Ben and Eli have been together for years and enjoy a comfortable and familiar relationship. But despite their happiness, Eli has always had the fantasy of having another man join them, and he'll settle for nothing less than an equal relationship between them. If only he could find someone to complete them.
On a date one night, the couple stumble upon Micah, a stripper coming off work at the local gay club. Could this young man be the one Eli has been searching for?
Please note: This is a rerelease.
“Hey! Cut it out!”
Eli had just put on his motorcycle helmet when the voice stopped him. He turned, searching for whoever had yelled, but found no one and didn’t hear anything either. Beside him, his partner Ben was ready to go and revved his bike impatiently. The noise drowned out anything that Eli might have been able to hear. With a shake of his head, he pulled the helmet on and leaned forward over his bike. The cruiser purred to life and he smiled as his baby vibrated under him.
“Ready to head home?” Ben’s low voice came across perfectly through the small speaker in his helmet.
“Yes.” Eli smiled. “Have I thanked you lately for installing these com units?”
Ben laughed. “No, but you can when we get home if you like.”
His breath caught on a gasp as heat instantly covered his cheeks. Eli loved it when he talked like that. Ben pulled out of the theater parking lot and Eli followed him. Their bikes were identical black streaks, nearly invisible in the night except when a city light happened to flash over them, which wasn’t often in the oldest part of town. They’d only be in this section for a few more minutes and then they’d be on the highway and heading home. That stretch would take nearly an hour, but the ride was always enjoyable at night. If they’d been stuck in rush hour traffic, it would have been different.
Eli revved the engine on his motorcycle as he tried to keep up with Ben. His partner was already several car lengths ahead of him and it didn’t appear that the distance was about to change anytime soon as they raced down deserted streets. It was well after midnight, and so far it had been the best anniversary they’d shared yet.
Movement out of the corner of his eye snagged Eli’s attention. He turned his head to look and instantly heard, “Fucking hell, Eli! Look out!” His gaze snapped back to the street and he swerved to narrowly avoid hitting a parked car.
Panting and shaking, he pulled over to the side of the road and killed the engine. Ben was beside him a second later as he ripped off his helmet. “What the fuck? You could have crashed.”
Eli usually would have chided him for using such foul language. As someone who tried to never swear, Ben’s vocabulary could be a shock sometimes. But all of that fell away as Ben climbed off his bike and yanked Eli’s helmet off his head. Eli hated that he was wearing armor as Ben’s hands clutched at him and his mouth covered his. Eli touched Ben, too, knowing that he was stupid for having been distracted while riding and needing their connection as much as Ben did.
“Sorry,” Eli breathed.
Ben nodded. “Stupid mistake. You could have been hurt.”
Eli was sure he’d have spent the night at the hospital if he had made contact with the car. They were going too fast for such a distraction. They weren’t going too far over the speed limit, but it wouldn’t have been a pretty picture if he had hit it. And his baby would have been damaged. Ben would have been even more pissed if he had voiced that concern aloud, so he kept it to himself.
“Something caught my attention,” Eli explained.
It wasn’t an excuse really, not for nearly ending up on the pavement. But he had to explain. And then that same voice grabbed his attention again, only this time it was a muffled cry that he could barely hear. Ben was running down the nearest alley before Eli even climbed off his bike. Being ex-military, Ben looked like he was at ease rushing into nearly any situation. And he usually was. It was a quality Eli envied, especially as he chased after him, his heavy boots sounding impossibly loud in the alley. He splashed through puddles and nearly ran smack into a dumpster in the darkness before Ben’s hand on his shoulder stopped him. Silently his lover pushed him behind the dumpster, keeping him hidden as he stepped out into the open.
Eli could just make out the figures in the shadows, two standing and one crouched between them, as he swallowed down thick gulps of air and tried not to reach for Ben. Ben walked forward, his gait showing carelessness, but Eli knew just how much of a lie that was. Ben was never that at ease—if anything, he was far too controlled. But the people in the alley didn’t know that.