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One desperate night, a rent boy hot enough to scorch the motel sheets, meets a man doomed to burn for love.
Christian Ryder is a lonely man because of his strange abilities; pyromancy, a curse that causes the temperature to dangerously rise whenever Christian grows excited. He has accidentally hurt lovers in the past and has sworn off personal attachments.
Tanner O’Bannon is broke and desperate. The recent loss of his father has thrown Tanner into a tailspin of debt he can’t afford to pay. Working as a rent boy allows him to pay the mortgage and his college tuition, but it’s burning away his soul in the process.
Through the machinations of an escort agency these men are thrown together. Smoldering embers of desire fan the flames of love, but will it be enough to make Christian overcome his fear of love, or to save Tanner from the fire?
Tanner O’Bannon slumped over his kitchen table as he tried to balance his checkbook. Money was tight, his balance down to just above two bucks, but at least he wasn’t in the negative anymore. He couldn’t afford the outrageous overdraft fees the bank charged. He’d been eating ramen noodles for a month. If he never saw another petrified block of pasta in his life, it would be too soon.Tanner’s eyes blurred as he ran through the figures once last time before flipping the checkbook closed. He folded his arms and laid his head on the cool surface of the mahogany table. He was exhausted, but needed to stay awake for just a little longer. On call for work until three a.m., he couldn’t afford to fall asleep or miss a single phone call. He needed the money too badly to risk losing his job, even if it was one he was ashamed of. Necessity overruled pride.He jerked his head up and gave it a shake, trying to force himself to stay alert. He rose to his feet, walked over to the sink, and splashed icy water on his cheeks. As he mopped his face with a clean dishtowel, the phone rang. Only one person would be calling this late.
He didn’t know whether to be happy or sad. On the one hand, it meant money; on the other, degradation. His father would be rolling over in his grave if he knew what his only son was doing to pay the debts he’d left behind.
Tanner crossed the room and picked up the phone. He listened to Nigel’s directions, then set it back in the cradle before jogging up the stairs. Upstairs, he hopped into the shower and quickly scrubbed himself from head to toe with citrus-scented body wash. He stepped out and yanked a dry towel off the rack, briskly rubbing it over his hair and skin while he fumbled through a drawer under the sink for lube and a butt plug.
He squeezed a dollop of lube into his hand and ran it over the plug, liberally coating its short length. He reached behind to swipe the remaining moisture through the crease of his ass. The toy in his right hand, he leaned over the toilet and braced his left hand on the back of the commode. He spread his legs shoulder width apart and took a deep breath, trying to relax his muscles as he pressed the blunt rubber tip against his asshole. Due at the motel in thirty minutes, there was no time for finesse. He exhaled and shoved it home, wincing at the sharp burn of his ass stretching around the plug.
The things you have to do to make a buck, Tanner thought, as he grabbed the washcloth he’d used in the shower and wiped off the excess lube around the wide base of the plug. He dropped it in the sink and headed into his bedroom to dress.
Time to go to work.
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