Tonight I’m burning the midnight oil to finish up my Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar submission “Loving and Loathing Vegas.” So close to the end! To sum it up, Jackson and Vegas are just a pair of regular incubi guys who run a diner with damned good coffee and sinful pies. As living embodiments of Viagra, the two make a bet to score a date for Christmas. But that goes out the window when they find a baby girl in the trash. And she has strong opinions of her own.
Please enjoy! Mmmm piiiieeee~
Loving and Loathing Vegas
by Lex Chase
The diner may have been a ghost town on Thanksgiving, but on the days following the place was booming with customers. Hungry tourists passing through for a much needed pit stop, or those finding them on Foodspotting.
In between bussing tables, Jackson took every minute he could scrounge into checking out his Grindr choices on his smartphone. It was an exercise in frustration with the 4G randomly dropping and the wifi conking out. He bussed six tables by the time his phone would cooperate.
Jeshebet, Jackson’s new attachment, seemed to do well in the bustle of the diner. He had set up a temporary crib behind the counter by arranging giant cans of pickles into a walled rectangle and nesting her grocery basket baby carrier inside his creation.
Vegas had been too cheap to hire extra staff, but Moonbeam Rainbow-whatsit was more than happy to drop by to keep an eye on the baby.
It’s not that Jackson didn’t like him. He did like him. Kind of. At arm’s length. In that exchanging as few words as possible before it got incredibly awkward. He wasn’t jealous of his friendship with Vegas, or so he insisted. The guy was just… weird.
Okay. Maybe a little jealous.
A lot jealous.
He had a name Vegas had reminded him. Cillian. But it didn’t make it any less weirdo alert in Jackson’s head.
Jeshebet seemed to approve of Cillian’s company, which made Jackson’s hackles rise. It was silly, it wasn’t like she was Jackson’s flesh and blood, but he had become might possessive of her. The whole situation was temporary, and if he was going to take care of her, he wanted to make sure she wasn’t scarred for life. Not that she’d remember anyhow.
Jackson nodded to Cillian as they both hung out behind the counter.
Cillian smiled in return. He had one of those smiles that rivaled the sun, and Jackson swore damned birds would tweet around his head if they could. Everything about him was nice. Impossibly nice. No wonder Vegas took a shine to him.
Jackson considered his phone, hunting through his Grindr choices. He was so out of his league when it came to the friendship Cillian and Vegas shared. He had declared Cillian off limits for the bet, but even as a creature only made for sex, Jackson understood the heart wants what it wants.
Jackson just had to try harder. Maybe Jeshebet would be his ace in the hole of getting a date. There must have been some guy in this one stoplight town that loved kids. But the list of available men that Jackson was reasonably attracted to in this town had one man on it.
Jackson looked over his shoulder into the kitchen as Vegas manned the grill. He felt a little lightheaded as Vegas worked. Vegas’s timing was near superhuman when it came to the kitchen. He may have insisted their powers were sealed, but Jackson suspected Vegas still used a measure of them to give him an edge.
Jackson swallowed and then ran his tongue over his bottom lip. Sweat soaked through Vegas’s thin tanktop, clinging to the small of his back. His broad shoulders glistened under the kitchen lighting. He kept his hair tied back in a blue bandanna, the cloth lay flat like a classic housewife headscarf. Jackson’s throat tightened at the intense concentration on Vegas’s face as he flipped a row of burgers.
Only Vegas could make cooking hamburgers look obscene.
Not happening. Jackson cursed himself as his blood pressure rose and his supercharged hormones encouraged his body into inappropriate displays. He took a breath. What would have humiliated a human in a public scenario, incubi had a way of turning their physical arousal on and off at will. As the start of his hard-on dissipated, he looked up just at the right—or wrong—moment as he caught Cillian glancing at Vegas too.
Fine, Jackson thought. This was how it was going to be. He could handle this. He’d just shake it off. It’s not like Vegas had a billion lovers before. And really he had a billion lovers. Surely, Cillian was well on his way to making Vegas break his vow of celibacy.
Copyright © 2015 Lex Chase. All rights reserved.