“Hey, mate, got any toothpaste?”
The richly voiced request was accompanied by a couple of knocks on the cubicle door. Jared paused with his hand on the tap and turned toward the noise. He glanced at his bag, which sat on the small shelf protecting it from the shower floor. There was a spare tube in there. He supposed it wouldn’t hurt to pass it on.
“Hang on a sec,” he said, rummaging through his canvas holdall. He found the toothpaste and opened the door slightly--just enough to slip his hand through--but the door was pushed open farther as the person who stood on the other side accidentally pressed against it.
Jared managed to stop the door opening all the way, but it was too late to stop the man from copping a good look at his naked body, and for Jared not to take note of the stranger who stood on the other side of the door.
The man was tall and broad-shouldered, his wide chest angling to a trim waist and slim hips. The fact that those hips were encased in a white towel didn’t stop Jared’s gaze from seeking and finding the bulge beneath nor from appraising the long, muscular legs, which were trimmed with strong, well-defined feet. All those details were registered in a quick glance. His second, slower perusal just confirmed what he knew to be one hot, sexy male.
However, it wasn’t until his gaze leveled on the man’s face that Jared really appreciated what he was looking at. A sharply shaped jaw was softened by sensually full lips. His nose was straight and fitted the angled planes of his cheeks perfectly. But it was his eyes that struck Jared. They were a brilliant flame blue like nothing he’d seen before. And they were looking at him with the same burning desire that tightened Jared’s gut. Even then, he could have ignored what his body was telling him, but the man had soft-looking blond hair, and Jared had a real thing for blonds.
How he managed to stop the groan building in his chest, he didn’t know, especially when the other man took his own sweet time giving Jared a once-over. Jared tightened his fingers on the door where he held it, fighting the impulse to open it farther. He followed the man’s gaze, sucking in a tiny breath when it lingered on his groin. His cock, which hadn’t been getting any action lately, decided it liked the attention, and it took every scrap of Jared’s willpower to keep it from rising to the occasion.
When the man’s gaze finally returned to Jared’s, it was filled with a curious blend of lust and amusement and the recognition of one man’s want of another. “Nice,” he murmured, just soft enough to sound like he was talking to himself.
If Jared hadn’t been so intent on ignoring every carnal thought in his mind, he would have been affronted by the man’s description. He wouldn’t have said he was anything special, but he certainly wouldn’t have just labeled himself as nice. At close to six feet one, he was probably only an inch shorter than the other man. His shoulders were broader, and he carried more muscle on both arms and legs, but his stomach was lean and ripped, and his cock was long and thick, even recumbent, though it was doing its best to show off its full length and glory. And where the other man was blond, with pale, golden skin, Jared’s hair was dark, his eyes hazel, and his skin was deeply tanned, testament to spending a lot of time outdoors on his ranch.
The contrast couldn’t have been more acute, and for one startling second, Jared wondered what it would be like to rub up against the man’s fair skin and see if it was as soft as it looked.
“Your toothpaste,” he managed to grind out while handing the tube over, then he took a step back, both mentally and physically. It took even more effort to close the door on the man’s startled look.
Leaning back against the door, he took some deep, calming breaths and then cursed himself to hell and back. What was he thinking? But he wasn’t thinking anything; that was the point. He was feeling the demands of his body, and his body demanded sex. It had been a long, long time since he’d given in to its needs, and it had been even longer since he’d come across a man who attracted him as much as the blue-eyed stranger had. The fact that the attraction had been mutual--and instant--had his mind reeling and his body clamoring for release.
Fighting for control and against the urge to reopen the door and invite whatever pleasure the stranger offered, Jared stepped back up to the shower and turned it on. The hot, pulsing water was a relief to the aching tension in his back and shoulders, but it didn’t wash away the need that still broiled inside the tightened muscles of his stomach or the throbbing nuisance of his slowly growing cock.
Jared tried once more to suppress his needs, struggling to remind himself why this was not a good idea, but the remembered flash of those brilliant blue eyes as they perused the length of his body forced him to give up. His cock finally won, quickly thickening as blood rushed to fill and engorge the full length of his shaft.
Jacking off wasn’t the problem. Like any healthy male, he practically did it on a daily basis. What he suppressed was the longing to be with another man. Usually he managed to give his body relief by the simple act of pumping his fist over his cock, and no more. Sometimes, when his morale was at a low ebb, he would remember or fantasize about one of the men he’d been with, but that only increased his longing and reminded him that what he wanted, he couldn’t have.
After his last encounter in the back room of a bar, where he’d managed to satisfy a physical desire but not an emotional one, Jared had decided it wasn’t worth it. Physically it was too risky, too dangerous. One mishap that night with a ripped condom had him worrying about the precarious position he’d put himself in. He’d got himself tested and luckily had come up clean, but that wasn’t what really made him think about his future.
A quick blowjob or fuck with some nameless and faceless stranger wasn’t going to cut it for him anymore. They left him feeling empty and alone. Like most men of his age, he knew he wanted to settle down, find someone he could love. But when did an Aussie gay man get the chance at that? It was not unheard of, but it was rare, and he’d already accepted that, for him, it wasn’t going to happen. No one other than his family knew he was gay, and though he’d personally been able to acknowledge and act on his sexual preference, he wasn’t prepared to let anybody else know. Not in his closed-minded, small hometown, at any rate.
Right now, however, love wasn’t on his mind; satisfying the hunger that tore through him was.
He hadn’t wanted this, hadn’t wanted to put himself through the familiar feeling of loneliness, but as he closed his eyes and then slid his fist around his cock, Jared visualized the blue-eyed blond. The groan he’d trapped in his chest found an escape through his throat as he methodically squeezed and released with his fingers while slowly working his thick shaft with his hand.
The first thing he did in his mind was remove the towel from the man’s gorgeous body, allowing Jared to fully envision the man’s cock. His imagination saw just the right length, just the right thickness, beautiful and hard with a shiny head already coated with a bead of precum.
Jared moaned softly, already working his hand faster as his mind had the blond down on his knees, willing and ready to take Jared’s cock in his mouth. He almost felt the hot, moist tongue wrapping around him, teasing him, licking him, and the hard pull of firm lips sucking on him.
Panting, his thighs going weak, Jared planted his legs wider and placed the palm of one hand against the tiled wall to steady him while pulling on his cock harder, faster. Pleasure curled up from his balls, and his ass cheeks clenched as he tipped his hips forward, thrusting into his hand in an age-old rhythm.
He groaned again at the thought of kissing the stranger. He wanted to kiss his lips, taste the essence that would be on the man’s tongue, and in a flash Jared had him pressed against the shower wall, his mouth slanting hard, almost forcefully against the softer, more yielding one.
Imagination in overdrive, Jared felt his control fraying at the edges. His thoughts had never been so vivid, the need in him so primal. The distinctive pressure was building too fast. He wanted to slow it down, but any idea of doing so was taken from him when piercing blue eyes seemed to mock him from behind his closed lids. Whether it was the deeply buried isolation he felt or just simple craving, Jared didn’t know, but the stranger’s stunningly beautiful eyes conveyed what Jared’s heart desired: why think about him when he could have him?
That one thought was enough to push him over the edge. With a strangled cry, he came. Thick, creamy streams of semen splattered against the tiled shower stall with each pulse of his cock and pull of his hand until slowly, empty, he sank to the floor, the hot water still pounding his back and shoulders but doing nothing now to ease the tension that settled there.
The emotional turmoil his release provoked was one of the reasons Jared hadn’t wanted to do this in the first place. Visualizing a man as he’d done just now always left him feeling more vulnerable, more alone. It made him want to risk going out there and finding a mate. A permanent one.
The hoarse laugh that ripped up his throat held no humor. Fuck, why did his life have to be so hard? Why couldn’t he find happiness, peace?
Because you won’t open yourself to it
. The whispered words were not something he wanted to hear right now, but he knew them as the truth. He didn’t open himself up because he was afraid of getting hurt.
What man wasn’t?
A few minutes later, he shut off the shower and dried off. He put on clean underwear and a T-shirt, but the jeans he had worn yesterday would do him for another day. His spare pair was at the bottom of his duffel. He would need those soon because he still had another two days of driving ahead of him before he got home.
Home. The thought of it brought a smile to his lips. It had taken a lot of years to get the ranch he’d wanted, and he was close to being able to work it full-time and give up the trucking company he owned and ran. These long trips took a lot out of him and he hated being away from the land and breeding farm he’d slowly built from scratch, but they were a necessity, at least for a little while longer.
Slinging his duffel over his shoulder, he quickly checked the stall to see if he’d left anything behind. Satisfied, he stepped out into the common walkway that divided the stalls from the toilets, and into the heated gaze of one very aroused male.
It was almost like a physical wave enveloping him, surrounding him, filling him with instant need--again. Shocked, Jared stopped and stared at the man. Those blue eyes were fixed on his, observing, assessing. Jared felt himself being drawn into their depths; he was drowning in a sea of blue. Erotic images crowded his mind once again, and the erection he’d only just slaked came back in full force.
Now dressed, the man was no less devastatingly handsome than he’d been almost naked. He wore soft denim jeans and a snug black T-shirt that emphasized every well-toned muscle. Slung over one shoulder was a bag similar to Jared’s own, and casually draped over his arm was a black leather jacket. He nonchalantly leaned back against the brick wall, or so it would seem at first glance. His casual stance, however, was belied by the thick bulge behind his zipper.
The man’s stiff cock filled up the front of his jeans, and Jared wondered if he’d done anything about it earlier and it had gotten hard again, or if he’d simply waited. Either way Jared couldn’t take his eyes off it until the man shifted his weight, bringing home the realization that he wasn’t supposed to be staring at another man’s crotch in public.
He glanced up into the face that had recently accompanied him in one explosive orgasm, and felt both deliriously happy and cautious at the same time, though he had no idea what there was to feel happy about except that the man had obviously been waiting for him. They stared at each other for what could only have been seconds but which seemed like an eternity, one in which Jared felt himself tested. Then the man nodded as if deciding something.
“What?” Jared asked, instinctively knowing the decision had been about himself.
“Just making sure what I felt earlier was real.”
“And?” Why did he feel hopeful? Why did he want that blue gaze to linger on him?
“I think you know the answer to that.” The stranger pushed away from the wall and took a predatory step closer.
Jared stood his ground though he felt like backing into the stall behind him and slamming the door again. It was safer, if not exactly constructive. The other man seemed to know what he was thinking, because he smiled. Jared had to hold his breath to stop the air from being forcefully expelled from his lungs. Wow, the man knew how to smile. Did he know how to kiss too? Though Jared thought he also knew the answer to that, he wanted to find out. Really wanted to find out.
Natural caution warred with a desire to explore the possibilities, which didn’t just end at a kiss. Caution won, and he wasn’t a tease. He didn’t want to lead the man on or be led on.
“Look, this is not going to happen between us,” he said, noting the sound of regret in his tone and wondering at it.
“Why not? You can’t deny the attraction. You’re not denying your sexuality, are you?”
“No, I’m not.” Jared didn’t want to get angry, not in the face of such open sincerity. He supposed the question was normal. “But I don’t do quick fucks in shower rooms.”
“Nor do I. I like to fuck real
slow.” The soft, husky drawl did things to Jared he hadn’t thought possible, not from just hearing someone speak.
The man smiled again, and this time Jared huffed out a breath, but then couldn’t draw one back in.
The smile turned into a grin. “Can I buy you a coffee, then?” the blond asked.