This is an unedited excerpt from Never Too Late, coming this spring.
“God, I’m making a total mess of this,” he groaned as he tangled his fingers through his hair. If he kept that up, he was going to go bald. “The truth is, I can’t explain it to you because I don’t even know. But I want to. Today, when I was sitting at home, I probably thought as much about you and how your first day was going as I did about Jagger. Part of me worried that things would change now, and that you wouldn’t have time to hang out here after a long day dealing with kids. How stupid is that?”
That question seemed more rhetorical than anything else, but I still offered an answer in hopes it’d calm him down. “I don’t think it’s stupid at all,” I assured him. No longer able to watch him punishing himself for an impulsive decision, I reached out and pulled one hand away from his head. “I’ve already told you how much I like being here. As crazy as it sounds, this house is more home to me already than any other place I’ve lived. That should tell you something.
“But this isn’t you.” He tried to open his mouth to protest and I squeezed his hand to silence him. “I’ve heard how you talk about Erica. You loved her. Even now, I can tell you’re not comfortable with whatever it is you think you feel for me. I’ll admit, that was one hell of a kiss, but I’m not the type of guy who can be your experiment.”
“I don’t want that, either,” he admitted. Well good, at least we were on the same page about one thing. “I mean, I don’t know if calling it an experiment is the right way to label whatever it is that you do to me. I don’t think I’m attracted to guys in general. And believe me, I’ve tried testing that theory over the past week to see if I was just so damn horny anyone with a heartbeat would do the trick.”
I turned to face him, definitely wanting to hear more about this research he’d been doing. Hopefully, it wasn’t anything as boring as watching TV to see if any of the hot actors grabbed him by the dick and demanded his attention. The way he averted his eyes and the rapid rise and fall of his chest told me it was nothing so innocent. Well, maybe he hadn’t been searching the right sites. Just like with straight porn, you had to be careful what sites you clicked on because some of them ranged from corny to downright scary.
“And what did you learn?” I asked, my voice cracking on the words. While he thought about what he wanted to share with me and what he wasn’t ready to yet, I shifted in my seat as casually as possible, hoping he wouldn’t notice. He did. And gave me a snarky little smile for my discomfort. I couldn’t stop myself from glancing at his lap and swallowed hard when I saw the considerable bulge he was sporting.
“I was able to appreciate what I was looking at, but none of them caused any sort of…reaction, if you know what I mean.” I coughed to stifle my groan. Like the pal that he was, Michael leaned over and patted me on the back. Once I’d regained my composure, he allowed his hand to settle against the small of my back, which was a sweet form of torture. “And who knows, maybe that should’ve made me feel better, but instead it just confused me even more.”
“Why’s that?” I asked, suddenly wishing I had another cold beer in front of me. Not only would it take care of the sandpaper feeling in my mouth and throat, but it’d give me something to do with my hands.
“Because when I was watching them, all I could think about was you,” he admitted.