Read Secret Cravings Online

Authors: Sara York

Secret Cravings (4 page)

BOOK: Secret Cravings
5.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Enticing aromas wafted out of the bakery as he passed. God, he was so depressed that he actually thought of stopping in to grab some food. He was hungry, but eating carbohydrate-rich pastries this close to a modelling job would be stupid.

He closed his eyes and breathed in deeply. The door opened behind him and he glanced over his shoulder. “Bryan?”

Bryan didn’t move until the door bumped him, then he skirted around Luke. They stared at each other for a long moment, and the air between them grew thick.

“I saw you from my window.” Luke wanted to reach out and touch Bryan, but there were so many people around and he didn’t know how the guy would react.

“I swear I’m not stalking you,” Bryan said.

“I’m just glad I saw you. You could have stopped by.”

“I didn’t know. I was thinking about it, but…you know. You want to grab some coffee?”

“Sure, make it tea and I’m in.”

 

They stepped back into the bakery, which was also a coffee shop. Bryan ordered an egg sandwich and coffee. Luke stuck to tea. They found seats at a small, round table where they sat close together.

Bryan didn’t want to admit all the reasons he was here. Part of him had wanted to see if Luke and Nichole had hooked up. He hadn’t heard from Nichole since Thursday and it was now Wednesday. She hadn’t called on Sunday and he guessed that had been her way of brushing him off. The other part of him had wanted to see Luke, because there was something about the guy that excited him. He’d never admit that he had woken up more than once with a huge boner while thinking of Luke. The first couple of times, he’d been so embarrassed, but now—every night—he dreamt of the guy.

“You’re not eating?” Bryan asked.

“No, I’m good.”

Luke eyed the food on the table. Bryan moved to take a bite and Luke didn’t take his eyes off the sandwich.

“You can have a bite if you want,” Bryan said.

“I can’t. I’d balloon up if I ate that.”

“You look great. Actually, you could probably gain a lot of weight and still look great.”

Luke blushed. “So you’re saying I’d look great no matter what?”

“Yep, you really are beautiful.” Oh, crap, he couldn’t believe that he’d said that. What had he been thinking? He didn’t want this guy to know how he really felt.
He
didn’t even know how he felt.

“You really don’t know who I am, do you?”

Bryan stared at Luke but had no idea what he was talking about. “Sorry, should I?”

Luke looked around the coffeehouse, but no one was paying any attention to him and Bryan. This was New York, and greater celebrities than Luke lived nearby. “No, I am hungry, though. Maybe an apple and a banana. Let me go see what they have.”

“No, sit down. I’m buying.” Bryan bought Luke a banana and an apple. “Here you go. You sure that will be enough?”

“I’ll eat some egg whites or chicken when I go upstairs. So, how come you’re over here? It’s early. You don’t work over here, do you?” Luke asked.

Bryan ducked his head. How to explain everything? The guy was beyond beautiful, and nice too. His gaze was intense and filled with intelligence. “I don’t know.”

“Oh, you know,” Luke challenged him.

Bryan’s gaze shot up. His eyes locked on to the banana that Luke was consuming and lust fired deep in his loins. He wanted to be that banana. Luke caught on quickly, his smile stretching from ear to ear.

“Come up to my place,” Luke said.

Bryan shook his head. “I can’t. I’m not like that.”

“Like what?”

Bryan glanced around, making sure no one was listening to their conversation. “I can’t just have sex with you. I don’t jump into the sack with—”

“Guys?”

“Anyone. I don’t screw around. I like to get to know the person first. And I’ve never… You know.”

“Been with a guy?”

Heat flamed across his face. “I’ve been… I’ve given… Hell, this is—”

“Don’t say hard.” Luke laughed.

Bryan thought he must look like a little kid, being so embarrassed by Luke’s words. But it was true—he wanted to be with this guy. He wished he didn’t have a conscience and could just take the elevator upstairs and sleep with Luke, to taste what he had to offer and be happy about it.

“I’d like to see you again,” Bryan said. The surprise on Luke’s face was quickly replaced with a mask of indifference, but Bryan had seen it.

“Tonight?”

Bryan picked up his coffee cup, trying to hide his excitement at the idea of seeing the other man so soon. “We could meet somewhere for dinner. I’m finished at about six.”

“Where?” Luke leaned in close. Their arms touched and he jumped back.

Bryan felt the connection too. He wanted to feel it again. Maybe it was a mistake to hang out with this dude when he was so attracted to him.

“How about Frankie’s? Little Italian place a few blocks from here?” Bryan asked.

“Um, not pasta.”

Bryan hoped this guy wasn’t too into dieting. He didn’t look anorexic, but you could never tell. “Why don’t you pick?”

“There’s a chicken place a few blocks away. Meet me in the lobby of my building and we can go from there.”

Anticipation wound through Bryan. Getting excited about a date with a guy felt strange, but he couldn’t stop thinking about Luke. His dreams had been filled with images of the man and what he wanted to do to him, but first, they needed to get to know each other better.

 

* * * *

 

Nichole pulled her phone from her pocket and stared at the display. She should call Bryan. He was nice, sweet and special, but what if he turned out to be a jerk like the rest of them? She had started to time her walks with Joey so she wouldn’t run into Bryan, but today she was running late because she’d stopped to grab a cup of coffee. Not that she’d needed the extra caffeine.

She jumped off the train and made her way to the surface, not wasting any time checking out the people. Joey would be waiting, probably rather impatiently. She’d pick up three other dogs at this stop and would walk them for forty-five minutes. Then she would be off to a set of new assignments uptown.

The morning had been difficult. A Maltese had bitten another dog. It had been so totally unlike the sweet little girl dog, but the owners of both dogs had had to be notified, and it hadn’t gone well. She would have to make another adjustment to her schedule.

Joey was watching from his perch on the couch. He started barking when he saw her turn the corner. This was her favourite set of dogs to walk because of Joey. She would hate to have to give up her walks with the Doberman because of Bryan.

Nichole opened the door to the building and ran right into Bryan. She should have called him. The hurt in his eyes did her in. “I’m sorry I didn’t call you back.”

He gritted his teeth and looked away. The pain was evident on his face. God, she couldn’t believe she’d been such an idiot.

“It’s fine,” Bryan said.

“No, it’s not. Could we go out tonight, just to talk?”

“Can’t.”

“Oh.” He was being so cold, and she’d caused that. How stupid could she be? She should have just called him. They had hit it off and that had scared the crap out of her.

“I’m having dinner with Luke.”

“Luke?” She closed her eyes, blocking out Bryan and trying to hide from her pain. It didn’t work. “I’m sorry.”

“Nichole?”

“Yeah?”

“You want to come eat with us?”

She couldn’t, not with the two of them together. If she went off to dinner with Bryan and Luke she would make a mistake. No, it was best to step out of the picture.

“I don’t think I can.”

“Okay,” Bryan said.

Bryan unlocked the door to his apartment and stepped in. Her chance to see him again was fading fast. If he got the door shut, she’d never hear from him again.

“Wait,” she hollered after him.

He spun around, his eyes big and full of hope.

It was only dinner and they wouldn’t have to do anything. False bravado made her do dumb stuff. She put herself in stupid positions, like being alone with two guys, but she wanted to see them both.

“Sure, what time?”

“Six. In front of his place.”

“Sounds good. My last walk is at five and in that area. I’ll stop by my place around noon and pick up some different clothes to wear.”

“You don’t have to.”

“Please—I don’t want to smell like dog all night.”

“Okay, sounds good. I’ll see you then.” Bryan winked, then closed the door to his apartment.

That could have gone better but at least she would be seeing both of them tonight. She would be smart and not sleep with either one. Getting used to being single was hard. Already she’d jumped into bed with four separate people, and she hated herself for it. Love hadn’t been in the cards with any of them. She’d just wanted to get off and hadn’t minded using a pretty girl, or boy, for that matter.

 

Chapter Two

 

 

 

Amy packed the last of her clothes, stacking the boxes together. Julie had complained—bitched, actually—then cried, then she’d begged. It had sucked, but Amy wouldn’t put up with this crap any longer, and she’d made it abundantly clear the morning after she’d found the guy in her bed. Julie could be irresponsible, but allowing a stranger to sleep in her room had gone beyond rude, and fallen into almost abusive.

The new place she’d picked was small, with only one room, and not in the best area of town. But it was cut-rate, which was exactly what she needed. Two of her friends were coming over to help her move, and yes, they’d all taken time off work. The case she’d worked so hard on for months had settled twenty minutes before trial. Since she’d already cleared her schedule for the rest of the week, she’d decided to take two days to move before the end of the month, knowing it would be worth it to just pay the double rent for fifteen days.

The light rap on the door had her sprinting across the room, elated to be almost free of the Julie drama. “Mike, Nick, I’m so glad you’re here. You get the truck?”

“Rented and ready,” Mike said.

“I picked up bagels,” Nick said as he ambled in.

Long ago, when they’d first met, both guys had fought over dating her. She rolled her eyes at the memory. It was a miracle they were still friends. They’d got over their disappointment at finding out she was a lesbian, and had decided that being friends would be enough.

They loaded her few boxes into the truck, then she looked around, making sure she’d grabbed everything that was hers, never wanting to return to this place again.

“Got everything?” Mike asked.

“Yeah.”

“Come on, doll, let’s go to your new digs. You got better things coming than this dump.” Nick took her hand and led her away from the worst roommate situation she’d ever had.

“Guys, thanks for helping me. I need this fresh start.”

They rode in silence over to her new digs. Amy wondered if moving to this new place would be worth it, or if she would regret living in such a dump in a few months. It really wasn’t that bad, just way below what she would have had to pay on her own in another neighbourhood, specifically one closer to work. After she paid off her student loans, she’d move somewhere nice. Of course, she would have made partner by then. Making partner would be exceptional, giving her the opportunity to get ahead, something she’d never dreamed a possibility when she was back in foster care.

“Nice place,” Mike teased, as they unloaded the truck.

“It’s not too bad.” She tried to sound up about it, but the place was a bit depressing. At least it was clean and the neighbours were trying to make a difference by planting trees and flowers, or painting the buildings when needed.

“No, hon, it’s not bad.” Nick hugged her close. “I’ve seen worse.”

The door down the hall from hers opened and a very cute girl walked out. Amy sucked in a breath, her thoughts going to that disastrous night, the one where she’d made the decision to leave her living situation and find a place of her own. But before then—before finding the guy in her bed—she’d seen Pink. No, that wasn’t her name, but that’s what Amy had named her. Could this cute little thing really be the same girl? In all of New York, how the fuck had she picked the same building—the same floor—as Pink?

“Hey,” Pink said as she strolled past.

Amy mumbled something, but she had no idea if she sounded intelligent or not. Good Lord, she could talk a judge or jury into finding for her client, she’d spoken at symposiums and for groups, had given reports to some of the toughest customers in the city, but she couldn’t even manage, ‘Hi, my name is Amy Miller’ when faced with Pink?

“Hello, Amy, you going to survive?” Nick’s voice broke through.

“What?”

“Oh, Nick, she’s got it bad,” Mike said.

“Shut up, guys, I have to live here.”

“Yep, I think this place is starting to look better to her,” Nick said.

Amy’s face heated. They were right. She no longer minded the small space, the bad location or the neighbourhood. Pink lived here.

 

* * * *

 

Luke woke at five in the evening to his alarm, and almost tossed the clock across the room until he remembered his date with Bryan. Only it wasn’t really a date—just two guys getting together. But, God, he wanted it to be a date.

Bryan was the first guy he’d met who hadn’t wanted to get into his pants on first sight. It was different, being with someone who wanted to talk to him. He was jaded, of course. He either hid up in his apartment or went to parties to be seen. Neither place led to picking up guys who would be interested in anything more than the candy-coated shell that he’d become.

By five minutes to five, he was ready to go. He went down early, hoping that Bryan was already waiting for him. The elevator doors opened to the lobby and a spiral of fear wound through him when he saw the place was empty. Should he wait for Bryan or head back up? He felt like a fool at being so excited to see Bryan. If the guy didn’t show, it would crush him.

The door opened and he saw Bryan standing on the street, his back to the building, and it looked as if he was talking to someone. Excitement shot through Luke and he picked up his step, glad that he hadn’t been stood up.

BOOK: Secret Cravings
5.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Tease Me by Dawn Atkins
DesertIslandDelight by Wynter Daniels
A Body to Die For by Kate White
Love Songs for the Road by Farrah Taylor
The Ward by Dusty Miller
Trumpet on the Land by Terry C. Johnston
Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki