TITLE: Kim & Skip
SERIES: Men of Memphis Blues #0.5
AUTHOR: Sam E. Kraemer
COVER ARTIST: Arden O’Keefe – KSL Designs
RELEASE DATE: June 25th, 2021
LENGTH: 15,000 words approx.
Kimber “Kim” Donlyn
Mistakes… I can’t say I’ve made any. I couldn’t have imagined some of the things that came my way, but I wouldn’t change them for anything because if I did, I wouldn’t be the man I am, nor would I have the people I love. I live my life without regrets because life is too short… That’s a lesson I would prefer to skip, but that’s not possible.
I’m a drag queen—Gimme Dong—and I co-own a drag club, Ben Dover’s Dragtime Cabaret. I’ve had men come and go in my life, but one stuck around—in a most peculiar way. Our relationship isn’t for everyone, but it works for us. I’ll never find another man like mine. Here’s how my grand love affair started…
Stephen “Skip” Mitchell
I’m a baseball scout for the Miami Sharks, and I’m a cliché—I find a boy in every port. One night I get some life changing news, and I don’t want to be alone with it. Down the block from my apartment, there’s a bar, and lo-and-behold—there’s a stool that fits me well. The bartender is just the eye candy I need, but he becomes much more than I can imagine I’d want… or need.
Finding the person who is made for me is a blessing. I find my priorities change in ways I’d have never believed. This is the beginning of a story I never thought I’d tell.
There was a cute guy—about five-eight with light brown hair and a bubble butt that deserved an award—pouring drinks. He had a big smile and exuded positivity, based on his body language.
He had some meat on his bones, which I liked a lot, and the five guys at the bar were laughing at whatever story he was telling. I decided his jocularity was just the pick-me-up I needed, so I walked over and took a seat in an empty chair to listen.
“So, I had my wetsuit around my waist while I was checking the equipment before we got on the boat. I’d seen him giving me the once over a couple of times, so I just smiled and went about my work. Unfortunately, his girlfriend didn’t miss him checking me out either.
“After everyone was settled and we were headed out to open water, I started organizing things for the dive.” I could see the other guys at the bar were intrigued by his story, and I was looking for any fucking thing to take my mind off the news I’d just received. The bartender seemed to notice me and nodded before he turned to his friends.
“Hang on, y’all.” The good-looking guy held up a finger and headed in my direction. “Hello and welcome. I’m Kim, and I pour the booze. What can I get for you?” He had the most incredible brown eyes and a killer grin.
“Uh… I’ll have a Jack on the rocks, please. Actually, make it a double.” The guy—Kim—nodded and stepped away to pour my drink, returning to where I sat before he tossed a pink napkin on the bar, along with a fresh bowl of snack mix and my drink.
“‘S this about the size of a Tuesday night crowd? I live in the neighborhood and travel a lot. Been meaning to come in, but I’m usually too tired by the time I get home.” I was shit at chit-chat with a cute guy.
He grinned, thankfully. “It was busy earlier—Queen Karaoke semi-finals were tonight. We’ve been having a contest since the beginning of the year for the best drag karaoke performer in Miami. Next Tuesday we’ll have the finals from eight until eleven. What’s your name?”
I took a sip of the mind-numbing elixir that was the dream-child of Jasper Newton “Jack” Daniel. It burned all the way down, but it didn’t burn away my broken heart.
I placed the glass on the napkin and looked into sparkling eyes. He was a damn attractive guy, and his smile was uplifting to my shitty state of mind. “I’m Stephen, but someone as handsome as you better call me Skip, as in ‘let’s Skip the small talk’.” The bartender released a raucous laugh, and I immediately liked the guy.
I grew up in the rural Midwest before moving to the East Coast with a dashing young man who swept me off my feet, and we’ve now settled in the desert of Nevada. I write M/M contemporary romance, subgenres: sweet low angst, age-gap, cowboys, mysteries, and military/mercenary to name a few. I am a firm believer in “Love is Love” regardless of how it presents itself, and I’m a staunch ally of the LGBTQIA+ community.
I have a loving, supportive family, and I feel blessed by the universe and thankful every day for all I have been given. I’m old enough to know how to have fun, but too old to care what others think about my definition of a good time. In my heart and soul, I believe I hit the cosmic jackpot. Cheers!