Awesome Authors Presents Laura Baumbach

A Bit of Rough by Laura Baumbach

Published 2007 by MLR Press

Chapter One

A Bit of RoughJames sat down on the nearest bar stool, ignoring the way his jeans refused to slip over the worn vinyl. He swung one foot back and forth over the broken floor tiles making a gritty sound; the thick leather soles of his boots peeling a layer of dirt off with each pass.

He ordered a Bud from the barmaid, noting the way her C-cups strained against the thin fabric of her low cut halter-top. It was impressive and the blatant, inviting look she gave him in return offered a guarantee of a better look after closing time if he wanted it. James gave her his best ‘thanks, but no thanks’ smile and sipped his beer, rotating on the stool to get a better view of the rest of the room.

The Atlantic Bar was a biker dive, complete with pool tables, rock and roll music, and a small time drug deal going down just outside the back exit. Led Zeppelin blared out a number on the jukebox and both pool tables had games going. The majority of the patrons were members of the leather and chrome set. Tattoos, tight jeans and shirtless black vests dominated the dress code for both sexes.

This wasn’t his usual kind of haunt, but he’d decided earlier tonight to do something unexpected, exciting, and different. So instead of spending a Friday night at home, James Joseph Justin, architect and former altar boy, was cruising a biker bar for a one-night stand. Anyone with a cup size, even a C-cup like the well-endowed barmaid, need not apply.

At five-foot seven, one hundred forty-two pounds, there was nothing physically intimidating or impressive about James, but he could win over almost any problem with his charm and little boy looks. Dark, unruly curls and a pair of wide, sapphire eyes softened even the most resistant during his normal day-to-day interactions. He doubted that would work here if he tried to attract the attention of the wrong guy.

A burst of catcalls and whistles from the far pool table attracted his attention. A deep, soft rumble of laughter cut through the cheers and the background noise to pique James’ interest. The sound sent a buzz of arousal through him, making him shift his hips on the stool to ease the sudden tightening of his jeans.

Another murmur of high spirits erupted from the group of men clustered around the end of the table, and James’ curious eyes found the source of the low, pleasant voice. Standing between two T-shirted, leather vested, ponytailed bikers was a tall, broad-shouldered, sandy-haired man dressed in denim and cowboy boots. Even from his seat at the bar, James could see the jeans, denim jacket and faded, blue shirt all matched the pale blue of the big man’s eyes. James’ jeans got a little bit tighter.

The cowboy chalked the end of his cue and moved into place at the end of the table, leaning down to take his shot. Sinking the five-ball in the middle pocket, the man smiled, and glanced up from his conquest, laser blue eyes locking unerringly on James’ hungry, unprepared stare. He took his time standing back up, holding James in his sights the entire time, his expression unreadable.

Unable to break away from the mesmerizing stare, James blushed, squirming a little on his stool. Eyes still locked with the stranger’s, James watched as the man snagged his beer off the edge of the table and took a drink, arching his neck and swallowing in long, drawn out gulps that made his throat move in an all too-seductive fashion for James’ rising libido. After lowering the bottle, the stranger smiled at him, breaking the stare.

James gulped down half his beer and got up to move closer. Taking up a spot by a rough wooden post, he leaned against the support and took another sip of his beer, playing the part of just another interested spectator in the room.

The cowboy rounded the table, studying the lie of the balls, intent on his next move. Picking a tight angle from James’ side of the table, the large man bent over to line up his shot, his hip making contact with James as he suddenly pulled back for the shot. James shifted to one side, startled by the unexpected touch. The stranger held the shot, straightened up and stepped in close to him, inhaling deeply.

James’ breath turned to soft, little pants at the stranger’s abrupt nearness. The man smelt of sweat and leather, a faint, pleasant scent that made James harden against the rough fabric of his jeans. The slight, abrasive rub of the front seam was a relief to the portion of his body seeking more immediate attention.


James stepped back to give the man room and found himself brought up short against the support beam. The stranger stepped closer, trapping James between himself and the post, a position James wouldn’t have minded if they hadn’t been in a room full of people. Likely, no one was close enough to overhear any conversation that might take place. The big man was free to flirt or threaten, as the mood struck him. James wasn’t sure which, if either would happen, but he was definitely interested in the tall, hard body currently blocking his view of the room.

James looked up from under his lashes to see an amused, self-assured smile on the man’s handsome face. He dropped his gaze, feeling self-conscious and nervous. Did the guy know what he’d been thinking? Could he see the lust in his face, read the willingness in his eyes? Was the smile genuine or just a preamble to punching him out? The same pleasant rumble from earlier drew his gaze back up to the tanned and weathered face in front of him.

“Excuse me. Need a little room to make my move.” The cowboy swayed his weight from one foot to the other, his thigh grazing James’ hip on the forward motion. He slid the pool cue through his hands, drawing James’ gaze down to watch as the cowboy’s long fingers stroked over the rod.

James glanced at the few poorly placed balls left on the table. “Doesn’t look like you’ve got much of a shot left.”

The big man smiled and glanced over his shoulder at the set up. “Seven ball center pocket.” His gaze arrowed, appraising James from head to toe, settling on his clean- face. “After I win, how about I buy you a beer?”

“That’s impossible.”

Cowboy snorted a dry chuckle. “Which? The shot or buying you a drink?”

James swallowed and huffed out a shaky breath. His nervous habit of biting at his lower lip made the man’s eyes flicker down to look at his mouth. James released his lip and licked over the abused flesh, his mouth suddenly dry.

“The shot. No way you can sink the seven-ball in the center pocket. You can’t get the angle right.” James shook his head, regretting the fact the man was going to lose the game and he would lose the opening for a drink with him. “I know about angles. It’s part of my job.”

“I like a challenge.” One blue eye winked at him. “Decide what kind of beer you want.”

There was something possessive and demanding in the soft, gravel tones that made James shiver. He covered his reaction by shrugging his shoulders and relaxing onto the uneven surface of the post at his back.

He nodded. “Okay. If you want to.” The stranger held his gaze for a moment longer before smiling and stepping away.

“Oh, I want to.” His voice was pitched low, rich and filled with a seductive promise.

“This’ll just take a minute.”

The cowboy rejoined his opponent at the pool table, calling out the shot. The announcement was met with a grunt and a pleased grin from the biker. Seconds later the grin dissolved into a look of awe.

Cowboy spiked the cue ball, skipping it over a blockade of even numbered balls. It ricocheted off the far end at the perfect angle to clip the seven-ball, sending it straight into the center pocket. True to his word, it took him less than a minute to run the table and win the game. He collected his money, hung up his cue stick, and acknowledged the friendly slaps and grudging compliments of the spectators around the table, then walked back over towards James. He flashed a quick smile, showing rows of even, white teeth and a cleft in the middle of his chin. With a tilt of his head, he gestured toward the bar.

James hesitated a moment, then walked to the only empty seat at the bar. Before he could claim it, the stranger stepped ahead of him and swung his taller frame onto the vinyl. James found himself wedged between the man’s knees on the left and a biker covered with chains and tattoos on his right.

The cowboy sprawled on the narrow stool, spreading his legs to create more space. Jostled on the right by an unyielding shoulder, James had no choice but to shift into the opening.

The man swiveled the stool, drawing his legs under the counter and bringing James along with them. He rested a knee against the firm surface of James’ backside. Smiling at the startled look on James’ face, he nonchalantly swiveled the stool back and forth, rubbing his thigh over the swell of flesh. James pressed back against the cowboy’s leg, telling him the attention wasn’t unwelcome. He trembled against the man’s thigh.

Leaning in to make sure he could be heard over the pounding Bob Seger tune, Cowboy flagged the bartender and ordered two bottles of Budweiser. He threw a ten-dollar bill on the bar, picked up both long necks with one hand and stood up. Offering a bottle to James, he ducked close until their cheeks brushed, his prickly, five o’clock shadow bristling against James’ smooth face.

“Let’s get some air.”

Without waiting for an answer, Cowboy started in the direction of the back exit, taking a swallow from his bottle every few feet. He was halfway across the floor before he realized James hadn’t followed him. The younger man was still standing at the bar, an uncertain look on his face. The cowboy stood where he was, his gaze locked on James’ face, waiting patiently for him to make up his mind.

James could feel the weight of the man’s eyes on him, his raw intensity and the heat of his hungry gaze. It pulled at him from across the room, drawing him to the man’s side.

The man’s gaze never wavered, taking on a satisfied glint as James came to his side. He kept his eyes riveted on James’ face, speaking only loud enough for James to hear.

“Do I have to drag you out?”

James felt a shiver of excitement shoot through to his groin. He could barely get his answer out of his tightening throat.


The man gave James an appraising glance that traveled from head to toe and back again. “But you’d like me to, wouldn’t you?” The nervous way James licked his lips was answer enough. Cowboy turned for the back exit. James followed this time.

Once they reached the cooler air of the alleyway, James was forced to stop for a moment to refuse an offer to join a three-man group sharing a pipe. By the time he looked around, the taller man was nowhere to be seen in the dark, narrow lane.

A large, dark red pick-up truck was the only thing in the alley besides a dumpster and several old crates. James took a huge gulp of his beer then set it down on a nearby box. Hesitant, he walked towards the depths of the shadows, squinting to make the most of the pale moonlight.

Three-quarters of the way into the alley, James was suddenly yanked into a deep alcove and slammed up against a wall. A hard body pinned him in place, the sharp edges of the brick surface gouging his back through the thin fabric of his T-shirt. The pain barely registered, as a low, sultry voice by his ear demanded his attention.

“That makes twice you’ve left me hanging. I don’t think I like that.”

A knee was forced between his legs and Cowboy’s weight settled heavily against his aching groin. James looked up into a pair of hungry eyes that glittered in the dim light. Waves of lust rolled off of his captor, washing over him like pounding surf, dragging him along with the dangerous undertow, and making it hard for him to breathe. A noticeable shudder ran down his spin.

“You’re shaking, baby. Excitement….” A callused fingertip ran down the length of his neck and back up to stroke over his open, panting mouth. “Or fear? Doesn’t really matter to me.” Another shudder rippled through James. Cowboy grinned. “I like you trembling against me, because of me, whatever the reason.”

The thigh pressing his legs apart rubbed side to side, massaging the growing bulge in his jeans. James groaned and bit down on one corner of his lower lip to hold back a startled yelp when the pressure increased to the point of near pain.

Cowboy narrowed his eyes, his voice taking on a harsher edge. Warm breath ghosted over James’ face, and moist lips grazed against his mouth while the man talked, teasing at the lip tucked between his teeth.

“Does that feel good to you, baby? Like that? Like it slow and gentle?” He lessened the pressure and slipped a hand between them, thumbing open the buttons of James’ jeans as he talked. Finding nothing under them except heated flesh, he shoved his hand inside and grabbed James’ cock, dragging calluses and fingernails lightly over the sensitive organ. James squirmed and made a strangled, animal sound in the back of his throat.

“No, you wouldn’t be on this side of town, in this bar, if gentle was what you were looking for. Maybe you want it a little rougher.” He shoved his fingers down farther and captured the tight sac beneath. “A little harder.” He massaged James, grinning at the increased squirming and guttural whimpers his heavy caress produced. “A little deeper.” Kicking James’ legs farther apart, he slid two fingers behind the sac, tracing the thin ridge of sensitive flesh that led up to his opening. Without hesitation, he shoved both fingers into James’ body, twisting and stroking the hot, slippery walls of muscle within. A guttural gasp rewarded his efforts.

He chuckled low and throaty, nudging James’ cheek with his nose, silently commanding him to look up until their eyes met. “You got yourself all ready for me, baby. All nice”, the long agile fingers twisted roughly, “and slick”, plunged deeper, “and tight.” The questing digits pressed up, grazing over a spongy firmness.

As he fought to remain standing, James bucked against the intimate contact. He whimpered and began to pant, arching into the touch while at the same time trying to squeeze shut his thighs. He was torn between the desire to have more from this seductive, intense man and the urge to push the dangerous, aggressive suitor off and stumble back into the bar for a fortifying drink. One more swirling stroke deep inside and desire won.

Jerking his head up, James captured the man’s mouth with his own. Both hands tangled in the cowboy’s hair, forcing their mouths firmly together. His urgency was met and matched. The kiss was hot and dirty and thrilling, each demanding stroke of tongue met with an equally aggressive suck or bite, until oxygen-deprived, racing heartbeats pounded painfully in their heads.

The cowboy broke away, sliding his fingers out of their tight cocoon of muscle and heat. Pulling his hand from James’ jeans, he bestowed a rough caress on James’ straining cock on the way out.

“Jesus, fuck!” James protested the loss, thrusting his groin into the retreating hand, his body trying to regain the needed touch.

Cowboy rested his forehead against James’, panting heavily. Each warm puff of air sent shivers down James’ spine as they trailed over his sweaty flesh.

“Hang on, baby. We’re just getting started here.”

A quick bite to the exposed curve of James’ neck turned into a wet trail that slithered up to his ear. The soft skin behind his ear was mouthed and nipped, making him squirm and arch his neck, offering his throat for attention.

His plea was ignored, the busy lips and tongue choosing the delicate morsel of his ear lobe instead. A rhythmic sucking mimicked the earlier deep stroking and James’ ass fluttered at the memory, aching with the hollow feeling the loss of those talented fingers left behind. A grunt of frustration escaped his swollen lips.

James felt his T-shirt being rolled up his torso, exposing his back to the cold, hard bricks pressing in from behind. Cool night air chilled the beads of sweat on his chest and his nipples crinkled in response to the sudden temperature change. Once the shirt had reached his underarms, large, warm hands explored his naked body, pinching and coarsely massaging over his tender flesh.

Still pressed hips to shoulders against the wall, legs forced wide by a thick, muscular thigh, jeans unbuttoned and halfway down his naked hips, James reeled, overwhelmed by the thrill and the danger of having sex with an unfamiliar lover in a public place. The threat of possible discovery heightened his lust, and the need to touch skin became too urgent to deny. He moaned at the continued assault on his earlobe and torso, and strained against the restrictive embrace, hands coming up to scrabble at the buttons of the man’s shirt.

The fevered sucking at his neck disappeared and the weight of the cowboy’s body pressed warningly into his own, forcing a grunt of discomfort from him. The same hands delighting him only seconds ago, now encircled his wrists and slammed them to the wall by his shoulders. Shaken, James peered up to see pale blue eyes staring intently down at him from only a few inches away. They narrowed, then relaxed just as the grip on his wrists did the same. James couldn’t stop the tremor of fear that shot down his spine.

“I’ll tell you when you can touch.”

His wrists were released and a hand ran down the side of his lean frame, petting and soothing as it stroked. His body shook again, this time in anticipation.

“I told you, I like it when you tremble under me.”

The large hands skated back up his arms and pressed his wrists into the bricks.

James closed his eyes and melted against the wall, waiting for the man’s next move. His hips were yanked forward, the pressure easing off his lower half and both of the cowboy’s hands slid inside the back of his jeans. Strong fingers kneaded and rubbed the fleshiest part of his small, firm ass. Occasionally, a thumb would slip down the crease, teasing at the tight ring of muscle nestled there. His mouth was reclaimed and James lost himself in the rhythm. The hands became more frenzied, mauling and bruising in their strength, and the kiss turned into an attack, the man’s mouth devouring, fierce and unrelenting.

James’ eyes flashed open and a near breathless gasp tore out of his burning lungs as the assault moved downward. His jeans were shoved to his knees, his hips pinned back in place, bare backside grinding into the sharp edges of the gritty wall. His hard, jutting cock was engulfed in a sleeve of unbearable heat, swallowed to the root and held motionless there. His tormentor made no effort to do the usual blowjob gestures, holding perfectly still and forcing James to do the same. James ached with the need to move.

His fists pounded uselessly on the surface behind him. “Fucking bastard! Do something.”

The sudden swirl of slick, hot fluid around his rod took him by surprise.

The cowboy swished and swirled a mouthful of spit around like a morning gargle of mouthwash, sucking and releasing, surging the slick liquid against James’ most sensitive part again and again. He forced the body-hot fluid up to tease the underside of the delicate tip before he swallowed several times, milking James’ cock like a cow’s udder. James gave a strangled cry and grabbed frantically at cowboy’s head, settling both hands in his hair. Cowboy instantly stopped and stood up, prompting a distressed gasp from James.

Once again James found his entire body pinned against the wall, wrists held to his sides. Warm breath poured down his neck as the man purred a low, sultry threat in his ear.

“Bad boy. Told you not to touch. I see I’m going to have to find another way to make you listen.”

Unable to catch his breath, James could only pant and stare. His stare turned wide-eyed as the rolled shirt under his arms was yanked up and off, his head freed, but his arms still encased in the knit fabric. It was pulled down as far as his hands, then the bulk of the shirt was bunched and twisted, locking his wrists in a tight vice of soft cloth. Before he could protest, the length between his wrists was forced over his head to rest behind his neck, effectively pinning his hands at his shoulders. Once again, he was pressed into the cold wall, the skin of his back scraping over the uneven stone.

“What the hell is this shit?”

“This is me,” the cowboy leaned in the last inch and nipped James’ lower lip, the swollen flesh throbbing at the sharp sting, “forcing you,” another bite to his upper lip forced a small grunt of pain from him, “to do what I tell you to do.”

The firm, demanding mouth crushed James’ swollen lips, the kiss fierce and possessive, startling and more than a little frightening. James began to wonder if coming out into this alley had been a good idea after all. A feeling of helplessness settled over him, disturbing and thrilling at the same time. Unable to do anything else, he gave into the kiss, relaxing back against the wall and into the hard frame grinding against his now mostly naked body.

A sudden flare of arousal shot through him and he groaned into the mouth devouring his, his body arching into the warm hands roughly rubbing and pinching at his nipples. Once erect, coarse fingers plucked at the swollen nubs of flesh, twisting them just past the point of pleasure. Fingernails flicked at their heated peaks, sending shock waves of burning, painful delight straight to his neglected groin.

Abruptly, all the warmth, weight and stimulation were gone, leaving James conscious of how naked and exposed he really was. Gasping at the abrupt loss, he opened his eyes to look into his lover’s face. Instead of the sight of his captor, his world turned 180 degrees and his gaze met only bricks, his chest now pressed into the wall that had been behind him. The full weight of his larger companion returned, the man’s physical power both reassuring and overwhelming in its force. James turned his head and muffled a cry of pain into the twisted fabric binding his wrists, the cowboy’s weight forcing his straining erection to rest against the cold, irregular surface of the wall.

“Ready yet, baby?” A hot column of flesh slid between the crack of his ass, rubbing up and down, to dip snuggly between his thighs. “Want me?” James’ cock was encased in a sandpaper-lined sheath of heat and muscle as the cowboy worked him into a higher state of need with one hand. “Come on, baby, talk to me. Tell me you want it. Tell me that tight, little ass of yours is screaming for me to shove myself home. ‘Cause that’s what your ass is, baby, home. Tight, hot, home. It belongs to me now. You belong to me now. Don’t you, baby?”

A faint buzz of unease rang in his head, but before James could track it down, the talented hand on his erection tightened, almost painful in its strength. The cowboy’s thumb began to rub the underside and top of his rod, massaging the drops of leaking fluid into the sensitive skin. The man rubbed his face over James’ sweaty, tangled hair and inhaled deeply. All other thoughts fled from his mind as teeth bit at the soft area behind his ear and a wet tongue invaded its outer shell. James bucked into the brutal grip, a groan of need and passion escaping him.

“I’ll take that as a ‘yes’.”

There was the crackle of foil and a small moan from behind him then James’ legs were kicked apart and a thigh forced one of his legs up a few inches. Cool air caressed the exposed opening to his body for a brief instant until it was replaced with a blunt heat. A deep grunt and the cowboy invaded him, shoving past the protective ring of muscle to bury his thickness to the hilt in one powerful surge of lust and possessive desire.

Grateful his ass wasn’t new to anal intercourse, James screamed into the shirt, biting down on a wad of fabric to muffle the cry. The hand on his cock tightened and sped up, working his softening erection back to full, aching engorgement. Cowboy began to pound into him, his thrusts deep and relentless, torturing James with the force of his strength and the full length of his cock. Each deep stroke nudged at the rings of muscles guarding his deepest reaches. The rarely touched nerve endings buzzed and tingled, making him gasp and writhe against the cowboy. Pinned between rock hard flesh and unyielding brick, James was helpless to do more than flex his lower body’s muscles in rhythm to the cowboy’s brutal thrusts.

Mindless of the abrasions marking his front, James ground himself into the assault, pitching over the edge to climax as one particularly ambitious thrust breached his inner ring of muscle. A heavy strike of his head on the rough brick forced his face into the shirt’s fabric, cutting off his strangled cry. The hand on his cock continued to work him mercilessly, pulling every last drop from him, dragging him over the edge of pleasure into the realm of over-stimulated pain as the grip increased.

His gasping and bucking turned from a passionate response to one of achieving release from his tormentor’s unrelenting attentions. His struggle seemed to heighten the cowboy’s pleasure and the thrusts into his body intensified. James could feel the fullness in his ass growing and his body spasmed around the thickness, tightening and responding to it, despite James’ panic.

The raw soreness at his groin took on a sharper edge. Small, almost elusive thrills of pleasure began to replace the chaffing tugs of the callused hand. His erection began to return, spurred on by the addition of the cowboy’s other hand, caressing and fondling lower, rolling his tightening sac and applying a teasing pressure to the stretched skin beneath.

The distant sound of a brief argument down the alley reminded James of the possibility of discovery and he groaned and shuddered, the tremor running the length of his tense, exhausted frame. The low, throaty voice vibrated at the base of his ear lobe, coming in short, electrifying pants that pushed James’ excitement even higher.

“That’s it, that’s it. Tremble for me, baby. I’ll give you what you need. I’ll take you as rough as you can stand. Fucking shake for me, baby.”

James was suddenly lifted higher, his boots losing contact with the gritty street, his entire body supported by the cowboy and the wall. The shift in position changed the angle of entry and the pounding thrusts began to skate mercilessly across his prostate. Half a dozen thrusts later he screamed silently into his bound wrists, the climax so painfully intense and unexpected he couldn’t find the breath to give voice to his agonized pleasure.

His body rigid, locked in a spasm of peaking climax, James felt every inch of his lover’s cock embedded deep inside, its pulsing heat emptying into him at a furious rate. Heavy groans and muttered oaths were lost in the fabric around his neck, still binding his hands in place. The large hands that had caressed and fondled him now held him by the hips, impaling him motionless on the shaft, creating bruised indentations in his tender flesh. He rode out the storm of passion, and then collapsed, wanting to rest against the chill of the bricks to help revive his flagging energy and awareness. An empty, hollow ache replaced the shrinking iron rod inside of him, and chill air drifted over his back and buttocks as his partner stepped away.

In a half stupor, cheek resting on the rough brick surface, he felt his pants pulled up around his hips and his arms were slowly lowered. The thin fabric of his shirt was unrolled and worked up his arms, slipped down over his head, then tugged and smoothed until it covered his body.

James pushed off of the wall, but was spun and pinned back against it before he could turn on his own power. Gentle, but demanding lips captured his and he lost track of time as the cowboy’s tongue reacquainted itself with every molecule in his mouth. The large body settled over him, strong arms embracing him, re-igniting his earlier unease with the possessive stranger.

Breaking off the kiss, James pushed at the man’s shoulders until the tight arms released him. He quickly stepped to one side and fastened the buttons down the front of his jeans, aware of the other man watching his hands as they worked.

“Well, ah, that was terrific. Thanks. I, ah, it was fantastic, really. But I have to get going. Work in the morning. Maybe we’ll run into each other again sometime.”

James stepped to one side to walk around the cowboy, but was forced to halt when the man matched his movement.

“Look, my truck is right here.” Cowboy pointed at the late model, extended cab, monster of a truck James had noticed earlier. It was parked only a few yards down the alley, facing the other end, a convenient spot for leaving unseen by the bar’s patrons. “I’ll drive you to your car.” Cowboy herded James toward the truck, hands tucked unthreateningly in his pants’ pockets, a smile of shy delight on his rugged face.

James hesitated for a moment, but decided against making a scene. He allowed the cowboy to open the driver’s door for him, the passenger side parked too close to the wall to go around. Reaching up for a handhold on the truck’s raised interior, a pair of too helpful hands grabbed his waist.

“Then again, maybe I’ll just take you home. Tying you to my bed sounds like the perfect way to end the night.”

James was lifted into the air and tossed across the bench seat. He sprawled against the far door. By the time he regained his footing, the cowboy was seated behind the wheel and the door was shut and locked.

James gathered his adrenaline-spiked energy and launched himself at the man. The cowboy’s head thudded against the window and his tall body bowed under James’ weight. James almost managed to grab the door handle before his wrists were engulfed in the cowboy’s large, work-rough palms. One swift, shifting move of Cowboy’s hips and James found himself pinned on his back to the truck’s bench seat. Cowboy hovered over him, holding James’ wrists to either side of his head.

“Hey, hey. Slow down there, Tiger. It was a joke, just a joke. Okay?” The same soft voice that had thrilled and delighted James only moments ago rumbled in his ear again. This time the voice was warm and conciliatory instead of dark and demanding. Oddly enough, James responded to it in the same thrilled way, feeling a burst of attraction run down his spine. The sensation made James shudder and that made Cowboy smile. To James, it was a dazzling, heart-stopping smile.

“Still trembling under me, huh?” Cowboy chuckled and released James’ wrists, but didn’t move. Cowboy’s smile softened and his expression changed from playful to sincere. “I still like that, but I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Cowboy ran his thumb across James’ panting mouth, his gaze riveted to the swollen, flushed lips. He glanced up to catch James’ own heated gaze and the smile changed again, this time to shy. “I’m very pleased to meet you.” Cowboy winked, then heaved himself up, bringing James along with him.

“Ah, hi. I’m James, James Justin.” James smoothed down his rumpled shirt then extended his hand. “Nice to meet you, too.” Cowboy shook his hand and grinned.

The man’s appreciative, lopsided smile made James feel suddenly desirable all over again, the fantastic ache in his ass re-ignited as his stretched and used opening spasmed. Flustered by the strong pull of attraction for the big man, James settled as close to the passenger door as he could. His thoughts were thick and sluggish, still overwhelmed by the lingering euphoria from their earlier coupling.

James didn’t want to mistake lust for real attraction, but something about this cowboy made him want more, more time with the man, more conversations, more sex, definitely, more sex. Although James wanted all those things, he wanted to be sure this would be about more than just sex.

Feeling awkward and suddenly adolescent, James gave an embarrassed chuckle. “Actually, it was better than nice. It was absolutely-fucking-fabulous.”

James thought he detected a faint blush on the man’s tanned and weathered face. Cowboy laughed softly. “I won’t argue with that.”

The laughter tapered off into what threatened to become an awkward silence. Cowboy shoved the key into the ignition and started the truck, glancing over at James as he did it. “I’m headed for my favorite coffee shop. Want to come along?” Cowboy let the truck idle at the mouth of the alley.

James gestured to the left and they turned onto a quiet side street. Surprised by the offer, James stammered, “Ah, thanks.” He looked at the digital clock on the dashboard and sighed. “But I have to be to work in a few hours. I need to get some sleep.” He pointed out the windshield at the row of parked cars. “The black Vibe is mine.”

Cowboy pulled up beside the sleek little Vibe. He put his own truck into park, ignoring a sedan and two motorcycles that were forced to go around them. “Okay then.” He sounded impatient and he tapped the steering wheel with the fingers of one hand, glancing repeatedly in the rearview mirror.

Thinking the display meant the cowboy had already lost interest, James opened the door and slid from the truck. He felt his face flame with the sudden uncomfortable flush of shame at being discarded so quickly. Just as he was about to shut the door, the cowboy called out to him.

“Hey, Jamie?”

Startled by the intimate nickname, James swung the door back open to find the cowboy leaning low across the seat. The position brought the big man eye-to-eye with James. The lopsided grin was back on Cowboy’s face.

“How about dinner tomorrow night?”

Stunned by the invitation, James slowly nodded his head. He was momentarily frozen in place by the intensity of the thrill that rolled through the pit of his stomach then spread south.

“Yeah. Yeah, we could do that. Seven o’clock?”

Actions hidden from public view by the truck seat and dashboard, Cowboy reached out one long arm and laced the fingers of his massive hand through the hair at the back of James’ head. He tugged, drawing James forward to lean into the cab, where cowboy delivered a blistering kiss. When he released James, it was only a fraction of an inch, his lips still brushing over James’ tingling mouth as he panted out an order. “Six.”

Throwing reason out the window, James grabbed cowboy by the hair with both hands and sealed his mouth to the willing lips, eagerly returning the attention. When James pulled back, they were both breathless and flushed. “Six. Okay.”

The fingers in his hair loosened and James backed out of the truck. The cowboy straightened up behind the wheel. James’ gaze fell on the bright digital clock display on the dash again and he panicked.

His right hand sliced the air, going between him and the dashboard several times in a row. He shifted his weight from leg to leg, a slight bounce punctuating each move. “Ah, is that tonight’s tonight or tomorrow’s tonight? It’s one-thirty. I mean, it’s after midnight. I mean, it’s already Saturday. Did you mean — .”

A snort of amusement cut off his sentence. James looked up from the clock display, startled, to meet the other man’s delighted expression.

“I like it when you’re flustered,” said the cowboy. He chuckled then lowered his voice to a sultry tone adding, “It makes me want to direct all that energy you’re putting out into more ‘relaxing’ activities.”

James felt his blood rushing both north and south, leaving him dizzy. His face turned a bright red, and blood pooled in his groin, coaxing his cock partially awake. He ducked his head, suddenly shy with this man who had just spent the last half an hour turning his brains to mush by way of his ass.

“Jamie?” It was only one word, whispered in the cowboy’s rough, low voice, but it eased James’ embarrassment.

He raised his head to met Cowboy’s eyes, relieved to see gentle understanding in the man’s face, as well as sexual interest. The thread of excitement rolling through his stomach turned into a large ball of warm, sizzling electricity.

“Six o’clock tonight. Saturday. In sixteen and a half-hours from now, okay?” Cowboy pulled a business card out from the edge of the truck’s sun visor and held it out to James. “That’s my cell number printed at the bottom. Call me later today and give me directions to your place.”

Wishing he had more time to think about the situation without offending the cowboy, James took it. He glanced at the printing, noting the construction firm advertised on the card. It was a very well known, highly recommended company. Even the architectural firm he worked for did business with them. It was nice to know the cowboy had a solid job. James hated to think he might end up falling for a deadbeat.

“That way you can have time to think about things,” said Cowboy.

James bit his lower lip, a guilty little snort escaping.

Cowboy just smiled. “I’m feeling a little flushed with myself right now, too. Once your blood decides to visit your brain again, you can decide if you want to call. Then if you want to back out, you won’t have given your home address to someone you don’t want to see outside of an alley.”

James struggled not to let the grin trying to break free out, but lost. “I’ve pretty much decided I’d like to see you anywhere, even another alley.”

Nodding, Cowboy settled more comfortably behind the wheel. “All right then. We’ve got a date.”

A car full of drunken young men honking their horn and tossing obscenities in the air flew by, and then disappeared around a corner.

Cowboy gestured one big hand toward James’ parked car. “You get in. I’ll wait here until you pull out.” He winked at James. “I’ve got a vested interest in making sure you stay safe.”

James snorted and shut the truck door. Pocketing the card in his front pants pocket, James couldn’t resist running his fingertips over the half-hard bulge tucked up against the rough denim of his jeans. The small gesture started the lingering buzz to tingle again. As he turned to open his car door, he gave one last look over his shoulder. Cowboy sat silently watching him.

James yanked his hand out of his pants and slid into his car, closing and locking the door before starting it. He eased the car from curb, experiencing a moment of panic when the truck followed him for two blocks. Just when James began to think he might have a stalker on his hands, the truck took a right turn and sped off toward an older, quieter section of the city.

James drove two more blocks, basking in the thrill of reliving the unexpected, erotic adventure in the alleyway, before he realized he hadn’t asked the Cowboy his name.

About Laura Baumbach

Laura BaumbachRecognized in 2010 by ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE as ‘a pioneer of the M/M romance genre’, Laura Baumbach is the best-selling, multi-award winning, acclaimed author of short stories, novellas, novels and screenplays. Author of one of the first recognized published resource articles on the category of m/m erotic romance, For the Love Of Man, for ERWA Writer’ Resource article published in September 2008. She is the founder of the only RWA Chapter for GLBT romance author, RAINBOW ROMANCE.

Laura is the author of over 14 books and numerous shorts, almost all of which have been recognized by awards from array of sources. The most awarded title is Mexican Heat, a FINALIST for Best Gay Romance in the 2009 Lambda Literary Awards, WINNER in the 2010 EPPIE Awards, received an Honorable Mention at the 2009 San Francisco Book Festival, and several RWA chapter awards, was written in collaboration with Josh Lanyon. Mexican Heat won the coveted CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award for 2009. Laura was nominated for Best GBLT Author 2008 in the LRC’ Best Of Awards for 2008. Her adventure story The Lost Temple of Karttikeya won the 2008 EPPIE Award for Best GLBT novel and was featured as a hugely successful free read on Kindle Select Program with over 10,000 downloads. Her sequel to the best-selling novel A Bit of Rough, Roughhousing, was 2007 Reviewers’ Choice Award Winner.

Her sci-fi m/m adventure Details of the Hunt, a 2006 EPPIE Finalist,(in its mainstream ‘buddy’ version), was selected as a Semi-finalist in the 2007 Shriekfest Screenplay competition as well as becoming the winner of Best Telefilm in the aTalentScout, Winter 2004 TV writing contest, and the Fort Bend Writers Guild Screenplay writing Contest for Spring of 2005.

Laura devotes herself full time to publishing and writing. A wife, mother and retired RN, she is the owner of ManLoveRomance Press, a small publishing house that specializes in gay erotic romance, mystery and fiction. MLR Press was founded in January of 2007.

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Books by Laura Baumbach

Laura BaumbachA Bit of Rough

M/M contemporary erotic romance

Architect James Justin impulsively lets himself be picked up in a biker bar by seductive hunk Bram Lord for a one night stand that turns into something bigger. The physically impressive, forceful stranger meets, matches and exceeds James’ sexual fantasies, but can shy, uncertain James be everything the strongly committed Bram wants?

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Out There In The NightOut There In The Night
M/M paranormal erotic romance – Werewolves

What’s the most pleasurable way to be made into a werewolf? By having sex with one … and surviving. Something Dr. Connor Jacy is about to find out after spending a long, lust-filled night of wild, animalistic and sensual lovemaking with the mysterious Native American trapper who rescued him from a snowmobile accident site in the Alaskan wilderness. It’s only a few days until the full moon and once back at home, Dr. Jacy is sure it was all a dream compounded by his head injury. Unfortunately for Connor, the powerful spiritwalkers of an ancient Indian tribe have already decided to mate a modern man of medical science with a mythical creature and guardian of the night.

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Details of the HuntDetails of the Hunt
M/M scifi M/M erotic romance

A 26th century, time-traveling, bounty hunter snatches a 18th century Earth pirate in a deal to enrich the archeological knowledge of mankind, but as he develops an attraction for the likable, free-spirited prey, he attempts to alter the deal, threatening both his own personal code of honor and the strict rules of conduct of his race. Will the love of a wily, cock-sure, young pirate be enough for the stoic hunter to risk exile from his own people?

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The Lost Temple of KarttikeyaThe Lost Temple of Karttikeya
MM paranormal erotic romance – Vampires

Brandon King is a LA police detective intimately involved with his older male partner. Brandon longs for a stable relationship with his abusive lover, but when a mysterious stranger offers him a chance to have his heart’s true desire, he rebuffs the unbelievable offer. Then circumstances change and he fears loosing what he thinks he wants the most, he accepts the offer and takes on a deadly assignment that has him traveling to the isolated jungles of India in the company of hunky archeologist Christan Carter, who is intent on achieving his own heart’s desire, as well. Combining Brandon’s police skills with Christan’s knowledge about ancient cultures, the two make an unstoppable pair, but will that winning chemistry carry over into their budding personal relationship and interfere with their quest?

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