Laird Bennett accepts a friend's invitation for a vacation with his eyes wide open. His buddy is pimping for him - in a sneaky sort of way. Why else set up his business meeting in Palm Springs the week of the annual White Party and ask Laird to go along? Laird goes with every intention of enjoying the eye candy, the weather, and behaving himself. Those plans change his first night out while waiting to cross the street and a younger man in white leather greets him.
Haydn Rinehart is at a crossroads. His pilgrimage to the White Party is to keep a promise before moving into the next phase of his life. Haydn strikes up a conversation with an attractive party-goer while waiting for a traffic light to change, and invites him for a drink. When he discovers Laird is one of his favorite authors, Haydn volunteers to assist in some hands-on research in his hotel room.
After all, they are at the White Party, and some fun is in order.
* * *
His whiskey-brown eyes held genuine interest. Darn, he had pretty eyes, so clear with a dark outer ring around the iris.
"When I was a lad, back in the hills of West Virginia, I stumbled upon an old graveyard in the woods. I restored it to get my Eagle Scout award."
"No kidding? For real, man?"
"Yep. It led to my writing career."
I managed to refrain from grinning at him as he blinked at me, his lips slightly parted. He jerked and gulped down a few swallows of his beer, which had unfortunate consequences. He choked. I thumped his back as he coughed.
"Sorry." He wheezed a few times in my general direction. "I'm such an ass."
I gave him one last pat between the shoulder blades and reached for my drink. I wanted to touch him far too badly to allow it to continue. I wasn't here to get laid.
"You're going to have to explain that statement. Why does choking on your beer make you an ass?"
He cleared his throat and risked a sip from the bottle. "I've never met a writer before. Are you here to take notes for a book or something?"
I sighed. "Haydn, the whole world is fodder for an author. Everything we see, hear and learn ends up on the page sooner or later." I smiled at him. "I write true crime novels as a profession and gay romance as a hobby."
Those lovely brown orbs fixed me with a ruttish stare. "Then may I volunteer my services as a research assistant for your hobby?"