Authors: Ella Jade
Tags: #Gay & Lesbian, #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica, #Gay, #Romantic, #Romance, #Gay Romance, #Genre Fiction, #Lgbt, #Gay Fiction
Embracing the Unexpected
Copyright © 2011, Ella Jade
Publisher: Beachwalk Press, Inc.
Electronic Publication: December,
Editor: Antonia Tiranth
Cover: Pamela Tyner
eBooks are not transferable. No part
of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission, except in
the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews.
This book is a work of fiction and
any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is
purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination
and used fictitiously.
Sometimes love can be found where we least expect it.
When Parker Phillips, a successful attorney, has a confrontation
with his friend Ava’s abusive boyfriend, he finds himself facing assault and
battery charges, and he’s ordered to attend an anger management course. Parker,
who has never been attracted to a man, is drawn to Dr. Jace Cross, the
psychiatrist leading the class. But how can that be, since Parker is straight?
Jace accepted the fact that he was gay many years ago, and
he’s comfortable in his sexuality, but he’s been single for some time now. He
throws himself into his work to fill the lonely void.
Although sparks fly whenever they’re together, Parker’s
reluctant to embrace these feelings he has for another man.
Can the sexy doctor help him discover who he truly is?
Content Warning: Strong language, graphic sex
Parker Phillips hated Monday nights. The only saving grace
was he had just one week left in the stupid six week court appointed anger
management class. If he said he regretted his actions that led him here, he’d
be lying. There was only one person in his life he would do this for. He
couldn’t even think about the reason he was here. It made him sick.
The two hours seemed more like an eternity, and he was
having a difficult time keeping his eyes opened. He was in the car before seven
that morning, put in a full day at the office, had dinner with a client, and
now was ending his day here. He’d much rather be at home, sitting in front of
the fire with a brandy and a good book. One more week. He could do it.
He glanced down at his watch. Two minutes to nine, two
minutes to go. When he looked back up, Dr. Cross was staring at him with those
piercing blue eyes. Parker looked down at his notebook, feeling embarrassed
he’d been caught checking the time, but even the doctor had to know Parker
didn’t belong here.
“Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for spending your evening
with me,” he said. “I’ll see you back here next week and your time will be
The rest of the class chuckled as people jumped up from
their desks and darted for the door. Parker stood up, gathered his belongings,
and reached for his suit jacket hanging neatly on the back of his chair.
“Mr. Phillips,” Dr. Cross called.
A few people looked at Parker on their way out and he
wondered if any of them knew who he was. He doubted it, since he practiced
corporate law and didn’t deal with many criminals, maybe a few white collar
ones. Still, his face was usually in the newspapers and local magazines, so he
tried to keep a low profile while he was here. He didn’t need all of
Connecticut figuring out who he was and what he’d done.
“May I have a word with you?” Dr. Cross asked in a low tone.
He hardly ever raised his voice and had a strange calming effect on the people
he was preaching to.
Parker watched as the others exited the classroom, wishing
he’d managed to get out before he called his name. He couldn’t imagine what the
instructor would want from him. He attended the class each week, stayed the
full amount of time, and minded his business. What else could he want?
“Is it important, Dr. Cross? I’ve had a busy day and I have
a long ride home,” he answered, not wanting to spend any more time here than he
“This won’t take long.” He smiled as he sat on the edge of
the metal desk. “Have a seat.” He motioned with his hand for him to sit back
“I’ll stand, if you don’t mind.” Parker knew he was being
difficult, but this whole scene put him in a foul mood and he wanted to go
“Whatever makes you comfortable.”
A brandy, fire, and a good book. That was what would make
him comfortable. But it didn’t look like that was going to happen.
“How has the class been for you?”
“Fine. It served its purpose.”
“Really?” He crossed his legs at the ankles.
He was a striking man who had very good taste in designer
clothes. Every time Dr. Cross stood in front of the class, he was extremely
meticulous. His dirty blond hair hung longer than one would expect for a doctor
of his caliber, but he was eclectic and that intrigued Parker. Not that he gave
the doctor much thought during the week when he wasn’t in his presence, but he
did find the man interesting. At least when he wasn’t going on about how one
should control impulses and improve verbal communication skills.
“Was there something else?” Parker didn’t feel comfortable
discussing the reason he was there in the first place, and he wanted out before
he had to make excuses.
“I’m just curious to know if you’ve gotten anything out of
“Do you have a one-on-one session with all of the
participants in the class?” Parker asked. “Or am I special?”
“Only the ones who don’t seem to participate at all,” he
countered. “I think this might be the first time I’ve heard you speak in five
“I see.” Parker glanced up at the wall on the clock, trying
to prove a point. “Look, I’ve put my time in and I’ll be here next week. I’ve
completed my obligation.”
“Have you?” Dr. Cross arched a brow at him.
“I’m sure we can appreciate we’re both busy men, so if there
isn’t anything else, I’d like to go home. I have a rather early morning.”
“I can appreciate that.” He smiled and Parker noticed just
how incredibly white his teeth were. He wondered how he didn’t notice that
before. Then he wondered why the hell he cared how white the man’s teeth were.
It shouldn’t have mattered.
“Anyway,” Dr. Cross continued. “It’s my job to see that
every student in here comes away with the proper understanding of the course
material, and since you don’t actively participate, I wanted to make sure you
were getting it. I can’t sign off on your paperwork and hand it in to the judge
if I’m not convinced.”
“Are you kidding me?” Parker asked. “Don’t play games with
me. You have my file and you know why I’m here.”
“You pled guilty to assault and battery charges. You broke
into a man’s home, ripped him from his bed, and beat him. That’s not normal
behavior, especially for a man with your standing in society. It wasn’t even
“Not self-defense for me,” he mumbled.
“Care to elaborate?”
“Not really,” Parker said. “I pled guilty, and I’m
fulfilling my court appointed obligation. I sincerely hope you don’t stand in
my way.” He didn’t want to make an enemy of the good doctor, but he was sure he
could find something in his past that would make him go away.
“You’re very defensive,” Dr. Cross noted. “Perhaps I’m just
“About?” Parker sighed, running his fingers through his
hair. He couldn’t help but notice the way Dr. Cross was staring at him. It was
almost as if he was checking him out. That was weird. “What are you curious
about, Dr. Cross?” he asked again.
“How such an influential member of this community would end
up here. You don’t seem like the type of person who goes around beating on
people. You’re an extremely successful attorney with a reputation to protect.”
“So, you know who I am?” Parker was slightly amused.
“You’re hard to miss,” he said. “You’ve had some pretty high
“Then you see why I like my privacy.”
“You didn’t answer my question.” Dr. Cross stood up and
moved closer to where Parker was standing.
They were about the same height and for the first time
Parker noticed just how toned his body was. He didn’t understand why he found
Dr. Cross so distracting all of a sudden.
He was a guy, for Christ’s sake.
“How did you end up here?”
“I had my reasons,” Parker answered, and that was the truth.
“Reasons you’re not willing to share with me?”
“I don’t see the point. I’ve owned up to my mistakes, and
I’d like to put them behind me.”
“You can’t put it behind you, if you’re not willing to
discuss it. You need to learn how to control your anger, remain calm, and
improve your communication skills.” Dr. Cross was now back in lecture mode and
Parker was just too tired to deal with it.
“I don’t need a shrink.” He smirked. “But if I did, I’d
definitely seek one with your reputation. Harvard, was it?”
“And I believe you are one of the youngest psychiatrists to
have completed his residency and started his own practice. You’ve also penned
“The fourth is due out next month,” he said.
“Congratulations.” Parker was more than intrigued by this
successful man, but he wasn’t sure why.
“I see you’ve done your homework. I’m impressed.”
“Well, if I was going to do this, I was going to do it
right,” Parker informed him. “I wouldn’t have taken this course from just
anyone, but I would have preferred a Yale graduate.”
“Yes, I was a little disappointed to find out you didn’t get
your law degree from Harvard.” Dr. Cross laughed. “But Yale’s good too.” He
reached into his pocket and pulled out his card. “I don’t usually do this.” Dr.
Cross offered the card to him. “But I don’t think you got what you needed out
of this course.”
Parker took the card from him and felt a bizarre charge run
through him when their fingers brushed against one another. He wondered what
the hell that was about.
“Thanks.” He cleared his throat and looked awkwardly down at
his feet. He didn’t get what was going on between them. It was all very
strange. He’d never experienced anything like it before.
“Call my secretary and you can set up a session,” Dr. Cross
offered. “I’m usually really busy, but I can make time.”
“I don’t think so.” Parker shoved the card in his pants
pocket. “I appreciate the offer, but it’s really not necessary.” He picked his
briefcase up from the floor and headed for the door.
“Mr. Phillips,” he called after him. “Would you repeat your
actions that landed you here in this class?”
Parker turned and stared at the other man for a few moments,
thinking about what had brought him here in the first place. He remembered the
things that vile pig did to
Ava. He should lie, but he couldn’t, not
even if telling the truth caused Dr. Cross to tell the judge he wasn’t
“Yes, Dr. Cross, I would do it all over again, in a
heartbeat.” He turned on his heel and headed out the door. He owned his mistakes
and that was why he was here, but he didn’t regret them.
Parker couldn’t get to his car fast enough. His head was
practically spinning, and he had no idea why. Thoughts of Dr. Cross flooded his
mind—images of him standing at the blackboard, or leaning against the desk as
he told a story that related to his lesson. Everything he’d ever said over the
past five weeks came to mind, every detail about him right down to what suit he
wore, including what kind of shoes he had on. He remembered it all.
“Fuck,” he said as he climbed into his Mercedes.
He shook his head and started the engine. He made it about
halfway to his house when his phone rang. He took the call because it was from
Ava, and he wanted to make sure she was okay.
“You still in the car?” she asked. “Using the hands free, I
“Of course.” He smiled because she was always so worried
about him. The feeling was mutual.
Parker and Ava had been best friends since the ninth grade.
They dated off and on throughout high school, but at some point, they realized
they made better friends than lovers. He loved her like a sister, and would do
anything for her. She had a tough life growing up and relied heavily on him
throughout the years until she met
“You’re late tonight,” she said. “You usually call me when
you get done with your class.”
“Yeah,” he said, remembering why he’d been delayed. He
rolled his eyes over the cause of his distraction. “I got held up, but I’m
“I ordered Chinese. Did you eat?”
“I did,” he said. “I had to meet with a client.”