Dusty stood tall in front of the mansion’s peeling doors. The paint had once been a vibrant purple, according to the photos on Dusty’s tablet, but that had many years ago. Now, the tan primer was visible where the purple was falling, and even small bits of brown wood could be seen where the doors were chipped. Dusty took this in, along with the worn door handles, just as he had with the rest of the exterior. The old mansion was in dire need of a repair. And it’d be receiving it from the men Dusty was scheduled to meet.
For another moment, Dusty stood outside, breathing deeply. You’re going to be fine, was his meditative mantra, to calm his nerves. The doorbell was broken, according to files, and the workers said he could just walk in, so he pushed the handle to let himself inside.
The interior was in a similar state of disrepair as the exterior, and as Dusty breathed, he fought the urge to cough out the dust that filled his lungs. It was the first day anyone on the project had entered so he should’ve expected such. His footsteps were loud in the open foyer and he called out in a timid voice.
“Hello? Mr. Venn? Mr. Grace?”
A voice didn’t answer, but a set of louder, more confident footsteps from further in the house was enough of a response. Dusty ventured in further, passing the grand staircase, and through another set of doors, where one man stood in the living area. Dusty tried his voice.
“Mr. Venn? …or Grace?”
The tan-skinned man approached him. He was but a scant few inches taller than Dusty’s five-foot-nine height, but much broader and built than him. The back of Dusty’s mind was hollering, ATTRACTIVE, but Dusty wouldn’t acknowledge the statement. The man offered a gentle smile that Dusty tentatively returned.
“Mr. Grace. Harrison,” he amended, offering a hand, rough in the Dusty’s grasp. “Mr. Venn is upstairs. And, you are…?”
Dusty’s dark skin heated, and he thanked his melanin for not revealing his habitual awkwardness. “I’m Dusty Miller, executive assis-"
A chuckle from behind him interrupted his introduction, and the jump that Dusty did made Harrison laugh under his breath. Dusty stared wide-eyed at the man across from him, who was now peering over his shoulder, before pivoting toward the newcomer, someone who’s presence was undetected by Dusty, despite his size.
This man was darker than Harrison but not as dark as Dusty, taller than Harrison, but not as muscled…which still left him bigger than Dusty. Instead of explaining himself, he held out a hand. “I’m Will.” His bright grin was harder for Dusty to reciprocate. ALSO ATTRACTIVE, Dusty’s id screeched. His anxiety was also screeching.
Dusty wanted to ask if it was his name that made Will laugh. He had been mercilessly teased in school when it came to light that he was named after a flower. It was technically a plant but that made no difference to adolescent bullies. Damn his mother and her proclivity toward horticulture. She didn’t even have the foresight to give him “Dustin” as a birth name, so he was stuck with “Dusty.” But as much as his anxiety prodded at him to find out if that was the source of his humor, rational thinking told him to move on.
“Pleasure to meet you both,” Dusty said, retrieving his tablet from his messenger bag. “Is there somewhere we can sit and discuss some plans for renovation?”
Harrison was having a tough time paying attention to the conversation he and Will were supposed to have with Dusty. Ever since he had entered, Harry had been admiring his appearance. And Will was causing his attention to falter further by linking to him throughout the meeting. “He’s really cute for a human,” he said, somehow still able to respond to something Dusty said in the same beat. A talent Harry didn’t share. He had to sit there and stare off into the distance when using the telepathic communication. “Should we ask him out?” Harry looked at the wolf in disbelief, but Will’s focus was squarely on Dusty.
From what Harry caught, Dusty worked for the owners of the house, and he’d be their line of communication for renovation requests. The blue suit that complimented his complexion spoke of his rank but the way he spoke softly and seemed wary of his surroundings revealed a different nature. As did the nervous smell he had emanated since he walked in. That stench was the one thing putting Harrison off from Dusty. The rest of him was easy to marvel at, and he did so as the other two continued speaking.
His stare must’ve been felt because suddenly, Dusty swiveled his head towards him, dark brown eyes dropping from view as he picked his tablet back up.
“Harrison, did you have any other questions before I head out?”
“Busted,” Will chuckled in his head.
“No,” Harry shook his head, admiring the abundance of curls that sprung from the assistant’s head.
“Okay,” Dusty exhaled. “Well, here is my contact information in case you need to get in touch before our next meeting.”
With his head still bowed, he extended a business card toward Harry. He had the urge to caress those fingers, past the man’s wrist, and stroke the skin beneath Dusty’s su-
“Harrison?” Dusty’s concerned tone knocked Harris out of his reverie.
“Bro, the scent of your arousal may be obvious to a human at this point,” Will chided as Harry leaned forward to quickly grab the card. “Reign it in.”
Harrison leaned back. “Thank you for coming by, we’ll reach out if need be,” Harry noted, trying to pull his mask of professionalism back into place. Dusty kept his head bowed in submission as the trio stood up, much like the pack wolves always did around him and Will.
“Of course, as I said, this is a top priority for the Pullmans, so I hope our future meetings can be just as productive and understanding as today’s.” The man finally raised his eyes to meet Will’s, then Harry’s, a content smile gracing his face. The innocent look made Harry’s arousal racket back up, causing Will to stifle a chuckle behind a raised hand.
The composed werewolf gestured toward the foyer, leaving Harry to collect himself. “I’ll walk you to your car,” Will offered, “It’s gotten too dark for anyone to be outside alone in this area, especially with the lights out.”
“Bullshit,” Harry sneered in Will’s mind. “You just wanna spend more time with him.”
Even as they neared the front door, Harry could hear Will keeping up conversation with Dusty as he fired back, “One of us has gotta do it.”
Harrison scoffed aloud. Of course, Will wanted to pursue the human. He didn’t heed the consequences of such an action. Mostly because he hadn’t faced any yet. But Dusty seemed like the right man to risk it all for. He was beautiful, with long eyelashes that framed down-turned eyes and rested on warm, mocha skin, his upturned, button nose above luscious, plum-colored lips. He had the face of untainted purity. One that a sinning man would want to take advantage of. And both he and Will definitely weren't saints.
Dusty opened his apartment door to Eric, his suitor for the evening. Being in the presence of two enticing men at the end of his day meant he could easily bottle up his fantasies for the nighttime. It would be more difficult to stifle his desires when he’d have to see them for hours on end, but he’d been in such a position before.
“Hello, beautiful,” Eric whispered, leaning down to press a kiss to Dusty’s cheek. “I was looking forward to your call.” Eric straightened back up and Dusty backed up, allowing him entry. Together, they strode to Dusty’s bedroom.
“I hope you’ve already showered,” Dusty called over his shoulder as he faced his armoire. He opened the cabinets as he heard the rustling of clothes behind him. “You know how I feel about you coming over here dirty.”
Turning back around, he found Eric naked, on his knees, his eyes lowered to the floor.
“I’m so sorry, I forgot to clean up,” Eric bit his lip to stifle a smile, “Dusty.”
Dusty frowned and narrowed his eyes at the man before him. He brought the black leather crop in his hand down to slap Eric once across his thighs. Eric flinched but didn’t voice his anguish. Dusty was tempted to punish him further but he was sure the brat would incite plenty of reasons to dole out more pain. Instead, he crouched beside the big man, admiring the red mark that was already sprouting on Eric’s sensitive, pale skin.
“How are you supposed to refer to me?” He challenged directly into Eric’s ear. When there was no response, he rapped the same spot, then grabbed Eric’s head, yanking it back. Dusty already expected the mischief in Eric’s eyes, the smirk that played against his lips. He never submitted to Dusty easily. Dusty’s own mouth widened into a sadistic grin. This was just the kind of night he needed.