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Genre: Gay Erotic Romance (M/M)
Published: November 18, 2013
Scott nodded, the sadness lifting as he gave a slight smile. "Tell me something important to you. Something you've never told anyone."
This was not Mark's thing. He never shared anything too personal. Not even Dale had known much about his past, his dreams, or his fears.
But Scott had taken a leap of faith. Time to offer the same.
"I'm afraid of hurting someone." He paused, then forced himself to go on. "Of hurting you."
"Me? You mean…" Scott stiffened. He sat up in a flash. "I'm a grown man. I can take care of myself. I may not date much, but I'm not stupid. I know this isn't going to be a long-term thing."
"That's not what I meant." Mark swallowed hard and tried to keep his voice even. "I like to be in control, but I seem to be having a hard time doing that with you. The last guy who got under my skin in ways that had nothing to do with sex… Well, that ended badly, and it was all my fault."
"Relationships end badly or they wouldn't end."
"But this wasn't about the two of us no longer having feelings for each other. I hurt him." He rolled onto his back and winced when a stab of pain tore through his side. Where was the strong, confident man he'd been in the library? That's what Scott needed. Not this bruised, scared chickenshit. "Fuck. Let's just get some sleep."
Scott slid down to lie beside him again. A few minutes passed. Their breathing blended in the otherwise silence of the room. Scott whispered his next words into the space between them. "Did you say something that hurt him?"
"Did you cheat?"
"No!" Regret landed in Mark's gut the minute he snapped the word out.
Scott surged up again and turned to sit on the edge of the bed, his back to Mark. "Maybe I should go." His voice was shaky, his body held tight as he sat there. Waiting for Mark to say more? Or for the courage to walk out the door? Which was funny. Considering how much courage he'd shown running at Bruce in that alleyway.
Mark forced himself to speak. "Stay." He shouldn't have brought this up, but now he had to offer more. "I took things too far. Dale said he wanted more intense bondage, said he'd done it with other guys, but he told me later that wasn't true. He'd said that because he knew it was what I wanted. I was so far gone into the moment, I hadn't bothered to notice how uncomfortable he was. Before I could get the ropes off, he panicked and got hurt. Physically."
Scott spun around. "That's not your fault. He's the one who lied."
"That sounds good in theory." Mark scrubbed his face with both hands, wincing again when his finger caught the split lip. "God, I don't want to talk about this. Can we just sleep?"
Scott eased back down to the bed, and Mark reached out to pull him in close until Scott's head was lying on his chest. Scott tensed in his arms. "You're hurt."
"Okay." Scott relaxed against him.
When was the last time Mark had held a man like this? That night with Dale. Thank God Scott wasn't shaking the way Dale had been.
Another long pause, and Scott said, "I won't lie to you."
Mark ran a hand down his bare back. He wanted to get closer, somehow touch more. "Thank you."
Scott relaxed even more as he slid his palm over Mark's chest. "I like the way you feel."
Scott lifted his head and placed one soft kiss after another across Mark's chest, then an even softer brush of lips down his bruised side and back up. "I've liked everything you've done to me."
Arousal and the need to take charge slammed into Mark. With the way his body ached, he wasn't getting hard anytime soon, but he couldn't resist doing one thing. He grabbed a fistful of Scott's hair and tugged until he met his stare. "What we did together."
Scott nodded, his breathing coming out in heavy pants. "You always know what to do. It's like you're inside my head."
"But I'm not. I've made some lucky guesses, did what I liked, and it happened to work out. I need to know you'll stop me if I do something you don't want."
"I will. I promise."
Mark let go and held him close again. He waited a moment, but he couldn't avoid one other topic. "Promise me something else."
Than Just a Good Book by Sloan
© Sloan Parker, 2013. All Rights Reserved