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Bid for Love

This excerpt is unedited.
____________

CHAPTER 1

...The snort actually burned Asher’s sinuses. He took another step back, pushing away the thought of getting his sidearm from his luggage with speed born of desperation. If he lingered on the thought even a moment, he’d follow through. “Bullshit. Scott Jamison—ex-rodeo hero and God’s gift to women—bisexual. Right.” He turned and walked to the suite’s patio doors, needing some air not filled with lies and innuendo. “Get out. Just get your ass back on a plane. You can even use my return ticket if you need to. I’m seriously considering staying right here.”

Strong arms closed loosely over his waist. “I am God’s gift to women. I’m His gift to men, too.” Warm breath teased the back of Asher’s neck. “I want to be your gift, Asher. Nobody but our supervisor and the Deputy Director even knows I’m in Portofino, and not a lot more than that know I’m even out of the States. I’m not joking, I’m not lying, I’m not playing you. I want you. Bad. Bad enough to risk it all to get you somewhere we could be completely alone, where you could have the safety of no one knowing us. I have this crazy idea, you see, that we could make a go of it. And I had to find out for sure. Before I completely lose my mind, keeping how I feel hidden.”

“And you’re so sure I’m interested in men, why?” He was, but it was no one’s damned business but his own. He’d seen too many careers toppled and lives ruined to go through that hell. He held himself motionless, still not believing, no matter how much that last brush felt like a kiss. “What the hell makes you think I won’t turn around right now and plant my fist in your face for even suggesting such a thing?”

“That’s the chance I took. I’m a gambler. You know that. I’m willing to risk it all on the chance I’ll win big. So I risk you knowing the truth about me, risk a broken nose, and risk losing a good friend on the odds I could gain the person I want to spend my life with.” That definitely felt like the whisper of soft lips on the nape of Asher’s neck. “I’ve watched you. I don’t think it’s any one thing that let me know you share my preference. It’s sort of the whole package. That and the fact I’ve never been attracted to a straight guy yet.” The arms about Asher’s middle tightened. “I’ve known you for years. I see the way you understand way more than people give you credit for. You… Damn, I’m not good at this sort of explanation, Ash. I just know, all right?”

 

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