Authors: Avery Cockburn
Play It Safe
by Avery Cockburn
Copyright © 2015 by Avery Cockburn. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictionally. Reproduction in whole or part of this publication without express written consent is strictly prohibited.
Cover design by Damonza.
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Play It Safe: A Glasgow Lads Story
In this followup to
Playing for Keeps
, Fergus and John must overcome bad advice, broken headboards, and the Doppelgänger from Hell to find their forever bliss. A must-read for Glasgow Lads fans—and for new readers, a short ’n’ sweet intro to this hot new Scottish gay-romance series!
“Fancy a game of hide-and-seek?”
After living together for three months, Fergus Taylor and John Burns have come to love each other’s quirks, and the bond between them is starting to look permanent. But when John wants to take things to the next level, Fergus balks, haunted by the betrayals in his own past.
To overcome these fears, Fergus must embark on an epic journey, one that will test his faith, his trust, and his ability to keep a cool head in a hot, hot place.
Note: Like all Glasgow Lads books, Play It Safe may be read as a stand-alone story.
Fergus Taylor could say about late October in Glasgow was that it gave him no danger of sunburn. Particularly since his morning run now took place before dawn.
Though he wasn’t a fan of the steady rain, he welcomed the autumn chill. It gave his limbs the energy to last ninety minutes on the football pitch, or thirty minutes running through the city, with the rumbling River Kelvin keeping pace beside him.
Running on his other side, not quite keeping pace, was his best mate, Liam Carroll.
“Slow down now?” Liam said, puffing out one word with each heaving breath.
“Not my call.” Fergus savored the burn of his legs and lungs, the rapid slap of his shoes against the wet tarmac, and the orange blur of the Kelvin Walkway street lights whizzing by, glowing against the falling rain.
Ten seconds later, the running app beeped in his ear, and a female computer voice chirped, “Final sprint is complete. Begin cool down now.” Fergus eased his pace to a light jog.
“YAS!” Liam swept past, raising his arms in mock victory. Then he returned to run circles around Fergus—literally. “Done already, mate? I’m just getting started.” He bounced on his toes a few times, then let his shoulders sag as he came to a complete stop. “God, I’m so fucking knackered.”
Fergus slowed to a brisk walk and took out his earphones, feeling a tug of sympathy. Liam had never been a morning person. But ever since Fergus’s boyfriend, John, had moved in, and ever since Liam had picked up more shifts at the pub, they rarely saw each other one-on-one. Liam had Wednesday nights off, so this Thursday dawn run together had become their new tradition.
“I’m tired too.” Fergus frowned at the sky, which was only now lightening in the east—sunrise wasn’t until after eight o’clock these days. “At least you can go home and sleep the rest of the morning.”
“Aw, ya poor lad, stuck in your dead-end job as a junior partner at Glasgow’s top architectural firm.”
“Fair point.” Fergus had precisely zero complaints about his life at the moment.
“Also, I know I’m not the only one back in bed after this run. Thursday’s John’s early day, aye?
“It is,” Fergus said with a grin. His boyfriend had a nine o’clock lecture at University of Glasgow, which meant he would just be waking when Fergus returned home for a shower. And since their flatmate, Abebi, didn’t get back from her night shift at the hospital until nine, the morning held very promising possibilities.
“Same start every Thursday,” Liam said. “Run, shower, fuck John. Don’t you ever get bored?”
“It’s not the exact same. Sometimes we shower after. And sometimes there’s only time for oral.”
“Ah, well, in that case…”
Fergus smiled again as they passed under the subway station bridge, whose curved green iron struts reminded him of a dragon’s rib cage. Life with John was anything but boring. They had different schedules, different lifestyles, different…well, standards of housekeeping. But they made it work.
On the other side of the bridge, they climbed the stairs to Great Western Road, where morning traffic was already near a standstill. As they reached the top, Fergus felt a tug on his hood.
“It’s stopped raining for two minutes,” Liam said. “Gonnae let’s enjoy it.”
Fergus pushed back his hood, prompting a coo from a trio of passing university-age girls. “Look, Mara,” said the tall one. “There’s your ginger sandwich.” The other two laughed, one of them hiding her face behind her bag.
“Sorry, doll, we’re taken.” Liam slung an arm around Fergus’s shoulders, ruffling his hair. “With each other.” He pressed his own fair-skinned, freckled face against Fergus’s, then gave him a smacking kiss on the cheek.
The lasses laughed again, one of them uttering, “Tragic,” on their way into the coffee shop.
The Number 6 Bus approached with a wheeze of its engine. “There’s my chariot.” Liam patted Fergus on the arse. “See you Saturday.”
“Thanks for the protection!” Fergus called after him. He wasn’t joking—it was dangerous for a solitary person (even a man) to run through Glasgow (even the West End) when it was dark out.
Ten minutes later, Fergus opened his flat’s front door and paused just inside to listen. Sure enough, the shower was running.
On his way to the kitchen for a quick drink, Fergus was dismayed to see John’s laptop, notebooks, and coffee mug on the floor at the far end of the L-shaped sofa, where he’d apparently sat tucked up against the wall in his latest attempt to find refuge.
He sighed, knowing John was still struggling to study comfortably in this flat. When he’d lived at home with his father, John had had his own room, with a door to shut out distractions. Though Fergus did his best to give John the peace and privacy he needed to focus, there was only so much he could do without disappearing entirely.
After checking they were in fact alone in the flat, Fergus knocked on the bathroom door.
“Who is it?” sang John’s deep, sonorous voice, slightly garbled by water.
Fergus slid inside the bathroom, blinking at the onrush of steam. “Good morning.”
John pushed open the shower stall door. “It will be.”
At the sight of John’s wet, naked form, Fergus could barely wait to yank off his clothes, nearly stepping into the shower fully dressed.
The scalding water made Fergus gasp. “Ah! Hot! Hot!”
“Sorry.” John adjusted the tap. “Better?”
“Aye.” Fergus checked to see his skin was still on his body. “How do you stand it like that?”
“It’s cold this morning.” John slid his hands around Fergus’s waist, then grasped his arse to bring their bodies tight together. “Or it
John’s skin was slick and smooth under Fergus’s hands, his arm and chest muscles bulging as he tightened his grip. Fergus felt his own cock turn solid as an iron girder.
John broke away for a moment and handed Fergus the bottle of shampoo. “Wash your hair while I get you sorted.” Then he slicked his hands with soap and took Fergus’s cock between his palms.
Groaning, Fergus tried to squeeze out a reasonable amount of shampoo, but the pressure down below caused him to spurt a large dollop of the milky-white substance.
John smirked at the sight. “Ooh, that looks filthy.”
Laughing, Fergus stooped to fit his six-foot-four frame beneath the showerhead. The tiny stall made it awkward, especially combined with John’s five-foot-eight height.
John stroked him slowly, keeping him hard but not catapulting him toward orgasm. Clearly he wanted more than a quick mutual wank, and Fergus was happy to oblige. He shampooed, rinsed, then reluctantly conditioned, wishing his hair wouldn’t turn into a frizzy auburn disaster without that second, time-consuming step. He needed to leave for work, but he needed something else first.
Fergus leaned over and murmured in John’s ear. “Can I fuck you this morning?”
“You’d better.” He turned away from Fergus and pressed back against him. “I wish we could do it right here.”
“Me too.” Fergus bent his knees to slide his aching cock in the valley between John’s arse cheeks. John flexed his glutes to clutch at him, and Fergus could wait no longer. He turned off the water and pushed open the glass door. They grabbed towels on the way out, hurrying toward the bedroom.
bedroom. Even after three months of cohabitation, Fergus was still elated to wake up beside John every morning and fall asleep beside him every night. Not to mention all the moments in between—watching telly, cooking dinner, or just having a whinge-fest about work or uni over a cup of tea.
And of course there was the sex.
They made their way toward the bed, stepping over John’s scattered clothes, shoes, and university books.
“Sorry about the mess.” John sat on the bed and ran the towel over his hair. “I was looking for my wallet.”
“Did you find it?”
“Aye, at the bottom of the wardrobe.” John gestured over his shoulder to the oaken container where the two of them crammed all their clothes. “I’d left it in my jeans pocket and when I hung them, it fell out.” He grinned at Fergus. “That’s what I get for putting my things away like a civilized person for a change.”
Fergus returned the smile as he finishing drying off. This bedroom had seemed so spacious back when he’d slept in it alone. Now, with John’s clutter occupying every horizontal surface, the room often felt cramped. But one look at John in their bed reminded Fergus that
had really meant
With a single swipe of fingers, John’s hair settled perfectly against his scalp and forehead. Fergus loved the feel of those silky, espresso-colored strands against his hands, stomach, and thighs. Watching him dry it was one of those everyday actions that doubled as a massive turn-on.
John tossed the towel aside, then turned to kneel on the bed, gripping the wooden headboard with both hands. He gave Fergus
over his shoulder, a look that needed no words.
Wasting not a moment, Fergus knelt on the bed behind John. “Mind the headboard.”
“Oops.” John stretched up to plant his hands on the wall. “Don’t want to break it in half this time.”
Fergus chuckled, remembering how they’d put a hairline fracture in the restored-driftwood headboard two nights ago when they were in a similar position with roles reversed.
He reached around to grasp John’s cock, provoking an
of longing. Fergus kissed his way down, stroking all the while, and by the time he made it to John’s arse, his boyfriend was trembling with need.
Though they’d not much time for teasing, Fergus did it anyway, swirling his tongue around the outside of John’s smooth, clean hole, feeling John’s cock jerk with each swipe.
“Fergus…” he whimpered. “If you don’t fuck me this instant, I’m gonnae die.”
“Always so dramatic, you.” Fergus reached over to retrieve the lube and the box of condoms from the bedside-table drawer. Though John was still usually the top, he always seemed eager to have Fergus inside him.
“You love my drama,” John said.
“I do. I love—” Fergus looked inside the condom box, then sighed. “Really, John? Again?”
Fergus shook the box upside down to demonstrate its emptiness.
John’s face crumpled. “Fuck! I knew I was forgetting something at the Tesco yesterday.” He turned and sat on the bed. “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s all right.” Fergus got up and went to the wardrobe, hiding his frustration at John’s forgetfulness. “You’ve got a lot on your mind with your studies.” Having finished a master’s degree less than a year ago, Fergus recalled how most days he’d have lost his own head were it not attached to his neck.
“It’s not all right,” John said. “I’ll buy more tonight, I promise.”
“Okay, but for now…” Fergus reached to the back of the upper shelf, searching for the emergency spare condom he’d hoarded after the last time John had forgotten to buy a new box.
“It’s not there,” John said.