He darted toward the other room and opened the window to take a few deep breaths. He had to get a hold of himself before going back, because the man had rattled his nerves enough already. Brice was probably named after his father, whose given name was Brian. The old Captain had all the appearance to have been as stunning as his son when he’d been his age, somewhere around thirty. Stunning? Oh, for God's sake! Linden almost broke the window when he slammed it closed and gulped down the water remaining in the bottle before going back. He wished the man had some more clothes on.
He did, but it didn't improve the situation much. He was wearing black tailored trousers and a pale blue shirt. Surely it was not a coincidence that it matched his eyes or that a few of the top buttons were undone. Sitting on the couch, with his laptop on his thighs, he was the embodiment of business.
“Do you usually stay dressed like this at home?”
Brice lifted his gaze from the laptop, and arched one of his eyebrows.
“How's that any of your business?” He curled his lips and continued. “Or is it because you prefer me with my clothes off?”
This definitely caught him by surprise and the matter would’ve become really awkward, but then something else caught his attention. Ignoring the question that he didn't want to answer anyway, he pointed to the table.
“Hey, why are you eating the chocolates?”
“Because I like chocolates and these are delicious.” He raised his eyes again and asked with his usual smirk, “Are you going to pester me with any more questions in my own living room, or I can continue checking my Outlook now?”
Beyond exhausted and irritated by that moment, he pulled the box under Brice's fingers just as he was groping for another chocolate and said, “These are for Auntie Jane. Leave them alone!”
“Auntie Jane?” His expression became deadly serious. After a short pause, he said, “I hope you are not trying to do what I think you are.”
“I couldn't care less what you think.” He didn't know he could lie so confidently. “But you are not eating more of these.”
They were too busy looking daggers at each other to register the person entering the room before she gave a short happy squeal and hurried toward her son. Brice got up and gave her a hug, which completely engulfed the little lady.
“There, Mother, don't start crying.”
Linden was ready to forgive him a few things because of the warmth he heard in his voice, but he was not so sure it was sincere. The old captain walked in and whistled.
“Look you here what the night wind brought.”
Brice nodded at him and made a salute sign. “Wind indeed, sir, you should have seen the storms I came through. Well, turbulence in my case.”
His mother finally let him go and took a few steps back, looking at him. It was plain to see she was proud of her son and she had reasons to be. Suddenly Linden felt incredibly stupid with the open box of chocolates he was clutching and moreover, he felt useless.
Author: Rian Durant
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: September 4, 2017
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Category: MM, Romance, Contemporary
Word Count: 60400
Linden has only one thing on his mind a few days away from Christmas—his pending university exams. That is, until he meets his neighbors’ son who has returned for the holidays. Brice Stevens is gorgeous, but he’s insufferable.
It’s Linden’s first love, and he falls hard for Brice, despite Brice’s occasionally aloof and cool behavior. It’s an emotional ride for both of them while Linden takes a crash course in real love and Brice learns to trust in a relationship.
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Rian is one of those who are both blessed and cursed by the insatiable desire to write, primarily M/M (insert more Ms if you like) stories.
Always having a plot in mind is hard when having a day time job but Rian manages them currently, assisted by the priceless support of her soul mate, lots of coffee and pure obstinacy.
What makes Rian smile is anything that could be the reason for that spark in the eyes, accompanied by the exclamation: “Oh my, I just saw something!”