Dhavi is on his way to getting the professional respect he knows he deserves. He’s landed a corporate sponsorship to be the first paleologist to prospect on a faraway planet, and finding a spectacular fossil there will set him up for life. But when he discovers his worst rival, and former friend, is also going to be there, years of resentment ignite his temper.
Breon is shocked to learn he’s sharing equipment with his old study partner on this important expedition, and he’s worried that the enmity between them will sabotage any potential discoveries they might make. Resolving to make the best of it, he tries to cooperate, but savage creatures, dangerous weather, and geologic hazards all conspire to make the fieldwork every bit as perilous as trying to ignore the attraction to Dhavi.
With the frosty ground shaking under their feet, Dhavi and Breon have to save each other, and in the process, heat up a shared sleeping bag. But when it comes time to return with their findings, those old hurts flare to life, sending them on their separate ways.
There’s one last chance for them at the exhibit opening, but are either of them brave enough to risk their hearts again?
Read an excerpt: 18+
Dhavi must had heard a smidge of encouragement tacked on to the delayed response, because he crowded even closer to Breon’s side and pressed his full lips to his neck, right in that spot that made Breon’s knee joints loosen. “Are you interested in men?”
“Yes, some,” Breon managed to croak out after a fraught pause. Dhavi rose beside him, his face a shadow in the fragmented light of the shelter. The cold wind outside kicked up a notch and Breon shivered, relishing Dhavi’s weight along his side.
“Really? I never knew.”
“You never asked.”
“I never caught you looking, not once. Even when Olad would wander through the common room half naked and sweaty after a plekko match. Remember him? He was astonishingly attractive.” Dhavi almost laughed. “Do you like how I look?”
“Yes.” Breon’s breath disappeared as he tried to speak. His body was as tense as if an electrical charge was coursing through and he thought he might die if Dhavi kissed him. Dhavi leaned down and Breon’s heart stuttered in his chest, but it kept beating, hard enough he wondered if Dhavi could hear it.
Without another word, Dhavi leaned down and bumped his nose to Breon’s. A puff of his breath flickered across Breon’s lips, then he gingerly pressed his mouth to Breon’s. Incoherent thoughts careened through his mind as Dhavi slowly shifted his lips, then took a slow, inexorable nibble on first the upper, then the lower. Was his breath fresh? Did he smell of sweat and fear? Was that Dhavi’s hard cock rubbing against his hip as Dhavi flexed his body above him? Commanding his scattered brain to shut up, Breon reached up and tentatively rubbed his palm along Dhavi’s back, his fingers sliding up and down all that bare skin, along swells of muscle, hoping he didn’t accidentally brush against a bruise.
Dhavi slid his tongue between Breon’s lips and waited a bit as if to ask whether it was permissible. When Breon opened his mouth, Dhavi rumbled out a pleased noise and deepened the kiss, always with a pause before every new movement. Breon’s cock throbbed and without much thought he reached down and squeezed himself, then cupped his balls, urging his body to calm down. A kiss was a matter of attraction and entreaty, not a promise of sex.
“Why did you stop touching … ah, I understand,” Dhavi whispered. “Let me do that.”
It was difficult for Breon to believe that the man he’d wanted for so long, even through the long estrangement, was now embracing him, was now nudging his hand away so he could measure and grasp Breon’s cock. Dhavi licked at his neck as he stroked up and down Breon’s length through the layers of quilted thermal garments.
“I’d wondered about this. Did you ever think about about mine?”
“Yes.” Breon knew he was gasping, but couldn’t do anything about his lack of control. Dhavi rocked his hip against Breon, which he took as an invitation, one he was almost afraid to take. He wanted Dhavi, had always wanted him, it seemed, but now that the time had arrived, he was shaking with insecurity. A large part of him couldn’t even believe this was happening.
“Touch me.” Dhavi nosed at Breon’s jaw as if to urge him on.
“I…” Breon gulped and was immediately ashamed. He was nearly mute like an untested youth, hardly an attractive trait.
“We need this, don’t we?” Dhavi touched the tip of his tongue to the corner of Breon’s mouth.
“Yes.” Breon relented, accepting this would happen. Even if it didn’t live up to the fantasy, it was still something he would not deny. With that acceptance, his body performed a curious, simultaneous relaxation and escalation of tension. With a jolt, he remembered Dhavi’s request, and fumbled his way to his waist, allowing his hand to trace along Dhavi’s hipbone before travelling lower. When his fingertips encountered Dhavi’s rigid cock jutting out from the soft fabric of his undershorts, his own member throbbed. Breon listened to Dhavi whisper encouragement in his ear as he rubbed his fingers along the length. As his reward, he received an answering caress in turn.
It was so warm under the blanket, sweat broke out all over his skin.
His muscles tightened as the breath caught in his throat. Dhavi kept touching, skimming one hand along Breon’s chest, pressing his lips to his neck, then returning his attention to Breon’s aching cock. When Dhavi slid his palm lower to cup Breon’s balls, he gasped aloud as his hips arched up. He lost hold of Dhavi and thoughtlessly threaded his fingers into his hair, the bedding, anything he might grip to keep himself on the bed. Pulses shot through his calves and thighs as his cock strained. Dhavi coiled above him, still kissing, still stroking and intent on Breon’s body. In agony, Breon tugged at his pants, desperate to free himself, needing Dhavi’s skin to slide against his with primal urgency.
His hands tangled with Dhavi’s and he hoped desperately he didn’t misunderstand, didn’t think he was pushing away. His cock was caught in folds of stretchy fabric and he yelped out a curse of frustration.
“Let me,” Dhavi whispered directly into his ear, and again, Breon sank back, shifting his body to allow Dhavi to untangle him. As soon as Dhavi’s hand slid up his length and closed over the head of his cock, Breon pressed his head against the mattress, his eyes tightly shut as his impulses took over. Warm and firm strokes, one after the other in an unrelenting rhythm made his knees draw up and his thighs open as if his body was begging for unrestrained access. Dhavi rubbed his thumb along the underside of his cock in a knowing stimulation. He was reeling with the crushing realization Dhavi was touching him so intimately, like the dreams he’d entertained so shamefully. Reality was infinitely better.
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