Author: Sean Michael
Word Count: 64500
Page Count (pdf): 246
Series: Nailz (#3)
Genre: Contemporary BDSM
Date Published: March 30, 2021
Publisher: Sean Michael
Heat Rating: 5
File Types available: epub, mobi, pdf
This book has been removed to KU
Welcome back to Nailz, a tattoo and piercing parlor where the staff support each other fiercely.
When Rick invites Eazy to one of Nailz’s backyard barbecues, he has no idea what fate has in store for his old friend.
Eric is fairly new to Nailz, where he sweeps and cleans the shop five days a week and lives upstairs in a tiny one-room apartment. He is innocent, sweet, and untutored in the ways of the BDSM lifestyle. His friends warn Eazy that he’s shy and easily spooked. Eazy is intrigued by the sweet lad and they spend most of the evening at the party together and make plans to have dinner together soon.
New to everything, Eric is nonetheless eager to spend time with the handsome Eazy, who he believes could date anyone he wanted to, and as their relationship progresses, he’s just as eager to learn everything that Eazy can teach him. But his friends at Nailz worry that Eazy’s moving too fast for the innocent Eric and keep questioning both of them to make sure he’s not being pushed into more than he can handle.
Can Eazy and Eric fall in love and forge their own path despite everyone else’s worries? Find out in this next novel in the Nailz series.
Ezekial “Eazy” Simons went around to the back of the block that Nailz, the tattoo parlor, was on, hoping he was headed in the right direction. He’d been invited to a backyard party by Rick. He was glad his friend had reached out. They hadn’t seen each other in over a year and they needed to catch up. Rick had a boy now—a lover—and he wanted to meet the man who’d stolen Rick’s heart.
One of the gates was open, and sure enough, there were a bunch of people in the yard beyond it, music, lights, and the smell of cooking meat. Bingo. He went in.
The little courtyard was cheery with decorations—they were celebrating the end of summer so everything was watermelons and margaritas, beach balls and happy yellow suns. It was adorable, the effect silly and joyful, absolutely apropos.
He caught sight of Rick standing in the midst of mostly twinks, though there was a huge, hairy guy standing next to him, looking at Rick like he’d hung the moon. Oh, that had to be Rick’s new…well, boy seemed the wrong word for someone so big—bigger than Rick and himself even, and neither he nor Rick were in any way small. He made his way toward the group.
Rick caught sight of him and waved, a huge smile wreathing his face. “Eazy! You made it!”
“I did.” He waded in through all the people who had turned to stare at him, and he and Rick hugged, slapping each other’s backs and then holding on tight for a moment. “It’s damn good to see you. Been far too long.”
“It has for sure. I’d like you to meet my partner, Will. Will, this is one of my good friends. His name is Ezekial, but we’ve always called him Eazy.”
He held his hand out to the huge guy next to Rick. “Nice to meet you.”
“Pleased. Make yourself at home. The drinks are in the coolers, and the food is on the long tables.” The handshake was gentle, which for a huge man like Will had to take effort.
“Thank you. I appreciate it. You’ve got a very welcoming setup here.” He ignored—for now—the looks he was gathering, mostly the twinks, trying to pretend they weren’t looking. He knew he was good-looking, but more than that, he knew he exuded confidence, and for subs, that was a huge draw.
The conversation was nice and easy, no one pushing or forward, but people included him in their circle.
“So do you all work at the tattoo parlor?” Eazy asked.
“I do, Nick owns the place, and Kel is here, so is Mark. Uh, Casey, little Eric…”
“And are you all subs?” From what he could tell, a great many of them were. He and Rick seemed to be the only ones who were Doms, from what he could discern.
“I—” Will looked to Rick, obviously unsure. “I’m not sure that’s mine to say…”
“That’s cool. Being safe is a good thing. I was just thinking it was pretty damn neat to have a place of business that isn’t a club but where everyone is a sub. Like I said, you don’t have to answer. It’s Dom’s intuition.” He gave the pretty sub across from him—Eric if he remembered correctly—a wink and a smile.
The little sub offered him a shaky smile, the light green eyes fascinating under the thick black lashes, the wild mass of black hair. He looked like someone magical, a fairy in a story.
“We do have some Doms, some friends, some switches, but it happens that I have only hired subs.” Nick was another lovely man, obviously protective, and built like a bulldog.
It made him wonder if there was a correlation between creative types and subs. He’d never given it any thought, but this was the first time he’d met a group of people who worked together who were all giving off sub vibes. In-the-lifestyle subby vibes at that.
“I’d love to come back sometime when the shop is open and take a look at the artwork.” He didn’t have any tattoos himself—he’d never found anything he wanted permanently on his body, but he admired the art. He went to smile at Eric again, but the lovely boy had disappeared.
“Of course, we have some amazing artists. Will and Kel both work in scenes almost exclusively these days.”
“Oh, how fascinating. Does it ever feel strange to be an instrument in someone else’s scene?”
Will shook his head. “No. No, it’s an honor. I’m just facilitating the scene for the people involved.”
“Interesting. Pretty cool, really. It’s good to know there’s a place where that kind of thing is safe.” He was betting a lot of tattoo shops did not want to be involved in people’s proclivities.
“Well, safe is the whole point, isn’t it? We’re a good space.”
“Absolutely. Sounds like you run a great shop here, Nick.” His stomach rumbled loudly, and he laughed. “Rick here told me to come hungry and I do seem to have complied.”
Kel chuckled and held out one hand. “Come on, I’ll introduce you to the food table.”
“That’d be great, thank you.” He slipped his hand into Kel’s and let himself be led.
“There are sandwiches, grilled chicken, and beef. There are some salads, and tons of bakery goods, chips, dips. Whatever you’d like.” Kel smiled at him. “You just grab a plate and dig in. No one will mind.”
“Thank you. It all looks delicious.” He put some beef on his plate, along with what looked like either a quinoa or couscous salad—grains with plenty of vegetables included. Then he grabbed some Caesar salad too. He managed to pile some chicken onto the plate too. Some of the desserts looked delicious, so he would definitely have to make a second trip. “Drinks?” he asked when his plate was full.
“Everything’s in the cooler—what’s your poison?”
“Water, if you’ve got it.” He tried, mostly unsuccessfully to stay away from sugary drinks like pop, but he was being good today.
“Eric, sweetpea, can you grab this kind man a water?”
“I can, yes.” The magical little one hurried off to help.
“He’s beautiful.” He hadn’t meant to say the words out loud, but it wasn’t a lie.
“He is. He’s very shy, very kind. He cleans up the shop and has the little studio apartment above it.”
“Single?” He wasn’t laying a claim, not yet, anyway, but he wanted to know. In case.
“Oh, lord. I’m not sure he’s ever—I think he’s closer to virgin than taken.”
“Fascinating.” And kind of wonderful. A sweet untouched boy was very…appealing. Very.
“Yes, but he spooks easy, so be sweet.”
“I wouldn’t dream of anything else.” He wasn’t here to hurt anyone.
“Excellent.” Kel grinned as Eric came up with the water. “Honey, can you show Eazy to a table, please? I need to grab some more Cokes.”
“I—Oh. Okay. Yes. Please, come with me.”
“Did you get something to eat? We could sit together,” Eazy suggested.
“I didn’t. I was waiting until everyone else ate.”
“Oh, then you need to share my plate with me.”
“I—That would be mean of me, I think. Is this a good place to sit?”
“This looks great. And there’s room for you to join me. I promise it’s not mean.” He patted the seat next to him.
“I… Okay. It’s hard to be new. You’re Will and Master Rick’s friend?” Those light eyes were beautiful.
“I’ve just recently met Will, but I’ve been friends with Rick for a long time. So you’ve only recently started at Nailz.”
“Yes. I’m not talented or anything. I sweep the floor.”
“Well, that’s something, right? Things need to be kept clean.” He’d accidentally grabbed two forks instead of a knife and a fork, but it was a happy accident and he offered one over to Eric.
“Thank you.” Eric took the fork, head ducking.
He speared some of the Caesar salad on the end of his fork. “So how new are you?”
“To the studio? I’ve been there a month.”
“Oh, that’s almost as new as me. This is my first time meeting everyone.”
“That’s scary, I know. Everyone is very, very nice. I promise. They really are.”
“That’s been my experience so far.” He pointed to the food. “Now let’s eat.”
“I—” Eric took a tiny bite of macaroni. One macaroni.
“Is it good?”
“It really is. I love macaroni salad. My granny used to make it for me.”
“Yeah? She doesn’t anymore?”
“No, she passed away. Heart attack.” Eric hid in his hair, head ducking.
“I’m so sorry for your loss.” He touched Eric’s shoulder, patting.
“Thank you.” Eric smiled over at him, the look sweet and gentle. So careful.