Shy Avery is country music’s favorite underdog. Slight and slim, with bottomless brown eyes and a limp from an old rodeo accident, the troubled country singer has been making hit records since he won a talent contest at the tender age of fifteen. But Shy’s fondness for sexy young cowboys while on tour threatens to derail his successful career. That is, until a powerful PR firm assigns Colin Chambers—a handsome young intern—to straighten up his act. Will Colin be Shy's salvation, or his downfall?
“You look familiar,” said the young cowpoke, smoke from the ashtray swirling between their huddled faces. “Are you some kind of famous or something?”
He had apple cheeks and a soft, farm fed appeal that had Shy’s hormones on overdrive, and his jeans tighter than ever—particularly in the zipper region. They’d locked eyes across the crowded bar the minute Shy sat down and had been flirting, from a distance, ever since. Now that the crowd had died down and closing time was drawing near, they’d finally nestled closer together to close the deal.
Shy Avery tucked his ball cap down even lower over his face to hide his famous features and drawled, “I bet you say that to all the boys at closing time.”
The kid blushed. They were clustered at the end of the bar now, knees gently touching as they sipped the last of their pitcher of beer. “Naw,” the kid slurred, scratching his forehead as he gave Shy a good study. “I know I know you from someplace.”
“Let’s not worry about someplace.” Shy waved a twenty at the bartender to settle the bill. “Let’s worry about this place. Better yet, let’s worry about my place.”
The kid stiffened, slightly. It was always like this, Shy thought. Small country towns made it hard on fellas who’d rather rustle other boys than cows. Shy ought to have known; he grew up in one, and country music was a lot like a small town that way—do what you need to do in the shadows, just show up for work without your boy toy on Monday morning.
Shy silenced him with a warm hand on his thigh. The boy looked down and smiled, nervously, before their eyes met once more.
“Listen,” said Shy. He leaned close, but not close enough to draw attention to them. “I’m right across the street at the Dew Drop Inn. Room seven. I’ll leave first. No muss, no fuss. You take your time and finish your beer, and I’ll leave the light on for you, okay?”
The kid looked around—high cheeks blushing, eyes curious and hopeful as he scanned the bar for watchful eyes. Shy followed his glance, noting only an old couple sleeping it off in a back booth and a young couple dirty dancing by the jukebox, their backs to Shy and his new friend, their eyes glassy and hopeful about finding love in all the wrong places.
“I guess I could pop by for a nightcap,” the kid joked. “No harm in that right?”
“Good idea.” Shy waved the bartender over with a fifty-dollar bill. “A bottle to go, please sir.”
“You know I can’t do that,” growled the old coot. He licked his lips at the crisp fifty.
“You sure?” Shy offered him another, higher denomination.
The old salt sighed, winked, and said, “Well, why didn’t you say so then?” In moments, he returned with a pint bottle of whiskey wrapped in a paper bag.
Shy winked back and slid it in the side pocket of his denim jacket before tumbling, unsteadily, off his barstool.
As the bartender shuffled off to stash his newfound bonus, Shy leaned in to whisper in his friend’s ear. “See you soon, cowboy.”
The boy turned so their eyes met. His were soft and blue, a perfect complement to his fine, blond hair. “I’m not a cowboy,” he said, their lips so close to one another’s if either had inched just a hair’s breath closer, they would have brushed together with a fine, electric spark. “But I’ll be one, if that’s what you’re looking for tonight.”
Shy nearly came at the breathy confession but, instead, winked and leaned closer to his ear. “Room seven, cowboy. Don’t forget…”
The kid chuckled, nodded and bent back over his beer. Shy tugged his cap down and limped across the hardwood floor, his cowboy boots kicking up sawdust with every wobbly step. The spring breeze was sweet on his face as he stood in the deserted parking lot, staring across a deserted street to the mostly empty parking lot of his fleabag hotel.
The neon sign flickered high above as he clomped past the tour bus parked catty-corner in the back. The roadies would be sleeping it off already, saving their energy for their big day setting up for Shy’s performance at some damn county fair—or whatever the hell he was in town for. All Shy knew was that he didn’t take the stage until after 6 PM the next evening and that gave him a whole hell of a lot of time with the new friend he’d just made back in the bar.
He sighed and shoved his key in the door, stumbling into his stale, simple room, and shedding clothes as he went. By the time he crawled into bed to await his new lover, Shy was wearing just his ball cap and a pair of thin, saggy blue boxer shorts hidden beneath the crisp white sheets.
He propped himself up with a few pillows resting against the headboard and opened the bottle of whiskey between his legs. He loved the crinkle of the brown paper bag in his hands, the hot, acrid taste of the whiskey on his lips and the slow, wet burn in his belly.
Shy never felt better than at moments like these. His belly taut and quivering, his cock thickening with anticipation, his smile widening at the thought of fresh, new meat walking into his hotel room to while away the long, lonely night in the damp, twisted sheets of his bed.