When former classmate Alexi Manetas wanders into his book store, Simon Harris seizes the opportunity to rekindle a flame he'd carelessly extinguished years earlier.
Simon Harris has proclaimed his bisexuality loudly since college, despite never having dated a man. While his family and friends laugh, he knows the truth: there is one man he's always been attracted to. Once, fear kept him from acknowledging that attraction. No more. The next time he finds himself wanting to kiss a guy, he's going for it.
Alexi Manetas has never gotten over his schoolboy crush on Simon. When Simon graduated, Alexi moved on. He may not have pined for Simon, but he never forgot, and always, lurking at the back of his mind, buried deep in his heart there's been Simon and the hope that they would meet again.
A little help from an old lover and a busybody sister-in-law brings Alexi and Simon together, but Simon's fears might still tear them apart...
I heard the rustle of movement as he became aware of my presence, heard his whispered protest to go hide somewhere else, but I ignored it. I could only remember the dreams that had tormented me for over a year, of warm, firm lips and dreamy gray eyes. I couldn't see his eyes in the darkness, but—
I dragged him quickly into my arms and, before common sense could prevail, bent and pressed our lips together. It wasn't my first kiss. I'd been kissing girls since my first party at twelve, and even at seventeen I had acquired some skill in the department, but...this kiss felt different. The textures of Alexi's mouth enthralled me, the flavor of his response was addictive, and I had no idea where the experience was going to end. Instead of seducing, sampling, or even plain enjoying the kiss, I was flung headlong into a maelstrom of emotion and confusion. Alexi's kiss was the best kiss of my life, and the most terrifying.
We broke off the kiss to breathe, and that's when the fear overwhelmed me. I pushed the door open, slipping out without ever saying a word. I wanted to kiss Alexi, yes—all the rest of the shit that went along with kissing? Being gay? I didn't need that. Alexi made me doubt myself. What scared me most was that kissing him made all the bad things seem worthwhile.
I'm pretty sure Alexi had no idea who had kissed him in that closet at the beach cottage, but I was damned sure I'd like to kiss him again. His tongue slicking his lips like that tempted me to repeat the experience right here and now in the bright light of day where he couldn't possibly mistake me for some stupid football player.
First, though, I had to get him to relax a bit and maybe tell me about the wedding ring. He still darted nervous glances around the shopping center, and I finally, reluctantly, released his arm as we approached the coffee shop. We ordered at the walk-up window, and as we waited patiently for the barista to produce his basic cup of black coffee and my iced mocha, I strove to achieve casual as I asked, "So, what have you been doing since high school?"
He met my eyes briefly, then twisted about to stare off across the parking lot to the opposite side of the strip mall. He leaned his slim, compact body on a hip against the counter, and I couldn't help taking advantage of his lack of attention to look my fill. Tight-fitting, faded-nearly-white jeans molded the firmly muscled legs and flat abdomen. I noted the button fly of his jeans with approval. Yeah, I can't help it. Levi 501s are a trigger for me. I wished I could retrace my visual path physically, with my trembling hands, my tingling lips. A gray short-sleeved shirt open over a simple white T-shirt completed his Saturday casual attire.
Once I had finished my survey and my gaze meandered up to his face, he'd apparently had enough of the cars in the lot, and I found him watching me instead. His moist lips parted and his eyes sparkled. I nearly kissed him again right then, too aroused to care about observers. I didn't even care about the wedding ring right then. Marriage clearly wasn't on his mind either. It wasn't only that he was still sexy and attractive. He still wanted me. I saw the desire behind the sparkle and it sent me right back to those high school days, only this time without the stupid part of me that didn't want to want another man in my bed.
The barista fortunately interrupted my eye sex with our order and I remembered I was supposed to talk to Alexi, not visually inventory the places I was tempted to kiss.