After my divorce, I’m ready to have fun, date around, and not get into anything serious. Then I meet Gabe Crosby, superhero firefighter and a disgrace to the Crosby name. He doesn’t even like hockey!
Yet, there’s a draw to him I can’t deny—something I haven’t felt since my teens. But that’s the problem. I have no idea what dating is like, let alone how to do it with another man. He makes me flakey and nervous, and I’ve never been that guy.
Gabe turns me inside out and upside down in the best possible ways. I only recently became single, but if I continue to chase after him, I might not stay that way for long.
When I meet Aleksander Emerson during an emergency call-out, there are three things that catch my attention: his sexy tattoos, his kind eyes, and his drunken offer to have my babies.
He’s new to Seattle and recently divorced, so I take him under my wing–and under my sheets. I’m showing him what the world of hookups is like, only those hookups turn into sleepovers and dates and public displays of jealousy.
Aleks is in his casual era, and I’m working my way toward settling down and starting a family. What the two of us have is fun, but not a good idea permanently.
Too bad Aleks has already set my life on fire.
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When my teammates and I walk into the firehouse, Sanden glances at us from where he’s wiping down one of the trucks. His face lights up.
“Is that your man?” Katz asks.
“You’re Brennen Katz,” Sanden says and then turns to my other teammate. “And you’re Cody Bilson.”
“Not him,” I say. “My guy wouldn’t even know who you two are.”
“Then I definitely disapprove.” Katz approaches Sanden and throws his arm around his shoulders. “You should date this guy instead. He’s a fan.”
Sanden laughs. “Sorry, Aleks is so not my type.”
“Nope. Just not into the big and brawny thing.”
Bilson looks confused. “Wait … are we … are hockey players not attractive in queer circles? Why does this feel like an abomination on society as a whole?”
“Are you sure you want to go with queer people are an abomination?” I ask.
“Anyone who doesn’t find me attractive, then yes.” Bilson pouts.
“Only Bilson could be offended for not being attractive to someone he’s not even interested in,” Katz says. “You watch, now he’ll have to run out and find his next wife so he can have that validation.”
I turn to Bilson. “You have issues, man.”
“Don’t we all?” Bilson spots a woman in uniform heading up the stairs to the upper level. “What can I say? I have a weakness.” He automatically follows the blonde, and when I watch him go, my eyes catch on someone coming down the same stairs. He looks so fucking sexy in his navy uniform, but I do wish he was wearing his fireman pants with the hot-as-fuck suspenders.
I smile and hold up the billion pies we ordered.
“You wanted to see me that badly you felt you needed to bribe me and my coworkers with food? How cheap do you think we are?”
“Did it work?”
He points to the balcony above us that overlooks the truck bays. “What does that tell you?”
There are six guys watching us.
“Are they looking at me or the pizza?”
“Definitely the pizza,” Gabe says and takes half of the boxes from me. “Come meet the team.”
Sanden puts down his towel. “Break time.”
“Truck doesn’t look clean,” Gabe sings without even looking at it.
“How does he know?” Sanden complains and gets back to work.
“You don’t let the poor man eat?” I ask.
“He needs to get his chores done first.”
“You’d make the meanest parent ever.”
“I plan on it.”
I ignore the trickling guilt about kids because unlike in my marriage, Gabe doesn’t mean with me. Anytime Rebecca brought up the topic of kids, I’d find an excuse to change the subject. I don’t need to do that here because Gabe and I won’t ever get to that serious point.
I know that. He knows that.
We’re dating. That’s it.
Gabe introduces me to everyone, but I forget their names as quickly as he says them. It’s daunting, almost like a meet-the-family thing, but all of his team are hockey fans, and they’re easy to converse with. When in doubt, mention hockey.
Katz and I are talking to Gabe’s chief when Bilson comes over to us. “I’m in love.”
“Oh boy, here we go,” Katz says.
I add, “So much for a firehouse being safe from Bilson’s love life.”
Gabe’s hand lands on my bicep. “Can I steal you for a moment?”
His hand trails down my arm, and I interlace my fingers with his as I follow him outside and around the corner into an alley.
“What are we doing out here?”
Gabe slams me into the wall, backing me against it, but then laughs. “Oops. I thought you hockey players knew how to brace for hard hits.”
“When we’re expecting them, but that was nothing. Actually, it was kind of hot.”
“Only kind of?”
I lick my lips. “Mm, I can think of a way it could be hotter.”
Gabe presses against me, lowering his voice. “Yeah? How?”
Instead of answering him, I fuse my lips to his and push my tongue inside his mouth.
He moans, and my cock strains against my pants. His hands roam my chest while mine settle on his ass and pull him flush against me.
When he’s had his fill, he pulls away breathless. “As much as I’d fucking love to get your cock out right here and now, I’m on duty.”
“Considering we live in the same damn city, you’d think we’d be able to see each other more than our one date.”
“It doesn’t help that I’m never here, and when I am, you’re working.”
“We have to figure out a system.”
I nod. “We really do. I’m starting to worry you’re all talk. How do I know how awesome your dick really is if I can never get near it?”
“When are you back from your road trip?”
Gabe grunts. “Another reason for me to hate hockey.”
“You know, every time you mention that, the hockey gods smite the closest hockey player. You wouldn’t want to smite me, would you? I have a Stanley Cup to win.”
“A Stanley who?”
“Now you’ve done it. Don’t jinx me. I need to impress my new team.”
Gabe sighs. “Fine. Go sports. Rah, rah.” He pretends he’s holding pom-poms.
“That’s better. Even if it’s sarcastic.”
Gabe smiles, but his face falls when a ringing alarm echoes from the building. “Damn. Gotta go.” He kisses my cheek and runs back inside, calling out as he does, “I’ll text you later.”
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About the Author
Eden Finley is an Amazon bestselling author who writes steamy contemporary romances that are full of snark and light-hearted fluff.
She doesn't take anything too seriously and lives to create an escape from real life for her readers. The ideas always begin with a wackadoodle premise, and she does her best to turn them into romances with heart.
With a short attention span that rivals her son's, she writes multiple different pairings: MM, MMF, and MF.
She's also an Australian girl and apologises for her Australianisms that sometimes don't make sense to anyone else.
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About the Author
Saxon James unapologetically writes happy endings for LGBT+ characters.
While not writing, SM is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.
Member of SCBWI.
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