A hot encounter with a security guard afterhours plunges uptight, Wall Street broker Nate Dennis into obsession and possibly something more.
Nate Dennis made corporate VP at thirty-one, won’t spend a dime for a taxi or laundry, and is socking away enough money to retire at forty-five and live large. He’s arranged his life to not make his mom’s mistake of falling in love with a guy who’s going to leave him broken. Besides, any relationship he’s tried has been a helpless puzzle. He’s better at hooking up, no strings attached, and in New York City, there’s no shortage of hot guys with sick bodies who are interested in the same thing.
Then an afterhours encounter in the office with a new security guard Thiago has him questioning everything.
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Class Differences, Coming Out / Closeted, Cultural Differences, Interracial Relationship, Most Mindblowing Sex Ever, Office / Workplace Romance, Sex Buddies Become Lovers
Word Count: 59,000
Setting: New York City
Languages Available: English
A footfall travels from the entrance to my office suite, and the clink of a heavy keychain gains up on me. My company’s floor has got to be deserted at this hour. I figure it must be the security guy from the front desk. I look over to my open door. Thiago stands in the frame with his big, friendly, sexy smile.
“Workin’ overtime, Mr. Dennis?”READ MORE
I rake a hand through my short, sandy brown, standard-issue Wall Street-cut hair. “The fun never ends,” I say. A grin creeps up on my face. Thiago and I were introduced about a week ago when he started training with the day staff to prep him for working the security desk at night. He instantly caught my attention. The guy’s got magnetic charm, he’s six foot three, built like a fitness model, and he has the face of an exotic god. His uniform is snug around his high shoulders and worked-out chest. I’m trying not to look below the waist, but my eyes have betrayed me on more than one occasion. They must not make relaxed fit uniforms for tall guys with thick shoulders and extra junk in the trunk, and thank the lord for that.
“Been doin’ my rounds,” he says. He leans casually against the doorframe, chewing a bit at the side of one of his fingers. “Jus’ you and me on the floor.”
I figure he’s bored and probably starved for company. We’re alone on the floor. Thiago is smoking hot. I never considered he might be gay and interested in more than small talk. I put aside that staggering possibility. Thiago is just the kind of guy who likes to charm everyone. But it sure is nice to be in his company.
I finish my e-mail, send it off, and push the keyboard away from me on my desk. “You started at seven?” I say, scratching behind my ear.
“Yeah. Seven to seven.” He raises his arm, clasps the back of his neck and bows his hips forward, stretching his back. I’m captivated by the movements of his commanding body. “I can’ take sittin’ down the whole time,” he says.
“I know what you mean.” I stand up, twist my neck with a crack, and arch my back to stretch it.
“You should stand up every forty-five minutes or so,” he says. “I seen that on TV. It’s no good for you office guys to sit so long.”
Thiago told me he’s originally from Brazil. He talks like he’s lived in New York City for a while. A lilt of a Brazilian accent comes out every now and then. The combination is pretty interesting and really sexy. I gaze into his brown eyes until I’m overcome with a sinking, bashful feeling.
I need to guard the urges stirring in my body, so I look away. Passing by Thiago at the front desk is easy enough, but he’s standing solidly at my door, and I’m aware I can’t escape him. He hits me that friendly look that reminds me of a puppy dog—eager to get to know you, wanting to please. What am I supposed to do with an amiable straight guy who wants to shoot the shit?
“You got big plans for tonight?” he says.
I half-laugh wryly. “Just a date with my microwave Prob’lyand my bed.”
He scoffs as though I said something ridiculous. “The night is young. You’re young. Livin’ in the biggest party city in the world.”
Thiago has got to be at least five years younger than me. I imagine a weekday night holds a lot more possibility for him than it does for me. I’m an overworked, thirty-two-year-old, foreign exchange executive who would rather veg out in front of the TV after work than scope out the nightlife the city has to offer. Still, I’m flattered by his image of me.
“What would you do if you had the night off?” I ask.
He shrugs. “Prob’ly go downtown. Get some groove on. You never know who you might meet.” He slides his pink tongue across his full lips. The room feels pressured and hot. Words come out of me to break the tension.
“You’re a good looking guy. You must have no problem meeting girls.”
He cocks his head shyly, which is unexpected. “I like meetin’ all kinds of people. But I’m jus’ a security guard. You—you got a good job. Nice office. Somethin’ to offer someone.” He grins. “Betcha get laid all the time.”
I chuckle. It’s been a couple weeks since I hooked up with a guy on Grindr, some dude, probably married, who had me going out to Brooklyn. Truly, the anticipation was a whole lot better than our quick and fumbling encounter in the backseat of his SUV. Thiago is being ambiguous about gender. I wonder if I’m imagining the flirty energy coming from him. I’m not kidding when I say he looks like he could pick up anyone he met just walking down the street. Planted in front of my door, his behavior confuses me.
“It doesn’t happen as much as you might think,” I say.
“You like sex?”
A blush burns across my face. I always get shy when my sex life comes up around straight men. Besides, is this an appropriate conversation to be having with my company’s security guard? The answer is obvious, though, and I laugh nervously. “Well, yeah.”
I’m feeling a little shattered and turned on at the same time. Thiago’s gaze is like flood lights looking me over, as though he can see me stripped down bare. I can’t produce a word in response.COLLAPSE
"Romantic, gay smut" does not nearly do justice to the wonderful achievement of this raw, sensitively written, surprisingly touching novel--either as romance or as gay smut. It works spectacularly well as both, and is one of the most authentic-feeling and flat out flame-stoking contemporary m/m romances I have read this year.