Authors: Anne Brooke
Tags: #m/m romance
the letter into my jeans pocket the moment I saw it, feeling the faint crackle of paper between my fingers. Didn’t need to ask who it was from, the bastard. Bloody Marty. He’d thought I wouldn’t be able to stop Jake from reading it, but I’d left early, laughing off my boyfriend’s surprise and catching the first tube up into town. Beating the weekday Christmas shoppers. Now I was here at Jake’s office, rifling through his mail tray, trying to stop my world from blowing apart.
It had been a stupid thing to do. I knew it.
Mental note to self: never agree to see an old boyfriend and, if you have to, whatever you do don’t go drinking with him. Especially not in the Heaven nightclub.
God knows what had possessed me anyway. Even though Jake was a good ten years older than Marty, he was far better in bed—by miles. You weren’t supposed to admit that kind of stuff these days, were you? But it was true. Jake always took his time. I liked that. Even now, the thought of him doing the kind of stuff he did with me made my cock push against my fly. I shook my head and tried to ignore it. Couldn’t afford to be slowed down by anything.
Because I liked Jake. I mean
liked. Since I’d met him—early spring at his work of all places—my life had improved beyond all belief. I was off the drugs, almost. I’d gone easy on the drinking, and even the boss was smiling at me more. Now and then. Not only that but, what was rare for me, I hadn’t messed around with anyone apart from Jake since we’d been together.
Not until last week, that is. Bloody
Marty. How could I have been so stupid? And what the hell was Jake going to do when he found out? I couldn’t bear the thought of losing him, couldn’t begin to imagine it. Whatever the cost, I had to stop him finding out.
I made a quick search of the rest of the mail on my boyfriend’s desk, found nothing else with Marty’s handwriting. So I sat down on Jake’s executive chair and took out the letter. When I glanced at the clock, it showed 7:30 a.m. I knew Jake usually got here at 7:45, and his secretary arrived at eight. Unless there was something urgent on. Today I hoped there wasn’t. I fingered the letter. I should just shred it, cut the bastard out of our lives, try to find some way of stopping him doing this again, God knows how.
I shouldn’t have read it.
But I had ten minutes before I needed to leg it, and the next thing I knew I was tearing open the envelope, hands trembling, and unfolding the paper inside.
You don’t know me but my name’s Marty Smithson and I used to know Danny. I gather you’re a straight-up kind of a bloke, so I won’t mess with you. You think Danny’s clean from the drugs now, but I think you should know he isn’t—at least not by the amount of skunk he smoked outside Heaven when I met up with him last week. Thursday night, if you’re interested. Don’t know what you were doing then but I sure as hell know you weren’t doing Danny. That’s because I was—I like revisiting old pastures once in a while. For your information, we did it twice—once in the Gents’ and once outside, by the bins. He was up for it both times. Maybe he’s told you all this, though, in the new, civilized, totally honest life he apparently has with you? I certainly hope so.
With every good wish
As I read, I felt my face color up and my hands start shaking. God, the bastard. I could just see his smug smile while he wrote it too. If he were here now, I’d wipe that smile off his face. Big time.
As soon as I’d finished the letter, I tore it into as many pieces as I could and put my head into my hands. A small groan escaped me. The trouble was Marty was right; I’d been out of my head that night, and I’d have been up for it with the first bloke who came along. I should never have let myself get into that state, and I should never have been out with Marty anyway. And from the sound of what he’d written, it didn’t seem like he’d be giving up on this one so easily either.
My own fault. Again. If I hadn’t dumped him like I had just after I met Jake, then maybe he wouldn’t be doing this now. Because I hadn’t been nice. I’d been a class one bastard about it, so I was probably getting what I deserved. I’d been drugged up at the time then too; that was the only thing that could explain it. I didn’t usually make a habit of being cruel to my exes. Now, though, all that crap was coming back to haunt me.
I should go. No time for moping.
Scraping back the chair, I sprang to my feet and gathered up the scraps of paper, stuffing them into my jeans pocket again to get rid of them later. It felt like they were burning a hole through the denim. At the same time, Jake’s office door swung open, and his PA, Miranda, marched in, all high-heeled shoes and executive calm.
Her eyes widened when she saw me, and she stood stock still, holding her PDA a little closer to her chest as if I might be about to leap over the desk and mug her for it.
Mind you, I couldn’t blame her reaction. Next to her, I must have looked like a tramp. Second-best jeans, jumper, unbrushed hair and the beginnings of stubble I hadn’t got round to shaving yet.
“Hi.” I stumbled sideways, banging my knee on the table edge as I did so and trying not to swear. “Didn’t expect you yet. Sorry to startle you. Just thought I’d give Jake a surprise, leave him a message, you know? But then I… I decided against it….”
Even I realized how pathetic that sounded. How very unlikely.
Miranda glanced ’round the room, presumably to check I’d not taken anything I shouldn’t. She then pursed her lips and tried to smile. Almost as if she’d decided to be generous to the no-hoper street life that had just crawled out of her boss’s office. Snooty bitch. She’d never liked me.
Still, I couldn’t blame her for that now. I didn’t like me much either.
“Hello, Danny,” she said, somehow making my name sound like a newly discovered crime. I wished I had that talent. Could come in handy when I next saw Marty. “You should have spoken to me first. I’m sure I could convey any messages you might have far more easily.”
“Yeah, sure. I’ll remember that for next time, thanks, Miranda.”
I swaggered to the door with all the self-confidence I didn’t feel, gave her my brightest smile, and left. I could feel the steely fire of her gaze on my back all the way through the open-plan office, past the enormous gaudy Christmas tree, and toward the lift door. I was only glad I didn’t knock into any other ruddy piece of office furniture. I’d have bet a good couple of tenners that she was busy planning to disinfect Jake’s desk and chair after I’d gone. The cow.
As it was, I only just made it to the corner of the street before seeing my boyfriend himself arrive. He was frowning, mobile clutched to his ear, and didn’t see me. But I would have given anything to kiss that frown away, smooth down that glorious fair hair, and take the both of us back to the middle of last week when everything was fine and life was good.
I didn’t do any of those things. Instead I walked to work.
On the way, I rang Marty. His voice mail clicked in.
“Look,” I said, struggling to keep my voice calm. “What happened between us on Thursday. I’m sorry for it. And I’m sorry for the way I treated you earlier in the year too. It was appalling, and you’ve got every right to be angry. But there’s no need to involve Jake. We… we need to talk about this. Ring me. Please. For God’s sake.”
I ended the call and kept on walking, trying not to think too hard. The heat on my skin in spite of the crisp air told me this wasn’t over. Not by a long, long way.
Twenty minutes later, I was opening up the office for the small catering suppliers I worked for. Not much of a job and I spent most of the time on the telephone firefighting, but it paid the bills and it was the only reason I’d met Jake at all.
The boss wasn’t happy when I got in. As Robert was, as always, the only other person in the office apart from me, that didn’t bode well for the day.
“You’re late,” he mouthed in the middle of his telephone call.
“Sorry,” I mouthed back. I sat down at my desk and tried to get on with the job.
All in all, I wasn’t that bad at it. I might not have been much to look at, but for some reason I could sweet-talk people over the telephone into giving the business a chance. If only I could sweet-talk Marty into leaving us alone. Jake and I, we meant something. Didn’t we? I’d met him in March, when one of our regular clients had come up against some last-minute difficulties with the equipment they needed to run a management event, and I’d been dispatched with the company van carrying several boxes of wine glasses and thirty burgundy tapered catering candles to sort them out.
The chef at the Holston Hotel wasn’t the laid-back sort—were any of them?—and so before I knew it, I was being shepherded into the dining area, a tea towel was thrust into my hands, and I was wiping glasses and laying them onto creamy white tablecloths like a pro while the rest of the staff ran around in an atmosphere of barely contained panic. Or almost like a pro anyway. Thank God someone else turned up to arrange the candles. I was never any good with fire.
As it was, I’d only just finished sorting it out when the first of the guests started arriving, all management, out and ready to party. Couldn’t say I blamed them. A day’s worth of high-maintenance team building would be a day’s worth too long for me. I clocked Jake at once, appreciating his long lithe body and that swept-back hair. Eyes to sink into as well, I remember thinking, if I ever got close enough. I allowed myself the privilege of a few more glances on my way out and, to my surprise, at the last of them his eyes caught mine and he gave me a slight but unmissable smile. The heat flared in my skin and my heart beat faster. I didn’t pursue it though, not in front of a roomful of strangers and when attempting to look professional in front of a client. Robert would have killed me otherwise.
At the door though, my luck proved to be in. One of the waiters came racing toward me, his bow-tie askew and his hair looking like it would need a good comb before the evening was out.
“Danny? Danny Brigson?”
“Yeah? That’s me. What’s up?”
“Chef says we’re still short of staff. Would you mind giving the barman a hand with the drinks? We’ve got two parties in tonight. We’ll pay you.”
I nodded. Frankly I could do with the cash and, even then, the chance to see a little more of Jake had brought the smile to my face.
I worked like a dog that evening. The crowd were eager to celebrate, and the empty glasses kept on coming back. And back. Every now and again, I saw Jake and, once, our hands touched when I refreshed his wine. A good Pinot Noir, which made me smile. He didn’t strike me as a Chardonnay man.
It was way past midnight when he finally gave me the eye. God knew I’d been making what I wanted obvious enough—serving him first when I could, even though that was a real no-no in the secret Barman’s Code. Anyway, at a quarter past midnight, I looked across at my fellow barman, a bloke called Arnie who seemed like he’d been around the block a few times. And some.
“Is it okay if I…?”
He grinned. “Sure. It’s easing off now. I think I can cope. Besides, it looks as if
got business to attend to.”
I smiled back. “Yeah, if I’m lucky, but for God’s sake, keep it quiet.”
“My lips are sealed. Not my bag, but live and let live, eh?”
I made my way out of the bar, only needing to glance back once to make sure Jake was following. I wondered how long it would take him to talk to me and what he might do or say, whether I would need to take charge to get things moving.
I needn’t have worried.
In the corridor between the hall and the Gents’, I found myself being pushed back against the wall, and then warm fingers on my face, and Jake’s tongue in my mouth. He tasted of wine and lemons. I kissed him back. No, I did more. I pulled his shirt free and ran my hand up his spine, desperately seeking skin. I groaned into his mouth as if I’d been waiting for this for a lifetime and had almost given up hope it would ever happen, even though I’d only seen him for the first time tonight. I pulled his body toward mine and pressed my straining dick against his legs, feeling his answering hardness against my own.
I swear it was the best kiss I’d ever had up until that point. Better than any sex I’d had or even dreamed of. It lasted forever. It was way too short.
When we finally pulled apart, we were both gasping. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. While I wiped my mouth, my fingers trembling, still relishing the taste of him on my lips, he recovered enough to speak.
” he said, and his voice was shaking too.
We spent that weekend together. The whole of it, most of it in his bed, though occasionally we had to eat or go to the bathroom, of course. But each second I spent away from his body, away from
, stretched out like an impossible desert, and I couldn’t wait to get back to him.
I loved the way he touched me. Hell, he didn’t even need to touch me for me to get hot. He simply had to look at me. I loved the feel of his body on mine—the sheer
weight of him pressing me down. I loved his fingers stroking my skin, his tongue on my dick, and the way his dick felt inside me. The way he took it so slow it made me almost beg for him to finish me off. Honestly, I would have been happy for him not to use any protection right from the start; the way I felt then it wouldn’t have mattered at all. I just wanted to feel his spunk as deep within me as he could get it. But he insisted. It was only later we went bareback.