Title: Break Me Like a Promise
Series: The Promises #1
Author: Aria Grace and Kyan Christopher
Genre: MM / MF Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 30, 2016
For brothers Brent and Tad, opening up their gym, Sculpt, is a dream come true. Struggling to gain recognition in the fitness world, they enlist the help of a well-known advertising agency to help market their full service fitness center. When Brent meets his new account manager, he feels an automatic attraction to Luke. However, another employee in the gym has his eyes set on Brent and will stop at nothing to keep the boss to himself.
Tad is married to his high school sweetheart. With a wife and two adorable children, his life couldn’t get any better. Then his happily ever after is cut short by a tragic accident. Tad gives up on love, expecting to never be happy again, until one of his employees puts her life on the line to protect his business. The Promises Series is an M/M and M/F romantic collaboration by authors Aria Grace and Kyan Christopher.
As soon as our orders are placed at Blue Wok, Brent leans back in his chair and heaves out a deep breath.
“So do you want to talk about it?” I ask again, taking a sip of my Coke.
“No.” He laughs quietly. “Actually, I don't. I'm done talking about it. Thinking about it. I just need to get away from it for a little while. Tell me about yourself. How's work on our campaign coming?”
Brent visibly perks up at the topic.
“Actually,” I say, getting a little excited myself, “it's going really well. I have some mock-ups for you guys to approve for the ad I want to run. And we have two tentative dates in mind for the cross promotion with Tangled down the street.”
“Really? The pretzel place? That's awesome,” he says, smiling for the first time that I've seen since his sister-in-law's death. “I can't wait to check it out. I know the timing really sucks and I'm sorry about that. Obviously, we had no idea Tad and I would both be so disconnected from work for a little while when we hired your agency.”
“No. No, not at all,” I say, waving my hands in front of me. “You hired me to take care of this stuff for you. So really, whether you are working or on vacation, this stuff will happen. The campaigns will run, business will boom, and all will be great.”
Brent laughs at the simplicity of my words. “From your lips to…well, you know.”
“Yeah. I know.”
“So what else is going on with you? Do you live alone? Have a dog? Play sports?” Brent is clearly grasping at topics of conversation.
“Yes. No. Not really,” I say.
Brent furrows his eyebrows. “Wait. Now I don't even remember what I asked or in what order.”
“Yes, I live alone. I've got an apartment nearby. No, I don't have a dog or any pets. I like dogs, and maybe someday, but my apartment is too small for a big dog, and I wouldn't want a little yapping thing. And what was the last question?” Now I can’t remember what he asked.
Brent makes a face and scratches his nose in an adorable way. “Sports. Sports. I asked about sports.”
“Oh, right. Not really. I used to play hockey when—”
Brent raises an eyebrow. “Street or ice?”
“Ice through high school. Street in college.”
“Yeah. Some friends and I play pickup now and then, but it's actually been a while. I’m not great at it but I have fun. Once the weather clears up, they might drag me out there again.”
“What about you?” I ask, twisting the straw wrapper into a tight rope to keep my fingers busy.
Brent shrugs. “Not much anymore either. I used to play softball with some buddies, and baseball when I was younger, but since we opened the gym, I mostly just work out there.”
“Yeah, I can tell,” I say under my breath before I catch myself.
Brent smirks. “Can you?”
Shit, now he thinks I’m flirting. That's not a bad thing, but he is still my client, and he's definitely too vulnerable right now for me to take advantage of him.
“Well,” I choke out, “it's obvious you and your brother both spend a lot of time testing out the equipment in your gym.”
Brent squints a little as he seems to study me. “Is there anybody special in your life?” he asks, cutting right to the chase. “Maybe a girlfriend waiting for a ring?”
Now he’s playing with me. He knows damn well there’s no girlfriend, unless he has the worst gaydar known to man. “Nope, no girlfriend. Not since fourth grade.”
“Boyfriend?” Brent asks, more serious now.
I look right at him. “Nah, nobody serious at the moment. What about you?”
Brent shakes his head without breaking his stare. “No, my life's too crazy for a boyfriend.” He winks. “But I definitely like friends who are boys.”
“Hey, Claire. How are things today?” I walk behind the reception desk and glance at the computer screen over her short, pixie-style black hair. The open calendar program reveals blue highlights for appointments that are booked this week.
“Good. You have a client coming at ten, so you have about thirty minutes to shower and change.”
Lifting my arms one at a time, I smell my armpits. “I don’t stink that bad.”
She turns around and looks at me over her black-rimmed frames. Her gaze takes on a quizzical look. “Ugh. How is it again that you’re gay? Because you seem to be very much the straight man when it comes to body odor.”
“Geez, Claire.” I laugh as the corners of her mouth tilt upward. “Sorry to disappoint your stereotyped expectations for straight and gay men.”
“That’s why I stick to women. Less fuss and confusion.”
“Oh, is that why?” I smirk.
“That and the tits and the…” The door chime sounds, cutting her off. “Hi, welcome to Sculpt. Can I help you?”
Leaving her to our new customer, I head through the gym to the men’s locker room. All the employees have large lockers here for extra clothes we need throughout the day. Walking toward the showers, I grab a clean towel from the stack we maintain for guests.
I pull the glass door open, and light puffs of steam greet me as I step through the entrance. The outer area of the tiled room consists of benches running along the frame of the fourteen-by-twelve room. An opening at the back leads to the showers, where the sound of water cascading echoes off the walls. Stripping out of my clothes, I lay them on one of the benches, taking only my towel with me.
Making my way down the center aisle of shower stalls, the back left stall is the only one in use. Three stalls are lined up on each side of the aisle. A rod with a curtain on each allows for privacy, but I notice the stall in use has only half the curtain pulled.
Choosing the back right shower, I hang my towel on the hook outside the stall and pull my curtain, leaving enough room for me to glance over to the other side. The water warms quickly and I step under the stream, allowing the pelting flow to relax my muscles after Grant’s strenuous workout.
I sneak a peek from around my curtain, looking into the shower across the way. A strong thigh and one side of a round, bubble butt come into view and my dick begins to grow. I pump some of the body wash from the dispenser and begin to lather myself up, giving extra care to my stiffened member. My hand glides up and down as I continue to stare at the muscular body in the other stall.
The body begins to turn, so I lean back into the stream of water, not wanting to be caught peeping. I chance a look again and my eyes grow wide. The guy’s hand is moving up and down. Damn, he’s jacking off too. Tingling sensations cover my body as I watch this hunk across from me.
The man’s left hand braces above his head on the shower wall. Fuck. I wish I could see his face and chest, but he hasn’t leaned over far enough for me to see more than his hands. My hand strokes faster as I hear the guy let out a small moan. As I watch his hand clench against the wall, he groans and I know he’s reached his climax. The excitement from glimpses of him pleasuring himself sends me over the edge as well. I lean back into the flow of water, letting it coat me as the trembling sensations within me subside.
Born and raised in beautiful California, Aria enjoys the year round sunshine and laid back environment of the west coast. Her career started out in tech writing and web development and has evolved into all things marketing with fingers in everything related to book publishing. She lives with her husband and two children and more pets than she can keep track of. Despite her crazy schedule, she loves the time she carves out to read and write. Whether it's on the beach or on the couch at 2am, she is a woman obsessed! She loves to hear from readers so please feel free to drop her a note or visit her at www.ariagracebooks.com. If you'd like to know when Aria's next book is coming out or where she'll be signing, join her mailing list at: http://bit.ly/AriaGraceFanList
Kyan Christopher was born and raised in Louisiana. A southern boy who loves the city, he is a romantic at heart. Never thinking he would become an author, a fan fiction piece he wrote inspired a series that launched his desire to weave tales of passion and romance. Kyan is supported by his loving husband of 16 years. They live in the South with their three four-legged kids.