Somewhat estranged from his family over his choice in career — ad design rather than the family’s legacy in corporate finance — Brandon Wiley doesn’t want to push his luck by informing his parents that he’s gay.
But now his older brother is getting married. When he’s asked to be the best man, Brandon agrees. It doesn’t take him long to regret that decision, as the next phone call is from his mother demanding that he bring a date, or she’ll find a girl for him.
Evan Mitchell is ready to leave his wife and be the gay man he knows himself to be. Gail’s tears and Joanne’s threats convinced him to play the Happy Het one last time for his daughter’s wedding before starting his new life as a gay bachelor. It should have been easy, but there’s something about Brandon he can’t ignore and he risks blowing his cover for his first taste of gay passion.
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Copyright ©2021 Kira Stone
“I can’t wait to introduce you to everyone,” Gail said as she tugged him out of the car. Not that he needed her help.
“Give the guy a chance to clean up first,” Jason reminded her.
Gail had Brandon in tow and gave no sign that she’d heard Jason. The door opened before they got halfway down the path. A tall, thin woman with perfectly coiffed hair the same golden shade as Gail’s stood in the entryway, her arms held out as if she were receiving a long lost friend. “Oh, you must be Bradley!”
“Brandon, Mom. His name is Brandon.”
Brandon tugged his hand away from Gail and offered it. “Nice to meet you, Mrs. Mitchell.”
“You must call me Joanne.” She latched onto his other arm and pulled him over the threshold. Brandon wondered where the hell his brother was, and why he’d been abandoned to these two women.
They marched him through the house, Gail releasing him only when it became obvious that the three abreast wouldn’t fit down the hall. As the noise got nearer, Brandon tried to pull away and ask for directions to the bathroom, but the ladies wouldn’t be deterred.
The hallway opened out into what Brandon supposed the chic would call a Great Room. The term fit when it came to size, taking up nearly one quarter of the ground floor. It seemed to be filled with people, and Brandon wondered just how many friends and family members were going to be left in the audience if all of these people were actually in the wedding party.
Brandon scanned the room where the guests were grazing between food and drink stations set out like toadstools in some magical kingdom. The whole thing had a surreal quality about it, and he had never been so happy to see his mother as he was the moment she stepped out of the crowd to greet him.
“Brandon, sweetheart, it’s so good to see you. I was starting to worry that something might have happened to your flight.”
He hugged his mother hard. She still smelled the same. That more than anything let him know that he was home. He didn’t like the way she tried to run his personal life, but he never doubted that she did it out of love. “Hi, Mom,” he said lamely.
She smiled up at him and used her pink-painted nails to brush some of the hair back from his face. “You look well.”
“So do you.” She really did. Classy and happy. Sometimes he wondered if human beings were really meant to spend their entire lives with just one other being, and then he’d recall the way his parents looked together and knew it was more than possible. It happened every day.
Sure enough, his father soon joined them. As he slid one arm around his wife, he extended the other to shake hands with his youngest son. “Glad you could make it, son.”
“Good to see you, Dad.”
Their private family moment was short-lived as Gail appeared at his elbow. “Morgan didn’t come,” she announced.
“That’s too bad,” his mother said. There was a gleam in her eye that added she wasn’t all that sorry.
“She had to work. Out of town. An emergency thing. She sends her regrets.” His parents knew about Morgan’s efforts to find the lost, and their expressions immediately turned more sympathetic.
“I’m sorry, Brandon,” his mother said. “I hope it goes well.”
So did he. It tore Morgan up when she failed, and this time he wouldn’t be home to cheer her up. At least, not right away. “Thanks. If I can find Jason, I think I’ll talk him into finding me a room so I can freshen up.”
Gail tightened her grip on his arm. “Oh, no. You’re not running away yet. There’s someone I want to introduce you to.”
They wiggled and jiggled their way through the bodies until she stopped before a couple conversing quietly in a corner. The woman was seated on a footstool beside an older man who was explaining something that required a lot of hand motions.
Brandon suspected the woman was Jennifer, but he couldn’t spare her more than a glance. He was totally mesmerized by the man conversing with her. His dark hair was closely cropped to help hide the fact that it was thinning just a bit. Laugh lines gave character to his eyes and mouth. He wore a jewel-blue shirt that went perfectly with his naturally tan skin. A little hint of chest hair was visible through the opening around the collar.
As they approached, the two got to their feet. Brandon estimated that the man stood a little over six feet. That would give him about four inches over Brandon’s height. Perfect. As was the rest of him. He had broad shoulders and a trim waist. Too bad he was wearing pleated pants that didn’t give much of a hint about what the man might be packing between his legs. Please let him be single. Please let him be gay.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kira Stone lives in a warm cave tucked away in the remote Scottish Highlands, where a small band of ever-changing heroes serves as company. As they relax in front of a roaring fire, demons dance in leather pants and angels stroke tunes from the harp strings, while the Fae stop in to share tales from other worlds. Bound by pen and imagination, these are the folk who wait to greet you from the pages of Kira’s stories.
The who and what of Kira in this more mundane world is not what turns you on, but the words sure do – so go discover the passion that awaits you between the covers of every Kira Stone book…