It was only supposed to be one night. One night to determine once and for all if he truly preferred men. But the last thing Lord Benjamin Parker expected to find in a questionable gambling hell is a gorgeous young man who steals his heart.
It was only supposed to be a job. Cavin Fox has done it many times – select a prime mark, distract him with lust, and leave his pockets empty. Yet when Cavin slips away under the cover of darkness, the only part of Benjamin he leaves untouched is his pockets.
With a taste of his most wicked fantasies fulfilled, Benjamin wants more than one night with Cavin. But convincing the elusive young man to give them a chance proves difficult. Living with a band of thieves in the worst area of London, Cavin knows there’s no place for him in a gentleman’s life. As circumstances pull him to Benjamin’s Mayfair town house, Cavin keeps pulling away from the best man he’s ever known. Yet Benjamin isn’t about to let Cavin—and love— continue to slip away from him.
Benjamin held up a hand to stay him. “I can see to it later.” Cavin appeared more than a bit awkward. He looked distinctly rough around the edges, and it was more than just the scuffed leather shoes, the muddied hems of the black trousers, and wilted cravat. The man himself appeared tired and worn. The smudges beneath his eyes, the lack of color in his cheeks. “Are you certain all is well?”
“Quite certain.” Cavin flashed him a smile, one that was almost too easy. “Just didn’t get much sleep last night.”
“What time did you leave the room?”
Cavin shrugged. “Sometime before dawn.”
“I hope I wasn’t snoring.”
“No, you don’t snore.”
“Thank heaven for small favors.” Women had never complained, but that wasn’t something a woman was apt to complain about nor would he have asked. Not a topic of conversation a gentleman broached with a lady. “It’s getting late. If you’d like, you are welcome to stay the night.”
Cavin arched a brow. “You make it sound so respectable.”
Benjamin shook his head, warmth creeping up his neck to heat his cheeks. “That’s not the reason why I wish you to be my guest.”
“It’s not?” Cavin’s lips twisted in a knowing smirk.
When he’d extended the invitation, his only thought had been delaying until morning the long ride or walk to wherever Cavin called home. The man clearly needed some rest. But putting off sleep for an hour surely wouldn’t harm him, and if Cavin wanted to indulge in a repeat of last night… A heavy surge of anticipation rushed through him. “I’ll admit it would be a pleasant way to while away the night hours.”
“Only a pleasant way?” Cavin asked with mock affront.
“More than pleasant.”
Cavin dropped the wad of black silk onto the chair and stepped closer, so close they stood toe-to-toe. “Much better,” he murmured.
A hand cupped Benjamin’s hip. Breaching the remaining distance between them, Cavin leaned forward. Soft lips brushed across Benjamin’s mouth.
All thoughts of sleep fled his brain.
Benjamin wrapped his arms around Cavin’s waist, pulled him closer. Chest to chest, the arch of Cavin’s hardening cock pressed against his. He slanted his mouth over Cavin’s, flicked his tongue against the seam of his lips. With a groan, Cavin opened for him. A hot, thoroughly delicious tongue tangled with his.
It was as if his soul sighed in relief, in gratitude, in unending thanks. Kissing Cavin felt so right. A part of him whispered that it wasn’t only that Cavin was a man. It was Cavin himself who felt so very right.
He nipped at Cavin’s bottom lip, crushed his mouth back over Cavin’s, shoved his hands between their bodies, searching for the waistband of Cavin’s trousers.
Cavin twisted his head, breaking the kiss. “The door. Is it locked?”
“Oh. Ah…” Stilling his hands, he briefly closed his eyes, trying to focus on the question. Had he turned the lock after he’d entered the room? “No. I probably should lock it.”
“Would be a prudent idea.”
Forcing his fingers to release, he let go of the placket of Cavin’s trousers and stepped away from the heat of the man’s body. It took but a moment to see to the lock. He turned from the door to find Cavin shrugging his coat from his shoulders. Benjamin followed suit, his fingers making quick work of the buttons of his own coat.
What he wanted was Cavin naked. For the man to remove every last bit of clothing. To see every detail the darkness had concealed last night. He’d been able to touch, to trace the contours of hard muscles and feel the softness of his skin, but he wanted to know if the man himself matched the picture his hands had painted in his mind. But…
He glanced over his shoulder to the door, rational thought rearing its head above the lust rushing through his veins. The lock assured no accidental visits from a maid or a footman, but his staff had not yet left for the night. Best not to strip Cavin bare just now, and likely best not to do so in the study. However…
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