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Science & Jockstraps (Ace’s Wild #1)
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Shy science guy Liam and fun-loving jock Isaiah have been roommates since their freshman year in college. On the surface, they couldn’t be more different. What the rest of the world doesn’t know is that tucked between basketball, classes, and hanging with friends are some of Isaiah’s favorite moments—just Liam and Isaiah in their room, watching documentaries or goofing off. Liam certainly never imagined Isaiah would become one of his favorite people, but their friendship was pretty much solidified the first time Isaiah saved Liam from a killer spider.
When Isaiah discovers Liam is looking for a hookup to help him explore a secret kink, the idea of anyone touching Liam that way sparks a protective instinct Isaiah has never felt before. Then, Isaiah confesses that he’d like to be the one Liam experiments with, and Liam is completely bowled over—equal parts thrilled and wary of ruining their friendship.
From the first sting of Isaiah’s palm, Liam’s fantasy finally comes to life. The more they explore together, the closer they become, uncovering feelings neither were willing to admit before. But outside the haven of their room, reality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Isaiah isn’t out, and worries about his college basketball career. And Liam won’t be someone’s secret, not after he promised himself he’d stop hiding and being afraid.
Deciding how to navigate the world together will be the final exam they’ll need to ace.
**Science and Jockstraps is part of a multi-author series of books that take place in the same fictional town. Each story can be read in any order. The connecting element in the Ace’s Wild series is an adult store owned by Ace and Wilder. The main characters from each book will make at least one visit to Ace’s Wild, where they’ll buy a toy to use in their story! The only characters who crossover to each book are Ace and Wilder. And with various heat levels, there’s sure to be something for everyone!
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“Good game, bro.” David clapped Isaiah on the back as they finished their pickup game.
“Thanks, man,” he replied as they made their way back to the locker room at the gym. Their basketball season was over, but they still played together every chance they had.
“You wanna go chill tonight? Karl’s having a party at his place. Angelica’s gonna be there.” Then, pretend-whispering, David added, “She wants to ride your dick.” Isaiah laughed him off.
He’d met David during their freshman year at the University of North Carolina at Vintage Ridge and they had been close ever since. David played power forward, and Isaiah was the point guard. Everyone always talked about their chemistry on the court. Isaiah could find David anywhere. It was like magic. He was basically Isaiah’s best friend, and Isaiah hated the fact that he was about to lie to him. “Nah, man. I can’t. I have to study for this fucking test I got coming up.”
It was stupid. He didn’t know why he couldn’t just say he didn’t feel like partying. That he wanted to go back to his dorm and chill with Liam, his roommate. But then David would wonder why the fuck he wanted to go hang out in his room with his brainy dorm mate, who didn’t party like them, and didn’t play sports like them, and on the surface, had absolutely nothing in common with Isaiah and his friends.
But he liked Liam. He had since they started rooming together the year before. He hadn’t expected to. He thought he’d hate that shit. Liam was a bit obsessive, and sometimes came off as if he thought he was better than everyone else, but that wasn’t the case. He was shy, a little overwhelmed by people…sweet.
He was Isaiah’s friend.
But a good friend wouldn’t hide that shit the way Isaiah did, would they?
That said, David definitely wouldn’t get why Isaiah was passing up the opportunity to get laid just so he could watch a documentary on the dangers of plastic in the ocean and the effects it was having on those that called it home.
“Fuckin’ schoolboy always trying to show the rest of us up,” David teased.
“Can’t help it if I’m good,” Isaiah joked back. “Maybe after the meeting tomorrow we can figure out some shit to do? I’m sure Angelica has a friend for you.” He waggled his eyebrows. It wasn’t that he wasn’t interested in Angelica. She was gorgeous. She kept her hair natural, in twists, and had curves for days. Isaiah would be crazy not to be interested in her. What none of his friends knew was that he was an equal-opportunity lover. He liked hooking up with both men and women, but he kept the men on the down low. He wasn’t sure how his boys on the basketball team would feel about that.
“I’ll text you,” David replied, and then they went their separate ways.
Isaiah showered and changed into a clean pair of basketball shorts and a tee, hefted his duffel bag over his shoulder, and started the walk across campus from the gym to the East dorm, where he lived with Liam.
They usually watched documentaries together every Sunday, but then Liam had told him about this one tonight, so now they were watching one two days this week. He liked having Liam as a friend. In some ways, Liam saw a side of him no one else saw. He never expected Isaiah to be all about ball—not that Isaiah didn’t live and breathe basketball, because he did. But he also gave a shit about school, wanted to make something of his life, to go into exercise physiology, make his mom proud.
Things hadn’t always been easy for them. His dad’s parents hadn’t loved the idea that he brought home a black woman, but his dad hadn’t let that hold him back. They’d married and had always been crazy in love, the happiest couple Isaiah had ever seen, up until his dad died in a car accident right after Isaiah graduated high school.
Fuck, he wished his dad could see him now…wondered if he’d be proud of him.
Isaiah got to his building and went up to the second floor. Their dorm room was tight, with barely enough space for twin beds and a couple of dressers. A microwave and a coffee machine sat on a long shelf above a mini fridge, and there was a small bathroom with a shower he could barely fit in. Despite all that, it felt…cozy.
When he entered the room, Liam was lying on his bed with his laptop in front of him. He looked up, caught Isaiah’s eye, and pushed his retro blue glasses up his nose. They made him look old school and trendy at the same time, especially with those blond curls. “You’re late,” he said.
Isaiah rolled his eyes playfully. “Ten minutes. Good to see you too, Einstein.” It was his nickname for Liam, who was the smartest fucking person he knew. Isaiah wasn’t dumb, but he had to work hard at doing well. Liam worked his ass off too, but he was clever as hell, so it came easier to him.