On a scale of one to ten, DJ Joe Salinas considers himself a four, five on a good day. Actor/part-time stripper Fess Kedley is definitely a nine, however, though Joe’s pretty sure that slides into a ten as soon as the clothes come off. So when the outgoing Fess recognizes a shy Joe at a bachelorette party from his midnight radio show and proceeds to ask him out, Joe turns him down, convinced he’s either crazy or stupid.
The only problem is, Fess takes rejection as reason to keep on trying.
The two become unexpected friends, so when the thought of trying a date comes up again, Joe decides to take a chance. Though he doesn’t understand what someone like Fess would see in someone like him, it’s hard to say “no” when everything else feels so right.
Genres: Gay/Contemporary/Romantic Comedy/The Arts
Heat Level: 3
Length: Novella (23k words)
Read a short excerpt...
...Amidst fifteen giggling women stood a man in buckskins and a coon skin cap, with a plastic rifle thrown over his shoulder and the biggest, most beautiful Colgate smile Joe had ever seen outside of a dental commercial. Blue eyes, dimples, and a fall of blond curls slipping from beneath his hat to flop across his forehead completed the package. His clothes were too baggy to tell, but the body was probably perfect, too. He was a stripper, wasn’t he? That was practically a job requirement.
“Not that I don’t appreciate such a hearty welcome,” Mr. Perfect said. “But I can’t get the party started for real until I talk to someone named Stacy.”
More than one helpful wannabe turned and pointed toward the kitchen. Joe ducked back out of sight before he was spotted, retreating to the farthest corner as he prayed fervently for a hole to open up in the floor so he could disappear for real.
Stacy shot him one last apologetic glance, but as she started to step out to intercept the stripper, he showed up and blocked the doorway.
“Hi,” he said. “A whole bunch of little birdies say you’re Stacy.”
“That’s me. You’re the guy from That’s Strippertainment?”
“Yep.” He touched his finger to his cap, the very model of politeness. “They call me Davy Cockett, ma’am.”
Joe barked in amused disbelief, then quickly covered his mouth and ducked his head to stifle the sound.
“Cute,” Stacy commented. “What do you need from me to get the show going?”
“Some way to play my music. You got someplace I can dock this that’ll give me some decent sound? I like for everyone to be able to feel the beat, if you know what I mean.”
Could this guy get any cheesier? At least Joe was going to have plenty to talk about tonight—wait, King of the Wild Frontier here was looking for a sound system. That meant only one thing.
“You need our resident genius, then.”
Joe looked up in time to come face-to-face with the model of his future mockery. Right now, though, he had to settle for his cheeks erupting in embarrassment.
“That you, dude?” The stripper held out an iPhone in a woodgrain case. “Just plug me in, and I’ll be good to go.”
Joe plucked the phone from his fingers before the heady scent of his cologne—no wonder the girls were going crazy when he walked in, he smelled as mouthwatering as he looked—reduced Joe to a walking hard-on. “Sure thing. Give me five minutes.”
As he brushed past the stripper, grateful at least that he was going to be in the outer room and could make a better getaway, he heard a distinct, “Holy shit.”
That didn’t stop him. Neither did the second set of expletives.
It was the, “You’re Joe Salinas,” that did the trick.
Joe swiveled around and stared at the stripper. The Colgate smile was gone, the square jaw slack, blue eyes now wide with amazement. “I’m sorry,” Joe said. “Do I know you?”
It took a moment for his question to sink in. The stripper blinked once, then shook his head as if coming out of a stupor. “Shit, no. I listen to your show. Every night. Well, almost every night. When I can’t listen to you live, I stream it the next day. I wouldn’t miss it for anything.”
His earlier embarrassment changed hues, from being seen to being recognized. That never happened...