Welcome to the first week of my blog story! For those who missed the blurb, here it is:
Taylor Burnham’s father cuts him off and leaves him with nothing but the reality that unless he finds a quick way to make money, he’ll be kicked out of college next semester. When his roommate introduces him to Dirty Mess, a video company that specializes in hot men and food smut, he finds himself with little choice. Dirty Mess seems like a perfect opportunity that won’t come around twice.
Ripley Reed is the founder and owner of Dirty Mess, something that only his cousin, Tate, knows. He’s one of their most popular models and has filmed with everyone on their payroll, but the moment he lays eyes on Taylor, things spiral out of control. Their connection is undeniable, and Ripley wants this gorgeous, shy young man more than he’s wanted anything ever before. The lines between their on-screen relationship and real life start to blur.
Their subscribers love them, wild for Dirty Mess’s first couple, but Ripley doesn’t know how much longer he can keep the lie alive. The choice between the company he’s created and the man he’s fallen for is harder than he ever imagined something could be.
I will be posting a chapter a week. This story is unedited and once I’ve finished posting it, I will be sending it off to an editor and then releasing eBook and print copies. Please note that this story is copyrighted and no part of Dirty Mess may be copied without my permission. I hope you enjoy this story.
Another quick note before I begin. Thank you to Susan Reeves for giving this chapter a read over for me and thank you to Cover Couture for the cover!
Here’s Chapter One!
Fuck. Fuckity fucking fuck.
Taylor jammed his thumb on the End Call button and glared at his phone. He wondered if his dad could feel his burning gaze through the line, but he doubted it because he’d already hung up and his dad lived somewhere in Texas now. Or maybe Louisiana. He didn’t know anymore.
“Bro!” His roommate stumbled into the dorm, a bottle of beer in his hand. He raised the bottle and swallowed whatever alcohol was left in it before he dumped it in the trash can.
“Hey, don’t leave it there. Alcohol isn’t allowed in the dorms.” Taylor turned his glare on Isaac.
Isaac hiccupped, then laughed as he fell onto the bed, making the mattress squeak. “You’re so stuck-up, dude.”
“I am not.” His fist squeezed his phone and his glare deepened. “Now, get the fuck off my bed.”
Isaac made a confused noise and glanced around the room, as though he didn’t realize he was lying on Taylor’s bed. He laughed again, and it took three attempts at rocking himself before he rose off the mattress and landed on his own. “What’s up your ass anyway?”
“None of your business.” Taylor threw his phone on the desk that sat between their beds, and fell onto his mattress. His nose crinkled at the sweat stain his roommate left behind. He wondered if he could change the sheets at midnight. Probably not.
“You’re so prissy.” Isaac waved an impatient hand at him and snuggled further into his pillow.
“I am not.” This was a constant argument with Isaac, ever since they were roomed together for the first time. The guy thought Taylor came from money and, so he must be privileged. It was no lie that Taylor’s father had billions, but there was no spoiled-child treatment when it came to him. The only reason his father had paid for his tuition was to get Taylor out of his hair—until now. “My father’s not paying for my degree anymore.”
Isaac didn’t seem surprised as he pretended to wipe tears from his eyes. “Oh, what a pity, princess.”
Taylor’s fists clenched against his sides. “He married some money hungry whore and she hates me.”
Somewhere through the conversation, Isaac had closed his eyes. For a moment, Taylor thought he might have been sleeping, but one of his eyelids flicked open to stare at Taylor. “And?”
“And she decided that she didn’t like my dad paying for my tuition. Apparently, my dad now agrees that I’m old enough to pay on my own.” Taylor hated how bitter he sounded. There weren’t many things in his life that his dad gave him, but the one thing he did was an education, and now he was taking that away from him too.
“And you have no money?” Isaac groaned as he attempted to sit up. It didn’t work, so he settled for lying on his side.
Taylor let his head fall back and hit the wall behind him. “Exactly. How the hell am I supposed to pay tuition and my living expenses?”
“You could always do porn?” Isaac flashed his straight white teeth in Taylor’s direction.
Taylor grimaced. “No, absolutely not.”
“There’s nothing wrong with porn. You jerk off to it.”
Taylor moaned in misery. He didn’t want to remember the time Isaac walked in on him when his trousers were around his ankles as he jerked off to two guys fucking in a porn video. That was when Isaac discovered Taylor was gay and it’d only made Isaac’s teasing worse.
“Okay, fine, I jerk off to it, but I would never star in it.” Taylor felt his face flush and he ran his palms over his cheeks. Fuck. He was heating up from just the thought of being fucked by another man on camera. But no matter how hot it sounded, he knew he couldn’t do it. He didn’t have the courage to get naked on camera, let alone have sex in front of one.
Isaac hummed, and his eyes slipped closed. Snores rumbled from him seconds later and Taylor sighed, aware that the conversation was now over. Isaac wasn’t going to be any help to him while he was drunk as a skunk and piss tired.
Taylor grabbed his phone and opened his gallery. He stared at the photos he had stored there. Photos of his mom and dad together—scanned from the many physical pictures from their wedding—to the photos of Taylor and his mom when he was young.
One particular picture of him with his mom was his favorite. Taylor was about six or seven and his parents had finally bought him a puppy like he’d always wanted. His dad had captured the moment when Taylor had turned around to his mom, tears running down his tiny face. His mom had wrapped her long arms around him and dragged him into a hug as he cried with happiness into her shoulder.
The photo showed Taylor’s face pressed against his mom’s neck, crying, while she embraced him with a huge smile on her face, her hand cupping the back of his head. It was the perfect moment.
A lump formed in Taylor’s throat and he exited the gallery, throwing his phone on the desk again. He buried his face in his pillow, his chest rising in short and quick breaths, forcing the tears down. He hadn’t cried about his mom in years and he wasn’t about to start again, but whenever he saw those photos of her—healthy and happy as she was back then—he felt the breath tear from his chest.
He wondered what she’d think of him and his dad now. How far they’d fallen apart—how much his dad detested him.
Taylor shook his head and shuffled around to lie on his back. He grabbed the pillow from beneath his head and shoved it over his face. He was too tired to think about it tonight. There was always tomorrow.
With that final thought, he let himself drift to sleep.
By the time Isaac woke up, Taylor had already been to see the administration about his tuition. There was nothing they could do to help him, or so they said. He had this semester and then he had to work out another way to pay his fees.
When his roommate finally opened his eyes, Taylor was sitting on his own bed, his phone in his hand as he stared at his bank balance. For the first time in his life, he was happy he wasn’t a spender. His father’s monthly allowance had been more than enough for him to pay for his expenses and then save some more.
Isaac blinked at him, rubbing his eyes. “Whatcho doing, bro? It’s too early.”
Taylor raised an eyebrow. “It’s ten in the morning.”
Isaac waved his hand at him. “See? Too early.”
He rolled his eyes and went back to his bank finances. Five grand was a lot, but not enough to get him through another two years at college. Not if he wanted to pay his fees and eat.
“Whatcho doing?” Isaac rose from his mattress and collapsed beside Taylor. He stared at Taylor’s phone. “Wow. You have that much money, bro?”
Taylor glanced at him with a frown. “That’s not enough to pay two years at college. It’s nowhere near enough money.”
“Nope, but it’d help.” Isaac yawned and stretched, his shirt riding up his body.
Taylor couldn’t help but stare at the bare skin on his stomach. Isaac was a handsome guy, but he wasn’t Taylor’s type. Taylor preferred dark-haired guys, rather than blonds like Isaac, but he could appreciate Isaac’s attractiveness. Girls tripped over each other trying to gain Isaac’s attention and Taylor could see why. He had those sharp cheekbones and square jaw that attractive people always seemed to have, and his chest was shaped like a god’s, with chiselled abs, big pecs, and smooth tanned skin.
“Like what you see, Burnham?” Isaac smirked at him.
Taylor rolled his eyes. “You’re not my type.”
“I’m everyone’s type.” Isaac shuffled backward until he rested against the wall. “What if I said I know how to help you with money?”
Taylor snorted. “I told you I don’t want to do porn.”
“I bet you’d be good at it.” Isaac waggled his eyebrows.
His cheeks grew hot and he glared at his roommate. “How would you know?”
“Are you a virgin, rich boy?”
“No, I’m not.” Taylor’s glare intensified. “But that doesn’t mean I want to do porn.”
Isaac waved his hand at him. “Whatever, bro. I’m not talking about porn anyway.”
“I’m not selling drugs either.”
His roommate laughed, his chest rumbling in deep chortles of mirth. “What kind of person do you think I am, Taylor?”
“Do you want me to answer that?” As soon as he said it, Taylor regretted it. Isaac hadn’t done anything wrong to him. Teasing aside, his roommate was a good man. He’d helped Taylor whenever he needed support. “Sorry,” he said regretfully.
Isaac didn’t seem offended. If anything, he chuckled harder. “Don’t apologize to me, bro. I know I seem the type, and I enjoy some weed every now and again, but no hard drugs for me.”
Taylor sighed. “So, what’s your idea?”
Isaac held up his finger and slid off the bed. He grabbed his jeans off the floor and pulled out his wallet from his pocket. Taylor watched him carefully as he tugged a card out of one of the card slots and threw it at him. Taylor caught it and stared down at the business card.
Dirty Mess. Food smut and hot kisses.
It didn’t have a picture on it, rather just a clip art of a sundae.
“What is this?” Taylor frowned at Isaac.
“It’s Dirty Mess. You want money? Become a messy boy.” Isaac shrugged and fell onto the bed beside Taylor again. He played on his phone until he flashed the screen at him.
A video played, showing a sexy, shirtless male sucking on his finger. The male smirked at the camera, letting his finger pop from his mouth. The camera zoomed out so the audience could see a glass of ice cream with hot fudge sitting in front of him on a table, and he reached for it, scooping some ice cream out with the same finger he’d just been sucking on.
Another man, dark-skinned with even darker hair, joined the first and they immediately fell into a deep kiss. The first male grabbed the second by the face, smudging the cold dessert along his cheek. It was a stark contrast against his skin—white against ebony—and the sight on camera alone was erotic. The kiss broke, and the first man ran his tongue along the ice cream, gathering it on his tongue before flashing it at the camera.
Taylor had seen enough. He threw the phone back at Isaac and glared. “So you are suggesting porn?”
Isaac stared up at the ceiling, exhaling. “It’s not porn.” He turned his gaze on Taylor. “It’s art.”
“I know porn can be art, but—”
“Bro, listen to me. Dirty Mess doesn’t do sex. You don’t get paid to have sex. It’s erotic, sure, but the furthest they go is making out. The guys are shirtless, and sometimes they get down to their underwear, but there are no cock shots. It’s just erotic kisses with food.”
“With food?” Taylor snorted. He didn’t know whether he wanted to laugh or call Isaac insane. Maybe both. But if Isaac was insane, so was he because the video had his cock twitching in his pants and his blood sizzling. “Food smut is a thing?”
“Hot guys and food are a thing, yeah.” Isaac smirked. “And you get paid a lot of money to be in one of those videos. I’m talking thousands of dollars at a time.”
That had Taylor’s interest. He frowned at his roommate. “Thousands of dollars?”
“Hell yeah, bro, and the more popular you are, the more videos you star in, and the more mooch you get.” Isaac looked too smug for his own good.
Taylor cocked his head, eyeing Isaac carefully. They may have been roommates for over a year, but Taylor only just realized that he didn’t know much about Isaac. They’d barely spent any time together, with Taylor preferring to stay in the dorm and Isaac a social butterfly, partying with the crowds. Taylor always assumed his roommate was straight, but now he wondered. Isaac knew a lot about this Dirty Mess business.
“Do you watch these videos often?”
Isaac chuckled, threw his phone on the bed, and patted him on the back. “Taylor, my boy, I star in them.”
Taylor startled in shock, eyes widening. “What?”
“How else do you think I afford to go here?” Isaac crossed his arms and grinned smugly. “I don’t come from a loaded family like you, bro.”
“You… wow.” Taylor glanced at Isaac’s phone again. The video was paused on the two men kissing, with the ice cream being smudged between their lips. It was erotic, and he could see how it was considered art. He supposed it took a lot of finesse to make something so messy look sensual.
“You’re pretty. I think you’d be popular with the crowd.” Isaac shrugged.
“Thank you?” Taylor frowned. He needed money, but he wasn’t sure he was desperate enough to do this. He told Isaac the truth when he said he wasn’t a virgin, but that didn’t mean he was adventurous either. Taylor couldn’t see himself as the type of person to make out with random guys for money.
“Just give it a go, Taylor. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to do it again.” Isaac snatched the card out of Taylor’s fingers and grabbed a pen off the desk. He wrote a name and phone number on the back of it. “Call this guy. He’ll organize a casting for you.”
“I don’t think….” Taylor licked his lips nervously. His heart thumped rapidly against his ribs at the mere thought of getting shirtless in front of a camera.
Isaac snorted. “Calm down, bro. It’s just a suggestion. These guys are laid-back. They aren’t going to make you do anything you don’t want to.”
Taylor stared at the card Isaac held out toward him. He hesitantly took it and stared down at Isaac’s horrible scribble. Tate, the name read. He glanced from the writing to his roommate and back down again.
“You okay? You look like you’re about to pass out.” Isaac slapped him on the back. “Like I said, it’s just a suggestion. How are you a theater major if you pale at the thought of being on camera?”
“There’s a difference. When I’m onstage… I’m not me. I’m someone else, you know?” Taylor swallowed around his dry throat. He’d always hated cameras, which is why he chose theater over film and television.
“You don’t have to be you at Dirty Mess, Taylor. Be someone else.” Isaac shrugged. “Be Harde Ryder, or Roman Starr.”
Taylor frowned at him. Self-assurance radiated off Isaac, and it made Taylor feel small. He wondered why he couldn’t be that confident.
Isaac rose from the bed, making it squeak. He grabbed his phone and stretched again, flashing skin at Taylor. “Listen, bro, we don’t know each other that well, but it’s not hard to figure you out. Rich boy, grew up with parents who had a kid out of requirement. Never got the parents’ love, am I right?”
“No, you’re not actually.” Taylor glared at him.
Isaac waved a hand at him. “Close enough, I’m sure. Daddy cut you off, you said it yourself. You need money and I’m offering you a chance.”
“Are you gay?” Taylor glanced up at him in question.
His roommate snorted with laughter. “Because I do videos for Dirty Mess, I must be gay?”
“Well you assume I’m a rich boy who was never loved by his parents, why can’t I assume you’re gay because you do this?” Taylor waved the card at him.
“I’m not gay, bro.”
Taylor raised an eyebrow in disbelief.
Isaac leaned closer, smirk teasing his lips. He pressed his hands into the mattress, on either side of Taylor’s thighs. “I’m not gay,” he repeated once his face hovered close—too close—to Taylor’s. “I’m bisexual.”
Isaac tapped Taylor on the nose with his finger and moved away. “Give it some thought. Maybe give Tate a call. He’s a good guy. Now, I gotta go to class.” He grabbed his backpack and sent Taylor a wink before he left the dorm room.
As soon as the door closed, Taylor let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. He stared at the card in his fingers. There weren’t many options and if Isaac was telling the truth, and these actors were paid a couple of thousand for every video, it was the perfect opportunity. But Taylor didn’t do well on camera. Even as a kid, he froze when his dad or mom took a photo or video of him. The only time they could get good quality videos was when they filmed him without him knowing about it.
He sighed. He had no choice. His dad wasn’t going to budge anytime soon, not with Daya in his ear. His dad’s new wife was as manipulative as they come.
Taylor seized his phone and typed in Tate’s number. He stole a deep breath, before tapping the Call button.