Authors: Mia Downing
Tags: #erotic romance
“I get it.” Erik stood and shoved his hands in the pockets of his shorts because he wanted nothing more than to wrap them around Gavin’s shoulders. “So let me hang with you.”
“Seriously?” He didn’t expect the look of hope to cross Gavin’s features. “What about…what’s-his-face?”
“Rob. He’s not in the picture.” Rob had never been in the picture, but after Gavin had freaked Erik lied and made Rob out to be more than a friend. If he hadn’t, Gavin would have thrust Erik out of his life completely. “I just want to be your friend. Help you through this day.”
Gavin hesitated, then nodded. “We’ll get pizza, watch a movie. It will keep me busy.”
“Okay.” Erik breathed a sigh of relief. “You want to get the pizza or the movie?”
“Pizza. Your choice of movie.” Gavin got his keys from his beach bag and gave Erik the briefest glimmer of a smile. “See you in a bit?”
Erik nodded, glad for a chance to be back in Gavin’s life. “Sounds good.”
Gavin pulled up in front of the house, his apartment on the second floor of the graceful Victorian-style home just around the block from the beach. He had two bedrooms, one he used for painting, the light there perfect to cast his feelings on the canvas. He hadn’t painted since he’d chased Erik away, unable to deal with the direction that day had taken.
Big mistake. He should have said something, tried harder, allowed himself what he wanted most. He could have told Erik the truth. But he didn’t deserve Erik. Not one bit.
Erik was his rock. Had been since pre-school. Erik had kept him sane in high school, listening to him bitch about football, tutoring him so his dyslexia didn’t hold him back any more than it already had. Erik had tried to save him from the drugs, the booze, but the need to escape his dad’s drinking and his mom’s denial had been too strong at that point. And despite everything, Erik still stood by him. Gavin didn’t even want to know why. He was a weak fuck. Maybe Erik hadn’t realized that yet.
Erik sat on the porch swing, as expected. He was still in shorts and had pulled on a deep green T-shirt, one that matched the green in his eyes, which were flecked with gold and patience. Gone was the geeky look of his youth, replaced with slim, hard lines on his tall frame, a sculpted jaw, beautiful lips, and thick, brown hair that Gavin wanted to run his hands through.
Erik was still a geek inside, making a killing at some computer company, doing stuff with computer games Gavin couldn’t begin to comprehend. But Erik’s eyes lit up when he talked about it, radiating warmth and excitement that echoed in Gavin’s soul. Man, he loved that part of Erik, the quirky guy with all the answers and the quick smile.
Gavin killed the engine and hesitated, his palms sweaty on the steering wheel. It was just a meal with a friend. But all he could think about was that frenzied, hot kiss. He wanted more. Needed more. But Erik deserved better.
Gavin got out of the car and held out the pizza box. “Got pie.”
Erik rose and shoved his hands in his pockets like he always did. “Meatball?”
“You know it.” He carried it over to the house, and they trudged up the stairs along the side to the top floor. They entered the tiny kitchen, and Gavin put down the box on the small kitchen table. “Soda’s in the fridge.”
Erik grabbed two cans while Gavin found napkins. They sat and feasted, and though Gavin hadn’t been all that hungry, he now found he was starving. A day on the beach in late August would do that to him.
“You’ve been painting, then?” Erik asked between bites. “I wondered if you’d found a gallery to display your work. You had talked about it.”
“Why not? Your paintings rock. I bet you could sell quite a few of them and show your parents a thing or two. Not the nude ones—I get it. But you’re damned good.”
“I’ve been busy.” That wasn’t true at all. He hadn’t been busy, and his parents would shit a brick. They loved art. An artist son was an entirely different matter though. It was bad enough that he was an art teacher at the grammar school when summer ended. They wanted him to be an accountant, a doctor, a lawyer. All unrealistic, hefty paying jobs that would make them look like stellar parents and help support them.
“They still micro-manage you?”
“Yeah.” His mom had micro-managed full-throttle since Angela died. Gavin didn’t want to think about the truth that was his shitty life. Not today of all days.
Erik finished his slice and wiped his mouth with a napkin. “Okay. So enough about your mind-suck parents. Movie? I got two action things.”
“I want to paint you.”
Where those words came from, Gavin had no clue, but they surfaced and the need to paint became a driving force, stronger than any lust or desire he’d ever felt. It was as if the only way he could purge this desolate feeling from his body was to get his hands dirty. Or maybe a part of him wanted Erik naked. He didn’t know. The desire for both blended, and he shoved his chair from the table with more force than necessary. “Now.”
“Yeah. I need this. Need that sort of release, you know?”
“I get it.” Erik glanced at the fading light outside. “You like mid-afternoon light, though.”
“Candles,” he said, even more excited. The light would be beautiful on Erik’s golden skin, complementing the color of his eyes, and bring out the green from the bronze. He sucked in a breath, hoping to calm the skip in his heart. He’d always loved painting Erik, but this would be incredible.
And if it worked…Erik would have to return each night until it was finished. He wouldn’t push for more, though. “I want to paint you surrounded by candles. Nude, so the light flickers on your skin.”
“Okay.” Erik swallowed, and then his lips parted, sensual in their firmness. Gavin noted that, wanting that look on his canvas, too. “You have that many?”
“Yeah, my mom had that candle fetish thing, remember? When she sold them to everyone? Your mom had a party.”
Erik laughed, and the sound went straight to Gavin’s gut, making it clench in a good way. “I think I have a box from that fetish, too.”
“So? You game?”
Erik brushed off his hands and closed the pizza box lid. He gave Gavin a long guarded look, not at all like Erik, usually open and carefree. Gavin knew he’d hurt Erik. But Gavin was trapped in that dark place, and Erik was gentle and kind. Erik deserved better. So much more.
Erik finally sighed. “You really want to paint me.”
to paint you.”
Erik rose and gestured down the hall, looking like he was certain this was a bad idea. “Then let’s go.”
“Beautiful,” Gavin murmured under his breath as he dipped his brush for the zillionth time. “Don’t move.”
If Gavin said that one more time, Erik was going to jump from the bed and fuck him. Right there, on the floor. He’d never been this turned on before and, man, was it killing him to sit perfectly still.
Erik looked at the easel. Gavin’s face was obscured from his view. Gavin had posed him on the twin bed in the art room, with ivory satin sheets wrinkled here and there along his torso. The candles flickered, bathing him in the most erotic, romantic light ever.
He felt like a sex god, lounging there, under Gavin’s scrutiny. Not because he was toned from hours of running and working out. Something changed in Gavin during a painting session. The grief and sadness faded from his eyes, replaced by excitement and a smoldering heat that Erik would call lust if he dared. Erik felt revered and wanted under that heated gaze.
Erik shifted the sheet just a little to keep his erection hidden. It wasn’t the first time he’d sported wood during a sitting, and Gavin had never seemed to notice until that last time. Still, he didn’t want to ruin anything they had going so he slid the sheet up a little further, creating a wrinkle in just the right place.
“What?” Gavin peered around the easel. “No. Put the sheet back. I’m trying to block in a little.”
“Dude, I like it here.”
“But I don’t.” Gavin set the paint tray down, along with the brush, and took determined strides to the bed. He yanked the sheet down, and his breath caught when his gaze hit Erik’s erection. “Oh.”
“Yeah. Oh.” Heat flushed over Erik’s body. He looked anywhere but into Gavin’s eyes. “You mind if I put it back?”
“Yes, I mind. I want you like this.” Gavin put the sheet in its original location, his hand brushing Erik’s cock.
Erik bit back a moan. Torture. Pure torture, that innocent touch. Erik breathed deep to calm his pounding heart as Gavin walked back to the canvas and picked up his brush.
Erik stared, unable to believe Gavin had just done that. “Gavin. You pushed me away before. Now you want me…like this…in your bed, so you can
“You’ve been hard before.”
Yes, but this was the first time his hard-on had been acknowledged. “Why?”
“This is what I need,” he said, his voice quiet. “Just shut up and let me paint. Let me forget.”
Erik sighed and found the original pose, focusing his gaze on Gavin’s bare feet. Some people found feet gross, and usually, he did. But Gavin’s feet turned him on. Long, with nice toes, the arch gentle. Would that arch be sensitive to his mouth?
“What are you thinking,” Gavin asked, his voice a little higher pitched, which was interesting, because he had quite a deep voice.
“Just looking at your feet.”
“My feet make you hard?” Erik looked up and Gavin glanced around the easel, his brown eyes dark in the shadows cast by the flickering light. He wet his lips as his gaze lingered on Erik’s groin.
Shit, Gavin just had to do that with his lips. Pre-cum seeped from Erik’s cock, dampening the sheet, and he wanted nothing more than for Gavin to come lick it up. But maybe the light was too dim to see how fucking aroused he was.
“No.” Erik wanted to shift the sheet again, to hide how excited this was making him. “Maybe.”
“Tell me why.”
Erik closed his eyes. He loved this sort of talk but not with Gavin. “You don’t want to hear this. I know you don’t.”
“Maybe I do. Try me.”
“You know I want you,” Erik warned. He didn’t want this to go where Gavin would be uncomfortable.
Gavin froze in mid-stroke with his brush. “Yes.”
“And you still want to hear this.”
Here goes nothing.
“Your feet are fucking sexy. I want to kiss them, and I don’t do feet. But I want to see how sensitive your arch is and how the dips of your ankle take a lapping tongue.”
Gavin might have gulped as his brush stroked quickly, his hand visible at times as he let the brush come off the canvas a second before he dove back. “More. Tell me more.”
“I’m curious.” Gavin peeked again, his brow furrowed. “You’re making me hot, and I like it. It’s taking my mind off my shitty life. So tell me more.”
Erik knew he was a glutton for punishment, but this bordered on masochism. He swallowed, staring at those feet again. Jesus. “I’d start at your feet, then nibble my way up your calves. You have great calves, you know. The dent where the muscles separate, strong from hours of swimming. I’d kiss the scar you got from knee surgery the summer after we graduated, then slide my tongue up your inner thighs, long and lean, with those corded muscles.”
Erik wanted to finish. Leap from the bed, grab Gavin, kiss him hard, and haul him back to those silky sheets to finish. A flash of flesh intertwined on cream satin, a tanned Gavin driving his cock into Erik’s ass…His breathing escalated, matching the ferocious pounding of his heart. He ached to reach down and stroke his dick, to ease the tension, but he didn’t dare.
Instead, he swallowed what little spit left in his mouth and whispered, “You don’t want to hear what I want to do to you.”