About Wheels and Heels
As a teenager, Ira Bedford fled a troubled home life and people who didn’t understand his penchant for feminine things. In the city, he fell in with Cedric, who found him work as an underage stripper. It took him years to escape Cedric’s influence and try to build a life of his own.
Now, he just wants to be left alone to create his art. But Cedric’s on-going harassment means Ira had to drop out of art school, is squatting in a friend’s apartment, and is still relying on his allure as a sexy, skirt-wearing exotic dancer to pay his bills.
Then he meets Jed. Part-time bartender and the apartment building’s superintendent, Jed is just the right mix of strong, kind, and protective to pull Ira out of hiding. He also welcomes Ira into his chosen family at the Hen and Hog Pub. But Ira yearns for more. Still, he doesn’t dare to hope that Jed will want him and his questionable past, his skirts and high heels, his hang-ups, and the profession he seems unable to escape. But Jed will do anything to prove him wrong.
About Jaime Samms
Jaime has been writing for various publishers since the fall of 2008, although she’s been writing for herself far longer. Her Stories about men falling in love are the stories that she loves to read, so it seemed to make sense if she was going to write, they would also be the stories she wrote.
These days, you can find plenty of free reading on her website. She also writes for Various Publishers.
Spare time, when it can be found rolled into a ball at the back of the dryer or cavorting with the dust bunnies in the corners, is spent crocheting, drawing, gardening (weather permitting, of course, since she is Canadian!), or watching movies. She has a day job, as well, which she loves, and two kids, but thankfully, also a wonderful husband who shoulders more than his fair share of household and child-care responsibilities.
She graduated some time ago from college with a fine arts diploma, and a major in textile arts, which basically qualifies her to draw pictures and create things with string and fabric. One always needs an official slip of paper to fall back on after all…
Connect with Jaime:
Amazon Author page: amazon.com/author/jaimesamms
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Jed wiped down the bar and pretended he wasn’t eavesdropping on Kearn. Because who eavesdropped on their boss while he fired the bar’s latest—soon to be late—waiter?
“I don’t see what the problem is,” Kearn confessed.
“It’s like . . . I don’t know what to do. This place is . . . Well, what is it? A three-way love child of an English pub, a hipster hangout, and a gay bar?” He threw up his hands in exasperation. “I don’t get it.”
“Oh, Jesus.” Kearn’s voice tuned low and smooth, what Jed liked to think of as his teacher voice. He didn’t use it often. Normally, he had more of a . . . headmaster voice. “You don’t have to get it. You have to take people’s orders and bring them drinks and plates of food.”
“But it’s confusing. There aren’t any televisions—”
“It’s not a sports bar.”
“It’s not an anything bar. And it’s an everything bar.” The waiter waved a hand at his all-black outfit, well-tailored and smart, but at odds with the flannel Jed had on, and the tight tank Landon, the other bartender, was wearing. “I don’t even know how to dress.”
“We don’t have a dress code,” Kearn reminded him. “Wear what you’re comfortable in.”
“But it needs to have a theme.”
“Comfort isn’t a theme?”
“It’s . . .” The poor guy slumped. “Confusing.”
Kearn let out a heavy sigh. “Not really. Drinks and food. You carry stuff from here”—Kearn pointed at the bar—“to there.” He pointed out to the dining area. “Simple.”
“No.” Kearn put up both hands, palms out. “No buts.”
Jed snickered, then ducked his attention to the speed rack in front of him when Kearn shot him a sideways look.
“What we’re going to do is this.” Kearn turned his attention back to the waiter. “I’m going to cut you a check for the shifts you’ve worked, and the ones you’re scheduled for that you don’t have to come in for, okay? You’re going to collect your tips, then go find a job in a bar you feel more comfortable in.”
Kearn looked over at Jed again. Jed nodded, picked up the tray with the tip cups on it, and brought it around to the table where Kearn was just getting up.
“But . . .” the waiter said again.
“Kid,” Jed said, taking Kearn’s vacated seat. “Can I give you a bit of advice?”
He shrugged, head hanging, face miserable.
“Try a coffee shop. Make people coffee. You like coffee?”
That at least got him to raise his head. “That is so patronizing.”
Jed said nothing as he took the cup with the server’s name and set it in front of him. It was dismally light. The kid was cute and earnest, but a terrible waiter.
After a minute of staring into the mostly empty cup, he looked up at Jed, face hopeful. “Do you think I could be a barista?”
“I think you maybe think too much about these things,” Jed told him as he took the cup with his own name on it and dumped the contents into the near-empty one.
“Hey!” Sitting up straighter, the kid pushed the cup across the table. “Why did you do that?” He frowned at the cup.
“I think you need to relax a bit and go with your gut a little more.” Jed glanced at Landon, still behind the bar, who nodded. Jed took Landon’s cup, and dumped that one too.
The kid let out a heavy sigh. “Yeah,” he said quietly. “Maybe.” He tilted the cup to look inside and sighed again. “Thanks, guys.”
“It’ll be fine, kid. You just have to find where you fit. Don’t worry about it not being here. The Hen and Hog is sort of an acquired taste. You’ll find your place.”