Author: Diana DeRicci
Cover Artist: Anastasia Rabiyah
Genre: Gay Erotic Romance/M/M
Length: Novel, 52,777 words, 150 pages PDF
Release Date: April 11, 2012
Heat Level: Erotic
Warnings: Gay Male/Male
Since the day Josh met Laurence, he was positive the man was a preening peacock escaped from the Exotic Bird Exhibit. There was something raw and bright, eye-catching and absolutely, unashamedly gay about Laurence. He was outrageous, outgoing, and wild enough to drive Josh up a figurative wall. Josh didn’t expect Laurence to be anything other than who he was, so long as he did so a good ten feet away from him.
Josh and Laurence’s friendship was more like two enemies circling each other around mutual friends. Their arguments were legendary.
Until one night, fate stepped in and changed everything. There was a hard truth waiting for Josh around the next corner. An attraction that could not be denied. One that refused to be ignored.
Would their tenuous friendship survive the fallout between these two reluctant friends? Could a love that took four years to emerge be stronger than either had ever anticipated? Or were they destined to remain merely frenemies?
“Oh, Christ. What’s he doing here?” Josh growled in not too well hidden distaste.
Gregory lifted his head from his textbook, hunting their immediate vicinity of the outside commons. “Who?”
“The glow stick.”
Gregory arched an eyebrow, peering now in the direction Josh meant. “Uh… You mean Laurence? Because I think RJ would kick your ass if you called him that.”
Josh made a look of disgust and suddenly became engrossed in his studying as the men approached the table, though men was loosely used when it came to those two, one especially.
“Hey, guys. Guess who passed his final?” RJ announced.
“Congrats, man!” Gregory gave a beaming Laurence a high five.
The stretch of Laurence’s arm bared a strip of stomach beneath the hiked lightweight white sweater. Josh blinked when he realized he’d been drawn to that flash of skin—again. He shivered, anger stiffening his spine. He was not into guys!
He slapped his book closed. “I have to go. Professor Stromburgh is too punctual to be late.”
He didn’t wait around to say more, or to see if a third voice joined the litany. With his pack tossed over his shoulder, he stomped into the crowd, and away from that table.
Fucking pricks. He snarled, but forced himself to calm down when he almost trampled a pair of girls turning a corner in his direction. It wasn’t that he had a problem with gays, or lesbians, or dykes, or… Hell, whatever they wanted to be called.
He did have a problem with the way he couldn’t seem to keep Laurence from getting to him. Josh was not gay.
And shit, Laurence was so gay, he glittered.
With the time it took to reach his class, he’d calmed enough to be able to listen with at least half an ear. Finals were in two days for him. He needed to concentrate.
Instead he doodled, and his mind wandered back to his first semester and the class—just the one class, thank God—that he’d shared with Laurence. Josh knew gay people, though he’d never been outwardly friendly to any before.
Laurence was the first time he’d truly been able to watch the infamous “twink” in the wild, its natural habitat. He remembered staring like Laurence was some sort of special attraction through most of the class. It was a sight Josh had never been exposed to back in Colorado.
He’d become fast friends with Gregory, and managed to avoid anything to do with Laurence that whole first semester. Then Gregory met RJ, and while he was gay, he didn’t discomfit Josh to the point of palm sterilization every thirty seconds. Like they’d been best buds their whole life, RJ and Laurence became an inseparable menace.
Josh let out a quiet breath, gazing around the room, alone in a crowd. No one was paying him the least bit of attention. Spotting the length of the final notes on the board, he tried to focus, but drifted again.
Josh caught Laurence and wrapped him in a bear hug. Held off the floor, Laurence’s sneakers kicked the air in front of them, unable to fight Josh’s larger size or strength.
“Uncle!” Laurence gasped, laughing loud and hard.
“Put him down,” Mickie scolded coming up behind them. “Boys. You never grow up.”
“Physical hazard,” RJ blithely pointed out, sidling past the wrestling pair to not be part of the fallout.
“It’s Josh. He can’t keep his hands off me,” Laurence purred, going limp in his arms.
Josh let Laurence go so fast, he almost fell on his ass.
“Hey!” Laurence shouted, managing to not become one with the floor at the last second.
Josh tossed his hands up, backing away. “Wasn’t me,” he called out.
“Dude, wasn’t me hasn’t lived here in over ten years. Give it up.” Gregory gave him a swat on the back of the head in addition to the warning.
“Saved by the mom,” Josh groused, brushing passed an indignant Laurence.
The phantom press of a caressing hand slid down his ass as he strode by, and Josh whirled, glaring.
“Wasn’t me,” Laurence parroted, grinning like an innocent angel.
Josh lowered to growl into Laurence’s ear. “It’s on, glow stick.”
“Ooh!” Laurence cooed, his mouth tipping up at the corners. Taunting mirth and secrets darkened his eyes. “Do I get to pick out the china?”