It's book two in the FIT Guys series. It's a little longer than Worth Waiting For, at 56,000 words.
Tony is bi. Donovan is gay. All the action is Male/Male.
Blogger still won't let me post pictures, so I can't share the cover here :(
On the plus side, I can post the blurb:
Everyone knows that Tony Landon’s dated dozens of different men and women since he joined the athletics department at the Falconer Institute of Training. Everyone who’s ever gossiped with one of his exes knows that he’s kinky, too.
Donovan’s reputation at the institute is different. The only reason people are pretty sure he’s gay is because he drinks at the same pub as most of the gay and bi Falconer guys, and he’s never actually said he’s straight when he’s brushed them all off.
Tony’s been flirting with Donovan ever since Donovan joined the institute’s archery programme. Even though a whole year has passed and Donovan’s never given him the slightest encouragement, Tony can’t quite convince himself to give up hope.
Donovan has his reasons for not flirting back whenever Tony hits on him—right up until a snippet of overheard gossip lets him in on an interesting fact that just might change everything.
The odds are stacked against two very different men ever finding happiness together, but as far as Tony and Donovan are concerned, it’s still worth a shot.
Author note: While this story can be read as a standalone title, some elements might make more sense if you’ve already read Worth Waiting For.
And an excerpt (you can also read a longer one on my website if you are so inclined):
“Here’s to more time spent sprinting and less time spent screwing.”
The words pulled at Donovan’s attention, dragging it back toward the same table of guys that he’d been discretely observing ever since he’d plucked up the courage to start drinking in that pub.
Luck hadn’t been with Donovan that particular night. By the time he’d arrived, all the seats that would have allowed a clear view of Tony Landon had already been claimed. Still, the occasional glimpses he caught of Tony’s profile from his current vantage point were something. Donovan wasn’t above taking what he could get.
As Tony’s companions laughed and drank to the toast, Tony shook his head and slumped back in his seat.
“To the longest three weeks of Tony’s life,” Cosmos, a long distance runner from the Falconer Institute of Training’s athletics team, suggested. Once more, everyone in the group raised their drinks.
Tony drained the last of his beer and glared at each of the men around his table. “I’m so glad you all find our coach’s decision to torture me amusing.”
“Haslet does have a point. You are kind of slutty,” Cosmos pointed out. “You’ll have much more energy for training if you’re not getting any.”
“Pot, kettle, black?” Tony shot back, without missing a beat.
Cosmos smirked. “Call me what you like, sweetheart—I’m not the one who promised Haslet he’d stay celibate until after the Trentmoore meet.”
Donovan looked from Tony to Tony’s friends wishing, not for the first time, that he had the confidence to sit with them around that table and joke about things the way they did. But, no. It was useless, even the thought of joining them was making his grip on his glass turn white knuckled and his throat close up.
“It’s only a couple of weeks,” said another man at Tony’s table, Mike—the team’s shot putter, in a more sympathetic tone of voice.
Donovan lifted his gaze just in time to see Cosmos pat Tony on the shoulder. “Yeah, Tony. It’s only the longest you’ll have gone without sex since you turned legal…”
Tony glared down at him. “You’re a real bastard at times. You know that, right?”
“Yep,” Cosmos said, more cheerfully than ever, obviously not the least bit worried by the fact he was half Tony’s size. Everyone at the table laughed.
Tony pushed his hand through his spiky, blond hair as if he was at his wits end. But, when he turned to get up from the table, Donovan saw that Tony was smiling too, as if he didn’t really mind their teasing. “I’m going to get another drink.”
“Careful, Tony,” Cosmos called after him. “Too much of a good thing and Haslet will probably make you give up alcohol, too.”
Tony didn’t bother to turn around. He just held two fingers up to the whole group as he walked away. Donovan watched him go, automatically dropping his gaze to admire the way tight jeans stretched across Tony’s arse.
As Tony moved out of Donovan’s line of sight, the jokes Tony’s friends had been making gradually presented themselves for Donovan’s consideration. Tony had promised his coach he’d give up sex for the next three weeks.
Donovan frowned at his drink.
Tony and sex were so closely linked in his mind, it was almost impossible for him to think of one existing without the other. Tony not being intimately entwined with the very essence of sex was wrong. But at the same time…
It probably wouldn’t make any difference, but it was worth a shot. Hell, anything that might tip the balance in his favour and make it possible for Donovan to speak to Tony without hyperventilating was worth investigating. Donovan abandoned his lemonade and headed after Tony.
As he rounded the corner, he saw Tony standing halfway along the bar, waiting to be served.
He hesitated. At the last moment, his courage deserted him. He changed course and ended up standing about two metres to Tony’s right. Donovan stared down at the battered wooden surface, cursing his own cowardice. Maybe if he tried to—
Donovan jerked his head up. He didn’t need to sidle down the bar. Tony now stood right alongside him. For a few seconds, Donovan’s vocal cords refused to cooperate, just as they had so many times before. All he could do was stare at Tony like a prime candidate for the post of village idiot. Finally, he managed to clear his throat.
“Hi.” It might not have been the height of wit, but it was pretty close to a normal pitch. It could have been worse—it had been worse on several other occasions when Tony had tried to start conversations with him.
“How did the nationals go?”
Donovan blinked at Tony. “The nationals?”
“The archery nationals, they were last week, right?” Tony asked.
Donovan nodded. “Yes, they were.” Except nobody knew that, because while athletics might be popular enough that everyone at the institute would recognise half the team, archery wasn’t the kind of sport that anyone who didn’t own a bow ever noticed.
“So…?” Tony promoted.
Donovan managed to pull a few brain cells together. “They went well. The institute’s team came third.”
“What about the individual event—how did that go?” Tony prompted.
As Donovan stared up at him, he had the strangest sensation that Tony already knew the answer to that question. “I won,” he blurted out.
Tony failed to look the least bit surprised. “Congratulations.”
“What can I get for you?”
Donovan jumped at the sudden interruption from the other side of the bar.
The bartender looked at the empty beer bottle Tony had placed on the bar. “Same again?”
Tony shook his head. “Coke this time, thanks.”
That meant he was driving. Donovan had been paying attention over the months. If Tony was driving, he stopped after one. If he wasn’t driving, he drank every one of his friends under the table and still never slurred a word.
As Donovan watched, Tony pulled his wallet out of his jeans pocket and turned to him. “What are you having?”
No—that was what he always said. Whatever Tony had suggested each time he’d approached him, Donovan always panicked and said no, regardless of the answer he actually wanted to give.
Not for the first time, he tried to pull sensible thoughts to the front of his mind and push his nerves aside. Tony isn’t a psychopath. Tony isn’t a complete bastard. Tony isn’t Ryan. None of it helped. Tony can’t expect anyone to fall into bed with him tonight, he’s not allowed to have sex. Bingo!
“The same, thank you.” To Donovan’s amazement, the words sounded completely calm.
As the barman got their drinks and Tony handed over the money, Donovan stared straight ahead. It might work. God help him, but this might actually work… Apparently, the sure and certain knowledge that Tony wasn’t going to assume they’d have sex that very moment really did make it possible for Donovan to have a drink with him without completely freaking out.
“Come on, there’s a free table over there.” Tony pointed to a completely different part of the pub to where his friends were sitting.
Relaxing slightly as he realised that he wasn’t going to have to face an entire group of guys, Donovan made his way to the empty table. Jacket in one hand and his bottle of Coke in the other, he shuffled his way awkwardly onto the bench that half-encircled the corner table. Tony slid in after him, every movement fluid and confident.
Silence. Damn. Donovan’s nerves made it impossible for him not to attempt to fill the hush with words, any words.
“How did you know the nationals were last week?”
“Well, I kind of know one of the guys on the institute’s team,” Tony said. “Although, if I’m honest, I don’t really know him that well yet. We’ve just flirted now and again. At least, I’ve flirted with him. Until this evening, he’s always just nodded politely and rushed away at the first opportunity.”
Donovan met Tony’s eyes for a horrified moment as he recognized his own behaviour being quoted at him. “I don’t flirt.” Not anymore.
“Never?” Tony asked. “With anyone?”
Donovan shook his head.
“Good,” Tony said, with an easy smile. “In that case, I won’t take it personally.” He took a sip of his Coke.
Donovan gulped down some of his own drink. He tried not to stare at the way Tony’s mouth caressed the rim of his Coke bottle. He tried not to imagine that it was his cock pressed against Tony’s lips. He failed on both counts.
“So, flirting aside, do all bi men make you nervous, or am I special?” Tony asked.
The question hit the air just as Donovan was taking another swig of his drink. He promptly choked on it.
Tony reached out and patted him helpfully on the back. Donovan caught his breath, but somehow, Tony’s hand stayed there, resting high up, near his shoulders. The heat from Tony’s skin soaked through the thin fabric of his shirt. Donovan waited for air to stall in his lungs and his heart to race, but for some reason, it didn’t happen. The only reaction his body offered up in response to Tony’s touch was a rapid hardening of his cock. He discretely moved his jacket to rest over his lap.
“Well?” Tony asked, with an unrepentant little grin. “Should I feel special or not?”
Donovan took a careful sip of his Coke while he played for time. Glancing up, he met Tony’s eyes. He had the distinct impression that lying to Tony wouldn’t do him any good. “Maybe you do make me more nervous than most men in here,” he confessed.