When life hands you lemons…make cookies.
Chris Tucker’s perfect life has just gone up in smoke. The fire that destroyed the best restaurant in Asheville took his head-chef dream job along with it—and the owner is walking away. Sure, Chris still has his beautiful home and blissful marriage to his soul mate, Matt Gallagher. But for the first time in his working life, he’s unemployed and spiraling into depression.
Matt’s trying hard to be supportive, but it’s tough when every time he tries to get Chris to open up, the man shuts down tighter than a live clam. Maybe it’s best to hide his hurt and back off. Yet as Chris’s fruitless search for work wears on, Matt begins to wonder if his lover will ever come around.
As the tension between them reaches breaking point, Chris faces the fact that it could be the end of an era for him and Matt. Unless one sweet idea can turn his mounting troubles into a fresh-cut path back to the arms of the one man who makes him whole.
(Warning: This book contains gay sex, lots of angst, occasional smartassedness, and an abundance of cookies. Ally Blue and Samhain Publishing will not be held responsible for any resulting food-porn habit.)
© Copyright 2011 Ally Blue
Chris was taking the second batch of cookies out of the oven when Matt shuffled back into the kitchen, looking wary as a rabbit in a kennel. “Hey.”
“Matt.” Setting the baking stone full of cookies on the stove, Chris pulled off his oven mitts, hurried to Matt and wrapped both arms around him. He rested his forehead on Matt’s, savoring the feel of Matt’s body pressed against his and the warmth of Matt’s palms on his hips. “I’m so sorry, love. I shouldn’t have snapped at you like that. I don’t know what came over me.”
“It’s all right. I shouldn’t have pushed you to talk when you just wanted some space.” Matt’s lips quirked into a wry smile. “I know cooking is your security blanket. I guess it just bothers me when I know damn well you’re not okay and you pretend you are.”
Chris frowned. “Do I do that?”
“Not a lot, no. But sometimes. When you don’t understand how you feel. You’re kind of a control freak that way.” Matt pulled back enough to gaze into Chris’s eyes. His expression was unusually serious. “I know this thing about The Falls hit you hard. I just want to help.” He raked his fingers through Chris’s hair and traced the shell of Chris’s ear with his thumb. “Just talk to me.”
Chris shook his head. “Honestly, I’m not sure how to feel right now. I don’t have a job anymore. After fifteen years at The Falls, I’m out of work.”
Matt stroked his fingertips down Chris’s neck. “I’m sorry.”
“I’ve worked since I was fourteen.” Chris laid a hand on Matt’s cheek. “I don’t know how to be unemployed. What on earth do I do, Matt?”
The big blue eyes softened in sympathy. Slipping one arm around Chris’s neck and settling the other hand on his rear, Matt tilted his head upward and covered Chris’s mouth with his own.
Chris couldn’t say the response was unexpected, and he certainly couldn’t pretend he didn’t want it. Nevertheless, fear and worry nagged at the back of his brain in spite of the baking-induced calm.
“Come on, babe,” Matt whispered against his lips. He shoved his hand down the back of the soft drawstring pants Chris had been slouching around the house in for the past few days and squeezed his ass. “Let it go. Just for a little while.” Matt trailed kisses down Chris’s throat and dug his tongue into the place that always made Chris shiver. “Let me make you forget about everything except getting your cock up my ass.”
A firm thigh nudged between Chris’s legs. Matt’s hips rolled, and Chris felt the swelling hardness behind the zipper of Matt’s jeans. He pulled Matt closer, baring his neck for more sharp little nips and delicate kisses. “You’re so crude.”
Matt chuckled with Chris’s skin caught between his teeth, let go and licked at the place he’d bitten. “Your mouth says crude, but your prick says hot.” He rubbed his thigh against Chris’s cock, which had gone predictably stiff at the combination of Matt’s touch and his words. And yes, they were crude, not that Chris minded. Obviously.
Chris moaned when Matt undid his drawstring and closed those clever artist’s fingers around his erection. “I… I should…” He swung a hand toward the cookies sitting on the stove. Heat wafted from the open oven. “Cookies. I should take the cookies off the sheet.”
“Fuck the cookies.”
A shove of Matt’s hand sent Chris’s pants slithering to his ankles, and he gave up. He went for Matt’s fly and flipped open the button. “Even I don’t love my lemon cookies that much.”
Matt fell forward, snickering into the curve of Chris’s neck. “Oh my God, the mental picture. I’m scarred for life.”
“You have no one to blame but yourself.” Chris undid Matt’s zipper, pushed his jeans and underwear out of the way and tugged on the stainless-steel ring piercing the head of his cock. “Get undressed, my darling.”
Matt shimmied out of his jeans, kicked them aside and tore his long-sleeved T-shirt over his head. He let it drop inside out onto the kitchen floor. Grinning, he slipped his hands beneath Chris’s sweatshirt to caress his bare skin. “Now you. Take this off.”
Chris obeyed, letting his shirt join Matt’s on the floor. He stepped free of his pants and pulled Matt’s naked body into his arms. Chris ran his palms up and down Matt’s bare back while they kissed. God, he loved the feel of Matt’s skin beneath his hands. Loved the way Matt arched into his touch, his moans low and sweet, his fingers threading into Chris’s hair and digging bruises into the muscles of his shoulder.
Six years and change after the first time they’d made love, their mutual passion hadn’t diminished. Chris loved that best of all.
When Matt broke the kiss and tried to turn around—no doubt to bend himself over the counter—Chris got a double handful of luscious ass and hung on tight. “Don’t move.”
“But, don’t you…” Matt’s breath stuttered when Chris rocked against him again, creating a mind-melting friction between their cocks. “Oh fuck, Chris.”
“Mmm.” Chris buried his face in the curve of Matt’s neck and breathed in his familiar scent. “I want you like this.” He moved his hips, rubbing the head of his prick against Matt’s. “Just like this.”
He couldn’t have said why he felt such a strong need to hold Matt while they brought each other off, to kiss him and look into his eyes and feel his heart beating, but Matt seemed to understand. With a swift, brilliant smile, he pulled Chris’s hips tighter to his and leaned in for a kiss.
The two of them hadn’t done anything as simple as rubbing off on each other in quite a while. Right now, with Matt’s cock solid and hot against his and Matt’s mouth bleeding hungry little noises into his own, the part of Chris’s brain still functioning wondered why not. Surely nothing had ever felt as perfect as Matt’s hands on his skin, Matt’s tongue stroking his, Matt’s body pressed close while the fire built inside him.