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By:E. Davies


He was about to run, wasn't he?

Chase reached for the door already, taking a step back before Jackson  could even zip up again. His eyes were wide with anxiety, and Jackson  thought  –  hoped  –  he knew what it was about.

There was so much depth to their friendship that they hadn't yet explored. Chase was terrified he'd just fucked it up.

"Wait," Jackson interrupted Chase's escape, taking his hand. "May I please return the favor?"

Chase's hand was warm and soft, not roughened and callused by tools. He  had an artist's hands. The touch stilled Chase, who stared at him for a  second. "Uh..."

"I'd like to, if you're okay with it." Jackson watched the nervousness  flicker across Chase's face. He looked nothing like the brash young man  who'd just pushed him up against the wall.

Was Chase this unused to reciprocation?

"Okay," Chase whispered at last, and despite his nerves, there was a tiny, hopeful smile on his lips.

Jackson had to share his thought. "You're gorgeous." His gaze wandered  over soft cheeks and the kissable lips that had just pressed against his  own.

God, he wanted to make Chase feel just as good. Maybe help Chase do a little less chasing and a little more... enjoying.

"Th-Thanks," Chase laughed, looking bashful. "Glad I give such good head."

It's not just that. Your self-esteem is all wrapped up in sex, isn't it?  "Oh, you do," Jackson assured him, not sure yet how to address his  suspicion.

But it was true, too.

Jackson smiled, stepping closer to Chase again. He caressed his sides,  then his thighs and ass. Chase ground into his leg, his breath catching.  Jackson hauled Chase up into his grip, carrying Chase over to the  workshop table.

"Oh, fuck!"

Jackson laughed and slid Chase onto the table. Once he swept the table  off with his arm, he pushed him flat on his back. "You like your men big  and strong, don't you?"

Chase breathed out, "Yeah." He looked stunned now  –  spellbound. His cock was standing to attention under denim.

Jackson rubbed it firmly, watching Chase's head roll back as he moaned.  "And good with their hands?" He crouched over Chase, leaning across the  table and bracing himself over Chase's head.

They kissed hard. Chase grabbed Jackson's face, pulling him even closer.  Chase shivered as each nerve in his body lit up with Jackson's  wandering touch. They gasped breaths against each other's mouths. The  rough, open-mouthed kisses left Chase squirming and moaning with need.

Warmth. Togetherness. A friendship growing into... much more.

Jackson's heart hurt with the desire to kiss every inch of Chase's body  and learn this whole new side of him. One step at a time, though. The  first step was convincing Chase that he deserved every ounce of  attention Jackson wanted to give him.

"Oh, yes, please," Chase moaned. His cock, still trapped in his jeans,  ground against Jackson's thigh with every arch of his body.

This was his most immediate need, and Jackson couldn't wait to satisfy it.

Chapter 1


The best sound in the world was a sizzle. To Jackson Riley, it meant hot  metal gripped in his tongs and plunged into a barrel of water.

Jackson smiled. He lifted the rod and flipped his hand over. As he  dipped the other end into the barrel, the last few inches of metal  cooled. This was the last railing of the night since it was getting  late. He worked from his suburban backyard workshop, which was covered  in ordinances. He'd modified his anvil to deaden the sound, but his work  day had to be over at 9 PM.

Now he had to decide what to do for supper.

He clamped one end, then twisted the railing around and hammered the  other end. The twisted rods bent out and he shaped them with ease. The  metal was quite cool by the time he finished flattening the smooth,  flowing stems. He dunked the metal again, then set it down to finish  tomorrow.

Now that he lived next to his two brothers and worked in his backyard,  there were certain perks. For one, he didn't have to run back and forth  to his workshop to get measurements for the custom work he was doing for  his brothers.

Right now, he was working on custom wrought iron railings for his little  brother, Cameron. Cam's house had a vaulted ceiling over the living  room, and the old railing overlooking it was... ugly. Jackson was  creating new railings with his signature twisting, flowing, graceful  patterns.

After raking the coals out and sprinkling water on them, Jackson pulled  up a chair at the workshop bench. He had to wait for them to finish  cooling. His own projects were still in the sketching stages, and he  worked on them whenever he had a few minutes, such as now.

He liked the idea of swirls and metal beads molded into the balusters.  He'd done a few custom railings for homebuilders a few months ago with  an onion effect, which he liked, too. He was trying to combine them into  something not too showy that highlighted his skills. The sketchbook was  full of ideas, none of which had worked perfectly yet.         



"Ah, fuck it," he finally muttered and flipped the book shut. He waved a  hand over the coals, then raked them again to make sure there were no  remaining sparks.

Jackson walked through the grass to the back door of his house. The  lights were off at Cam's, so he was probably at Noah's place. Thomas's  bedroom light was on but the main floor was off. Reading in bed again, I  bet. Nerd. He smiled to himself.

Once Jackson was inside, he fumbled with the light switch to illuminate the kitchen.

Burgers? No, he'd done those on the barbecue with his brothers for supper yesterday. Rice and chicken breast? Too much effort.

Jackson pulled open the fridge to look over his options. He had leftover  pasta salad and chicken wings. That would do. It was too late to cook a  full meal.

He dumped everything onto a plate and put it into the microwave, then sank onto the kitchen stool to wait.

Except for the kitchen clock ticking, the house was quiet and dark. He  didn't bother to get up and turn on more lights yet. He was heading  straight to bed after supper and maybe a TV show.

Jackson's brothers had moved back to town three months ago now. Some  things had changed over the summer, but others hadn't. Being around  Cameron and Noah made it hard to ignore his bachelor status.

"Bachelor for life," he murmured. He grabbed his plate and utensils to  sit at the kitchen island. That usually didn't sound so bad, but now and  then...

He moved to the living room to switch on the TV.

Chapter 2


"Oh, man," Chase yawned, raising the back of his hand to cover a yawn.  He pressed the end of the pen into his lip as he gazed down at his  sketchbook, flicking his tongue along the tip. When he closed his lips  and sucked, it took him a few moments to clue in to what he was doing.

God, I need to get laid.

It had been days, but he'd been working overtime all week.

He added a few more swirls of ink with his pen, then pushed the sketchbook back. That looked like a fine rough draft.

It was a blocky tattoo of deep black swirls and geometric shapes. This  customer had first asked for the same old gross "tribal tattoos" as  everyone else. Finally, the guy had agreed to consider something in a  similar aesthetic.

Chase hoped he could talk him into this design instead. It would look  great on his body shape. A lot of guys around here just didn't  understand why asking for "a tribal tattoo" was so fucking gross. Chase  hated doing tattoos that made him uncomfortable. He couldn't turn the  job down easily, though. He needed more in his new portfolio, and he  didn't call the shots at this shop. He'd have to have a word with Floyd.

Small-town New Brunswick.

He sighed, fidgeting with the pen a few more times. He tossed it aside  on the desk and leaning back to stretch out his back. Chase's gaze  wandered around the shop: glass cabinets he'd polished twice today, a  bright waiting room, and no sketchy ads. He'd gotten a job at a pretty  good place, all things considered.

And there were good jobs. This girl had come in looking for some fun  flower watercolors. He was looking forward to getting a chance to work  on those. That was a lot closer to his preferred style, but he'd do  whatever paid the bills until he built up another portfolio.

Fuck, his chest still burned when he thought about his old portfolio. Hours  –  hundreds of hours  –  spent building that up.

It was all gone.

He ground his teeth, checked his watch, and went to lock the door of the shop. Microwave Kraft Dinner was calling to him.

Chapter 3


"Yo, little bro'. Ready to go? Get this show on the road?"

Cameron groaned from the landing at the top of his staircase. "Never rap, please."

Jackson just grinned and jerked a thumb over his shoulder. "Don't keep your boyfriend waiting."

"Yeah, hold on a sec."

Jackson leaned in the front doorframe of Cam's place. His gaze wandered  up to the shoddy wooden railings overlooking the vaulted living room. He  was looking forward to ripping out and replacing those. It would make  the house feel much more like the Toronto loft aesthetic he knew Cam was  going for.