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Mastering Matthew

Painted Hearts Publishing

Heat Rating: SCORCHING
Word Count: 35,310
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Aidan Sinclair is an overbearing top and former soldier who wants to open a leather bar. His long-suffering best friend, Nick Kelly, has no interest in the lifestyle, but he does have a long-standing interest in Aidan, so he lends his money and support. Nick has been in love with Aidan since their time in Afghanistan, and he’s only biding his time, waiting for Aidan to realize that what he’s been searching for is standing right next to him and has been all along. When a gorgeous, young cop named Matthew catches Aidan’s eye, Nick’s afraid he’s lost his chance. Trouble is, while he can totally understand what Aidan sees in Matthew, he soon discovers that loving two men brings complications he never saw coming.


Matthew stood up, his fists clenched at his sides. “Wait a minute. I feel like a fifth wheel here. I never intended to come between you two. I never meant to get in the middle of your relationship.”

Nick took his hand and pulled him back down on the sofa. “Hush. This shit isn’t about you, not really. You’re not in the middle of anything with me and Aidan, because there isn’t anything between me and Aidan.”

“Really?” Aidan said, his voice tight and low and angry. “Because I thought we were best friends. Almost brothers.”

“I don’t want to be your fucking friend, damn it, and I sure as hell don’t want to be your goddamn brother. Never did. I wanted you since the first moment I laid eyes on you, so if you don’t want me, you better tell me now, Aidan. I’ll sell you my half of the business and get the hell out of your life, because I’m not going to stand by and watch you give yourself to everybody else except me.” Nick could hear a little break in his voice and hated it. It was probably all the damn liquor he’d drunk tonight. Damn, he was drunk as shit, but it had taken that much liquor for him to finally get up the nerve to tell Aidan how he felt. Aidan and Matthew were still just staring at him, so he rubbed a big hand over his face and stood up.

“Right. Okay, fuck this. I’m out of here.” Nick stood up, swaying only a little bit and headed for the door. He made it that far before he felt a hand on his arm. Aidan pulled him around, not being gentle about it either.

“You’re not going anywhere,” Aidan told him. He spoke quietly, but his voice was rough with emotion.

“Yeah, who’s going to stop me?” Nick knew he was being belligerent, not making any sense, but he didn’t care at the moment. All the hurt, all the frustration he’d experienced with this man over the years was coming out and roaring down the tracks like a runaway freight train, and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do to stop it.

“Why do you have to be so stubborn, damn it? Maybe I need to fuck some of that out of you.”

“You can try, asshole. Or I could fuck you.” Nick reeled around and pushed hard against Aidan’s chest, but Aidan was ready for him and pushed back just as hard. Nick’s big body crashed into the door and Aidan followed him, grabbing two handfuls of his shirt and pressing him back against it. He lowered his mouth to Nick’s and gave him a kiss that looked more like an assault on his lips.
Nick pushed him away, so hard Aidan fell backwards, taking most of Nick’s shirt with him. Nick stood for a moment looking down in shock at the tatters of his shirt, still clinging to his shoulders. He made a harsh growling sound and went after Aidan on the floor, pulling him up and pushing him toward the bed. Aidan was off balance, so he was propelled forward and fell heavily onto the bed. Before he could get up, Nick pulled his jeans down to his ankles and then tugged them completely off, his shoes coming with them. Aidan tried to turn over, but Nick was on him, a knee in his back holding him down. He pulled the shirt off his back and then turned him over on the bed, looking down at him with satisfaction.

“Who’s fucking who now, big boy? What you got to say for yourself? Wanna call me Daddy?”

Aidan lunged up off the bed and jumped on top of Nick, taking him down to the floor. They landed hard and rolled around, crashing into the furniture as Aidan pulled and ripped at the remainder of Nick’s clothing, until Nick was as naked as Aidan. It probably looked more like a fight than anything else and it felt like one too, but Nick knew this was one fight he had to win. Aidan was his and it was time he faced up to it. If he didn’t—if he kept stubbornly refusing to face it, things were over between them for good.

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