Read an Excerpt
"I'm straight." Blayne just came out and said it.
Ben didn't even blink. "That's an odd name for this part of town." He clearly had his sights set, and he wasn't about to be distracted by such a pathetic excuse.
Blayne looked around at the few lone men scattered amongst the tables and couches. He knew what part of town he was in. He knew what went on in places like this on slow afternoons. But couldn't a heterosexual man relax with cup of coffee if he wanted one? He looked down at his untouched cup and forced himself to take a sip.
This wasn't a gay bar, for crying out loud. It wasn't even sleazy. It was quaint and comfortable, and the coffee wasn't half bad. After all, most things were nice in the gay section of the city.
"My name is Blayne," he said. He kept an edge of annoyance in his voice to show he wasn't impressed by Ben's joke or his company.
"And you're straight, with a name like Blayne?" Ben scoffed.
Blayne got up to leave. That was it. He wasn't going to put up with this shit all afternoon.
"I'm kidding," Ben protested, but he wasn't. There were just certain names. Come on ... Blayne? What were his parents thinking? "Sit down and relax."
Ben reached out and tugged at the knee of Blayne's pants until he sat. He let his hand rest there just long enough to feel the heat of his thigh through the summer fabric.
Blayne glanced at the hand on his leg, fine dark hairs creeping from the wrist, long slender fingers. But he didn't say anything. Before he could, Ben took it away.
"Look, I'm starving," Ben said. "Let's get out of here and grab a bite. I know this great sandwich place down the street."
Blayne didn't respond.He just stared across at Ben's raised eyebrows--two quirked dark lines above blue eyes.
"Come on," Ben nagged, "you wouldn't let me buy you coffee. It's just a sandwich."
"I guess I should eat something quick before I head back to the office."
Ben was halfway out the door before Blayne was halfway through his sentence.
There's nothing wrong with getting lunch with this guy, Blayne told himself as he followed Ben. He only glanced slightly at the snug way Ben's jeans fit as he approached from behind.
By the time Blayne caught up, he found himself walking down a nearly empty street of brick buildings warmed by midday sun. He also found himself walking next to a complete stranger for no obvious reason, or no reason he wanted to admit.
He put his hands in his pockets awkwardly and jangled his change. It was a less obvious display of masculinity than rearranging his package through a thousand-dollar suit.
"It's right down on the corner," Ben said. He obviously didn't enjoy the silence either. Blayne's tinkling coins weren't holding up their end of the conversation.
"The sandwich place," Ben reminded him. "They make the best chicken pesto wrap."
"One of my favorites." Blayne tried to focus on lunch. He tried not to focus on Ben's smile or eyes or tight little tee shirt.
"How did I know you were going to say that?" He didn't point out that anything resembling pesto was just about as gay as the name Blayne. He just turned into the next doorway and put his key into the lock.
"I thought you said it was on the corner?"
"It is. This is my place." Ben opened the door and laughed at the horrified look on Blayne's face. "Don't worry. I just need to grab some more cash."
"That's all right," Blayne insisted. "I'll pay."
"I told you, I'm buying you a sandwich." Ben stood in the hall looking out at him. "Come on in. I'm not going to bite you."
Blayne walked into the narrow hall and shut the door behind him. True to his word, Ben did not bite.
He kissed him instead.
Blayne didn't know what to do. So, for the moment, he did nothing. He wasn't kissing another man. He was being kissed. There is a distinct difference, he told himself.
He felt the foreign scrape of stubble against his face. He felt Ben's hands, the long fingers of one on his waist, the other holding the back of his head. He felt soft lips and the strength of insistent desire. He felt a man's kiss, and he felt his own body respond whether his mind had made itself up or not.
Ben leaned up into their kiss. Blayne was taller and wider, but Ben didn't mind taking the upper hand. He could feel every inch of the man's bigger body through the thin, expensive material of his fancy suit. Every inch. He felt Blayne's immediate reaction pressing against him before the rest of that solid body budged.
Ben took that as a good sign. So he kept kissing those scared, motionless lips. He kept holding that rigid jaw and that narrow waist, and he waited for the rest of Blayne's body to catch up with the erection pressed against Ben's belly.
He felt Blayne's hand at the small of his back at the same moment he felt Blayne's lips soften and relax. Blayne kissed him back.
Now that the hard part was over, desire picked up the pace where surrender left off. Ben wriggled out of his shirt and jeans. Blayne's jacket and tie fell to the floor. The weight of his silver belt buckle brought the fancy pants to the ground as soon as it was unfastened. They stumbled together, still hobbled by remnant clothing, the few feet into Ben's bedroom. There were much harder parts to tackle now.
Ben stood there in white briefs, looking down at the man on his bed. What to do now? He tried not to look into Blayne's nervous brown eyes. He didn't want to spook him. He didn't want to scare this gorgeous closet case away before he was done with him.