LENGTH: 44,270 words | 144 pages
Once the star of his high school basketball team, Nathan Gayle has played the field for years. Now in his twenties, he’s getting tired of one night stands and heated hook-ups with strangers; he wants something more. Was that asking too much?
Wes Roberts has had a fierce crush on Nathan since high school. A chance encounter at prom created a memory Wes still cherishes, one perfect moment in time. His current relationship with Roger pales in comparison, but he’s been with the man for eight months now and they’ve settled into a routine that’s not exactly comfortable.
When Wes and Nathan meet up again years later at a friend’s party, the spark between them is rekindled. But there’s Roger, who wrestles with anger and drinking problems. Roger, whom Wes is still dating. Though the choice between the two men seems obvious, breaking up with Roger may be easier said than done.
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Indecision flickered across Wes's face. He looked at the house, a few feet away and well lit, but the party seemed to have moved inside -- there were a few stragglers on the porch now, couples making out in battered lawn chairs, and the music wasn't so loud anymore. Someone must've called the cops, Nathan mused, climbing into the back of Tom's truck. "I don't know," Wes said, frowning at him. "It's not your pickup, Nathan ..."
"It's Tom's," Nathan told him. "He won't mind. Come on."
He held a hand out to Wes, who looked back at the house again. "Please?" Nathan whispered. "Out here it's just us, that's it. Please."
Wes sighed, but he took Nathan's hand and stepped up on the bumper. "If anyone sees us ..."
Then he tripped climbing over the tailgate, caught his foot on the lock, and fell against Nathan, knocking him back. Nathan stumbled over an empty keg that rolled away beneath him and landed hard on his ass, Wes in his lap and already apologizing. "Oh, fuck, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean --"
Nathan kissed the words from his lips. "You're a little accident prone tonight, aren't you?" he asked, but he was grinning -- at least the guy was in his lap, his knee pressing right where Nathan wanted it. He leaned back, propping himself up on his elbows, and thrust his hips against Wes's leg as he gasped in delight at the sensations that flooded his body. "It's okay," he sighed, throwing his head back. "Sweet Jesus, Wes."
A soft, damp tongue licked down the length of his throat, leaving a warm trail that cooled in the night air. "I thought I was over you," Wes whispered, easing the collar of Nathan's turtleneck down so he could kiss his neck.
His mouth latched onto the hollow of Nathan's throat, his tongue tickling between his lips, his teeth nipping the soft skin. The thought of that mouth on other parts of his body, his chest and his arms and his thighs, his cock, his ass, it made Nathan thrust against him again. His hands massaged Wes's upper arms, kneading the thick flesh, his knee coming up between Wes's leg as his friend pushed him back to the bed of the truck. He loved this, the weight of another on top of him, of Wes, his body still familiar after all the time that had passed, his kisses still as sweet. His hands relearned a path down Wes's chest, his fingers remembering the nipples they tweaked, the flat stomach, the muscles sheathed just beneath the skin. Without hesitation his hands eased into his friend's jeans and Wes moaned as he cupped an uncompromising erection, rubbed it through the tight briefs. "Nathan," he sighed.
Nathan loved to hear his name in that voice, that breathless, that full of need.
Faint footsteps drifted through the heat of their touch, the soft crunch of gravel, and then Tom's laughter separated itself from the music and the distant din of the party. Coming this way, Nathan thought, but he couldn't seem to care about that right now. All he wanted was Wes above him, against him, in him so deep he'd never find his way out.
The laughter grew louder. When Wes tried to pull away, Nathan held onto the waistband of his jeans, arched up against him, kept him close. "Don't," he breathed, wrapping an arm around Wes's neck. He could feel how close they were, his own body aching, his dick hard. Wes's briefs were already growing damp against his hand. "Please don't."
The truck moved beneath them as Tom climbed up on the back bumper. Wes looked over his shoulder and Nathan could see their friend backlit by the moon, smiling down at someone beside the truck. He hadn't noticed them yet. "Only one left, honey," he called out.
Cindy, Nathan thought with a smug smile. Look, girlfriend -- I found one on my own this time.
Tom bent down to lift one of the kegs and saw them. For a moment they all froze, just stared at each other, stuck in place. And then Tom clamped his hands over his eyes. "I'm not seeing this."
Nathan laughed. "Tom," Wes started, sitting up, "I can explain --"
"I'm not listening," Tom said. "I didn't see anything." Raising his voice, he hollered, "Cindy? I found Nathan."
Cindy stepped up on the bumper. "Nathan, Herbert's looking for you ..."
She saw him sprawled out in the back of the trunk, Wes running an unsteady hand through his hair, Tom with his hands over his eyes, still squatting by the keg. "Oh, shit," she muttered.
- Fallen Angel Reviews: 5 out of 5.
- "Snyder has created a wonderful story with two very powerful men caught in a situation that is very realistic ... Together Wes and Nathan generate enough heat to burn away the past and maybe create a future full of love and laughter. Thanks ... for an inspiring story."
- Joyfully Reviewed:
- "I really enjoyed this story. There was so much ... I liked, such as the quirkiness of the characters ... Some of their expressions and actions made me laugh out loud. Finding Nathan again was just what Wes needed."
- Literary Nymphs Reviews: 5 out of 5.
- "With an emotional style I have come to associate with J.M. Snyder, Crushed pulls at the heartstrings, and delivers humor at the same time. Nathan and Wes are very sensual characters that create an ambience around you as you read this excellent story."
- Night Owl Romance: 3.75 out of 5.
- "I enjoyed this well-written story. It was fast paced and entertaining. I found JM Snyder’s characters to be realistic and engaging. Snyder’s writing draws you in, keeping you turning the pages until the end."
- Rainbow Reviews: 4 out of 5.
- "On the surface this is a gentle tale of two boys meeting up a few years after school, and finding the flame still burning between then. Under the surface J.M. Snyder looks at the issue of co-dependency."
- Review by Elisa Rolle:
- "The story is all about feelings and interaptions between the three men. Sex is on the background, but it's a plus for the story, J.M. Snyder is a master in build the wait and stop it in the right moment: it has reminded me the heat between two teens who want to have all soon and are interrupted every time on the climax and set them to find soon another moment and another place."
- Review by Frost: 4 out of 5.
- "To my mind, this is a darker and more disturbing story ... Wes is torn between love, lust, and guilt, and this makes for a powerful story line."