My Best Friend's Dad

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My Best Friend’s Dad By J.M. Snyder

Published by JMS Books LLC This story is included in the print book Eight by J.M. Snyder. Visit for more information.

Copyright 2010 J.M. Snyder ISBN 978-1-93575-315-5

Cover Photo Credit: fotum Used under a Standard Royalty-Free License. Cover Design: J.M. Snyder All Rights Reserved

WARNING: This book is not transferable. It is for your own personal use. If it is sold, shared, or given away, it is an infringement of the copyright of this work and violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. No portion of this book may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher, with the exception of brief excerpts used for the purposes of review. This book is for ADULT AUDIENCES ONLY. It contains substantial sexually explicit scenes and graphic language which may be considered offensive by some readers. Please store your files where they cannot be accessed by minors. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Published in the United States of America. ****

My Best Friend’s Dad By J.M. Snyder

The first man I ever fell in love with was my best friend’s dad. Mikey didn’t know it, of course, and neither did Mr. Pierce. The dad was nothing like the son. I’d known Mikey since kindergarten, when he pushed me off the swing set on the school playground and had to sit in time-out for the rest of recess. When the teacher made him apologize, he stared at his sneakers and mumbled, “Sorry.” It was only later, when we were leaving for the day, that he approached me at the coat rack and sounded a little more sincere when he added in a breathless rush, “I’m sorry I pushed you off the swing. That was rude of me.” I had looked up, surprised, but someone behind Mikey caught my eye and my gaze continued to travel past the kid to the imposing man who stood behind him. Mr. Pierce wore a dingy wifebeater beneath a half-buttoned, dark blue work shirt. His belt buckle seemed to be twice the size of Mikey’s head, and the hem of his undershirt was caught in the fly of his dark pants. I saw that little gleam of white peeking out from between the silver teeth of the zipper and fell for him, right then and there. At six years old, I was in love. Without looking away from those stern, black eyes, I whispered, “It’s okay. Thanks.” Mikey knuckle-punched me in the shoulder and laughed. “Smell you later!” The next day he pulled his sleeping mat over beside mine at naptime and we were friends ever since.

Over the years, Mr. Pierce never seemed to change. Throughout elementary school and junior high, he was an imposing figure on the edge of Mikey’s life. He knew my name, of course; he had to—I was Mikey’s best friend growing up. But whenever I visited Mikey’s house, his dad always referred to us as simply, “You boys.” It was, “You boys turn that TV down” when we watched cartoons on Saturday mornings while Mr. Pierce tried to sleep in, or “You boys stop running through the house” when we chased each other with light sabers, or “You boys get to bed up there!” when I spent the night and he heard Mikey snicker at my latest dirty joke. Mr. Pierce had a hard voice, rough, burned out from too many late evenings with his friends huddled around the dining room table, cigarette smoke stinging their throats and watering their eyes as they played hand after hand of poker. If I stayed over one of those nights, Mikey and I were confined to his room upstairs, out of the way, though not out of earshot. The men’s raucous laughter and coarse language made us envious. To be old enough to join in with the adults! How I longed to have Mr. Pierce call me a dirty bastard one second, then clap me on the back and roar with approval at something I’d said the next. On those nights, long after Mikey fell asleep, I would lie awake in the darkness and listen to the game wind down, imagining myself among them as a friend. The dining room table was a thick slab framed on either side by weathered benches and I could see myself so clearly seated on the bench beside Mr. Pierce, sitting so close that his knee pressed into my thigh. In my mind’s eye, I thought it wouldn’t take much to get one of those large, calloused hands to drop from his cards onto my hip. I’d wiggle a bit, scoot in closer, and sooner or later, Mr. Pierce’s hand would be in my lap, doing

delicious things that mirrored what my own hand did beneath the blankets in my makeshift bed on Mikey’s bedroom floor. **** Mr. Pierce was nothing like my own father, who went to work in a starched shirt and tie. My father worked in an office all day, pushing papers from one side of the desk to the other, and wouldn’t last two hours in the plant where Mr. Pierce worked as an electrician. When something broke around our house, the extent of my father’s handyman knowledge was to know who to call to fix it. Once Mikey and I became friends, he took to calling Mr. Pierce, no matter what the problem. Mikey’s dad could fix anything. Whenever Mr. Pierce came over, he looked so out of place in my home, so incongruous with everything else in my life, that I couldn’t stop staring at him. I hovered in his shadow as he tinkered under the sink or fiddled in the fuse box down in our basement. I was the first thing he saw when he glanced back, reaching for his tools. My persistence paid off, usually with a gruff hand tousling my hair or a half-smile that only drew up one corner of his mouth. “Hey, kid,” he’d say…maybe he didn’t know my name, but I didn’t care. When he asked for a tool just out of reach, I scrambled to retrieve it for him, and if he wanted a glass of water, I rushed upstairs to pour one. After he left, I’d hide in the bathroom and jerk off real quick, thinking about him getting all sweaty and dirty here, in my house, here. I thought of him with me, in my bedroom perhaps, installing a new outlet or replacing a light bulb, I didn’t care. I saw myself nude on my bed, waking to him in my room, turning as the covers fell away to expose my slim, nubile body, nude to his gaze. I would stretch, languid, like a cat,

innocently pushing the covers farther down the bed, showing taut, pinked skin. Slowly I’d smile up at him, something witty on the tip of my tongue, but I never found out just what it was I’d say because I always got off imagining the look on Mr. Pierce’s face as he watched me writhe naked on the bed. **** There was no Mrs. Pierce. Well, no, that wasn’t quite true. There had to have been one at some point, or Mikey wouldn’t be in the picture. But he didn’t quite know what had happened to her—his story changed every time he told it, and each year at school when he had to introduce himself to the class, he had a different take on why he only lived with his dad. The first time I heard it, Mrs. Pierce had died in a horrific auto accident when Mikey was just a baby. Somehow, miraculously, he’d managed to escape, a deathdefying feat that left the whole first grade class breathless and the teacher close to tears. The next year, Mrs. Pierce had died in childbirth, taking with her Mikey’s unborn sister. Third grade, she’d been offed by the measles, and fourth, the plague. By the time we reached middle school, I figured out she must still be alive because I saw a Christmas card in Mikey’s locker signed Mom. But I didn’t mention it and each year he killed her off in more gruesome, horrific ways. I figured he must’ve had his own reasons for doing so and never let on that I knew otherwise. Without her in the picture, though, I was able to fantasize about the husband left behind. I was too young, I knew, but I was growing fast and in my daydreams, Mr. Pierce noticed. As I hit puberty, my fantasies involving him grew bold. In my mind I was flirty, sexy, and fun, witty, capturing his heart with ease. In one of my favorites, he

begged to touch me but I refused, standing before him gloriously naked and making him hunger as I jerked off on him. To see such a big, strong man kneeling in front of me, groveling to take me, to love me, was heady indeed. I came in such a heated rush after that dream, and I had it so frequently, that I took to washing my own bed sheets so my mother wouldn’t notice. The only problem with my crush was I grew embarrassed to be around Mr. Pierce. Now when he came by our home to do the occasional odd job, I hid in my bedroom and snuck glances of him from out the window. When I visited Mikey, I kept my head down, my cheeks blazing hot, my words mumbled if Mr. Pierce spoke to me. It was an awkward time, made worse by the fact that just seeing Mr. Pierce gave me a raging hard-on. Being under the same roof with him, in the same room even, made me want to burst. Mikey didn’t notice. He wouldn’t—he was too obtuse. He’d recently discovered girls and spent all his time talking about tits and ass. Because I didn’t want him to know I liked dick, I faked an interest in his porno mags and pixilated print-outs of naked chicks. More specifically, I didn’t want him to know I liked his father, of all people. So I pored over the Playboys he stole from somewhere, and if he managed to steal something a little more hard-core, I looked at the naked men who fucked the girls Mikey liked. It was win-win for both of us. **** By my senior year of high school, I began to suspect I’d never date as long as I stayed near home, where everyone knew me only in relation to Mikey. I couldn’t come out, not when we were so close, because it’d cast our friendship into a different light;

everyone would nod and say they’d known all along we were queer, when Mikey was as straight as they come. It wasn’t his fault he couldn’t score with the ladies—he was a bigass bully who hung around with me all the time, who salivated whenever a pretty girl walked by, who stared at jiggling boobs and offended women without even trying. I knew I was in a different league—I’d had guys checking me out ever since my balls dropped my freshman year—but as horny as I was, I couldn’t diss Mikey like that. I just couldn’t. Plus, none of the dudes looking my way had quite the same appeal in my eyes as Mr. Pierce. When I began applying for college, I picked schools as far away from home as I could go without leaving the state. I needed the lower tuition, but wanted to put some distance between myself and my family. I knew Mikey would stay close to home, if he even bothered with college at all, and the thought of being on my own for the first time in my life was exciting. Thinking of college conjured up images of sunny days lounging on a grassy quad, my head in the lap of some sexy frat boy whose erection pressed hard against my cheek through his warm jeans. Or late night parties with dark rooms, groping hands, fingers easing beneath the waistband of my briefs to finally, finally wrap around my stiffening dick. Or stolen kisses in the hallways between classes, holding hands in line at the cafeteria, squeaky springs as I took a pleasant pounding on the mattress in my dorm. Yes, I looked forward to college, and I couldn’t graduate fast enough. Perhaps the best daydream was the one I had about coming home after my first semester. It’d be December then, cold, and I’d bundle up as I headed over to Mikey’s house to check in with him. Of course, he wouldn’t be there—maybe he had to work a

late shift, or his classes at the community college wouldn’t have ended yet for the year. Whatever the reason, Mr. Pierce informed me Mikey wasn’t home when I stopped by, but he remembered me and invited me in. “You were always good to my son,” he’d say—that was how the daydream started before descending into decadence. My clothes on the floor, Mr. Pierce leading me upstairs to the closed door of his bedroom, which was always been off limits to us boys. Or he’d take me right there in the living room, spreading my legs as he kissed me, his rough cheeks scratchy against my smooth skin, his hands strong as they lifted my knees apart, his cock thick and fat as it butted against my tight ass. God. As much as I wanted to leave for college, I wanted to come home all the more if that awaited me. **** Though most boys our age outgrew sleepovers once they reached high school, I still stayed at Mikey’s house a few nights every month. It got me out of my own home, away from my parents and my younger sisters, who were always bickering about boys and makeup. And it gave me a chance to be close to Mr. Pierce, who probably never said two words to us on the nights I was there but any small glimpse, any gesture, fueled my teenage crush. I wasn’t too worried about the kids at school finding out I slept over at Mikey’s because we’d been friends for so long, most people assumed we were a set. Wherever Mikey went, I wasn’t far behind. Some probably thought we were like that, which we weren’t, but Mikey had grown from a small bully in kindergarten to a formidable opponent in high school, his arms and thighs and chest filling out, his neck thickening, until he grew big and bulky, just like his dad. It looked buff on Mr. Pierce,

giving him a rough-hewn, rugged appearance, but on Mikey it looked awkward and silly—in my mind, he was still the pipsqueak who’d pushed me off the damn swing set during recess. But he looked tough, and he was the only undefeated wrestler on our school’s intramural team, which garnered him a wary respect among our classmates. If anyone did think he was queer, they sure as hell wouldn’t say it to his face. The last time I spent the night was the Saturday before I left for college. My mother had begun to get weepy whenever she saw me, sniffling into a tissue and babbling about losing her “baby boy.” Please, I was eighteen, and the college I’d be attending was only a two hour drive away but to hear her tell it, I was practically taking classes on the moon. I couldn’t begin to imagine what she’d be like the day I left. So when Mikey called to see if maybe I wanted to come on over, just for pizza and a movie, I couldn’t pack an overnight bag fast enough. When I got there, I walked my bike into the open maw of their garage and left it propped beside Mikey’s in the corner. The garage was cluttered with stuff I always associated with men like Mr. Pierce—tools littered workbenches, hammers and screwdrivers, drills, wrenches that gleamed dully in the light angled in through the open door. Glass jars full of nails and drill bits, screws and end caps, gave the place an air of mechanical alchemy that made it mystical to me. I didn’t have names for half the items lying about, but Mr. Pierce knew every one—he used them on his side jobs, handled them with blunt fingertips dingy with oil and dirt, dropped them carelessly into his toolbox when finished with them. At home I had a small metal box I had bought with my allowance back in middle school, and whenever I found something Mr. Pierce had left behind at my home, I

scooped it up before my mother could clear it away and hoarded it in my little box. Every time I came over to Mikey’s, I did the same thing—before heading inside, I always took a moment to glance over the workbenches for something small, something Mr. Pierce wouldn’t miss, something I could hold and know he, too, had held it before me. Something to remind me of him when I left for school. Hands in my pockets, I strolled around the back of the garage, looking over the array of items spread out like a metallic smorgasbord before me. Nails—I had those, bent ones Mr. Pierce had pried out, useless and thrown away. When I pressed them to my nose, I swore the coppery smell clinging to them was the same musk that must have wafted from Mr. Pierce before he showered after a job. I had a drill bit or two, broken ones mostly, but I knew Mr. Pierce needed those and I didn’t want to steal something he’d miss. Nuts, washers, bolts…I wanted something new, something different, something to commemorate this last night… There, among a handful of clutter and coins that looked like it had been scooped out of Mr. Pierce’s pocket and dumped unceremoniously onto the workbench, was the longest screw I’d ever seen. I had a few short screws in my collection, nubby things Mr. Pierce had worked out with his hands or a small screwdriver, but this…this was easily two inches long, and would scrape either side of my small box when I stuck it inside. It was thick, too, a good half inch in diameter, and with a large wing nut screwed all the way to the head, it looked like a fat, metal penis just sitting there among the coins and smaller screws. The metal was grimy and warm to the touch, as if it had been in Mr. Pierce’s palm moments before I picked it up. I sniffed it and caught a whiff of something so primal, so masculine, so raw that my blood rushed to fill my dick. I had to have this. I

needed it. Quickly I stuck it in the front pocket of my jeans. The blunt tip prodded my growing erection and I pressed it down, savoring the sweet ache. Mr. Pierce had touched this screw last and I could easily imagine the warm hardness was his finger exploring the thin pocket lining that separated it from my crotch. With the smallest of motions, I pushed the screw deeper into my pocket and felt it draw down the length of my dick, an exciting sensation that made me cum just a little bit right there. Later, I promised myself, pulling my hand from my pocket so I wouldn’t be tempted to play further. I saw myself on my bed at home, door locked, clothes off, my thick length curved over the top of my thigh as I traced the faint veins in it with the screw. No hands, just that screw, gently dancing over my flesh, tickling the tip of my cock, the heaviness of the metal warmed by my skin. I didn’t think it’d take much for me to get off doing that. I couldn’t wait. I almost wanted to go back home right then and try it out, but Mikey was waiting. He’d probably seen me bike up the driveway and already wondered why I hadn’t come in. Trying to put the screw out of my mind, I hurried for the steps that led to the back door of the house, but every step I took pushed the tip of the screw against my groin until I was hard and aching in my pants. I knocked once on the door, then let myself in like I always did. As I entered the den downstairs, my hand dropped to my pocket and tried to reposition the screw, but it only settled a little deeper and dug a little lower, into my balls this time. “Hey, kid.” Mr. Pierce’s voice was right behind me, so close I came again, just enough to

dampen the front of my briefs. My heart raced in my chest. Jesus. I should’ve brought more than just one change of underwear. My hand flew from my front pocket to dip into my back, well out of reach so he wouldn’t think I’d been playing with myself. I hoped I sounded nonchalant and not the least bit trembly when I looked around and stuttered, “Um, hey.” Mr. Pierce sat on an old sofa that had seen better days. The den was a catch-all room, just as cluttered as the garage outside. The home was a split-level; the den, on the lowest floor, led up a short flight of stairs to a bathroom, then another set of stairs led to the main part of the house—the kitchen, dining room, and a more well-kept living room that was the first thing visitors saw when they entered the front door. I always used the garage entrance, feeling more like family that way. Off the living room, another set of steps led to the bedrooms where Mikey and his dad slept. When Mr. Pierce’s friends came over for cards, they played in the dining room while Mikey and I stayed upstairs. Glancing up from the TV, Mr. Pierce gave me a rare smile that lit up his harsh features and made my heart flutter in my chest. At that small gesture I knew I loved the man. “Mikey’s in the kitchen. Why don’t you head on up?” Numbly, I nodded. Each step I took chafed my cock. I was so sure Mr. Pierce could see the bulge in the front of my jeans so I turned away from him, walking at an odd angle so he wouldn’t see how hard I was for him. God. It was going to be a long night. **** Sleeping over Mikey’s meant an evening leafing through pornos, beating the crap

out of each other on the Playstation, and watching horror movies on DVD. Where he got his stash of nudie mags, I never knew, but there was always one or two new titles in his collection he wanted to show me when I stopped by. Playboy, Hustler, Jugs…he had them all. I feigned interest in them to avoid suspicion, but to be honest I spent more time reading the short stories in Playboy than drooling over the models. I had a small magazine pile of my own, hidden way back under my bed where not even my mother would find it, dog-eared copies of Freshman and Unzipped I had bought off eBay and kept to myself. None of the men between the pages compared to Mr. Pierce, though. I’d jerk off to the pictures imagining his face on the models. An older man like him had to be hung. From the sounds of the television upstairs, I knew Mikey was in his bedroom. I knocked on his door and, without waiting for an answer, pushed my way inside. For one instant I saw Mikey in all his pale, muscular glory—he lay on his bed, jeans unzipped, fly spread wide as he tugged on his stiff dick. Usually seeing Mikey in the buff did nothing for me; I’d known him for so long, and seen him naked so often when we were changing in locker rooms or in the bathroom, that he seemed almost nonsexual to me. But I was still hard myself, aching from my own thoughts in Mr. Pierce’s garage and spurred on by the thick screw in my pocket, and the sight of a bare dick—any dick—almost made me come in my jeans. “Jesus!” Mikey cried, pulling a blanket over his lap to hide his erection as I backpedaled into the hallway. “Can’t you fucking knock?” I half-closed the door behind me, blushing furiously. Without success, I tried to keep my hand from my pocket, where it wanted to fondle my own cock. “I did, asshole!

You knew I was on my way over.” “I didn’t know you’d just bust up in here.” I could hear Mikey pant—I knew he was trying to get off quickly, and my being just on the other side of the door must’ve fueled his arousal. I’d heard him jerk off before, in bed when he thought I was asleep, and he had a funny little noise he made in the back of his throat just before he was about to come, a sort of uh uh uh that always made me snicker. Right this moment, though, it made me mad. I couldn’t believe he was still trying to get off with me standing right there. “Mikey!” I hollered. “God, you’re so disgusting.” Between pants, he gasped, “You do it too. Don’t act like a saint. You play with yourself more than I do…” Bending down, I ignored the screw digging painfully into my dick and shucked off one sneaker. Then I flung open the bedroom door and pitched my shoe across the room, aiming for Mikey’s bed. Before it struck, I slammed the door shut, but I heard a satisfying yelp and laughed as the shoe rebounded off the back of the door. “Fuckwad!” Mikey yelled. “Cunt licker!” It was the first thing that came to mind, and sounded so downright nasty that I doubled over in laughter. I took a deep breath, ready to yell again, something worse this time, when I glanced up and saw Mr. Pierce at the foot of the steps. His dingy T-shirt was untucked in the back but crammed into the front of his work pants just behind his large belt buckle. Dark hair salted with gray fell across his brow; when he ran a hand through it to push it out of his face, the straight strands stood up as

if shocked. His cheeks were unshaven, and I loved the rasp of skin across the stubble when he rubbed his jaw. “What are you boys up to?” he wanted to know. I sank to the floor, unable to stop laughing. “Mikey’s locked me out.” Mr. Pierce’s gruff voice rose sharply like a verbal slap. “Mikey! Open that damn door!” No answer. If I knew my friend, he was probably desperate to come now, yanking on his dick as hard as he could before his dad made it up the few steps to pound on his bedroom door. The thought made me laugh even harder. A note of warning crept into Mr. Pierce’s voice. “Mikey! I said—” Behind me, the door flew open. I tumbled back out of Mr. Pierce’s line of sight and fell against Mikey’s legs. I was still snickering as I looked up into my friend’s face, and the glare he gave me got me laughing all over again. “Dickhead,” he muttered, kicking me in the side. “You can go home, you know.” “You’d miss me,” I joked, and rolled away before he could kick me again. Ignoring us, Mr. Pierce told his son, “Don’t you pull this shit tonight. The guys are coming over for poker so I want you boys to stay up here out of sight. Got that, Mikey?” Despite his size, Mikey still cowed to his father. With a whine in his voice, he started, “Da-ad, you said we could have pizza—” “I’ll order you a pie.” Mr. Pierce always called it that, a pie, which sounded foreign to my ears and always made me think of dessert. “But you stay up in your room and you stay quiet, you hear? Or he can go home right now.” By he, Mr. Pierce meant me. I sobered quickly, pulling my face into a solemn expression because the last thing I wanted was to leave. Apparently Mikey didn’t want

to make good on his earlier threat, either. Scuffing his socks on a nail protruding from the door’s threshold, he muttered, “I hear you.” “Excuse me?” Mr. Pierce snapped. Mikey raised his voice. “I hear you, sir.” Sir. I’d have to tack that onto my next daydream about Mr. Pierce. I could see myself standing tall before him, every part of me snapping to attention beneath that dark glower of his. My dick ached in the confines of my jeans and in that instant I envied Mikey, whose zipped fly lay flush against his crotch now that he’d gotten off. I suspected I’d be holing up in the bathroom before the night was through, pulling on my own dick over the toilet just to find release. **** Mr. Pierce’s poker buddies started showing up around six. My stomach was growling—I hadn’t eaten much for lunch—but I knew better than to ask when we’d order the pizza. For a little while Mikey and I duked it out on the Playstation, playing one of his wrestling games and basically kicking the shit out of each other. Mikey knew all the moves, which buttons to press in what sequence to execute any number of grandiose acrobatics but me, I just pushed them all at once and hoped for the best. It pissed him off whenever I won. “Dumb luck,” he’d say, punching me in the arm. By the time he grew bored with the game, my shoulder was numb from his knuckles. When I heard the first car slow to a stop in front of the house, I abandoned the game and pretended to stretch as I wandered over to the window. Outside I saw a battered Toyota, the engine idling so loudly I knew there was no muffler on the thing. After a moment or two, the engine cut off and three rough-looking guys climbed out from

the car. Mr. Pierce’s friends. They were tough men, same as he, and so different from the type of guy my own father palled around with that I loved them instantly. Ignoring the sidewalk, the three cut across the front yard, heading for the garage and the same door I had entered earlier. I couldn’t hear their laughter from this distance, but through the floor I heard the door scrape open and Mr. Pierce’s voice boom out. “You assholes stay off my grass!” he cried in greeting. So that’s where Mikey and I got it from. “Some of your dad’s friends are here,” I said, in case Mikey hadn’t possibly heard them arrive. His answer was a noncommittal grunt—he was too absorbed in the video game to talk at the moment. Flopping on the bed, I grabbed the nearest magazine and started to flip through it. Then I noticed it was Hustler and I tossed it aside. “I’m hungry,” I complained, picking at the threads on the edge of Mikey’s blanket. “When is he going to order the pizza?” Without breaking from the game, Mikey swung a fist behind him, hoping to connect with my leg. I kicked it away. “I don’t know. Go ask him.” “Oh, hell no.” Downstairs I heard the door open again and more harsh voices drifted up through the floor boards. I wasn’t going down there to complain about being hungry. I could barely speak to Mr. Pierce when he was alone, but among his friends? Shyeah. No. Prodding Mikey with my toe, I said, “You go ask. He’s your dad.” Mikey shrugged me off. “You ask. He likes you.” The words were a jolt of electricity shooting through me. My dick, which had

finally begun to soften, now hardened again, doubling in size and pinching against the front of my jeans. “He doesn’t,” I said, only because I wanted to hear Mikey tell me yeah, he does, he likes you like that. I tried to keep my voice level and failed miserably when I asked, “Did he really say that?” Mikey made a dismissive sound and shook his head. “You’re over here, aren’t you? If he didn’t like you, he wouldn’t let us hang out.” Absently I ran a finger down the zipper of my jeans, savoring its press against the erection sheathed within. My eyes slipped shut, my mouth opened slightly, and I forgot Mikey was in the room with me—I forgot everything but Mr. Pierce downstairs. Mr. Pierce, who Mikey said liked me… Too late, I noticed Mikey lean forward to cut off the game. He turned, saw me copping a feel, and grimaced. “Dude! Gross!” He tossed the video game controller at me but it only struck my shin before falling to the ground. “Get a room, will you?” With a grin, I joked, “I’m in a room. You can leave. Or hey, stay and watch. Doesn’t matter to me.” Before he could think I was hard for his dad, I grabbed the Hustler and began flipping through the pages, massaging my cock through the front of my jeans as Mikey watched. From the corner of my vision I saw his eyes widen at my audacity, and I let a guttural moan escape my lips as I humped my hand. Tugging on the zipper pull, I inched it down a little and purred, “Want to see what I’m working with here?” That earned me a punch in the knee. My foot kicked out on reflex, catching Mikey in the ribs; the next thing I knew, we wrestled together on the floor, fighting as poorly as we had in the video game. Mikey might have been bulkier than me, but I was quick and

knew just where to strike to hurt him. As he rolled above me, I kept my back to him, my erection painfully pinched between my body and the floor so he wouldn’t feel how hard I was still. As he tried to hold me down, one of my arms pinned behind me, I arched my back and pushed my ass up against his groin, hoping to throw him off. I felt my zipper ease open, releasing the pressure at my crotch, and I knew my briefs tented through my open fly obscenely. My face was buried in the carpet, and every time Mikey shoved me down, the tip of my dick rubbed over the short Berber rug until it felt raw and wet. An uncompromising hardness pushed between my buttocks—Mikey’s own cock, as stiff as mine was at the moment. As if angry he was so turned on, Mikey yanked my arm up higher, threatening to pop my shoulder out of the joint. Turning toward the door, I gasped for breath. “Uncle!” I cried, slapping the floor with my free hand. “Get the fuck off me, will you? Uncle already. Unc—” The door flew open and Mr. Pierce stood there, towering above us. Suddenly Mikey was gone and I scrambled to my feet, shoving my dick back into the front of my jeans and wincing as it painfully returned to its confines. “What the hell’s going on up here?” Mr. Pierce demanded, his gaze flickering from Mikey to myself and back again. “I told you kids to keep it down.” I felt like I was five years old all over again, chastised for playing too rough. “Sorry,” I muttered, zipping up my jeans. I couldn’t meet Mr. Pierce’s eyes so I stared at his socks instead. One small toe peeked through the beginnings of a hole and I felt a flush of excitement at that hint of skin so I shoved my hands into my pockets to push down my raging cock. “He was trying to break my arm.” “He called me a queer,” Mikey shot back.

My face grew hot. “I did not! I didn’t—” “Grow the fuck up,” Mr. Pierce barked, silencing us both. Lowering his voice, he leaned down in front of Mikey and glowered at his son. “How old are you again?” I could smell Irish Spring and Old Spice waft off Mr. Pierce, a heady perfume that warmed my lungs and stirred my blood. From the corner of my eye I glanced at Mikey, who couldn’t look his dad in the face. When he didn’t answer immediately, Mr. Pierce snapped, “Am I talking to you?” “Eighteen,” Mikey muttered. Mr. Pierce stood back. “Then fucking act like it.” Determined to have the last say, Mikey whined, “He was trying to show me his dick.” “You should’ve looked,” Mr. Pierce said, surprising us both. He looked at me and for a brief moment our eyes met. In that instant I could’ve sworn I saw the hint of a smile toy around the edges of that stern mouth. “You might’ve liked it.” Without another word, he turned and disappeared down the hall. I snickered into my hand as beside me, Mikey’s face purpled. “Dad!” **** Mikey was like a brother to me—annoying as hell sometimes, but I knew I’d never know another as well as I knew him. There was too much between us, too much time, too much friendship, too much shared experience I was going to miss when I went away to school. Part of our bickering stemmed from the knowledge that the time we had remaining was short and neither of us wanted to squander it, though we knew nothing else to do.

After his father left us a second time, Mikey punched his pillow into shape and stretched out on his bed, ingeniously lying so as to keep me from finding a place to sit. I didn’t care—I plopped down on his knees, and when he raised them to shake me off, I slid in the space between his body and the wall, my legs draped over his. To make peace, I accepted the magazine he gave me, even though I knew by the brunette on the front that it wasn’t one of his favorite issues. Mikey liked blondes, the bigger, the better. But the cover of this Playboy boasted a story by Stephen King inside, so at least I’d have something interesting to read. The silence between us was broken only by the sound of magazine pages turning, mine less often than Mikey’s. He was just looking at the pictures, holding the magazine up to hide his face from mine. I could see he was sporting wood again, and when I finished reading the story, I slapped the magazine down across his crotch, earning a satisfying groan. “Your dad saw my dick,” I joked. I hoped my own thrill at that thought didn’t broadcast loud and clear in my voice. Mikey scoffed and turned a page. “There’s nothing to see.” “Ten inches.” I cupped the front of my jeans and gave myself a quick goose that got my blood pumping all over again. “It’s more than you have.” This time the magazine lowered. Over the top of it, Mikey rolled his eyes. “You wish.” I waited until he raised the magazine again, hiding from me, before I lunged for the bulge at his crotch. I got a fist full of fabric and a squeal that made me laugh out loud as Mikey squirmed away from me. “That’s only like seven, if that.” I reached for him again but he pulled away, slapping at me with the magazine.

“Get your hands off me!” he yelled as his magazine stash slid off the bed onto the floor. “I’m not all over you copping a feel, am I?” With a slow grin, I teased, “You want to?” I laughed as Mikey growled and tackled me. With one foot planted against his stomach, I kept him back, but his fists battered my arms and chest as I pushed him away. For a few moments we scrapped, him coming at me and me keeping him at arm’s length, which only made him angrier. Then the distant sound of the doorbell froze us both in mid-swing. Mikey looked at me, eyes wide. After a heart beat, we both said the same thing. “Pizza.” He tried to untangle himself from me but I pushed him back as I leapt off the bed. Catching hold of the back of my shirt, Mikey yanked me down—I flailed out, arms pinwheeling as he ran by me. I grabbed one thick ankle and almost pulled him to the floor; he staggered into the door and kicked out, trying to knock me away, but I was on my feet again and racing past him at such speed, I hit the opposite wall in the hallway and fell back against him when he hurried after me. “Outta my way,” he muttered, shoving me aside. I caught his shirt and tried to pull him back, but instead found myself stumbling down the stairs after him. By the time we reached the living room, we were both disheveled and breathless. At the front door, Mr. Pierce stood with his wallet in his hands, one eyebrow arched as we came into view. A young woman in a Pizza Hut outfit stood inside the open screen door, four large pizza boxes held out. When she saw us, she gasped and took a step back, startled at our sudden appearance. Mikey gave his dad a big grin. “Pizza’s here.”

With a wave of dismissal, Mr. Pierce motioned to the boxes. “Take them in the kitchen, will you? Gently,” he chided, as Mikey struck a table with his foot in passing. “Damn it, kid. Try not to tear the place apart.” I hurried into the kitchen and clicked on the overhead light. From the doorway that led to the dining room, I could hear the clatter of poker chips, the shuffle of cards, and the click of beer bottles on the heavy wooden table. “Pizza,” I called, though I didn’t have to—the moment the smell of hot cheese wafted past me, I heard the benches scrape back and half a dozen burly men piled into the kitchen. They were rough, unruly, smelling of grease and alcohol and for the moment I stood in their midst, I felt like a young god. An image filled my head, myself naked in that kitchen, spread-eagle on the floor, these manly men nude as they crowded around me, each dark with hair like fur and thick muscle laced with fat, calloused hands on my smooth skin, large cocks filling my mouth, my ass. Mr. Pierce on his knees behind me, my head in his lap, his dick alongside my cheek or pressed to my lips, his strong hands holding my arms as each man knelt before me and took his turn. God. It was a scene of such debauchery that I had to open the fridge and duck my head inside not so much to look for something to drink but to cool off a bit. It didn’t help when the men reached around me, nudging me out of the way to grab more beers. I felt their hands on my hips, my arms, my waist, and I wanted to fall into their touch. Then I got a fist in the ribs and Mikey was there, pushing me aside. Though he reached for two bottles of water, he leaned down to whisper from the corner of his mouth, “Grab some beers.” “What?” I stood back and looked around—no one would notice, I was sure, but I

wasn’t about to get in trouble doing something so stupid, not with a room full of adults. “No. You do it.” Mikey barreled his way between me and the fridge. “Wimp. No one will notice.” “They’ll see me.” I started to say something else when a hard hand clamped on my shoulder, spinning me around. I smiled up at a guy not quite Mr. Pierce’s age, but definitely older than me. He had dirty blond hair that curled in waves around his temple and above the collar of his shirt, and he was more clean-shaven than the other men in the room. Even Mr. Pierce had a dark shadow across his jaw, but not this guy. He looked like the youngest of the group and when he grinned at me, I saw a crooked eyetooth that marred an otherwise gorgeous smile. “You Hank’s kid?” Stuttering, I looked into icy blue eyes and could no longer think straight. Who was Hank? “No, I’m—” Suddenly Mr. Pierce was there, draping an arm around my shoulders and pulling me down against his ample chest in a rare display of affection. I almost didn’t feel the knuckle rubbed against my scalp because every other synapse in my body fired at once. I even came a little, right there, God help me. In his arms, man. I was in his arms. “Nah, he ain’t mine. This is Mikey’s friend, the one that’s going to college. He’s smart like you, RC.” I laughed as I tried to twist free, not because I wanted to but because I knew it’d look funny if I didn’t. RC faked a double punch at my stomach, the old one-two, and I pushed his hands away as they glanced over my shirt. If I wasn’t so hard for Mr. Pierce, I could fall for his friend in a minute. “Which school?” RC asked, tousling my hair.

I felt like one of the guys and wanted to ditch Mikey to hang out in the dining room with these men. I took a step in that direction, following Mr. Pierce, and RC fell in beside me. “Tech. I start next week. I’m studying—ow!” Mikey’s elbow caught me in the back. I turned and glared at him, but he just nodded toward the stairs and his bedroom beyond. He had his arms crossed against his chest, holding the water bottles in place, but from the look on his face, I knew he’d snuck a few beers under his shirt, too. “Grab one of the pizzas and come on.” I was torn. In that instant, if anyone had asked me to join them in the dining room, I would’ve left Mikey without a second thought. I was tired of looking at cheap porn and naked chicks—I wanted the company of men, warm hands clapped to my arms and back, coarse laughter, rugged talk, the stench of sweat and musk, smoke and booze. I wanted in on this grown-up’s world, to be counted among the men, to be one of them. To be accepted by them. To be loved. An eternity seemed to pass as Mikey and I stared each other down. That moment, more than any other before or since, was the single second when I knew our friendship was changing. I was moving on, coming into my own, becoming myself and no longer a part of him. Then RC slapped me on the back and laughed. “You boys have fun,” he said, heading into the dining room after Mr. Pierce. He didn’t look back, didn’t invite me to join him, and the moment was lost. “Come on,” Mikey said again. When I took a step toward him, he turned and hurried to the stairs. “Jeez, these bottles are damn cold, I’m telling you.” And I was eighteen again, on the cusp of manhood, snickering with my best

friend as we stole some bottles of beer right out from under the watchful eye of his dad without anyone knowing. I had the rest of my life to grow up. I didn’t have to do it tonight. **** Upstairs Mikey showed me what he had snagged. Two bottles of dark Killian’s Red beer were tucked into the waistband of his jeans and held against his belly when he crossed his arms. Both front pockets of his jeans held ice cold cans of Miller’s Light. Before I even managed to get his bedroom door shut behind me, Mikey was already dumping his spoils onto his bed. “Two each,” he said, popping open one of the cans. It made a refreshing snap I would have sworn was heard downstairs, but despite the way my heart pounded in my chest, neither Mr. Pierce nor his buddies came storming up to demand we return their beer. Almost giddy with excitement, I hurried to the bed as Mikey threw back his head to gulp down his first can. By the time he was reaching for one of the chilly bottles, my own can was half-empty. The beer was smoother than I anticipated. I wasn’t sure exactly what I expected—something wicked, perhaps, something heady, that would knock me on my ass after the first swig—but that wasn’t what happened. The first rush of cold brew hit me in the back of my throat, the suds tickling the inside of my nose, but I didn’t taste anything alcoholic about it. Then again, it was a light beer, after all. The next swallow chilled my teeth. Then it kicked in, and I felt the warmth of the booze slither down my throat like a serpent, breathing fire along the center of my chest to curl into the pit of my stomach. Each breath I took, the serpent fanned its flames, extending its reach throughout my

body, warming first my gut, then my groin, then my arms and legs, my feet, my fingers. My dick stiffened in my jeans as if getting its own buzz on independent from the soft ringing that now filled my ears. Throwing back the rest of the can, I nodded as if this wasn’t the first beer I’d ever had. “Aww, yeah.” With a laugh, Mikey punched me in the shoulder. I made a half-hearted move to shove him back, but ended up reaching for the last bottle on the bed. The cap twisted off easily, and the cool mist that swirled up from the longneck sent a delicious thrill through me. The Killian’s tasted worlds better than the light beer had—I found myself sipping at it slowly, savoring each mouthful, letting it fill me completely before drinking it down. I wanted this bottle to last all night. Mikey had other plans. “You get the next ones,” he said, digging through a stack of DVDs beside his television. “You want to watch Saw? Open the pizza.” The pizza box sat beside me on Mikey’s bed. “Saw? Again?” Mikey loved scary films and the Saw series was one of his favorites. While I could appreciate horror flicks, I wasn’t in the mood for blood and guts, not with a belly full of beer and a pizza covered in pepperonis so red, they might have doubled as special effect props for a low-budget movie. With a faint buzzing in my ears and my head beginning to swim, I reached for a slice of pizza and asked, “How about Alien? We haven’t seen that in forever. And what do you mean, I get the next ones?” “The next round of beers,” Mikey said, as if we were in a pub and it was my turn to pay. He must’ve seen disbelief on my face because he laughed as he stuck a DVD into his player. “Relax. By the time we’re ready for more, Dad’s friends will be too busy with their game to notice you sneak downstairs. I’m putting in Aliens. It’s better than the

first movie anyway.” I barely heard him. The thought of sneaking downstairs to steal more beers terrified me. What if Mr. Pierce chose that exact moment to enter the kitchen for a refill himself? Or if one of his friends caught me? Clutching the neck of my bottle, I swore to pace myself. As long as I still had some beer left to drink, I’d have an excuse not to go get Mikey another. With any luck, we’d get so caught up in the movie that he’d forget all about sending me down for more drinks. **** We stretched out on the floor to watch the movie, our beers half-empty for most of the film. I only sipped at mine, trying to keep enough in the bottle that Mikey wouldn’t think it time for me to go down for more, but he made quite a show every time he picked up his own beer and swished the last swig around in the bottom. I was feeling the booze pretty heavily—I had drunk too much too soon and probably couldn’t have stood without swaying if I tried. So I concentrated on finishing the pizza and washed it down with one of the water bottles Mikey had brought up with him. By the time the movie ended and Mikey switched the disc out for its sequel, my stomach was leaden, my brain fuzzy, and my eyelids heavy. I curled my arms beneath my head and wondered vaguely if maybe I shouldn’t head to the bathroom before falling asleep right here on the floor. I could feel my heart pound in my dick where it pressed against my body and though I wanted to relieve the ache, my arms and legs refused to move. Unfortunately, Mikey wasn’t as sleepy. Nudging me in the kidney, he muttered, “Wake up. Movie’s starting. You gonna finish that?” I opened my eyes to see him pointing at my half-empty beer bottle. I almost

started to shake my head—let him have it—when I realized then we’d be out of booze and he’d send me downstairs. So with a conscious effort, I pushed away from the floor and brought my legs up under me to sit Indian-style, reaching for my beer before Mikey could take my silence as an answer. “I’m almost done,” I told him, raising the bottle to my lips. The chill had long since dispersed, leaving behind a tepid, almost flavorless liquid that left a sour aftertaste in my mouth. I forced down another swallow and shook my head. “Man, I’m beat.” “You’re drunk,” Mikey said with a laugh. “Lightweight! Not even two beers in and you’re about to fall out.” I gave him what I hoped was a sardonic stare, but it only made him laugh harder. “And you want more to drink?” Mikey nodded as he munched on a leftover slice of pizza. “Dude, one more wouldn’t hurt. You’ll sleep like the dead. Is this the movie where she runs around in her underwear trying to find that damn cat?” I glanced at the television, eager to turn the talk away from booze. “Is this two or three?” I had already lost count. “Three.” Mikey thumbed the remote to fast forward through the slow opening credits. “This is the prison planet one.” I took another swig of my beer—it wasn’t as bad tasting this time, and I gulped down more than I wanted. When I lowered the bottle, only the smallest of swallows remained in the bottom. “She’s in her underwear in the first movie.” Mikey threw the remote down, angry. “Damn it! I knew we should’ve started

there.” I didn’t have the energy to point out that watching the second movie in the series had been his idea. Instead, I stared into the depths of my bottle and wondered if I could beg off getting refills without looking like too big a wuss. Over the sounds from the television, I strained to hear anything from downstairs—earlier in the evening, loud shouts had erupted whenever one of the guys won a round, followed by a chorus of cursing from the others who had lost. Now I could hear nothing. Was the poker game over? Had the guys already gone home? I glanced at the display on the DVD player but it just blinked at 12:00 because Mikey never bothered to set it. “What time is it?” Beside me, Mikey shrugged. “Time for more beers. You going?” I didn’t want to. “What about your dad’s friends?” At first I didn’t think Mikey would answer. He stood, stretched, and flopped sideways onto his bed, the springs creaking beneath his weight. Flicking up the bottom of his curtain, he craned his neck to look out at the street below. “Two of the cars are gone,” he said as he rolled onto his back, his attention once again on the movie. I tried to remember how many cars I had seen out there earlier and couldn’t recall. “I think the card game’s over. No one will see you.” “Your dad,” I argued. I hadn’t heard Mr. Pierce’s heavy footsteps on the stairs, which meant he hadn’t gone to bed. But Mikey shrugged that off, too. “Probably passed out on the couch in the den. You’ll be fine. Just go down, grab two bottles, and run back up here. If he sees you, tell him you’re getting something to drink. He doesn’t have to know what.”

I still didn’t want to do it, but I couldn’t see any flaws in Mikey’s logic or any reason why I couldn’t do it without looking bad. “Come on,” Mikey cajoled. “What’s he going to say, really? You probably won’t even see him.” The ache in my pants grew insistent, throbbing in time with a growing discomfort in my bladder. Pushing myself up on my feet, I swayed a bit but managed not to fall back down on my ass. “I have to take a leak,” I announced. I’d worry about the beers when I came back from the bathroom. Mikey snickered as he watched me move slowly toward the door. My head spun in one direction, the room in another. “I’m locking the door behind you,” he warned. “I ain’t letting you back in without the booze.” “Hollow threats.” Somehow I made it to the door, opened it without knocking myself down, and stepped out into the hall. Down the dark maw of the steps to my left, silence yawned. Yes, the game was over. Reaching both arms out in front of me, I lunged across the hall and hit the door to the bathroom with my palms. It opened on a clean, empty bathroom with a soft squeal of hinges. I didn’t even get it closed behind me before I was fumbling with my zipper, anxious to unload the beer in my bladder. Across the hall, I heard Mikey’s braying laugh and heard the insidious click as he locked me out. Angry, I kicked the bathroom door shut and muttered, “Asshole.” Looked like I was going downstairs after all. **** When I had finished relieving myself, I considered hammering on Mikey’s door until he had no other choice but to open up. Then I figured Mr. Pierce would hear the

commotion and come upstairs to yell at us, and if Mikey opened the door with his dad standing in the hallway, Mr. Pierce was sure to see the empty cans and bottles we’d left strewn across the floor. If I were going to get caught with beer, I’d rather it be in the act instead of after the fact. So I settled for hitting Mikey’s closed door with my fist, which set him snickering inside the bedroom—I know, I heard him when I pressed my ear to the wood. “You’re dead,” I growled, my mouth against the door jamb. “See if I bring you a beer.” “You better!” Mikey hollered. The closeness of his voice startled me—he was right on the other side of the door. I wriggled the knob but it didn’t turn, which meant he held it tight to keep it from rattling. “You ain’t getting back in here without at least two beers. I got you some earlier.” I waited, silent, until I could hear him breathing; he must’ve pressed an ear to the door, listening to see if I’d left or not. So I hit the door again, harder this time, and heard a satisfying “Ow!” Before he could open the door to retaliate, I hurried downstairs. The first few steps disappeared quickly beneath my feet, but halfway down I paused. The darkness here wasn’t as complete as I had first thought. The lights in the living room were out, and if I moved a little to the left I saw the kitchen was dark, as well. But another step brought me closer to the bottom of the stairs, where I saw a warm glow of light spread in a small circle from the doorway where the living room and dining room met. It wasn’t the strong glare I usually associated with leaving a light on in the room— instead, this was diffused and low, illuminating only the carpet and not broadcasting into the rest of the living room. As I crept closer, one step at a time, I realized that the folding louver doors separating one room from the next had been pulled shut.

That gave me pause. In all the time I’d been over Mikey’s, I had never seen anyone close those doors. They usually stood to one side of the doorway, folded into themselves out of the way. When I was younger, I used to like to run my hands up and down the wooden slats, turning them up and down, until Mr. Pierce yelled at me to cut it out. They made a clattering noise like tiddlywinks, moving together in one direction or the next. Now they all pointed down, shutting out the overhead light still on in the dining room. The glow I saw came from under the door, where the wood was warped just enough that it didn’t sit flush against the floor. Straining to hear anything, I held my breath and listened. Someone cleared his throat, a discreet sound that told me Mr. Pierce was still in the dining room. Cards purred as he shuffled them, and a few poker chips clattered to the table as if he’d been stacking them out of boredom and they finally fell over. But there was no other sound— no one talking to him, no nervous scuffling, nothing to indicate he wasn’t alone in there. If he caught me… At the bottom of the stairs, I peeked around the wall to get a good look in the kitchen. To my surprise, those louver doors were also shut, though they didn’t close all the way and the gap they left between the wall and the door allowed a shaft of light to penetrate the darkened kitchen. It illuminated an empty beer bottle that had been left on the counter which now cast an amber glow over the sink’s faucet. If I were quick, I could probably sneak in there, open the fridge really slowly so it wouldn’t make any noise, grab two bottles of beer, and dash back upstairs before Mr. Pierce even knew I was there. I had taken off my shoes earlier. My socked feet were silent as I inched across

the carpet onto the tiled floor of the kitchen. My heart hammered in my chest, every nerve was on end, and my hair felt puffed in fear all along my arms and the back of my neck. If I were caught… No, I told myself. I wouldn’t be caught. In my mind’s eye I could see myself getting the beers. I crept closer, watched my hand reaching for the refrigerator door, felt cool metal as my fingers closed around the handle. I wouldn’t get caught. I wouldn’t… From the dining room came that sound again, half cough, half clearing the throat. With a voice steeped in gravel, Mr. Pierce spoke. “So you owe me what, three hundred?” My hand froze on the handle. Oh fuck. He wasn’t alone. I heard another sound, something sexy, a mingle between a laugh and a moan. “Three fifty. Don’t round it down just because you’re hard for me.” The words drew me closer. They belonged to RC, Mr. Pierce’s friend who had talked to me earlier. Without conscious thought, I relaxed my grip on the handle of the fridge and turned toward the partially shut louver door. “Hard for me?” Is that what he had said? Oh, Jesus. I expected an angry shout, a denial, something fast and quick that sent this RC fellow packing. Instead, I was surprised to hear the hint of a smile in Mr. Pierce’s voice when he answered, “I was cutting you some slack. I know you ain’t got the cash.” With a throaty chuckle, RC replied, “I know it’s not cash you want from me.” I couldn’t help it—my feet moved forward, heading for the louver door. I stopped at the counter and tried to peer around the gap where the door and jamb didn’t quite

meet but all I saw was blank wall. Were they talking about what I thought they were talking about? What I hoped they were talking about? Then I heard muffled moans, a slight gasp, indistinct words. I inched closer and prized the louvers up slowly, careful not to let them squeak. Through the wooden slats I saw Mr. Pierce sitting at the head of the table in the only chair they kept in the dining room. He was turned toward me, facing RC who sat on the bench closest to the kitchen, the same seat Mikey always preferred to use. Only RC wasn’t exactly sitting any longer. Both hands leaned heavily on Mr. Pierce’s thighs, rumpling the work pants he wore as RC fisted the dark blue material. RC stretched above Mr. Pierce, face buried in his neck, and as I watched, Mr. Pierce’s thick lips parted in a low, guttural moan. One hand rubbed over RC’s strong arm, kneading through his shirt. The other trailed down RC’s chest to tug at the waistband of RC’s jeans. Suddenly my own jeans felt two sizes too small. Without thinking about it, I thumbed open the fly and felt the zipper part beneath the erection straining at my crotch. My whole body flushed at the sensation of my hard dick released from confinement and I pressed my palm against it before my fingers encircled my shaft. When RC’s mouth covered Mr. Pierce’s, I bit my lower lip to keep from whimpering. Yes, I prayed. Thank you, God, for letting me see this. Apparently Mr. Pierce didn’t share my appreciation. With his hand flat against RC’s chest, he held the younger man at bay. “Sweet as they are,” he purred, “your kisses aren’t enough to pay your debt.” “You’re the one who knocked off fifty bucks.” The coy smile I heard in RC’s voice excited me and I rubbed the front of my briefs, which had grown damp beneath my

growing erection. Mr. Pierce’s laugh was like a warm hand that wrapped around my balls and squeezed gently. I almost moaned at the sound, but bit down harder on my lip to keep quiet. “I can get these for free whenever I want,” he murmured. The thought of these two men doing this—this!—after every card party with Mikey and I upstairs, ignorant, made me want to weep. I had never loved anyone as much as I did the both of them, right this instant. Though I knew I should just tiptoe back up to Mikey’s room without a word before they knew I was there, nothing could force me to move. I wanted to see this, I had to see it. My hand slipped into the waistband of my briefs. My fingers smoothed down the kinked curls at my crotch, then strummed along the stiffening length jutting from my unzipped fly. When my thumb rubbed over the tip of my cock, I whimpered a little with desire. Oh, hell yes. I needed this. In the dining room, RC had folded one leg beneath him and now sat perched on the bench before Mr. Pierce, whose spread legs and slouched posture looked like an invitation I knew I would have never been able to resist. With sure hands RC explored the wide expanse of Mr. Pierce’s chest, flattening his undershirt flush against his flesh. At the waistband of his pants, RC untucked the shirt, plucking it free from the belt buckle, and flicked it up to expose a pale swathe of stomach. My fist tightened around my cock to see the hair swirled around his navel, black and gray as if seasoned just right. The slight paunch from the way he sat, the hint of belly fat that pooched over the top of his belt, the way the skin seemed to quiver when RC’s fingers tickled over it. Leaning down, RC pressed his face to Mr. Pierce’s stomach and rested his cheek in the

tufts of hair as he snuggled close. Jealousy flooded me. I wanted to be there, held in the safety of Mr. Pierce’s embrace, clutched tight to the man I had loved all these years. My cock ached at the thought of doing that, just that, and nothing else. I stroked myself as I watched RC’s lips pucker and kiss Mr. Pierce wherever he could reach without moving—belly, navel, the underside of one pectoral muscle that peeked out from beneath the shirt. Pressing his mouth against Mr. Pierce’s skin, RC suddenly blew a wet raspberry, the sound loud and startling in the silence. Mr. Pierce growled as he shoved RC back and wiped at the slobber on his stomach. “Come on,” he muttered, sounding exactly like Mikey when my friend wanted me to do something and I was too busy being silly to comply. “Are we going to do this, or what? Because you can leave.” RC’s hands found Mr. Pierce’s belt buckle. The teasing grin on his face made my whole body flush. “You don’t want me to go.” Mr. Pierce grunted in reply but stayed silent. With expert ease RC unbuckled the belt and let it fall open, then unzipped the front of Mr. Pierce’s work pants. I leaned forward, squinting through the louvers, holding my breath as one word tripped like a litany through my mind. Please, please, pleasepleaseplease. He tugged open Mr. Pierce’s fly, pushing the material down out of the way as he parted it. Dingy white briefs appeared in the gap, rising like dough over Mr. Pierce’s own erection. I had to grip the counter with my free hand as I fondled my dick, my underwear chafing now, my body trilling with desire. Gently RC rolled down the top of Mr. Pierce’s briefs, and the large cock that swung into view was ruddy and veined and so goddamn

huge that I squeezed my balls to see it. When RC leaned down to rub that thick length against his cheek, I wanted to rush in there, push him aside, and take his place. I wanted that to be me. I watched, giddy and lightheaded, as he wrapped his tongue around the base of Mr. Pierce’s shaft. I wondered what such flesh tasted like—I pictured myself in that position, head in Mr. Pierce’s lap, tongue buried in the graying hair of his crotch. It was my tongue I saw slide up the length of his cock, my tongue that swirled around the bulbous tip, my tongue that dipped down the dribbling slit before my mouth opened wide to take him in. As RC went down on Mr. Pierce, I gasped. I pushed my underwear below my balls and squatted a bit, leaning back against the counter to get comfortable. My erect dick hardened in the cool air, my nuts hanging low between my legs, and I licked my palms, first one, then the other, before resuming massaging my own length. The spittle helped, easing the friction. My fingers flew over familiar territory as not five feet away, Mr. Pierce leaned back in his seat, a blissful smile on his face while RC sucked his cock. This was my daydream come true, my fantasies made real. It was me in there with him, my throat working his erection, my fist tight around the base of his shaft, my fingers rubbing under his scrotum to rim the hairy darkness at his core. In all my eighteen years, I had never seen a man pleasured by another. Oh, I had pictures—those magazines under my bed had their fair share of cum-flecked and dogeared pages, to be sure. But they were staged images, hard cocks that had been stroked and polished until they gleamed for the cameras. All the pinups were solo shots, not couples. I didn’t Google gay porn online because the last way I wanted to come out

to my family was by someone—my mother perhaps, or a teacher at school—discovering the websites I had visited recently. I knew gay porn existed; I just didn’t have access to it. RC’s kiss was the first time I ever saw two men show any affection toward each other that extended beyond a hand shake or a clap on the back. So this, this—Mr. Pierce shoved deep into RC’s willing mouth, one hand holding the back of RC’s neck, the other cradling RC’s unshaven cheek…this was my first glimpse of heaven. After several long minutes, Mr. Pierce clenched his hand into a fist at RC’s nape. The next time RC bobbed up, the hand on his face eased beneath his jaw, holding him back. The look Mr. Pierce gave RC smoldered—even across the distance that separated us, I felt that look deep in my groin and had to bite into the fleshy base of my thumb to keep from crying out with want. “Damn, you’re good,” Mr. Pierce said, his voice soft. My cheeks blazed at the complement as if it had been directed toward me. A slow smile softened Mr. Pierce’s stern features. “But you know what I want.” RC laughed and turned his face to press his mouth in Mr. Pierce’s palm, planting a kiss there. “What you always want. A piece of my ass.” There was the slightest hint of a tease in Mr. Pierce’s voice when he countered, “It’s an oh so fuckable ass.” “You like it?” RC asked. My mind whirled out in a blind rush. Oh, God. Oh, my God. They aren’t…they won’t…please please please yes. In a seductive purr, Mr. Pierce admitted, “I love it.” My hand tightened around my aching dick. Yes, yes, yes.

In one fluid motion RC stood, hands opening his fly as he turned and shucked down his jeans. He bent over slightly, mooning Mr. Pierce and giving me a good look at those plump, dimpled cheeks. His ass was smooth and tanned, with a hint of dark hair curving beneath each buttock to trail into the crack between them. A mole sat like a beauty mark just below the tailbone on his right buttock, one single imperfection on an otherwise flawless canvas. “If you love it so much,” RC joked, “why don’t you kiss it?” My whole body throbbed with need. Yes. When Mr. Pierce leaned forward, his stiff cock poked his belly, the damp tip smearing the trail of hair below his navel. His large hands caught RC’s hips, pulling the younger man closer; his lips puckered, straining forward as he aimed for RC’s ass. His mouth closed over that small mole with a loud smack! I could hear from where I sat. My fingers flew along my dick, jerking it sore, seeking release as I panted, watching, wanting more. As if he heard my silent plea, Mr. Pierce obliged. Spreading RC’s buttocks apart, he licked out to taste the dark skin hidden between them. In fascination I watched that tongue wet a path down, down—I could almost feel it on my own ass, which trembled for such a touch. It’d be warm, and softer than a man had a right to be, the saliva cooling along my flesh almost instantly. Mr. Pierce buried his nose between those ripe mounds, his jaw widening as his tongue angled down between them. I saw that tongue flick in and out beneath RC’s left cheek and could only imagine just where it tickled when out of sight. All coyness had left RC’s face. He now leaned heavily against the dining room table, both palms flat on cards and poker chips alike. His head was thrown back, a look

of sheer ecstasy written on his features. “Yes,” he panted, arching his butt into Mr. Pierce’s face. His feet slid apart as he tried to spread his legs wider. “God, yes. Right there, Hank. That’s it. That’s the spot. Jesus. Right there!” He leaned forward, forearms on the table now, standing on tiptoes as he presented himself to Mr. Pierce. With expert deftness, Mr. Pierce lifted RC’s buttocks and separated them, allowing me a glimpse of the puckered hole like a delicious treat at his center. I could see the muscles flex, could feel the tongue rimming the tight bud as if it were my ass upon which Mr. Pierce gorged. Softly I mimicked RC’s desirous cries as I pulled my cock toward release. “Yes, yes.” When the tip of his tongue disappeared into RC’s hole, I whispered Mr. Pierce’s real name, “Hank.” A thrill went through me. It felt so wicked, the first dribble of pre-cum slicked my hand. From my angle, I couldn’t see RC’s cock. As Mr. Pierce explored his anus with lips and tongue, RC raised one leg and set his foot on the bench where he had sat earlier. His jeans, bunched at his knees, now pulled taut between his legs. He pushed them down, out of the way, his boxers following suit, and I finally saw the long, hard dick standing up from the dusky patch of hair at his crotch. An easy ten inches, thin, it curved to the right and made me feel impossibly inadequate. With one hand, he reached down and tugged it toward the center of his frame as if trying to corral it into place, but it had a mind of its own and continued to pull to one side. I wondered what that felt like during sex—if he fucked me, would I feel it angling one way or the other inside my ass, or would my own body be enough to tame it straight? God, I wanted to know. I wanted to crawl into the dining room, hide beneath the table, and let RC shove that thick length

into my tender hole as far as it would go while Mr. Pierce took RC from behind. I would have given anything to be brave enough to join in. Instead I continued to watch, biting the inside of my cheek as I pleasured myself. “Hank,” RC sighed, over and over again. “God,” and “yes,” and “Hank, Jesus,” as if this were a religious experience for him. I knew I was close to coming, and I wasn’t the one on the receiving end of Mr. Pierce’s relentless ministrations. How RC didn’t shoot a load, how he even managed to stand when my own knees wanted to buckle, was beyond me. Finally, RC gasped, “Hank!” Louder this time, almost a command, his voice breathless. “Enough already. Just fuck me, will you?” With a last kiss on the mole that started it all, Mr. Pierce joked, “Oh, so now you’re ready to pay the piper.” “I want your cock,” RC said, his vulgar words enflaming my own blood, “in my ass, in two seconds, or I’m going to spaz all over the table here and you can explain to the guys next time they’re over why your cards are covered in my cum.” That earned him a smack across the ass, a sound that reverberated through me and left a red mark in the shape of Mr. Pierce’s hand on one round cheek. “They won’t know it’s yours,” he muttered. He stood, unzipping his pants further and hitching them low on his hips. His dick was still ramrod hard, but he stroked it lazily as he rubbed the fat tip up and down the cleft between RC’s buttocks. “Did you bring a rubber, or do you want ride bareback this time?” RC straightened as he reached into the front pocket of his jeans. “What happened to your supply?”

Mr. Pierce shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe the kid got into them, who knows? Maybe we used them all up last time.” “Maybe you used them on someone else,” RC teased. Extracting his hand from his pocket, he tossed a couple coin-shaped condom packets onto the table. Mr. Pierce reached around RC, a hand sliding under RC’s shirt to smooth across his belly. His cock pressed against RC’s ass, pinned between them, as Mr. Pierce leaned over the younger man. With his mouth on RC’s neck, he murmured something I strained to hear. “There’s no one else but you.” God. Oh God. That phrase alone would fuel many fantasies in the days to come. I leaned forward, my face against the louvers now, my breath hot and damp where it blew back in my face. I wanted to see everything in excruciating detail but Mr. Pierce was quick—in seconds he had the condom open and rolled onto his dick. Frustration welled in me; I wanted to replay the scene, watch it again in slow motion, see play-by-play how the lubricated condom encased his sausage-like dick. I wanted to savor the foreplay—the ease of that thick shaft between RC’s tight buttocks, the filling press of cockhead to anus, the sweet pain as RC took Mr. Pierce in inch by glorious inch. But I blinked and missed it. I saw discomfort flit over RC’s features but by the time my gaze traveled down to where their bodies melded, Mr. Pierce was already inside, his hips thrust forward, his balls hanging over the waistband of his briefs. RC’s ass dimpled as he flexed, guiding Mr. Pierce deeper. Then he leaned the top half of his body down on the table, ass in the air, as Mr. Pierce found a slow, steady rhythm between them.

I renewed masturbating, timing my strokes with Mr. Pierce’s. Scooting closer, I tried to get a better look—I wanted every single moment of this night etched in my memory. I needed it, needed this, and already treasured these few stolen minutes when I was witness to something transpiring between two men that was worlds more beautiful than I had ever dared hope. I scooted closer, wanting more. The edge of my foot struck the louver door. For one heart-stopping moment, Mr. Pierce seemed to freeze. RC’s head was on the table now, his cheek pressed to the poker cards still lying there, and I saw his eyes swivel toward my hiding place. Every ounce of my body screamed at me to run but I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think. They knew. Oh God, they knew. Oh shit. But Mr. Pierce had transcended reality—all that existed for him was his lover, the muscle encircling his cock, and whatever myriad of emotion had swept him away. His movements were steady, a constant rocking that drove him into RC’s ass with a gentle pounding and a faint uh uh uh that escaped his parted lips. So that’s why Mikey made that same funny little sound when he got off. Mr. Pierce leaned over RC, hands flat on the table on either side of RC’s body, pushing his hips against RC’s padded ass. His eyes were shut, his cheeks slack, fucking not only with his dick but with every fiber of his being, giving himself wholly to the moment and the man beneath him. After a breathless second when I was sure RC saw me through the partially closed slats, he too gave into their coupling. His eyes glazed over and rolled back as he moaned in pleasure. I picked up my own rhythm again, matching Mr. Pierce’s, tugging myself to release not once, not twice, but three exhilarating times, each orgasm racking

me silently. They felt like a strand of pearls, each one precious, pulled from me in rapid succession. My palm filled with jism; I smeared it along my length, coaxing a second ejaculation from me, and a third. Suddenly the scene before me seemed private, too intimate, and I felt ashamed for watching. Mr. Pierce leaned over RC almost protectively, grinding his hips into his lover. RC fucked into his own hand, fondling his balls, reaching down farther to toy with Mr. Pierce’s behind him, as well. Together they moved toward ecstasy, each guiding the other to a climax I knew would be as mind-shattering as my own. I leaned back against the counter to catch my breath, my sore dick now limp between my legs, my feet and legs numb from the position I’d been in for so long. Rolling my head to one side, I saw the edge of a dish towel hanging over the counter above. I reach up, stretching, and snagged it down. The faint smell of Dawn soap wafted up from the still damp rag, which I used to gingerly clean myself off. In the dining room, RC’s breath grew ragged. “Yes, yes,” he moaned. Then, raising his voice, he cried out, “Yes! God, Hank, harder, fuck me, harder.” Between clenched teeth, Mr. Pierce warned, “Shh. My son’s upstairs.” “Harder,” RC whispered. He pushed back against Mr. Pierce, eager to get off. “Harder, harder. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yes, yes, yes.” I saw Mr. Pierce’s buttocks tighten inside his briefs. He thrust forward one last time, up on tiptoe now, and held that position as he threw back his head, a guttural moan rising from the back of his throat when he finally came deep within RC’s ass. Mr. Pierce’s orgasm triggered RC’s own, and I saw a few white drops trickle down RC’s wrist as he closed his hand into a fist to keep from dripping onto the floor. “God!”

Then Mr. Pierce collapsed onto RC’s back. “God,” he said again, his voice scratchy and hoarse with exhaustion. “You’re something else, you know that? You’re damn good.” RC turned his head slightly, lips pursed. “You ain’t bad yourself, old man. Kiss me.” Without comment, Mr. Pierce did just that. **** I blinked slowly, as if waking from a dream. A satisfying wet dream that had left me spent. I felt warm and relaxed, and if I had access to one of those packs of cigarettes left discarded on the dining room table, I would’ve lit up even though I’d never smoked a day in my live. But I wanted to breathe in deep, hold in the moment, let it percolate within me, sear my lungs, then exhale slowly, sated. I felt as though I had just been the one in there, fucking, fucked. I had never found such release in masturbation before and knew, sadly, I probably never would again. But now I knew how it could be between men, how wonderful and amazing it could be, and I looked forward to college more than ever. I wanted tonight, a man of my own, those kisses and that hard dick in my ass, that tight muscle encircling my cock. And I’d have it. The rest of my life spread out before me like a promise I planned to keep to myself. All that and more. Dazed, I pushed myself up off the floor and deposited the soiled dish cloth onto the counter. With gentle fingers I tucked my now wilted member into the confines of my briefs, clammy from my own juices. I zipped up my jeans, careful to be quiet. Already

my mind was turning to Mikey and the two beers I still needed to snag from the fridge if I hoped to gain entry into his room again. Would he settle for cans, or would it be easier to grab bottles instead? Before I could dwell on that question, the sound of a chair scraping across the dining room floor startled me. I peered through the slats in the louver door and saw something that terrified me—Mr. Pierce, pants still undone, dick still sheathed by a condom flecked with cum and shit, heading toward the kitchen. Toward me. I had just enough time to press myself back into the corner between the wall and counter before he hit the door with one hand, bouncing it off the track and pushing it out of his way. Fortunately it unfolded as it struck the counter, hiding me from view, but I cowered behind it as he crossed the kitchen hitching up his pants. Oh God. Had he seen me? Did he know? If he turned on the light it’d all be over. Then he’d turn to put the door back on its track and find me here. He’d know… But he didn’t hit the light switch. Instead he took the stairs heading onto the lower level of the house, his footsteps heavy in the darkness. I held my breath, waiting, until his back disappeared down the stairwell, and I didn’t dare release it until I heard the bathroom door slam shut. I barely managed to thank God before the door was folded aside and RC stood there, that crooked grin of his trained my way. “Enjoy the show?” “I…” My throat closed as the words dried up in it. I didn’t know what to say or do, how to explain myself. “No, I mean…I wasn’t—” “Watching?” RC’s grin widened as his hands worked at his waist. I didn’t dare

drop my gaze from his to see exactly what they were doing there, but I heard the rustle of fabric and the telltale purr of a zipper pulled back into place. “Did you like it?” My cheeks burned as I glanced at the dish cloth I’d left on the counter. With two fingers RC picked it up and raised it, sniffing. When he caught the whiff of my sex, his grin threatened to split his face. “I’d say. I knew you were like that the moment we met.” I didn’t ask what he meant by like that. I already knew. He tossed the dish cloth at me and I flinched to catch it. As I balled it between my hands, he studied me closely. “So why are you down here again? Did you hear us or something?” I shook my head. “I—Mikey wanted me to get some beers. I was just supposed to sneak down and bring them back. I didn’t know…I’m really sorry. I won’t say anything, I promise.” With a laugh, RC ran a hand through his hair, disheveling the loose curls. “Shit,” he drawled, suddenly closer to my age than Mr. Pierce’s. “I ain’t worried about that. If you were going to tell, you would’ve called your friend down here to watch for himself. And you wouldn’t have gotten off on it, either.” I ducked my head. My face felt like it was on fire and I wanted to press the dish cloth against it just to cool off but didn’t dare. For a moment RC studied me as I frowned at the rag in my hands, the silence between us not uncomfortable. Then he turned, crossed the room, and opened the fridge. Holding the door aside so I could see in, he asked, “Which ones did you want again?” I had to clear my throat before I could answer. “The Killian’s. I liked those.”

RC laughed. “This ain’t your first bottle tonight, eh? You boys.” Leaning in, he grabbed two bottles by their necks, then shut the door and returned to where I stood, too afraid to move. Was he going to tell Mr. Pierce that he had found me? That I knew? God, I’d never be able to show my face around here again if he did. As it was, I wouldn’t be able to look at Mr. Pierce without thinking of his dick or the way he’d thrust into RC over and over, but if Mr. Pierce knew those thoughts were in my head? I’d die, pure and simple, right here, tonight. I’d just die. RC held the bottles out to me. When I didn’t take them immediately, he motioned with them that I should. I transferred the dish cloth to one hand and grabbed the bottles with the other, holding them both the way he did. They were awkward but I didn’t drop them, thank goodness. “So when do you leave for Tech?” RC asked. I fumbled the bottles and he took the rag from me so I could carry one beer in each hand. “Next week.” “Hot guy like you will have all the boys on campus on his ass,” RC said. I blushed, ducking my head to hide the silly smile that pulled at my mouth. God. Sudden lust raced through me like wildfire. Did he really think I was hot? With an overhand shot any ball player would have envied, RC tossed the rag toward the trash can beside the fridge and it went in without hitting the rim. “Two points, and the crowd goes wild!” He made a soft ahhh sound as if cheering for himself. To me, he asked, “You play?” I thought he meant basketball. “No, I—” “I mean are you a player?” RC said, nudging me and waggling his eyebrows so I’d get his drift.

So he meant sex. How did we get to talking about this? I just wanted to disappear upstairs before Mr. Pierce returned from the bathroom or Mikey began to wonder what was taking me so long. “No,” I whispered, shaking my head. Despite what I had just seen, I didn’t want to talk about it with RC. I was too embarrassed that he’d caught me watching. “I’m not—no one knows I’m…” “Listen,” RC said, suddenly serious. He touched my shoulder, then pulled me closer, draping an arm around my back. I looked up and saw all jest had fallen away from his face—the smile was gone, those eyes dark and grave. “You got the rest of your life ahead of you, kid. This first year away from home is going to be big, I promise. It’ll be amazing, if you let it. But stay safe, you hear? Hank and I, we’ve been together a while now. We’re exclusive. There’s too much disease and badness out there to fuck around with just anyone.” I nodded, recognizing this as the man-to-man speech my own father should’ve given me but would never be able to as long as he didn’t know I was gay. RC had a lot of years on me, and just knowing he and Mr. Pierce—he and Hank—were an item put what I had seen earlier in perspective. This wasn’t just a one-time thing. This was a recurring delight, a frequent pleasure, a part of both their lives that I had been made privy to for one special moment. I wanted that. I wanted all of that. Reaching into his pocket, RC pulled out something and held it out to me. I juggled both bottles into one hand again to take the offering and he pressed it into my palm so I could feel the shape of it against my skin. One of those coin-shaped condom packets. “Take this,” he told me, his voice a ragged whisper as he leaned closer, eyes drilling into me. “Use it. Enjoy it, because I’m telling you, it’s awesome. Have fun, but

stay safe. And when you get back, stop by and tell me all about it.” I glanced up, surprised. He winked and smiled at me, and before I could think to thank him, he leaned closer still, eyes slipping shut, until his lips brushed mine. So soft, so electric—the hint of a tongue flicked between my lips to touch the front of my teeth and even though I’d just had the orgasm of a lifetime moments before, that innocent kiss was enough to get me worked up all over again. Downstairs, the sound of running water interrupted us. RC pulled back, clapped my shoulder, and nodded toward the stairs. “Go back up to your friend. Hank and I aren’t quite done yet.” Warily I eyed the distance between myself and the staircase. I’d have to pass the top of the steps that led to the lower level on my way, and if Mr. Pierce chose that moment to come out of the bathroom, if he turned, if he saw me… RC gave me a slight push, falling into step beside me. “Go on. I got you covered.” At the stairs, he headed down while I hurried around the corner and took the steps two at a time back to Mikey’s room. Below me I heard a soft knock on the bathroom door, and RC’s voice call out, “Hey, babe? Come lay on the sofa with me for a bit, will you?” In one hand, the beer bottles sweated between my fingers; in the other, the condom burned like a secret waiting to be shared. But it was mine, and tonight wasn’t the night to show it off. Maybe next week, or next month, or next semester, when I met someone special, when I had an evening like this of my own, when the hand down the front of my pants massaging my cock belonged to someone else, not me. Then I’d pull

the condom out, remembering RC’s words, and I’d share the secret with a boy I’d yet to meet. A boy with whom I’d share myself. But not tonight. Tonight it was mine, all mine, and like a rare coin from a sunken treasure, I’d keep it safe. Outside Mikey’s door I paused long enough to tuck away the condom, depositing it into the same pocket that contained the nail I’d taken from Mr. Pierce’s garage earlier. Then I shifted the beers into both hands again and tapped the bottom of one bottle gently against the door. Pressing my face to the jamb, I whispered, “Mikey, it’s me. I got the booze. Open up.”



A multi-published author of gay erotic/romantic fiction, J.M. Snyder began writing boyband slash before turning to self-publishing. She has worked with several different e-publishers, including Amber Allure Press, Aspen Mountain Press, eXcessica Publishing, and Torquere Press, and has short stories published in anthologies by Alyson Books, Aspen Mountain Press, Cleis Press, eXcessica Publishing, Lethe Press, and Ravenous Romance. For more information, including excerpts, free stories, and monthly contests, please visit


Founded in 2010, JMS Books LLC is owned and operated by author J.M. Snyder. We publish a variety of genres, including gay erotic romance, fantasy, young adult, poetry, and nonfiction. We are an invitation-only small press. Short stories and novellas are available as e-books and compiled into single-author print anthologies, while any story over 30k in length is available in both print and e-book formats. Visit us at for more information on our latest releases!