"The men of Sinn Island are back, and this time the heat of the tropical island is tame compared to what’s going on between multimillionaire Christian and heartbroken Sinn employee Adrian. Actually they are both heartbroken, but Christian additionally carries the guilt of having been the cause of the mess that pushed them apart three years ago. With Christian as determined to win Adrian back as Adrian is unwaveringly certain he wants nothing to do with the man who caused his pain, and both men more stubborn than should be possible, the heat is truly on! Adrian has been hurt by Christian, but despite the passing of three years, he still loves him and has not been able to move on. To gain control in the bedroom, he has learned some things about his preferences and has become an accomplished Dom. That and other walls he has erected around his heart is supposed to protect him against more pain, but when Christian suddenly reappears, asking for forgiveness, Adrian finds out that no matter what he tries to do, Christian still gets to him. Christian was an idiot three years ago, and once he has found out where Adrian is, he plans to apologize, beg, and do anything else Adrian demands of him to get him back. Being out may not be ideal when both of his so-called friends and most of his associates are homophobes, but Christian is ready to leave them all in the dust – if only he can get Adrian to give it anther try. And boy, does Adrian give him a run for his money. Luckily Christian is as patient as he is stubborn, and I loved his final plan. If you like stories about two estranged lovers who let strangers come between them before they realize they belong together no matter what, if two stubborn men who have more chemistry than sense are your thing, and if you’re looking for a try that is as heartbreakingly emotional as it is sizzling hot, then you will probably like this novella." -- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
“Why don’t you go through the tutorial with the guest while I grab the life vests?”
Adrian didn’t give James a chance to protest before walking back to the stand and dropping the empty can on the lower shelf. His fingers curled into fists, and his teeth ground relentlessly. He wasn’t going to let Christian get to him. The man had no power over him. Hell, they were practically strangers.
“Who the hell are you kidding,” he mumbled, plucking two vests from the top shelf, steadying his stormy emotions with a deep breath. “Guest or not, I’m in control here.”
Adrian turned and froze. Christian was bent over one of the skis, listening to James go through the rundown of how to operate the machine. He had taken off his white linen shirt, wearing only a body-hugging white tank top that did nothing to hide the sinewy muscles along his toned back. Christian had never been a big man, but he had a smooth, compact figure that Adrian had adored, cherished, and worshiped.
Three years later, the man still possessed a beautiful form that captivated him. His biceps flexed as he leaned against the handlebars, testing them out. His shoulder blades shifted, his back arching as he pressed back to his feet, teasing Adrian with the fine-cut muscle on either side of his spine. He still had an ass on him, tight and round, a feature that always caught the eyes of onlookers. The man could fill out any pants and make them look perfect. His dark hair fell over his forehead, proving no match for the ocean breeze.
Adrian shook himself into motion, coming to James’s side. He held out a vest for Christian, refusing to turn his head down or lower his gaze. The man was gracious. He gave him that much. With a warm smile, he murmured his thanks. Just like Adrian, he did not lower his gaze.
“Ready?” Adrian asked. He slipped into his vest and went to the last ski, allowing Christian to have the one he’d been taught on. James helped push the guest’s ski into the water, leading it out until he and Christian were waist-deep in the calm surf.
Adrian tried his damnedest not to watch as he climbed onto his ski and settled on the seat. Unfortunately, his secret wish that Christian would make himself look like a fool trying to climb onto the ski tempted him a little too much. So he turned the key and started the motor before twisting…
The fucking bastard climbed onto the piece of equipment like he was born from the sea and the Jet Ski was his stallion. His grace and agility as he pulled out of the water was breathtaking. The way he straddled the seat and settled down was fluid and poised. The man twisted the throttle enough to bring his ski alongside Adrian’s.
“Catch you on the waves,” James called from the shore.
This is going to be hell.
Adrian moistened his lips and turned away from Christian as the man’s ski sidled up to his. “We’ll be heading up the west coast of the island to the northern point, where we’ll stop for a break.” Adrian shot him a side-glance. “If you need a break. Otherwise we’ll backtrack and return here. The entire trip lasts about forty-five minutes.”
“Any questions?” Adrian interrupted, steeling up against the sound of his name falling like thick melted chocolate from Christian’s lips. Lips that opened to speak at that very moment. “No? Great. Let’s move.”
Adrian twisted the throttle, launching his Jet Ski away from the shore. If this weren’t his job, he wouldn’t waste a glance in Christian’s direction. The quick look over his shoulder assured him Christian wasn’t about to be left in the wake.
The warm, salty air hit his face. What should have released him from the stresses of his life back in Jersey, or in this case the stress on his tail, failed. Miserably. He couldn’t erase the memory of Christian staring at him, a deer in the headlights masked beneath sleek Armani and expensive champagne. That night shattered him. That night ripped open his heart. That night he learned betrayal as raw and merciless as it came.
Adrian growled, twisted the handlebars, and brought his ski in a tight circle, coming around on Christian. The man had released his throttle, slowing his ski. His gaze locked on Adrian as he angled his ski into Christian’s and sidled up to him, port-to-port.
“Why are you here?” Adrian grabbed the very end of Christian’s handlebar to keep their skis from separating. Christian lifted his sunglasses. Those eyes drew him in, filled with tumultuous emotions. “Did you know I worked here?”
Christian pressed his lips together, his eyes never dipping. “I’m celebrating a friend’s birthday.”
“Did you know I was here?” Adrian punctuated each word, not asking but commanding an answer.
Christian looked away for a brief moment, long enough to give Adrian his answer.
“Don’t do it,” Adrian groused. He didn’t mean for it to come out sounding like a death threat, but he couldn’t restrain three years of hurt and betrayal anymore. “I’m not who I was. I don’t want what I once had.”
“Adrian, will you listen—”
Adrian pushed off Christian’s ski. “You had a chance to speak.” He tipped his sunglasses up enough to nail Christian with his coldest look. “You decided to remain silent. That was your choice. Not mine.”
He twisted the throttle, jerked the handlebars, and took off toward the northern point, leaving an arc of water in his wake.
Slowly, he lowered his eyes. Adrian’s nostrils flared. His lips were swollen, moist, and pulled back from his teeth. Lower, his chest rose and fell in rapid succession with each shallow breath. When he noticed his arms, bent on either side of his shoulders with his hands in fists, he paused, fingers dallying over the top vest buckle.
“You look repulsed by the thought of touching me,” Christian said sadly, unfastening the buckle. He chanced a quick glance at Adrian’s face. “Or me touching you.”
“Not…repulsed.” Adrian’s voice was gravelly and rough, primed with sex and saturated with unspoken desire.
Every muscle fiber in Christian’s body coiled with tension. The inner hunger burned from years of neglect. All he could think of was climbing over Adrian and pounding into his ass, marking what he would win again, what would be his once more.
He flicked open the second buckle, easing the soft leather back to expose the valley between his pecs. Raising his eyes once more, he grazed Adrian’s hot flesh with the tip of his finger. Adrian’s thick-lashed eyelids fluttered. He gave one harsh thrust of his hip, his knuckles whitening.
Christian watched the battle forged in Adrian’s expression. So many emotions fought for ground in his eyes and slashed across his face, all of which connected with his own in one way or another. Hurt to guilt. Anger to remorse.
Love to love.
Christian unfastened the last two buckles and slid the vest off Adrian’s arms. It fell to the floor with a soft thump. He molded his hands to Adrian’s narrow waist, his thumbs tracing over each defined curve of his stomach. A faint tremor rippled beneath the surface of Adrian’s skin.
“I have missed you,” Christian whispered, splaying his fingers to cover the broad planes of Adrian’s steely pecs. Hot, liquid weakness poured over his body, pooling in his cock. For the briefest of moments, he didn’t know what to do, how to proceed. He wanted this to be special, a reunion, a night to prove to Adrian his feelings were never fabricated or falsified, and they still stood strong.
He had one chance to make him believe.
Christian leaned into Adrian’s neck and drew his lips over the vibrant pulse along his throat.
Adrian’s hands finally connected with him, combing into his hair. His scalp tingled and his body hummed. Muscles swelled and shifted beneath his fingertips, reacting to his touch. He nipped Adrian’s neck once, twice, delighting in the raspy groans that filled his ears and the tightening of fingers in his hair.
Tension slowly dripped away from Adrian’s shoulders. Christian lifted his mouth to the man’s ear and nibbled along his shell. The soft sounds that squeezed past Adrian’s lips turned him on. Adrian had always been his siren. Even this harder, fiercer man couldn’t hide the sweet sounds of pleasure that sang to Christian’s soul.
“I want you,” Christian whispered against his ear, skating his hands over Adrian’s stomach to hook onto his leather pants. He licked the curled shell and sighed, his warm breath caressing the moist flesh. Adrian shuddered, his hands dropping to his waist. Christian flicked open the button on the pants. “Tonight.”
“I play by different rules now.” Adrian stilled his hands, but Christian continued to nibble along his jaw. The bristles of his scruff scraped his lips, his chin. His skin burned, alive and sensitive to the slightest touch.
Adrian pulled Christian’s hands off his pants and shoved them away. Christian straightened up and was about to beg when his sexy Sinn security guard snagged the waistband of his linen pant and gave them a sharp tug. His heavy dick bobbed at the sudden exposure, slick with cream and jerking with anticipation. He helped his pants off and kicked them to the side. The fierce hunter in front of him perused him from the legs up, pupils widening to leave nothing but a thin circle of shocking green around the rims.
Adrian flicked the hem of his open shirt. “Take this off.”
“You do it,” Christian retorted. Adrian scowled. He reached for his pants and fastened the button, sending Christian into a momentary panic. “Okay.” He shrugged out of the shirt, held it to his side, and let it fall to the floor. “There.”
Adrian stepped away from the wall. He circled around, prowling like a hunter. Christian’s flesh tingled. He’d never seen Adrian take the reins. Not like this. His eyes were intense, his face set with determination. The faintest of tremors skated beneath his skin. His muscles shifted, flexed, relaxed.
“How bad do you want me, Christian?”
He didn’t miss the taunt woven within those husky words. His dick swelled further at the challenge.
“How bad…” Adrian pitched forward without warning. He smacked a hand to the wall above Christian’s shoulder, encasing him against the wall where moments before, Christian had Adrian. “Do you want me?”
Christian tried to unfasten his pants again. This time, Adrian didn’t stop him.
“Yes.” He shoved the leathers down his thighs, relishing in the feel of thick muscles beneath the coarse hairs. He chewed his lower lip, allowing his eyelids to slip closed. The man went commando, another tick in his erotic column. He was awarded the earth scent of Adrian’s arousal, the tang of salt and masculinity. “It’s you I want, but this is a start.”
He leaned over enough to run his hands around the backs of Adrian’s thighs, his fingers combing through the sprinkling of hairs. He groaned, peeling back his eyelids to find Adrian millimeters away, staring at him like he was about to devour him. The thought made him shiver as he lifted his hands to fit against the firm globes of his ass and squeezed. The brash motion brought their hips together, their dicks gliding against each other, caught between the hard planes of their stomachs.