When Tad Conway’s ex-boyfriend, Bobby, returns after a long absence, he realizes that there are certain things in the universe he can’t explain. Like spending the night in Bobby’s arms only to learn that he’d died months before and is most likely haunting him. Oh, and that Bobby may be pushing Tad into the arms of another man.
Drew Sinclair has had a major crush on marketing guru, Tad Conway, for the longest time. After Drew’s hired as an intern in Tad’s company, he gets his chance to show his stuff—in and out of the bedroom. As Tad and Drew get to know each other better and maybe developing feelings for each other, will Tad be able to let go of his past and move on to a future with Drew?
The crap-tastic day ended with Tad stepping in a puddle up to his ankle, soaking his sock, and splattering mud over his pants. He’d had enough. He shook his foot, like that would help anything, and indeed all it accomplished was spreading more mud on his pants. His next move seemed more productive, as he stepped into the liquor store at the corner of his building. He picked up a fifth of whiskey that he hoped would soothe him for the night and headed home.
He didn’t own the penthouse, nor did he consider himself that pretentious as to want the penthouse, but he did have a nice sized condo on the eleventh floor, the penultimate choice.
He pushed his way through the front door, kicked off his wet shoes, and set the whiskey and his briefcase on the side table by the door. His jacket didn’t get hung up. No, he dropped it on the floor along with his dirty pants and peeled off the cold, wet sock and the dry one. He didn’t pull his tie loose until after he opened the bottle and sucked down the first swig. “Ah!” It burned nicely down his throat. The good stuff always left his throat and chest with a cozy warmth. The sixty-dollar bottle of high-end liquor would be worth every fucking penny.
Once the tie and shirt had been removed and dropped on the floor, Tad made his way to the master suite. His bedroom had been decorated by a professional in warm tones of brown, gold, and cream, and highlighted with shades of cool greens and blues in the art work hung on the walls. Though inviting and soothing, the space still resonated with an impersonal touch. In fact, his entire home still felt cold and lonely. He only knew he lived there because his key fit in the door and the clothes in the closet fit him. A few more swigs of whiskey helped ease the tightness in his chest but did nothing to drown the thoughts swirling in his head. If anything, the alcohol made his memories of Bobby more pronounced.
They dated for a long time, and the romance had been text book whirlwind. Bobby had been everything he wanted for a lover. Cool, sophisticated, hot-damn sexy, and hell on wheels—literally. When Bobby straddled that bike of his, Tad’s cock involuntarily reacted. Every. Damn. Time.
Beyond his smoldering dark eyes and hair, Bobby had a warm heart. He had been a thoughtful lover and an intellectual companion. He’d graduated from the local college with a business degree and had married it to his passion. He had a great job as the business manager of the local Greffix Motorcycle dealership. They met when Bobby hired Tad’s firm to buff up their promotions. After a successful campaign, they turned their working relationship into a romantic one. Three years’ worth.
So what happened? Why couldn’t Tad commit to the love of his life? Bobby wanted Tad to move in with him. This perfect lover wanted to move their relationship to the next phase, but Tad had said no. He wasn’t ready. What had he been waiting for? What exactly would he have been giving up? His anonymous apartment? His independence? What did he do with that now? Another swig of whiskey. Alone.
He slipped his bare feet into the biker boots Bobby had bought him for his birthday last year. Without socks, they felt bigger. He grabbed the bottle and stomped into the living room. His memories of riding with Bobby roared through his heart, making him colder still. The throw blanket from the back of the couch warmed him a bit, as he pulled it over his bare shoulders and slid to the floor.
The room did the normal tilt-a-whirl, as he started to slip, spinning into the drunk abyss where he could forget. By all accounts, he should be happy. He owned the premier marketing and advertising firm in the city, maybe in the entire south east, and the firm continued to see substantial growth. He was living his dream. If he didn’t have a boyfriend to share it with, well that had been his own fault. He’d thrown Bobby away, and no other man had been able to live up to what he’d been.
“Jackass,” he grumbled and took another swig.
“Yeah. You really are.” Bobby squatted down in front of him, resting his leather covered arm on the industrial grade wood and metal coffee table. His image blurred around the edges and shifted with the spin of the room.
“Yeah, Tadpole. It’s me. What the hell are you doing, man?” He trailed his long fingers down the blanket covering Tad’s arm in the same gentle manner he’d always used to calm him.
Tad sighed heavily and licked the booze off his lips. “Fuckin’ up, Bobby. That’s me. Fucking everything up.”
Bobby laughed, and it sounded like heaven, like home.
“Seriously, Bobby. I fucked things up with us so badly. I mean…I threw your love away and why? I mean…we were so fucking good together.” Tad never cussed so much as when he’d been drinking, and he didn’t want to spoil the night with it, so he tried to dial it back a notch before he could give Bobby another excuse to walk out on him. “What are you even doing here, now? After…” Another sigh worked its way out of his mouth. “After everything.”
“I missed you, Tadpole.” Those damned fingers trailed through his hair, pushing his bangs out of his eyes and feeling cool against his forehead.
“You look good.” He did. He looked sexy as hell in his biker jacket. The arm of his dark shades tucked into the front of the leather. His unruly curls scrunched up awkwardly, windblown and looking like he just rolled out of bed. Bobby gazed at him with mischief in his dark eyes.