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by Alexa Snow
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: Carter and Nate aren't always easy together. Carter's book tour doesn't make it any simpler, putting pressure on their relationship, even though Nate goes on the road with Carter to keep him company. Family problems cause strife, but that's not their only problem. When Carter's past catches up with their present, he and Nate have to fear for their safety as well as their relationship. Can they keep each other safe, and keep it together when things start to go terribly wrong? Carter and Nate first appeared in the popular novel Clear Cut.
eBook Publisher: Torquere Press/Single Shot, 2009 http://www.torquerepress.com
eBookwise Release Date: August 2009
16 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [83 KB]
Reading time: 53-74 min.
Nate Tavaras leaned against a bookshelf behind a crowd of people sitting in metal folding chairs and watched as Carter read from his book, Sustainable Limits, which had come out six weeks earlier.
He wasn't listening; Carter had practiced at home for weeks until Nate had picked up the nearest book--not Carter's, just some paperback that was sitting around with dozens of others because Carter never stopped reading--and thrown it at him.
"Hey!" Carter had said.
"Hay is for horses," Nate told him. "You sound fine. You've sounded fine for the past three days. Hell, you sounded fine the second time you read it."
Carter tucked his hair back behind one ear and glared at him. "Don't be an asshole."
"I don't know why you'd expect me to stop now." And Nate had grinned, because this was the kind of exchange that had gotten him all fired up about Carter when they'd first met, and then there'd been kissing and groping and, eventually, naked skin.
Nate might not have been listening, now, but he was watching Carter. He hardly ever stopped watching, truth be told. Not that he did it when Carter knew he was doing it, because that would have been taking it a little too far, but there were plenty of times he could get away with it. This was definitely one of them.
There were thirty people or so in the chairs provided by the bookstore, most of them watching Carter with rapt attention as he read. Typical, from what Nate had seen at the previous readings on the tour. Even the three women knitting in the back row, heads cocked slightly to one side as their needles clicked furiously, seemed to be par for the course. Carter's eyes were on the paper he was reading from--he read from loose pages, not the actual book itself. There was some reason for it that Nate had nodded over but not really paid attention to.
Carter looked relaxed, comfortable, his hair pulled back into a loose ponytail at the nape of his neck and the top two buttons of his shirt undone. From where he was standing, Nate couldn't really see Carter's eyes, but he knew what they looked like--a combination of green and hazel with little brown flecks, and thick eyelashes that seemed more like a woman's.
There wasn't much else about Carter that was like a woman, though. His nose was straight and masculine, his lips thin, Adam's apple prominent. His hands weren't as big as Nate's, but the ends of his fingers were squared off and surprisingly calloused considering the extent of his physical exertion tended to be wrestling with the temperamental plumbing in their kitchen.
The sound of applause jolted Nate out of his reverie and back to the present, where Carter had rolled up his loose pages into a tube and was tapping it against his thigh, looking sheepish. He had his other hand behind him, thumb tucked into the back pocket of his jeans--he stood like that a lot--and when the clapping died down he sat on the table he was supposed to have been sitting behind and started to take questions from the audience.
Nate watched, and this time he listened, too. One of his favorite things about Carter was that he almost never stammered when he talked, like he'd rehearsed everything he was saying in advance even when there was no way that could be the case, so hearing him answer questions wasn't all that different from hearing him read aloud.
Might have been one of the reasons that driving Carter out of his mind with lust, to the point where he was gasping and stuttering and then completely without words, was something Nate liked so much.
He was smirking when Carter thanked everyone for coming and stood up again, and he stayed where he was as folks started dispersing. Some of them went up to shake Carter's hand; one was a thin young man with glasses and flushed cheeks. Oh yeah. No question in Nate's mind that that kid had a crush on Carter. Wasn't the first and wouldn't be the last. That thought was enough to get him to push himself away from the bookshelf he'd been leaning against and start him walking toward the front.
Not that he was worried.
Off to the side, a woman in her mid-twenties or so was waiting, arms crossed over her chest and a frown on her face. She radiated ... something. Carter probably would have said discontent and would have talked about karma or some other similar nonsense.
Nate just knew he didn't like it.