During a holiday celebration at a local club, non-drinker Blake gulps a glass of juice spiked with vodka and it goes straight to his head. Hurled off a mechanical bull directly into the arms of firefighter Mitch Domanico, a man he secretly desires, Blake insists on hooking up with the hunk. Unfortunately he passes out before the best part.
He awakens to find that his dream man hasn't taken advantage of the situation. Blake is mortified, having made a fool of himself, but Mitch surprises him by asking if he's still interested now that he's sober.
Mitch has lusted after manicurist Blake from the moment they met. Still he wants to be sure that Blake's desire for him isn't just a drunken whim.
Once they get a taste of each other, the men can't seem to get enough, but a bitchy waiter is determined to cause trouble in paradise. When Mitch is called to put out a serious fire, the men realize that more than lust binds them--they have fallen deeply in love.
Praise for Bull by the Horns
"This story put a smile on my face. Blake and Mitch are just too cute together... if you're looking for an entertaining, sweet read with a tiny touch of angst, then you will probably like this short story."
-- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
Bull by the Horns (Daring Domanicos)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2013 Saloni Quinby
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Blake preferred doing nails to cutting hair and Marissa was the opposite, so they were a business partnership made in heaven. Ten years after cosmetology school and they owned a successful shop that they had just moved to a larger location across the street from the local firehouse.
He loved his home and his career and most recently he loved seeing the gorgeous fireman who had started visiting the salon for a weekly buzz cut.
Mitch Domanico was the kind of guy Blake had spent his life dreaming about. The first day he'd walked into the salon, Blake had thought he was seeing a mirage. Tall and muscular with dark hair and blue eyes, he'd smiled at their receptionist, Julie, and flirted playfully. It figured he was straight. Marissa had taken him as a walk-in and he'd settled his perfect frame into her chair -- just like he was settled now.
That had been three weeks ago. Mitch wasn't married, had no kids or pets and he had been a firefighter for nine years. Blake had overheard most of that information while Marissa had buzzed Mitch's hair. The rest he had asked her about, since she'd serviced him enough times to squeeze out at least some details. Usually she was great at getting people to talk, but in spite of his friendly nature, Mitch didn't easily reveal much about himself.
At the moment Blake was between customers, so he approached nonchalantly to restock the shelves filled with hair products that weren't far from Marissa's station.
Blake smiled at Mitch. "Hello. Back for the weekly buzz?"
"Hey, I can't go a week without seeing you, right?" Mitch grinned.
Though Blake knew "you" included everyone in the salon, he couldn't help feeling a jolt of pleasure. He could pretend the comment was solely directed at him, couldn't he?
"Then when am I going to get you at the manicure table?" Blake glanced over his shoulder at Mitch as he arranged bottles of shampoo.
"Do I look like the kind of guy who gets manicures?"
"Sure. Any well groomed person can benefit from a manicure."
"I don't know. Me and nail polish don't mesh."
Blake chuckled. "That's true, but I'm not suggesting you go back to the firehouse with nails to match the truck. Just a little buff and file."
"And a hand massage," Marissa added. She had been listening in silence to their conversation, which was unusual for her. Marissa loved to chat.
Blake shot her a look and she grinned.
"Blake gives a fantastic hand massage," she added.
"I bet he does," Mitch said softly, his blue gaze locked on Blake's.
Blake's heart actually skipped a beat. He quickly excused himself to bring the empty shampoo carton into the back room.
To his annoyance, he actually needed a moment to compose himself.
When he stepped back to the main floor, his gut tightened. Mitch sat at the manicure table, looking rather awkward. Blake almost laughed at the sight of the burly fireman glancing around with the wary expression of a kid on his first day of school. Upon seeing Blake, he smiled and gave a little wave.
Blake approached, an eyebrow raised.
"I decided on the hand job after all," Mitch said, and then his face turned a charming shade of red. "I... uh... that's not what I meant."
A smile flirted with Blake's lips, but he managed not to laugh out loud. "Don't worry about it." How he would love to give Mitch a hand job, but he'd have to settle for a regular manicure instead.
As Blake prepared for the manicure, he was surprised to find his hands trembling. He turned away under the pretense of getting supplies and took a few calming breaths. When he turned back to Mitch, his heart was still beating fast, but at least his hands were steady.
"What do you want me to do?" Mitch asked. "I've never done this before."
Gazing into those gorgeous blue eyes, Blake said, "Just relax. Give me your hand and I'll take care of the rest."
Blake focused on Mitch's hands. They were rough and masculine, but beautifully formed. Mitch's hands were quite a bit larger than Blake's, his palms calloused. Blake longed to feel those powerful hands stroking him all over.
After filing Mitch's nails and soaking his hands, he cleaned them, then used unscented lotion for the massage. This was probably the first time he'd ever enjoyed the hand massage as much as the client -- probably more. After all, Mitch wasn't the one crushing on Blake, or was he?
Had he really wanted to try a manicure, or did he have another motive?
No. That was just wishful thinking on Blake's part.
"Wow, I could get used to this," Mitch said, relaxing in his chair while Blake took his time kneading his hands.
"Should I pencil you in as a regular?" Blake said, half teasing.
Their gazes locked...