...“Anything in mind for later?” Reno asked after the waiter had taken their orders and departed. “Another bar or a club maybe?”
“Sure, whatever.” Lee knew Reno was respecting his stated wish to take their time, and he appreciated the other man’s sensitivity. He’d never cared for the mindless, get-it-anywhere-you-can, mechanical, another-notch-on-the-bedpost type of sex that some people thought gay men liked. He’d known guys who actually preferred it that way, but it wasn’t for him. He liked his loving to have a little emotion and a lot of magic and that was the real reason why he never closed his eyes and jumped. If it meant losing out the odd time, it was no big deal.
But no way do I intend to lose out this time.
Lee gave a small sigh of satisfaction that he’d finally met someone who also liked to stop and smell the flowers. Except his lifetime habit of being careful was becoming more difficult to remember with each passing second. He could so easily have taken up Reno’s offer back at the bar to see if a room was available. The thought of Reno’s hands touching and caressing his ass, then his dick…
He reined in his thoughts and gazed at his new friend through half-closed eyes, taking in his short, dark hair, and the sexy trace of five o’clock shadow. The dude had good looks to spare—dark, intelligent eyes that held more than a hint of heat, high cheekbones and a wide mouth with sensuous lips Lee just knew could take him to paradise and beyond. Instinct told him their feelings had been mutual—right from the moment he’d caught sight of Reno standing by the bar with that come-and-get-me look in his eyes. The silent message was sent and received the instant their gazes locked, making the actual words unnecessary.
Already, Lee could imagine Reno undressing him, and could feel the touch of Reno’s mouth and tongue, and the slide of his beautiful, long-fingered hands moving leisurely over his body, upping the tension while Reno concentrated on giving him the kind of total satisfaction he craved.
Lee swallowed a sigh. Yeah, man. And he wanted to give back every bit as good as what he got. He wanted Reno in a way he hadn’t wanted any other man for a very long time. Not since—
They’d stayed under the shower for what had felt like hours, the hot water and the violet-scented soap soothing his battered body, while the man’s clever hands kneaded and massaged away the knots and the pain with the kind of tenderness and caring and—
The waiter came back, put the bottle of wine they’d ordered on the table along with a basket of bread and managed to derail Lee’s thoughts in the process. After pouring them each a glass of wine, the man turned away, and Lee tried to pick up the thread, but it was useless. Whatever track his mind had been on had disappeared with the waiter.
He took a piece of the bread and put it on his plate. The brief memory flashes were starting to bother him for the simple reason they made no sense. He didn’t know if they were scrambled, disjointed fragments resurfacing from that long-ago attack in his hometown, prompted by the trip down memory lane. The doctors had told him that often happened when the victim buried a traumatic incident rather than face it head on. Or did the memories have to do with someone from his past who’d borne more than a passing resemblance to the man sitting across from him? While no one came to mind, Lee couldn’t swear a Reno lookalike hadn’t crossed his path at some point. Annoying as it was, this wasn’t the first time Lee had seen someone he thought he recognized. Sometimes the answer came within a minute or so, and sometimes it never did.
Instead of obsessing, Lee knew he ought to just push it out of his mind and forget about it. He wanted to forget about it. If he and Reno had met before, so what? If he’d imagined it, so what, too? It made not one iota of difference to anything either way.
Except what started as a small annoyance had now become as irritating and frustrating as one of those impossible jigsaw puzzles where the pieces were pretty much all the same shape and color. He wanted to see the whole picture, no matter what it turned out to be, but each time he attempted to put a few of the pieces together, they refused to fit. Maybe what he needed to do was stop trying to force things and allow the memory to resurface by itself...or not...