Run and Hide Pt. 01byCC_Ryder©
I can see the headline: "Couple found strangled in paint aisle; home stager suspected."
Ace Hoffman's shitty afternoon had bled into the evening, turning his mood sour and sharp. His last appointment of the day was supposed to be a simple design consultation, a first-time evaluation of the home with a list of suggestions. No heavy lifting, in and out in ninety minutes tops.
But ninety minutes stretched into four hours, thanks to an unscheduled trip to the paint store and having to mediate two bickering homeowners. They simply would not agree on the colors to paint the rooms of a house that they were selling. With luck, they would only be living in that suburban box for three more months. Yet, every swatch turned into a protracted battle - and Ace was forced to be the patient referee.
These people needed marriage counseling more than a home stager. After the twentieth swatch that they held up for the living room, Ace was ready to scream, "For fuck's sake, you're from Johnson County! Pick beige and be done with it!"
Unfortunately, Ace hadn't built up enough clients yet to be able to turn any down any work. So he swallowed every tempting obscenity and gently guided them to their purchases - then got the hell away from them.
After a late dinner and a life-restoring whiskey at his favorite Irish pub, Ace still needed to unwind. The last thing he wanted to do was spend another Friday night alone in Lawrence, Kansas.
Nothing to distract me there anymore, now that the upstairs bathroom is tiled. Maybe I should buy another rundown house and fix it up so I can forget how fucking lonely I can get.
With no boyfriend - and no real prospects - Ace decided to head to Kansas City to find a warm body for tonight.
Times like this, he really missed Atlanta's hot and varied gay nightlife. His favorite stops, the friendly guys, the comfort of knowing he was at home in his surroundings. If he were back east, he'd go right to Molly's, which is where he first met -
The thought stopped him short. He thought he'd put his ex behind him, mostly by putting work in front of him.
That's why you threw yourself into that home remodel, he reminded himself.
It figures that every time he thought about getting laid in a bar, he'd think of his ex. That was Cameron's primary way of communicating with other men.
And outside those bars, Cameron wasn't much interested in being gay at all.
Now Ace was even more determined to take his mind off the things in his mind - this shitty day, that unwelcome memory.
Thanks to his constant work on his house, he not only was able to keep those thoughts at bay, but he also managed to leave no time for much socializing. So if he wanted to clear his mind the way he needed to, it meant Sparks.
He headed to that unassuming establishment in Kansas City's midtown area, suddenly eager to be surrounded by the scent of men, by their sweaty skin and burning eyes. As he entered the dark room, he could feel the atmosphere act like a balm on this itch he needed to scratch.
It was exactly the sort of crowd he would have expected on a Friday night in summer - the perfect mix of loose and tightly wound. Just being in the presence of all these men of such wonderful variety was enough to ease the tension in his body.
He had no real objective here tonight. It was a little like going to a bookstore just to browse, rather than to look for a specific book. He wanted to stumble on something - on someone - tonight.
Ace caught the eye of the bartender and through the crowded ordered a whiskey. The cute twink gave him a wink and poured him a double Jameson. The bartender - Jimmy - was a one-man welcoming committee for all newcomers to Sparks, as Ace had pleasantly discovered when he arrived to town last summer. Ace knew first-hand how talented that guy's mouth was. But it was well known that he never broke his one-time rule with customers.
Jimmy slid his drink to him, brushing his fingers.
"Got your eye on anyone tonight?" Ace asked Mr. Welcoming Committee.
"Only the man of my dreams," Jimmy sighed theatrically and nodded to the end of the bar.
Ace followed the gesture and felt his breath stop.
There stood the most masculine man he had ever seen. Not masculine in a musclehead way or in a leather daddy bear way - just classically male. Tall, broad shoulders tapering down to - oh damn, that ass. Dark, nearly black hair and a perfectly sculpted beard. Well-tanned skin - was that his natural color or did he spend a lot of time outside? Ace doubted it. His dream man was dressed in a sharp black suit, looking simultaneously cool and hot, detached from the swirl of less dressed bodies around him. Give this man a fedora and a cigar and he could have stepped out of a 1940s film noir.
Then Mr. Perfect turned and caught Ace's open stare. Ace wasn't prepared for those eyes - those grey-blue points of light, holding him in place with their intensity.
That one look made Ace's cock wake up to say hi. He licked his lips to soothe his suddenly dry lips. The other man's eyes never left his.
"Ah, damn it, I shouldn't have told you," Jimmy complained, drawing Ace's attention away from the delicious hole he was falling into.
"You mean you haven't welcomed him to town yet?" Ace teased.
"Haven't seen him before, but that's not to say he's not from here, of course," Jimmy reasoned. "Look at him. He looks like he needs to relax. So tense." He sighed dreamily. "The things I could do to loosen his muscles."
Ace saw the tension in their shared subject, too. He was now looking around disinterestedly, as if he was simply checking out the scene. But the tightness of his bearing told Ace he didn't know how to go after what he wanted.
I can fix that.
"What a shame you're stuck behind the bar on such a busy night, ambassador," Ace grinned at Jimmy.
Jimmy huffed. "Why must you steal my fun? You know I wouldn't play for keeps. No matter how tempting." He craned his neck to get another look at Mr. Hot.
Ace felt an unexpected flare of jealousy. He didn't want anybody else touching this guy.
Huh. Where did that come from?
"Sorry buddy." Ace laid down some cash for his drink. "I'm feeling a tad impatient tonight. I'd better get over there before somebody else cuts in line."
"Good luck, cutie."
That Jimmy was a good guy. Ace spared a small moment of regret for depriving Mr. Hot of his proper welcome, but that thought disappeared when he took another look at him.
The only one welcoming him tonight will be me.
He slowly worked his way through the crowd, ignoring the one or two interested looks he could feel follow him. He had his sights set on exactly one man right now.
By the time he'd reached his target's proximity, the dark-haired man's attention was on the sweaty dancing men on the floor. Ace sidled up next to him.
"You're a little over dressed for this joint," Ace said as an opening, leaning in close to his ear. "Not that I'm complaining. You do wonderful things for that suit." He let his eyes linger over every ripple in the fabric, up and down this beautiful body.
"I wasn't aware there was a dress code," Mr. Hot replied, turning to face him.
Oh my God, that voice. Deep and rumbling with a hint of teasing, Ace could feel it vibrate in his own lungs and skin.
"It's more of an undress code," Ace grinned, shifting slightly closer.
Tall-dark-and-rumbling glanced around them. "I can tell."
Ace wanted his focus back on him. "Are you meeting someone here?"
Those blue-grey eyes swung back to him, and Ace shivered under their gaze. This time Ace was the one being checked out, as Mr. Hot took in the sight before him. Ace hadn't changed after work - neither had this guy, obviously - so he was wearing khakis and a buttoned blue shirt. Not his typical going-out clothes, of course, but this wasn't feeling like a typical night, at any rate.
Ace, who was perfectly, exactly six feet tall, stood a couple inches shorter than the man examining him. He stood silently under the perusal, confident in what the other man would find. Ace's naturally curly blond hair was cut short enough to keep the curls at bay, but the heat and sweat of the bar was starting to kink out the ends and make him look a little undone. And while the light, intense eyes opposite him were scorching, Ace knew his own baby blues were the kind men could fall into.
"I think I've already met someone. Right here," Mr. Blue-Grey said after visually devouring Ace's lean body top to bottom.
"Well, the guy you've met is Ace." He stuck out his hand. "Who's the guy I've met?"
"Paul." Ace shook a large, warm hand and felt another bolt of lust at the contact. God, this man is turning me inside out already. What is going on?
"So, Paul, can I get you another drink?"
Paul considered his glass, then turned his gaze back to Ace. "I'm good. For now."
Ace took a long drink from his glass to fortify himself, and he felt the whiskey instantly burn and warm his blood. "At the risk of sounding like a cliché, do you come here often?"
"You're right, that is an old line," Paul laughed. "Couldn't come up with anything more clever?"
Ace soaked in that deep, pleasant laugh. He wanted more of it.
"Well, my clever pickup line was about the undress code," Ace grinned. "And you didn't answer my question. Are you new in town? Or new to the scene?"
Paul's face went tight and uncomfortable.
He doesn't want to talk about it, Ace thought. Doesn't want me to know something. Oh God, please not another closet case.
"I don't get out that much," Paul finally said.
"Well, since you're out now, let's take advantage of it." Ace put his drink aside and took Paul's as well. "Dance with me."
"I don't dance."
Ace took his hand anyway. "It's not ballroom. It's foreplay. Come on."
Paul resisted for a moment, and Ace tugged on his hand more insistently and turned up the wattage on his smile.
They wormed their way into the center of the dance floor, and Ace didn't let his hands leave Paul's body for a moment. Paul was right - he wasn't much of a dancer, but Ace wasn't concerned with technique. He wanted contact - as much as he could get.
The heat of all those bodies in close proximity made Ace's skin slick with sweat, and he could see the glisten on Paul's throat as well. Paul's sharp outfit not only had to be stifling, but it cast him out of place as well. Time to fix that.
"I do love this suit," Ace said, "but you really need to loosen up." Ace gently undid Paul's tie and flicked open the top button of the shirt.
He took advantage of this opening and pressed his face against the newly bared skin and took a deep breath. His eyes rolled back in his head at the scent - musky, sweaty, salty, perfect. How could this man smell so perfect - in the middle of Sparks?
Ace wanted nothing more than to run his tongue over every inch of this man's body, but he settled for savoring the feeling of their hips pulled close as he led their combined movement to the beat.
Paul brought his hands down to cup Ace's firm ass, and Ace caught a soft moan come he probably wasn't supposed to hear. Gotcha.
"So what brings you out tonight?" Ace asked, close to his ear.
"It's my birthday," Paul said.
"Really? Want me to give you a present?" Ace cocked an eyebrow and grinned. "Or do you prefer to do the giving?"
Paul looked surprised. "You do both?"
"I love sex," Ace said, punctuating his words with a sharp thrust with his hips into Paul's crotch. "All of it, everything I can get. I want to taste it all, experience everything. Anything less is cheating yourself. You ever bottomed?"
"Uh, hell no."
Ace shrugged. "You're missing out." He swirled them both tightly, his hands memorizing the shape of Paul's ass. "It's electric and rearranges your blood cells and nerves and echoes inside you. Topping is tight and hot and powerful. But bottoming is an out-of-body experience. I highly recommend it."
"Not really my thing," Paul murmured. He dropped his mouth to the curve of Ace's neck and lightly bit the sweaty flesh he found there. Ace tilted his head to allow him more access, and Paul took it, teasing the earlobe, licking up trickles of sweat. The scratch of Paul's beard drove him wild, and he wasn't content with only feeling it on his neck.
"What is your thing, then?" Ace was in danger of losing his sense right in the middle of the dance floor.
"Mmmmm, your ass." He switched to the other side of Ace's neck to continue his torment. "Your ass is my thing right now. Wanna fill you up, touch every bit of you. Taste you, see if you're as sweet as you look."
Paul's growling words connected directly with Ace's cock. He'd wanted this man from the moment he saw him, and now he was determined to have every dirty thing Paul was promising. They needed to get off the dance floor. Now.
"Come home with me," Ace purred into Paul's ear.
Ace pulled back and frowned. "Just no?"
"Not home." Paul's eyes had gone dark with lust. "Is there someplace here?"
A bolt of hunger shot down Ace's spine.
"Depends on what you have in mind," he said, his tongue thick in his mouth.
A gleam lit Paul's eyes. "I want to find a dark place in the back and bend you over and fuck you until you forget your name."
Ace swallowed slowly to clear his clogged throat. He took Paul's large hand in his own. "This way," he said in a low rasp.
Sparks had space in the back where the lights were always low and the men were always obliging, but that's not where Ace led Paul. He detoured to a spot near the back entrance, close to the bar's offices. The last time he'd done this, the bartender had worked his magic in a tucked away corner with no spectators. That's what Ace wanted in this moment. Wanted Paul all to himself, away from other hungry eyes.
And God knows all the eyes in this place were hungry for Paul. Ace could hear sighs of disappointment around him as he made his way through the crowd.
Once they were in that back corner, the thumping noise of the dance floor was reduced to the muffled heartbeat of the brick walls. Ace turned and planted his back against the wall to wait for Paul's move.
"Nice," Paul growled. "Good spot. You do this a lot, huh?"
Ace flinched internally at the implication. He wanted to make it clear that these were special circumstances, that he usually preferred a bed for even a one-night stand.
But he also didn't want to waste more time talking.
"What can I say?" he said lightly. "I'm inventive."
"Oh, I'll bet." Paul captured Ace's mouth in a hot, hard kiss, a demanding clash of lips and tongues. Each man was trying to devour the other, to claim new territory, to fill the pulsing need inside them.
The teasing, introductory touches on the dance floor were replaced with clutching, groping, tight knuckles and skin itching to be free.
More than anything, Ace wanted this man naked, wanted to see every inch of his skin and trace every muscle with his tongue. But what he wanted and what was practical were two wildly different things.
As Paul attacked his neck with a hungry mouth, Ace clumsily unbuttoned the damp suit shirt. Leaving the shirt and jacket hanging on those broad shoulders, Ace parted the fabric and licked all the skin he could find.
Mmm, he loved a good adam's apple. Ace planted his mouth on that sharp protuberance and sucked and tongued every lump and ridge he could find. Even better, he could feel Mr. Hot and Rumbly's moan ripple down his throat.
"Ah, fuck, you taste good," he mumbled against Paul's chest as he trained down that tempting plane of flesh. "Wish I could see all of you." He sucked one hard nipple into his mouth and teased it lightly with his teeth.
Paul hissed as Ace tugged on his sensitive nipple. "What are you trying to do, eat me?" he growled.
Ace looked up at him and grinned wickedly. "Now that you mention it."
He dropped into a squat in front of this beautiful man, careful not to let his knees touch the dubious floor. He palmed the thick length jutting out urgently against the black trousers and leaned in to smell Paul's true essence.
Oh, this is going to be good.
Ace looked up at Paul, who was staring down on him intently. "Lean back now," Ace said. "But don't come this way."
He unzipped the fly and pulled out a hard, long, mouth-watering cock. "I'm going to want this inside me. But first..."
Ace licked the smooth head, lapping up the drops of pre-cum leaking out. So good. Sweet and spicy.
Paul growled and laced his fingers through Ace's hair, massaging his scalp and urging him forward.
Now to show off.
Ace licked up and down the shaft to lubricate it. Then he relaxed his throat and swallowed him whole.
"Fuuuck," Paul groaned, letting his head thump against the wall. "So fucking good..."
Again and again, Ace took his length deep and massaged the spongy muscles with his throat. He could feel Paul's urgency build and rise, his balls drawing up and his fingers tightening in Ace's hair.
He pulled off the throbbing cock with a pop and gave it one last kiss before standing up.
Paul yanked him close and kissed him fiercely, driving his tongue deep into Ace's mouth. He hastily opened the button and zipper on Ace's pants and lowered them to just below the butt. He started to turn Ace around, then stopped suddenly.
"Shit. Do you have anything?"
Ace blinked. "You mean a condom? You came into Sparks without a condom?" he said, incredulous.
"No. I mean, of course I have a condom. I meant lube." Paul groped Ace's ass with greedy hands. "You're gonna need something more than spit."
Ace snaked his hand down to the pocket of his pants and fished out a small packet of lubricant. He flashed it triumphantly.
"Always prepared," Ace said.
Paul quirked an eyebrow. "Boy Scout, eh?"
"I doubt the Scouts would have me."
"But I damn well will." Paul took the lube and spun Ace around.
Ace could hear the crinkling and rip of the condom package, followed by the cold wetness of the lube along his crack. He spread his legs and arched his back, his fingertips gripping the rough bricks of the wall.
"Christ, what a beautiful ass," Paul breathed. "And all for me."
He quickly prepared Ace with his fingers, too desperate to spend very long on any more foreplay.
"I could tell, just by looking at you," Paul groaned. "Knew this would be good." He dug his fingers deeply into the soft, firm skin, massaging it and claiming it. Ace just knew there would be visible marks tomorrow, and he welcomed them.
"Mmm, I could make a meal of you," Paul rasped. "Could eat you alive, starting right here."
Ace wanted to say, so come home with me. Buffet's open all night! But he knew that wouldn't happen, and wouldn't help.
Besides, he wouldn't stop now for anything.
Paul positioned himself behind Ace's ass and leaned over to chew on his earlobe for a second.
"Ready for me?" he whispered into his ear.
"God, yes," Ace moaned. "Fuck me. Fill me up."
Paul growled low in his throat and pressed his large cock against Ace's pulsing hole.
Ace gasped as the smooth head penetrated his ring, followed by the slow push of the rest of that endless cock. Paul was taking his time with a patience that Ace both cursed and appreciated.
Finally, finally, he felt the coarse hairs of Paul's pelvis rest flush against his ass. Both men let out satisfied moans in unison.
My God, it's been too long since it's been this good. Too damn long...
Paul licked the sweat from Ace's neck as both men adjusted to the feeling of being united.
"Brace yourself now," he whispered. "I'm not going to hold back."
"Such promises. Show me what you've got."