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Monday, 10 February 2014

It's Complicated by Christiane France

In Peninsula Heights, Pete Letouche and Mitch Ravello lusted over one another in high school. Then on prom night, a couple of drinks gave them the courage to put their thoughts into action and share their first sexual experience. With Pete’s father chief of police and Mitch’s reputed to be the local crime boss, however, Pete knew there could never be anything more between them than that one night. Shortly thereafter, Pete left town to train as a master chef, which led to him working at different hotels across the country. But during that time, he never forgot Mitch, and he also never lost sight of his childhood dream to own a gourmet food shop.

Now, ten years later, Pete has returned to town, and his shop is both a reality and a success. He’s on top of the world, until Mitch walks into the shop and announces he’s taken over the note Pete signed for the down-payment on the building.

Pete knows Mitch’s father is retired, but did Mitch take over the family business of loansharking and shaking down local business owners? Mitch says not, but Pete has no way of knowing if Mitch is telling the truth. And to make matters worse, the lustful feelings they once shared seem alive and well. Pete can’t help but wonder whether his feelings for Mitch are real or just warmed-over old memories.

When Mitch invites him to dinner at his place, Pete decides to go. A private, face-to-face meeting could be the perfect opportunity to sort out the present and put the past to rest.

NOTE: This story is part of the Peninsula Heights series.

Genres: Gay/Contemporary/Series
Heat Level: 3
Length: Novella (18k words) 

Read a short excerpt...

...Mitch came closer and stroked a hand down my cheek. “Deny it if you must, but you know damn well whatever we felt for one another all those years ago is still very much alive and well. This is what we both want and I see no reason to fight it.”

I’d known that when I first saw Mitch at the store and realized who he was. I’d been fighting it ever since. It was prom night all over again, complete with all the wanting, the hot rush of excitement, and that same small element of fear in knowing who he was, where it might lead, and what would happen if anyone found out. Except now I was an experienced adult who had more sense than to start something I might not be able to stop.

“I can’t.”

“There’s someone in your life?”


“Then why not?”

“Because… You know why not.”

“You mean because of our parents?”

“What else? If we lived in a different town, then maybe. But we were both born and raised here in the Heights, Mitch. Everyone knows who we are.”

“So what? People no longer care about stuff like that.”

“My dad sure does. He’d hit the roof. And then people would start talking.”

“No, they wouldn’t.”

“Yes, they damn well would. And it’s not just my dad. I have a business and employees to consider.”

“And they’ll all be fine no matter what you and I do. You were gone a long time, babe. Things have changed since we were kids.”

“The way people think hasn’t. At least not here in the Heights.”

He shrugged. “You sure about that?”

“Of course I’m sure.”

“Then do me a favor and ask your dad what he thinks about me. You might be surprised.”

I looked up, figuring he had to be joking, but the look on his face was serious rather than amused. “Are you out of your mind? If I even mentioned I had dinner with you, he’d either disown me or have a coronary. Maybe both. As for telling him anything else…”

Mitch was nuts if he thought peoples’ opinions changed when it came to a piece of juicy gossip. And with everyone knowing who our fathers were made it even worse. We didn’t stand a chance. I had to put a stop to whatever was going on between us and the only way of doing that was to turn around and walk away. I took a deep breath and a small step back, determined to stay strong. I’d said no. Now I needed to let him know I meant it by getting the hell out of here.

I made it to the door, but Mitch followed and moved in close. I smelled his scent and felt my control start to slip. He had me trapped. If I could just look away… Then his lips curved in a smile and the last threads of my resistance disappeared like fallen leaves in a late October breeze.

He cupped my face in his hands and brushed his lips against mine. His touch sent shivers down my spine and started the familiar ache in my balls.

“I won’t tell if you don’t,” he whispered against my mouth.

“There’s nothing to tell.”

“Ah, but there will be, babe. Just quit talking and touch me. I need to know you want this as much as what I do.”

“What if we only think we want this?” I could feel perspiration running down my back. I wanted Mitch as much as he wanted me, but I couldn’t just give in. I needed to think of the possible consequences and everything I stood to lose... 

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