He was everything I needed when I thought I had it all…As front man for the band everyone’s eyes are on me.I bask in the spotlightBecause it hides the flaws.Everyone has secrets.Mine will ruin everything I’ve built.My career, my music, my life…But keeping this secret?It’s breaking my heart.I knew how we would end before we startedAnd still I can’t resist him.Not everyone will understand.But I do.It’s simple.He’s the man I’m meant to love.How long can I deny who I truly am?Should I keep my secret or risk it all?
♦ ♦ ♦
♦ ♦ ♦
I can’t do this again.“I just want to talk to you,” he whispers. His lip brushes the edge of my ear, and I can’t help the full-body shudder that results from the contact. “Please.”I nod because I can’t find my voice. Since the day we met the only thing I’ve wanted is Adam opening up to me. Trusting me enough to expose all the dark corners. Allowing himself to be vulnerable and know I’d never exploit that vulnerability.“Before I met you, I thought I’d found the perfect balance. My life was neat, tidy. I’d found a way to have my cake and eat it too.” He rakes his teeth down the taut tendons on the side of my neck. I inhale sharply and muscles low in my stomach tighten.This is what he does to me. I lose myself in him, his touch, his words, in the porcelain heart that is insanely beautiful yet intensely fragile.He licks a path back up to my ear and my breath stutters out of my lungs. I reach down, clasping his thigh in a tight grip, trying to ground myself.Breathe Seth.He’s a solid warm anchor at my back, and I revel in the subtle contact of our bodies.“But you wouldn’t stay in the box.” He chuckles, his warm breath raising the fine hairs on the back of my neck.“The weird part was I didn’t want you to. You’re the first and only man I’ve ever wanted to spend the night. The only one I’ve ever invited to hang with my family. The fact I wanted that—wanted you—so badly scared me.” His hand drops from the door frame, and I watch fascinated as his long, elegant fingers trail down my arm to link with mine. “It still fucking scares me. Even when you’re gone, you’re never far away, at least not up here.” The fingers of his other hand tap his temple.“I tried leaving you alone. I really did. But then you showed up here. So untouchable,” he mutters, his tentative hands delving under my shirt to stroke down my chest with an uncertainty, like at any moment he expects me to turn away.“So self-contained. So fucking perfect and nothing was going to keep me away. Not from this door, this moment with you.”“We have to stop this. You don’t want what I want, and I can’t accept the little bit you’re willing to give me. Not anymore.”“I want you,” he whispers emphatically.I turn in the cage of his arms, bringing us face-to-face, my hands landing on either side of his waist. I need to look in his eyes when I tell him no, but the words don’t come out. He traces the contours of my face with the pad of one finger.The three inches that normally separate us in height is nonexistent. His eyes are right in front of mine, and in their depths I’m reading guilt, desperation, possession, longing, and . . . love.More than his words, or his kisses, the love shining in his eyes demolishes the wall I’ve spent the last year constructing between his heart and mine.It’s maybe the only thing that could. Adam Beckham loves me. The realization is bitter on my tongue, the juice of an unripe lemon that if given just a little more time and the right recipe would be so sweet.“And you want me.” He leans in, his lips hovering over mine for the barest second before dropping down. My pulse jumps in response, reminding me it’s been over three hundred and sixty-five days since I’ve had those lips on mine. They’re still just as full, just as skilled, just as sweet as I remember.“Of course I want you. But it’s deeper than that,” I say, wrapping my hands around his forearms.“Exactly.” He presses his forehead to mine. “We are deeper.”“Than what?” I demand brokenly. “Your career? Your fears? What is deeper than that because from where I’m standing everything with you is on the surface. And I . . . I can’t.”I turn my head away from his earnest pleading in a last-ditch effort to remain detached. “Someday I’ll make it up to you. I’ll work at it every minute of every hour.” He cups my chin, brining my face back toward his. “I swear.”He moves forward until his features blur in my vision. The first kiss is hesitant, light, seeking permission. When I don’t object, his hands curve around the back of my head, urging me to open to him.He weaves a sensual spell that tugs my body toward his. On a moan, I open, inviting him in. Our tongues are frenzied, wild. Our touches both eager and anxious. We pull apart, panting, eyeing each other warily.“Invite me in,” his gruff voice requests.I turn back toward the door, twisting the key in the lock. Looking at him over my shoulder, I reach back grasping his hand in mine. Together we walk into the darkness.
M. Jay Granberry is first and foremost an insatiable reader.Among her favorite things are classic fairy tales, smutty books where characters have heart, old lady sweaters (preferably chunky knit), gift baskets (giving not receiving), and charcuterie trays (green olives, smoked cheese, and Genoa salami).She is a true Las Vegas native, the one in Nevada not New Mexico, and to answer the most frequently asked questions about growing up in Sin City…
No, she doesn’t live in a hotel.
No, she has never been a stripper although she does know some.
Prostitution is absolutely illegal in Clark County (Las Vegas)!
And what happens in Vegas does indeed stay in Vegas.
M. Jay earned a degree in words and stories, and after fifteen plus years of doing everything other than writing, she penned her first novel.
Giving a voice to characters, that are strong yet fragile, that are sometimes uncomfortably real, that express love in dirtiest ways with the sweetest sentiments is honestly a dream come true.