Hero Worship (MM)
Paramedic Alex Sullivan has always thought Matthew Carter was attractive. But there are reasons why Alex knows he shouldn't get involved with the younger man. Taking Matt in as a housemate seems like a recipe for disaster.
To Alex’s surprise, Matt not only proves to be the perfect roommate, he also makes no effort to hide his attraction to Alex. Matt knows what he wants. Can Alex be the hero Matt already thinks he is?
The little bastard had been right, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to admit it to him. Or anyone else, for that matter. Matt had turned out to be an excellent housemate, just as he’d said he would. I saw him nearly every day but only briefly, he cleaned up after himself, and there was always a covered dish waiting for me in the fridge when I got home. He never forgot to clean the bathroom or take the trash to the curb when it was his turn and didn’t yell at me when it was my turn to vacuum or wash the dishes and I forgot. He paid for his share of the bills on time and without fuss. I never needed to remind him like I had with Carrie. Three months we’d lived together, and it really was an ideal situation.
Our paths crossed on an almost daily basis but never for more than a couple of hours at a time. He made himself scarce when I had the day off. I told him he didn’t need to do that, but he insisted it was fine, that I should have some peace on my downtime.
“The work you do is important,” he’d said when I talked to him about it. “And emotionally taxing. You should be able to decompress in whatever way you need without having to worry about me.” I had given an internal sigh at that. He’d been sweet and earnest about it, but I really didn’t need to be on that pedestal.
It took me a while to convince him he didn’t need to disappear. In the end, the only way I managed it was to invite him to go running with me. On my days off, we would both get up early and head out. I went to the gym on days I had to work, but running was my preferred method of exercising. I found I enjoyed it even more with Matt by my side. Or in front of me, as the case was. He had a shorter stride, and if he didn’t lead, I’d end up outpacing him. Plus he had an amazing ass, and I did enjoy staring at it as we ran. But my longer stride definitely came in handy when we reached the end of our five-mile runs and I could put on a burst of speed, beat him into the house, and claim the first shower.
He’d taken to waiting for me to finish right outside the bathroom door. After every run we took together, he would be there with a bottle of water straight from the fridge. As soon as I opened the door, the steam spilling out behind me, he would shove the bottle into my chest, the shock of cold making me gasp, and then squeeze by me without waiting for me to move out of the doorway. The way his chest rubbed against my shoulder was deliberate, I was sure. As was the fact that his cock, in a state of semiarousal, always managed to graze my hip. I gritted my teeth and endured it, loving that bit of contact because it was all I would allow myself to have.
It had been such smooth sailing that I hadn’t realized three months had passed until I got home one day from running errands and he was banging around in the kitchen. I had the day off, the first of three consecutive days, so after I hung my freshly laundered uniforms in the closet, I headed in there to see if I could help. I wasn’t much of a cook, but I could put together a mean salad.
“What’re you doing?” I asked, startling him from his contemplation of the meat in front of him. He jumped a little and gave a self-deprecating chuckle. I crowded close to look over his shoulder to see what he was concentrating on. He gave a little wiggle and a happy sigh. It was only then that I realized what I had done. I stepped back to give him his space. He half-turned and ruffled my hair with his hand, letting it linger for a moment, before playfully pushing me away with a nudge to my head.
“It’s still pretty warm and balmy outside, despite being late September. I thought I’d grill some steaks.”
“Nice,” I murmured appreciatively. Steaks hadn’t been in our food budget. I knew because I’d done the grocery shopping that week. “To what do I owe the honor?”