|Never Happened by Lynn Kelling|
For Gabriel Hunter, a professional Dominant, avoiding real intimacy is paramount. Even the cautious love he has for his closest friend—fellow Dominant Ben Knox—is a potential source of further pain. Ben knows all about the shadows in Gabriel’s past. Every once in a while, when the opportunity presents itself, Ben can’t resist giving Gabriel a sample of what he’s been missing. (M/M)
His mental walls, which have been protecting him so well, are now more of a hindrance, because how could he ever think of letting anyone get as close to him as Kyle has gotten to Ben? Gabriel can’t even imagine trusting someone that much, allowing another man to get that far inside his comfort zone. There’d have to be confessions, truths told. While the walls still stand, barricading Gabriel from the bad things awaiting out there in the world, he remains safer, but painfully on his own. And that sucks.
He takes a swig from his glass, hisses at the burn. There are footsteps behind him.
As soon as he grunts the bitter coupling of words, he knows it was the wrong thing to say. Ben, with his naturally curly, trimmed-short hair, his neat, immaculately maintained beard and vibrantly blue, aggravatingly intelligent eyes, comes up behind him, reaching around to grab the tumbler right out of Gabriel’s hand. Sniffing its contents, then opening the nearest cabinet to find the bottle, he says pleasantly, “Well, I think we all know what this means. Whip it out.”
“Knox,” Gabriel complains, trying to shrug Ben off when he wraps his meaty hands around Gabriel’s shoulders and starts to rub, kneading the tension away. “Go bang your human fucktoy and leave me alone.”
If Ben is in here, Gabriel knows Kyle can’t be far away. Gabriel glances around for the little, blond, deceptively-angelic-looking weasel, seeing no signs of him, while Ben sips some of Gabriel’s rum and nonchalantly cups Gabriel’s crotch through his jeans. By all intents and purposes, it should be weird to be so casually fondled by your best friend, but nothing in their lives is normal anyway, and it hasn’t been for as long as they can remember. The rules everyone else likes to play by just don’t exist here, between the two professional Dominants.
“Nah,” Ben says, eyeing him with a knowing glint in his eye, “You drinking rum, here, and bitching like a little cunt, is like finding you naked in my bed with a big, pink bow around your pecker. You’ve got my attention, sweetheart. Let Benny make it better.”