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Synopsis“I never thought I could want anyone as much as I wanted Nash, then I met you” ~Royal
When I was sixteen I was afflicted with a terrible curse...I fell in love with my straight best friend. I never thought I’d move past my feelings for Nash and find someone who could love me in return, until the day a gorgeous marine plopped himself down in my chair and asked me to ink him. I’m falling fast for Zade, but my feelings for Nash are still very real. When life starts getting complicated and Nash speaks the words I never thought I’d hear, the only thing I want is for us to find a way to make this work...together.
“What if I told you, you'd never have to choose?”~Zade
I thought I’d stay in the Marines for life, that was the plan. But after a traumatic event I couldn’t make myself re-enlist when my contract was up. Confused and unsure what to do next I called up my best friend for a place to stay. What I didn’t count on was my best friend’s boyfriend practically throwing a sexy tattoo artist at me to keep me busy. Royal is everything I’ve ever wanted and his roommate, Nash, is starting to grow on me, too.
“A few weeks ago I thought I was straight. Now I'm sandwiched between two sweaty men. Can't say I do anything half-assed.” ~Nash
Of course I’ve noticed that my best friend, Royal is crazy good looking. I have eyes, that doesn’t mean I’m into guys. Although, when I start to notice that his new boyfriend, Zade, is pretty hot too, that makes me start to question things a little. Not to mention the dreams I keep having of the three of us together. I’m willing to try if they are.
**This is NOT a love triangle, just good old fashioned man-on-man-on-man love
**Every book in the Heathens Ink series can be read as a stand-alone, but it’s way more fun to read them in order.
“Come on dude, let’s get you home and get you some water and Advil to head off the hangover you’re bound to have in the morning,” my best friend, Nash, suggests as he puts an arm around me to keep me from falling over.
Real talk for a second...I’m not that drunk. But if exaggerating your state of drunkenness to get your straight best friend to put his arms around you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
I’m not some creepy asshole, I swear. I’ve been cursed with a crush on a man I can never have. What a cliché, right?
“You good?” Nash asks once I’m in the car.
I allow myself a brief moment of staring at the gorgeous man before I tear my gaze away and nod to let him know I’m fine.
“You guys all set back there?” Dani calls from the driver seat.
Dani is one of the most kick ass women I’ve ever known. Being the only chick working at a tattoo shop full of rowdy men, I was skeptical at first that she’d be able to put up with us. But she gives as good as she gets and isn’t afraid to put us in our place when necessary.
I find myself squished between Nash and Gage, one of the guys we work with at Heathens Ink. Adam, the owner of Heathens, rides in the passenger seat.
We’ve had a tradition since Nash and I started our apprenticeships at Heathens four years ago. Every Thursday night all of us go out for drinks after we close up the shop for the night. A few weeks ago this ritual was put on hold when one of my closest friends, and another tattoo artist at the shop, was the victim of a hate crime at a bar.
My gut still twists when I think about how close Madden came to losing his life. If it hadn’t been for a chance meeting with a fireman and former Marine at the bar that night, I’m not sure Madden would still be alive.
Anyway, we decided to bring the Thursday night tradition to Madden this week now that he’s had a little time to heal. And, after we all had a few drinks in us it was like old times again.
“Feeling okay? Not getting carsick or anything are you?” Nash checks.
“I’m alright,” I assure him, patting his strong thigh and then forcing myself to pull my hand back instead of leaving it resting where it feels so damn right.
When Dani pulls up in front of Nash’s and my house we both stumble out of the car, waving goodbye over our shoulders as we head for the front door.
“Hold on, I need a cigarette,” I tell Nash, plopping down on our front porch and fishing my pack out of my pocket.
“You promised you were quitting,” Nash says in his stern dad voice.
“No, you told me I should quit. I just stopped arguing.”
“Royal,” Nash sticks out his bottom lip, giving me his best pouty face. Little does he know that fucking pouty lip makes my dick ridiculously hard.
“Ugh, fine.” I shove the cigarettes back in my pocket without getting my nicotine fix.
I hold my hand out so Nash can haul me back to my feet, and he doesn’t disappoint. He pulls me up with more force than
I was expecting and I stumble into him, catching myself on his firm chest.
“Sorry, too rough,” Nash chuckles.
I don’t know why, but I can’t seem to make myself take a step back. And, Nash isn’t rushing to put any distance between us either.
I grant myself a moment of indulgence, looking up at my best friend, imagining what it would be like if he could be mine.
Before I know what’s happening the distance between our lips is disappearing. Whether he’s the one leaning closer, or I am, I couldn’t tell you. I’m too concerned with the feel of Nash’s breath against my lips to care who’s initiating it.
Nash looks down at me, his deep blue eyes shining and slightly glazed...and just like that the moment is broken.
I push against his chest to get him to release his grip, then I take a step back and force myself not to look back at his tempting mouth. I may have been pretending to be drunk, but it’s clear Nash really is.
When I have enough composure to look at him again, I notice a slight frown, and a furrow between his brows.
“Water then bed, right?”
“Right,” Nash mutters in a daze, following me into the house without another word.