Duty and Devotion
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by Tere Michaels
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: Related Titles: Faith & Fidelity and Love & Loyalty
Note: Duty & Devotion is the sequel to Faith & Fidelity
After their happily ever after in Faith & Fidelity, Matt and Evan move forward to a new chapter of their lives -- inside the bedroom and out -- with some surprises in store for both. Evan struggles with labels and feelings even as he wants to give in to his baser desires. Matt, now the ideal househusband of Queens, New York, has his own set of struggles -- who is he now? What does he need and want?
A visit from his friend and one-night stand Jim Shea (of Love & Loyalty) throws everything into disarray as Evan's jealousy and unease push Matt's buttons -- and not always in a good way.
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Male/male sexual practices.
eBook Publisher: Loose Id, LLC, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: May 2010
142 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [232 KB]
Reading time: 141-198 min.
Queens, New York
"I think this couch just makes me horny."
"How does the bed make you feel?"
Matt blinked. "I think it makes me feel...surprised."
"I want you to come upstairs with me."
"In a minute." Because Matt needed to take care of something first. He put his hand on Evan's chest--scars, heartbeat, muscles--pushed him back enough to reach the fly of his jeans. He held Evan's gaze, and he liked what he saw: still some shyness, still some fear but mostly--this time it was mostly lust.
And maybe something more.
"You break up with me again, I'm going to do something drastic...like move to New Jersey," Matt murmured, pulling open Evan's jeans and reveling in the sound it produced.
"Can't...have that," Evan said, breathless and raw.
Matt had a tight grip on Evan's cock, and then the talking was over.
Evan put his T-shirt at the bottom of the kitchen garbage.
He shut off all the lights and headed up the stairs, heading for the bedroom. Matt had already gone up.
Matt in his bedroom.
Evan didn't freak out; he had a single moment of missing Sherri, then gently pushed the thought to the side. Not out of the picture, because she would never ever be completely gone from his mind, his life, but there was room now for both of them.
He put his hand on the doorknob, inhaled, and pushed it open. Matt was standing at the side of the bed, stripped naked and looking slightly confused.
"You, uh...changed the room?"
"Yeah, thought it was time." Evan shut the door, turned the lock.
"I like it."
"Thanks. Sheets are clean," he added, helpful and a little dorky at once.
Matt laughed, shaking his head. Climbed into the bed, punching the pillows like he was settling in for a long winter's nap. Like he was settling in, period.
"Not for long. Get in."
Evan's jeans hit the closet wall in record time.
Half an hour after happily ever after...
"So..." Evan Cerelli began, staring at the shadowy corners of his bedroom ceiling. From next to him, his--he'd really have to come up with a name that didn't make him cringe--his Matt was coasting toward the edge of sleep, making little moves to find a comfortable spot.
Apparently the "guys sleep after sex" theory was a fifty-fifty split based solely on the occupants of the bed.
"So? I told you, if you try to dump me again, I'm ditching this place for the Midwest."
"You said New Jersey."
"New Jersey is the Midwest."
"No, it's not."
"Everything after the George Washington Bridge is the Midwest," Matt humphed.
"You're not going to New Jersey. Or the actual Midwest."
"Then make sure you don't dump me."
Matt shifted onto his side to give Evan an appraising glare. They'd ridden an emotionally taxing roller coaster over the past few months--falling in love unexpectedly, Evan's injury on the job, the kids, the everything that seemed to propel them into a mess. And he could easily read the aforementioned glare.
"I'm not dumping you. Idiot. The kids would never forgive me," Evan said lightly. I would probably stop breathing, he thought. "I was just going to say...so, where do we go from here?"
"Are you quoting me song lyrics?" The sarcastic tone covered up something which Evan couldn't miss--insecurity. He rolled to face Matt, slipping an arm around his middle.
"Not on purpose. Just trying to get a handle on things."
"You can't relax for like...twenty minutes?" Matt sighed.
"I made sure it was a half hour." Evan smiled.
"Clock watcher." Matt mirrored Evan's position so that they were nearly nose to nose. The heat generation they brewed between them could probably save him thousands on the gas bills for the coming winter.
It also meant they didn't have much time between conversation and the other stuff that made Evan's head spin.
"What do you want to figure out?"
"We're back together, and the kids are...the kids are very happy," Evan began. "I want to make sure we do this right from here on out."
"Okay by me." Matt paused. "And for the record, I really don't know what that means."
"It's just...before you were a friend, and that was fine, comfortable. But now..."
"But now I'm Dad's very special naked-time friend, and that might be a problem?"
"I don't think it's impossible to imagine the kids might get...uncomfortable." Evan didn't get defensive--a fact he was epically proud of--but the worry started to plague him once again.
"I don't want the kids to be freaked out." Evan could feel Matt withdrawing slightly. "You talk to them, see how they want it to go down, and I'm okay with that."
"They love you," Evan said. "I love you. They're great, great kids but I can't take for granted that it'll go smoothly for them."
"Or you." Matt's dark eyes got a little more shadowed. "The neighborhood. Work."
"My boss and my partner know. My kids are happy. No one else's opinion matters."
Evan groaned. "Ellie knows. Ellie's okay with it."
"I know that's not what you meant. God, are you trying to keep me awake for the rest of the night?" Evan rolled onto his back, covering his face with his forearm. His former in-laws, Josie and Phil, finding out was his number one nightmare these days, even with the resolve to make things right with Matt and move on with his life.
"This would be a bad time to make a sexually laden remark, right?" Matt deadpanned.
"Listen--I know I'm being an asshole about this, but I gotta protect myself." Matt's voice had gone gruff and quiet again. "Maybe down the line we figure out this isn't working, and we walk away. Or maybe we get old together. Either way, I can't do blindsided again."
"Fair enough." Evan uncovered his eyes. "Fair enough."
"We both want what's best for the kids. We both want to be together. The details will work themselves out."
"I don't do seat-of-the-pants very well." Evan laughed. "You might have noticed."
"Fortunately I find your uptight control-freak tendencies attractive."
"Awww, now you're just trying to romance my pants off."
Matt's hand slid under the blanket to the elastic waist of Evan's sleep pants. "Is it working?"
Evan swallowed hard. "Uh...yeah. Actually it is."