Violence spills into the local ER, catching Hunter and Shawn in the crossfire. In the aftermath, buried passion explodes, pulling them into a hot encounter that leaves both men wanting more. Each man has good reason to keep his distance, but when the past catches up with Shawn, they must run for their lives.
At least they’re running together.
Hunter watched Shawn take a few more sips, which he seemed to like, his amusement twinkling in his eyes when he saw how outrageously floored Hunter was that Shawn was here. He put the wine glass down and toed off first one Converse, then the other, revealing cold-looking pale bare feet. He grabbed the hem of the flannel and the T-shirt as one and pulled it off over his head. When Shawn reached for the belt buckle of his jeans, Hunter found his voice.
“Stop,” he said.
Shawn blushed. “I misunderstood?”
“Not one iota.”
He took a step toward Hunter. “Then what?”
“Can’t we go slower? Have a little more wine? Not jump into it again like someone hasn’t just tried to kill us?”
Shawn’s eyes widened at that. He handed Hunter his wine glass, and he chugged it.
“I thought I was the nervous one,” Shawn said. “My fingers kept slipping off the keys.”
“I’ve had too much time to think.” The wine hit his belly with a nice warm rush.
“That makes two of us.” Shawn nodded. “You don’t show it, Hunter. You always look so calm.”
“Uh,” he said.
Shawn’s smile was on low voltage, but zapped Hunter just the same. “Show me your place?”
The kitchen shrank with the two of them in it. A long counter with a window at the end of it, a small table for two, and along the wall the fridge and the stove. Yellow walls and white cabinets he frequently cracked his head on. Black and white tile and homey touches from his brother’s wife, Joan—handmade potholders and embroidered tea towels he would never buy for himself.
They walked through the living room, past the couch and matching chair, a rocking chair and table, and his diplomas on the wall: Bachelor of Science in Biology from Umass/Amherst and Masters of Science in PA Studies from Northeastern. Alongside these were framed prints of the woods in winter, mountains, and a quiet lake. These Shawn examined, then scanned Hunter’s CD collection, and tapped the Bose on to the classic rock station with another amused glance at him.
The shelves held mostly work-related books, pictures of his family, and lots of dogs. There was a good one of the dog of his childhood. He wanted to tell Shawn about them, but he didn’t dare let him any closer than that, wouldn’t.
Don’t let me, Shawn.
Hunter leaned against the doorframe between kitchen and living room, watching Shawn walking around his place half-naked, his tight ass, and the broad expanse of his bare shoulders. He wasn’t skinny but lean, long hard muscles lay beneath his usual flannel and denim.
Hunter felt okay, better than okay, then. He began to move toward Shawn, whose eyes glittered, the smile coming back, not yet to its full wattage.
“Why do you dye your hair that color?”
Shawn retreated to the CD rack again. Chose one and popped it into the Bose. “I have Goth pretensions.”
Rolling Stones, Gimme Shelter poured from the speakers. “To conquer Rome?”
Shawn laughed and shook his head. “Not that ambitious.”
“Come on, at least cross the Rubicon.” Hunter reached for him, caught again in that smile. Chest to chest, Hunter leaned in for the kiss, his arms going around Shawn, fingers sliding down his strong back, dipping between jeans and skin. Shawn locked his arms around Hunter, fisted hands resting on the small of his back, and jerked him even closer. They stood there and kissed, blissed out.
When Hunter let Shawn speak again, Shawn said, “I’m really a blond.”