Author Charlie Richards
Now Available at eXtasy Books!
The Drum Major's Passion
Carry Me: Book Eleven
When a man discovers a second chance to connect with the one who haunts his dreams, he’ll do everything he can to capitalize on it.
In college, Drew Menard was deep in the closet, too afraid to step out. That meant he missed his chance to follow up on the most amazing kiss of his life. He’s always remembered who’d given it to him, though—Will Hanson. Drew had secretly watched Will at many a track meet and band performance. His biggest regret was never gathering enough courage to be himself and do something about it.
Almost seven years later, Drew no longer thinks of himself as in the closet, although he wouldn’t consider himself out and proud, either. His friends know his orientation, even if his father doesn’t. Why rock the boat when he has zero interest in anyone beyond one night?
All that changes when none other than Will walks through the door of the clinic where Drew works, and he discovers his desire for him hasn’t waned one bit. While Will is accompanying a student in need of physical therapy, he can barely concentrate enough to do his job. Can Drew convince Will he’s changed enough to give him a chance?
Excerpt - The Drum Major's Passion
The excerpt below contain explicit adult language and sexual content.
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Leaving Ned in the hot tub, Drew headed to the front desk. He spotted Jillian Parsons behind the counter and almost turned around. The woman worked part-time, splitting the receptionist position with another lady—Katie—and made a habit of asking him out at least once a week, and Drew was running out of excuses to give her.
It caused his working environment to be more than a little uncomfortable. He’d made a passing comment about it once to his boss—Rafe Litman—and the older man had chuckled. Then he’d made a comment about how great it would be to be young and desired.
Drew wondered what would happen if he told her he was feeling sexually harassed.
Just as Drew saw Jillian begin to turn in his direction, as if she had some Drew Radar, the bell over the lobby door dinged, drawing her attention. Relief filled him, but he figured that might not get him out of talking with her. At least with a client there, she would be a little professional.
Right? Hope so.
Closing the distance to the front desk, Drew watched Jillian sweep her gaze over whoever was entering. He took advantage and slipped Ned’s file into her in-box. Then Drew turned and strode back down the hall again.
Drew had ten minutes before he needed to help Ned out of the hot tub. After that, he was done for the day.
“Hey, Drew,” Jillian called. “Got a sec?”
Fighting back a cringed, Drew turned and pasted a smile on his lips. “Sure. What can I help you with?” he asked, keeping his voice level and professional as he watched Jillian hurry to his side.
“It looks like there was a mix-up in scheduling,” Jillian stated, nibbling her bottom lip. “There’s a young man here that was supposed to see Mister Mindrid today, but he’s not in.” Her brows were furrowed, yet still she lifted her hand to her chest, teasing her fingertips along the neckline of her shirt.
Drew figured she meant to be provocative, but it was completely lost on him.
“Mister Litman is already with a client,” Jillian continued, her lips curving into a fake-concerned moue. “I know you’re supposed to be off after Mister Lucre leaves, but do you have time for a consultation?”
Even if Drew had had plans, he would never leave a client hanging because someone—probably Jillian—had messed up the scheduling.
“Certainly,” Drew replied. “I’ll need to finish with Mister Lucre first. Can they wait?” Another thought struck him. “Are they okay with seeing a different physical therapist?”
Jillian glanced back toward the lobby, hesitating.
Drew clenched his jaw for a second before taking a calming breath. Except, his lungs were then filled with a cloying floral scent.
Ugh. Too much perfume again.
“I’ll be back out shortly, Jillian,” Drew told her, taking a step away. “If they’re okay with a different therapist and are willing to wait, I’ll pick them up then.”
Then Drew pivoted and headed into the break room. He grabbed a bottle of water and swigged several gulps. After a glance at his watch, he saw he had a couple more minutes before returning to Ned.
Drew settled on a chair and stretched his legs out in front of him. Tipping his head, he rested it on the cushion. He focused on his breathing and relaxing the muscles of his neck and shoulders.
After a few minutes, Drew felt better. “Good thing tomorrow is Saturday,” he muttered as he rose back to his feet. “Barbeque tonight at Jake’s, and I know he’ll let me crash there. Then a run with him in the morning.”
Smiling, Drew headed back to Ned. “Feeling better?” he asked with a grin as he grabbed a towel.
“Getting better all the time,” Ned replied, taking the towel.
To Drew’s relief, his client sounded it, too.
After helping Ned from the hot tub and into the wheelchair, Drew took him to the changing room. “Don’t forget to set up an appointment with Jillian for Monday,” he reminded. After receiving confirmation from Ned, he left the man to it.
Drew returned to the front. Pausing at the opening, he swept his gaze around the area. His focus landed on the two waiting in the chairs there.
From the fact that the young man—a teenager around the age of fifteen—sported a large walking cast, Drew figured he was the client. He guessed the black-haired man with him would be his father. Then the adult turned his attention from the teenager and met his gaze.
Sucking in a shocked gasp, Drew peered into vibrant green eyes that had haunted his dreams for over six years.
Will Hanson had given Drew his first kiss from a guy. While he indulged in one-night stands, he didn’t kiss them—not anymore. Every time he’d kissed a trick, he’d been turned off. The memory of Will’s soft lips pressed against his own slammed into Drew, causing his gut to clench and his mouth to tingle with sensory recall.
Rising to his feet, Will narrowed his eyes and swept his gaze over Drew. His expression said it all. He was trying to place him.
Damn. He doesn’t remember me.
Drew sure as hell remembered Will. His thick black hair was longer than it had been in college, but he’d retained his lean runner’s build. Back then, Will had worn black-rimmed glasses, but he wasn’t wearing them now, making his green eyes seem even more vibrant.
Then Will’s eyes widened a little, and his lips parted. “Drew?” he questioned softly. “Drew Menard?”
Unable to help himself, Drew grinned broadly. “Hey.”