Two straight dudes in competition for the same woman, end up trapped together. In a world where truth is more bizarre than fiction, Albert Lane and his arch rival, Douglas Jefferies, can’t believe what happens next.
You can’t make this sh*t up…but in reality, you can.
Enjoy this new twist on an old trope- ‘Enemies’ becoming a lot more than just ‘good friends.’ (A ‘first-touch’ gay romance story.) #firsttouch
Albert Lane loosened the knot in his necktie. Seated at his desk in a high-rise office building, Albert took a break from his work for the finance company. He rubbed his eyes, since they felt like sandpaper from the blowing air vents near his desk.
Standing, Albert leaned against the plate glass windows, staring at the skyline of Los Angeles’ smoggy horizon. The surface was cool to the touch. His gaze sweeping over the panoramic view, Albert was glad it was Friday.
While he thought about it, he picked up his phone to send a text, ‘We’re still on for tonight, right?’
He knew Maria was connected to her phone. Most of the twenty-something’s he’d met were.
‘Can I let you know?’ she sent back.
“What?” He thought they had a confirmed date. He’d made dinner reservations with Maria days ago. ‘What’s up?’
‘I’ll get back to you.’
‘The reservations are for seven.’
Albert had a feeling he knew why she was waffling.
Douglas Jeffries, that’s why.
He wanted to tell her to fuck off. But…He was a sore loser, and letting his woman leave him for a man like Douglas Jeffries was a blow to his ego.
“Whatever.” He sat back down at his desk and continued his work.
By five o’clock, Albert shut down his computer and scooted back from his desk. He still hadn’t heard back from Maria, and was the kind of conscientious man to either make it to the restaurant, or cancel his reservations. Simply being a no-show wasn’t his style.
He sent Maria yet another text. ‘Am I picking you up?’
“Was that so fucking hard to do?” He stuffed his phone into his pocket and buttoned his suit jacket. Now in a foul mood, Albert left the office and headed to the parking garage. Car engines starting echoed under the low ceiling. The mass exodus had occurred, employees set free for a weekend.
He stood by his white Nissan GT-R and removed his suit jacket, folding it and taking a seat in the powerful car.
The music blasting, vibrating the speakers, Albert backed up and headed to his Holmby Hills residence on West Sunset Boulevard.
As he thought about his date tonight, he battled negative thoughts.
When he had met Maria Seymour, he had become enamored with her. Who didn’t? She was a lingerie model whose father was worth a mint.
Every dog in LA was sniffing at her high spiked heels.
Albert became impatient with the heavy traffic, tapping his fingers on the steering wheel and shifting gears, working the clutch.
He glanced into the rearview mirror at his green eyes and ran his fingers over his brown hair.
Stop, go, stop, go.
He huffed in frustration and cut into the HOV lane even though he did not qualify. He flew down the open gap until it too, became a congested mess. Before he got a hefty citation, he forced his way back into the snarl and then merged to an exit ramp.
Finally making it home, Albert shifted into first gear as he waited for his garage to roll up, then parked his car. He exited it, taking his jacket, and before he went inside, he removed his mail out of the box. It was a pile of fliers, requests for charity donations, and real estate agents who promised him ‘top dollar’ for the sale of his home. In other words, complete crap.
He tossed the pile on his kitchen counter and loosened his necktie.
The traffic had been so heavy, it took him nearly an hour to get home.
Albert didn’t have time to do more than shower, shave, and change clothing before he headed out to pick Maria up.
Albert pulled his car in front of a mansion in Beverly Hills. He shut off the engine and climbed out, walking to the grand, columned front entrance of the home. A gold Rolls Royce and a silver BMW were parked out front, gleaming in the spotlights.
Albert straightened his sports-coat and ran his hand over his conservatively cropped brown hair. He rang the bell and cleared his throat.
A servant answered.
“I’m here to see Maria.”
“Yes. She’s expecting you.”
Albert stepped into the foyer, one with a sixteen foot ceiling and polished marble floor.
He heard laughter coming from down the hall, and followed the servant.
Maria was there, her raven hair flowing down her bare shoulders, as she wore a strapless red dress and stiletto heels.
Seeing her beauty made him smile. Before he greeted her, he found two men in the room, drinking martinis, enjoying themselves.
Maria’s father, Tucker Seymour, and…
Albert’s smile fell.
“Albert,” Maria said, holding a martini glass while she laughed, “Doug has just told Daddy and I about his latest adventure.”
Those devilish blue eyes found him in the room. Douglas was ridiculously handsome. So handsome, he made Albert uncomfortable.
“Hello, Albert,” as he spoke, Tucker reached out his hand.
“Mr Seymour.” Albert received the firm clasp.
“Would you care for a cocktail?” Tucker asked.
Seeing Douglas staring at him, Albert lost his train of thought. “Uh. Maria and I have dinner reservations.” He should reach out to greet Douglas to be civil, he just couldn’t force himself to do it. This rapscallion was after his gal.
“We have time,” Maria said, scolding, which embarrassed him.
No. They did not have time. Not if they wanted to get to the restaurant by seven.
Maria floated over to Douglas on her strappy-red high-heels. “Tell Albert about the Sherpa in Nepal that you met. It’s a hoot.”
“He was a remarkable. He was the only survivor left of an avalanche that claimed ten climbers.”
“Yeah,” Albert said sarcastically, “That’s a hoot.” He turned to Maria. “Can we go?”
Maria sipped her cocktail down to the bottom.
Albert checked his watch. When he looked up, Douglas had his arm around Maria and was kissing her neck while she giggled.
Tucker appeared oblivious to the drama, filling his cocktail glass with more of the martini mixture and two olives.
Maria gave Douglas a playful whack and was released from his clutches. “Let me get my purse.” She left the room.
Albert glared at Douglas. He wanted to slap him.
“Where are you two going?” Tucker sipped his martini.
“Uh…” Albert battled to keep focused. He was hungry, tired, and frustrated with having to deal with Douglas making the ‘moves’ on Maria constantly.
“Uh?” Douglas mocked him. “Is that a new hot spot for sushi?”
Fuck you! Albert clenched his jaw. “The…uh…the…” God! Think! What’s the name of the restaurant, you moron!
Douglas snickered at his ‘brain-fart’ and drew Tucker into a conversation about buying property at an auction.
“Albert?” Maria called from the hallway, wearing her coat and holding her purse.
“Nice seeing you again, Mr Seymour.” Albert felt as if he were interrupting, but didn’t want to leave without being civil.
Douglas made sure Tucker was too distracted to reply.
Albert walked towards Maria. Right before he left with her he remembered. He said into the room, “Il Pastaio.”
Both men looked at him as if he were crazy, and didn’t regard him.
“Albert?” Maria called to him curiously.
He opened the front door for her and escorted her to his car, also opening that door for her as well. Her fabulous long legs distracted him for a moment as he waited to shut the door. He walked around his car and sat down, unbuttoning the sports-coat and starting the car.
Maria took her phone out of a small gold clutch purse and read the messages she’d missed.
“What’s he doing here?” Albert asked, tolerating her connection to her phone, since she was glued to it on a regular basis.
“He’s discussing some real estate purchases with my father.” She sent a text and then looked up as they drove to the restaurant.
“I don’t like it.” Albert rested his hand on the gear shift.
“Don’t be possessive. It’s unappealing.”
“Are you sleeping with him?” Albert slowed for a red traffic signal, lined with cars on this busy Friday night.
She made a noise in her throat and read her phone.
He almost added, because you’re not sleeping with me.
She may be a lingerie model, she may be gorgeous, but, she wasn’t easy.
With her attention on her phone, Albert shut up. They’d been on four dates. He was struggling to keep her interested and not happy she was hanging around with a man like Douglas Jeffries.
Douglas was the ultimate playboy; never seemed to work, had a ton of cash, and enjoyed the jet-setting scene.
He was the kind of celebrity that was photographed in trashy magazines, always on the arm of a starlet or model, yet, for the life of him, Albert had no clue what he did for a living.
Rumor was, he was an heir to a fortune.
He didn’t give a shit about the guy, he just wasn’t keen on the competition.