Simon Tyler knows his job as a gay romance author makes his lack of faith in love more than a little ironic, but he’s tired of being used for his wallet. When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme orchestrated by his best friends—though he’s not the target—Simon’s not thrilled, but since he’s sworn off happily-ever-after anyway, he goes along with it… until he meets the object of their efforts, Adrian, and finds perhaps he hasn’t given up on love after all.
Professor Adrian Keys has tried to date hearing men before, but being deaf himself, he’s never had any success at making a connection. After his friends con him into going out and Adrian realizes it’s all an elaborate plan to set him up, he braces for yet another failure, only to discover there is a spark—except it’s not with the man his friends had in mind, but with Simon Tyler instead.
Not all their friends have found a way past their romantic failures, but Simon and Adrian might be on the path to happily-ever-after.
Guest Post: In the book, name signs are brought up, but Simon doesn’t get one. Will he?
by Tempeste O’Riley
Oh definitely! But it’s not something that is usually just thrown about. I know in some groups it’s given quickly, in others it takes forever to get a name sign. One Deaf group I was part of (a Hearing and Deaf Alliance) none of the Hearing had name signs unless they were children of Deaf members or the partners/spouses of Deaf members. That’s just how they did it there. Names were spelled or you pointed to who you meant after an initial spelling. *shrug* Each area is different just as it is with any group of people and language. And yes, ASL is its own language. It’s not just signed English, though it can be used that way.
As for will he? Of course. I simply didn’t show it. You will see it in the next story, Tags of Desire, planned to be penned later in 2016. However, I’m not going to tell what it will be, lol… you’ll just have to wait and see. You can send me hat you think it ought to be though (email@example.com). I love to hear what readers think! Oh, and can you guess who the MCs are for Tags of Desire?
The walls were all a peculiar off-white—the same as most rental places he’d visited since he moved away from his über-stuck-up family—though the furnishings were unique. Heavy wood furniture that was obviously well made and comfortable-looking was scattered around the space with accent lamps, a few paintings, and a simple entertainment center. There was a large TV with a Blu-ray player, but where his had a stereo and video game systems, Adrian’s had books and knickknacks displayed in the cabinets. It was a simple home but not uninteresting.
“Would you like a drink or to watch something while I cook?” Adrian signed and asked.
“I would rather hang out with you in the kitchen, if you don’t mind.” Sitting alone in the other room held no appeal for Simon. He could sit alone at home; here he wanted to be with Adrian.
The shy smile Adrian gave him encouraged Simon. He knew Adrian liked him, and he recognized his own hang-ups were causing their relationship to move so slowly; he simply didn’t know how to fix the problem.
Moments later Simon found himself seated at the long bar dividing the kitchen and dining space as Adrian prepared the various foods for their dinner. Watching how Adrian moved, how his slacks shifted and pulled as he bent or walked, entranced Simon. It had been a long time since such simple actions had brought him such comfort and peace.
Simon was pulled out of his musings when Adrian set a glass of beer in front of him. He’d been so caught up in his thoughts he’d missed what the man was actually doing.
“It’s the peach beer you like.” Adrian gently touched Simon’s face before he returned to the stove.
Simon looked down at the drink, torn between amusement and wanting to go hug Adrian. No one but his closest friends would ever think to buy, much less bring him, his favorite beer. Most of the men he knew from his family circles would, maybe, think to have a servant bring him a drink, but then it would be wine or scotch, not the Pêche Mel’Scaldis he preferred. Simon liked wine, he even liked scotch, whiskey, bourbon, vodka…, but he couldn’t get over how thoughtful Adrian was.
He took a sip of his drink, but instead of continuing to sit and watch, he stood, leaving his glass on the bar, and stepped behind Adrian. Swallowing hard, he lightly placed both hands on Adrian’s shoulders. When Adrian stopped what he was doing but didn’t pull away or move otherwise, Simon ran his hands down Adrian’s arms, then back up, before repeating the motion. This time he left his hands at Adrian’s wrists. He wanted to step up, so he pressed against Adrian but couldn’t seem to make his legs move him any closer.
When Adrian moved back, pressing his back to Simon’s chest, Simon closed his eyes and sighed. Moments later his fingers tangled with Adrian’s, though he wasn’t sure who reached first.
“Simon,” Adrian said. His voice was always deep, but this time it seemed more so. Adrian’s head turned against his, his lips brushing Simon’s temple. “As much as I love having you hold me like this, the tuna steaks will overcook if I don’t finish them now.”
Simon let go and stepped back quickly. The heat spreading across his face only added to his embarrassment, but the depth of Adrian’s voice and the combined warmth and scent of Adrian still surrounded him. He knew Adrian wasn’t actually pushing him away, something he reminded the twisted knot in his stomach—not that it helped.
Adrian pulled the large skillet off the burner, then turned and grabbed Simon’s hand. “Let’s eat and clean up, then I would love to hold you, Si.”
Simon looked down, not wishing to seem too eager, though he felt like a puppy. If he had a tail, he knew it would be wagging.
“Look at me, please.”
“Sorry?” Simon said and signed once he managed to look up. He knew the sign extremely well for that one word.
“No sorrys. Let’s eat, and then we can continue where we left off.” When Simon nodded, Adrian gestured to the fridge and gave instructions for their salad.
Once they were seated, Simon finally noticed the food and smiled. It had been plated as beautifully as he would have expected at one of his preferred restaurants, only with better proportions. “It looks wonderful, Adrian. Thank you.”
As usual, they didn’t speak much as they ate, though in Simon’s case it was a mixture of the wonderful food and his excitement for later. He wanted to hold Adrian more and have Adrian hold and kiss him as well.
Partway through the meal, Adrian reached over and took Simon’s free hand. When Simon looked up, he was caught in the luminous green gaze. The heat there shot straight to his cock, which hardened almost immediately. “Y-yes?”
“Relax, Si. We don’t have to do anything you don’t want.”
Huh? Why would he say that? “I know.”
“Good.” Adrian motioned to their mostly cleaned plates with his other hand. “Do you want dessert now or later?”
Excited at the thought of time with Adrian on the couch—his mind flashing back to the other night and how wonderful it had felt to touch and kiss Adrian, how strong his orgasm had been, made his answer immediate. “Later.”
Adrian smirked as he pulled Simon up and into the living area. When they stopped in front of the couch, Adrian raised a hand and gently cupped Simon’s face before he stepped back enough to sign as he spoke. “I want to spend more time with you, Si. I want you, but I do not want you to feel like I’m pushing faster than you want.”
Simon groaned, his frustration warring with his amusement. He’d finally found a considerate lover, and all he could think about was how he wished Adrian would be a bit more demanding. He couldn’t decide if he wanted to laugh or cry. Instead Simon tugged on Adrian until their bodies were flush together. He tipped his head back enough to make sure Adrian could see his lips and said, “Show me, please.”
He watched as Adrian swallowed hard, enjoying how Adrian’s throat worked and his Adam’s apple bobbed. “I—”
“I want—” Simon gulped around his nerves. “—faster.”
The sudden tension in the body Simon held startled him, but before he could voice his concern, Adrian continued. “I tend to be very—” His mouth snapped shut as his head tilted. “Toppy, I guess.”
A groan slipped out, though he knew Adrian couldn’t hear it. He wanted a guy that was sweet out of bed but who knew what he wanted and took it when the clothes came off. Could he be that lucky? “Please” was all he managed to push out.
About the Author & Links:
Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what they couldn’t—defy the hate and come out. He has been their hero ever since.
Tempe is a hopeless romantic who loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, they has done many things in their life, yet writing has always drawn them back—no matter what else life has thrown their way. They counts her friends, family, and Muse as their greatest blessings in life. They lives in Wisconsin with their children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.
Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, WisRWA, and Rainbow Romance Writers. Tempe’s preferred pronouns are they/them/their/theirs/themselves. To learn more about Tempeste and their writing, visit:
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