Home > Change of Course (Change of Hearts #3)

Change of Course (Change of Hearts #3)
Author: Sierra Hill

 


Prologue

 

 

Kyler

I spot the closeted gay man the minute I see him.

It’s not too hard in this raucous bar filled with out and proud men. But I confirm my suspicions when he orders his first drink. It’s in the way his eyes flash away discreetly, avoiding mine except for a flick of a second when they sear into mine right before he drops them to the table.

But in that one moment of hesitation, two things become abundantly clear about this man. One, he is daringly gorgeous with a level of sophistication and confidence only found in well-bred, groomed, and pedigreed upper-class men of wealthy means. I see it in the tailored and well-designed three-piece suit (who even wears those anymore?) and the glint of his expensive watch. And lest we forget the shiny black credit card he hands to me.

Yeah, that black card.

The second, and more telling aspect of his closeted gayness, is the way he licks his bottom lip and then sucks in a deep breath when our eyes do meet only for the briefest of moments. There’s a look of both discomfort and desire warring against each other, as if he’s deciding whether to do something about the attraction or let it be.

And let me tell you, I’m not an easy man to walk away from. I know how to turn on the charm and charisma with the sweep of my full mouth.

But even my flirty grin that usually works like a charm when I turn it on doesn’t do the trick with this one. The man glances away as if resolving to keep his hands off and look but not touch.

It’s a shame because there are lots of goods available in this lust-filled haven.

Yeah, I know. I’m shameless and am not lacking in the self-confidence department. But I do tell it like I see it and I have a knack for recognizing the closeted ones who want something from me. Truth be told, I’ve seen them all walk through these bar doors all looking for the same thing: a safe place to let loose and be who they were born to be.

If you’re wondering what I like, I’m a bit of a daddy-chaser. Well, a reformed one that is because I’ve turned over a new leaf ever since my ex dropped me like an old hag for a newer model. Despite that bitter resentment, I’m a pretty easy-going guy and will sleep with anyone who’s down for a good time. That’s what happens when your heart is shattered to pieces and you’re kicked out of the only home you ever shared with the man you thought would be your forever.

Fuck forevers. I won’t fall into that sham again.

I continue to watch – and not all that surreptitiously, either - the man at the end of the bar who I find mildly entertaining.

My Spidey-senses tell me he is someone who is in such deep denial of his sexuality that he might as well be the GM of California Closets because he will never step out of the well designed closet he’s designed for himself.

I shake my head at the inevitable. The guy is too easy to read. He’s just looking for something other than the Mitzys or Buffys he’s dated all his entire life under the guise of a straight man, and instead have a hot fuck with a Charles or a William.

Yet even here, at Cactus Pete’s, the gay bar I work at in downtown Phoenix, where it’s open season on any willing guy, he’s as emotionally and physically closed off as a dam.

And it’s a shame because he is one hot, tall perfect package that I wouldn’t mind undressing and seeing if I could bring him to his knees with my mouth.

Checking in on the few customers as I work my way down the bar to Mr. Closet, I sidle up to him across the bar counter, dropping my elbow, and lazily prop my chin in my palm.

“How’s the dirty martini going down? Dirty enough for you?”

I give him a saucy smile and a playful wink as his eyes dart to mine. And whoa. I’m taken by the level of intensity in his outrageously green marbled gaze, the flecks of gold and copper brightening his otherwise secretive eyes.

“Huh?” he responds, clearly startled, as he’d been reading over some paperwork laid out on the bar top. His gaze drifts to the empty glass in front of him and his fingers curl around the stem, pushing it toward me as if he finally realized why I’d ask. “Oh, yes. It was perfect. I probably shouldn’t have another one. I’ve got work to do.”

I lean over the edge, my belly and hip scraping over the marbled counter, and push my mouth next to his ear. Oh man, he smells incredible. A crisp soapy scent mixed with expensive cologne. Probably French. Definitely not the cheap over-the-counter shit I get lungfuls of in this place on any given night. Nah, this man is high class and far too above the fray in here.

Which means I can’t help but find a way to fluster the shit out of him.

“You know, if you want it even dirtier, I can do that for you. I’m really good at making it dirty.”

I slink back off the counter, tucking the edge of my shirt back down where it had risen over my belly, showing off my sleek abs and skin. I lick my lips enticingly and step back. Apparently, Mr. Put-Together got a nice view of my stomach before I covered it back up because I notice the twitch of his fingers and the tightening of his jaw.

Without meaning to, I burst out laughing, waving my hand in the air at him. “Oh my God, dude. You should see yourself right now. Did I just insult your tender sensibilities with my innuendo?”

In a flash, he jerks his shoulders back with righteous indignation.

“No,” he scoffs, rolling his eyes. “I was just trying to figure out if you meant the drink or something else.”

Once again, I bend over the counter, my elbows pinched tight to my ribs, hands clasped in front of me, and give him an innocent lift of my eyebrow.

“I guess if you don’t know, then you don’t want what I have to offer.”

I spin on my heels, ready to walk away when I feel his large hand curl firmly around my forearm, jerking me back toward him.

Now that’s what I’m talking about. I like a firm grasp on a man. I like the sting of pain and the heat from his grip. I whip my head up and stare him down, holding his gaze.

“No, I do know what I want.” His eyes travel the length of my body, his piercing eyes blazing with desire. “And the drink is only a start.”

 

 

1

 

 

Lucas

I think my first love has always been art.

My Aunt Meredith would take me into New York when I was a kid from my home in Connecticut to attend art gallery shows and museum exhibits. I was fascinated and thrilled with the way artists could shape, mold, and paint such vivid, glorious works, creating life through their art.

That love grew and developed until I majored in Art History in college – much to my family’s chagrin – which led me into a role as a college professor after graduation. I never seemed to fit within anyone’s mold. I played basketball and majored in art. A truly odd combination but they were my two passions.

My second love hit me out of nowhere like a 100-mile per hour fastball into the solar plexus when I was twenty. And caused me more sleepless nights than anything else ever would.

It happened during my sophomore year in college while I was playing basketball on the men’s team with Garrett Parker. He was and is still my best friend. And during that year as roommates, I fell in love with him.

The problem with this love story?

Garrett is straight and he believes I am too. As does my family. No one knows I’m gay because I’ve never come out. And I certainly never expressed my unrequited love to my best friend. I’m not stupid and didn’t want to lose my friendship.

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