Sweat glistened on Zeke’s skin. A bead rolled down his back. Korey’s mouth watered. This was Korey’s favorite time of day. It was supposed to be his study time. In a way, it was, except instead of cramming for his next exam, Korey memorized every inch of Zeke’s body. A snort escaped him. Luckily, the sound of Zeke’s fists, knees, and feet hitting the punching bag drowned out the noise. Korey already knew every detail of Zeke’s body. He could probably sketch the man from memory alone. In the dark. Blindfolded. Zeke was Korey’s roommate. Well, roommate might be a stretch, considering Zeke had millions while Korey was broke as shit. Still, they lived together. Korey chose not to dwell on the semantics of their arrangement.
Each day, after his final class, Korey came here to catch a ride home with Zeke. He had a car, but if he chose to use it, he would miss this. Every day, Korey sat in the same spot, book in hand and longing for what he could never have. Zeke Armstrong was the Light Heavyweight MMA champion. He had fourteen years on Korey, more money than Korey could ever dream of having, and no obvious interest in anything beyond fighting. Korey was nobody. He was a college student whose brother found him a place stay in a state where he knew no one. Living with Zeke was heaven and hell. Korey wanted him. It would never happen. Zeke’s hard muscles bunched and rolled with each move he made. Korey caught himself keeping time with Zeke’s blows. Punch. One. Two. Kick. Three. Four. Knees. Five. Six. Reverse.
Zeke turned, catching him staring. Light blue eyes flashed with good humor. Korey’s stomach muscles clenched with desire at the sight. Zeke’s sexy lips turned up in one corner. “Aren’t you supposed to be studying?”
Korey swallowed past the lust crushing his windpipe. “Don’t worry. I’m still acing everything.”
“Damn right, you are,” Zeke said, wiping the sweat from his forehead. “I expect it to stay that way.” Zeke motioned a tape-wrapped hand Korey’s way as he switched his focus to his usual sparring partner, Maverick, who was working out nearby. “This kid will cure cancer someday.”
Heat crawled up Korey’s cheeks. This was another reason he couldn’t stop fantasizing about Zeke. The man was freaking amazing. On the outside, Zeke was perfection. He was six-foot-four-inches of two-hundred-pound muscle. Blond hair and blue eyes with deep lines at the corners of his mouth when he smiled. Korey swore angels sighed when Zeke laughed. But, on the inside, Zeke was a million times all that. When Korey moved to California from Alabama to get his medical degree from Stanford, he’d known he was headed for the unknown. His original plan had been to live with his oldest brother, Charlie, who was a marine stationed in Palo Alto. Two weeks after Korey started school, Charlie was unexpectedly deployed. Three months later, Charlie had been killed by a roadside bomb. Zeke had shown up, said he’d promised to take care of Korey if anything happened to Charlie. Two years later, Zeke still kept that vow while never once making Korey feel unwelcome or like a leech. Of course, Korey fully intended to make it all up to Zeke someday. That was why he never gave less than his all. Korey owed the man everything.
“You’ll need that medical degree if you keep hanging out with this guy,” Maverick said, pulling Korey’s focus his way. “An old man fighting past his prime needs a good doctor in his corner,” Maverick said, laughing as he pretended to hit Zeke in the ribs.
Korey’s embarrassment fled. “Really? Who do you have lined up?”
Maverick threw his head back and roared with laughter.
Zeke tossed him a wink. “Let me grab my stuff and we’ll head home.”
Korey nodded and focused on packing up his bag. He eyes needed something else to do other than watching Zeke walk away. Korey already worried his lust couldn’t be hidden any longer.
Maverick claimed the empty chair at Korey’s side. “Are you coming to Vegas with Zeke this weekend for his match?”
“I’m not sure,” Korey said, shoving his book in his bag. “We haven’t talked about it.” That sounded better than admitting Zeke hadn’t invited him.
“You should go with me.”
Korey froze halfway through zipping his backpack. Maverick wasn’t a bad-looking guy. His dark, perfectly styled hair, honey-colored eyes, and cut body were downright amazing. In fact, most people would probably kill for that invitation, but Korey wasn’t sure how to take it. Korey didn’t hide the fact he was gay, but he didn’t exactly flaunt it inside a fight club filled with straight guys.
Korey kept his gaze locked on his hands as he finished zipping his bag. “Um. How do you mean?”
Maverick’s tone changed when he answered, turning sultry. “I thought I could pick you up,” Maverick said, leaving no room for doubt of his intentions. “We could see the town afterward and you could stay with me.”
Wow. Korey didn’t know what to say. Not only was he caught off guard, Maverick wasn’t Zeke. It was funny how Korey’s heart refused to give up the dream of Zeke, even when an equally amazing offer presented itself.
“Or we could skip seeing the town,” Maverick said, amending his offer. “And you could just stay with me.”
“The hell you say,” Zeke growled, appearing over Maverick’s shoulder. His expression was thunderous. Korey had never seen the man angry before. He was now. There was a line between Zeke’s eyes, and they flashed with barely suppressed rage. “Korey isn’t ruining his life by getting mixed up with any of the no-good fuckers in this building.”
Maverick’s usual good humor never slipped, not even beneath Zeke’s obvious fury. “Damn, Zeke. Tell me how you really feel. You should let the boy come out to play for at least one weekend.”
Korey couldn’t stop switching his gaze between the two. He’d never heard Zeke give anything but praise for his fight family.
Zeke didn’t take Maverick’s bait. “Let’s go, Korey.”
Korey stood, intent on following Zeke to the door.
Maverick grabbed his hand before he could get away. “Think about my offer. Here’s my number.” A scrap of paper appeared in the man’s free hand. Korey reached for it. Maverick’s thumb brushed Korey’s wrist. An unexpected spark traveled up Korey’s arm at the move. “Let me know.”
“Let’s go, Korey,” Zeke called without looking back.
Korey’s gaze moved between Zeke and Maverick. Maybe he would go. It was obvious Zeke thought Korey would level his life for a man. Korey wasn’t that stupid, but it was nice to be wanted. Zeke would never want him. Eventually, Korey would have to accept it.
* * *
With his gaze locked on the road, Zeke raged. Fucking Maverick. He couldn’t believe that dick’s nerve. For two years, Korey had been showing up at Powerhouse Training after class. Everyone knew Korey belonged to him. Maybe “belonged” went too far, but the guys sure as fuck knew Korey was off limits. They didn’t mess with him, look at him, and they damn sure didn’t try to hook up with him. The problem was Korey was too pretty for his own good. His dark hair was always perfectly styled. The dude just looked like he put time in on his appearance. It didn’t help the guy had unusual gray eyes framed by long, dark lashes and perfect skin. He looked like a goddamn angel. Except for Korey’s lips. Those were made for sin. Zeke mentally swiped a hand over his thoughts, wiping them away. Korey was too young for the ideas he gave men. Fuck. He was too young for the way Zeke wanted him.
“Are you okay?”
Zeke tore his gaze away from the road long enough to glance Korey’s way. “Yeah. Why?”
Korey shrugged. “I don’t know. Your jaw is flexing like you’re pissed.”
The worry in Korey’s tone had Zeke counting to ten in his head. It wasn’t Korey’s fault he turned Zeke into a perv. If Charlie was still alive, he’d rightfully kick Zeke’s ass for the impure thoughts he had every second of the day about Korey. “I’m good. Just mentally preparing for the fight this weekend, I guess.” He flashed Korey a smile, hoping it didn’t look half as feral as it felt. “Sorry. What do you want for dinner?”
Korey didn’t respond right away. When he finally spoke, his voice came out stilted, as if he worried he might say the wrong thing and set Zeke off again. “Would you tell me? If something was wrong, that is.”
“Sure.” The lie rolled so damn easily from Zeke’s tongue it surprised even him.
A long, loud litany of cursing rang out in Zeke’s head. Korey sounded sad. “We could order pizza,” he offered, hoping to lighten the mood.
“You can’t have pizza for three more days.” The laughter in Korey’s voice had the pressure easing in Zeke’s chest. “I’ll make a deal with you, though. If you win, I’ll buy you the biggest pizza New York’s Second Home Pizzas sells.”
At the mention of Zeke’s favorite pizza place, Zeke’s mood lightened even more. Korey knew him better than anyone. That was one of the reasons Zeke couldn’t understand how Korey hadn’t realized Zeke would trade everything he owned if Korey would act on the way he stared at him. Every day, Korey watched him train. Each day, it got a little harder to ignore the way the man’s gaze stroked his skin. It was addictive. No one made him feel as powerful. He needed to make Korey feel at least one-quarter of the happiness he did.
“Did you want to go to Vegas with me? I hadn’t asked because I thought maybe you’d have better things to do than being stuck with me while I do all the pre-match shit they require.”
Korey didn’t answer right away. When he responded, he spoke slowly, as if measuring each word. “I’d love to go if you want me there, and you’re not just asking because you don’t want me there with Maverick. Obviously, I don’t really know the guy, and you do, so I’m sure you have your reasons.” Korey released a low growl. The sound stirred Zeke’s cock. “I don’t know what I’m trying to say. It’s like you said, you’ll be busy with interviews and weigh-ins. If you don’t want me underfoot, I don’t want you to feel obligated to bring me along. You already do way too much for me.”
Zeke knew Korey was uncomfortable with how dependent he was on Zeke. The thing was, it was all intentional on Zeke’s part. He’d purposely overtaken Korey’s life. Korey was the only person Zeke couldn’t live without. Since he couldn’t say that, he went with an alternative truth. “You’re my best friend, Korey. There’s never a moment I don’t want you around. I know you like going to my matches, but I don’t like making you feel obligated to be with me every time. It’s my job.”
A soft, sexy laugh came from Korey’s side of the car, punching Zeke in the chest. “Now that we’ve established we’re not obligated to each other, I’d love to go with you.”
Without thought, Zeke reached over and linked fingers with Korey. It wasn’t the first time they’d held hands. By nature, Zeke was a sensory driven person. He caught himself touching Korey more often than not. Korey accepted it, never seeming to take it to heart. The more Korey let him get away with, the more Zeke took. He imagined, one day soon, Korey would find himself tied to Zeke for life with no clue how it happened. Zeke would know. He planned it that way.
Even though Zeke had a large house, it wasn’t big enough to share with Korey. There was no place he went where the man’s presence didn’t show itself. Of course, Zeke never tried getting away from him. If Korey made dinner, Zeke helped. If he studied, Zeke quizzed him. Chances were good, if they’d met under different circumstances, Zeke would’ve fucked the guy and never looked back. Instead, he fantasized but never touched. Lust had warped and transformed until Zeke had woken up one day completely owned by Korey.
“Do you want me to heat up one of these meal prep things while you shower?”
Zeke lifted his arm and pretended to sniff. “Are you saying I stink?”
Korey’s face remained blank, keeping his thoughts hidden. “Yes. I’m saying you stink.”
Zeke knew Korey was joking. Korey would never say such a thing and mean it. He was too nice, which meant Korey was in the mood to tease. Zeke was his man. “I smell like cotton candy, babies, and chocolate. You’re the ripe one around here.”
A smile stretched Korey’s lips, stealing Zeke’s breath. The man’s dimples were hot as hell. “Babies?”
Zeke turned the water on in the sink. “You heard me. Babies—like baby powder and youth. You smell like a teenager’s bedroom. I’ll fix it,” Zeke said, pulling the spray nozzle from the sink, and spraying Korey’s chest.
“Ah, man,” Korey yelled. “Is that how this is going down?” Korey grabbed a nearby half-filled glass of water leftover from that morning and tossed the contents in Zeke’s direction before Zeke could jump out of the way. His pants took the brunt of it.
Zeke tossed the nozzle toward the sink and held his hands up. “Okay. Truce.” He knew from experience they could destroy a room in no time and they’d have to clean up their mess. Korey’s laughter made all water damage worthwhile.
“Truce,” Korey agreed as he lifted his shirt up and over his head. Zeke ate the man alive with his gaze while Korey used the shirt to dry his face. Korey wasn’t exactly the opposite of what usually attracted Zeke, but he also wasn’t Zeke’s normal type. In the past, Zeke had only dated men with similar interests. Guys who lived for the gym. Korey had a runner’s body—slim and tight but not muscular. Zeke had never found anyone sexier. While distracted by all the fantasies of what he could do to that body, Korey caught him off guard, snapping him with the shirt. He got a second shot in before Zeke snagged the shirt. A tug of war began, each refusing to give up their hold until their chests met. Zeke went hard. There was no slow stirring of desire. The instant their skin met, Zeke was on fire. Images of bending Korey over the counter and fucking him hard filled Zeke’s head. Korey’s smile fell. His gaze dropped to Zeke’s mouth. A flush touched his cheeks. Zeke shifted even closer. Korey leaned in. For a moment, they stood with their mouths an inch away from touching. Korey’s breaths fanned across Zeke’s face. His eyes fell closed. Zeke quickly stepped back. Reality crashed down on him. This was Charlie’s baby brother. He’d trusted Zeke to take care of him. Not use him as his live-in whore.
“I need a shower.” Without a backward glance, Zeke headed for his room. He needed release before he fell on Korey with his dick out.
* * *
Korey watched Zeke walk away. His muscles tensed as he fought the urge to chase after him. Sometimes, Korey thought he saw something in Zeke’s eyes. Those moments kept Korey hanging on when he should’ve found someone else long ago. His body ached. He felt empty without Zeke inside him. His lips tingled with the need to be kissed. Unquenched desire made him almost insane. Before Zeke, Korey hadn’t known a person could die a little every day from loving and craving someone unrequited. When they’d gotten home, he’d been starving. Now Korey felt sick.
He headed for the shower. No amount of food would fill the ache in his gut. While waiting for the water to heat, Korey stripped. His reflection held him captive. He didn’t lack in confidence. If Zeke had been someone else, Korey might have thought he stood a chance. Unfortunately, Korey didn’t look like any of the men who worked out at Zeke’s gym. He couldn’t compete. The image of how Zeke had looked at him in the kitchen flared to life in Korey’s mind. He touched his lips. His eyes fell closed. Without thought, his hand slid lower. In his mind, it was Zeke’s hand traveling his skin. Korey’s breath stuttered from his lungs as his fingers encircled his cock. He let the lust overtake him. Fantasies filled his head. If Zeke ever gave him a chance, Korey wouldn’t know where to start. A thousand times he’d been on his knees for Zeke in his mind. Countless nights, Zeke’s hard cock filled Korey’s ass in his dreams. Chances were better than not they’d never be together. That knowledge didn’t stop Korey from stroking his dick with Zeke’s name on his lips.
His lips parted on a pant. His skin tightened. Korey gripped the bathroom counter with his free hand when his knees threatened to give. In his mind, he held Zeke’s headboard while straddling the man’s face. Zeke licked his balls and asshole. He let Korey ride his lips. The man’s skilled tongue and willing throat sucked him closer to the edge. Loud gasps reverberated off the walls of the bathroom, getting lost in the sound of the water beating the floor of the shower. Korey’s hips moved against his tight fist. He fucked his hand. The tightening of his balls became a pressure in his shaft that beat against his crown. Korey’s lungs stopped. The world held its breath. Sound disappeared. His gaze met Zeke’s behind his closed lids. Ecstasy slammed into Korey, forcing him to swallow a cry. Jet after jet of semen coated the sink. Korey didn’t stop pumping until every spasm of pleasure stopped, leaving him spent.
His eyes opened. Korey stared at his reflection. He looked every bit as wrecked as he felt. A familiar fear landed on Korey’s shoulders weighing him down. It was only a matter of time before Korey broke, and he admitted his love for Zeke. What would happen when that day came? Korey could live with any outcome, except Zeke’s hatred or his pity.
* * *
Korey was in his chair. Zeke bit back a smile. Shortly after Korey moved in, he’d taken a liking to Zeke’s recliner. The first time Zeke busted Korey sitting in his chair, he’d pulled the man to his feet, reclaimed his seat, and dragged the man into his lap. He’d let Korey know right then the only way he’d get Zeke’s chair was by sharing it with Zeke. That night started a new trend—Korey relaxing in his lap. Korey read. Zeke watched TV and tried his damnedest to hide his constant erection. It was a balancing act.
As Zeke cleared the door, Korey stood. His gaze never wavered from the book in his hand as Zeke sat. Without missing a beat, he crawled into Zeke’s lap and kept reading. Unlike usual, Zeke didn’t bother turning on the TV. Instead, he wrapped his arms around Korey and held on. It never failed to amaze him how Korey could tune out the world while reading, leaving Zeke free to stare at him. Tonight, he needed to hold Korey. It wasn’t that Zeke didn’t know Korey would eventually meet someone his age and leave Zeke behind. Maverick’s invitation to Vegas brought all Zeke’s worst fears to life. There was nothing wrong with Maverick. He was closer to Korey in age. The guy had a good job, working as a firefighter. In fact, if things were different, and Zeke had to choose, Maverick would be the man he’d pick for Korey. But things weren’t different because Zeke couldn’t escape the truth. He was in love with Korey.
Zeke kicked out the footstool and leaned back in the recliner. Korey settled against his chest and kept reading. Without thought, Zeke skimmed his fingertips down the back of Korey’s arm. When he realized what he’d done, he forced his hand still. Korey was shirtless, wearing nothing more than thin pajama pants. Chill bumps rose on Korey’s skin. Zeke snagged a nearby throw blanket and covered them. He had no clue how much time passed before the book slipped from Korey’s fingers. Zeke grabbed it and set it aside. His hold tightened on Korey. Korey shifted in his sleep, cuddling against Zeke’s chest. His chin tilted upward, giving Zeke the freedom to stare openly at the man’s sexy face.
Those gorgeous lips called to Zeke. His hand lifted. He couldn’t fight the temptation. He skimmed Korey’s bottom lip with his thumb. It was as soft as it looked. Zeke held the man’s chin. With his thumb still pressed to Korey’s lips, Zeke lowered his head and pressed his lips to Korey’s forehead. With the man’s scent filling his nose and his lips pressed to Korey’s skin, Zeke got to pretend for a second that Korey belonged to him.
Korey shifted in his sleep again. His face moved higher, as if he silently begged for Zeke’s kiss. The desire eating at Zeke’s gut all hours of the day took control of his mind. He could no more have stopped himself from kissing Korey than he could stop time from moving. When their lips touched, even the air seemed to hold its breath. Korey pulled away. Zeke’s hand wouldn’t stop stroking Korey’s face—like it had a mind of its own. Korey was awake now. He held Zeke’s stare. His gaze moved over Zeke’s face, searching. Zeke held his breath. He couldn’t explain. Korey shot forward and opened his mouth over Zeke’s. Zeke had craved Korey for too long. He couldn’t push the man away. Korey’s tongue touched the corner of Zeke’s mouth. Zeke opened for him. As their tongues brushed for the first time, Zeke went hard. Jacking off in the shower with Korey’s name on his lips didn’t save him with Korey’s body against his, and the man’s tongue filling his mouth.
Korey changed positions, deepening their kiss. The move also had the man’s erection poking him in the stomach. Goosebumps skirted across his skin. His muscles clenched. Zeke’s hands massaged every part of Korey he could reach. Korey bit Zeke’s bottom lip. Zeke’s palm collided with Korey’s cock—skin on skin, making him realize he’d shoved his hand inside the man’s pants. His fingers automatically curled around Korey’s dick. The way Korey gasped against Zeke’s mouth had Zeke doing everything in his power to drag more sexy sounds from the man in his arms. He massaged Korey’s cock. Korey moved against his hand, sucking Zeke’s tongue and holding on to Zeke’s shoulders in a death grip. There was no going back. Zeke already knew he’d hate himself later. Right now, he didn’t give a damn about anything except making Korey see stars.
A moan vibrated around Zeke’s tongue. Zeke doubled his efforts, stroking faster. His dick twitched and leaked inside his underwear as if the pleasure was his own. Korey’s breathing turned ragged. He tore his mouth away, obviously incapable of catching his breath while poised on the edge of release and kissing Zeke. With his head thrown back, gasping for air, and openly fucking Zeke’s fist, Korey was the sexiest fucking sight Zeke had ever seen. Zeke’s eyes burned with the need to blink. He couldn’t miss a second of watching Korey in the throes of pleasure. A cry escaped Korey as hot cum hit Zeke’s chest. Air sawed in and out of Zeke’s lungs as if he’d run a marathon. Zeke ached with the need to get inside Korey. He didn’t stop pumping Korey’s cock until Korey recaptured his lips. Zeke hugged Korey close, uncaring of the mess between them.
“Korey,” Zeke breathed between kisses. “I can’t stop.” He’d wanted this man too long. “You have to make me stop.”
“I don’t want to,” Korey said, changing angles and going deep.
Zeke’s last thread of resistance snapped. He pushed to his feet, holding Korey. Korey wrapped his legs around Zeke’s waist, holding on and still trying to kiss Zeke as Zeke headed for the bedroom. He already knew. There was already a voice in the back of his mind, whispering this was a mistake. They’d passed the point of return. Korey bit his shoulder. Zeke almost didn’t make it to the bed. Never in his life had he needed anyone like the way he required Korey for his existence. He tossed Korey onto the mattress with more force than necessary. He tore at their clothes before digging through the bedside table for lube and condoms. When his weight came down on Korey, Korey’s body arched against him, as if the man had waited his entire life for Zeke’s nude body to touch his.
Zeke stared down at Korey as he suited up and swiped lube over Korey’s asshole. The flush on Korey’s cheeks and the way he chewed at his kiss-swollen lips was the sexiest sight Zeke had ever seen. He painted the perfect picture of turned-on male. It was as if his cum didn’t already stain Zeke’s balled up shirt in the corner. If it was anyone other than Korey beneath him, Zeke would have the man’s face pressed into the mattress already, but it wasn’t. This was the man he wanted. He needed to see Korey’s face when he took him. He dragged Korey’s body closer and swiped his crown across Korey’s asshole, teasing them both. Zeke braced his hand on the headboard, leaning in.
Korey pressed his palm to Zeke’s stomach, stopping him. “Go slow.”
With two words, Korey calmed the storm raging inside Zeke. The need clawing at his skin, threatening to rip him to shreds, transformed. If Korey had been with anyone in the past two years, Zeke hadn’t seen it. Hell, it was possible Korey had never been with anyone. Instead of putting him off, the thought only stoked Zeke’s possessiveness. He shifted positions and captured Korey’s lips before pushing past the tight ring of muscles surrounding Korey’s asshole. He didn’t thrust deep. Zeke slipped inside an inch and froze. His tongue toyed with Korey’s as he gave the man time to adjust. Zeke had known Korey’s kiss would be amazing. It was so much better than all his fantasies. Zeke rocked another inch deeper. Sweat broke out on his skin. He hoped he didn’t explode before he was fully seated. Korey was so hot and tight.
“Zeke,” Korey whispered against his lips, snapping Zeke’s mind.
He thrust, going deep, and ripping a moan from Korey. Zeke tried going slow. Korey was too perfect in every way. Zeke had dreamed for too long. After tearing his mouth away, Zeke kissed and nipped every place he could reach as he pounded Korey’s ass.
Korey reached between them and tugged at his cock. Zeke had to watch. Sitting back on his heels, he held Korey’s thighs, pumping inside the man as he watched him jack off. Between the heat squeezing his dick and the erotic picture Korey painted, the pressure beating at Zeke’s crown was winning. He needed relief. Korey moaned and writhed beneath him without shame.
“You’re so goddamn sexy.” With the first growled words between them, Zeke couldn’t stop. “I need to see you come again. You’re so perfect on my dick, I won’t make it much longer. I knew you would be this way.”
Korey’s motions quickened. Zeke couldn’t tear his gaze away from the way Korey’s crown disappeared inside his fist over and over again. Pressure drew his balls up tight, crawling up his shaft, and beat at his crown. Zeke couldn’t slow. He reached for the ecstasy that Korey’s tight ass promised. Korey’s muscles tensed. His ass clamped down on Zeke’s dick with enough force he almost crippled Zeke. Korey’s body jerked as his orgasm hit. His ass spasmed, milking Zeke into oblivion. Lights popped behind Zeke’s eyes as he came, making him wonder if he was having a stroke. He couldn’t breathe. Wave after wave of pleasure consumed him. In that moment, Korey owned him in a way no one else ever had. That had been true before he’d been inside Korey, but now, Zeke couldn’t see a future without him.
He covered Korey’s mouth with his as he filled the condom covering his dick. Korey’s tongue battling with his was the only thing stopping all Zeke’s confessions. Tomorrow, he’d face the consequences of what he’d done. Right now, he needed Korey.