[Siren Sensations ManLove: Alternative Consensual BDSM Contemporary Romance, MM, bondage, sex toys, spanking, HEA]
Hank never expected to be a single dad to his young niece, JJ, but he’ll do anything to keep her safe. Finally able to move back to Sarasota, he quickly reconnects with his old best friend, Maddox. Dox always had his back in high school, and he never had a better friend.
Maddox secretly crushed on Hank. Except they haven’t seen each other since high school, and he never confessed to Hank that he was bi. Maddox is also a Dom, but the last thing he wants to do is alienate his best friend now that Hank’s back in his life.
When Hank’s world literally caves in, nearly taking him and JJ with it, Maddox steps in and takes over, moving them in with him. And when the hits to Hank’s world keep coming, nearly crushing him by threatening JJ’s life, Maddox proposes a marriage of…convenience. But can he convince Hank it means far more to him than that?
Tymber Dalton is a Siren-exclusive author.
After the munch, Maddox sat in the restaurant’s parking lot and studied his phone. He had the Facebook app open again and scrolled through Hank’s profile.
Damn, you’ve aged well, buddy.
Hank hadn’t only been his best friend—he’d been Maddox’s secret crush. Maddox’s biggest regret was never telling the man how he felt.
Then again, Hank was straight, had dated girls. Maddox had never come out as bi in high school, never dated any guys back then. That hadn’t happened until he was in college and felt more comfortable in his own skin.
He hadn’t seen Hank since the man’s family moved out of state not long after he and Hank graduated from high school. He was nearly two years older than Hank, but they’d been in the same grade in school.
As the start of a really baaad idea blossomed in Maddox’s brain, he struggled not to go through with it.
I could just send him a message, right? What harm is there in that?
Except the man was obviously a father now. Probably married or involved or something.
Wasn’t that the bad kind of emotional masochism to engage in? Not only bad, but fruitless and prodigiously stupid. Not that he was a masochist in the first place—he was definitely a sadist.
Except he’d been an emotional masochist throughout junior high and high school without even realizing it had a name.
Ironic, yes, considering he was definitely a Dom and a Top now and had a full grasp of all the dynamics and labels.
Back then, he’d secretly pined for the guy who was his best friend, a guy he didn’t dare tell how he really felt.
Not that he thought Hank would be an asshole about it, because back then Hank didn’t give a crap if someone was gay.
But Maddox had been worried Hank would freak out a little over him specifically had he admitted to him at the time what a huge crush he had on Hank, and it could have driven a wedge between them. So Maddox’s high school days had been consumed by him gorging on old ’80s and ’90s power ballads while he masturbated late at night or in the shower and thought about holding Hank in his arms.
Closest they’d ever coming to making Maddox’s fantasies come true was the occasional shared masturbation session when they were alone at one house or the other and had unsupervised access to a computer they could view porn on.
Because they’d also shared a bed countless times when they’d stayed over at each other’s houses. His parents didn’t have a guest room back then, and they’d had a crappy couch. Hank’s parents didn’t have a guest room, either, and their couch was one of those sectionals with recliners built in that you couldn’t easily stretch out on.
It’d secretly broken Maddox’s heart when they moved but he knew Hank wasn’t ever coming back. It wasn’t like he could follow the guy. So he’d thrown himself into his college classes and trying to date.
He’d attempted to build a bridge in his heart and get the fuck over it, drowning his sorrows in Air Supply and power rock ballads and trying to move on. He still couldn’t hear that music without at least a memory of Hank popping into his head.
Before he could chicken out, he liked the picture of Hank and his daughter and then sent him a private message.
Missed your face, dude. Call me.
And before he could stop himself, he added his cell number and sent it.
Then he set his phone facedown on the passenger seat and started his car to head home. Because otherwise he’d sit there in the parking lot all night, waiting for the little notification dot to show Hank had seen the message.
Because it might break his heart if Hank saw it and then didn’t respond right away.
* * * *
It was almost eleven by the time Hank had a squeaky clean pumpkin put to bed and sound asleep, he’d grabbed his own shower, poured himself two fingers of Jack over ice, unpacked the bare-bones basics of what they’d need in the kitchen for tomorrow, and he stretched out on his bed—on the floor, because he’d sold the frame before they moved—in nothing but a pair of boxers and with his phone. Right now, they had boxes of stuff stacked in the part of the great room area in the back side of the house, which was supposed to be the dining room area. Pictures, keepsakes, things like that.
They could wait to be unpacked. He’d wanted his clothes, his bed, and JJ’s stuff in their rooms, so he could get her as settled as possible as quickly as possible.
He’d be living out of boxes and suitcases for a while, because he’d also sold his dresser.
The pile of boxes in the great room could also wait because in one box was three urns—their parents and Lois. He didn’t even have a place to put them, because he sold their bookshelves before they moved. Wasn’t like he wanted to set them on the dining room table.
He’d even splurged and ordered pizza tonight because he had a coupon for it, and they could eat off it for two days. It meant delaying going to the grocery store. He had oatmeal and Pop-Tarts and bananas for them for breakfast, granola bars for him for lunch. He’d brought all the non-perishables from Pennsylvania. He could make them soup and rice, they had fruit cocktail and canned tuna fish. They could get by without grocery shopping until his direct deposit hit the bank.
He opened his phone and noticed an alert for a new Facebook message. He reluctantly tapped the app’s icon because he rarely received private messages. The ones he did were usually from Cameron’s parents or other family. Although since the restraining order those had stopped.
His reluctance immediately transformed to a rush of delight when he recognized the sender’s name.
His delight was immediately replaced by shame that he hadn’t stayed in touch with his best friend. Instead of replying immediately, he scrolled through Maddox’s timeline, his pictures. Apparently single, or at least he didn’t have a significant other highlighted on his profile, and living in Sarasota. It seemed like Hank remembered Maddox was living in St. Pete, at one point. Sure enough, when he scrolled far enough back in Maddox’s timeline, he saw where he had been there for a few years. But now he had a house in Sarasota.
They’d been tight as teenagers, inseparable for years, all through junior high and high school. If he’d had a brother, it would’ve been Dox.
I wish I’d kept in contact with him.
But Maddox had gone on to college and he hadn’t. Hank’s parents had moved. Then his parents died, and he’d struggled with Lois to make ends meet while she finished school and started working, then came her troubles with Cameron…
His heart twisted a little. He’d never had as good or close a friend as Maddox. It would’ve been too mushy to him back then to admit he loved the guy, but looking back on it as an adult, and having suffered the losses he had…yeah. He’d loved Dox.
Back in high school, there’d been countless fantasies Maddox rotated through in his mind relating to Hank. Over the years they had drastically decreased in frequency, both because it was tough thinking about not having Hank in his life and because he’d had real-life partners to devote his time and energy to.
All those fantasies now came roaring back to mind.
He also immediately swept them away.
Maybe there’d be other nights to make them come true.
For tonight, he knew he had to go slow, take his time. Hank was desperate and broken and emotionally gutted. There was no doubt in Maddox’s mind that, under different circumstances, Hank would’ve asked if he was kidding, they both would’ve laughed it off, and Maddox would have quietly and sadly closed a door in his mind, knowing those dreams would never come true.
Honestly? Tonight he didn’t even give a shit if he came or not. If he could do nothing more than take Hank’s mind off everything else for a little while, soothe his raw and aching soul, it would be enough.
More than enough.
Years ago, he’d been the caretaker, the one to back bullies down. What Hank didn’t know about were all the times Maddox had stood back and given a challenging stare to some fucker who thought they were going to bully Hank, but there Maddox was, watching his back.
Too many times.
He hadn’t wanted to rub Hank’s face in it.
Now, Hank was taller and beefier, in shape without having to try, because of the jobs he’d worked. No soft, cushy office job for him. He could easily kick Maddox’s ass, if he wanted to.
Maddox sat up, watching Hank, trying to control his own breathing so he didn’t hyperventilate. The realization that his greatest hope was about to come true nearly overwhelmed him.
Those blue eyes stared up at him and now it hit him why he’d always gravitated toward men and women with blue eyes when dating.
None of them had ever measured up to Hank, the sweet sky blue and midnight flecks watching him now.
He straddled Hank and held his hands in front of him, wiggling his fingers at Hank.
Hank tentatively reached up and let Maddox lace fingers with him.
Maddox brought Hank’s hands up to his mouth and kissed them, then pressed them against his chest.
“If you feel you need to,” Maddox said, “anytime you feel you need to, you can tell me stop, or no, or say yellow or red if you need me to slow down or stop. Understand?”
Hank nodded. Beneath him, Maddox felt Hank’s cock, hard and pressing against him.
Maddox knew he now wore a smirk and didn’t even try to hide it. Instead, he shifted a little, deliberately grinding against the other man. His own cock was trying to punch through his shorts, so why should he suffer alone?
And, obviously, there was the added benefit of helping stoke Hank’s furnace, too.
He knew it was working because Hank’s lower lip caught under his teeth and he shifted against Maddox, trying not to lose the friction between them.
“That’s it,” Maddox softly encouraged, kissing Hank’s hands again. “That feel good?” He rotated his hips a little, just enough to pull a needy gasp from the other man and make Hank’s fingers tighten around Maddox’s hands.
That widened Maddox’s smile. “Yeah. You like that, huh?”
Maybe it was better this way. With fourteen years’ experience under his belt, it was both humbling and sexy as fuck that he got to be the first man to do this with Hank. He was mature enough at this point in his life to hopefully not fuck it up, to know to not worry about himself right now.
To know how to make it better for Hank than maybe it would have been way back then.
Maddox leaned forward, pinning Hank’s hands over his head against the mattress and bringing Hank’s lips within kissing distance again. No hesitation whatsoever from Hank when Maddox slanted his lips over his to kiss him again. Hank responded, kissing him back with a growing hunger that Maddox had to tamp down within him to maintain control.
All while doing a slow bump-and-grind against Hank that was definitely going a long way to distracting him, if the sweet, soft, needy noises he was making were any indication. Maddox took his time, too, savoring this kiss, wanting it to last.
Wanting everything about tonight to last forever in his memories, the way Hank had lasted forever in his heart.
When Maddox lifted his head again, Hank’s came up off the mattress, trying to follow him. Definitely a good sign.
“Stay,” Maddox whispered, sitting up and releasing Hank’s hands. He reached down, peeled off his own shirt, and tossed it on the floor. Then he rose up just enough he could tug Hank’s shirttail up and out of his shorts. Hank helped him get it the rest of the way off him, discarding it to the floor.
He scooted down Hank’s body far enough he could lean in and trail kisses down his firm, tight abs, circle his navel with his tongue. The man’s skin felt scorching hot against his lips, and he smiled to himself as he felt Hank’s breathing quicken.
He’s mine. I just have to not fuck this up.