Alec couldn’t be more surprised when the “burglar” he swings a baseball bat toward turns out to be Christian, the lover who walked out on him six months ago. He never imagined Christian would come back, but secretly his heart had continued to hope all that time.
Christian returns to Alec, ready to face the consequences of his rash actions and deal with all of the issues he still has with trust in relationships. He can feel that Alec wants him, but Alec makes it clear he’s tired of being the pushover in their relationship. Christian struggles not to be possessive and dominating, while Alec learns how erotic it can be to make another submit to his will. Can Christian learn to submit completely, or will he lose everything because he can’t let go and trust his lover?
Alec froze when he heard a key slip into the front door of his apartment. Silence followed, but then the key turned very slowly, as if the person didn’t want to be heard. Silence again. He checked the bedside clock, which showed two minutes until midnight. Did some drunk person have the wrong apartment? Maybe he’d only imagined hearing the locking pins give way. He threw his book aside and jumped out of bed when he heard the knob turn and the door creak open. His hand found the baseball bat that always rested next to his bed, and he advanced slowly. If he could be as quiet as the intruder, he might stand a chance. Standing at only five-nine and weighing maybe one hundred and eighty pounds, Alec usually backed down from any physical conflict, but what choice did he have? He wasn’t going to hide in a closet while someone robbed him. His cell phone was charging in the kitchen, so he couldn’t even call for help from where he was. He had to try to stop the intruder himself.
As Alec tiptoed down the hall, the intruder came into sight. The guy was over six feet tall, broad-shouldered, and well muscled from what Alec could see. Why was he simply standing in the middle of the living room? Letting his eyes adjust to the dark? A chill went through Alec. Or had the burglar heard someone in the apartment and tensed for a fight? Alec took his chance and swung the bat at the man’s head, gasping in surprise when the guy whirled around and stopped the bat with one hand. Alec stumbled back and dropped the bat, fear gripping him. He wasn’t worried this guy would rob him, but he had every reason to believe the man would break his heart. Again.
The whispered word caused Alec to draw in a sharp breath, but for a moment he couldn’t get his lips to move. He slid down the wall, unable to stand any longer as his legs shook.
“Alec, are you hurt?”
A lamp came on, and Alec looked up into Christian’s deep blue eyes as the man knelt beside him. Alec shook his head.
“You look awful,” Christian said, reaching out to touch Alec.
Alec slapped his hand away and found his voice as anger surged within him. “How would you look if your lover walked out on you because of a misunderstanding? How do you think you’d look after six months of silence and anguish?”
Christian’s normally unreadable expression cracked a bit as he hung his head. “I came back because I found out it was a misunderstanding. I’m sorry.”
Alec struck out and hit Christian on the shoulder, hardly budging him even an inch. “You’re sorry? That’s a pile of shit. I told you it was a misunderstanding the day it happened. I left you hundreds of messages! I scoured this city and couldn’t find you!”
“I went home and stayed with my grandmother. Got a job and didn’t look back.” Christian raised his head. “I didn’t want to be in the city without you.”
“So you were just going to come in here and slip into bed with me? Seriously?” He waited for an answer as they searched each other’s faces. He would never admit that such a plan would likely have worked, that he probably would have willingly gone into Christian’s arms and forgiven him. He had to stay strong. As long as they didn’t touch, Alec believed he would be able to resist.
“No. I was going to sleep here on the couch and wake you up with breakfast. The first of many apologies.”
“You’ve got a lot of those to make. Our friends, Dr. Frances, your landlady. I took all your shit and stored it because I felt bad for her. She couldn’t bring herself to get rid of it. Yeah, she was always a bit weird, but she’s a sweet old lady, and you had her worrying herself sick. Things were insane in the department, and everyone had to jump in and do your work until we found another assistant. I had to teach your freshman labs. Doctor Frances was very disappointed because you were always his favorite grad student, which of course made you his favorite employee after graduation. Everyone was scared and wanted to call the cops, but we knew they’d just laugh at us.” Alec took a breath and glared at Christian. “And honestly, I can’t see why you’d want me back at all. You obviously have a pretty fucking low opinion of me, given what you assumed.”
Alec struggled to his feet and started down the hall, but Christian grabbed his arm. Alec tried to pull away, but as always Christian was much too strong. “Let me go,” he whispered.
“No.” Christian yanked Alec back to the floor and pinned him beneath him. “Just listen.”
Alec could hardly breathe as he lay trapped beneath Christian’s amazing hard body. Christian had straddled him and pinned his hands over his head. Alec couldn’t take Christian being so close, and he soon worried his cock would give him away. He hated being so weak, hated still being in love with the man who had nearly destroyed him.
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