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  • Writer's pictureBrigham Vaughn


The smile lit up Nico’s face, taking his look from arrogant to playful. It sent a little shockwave through August that he felt down to his toes.

“Auggie, can I call you Auggie?” Nico asked, tone conversational, as he turned away, sauntering toward a dresser that held the liquor, an ice bucket, and some glasses.

“No. You absolutely cannot call me that,” August sputtered.

Nico continued like he hadn’t even heard him. “Auggie, I think you need to loosen up a little.”

“I’d rather just get this over with,” he said tightly.

August heard the clink of ice being dropped into a glass, then the splash of liquid. Nico turned toward him and held out the drink, silent.

“Trying to get me drunk, Arents?” August asked, ignoring the offer, though he did step further into the room.

“Well, you’re a little tightly wound, dude. It seemed like you need it.”

“I don’t need it,” he protested. “I just don’t know why we aren’t getting down to business already.”

“Damn, you sure know how to romance a guy there, Manning,” Nico shot back. He looked down at the glass August hadn’t taken, shrugged, then took a sip.

August sputtered. “This isn’t about romance.”

“Figure of speech.” Nico grinned at him over the rim of the glass. “And if we’re going with trite clichés, why don’t you take off your coat and stay a while? I don’t mind getting fucked by a guy who’s fully dressed but an overcoat and scarf might be a bit much.”

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