Love and the Real Boy – Excerpt (Copyright 2014, J.K. Hogan)
**Mature content warning – This material is suitable for 18+ audiences for language and sexual situations**
Setting aside his notebook, Patrick climbed down the ladder to the dock, where he found Rich, red-faced and panting, staring out across the water.
“You okay?” he asked, approaching with caution.
Rich’s shoulders tensed even more—if that was possible—and his reply was cold and clipped. “I’m fine, thanks.”
“That was the PI, wasn’t it? Was he pressuring you about your brother?” Patrick asked, unused to the feeling of protectiveness that seized him.
Rich turned to face him slowly, pinning him in place with an icy glare. “I told you about that in a moment of…weakness, but it really is none of your fucking business.”
Oh, hell no. He was not going to pull that rich-boy, too-cool-for-school shit with Patrick. He’d talked to Rory and Justice over drinks. He knew all about Rich blackmailing Justice, then outing him—something that was particularly unthinkable to do to another gay man. Patrick knew for damn sure that Rich had a streak of mean in him, but he was also sure there was a deeper, more upsetting reason behind his behavior. The problem with Rory had been that he just let it roll off his back. It was the mark of a good friend—but a friend, Patrick was not. And he certainly wasn’t going to be pushed around by Rich.
Patrick grabbed him by the back of his neck, roughly hauling him around the corner of one of the storage outbuildings and shoving him back against the side wall.
“The fuck are you doing?” Rich spat.
To shut him up, Patrick laid his forearm against Rich’s neck—not cutting off his airway, just pressing close enough to feel his Adam’s apple bob. Then he got right up in Rich’s face, pressing his entire body against the other man’s.
“Shut. The fuck. Up,” he growled. “Do I look like Rory to you? Right, I’m not, so I’m not going to take shite from you when you decide to be a dick because something hits too close to home.”
Rich’s eyes widened, then he flushed and looked away.
“I know what you did to Justice.”
Rich winced, but said nothing. He’d probably long since realized there was no defense for what he’d done.
“But I don’t think you’re that kind of guy…not really,” he said, talking over Rich when he started to protest. “You know what, though?” he asked, gesturing back toward the restoration crew. “All of these people came out to do something nice for a guy they barely know. Why? Because Rory and Justice—hell, probably even Nic—are the kind of guys people show up for.”
Rich swallowed hard, and his halting breath shuddered out of him. Patrick almost felt bad; he knew it was a low blow, but the guy really needed a wakeup call.
“But you, mate…you’re all alone right now, and it seems like it’s because you don’t let people in. I know I’m not your boyfriend, or even your friend probably. But I am the guy who happened to be around when all this shit with your brother started going down—and I’ve a sturdy shoulder if you need leanin’.”
Rich was breathing hard, and though he’d been easy to read so far, for once Patrick didn’t have a clue what he was thinking. He thought maybe he’d gotten through to the guy.
“You…,” Rich started, reaching out to fist a hand in Patrick’s shirt. “You unbelievable pompous asshole! Who the hell do you think you are? What right do you have to say this shit to me? You don’t even know me.”
Patrick blinked at the unexpected ferocity, then sighed and removed his arm from Rich’s throat, but still kept his other hand on the back of his neck. “You’d be wrong about that. I might be the only one who really does know you, as you are right now.”
Rich actually snarled at that, and the expression went straight to Patrick’s dick. With pressure on the back of Rich’s neck, Patrick dragged the man in for a fierce, devouring kiss. Rich was having none of it; he bit down hard on Patrick’s bottom lip and pulled away. Blood trickled down Patrick’s chin. He swiped it with the back of his free hand and grinned. Rich’s pupils dilated, and his mouth dropped open, before he yanked Patrick forward by his collar and crushed their mouths together.
Intense—that was really the only way Patrick could describe it. Rich’s fingers were digging into his collarbone, then his shoulders, then his back. He tasted blood, along with the heady taste of Rich himself. Rich wrapped his body around Patrick, grinding his stiffening cock against his hip as if he were trying to crawl inside. It was such a sudden change in demeanor, it left Patrick feeling dizzy and off kilter.
So fighting turned the guy on? Patrick filed that away for the future, because he could totally get down with some angry sex. He broke the kiss to feast on Rich’s neck, all open-mouthed kisses and scraping teeth. It was a spot—and a taste—he was quickly becoming addicted to.
“It was the PI,” Rich confirmed between gasps, while Patrick went about his work. “He came to pressure me to make a decision…says John-Michael is getting anxious to meet with me.”
Patrick stopped kissing and nuzzled behind Rich’s ear, savoring the spicy scent. “You’ve the right to take as much time as you need.”
“Mmm,” was all Rich said.
Patrick straightened up to his full height and looked Rich in the eyes. “Want to come back to mine after work?”
Rich shrugged, but he also smiled just a little. Score one for Ireland, Patrick thought.
“I’m already down the rabbit hole, so I might as well,” Rich answered.
Patrick let out a full-on belly laugh and slapped Rich on the back. “That’s my boy!”