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Two years ago, Daniel Walsh’s life had gone to shit. He found out his boyfriend of six years was actually cheating on him. He was also laid off from his job. So Daniel, no longer having anything tying him down to the city, decided to travel the world…
…But then reality reared its ugly head. Now twenty-six, with no work and no money, Daniel moved back to the city where a visit to his mother brings him face-to-face with a certain Nicolas Castillo.
Nick is a thirty-year-old ex-marine just trying to live a civilian life after military service… or so he says. The truth is that he’s a member of an elite, black ops mercenary team called Unit Alpha.
When a mission brings Nick closer to people in Daniel’s past, he can’t believe the good-natured man has ties to some nasty people. But it also unleashes a protective instinct inside him unlike any he’d ever felt before.
With so many suspicious happenings in Daniel’s past, just how will he earn the mercenary’s trust?
Well, that was bullshit.
Daniel Walsh could almost hear the sound of the bouquet of flowers he was holding falling down to the floor with a loud thud.
Thwack. Petals. Petals everywhere on the carpet. That was going to be a bitch to clean up.
Thank God he wasn’t going to be anywhere near here in five minutes.
Life just had a crappy way of springing things on you, didn’t it?
He didn’t need to stay more than five seconds to figure out what had seared into his memory. No matter how many times he was going to wish he wanted it erased from his mind, Daniel was going to keep repeating the same five seconds over, and over, and over until he vomited from how horrible it made him feel.
In fact, his insides lurched already. “Oh God,” Daniel cursed to himself. Please, please, please let this all just be a dream.
A slam of the door and a quick stride to the elevator. He kept pressing the down button, hoping the damn thing would open in time and things wouldn’t get too awkward. It’s not like he was equipped to run all the way down the twenty flights of stairs to the lobby. No, he just wanted to get the fuck out of here, and fast.
Never mind that he had just left his home, where he had been living for three years with his boyfriend, Thad.
Thad, who had ensnared his heart as soon as they’d met in college, six years ago.
Thad, who had pursued him for so long and made Daniel feel like he was attractive, and whom Daniel had poured all of his love into for all those six years.
Thad, whom he’d just caught, naked, with another person in their bed.
Memories flooded into Daniel’s head. His lips quivered as he fought back the tears. No, no, this isn’t happening. This is just a dream. You’re going to wake up from it, and things are going to be fine.
No, it isn’t, a contrarian voice piped up from somewhere inside him. Things are going to shit. It’s probably your fault. You’re the one who forgot that yesterday was your anniversary. But you were working! At his father’s company. Forgetting shouldn’t have been that big of a problem!
Even with his eyes closed, he could still see the image of his boyfriend—ex-boyfriend—balls deep inside a person Daniel didn’t even know. On their bed.
Maybe he shouldn’t have entered the bedroom when he’d already heard was what happening inside.
The squeaking of the bedsprings, the guttural moans, that high-pitched whimpering from a woman who seemed like she was clearly faking it—not that Daniel knew when a woman was faking it, he’d never done anything remotely sexual except kiss that one kind of cute girl in band camp when he was ten—with a combination of sounds like that, Daniel already knew what he was going to be seeing.
Unfortunately, that didn’t stop him from peering inside and then slamming the door when he confirmed what he needed to know.
Yup, that’s Thad. Yup, he’s cheating on me. Yup, he was on the cusp of orgasm. Who knew he still had it in him?
The fact that the person Thad was currently hilted into was a woman didn’t even register in his mind. Cheating was cheating, and the mere sight of skin-on-skin contact was enough to make Daniel dry heave in a bad, bad way.
“Daniel!” He heard someone exclaim behind him, trying to call his attention. No, no, anyone but you, Daniel said to himself, frantically pressing the button to the elevator. “Daniel, wait, baby, I can explain—“
“Oh, no no no no.” Daniel shook his head. Every instinct inside him was clawing at him, telling him to let loose and punch Thad in the face. “We’re not going to do that little dance here. We’re not going to go into that whole cliché conversation. How are you going to explain your dick inside that woman, Thad? How are you going to lie to me, to my face, about how you weren’t just fucking another person in our bed, where we used to sleep together? Where we were building a life together?”
Nope. This was definitely not going well. Not for Daniel’s self-control, anyway. He was a hair’s breadth away from slamming his fist into Thad’s stupid, Adonis-like, chiseled fucking face.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite control himself.
“M… M…” Anger was rolling through him. Bubbling. Seething. It felt like he was about to explode. He couldn’t even finish what he was about to say.
Thad tilted his head. He raised his eyebrow. “Look, baby, I—”
“M … mail, motherfucker!” His fist flung outward and straight up into Thad’s gorgeous, yet dishonest face. There was a satisfying crunch as knuckles came into contact with nose, before the elevator bell dinged and the doors flung open.
What the fuck? Daniel didn’t know what came over him. His eyes widened, and a spreading sense of shame, more than he ever felt before, unfurled inside him. That’s the best you could come up with? No Hasta la Vista, baby? No? Okay.
“Ow! Motherf—” Thad brought a hand to his face, stunned and standing there with an angry scowl. “Son of a bitch! That hurt!”
“I hope you like bleeding all over your date. Enjoy the rest of the night. If you have any shred of human decency left, you’ll put my stuff in a box and I’ll pick it up from the doorman.” Daniel’s voice was curt and low, and exceedingly polite for how infinitely volatile he was feeling.
“Daniel, wait! Please! Hear me out!”
You don’t get the satisfaction, Daniel thought bitterly. But at least I got to smack the shit out of you.
About the Author:
Frey Ortega writes erotic romance, primarily of the gay (both M/M and happy) variety, and basically anything that catches his whimsy. He lives in what a friend affectionately calls “the south-easternmost part of Spain,” which is an archipelago known as the Philippines. He’s a graduate of the University of Santo Tomas (the Royal, Pontifical, and Catholic University of the Philippines!) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Also, he’s so excited to share his stories with all those willing to read them!
He loves writing about people, especially men of all different backgrounds, cultures, and nuanced personalities, falling in love. You might also find him playing video games from time to time! His favorite ones are MMORPGs, and role-playing games in general (and not just the ones in the bedroom.) If you happen to see him in a video game, come say hi!
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