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Balls Up, that’s what.
Rhys McDowell. Striker for Manchester United. Bad boy on the soccer field. Badder boy in the bedroom. Rhys lives by the motto: never second-guess anything. His only regret in life is that he fell in love with the wrong man decades ago and no one has ever been able to erase that guy from his heart.
Curtis Clarkson. Ex-captain of the Australian cricket team. A man once feared on the pitch, Clarkson is now a highly respected businessman with a devilish glint in his eye and a willingness to follow wherever life leads him. He never expected it to lead him to a man. A cocky soccer player, no less. And a private shower in Heathrow airport.
When lust and desire take control of both men, all the rules of the game utterly change. Curtis never thought he’d fall for a guy. And Rhys never thought he’d fall again, period.
But when fame follows your every step, what happens behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there. And the penalty box may very well leave you not just sweaty…but broken.
Rhys had dedicated his life to acting solely and completely on first instincts.
Most of those instincts had been firmly planted in experiencing pleasure and fun. Rhys was renowned for never taking anything seriously, not even his soccer. That he was such a talented player—one who commanded millions a year—only made Rhys a bigger threat on the field. His most common first instinct—to act on anything that felt right—meant he was an unpredictable striker. And a highly entertaining one to watch.
Acting on first instincts ruled his approach to life.
Except when it came to Josh Blackthorne. With Josh, Rhys knew—even when he was only fifteen and desperately in love with his best friend—his instinct to grab the guy and kiss him senseless would have ended with a broken nose and a broken friendship.
But up until boarding the plane bound for Sydney, Josh had been the exception to the rule.
And then Rhys had been hit by a sexual desire for Curtis Clarkson more powerful than any he’d ever experienced before. Had fought against it on the plane. Had argued with himself against it in the plane’s loo. Had questioned his sanity even as he craved to feel the ex-cricket captain’s lips move against his own.
When Curtis had hurried from the plane—
Hurried? Huh, don’t you mean fled?
—Rhys’s first instincts were to follow. To chase him down, corner him somewhere away from the public eye, and demand to kiss him. Demand Curtis unzip Rhys’s fly and squeeze his cock until he came.
For five heartbeats, he’d denied those instincts.
Five pounding, punishing, brutal heartbeats.
On the sixth heartbeat, he’d succumbed to them.
And now here he was, standing in a first-class lounge shower cubicle with a man most of Australia hoped one day would run for prime minister, or president, or governor general or…or…fuck, some other exalted, illustrious position, and Rhys’s current instinct told him he wasn’t going to survive.
A heavy spasm claimed his cock at the thought. A hungry ache gnawed at his soul.
I want you naked. Now.
The words caressed him, coarse and seductive at once.
Curtis watched him, Adam’s apple jerking up and down his throat. A throat, Rhys couldn’t help but notice, strong and muscular and tanned.
Take him. Own him.
He destroyed the small distance between them, grabbed the front of Curtis’s shirt and ripped it open.