WHEN NINO Santos woke up, he expected to hop out of bed, as he normally did, and spring to the floor to complete his customary one hundred push-ups. Afterward, he’d venture out of his room to start his day by peeing, making a protein shake, and then heading for the gym.
That was how the day should have started.
Instead, Nino had to figure out just why there was a small, furry man asleep in bed next to him. And snoring like a motherfucking freight train.
What the hell?
When he first awoke, he’d thought the ball of fur was a dream, so he shut his eyes and slapped his face really hard, twice. When he opened them again, the short, hairy, out-of-shape man remained, except he’d now flopped over onto his back and begun scratching his balls underneath the sheet that partially covered his nakedness. The smile that stretched across the man’s stubbly face told Nino the gesture obviously felt damn good.
When did he meet this guy? And did they fuck? He couldn’t remember. Sure, he’d often tricked with guys whose names he couldn’t recall. That happened all the time. He had no interest in who his hookups were or where they lived, even if every single homo who came to Provincetown seemed to want to share that information. Nino didn’t care, but he at least faked it really well.
Conversation after his initial come-on was idle chitchat. He never really listened to what most guys said. It was all just filler until the moment his tricks stopped talking and started sucking his cock.
But to not remember the fuck itself, especially when it involved a type of man he’d never once been interested in before, made his head spin.
Nino slid out of bed and crept over to where his clothes lay in a heap. As he quietly pulled his jeans up to his waist, the bear in his bed grumbled to himself and rolled over onto his right side, exposing his hairy belly and what looked like a nice piece of meat. The guy’s cock looked impressive, but the fur-covered stomach, not so much.
His type had always been the smooth, young, tall jock. Guys who took care of their bodies and were more like Nino, whose job as a model required he look good 24-7. Since he kept his body in peak perfection, he expected the same from the guys who he allowed the pleasure of his company.
He just didn’t sleep with guys who were short, hairy, or obviously older. Like the sleeping little beast sprawled underneath his expensive sheets.
At least he never had before last night.
Just how the hell did that happen?
Last night he had gone to the beach for the bonfire party Quinn and Gary threw to celebrate the beginning of Bear Week in Provincetown. The couple loved the bears, and they got the most play when the bearded balls of fur came to town. And, like every year since Nino first moved to the Cape, Quinn and Gary threw a big party to rejoice in the bounty of hairy sex they would have for the week.
Although he supported his friends’ right to poke the bears, he hadn’t wanted to go. He hated Bear Week and loudly complained about it every year. He didn’t enjoy the plus-sized men who sashayed around town shirtless and in sarongs. Their presence destroyed the idyllic beauty he typically enjoyed—half-naked, hot men just waiting to service him.
When Bear Week arrived, that perfection was shattered and replaced with hairy rolls of fat, so he usually holed up in his apartment. The only action he got for seven days came from his hand and the porn he hoarded on his computer. He’d anxiously count down the days until the furry fellows departed. Once the last ferry sounded its horn at the end of Bear Week, Nino would reemerge onto Commercial Street and resume his quest for man flesh after his weeklong hiatus.
That was what he had planned on doing again this year, but Quinn had insisted Nino attend the party.
Out of all his friends, including Van, only Quinn knew about Nino’s recent troubles. Keeping secrets from Van wasn’t something Nino normally did, but Van was too busy being in love. He hadn’t wanted to bother his best friend with his issues when Van was acting like a disgusting teenager with Zach.
His friend deserved the happiness he’d found, even if it made Nino want to vomit.
Quinn knew this, and he didn’t want Nino to be alone. Out of respect for Quinn’s concern, Nino had gone to the party.
Why hadn’t he stuck to his guns and stayed home? Especially now that he spied the empty condom wrapper lying beside the bed, where the little bear sawed more wood than a paper mill. Being alone last night would have been better than waking up to this disaster.
He’d not only fucked a bear, but he’d let the guy stay the night. He had always brought tricks back to his place, fucked the shit out of them, and then sent them on their merry way. He’d never ever allowed some random guy to sleep over. Doing so broke rule number three of the Rules of Nino’s Life, a six-rule system he’d followed for years.
What had happened last night that made him break his rules?
He broke other people’s rules quite frequently, but he’d made it a point to never breach one of his own.
But now he had, and he’d done it with a bear.
How fucked up was that?
He wanted this bear out of his bed, out of his apartment, and out of his life.
Right the fuck now.
TEDDY MILLER ignored the annoying voice that kept demanding he wake up. He had no intention of complying. Artillery shells from some unseen enemy fired inside his brain, and his tongue was rawer than if he’d been licking the hairy ass of a grizzly muscle bear all night.
While he’d normally find that idea really hot, the hangover that slowly churned the contents of his stomach quickly snuffed out the fires of his usual passion. Why did he have to drink all that trash-can punch at the party? He hadn’t guzzled down alcohol like that since college. He definitely wasn’t getting out of bed any time soon.
He craved sleep, and sleep was what he planned on getting.
“Get up!” the voice repeated more forcefully. “Now.”
Teddy turned over and burrowed underneath the covers.
Bringing Irene with him to P-town had been a mistake. She had promised him she’d let him do his thing if he’d let her tag along, and though Teddy loved Irene, she tended to be a royal pain in his hairy ass.
He just couldn’t tell her no whenever she looked at him with her baby blues and pouted.
She’d been there for Teddy since college, when his heart was broken for the first and last time. She had brought him back from despair, like any good hag. Having Irene had been a lifesaver. Since then, she’d been his constant companion.
Because of that, he’d relented and let her come. But now that she insisted he get up by rudely shaking him awake, he had half a mind to tell her to get the fuck out of the condo.
“Goddammit, Irene,” he mumbled. His throat burned as if he’d had a cock lodged down his gullet all night. He only remembered hard alcohol crossing his lips instead of a nice, hard dick. “Leave me be, will you?”
“No, I will not,” Irene’s strangely masculine voice told him. “And I’m not Irene.”
Teddy’s eyes fluttered open. Instead of the beige Ikea bed stand that passed for furniture in his rental, a solid oak nightstand with brass drawer pulls sat beside the bed. The closet that stood open just beyond held more clothes than he’d brought with him from Boston, and as his gaze continued to sweep the bedroom’s interior, the olive walls with the white trim and wainscoting revealed to Teddy that he definitely was not in his condo.
When he finally noticed the half-dressed man who stood next to the bed staring down at him, Teddy immediately sat up. His already aching head thudded in response. “Who the fuck are you?” he asked the shirtless man with zero percent body fat and rippling washboard abs. His perfect body made Teddy even more ill. “And where the hell am I?”
“I’m Nino,” the man answered as he looked away. “If you want anything else from me, you’ll have to cover up first.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Teddy asked before he realized he was buck-ass naked. Immediately, he grabbed the white satin bedsheets and wrapped them around his body. Nino’s wrinkled upper lip told him Nino apparently didn’t appreciate gazing upon a more lived-in body.
From Nino’s chiseled perfection, he guessed the man hadn’t eaten a hamburger in five years, which probably explained why he was being such a dick. Hunger could do that to a person.
“Better?” Teddy asked as Nino slowly turned back to him.
Nino answered with only a nod.
“Now, would you mind telling me where I am?”
“Where do you think you are, Sherlock? At home in your bed?”
Teddy was really starting to hate this guy for more than just his perfect body.
“I assume this is your place, then?” he asked.
Nino clapped. “You must be smarter than the average bear. It didn’t take you too long to figure that one out.”
Teddy officially hated him now. “You’re being a real douche. You know that, right?”
Nino looked off into space for a moment and then nodded in agreement. “That I am,” he answered. A grin spread across his lips that seemed to make him even more perfect. There was a mischievous yet innocent quality to the smile that caught Teddy off guard. It made his cock stiffen.
What the fuck was that about? He hadn’t been attracted to Nino’s type since college.
The all-American guys with smooth, flawless skin were like pictures in a magazine. Pretty to look at but two-dimensional and flat. That was why Teddy preferred men with more meat on their bones and fur that covered their chests and arms. The extra padding seemed to be an outward sign of truly grounded people who knew who they were and what they had to offer.
Perfect people with no body hair were often fakes. The lack of fat and fur somehow had a direct correlation to their personalities. As if by shaving off the unwanted hair and pounds they somehow cut themselves off from what it meant to be a normal person with flaws.
While he’d once chased hairless pups in college, he’d long since abandoned that pursuit.
Or at least he thought he had.
His hard cock apparently had other ideas. It liked what it saw in Nino and wanted an up close and personal meeting. That unnerved Teddy. He rarely strayed from the norm because routine gave him security. Deviations bothered him.
Change and Teddy Miller were not exactly the best of friends.
“SO THE two of us hooked up last night?” the naked ball of fur asked from Nino’s bed.
The question threw Nino even more than waking up next to this guy. How could he not know he’d had sex with Nino? Nino completely understood why he would block such an event from his mind. After all, he’d grown accustomed to bedding guys with six-packs, not ones who carted around a pony keg.
For this unfit fucker, sleeping with Nino was one for the record books.
He had half a mind to strip and give the little guy a good gander at what he’d had the pleasure of touching last night. But there was something about the way he looked up at Nino with such wide eyes that triggered a childhood memory he’d long since forgotten.
This dude reminded him of Teo, his teddy bear.
As a child, Nino didn’t have very many friends, but Teo was always there for him. When Nino got home after another harsh day of being pushed around by the popular kids, Teo always sat on his bed with open arms, waiting to give Nino his hug. He’d spent many afternoons telling Teo his problems, and Teo had always listened. They were best friends, at least until Nino outgrew his awkward caterpillar stage and became the butterfly he now was. When that happened, he had moved Teo from his bed to his closet and ultimately to the church donation box. When his parents took Teo away, he’d never given him another thought.
At least until this very moment.
The way this guy sat there, staring at him, reminded Nino of his teddy bear. He fought the urge to crawl into bed and snuggle inside the furry arms that used to make him feel safe as a child.
After what he’d been through the past few weeks, Nino could use a hug from his childhood pal right now.
“Um, are you okay?”
The voice jarred Nino out of his memory. He scanned the room, double-checking that he was still in his apartment in Provincetown and not back in the shack he once called home in Sao Paulo. When he was convinced his world was as it should be, Nino finally replied, “I’m fine.”
“Well, you don’t look it. You went white there for a minute. Like you saw a ghost.”
Nino didn’t like that he had momentarily let his guard down in front of someone he didn’t even know. He rarely did that even for Van. It was past time for this guy to leave. “Yes, well, I was just deciding whether I should try to wash all your hair out of my sheets or just throw them out and start anew.”
“I see you’re back to being a douche,” the guy retorted. “Your last name must be Massengill.”
Nino liked the comeback. He rarely found someone who could verbally spar with him. Van tried, but he usually failed miserably. Even though Nino appreciated wit, he valued his private space and the six rules of his life more. This guy had to go. “My last name won’t matter. We won’t see each other ever again.”
“Fine by me,” the guy replied. “I don’t usually find myself in this situation.”
His comment piqued Nino’s curiosity. Was this guy even more of a loser than Nino thought? Did he not even hook up with guys more in his league? “And what situation is that?”
“Waking up in a bed with a plastic.”
“A what?” Nino asked as the guy got up from Nino’s bed and walked over to his crumpled clothes. His body wasn’t all bad. Despite the fur and the gut, this man obviously spent some time at the gym. Just not as much as Nino did, or the guys Nino usually fucked stupid.
“You know,” he finally responded. “Guys like you. Perfect bodies. Flawless hair. Zero imperfections.” He shoved his legs through his underwear and shorts at the same time before pulling his shirt over his head. “I’ve never been into guys like you. Far too superficial for me. I like substance, and plastic doesn’t really have much of that.”
What the fuck was going on here? Did he wake up in some parallel universe where the fatties somehow took over the world? Where people with flab turned up their noses at those who took care of themselves?
“Are you shitting me right now?” Nino asked. If he had a rope, this guy would be hanging from the ceiling fan. “Who the fuck are you to judge me by how I look?”
The furry son of a bitch snorted. “Are you serious? You’ve been judging me since you woke me up, based on how I look. Are you telling me that you can judge me but I can’t judge you?”
That was exactly what Nino was saying. Now that the hairy fuck knew the score, he could take his fur-covered ass out of his apartment.
“Well, it goes both ways, sweetheart,” he said to Nino. “You see me as a fat slob not worthy of you, and I see you as a vacuous prick not worth the words I’m speaking.” As he slipped his hairy hobbit feet into his sandals, he glanced over at Nino. “Do you even know what vacuous means?”
Nino fought the urge to punch him in the throat. “I do,” Nino said. “It means you’re the little piece of shit this douche is flushing out of his apartment.”
“Good one,” the guy said with a chuckle before he exited the room. “For a plastic.”
After Nino slammed the door to his bedroom shut, he headed for his bed and yanked the sheets free. There was no way he would ever touch anything that had come into contact with that fucking little cunt.
Nino was judging him. That was what he did. He just was no longer used to being judged, especially by someone who could benefit from a diet and a good trainer. He’d spent too many years improving himself, making himself better than what he once was, to be belittled ever again.
To cross paths with a man immune to Nino’s looks and who apparently didn’t give one fuck about his hard-earned hardbody intrigued him. But it also had another rather unpleasant effect. Deep within him churned turbulent emotions Nino had long since suppressed.
He had almost forgotten what it felt like to be rejected, and he didn’t like the reminder one bit.