The Brothers Of Hogg's Hollow
by G. R. Richards
ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-752-6 (Electronic)
To Fernando, family means everything. He works as the brawn of his big brother Gerry's decking business, and he lives with Gerry's family. Nothing in life could make him consider leaving his flesh and blood...except Malcolm.
Despite Gerry's rule against fraternizing with clients, Fernando can't hide his attraction to "Professor Hottie," the young classics instructor who put himself through school working in construction. When Gerry takes an impromptu vacation to save his marriage, he leaves Fernando to babysit the kids and the business.
Malcolm lends an expert hand around the jobsite and helps out around the house, but can he convince Fernando to leave his brother's home and build a life together?
Genres: Gay / Contemporary / Romantic Comedy / BDSM (Light) / Interracial / Multicultural
Heat Level: 3
Length: Novella (24k words)
Read a short excerpt...
...Fernando tried to keep his head on straight as he explained the procedure, but Malcolm was an old hand. He didn’t require much instruction. While Fernando cut lengths of cedar to size, trying with all his willpower to keep his eyes off Malcolm’s surging biceps, Malcolm got to out his hammer and went at his task full force. Between cuts, he caught snippets of Malcolm singing, “I’d rather be a hammer than a nail,” and Fernando stored that away as pertinent information.
When the early-afternoon sun beamed penetrating rays into their skin, Malcolm stood at the base of his half-built stairs. Facing the house, he wrapped his fingers around the fabric at the base of his tank and pulled it slowly up and over his head. The muscles in his back writhed in conjunction as he mopped the sweat from his gleaming head before tucking the length of cotton into the back of his cargo pants. The sun shone on him from directly overhead, like it was blessing him from above. He was spotless in that pool of light. No mottled shadows from the leaves overhead or patchwork silhouettes of clouds in the blue, blue sky. Only Malcolm, his dark rippled flesh gleaming like ebony on show. Watching this scene, Fernando backed away from the circular saw. He knew he was way too distracted to operate machinery.
All this time, they hadn’t spoken to each other in any real sense—the circular saw prevented conversation, and maybe that was a blessing in disguise. If they’d had an opportunity to talk, Fernando was sure he’d slip and ask, “Why? Why the quick change? That first day, I went home fantasizing about you. You were nice to me. More than nice. After that, I was nobody to you. You stared at me from the upstairs window, but you wouldn’t even look me in the eye when you came outside to talk to Gerry. Did I do something wrong? Or do I scare you? And do you think about me when I’m not around? Because I think of you. I think of you all the time—I can barely concentrate on anything else but you. Working is nearly impossible when I know you’re inside looking out. Who am I to you?”
When he realized Malcolm had turned to face him, Fernando snapped himself out of his heart-wrenching reverie. Abs…abs…God, those abs!
“Do you want me, too?” Malcolm asked. Tossing his hammer spinning in the air, he reached out to grab the handle, but then second-guessed himself and recoiled. It fell to the dusty ground and he leaned down sheepishly to collect it.
Fernando was sure he hadn’t heard correctly, but his heart raced all the same. “Huh?”
“Do you want me to fix us some lunch?” he repeated.
Taking off his safety glasses, Fernando chuckled to himself and rubbed the sweat from his forehead with the sleeve of his T-shirt. He fully intended to accept, but instead found himself saying, “I usually just grab a burger and fries or whatever.”
Malcolm pressed his hammer end to end. “Well, I’m sure that goes a great length to explaining your iffy tummy. If you eat wretched foods every day, your body is bound to rebel. Let me prepare you a treat for the gustatory senses—do you like taboule?”
“Sure,” Fernando replied, though he didn’t recognize half the words in that sentence.
“These temperatures are baffling. We used to get snow in May, and now we’re into extreme heat alerts. It really is quite alarming.”
Fernando watched the subtle motion of Malcolm’s abdominal muscles as he spoke. “Yeah.”
“If you can spare me, I’d rather like to jump in the shower before I start on lunch,” he went on.
With a nod, Fernando gazed across the lower level joists. Gerry and Malcolm had settled on diagonal boards across the expanse, which meant innumerable measurements and cuts. No way he’d be able to concentrate intensely enough to get them right with Professor Hottie’s writhing muscles hijacking his attention. “Yeah, I’ve still got plenty to do out here.”
He put his safety glasses back on, but when Malcolm didn’t budge, he didn’t either. Standing behind the circular saw, he looked through scratched plastic lenses at the god with no shirt. Malcolm smiled, and he smiled back. How could he not smile in the face of brilliant eyes and gleaming flesh?
Without another word, Malcolm turned tail and headed up newly constructed stairs and across the plywood pathway set down across bare joists. When he’d pushed open the sliding glass door, he turned around yet again. The look in his eyes was intense but indecipherable. And then he ducked into the house and was consumed by darkness...