Monday, June 22, 2015

Take This Man (4th Collection of) short stories edited by Neil Plakcy

A collection of romantic erotica focused on male couples in committed relationships. Edited by Neil Plakcy, Take This Man takes a close look at how much sexier an encounter can be when the two men involved have been together for long enough to matter.

Take This Man
Cleis Press (May 14, 2015)

Excerpt 4 from Take This Man

From “Inkstained” by Krista Merle

Without even a cursory knock, the brass handle turns and the heavy oak door to my study opens, which can mean only one person. The man I was on my way to find.

“Oh good, you’re not working,” David, my majordomo, says as he walks in, his eyes riveted to the leather bound appointment book that is never further than arms’ reach away.

“I was. It’s not going as smoothly as I might have wished,” I say, my eyes taking in every lean, wiry inch of him. His light hair is smoothed back and tucked behind his ears, and he’s dressed in the same thing he wears every day, even though I never assigned him a uniform: black jacket and breeches with a soft white shirt and a simply knotted cravat. As he walks I can see leather patches on the insides of his knees, which makes me smile since I’d wager my fortune he’s never been astride a horse. Tall, black boots, polished so highly that they reflect the flickering light coming from the fireplace, encase his calves to just below his knee.

He makes a sympathetic noise and turns a page in his book. He still hasn’t met my eyes, let alone nodded or, heaven forbid, bowed. He’s lucky I don’t stand on ceremony.

“God’s sake, man, what is in that book that could possibly be so interesting?”

Finally, his eyes lift. Bright blue and deceptively innocent. I widen my stance, my shaft swelling already.

“I was just reviewing the market schedule for the tenant farmers and I’m concerned-”

Laughter from outside the door cuts him off and we turn to look. I lift an eyebrow at David and he sighs.

“The rest of the staff had a bit of a celebration at tea this afternoon,” he says.

“Was there a reason for this celebration? Which, from the sounds of things, involved more than one bottle of my imported French wine? Men died bringing that across the channel, you know.”

The corners of David’s mouth curl up in a loose smile. He didn’t look at all ashamed. “Perhaps just a few bottles. I joined your household a year ago. Apparently that’s all the excuse they need to drink in the afternoon.”

I laugh, feeling instantly more relaxed. Bugger the novel. This is far more important. “I suppose it has been a year already. I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t thought of it.” Which isn’t the entire truth; I was very aware of how long he had been with me.

A year ago he’d presented himself at my front door and all but demanded a job. I’d been amused and, to be honest, a little taken aback. But more than anything I was intrigued. He’d proven himself smart and well-spoken but in the same way a pair of new boots shines – bright and clear, but without that broken-in patina. 

He’d been newly polished. I’d immediately wanted to scuff him up a bit.

In my mind, our real anniversary isn’t for another three weeks. 

From “Blue Heart” by Michael Bracken

My first three weeks on the job, Gary and I often worked the same shift behind the counter, rolling burritos for a never-ending stream of customers at the popular downtown restaurant that employed us. Our conversation, limited as it was, never became personal, so I had no reason to think he was interested in me 
until we were walking out of the restaurant at the end of our shift one Saturday night.

The restaurant had closed at midnight, and it had taken almost half an hour for employees to clean up, clock out, and make our way out the back door. I had just reached my car and opened the door when Gary called to me.

“Dwayne?” He pronounced my name as a single syllable, not as two syllables the way my family and friends 
did back home.

I turned.

“Can I hitch a ride?” He explained that his car was in the shop after a fender bender with a clueless coed who’d been talking to her passenger when she plowed her car into the back of his at a stoplight near 


I climbed into the driver’s seat and then reached across to unlock the passenger door. Gary climbed in beside me, provided directions, and less than ten minutes later I pulled my car into his apartment building’s 
parking lot.

“You in a hurry?” he asked.

I shook my head.

“Want to come up for a beer?”

I had no other plans so I found an empty parking spot and pulled my car into it. Then I followed Gary into the building and upstairs to his second-floor apartment, a one-bedroom much nicer than the exterior of the building suggested it would be.

He led me into the kitchen, opened two bottles of Lone Star beer he retrieved from the fridge, and handed one to me. As I pressed the bottle to my lips and tilted it upward to take my first drink, Gary said, “I’ve seen you sneaking glances at my ass.”

I quickly swallowed so that I wouldn’t spit out my beer. I started to sputter a protest as I lowered the bottle 
from my lips.

He stopped me. “It’s okay,” he said. “I’ve noticed yours, too.”

My cock twitched in my pants when I realized where Gary was headed with his comments. “You didn’t invite me up here just to drink a couple of beers, did you?”

Gary put his Lone Star on the kitchen counter, stepped forward, and began unbuttoning my shirt from the top. By the time he pulled it free of my jeans and unfastened the final button, my cock had swollen with 
desire and pressed against the inside of my Jockey shorts, yearning to be free. When Gary pushed my shirt off my shoulders, I set my bottle on the counter next to his and let my shirt slide down my arms to pool on the kitchen floor at my feet.

From “Unwanted Freedom” by P.L. Ripley

Chance woke when he was pulled from the bed and thrown to the floor. He opened his eyes to see the intruder drop to his knees, the left one planted firmly in the center of Chance's chest, and shove a thin slice of steel to his throat.

“Tommy, you're home early,” Chance said, not surprised to see his old lover.

Tommy grunted a hard reply. “No thanks to you, asshole.”

Chance stared up at him a moment, waiting for the knife to pierce his skin, to tear into his larynx or slice into the jugular vein. When it didn't happen Chance said, “You look good Tommy. You've been working out.”
Tommy had always been muscular from a lifetime of working construction. He was bigger now than the last time Chance had seen him, the day of the sentencing, five years ago. His chest was thicker, arms so fat with new muscle growth Tommy seemed barely able to keep them at his sides. They kept wanting to balloon out from him as though his hands were filled with helium.

“I didn't have much else to do, besides trying not to get raped or killed,” Tommy replied, pushing the blade a little harder against the thin flesh. A tiny bead of blood welled up under the knife. Chance could feel it trickle 
down into the hollow of his throat.

“I'm sorry you had to go to prison. I'm sorry I had to arrest you,” Chance said and ran his fingers through the thick hair on Tommy's forearm. He traced the tattoos all the way up to the shoulder. Tommy had most of them before he went away, but there were a few new ones. A skull on his hand, a line through Chance's 
ame on his bicep.

 “If you’re going to kill me, just do it.”

“You always were impatient,” Tommy said and rose to his feet. He stuck out his hand for Chance to take. Chance accepted it, lifted himself from the floor and stood beside Tommy. It felt good to touch him again. He missed him more than he had admitted to Bennie. He was still powerfully, terribly in love with Tommy.

Chance slept in the nude. It felt odd standing naked with Tommy fully dressed. He turned, pulled a pair of white briefs from the dresser and stepped into them. Tommy dropped the knife on the end table, it clattered next to the alarm clock, then he sat on the bed. He huffed out a long sigh.  

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Author's question:  Do you write more than one project at a time?

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