Silent Hearts comes out in just two weeks!
To celebrate, here’s an excerpt!
“You’re cute when you’re happy.”
Jake rolled his eyes. “Thanks, I guess.” He pulled his hands out of the dough and went to wash them.
“Hmm?” Jake looked back. Grant picked something up off the floor.
“This fell out of your back pocket.” Grant read from a small piece of paper, “The Brawny Scot.”
Jake’s heart thudded and ice coursed through his veins. He’d gone there as an eff-you to Grant, but hadn’t actually wanted him to know about it. And, truthfully, as the hours passed, he’d grown regretful over going.
“Is that where you were today?” Grant’s voice was low and quiet. There was an intensity in his eyes that Jake had seen only once before—during the previous night and their argument over kisses. Obviously, he knew what The Brawny Scot was.
“So what if I was?” Jake dried his hands with a towel and leaned against the counter, crossing his arms in front of him. He might regret his choices, but he wasn’t going to apologize for them.
“You went to a fucking sauna?”
Jake took a deep breath, deciding which way to go with this. When the heat of anger warmed his cheeks, he had his answer. “Yes, I went. I sucked five dicks and got totally covered in cum.” His words were quick and crisp, though muted so as to not wake anyone.
Grant shook his head. “Do you have no self-respect? No self-love?”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“This!” Grant threw the card down on the counter, the oiled-up torso emblazoned across it shone in the kitchen’s light. “Sex with no intimacy, blowjobs with no kissing, sucking anonymous dicks in the dark—it shows you don’t respect yourself, that you just want to be used by some random man as a tool to get off. And this…this random sauna thing is fucking dangerous! Do you know how many diseases run rampant through there?”
Jake breathed in and out, trying to calm the anger threatening to erupt. His face felt warm; he knew his cheeks were beet red. “Not all of us want boyfriends. Some of us just want sex. Hookups are fun, and if you think that only self-haters do them and they’re always destructive, then you’re living in some sort of dream world. Welcome to reality, Grant, people fuck strangers all the time.”
Grant squeezed the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes. When he opened them, Jake could tell a lot of the man’s anger had deflated. “That’s not exactly what I’m saying.”
“Then what are you saying, exactly?”
“Kissing adds passion and energy to sex—even anonymous sex. Your refusal to kiss me the other night would have made the blowjob mechanical. If I want mechanical, I’ll use my fist. The motions are only half of sex—kissing and intimacy, however fleeting, are the other half.”
“You need to grow up and separate sex from love. No one at the sauna wants a kiss, they just want to get off.”
“Well, maybe that’s the sauna culture. I have hookups now and then, but I always kiss—it makes a connection special, even if it’s just for a moment and I don’t know the guy’s name.”
Jake glared at him. As much as he wanted to remain mad at him, he felt his anger shrinking. “Why can’t you accept that I just don’t want to kiss?”
“Because in your case, Jake, I sense that it’s something deeper. It’s not just about not wanting to kiss.”
Jake blinked, bewildered. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“Have you ever kissed a man?”
“Of course I have.” A chasm opened up inside of him, an emptiness and yearning.
Grant squinted at him. “I mean really kissed a man…deep, hard, hungry.”