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Shaving must rank as one of the most irritating grooming habits ever conceived, Dae Anderson thought, wincing as he nicked the delicate skin under his ear. Frowning, he tore off a tiny piece of toilet paper and placed it over the scratch, watching it instantly soak up red. If it weren't for the need to present a well groomed, friendly, boy-next-door image to his clients, he'd happily give up the razor in an instant and run about au natural.
It wasn't as if he had anyone to impress, anyway.
Angrily, Dae renewed his attention to the task at hand, drawing the razor up over the curve of his cheek. He didn't want Jack back. No, taking Jack back was not even an option as far as Dae was concerned--not in a million years would he even consider the possibility of accepting Jack's apology. Not this time.
Of course, the fact that Jack would never offer Dae one in the first place was beside the point.
Jack was nothing if not consistent. In the entirety of their three years together Dae had never once heard him utter the words, "I'm sorry," even though there had been a plethora of opportunities in their relationship for him to do just that. Opportunities with names like Justin, Mason, and Bobby, to name a few.
Bobby, by the way, had turned out to be Bobbi-with-an-"i", the kind that had boobs and was missing an essential piece of equipment between her aerobically-sculpted thighs.
For a while Dae had turned a blind eye to Jack's roving one, pretending that what he knew damn well was happening was just his own imagination working overtime. He'd ignored Jack's snide comments about the way Dae dressed, and the complaints about how many hours Dae worked. Daehad turned a deaf ear to Jack ranting about how jogging was a waste of time and energy better spent on Jack, and that if Dae wanted to get himself killed by running alone at daybreak or at dusk then he ought to leave Jack the pin numbers to the bank accounts to make things easier when they scooped Dae up from the side of the road with a spoon. But in the end, it had been Jack's roaming dick that had finally pushed Dae over the edge. After six months of hearing strange voices on the answering machine and smelling strange cologne on the sheets, Dae had finally come to his senses and had tossed Jack out on his double-pierced ear.
It had been the first time, but hardly the last. For the next three years he and Jack had played out that same scene over and over. Unfortunately for Dae, he was not Jack-resistant. Like Cabernet on white silk, no matter how many times he tried to rub Jack out of his life the man would reappear.
While he cringed to think about it now, the truth of the matter was that Dae had never really tried very hard to make Jack stay gone. He would cave in the instant Jack appeared at his doorstep, bag in hand, flashing that lopsided, boyish grin at him.
The problem wasn't that Dae had low self-esteem, or some twisted and kinky need for punishment. When Jack had insinuated himself into Dae's life Dae been a successful veterinarian with an established practice, and while he wasn't supermodel material, he wasn't exactly ready for a carnival sideshow, either. On the cosmic scale of things, Dae would rate himself as being right around dead center. Average. Dae's shoulders were broad and his body was well muscled, but due to genetics and not a workout schedule, and even though he was fit, he wasn't so buff that he would be taken for a bodybuilder. His hazel eyes were set in a square-jawed face that was pleasant, if not movie star handsome. Not too tall, not too short, he was the first to admit that he was simply average, and average, as far as Dae was concerned, was a fairly good place to be.
No, the problem that Dae had with Jack was strictly primal--Jack had the unique ability to tent Dae's underwear with his smile alone.