Another peek at Top to Bottom

Another peek at Top to Bottom

Is it a tease if I give you another teaser? I mean it is, but is it unfair?

Well, I’ll just leave this here and you can decide for yourself.

Top to Bottom is up for preorder right now! It comes out on Valentine’s Day, and we’re having a party in the Nest. You are cordially invited to join us 💙

From Top to Bottom (His Boy Next Door #38)

“What are we listening to?” Jack asked.

Victor let out a huff of amusement. “Willie Nelson.”

Channon rested his head on Jack’s shoulder and said, “Is that country?”

“How dare you,” Victor said, setting down a seltzer bottle and some ice-filled whiskey tumblers on the table. Two of them, he dropped a wedge of lime into and topped them up with seltzer. The third had an amber liquid in it, which he mixed with seltzer as well.

(You don’t drink? he’d asked once, and when Channon said neither of them did, Victor had never asked again.)

Jack slipped his arms around Channon’s waist, hugging the warmth of him against his torso. Channon hummed, leaning into him, his fingers stroking the backs of Jack’s hands, lingering over his engagement ring. Jack kissed his neck. He smelled of bergamot and, faintly, the musky whiff of horses and innocent sweat.

“I read your interview,” Victor said mildly. “Thank you for mentioning Cara. We’ve sold several of her pieces off the back of that.”

“Do people really buy photographs because the artist got mentioned in an interview?” Channon asked, obviously surprised.

Victor chuckled. “People who want a taste of your lifestyle, certainly. You painted a beautiful picture of two people in love; of course they’d buy into that.”

The music took a turn, slow and melancholy, and Jack felt Channon shift in his arms, swaying into the slow, swinging rhythm. Jack squeezed him, pressing his nose into Channon’s hair and breathing him in.

It had been a good day. Jack had managed not to think about work once, had watched Channon enjoying himself, had enjoyed Victor and his generous hospitality, eaten well, felt relaxed and easy. Victor was watching them with dark, intent eyes, and Jack thought, Now’s the time to find out if he’s still interested.

He looked interested. In Channon, though. Not Jack. How strange it felt not to mind that.

“I don’t dance,” Jack said, catching Victor’s eye, “but I think Channon will, if you ask him.”

Channon hummed. “Do I have to wait to be asked?”

“Not if you don’t want to, sweetheart.” Jack hugged him and let go, stepping back.

He watched Victor’s face as Channon held out his hand. “Will you dance with me?”

Victor hesitated. But then— “How could I refuse you anything?” he said, stepping in to take Channon’s hand.

Jack took a seat, watching again. Why did he like that so much? Watching Channon with someone else. Was it because he was never quite as he was with Jack, never quite so needy or submissive or worshipful? Channon did his best to give his partners what they wanted, but he was simply incapable of giving them what he gave to Jack. Channon was his. Nothing in the world could change that, except, maybe, Jack himself.

I won’t fail him, Jack promised himself. He wouldn’t let Channon down again.

Channon and Victor were only dancing by a very loose definition of the term. Certainly, Victor’s hands rested fairly innocently on Channon’s waist. But Channon had his arms looped around Victor’s neck, his body curving in, hips pressed close. Channon whispered something; Victor smiled and looked at him for a long moment. Jack watched Channon lean his cheek against Victor’s and the way Victor’s eyes fluttered closed. Victor dropped his head to brush Channon’s jaw with his lips, and Channon turned to meet him. It was slow, sweet, and Jack thought, That’s my boy. Perfect, brave, precious.

He saw Channon pull away, just far enough to murmur something. Victor nodded, and kissed him, and Jack watched as Channon’s hands unbuttoned Victor’s shirt.

He put down his glass, settling back in his chair to enjoy the view.

Excerpt from Top to Bottom (His Boy Next Door #38).

You can preorder it here, and read reviews here.

Robin Moray is a carbon based life-form from the planet earth, who likes reading, writing, and daydreaming about the day some awesome supernatural or extraterrestrial being suggests they run away together.

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