It wasn’t like he’d never done this before…
Nicky Fender retired from sex work two years ago and never looked back. Then an offer he can’t refuse comes his way, and he agrees to one last exclusive arrangement. Good money and an apartment in Manhattan? He’d be a fool to turn that down.
The deal is dusk till dawn for two months. But once he meets Gideon—an older, quirky, autistic, filthy, uncertain businessman who wants to explore his sexuality—Nicky wishes sunrise would never come.
Title: We Have Till Dawn
Author: Cara Dee
Genre: Gay Romance
Tropes: Autism, Musician, Age Difference, Role Play, Family, First-Time Experience
“Let me get this straight,” I said, scanning the document. “The wife is the client? I mean, she’s the one setting her husband up with a male escort?”
“Correct.” Tina sat back as our server approached with dinner. “Well, her fiancé.”
I hummed and kept my mouth shut until we were alone again. Fuck, the pizza looked good. Of course, meeting with Tina meant it had to be some fancy pizza. She wouldn’t be caught dead with a regular slice. She wouldn’t be caught dead in Brooklyn either, which was why I’d met up with her in Manhattan at some swanky Italian place. But hey, she was buying.
“I’m waiting for the reason for why I’d agree,” I admitted bluntly. I hadn’t whored out my sweet ass in two years, and I was doing much better now. I worked three jobs for very little pay, I lived with my big brother, and I had practically no time for any hobbies. What’s not to love?
I’d thought about going back to Tina for some time, but whenever I considered it, there was this rock in the pit of my stomach that no amount of money could crush.
“I wanted you to see the requirements first,” she replied.
Well, there were a lot of them. I hadn’t gone through the entire list yet. After placing the document next to my plate, I cut into my fancy pizza and continued reading the list. There was plenty on hygiene, but nothing that went beyond what I was used to. I was to be blindfolded the whole time? All right… I’d never see the client’s face—or the client’s fiancé—which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“I get the impression from the client that the man wants to explore something before he agrees to marry her,” Tina revealed. I’d heard of weirder dynamics. “She hinted that it would be a one-time arrangement, and she placed emphasis on following instructions that seem to cover every inch of your body.”
“That’s a lot of exploring,” I pointed out. “He wants to meet with me four nights a week for two months.”
Tina lifted a shoulder in a slight shrug and sipped her wine.
More specifically, I had to be available for him between the hours of ten PM and six AM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
I scratched my ear.
The pay better be out of this world, ’cause I would have to quit at both Applebee’s and Starbucks. Not that I’d mourn those shifts, but I’d been at Applebee’s long enough to possibly make assistant manager when the current one quit next month. She was having a baby and moving to Jersey.
I stuck a piece of pizza into my mouth and eyed the requirements for safety, at which I almost choked on a pepperoni slice.
“How loaded is this couple?” I asked through a cough. The man demanded exclusivity, meaning I wasn’t allowed to be sexually active with anyone else for the duration of our arrangement. And that cost a fucking mint.
“Read on…” Tina smirked wryly.
I furrowed my brow—then spotted one of my few hard limits. I shook my head and wiped my mouth with the napkin. “No fucking way. Tina, you—no. Fuck this.”
I didn’t mess around without protection. Not a chance in hell.
“This is why I asked you, Nicky,” she told me patiently. “Considering your stance on protection and your sad little Facebook statuses on how single you are—” she ignored my glare “—not to mention that you’re not the type of guy who walks around with a string of hookups, I can count on you passing a screening with flying colors and taking on someone who wants exclusivity. You’re my only candidate.”
“Candidate to say no,” I retorted.
Tina adopted a smug expression and reached down to dig something out of her purse. “There’s a reason I wanted to save the perks for last,” she said. “Okay, so you know the requirements. An exclusive arrangement for both parties—during which you’re sexually active only with each other—four nights a week for two months. You won’t see him. He won’t violate your limits—”
“Going unprotected is a limit, Tina,” I grated. Fuck, I was getting pissed. Part of me had carried foolish hope that this would be such a golden case that I’d jump on the opportunity and earn some good dough before the rock in my stomach returned.
“And when you’re an escort dealing with multiple clients a week, nothing else would make sense,” she answered, extending another document to me. “I wouldn’t even try to approach my other sex workers with this, Nicky. You’re the exception only because you quit the field.”
“Hmpf.” I cast a disgruntled look her way before I lowered my gaze to the piece of paper.
Three grand a week—minus Tina’s finder’s fee of ten percent—plus living arrangements. There would be a studio apartment in my name, so to speak, rent and utilities paid for by the client. Corner of West 39th and Ninth Avenue—not a shabby address at all. One of my best friends lived in the Garment District. Adjacent to Hell’s Kitchen where another friend lived.
A Manhattan address and $3,000 a week for two months.
A guy could do worse.
I shifted in my seat and cleared my throat. “Is there, uh, any way to ensure safety by making sure the guy gets tested too?”
“Of course, Nicky.” The compassion in Tina’s crystal-blue eyes reminded me of the fact that she ran an ethical business based on choice and vetting. She didn’t headhunt sex workers; they had to come to her, and they—we—had to go through a selection process before she could, in good conscience, give us work.
Today, I was an exception for her, and my answer would be an exception too.
’Cause it looked like I was moving to Manhattan.
Most, if not all, of the Cara Dee books I’ve read have been BDSM in nature. This one wasn’t- but it did involve kink and a sex worker. It is also set in NY, which I enjoy since it is “my” city (but I live in the ‘burbs).
This book had so much! First time gay, autism, rich, poor, family, kink, sex work…whew!
Nicky is a former sex worker who’s former boss/manager contacts him for a unique job. Five nights a week for two months from about 10pm to 6am. There are rules to follow including a blindfold and no talking. Nicky doesn’t want to do it really, but the money is just way too good. AND he would get a nice studio apartment in Manhattan for the duration. Meaning he can move out of his brother’s place in Brooklyn at least for a little while.
Gideon is super rich, has autism, is bisexual but never had the chance to explore, and is engaged to be married to a woman. Apparently she is giving him this time to explore that side of himself before they marry.
And so they begin with a bit of a clinical association. Nicky is blindfolded, lights off, no talking and he isn’t allowed to reciprocate or touch. Honestly, it was pretty hot. Because Nicky wanted so much to reciprocate, make noise, encourage. One of the hottest submission scenes that wasn’t even meant to be a submission scene.
In between his time with Gideon, we see Nicky with his brother quite a bit. They work together at his brother’s music school in Brooklyn. We also get their Nonna- and trust me, if you are from NY or NJ, you know a Nonna just like her- and their father. Gideon remains a mystery. Which is interesting since he is such a mystery to Nicky. We are only seeing Gideon as Nicky sees him.
But Nicky wears Gideon down slowly. If Gideon really wants to explore this side- he needs to let Nicky participate. Being that Nicky works with some kids with autism, and talks to his brother who has more experience with autism, he really tries to understand what Gideon is good with, not good with, how far to push him, when to step back. And he did it all so respectfully. There was never any condescension. They seemed to fit together like 2 puzzle pieces.
Nicky and Gideon overcoming what they thought were obstacles was swoony. There was a misunderstanding, but no big drama. No big fight and weeks of angsting over each other. They realized what they had together was special- even after two months.
This was one of the most “real” connections I have read in a long time.
Back to the NYC thing. I loved how authentic 99% of it was. Brooklyn vs Manhattan, “the neighborhood”, the crazy mix of languages, everyone knows everyone and gets in your business and rumors spread like wildfire. Even most of the slang was awesome. There was only one slang Italian curse word was wrong, but not many will know that.
This is definitely my favorite of hers. I really hope Nicky’s brother gets his story. He deserves a happily ever after as well.
4.5 pieces of eye candy
I’m often awkwardly silent or, if the topic interests me, a chronic rambler. In other words, I can discuss writing forever and ever. Fiction, in particular. The love story—while a huge draw and constantly present—is secondary for me, because there’s so much more to writing romance fiction than just making two (or more) people fall in love and have hot sex.
There’s a world to build, characters to develop, interests to create, and a topic or two to research thoroughly.
Every book is a challenge for me, an opportunity to learn something new, and a puzzle to piece together. I want my characters to come to life, and the only way I know to do that is to give them substance—passions, history, goals, quirks, and strong opinions—and to let them evolve.
I want my men and women to be relatable. That means allowing room for everyday problems and, for lack of a better word, flaws. My characters will never be perfect.
Wait…this was supposed to be about me, not my writing.
I’m a writey person who loves to write. Always wanderlusting, twitterpating, kinking, cooking, baking, and geeking. There’s time for hockey and family, too. But mostly, I just love to write.
Find Cara on social media here: https://www.caradeewrites.com/cdwlandingpage