Anniversary Shenanigans: Author Visit + Giveaway - Sidney Bell

Sidney Bell took time out from promoting Rough Trade to write a fic that's sure to tickle your banter bone! Also be sure to enter in the giveaway for a paperback copy of Hard Line. 3 winners will be selected and the giveaway is open internationally!

And It Comes With a Pool by Sidney Bell

Ben parked several houses down from the address Matty had texted him, squinting through the cool, blue nighttime to make sure he was in the right place. They weren’t that far from his own house, and the familiar expansive yards and mature oaks hinted that this street probably had the same stringent neighborhood watch too. The thought made him wince.

Eventually, they’d get busted. It might be old hat for Matty, but Ben would be facing serious career consequences in addition to the legal ramifications. He imagined Dr. Yates’s crusty voice asking, “Why would you break into someone’s back yard to have illicit sex with a man you barely know in a pool?”

His heart thundered in his chest, driven forward by two competing thoughts: I can’t stay, we’ll get caught. And: I can’t leave, not before I’ve had him again.

If only there were a third option. One that meant getting to fuck Matty and not going to jail.

He got out of the car, shut the door as quietly as possible, and tried to amble down the sidewalk like he had no criminal impulses whatsoever. Matty was waiting for him in the shadows between two houses, and he broke into a grin at the sight of Ben. That grin did terrible things to Ben’s body, made him stupid, made him hard.

“You came.” Matty stole a quick kiss, his stubble scratchy. He smelled like he usually did, like whiskey and sweat, like he’d been out clubbing for hours, dancing with strangers in the dark amid pounding music, maybe even asking them the same question he’d asked Ben once: wanna take a risk with me?

Ben had said yes, of course. He’d been burning off a hellish week of meeting new patients while putting the final touches on a response to his first peer review request for the fucking New England Journal of Medicine and still trying to find his footing in the prestigious—if extremely uptight—cardiology practice he’d recently joined. Hearing wanna take a risk with me from that sweet mouth had been terrifying and attractive in equal measure.

If you asked Ben’s body, the answer was still yes, might always be yes. Just having Matty here in his arms, that body so limber, arching shamelessly so their hips made contact, his smile sly and teasing, was all it ever seemed to take.

“I love this,” Matty was saying in that rough, low voice. He nipped at Ben’s jaw, sending heat down his spine. “You’re always so fucking ready. Let’s go.”

By the time Ben could put thoughts together again, Matty had vaulted himself up and over the privacy fence into the back yard with surprising grace for someone who was no doubt half-lit. A moment later a scratching sound came and the gate opened up.

“Ta da,” Matty whispered, then led the way toward the pool, which was dark.

Dark and—empty?

“There’s no water,” Ben whispered back.

Matty seemed momentarily confounded. “Huh.” Then he shrugged and dropped neatly into the pool anyway. “Marco,” he called, far too loudly considering what they were doing.

Ben couldn’t remember if his malpractice insurance had a professional conduct clause. It didn’t stop him from following.

He landed with a crunch of dead leaves beneath his feet, and the concrete all around them radiated cold and the reek of mold, but they were completely out of sight, at least.

“It smells,” Ben pointed out.

“Yeah, it’s pretty gross down here.” Matty reached out, sliding his fingers under Ben’s henley to trace lightly along his belly. “Mmm. Come here.”

“Wait. You think this is gross too?”

“Yeah.” Matty licked his way up Ben’s throat, his fingers dropping to tug on the button of his jeans. “Come on.”

Ben tried to keep his blood in his head instead of his dick. “Then what the hell are we doing down here?”

“Because it’s fun.” Matty blinked at him. “Isn’t it?”

“I mean, if you think the idea of cops and guard dogs is fun, sure.”

“Oh.” Matty seemed momentarily nonplussed. “You really don’t like this?”

“We’re in a stranger’s grody empty pool,” Ben said gently. “It’s not exactly my dream spot, no.”

“But it’s a pool. Pools are cool.”

“I know that. I have a pool. Mine even has water in it. I’m not here for the pool.”

“Then why—”

“I like you, asshole.”


“You can’t be that surprised that someone you’re sleeping with likes you.” Ben considered nearly a dozen quick, fumbling trysts in semi-public places and revised that assumption. If this was how Matty always had sex, no wonder he didn’t anticipate actual feelings forming.

“I’m sorry,” Matty murmured, his mouth soft and unhappy. “I thought we were having fun.”

“We were. Sort of. It’s just…” Ben took a deep breath and braced himself. “Is that all I am? Fun? Because I’d like to be more than that.”

Matty spun away with a groan, interlacing his fingers and resting them on top of his head. The move outlined the strength of his shoulders in his T-shirt, the fine muscles along his arms and back, and Ben swallowed hard. Part of him wished he’d never mentioned it. He’d be inside Matty by now, maybe, if he’d just kept his stupid mouth shut. Or he’d have Matty on his knees. Or he’d have Matty’s dick in his hand, hot and hard. He’d be listening to Matty’s sex noises, which were objectively a little stupid and whiny sounding, but they got Ben hot anyway. He liked the way Matty’s voice got high and thin when he was close, the way all of Matty’s scattered thoughts and energies cohered into a raw, rare focus.

“I need a beer,” Matty muttered, and lowered his arms. “Here’s the thing. The stuff I know about you, I like. But that doesn’t matter much, because I’m not the one who’s gonna have issues with us.”

“How do you figure?”

“You’re a doctor who does, like, Bowflex at six in the morning before you go save lives and shit. I’m a bartender who likes fucking in parks and partying and sleeping until two. I’m not cut out to be a doctor’s wife. I’m cool with that. I like being me, but I’m not sure you’re gonna agree in the long run. And it’s one thing to fuck a guy who thinks he’s slumming and another thing to try for something more with him.”

“I’m not slumming,” Ben said, stung.

“Sure you are,” Matty said easily. “I’m wearing a fucking slap bracelet with skulls on it.”

Ben made a face. “They’re not coming back, man.”

“You’ll see.” Matty’s smile was brief. “The point is I don’t know how to go to fundraisers.”

“You’re lucky you’re so damn pretty.” Ben touched Matty’s lower lip, and Matty kissed his thumb, soft and sweet. “Because you’re a pain in the ass. I just want to have sex with you in a bed sometimes and watch Game of Thrones together.”

“Really?” Matty’s brow furrowed.

“Exclusively,” Ben added, dropping his hand. “Exclusive is part of it.”

Matty didn’t say anything for a long moment. “Sex in a bed and Game of Thrones. That’s what you want?”

“Yeah. That’s what a relationship is, Matty. Frequent sex plus doing fun stuff together.”

“A relationship,” Matty said, the words careful, as if the shape of them was new in his mouth. “I could be in a relationship. I like Game of Thrones. I could be a relationship guy.”

“Jesus,” Ben muttered, even as his heart flopped over in his chest.

“No, I could,” Matty insisted. “I can watch television with you. I can pick you up when your car breaks down, and, and,, pay…bills? Is that…do we get a joint checking thing now?”

Ben shook his head, unable to stop a sappy smile from forming. “That stuff comes later, man.”

“Cool. You might have to give me, like, tips and shit. I’m kind of a relationship virgin.”

“Who’s Rocco then?” Ben’s hand landed on the spot where a tattoo of that name graced Matty’s shoulder. He’d always assumed Rocco was an ex, but if Matty had never done anything like this before, that couldn’t be right.

Matty’s face lit up. “Rocco’s my cat. He’s fucking awesome, Ben. He caught a woodpecker once, but he didn’t kill it because he has a heart made of butter. Best fucking cat that ever lived.”

Ben pressed his forehead against Matty’s collarbone and tried not to laugh too loudly. It would suck to get busted at this point.

“A relationship,” Matty repeated, sort of wonderingly. He leaned up and kissed Ben, the kind of chaste kiss that the idiot probably thought was relationship-appropriate. But somehow Matty’s tongue ended up in Ben’s mouth, the kiss going hot and biting and dirty enough that Ben was thinking maybe they should fuck right now after all since they were already here. He put his hands on Matty’s hips and tugged, bringing their bodies together, only to protest when Matty wiggled away.

“Nope, not here.” Matty laced their fingers together and squeezed. “I have it on good authority that there’s a pool with actual water in it somewhere in this neighborhood.”

How cute was that? Be sure to let Sidney know what you thought in the comments below!

Rough Trade is due out December 3rd! ICYMI here's a link to our 4.5 ❤️ review of it.

Quick-witted hustler Ghost is no stranger to living dangerously; survival has always been the name of the game.

He’s just always gone it alone.

Now he’s got the wrong people breathing down his neck, and the only way out demands placing his trust in the unlikeliest of heroes: Duncan Rook, a gruff cop whose ethics are as solid as his body.

Cozying up to a criminal is hardly what Duncan’s reputation on the force needs—especially when that criminal is temptation personified. Ghost is Duncan’s polar opposite, and the last person he expected to fall for.

So then why does every imaginable scenario for taking down their common enemy end with Ghost in his arms?

About the Author

Sidney Bell lives in the drizzly Pacific Northwest with her amazingly supportive husband. She received her MFA degree in Creative Writing in 2010, considered aiming for the Great American Novel, and then promptly started writing fanfiction instead. Eventually more realistic grown-ups convinced her to try writing something more fiscally responsible, which is how we ended up here. 

When she’s not writing, she’s playing violent video games, yelling at the television during hockey games, or supporting her local library by turning books in late.


We unicorns thank Sidney for helping us celebrate our fifth anniversary!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win a paperback copy of Hard Line! 3 winners will be chosen. Open internationally. The giveaway is open until 12:00AM (EST) 12/5/18. Shortly thereafter, we will contact a winner!

Please respond to the winning notification within 48 hours or we will choose another winner. Good luck!

Don't miss entering in our month long unicorn giveaway HERE! It ends 12/1/18!


  1. Loved it, thank you for sharing

  2. AngelaVR
    I enjoyed it. Thank you

  3. entering this giveaway for sure

  4. Nice, cute, sweet and i would love to read more about this couple.