Garrick Cross is devastated when his house is ransacked in an online scam. Somebody posted his address on Craigslist and saying Free for all. They take everything, even his garden hose. He finds his rare, beloved Vendetta guitar on an online auction and bids on it, distraught when he loses the bid by a buck. The police are trying to help him locate his stolen property, but the auction is a done deal. His precious Vendetta is gone. He emails the man who beat him to it, asking if he would consider selling the guitar to him, at a higher price. Micah Drake, a reclusive collector who won the auction says no and is quite rude…until they start emailing each other and discover they share the same unusual passions for obscure music and movies. They accidentally meet--or do they? --and Micah overcomes his shyness, telling Garrick he will give him the guitar if he spends a weekend in bed with him. How badly does he want the Vendetta? Garrick agrees, only in spite of their scorching lovemaking sessions, he finds some vendettas are so one-sided. He's falling for Micah and learns that Micah wants him, too. Then Garrick discovers who was behind the theft and starts to falter. Can he let go and trust love again?
"So tell me how you got the guitar," he said, filling his own glass with the last of the wine. There wasn't a bite of bread or a sliver of onion left on our plates.
"My dad bought it for me," I said. "Just before he died. "We went to a guitar convention…one of the really early NAM shows in San Diego. I was ten years old."
"What year was that?"
"1990." I fiddled with a nut that had fallen from the walnut tree.
"He was dying. He had cancer. He wanted to get me something I would never forget. I wanted to be a guitarist. It was my passion. He never tried to talk me out of it. My dad was thirty-six and I was losing him. I still miss him every day, Micah. That guitar…it was like I still had him with me." I swatted at a fat tear streaking down my cheek.
"I still remember the guy who sold it to us. Oh…man, I haven't even told my mom yet. She'll be devastated."
He didn't say anything for a moment. I remembered the vivid blue of my Dean From Hell. It was the sexiest thing I'd ever seen in my whole life. The seller recited the attributes like a catalogue. It had been created for guitarist Dimebag Darrell. The seller pointed out the V-shaped neck, designed for faster playing, the Bill Lawrence L-500XL pickup in the bridge, two traction volume knobs, custom burn marks on the tips of the headstock, a master tone knob, and the gorgeous rosewood fretboard.
I just loved the blue color, the groovy shape, almost like a psychedelic rocket ship. It had two owners, a father, son…and then, me. A gift from a dying father to his son.
"Why were they selling?" Micah asked.
The question depressed me. It meant he was interested in its provenance. In keeping it.
His hand reached over the table and stroked mine. He toyed with my fingers in a provocative way, touching the pads of my fingertips with his. Our fingers entwined.
"The seller didn't really want it," I said, feeling a surge of heat that reached my groin. I was sadly in serious erotic distress.
"The mania for 1970s stuff wasn't so huge then," I said. "I think the guy was embarrassed by the guitar. He was more into acoustic stuff. My dad got it for a deal."
Micah's long fingers stroked from my wrist to my fingers. It felt so nice.
"Coffee?" Amelia asked.
"Yes, please," I said.
"Not me," Micah said. "I'm enjoying the buzz."
He talked me into their Artisan cheese plate and then assembled the almost erotic array of cheeses for me, handing them to me in bites. There was a rich, creamy brie on thick, sweet honeycomb. He handed me a perfect, plump, sugar-dusted blackberry atop a slice of aged white cheddar. A bite of stilton swiped with quince jam. He was a charmer, that's for sure.
Charmers charm snakes. A voice inside me warned.
"I'm willing to give you the Vendetta," he said, "for a price."
I sure wanted to know the price, but was beset by the urge to pee. I excused myself. In the tiny men's room, which contained no doors, only billowing, filmy curtains, I peed like a racehorse. I heard footsteps. In the small mirror to my right, I caught a glimpse of the new arrival. Micah. We exchanged smiles in the mirror and then he was all over me. His hand moved to my cock and I jumped. I stopped peeing. His fingers ran over the length of my shaft, his mouth moving to my throat.
"You can have your guitar back," he said. "On one condition."
His tongue slid across my neck.
"What condition?" My voice came out squeaky. Great, Garrick. Really seductive.
"I want to spend the weekend in bed with you."