Was there an altar I was supposed to pray at so I could thank some god for gray sweatpants season?
I mean, I didn’t have enough in the size department to enjoy firsthand knowledge of the experience, but I could definitely appreciate them.
But even as I ogled and tried not to get caught, I had to wonder…who wore gray sweatpants and no underwear to an interview? Sure, it was just to see if he could rent a bedroom in my house, but still, everyone else had clearly put some effort into their choice of clothing.
No, nothing in the ad had given anything away about me. I’d been careful with that. I wanted to at least get to know someone a little before I talked to them about anything personal.
Well, no matter what the reason, he was playing it up now because no one spread their legs that wide unless they wanted attention or had a horse-sized dick.
Both seemed to apply to him.
Shit. He’d said something.
There was no playing off the fact that I’d been staring at his dick, so I just acted dumb. “I’m sorry. I was thinking about a problem at work. Can you repeat that?”
The ridiculously sexy smirk Declan was wearing said he knew what kind of problem I was having, but he must have really wanted the room because he nodded and didn’t say anything about my wandering eyes. “The ad said the rent covers utilities?”
“Yes.” Grateful it was an easy question, I kept going. “There is a clause in the lease that says if the utilities increase by more than fifty percent while you’re here, your rent will go up to cover the difference.”
I could see his face tighten, so I explained. “That’s just in there because my first roommate was…let’s just say he liked taking showers and my utility bill doubled, and some months it was higher than that. By the end, I was basically paying him to live here with all the extra costs. I’m not trying to screw anyone over.”
But I wasn’t going to get screwed either.
I might be a sub, but most of the time I wasn’t a pushover.
Most of the time.
I just had to treat this like work.
I could do that.
I smiled at Declan and managed to keep my eyes focused on his face. “If you’d like, I have all the utility bills for the past year for you to see.”
That had him relaxing and the smirk slipped. He looked almost boring for a moment. Still sexy, of course, but more neutral instead of someone that made me trip over my words constantly. “I’ve had some crazy roommates in the dorms. I can understand wanting to make sure you don’t get screwed.”
His past wasn’t my business really, but it kind of was.
“Is that why you’re looking for a new roommate now? I just ask because the only time I get college students looking to rent is when I’ve had the ad up in the summer.” I knew people could be assholes, but I needed to make sure he wasn’t the asshole in the situation.
He gave me a long look and waited several seconds before answering. “I caught my now ex-boyfriend in bed with the guy who lived across the hall. Going back isn’t an option.”
“That sucks. I’m sorry.” I pushed back the idiot prick in the back of my head who was doing the happy dance that he was gay and focused on how hurt and angry he had to be.
Something about my reaction had him relaxing. “It happens, but it means I need a new place ASAP. I’m not worried about the fees I’ve paid, although I’m not happy about that. But if I don’t find something reasonable quick, I’ll be living out of my car until the end of the semester.”
His tone was flat, like he was telling me what kind of insurance he wanted.
“Will you be able to pay the rent?” I winced. “That sounds very mercenary, but I need to make sure I’m not going to get myself into a difficult situation.”
He nodded, not seeming to be offended. “Yeah, I can manage what you’re asking as long as you’ll let me pay half the security deposit now and the rest when I get paid again.”
At the beginning of our conversation, Declan had mentioned working part time for a local lawyer, but I wasn’t sure how much that paid. “I can work with that.”
He was sexy as fuck and the smirk said he was going to distract me to no end, but he’d also come across as honest. I was a bad judge of men I was dating, but Declan was so far out of my league I didn’t worry about that.
One eyebrow went up. “So I have the room?”
“If you like it. Let me show you around.” I hadn’t shown him around much because letting strangers wander around the house had always seemed like a bad idea until I got to know them.
Standing up, I gestured toward the stairs leading to the bedrooms. When the snake in his pants started moving around as he stood, I felt my face heating up and I shifted away from him. Walking toward the bedrooms seemed like the best idea, so I kept going.
I’d been able to ignore how tall he was when he was sitting down, but standing, he seemed much more imposing. The sweatpants and black T-shirt should have made him look sloppy, but instead, he looked casual and hot as fuck.
Renting the room to him was probably a terrible idea.
But he needed a place to live.
I was going to end up drooling over him constantly.
Maybe he’d have a few gross habits.
There was hope if he was a nose picker or something like that.
Fuck. Why did he have to walk so close?
What cologne was he wearing?
Was that his body heat?
He was so close I was pretty sure his dick was big enough it could touch me…I was never going to survive living with him for months. Maybe he’d hate the room.
“Here you go.” I must have stopped unexpectedly because he bumped into me and grabbed my waist for a split second. “Oh.”
Not the most aggressive response…fuck, not the straightest response considering I might have moaned.
But in my defense, his dick had touched my ass.
That turned off all brain cells.
It was a proven fact.
Declan stepped back before I had to figure out how to make my brain work. “Sorry, man.”
His pat on my shoulder as he stepped back didn’t help the situation any. Had his touch lingered? Had he grabbed my hips deliberately? What would it have been like if he’d patted my ass instead of my shoulder?
Except more forcefully…
While I was bent over…
I wasn’t going to make it.
Would it be rude to excuse myself for a minute so I could jerk off?
That had to be more polite than coming in my pants right there.
Where was Miss Manners when she was really needed?
“No problem.” Ha, words.
“Here you go. This would be yours.” Stepping into the room, I was glad to see that my legs were mostly steady. “It’s got a big closet, and overall, it’s a good-sized room.”
Declan chuckled as he walked over to the closet. “Anything would be bigger than the dorm.”
Checking out the storage space, he turned back to me. “And I’d have use of the living room and the kitchen?”
“Yes.” Wandering around the room made it easier to talk since I didn’t have to make eye contact. “And I have a small room at the back of the house I use as an office, so if you’re in the living room watching a movie or on a date or just hanging out with friends, I can go back there and it won’t be a problem.”
It had a comfy oversized chair and TV. I could be happy in there for quite a while without getting frustrated. Hell, I’d basically lived in there for six months during one of my roommates’ stays. He hadn’t shared the TV well, and we had very different tastes in porn. So I’d made the office into a second living room and had called it good.
“I don’t want to chase you out of your space. Company sounds like fun.” He was smiling, but something about it had me fighting the urge to shiver. “But don’t worry about me dating anytime soon.”
The reminder of his ex had me feeling guilty about how turned on I was.
But that just turned me on even more because I kind of had a thing for humiliation.
It was a brutal, horny circle.
Then his smirk returned. “And the same goes for you. When you bring home someone…I’ll give you some space. Just give me a heads up.”
I could feel my face heating up, but I fought to sound relaxed.
It didn’t work.
“I…um…that’s okay. I don’t date much.” There had been a short pause when he’d clearly been fishing to see if I was gay or not, but I was fairly certain he’d already figured that out.
Most straight guys didn’t appreciate gray sweatpants season.
His chuckle went straight up my spine and I had to bite my lip to keep from making an embarrassing sound. “I find that hard to believe. You’re probably just a workaholic and don’t get out enough.”
Yes, I was going to claim that answer.
“Some weeks it seems all I do is work.” I managed to smile and make it sound like a reasonable response.
But changing the subject sounded like the best idea.
“Let me show you the bathroom and the kitchen.” As we walked out of the room, he politely followed for the tour, but he’d barely seen the bathroom before he spoke up.
“I’ll sign the papers now as long as you’ll have me.” There was something in his smile that said he knew my imagination wanted to tweak the sentence a bit.
“Sure.” Telling him that he was too distracting to be my roommate wasn’t exactly a good reason to turn him down…and I was pretty sure that would be illegal in some way.
“I have the paperwork in the kitchen.” Walking back down the stairs didn’t give me much time to decide how bad of an idea this was. By the time we got to the kitchen, I was resigned to hiding dirty leers and fantasies from the sexy college student.
He was still in college.
I just had to remember that.
Walking around the table, I gestured toward a chair before I sat down. “When did you want to move in?”
I was expecting him to say soon, considering the situation, but his answer still surprised me. “Today?”
I swallowed. “We can make that work. The room is ready. Do you have your stuff in your car?”
For the first time, his frustration showed as he shook his head. “I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to grab my stuff, so I basically walked off after seeing them. I grabbed a handful of shit but left the rest. I didn’t want to take it until I knew what I was going to do.”
He’d had a rough day or two.
“Are you sure you didn’t just misunderstand?” I knew it was a stupid question as soon as his face tightened.
“Yes.” The simple answer had me feeling even worse.
“I’m sorry.” It was all I could think of to say, even though it was a useless response.
He sighed, then straightened and tried to look like he was brushing it aside. “Moving on is the best idea. It’s not like we didn’t have our share of problems.”
When his lips clamped down, I got the feeling he hadn’t been planning on saying that. “You’re really going to get a fresh start this way…new place and all. We’ll make this work.”
There was no we here.
But Declan smiled and nodded. “Thanks.”
I tried to think of anything else I could ask. “I think I know the answer to this, but do you have a bed or any furniture?”
He scoffed. “No. But there are a lot of places to grab cheap stuff around town, so I’ll make it work.”
That sounded like he was planning on sleeping on the floor until he found something. That would be miserable. “I have a spare double bed. Would that work? It would at least be something until you find a better one.”
A smile spread across his face, giving me a glimpse of the man beneath the teasing and frustration.
I was never going to make it.
“That would be great.”
Why couldn’t he have been mean?
Like really mean, not like tease me because I was staring at his dick mean.
’Cause that kind of mean was sometimes not mean and more…startlingly hot.
With that settled, we took a few minutes going over the contract and signing everything. He asked good questions and even read through the whole thing, which made me more curious about the part-time law firm job.
The few college students I’d taken on as roommates had been mostly art type majors who were a little interesting to live with.
I couldn’t decide if a lawyer would be better or worse.
When everything was settled, he stood, glancing back through the kitchen door like he was picturing the bedroom. He looked like he was ready to go get his stuff, so I interrupted his thoughts. “Mind helping me grab the mattress? It’s not heavy, but it’s awkward doing it on my own.”
That snapped him out of his thoughts and he nodded. “Sure, thanks for letting me use it. I appreciate it.”
Nice Declan was just as hard to deal with as sexy, spreading his legs Declan.
“No problem.” Leading him back up the stairs, I took him to my bedroom. “It’s just under my bed.”
I was incredibly grateful that I’d picked up all my shit earlier and didn’t have anything like lube sitting on my nightstand. Declan smiled as he glanced around the room. “This is nice.”
I wouldn’t ever claim to be a world-class decorator, but I’d picked up a few pointers, and the room had come together pretty well. It was soothing in grays and dark blues and it felt like my safe space since I shared so much of the rest of the house with renters.
“Thanks.” Heading over to the bed, I knelt and started pulling out pieces of a bed frame. “These go with the mattress.”
As I handed one of the pieces to him, I looked up and saw him grinning. “I’d have killed myself if I tried to kneel like that. Lots of practice or just really coordinated?”
Then the snake in his sweatpants twitched.
Heart attacks were possible before thirty, right?
“I…” My brain wasn’t working because I just sat there looking stupid while he gave me a wicked grin. I never figured out what to say, but he seemed to take pity on me because he leaned down and reached under the bed.
“Let me help you with that.”
He was so close I could feel his breath on my neck.
Let me just say that did not help my brain cells.
“Thanks.” It wasn’t the best response, but it was all my sad brain could come up with.
Declan grinned. “I think we’re going to be great together, roomie.”
I couldn’t be held responsible for my actions if he made me come in my pants, right?
Looking innocent and the picture of vanilla has allowed Asher to keep his personal life private from his nosy but well-meaning coworkers, but it’s also made finding Mr. Right almost impossible. When the outside is sweet and shy and the inside is full of curious needs, Asher doesn’t know how he’ll ever find the right man…because Mr. Tall, Dark, and Dominant just doesn’t show up out of the blue. Right?
When a dramatic breakup leaves Declan sleeping in his car, he vows to never to change himself for anyone ever again. But moving in with his new blushing roommate is testing his resolve. All he wants is to throw caution to the wind and explain in explicit detail about everything he’d love to do to the seemingly bashful man with the wandering eyes, but is that what Archer wants?
When a teasing flirt with a wicked grin meets a shy insurance salesman, sparks shouldn’t fly, but these two might just be a match made in heaven…just a very wicked one.
Story Contains: M/m sexual content, spanking, exhibitionism, consensual humiliation play, restraints of a personal nature, and BDSM elements.
Author’s Note: This is a sweeter version of humiliation play. It is completely consensual and both main characters are enthusiastic about their desires. The heat level is higher than some of my other books, but it is very much a romance at heart. Each book in the series will be a standalone story.