Permanent Ink by Jaime Samms
erotic gay contemporary romance
novella, 15000 words
Cover Art by Winterheart Design
Eric has gone through life putting a lot of store in outward appearances, so when his best friend Angel's cousin, Dwayne comes along, with his tattoos and body piercings, Eric is sure there's a story behind all that armor. He's equally sure it's a story he doesn't care to hear. He's already written Dwayne off as a thug and player.
Finding out the truth behind Dwayne's tough exterior proves Eric really didn't know anything, not even his very best friend. Learning about Angel and Dwayne's past gives Eric a good look into his own truth, and he's not so sure he likes what he sees, but is it too late to change? More important, is it too late to convince Dwayne he was wrong?
The crack of the back door closing rattling the kitchen cupboards, followed by a low, throaty "Fuck you, too, asshole", woke Eric from the slug-like sleep of the overindulgent.
A moment later, a loud, exaggerated yawn made him grimace and roll over on the couch. Even that amount of movement reminded him why he shouldn't have gone to the bar with Angel last night. Why he'd agreed to crash here, at the other basketball player's dumpy apartment, was now far beyond him. He always ended up on the too-short couch with his feet hanging over the arm. Rooms went to couples, and since Marcus had basically shut him down at Christmas, he hadn't even bothered to look for anyone else to pursue. He just didn't have the heart. He refused to agree with his friend's assessment that he was still stinging. Marcus Guthrie was a nice bit of ass, sure. He was not the be all and end all of Eric's interest.
His own bed, now that interested him. He'd give a lot for it right about now. His bed, his black out curtains and the nice, soft comforter that actually covered all of his extra-long frame defined heaven for him in his current agony. The ache of sunlight pressed on his closed eyes, warmed the air around his head and baked his brain. His already pickled brain. He let out a low, miserable moan.
"Wakey, wakey." A hard slap on his ass made him jump and fly up to sitting.
"What the fuck! Oh, Jesus." He doubled over and braced his head between his hands.
His outburst and subsequent collapse earned a chortle from Dwayne, Angel's cousin, who plopped down on the couch beside him with a little wince. "Fuck me, my ass is sore," he muttered, a tiny leer playing about his lips. He observed Eric from the corner of his eye, dark brown pupils glittering from between lush black lashes. A gold barbell piercing through his eyebrow shone in the sunlight and a shard of diamond in his nose blazed a bright spear of sunlight into Eric's eyes.
Eric turned up a lip and yanked the blanket he'd had wrapped around him out from under Dwayne's ass. He pursed his lips, told himself the flash of white teeth between those full, chocolaty lips was not what made his morning wood pulse a little in his loose boxers. He balled the blanket up in his lap. "Probably due to all the shit you've had shoved up there recently," he snarled, scrubbing a hand through hair he knew would be standing out in messy blond spikes across his head.
"Oh, darlin', that's where the shit belongs." Dwayne laughed.
"You are a fucking train wreck waiting to happen."
"And you have a potty mouth this morning, Eric Sinclair. What's wrong? Got a stiffy and no one to take care of it for you? Again? And here I thought all you had to do was bat those baby blues and people fell at your feet begging."
"Eat shit," Eric muttered. He would have got up, walked away, but why prove Dwayne's point for him?
Dwayne just grinned lasciviously and waggled his tongue. The piercing there did not make Eric wonder what else was modified, or curb his desire to palm himself at the images that popped into his head, involving his own ass in the air.
Dwayne sighed and shook his head. "Manners, darling." He got up and sashayed off to the bathroom.
Eric groaned and flopped over into the empty space. Thank god the horrific smells of stale beer and old pizza overpowered the lingering scent of sex and Dwayne. Still, he kept his cheek pressed to the warmth and closed his eyes, letting his imagination go a bit. No way would Dwayne ever know Eric entertained even the slightest thought involving his sorry hoodlum ass.
"Or his tongue. Or his cock. Fuck!" He swore into the couch cushions twice more for good measure.