GENRE: Contemporary, Erotica
LENGTH: 224 pages
BLURB: Over twenty stories of sexual awakenings serving as steamy reminders that everyone, no matter how experienced, has had a first time. Edited by Jack Hart.
Contains my story, Best Friends. Todd has harbored a secret love for his best friend Riley for years. But Riley has signed up to join the military, and soon he'll leave the small town he calls home -- and his best friend -- behind. The fact that Riley decides to spend his last evening home with Todd instead of with his girlfriend Charlene tells Todd something ... and a few beers later, he decides to confess his feelings for his friend.
From Best Friends:
For a long moment, I don't know what to say. Then, slowly, I ask, "You were thinking about me while you were getting on with her?" He grins and nods, as if there's nothing wrong with this admission, nothing at all. And here I thought it was just me ... "You're whacked. You didn't tell her?"
Riley laughs. "Hell no. We didn't even get that far. After ten minutes I was like, I got to go. I told her I forgot the condoms. They're still in the damn glove compartment! I just zipped up and was like I'm sorry, Charlene, I'm so sorry." He whines again -- so I'm not the only one it works on. "I dropped her off at home, came over to your place, and that was that. I couldn't go through with it. I didn't want to."
His grin tells me he thinks the whole thing's a big joke, and he expects me to laugh along with him, but my mind is still caught on the fact that he was thinking of me. Nudging my ribs, he asks, "I still have the receipt for those condoms. You think I can take them back?"
Me. The knowledge makes my head spin. Or is that the beer? I swallow down the rest of my brew like a shot of courage and offer, "You can always use them."
"When?" he asks with another laugh. "Tonight?"
Our eyes meet and lightning forks above us, freezing the moment like a photograph, thunder hard right behind the flash. The smile lingers on his lips, in his eyes -- he's waiting for me to say something to laugh off the suggestion that underlies the word. Tonight. When I don't answer and don't look away, the smile slips and his voice drops to a whisper. "Todd ..."
I surprise us both by cutting him off with a kiss.
Oh my God.
Our lips barely meet before I'm scrambling away. "Oh Jesus," I stammer. My legs wobble beneath me as I clamor to my feet. I did not just ... "Oh fuck. Riley, I didn't mean it, I swear. Oh shit."
"Todd." I swing one leg over the tailgate and Riley grabs my arm again, his grip uncompromising. "Get back here."
An apologetic litany rolls through my head, Oh shit, I didn't mean it, I'm sorry. What did I just do? My lips tingle where they touched his; I still feel him on me, the ghost of what our friendship used to be before I ruined it. I try to shake him off and can't. "Todd!" he cries, pulling me back. There's laughter in his voice, like he's waiting for me to say I was kidding. I wasn't. "What the hell? Why --"
"Because I love you, stupid."