I like to post these free excerpts from time to time for various reasons. One of which is to show how e-books look in raw form before they are formatted and released for sale. This excerpt below is from the Bad Boy Billionaire Series, The Vegas Shark. One of the books I enjoyed writing the most, and one that I’ve always thought was the most emotional and filled with the most innocent brand of love there is…forgiveness.
It’s also one of the few books I’ve been able to do something I love to do, and that’s end the book with the same sentence with which I began it. I can’t show an example here because that would ruin the ending, but it’s nice when I can tie up a book that way. It doesn’t happen often.
This all happened about a month after Treston ran into Cooper near the used car dealership where he’d gone to apply for a job. After Cooper helped Treston into the car, he drove him home and called in sick that day. He spent the rest of the afternoon listening to Treston talk about how frustrated he was with his life and how he wanted to change his circumstances. In the past when they’d communicated with each other through social media, Treston had held back and he’d never gone into any great details about what he did for a living, especially the part about being a male escort sometimes. But that afternoon he told Cooper Boon everything, from his ping pong ball act to the guys he saw in private sometimes after the shows. Treston figured if he wanted a relationship with this man he had to be honest and it had to be based on mutual trust.
Cooper sat and listened without saying much. At one point, he sat down on the sofa next to Treston and put his arms around him. He held him tightly and said, “I had a feeling your life wasn’t exactly normal or perfect. But I had no idea it was this complicated. What you need is stability. You need a regular routine.” He made a fist and pounded the sofa arm.
At the time, Treston felt secure confessing all this to Cooper. Though he was attracted to Cooper, he didn’t think Cooper would ever want to get involved with him. Good guys like Cooper Boone didn’t think about starting relationships with male strippers who sometimes got paid to have sexual encounters with other men. Good guys like Cooper Boone found decent, respectable guys with whom to build relationships around set patterns and normal routines.
So no one could have been more surprised than Treston when Cooper grabbed him, threw him down on the sofa, and kissed him. And when Cooper stopped kissing and said, “I’ll help you get a job because I’m in love with you and I want to marry you,” Treston thought he’d lost his senses for a moment.
Treston sat back and said, “All the other men I’ve been with don’t bother you? And I’ve never been able to stick to a routine or pattern in my life.”
Cooper reached for Treston’s hands and held them tightly. “No. The other men don’t bother me. I’m in love with you and that’s all that matters. And I’ll turn you around. I’ll get you into a routine.”
Cooper didn’t go home that night. For once, he broke his routine. They ordered take out, drank wine until midnight, and wound up in Treston’s bed where Treston was surprised to learn Cooper Boon made love even rougher and with more intensity than any of the bad boys Treston had dated in the past. That night Cooper threw him down, slapped him in all the right spots, and turned him around in so many different positions Treston actually had trouble keeping up with him. He even grabbed his throat and punched him a few times. And in the morning when Treston climbed out of bed to examine the bruises on the backs of his legs, he noticed Cooper’s cowboy hat and boots on the bedroom floor and smiled. He knew, deep in his gut, he’d finally found the right man to fall in love with.
The rest happened so fast Treston barely had time to think. Cooper got him a part time job at Lake Mead working as a file clerk three mornings a week in the ranger’s station. He wanted Treston to quit his job at Chickey’s strip club right away, but Treston said he couldn’t do it until he either was married or had another full time job on which he could support himself. So Cooper made a deal with him. Cooper told Treston if he quit his job at Chickey’s he would marry him even though gay marriage was not legally recognized. He said Treston could move into his larger apartment and he would take care of him until he found a full time job that didn’t include stripping. Then he kissed Treston, told him he loved him, and he would always take care of him. So Treston agreed to everything and they set a wedding date with enough time for Treston to give his notice at the club, clean up his affairs, and get out of his lease.
One month later, as Treston organized a few files in the ranger’s station, he still felt so giddy about his new life he found himself whistling You Are My Sunshine and didn’t even realize it. He was doing this when the heavyset ranger, Roger, returned from lunch. Cooper had been gone for about an hour. Roger opened the door and sent him a look and he stopped whistling immediately. Then Treston smiled and asked, “Is there anything special you’d like me to do for you before I leave. I don’t mind. I have plenty of time.” Because he only worked part time three mornings a week and didn’t have a car, he had to spend the entire afternoon on the days he worked walking the trails of Lake Mead until Cooper was finished working so he could take him home. He didn’t mind staying in the station and working without getting paid. He would have done anything short of blowing Roger to pass the time.
Roger shrugged and said, “Nothing I can think of.” He was one of those hapless souls without much energy. Nothing excited him more than a dozen doughnuts or a full box of Twinkies. In the same respect, nothing ever seemed to upset him either which made him easy to work with. The first week Treston had started working there Roger had entered the back room and he’d found Treston in Cooper’s arms near the lockers where the rangers changed their clothes. They’d been kissing, thinking they were all alone, and Treston’s pants had been down around his ankles. Any of the other rangers would have gasped and kicked them both out. But not Roger. He just sent them a glance, rubbed his large stomach, gaped at Treston’s ass for a second, and continued to the bathroom without as much as a second glance. And when Treston tried to apologize later and tell Roger nothing like that would ever happen again, Roger just shrugged and said, “It’s none of my business what anyone else does. I keep to myself.”
“Are you sure you don’t need anything done,” Treston said. It was hot out and he didn’t feel like walking the trails all afternoon. “I can clean the place up a little. I don’t think the floor has been vacuumed in a while. I don’t mind at all.”
Roger glanced down at his desktop and said, “Nope. I’m good. I’ll see you later.”
Treston knew there was nothing he could say or do to change Roger’s mind. And he didn’t want Roger to get annoyed with him. So he went to the back room, changed his clothes, and left the ranger’s station about fifteen minutes later. He started walking toward one of his favorite trails, as far away from the trail where Harlan Rocks had left him naked as he could get. He liked this trail in particular because he sometimes ran into Cooper later in the afternoon as Cooper was heading back to the station and Cooper would break his routine. Sometimes they would sneak behind a rock and make love. One afternoon Cooper pulled down Treston’s pants and bent him over a flat boulder, and another afternoon Treston blew Cooper while he was still on his horse. Sometimes…and only because Cooper requested this…Treston would remove all his clothes and put on Cooper’s cowboy boots and hat while Cooper threw Treston over the horse and spanked him.
It didn’t take long for Treston to learn that straight-laced Cooper Boon who appeared so conservative and set in his ways on the outside had a few kinky needs in the bedroom. They weren’t outrageous; just little things like Treston wearing his boots or Treston wearing long fake red fingernails. Cooper really seemed to get off spanking Treston with all kinds of things, from kitchen spatulas to the soles of his cowboy boots. And though these were not kinky things Treston would have ever done or even suggested, Treston felt the need to please the man he was in love with, partly because he was Treston’s hero and partly because Cooper was the one man with the ability to take Treston away from the only life he’d known as a stripper.
While Treston headed toward the trail that afternoon, he started to whistle You are my Sunshineagain. He felt unusually excited and didn’t know why. But as he turned right to head off the road, he heard a car coming, followed by sound of deep familiar voice say, “Do you need a ride, bitch?”
Treston stopped walking and glanced up at the clear sky. He took a quick breath and rolled his eyes. This wasn’t the first time something like this had happened in the past month. He turned slowly and glanced at the long black limo that had stopped at the side of the road. He put his hands on his hips, frowned, and said, “No, thank you. I don’t need a ride.” He had to clench his teeth to force himself not to smile.
Chad Pratt was hanging out of the back window. From what Treston could see, he was naked. Chad climbed up a little higher, flashed his dick, and said, “C’mon, bitch. You know you need me. I’ll take you home. This park ranger shit isn’t for you and you know it. You need a guy like me. You crave it.”
Ever since the night they’d had dinner, Chad had been trying to contact him. Treston had thought the roses Chad had sent the day after had been the end of all this silliness. But he’d been wrong. A week after that Chad came to the club to watch him shoot ping pong balls and he’d requested a private show later that night. When Chickey told Treston that Chad was waiting for him in the back, Treston explained to Chickey he didn’t want to do a private show with Chad because he didn’t want to get involved with him. He told Chickey the entire story about meeting Chad, having dinner with him, and the way Chad had been hounding him; Chickey listened without saying a word. After Treston explained the situation, Chickey went back and told Chad it wasn’t going to happen. This was one of the things about Chickey that Treston loved most. It’s also why he insisted on giving Chickey plenty of notice before he quit his job to marry Cooper. Treston knew the ping pong ball show was important to the club and he didn’t want Chickey to lose money. Chickey truly cared for the guys who worked for him and he never forced them to do anything they didn’t want to do. Not even with Chad Pratt.
“Will you please leave me alone,” Treston said. “I’m not getting in the car with you, you tired old movie star.” Although Treston thought Chad looked as adorable as ever hanging out of the back window naked, and they both knew he was only joking when he called him a tired old movie star, there was nothing Treston would to do ruin his wonderful relationship with Cooper. To leave a good solid man with a set routine for the worst bad boy in Vegas might have been something Treston would have done a year earlier. But not anymore.
Chad threw one of his long legs out the window and over the side of the limo. He started playing with himself…clearly not serious about getting off because that would have been insane; just joking around…right there on the side of the road and said, “I’m never going to leave you alone. I love you. I’m even thinking about starting a new career as a male stripper to get closer to you.”
“Well I don’t love you,” Treston said. “And you’re too old to strip.”
Chad laughed. “Yes you do. You just won’t admit it. And I’ll bet I could shoot ping pong balls out of my ass better than you.”
“I don’t have to admit anything,” Treston said. “And you only think you love me because I keep rejecting you. I know how that works, trust me. It’s all a big game with guys like you, the assholes of the world, and the only reason you want me is because I don’t want you.”
“I’ve changed,” Chad said. “I’m not an asshole anymore. I’m not even an asswipe.”
“That’s not what I read in the newspaper,” Treston said. About a week after Treston had had dinner with Chad, while Chad had been sending him roses and gifts, Chad’s blond boyfriend with the potty mouth had discovered Chad in bed with his brother again. The blond potty mouth went berserk and chased his brother down the street naked. When potty mouth caught his brother, he beat him up so badly…kicks and scratches…because he’d been sleeping with Chad, he wound up getting arrested and the brother pressed charges against him. Of course Chad had kept his own name out of the paper, and what that had cost him Treston could only guess. But Treston knew the moment he read the article and recognized the photo of the blond potty mouth on the front page Chad had been the man they’d been fighting over.
Chad jumped out of the limo stark naked and jogged to where Treston was standing. “You don’t have to worry about Dare anymore. We broke up after that unfortunate incident.”
Treston pulled him to the left, behind a large rock. “You’re going to get arrested. A man your age in your position shouldn’t be running around naked in the middle of the day. Have you lost your mind completely?”
Chad continued to smile; his steel blue eyes and the little fleck of silver in his hair sparkled in the bright sun. “I don’t care if I get arrested. I love you and nothing else matters.”