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Praise for the writing of Jet Mykles

Heaven

Jet Mykles thoroughly seduces with her words. Whenever you think she has reached the climax of the book, she surprises with yet another scene full of lush imagery. I loved Heaven; when I reached the last page I immediately turned back to the first page to begin reading again. -- Shannon, Joyfully Reviewed It is this reader's hope that Ms Mykles will write more books in this genre. I give this book a 5 and a Recommended read! -- Teresa, Fallen Angel Reviews For any reader who enjoys sizzling hot m/m seduction and intimacy, with captivating writing style and intriguing characters, this book has it all. Its a top recommendation! -- Annie, Euro Reviews There is nothing like an author that a reader can rely on and Jet Mykles deserves an award for her talent. Everyone needs to rush out and get Heaven. -- Suni Farrar, Just Erotic Romance Reviews Heaven is a prime example of why Jet Mykles is such a popular writer. The best hope for a sequel is Heavens bass player, Luc, and I hope to read his story very soon. -- Anya Khan, Just Erotic Romance Reviews

Heaven is now available from Loose Id.

PURGATORY

Jet Mykles

www.loose-id.com

Warning
This e-book contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language and may be considered offensive to some readers. Loose Id e-books are for sale to adults ONLY, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

*****
This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable (homoerotic sex).

Purgatory
Jet Mykles
This e-book is a work of fiction. While reference might be made to actual historical events or existing locations, the names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the authors imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Published by Loose Id LLC 1802 N Carson Street, Suite 212-2924 Carson City NV 89701-1215 www.loose-id.com

Copyright July 2006 by Jet Mykles All rights reserved. This copy is intended for the purchaser of this e-book ONLY. No part of this e-book may be reproduced or shared in any form, including, but not limited to printing, photocopying, faxing, or emailing without prior written permission from Loose Id LLC.

ISBN 978-1-59632-329-2 Available in Adobe PDF, HTML, MobiPocket, and MS Reader

Printed in the United States of America

Editor: Raven McKnight Cover Artist: Jet Mykles

Dedication
This one is for the lovely ladies on my Yahoo group who asked for the story before
Heaven ever came out. Bless you!

Prologue

Reese stared at the peeling lime-yellow paint on the door, afraid to knock. His fingers clutched at the brown cardboard box he held propped against his belly. How would Luc take his presence? Would he be mad? It had only been a week since his breakup with Reeses sister, Reegan. Should Reese have given it more time? Before he could either gather up enough courage to knock, or turn tail and escape down the rickety stairs, the door opened. Reeses breath caught at the amazing sight of Lucas Sloane in baggy green sweatpants and nothing else. The late afternoon sunlight set off the loose auburn hair that tumbled over Lucs shoulders, almost making it seem as though it were afire. His sable eyes peered at Reese from under half-mast lids and sooty lashes. Broad shoulders tapered down to a flat belly that ended in the V created by his sharp hipbones. He leaned on the doorframe, arm up high, stretching those sleek muscles just like a waking cat. You gonna stand out there all day? Y-you knew I was here? I heard you come up the stairs. He pointed at the box in Reeses hands. That for me? Reese nodded, holding it out a bit. From Reegan.

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My stuff? Again Reese nodded. Luc grimaced, pushing back from the door. Fine. Whatever. He reached out, and his hand brushed Reeses as he snatched up the box. He turned halfway and tossed it onto the ratty, overstuffed green chair that stood just inside the doorway. Is that all? Reeses gaze dropped down to his Converse shoes, and he buried his fists in the pockets of his jeans. I ... Its just ... I-Im sorry about you and Reegan, but -- He looked up, needing to see Lucs reaction. -- were still friends, arent we? Those black eyes studied him thoughtfully. Reegan doesnt mind? Reese shook his head. Luc sighed. Of course not. Im the one with no feelings. He stepped back into the apartment. Yeah, sure, Reese. Were still friends. You wanna come in? Reese couldnt help his grin. A-are you sure? Luc waved him in, sauntering farther into the apartment. Your sister broke up with me. Its got nothing to do with you. Right! Reese was of two minds over his sisters recent breakup with Luc. On one hand, she was his sister, his twin. He was protective of her and supported her decisions. If she said that her relationship with Luc was one-sided and shallow, so be it. On the other hand, Reese was profoundly glad that they were no longer an item. Brief as it was, their relationship had been painful for Reese. He didnt want the bass player seeing anyone but ... Best to stop that line of thought before he got himself all riled up. Luc left the door open and headed for the little kitchenette. You want a beer? Sure. Reese followed him in, glancing around as he closed the door.

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Hed been there before, a few times, but always with a bunch of others. The living room was the typical bachelor pad of two musicians. Luc and Brent lived in an apartment above Purgatory, the small nightclub where Heaven Sent was the house band. The two worked other jobs at the club as well. Being close at hand for their boss lowered their rent. The sparse, secondhand furniture of the main room was all crowded into half of the area, with the rest cleared for mountains of musical equipment. Dariens drum kit was set up. One of Lucs two bass guitars sat in a stand to the side. Amplifiers were arranged perfectly. Brent home? Reese asked. No. Hes staying at his moms tonight. They got family in town. Luc emerged from the tiny kitchenette with a cold Miller Genuine Draft. Here. Reese accepted the beer and opened it as he watched Luc drop onto the hard, uncomfortable couch. With one bare foot, Luc shoved a small mound of clothing to the floor. Have a seat. Reese took him up on the offer, trying to quell the tingle in his belly at being that close to Luc. When Reegan had broken up with Luc a week ago, it had finally dawned on Reese. He finally knew what his feelings were for Luc. He was in love with him. The reason hed never been able to feel truly happy for Reegan when she was dating Luc was that he wanted to date Luc. He loved being in Lucs very presence. Reese had experimented a bit with other guys, going to a few clubs out of town where no one knew him. He hadnt had any bad experiences, per se, but touching and kissing other guys had just driven home to him that what he really wanted to was to lick every nook and crevice of Lucs long, lean body. Of course, the problem was that, as far as Reese had seen, Luc only dated women. Reese really wished that the bass player was just a little bit more like the lead singer of Heaven Sent. It was common knowledge among those who knew him that Johnnie didnt have a problem with sleeping with men or women. He liked both, just so long as they were

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pretty. While Reese didnt want Luc to be the slut Johnnie was, he did wish that he knew whether the bass player was at all into men. So far, Reese didnt think so. Hed never seen Luc with a guy. But then, neither had Luc expressed disgust when Johnnie talked about being with men. So maybe he was open to it and had just never met a guy he wanted to fool around with. There was only one way to find out -- ask. But that took courage that had, so far, eluded Reese. Hey, I didnt get a chance to say congratulations. Luc stared at the baseball game he had on the television. A small smile curved those luscious lips. You heard. Pretty cool, huh? Pretty cool? Reese turned to face him on the couch. Fuck that! You guys are on your

way. A major record deal!


Luc shrugged. We havent signed anything yet. But youre going to, right? Garths lawyers are going over the contracts. He shook his head. This is scary as hell, man. But you guys deserve it. Heaven Sent rocks. Reese reached over to squeeze Lucs arm and got momentarily distracted by the hard warmth of Lucs bicep. This is it, man! Luc nodded. His smile faded. Whats the matter? Luc shrugged. I dont know. Just feels kind of ... empty. Why? Another shrug. Its not Reegan, is it? Cause shes happy for you. Its just that ... Luc nodded. Yeah, I know. Its not Reegan. Not really. Shes right. We werent right for each other. But ... it woulda been nice to have a girlfriend to celebrate with.

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Reeses heart sank, but he struggled to hide it. Hey. Soon youll have thousands of girls falling at your feet. Luc chuckled. Yeah. You will. You know it. You guys already draw tons of girls to Purgatory. Hell, you draw guys, too. That drew a laugh. Thats because of Johnnie. Nah. Well, yeah, but youre all gorgeous ... I mean, youre all amazing. Reese looked away, sipping his beer. His nerves were getting the better of him. Thanks, man. Luc put his feet up on the cheap, fake-wood coffee table. Hey, wasnt your hair red last week? Reese laughed, back on familiar territory with Luc. Yeah. He tugged at his purpletinted black locks. I wanted to go back to the blue, but it ended up kind of purple. For the next few hours, they sat there and watched baseball, drinking beer and joking. At one point, Luc went down to Purgatory to retrieve another twelve-pack. Reese loved it, seeing the gesture as a sign that Luc really did enjoy being with him. At least as friends. And why not? He could talk with Luc. They laughed at most of the same jokes and watched the same things on television. And Luc would be leaving soon! That little tidbit of information hung over Reeses head. If he didnt act soon, if he didnt tell Luc how he felt, he might lose his chance forever. He had no doubt that the record deal would take Heaven Sent where they belonged -- to the top of the music business food chain. If he spoke up, he could possibly be with the man he loved. If he never said anything, Luc would go away and Reese might never know if they could have had something together. Night had fallen and talk had died down in favor of watching an awful movie on cable. Reese glanced out the window at the dingy yellow streetlight that lit the night. Hed have to leave before too long. Nervous, he got up to fetch another beer, only to find that there were

Jet Mykles

no more. Had they drunk the entire twelve-pack? That must be why he felt a bit muzzy. Frowning, he went back to the main room to tell Luc. He completely forgot the lack of beer, in favor of the beautiful sight before him. The bass player was sprawled on the couch, wedged into the corner between the back and the arm. Loose red hair spread across the drab brown upholstery, with more spilling over his bare shoulder and the arm he had bent behind his head. The dim lamp on Reeses side of the couch made his pale skin seem gold. His eyes were closed, dark lashes concealing the sparkling black of his eyes. His lush lips hung open a bit, the tip of his tongue just visible. Long fingers splayed over his smoothly muscled belly. One knee was bent and resting against the back of the couch while the other dangled over the front. And ... Reese stared. That couldnt be a half-hard cock inside those sweats, could it? He sank onto one knee on the couch facing Luc. His eyes fastened on the bulge framed by Lucs thighs. Even though the baggy sweatpants hid it, that had to be at least a partial erection. Hed seen Luc almost naked once when hed been backstage and the band was changing after a set. Luc had been pulling on his underwear. Reese had seen his firm ass, but was at the wrong angle to see the size of his dick. Reese so wanted to see it. He didnt know how long he stared. Hed had enough to drink that his thoughts were not quite working properly. He knew that his own cock was starting to push against the inside of his jeans. He put a hand over it in a weak attempt to soothe it. Not sure why, he suddenly looked up. Lucs eyes were open and staring at him from underneath half-shut lids. He hadnt moved anywhere else. Reese stared, dumbfounded. He was well and truly caught. There was no doubt what he had been staring at. Certainly not while palming his own cock. Luc ...

Purgatory

The redhead just continued to stare, expressionless. He didnt move. Reese couldnt stand it. Summoning courage, he grabbed the back of the couch and hauled himself toward Luc. He stopped when his knees just brushed Lucs butt under his spread legs. Lucs only reaction was to open his eyes fully. Reese leaned forward, then hesitated, hovering over the body he wanted so badly to touch. He licked his lips. Luc, I ... He swallowed, waiting for Luc to say something. Do something. Either push him away, or grab him and pull him down. Why did he just stare? Daring, Reese splayed a hand on Lucs chest. Was the mans heart racing, or was Reese feeling his own pulse through his palm? He leaned in closer. I ... Unable to think of words, afraid to mention love, he took a chance and placed his lips on Lucs. Warm. Soft. Reese didnt even mind that there was no response because he was too shocked that he was actually kissing Luc. Eager, he parted his lips enough to suck in that bottom lip hed been dying to taste for so long. Luc, he moaned softly, crowding closer to the body he craved. He brought both hands up to cup Lucs jaw, delighted by the stubble that scratched his palms. He tilted his head and pressed into the kiss. Lucs lips opened. His tongue prodded tentatively forward. A soft whimper escaped the back of Reeses throat. Gladly, he opened for his obsession and sucked in Lucs tongue. The kiss was marvelous. Glorious. Reese lost himself in it for a long time, just tasting and exploring. But his knee finally protested the strange position it was in. He slid it off the couch, which had the delightful effect of dropping his crotch down to press against Lucs. Erection to erection. He gasped. God, I love you, he whispered across Lucs moist lips. This was, apparently, too much for Luc.

Jet Mykles

Hands gripped Reeses shoulders and pushed. Oh, God, no! Get off! Huh? But ... No! Get off! Reese scrambled back to the other side of the couch. His cock ached and his head swam. Shit! He bit his lip. Luc surged off the couch and crossed the room toward the kitchen. Or maybe the bedrooms down the little hallway beside the kitchen. Reese got halfway up off the couch. He froze when Luc spun back to face him with a crazed, dark look on his face. He pointed at the door, screwing his eyes shut. As though he couldnt stand to look at Reese. Youve got to go. Luc, I ... No, damn it. Im not gay! Youre ... He shook his head and pointed at the door. Get out. Luc, Im sorry. I ... Get the fuck out! Now! Reese jumped at the angry tone. He scrambled out the door.

Two weeks later, a month before Reese and Reegans twenty-first birthday, Heaven Sent left town on the road to stardom.

Purgatory

Chapter One

Six years later ...

Shit!
Reese sat hard on the side of his bed, letting the thick, dark blue towel fall from his hands to puddle between his feet. Reese? Reese, do you hear me? He shook out of some of his shock. Wh-- Yeah, I hear you. What? A short laugh came over the phone. Where did you just go? Despite the fact that she couldnt see it, he frowned at Reegans sing-songy tone. Nowhere. Mmm-hmmm. Oh, shut up. She giggled. You sure youre not thinking about a certain oh-so-gorgeous bass player? Reegan, for the love of God, do you have to make this worse? Worse? How?

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He thrust a hand through his short, damp curls, scratching his scalp. Good God! The last time he saw me, he wanted to push me over a cliff. Why the hell do you think Id want to see him now? Oh, come on. That was years ago. It wasnt that bad. Reese studied his reflection in the mirrored door of his closet. His blue eyes were wide with shock, looking bigger than they normally did. Was he paler than usual? Trust me, sweetheart, it was worse than that. Youre exaggerating. He pulled at his bangs. No. Im not. Oh. Well. Anyway, you dont have to see him. Therell be three hundred other people at the wedding. Reese grimaced. Can I not go? Of course you cant, nitwit! I cant get married without my brother there. He sighed. Trust Reegan to thrust this on him last minute. Howd you get in touch with them, anyway? Garth. He told me that Darien and the guys were going to be in town visiting family. I asked him to invite them. I didnt really expect them to come. Well, not all of them, anyway. I just thought itd be nice to see them. Reese sighed again. Yeah, it would be nice. Garth, Reegans boss and the owner of the nightclub Purgatory, was also Darien Hughess uncle. He would be in a position to know if at least Heaven Sents drummer was coming back into town. As Darien was quite talkative, he would naturally mention if his bandmates would be returning as well. Reeses heart hammered at the mere thought of seeing Luc again. He hadnt spoken a word to the bass player since that disastrous night six years ago. He couldnt imagine Luc ever wanting to see his face again.

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But it was Reegans wedding, and she hadnt done anything to piss any of them off. He knew for a fact Luc was long over Reegan breaking up with him. So youve known about this. Well, yeah. But I didnt know for sure they were coming until today. He grumbled. And youre just springing this on me now? Better than tomorrow as youre ushering in the guests! Typical Reegan logic. Cheer up, sweetie. Luc has to know that youll be there. If hes uncomfortable seeing you, he could have bowed out. Unless he wants to deck me or something. Oh, come on. Im sure hes long over it by now. Says you. Itll be fine. Hey, Johnnies even bringing his new sweetheart. Now that was intriguing. Johnnie had gotten married last fall. To a man! Sure, Reese had known Johnnie swung both ways, but that fact hadnt been part of his very public persona when the band hit the big time. For him to come out so spectacularly was something. The world of rock was all agog over it. Reese wondered how Luc had taken it, since he was so opposed to homosexuality. Him Id like to meet. There you go. Itll be great! Are you happy for me? He smiled. Im happy for you. Youll make nice for me tomorrow? I will. And youll look after Dave at the bachelor party tonight? Reese laughed. Reegan, you dont have to worry about Dave. Hes so in love with you, I dont think he notices other women.

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She hummed happily. That may be true, but you need to keep all those sluts off him. I

know they got strippers for him. Garth told me, the rat. Take a few for yourself, wont you?
He laughed, retrieving the towel from the carpet. Oh, Piper will love that. Reegans mirth cooled. Yeah, well, she can deal with it. He chose not to comment. He knew his sister didnt much like his latest girlfriend. Even less than previous others, since Piper had been making noises about marriage and Reese hadnt discouraged her. Why should he? He was twenty-six, after all. A good age to start thinking about it. Reegan couldnt throw stones since she was taking the plunge herself. Okay. Reegan went back to her normal bright and chipper tone. Ill leave you to get ready for the party. Have fun and fuck a stripper. Reegan! Laughing, she hung up. Reese shook his head and shut his cell phone. Hed have to ask Dave again if the man

really wanted to marry his insane sister.


He tossed his cell onto the box that served as a nightstand beside his bed and went back into the bathroom. Thats where he had been when hed heard Reegans tone from his cell. He was on call for his twin, knowing brides were basket-cases. He stood in front of the wide mirror that covered a good four feet across his bathroom wall above the double sinks. He fingered his hair, twisting his mouth at the sight of how his black curls had almost dried while he was on the phone. By some stroke of ... well, Reese hesitated to call it luck ... he and Reegan had been gifted with a combination of their mothers silky black hair and their fathers tight curls. The result was either a really cool, sleek, satiny mop of hair that fell in silky waves to his chin -- or a mess. Unfortunately, if he didnt dry it properly right out of the shower, the mess was the result. Sighing, he draped his towel over the edge of the sink and reached into the shower to turn it back on. The only hope was to rinse out the mousse and start all over.

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Chapter Two

Reese looked up into the most beautiful face hed ever seen. Lucas Sloane. That was his name. Reese had discovered that much, thanks to the numerous times he and his friends had tried to convince the man to let them inside the club. Gorgeous, subtly pink lips pursed, studying Reeses ID, then Reeses face. Well, hell, kid. He finally smiled, revealing white, even teeth. He handed the ID back to Reese. Youre finally legal? Reese beamed, tucking the ID back into the wallet chained to his belt loop, then shoving the wallet into his back pocket. Had to happen sometime, yknow. Hed been trying to get into Purgatory for the last two years. But no fake ID had done it. Luc and his fellow doormen -- none of them much older than he -- had caught him every time and had finally started to recognize his face. While being recognized by this gorgeous man wasnt a
bad, thing, Reesed had to wait until he was eighteen and had a legal ID to get in.

For the first time, Luc reached down and unhitched the dingy charcoal-gray rope that blocked the door. He smiled. He waved them toward the door, and a number of plastic and metal bangles clacked on his wrist. Come on in. You playing tonight? Reese asked as he and his four friends passed by.

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Luc nodded, dislodging a lock of rich auburn hair to fall over his left eye. Casually, he reached up to tuck it back behind his ear. The gold in his ears and on a few of his long fingers shone. He winked at Reese as he accepted the ID from the next person in line. Yep. We go on at ten. Reese grinned, letting his friends pull him backwards into the club so he could keep his eyes on Luc as long as possible. Cant wait!

Reese smiled at the memory. That had been eight years ago. Back then, hed been banned from the elevated bar section of the club, but allowed to dance and have nonalcoholic beverages in the dance area. He hadnt minded. He was there to watch and adore Heaven Sent, the band he followed religiously at Purgatory, at any other clubs he could get into, and on the internet. Now, he sat at one end of the main bar in the dim light of the neon signs that lit the mirrored wall behind rows of shining bottles of alcohol. He sipped his Jack and Coke, watching spandex-and-rhinestone-clad strippers try to compete with the plainclothes rockstars. If Reese was any judge, the rockstars were winning. The two girls were doing their jobs on the harshly lit black stage that sat in one corner of the club, but more of the partygoers -- all men, of course -- were crowded around the tables at the opposite end of the small dance floor where two members of the band currently held court. Darien Hughes was perched on the edge of one table, his straight, dark gold hair framing the healthy brown tan of his face. He had one booted foot on the seat of a chair, the other just brushing the floor, as he faced about ten other guys. True to Reeses memory, he gestured earnestly with his hands as he spoke and laughed easily. Darien had always been one to make friends and put people instantly at ease. At the far end of a second table, Johnnie Heaven sat between Reegans groom and his own new spouse. He was dressed casually in worn black jeans and a sleeveless green t-shirt,

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but Johnnie never could look anything but flashy. Especially with his long hair that fell in a sleek ponytail over his shoulder and down his chest to pool in his lap. Tyler Purcell leaned an elbow on the table and talked across the singer at Dave, the cuffs of his pristine white shirt folded neatly up his forearms. He took no notice of the hand Johnnie rubbed idly on his back. Reese could easily see why Johnnie stuck jealously close to his prize. Tyler was enchanting, with huge blue eyes and gorgeous blond curls. Even more so since he really didnt seem to be that conscious of his looks. Unlike Johnnie, who knew exactly how gorgeous he was. Reese grinned, remembering many a performance where Johnnie had demonstrated his charms. But Reese had long ago accustomed himself to the ridiculous animal magnetism of the singer. Oh, yes, the long hair that was every shade of brown was incredible, and those gorgeous green eyes even more so, but neither Johnnie nor Darien nor the currently absent Brent Rose had ever captivated him like Lucas Sloane. Reese shut his eyes, determined not to search the darkly lit room for Luc. He was here. Reese had seen him briefly when he arrived with the rest of the band, but Reese had done his damnedest to stay far away since. He didnt care if it meant that he sat here alone in a corner. He didnt have a problem with watching the party from the fringes. He only knew a few of the partygoers anyway and, except for Dave, none of them well. Hey, you. Reese looked up. And smiled. Brent. Brent Rose, lead guitarist of Heaven Sent, slid onto the stool just around the bars corner from Reese. He extended the hand that wasnt holding a cigarette, and Reese gladly shook it. Hed been told he and Brent resembled each other. Certainly they both had the same silky black curls and lean face, but Reeses eyes were blue, not shining obsidian, and he hoped he wasnt as painfully slim as the guitarist. Brent always had been lean to the point of emaciation. His long-sleeved black shirt and equally black jeans hung on his skinny frame. At least hed removed the huge black sunglasses that he normally wore. Brent was known as

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the quiet one and tended to sit back and let the three more garrulous members of the band take most of the limelight. The only place Brent truly came to life was on stage. Man, he could play a mean guitar! Brent took a drag off his cigarette, then lowered it toward a nearby ashtray. I wasnt even sure it was you. How ya doin, man? His voice was lower and raspier than Reese recalled and just loud enough to be heard over the music playing at the other end of the bar. Doin good. Not as good as you, but Im doin good. Brent raised a brow, thin lips quirked in his famous half-smile. Am I doin good? Oh, I dunno. Platinum album, second in a row. Sold-out world tours. Girls throwing their underwear at you and chasing you down. Reese shrugged. Id say you were doin good. Brent slid the ashtray closer to him. The other half of his mouth rose to complete his smile. Okay, Im doin good. Reese laughed. Its nice to see ya, man. You, too. Good to be back for a bit. You guys on hiatus? Sort of. He tossed his head in the direction of the crowded tables. Johnnie said he needed to show Tyler the home turf, and we all decided to tag along. Then Garth asked us to do this thing next Friday. He rolled his eyes. Youd think we were attached at the hip. Are you? Nah. But if I missed this opportunity to see my mom, shed never forgive me. Reese laughed. Hed met Mrs. Rose. Brent had reason to be scared. Reese looked back toward the tables just in time to see Johnnie grab the collar of Tylers shirt to pull him closer and plant a wet kiss near his mouth. The blond screwed his face into a frown and tried to push away, but Johnnie wouldnt let him. With a shake of his head, Tyler gave in and, laughing, kissed his spouse.

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Reese shook his head. I still cant believe it. Brent exhaled a cloud of smoke. What? Johnnie settled on a guy. Brent ordered a beer on draft from the bartender. Surprised its a guy, or surprised he settled at all? Not really surprised its a guy. Just that he settled. Brent shrugged. Hes happy, man. Tylers good for him. And too good to him. Ill bet. Reese took a thoughtful sip of his own drink. And you guys are okay with it? What? Johnnie coming out. Brents brows raised in surprise. Why shouldnt we be? Reese looked down at his drink. Cant be easy with publicity and all. Oh, that? Brent waved his cigarette in the air, dispelling gray-white smoke into nothingness. It comes and it goes. If the fans like the music, theyll stick around no matter who were fucking. Did I hear my favorite word? Reese froze, still looking down at his drink. There could be no doubt in his mind whose voice was coming from behind him. That particular velvet voice still haunted his secret dreams to this day.

Act normal. Be cool. He schooled his face and his heart, then raised his head and
twisted around. Lucas Sloane was still, without a doubt, the most beautiful thing Reese had ever seen. He had come to this conclusion at the end of high school, and his opinion hadnt changed. If anything, Luc was more stunning now. Heaven Sents bass player stood with the lights from

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the stage behind him making a red halo of the dark auburn hair that flowed in sleek waves just past broad shoulders. Heavy lids and sooty, long lashes shrouded eyes the color of rich, dark chocolate. A long nose sloped down to generous, dusky pink lips that Reese found he still wanted to devour. He wore a loose blue shirt that looked to be soft silk and dark pants that could have been a second skin. Reese actually salivated. Get a hold of yourself! He smiled politely and extended a hand in greeting. Hey, Luc. Luc matched his smile and took the hand, but caught Reese off guard by using it to haul Reese up from his stool and into a warm hug.

Oh, God! Reeses heart raced and his eyes shut at the pure, punishing pleasure that shot
through his entire body when it touched Lucs firmly muscled frame. The shirt was indeed soft, brushed silk and was warm and fragrant from the body it draped. Instinctively, his arms wrapped around the Lucs slim waist and clung for a brief moment as starbursts crackled around his heart. He breathed deeply of the subtle cologne that blended with the heady, dark scent of the man himself. Reese, its good to see you, man. Lucs low voice rumbled through his chest. He pushed Reese back to arms length, holding his shoulders. I almost didnt know it was you. Reeses knees felt like they were going to go out. He fumbled back down to his stool, grateful for the faded darkness of their surroundings and hopeful that it hid his momentary awkwardness. He had to believe the smile on Lucs face was genuine. He didnt look fallingdown drunk or anything. I thought he hated me! Reese mustered a smile over his confusion. Good to see you, too. Luc placed himself at the very corner of the bar between Brent and Reeses stools and motioned for the bartender. Kamikaze. He braced his elbows on the bar and declined the pack of Camels Brent offered to him. So. We were discussing fucking? God, the man purred. No, Reese piped in immediately.

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Brent spoke around the cigarette dangling from his lips. Reese was testing me out to see if were okay with Johnnie coming out with Tyler. No! Reese protested. Thats not it. Luc nodded sagely, ignoring him. And you told him? Basically that were all now fags and we just havent all come out to the public yet. What?! Both band members turned bland looks on his shocked face. They held their cool for all of five seconds before Luc cracked up and Brent smiled. Luc patted Reese on the shoulder, straightening as his drink arrived. Relax, Reese. Its not quite that drastic. Not quite, Brent mumbled. At least, Reese was pretty sure thats what he mumbled. With the loud music, he couldnt be absolutely sure. So, Reese -- Luc started to say, but he was interrupted. One of the strippers picked that moment to excitedly insert herself between Luc and Brent. She caught Lucs arm and pressed her perky rhinestone-bikini-clad breasts to it. Oh, man! Luc Sloane! Im such a big fan. Luc blinked at the obviously fake redhead, then smiled. Why, thank you, darlin. Were not supposed to ask, but can I please have your autograph? She held up a Sharpie. Luc took it in hand. Sure. What do you want me to sign? She leaned back, presenting her sizeable boobs. Either one, honey. Names Barbie. Behind her, Brent was unfazed and continued to smoke his cigarette. Luc smiled and, much to Reeses surprise, actually signed the top slope of the womans left breast.

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Garth Hughes himself showed up just as Luc finished. The man was huge and served as his own main bouncer. He took hold of the womans arm and pulled her away. Im sorry, Luc. Garth glared at the stripper. The girls knew they werent supposed to harass you. Fuck you. I wasnt harassing him. I was just asking for an autograph. She smiled at Luc. Unless you wanted more, honey. Thanks, love, but Ill have to pass. Garth yanked her away and ushered her out of the nightclub. Luc, meantime, turned calmly back to sip his kamikaze. So, Reese, I almost didnt recognize you. What happened, man? What have you been doing with yourself? Reese blinked, still unable to close his mouth over the shock of what hed just seen. That happens to you all the time, doesnt it? Luc glanced over his shoulder, startled. What? The stripper? Yeah. Well, the autograph, anyway. I dont sign many tits. Reese shook his head. What a life. Luc and Brent exchanged small smiles. Yeah, Luc said. What a life. He sipped his drink again. But seriously, what are you up to these days? Me? God, my lifes boring as hell in comparison. Im a high school math teacher. Luc froze, glass halfway back to its place on the bar. He blinked at Reese. Youre shitting me. No. What happened to your artwork?

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Reese blushed, dipping his head down so that neither man could see it. He waved a hand in the air, amazed that either of them even remembered. Oh, that. I was never going to make any money on that. Brent frowned. No way, man. Your stuffs good. Reese smiled. Thanks, but no one else seemed to share your opinions. I gave up art not long after you guys left town. Got my teaching credentials a few years later and got a job. Its actually okay. Pays the bills, at least. You teaching at Grand? Luc asked, naming the nearby high school that all three had attended. No. I actually moved closer to the coast. I teach at Brighton. We played them, didnt we? At one time, Brent had played junior varsity baseball for the Grand Tigers. Yeah, we did. A few years later, Reese had played for the same team. Thats the brainiac school, isnt it? Luc whistled. Youre teaching there? Arent you a little young? Brent asked. Reese smiled. Not really. Besides, the principal at Brighton likes to think of himself as -- He made quote signs in the air with his fingers. -- hip. Hes started a bunch of new programs and hired a few of us straight out of college. To hear him tell it, he wants bright new ideas from young minds and not the same ol, same ol from old farts. Luc and Brent laughed. Well, that sounds cool and all, but I think its a shame about your artwork. Luc sighed. He cocked an eyebrow at Reese. I guess thats the reason for the look? The look? Luc grinned. Last I saw you, your hair was purple and you had silver all up and down each ear.

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Reese felt himself flush again. He reached to rub a thumb along the rim of one ear. He occasionally missed the soft jingle of metal. He only wore the single hoop now in his right earlobe. Yeah, well, had to get rid of all that. They dont approve of that in high school, yknow. Especially not for the teachers. Luc frowned. Youve still got the tattoo. Reese laughed. He had one on his shoulder blade. A tiger. Just the outline, but it was a complete tiger, prowling up his back. It had cost a summers worth of tips from his job delivering pizzas. I couldnt very well get rid of it. You could, but ... Luc took a healthy sip of his drink. What else? Reese shrugged. Theres nothing else. I work. I play softball most weekends. Ive got a girlfriend who might just become my fiance soon -- What?! Hed kind of expected that reaction. He met Lucs wide-eyed disbelief. Saw it reflected in Brents slack-jawed frown. Yeah. But youre gay. Reese shook his head. This was good, actually. This was a nice, unthreatening way to clear the air. Not anymore. Brent glanced at Luc. Luc gaped. Come again? He met Lucs gaze. A lot of things changed for me after ... you guys left. He glanced at Brent, not sure how much Luc had told him of what had happened between the two of them. I kind of went crazy for a little while. Almost dropped out of school, got into some pretty bad stuff. He shrugged. But I was lucky and came to my senses. I turned myself around. I started dating girls and it was okay. He smiled brightly. Besides, in my line of work, you just cant be gay.

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Brent pursed his lips in a bad attempt to disguise a tickled smile. He glanced again at Luc. Yeah. Cant corrupt the kiddies. Luc just kept staring at him, brows crowded in a frown. Holy shit. Reese smiled at him. Yep. In a way, Ive got you to thank for that. For some reason, that completely took away Lucs power of speech. Reese had never seen it happen before. Suave, charming Luc always had something to say. But the bassist just stood there with a weird look in his eyes. Shock, yeah, but ... anger, maybe? Since Luc was speechless, Reese went on. Thanks to you, I straightened myself out. Thanks to me? Yeah, well, your, uh ... reaction made me rethink my life and where it was headed. Luc shook his head. He scraped a hand down his face, then braced both palms on the bar before him. Wow, man. And here I was all set to apologize. Huh? Grinning, Brent stood. He picked up his pack of cigarettes. If youll excuse me. He smiled at Reese. See you at the wedding tomorrow. Bye, Reese said, waving, confused by both Brents sudden departure and Lucs words. Luc didnt even glance at his bandmate. He finished his drink in one gulp, wincing slightly at the bite as he set the glass back down on the pocked fake wood of the bar top. Seriously. I wanted to apologize for freaking on you that day at my apartment. He shook his head. Auburn waves brushed past his shoulders. It took me a while ... yeah, okay, years. But I finally figured out that my reaction was totally wrong. Now it was Reeses turn to be stunned. He blinked up at Luc. You dont have to apologize. You were right. I was out of line. Its not a matter of right, man. Luc sank onto the barstool Brent had vacated. He held up his hand to the bartender, then pointed at his empty glass to indicate he wanted another drink. I overreacted and I ended our friendship. It was wrong. Im sorry. I kept saying to

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myself that I needed to come back and tell you, but ... He shrugged. Its amazing how years can go by, isnt it? Reese stared at those hooded sable eyes, took in the way the half light made interesting, gray-green shadows on that sharply defined face, and tried really hard to think. His heart was racing and his skin was all tingly. Luc didnt hate him? Luc was apologizing? The bartender came with Lucs new drink as well as a refill of Reeses before Reese found his voice. Thanks. Luc grinned and held up his drink. Salud. Reese matched the grin and raised his own to clink with Lucs. Up yours. They both laughed at the very old joke.

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Chapter Three

Reese nearly stabbed his lip with his fork when Piper nudged his arm. Grimly dismayed, he watched the chunk of chicken that had been headed for his mouth drop into a puddle of gravy on his plate. Watch it. He frowned down at Piper. She didnt even acknowledge what had happened, just kept tugging on the sleeve of his tuxedo shirt. She gestured across the room, adding a toss of her head in the same direction. Theyre done eating now. Introduce me. He sighed, glancing the way she was not-so-subtly indicating. No doubt she was talking about Luc, Johnnie, and Tyler, who sat at a table near one of the open balcony doors. A few waiters were clearing plates from their table and refilling wine glasses. Reese stabbed the chicken again and got it to his mouth this time. Later. Now. He chewed. Im eating. Later. She scowled at him, sitting back in her chair. She crossed her arms over the small breasts covered by the shimmery blue of her dress. A lock of carefully coiffed hair fell down the side of her face when she cocked her head. Why wont you introduce me? Theyre your friends, arent they?

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He tried to concentrate on eating. Piper, please. Thanks to those damn pictures and everything else, this is the first chance Ive gotten to eat all day. You could have eaten breakfast. I could have, but I didnt. Im starving. Her nostrils flared and she turned away. Because she was seated sideways at the table, he could see her crossed legs. Could see the top leg bouncing, a sure sign of agitation. He weighed whether it was worth it to fight about this, knowing shed hold a grudge. He sighed, took one last bite of whatever kind of gravied chicken he had before him, and stood. Fine. He put his jacket back on, snatched up his champagne flute in one hand and Pipers arm in the other, and pulled her from her seat. He could not wait for this wedding to be over. Piper, who hadnt wanted to come, had been in a mood. He couldnt tell if it was just because of the wedding itself, or if it was because shed only just found out that Heaven Sent would be there. Explaining to her that Reegan had only told him the night before hadnt alleviated her pique. Luckily for him, he hadnt had to be with her much. As an usher, hed had duties before and after the ceremony. Seemingly endless freaking duties that had him in a rotten mood. He glanced over to the head table where Reegan and Dave were seated. His sister and her groom were having fun. At least they seemed to be, judging from their smiling, besotted faces. Could he ever be that way with Piper? Probably not. He wasnt aware that he ever looked at Piper like that, and he was sure hed never seen such a look pointed his way. Sighing, he turned away and sipped his champagne as he and Piper threaded through the crowd. Luc looked up and saw them coming. God, he was stunning! His navy suit had to have been tailored to fit his long, lean form. The jacket was draped over his chair, revealing the crisp white shirt that perfectly draped his broad shoulders. That auburn hair was pulled back and an attempt had been made to hold down the curls, but Mother Nature simply would

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have her way, and she had decided that Lucs hair had to wave gloriously about his head. He sat back in his seat beside Tyler and swirled his wineglass. Almost-black eyes raked briefly over Piper as Reese brought her around the table. Hey, Reese. Where you been? Reese shook his hand, astounded by the flush of warmth that suffused his chest at the sound of that voice. He grinned. Ah, Reegans been running me ragged. Luc smiled in sympathy. He glanced at Piper. Reese glanced down at the woman beside him and almost groaned. Could she be a tad bit more simpering? Okay, yes, Luc was stunningly beautiful, but she was almost drooling, for Gods sake. Luc, this is my girlfriend, Piper. Luc smiled and extended his hand. She had the audacity to giggle. She took his hand into both of hers, holding on like a fisherman to a rod. Oh, Luc, Im a big fan. Reese sipped his champagne to hide his scowl. She was not either! She barely knew their music, had only heard it because of Reese. I had no idea you were a friend of Reeses. She slapped Reeses arm, and it was a damn good thing his glass was empty or hed have spilled it. He doesnt tell me anything. He doesnt? Luc grinned at Reese. Thats funny. I remember not being able to shut him up. Reese grimaced at Luc. Ha. Ha. He put his empty glass down on the table and eyed the nearly full glass of wine Luc held. Well, he must have changed since then. Piper pouted. Oh, she had no idea! Literally. He hadnt revealed the facts of his past with this particular man. He stepped back so that Piper couldnt see his face, met Lucs eyes, and shook his head slightly. Lucs smile didnt even waver. He nodded slightly back. He must have. Piper, was it? Yes. Piper Laurenston. Im an executive assistant at a law firm.

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Reese snorted, but kept his tongue. Funny, he thought she was a receptionist for a local lawyer. Really? Thats great. Luc was being so nice. Reese picked up another glass of champagne from a passing waitress -- who paused long enough to ogle the rockstar. There was quite a bit of casual traffic around this particular table. Thankfully, the wedding guests were being relatively nice and not crowding the famous people. A long arm landed hard around his shoulders, and this time Reeses drink did spill. He sputtered, just managing not to dump too much on his rented tux. He glared at the offender whod managed to sneak up on him. Johnnie, damn it. The tall lead singer and namesake of Heaven Sent laughed. Hey, Reese! You make that penguin suit look good. Johnnie was dressed in outrageous elegance, of course, in an emerald-green suit with a sleek gold shirt. His acres of hair were tamed into a single queue that fell down his back, banded every few inches by green velvet. Gee, thanks. Reese looked to Tyler, who sat beside Luc. Hed only just turned from another conversation. Tyler was less extravagantly dressed but no less stunning in a simple cream suit with a navy shirt that brought out the blue of his large eyes. Reese had met the man the previous night at the bachelor party, shortly after Lucs shocking apology. He liked Tyler a lot. Tyler, couldnt you teach this asshole some manners? Tyler snorted, sitting back in his chair. Are you nuts? I havent managed to teach him anything. Johnnie left Reeses side to put his hands on the back of Tylers chair. He leaned down, sliding his cheek briefly over the mans golden curls. Mmm, yes. But Ive taught you a lot, havent I? Tyler sat forward and glared over his shoulder. Down, boy. Johnnie chuckled, green eyes twinkling. Only for now.

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An elbow gouged Reeses side. He cursed and looked down at Pipers angry eyes. He didnt quite hide his grimace. Hey, Johnnie, Tyler, this is my girlfriend, Piper. Oh, he was going to catch it later for his disinterested tone if she remembered. But at the moment, he couldnt care less. Before she could embarrass herself, one of the other ushers in the wedding found Reese and tugged on his sleeve. What was it today with people tugging on him? We gotta go do the dance thing. He grimaced. He was officially good and sick of this wedding crap. Okay. He smiled at Luc, Johnnie, and Tyler. Sorry, guys. Duty calls. He looked at Piper, but she studiously ignored him, glomming on to Luc. He rolled his eyes and left to find the bridesmaid who was his date. What was her name again?

He was drunk. It was official. Colors were smearing together, and the edges of everything had gone soft. The ground had decided to start rolling, which was why Reese now sat in an uncomfortable iron chair in a quiet corner of the balcony. Night had fallen, and from here he could see the twinkling lights of the city -- albeit fuzzy to his current vision. The serene lights didnt quite go with the pounding dance music that poured out onto the balcony. God, how long had it been since hed been like this? Years, certainly. Back in his early days in college. His duties as usher were long gone. His tux jacket had been stashed away not long after the wedding cake had been cut and hed had his brother/sister dance with Reegan. She was happy. Thats what was important. It was Reegans day, and she was having a blast. Last hed seen her, she was being twirled across the dance floor by Johnnie Heaven. So what if her brother was having a shitty time? So what if Piper had chosen to rip him a new one and call him a cold bastard? He hadnt expected her to break up with him at his

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sisters wedding, but shed cited his disinterested attitude toward her as the need for immediate separation. Shed said that he didnt seem to want her there, and he realized now that he hadnt refuted her. Hed known hed catch shit for the way hed introduced her to Luc, Tyler, and Johnnie, but hed underestimated. Funny thing was, he was kind of relieved. His main concern now was that hed have to find an alternate way home from the wedding. But he couldnt be bothered at the moment. Right now, he wanted to enjoy the buzz. He watched the silvery crescent moon glide through the spindly clouds overhead, idly trying to decide if the colors were more blue or white. Predictably, his thoughts wandered back to Luc, wondering where he was. Since the previous night, the bass player had been almost constantly on his mind. But he hadnt seen Luc since hed been pulled away earlier. He suspected wherever Luc was, he was the center of attention. Thats how it always worked. It wasnt any wonder. Back before Reese had confessed his love, Luc had been the center of Reeses world, as well. Even if Luc hadnt known it. A strange ache spread through Reeses chest. He leaned forward and set his face in his hands, elbows on his knees. Thoughts of Luc hadnt caused a physical reaction in years. It had to be the relatively close proximity of the man. Or the fact that Luc had actually

apologized for the episode that had turned Reeses entire world on its end. Reese had never
held the reaction against Luc, but hearing the apology had reopened old wounds and made them bleed a different shade of red. He looked up at a tap on his shoulder. A bottle of water hovered in front of his eyes. He looked up the arm that held it until he saw Lucs sable eyes. Oh, man! The hair had come down and flowed softly about the shoulders of his jacket. The top few buttons of his white shirt were open to reveal a tantalizing triangle of pale chest and a fine gold chain glittering around the base of his long neck. Luc smiled. You looked like you might need this.

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Reese stared for a moment more, drinking in the sight of the man, then blinked and remembered the water. Thanks. He took the bottle and sat back in his chair. Luc had even cracked the cap partway for him. What a guy! Luc stepped back to prop his butt on the low, thick stone railing that circled the balcony. With the sparkling city behind him, he looked like he should be in one of the many gorgeous photo shoots that had featured him. The lighting was just right to shadow his face, softening the sharp lines of nose and jaw. For the first time in a very long time, Reeses fingers ached for his sketchpad. Huh. Imagine that. Wheres your girlfriend? Luc asked, hooking his thumbs in the pockets of his trousers. A gold ring shone on the middle finger of one hand. Reese downed half the sixteen-ounce bottle in a few greedy gulps. She left, he said when he brought the bottle down. Trouble in paradise? Paradise? Hardly. She dumped me. What? Yep. He wiped his mouth. Said I was a cold, unfeeling bastard and she couldnt deal with it anymore. Funny, I didnt think I was that bad. Sorry, man. Thanks. But whatever. He downed the rest of the water, then held the empty up to Luc. Thanks for this. Dont mention it. You okay? Yeah, sure. Reese carefully set the bottle on the iron table beside him. I havent been this wasted in years. Luc laughed softly. I can believe that.

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It shows? Kinda. Reese snorted. They shared a companionable laugh. Reese stretched his legs before him, staring at the squared toes of his shiny black leather shoes. That perverse need to talk that takes you over when youre drunk grabbed him by the balls. After you guys left, things just werent the same. Luc said nothing, so Reese continued. Parties just werent the same anymore. At first they were all about what you guys were doing and being happy for you. We all ... oh, I dont know. We all felt part of it somehow. Heaven Sent. But then -- He sighed. -- then it was just empty. Just didnt seem a reason to go out anymore. The only thing left was to grow up. Fuck that. Reese blinked out of his reverie and smiled. Yeah, he agreed sadly. Fuck that. He scraped a hand over his face and leaned forward. So, did you see Reegan when you were in there? You mean the girl in the big white dress? Yeah, I think I saw her. What was she doing? Dancing. Reese stared at the arched doorway leading into the main hall. He was at the wrong angle to see into the main room. I wonder if I can bow out of here. He turned at the sound of Luc stepping closer. The bass player held out a hand. Come on. Reese looked up without taking the hand. What? You cant leave yet. Youd break Reegans heart, and youre in no shape to drive. But you can take a break. Walk with me.

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There was suddenly no better idea in this world. Reese nodded, took the hand, and allowed Luc to draw him to his feet. They headed through the narrow opening at the corner of the balcony. It led under a row of fragrant trees. A mossy rock path wound under the balcony of another banquet hall, then trailed out into a garden area. Abundant trees and tall, manicured bushes made for seclusion. Neither Reese nor Luc spoke, and it was okay. It was comfortable. It was nice. They reached an alcove just beside the bank of a koi pond. They stood a moment, looking at the milling orange and white fish. How long were you together? Lucs voice was soft, almost blending with the delicate rustling of the leaves overhead. Me and Piper? You got another girlfriend? Reese smiled. Nope. He braced his shoulder against the trunk of the sturdy but slender tree that hovered over the pond. Just a few months. She the one you said might become your fiance? He remembered that? Yeah. Well, youre better off without her. She didnt seem right for you. Reese laughed. You sound like Reegan. Oh? Reegan doesnt like Piper. Your sisters a smart lady. Always has been. She dumped your ass. Reese glanced sidelong and caught Lucs grin. Like I said, smart lady. Even back then. She regretted it, you know. What?

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Dumping you. Back then, or after I made it? Well, back then and later. Luc chuckled. He turned to face away from the pond. His shoulder brushed Reeses. Well, shes damn beautiful, but shes not quite my type. Nah. Shes Daves type. Theyre happy together. Are they? Yeah. Hes a good guy. Good. She deserves to be happy. Reese nodded. An orange koi popped its big mouth up over the top of the water to gulp down a bug that had landed on the surface. What about you? What about me? You happy? Reese shrugged. Im okay. Luc turned again. Reeses heart began to pound when he realized that the rockstar stood right behind him, his hand braced against the tree right behind Reeses head. He could

feel the mans warmth at his back. He swallowed and kept his gaze on the fish.
Are you? Lucs low voice was right next to his ear. He shuddered, trills racing down his spine. Yeah. He saw the hand come up. Saw those elegant, long fingers just before they cupped his chin. He felt the slight pressure of calloused fingertips on the side of his jaw, encouraging him to face Luc. Dazed, he twisted his head, obedient to the gentle pressure on his jaw. His eyes immediately sought the hooded sable of Lucs.

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Which were looking at his lips. Are you? Luc asked again, leaning closer. The meeting of lips was a natural thing. So natural, so right, that it didnt occur to Reese to pull back. His eyes closed. He lifted his chin to allow the taller man better access. The tongue that gently prodded his mouth open was wet and delightfully flavorful. He sucked it in without thought, sinking against the tree trunk and turning more toward the other man. The fingers on his chin fanned out over his cheek, then sank into the hair behind his ear. They took hold of his hair, controlling his head, keeping him still as the lips opened wider and the tongue sank deeper into the recesses of his mouth. Reese sighed, his hands coming up to clutch the lapels of Lucs jacket and pull him close. Luc. Lucas Sloane. His dream. His ... His muddled brain figured it out finally. He opened his eyes and pushed. Luc held him by the hair, prolonging the kiss until Reese finally wiggled too much. What? Let go. Why? I dont ... we shouldnt ... Oh yes, we should. Luc leaned back in. Reese braced his hands on Lucs chest, holding him away. No! Quit it! Dont tell me you werent enjoying that. Thats not the point. I ... ahhh! He jumped. Lucs other hand had dropped and firmly cupped the erection that tented Reeses tux trousers. That is the point. You enjoyed it. The hand stroked Reeses dick through shirt, pants, and underwear. Very much.

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Reese shut his eyes, hands creeping up to Lucs shoulders. A moan poured from his throat as Luc continued to stroke. S-stop. No. Warm, soft lips brushed Reeses cheekbone. Not when you make pretty sounds like that. Kissed the outer corner of his eye. Wh-why are you doing this? God, that felt good! Soft lips feathering his face, and a nice firm grip on his dick. Sure, slow strokes. Not obvious? I want to fuck you. Reese heard himself moan. B-but youre not ... Not ...? Gay. Luc chuckled, his breath a warm caress just behind Reeses ear. Ive long since stopped labeling myself. Reese swallowed, having trouble following the conversation. But ... that night. You said -- I was younger and stupid. You cant imagine how sorry I am for that night. Teeth closed gently on his earlobe and tugged. Let me make it up to you. Make it up? Mmmm. H-here? The hand on his cock squeezed hard, making him gasp. Here. Your place. My hotel. The mens room. I dont care. Lucs tongue traced the rim of Reeses ear. Although, Id prefer if we went somewhere we could be all night. He pulled back enough to look at Reese. I want to take my time with you. Reeses eyes widened. He sank back against the trunk of the tree. Huh? Luc leaned in to press a brief kiss to his lips. Ive years to make up for.

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Reese pulled his head back, shaking it in a vain effort to clear it. Wait. No. Stop. You dont have to make up for anything. He heard the breathless desperation in his voice, but was unable to mask it. But I do. Reese dropped his hand to Lucs wrist and pushed it back away from his groin. Although his body protested the loss, his brain was able to function somewhat properly again. Luc. No. Why not? Im not gay anymore. You know how ridiculous that sounds? Reese managed to sidestep and put some distance between himself and the other man. When Luc moved to step toward him, he flung up a hand and backed away a few more steps. Reese, watch out! The pond! Shit! The smooth soles of Reeses dress shoes found no traction on the mossy, soft dirt banking the pond. He had no chance to save himself. He fell butt-first into the cold, leafstrewn water. It did wonders to clear his muzzy head and even helped to deflate the boner Luc had caused in his pants. But he was chest deep in murky water and thoroughly soaked. Luc, of course, thought it was outrageously funny. He braced an arm against the tree trunk, burying his face in his shoulder as he laughed. Oh, fuck you, asshole. Reese tried to get up, but the bottom of the pond was even more slippery than the slope. He fell back again. The second splash made sure to douse everything that hadnt been wet before. Fish scattered around him. Luc calmed to a chuckle. Thoroughly amused, he grabbed hold of a thick branch of the tree and leaned toward Reese, free hand extended.

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Reese glared. Hey, dont get mad at me. I had a much better alternative to swimming. Stubborn, Reese tried two more aborted attempts to get himself out of the pond before he realized he wasnt getting anywhere without help. He accepted Lucs hand and the haul up the bank, but immediately yanked his hand free and stepped back once his footing was solid. He stood in the middle of the path, staring down at his dripping trousers and his now see-through dress shirt. Big, fat drops of water fell from his hair. Great. Now it was going to do the mass curl around his head. You look good wet, Luc purred. Reese glared, raising a fist. One more word and I knock you out. Capeesh? Luc held up his hands, palms toward Reese, and merely smiled. Grumbling, Reese turned and led the way back toward the banquet hall, all too aware of the wet trail he left behind and the squishy gurgle of his shoes. He stopped when they came within sight of the main building. He couldnt go inside like this! Reegan would kill him. If you want -- He rounded angrily on Luc, who was behind him but wisely out of arms reach. -- Ill be happy to go get your stuff and talk to Reegan. Lucs lips twitched. Im sure shell understand. He didnt want Lucs help, but he didnt have a choice. Fine. He pulled out a soaking wet check ticket from his pocket and held it out. Luc had to bite his lip to keep from laughing as he took it. How are you getting home? Reese dug into his pocket for his cell phone, then cursed when the damn thing wouldnt work. Any chance you could get the doorman to call me a cab? You didnt drive?

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Piper was my ride. Ah. Luc nodded. Okay. Meet me in the upper parking lot. He walked around Reese and back into the party. Reese made his dripping way through the gardens around the perimeter of the hotel. He was less likely to encounter people that way. On the way, he pulled his wallet out of his pocket and spat a new string of curses toward the world in general while he checked to see if he had enough soggy money for cab fare. Luckily, it wasnt a particularly cold night. It was colder wet, of course, but it wasnt unbearable. He managed to avoid seeing anyone, walking around the perimeter of the hotel to the parking lot Luc had mentioned. It wasnt the main lot, and only a few people were around. Reese sat on one of the hard iron benches and tried to shake enough water out of his shirt so that it no longer dripped. A shining silver Lexus pulled up and Luc got out. Grumbling, Reese strode toward him. Wheres my jacket? Luc grinned at him over the hood of the SUV. Get in. Ill drive you home. You dont have to do that. I know. Luc rounded the door and hitched back into the drivers seat. Get in. Luc ... Cmon, its the least I can do. Its my fault you fell. Ill get your interior all wet. Its a rental. Reese opened the passenger door. Its leather! Luc cocked his head to the side. You could strip. What?!

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Luc laughed, pulling on his seatbelt. Would you just get in? Luc glanced over at him and rolled his eyes. Christ, man, I cant molest you while Im driving. Luc, damn it! Get in. Reese was sick of arguing about it. He climbed in and tried to ignore the squishy feel of wet clothes against butter-soft leather. Luc shifted and got the car headed toward the exit. He sniffed loudly and reached to lower the windows. Oh, wow, you stink. True. Who knew what was in that pond water besides fish? Gee. Thanks. Im sorry, man. Yeah, right. Turn left and get on the interstate. North. Reese ran a hand through his hair. Already he felt the curls tightening. You can take the shirt off, at least, Luc suggested, punching the heat on low. No. Shy? Reese snapped. Luc, what the fuck? Whyd you come on to me? Didnt I make that obvious? You couldnt get away from me fast enough that night. Now you tell me youre gay? Infuriating calm. Can you be gay and still like women? Damn it, Luc. Luc chuckled, leaning back in the seat and driving with two long fingers on the steering wheel. Amazing the types of people Ive met in the last few years. Women and men offering themselves to me. He shrugged. I figured Id try it once with a guy a few years ago. After all, I could hardly forget what happened with us, right? And with the right

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combination of drugs and alcohol in your system ... He laughed. Much to my surprise, it wasnt half bad. Half bad? Actually, the first guy was pretty good. And yknow what? He had this slim body and amazing curly black hair. But he had brown eyes. Luc smiled. Still, how could I resist? Reese scowled. Dont play games with me. Im not. Dont try and say you were attracted to me. Not with the way you acted. Luc spoke in a very low, very serious tone. I think maybe it was the fact that I was attracted to you that made me react like I did. Reese gaped. Luc chuckled. I found your sister gorgeous as hell. Youre twins. Why wouldnt I find you attractive? Youre not gay. Reese tried to cling to what he thought he knew, despite Lucs words to the contrary. I think the term is bisexual. What can I say? Johnnie rubbed off on me. Reese faced front and watched the road go by. Get off on Alexander. Another silence. Did you ever sleep with Johnnie? No. Why? Are you kidding? Can you imagine the fight to be on top? Reese couldnt help it. He had to laugh. The image was simply too funny. He had known both men well enough that it was impossible to avoid the mental image of naked, sweaty bodies as they wrestled for dominance. Not that the image wasnt attractive; it was just not a likely scenario.

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He tried very hard to ignore the spark of lust deep in his belly at the confirmation that Luc was, in no uncertain terms, a top. Didnt surprise him in the least. It fit so perfectly, since Reese actually enjoyed receiving.

Stop that!
Luc drove the Lexus off the interstate, and Reese spent the next few minutes directing him through the turns to his townhouse complex. Thanks for the ride. Wheres my jacket? Back seat. Luc sat in the drivers seat, half turned to face him. Not going to invite me in? Reese retrieved the jacket without looking at him. No. Why not? Im not gay anymore. Luc just stared at him with a skeptical frown. I cant be gay anymore. He heard the desperation in his own voice and didnt bother to try to disguise it. My life. My job -- No one has to know. What? No one has to know. Ill be gone in a few days, and no one has to be the wiser. God, his voice was like rich, dark chocolate! Reese could almost taste it. Cmon, Reese. Youre still attracted to me. We already proved that. Im drunk. Youre not that drunk. Im a mess. Id be happy to help you clean up.

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Fantasies of him and Luc doing nasty things in his bathroom assailed Reeses inner eye. He groaned and grabbed the door handle, shaking his head. No. Luc paused. Fine. Think about it, though. Im in town the whole week. The performance at Purgatory? Luc nodded. Id like nothing more than to fuck you every night until then. Reeses world tilted at the thought. He firmly pulled himself together and stepped out of the car. Not a good idea. Its better not to know? Reese paused, feet on the curb now. He turned to look at Luc. What do you mean? Luc grinned at him. Dont you want to know what its like between us? I do. Unfortunately, so did Reese. His body wanted it really badly. But reason prevailed. He shook his head and turned toward his front door. Thanks for the ride, man. You bet, Reese. Pleasant dreams.

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Chapter Four

Reese toed off his shoes in the tiled entryway of his townhouse, tossing his jacket -- his only dry piece of clothing -- onto a nearby chair. The shoes were ruined. His socks were soaked and stunk something awful. No, it wasnt just the socks. With a new spate of curses, he started ripping at the shirt and slacks to get them off. How much was he going to have to pay for doing this to a rental? Thoroughly disgusted, he dropped his underwear last, letting the cotton splat onto the tiles. Amazingly enough, he was half hard. Damn Luc! Fuming, he stomped up the narrow flight of stairs and into the bathroom through the door that opened onto the upper landing. He cranked on the water and stepped under the spray before it was quite warm enough. He had to get the sour fishpond smell off his skin. Diligently, he scrubbed his skin until he was red all over and washed his hair twice. The second time wasnt quite necessary, but he was trying his best to distract himself from his errant thoughts and the hard-on that wouldnt go away. Luc Sloane had come on to him. Luc Sloane had asked to fuck him. Luc had kissed him, and God, he was even better than Reese could ever have hoped! Better than the one other kiss they had shared. The thought of those fingertips on his cheek, those lips on his, that

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hand squeezing his cock ... Most of the blood in his body drained south to make his dick throb. Finally he couldnt stand it. He poured conditioner into his palm and reached down. Leaning against the tiles with his free hand, he shut his eyes and pulled on his cock, wondering why hed insisted that Luc couldnt come and do this for him. It didnt take long. He was primed and prepped and couldnt for the life of him get the image of Lucs face out of his mind. Panting, Reese stared down at his dick. Jerking off had taken the edge off the lust, but hadnt erased the need Luc had awakened in him. His blood was still simmering, and it wasnt the hot water that did it. Fuck! He turned into the spray to rinse off. He quite studiously ignored the throb in his cock and the curl of need in his belly. Why, exactly, hadnt he invited Luc in? Why was he all alone in the shower jerking off when he could have the bass players hands and mouth on him? Oh, yeah. His job. His life. He couldnt be gay. No matter how good it felt. No matter how right it felt. No matter that the man dominated his dreams. His lust for Luc was something to be denied. He couldnt go ruining his life just for a passing fantasy. Even if it was a really good fantasy! Reese finished his shower and dried off, then pulled on a comfy pair of pajama bottoms and toweled his hair as he went downstairs to fetch the clothes hed left near the door. But first, a stop in the kitchen for aspirin and water to avoid a hangover. Even though his dunk in the pond seemed to have cleared his head, he remembered too well just how much hed had to drink. He was just finishing a huge glass of water when a knock sounded at the door. He froze, staring across the dark living room at the darker entryway. It was somewhere around midnight. Who could it ...?

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He moaned softly, setting the glass down carefully in the sink. If he ignored it, maybe Luc would go away. Another knock, followed by a softly seductive voice. Reese, I know youre there. Dont want me to disturb your neighbors, do you? Reese snarled. Just the sound of that voice had his cock perking to attention again. Be

strong! He stomped across his living room, kicked aside wet clothing, and opened the door.
He tried to just crack it, but Luc pushed in. Reese stumbled back, slipping in a puddle. His world spun and he braced for impact with the tiles. But Luc caught his arms above the elbows, aborting his fall by slamming him up against the closet opposite the front door. The front door snicked shut, but Reese couldnt see it with Luc looming over him. What do you want? Reese hissed, not sure that he sounded as mad as he intended. Lucs hands slid down Reeses arms to take hold of his wrists and yank them up above his head. He leaned in the extra few inches he had on Reese. Loose red hair fell forward, almost brushing Reeses temple. This. Luc took Reeses mouth in a possessive, brutal kiss. Reese groaned into it, fisting his hands. It took way too much effort to push Luc away. All of the mans weight was leaning on those hands, pinning Reese to the closet door. So instead he twisted his face aside, gasping for breath when he was free. God damn it! Whatre you doing? Lucs lips dragged up Reeses cheek to his ear. His knee nudged between Reeses legs, pressing his thigh into Reeses groin. The erection that hadnt gone away flared to full, hideous life. I tried to leave, that voice rumbled in his ear. But Im dying to taste you. I want to suck you down and eat you up. His teeth closed down on the curve between Reeses neck and shoulder. Please, Reese. Ive got to fuck you.

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He should say no. This was big trouble. He should say no, make Luc go away, and preserve both of their sanities. Except that sanity seemed a long way away when that low voice was begging to fuck him. Luc, he heard himself moan. When had he closed his eyes? Why was he shaking? Yeah, tiger. The thigh drove into his crotch, pressing pleasure up into Reeses gut. You want it, too, dont you? You want me to shove my cock all the way into that sweet little ass of yours. No fair! That voice talking dirty went to his head. Both of them. He squirmed, rubbing his cock against that hard thigh. Oh, yeah, he answered before he could swallow the words. Lucs mouth was back, open and demanding. His hands framed Reeses face, trapping it. The thumbs pressed Reeses chin down, forcing his lips to open under Lucs assault. Reese couldnt have fought if he tried. It was too much. He needed this! He melted. Luc yanked back, pulling Reese with him. Startled, Reese yelped. Luc turned him around to face the stairs and swatted his ass. Get up those stairs unless you want me to fuck you here. Believing Lucs words, Reese darted for the stairs. He beat Luc to his bedroom by mere seconds. The single bedside lamp cast the room in harsh, murky yellow shadows. Closed blinds filtered the spare moonlight into soft, silver slats over the bed and carpet. He reached the bed and turned. Luc shoved him. Reeses back hit the unmade sheets. Luc paused only long enough to whip his half-buttoned shirt over his head and toss it aside. Hed lost his jacket on the trip up the stairs. He fell on Reese, kissing and grinding their groins together.

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Reese moaned, completely lost in sensation. He wound his arms around Lucs shoulders, spanning his hands over the smooth, satiny skin of Lucs back. His legs bent and fell open, creating a cradle to welcome Lucs hips. Luc trailed his lips down Reeses neck, his teeth peeping out to nip. Reese jumped at each little bite, loving the sharp pain just as much as the wet warmth of the tongue that soothed it away. Luc paused at Reeses nipples, taking extra time to nip and suck at the sensitive little points. Reese dug his fingers into Lucs hair, holding the rockstar to him. Luc moved lower, hands preceding his mouth. He pulled Reeses pajama bottoms down, freeing his cock to spring out and slap his belly. Hard as a rock, Luc crooned, wrapping a fist around Reeses shaft. He slid the head between his lips. Reese cried out, writhing beneath Luc. Sharp crimson lust shot up his cock to his spine, almost making him come. Lucs firm grip at the base of his cock kept that from happening. Luc! God, Luc! He was babbling and he couldnt care. Luc hummed, sliding Reeses cock deeper into the hot confines of his mouth. Reese couldnt believe it. Jacking off in the shower should have given him more control, but he was incoherent with need. Luc, please. Luc. Luc. The head of his cock popped loudly from Lucs wet lips. Go ahead and come for me, tiger. I want to taste you. Luc took him deep. No, I ... ah! His back arched off the mattress. Shit! The man was definitely proving he wasnt homophobic. Luc took his time, exploring Reese thoroughly. He only started to suck in earnest when Reese was reduced to barely coherent begging. Then he started bobbing his head in a wonderful rhythm, twisting when the tip of Reeses cock reached his lips and swallowing

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when it struck the back of his throat. When Luc reached down and fingered Reeses ass, he lost it. With a strangled cry, he doubled into himself and gratefully shot into Lucs mouth. He fell back, panting, his whole body tingly. Luc slid back off the bed, taking Reeses pants with him. He stood, eyes devouring Reeses sprawled body as he undid his trousers. So beautiful, he murmured, shifting his weight from side to side, toeing off his shoes. He dropped his pants and bent down to take off his socks. Reese had had enough of watching. He sat up, edging to the side of the bed. He reached for Lucs briefs. Now he needed to see. Needed to touch. Needed to have. Luc caught his wrists. There was a condom in one of his hands. You have lube, Reese? He looked up and drowned in the inky night of Lucs eyes. Yeah. You should get it. He glanced down at the cock trying to burst from Lucs underwear. But ... Later. I need to be inside you. Yeah. Okay. That was good, too. Reese turned and crawled to the other side of the bed. He slid his torso off the edge so he could reach the box he had stashed in the indigo shadows underneath. He opened it on the floor and grabbed the bottle of lube. A toy box? Luc asked, dropping down on top of Reese. Reese shut his eyes, momentarily overcome by the feel of Lucs naked body spread full length over his. A warm, steely rod and soft, heavy balls molded over his ass. The lube was plucked from his hand, and Lucs body was gone. Well play with the toys later. Reese glanced over his shoulder. Oh, good God! Hed known Luc would be beautiful. There was no way he couldnt be. But even knowing it hadnt prepared him. Luc naked was a

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glory to behold. Reese wanted to turn on a light so he could take in the mix of colors and shapes that were this man, but he couldnt give voice or movement to the need. Luc dropped the lube on the mattress beside his knee. He opened and rolled on the condom. Luc smiled at him and held his cock. You want this? Reese nodded eagerly. Luc laughed softly, edging farther back on the mattress. Up on your knees. Reese scrambled to obey, ending up on knees and elbows, with his ass presented for Lucs pleasure. Just how many times had his imagination placed him in this same position with this man? Was this really happening? Luc smoothed a hand over Reeses left butt cheek. He bent in to kiss it. Whens the last time you were fucked like this, Reese? Reese shivered at the choice of words. Years. A hand smoothed over his other cheek. Another kiss. You been using that butt plug I saw in that box? Reese rested his forehead on the mattress and nodded. Good. A tongue slid up his crack. Then I wont hurt you. Reese shuddered, astounded that he was still primed. God, Luc, please just fuck me. Teeth nipped his butt cheek. Im getting there. Get there faster. Luc laughed. Reese didnt know at first if it was a finger or a tongue that rimmed his hole, but finally decided it was a finger when it pushed inside. He groaned. Yeah. You like that? Yeah. More?

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Oh, yeah. Another wet finger wiggled in with the first. Damn, tiger, your ass is just begging to be fucked. Yeah. Lucs free hand slapped Reeses butt. Reese jumped and moaned. The fingers pumped. Twisted. Found that spot inside that made Reeses cock start to reawaken. Reese whimpered, pushing back into those fingers. Dear God, it had been too long since hed felt this. Oh, damn, Reese, Luc groaned, lips whispering over the top swell of Reeses ass. Luc, please. Yeah. Fingers left. Bed swayed slightly. The condom-covered tip of Lucs dick pressed at Reeses hole. God, Luc, please. See? Lucs hand slid up Reeses spine as his cock pushed slowly in. The other hand locked on Reeses hip. I knew you wanted this. How could you not want this? His wet hand closed around Reeses shoulder. Reese couldnt answer. Didnt want to think. That cock pressed ever forward. Reese arched on a gasping cry, fingers digging into the blanket and sheets beneath him. Toys werent the same. Reese had always known that. Hed warned himself not to use them. Had never let anyone else see them, not even his girlfriends. But the need to be filled was nagging. The toys had taken the edge off, but this was what he needed.

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Luc, yes. More! More? Luc slid home, his groin snug to Reeses ass. His balls lightly slapped the sensitive skin behind Reeses own balls. Lucs lips ghosted over the back of Reeses shoulder, probably right over the tiger tattoo. Feel good? God, yes! Reese squirmed, pushing back. More. Fuck me. Luc pulled out a bit, then pushed back in. Like that? Ungh! He did it again. More? Damn it, dont tease me. If youre gonna fuck me, fuck me! Yeah! Luc fell forward, shoving Reese farther onto the bed. A pillow dropped to the floor. Reeses chest pressed into the sheets, Lucs chest pressed to Reeses back. He pulled out and shoved forward, scraping perfectly over that spot inside Reese. Reese groaned, clutching the mattress. Lucs hands found his, and their fingers entwined while Luc pumped endlessly into Reeses body. Reese had already come twice that night, and here he was again, climbing toward orgasm. At long last, Luc was inside his body, pumping, murmuring gorgeous obscenities. Lucs sweat was dripping onto Reeses back, mingling with Reeses own sweat. Reese bit down on his lip to keep from spouting nonsense. Gonna come, Luc groaned into the back of Reeses neck. Lucs fingers, still twined with Reeses, pulled Reeses hand back and down until both of their hands closed around his rejuvenated cock. He moaned. Not again! Gonna ... Oh, God, Reese!

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Maybe it was the growl; maybe it was the words. Maybe it was the sheer fact that Lucs heavy, heavenly body was straining and shoving inside him. Whatever it was, it set Reese off again. Luc came first, but Reeses latest orgasm wasnt far behind. He collapsed underneath Luc, hardly caring about the wet spot beneath his belly. Panting, he simply tried to concentrate on breathing, enjoying the weight of the body sprawled on top of him. Once Luc was breathing somewhat normally again, he pushed up to his elbows. Reeses heart swelled when he felt Lucs lips slide over the sweaty back of his shoulder up to nuzzle the nape of his neck. Luc leaned in a little more and brought his fingers up to press the side of Reeses chin, turning the younger mans neck so they could see each other. Lucs sable eyes glimmered under sweat-mussed bangs. He grinned. That was amazing. His low voice vibrated through his chest, sinking into Reeses back. He kissed Reese sweetly, briefly, before pushing back to kneel. Stay there, Luc said when Reese started to move. But -- Dont get up. Reese frowned, confused. He did roll over onto his side, but otherwise obeyed. He saw a flash of Lucs naked butt as the other man disappeared into the bathroom. The bright rectangle of light from the doorway didnt quite hit the bed. Reese sighed. Good God, it had been amazing. Hed always fantasized that Luc was a good fuck, but hed sorely underestimated him. He closed his eyes and took a brief moment to relive what had just happened. He opened his eyes when he heard Luc come back. The rockstar crossed the room, blatantly at ease with his nudity. Not that he had anything at all to be ashamed of. Lucs tall, slim frame was nicely rounded out with lean, softly defined muscles. His skin was pale -Reese had once heard him confess at a party that he had two colors: white and burned -- but

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it was that creamy goodness kind of pale. His hair was damp and pushed back from his face, fully revealing the sharp lines of his face. Luc knelt on the bed and proceeded to use the washcloth hed brought with him to wipe cum and lube from Reeses body. Reese watched, profoundly touched by the little gesture. When he was done, Luc left again to take the washcloth back to the bathroom. He cut the light in the bathroom and returned to sit beside Reeses sprawled body. Smiling, he trailed a finger over the nearly nonexistent hair on Reeses chest. Want me to leave? Reese yawned. He was too worn out to think better of what he said. His brain was mush. Warm, cuddly mush. He edged closer to Lucs warmth. Not really. Luc settled down onto one elbow at Reeses side, watching his hand as it continued to caress Reeses chest. Do I need to leave early before any of your neighbors gets up? No. One dark eyebrow arched. Reese could just make it out in the darkness. Youre being rather agreeable. Reese hummed, snuggling in close to Luc. Worn out, he muttered. Still drunk? No. Then it must have been coming twice so close together. Three times. Huh? It was only twice. Reese reached up to curl a hand around Lucs neck and pull the man down beside him. Three. One in the shower before you got here. Luc laughed softly, sliding down onto his back. Well, damn. Thats impressive.

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Reese didnt wait until he was settled. He crawled halfway on top of Luc, pillowing his head on the mans chest just beneath his shoulder. He smiled. Thank you. Reese felt Lucs hands thread through his hair. He was pretty sure the rockstar murmured a question, but sleep tackled him and took him under.

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Chapter Five

Reese followed the scent of buttered bagels down his narrow townhouse stairs. Luc was standing in the kitchen, cigarette lit and window open, using the sink for an ashtray. Toaster, bagels, and butter dish were all sitting on the counter between the main room and the kitchen. A plate with a mostly devoured bagel on it sat beside Luc. The television in the main room was on low, showing some movie that Reeses sleepy brain vaguely recognized. Luc had on black silk boxers and nothing else. Sable eyes shadowed by a wave of auburn hair turned toward him. Hey, gorgeous. Reese stopped on the last step, just staring. It really had happened. Lucas Sloane was in his home. Had slept here. Had fucked him.

Holy shit!
Strangely, his voice came out normal. Hey. Luc flicked his cigarette into the sink, a small, sexy smile on his face. He sauntered over to Reese, stopping just before him. With Reese on the bottom step, it put them eye-to-eye. Luc braced a hand on either side of the stairwell and leaned toward him.

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The kiss was soft and tasted oddly of cigarette smoke and buttered bread, underlined by the minty toothpaste from his own mouth. A weird combination of morning tastes that Lucs presence made special somehow. Luc pushed back a little to meet Reeses gaze. How do you feel? Okay. Hangover? Reese shook his head. Surprisingly, he felt fine. Worn out and achy in a few places where he hadnt felt like that in years, but that was a good thing. Not at all? No. Luc grinned. Good. He grabbed for Reese. Reeses yelp of surprise was cut off when lips again found his, voracious this time. Long, strong arms wrapped around him and pinned him to Luc as the other man devoured his mouth. There was never a happier meal. Lucs hands started to explore the waistband of Reeses sweats, but the phone rang. Reese was content to ignore it, more interested in the tongue that twined with his and the hard length in Lucs groin that was pressing against him. Reese! Are you there?! Reese broke back from Lucs kiss with a gasp, shocked by the loud desperation in his sisters voice. Get out of bed and pick up. Damn it, where are you? Reese? With a small groan, Luc released him. Reese ducked past him into the kitchen to pick up the cordless phone and stop Reegans string of demands. Mornin to you, too.

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Oh, thank God youre okay! Did you turn your cell phone off? He leaned his elbows on the tiled counter that separated the kitchen from the main room, then ran a hand through the hopeless mess of black curls that was his hair. It wasnt working last night. Where was his cell phone? Hed have to check it again. Are you okay? Yeah. Im fine. Why? Luc said you were drunk and fell in a pond at the hotel. I wanted to come out to see you, but he promised me that hed get you home safe. Reese glanced over his shoulder, eyeing the rockstar who was sneaking around behind him. There was a devilish twist to that gorgeous mouth. Yeah. He gave me a ride home. He shook his head at Luc, but the redhead ignored him, placed a hand on either side of Reeses hips, and pressed his crotch against Reeses ass. Reese had to bite his lip hard to suppress a moan. What happened? Huh? Howd you fall into the pond? Oh. I, uh -- Warm hands slid up his bare back. Man, that felt good. -- we took a walk. I slipped. I guess I had too much to drink. So you were drunk. I guess. A little. The fabric of his sweats and Lucs boxers might as well have been nonexistent. Lucs cock fit nicely into the crack of Reeses ass, and Reese could swear he felt the veins of it. Reegan laughed. Youre not the only one. Did you get a chance to see Mom before you left? He so could not think about his mother right now! No.

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She was plastered. And Dad wasnt much better off. We had to get them a cab home. Mmmm. He sank forward until his chest was flush with the countertop, turning his head and holding the cordless to his top ear. The position snugged his ass back into the bend of Lucs heavenly body. Kisses ghosted over his shoulder blade and the middle of his back. So I guess you guys are getting along again? Huh? You and Luc. If you took a walk together. Oh. Yeah. You could say that. Oh? Could I say more? Luc slid one hand around to palm Reeses hard-on. No. We just ... Were fine. More

than fine. He struggled valiantly for coherence, despite the fingers that dragged the
waistband of his sweats down to expose his weeping cock. Hey, didnt you just get married? Arent you supposed to be having sex or something? Well, hey, sex wasnt really far from his mind. Dave is in the shower. Luc nibbled on the back of his neck. His palm closed over the head of Reeses dick and squeezed. Oh. Reese was fast losing his ability to speak. What he could manage was breathy. Shouldnt you join him? I had to find out if you were okay. Im okay. Hopefully, she didnt hear his breath hitch. Reese? Yeah? Is he there?

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Clarity tried to intervene. Reese reached down to grab hold of Lucs hand, trying to stop the beautiful massage of his dick. What? Reegans evil chuckle filled his ear. Is he there? Did you sleep with Luc last night? Reese caught sight of Lucs free hand out of the corner of his eye. He turned his head to see the man swipe his fingers through a good amount of soft butter from the dish that sat not far from Reese. Reeses mouth fell open, but the denial he wanted to utter wasnt something he wanted his sister to hear. He couldnt stop that hand while holding the other and the phone. While he was struggling for words, warm, buttered fingers plunged down the back of his sweats and teased his hole. A strangled Fuck escaped his mouth. Reese? He is, isnt he? Hes there? Reese swallowed a moan when a finger pushed in. How did you ...? I mean, what makes you think ...? Reegan hooted. Youre usually far more coherent, brother mine, even in the morning. And I think I hear him in the background. Youre both breathing hard. Whats he doing to you? Two fingers wiggled around inside Reese, finding that oh-so-sweet spot. Breath escaped from him in a whoosh. Oh, dont even go there, Reegan. Spoilsport. Christ! He wasnt sure if the outburst was directed at his sister, or at the devil behind him. Reegan cackled like the witch that she was. Okay, far be it from me to distract you from the sex you need. What? Say hi and thanks to Luc for me. Reese lost hold of Lucs hand. Thanks? Luc used the hand to shove Reeses sweats down to his knees.

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Reegan? Reese called, as though having her on the phone would somehow save him from the pleasure that threatened to engulf him. But she was gone. Reese couldnt think about it now. He dropped his cheek to the countertop, still holding the phone aloft, and finally let out the moan that was pushing at his throat. The bride doing well? Luc asked, voice insufferably calm and normal even as his wicked fingers cost Reese his sanity. She says thank you, Reese breathed. Fingers left his ass, but the other hand encircled his dick, squeezing hard and pumping slow. Thank you? The butter dish rattled. Reese couldnt find the curiosity to raise his head and see what Luc was doing. Whatever the redhead was doing was fine with him. He figured it out when the blunt head of Lucs cock swiped up the crack of his ass, all buttered up. He threw back his head and moaned when that greased-up cock pushed for entry. Ah, shit! Can we t-talk about this later? Greasy hands gripped his hips. Certainly. Finally Lucs voice went a little breathless. Ah, so tight. Reese dropped the phone with a clatter and reached down to grab the edge of the counter. It gave him some leverage to push back and impale himself. The butter dish clattered again just before a warm, greased hand replaced the dry one on his dick. He cried out, arching into Lucs thrust. Oh, yeah, Luc groaned, curling over Reeses back. Cry out for me, tiger. You sound so fuckin sexy. Reese couldnt very well halt the sounds that pushed from his throat. He didnt even know what they were. But if they prompted Luc to do more of what he was doing, Reese wasnt going to try and stop.

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Lucs hand worked in rhythm with the thrust of his cock, urging Reese to thrust forward into one and back onto the other. He did so with abandon, unable to control his bodys responses to this man. It was almost as though his muscles and bones followed Lucs mental commands, totally disregarding Reeses. He cried out Lucs name, begging the man to fuck him harder. Which he did. Hips slapped hips in time to desperate cries. Luc slammed home one last time, his body shuddering over Reeses as he came. Bewildered, lost, Reese pressed back into him, taking everything he gave. Body still trembling slightly, Luc draped himself over Reeses back. His hand pumped Reeses dick furiously. Teeth bit down on Reeses earlobe. Come for me, tiger. That was all she wrote. Reese shattered, clutching the edge of the counter and pressing his forehead to the tiles as he found agonizing release. They stayed like that for precious moments. Reese wasnt sure he could stand anyway. When he could find his voice, his first words were: You bastard. Reegan heard you. Luc chuckled, pushing to his feet. She wouldnt have known if youd just talked normal. I -- ahh! He hissed at the pleasure that rippled through him as Lucs dick slid from his ass. Howm I supposed to talk normal when youre touching me? Mmmm. Just my touch scrambles your brain? Reese decided to avoid that line of conversation. Anyway ... Butter? Water sounded at the sink. Luc laughed. It was the closest thing handy. A wet rag gently wiped down Reeses ass. Besides, theres nothing better than hot buttered buns. He slapped Reeses left butt cheek playfully. Reese groaned. He still couldnt move. Or, rather, didnt want to move. Luc wiped off his hips and legs. Move over so I can get the cabinet.

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Reese groaned again and pushed to stand. Kind of. He sort of rolled around so that his butt was braced against the counter, then reached down to pull up his sweatpants. Grinning, Luc squatted down to wipe spunk off the painted cabinet doors.

Oh, man! We just did it in the kitchen!


Luc stood, eyes twinkling. He dropped a quick kiss on Reeses lips. Hungry? Reese blinked at the ceiling. Actually, yeah. Luc moved back toward the sink. I found bagels, but thats about it. I could go out and get something ...? Reese dropped his head. No. Someone might see him leaving. Bagels fine. Although, I think Ill try the cream cheese instead of butter. He stepped toward the fridge. I think theres some in there. Luc laughed. Hey, I hung up your tux back there -- He tossed his head in the direction of the tiny utility room off the kitchen. -- but I think its history. It a rental? Reese grumbled as he rummaged around for the cream cheese tub. Hed put the tuxedo out of his mind. Yeah. Ill pay for it, if you want.

Cool! was his first thought. He so did not want to find out what the penalty was for
returning the rented tuxedo ruined. But his second thought was more appropriate. Nah, thats okay. Its no problem. And its kind of my fault it got ruined. Of course it wasnt a problem. Luc was, like, mega-rich now. He probably made more in a week than Reese made in a year. Its fine. You dont have to worry about it. Luc watched quietly as Reese cut his bagel. Reese became conscious of the silence after he smeared cream cheese on the onion bagel and took the first bite. He glanced over at Luc to see him still staring, arms crossed over

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his chest. Reese concentrated on chewing, trying to tamp down his desire to step up to Luc and trail his fingers over the light hair that decorated his chest and arms. What? You gonna let me stay? Reese swallowed. Huh? Im wondering if youre gonna throw me out. Luc tilted his head to the side, sending auburn curls cascading down his shoulder. Reese flushed. Uh, no, he said around another bite. You can stay. He took his breakfast into the main room. Really? Luc followed, kneeling beside him on the couch. What happened to Mr. Im-Not-Gay? Reese eyed him. You said no one needs to know. He glared when Luc just continued to study him with a weird little smile. No one knows about this, Luc. Reegan knows. Reegan doesnt count. She wont tell anyone. She wont jeopardize my job. He put down his plate and turned to face the man of his dreams. Im serious, Luc. No one can know about this. Luc reached out to toy with a curl above Reeses ear. Youre so cute when youre worried. Reese slapped his hand aside. Luc, damn it! Relax, tiger. No one knows about this. I got it. Im serious. I know.

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Chapter Six

Reese was pretty sure he was walking funny at school on Monday. He hoped it wasnt noticeable. Luc had stayed with him all of Sunday. Theyd eaten breakfast, napped a bit, had sex, taken a shower, had more sex, ordered Chinese, eaten, had sex, watched a movie, and then made out for a long time before having sex again. Reese had finally decided Luc needed to go at around midnight for no other reason than that he simply had to get some sleep. He got through his first two classes on autopilot. Luckily, hed thought to prepare all his lesson plans on Thursday night so that the Friday and Saturday wedding events didnt put him behind. He took his kids through geometry and algebra without paying much attention to what he was doing. During a pop quiz in second period, he found himself sitting at his desk, doodling. He hadnt had the desire to sketch in ages, and here he was with a ballpoint pen and ruled paper sketching a portrait. Of Luc. His long, straight nose and sharply defined jaw. Those hooded eyes underneath sweeping brows. That mouth ... oh, that mouth! Now he knew exactly how talented that mouth was. Luckily, he always set an egg timer to announce when the quiz was done; otherwise he would have gotten lost in his sketch and let his kids have the entire period to finish. When

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the timer dinged, he jumped and hastily turned the sketch facedown on his desk and covered it with a textbook. Coffee lured him to the teachers lounge during first break. He normally didnt bother, preferring to stay away from the ridiculous gossip and chatter about the lives of his fellow teachers, but he felt the need for a caffeine boost that morning. He tried to be unobtrusive as he waited, but he was destined to perform. Haley Greene, one of the women who worked in the office, sidled up to him, stirring her tea. How was the wedding? Despite his avoidance of chit chat, Haley knew hed gotten off work early on Friday for the wedding. Which meant anyone else at the school who was remotely interested knew as well. He stared at the backs of the four other teachers crowding the coffee pot, circling like vultures until the black liquid was ready. He wasnt going to get away fast, at least not with coffee in hand. It was good. I heard Heaven Sent was there! That true? Haley was about his age, so there was no surprise that she knew about the band. He smiled. So, good news travels fast, huh? Does Reegan know them? We both do. We were some of their original fans. Get you! I didnt know you were friends with them! With who? asked Toni Butcher, one of the English teachers. Reese soon found himself surrounded by excited chatter. He almost panicked when Haley proclaimed Luc Sloane to be the absolute end. She didnt know she was talking to someone who knew this for a fact! Reese only managed to fill his cup when the warning bell for breaks end sounded. He had to take his caffeine back to his room with him.

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During fourth period, he had to reprimand three of the girls for whispering incessantly. They were also giving him strange looks. He put the oddness out of his mind in favor of a lecture on geometry. At the end of the period, however, the three girls came up to his desk. Strangely enough, some of their classmates seemed to be dawdling as well. Since it was now lunch break, he knew something was up. May I help you ladies? he asked, looking up from his chair. Tina, a tall blond with luminous crystal-blue eyes, grinned at him, her manicured hands folded just under her chin. Is it true, Mr. Schuyler? Is what true? Do you know Heaven Sent?

Ah! He sat forward in his chair, folding his hands on the textbook that covered his
earlier sketch. Where did you hear that? Her glossed lips turned down at the corners. Its not true? I didnt say that. Then it is true! Her squeal was the kind to shatter glass. Reese winced as her friends and a few of the dawdlers joined in with their own squeals and crowded around his desk. How long have you known them? Do you really know them personally? Whats Johnnie really like? Is Darien really that sweet? Is Luc just amazing?

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He laughed, waiting for the questions to die down. When they did, he was looking up into seven earnest female faces. He caught sight of a button with Johnnies smiling face on it pinned to one of the girls backpacks. Yes, I do know Heaven Sent. More squeals. He held up a hand to forestall them. I knew them a long time ago. Before they became famous. Oh, no way! Before this weekend, I hadnt talked to them in years, though. That fact didnt seem to make a difference. The chatter started again, this time interspersed with comments on how cool it was that they knew someone who knew Heaven Sent. Reese fought to keep from laughing aloud. His students had never paid him much attention before this. He was told by some of the female teachers that there were girls who had crushes on him, but he never saw it. Truthfully, he couldnt remember a non-schoolrelated conversation with any of his students until today. It took some convincing to get the girls to leave and more convincing to assure them that he couldnt get them in to see Heaven Sent. In the end, he had to promise to try to get autographs if they brought in the pictures they wanted signed the next day. He let out the laugh hed been holding in when the door finally closed behind them. He leaned back in his chair and grinned at the ceiling. Not only had Luc barreled back into his life -- however temporarily -- but his mere existence had even given life to Reeses boring day job.

He should have predicted the presence of Mr. Ronald Tarkington at his door sometime that day. In truth, he was a bit surprised that it took until the end of his second-to-last class. Mr. Tarkington prided himself in being a hip principal who paid attention to the trends of

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the student body and the goings-on of his teachers. Personally, Reese thought he was full of shit, but he kept that to himself. Tarkington stood just inside Reeses door as students filed out. He had a smile and a word for most of them and reached out to pat a few shoulders as they passed him. Most of the kids, especially the boys, were taller than he. Reese wondered if any of them had the same burning urge he had to rub a palm over the mans shiny, balding head. Suppressing a laugh, Reese propped his butt on the front of his desk, crossed his arms, and waited. He hoped he didnt look as worn out as he felt. Not enough sleep and too much sex the previous day.

Okay, stop that!


When the last kid had filed out, Tarkington came to stand before Reese. He busied his hands with meticulously folding the cuffs of his crisp, powder-blue shirt up above his elbows. Schuyler, I hear you had quite a weekend. My sister got married, yes, sir. Yes, yes. And I hear some rock band played there. Reese shook his head, wondering how many different versions of rumor were flying around the school. No, sir. They didnt play. They were just guests. Mmm. You know these people? Reegan and I were friends with the guys in Heaven Sent before they got their big break. We all grew up in Woodley. I see. I didnt take you for a rocker, Schuyler. His eyes twitched briefly to the plain silver hoop in Reeses right earlobe. Reese allowed himself a small smile, wondering what Tarkingtons face would look like if hed seen Reese back in his heyday. Forget it if he knew about the tattoo. Im not anymore, sir. Ive left those days behind. Have you?

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Yes, sir. Good. Far be it for me to tell you how to live, Schuyler, and the past is, of course, the past, but we cant have that kind teaching our kids, you know. Just sends the wrong message. Reese stared blankly at his boss, biting his tongue to keep back a dozen remarks he wanted to make. Standing before him was the main reason he had to keep things secret with Luc. One whiff that Reese could possibly be slightly gay, and Tarkington would find a way to not only get rid of him, but to make sure that he didnt work anywhere in the county again. The reason wouldnt be homosexuality, of course. Oh, no. But Tarkington would find something, and hed make sure all the parents knew so they could spread the word as well. Theyre just friends who are in town for a while, Mr. Tarkington. Theyll be back on the road by next week. He ignored the little pinch around his heart at the thought. The man actually looked relieved. He wiped his palms down the front of his shirt. Ah, good. I mean, not that it matters, of course. Of course. Reeses cell phone rang, and he pushed to his feet to circle around behind the desk to retrieve it. Tarkington started toward the door. Well, Ill leave you to your next class. Please wish your sister our best when you talk to her next. Reese picked up his phone. Ill do that, Mr. Tarkington. Afternoon, Schuyler. He shut the door on his way out. Reese had to laugh when he saw the caller ID. He lifted the phone to his ear. Hey, Luc, he said into the phone. Hey, sexy. When did you program your name into my phone? Luc chuckled. Yesterday morning when I was checking it for you. Thoughtful of me, wasnt it?

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Reese laughed, sinking into his chair. Sex God is a bit much, dont you think? Mmmm. But you knew who it was. Reese shivered at the low rumble. Yeah. You done for the day? Ive got one more class. Good timing, then. Can I meet you at your place? He moved a textbook aside. What will the neighbors think? Lucs snort told him what the rockstar thought of the neighbors. I take that as a no? Yeah. He turned over the sketch hed started earlier. Come to see me, then. Hed kind of hoped that invitation was coming. What hotel are you at? Im not. I got a rental outside of town. Must be nice to be rich. Hey, gotta spend it on something. Come over and Ill spend some on you. Reese grabbed a pen and started shading in the sketch. You dont know how tempting that is to a starving teacher. I do know. I saw what you had in your refrigerator. Name your poison, tiger. Ill buy you any dinner you want. Ill send a driver out to come get you and have him scatter rose petals across the backseat. Reese laughed. Dont you dare. Hmm, too fag-ish? Yeah, a bit. I can send a truck driver with a cooler full of beer in the back. Your ideas suck. So does my mouth. Why dont you get your dick over here and Ill demonstrate.

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Reese shut his eyes and shivered. Damn. Luc laughed. Should I send a car? No. Reese traced the sketched line of Lucs lower lip. Give me directions. Ill drive out. So, you can escape? Some of us have to work in the morning. Luc sighed. Details. He rattled off directions, and Reese wrote them out next to the sketch. Youre coming now, right? I need to look at my lesson plan for tomorrow. And Ive got to go home and change. Luc grumbled. Then youre coming. Reese laughed. Pushy. Horny. Didnt get enough yesterday? Of you? Not nearly. Reese snorted, folding the sketch and directions. Like you cant get a piece of ass by just whistling. Luc whistled into the phone. I happen to be craving your ass. Get it the hell over here. Yes, sir. What do you want for dinner? I dont know. Oh, come on. Skys the limit, and you cant decide? Reese laughed. Im a simple man. Right. You like sushi? Sure. Anything thats not either slimy or that poison fish that could kill you.

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Gotcha. Hurry with that lesson plan and get over here.

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Chapter Seven

The drive to the place Luc was staying was barely a half-hour, taking Reese outside the city proper and almost outside the suburbs into a gated community within the hills that was nearly hidden by lush foliage. He hadnt even known the secluded place existed. But then, he wasnt wealthy enough to bother even looking at such areas. The address Luc had given him was a two-level house on a modestly sloped hill surrounded by huge, leafy green trees. Reese knew next to nothing about architecture, so he couldnt have said what style of house it was, but to him it looked like a massive capital A. Although it had to be decidedly modern, the wood paneling of the exterior had been weathered to make it seem older. He parked his Nissan next to the silver Lexus in the covered carport, then followed a little red-bricked pathway to the covered front steps. Luc answered the door dressed in violet drawstring pants and nothing else but his loose curly hair and a grin. Reese didnt even get a chance to see what the entryway looked like before Luc hooked a hand into the waistband of his pants and hauled him inside. No greeting. Well, none verbal. Lucs hungry kiss was welcome enough. The bass player walked backward, pulling Reese with him. Reese stumbled against him, laughing. When he tried to pull his head back to see where they were going, Luc reached up

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to spear a hand in his hair to keep their mouths fused. Reese yelped when Luc fell back. Well, not exactly. At least not by accident. Reese found that out when they both landed on the plush futon set on the hardwood floor of the main room. Still laughing, Reese managed to pull away from Lucs grasp. He ended up straddling Lucs hips, sitting on his thighs. You freak. Brushing hair back from his face, he twisted his head to look around. He whistled. Whoa. Luc busied himself with untucking Reeses t-shirt from his jeans. Cool, huh? He slid his hands in to skim over Reeses belly. Ill say. Their surroundings distracted Reese for the moment from Lucs hands. The room they were in soared up into what could only be the point of the A hed seen from outside. Huge skylights and a bank of beveled, frosted glass poured the last of the afternoon sun onto the hardwood floors and ivory walls. A dining room and kitchen could be seen through two open arches, and a flight of stairs led up to a second story. The hall of the second story looked down into this main room. Luc sat up underneath him, yanking the hem of Reeses shirt to his armpits. Reese stopped admiring the room long enough to help pull his t-shirt over his head. Whatd you do with the furniture? Aside from the futon and the fireplace, bar, and bookcases built into one wall, the room was completely empty. Luc wound his arms around Reese, lightly caressing his back. Had it put in storage. All of it? Luc kissed Reeses neck. Nah. Just this room. Why? Luc looked up at the skylights, grinning. Sleeping under the stars. Reese laughed, twining his arms around Lucs neck. You really are a freak.

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Luc shrugged, dropping his head to lock shining eyes on Reese. Got the idea from a place we stayed in Amsterdam. The house agents messed up with the schedule, and the furniture wasnt due to arrive until the next day. This big, huge place just for the four of us, and not a bit of furniture. They scrambled around and got us these. He indicated the futon beneath them. It was great. I bought a few of them for myself after that trip. Reese grinned, spearing his hand into Lucs curls. Is this how you sleep at home? Tiger, I am at home. Reese mulled that over while Luc kissed him. He meant the house, right? What an odd thing to say. The taste of Lucs mouth distracted Reese from his straying thoughts. The feel of those hands smoothing over his back. The silk of auburn hair sifting through his own fingers. Luc resisted when Reese tried to push him down to the mat. Cant go too far. Sushis on the way. Reese pouted. Well, damn. Luc nipped at the lip he stuck out. Glad to know you want me. How could I not? That was my question the other night. Reese grimaced and edged back. He ended up sitting on the mat within the circle of Lucs legs, his own legs draped over Lucs thighs and almost hooked at the ankles behind Lucs back. Can you blame me? I didnt even think youd want to talk to me, let alone fuck me stupid. Luc grinned, trailing his fingers up Reeses bare sides. Mmm. Do I need to convince you again? Luc crawled forward, and Reese gladly lay back. The thick black mat was firm beneath him, but only a little more than a firm mattress. He toyed with Lucs long red hair as the

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other man bent over his chest and feathered light kisses over it before tonguing a nipple. Reese let his eyes slide shut and enjoyed. Did it get any better than this? He was trying to convince Luc to go a bit farther when the doorbell rang. He grumbled when Luc got up to go fetch the sushi. Told that the bar and the kitchen were stocked, Reese made himself useful by getting plates and drinks for them both. The dining room and kitchen were just as impressive. The appliances in the kitchen were sleekly modern brushed chrome. The refrigerator actually hissed when he opened it. The dining room table was black with a polished cherry wood top and sat under an understated, glittering chandelier. It amazed him that such a place was just rented out. What happened to it when people like Luc werent in town? Luc refused to eat anywhere except the futon, so they made camp there. Luc turned the satellite radio on low, and smooth background jazz floated through the air from hidden speakers. The sun set as they ate, replacing brilliant orange lighting with moody blue. So, whats next for Heaven Sent? Reese asked, nabbing another bite of sashimi. Were going back into the studio. If we dont produce another album soon, the record companys going to kill us. Good. Its about time you came out with something new. Its been, what, two years? Almost. They let us take the break after the last tour for Johnnie and Tyler, but the general idea now is that enoughs enough. Luc shrugged, licking soy sauce off his thumb. The man did seem to love the soy sauce. He dunked everything in it. Its good, though. We started throwing out some ideas recently. I think were all set to record some new stuff. We rented this awesome studio in Italy. Were leaving this weekend. Reese shook his head, ignoring the catch in his belly at the thought of Luc leaving. I cant even imagine the life youve got now. Sure you can. And its not all fun, yknow. I know. But, man ... its got to be a wild ride.

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That it is. Luc shoved the last bite of shrimp roll into his mouth. But what about you? You enjoy teaching? Reese shrugged. Its okay. Most of the kids are fine. Some of them are assholes. But they actually have to take an entrance exam to get into Brighton, so we dont have a lot of the kids who arent really interested in being there. Most of the stuff I teach has all been laid out along strict guidelines anyway. I just kind of toe the line. That sounds boring. Well, yeah, but the colleges these kids are headed for have set guidelines. Most of them learn it all on their own anyway. I teach math. Most of them can teach themselves. Im mainly there to answer questions. He laughed. In fact, just today I got the most attention from any of them that Ive gotten since I started at Brighton. And its your fault. Luc blinked up at him, chopsticks hovering over the lobster roll. Mine? Yours and that band of yours. Talk is all over my school that you guys were at Reegans wedding. Once they found out that I actually knew you -- He rolled his eyes. -oh, my God! I couldnt get rid of them. Tomorrow will probably be worse. Which reminds me, I promised autographs. That okay? Luc grinned. Absolutely. He dropped his chopsticks and pushed forward on hands and knees. It put him nearly nose-to-nose with Reese. Anything for you, tiger. He pressed a quick kiss to Reeses lips. Reese grimaced. Smooth talker. Luc laughed, standing. You know it. He turned and headed toward the hall. Be right back. Gotta take a leak. Reese morosely chewed the last bite of the lobster roll, disturbing thoughts rolling in his brain. Talking about his job with someone like Luc was depressing. What the hell did Luc want with him? He had this amazingly exciting life, so different than Reeses safe, boring one. What the hell did Reese have to offer?

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Since they were obviously done eating, Reese gathered up the plates, Styrofoam boxes, and bags and took them into the kitchen. He gave in to the urge to step out into the paved backyard and got lost, transfixed by the fading sunset over a panoramic view of the city. He could even see the coast not far away. That submerged urge to paint resurfaced with a vengeance as he drank in the scene, memorizing the colors and textures of the landscape before him. He heard the door behind him open and close, but kept his eyes on the purpling horizon. Fingertips traced the back of his shoulder blade. His tattoo. Warm lips pressed softly on the design. Always liked this. Thanks. You ever gonna get the dragon done? Reese had to smile. You remember that? Sure. Fingers traced the back of his other shoulder. Yin and yang. Dragon and tiger. One on each shoulder. Reese sighed. Never did get enough money together back then. He shrugged. Then I lost interest. Lips ghosted over the back of his neck. Completely? Reeses eyelids drooped. Lovely as it was, the scenery couldnt compete with Lucs touch. I had to grow up. Teeth bit the big muscle that connected neck to shoulder. That the same time you decided you werent gay? Im not gay. Bare arms slid around his waist, pulling him flush up to Lucs chest. Whats this, then? Lucs breath caressed his right ear. Reese sank into him. A dream? he said softly.

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Mmm, that make me your dream man?

Yes. He didnt answer. He didnt want to answer. He didnt want to acknowledge any
of this. There was no point. Just enjoy it. It was going to be over soon enough. Thankfully, Luc dropped the subject. He turned Reese to face him and took over Reeses mouth. It was so easy to give in to this man, to let him direct the pleasure. Reese just had to react and feel. Luc lured him back inside with kisses and caresses. Reese followed willingly. Luc laid him out on the futon and made quick work of his jeans. He dropped his own pants, revealing those long legs and the lean red cock between them. Luc stretched out at Reeses side, head toward his legs. He propped an elbow between Reeses thighs, positioning himself just perfectly to fondle and caress Reeses cock and balls. The position had the added benefit that Reese, by just shimmying over a bit, could easily reciprocate. He circled Lucs cock with his fingers, entranced by the silky feel of the skin in contrast to the steely hardness beneath. So much the same, but so different from his own. Suddenly quite hungry, he opened his mouth and took the head of Lucs cock in. Luc growled approval, his hips twitching forward slightly. His hand pulled on Reeses cock while his head dipped lower to tongue his balls. Decadent sensuality settled over the lovers as they suckled each other, content to stroke and tease to prolong the moment as long as they could. But nature would have her way, and soon the languid strokes turned into serious sucking. Lucs wet fingers sank into Reeses ass, massaging him within. Reese whimpered, moaned, taking Lucs length as far into his mouth as he could, frantic to give pleasure back as Luc brought him over the threshold. He kept his wits just enough to keep sucking, keep squeezing, to milk an orgasm from Luc. Gladly, he swallowed down the salty spice of Luc. He collapsed onto his back, struggling to breathe. Luc settled beside him, head pillowed on his thigh.

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Im clean, by the way, Luc said after a few moments. Wits rattled and hazy with pleasure, Reese didnt understand. Huh? Luc pushed up to sit. Im sorry about that. It felt so good, I forgot to pull back. Yesterday, too. Luc actually looked sheepish, an unusual expression for him. But Im clean. I swear. Got tested months ago and havent had unprotected sex since then. Oh. Reese blinked up at the skylight. How stupid of him. He hadnt even thought about it. Except for that first time, they hadnt used condoms at all. He was so intent on treating what was happening as a fantasy that he hadnt let that very real, potentially dangerous possibility burst his bubble. Stupid! Luc hovered over him. Smiling, he reached down to thumb a dribble of cum from Reeses chin. Just wanted you to know. Reese managed a smile. Thanks. Luc kissed him again, smoothing away his fears. If Luc said he was clean, then he was clean. Hed never given Reese a reason not to trust him.

A few hours and a lot of sex later, Luc lay belly-down on the futon, hugging a pillow underneath his chin and scowling at Reese as he put on his clothes. A single floor lamp on its lowest setting cast the only light in the room except for the wan moonlight from the skylights and windows. The soft yellow from the lamp made Lucs skin appear golden. Stay. Reese dropped his loafers and socks on the floor and sat beside them, wincing only slightly at the tenderness in his butt. I cant. Call in sick. Reese shook his head. I cant do that.

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Why not? Im not sick. Sure. Call it sexual exhaustion. Reese laughed. Afraid not. Oh, come on. Thats what substitute teachers are for. And Ive got to be careful with my sick days. Luc grimaced, tossing hair out of his face. If its the money, then take the whole week off and Ill pay your salary for the week. Reese froze, holding his shoe up. He gaped at the rockstar. Youre joking. Nope. Im dead serious. I cant do that. Why not? Its just ... He shook his head. Its wrong. Not if I offer. You trying to make me a whore? Luc snorted. Please. You know its not like that. Do I? Yes, you do. Luc heaved a sigh and flopped over onto his back. It exposed the long, beautiful line of his body, as well as his semi-hard cock. Reese was now convinced that Luc was always at least slightly aroused. Luc stretched, bending a little so that his face tilted toward Reese. Red hair fanned out beneath his head. He held out a hand. I just want to spend as much time with you as I can before I leave. Reese was torn between being horrified and being touched. Why? Luc dropped his arm and raised a brow. Dont tell me Ive been alone for the past two days? Ive certainly enjoyed the sex. Have you?

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Of course I have. Luc sat partially up, propped on his elbows. Then this is perfect. Stay here. Call in sick and spend the rest of the week here with me. You said yourself your kids learn the stuff mostly themselves. Sounded too good to be true. It was too good to be true. He had to remember that, no matter what pretty words came out of Lucs mouth. I cant do that. Look, I told you Id pay for -- And I cant let you do that. Im not going to be your kept woman. He concentrated on finishing with his shoes. Luc rolled his eyes. Gee. Say it like that and it sounds bad. It is bad. Although, with the way Luc said it ... Fine. Fine. Luc sighed and rolled to his feet. Reese paused, entranced by the sleek grace of Lucs body. Was it any wonder that there were millions of girls around the world who screamed at the mere sight of him? What the hell was Reese thinking not to stay and take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime chance? But he was right. This was the way it should be. He couldnt let Luc buy him. He had a life that hed have to live after Luc was gone. Luc stepped up to his side. Reese looked up the length of his body, saw the hand Luc offered to help him up. He took it and let the rockstar pull him up into a loose embrace. Luc dropped a kiss onto his temple. I didnt mean to offend you. Reese wrapped his arms around Lucs slim waist. I know that. Luc lifted Reeses chin with a finger, tilting his face up to look at him. You sure? Reese had to smile. Yeah. But you see where Im coming from, dont you? Unfortunately, I do. Luc kissed him softly on the lips. Come see me tomorrow.

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He should say no. Okay. Cool. Ill order from this little Italian place. The rental agent says its to die for.

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Chapter Eight

Reese rested his forehead briefly on the steering wheel of his little Nissan. A jawcracking yawn had nearly his whole body trembling. Oh, man, Ive got to get some sleep! He sat up, shaking his head, and reached into the passenger seat for his briefcase. It was Thursday, and hed driven out to Lucs rental house every night since Monday. He couldnt exactly complain about the reason, but it had made for late nights. It was a darn good thing that his kids were mostly self-sufficient. Today hed caught himself nodding off during third period, and hed completely spaced out during a teachers meeting after school. So much so that Mr. Tarkington had asked if he was all right. He laughed to himself as he got out of his car. Sure, Im fine. Just getting soundly

fucked every night this week. Wears on a guy, yknow? Snorting at his private joke, he
locked his car and headed for his townhouse. He froze halfway up the stairs to his front door when he noticed Luc standing on the landing before it. Dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, with that rich red hair tucked up under a baseball cap, Luc might have been anyone. Maybe. But Reese, who knew better, couldnt help but admire the fit of worn denim on long legs or appreciate the shortness of the shirtsleeves that left finely honed arms bare. Dozens of slim bangles dangled from both slim wrists. Luc turned to

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smile at him, reaching up to tip down the big black sunglasses he wore so that Reese could see those sable eyes. Hey, there. Reese hurried up the rest of the stairs, glancing around furtively to see if anyone saw them. What are you doing here? Luc nudged two six-packs of beer that sat at his feet, hidden from Reese until he made the landing. What? Cant a friend bring over some beer? Reese glared, hurriedly sticking his key in the front door. You shouldnt be here, he hissed. Relax, Luc drawled, picking up the beer and following him into the townhouse. No one even knew it was me. Reese dropped briefcase and keys on the small table in the entryway. You dont know that. Luc strode past him to the kitchen. Thus the beer. Surely no one would be suspicious of a friend coming to watch the game with you? Reese followed him. What game? Luc extracted two of the bottles from the cardboard box and opened one. Theres got to be something on. He grinned and held the chilled beer out to Reese. Reese took it -- still cold, but sweating. Luc couldnt have been outside that long. He still glared. You shouldnt have come. Luc opened his own bottle. What? Dont want to see me? Reese took a healthy sip of beer, leaning his hip on the edge of the counter. I told you on the phone, Im beat. Luc stepped up to his side, and despite his bodys weariness, Reeses skin tingled in anticipation of the mans touch. Luc smoothed a hand over his shoulder. I know. I seriously just came to hang, if thats really all you want.

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Reese eyed him from beneath his bangs. Why? Luc smiled. I like spending time with you. Reese shut his eyes and leaned into Lucs soft caress, too tired to hide his appreciation of the words. In truth, Luc was wearing him down. At the start of the week, hed been a little better at shrugging off Lucs compliments and endearments, but the words and touches were getting to him. Luc was getting to him. The man made him feel special, and he still couldnt figure out why Luc bothered. Theyd established that first night that Reese wanted him. The next day had proved that Reese wouldnt deny him. He didnt really need to be so ... well, nice. Caring? His eyes must have been closed longer than he realized. Luc stepped even closer, threading his fingers through Reeses hair and planting a kiss on his forehead. You really are worn out, arent you? Reese pulled his head back, blinking his eyes open. Huh? Wha...? The bottle of beer was pulled from his lax fingers and joined Lucs on the counter. Lucs hands reached up to turn Reese around and point him toward the stairs. Cmon. Lets take you to bed. No, I -- For sleep, idiot. I am not into necrophilia. M not dead, Reese mumbled halfway up the stairs. Sure youre not. He didnt bother to argue. He loosened his tie as he turned into his bedroom and managed to toss it aside before the inviting warmth of his unmade bed sucked him in. Facefirst. Behind him, Luc chuckled. Gentle hands removed Reeses shoes and socks, then turned him onto his back. Luc crawled up to straddle his knees while he unbuttoned Reeses shirt.

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Reese watched him, completely entranced by the fact that a huge megastar was tending to him. Shouldnt you be rehearsing? Luc pulled Reeses shirt out of his waistband to finish unbuttoning it. We did. Today. Playing on that stage is like coming home, though. Lucs happy little smile was enchanting. We broke off early, and I came to see you. Reese blinked. Do they know? About us? Luc hauled him by the shirt into a seated position so he could slide the shirt off Reeses shoulders. Was I not supposed to tell them? He watched his fingers as he unbuttoned Reeses cuff. Well, I guess not, but ... Luc unbuttoned the other one. Dont worry. I told them you wanted to keep it lowkey and why. They understand. He pulled the shirt off, grinning. Even Johnnie. Luc pushed him to lie back. Reese couldnt think of a reason why they couldnt keep the secret, so he let it go. Shouldnt you go see your mom? Luc started on his belt. Didnt you know that she moved? He laughed fondly. She had me buy her this awesome condo in Daytona. Shes become one of the Florida retirees, despite the fact that shes not really old enough for it. Reese laughed. Hed met Lucs mom. As far as he could tell, she was the source of not only Lucs red hair but also his self-assured charm. Shed raised Luc on her own since his father died when he was very young, and shed instilled self-confidence in her only son. The belt jangled open, and Reese felt the fly of his slacks loosen. Luc stood, dragging Reeses pants with him. Luc lightly slapped his bare thigh. Turn around into the pillows. Reese yawned, even as he complied. I really should --

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You really should get some sleep. Take a nap. Ill have something ready for you to eat when you get up. Reese would have thanked him. He meant to thank him. But the pillow felt so nice, and Lucs attention had spread such a warm, fuzzy feeling through him, that he fell instantly asleep.

His rumbling belly woke him. He sat up, disoriented in his darkened bedroom. The glowing display of his alarm clock said 9:00. He was alone, but smelled pizza. Yawning, he got up and headed downstairs, not bothering to put on any more than the briefs he already wore. Luc looked up from the movie he was watching in the main room. Hey, sleepyhead. Reese yawned again, waving. Luc laughed. Pizzas keeping warm in the oven. Oh, what a wonderful man! Reese dug out half a loaded pizza from the oven and ate a full slice leaning over the box on the counter. Hungry? Luc asked, amused. Starving. Thank you. Youre welcome. His belly partially mollified, Reese was able to fully appreciate the sight of Luc at his ease. The baseball cap was hooked on the back of a chair, so the beautiful red hair was free except for the band that held it loosely at the back of his neck. He slumped down in Reeses couch, bare feet propped on the coffee table. Three empty bottles of beer sat beside his feet, with a half-empty one propped on his belly. Reese gathered up another slice of pizza and fetched his own bottle of beer from the fridge before he went to join Luc. Youre still here. He sank onto the couch beside Luc. Obviously.

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Why? Should I go? No, but ... He chewed while he thought. I dont think Im up for sex tonight. Thats okay. Luc upended the last of his beer into his mouth. It is? Sure. Reese frowned at Luc. Then why --? Laughing, Luc leaned forward to gather the empties from the table. Stop thinking so hard. Im here because I like being with you and I didnt feel like sleeping alone. He stood. And Im okay if its just sleeping. Reese took another bite of pizza and watched the man take the bottles to the kitchen. He came back with another one, bringing the box of pizza with him while he was at it. They spent the next few hours flipping through channels on cable and talking about nothing in particular. Reese started fading around 11:30. He woke with a start when Luc hauled him to his feet and steered him toward the stairs. He went without comment and crawled into bed, peeking over the covers while Luc stripped to his boxers, shut off the lights, and slid into the sheets beside him. It was so nice to have a warm body to snuggle. In the past week, hed only slept that first night with Luc, and hed been too dazed to appreciate it fully. He turned around and squirmed until his back fit to Lucs chest, snugging his butt against Lucs groin. Thoughts of sex teased his brain, but his body just wasnt up to it.

Call in sick.

Dj vu. Theyd had this discussion every one of the past few nights. No.

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Luc grumbled, burrowing back under the white sheets on Reeses bed. Reese grinned as he got dressed. He couldnt help it. Even though they hadnt had sex, waking up in Lucs arms this morning had him in a fabulous mood. He wouldnt tell Luc, but he was tempted to call in sick. He was still tired, and sleep sounded really good, especially with Luc lying mostly naked in his bed. But there was a chance that someone might see him at the performance that night. The girls in the office and some of the other teachers were all excited about it. The voice that came from beneath the covers was surprisingly audible. What time are you coming to the club tonight? Probably around eight. Luc pushed the covers down just enough to reveal his face. Static made wispy tendrils of his hair stand at odd angles. Can you come earlier? Probably. Why? Luc flopped onto his back, shoving the covers down to his waist. I forgot to ask you before. As a favor for Johnnie, could you stick close to Tyler before the performance? Reese froze, shirt halfway buttoned. Why? Luc raised one long arm to tuck it under his head. He hates crowds and parties. Johnnies afraid that hell duck out and go back to the hotel if someones not watching him. Reese laughed. Youre kidding. Nope. Its happened before. Hes gotten better, but only when Johnnie or one of us is around. Luc smiled. Its kind of cute, but its really annoying sometimes. Reese ignored the pang of jealousy at hearing Luc describe another man as cute. First, it was Tyler -- who was very much taken. Second, Tyler was cute. And third, he had no right to be jealous. Luc wasnt his, after all.

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Reese resumed buttoning his shirt on his way into the bathroom. He kicked aside the towel hed used, landing it atop the small pile of laundry in the corner. Sure. I can stick close. Will he get pissed off by being babysat? Youre going to make it seem like youre not doing that, called the voice from the other room. Ah! Okay. He picked up his toothbrush. When do you need me to be there? Seven? Yeah, I can make that. He brushed his teeth and finished his hair. Luc was still lying there when he got back to the bedroom. You staying here today? Luc eyed him, looking like a decadent treat, mostly naked and sprawled in Reeses bed. You mind? Part of Reese wanted to rush and get his digital camera so that he could remember this. The artist in him memorized the tousled hair, lazy smile, and smooth, satiny, glowing skin. Mentally he catalogued the different mix of colors hed need to accurately show the intriguing shadows of Lucs body. Enough of that; he had to get to work. Mind? No. He grabbed a tie off the hanger in his closet. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Luc slide out of bed. The redhead came up behind him as he faced the mirror over his dresser, tying his tie. Their eyes met in the reflection. Reeses heart flipped at the heat simmering in Lucs gaze. He willed his cock to ease off and not wake up. Luc speared a hand through that red hair, trying to tame it. Sure you wont call in sick? I cant. He leaned in to kiss Reeses neck just behind his left ear. You mean you wont.

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Same result. Lucs head came up, and he met Reeses eyes in the reflection again. All levity was gone from his face, those dark eyes glittering with intent. Hey ... Reese waited, but the sentence stopped there. He arched a brow. Hey? Warring thoughts flew across Lucs face, but Reese was at a loss to decipher any of them. Finally, Luc smiled. He put his hands on Reeses shoulders to turn him around into a warm hug. Nothing. The kiss Luc dropped on Reeses lips promised to start Reeses cock again if he let it linger. It wasnt particularly hot or demanding, but it was achingly sweet. It made Reese want to curl up with Luc and just kiss like that for hours. Which he couldnt do. He pushed back. Ive got to go to work. Yeah, so you say. Luc. The rockstar sighed and released him. Again he looked like he had something on his mind, but he said nothing as he followed Reese down the stairs. Luc watched him gather up his things without comment, but pulled him into another embrace before he could open the front door. Luc pulled back and trailed the fingers of one hand over Reeses jaw. Ill see you at the club tonight. Reese smiled and pushed up into another, quick kiss. Yep. See you there. Lock up when you leave. Reese drove to work, confused. Confused about how Luc was treating him. Confused by his reactions. Confused by what seemed to be happening that just couldnt be happening.

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Chapter Nine

Shouldnt you be on your honeymoon? Reegan grinned across the painted black table at Tyler. Not yet. She had to speak a bit more loudly than usual over the dance music that filled the club. Conversation was possible where they were, but voices need to be raised a level. We leave tomorrow. Tyler leaned further over the table, resting his chin on his fist. The lemon silk of his shirt fairly gleamed in the light of the single candle before him and the multicolored flashing lights from the dance floor behind him. Why the delay? Reegan shrugged her bare shoulders, making her sequined red dress shine in the lights. Just worked out better for work and finances. She batted her eyes at him. We cant afford an extravagant trip like the one you and Johnnie took to the Riviera. Reese couldnt quite see it in the dim light, but he was pretty sure Tyler flushed. The man was adorable. It was easy to see why Johnnie was so smitten. Ha! Reese came to Tylers rescue. A trip to the Riviera is small compensation for having to put up with Johnnie.

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Tyler turned those big blue eyes on Reese, clearly ready to defend his spouse. His concern melted when Reese smiled big and winked at him. He smiled. Yeah. Its a hardship. Reegan laughed, sitting back in the booth seat, snuggling closer under her new husbands arm. Oh, dont we know it! She shared a smile with Reese. Johnnie teased us for

years.
They sat at a little table in a roped-off area of Purgatory. The place was packed, more than usual. Heaven Sents performance hadnt really been publicized, but word had certainly gotten out. The bouncers and guards were earning their money. Heaven Sent had personally invited all of their original fanclub who were still in the area and granted each VIP passes to the performance. As VIPs, they alone were allowed in the second bar area, which could be roped off. There were a few small booths and a halfdozen rickety tables within the area. The tables had been pushed to the back wall to allow for more standing room. The whole section was a step above the main floor, allowing them a mostly unobstructed view of the stage over the heads of the rest of the crowd. Reegan and Dave were enjoying the hell out of being guests instead of employees at the nightclub. Reegan looked great. She had on a flashy little -- emphasis on little -- red dress that showed off that she kept her body in top shape. Her black hair was somewhat piled on top of her head, but a lot of curls fell down around her neck and shoulders. Reese didnt miss the possessive hand Dave tended to keep on her lower back. Nor did he miss her flaunting it to some of the other girls. He chose not to comment. Reese had dug into the back of his closet for clothes that he hadnt had the heart to discard but hadnt worn in years. The leather pants just hadnt aged well, but the skintight spandex-and-cotton number fit the bill nicely -- a confusing top that was mostly zippers and small patches of red canvas. Dozens of plastic bands, mostly black, circled his wrists, and hed managed to reopen a few of the holes in his ears without too much pain and insert various silver hoops. Hed even put some temporary blue dye in his black hair, fully intending to

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wash it all out the next day. As far as makeup went, he only had the balls to apply mascara and the black liner around his eyes. Hed stopped short of the lipstick. Reegan squealed when one of the girls shed known from a few years ago came up behind her. She stood to talk to her old friend, whose name escaped Reese, and pulled Dave up to introduce him. For the hundredth time, Tyler glanced toward the stage. All the equipment was set up, but the band had yet to show. I wish theyd get on with it. Reese smiled. Hed arrived at the club at seven, before it opened for business, and met the band backstage. At that time, Tyler was doing fine. But then, he was in a group of people he was fully comfortable with. When Reese and Tyler had left to allow the band time to get ready, Reese had seen why Johnnie had asked the favor. Although you probably had to look closely to see it, Tyler was not exactly happy being in the crowded nightclub. Reese had roped Reegan and Dave into sitting at their table. Whats wrong, Tyler? Reese gestured at their surroundings with a hand. Not used to all this yet? Tyler rolled his eyes. No. He downed some more of his drink. Does anyone ever get used to this? Sure! Johnnie, Luc, Brent, Darien ... Tyler nodded. They most decidedly dont count. Theyre insane. Every one of them. Well -- Reese nodded toward the slim gold band on Tylers left ring finger. -- you tied yourself to one of them. Tyler stared at the ring. He got a really cute grin on his face. Yeah. I did.

Man, he really loves him. Reese kept seeing it, each time he was around Johnnie and
Tyler. It wasnt just attraction between them. It was love. It had to be. That was the only explanation for the connection that was so obvious.

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Tyler turned to him, those big blue eyes fastening on his face. What about you and Luc? Reeses eyes went wide. Uh. Of course Luc would have told him. By all accounts, Tyler looked to be good friends with all the members of the band. Tyler cocked his head to the side, studying Reese. Uh ... Reese blushed and turned away, downing a good half of his drink in one swallow. He glanced back when Tyler patted his arm. The blond gave him a sympathetic smile. Its okay. I know the feeling. The other man changed the subject. It wasnt too long until the band took over the little stage, Darien behind his drums, Brent to stage right, Luc to stage left, and Johnnie dominating center stage. They looked somehow too big for it, where once theyd fit just right. Reese knew it was fancy on his part, but he couldnt shake the feeling. They were, of course, fabulous. Johnnie was his natural flamboyant self, managing to flirt with the entire audience at once. Luc tended to play the foil for Johnnies antics, so there was a lot of Johnnie with his arm slung over Lucs shoulders, a lot of them singing into the same mic, and even -- if you were looking for it -- a bit of grinding. True to form, Heaven Sent gave their fans a show to enjoy and even performed some really old songs that theyd never produced on an album but had played at Purgatory years ago. Dancing followed the show. Reese stayed by Tyler as the mob assembled on the polished wooden floor. Tyler tried very hard to shrink into the wall behind their table, eyeing the dancers with apprehension. Reese didnt mind. He stood at the low wall that overlooked the dance floor and watched the crowd of individuals gyrate and sway. Johnnie found them in no time, sauntering up to the table. Tylers eyes went wide when the singer pulled his chair out and sat on his lap, straddling him. Johnnies loose white shirt fluttered about him like wings as he cupped Tylers jaw in both hands and planted a kiss

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on his lips. The two of them, one in fluttering white and the other in lemon silk, looked like a piece of the heaven in Johnnies name. Reese unashamedly drank in the sight until some of Johnnies loose hair fell forward, a curtain on the scene of their love. A hand grabbed Reeses, distracting him from the beautiful sight. He spun and nearly toppled into Luc, who stood a step below him. The redhead grinned a devious grin before yanking Reese onto the dance floor. Even though it had been years since Reese had gone dancing, he gave in to the familiar pull on his heart and followed Luc into the throng. Once they were in the middle of the crowd, underneath a pulsing red-and-blue strobe, Luc stepped back from him, gyrating to the music. He ran a long-fingered hand up the thigh of his snug black slacks until he could hook his thumb into the low waistband. He wore only a flashy green vest, which was all unbuttoned, the better to reveal the smoothly muscled landscape of his chest and belly. Reeses mouth watered at the sight, and his eyes naturally gravitated to the bulge that Lucs fingertips just brushed. He actually knew what that felt like now! Knew how delicious Luc tasted. Before he got too much harder, Reese tore his gaze back up to Lucs face. The evil man was smiling, those dark eyes shining with mirth underneath a thick fall of sumptuous auburn hair. Hed seen the focus of Reeses attention. They danced beside each other, not quite with each other but not quite with anyone else either. They just moved. There was just something so electric, so alive. When the mood was right, you stopped being just yourself and became one with the music and the crowd around you. It had been too long. Reese gladly drowned himself in the crowd, following the beat, welcoming the sweat that started to pour down his back. Luc didnt touch him, but the presence of the man was palpable, a burning heat to Reeses skin on whichever side of him Luc danced. Reese told himself not to notice the flock of women that surrounded them. Told himself not to mind the hands they slid over Lucs body, nor the groins or asses they blatantly offered him. This was Luc Sloane, after all. Reese couldnt possibly blame them for

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wanting to be near him. For wanting to be with him. The experience was -- pardon the expression -- heavenly. Reese was transported back six years into his past, except with an alternate reality. This time when he danced near Luc, he didnt have to pretend they were lovers. They were. This time when he looked at Luc and got caught, he didnt have to look away in embarrassment. He could share a knowing grin with Luc. This time he could bump up against the rockstar and be rewarded when one of those long-fingered hands slid sensuously across his back or down his hip. If only life could always be this vivid! This good! When Luc motioned with two fingers to his lips, miming a smoke, Reese nodded and followed him toward the front of the club. He was ready for a break, too. He mimed a drink and looked a question at Luc, who nodded just before he sauntered off. There were three outdoor patios to the nightclub. Luc headed up a narrow flight of stairs toward the small one that had been cordoned off for the VIPs. Reese stopped at the bar and ordered two drinks. He mounted the stairs and recognized the bouncer by the frosted glass door. Daniel nodded and let him by. Reese breathed in the fresh night air and enjoyed the freedom of movement away from the crowd. Luc was alone on the patio, sprawled on one of the sturdy iron chairs with one booted foot up on the table beside him. The yellow of a bug lamp warred with the blare of streetlamps to illuminate the patio. Reese handed the kamikaze to Luc. Can I have one? He nodded at the pack Luc was about to put away. Lucs brows shot up. The cigarette dangled from his lip. I didnt think you smoked anymore. I dont. He held out his hand, wiggling his fingers. But I want one. Luc eyed him, chuckled, then handed over the pack.

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Reese hadnt had a cigarette for at least two years. Hed never been a heavy smoker anyway. Once hed left the college scene, the urge had pretty much stayed behind. Reese exhaled that first cloud of smoke as he handed the pack of cigarettes back to Luc. He grinned, leaning back against the low brick wall that overlooked the street in front of the nightclub. I feel like Ive gone back in time. Feel good? Reese laughed. Yeah. Thats what you get for growing up. I guess so. Those sable eyes raked him slowly up and down. Luc smiled darkly. You look great. He dropped his foot from the table and patted his thigh. Come here, tiger. Reeses euphoric bubble popped. Quite suddenly, he was reminded of Lucs odd behavior that morning. Something was on Lucs mind, and Reese wasnt sure he wanted to find out what it was. He frowned at Luc and glanced toward the door. A huge window was beside it, and plenty of people were casually watching the rockstar at his leisure. No way. Reese knew for a fact that a few people from work were in the nightclub. He hadnt seen them since right before the performance, but they were there somewhere. Oh, come on. Just a little kiss? Reese snarled over the cigarette butt, more angry at himself for being tempted than at Luc for making the suggestion. No. Luc tossed his head, sending auburn hair floating across his mostly bare shoulders. The vest gaped open, and two gold chains shimmered at Lucs neck. You want to. Doesnt make a difference. But tell me that you want to. Reese stared down at the fingers of one hand rather than at Luc. Against his better judgment, he said, I want to. Doesnt mean Im going to.

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Luc purred. So, if there werent people watching, youd let me into those tight pants of yours? Reese wouldnt look at Luc. He couldnt. If he did, he might forget there were people watching. Would you let me figure out how to get you out of that mess of zippers youve got for a shirt and suck those tasty nipples? Stop it. Luc laughed. Okay. But you know you want me to suck your dick. Reese reached for the drink he had sitting on the wall beside him and downed half of it, still avoiding looking at Luc. Quit it or Im leaving. Tch. I havent had anyone who wanted to keep a relationship with me secret for ... ever! Reese turned and looked at him before he could help it. Lucs grin was positively fiendish. At least youre not humble or anything. Luc lifted his heel back up on the edge of the table. Unfortunately, that just opened up his crotch toward Reese. The tight pants lovingly created a bas relief of Lucs cock, half hard and lengthening down his left thigh. So inviting a place for Reese to bury his face. Stop that! He lifted his gaze to focus instead on Lucs face, not sure that it was much better. Luc grinned at him, smoking silently for a moment. Why teaching? Reese blinked, trying to bring his wayward thoughts under control. Huh? Casually, Luc flicked ash onto the cement beside his foot. Why teaching? Good! They were going to have a nonsexual conversation. Maybe Reeses boner would calm down. He shrugged, pulling the front hem of his shirt down in an effort to conceal his reaction to Luc. Why not? Is it what you want to do?

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You mean, my lifes dream? Reese chuckled. He glanced over the patios low wall, watching the crowd waiting for entrance one story below. No. But I dont know what my lifes dream is anymore. Used to be painting. That doesnt pay the bills. It could. Nope. Im not good enough. Thats bullshit. Reese smiled softly, absurdly pleased that Luc thought his art was worth defending. Its my bullshit. So youre just going to stay around? Teach school for thirty odd years and retire with a pension? Reese pushed away from the wall. Something like that. Mostly for something to occupy his hands, he grabbed the pack of cigarettes from the table where they lay beside Lucs foot and lit another one. Find yourself a nice little girl like Piper to settle down with and raise two point five kids? Reese tossed the lighter back onto the table. Thats the plan. Youre completely full of shit. Reese blinked at Luc. I am? You are. Luc stabbed his cigarette out in the mounted ashtray behind him. You cant be happy living like that. Plenty of people are happy living like that. Youre not plenty of people.

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His heart swelled even though he was irritated. Luc thought that much of him? Oh? So whats the alternative? Luc dropped his foot back to the cement and leaned forward. He snagged Reeses wrist before Reese could evade him. The freshly lit cigarette fell to the cement, unnoticed. Reese stared down into the endless black pools of Lucs eyes, his heart pounding. Lucs smile was inviting and intense. Come with me. What? Quit your job. Come hang out with me for a while. He jerked his wrist, but Luc wouldnt let go. I cant do that. Why not? Just hang out with you? What about my rent? My bills? Ill pay them for you. For how long? However long you want. Reeses heart stuttered. What was Luc saying? What do you mean? Let you support me? Sure. Ive got plenty of money. Its no sweat. Come with me to Italy. He stood, looming that few extra inches over Reese. Reese backed up, his butt hitting the low brick wall. Italy? Luc stepped into him, keeping hold of his wrist. A lock of red hair floated on a soft breeze, almost brushing Reeses cheek. Thats any artists dream, right? To go to Italy? Sistine Chapel? Birthplace of Da Vinci and Michelangelo? Reese gaped, mesmerized both by the sight of the man as well as by his words. Harsh lighting gave Lucs pale skin an otherworldly glow. Youre serious. Yeah.

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Why? I like having you around. Luc edged even closer, folding their arms between them, sliding his palm up until it mated with Reeses palm, fingers twining intimately. Reese couldnt look away from Lucs earnest gaze. He felt the steady thump of Lucs heartbeat against the back of his hand. Whatll that make me? Your mistress? Luc grimaced. Not that again. Starting to panic, Reese twisted at his arm, trying to free it from Lucs grasp. Why? Its true. Luc leaned in, pressing a thigh between Reeses legs. Only if you make it that way. Reese tried to push back, but he had nowhere to go. Lucs body held him captive, and though the redhead was slim, muscles made him heavy. I dont believe this. Just because you seem to like fucking me -- He gasped when Lucs free hand gripped the side of his neck and hauled him in, noseto-nose. I happen to love fucking you. He shook Reeses head sharply, snarling. I happen to love you. Reese gaped. Luc growled and dropped his head, sealing their mouths together. Too stunned by Lucs words, Reese didnt think to pull away. He melted into Lucs embrace, sinking against the mans hot, sweaty chest. His instinct was to submit and accept. Until he heard the crowd below. Gasping, he pushed back. He glanced around the patio, confirming that some had seen them through the window beside the door. Excited looks and unheard chatter animated those Reese could see. Damn it, Luc! Luc stepped away, putting his back to Reese. Dont tell me I was in that kiss alone.

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Thats not the point! Reese hissed, hands balling at his sides. He felt his face burn. People saw! So? There are people here that I work with! He didnt see them through the window, but that didnt mean they couldnt see him. So? So?! Luc turned profile to Reese. His eyes narrowed. I hope someone did see. I hope your whole fucking school knows by Monday. Reese saw red. Before he could think, he lashed out, fist aimed at that beautiful face. Luc dodged, arm up to deflect the blow. The flimsy little table beside them toppled and clattered loudly. The bouncer opened the door at the sound. Luc pointed imperiously at him. Fuck off! Confused, frowning, Daniel backed up the way hed come and closed the door. They faced each other, glaring. Reese trembled, desperately clinging to his anger to avoid succumbing to other feelings. Luc, on the other hand, stood straight and tall, cool and somewhat imposing. The slight downward tilt of his head made his hair fall in a thick curtain over his shoulder. Last chance. Come back with me tonight. Fuck you! That, too. Reese growled, anger and intense, burning lust warring for supremacy inside his body. Are you trying to ruin my life?! Im trying to give you a life. What?

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Oh, come on. Youre so fucking bored, you cant stand it. Try living a little. With you? Yes. Yeah, right. What happens to me when you get sick of me? Not going to happen. He stared into Lucs face and fought the hope that pushed at his heart. He couldnt possibly believe this, could he? No. He couldnt. There was no way any of this was real. How had such a marvelous night gone so horribly wrong? He glared at the rockstar. You highhanded son of a bitch. How dare you make decisions about my life. Im not going anywhere with you. Whatever, man. Luc ran a hand through hair that looked almost bloody in the weird patio lighting. Stick with your boring little life and die slowly. He shoved his hands into the pockets of his slacks and turned his back on Reese. Have a happy life. Reese watched, dumbfounded, as Luc opened the door and left. Reese turned, kneeling to right the toppled table. His hands shook. He picked up the pack of cigarettes left by Luc. Angrily, he crumpled the pack. People had seen. Would anyone tell? Would word get back to his school? What the hell had Luc been thinking? Did he really believe Reese would just let him take care of him like that? The door slammed open again, and Reegan rushed through, followed by Dave. Reese! Are you okay?! You all right, man? Reese stood before Reegan could flutter over him. He avoided looking at either of them. Im fine. Reegan grabbed his arm, trying to make him face her. Daniel came to find me. Did you really just deck Luc?

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No. He ducked. What?! Honey, what happened? Reese started to shake. His life was unraveling before him, and he couldnt figure out where hed lost control. Wait. That wasnt right. He certainly could. His life had taken a turn for the worse when Luc first kissed him. Or was that better? No, it was worse. He hurled the crumpled pack of cigarettes across the patio, spun, and headed for the door. Ive got to go. Reegan caught one arm, Dave the other. Where you going, man? Dave demanded. Home. Away. Well drive you. Right. Fine, but Ive got to go.

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Chapter Ten

You going to be okay? Reese put on a smile for his sister, slinging an arm over her shoulders as they headed for the airports security line. Ill be fine. I dont believe you. Youre gonna have to. He smiled brightly at Dave. Youve got a honeymoon to go on. His brother-in-law didnt look any more convinced than his sister. Dave shook his head. Maybe you should go stay with your parents or something, man? Reese grimaced. Not you, too. Dave shrugged. You were pretty upset last night. Reese fought a grumble. Hed gone home with Reegan and Dave from Purgatory, which was why he was currently dressed in his brother-in-laws t-shirt and sweats. They hadnt wanted him to be alone, and he hadnt really wanted it either. Through careful interrogation on Reegans part, hed finally told them what had happened on the patio and what had been happening the last week. Reegan had known that hed slept with Luc, but she

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hadnt known the extent of Reeses brief affair with the bass player. Truthfully, Reese hadnt really realized all the clues in Lucs behavior until he spelled it all out for her. Ill be fine, he assured them both. Besides, Lucs probably somewhere in this very airport getting on a plane to Italy. I dont have to worry about him. Honey, he said he loved you. Reese swallowed the agonizing spear of pain that shot through his chest at the words. Thats what he said. Reese -- Enough. Reegan, you and Dave have a plane to catch. I do not want you to worry about me while youre on your fucking honeymoon! He dropped a kiss on her cheek and pushed her toward her husband. Would you both go? They turned twin looks of concern on him, which had him rolling his eyes. He flapped his hands at them. Get! Reegan grimaced. Fine. She came back to kiss him and give him a hug. But Im going to call you. And I wont answer. Bastard. Bitch. She pinched his side. Ow! He caught hold of her hands and yanked them between them. Reegan looked up at him, tears welling in her eyes. He hugged her again. Ill be fine. Okay. You better. He watched them get into the security line, then resolutely turned away.

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He was fine. Really. Luc had thrown him for a loop the previous night, but he was over it. Hed known things with Luc were going to end. Hed had a very small hope that it wouldnt really be final, that maybe he could see Luc when the man came through town or something, but that idea was shattered. Did Luc love him? That question had cycled through his mind all night and continued to do so as he left the airport. Reese found it impossible to believe. What did he have to offer the rockstar? Absolutely nothing. Even if he did entertain the thought of Lucs offer, he was sure Luc would be sick of him within a month. But, oh, what a month! No, better to put such ideas firmly out of his head and get on with his life.

At school on Monday, Reese expected doom to crash down around him at any moment. He had no idea how much the news of him almost punching Luc had spread through the club that night, and he had no clue if news of the public kiss had followed it. If he was very lucky, no one from work had heard. But hed have to be very lucky. First period. Second period. Break. Nothing but normal. A few questions about the show Friday night from those who hadnt attended, but that was it. He didnt see Haley and Betty, the two who had told him they were going to the performance at Purgatory. Third period. Fourth period. Again, normal. Tina and her friends asked about the performance and squealed over the autographed pictures that hed finally remembered to deliver. Thank God hed thought to get those before the show. At the end of lunch, he saw Haley.

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Wow! Wasnt Friday night awesome?! She beamed at him as they tossed their trays. Im so bummed that Betty and I didnt get to stay for the dancing afterward. Was it great? Reese almost fell down in relief. Theyd left! It was entirely possible that no one at school knew what had happened. It didnt mean that rumor wouldnt reach here eventually, but as far as he knew, no one from school had actually been present. Could he be that lucky?

Fifth period. A knock sounded at the door. Reese looked up, then nodded for Ally, who was seated nearest the door, to answer it. He turned back to the chalkboard, prepared to continue with the lesson. Allys low squeal turned him back toward the door. Luc strolled in, lifting expensive shades to perch them on top of his head. He winked at the doe-eyed girl before turning to the front of the room. Those sable eyes focused on Reese above a sensuous mouth that wore a lazy grin. Hey, Reese. Reeses heart froze. He swallowed, trying like hell to act normal. Which was a feat, since Luc was at his stunning best. His hair was spun blood with golden-orange highlights, caught in a loose tail at the back of his long, bare neck. Errant curls framed the face of a modern god. An overlarge, green button-down shirt hung about his slimly muscular frame, sleeveless to show off lean arms. A wide belt banded slim hips over jeans too tight to need a belt. Luc, Reese managed only after the man had taken three predatory steps toward him. Instinctively, he stepped back, colliding with the chalkboard. He juggled the textbook in his hands and managed to keep it, but dropped the chalk. What are you doing here? Reeses kids muttered, hissing as they whispered to each other. There was no doubt that most of them knew exactly who this was. All eyes were glued to the man stalking Reese.

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I came to see you. I-Im working. You shouldnt be here. I know. Luc stopped at the corner of Reeses desk and turned to face the class. Flashing that million-dollar smile, he waved. Expensive bangles clattered about his slim wrist. Hi, kids. Sorry for the interruption. This wont take a minute. Reese hurried to the other side of the desk as Luc stepped behind it. He had to keep Luc from touching him. Mainly because what he really wanted was for Luc to touch him. That would be very bad in front of the kids. Luc, cant this wait? What was he still doing in town? He should be in Italy! No. It cant. Luc stopped at the opposite end of the desk from where hed started, smiling evilly at Reese over the paper-crowded surface. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out an envelope. Reese saw clearly that it was one of those envelopes that held plane tickets. Ive got a plane to catch, and I want you to come with me ... He paused for effect. Reese opened his mouth, sensing what was coming. His eyes widened. He wouldnt! ... lover.

He would!
Gasps and a few feminine squeals from the kids. The textbook fell from Reeses nerveless hands. He shook his head. No, he breathed. Yes. Please? The beguiling pout that twisted Lucs lips was all fake, but it was a good effect. I love you. I need you with me. The bastard carefully enunciated each damning word, hammering the nails into Reeses coffin. Oh, God! Luc reached for him. Reese had just enough flight instinct to evade his grasp and keep the desk between them.

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Luc leaned on the desk, concentrating on him, ignoring the kids who watched with avid interest. How did you find me? No, that wasnt the most important thing to know, but Reese was having trouble getting his mind around what was happening. Simple details seemed to be the easiest to grasp. Luc smiled. The lovely ladies in the office were kind enough to give me directions. One even showed me the way. Reese blinked. His kids. The ladies in the office. If they knew, the whole school would know. Wait! If they knew ... Mr. Tarkingtons office was right there! Reese shook his head. Oh, no, Luc. Please dont ... Some of Lucs grin died into an all-too-serious stare. Volumes were spoken in that stare, but Reese didnt want to translate. Too late. Why? I love you. Reese balled his fists, righteous indignation burning away some of the fear. Fuck you! Quit saying that! Luc clucked his tongue. Muscles in his arms tensed. Language, lover. Not in front of the kiddies. Inarticulate cry. Reese shot toward him. Kids shouted. Some screamed. Luc danced back to the chalkboard. Reese rounded the desk, snarling. The end of his tie brushed the surface of the desk. You son of a bitch! This time Luc retreated to the other side of the desk.

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Student tables clattered as those in the front row hastily pulled back to make room. Some of the larger boys stood, watching the two men. Luc and Reese focused on each other, two predators waiting for an opening to attack. What the hell do you think youre doing? Reese hissed, balling unfortunate papers that lay under his hands. Lucs eyes narrowed. If Im going to ruin your life, Im damn well going to do it properly. Reese went ballistic. He launched himself at Luc, roaring in rage. Luc sped back, those long legs keeping him out of reach. Students scattered behind him. Reeses two tallest, largest students caught him by the arms, halting his attack. Reese struggled with the boys, demanding they let go. All he wanted at that particular moment was to beat Lucs face in. Im going to kill you! he screamed at Luc. The door opened, sealing Reeses doom. Mr. Tarkington walked in, followed by Haley, another of the office ladies, one of the male teachers, and the head groundskeeper. Reese froze again, unable to believe this was actually happening to him. Tarkington saw him first, held back by two of his students. Scowling, the principal took in the array of excited teenagers around the rooms perimeter before his gaze came to rest on the rockstar. Luc now stood at perfect ease just inside the door, at Tarkingtons side. He was easily a foot and a half taller, and half as wide, as Reeses boss. The two men sized each other up. Luc tossed an evil glance at Reese. Luc! Reese fought the hold on his arms. Luc stuck his hand out to Tarkington, smiling brilliantly. Hey, baldy, hows it hangin? Reese cried out, unable to believe what Luc was doing to him.

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Tarkingtons eyes bugged out. And who are you? Luc raised a long-fingered hand to his chest, a look of surprise on his face. Me? Luc Sloane. I play bass for Heaven Sent. Maybe youve heard of me. Surprisingly, steam was not pouring from Tarkingtons ears. And why are you on school grounds during classroom hours? Reese struggled with the boys who held him. Luc, no! Luc ignored him. I came to get my lover. Goddamn it, you asshole! Mr. Schuyler! Tarkington shouted. Finally the boys let Reese go, and he shot toward Luc. The taller man was faster than he was and darted behind Tarkington. Reese froze, glaring daggers at the rockstar over his bosss head. The principals eyes got even wider. Behind him and Luc, the office ladies, janitor, and teacher all tried to hide either shock or mirth. Incensed, Reese grabbed over Tarkingtons shoulder. Smirking, Luc ducked aside. Tarkington roared. He grabbed Reeses wrist and yanked. Mr. Schuyler! He made sure he had Reeses attention. You will accompany me to my office. Now! He turned and pointed at the janitor and teacher. You two, escort -- He glared at Luc. -- Mr. Sloane off campus. Ill call you, lover, Luc called over his shoulder as he exited. Dont even think about it! Reese spat over his own shoulder as he followed Tarkington down the hall the opposite way.

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Chapter Eleven

It didnt take long. It would have taken mere minutes except Reese was pretty sure Tarkington enjoyed yelling at him. So instead it took about a half-hour for him to get thoroughly reamed and fired. Reese almost had to laugh. In the end, it wasnt even the gay thing. Oh, that was the

real reason, but Reeses own behavior had given Tarkington his out. Brawling in front of the
students -- didnt matter that hed never landed a hit. Cursing in front of the students. General misconduct. No, Tarkington would use the gay thing in quiet later to make sure that every school he could contact knew that Reese was gay. His life as a teacher was over, at least anywhere within the adjoining counties. Sure, there might be other schools in other towns where being gay wasnt an issue, but that would mean hed have to move. It would mean hed have to supplant his life and start over anyway. He drove home on autopilot. His anger quickly deflated and despair took over. Yeah, he wouldnt forgive Luc for what had just happened, but the damage was done. He was out of a job. Now he needed to figure out what to do with his life. He opened his front door and immediately saw the envelope on the floor. The ticket envelope Luc had flourished in front of his face. Scowling, he picked it up, intending to rip

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the tickets in half. Morbid curiosity made him look at the note that was paperclipped to the envelope:

Youre pissed. I get that. But when you calm down, youll have to admit that I did you a favor. Use the ticket. Come to Italy. Come to the address below. I DO love you. Luc

He almost ripped up the note and tickets in fit of pique, but stopped himself. Fuck Luc. They were paid for and open-ended. Once he figured out what he was doing, hed use the tickets to go to Italy. But he wouldnt go see the asshole! Reese dropped the tickets and his keys on the table by the front door. His briefcase and his small box of belongings from his classroom he dumped on the couch. He should go out and get drunk. He should go out and get laid. By a guy! That would show Luc. Unfortunately, the idea had no appeal, even as revenge. He quite truthfully didnt

want any other body -- male or female -- but Lucs.


He sank against the door and shut his eyes over a sudden pang of remorse. Damn it! He stood with a sigh. Blankly, he stared at the bare walls and utilitarian furniture of his domicile. Took in the half-full bookshelves and the rickety cart that held his twenty-twoinch television. He stared like hed never seen any of it before. How depressing. Was this really his furniture? Was this how hed been living? He climbed the stairs, loosening his tie. He tossed the tie into his bedroom and walked into the second bedroom, which served as his office. That space was even more sparsely furnished than the downstairs. He had cardboard boxes lining the walls, due to be unpacked. Still. Two years after hed moved in. The computer desk and its contents were the only part of the room that had received his attention.

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He crossed to open one side of the mirrored closet. A small pile of old sketchbooks lay in one corner, half hidden under a small blanket. His easel and two blank canvases leaned to the side behind them, sorely neglected. Without really making the decision, he pulled them out. He set up the easel in the corner by the window and propped one of the canvases on it. The sketchbooks he dropped onto his computer chair. He retrieved an old familiar tackle box from the top shelf of the closet and sat right on the dingy off-white carpeting to open it. He opened paint tube after paint tube, only to find that there wasnt a single color that was useable. But the charcoals were still good. He stood and set the tackle box on the computer desk and gathered up the sketchbooks so he could sit. He started flipping through them, refamiliarizing himself with what used to be one of his obsessions. The most recent book was filled with Heaven Sent -- especially Luc. Hed spent many an hour learning to depict that face. That body. Figuring out what it was about Luc that made him unique. Gorgeous. Heavenly. Grimacing, he had his hand poised to rip up the pages. But he couldnt do it. Images of Luc filled his head. He couldnt even work up a good head of anger, just despair. He hadnt felt this bad since ... well, since Luc had rejected him those many years ago. Ha! The one man was responsible for the two most emotional upheavals in Reeses life. How appropriate. Fuck it. The sketchbooks hit the floor. He crossed to the other side of the room, where his cheap stereo stood on a cheap little bookshelf. He dug through the boxes that held his CDs and found all four of Heaven Sents released albums as well as the recordings he had of early, pre-record-company shows. He put in his favorite and turned it up so sound filled the space. Dariens driving drums. Johnnies sultry voice. Brents leading riffs. And threading it all together, Lucs throbbing bass beat.

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Impatiently, Reese took off his button-down shirt and toed out of his dress shoes. He even dropped his pants, leaving himself only in boxers and socks, and grabbed up the charcoals and the half-full sketchbook. He sank to the floor near one corner, within the light of the window, and started sketching.

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Chapter Twelve

It lasted two weeks. He left the house only briefly for food and once to buy new paints. He kept telling himself that he needed to start thinking about the future, about what he was going to do for a job, but first the sketchbooks and then the canvases called to him. He barely slept and showered only as a means of refreshing himself.

He didnt really know she was there until the music stopped. He glanced toward the stereo, frowning, as the song Up the Ante halted just before the bass solo. Reegan stood in the doorway, hands on hips, glowering at him. Whatever had possessed him to give her a key to his townhouse? How long have you been here? He turned back to the easel, paintbrush hovering. This townhouse? About two years. Asshole! You know what I mean. Ive been trying to call you all weekend. He shrugged. Was she back already? How was your honeymoon? Great. Why didnt you answer the phone? Its off.

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Why? Another shrug. I dont want to talk to anyone. She stepped into the room, dropping her purse on the floor. Sweetheart, you got

fired.
How did you find that out? Jeanie told me. Great. Reegans best friend, who had no connection to his school. Which meant the entire world knew. At least everyone in Reeses world. And then some. Why didnt you call me? You were out of town. I came back yesterday. He shrugged. No sense telling her that hed lost all track of time. Shed only worry. Nothing you could do about it. I could listen. We could talk. Nothing to talk about. Did you call Mom and Dad? God, no. She scowled. Are you okay? Am I supposed to be? She crossed the room to stand behind him. She was silent for a few moments, no doubt studying his work. Are you going to call him? Reese stared at Luc as he appeared in the mostly finished painting. The man lay sprawled among ivory sheets, one corner covering his groin for modesty, but otherwise gloriously naked. The red of his hair was giving Reese fits. It just wasnt right.

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No. Why not? Nothing to say to him. She stepped forward and to the side, looking up at his profile. Reese, talk to me. What are you doing? Painting. She grabbed his elbow. Goddamn it. Youre scaring me. Why are you so calm? He snatched his arm back. Why shouldnt I be calm? What are you going to do for a job? I dont know. Dont you think you should start thinking about it? I dont want to. Want isnt a factor here. How will you pay for this place? Food? Paint? He snarled, stabbing his brush into a glob of white paint on the palette beside him. Damn it, Reegan. I dont want to think about that now. Youve got to think about it. Its been two weeks. I know that. Will you get another job teaching? Cant. Why not? He laughed without mirth. How much did you hear? He outed me, for chrissakes. He what? Quite succinctly and quite calmly, Reese related what had happened. He didnt watch Reegan for a reaction, still trying to mix the red of Lucs curls right. Painting kept him calm. Distracted him from harsh reality.

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She sat at his computer desk, watching quietly until he stopped talking. Wow. He snorted. Yeah. She was quiet for a few more moments. What about that? She gestured at the easel. What about it? Geez, Reese, youre obviously thinking about him. I believe obsessed is the word. He calmly switched from the brush with white to the brush with the specially mixed mid-tone of auburn. Im obsessed with him and have been for years. I was fine when he was gone. So why the painting? Exorcism. Silence for a moment. You dont mean that. I do. Did you hate the time you spent with him that much? Reeses hand shook so badly that he had to pull the paintbrush back or else slash auburn across Lucs chest. To anyone but his sister, he might have lied. He was tempted to do so anyway. No. I didnt hate it at all. Reese, do you love him? Obsession. Why not love? I cant love him. Why not? Because I ... He dunked both brushes into the can of turpentine and angrily set to cleaning the larger. I cant love someone like him. Why not? I dont belong with him.

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Why not? I just dont. He seemed to have thought differently. He threw down one brush and set to cleaning the other. No. He pushed me away. It was you who took the swing at him. Reese shook his head. Not then. Years ago. Oh, honey, I thought you two had gotten past that. Why should we? He was right. Huh? Youre not making sense. Im not ... I dont want ... He swallowed. Im not gay. Sweetheart, I think you are. He shook his head, trying to dislodge his tears. I cant be with him. Why not? I dont deserve him. Why ever not? I dont ... Days of denial, weeks of hurting, years of fierce determination to change what he was all suddenly came crashing down on him. Reeses entire body shuddered. The paintbrush and rag fell to his feet, hitting the carpet seconds before his knees did. He buried his face in hands that stank of oil paints and turpentine. Reegan was there in an instant. Her arms circled him, her weight a welcome press against his side. He crumpled against her, turning his face into her neck and wrapping his arms around her. Sobs tore from his chest. Oh, honey, she crooned, smoothing his hair, hugging him, rocking him. She held him until the sobs died down. Held him until he half-lay in her lap, spent from purging emotions long suppressed. Brother mine, talk to me.

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I cant love him. But you do. You pretty much always have. He squeezed his eyes shut. Used his t-shirt as a handkerchief to wipe eyes and nose. I dont deserve him. Why not? Im not ... Hes ... He sighed. This sounds all wrong, but hes special. Hes ... more. You make him sound more than human. He is. Luc would hate that you said that. I know. You know damn well that hes a human being, just like the rest of us. Hes got talent. Sweetheart -- She grabbed his chin and twisted his head so he was looking up at his painting. -- so do you. He turned away from the vision. Pushed away from his sisters lap to sit on his knees. Its not the same. God, youre frustrating sometimes! There are people whod kill to be able to paint like that. He shook his head. How would you know, Reese? Youve never shown your work. Its not the same. Ill bet you Luc would disagree. Reese cringed over the very physical pull to his heart. I dont know how to be with Luc. You were doing just fine when he was in town.

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Different. I knew it was ending. Okay, honey, youre starting to get on my nerves here. He frowned at her. She frowned right back. Youre creating problems where there just arent any. Shut up and listen to me. When he would have pushed to his feet, she grabbed his arm and shook it. Listen. He shut his mouth and settled back on his knees. When you had your job, I agree, the gay thing was an issue. I didnt like it, but I agreed with you. I still thought it was a mistake for you not to go for it with Luc, but I didnt know what his feelings were, so I stayed quiet. But youre out of a job now. As you pointed out, finding another teaching job is probably going to be pretty hard. Impossible. Shut up. And Luc told you he loved you! He stared at the paint stains on his hands, not saying a word. How many times had he heard the echo of Lucs voice saying that over the past weeks? As for not being gay, I really dont understand what your problem is with that. Its not like Mom and Dad will care, or any of your friends. I certainly dont mind. Did you not enjoy the sex or something? He hung his head, blushing a little. Well? No. I enjoyed it. Okay, so if thats not it, I dont get it. You had Lucas Sloane romancing you, for Gods sakes! Something thousands of girls -- and boys -- would kill for. Whats so terrible about that? He shook his head. My life ...

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What? My life was very comfortable. He ruined it. Well, bully for him. Your life sucked, brother mine. His eyes opened wide and he stared at her, jaw dropped. Well, it did. You had a job that you kinda enjoyed, doing something that you barely needed to think about. You live in this townhouse that could be cool if youd ever do anything with it. And the women you were dating ... She scowled. Please! If they werent a sorry excuse for a cover-up, I dont know what is. Cover-up? That youre gay. Im not. I dont think about other men. Just the one. Yeah. So youre gay and youre hopelessly in love. Youve admitted for years that Luc was your dream. And you got him. She poked his arm. Just why am I supposed to feel sorry for you? He rubbed his arm. I didnt ask you to feel sorry for me. Yet youve holed yourself up here for two weeks after you got fired, painting a gorgeous picture of him, telling yourself that youre exorcising him. How delusional are you? He snarled. She ignored it. She got to her feet, standing before the painting. This is good. You should call Luc and show it to him. Its not finished.

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So finish it and call Luc. Beg to see him. Grovel at his feet. Promise sexual favors. Oooo! Promise to be his sex slave! Grimacing, he pushed to his feet. Youve been reading too many of those erotic romances. She laughed. Maybe so. Maybe so. I cant call him. Why? If I let him support me, then Im like his mistress or something. Mistress? Youre not a woman. Youd be his lover. And hed be a man who happens to have the means to support the one he loves. They both stared at the painting. You think he was serious? About loving you? Do you? I dont know. Okay. Tell me honestly -- and this is me, remember -- you love him? Yes. Then you have absolutely nothing to lose by contacting him.

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Chapter Thirteen

Tom, thats fuckin awesome! Reese stared in delight at the reflection of his back. At long last, the dragon to match the tiger twined across his shoulder blade. It had taken a number of visits, but both tattoos were now in place. Hed even had the white tiger colored in. He thought they looked great with the blue streaks hed had reinstated in his hair. Glad you like it. Tom sat back, grinning smugly. Was the least I could do for my new apprentice. Reese beamed. Such a turn his life had taken in the past two months. After his two-week sulk, Reesed moved out of his townhouse. It seemed like the thing to do. Both Luc and Reegan had very strongly made the point that the life hed been living didnt suit him. For a day or so after talking with Reegan, Reese had given it a lot of thought and decided that they were right. There were things that he used to love doing and other things that he thought hed like to try, and he now had the perfect opportunity to go for it. Most of his stuff now sat in his parents garage, waiting for him to find a new permanent space. In the meantime, he was living in the same apartment Luc and Brent had once occupied over Purgatory all those years

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ago. Garth had offered it to him with a job busing tables. Reese still believed Reegan to be behind the offer, but Garth denied it. Busing tables was a shitty job, but it was different enough from teaching that Reese kind of enjoyed it. At first. Then he decided to take Garths advice and started bartending school. As Garth put it, bartenders were everywhere, and if Reese did decide to travel, he could always be relatively certain to find a job. Garth also put him to work painting a mural across one of the bare walls at Purgatory. He said hed always meant to do something with it but never had found an artist he liked. He claimed to like Reeses work well enough, even though hed only seen some sketches that Reese provided. Reese again thought that Reegan was behind the offer, but he was itching enough to paint that he took the chance without comment. Then one night during his busing shift, hed innocently admired the tattoo of a stallion on a guys arm, and theyd struck up a conversation. Tom was a tattoo artist and had been duly impressed when Reese had proclaimed that the half-finished mural over the bar was his. Now, two months later, Reese was tending bar during the late shift and spending most of his days in Toms tattoo parlor, learning the ropes. Reese stood and let Tom carefully bandage the dragon. So, Ill see you tomorrow, he said, gathering his backpack on the way out. Tom waved. Reese whistled and walked the short way down a few blocks to a little Italian caf. Life wasnt perfect, but it was good. He didnt miss teaching at all. And he loved the tattoo parlor! Luc had done him a favor after all. He ducked out of the sun into the dim interior of the caf. The host greeted him with a smile and took him to a table by the front.

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Jimmy came out not long afterward to take his order. The young waiter smiled, topaz eyes twinkling beneath a mop of curly summer-brown hair. What will you have ... to eat? Reese matched his grin. Surprise me. Jimmy winked. Whatever you say, gorgeous. He watched Jimmys cute little butt retreat. If things went well, he might even have a boyfriend soon. Something else he had Luc to thank for. Without teaching in the way, hed fully come out. He couldnt believe how much of a relief it was. Hed met Jimmy at Purgatory the week before and had eaten in the caf just about every day since. They hadnt done more than kiss, but Reese was hopeful for the weekend. It wasnt the same as being with Luc, but then, he was resigned to the fact that it simply couldnt be. How could a mere mortal compare to a god? He grimaced at himself. Now that was a stupid comparison, wasnt it? Jimmy brought him a delicious ravioli, which he enjoyed immensely. He pulled out his newest sketchbook and practiced by drawing the dark little corner of the caf as he lingered over his meal. Jimmy finally came to sit with him, his waiters apron off. Oh, nice! he exclaimed over the sketch. You gonna color that in? Reese shrugged, setting his pencil down as he reached down for his bag. Hadnt thought about it. I was just practicing. If you color it in, Im sure Paul would love to have it. Jimmy beamed. He might even pay you for it. Reese smiled, folding the sketchbook shut and shoving it into his bag. Ill keep that in mind. Jimmy grinned at him. You ready? Reese drank the last of his Sprite and stood, nodding. Yep.

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They went out the back to where Jimmys Corolla was parked. Before he started the car, Jimmy reached over to pull Reese into a kiss. It was nice. Again, not Luc, but nice. Reese sighed inwardly, again telling himself that he really needed to stop thinking about Luc. But he found more and more of his thoughts laced with images and notions of the bass player, despite his absence. Reese had hopes that his obsession would mellow with time. Jimmy parked in front of the club. Smiling, he leaned in toward Reese and they got lost for a few minutes in a sweetly warm embrace.

Hmm. Don, Reeses roommate, would be working. It was three oclock. He had two
hours before his shift. Maybe ... Want to come up for a while? Reese asked, lips brushing Jimmys. Topaz eyes twinkled at him. I thought youd never ask. Reese let Jimmy twine their hands together as they mounted the rickety stairs up to the apartment. Both of the young men laughed as they tried to keep the handhold despite the fact that there wasnt really enough room for them both to walk abreast. Grinning, Reese dug his keys out of the little pocket at the back of his pack and looked up. He froze at the sight of the man perched on the railing that surrounded the small landing before his front door. Luc! Did the man have to be so beautiful? He sat there, casually smoking a cigarette. His hair was loose and flowing in gorgeous curls about his shoulders, held back from his face by the sunglasses perched atop his head. A tight-fitting black t-shirt rode up his torso, exposing a goodly amount of hard midriff. His jeans slimmed lovingly over muscled legs to tuck into calf-high black boots. Lucs sable eyes fixed on Reese, then dropped to the hand that was still wound with Jimmys. His expression didnt change, but Reese could swear he felt a chill in the air. Hey, Reese. Oh, my god! This from Jimmy. Youre Lucas Sloane!

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Luc nodded, his eyes back on Reeses face. Reese couldnt find words. Could only stare. What was he doing here? Jimmy rushed by him, hand extended. Oh, man, Im a huge fan! Reese told me he knew you, but I never ...Oh, man! Luc shook his hand briefly. Well, at least he told you. Huh? Reese shook himself and stepped up the rest of the way. Nothing. He managed to tear his gaze away from Luc to smile at Jimmy. At least, he hoped it looked like a smile. Hey, Im sorry. You mind if I meet you later? I think Luc has something to talk about. Oh! Yeah! Sure! Jimmy was one of those insufferably nice people. A smile for everyone. Ill see you later, baby. Reese managed not to wince and did kind of kiss Jimmy back, just before the brunet turned back to Luc. I hope youll stick around. Id love to get the chance to talk to you. Did Jimmy see the anger in those hooded eyes? In the grim set of those pouting lips? Probably not. He didnt know Luc well enough to know that the stare was cold. Maybe. Sure. Cool! Jimmy practically skipped down the stairs. Reese avoided looking at Luc by unlocking the front door with shaking hands. He didnt bother to invite him in, just stepped inside. He knew Luc would follow. What was he doing here? Reese jumped and spun when the door slammed. What the fuck was that? Reese stared, eyes wide. He hadnt expected the full brunt of Lucs anger. What? Who was that? Jimmy.

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Your lover? He slid his backpack to the floor. Not yet. Lucs eyes slitted. Reese backed away. Luc snatched the sunglasses from his head and tossed them onto the little dining table to his right. What the fuck? Youll find yourself a little boy toy, but you wont call me? I didnt think youd want to talk to me. Red hair tumbled into Lucs face, and he combed it away with impatient fingers. Did I not say in my note to call me? Hell, I gave you a fucking ticket to Italy! Well, yeah, but ... Reese backed up into the wall next to the door that led to the bedrooms. He stopped there, somehow very afraid to lead Luc in there. Luc stepped toward him, looming but not touching. But ...? Reese glowered, trying to build up some anger of his own. He was the one who had been wronged in this. What business is it of yours? He jumped and unfortunately yelped when Lucs palms slammed into the wall to either side of his shoulders. Youre my business! Fuck you. You havent been here. You dont know what I went through after you got me fired. I know everything. Reese blinked. His anger didnt stand a chance against Lucs fury. I know about your job with Garth. I know about the mural he paid you to paint. The mural that I paid for. Reese gasped. You paid --? Luc talked over him. I know about the tattoos. I know about the painting. Reegan --

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Yeah. He sneered. But looks like she didnt know everything, huh? She didnt know about the boy toy. Hes not a boy toy. Then what is he? A friend. He squirmed. Luc had kept track of him? W-we havent ... But you were going to. Well, yeah. Luc gripped his shoulders, shaking him. Why? Why didnt you just call me? Reese gasped at the fire that shot through his new tattoo. The pain gave him the impetus to shove Luc back. He escaped to the other side of the room. I couldnt call you. How pathetic would that be? He felt tears start to burn in his eyes. Why pathetic? That I need to come running to you to support me? Did it occur to you that I want to support you? Huh? Luc shook his head. Did it occur to you that I want to help you? You got me fired. Luc threw a hand in the air, gazing skyward. Yeah. And you were so enjoying your life while you were teaching. Yet after you get fired, you start painting again, find a liking for tattoos, and you fucking come out openly! Reese frowned. Luc scowled. His anger banked to a slow simmer. He propped his back against the wall, arms crossed over his chest. I like the hair. Blue always did suit you. And I see the earrings are back. Did you get anything else pierced? No. Geez, did he have to sound like he was pouting?

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What about the tattoo? Reegan said you were going to get the dragon done. Reese reached up to his shoulder. Just finished it today. Congrats. Can I see? Why? Luc pushed to stand, hands fisted at his sides. Oh, for the love of God, how dense are you? Reese scowled, standing his ground. Pretty damn dense. Tell me why youre interested. Because I love you. How? That caught Luc off guard. He gaped. How? Yeah. How? How can someone like you possibly love someone like me? If possible, Lucs jaw dropped farther. He started to speak twice and gave up, then snarled and lunged for Reese. Reese stumbled back, caught his leg on the table, and tumbled to the floor. Luc followed him down, straddling his hips. Why? Reese hissed, caught off guard by the shot of pain from his tattoo. Get off! They wrestled, but Luc captured Reeses hands and used his full body weight to pin them to the floor. Geez, how could such a lean man be so strong? Because you see the world in colors that others dont. Reese paused his struggles, frowning up at him. Luc stared intently at his face. Because Im comfortable with you. I like being around you. Because you look at me like theres no one else in the world and make me feel that. Because I feel good when Im with you. Because when Im near you I start to see the colors that you see.

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But youre -- Damn it, Reese, if you start to spout off nonsense about me being more than what I am, Im going to have to hurt you. Luc ... he gasped. Luc leaned in, sliding their hands out to the sides, still pinning Reeses. He stopped with his nose hovering just over Reeses. I love you, damn it. I love every little fool thing about you. Just open up and deal with it. Luc tilted his head and lowered it that extra bit to brush his lips over Reeses. After a brief, wonderful moment, Reese needed more. Whimpering slightly, he lifted his head in an effort to get more of Lucs kiss. Luc pulled his head up, keeping himself just out of reach. Give me the words, Reese. His breath fanned over Reeses lips. I need the words this time. Luc ... Reese, please. The bald agony in Lucs eyes bore into Reeses skull, snipping the last threads of his resistance. I love you. Luc released his wrists and dropped onto him, fusing their lips. Reese winced at the push on his shoulder, but did his best to ignore it. He was far too interested in wrapping his arms around Luc, pressing the mans body to his. Ah! Missed you, Luc growled, tearing his mouth away from Reeses to nibble on his chin. Reese grabbed the hem of Lucs shirt and yanked it up, eagerly splaying his palms over hot, warm flesh. Missed you, too. Need to fuck you. Oh, yeah!

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Luc pushed up, grabbing Reeses hand as he went. He hauled Reese to his feet, then headed for the bedrooms. Which one? Yours. Luc tugged Reese down the short hallway, tossing a feral grin over his shoulder as he turned to the left. He pushed the door shut and shoved Reese toward the unmade bed. You picked my room? His hands went to the hem of his shirt to pull it off the rest of the way. The bangles on his wrist chimed. Reese toed off his sneakers and sat down to reach his socks. It was the one left. Luc snorted. Oh, come on. Cant you ...? Tossing his socks aside, Reese looked up when Luc paused. The bass players gaze was riveted to the wall at the foot of Reeses bed. Reese glanced over his shoulder at the painting of Luc within the ivory sheets. He hadnt had the heart to put it in storage with the rest of his stuff. He hadnt quite decided what to do with it if he ever had Jimmy over for the night. Now he didnt need to think about it. Wow. Reese looked back to Luc, his heart warmed by the obvious admiration. Its not nearly as beautiful as you really are. Luc blinked, then looked at him. You flatter me. Reese tugged off his t-shirt, managing not to dislodge his bandage, and tossed the shirt aside. He held out his hands, reaching for his lover. Not at all. A smile spread across Lucs face, and Reese hoped to God that he was the only person who ever saw that sexier-than-sin expression again. Luc sauntered up to stand before him. Reese slid his hands around Lucs hips, cupping his ass and pulling him closer so he could stroke his cheek along the hot length that pushed against the fly of those jeans. Youre the most beautiful thing ever, he whispered.

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Fingers tilted up his face so he could lock onto that sable gaze. Im yours, tiger. Tears burned Reeses eyes. In an effort to hide them, he turned his face into Lucs crotch. All mine? Lucs hands threaded in his hair. All yours. He couldnt stand it. His fingers came around to make quick work of the button and zipper of Lucs jeans. He had to release the one part of Luc that he craved the most at this very moment. The part that, if he could believe Luc, was exclusively his. He wrapped his fingers around that beautiful, hard cock and led it to his mouth. Ah, fuck! Reese! Reese moaned, sucking greedily while he pulled Lucs jeans and briefs down farther. He laved his lovers cock, coating it, slicking it up before he took it firmly in hand and used both mouth and hand to heighten the pleasure. He wanted it all. He wanted Luc to come so he could swallow down the evidence of the mans desire. But he didnt get his wish. Roughly, Luc pulled him away and shoved him back onto the mattress. He pointed at Reeses pants. Get those off. But -- Wheres the lube? Yeah. Okay. It was probably better this way. His hands went to his jeans. Top drawer. Luc retrieved it while Reese got naked. He would have turned around to get on his knees, but Luc stopped him. On your back. Reese groaned, squirming back into position. He stuffed pillows under his head and shoulders while Luc shucked the rest of his clothes, then came to kneel between Reeses thighs. Luc poured a generous amount of lube onto his fingers. I love you. I love you, too. Reese caught his legs under his knees and pulled them up. Fuck me.

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Lucs attention dropped to Reeses exposure, those sable eyes lit with fire. He dragged his fingers along the sensitive skin between Reeses balls and anus. No prep? No. Please. God, Luc, just fuck me. I want you inside me. His words inflamed his lover. He could see it. Lucs nostrils flared, and he poured more lube into his palm. Slick it up, baby. Slick up that big, hard cock and fuck my ass. At last, Reese had turned the tables on Luc. His words made the redhead shudder. Lucs hand flew over his cock, and then he leaned in to position himself. It had been two months. It hurt some. But Reese welcomed the pain. It didnt last long, anyway. His body remembered. His body accepted. After the initial resistance, Luc sank in, a wonderful invasion deep inside Reese. Lucs fingers gripped his hips, trying to control the pace. Reese wanted none of that. He released his knees and reached up to grab Luc by the shoulders. With arms and legs, he wrapped up Luc and pulled him in. Wait, Luc gasped. No. Reese dug his ankles into Lucs butt, shoving that last final bit. They froze, intimately locked. Luc dropped his head forward, bracing his forehead on Reeses. Dont ever deny me again, he growled. No. Love you. Love you, too. Luc pulled back, making them both moan at the marvelous friction. He set up a slow, painfully wonderful rhythm that had Reese writhing beneath him. Reese dug his fingers into

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Lucs back, threaded them in his hair. He pulled Lucs head down and kept their lips locked as Lucs cock worked its magic deep in Reeses body. Luc reached between them, circling Reeses cock with a wet hand, pumping it in time to his thrusts. Reese couldnt stand it. Too much pleasure built up in his body, and he felt like he was going to explode. Fire took hold of the base of his spine, forcing him to rock his hips to alleviate the burn. But that only built it higher, working Lucs cock into his tight channel. He felt it coming and dug into Lucs back. Fuck! Luc, Im --! His words got tangled in the strangled cry that pushed from his throat as the fire in his spine burst apart. Luc clutched his cock and gripped the bedspread beneath Reeses shoulders. He echoed Reeses gurgled cry as he came. They subsided into the warm, wet sheets, relearning how to breathe. Reese hugged Lucs head to his shoulder, unwilling to let go. Hey, he finally said. Shouldnt you be in Italy making an album? Break, Luc muttered, seemingly content to stay wrapped in Reese. When do you go back? A week. He looked up. Come with me. Reese smiled. I dont know. Ive got to work.

Jet Mykles
As far back as junior high, Jet used to write sex stories for friends involving their favorite pop icons of the time. To this day, she hasnt stopped writing sex, although her knowledge on the subject has vastly improved. An ardent fan of fantasy and science fiction sagas, Jet prefers to live in a world of imagination where dragons are real, elves are commonplace, vampires are just people with special diets and lycanthropes live next door. In her own mind, shes the spunky heroine who gets the best of everyone and always attracts the lean, muscular lads. She aids this fantasy with visuals created through her other obsession: 3D graphic art. In this area, as in writing, Jets self-taught and thoroughly entranced, and now regularly uses this art to illustrate her stories or her stories to expand upon her art. Only recently, through the wonders of the digital age, has Jet, a self-proclaimed hermit, been able to really share this work with others. It was through a series of images posted to the erotic art website Renderotica and encouragement from the fabulous Angela Knight that she finished and submitted a story to Loose Id. In real life, Jet lives in southern California with her boyfriend of nine years, his daughter and father and nine cats. She has a bachelors degree in acting, but her loathing of auditions has kept her out of the limelight. So she turned to computers and currently works in product management for a software company, because even in real life, she cant help but want to create something out of nothing. Visit Jet on the Web at www.computerotika.com.

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