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I don't do men. Standing outside Landon's second-floor apartment, Ty silently chanted the phrase. It was the truth. He'd never done a man. Not in real life. Only in dreams. And that didn't count unless the all-mighty, all-powerful, all-judgmental "they" learned what he was thinking.
"Hi." The voice startled him, and he snapped his head over his shoulder. "Can I help you?" A woman about his age, pretty with dark brown hair and eyes, dressed in jeans and a lightweight blue sweater, waited for his answer. One hand was fisted on her hip. The other clutched the strap of her purse.
"No, thanks. I'm good," Ty said.
Her lips tightened into a thin line, and her eyes narrowed. "You're that friend of Landon's."
"Um. Yeah. We're friends."
"I'm his neighbor, Yvonne." She sounded belligerent, almost as if she were issuing a warning. Except that didn't make any sense.
He shook it off and extended his hand, flashing his brightest smile. "Hi, I'm Tyler Coil."
Her grip was firm. "Everyone around here likes Landon." She didn't return his smile. Not good.
"He's a nice guy," Ty said.
"Yes, he is." Her disdainful stare raised his hackles. He definitely wasn't imagining it. What the fuck? She didn't even know him. What was her problem?
"Well, it was nice to meet you," he said, anxious to get rid of her.
She didn't respond in kind. Just nodded and unlocked the door next to Landon's. His sigh of relief was interrupted when she paused as if she were going to say something. She sucked in her lips and gave a slight shake of her head before entering her apartment and firmly closing the door behind her.
What the hell was that about?
He lifted his hand to knock but hesitated and stuffed it back in his jacket pocket. Staring at the peeling white paint on Landon's door, he resumed the mental argument that Yvonne had interrupted. Maybe he should stay in a hotel. They could meet for drinks and catch the game in a bar. In the privacy of Landon's apartment, he was liable to do something he'd regret.
For four years he'd been fighting their "unnatural" attraction. The worst part was Landon felt it, too. He'd never said anything, but part of Ty's job as a reporter was reading people's emotions, their tells. He might not understand everything about his friend, but he did know Landon had feelings for him. Feelings beyond the usual male-bonding stuff. Thank God no one else had figured it out. It sucked living in two different cities. But it was safer, too.
Damn it. He didn't want to catch up in a noisy, crowded bar. They hadn't seen each other since Christmas at Landon's sister's home. Nikki was a mother hen, and on holidays she made certain that all those who couldn't be with family celebrated with hers. So it had been as crowded and noisy as any bar.
Taking a deep breath, he knocked and waited. It was just one night. Maybe two. He could hold it together that long.
The door opened. Ty swallowed at the sight of Landon, all six and a half feet of him, decked out in his running gear. His golden-blond hair was pulled back in a rubber band, something he only did when he ran or lifted weights. His pale blue eyes would have looked like ice if his smile hadn't been so warm.