Monday, August 10, 2009
Amanda Young's Hard Candy brings you three novellas of torrid love between men. In this excerpt from one of these stories, Man Candy, Aaron Samuels has a secret. He's in love with his boss, Logan Remora. Logan is everything Aaron's ever wanted in a man, except he's straight... and married.
Publisher: CreateSpace July 10, 2009)
Aaron jerked back, his gaze flying from his feet up to the man -- Logan or Jake, though he couldn’t tell which -- who stood a couple of yards away. The sudden movement caused him to overbalance in the swing. The seat shot forward, while his torso went backward. His back hit the ground, startling him, but doing no real damage to anything other than his pride.
The man appeared above him, the wry twist to his sinfully shaped lips automatically identifying him as Jake. Logan was much too serious most of the time. “You okay?” He held out his hand.
“Yeah,” Aaron replied as he accepted Jake’s hand and allowed himself to be hauled to his feet. “Haven’t I already told you to quit sneaking up on me?” Aaron wiped bits of grass off his clothes as he glared at Jake.
“Uh, no.” Jake frowned. “And I didn’t mean to surprise you. It’s not like I was hiding in the bushes and jumped out yelling ‘Boo.’ Besides, you wouldn’t startle so easy if you would just relax a little. You’re too damn high-strung.”
“Fuck you,” Aaron responded defensively.
Jake chuckled, the deep, husky sound going right to Aaron’s balls, the fickle bastards that they were. “About time.”
“Huh?” Maybe he’d conked his head harder than he thought ’cause Aaron had no idea what Jake was talking about.
“I’ve been waiting for you to drop that proper little façade you wear around the office all day and be yourself. I just knew you’d be a spitfire as soon as you learned to let go a little.” Jake’s arm extended and his fingers brushed over the side of Aaron’s face. Aaron’s gaze widened at the touch. Jake shrugged. “You had a bit of grass on your cheek.”
Jake’s touch lingered, and Aaron had to bite down on the inside of his cheek to keep from moaning, or worse. When Jake’s thumb grazed the corner of his lips, a tremor ran down Aaron’s spine. Jake’s scent surrounded him, wrapped him in its musky essence, a light hint of spicy cologne teasing his nose. He wanted to close his eyes and lose himself in the moment, but couldn’t allow himself the pleasure. Showing his absorption in something as simple as a gentle touch would be way too telling about his feelings.
A voice in his head spoke up, warning him that it wasn’t Jake he was attracted to. He was only responding so strongly because of the resemblance to Logan. Wasn’t he?
“You’re so beautiful.”
Jake’s huskily whispered words yanked Aaron out of his musings. He shook his head, his cheeks heating because of the compliment. “No, I’m not. I’m --” There was nothing special about him. He was too short, too skinny, too everything.
He couldn’t do this. His dick throbbed angrily in response to his choice, but he ignored it and jerked away from Jake. Immediately, he missed the connection, but he forced himself to take an extra step back, needing more distance between them. The temptation to return the gentle touch, to see where it might lead, rode him hard. Jake’s allure was almost too strong to resist, but Aaron persevered. There was no other option.
Letting go of his tightly held restraint would be akin to playing with fire. And though he knew better, his body craved the heat Jake offered. Craved it worse than a nicotine addict does a smoke right after sex.
Aaron inwardly groaned. Sex. Visions of him and Jake, their limbs sweaty and flushed by a vigorous round of fucking, popped into his head. The image was so real, he could almost feel the damp heat, taste the salty tang of well-earned perspiration. He didn’t even need Jake to torment him; he was doing a good enough job of it himself.
Jake stepped forward and reached for him. Aaron hastily backpedaled away. His ass smacked into something hard and cylindrical. He felt around behind him, touched cool metal, and realized he’d run into one of the poles anchoring the swing set. He squeezed his eyes shut. Jesus, he was a klutz.
Strong hands bracketed his shoulders. “Look at me.”
Aaron shook his head in answer, refusing to open his eyes. He was being childish and he knew it, but it would be all too easy to lose himself in those dark, mesmerizing eyes. Casual sex was fine, not a thing wrong with it, but he couldn’t make love to Jake and not let his feelings for Logan get in the way. Jake clearly only wanted a plaything and would move on as soon as the thrill of the conquest was over. By then, it would be too late. Aaron would be head over heels and shit out of luck.
A finger caressed Aaron’s jaw, tilting his chin up. “Am I that unattractive to you, Aaron?”
Aaron could hear the smile in Jake’s voice, and it incensed him. The smug bastard knew full well that wasn’t the problem. He opened his eyes and glowered up at Jake, who towered over him, close to six inches taller than Aaron’s own five foot nine. “Stop it, Jake. Quit toying with me.”
A frown creased Jake’s forehead. “I’m not --” His voice cut off, and then with a little shake of his head he leaned down, bringing their eyes into alignment. The tip of his nose ran over Aaron’s in feathery Eskimo kisses.
Aaron pressed his hands into Jake’s chest and felt Jake’s heartbeat thundering against his palms. His fingers flexed over Jake’s pecs, unable to resist, and he wanted to moan in response to the wicked feel of them contracting against his touch.
“I don’t know what you want from me.”
Okay, so that wasn’t precisely the truth. It was clear enough what Jake wanted. The question resting heavy on Aaron’s mind was why. In all the time he’d worked for Remora Construction, Jake had never come on to him. Sure, they’d flirted back and forth a little bit, but that was it. Aaron couldn’t understand why Jake was hitting on him now. It made no sense.
Jake quirked a single brow. “Don’t you?”
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