From the unproofed copy
Nikolas laughed, the sound light, unforced. “And I wondered if you were straight. So, this is the getting to know you portion of the evening, right? What else do you want to know?”
Ashe didn’t even blink, didn’t think. He just blurted out, “Why do you do what you do?”
The long look Nikolas gave him was as direct and as serious as the silence that came with it. Then those inky lashes fell over Nik’s eyes. “Why does anyone do their job? I’m good at it.”
“I’m sorry.” Ashe didn’t know what else to say, since it seemed to be a sore spot. “I mean, I’m a bartender because I don’t have the attention span for anything else. And because I like to sleep in.”
“Really?” Nik glanced back up at him, a smile beginning to form on his beautiful mouth. “Lazy and bartender don’t go together.”
“Hey, I never said I was lazy.”
“And I’m not a slut.” The flat words surprised him, did make him blink now.
“I never said you were. I mean, I didn’t mean to give that impression.” Ashe tried hard to get the words in the right order. “I guess it just doesn’t jive with what I know about the lifestyle. Which is, admittedly, not much.”
“What do you mean?” Now Nik sipped his coffee, meeting his gaze directly, which he guessed was an improvement.
“Well, I thought subs liked to have one Master, or whatever.” He’d read books. Real ones, not those terrible ones that treated BDSM like a full contact sport. Working at the Bloodrose had been hugely educational.
Nikolas’ frown cleared up, a smile glinting in those clear gray eyes. “Well, see, that’s just it. I’m not a sub.”
“Uh…” He had no idea what to say to that. Nik let people tie him up, beat him, bind his cock, put plugs in his ass. How was that not subby?
“Seriously.” Leaning forward, Nik lowered his voice. “I’m a bottom, right? I like spanking and assplay and stuff, but I’m not interested in service. I have no desire to sit naked at someone’s feet all night with my hands behind my neck or something.”
“Okay.” Ashe was totally out of his league. As in, he’d never thought of his own sex life in more complicated terms than whether he liked to pitch or catch.
Ashe was a pitcher.
Hope I piqued your interest!