andy herren

Gay Wins Big Brother: FREE Gay Excerpt Small Town Romance Writer

This summer the only openly gay man in the Big Brother house won the grand prize of five hundred thousand dollars. But before anyone starts clapping, the title of the article to which I’m linking is, Did a Racist Win Big Brother 15?  Here are a few of my posts on the subject this summer. And I haven’t been the only one blogging and talking about the racist comments.

 From NBC News Entertainment:

and then there was Andy Herren, an openly gay contestant who found himself on the receiving end inappropriate slurs from his fellow houseguests, but managed to make enough verbal waves to spark a Facebook statement from his former employer explaining that he “does not represent the opinions or values of College of DuPage.”

Andy Herren wasn’t the only one, and actually he didn’t make the majority of the racists comments. These racists comments were addressed at the season finale last Wednesday night when the house guests came together for the first time since each one had been evicted, before a live audience. But they weren’t addressed in any detail by any means, and it would be interesting to see how some of these houseguests reacted to what America saw this summer on TV and the live feed. Several of them were fired from their jobs just like Andy Herren.

But not everyone made racist comments. Unfortunately he didn’t win the prize. Howard Overby said this:

“My sincere prayer to anyone who has said anything like that … is that you grow from this, you mature from this, you own this,” he explained. “Hopefully there’s a change from the inside out.”

FREE Gay Excerpt Small Town Romance Writer

All week I’ve been posting excerpts from published books, and because this is the last day of the week, I figured I would post an excerpt from an upcoming book in the Bad Boy Billionaire series. This one is tentatively titled Small Town Romance Writer, it’s 113,000 words in length, and it’s the eighth and final book in the series.

I’ll post the pg rated part of the excerpt here, and then you can click to my Word Press blog to read the erotic parts.

Chapter Fourteen
 
            While they were in the airport waiting for a flight to Boston, Ethan phoned Travis to talk about another bad review he’d received from The Shark Lady. This time his voice sounded wrecked with anger, to the point where he practically hissed and Travis had to pull his cell phone away from his ear.
            “That fucking asshole is trying to ruin me,” Ethan said. “Who writes two bad reviews for the same book? That was no accident, Travis. I’m going to write an open letter to that shark fucker on my web site and I’m going to fucking eat her for breakfast.” This time The Shark Lady had taken his highly toned down sex scenes out of context and turned them into hysterical examples of bad writing. She’d blasted it all over various social media web sites. Travis didn’t mention this to Ethan, but even he’d smiled at a few of her comments. They were genuinely funny, although highly out of context.
            Even though Travis had never been a fan of Ethan’s writing style, Ethan was his best friend and he had to say something to calm him down. But more than that, Travis had to admit that the review had not been fair. Funny, but not fair. He’d seen this before more than once, the way a clever book reviewer can take an excerpt from a book…any book, including the bible…out of context and make it look ridiculous. It was an age old trick some book reviewers’ use, but unfortunately most people didn’t recognize it or understand it. And there was nothing an author could do about it except take it with grace, write the book reviewer’s name down on a list, file it somewhere for future reference, and then get even with the nasty reviewer sometime down the road in the future.
            “You have to calm down,” Travis said. “If you write an open letter to a book reviewer about a bad review the only thing that will happen is that you’ll make yourself look bad. And you have so many wonderful things happening right now that would be huge mistake. Just laugh it off. Take it as a compliment. How many authors get two reviews from the same reviewer?” That’s what Travis had done.
            “You don’t know what it’s like,” Ethan said. “No one ever wrote a review like that for your book.”
            That was true. Travis’s award winning book had received some excellent reviews, and mostly middle of the road reviews. But this worried him even more than if he’d had bad reviews. He’d always believed the books that sparked the most controversy and created the most interesting discussions were the most valuable. In order to spark discussion a book had to be both loved and hated. But he didn’t want to get into that with Ethan on the phone, in the airport. So he continued to pacify him and stroke his damaged ego until they said it was time to board the plane.
            “I have to go now. We’re boarding. Call me later when I get to P’town. Just don’t write or say anything you’ll regret. Let it go, Ethan. Don’t do or say anything in public. You’ll regret it. Just trust me on this one thing.”
            “Can I send her a dead fish?” Ethan asked. “Or maybe a ticket for a cruise ship in shark infested waters.”
            “No, not even that. Let it go. She only wants you to respond. She’s goading you.”
            His voice had mellowed by then. “I suppose you’re right once again. Thanks for listening to me rant that way. But I will get even with that nasty, vicious, evil excuse for a human being someday if it’s the last thing I do.”
            Travis smiled. “I have no doubt about that. Call me later if you want. Love you.”
            “Love you, too,” Ethan said. “And thanks again for being there, as always.”
            When Travis hung up, Scottie reached for their carry-on bags and said, “Is he okay now?” He’d been listening to the conversation the entire time. He seemed to have come to his own personal understanding about Ethan and Travis’s relationship and he never questioned the dynamics.
            Travis stood up and said, “I think he is. But I have a feeling someday in the future he’s going to picking his teeth with the remains of the woman who wrote that nasty book review. Ethan never forgets anything that bruises his ego.”

The moment they boarded the plane, Travis noticed the way Scottie was staring at him. “Knock that off,” he said. “We haven’t even buckled our seatbelts yet.” He knew that look in Scottie’s eye.

Scottie laughed and said, “What?”

“You know what you’re doing,” Travis said. “Just calm yourself and we’ll see how things go. I don’t feel like getting arrested.” He’d promised Scottie they would have sex on the plane: a blow job and a fuck in the rest room.

So Scottie sat back, buckled his seatbelt, and closed his eyes for the next hour. Travis had always admired Scottie’s ability to fall asleep with such ease. Travis still had to concentrate on sleeping each night when he went to bed, and it was impossible for him to sleep on a plane, especially a flight as short as this one from Iowa to Boston. So he pulled out a new book he’d purchased for the trip that discussed communication, literature, and semiotics. This was part of the course he would be teaching the next semester titled, Communications and Literature. There were some things about the topic even he didn’t understand, and he often wondered about how much easier his life would have been if he’d decided to write simple, entertaining books like Ethan. He would have been flying in first class that day, too, instead of coach.

When they were in the air for about an hour, Scottie opened his eyes and slid his hand across Travis’s knee. He smiled and asked, “Wanna gimme head now?”

Travis continued to stare at the book he’d been reading, pretending he wasn’t amused. “Go back to sleep.”

“C’mon,” Scottie said. “Just one quick blow job. No one will see us.” They were sitting at the back of the plane, with Travis in the window seat and Scottie in the aisle. There were people behind them and in front of them, but the seats were tall enough that none of them could see anything unless they actually stood up and leaned over. And the seats on the opposite side of the plane beside them were occupied by two guys in their early twenties who both seemed to be sleeping. And they both seemed to be traveling alone.

“It’s too risky,” Travis said. He nodded to the guys across the aisle.

“They’re sound asleep,” Scottie said. He pulled down his zipper and shoved his hand into the fly of his jeans so he could stroke himself.

Travis smiled. “Stop that. Pull up your zipper right now.”

“How about a hand job,” Scottie said. “I’ll put my jacket on my lap and you can reach over. No one will notice.” He pulled his hand out of his pants and put his jacket on his lap so no one could see his dick.

Travis looked across the aisle to make sure the two guys were still sleeping, and then he slowly reached over and put his hand in Scottie’s pants. He tried stroking him this way for a minute or two, but couldn’t seem to find the right grip. He had to actually pull it out to stroke it fast enough to get Scottie off. While Travis did this, Scottie rested his head back and closed his eyes. Travis made sure he watched everything around him, and he listened to every movement to make sure no one would walk up behind them and catch him in the act. When the young guy sitting across from them moved to change positions in his seat, Travis stopped moving his hand and sent him a smile. The guy returned the smile and closed his eyes again. He obviously had no idea what was happening and he didn’t seem to care anyway. All he wanted to do was sleep.

Then Travis noticed a flight attendant heading toward them and he stopped once again. As the attendant passed, glancing at each passenger in each seat, Travis sent him a smile, too. The flight attendant returned the smile, without a clue.

These little stops and starts must have excited Scottie, because each time it happened Travis felt Scottie growing closer to climax. Scottie wasn’t the type to moan or make exaggerated sounds or movements. Scottie came quietly, without much fanfare, but there were always subtle signs in advance. Travis always knew when Scottie was close because he made a strange face where his eyebrows furrowed and he always started moving his head back and forth. And when Travis noticed these things that day he started stroking faster.

In less than two or three minutes, Scottie’s body went dead still and Travis felt something warm on his fingers. Travis held him a little longer, and then he pulled his hand out from under the jacket and he kissed Scottie on the lips.

Scottie wiped a line of perspiration from his forehead and said, “I made a mess all over your hand.”

Travis shrugged. “I don’t mind.”

“I’ll go to the bathroom and bring you back a towel,” Scottie said.

“Don’t bother,” Travis said. Then he lifted his hand and licked his fingers clean. He knew this would excite Scottie and he did it on purpose.

Scottie kissed him and said, “Lick my jeans now.”

He would have if they hadn’t been on a plane surrounded by all those people. But that would have been far too risky, so he laughed and said, “Go clean up now. It smells like bleach back here.” Scottie was one of those men who had that extra strong bleach smell that seemed to fill the air.

When he stood up to use the bathroom, he covered his crotch with the jacket so no one would notice the mess he’d made. Travis moved sideways to get comfortable again, and he noticed the guy across the aisle from him move again. As he changed positions this time, the guy opened his eyes and lifted his head a little. When Travis noticed him sniffing the air, Travis lowered his gaze to his lap and pretended he hadn’t seen him.

Of course a half hour or so later Scottie wanted to sneak into the rest room and fuck Travis before they landed in Boston. He kept poking Travis in the arm and saying, “Let’s do it.”

Travis finally reached a point where he couldn’t resist any longer, so he leaned over and spoke in a stage whisper. “Wait a few minutes, and then follow me. Give me a minute to get out of my clothes.” Unlike Scottie, Travis had already had sex in rest rooms on planes and he’d always found it highly erotic.

Without waiting for Scottie to reply, he stood up, stepped over Scottie’s legs, and walked to the back of the plane to get naked in the rest room. He went inside without locking the door and removed all of his clothes, including his socks and shoes. Part of the thrill for him was being completely naked, not just bent over with his pants down around his knees. That was the kind of thing he’d done with strangers on planes, but with his own partner whom he trusted he wanted to experience the freedom of getting fucked in the rest room in the nude. While he waited for Scottie to come in, he braced his hands on the sink, leaned forward, arched his back, and spread his legs. And when the door opened a moment after that, he flung his head to smile at Scottie and said, “Give it to me hard.”

But it wasn’t Scottie standing in the doorway. It was the young guy who had been sitting across from him in the aisle. The guy’s eyebrows went up, he stared at Travis for a moment, and then said, “I can do that.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a condom. “I’m always prepared.” Then he walked into the bathroom and closed the door behind him.

As he placed his palm flat on Travis’s naked ass, Travis said, “I’m waiting for someone else. He was supposed to join me.”

Then the bathroom door opened and Scottie gaped at the two of them. He entered quickly and locked the door so no one else could enter.

“I thought it was you,” Travis said. He didn’t want Scottie to think he’d encouraged this strange young man to follow him inside.

“He got up first,” Scottie said. “When I saw him heading toward the bathroom I didn’t know what to do, so I waited outside for a minute.”

The young guy shrugged and said, “It’s cool.” He patted Travis’s ass and laughed. He looked at Scottie and said, “He said he wants someone to give it to him hard, man.” He rubbed Travis’s ass and said, “I think the two of us should give it to him hard. It’s fate.”

Scottie and Travis exchanged a glance. They hadn’t taken a third for a while, but it wasn’t as if they’d never done three-ways before, and Travis had to admit the young guy reminded him of a lanky dark-haired actor he’d seen on TV recently. He had a messy, casual appeal and he wore his loose jeans low on his hips. So Travis said to Scottie, “I don’t mind if you don’t.”

“I think it’s hot,” Scottie said, as he pulled his erection out of his jeans and started to stroke it.

After that they didn’t waste time. The young guy with dark hair opened his pants, pulled them down to his knees, and covered his dick with the most unusual bright red lubricated condom. Travis spread his legs wider and the guy grabbed his hips. He entered fast and gave it to Travis just as hard as he’d asked for it when he’d seen him standing in the doorway. After he came, he pulled out and Scottie entered and repeated what the young guy had just done. The young guy removed the condom and threw it into the commode, but he lingered there with his pants around his knees watching Scottie fuck Travis. When Scottie came, Travis grabbed his dick and he climaxed, too. The entire scene took about ten minutes. When it ended, Scottie kissed Travis on the lips and the young guy patted him on the ass.

The young guy pulled up his pants and said, “That was nice, guys. Thanks.” Then he left them alone.

Scottie put his dick back into his jeans and said, “That was nice. I totally didn’t expect it. Now I can finally say I had sex on a plane.”

Travis was still naked and he had to take care of things, so to speak. Scottie hadn’t used a condom because there had been no need for him to use one. So Travis pointed to the door and said, “Go back to the seats and let me clean up before we both get arrested.”

When Travis finally got dressed and exited the small bathroom, there were two people waiting outside. He passed them and smiled, pretending nothing unusual had happened, but one of the people gave him a look as if she suspected something. When he reached his seat he couldn’t remember whether or not he’d flushed the toilet where the young guy had tossed the vivid red condom. He panicked for a moment and pictured the woman screaming and calling for a slight attendant. But a few minutes later he saw her pass by and return to her seat a few rows ahead of him. She didn’t seem as if anything was wrong, so he figured he must have remembered to flush.

Scottie and the guy across the aisle who had just fucked Travis seemed to have bonded while Travis had been cleaning up and getting dressed. They wound up talking across the aisle until the plane landed, all the way out of the plane, and even as they walked into the airport.  They talked about baseball and how they were Red Sox fans. Travis knew nothing about baseball and he smiled and listened while they repeated the names of players and highlights from games that season.

When they reached the exit they stopped and the guy smiled at Travis. “Thanks again, dude. That was fun.”

As Travis was about to say, “You’re welcome,” a young blond woman in a sundress ran up behind the young man and said, “Honey, there you are. Did you have a good flight?” Then she kissed him and said, “I’ve missed my big strong husband so much. The kids are in the car with my mother and Aunt Nan.” She pronounced aunt as ont.

Travis and Scottie exchanged a smile and they both stood there waiting to see how the young guy would react. After his wife kissed him, he remained expressionless while she looked Travis up and down and asked, “Can I help you?” She had an attitude that suggested superiority, and she spoke with a defensive tone, as if she couldn’t figure out why her husband was standing there with two attractive young men.

The young guy who had just fucked Travis sent Travis a pleading glance.

Travis smiled at the wife and said, “No, we have to catch the ferry to Provincetown now. We were just talking guy talk with your husband on the plane.” He faked punched the young guy in the arm and said, “Isn’t that right, buddy.” He emphasized the word buddy just like he’d heard straight guys say it.

The young guy’s face turned pale white and he shrugged. “Ah, that’s right, man.” Then he took his wife’s arm and led her out of that airport as fast as he could.

On the way to the ferry, Scottie joked about the expression on the guy’s face, and he seemed to think the wife had suspicions about her husband from the way she’d looked at Travis.

“Notice she didn’t look at you that way,” Travis said. “She looked at me if she wanted to scratch my eyes out. And I didn’t do or say anything to provoke that kind of a reaction from her.”

“Dude,” Scottie said. “Her husband just fucked your brains out on the plane.”

“She didn’t know that,” Travis said. “And I had no idea he was married. He wasn’t wearing ring.”

“He put it on when he sat down again,” Scottie said. “I saw him do it when he didn’t think anyone was watching.”

This hadn’t been the first time so-called straight married man had pulled something like this on Travis. They all removed their wedding rings when they traveled without their wives. “Well I think it’s sad,” Travis said. “He could have at least said he was married so I could decide whether or not I wanted to do anything with him. And if I’d known he was married I would have said no.”

Scottie put his arm around Travis and said, “Maybe he’s bi-sexual. Who knows? I’ll never forget the look on his face when she showed up, and I’ll never forget the way she looked at you.”

Travis would never forget it either, and mostly because it wasn’t the first time it had happened to him. But he vowed it would be the last. From that day forward he would ask them if they were married. And if they were he would tell them to go home and fuck their wives and leave him alone.

Read More….

Gay Guy Racist Big Brother; Gay Dead for Blowing Kiss; FREE Excerpt Day

Gay Guy Is Racist Big Brother 15

I’ve been posting about Big Brother 15 all summer and how I’ve never seen a more racist, vicious group of people who will do anything…absolutely anything…for the sake of a buck. I have watched this show for what feels like my entire life every summer and this year might be the last. Even the gay guy on the show, Andy Herren, who has been the victim of racial comments this summer from other house guests, has joined up with the hate and racism.

Andy Herren was called a “queer” by Gries and “Kermit the fag” by Clawson, but that didn’t keep him from hopping on the hate bandwagon when he agreed with Zimmerman’s observation that many of the evicted houseguests were “robotic biracials.” The college where Herren is/was employed is trying to distance themselves from his comments and posted the following message on its Facebook page:

The statement from the college is vague, and I wonder if Herren actually worked for the college recently, in what capacity, and what his actual job title was. He’s such a consummate liar on the show it would be hard to believe anything he said.

You can read more here to see a statement from the college. He’s allegedly been fired, like other Big Brother house guests this summer, and like the others who have lost their jobs Herren has no idea. That’s because the house guests are sequestered all summer and they have no idea what’s been happening in the outside world. With that said, they all know they are on camera at all times and that anything and everything they say or do is recorded for the entire world to see.

As a side note, for those who aren’t familiar with Big Brother, one of the reasons people watch Big Brother is to either love or hate the house guests. It’s an interesting game filled with strategy, and the contestants are not supposed to play fair all the time. Lying, cheating, and subterfuge is part of the game and it’s expected in the game. It’s what makes the game interesting. However, racism isn’t a requirement. Unfortunately, some of these people are either too dumb or too clueless to get this.

Gay Dead for Blowing Kiss

This is an unusual story because there seem to be so many various stories surfacing it’s hard to grasp what happened. Even the victim’s name has been misreported, as if someone wasn’t paying attention to the facts.

This piece originally stated that a gay man was murdered because he blew a kiss at a young straight man. An update mentions the victim’s name. Another update mentions he wasn’t really gay.

Steven Torres, a 22-year-old Bronx resident, is facing charges of second degree murder for the death of Ever Orozco after allegedly attacking the man beneath the elevated 7 train station at 90th St. and Roosevelt Ave as he was feeding a parking meter around 1:30 p.m.

“There was a lot of screaming, and all I could see was the guy was stabbing him — stabbing him and stabbing him,” stated Eddie De Jesus, a local stop owner who bore witness to the incident.

According to the New York Daily News, Torres is claiming that he initiated the attack because Orozco “[blew] kisses” at him.

And this piece quotes the victim’s wife.

THE WIDOW of a 69-year-old man knifed to death in Queens Monday afternoon raged at the confessed killer Tuesday, calling him “a liar” for claiming her husband made a sexual pass at him and touched himself.

Unfortunately, we’ll never know the truth because if the victim was gay his wife might not have known it. It happens all the time, and just because a man is married to a woman doesn’t mean he’s not attracted to other men. The wife is usually the last to know, and the first to go into denial. I can’t even count the times a so-called straight married man has made passes at me over the years. And sometimes when is wife is standing right next to him.

But aside from all that, because it doesn’t really matter, this was still a hate crime against the LGBT community, and not the only one that has happened in NY this year.

Overall, NYC has seen a sharp spike in anti-LGBT violence since the spring, with former mayoral candidate Christine Quinn reportedly stating that year-to-year numbers have shown an expected 70 percent increase in anti-gay hate crimes.

FREE Excerpt Day

Here’s another free excerpt from one of my books, Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street. It’s one of my indie releases, it’s a .99 e-book, and can be purchased at several places, including the link above to Amazon.

Although I didn’t hold back with the erotic scenes in this book (far from it), this is from the beginning of Chapter Two where Jonah Sweet meets David Abernathy for the first time. Aside from trying to learn how to cook, Jonah also has the gift of mind reading. The book isn’t a paranormal by any means. But like there are people who can read minds in real life and see into the future, so can Jonah.
From the raw, unedited version…

The next morning Jonah had an exam. He was supposed to cut or chop something and he wasn’t sure exactly what it was. They never told the students in advance; they expected the students to be prepared and to know how to do anything on the spot. He had a feeling it wasn’t going to be a good day at all. When he glanced into his closet for something to wear, all he found were his tight beige slacks and a pale, faded pink polo shirt that was so short he couldn’t lift his arms without showing off his bare stomach. The rest of his things were in the laundry and his mom hadn’t done them yet. The only alternative to wearing this outfit would have been to pull something out of his hamper.

He shrugged in defeat and slid the short polo shirt over his head; knowing deep down what he wore had nothing to do with how he would do on the exam. It was a progressive school in the sense that they didn’t force students to wear uniforms; just white aprons and hats while they were working with food. He fastened the tight beige slacks and pulled up the zipper, wishing he hadn’t thrown the jeans he’d worn yesterday into the hamper. He didn’t realize he’d forgotten to take off the cock ring until he got on the subway. He felt an itch between his legs when he sat down next to an old man reading the newspaper. When he reached down to scratch, he felt the black leather cock ring and sighed so loud the old man sitting next to him lowered the newspaper and sent him a dirty look.

As usual, Jonah was right on time without a second to spare and he couldn’t run into the men’s room to remove the cock ring. If he had, he would have been late for class. Those cooking instructors were a serious group. The few times he had arrived late they’d made him stand at the back of the class and separate eggs for three hours, or worse, chop garlic. So he ran up to the second floor, down the hall, and skidded into the classroom with his apron strings flying. He’d put on his apron and his hat on the way up the steps. The rest of the students had already arrived and the only work station available was up front. Jonah preferred to work in the back row so he could blend in better if he wasn’t sure about what he was doing. He didn’t have any choice that morning.

When he entered the room, the instructor threw him a somber glance and frowned. Jonah looked up at a clock on the wall and saw that he was on time; not late, but not early either. He wanted to flip the old goat the bird and say, “It’s only cutting vegetables, not cancer research.” But he’d never been the type to do things like that. So he lifted his chin and set his jaw in defense and turned fast. He took his place at the work station in the front row and dropped his back pack on the floor. He tied his apron and took a quick breath. When he stood up straight to face the instructor, he had to stand with his legs slightly spread apart, with his back arched a little. The cock ring was starting to pinch.

As the instructor shuffled a few papers, a tall man in a biege mock turtle neck sweater walked into the room. The entire class, including Jonah, glanced up to see who he was. He held his head high, with a superior attitude, and swaggered up to the long work station at the head of the class where the instructor stood in front of a large industrial sink. The instructor shook the man’s hand, said something no one could hear, and smiled for the first time since Jonah had enrolled in the cooking school. Then the instructor faced the class and said, “We have a guest today. This is Mr. David Abernathy. He not only owns this school, but also one of the largest restaurant chains in the world and some very large casinos. He’s looking for someone to intern with him and learn his business from the bottom up. The internship will count toward your diploma and the person selected will graduate without having to return. It’s a wonderful opportunity.”

A quiet, collective gasp passed through the room and Jonah knew why. He’d read all about David Abernathy in more than one magazine. His photo was hanging in the front hall of the school. Jonah had also seen him on TV and in a few cameos for feature films. From all reports, David Abernathy was worth more than a billion dollars and he’d made it all on his own by starting a small hamburger stand on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. And he was even better looking in person. He stood over six feet tall, with his head held high and even. His short black hair didn’t have a set part. It seemed messy on top as if he’d planned it that way. The muscles in his arms and shoulders and chest protruded through the tight mock turtleneck in an obvious way that suggested he wanted to show them off. The tight dark jeans he wore accentuated his long legs and created a slight bulge in his crotch. From what Jonah had read, David Abernathy always wore basically the same outfit: a black or beige mock turtle neck and jeans. Sometimes he wore a suit and sometimes he wore a suit jacket with jeans. But he never wore colors other than black, beige, or muted olive green. Jonah had read somewhere he was so obsessive about his conservative clothes he had thousands of identical black and beige mock turtleneck sweaters stacked neatly in all of the homes he owned.

David Abernathy glanced at the students and nodded. His face remained expressionless; he laced his fingers together below his waist. Jonah couldn’t help notice how large his hands were. He had long thick fingers and with smooth even knuckles. A man’s hands were important to Jonah: knobby knuckles and tiny fingers made him wince. He’d always had this unproven theory that a man’s fingers resembled his dick.

The instructor frowned at Jonah and spoke to the entire class. “Today I’ll be testing you on your julienne skills. You will be required to julienne red bell peppers, carrots, leeks, and zucchini. You will be given a certain amount of time to do this and you will be evaluated. Mr. Abernathy will observe and he will make his decision at the end of the class. Are there any questions?”

Jonah glanced at the vegetables at his work station that he would be chopping. He hated to julienne even more than he hated to bone chickens. Getting those thin little strips just right made his stomach tighten. And those red bell peppers were a killer, with all those messy seeds and slimy insides. Oh, if he’d known this would be the exam he would have been practicing his julienne skills last night instead of dicing the fucking onions. This instructor always threw him off this way. The man couldn’t be predicted, not even by a mind reader.

Though Jonah knew he didn’t have a chance in hell at being chosen for the internship with David Abernathy, he lifted his French knife and braced for battle with the red bell pepper. When the instructor said, “Go,” Jonah reached for a pepper and did the best he could. While everyone around him seemed to work with precision, Jonah forced a smile and tried to keep the pepper on the wooden work station so he could slice it in half. He lost the first one because he moved his leg and the cock ring pinched his left nut. He squeezed the pepper too hard, it flew off the work station, and landed in the large sink in front of the instructor. When Jonah glanced up, the instructor glared back at him with his arms folded across his chest. Jonah forced a smile and a quick shrug, even though the cock ring was pinching him so hard now he wanted to scream.

Jonah avoided looking at David Abernathy completely. David had piercing blue eyes and a deep intense stare. He knew if he did look at him he’d only screw up even more. Jonah had always avoided men like David Abernathy. When he looked into their eyes a lump always formed in his throat and he lost his voice.

When the instructor told them to stop, Jonah glanced down at his station and frowned. He’d only managed to cut up three red peppers, excluding the one that went over the work station. And not very well either. Instead of thin strips like everyone around him, his resembled thick crooked arrows with jagged edges and dented skins. One looked as if he’d stepped on it and rubbed it between his legs. As the instructor walked up and down the aisles, passing work stations to see what the students had done, Jonah tried to push the ugliest slices of pepper out of the way. But it didn’t work. When the instructor reached his work station and glanced down to see Jonah’s work, he shook his head and sent Jonah a look that combined pity and disgust.

David Abernathy stood behind the instructor, checking to see who had the best julienne skills. David glanced at the mess on Jonah’s work station and his eyebrows went up. After he blinked, he rubbed his jaw and tilted his head to the side. When Jonah got nervous he had trouble controlling his mind reading skills. He heard the instructor thinking, “What a fucking dunce. It’s a good thing he’s cute and he has that hot little ass, because he wouldn’t have a chance otherwise.” Jonah heard a few of the other students around him laughing internally at the mess he’d created. But Jonah couldn’t read David Abernathy’s mind at all. He wasn’t sure why either. And he didn’t try harder. From the confused look on Abernathy’s face, Jonah had a feeling he didn’t want to know what Abernathy was thinking.

The rest of the julienne exams went as poorly as the red bell pepper. The cock ring continued to pinch. Jonah almost lost a finger with the leeks. And those skinny carrots made him bite the inside of his lip so hard he thought he drew blood. By that time Jonah had calmed down enough to control his mind reading skills and he only had to glance at the instructor’s expression to know his thoughts. Each time David Abernathy saw what Jonah had done at the work station his expression went blank, as if he didn’t know what to say.

After Jonah finished working on the zucchini, David Abernathy walked up behind him and startled him so much he gasped and dropped a nine inch zucchini.  It landed on the floor between Abernathy’s feet in a way Jonah couldn’t have planned if he’d tried. He stumbled and wound up on his hands and knees. The back of his short polo shirt went up and exposed half of his naked back. He had to grab David Abernathy’s leg for support so he wouldn’t topple over completely. When he glanced up to apologize, he saw David Abernathy looking down at him with his hands on his hips and what might have been a half smile. It was either that or Abernathy was hiding a sneer.

“I’m so sorry, Mr. Abernathy,” Jonah said. “It just slipped right out of my hand. I guess I wasn’t holding it hard enough.” In this position the cock ring pinched even more.

David leaned forward and extended his hands. He grabbed Jonah’s upper arms and lifted him to a standing position without making a face. Jonah’s eyes opened wide; he’d never been lifted by anyone that way before. Then David picked up the zucchini, handed it to Jonah, and said, “This might be a little too big for you to handle. You should try something smaller. Something you can really get your hand around.”

Jonah’s jaw dropped and he nodded. He tried to read David’s mind again and nothing happened. “I’ll do that, Mr. Abernathy. Thank you, Sir.”

When Jonah called him Sir, David sent him an intense stare that lingered a second or two longer than it should have. David nodded fast and said, “You’re welcome.”

At the end of the class, the instructor took a few minutes to evaluate the students and Jonah cleaned up his work station. He didn’t dare look up at David Abernathy or the instructor. He knew he’d never have a chance to be Abernathy’s intern. But more than that, he had a feeling he’d flunked the class and he’d have to wind up taking it all over again. His mind began to wander and he started to think about taking a real estate course instead of cooking school. Maybe his mom was right: he should call Stanley Minford up and marry and settle down. There were worse men than Stanley. At least Stanley would always treat him well. He just couldn’t get past the sex they would have…or wouldn’t have. He’d always believed the sex should be spectacular in the beginning of a relationship. He’d been counting on this.

When the instructor set his notebook down, he said something to David Abernathy and they walked into a small office to discuss who Abernathy had chosen to be his intern. While they were in the office, Jonah ran down the hall to the men’s room to remove the cock ring. He didn’t linger. He went into a stall, shoved his hand down his pants, and undid the snaps. Then he shoved the cock ring into his pocket and noticed that his pants were so tight it stuck out even with the apron. He couldn’t walk around with a cock ring sticking out of his leg, and didn’t want to leave the cock ring in the bathroom. This one had cost him a lot of money. So he snapped it around his wrist and ran back to the classroom.

When he returned, the instructor and David were coming out of the office. The instructor noticed Jonah rushing into the room and he frowned. Jonah looked down at his shoes and took a deep breath, praying this would all be over soon so he could figure out what he’d do now. As the two men walked back to the main work station, the instructor had a strange look on his face. His lips were pinched together and his eyebrows furrowed. David Abernathy stood still, with his head up high and the same blank expression he’d had when he arrived. He even folded his hands behind his back and started rocking on his feet. At one point, Jonah could feel David’s stare and he didn’t dare look up to see why he was looking at him.

The instructor coughed and said, “Mr. Abernathy has made his decision. The rest of you have passed the course and I’ll go over your grades with you in private in my office one at a time.” He stopped talking and glared at Jonah for a moment. Then he clenched his fists and said, “Jonah Sweet will be leaving us so he can apprentice with David Abernathy.”