There was a naked man in his bed. Nathan Troy wanted to laugh at whatever cruel twist of fate was taunting him, but somehow, he didn’t feel like choking out a chuckle at the moment. His gaze trailed down the clean lines of the mystery man’s back, down to an ass so firm, he could bounce a quarter off it. He shook his head. Under normal circumstances, he wouldn’t object to such a gorgeous specimen in his bed, especially since this one didn’t seem to be a cover hog. But normal circumstances for Nate were (a) knowing said naked man and (b) inviting that same man to be there. And, fine, (c) being in a relationship with the man in question. At moments like this, he could wish to be otherwise, but Nate could be pretty conventional. And he was honest enough with himself to admit it.
And how’s that working out for you? an inner voice mocked. His traditionalism was what had made David run, wasn’t it? Pushing the man he had talked himself into possibly wanting to spend the rest of his life with into taking a vacation like normal partners had gone so
very well. Two years together, and all he got was a breakup via text message while he waited at the airline check-in counter with a suitcase packed with winter clothes, a large box of condoms, lube, and an overpriced, ugly watch that David had been not-so-subtly hinting he wanted. Just perfect.
Nate shivered. He didn’t like the cold. He was from LA, for chrissake. The last time he’d voluntarily been somewhere it snowed was when he was in school. A mountain getaway had been David’s idea, and the only input Nate had was making sure the place they stayed at wasn’t some showy monstrosity. And what was he supposed to do with the condoms now? Make balloon animals out of them? His gaze returned to the man in the bed.
Don’t. Even. Think. About. It.
Nate sighed and rubbed his tired eyes. A day ago he’d have quietly slipped out. Hell, eight hours ago, he’d have blushed bright red and probably woken the man tripping over his own feet to escape. Now? He’d sat in traffic all the way from work to home, then again from home to LAX, before he had the pleasure of standing around LAX while waiting, apparently, for David to type up a damn text message and dump him so that Nate could enjoy the embarrassment of checking in alone, flying to Reno alone, and then driving in the middle of the night to South Lake Tahoe, alone
. He was tired, cranky, and yes, still alone -- if one didn’t count his unconscious companion -- and wanted nothing more than a decent night’s sleep, a hot shower, and he didn’t care in which order he got them. All that stood in the way of his goal was Mr. Buns of Steel.
Nate cleared his throat. “Excuse me?”
He kicked the bed. “Hello?”
The man made an odd sound, sort of between a snuffle and a snore and burrowed his head under the pillow.
“I don’t believe this,” Nate muttered to himself.
He reached out and shook the man’s shoulder roughly. “Wake up!”
Jet-black hair emerged from under the pillow, and the man rolled over, flopping lazily onto his back. As the stranger was lying spread-eagled on the bed, there was not an inch of him Nate could miss, including the man’s massive case of morning -- or rather evening -- wood. A lesser man would have let his jaw hit the floor, but given life’s numerous smacks today, Nate wasn’t going to let an attractive man with a hard-on throw him off course. Especially since the man currently on display was pretty much still out of it.
“Hey!” He snapped his fingers, not sure what else he could do without touching the man again.
Finally the man seemed to come around. He yawned, rubbing his hand across the thick stubble shadowing a sharp jaw. His eyes cracked open and seemed to contemplate Nate lazily.
“Hey, gorgeous,” the man said, giving him a sleepy smile.
Nate stared in shock, and the man’s hand shot out faster than he could have imagined, yanking on Nate’s wrist and sending him tumbling down across the firm expanse of all-too-tempting skin. The man smelled like a distillery, and his eyes were glazed and had a slightly bloodshot look. Nate pushed to get up, but the man held tight, and he found himself staring into eyes so dark, they were nearly black. Nate stared into those dazed eyes, unsure of what to do next. He felt the man’s erection against his thigh and felt himself begin to swell in response. The man’s hands moved downward, cupping Nate’s ass and pressing him more firmly against the thick rope of muscle that seemed to be begging for his attention.
The feeling of absolute want
coursed through Nate, and he swore he could feel the heat of this man’s hands through the material that separated them. What would it be like, he wondered, to let go like that? To just take... Nate’s hand twitched, sliding down the stranger’s chest. His fingers traced warm skin, tracing down the man’s pecs and circling the flat disc of his nipple. Those midnight eyes fluttered to half-mast, and Nate could almost feel the power surging within him. It had been so
long since he’d felt truly wanted; the feeling was heady, intoxicating.
Impatient hands tugged at his pants. Nate reached down to help, his sense of urgency rising. He raised himself slightly, ready to rip the barrier between himself and this man to shreds. He fumbled with the buttons and cursed. If he could just get --
“Mmmm,” his bedmate moaned. “Come a little closer, handsome.” The words, laden with the smell of whiskey, wrenched Nate back into reality.
“Jesus Christ!” He shouted, jumping out of bed and stumbling away from the drunken man who was now covering his ears. Nate’s heart was pounding so hard, he was sure it was about to jump out of his chest. What the fuck was wrong with him? Letting some stranger grab at him? Feeling the guy up in return? Getting ready to -- how fucking stupid was he?
“What th’ell are you shouting for?” the stranger groaned, giving Nate a grumpy look. “Who are you?”
“Who am I? Who are you
?” Nate shouted again.
The drunk propped himself up on his elbows and raised an eyebrow. Great, now even the inebriated were making him feel like a fool. Nate took another few steps back, using the distance like a shield as he calmed his racing heart. Hysterics were not necessary. He took a deep breath and strove for composure, willed his libido to stand down. “I’m Nathan Troy, and this is my cabin.”
The eyebrow raised a fraction of an inch higher, and the man looked over at the empty bottle of whiskey on the nightstand. “Nope, my cabin. I got my friend Jack here to prove it. His cousins are in the kitchen, so as you can see, it’s a full house. Good-bye.” With that, the man fell back on the bed, rolled over, and pulled the pillow over his head.
Nate stared, dumbfounded. The irrational part of him wanted to go to the kitchen, grab whatever alcohol was in there, and “make room” by dumping them over the infuriating man.
You could lick it all up afterward,
the devil in his pants whispered.
Knock it off, and don’t let the day get to you, Nate,
the angel in his brain replied.
Nate pressed his thumb and forefinger against the bridge of his nose while he tried to silence the little voices that had suddenly moved into his head. From the soft snores coming from the bed, it appeared Mr. Hung, Dark, and Studly wasn’t going to be of any help.
Don’t back down, Nate told himself. Hadn’t he done that for the last two years? He had let David have his way rather than start an argument. He sure as shit wasn’t going to let a drunken stranger win. There was a lodge, but only ten individual cabins in this whole place, and from the looks of the others as he’d walked by, they were all occupied. With a snarl of frustration, Nate shoved his key in his pocket, stalked out to the living room, grabbed his jacket and reservation confirmation, and walked out into the snowy night toward the main lodge where he would demand to speak with a manager. The Nate of yesterday would simply have asked for a room at the lodge. The Nate of today wanted the solitude of the cabin.
Screw what he would have done before. As of eight and a half hours ago, Nathan Troy was a new man. And that cabin was his