A Heresy of Pumpkins

Trouble Brewing Bonus Content

By Layla Reyne

“What the fuck are you doing?”

Cam glanced up from the pumpkin he was carving to meet the fiery blue eyes of his boyfriend. “What’s it look like I’m doing?”

Nic tossed his coat and tie on the only table not covered in newspaper and pumpkin goo and proceeded to stalk—stalk—across the room. “It looks like you’re making a fucking mess of my tasting area.”

Hands by his side, Cam shook them off, onto the newspaper on the floor behind the bar that Nic couldn’t see. He almost laughed out loud as Nic turned a brighter shade of red. “Better watch it, Counselor. You’re starting to look like your boss.”

Nic cut his eyes to the nearest pile of seeds and string, fingers twitching, mind making a calculation Cam was sure would go his way. Which it did. Nic walked on by, past the pumpkin ammunition, not willing to subject his precious tasting room to further collateral damage. Cam had done enough already.

Nic stopped on the other side of the bar, unbuttoned his collar and sleeves, then braced his hands on the outer edge of the bar top, arms spread wide. He looked good, if a bit wrinkled and worn out. Bowers had been riding him hard since they’d returned from Boston, as if the week away, on a case that’d led to multiple other case closures, had somehow been a vacation.

“This is why you left work early today?” Nic asked, eyeing the gutted pumpkins on the bar.

“I left work early to help decorate.” Cam gestured around the tasting area that he, Eddie, Steph and Ang had decked out for Gravity’s Halloween Party tomorrow night. Alternating skull and pumpkin lights were strung wall to wall, the tables, under the newspaper, had fall-themed Gravity slicks on them, and all the taps had new ghoulish tap heads.

Nic, however, remained fixated on the pumpkins, smartly assessing the most dangerous threat in the room. “And these are part of those decorations?”

Cam nodded, keeping the details thin and stoking the fire in Nic’s eyes. He really shouldn’t bait him, it’d been a long week, but Cam couldn’t help it. The reward would be so worth it.

“Why are there five?” Nic said.

Cam strolled down the back bar aisle, laying a hand on each tap as he passed. “One, two, three, four, five.”

Nic’s brow furrowed. “Not following, Boston. Spell it out for me.”

“How about I show you?” he said with a wink. He reached under the bar and pulled out one of the screw taps he’d laid on the shelf there. He screwed it into the hole he’d carved in the middle pumpkin’s side and turned it around to face Nic.

The horrified gasp echoed around the cavernous room. “You didn’t.”

Cam shrugged, eyes wide, playing dumb. “Didn’t do what?”

“Do you not remember the conversation we had at Aidan and Jamie’s wedding?”

“About green beer. I remember.” He grabbed a glass and drew off a pint of Nic’s favorite Palo Alto Pils. “Something about being dead to you…” He turned back around, grinning, and moved to pour the pilsner into the tapped pumpkin.

Nic caught his raised arm by the wrist. “If you love me, you’ll rethink your next move.”

“But I’m doing it because I love you.” He tipped the glass and poured the beer into the pumpkin.

“I’ll show you love,” Nic growled, and vaulted over the bar the next instant. The instant after that, the glass was tossed in the sink and Cam was tossed over his shoulder. Nic slapped his ass, hard enough to sting and just right for revving Cam’s dick to full attention. “Dead to me.”

“After you fuck me, right?” Let’s be honest, that was what Cam had been after all along. “On your desk.”

“The desk, the chair, the floor, the truck, then our bed. Five places, five hard fucks, for those five acts of heresy on my bar. Your ass will be dead when I’m done with it.”

Cam mentally added the kitchen table, for when Nic found the sixth pumpkin keg at home, full of Imperial Stout.

Copyright 2018. Layla Reyne.