From Breathless Press
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(see more here)
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Valentine Michaels has just taken a vow of celibacy. Adrian Grey intends to take full advantage of that vow to recreate his relationship with Val.
Val is at a crossroads in his life. A college dropout, he’s gone as far as he can in his career as a cosmetologist, owning his own style salon. He no longer finds satisfaction in it though he's put years into proving to his bigoted parents that a college degree and the veneer of straightness aren't the only roads to success. They'd turned their backs on him, and he proved he didn't need them to make it.
His love life is no better than his working life. His relationships always start with a bang and fizzle into boredom, or worse, anger.
"Yeah, did you like it? Here, grab a cup of coffee and a pastry and let's take a walk." The other man turned and walked out the door, apparently assuming that Val would follow.
Val grabbed a coffee and hurried to catch up with
. Jeez. Now what would
he do? He had to let Adrian
down gently. No sense ruining what had been a perfectly good friendship. No way
could he ask Adrian
to help with the redecorating project now. Distance, not closeness, was called
, we have to talk. I
really meant it when I said I'm not interested in men right now and honestly,"
he touched the other man's arm sympathetically, "you're just not my type,
you know? So, much as I appreciate all
the little gestures, I just feel friendship for you, okay?" Adrian
The other man's blue eyes sparkled at him, in apparent—amusement? "Are you done, Val?"
"Well, yeah, that's what I wanted to say. No hard feelings, right?"
"Right, Val. Let me set you straight on a few things before we talk about feelings, okay? First of all, I noticed you were down Friday, so I sent you the flower, yeah. I love those bird of paradise flowers. The colors are so sunny and cheerful. Then this morning, I wanted to talk to you about something, and sorry, but the coffee and pastries were as much because I knew I'd be hungry as for you. Yeah, you're hot as hell, but I know I'm not your type. And you know I know it, too. That's why you've been ramming tales about your wild and crazy love life down my throat for the past ten years, isn't it? I've heard about every new man as soon as you've met him, and every break up when it inevitably comes along. Why do you do that, Val? It's not for your own benefit, you know? You've been making sure that I knew that you weren't interested in hooking up with me all these years. I fucking get it, okay? You don't seem to see that I'm not the same man today as ten years ago. And that's your loss, not mine. I've done things, experienced things in the last few years that have helped me define who and what I am, in and out of bed, Val. Too bad you can't say the same."
Val swallowed and pulled his hand back. He shook his head as his brain whirled trying to keep up, to comprehend all the data
threw at him in one
long speech. "Whoa. Sorry. I just talk while I'm working, you know? I…shit…sorry." Adrian
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