure having you.
The pleasure is absolutely mine. When you’re just starting out, and I’ve only been writing prose fiction about a year and a half, a newb writer looks at books bloggers like gods on the mountaintop. But y’all have been so kind to me and my guys, now it’s like, “Oo! New friend on the horizon!”
You have quite a few BDSM books, however they are from what I can tell, all M/F books. What prompted you to go into the M/M realm?
Uh … okay, I had no idea I was.
Hunter Dane is a character in Desire for Bliss, the 2nd in a billionaire romance trilogy I planned. (3rd should be out late this year or early next) But I kept having these ideas for short stories, so after Bliss I took a break and wrote the ideas.
I knew Hunt was a switch. His was the last story I wrote of that series. I thought it would be a femdom story. I’m being very literal when I say I opened a new doc and started writing, fully expecting Hunter to be having an evening with one of the Assistant D.A.’s we also met in Bliss.
I thought we were starting in the office, the Homicide squad bullpen. But he was in the shower and he was all hard inside from some bad shit on the job. And then we went to the club. I had no idea there was a club or that he’d go there. So I figured, cool, she’d be there. And then this happened:
Once inside, I’d known what I was looking for. The realization shallowed my breathing.
I was looking for Cam
What? Who the fuck in a fix-it shop is Cam?
And it was just all there. Right up to Hunter kneeling. I stopped for the night and had a major anxiety attack. I can’t write this. How could I? And every time I sat down I’d be almost sick with it, but then, it was like being possessed. It would come back. I only worked that hard one other time, where writing felt like I was ripping off strips of my flesh. I was sure it was total garbage. But I had to finish. So I told myself I never had to publish it. That’s how I got them to the Church scene.
By the end, I knew them. And by the end I knew I’d always be taking dictation. I was stunned at the response when I published it. The positive and the negative. The answer to your question is: I didn’t have any choice. Now I have this great gift of these characters and their world.
Hunt and Cam are such well developed, multi-faceted characters. Are they based on people you have come across, or…?
I guess they’d have to be, but not really, no. SANH (Scene And Not Heard) is a real place. Well, based on a real place. I was a cop in Denver at one time, so I know what Homicide used to look like. I think we just live and soak people up, you know? And all kinds of things meld together and form these characters who are so very real to me. I love Chez, the longer I know him. Ad leaves me cold.
One of the great things about these books is that, yes, they are BDSM erotica and quite good erotica at that, and yet they are also magnificent detective/whodunit stories. How much research have you done on that aspect?
That’s the Research Links page on the Dancing Men site. I research everything. I research stuff I know. To make sure I have it right. There are links for how temperature affects clay. How temperature affect diamonds. The Denver Museum was infested with dermestid beetles, not sure that’s in there. The genetics of … something spoilery. But on the mystery-detective front, I come from four generations of cops and lawyers. Criminal lawyers. And I was a cop married to a cop who was the son of a cop. But I still researched the crap out of decomp gases.
Your erotica is just wow! You get the whole power exchange and the rationale behind the two men. You also delve quite well into some of the more intense practices with spot on feelings and sensations. Care to expound on this for us?
Is this an open invitation to TMI? Like I said, I’m just taking dictation here. Except, they make me feel it. The hardest part is finding words to describe the feelings. Not feelings even, the state of being in that perfect moment of control and surrender, for either of them.
That was the source of most of my anxiety when I started – how can I write about this? But it’s just there. Overwhelming.
Dancing Men is the third Hunt and Cam book and to date the most fascinating one as we really delve into the two main characters. I have to admit that when Hunt finally solves the puzzle of Cam I was shocked at what he found. It adds a whole new dimension to their relationship. How are you going to handle this in the future? And I do hope they have future stories.
I’m with them til I die or go senile, I think. That thing is another I didn’t know. Until they were in front of the lift on the deck at SANH? That’s when I found out. I know this sounds like BS writers make-up, but I swear I’m being straight with you. – so to speak – Anyway, when you ask how I’ll handle it, nobody handles Hunt and Cam. They handle me, believe it.
I only have one scene for the next book that I know will happen. Other than that … I got nothin.’
To me there’s yet more to tell about Cam. He’s a really rich character. Hunt is absolutely fascinating and also worthy of more telling. Any plans for spinoff characters? Mike Merisi? Twee?
Uh – I hate to promise because I’m never sure until it happens, but I’m writing the last of the Desire books and at least one of the boys and some of the Dancing characters will be in it. Probably both guys, cause Hunt and Avia are so close. All my shorts are “spin-off” characters, I guess.
I’ll give you this, but it’s not really a cover reveal because I make like 174 covers for all my titles before I settle on one and then that usually changes!
Thanks so much for having me! I … oh, good lord. Hunt’s over here with a big shit-eating grin from the sex question. I swear, I’m gonna get Cam some porcupine quills ….
Oct 31, 2017
I’m waiting for the grounds to soak into the water and become coffee. French Press. It’s dark out, cold, damp. And Hunter Dane is arriving in a few minutes – tap-tap-tap – or now.
… back later …
AA: I swear if you don’t wipe that smirk off your face, those quills won’t just be a threat!
Hunt laughs at me.
Hunter: You know that won’t work, Cam never does anything he doesn’t want to do.
My turn to smirk.
AA: He already showed me.
Hunter: You’re lying.
AA: You know I don’t lie to you. Or him. Can’t. … Hey! Don’t go getting all thinking about it now, you promised me an interview.
Hunter: Yeah, that was supposed to happen early so I could be at the office by seven-thirty!
AA: Why do you care? You’re the boss. And you don’t have a case.
He sighed and went to the kitchen for more coffee. Which is about two steps for him. He’s really seriously tall and rangy and graceful and has nice … bluejeans that fit him well. He’s got that wonderful warm brown skin, like he’s been hanging at the beach only it’s October and Denver has no ocean. He is a lovely man.
Hunter: I have to write a procedure manual for the unit. We aren’t supposed to exist without one.
AA: Too late. So you’d rather hang out here?
Hunter: I shouldn’t, though. But, we can’t talk about anything, so what’s the point? Unless you want to answer that guy’s question.
Grin. Dimple. Eyebrow.
AA: OJ. And behave. We can talk about stuff. We can talk about you.
Hunter: What can we talk about that isn’t a spoiler for something?
AA: Tell me why you don’t like the word “bisexual” applied to yourself.
Hunter: Why are people obsessed with this shit?
AA: I assume that’s a rhetorical question.
Hunter: Never assume, Addi.
I waited him out. So, going back, when he knocked at the door I saw there was a message and I got the interview questions from OJ and wanted to get that off my desk so I could concentrate on Hunter.
Hunter isn’t like Cam at all. It’s easy to feel close to him, but then you realize you aren’t. He doesn’t let people in. Cam seems like he’s kind of unattainable, but he’s very real, not guarded at all, so being with him is actually more intimate.
I realized Hunt had gone into waiting mode also. He was serious.
AA: Ben Hart said you were a bisexual switch and you didn’t contradict him. But I know you don’t apply the term to yourself. Tell me why.
Hunter: People think things and if you say you are something, they have these expectations. But those are about them, not me. I say I’m a cop and people lay all kinds of stuff on me. You know that, you were one.
AA: Yeah. And I get that, but you like sex with men and women, doesn’t that make you bisexual?
Hunter: No. I don’t “like sex with men.” I never had sex with men. I guess I’m a masochist because I get off on what a Dom does to me. But it’s like mechanics. Except with Cam. It makes me a CSH: CamSexual-Heterosexual. But Cam doesn’t change anything about the rest.
AA: You mean women?
Hunter: I meant going to a Dom when I need stress relief.
AA: Huh. I didn’t know that.
Hunter: See, this is why I don’t talk about this, Addi, because it always leads to me endlessly explaining myself and why do I owe anybody an explanation? I thought your people were all about accepting everybody.
AA: My people?
Hunter: In your world.
AA: We’re trying, Hunt. I didn’t mean to … look, you ask me a question.
Hunter: I only have one question and you know what it is.
AA: I don’t know the answer.
He was quiet for a long time.
Hunter: He changed everything.
AA: I don’t think so, exactly.
Hunter: What do you mean?
AA: You changed everything. You picked him. It was your option. You knelt. You were ready. I think … you just didn’t know another way.
Hunter: Another way to what?
AA: Ask him to dance.
We talked about some stuff after that. Spoilery stuff. And he did let me know him a little more.
After he left me, I got thinking the first three books are kind of like an Overture to a symphony. There really is so much more to come, so many layers and themes. And we’re just starting the first movement.