Book Title: Ship of Fools
Author: Sophia Soames
Cover Artist: Aurelia Morris
Release Date: November 30, 2020
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Trope/s: Finding love, Family Christmas, instalove, Set in the UK
Themes: This story contains descriptions of sexual roleplay and consensual violence, and elements of mild BDSM.
Heat Rating: 5 flames
Length: 50 000 words
It is a standalone story.
Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited
Andreas Mitchell is single, stupid and bored, and should have a good long think about the amount of bad life choices he has made lately. Instead he heads straight for the one guy he knows will become his worst mistake yet.
Luca Germano makes no choices at all, instead he lives quietly in the background, and prefers the safety of his own hand to risking his heart. And someone as pretty and fearless as Andreas Mitchell, is the last person on earth he should let into his life.
Especially at Christmas.
This is a work of fantasy and fiction. This story contains descriptions of sexual roleplay and consensual violence, and elements of mild BDSM, which are not intended to be taken seriously, or imitate real life. Please read with caution if these themes might trigger or upset you.
Find more stories from the fictional British town of Chistleworth, in Custard and Kisses (free to download from Prolific Works) and This thing with Charlie (part of the Winter Wonderland giveaway starting on Jan 1, 2021)
I barely finish that thought, before my office door opens. He doesn’t even knock, Luca Germano, before entering and walking up to me with determination in his steps.
“We are ready to deliver. I was just wondering if you would like to come down and look her over before I go home.” He grunts.
He’s wearing skinny jeans today, and a torn knitted hoodie. A speck of oil still lingering on his hand, and a polishing rag stuck in his back pocket.
“I trust you.” I say, taking the glasses off my nose, and placing them on the table in front of me. “The crew downstairs speak very highly of you. Thank you for helping us deliver on this one. I’m sure the car will be much appreciated by its new owner.”
I’m talking a load of shite, in a voice that belongs to someone like Mr Lambert. I do that, sometimes, when I speak with older clients. Try to make myself more mature, more sophisticated, and less of the twinkly brat I really am.
“Ahm…” He grunts, again. He’s a man of few words, Luca Germano. He still scares me, because he’s unpredictable. I can’t read him, not really. Sometimes he comes across as happy and carefree, at other times he seems almost terrified of me.
“Let me guess…” I tease. “Tonight you are working out, then you are going to go and have a nice glass of water at Club Eden. Am I right?”
“What?” he huffs.
“Yeah? That’s what you do, most weekends.” I giggle. I’ve immediately lost the stupid fake maturity. It doesn’t take much. Told you, I’m an idiot, and clearly a fool, because now Luca Germano is blushing and squirming, and looking at me like I’ve lost my mind.
“Why would you say that?” He huffs out, suddenly back to being annoyed with me. Then he looks scared, breathing too heavily, running his greased hand through his cropped hair. He’s had it cut again. I bet it’s soft against his fingers.
I’m clearly losing my touch here, and I need a break. Luca Germano turned me down for a simple reason. He’s probably gay, because most people frequenting Club Eden, are… gay. Since it’s a gay club. Yet, I’m feeling less confident by the second here, sat behind my desk being… frankly, both rude and stupid with one of our freelance tech crew. Because I know what I am doing, I’m flirting, and why the hell I am flirting with him, of all people? I don’t understand myself anymore. Well, I do. He’s handsome, in a rugged way. A little bit scary, because the man clearly works out and is both tall, fit and muscular. The kind of man with big hands that would toss me around a bed with ease and completely dominate in the bedroom. He’s also staring at me like I have two heads.
Note to self, also the kind of man I should avoid, because I usually end up in a state like last weekend. Do I take any notice? No. Here I go again.
“You usually spend the evening stalking me around the club, and staring at me.” It’s a little bit of a lie, but I’m smiling and batting my eyelashes. I’m giving the guy a chance here. I wouldn’t mind a hookup with him. I would even let him do me, like a little good pick-me-up.
“Look, mate.” He says again, with surprising strength, as he walks up to my desk and leans his knuckles on the top. Leaning over me and staring at me with an intensity that scares me. I actually shuffle my chair an inch backwards, because… Yeah. Intense.
“Don’t mess around with me, I’m not into all that.” He’s serious too, enough for me to feel intimidated.
“Mate, it’s an invitation to fuck, not a bloody job interview.” I nip back, trying to blow my chest up like a bloody baboon. I’m not impressive, I realise that, as he smirks at me.
“Just leave it. Not interested.” He huffs. I just laugh, because as he stands back, he turns around far too quickly for a man not interested. He’s also sporting a semi in his jeans, unless he’s hung like a horse. He’s probably hung, but that bulge…?
“Look, Luke.” I try, but he cuts me off.
“Luca. Not Luke.”
“Luca, my bad.” I try a smile, but he doesn’t take the bait. Just stares, like he does. Maybe it’s just his thing, and perhaps I have read all this wrong from the start.
“I go to Eden for a drink at the weekend, because my best mate from school mans the bar. That’s why I go there. I hang out and shoot the shit with a guy who I have known since I was three. Is that clear?” He’s pissed off, and now he’s frightening me. Just a little. In a good way.
“Crystal.” I nip back.
“I’m not interested in being one of your fuckbuddies, okay? So leave it. I’m very happy to work for you, and you have a great team downstairs, so if you have a project you need me for? Ring me. If not? Then I hope you have a great Christmas… and all that.”
He’s lost his steam at the end, clearly not holding a planned-out speech. He would never make a salesman, because now he is twirling around in a circle again, almost tripping over his own feet as he walks out of my office, leaving the door wide open behind him.
I don’t go down and check out the car. I probably should, before the handover to the new owner this afternoon. I should probably be there to sign it off. Instead I lean back in my chair and let my eyes close. Just for a second to calm myself down.
What on earth am I doing? That? That display of complete and sheer unprofessionalism was … staggeringly stupid. I could lose my job. It could be seen as harassment, on a grand scale. I need to stop, whatever it is I think I am doing.
In any case, I need to go home, grow up and grow a bloody brain, because the one I have at the moment? It’s fried.
About the Author
Sophia Soames should be old enough to know better but has barely grown up. She has been known to fangirl over tv-shows, has fallen in and out of love with more popstars than she dares to remember, and has a ridiculously high-flying (un-) glamorous real-life job.
Her long-suffering husband just laughs at her antics. Their children are feral. The Au Pair just sighs.
She lives in a creaky old house in rural London, although her heart is still in Scandinavia.
Discovering that the stories in her head make sense when written down has been part of the most hilarious midlife crisis ever and she hopes it may long continue.
Find me on social media @sophiasoames on all platforms.
Aurelia Morris is a cover artist, photographer, photoshop wiz and eternal fangirl.
She works in many mediums under more aliases that she can keep track of.
Social Media Links
Free short story: Custard and Kisses on Prolific Works
Find Charlie’s story in This Thing with Charlie, set in the same universe as part of the Winter Wonderland Giveaway on Prolific Works, coming Jan. 1, 2021
Join Sophia Soames’ Little Harbour Facebook group for a chance to win a signed paperback of Ship of Fools.
Not on Facebook? To win a signed paperback copy of Ship of Fools, just enter here!