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Authors: Posy Roberts

Bent Arrow

BOOK: Bent Arrow
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BENT ARROW

 

BY

 

POSY ROBERTS

 

 

 

L
ABYRINTH
B
OUND
P
RESS

 

 

DEDICATION

To Jay Northcote, who convinced me to take a chance.

You were right. Totally worth it.

 

 

 

ONE

T
RICKLE

 


H
ER HOUSE?
G
RANDMA
left me her house?” Luther didn’t know what to think.

“Yes,” his mom said in a calm voice that even over the phone set his teeth on edge. It was the one she used to keep their arguments from escalating. “It’s not much, but it has a sturdy foundation.”

Luther scowled. He’d been in his grandpa and grandma’s basement
numerous
times, and the water seeping across the concrete floor in the laundry room when it rained hard didn’t seem like this “sturdy foundation” his mother talked about. But now it was his?

“Okay,” he said, resigned. “That was really nice of her to think of me.”

“It was. More than anything, she wanted you to have a home base, a place you could finally call your own. Somewhere for you to
settle down
.”

Luther didn’t grimace or growl. None of his instinctual reactions. “Mom, it’s going to be ages before I settle down.”

“I know you say you’re a free spirit,” she said in her thick Midwestern accent, “but this is a chance to finally have something. Your
own house
, Luther. Paid in full. How many men have that gifted to them ever, let alone at the tender age of twenty-seven?”

He knew she was right, but the words she used set him off, which was why he’d left home the day after he graduated from high school. “Tender? Mom, I’m not a baby boy anymore. I’ve traveled all over the country and worked some pretty intense jobs. I’m not tender.”

“I know, honey. And I’m glad you’re closer to home now. Dad and I missed you when you went south with that Mexican friend of yours.”

“I missed you guys too,” he said, not allowing his forced response to be reflected in his voice. “Give me some time to… absorb this. Homeownership is a huge deal.”

His mom’s defeated sigh filled his ears. She knew how stubborn he could be, and from the years of fighting they did when he’d lived at home, she also knew she wasn’t going to win this argument by pushing harder. Maybe all of Luther’s traipsing around the country taking odd jobs as he could find them did make a difference.

Maybe now she’ll stop sticking her nose into every nook and cranny of my life.

“According to the probate lawyer, you have until the end of summer to sign the paperwork,” she said.

“Okay. Okay, I’ll… I’ll figure something out. I gotta go. Talk soon, Mom.”

“Love you.”

“Yeah,” he muttered before disconnecting the call.

Luther groaned as he poured himself a second cup of coffee, then took a few sips before collapsing on his couch. He palmed his hair in frustration, tugging the ends up until the sensation relaxed him.

So he enjoyed being mobile, following the money… and the boys. His current stint was in the Bakken oil fields in western North Dakota, which compared to the job last winter picking lettuce on a New Mexico farm, was very close to home. Too close the way he was feeling crowded right now. But he was making money hand over fist because the work was dangerous and the living arrangements were far from pleasant. It wasn’t for everyone.

He lived in what were called
man camps
, essentially strips of land filled with row upon row of identical trailers. Temporary housing was all it was ever intended to be, used until the boom-bust cycle of oil dried up, but it was better than New Mexico, or at least more familiar.

New Mexico had been isolating because he didn’t speak enough Spanish to be understood or to know what was being said around him as he worked. The landscape was different too. The food wasn’t familiar. And after six months, he craved being back home, something he never expected.

So he came back to the oil fields, the treeless landscape… and the hordes of men.

A smile tugged at Luther’s cheeks as he thought of the guys he’d been with. Such variety: young, old, experienced, and some purely green, aside from fantasies or dreams they’d had. Some without even those. He loved showing them just how great sex with a man could be, coaxing orgasms from their bodies unlike anything they’d ever experienced before.

A knock at the door brought Luther out of his musings. His reflection in the mirror near the entry warned him how messy his dark blond hair was, so he smoothed it down.

A guy wearing a heavily laden tool belt with a five-gallon bucket in hand was on the other side of his flimsy door, smiling all friendly and warm. He looked to be no more than twenty-three or twenty-four, and he had intense eyes.

“Luther Almond?”

“In the flesh.”

“Having issues with your plumbing, I hear. Is that right?”

“Yep.” Luther held the door open wider, silently inviting the guy into the tiny space. “My water pressure is shit. This is different than anything I’ve experienced, and nothing I’ve done has fixed the issue.”

“Let me see, then. Show me where you’re having trouble.”

Luther led him to the bathroom first, as that was the necessity. He could do without the kitchen as it only consisted of a mini fridge, a coffeemaker, and a sink, but he didn’t want to do without the toilet or the shower. The kid turned on each of the faucets and flushed the toilet. The trickle, if it could even be called that, was pathetic.

He turned back toward Luther with a knitted brow. “I see what you mean.”

“Kitchen’s just as bad.”

“How many men live here?”

“Just me so far.”

“That’s unusual.”

“Yeah. I’m lucky to have the luxury of privacy.”

“Privacy over water? I’d take water,” he said.

“What did you say your name was?” Luther asked as the guy turned on the kitchen faucet to the same reluctant dribble.

The kid looked over his shoulder and tossed out, “I didn’t. It’s Erik Heat.”

“Nice to meet you, Erik.” Luther smiled, but Erik’s gaze darted away.

“Your utility closet?”

“Sure.”

Luther waved him in the general direction. Apparently the guy wasn’t in the mood to chat, so Luther collapsed on his couch, tugged his iPad close, and unlocked it so he could see just how much email he had to sort through on this forced day off. He hated these days, but they happened. He’d rather be
doing
than sitting.

He read his email, then checked out his hookup app to see if anyone interesting was nearby. No one was, so he opened up the horror novel he’d managed to get into the night before.

Erik was making noise as he worked, metal clanking against metal, and when Luther looked over to him, he was taken aback. The kid had the quintessential plumber’s crack, but holy… it was not at all repulsive. There was a dark, tanned line below his shirt, an expanse of pale skin, and a lovely crack that disappeared into his jeans, which were essentially held up and tugged down by his tool belt… at the same time.

On Erik’s left ass cheek was a tattoo. From where Luther sat, it looked like an elaborate arrow, or at least the tip of an arrow pointing toward his ass. The rest disappeared under his clothes. Luther assumed it wrapped around his side, and he wondered what sort of fletching was at the other end. Did it end right above his cock, obscured by a dark thatch of pubic hair, or nestle in his V, just skirting his hipbone?

Luther stood up, grabbed a can of pop from the fridge, and stepped closer to study the tattoo. He spied a dark smudge right above the beautiful arrow tip and
barely
kept himself from bursting into laughter when he realized what it said.

Insert here
was inked in faded letters, nothing at all like the professional thin lines of the quality arrow. This looked like the shit tattoos his high school friends gave themselves with a sewing needle and India ink before they were old enough to get a professional one. Or a prison tattoo.

Yet it was like an invitation just waiting to be noticed.

Luther stepped closer, pretending to be curious about Erik’s work. He leaned against the counter and got a better view of his crack. Luther’s mouth practically watered at the sight of curves and shadows dipping into obscurity, which only fueled his imagination.

“You from around here?” he asked.

“Not this far west, but I’m from North Dakota.”

“Ever play hockey?”

Erik stopped what he was doing, sat back on his heels, and scrutinized Luther with steely eyes. “Yeah. Did you? I mean, did we play against each other in Bantam or Midgets?”

Luther shook his head. “I didn’t make it past Peewee. Maybe we played as kids, but I was done by twelve.”

“Maybe.” Erik’s brows furrowed, and then he asked, “Why’d you ask about hockey if you didn’t recognize me?”

Luther considered his options and decided to go for broke, making sure his tone sounded like a chirp so he could easily escape if he had to. “An ass like that only grows on a hockey player.” He grinned around his words.

Erik snorted out a laugh. “You’re right about that. And figure skaters.”

“I didn’t really pay much attention to the girls figure skating back home.”

“Hmm,” Erik said as he reached for a different wrench and stuck his head back into the utility closet.

There it was again, that perfectly curved hockey ass and that beautiful tattoo that disappeared under material, only it was fucked up by those stupid words messily inked above it.

“Is that true?” Luther asked.

“Is what true?” Erik’s voice was muffled.

“‘Insert here.’”

Erik immediately sat back and tugged both his underwear and his jeans up to cover his left hip as he cursed under his breath. “Shit. Stupid tool belt.” He flushed bright red and then muttered words that were hard to understand, but Luther thought he made out
undershirt
and
aerator
. Erik scrambled to toss his tools in his bucket, taking no time to organize them in the same way they’d been when he’d arrived, and he tripped over an area rug as he bolted toward the door.

“Hey! Stop,” Luther said. “Just—stop!”

Erik did, but he faced the door, refusing to turn around.

“I’m gay, so you’re safe here, if that’s what that tattoo’s truly about.”

Erik turned his head slightly, only enough that Luther could see his dark eyelashes as he blinked in double time.

“It’s not an easy place to be out. I know. But then… why have that tattooed on your ass?”

“Long story,” Erik said as he turned enough so he could look at Luther, but he mostly chose to make eye contact with the poster of a shirtless Jim Morrison on the wall.

“Are you done fixing my pipes?”

“No.”

“Do you need parts? An aerator?”

“No.”

“Do you know what’s wrong yet?”

“No.”

“But you’re leaving?”

“Uh.” Erik bit his bottom lip and squinted at the toes of his boots before looking back up to study Jim Morrison’s soulful eyes again. Luther understood because Jim had gotten him through many a difficult time. “I’m not leaving.”

“You were going out to your truck to get more tools?” Luther offered, to help the guy save face.

“No.” He hiked his pants up and tightened his tool belt a notch or two. “I’m gonna keep working.”

“All right.” Luther sat down on his couch again, tugging his iPad back into his lap and pretending to no longer care about those smudged words that obviously meant a hell of a lot to Erik. At least keeping them hidden did.

Erik worked under the kitchen sink now rather than in the utility closet, so Luther couldn’t see him from his perch on the sofa. Probably best for the guy, who obviously didn’t want any more scrutiny.

BOOK: Bent Arrow
6.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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