Mangrove Stories Lazlo Maguire doesn’t do relationships—he does transactions. Six months of the year, he’s an expensive rent boy in Manhattan, and he moves so fast that settling down could not, would not, ever enter his mind… except for once. Britton Lassiter he meets man to man, not as hustler and mark, and it’s too good to be true when the lawyer wants to keep Lazlo even if he has to share him with the job. But Lazlo has his reasons to walk away from the man he’s grown to love. The other six months of the year, he is laid-back Laz, a shopkeeper in the sleepy coastal town of Mangrove, Florida, where the artist he never allows himself to be in the Big Apple shines through. He lives for his time by the ocean, the place he hides his secrets and nurses his broken heart. Then fate intervenes, and Laz gets the surprise of his life when he spies Britton in Mangrove—but it’s not meant to be… not until Britton sees the change in him and wants to be a part of Laz’s new life so that every evening can be easy… together. Hopefully the secrets that tore them apart won’t come back to haunt them.
I DIDN’T like lying to my friends, but it was necessary. When Hutch and Kelly asked me about the restraining order Britton Lassiter, the new attorney in town, served me with, I said I didn’t care. I told them that since it didn’t affect me or my business in Mangrove, Florida, he could leave it in place, for all I cared.
The problem, though, was that I really did care. I cared quite a bit.
As a rent boy in Manhattan, I had hundreds of clients, all different, all with different sorts of kinks. But the straight-laced attorney had distinguished himself because of the trust he’d placed in me from our initial meeting. We’d met as equals, just two guys, and because of that, ours had never become a relationship in which he paid me. Britton knew what I was, but he was excluded from having to know anything about my business. When we met, he put himself in my hands, did everything I asked, and was truly submissive in bed. It was the missing component from all of my other encounters. I had never been entirely trusted before. He was the only one I truly ever saw.
People thought the yearly masquerade shindig was really just a big orgy, but it wasn’t. The Halloween party I met Britton at—it was a far more upscale event than that. There was wait staff, alcohol, and whatever the hell kind of drugs you were into. The warehouse in Tribeca had been all done in a gothic theme, which I myself found ridiculously cheesy but apparently got people in a certain mood. There were black birdcages everywhere—with candles burning inside them as well as inside the faux fireplaces in the rooms set up with moveable red-painted walls. The furniture was all…