Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Losing Better by Katey Hawthorne


Superpowered Special Agent Gabriel Genêt's first solo mission: go to Hooperstown, North Carolina, find evidence that Andrew Wynne is operating as a vigilante, then bring him in. Ten years ago, Gabriel spent a summer alternately torturing and hooking up with Andrew as they tried to ignore their parents' embarrassing affair. Of course Andrew, the big puppy dog, will be happy to see his old friend and never suspect a thing. Career-driven, cocky young Agent Genêt can hardly believe his luck.

A covert game of betrayals ensues. Things start out complicated, with Gabriel using Andrew's open arms and attraction to him for all it's worth. Gabriel tells himself he doesn't reciprocate, and then that he can control it, but it's too violent for either of them to deny. As he gets closer to the evidence he needs, a heady combination of nostalgia, genuine affection, and even understanding brings Andrew closer to him. Dangerously close, in every sense.

The stakes are much higher than just their livelihoods. Gabriel begins to fear it'll come down to a choice between everything he's ever believed in, wanted, and stood for--and the only love he's ever known.


Just as I was emerging from the bathroom, he knocked. With slow, measured steps, I made my way to the door. I put on my best you-owe-me-an-explanation face and opened it, already forming the words, “Hello, Andr—”
He threw both arms around me and kissed me hard before I even got a good look at him. He closed in, letting the weighted door slam shut behind him, pulling me close and forcing me to take a step back at the same time.
My lips crushed against his; his front teeth clacked against mine. He only turned his head and dived deeper, forcing me backward again so that I grabbed at the back of his shirt for support. I didn’t need to; his arms were strong and steady, his purpose assured. His tongue flicked into my mouth. Then he sucked me into his, tasting of wine and something like Andrew without the sweet tea. I kissed back, clutching at his shirt, sliding myself into the perfect position against his hard body, his cock stiffening behind his fly, his heart pounding through his chest into mine.
Where he ended and I began.
He took one arm from around me to tug my shirt out of my pants, began undoing buttons.
I pulled away, gasping for air, for that seemingly defunct place in my brain that had once enshrined wisdom and good sense. There was no point. I didn’t want this for the right reasons. I wanted this for all the reasons I shouldn’t. “Andrew, what have you been up to?”
He jerked at my shirt, sending buttons flying.
He pushed me against the wall, smashed his lips into mine bruisingly hard, his hands slithering under my open shirt. Cold and soft, waking up my skin so that every hair from between my legs to the back of my neck stood straight. He closed the kiss off by biting down on my lower lip, then muttered, “Stop it.”
“Stop playing this game where you find ways not to touch me, Gabriel. It’s not fun anymore.” He kissed me again, and one of my hands found its way into his hair, tangling up with his curls and pulling them tight. He sighed into my mouth; his hips rocked, pinning me against the wall and making my cock thump urgently against his leg.
I made a desperate attempt to silently scream myself into stopping. I couldn’t call off the game, though, not now. My free hand worked at his shirt without my permission.
He smelled like outdoors. Like real grass, not the false green of his sweat. He was cold, so cold, under there—
“Fuck, when you’re close it’s like—” He stuttered, pulling back just enough to look me in the eye. “Like I never wanted anything like I want to touch you.” He cupped my face with an icy-cold hand, tilting it upward. “Like…like I’d do almost anything if…”
My heart beat so hard my ribs were sore. Between that and the metallic ache in my chest—could he feel it?
I didn’t want to know, yet something wild and stupid in me said there was a chance. A chance that it didn’t have to happen like this. That he would see reason, or at least see me, and it would make a difference. So I asked, “If?”
He sighed and put his forehead against mine, the entire delicious weight of his body pinning me to the wall. “I need you. You know it.”
I opened my mouth to say that I knew no such thing, but he got his hands between us and undid my fly in a series of yanks and jerks that left me speechless. It was for the best as I was in no state to lie convincingly, anyhow.
He said, “You fucking know it now, so the game’s over.”
He was unequivocally out of his mind, then. Brilliant.

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