Loving freely in a world filled with social constraints can get complicated.
Many straight men are down on having a secret relationship with someone like Stash Burcell, but not out in the open. Living in such a close-minded society makes it hard for him to find someone he can trust, let alone surrender his heart to.
Anthony Charles Eisemann has only ever been out with women, though secretly he’d always been drawn to androgynous femme men who looked and dressed like women.
When Anthony meets Stash, their lives take a sudden turn from complicated to dangerous.
The moment Anthony Charles Eisemann saw the figure of the woman standing waist-deep in the pool, he knew his life was going to get complicated. Not that it already wasn’t, it was just going to get even more so than usual.
There was something about how the wet tips of the long, silky, flame-red hair brushing the small of the woman’s bikini-clad back made him crave someone like he never had before. Where the water lapped beneath the tresses, it teased the plump curves of what appeared to be smooth butt cheeks. At the thought of stroking between those curves, the tips of his fingers began to tingle. Already he could imagine how that skin was going to feel and taste against his tongue.
When it came to sex, smooth silky skin was Anthony’s main weakness. The one that never failed to make his knees buckle beneath him—the touch and taste of soft, smooth skin over firm, hard muscles. In his opinion, women who worked out had the best skin, and this one obviously did.
He narrowed his eyes behind the sunglasses he wore and leaned further against the balcony railings, hoping for a better view. At that very moment, the woman hauled herself out of the pool revealing strong, lean muscles on equally long legs. And that butt. It didn’t even jiggle.
Anthony licked his lips when he belatedly realized the woman was nude. Well, almost, for he caught sight of the strip of fabric tucked between those gorgeous globes, and his initial disapproval disappeared. For some reason, the sight of the thong eased him. It was an irrational and totally unexpected reaction from him. Normally, he didn’t mind in the least what a woman chose to wear in or out of a pool, but somehow, this stranger was making him feel things he couldn’t explain.
Oh yes, Anthony considered himself a connoisseur, and that woman was definitely to his taste. Pale smooth skin peeked between red tresses, making his mouth water. The woman still had her back turned to him when she raised an elegant hand to gather and then twist her hair, bringing it off to one side and revealing the rest of her flawless back.
Anthony couldn’t suppress a gasp escaping his lips. Oh wow. The thought of touching that unmarked skin made his cock tighten in his pants. The woman wrapped her arms around herself and then started jumping up and down where she stood. The move made her butt cheeks jiggle. He really needed to know who she was.
Turning his head slightly over his shoulder, keeping his gaze on the vision by the pool, he called for his personal assistant. “Gregory, do you know who that woman is down there?”
From behind him came sounds of a chair scraping on the floor, and Gregory Morgan stepped up beside him.
“Hmm, I’m not sure. I wasn’t aware of anyone else joining us here other than Mr. Burcell and his people.” Gregory stepped away from the railings. “I’ll go and find out.”
“Thank you, Gregory.”
Gregory left, and Anthony turned his attention back to the pool area. Another woman had approached, dressed in a black tracksuit. Her long black hair was combed in a severe high ponytail that hung to the middle of her back. She helped the mystery woman into a thick white robe she was holding up. The two women began to speak in low voices, so Anthony couldn’t really hear what they were saying. The second woman threw back her head and laughed out loud just as Gregory stepped out from beneath the awning to his right.
A movement from the sidelines distracted Anthony’s attention. He straightened as a brawny bearded man stepped into Gregory’s path. The man was dressed in a gray tracksuit and black running shoes, the complete opposite of Gregory’s navy-blue woolen suit, silk tie, and highly polish loafers. Gregory might appear to be weaker and pretentious in his attire, but he didn’t flinch under the bodyguard’s fierce glower. Instead, he said something beyond Anthony’s hearing and handed over what Anthony knew was a calling card.
The guard took the proffered card without breaking eye contact from Gregory before handing it over to another bodyguard who walked over to join him. Both men stood shoulder to shoulder, effectively dwarfing Gregory with their height and breadth. That was no mean feat, as Gregory was well above average height. It was a clear display of intimidation. Anthony frowned at the realization that these were highly trained men. Who was the woman to need security of their caliber as guards?
The second guard glanced at the card before walking toward the black-haired woman, who had begun picking up stuff off the lounge chairs. She didn’t even glance at it but pointed to someone out of Anthony’s line of sight. A third man came into view. This one was bearded, lean, and moved quite gracefully. To Anthony’s observation, the third guard was most likely more dangerous than the previous two. The third man said something to the mystery woman, who then shook her head before glancing over her shoulder to speak to the other female.
The breeze must have shifted, for Anthony could suddenly hear her voice, but just barely. He frowned and leaned further over the decorative wrought iron.
“Meggie, I’m freezing. I’m going inside. The pool temperature is too cold. Can you talk to the maintenance crew, and ask them to increase the heat?” The woman snapped her fingers, and somewhere in the distance came an answering yip. “Come on, Flossy, time to get back inside, baby.”
“What did you expect?” the woman called Meggie countered. She shook her head. “You’re crazy wanting to swim in this weather.”
Anthony jerked away from the railings. Not from the sight of the tiny fluffy cream-and-caramel-colored dog that came running toward the woman. It wasn’t even because the dog had long bouncy hair sweeping the tiled floor, which completely hid its short legs.