How long did it take you to find your place in the world?
For Ethan Walker, going through the motions of life, keeping his distance and never getting attached has become the mantra he lives by. Success is measured by how many hours he can work and how little attention he can draw. That was until he landed on Beau Bennett’s radar. Until Beau, Ethan had never met a man who could get him to question his own logic and even consider taking a different path.
Beau Bennett knows exactly who he is - now. It might’ve taken him some time to figure it out, but now that he has his bearings, Beau has set his sights on the mysteriously sexy Ethan Walker. Chasing has never been his style, but something is telling him to keep at it because the end result is going to be worth it.
Now that they’ve found one another, how long will it take Ethan and Beau to accept that their place in the world is ... together?
Beautiful story for these two men finding their way to love, rising above their past traumas and realizing what they have is real and it is worth fighting for.
Loved, loved, loved this story!!!
Ethan (ALLURING INDULGENCE, 5) - Prologue
New Year’s Eve at Alluring Indulgence Resort
Keeping his distance from Beau Bennett was proving to be harder than Ethan Walker anticipated. Didn’t seem to matter how strong he was mentally or physically, when temptation was greater than all of his combined strengths, he found himself fighting a losing battle. Didn’t mean he wasn’t still trying.
As Ethan moved through the vast, airy room, watching the various couples and threesomes, he wondered how he had ended up there. And yes, he was speaking in the literal sense.
This resort, no matter how swank or how alluring his brothers made it, just wasn’t his thing. He’d rather be at Moonshiners, sitting at the bar, drinking a beer and listening to the jukebox churn out tunes that were handpicked by the crowd. Or hell, sitting on his couch, watching reruns of anything, was more appealing than getting dressed up to watch people in various states of undress in the lavish, kinky, sex resort that wasn’t even open to the public yet.
But he wasn’t at Moonshiners, and he wasn’t at home on New Year’s Eve, which meant the only upside was that there was an open bar.
Since Alluring Indulgence Resort belonged to his brothers and they had gone through the hassle of inviting him, his conscience wouldn’t let him avoid the place forever. His brothers were proud, and he wanted to come to show his support. Figuring once would be enough, Ethan opted to make tonight that night so he wouldn’t have to come back in a couple of weeks when the place was open to the masses who enjoyed being naked in public. Something Ethan definitely didn’t need to see.
Despite the fancy design, the stylish furniture and the impressive sound system, Ethan wasn’t much into it. Glancing down at his watch, he was eagerly counting down the minutes until midnight when he could escape without feeling guilty.
After retrieving another beer from the bar, Ethan made his way to a far corner where no one was currently undressed or performing some sort of godforsaken sexual act right there in the open for everyone to see. Maybe it was out of character for a Walker, based on his brothers’ reputations, but, no, he wasn’t into other people watching him. Nor did he share his lovers. Ever. Call him old fashioned, but he preferred the one on one in private.
But you liked when Beau watched.
Fuck. That was not the same thing. And Ethan wouldn’t go so far as to believe he liked it.
However, the last person Ethan wanted to think about tonight was Beau. Or how Beau had inadvertently shown up at the Walker Demolition shop just in time to watch Blake suck Ethan’s dick, just a few short weeks ago. Or how Ethan had purposely made eye contact in the hopes that Beau would back off.
No such luck.
And the kiss they had shared on Christmas was proof that Beau didn’t give up. Even worse, that kiss only reaffirmed just how little resistance Ethan had to the man.
Beau seemed even more intent on testing Ethan’s good intentions these days, and he hated him for it. No, wait. That was a lie. He didn’t hate him. He despised the man because he wanted him so fucking much it hurt. And not just in the carnal sense – although he’d grown accustomed to the ever-present physical ache that couldn’t be eased – which he knew was downright stupid.
He and Beau had nothing in common, aside from the fact they shared the same career. Ethan was in the closet, perfectly satisfied with keeping the eyes of the town out of his business and Beau had recently had a come to Jesus moment or some shit. Ethan didn’t want to be Beau’s experiment and he damn sure didn’t want something as complicated as what Beau represented.
Listen here you little piece of shit. Lay off me. Understand? You’re damn lucky I haven’t told Ethan what a fuck up you really are.
He heard Beau’s warning in his head as clear as when he’d witnessed the conversation between Beau and Blake just a few minutes ago. He wanted to interrupt, to ask Beau to clarify that statement, but he had opted to sit back and let the two of them duke it out.
As he peered across the dimly lit room, Ethan’s gaze landed smack dab on the one man he wanted to avoid tonight. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t turn away when Beau looked back at him. Beau’s gaze was like a heat-seeking missile, finding its intended target because Ethan’s blood was boiling with a desperate need to find out what Beau actually had to offer him.
It wasn’t like it could be anything else because Ethan didn’t want anything more complicated than that. And as far as his life went, sex was complicated enough.
I suggest you get Ethan out of your system because the guy’s gonna kick your ass to the curb soon enough. And I’m gonna be waiting. At that point, if you want to chat about whose balls are bigger, you find me.
He could still hear the sexy, lethal tone of Beau’s voice, the way he put Blake right in his place without ever laying hands on him.
And fuck yeah, Ethan knew he should be offended for Blake, but in truth, he honestly didn’t give a shit. Blake could pick his own battles, and if he wanted to provoke Beau then that was his business. Ethan had never claimed to be interested in Blake for his intelligence. As it was, their “relationship” was decidedly less serious than Blake believed it to be. And Ethan knew good and damn well that he wasn’t responsible for Blake’s misunderstanding of the situation.
Sighing, Ethan took a lengthy swallow of his beer, his eyes still locked with Beau’s from across the dimly lit room. Without turning to look at Blake, he said, “Don’t call me that.”
“What? You don’t usually have a problem with it.”
The hell he didn’t, but Blake had made a habit of not listening to Ethan when he spoke, so it wasn’t surprising that he acted as though this was the first time he had heard it.
Letting the silence grab him by the throat and threaten to strangle him, Ethan wished midnight would hurry the hell up. He knew he shouldn’t have invited Blake, should’ve just attended this shindig solo, but he had an ulterior motive: keeping Beau at a safe distance. Granted, that plan had backfired almost as bad as that piece of shit truck that his brother Sawyer had bought, souped-up and essentially ruined when he was a teenager.
“Want to find somewhere quiet?” Blake asked, taking a step closer.
Instinctively, Ethan visually searched the open area, checking to see who might be watching them, or worse, listening.
Hell, there wasn’t a single person in the whole damn place who cared what he was doing. They were busy. Very busy. And half of them were fucking naked, so he was the last thing on their minds, he was sure.
Well, tonight he’s mine. So why don’t you take a seat over there and watch the show.
No can do. I only like to watch when there’s satisfaction to be found by everyone involved. But, you go find him and don’t try to think about who Ethan’s really thinking about when he’s fucking you.
A chill ran down Ethan’s spine at the memory of Beau’s words. How the hell did the guy know what was going on in his head? And who the fuck was he to make a threat like that?
But no matter how pissed Ethan wanted to be at Beau’s imperious attitude, he was still strangely drawn to the resolute, commanding cadence he’d used and the take-no-bullshit way he had handled Blake.
Fuck, it turned him on.
But the truth was, Ethan was there with Blake, not Beau. And it didn’t matter how much Beau was baiting him, tempting him to want something he shouldn’t, he knew what he needed. Or, more accurately, what he didn’t need. A simple fuck buddy was working just fine. Or it had been before Beau started shouldering his way into Ethan’s life. Uninvited.
Ethan’s world was spinning quite nicely. No major hiccups, no drama to interfere with his work, and no jealous lovers to have to deal with. He didn’t need complications. As far as he was concerned, alone was the only way to go. The less people knew, the better off they were. His main focus was to ensure he didn’t draw attention to himself, easy as that. And Ethan was quite content with keeping his personal life on the down low. Up to this point, it had worked just fine for him.
Taking another swig of his beer, Ethan tried to break eye contact with Beau. Tried and failed. That electrical current that sparked between them was still there, still blinding with its intensity and he was hard pressed to look away. There was no denying the fact that he wanted Beau. And vice versa.
He just wasn’t going to act on that attraction.
“Come on,” Blake encouraged, grabbing his arm securely and urging him toward the other side of the room.
Falling into step with Blake, Ethan thought for a second that he was going to have to be the one to hold onto Blake. Blake was stumbling as he walked which meant he had already overindulged.
Looking up, Ethan realized they were heading in the direction he was trying to avoid. Closer to Beau. Although his mind was resisting the action, Ethan let his feet carry him forward, his mouth a grim line as he focused on not looking at the sexy, blond cowboy casually watching them come toward him as though it didn’t bother him one bit. And maybe it didn’t.
Unable to help himself, Ethan looked at Beau, their eyes meeting, holding. They were at a stalemate, and he hoped Beau understood that. He wasn’t backing down. No matter what. And it would do Beau a world of good to realize that. Ethan didn’t want to be an asshole, but he wasn’t looking for complicated, and Beau, from what Ethan knew about him, was the epitome of complicated.
Handsome, smart, funny, sexy… and looking for something serious. That, by Ethan’s definition, was complicated.
“Let's head in there,” Blake said loudly, pointing to a set of closed doors on the wall behind where Beau stood. “Crave’s not open yet, so we’ll have the place all to ourselves.”
Ethan knew Blake was talking for Beau’s benefit and not his. He didn’t give a fuck where they went, and if Beau kept looking at him like that, Ethan was going to lose every ounce of his self-control. Resisting the guy was becoming harder and harder, and he had a feeling Beau knew that.
Was that why Beau was pursuing him? Because he knew Ethan would eventually cave? If that were the case, then Beau had another lesson to learn. Ethan didn’t give in. What he and Blake had was all Ethan could afford – consistent sex with one person and no emotional entanglements. After all, Ethan wasn’t promiscuous, he just wasn’t interested in anything long term.
As they passed Beau, Ethan continued to make eye contact, wanting to ensure that Beau understood the rules of this game. Ethan was with Blake. He didn’t give a shit if it was just for sex, he was still with Blake. It would keep the potential for anything serious at bay, and quite frankly, the sex was good. Slightly monotonous, but nothing to complain about.
Blake opened the door to Crave, the night club within Alluring Indulgence that his younger brother Zane was responsible for. And just like Blake predicted, no one was there. There were dim lights that ran along the perimeter of the room, but for the most part, they were immersed in darkness.
Before he could say a word, Ethan found himself pinned against the wall, Blake’s lean, corded body pressed firmly against his.
“You don’t know how bad I want you right now,” Blake said, his green eyes sparkling with passion.
Ethan pictured brown eyes. Smoldering hot, intensely sexy, chocolate brown eyes.
Shaking his head to dislodge the image of Beau, Ethan downed the rest of his beer and set the bottle on one of the spare tables lined up along the wall beside him.
“Show me,” Ethan taunted him, knowing just how much Blake liked to be dominated. It wasn’t that Ethan favored being the top in his relationships, he actually didn’t give a shit either way, but it always seemed that he found submissive bottoms. Still, that was something he could deal with.
“Show you?” Blake asked, a grin tipping the corners of his mouth.
That was another thing about Blake, he enjoyed when Ethan told him what to do. He craved it. In an attempt to engage in the moment, Ethan did as Blake expected. “And if you really want to show me, you’ll get on your knees and suck my cock,” Ethan demanded, keeping his voice low, unyielding.
You’re damn lucky I haven’t told Ethan what a fuck up you really are.
Beau’s voice echoed through Ethan’s mind, and he actually glanced around to see if the man was there. He wasn’t.
Forcing his attention to the here and now, Ethan stared down his body at Blake who was now kneeling in front of him, his hands fumbling with Ethan’s belt buckle. He wondered how much Blake had to drink tonight. Like usual, he was sure the answer was too much, but he wasn’t Blake’s keeper, so it actually wasn’t any of his business. And Blake wasn’t going to be driving himself anywhere, so it wasn’t like Ethan should really care.
Taking a deep breath, Ethan dropped his head back against the wall, waiting for the rush he would get from the warmth of Blake’s mouth on his dick, the feel of his lips around his shaft, the phenomenal suction that would send him off the cliff and into temporary bliss.
“Mmmm,” Blake moaned when he got Ethan’s cock free from his jeans. Ethan didn’t look down, just slid one hand into Blake’s silky, dark hair and held him there. He wasn’t in a hurry, and he knew the release would come eventually, and it would be just that. A release. Hollow and temporary.
For the life of him, Ethan couldn’t get the image of Beau out of his mind. He imagined it was Beau’s blond hair he had latched onto, Beau’s exquisite mouth that would lave his cock until he couldn’t breathe from the need to possess him.
When Blake’s mouth enveloped his hard length, his hand gripping the base of his shaft as he teased with his tongue at first, Ethan squeezed his eyes shut.
Fuck, it felt… He wanted to say it felt good, but for some reason, it just felt… wrong.
What would Beau’s mouth feel like?
Gripping Blake’s hair tightly, Ethan fought the discerning notion. He wasn’t going there. Not tonight. Not ever.
“Suck me, Blake,” Ethan instructed, more to remind himself of whom he was with than anything else. “Fucking suck me harder.”
No matter how hard he tried to concentrate or how incredible Blake’s mouth felt on him, Ethan couldn’t erase the mental images of Beau. And wouldn’t he fucking know it, his release was building, more aggressive in its intensity than anything Blake had ever pulled out of him. All because he envisioned Beau, the handsome, muscular blond on his knees, sucking him deep into his mouth.
The sound of a door opening and shutting had Ethan tilting his head to the side. Through hooded eyes he saw Beau, his arms crossed over his chest, his back ramrod straight as he stood some fifty feet away watching him. Like the last time, Ethan didn’t look away, but he did grasp Blake’s hair tighter.
He couldn’t... Fuck. He couldn’t do this again. It wasn’t like the last time when Beau had inadvertently stumbled upon them. Something in his chest hitched, an odd fluttering sensation that took him completely by surprise. His reaction to Beau wasn’t normal.
He didn’t want him. Didn’t need him. And maybe if he repeated it enough, it would be true.
But no matter how much he fought his reaction to Beau, Ethan didn’t want Beau to watch this. He didn’t want to hurt Beau, even if he needed to keep him at a distance. But he needed Beau to understand.
Ethan needed to remember there was a line drawn in the proverbial sand, one he wasn’t willing to negotiate with Beau.
Blake’s enthusiasm increased, the way he sucked Ethan’s dick fervently into his mouth, drawing him deeper and deeper made his skin tingle.
With his eyes still locked with Beau’s, Ethan noticed the embanked fury etched on his attractive face, even from across the room. When his expression turned to one of disdain, Ethan suddenly felt like a royal fuck up.
All it would take was one word and he could have Beau. He knew he could. He could have Beau in a million different ways. But Ethan knew tomorrow would be the same as today, and although Ethan had committed to living in the illusion he had built around himself, a man like Beau would never survive like that. He was the kind of guy who shouldn’t be hidden from the world. He should be treasured, loved… something Ethan wasn’t capable of.
Not anymore anyway.
Ethan forced his gaze from Beau and looked down at Blake for the first time since Beau walked in the room. To his horror, Blake was also looking over at Beau, a grin tilting the very corners of his lips while he continued to swallow Ethan’s cock.
Ethan growled, an overwhelming possessiveness gripping him by the balls. Latching onto Blake’s hair rigidly, Ethan ground out the only word that formed in his mind. “Stop!”
Pulling away from Blake, Ethan fumbled to shove his dick back into his jeans, his hands trembling as he did, his lungs burning from the effort to suck in air.
He did not want Blake even looking at Beau.
Fuck. Shit. Damn.
No, dammit, he wasn’t. Beau was not his.
Never would be.
Ethan swallowed hard, then turned to look at Beau. Before he knew what he was doing, he was storming across the room toward him, his hands balled into fists at his sides.
“This doesn’t change a fucking thing,” Ethan bit out through clenched teeth.
Beau stared back at him, his original derisive expression morphing into what appeared to be determination. And that only pissed Ethan off more. He didn’t want Beau reading something into this when it meant nothing.
For a moment, he thought Beau was going to touch him, to pull him close and, in a bout of lunacy, Ethan could envision falling into Beau’s arms, grabbing onto him for all he was worth. That’s when Ethan realized he was losing his mind. He wanted Beau to touch him. To pull him up against his hard body, to kiss him the way he had on Christmas, his touch so tender, so warm that Ethan had temporarily forgotten how to breathe.
Before he could reprimand himself for even considering something that was an absolute impossibility, Beau spoke. “It changes everything, E. Everything.”
Damn it all to fucking hell. Ethan knew right then and there that Beau was right. Things had changed. He’d never been possessive of anyone, never wanted to protect someone else, but seeing Blake goading Beau had awakened something primitive within him.
Something he didn’t even know how to handle.
Turning, Ethan headed toward the door, wanting to forget about Blake and Beau, but before he could reach the security that came from getting as far away from Beau as possible, he stopped in his tracks.
With a backward glance, Ethan took a deep breath and then told the biggest lie of his adult life. “Nothing’s changed, Beau. I don’t want this,” he paused, swallowed. “And I don’t want you.”
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