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by Sean Michael
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: Combining two previous Sean Michael novels, The Center of Earth and Sky and Painting the Desert, Center focuses on twins Grey and Raine Holstein, who have a good life together. But that doesn't mean they're not willing to play. When they meet schoolteacher Whit, they both want to take him home. Whit is quickly drawn into a sensual world where passion overcomes panic, where a simple meal becomes an erotic feast, and where love is the paramount rule. The three of them try to find a way to make a life together, making sure no one is left out. Grey, Raine and Whit seem to be living a charmed life, but their whole world is threatened when Grey is diagnosed with cancer, and everything starts to fall apart. Grey is their rock, and as he's ravaged by the cancer treatment, Whit and Raine struggle to hold it together. Will Whit find the strength to be what his lovers need him to be? Can he remain in the center of such a storm and survive it intact?
eBook Publisher: Torquere Press/Top Shelf, 2010 www.torquerepress.com
eBookwise Release Date: March 2011
12 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [436 KB]
Reading time: 281-393 min.
The barstools two down from him were filled, but a muscular redhead coming out of the men's room had caught his eye, so he didn't look. Well, not until he heard a deep, rich voice order a scotch on the rocks and a vodka and tonic.
When he turned his head, he blinked. Two men sat at the bar, carbon copies of each other. Dark skin, black eyes, hooked, hawk-like noses, cheekbones that wouldn't quit, and the same long, black hair. Either one would be good looking, but together, they were stunning.
They were dressed similarly -- black t-shirts, jeans, and leather jackets. The man farthest from him had an earring. The bartender handed the closer man the two drinks; he kept the scotch and handed the vodka over to his... companion.
He tried not to stare, but he couldn't help himself. He watched them over the top of his beer glass, wondering what their story was. Were they together? The thought made his cock twitch hard.
They had settled, not speaking, not doing much of anything. Every now and again, the man with the earring would catch his gaze in the bar mirror, holding his eyes for a while and then looking away.
Flirting. He was being flirted with. So was Earring gay and his twin along for moral support?
The next time Earring caught his eye, he smiled. Earring pinked, smiling back and nodding once, holding his eyes for a little bit longer before the gaze dropped to his glass.
He licked his lips, trying to decide if he should move closer, let Earring know he was interested. But he couldn't just slide down; Earring was on the far side...
He asked for another beer.
The next time he looked the twins were speaking to one another, dark heads close, voices inaudible. Then, as he watched, Earring reached up and cupped the other one's cheek, stroked it once. Then Earring stood and sat one barstool away from him at the bar, still nursing the vodka.
Well, the worst that could happen would be getting shot down -- wasn't anything that hadn't happened before. Swallowing his nerves, he shifted over one seat. "Hi."
Earring smiled at him. "Hey."
Earring's voice was soft, not rough or husky. He grinned. He'd expected them to sound the same.
"Can I get you another?" he asked, nodding at the vodka and tonic.
"Oh, thanks." A wide, square hand was offered, heavy copper bracelet shining in the lights. "I'm Raine Holstein."
He offered his own hand back, hoping to hell it wasn't too damp. "Bartholomew Whittaker. Please call me Whit."
He couldn't help glancing up over at Raine's twin.
"That's Grey." Raine smiled over at his twin, who gave him a slow, smoldering look, then turned to nod to Whit.
"Hi," he managed, with a nod and without squeaking. He wasn't quite sure what was going on. Raine seem interested enough to flirt at least, and move closer, but Grey looked like he was all about Raine.
"So, I, uh... haven't seen you here before -- you new in town?"
Raine nodded his head. "Yeah, actually. We got here a few months ago. We own a gallery and a little antique shop. Just got things settled in finally. Decided to come and play." Raine flashed him a quick smile. "I like playing and Grey... well, he says he humors me, but he likes to play too."
"Together?" he asked, probably a little too eagerly, but the idea excited him and he figured it was better to be honest and let that show than try to pretend a casualness he wouldn't be able to follow through on later.
"Yes, together." Grey's deep, gravelly voice sounded as his hand settled on Raine's shoulder. He had a matching bracelet, heavy and beautiful. "Raine doesn't play without me."
Raine chuckled and nodded, nuzzling Grey's hand. "We're a matched set."