Title: Rites of Passage (Courlands, the Next Generation #2)
Author Name: Cat Grant
Publication Date & Length: October 1, 2015 – 68,000 Words
With college graduation behind them, Seth Thompson and Bilal al-Mansoori enjoy their last carefree summer. But the perfect future Seth’s envisioned since high school—moving to New York to pursue a career as an artist—doesn’t appeal to city-phobic Bilal. A job offer allowing Bilal to remain in upstate New York drives a wedge between them, and Seth’s family’s well-meaning interference doesn’t help at all.
A trip to the UK for Bilal’s sister’s wedding offers a chance to get back on the same page. But their holiday is abruptly cut short when the unthinkable happens…
And Seth faces the very real possibility that he may never see the man he loves alive again.
Bilal was sitting up in bed with his laptop when I came in. When he saw the tray, he set the laptop on the floor. “That smells wonderful. Bring it here.”
“Yes, sir.” I set the tray on the nightstand and poured us some, then handed Bilal his mug before dropping my robe and climbing in bed with my own. The first sip was dark roast heaven, the rich, smoky taste lingering on my tongue. “I think this is the same kind Mom served at Thanksgiving.”
The yummy-like-ice-cream noises he was making told me I didn’t need to ask if he liked it. His toe-curling kiss confirmed it. “Thank you for crawling out of our nice, warm bed to make me this nectar of the gods.”
I laughed. “Well, I wanted some, too.”
He kissed me again, slowly and thoroughly exploring my mouth, tongues entwining while every single drop of blood in my body raced to my groin. “What’s this?” Bilal flipped back the covers to reveal my rising boner. It tented the front of my sweats, the swollen pink crown poking over the waistband. Bilal reached underneath to take me in hand and started stroking me.
Holy shit, he’d gotten really good at this. His confident grip—not too gentle, but not strangling my dick, either—had me on the ropes in seconds, panting and tossing my head…
Then something warm and wet splashed my belly.
It sure as hell wasn’t me. I’d never come. especially with Bilal, without feeling it in every cell, every fucking molecule…
The culprit? Bilal’s mug tipping in his hand, getting ready to drip more coffee on me.
“E-ease up a minute, okay?” I puffed. He gave me aWTF? look, but did what I asked. I set his mug on the tray, then kissed him and coaxed him on top of me, to straddle my hips. “Sorry,” I whispered, “but bathing in hot coffee’s not one of my kinks.”
“Oh, sorry. I didn’t realize…” he said. He started to pull back, but instead I pulled him down to me, our pulsing cocks trapped between us. Grinning, I flexed my hips, rubbing my coffee-spattered belly on his, my skin prickling from the scratchy feel of his dark, coarse treasure trail. “Shall I lick it off?” he teased.
I wrapped my legs around him and pulled him in closer, his stiffening dick grazing mine. “I’d rather do something different this time.”
Another flex of my hips, and his eyes nearly rolled back in his head. “I-Is this…one of your kinks?” he asked, his voice a rough, desperate thread of sound.
“You’re my kink. I want every fucking part of you… Your cock, your ass… Your skin, your hair…” Then I remembered the promise I’d made him last night. I caressed his cheek, my palm tingling from the slow, pulsing drumbeat of blood under his warm skin. I carded my fingers through his hair, making sure to stay close to the scalp, and tightened my grip around a handful of thick, heavy strands.
Then I pulled his head back, smiling at his sharp, startled gasp.
“You like that, huh?” Well, duh—his dick had gone rock-hard. I grinned. “Looks like you’ve got a kink or two yourself.”
“W-will you stop teasing and f-fuck me now? Please?”
A minute ago, I’d almost rendered him speechless, and now I’ve got him begging? This is gonna be good.
“Want to come in my mouth?” I whispered, punctuating it with another tug on his hair. His breath hitched, shuddering in his chest. Could I make him come like this, from just talking dirty and pulling his hair? “Or shall I jerk you off, nice and slow?”
“I-I want to do it the real way.” He looked down at me, heat glowing in those dark eyes. Then he licked his moist, full lips, and it took everything I had not to thrust my tongue in his mouth. “With your cock inside me.”
God, not this again. How many times do I have to repeat it?
“There’s more to sex than penetration,” I said gently, letting go of his hair so I could caress his cheek again. “Whichever way we want to do it is the real way.”
“I thought anal was the way most gay men do it.” His face flushed pinker.
“How many months have we been together? And we still haven’t done it. I never got the impression you were unsatisfied.”
“I’m not, I just…” He rolled off me and sat up. “What’s wrong with wanting to try it? You have, haven’t you?”
I nodded and sat up too. “Yeah. But my first time wasn’t all that enjoyable.”
I’d pushed that memory to the far corners of my mind, but I’d never really forgotten. Times like this, it all roared back like it’d happened last week. “I, uh, met this guy at a frat party during sophomore year. We downed a few beers while we hung out, and it was pretty clear we had chemistry…” I cleared my throat. Why was this making me nervous? I wasn’t ashamed, but I wasn’t exactly proud of throwing away my first time on a one-night stand, either. “We found an empty bedroom upstairs. He pushed me down on the bed and blew me. I figured he’d want the same, but then he flipped me over and started kissing down my spine. It felt incredible, especially when he got around to rimming me, so… When he asked if he could fuck me, I said yes.”
Bilal’s eyes widened. “But you didn’t like it?”
“I shouldn’t have tried it while I…while we were both drunk. It hurt a lot.” I inhaled sharply. “He had a lubed condom, but my ass needed more prep than that. He wasn’t a jerk about it, though. Once he realized he was hurting me, he stopped.”
“Oh, Seth…” He put his arms around me, kissing my earlobe. “Is that why you don’t want to…”
Fuck me now, Seth. Please.
“I want to,” I said softly, “I do. But I don’t want to hurt you. Especially not like that.”
“You won’t,” he murmured, then kissed me again. We sank into the rumpled covers, our flagging erections springing back to life.
I got him to straddle my hips again, and—“Wait a minute,” I said, riffling through the messy nightstand drawer until I found a bottle of water-based lube. I squirted some on my hand, wrapped my slick palm around both our cocks and started stroking.
“D-Don’t stop this time,” he panted. “I-I need to come…”
His rampant need fanned mine higher. I stroked harder, faster, his breath labored, a soft flush blooming across his chest. I loved him like this, demanding, lost in desire, a long way from the closeted, inexperienced guy I’d taken to bed a few short months ago.
He hung in there longer than I expected, but when he gripped my shoulders, I knew he was close. So close, all I did was squeeze the hot, sticky tip of his cock while rubbing my thumb over that sensitive spot on the underside…
And he let out a startled yell, shooting all over my belly and chest.
He didn’t roll off me this time, though after a few minutes his slim, one hundred fifty pound frame started to feel like a dead weight. He still had his hands on my shoulders. Now that I wasn’t focused on getting him off, I could feel his nails digging in.
“Could you, um, not do that?” I rasped.
“Sorry.” Now he rolled off, eyebrows arching when he saw I hadn’t come yet. “Give me a couple minutes, and I’ll take care of you.”
My cock throbbed, echoing in the blood between my ears. “Maybe I should just finish myself off.”
“Don’t you dare,” Bilal growled, batting my hand away. “That’s mine.”
I coughed up a laugh. “Someone’s getting possessive. Not to mention bossy.”
“And someone else is far too fond of complaining.” He leaned in for a kiss, his soft, wet tongue flicking and teasing mine. “Do you want to come in my mouth?”
“J-Jesus,” I breathed. “I think my dick just got twice as hard.”
“I’ll take that as an affirmative.” A mischievous glint dancing in his eyes—oh God, I’m in for it now—he scooted down and sucked the tip of my cock between his lips.
He’d gotten good at this too. He’d learned how to grip my cock at the root to delay orgasm—and, like he’d read my mind, that’s exactly what he did now. The pressure of his supple, talented fingers held me suspended between agony and bliss while he sucked and swallowed my dick all the way down.
“Y-You deserve a g-gold medal for this…” My lips formed the words, but I didn’t hear them. My voice had shorted out, except for the incoherent moans clogging my throat.
The air had gone thin and hot. I choked it down, Bilal’s name a threadbare chant on my lips, until at last I cracked and split open, splintering into a million tiny shards.
1. What is your biggest fear?
Bilal: My biggest fear? Read Cat’s new book – it’s all right there.
2. What is your most prized possession?
Bilal: Seth painted a lovely portrait of me, and gave it to me for Christmas last year. It hangs in our bedroom. Every time I see it, I smile. I don’t usually attach sentimental value to objects, but for as long as I live, I will never, ever let that painting go.
3. What do you enjoy doing on your day off?
Bilal: Day off? What’s that? I’m an engineer. We don’t take days off.
4. Your best childhood memory?
Bilal: The winter before she passed, my mum took me and my sister Maryam into London to see the Christmas panto. It was silly—Snow White and the dwarves dancing around, putting up decorations—but we all loved it. After, we stopped for dinner, and Mum let us order hot chocolate to take with us on the train back to Oxford. It was the last time I can remember being truly happy, until I met Seth.
5. Where do you hope to be in five years?
Bilal: Maybe not in five years, but definitely in ten, I want to be heading my own engineering firm specializing in green technology.
Two-time EPIC Award winner Cat Grant lives by the ocean in beautiful Monterey, California with one persnickety feline and way too many books and DVDs. You can usually find her listening to Dan Savage’s podcast, hiding behind her couch while The Walking Dead’s on, or – most likely – writing while listening (and singing along – badly!) to Verdi or Wagner on her earbuds.
Contemporaries get her creative juices flowing – featuring alpha male Marines and Navy SEALs, MMA fighters, hot musicians (rock stars and classical violinists), a transgender dominatrix (in BREAKING FREE, winner of the 2014 Rainbow Award for LGBT erotica), and a multi-book series spanning thirty years, two generations and three genres (menage, m/m and new adult).
Coming later this year/early next year: another Bannon’s Gym novel (more hot MMA fighters!) and a possible departure from my strict diet of contemporaries – a journey across a future dystopian/post-apocalyptic America featuring an interracial lead couple (one of whom is military). Expect some Walking Dead-type riffs, though I don’t think I’ll add zombies to the mix. Humans are a lot scarier.