Available from Loose Id
Coming November 1, 2011
Caleb Martin faces a life crisis -- and he’s pretty embarrassed about it. A talented soccer star, he has the chance to sign a lucrative five year contract and be rich and famous. Two problems -- Cal is gay and signing the contract means he has to stay in the closet, maybe for life. Plus, he’ll have to spend his years diving for soccer balls when he’d like to be helping people like the rest of his family. A one-night stand with a beautiful man rocks Cal, but the guy vanishes only to reappear where Cal is house-sitting. Too much coincidence? And then a cute tomboy throws Cal’s life choices into confusion. How could he wind up with a commitmentphobe and a woman dedicated to her work in Africa? Oh yeah, and then there’s a big surprise in a snowstorm. Cosmic joker strikes again.Excerpt
Having Eli’s tongue in his mouth again felt like heaven. He wanted to keep it there forever. But damn, he wanted to know what the hell was going on even more.
Cal pulled his head back, feeling like he was recovering from some heavy drug. “Hang on. What the fuck is happening?” He looked at Eli. “Why are you here? How did you get here?” He raised his head and looked around. “Where’s Angel?”
Eli leaned his forehead against Cal’s chest. He sounded like he’d nearly drowned and needed life support. “I think she ran upstairs. I think she was upset.”
“Why was she upset, Cal?” The gold eyes looked up at him.
“Hell no. I don’t owe you any explanations, and I’m not doing this one-on-one. Come with me.” Cal grabbed Eli’s wrist. The guy might be strong, but Cal was stronger. So he got off when Eli dominated him in bed, but not now, buddy. Cal wanted some answers. He dragged Eli through the great room and up the stairs to the second level. A few doors down the hall, he stopped in front of Angel’s room. The door was closed. He tried the handle. Locked. “Angel, it’s me. Open the door.”
From inside the room, he heard a muffled reply. “Go away. You have what you want.”
“Women!” Fuck, he’d never expected to say that in his life. He banged on the door. “Angel, open the damned door, or I’ll kick it down and ruin Roan’s beautiful woodwork.”
Eli leaned against the door. “And I’ll have to fix it.”
There was a pause, then a click, but the door didn’t open. Cal pushed the handle down and shoved. Success. Angel had made it all the way back to her bed and was sitting, arms crossed over her chest, her back against the headboard, looking like a beautiful, sulky teenage boy.
Still holding Eli’s wrist, Cal pointed to the other side of the bed. “Sit.” He released him, and Eli did as he was told with a tiny, wry smile.
Okay, had to get out of this fucking suit before he did one more thing. He ripped at his tie and pulled it off, removed his suit coat, folded it over a chair, and kicked off his shoes. He glanced up to find gold eyes and brown ones gazing at him. Angel looked like she would gladly slit his throat, and Eli looked like the whole thing was damned funny. Neither said a word.
Let ’em wait. He took a few more minutes getting comfortable than he absolutely had to, then sat on the end of the bed opposite Eli, his body turned halfway toward each of them. “Nobody is leaving here until I know what’s going on. Got it?” No response from the peanut gallery. He pointed at Eli. “You. You left me. I woke up, and you were gone. What the fuck did you think, I was going to try to drag you to a preacher or something?”
“Cal, I’m sorry…”
“I know, I know, relationship rhymes with commitment.”
“Kind of. I can’t explain completely. I have this really complicated life that’s not good for anyone, and it makes it hard for me to get close to people.” He’d been looking at his hands, and now he looked up, gold eyes shining. “But shit, Cal, I’ve missed you so bad. Every day I wake up thinking of you.”
Cal couldn’t decide if he wanted to throw himself at the man or throw something at him. There were too many more questions. “Is that why you’re here? You looked for me?”
Eli looked down again. “No. I didn’t even know your last name.”
Angel chimed in. “And speaking of names, you said your name was Edward. How come he calls you Eli?”
“My professional name is Edward, but my real name is Elijah. Part of that complicated life.”
Cal took over. “So if it wasn’t to find me, why are you here? This can’t be a coincidence.”
“I agree, it looks really weird, but somehow it actually is a coincidence. I was in New York visiting, uh, family. A friend called me and told me there was a great gay bar in Brooklyn and he’d meet me there. You know the rest of that. The next day, I got a call from, uh, a family member saying there was a woodworking job up for grabs because some other guy had backed out due to scheduling. He gave me a number for your contractor, and the guy hired me based on referrals. What are the chances we’d meet both places? Shit, that is serious coincidence.”
Cal had almost lost track of Angel until he heard her voice laced with sarcasm. “Well, that explains everything oh so neatly, except what the hell the two of you are doing sitting on my bed?”
She hadn’t moved from her cross-armed posture, brown eyes glowering. Pieces started falling into place in Cal’s brain. WTF? He pointed at Eli. “So you didn’t even know I was going to be here, and yet I found you in the chummiest of conversations with Angel, who, despite all appearances, is a woman! What exactly were you doing?”
Eli grinned. “Flirting.” He shrugged. “Just because I like guys doesn’t mean I don’t like girls too, and she’s adorable.”
Cal grumbled. “I know.”
Eli frowned. “Yeah, you sure as hell must know for her to be so upset at us kissing. What do you two have going, my gay friend?”
Angel piped in. “We were lovers.”
Instead of exploding as Cal expected, Eli laughed. “Well, look at you, you tricky bisexual devil.”
It was Cal’s turn to pout. “I never said I didn’t like girls.”
“When was the last time you had sex with a female, not counting Angel?”
“Umm, five years ago.”
“So that doesn’t exactly make you an ardent bisexual.” The gold eyes focused on Angel, who was watching this whole exchange like a Ping-Pong game. “You do have your charms, little Angel.”
She put hands on her hips, which looked funny, sitting cross-legged as she was. “If you two have finished airing your laundry, why don’t you leave my room since, despite my charms, I seem to have outlived my usefulness to both of you.” She looked brave, but the tears in her eyes made her a liar.
Cal looked at her. Shit. He wanted Eli, he was sure of that, but the idea of walking out of Angel’s room made his stomach ache. Still, he didn’t know what to say. He got up slowly from the bed and took a few steps toward the door.
“Hey, big guy, if you don’t want her, I sure as hell do.”
Cal spun on the man. “What the fuck, Eli? You kissed me.”
“Yeah, well, I just know you better. I was working up to kissing her.”
Angel leaned forward. “Excuse me?”
Eli ignored her.
Cal was going to kill the man. “What in the hell do you want from me?”
Eli gave him a level gaze. “Why don’t you answer that?”
“You want sex. That’s all you wanted then, and I don’t imagine that’s changed.” Crap, why should that feel like a stab in his heart?
Eli looked down for a moment, then back at Cal. “That’s not completely true. Hell yes, I want sex with you. I picked you, remember, out of a lot of choices. You are something special, and if circumstances were different, I might want more.” He shrugged. “But it is what it is.”
Cal sneered. “It’s not me; it’s you.”
Angel gave a little snort.
Eli smiled. “Yes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have sex.”
Angel leaned forward. “Then get the hell out of my room.”
Eli ignored her again. “What do you want, Cal?”
What did he want? Romance, white picket fences? How did that fit into his life? He shook his head. “I don’t know.”
“Do you want to walk out of here like Angel said?”
Never have Angel again? Never have Eli again? Cal shook his head.
A whisper was all he could manage. “I want you.”
“No, I want Angel too.”
“How the hell does that work?” She threw a pillow but missed Cal’s head by a mile. Not a great pitcher.
Eli smiled like a wolf that’d just cornered little Red. “How it works is that Cal takes off all those clothes, climbs on this bed, and proves just how bisexual he is while I fuck the hell out of his ass.”
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