Fed up of trying to fly under his step family's radar, David sets off to Australia to get away from their constant harassment. Maybe there he can be himself, be free, be with someone who can help him forget about his problems for a while. Meeting Scott, who not only thinks he's sexy but shows him how much over and over again, is perfect. And Scott doesn't care that he's accident prone. Well, David is everything prone; what can go wrong does. And falling in love with someone he nearly kills is about as wrong as it can get.
Scott likes his sex uncomplicated, preferably with someone just passing through, but his family want him to settle down with some nice young man. To get away from their meddling he heads to Bondi Beach. That's where he meets David, a man who just pushes his buttons, and the fact that he's looking for the same thing Scott is, makes him ideal. However, he falls in love with David--sassy attitude, accidents, and adorable accent included. But how is Scott going to persuade David to stay with him, especially as David's seriously upset about nearly getting him killed?
EXCERPT: “So this is Bondi Beach.”
David stood on the hot sand looking at the bluest water he’d ever seen. High above, a fierce sun shone out of a cloudless sky, which seemed to go on forever, eternal, everlasting, brilliant. David grinned, feeling the heat of the day pressing against his skin. He wriggled his toes, the soft grains tickling. The beach was crowded. People were everywhere—families, tourists, men, women, both young and old and in various states of undress. Most men, like him, were in swim shorts, and whereas many of them were bare-chested, some wore T-shirts or tank tops.
David’s gaze flitted from one to the other, occasionally resting on one or two hot-looking guys. His body tightened a little in awareness and anticipation. He’d traveled thousands of miles to see this, to be a part of this, and he couldn’t wait to delve into the depths of debauchery and abandon coming to Australia was going to give him.
Flicking the sand with his toes again—so different from the hard-pebbled beaches he’d frequented at home—David moved deeper onto the crescent-shaped expanse. On his right he could see large multistoried apartment buildings, and to his left there were houses perched upon cliffs that would give a perfect view of the ocean. It was a beautiful place, full of life, laughter, and happiness. Exactly what David was looking for.
Something, or should he say someone, caught his eye. A tall, dark-haired man stood alone, hands on slim hips, long legs spread slightly, back straight, shoulders wide. He was staring out to sea, his face raised just a little. He was gorgeous in that Yes, I’m gorgeous kind of way, and for one imaginary moment, David wondered if it would do him any good to approach him. He briefly looked down at his pale body and sighed. Maybe not. There was no way he was anywhere near that guy’s league.
He glanced around the crowded beach again. There were other guys out there, and a few of them could be interested in him. He was just going to have to start perusing, and making it known he was available and willing. Still, he couldn’t help taking one last look at the gorgeous one.
“Don’t bother. I’ve already checked him out.”
The deep masculine voice at his shoulder had David jerking around in shock. “Pardon me?”
“He’s not gay.”
Trying to retain some dignity in his surprise, David didn’t let his jaw drop as he eyed the man who had spoken. A little taller than his own six feet, the guy just oozed sex appeal. Sun-bleached hair, dark tan, light blue eyes, wide smile, hot body; he was something out of a men’s magazine, and again way out of David’s league, but the guy had spoken to him, actually just announced he was gay. Well, that’s what David had assumed he’d done.
Narrowing his eyes against the glare off the sea, David took another glance at the man they were discussing. “Are you sure? Seems gay to me, and I’m very rarely wrong.” That actually wasn’t quite true. David had little experience in cruising for men, usually having to rely on making dates via the Internet, disappointing dates, but he wasn’t going to admit that to anyone, let alone the man standing so close to him.
A warm pressure against the back of his arm had David holding still. The pressure increased a little as the blond leaned in.
“Okay, he’s gay, but he talks like a girl.”
David couldn’t help his sputter of laughter. “So? That doesn’t make him not worthy of a good fuck.”
“Yeah, well. I don’t think I could stand his high-pitched squeals.”
Turning to look at the blond, David couldn’t help but grin. “You’re right. That would put me off too.”
“I assume you don’t squeal, then?”
David felt a bubble of pleasure dance around his stomach. He was being picked up and he hadn’t even been in Australia a day yet. He stared back up into those light blue eyes and saw both anticipation and a little uncertainty. The man wanted him, but he wasn’t a 100 percent sure if David would want him back. David decided to quickly assure him he did.
“No, I’m not a squealer, though I do tend to groan a lot.”
The blond smiled, uncertainty gone. In its place was nothing but expectation and a whole lot of need. The look was heady, especially since it was aimed at him. David couldn’t recall ever witnessing a man looking at him like that. It was good, really good, so much so that it was on the tip of his tongue to ask the guy if he wanted to go back to his hotel room right now.
Luckily he held it back, because the man nodded toward the water. “Were you going in?”
David glanced at the blue ocean, at the people splashing about having fun. He was here for fun, and had flown halfway around the world to have it. The blond was pressed against his shoulder again. The touch was distracting, and it took David a couple of seconds to stop thinking of the other kind of fun he wanted.
“I was thinking of it,” he said, answering the question.
“Good. I’m Scott, by the way.” Scott held out his hand and David took it. The hand was warm, strong, and the grip was confident and full of promise.
Scott smiled again. “Well, David, why don’t we take a swim and then see what happens?”
David smiled back and, letting go of Scott’s hand, took a step forward. “Sounds good to me.”
Expecting Scott to follow him, David didn’t anticipate having a warm, steady palm centered in the middle of his back. Startled, he almost stumbled over the soft sand.
“Hey, steady.” The hand was replaced by a firm arm. David gasped.
“Are you all right?”
“Um, yes, sorry, I’m just not used to men touching me like that in public.”
“You don’t like it?” Scott instantly removed his arm.
“I didn’t say I didn’t like it. Just that I’m not used to it.” In fact, he was used to actively discouraging it, because if the wrong people saw it, it would set off a string of abuse he was finding ever more difficult to cope with. But this was Australia; he didn’t have to watch himself here.
Scott grinned, the blue in his eyes flashing. “Get used to it. I like touching.” And he proved it all the way to the water’s edge, keeping his hand firmly on David’s back.
“You obviously don’t have a problem with people finding out you’re gay,” David said, glancing at Scott before testing the temperature of the water with his foot and wading in a few feet. He’d tried to keep his tone casual, but he was really curious as he’d rarely been around openly gay men, and he wondered how Scott did it.
“Not anymore. Why, do you?” The question had a slight edge to it, as if Scott just realized David might not want to be outed.
“Not here. I’ve got nothing to be afraid of here.”
“Afraid?” Scott’s eyes narrowed, and David worried he might have said too much.
“It’s been a little difficult back home,” he replied, hoping Scott would drop the subject even though David had brought it up.
“Yeah, I can understand that.” From the look in Scott’s pale eyes, he did, and David smiled, relieved.
He waded a little deeper. The water was warmer than he’d expected, used as he was to the frigid sea off the Devon coast of England. Scott eyed him before diving into the surf, his body one long line as it disappeared beneath the breaking waves. David stood thigh-deep and waited to see where Scott would come up, and when he spotted his blond head and grinning face, he followed suit.
After the blazing heat on his back and shoulders, the cooler water was a shock, and as David felt the surge of a wave breaking over his head, he was hard-pressed not to gasp. Throwing a couple of hard kicks and pulling with his arms, he soon left the beach behind him, and when the tug of the surf ceased, he headed for the surface and popped up inches from where he’d last seen Scott.
Scott was waiting for him, treading water. “You can swim,” Scott said, with both admiration and interest.
“Considering I lived near a beach and surfed whenever I could, I should damn well hope so. I love the water.”
“It shows.” Scott reached out and ran both hands over the tops of David’s shoulders. “You’ve got great muscle tone,” he said as his warm fingers blazed a trail down David’s chest. David shivered. It wasn’t from the water splashing against his skin this time. Being touched openly like this was a definite turn-on, and the way Scott did it, with a sexual undertone that was subtle but nevertheless there, made it even more so.
Thoughts scattered as David focused on Scott’s touch. He couldn’t actually think of anything except the experimental wandering of a flat palm over his stomach and the occasional nudge of a hard thigh against his.
“Hey. You okay?”
David hadn’t realized he’d closed his eyes until Scott poked his shoulder. After he snapped his eyes open, it took him a moment to focus on Scott who was staring at him in amusement. “Yeah, I’m fine,” he mumbled, hoping the heat he felt on his face was from the sun and not some internal thermometer gone wrong. Did Scott do that deliberately? Touch to elicit a response? Or did he honestly like touching just from the pleasure he gained by it?
Scott grinned and kicked out, propelling himself backwards. “Come on, let’s swim,” he coaxed. “It may cool us down a little.” Scott remained on his back, leisurely slicing his arms to keep moving through the water.
David followed, though he used the breaststroke, keeping his face free so he could keep an eye on where Scott was going.
“God this is amazing.”
“This.” Scott stopped and raised his arm to encompass everything around him. “I’ve never swum in the ocean before.”
“No? So where do you swim then?”
“At the local pool.”
“At the town where I live.”
“A long way from here.”
David didn’t know if Scott was being deliberately evasive, or whether he wasn’t following what David was asking. As Scott glanced at him, David quickly realized it was the former. He gave a slight nod, letting Scott know it was okay. If Scott wanted to remain anonymous, that was fine with him. After all, David had come over here so he could have that same anonymity. Along with mind-blowing, gut-clenching, uncomplicated sex. And with Scott, David reckoned he’d be getting it.
He smiled, then stretched out on his back, floating, arms spread wide, legs dangling loosely in the water. Waves lapped across his body, cool little ripples that kept the harsh sun from being too hot. He sensed Scott floating beside him, and occasionally, as the swell lifted and dropped them, he would feel Scott’s shoulder or arm brush against him.
“I’m from England,” David suddenly blurted out, though he wasn’t sure why. There was no reason to reveal anything about himself. The same way there was no reason for Scott to.
“I kind of figured that.”
“From my accent?” David asked, realizing how different he must sound to the Aussie.
Scott laughed. “Yes, and because you have that pasty never-seen-the-sun skin.”
Moving closer, Scott lifted his arm and placed it alongside David’s. The contrast was startling. Where Scott was gorgeously tanned a golden brown, David was white. Well, not perfectly white—he was covered from head to toe with freckles, something he’d hated as a child but had become oblivious of as he’d gotten older. There was nothing he could do about them, so now he never bothered, but as he compared his coloring to Scott’s, he realized how bad they looked. He dropped his arm beneath the water.
“Okay, I’m pasty,” he said, deciding there was no point in denying the obvious.
“I like it.” The soft purr of Scott’s comment had David staring at him.
“I said I like it. It’s what attracted me to you.”
“You like my white skin?”
“Well actually it was your freckles and the color of your hair.”
“Are you serious?”
Scott glanced at him before gazing toward the horizon. “Yeah. I saw you coming out of the hotel and was instantly hooked.”
David wasn’t sure if he’d heard correctly. “If you saw me coming out of the hotel, then you followed me to the beach. You stalked me.” David didn’t quite mean that to come out the way it did, but a little shiver of fear had his heart racing. What kind of man was Scott? And was it safe to be out here in the ocean with a man he didn’t know?
Bright blue eyes darted to his, then Scott turned to face him fully. “Sorry, it’s just that when I saw you, I couldn’t help myself.” Though Scott’s words sounded apologetic, there was nothing sorry about the look he gave. If anything, David would have said the look was predatory. But instead of alarming David, as he knew damn well it should have, it gave him a thrill.
He had to think about that for a moment, and though his heart still raced, it was now from a different emotion. His instincts told him to trust Scott, and besides, the man seriously turned him on, and David was not going to lose the chance to get a taste of him.
“So do you have a predilection for red-headed guys with freckles?” he asked, wondering if he was simply Scott’s type.
“Not until I saw you.” The sincerity in that statement made David smile. It also made him want to test Scott further.
“So my freckles are what attracted you initially. What about now?” David kept in shape because that was the only thing about himself he had control over, but he was nowhere near as buff as Scott, and he was definitely not as good-looking. With Scott’s rugged face, intense blue eyes, and a smile that went straight to David’s cock, David was only hoping he could keep Scott interested for a little while longer.
Scott’s full lips twitched as if he was able to read what was going on in David’s mind, which wouldn’t have been all that difficult to do, because David wore his emotions and thoughts all over his face.
“You have the most amazing green eyes. They kind of shine and glitter like emeralds when you smile, yet they turn into a deep moss green when you’re turned on. And…” Scott hesitated, looking slightly embarrassed. “Your accent. I absolutely love the way you talk.”
David started laughing. He couldn’t help it. Surprised yet delighted by Scott’s confession about his eyes, he was completely astounded with the accent remark. Luckily his laughter didn’t offend Scott. In fact, Scott was smiling broadly.
“Don’t mock it. Your accent is adorable.”
David didn’t want to push the issue. If Scott liked it, that was good enough for him. He smiled back, then decided to give a little compliment of his own. “I like your eyes too, and your smile, but if you want me to be honest—” He stopped, seeing if Scott would take the bait. Scott did.
“I am so acutely turned on by you touching me.”
“That was kind of the point of me doing it.”
“Well, it’s working.”
The grin he was rewarded with had David glad the lapping water of the ocean more than covered the hardening bulge in his swim shorts, and by the look in Scott’s eyes, Scott was probably glad too.
“Are you up for a few more minutes of swimming?” David asked, trying to figure out how long it would take before his erection went down and if it would do so before he ran out of stamina and started drowning.
Smirking, Scott nodded but did nothing that would be classified as swimming. Instead he seemed content to just tread water, gazing at David with that intent stare of his.
“I’d really love to kiss you right now.”
David’s stomach twisted a little. “You’ll get your chance the second we’re in my hotel room.”
Scott nodded again, but he looked decidedly disappointed. David allowed the pull of the waves to draw him closer to Scott until they were touching again, the silky feel of skin on skin enhanced by the warmth of the water surrounding them. He studied Scott’s profile for a moment, seeing the slight downward curve in the set of Scott’s mouth, and the way his jaw was clenched just a little.
“Did you really want to kiss me now? In public?” David asked, guessing the source of Scott’s displeasure. A flick of pale blue eyes told him Scott did, so he was surprised when Scott shook his head.
“No, it’s fine. I can wait.”
David had never really considered himself able to judge people’s moods or needs, but Scott seemed as easy to read as David knew himself to be. He inwardly smiled and decided that as long as they didn’t get arrested, there should be no reason he couldn’t kiss Scott now. It wasn’t as if there was anyone around that could report him back to his family. That was one of the reasons he’d traveled so far from home.
Taking a chance, he snaked an arm around Scott’s waist, startling him, and then while gently pulling him closer so their legs tangled and their hips bumped, David did something he’d never done before—he kissed a man in full view of anyone who cared to notice.
Copyright © Penny Brandon
This book is temporarily unavailable due to publisher closing down
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