My first comedy Miami Sizzle is out now. I hope you enjoy the story and say a special thanks to Chuckie Pinch for the inspiration, without Chuckie this story would never have come to pass. Purchase Miami Sizzle at Amazon, ARe, and TEB
Chuck Pinkerton pulled his legs up and turned on the seat, stuck out his legs then stepped out of the low-slung orange Lamborghini Aventador. He took two steps and fell flat on his face, twisting his arm and bloodying his nose. Pain ricocheted around his body, making him angry that he’d fallen over again.
“Seriously?” he groaned aloud. He couldn’t even look cool driving the hottest car known to man. Supporting his weight on his uninjured right arm, he crawled to his knees, then to his feet, wiping his hands down the front of his jacket. Crap, dog shit?
“Hey, Chuckie, thanks for washing my— Damn, what’s that smell?” David Wright the Third—or Trip, as he liked to be called—asked as he slid into his car. Trip looked him up and down, his lips curled into a snarl and he waved his hands in front of his face. “Hell, that’s three times this week you’ve ended up on your ass. Did some voodoo lady put a curse on you?” Trip rolled his eyes and slammed the door shut. He zoomed off, spraying gravel against Chuck’s legs.
The world wasn’t fair. Why the hell did Trip get the car, the job, the great clothes and all the fame? The only thing Trip had that Chuck didn’t want was… Hell, Trip had everything and Chuck had nothing—except for a possible curse.
He shivered over the memory of the woman at the bus stop last week. He’d run into her, knocking her bag of apples to the ground. He’d tried to help her pick them up but he’d had a hard time grasping the fruit because they’d been wet from the rain. He’d almost knocked her other grocery bag out of her hand as he’d moved around her. Then her eyes had gone round and she’d started yelling in some language he hadn’t understood—not Spanish either, because he knew what Spanish sounded like and this hadn’t been it. She’d pulled a dead chicken from a plastic grocery bag and held it up as he’d gathered the apples, dropping a few of them over and over again. She’d shaken the bird at him, waving the bags in her other hand—it only could have been worse if the chicken had been dripping blood, but it hadn’t been. Still, he’d cringed away from the scary chicken hanging from her hands and tripped, falling on his ass in a puddle of muddy water, ruining his cell phone—his new cell phone. She’d cackled and chanted more words above him, giving him the evil eye and scaring the shit out of him.
That was when all the bad luck had started. Okay, so he’d had some bad luck before then, but his life had gone downhill fast after he’d met the strange chicken lady.
When he’d arrived at Trip’s after that, the man had railed at him for twenty minutes. He’d been so embarrassed, wishing he could hide. Of course, he’d lusted after Trip in the beginning but episodes like this, when Trip made fun of him, had caused that lust to dry up to the point where there was very little attraction left. Maybe if Trip apologised and treated him to a nice dinner… But who was he kidding? He wasn’t Trip’s type.
Six months ago, when the bastard had hired him as a personal assistant, he would have done anything for Tripp. At first, he’d thought the job would be cool. Of course, this wasn’t the dream job he’d thought it would be when he’d first moved to Miami. No, being Trip’s errand boy sucked.
Miami was amazing and Chuck had had high hopes before he’d moved here. Hell, who couldn’t win in the city with the freaking hottest beach in the world? Of course, he knew the answer to that question—it was none other than himself, Chuckie Pinkerton. That was who.
The beaches were overflowing with hot men. The gyms and restaurants were teeming with the beautiful people of South Beach, but none of them gave a damn about good ol’ Chuckie.
He’d grown up in Fenton, Missouri, just miles away from his favourite baseball team, sneaking down to the park every chance he got to watch. Of course, he’d dreamt of being a player, but he had two left feet and that was on his lucky days. The Cardinals were his team, his heroes, and he would have done anything to watch them. Too bad he hadn’t been able to get a decent job in Missouri. He’d tried, but the job market had sucked, and he’d wanted to be more than a fry cook. He’d wanted a good job where people would respect him.
Chuck sighed as he took off his sports jacket. Trip certainly didn’t respect him and neither did any of the people Trip dealt with. Living in Missouri had been good. He’d dated a few guys back home, but guys from Miami weren’t impressed with his down home looks or his manners. He’d been spat on twice when he’d tried to pick up one of the cute boys down by the beach. The gay scene was rough and after a week of trying he’d given it all up for sipping gin in his crap apartment while watching game shows and reality TV.
The heat was the worst. Sweat beaded on his body every time he went outside, leaving his clothes damp and his balls wet—and not the type of wet he wanted.
Chuck looked at the mess of his jacket and turned it in on itself, hiding the smear of crap on the front. No way would he be attracting any hot guys today. There was work to be done and most of it was back at Trip’s house. The guy was a slob and he had a maid, but Chuck had to go in and tidy away the business papers before the maid came in to clean.
It was September and the Cardinals were in the playoffs. The last thing he wanted to be doing was cleaning up Trip’s place while the game was on. A cold beer and a Totino’s pizza had his name on them. Of course, he would lie to his mom about what he was eating next time she called—not because she would worry, but because she would make fun of his food choices. Chuck’s moving to Miami had pissed his mama off. She’d told him he’d never make it in the big city and everything she’d warned him would happen had come to pass.
Chuck warily made his way to the bus stop to catch a bus that would take him near Trip’s house. He glanced around nervously, searching for any old ladies carrying dead chickens. Of course, Trip hadn’t cared that Chuck would be left without a ride in downtown Miami in the middle of the day. He hadn’t given a shit that Chuck still had two hours of clean-up to do at Trip’s house before he could go home for the evening. Trip had made a mess of his office, pulling all of the files out and spreading them throughout the room before informing Chuck that the maid had taken a few personal days and he would need to clean the kitchen too. Hell, Trip only cared about himself, and it showed by the way he lived and the cars he drove. An Aventador? He could have bought four homes in Fenton for the cost of that car—nice homes, too.
Chuck stumbled off the bus and rushed the almost two miles to Trip’s house. The place was messier than usual, like he’d purposely pulled out crap to make Chuck’s life hell and screw him over. By the time Chuck made it home, the seventh inning stretch was winding down. He tossed his clothes to the floor, happy to be able to watch the game in the nude. His mom would throw a fit if she saw him now—that was exactly why he hadn’t gone running home. His life in Miami might suck a bit, but living at home was worse. He pulled a beer out of the fridge and popped the pizza into the oven. The Marlins were winning, which totally sucked. Matched his life right now, which didn’t surprise him.
Everybody down here was Marlins crazy, except him. He’d tried to get a ticket to the game since the Cardinals were playing, but with no luck. He was stuck watching on his little TV. Hell, Trip would have kept him from having any fun anyway. The jerk was always making him stay late.
After he’d guzzled five beers and eaten the whole pizza, sleep pulled Chuck under, leading him into wild dreams where sports cars chased him and dogs shat on his head. Chuck woke to the sound of someone pounding on his door. He sat up and scrubbed one of his hands across his face, groaning and popping his neck, trying like hell to remember what he was doing in the den. The knocking grew louder and the shouting came next. He pulled on his undies and went to look through the peephole.
A fireman, decked out in his gear, mask, hat, everything, stood close to the rail, then stepped forward and started banging again. Chuck imagined the guy was sexy, with ripped muscles and a killer smile. Of course, all firemen were hot and sexy in the porn he watched—not that he watched much, no more than the next guy—but still, firemen were hot. Chuck looked again and ripped open the door, wondering what the hell was going on that the guy had to bang on his door at this time in the morning.
“What?” Chuck snapped. He didn’t like the way his voice slurred with exhaustion and anger, but here, again, was another potentially hot guy who wouldn’t want anything to do with him. Just like always, guys only wanted him for their whipping boy and not for fun.
“Thank God you answered. Get out now.” The fireman reached forward and pulled Chuck out of his apartment.
“Wait.” Chuck jerked back, pulling the fireman up against his mostly naked body. Chuck swallowed over the lump in his throat. This was the first man he’d had this close in a long time, and he planned on enjoying the nearness. The scent of smoke was thick in the air but he assumed it must be from the fireman himself. Then again, he was exhausted, and his mind usually played tricks on him when he was tired.
“Fire! You have to get out.” The fireman pulled his mask off and his beautiful mouth tilted in a frown.
Chuck gulped in air and coughed as smoke filled his lungs. He looked down at his exposed skin. “I have no clothes on.”
The fireman stepped back and raked his eyes over Chuck’s body, stopping at his crotch. The guy’s face turned pink as he swallowed hard, causing his Adam’s apple to bob.
Chuck shook off the guy’s hold and raced back into his apartment, grabbing his jeans, shirt, socks and shoes. He was just starting to pull on his pants when the fireman grabbed his arm again and pulled him towards the door.
Thick black smoke belched above, choking Chuck. He stumbled and took the fireman down with him. They were a mess of arms and legs, nothing sexy about him falling like he’d learned earlier. Fuck, he hoped he hadn’t fallen in dog poop again. It took a few seconds for him to register the heat burning his ass. Chuck pushed the fireman and scrambled to his knees, dragging his jeans along as the fireman pulled at his arm. How long has this bitch been burning?
“Hurry, the ceiling is on fire.”
Chuck followed the fireman, holding his clothes close to his chest like a protective shield. They made it out of the apartment’s front door and Chuck looked back, surprised to see flames licking at the walls. He giggled as he stood, nervousness and fear clawing through him.
He looked down at his body, ashamed that he was mostly naked. Normally he didn’t give a shit who saw him in the buff, but the fireman pulling him along was a dream and already Chuck had made a horrendous impression. His apartment was dirty. Hell, he lived in a shithole—the armpit of Miami, really. What type of guy lived in a dump like this? Why couldn’t he have met this man somewhere nice where his lack wasn’t so obvious?
The fireman pulled him forward, protecting Chuck’s skin by draping his coat over him. The iron steps were hot on Chuck’s bare feet as they raced down the stairs. Chuck looked over his shoulder and saw the flames spewing from his apartment. He hesitated, wondering if he should go back for anything. The fireman grabbed his hand and tugged Chuck down the rest of the steps.
“You don’t have time to save anything. I’m just glad we got you out,” the guy said over his shoulder as he led the way.
As they reached the parking lot, a rock dug into Chuck’s foot and he cursed, then started limping.
“You okay?” the fireman asked.
“Yeah, stupid rock. I’m fine.”
“You were the last one out. I wouldn’t have kept banging, except I heard the TV on. That was a close call, dude.”
“Yeah, so you say.” Chuck dropped his shoes and shirt, concentrating on pulling on his pants.
He got both legs in but wobbled a bit. The fireman placed a steadying hand on his shoulder, helping him to stand upright. Their gazes locked and Chuck swore he saw the heat of lust burning in the man’s eyes. Hell, it could just be from the excitement of the fire. A guy like him wouldn’t like me.
“Let me help you with that.” He slid Chuck’s pants up over his hips and gripped the zipper, biting his lower lip.
Chuck felt a quick hard-on sprouting and thought of someone kicking him in the nuts to try to squelch his desire. It didn’t work. The guy’s fingers brushed against his belly as he slid the button through the hole on his jeans.
Mister Sexy looked up, probably not realising he’d stepped so close to Chuck. Their lips were only inches apart. Chuck wanted to reach out and touch him, but the noise of the other firefighters broke through.
“Move, move,” another fireman yelled.
The magic was broken, the moment lost as Chuck stumbled across the parking lot after grabbing the rest of his clothes. His fireman ran off into the night without leaving his name. Chuck watched the crap apartment building that was his home burn and fall in on itself, with all of his belongings inside. He didn’t have that many possessions, but he was sure insurance would replace some of them.
Panic turned his stomach as he reached into his pocket and found his keys. Thank God he had his car keys. Since he’d arrived home late, his car was parked at the end of the parking lot, avoiding the heat of the fire and the damage from falling debris. It gave him some pleasure that he’d saved his car from damage. At least one thing had gone right in his life. Maybe things were looking up for him.
Part of the roof in the middle of the complex crumbled down and fell onto a car. Oh, thank God mine is safe.
Chuck bit his lip, searching for the fireman who’d helped him. It was all a blur. With everyone in the same uniform, he couldn’t tell one from another. He’d just sat on the kerb to pull on his shoes and socks when an explosion rocked the building. He dropped his shoe to the ground beside the other one, scrambling back a few feet. In horror, he watched an oven shoot out of the apartment at the far end of the building, arc over the blacktop lot…and land squarely on the hood of his car.
His shoulders slumped forward, his head hung low and tears stung his eyes. How the hell had that happened? But Chuck knew how. He was cursed. That woman with the chicken popped into his mind and he choked back a sob.
It was almost too much trouble to pull on his shirt or put on his shoes. Instead, he watched the firemen move around in the eerie light of the fire as they pulled out hoses, squirting water on the charred remains of the building.