Title: Blue Author Name: DP Denman Publication Date: September 25, 2015
One ultimatum cost him everything.
It was supposed to save him, bring a new beginning, a new life. Instead, it destroyed it all. Blue’s escape from a program designed to cure him left him near death, broken and alone, with nothing to rely on but the kindness of a stranger.
Brady had a quiet, orderly existence until a blue-eyed hurricane landed in his backyard. Hostile and headstrong, Blue doesn’t need in a lover. He needs a cooler head to balance his fury. Someone to save him from himself.
Without a future, and only the wreckage of his past, Blue must repair his life. Can Brady settle the chaos of a man no one can tame or will the attempt break them both?
A burst of resolve pushed Blue through the open doors of Brady’s office but left him speechless when he crossed the threshold. Brady stood near the window in a dark polo shirt that covered broad shoulders and the swell of pecs. He knew from experience that body was as solid as the wall he was tempted to lean against for support. Desire made him dizzy, anxious, twitchy.
“Hi.” Brady smiled when he saw him, an expression that had always been warm and reassuring.
He let it soothe him as he stepped further into the room caught between the fear of looking like an idiot and frustration over unanswered questions. He grabbed the frustration and held it close.
“I have a question, and I don't know how to ask it.”
“Well,” Brady rested his ass against the windowsill and crossed his legs at the ankles, “you can either stumble around with it or just spit it out. I'm okay with blunt.”
“You might be sorry you said that in a minute.” He tried to smile, refusing to wipe sweaty palms on his jeans. “Are you gay?”
Brady's eyebrows twitch up his forehead, and he blinked. “That's blunt.”
“I said you'd be sorry.”
“You did.” Brady nodded, folding his arms.
Brady took longer contemplating the answer than he'd expected. He didn't know what that meant. His stomach clenched, heat spreading through his chest, threatening to bubble into a blush so hot it charred his skin.
“Yes. I'm gay.” Brady stared back at him.
He was so relieved he wanted to laugh. He hadn't misread that part, and if that much was true, he wondered if he'd misread any of it. He decided to stick with blunt.
“In that case, I have another question.” He took a few steps closer, leaving several feet between them.
“I thought you might.”
“Do you like me?”
“Of course, I like you.”
“No. I mean are you into me?”
Brady's attempt at a pleasant expression crumpled into a frown. “Why?”
“Because I've been feeling things and sensing things, and I'm tired of guessing whether they’re real.”
It was the most honest he'd been with anyone in months and for the first time since running off to fail at life a year ago, he didn't feel the tight knot of apprehension that usually followed those confessions.
He had secrets. Dark things he never shared because the camp taught him more than how to loathe physical contact. It taught him the value of keeping everything to himself. Brady was the exception. Blue kept him in the dark because he hid everything from everyone, but Brady knew most of his secrets already. Nothing he confessed ever seemed to shock him, though that conversation came close.
“What kind of things?” Brady's tone was quiet, gentle.
“Things that make me wish I wasn't afraid to touch you.”
Brady added a sad smile to the frown. “I wish you weren't either, but it might be better that way.”
“Because I don't think you're ready for this.”
Disappointment flung itself against his ribs in an aching fit. The anger that flashed through him an instant later burned it to ash.
“How do you know what I'm ready for?” he demanded.
“We wouldn't have much of a relationship when Mary is the only one who can touch you without sending you into orbit.”
“Like you've tried.”
“You're the one who said you're afraid to touch me. Don't pretend I'm jumping to conclusions,” Brady said.
“So I'm afraid. So what? That doesn't mean I wouldn't do it anyway.”