In with the new and out with the old? Sometimes new things come with old vendettas.
A deadly game of cat and mouse has made Adam realize someone sees him as the cheese. And that same someone is setting a trap that could put an end to Adam’s love life issues…once and for all.
Adam Hoale stood on the edges of the party, his gaze sweeping over the jumbled mass of humanity gyrating and jockeying for position as Midnight approached. The temperature in the trendy club had risen steadily as bodies continued to pack into the place, and the music did its best to seduce them all into degenerate behavior.
He sipped an icy beer and wished he could share the moment with the love of his life. But Dirk Williams wasn’t there. And if he were he wouldn’t indulge in a very public embrace with Adam. It was just the way it was. He told himself he was growing accustomed to it…that he no longer missed the public affirmation of their feelings. Except the regret still managed to hit him in brief, rare moments like the one he was living.
A strident shriek had him lifting his gaze toward the dance floor, where Mink, his realtor and longtime best friend, danced wildly in circles with his slender arms lifted over his head. The light from the swirling globe strobed across Mink’s spiky blond hair, turning it to platinum before drifting away to caress its way over the man Mink was dancing with. Mink’s newest boy toy was truly delectable, with a square jaw, bright red hair cut military short and blue eyes that sparkled when he looked at Mink. A quiet, introspective man, Delf Morden grinned widely at Mink’s antics, seemingly amused as always by the fun-loving realtor’s joie de vivre.
Shaking his head, Adam sipped his beer. The cold, wheaty brew slid soothingly down his throat, cooling him from the inside out. His gaze searched for his other friends, finding Maddy not too far away from Mink and Delf, in a clutch with her girlfriend, Rosalita. The lovers swayed to a tune all their own. Watching them, Adam experienced a quick surge of envy that he drown in another sip of his beer.
The music stopped suddenly and the crowd cheered as the DJ leaned into the microphone. “It’s time, folks. One minute until we start the countdown.”
The crowd shifted, roiled, as lovers and hopeful lovers moved within kissing distance. Adam felt a keen sense of discomfort, realizing in that moment that it had been a mistake for him to come. He stepped back into the shadows and settled his beer on a nearby table.
His gaze slid toward the door, a distant beacon beyond a mass of shifting humanity. As the DJ started the countdown and the globe swirling over the dance floor began its slow descent, Adam made a snap decision and started toward the door. It was slow going and panic blossomed in Adam’s chest, making his heart pound.
What if he didn’t make it out in time? What if he were stuck there? Alone and conspicuous?
He pushed closer to the wall, realizing the crush was less on the perimeter. The door was still twenty feet away when the DJ yelled out “Happy New Year!”
The crowd repeated the declaration as the globe dropped the final inches, the sound booming off the walls and reverberating against Adam’s ears.
The silver light died at the same moment the strobes high above their heads winked out and the room went pitch dark and silent in the same moment. Adam had the briefest second to think about the fact that he stood alone in the dark, surrounded by lovers, before a strong hand wrapped around his forearm and yanked him against a broad chest.
“I love you, Adam.” The husky whisper sent warm breath sifting across his face and Adam shivered delightfully on the words. A steely pair of arms enclosed him as a soft pair of lips found his unerringly in the dark. Adam’s heart swelled. He pressed against the familiar form, his hands sliding down to cup a firm and deliciously round pair of buttocks. His tongue slipped between the phantom lips caressing his, dancing against a tongue that had a sweet minty taste he recognized all too well.
Way too soon the kiss ended and something long and thin was pushed into his hand. Quick pain made him gasp and lift his finger to his lips, sucking salty blood from the wound.