Blackcreek: Book 1
At ten years old, Noah Jameson and Cooper Bradshaw collided mid-air when they dove for the same football. For three years, they were inseparable…until one day when Noah and his parents disappeared in the middle of the night.
Noah and Cooper never knew what happened to each other. Now, seventeen years later, after finding his boyfriend in bed with another man, Noah returns to Blackcreek looking for a fresh start. And damned if he doesn’t find his old friend grew up to be sexy as sin. Coop can’t believe Noah—the only person he trusted with the guilt over his parents’ death—is back. And gay… Or that Cooper himself suddenly wants another man in his bed for the first time.
There’s no denying the attraction and emotion between them, but can they overcome the ghosts of their pasts to have a future together?
An Excerpt from “Collide”:
“What the fuck’s wrong with me? There’s something wrong with me.”
He slid down the wall and crumpled to the floor. He sat there, back against the wall, but feeling like he had nothing to hold him up.
“Coop.” Noah’s voice cracked, and Cooper couldn’t stop himself from looking at his friend. The pain and understanding in his dark brown eyes simultaneously comforted, scared, and embarrassed him. In that moment, Noah saw something in him Cooper knew no one had ever seen before. Saw deeper than Coop even knew was there.
And he couldn’t turn away.
As much as the words scared him, he couldn’t not share this. Couldn’t not trust his friend with what he was feeling, even though it killed him. “I saw you with him.” It was hell when the one person you always felt like you could tell everything to was the one to have you tied in knots. The one you wanted to run from. Needed to, yet Cooper couldn’t make himself flee.
“Jesus. I saw you kissing that guy and…what the hell is wrong with me? I had a beautiful woman in my bed and…shit.” Cooper shook his head. Slid both hands through his hair and yanked as though that would somehow change things. “I wanted to kill him.”
I wanted to be him…
Dizziness hit him. All he could do was thank God he was already sitting down. Noah watched him. His eyes intense, looking, searching, always finding things inside Cooper that no one else could see.
They burned Cooper’s skin and were bright with…fuck. He didn’t even want to think of that.
Noah took a step toward him, but when Cooper shook his head, he stopped. He only had on jeans, the button undone, and Cooper hated himself for even noticing that. For looking at the cut of his abs, the long muscles of his arms.
He jerked his head the opposite direction. Still he couldn’t quiet his brain that kept telling him he shouldn’t be thinking the things he was, and everything else that begged him to explore his thoughts.
“Cooper,” Noah started, but Coop squeezed his eyes shut, and Noah stopped talking. Which made no sense considering Noah couldn’t even see his face, but somehow he’d known.
“I’ve never felt jealousy like that in my life.” He spoke so softly he wondered if Noah could even hear him. Somehow he knew he could, which was good since he didn’t have it in him to speak any louder. He saw Noah’s hands on the other man’s waist as he’d kissed him against the wall. Saw Noah’s nails digging in. Saw how roughly Noah had practically slammed the other man into the wall. He hadn’t had to be gentle. It had been rough and primal, and it splintered every fucking thing Cooper thought of himself. Hit buttons he didn’t know he had, and sprouted feelings he wanted to forget.
“It’s wrong. Tell me it’s fucking wrong, Noah. That I shouldn’t feel this way. It’s not right.”
He heard Noah come toward him. Knew his friend stood across from him, probably leaning against the back of the couch, but Cooper still couldn’t make himself look at him.
“You think I’m wrong, Coop? The way I live my life? Is that what you’re saying? That I shouldn’t feel or be attracted to men?”
Cooper heard it. The pain, disappointment, and anger in Noah’s voice.
“No.” He finally managed to look at him. He was such a pussy, sitting on the floor like this, but couldn’t make himself move. “If that’s who you are, then there’s nothing wrong with it.” But it was different for Coop. Wrong for Coop. He wasn’t gay. He loved women. He’d had a lot of them. He’d been raised to believe it should be one man and one woman.
“So why does it make it wrong for you to—”
“Wonder what your hands would feel like on me like that?” He hated himself for admitting it, but needed to say it, too. Needed the words out because they were the only truth he understood right now. “Wonder what it would be like to touch you? To feel you?”
Noah cursed and for the first time, Cooper couldn’t read him. Had no idea what his friend was thinking. Probably because he didn’t know what he was thinking, either.
“What’s wrong with me?” Cooper hated the weakness in his voice, the need to even ask such a question. He knew who he was and what he wanted. He’d never been the type to try and bend to fit someone else, but this? Wanting another man? This was different.
“There’s nothing wrong with you.” Noah’s voice was hard—not angry, but firm, telling Coop he believed what he was saying.
And then he took a step forward. And another one.
Cooper’s heart stopped. It was like a fist tightened around his chest, keeping him from breathing.
Noah hadn’t shaved, and Cooper noticed the stubble on his jaw. Why the fuck was he noticing that shit?
Cooper couldn’t move as Noah kept walking toward him. Didn’t know if he wanted to. He should, because he wasn’t gay and shouldn’t crave Noah to keep getting closer, but he did.
Noah stopped in front of him. Looked down at Coop while Coop looked up at his friend. His eyes said so much, but nothing at the same time. All Cooper knew was they were intense beams pointed right at him.
Noah kneeled in front of Cooper.
“What the fuck are you doing?” he asked, panicked. Forget that Noah hadn’t even done anything yet.
“I don’t know,” Noah replied, the same confusion in his voice that Cooper felt. Noah reached out and touched Coop’s hand that rested on his knee. He looked down to see it was red, swollen from punching the wall.
But that’s not what he paid attention to. He watched Noah’s fingers trace his muscles. Watched as a hand that matched his in size fucking caressed him.
He wanted to punch Noah.
Wanted to run.
Wanted to ask for more.
The touch shot up his arm as Noah explored. It wasn’t like they’d never touched each other before, but this was different. This was…intimate, which in a lot of ways Cooper felt was a stupid word for what they were doing, but it was all he could come up with.
Noah’s fingers traced his, as though he was drawing them. Then slowly…slowing trailed up his arm.
Push him the fuck away!
Cooper knew he shouldn’t but he watched—fascinated—and just felt.
Noah’s fingers brushed his hairs as they ran up his forearm. His bicep. Cooper shivered. Couldn’t take his eyes away.
Noah reversed his path, heading down again. Cooper risked a glance at him to see awe in Noah’s eyes as he watched what he was doing to Cooper. Which made no sense. This was normal for him. It was what he did, but that’s the only way Cooper could explain it.
When he got to Cooper’s wrist, he circled it with his fingers. They touched. A woman would never be able to wrap one hand fully around his wrist like that.
And he liked it—the way they matched in so many ways. The masculinity of another man’s hand on him. He fucking did, and he tried to blame all sorts of things: having his friend back in his life after all these years, drinking tonight. None of it was true, though, and he knew it.
Noah lifted Cooper’s hand toward him. Coop’s dick ached, and the fist around his chest tightened. His brain screamed at him to use his fist to punch Noah in the face, but he didn’t. He watched, savoring the large hand touching him. The way his body overheated, trying to burn any conflicting thoughts.
Watched as Noah bent toward his hand. Watched as Noah pressed his lips to Cooper’s swollen knuckles. Watched as Noah’s eyes squeezed tight, his mouth still pressed to Cooper’s hand, the action somehow traveling up his arm, until he felt it everywhere.
And then, Noah’s eyes opened. He pulled away and Cooper finally let a heavy breath escape his lungs. A plea for Noah to touch him again echoed through his brain.
“There’s nothing wrong with you,” Noah said, before he stood up. “Nothing at all.”
He took a few steps backward and Cooper wanted to ask him to stop. Ask him where he was going. But he didn’t. Couldn’t. Part of him hoped Noah would walk out the door and never come back, because if Noah left, he could forget about wanting him. Coop could block these thoughts from his head and keep going the way he had been his whole life.
But the other part… It wanted to trap him here. To find a way to keep Noah to himself, so he could explore the desires inflaming him.
“Take care of your hand. You should clean it and wrap it. I…I…” For the first time all evening, Noah skipped over his words, but found his ground quickly. “I have to go, before I do something both of us will regret in the morning.”
And like that—no shirt and all—he walked away, grabbing his keys off the table, and slammed the door.
Cooper didn’t stop him. All he could do was sit there and look at his hand.
Copyright © Riley Hart
About Riley Hart:
Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a hopeless romantic. A lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together. If she’s not writing, you’ll probably find her reading. Riley lives in California with her awesome family, who she is thankful for everyday.
You can find her online at:
Riley Hart will generously provide one Amazon E-Copy of “Collide” to one lucky commenter. ❤
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This contest will end on May 2, 2014 at 11:59 PM CDT (central daylight time) The winner will be chosen following the end of the contest.