In the Blink of an Eye

Title: In the Blink of an Eye
Series: Resplendence Gems (Book 6)
Genre: Male/Male, BDSM, Erotic Romance
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Length: 5,000 words
Release Date: 12th September 2012

Adam is a great believer in science. If something is scientifically proven, it’s a fact, and Adam doesn’t waste his time arguing with facts. Tom is as straight as any man can possibly be, Adam doesn’t like it, but he knows he has no choice but to accept it.
When Tom approaches Adam at the office Christmas party, Adam’s not going to let himself be fooled into thinking that Tom is flirting with him just because the other man is friendly, or because he doesn’t seem to understand the whole person space thing.
Facts are facts, until they suddenly change, in the blink of an eye.



“Are you some kind of serial killer?”

Adam Howards half choked on his wine. It took him several seconds to stop spluttering and compose himself enough to be able to look over his shoulder. At that point, every scrap of poise Adam had ever possessed promptly deserted him. “Tom!”

Tom Barker smiled at him. That was all he had to do to make Adam more flustered than ever.

“Well, are you?” Tom asked. He rounded the table Adam sat on, and settled himself alongside him, casually bringing their bodies within just an inch of touching.

The company they both worked for had planted a pair of stereo speakers in the canteen well before the staff Christmas party had started. Pop renditions of carols now bellowed out into the sparsely decorated space.

If they hadn’t, the silence might have been deafening.

Adam’s mind raced. He could think of a few reasons why a straight man might ask him if he was gay, but none of them were good. Then, just in time, he remembered the original question. Relief rushed through him. “A serial killer! No. Why?”

Well aware that he was currently front runner in the “making a fool of himself in front of a hot guy” stakes, Adam took a sip of his drink, but it was damn near impossible to look sophisticated while sitting on a canteen table, his feet dangling well above the floor. He was reasonably sure no scientist would ever look like anything but a geek in front of a guy from the advertising department.

“You’ve been staring at me nonstop for the last couple of days,” Tom said. “If you’re not plotting to hack me into little bits and bury me under your patio, what other reason could you have?”

Adam didn’t move, he didn’t breathe. One heartbeat, two. “I don’t have a patio.”

Tom laughed as if Adam were much better at this flirting lark than Adam ever imagined he could be. Except that Tom would probably be really pissed off if he thought there was any flirting going on, because Tom was straight.

He was hot, and friendly, and quite possibly kinky, but he was also straight. It was a scientifically established fact. For the first time since he’d picked up a test tube, Adam really hated science.

He tossed back the rest of his drink and glared resentfully at the empty glass. His attempts at drowning his sorrows weren’t working. In fact, he was becoming increasingly certain that his sorrows could swim.

“So, why the staring?” Tom asked again.

Adam shrugged. “You remind me of someone.”

“Anyone special?"

Yeah, my fantasy dominant. Pull on a pair of leather chaps, pick up a whip and you’d be the spitting image of the guy I’ve been thinking about while jacking off ever since I was a teenager.

Adam cleared his throat. “I, um, couldn’t place who it was. That was probably why I stared at you so much. Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to freak you out.”

“I’m not freaked out,” Tom said.

Right, because Tom wasn’t the kind of guy who would be scared by anything—except the possibility of a gay man having the hots for him, of course. It was never easy to tell which straight guys would completely lose it over something like that.

Adam let out a mental sigh. He was pretty sure he should never have tried to use science to work out which way Tom swung. The results had been conclusive, and he probably should have been pleased about that, but discovering Tom’s complete heterosexuality had damn near broken Adam’s heart. The last thing he needed was a black eye from the guy too.

Unable to summon up even the smallest of talk, Adam stared into his empty glass and swung his legs back and forth like a kid sitting high on a doctor’s table.

“Did you bring a date tonight?”

Adam jerked his head up so quickly he made himself dizzy. “What?”

Tom waved a hand toward a group of women Adam didn’t recognize. “Some of the guys brought their girlfriends along, did you?”

“Oh.” Small talk, right. Adam sighed. “No, I didn’t bring anyone.”

“Me neither.”

Adam tightened his grip around his glass. He could easily imagine Tom being the kind of man who had so many women queuing up for his attention he couldn’t just settle for one.

Please don’t tell me about them. Please don’t be one of those guys who wants to tell another man intimate details of his sex life.