General Release for “A Matter of Priorities”

Beginning Tuesday, August 29th “A Matter of Priorities” will be available from all your usual places including Pride Publishing and Amazon.

About A Matter of Priorities:

After being disowned by his family, Cooper judged his self-worth by his latest hook-up. But circumstances change as he learns about true love.

Cooper Dias is a better-than-average college student with a major in architecture and a love of dogs. But while he plays the role of campus playboy, he believes no one would care enough to worry about him—except his best friend Liam. His expectations are simple—searching for the latest hook-up. His newest obsession is his professor, Lucas Nyman, who has asked Cooper to work as part of the team for an out-of-class project, which he eagerly accepts.

At a celebratory evening at Professor Nyman’s home, Cooper is invited to fulfill his latest fantasy—a ménage à trois with the professor and his husband. But the fun turns into something much weightier when pillow talk turns into friendly advice from the pair whose bed Cooper has shared. After a close call that leaves Cooper shaken and a confession from Liam, Cooper begins to realize that life is not as he thought.

Double Trouble: Chapter 113

Wednesday Briefs

The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.

Chapter 113

Danny eased into the parking lot for the high school gymnasium. He turned off the engine but then sat without speaking. As he remained frozen, Rob glanced around them.

“Are we going in? My folks weren’t too sure how they felt about me taking you to the prom. But they’ll be pissed if the money for a tux and stuff was wasted.”

Danny grinned at Rob before leaning over to plant a kiss on his cheek. “Sorry, I was getting all mushy about finishing high school. I guess I’m being sentimental.”

Rob straightened the flower on Danny’s lapel then gave him a peck on the lips in return. “Tonight will be fun. Everyone knows us and we’ve been going together. It’s not like it’ll surprise anyone we’re with each other.”

Danny let out a long sigh before laying his arm across Rob’s shoulders. “You’re right. It’s the end of high school jitters. I might have put too much weight about it being prom and the stuff that goes with it. Now it’s here and I’m all twisted up about it. Damn.”

Rob spun around and grabbed Danny’s wrists. “Come on. Let’s see what’s going on.”

Danny rolled his eyes but smiled as he let Rob lead him into the gymnasium. They’d decorated the cavernous room in the tradition all small rural high schools. But he knew he would remember the experience for the rest of his life. Actually he had no idea if he’d recall much about tonight or not, but every adult he’d talked to for the past month said he would. Josh seemed to be on the verge of tears each time he saw either him or Samantha.

Trent became the only voice he trusted. His only advice to Danny had been don’t get anyone pregnant and to call him if he needed a ride home. Danny thought it had been a funny crack, but he’d given him nothing more than an eye roll. He realized Rob had pulled him into the gym. They stood at the edge of the boisterous crowd and took it all in. He saw several friends who smiled and waved.

But there were also people with scowls plastered across their faces. They were the same assholes that complained to the school board about same sex couples at the prom. But the screaming shit fit it generated had enough backlash that the vote to allow gay couples was unanimous. It was good they did, otherwise everyone in his family would be upset.

Samantha and Levi appeared at their side and for once he was glad for the advice he could tell she was about to share. I might not always agree with my sister, but she covers my back. I’m sure this was no different.

She caught Danny’s eyes and cocked her head. “You look good. You ready to show these city slickers how to do it?”

He met Samantha’s gaze and motioned her ahead of him onto the now vacant dance floor. They’d takes but a few steps when a boo drifted through the space. Danny spotted the hate filled person it had came from and moved toward the offender. But then an iron grip manifested on his shoulder. He turned in time for Samantha to step in front of me.

She locked eyes with the source of the outrage. In an unblinking glare, she dominated the encounter. In less than a minute, he dropped his gaze to the floor. Samantha studied the room, challenging any others. When none was forthcoming, she moved back to Levi’s side and grinned at Danny.

“I’m ready to dance!”

The links listed below go directly to the individual stories.

Double Trouble: Chapter 112

Wednesday Briefs

The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.

Chapter 112

Danny stood in front of the mirror, shifting first one way and then another. His boots had a polish that reflected light across their black surface. He’d spent the better part of an hour cleaning them until they looked new, coating them with ebony polish then working until the final results pleased him. He had put almost as much effort into the jeans he wore. This time Trent rescued him and offered to have Danny’s Wranglers starched. As a result, his jeans were stiff as a board and a professional crease ran down the length of his leg.

Now the search for the appropriate shirt and jacket had begun. He fought with not wanting to create the vampire, goth, or cowboy. All black wasn’t the combination he wanted. He flipped through his starched shirts until he stopped at a solid white one.

Maybe this will work.

He took the hanger off, slipped the shirt on and buttoned it. He focused on the mirror again and turned from side to side. After a short time, he concluded that the black and white reminded him of a waiter. Not what he wanted tonight. He sighed and hung the shirt up again. He knew better than to end up with a pile of pressed clothes getting messed up in the floor. His family made a healthy contribution to the local dry cleaner, but his dad’s would be so pissed off if he didn’t take care of them.

“Try something that has an actual color. Almost no one can wear head to toe black and not be the vampire in the room.”

He glanced to find Trent leaning against the door and grinning at him. Danny sighed and rolled his eyes. “Come help me then.” Trent cocked an eyebrow. “Please.”

Trent pushed himself from the doorframe and ambled to Danny’s closet. After flipping through his impressive collection before selecting a few of them and tossed them onto the bed. He motioned to Danny and nodded at the clothing. “Try them on. I think any of them would work, but let’s see how they work out.”

Danny picked up the first shirt, one in shades of coral and white and glared at Trent. “Are you kidding me? Everyone would think I’m a fucking rodeo clown. There’s no way I’ll wear this. It’s like Halloween colors or some shit like that.”

“Watch your mouth and try it on. Let’s see how it looks.”

Danny tugged on the shirt Trent had chosen to discover it wasn’t as horrible as he’d first thought. It surprised him how much he liked the combination. He turned to admire the match before looking to Trent to give him a grudging compliment. “It’s better than I thought it would be.”

Trent chuckled and shook his head. “Don’t act like you’re shitting gravel to tell me I can put together an outfit. I have been to a club occasionally.”

Danny rolled his eyes but kept his comments to himself. He wouldn’t admit his dad might be right. Otherwise the possibility was too high he would go in a powder blue tux. Which wouldn’t happen. So he tried on the other two shirts. The coral colored one didn’t win out but it was close. He chose a wine red top he agreed looked best with the rest of the outfit.

He turned a few times in the mirror and fussed with his hair. He saw Trent grinning at him. “What?”

“You’re fine, and Rob is waiting.”

“Well crap! Why didn’t you tell me?” Danny said. He shot out of his room to spot Rob all but pacing in front of the whole family. Samantha and Levi were cuddling in one of the huge chairs, and Danny froze. Samantha and Levi were both wearing their corsages. His panic grew when he realized Rob was holding a clear box with dark flowers. Damn! I forgot.

In his panic his mind was gibbering as Rob pinned the arrangement to him. He wasn’t sure how he would recover this time. After a few thumps of his racing heart, he realized Josh stood at his side and held out a white corsage that was the perfect match for what Rob wore.

The parents and grand parents insisted on taking pictures of every conceivable combination before letting them escape. Once he and Rob made it to the pickup, they exchanged smiles.

“Hurtle number one over,” Danny said.

Rob moved closer and kissed Danny’s cheek. “It’ll be a fantastic prom.”

The links listed below go directly to the individual stories.

“A Matter of Priorities” early download

A Matter of Priorities is available for early download from Pride Publishing.

A little preview.

I breathed a sigh of relief. I’d gotten a few minutes of much-needed rest when my design class was dismissed early, giving me the time to get an iced coffee and relax. In the past few months the area around the coffee shop had been converted into a collection of overstuffed chairs, low tables and glass-walled meeting rooms with the idea of serving the changing expectations of contemporary college students. But it also meant it was an area bustling with activity, and it took a few minutes to find a cozy chair nestled into one dim corner. The semi-private corner was perfect for my current favorite hobby—checking out hot men.

As I sipped at the coffee, I started studying the local scenery. After a minute or so I was disappointed by what I was finding—saggy-ass guys, some with no butts and even less with any indication of the size of the package they were carrying. My cup was half emptied when the prospects took a definite turn for the better. Not a typical college student, this hunk was sporting a tapered shirt that showed off a perfectly framed, round, muscular butt. At least he hit all the check boxes on my hot-guy list.

He stepped into the omnipresent line at the shop and I got a good look at the man who was rapidly becoming my lust of the day. But the biggest surprise came when he turned to the side. It appeared as though someone had stuck half a melon in the front of what would have already been decent jack-off material. When he shifted his weight, it seemed like something alive was moving in his pants.

Fuck! What’s he packing?

The draw to the guy’s junk was like the call of a doughnut topped with bacon after spending the weekend with some vegan friends. Images of cock flashed through my head. My porn collection was extensive, but not many men packed enough meat for their dick to crawl down their thigh.

I watched for several minutes until the guy with a python in his pants disappeared down the other side of the hallway. I ran my tongue over my lips and realized two things. First, I had finished my drink and class would be starting soon. Second—and more of a problem to me—I now sported a pretty good woody myself and wasn’t sure how to mask my excitement. Time to wrap this up. I don’t need to be late.

Holding my bag in front of me, I darted into the packed hallway with the hope no one would notice. A minute later I walked into the classroom and headed for my spot. It was funny. The professor didn’t assign seats but everyone acted like he had. When someone sat in a different place, it screwed everyone up. Most people are such followers.

I dropped into my chair, tossing my bag between my feet. I unzipped it, dug around then pulled out my notebook. I clicked my pen, ready for the avalanche of notes Dr. Nyman always seemed to generate. But my goal today was to not daydream about those packed jeans. You’d think I could keep from drooling over his well-muscled ass. About that time, Liam, my roommate and best bud, landed in the seat beside me. He grinned, tucked his hair behind one ear and pulled out his notes. Liam’s bright smile glowed when he turned toward me.

“Hey, Coop. How’s it hanging?”

“Long and to the left. And you?”

“Hard and down the center, like always.”

“Excellent to hear, Liam.”

Before we could continue our banter, a snort came from behind us and I glanced back to see Morgan, the conscience of our trio, rolling her eyes.

“What? Something twist your panties?” I asked.

“Only that we’re sophomores in college and you two are still doing the same junior high crap.”

Liam smirked. “It’s a guy thing. You’re just pissy because what’s-his-name dumped you.”

Morgan puckered her lips until they looked like a hummingbird’s butthole. “I ditched Keith, not the other way around. And if you want to piss me off—”

The chatter in the room died. I glanced back to find Dr. Nyman moving to the lectern. The students rushed to get ready, which silenced my two friends.

“Afternoon, everyone.” He smiled and I swear he winked at me. “Glad to see you could sober up enough to make it.” There was a soft ripple of laughter. Most of the students liked Dr. Nyman and I wasn’t the only one with a huge crush on him. My thoughts drifted, but then I realized he was still talking.

“Everyone picked a good day to come to class. I’m going over the roofing information you’ll need for this afternoon’s lab.”

From that point on, the information bombardment was continuous. I focused on class instead of how Dr. Nyman looked. My attention remained riveted on the lecture until almost the end of the period. I let my thoughts drift back to the recent scene at the coffee shop and superimposed it on my professor. By the time the final instructions had been distributed I was hard as a rock, and for the second time, there was no way I could stand without it being obvious my mind hadn’t been on the lecture.

Stalling, I searched through my bag while I fought to think about anything other than the hot man who taught this class, but I couldn’t seem to get him off my mind. All I could think about was making out with Dr. Nyman.

Stop it. This is not helping. I’m even harder now.

I heard footsteps coming closer. I was one of the few people left in the classroom with the professor I lusted after. I didn’t dare glance up. But the steps halted and I did the forbidden—lost myself in Nyman’s sky-blue eyes.

“You okay, Cooper? Anything I can help you with?”

My macho posturing disappeared in a gnat fart and my only goal was to keep from embarrassing myself. In an unconvincing tone I said, “Nah, my shit just moved around.”

He reached out, squeezed my shoulder and the sensation seemed anything but platonic. I might not have been an unbiased judge after all of the day’s events, though. A second or two that felt like hours passed before he lifted his hand. But as he began to move away, he gave me another squeeze. My thoughts were fuzzy as I stared into his eyes. He winked at me again. This time I was certain. Did I miss this whole winking thing before?

Dr. Nyman shifted the class materials in his arms before climbing a few steps. He turned back. “We’re covering a lot during lab. Make sure you review everything I introduced this morning. You never can tell what I might ask.”

With that, he took the steps two at a time and disappeared through the exit. Before the door could click shut, the next class began filling the seats. Still rock hard, I stood, holding my book bag against my bulging crotch and realized Liam was waiting for me as I worked my way through the incoming crowd. Once I’d gotten out of the room, I thought about ways to spend the break before my next class and smiled. Our apartment was nearby and I had just the solution.

I leaned in close to Liam so I wouldn’t be overheard. “Hey, I’m horny as hell. We’ve got time before lab to blow off some steam. What do you think?”

Liam gave me a grin that stretched across his face. “I’ll race you.”