Hi guys, we have K.A. Merikan stopping by today with the tour for their new release Just Here For The Pain, we have a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~
Just Here For The Paim
—. Whips and chains – not optional .—
Sid. Drummer for The Underdogs. Secretly yearning for pain and submission.
Asher. AKA Stan. Stalker. More than meets the eye.
It’s hard to find good hookups while on tour. Sid wants pain, humiliation, and the kind of sex that isn’t easy to get from one-night stands. So for now, he’s given up, settled for an online Dom to get his rocks off, and focused on his band instead. The Underdogs are getting increasingly popular, but there is one fan who has followed Sid since before he even joined the band, and he’s driving Sid mad! Rich, spoiled hipster brat looking for the bad boy experience. If he knew what Sid was really into, he would run for the hills.
Asher is convinced that Sid is The One, his One True Love, his endgame. Years ago, Asher lost his virginity to Sid, and from that moment on, he knew it was meant to be. They had a spark, that honest connection that couldn’t be faked. The members of Sid’s band call him a stalker, but all he wants is to offer Sid his love. When Sid finally chokes out what he wants, Asher is more than ready to unleash it on him.
But the last time Sid was out as gay and submissive, he got badly burnt when his former band kicked him out, and the doors to many opportunities slammed in his face.
Asher wants the whole world to know that he’s dating Sid. Problem is, Sid would much rather keep the relationship as pain-with-benefits.
The concert ended with a bright explosion of sparks falling from above them like glittering confetti. Sweaty, with his heart still beating to the rhythm of the last song, Sid was free to smile in a way he never allowed himself otherwise—widely, for everyone to see. On stage, he was in his element. No future and no past mattered when he unleashed his wild energy on the drums, playing songs he knew so well. Like Groundhog’s Day in the best of ways, as if each concert was a bubble out of time and space.
So very much alike yet always different.
This time, everything about the concert was different in one way or another. After years of paying for his food by doing odd jobs by day and playing by night, after months of making a modest living from gigs at small venues, suddenly he was performing in front of an audience of several thousand, at one of the biggest events of its kind. Boomfest was their biggest stage, with the biggest speakers, and the organizers had even offered to enrich the show with special effects. It was unbelievable. For once, Sid could taste success at the tip of his tongue.
He felt like laughing, smiling, and even grabbing the hands of the audience. His snarky self retreated into the shadows, leaving Sid free to get drunk on the attention of the crowd that stretched far beyond what he would have called a good-sized venue just months before. He’d arrived, and all the people who’d thrown obstacles under his feet, who didn’t believe in him, or thought he wasn’t worthy of achieving success could go fuck themselves, because there he was—performing at one of the largest festivals in the country. And people fucking loved it.
Even Dusk, their leader, didn’t have to fake his joy. To the never-ending clapping and cheering from the audience, he bent over his guitar and played a quick solo tune, letting his hair flow in wild waves down his back.
As the heart and soul of The Underdogs, Dusk had been a pain to work with when mopey and whining, so it was a relief that he got back together with his boyfriend Lolly, and was once more the volcano of energy their oldest fans had fallen in love with. Dusk and Lolly’s relationship had become a social media phenomenon that catapulted the band out of obscurity, and Sid would take success in
whatever form it came. Lastly, and to that Sid would admit only if threatened with a knife against the throat, Lolly, the pink-haired bundle of silliness, was actually kinda fun to be around. He always found opportunity where Sid could only manage scepticism.
Mage, bass player, and manager extraordinaire, turned to Sid with a wild grin that seemed almost predatory when coupled with the way his long dreadlocks partially untangled from the bundle he’d tied them into before the gig. He nodded at Sid, mouthing for him to get up.
It was only then that Sid truly felt the weight of attention on him. Behind his set of drums he felt protected, safe in the back, providing his bandmates with the rhythmic structure that allowed them to shine in the high-beam light. He rose on legs that felt way too soft, but Sid Maron showed no fear—ever—and he joined his friends at the front of the stage, where blurry faces gained individuality and words screamed out from below sounded less like noise and more like Underdogs chanted over and over.
His heart thumped, constricting deep in Sid’s chest, but he smiled when Mage pulled him in, for a moment feeling like more than just the drummer of a hot new band. He was a part of something. Part of a movement. He could maybe, possibly, go down in history as a member of a band that became mainstream, not only despite but because some of its members were queer. Though right now, his bare chest shone with sweat and his brain was empty from the shock of being catapulted from tiny clubs to an open-air venue packed with thousands.
All the blood, sweat, and tears he’d shed over the years—worth it.
He wished Dawn, Dusk’s brother, and their fourth, unofficial member, wasn’t so shy and could join them at the front of the stage, finally recognized for the brilliant songs he wrote for The Underdogs. But when Sid glanced to the black panels at the side of the stage, he did see Dawn standing in the shadow, only inches away from the glow of spotlights. With his usually pale cheeks now the color of raspberry juice, black hair flowing from under the baseball cap he hardly ever took off, he was smiling—not just with his lips. His entire body relaxed in an expression of relief and joy.
As silly as Sid considered the whimsical name choices made by Dusk and Dawn’s hippy parents, they ended up describing both guys pretty well. Dusk was the king of nightlife, always up for a party, Dawn—a pretty glint of sunshine only shyly peeking from behind the horizon.
Sid grinned at the audience once more, and when Dusk lightly threw his pick at the front row, Sid followed his lead by tossing his sticks toward someone’s outstretched hands. But there was no more time to parade on the stage like peacocks. Mage discreetly ushered them away from the spotlight, no doubt keeping track of time in a way neither Dusk nor Sid would.
The next band needed the space, and Sid wasn’t opposed to getting some well-earned rest after the storm that this short gig had been. By the time he entered the busy backstage area, watching Mage and Dusk pull Dawn into a group hug worthy of six-graders, Sid felt an ache enter his shoulders, and he leaned against a large speaker as adrenaline drained out of him.
Shirtless, sweaty, and with lungs that demanded more air, he didn’t mind the few thirsty glances he got one bit. Dawn handed him a bottle of cold water with a side of compliments about his performance. He really was a sweet kid, even if Sid liked to tease him about his innocence.
Tonight, all that mattered was their triumphant ascent into the public eye.
He took out a cigarette, but before he could use the lighter, someone offered him the flame. Sid frowned when he glanced into the too-familiar brown eyes, which were as persistent as the dusky shadow of hair growing back on the shaved sides of Asher’s head and his equally dark five o’clock shadow.
He wore chinos, a designer leather jacket, and his hair—dyed silver—was tied into a topknot. It would have been too easy to see him as yet another of those snotty hipster types who frequented alternative music festivals, but Sid knew the bastard too well for that. The unexpected closeness had Sid inhaling the smoky air and staring at the harmoniously handsome face behind the flame. Asher’s brown gaze kept him in place, intense as if the guy knew of all the secrets hidden deep in Sid’s heart, as if he knew that Sid was tired, or that he’d had a serious case of stage fright just before they played their set.
Asher AKA Stan always looked like that—smiling smugly no matter what insults Sid hauled at him, always lurking somewhere close, ready to crowd Sid with his broad chest and strong arms. Not that Sid ever allowed Asher to touch him, but it had come close all-too-many times.
And then there was that one time they never spoke about. The one-night stand turned weekend-stand that started this whole madness in the first place. AKA Sid’s Biggest Mistake.
Sid wanted to ask what the hell Asher was doing backstage, but the sight of the press pass on a lanyard at the front of his chest wrestled that question out of Sid’s repertoire.
So he took his time and inhaled more smoke, just to blow it straight into Asher’s pretty-boy face.
Unbothered, Asher waved off the smoke, stepping so close he could try kissing Sid if he wanted. His eyes shone like two topazes set in the modelesque face, and his teeth—so perfect any dental company would have been proud to have him as their spokesperson—glinted like a predator’s. Why someone this good-looking and well-connected would get so hung up on a scarecrow like Sid was anyone’s guess. Big fan of tattoos? Maybe—Sid was covered in them. Maybe he just wanted to repeat the bad boy experience Sid had given him last time, but no matter how hard Sid tried to get rid of the unwanted fan, for the past few years he hadn’t managed to get his point across. No matter how disrespectful he was being, Asher always found a way to turn it all around in his head and come back with a smile, as if nothing had happened.
“Sid, you were incredible. You played with such intensity. I thought you were an amazing musician before, but this right now? Wow,” Asher said so quickly, it sounded as if someone fast-forwarded his speech. Frizz danced around his tidy hair as he leaned closer, and—Sid could not believe the audacity—Asher skirted his fingers down Sid’s naked chest, leaving behind a trail of unwanted heat. Asher even dared let them linger on the key hanging off Sid’s neck as a pendant. “Fuck… I just want to show you how much I appreciate your art.”
Did Sid want fans? Sure. Hell yes, even. But Asher obviously wanted to be more than that, and he’d made it explicitly clear at least as many times as Sid had made it clear that nothing would ever happen between them again.
“The fuck? What did I tell you about touching me?” Sid barked and grabbed Asher’s wrist. Sid was a bit confused with all this. Any other musician he knew would have loved to have a hot fan cherishing the ground they walked on, someone who’d spread their legs on command, seduced by the aura of the rock star, but Sid felt as if he was allergic to this kind of admiration. In fact, Stan’s efforts annoyed Sid so much he could barely rein in his aggression to avoid physical confrontation. A worshipper who would gladly suck Sid’s toes if asked was the last thing he wanted. His cravings were much more peculiar, and a guy like Asher could never satisfy them.
“You hardly ever get together with people. I’m just being helpful,” Asher said, showing off his movie-star teeth in a grin. “Come on, Sid, let me get you a beer. For old-times’ sake.”
Sid shook his head and calmed himself down with more smoke. At least they were in a public space, so Asher wouldn’t pull any of his touchy-feely stunts.
“So you can spike my drink, psycho?” He pressed on Asher’s chest when he noticed the bastard had sneakily gotten closer. There was a reason the guy got nicknamed ‘Stan’, and Sid wasn’t gonna end up drugged and kidnapped. Nothing sincere hid behind the facade of a harmless rich boy in fashionable yet somewhat edgy clothes.
Sid didn’t trust him, even though—and maybe precisely because—Asher never seemed angered by the continuous rejections, always retaining a soft smile, no matter what kind of verbal abuse Sid unleashed on him. He simply wouldn’t take no for an answer.
They were equally tall, but in comparison to Sid’s skinny self Asher was big, as if he did weightlifting and gymnastics training every single day, and Sid didn’t want to be alone with him in case Asher finally snapped.
Mage’s hand cut through the too-narrow space between them and grabbed Asher’s hand. “Hey, Stan, could we talk about that latest social media campaign you did? I talked it through with Dawn, and we figured we could use your help,” he said loudly enough to make it all far less private.
With his waist-long dreadlocks, tattoos, and silvery piercings glinting against his brown skin, Mage didn’t look much more professional than Sid with his red mohawk and ink. But he had a way of taking control of the situation that he must have learned back at the prestigious private school he used to attend before rebelling against his parents and joining a band.
Asher blinked, the weird grin disappearing from his face as if Mage’s approach had pulled him out of an erotic dream. That was Sid’s cue to run.
The Underdogs series
Manic Pixie Dream Boy book 01
K.A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.
They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.