Starved

Colin and Evan have been best friends for fifteen years, since they met the first day of freshman orientation. And they’ve been in love with each other for almost as long. But they’ve gotten so used to hiding their feelings, it’s going to take something extraordinary to bring them out into the open. Something like a Thanksgiving orgy, maybe?

With their feelings finally out in the open, Colin and Evan have the chance to explore their desire for each other. And it’s better than they could’ve dreamed. But going from friends to lovers after fifteen years comes with complications, and they’ll have to decide—is it worth the work?

Starved begins on the morning after Thanksgiving, right after Stuffed ends.

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COPYRIGHT © 2023 solitary vice publications

Colin and Evan first appear in the Thanksgiving gang-bang in Stuffed, Book #1 in the F.I.L.T.H. series. It was obvious to me from the start that they were meant to be together. But I’ve never written this level of pining before—my god, the pining!—so it was a challenge, one I hope I did justice to.

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Chapter One

Colin slipped out of bed as quietly as he could, tiptoeing down the ladder from the top bunk on cat feet. He hadn’t slept well, but he hadn’t really expected to. Deep, restorative sleep was something that eluded him at the best of times, and he was used to waking tired and out of sorts.

He wasn’t, however, used to waking up on top of his best friend.

He stepped lightly to the floor, wincing when the ancient hardwood creaked under his weight. But Evan snored on, sprawled on his stomach, apparently undisturbed. A deep blue comforter covered most of him, only the top of his head and one leg visible.

Colin quietly gathered his things, ignoring with the ease of long practice the twist of longing in his belly, and crept out of the room to the bath across the hall. He emptied his bladder, splashed some water on his face, and used the toothbrush Esme had set out for him to get rid of the fuzz in his mouth. He’d known the round of shots with Spence had been a bad idea, but he’d been desperate to delay going to bed, knowing he'd be lying above Evan all night. When he’d finally gone up to bed, Evan had already been buried under hiscovers. Torn between relief and regret, Colin had climbed into the top bunk and spent way too long staring at the ceiling. He’d hoped the whiskey would bring oblivion, but it wasn’t enough overcome the misery of unrequited love.

At least he wasn’t hungover, the two ibuprofen and glass of water he’d downed before bed having worked theirmagic. He had a faint headache, and he felt thirsty enough to drain Lake Michigan, but all in all, it was a small price to pay for his cowardice.

He winced and spat into the sink, deliberately avoiding his reflection in the mirror above. He didn’t like thinking of himself as a coward, but since after more than a dozen years he’d yet to find the courage to tell Evan that he was in love with him, it was the kindest word he could come up with.

Teeth brushed and his belly once again tied in knots, he shoved self-recriminations aside and began to dress in yesterday’s t-shirt and jeans. They were wrinkled, because drunk-Colin hadn’t bothered folding them the night before, and he hadn’t thought to bring a change of clothes. A silly oversight in hindsight, but he’d been too preoccupied with the logistics of his first orgy to think of it.

He thought about asking Esme if he could throw them in the dryer for a few minutes to freshen them up, then discarded the idea. It was early, and though he was sure his hostess wouldn’t mind, it wasn’t worth getting her out of bed for.

After all, she’d had a long day yesterday.

Dressed in the wrinkled clothes, his feet bare—because day-old wrinkled jeans were one thing, but he drew the line at yesterday’s socks—he put on his glasses and slipped out of the bathroom. He passed the spare room Tuck and Esme had turned into a library, the door closed on a no-doubt still sleeping Jude, and made his way downstairs.

Spence was sprawled on the living room sofa, one leg stretched out over the coffee table. He was fully dressed, right down to his boots, with a throw pillow over his face and a blanket clutched to his chest. He didn’t stir when Colin walked past.

He stepped into the kitchen, letting the door swing gently closed behind him. A glance at the clock on the stove confirmed that it was still shy of eight o’clock, the sun barely above the horizon. The sky was a typical Michigan winter gray, though according to the forecast the early morning gloom would give way to sunshine before long. The forecast also called for more snow, which meant he'd be shoveling his driveway again this afternoon.

But first, coffee.

As comfortable in Tuck and Esme’s kitchen as he was in his own, he got a pot of coffee going, then poked into the fridge for something to nibble on. Tuck had promised to make bacon and waffles for breakfast, but Colin always woke hungry, and assumed it could be a couple of hours before the rest of the house stirred.

Deciding an apple would hold him over, he grabbed one and nudged the refrigerator door shut just as the kitchen door swung open.

Esme stopped short with a squeak, one hand pressed to her chest. “Oh!”

“Sorry,” Colin said, wincing when the door swung back and hit her butt with a thump. “Sorry.”

Esme waved a hand, her hazel eyes bright. “No, no, it’s fine. I just didn’t know anyone else was up.”

“I can never seem to sleep in,” Colin admitted. “I thought you would, though.”

“Me too,” she said with a laugh, and moved forward, her oversized robe playing peek-a-boo with her stockinged feet. “But my bladder woke me up, and I couldn’t get back to sleep.”

“I hate when that happens,” he said over the beep of the coffee maker. “Hope it’s okay that I made coffee.”

“Pour me a cup and we’re square.”

“Deal.”

He got a couple of mugs down from the cupboard while she pulled cream from the fridge, then crossed the kitchen to the breakfast nook. He followed with the coffee, sliding hers across the table before reaching for the sugar bowl.

He was adding his customary four teaspoons to his cup when he caught her wince. “Still sore?” he asked, then frowned. “Sorry, was that rude?”

She poured a dollop of cream into her coffee. “No. Why would you think it was?”

He shrugged and stirred his coffee, hating that he felt so uncomfortable. “I don’t know.”

She lifted her cup, eyeing him with amusement over the rim. “You mean because you, my husband, and three of our good friends all fucked me last night?”

Some of the knots in his belly unwound at her easy tone. “Yeah, that.”

She lifted a hand to his face, her fingers cool against the heat that had flooded his cheeks. “You’re so sweet, Colin.”

“Yeah, well.”

“I mean it. You know I love you, right?”

“I know.” He lifted his eyes to hers, soft with affection. Her hair tumbled down her back, the cherry cola streaks at her temples bright against the raven black, and her face was scrubbed clean and glowing. She looked just as she had the first time he’d met her, all those years ago in college, and a wave of fondness for her washed over him. “I love you, too.”

“Do you regret it?” she asked, a hint of fear clouding her gaze, and she bit her lip. “Last night?”

He covered the hand on his cheek with his own. “No.” He said it firmly, so she’d have no doubt. “No, last night was amazing. You were amazing. That you and Tuck would trust me to be part of that, help fulfill that fantasy? It was…”

“Amazing?” she filled in, and made him laugh.

And with it, the rest of his tension faded away. “Yeah.”

Her smile was relieved. “I’m glad.”

“I just want to make sure I’m not…that you don’t…” He blew out a breath. “I don’t want things to be weird between us now.”

“We won’t let it be,” she told him. “All right?”

Going with impulse, and because it was something he’d have done B.O.—Before the Orgy—he turned his head and pressed a kiss to her palm. “Deal.”

“Good.” She patted his cheek, then pulled her hand back and picked up her coffee. “And to answer the question, yes, I’m still sore, but it’s manageable.”

“Glad to hear it.”

“What’d you guys do after Tuck and I went to bed last night?”

“Watched another movie. Evan wanted a Marvel marathon, but he got outvoted, so we watched Glass Onion.”

“Again?” She propped her chin on her fist. “You’ve seen that a dozen times at least.”

“Yeah, but Spence hadn’t. So we watched that, then Evan went to bed and Spence and I did a few rounds of shots.”

Her eyebrows shot up. “You did shots with Spence?”

“It was a bad idea,” he admitted sheepishly, and smiled when she let out a trilling laugh. “I threw in the towel after number four.”

“Smart,” she said, still laughing. “And how’s your head?”

“It’s not bad, considering. I took two ibuprofen and drank a glass of water before bed.”

“The magic formula,” she quipped.

“Still works, thank God.”

“You don’t usually drink like that.” She gestured with her mug. “At least not at Spence’s weight class.”

He shrugged. “I wasn’t ready to go to bed yet.” Wasn’t ready to lie above Evan in the dark, trapped by his cowardice.

“Hmmm.”

There was a wealth of knowledge and understanding in that hmmm, but to his relief she just sipped her coffee.

Feeling awkward, and with his cheeks burning anew, he cleared his throat. “You got plans for today? Headed to the mall for the Black Friday sales?”

“God, no.” She gave an exaggerated shudder. “You couldn’t pay me to go to the mall today. I do all my Christmas shopping online.”

He nodded. “Me, too. My sister always does an Amazon list for her boys, so that’s just easiest. Hell, half the time I end up just sending them cash.”

“They’re teenagers now, right?”

“Fourteen and sixteen.”

“Wow.” She toyed with the handle of her coffee cup. “I remember them in diapers, and you babysitting on the weekends.”

“Hard to believe, isn’t it? How much time has gone by?”

“I know. We’re in our thirties, Col.”

“But still hot.”

She belted out a laugh, throwing her head back. “Definitely still hot,” she declared, and tapped her mug against his.

“What is this, a mutual admiration society?” someone said, and Colin turned to see Evan standing in the kitchen doorway.

He raised his cup to his mouth for a drink and tried to ignore the stutter under his heart. Evan stood in yesterday’s jeans and faded Yesterdog t-shirt, both hopelessly rumpled—and in the case of the t-shirt, inside out. His hair was a wild, tousled halo of burnished gold curls, the stubble of his beard a shade darker. His bright blue eyes were heavy lidded and sleepy, his full mouth soft. He reached up and grabbed the door frame in a long, hard stretch, gave a jaw cracking yawn, then smirked. “What’s up, sluts?”

Esme let out a peal of laughter as Colin sputtered and choked. “Jesus, Ev,” he muttered, and scowled at his now coffee-stained shirt.

“What?” The smirk deepened. “Too soon?”

“You look like you’ve just rolled out of bed after a night of hedonistic debauchery,” Esme told him.

“Technically, it was a day of hedonistic debauchery,” Evan drawled, and with another yawn, crossed to the coffee pot. “Why don’t I smell breakfast? Tuck promised us bacon and waffles.”

“He’s still sleeping,” Esme said.

Evan scowled and poured coffee into a thick white mug. “Dammit, I’m hungry. Go wake him up.”

“No,” Esme replied serenely, and sipped her coffee.

“Come on, E,” Evan wheedled, and dropped into the chair next to Colin. “I’m starving.”

You could make breakfast,” she suggested.

“But he’s the one with the super-secret waffle recipe.” Evan aimed a sad-eyed pout at her. “And also, he promised. Please?”

“That’s not going to work,” she informed him, then laughed when he added a plaintive whine and fluttered his eyelashes. “Okay, fine.”

He beamed at her. “You’re the best, E.”

“Stop buttering me up,” she said, smothering another laugh, and pointed a finger at him. “I’ll wake Tuck for the waffles, but you have to do the bacon.”

He kicked back in his chair, a satisfied smile curling his lips. “I can handle that.”

“And set the table.”

Even gestured with his coffee mug. “Colin can do that. Right, Col?”

“Sure.” He gave Esme a nod. “You want to eat in here, or the dining room?”

“Here’s good.” She rose and crossed to the coffee pot to refill her cup, then came back to the table and planted a smacking kiss on Evan’s cheek. “Bacon’s in the fridge. Make mine crispy.”

“You got it, gorgeous.”

“Flatterer.” She turned to kiss Colin. “Don’t do all the work for him.”

“Wouldn’t think of it.”

“Right.” She straightened and headed for the door. “And you boys keep it down, okay? The longer Spence sleeps, the better off we’ll all be.”

“Agreed,” Evan muttered she swung out the door, then pushed to his feet. “Okay bacon, let’s do this.”

Colin sipped his coffee and watched Evan rummage around in the refrigerator.

“Aha!” Evan emerged, holding a large package wrapped in white butcher paper. “He sprang for the good stuff. Now I just need a frying pan.”

“Use a baking sheet,” Colin suggested.

“Huh?”

“It’ll take too long in a frying pan,” Colin explained, and setting his coffee aside, rose. He crossed the room to the stove, and opened the narrow cabinet next to it to pull out two full sized sheet pans. “You can do it in the oven, all at once.”

“Cool,” Evan decided, and tore into the package. “So. Last night.”

Colin pulled out a roll of parchment paper, ripped off a sheet for the first pan. “What about it?”

“It was pretty wild.”

“Yeah.”

“Not your usual vibe,” Evan went on. “You okay with everything?”

“Sure.” He turned to hand the pan to Evan, caught his knowing glance, and blew out a breath. “I thought it might be weird with Esme, and I guess it was at first. But she smoothed it out.”

Evan took the pan. “So you guys are good?”

Colin tore off a second sheet of parchment paper. “Yeah.”

“And you and me?” Evan asked as he began layingbacon on the baking sheet. “Are we good?”

“Why wouldn’t we be?” Colin asked, hyper aware of the heat climbing up the back of his neck.

Evan shrugged, his eyes on his task. “We’ve never fucked the same girl at the same time before. You know, together. You in her pussy, me in her mouth—”

“I knew what you meant,” Colin interrupted, and tried to ignore the knots reforming in his belly.

“Spit roasted her,” Evan went on, a gleam in his pretty blue eyes. Then he frowned. “Can you call spit roasting when she’s not on all fours?”

“I have no idea,” Colin admitted.

“Tag teamed,” Evan decided. “I’ll just say we tag teamed her. No, that doesn’t work either, because a tag team is when you take turns, and we were both fucking her at the same time.”

Colin had no idea what the proper term for what they’d done was, so he just responded with a non-committal hum.

“I’m going back to spit roasting,” Evan declared, and with the first pan full, began laying bacon out on the second. “It sounds dirtier. And hotter. And you fucking Esme while she was blowing me was really fuckin’ hot.”

The image fresh in his mind—he doubted it would ever be anything but—Colin could only nod.

“And ,” Evan added with a pointed look, “not just because Esme is smokin’. Which she is.”

“No argument.” Colin busied himself putting the parchment paper away, then checked the coffee to see if he needed to make another pot. “But I know what you mean. The whole orgy thing really raised the excitement level.”

“Well, yeah,” Evan said. “But that’s not what I meant.”

His back to Evan, Colin opened the cupboard for plates and glasses. He needed to keep busy, so he’d set the table. If he just kept busy, he might manage to survive this conversation. “No?”

“I was talking about you,” Evan said, and sent Colin’s pulse stuttering. “You and me.”

Colin bobbled the stack of plates, sending them clattering to the countertop. His head felt light, like there wasn’t enough air in the room. “You and me?” he croaked out, and unable to help himself, turned to face his oldest friend—and secret love.

“You and me,” Evan repeated, his eyes on Colin’s. They were oddlyintense, the blue somehow darker and deeper than normal. There was no impish gleam, the usual laughter replaced with something else, something fierce and strange, and before Colin could put a name to it, Evan reached out a hand, wrapped it around the back of Colin’s neck, and kissed him.

Sheer shock kept him immobile for a heartbeat, his brain frantically trying to take in and make sense of this new information. Evan’s mouth was soft, the stubble of his beard rough, the hand on the back of his neck firm. Colin could smell the subtle spice of soap or aftershave, mingled with the natural scent of Evan. Slightly sweaty, faintly metallic, achingly familiar. It made him yearn, that scent, and now he was surrounded by it.

Then Evan shifted, his mouth moving coaxingly against Colin’s, and suddenly all he could think was I want.

And he devoured.

He buried his hands in Evan’s tangled hair, angling his head and diving into the kiss with the fervor of a starving man at a buffet. Evan grunted, either in approval or surprise, his lips parting, and Colin swept his tongue inside. He tasted the mint of toothpaste, the bitter bite of black coffee, and Evan—finally Evan—and all the years of longing seemed to roll over him like a wave.

Moving on instinct and the euphoria of finally having what he’d craved for so long, he tightened his grip on Evan’s hair and stepped closer. Colin was shorter by half a head, but Evan’s extra inches came from his torso, so their hips aligned almost perfectly. The unmistakable press of an erection though dual layers of denim wrenched a moan from deep in Colin’s chest, and for a moment the possibilities lay bright and bold in front of him.

Then the heavy stomp of approaching feet jolted him out of the fog of lust, and he jerked back, severing the connection just as the kitchen door banged open and Spence growled, “You fuckers were supposed to wake me up.”

Colin’s gaze darted to the doorway, where Spence stood scrubbing his hands over his face, his hair sticking up in spikes from a night on the couch. Off balance, still reeling with lust and overwhelmed by a sudden burst of panic, Colin abruptly spun around to stare at the coffee pot.

There was a moment of thrumming silence then Evan said, “Since when am I your fucking alarm clock?” and even through the roaring in his ears Colin could hear the hoarseness in his voice.

“Since I fucking asked you to wake me up last night,” Spence countered, his morning voice even growlier than usual. “I told you I gotta be on the road by nine.”

“Keep your pants on, breakfast isn’t even ready yet.”

“What’s the fuckin’ hold up? I thought Tuck was making waffles.”

Colin wiped his hands off on his jeans and picked up the stack of plates from the counter. “Esme went to wake him up,” he said, and heart in his throat, turned back around.

Spence stood in the middle of the room, tall and dark and grumpy as a grizzly bear. A day’s worth of scruff covered his jaw, nearly thick enough to blend in with the mustache, lush as a nineteen seventies porn star’s. Evan was back at the stove, laying out the last of the bacon, his expression inscrutable.

“Why are you putting bacon on a baking sheet?” Spence wanted to know, and shouldered past Colin to get to the coffee pot.

“Faster than doing it on the stove,” Evan said, and looked up. “At least according to Colin.”

Colin swallowed hard. Evan’s expression might be inscrutable, but his eyes weren’t. There was lust and confusion and hurt all swirling together, and a question Colin didn’t know how to answer.

Then he blinked, and it was gone, leaving behind nothing but mild curiosity in their sky-blue depths. “What temperature does this need to be at, anyway?”

“Put it at three-fifty,” Colin answered, and cleared his throat. God, he sounded like he’d swallowed glass, and his gut was in knots. “We’ll have to watch it, though.”

“Where’s the sugar?” Spence asked, and Colin tore his gaze away from Evan’s.

“On the table,” he told Spence, and followed him to the breakfast nook.

Spence dumped a spoonful of sugar in his coffee and took a gulp. “I’m going to take a shower. Don’t eat all the bacon.”

Evan opened the oven door and shoved the first baking sheet in. “Shave that hamster off your lip while you’re at it.”

Spence’s response was an extended middle finger over his shoulder as he walked out the door, and Colin smiled in spite of the battlewaging inside him.

Evan slid in the second sheet, then shut the oven door. “How long does this need to cook?”

“Set a fifteen minute timer, we’ll check it then.” Colin bit his lip. He could see the tension in the line of Evan’s back, in the uncharacteristically jerky, uncoordinated way he reached for the oven timer. Evan was almost effortlessly athletic, his movements smooth and easy, and Colin could only recall a handful of times when he’d seen him this agitated.

“Listen, Evan,” he began, and Evan turned to look at him. Colin nearly faltered under the weight of that steady blue gaze, but he shoved the bright, sharp fear aside and opened his mouth.

And shut it again when Tuck and Esme camethrough the kitchen door.

“Everybody can relax,” Tuck announced, dressed in a pair of flannel pajama pants and a Detroit Tigers t-shirt. “The world’s best chef is here.”

Behind him, Esme snorted and smacked his ass. “Get to work, world’s best chef. I’m hungry, and so is everyone else.”

“Worked up an appetite, did you?” Tuck asked his wife with a grinning leer, and returned the butt-smack when she laughed. “Don’t worry, babe. I got you.”

Colin tried to meet Evan’s gaze across the room as Tuck began digging in cabinets and directing Esme to pull ingredients from the fridge. But Evan turned away, grabbing his coffee cup off the counter.

“I’m going to hit the shower after Spence,” he said, and flicked a glance at Colin. “Keep an eye on the bacon, all right?”

“Sure,” Colin said faintly as the door shut at his back.

Colin’s gaze lingered for a moment on the gently swinging door, regret and longing and lingering lust a tangled mess inside him. Then he shoved them aside and, with Tuck and Esme’s good natured bickering filling the room, set the table.

excerpt

content warnings

Starved is an unrequited love, friends to lovers, MM romance with very low angst and a very happy ending. Like book #1 in the series, it takes place in a world where Covid is a thing. There is mask use on page when the characters are out in public, but no one becomes or is sick. There’s some light bondage.

F.I.L.T.H. Book No. 2
the F.I.L.T.H. Series is available in KU!

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