Gage checked his shirt before he headed into the sushi place. Boulder had the best downtown, charming and upscale, but not formal. Not as hipster as Austin or Portland, not as redneck as Denver or Dallas — it managed to be clever and casual all at once.
He totally approved.
Now if he could only approve this date. A bear? Him?
Gage was as far from low-key twink as they came. He was… challenging. Doms dumped him regularly.
A bear seemed so. Oh, he didn’t know. Sweet. Goofy.
He glanced around, wondering if he was early.
He tended to be early.
He liked being early.
There. Back in the corner where the bar bent around. That has to be his date. A huge man with shaggy, dark brown hair and a sunbaked face with lots of smile lines.
He looked a little like a lumberjack. It was adorable. So not his type, but cute.
The guy stood, smiling, making his oddly light brown eyes light up. “Hey! You must be Gage. I’m Hamish.” He pronounced it “hay-mish”.
“Hamish. Hello.” He found a smile to offer back. How could you not like a guy who grinned like that?
“Hi. I hope you like sushi.” Hamish waved to the seat next to him at the bar.
“Fish, salty peppery yumminess. What’s not to like?”
“Right?” Hamish was a big guy. Not fat at all, but he overflowed his personal space into Gage’s, warm and spicy smelling. At least he didn’t stink. That was always hard to get around. “Anyway, I got a little hungry before you got here, so I got mussels and carpaccio. In case you hate mussels.”
“Mussels are good. Tuna is my favorite. Cliché, but true.”
“They have an amazing hamachi appetizer.” Food was a great social equalizer.
“I’m totally in, man.” He nodded to the waiter, got his attention.
“Excellent. So, what do you do?” Small talk. Again with the cute.
“I’m a software designer. I create weird little things that people don’t know they need. You?”
“I build shit. Right now I’m very into tiny houses. For other people. I need square footage.” He grinned.
“Tiny houses? No shit?” Okay, that was cool. Not sexy, but better than software designer.
“I’ve done some work for local architects, and I love carving on a large scale.” Hamish held up his hands, scarred and callused.
He took one in hand, hoping for a zing, for a flash of lightning, but there wasn’t one. Just a warmth. Sweet. Steady.
He looked at the palm, fingers tracing over the calluses. “I approve.”
“Thanks.” Hamish grinned. “It’s good work.”
“That’s sort of how I feel about mine. It’s computer work, but there’s a lot of design involved in it.”
“Sounds neat. Keeps you from getting bored, right?” Hamish flagged down a waitress to order their hamachi.
“It does.” He ordered a couple of honey wheat beers.
They both said it at the same time, then laughed. “You go,” Gage said.
“I was just wondering what made you go to Full Moon.”
“I’ve been searching for something and I’m beginning to think that I’m doomed, that I’m too much to handle.” And now he was sitting with a big teddy bear. “What about you?”
“Oh, you know. Everyone thinks I’m a big marshmallow. No one wants to play rough.” Hamish’s cheeks went pink.
“No one? That totally sucks.” He was touching Hamish’s wrist now.
“I know! I mean, this is a cosmopolitan place, kinda. Boulder, I mean. You’d think I could find someone not afraid to bait the bear.”
Okay. Okay, now there was a hint of promise there. “What are you into?”
“All sorts of things.” Hamish met his gaze, golden eyes alight. “I love bondage. Spanking. Some discipline, though not deep domestic or anything. And I like rough stuff, when someone will fight me, make me work for it.”
Well, now he got it, why they were put together. He was, at best, a pushy little bottom. Still, Hamish seemed so… laid-back. Could there really be an opportunity?
About the author:
Julia Talbot lives in the great Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Torquere Press, Dreamspinner and Changeling Press. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, or at http://www.juliatalbot.com.
Where to find the author:
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25940518-gage-and-hamish
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: Kris Norris