Authors: K. A. Mitchell
Tags: #Romance, #Erotica, #Gay, #Fiction
Eli pushed away from the table. “Hey, gorgeous, I need some help.”
Jamie shouldn’t stare. It was definitely a violation of the friend code, but he watched Eli’s bubble butt as the kid sauntered across the kitchen.
Quinn growled—an honest-to-God, deep-throated, wolf kind of thing—then speared his lasagna with violent intent.
“Hey, sorry. Only looking,” Jamie offered guiltily. “You know I’d never—”
“It’s not you.” Quinn picked up his forkful then dropped it back to his plate. But jealousy was as plain as the frown lines on Quinn’s forehead.
Jamie watched Eli’s body move like he was dancing as he laughed and talked. Jamie got it. “Oh, the kid is talking to his ex. Who knows all about formal wear. Wait. The kid had an actual
sugar daddy before, and he still ended up with you?”
“Fuck you very much.”
“Seriously? Like how much is the guy worth? Think he’d go for—”
Eli strutted back. “Kellan says his mom would commit ritual murder for an invitation to a Montgomery party. They’ll be up in about half an hour. I’ll keep this warm for them.” He snatched up the lasagna while Jamie was still thinking about a second serving.
“Have you forgotten that Mr. Holier-Than-Thou doesn’t eat meat?” Quinn leaned back in his chair.
Eli shut the oven door and with a movement as smooth as water, draped himself over Quinn. Damn. Did that kid have a spine? The positions you could bend him into…
“He’s shortened his name to Nate now, baby.” Eli did a wiggle and something with his mouth on Quinn’s jaw that had the man’s hands sinking hard into the denim covering that bubble butt. Then Eli laid on a kiss that made Jamie have to shift his inseam to give his dick a little extra room. He wasn’t about to trade his life in for some copy of a marriage where he was accountable to someone else every second, but a reliable fuck wouldn’t be too bad.
Eli climbed off, slinging a leg over as if he were dismounting a horse. “And we have salad and bread so Nate can be all noble and martyred and sneer at us carnivores. What we really need is Kellan’s mom, but we’ll manage to get you set up. Little three-way…” Eli licked his lips, “…communication ought to do it.”
Quinn’s palm cracked against Eli’s ass.
“Mmmm. You’re so much fun to stir up.” Eli shook his ass at Quinn.
Jamie grabbed his beer and shoved away from the table. “I’m going outside. Need a—”
“You quit,” Eli and Quinn said in unison.
“A fucking walk.” Jamie slammed out through the kitchen door.
“Oh. Thanks for the alone time then,” Eli called cheerfully after him.
There wasn’t much in Quinn’s yard. No back porch, nothing to lean on. Jamie sucked in a deep breath. Cool at night and some cloudy days, but it smelled like spring. On the exhale he let go a little of that urge to whip the half-empty bottle of beer at the fence. The brew was still cold, and he needed it for company.
Yeah, Eli liked jerking chains, Quinn’s and Jamie’s and pretty much everything with a dick included. Most of the time Jamie thought it was funny, was flattered considering he had half a decade on Quinn. After watching them the past couple months, Jamie knew the kid wouldn’t hurt Quinn on purpose.
So most of the time it was funny, and he’d never been one to turn down flirting, but damn, when Jamie hadn’t been laid in—Christ, almost two months now—watching their can’t-keep-our-hands-to-ourselves thing got old in a hurry.
There were reasons he’d been flying solo. Jamie hadn’t been looking, even for a nameless fuck. First Dad in the hospital. Then helping Mom with the arrangements and packing up Dad’s stuff. Not particularly conducive to the mood, though he wouldn’t say no if something pretty dropped in his lap.
You have one hell of a pretty mouth.
Montgomery wasn’t hard on the eyes, and hell, sometimes all Jamie needed was not-repulsive and the right plumbing. Montgomery wouldn’t be making those smart-ass remarks with a dick in his mouth. But that was a bad, bad idea. Ending the dry spell would sure as hell take some of the edge off, but Gavin Prescott Montgomery was not the way to go.
“Can I get you anything, Lily? Are you sure you don’t want to sit down?” Gavin eyed the edges of the marble hall, where some tables and chairs had been set up. Everyone was in full mingle mode, backslapping and glad-handing, trying to get closer to Gavin’s father, who was only a yard away but focused on receiving the ring kissing all the dutiful subjects were offering.
“I’m fine, sweetheart. Completely sensible shoes.” His stepmother rested her hand lightly on his arm.
In only the first hour, the party already felt more endless than the dullest fundraiser Gavin had ever smiled his way through. Not that it was a party, more of a command performance for people who wanted to be seen and people his father wanted seeing that the Montgomerys were functional and happy, no suicidal tendencies or out-of-control addictions. Only his father had the charisma and cash necessary to convince everyone that Gavin’s utter failure was truly an act of selfless heroism. At least Gavin had the satisfaction that Honey hadn’t been able to brat her way out of it through a claim that she was needed at an urgent action meeting for prisoners of conscience or animal testing or whatever her cause du jour was.
“He certainly looks dashing.” Lily nodded toward a little knot of men where the other hero célèbre, Officer Donnigan, stood out by virtue of the gleam on his copper hair.
It was quite a change from the last time Gavin had seen him. From the profile view Gavin had, Officer Donnigan’s jaw was sharp, scraped clean, making his lips fuller and wider. The short jacket and tapered pants might have been tailored just for him, showing off his solid build without making him look bulky.
“Custom-tailored Hugo Boss if I’m not mistaken. A much better choice for him than Armani,” Lily said. “Did you recommend it?”
“I—told him I would offer any help he needed.” It was obvious Donnigan hadn’t needed any help. Looking as comfortable as if he wore black-tie and did hors d’oeuvres with the bosses every day, he was bracketed by the mayor and another man who was probably either the chief of the city or the county police, if Gavin remembered the guest list correctly.
Hugo Boss, the vintage truck. County police work must pay well.
Donnigan and the mayor each took an hors d’oeuvre from a passing waiter while the third man patted his vest and waved away the tray.
“Go mingle, Gavin. I’m fine.”
“Wouldn’t want you to fail in your assignment to watch me and make sure I don’t do anything embarrassing or suicidal.”
“You know your father doesn’t think that.”
“Then why this party, Lily?”
She put a hand on his lapel. “So he can show you he doesn’t think that.”
“Show them, you mean.” Gavin jerked his head back in the direction of the crowd where his father was the center of attention.
Chip appeared out of the crowd of carefully vetted guests. “One of the guests of honor is conspicuously absent from the party.”
“I’m here.” Gavin was always “here”, though easily missed. That familiar inattention would be nice right now, perhaps allowing him to slip off with one of the waiters for a bit of distraction if not actual fun.
“I will keep Lily from being trampled if there’s a stampede for Beluga and
on toast points,” Chip said, though his gaze, as usual, was sweeping the room, holding him aloof from everyone. “You’re supposed to be—”
“Demonstrating my sanity by holding conversations with CEOs and politicians? In your professional opinion, wouldn’t hiding back here be a better indication of me being of sound mind?”
“Gavin.” His sister Taisy appeared at his other side. “I want you to introduce us to your rescuer.”
He’d been outflanked. He’d never met anyone as single-minded as Taisy.
“Promise you won’t let Lily stand too long,” Gavin urged Chip as their sister dragged Gavin off. Her husband materialized as if she’d summoned him from wherever he’d been sent while she made her arrangements.
“Lee.” Gavin nodded at his brother-in-law. Gavin had known him since prep school. With dark blond hair and bright blue eyes, Lee Sullivan had a pleasant earnestness that made a lot of people underestimate him, all of the teachers at Deerfield included. Gavin wondered if his sister really thought her husband was as malleable as he appeared.
Taisy wasn’t interested in meeting the police diver who’d found her brother, but in schmoozing the mayor of the biggest city in Maryland. The mayor moved to accommodate the increase in the conversation-group size. Donnigan said, “Thank you, Chief,” as the other man wrung his hand and slipped away.
“Officer Donnigan. Pl—” Gavin began.
“Jamie,” the man corrected.
Gavin froze for an instant as the full force of Jamie Donnigan hit Gavin right in the face. God, that mouth. And the way the suit emphasized his broad chest. But it wasn’t the mouth or the muscles under fine tailoring that pumped a wave of heat into Gavin’s cock, it was the direct stare. One that picked out Gavin alone in the middle of the crowded hall.
Copper brows arched toward the thick wave on his forehead, but the expression in the blue eyes was amused, confident. “While you’re busy remembering the face of the guy who saved your life, why don’t you hang the name Jamie on it.”
Name. Right. A hand squeezed Gavin’s forearm to remind him of his sibling duty.
“Oh. Jamie Donnigan, please allow me to introduce my brother-in-law, Lee Sullivan, and my sister, Bronwyn—”
“Taisy,” his sister corrected.
“Pleased to meet you.” Jamie shook hands with Lee and gripped Taisy’s offered fingertips.
“Thank you so much for returning Gavin to us—more or less in one piece.” Taisy gave them all her camera-ready smile.
“And you both know Mayor Burke, of course.” Gavin got to the point of this whole exercise, for Taisy to ingratiate herself—and Lee—with the mayor.
“Of course, Mr. Mayor.” Taisy beamed.
At that moment, Gavin, Jamie and anyone who wouldn’t further Taisy’s ambition became irrelevant.
There was the familiar invisibility Gavin usually experienced. In the middle of the party, and completely unnoticed. Well, not completely. Donnigan—Jamie—was staring at him. Gavin supposed he had it coming for all the staring he’d done.
“Nice tux,” Gavin said.
Jamie shrugged. “Yeah, guess my baby won’t be getting her new cowl induction hood for a while, but maybe I can write it off as a work expense.” He stretched out a sleeve and tugged the cuff.
Gavin knew Jamie was gay. No way had Gavin read the signals wrong, and besides, his father had checked into Jamie’s background before putting the party together. A daughter? With a cowl-style hood for induction into—
“My truck.” Jamie’s tongue moved under his cheek, like he was controlling a laugh at Gavin’s expense.
“Snub nose, short box. But it’s built to last a long time.” Jamie grabbed a skewer of almond-encrusted sea bass from the tray of a passing waiter.
Set between lightly freckled cheeks, Jamie’s nose was, like the rest of him, somewhat shorter than average. And that made his mouth look even more—
He popped the skewer between his lips and drew the bamboo out slowly.
The tingle of awareness turned into a flush under Gavin’s skin. Just as deliberately, Jamie slipped the skewer back inside his mouth, and Gavin felt every inch on his skin, felt those lips hot and wet and moving over his balls.
Jamie nodded and pulled the thin shaft free again. “It’s got a 347 cubic inch stroker motor.”
Jamie’s lips didn’t twitch, but his eyes were bright, like he was on the verge of a laugh. “Four-speed hand-shaker stick on the floor. I’ll give you a ride sometime.” With a flick of his tongue, he shoved the bamboo back between his teeth.
The pleasant spark of interest in Gavin’s dick turned into a sullen pulse of want. The roughness in his voice surprised him. “You should always have something in your mouth.”
Jamie rolled his eyes. “Tell me about it.” As he stepped closer, the amusement disappeared. “But I was thinking you would be the one to—”
A repetitive chime cut him off, then Gavin’s father was filling the room with a “Thank you for coming” and “I’m sure you know why we’re gathered here…” His father signaled, but Gavin knew the drill. He led Jamie to the podium that had silently appeared at the edge of the dance floor.
The usual speech rolled right through Gavin, until Father got to the part about a moment of silent prayer for the recovery of David Beauchamp. Gavin bowed his head but looked through his eyelashes at the representative Beauchamp family members. Of course, Beach’s parents weren’t there. Nothing would drag his mother out of France, and there was that “unfortunate incident” with the underage cabana girl that kept his dad from returning to any place with U.S. jurisdiction. The aunt and uncle who’d raised Beach had their heads bowed, but no real emotion showed in their expressions.
The whole thing was a giant sham.
No one cared about any of this, least of all about Beach who might never wake up. As long as they could go on with their lives secure in the knowledge that the mighty Montgomerys remained untouched, it was merely another chance to eat and drink with the right people. Yet when his father paused in the story of that night and passed it on to Gavin, he found himself mouthing through all the expected words, somehow sounding self-effacing rather than disgusted with himself.
“I only did what any friend would. I tried to help David any way I could. I’m particularly grateful to the skills and organization of the rescue divers, including Officer Donnigan here.”
Jamie’s speech was full of platitudes that spilled from his lips as easily as if he’d been born to the cocktail circuit. He really sold it with the humble wrap-up of doing his duty and being honored to serve and protect the most important harbor in the country, which earned him as enthusiastic a response as was appropriate for the venue.
Beach’s coma forgotten, the heroes were toasted and congratulated until the dessert stations rolled out.