Sam and Charlie have been together over a decade, and their commitment to each other has only grown stronger through the years. But love isn’t always easy, and eighteen months after a violent assault, their relationship is struggling. Charlie can’t shake the lingering fear of attracting more violence by displaying affection, and he’s angry at himself for not getting past it. Sam would do anything to help Charlie feel better—if only he knew what to do.
The century-old farmhouse in Northwest Oregon is the perfect place to spend the holidays with Sam’s family, but it was their refuge after the attack, and it still holds painful memories of those difficult first months. Christmas should be a joyful time, but even being surrounded by people who love him isn’t enough to make Charlie feel safe. They agreed not to exchange gifts but Sam has a surprise planned that he hopes will make everything merry and bright. But he may end up more surprised than Charlie.
Sam continued up the stairs, considering how to go about putting Charlie’s perfect ass on a piano bench became entangled with the unfortunate fact that as long as they slept upstairs they would be showering separately. He gave Charlie first chance at the hot water and then sped through his shower as fast as he could. Sam stopped just inside the bedroom door and closed it quietly. He toweled his hair and let his gaze linger on Charlie, lying still on top of the quilt, bare feet on the floor, partially covered with a green towel. A slice of moonlight filtered through the curtain on the opposite wall and across Charlie’s body, which was a work of art even when not bathed in romantic mood lighting. After a few moments Sam realized Charlie was also watching him.
Charlie flipped the towel up and away from his body and Sam felt as though someone had just grabbed him by the throat. After barely a heartbeat’s hesitation he strode to the foot of the bed and leaned over Charlie to kiss him. Sam’s free hand caressed his slender chest and shoulders. When he felt goose bumps Sam lowered himself over Charlie but kept all his weight on both knees and one hand.
Sam moaned softly and moved his dark hand over the fair skin on Charlie’s abs. He hadn’t regained any of the bulk he’d lost but made up for it with dizzying definition and a solidity he hadn’t had before.
“Vanilla ice cream.” Sam began to kiss his way down Charlie’s chest and felt a cool hand on his head exerting a gentle pressure, urging him lower.
“You’re lactose intolerant.”
Sam looked up and grinned for a short moment, then slipped down even farther. “I’ll just have to lick you instead”
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Cover Artist: Alchemy Book Covers and Design
NOTE: This is a previously published work. Not much has changed in the 2nd Edition, content-wise, but you’re more than welcome to grab a new copy!