Hot Ticket [A Serving Love Story]
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by K. A. Mitchell
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: Love's the last thing you expect to find in the trash. A Serving Love story. Elliot Graham doesn't make mistakes. So when he ends up serving community service at a recycling plant for inadvertently buying stolen property, he's certain it's the worst thing that's ever happened to him. That is, until he finds tickets to a sold-out concert in the trash, tickets that immediately disappear into the pocket of the hottest--and most exasperating--guy he's ever met. Cade McKuen has never been one to follow society's expectations. That's why he's serving time sorting trash for destroying his cheating ex-lover's car rather than apologize. Finding those tickets is an unexpected bonus to an otherwise smelly sentence. But when cute, sputtering Elliot claims a share, Cade decides community service might be the best thing that's happened to him all year. Cade is determined to keep Elliot off balance and tap into the passion he senses is hidden under that buttoned-down exterior. Elliot is fascinated by Cade's outrageous way of thumbing his nose at the world. Opposites attract, but can passion be the ticket to something lasting? Warning, this title contains the following: explicit male/male sex, graphic language.
eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2008 2008
eBookwise Release Date: February 2010
46 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [136 KB]
Reading time: 84-117 min.
"Sorry I'm late," the man said as he slid into the chair across from Elliot, but he didn't sound at all sorry. "I'm Cade McKeun." He held out his hand.
Elliot shook the offered hand, startled by the rush of heat until he realized it was the hand that had been cradling Cade's mug of inky black coffee. "Elliot Graham." And as he always did, he added, "Please spare me the E.T. imitations. I've heard them all."
Cade grinned. "So, Elliot, how did you fuck up enough to end up on the wrong side of trash collection?"
It wasn't as if Elliot didn't use that sort of language in justifiable situations, but Cade seemed to brandish crude language like an extension of his outrageous jewelry. Elliot's stepfather always said that people who cursed extensively lacked imagination.
"I was trying to buy a Christmas present for my sister."
"Sounds innocent enough."
"The present turned out to be stolen." And like an idiot, he'd paid for the Coach bag with a check. Helen at work had told him her brother-in-law could get him a good deal. Elliot just had no idea how good the deal was. At least he'd been arrested before he'd given the bag to his sister so no one in his family was aware of his disgrace. His parents didn't read the Montpelier paper.
"Fourth-degree possession of stolen property," Elliot clarified. It felt good to actually say it to someone who couldn't judge him. After all, Cade could hardly be critical when he must have done something similarly stupid. "What about you?"
Cade took a sip of his coffee, long fingers wrapping around the porcelain mug in a way that made the warmth Elliot had felt in his hand jump into his stomach.
"Vandalism." Cade's smile suggested he wasn't any sorrier about the vandalism than he had been about keeping Elliot waiting.
Elliot tried to imagine this smiling man spray painting a building or slashing tires. He waited, but Cade offered no further explanation. Did Cade do that kind of thing often? In the sanitation building, Elliot had thought Cade was about his age, but now, seeing his hands and face under the golden light of the coffee shop, Elliot realized Cade was older, way too old to be entertained by Halloween-style pranks.
Cade watched him, amusement making his light brown eyes even warmer.
"What?" Elliot asked.
"You look like you just figured out you're handcuffed to an axe murderer." Cade smiled again and Elliot felt that warmth tug at him, pulling tight and deep. James, he reminded himself. James, who was attending the New England Culinary Institute and did not commit unrepentant acts of vandalism and wear fifteen--Cade flicked his tongue forward as he drank from his mug, revealing yet another piercing--sixteen pieces of metal in his head.
The man's lips curved in a satisfied smile. "It was a personal thing. Between me and my ex-boyfriend."
The confirmation that Cade was gay acted like an accelerant on that heat in Elliot's belly. It sizzled along his nerves, turning his skin hot and sensitive under his sweater. The information gave Elliot's brain permission to replay the way Cade's ass had looked when he leaned over the counter to kiss the barista, that worn jacket riding up far enough to show how tightly fitted the jeans were over his round ass. Elliot's fingers twitched at the idea of running his hand over it. He gave himself a mental shake. James. The ticket. Elliot had plans, and they didn't involve a detour to find out how that ball sitting on Cade's tongue would feel if they kissed. If Cade licked his skin.
Cade's look held something other than amusement now, and his eyes seemed darker. As if he could tell where Elliot's thoughts were, Cade pushed the barbell piercing his tongue out between his teeth and let it flick back with a click. Elliot licked the foam off his own lips, though he couldn't remember the last time he'd taken a sip of his cappuccino.
Cade's gaze followed the movement of Elliot's tongue. Was it his imagination or had Cade leaned closer? The tug Elliot felt inside ran right down into his dick and he fought against the need to pull at his jeans. So they were attracted to each other. God knew why. There was just something about Cade McKeun. Something about the appraising look in his eyes that made Elliot want to know what shade of brown those eyes would be if Elliot's hand were on Cade's dick.
Elliot had to get things back on track. "Umm, about that ticket. I'd be willing to give you two hundred for it."
Cade's eyes widened. "Wow. That's definitely something to think about."
"Why do you want it?"
"I love live music, and you gotta admit, that kind of quality performance is pretty rare around here."
"But Haydn and--"
"William Boyce? Little known eighteenth-century composer? I have all his sonatas right here." Cade placed an expensive-looking MP3 player on the table and spun the wheel. "See?" He turned it to show the display.
"You could have just put those pieces on there now."
Cade laughed. "So I could drive up the price? Do I look like a ticket-scalping con man to you?"
"No." He didn't know what to make of Cade. Elliot would have sworn an hour ago that he would never find a tongue ring anything but repulsive, but now he couldn't stop thinking about how that ball would feel on his skin, rolling over his--for the love of God, Elliot, stop thinking with your little head.
Elliot fidgeted with the sugar packets he'd brought to the table. "Want some?"
"Of that crap? Hell no."
"I wish I could drink coffee black."
"You really ought to get off the milk. They put so many hormones in it you'll be growing tits."
"Oh yeah. The government doesn't care what crap we're fed. They just want us docile."
First piercings, now Elliot found paranoia cute? It had been a long winter. Or maybe he just needed to get laid. "You have evidence of this?"
"Have you been paying any attention for the last ten years--oh." Cade's smile took on a cynical twist. "Ten years ago you were still playing in a sandbox."
Anger rather than embarrassment forced heat to Elliot's cheeks. "So do you want the two hundred or not?" He wasn't about to get into some kind of contest with someone who thought he knew everything because he'd been on the planet longer.
"You have the money with you?"
"No." And he certainly wasn't going to be stupid enough to pay with a check again. He took a deep sip from his mug.
"Look, kid, I'll give you the ticket."
Elliot choked on the hot liquid in his throat, finally managing to croak, "What?"
"All you gotta do is meet me Thursday at five thirty at Verde Loco."
"You're going to just give me the other ticket?"
"If you show."
"I just have to show up?"
"Mostly." Cade leaned over and wiped at Elliot's lips with a napkin. His thumb brushed the corner of Elliot's mouth. With a wink, Cade popped the thumb in his own mouth and made a show of licking it clean.
"I--I thought milk was dangerous."
"Sometimes the risk is worth it."