It was after midnight by the time they tumbled through the cold night and into the Jeep. Gavin cranked up the heat as he turned around and headed back toward the road, amazed he’d managed that much without some sort of accident. His fingers drummed against the steering wheel, betraying the nervous energy that had been present since the moment he saw Jace standing on the sidewalk, looking so attractive in his LL Bean jacket. His anxiety had only grown over the course of the evening, especially after he’d felt Jace’s wood and knew he’d guessed correctly.
Jace wanted him. And good God, he wanted Jace right back.
He turned slowly onto Tillman Road. “Any place you want to go?”
Jace swallowed audibly. “Um, not really.” He was nervous too, unsure about the next steps, which only endeared him to Gavin more.
And it made him want to not screw this up. Jace obviously wasn’t out, and he probably didn’t have much experience with guys. They needed privacy. “How about Carter’s Lake?”
“Is that safe?”
“It’s November. No one’s going to be out there this time of year.”
The Jeep hit a rut and Jace grabbed the door as he bounced in his seat. “Wasn’t Mr. Rhodes assaulted up there earlier this summer?”
“Mama said that had something to do with a guy he knew in high school. It’s got nothing to do with us.”
Gavin glanced at him. “You sure?”
“Yes. The lake.”
Warmth flashed through him at the confidence in Jace’s words, and Gavin actually turned the heat down two notches.
For decades, people had been parking up at Carter’s Lake late at night to make out. The plastic roof and windows on the Jeep didn’t make it the ideal vehicle for hooking up in thirty-degree weather, but Gavin didn’t want to waste time finding out if Jace had a car, and he wasn’t about to invite Jace to his trailer. He wasn’t ashamed of the place, but Mama wasn’t working tonight, and he didn’t want to make Jace any more self-conscious than he already was by trying to sneak him past her.
Gavin turned onto the narrow road to their destination and tried to not tap his foot or fingers too much. He’d never felt so much like he was driving in slow motion, and it took forever for the weedy parking lot near Carter’s Lake to flash in his headlights. Empty, thank God. He parked in the far corner of the weedy lot, angled so they’d see any other approaching car lights before anyone saw them, then he shut off the engine.
The noisy heater wheezed into silence. The lot had no exterior lights, and the moon was only half full. When the Jeep’s interior light faded out, the empty spaces filled with shadows. Jace unsnapped his seatbelt and then sat there staring straight ahead, hands balled into fists on his thighs. Gavin almost had to sit on his own hands to keep from reaching for Jace first, to not be the one to start this. He wanted to kiss Jace stupid, to see what was inside those jeans, to suck him off, to bend him over and fuck him good.
More than those things, though, Gavin wanted to do this right. He didn’t want to scare Jace off, so he unbuckled his own seatbelt and waited, hoping he looked as relaxed and open as he intended, even though his heart was slamming into his ribs. He wasn’t the newbie here, so why was the idea of Jace kissing him giving him palpitations?
“I’m not a total virgin, you know,” Jace said, almost defensively.
“Never assumed you were.”
“I just…haven’t done much…not with guys.”
“But you want to.”
“I’m all yours, Jace.”
Jace turned in his seat, putting half his face in a beam of light. Heat burned in his eyes, which took their time traveling up and down the length of Gavin’s body, only to zero in on his lips. Gavin smiled then licked his lips. Jace exhaled sharply. In one fast and fluid motion, Jace leaned across the console, slid his right hand into Gavin’s hair, and pulled him forward. He paused then, their mouths centimeters away, warm breath gusting across Gavin’s lips, and it took all of Gavin’s strength to not kiss first.
Releasing August 6, 2013 from Samhain.