Jeremiah by Jayce Ellis
Series: High Rise #1
Release Date: January 6, 2020
Subgenre: Contemporary m/m romance
Jeremiah Stewart’s sexuality is no one’s business. Not that he’s hiding it. When—if—he finds the right one, he’ll absolutely introduce him to Mom. But a late-night brush with a sexy stranger in too much lip gloss has him rethinking nearly everything… To Collin Galloway, direction is a four-letter word. Sure, he hates his job, he hates living with his parents and he really hates watching everyone move on without him. But he doesn’t know what he wants to do, long-term, and he won’t figure it out by thirsting over Jeremiah, the superhot, superintense paramedic who is suddenly everywhere Collin looks. When Jeremiah’s faced with losing all he’s worked so hard to build, he reluctantly accepts
Collin’s help. They’re both determined to stay professional…which works about as well as either would imagine. But Collin only does closets with clothes, and Jeremiah has to decide if he’s finally found the one worth bringing home to Mom. All buy links or pre-order links: Apple: https://apple.co/2QjjHD0 Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2se2WBa Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2Qi7Yox Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ZjZIIt Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2MlnpuD
Somewhere along the way, the tension fell off and we were just two people talking. After almost two hours, Collin stood, laced his fingers together, and stretched his arms over his head. His shirt rolled higher, enough to see the hair that trailed below his belt. Catnip.
A startled laugh made me look up. Collin had the smallest frown on his face, like he couldn’t quite believe I was ogling him, again. To be honest, I couldn’t either. I needed my interest to be reciprocated without reservations, and I didn’t have that here. And that made it creepy.
“I’m sorry,” I said.
Collin hugged his arms to his stomach and sat back down. “About what?”
“That.” I gestured between us, until his brow rose. “Making you uncomfortable.”
“I—” He cut himself off and frowned, his brows pulling together sharply. “I’m sorry, too.”
I jerked a little hearing that. “What the hell do you have to be sorry for?”
He inhaled and I watched his chest expand, then he exhaled so hard I thought he’d topple over. “I’ve been rude and dismissive and needy and all over the place since I met you. I didn’t mean to, but…” He shrugged, and I remembered the way his breath caught when I got close.
I waved before stepping on [the elevators] and pressing the button for ten. I just barely caught the muffled “hold that” from down the hall.
No lie, I was tempted to let it close and let whoever it was catch the next one, but I pressed the door open button and three people staggered on. And I fucking choked on air because one of them, a dark-haired man with brown eyes smudged with liner, was about the prettiest thing I’d ever seen.
He was also apparently the only sober one, and he gave me a tiny smile. “Thanks. Appreciate it.”
I nodded and posted up in the corner. The girl could barely stand up straight, probably part liquor and part the obscene heels she was wearing, and the other guy, a blond, was red-cheeked and giggling to himself. But the brunet could get it, even though the pseudo-spiky hair that had probably been perfect a few hours ago had wilted in this fuck-ass humidity. White boy problems. His shirt was sticking to him, and…did that bitch say PrEP-py on it? Like a neon sign he was trying to hit. I homed in again on the blue liner and sparkly lip-gloss he was gnawing off. I wanted to stop him, soothe that bruised lower lip with my tongue, and…the thought made my body stir in ways it hadn’t for months.
Fucking hell. I closed my eyes and willed my imagination and my dick to calm all the way down.
The floor dinged to a stop and I looked forward to find him staring at me, his eyes wide and searching and gorgeous. Eighth floor. I held my arm out while he and the blond, but mostly he, helped the woman off, but her foot caught in a thread on the carpet and she stumbled, taking the blond down with her. They laughed, the sound almost hyena-like with the wheezing and gasping, while the brunet stood there, his shoulders and head sagging. Fuck it, the way this night was going, they wouldn’t get any farther if I left them. I stepped out and let the elevator close behind me.
“You need some help?” I asked.
Dark-hair looked at me, his eyes wide, and shook his head. “Oh, no need. I’ve got them.”
See, now nine times out of ten I would’ve found that endearing, that he was cautious of me as a stranger and wanted to make sure his drunk friends were okay. And my Black ass knew better than to involve myself with drunk folks. I was going to pay for this later.
“I’m a paramedic. Let me help.” I bent over and scooped the girl into my arms, settling her head against my shoulder. She smelled like cheap liquor and expensive perfume, and didn’t that sum up DC in a nutshell? “Where am I going?”
He gnawed on that lip again.
“Stop that,” I said, and he jumped. Skittish little thing. I wanted him.
“Jeremiah, can I talk to you?”
He didn’t break stride, not even for a beat. I quickened my step to catch up before stopping a few feet away.
He paused, like he was considering it, and took another step. Then he turned, his jaw so tight I could see the muscle twitch, his shoulders squared off, fingers flexing at his side. Not anger. More like tightly held control. And why was I persisting? To prove I wasn’t the scaredy-cat I’d been the first time?
“What is it?” His voice held none of the warmth from last week, none of the kindness he’d given Ryan.
I gulped. “I just—thank you for helping my friend.”
“It’s my job.”
“Tonight, maybe, but not this weekend it wasn’t.”
He lifted his shoulder, like it wasn’t a big deal. Like anyone would have done the same. They wouldn’t, and I knew it. And he knew it.
I took another step. “I’m sorry for blowing you off before.”
That stopped me. The single-word question rolled off his lips so easily. Why. Why was I sorry? Because I’d been immediately attracted to him, or because I thought, for a split second before I screwed it up, that he might reciprocate it, and the idea scared me shitless?
Some of the above? All of the above? Another reason entirely?
He kept talking. “Look, don’t trip. It’s late, your boy’s going to be here for a minute, and I’ve got to go.”
But he didn’t move. So I took another step. He looked up, away from me for the first time, scanning the parking lot before resettling his attention. I closed the gap between us, until we were at the cusp of personal boundaries.
“I want to thank you,” I said. And holy hell, what the fuck was I doing?
Jeremiah’s brow shot up. “What does that mean?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. Coffee, dinner, or…” I didn’t know how to finish that. The hell you say. You know exactly how to finish that.
Jeremiah took me in, surveyed the lot again before he finally took a step, eviscerating the space between us in one move. “Or what?”
I jutted my chin up and stared him in the eye. “Whatever you want.” Blood pulsed through my veins. Jesus hell, what was I doing?
He smiled, a slow, boxers-dropping smile, and I swallowed a moan that threatened to burst free. “You offering to thank me with sex, baby?”
I gulped. “I mean, if that’s what you want.” My voice sounded breathy, like it belonged to someone else. Someone stronger, someone unashamed to admit what he wanted.
Jeremiah straightened and looked behind him, and I remembered he wasn’t alone. His partner was around here somewhere, but for the life of me I couldn’t see the ambulance. I didn’t know if that would stop me if he wanted me. I didn’t know if anything would stop me if he wanted me.
Jeremiah turned back, then trailed a long finger against my jawline, bringing me imperceptibly closer to him. I leaned into his touch, knowing already that it wouldn’t be enough. Nothing but everything would be enough. Heat radiated from him and I was desperate for more.
“Goddamn, you’re beautiful,” he whispered in my ear, his breath ghosting across my skin. I felt him even after he pulled away.
“Th-thank you.” Still breathy, but with a pounding heart and a painfully hard cock to match.
His lips wisped across my ear. “But maybes and if yous aren’t yeses, and that’s the only sex I get down with. Besides,” he said, pulling away and walking backward to the alley next to the side of the entrance, “I don’t know your name and I’m sure your mans is waiting for you.”
He turned away, and my false bravado collapsed with it. I watched his back, the uncaring way he moved proving what shot I’d had was gone.
About the author:
Jayce Ellis has three loves: her husband and her two turtles. Hubby loves her back. The turtles she’s not so sure about, but they do love their sports (Bay Area teams FTW!). She still hasn’t figured out why she lives in Northern Virginia, where there’s weather, instead of California, where she’s from, and where it’s just…pretty. Jayce spends her days divorcing happily-married couples (or so she’s been told), and her nights talking maniacally to herself. Thankfully the recorder catches her rumblings and magically turns them into words on a screen. Painting nails is way easier when you don’t actually have to type, and with well over 500 polishes to get through, there’s a lot of painting going on. Notwithstanding her no-good, very bad, horrible day job, Jayce seriously believes that true love conquers all. Even Maleficent said it. Sure, she was having an epic Mean Girls moment at the time, but she still said it. And she’s right. The only thing Jayce loves more than writing about true love conquering all, is hearing from readers who feel the same way.
Facebook: Jayce Ellis author Website: http://www.jayceellis.com
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