Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Stronger, Better, Faster, More by Carlin Grant & Katey Hawthorne

When he gets super-endurance powers out of nowhere, being a culinary student and kids’ soccer coach isn’t enough for Beau Warren--he has to be a superhero too. A sweet, hardworking trans man from a close knit family, it’s important to Beau to use his new abilities to stand up for people who can’t protect themselves. When he runs into a speedster at a fire rescue, he doesn’t expect it to be his high school crush, Vel Chandrasekhar. Turns out Vel got superspeed when Beau go his endurance, so they decide to make their single supe act into a duo.

With their immediate attraction and superpowered libidos, it’s not long before Beau and Vel are roommates-with-benefits. That’s the idea, anyhow, if only Beau can keep from falling back into his old crush hard, since Vel’s self-esteem issues have left him skittish about relationships. Just when things are at boiling point between them, though, their search for their own superhero origin story leads them and their families into mortal danger. The only way to survive the truth is to depend on each other--and admit they’re a lot more than friends.

“Yeah, they’re good kids,” Beau said, leaning in to show pictures of his soccer team to her on the phone. His accent had gotten thicker as time went on, dropping all his g’s, even an unironic ain’t slipping in here and there.

Which, to be frank, was starting to drive Vel crazy. In a good way—or a way that would’ve been good if they hadn’t been surrounded by church ladies at a crowded picnic. Usually Beau suppressed the accent…except in bed.

“That one there, Ella, she’s just about as shy as she can be. Took her forever to actually go after the ball, because she didn’t want to take it from anyone. Near about drove me crazy, because she’s fast. I think she could go to school for it if she keeps up. That or track.”

Was it getting hotter out here? Maybe it was the barbecue. Or maybe it was Vel’s sudden urge to cross his legs. Which he did. God, this was so wildly inappropriate, but he couldn’t help it. He had associations with that accent.

Beau gave Vel a passing glance over his phone, then quickly did a double-take. A sly grin crept up on his face after a moment of dawning realization. “How you doin’ over there, Vel? All right? We leavin’ you out of the conversation?”

“Nah, I’m—I’m good.” Vel coughed and shot a you-dick look at Beau. Didn’t last long, though. He loved it when dude was a little shit—ugh, not helping. “Just, you know. Attentive listening and all.”

Beau chuckled, looking more than a little bit smug. “All right, then. You just let me know if I can do anything for you, now. Get you some more food or something.”

“Or something.” Vel tried to look exasperated. And crossed his legs a little tighter. Oh God, this guy was gonna get it…which was exactly what Beau wanted, but still.

Beau grinned, then made a show of checking his watch. “Damn, look at the time. We’ve gotta be getting some food to Davy if we want to get home before too late.” He leaned in to gently kiss the woman’s white hair. “It was good to see you, Aunt Nora. I’ll try and come back real soon, okay?”

About ten minutes later, they’d filled up a container with food and said their good-byes to the sweet old ladies, plus about a hundred other people who wanted to fawn over Beau. Thankfully, the problem in Vel’s pants dissipated about as quickly as it had come on, so he managed to smile and not look totally distracted. Even when he was standing behind Beau. Trying not to look at that fine ass. Inappropriate, inappropriate!

Problem was, everything about Beau made Vel feel…inappropriate. This was a bad place for it, though. A bad place to be affectionate, a bad place to look at him like that. Not just because it was weird, but because it could lead to an ass-kicking, possibly involving a cane, when it came to light that there was no boyfriend thing happening here.

And there couldn’t be. Because reasons. Reasons of Vel being a huge fuck-up and Beau being a sweet, delicate flower, okay? Sex and friendship.

Lots of both. Like, lots.

Which was totally why, when they got around the corner toward the parking lot, Vel spun and backed Beau against the nearest wall. “You fucking brat!” Vel grinned hugely before laying a big kiss on him. Tease him in the middle of a church picnic, huh?

Beau laughed into Vel’s mouth, his hand going into Vel’s hair. “Damn right.” He let his head drop back against the wall, his arm heavy around Vel’s shoulders. “I think you like it,” he said and spread his knees wide enough for Vel to lean in between them.

Vel fitted his hips into Beau’s, wedging between his legs so he could feel just how much Vel liked it. The quick-boner thing could be a drawback, but sometimes it was kinda nice. He bit at Beau’s bottom lip. “What am I gonna do with you? You and this dirty Southern-boy mouth of yours?” Seriously, though, that accent…why was it even hot? Fuck.

Beau groaned at the bite and rocked very slightly against Vel’s hips, eyes closed on an exhale. “Pretty sure I can think of something we can do with my mouth.” His words were barely more than a breath against Vel’s lips before he kissed him, openmouthed and dirty.

Only to freeze at the sound of a throat being cleared behind them.

“Aunt Nora,” Beau said, his voice horrified as he turned about eight shades of red. Vel had to bite his bottom lip to keep from laughing outright as Beau stuttered, “I-uh. This is, uh…”

“You left your phone on the table.” She sounded entirely too amused.

Vel pushed off the wall, still biting his lip, and sort of wedged himself behind Beau. It was either that or adjust his obvious erection right in front of a sweet elderly lady. He met her gaze, though, and gave a little shrug and a what-can-you-do kind of grin.

“I-oh. Uh. Thanks, that’s— I need that, yeah. Thanks.” Beau took the few steps to Aunt Nora like they were painful, then took the phone and slipped it into his ass pocket. “Thanks.”

“Of course, dear.” She gave them both a pointed look. “Now, I think you two ought to head home.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Beau said immediately and then just looked more embarrassed for it. “Thank you.”

Vel was outright smirking by then. “Nice meeting you, ma’am.”

Beau hightailed it to the car, practically dragging Vel with him. Once they were in, he carefully set his food on the dash and slowly lowered his forehead to the steering wheel. “Oh my God.” His face was a bright, violent red.

Vel, of course, couldn’t stop giggling. “Oh my God, ofcourse the sweet church lady caught us at it! Day complete!”

“Nooo,” Beau whined, though he was starting to laugh too. “This is terrible. She’s known me since I was wearing diapers.”

He dropped his head back against the rest and looked at Vel for a long moment. Slowly his blush faded away, and he grinned. “I was having fun before that, though.” His drawl was back. “Want me to finish?”
Katey Hawthorne
Superpowered Love

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