When artist Harley Hayes moves from painting landscapes to life studies, he invites a male model to his studio and is instantly smitten. The beautiful and sexy Ryan Morgan is a closed -- and straight -- book, but the more Harley tries to keep his feelings tamped down, the deeper he falls. He's heard rumors about Ryan -- women have paid him for more than modelling -- and Harley starts to wonder if he should do the same.
Ryan is down on his luck and about to be homeless when he meets Harley. He's ready to do what it takes to earn money but he's turned down gay porn in the past and no longer wants to be paid for sex, especially with a man. But when Harley comes calling, something about the artist sets his heart afire, try as he might to resist.
When opposites attract, will their lives ever be the same again?
Ryan had been lying, or at least exaggerating, about the “stupid poses and ridiculous props,” because the photos were deeply erotic. Ryan had been two hours at home getting showered and changed and once they were in the studio, he handed Harley a glossy magazine in the studio before going to the red satin bed.
Harley turned the page and perused the table of contents. There he was, pages twenty to twenty-four, Ryan Morgan. Harley’s fingertips were a little damp as he flicked through the magazine and, while Ryan stripped across the room, looked at the sexiest pictures he’d ever seen in his life.
Page twenty had Ryan stretched out naked full length on a bed, face down. Looking into the camera and leaning on his arms, his face dominated it, his eyes huge and violet-blue. While looking down the length of his body, the camera picked out the breadth of his shoulders, the black tattoo and the twin swells of those peach-like buttocks. The entire effect was stunning. Harley couldn’t take his eyes from those of Ryan in the picture for long seconds, but he forced himself to glance to the opposite page, realizing Ryan must be watching his reaction.
Page twenty-one had Ryan in a pair of boxers, leaning against a wall with one arm stretched over his head. His lips were slightly parted, his eyes slitted and heavy, as if he’d just crawled out of bed, and the tight white material held the thick outline of a half-erect cock.
Harley felt his own twitch. His hand trembled as he turned over to page twenty-two. Ryan sat in a chair, naked apart from a cowboy hat. Maybe that was what Ryan had meant about the stupid props, but Harley had seen Brokeback Mountain and there sure as hell was nothing ludicrous about Jake and Heath.
Between his spread legs, Ryan cupped himself with large hands, hiding his modesty, but not the neatly cropped thatch of dark hair. Harley thought he would groan. This magazine knew a thing or two about teasing its readers. Ryan had been revealing more and more with every photo. He could only hope the last one was the big one.
There was an ad for a gay dating service on the opposite page. Slowly, Harley turned over to page twenty-four and hit the jackpot.
Ryan was stretched out naked in the sand on a glorious summer’s day. His naked body was tanned and gleaming with oil, his biceps and pecs huge, his stomach rippling with muscle. His head was turned to one side, looking coyly down his body at the camera, while his legs were spread, one of his hands resting on his inner thigh, almost touching his cock which lay there half hard, his balls heavy and hairless below.
Harley bit his lip hard. He moved his body behind his easel. He was going to have to think of some excuse for Ryan to leave the magazine here and then he was going to jerk off over it until either he suffered from the worst case of repetitive strain injury ever or his dick fell off. Either one would suit him fine.
He couldn’t even think straight. He knew Ryan was lying silent and naked across the room awaiting his verdict, but he couldn’t tear his eyes away from the false image before him to the real one a few feet away.
“You’re shocked, right?” Ryan broke the silence.
Harley cleared his throat. “Ryan, I’ll be honest with you. These photos are sexy. You know that, don’t you?”
“I don’t know,” Ryan muttered.
Harley finally dragged his gaze away from the god in the sand to the god on the bed. “The man who took these photos knew what he was doing to appeal to readers.” He tried to sound professional; tried not to act like a man whose hard-on was being asphyxiated by his jeans.
“You think?” For a man who was so supremely confident of his body, Ryan certainly seemed unsure right now, and Harley found it endearing.
“I do. And I want to show these to one of my friends, and I want him to photograph you. With more clothes, of course.”
Ryan shifted on the bed, and Harley couldn’t help but be aware of every slide of his skin against the satin, of the thickly muscled arms, the broad shoulders, the rise and fall of the spine and the crest of the buttocks.
I have to touch him, just once, no matter what.