I had this marked down as my February release, but I decided to get it out before the Valentine’s rush, so you can find it on Amazon now 🙂
It’s been uploaded to Nook / Barnes and Noble too, but hasn’t gone live there yet.
This is the second edition of this title. It was originally released as part of the Friction Anthology, and as a stand alone story called Yes!
It’s been re-worked to become part of the How I Met My Master collection, but it hasn’t been significantly extended. (I think it might have gone from 20 to 23k, but it’s extra detail rather than extra scenes.) So please check if you have the old title before you buy.
The new edition has a new cover, by the very lovely Kris Norris…
Here’s the blurb:
Frustration has never been one of Alex’s kinks. Neither has self-denial, or saying no to men he’d really like to have sex with. So, he’s not quite sure how he ended up in this mess.
The bet had sounded so simple when he first heard it. All he needs to do is say no to everything Stephen offers him for the next twelve hours. How hard could that possibly be? Despite the fact that Stephen is the kind of guy Alex would love to say yes to, for vanilla at least, Alex is confident he’s going to win the bet no trouble at all.
He remains confident, right up until the moment the bet begins and he finds himself in more trouble than he ever thought possible. Then, the only thing Alex is sure about is that twelve hours is an incredibly long time for a man to have to resist temptation, especially if that man has been used to instant gratification.
And here’s a little taster:
“Are you calling me a slut?” I wasn’t sure if he expected me to be offended, but, since I’ve never actually considered sluttiness to be a bad thing, it was all I could do not to laugh.
The guy sitting opposite me showed no inclination to chuckle. He shrugged. “I’m just making an observation—you seem to have a hell of a lot of trouble saying no to men.” He swallowed a mouthful of his coffee and set his mug down on the low table between us.
We were the only two people in that part of the coffee shop, and even if we weren’t, the shop was right in the middle of the most gay-friendly part of the city. If anyone within eavesdropping range of us could be shocked by two guys talking about sex, then they really needed to get their coffee elsewhere.
I took a sip of my cappuccino and carefully considered the man in front of me. He’d been hovering on the edge of the circle of guys I hang out with for the last couple of months. But, while he was certainly the type of man I was usually happy to say yes to, for vanilla, at least, I hadn’t taken much notice of him until that day.
You see, while I can’t vouch for having many morals where hot guys are concerned, I do have some standards, and poaching a friend’s boyfriend is definitely beneath them. Perhaps if Kevin hadn’t seen him first, I’d have said yes, along with far more interesting words, to this particular guy weeks ago. As it was, I couldn’t even be sure of his name. In my head, he was filed firmly under the label of ‘Kevin’s New Boyfriend’.
But still, a little bit of harmless flirtation on a quiet Saturday morning was far from poaching. There weren’t any other interesting men in the coffee shop. I knew Kevin would understand how easy it was to get bored in that situation—provided both I and Kevin’s New Boyfriend stayed on our own sides of the coffee table, anyway.
“No.” I met Kevin’s New Boyfriend’s gaze across the table and raised an eyebrow at him. “I appear to be quite capable of saying the word to you.”
Kevin’s New Boyfriend held my gaze for several long seconds. “I’ve never asked you anything that would tempt you to say yes to me.” As serious as he was obviously trying to appear, a hint of a smile played around his lips.
I paused then. Damn, but the ice was already getting thin. Kevin’s New Boyfriend really was my favourite type of vanilla hook-up—hot, cheeky, and ready to play.
I set both my coffee mug and my inclination to tempt fate aside. “He might come across as the ultimate twink, but Kevin would have your balls on a platter if he ever found out you were screwing around behind his back. Mine too, if I was the one stupid enough to help you cheat on him.”
The guy’s gaze didn’t falter. “However he comes across, Kevin has no interest in any part of my anatomy—on a platter or otherwise.”
“Really? And Kevin’s aware that he has no interest in you, is he?” I asked, sceptically. Kevin had certainly seemed taken with him the last time I saw them together.
The guy nodded. “That’s right.” No hesitation, no guilt. “We’ve never had sex. He’s never submitted to me. Neither of us has even suggested it to the other.”
I calmly echoed his nod as I filed that little snippet of information away in a file marked—yippee! “What was your name again?”
Stephen. Yes, that name suited him a lot better than ‘Kevin’s New Boyfriend’. Just to be on the safe side, I sent a quick text to Kevin, something along the lines of Are you screwing Stephen Phillips?
While I waited for a response, I looked Stephen up and down. With his limbs folded in the complicated way required for a man his height to sit in a low slung, coffee shop armchair, he wasn’t being shown to his best advantage. But I knew from past meetings that he was pleasingly tall—at least three inches taller than me, and I’m nudging six foot.
Even his current posture didn’t hide the fact that he was muscular and broad across the shoulders. He was obviously the sporty type. Strength and stamina. A few delicious possibilities rose in my mind. Behind my fly, my cock began to rise too.
A text came back from Kevin. Nope. Are you? A whole row of question marks followed.
I pushed my phone into my pocket rather than answer Kevin straight-away. We were old friends. He’d guess that a delayed response meant I was already too busy doing the guy we’d just spoken about to chat.
With that thought right in the front of my mind, I turned my complete attention to Stephen. “Since you were so keen to point out you know Kev’s a sub, I’m guessing you consider yourself to be a dom?”
“Yes.” Straightforward and to the point. I might not have been willing to rush in and agree with Stephen’s assessment of himself, but I’d heard far worse answers.
An unpleasant thought struck me, hard and sudden, like a metal bar to the kneecap. If Kevin hadn’t made a move on a guy who was both stunning and inclined towards the dominant side of kinky sex, it had to be for a bloody good reason.
I’d thought the row of questions marks in his text meant he was shocked I was hooking up with someone who he considered a dom, but who was a lot younger than any other man he’d seen me be willing to sub to. Was it possible that the excess of punctuation meant Stephen was even younger than I thought? “How old are you?”
I studied him through narrowed eyes. “You could easily pass for five years younger than that.” From the neck up he could, anyway. He had a man’s body, a man’s muscles. But his face made it far more difficult to judge his age—especially when he smiled and looked like a naughty schoolboy who was about to enjoy getting into a lot of trouble.
“Apparently, I’ll be very grateful for that in twenty years’ time,” he said, with the kind of forced smile that made him look less inclined to be enjoyably naughty, and far more likely to tell the next man who commented on his age to piss off.
“Fed up with getting carded at the door?” I asked, making no attempt to hide my amusement. I’d always taken it as a compliment when a guy said I look younger than I was, but guessed a wanna-be dom would feel differently. “I’ve a mind to ask for proof you’re legal, myself. So many kids today look older than they are these days…”
Stephen tensed at the ‘kid’ label, just as I expected him to, but he kept his cool. Taking his phone out of his pocket, he opened it with his thumb print and swiped back and forth a few times before passing it to me.
He’d opened a photo album. I only had to flick through a few shots before it became obvious I was looking at pictures of his twenty-second birthday celebrations. He really was only two years younger than me.
“If you keep flicking, you should find a few shots of Kevin and the guy he’s actually dating. I think his name is James.”
He was right. I recognised James. I’d ‘dated’ him a few times a couple of years back. Nice enough guy, same age as me and Kevin, very boring in the sack. The fact he was my ex also neatly explained why Kev hadn’t been in a rush to tell me he was dating him.
I passed Stephen’s phone back to him. Twenty-two. I had strict personal rules against playing with novices when it came to leather, and I wasn’t inclined to break them, or even bend them, for Stephen. But still, I was confident that there was plenty of non-kinky fun to be had with him.
“Now, where were we?” I mused. Leaning back in my seat on the sofa, I stretched my feet out under the coffee table, subtly displaying my body to its best advantage. “Oh yes, you were explaining why I’m a slut?”
“I didn’t say that,” Stephen corrected, politely. “I said you find it easier to say yes to men than to say no to them.” As he spoke, he raked his eyes up and down my body, just the way I hoped he would.
As I pictured where our flirting might lead, I couldn’t help but realise that we’d look good together. Stephen’s darker colouring would serve to make me look more blond and inappropriately angelic. My fairness would go a long way towards making Stephen look deliciously brooding, so long as he didn’t give in to the temptation to smile.
When Stephen met my gaze, there wasn’t a trace of embarrassment in his expression. He made no attempt to pretend he hadn’t been admiring the view. There wasn’t a hint of uncertainty in him, just confidence.
The last of my Saturday morning boredom melted away.
“So, Dr. Freud,” I said. “How do you suggest I should be cured of such a grievous affliction? Sex as therapy is always popular with the amateur psychologists, isn’t it?” I had the rest of the weekend free and figured that bending over a psychiatrist’s couch for Stephen would fill up that time very nicely.
“I’m not a psychologist, amateur or otherwise,” he corrected. “And if it’s a choice rather than a compulsion, I don’t see why it needs to be cured.”
“You suddenly find my promiscuity healthy?” I grinned. It really was amazing what the prospect of getting laid could do to a guy’s perception of the world.
Stephen shook his head, still doing his part in pretending we were having a serious conversation. “No, I don’t think it’s healthy. And I’m not so sure it’s not a compulsion, either.”
“You don’t believe that I can say no when I want to?” I laughed then. “Bloody hell. I don’t actually screw every guy who makes a pass at me, you know. I do have some standards.”
“I’m sure you have standards. But I don’t believe you have the self-control to say no to someone who you do want to have sex with.”
I shrugged. “Where’s the fun in saying no when you want to say yes? That particular brand of masochism never has been one of my strongest kinks.”
“Nor is self-control,” Stephen reiterated.
I sat up a bit straighter then, no longer finding my lounging sprawl on the sofa entirely comfortable. “My self-control is more than adequate when I choose to exercise it,” I told him, suddenly impatient to skip this bizarre form of flirtation and move on to the bit where we both got laid.
“Really?” Stephen’s tone of voice wasn’t a challenge as much as an insult. “Prove it.”
As soon as I saw the trap laid out so neatly in front of me, I relaxed. It was just a game. That was okay. I’d always been good at games. “And how would I prove something like that?” I asked.
“A simple bet. If you can say ‘no’ to me for twelve hours, you’ll win. But, if you say ’yes’ to any question I ask, at any point in those twelve hours, then I’ll win.”
“And what would the loser forfeit?”
Stephen shrugged. “I decided the terms. You can decide the stakes.”
“You’re that sure you’ll win?” I asked, but the answer was obvious. Stephen couldn’t have even the mildest pretensions towards dominance and still be comfortable giving a stranger that sort of control over the bet, unless he was one-hundred percent certain he’d come out on top.
“Yes,” Stephen confirmed. “I’m that confident.”
Any questions about the story, feel free to ask in the comments 🙂