Authors: Sandrine Gasq-Dion
Tags: #Fiction, #Gay
Also by Sandrine Gasq-Dion The Assassin-Shifter Series: A Marked Man Alaska, with Love By the Light of The Moon Half Moon Rising Best Laid Plans For the love of Caden The General's Lover Russian Prey An Ignited Passion Reflash The Red Zone Irish Wishes Pleading the Fifth Betrayed Summer of Awakenings Into the Lyons Den The Nik of Time Second Time Around
WILDE CITY PRESS
A Betting Man © 2013 Sandrine Gasq-Dion
Published in the US and Australia by Wilde City Press 2013
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, situations and incidents are the product of the author’s imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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Published by Wilde City Press
Cover Art © 2013 Wilde City Press
Edited by Jennifer Jacobson.
A BETTING MAN
To my family
My LRO readers and the newest ones.
“How about ‘Eau de Empty-Headed Bitch’?”
I looked up from my paperwork and cocked an eyebrow at my partner, Blaine. Yes, Blaine. The first day I met Blaine McKlintock, I brought up the
Pretty in Pink
reference. It wasn’t new to him.
“Yeah, I don’t think that perfume will sell much with that name,” I drawled.
“‘I’m Spoiled and Entitled’?” Blaine offered.
“You got something against Porsche?” I asked with a grin.
“She’s named after a car. And I thought
was the pretentious asshole,” Blaine sniffed with an air of superiority. “Please tell me she’s at least good in bed.”
I banged my head on my desk. I should have known better than to sleep with the company’s client, but I was horny and, in my defense, she had really big tits. They were real, too. I think. Rolling my forehead back and forth on the desk, I tried to explain myself once again.
“Look, she came on to me, not the other way around. I am a man and I do have needs.”
“You’ve had needs since college, and you’ve fulfilled them on a nightly basis, Kent,” Blaine chuckled.
“I can’t help it that I look the way I do, have a spectacular ass and a huge cock,” I whined. I’d been told by numerous women on
occasions as I was fucking them that I looked like David Beckham. Thank God for soccer. With my six foot two frame, I was carrying my two hundred pounds of muscle quite well. I’d played football in high school and college, which gave me one hell of a physique. Add in my David Beckham looks and I was eye candy for the masses.
“I still think you drug them.” Blaine sat back, crossing his arms over his chest.
I looked up, eyes narrowed. “I can get any woman I want at any time.”
“Another bet?” Blaine’s eyes sparkled with mischief.
I had to think that one over. Usually, when Blaine and I made a bet, I ended up naked somewhere. Contrary to popular belief, that’s not always a good thing. We’d played ‘gay chicken’ in college, and I
won. When Blaine and I bet, it was a momentous occasion.
“What’s the bet?” I knew I would regret this.
Blaine seemed to study me for a moment. A grin spread across his face and I braced myself.
“You said you can get any woman?”
“Okay then, the next person who walks through that door. You have to get them to go out with you.”
“Easy,” I laughed.
“And?” I raised a brow.
“Fall in love with you. I’ll give you six months, a bonus if they fall for you before that.”
I opened my mouth and Blaine stopped me with his hand.
“People have to believe it, too.”
I didn’t know if I was comfortable with that. I worked hard to get where I was. I knew
wouldn’t be falling for
. I liked my life. I never wanted a girlfriend or a wife. I loved my money above anything. No one but Blaine knew about my childhood and where I grew up. I’d made myself into a respected ad exec and I wasn’t ever going back to being the small-town hick I used to be. I hardly ever spoke to my parents. I know that makes me an asshole, but I couldn’t run the risk of anyone finding out who I really was. Trying to make someone fall in love with me meant opening up; that was not an option. I could lie, that I could do. Hell, I did it all the time.
Besides that, the only person who would walk through that door was my secretary, Anna, and she was engaged—and not my type. I knew I could get her to go out with me, engaged or not. She’d had a crush on me for years. I rubbed my face with my hands. I’m an asshole, I freely admit it, but hitting on an engaged woman? Not sure I could do it. Blaine coughed and I looked up to see him smirking.
“What?” I asked.
“You’re taking too long. Don’t think you can pull it off? You know the consequences.”
I did know. I’d only welched on one bet and it had landed me in jail for a night. Running around naked in Central Park is frowned upon. Blaine still had wonderful footage of the cops chasing me on horseback. It’s on YouTube.
“If I win?”
“I’ll take the video off YouTube,” Blaine grinned.
Son of a bitch knew what I was thinking.
“Same monetary value?” I asked.
“The very next person?”
Blaine nodded slowly. “The very next.”
I leaned across the desk and put my hand out. “You’ve got yourself a bet, McKlintock.”
Shit, I was running late. I had three more packages to deliver and I was stuck weaving through cabs in gridlock on my bike. I loved New York, but the traffic I could do without. The next package was for an advertising agency on the Upper West Side. I’d delivered to them before so I knew where to go. I passed Gray’s Papaya and groaned. I’d do anything for a hot dog right now. My legs were starting to cramp as I headed up Broadway. I needed a coffee. No time for that right now, so I grabbed for the water bottle on my handlebars and took a nice long drink as I expertly swung between two warring cabs.
When I’d first moved to New York, I’d taken just enough money out of my savings to rent a modest apartment and feed myself until I found a job. I found a job two weeks in. I grew up in England, so I had an English accent and for months I said ‘yeah’ and ‘okay’ to everything asked of me at work. I finally got New York speak down and now no one even questioned where I was from, which was just fine by me.
I’d left England when my parents kept bringing home prospective wife material. They didn’t take the whole ‘I’m gay’ thing too well. In fact, they hadn’t believed me. I guess I don’t ‘look’ the part of a queer.
I’m five foot eleven, but I can hit over six feet in heels (not that I wear them, I tried them once for fun and have no earthly idea how women walk in them for hours). I’m pretty well put together, actually: broad shoulders, nice-sized biceps and—ever since I started working for the bike messenger service—one hell of a tight ass. Riding a bike all day will give you that. Oh, and muscular thighs. I’m no waif, that’s for sure.
I guess my parents didn’t see me checking men out at sports events, so I can’t really blame them for staring at me wide-eyed when I said women just didn’t do it for me.
So, now I had been in New York for almost two years and had one friend, sort of: my boss, Spencer Cassidy.
A loud horn alerted me to my very close proximity to a cab headed my way and I veered to avoid a collision. The building I was looking for came into view and I breathed a sigh of relief. I pulled up in front and walked my bike inside, hoping the same woman would be working the front desk. She was. She smiled at me as I motioned to the bike.
“Just leave it there. I’ll watch it,” she smiled.
I stepped up to the counter and reached for my ID; she waved me off with another smile and looked at the package.
“You can take this one up. Everyone’s leaving for lunch,” she said.
“Okay,” I grinned. I still said okay. A lot.
I stepped onto the elevator and hummed as it went up. It stopped on the floor below mine and several men in suits climbed in.
I looked down at my hands and avoided eye contact. I knew how they saw me—some grunge reject from the ’90s. I wore tan cargo pants with a faded green T-shirt and a grey flannel jacket with my favorite pair of Vans. My hair was black with a long purple streak down the side and I wore kohl eyeliner that accentuated my blue eyes. At least Spencer said it accentuated my blue eyes. I had avoided gauged piercings, but my left ear had a little stud in it.
As soon as the elevator opened on my floor, I was out. I looked at all the doors lining the hall and headed for the one at the end of the hall. The secretary’s desk was empty.
Great. Now what?
I could hear voices inside and wondered if I should knock. I really did need to get the rest of my packages delivered. I watched the time tick by and tapped an impatient foot on the carpet. Art decorated the wall across from me and I raised a brow at half-naked women with pearls hanging from their necks. A bottle of perfume sat between the legs of another woman. Ew.
Screw it. I really needed to get out of here. I knocked softly on the door and heard “Come on in!”
I turned the knob and poked my head around the door. Two men looked up at me and one of them looked like someone had shoved a foot up his ass. His eyes went wide as I opened the door further and walked into the room, holding the package in my hands.
The one guy—foot up his ass—reminded me of someone but I couldn’t put my finger on it to save my life. The other one looked like he belonged in California, on a surfboard.
“Um, hi. I have a package for you, Mr…” I looked at the name on it. “Samson?”
“That’s me,” foot-up-his-ass said.
I walked to the desk and put out my hand with the package in it.
“His name is Kent,” blond surfer guy provided helpfully.
“Okay,” I nodded. “Your package?”
I thrust it more closely to the guy who, for some reason, was still staring at me. I know I looked, well, like I described, but hell. I didn’t think I looked like I belonged in a zoo.
“All right, um, could you sign for it? And, maybe take it from me?” Hazel eyes looked into mine and it clicked. David Beckham. Oh Christ. This guy was David Beckham’s doppelganger. I felt my English side wanting to come out and squeal like a fan girl.
David… Kent… finally took the package from my hands and set it down on the desk. I gave him the slip he needed to sign and waited while he scribbled his name on the acceptance line. Finally.
I cleared my throat and put my hand out, waiting for the signature card. Hazel eyes looked up at me and I swore my mouth dropped open as a sly smile slid across his face.
“You have a good day, Mr…?” Kent fished.
“Barron, Terry Barron,” I said, a little confused as to why this man needed to know my name. Most of these guys barely even gave me a second look, much less a first.
“All right then, Terry. Have a good day.”
I felt the paper slide across my palm and shoved it into my pocket as fast as I could. I felt like a rare steak in a tiger cage. Surfer dude and Beckham were smiling at me like I’d just won the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes. I expected balloons and the freaking Prize Patrol any moment.
“Um, sure,” I smiled and almost ran for the door.
I hightailed it downstairs and grabbed my bike. That had to have been the most uncomfortable moment of my life. Well, besides my parents crying when I informed them that I liked dick instead of pussy. I hadn’t
put it that way, but I should have. Oh, they glossed over it and paraded women in front of me at every opportunity anyway, but this was me, plain and simple. I got the rest of my packages out and made it back to the office right before five.