Off the Key West coast, Rief Lawson works as a wrecker, salvaging ships and their cargo. Exiled to the outskirts of society because of his mysterious gift of sight, Riefʼs only respite from his loneliness is painting an unknown blond man. When a merchant ship wrecks during a violent storm, Rief rescues a drowning victim and comes face-to-face with his destiny.
It is the man from his art!
Heir to an English barony, Mathew Weston entered the merchant trade with his greedy father and soon-to-be father-in-law. Dominated by his father and smothered by the people around him—including his sweet but tiresome fianceé—Mathew is terrified to follow his true desires. Marriage and obedience seem safer than a life of secrecy and possible prison.
After the daring rescue, a fire ignites between the two men. Powerless to resist his desire, Mathew learns what it means to be a man in Riefʼs arms. With this newfound confidence, Mathew teaches Rief through gentle touch that he deserves the affection heʼs long been denied. Yet their affair is doomed from the start. Two desperate men, wrecked in heart and mind, must find a way to salvage the chance at love fate has given them.
Then Rief stepped away, placing his back to him, the lines of his shoulders suddenly rigid. “Why did you really come here?” he asked, void of all emotion. “And don’t say to bring me a book.”
Embarrassment and confusion at Rief’s change in mood made him stutter. “I-I think you know w-why I came here.”
Rief’s head tipped to the side, but he did not turn around. “Why?”
Did he expect him to say it aloud?
Taking a tremulous breath, Mathew struggled to find the words, but the emotions inside him were so new, too terrifying to give them voice. He glanced away, the erotic painting staring at him with accusation. Mocking him, because he could never be as bold as the doppelganger of color and oil.
What if Rief realized he was nothing like the man he’d painted?
Mathew was not powerful or alluring. He was weak with wanting, desperate with loneliness. Indecisive and scared. Living in fear for years. All alone, even in a crowded room.
He glanced back at Rief, and a whisper of light fought to escape the darkness. He might not be the man in the painting, but he had to try.
For both their sakes.
Latching on to hope, he boldly forged ahead, “You ask me why I am here? How could I not seek you out? Every day I wake up knowing that I am destined to be alone, yet with just a few words, you’ve shown me that life isn’t as hopeless as I once imagined. When we speak, it as if I am speaking to my own soul. How can a man turn his back on a connection such as that?”
Rief turned at his confession, coming toward him fast.
He instinctively withdrew from the dark hurt in his eyes, but Rief kept coming until Mathew’s back was against the wall. “You made it pretty clear you think I’m no better than a thief, Matt. So why pretty this up with talk of friendship and loneliness? The only thing lonely is your cock.”
“H-how dare y-you?” he sputtered, their bodies now less than a hairsbreadth apart. “You make it sound so… so dirty. I’m a gentleman. I came here to extend the hand of friendship.”
Rief looked sad and weary despite his dominant posturing. His entire being withered right before Mathew’s eyes. “Friends or lovers, Matt? State your intentions now. If you do not want both, you should leave, for I cannot survive anything less from you.”
Emboldened, Mathew met the gaze of the man who changed the very course of his life. A man he wanted so badly that he had risked discovery, betraying the vows of denial he’d placed upon himself. Releasing a shuddery breath, he let the words tumble out, allowing his heart full sway of his mouth and damning the consequences.
“I want to be your friend and your lover,” Mathew declared, staring deep into those pained eyes. “It has been my greatest wish since the beginning. I have long been afraid to go after what I want, but it is not that way when I am with you. I want you. I want this.” Before he lost what courage he’d gained, he placed a trembling hand on Rief’s chest, his voice wavering as he asked, “How can you not know that by now?”
With a muffled cry, Rief melted against him.
The instant he felt the heat of Rief’s body, Mathew kissed him, unable to hinder their desires a moment longer. Blood pounding, throbbing all the way to his groin, he poured all the passion and intensity that years of denial had left in their wake into the harmony of their mouths.
Rief groaned against his lips, pressing closer and wrapping arms around his waist. In a burst of fervor, their tongues battled, bodies rolled. A physical reflection of a bond of body and heart. Outside, the rain grew in tempo, pounding faster than Mathew’s pulse. Louder still were their ragged breaths filling the air along with the howl of the gale. The world fell away and it was only Rief in his arms, feeling better than anything he’d ever dreamed.
Fingers pulled at the waist of his trousers. “I need you,” Rief panted.
Overcome, his head lolled back. “Yes, please!”
Almost frantic, Rief unfastened the buttons on his trousers and slid a hand inside.
When manly skin touched his bare flesh for the first time, Mathew cried out fast, “Oh dear God in heaven!”
Rief chuckled, drawing his eye. His expression was heady with lust as he fondled Mathew’s bare length. Wincing when the skin pulled, he held still and let the man explore, the riot of feelings paralyzing him. Rief cupped his balls and gave them a gentle squeeze, a sharp sensation hitting him faster than a lightning strike.
He jumped. “Ouch!”
Instantly, Rief withdrew his hand. “Did I hurt you?”
Blinking fast, he tried to process his overwhelmed senses. When he saw the concern in those hazel eyes, he gave an awkward smile. “Yes… well, no. I don’t really think it hurt, but it just feels so… intense.”
“This’ll make it easier.” Rief spit in his palm and held it out for him to do the same.
Appalled a bit, but so aroused, he followed suit.
As promised, when that spit-soaked hand slid back into his pants, Mathew groaned, his entire body on fire. Rief slowly, gently began spreading the wetness. Hands trembling, he held on to Rief’s arms and gave in to the pleasure of his reverent touch, savoring the new sensation of having someone else’s hand on his cock.
Whimpering, he thrust his hips, the caresses too slow and tortuous after a while. “Faster.”
Rather than listen, Rief released him. There was no time to protest, because the man was opening his own trousers. Impatient, Mathew fumbled to lower his all the way too.
“Oh, uh… oh…,” he muttered incoherently when Rief licked his palm then took both of their cocks in one large, wet hand and began to stroke. “Yes, yes… oh!”
Chest heaving, Rief buried his face in Mathew’s neck, inhaling, nipping, and kissing. He used his chin to push aside the detachable collar, and it fell to the ground, fully exposing his throat. “You’re so beautiful. So much more beautiful than I ever thought you would be. So much more beautiful than I’ve ever painted.”
Men weren’t supposed to be beautiful, but the way Rief whispered those endearments, with his hand caressing his hard cock across Mathew’s, lips nibbling at his Adam’s apple with almost reverent worship, he wanted to be beautiful.
Beautiful to Rief.
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Praise for DEANNA WADSWORTH
“Easy Ryder is an incredible book. A must read full of passion. This book will show you a world you have never seen
before and pull you into the story from the first scene to the last.”—Gay List Book Reviews, on “Easy Ryder”
“I loved every minute of their journey from their first kiss to their HEA. This was a great coming of age story.”—Live Your Life, Buy The Book, on “Easy Ryder”
“I could go on and on talking about this book, but bottom end you simply need to read it to appreciate. This is certainly a book not to be missed and I truly believe that no matter the genre you favorite, you won’t help but love this one.”—MM Good Book Reviews, on “Easy Ryder”