Kyle’s never been shy about going after what he wants. After two short term contracts, he wants something closer to permanent with Aidan. And what better way to bring them closer than to spend time apart? Being away from each other for the first time in their relationship might make them both realize they’d rather be together.
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MUSIC FILTERS THROUGH the speakers of the dance club, this song less deafening than the last. The singer's voice is lower, crooning, and every beat of the bass reverberates through Kyle's body. He moves with the music, chasing it, his movements too languid to ever completely catch it.
The guy behind him groans as Kyle grinds back against him. He splays his hands across Kyle's hips and pulls Kyle back against him, as if there's any space left between them at this point.
"You're good at this," the guy says, his breath hot against Kyle's ear.
Kyle grins as he tips his head back against the guy's shoulder. It shows off the long line of his throat, even in the dim lighting of the club. It's a tease, all that skin, shiny with a sheen of sweat, more than Kyle meant it to be. The guy tightens his hold as he dips his lips to Kyle's neck.
"Makes me wonder what else you're good at," the guy says.
Yep, definitely too much of a tease. Kyle stops the man's hands from creeping up his shirt.
"Tonight, just dancing," Kyle tells the stranger.
"I could persuade you." He dips his thumbs into Kyle's waistband. It's his turn to grind against Kyle, and Kyle's honest enough to admit the man's packing a pretty persuasive argument.
It's tempting, but he has someone even better waiting for him tonight.
"You can't," Kyle says, apologetic as he turns so they're face to face.
The guy's a couple of inches taller than Kyle, but he doesn't make him feel small. He likes a bit of looming from his partners, and he's met some people who pull it off even though they're shorter than him, but this guy doesn't manage it even with a natural advantage. It's a good reminder that while this has been fun, this isn't the guy he wants to spend the rest of his night with.
The man's hands on are Kyle's ass now. They roamed during the past two songs, touching what seems like every part of Kyle's body. His skin is humming with it. He wants a harder touch, for them to slip under his clothes even though he just stopped the man from doing it.
Someone better is waiting for me at home.
It makes him wonder which of them he's really teasing.
"One more dance or no?" Kyle asks, his tone light so the guy knows there're no hard feelings either way.
"One more," the guy says.
He keeps Kyle like this, the two of them facing each other, as he draws him in closer. He's rougher during this song, because it has a faster beat or because he knows this is the last few minutes he has before Kyle disappears into the crowd.
Honestly, Kyle doesn't care what the reason is. He's into the hands that try to touch all of him one last time and the press of the guy's dick through his pants. He's really into the way the guy loses the rhythm of the music as if Kyle's more important than the dancing. By the end of the song, what they're doing can't be called dancing. Even with clothes on, it's borderline indecent.
Kyle unwraps himself from the other man and flashes him a thumbs-up before heading to the bar for a drink. He asks the bartender for lemonade because he's looking for a jolt of sugar.
He leans against the counter once he has his drink and looks out at the dance floor. It's hard to see more than shapes, just a mass of bodies writhing together. He takes a drink, the coldness of his lemonade a contrast to his overheated skin.
He checks his watch. He has to stay here for at least a half hour longer. Probably more. He doesn't want to seem too eager even though he is eager. All of this is to wind him up, and he's not sure how much more of it he can stand.
He takes another long drink before he holds his glass to his forehead. His face is flushed, and he's sweating. He'd worn one of his thinnest shirts in anticipation of a packed dance floor, and now it's plastered against his skin, it's practically see-through.
Once he finishes his drink, he leaves the cup and a tip for the bartender. There's a line for the bathroom, and by the time he's done, his clothes are sticky and uncomfortable from the sweat drying. Should he call it a night and head home? If he drives slowly enough, then he'll show up at the earliest time he was given. He was hoping to make it a little longer, but the teasing will be worth it.
A guy with spiked hair and a hopeful smile slides up to him. He's slimmer than Kyle and his cheeks are as pink as Kyle's feel. He has eyelashes that make Kyle jealous, and his shirt, if possible, clings even more than Kyle's is right now.
"You look like you're trying to have a good time," the guy says.
He isn't Kyle's type at all except he's interested, and that's Kyle's biggest turn on, more than eye color or body shape or gender. Maybe it makes him vain, but he finds himself leaning toward the other man.
"Not too good a time," Kyle cautions, because on a night like this, it's important he doesn't lead anyone on. Some guys assume he's playing hard to get, and those are the ones he cuts loose after a dance. He is looking for a good time, but his end game isn't anyone here.
The guy smiles, his teeth white and bright in the dark room. "That makes two of us."
Kyle shrugs and lets the guy lead him to a part of the dance floor he hasn't used yet tonight. It's on the edge, in full view of the bar. Kyle prefers being in the middle of things, bodies packed tight all around him.
It takes a whole song for him to realize the guy's looking over Kyle's shoulder toward the bar.
Their plans for the night really are the same.
Kyle hooks his fingers through the man's belt loops and tugs until he has his attention. "Do you have someone watching or someone you wish was watching?"
"Uh." The guy's gaze redirects to Kyle. He puts a few inches between them as if he's nervous. He must see something on Kyle's face that settles him because he says, "The first one."
Which means whoever it is must be sitting at the bar. Kyle wants to turn around and see for himself, but he holds off. First, he runs his hands through the guy's hair and tips his head back so they're looking at each other.
"What am I allowed to do?" Kyle asks.
He knows all about putting on a show. Getting people's attention is one of his best skills, and he's more than happy to help this guy have his good night.
The guy's eyebrows climb upwards. "You were definitely a good choice. You can do anything but kiss me."
"Anything? I can't kiss, but I can bite?"
"Not hard. No marks." His brow furrows. "Were you planning on it?"
"No, but you should be more careful offering blank checks to random guys you meet in dance clubs."
Warning issued, Kyle moves so his front is pressed to the guy's back and they're both facing the bar.
Being displayed is easily in Kyle's top five favorite positions to be in, and he plans on using that knowledge now. He leans in close so he can speak against the guy's ear. "Arms around my neck."
The guy obediently stretches his arms up and back so they're looped lightly around Kyle's neck. It opens up the guy's body, makes him one long line with nothing in the way. Kyle runs his hands down the guy's shirt and then rucks up the hem.
There's nothing subtle about what they're doing, but he's never been one for subtlety. His dance partner isn't complaining, so Kyle presses his palms against bare skin and pulls the guy back against him. "So, which one are we doing this for?"
The guy laughs and Kyle can feel the clench of his stomach beneath his hands. "The one looking at us."
It's Kyle's turn to laugh. "Do you really think it's only one?"
There's a whole line of people at the bar, drinks in hand, openly staring. Kyle sweeps his gaze over them, dismissing the ones who're ogling. He dips his thumb into the guy's waistband and tugs it down an inch. It flashes the jut of his hipbone, and Kyle grins as the man at the far end of the bar narrows his eyes.
"Bingo," Kyle says.
He ducks his head to press his face against his dance partner's neck. He's sweaty but still smells faintly of cologne. Will it match his partner's? Maybe the guy at the bar put cologne on before coaxing Kyle's dance partner into a lingering kiss until some of the scent transferred. Maybe it was his cologne, but he dotted it behind his partner's ears as a sign he has someone he's coming home to.
Kyle grins against skin and the man in his arms shudders. They aren't kissing, and Kyle isn't biting, but he knows what they look like. They could be doing anything here on the dance floor. The look in his eye as he meets the gaze of the man at the bar dares him to come and see.
He laughs as the guy pushes off the bar counter. "We're about to have company."
Bar Guy crosses the small strip of space between the bar and the dance floor. He looks them both over. "Having fun?"
"Not as much as he's about to be having." Kyle nudges his dance partner toward Bar Guy.
The guy Kyle had been dancing with goes easily into his partner's arms, but he turns so he's facing Kyle. "Do you want to dance a few more with us?"
It's tempting, but they're clearly together, and Kyle's too selfish to dance with people whose full attention isn't on him. He learned early on in his experimentation threesomes are only fun if he's the center of attention.
"I'm good. I have someone waiting for me at home."
Both men look surprised.
"He doesn't like to watch, but he doesn't mind me talking about it." Kyle blows them a kiss and disappears into the crowd again.
This time, he doesn't look for someone else to dance with. He heads straight for the coat check. Tonight's been fun, but he knows someone even better is waiting.
Kyle and Aidan have been together for almost half a year now. From the moment Kyle spotted him at his favorite club, he was on a mission to make Aidan notice him. He succeeded and after a trial period to see how their interests lined up, they agreed to three months together. Now they're two months into a six-month extension, their initial attraction only growing with each scene they share together.
He hopes the next time they sit down to talk about the direction of their relationship they'll extend things without an end date to hover over them.
This is his first time doing extended monogamy. He's never found a partner who matched up with him so well that he doesn't want anyone else but Aidan's different. Even where they're not exact fits — Kyle's more of an exhibitionist than Aidan's comfortable with — they find ways to make it work.
Kyle hit the club and let over a dozen different men put their hands on him. He let them touch him and whisper shit in his ear while they ground up on him. He has sweat drying against his back and a mixture of colognes clinging to his clothes, the imprint of other men all over him. But Aidan's the one he's coming home to.
That's what does it for him. Well, he's vain enough that he enjoys showing off and being admired, but the true appeal of a night like this is receiving half a dozen offers and knowing there's someone better for him. It's what he wants to show Aidan too. He wants to tell him about all the men he could've gone home with, but instead, he chose Aidan. He'll choose him every time as long as Aidan is an option.
It's probably something he should say with words instead of a night of dancing then sex, but he's never had much patience with words. Show, don't tell, his English teachers always told him.
This probably isn't what they had in mind.
When he pulls into Aidan's driveway, he takes a deep breath before he turns off the ignition. This is the moment the whole night has led up to and now he's here, he wants to draw it out a little longer.
He walks quietly to the front door because Aidan lives in a duplex, and he doesn't want to disturb the couple who live in the other half of the house. He eases the door open and pauses because Aidan's sitting an armchair with a view of the front door. The reading light is on, and it makes it feel as if he's been waiting up for Kyle. He has, but between the single light and Kyle's soft tread, it's like he's been caught trying to sneak into the house.
He closes the door behind him.
Aidan slips a bookmark into his novel and closes it. "Did you have fun?"
Kyle grins, unable to help it. "Yeah."
"You're not too tired for more?" It's Aidan's turn to smile because he already knows what the answer will be.
"Definitely not." He sounds eager and doesn't care. He's not ashamed of wanting Aidan or having Aidan know it. Part of him wishes he'd stayed out later, until three a.m., so he could prove that even if he came home exhausted he'd want Aidan to lay him out and fuck him.
"I want you to wash up to your elbows, soap and warm water, then meet me in the guest bedroom."
It's a weird request, but Kyle obeys. He's disappointed in the lack of welcome-home kiss. He hopes kissing isn't completely off the table for tonight. He licks his lips, salty from sweat with a lingering sweetness from his lemonade. Should he brush his teeth or swish around some mouthwash?
Aidan didn't tell him to. He'd been very specific in what he wanted and Kyle wants to please.
He drapes his jacket over the bathroom door and runs the water until it's warm. He carefully washes his hands and wrists then his forearms until they're clean. He pats them dry and it makes him uncomfortably aware of how dirty the rest of him is.
Aidan's already in the bedroom when Kyle gets there. He pulls the comforter back from the bed and drapes it on the floor. The top sheet follows. Kyle's cuffs rest on the pillow closest to the door, and he takes a step toward them without realizing it right away.
They're brown leather and still fairly new. They were a gift from Aidan near the end of their three-month extension. Before, they used a black pair Kyle's had for years, but these are better. They're only for the two of them. No one else has seen Kyle in them, no one else has lovingly buckled them around Kyle's wrist. There are no memories pressed into their padding except the ones Kyle and Aidan have put there together.
As Kyle stares at them, he realizes why Aidan insisted he wash his hands and arms. He doesn't want strangers' sweat touching them. He probably doesn't need to worry about feelings going both ways.
Done fussing with the bed, Aidan turns his attention to Kyle. His gaze takes in Kyle's jeans, stiff, and his shirt, translucent, then reaches his face. He picks up the first cuff and turns it over in his hands. "Do you want this?"
It's the first of their check-ins, Aidan making sure they're still on for the plans they made earlier this week. If Kyle says no then they'll shower, separately, and sleep, together. But Kyle won't say no.
"I do," Kyle says. "But first ..." He steps into Aidan's space and kisses him.
He was denied his kiss when he walked in the front door, and if kissing isn't in tonight's plans, then he wants this one before they begin their scene. It's softer than the kisses Kyle usually initiates, but the insistent need from the club is gone. He kisses Aidan as he thinks about how he had him wash his wrists so they'd be clean when Aidan put his cuffs on. Their lips move against each other and Kyle's fingers twitch, wanting to hold Aidan's because he sat up waiting for Kyle to come home.
He planned this entire night because Kyle asked for it, and Kyle wants to show how much he's enjoyed it so far and that he's looking forward to the rest.
Kyle breaks the kiss before he wants to — he'd kiss Aidan forever if he had his way. "I'm ready now."
He holds his wrist out and Aidan carefully buckles the leather around it. He slips a finger underneath to check it isn't too tight even though they've done this a dozen times by now. Would he do the same if Kyle wore his collar? The press of Aidan's finger against the smooth skin of Kyle's wrist is almost too much. He's not sure he'd be able to handle Aidan checking the fit of his collar.
Aidan does the second cuff as Kyle stares at him, eyes wide and breath already short.
Once warm leather is securely fastened around each of his wrists, Aidan takes a step back to look him over again. This look is different than the first one. It's assessing and Kyle stands taller. It makes him wish he didn't have any clothes on. Or that he had more.
His fingers tangle in the hem of his shirt. It seemed like the right choice when he picked it out, loose and light enough that it wouldn't be unbearable to dance in. But now he's out of the dark lighting of the dance club, he's aware of how flimsy it is.
Aidan steps up to Kyle, close enough that Kyle wants to take a step back so he can keep looking at Aidan's face but too far for them to be touching. He's caught in between two things, unsure of which he wants more. On a different day, in a different headspace, he'd be okay with it. He'd relax, knowing Aidan would pick the right one.
Kyle isn't there tonight, and he's not sure he wants to be.
"Touch me," he says. "Please."
Aidan's lips curl up in a smile. He steps close enough for their thighs to touch. He slides a hand down Kyle's back until it rests on Kyle's ass. He curls his other hand around Kyle's neck. "Like this?"
Kyle nods. Then shakes his head. It's a good start, but he wants more. He spent all night thinking about what Aidan would do to him when he came home and he's home now.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "To Love and to Cherish"
Copyright © 2019 Tamryn Eradani.
Excerpted by permission of NineStar Press, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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