Jamie smiled. It looked as if he’d surprised Mark Ryan. He was used to guys—and girls—assuming he was straight. He didn’t mind. Sometimes it was easier to go along with the assumptions. There were so many stereotypes attached to being gay that didn’t ring true for him, for most gay guys probably, that he preferred to make acquaintances unburdened by them.
But he didn’t mind being upfront about his sexuality with this guy.
He’d seen Mark Ryan only once before, standing on his deck, as he was now. But instead of the tired expression and wrinkled professional dress, he’d worn a relaxed smile and a bathing suit. And Christ, he was hot. In an older guy, sedate way, a few gray hairs here and there mixed in the black, but hot all the same. At the time, Jamie had been on the verge of striking up a conversation when a knockout redhead in a bikini came up behind the hottie and put her arms around his waist.
At that, Jamie supposed he had his answer as to whether the guy might be open to a little summer romance. Apparently not if it involved somebody else’s penis, so Jamie had just continued along the beach with Laddie. It was only later, when he came across the redhead in the local bar and got to talking to her, that he realized a picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes it didn’t tell the full story.
“So his name is Ryan? Some corporate hotshot?”
“Are you with him?” Jamie had asked as casually as he could.
“I wish!” The redhead—Nancy, she’d said her name was—downed another vodka shot, her third by his count. If the girl fucked as hard as she drank, Ryan was probably missing out on something.
“Really? I’m surprised. You looked pretty cozy when I saw you on his deck.”
“That’s only because I invited myself into his place wearing my skimpiest bikini and practically offered myself up to him on a plate. He declined, if you know what I mean.”
Jamie shrugged. “Maybe he was with somebody else.”
“Only if the ‘somebody else’ had a cock.”
Jamie’s own twitched. “Hmm,” he said noncommittally. “Maybe, no offense, he wasn’t that into you.”
She ordered another vodka. “No offense yourself, handsome, but if I don’t miss my guess, you play on the same team.”
He smiled. “Most people don’t get that unless I tell them. What gave me away?”
“You didn’t look at my boobs once.”
“I’m a gentleman.”
“And you didn’t wonder how Ryan could have resisted me.”
He laughed. “Full of yourself, aren’t you?”
“It’s just the way it works, sweetie.”
He found himself liking the brash redhead. His eyes dipped down. She did have pretty spectacular tits. Even a guy who didn’t go that way—usually, anyway—had to admit that.
“So go ahead and try your hand with my next-door neighbor,” Nancy said.
“You’re right next door?”
“As next door as it gets on our stretch of the beach, so only just within sight. But if you hit it off, be sure to let me know if you want something a little unusual some night. I could get off just on the thought of a threesome with you two.”
Jamie had laughed. He’d had a few threesomes, sometimes with a woman as the third, sometimes not, but it was always the choice of his male lover. So if Mark Ryan was turned on by a threesome with a woman, or a man for that matter, Jamie would definitely be up for it.
Unfortunately, neither Nancy nor he had gotten lucky with the corporate hotshot. As far as Jamie could tell, Ryan had never even been back to his beach house since then.
So when Jamie saw him out on his deck this evening, he felt a surge of excitement at the prospect of getting a chance to get to know the guy.
From word one, though, Ryan’s demeanor said hands-off. He was one unfriendly sonofabitch. Gorgeous still, but pretty uptight. Jamie wondered if it was possible a guy that age could still be in the closet.
That was fine too, he supposed. He wasn’t around to bust down anybody’s doors or anything. But even guys in the closet needed to unwind sometime or another, didn’t they?
Maybe Nancy had even been wrong about Ryan. Maybe he was a leg guy and not a tit guy. Although Nancy had rather nice legs too.
So Jamie just put it out there on the table, more for shock value as for anything else.
He half expected Ryan to deny he was gay, even though his eyes immediately went down to the crotch of Jamie’s shorts.
But he didn’t. Deny he was gay.
Instead, he said more or less what he had when he apparently thought Jamie was suggesting they pick up some Nancy beach bunnies. No thanks.
“Look, kid, I’m tired. I’m sure with that tight little ass of yours you get a lot of action, but I’m not in the mood tonight.”
Jamie shrugged. “Gee, thanks for the compliment. I’m sure your ass is very nice too, even if I never get a chance to see it.” He whistled for Laddie and then turned back to Ryan. “And I’m not a kid. I’m twenty-five.”
“Yeah, a real old man.” Ryan loosened his tie and ripped it up over his head and off his neck, throwing it on a deck chair.
Laddie came vaulting up and Jamie crouched down, petting her. “You’re probably a real old man yourself. What are you, thirty-eight? Thirty-nine?”
“No need to skirt forty for my benefit, kid.”
“Stop calling me kid. It’s pissing me off.”
Ryan unbuttoned the collar of his white oxford, exposing a hint of chest.
Whatever Jamie’s expression said, it caused Ryan to taunt, “Is this the part where you say what good shape I’m in and all that other crap?”
Jamie stood up, blanking his face. “I don’t know. I haven’t seen much of you.”
Ryan finished unbuttoning his shirt and threw it on the chair unveiling a muscled chest that suggested its owner did manage to get to the gym to work out some of his frustration even if he didn’t hit the beach much. For all the guy seemed to be blowing Jamie off, he was for some odd reason sort of stripping.
Whatever the show was for, though, it sure as hell didn’t seem to be for his benefit. When Jamie looked back up to Ryan’s eyes, the other man’s still held an unfriendly glint. His eyes were green, a nice complement to the dark hair and strong cheekbones. Jamie had never made it with a guy who wasn’t comfortable with his own sexuality. Was that what Ryan’s problem was?
Because if it was, he sure as hell didn’t need that hassle.
Ryan’s hands went to his belt buckle.
On the other hand…