Better Than Good 1st Anniversary Celebration…with Parts 1 & 2 of Better Than Candy (NSFW)

Unknown-1Some readers are new to the Better Than Stories, and others just didn’t realize I’d posted a Valentine story called Better Than Candy on my blog in February.  So… it’s 4th of July meets Valentine’s Day for these next few days leading up to July 8, the official 1 Year Anniversary of the release of my first book in the series, Better Than Good.  I will post 2 parts per day and post the final installment before 9pm on Tuesday, July 8 when I will choose two audiobook winners.  The winners will choose either Better Than Good or Better Than Chance on audio…all you need to do to enter is comment.  If you’re new to the series, tell me what you like about the MM  genre.

A big thank you to those who have bought, read and enjoyed Better Than Friends! Curt & Jack are still in the top 20 in Amazon LGBT Lit!!  (#13 today) 🙂

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All of the Better Than Stories books and audio can be purchased here:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lane+hayes+better+than+stories&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Alane+hayes+better+than+stories

Without further adieu, here are Parts 1 & 2 of Better Than Candy featuring Matt & Aaron from Better Than Good:

Better Than Candy by Lane Hayes

Chapter 1

 

“What’s your favorite color candy heart?”

“Huh?”

“You know, like the Valentine ones?  Mine is pink… no cracks please, followed closely by purple.”

“Uh…”

“Matty! You must have an opinion!  Conversation hearts are a childhood staple.  You may not love them but you grew up with them.  Go on, pick a color!”

Aaron gave me an irritated look, cocking his head to the right for dramatic effect.  His dark hair fell enticingly into his beautiful hazel eyes.

I set aside the textbook I’d been nose deep in and gave my boyfriend a “what the fuck are you talking about?” look.  My bar exam was a couple short weeks away.  My brain was tuned in to contractual aspects of trusts and future interests… not candy hearts.  Plus it was July not February.  The mental gearshift was enough to make me blink in an effort to focus.  What was going in Aaron’s head?

“Before you ask, I found a miraculous surviving box of confectionary happiness in one of my kitchen drawers when I was making dinner earlier.  Amazing, right?”

While his attempt at distracting me wasn’t exactly subtle, his intentions were good.  I’d been putting in crazy long hours studying for the bar exam so I’d be prepared for the two-days of torturous testing coming my way at the end of the month.  Professionally, financially and mentally, it was the key to starting my life as a contributing member of society.  Not the key to my happiness, but it was an important goal to me nonetheless.

The key to my happiness was the guy sitting cross-legged facing me on the sofa chattering away about candy (which I’d never seen him eat) because he didn’t want me to overdo my time with the books.  He worried I wasn’t getting enough sleep and time to relax.  He made dinner almost every night at his place insisting it was because he was concerned I’d be eating pizzas and takeout if left to my own devices.  The partial truth was Aaron was a great cook and loved to be in the kitchen.  But it was also true that he liked looking after me… or nagging me as I often teased him.

I didn’t mind.  For the first time in my life I was in love.  Really, truly, head over heels… and nothing was as I expected.  Like my family and everyone who knew me before I met Aaron, I assumed I’d marry a nice girl and eventually move to the suburbs to raise a family.  I knew I was bisexual but I ignored the part of me that was attracted to men.  It was just too complicated.  I couldn’t ignore Aaron.  Once he came along, I tossed aside all preconceived notions and decided to enjoy the journey.

So instead of a girlfriend, I had a boyfriend.  A high maintenance Puerto Rican American boyfriend with had a fondness for lip gloss and sometimes eyeliner, who always kept me on my toes.  I had never met anyone like him.  He was passionate, silly and never predictable.  We were complete and total opposites.  I was tall at six foot one with the muscular build of the former athlete I was, while Aaron was easily five inches shorter with the lean toned physique of a runner.  I was fair with light brown hair and blue eyes while Aaron was olive skinned with dark hair that constantly fell into his eyes.  I loved sports, hanging out with my friends and playing my guitar.   Aaron loved techno pop music, dancing and fashion.  Go figure.

He was adventurous and lively with an innate kindness that seemed to draw people to him.  And he was fucking gorgeous.  Truly the most beautiful person I’d ever met.  I really would never understand what he saw in me, but I certainly wasn’t going to argue.

I set my book on the coffee table in front of me and opened my arms in invitation.  Aaron flashed me one of his full-watt beautiful smiles as he crawled in between my thighs, wiggled his perfect ass directly into my crotch and he settled his back against my chest.  I forgot what it was we were talking about in the first place as I breathed him in.

“Here.  This one is for you.”

I opened my mouth for him to pop a piece of candy in, but he pulled it away and turned in my arms to face me.  “No silly.  Read it.”

It said “Kiss Me”.  I turned his chin gently with my thumb and softly brushed my lips against his.  Aaron moaned and turned a little more, licking my lower lip as he deepened the kiss.  Our tongues danced lazily.  I could taste the sugary sweetness in his mouth.  I decided I liked the pink ones too.  I pulled back and declared it was my turn to find a heart for him.  He rolled his eyes but handed over the half empty box.

I poured a couple in my hand and immediately found the one I wanted.  In purple.  I kissed the nape of his neck and then showed him my prize, cradling the tiny piece of candy in my palm like a precious gift.  His body was faced forward, his back fully leaning into me.  But I felt his muscles tense.

“I Love You”.  I wouldn’t stop saying the words.  I knew them to be true.  I stifled a sigh and wrapped my lover tightly in my arms, squeezing him playfully before taking the candy and shoving it between his lips.  He made a straight firm line with his mouth making it difficult work the piece in, so I resorted to tickling his sides before attempting again.  This time when he turned in my arms and licked at my lips, he broke the heart in half with his teeth and fed me one side.

Interesting.  I’m not great at reading in between the lines, but I had learned in a relatively short time Aaron communicated in many ways… and not always with words.   Maybe in his own convoluted way he was telling me he loved me too.  Or maybe he was half sure he did?

 

I spent the next day at Aaron’s apartment studying while he was at work.  He was an assistant to the editor in chief of a fashion magazine and usually had somewhat normal office hours, which made his place ideally quiet during the daytime.  When it was time to take a break, inspiration struck.  I made a quick list and headed out to the grocery store, taking his spare key from the orange bowl on the kitchen table.   My cell phone rang just as I neared my car on the street in front of his building.  It was my mother.

“Hi Mom.”

“Hi sweetheart!  How are you?  I miss you.  What are you doing?”

“I’m good.  I’m actually heading to the market for ingredients for a pasta dish I’m going to attempt tonight.”

“Mom?”

“You’re cooking?”

“Ha ha.  Very funny.”

“Actually it’s not.”  My mom was hysterical.  “Please tell me you aren’t doing this to your new girlfriend?”

“First of all, I don’t have a girlfriend.  And second…”

“Sorry, sorry.  Your new special someone?  Matt, that just isn’t nice.”

“What isn’t nice?  My cooking?”

“Sorry honey, but…  Yes!  Tell me exactly what you have in mind.  Maybe I can help you out.”

I wanted to be insulted but she spoke the truth.  I was not known for much in the kitchen besides boiling water and pouring cereal.  Still…

“I’m not trying anything gourmet.  Don’t worry.  I found a recipe online for pasta with vodka sauce.  It looked easy enough.”

“You actually looked up a recipe?  Wow!  Who is this lucky girl?  Erin, right?  I cannot wait to meet someone who rates you going through the effort to look up a real recipe rather than opening a jar of store bought sauce.”  While she chuckled at my ineptitude, I cringed at her assumption my “special someone” was a girl.  I’d given them his name or maybe my roommate Curt had let it slip to my family during graduation, but I hadn’t set them straight (pun intended).  They didn’t know who Aaron was or how crazy I was for him. Or that he was a man.

My family was the final frontier, the last and most important piece of my “coming out” process.  I was planning on doing it in person but the timing had been off so far.

“Are you done making fun of me now?  Any helpful hints besides buy the store bought for back up?”   I kept my tone light and jocular as I threw some romaine lettuce in my basket.

My mom laughed heartily, then asked for the breakdown of ingredients.

She supplied advice about how much garlic to use (a decent amount, but not too much)…  I was going to have to wing it with advice like that… how much olive oil (a lot!), and how to make my own salad dressing versus buying pre-made (wasn’t going to happen).  I had a basket full of groceries and was getting ready to sign off when she dropped a bomb on me that nearly had me dropping my newly gathered ingredients all over the market floor.

“Sweetheart, good luck with your dinner tonight.  Follow the instructions and I’m sure it will be wonderful.  Call me if you have any questions.”

“Okay.  Thanks Mom.”

“Oh wait!  Your cooking experiment made me forget why I called in the first place.  I’m coming to DC to visit you!”

I got that all over instant body sweat that occurs under situations of extreme duress.   Fuck!

“O-kay… but Mom…you know I’m busy studying for the bar.  It’s not really a good time.”  I was stalling and probably coming across as a complete ass, but the sheen of sweat slaking over my skin had since given me a chill.  I was feeling panicky.

“Oh please.  Knowing you, you’ve been studying non-stop since graduation.  It’s only one night.  I’m actually going to meet your Aunt Jill in Virginia but I arranged to stop in DC first.  I’ll take you to dinner.  Feel free to invite Erin too.  One night.  Then I’ll be out of your hair.  I promise.”

She rattled off the date, which was ten short days away.  I gulped and took a deep breath.

“Sounds good.”  What else could I say?  I paid, bagged my own groceries and drove back to Aaron’s in a total daze.

(to be continued…)

 

Chapter 1 cont…

 

By the time I was back in the kitchen unpacking my ingredients, I had expertly filed her impending visit under “things to deal with later” and decided to get on with the business at hand.  Cooking was going to require all my faculties.

Aaron sent me a text before he left his office letting me know he was on his way home.  He had made it clear months ago I was welcome to use his place to study or hang out, but there were no expectations I’d be waiting for him or that we sleep together every night.  It just seemed to work out that way more and more often.  I doubted he was overly surprised when I answered his text saying that I was still at his place.

I sprang into action trying to clean the colossal mess I’d made.  I wished there was a door I could shut so he wouldn’t be aware of the chaos I stirred up creating my first-ever homemade pasta dinner.  No such luck.  The kitchen was a small galley style one with a pass-through counter making it partially visible from the living area.  I moved a potted plant strategically to the middle in a panic but I wasn’t sure it would do much to distract from the mess on the other side.  I almost moved it back thinking Aaron’s keen eye would catch my clumsy attempt at hiding a mess and actually draw him right to it.  He was going to freak.  There was tomato sauce everywhere.  I cleaned the biggest spots but then noticed all the tiny red flecks that seemed to dot every fucking surface in the kitchen.  If my pasta didn’t kill him, he might just kill me.  Aaron had a thing about neat and clean.

I gave the kitchen a once over with a sponge and promised myself I’d do a better job later.  I then set the table for two and opened a bottle of wine before jumping in the shower to take a quick rinse.  I had just pulled a clean shirt over my head when I heard Aaron’s key in the lock.  Picking up my pace, I turned some music on low and hurried to greet my boyfriend.

 

“Hey.”

“Hi…” Aaron came further into his apartment, looked at the set table and then in my direction curiously.

I crossed the room to pull him into my arms, taking a moment to appreciate how amazing he felt and smelled.  I nipped at his ear and kissed his lips before letting him go.

 

“Welcome home, baby.”

 

“What are you up to?  Why is the table set?  Did you get take out?  I have to admit, I am hun—gry!”  He looked me up and down as if looking for a clue, but he didn’t seem overly concerned as he moved past me to get to his bedroom.  I noticed him give the plant a second look, but thankfully he didn’t stop to adjust it or ask how it got there.

 

“I’m going to take a quick shower and change.  I feel sticky.”  He was already undressing, pulling off his belt and unbuttoning his shirt.  Everything in me wanted to stop and watch him strip, but I mentally shook myself and backed up.

“Okay, I’ll pour you a glass of wine.  Take your time, okay?”

 

I caught him giving me another curious glance, but turned away before he could ask questions.  Back in the kitchen, I submerged the pasta noodles in the boiling water, setting a timer for them as my mom had instructed and then poured a couple glasses of vino.  Aaron came out freshly showered and more comfortably attired in work out shorts, a snug fitted tank top and bare feet.  My dick jumped to attention.  He looked effortlessly beautiful with his damp tousled hair and casual clothes.   I must have been staring.  Aaron cleared his throat and held his hand out to take one of the two wine glasses I was holding.  His lop-sided grin was amused.

“You are up to something.  Fess up!”  He raised an eyebrow and took a sip of his wine.

 

“Well…” Saved by the timer!  “I’ll be right back.  Um…can you maybe just take a seat on the sofa while I bring dinner out?”

 

“O-kay…”

 

I hurried to the kitchen to get the noodles off the stove before they turned mushy.  I found the colander and a bowl for the pasta.  Of course, I created another splatter mess when I poured the sauce from the pan over the noodles too quickly.  I swore under my breath.  Anything out loud would cause Aaron to come investigate and my goal was to get dinner on the table with no assistance from the head chef.   Taking a deep breath, I set the salad and pasta bowls on the table.

 

“What is all this?”  Aaron had moved from the sofa and was watching me warily as if trying to figure out a puzzle.

 

“I made dinner.”  I think I actually blushed.  I could feel my face get warm as I chanced a glimpse to see if Aaron was still standing nearby.

 

He walked tentatively toward the table and peeked at the caesar salad and bowl of pasta before looking directly into my eyes.

 

“You made me dinner?”

If I wasn’t standing right next to him, I might have missed what he said.  His voice was soft and full of wonder.

 

“Yes.  Um…here…sit.”  I pulled his chair out for him and waited until he sat down before taking the seat next to him.

 

“Very simple, really. Caesar salad and pasta with vodka sauce.  Oh, and bread.  Fuck!  I’ll be right back!”  I jumped out of my chair and ran over to the oven to pull out the very toasty extra-crusty bread.  I shrugged.  My guess was that it was still edible.  I cut a few slices and brought them to the table on a plate.  Aaron looked up at me when I returned with an unreadable expression on his face.

 

“It’s overdone.  Sorry.  I should have set a timer for the bread too.  I think it’s still good.”

 

He was so quiet.  So not Aaron.

 

“You okay?  Give it a try.  I think it tastes alright.  I tried it to make sure I wasn’t going to endanger either of us, and I think I followed the directions correctly.  It’s a vodka sauce.  I added sausage too.  And the salad is just basic.  Well, really it’s all pretty bas…”

 

“Shhh, Matt.  Stop.”

 

He was right, I was babbling.  My face still felt like I’d been out in the sun all day rather than over a hot stove.  I was on pins and needles waiting for his verdict.

 

“Try it.”

 

Aaron’s eyes looked suspiciously wet.  He hadn’t seen the kitchen up close yet.  It couldn’t be that.

 

“Thank you.”  He said softly.

 

“Babe, you haven’t even tried it.  Just see if…”

 

“Matty.  Shhh.  I can’t wait to try it.”  He looked away from me as if pulling together some thoughts.  “You actually… wow.  This is pretty… No one’s ever made me dinner before.”

 

He caught my incredulous look and qualified his statement.  “Yes, my family and my friends have, but not… someone important.  This is…  thank you, Matty.”  He kissed my lips softly, almost shyly before leaning back in his chair.

 

I couldn’t say a word.  I was overwhelmed myself in a way.  No one had made him dinner before, and the flip side was that I had never made anyone dinner before him.  I wondered what it meant, if anything.

 

Aaron was soon back to being his playful self, unfolding his napkin with a flourish before setting it on his lap.  He picked up his fork and made a big production of taking a bite of salad before keeling over his chair to lie flat on his back on the floor next to my feet.

 

I rolled my eyes.  “Ha ha.  Very funny.  Now try the pasta.  You may have that reaction for real.”  I warned.

 

“Just teasing, darling.”  He hopped back on his feet with catlike grace and picked up his fork again.  “First, tell me all about the recipe.  Is it a super family secret recipe?  Will you be disinherited for sharing it with me?  Or is it…”

 

“Take a bite, funny guy.  I got the recipe off the internet.  No big secret.  I did ask my mom for a little assistance though.”

 

Aaron went completely still.

 

“Wait.  You looked it up and asked your mom for help too?”

 

“Well, she happened to call when I was leaving for the store, so… Just take a bite.  I think you’re stalling now.”

 

He winked at me before gamely raising a fork full of pasta to his mouth.

 

“Very good.”

 

“You’re just saying that.”  I picked up my own fork and decided it actually wasn’t bad after all.

 

“What do you think?”  He challenged me.

 

“I think it’s pretty good, for a first ever effort.”

 

Aaron grinned widely and took another bite before he began to regale me with tidbits of his day at the office.  Aaron-style.  That meant his hands were moving a mile a minute and his facial expressions and voice modulations changed theatrically to suit the story.  I laughed appreciatively at his over-embellished tales of office woes.  He had a way of making even the most mundane daily happenings sound interesting.   When we were finished, Aaron stood and began to gather plates.

 

“You cooked, I’ll clean.”  He was off and moving toward the kitchen before I could stop him.

 

“No!  I’ll do it!”  I jumped up after him, but I was too late.

 

“Holy fuck!”  Aaron stared at the pots and pans stacked in the sink, the bits of pasta stuck in the colander sitting on the counter alongside numerous crumbs courtesy of the over baked bread.  I didn’t think he’d seen all the renegade tomato sauce spots yet.

 

“I know, I know.  I’ll do it.  Don’t worry.”

 

Aaron stood perfectly still before slowly letting out a breath.

 

“Honey.  There is no way you can do this yourself in one night to my admittedly high standards.  We’ll do it together.”

 

So we did.  I washed the bigger pots and pans, and tackled the crumb problem while Aaron scoured the cook top, ridding it of the offending sauce spots.  He had cranked up his favorite dance music at one point to make the job a bit more fun, he claimed.  Usually the incessant jungle-like beat gave me a splitting headache but this time, it made me smile as I looked over at my guy bopping away to his techno noise while he sang out loud and off key for my entertainment.

 

When everything was cleaned and stored away per Aaron’s obsessive-compulsive requirements, he spun around the kitchen’s small space with his arms in the air.

 

“Miracles do happen!”

 

I caught him in my arms and backed him up against the counter.  He was gyrating his hips to the music still playing as he looked seductively up into my eyes.  Damn, sexy sexy.  My hands were all over him.  Over his chest, down his back, cupping his ass.  His lycra shorts made it incredibly easy to feel how turned on he was by our proximity.  I lowered my hips so we were closer to the same height and ground my hardening cock against his.  Our lips locked a heated kiss.  Aaron pushed me away slightly and jumped backward onto the counter top.   He smiled slyly before using his strong legs to pull me against him.   I was desperate for skin.  I wanted to feel him against me.  I took a half step back and stripped my shirt off then took the hem of Aaron’s shirt and lifted his over his head as well.  He yanked me forward so that finally our naked chests touched.  Our hands and arms were wrapped up in one another like a pair of octopi.  My hands in his hair, his hands down my back, dipping into the back of my shorts along my crack.  Fuck.  Shorts had to go.

 

“C’mon baby.  Let’s go to bed.”  I ran kisses up and down the column of his throat, whispering in his ear.

 

“No.  Stay.  This is so sexy.”

 

I paused to look at him.

 

“We need supplies or do you not want to…?”

 

Aaron opened a drawer next to him with his toes and leaned over to retrieve a condom package.  His attention was caught by something lying next to the latex wrapper.  It was the half-empty box of candy hearts he’d shared with me yesterday.  He shoved the condom at me and pulled out a single heart.  I gulped when he licked his lips and brought his fingers to my mouth, slipping the candy inside.  I sucked on his fingers, loving the sheer sensuality of the act and the look of intense lust in my lover’s eyes.

 

“It said “Fuck Me” Matty, so you better do it.”

 

While I had my doubts about the inscription on the heart, I certainly wasn’t going to argue.  I entered my lover carefully, but he quickly urged me on, digging his ankles into my ass.  He wanted harder, faster and more.  We fucked madly and passionately, clawing at each other to get closer and find the right angle.  It didn’t take long before I lost control finally coming apart with a deep growl.  I rode out the after shocks of my intense orgasm holding my lover closely as his release claimed him.  We stayed locked in that awkward embrace for another minute before gently untangling ourselves.

 

“Fuck!”  We said at the same time.  We laughed and looked at the sweaty, sticky mess we’d made in the kitchen.

 

“At least it should be easier to clean than pasta sauce, right?”  I kissed his temple and dragged him off toward the shower, before he decided to pick up a sponge and get to work.

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Better Than Good 1st Anniversary Celebration…with Parts 1 & 2 of Better Than Candy (NSFW)

  1. Thank you x a million for the Better Than… stories. Love them! I have all 3 Ebooks, the 2 audios, and 1 print book, so far. I will have all your books in all formats eventually. That being said, please, please, please, pretty please: can we have these little side stories at least in ebook? I won’t be too greedy and ask for print, or better yet, audio (Tyler Stevens rocks!). THANK YOU!!

  2. I really want to!! I actually submitted Better Than Candy as a short story for a Valentine anthology. There were only 8 chosen and unfortunately, BTC didn’t make the cut. However, I’ll explore formatting to see if I can offer Kindle compatible version from my site. There must be a way! 🙂 I have a lot of extra material from every book I write. I tend to write more than I can really use. LOL. I’ll keep you posted. Thank you so much for your support Anne-Marie. Btw, I would LOVE to hear Tyler Stevens read Better Than Candy!! Yum!! xo

  3. I have not read this series but I really enjoyed Parts 1& 2 of Better than Candy. I’ve added this series to my wish list.

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  5. I loved this short story! Ive read all of your books and listened to them. I especially love the story of Matt and Aaron! I have listened to that at least 5 times. Usually the shorts written after a novel are just so-so. This one was soooo perfect so romantic and emotional. Their story is one of my favorites. Thank you Lane Hayes for writing books with just the right amount of everything: romance, sex, emotions, a great story/plot, and not too much angst. Keep up the great work, your writing is excellent!

    • Thank you so much, Tracy! I truly appreciate it! You can probably tell that I fell a little in love with Matt and Aaron. I had a hard time saying goodbye, so their story just kept going on and on. LOL. Be sure to look for another installment later this year. 😉

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