Antique dealer Christopher Gleason isn’t looking for love. He isn’t even looking for a one-night stand. But when a young man with a shy smile and a sense of innocence offers to buy him a drink one night, he’s tempted enough to accept. He’s even tempted to take it further, until he learns the innocence isn’t an act. Though he can’t deny his attraction, or the fact that he likes the young man quite a bit, Christopher puts him off. He’d rather be friends than risk hurting him.
Gage Kimball fled Salt Lake City for Los Angeles with his guitars, what little money he had, and no friends. Raised in a devout Mormon family within a tightly knit community, he’s never had the chance to be himself or explore his sexuality. Until now. Christopher supplies the emotional support Gage needs, but Gage wants more than friendship. Even at the risk of everything he has left.
...Gage’s lips glistened in the dim light. Christopher had the irrational desire to match the tilt of Gage’s body and seal their mouths together, just to get a sample of what the younger man tasted like. Recognizing how out of character that was for him was the only reason he didn’t.
He wasn’t sure why he was being so flirtatious. This wasn’t his style, even when he was in the mood for casual sex. Christopher took things slow. He liked doing it right, whether it was for an illicit fuck in a closet, or a long-awaited quiet date. Hitting on somebody he didn’t know, who was probably still in college, and debating at the same time how long it would take to get his hands beneath the clothes that stood in his way was something Rev would pull, not him. Except here he was, unable to turn away, matching Gage’s smile with a soft one of his own.
“How long have you been in this town?” Gage asked.
“I grew up here. I live in Santa Monica now.”
“Near the beach?”
“Near enough that I can hear it when the windows are open.”
Gage’s smile changed and now held a hint of regret. “That must be nice. I haven’t actually seen the ocean yet. I think I had it in my head that LA was one big beach or something.”
“How long have you been here?”
“It’ll be two weeks tomorrow.”
He was even greener than Christopher had imagined. No wonder Power had thrown him for a loop. “I’ll bet you see it before you hit three weeks.”
“I thought I’d wait until I met somebody who could show me around.” Another swallow from the glass left it empty. “I don’t know if I want to be alone the first time I see it.”
“I’m sure you’ve met a lot of people who’d be willing to give you a tour. You met me, didn’t you?”
Gage arched an eyebrow. “Are you saying you want to take me to the beach?”
Was he? He barely knew this guy. But what was a harmless walk around the beach? It was certainly a better atmosphere than the bar.
He deliberately dropped his hand to Gage’s knee and let it rest there. “I’m saying, if you want to see it, I’d love to show it to you. I’m sure we can arrange something that works for both of us.”
Gage’s attention immediately dropped to Christopher’s hand. He didn’t look perturbed by the weight of the contact, but he definitely seemed a little surprised. “That’s…really generous. Thank you.”
Christopher stayed there for several seconds longer, letting Gage absorb the heat, learning the strong lines of the muscles. He itched to go higher. Feel the zipper rasp as he pulled it down. Dip inside the jeans to feel abs twitching at his touch. Slide across pre-come already leaking from Gage’s hard cock.
Pulling back meant corralling his control again. He had the fleeting thought that if Rev could see him now, he’d probably yell at him for not jumping Gage on the spot.
“You moved to LA without knowing anybody here?” Christopher finally reached for his drink, his throat too dry to handle much conversation without some kind of wet reprieve. “You’re a braver man than I am.”
“Yeah, well, I don’t really know anybody anywhere. But I had enough in my checking account for gas, and I had enough in my savings to get a little apartment. I figured that meant it was fate or destiny or something to go to LA. Plus the music scene here is almost as good as Austin.”
“Music?” His ears pricked up. “You play?”
Gage’s smile turned shy. “Yeah, a little. I mean, mostly my gigs have been school dances and talent shows, so I’m not sure if I’m really prepared to play any actual clubs. But that’s what I’m here to do anyway.”
“What kind of music?”
“Rock and roll with a bit of a country sound. I like to play loud and fast, but with some fiddles, too. Well, I would like to play with a fiddle. I’m on my own now. Nobody else in the band thought it was our destiny to go to LA.”
“Which only makes you braver, if you ask me.”
The music had finally slowed into something more seductive, though the driving beat still underscored every note. It called to one and all, men from every end of the club trickling onto the dance floor to appreciate it. Christopher couldn’t resist. He downed the rest of his drink, then slid off his stool, put his hand on Gage’s shoulder, and leaned down to hover at the young man’s ear.
“Let me pay you back for the drink. Come out and dance with me.”
Gage caught his breath. “Dance? I don’t…I don’t really know how to dance like everybody else here.”
“You don’t have to know how. You just have to let me hold you...”