“This is really stupid, Jace.”
“It’s just a bar, Liam. They can’t keep us out.”
“You think not?” Liam laughed nervously as he looked toward the car, wishing he could convince his friends to get back in it and drive away. “We’re in redneck hell, Jace. Not only can they keep us out, they can tar and feather us.” Liam glanced behind him at his friend Bay. “That is what they do in these backwater towns, isn’t it? Tar and feather people?”
He knew it was something that hurt.
Bay snorted. “Normal people, maybe. Queers like us?” Bay had a very serious expression on his face as he shook his head. “They string us up, and like, throw lawn darts at us or something.”
Liam gulped. Lawn darts?
“Oh please.” Jace waved his manicured hand dismissively. “This is a public place. We have as much right to be here as anyone else.”
“Honey, I hate to break this to you but we’re not anyone else.” A burst of laughter fell from Bay’s lips. “We’re loud, flaming, flamboyant queens.” Bay pointed. “Hell, the eyeliner on Rue’s face alone could get our asses kicked.”
Liam bit his lip to keep from laughing. He clutched his little sequined purse in his hand and tried to look like he wasn’t shaking in his boots. He would be much more comfortable if they all just went home. This place gave him the skivvies and they hadn’t even gotten inside yet.
“Jace, honey, if someone looked up gay in the dictionary,” Bay said, “they’d find a picture of us.”
“We’re not that bad,” Jace insisted.
Yes, we are! Liam nodded.
“Jace, what color is my shirt?” Bay asked as he plucked at the silky material with his fingers.
Jace’s brows drew together. “Azure blue, why?”
“And Liam’s?” Bay continued.
Liam glanced down at his greenish-yellow shirt. He liked it. He had to go to three different stores just to find the right color to match the outfit he had been planning at the time. It was a great shirt.
“Uh-huh,” Bay said, “and what type of piercing does Rue have?”
Jace glanced back at Rue, grinning. “Guiche.”
“Honey, face it, we’re gay!”
Liam laughed at the blush creeping up Rue’s face again. Bay was probably right. Rue did wear a lot of eyeliner. Still, they had as much right as anyone else to be in this bar, even if they were clearly gay.
And, unless someone was blind and deaf, they were all clearly gay.
“Okay, so we’re gay. So what? That doesn’t mean we don’t have as much right to be here as anyone else.” Jace grabbed the door handle to the bar. “Besides, maybe we can teach those hicks a things or two about fashion and makeup.”
Liam wasn’t sure the hicks cared. He didn’t think fashion and makeup were things hicks even thought about. But what did he know? He was city-born and bred.
Jace was laughing as he opened the bar door and took a step inside then suddenly stopped. Bay, Liam, and Rue plowed into him from behind as Jace’s laughter slowly died away. Liam buried his head in Bay’s back. He was terrified of what he would see if he looked up.
Liam looked up.
Sure enough, they were fucked!
There was nothing but a sea of rough, muscle-bound, jean-clad, cowboy-boot-wearing, beer-drinking rednecks. They were everywhere, as far as the eye could see. Most, if not all of them, had beers in their hands. A few men sat in booths around the room. Several were playing pool. There were even a few that seemed to be just hanging out at the bar counter. Loud country music could be heard…well, everywhere.
It was really loud.
The place basically looked like every backwoods bar that Liam had ever envisioned… pool tables, beer and peanuts, country music, and rednecks. And Liam couldn’t see a gay man in the bunch.
“Come on in, boys.” Jace laughed, but it was a nervous laugh. “There’s eye candy as far as the mascara-wearing eye can see.”
We’re going to die!
He scooted close to the big man, tilting his head back to look up at Yuri. “You said you cuddled?” It was sort of a question and sort of a reminder that Yuri said he cuddled.
Well, truthfully, Liam liked to cuddle. He hadn’t found too many people in his time that liked it. Jace, Bay, and Rue would cuddle with him every once in awhile when he really needed it. He tried not to need it too often because he didn’t like coming off as…well… needy.
“I do cuddle, Liam.” Yuri seemed to serious, not a sign of a smile anywhere. “I’ve just never had anyone that wanted to cuddle with me for very long.” Yuri waved his hand down his massive muscular body. “Most people are scared of me.”
Liam’s eyes rounded. “I’m not.”
His heart stuttered in his chest when the corners of Yuri’s eyes crinkled as the man smiled. Yuri’s big beautiful green eyes smiled when he did.
Liam liked that.
He turned and climbed onto his knees, kneeling next to Yuri on the swing as he reached out and touched the small little crow’s feet wrinkles around his eyes. “I like these.”
Yuri’s eyebrows rose up his forehead. “You like my wrinkles?”
“Those aren’t wrinkles.” Liam started to smile, the weightless feeling in his chest making him feel like he could float. “Those are laugh lines. You like to laugh.”
Yuri’s mouth curved up with tenderness. “I love to laugh.”
“Me, too.” Liam’s smile widened when Yuri’s arms moved around him, picking him up and settling him against the man’s broad chest. Liam laid his head down on Yuri’s shoulder, resting his hand on the soft skin above his shirt. “We should make it a practice to laugh as often as we can.”
Yuri’s soft chuckled filled his ears. The warmth of his smile echoed in his words. “I’d like that, Liam. I’d like that very much.”
Satisfied that he had gotten what he wanted without having to sound too needy, Liam closed his eyes and listened to Yuri’s heartbeat as they swayed in the swing. After a little while, he felt Yuri move, covering him with the soft cotton blanket he had brought out with him.
Liam was pretty sure he had never felt anything so wonderful as swinging on the porch with Yuri until he felt the man’s large hands slide under the hem of his shirt and start stroking his skin.
“Yuri,” he groaned.
The hands instantly stopped moving. “Do you want me to stop?”
Liam opened his eyes and peered up into Yuri’s serious face. “No, but thank you for asking. No one ever has before.”
Yuri’s smile faded a little as he looked down at Liam. “I’ll always ask, Liam. You’re too precious to be taken for granted.”
Liam swallowed hard. When was the last time someone had thought him precious? Had anyone ever thought it?
Liam knew his parents never had. They seemed to hate him from his very first breath. Getting kicked out the day he turned eighteen was the nicest thing they ever did for him. They hadn’t even known he was gay. They probably would have killed him if they had.
“I like you touching me.”
Yuri’s eyes crinkled again. “Yeah?”
Liam’s breathing hitched when Yuri’s hand continued to slide under his shirt, moving up to flick his nipple.
“Ye–yeah.” Liam turned and arched, pressing his chest into Yuri’s hand. “Li–like it a lot.”
Hell, he loved it. The calluses on Yuri’s skin created an added sensation when it rubbed against Liam’s. He sucked in his lower lip and moaned when one of his nipples was plucked between Yuri’s thumb and finger, pulled and tugged. If he didn’t know better, he’d think there was an invisible line between his nipples and his cock. Each tug made his cock pulse with need.
“Yuri,” he breathed.
“That is such a wonderful sound, Liam,” Yuri whispered against the top of Liam’s head. “So needy.” Yuri’s fingers moved to tug and squeeze the other nipple. “Are you needy, Liam?”
“Yesss,” Liam hissed as he arched again. He never suspected that his nipples could be so sensitive. Of course, that might have been because no one had really ever taken the time to play with them before.
“I’d really like to taste these, Liam,” Yuri said as he rolled one of Liam’s nipples between his fingers. “Why don’t you take off your shirt and come up here where I can taste them?”
Liam blinked for a moment, trying to understand exactly what Yuri wanted. He was having a hard time processing anything that required brain power.
“Do you need help?”
Yuri chuckled as he drew Liam up into a sitting position. Liam grabbed onto Yuri’s shoulders when he was lifted and swung around to straddle the large man’s legs, and he had to seriously spread his legs to get them over the man’s thick thighs.
“Arms up, baby.”
Liam lifted his arms into the air. A moment later, his shirt was pulled up and over his head. As Yuri tossed the shirt aside, his eyes moved to the twin brown disks on Liam’s chest. “So pretty, baby.”
Liam glanced down, concerned about Yuri’s sanity. He was skinny, pale, and barely had any muscle definition at all. He wasn’t pretty.
When Yuri leaned forward and licked at one of his nipples, Liam forgot to be worried about how he looked and just felt. His fingers dug into Yuri’s shoulders as he hung on as his entire body buzzed.
Yuri used his tongue to circle Liam’s nipple, going around and around before moving across the taut little bud. Liam could barely breathe, his entire world centered on what Yuri was doing to him.
When Yuri’s teeth nipped at his nipple, Liam head dropped back on his shoulders as he arched and pushed into Yuri. The small bite was just enough to put Liam on edge. When Yuri’s hands slid down the back of his jeans and squeezed his ass cheeks, the last bit of control Liam had disintegrated.