By: Megan Slayer | Other books by Megan Slayer
Published By: Liquid Silver Books
Published: Dec 19, 2011
ISBN # 9781595789112
Published By: Liquid Silver Books
Published: Dec 19, 2011
ISBN # 9781595789112
Word Count: 15,520
Price: $2.99 $1.50 (after rebate)
Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket (.prc), Mobipocket (.mobi), Rocket, Epub
Believe by Megan Slayer - Romance>LGBTQ>GayRaylan believed himself unworthy of love until he met Chase. Chase brought out Raylan’s natural need to control and the power to force submission. But time and distance make having a relationship hard. Can Raylan prove to Chase they have what it takes for love to last through this Christmas and every other Christmas for the rest of their lives?
Chase found the muse for his songs in Raylan. Each time they touch, kiss, make love, music fills his soul. But working odd gigs to make ends meet while Raylan photographs rock and roll royalty isn’t beneficial to Chase’s creativity. Can he convince Raylan they’re better off together than apart?
Content Notes: Contemporary, GLBT, M/M, BDSM, Musicians, Music
Reader Rating: 4.0 (1 Ratings)
“Christmas is the time for doing unto others, man.”
Chase cocked one brow and stared at his band mate. “Dave, how much have you had to drink? You’re swaying.”
“Two.” Dave wobbled on his feet. “One was a virgin.”
“Not the blonde I saw you in the corner with. I meant what have you had to drink.” He gritted his teeth. “We’re here to play music, not to get you a date.”
“Fucktard.” Dave sneered and his bloodshot eyes narrowed. “Maybe if you got some on a steady basis, you wouldn’t be such a pain in the ass. It’s almost Christmas, man. Just leave me the fuck alone.” He turned away from Chase, only to turn back again. “Better yet, why don’t you just fuck me and get it out of your system? I heard Raylan’s got a guy on the side. What if I’m the one to get your songwriting mojo working again? I could be.”
The thrum of conversation and the sticky sweet scent of eggnog wafted around Chase, souring his stomach. Playing the little gigs here and there helped pay the bills, but it did nothing for his love life and even less for his desire to write songs. Forget Dave and his come-ons. Chase missed spending time with his partner. Hell, he missed actually being in the apartment at the same time as Raylan. Thirteen Christmas parties in a little more than three weeks and for what? Fifty bucks a gig and no new tunes written.
The money hardly seemed worth his effort when the time he did get with Raylan was either spent sleeping or crossing paths—not being inspired to write something new. Sure they’d been a couple for more than six months and talked every day, but he missed Raylan. Missed Raylan’s arms around him, his murmurs in his ear, the slap of his hand on Chase’s ass when he came and the passion in Raylan’s eyes when he used the rope.
Chase shivered and adjusted his guitar to hide the growing erection. Just thinking about Raylan made him hard as steel. He shoved his thoughts from Raylan and back to the Christmas party for the—he checked the calendar listing on his phone—Rockwood Community Alliance Group Christmas Extravaganza. He committed the name to memory and prayed he didn’t forget once he went back on stage.
“You still don’t want to fuck me, do you? Fine. I don’t want to fuck you either.” Beside Chase, Dave burped, and the sound ricocheted off the hallway wall. “That last one was a pisser.”
“Huh?” Chase shook his head. “Never mind. We’re on in five minutes for the second set. See if you can keep yourself upright until midnight.” Chase waved the stench of beer from his face and coughed. He didn’t want to consider the idea Raylan might have a guy on the side. They hadn’t been together for the longest amount of time, but in his mind, what they had was stronger than steel. When he and Raylan were in the same room together, he’d sort things out.
“The pisser is trying to cheer you up. I’m a sucker for a guy with a guitar and a hot ass. Your loss.” Dave wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and skulked away.
Tired and frustrated, Chase closed his eyes to focus. In two hours he could go home. If he was lucky, Raylan was back from his trip to New York. If not, Mercury would keep him company. Not fun to have a feline companion as the only one to talk to, but Mercury never talked back or sat in judgment.
Chase opened his eyes and glanced around the hallway. He could’ve sworn he heard music. From where? His back pocket buzzed. His phone. Duh. He rolled his eyes and retrieved the phone. Chase’s heart leapt. Raylan smiled back at him in his profile picture.
“Hey.” Chase kept the rest of the words on his tongue at bay. Shouting “Come home for Christmas. I need to feel you inside me—I want to fuck you straight through to the New Year” would certainly get him some odd looks and might get him fired.
“Hi, sexy. Another gig? I thought you gave those up for the season.”
Raylan’s light tone slithered down Chase’s spine. He yearned to be in the same physical space with Raylan. “Yeah. Two more hours of playing eighties covers for drunken office workers. Could be worse, could be better, but it makes it so much easier to pay for your Christmas present.” He spun the knotwork commitment ring from Raylan around the ring finger of his left hand. “Where are you? Tell me you are home and naked and waiting for me.” A little too blunt, but he didn’t care. He needed Raylan.
“You’ve become more forthright since I left this last time. I like it, but then I am partial to you.” Raylan chuckled. “I’m not naked, but I am waiting on you. I’ve spent the last five minutes talking to Mercury and wondering where our man went.” On his end of the line, Raylan paused. “I’m home until January tenth. Sampson took pity on me after I whined more than once that I wanted to be home for the holidays. I know it’s the day before Christmas Eve, but Merry Christmas.”
Home until January. Chase loved the sound of that. He tapped his ring on the hip of his guitar. “I don’t care what day it is. I’m so ready to be home right now. I miss you.” Chase slid his guitar behind his back and pinched the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger. “I miss you a lot.”
“Why don’t we meet for a drink at Merinos? We can have a little party of our own and then make up for lost time afterwards. I’ve missed you, too.”
Chase nodded. “Just don’t make me wait like a dork. I’ve got a reputation to live up to. Love you.”
“Love you, Chase—crazy reputation and everything. Always.”
Chase pressed the button to end the call and scrubbed his hand across his mouth, kissing his ring. The smile remained on his lips. The next two hours would go by at a turtle’s pace, but if it meant seeing Raylan at the end of the night, he’d gladly play for whoever asked.
* * * *
“Lover boy will be here.” Sampson winked. “It’s snowing like a bitch, and he’s probably in traffic, so hold your wad. You know how Cleveland traffic sucks around Christmas time.”
Twinkling lights festooned the ceiling and bounced rainbows off the Mylar bows affixed to every table. Clouds of fake snow puddled around the bar top. Carols played on the loudspeaker system, and iridescent snowflake decorations twirled from strings on the ceiling. Raylan glanced at the door once more. Okay, so going to a bar at midnight on a Saturday night in December hadn’t been his best idea. Anything was better than being in the apartment alone to deal with the uncertainty and things he couldn’t control.
“Are you thinking about Jackson?” Sampson kicked Raylan under the table. “You are, damn it. What did I tell you?”
“No,” Raylan snapped, knowing it was a partial lie.
“Look, you spent way too much time in New York on my mandate. It wasn’t my brightest plan, but you did. Jackson Havers isn’t worth trashing what you have with Chase. He’s a drama queen and probably made up whatever he’s claiming happened just to get you back for turning him down. He lives for drama. Don’t feed into that. Focus on the real reason you wanted Chase all alone tonight. He’ll love it.”
Raylan toyed with the umbrella in his mimosa and clenched his teeth. The thing was, nothing had happened between him and Jackson. Nothing. No time spent alone together, no long phone calls, not even a quickie in the bathroom. But Jackson had done the one thing Raylan thought impossible—shaken his faith in Chase. And right when he needed his faith the most.
“Isaac will back you up. He was there doing the actual interview. Whatever Jackson says, Isaac can verify the truth. Besides, I’d love to go toe to toe with Jackson. I’d teach him a thing or two.”
“Yeah. He’d love that. He gets off on adulation.” Raylan drew circles in the condensation on the glass. “Believe me, I didn’t fuck him. You can have him.”
“Didn’t fuck who?”
Raylan’s blood ran cold. He knew the voice, but he could’ve sworn he left that disaster back at home in Clearfork, Ohio. A pair of work-roughened hands spread out on the table before him.
Sampson’s eyes widened, and his mouth fell open. “You’re kidding me. Another groupie?”
“He’s not a groupie,” Raylan muttered.
“Now, Raylan. Who is the fine hunk of man? Is he the one you didn’t fuck?” Brian tipped his head and elbowed Raylan. “My name is Brian Walters. You are?”
“Leaving.” Sampson slipped down off his highboy chair. He shook his head. “I’ll see you…later.”
Raylan gulped down a long swallow of his drink. The alcohol burned all the way down to his stomach. He had no idea why Brian had chosen to make an appearance in his life, but as always, Brian had piss-poor timing.
“Bluntness might be my forte, but I’m not impressed by you.” Sampson continued to shake his head as he placed money on the table. He leaned in close to Raylan. “Go with your gut, not him.”
For his part, Brian plopped down in Sampson’s vacated chair and stared at Raylan with a smug grin curling his lips. He waited for Sampson to leave before speaking.
“Whoever he is, he’s wrong and not worth fucking. Too thin, too bald and too controlling. The next thing you know, he’ll want to move in and buy drapes or some shit.” Brian tipped his head and sighed. “We had something, you know? We could’ve had the whole white picket fence dream, complete with monograms and all the girly crap that comes with—” He shuddered. “—monogamy.” He reached across the table, waggling his fingers. “Give me your hand. I won’t bite—unless you’re finally into that.”
“No.” Raylan recoiled and folded his hands in his lap. “Why are you here?” Besides to ruin my life… “You never wanted to leave home, so please go back there.”
Brian sat back in his chair and crossed his arms. “Still combative and scared. I knew you couldn’t change. Still got that ridiculous streak in your hair, too. At least it’s red, not pink. I’ll bet you never took the bolt out of your tongue. How about letting me look for your newest tattoo?”
Raylan groaned. Again with the changing-who-he-was-to-be-what-Brian-needed speech. Raylan glanced around the bar. Where the hell was Chase when he wanted him?
“I tracked you down because things aren’t the same without you. I saw your web page and your who’s who list. I’m impressed. When did you meet Bobby Vee? He doesn’t talk to the media.”
“You stalked me?” Yes, he listed client comments and accolades on his website—who didn’t?—but Brian wasn’t the type to cruise the internet without a reason.
“I came hunting for the only man I’ve ever wanted—you. But I need mutual control. I need submission. I need…” Brian stared over Raylan’s shoulder. “I need that piece of ass nailed to my wall. Sh-it. He’s hot and young.”
Raylan directed his attention to the object of Brian’s predatory glare. His heart hammered in his chest. Chase. Grin on his lips and his honey-colored hair spiked, Chase embodied all of Raylan’s dirtiest dreams.
“He’s a fine lookin’ one. Doesn’t even scream gay…just ripped and ready.” Raylan jumped as he realized Brian stood right next to him, encroaching on his personal space. He wrapped his arm around Raylan’s shoulders and whispered into his ear. “He’s yours, isn’t he?”
What the hell was he going to say? If Raylan admitted the truth, Brian would pounce faster than light. If he kept quiet, the intrigue would do the same trick.
“Raylan.” Chase’s eyes glittered in the sparkling light. “I missed…you…” His smile drooped, and his jaw tensed. “Happy holidays, indeed.”
“It’s not what you think.” Raylan shoved out of Brian’s grasp and took his place beside Chase. “Hey, babe.” God, he hated sounding so wimpy. Damn Brian and his intrusion.
“I saw you across the bar. I know what’s going on.” Chase wrapped his arms around his lover. “You came home, dressed up for me and wanted to prove you don’t want anyone besides me. I like it.” He nibbled along Raylan’s jaw and murmured in his ear. “I can’t wait for you to take me home. My ass needs a good spanking.”
Raylan shuddered at the lust and desire in Chase’s voice. Yes, they needed to go home and soon. A good spanking… He turned in Chase’s arms and feathered his lips across Chase’s. The simple kiss turned feral in an instant. God, he needed this man. Forever. As soon as they got away from prying eyes, he’d do what he came home to do.
“That is so hot.” Brian’s breath fanned over Raylan’s skin. “I want to see you fuck him. Then we can both fuck him.”
Chase inched away from Raylan and cocked his head. “Whoever you are, blow.”
“I don’t blow anyone. That’s your job,” Brian spat. “And I bet you’re good at it.”
Chase snorted. “I think I need a drink. Holiday ale sounds perfect. Want anything?” He kissed Raylan on the cheek and grabbed a handful of his ass. “No? I’ll be right back.”
Fury slammed through Raylan’s veins, but he waited for Chase to wind his way through the crowd before he turned on Brian and growled, “Don’t you ever pull that shit around me again.” He balled his fists at his sides. “You didn’t want the man I am, and you have no idea what you threw away. You threw me away. Don’t come around here making trouble in situations where you aren’t welcome.”
“It’s the time of fellowship and giving. The time to put differences aside,” Brian replied in a sing-song voice. “Time to swallow my load like a good boy and to not bitch like a girl. You want me, and you know it.”
“Cut your losses and leave me the fuck alone,” Raylan snapped.
Brian put both hands in the air. “I hate dominant men. So full of themselves and so fucking perfect.” He leaned in close enough for only Raylan to hear him. “You’ll always be a piece of shit to me. I’m glad I dropped your ass.” Brian dipped his head and turned on his heel, disappearing into the crowd.
Stunned by both Brian’s sudden appearance and his comments, Raylan eased into his chair. He glanced through the throng of dancers, the patrons at the bar, and the crowd hovering at the edge of the dance floor. No Chase. Shit. The first night back and things had to go to hell in the space of twenty minutes. So much for a jolly, festive evening.