I have a new short story coming your way soon, hopefully this Saturday (the 8th of August) if all goes according to plan. All Man is a spin off story from Top me Maybe? and it gives Jules (aka Julian) a happy ending this time. It’s short and sweet, but with a little dash of angst/drama too. I was expecting it to come out as a completely lighthearted read but, as usual, the characters had other ideas. But I can definitely guarantee you a happy ending 🙂
Here are the details:
From the moment Gareth walks through the door of the salon to fit some new sinks, Jules can’t take his eyes off him. Jules has always been attracted to men who are his polar opposite, so burly Gareth is Jules’s fantasy man.
At the weekend, Jules gets into a tough situation with another bloke in a gay club and Gareth comes to his aid. Gareth rejects Jules’s subsequent advances but leaves him with the hope that his attraction isn’t completely one-sided. Fantasy could become reality.
With Gareth’s work at the salon nearly done, he’ll soon disappear from Jules’s life for good. Time is running out. Jules needs to prove to Gareth that he’s tougher than he looks and that his feelings run deeper than gratitude.
I don’t have any buy links yet because I won’t be taking pre-orders on this one, but if you’re interested in reading you can add it on Goodreads.
“Hi.” Jules grinned down at the bloke lying on his back under the basins, taking a moment to admire the very respectable looking bulge in his jeans. “Gareth isn’t it? Fancy another cup of tea?”
Jules knew full well the man’s name was Gareth. It had been imprinted in his memory since Gareth, in all his bear-like glory, had stepped through the front door of the hairdressing salon that morning. He’d introduced himself, and Julian had been smitten on sight.
“Oh, yeah. That’d be great, thanks, Julian.”
“You can call me Jules.” Jules tried not to flutter his eyelashes, but he thought they probably did it without his permission. Big, butch blokes like Gareth always brought out the femme in him—it was how he reacted when he was nervous and excited. The more masculine they were, the more camp he got, even when he tried to tone it down.
Gareth didn’t seem to mind, though.
“Okay, Jules.” He gave Jules another one of his surprisingly sweet smiles before getting back to whatever he was doing with the pipes under the new sink he was installing.
Jules hummed happily to himself as he pottered around the cramped little kitchen in the back of the salon, waiting for the kettle to boil. He lined up four mugs and put in instant coffee for Shelley and Tyler and tea bags for Gareth and himself. He added a sweetener for Shelley—who was on a diet again—one sugar to his mug, and two for Gareth, remembering that was how Gareth took his tea.
Jules had carefully stored away every little detail about Gareth so they’d be there to mull over later. He grinned as a surge of excitement made his heart lift. It was always fun having a crush. Gareth was probably straight so it was bound to be unrequited, but a bit of eye candy made the day so much brighter.
He took Shelley and Tyler their drinks first and then went back for his and Gareth’s so he had the excuse to linger for a moment after delivering it.
“I’ll put it up here on the shelf,” he told Gareth. “Don’t let it get cold.”
Gareth was still on his back under the sinks, rattling around with a spanner or a wrench or something. Jules had no idea. His expertise was more with a different type of tool.
Gareth’s T-shirt had ridden up where his body was twisted, but his face was out of sight, so Jules took the opportunity to blatantly admire his hairy stomach. He was solid, not gym ripped lean, but not chubby either. He was all muscle and man. Jules tilted his head and sighed appreciatively. He really was the perfect bear.
“Jules, stop daydreaming and come sweep up for me, you slacker.” Tyler’s voice was light and teasing.
Jules glared at him, ignoring the flush that swept up his neck to his cheeks. “Yeah, yeah.”
Tyler grinned. He clearly knew exactly what Jules was daydreaming about. But the lucky bastard had Duncan—his own personal bear—at home, so he could sod off. Jules had to take his kicks where he could get them, and if that meant ogling Gareth, then so be it. He’d definitely be starring in Jules’s wank fantasies tonight.
Jules took one last peek at Gareth’s package and wondered what his cock looked like. Shame he’d never get a chance to find out.
Later that afternoon, Jules was sweeping tufts of hair off the floor from Shelley’s last client. Tyler was finishing up a cut and blow dry, and then they’d be done for the day. When he’d finished sweeping, Jules straightened up and yawned.
“You tired, love?” Shelley asked.
“Yeah, I stayed up last night watching Netflix again. Such a wild life I lead.”
“Are you going out tonight?”
“No, I want an early night. I’m going out tomorrow though.” Jules perked up at the thought. He loved his Saturday nights out clubbing. He and his flatmate, Sacha, were going to check out a new gay club that had opened recently and he was looking forward to some dancing and flirting, and maybe a hook up.
Just then, Gareth came over to talk to Shelley.
“I’m done for today. I’ll see you again on Monday to finish the job.”
He was standing close to Jules, and as he spoke, he lifted his arm to mop his brow. Jules caught the warm musky scent of his sweat. He even smelled good. It was so unfair. There must be something unappealing about him. Maybe he had really gross feet or something.
“Okay, Gareth. Thanks. Have a good weekend,” Shelley was saying.
Jules had zoned out staring at Gareth, desperately trying to find a flaw that would make this Adonis more human. At easily over six feet tall, he towered over Jules who was five foot eight-and-a-half (the half was very important). Gareth’s skin was tanned and his body was a solid bulk of muscle with just the right amount of padding. Jules bet he’d be awesome to cuddle. His hair was dark and cut close to his scalp. Jules guessed maybe it was because he was thinning a bit—he must be at least thirty—but that did nothing to make him less attractive to Jules. He loved a buzz cut, especially when teamed with all that glorious dark stubble.
Jules suddenly realised Gareth was talking to him. “Bye, Jules,” he was saying with a smile.
“Bye.” Jules ran a self-conscious hand through his own light brown hair where it grew long on top. He grinned, trying not to flirt too outrageously. It made most straight guys uncomfortable. “See you Monday.”
When Gareth turned to leave, Jules noticed a darker patch on the back of his head where the hair was a little longer than the rest of it. The words were out of his mouth before he had time to change his mind.
“Oh, Gareth. You must have missed a patch when you trimmed your hair last—I assume you do it yourself? Those bits at the back are always hard to get.”
Gareth stopped and turned, instinctively lifting his hand to his head, feeling for what Jules was referring to. A dark thatch of armpit hair was visible poking out of the sleeve of his T-shirt and Jules wanted to bury his nose in it and sniff like a dog. “Yeah,” Gareth said. “I do it with my beard trimmer. I use two mirrors to try and make sure I’ve got it all… but sometimes I mess up.”
“Want me to get it for you now?” Jules offered. “It won’t take a second.” The mere thought of getting to touch Gareth made his cock tingle. He willed it to behave. The skin-tight black jeans he wore for work wouldn’t do a good job of hiding it if it stood to attention.
“Are you sure? I don’t want to hold you up from anything else you should be doing.”
“It’s fine. You don’t mind, do you Shelley?”
“Not at all, love. Be my guest.” There was a glint of knowing amusement in Shelley’s eyes, but her voice was carefully neutral. Jules smiled gratefully.
“Take a seat over here then, and I’ll go and get a gown and the clippers.” Jules gestured to one of the black leather chairs.