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The Tockleys

Author(s): Laney Cairo

 Lori started her band, The Tockleys, when she couldn't get a gig as a drummer any other way. If anyone had told her at the start how much trouble it would be, she might have stayed at home and been a good goth girl.

Jude is an indifferent guitar player, but he's hot, and he can sing. More importantly, he's the kind of serious, clean-living person who is always sober and can drive the rest of the band home. Luk is a talented guitarist, more than compensating for Jude's musical failings, and he’s got the right kind of contacts to get the band gigs. He just needs to turn into a human being.
Jude's supposed to be celibate, and Luk's supposed to be straight, but they can't keep their hands off each other. While Luk and Jude are busy falling in love and making music, Lori's life is falling apart, but no one notices until it's too late.

The Tockleys have their own amazing music, borrowed guitars and someone else’s van… but a great sound is not enough to survive on, and The Tockleys are going to need all the love they can find to keep making music together.


 "What?" Luk said when his father craned his head around to glare at Luk over the back of the couch.

"Where have you been?"

"I went to an audition for a band. I got in."

Luk's father pursed his lips disapprovingly. "This can't interfere with uni, understand? Didn't you have classes today?"

"Semester starts next week," Luk said. "You know that. And the band will count as extra toward my music units." It wouldn't, but Luk had no issues with lying to his parents about everything.

"It's a real band?" Luk's father asked. "Not some poofter boy band?"

Luk looked down at his clothes: ripped T-shirt with the Australian flag flying upside down, shredded black jeans, knee-high boots, chains and studs. His hair was buzzed, and his ears and brows were studded with metal. "Do I look like a fucking boy band would want me?"

Luk's father's eyes narrowed. "Language, Lucien, please."

"It's a rock band," Luk said. "Maddie Hades, next door, is going to listen to us rehearse. You can ask her, after that."

"I don’t approve of you associating with Mrs. Hades, either."

Luk shrugged. "Whatever."

Families. Who'd have them?

He slammed his bedroom door shut and balanced the plastic container of dinner on top of the mess on his desk, then threw himself on his bed.

It took some time to undo his boots, loosening the laces, wriggling and pulling until he could drag his feet out. His boots tumbled onto the floor amongst the mess, and he added his socks, glad to wriggle his toes, get some circulation going in his feet.

He leaned across behind his bed and slid his bedroom window open, then pulled his stash out from under his bed. He was in a band, a real band.

Luk lit the joint and sucked the smoke in deep, grinning to himself. Lori was a sweetie, and she played drums like a demon, ripping into the beat. And Jude... Luk took another drag on the joint. Jude could sing, and he played lead adequately, flying with the songs, bouncing around Lori's garage like a mad man in his tight black jeans and sneakers, his braid flying behind him.

Luk didn't get Straight Edge. Why get into the music, go to a gig and really get into the music, and not have a skinful of beer? Why would someone like Jude not want to get laid?

Luk's acoustic guitar was balanced across his bookcase, and he pulled it down. It settled comfortably against him, utterly familiar after at least five years of playing it every day. He dragged the side of his thumb across the strings, then tweaked the tuning. His fingers were too raw from the audition to play -- he needed to let them heal -- but it was still soothing to hold the guitar, just while he finished his joint.

With the buzz back in his system and the afternoon still warm in his head, Luk closed his eyes. He wasn't going to think about how much Jude looked like the hot guy in the porn he'd downloaded that week, because there was no way Luk was up to dealing with the implications of that. Even if Jude did look just like a skinnier, younger version of that guy...

Fuck it, but pot always made Luk horny.

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-1-60370-538-7
Genre: GLBT
Date Published: 03/18/2014
Publisher: Torquere Press

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