Logan only wanted one thing in his life, Christian, his childhood friend. But a stolen kiss on graduation night broke Logan’s heart and destroyed the special friendship they shared. Now four years later, Logan returns to his family in Santa Cruz on the verge of a new life to find Christian on a treacherous, lonely path of booze and drugs, harboring painful secrets. Only Logan’s love and acceptance can lead Christian back from the brink of destruction. Can Logan put aside old grudges to save the young man who shattered his heart and in return, accept the love he’s craved?
As Logan walked behind Christian onto cream-colored sand, warm now with the sweatshirt, he took in the waves, crashing to shore like white ink splattered across a black canvas. Twinkling lights from restaurants and shops on the pier speckled the fog off to the distant right.
As he walked, two plaid wool blankets slung over his forearm swung in the breeze. He took in Christian from behind, his tall, slender body walking with easy strides through the sand, his black hair dancing on his head and the twelve-pack swinging from one hand. And Christian’s ass wrapped up in jeans and bordered perfectly by black leather, enough to send him over the edge. He forced his eyes to look at anything else, but Christian.
Christian halted and set the twelve-pack in the sand, only a few feet from the line where the sand turned wet from the last full tide. “Here’s a good spot.”
“Yep.” He placed a blanket in the sand and sat down on it with his legs folded in front of him.
Christian sat beside Logan, his legs sprawled out. “Want a beer?”
“Sure, why not.” His heart pounded as if a wild beast ran laps in his chest. Calm yourself. The only thing that was going to happen was a nice talk about how he didn’t mean what happened and they should just be friends. He rubbed his sweaty palms together and focused on the waves, the soothing rhythm of their rise and fall. His gaze caught Christian pulling beers out of the twelve pack. Randy and his mother were right, Christian did drink a lot. “You going to tell me what this is all about now?”
“Sure.” Christian twisted off the cap of a beer bottle, handed it to Logan and opened one for himself. “So you think I’m a dick, huh?”
Stunned, his gaze flicked to Christian’s face, studying his expression. “I said sometimes. Not all the time.”
Christian looked out to sea and took a gulp of beer. “I don’t suppose I blame you.”
He gulped a good portion of his beer down. Right about now, he needed it. “Yeah, blowing me off after that stunt you pulled on the porch the other night was a dick move for sure.” He studied Christian’s reaction.
Christian continued looking out to sea and drinking his beer for what seemed like an eternity. A silent tenseness permeated the air around him. As he finished the beer, he flung the empty bottle out into the water.
“Dude, that’s littering.” He chuckled, attempting to break the tension.
Christian whirled around to Logan, putting himself within inches of Logan’s face and body. Tears glittered in his eyes. “I’m sorry.” His lower lip trembled. He opened his mouth as if to speak again, but turned back around to open another beer.
His voice caught in his throat. He gulped hard. That was not what he expected. “Christian?” He inched up to Christian’s back and held his hand up over Christian’s shoulder, hovering for a moment before setting it down on black leather. “What’s going on here?”
“I, I don’t know.” Christian kept his back to Logan. “I h-had all these, these things I wanted to say to you. B-but now I, I can’t say them.” Tilting his head back, he chugged another beer down.
“Damn it.” Logan rose enough to grab Christian’s beer and take it from him. “Stop drinking.” As he held the half-empty bottle in his hand, Christian lunged at him, throwing the bottle from his hand and pinning him down to the blanket. The weight of Christian’s muscled body fell over his chest. Christian’s warm lips devoured his in a heated kiss.