Monday, September 18, 2017

Blog Tour: Torin by Lance Withton (Guest Post + Giveaway)

Title:  Torin
Author: Lance Withton
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: September 18, 2017
Heat Level: 5 - Erotica
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 40300
Genre: Contemporary, NineStar Press, LGBT, prostitution, sex work, degradation, kink, dirty talk

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Torin’s anxiety has made it difficult for him to navigate romantic relationships, so instead of trying, he keeps himself occupied with his work. But just because he doesn’t chase relationships doesn’t mean he doesn’t want something, even if he has to get it with a dash of taboo.

At Pillar, the only all-male brothel in the city, Torin makes an appointment with a charming sex worker who goes by the name “Davies.” It becomes hard for Torin to keep his emotions out of the intimacy, and his feelings become more complicated when a designer he works with starts to let on that his interest is more than platonic.


Lance Withton © 2017
All Rights Reserved
First Encounter

“Please look over the document to make sure we’ve got everything right.”

Mr. M slid the paper across the desk. Torin took it with nervous hands and glanced over the list.

While in Pillar, the city’s only all-male brothel and where he currently sat across from the establishment’s owner, Torin had spent far longer than he liked filling out an electronic document to make certain he’d vetoed everything he was uninterested in or made uncomfortable by. A summation of the results were now on the paper in his hands. The details on paper made the situation more real, somehow.

Torin had taken penetrative sex off the table, as well as oral sex and even undressing or touching below the waist. He’d made certain that his chosen worker wasn’t contractually able to do anything other than kiss him, and he was happy the owner and the lead screener hadn’t treated him oddly because of it.

“Have you finished reading?”

Torin glanced up at the owner, caught a glimpse of his gray hair, and focused back on the paper in his hand. He nodded.

“Do you need to make any amendments?”

Torin took a few minutes to reread the document, nodded to reassure himself he’d filled things out correctly, and then told Mr. M that he had no changes.


Torin released a nasal sigh and looked up at the owner. Mr. M was more personable than he’d expected the head of a brothel to be, but this was a working-class brothel, manned by desk staff in a front lounge while the rest of the building was hidden behind doors that led to a veritable maze of hallways. Mr. M was in many ways like a grandfather, which Torin thought should have been more unsettling than it was.

“Do you have any further questions?”

Torin swallowed and put the paper back on the desk. “I, ah… I do get a choice in who I—who I want to work with, don’t I?”

“Of course.” Mr. M opened a filing drawer in his desk and flicked through the files for several seconds before he finally pulled a few onto the table. He held them up one by one, opened them in front of himself, away from Torin’s eyes, and shuffled the contents. “Here are the best options for your specific desires. I’ve put the modest photos up front, so if you dig deeper, you’ll have to deal with something more provocative than you’d like.”

Torin nodded while he slid the files over to himself.

He glanced at the name on the tab of the first one: Holland. He opened the folder. On the left was a photo of a young redheaded man, sitting on a barstool in a photo room and laughing. He seemed sweet. Torin looked to the right and read the list of his specialties. Intimacy, anal and oral sex, age play, and a few more things Torin didn’t care to process. He slid the file aside.

The second file was labeled Pisces. Its inner left-hand side displayed a picture of a man who could have been twenty years old at most. His hair was dyed ocean blue and he was sprawled out on grass, hands tucked behind his head. If nothing else, he seemed mischievous. Like Holland, his specialties included intimacy and oral and anal sex, but beyond that, things strayed into fetish territory. Torin snapped the file shut. Across from him, Mr. M chuckled.

Torin picked up the third and final file.

“I would recommend Davies the most,” Mr. M said. Torin glanced up at his smiling face. “I hear he’s the best kisser.”

Torin gulped and opened the file. As he’d come to expect, there was a professional photo on the left. This photo was like Holland’s—Davies was on a barstool in a white studio. He was leaning over his knees, fingers laced and forearms resting on his thighs. He had common black hair and common brown eyes, but there was something about his cheekbones and his grin that Torin liked. He swallowed, hesitated, and lifted the corner of the picture to see the one beneath it. It was also modest, though was far more suggestive than the previous picture. Davies was prone on a bed, head lifted so he could look into the camera, and his fingers were laced under his chin. His eyes were half shut, and the smile on his face was nearly a smirk.

The right listed Davies’s specialties, but Torin didn’t read them because the last two lists had made him lose interest. He closed the file and set it on top of the other two.

“I’ll take Davies,” he said.

“Excellent.” Mr. M collected the files and stacked them on his side of the desk. “Does the agreement cover what you are and aren’t looking for?”

Torin glanced over the document a final time. “Yes.” He paused and looked up at Mr. M. “And this agreement… the—Davies has to follow it exactly, right?”

“Of course. And if at any point you decide that you don’t want to do something allowed by the contract, let him know. Even if you can’t say no physically or verbally, he’ll check in with you every now and then to make sure you’re all right. If you choose to see him repeatedly, you two will figure each other out and routine check-ins might become unnecessary or might happen only rarely.”

For no reason other than he was uncomfortable, Torin looked back down at the paper on the desk in front of him. “Do you—ah, do you have a pen I can use?”


Mr. M opened his drawer and handed him what must have been a fifty-dollar pen. Torin stared at it for several seconds before signing his name on the provided line and then dating his signature. There were a few pages after the basic agreement, listing certain rules and legally pertinent information, which Torin skimmed for anything alarming. He initialed and dated those pages before he handed the paper and pen to Mr. M.

Mr. M stood, and Torin followed his lead to the rear exit of the room, which led to the administrative hallway separated from the lounge for client confidentiality.

“I hope we’ll see you again soon,” Mr. M said.

Torin felt comforted by his smile. “You will,” he said. He offered his own smile. Mr. M opened the door for him, and after a farewell, they parted.

Torin headed down the hallway to the end where Ms. Madison’s office was located. She was one of two people who handled scheduling and was the only one in today. He stopped in front of her closed door and knocked with his shaking hand. He was going to do this. Torin was going to book time with a sex worker, and he wasn’t even going to have sex with him.

“Come in!” Ms. Madison called, and while he opened the door, Torin wondered how he’d gotten to the point in his life that he’d become so desperate for a shred of intimacy that he was paying someone to give it to him.

Ms. Madison’s office was half the size of Torin’s bedroom, and Torin lived in a midtown apartment. The woman wore cat-eye glasses the same red as her nail polish and had her hair up in a puffball of a bun. She and Torin worked out an afternoon appointment three weeks from then, after Torin left work. The following day was a free day for him. He thought he might need a day to ground himself after the experience. His nerves tended to get the best of him.


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Deleted scene with commentary - Why was the scene deleted?

The original prologue. It was cut down because I felt there was too much expository musing going on to explain Ben’s state of mind.

Sergeant Ben Griers stepped through the sparkling glass double doors of the courthouse and squinted into the brightness of a beautiful fall day. He looked around, enjoying the sedate pace of a midmorning in Newnan. Unless he had a court summons Ben never ventured into the town on a mid-week day. Downtown was strangely peaceful, as if every last human on earth had suddenly vanished into thin air, leaving a tranquil, perfect world behind. There wasn’t so much as a single car moving along Greenville Street.

Ben knew that, in reality, everyone was tucked away in the offices filling the surrounding buildings, working away busily at filing and desk jobs, keeping the administrative center of Coweta County humming. His brain knew all this, but for a moment he still felt goosed.
Shaking off the eerily apocalyptic feeling, and with his mind now firmly on the journey back to Corinth, Ben made his way down the marble courthouse steps, his black dress shoes clicking loudly. For court days the boss preferred them to wear business attire. “Dress to impress” was Captain Wiley’s motto, which made the entire Corinth police department roll their eyes whenever he uttered it. Ben glanced with disdain at the shoes he never wore except for trials and funerals. They were pinching his toes.

Helen likes them though, he remembered suddenly. But after the latest altercation over breakfast that morning he didn’t want to think about his wife, so he pushed that thought away, too.

Ben patted his pockets for the car keys. The slim gray suit jacket was as unfamiliar as the shoes, and it took him a moment to locate the keychain that included the one for his Toyota Prius. Still squinting in the unseasonably bright sunshine Ben tried to insert the key into the door lock. He almost wished he’d brought his sunglasses, but he never wore them on duty, and it hadn’t even occurred to him to look for them before leaving the house. In his opinion a policeman with sunglasses looked like something out of a bad Southern cop movie – the gum-chewing, gun toting vigilante of the public’s fevered imagination – and Ben hated that image.

When he was finally behind the wheel he reached for the radio. He liked being alone in the car, but hardly ever got the chance to be. So he made the most of it now and tuned in to his favorite country music station. Ben loved how country songs told a whole story, in just three minutes or so, and you could lose yourself in half a dozen different worlds on your way to work. Jason, his partner and fellow sergeant at Corinth PD, would have rolled his eyes at him and called him an old man when Friends in Low Places started blaring from the speakers at high volume. Helen would have turned the radio off without comment, preferring a frosty silence to Garth Brooks.

There we go again, Ben thought, annoyed with himself. Helen. Could he ever not think about her for five minutes? As he started the car and set off down Greenville Street Ben’s mind returned to the court case for which he had just given his testimony. The statement, barely more than a confirmation of the date and time at which the case had been logged at Corinth PD, had been followed by a cross-examination of the defendant by the victim’s lawyer. Ben had been allowed to remain in the courtroom since his role in the case had been marginal. He had written up the arrest record when the main detective in the case had brought the defendant to the station on a cold December night the year before.

“Why,” the attorney had asked the defendant, “did you go back to your ex-wife’s house, even though you were aware that simply by being at the property you were breaking the restraining order’s conditions?”

The defendant, a stocky man in his late twenties with sallow skin and an untidy haircut, who, after breaking said restraining order had attacked and raped his former spouse, had looked down at his lap. “Don’t like being alone,” he’d mumbled.

A curious mix of emotions had flooded Ben at that moment. Was he feeling sorry for the guy? Or had the word alone reminded him too much of his own home life?

Now he shifted in the worn leather car seat, suddenly uncomfortable. He caught his own wistful glance in the rear view mirror. You’re not lonely, are you? Ben silently asked his reflection. Sure, he and Helen fought, and sure, they had problems. But they would never end up like that couple, with their life in ruins and violence the only form of communication still at their disposal.

No, Ben decided. He didn’t feel sorry for that guy. He had merely picked up on the defendant’s distress, which was only natural. Empathy makes you a good cop, his dad was fond of saying, and Ben wholeheartedly believed that. William Griers was the best police officer Ben had ever known.

Promising himself to be nicer to his wife Ben determinately pushed away the depressing relationship ruminations and focused instead on the road before him, and the duties awaiting him at the station.

Meet the Author

Lance resides in the desert of Southern California, sees a minimum of 50 Joshua trees daily, and is surprised every time it rains. He fiddles with stories almost daily and has dozens, if not hundreds, of unfinished ideas lying around in his writing folder. When not trying to write something that keeps him interested, he spends his time whiling the day away with video games and related media.

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