Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Val Francis
Word Count :10634
Publication Date :2018-06-25
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-1790-1
Archie was convinced that he only needed his dog Cuddles for company until he caught sight of his old schoolboy heartthrob, the spunky, delicious, Paul De Luca, on a late-night cooking show.
Applying to be on the program when he was as drunk as a skunk turned out to be a really bad idea—especially as he’d forgotten about it by the time he was sober. Weeks later, with Archie nursing another hangover, the television crew turning up at his front door triggers not only his memory but a major panic to keep it company.
Coming face to face with the man he’s always fancied is bad enough, but throw in a homophobic director and a dog with attitude, and life for Archie is about to become a whole lot more interesting.
Being alone isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you. And twelve months to the day, following his ex’s abrupt departure, Archie’s resolution remained as strong as ever. No more men, and perhaps more importantly, no more rough trade. His sex life was over, and Archie Boyd was officially off the market. He’d resolved that physical safety and mental stability was best served by a strong right hand and a satisfying selection of internet porn.
That morning, Archie had woken early and in the mood for a little stimulation. With his notebook switched on, lube and tissues ready, he’d been about to get down to business when his doorbell had started his dog barking. Cuddles, a rather aggressive, aging Yorkie, from birth apparently having the unshakable belief he was, in fact, a Rottweiler, prepared to defend his master. With two choices, of either waiting out his caller until they went away or answering the door, Archie chose the latter. Memories of his hawk-beaked neighbor’s complaints were the clincher...for some bizarre reason she hated his loveable Cuddles.
His visitor wore a scowl that reminded Archie of the back end of a baboon in season. Nothing was likely to make this one happy. “Yes?” Not feeling very sociable due to his headache, or to be exact, his hangover, the result of the second bottle of wine he’d opened the previous night, and then drunk, he might have snapped his response.
The guy had said it as though the words ought to mean something to him, but they didn’t. “Do I know you?” Running his bookkeeping business from the safety of his home, Archie wasn’t aware of having met him before.
“Lush Lunches.” On repeating it, he made no attempt at hiding his impatience.
Deep in the slushy interior of Archie’s hungover brain, a memory floated to the surface like scum on a pond, ringing a loud bell. “Fuck!”
“Jerry Parker here, I’m the producer…the poor sod who got landed with this shit of a program.”
Vaguely recalling the night, yet another evening of inebriation and self-pity, Archie cursed the ease with which he’d completed the online application. The television program’s host had been the boy he’d sat behind at high school and stupidly fallen in lust with. Being on the program and seeing Paul De Luca again after so many years had made it seem a good idea at the time.
Cuddles saved him further remorse by attacking their visitor. Launching his overfed body at the man’s trouser leg, he attempted to bite his leg off. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you looked at it, aged Cuddles, lacking any teeth or wherewithal to carry out the job, merely succeeded in giving Parker’s trouser leg a nasty and particularly wet gumming.
Apologizing on behalf of Cuddles, Archie struggled to detach him from his victim’s leg. Theoretically it would be easy, but Cuddles, in fact, had an extraordinarily strong pair of gums, and it required some effort.
“Sorry about that. He’s actually quite a loveable little fellow if a little excitable.” Smiling in the hope Parker wouldn’t decide to sue him, he looked at him expectantly. “So?”
“We’re here to do the fucking show.”
“Show?” While hoping like mad playing dumb would make the potential nightmare go away, Archie immediately recognized Parker as the type who’d bully their victim until they got their own way.
“Lush fucking Lunches.” Shaking his head, Parker issued his first of many orders. “Just lock the fucking dog up or something. Euthanasia might be a preferable option.”
For a moment or two, Archie simply stood where he was, holding a writhing Cuddles, shocked at the suggestion. Unable to deal with the situation, Archie retreated to the safety of the bathroom, where he locked the door behind him. And putting Cuddles on the floor, where he immediately assaulted the bathmat, he sat on the toilet to reflect on the error of his ways.