Downcast (MM)

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: Scorching
Word Count: 29,978
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[Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Alternative, Gay, MM, HEA]

Guy Partridge isn’t out – but he’s not exactly in either. He’s just sort of there. Between caring for his critically ill father and working at a hardware store, he doesn’t have time for much else. He loves the idea of a boyfriend, but he doesn’t know how to go about it. When his best friend drags him to her amateur dramatics group, he goes, albeit with a closed mind.

Joe Milton is out, well, he’s out of prison, and learning to navigate a new world that was so different a few years ago. Nursing the heartbreak of his late lover, he is forcing himself to get out there. Joe isn’t looking for love or sex, he’s just looking for a bit of normality. The Shakers Amateur Dramatics Society seems a good starting place.

A production Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice throws Guy and Joe together in an unexpected way, but it seems that everyone has debts weighing them down.

Downcast (MM)
0 Ratings (0.0)

Downcast (MM)

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: Scorching
Word Count: 29,978
0 Ratings (0.0)
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Cover Art by Harris Channing



Guy stares at the DVD thrust under his nose by Clara. It doesn’t look much like the type of film he would usually pick up, but then again, he didn’t usually go to an amateur dramatic group, either. Shrugging, he takes the box from her and examines the front cover through squinted eyes. Al Pacino. Guy raises his eyebrows. He loves The Godfather movie. Every now and again, he rewatches it with his dad, a chilled bottle of light beer each and a bowl of spicy corn nuts between them. A smile creeps onto his face. He can’t remember when the last time was that they had a movie night together, but he knows exactly how to fill his evening now. He looks again. Jeremy Irons. Okay, Guy can’t think of any movies with him in that instant, but he knows that he’s a legend of the screen, so any film with him in had to be good, right? Despite the script being written centuries ago.

 ‘It’s my favourite, this one,’ Clara exclaims, clapping her hands together, sending her wooden bangles clattering together like wind chimes.

 She grabs it off him and looks at it through her wide violet eyes.

 ‘Joseph Finnes is just so hot,” she says with a smirk, turning the cover back to Guy.

 He looks again. He sort of recognises the man’s face. He must have seen him in something at some point. Maybe. He’s nice enough looking. The long brown hair suits him, but the other two men on the cover are too old to remind him of anything other than his dad. Clara wafts it at him, puffing his hair back in a flurry of wind. She asks him what he thinks.

 ‘Yeah, he’s alright, I suppose,’ Guy agrees.

 He knows from previous experiences not to disagree with Clara, even on the most minor of details. The spoiled only child of a pair of university lecturers, one at Cambridge, one at Oxford (although Guy never could remember which parent worked where, she is used to getting her own way all of the time, not to mention an easy ride. Sometimes, Guy envies her. Far more than a bestie should envy their best friend. Guy loves his father to the moon and back, but he would do anything to not have to wake up at five in the morning to empty his catheter and make his breakfast and a lunch ready for noon before taking the long, crowded slog to work at the DIY Store. The job pays the bills, but it's mind-numbing. Maybe it’s not for someone who likes to make things or decorate, but to Guy, the enthusiasm for the job died within the first hour of his very first shift. That was five years ago.

 Suddenly, Guy realises Clara is babbling at him. Something about how much he was going to enjoy it and, of course, how much it made sense to watch the film if he was going to audition for a part in the group. He swallows hard, hoping the heat in his cheeks isn’t turning them crimson.

 ‘You are coming back, aren’t you?’ Clara says with a grave tone. ‘Berty said you were great, you know, once you actually pulled that stick out of your arse.’

 Guy rolls his eyes as Clara throws her head back and laughs so hard her belly jiggles. Berty runs the group, and Guy was totally unsurprised upon learning his name that it was just as foppish as his look. He didn’t know it was ironic until Berty opened his mouth, and Phil Mitchell leapt out. Guy had to clasp his hand over his mouth to prevent the bark of laughter escaping each time Berty spoke. Guy tuts, wetting his lips.

‘I don’t know. I didn’t really get on with Shakespeare at school,’ Guy admits, lowering his eyes.

Clara’s jaw drops, creating a perfect black circle in the middle of her face, which seems to be three shades paler. Guy flops onto the sofa in the middle of her front room, avoiding her searing gaze.

‘You know, Romeo and Juliet, thee, thy, thou, though and all that,’ he continues.

Clara holds up her hand.

 ‘No, Romeo and Juliet is shit, I will give you that. But Shakespeare is great, it’s funny, it’s sexy, it’s silly, it’s everything you would like,’ she says.

 Guy shakes his head, trying to disagree, but Clara tumbles on.

 ‘Do you like 10 Things I Hate About You, or She’s The Man?’ she asks, folding her arms across her chest.

 Guy knits his brows but nods, not knowing where on earth she is going with this. Clara’s eyes glitter as though she’s won a competition.

 ‘Well, they’re based on Shakespeare plays. Hell, Lion King is just Hamlet with cats!’ Clara exclaims, flinging her arms above her head.

 The Lion King, of course! Jeremy Irons voiced Scar in The Lion King. Guy smiles despite himself. Maybe this is a sign.




Guy blinks, standing in front of the neat little semi-detached house. London was a strange city. Just two miles down the road, he was sky high in a block the same colour as clay when this nice little house was sitting amongst its siblings with a long green drive, and trees dotted between the haphazardly parked cars.  

 ‘This is your house?’ he asks, looking around.  

The road is busy enough that there is a constant low hum and a few people bustle by, heads immersed in their phones, but it was still somehow peaceful compared to where he lived. 

Joe’s cheeks flush, and he nods. 

‘Yes, well, I rent a room here. The landlady lives here too. She’s very sweet and makes the best meals. In fact, I’ve already gained back the stone I lost at her Majesty’s service.’ 

Guy freezes. Was going to prison something to joke about? He turns to look at Joe whose eyes glimmer in the yellow glow of the flickering streetlamps. He relaxes a little as Joe’s chuckle rumbles through his chest and he places a hand on his forearm. Even through his sleeve, he can feel the warmth of Joe’s palm.  

‘Sorry.’ Joe shakes his head, but his smile still lights up his face. ‘Prison gives you a peculiar sense of humour, I suppose.’ 

Joe’s room is suitably neutral compared to the clash of colours and heavy fabrics in the rest of the house, and Guy almost misses the riot of texture as the door closes behind him.  

 The thought, however, is short-lived as Guy’s body leads him over to Joe. Placing his hands on each side of Joe’s face, he pulls him into a kiss. Hot and needy. He’s already hard, straining against his jeans, and excitement fizzes through him as he cups Joe’s crotch and finds the same. Grinning, his lips still pinned to Joe’s, he begins to massage his swollen cock through the denim, pressing hard, enjoying the groans Joe releases into his mouth.  

 Tops flung to the floor, Guy pushes Joe up against the door, placing kisses down his jawline, savouring the rasp of his stubble over his lips. More kisses down his neck, nipping along his long, smooth collarbone. Joe huffs out a word in his ear, but he’s not sure what it is, only that what he’s doing is right, that he should continue. Joe’s hands are large, the skin rough, but the caresses down his back, over his chest, and across his hips are soft and tender. Each finger leaves a trail of heat in its wake, sending Guy’s head spinning.  

  With a yank, Joe’s trousers and boxers spill to the floor, and his fat cock springs free. Guy swallows, his chest heaving. It’s long and thick, and the shiny head looks like an apple, plump and ready for picking. Joe takes it in his hand, smoothing the skin up and down as Guy pops open the buttons on his jeans and frees himself, hoping he looks sexier than he feels almost stumbling on his boxers. Kicking them to the side, he presses against Joe, the light dusting of chest hair across his pecks tickling his nipples to a hardness. His prick is trapped between them, furiously hot and leaking as their tongues seek each other out.  

 Guy shudders with anticipation, and by the time Joe slips the condom onto his throbbing cock, he’s panting like a marathon runner. Pushed against the cool gloss of the door, he whimpers as Joe spreads his arse cheeks and pokes his hot, wet tongue in there. His legs turn to jelly, and he clings to the frame, his fingers turning white as he wills himself to stay upright as Joe invades him expertly. A long trail of kisses up his spine, and Joe rests his head against his shoulder. 

 ‘Are you ready?’ he whispers, his voice crackling with passion.  

 Guy squeezes his eyes shut and nods as Joe’s fingers undulate inside him, stretching, burning, preparing. Sweat prickles across his back as Joe steps back and smooths his cheeks open again. Biting into his lip, he moans as he feels Joe’s cock against his quivering arse hole. A quick push, and he’s inside. His hands hold Guy’s hips, and he stands for an excruciating minute, allowing Guy to adjust. Just do it. Just fuck me, he wants to scream, but he doesn’t because he knows it’ll all be over too soon as it is. He’s been waiting months for this. 

 His cock twitches as he jerks it hard, matching Joe’s fast pumping. Loud sighs and grunts fill the room, and Joe thumps his hips into Guy and flings his head back with a sigh that could have been a wail had they not had to worry about landladies and neighbours. 

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