The title for this story came to me easily since I need something that fit with the series pattern: Fitting In, Sorting Out. Burning Up was a natural since the main characters are firefighters and when they get together things get really hot.
Here’s a “burning” excerpt….
Bryce scrolled through channels, but nothing struck his fancy until, on his second pass, he paused at an episode of some show he’d never seen and couldn’t stop watching, because some guy named Stiles had eyes and a smile just like Matt’s. At a commercial break, he discovered, embarrassingly, that he was watching Teen Wolf. God, he needed help.
But he didn’t turn the channel and soon a fantasy rolled in his head. In his mind, he was the detective questioning the young man, and then he wasn’t interested in talking anymore. He was interested in taking off Matt’s clothes, slowly, while he ordered him to stand still. At that point Bryce clicked the TV off, pushed Rollo off the couch, and shoved his pajama bottoms down so he could wrap a hand around his dick.
Toby joined Matt in Bryce’s fantasy, watching wide-eyed as Bryce bared Matt’s ass. Matt’s cock stood up and begged and Bryce sank to his knees, needing a taste. “Don’t move,” he ordered. Matt simply nodded.
Toby stepped closer. “Hold his hands behind his back,” Bryce told him.
Toby obeyed wordlessly.
“They’re watching you again,” Mason spoke in a low voice as he whizzed past Bryce, carrying drinks to the opposite end of the bar.
“You’re imagining things again.” Ever since Mason swore that Toby and Matt, who’d become regulars at the bar after Bryce started working there, were gay and interested in Bryce, he’d been teasing Bryce about their interest.
Bryce told himself not to look, but he couldn’t help glancing toward the corner booth where they always preferred to sit before going back to wiping down the bar. Did they sit there because it gave them a good view of the bar? Bryce scowled. No way in hell were his hands shaking. No way in hell was he letting himself get his hopes up. Even if they were gay, even if they were interested in him, starting something with two guys from work would be the pinnacle of idiocy. Hell, getting involved with more than one guy was insane from the start. Just because Mason and his boyfriends had made a threesome work didn’t make it realistic for Bryce. There was an exception to every rule.
“You’re wrong,” Bryce said as he passed Mason on his way to take a customer’s order.
Mason snorted in reply.
Bryce was glad to see the bar was filling up. He did not need to spend the next hour telling himself not to look at Toby and Matt. He did plenty of that at the firehouse. Toby’s smile could heat up and entire room and Bryce never wanted to look away from it, unless it was to contemplate running his hands through Matt’s wavy brown hair while staring into his dark eyes.
But if Mason was right and they were gay, maybe they really were lovers. If so, he had no business approaching them, whether they were watching him or not. Just because they liked to look didn’t mean they wanted to play. They didn’t need him fucking up whatever they had going.
Plus, they worked together. They were a team, with people’s lives on the line.
The line at the bar grew long, and Bryce got busy taking orders, making drinks, and ringing people up at the register. When things finally slowed down, he needed a bathroom break. As he headed to the back, he noticed Matt and Toby playing pool with a couple of guys he recognized as regulars. Toby waved and he waved back, hating the way his pulse accelerated. What the hell was wrong with him?
He pushed open the door of the restroom but failed to check his instinct to glance back over his shoulder. Toby’s eyes were glued to his ass. There was no doubt about it this time. He whirled back around before their gazes had a chance to meet.
So Toby wasn’t straight. Bryce had to admit that now. He was gay or at least bi, but he was just appreciating the scenery. That didn’t mean anything. Bryce appreciated guys’ asses all the time.
When Bryce left the bathroom, Toby and Matt were leaning in close, talking, arguing actually based on the angry expressions on their faces. Bryce hurried back to work, glad he didn’t have to decide whether to speak to them or not. Several minutes later, Toby appeared at the bar. Mason, the little bastard, wasn’t busy, but he made no move to take Toby’s order.
“What can I get you?” Bryce asked.
“Just cashing out our tab.” Our? Maybe Toby was just buying that night.
“Sure.” Bryce looked Toby’s name up in the register, ran his card, and handed him the receipt to sign.
“Thanks,” Toby said, flashing a smile that made his eyes twinkle. How was it that he made that single word sound flirtatious? Bryce was supposed to be the one who flirted, the one in control of a situation, but despite Toby being so much younger, Bryce ended up flustered every time they spoke.
Silvia Violet writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including paranormal, contemporary, sci fi, and historical. She can be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinfully delicious treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading to her incorrigible offspring.
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Cover Artist: Photo by Dan Skinner, Cover by Meredith Russell