I’m so excited for my first book featuring an LGBTQ couple and it’s co authored by one of the best writers who also happens to be my book twin (we were announced in the same Loose Id introduction letter) . Our book is the first in the series of 3 books – The Picture Perfect series.
This wasn’t going to work. Croix’s mouth felt like the Sahara Desert watching the man he had a crush on suck hard on the straw as he tried to get the thick liquid into his mouth. That shouldn’t be erotic…should it?
“Mmmm… This tastes delicious,” Brayden moaned as he leaned back and patted his hand on his stomach.
Croix’s gaze was drawn back to his friend, and then fixed on the hand that strayed down to what he, and the rest of the world, knew was a lean, sexy stomach. The man had a boner-inspiring six-pack to display when any particular shoot required it. Croix also knew that when his friend was off from the business for any amount of time, he had a light trail of hair that went from his belly button and led right into his pants. It was ridiculous to be jealous when it came to his friend but he couldn’t help it. From the trail of hair, to the hand that patted his belly, to the clothes that hid all that sexy maleness from his sight, he wanted no barriers between him and Brayden…and that was crazy. These strong, desperate feelings made him feel like he was spinning out of control.
“Croix?” Brayden asked and stared at him like he’d just said something.
“What?” It was embarrassing when stuff like this happened. Croix hadn’t gotten a chance to jerk off this morning, because he’d been running late, so now he was in complete horn-dog mode. If he’d known Brayden was going to work out with him, he’d have just been late and taken the time to release some of this tension.
“I was talking to you, and you zoned out. Where’d you go, man?” Brayden, who Croix had found as a hungry teen after he had been thrown out of his house for his sexual preferences, was financially abundant, and the most sought after model nationally and internationally. It was hard to believe, but he was as down-to-earth now as he had been when Croix had coerced him back to his house with the promise of food.
“I’ve got a lot on my mind. What did I miss?” Croix tried to act casual, like he hadn’t been sexing Brayden in his mind.
“Not much. I just wondered what kind of smoothie this was.”
“You’re so trusting, Bray. You never question anything, but you should have before you tasted the damn thing. It’s a blueberry almond smoothie with lactose free yogurt.” Why Croix was upset about this he didn’t know. It was probably just the arousal that had been unfed for so long bringing out the monster in him.
The deep, rumbly laugh that came from the other side of the table stirred something in Croix that was deliciously primal. He wondered how he was ever going to get his cock to go down so he could get up from the damn table.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say that about me. I’m the most skeptical person most people have ever met.” There were times when Brayden wore the “Sexiest Man on the Market” persona the fashion industry had dubbed him with his brown hair that had streaks of blond carefully tousled and his green eyes that held flecks of turquoise, and then there were times when he was just the best guy Croix had ever known. Regardless of his beauty. What he’d just said didn’t fit with anything he knew about Brayden.
“Dude, you came home with me the first day we met when I said my chef could make the exact same sandwich you were looking at but better. Just now you sunk half a drink I set down before you without even asking what was in it.” Whether he was trying to displace some of his arousal or redirect his frustration he wasn’t sure, but the anger over Brayden not caring about his safety pissed Croix off. “If I had an allergy to milk like you do, and just a sip could land me in the emergency room unable to breathe, you’d better believe I’d ask questions before I’d downed half of it.”
Brayden just watched him with the look Croix had grown so familiar with. He didn’t know what it meant, but it was like his friend was taking a small time-out in his mind. His lips were slightly pursed as though he was thinking about puckering up for a kiss, and his beautiful eyes squinted like he was studying the person, or the situation he’d become a part of. Croix knew the drill. His friend would sit there until he’d figured out what he was going to say, and then he’d say it, because he was in control of himself at all times. Brayden didn’t fly off the handle, and there were so many times Croix had wished he’d had just an ounce of that characteristic himself.
“Let’s start with the past. You had an honest, friendly face, and you looked like you needed a friend almost as much as I needed a meal.” Brayden’s voice was quiet and his tone thoughtful. “There has never been a time that you’ve steered me wrong, or wanted anything more from me than I was willing to give. You brought me into your house, set me up in your school district, fought with your family to keep me, and gave me a life at a time when I was treated like trash by the people who were supposed to love and take care of me. Why would I not drink what you brought to me? You know my medical history better than I do, and I trust you with my life.” Brayden sat back in his seat when he was finished, and Croix wondered if the man knew how much those words meant to him.
If that is what taking the time to think out your words sounded like, Croix was going to have to get his shit together and try it. Brayden was smart, funny and intelligent. There were so many times when Croix had been trying to get his life together, to be the kind of guy Brayden would be interested in. He’d always hoped his openly gay best friend would make a move on him. Any move would have been fine, but he hadn’t. Ever. He’d met a few of Brayden’s “friends/lovers”, but he’d never stuck around to see anything more than that they weren’t anything like him. They were hot, heavily muscled, manicured guys who probably liked to talk about how to take care of their body and current affairs. His blood boiled each and every time he had to breathe the same air as the men who got to spend time touching the skin he thought about constantly.
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