Choices. Life was all about choices. Right ones, wrong ones, some that had other people looking at you like your brain just took a dump. Hank had made his share of them all, especially the bad ones. That was over. Hopefully. He was still fighting the demons. But sharing a meal with the man of his dreams? That might be the biggest mistake he ever made, Hank thought, even as he knew he would do it.
Nodding, Hank smiled, covering up the fact that he was nervous as hell and hoping the man wouldn’t think Hank was a total goober. “That would be great. I usually eat alone. It’ll be a nice change.”
“I’ll just go up to my office and shut things down for the night. Why don’t you go grab a table for us? It’s Friday night. The place will be packed.”
Twenty minutes later, Hank was sitting across from Fallon in a booth tucked away in the corner. If he had been given a choice, he wouldn’t have chosen the isolated position in the room. He didn’t want to give anyone, especially Fallon, the idea that he wanted to be quite so alone with the man. Well, as alone as he could be in a room packed with people. However, he hadn’t been given a choice. He had stood in line, waiting for a table, only securing it a couple of minutes before Fallon’s arrival. Now they were seated across from each other and looking over the menu. Hank stared at his so he didn’t stare at Fallon.
“I’m going to have the fried chicken,” Hank said, raising his voice so he could be heard.
There was a band playing at the other end of the large room and a couple hundred other people enjoying themselves. He placed the menu on the edge of the table.
Fallon chuckled. He had dimples. It wasn’t the first time Hank had seen them when the man smiled. They were cute dimples. No, he corrected, they were sexy-as-hell dimples.
“Me, too. I don’t know why I bother with the menu. I’ve been eating here since I was a kid, and I always get the same thing. Fried chicken, french fries, and a chocolate shake.”
Blinking, Hank had to think about what Fallon had said. He had been distracted by those dimples. Was that a scar over Fallon’s left eyebrow?
Hank’s stomach grumbled, and he finally focused completely. He had worked from one o’clock to ten and had only eaten a ham salad sandwich on his lunch break. He was now starving. “Yeah? That’s funny. I have the same combo when I order the chicken. They have a great steak here, too.”
“I know a lot of people order it, but I never have. Maybe I’ll try it next time.”
Feeling bold because of Fallon’s friendliness, he suggested, “You could try it now.”
“I could,” Fallon agreed with a smile. “But my taste buds are already waiting for the chicken.”
It didn’t take long for Hank’s nerves to settle down. Fallon was relaxed, which seemed to have a direct effect on Hank. Once that happened, he was able to enjoy the evening for what it was, two guys having a meal together. They talked about work briefly. Fallon asked Hank if he still liked working at the store. That was something Hank could answer honestly. He did like working at the store. Helping people came naturally to him. He particularly liked the elderly customers who came into the store. Some of them were real characters. His absolute favorite was Bart Noolly. The man was a hundred and seven years old, an age Hank found to be amazing. Bart came in regularly, mostly to try on sneakers, but he had so many family members, that he always seemed to need a gift. If Hank was working when Bart came in, Hank was always asked to assist with the elderly man’s shopping. Yeah, he enjoyed his job.
The next topic was sports. Hank liked watching them, but wasn’t much of a participant. Fallon, without much surprise on Hank’s part, had played football all the way through college. He could have gone pro, but opted out to return home to help with the family business.
Hank had learned Fallon now ran the store alone, his father and grandfather having retired. Both of the elder Connolly men visited the store about twice a month. At least that was about how many times Hank saw them. Fallon’s grandfather was a bit stiff, but his father was friendly enough.
By the time Fallon broached the subject of Hank’s past, they had just finished off slices of hot apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream. He felt the light mood he had been feeling go up in smoke. He couldn’t even look at Fallon. Hank wasn’t stupid. Silver was a small town where there weren’t many secrets. The reason for Hank being here had never been a secret, but that didn’t mean he wanted to talk about it. Not that he had anything to hide, but he didn’t know Fallon well enough, and never would. Not enough to share any part of the darkness of the years before Hank was given a second chance. They were employer and employee. They weren’t friends. Hank knew his place in the scheme of things. It was one thing to share a casual meal after work or to have a fantasy in the privacy of his bedroom. But Hank knew there could never be anything else between them. Because of that, he wasn’t about to tell the man more than he already knew.
Shrugging his shoulders, Hank forced a smile to his lips. “There’s really not much to tell. I came to Silver from Buffalo because I needed a change.” That was a huge understatement, Hank thought with no little amount of self-disgust. “My parents are still alive. I have two brothers and a sister. I finished high school, but never managed to get to college.” He glanced around at the small, brightly-colored lights strung around the room, giving it a party atmosphere. Suddenly, he wished he was anywhere but sitting across from Fallon Connolly. Siberia would have been nice. He didn’t want to inadvertently expose any of the bad parts of his life. “I might go to the community college here this fall, when it opens.”
The new community college was in the final stages of construction and was set to open in a few months. Now that he was free of the drugs and was thinking clearly for what seemed like the first time in forever, furthering his education seemed like a good idea. Hell, it couldn’t hurt.
“Sounds like you have a plan.” The server arrived with a single check instead of two and placed it near Fallon. Hank felt his face heat up with embarrassment as he realized Fallon was planning on paying for his meal.
Hank quickly held up his hand. “No, let me.” He reached for his wallet and pulled out enough to cover their meals and the tip. He smiled, and he slid out of the booth, tucking the wallet back into his pocket. “I guess I’ll see you Monday.” He had the weekend off. It was the first one in a month. “Have a nice evening.”
Fallon stood. He was a good head taller than Hank, forcing Hank to look up at his employer. “You, too, Hank. Enjoy your weekend off.”
Hank turned and left before he did or said something he might regret. He already regretted sharing a meal with the other man. Why have hopes where there was no chance for them to grow and blossom into something wonderful?
A door opened and Fallon stepped into the room. Big, beautiful, and as sexy as any man ever made, Hank could only stare at him. Never in his wildest dreams had he thought to have a lover who looked like they belonged in a movie or painted by a master.
The smile Fallon gave Hank as he lowered himself onto the bed beside him formed those sexy dimples. Silver-gray eyes sparkled, as if there was mischief close at hand, or Fallon kept a secret he was willing to share—for a price.
Would it be a kiss? A blowjob? Whatever it was, Hank was willing to pay.
His gaze skimmed down over the large, toned body, one so different from his own, Hank wanted to yank the sheet up to cover his skinny self and hide it from Fallon’s heated gaze.
Hank moaned as Fallon came closer. Fallon was watching as Hank stroked his cock. His doing so was so fucking hot Hank almost came. But it was too soon. He wanted to play first. He wanted to have a little fun with this man before they got down and dirty. It might be the only time they were ever together. Hank wanted all the memories he could get, something wonderful he could relive time and time again.
Fallon leaned close to nuzzle the side of Hank’s face. The incredible sensations that simple act brought to Hank rippled over his skin. His toes curled and his body twisted as he tried to get closer. A large hand on his shoulder prevented him from moving to his side to face Fallon.
“No you don’t. Stay still,” Fallon whispered against his ear. “Let me love you.”
Moaning, Hank closed his eyes again and nodded jerkily. The mattress shifted. Cool air touched his skin as Fallon moved away and Hank lost the heat of the other man’s body. There was a familiar click that told Hank, without looking, that Fallon was using lube. Anticipation shot through him. With his balls tightening, he felt an urgent need to come. Hank’s breathing grew shallow. His heart pounded in his chest. Nothing he had experienced in his life had prepared him for this moment.
When Fallon moved his hand between Hank’s legs, he spread them, giving greater access to the fingers stroking over his tight pucker. It had been ages since he had been with anyone, and even then, it had been nothing more than a quick fuck. Hank had never had a steady boyfriend, no one to call lover.
Firm, cool lips captured Hank’s. Fallon kissed him deeply, plunging his tongue into Hank’s mouth. Moaning, he tried to press closer as their tongues dueled, but was thwarted once again as Fallon pinned him to the bed with his muscled chest. He pushed a slick finger through the ring of muscles and into Hank’s body. An ache unlike anything he had ever known before gripped him, holding him tightly as he gave himself up to the many pleasures of being so close to Fallon.
It didn’t take long before Hank realized Fallon was doing his very best to drive him over the edge and into a passion-filled oblivion. One finger became two, two became three, pushing as deep as possible, probing and stroking Hank’s gland until he felt his cock swell in his hand. A strangled cry escaped him as cum erupted, his balls clenching to release their load. It splattered against his belly, long, pearly ropes coating his skin as Fallon released Hank’s mouth. The fingers were removed, and Hank opened his eyes as Fallon moved over him. Strong hands lifted his legs, pushing them back. Hank slid his hands behind his thighs, his body hot, trembling, as he saw the intensity on Fallon’s handsome face as he joined their bodies for the first time. The broad head of the man’s dick broached the stretched ring of muscles. He pushed forward, grunting as he did so. The expression on Fallon’s face was intense as he focused solely on joining their bodies.
Hank’s head rolled back and forth on the pillow as inch after inch of throbbing, turgid flesh was pressed into his dark channel. The breadth and length of it felt as if it might split him apart. He breathed through the burn, the slight pinch. The pain, however, was insignificant as Fallon finally bottomed out, his heavy balls coming to rest against the lower curve of Hank’s ass.
Fallon’s voice, deep and sexy, reached his ears. “Hank. Hank, open your eyes and look at me.” Hank did so. Fallon’s eyes were now the color of aged pewter. They were so beautiful, so filled with love and desire that they made Hank suddenly feel as if he was the most important person on the planet. “Wrap your legs around me, Hank. Hold onto me as I make love to you.”
Nodding, Hank let go of his legs and wound them around the larger body. That freed his hands to do other things, like reaching for the broad shoulders and holding on as Fallon began to thrust his cock in and out of Hank’s body.
It was so perfect.
Until one of his housemates knocked on his bedroom door, shattering the perfect fantasy. “Hey, Hank, we ordered pizza. Do you want any?”
Panting, staring at the ceiling, Hank could have cried. Instead of doing so, he took a deep breath and lifted his head to look down at the mess on his stomach. He grimaced and sat up, reaching for his discarded shirt as he did so. Reality really sucked at times. This definitely was one of those times.
“Sure. I’ll be down in a couple of minutes.”