When I miss my deadline for the horror anthology, you can all blame Wendy.

Because this. I haven’t edited. I haven’t even read it. I definitely shouldn’t have written it.

Video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h39LLeZOAwU

Nick opened the email.

A link to YouTube. With Minute 4:00. Trust me. —Ads at the bottom.

“What the hell?”

Cautiously, after muting the volume, he clicked.

“Seriously, Ads, what the hell?” He pulled out his phone and texted, Wth?

Did you watch?

I thought it was gonna be porn. Which at least made sense. Why am I watching two guys make dessert right now? Why isn’t that a euphemism?

A smiley with some kind of exaggerated facial expression came back. Nick sighed.

I don’t speak pictographs.

I’m pretty sure that was racist, Nicky.

WHAT AM I WATCHING? When nothing came back immediately, he added, I’m at the gym. I need to work.

Ohhhhh. Ha. You have the volume off, right? You gotta listen to what they’re saying. It’s not porny, I swear.

Nick sighed and restarted the video. British kid cooking, but not Jamie Oliver. Then again, Jamie Oliver probably wasn’t a kid anymore. Adam knew damn well Nick wasn’t the one to send complicated recipes to. Eddie would probably love this.

He glanced at the email again, shrugged, and decided to keep watching. Since Ads didn’t rely on subtlety, whatever the joke was would probably be obvious.

The video ended. He had no idea what he’d missed, but now he wanted lemon meringue inside a caramel dome.

Right, the email said minute four. He went to minute four.

On the second time through, he got it.

Ha ha ha ha, very funny. And send.

Do you use oil so you can more easily get the cage off? HA HA HA HA HA HA.

I’m sure if you asked, Bern would demonstrate taking my cage off for you, honey.

Dude, for real, like, that’s weird, and shut up, and I may have actually hit Xtube and looked at some of those videos. I can picture way too many dudes’ junk right now.

Nick laughed and hit the little phone icon that dialed Adam. He was greeted by laughter and tried to muster a growl. “You think you’re pretty cute right now, don’t you?”

“Ha ha ha, a little, yeah. You gotta oil it so you can get the cage off!”

“A good cage does not require oil.” And no one better come fucking near my cage with oil.

“It was so good! I mean, you’re lucky I sent it to you. If I’d sent it to Bernie, he’d probably be making plans to caramelize your nuts right now.”

For a long moment neither of them spoke. Then Ads laughed out loud.

“Holy shit. He would literally be making plans to caramelize your nuts.”

“How about we agree not to send that video to Bern, huh?”

“Man, I got you over a barrel right now.” The grin in Adam’s voice was irresistible. Nick couldn’t help grinning in response.

“You think so?”

“Uh huh.”

“I wonder what Beccs would make of that video, Ads.”

“Hey, I don’t have a cage!”

“Yet,” Nick said. “But it could be she just doesn’t know how much time you spend on Xtube staring longingly at them.” As Ads sputtered, Nick hit Forward on the email and filled in Beccs’s home account. He added, Your boy thought he was being cute sending this to me. You know what would be even more cute? If you asked him what his favorite cock cage video was. Have fun! And: Send.

A job well done.

They got off the phone, but a few minutes later a text came through from Adam.


Nick grinned and waited. Retribution would be swift.

Seven minutes passed. Then a text message came in from Bernie, and even though he could already feel the heat of the sugar on sensitive skin, Nick kept grinning.

I’m not entirely sure why Adam thinks I need an invitation to do whatever I want to your body, but I will say he has interesting taste in desserts. Pick up eggs and lemons on your way home.

Nick considered and rejected a dozen smartass replies before finally settling on: Will do. And wait until I tell you what I did to him. You’ll love it.

I anticipate your arrival home, Nicholas. Hurry.

And yep. Time to get some actual work done. And later…dessert.