From Curling Iron (A Bad Boyfriends Novella): David desperately needs a lifeline. Out of work and out of options, he accepts the offer to explore a position with Kane’s escort service. It doesn’t take long for David to realize he is out of his depth.
Kane moved around the corner, put his hand on my shoulder, left it there. It felt good. More than good. He leaned in close. This time I minded in a whole new way. He bothered me. The man lathered up my libido and made that slippery slope toward lust slick with greedy cravings I didn’t want to control. My instincts told me I wasn’t the only one in the room feeling the electrical charge in the air.
The problem was, my instincts sometimes misfired. Like that night at the club, the night I’d ended up battered and damn near suicidal with despair.
Kane walked to the far end of the room, to a sliding glass door leading to a narrow balcony. When he turned, he was backlit by the weak November sun. It made it difficult to discern his features, but his voice softened, lowered, so much so I needed to approach to hear the words.
“I can train you to handle yourself. That’s not the problem, David. The question remains … how far are you willing to go?”
We circled each other, feet becoming inches, the pull between us closing the gap.
“What are you asking?”
“You already know.”
What I knew and what I hoped might be poles apart. He was testing me. Or teasing. Somehow Kane didn’t strike me as a man who teased. He was too dead serious, too intense, too focused, too fucking gorgeous to ignore. The heat pouring off his body was enough to ignite my soul.
His voice speared my flesh, penetrated whatever defenses I thought I had. “Answer me.”
“If I tell you how far I’m willing to go, what happens then?”
“Then I give you my answer.”
Nobody had ever put me on the spot like that. Fish or cut bait. Shit, get off the pot…
I’m a good boy, I am.
Good, good to the point of too stupid to live.
And oh God, I’m hungry. I get cramps from hunger, cramps from being alone, lonely, hungry for food, hungry to be held, just held. Even if you don’t mean it, even if it’s not forever, right now is fine, right now is good. I can live off memories for a very long time, but to do that I need now…
Kane’s hand was on my shoulder again, resting lightly, gentle, his thumb moving… Moving on that cord, my pulse pounding under the pressure that wasn’t pressure, taking my measure.
I could strip what was left of David Black and become something else, somebody else, except… I’m a good boy, a plain vanilla good boy. That’s all I’ll ever be.
He knew what I meant … no, I will do what I must to survive, but I won’t do that. Kane’s hand left my shoulder, clenched, his jawline going tight. Eyes, dark brown eyes with shadows, and skin parchment thin on cheekbones stretched under the weight of decisions … those eyes searched my own.
Are you sure?
Yes, yes, I am.
The words stumbled out of my mouth. “Um, I’ll… Uh.” Backing away, I held my hands palms up. “Thank you for considering me. I, uh, appreciate it.” I was going to turn away, I was, but instead, I said, “I hope you find what you’re looking for.”
He smiled and said, “I already did.”