New Release: O Christmas Tree by Emily Carrington #LGBTQ #holidayromance @CarringtonEmily

For Jake, losing his eyesight isn’t nearly as frightening as having to rely on someone else. Especially if he wants that other person to be his lover. He was taught from an early age that being gay is synonymous with being a sissy and he can’t see past that lesson to the one Tyler is trying to teach him.

Tyler has been attracted to Jake since they first met. When Jake comes to Tyler’s bed, it seems all of Tyler’s dreams are coming true. Except Jake doesn’t want more than friends with benefits. Can Tyler stand being Jake’s second choice?

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Copyright ©2021 Emily Carrington

For Tyler Carter, there was no better pre-Christmas present than watching Jake swim. The lean-muscled, pale-skinned man was God’s gift to the world of gay men. With his Irish last name, Calhoun, he should have been freckled too, but Jake had been adopted. Tyler sometimes wondered how his mother could have possibly given him up as a baby. But maybe she’d had no choice.

He watched Jake knifing his way through the water at Colton University’s pool and his cock rolled over in its winter hibernation. It took very little time in Jake’s presence to waken Tyler’s body even though they’d never even kissed. Hell, they’d never even held hands.

Jake knew nothing of Tyler’s longing, although Tyler was hoping the vacation they were taking together would change that.

Shoulder-length chestnut brown hair was plastered to Jake’s head like a helmet and Tyler’s fingers itched to touch the slightly curly locks. Jake’s tattoo, on the right side of his back and over that shoulder, was of a dolphin and ocean waves. The twenty-seven-year-old certainly swam like a dolphin.

Tyler knew he should call to Jake, get his attention. They were due at an appointment in less than an hour and who knew how long it would take Jake to get dressed? But Tyler couldn’t quite bring himself to raise his voice or even to speak. Jake was so beautiful while swimming.

If Tyler watched much longer, he’d have to hide in a bathroom and take care of his little problem before the appointment.

He approached the edge of the pool, not close enough to get accidentally splashed. He thought, All the angels in heaven would sing your praise if they were allowed.

Jake was in the second lane from the edge and when he reached the deep end’s side, he finally came up for air. He shook his bangs out of his eyes and turned his head. Maybe he’d somehow sensed Tyler’s nearness, or he was looking for him. Their gazes met and locked. Jake’s grin lit up his whole face, from stretching lips that were slightly pinker than the rest of his skin to crinkling the corners of absolutely stunning hazel eyes.

He swam over to Tyler, gestured for him to step back a bit, and then, with what looked like very little effort, hoisted himself out of the deep end.

Tyler wanted to turn away and adjust his jeans so his boner wouldn’t be so obvious, but he knew doing anything like that would draw more rather than less attention to his reaction. So, feeling his cheeks heat up, he grinned back at Jake.

“Are you early or did I lose track of time?” Jake glanced over his shoulder at the cock hanging on the wall.

The clock, Tyler thought. Not the cock, the clock. Get your mind out of the gutter.

The past six months knowing Jake had been a pleasure. Learning, about six weeks ago, that Jake was gay had just been icing on the cake.

Jake said, “I guess time got away from me.” He walked over to his shower shoes and put them on. “I’ll meet you out front? I need to towel off and get dressed.”

Can I come with you? Tyler swallowed the words. Jake had been walking a very fine line since coming out to Tyler, never being suggestive in his speech or actions. But he was too friendly to tell Tyler he didn’t want him. Or maybe that was just Tyler’s impression. Maybe Jake was one of those weird people who believed it was okay to be gay but wrong to act on it.

Tyler was Christian. Jake wasn’t. At least Tyler didn’t think he was because he didn’t go to Tyler’s church, and he didn’t seem to attend any of the others in Marisburg or Colton.

“I’ll meet you out in the main lobby,” he told Jake now. “We’ve got a little over forty minutes to get there, so there’s not too much of a rush.”

“I’ll probably shower if I have time. There’s nothing more offensive to some people than smelling like chlorine.” Jake flashed him another killer smile, complete with a dimple. “I’ll be out soon.”


Emily Carrington is a multipublished author of male/male, female/female, and transgender romance. She has been writing since 2011 and has dedicated her career to two universes: SearchLight and Sticks and Stones. SearchLight is all about magical creatures finding their HEA, and Sticks and Stones finds happily-ever-afters for her contemporary characters. Sticks and Stones tends to happen in small towns, whereas SearchLight happens all up and down the East Coast and across the United States.