NOTE: This is a previously published work. The publisher has changed.
He tried to drown his demons, only to find they could swim.
Life isn’t always fair. Llewellyn Gardner knows that first hand. He was on the fast track"college dreams, a boyfriend"until one night of extreme passion changed everything. Eight years later and out of prison, he still lives with the aftershocks of that night. Everywhere he turns there"s another reminder of the crime people insist he committed, so he runs away to a new town to start over.
For Shane Smith, Jr., owner of Smith Construction, there"s something about the gorgeous, misunderstood man with the overly expressive eyes and dark past. Shane sees the good in Llewellyn" it"s why he hired him"and he isn"t going to let the man cut himself off from the world.
Llewellyn isn"t sure what to think about Shane. After years of protecting himself from being tricked twice, he"s worried. What will happen if Shane doesn"t believe the truth about his past"Books by Author:A.E. Via Books
"Llew don"t break anything!" Moss half-yelled, half-laughed while his boyfriend chased him around his parents" mansion-sized home.
"Your ass is mine when I catch you" literally!" Llewellyn yelled, as he rounded the large kitchen island. His boyfriend was his best friend as well as his lover. In the small town of Emporia, Virginia, they were likely the only gay students in their high school. That anyone knew about. A kid that moved there from Los Angeles a few years back was gay and unashamed of it. He was colorful and flamboyant because he felt free to be himself. The community had been so cruel to him and his family, that they were run out of town so fast Llew didn"t remember the pretty boy"s name. He did remember being envious, though.
It was by sheer accident that Llew and Moss discovered each other"s sexual orientation in the first place. They were football teammates and both attended a party hosted by one of the cheerleaders during their freshman year. Rosie Jameson"s parents were traveling salespeople who left her and her twin sister home alone every couple of weeks. So that meant at least twice a month the teenagers had something fun to do in their dreary-filled-with-retirees town. Llew and Moss got shit-faced drunk, and ended up alone in Rosie"s father"s den watching WWF Smack Down. Moss couldn"t hide his hard-on while watching the oily, ridiculously hot, and ripped wrestlers writhing and rolling all over each other in the small wrestling ring. When Moss looked horrified that Llew had busted him and was ready to bolt; Llew smirked at him, and pulled up the hem of his long hoodie, exposing his own erection. The conversation they had that night changed their lives. They didn"t immediately fall in love, but things progressed fairly quickly from that point.
They were so young back then; they just wanted to be friends. They needed someone to talk with openly; a friend they could drop the mask with. The mask they had to wear twenty-four seven with everyone else.
When Llew got pneumonia in their sophomore year, neither his mom nor dad could afford to take time away from work to stay home with him all day. Moss was there every day before and after school, taking care of him the same way a significant other would. Llew knew then that things had changed between them. He suddenly saw Moss" blond shaggy hair as sexy instead of messy. He"d noticed that his friend"s once scrawny frame had benefited from their hours in the weight room, after school. Now his best friend was seventeen-years-old, with fashionably tousled hair, bright blue eyes, and a tightly packed body.
"Stop chasing me, I"m tired." Moss rounded the corner of the media room, and hurdled the couch in the formal living room like the track star he was.
"Then stop running," Llew huffed back, quickly closing the distance when Moss slowed down. Llew tackled his boyfriend onto the plush carpet, pinning him beneath his much larger body. He gripped both Moss" wrists together above his head, and used his other hand to push back the long bangs that had fallen over those blue eyes. He loved Moss so much. They"d been inseparable from the moment they met six years ago. Seamlessly transitioning from friends to lovers, now all they talked about " well Llew talked about " was leaving for college where he could love on Moss freely.
When they first moved to Emporia, Llew"s father owned a small landscaping business and was contracted to service the mayor"s property. Llew was ticked off he had to help his father every summer. Kids would tease him when they looked out their windows or rode by on their bikes on their way to the YMCA pool. While he hauled away over-flowing bags of cut grass, Moss had come out of his mansion and started shooting baskets at the hoop in his immaculately paved driveway, but not before giving Llew a bottle of water and extending him an invite to play along. Although Moss was wealthy; the son of the mayor and sixth generation heir to the McGregor Empire, he never looked down on the working class like his parents did.
The mayor and his wife weren"t bad people; they were wonderful to the townspeople. In spite of that, they always felt that their son could do better than the company he chose to keep. After Llew"s parents died last year in a car accident, they took pity and stopped giving him and his older brother dirty looks. His now twenty-six-year-old brother was his only living relative and had moved back home to take over their father"s business and make sure Llew graduated.
"You get sexier every day, babe." Llew ground his stiffening cock into the hard thigh beneath him. "What time are your parents coming home""