He ducked into the bathroom and turned on the shower. Water pattered down, filling the small room with white noise. Steam rolled out as the water heated.
Being near Kyle was like mainlining heroin. That potency drove straight to Nate’s veins. He’d get a wild shock, followed by drowsy afterglow. The pain came with the withdrawal. How much worse would it be this time? Even if he wanted an affair with Kyle to last beyond London, Nate couldn’t trust who they’d be together. The golden boy in the closet and the ex-con in the shadows, waiting, never really knowing which life Kyle would choose.
Nate couldn’t live that way.
He stepped into the shower, drawing shut the curtain. Hell, the fact that he was about to shower in Kyle’s room instead of his own made no fucking sense—except that fear of withdrawal. He might not be ready to crawl back into bed with the man, but he didn’t seem ready to leave either.
Scrubbing both hands down his face, he ducked his head under the stream. Near-scalding water stung his skin.
Still, there was no mistaking the sound of the door opening, nor the quiet sounds of Kyle getting cleaned up.
The curtain moved aside. Kyle’s mouth was curved in a smile, but his dark eyes were shadowed. Maybe hesitant.
“Room for two?”
Nate tugged him in by the wrist. “Of course.”
“Kind of cramped.”
It was, in the best kind of way. The shower wasn’t built for two grown men, but that meant plenty of slipping and sliding against each other. Nate’s dick brushed over the rough texture of Kyle’s outer thigh as they traded positions. Kyle ducked under the water with a sound of pleasure that went straight to Nate’s head. Then way lower.
On a ledge was a small glass bottle of expensive-looking body wash. Only the best for Kyle, but the scent alone seemed worth it. Lively and clean, the gel smelled like woods and crisp leaves.
He lathered up, letting his hands run slowly over his stomach and chest. Kyle watched, and Nate liked that too much to say. His cock stirred lazily. He was surprised they both weren’t rubbed raw considering how hard they’d gone.
“Got any plans for the day?”
Kyle briskly washed his own body. “Paperwork. I’ve got to go through a giant stack Steph left for me.”
“So fun. And on a Sunday, no less.”
His grin was sudden but bright. “It is, kind of. It’s all about making my production company the best on the block.”
Nate shook his head and traded places to rinse. “I never, ever would have guessed you’d end up in Hollywood.”
“No?” Kyle rinsed off fast, then bracketed Nate with hands on the tile walls. “Not even a clue?”
His hands found a resting place on Kyle’s firm waist. His thumbs made tiny strokes over the sharp V-line that arrowed downward. “I thought you were going into finance like your dad.”
“Running hedge funds? No way.” Kyle chuckled. “I always said that was the last thing I’d do. You didn’t believe me?”
Nate didn’t answer. He couldn’t. Yeah, Kyle had always said that, but he’d also talked about coming out. Eventually. Once he was free of his parents. And look how well that went.
“You were always damn good with numbers,” Nate said, sidestepping the issue. “You got me through pre-calc.”
“Nah, once you got stubborn, you had it made.” Kyle nuzzled his shoulder, wet on wet. “But all those hours we spent watching movies. Everything. Every kind of movie. All the genres. It was practically training.”
Nate remembered those hours. Thousands of them, spent in Kyle’s larger dorm room at the boarding school. They’d always gone to Kyle’s room because his rich parents paid to make sure he didn’t have a roommate. Most times, they’d spent their hours wrapped up on the couch, free to get as grabby as they liked.
Nate had lived for lying with his head in Kyle’s lap. Nothing in his life had been easy, starting with growing up without a mom. First she’d been an alcoholic, then she’d been . . . gone. His dad had done the best he could, filling out a hundred grant applications so Nate would have a better option than the slums of DC. But ultimately he was a trucker on the road more than three hundred days a year. Nothing had been easy for Nate, except for curling into Kyle and hoping for more—more than a kid like him could ever have.
Being with Kyle had made that sort of dreaming possible.
But all he said was, “I remember.”
Kyle’s grin spread with endearing enthusiasm. “We practically went to film school together.”
“If you wanna put it that way.” He ran his hands up Kyle’s firm sides, let his thumbs slide over flat nipples that quickly beaded. “But if we’re talking percentage of time used in those days, you and I ought to be porn stars.”
“We watched plenty of that too. Another education in itself.” The heat woke between them. Kyle’s neck thickened on a heavy swallow. He wrapped a hand around Nate’s prick in a tight grip. “Want to practice for our next close-up?”
He kissed Nate. His mouth, warm and soft, tasted of mint. Nate framed the sides of that strong jaw, feeling it shift under his touch. He pushed back and liked that Kyle subtly strained forward to keep the kiss going. Small challenges. Neither giving ground. Neither wanting it any other way.
“Let’s get out of the shower first.”
About the 2017 Holiday Charity Collection
To celebrate the release of Came Upon a Midnight Clear, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 25, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!