Releasing June 13 - No Preorders
#MMM #Poly #Hockey #Romance #LGBT
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Sander March is one season away from the pros, or so everyone tells him.
If only Sander had as much faith in his ability as the Cougar coaching staff does. Outwardly, he’s cocksure, borderline bitter, and slightly sarcastic. All that strut and sass hides a wounded soul though. Working to hide a brutal past filled with humiliation, abuse, and a family member who still haunts him, Sander has never found the kind of comfort and understanding he so desperately needs. Until he meets Mateo Castillo, a minor league baseball player for the nearby Elmira Egrets. Mateo and Sander click instantly, and a budding friendship develops between the two athletes.
Mateo then introduces Sander to his boyfriend, Noah Coombs, an aspiring manga comic creator. The three men find themselves bonding strongly, and that slowly gives way to sexual attraction. Eventually, Mateo and Noah invite Sander into their relationship. The path to happiness isn’t going to be easy for Sander as he faces criticism from his friends, teammates, and the press for his choices. The brash young star can handle all that, it’s when his abuser shows up in Cayuga that Sander fears not only for his own safety, but for the lives of the two men he has grown to love. Will Sander’s past tear him away from Mateo and Noah, or will he be able to leave the darkness behind?
Warning – This story has disturbing subject matter.
“Right, okay, so about the photo shoot—”
Mat kind of blundered into what I was going to say, his color high. “No, man, don’t apologize for that, okay? It was…it was…” He shoved his long fingers through his curls. “It was no one’s fault. We don’t want you to feel bad about it.”
I could feel the heat in my cheeks as well. “It was just like—this thing. Right?”
“Right, yeah. A thing. And not really a bad thing. I mean, we don’t think it was totally bad. Do you?” Mat asked, his boyfriend peering around his shoulder.
“I, uh…you don’t think it was skanky of me?”
“No, no way,” Noah said then started nibbling on the neck of his sweater. My eyes flared a bit to hear that.
“Can we all sit down and talk? I think we should talk.” Mat waved a hand at the couch. We fumbled around each other, smiling and looking at our feet, until somehow, we all managed to squeeze our asses onto my rented sofa. “Okay, so, here’s the thing…” Mat began rubbing his palms on his thighs. “Noah and I have been talking about us. And you. And we kind of wanted to talk to you about us. And you.”
“Okay.” I was wedged between them, biceps to biceps and thigh to thigh.
Mat nodded. “See, the thing is that we like you.” His dark eyes lifted from his hands moving on his legs. So sexy those eyes were. Thick dark lashes framing pools of brown that reminded me of grizzly bear fur. “We talked about that. How we both feel drawn to you. Noah, he never asks other men to model for him.” I looked at the blond eating his sweater. His gaze danced from Mat to me then back to Mat.
“That true?” I prodded the artist.
“Yeah,” Noah murmured, his sleek eyebrows knotting up. “I called you.”
“Yeah, man, I know you did. That’s not the norm?” I asked, wanting to slide my arms around Noah and hold him close.
“Not even close,” Mat chimed in, twisting on the sofa to look at me. “And like…we kind of didn’t tell each other about the attraction we had to you because well, I mean, that would mean we didn’t love each other like we thought we did or so we thought. This is confusing.”
I said nothing to that. What could I say? I felt like shit because I’d driven this massive wedge of a problem into their lives because of my initial attraction to Mateo.
“We still love each other,” Noah whispered then laid his hand—which was hidden in the sleeve of his massive pink sweater—on my knee. A jolt sparked through me.
“Right, we do. And we had to talk that all out. I shit you not, we hashed us out for days, until we came to realize that just because we liked you didn’t mean we loved each other less.”
“Okay. So, it’s cool that you guys still love each other because I do not want to be the one who breaks you two up.” I slid my hand up my thigh and rested it on Noah’s. His gaze met mine. “I know how much you love Mat; I can see it.”
He nodded softly. Mat shuffled beside me. I wanted Noah to see into me, so I didn’t look away. I needed Noah to understand that I would never take Mat from him. He was so fragile and shy, and I found myself needing to protect him.
“I know. And I love him. And we like you.” I had to lean in to hear Noah through the thick wool sweater collar covering his lips.
“We do, and we think that maybe we could try seeing how it goes to like you while we love each other,” Mat said and placed his hand on top of the one I had holding Noah’s.
I craned my head around to look at him, to see if this was some kind of bullshit he was feeding me. There was nothing but heat and sincerity in those dark eyes of his.
“What are we saying here?” I asked, my voice a little thick.
“We’re saying that we’re going to leave the door open for you,” Mat replied, giving the two hands under his hand a strong squeeze. “To come in and hang out with us, you know, if you want to?”
I stared at Noah. “This what you want as well?”
He nodded then glanced away. Shit, but this man was working his way into my heart. Generally, I was all about the jocks, like Mat. I got them. Understood them. Related to how aggressive, competitive, and assertive most athletes were. But this man with his timid ways and earthy smile was ticking all kinds of boxes I never even knew I had.
“Cool. Then I’d be happy to come in and hang out with you guys.” I’d been out in the cold for so long…