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Slingin Ink DRUNK ON YOU

Lime juice, pineapple juice, maraschino cherry juice, white rum, dark rum, orgeat syrup, and Curaçao.

That was it.

A list of ingredients Sam had consumed either mixed up or by themselves hundreds of times in the past and knew for a fact his body could process. But there must have been something different in this Mai Tai blend because, after having only three of the refreshingly fruity cocktails in the past two and a half hours, he was definitely feeling strange.

At six-foot-three and 215 pounds, his level of intoxication should’ve been nonexistent. He should have been reacting like his normal broody, aloof, assholish self. Tonight, though, he was chatty, thoughtful, attentive, affectionate, delighted to be doing couple things, engulfed in a world that only included him and the hottest man in the entire universe, making out like a teenager behind a fern grotto, and fucking aflame.

Had he been in full possession of his faculties he wouldn’t have been caught dead in this place. Clearly, the alcohol had simultaneously ignited his bloodstream and mutated his brain. Otherwise he’d be reminding Mac not to read too much into their date as he rushed him to their hotel so that they could have sex.

And go back to familiar ground.

And keep Mac from evaluating Sam’s body language and behavior, not to mention decoding nuances, slips, and perceived hidden symbolism of every damn thing he’d said and done from the moment they left their room to come to the restaurant earlier that day, preferably by kneeling in front of the kitten’s huge cock and sucking him off.

But he didn’t want to leave yet.

When he looked up restaurants that could provide the type of Tiki culture experience he’d wanted to give Mac, he made sure to go for the most beautiful location. Now that he was here, he had to say reality had surpassed his expectations. Five stars all around—the food and drinks, the show with fire dancers, and the ambiance. Plus, the company was great. That Mac was a fantastic kisser didn’t hurt.

Fingers buried in silky blond hair, Sam wrapped his other arm around Mac’s waist, plastering himself closer to his guy as he licked, tasted, and sucked on his warm, juicy tongue. And, as Mac’s hum of pleasure reverberated in Sam’s chest, he admitted he was nowhere near ready for the night to end.

Shit, he thought as an influx of tenderness triggered by Mac’s playful nipping and nuzzling rushed through his veins. What’s the matter with me?

No time—or interest—to find out.

He was too busy worshiping at the altar of Mac’s mouth.

Interestingly enough, swapping spit with strangers had never been part of Sam’s foreplay repertoire; not until he met Mac, and to say he’d taken to it like a duck to water would be an understatement. But it wasn’t until he arrived in South Beach that he discovered there was something truly special about them locking lips just for the simple joy of it whenever they wanted. It happened time and again. Mac’s sheer essence tempted him and pulled him in no matter how hard Sam fought to resist. Yet it wasn’t the teasing, the constant reminder of what would happen next, or the memories of how incredibly good sex was between them that did it for Sam. It was the growing intimacy—the feeling of ever-tightening…connectedness between him and Mac.

That Sam wasn’t packing his bags and running for the airport at the thought of bonding with a guy that was supposed to be only a fuck buddy was additional proof those Mai Tais had messed him up but good. Some sort of alcohol poisoning, for sure, with symptoms including but not limited to hallucinations like rainbows in a starry sky, chirping birds, and walks on cloud nine. Then there was the dizziness, the butterflies in his stomach, and the paranoia.

There was no reason to be fearful of what he couldn’t identify. No one was conspiring against his singlehood. His way of life wasn’t under threat from anything or anyone. Then why was he on pins and needles, waiting for the other shoe to drop? It made no sense!

He had to be delirious. Hadto. No other way around it.

Why else would he be acting so out of character? Why else would he be incapable to stop looking at Mac through rose-colored glasses? Why would he have concluded that the smart-ass he wanted to kick in the balls for overstepping his boundaries was near perfect? Why would he be experiencing an almost overwhelming sense of happiness? Why would he be thinking that, in another life, he would’ve done everything in his power to claim and belong to this man?


He had to snap out of it at once.


For reasons related to Sam’s personal hang-ups—and preferences—Mac had never been, could never be, and would never be his boyfriend, and he couldn’t forget this wasn’t a real date! He was just showing Mac what it was like because he had never been on one before, and Sam wanted him to know what he could demand and expect when the time came. End of story. He had no business succumbing to a fantasy he had created for very practical purposes.

Whatever he thought was happening here was nothing but an illusion. He was playing a part. Taking one for the team in the name of a friendship that shouldn’t even exist. Doing Mac a solid because he was a good man who’d been treated like shit by a guy Sam wanted to punch in the face. Showing Mac that, even though he was manipulative as fuck and insisted on reading Sam’s thoughts, he deserved to be spoiled. Putting it out there that, while he chose not to wine and dine anyone on the regular, he wasn’t a total jerk. Setting the bar sky-high for whoever came next.

So, yeah. He needed to snap out of it regardless of how comfortable he currently felt, because nothing had changed. ‘No attachments’ was still the main, most important, unbreakable rule in their FWB agreement—an agreement Sam had drafted himself, for fuck’s sake. You’d think he would be perfectly adept at sticking to it, but no. Epic fail.

He would get there, though. Somehow. Faster if he avoided drinking Mai Tais, but not while his guard was down.

Truth be told, Sam couldn’t be bothered to worry about any of that in that moment because this was also his first date, both as a divorced man and as an adult, and dammit all to hell, he wanted to enjoy himself. He wanted to take advantage of the fact that he was already here, with a man that kept him breathless and fantasizing all day long, on a mini vacation that could’ve passed as a honeymoon, to boot.

He wasn’t leaving. Neither was Mac, and there was no changing their romantic room nor any of Sam’s plans. So why not give in? Why not live in this parallel universe for as long as possible, then blame actions he couldn’t own up to or control on the alcohol? Sounded like the perfect solution, right? In fact, why not call their time together in South Beach what it really was—a blip in time? So long as he remembered that, everything would be fine.

“Do you want to find a table?” he asked softly against Mac’s lips. “Have another drink?”

“Let’s,” Mac promptly agreed, pecking him on his nose and cheek, his hands roaming slowly over Sam’s back, pecs, and shoulders, stirring needs and emotions he was determined not to feel. “I’d love to hang out and talk for a bit.”