Sunday, March 25, 2012
Thousand Word Thursday from Kelly Wyre and HJ Raine
Asher Collins raced ahead of Joe, holding an overflowing laundry basket in a precarious grip. Wash day always meant more interesting wardrobe choices than normal for Asher. Today, however, was conservative: a long-sleeved salmon t-shirt and snug, checkered shorts that stopped just above Asher's bony knees. "C'mon, Joe-Joe," Asher trilled, coyly over one narrow shoulder. "We're gonna have to mud-wrestle for machines as it is."
Joseph Smith eyed Asher, hefting the duffle bag with the sheets, towels, detergent and fabric softener. "They have a mud pit at the laundromat?"
"'Course, oh literal one," Asher answered around his gum, waggling dark eyebrows while holding the door with one hip. "How else you think they drum up business?"
"It would certainly create more dirty laundry." Joe knew when he was being had, but he so enjoyed seeing Asher smile that he would play along with anything.
The sign above the door read: "The Steam Room" and on entering, Joe and Asher dove into the humidity and soothing chug-chug-chug of washers and dryers. The clean scent, shining chrome, and bright murals on the walls relaxed Joe.
A brilliantly dressed boy in layered yellow and red wifebeaters and skinny neon green shorts waltzed up, and Asher dropped his basket. The new boy flung brown arms around Asher, and laid a kiss smack on the lips of the love of Joe's life. Joe blinked and smiled in wonder.
"Bitch! Where the hell has yo' ass been?" the strange boy asked, affectionately, it seemed.
"Anywhere it wants to go," Asher retorted cattily, but he turned the two of them to eye Joe, who looked back at them warily.
"Oooh, boyfriend." Black eyebrows went up and down in appreciation. "Forgiven. If that's been in your bed--"
"Bed. Couch. Floor. Chair. Table." With Asher's list, Joe's cheeks heated with a blush.
"-- then I do not blame you for leaving me all high and dry." Very white, straight teeth flashed at Joe, and the boy kissed Asher's cheek without looking away from Joe. "And what does boyfriend, here, do?"
"He's an accountant." Asher said the job title as though Joe were the second coming of Christ, Himself.
"That's right, baby!" The two men bumped fists. "You and your good boys, I swear."
"But see, that's why we're here, Joshua. I was just telling Joe-Joe how economical this place is."
"Seventy-five cents a load where everyplace else is two-fitty," Joshua drawled seriously before openly glancing at Joe's groin. "But we might charge him extra."
"Last night and this morning's was worth twice the highest going rate, at least," Asher confirmed to Joshua's laughter.
Joe put his face into one palm. It was very warm in here. "Uhm... Asher, I'm going to go find some that aren't taken?"
Joshua struck a pose. "Then, baby, you're gonna be busy in a hurry."
Asher tsked and picked up the abandoned basket, rolling his neck to Joe to indicate he should follow. "Don't you tell me you ain't got a boy hidden under your dirty underwear, Joshua." Asher thumped the basket onto a set of washers. "I know better."
With relief, Joe started opening lids and sorting laundry into the washers, listening as he worked and trying to ignore the curious glances from all the other men. He enjoyed Asher's interactions, for all that having to answer any of them terrified Joe.
Joshua hopped onto a closed washer, hummed suggestively, and both Joe and Asher craned to spot a small, well-built man in extremely short shorts and white tank perched in a rolling laundry cart reading a newspaper. Joe had no idea how he maintained balance, and noted absently that the man made a goatee look very good.
"That is delicious," Asher commented.
"That is Marco." Joshua waggled two fingers, and Marco grinned over headlines. "He's a Leo, he's a gymnast, and he gets lonely if I don't give him something to do while waiting."
"I want details," Asher said, measuring detergent.
Joshua slid off the machines, flipping Asher off and walking backward. "Bitch, you don't get head unless you give head."
"Then you owe me!" Asher cried, indignant.
"Call you, baby."
Asher answered Joshua's blown kiss with one of his own, and turned to Joe. "See? Told you this would be fun."
"Should I be worried?" Joe asked, completely lost.
"God, no. I'll take your mouth over his lip any day."
"Oh, okay," Joe breathed. "I think."
Asher kissed Joe, banishing curiosity with a firecracker of heat, and Joe settled in for an interesting afternoon.
Ten years ago, Maxwell you-can-just-call-me Clark thought he would spend his life as a military man. But his world turned into a nightmare when a suicide bomber destroyed Clark's career. It's been a long road to recovery, littered with surgery, alcohol, and secrets, but Clark finally has peace. His bar, Glow, is the place to be in the city of New Amsterdam, the son of the mayor employs Clark as a confidential information man, and Clark’s side venture as part-owner of a BDSM club is quite the profitable release. Clark’s life is a good one, so long as no one gets too close.
Then a man walks into Glow who will forever change Clark’s rules and reality. Thinking Professor Daniel Germain is just another handsome face ripe for Clark’s kind of good time, Clark puts on his smoothest moves. When the professor turns him down, Clark goes on the hunt, and what he discovers shows him that even the deepest wounds can be healed by submitting to love.
Find Kelly and HJ's other stories:The New Deal, Swing Shift, and Luck in the Making.
You can find Kelly Wyre at http://wyrefire.livejournal.com
And Raine at http://shivawept.livejournal.com