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Denise Alicea

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Contemporary Romance, Multiple Partners

Date Published: June 21, 2024

 

 

Brady Sampson and Myer Joyner met in college, quickly bonding in their
business classes and both landing gigs at nearby Global Initiatives in
scenic Lost Lake, Tennessee. Combining their signing bonuses to invest in a
rental house beside the lake together, the two take to being roommates the
way they have every other challenge they’ve faced over the past two
years — secretly pining for one another while never speaking a word about
it.

That is, until their sexy new coworker, Carly Carmichael, produces an
uncommonly sensual stirring in both men. When Brady invites their new
neighbor over for a meet and greet, she takes him up on the offer on the one
day he’s out. While she and Myer sip wine and get to know each other
better, both let it slip that they have a crush on Brady, unleashing a
series of events that threaten to topple everything they thought they knew
about each other.

 

 

EXCERPT

“White or red?”

Brady Sampson glanced over at his new roomie, Myer, holding up two wine
bottles and wearing an almost face-splitting grin. He struggled to ignore
the equally cataclysmic ripples of desire that rang through his body as he
kept a placid look on his face.

“Which do you prefer?” Brady answered.

Myer glanced from bottle to bottle as if he’d never seen them before,
giving Brady time to openly adore his big, veiny hands as he held each
aloft. “I always drank beer before now.”

Brady chuckled, never less than amused by Myer’s vaguely off-kilter
outlook on life. “So why don’t we grab some beer
then?”

Myer wrinkled his nose, nostrils flaring under a spray of cheery soft
freckles to go with his mop of strawberry blond stubble. “I dunno,
this seems so grown up right now, you know?”

Brady steered his own shopping cart closer, inching into the liquor aisle
to join his new roomie. “Beer is grown up,” he suggested,
studying the labels next to the shelf where Myer lingered. “And
cheaper, too.”

Myer gave him a “spoilsport” frown but set the bottles back
just the same. “Dude, you’re not going to be one of those
cheap-ass roomies who puts his food on one shelf and mine on the other and
pro-rates the rent if I happen to steal a grape or two, are
you?”

Brady chuckled. “No, of course not. I just don’t really feel
like paying for stuff I’m not going to drink, you know?”

Myer considered this as if he’d never thought of it before.
“Valid point, I suppose.” His big fingers did unspeakable things
to Brady’s already lurid imagination as he moved down the aisle, touching
several brands of champagne. “Bubbly then?”

Brady nodded, as if equally inspired. “That’ll work,” he
agreed, taking one of the two bottles from Myer’s hand.

“Hey!” Myer’s youthful face — oh yeah, he was definitely
getting carded, for sure — broke into a surprised grin. “I thought I
was in charge of alcoholic beverages this time.”

“You are, but that doesn’t mean you’re paying for it
all.”

Myer’s gaze quickly assessed the running total of Brady’s
half-full shopping cart. “You’re paying for the steaks already,
though.”

“Cuz they come in a two-pack. You want me to tear them in half and
get the butcher to rewrap them?”

Myer frowned, looking effortlessly casual in a mustard-colored V-neck and
striped blue Madras shorts, the clothing seeming to hang off his lean, rangy
frame the same way his shirt and ties did at work every day. “Fair is
fair, though.”

“Now who’s the cheap one? Huh, Myer?”

Myer glanced at his own cart, only slightly less full than Brady’s.
They were facing each other in the liquor aisle, carts side by side, just
two bros out shopping like any other two bros out shopping. And yet, to
Brady at least, the seemingly humdrum errand had such an intimate feel to it
he had to struggle to keep from sweating.

“I mean,” Myer teased, nudging Brady’s elbow with no idea
of what that little tremor from his touch felt like racing through
Brady’s body. “Have you seen the price of yogurt
lately?”

Brady snorted, romantic reverie suddenly broken. “No, Myer, because
I’m not a retired housewife on a diet.”

They chuckled together, drifting onto the next aisle and quibbling over
potato chips and pretzels like an old married couple. Brady struggled to
keep things light when all he wanted was to reach out and grab Myer’s
hand and cling to it like they were an actual couple.

He swallowed the desire, as he had all his life, and played it cool
instead. Said the right things. Glanced Myer’s way just long enough,
but never too long. Walked just close enough to him as they argued over
wheat bread versus rye, and never too close. Laughed just hard enough,
smiled just wide enough, sending all the right signals like he always
had.

He’d leapt at the chance to room with Myer when they both got transferred
to the Tennessee branch of Global Initiatives after their internship at the
corporate offices in Latham, Georgia. They’d hit it off as interns,
sharing lunch breaks and chatting it up in the campus gym after weekend
workouts. Brady thought it would be the perfect way to solidify their
friendship, even if he knew they could never be more than that. He thought
he could be strong, thought he could fight the temptation, thought it would
be easy, like it had been back when they’d just shared a
cubicle.

But now? Sharing a sprawling house out on secluded Lost Lake, shopping
together, padding barefoot down the same halls in various stages of undress?
Suddenly Brady wondered if he was strong enough to weather the ups and downs
of living with someone who only wanted to be friends.

When obviously, achingly, frustratingly, Brady wanted to be so much
more.

 

 

About the Author

Alex Winters is the pseudonym of a busy restaurant manager whose curious
young staff would love nothing more than to follow him around the dining
room reading his steamiest, most romantic passages aloud! When not writing
romantic holiday stories of various heat levels, he enjoys long walks with
his wife, scary movies and smooth jazz. Visit him online to see what stories
are brewing up next!

 

Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Instagram

 

Publisher on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok:
@changelingpress

 

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1 comment

RABT 06/19/2024 - 2:55 pm

Thanks for posting

Reply

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