CONTROLLING THE BURN
Erotic Alternative Older Hero Romantic Suspense, M/M, HEA
Drew Ward knows how to keep his head in the game and, now that he’s accomplished his mission to become one of the elite Loveland Smoke Jumpers, he’s turning his attention to the man he’s wanted nearly half his life. Seasoned smoke jumper Wesley Payton might be twenty years older, but he’s one hotbed of perfection Drew aims to have, and he won’t stop his pursuit until Wesley belongs to him.
Wesley has avoided being caught alone with Drew for six weeks, but he hasn’t managed to evade the fire burning inside him for the younger man. Drew is sinfully sexy, dangerously tempting, and Wesley knows if he lets the man get too close he’ll be toast. But Drew isn’t a man who backs off easily, and when Wesley suddenly finds himself in the man’s arms, he knows he’s parachuted into a wildfire he won’t be able to control.
“Mind if I come in?” The request spilled from Wesley’s lips before he could think to stop it and the next thought to slam into his brain was a very loud, very insistent game on.
Drew’s surprise morphed to utter shock. He glanced down at himself, leveled his gaze with Wesley’s once more, and a devilish grin unfolded on his lips. “Given my current state of dress, or lack thereof, I’m hoping that question means I’m going to have to fight you off once I get you in here.”
Wesley didn’t comment as Drew moved aside, waited for him to enter the room, then closed the door behind him. The sound of the lock engaging into place reverberated, the sexually charged atmosphere rapidly overtaking the room like a nuclear explosion.
“Would you?” Wesley turned, found himself within arm’s reach of the man, and lifted a brow. “Fight me off, I mean?”
Drew made a raspberry sound with his lips and barked a laugh. “Fuck, no.”
Wesley smiled. “Yeah, I guess I’ve been doing enough fighting for the both of us.”
Drew’s eyes narrowed. “But, unless my vibe-o-meter is on the fritz here, I’m getting the impression you’re done with that.”
Wesley took a half step toward Drew, hooked an arm around his waist, and yanked the man against him. “Yeah, I’m done with that.”
* * * *
Wesley kissed him and Drew wound his arms around the man’s neck. Wesley kissed him and Drew lost himself in the man’s taste. Wesley kissed him and Drew felt his whole world shift on its axis.
It was different than the tonsil-licking kiss they’d shared in the weight room that morning before Drew had taken Wesley’s cock into his mouth. It was different than the soft peck Wesley had given him before he’d walked out the door of that weight room, because this time Wesley had come after him.
Thank you, sweet baby Jesus.
And, this time, hello, detonation, Wesley wasn’t holding anything back. He angled his head, taking the kiss deeper as his arm around Drew’s waist shifted. He skimmed a flattened palm up Drew’s spine. The contrast of Wesley’s callused hand to the smooth flesh of his back felt nothing short of sheer testosterone-pleasuring bliss. The hand came to rest on Drew’s hip as Wesley glided it back down and Drew felt the fingers of his other hand bunch the towel he wore in a firm grip a nanosecond before Wesley ripped it away.
Determined not to be outdone, desperately needing to be skin to skin with this man, Drew made his hands busy, too. He splayed his hands on Wesley’s broad shoulders, dragged them down the man’s powerful biceps, and skipped them to the man’s sides where he gathered the tight-fitting T-shirt the man wore into his fingers and pulled it up between their bodies.
Wesley broke the kiss long enough for Drew to yank the shirt over his head and then his mouth was back. His tongue thrust between Drew’s parted lips as if he couldn’t get enough of Drew’s taste.
Drew said another silent thank-you to the powers that be as he allowed himself to be consumed. He’d been taking on the role of aggressor from the start, biding his time these last six weeks, forcing himself to focus on getting through training and securing his place in the unit before he jumped feet first into his pursuit of Wesley. Tonight, Wesley was taking that aggressor role away from him, demanding he surrender, and no way in hell was he going to argue.
Drew tossed Wesley’s shirt through the air, heard it knock over something on the dresser, and dismissed the sound as he found the waistband of the man’s jeans and started fumbling for the button. Wesley’s hands were roaming his back and ass, making it terminally difficult for Drew to concentrate. Still, he managed to free the button. He groped for the zipper tag, felt his fingers collide with another blasted button, and growled like a wounded animal into Wesley’s mouth.
“Really, babe?” Drew pulled back, narrowing his eyes at the laughter he saw dancing in Wesley’s. “What? Did you think button-fly jeans would save you if you suddenly came to your senses and changed your mind?”
“They were the only clean pair I had left.”
“Well, sweetie, they’re gonna need mending after this.” Drew closed his fingers tightly on the denim and yanked, sending the remaining buttons flying. He didn’t spare them an ounce of his attention, not caring where they landed or what they hit on their way down. With Wesley’s jeans now gaping open, he gripped the waistband and pushed them down the man’s legs.
Wesley shifted, which didn’t help a bit until Drew realized the man was kicking off his tennis shoes, which definitely did help.
“While you’re doing all that kicking, send these with the shoes.” Drew shucked Wesley’s jeans the rest of the way down the man’s legs and let Wesley take over.
Then, finally, finally, when Wesley pulled Drew fully against him again, they were skin to skin. Wesley made a sound that so perfectly echoed the sensations Drew felt as their chests pressed against one another, the heat between them so suffocating, it might have drained all the oxygen. Every breath seemed to ignite the flames higher, make them burn hotter until a backdraft seemed inevitable.
“Geezus,” Wesley whispered on a breathy exhale. His head fell back on his shoulders and he went still in Drew’s embrace.
Drew’s heart skipped a fearful beat. “You can’t start having second thoughts, not now, not when you’ve let me get this far, this close.”
Wesley lifted his head, opened his eyes, and met Drew’s gaze. His arms were around Drew, one hand gliding up Drew’s back while the other skimmed over his ass. “It’s not that. It’s, damn, you feel so fucking good.”
Drew smiled and his heart settled back into a rapid rhythm. “Now that you’re allowed to think.”
Tonya Ramagos is a best-selling author of erotic romance series such as The Heroes of Silver Springs, The Heroes of Silver Island, and Uniformed and Blazing Hot, as well as many single title romances. She also writes Old West novels under the name Bonnie Parker. She is a full-time author writing exclusively for Siren Publishing, in her opinion, the absolute best publishing company in the business. An avid reader, hiker, and dart thrower, she lives in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area with her husband, their five children, and four cats.
Twitter: @tonyaramagos (https://twitter.com/TonyaRamagos)
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