Sometimes it's good to be bad. Real good...
Bad in Baltimore, Book 2
After Eli Wright came out, his parents threw him out. In the five years since, he's made his own way, lived by his own rules, determined to never change himself--not for anyone. He's not against finding Mr. Right, but Mr. Right Now will do just fine.
Quinn Maloney's reward for ten years of faithfully keeping his closeted boyfriend's secrets? A hell of a wake-up call to go with his morning coffee. Not only did Peter have affairs, he went straight to marry his pregnant girlfriend--and Quinn was to never reveal their history.
With the baby's baptism looming and Quinn expected to put on a polite front, he decides he's had enough of playing the peacekeeper. One wink from a much younger, eyeliner-wearing guy in a bar, and Quinn's found a perfectly outrageous date for the occasion.
The date goes better than he ever imagined. And so much worse, as Eli convinces everyone they're madly in love. That wasn't part of the plan, but the more Quinn learns about the man behind the makeup, the more he wishes it was true.
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December 06, 2011
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Excerpt from Bad Boyfriend by K.A. Mitchell
"The baby's godfather? Seriously? He is so fu**ed up." Jamie offered his Corona bottle for a toast.
Quinn touched the neck of the bottle in his hand to Jamie's lightly. What were they toasting? Peter's son's birth or the fact that Quinn's ex-lover was his own special classification in denial?
"Weren't you like his best man or something for the wedding?" Jamie's version of commiseration felt a lot like pouring salt into wounds Quinn thought had healed.
"No. His brother was."
"But you were in the wedding."
"Yeah." Quinn wanted to turn and put his elbows on the bar, but on a Friday night at The Arena, there was barely enough room to breathe let alone grab that much prime real estate. Instead, he scanned the writhing bodies on the dance floor. Skin shining with sweat, hips and arms an invitation and a celebration of sex. Had he ever felt that kind of freedom? The years he would have spent dancing and fu**ing had been spent hiding out first in the Navy and then with Peter. A few trips out in the last eight months hadn't given him much of a taste for the kind of instant sex being advertised by the cute club rat who'd flipped long hair out of his eyes to wink at Quinn on his way to the dance floor.
"Okay. Scratch that. You are the fu**ed up one, my friend."
Inwardly, Quinn agreed with Jamie's eye-rolling and his words, but he didn't nod.
"And she still doesn't know?"
She. Chrissy. Peter's wife. Quinn had really wanted to hate her, but she'd been nothing but warm and friendly to everyone.
"That's what they tell me."
"I don't know if showing up tomorrow with that stupid ponytail will make it more or less obvious." Jamie flicked the tiny curl gathered at the nape of Quinn's neck. "They didn't have scissors at that commune you went to over the summer?"
"It was a summer camp for kids with cancer. And I'm going to get it cut."
"Dye it too. You look fifty."
Jamie laughed. "In your wettest dreams, Navy."
So there was a lot more gray now than just at his temples. Hell, he swore it had gotten worse in the six weeks since he'd come home.
"I think she knows--about me, anyway. Not that anyone is allowed to say the word gay in Peter's presence. She wanted advice about her wedding dress, for Christ's sake." That had been the moment when Quinn knew he had to get out of town.
"That is wrong on so many levels."
"Thank you, Dr. Phil. Are you charging for this? I thought we were having a drink."
"You brought it up. What did you say?"
"That whatever she decided would be exactly what Peter wanted."
Jamie wasted some perfectly good pale ale when he spluttered, spraying the side of Quinn's face. "I take it back. You don't need a beer and a piece of ass. You need a fu**ing therapist. And I think you are beyond Dr. Phil's help at this point. Exactly when did you flush away your last bit of self-respect--that is whatever the Navy left you with."
The foot Quinn placed firmly on Jamie's instep was more about the Navy crack than the personal insults. "I'm not still in love with him if that's what you're saying."
"So prove it. Put an end to this insanity with a big f**k you."
"Show up tomorrow with a drag queen on your arm and ask Peter if he thinks she makes your d**k look bigger."
"I can't do that."
"His family. They've always been good to me. I couldn't--" He hadn't worried about losing touch with Peter's brother Dennis. They went back too far for that, had been through too much in the Academy together, but he'd thought losing Peter meant losing the rest of the Laurents too--cracking on pop culture with Peter's sister Alyssa, war games with Peter's dad, and worst of all, losing Peter's mom. Claire had welcomed him, mothered him, from the first time Dennis had brought him home on their break from the Academy. Two weeks after Peter moved out, Claire had called to tell him her son's business was his own, but as far as she was concerned, Quinn was still a member of her family. He couldn't humiliate them in church like that.
But the idea of showing up with a date, a very obviously gay date, someone who Peter would have to notice, got entrenched in Quinn's brain.
"Tell me you'd try something like that in front of Clan Donnigan."
"Okay, so not a drag queen," Jamie agreed. "But something..." He turned to scan the club. "Yeah, something like him." He jerked his chin at the dance floor.
Under one of the brighter spots, a short slender guy--the twink who'd given Quinn that flirty flip of his black hair--was dancing, or publicly f**king the guy he was with. A hula dancer couldn't have moved her hips like that. His shirt was black, open in the front to show off a mesh tank top that didn't do much to cover his smooth white chest. Quinn leaned into Jamie but couldn't see what assets the guy had below his waist. Given the number of guys stealing looks at him, he must have had something impressive under his black jeans.
The guy worked his dance partner like a stripper pole, swinging around him and giving Quinn a good look at his face. At the moment, the pretty boy's head was thrown back, eyes shut, mouth wet and open like he'd been panting his lover's name. A shock went right to Quinn's d**k, a flash of heat and blood, like those lips were inches from his c**k instead of twenty feet away. Then the twink opened his eyes and stared at him, tongue tracing his lips before he went back to humping his dance partner.
"Not my type." Quinn took a long pull of his beer.
"Oh, babe, that mouth is everyone's type. But that's kind of the point, Quinn." Jamie waved his empty at the shirtless bartender. "Don't make me dare you."
Quinn shrugged. "I'm thirty-five years old. I think I can handle it."
"Really? Because I don't think you can. I think you're just a pansy crying into your beer over the one that got away. You don't have the f**king balls to face him and make him deal with the s**t he pulled."
"Shut. The f**k. Up."
"Knew you wouldn't do it. You think he's going to come back, don't you? That after a year he's going to come crying back because he can't live without you and your d**k?"
"How about I punch yours?"
"Snappy comeback. That all you got, Navy boy? This Marine is ready for you anytime, anywhere."
Almost before Jamie finished his taunt, Quinn slid a hand into the gap in the back of Jamie's jeans and gave him a hell of a wedgie. "If you want to act like you're twelve--" Quinn grinned and ducked the knee Jamie aimed in retaliation. "But you're right. I need a date for tomorrow."
Eli exchanged a sweaty wet kiss with his dance partner and reclaimed his mojito from Nate's custody. "Thanks, Silver." He returned the tall blond's wave as he bounced off through the crowd.
"Silver?" Kellan asked.
"Yeah. Stupid, I know. His real name is Greg, but he won't answer to it. But we look really good together when we dance." Eli looked in his glass and glared at Nate. "I'd swear this was full when I gave it to you."
"Evaporation." Nate leaned in and sucked a little more out of the mixer straw.
"You guys go out?" Kellan asked.
"Me and Silver? No way. Totally not my type." Anyone who would rename himself Silver was way too complicated for f**king, let alone a relationship.
Since Kellan and Nate hooked up on a permanent basis, they were doing that annoying-couple thing where they thought everyone should be happily married. It wouldn't bug Eli so much because he could see the benefits in A) being able to simply roll over on top of someone for regular sex and B) not having to live with roommates who took up so much space and time in the bathroom and C) rolling over on top of someone for regular sex--if either Nate or Kellan could buy a clue about what kind of guy Eli liked. Which basically boiled down to toppy and uncomplicated. Big and stupid would work fine for Mr. Right. Or even better, Mr. Right Now.
"And what is your type?" Kellan asked.
"You, baby." Eli jumped on him.
Kellan caught him, letting Eli slide down his tall frame with careful hands on his hips.
"You walked right into that one, Kell," Nate said.
"He totally did." Eli stretched up on tiptoe to get his arms around Kellan's neck.
"Someone's watching you," Kellan leaned down to murmur in Eli's ear.
"Let Nate watch. He'll only want to f**k you harder if you get him jealous."
"No." Kellan held Eli's hips away, but the size of his hands meant his fingers still brushed Eli's ass.
"No, you don't want him to f**k you harder or no, Eli, get your d**k off me?"
"Yes, I do, yes, please and no, not Nate. A guy at the bar's been watching you."
"The redhead?" Eli shook his head as he took a step back. "Redheads clash with my complexion."
"Not him." Kellan's wide mouth stretched in a grin. "Him." He pointed with his chin to a spot over Eli's shoulder.
Eli spun around to come face-to-chest with hard muscles under a thin cotton Henley, unbuttoned to show some dark curls underneath, at a perfect height for Eli's lips. From there he could lick his way up the neck to a stubbled jaw. The face above was tanned and lined, lips unsmiling, eyes dark--maybe blue--though it was hard to tell in the club lighting. The dark hair was shot through with silver. Just the sight of him had Eli's d**k hard. He met the guy's eyes again. Him. From the bar. Eli wanted to pump his fist in triumph. That drive-by wink had worked.
As the man's lips parted to speak, Eli decided he didn't want to ruin a sex dream come to life with anything as risky as conversation. He wrapped an arm around the man's waist. "I'd love to. Thanks for asking."
Tugging Mr. Instant Wood to the dance floor was like trying to move a boulder.
"Hey, man. Kellan." In addition to the introduction, Kellan offered a hand. His sexy but obnoxious height--and his even more irritating determination to point it out--meant his offered hand shot over Eli's shoulder.
Quinn. Eli tasted the name on his tongue. That fit.
Quinn hadn't returned the offer of a handshake, which was nice, since the action would have taken place in the vicinity of Eli's ear. He tucked Kellan's still-waiting hand back behind him. While he didn't usually have an issue with being under five nine and one hundred forty-two pounds, having two guys shake hands over his shoulder would have made him feel closer to age five, and that wasn't sexy. "I'm Eli. Kellan's taken. But it's your lucky day because I am totally free. Let's dance."
The reluctant smile on Quinn's face made Eli think he'd said something funny at a funeral, but at least Quinn moved when Eli tugged him to a spot where the blue lights in the ceiling showed off his hair and skin. It never hurt to work all the angles.
At first, Quinn kept his distance as much as anyone could in the Friday night crowd, but then his hands landed on Eli's hips, one leg sliding forward to let Eli ride a hard thigh. He put his hands on Quinn's shoulders, stroking the muscles under the soft cotton. All Quinn needed was a neat salt-and-pepper beard to be Eli's perfect fantasy come to life.
Quinn's expression changed from pained amusement to a genuine smile, but the kind that made Eli think he was the butt of the joke. Eli could fix that. He slid his hand down the muscle-ridged torso and landed on what he'd already felt rub on his belly. The fat length of Quinn's d**k stretched up to just under the waistband of his jeans. Eli stroked and let the inside of his wrist find the damp head pushing up past the denim.
"Ooo, Daddy," Eli purred. "Is this all for me?"
Quinn didn't stop smiling, but he looked like now they were both in on the joke. "Only if you're a good boy."
"Oh, I'm always good."
"Yeah?" Quinn grabbed Eli's wrist in a bruising grip. "Because I hear you're nothing but a c**k tease."
"Huh?" Eli tried to pull his wrist back.
"I did a little recon." The smile vanished. "You strut around like the biggest slut, shaking this ass at everything that moves." Quinn's other hand cupped Eli's ass, grip wide enough to lift him. "But you don't ever follow through. Couldn't find anybody who'd actually know if you're as good as you say." Quinn let go of Eli's wrist.
Eli swallowed. For some reason, he wouldn't be able to simply shrug it off if this guy walked away now. "Maybe everyone you asked wasn't worth my time." He put his wrist to his mouth, found the trace of Quinn's sweat and c**k there and licked it.
Quinn wrapped his arm around Eli's waist, leg sliding under Eli's balls. "And?" Quinn stared down at him.
Oh yeah, those eyes were blue. Dark and hard enough to make Eli's pulse jump. "I think you are."
"I'm going to need more than 'I think.'" Quinn cupped Eli's face, fingers sliding under his hair.
A thick thumb pushed between Eli's lips, and he ran his tongue over it, around it, stroked it before sucking the taste of Quinn's skin deep into his mouth.
Quinn's voice was gravel rough against Eli's cheek. "You'd better be ready to back that up, boy."
"Here?" Eli shoved his hips forward. God, had the man seen a PowerPoint on Eli Wright's kinks?
"I wouldn't want you to get your pretty clothes all dirty. Come home with me."
"Hmm." Eli spun away, but he headed for the coat check. "Depends."
"On?" Quinn pulled him back.
"How many drinks have you had?"
"A beer and a half."
"Okay, but you have to pass a sobriety test."
"You'll go home with a stranger, but not if he's drunk?" Quinn had that pained smile again, like he wasn't sure if he was supposed to take Eli seriously.
Eli turned back toward the exit. "I'm going to be disappointed if you make me walk."
"No, I'll give you a ride."
When Quinn picked up a worn-soft leather jacket from the coat check, Eli almost came in his pants. A ride. And leather. A bike. A leather Daddy on a bike.
But once they were out of the bar and down the block, Quinn stopped at a boring dark blue Mercury Sable and clicked the locks. "What?" he said when Eli didn't move.
"You don't have a bike?"
Quinn's face was blank, but the corner of his mouth twitched the tiniest bit. "I have a mountain bike in my garage. Will that do, or is this where you flounce off and leave me with blue balls?"
Eli would have been pissed enough to flounce at the suggestion that he had ever flounced if his ass wasn't in the process of being shoved back onto the Sable's fender and his hand being yanked onto Quinn's d**k.
"No," Eli managed as his fingers curved around the shape under the denim. But a bike would have been hot.
"Such a fu**ing tease. What's the next test?"
God, that c**k. The growl. The eyes. Test? Right. "Close your eyes."
"No, I mean, step back. Don't lean on me and close your eyes." Eli was completely serious about never riding with drunks, in cars or on bikes. He wasn't too keen on getting fu**ed by them either. Quinn's balance was fine. "Put your hands out to the side and then touch your nose."
Quinn did. "Are you taking a video of me?"
The only video Eli wanted of this night would be more for Xtube than YouTube. "Maybe. Now say the alphabet backward." Eli pushed himself off the fender.
"With my eyes closed?" Quinn's voice was amused, but he didn't wait for an answer. "Omega, psi, chi, phi, upsilon--"
Quinn's lip quirk had become a half smile. "You never said which alphabet. That's Greek."
"I know that." Sort of. Omega he recognized, but he thought it was some kind of vitamin. "Smartass."
Quinn laid a stinging slap on Eli's ass and walked to the driver's door.
"I said smart not smack."
"I know." Quinn's teeth flashed in a big smile. "But I'll bet it smarts."
"That is the worst pun I've ever heard."
Quinn shook his head. "Good night, Eli." He opened his car door.
Somehow Quinn could guess Eli was afraid to get in the car. But he wasn't afraid of Quinn. The way things were going said this would be one hell of a night. That was the scary part. Because while Eli could stand to have something unforgettably hot on the books for future jerk-off fantasies, the idea that this could be the high point, that he'd have hit his sexual peak at twenty-two and never have a night this good again, made him hesitate. He didn't want to spend the rest of his life measuring everything else against a one-night stand.
"If you're coming with me, get in the car," Quinn said and disappeared behind the door.
But if Eli didn't get in the car, he might never get another chance with a guy this hot.
He yanked at the door handle and jumped in.