BULL BY THE HORNS
by Saloni Quinby
Heat Level: Erotic
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover art: Renee George
Series: Daring Domanicos
Purchase Links: Changeling Press
HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, a free short story in the Daring Domanicos series, is available as a free download at All Romance Ebooks.
During a holiday celebration at a local club, non-drinker Blake gulps a glass of juice spiked with vodka and it goes straight to his head. Hurled off a mechanical bull directly into the arms of firefighter Mitch Domanico, a man he secretly desires, Blake insists on hooking up with the hunk. Unfortunately he passes out before the best part.
He awakens to find that his dream man hasn't taken advantage of the situation. Blake is mortified, having made a fool of himself, but Mitch surprises him by asking if he's still interested now that he's sober.
Mitch has lusted after manicurist Blake from the moment they met. Still he wants to be sure that Blake's desire for him isn't just a drunken whim.
Once they get a taste of each other, the men can't seem to get enough, but a bitchy waiter is determined to cause trouble in paradise. When Mitch is called to put out a serious fire, the men realize that more than lust binds them--they have fallen deeply in love.
The following excerpt from BULL BY THE HORNS is for readers 18 and over.
Mitch Domanico was the kind of guy Blake had spent his life dreaming about. The first day he'd walked into the salon, Blake had thought he was seeing a mirage. Tall and muscular with dark hair and blue eyes, he'd smiled at their receptionist, Julie, and flirted playfully. It figured he was straight. Marissa had taken him as a walk-in and he'd settled his perfect frame into her chair–just like he was settled now.
That had been three weeks ago. Mitch wasn't married, had no kids or pets and he had been a firefighter for nine years. Blake had overheard most of that information while Marissa had buzzed Mitch's hair. The rest he had asked her about, since she'd serviced him enough times to squeeze out at least some details. Usually she was great at getting people to talk, but in spite of his friendly nature, Mitch didn't easily reveal much about himself.
At the moment Blake was between customers, so he approached nonchalantly to restock the shelves filled with hair products that weren't far from Marissa's station.
Blake smiled at Mitch. "Hello. Back for the weekly buzz?"
"Hey, I can't go a week without seeing you, right?" Mitch grinned.
Though Blake knew "you" included everyone in the salon, he couldn't help feeling a jolt of pleasure. He could pretend the comment was solely directed at him, couldn't he?
"Then when am I going to get you at the manicure table?" Blake glanced over his shoulder at Mitch as he arranged bottles of shampoo.
"Do I look like the kind of guy who gets manicures?"
"Sure. Any well groomed person can benefit from a manicure."
"I don't know. Me and nail polish don't mesh."
Blake chuckled. "That's true, but I'm not suggesting you go back to the firehouse with nails to match the truck. Just a little buff and file."
"And a hand massage," Marissa added. She had been listening in silence to their conversation, which was unusual for her. Marissa loved to chat.
Blake shot her a look and she grinned.
"Blake gives a fantastic hand massage," she added.
"I bet he does," Mitch said softly, his blue gaze locked on Blake's.
Blake's heart actually skipped a beat. He quickly excused himself to bring the empty shampoo carton into the back room.
To his annoyance he actually needed a moment to compose himself.
When he stepped back to the main floor, his gut tightened. Mitch sat at the manicure table, looking rather awkward. Blake almost laughed at the sight of the burly fireman glancing around with the wary expression of a kid on his first day of school. Upon seeing Blake, he smiled and gave a little wave.
Blake approached, an eyebrow raised.
"I decided on the hand job after all," Mitch said, then his face turned a charming shade of red. "I. . .uh. . .that's not what I meant."
A smile flirted with Blake's lips, but he managed not to laugh out loud. "Don't worry about it." How he would $love$ to give Mitch a hand job, but he'd have to settle for a regular manicure instead.