Ethan slowly swept the floor of Nice ‘N Rosy. He’d insisted on doing it to prove he was feeling better, but now he wished he hadn’t. His ribs hurt like a bitch and the pain was starting to make him nauseous.
But after the big deal he’d made about feeling better to Jesse, he wasn’t about to admit he was wrong. He’d only managed to sweep about a quarter of the store, which considering how small the space was, wasn’t saying much. As he looked at the rest of the floor, Ethan didn’t think he could do it.
The bell above the door jingled. Ethan couldn’t stop the smile when he saw Bram walk through that door. Then he realized how pissed the man was and the smile left his face. He couldn’t think of anything he’d done that would warrant Bram being so angry with him.
Bram strode right to him, not stopping until he was only a step from Ethan. Then he reached out and yanked the broom out of Ethan’s hands. “Are you trying to cause yourself more injury?”
Ethan just started at him. How had the man even known? Jesse. Ethan turned to glare at his friend who didn’t even have the decency to look embarrassed.
“I only called him because I couldn’t get you to listen to reason.” Jesse took the broom and went to the back. “I’ll finish sweeping. You go ahead and go for the day.”
Ethan had continued to glare at his friend until he’d passed through the back area before turning back to Bram. “I’m sorry he called you.” That wasn’t entirely true. Ethan was thrilled to see Bram, but he didn’t want to be an imposition either.
“I’m not.” Bram’s confession had Ethan’s heart leaping into his throat as he hoped Bram would finally ask him out. “You shouldn’t have been sweeping. You have three fractured ribs.”
The X-rays had revealed the fractured ribs but nothing else. It was uncomfortable but nothing Ethan hadn’t dealt with before—one of the many side effects of having a father who beat him since he was ten.
Bram reached out and put Ethan’s hand in his. “Come on, you’re coming back to the pub where I can keep an eye on you.”
Bram’s pub was called The Collared Pup. Ethan was pretty sure that was because Bram was a dominant who wanted someone willing to be collared. Ethan did everything he could think of to let Bram know he was more than willing to be that person. He just wished he knew what that meant. But like with everything else in his life, he failed miserably in getting Bram to notice him as anything more than a charity case.
A young woman who looked a lot like Bram was taking the chairs off the tables and wiping everything down. “It’s about time you got back.”
Ethan was pretty sure this might be Bram’s other daughter, Bridgett, but he couldn’t believe the man’s own daughter would talk to Bram like that. He tried to hide behind Bram’s larger frame, but Bridgett had noticed him.
“Is this the whore you helped Saturday?” She threw the cloth she’d been using down on the table and strode over to him.
“Bridgett.” Bram’s voice was unyielding. “Apologize now.”
Bridgett glared at Ethan. “I can’t believe that if you’re going to fuck a guy, you’d pick a fatty. God, Dad, at least have some taste.”
Ethan’s face burned at Bridgett’s comment. He knew she was just trying to piss off her dad, but did she have to bring up his weight? He had enough problems getting Bram to notice him as something other than a charity case. He sure as hell didn’t need her help.
“I said apologize,” Bram said through clenched teeth.
Bridgett stared at Ethan like he was a bug, one that she would be more than happy to step on. Ethan may have not been standing up for himself much lately, but after living with Zane and Jesse for the last seven years, he’d gotten pretty good at it.
“Do you even talk, or do you just follow my Dad around like a sad puppy?” she asked with a triumphant smile.
“Yes, I talk. Do you know how not to be a bitch?” As soon as he said it, Ethan wished he could take it back. This was Bram’s daughter, so he shouldn’t be rude.
Her eyes narrowed. “Why would I be nice to someone who doesn’t matter?”
“Bridgett, that’s enough.” Bram’s voice was authoritative. It had Ethan’s cock perking right up even though it wasn’t directed at him. “I’ve already warned you what would happen if you continued to talk this way.”
Bridgett stormed away, not finishing the tables. Figuring he needed to get into Bram’s good graces after insulting the man’s daughter, Ethan picked up the towel she’d dropped and started wiping off the table.
The next thing Ethan knew, his feet were off the floor and he was tucked away in Bram’s arms. “What do you think you’re doing?”
Almost as if he were pulled by an invisible force, Ethan went right to where Bram sat. The need to be at this man’s side whenever they were in the same room together was undeniable. When he reached Bram’s side, Ethan was pulled down for a brief but sweet kiss.
“So would you rather stay here and run things or deliver to the festival?” Zane asked a rather dazed Ethan.
The thought of having to drive to some festival and deliver a bunch of desserts had Ethan making a face. Not that he really wanted to be responsible for this place either.
Bram, who had stood up after their kiss, now leaned close to whisper, “I have some time before the pub opens. If it’s still quiet here, we could go in the back for a little alone time.”
Ethan shivered at the thought of spending some time with Bram, especially since his tone said it would involve a lot of kissing and touching. “I’ll stay here.”
* * * *
As soon as Zane and Aidan left the bakery, Bram pulled Ethan into the back office and shut the door. Not saying a word, Bram slanted his lips over Ethan’s until the man was breathless and pliant in his arms.
He swallowed the little moans that spilled out of Ethan’s mouth. Those noises belonged to Bram and he was too greedy to allow anyone else to hear them. His hand found the bottom of Ethan’s shirt to get to skin.
Ethan’s soft belly quivered at his touch. Bram wanted to see all his boy’s reactions, so he pulled the shirt over Ethan’s head, breaking off the kiss in order to do so. But that was fine with Bram, for it allowed him to focus on all that creamy skin.
A wave of pink started at Ethan’s chest, rose up his neck and into his face. Bram’s cock leaked pre-cum at the sight. When Ethan refused to look him in the eye, Bram braced his hands on either side of his boys face until he had no choice but to meet his gaze. “You are stunningly beautiful.”
He knew Ethan was self-conscious about his weight, but Bram wasn’t going to let his boy feel that way if he had anything to say about it. He let one hand reach down to grab ahold of Ethan’s and place it over Bram’s pulsing erection. “That is how sexy you are.”
Ethan’s eyes widened as his hand cupped Bram’s groin. He didn’t bother to stifle the groan of pleasure at feeling his boy’s hand on him. It was important that Ethan knew just how much he affected Bram. “That’s it, boy, making me feel so good.”
Bram felt Ethan slide to his knees before him as Ethan’s hands went to work on Bram’s button and zipper. When Ethan’s soft warm hand reached into his open jeans to pull out his cock, Bram’s hips jerked up to get closer.
Ethan’s eyes were filled with wonder as he pulled Bram’s dick free. Bram nearly came at the sight of his boy on his knees, licking his lips as he stared at Bram’s hard aching cock. What Bram wouldn’t do to feel those soft, plump lips wrapped around him.
When he saw the tension fill Ethan as he tried to decide what to do, Bram gave him an order. “Suck my cock, boy.” Ethan’s body visibly relaxed at no longer having to make a decision.
As if time stood still, Bram watched those pretty pink lips suck the tip of his dick into wet heat. Bram’s balls pulled tight, but he clenched his jaw and forced the orgasm that was trying to barrel through him back. There was no way he was going let be over that quickly.
He knew it had only been a matter of weeks, but Bram had felt like it had been months since he’d been trying to win Ethan’s trust. Now that he had it, he was going to enjoy every second of it.
With lips stretched wide, Ethan pushed further down until Bram’s prick hit the back of his throat.