Hurts So Good
I know some folks do soundtracks for their stories and while I sometimes am inspired by lyrics in a song, or the feeling of the music, I don’t often have specific songs that goes with a story. However, Hurts So Good by John Cougar Mellencamp is the theme song for Bruised. Though in this case, the characters came first, with their story for me to tell, not the song.
The inspiration for Bruised came from this guy I saw briefly and the thought that flitted through my head – wouldn’t he bruise beautifully? As soon as I had Billy in my head, the song Hurts So Good immediately began to play on repeat in my mind (and then on the computer whenever I was writing.) In fact to this day, all I have to do is think about Bruised, or Billy and Johnson and that song starts up in my head.
It doesn’t hurt the association between the song and story, that Johnson is a mechanic, an everyday working guy and I associate Mellencamp’s songs (especially the earlier ones) with that kind of everyday guy. Johnson is just a guy, but he can make Billy hurt so good.
There’s only one or two other stories I can think of that have a song that strongly associated with them, and those are because they were inspired in some way by the song. So Bruised is special that way!
So when you read Bruised, let Hurts So Good run through your mind (or play in the background!)
Smut fixes everything
“I’m the beat-up Jeep,” he said pointing to his baby, which wasn’t much to look at but which ran like a dream. ’Sides, no one looked twice at her, and she’d never once been stolen.
Billy nodded and climbed up into the Jeep. “Ah, the CJ7s. My best friend Mike had one when we were kids. Loved toodling around in it. Damn thing ran like a top.”
“She’s a good ride.” Johnson stroked the steering wheel before starting her up, just like he always did. “So where am I taking you?” He turned to Billy and smiled, ignoring the voice in his head that had suggested he tack on ‘my place?’ to the end of that. Slow down Johnson, you just met the man.
The black hat was tipped up, blue eyes hidden behind dark glasses. Fuck, that was a hot goddamn look. “If you could drop me at Eleventh and Blackthorne? I’m itching for some chili and cornbread, and I’ll walk home after a beer or two.”
“It’s authentic there, is it?” he asked, pulling out of the lot and turning left.
“It’s not Momma’s, but it’ll do a good ole boy in a pinch, and they serve their beer ice cold and the music’s good.” He got another of those smiles, slow and honey-sweet. “They have a blackberry cobbler that’s better than sex, when you add the ice cream.”
“Better than sex? Now that’s something a man’s gotta try to believe.” He gave Billy another smile and a bit of a wink, flirting like crazy. Hell, Billy was the one who’d brought up sex and if he couldn’t make it to the party at Dottie’s, he could still get some flirting in. Unless his ’dar was way off, Billy was as queer as he was. A gay cowboy. Who’d have known?
“Well, you’re welcome to join me, if you’re at loose ends. ’S not healthy for a man to drink alone.” The offer sounded honest enough, although he couldn’t imagine that drawl sounding…not.
Johnson revised his evening plans. He could have dinner and a couple of drinks with Billy, and if that didn’t lead anywhere, he was still good to go for the later parties. Not Dottie’s, but he could find a place or two where he might get lucky. “You do make it sound like a good deal.”
“Yeah? Excellent.” Another smile.
Visit the next stop on the tour to read more of this story!
Blurb for Bruised:
Johnson and Billy come from different parts of the country, different backgrounds and different places in their lives. Maybe different is exactly what they both need.
Johnson figures it’s got to be a sign when cowboy Billy shows up at his garage after hours, just as he’s about to go find someone to spend the night with. He’s horny enough that a lot of guys would look good, but Billy seems special somehow.
Billy thinks Johnson’s the hottest ticket he’s seen since he moved to California from Texas, and after a good meal and some good fun, he takes Johnson home. They both find out they’re getting more than they bargained for. Can Johnson and Billy figure out why they feel so connected and can they make it last once reality sets back in?
Publisher's Note: This book was previously released by another publisher. It has been revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound Publishing.
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About Sean Michael:
Often referred to as "Space Cowboy" and "Gangsta of Love" while still striving for the moniker of "Maurice," Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organising his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs.
While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and pursuing the kama sutra by channelling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to "Chicago".
A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.
Barring any of that? He'll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.