Title: Here For Us
Series: Us #1
Author: A.M. Arthur
Publisher: Briggs-King Books
Release Date: 3/17/17
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male Menage
Length: 94,000 words
Genre: Gay Romance, Menage
SynopsisCris Sable doesn’t walk into popular gay bar Big Dick’s expecting to find more than a casual hookup, so he’s surprised by his instant attraction and intense chemistry with go-go dancer Jake. Jake’s sexy as hell and a firecracker in bed. The sparks between them are undeniable, and what starts as a hookup evolves into something deeper, possibly permanent—until Jake dumps Cris flat on his ass for no good reason.
Angry and confused, Cris finds comfort with his longtime friend and employer Charles “Chet” Greenwood. Cris’s emotional state stirs up Charles’s long-buried feelings for Cris. Feelings he’s denied for eight years, because Cris is his employee and therefore off limits—not to mention two decades younger than Charles. Cris admits he has feelings for Charles, too, but he’s still getting over Jake and both men agree nothing can happen between them while Charles is still Cris’s boss.
Jake Bowden knows he doesn’t have anything to offer a guy. He’s a go-go dancer with no degree and no real career aspirations. He’s also used to everyone who loves him leaving, so it makes sense to cut Cris loose before things get too serious. Cris is kind, passionate and totally deserves a guy like Charles—wealthy, owns a home, successful businessman. Jake can’t compete so why bother? They’re better off together. But when Jake has a serious personal crisis, Cris and Charles unite to pull him back together, and the three men discover it’s possible—maybe even inevitable—to fall in love with more than one person at a time.
I need to fucking get laid.
The thought followed Cris Sable through the heavy industrial door that hid the throbbing interior of Big Dick’s, the most popular gay nightclub in Harrisburg. The place was hard to find if you didn’t know where it was, or if you didn’t know the big muscle bear sitting by the entrance was a bouncer. Cris hadn’t been to the club in over a year, mostly by choice, but tonight he needed something.
Definitely a drink, although he’d have to limit himself now that he was functioning with one kidney. And, if possible, he wanted to leave with a willing ass to fuck. It had been a long dry spell.
A dry spell of his own making, but still, a guy had needs, and he wasn’t looking to get his needs met by a woman tonight. Tonight he needed dick.
He eased his way over to the bar and ordered a margarita on the rocks. Something he could work his way through slowly. The club was in full swing, bodies gyrating on the dance floor, men dry humping their way through the evening. Soon early morning. At the rear of the dance floor, six go-go dancers were on risers, each decked out in one color of the rainbow. Barely-there briefs in a solid color, sparkle body paint all over their chests and legs, and some dancers even had colorful streaks in their hair. Monday was theme night for the go-go dancers, which explained why there were so many. On the other nights of the week that Cris had visited, the club usually only had three dancers.
Cris zeroed in on the dancer in blue. He loved the color blue, and this kid was pretty fucking hot in a royal blue thong, with blue swirls across his pecs and shoulders. Something kind of tribal and arty. He spun around to shake his ass, showing off very taut blue-painted cheeks. Even from the distance, he was cute. The kind of cute Cris liked to wrangle around in bed and fuck through the mattress.
Occasionally, a hand would rise from the crowd with money in it, and the blue dancer squatted low enough for the money to be tucked away in their underwear. Very strip club-esque, but Big Dick’s had a strict policy about not touching the dancers for longer than it took to tip them.
He scanned the other dancers’ faces and froze solid at the guy at the end. Despite the yellow paint, Cris knew that nearly naked body intimately enough to see past the costume and recognize Colby. Not his real name, and Cris didn’t know what it was, but they’d filmed together at Mean Green Boys roughly two years ago. Colby was only with the company for a few months before he quit to be with his boyfriend.
Cris had been intensely jealous at the time. At twenty-eight years old, he’d failed to find and maintain a serious relationship for longer than six months. And even that relationship had imploded when she found out he did gay porn. Okay, so he shouldn’t have kept that a secret for so long. He’d been so damned happy to find someone who understood and accepted he was bisexual that he’d been scared to destroy it too soon by admitting to the porn.
But secrets never did a relationship any good, and Lily had dumped his ass hard.
He’d taken a two year hiatus from porn after that, hoping to try and rebuild his flailing love life, before returning to Mean Green. The studio owner, Chet Green, was one of his closest friends—hence the very secret reason for his single remaining kidney.
“Hello, gorgeous.” A slinky number in leather pants and a silver mesh shirt slid up to Cris at the bar. Cute, kohl-lined eyes, plump lips that promised they knew how to suck a dick.
Cris grinned. “Who, me?”
“Oh, honey, we both know you’re the sexiest thing in the club tonight.” A warm arm draped over his shoulders. “Name’s Luke.”
“Hmm, I think you look more like a Vincent.”
Cris tensed. No fucking way could this random guy know who he was. There was no hint of malice in his easy grin, no sign the name was anything other than a really good guess. Cris came from an Italian family from Long Island, and the genes were pretty strong. He’d rid himself of his identifying accent years ago, though, thank Christ.
“Or Vincenzo, or Anthony,” the kid said, oblivious to Cris’s racing thoughts.
“Well, it’s Cris.” Rude, fine, but he’d lost any interest in Luke. Cristian Sable was his identity now. “See you around.”
Cris pushed away from the bar and eased his way into the crowd occupying the fringes of the dance floor. A few blatant offers came his way, but Cris turned them all down. He didn’t realize he’d inched closer to the risers and his blue dancer until the guy was less than ten feet away.
Blue had a face that was both easygoing and sharp. He was enjoying himself without totally letting his guard down. And he was hella cute. Fuckable for sure.
Bodies danced frenetically all around him, allowing Cris to stay close to the wall and shift nearer to Blue. Someone held up a bill between two fingers. Blue wiggled his hips and squatted low so the money could be tucked into his g-string. The triangle of blue material held a very promising package for a smaller guy.
Blue blew a kiss to his patron, then spun in an ass-wiggling circle. His dark gaze roamed the crowd, then paused on Cris. An unexpected thrill shot through him. Some sort of instinctive acknowledgement of the man on the stage, as if they’d been waiting to meet. Blue held eye contact; Cris drew out a long, lazy smile. Blue cocked his head, winked, and then kept dancing. Cris stayed in his spot. Every few minutes, Blue glanced his way. Right into his eyes.
The dancers came and went from the risers, likely taking breaks in between sets. When Blue winked again and disappeared, Cris had half a mind to try and find him. Except he didn’t work at the club, and he had no real excuse to get backstage. Cris sipped his watered-down margarita and watched the eye candy on display. The gorgeous men, the throbbing music, and the heady scents of sweat and sex worked their magic on Cris, and he was half-hard by the time a brown-haired kid with a smear of blue under both eyes sidled up next to him.
Cris studied the familiar face, now scrubbed clean except for those two very appealing smudges. His hair maintained hints of blue glitter. He’d covered that amazing body with jeans and a white sleeveless tee, but this was Cris’s dancer. Blue.
“You off the clock?” Cris asked.
“Yup.” He grabbed Cris’s glass and finished it off with a smirk that did funny things to Cris’s balls. “Damn, I think I owe you a drink.”
He laughed. “Cris.”
“Jake.” He snagged Cris’s belt and tugged him toward the bar.
The forwardness was a huge fucking turn on, and Cris’s cock was at full mast by the time they reached the bar. An older man in a sparkly vest smiled at them.
“Two margaritas on the rocks,” Jake said. “My tab.”
“On it,” the bartender said.
Cris rested one hand on Jake’s lower back, and he was surprised by the tiny thrill that vibrated up his arm. Jake pressed into his touch, eyelids fluttering as if he’d felt something similar. Cris leaned in to whisper in his ear, “Blue is my favorite color.”
Jake looked up, big brown eyes glimmering with mischief. “Oh yeah?”
“Definitely. It looks good on you.”
“Know what else would look good on me?”
Cris saw the flirty line coming, but he played along. “What’s that?”
He nuzzled Jake’s ear with his nose. “I agree.”
The bartender slid their drinks over. Jake gulped his, while Cris only sipped. And studied his future sex partner. A good six inches shorter than him, and slimmer all over. Dance-honed muscles. Tight jeans that did nothing to hide his erection. A very One Direction boyish hotness about him that made Cris want to fuck him senseless.
“I’d ask if you want to dance,” Jake said, “but you didn’t bust a move all night.”
“Not much of a dancer.”
“I’m plenty good.” Cris put a little leer into those words. “But I don’t like using dancing as foreplay. I’d rather play in private.”
Jake pressed his hard dick against Cris’s thigh, amusement dancing in his eyes. His voice was crazy sexy in a way that Cris couldn’t describe, but he liked it. “So I’m guessing you aren’t a fan of the bathroom with the favors?”
Big Dick’s had two bathrooms for its patrons, and rumor had it that the bathroom on the left had a bowl of condoms and lube sachets for patrons. Folks interested in a quick—and safe—fuck with a stranger. The bathroom on the right was for regular business.
“Nope.” Cris slid his hand from Jake’s lower back to grab his ass. “I prefer a nice big bed where I can have my way with someone for a few hours. Upright in a bathroom stall is over too fast.”
Jake swallowed hard, his cheeks pinking up. “Sounds like an adventure.”
“You up for it?”
“What do you think?” He ground his dick into Cris’s thigh. “Think I’m up for it?”
“I might need more convincing.”
Jake grabbed at Cris’s erection and squeezed, the contact sending happy sparklers down Cris’s spine. He really liked Jake touching him. “I’d suck you right here but Richard frowns on public displays of fellatio.”
Cris didn’t know who Richard was, and he didn’t care. Owner or manager, probably. His only priority was getting Jake naked in his bed. He pushed his mostly full glass away. “Then let’s get out of here before you get in trouble with your boss.”
Jake gulped his margarita, then plunked his glass on the bar. “Lead the way.”
The cool night air did nothing to ease his throbbing dick, nor did the long walk to his car. Jake kept close, their arms brushing, but otherwise not touching. The city was still alive and well all around them, and while Cris was big and imposing enough that few people ever bothered him, Jake walked with purpose. Aware of everyone they passed. He’d danced the exact same way: wary of the world.
Cris silently promised to help Jake forget those shadows that made him walk through life like it would turn against him at any moment. Even if only for a few hours.
Here for Us is Book 1 in AM Arthur's Us series. If you're not interested in reading about three men being in a relationship together, this book is not for you! This book finishes with a HFN, and book 2 is about the same couple. This story doesn't end with a cliffhanger, thankfully since that's something I hate. This story is about three very, very different men in three very different age groups. There is quite an age gap between the oldest and youngest men in the relationship.
Cris is a graphics designer and works for himself from home. He is also a porn model, even though it's been months since he's filmed any new videos. Cris doesn't want to leave his boss, Charles/Chet, and have to redefine their relationship. Cris has been off work from filming because he anonymously donated a kidney to Charles' nephew. He loves Charles, but he doesn't want Charles' emotions to come from gratitude. Cris and Charles are good friends and he's afraid to do anything to change that relationship. Cris decides to look for a hook-up in the popular local club when his attention is caught by one of the go-go dancers. Cris takes Jake home and they have amazing chemistry together. Cris is planning on more than one night with Jake, only when he wakes up Jake and his wallet is missing. Cris is angry and that night heads to the club to confront Jake, only to get no remorse from him. Cris walks away from Jake despite his attraction and decides to wash his hands off him.
Cris gets a call from Charles' nephew asking for help with his uncle who seems to be depressed. Cris takes Charles out for fun and head to the club where Jake is a go-go dancer. They have a good time, leaving a very jealous Jake watching and a very confused Cris. Cris is attracted to both Jake and Charles and isn't sure what to do. But, he doesn't have to make a decision because both Charles and Jake make the decision to end any potential relationship with Cris so the other man can have him.
Jake is young and even though he had a great mother, he's learned at a young age not to trust anyone. He makes impulsive decisions, that he tends to regret and pushes anyone away before he they can get close. He seems young and mature but the more you get to know him, the more you see of him. He's a regular visitor to an old man in a nursing home who has no family and suffers from dementia. He didn't really steal Cris' wallet but lets him think that just to push him away. He wants Cris but doesn't think he's good enough for him.
Charles is the oldest of the trio. He's made himself wealthy and even though he runs a porn studio, that's more for the models he hires than for himself. He's been attracted to Cris since the moment they met, but he would never cross any employer/employee boundaries and is content to just have him as a friend. He wants Cris to be happy with the younger Jake. Only life happens and forces Charles, Jake and Cris together causing a lot of confusion and men who have to be open minded to find happiness.
Something that was very hard to keep straight was the names of the characters! Many of the characters were porn models, or former porn models, and they had two names which at one point are used interchangeably. With so many characters introduced, it was just a lot of additional names to keep straight (ha, no pun intended!). Once these adult men learned how to communicate with each other, it made for easier reading for me! I'm looking forward to book 2, which is about the same men so you won't find a rush to a HEA in this book!
Rating: 4.5 stars
Meet the Author
A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone's throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She's been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn't been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur's work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, SMP Swerve, and Briggs-King Books.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.
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