Center of the Storm (Winterhaven BK 5)

Center of the Storm (Winterhaven BK 5)

Status: In Progress

Genre: Gay and Lesbian

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Gay and Lesbian

Summary

"Being an ass - can get your ass in trouble." Nolan both anticipates and dreads hotshot skier Lane Cassiter's annual appearance at the Winterhaven ski lodge where Nolan works. His natural physical attraction to the guy is offset by his internal disdain of Lane's bigot attitude. When Nolan is caught in the cross-hairs of Lane and his friends, a wager is made that might just get him the one thing he never dreamed possible - Lane Cassiter in his bed. But when circumstances arise that instigate Nolan to propose a counter-offer that involves both his and Lane's best friends, events take an unexpected turn that catches them all in a whirlwind of confused emotions and unacceptable realities.

Summary

"Being an ass - can get your ass in trouble."

Nolan both anticipates and dreads hotshot skier Lane Cassiter's annual appearance at the Winterhaven ski lodge where Nolan works. His natural physical attraction to the guy is offset by his internal disdain of Lane's bigot attitude. When Nolan is caught in the cross-hairs of Lane and his friends, a wager is made that might just get him the one thing he never dreamed possible - Lane Cassiter in his bed.

But when circumstances arise that instigate Nolan to propose a counter-offer that involves both his and Lane's best friends, events take an unexpected turn that catches them all in a whirlwind of confused emotions and unacceptable realities.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Chapter 1

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 20, 2017

Reads: 178

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: April 20, 2017

A A A

A A A

Nolan approached the bar and took a seat on a stool. Down the bar, Drew attended to customers, and it gave Nolan a moment to try and get his head together. What the hell just happened in there? It felt like a huge breakthrough; Lane hadn’t been drunk or under obligation. And he hadn’t resisted Nolan at all. In fact, the events had felt initiated by Lane when the man had simply stepped into the room. Nolan was cautious to read more into it than might actually be there, but how could he deny the facts?

“Beer?” Drew appeared before him, startling him from his thoughts. He studied Nolan’s blank expression.

“Uh…yeah,” Nolan mumbled.

Drew filled a chilled glass and placed it before Nolan. “You okay? I saw Lane head back to the billiard room, then some of the others. Everything cool?”

Nolan released a slow breath, started to speak, then took a drink of beer instead.

“Nolan?” Drew stared at him curiously.

Nolan blinked, focused, and looked at Drew. “Huh?”

Drew chuckled. “Are. You. All. Right?” he asked with slow deliberation. “You’re acting all dazed. What’s up?”

Nolan’s crotch was still throbbing at the recent memory of grinding goods with Lane. Sweat beaded his brow line. He cleared his throat and took another drink of beer. “I, uh…” he glanced back across the lounge toward the billiard room, rubbed his mouth, then turned back to Drew. “Lane…he, uh…”

“What?” Drew asked with exasperation.

“We…” Nolan looked around then lowered his voice. “…kissed and…and started making out.”

Leaning back, Drew cocked an eyebrow. “Making out?” he asked doubtfully. “In the billiard room?”

Nolan nodded and downed more beer as his throat started to dry out.

Drew shook his head. “And how did that happen?” he asked. “I can’t imagine Lane Cassiter would do anything out in the open where he might get caught in the act.”

“I know,” Nolan agreed. “It just…” he shrugged. “It just…happened. I mean, Rodney was in there first, trying to get me to admit that Lane was in my room last night. I didn’t out Lane. And said some things that pissed off Rodney, then he left.”

“Yeah,” Drew murmured. “I saw him come through the lounge not looking too happy.” He smiled at Nolan. “Continue.”

“Well, anyway. Lane comes into the billiard room right after, and he’s looking at me in a way that just…” he shook his head and laughed low. “…fucking turned me on to no ends. Then he says he overheard me and Rodney and thanked me for not outing him. We start talking about pool and I’m going to show him how to execute a shot he has trouble with, then…” Nolan groaned and smiled. “All of the sudden, we’re going at it, kissing and groping. I swear I thought for a moment he was going to fuck me right there on the table.” His cock jumped, and his smile stretched. “I’m pretty sure I would have let him.”

Drew laughed. “Ya think?”

Rubbing his eyes, Nolan moaned, “God, it was so freaking surreal. I couldn’t believe he just…” He sighed and swallowed more beer.

“He’s obviously into you,” Drew smiled. “No doubt about that. Maybe he’s closer to coming out than we thought. He had to know someone could’ve walked in on the two of you.”

“Someone almost did,” Nolan said. “A few of his buddies and Lizzy practically caught us going at it. If we hadn’t heard one of them holler out, they would have caught us.”

Drew gazed at him thoughtfully. “How did he react when he heard them coming your way? Did he push you off him and act angry or irritated at you?”

“No,” Nolan said quietly. “We were both startled and quickly pulled apart and moved away from each other. But…no, he didn’t act like a jerk or anything. Seemed mostly nervous and scared.”

“So what do you think it all means?”

“I don’t know,” Nolan admitted. “Not sure it means anything. He might pretend it never happened.”

“After so many encounters,” Drew said. “It’s kind of hard to pretend anymore.”

“Are you still pretending?” Nolan asked.

“Pretending about what?”

“About your feelings for Todd.”

Drew sighed and looked away. “Todd isn’t ready for me,” he mumbled. “He isn’t ready to be that guy, you said so yourself. Maybe Lane is getting there, but Todd…I don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon.”

“I wasn’t asking about Todd,” Nolan said. “I was asking about you, and if you’re admitting to yourself how you really feel about him.”

“I hardly know the guy, Nolan,” Drew muttered. “Anything I feel for him is purely physical. There’s a rush in fucking a guy who thinks he’s straight.”

Who are you trying to fool? Nolan thought. “Yeah. Sure. That’s all it is. Mm-hm.”

“Don’t patronize me,” Drew smirked.

Nolan smiled. “Then stop talking shit to me. I know you better than you know yourself.”

“And what is it you think you know?”

Sighing, Nolan reached out and squeezed Drew’s hand. “You’re falling for the guy. And you can deny it until you’re blue in the face, but you are totally hooked.”

“Even if that were true,” Drew said. “What would be the percentage in admitting it? I doubt we’d be good for each other, anyway.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because somebody fucked him up in the past. Probably a parent. And I’m not exactly together when it comes to the whole love thing. We’d probably just mess each other up worse than we already are.”

Nolan sipped his beer and gazed at Drew. That was the one thing Drew had never told him; why he shied away from love. “Maybe,” Nolan murmured. “But from where I stand, I think you two click in a way that can’t be denied or ignored.” Why was he telling Drew this? Maybe it would be better if Drew backed off and let Todd go for now. As he’d considered yesterday, if Drew got hurt on his first time venturing into love—or at least his first time in a long time—he may not make another attempt. Todd was a risk. But it was hard to urge Drew to walk away when what Nolan really wanted to see was this “love thing” grow and flourish.

Drew falling in love? That was unprecedented. And an amazing miracle to behold.

How could Nolan stifle it; risk or no risk?

 

?

 

Todd groaned and sat up. He was hiding away in his room, no sense in denying it. Hiding from Drew. Hiding from Rodney, and Tonya. Maybe even hiding from Lane; how long could they go before they both admitted the truth? And once they admitted it, there could be no taking it back.

“Fuck.” Todd ground the heels of his palms into his eyes then scraped his fingers through his hair. He rested his elbows on his knees and stared at the floor. When he closed his eyes, he saw Drew. When he opened his eyes, he still saw him. Above all, he couldn’t eradicate that look of pride on Drew’s face when Todd had told Jude that he and Tonya were finished for good, citing Drew’s own words as his reason for ending the relationship.

He was consumed with the memory of Drew holding him…and telling Todd he wanted to make love to him. I fuck men. I don’t make love to them…ever. But I want to make love to you. I want to so much. Todd squeezed his eyes shut. He had rejected Drew, when what he’d really wanted was to surrender…feel the love as well as the sex.

You hurt him when you rejected him. That’s why he turned on you.

Drew had since apologized, but Todd continued to suffer from the pain he had inflicted on Drew. The man had opened up to him in a way that, by Drew’s own admission, he wasn’t accustomed to doing with other men. So why had he opened to Todd? Why couldn’t he have simply fucked Todd and then walked away, left it at that? Why couldn’t Todd do the same? And Drew’s insistence on upholding his end of the bet and being Todd’s “servant”…Todd shivered; Drew would do whatever he asked him to do.

And what did he want him to do? How did he want Drew to service him?

It was becoming increasingly difficult to deny the truthful answer.

Groaning, Todd blew out a short, hard breath and stood up. It wasn’t safe for him to be alone with his thoughts. And he couldn’t hide out forever. At the door, he gripped the handle and hesitated. As soon as he stepped outside the room, a bullseye would appear on his forehead, just waiting for Rodney and Tonya to start taking shots.

And just so you know, if Rodney does manage to expose you and what you did with Drew—I’ll expose myself as well.

Lane wasn’t bullshitting him. He would take the fall with Todd if it came down to that. Todd was aware of what a fucking awesome friend he had in Lane. He didn’t know if God had any use for him or bothered to listen to his few and far between prayers, but he sent up a sincere ‘thank you’ anyway to the man upstairs for giving him a friend like Lane Cassiter.

Exhaling hard, Todd cranked the knob and opened the door. He stepped out into the hallway and stopped short when he practically collided with Rodney. Fuck. He flinched and backed into the door as it closed and latched behind him.

“Todd.” A cool smile grazed across Rodney’s face. “Why so jumpy?” He glanced past Todd at the closed door. “Got someone in there?” He chuckled before Todd could answer. “I guess not, since your lover is downstairs tending bar.”

“Shut up,” Todd mumbled. Rodney blocked him when he tried to walk away. “What the fuck do you want?”

“Lane was with that little fag last night, wasn’t he?”

Todd tensed. “No.”

“I followed your boyfriend after you ran away like a little girl,” Rodney smiled. “He warned someone in one of the bedrooms that I was trolling the hallways.”

“So?” Todd muttered. His face pinched. “And he’s not my fucking boyfriend.”

“Uh-huh,” Rodney snorted. “And who else but Lane would care if I was in the hallways?”

“Anyone who knows you?” Todd replied dryly. “You’re a dick to everyone.”

“But you and Lane,” he said smartly. “You like dick.”

“Just shut the fuck up,” Todd snapped. “I don’t know what bullshit Tonya has been feeding you, but we’re not faggots.” Guilt punched him in the gut; suddenly that word left a sour taste in his mouth.

Rodney chuckled low. “Tell that to the waiter at the Hampton party.”

Todd recoiled; how could he argue the matter if he didn’t remember what the fuck really happened? “You’re a fucking liar.”

Stepping forward suddenly, Rodney flattened his hands on the door on either side of Todd’s head, trapping him.

“What the…” Todd frowned, heart racing. “What the fuck are you doing?”

Rodney leaned close, his mouth grazing Todd’s ear. “You really don’t remember what happened?”

“No.” Todd swallowed hard, his pulse spiking. “Get off me.” He shoved Rodney—and was slammed back against the door. “Get off me!”

“I think you’re the fucking liar,” Rodney whispered tightly. His palms dug into Todd’s shoulders, holding him in place. His face was just inches from Todd’s. “I think you do remember. But you’re just keeping your mouth shut because you don’t want to out yourself as well.”

Todd stared into his eyes; what the hell was he talking about? “What do you mean as well?”

Hot breath puffed against Todd’s mouth, surging from Rodney’s parted lips. For a split second, he swore the fucker was going to kiss him. Instead, Rodney shoved away forcefully and glared at him. “Nothing,” he muttered coldly. “I didn’t mean a fucking thing.”

Confusion clogged Todd’s mind as he watched the man walk away, his stride stiff and shoulders hunched and tense.

 


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