LOST AND FOUND
One week later - Carter
We’d spent years hiding in the shadows.
Before I left the country, Dave had refused to be anywhere in public with me, which had led to our biggest fight. I knew things had changed when he suggested we’d go out that night. To drink and eat, to be together. A proper couple. It was a big deal.
A radiant smile crossed my lips when he ushered me inside the little Italian restaurant. I’d always mentioned it, tried to hint how much I’d like to go there. I thought he hadn’t listened. Jesus, I felt like a teenager again. Like this was my first date—ever. His hand on my lower back grounded me, eased the nervous excitement inside my belly. A waitress welcomed us and asked for our reservation without a second glance towards us. Dave’s hand traveled from the small of my back to my shoulder, marking me as his, ensuring I knew he was past his insecurities. Of what people might think if we were seen together.
“Table for six,” Dave told the waitress with a squeeze to my shoulder, adding his surname as she scanned the book next to the entrance.
I flicked my eyes back at him immediately. Six? He didn’t give me a chance to contemplate before he urged me forward. We followed the waitress to a large table set up for a large party. The ambiance was beautiful. Dark with candles in every window, wax dripping down and creating stunning masterpieces. I searched his eyes again when she offered a seat and asked me to hand over my coat.
“Six?” I finally blurted when the woman accepted Dave’s coat as well, draped them over her arm and left. He sat opposite me, the chair scooting over the wooden floor as he settled down.
“Yes, six. I know you hate hiding us. But you’ve been doing it, for me.” Slowly, it dawned on me. Our first night out would be our first night out. I swallowed when his fingers found mine on the table. I’d always respected his need to keep us secret. He was afraid to lose Cody, I knew that, and he was terrified of risking his firm. But if keeping us secret meant that I could have him, I’d walk until the end of the world in silence.
“I love you. You’re my boy. And I’m not hiding anymore.” My heart jumped and kicked into a new fast pace. “I invited your parents, and Cody and Fiona. I wanted to surprise you. They’ll be here in about thirty minutes. We don’t have to of course. We can go—”
“No,” I cut him off, determined. More blood rushed through my heart, beating loud enough I’m surprised he couldn’t hear it.
Dave smiled and let his big hands engulf mine up, squeezing and rubbing his thumbs across the knuckles. I wanted them to know. I needed them to. “No matter what happens tonight, this isn’t gonna change, you hear me? We’ll still be the same as ever,” he assured, eyes meeting mine. I nodded. Happiness spread from my core, flooding my system. This is what I’d always wanted. Since the evening I’d spent with my parents and Dave years ago, I’d been yearning for this moment. To shout from the rooftops that I had met my soulmate years ago. Now, finally, he was on the same page.
Dave ordered two bottles of red wine, the kind I liked, while I eyed the door. Minutes ticked by, and I knew Dave could feel my nervousness. I tuned out the noises around us, and we didn’t speak. Dave studied the menu after putting his glasses on. He seemed so calm, as though nothing could shake him. I was grateful for it. He didn’t hide anymore. Adjusting his glasses on the bridge of his nose, he wiggled his eyebrows, making me laugh. It eased the throb in my chest for a moment, my leg bouncing in a frantic rhythm. God, I was excited and more than a little terrified.
The door cracked open every few moments, and new guests stepped inside. It was full of people, full of noise and laughter. It smelled of pasta, pizza, and lasagna, rich delicious foods. This could be heaven.
Once more, the door popped open, and I shot up from my chair. It was Cody. Dave stood slowly, a bright smile on his face. He and Fiona spotted us directly and walked over. I’d never met Fiona in person since I’d avoided their wedding; in fact, I’d bailed on him while standing at the airport. I just couldn’t get on that plane, couldn’t face Dave and his new partner. Well...that was stupid.
“Carter!” Cody gave me a back-thumping hug and then stepped aside to let me meet Fiona. Her smile was contagious, cheeks round and glowing. She hugged me briefly and let me know that she’d been dying to meet me. I told them I was sorry I couldn’t make their wedding. She just waved it off and settled down beside me. Cody had already taken a seat when I noticed my parents enter the room as well. From one second to the next, the temperature in the room spiked. At least for me. My mother glanced at Dave, then me as she sauntered closer with my father right behind her.
I had no idea what Dave had said to them, but I prayed to God—or any being out there—that this wouldn’t end in a disaster. “He’s twice your age, Carter. What could you two possibly have in common?” My father snapped in a harsh tone. Fair enough, I gathered, but I stood my ground. My mother held onto his arm, preventing him from bolting out of the restaurant.
“I love him,” I said, “have loved him since I laid eyes on him. You might not like it, but it is what it is. Mom is eight years younger than you, so you of all people should know age doesn’t matter.” The table went quiet, and the waitress rounded us once more, seemingly not wanting to interrupt. Before my father could hiss a response, my mother’s hand slid up his forearm in a calming gesture. It took the wind out of him; the way she looked at him and smiled. She knew I was right.
Next, he turned to Dave pinning him down with a stare. My man, my life, my everything, he stared right back and told him he’d give the world to me. It made my insides melt.
The years that had passed did Dave good, soothed his expressions, his words. There was something about him now, a calmness I hadn’t known before. Soon enough, my parents went still, and my mother ordered something to eat, for herself and my father. Although he claimed he couldn’t stomach anything. He ordered a whiskey, then another. I knew him. He’d drown in whiskey, wake up hungover in the morning, and my mother would calmly explain to him that he would be happy for us. He’d listen. He always did.
Cody’s reaction came as a surprise to us both. Since I’d asked him whether Dave was seeing someone a couple of weeks prior—and apparently Fiona had been informed of our conversation—she’d expected that something was going on with Dave and me. She swatted Cody’s arm with a quiet “I told you so” after Dave and I had bared our souls. It made me smile. Although Cody was still lost for words, Fiona assured us he’d be fine as well. Thank God for the women at our table. They seriously saved us.
Dave gave me an eye-crinkling smile and took my hand carefully, as though he didn’t want to upset anyone. But apparently, he couldn’t help himself. I gazed right back at him, fingers lacing while the waitress handed my father another glass of whiskey. The conversation around us started to blossom. My mother spoke to Cody about a recent job offer while Fiona asked the waitress about the restaurant’s vegetarian options. My father sulked beside us, but that couldn’t stop the grin spreading across my face.
Here we were now, with our families.
And they hadn’t left the table.
TAKE IT ALL
STEAMY ENCOUNTERS COLLECTION
Three steamy encounters of twisted, forbidden lust...
What do lust-driven men do when they think no one is watching? Find out now. Be a fly on the wall in a seedy motel room, a gym shower and the heart of suburbia, where three torrid pairings nurture the beasts inside of them.
Carter&Dave - The one with Daddy
Gordon&Jett - The one with the Politician
Josh&Graham - The one with the Jock
They can hardly handle it, can you?
Content warning: age gap, daddy play, bareback sex, adultery, zero romance