Prime Objective (Prime #3)

Prime Objective (Prime #3)

Status: Finished

Genre: Gay and Lesbian

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Gay and Lesbian

Summary

When Hale loses his apartment, Jake suggests that he move in with him and his dad, insisting his dad won’t mind. But Hale is suddenly uncertain about the depth of Rick’s feelings for him when Rick seems slightly reluctant to have him living under the same roof.

Summary

When Hale loses his apartment, Jake suggests that he move in with him and his dad, insisting his dad won’t mind. But Hale is suddenly uncertain about the depth of Rick’s feelings for him when Rick seems slightly reluctant to have him living under the same roof.

Content

Submitted: April 23, 2016

A A A | A A A

Content

Submitted: April 23, 2016

A A A

A A A


“I told my dad you’d probably only get a happy meal…” Jake shoved open the door of the pizza parlor. “…but I’ll splurge and buy you pizza instead.”

Hale nodded. “But they don’t give out a toy with pizza.” He stared at the back of Jake’s head as he followed him inside, a smirk on his lips. “You know I’m collecting them all.”

“Shit.” Jake snorted. “Those aren’t the kind of toys you collect.”

“Is that a dig?” Hale narrowed his eyes in amusement. “Toys make us gay boys more creative.”

Jake made a face. “I didn’t need to know that.”

“Hell…” Hale chuckled and grabbed a handful of Jake’s ass. “You don’t know what you’re missing. You ain’t been fucked until you’ve been fucked by a hot sexy boy.”

“Ugh!” Jake jumped away, laughing and swiping his hand over his ass. “No man handling. I warned you about that before. I got a reputation to uphold.”

Hale smiled darkly. “They say the apple don’t fall far from the tree. Maybe you don’t know what you really like, because you haven’t tried it. Get your little prim and proper Vicky to do some ass play and I’ll bet you’ll be looking for some manly lovin’ shortly after.”

This is why I don’t bring her around.” Jake laughed.

Hale shrugged. “I still think she’s imaginary.”

“Whatever.” Jake rolled his eyes and grinned. He walked to the counter and ordered a medium pepperoni with olives and one half smothered in pineapple—that half was Hale’s. It didn’t matter what kind of pizza it was, Hale always added pineapple. They took their drinks to a table in the back where Hale dumped a handful of quarters in the jukebox and punched in some songs. He swiped a folded newspaper off the table across from them, left behind by the previous occupants along with some pizza crusts littered on the silver pan and glasses with melting ice.

Dropping onto the bench opposite his friend, Hale opened the newspaper to the real estate section and started scouring the apartment rentals.

“What’s this about?” Jake tapped the paper with his fingertip.

Exhaling hard, Hale sat back and grabbed his soda, stirring the straw through the ice and fizz. “My fucking rent is going up. I gotta find me another place. I can barely pay it as it is.” He sucked the straw then licked his lips. “This minimum wage shit fucking sucks. I may have to drop one of my classes if I want to eat.”

Jake snorted. “Fuck, don’t do that—you eat more at our place than you do at home, anyway.”

“Well, yeah,” Hale grinned. “That’s because you have food.”

Jake chuckled. “Shit, you spend most of your time there, too. You should just rent our spare bedroom.”

Nearly choking on a swallow of soda, Hale looked at him. “You mean…move in?”

“Uh, yeah,” Jake said. “Wouldn’t make any sense renting the room if you weren’t going to be living there, now would it?”

The surface of Hale’s skin began to tingle and a low throb settled in his crotch—24/7 access to Rick? The after-effects of their recent morning activities were still with Hale. Following their wild fuck—and Hale’s confession about his unpleasant experience—Rick had taken a somewhat gentler approach, yet still maintained his dominant role. Hale shivered pleasantly. It was surprisingly satisfying and fulfilling though they hadn’t gone full-on Master/slave as before. Just thinking of Rick as his “master” made his whole body quiver. The man hadn’t seemed at all resistant to acquiring some ‘bondage toys’.

Hale suppressed a groan and stared at Jake as he scratched his temple. “And your dad would be okay with me moving in?”

“Fuck,” Jake chuffed. “Like I said, you practically live there already. Besides, it would do him good to have another puffball in the house.” He snickered. “Someone with which to discuss all things rainbow.

Believe me, we’re not talking unicorns and rainbows when we’re alone together.

Jake grinned. “Just no flashing your rainbow G-string. There must be some rules—to protect me.

“Ah admit it.” Hale smiled. “You think they’re damn sexy.”

“There’s nothing sexy about your ass hanging out,” Jake sneered.

“Shows what you know,” Hale snorted. “I’ve never gotten complaints.”

“You’re getting one now.” Jake laughed and pointed at him. “No ass-flashing if you move in.”

“Maybe we should ask your dad.” Hale smiled darkly. “I bet he’d appreciate my perfect ass.” Another shiver rippled through him—there was no question that Rick appreciated his ass.

Shaking his head, Jake mused, “Even he has his standards.”

“No gay guy retains his standards around me,” Hale bragged proudly—although convinced that Rick had it in him to wreak a bit of corruption on even Hale.

Please God—let it be true!

“Shit, Hale, no one retains their standards around you.” A strong hand squeezed the back of his neck with playful roughness, then ruffled his thick hair.

“Hey.” Hale jerked his head to the side and grinned up at Lloyd Laramie—former baseball captain in high school. The guy had a body that even the Greek gods would be jealous of—fucking etched and cut down to the finest detail. Being straight was the only flaw in his immaculate makeup. But though Hale retained a healthy admiration for the guy’s insane hotness—he was still no Rick Brigham.

Lloyd chuckled and nodded at Jake. “You guys are coming to the bonfire bash tonight, right? I saw Vicky earlier, she said she was bringing a couple of her hot friends.” He wriggled his eyebrows. “Maybe I’ll step up my game and woo them both.”

“Even you’re not that charming.” Jake snorted. “I’ve seen her friends—they are so far out of our league, we’re just distant specks in the galaxy.”

“Wait. Wait,” Hale smirked. “Our league? Tell me you’re not equating yourself with this…” He swept his hand at Lloyd’s powerful frame. “…godlike fellow. You’re cute and all, but you’re nowhere near…” he looked Lloyd up and down. “this.

“Well, thank you, best friend.” Jake scowled with a twisted grin.

“Just keeping you in the realm of reality, baby.” Hale smiled smartly.

Lloyd laughed. “So you’ll be there, right?”

“For sure.” Jake nodded and chuckled. “If only to see your swing and a miss.

“Hold up.” Hale eyed Lloyd suspiciously. “You’ve actually met Vicky? Like—saw her with your own two eyes?”

Lloyd frowned, lips twitching. “Uh, yeah.”

Hale turned on Jake. “You introduced her to him, but not your bestest friend?”

“He’s respectable.” Jake grinned.

Rolling his eyes, Hale sipped his drink. “I think you’re both lying. The chick doesn’t exist.”

 

?

 

A hoard of butterflies fluttered nervously in Rick’s gut when he opened his laptop, and then his browser. He typed in his search criteria, hesitated, then hit enter. He leaned back against the sofa, legs propped on the coffee table, supporting the laptop, and stared at the screen as he received multi-thousand results. A few photos showed up right within the search results. His gaze lingered with interest on some photos, while quickly skipping over others.

Rick swallowed and released a slow breath. “We’re all a little bit twisted,” he concluded, considering how much of this stuff was available to an eagerly seeking audience. That audience had to be huge.

And now that you’ve joined it, it’s just a tad bit larger, isn’t it?

Should he feel guilty? Ashamed? Mortified that all this stuff turned him on to no ends? But only when applied to Hale. Then again, maybe it should bother him all the more that it was with his son’s best friend that he wanted to do these things. Instead of “shame”, though, all he experienced was a pulsing thump in his manhood as he stared at the photos.

His eyes ran down the long list of websites. He had no damn clue where to start. Some of the site titles turned him away immediately while others—like Dark Pleasures and Bonded Love—made his cock harden, they sounded so inviting. He clicked the link to Dark Pleasures and was somewhat overwhelmed by the variety of options; whips, collars, leashes, fetish cuffs, gags, leather masks—and the list went on and on, some items appearing to be more like torture tools than fetish fun.

Exhaling heavily, Rick went back to his search page and typed in BDSM Gay Porn. He didn’t hit enter right away as his stomach churned anxiously. What if he saw things that turned him off from this new adventurous path he and Hale had started down? Hale needed this, and it had excited and thrilled Rick to learn he had a natural dominant side that was everything Hale had been searching for in a lover. He didn’t want to spoil everything.

Still…he couldn’t curb his curiosity. He had never been much into watching porn, but what little he had indulged in certainly wasn’t of a bondage nature. Taking a chance, he executed his search—yet found it neither repulsive nor overly stimulating. Perhaps it was because most of what he found involved hairy men with bulky muscles that looked like refugees from a 70’s biker gang. There were no beautiful, lean young men like Hale.

He clicked off the porn sites and went back to browsing the ‘toys’—and trying to keep the images of the brawly men from the porn videos out of his head. Some of the things they had done in those videos, though, Rick could imagine doing with Hale.

After a couple more searches, and a few downloads, Rick was again drawn back to the two BDSM store sites. Would this newfound fetish be the ultimate downfall of his bank account? He could envision an entire room dedicated to his “alone time” with Hale—and fully stocked.

Rick groaned and squeezed his throbbing cock through his pants. Get back to work. Stop getting distracted. Rick knew that was sound self-advice, but being an accountant wasn’t nearly as stimulating as thoughts of all the things he and Hale could be doing together right now. When the kid went off to meet Jake for lunch, Rick had intended to get some real work done. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. He rather hoped he wasn’t on that road now. He and Hale were two consenting adults, and this new venture was mutually accepted and desired—so why should it be wrong?

Because you’re lying to your son?

Was it really lying? What he and Hale did together had no bearing on Jake—as long as Jake didn’t know.

Is that the reasoning you’re sticking with?

“Fuck,” Rick whispered and continued to stare at the webstore page as his hand crawled back to his crotch and squeezed his package a second time. There was no way he could just forget about this thing with Hale, or erase from his mind all that they had already done together. He didn’t want to erase those memories. It had been so long since he’d felt so…sexually stimulated. Horny. He was pretty sure he never had felt it to this degree—ever—even in his younger years. Hale was like the fountain of youth, and with each taste, Rick swore he felt the years turn back a little more.

The closing of the front door snapped Rick out of his hazy thoughts and it took a moment for his limbs to respond to command. With no time to click off the site—he closed his laptop in a hurry as Jake and Hale entered the living room. Only after his quick action did he realize his mistake.

A slow grin cut across Jake’s face. “And what were you looking at? You closed that thing pretty fast.” He nudged Hale. “He’s guilty of something.”

Hale chuckled and caught Rick’s stare. The fire burning in his eyes fueled the flames already licking inside Rick. “Let me see.” Hale smiled teasingly. “You can’t shock me. I have no soul.”

“I can vouch for that.” Jake snorted. He looked at his dad. “So…has daddy drifted to the dark side and started watching internet porn?”

Rick shook his head and stared at him dully. “What makes you think I need porn?”

“Well…” Jake pondered. “This last almost date was your first in quite a while. Turning to smut seems the logical next step.” He smiled.

“Those are the brain cells I pay the college to indoctrinate?” he chuffed. “They have their work cut out for them.”

Hale laughed as the hunger in his eyes continued to burn bright, turning Rick rock hard against his will.

“Yeah. Yeah.” Jake sneered and stepped back toward the hall. “You were doing something naughty on there. I’m gonna take a shower.” He peeled off his shirt then exited the living room and disappeared into the hallway. A moment later, the bathroom door closed.

Hale stood motionless, thumbs hooked in the waistband of his jeans, and gazed at Rick with a teasing smile that just about shoved Rick over the edge. “So what were you looking at?” He cocked one eyebrow.

All of Rick’s bondage fantasy images came rushing back and his crotch swelled, bulging his pants. He waited for the shower to turn on, then murmured low, “Come here.”

As Hale broke from his stance and walked toward the sofa, Rick imagined a leather studded collar around the boy’s neck, a chain leash leading to Rick’s hands as he tugged him closer and closer. His cock hardened painfully as Hale approached, and the sight of the notable swelling in Hale’s own crotch did nothing to ease the fire within.

Rick dropped his feet to the floor and leaned forward, placing the laptop on the coffee table. He slid one palm up Hale’s inner thigh and cupped his hard package, then massaged him with a slow, sensual rhythm. Hale groaned and ran his fingers through Rick’s hair. Shoving up the hem of his shirt, Rick kissed his lean stomach and dragged his tongue all around his navel, dipping in, and out, and in again.

“Fuck.” Hale moaned with a fierce shiver.

Rick popped loose the button of his jeans and pulled down the zipper, keeping a keen ear out for the shower. Jake took moderately long showers, so they had a little time. Rick tugged down the front of Hale’s pants and freed his cock. They only had a little time though, so they couldn’t afford to waste a minute. Rick engulfed his solid shaft and began to suck and stroke fervently.

“Holy fuck,” Hale choked out and bit his lip to stifle a shout. He clutched Rick’s head and pumped his cock into his mouth. “Oh my God…” He glanced toward the hallway. Surely realizing—as well as Rick—that there was the off-chance that Jake might reappear, having forgotten something. “Uuuhh…” A shaky breath stuttered up Hale’s throat. “Yes…” He grabbed Rick’s head and pulled him off his dick and bent down, kissing him hard. “Fuck me.” He moaned, panting excitedly. “Right here.”

Rick hesitated for only a moment before standing up. “All fours,” he said with a stern tone as he moved the laptop from the coffee table to the sofa. “On the coffee table.” It was a thick, oblong wooden table that would easily support Hale’s full weight. Hale obeyed and Rick quickly dragged the boy’s jeans and briefs off his ass and partially down his thighs, then unfastened his own pants. His eyes darted to the living room doorway. The shower continued to run. His heart pounded erratically as he spit on his cock and slicked his shaft—then shoved into Hale in one thrust.

“Mmm!” Hale twisted his head and bit his own arm, panting heavily as Rick began to fuck him deep and hard.

“Holy fucking shit.” Rick grunted, fierce gasps erupting up his throat as he plunged into Hale’s ass again and again, rocking the boy on the table. He cast repeated glances at the doorway, sweat beading his brow and sprouting all over his body beneath his clothes.

“Uuh…” Hale gasped and gripped the edges of the coffee table until his knuckles whitened. “This is so…fucking…intense.” His hips swayed and rolled so fucking beautifully against Rick’s cock, picking up the pace, thrusting back harder and harder as their bodies collided wildly. “Oh my God. Oh fuck…Rick…fuck me.”

Rick gripped Hale’s hips, fingers gouging into his hot, damp flesh. “Jerk yourself off.” Rick panted hard as he hammered Hale’s ass, his voice shaking. “Do it—now.”

Clutching the table with one hand, Hale shoved his other beneath him and started beating off vigorously. “Uuuhh—Fuu-uuck. Oh shit…Uh-Uuuhh-Uh…

Rick’s body tensed and locked. He gritted his teeth and bit back a cry—and fucked the kid furiously.

“Oh shit, Rick…I’m gonna come…I’m gonna come…” Hale’s voice pinched off as his jaw clenched and his hand whipped wildly up and down his dick. A strangled growl pushed out between his clamped teeth.

Fuck,” Rick hissed tightly, his throat constricted. “Fuuuck…I’m coming…” He pounded his cock into Hale’s tight, hot hole—then exploded inside the boy, thrusting with animal ferocity as Hale choked on a sharp gasp and unloaded all over the coffee table.

The shower shut off.

“Shit.” Rick panted erratically and pulled out of Hale, stuffing himself back in his pants. “Get your pants up,” he urged Hale quickly. The kid stood on shaky legs and refastened himself as Rick grabbed a box of Kleenex off the one of the end tables and yanked out a wad of tissues, hurriedly wiping down the surface of the table. He deposited the soiled tissues in the trash beneath the kitchen sink as he and Hale washed their flushed, glistening faces with paper towels dampened with cool water.

Rick gripped the edge of the counter and took deep breaths to calm his heartrate and hopefully chase some of the heat from his body. Hale grabbed a couple cans of soda from the fridge and handed one to Rick as they both used the chilled cans to cool their faces and necks.

Finally popping the tab on his can, Hale downed nearly the whole soda then wiped his mouth and grinned at Rick. “I didn’t really think you would do it.”

“What?” Rick breathed unevenly and opened his can.

“Actually fuck me right there in the living room.” He chuckled and shook his head. “You were pretty jacked up when we came in, weren’t you?”

Licking his lips, Rick leaned over and kissed Hale on the mouth. “Maybe.”

“What were you doing on the laptop?”

Rick smiled and took a drink. “Just…window shopping.”

“Window…” A slow smile curved Hale’s lips and he nodded with a pleased glimmer in his eyes. “Can’t wait to start buying.”

 

?

 

“Buy what?”

Hale jumped when Jake suddenly appeared in the kitchen doorway, catapulting his heart to his throat. He swallowed and shrugged. “Nothing.” He smiled. “Just fantasizing about the future when I can actually afford some luxuries.”

“Yeah, no shit.” Jake wore just a towel around his waist as he walked across the kitchen to the fridge and retrieved a can of Red Bull.

“Powering up for a hot night with Vicky?” Hale smirked. “So she’s really going to be at this bonfire?” Hale’s plan to get out of going was almost aborted—simply to call Jake’s bluff and see if Vicky really showed up. But it wasn’t worth passing up alone time with Rick. His skin was still heated with fever from Rick’s fast and furious fucking, his ass still tingling—and burning a little—with stimulating sensations. So recently had Rick’s cock been inside him…he could still feel it there. He shifted his hips against the counter, certain he could be rock hard again at a moment’s notice should he and Rick be left alone together.

Yes.” Jake popped the tab and took a drink. He smiled wryly. “And by the way, this is for refueling from last night.”

“Yeah, well, I’ll believe you have a real girlfriend when I see her.” Hale snickered.

“It does seem kind of suspicious,” Rick joined in. “You keep talking about this girl, but we never see her. Even if you want to shield her from Hale…” He glanced at Hale and winked. “…you could still bring her home to meet your old man. I’m respectable, aren’t I?”

Hale ducked his head and stifled a laugh. It was unlikely Rick could win the “respectable” argument if Jake knew what the man had just done to Hale on their coffee table not ten minutes ago.

“To all intents and appearances,” Jake murmured with a twist of his lips. “But you still haven’t revealed what you were looking at on the laptop. Or did you tell Hale?” He looked at Hale inquisitively. “I think you always did favor him.”

In a manner of speaking, Hale mused to himself.

“I wasn’t looking at anything unrespectable.” Rick shook his head. “You boys and your one track minds.”

“Yep.” Hale chuckled low. “Us boys and our dirty thoughts.”

Jake laughed. “So, did you ask him?” He looked at Hale. “About the other?”

“The other…” He shook his head. “No, it kind of slipped my mind.” It was hard to think when he was bent over getting nailed.

“Slipped your mind?” Jake snorted. “Okay.” He drank half the can of energy drink then wiped his mouth and addressed his dad. “Hale’s rent is going up and he needs a new place to live. I told him he could rent our spare room. Is that cool with you?”

Rick stared at his son, brow raised. “Uh…” He glanced at Hale. “Yeah…sure. I don’t see why not.”

Hale didn’t miss the notable hesitation in the man. Did he not want Hale living there? Hale licked his lips slowly as his stomach tightened. “I can find someplace else,” he mumbled. “I mean, it’s cool…if you don’t want me moving in with you.”

“What’re you talking about?” Jake laughed. “He just said yes.”

That wasn’t exactly what Hale heard…in Rick’s undertone. Hale looked at the older man. “Are you sure it’s okay?” He didn’t want Rick to feel like he had to agree. Hale just wanted him to want Hale there.

Rick smiled and nodded. “Yes, of course. You spend most of your time here anyway.”

“That’s what I said.” Jake nodded.

Hale couldn’t shake that lingering sense of ‘hesitation’ in Rick. Still, he did need a place to live. “Okay,” he murmured. “I guess I’ll start packing up my apartment.” He set down his soda. “No time like the present.”

“Need some help?” Jake asked.

“No, I got it.” Hale cast Rick another glance as he walked to the kitchen doorway.

“We’re still on for the bonfire, right?” Jake asked.

Hale paused, then shrugged. “I don’t know,” he mumbled. “Maybe.”

It had been his intention to make an excuse later and get out of it so he could spend the evening with Rick. Suddenly he was having doubts about that as well.

Moving into Rick’s house…was it a mistake that would end this thing between them?

 

?

 

“What was that all about?” Jake asked as soon as Hale was out of the house.

Rick frowned. “What?”

That.” Jake stared at him. “You acted like you didn’t really want him to move in. I didn’t think it would be a problem.” His brow pinched. “Is it?”

“No,” Rick said. “Of course not. Hale’s like family.” Pressure squeezed his chest as an ache veined through his heart. What was wrong with him? Why had he hesitated?

“Well…” Jake dropped the empty Red Bull can in the trash. “When he gets back, maybe you should make sure he knows he welcome. He totally looks up to you.” He started for the door. “I think you hurt his feelings.”

Rick swallowed past a knot in his throat. What was his problem with this new arrangement? Didn’t it work in his and Hale’s favor? Yet the anxiety within continued to mount. Was he nervous about tripping up and Jake finding out about their secret love affair?

He sighed and took out his phone when Jake’s bedroom door closed. His call to Hale went straight to voicemail. Exhaling deeply, he left his message. “Hey,” he said quietly. “I’m sorry. I guess I was just caught by surprise. I do want you here, Hale. When you get back, we can talk, okay?” He paused then murmured, “I was already missing you when you went out to lunch. I’m…missing you now.” He started to say more but then ended the call instead when Jake’s bedroom door opened again.

His son reappeared, fully dressed. “I’m going to head over to Vicky’s. We’re going to go out to the swimming hole and help some of the guys set up for the bonfire. Be nice to Hale when he comes back.”

“I’m always nice to Hale,” Rick said. “And anyway, I called and left him a message, apologized. I’ll talk to him when he brings his stuff back.”

Jake nodded and looked at him. “Is everything okay with you?”

“Yeah. Why?”

The kid shrugged. “You’re not having, like…aftershocks over that date thing from last night, are you?”

Rick waved his hand absently. “No. I don’t care about that. I’m fine.”

“Okay.” Doubt lingered in Jake’s eyes. “Sometimes I worry about you.”

“Why is that?” Rick smiled.

“It just seems like you spend a lot of time alone, dad. You’re still in your prime. You should make more of an effort to get serious with someone.”

Rick chuckled softly. “Can’t get serious with them if they don’t show up for the date.”

“He was just a dud,” Jake assured with a smile. “Don’t let it stop you from trying again. You’re a cool guy with a lot to offer. It would be a shame to waste all that goodness and sexiness.”

A niggle of guilt burrowed into Rick’s heart. It bothered him deeply to keep secrets from Jake. He had never wanted it to be that way between them. “If you say so, son.” He laughed gently.

“I do.” Jake started for the doorway, then tossed back – “Until you find Mr. Right, go easy with the internet porn—that shit’s like a drug.” He chuckled with amusement and left the kitchen.

“Fuck,” Rick smiled and shook his head.

 

?

 

Hale couldn’t say why he turned his phone off as soon as he left the house—maybe to avoid any calls from friends? He didn’t feel like talking to anyone. The depth of his hurt startled him. Why should such a slight hesitation on Rick’s part cause him to feel so horrible? It wasn’t as if they were “dating”. Last night was the first time anything had happened between them—on any level. There hadn’t even been an exchange of a wanton look before then. Or had there? The night of his seventeenth birthday, when he’d made up an excuse to partially undress in front of Rick…he’d caught the brief yet admiring look in Rick’s eyes. It had been his fantasy that night, that Rick would take one look at his strong, developing body and take him right there on his bed. He’d known it wouldn’t happen—Rick would never have sex with a minor, even one who was teetering on the very edge of manhood—but the fantasy had been oh so sweet, and that one quick appreciative glance from Rick was the best birthday gift he’d ever received.

Stuffing his clothes haphazardly into a large sports bag, Hale stared blankly at the bed. Maybe he should stay a few more nights at his apartment. He didn’t have to get out immediately. His previous rent was paid up for a little over a week. Would Rick be happy if he chose not to move in that very day? Maybe he doesn’t want you getting the wrong idea about how serious this thing is between the two of you. Was it a possibility that Rick might feel self-conscious about going out with other men when Hale—his secret lover—was living in his home? Hale was young—did Rick think he might read too much into something that was just about sex?

Releasing a hard breath, Hale sat down on the bed. Was he making too much of it? They had a beautiful sexual thing developing—his fantasies come to life—did he really want to ruin it by assuming there were deeper emotions involved? Surely Rick wouldn’t really consider Hale an option for a serious relationship. Taboo sex was fun and exciting—for a while—but it rarely turned into something long-term. And all things considered, they were hardly a proper match for one another.

But it feels so fucking perfect when we’re together. Not just the sex…but everything. It had been so easy telling Rick about that first time with Barry Mandrake. He hadn’t even been able to tell Jake.

“Shit, dude,” he whispered with a strain of emotion. “Don’t fuck this up by falling in love with the man. He will never take this thing serious. He’s just blowing off steam and getting an ego boost in the process.” He sighed. “You will never be his boyfriend. Just accept it and enjoy the wild ride while it lasts.”

He dug out his phone. Maybe he’d text Jake and tell him he was staying at the apartment tonight. The thought of seeing Rick again today caused a pressure in his chest…an ache in his heart. You’re so fucked.

Clearing his throat and blinking back a sudden sting, he turned his phone on—and saw the notification of a new voicemail message. He punched in his PIN and listened to the message. His pulse spiked the instant he heard Rick’s voice—and his apology. There was sincerity in his tone when he said he wanted Hale there, and…I’m missing you now.

Hale squeezed his eyes shut and raked his fingers through his hair, his throat constricting until a strong ache webbed up into his face, burning his eyes behind his closed lids. When he opened his eyes, the room blurred a bit. Hale stood up quickly and cleared his throat as he zipped up the bag then shouldered it with the strap and left the apartment.

 

?

 

I think you hurt his feelings.

His son’s words lingered—and used his heart for a punching bag. Hale could be cocky, but just this morning he’d made himself vulnerable to Rick by telling Rick things he’d never shared with anyone else.

He totally looks up to you.

Hale had admitted to feeling safe with Rick. Did that mean apart from sex as well? The thought of having damaged Hale’s trust and sense of safety with him—even in the slightest—wounded Rick’s heart. The sudden urge to wrap the boy in his arms and comfort him, overwhelmed Rick. Maybe he was blowing it out of proportion and Hale wasn’t nearly as “hurt” as Jake thought, but if he’d caused him even a sliver of pain—it was too much.

His back pressed heavily against the wall, legs outstretched on the bed with the laptop sitting open on his thighs. A spreadsheet was open onscreen, but at the moment Rick could make no sense of the financial figures. Though his eyes rested on the screen, all he saw was the veiled dejected look on Hale’s face when he’d left earlier. Rick half expected him not to come back today. But maybe if he got his message-

A car pulled up out front and Rick tensed. He knew the sound of Jake’s car and it wasn’t his. A car door closed and a moment later, the front door of the house opened. Rick sat up straighter and listened as the door closed again, softly, then quiet footsteps walked down the hall and entered the spare bedroom. Closing the laptop, Rick set it on the nightstand and started to get up when the footsteps returned to the hall, went briefly silent, then came toward Rick’s bedroom.

Hale stepped hesitantly into the doorway and paused. The anxious, uncertain look on his face tore through Rick’s heart.

“Did you get my message?” Rick asked quietly.

Hale nodded.

Rick drew his legs up and sat cross-legged on the bed. “Come over here, Hale,” he murmured. “We need to talk.”

The boy stared at him a moment before he approached the bed. He sat down with one leg crossed under his other, one foot resting on the carpet.

“I meant what I said,” Rick told him. “I do want you here. I’m very sorry if I made you feel like I didn’t.”

“It’s okay,” Hale whispered.

“No…” Rick reached out and urged the young man into his lap, and wrapped his arms around him. “It isn’t okay. I shouldn’t have hesitated. It’s just…”

Hale rubbed his hands up Rick’s neck. “Rick,” he interjected quietly. “It’s okay. I think maybe I know why you weren’t sure about me moving in.”

“Hale, I wasn’t-”

“Just let me say this,” Hale swallowed thickly. “Or I won’t get it out.”

Rick nodded slowly.

“Rick…” He exhaled unsteadily and caressed the back of Rick’s neck. “Maybe you thought that if you eagerly invited me into your home, then I would get the wrong impression about all of this.” He shifted his eyes from Rick’s face. “But I know I will never be an option for you.” A slight strain entered his voice. “I know you’re not going to…” Hale licked his lips, his throat working a little. “…fall in love with me.” His words died away as his gaze rested on Rick’s shoulder…a faint glisten in his blue eyes. “And when…” his lips pressed tight, then slowly relaxed and trembled a little. “When you decide this is all over…I’ll bow out gracefully. Or…try to, anyway.”

A tremor ran through Rick and he wanted to speak, but Hale wasn’t finished.

Hale raised his eyes as tears formed. His fingertips played through Rick’s short dark strands. “What you’ve given me so far, it’s more than I’d ever hoped to experience with you in my entire lifetime.” He slid his hands to Rick’s face and caressed his thumbs over his cheeks, across his lips—and kissed him softly. “Whatever you’re offering,” he whispered thickly and kissed him again. “I’ll take it…and I won’t ask for more than you’re willing to give.” His chin trembled and tears welled. “Back at my apartment, I told myself not to fall in love with you and ruin everything.” He swallowed hard and a tear slipped free, sliding slowly down his face. “But I think…I think that happened a long time ago.” His arms curled around Rick’s neck and he hugged his head, his face pressed against his shoulder. “But I won’t let it interfere with…us. I don’t expect you to want that kind of relationship with me, and that it’s your choice if you want to…to see other men.”

The kid shuddered in Rick’s arms and he held Hale tighter, palms flattened against his back. The bedroom blurred and swam as the young man hugged him harder—clung to him—his body straining, struggling to hold his emotions in check.

“At first I didn’t know why I hesitated,” Rick whispered against Hale’s thick, soft hair. He caressed his back and kissed his head. “But I do now.” He let out a shaky breath. “I didn’t want to watch you going out with other guys…knowing they were getting what I wanted all for myself.” He pressed his lips to Hale’s hair. “And I don’t just mean your body.” Rick rubbed his hands up his back. “Last night, when you said you had fantasized about having all of me…it did something crazy to my heart, Hale.” He loosened his arms and drew back, kissing Hale deeply. “I don’t know how we’re going to do this, but God knows—this is what I want.” He kissed Hale again. “You. Just you.”

 

?

 

Hale’s heart tried to beat its way out of his chest. Just you. Could this really be happening? What about Jake? How long could they carry on a secret relationship before one or both of them messed up and exposed the secret in front of Jake?

“You really want this?” Hale breathed in hushed disbelief. “Really?”

Rick smiled and tenderly nibbled Hale’s lower lip. “Really, baby.”

His lips pursing, Hale murmured, “All of it? Even the dominant sex stuff…with all the bells and whistles—or in our case, whips and chains?”

Rick chuckled and hugged his body closer. “Oh God yes.”

“Yeah?” Hale pressed his head to Rick’s brow, his smile growing—along with other parts of him. He combed his fingers slowly through Rick’s hair. “You’re satisfied with just me?”

“Just me, he says.” Rick moaned and kissed him with mounting passion. “Hale…no one has ever made me feel the way you do. You fulfil my every desire, physical and emotional…spiritual.”

Hale rubbed his lips against Rick’s mouth. “Spiritual?”

“Mm.” Rick nodded. “When I’m inside your arms or inside your body…I’m in heaven.” He laid Hale down on the bed and covered him, dropping kisses on his throat. “And I worship you.”

Hale smiled and rubbed his hands up under the back of Rick’s shirt and moaned softly, “Then baptize me in love.”

 

?

 

“Well, hello, sexy.” Vicky leaned against the doorframe and smiled seductively at Jake, her slender body contorting sensually.

“Hello to you, honey.” Jake grinned.

Vicky laughed and flipped her strawberry blond curls off her shoulder as she stepped forward and kissed his cheek, then motioned him inside.

“You know,” Jake chuckled as she closed the door behind him. “Hale still thinks you’re imaginary, that I just made you up.”

“Well…” Vicky’s pretty face scrunched up. “You kind of did.”

“I guess, in a matter of speaking.” Jake laughed. He glanced into the small adjoining kitchen. “Is he here?”

Vicky smiled and nodded toward the short hall.

“Wonderful.” Jake kissed her cheek. “You’re a gem, my darling. Your brother was totally right about you.”

“Aw shucks.” Vicky smiled sweetly and batted her eyelashes.

Jake laughed. “You’re a crazy girl.”

I’m crazy.” She looked at him with a raised eyebrow. “After all your shenanigans, isn’t that like the pot calling the kettle black?” She tapped her lower lip, smiling. “Hm?”

“Well, to quote the infamous Norman Bates—We all go a little mad sometimes.”

“Oh God.” Vicky laughed and rolled her eyes. “Go.” She shoved him away.

Jake grinned and walked down the hall. He opened the last door on the right and sighed with deep appreciation at the glorious vision spread out naked on the bed. “Did you start without me?”

“Just warming up.”

Jake’s eyes drifted down to the strong hand as it slowly glided along the shaft of the beautiful, hard cock—glossy with lube. Hale was right—Lloyd Laramie was indeed sculpted to perfection.

 


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