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Recently I've received some email requests for excerpts of my older work. Thus is born "Excerpt Thursdays" where I will highlight excerpts from my backlist.

This short story in particular was a joy to write. The emotions in the opening scene left me feeling very raw after writing it. And I couldn't help but adore Bruce/Brian/Bryce and his masterful way of handling Joel!

Enjoy.


Business Before Pleasure – Available from Dreamspinner Press.

Buy Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=55_128&products_id=1082

4 Nymph Review from Fallen Angels here: http://www.fallenangelreviews.com/2008/October/Whitney-BusinessBeforePleasure.htm

Summary: Joel had worked with Bruce/Brian/Bryce for months and never given the other man a second thought - heck, he couldn't even keep his name straight! When a scheming co-worker tries to steal credit for one of Joel's ideas, a surprising offer of help opens his eyes to a way to keep more than just their customer satisfied. Rated a *Wet Dream*

***

Joel sat on the hard barstool and looked at the shot on the bar before him. Was he really going to pound another one? He glanced up and caught sight of his eyes in the wall of mirrors behind the bar. Eyes filled with shame, fear and self-loathing.

You bet he was.

He picked up the glass and closed his eyes against his reflection, swallowing down the bile that was already filling his throat and ignoring the churning in his stomach. He could do this. Just like he had done the others over the course of the last few hours.

Every time he realized he could still remember what had happened during the meeting today it was time for another shot. Joel tilted his head back and prepared to send the burning liquor down his throat.

“You don’t want to do that.”

The glass was plucked out of his head. Joel opened his eyes and stared blearily into the face of the man that had slid onto the bar stool beside him. Without his carefully cultivated filter of polite and professional behavior Joel let himself look his fill.

The newcomer was attractive. Blond, not as young as Joel first thought but youthful looking with a hank or two of hair that kept falling over rather chiseled cheekbones. Joel couldn’t focus enough to see what color the eyes were but that mouth, baby, that mouth was made for sin.

Joel leered drunkenly. He had heard that phrase once, long ago and it had stuck with him without him really knowing why. Now he had finally seen for himself just what it meant. Full lips. Ripe lips.

Lips that were meant to take his cock and like it.

Goddamn, but the man was fine. Maybe there was another way to forget about the whole mess. Joel hadn’t gotten a chance to check out his ass but it didn’t matter. “Shit, with a mouth like that it doesn’t matter what the ass looks like.”

“Thanks. You have no idea how much that means coming from a drunken mess like you.” The tone was tart and somehow, kinda familiar.

“Oops.” Joel chuckled drunkenly. “Did I say that out loud?”

“You sure did.” There was a firm hand under Joel’s arm now. “Come on, let’s get going.”

“What about my drink?” Joel asked. The guy was hot for him, no doubt. But he had paid for a few more shots and he was determined to drink them all and forget the day’s fiasco.

“You’ve had enough to drink, Joel. Let’s go.”

“Hell, no.” Joel tried to pull away. “I can still think. If I can still think then I’m not drunk enough.”

“Fine.” Blondie looked around for a minute and then back at him with determination. Joel knew he had seen this guy before, but where? “How about I get us a bottle and we take it with us?”

“Where we going?” In Joel’s mind he leaned suavely over and brushed his lips teasingly over Blondie’s jaw. In reality he almost lost his balance as he leaned into the other man and sloppily licked his cheek.

“Eeew.” Blondie shuddered as he wiped at his face. “You so need a breath mint.”

Joel swayed and then swallowed heavily, his newly ripened lust replaced by a sudden wash of green that swept from his toes up to his head. “I don’t feel so good.”

“Great.” A surprisingly strong arm snaked around his waist and Joel found himself led out of the bar. “Just try not to puke on me.”

“nggggghh.” Joel wasn’t sure what the noise coming out of his mouth meant or what he meant to say. But it didn’t matter when there was an obliging chest to lean on as he was dragged toward the elevators. And the chest smelled rather good as well. Earthy. Kinda musky. Male. Suddenly any incipient nausea was replaced with a surge of desire as Joel rubbed his cheek against the soft cotton of the t-shirt.

It had been quite a while since he had been up close with anything other than a business casual wearing kind of man. Not that Joel didn’t go for that sort of thing – they just hadn’t seemed to come his way during his pursuit of career and status.

A blue-collar blue jean kind of man was something else Joel had left behind along with his common sense when he had decided to try and play the corporate game. Joel let his arm drop down to the snug pocket, clumsily patting the firm ass - and blue jeans.

Tight blue jeans.

Things were starting to look up. Visions of hard, fast, sweaty and deliciously pounding sex filled Joel’s mind. Just like the old days. Nothing refined. No please and thank you. Nothing but sex and the forgetfulness to be found in a tight ass. Joel leaned back to get a better glimpse of his new found friend.

“Are you sure I don’t know you?” He asked again. There was something about that blond hair…

“For God’s sake, Joel. Of course you know me. It’s Bryce.” The elevator chimed as the doors opened and Joel was bundled through the door and into the hallway. The patterned carpet seemed to move beneath his feet as they walked. “We’ve only worked together for who knows how long – not that you’ve ever given me the time of day.”

“Bryce?” Joel took another appreciative sniff as they stopped in front of a door. There was nothing like a good whiff of sweaty male. “Bruce/Brian/Bryce? Really? It doesn’t smell like you…and it doesn’t sound like you.” His hand sought out that firm ass again and gave a squeeze. “It sure doesn’t feel like you.”

“Where’s your keycard?” Large hands moved roughly over Joel’s frame, pausing at his pants pocket before diving inside and fumbling around.

“Careful.” Joel giggled. “You’ll wake the tiger.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Bryce groaned. “Come here.” Joel was dragged into the room and propped up on the wall before the bathroom. He hadn’t been manhandled like this quite a while. He had forgotten how much he liked it.

“Are we gonna fuck?” Joel looked hopefully around the small hotel room and stumbled towards the bed. “Did you bring the booze?”

The sound of the shower spray being turned on was his only response. “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” Joel turned away from the bed, the noise distracting him from his confusion over where he had put the key to the mini bar.

“Glad you think that way.” Bruce/Brian/Bryce – nope, Bryce it was – had come out of the bathroom.

“Bryce.” Joel beamed as he reached out and ran his hand down the other man’s chest to the heavy bulge at the front of those tight jeans, letting his fingers linger over the solid mass. It felt amazing cradled in his hand, heavy and solid. Joel wanted this. No games. No holding back. “I didn’t know.”

Joel didn’t know exactly what it was he didn’t know. Whether it was that Bryce had been interested in him or that Bryce had been carrying a package like that around in his business khakis.

“C’mon stud.”

Joel nodded as he was taken into the bathroom. Bryce was definitely hot for him. Now that he thought about it those soft eyes had always followed him around. He looked up and felt a momentary soberness – those eyes didn’t look very soft right now.

“In you go.” The glass door to the shower opened up and before Joel could protest he was shoved inside under the cold spray.

***