Coming May 4th from Breathless Press
Raised by an abusive father, Eran shies away from intimacy until a lovely stranger walks into his life. Paul, intensely attracted to the shy, sensual young man, wonders if he can risk his heart one more time to be the friend and lover Eran obviously needs.
Paul rested his chin on his hand and stared into the stained bottom of his espresso cup. People came and went in the coffee shop around him, but their laughter and bright conversation only underscored his loneliness.
He played the events from Christmas Eve over in his mind, coming to the same conclusion as before: Eran had set him up to make a fool of him. What other explanation could there be? Damn it. He’d waited half an hour for the man to show while the snow piled up on the sidewalks and his face grew numb with cold.
He’d finally gone back into the coffee shop, only to learn that Eran had slipped out the back way and gone home. Paul ran a hand over his face and through his brown curls. Why had he come back when the man who fueled his fantasies ignored him and ultimately snubbed him?
Paul picked up the small cup, then remembered it was empty and set it carefully on its saucer. He’d deliberately chosen a table in the section Eran routinely waited on, only to watch the graceful body approach every table but his.
A mocking smile touched his lips. What else did I expect? He’d come to the shop tonight to demand an answer. Maybe this is it. Eran clearly wasn’t interested and Paul was too dense to take the hint.
He glanced at his watch. The shop had closed ten minutes ago and the last of the customers were walking out the door. Just great. He shoved the cup and saucer away from him and swore as they shot off the end of the table. He started to rise to his feet, only to sit back heavily as Eran came over. “Let me get that for you.”
Paul’s mouth went dry as Eran bent over. White skin showed where Eran’s shirt separated from the low cut jeans and Paul instantly wanted to know its taste. Eran knelt to get the cup that had rolled under the table and Paul’s cock perked up, pushing painfully against his slacks as the tight jeans slipped lower on Eran’s hips. Paul imagined sliding his tongue into the warm cleft of Eran’s ass and shivered.
His gaze roamed over the creamy skin, then froze at the sight of an ugly bruise spreading from Eran’s hip up under his shirt. He must have made a sound because Eran glanced at him, his blue eyes widening at whatever was showing in his face.
Paul forced his hands to unclench. “Who hurt you?” he demanded, not caring that Eran had made it plain he didn’t want Paul in his life.
The beautiful eyes blinked several times, then Eran glanced hastily around the deserted coffee shop. They were alone except for the girl Eran worked with, who from the sound of it was busy washing dishes in the back room.
Eran climbed stiffly to his feet and Paul jabbed a finger at the chair opposite him, relieved when Eran sat down without argument. Paul leaned across the table only to have Eran inexplicably start back, then flush and stare at his clasped hands, his chest heaving.
Pity and anger tightened Paul’s heart. If that hadn’t been a conditioned response… Someone’s been hitting this boy, often. He choked back his fury. He’d have to tread very carefully here.