Love like yours is seductive…
Mason Naylor is the gruff CEO of Spartan Security and at forty-five, he’s all work. The one light in his life is his friend, Dax Martin—a twenty-seven-year-old Broadway star and the kind-hearted man he’s secretly in love with. But their age gap and the fear that Dax is ready to move on to a Hollywood career has Mason holding tight to his long-held feelings.
Love like yours is sweet…
Dax Martin is a Broadway actor on the rise. He’s endured his share of personal struggles over the past year, but he’s come out stronger. Dax knows the sensitive man behind Mason’s badass exterior and his longtime crush can’t wait another minute. What’s a little white lie if it means helping the man you love realize what’s right in front of him?
All’s fair in love because … Love like yours is everything.
Be Warned: m/m sex
Mason was used to being alone. It was probably better that way. But his feelings for Dax tormented him, growing stronger with nowhere to go, and Mason was ready to jump out of his tattooed skin. And observing Oliver and Jon’s intense love for one another made Mason’s own desire for things that he’d never thought about before—a home, a family—clearer. It also made him uneasy. He felt like he was back in the army and headed into an unknown but likely dangerous situation. All his senses were on high alert.
“Fuck this,” he mumbled aloud to himself. Determined to get his mind focused and back on work, he decided to get rid of his stress in another tried-and-true way. The first interviewee wasn’t due for another hour, so Mason grabbed his workout clothes. Having a gym on-site was a necessity for his staff and himself. He worked out daily, and it afforded him the luxury of stuffing in greasy burgers and fries once a week. And a chocolate milkshake. Maybe two.
After checking his cell one last time, he headed out of his office, walking through the reception area and out into the hallway. He raced down two flights of stairs until he reached the second floor, and the gym which occupied the entire space. Besides the usual treadmills and weight machines, Mason had two large rooms built for sparring and martial arts training. He sauntered past two of his best bodyguards, Eli and Luis, who were currently battling it out on the mat, and then headed to the locker room to change. Five minutes later, he wandered back out to watch them finish.
Mason needed to stop thinking about Dax for a while, and there was nothing like the rush of a match to unlock endorphins and refocus his energy. Mixed martial arts was a common practice for many of Mason’s bodyguards with good reason. It kept the reflexes quick and the body agile. Eli won the last round, and he bumped Luis’s fist as they walked off the mat.
“Eli, you want to spar?” Mason asked.
“You sure, boss? I don’t think it would be a fair fight.” Eli chuckled as he grabbed a towel to wipe off his face.
Mason wasn’t as fast or powerful as twenty-nine-year-old Eli, but he was still in prime shape for his age. He quickly wrapped his hands and stepped onto the mat.
“I’m not as young as you, but I’ve got a shit ton of stress to work out. And I always fight to win. Let’s go.”
Mason and Eli circled each other with fists raised. Several bodyguards who were working out stopped to stare and trash-talk the showdown.
“Come on, M, take him down!”
“Show him who’s really boss, Eli!”
They sparred for almost twenty minutes, and Eli got a few good jabs in, but Mason had frustration on his side, and he landed more blows. Someone yelled time out, and they both stopped, gasping for breath and in dire need of hydration.
“You all right, boss? That’s some pent-up aggression you got out of your system,” Eli commented as he wiped down his face and neck. Eli was one of Mason’s oldest employees, hardworking and quiet. The man looked ferocious, but he was a giant teddy bear. At least, that’s what Dax called him. Fucking Dax, get out of my head!
“Yeah, I got a lot on my mind,” Mason answered as he unwrapped his hands. “Interviews today for two new hires and a proposal for the Wayward Lane summer tour contract. I really want to win that fucking bid.”
“That would be awesome. They’re the hottest rock band around. I got to see their show at the Garden last month. It was out of control.”
Mason nodded. “Yup. That contract could open us up to more large-scale gigs.”
“Good luck, boss. By the way, I’m glad that Dax is doing well.”
“Yeah, he is,” Mason replied as he snatched a towel and wiped down his face. His cell phone pinged, and he grabbed it out of his bag. It was Cutter, Dax’s uncle, and Mason’s best friend. Cutter was the only one of Dax’s family that supported him after he came out, abandoned by his parents. “Sorry, Eli, I’ve got to get this.”
He wandered down the hallway to the locker rooms for privacy and answered the call.
“Cutter, how the hell are you?”
“I’m good, Mase. How’s things in New York? You keeping an eye on my nephew?”
If Cutter only knew just how closely Mason watched Dax, his friend would probably blacken both his eyes.
“As always. In fact, something happened at his apartment, and he’ll be staying with me for the next few weeks.”
“Good. Now that he’s filming that movie, he’ll have paparazzi following him around. I’m still worried after that kidnapping attempt, but I know you’re watching out for him. Anyway, I called ’cause I’m thinking of heading out there at the end of the month for a visit.” After his stint in the army, Cutter moved to California and ran a successful organic farm. Like Mason, Cutter didn’t have a significant other, even though he’d dated a lot of women over the years.
“Great, we can hit the town and catch up. Text me when you have the details.”
“I will. Until then, keep an eye on my boy.”
Keeping his eye on Dax was a promise Mason had no problem keeping.