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Copyright © Carol Lynne, 2008
All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Total-e-bound.
From his chair, Kyle watched as Gill walked into the party at the new church reception hall. He felt his heart rate increase as he studied the six-foot-five athlete. Never before had a man turned him inside out like Gill.
Finally coming to grips with his disability had been a hard fought battle, but he thought he’d licked it. That was until Gill walked into his bakery for the first time. Suddenly he wanted something more than to walk again. He wanted to be touched and kissed. Hell, who was he kidding, he wanted to be fucked.
Before his Jeep accident, he’d been quite the player in and around his hometown of Irvine, California. Now, Kyle sighed, he couldn’t even sustain an erection for more than a couple of seconds at a time. To say nothing about the oh-so-not-sexy external catheter he had to wear to bed at night.
Kyle couldn’t believe his eyes when Gill started walking straight towards him. Gill had come into the bakery quite a bit lately. They both seemed to enjoy flirting, but he knew that was as far as a relationship between the two could go.
“Merry Christmas,” Gill greeted him, his deep voice vibrating the walls of Kyle’s chest.
“Merry Christmas,” Kyle grinned.
Gill pointed towards the folding chair next to him. “Mind if I have a seat?”
“No, not at all.” Kyle felt his hands begin to sweat where they rested naturally on the chrome wheels of his chair.
He watched in awe as the big man sat in the chair. Although full-sized, the chair looked way too small to hold its occupant.
“You look good,” Gill commented.
Kyle looked down at his khaki pants and navy button-up shirt. “Naw, you’re just used to seeing me in an apron.”
“Well, you look good in the apron, too, but I was referring more to your smile. You seem happier this evening.”
Kyle blushed. How could he tell Gill the smile was because of him? “Thanks.”
Gill reached over and ran his big hand over Kyle’s thigh. “Although the pants look nice, I prefer you in jeans.”
Kyle wasn’t sure whether to be touched or appalled? No one ever laid a hand on his useless limbs. His question must have shown on his face.
“Sorry, don’t you like to be touched?”
“It’s not that,” Kyle mumbled. “I don’t know if anyone’s done it since I left home. Most people try and pretend the bottom-half of my body isn’t there. They never look lower than my face.” Kyle shrugged. It was hard to explain to someone not in his position.
Gill touched his thigh again. “That’s a shame. Everyone needs to be touched occasionally.” Gill gave Kyle’s leg a slight squeeze. “Do you mind if I ask you something?”
“No, not as long as you don’t mind if I refuse to answer.”
“Can you feel my hand on you?”
“Some.” Kyle nodded. “I feel the pressure but its more like you’re touching through a thick comforter or something. Does that make sense?”
Gill grinned. “Yeah. So the more pressure I apply, the more stimulus for you?”
A tighter grip on his leg had the desired effect. “Now?” Gill asked. “I don’t want to hurt you, but I want you to understand that I’m not afraid of touching you.”
Kyle felt his face heat as his cock actually twitched behind his fly. Gill would never understand the power that one sentence had over him.
“I felt it more that time,” Kyle whispered.
He looked up from his leg to find Gill staring at his lap. Shit, had he seen that twitch?
“So, have you got plans for Christmas day?” Gill finally asked.
Kyle swallowed. Was Gill asking him out of curiosity or was their flirting about to take the next step? He wasn’t sure which scenario scared him more.
Cradling his sore jaw, Wyn picked up the phone and called his best friend, Nate.
“Hi, it’s Wyn. I hope I didn’t catch you at a bad time.”
“Nope, just getting ready for bed. How’re you doing?”
“Not good. Dad’s funeral was tough.” Wyn knew if Nate was getting ready for bed, it was indeed a bad time to call. Still, he needed help. “I got jumped when I went into town for supper.”
“Jumped? By who? I thought you said Pamona was a sleepy little town in the middle of nowhere?”
“It is, but there’s a group of guys that don’t think much of the town queer coming home.”
“Yeah. Anyway, I was wondering if I could get you to come down until I can get things wrapped up around here. I hate to sound like a wuss, but I’m no match for a group of rednecks.”
“I’ll come if Ezra won’t.”
“Ezra? Who said anything about him?” Wyn had tried his best to not think about that man, or the tender kiss they’d shared on Christmas Eve.
“Look, Wyn, you gotta call him. Not only is he the right man to help you get the ranch in order, but he’s been walking around like a bear with a sore paw since you left. Besides, do you know anyone more intimidating than him? He’ll keep the rednecks at bay.”
“He won’t come. I imagine he’s still mad about that little prank you pulled with the cookie bouquet.”
“Naw, I finally got that all worked out. Cost me a couple bottles of single malt scotch, but it was worth it to get the dragon off my back.”
“Ezra giving you a hard time was he?”
“No, Ryan. He said it was my mess to clean up and nagged for days on the subject.”
Wyn chuckled. God he missed Nate. No matter what, Nate could always make him laugh. “So you really think I should call Ezra?”
“You don’t think he’ll see it as me chasing him?” That was the whole reason he hadn’t called Ezra after Christmas Eve. The kiss had been phenomenal, but as soon as they parted, Ezra gave him a funny look and walked out of the hall. He’d waited for several weeks for a phone call or visit from the big man, but nothing.
“Just do it, Wyn. You and I both know he’s the best person for the job. If you two can’t get your shit together, give me a call back.”
“Don’t mention it. Ever. Especially to Ryan,” Nate added.
“My lips are sealed.”
Wyn hung up and looked at the clock. Deciding it was too late to call Ezra, he turned out the lights and headed upstairs.
The ringing phone woke Ezra from a sound sleep. With a growl, he reached over and fumbled with the cordless handset. “Hello,” he grunted.
Ezra sat straight up, wide awake. “Wyn? Is that you?”
“Yes. Sorry to call so early. I forgot about the two hour time difference.”
“No matter, I’m due up anyway. Where are you?”
“I’m in Oklahoma, north of Tulsa at my father’s ranch. Oh crap, Ezra, I hate to ask, but I need you...uh, your help.”
“Huh?” Ezra scratched his bushy beard.
There was a moment of silence on the other end of the phone. “My dad died. I came down to make burial arrangements and see about the ranch. But things keep going wrong, and there’s a group of guys in town that keep threatening me. I’m sorry, Ezra. I know you have your hands full with the EZ Does It, but I don’t know who else to call for help.”
Ezra felt his blood begin to heat. “What’s going on with the guys from town?”
He heard Wyn breathing heavy like he was getting worked up again. “I grew up here. They didn’t like me then and they sure as hell don’t like me now.”
“Because you’re gay?”
“That’s part of it, but I never fit in here. It’s the reason I left home as soon as I was old enough.”
“Have they hurt you?” Ezra asked around the lump in his throat. If there was one thing he couldn’t tolerate, it was big folks pickin’ on littler folks. It was worse this time, because it was Wyn these town fel