Authors: Pandora Pine
Copyright © Pandora Pine 2016
All Rights Reserved
This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the copyright owner except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, places, events, business establishments or locales is entirely coincidental.
First Digital Edition: February 2016
For shelter dogs and the forever families who adopt them.
“I now pronounce you man and husband. Brock, you may now kiss your groom.”
A raucous cheer went up through the assembled UMass students and professors gathered to celebrate Brock Stone and Ryder Nicholson’s Valentine’s Day wedding. Architecture professor Turner Maxwell pasted on his biggest smile as the newlyweds kissed each other for the first time as husbands. It wasn’t that he was unhappy for his friends. He was unhappy with the groomsman he’d be paired with for the rest of the day.
Cannon Sommers was a genius by all accounts, and certainly the most gifted architectural mind he’d seen in his five years of teaching, but his condescending attitude and constantly running mouth grated on Turner’s nerves in the classroom as well as outside it. “Come on,” Turner grumped, “time to make our way down the aisle.”
“Just waiting on you, old man,” Cannon winked, fussing with his red bowtie.
Holding back a witty retort about Cannon needing his diaper changed because he was full of shit, Turner placed Cannon’s hand on his arm and started down the aisle where other members of the wedding party were already hugging and high-fiving the happy couple. Unprepared for the surge of unwanted attraction singing through his body, Turner jerked away.
“Steady on, cowboy.” Cannon grinned, pulling Turner so close that his scruffy face brushed against the shoulder of Turner’s impeccably tailored suit jacket.
Who the hell went to a wedding with a scruffy beard anyway? Sighing, Turner prayed he wouldn’t need bail money before the day was out.
Cannon would never admit it, but while walking down the aisle on Turner’s arm, he was daydreaming he was one of the happy grooms. Pretending all the people waving and smiling as they passed were there to celebrate
happily ever after. The only problem was that Turner wasn’t his fantasy groom, not by a long shot.
“Jesus Christ, brat, can’t you even walk in a straight line? What the hell is wrong with you?” Turner hissed in his ear, shattering the fantasy.
“Sorry,” he mumbled, correcting his trajectory. He couldn’t very well tell Turner about his daydream. “Still feeling it a bit from last night, I guess.” Cannon waggled his eyebrows and turned to stare at the happy couple who seemed unwilling to be more than a step away from each other.
“Figures,” Turner huffed, “damned kids have no respect for anyone or anything.”
Biting his tongue to keep from telling Turner the truth, he stared straight ahead. Ryder’s bachelor party had been more pajama party than stag night. All of Ryder’s groomsmen gathered to spend the night at history professor Christopher Daniels’ home which he shared with his baby boy, Phillip.
Ryder had wanted to preserve the tradition of his groom not seeing him on his wedding day and Chris generously offered his home to the boys for the night. The frolicking good time consisted of too much pizza, hot wings and soda followed by an interminable marathon of
Say Yes To The Dress
before everyone went to bed early.
Yanking his arm from Cannon when they reached the end of the aisle, Turner clapped Brock Stone on the back before the well-built doctor pulled him in for a hug. “Congratulations, Brock!” Turner held on tight.
“Hey, I know how hard it must be for you to be here. Thank you for standing up with me today.”
Ignoring the way his heart clenched in his chest, Turner continued to smile at his friend. “Let’s not ruin your special day with that kind of talk.”
“Ryder! Congrats, man!” Cannon yelled, much too loudly for church, before hugging the other groom who burst out laughing when Cannon swung him around like they were in a square dance barn and not a house of God.
Turner was baffled by what Ryder saw in the man. True, it had been Cannon who found and brought Ryder home after his former Master attacked him, but other than that, he could see no other reason why the seemingly brilliant young nurse had become Cannon’s fast friend. “Must be gratitude,” he mused.
“What’s that?” Brock asked with a wide grin.
Blushing over being caught talking to himself about Cannon Sommers, no less, he waved his hand dismissively.
“Boy’s got you riled up already.” Brock winked.
On the worst of days, Brock was disgustingly cheerful, but today he was on happiness overload. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” But he did, boy did he ever. He’d made the mistake a few weeks ago of telling Brock how crazy Cannon made him and his friend jumped on that like a dog on a three-legged cat, all of them urging him to see if there was more to this than simple attraction.
“That’s why you can’t take your eyes off him,” Brock gushed with glee. “Unless of course you’re staring at my shiny new husband, in which case I’ll have to kill you.”
Turner burst out laughing. It was true. He was staring at Cannon, not that Brock’s newly minted husband wasn’t pretty, he was, just not as pretty as Cannon. “Jesus fucking Christ,” he muttered. “Damn kid’s got me taking the name of the Lord in vain in church now.”
Brock roared with laughter. “Better get used to him. The two of you are sitting together at the head table.”
Turner groaned. “You’re lucky we’re in church, you dirty bastard!”
“I’d like to ask our grooms to take the floor for their first dance as husbands.”
Cannon watched Brock and Ryder laughing at each other and wiping away each other’s tears as they swayed together to the strains of
. Granted he was no expert, but he thought it was the most romantic song of all time. It was made all the more touching by the grooms who were staring at each other like they were the only two people on earth.
“Our grooms would like to invite the wedding party to share the floor with them.”
He wanted someone to look at him like he was the only other man in the room. He wanted someone to hold him close and love him like Brock so obviously loved Ryder.
Cannon was knocked, literally, out of his own head by Turner crashing into him. “C’mon, brat, you heard the DJ. Let’s dance.” Turner grabbed his elbow and led him to an empty spot on the dance floor, before taking his hand and wrapping his other arm around Cannon’s back.
Slinging his arm around Turner’s hips, Cannon caught a whiff of his spicy aftershave. Turner smelled good enough to eat. If not for his haughty attitude, Turner would be the perfect man. He was half a foot taller than his own 5’10” frame, with broad shoulders and a tight ass. Throw in his brown eyes and wavy dark hair and Turner was absolutely gorgeous.
“Why do your eyes change colors?” Turner slurred, a hint of sour whiskey on his breath.
Yup, he was the perfect man all right, until he opened his mouth, anyway. “They’ve always done that.”
“It’s pretty, like a mood ring. What mood’re you in, brat?”
Annoyed, turned on, jealous…
“Tired. I’m fixin’ to go home soon,” Cannon drawled.
“Well, get along little dogie, where did that accent come from?” Turner’s glazed eyes popped open.
“I’m originally from Texas. Sometimes it comes out when I’m tired.”
“That’s what happens when you drink too much,” his tipsy dance partner lectured.
Well, that’s the pot calling the kettle black.
“I don’t drink. I was up late with Ryder who was too excited to sleep.”
“Can you blame him? Boy found the perfect Master,” Turner sighed.
“Yeah,” Cannon agreed, turning his head to look at the grooms who’d given up all pretense of dancing and were just holding each other and exchanging slow kisses.
Against his better judgment, Turner pulled Cannon closer, biting his tongue to silence a moan when their chests came together. He, better than anyone, knew the pain loneliness brought on, especially at weddings. If Brock weren’t his best friend, he wouldn’t have come at all. Now that he was here with Cannon in his arms, he was glad he came. Not that he’d be telling Cannon Sommers about this sudden revelation. “What kind of name is Cannon, anyway?”
“It’s my mother’s maiden name. She named me after my Paw-Paw.”
He was about to call Cannon and his Paw-Paw a bunch of redneck hicks, when he stumbled and Cannon’s strong arms swept him into a turn to keep him from falling on his face. As much as Cannon infuriated him with his know-it-all attitude in class, he was a good dancer. “Where’d you learn to dance?”
“After school program. My mom worked a lot, so…”
“But you learned with girl partners. I can’t imagine the holy rollers in Texas let you practice with another boy.”
“Oddly enough, you’re wrong. The numbers were uneven and my partner was Tim Johnson, star tight end for the Allen High School Cowboys.”
Turner burst out laughing, fascinated when Cannon’s eyes turned a deeper blue-green. If he were a more whimsical man, he’d call the color aquamarine. “You’re an amazing dancer.”
Turner’s cock went hard as stone with that whispered title. It had been far too long since someone had called him “sir” with more meaning behind it than simple politeness. Brock mentioned Cannon seemed intrigued by his dynamic with Ryder and thought the brat needed some help exploring his submissive side.
At the time, Turner’s reaction was to burst out laughing. Cannon was about as submissive as a bucking bronco, but now, with the way his eyes darkened and the husky tone in his voice when he called Turner, sir, maybe Brock had been onto something.
As much as his long-neglected dick disagreed, he didn’t have the desire to work with a bratty, virgin submissive, who had a mouth the size of Texas and a bad attitude to match.
“Are my eyes deceiving me or is that Brock Stone more than five feet away from his husband?” Asher Flynn laughed, clapping Brock’s shoulder.
Brock grinned widely. “We do spend
time apart, but not much.”
A big whoop when up from Cannon when the DJ started to play
Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy.
“Goddamned hillbilly music,” Turner grumped joining his group of friends.
Xander Knight, Phillip Chisholm and Ryder were standing shoulder to shoulder while Cannon taught them a simple line dance with everyone shouting the song title along with the music.
“Look at our boys,” Chris Daniels said with pride, shouting the title lyrics with everyone, the only exception being Turner.
boy.” Turner stamped a foot. Slugging back the contents of his drink, Turner couldn’t help but stare at Cannon as he led the other boys easily through the steps. His body was graceful and made for sin.
“Oh, please!” Your eyes have been glued to his ass all day!” Asher shouted over the music.
“Have not!” Turner challenged.
“Have to!” the men chorused back.
“I need another drink.” Turner moved toward the bar.
Brock grabbed his arm. “You don’t need another drink. You need to cowboy up.”
The reception room was tastefully done in red and black, matching the grooms’ tuxedos and red bow ties. Cannon stood admiring the pirouetting Cupid ice sculpture pointing his notorious arrow at the head table.
“Stupid, fat baby,” Turner sneered from behind him.
“Not a fan of Valentine’s Day, cowboy?” Cannon drawled, his accent getting thicker by the minute. It was time Cinderella got home before he turned back into a pumpkin.
“It’s just a made up holiday by those assholes at the greeting card companies,” Turner complained, folding his arms over his broad chest.
Cannon got his first good look at Turner since dinner. He looked worn down, with dark circles under his chocolate brown eyes. “I’m fixin’ to head home soon. Wanna share a cab?” The limo which brought the wedding party to the reception was going to take the grooms to their hotel room later.
“Share a cab with you, brat? I’d rather walk. You’re only asking because you need someone to pay cab fare.”
“Suit yourself,” Cannon said, walking away. He wasn’t in the mood to argue with his stubborn professor. Turner wasn’t the only one who was tired and sick of watching happy couples dancing and kissing.
Cannon had broken up with his last boyfriend after Thanksgiving. Doug was a nice guy but there was something missing. What that
was, he still hadn’t figured out three months later. He thought he might be interested in exploring a relationship like Ryder and his other friends were enjoying with their dominant, older men. He’d never been much for making friends, but Xander, Phillip and Ryder had welcomed him with open arms into their circle of friends. In just six short weeks he finally knew what it was like to have friends so close he considered them brothers.
“Cannon, wait,” Turner yelled, dodging through the crowd to catch up. “Guess I’m more tired than I thought. Sharing a cab sounds great.”
Once he’d given the cab driver Cannon’s address, Turner rested against the back seat of the cab. The peace and quiet was a blessed relief for his throbbing head.