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In near-future Chicago, virtual reality is an escape from the grit and grime of everyday life.

Lucky Amonte will be paying off his VR gaming system forever, but it’s worth it to experience his dirtiest fantasies with anonymous strangers in the Drift. After work and in the game, he’s LuckyStrike—the androgynous, chubby fashionisto who fiercely rocks big hoop earrings and flashy ensembles. He also craves rough sex, a little humiliation and dominance, and he’s finally found the perfect virtual partner in sexy, mysterious Bishop.

Jamie Bishop spent most of his twenties incarcerated for protecting someone he loved. Now he’s stuck in a thankless job delivering pizzas and passing coded messages for his shady boss. Life isn’t kind to ex-felons, but in the Drift, he’s simply Bishop. Clean-cut and average. No prison tats. No brawny, intimidating physique. And there, he has Lucky, whose desires align perfectly with his own.

When their fantasy and real lives collide, Bishop is forced to decide—either play it safe and keep a low profile or make a move and find out whether their virtual chemistry is more than just a game. But drawing Lucky into his world could put both their lives on the line.

COVER REVEAL: Bishop’s Move

Santino Hassell & Piper Vaughn

Expected Release Date: 19 March 2018

“True love and happiness is possible when you find the person who accepts you in every way.” —Santino Hassell and Piper Vaughn

A brand new near-future erotic romance series is coming from authors Santino Hassell and Piper Vaughn, and I am so honoured to share with you the stunning cover of the first book in the series—Bishop’s Move—as well as the first chapter. But be warned, it is super HOT. 🔥

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Chapter One


Sliding into the Drift always felt like an electric shock—a sharp, sudden spark that left every nerve alight and every fine body hair briefly standing on end. By now, I expected the familiar rough shiver and the accompanying mental rubber-band-snap of my brain and body syncing with the Virtual Drift gaming system once I turned on the sleek black-and-silver headset.

I didn’t so much choose my avatar as sink into it, my mind absorbed into the entity I played within the game. Thanks to the electrodes in my headset, when Drifting, I literally became LuckyStrike. I saw, heard, felt, and spoke through my avatar. It was a sensory experience unlike any virtual reality system I’d ever used before, and so far, I was completely addicted.

Logging into Novo Society—the most popular social game in the Drift—took nothing more than a thought. In a blink, the real world vanished and I stood in the virtual studio apartment I’d purchased using Drift credits.

To call the place spartan was being generous, but I didn’t play the game for fancy digs. I used the system mainly for social interaction and sex, with the occasional fantasy role-playing game thrown in. Tonight, as every Friday for the past two months, had been reserved for me and Bishop. Our requirements were simple: four walls and a lockable door. Anything else I wanted, Bishop gave me. With just the right amount of roughness.

I needed him tonight. It’d taken every ounce of willpower not to sign into the game until a couple of minutes before our usual five p.m. meeting time. I knew myself. Knew logging in early would only increase my frustration. Even expecting Bishop’s knock at any second, I stalked the perimeter of the apartment like a caged animal, shaking out my limbs, the bangles at my wrists jangling with the agitated movements. Restless energy flowed over my virtual skin, humming like power lines. It had been a bad week—the worst week—and now, with the promise of release so near, my anxiety threatened to shake me apart.

Half an hour passed.

Fuck fuck fuck.

Where was he?

I hadn’t felt this frantic since the very first time we’d played together. Two months ago, I’d been so desperate, so starved for someone to take control and use me like I longed to be used. I’d been coasting by on good enough, wasting my time playing with wannabe Doms. Then Bishop had walked into Forum—Novo Society’s most popular virtual nightclub. I’d brought him to this apartment, he’d put me on my knees, and it had been perfect.

So perfect I probably thought about it too much, and yet I knew tonight I’d be asking him if we could discuss our arrangement, find another gap somewhere in both our schedules. Some way to make this more than just a once-weekly thing.

I had no idea what Bishop did with his time outside of the game. We didn’t talk about those things. Ever. When we were together, I saved my breath for begging. And Bishop, he liked to hear me beg. But now that I’d had a taste of the sweet, heady relief Bishop could provide, it was getting harder and harder to endure the seven-day stretches without him.

Surely he could find a way to free up another evening. He had to crave this as much as I did. He had to. Our virtual chemistry was far too intense to be one-sided.

I stopped in the middle of the room, the bangles on my wrists clinking into place as I dropped my arms to my sides. Chandelier earrings hung from my lobes, and I felt them swaying and tinkling lightly in the wake of my abrupt stillness.

I liked the soft sound. I liked the way they made me feel. And here in the game, I could wear them. I didn’t have to be the buttoned up version of Lucky. The one who spent anywhere from forty to sixty hours a week in a thankless IT job where I felt like my soul was slowly being crushed beneath a white-collar facade and the weight of other people’s expectations.

LuckyStrike might have wild, lavender hair, pointed elf ears, and creeping vine and ivy tattoos, but other than those minor alterations, he was me in all my fierce, fat, thick-thighed glory. And Bishop accepted all of me. My size. The makeup and nail polish, the jewelry. Every distinct element of my personal style, which had evolved from forcing myself into the clothing people expected young boys to wear to simply dressing in whatever the hell made me feel good, regardless of how fashion designers and retailers gendered those specific items.

I needed that. To be accepted for me, even if it was a slightly fanciful version of myself. I didn’t exactly lack for confidence, but I spent so much time maintaining a charade and wearing a stifling, colorless disguise. Just another cog in the big corporate machine being forced to blend, blend, blend. I only got to be the real Lucky after business hours, and only a handful of people knew that Lucky—including Bishop.

I needed him. Tonight more than ever. So where the hell was he?

I glanced at the clock mounted above a dresser that stored the clothes I spent most of my game credits on. Bishop was over forty-five minutes late. That was a first for him. He probably had a good excuse, but I was too damned antsy to stand around here waiting for him.

I left the apartment, tromping down the stairs in steel-toed, five-buckle combat boots. I’d paired them with a teal sheath dress, canary yellow leggings, and the ripped and patched jean jacket I’d modeled after the one I owned in real life.

In Novo, no one would ever look twice at a guy in a dress. All things considered, my fashion choices and body mods were fairly tame. Some players had demon horns, tails, forked snake tongues, and bright-red skin. If you could think it, you could be it in the game, but I liked my appearance enough that I’d only made a few small cosmetic changes. The hair, the ears, the tattoos. I didn’t require anything else to distinguish myself.

As I walked the neighborhood, heading toward Forum and the friends I knew I’d find there, I kept an eye out for Bishop. To my surprise, I spotted him on the very next block, engaged in a discussion with a dude whose avatar was the epitome of cyberpunk.

Next to the guy’s outlandish appearance, Bishop stood out. Then again, he always did, because his avatar was so… well, ordinary. Tall, dark hair, dark eyes. Clean-cut. Dressed to the nines in a suit and cashmere trench coat. In real life, he’d cut a stylish, if ultimately forgettable, figure. In Novo Society, where almost everyone customized their avatar to be something outrageous and attention-seeking, as with Mr. CyberPunk over there, Bishop was conspicuous in his lack of personal adornments. People noticed, like I had. Which, I suspected, was actually the opposite of what Bishop wanted. Not that I’d ever asked. At the end of the day, it wasn’t my business.

I ducked around the corner before Bishop caught me spying on him like a creeper. He was close enough to my building that he’d probably been headed my way before CyberPunk Guy intercepted him, so I about-faced and retraced my steps until I was once again anxiously pacing the studio.

Only a few minutes later, a firm knock announced his arrival. I pulled open the door and Bishop stepped forward, already reaching for me, his expression apologetic.

“Sorry I’m late,” he said in his low, raspy voice. His hands curled around my upper arms. “I got tied up at a meeting, and then this guy waylaid me trying to offer sex for Drift credits.” He sighed, shaking his head. “Unfortunately, I can’t stay long. Something’s come up.”

“Oh.” I couldn’t manage another word without my anxiety spiking. If there was ever an occasion when I needed a long, thorough session, this was it. After a shitty week, during which I hadn’t been able to save my sanity by working remotely even once, I’d ended the day being reprimanded for my supervisor’s mistake. I’d been about three seconds from quitting and walking the hell out, for the third time in as many months.

I wanted to be understanding to Bishop, especially because he’d never left me hanging before, but I’d been on edge for so many hours I felt moments from falling to pieces.

In the Drift, sometimes the finer nuances of facial expressions got lost, but whatever Bishop read on my face, my desperation must’ve come through loud and clear. He released my arms and tipped my chin up. “We can do something quick. I see how much you need it.”

Our eyes met, and I gave a careful nod, the signal we’d agreed upon to indicate when I was ready for a scene to begin.

Like always, Bishop jumped right in. His face hardened, and he released my chin before widening his stance.

“Look at you, already panting for it like the greedy little bitch you are. Get on your knees where you belong and service my cock.”

Shuddering, I dropped to my knees with absolutely no grace whatsoever. The words and the tone in which he said them sparked a warm rush of arousal in my belly. I craved hearing them. They felt vital. Necessary. An assurance he would give me exactly what I needed.

My fingers shook as I undid Bishop’s belt and fly. He let me free his stiffening erection before he took it in hand and stroked it into full hardness. Before I could try to suck him or replace his touch with mine, he roughly grabbed a fistful of my hair and slapped me across the cheek with his dick.

“Tongue out, cocksucker.” Bishop sneered down at me when I obeyed. A flash of shame shot through me, leaving traces of lust in its wake. Shivering, I followed his command. “That’s right, pretty boy. Open that whore mouth. Show me how much you want this meat.”

Blood rushed to my dick, and I moaned softly, hungry for the humiliation his words inspired. When Bishop said those things, I didn’t feel objectified. I felt prized. Honored. Raw and needy and desired. I was his slut. His greedy, desperate whore. His to do with what he pleased. But I had power over the words too. I could ask him to stop at any time, if it got to be too much, and he would. With Bishop, I was safe. I could rejoice in being degraded, in the shame I felt and how much it turned me on. He wouldn’t judge me. He loved my responses. That only made it more intoxicating.

Bishop dragged the tip of his cock across my tongue, and for a second, I lamented the fact that the subtle variances in both taste and scent were too complex to be accurately replicated within the Drift. Sure, the technology was good enough to trick me into thinking I was really feeling what was happening, and my avatar seamlessly responded to the waves filtering from my brain through the headset, but I still missed the differences. I could imagine a man’s musky scent from my own real-life experiences—and my brain did its best to translate those sensory memories into an actual smell—but it wasn’t really Bishop’s scent, despite how badly I wanted it to be.

Regardless, I felt a weight on my tongue and the stretch in my lips as I opened wide to accommodate his size. Bishop’s cock was big enough to cause an almost immediate ache in my jaw, and I briefly wondered how it compared to the reality.

I was too busy to ask, and it didn’t actually matter anyway, so I pushed the thought aside, concentrating on the feel of him in my mouth, on his fingers tight in my hair. I welcomed the pinpricks of pain as he twisted the strands, keeping me exactly where he wanted me as he used me for his own pleasure.

His rough moans filled me with pride. But beyond that, having him use my mouth in whatever way he wanted helped still my mind. No longer were my thoughts anxious and scattered. Right now, my focus had narrowed to one thing: pleasing him. And that I knew I could do very well.

Tears sprang to my eyes when he pushed hard into my throat. I gagged and choked, but Bishop didn’t ease back. He kept his cock buried deep, my nose against his pubic bone, forcing me to accept him even as my throat muscles spasmed and tried to reject the intrusion.

I fought my instincts and resisted the urge to gag again. I could do this; we’d been working on it for weeks. Finally, when my lungs burned and my vision started going spotty, Bishop pulled back, a line of spit and pre-cum connecting us. I coughed and sucked in a loud, sloppy breath.

“Good,” he said, the word drenched in praise. Bishop stared down at me with dark glittering eyes. “One day I’ll give you the brutal face-fucking you deserve. I’ll be so deep in your throat you won’t even be able to taste my cum. But you’ll take it all anyway. Won’t you, pretty boy?”

I moaned an affirmative and slurped him back into my mouth. Already I felt more relaxed as tensed muscles loosened and my anxiety went from a flash point two seconds from a raging inferno to a low, containable simmer.

This right here was all I needed to think about. Satisfying Bishop. Giving up control to him. Nothing else mattered.

Yes,” Bishop hissed as I took him in deeper. “You wanna be my little cumdump, don’t you? Wanna drink down that good milk? That’s what nasty bitch boys get, if they behave.”

Bishop worked up to aggressive, punishing thrusts. I braced one hand on his cloth-covered thigh and used the other to roll and tug on his balls. He groaned, loud, and satisfaction coursed through me. I loved that he didn’t mind if I got a little rough with him too. Bishop’s movements became frenzied, his fingers laced together at the back of my skull to prevent any kind of escape. Not that I wanted to be anywhere but where I was—on my knees for him with my mouth stuffed full of his meat.

“Gonna come,” Bishop gritted out. “I want it on your face.”

He let me go, and I pulled back with one last quick suck on his cockhead. Bishop jerked himself a few times, and then gave me a facial worthy of any porn star, complete with reckless moans and a noisy litany of dirty words. He rubbed in his spend with the tip of his dick, dragging it across my mouth, my cheeks, my nose, my forehead. I wished I could feel him for real, taste him for real. But that wasn’t part of this game.

Bishop smiled at me approvingly. “Look at you. Fuck, that’s gorgeous.”

He pulled me to my feet. It took only seconds for him to push down my leggings, ruck up my dress, spit in his hand, and get a tight grip on my cock. I whined at the contact, my hips jerking. It wouldn’t take me long to bust, not when every cell in my body was already poised and ready to go off.

Bishop jacked me with coiling motions that curled my toes. His free hand rested at the base of my throat, exerting just enough pressure to impede my breathing. A hint, a suggestion of what he’d do if we weren’t racing against the clock. I wanted more. Wanted to be stripped naked and slapped. Wanted him to spit on me and choke me as I came. Make me feel lightheaded and dizzy and like I was floating and coming for ages and ages.

But that was for another time. Right now, I took what he gave me, listened to the low, filthy talk in my ear, and chased my orgasm until I was arching my back and spurting over his fist with a strangled gasp.

When it was over, Bishop fed me my cum from his fingers and then held me close. His strong hands soothed as they stroked down my arms, massaged my nape, and followed the path of my spine to my ass, where he patted lightly.

“I’m sorry,” he repeated. “I have to go. I’d stay longer if I could.”

I nodded and disentangled myself so I could step away from him. Bishop’s avatar was generically handsome, a countenance that might stare out at you from a local newscast or department store commercial. A face, currently creased in remorse, that would easily vanish into a crowd. Not for the first time, I wondered why he’d seek that sort of camouflage here in the Drift, one of the few places a person could truly be free to be themselves.

No doubt he had his reasons. It wasn’t my place to ask.

I cleared my throat. “I hope everything’s okay.”

“Fine. Just one of those things, y’know?” Bishop touched my cheek. “Are you good?”

I bobbed my head. What else could I do? It hadn’t been enough—it rarely was—but it’d definitely taken the edge off. “Same time next week?”

“Of course. If something comes up again, I’ll try to let you know ahead of time.”

Bishop straightened up his clothing, and with a last rueful look, he was gone.

I stood there for a long time, breathing in the Drift air, and wishing my connection to Bishop was real.

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Living Out Loud by Staci Hart
EXCERPT: From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

3 Comments Hide Comments

Thinking I’ll be liking this book, and series, much better than Strong Signal, which i just can’t get into. I’m not a gamer, but this VR stuff intrigues me, as do the characters. Can’t wait!

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