I'll be posting a short preview of Third Son every Friday until it releases on October 2. Take advantage of the 30% discount by pre-ordering at NineStar Press. Link is posted at the end of the excerpt.
To make sure I didn’t do something stupid like crawl back to Peter, I turned on my phone, ignoring the multiple missed calls, and pulled out Gerard’s card from where I’d tucked it away in my wallet. I sent a text, letting him know I’d be at the opening tomorrow and would like some private time to go over a proposal. It was almost midnight at this point, and I hadn’t expected a reply, so I was astounded when my phone rang. I thought it was Peter, but the caller ID said otherwise.
“Hey,” I said, accepting the call. “I didn’t think I’d hear from you until tomorrow. It’s late.”
“Not for me,” Gerard said. “I do my best work at night.”
“Good to know,” I murmured. “When do you go to bed?”
“Are you offering?”
I smiled ruefully. It was nice to know he was still interested after I’d been so rude the other night. “Don’t get too excited. It’s been a long day and I’d fall asleep the minute my head hit the pillow.”
“I’m encouraged that you’re even considering it.”
“Will wonders never cease,” I replied with a biting edge.
“If you had a fight with that piece of shit, I’ll be more than happy to provide whatever comfort you need.”
I felt guilty for a split second but shoved my righteous feelings away as quickly as they appeared. Gerard knew the score. If we ended up in bed again, it would be to our mutual advantage. There was nothing shady about the guy. He’d been honest with me from the beginning, and he was obviously still interested if he’d sought me out. I wondered what it would be like to date someone who wasn’t ashamed to be seen with me. I pushed those thoughts away. Already I was way ahead of myself, planning a future with Gerard when I hadn’t recovered from the sting of Peter’s rejection. Why did I need another man’s affection to validate me? And why on earth would I pick someone from the same culture whose family would hate everything about me? On the other hand, wasn’t a new love affair the best cure for a broken heart?
“It’s late,” I said, not bothering to address Gerard’s offer. “I’ll see you at the show tomorrow.”
“Let’s plan on dinner afterward,” Gerard suggested. “We can talk about your proposal.”
My phone chimed again, and I saw a new text from Peter. I powered off immediately.
Before falling asleep, I revisited my time in Vegas where Gerard and I had first met. It was the day after I’d first noticed him. The owner of the hotel had invited my small group of coworkers to dinner, and we were waiting in the lobby when he appeared with my poolside wet dream by his side.
I couldn’t remember what we had for dinner, but I did recall Gerard’s delight when he learned I’d been schooled in Hong Kong and spoke his language. Gradually, we slipped into Cantonese to avoid the eavesdropping as he plied me with questions regarding the advertising company I represented and its goals. By the end of our meal, we had arrived at an understanding with regards to the business at hand. I was slightly buzzed on good wine, success, and Gerard’s engaging smile.
Someone suggested dancing and we piled into the first available limo. We were at the club in no time. The atmosphere was much like Pandora’s, and I moved away from the group hoping to find a willing partner, not realizing that Gerard followed closely behind.
He wrapped an arm around my waist, and we started to sway in time with the pulsating music that blared throughout the place. I was feeling no pain, hoping to have a good time and stop brooding over my long-distance relationship.
I had felt Gerard’s hands sliding down my ass and drawing me closer. His cock was rock hard and mine responded eagerly. For one mad moment, I thought I was with Peter. The similarities in body language were eerie, but when I stared into the honey-colored eyes, I saw the difference. Gerard looked at me like I was something precious, not a toy he could use and discard whenever the mood struck.
“Hey,” I said, under my breath.
“You’re a great dancer,” he said.
“I noticed you at the pool yesterday,” he admitted.
“Same here,” I said. “I especially liked your tats. Are they an original design?”
He nodded. “I’m a dragon.”
I broke into a wide grin. “So am I.”
Gerard looked pleased that a detailed explanation wasn’t going to be needed. We were both born in 1988, a Dragon year, per the Chinese Zodiac, and I already knew the significance. Children born under this sign were considered the luckiest of all, and good fortune was supposed to fall into our laps regardless of our chosen careers. James had clued me in years ago.
This particular dragon continued to stare at me appreciatively, and I couldn’t help responding. His dark hair framed his face in soft waves. I was close enough to smell the faint essence of sandalwood, lemon, and an underlying hint of paint, which made sense knowing what he did for a living. Gerard had a habit of pushing the silky strands behind his ears when they fell forward and blocked his view. I was accustomed to Peter’s meticulous, almost neurotic need to look perfectly put together at all times, but Gerard was far more natural and easygoing. His sex appeal went beyond the surface, and I’d been captivated.
Third Son is available for pre-order. Use the code PREORDER at checkout to get a 30% discount: