Wake – Available for Pre-Order

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Happy Tuesday, everyone!

K. Evan Coles and I are delighted to share with you that the first book, “Wake”, is available for pre-order on Pride Publishing’s site!

Here is a short teaser from it:

By the time the performance was over, Riley’s chest was tight, his pulse raced and he felt flushed and jittery. He wondered if he was having an anxiety attack. He’d paid no more attention to the final act of the opera than he had the first two, although this time he’d rarely glanced at Carter.

He’d been too busy trying to muster up the courage to say the words he needed to say to his friend. Riley helped his wife into her coat, trying to think of what to tell her about why he wasn’t going home with her.

Once they were outside in the crisp November air, Riley found their car, waving away the driver’s help when he moved to open the doors for them. Riley snagged Alex’s elbow before she could climb in. “Carter and I are going out for a drink. I’ll probably be a few hours.”

Alex huffed and pursed her lips. “Fine. I’ll call the girls to see what they want to do. Maybe they’ll be more fun than my husband.”

“I’m sorry, Alex,” he said softly. He was sorry he wasn’t in love with her, sorry he couldn’t be who she wanted him to be. He was sorry he was abandoning her to run off to his secret apartment to spill his heart out to the man he had feelings for. Jesus, my life is way too fucking complicated, he thought, rubbing the back of his neck.

“I mean it.” He stared down at Alex for a long moment before drawing her close to him. “I’m sorry our relationship isn’t better.”

“I’m used to it by now,” she replied archly and pulled away.

With a sigh, he let go of her, knowing no apologies would excuse the way he’d disrupt her life when he came out.

He watched her drive away, then turned to find Carter. It didn’t take him long. Carter stood beside the fountain outside the Met, silhouetted against the brightly lit water. Though Carter’s face was shadowed, Riley would know his body anywhere. The broadness of his shoulders, the length of his legs—Riley imagined touching every inch of him.

Slowly he made his way toward Carter, their gazes locking as Riley drew near. “Ready to head out?”

Carter nodded. “Yeah, Kate’s on her way home.”

Riley gave the driver of the cab that they eventually found the address—296 West 10th Street in the West Village—and settled in his seat with a sigh. Neither man spoke much, although Riley was aware of the heat of Carter’s thigh against his own, through the layers of their tux pants. Carter’s knee seemed to rub against his every so often. Carter’s height and long legs made him sprawl when he sat, but somehow Riley suspected the touch wasn’t accidental. Or maybe he simply hoped so.

Please add it on Goodreads and then pre-order your copy now! We know you’re going to love Riley and Carter as much as we do!

Three Shots is Live

“Three Shots”, my steamy new MMF erotic romance, is live everywhere!

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Reeve Jenkins is an amateur musician playing in a dive bar. Grant McGuire is a man drowning his sorrows in beer after a painful breakup. When Reeve charms a reluctant Grant into coming home with him, they begin a three-year friendship with some very nice benefits.

 But when the two gorgeous men walk into Hawk Point Tavern—the bar Rachael Bradford owns—one evening and greet each other with a kiss, it sets off a chain of events that leads to a steamy night and maybe something more for the trio.

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Three Shots – Pre Order

I am delighted to tell you that my latest novella is now available for pre-order!  MMF erotic romance is a bit of a departure from my usual MM romance, but it was a fun story to work on. A good chunk of it was written years ago, but I dusted it off, switched it from 1st person PoV to 3rd, and expanded it. It’s now novella length and I am very pleased with the way it turned out. It will be released on January 31, 2017.

Three Shots - Brigham Vaughn.jpg

 

Blurb:

Reeve Jenkins is an amateur musician playing in a dive bar. Grant McGuire is a man drowning his sorrows in beer after a painful breakup. When Reeve charms a reluctant Grant into coming home with him, they begin a three-year friendship with some very nice benefits.

But when the two gorgeous men walk into Hawk Point Tavern—the bar Rachael Bradford owns—one evening and greet each other with a kiss, it sets off a chain of events that leads to a steamy night and maybe something more for the trio.
Excerpt:

Rachael sighed and took a seat at her desk, forcing Reeve and Grant from her mind. They made for a fun fantasy, but had no place in real life. She had hours of work to do, and not enough time to get it done in. Hawk Point Tavern didn’t run itself.

She tackled the paychecks first. Her employees would want checks to cash soon, and it couldn’t wait. Thankfully, she had few employees and it didn’t take overly long to tally hours and make out the checks. She had moved on to sorting order invoices for the month when she heard a soft knock on her partially open door. Thinking it was Jenna or Tyler—the other bartender on tonight—she absent-mindedly called out, “Come in.”

“Excuse me,” a low, sexy voice replied.

Rachael’s head shot up and she was startled to see Reeve peering in the door.

“I, uh, hey. Um, hi Reeve,” She stuttered. She cleared her throat. “Come in.”

He stepped into the room and pushed the door nearly closed. “Can I talk to you for a sec?”

“Uh, sure.” She frowned, puzzled by what he wanted, but not entirely displeased to have him in her office either. She stood and walked around the desk—leaning back against it and looking up to meet his gaze. “Is there a problem with your bill? Or something else I can help you with?”

He gave her a slow, sexy smirk. “I certainly hope so.”

Rachael stared at him, waiting for him to continue, but he was silent. His gaze raked over her body and she felt heat building between her legs at the slow, frank perusal of her body. By the glittering, heated gaze of his eyes, Rachael could see that he liked what he saw. Her jeans and t-shirt were hardly high fashion, but Reeve didn’t appear to have any complaints. Besides, Rachael knew she had a tight body and the jeans showed off her ass nicely.

“What can I help you with?” she asked, her voice breathless.

“Well you see, I came here looking to have a drink with a good friend, nothing more, but I found something else I am interested in.”

‘I’m … I’m sorry?”

Reeve stepped closer until he was just a foot from her, and she felt her heart speed up in her chest.

“What’s that?” Rachael repeated when he didn’t reply immediately.

“You.” The word was simple, but it did nothing to clear up her confusion.

“But … but what about Grant?” she asked. “I mean, it looked like you two were together, and I—I don’t want to cause any problems or get in the way of anything.”

Reeve moved so he was standing in front of her, booted feet on either side of her crossed ones. He leaned in, breathing softly against her cheek and she wet her lips reflexively.

“It’s pretty simple actually,” Reeve purred in her ear. “Grant and I hook up occasionally and we are both very attracted to you.” His lips brushed the sensitive outer shell and she shivered.

Bi then. Her experiences with Tom made her a little leery of bi guys, but it’s not like she was going to get involved with them beyond a quick—or maybe not so quick—roll in the sheets, she thought. This was a one-off. It wasn’t like she was going to see them after tonight so she might as well enjoy it while she had the opportunity.

“You aren’t in a relationship with him?” she said aloud. The last thing she wanted was to get involved with another cheater. Jonah had been more than enough, thankyouverymuch.

Reeve shrugged. “We’ve been friends for a long time, but it’s nothing exclusive. We keep things fluid.”

“So how would this work?” Rachael asked, her voice going a little breathless as she imagined what could play out if she said yes. “We’d have a threesome?”

“That is entirely up to you. If you’re only attracted to one of us, the other will step aside, although we’d both be very disappointed. And I somehow don’t think that’s the case, is it?”

“No, I’m definitely attracted to you both,” Rachael admitted. Reeve wrapped an arm around her lower back and pulled her flush against his body.

“Then how we fuck—” he skimmed a hand down her back to cup the lower curve of her ass “—is up for negotiation. Whatever you’re comfortable with.”

Book Info:

Genre: M/M/F erotic romance (contemporary)

Length: Novella – 35,949 words

Release Day: January 31, 2017

 

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New Release – Partners (Italian Edition)

I’ve been fairly quiet about what I’m working on lately, but I’ve had some wonderfully exciting things happening. I will update you more on what’s to come later, but one of those exciting things is the translation of “Partners” into Italian!

Last spring I worked with Francy e Alex Translation to translate the first book in the “Equals” series into Italian. The release of “Compromessi” went incredibly well and I happily agreed to translate “Partners” as well. Francesca and Alessandra have been lovely to work with and I am so pleased to announce that the second book, “Partners” is now available!

*waves to my Italian readers*

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(Note: I will update this post with the buy links for B&N and Kobo once they go live there)

Book Release – Doc Brodie and the Big, Purple Cat Toy

Doc Brodie and the Big, Purple Cat Toy - Brigham Vaughn

I am very excited to share this story with you. It’s a humorous, sexy novella that I really enjoyed writing. After the heavier angst of “Connection” and “Trust”, it was nice to work on something  light-hearted. I love Brodie and Grant’s characters, but in the end, I think Molly and Ruby may have stolen the show. I hope you love them every bit as much as I do!

Summary:

Grant Murchison is a computer programmer with a great job, a small house he’s fixing up, and a mischievous tabby cat named Molly. Doctor Brodie Hall is a veterinarian with a sleeve full of tattoos and an enormous mastiff named Ruby.

When Molly gets sick after nibbling on Grant’s favorite purple toy, he rushes her to the vet clinic where the doctor works. Grant’s embarrassed to admit what Molly ate, but Brodie finds Grant’s reaction charming.

Brodie decides to pursue Molly’s owner, but getting close to Grant is a bigger challenge than he anticipated. Despite Grant’s attraction to the vet, his past leaves him unable to trust in a future together. Doc Brodie may be great with scared and hurting animals but will his technique work on Grant?

Excerpt:

Brodie smiled at the sight of Grant’s geekery on display, complete with Doctor Who posters and a life-size Captain Jack Harkness cardboard cutout from the spin-off Torchwood, because what nerdy gay man wouldn’t have a crush on an openly bisexual character with a wicked sense of humor? Brodie had fantasized about Captain Jack more than once that was for sure.

“This is great,” Brodie said, enthusiastically. He’d grown up watching Dr. Who. “Who is your favorite doctor?”

“You,” Grant blurted out, then closed his eyes as if embarrassed by the fact he said that aloud. “Um, ignore that. I, uh …”

Brodie stepped closer, thrilled by Grant’s admission. “You like me, huh?”

“Yeah,” Grant croaked and cracked an eye open.

“Well, you’re the favorite owner of a patient of mine,” Brodie murmured before he closed the distance between them.

Grant’s eyes closed again as Brodie’s lips touched his. Grant’s mouth was warm and soft, tasting faintly of lemonade. He clutched Brodie’s T-shirt, and Brodie groaned at the contact between their bodies.

He cradled the back of Grant’s head as the kiss deepened, gently teasing Grant’s lips apart. Grant let out a little groan of pleasure, and Brodie felt his cock stir at the sound.

They were both panting when they finally pulled away. Grant’s cheeks were flushed, or maybe that was the heat between them. Brodie had a sudden, desperate hope that his deodorant had held up against the jogging he’d done earlier.

“Damn,” Brodie said with a slow grin, and Grant nodded, Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat as he swallowed noisily. “I was planning to ask you out on a date before I left, but I think that answers my question.”

Grant nodded again and licked his lips. His voice was hoarse when he responded. “Um, the answer is definitely yes.”

“Tomorrow maybe?” Brodie offered, hoping he wasn’t being too pushy.

“Yeah, I’m free tomorrow. But, uh, you don’t have to run off right now or anything. Unless you have to be somewhere?”

“I can stay. Besides, I should take a look at my patient.” Brodie winked, and Grant’s mouth curved up in a smile as he seemed to relax.

“Oh, she’s probably curled up on my bed. It’s her favorite place.”

“Can’t say as I blame her,” Brodie murmured as he followed Grant out of the office.

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Notes: Oh, and if you were wondering if this story was drawn from real life? Let’s just say I had a cat who ate a lot of things she wasn’t supposed to. And all names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

 

Cover Reveal – Doc Brodie and the Big, Purple, Cat Toy

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Coming June 17th!

Grant Murchison is a computer programmer with a great job, a small house he’s fixing up, and a mischievous tabby cat named Molly. Doctor Brodie Hall is a veterinarian with a sleeve full of tattoos and an enormous mastiff named Ruby.

When Molly gets sick after nibbling on Grant’s favorite purple toy, he rushes her to the vet clinic where the doctor works. Grant’s embarrassed to admit what Molly ate, but Brodie finds Grant’s reaction charming.

Brodie decides to pursue Molly’s owner, but getting close to Grant is a bigger challenge than he anticipated. Despite Grant’s attraction to the vet, his past leaves him unable to trust in a future together. Doc Brodie may be great with scared and hurting animals but will his technique work on Grant?

Paperback Release

One of the major projects I’ve been working on lately is releasing my novels in paperback.

I had originally planned to release the paperback for “Bully & Exit” last summer, but unfortunately, life got in the way.

It was still interfering last fall when I released “Connection” and by the time I did “Trust” I was scrambling to catch up.

Unfortunately, even once I got started on the print releases,  it took longer to finish them than I’d hoped. It had been about a year since I last formatted any and between the actual Word file formatting problems and issues I had with the cover files not being approved in CreateSpace, it took almost two months! On the plus side, I now have a decent working knowledge of GIMP photo editing software, thanks to my ex.  He walked me through it for “Connection” (he’d done the print covers for the two “Equals” books) which saved me weeks of agony.

On the plus side, I have a decent working knowledge of GIMP photo editing software now, thanks to my ex.  He walked me through it for “Connection” (he’d done the print covers for the two “Equals” books) which saved me weeks of agony.

I also spoke to a very nice lady at CreateSpace who helped me fix my cover issue AND gave me a very helpful tip about how to avoid those problems in the future.

I am thrilled to finally announce that all three are available now!

Bully & Exit Cover Narrow Black Border JPGBuy Bully & Exit on Amazon

Connection Print Cover - Proof

Buy Connection on Amazon

Trust Cover Final Proof

Buy Trust on Amazon

I finished just in time for Pride, so if you’ll be in Michigan on June 4th, come to Ferndale Pride and get a signed copy!

Doc Brodie Teaser

I didn’t write a flash fic last week or this week. Mostly because I was immersed in the novella I’m planning to release in early June.

It’s an old short story that I wrote a very long time ago. At some point, I made some tweaks to it, but I hadn’t touched it in almost two years. When I finally dusted it off I realized I had the potential for a great novella and in the past seventeen days, gave one of the main characters a new backstory and motivation, and added 19,987 words to bring it to a grand total of 33,122 words. It’s with my betas now and I will release it on June 10th.

I don’t have a cover yet, but I should be able to make that this week so keep tuned for that.

In the meantime, enjoy this little teaser:

Veterinary clinic. Cute cat during examination by a veterinarian.

Brodie Hall yawned and stretched.  It had been a long, slow night at the vet clinic.  That was a good thing of course—fewer animals in dire need of his help was always a good thing—but he was bored and restless.  He rubbed at his eyes wearily, and resumed typing case notes from his previous shift.  He was nodding off at the computer by the time the tech peered in the office door.

“Hey, you’ve got a patient in exam room one.”

“Thanks, Annie,” he said, standing and stretching.  Sometimes he really hated night shifts at the clinic.  Ambrose Roberts, the clinic director and head veterinarian, would be retiring in the next few years. Brodie had been saving up and he was hopeful that by the time Ambrose was looking for someone to buy the practice, he could afford to. He’d be a hell of a lot busier once that happened, but it would allow him to work a shift that didn’t make him feel like a vampire.

“Nothing critical, I assume?”

“Nah,” she said.  “The cat ate something and is puking.  Her vitals are normal though, and she doesn’t seem to be in distress.  Her owner though … the guy seems pretty worried.  He’s sweet, but panicked.”

Brodie nodded, picturing an elderly, widowed gentleman bringing in the cat he’d owned for years.  He straightened his scrubs and swiped his stethoscope from the desk, draping it around his neck.  Brodie was usually good at calming down worried pet owners, and he figured this guy would be no exception.

The veterinarian snagged the chart from the bin beside the exam room doorway before he went inside.  His breath caught in his throat at the sight in front of him.  Rather than an elderly man, the man in front of him was young. Well, Brodie’s age anyway. Attractive, too, if slightly disheveled; his shirt was on backwards and his dark brown hair stood up on one side.  God, he even had black rimmed geek glasses which were more or less Brodie’s kryptonite.

He sat in a chair next to the exam table, speaking softly to the small gray and white tabby.  She rubbed up against his long-fingered hand, and Brodie suddenly wondered what those fingers would feel like stroking him.

Deciding he was clearly beginning to hallucinate from exhaustion, Brodie pushed down that momentary lapse in professionalism and reached for the kitten.  She tilted her head back as he rubbed his finger against the white fur under her chin.  “You’re a pretty little thing.  Yes, you are,” he crooned.

The cat’s owner lifted his head, his brown eyes meeting Brodie’s and widening.  A blush filled his cheeks, and he jerked back.  Now Brodie could see the fine features of his face, the faint cleft in his chin and the bookish handsomeness. Wow.

Brodie smiled reassuringly at the man. “What’s my patient’s name?”

“Uh, Molly,” the man stammered, licking his lips nervously.

“Well, I’m Doctor Brodie Hall, and I promise, I’ll take great care of Molly for you.”

“Thanks,” he said gratefully.  “Um, I’m Grant Murchison.”

“Nice to meet you, Grant. So, this little girl ate something that disagreed with her, huh?” Brodie asked.

Grant nodded.  “Yeah, I woke up to her throwing up.  I rushed her right over.”

“Any idea what she ate?”

“Uhm.”  He blushed again and lifted a plastic bag out of the paper one on the floor, showing the vet a mangled purple silicone sex toy.

Brodie’s eyes widened as he fought back a smirk.  That was a first.  He cleared his throat before he spoke.  “Is that what I think it is?”

Grant nodded, closing his eyes, as if he was trying to shut out the embarrassing truth.  “Uh, if you think it’s a dildo, then yes, you’d be right.”

“That’s … uh, well, I have to say this is a first for me,” Brodie admitted.

Delays and Good News

If you’re a member of my Facebook fan group, Brigham’s Book Nerds, or a friend on Facebook, you’ve probably seen me mention that “Push & Pull”–the second book in The Midwest Series–is stalled. I’m at about 30,000 words but getting to that point has been like pulling teeth and I am still struggling to figure out what I’m doing wrong.

The added pressure of knowing that I need to release on a timely schedule (so, hopefully, I can sell enough books and move out of my parents’ house) is not helping.

There are other things demanding my attention as well. The Italian translation of “Equals” will be coming out soon. I am formatting and making covers for the print copies of “Bully & Exit”, “Connection”, and “Trust” and hoping to have them available to sell at Ferndale Pride on June 4th.

Good things are happening and I am certainly continuing to work hard, but I came to the realization that I need to set “Push & Pull” aside for a little while. I’m not hearing Lowell’s voice at the moment and he’s such a wonderful character that I don’t want to shortchange his story. In order to keep the release pressure at bay, I am dusting off an old novella. It’s a funny, sweet erotic romance that I wrote several years ago.

At the moment, it is a solid story of 12,000 words. I dusted it off this morning and plan to flesh it out a bit further and turn it into a novella of roughly 25k.

Working on the new novella feels like a breath of fresh air after the stagnant struggles of “Push & Pull” and I am confident that the story will be ready for release in a few weeks. That will take the pressure off me and allow me to take a sorely-needed break from “Push & Pull.” I will never abandon Lowell and Brent, but I’m going to set them aside for a short while. Hopefully, when I come back, I will know what I need to do to fix the plot problems and finish the story!

In the meantime, there’s a new novella coming your way soon!

Doc Brody and the Big, Purple Cat Toy

Doc Brody.jpg

Can a tabby cat with an appetite for silicone toys bring together a lonely computer programmer and a hot veterinarian looking for love?

Trust Release – Love is Not a Cure-All

Cover Final

I am so excited to share “Trust” with you. I adore Evan and Jeremy and telling their story was wonderfully challenging for me as a writer. “Connection” and “Trust” both required a lot of research to get the details right. In addition, taking two bruised and battered men and bringing them to a point where they were healed enough to have a realistic and healthy HEA was an interesting struggle.

Love is amazing. It’s one of the best things out there as far as I’m concerned. But it doesn’t conquer all. It doesn’t fix gaping wounds.  In some cases, it can bandage them enough to allow time and proper treatment to heal them. It can inspire a person to work harder, be better, fix their own problems. But on it’s own it is not enough.

You’ll probably never read a book of mine where love is the cure-all. The idea that humans must heal themselves is too deeply rooted in my beliefs. Sure, I’ll write characters who make decisions I’ll never make. I will write awful, abusive characters like Evan’s father Jimmie. I’ll write horrible, neglectful characters like Jeremy’s parents, Kevin and Barbara.

But I won’t write main characters whose lives are magically fixed by love. That’s too easy and too unrealistic; it’s not what romance is about to me. To, me the beauty of a story lies in the struggle. Characters learning and growing and changing is what fascinates me.

It took me nearly 145,000 words and the better part of a year (in the story) to get Evan and Jeremy to a point where their HEA felt believable to me. Evan seeing past Jeremy’s scars didn’t cure Jeremy’s discomfort with them. However, it allowed Jeremy to work with his therapist to come to terms with them. Would Jeremy have done it without Evan’s love? Probably not.

Would Evan have been strong enough to tell his mother how he deserved to be treated if not for Jeremy’s love? I doubt it. But Jeremy’s love didn’t cause that, it merely created a safe place for Evan to flourish and grow.

Looking further out, I could argue that Russ and Stephen’s love for Evan and Jeremy was equally crucial for their growth. Because romantic love is only a part of what these men were looking for. All four of them were searching for love and connection. For family and trust and equality. And, in the end, I think that’s what all human beings are searching for.

We want to surround ourselves with people who love and support us. Who create the kind of environment where we can become the best possible versions of ourselves. Who love us, but know that we are the ones who need to do the real work. Who give us that opportunity and are proud of us when we achieve it.

Who love us and let us grow.

Summary:

Evan Harris thinks his relationship with Jeremy Lewis is going well.  But when Jeremy bolts, Evan is left nursing a broken heart. Jeremy loves Evan, but his inability to trust holds him back from facing his past head on and building the future he desperately wants. Evan’s patience is at the breaking point, and he struggles to decide if Jeremy deserves another chance.

Evan Harris thinks his relationship with Jeremy Lewis is going well.  But when Jeremy bolts, Evan is left nursing a broken heart. Jeremy loves Evan, but his inability to trust holds him back from facing his past head on and building the future he desperately wants. Evan’s patience is at the breaking point, and he struggles to decide if Jeremy deserves another chance.

Scarred by his own parents’ treatment of him, Jeremy doesn’t trust Evan’s mother’s motives when she reappears in Evan’s life after his father lands in jail. The ensuing disagreement about his concerns puts further pressure on their developing relationship.

Unless Jeremy can learn to trust and Evan can let go of past hurts, they’ll miss out on the relationship they’ve both been searching for.

Excerpt:

Jeremy wrestled his shoe on and stood. He swayed on his feet for a second as his skin went chalky again. Evan reached for him, but Jeremy shook him off. His anger seemed to dissipate as his shoulders dropped and his voice softened slightly. “Look, it’s time you find out what the rest of the world is like. Go meet guys, go be young and stupid.” He ran his thumb across Evan’s cheek, his smile sad and wistful. “Just not too stupid.”

Evan stared at him. “And what will you being doing?”

Jeremy’s voice came out gruff. “Feeling lucky I was your first for a few things.”

“Don’t do this, Jeremy.” Evan hated the way he sounded, like he was pleading with him. He wanted to drop to his knees and beg Jeremy to stay, but he was afraid that would only make things work. That it would make Evan seem weak in Jeremy’s eyes. “Please.”

“I can’t be the guy you’re looking for,” Jeremy murmured. “You have no idea how much I wish I could, but it’s not possible.”

“Why?” He winced, hating the way his voice cracked. “I don’t understand.”

“I’m too … damaged and I have too much of my own shit to deal with. I can barely manage to give you a handjob much less anything else. I’m not able to be what you need. I’d be a shitty boyfriend.”

Evan straightened and brushed away the tears. “What if—if you didn’t have to commit to me and we … we slept together. It wouldn’t have to mean anything. Give me rules about where I can touch you. You can keep your pants on. I don’t care.” Right then, he wanted anything, whatever Jeremy would give him.

Anything but losing him.

“I’m in no shape for sex and you deserve a hell of lot more than a cripple for a lover.” Jeremy’s voice was surprisingly gentle. “And let’s be honest, it’s more than sex, isn’t it? You want the rest too. Wouldn’t it hurt you to wonder why you weren’t good enough for me to commit to?”

Evan flinched. “I wouldn’t,” he protested, but he knew he was lying.

“You would. And I know I’m hurting you now, but it’ll hurt a lot less than some half-assed non-relationship.” Jeremy brushed Evan’s hair off his forehead. “I care about you, Evan, way more than I should. What happened last night was a mistake and we can’t repeat it.”

“Wasn’t it good?”

“It was perfect.” Jeremy sighed, the corner of his mouth twisting up in a sad smile. “But that makes it worse, right? I can’t give you what you need and it’s going to end badly if we continue. The last thing I want to do is hurt you, Evan.”

“You already have,” Evan whispered.

“Oh, kid.” Jeremy wrapped his arms around Evan and he collapsed gratefully, his cheek against Jeremy’s shoulder. “I know. And I’m sorry.”

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