Anyone who thinks older men aren't sexy is nuts. I mean, look at these guys:
Both Alexis Denisof and Kiefer Sutherland are forty-eight, the same age as my heroes Trev and Jett in Flesh and Kisses. They are seasoned and sexy, intelligent and intense, just incredibly attractive all around. I dare anyone to say these two men can't hold their own against certain twentysomethings. In fact, I'd bet a lot of people even prefer these guys, just because of everything they bring to the table.
Older men aren't represented in romantic fiction nearly enough. And why is that? How can men who look like that not be great sexy heroes? They bring emotional complexity as well as a clarity of vision when it comes to what they want. They have experience. They offer stability. The list goes on.
So when the opportunity came around to write for the Silver Foxes pax, I jumped at it. I wasn't going to miss out on this one for the world.
In Flesh and Kisses, forty-eight year-old Jett Walker finds out that his high school crush is going to their thirtieth high school reunion, a gathering Jett has managed to avoid for decades. He decides to go, but in the interim, seeks out his ex-crush when he learns how close they live together. The following excerpt is from their first meeting.
They exchanged pleasantries, but then Trev’s laser gaze was back on Jett. “Louisville’s spilling out all over the place these days,” he said.
The best way not to squirm was to clench his buttocks against the booth. “I’m surprised you recognized me.”
“I’m not senile, old man,” Trev said with a laugh. “You were big man on campus for four years. I’d have to be an idiot not to know who you are. I’m more surprised you have any clue who I am.”
“Because you blended in so well with the woodwork?”
“That was a long time ago.”
“A different life.”
“Which raises the question… What does Jefferson High’s golden boy want in looking for a music store owner?”
Almost straight to the point. Jett respected that, though he wasn’t ready to lay it out on the line like he’d promised Tatum. “The reunion, actually.”
“What about it?” His smile faded, and he leaned forward onto his folded arms. “Megan told me everything was all set.”
“It is,” Jett assured. “She splashed the news about Godless Crisis all over the reunion page.”
“What’s the problem then?”
Trev’s frown deepened. “I don’t get it.”
Because Jett was talking in circles, that’s why. He took a deep breath. “I wanted to talk to you before all the craziness started. There’re things I’ve needed to say to you for a long time.”
Though the tables around them were stuffed with customers, eating and talking and laughing and arguing, it blurred at the edges, all of his attention on an unmoving Trev. When Trev searched his face, Jett kept his features solemn and straight, unblinking beneath the silent assessment.
“This isn’t one of those confessionals where you apologize for something you did to me way back in the day because you feel guilty about it, is it?” Trev asked. “Because if it is, I’m not sure what I can do to make you feel better. I don’t have any negative memories of you at all.”
“Well, it’s good to hear I wasn’t a complete asshole back then,” Jett said. “But no, that’s not it.”
Trev’s gaze slid sideways to Tatum. “Maybe this isn’t—”
“Tatum’s heard it all. I’m okay with her being here if you are.”
“Considering I don’t know what this is about yet, I’ll have to take your word for it.”
Honesty was a real bitch. The closer he got to coming clean, the harder the words were to form.
The waitress arrived with their waters and waited around for them to order some food. Jett wasn’t hungry, but after seeing Trev and Tatum order burgers, he asked for cheesesticks and ranch dressing. He’d hit the gym at the hotel to work it off.
When they were alone again, he cleared his throat. “I’ve always thought you were the bravest person I’ve ever known,” he started. “You stood up for who you were when the rest of us were too scared to do it.”
The lines around Trev’s eyes eased. “That wasn’t bravery. I was too stupid to care about consequences.”
“Some call that courage.”
“I wouldn’t have said you were one of them.”
“I am.” His tone came out more vehement than he expected, and he took a moment to gather his control again. “If I had to name the one person I admired the most, it wouldn’t be any of the guys from the team, or the class president, or that kid who was always doing the Greenpeace demonstrations. It would be you. My biggest regret was that I was too much of a chickenshit to tell you. To tell everyone.”
Trev laughed and shook his head. “That’s every teenager who ever walked this planet. That’s nothing you need to be holding onto after all these years.”
“You’re wrong there. Because I never forgot about any of it. In fact…” Here it was, do or die. “You were the one I thought about when I made the decision to come out. You’re the reason I finally grew the balls to do the right thing.”
Flesh and Kisses by Vivien Dean is now available at Amber Allure.
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