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The pain pounding in Rick Hastings's temples worsened when he tried to free his hands from the restraints binding them tightly behind him. Flat on his back, each time he moved his wrists he irritated his previously injured shoulder, and he gritted his teeth to keep from groaning aloud.
"You awake and playing possum?" The deep, gravelly--what Rick used to think of as sexy--voice sounded amused.
Trevor Jackson, that traitorous bastard. Not that Rick wasn't into his fair share of kink, but he hadn't okayed being drugged and kidnapped to God knew where. The blindfold didn't help matters, but Rick's sensitive nose identified the natural bougainvillea that surrounded his resort. He had to be somewhere close to Satyr's Myst. Somewhere close, and at night or in a darkened room, because the absence of light through the blindfold made it even more difficult to see.
Rick swore, earning a husky laugh from Trevor. What is it about me that draws such deceitful people? Two months ago he'd started receiving death threats from some religious zealot demonizing both his bisexual lifestyle and his ownership of Satyr's Myst, which was supposed to be a secluded, private pleasure resort. Two and a half years ago, the woman he'd thought was The One had walked out of his life, apparently not as comfortable with his lifestyle as she'd let on. And three years ago, Jaz, Rick's ex-lover, a man he'd trusted with his body and his life, had nearly killed him for a priceless antique.
You'd think by now I'd have learned my lesson. Yet the bitter taste of betrayal still stung. Apparently, Rick's position as "king of the island" wasn't enough to prevent the dickheads of the worldfrom taking advantage. So he would need to use his most valuable asset--his brain--to save his ass.
What was Trevor's game? That remained the million-dollar question. Whatever the criminal had used to doctor Rick's drink left one helluva hangover, and Rick could only pray he lived long enough to return the aching favor.
"Damn, Rick. It's been eight hours already. Wake up."
A not-so-gentle poke jarred his side, and he turned his face away onto ... silk sheets?
"Hell. Might as well get it over with." Trevor sighed, and in seconds, Rick blinked into the dim confines of his own bedroom. He glanced around. No, not his bedroom in the resort, but at his private retreat on the other side of the island. A retreat no one but a select few of his staff knew about.
"Who the hell helped you?"
Trevor rocked back on his heels, his impressive build impossible to ignore, no matter how much Rick wanted to. Giant biceps flexed as he crossed his arms over a broad, bare chest, leading Rick's gaze up past the powerful shoulders and thick neck to his captor's captivating face. The dark brown of Trevor's closely cropped hair only accentuated the golden tan of his skin and made his brown eyes glisten like fine chocolate. He still wore the knee-length tan shorts he'd been wearing when they'd first met and he'd surprised Rick with a flirtatious suggestion but was now shoeless. Apparently, he'd made himself right at home.
For the life of him, Rick didn't know why Trevor looked so familiar. He'd never seen the man before and knew it had to be the feeling of recognition that had let him lower his guards to such a degree. Then again, who could have guessed this latest visitor would turn out to be a kidnapper? He'd have to start screening his guests personally again. He sure the hell didn't want to go through this again.
Not a slug by any means, Rick had the height but not the brawn to meet Trevor in a hand-to-hand fight, especially not with a bum shoulder weighing him down. So he needed to figure out a way out of here, if he could hold onto his temper long enough.
"You okay?" Trevor's voice roughened with concern, but when he leaned down to touch Rick's shoulder, Rick swore and scooted back in spite of the ache in his joint.
"Who helped you?"
Trevor sighed. "I knew you were going to be a huge pain in the ass. Any normal guy would be asking, 'Why are you doing this?' or 'What do you want?'"
"Answer the fucking question."
"I was hired by an outside source. And if you must know, Tyrone's been a huge help."
"No way. I don't believe you." Tyrone had been with Rick since the resort's inception. He was one of the few blatantly honest people in Rick's life. From the get-go, Tyrone had been up front. He cared more about sex than money, and as long as Rick provided him with the resources to sate his needs, Tyrone epitomized the ideal employee, both loyal and able to handle anything thrown at him. After their first year on the island, their relationship had moved from employer and employee to that of good, solid friends. And Rick liked to think that their platonic relationship had made such a companionship possible. No sex and emotional baggage between them to muddy the waters.
"There's no way Tyrone would help you."
"Believe whatever you want." Trevor shrugged. "Now, you want to lay back and relax so I can fix your cuffs? I didn't realize you were in pain, or I would've tied you in front. Looks like you're favoring that left shoulder, hmm?"
Trevor had the gall to laugh. "You'd like that, wouldn't you?" He mumbled something under his breath Rick couldn't quite make out.
"What did you say?"
"They warned me about you..." Trevor stared at him, and Rick wondered what he saw when he looked at him.
Rick had never lacked for companionship. In addition to the wealth he inherited, his blond hair and blue eyes, coupled with a tall, athletic build, put him in good stead with potential lovers. And he'd been told on more than one occasion that there was "just something about him" that screamed sexy.
Trevor, however, didn't seem overwhelmed by Rick's presence, or he wouldn't be holding Rick against his will.
"You going to ransom me?"
"Nope." Trevor grabbed a chair and pulled it up to the bed. He sat staring at Rick, to the point of making Rick, who didn't know the meaning of the word self-conscious, uncomfortable.
"You know, there's just something about you."
Rick rolled his eyes and, to his surprise, pulled a grin from the rough man across from him. Something about the action pulled at his memory...
"Relax, Rick. We're going to spend a couple of harmless days together, safe and sound. Then I'm going home, and you'll go right back to work doing ... whatever it is that you do."
The suggestive tone set Rick's teeth on edge, though he didn't know why. He'd never been ashamed of running a resort catering to sexual pleasure. Nor had he regrets about his choice of lovers ... Jaz "the traitor" and Elise "the heartbreaker" notwithstanding. But the speculative look on Trevor's face seemed disapproving. And this from a man with no compunction about kidnapping.
"You know something, Trevor Jackson, or whatever-the-hell your name is? I don't really care what you think about me or this island. I sure as hell wouldn't have welcomed you here if I'd known this is what you're about." Rick gave him that polite sneer that he'd honed over a lifetime. And like those he normally aggravated with the expression, Trevor frowned in reaction.
"You don't know what I'm about."
"Oh, but I do." If Rick was good at one thing, it was reading desire. "You're a repressed asshole who can't understand why he likes dick when all his buddies drone on and on about 'those fucking fags.' You've probably had to hide your desires your entire life." A direct hit. Trevor was no longer frowning but scowling like a thundercloud. When he would have interrupted, Rick spoke over him. As stupid as it was to antagonize his captor while bound, it was too satisfying to pass up.
"You're big, and you obviously work out. You're into something physical. Ex-military or an ex-cop, I'd bet. And you pretty much do whatever you please. But you can't make yourself act on what you really want. Because you're scared."
"Scared of what you might feel, and scared of what others will say when they know you like men."
Trevor's face reddened, yet the flush only made him that much more appealing, much to Rick's chagrin. To cover his unwanted attraction, he continued in the same icy vein. "It's too bad you're such a prude." Rick gave him a clinical perusal. "You're obviously good-looking. Large, muscular. Probably have a huge cock. But you're so repressed, it would be difficult to bring that fire--"
Cut off by the giant male now covering him like a blanket, Rick whooshed out a breath, only to have Trevor suck it in with his hard mouth.
Trevor inwardly cursed as Rick Hastings's addictive taste lived up to its promise. He'd been warned, not only by Elise, but by his brother Ethan, not to underestimate Rick's appeal. Elise, Trevor understood. Nearly three years ago, she'd engaged in an affair with the man she'd fallen in love with, only to leave because her deeply seated upbringing wouldn't allow such an unconventional lifestyle.
Ethan's warning, however, had been a shock. Though Trevor buried his own skewed sexual desires deep, he hadn't expected his very heterosexual brother to admit a touch of attraction for the same sex. Especially not with a wife as hot as Jewel.
"I'm telling you, bro. Doesn't matter if you're into guys or not. Rick Hastings has some kind of weird mojo when it comes to sex. He nearly had me, ah, interested." Ethan flushed. "And I'm not into guys, at all." He smiled. "Just ask Jewel."
The warm mouth under Trevor's explained, and then some, just what Ethan had been talking about. The sight of Rick was enough to have Trevor battling a hard-on, an unusual occasion in itself. Not that Trevor harbored anything against gays, but he wasn't into men. Or at least, he wasn't in real life. In his fantasies, however, he did all kinds of things with men and women, usually at the same time. But right now, the taste of Rick ... Good Christ, it was enough to make even a wondering straight man want to bend over and wait. And the feel of Rick's hot, unyielding chest under his, their bodies meeting skin-to-skin, took Trevor to an all new, and not altogether welcomed, state of desire.
Trevor groaned and would have backed away but Rick leaned up, pressing them tighter together. Succumbing to the raw desire pooling in his gut, Trevor deepened the kiss, aware he'd never been so hard in his life. Rick didn't soften his mouth at all, but angrily took charge, sucking and nipping until Trevor could do no more than feel. A mass of sensation, he caught his breath as Rick dueled with his tongue and captured it. He licked at the roof of Trevor's mouth, the faint stubble on his chin a surprising turn-on, clearly reminding Trevor of the differences between a man's and a woman's mouth.
His first kiss from a man. And Trevor wanted more as much as he didn't want the feeling. Rick arched into Trevor as they kissed, and Trevor felt the man's erection through his shorts pressing into Trevor's own arousal. Oh, shit. His cock screamed to be let free, and the unbidden thought of Rick's strong lips around his shaft was so real that Trevor felt himself on the verge of orgasm.
The shock of passion broke through his sexual frenzy, and he pulled back, alarmed at what he'd almost let happen. Rick stared up at him, his gaze cloudy, his lips curled into a smirk.
"Don't start something you can't finish." Rick licked his lips, and Trevor had to work to stifle a groan. Of all the guys to finally find attractive, why this one? And why now?
"Thought that would shut you up. But obviously I was mistaken." Could his voice get any lower? Trevor prayed he sounded more in control than he felt. He quickly stood and moved back to the chair, wincing at the discomfort his overeager dick was giving him.
"What did I tell you, Trevor? You let fear dictate your actions." Rick scowled and jostled his arms again. "Though I can't see why you're afraid of me. You're bigger and obviously have me at a disadvantage. Are these cuffs really necessary?"
Trevor snorted. "First of all, the icy 'fuck you' tone you keep giving me tells me you're a problem, tied up or not. And second, yeah, they are necessary. Because you not only run the island, you own the island. Look, Rick. You don't like it. I don't like it. But I have a job to do. Just sit pretty for a few days, and then you can go back to fucking anything that moves."
If Rick's eyes turned any paler, they'd be white. Trevor stared, mesmerized, as he caught the full, infamous Hastings wrath. "You won't ransom me. Won't tell me why I'm here, or who you work for. You implicate one of my closest friends, and you want me to 'sit pretty'? When I'm free from here, your ass is mine."