Copyright © 2013 Summer Devon
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
After Peter’s run, he went into the kitchen to grab a granola bar for breakfast and found Colin unusually scruffy as, half-awake and yawning, he stared into the fridge.
“Hey.” Peter wondered where the silly blue pajamas had gone.
“Good morning,” Colin said in a rasping voice as he scratched his chest. Colin, usually so neat and buttoned up in his khakis and pressed shirt, had been replaced by this slob, something more like Peter. Nothing threatening there, Peter told himself. Except the attraction, wasn’t that a threat?
And da-yum, Colin fresh from bed. There, under the thin shirt…Peter was fascinated by the shoulder blade of Colin’s right arm as he held the fridge door open.
The day on the mountain and in the museum he hadn’t had to tamp this stuff down, not much, anyway. Now the unwelcome thoughts returned. Too strong—Peter had to figure out a way to defuse them both. This was a good place to live and he wanted to stay as long as he could. Yeah, sure. That was why he wanted to get past the careful high-wire act they put on near each other.
Touch Colin. Rest your hand on his back. Just for a second. A friendly hello.
He could just thump him on the upper arm. Peter realized he missed casual touches. He didn’t have friends in this town so he’d been deprived, no high fives, no quick body-slamming, back-thudding embrace.
He wanted to drag Colin in for more than a quick hug. He’d stroke that shoulder blade up over Colin’s nape into the thick floppy hair.
Peter would yank his head back so he could kiss Colin’s broad forehead, his cheeks, his mouth. Mmm. That morning mouth, cooled with the water Colin drank before he even got out of bed. That thin layer of beard would be rough under Peter’s fingers. Would Peter’s skin develop the stubble burn his girlfriends had gotten when they kissed? Would both of their mouths and cheeks turn pink when they kissed and kissed and…
When. Not if. He sucked his upper lip between his teeth and bit down. Nope, that didn’t work either.
Waiting around, hoping the tension would go away wasn’t going to work. He stepped forward. Colin whirled around, guilty. Even as he looked at Peter, something subtly shifted near the center of his body under his sweats. His c*ck had moved. Ha. Yup, it hadn’t just been Peter’s imagination.
Peter touched his shoulder, a quick neutral greeting. But Colin’s head went back as if he’d been socked in the jaw. His lips parted and his eyes closed.
“Zing,” Peter said with a breathless laugh. “Wow. You’re excited, aren’t you?”
Colin opened his eyes. He slid away and closed the fridge. His brow furrowed. “I’d say I am sorry, but I don’t think that’s an appropriate response when I’ve been doing my goddamned best to—”
“Hey, it’s okay. I am too.” Peter put both hands on his shoulders and moved so he stood between Colin and the fridge. “Coll, I’m going to kiss you now.”
Colin’s mouth opened but no sound came out. He looked at Peter’s mouth then up to his eyes, then his mouth. Close enough to a yes. Peter leaned forward and put his lips on the corner of Colin’s mouth.
Colin didn’t move. Peter kissed him there, a soft little peck. He moved to the other side of Colin’s mouth, another tiny kiss, letting the fast, hot breath brush over his lips for a second before he tilted his head sideways and moved in for the main course, a greedier, full-bore kiss.
Warm, soft, with only a hint of scraping stubble. That question had been answered.
His first man-on-man kiss—so far so good. Not so very different from the taste of a woman.
Except when Colin made a noise deep in his throat, a male grunt of pleasure, Peter went dizzy. He’d gotten hard just watching Colin and now his body shifted into overdrive. Screw thinking. No, screw Colin, hard and deep and fast and slow and…
He went for more, parting his lips so he could flick into Colin’s mouth and see if he tasted as delicious inside as out.
Yes. So good. He moaned.
Colin broke away. “What in bloody goddamn hell are you doing?”
Peter rested his hands on Colin’s shoulders, palms against muscles and breadth far more substantial than any woman’s. Colin. He got to touch funny, uptight, wonderful Colin who was funny even when he complained. Peter grinned so wide he probably looked moronic. “Is that a trick question?”
“What do you want?”
Colin’s face went from storming angry to something softer. “Peter, Peter. No. You don’t have to do this or anything to stay here; it’s okay.”
“What? Wait a sec.” Peter went dizzy with understanding. He let his hands drop. “I bet you have been reading too much porn. Or do you watch it?”
“You think this is one of those standard set-ups. Desperate tenant trading favors with his landlord.”
“It’s not? Then explain it to me.”
Poor Colin seemed frazzled, on the edge of fear or something less fun than desire. Peter would have to move away from the mindless lust he’d been enjoying so he could think.
What was Colin’s question again? What did Peter want? Easy to answer that one.
“I want you. A lot. I have wanted you for weeks.” He laughed. “Hell, make that years. Since the night you slept on my floor.”
Peter decided that was a denial of his statement, not Colin telling him to back off. “Yeah, I did. Not as much as I do now, but yeah, I wanted you.”
“You like women; you’re straight. If you think you want me you’re just…” Colin’s whole face went slightly pink. “You’re simply horny.”
No arguing with that last part, so Peter only said, “I like women, but I’m pretty damned crooked it turns out.”
Colin scowled. “Oh?” The single word managed to express utter disbelief.
Peter didn’t blush but he looked at his fingernails rather than meet Colin’s angry blue eyes. “I’ve known for years. I haven’t acted on it, but I sometimes got a hankering for guys too.”
“I had no idea. Why have you kept it a secret?”
Peter shrugged. “You met my parents. I knew it would create big-ass craziness for my family, and there are more acceptable people I like, as in women. You can’t exactly call me in the closet, but I’m not entirely out either.”
He’d have stayed hidden if he hadn’t developed a yen that went too deep to ignore. Given a choice between a gorgeous woman and Colin, he’d pick Colin. A choice between a movie star of either sex and Colin, yup, he’d pick Colin.
Holy crap, he was on his way to falling in love.
Peter began to laugh in astonishment.
“It’s not funny.” Colin sounded as serious as a car accident. “Have you ever touched a man with…with carnal intent?”
Of course he’d use a phrase like that. Carnal intent. It would sound pompous coming from anyone else. Peter moved in close to Colin who leaned back. “I haven’t touched a guy. Give me a second.”
Peter grabbed Colin around the waist, pulling him hard up against his body. “Now I have. Carnal.” He hummed the word as he buried his nose in Colin’s neck and pulled in a long breath of the so-familiar scent. His semi-arousal turned to full-blown erection.
Peter gave a little pulse against Colin’s hip. “See? I want you. And I’m not pretending you’re a woman or anyone else. I know who you are. Colin. My good buddy, old pal o’mine, Colin.”
Another one of those groans rose from deep in Colin’s chest.
“You want me too.”
Colin nodded; his hair brushed the side of Peter’s face.
Peter backed up and grabbed his hand. “Your room.”