Gage Kimball relishes his new life in Los Angeles. He’s made new friends, has steady gigs, and, most importantly, has the best boyfriend a person could ask for in antique dealer Christopher Gleason. But there are still open wounds, a family, and a past that he doesn’t want to deal with...until his seventeen-year-old brother shows up on his doorstep with bad news—Gage’s father is ill and the family needs him back in Salt Lake City.
Gage knows he must go to his father’s bedside, even if the festering anger, the betrayal, and the pain that’s still too fresh threaten to destroy the life he’s made for himself. Will Gage be able to make peace with the past and heal himself once and for all before building a solid future with Christopher?
...Gage cupped the back of Christopher’s neck, his fingers playing with the long strands of hair. He tilted his head back, mouth skimming along Christopher’s jaw, more of a caress than a kiss. His hips began to move. Slowly at first, not to the beat of the music, but to his own rhythm. Maybe it was a rhythm he heard every day, thrumming through his body.
“You know, the night we met, I really didn’t understand what this place was all about. If I did, I probably wouldn’t have offered to buy you a drink.”
Christopher turned his head to maintain the contact of Gage’s mouth to his skin. “Good for both of us you did then.”
“It probably helped that you weren’t decked out in leather and chains,” Gage murmured. He turned in Christopher’s arm, the hard line of his erection pressed against Christopher’s thigh. “Though, come to think of it, that look wouldn’t be so bad for you.”
Gage’s new position prompted Christopher to let his fingers ease upward beneath the hem of his shirt. The tips dipped into the waistband, and he caressed the upper swell of his ass, just the faintest hint of what was to come, a tease of parting those cheeks later to sink between them.
“All you have to do is ask.” All he would ever have to do was ask. “Whatever you want, Gage. I’ll give it to you.”
“Right now? I want you to fuck me.” His hand slid down Christopher’s chest, fingers stopping at his waistband. “Which I guess is a bit redundant, since that’s all I ever seem to want these days.”
“You don’t hear me complaining, do you?”
“Nope, no complaints so far.” His other hand went to Christopher’s ass, his fingers flexing, and he nuzzled against Christopher’s throat. Gage moved with the music now, but only because the song changed to something slower and more seductive. Christopher couldn’t stop thinking of the young man he’d met just two months earlier—how shy he had been, how jumpy and nervous. “I don’t have any complaints either.”
Christopher closed his eyes, letting the throbbing beat wash over them. It was hard to imagine doing this with anybody else. He’d picked up a few other men in clubs over the years, but none had been more than one night, and certainly none of them had ever fit into his life like Gage did. All of his trepidation at hooking up in the first place seemed more than a little silly now. Things with Gage were working out better than he had ever dreamed they would.
His breath caught when Gage nibbled at a patch of skin, his fingers tightening in reflex. The scrape of Gage’s beard sent fire racing along his nerve endings, sensations he’d already become addicted to. He hoped Gage refrained from shaving it off any time soon. He’d miss the raw burn of his kisses when their hunger became too much for either of them to control.
“Christopher? If I had to…I mean…would you…” Gage sighed into the crook of Christopher’s neck. “If I needed to go back to Utah to see my dad, would you think about coming with me?”
The softly spoken query took him by surprise, though he quickly realized he should have known the fears about his father still lingered in the back of Gage’s mind. His arms tightened.
“I already told you, I’d do anything for you. If you want me there, I will be.”
“I know what you said…and I believe you. But…it’s not going to be pretty. In fact, it’d probably be pretty awful.” Gage shook his head. “No, forget I asked. You really don’t deserve to be put through that.”
He wasn’t going to let Gage make that decision, no matter how he felt about it. Catching his hand, Christopher broke their embrace to pull him off to the side, his gaze searching for privacy. He settled on a nook situated behind one of the thick, cement block columns, and wrapped Gage back into an embrace as soon as the rest of the club was out of view.
“You know what?” he said, his eyes boring into Gage’s. “You don’t deserve to go through that on your own, regardless of what kind of honorable ideas you might have. I was your friend first, remember? And friends stick by each other, especially when they have to deal with the crap we do.”
“I don’t know if I’m being honorable. I think I’m just being selfish.” Gage smiled, or rather, he tried to smile. “I want to keep you to myself. I don’t want them to ruin everything. Because that’s what they do. Ruin things.”
“They didn’t ruin you, and that’s pretty much all I care about.” Christopher smoothed his hands down Gage’s back, working at the knots that had started to return. “I can pretend to just be your friend, if that makes it easier for you. Or if you really don’t want me there, I won’t go. But I don’t think you would’ve asked at all if that was the case.”
Gage licked his bottom lip, drawing Christopher’s attention to his mouth. He watched as Gage tilted his head and leaned in, tensing slightly as their mouths finally met. Gage kissed him slowly, his lips pliant and welcoming, his tongue sliding against Christopher’s. The rest of the club faded away, and as the slow caress continued, he almost forgot what they’d been talking about...