Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday's Safe Word Shelf: Beer & Clay by Sean Michael

They say opposites attract and Corner Pub owner Damon and shy artist Toby attest to that.

Toby’s happy with his predictable life, even if he does secretly wear a plug to the Corner Pub every Thursday night. But when Damon shows him the word of the sub/Dom lifestyle, his Thursday night plug-wearing suddenly seems tame.

Join these two men as they explore plugs, piercings and making more than art and ale in this new series by Sean Michael.

Malting #1
Sometimes unpredictable is exactly what’s needed, but can Corner Pub owner Damon convince shy Thursday night regular Toby of that?

Damon loves his life—his bar, his employees and his beer. He especially loves Thursdays. That's when the mysterious little red-head dances into his bar, drinks two honey wheat brews, and flits right back out.

Toby's comfortable. He has a good job, great friends, and he gets paid to do what he loves—sculpt. His life is great, if a little predictable. And if he secretly wears a plug to Corner Pub every Thursday, well...that's nobody's business but his.

But when Toby meets Damon, his predictable little life flies right out the window. Damon shows him the big, wide world of the Dom/sub lifestyle, plugs and piercings, and teaches him that maybe, unpredictable is exactly what Toby needed all along.

Milling #2
Toby and Damon’s whirlwind romance continues, but can they find a balance between love and work? Do they even want to?

Toby can scarcely believe that his life has changed so much in less than two weeks, but it has. His predictable little life has gone from routine to sexually adventurous in a matter of days. And to be honest, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Damon’s just as into Toby, more interested in exploring with his new lover than spending all his time at the bar. Luckily things are running fairly smoothly there with his hand only occasionally needed on the rudder.

Their idyllic love affair has a few bumps to withstand, though, in the form of an intruder with a gun. Can Toby and Damon survive what happens next?

Mashing #3
Life is good for Toby and Damon—maybe too good. What happens when someone seems intent on destroying their happiness?

Toby and Damon are growing closer every day, with Toby recovering from the shot to his shoulder and Damon trying to keep him from pushing too hard too fast. Things are good between them.

They’re even better in the bedroom, where Toby is learning all sorts of new things and Damon is happily pushing his limits.

They’ve almost forgotten that someone doesn’t seem as happy with their closeness as they are, when Toby walks into his studio to find it trashed and his little apartment ransacked. Are the authorities going to be able to apprehend the culprit before Toby decides the best course of action is to remove himself from the equation?

Brewing #4
As the love between Toby and Damon deepens, the man intent on destroying their happiness increases his efforts.

Toby and Damon are back in Brewing, their relationship deepening more despite the continuing efforts of a stranger to bring them down.

Helping in their efforts are their best friends Peter and Christian. Peter’s new investment in a three-story building on the same block as Damon’s bar offers Toby the opportunity of having a studio close to home. It also gives Peter and Christian a home they’ve made together, which Peter hopes will bring them closer together.

A former soldier, Christian has a hard time letting go and finding his subspace. It’s going to take a lot to break the conditioning he’s learned in the Army. Peter is stubborn, though, and he’s seriously falling for his strong sub.

Will yet another attack bring down two couples this time?

Malting #1
Damon tapped the keg and smiled at Pete. The on tap beer was back up for sale. The new microbrew was proving popular, and he needed to order it in bigger quantities. He’d been looking for a local company to pair up with—maybe he’d just found one.

He wiped his hands on a rag, patted Pete on the back and made the rounds of his bar, making sure everyone was happy, but not sloppy drunk, keeping an eye on Freddie, the sweet twink who was moving between the tables and the bar, serving drinks and flirting like crazy.

It was just another Thursday night at the Corner Pub.

His eyes went to the stool at the corner of the bar where the quiet redhead sat drinking the first of two honey wheat brews, just like he had every Thursday night for what? Three years?

He’d made up a thousand fantasies over what the guy’s story was. The man was lovely—shoulder length, bright red hair, always in jeans and a button-up, skin pale as milk. He never spoke to anyone—didn’t check his phone constantly, didn’t scowl or anything.

Damon thought that if there was a Thursday when the man didn’t show, he’d be alarmed. But so far, the redhead hadn’t missed a single one. Damon spent another moment simply watching. There was something incredibly intriguing about the man.

He didn’t know why he chose this Thursday to do it, but Damon found himself moving behind the bar and heading for the redhead at the end of it. “You ever want to change things up, let me know.”

“Pardon me?” Eyes the colour of sherry blinked at him, so lovely.
“You always have two honey wheat brews. If you want to try something else, let me know.”

“Oh, thank you. These are very tasty.” The man’s voice was husky, soft.

That had him grinning. “I figure they have to be—you come in for two of them every week.”

“I do. It’s your place, hmm?”

“It is.” He held his hand out to the man. “Damon Wattle.”

“Toby Baer.” The man’s hand was warm, callused.

“Nice to meet you.” Which seemed weird to say, given the man had been in here once a week for three years.

Milling #2
Damon finished his paperwork and online ordering for the Corner Pub, then double-checked his banking through the web access. He supposed it was too early to expect the deposit from the insurance—it hadn’t even been even a full week since the robbery and shooting. At least Bill was recovering. It could have been much worse and he wasn’t hurting for the cash.

Dealing with the insurance, with replacing what had been broken, and keeping his staff from freaking out had taken up a large amount of his time over the last few days. Between that and Toby needing to work in his studio, they’d not spent very much time together and it was beginning to make Damon itch. After a whirlwind week of hot and hotter running sex, plugs and piercings, he was feeling a little like he’d suddenly gone cold turkey.

Today, though… Today he was going to go sit for his boy. Toby was going to take pictures, and also do some work in clay while Damon posed, if he was inspired. Damon hoped Toby was. He also hoped to tempt Toby into some non-artistic fucking. Making sure he had lube and condoms in his front pocket, Damon locked the door to his office and stopped by the bar on his way out.

“I’m headed off for the day, Teddy. You call if you need anything, okay? And I mean anything.” It would be the first time he’d left the building while the bar was open since the shooting.

The big bartender gave him a confident smile. “You got it, boss. Don’t worry—we’re going to be fine.”

“I know it.” Damon was going to be positive about this. Things hadn’t gone great for the burglar the first time around—he wasn’t likely to come back for seconds.

Damon gave his place a last look, then headed out, planning to walk to Toby’s studio. It wasn’t all that far. Still, he’d not gone more than a block when he decided he didn’t want to wait and hailed a cab.

As the city flashed by, his anticipation rose and by the time he was getting out and paying the driver, he was more than halfway hard. It made climbing the stairs to Toby’s studio a little awkward, but so what? God, he had it bad. And he didn’t care.

Eagerly anticipating his lover, Damon tapped sharply on the door. He could hear the music from under the door, the sound vibrating the air with a dark, deep rhythm. He loved how Toby was uninhibited about his sensuality when it came to his art. Alone, in his studio, Toby let it all hang out and listened to his needs.

Damon knocked again.

“Coming!” The door opened, and Toby stood there in the tiniest pair of soft shorts, a huge needy erection, and clay streaked everywhere. Damon could see the ring at the tip of Toby’s cock, pushing at the soft shorts. That had to be both driving Toby crazy and turning him on at the same time.

Damon licked his lips. How could Toby have ever thought himself undesirable? How could he have not been snapped up before Damon had done it? Thank God he hadn’t—Damon knew how lucky he was.

“You going to let me in, baby?” Damon’s voice was thick, colored by sudden, sharp desire.

“I am. I’m working. No bad touches.” Toby’s wild mass of red curls was tied in a topknot, wrapped in a bandana.

“No bad touches?” Damon closed the door behind him, reaching for all that skin.

“Uh-huh.” Toby’s pretty pink nips were hard as stones, calling for him.

Of course he couldn’t really play, not the way he wanted to. The piercings needed to heal. They also needed to stay clean. He was going to have to doctor them when Toby was done, clean up the clay.

“What’s a bad touch?” Damon asked as he stroked around Toby’s nipples, avoiding the freshly pierced flesh.

“Oh, God…” Toby’s body moved with the music, hips punching with the bass. Fuck, that was hot.

“Not this.” Damon stepped closer, his fingers drifting down to trace Toby’s cock through his shorts. “Are you wearing a plug?”

“I’m working…”

He reached around with his other hand, rubbing Toby’s ass, then pressing along Toby’s crack. There was a flat base at Toby’s hole, promising wickedness.

“You’re needing,” Damon pointed out. “I’ll just help you out and then you can get back to it.” He jostled the end of the plug.

Toby’s lips parted, the pale skin flushing a pale rose. Pretty baby.

Keeping one hand on Toby’s ass so he could keep playing with the plug, Damon brought the other one to Toby’s balls, rolling them through the soft material of those shorty shorts. A dark spot appeared on the cloth, beginning to grow.

Humming, Damon went to his knees to take Toby’s covered cock into his mouth. He was gentle, mindful of the penis ring, but he did suck, pulling the flavor in and further wetting Toby’s shorts.

“Oh, God.” Toby’s little cry heralded a thrust, a jerk, and a bigger wet spot.

Damon kissed the head, then stood and gently worked the shorts over the tip of Toby’s cock, careful not to catch the glinting ring. Then he took Toby’s mouth, his tongue sliding in. His sweet boy pushed close, the sound he got pure, desperate sex.

Right. No touching. It was a good thing he was more apt to listen to Toby’s body than his words.

Mashing #3
Toby turned the music up louder, hoping that it would let him focus, push past the ache. The doctor had cleared him to work, to sculpt, so he’d headed to the studio first thing, started cleaning and hauling clay.

Jeannie had called him two weeks ago, letting him know she was moving out. Pregnant. He didn’t think she ever actually had sex, and she was pregnant? Weird. Cool, though, and she’d sounded so excited, so Toby didn’t even fret.

He hadn’t been back to the apartment in even longer than that, Damon insisting he stay while he was under orders not to use his arm.

Right now, the pain burned in his shoulder, the ache deep and throbbing inside him.

His phone rang and he almost didn’t look. Almost. When he did, though, he saw that it was Damon and he was glad he’d checked.

His ass tingled at the sight of his lover’s picture, and he answered quickly. “Hello?”

“Mmm. Hello.” God, Damon could be…slinky when he wanted to.

“Hey.” Toby turned the music down, leaned against the wall.

“Hey. This is your ‘I hope you’re not pushing things too hard’ call.”

“Huh?” He was drenched with sweat, burning, and still not quite focused on the call, on anything that wasn’t his art.

“I’m at the door, Toby. Let me in.”

“Why didn’t you just come in?” Toby headed to the door, opened it.

“It’s your studio and you didn’t hear me knocking.”

Damon turned off his phone and came in, giving him a hug. Toby leaned in, suddenly shaking, exhausted.

“Oh, baby. I had a hunch you’d overdo.” Supporting him, Damon led him over to the one chair his studio boasted.

“I’m fine. Did you see the new piece?”

“No, you’re not fine, but you will be. And no, I didn’t. You were all I saw.”

Toby swayed, beginning to cool off, sweat drying. The real world beginning to come into focus again.

“You stay sitting,” Damon ordered. “I can look at your new piece from here.”

“I may have lost my touch…” What if he had? What if Damon hated the new piece?

Damon snorted. “I highly doubt that.”

“I hope not.” He didn’t think he could bear that. Sculpting was his life, and after he’d gotten shot in the shoulder and hadn’t been able to work… Well, he needed to work, it was as simple as that.

“So tell me about this piece,” Damon demanded.

“It’s for the gallery. It’s called Pain.” It was his shoulder, formed into a bullet. He’d poured it all into the clay.

Damon got up and went over to where he’d been working. “Ouch.”

“Yeah. Yeah, love.” That was it. Ouch. Exactly what he’d been going for.

“You really are an amazing artist,” Damon said softly, still looking at the piece. “I can feel your pain.”

“Yeah? Not too hokey?” Was Damon just being nice? Had he lost his edge?

“There is nothing hokey about the emotion in this piece.” Damon looked over at him, met his gaze. “And I promise I’m not blowing sunshine up your ass, baby.”

Toby took in a jerky breath. Thank God. “Good. Can we go home now?” He found himself close to tears. “I’m really sore and tired.”

“You pushed yourself too hard.” Damon clucked and came over, helping him stand. “And yes, let’s go home.”

What would he do without Damon? He knew he didn’t want to find out. Toby leaned over, kissed Damon’s cheek. Damon turned his head so they were kissing lips to lips. The kiss lingered, then Damon pulled back and they headed out, Damon’s hand warm around his.

“Did it feel good?” Damon asked. “Working?”

“Uh-huh. It doesn’t now, but it did.” Now everything just hurt, but the need to work that had been clawing at him from the inside was gone.

“Good. So maybe you’ll stay home tomorrow and rest, hmm?”

“Maybe. Maybe, yeah.” Just the thought of lifting his arm made him a little sick.

“I’ll tie you to the bed again if I have to.” Damon’s words sounded like a promise.

“Be nice.” He almost offered Damon his wrists.

“I am being very nice. Helpful, even.”

Damon put him in the car, which was parked just out front. He moaned as he sat, his muscles protesting. It wasn’t far, but he wasn’t sure now that he could have walked back to Damon’s place.

Damon came around and leaned over, putting his seatbelt on for him. “There’s some Tylenol in the glove compartment.”

“Thanks.” He took three, hoping they worked. There was a bottle of water in the cup holder, too, and by the time he’d downed half of it following the pills, Damon was pulling into a parking spot behind the Corner Pub.

“Home.” Toby knew he shouldn’t think of this as home, but he did. It was.

“Yeah.” Damon came around and helped him out of the car, taking his good hand and leading him up the back way.

By the time they got up the stairs, he was sweating again and really glad Damon had come when he had. Toby wasn’t sure how he’d have gotten home otherwise. He probably would have crashed at the apartment and he didn’t want to—he wanted to be here with Damon.

Brewing #4
Peter watched the sign go up for Chip and Drip, a little thrill going through him. He turned to his clipboard with its massive to do list and checked off the second to last item. All that was left with his walk-through and he and Christian had an appointment with their contractor in ten minutes to do exactly that.

He shook hands with Dave and Brian. “Thanks, guys. That looks great.”

“I hope you’re as pleased with the rest of the work.” Dave took off his hat and wiped his brow, before putting it back on again.

“I bet I am.” As far as Peter could see, everything had been done professionally and more than competently.

He checked his watch and looked up the street for Christian. His boy should be arriving at any moment. He caught sight of his stunning, studly lover, his reluctant submissive. His soldier. He felt his heart beat faster as it always did when he first saw Christian, and a smile pulled at his lips.

Christian looked up from his phone, smiled at him, and sped up. Looked like his boy was eager to see him too. He opened his arms for a hug and to pull Christian close, despite the fact they were in public. His boy needed to get used to such things.

Christian stiffened, but only for a moment, then his boy hugged him back.

“Good boy,” he whispered for Christian’s ears only. Then he stepped back and nodded to the sign. “What do you think?”

Christian looked up, head tilting. He pondered it for a long moment, long enough that Peter started to worry, then he nodded, a smile blooming. “It’s perfect.”

“Oh good.” Peter chuckled at himself at the relief that flooded through him. He hadn’t realized just how much he needed Christian to like the sign. Hell, the whole place. He was doing this for his boy.

“I can’t believe we’re doing it. That it’s a real thing.”

“It’s a great investment. Between giving us somewhere to live, a place to earn a living and a little extra income from our second floor renter, we’re coming out ahead.” He put his hand on Christian’s back. “Sam’s waiting for us in the lobby to show us everything they’ve done.”

“I have my camera.” Christian’s bright blue eyes were lit up and shining.

“Going to document everything?” At Christian’s nod, he pointed at the sign again. “You want to start with that or end with it?”

“Let’s start with it. It’s an auspicious beginning.”

“That’s a great word. Auspicious.” Smiling he waited for Christian to do his thing with the camera.

Christian shot the sign, then they headed in, together.

Sam was a stud of a woman, all flannel and muscles with long blonde hair that she usually kept in a ponytail with a bright pink hard hat.

“Well, boys. It’s here. Time for your final walk-through.”

“Hey, Sam.” Christian grinned at her. “You pleased with the job?”

“I’ll let you know as soon as you tell me what you think. I’m not happy until my clients are happy.”

“Fair enough. Let’s start in the café.”

“You got it.”

She led them in, and the place was a far cry from the run-down storefront the building had boasted when he’d bought it. It was now warm and homey, tables surrounded by a variety of chairs, all padded, all inviting.

Christian’s fingers trailed over the tables, his boy so sensual, so tactile.

The counter had a cash register on it, and there were a couple of glass covered showcases. The kitchen was tiny, a large open rectangular window separating it from the cash area. It would be easy for Christian to work on stuff in there and keep an eye on the place at the same time, make sure he wasn’t ignoring anyone at the cash register.

She led them to the back where they had cold storage, prep space. It felt like what his Christian had asked for—clean and easy, simple and straight-forward. “I just want a place to grab a coffee, a sandwich or a cookie. Just easy and no big deal.” That’s what this was.

“What do you think, boy?” Peter, frankly, thought it was perfect.

“I love it. It’s perfect. In a month, I’ll be up and running and you’ll have to come in for a latte, Sam.”

She beamed at Christian. “With a double shot of espresso.”

Peter chuckled. “You’ll have to put it on the menu as ‘The Contractor’.”

“You know it.” Christian smiled at Sam. “Almond milk latte with an extra shot.”

“All right!” Sam gave a fist pump. “Okay, you want to see the rest of the place?”

“Yeah. Yeah, I do.” Christian grinned over at him. “Peter?”

“Absolutely. Especially the third floor.” Not that he didn’t care how the studio looked, but the top floor was going to be their home.

Christian took pictures of everything. The stairs, the hall—everything.

The studio was simple—open and clean, with a metric fuck ton of industrial shelving, sinks with heavy-duty drainage and a killer sound system. It had its own bathroom and a small area walled off with the world’s tiniest kitchenette and room enough for a couch.

“I think Toby will like it, don’t you?”

Christian was closer to Toby than he was, so Peter figured his boy was a better judge.

“I do. I really do. He’s already ordering supplies. The clay should be here tomorrow.”

“Sounds like he’s even more eager than we are to get this place up and running.” He thought Toby was going a little stir-crazy, really. Though he knew damn well Damon was keeping Toby hopping in the bedroom. Toby needed the sculpting, though. All the way to the bones. Even he could see that.

Author Bio:
Often referred to as "Space Cowboy" and "Gangsta of Love" while still striving for the moniker of "Maurice," Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organizing his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and persuing the kama sutra by channeling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to "Chicago."

A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.

Barring any of that? He'll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.


Malting #1

Milling #2

Mashing #3

Brewing #4

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