Read an Excerpt
Marcus checked out his shave and buff in the mirror, his head bald as a newborn baby's. He could do the job himself, and often did, but on a Saturday morning Marcus liked to indulge himself. A little lie in, coffee and something sticky at the cafe, and a close shave of his head, followed by the bookstore.
The little thing who'd shaved him brought the hand mirror out and held it behind him so he could get the overall view. "Is it satisfactory, sir?" Flaming all over the place and cute as hell. It was too bad one look at Marcus' playroom would have the boy fainting and then running for the hills.
"More than, thank you."
He left the wee thing a nice tip and headed off up Brighton Avenue toward Roomful of Books. It wasn't as big as the Borders, but it had an amazing fiction selection and a surprisingly interesting alternative lifestyle section. And they didn't mind how long you browsed.
The sun was shining brightly, his belly was full of beignets, and he had an appointment in the evening for a whipping. Marcus did love the weekend.
The little bell sounded as he opened the door to the bookstore, and he gave Juniper a "hello" and a wave before wandering toward the mystery section. He was in the mood for a whodunit.
He barely missed the skinny man who was wandering, thumbing through a book and muttering under his breath. Marcus murmured an "excuse me", gave the fellow a smile, and found himself at the mysteries.
A few moments later, the man came behind him, dragging Juniper along, snarling. "Look. I don't know what kind of moron organizes these books, but these are clearly mis-categorized."
"I ... I'm sorry, Dr. Upton. I."
"Don't call me that."Someone was pissed. "It doesn't take a fucking rocket scientist to keep the science fiction and the mysteries separated."
Marcus raised an eyebrow and looked down on the man. He had the advantage of height and muscles and he used it to come to Juniper's defense. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to be courteous, either."
"Indeed. Fortunately, the last time I gave a shit whether a muscle-bound asshole found me courteous I was, oh, fifteen or so and scared of my tennis coach. Now, I don't believe I was speaking to you."
"Someone needs to put you over their knee and spank you until you cry." Not only was he deadly serious, he would happily offer to do it himself.
He got a snort, a rolled eye. "If I get the urge, I'll holler. Do you mind?"
Marcus crossed his arms and did his best mountain impression. "I do mind, actually." Juniper ran a stellar business; the man didn't deserve abuse like this man was dishing out.
"Oh, fuck off." The bright green eyes flashed, staring at him, furious. "Look, Puffy, I don't have time to play pet the muscle-bound asshole. I have work to do."
"Sir. Professor. Please. What are you searching for, and I'll find it." Juniper was shivering, fluttering a bit.
"You keep calling me asshole and I will take you outside and beat your ass until it's black and blue and then I'll make you come back and beg for more. This man is trying to help you and you're doing nothing but insulting him and his other customers." Shit, those eyes were something. He'd love to see them full need, full of passion. In submission. Yes, indeed. Although, really, now was not the time to be springing wood.
The long nose wrinkled and those green eyes left him, ignoring him completely. "I need everything you have by Nicholas Blake. Immediately."
Marcus put his hand on Juniper's shoulder, gave it a little squeeze. "Say 'please', professor."