GENRE: Gay Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 50,403 words
After one of his fans committed suicide, John lost everything: lover, confidence, drive. When he’s given a chance to get back on his feet, he’s happy to take it -- even if it's just writing an actor's biography. It might not be romance, or even fiction, but it's something, and there are worse people to work for than the charming, successful Parker Chase.
That doesn't mean working for Parker is easy, however. A staunch supporter of living for the moment, Parker goes against everything John believes in. He feels out of place in every moment of Parker's Hollywood life, stuck in a game of wits that at times seems almost contrived.
Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.
"If you're attempting to starve my history out of me, you're doing a wonderful job of it so far."
Warm, deep, and even sexier in the quiet darkness of the hallway then it was on the screen, Parker's voice startled John out of his reverie. "I'm sorry." He was suddenly too shy to turn and catch Parker's gaze and opted instead to watch Parker's reflection. "Your property is so beautiful. Did you design the layout yourself? Or --"
"Oh, of course." Parker's image wasn't clear enough for John to see the amusement on Parker's face, but he could hear it in Parker's voice as clear as day. "Gardening is a real hobby of mine. And concrete forming, God, I'd almost forgotten how much I enjoy it. Manual labour anything, really. It just works for me."
John lifted an eyebrow and continued to stare out at the yard, switching his focus between property and reflection. "Is this how this is going to work then? Am I to just guess at what's truth and what's you merely playing games?"
"I didn't realise that you'd begun to interview me." Parker stepped closer. He smelled like sandalwood and ocean air -- an entirely swoon-worthy scent, indeed.
"That's the cool thing about being here," John said with a smile. "The interview is never really over."
"Then I guess I should try hard to keep my words truthful."
"It would make life easier, yes." John took a breath, held it, and finally turned away from the window. "My apologies for my lack of patience at the airport earlier. It was a long flight and I admit that I --"
"You need a better photographer."
John frowned; he tilted his head. "I'm sorry?"
"For your promos and your covers." Parker reached up, caught John's chin with both thumb and pointer, and moved John's face first left, then right. "You are far more attractive in person. Bad photography is unforgivable."
John snorted but didn't pull away. Parker's fingertips felt nice on his skin: very warm, very smooth, and damn strong. "I'm not trying to woo my readers. They aren't buying my face, they're buying my words."
"Pretty faces sell."
"Is that why you've done so well?"
Parker chuckled and released his hold but didn't break contact. Instead, Parker slipped his finger under John's jaw, stroked the point of John's chin with his nail, and used light pressure to tilt John's head higher. "I am not pretty," Parker said quietly. "Handsome, yes. Dashing, even." His smile softened the arrogance of his statement. "But I don't have the boyish charm thing going for me that you do. It's quite ... nice."
"Well now, look at you." John turned his head away and took a step to the left. "I thought romanticism wasn't really your gig."
Parker shrugged. "It's not." His smile transformed to one with a much sharper edge. "But seduction most definitely is."
John choked a laugh that sounded too shrill. "Seduction seems a little pointless for someone that has people falling all over themselves to please him. Besides, I was of the belief that your preferences ran to the female side of our species."
"Then we can agree that you have a lot to learn about me." Parker turned on his heel and began to walk down the hallway. "Let's eat, shall we?"
It took several seconds for John to follow. Had Parker just admitted to being bi? Did everybody already know this? "Mr. Chase?" John waited for Parker to stop and turn back, and when he didn't, John skip-stepped to catch up. "You understand that anything you tell me has the potential to be included in the biography, yes?"
"Excellent." Parker stopped at a pair of French doors and paused with a hand on each handle. "There's a lot I want to say with this story. And none as good as yourself for me to say it through. Trust me." He winked, pressed the doors open, and waved John in. "After you."