“I really don’t know about this,” Ashley Neilson said to his best friend
in the entire world. He looked over at Kieran Moss and watched as he pulled the
handbrake and turned off the car. The wicked grin his friend bestowed upon him
made him even more nervous. He could feel the butterflies in his stomach doing
cartwheels and dive-bombs and if Ashley wasn’t careful he thought he might
actually throw up.
“It’s going to be
fine, Ashley. Just think about the end result, not how you have to get there. I’ve been getting them for months
now and it feels amazing.”
really wasn’t very comforting. He loved Kieran to death, but he did not want to think about that.
“Ew, K, just ew.”
Kieran’s laugh was almost manacle and Ashley thought his friend was enjoying
this entirely too much.
“Get out of the
Ashley shook his
head. Not wanting to move at all. He watched with mild trepidation as Kieran
exited the car and walked around to his side. Ashley didn’t bother trying to
lock the door, his friend had the keys and could easily unlock it again.
Kieran opened the
door and looked down at him. “Either you get out of the car by yourself or I
drag you out of there. Which is it going to be?” He jutted a hip and raised an
eyebrow as he stood there waiting for Ashley to make up his mind.
“I really hate you
right now.” Ashley knew it was hopeless to argue, Kieran would drag him out of the car. Even though he only stood an inch
taller than Ashley’s own five ten and didn’t have any bulging muscles anywhere
on his body, he was nonetheless stronger than Ashley.
Ashley had never
been a fighter. He hated it when people fought and often shrank back, wanting
the situation to calm down enough so the issue could be talked through. He’d
been the voice of reason on the rare occasion when arguments arose between his
parents when he’d been younger. Since Ashley had moved in with Kieran, the pair
of them had yet to have a real fight about anything.
“No you don’t, you
If Ashley was a
more aggressive person he’d snot his friend right in the nose for the smug look
he currently sported. “Now move that sexy little ass of yours or we’re going to
reluctance Ashley unclipped his seatbelt and exited the car. He felt like he
was heading to his death. He wondered absently if this was what people on death
row felt like, then dismissed his silly thought immediately. How he could even
compare the two situations was beyond him. Although with the way he was
Before Ashley had
a chance to centre his nerves or even take a deep breath, Kieran had a hold of
his hand and was dragging him down the sidewalk to the day spa.
The bright airy
atmosphere of the spa warred with Ashley’s thoughts and feelings. Ashley zoned
out completely, not paying attention as Kieran spoke with the perky blonde
sitting behind the counter. Instead Ashley walked over and sat down heavily on
the couch they had in the waiting area. Concentrating on breathing, Ashley
jumped when Kieran sat down beside him and placed a hand on his thigh.
Calm the hell down, will you? Everything is going to be fine and you’ll be
thanking me for this in the near future, just you wait and see.”
“I’m trying but
it’s not happening and I highly doubt that, asshole. How in the world did I
even let you talk me into this?” Ashley could barely even remember the
conversation from a couple of nights ago. Serves him right he supposed for getting
pissed in the first place. Ashley really should know better by now than to
agree to anything Kieran says when they’d been drinking.
Kieran shot him
another shit-eating grin. “‘Cause you love me and you know I’m right.”
“As if. On both
counts.” There was no way Ashley was going to agree with Kieran. He wouldn’t
give his friend that kind of satisfaction at the moment.
Just then Kieran
looked up as the door leading to the back swung open and two girls in a
matching uniform to the one sitting behind the desk walked out.
you’d like to follow us please.”
the lump in his throat and Kieran pulled him to his feet. They walked along
behind the women until one of them broke away slightly, pointing to a room on
you’re in here with me. If you’d please strip and lay face down on the bed I’ll
be back in a moment and we can start.”
Ashley shot one
last death glare at Kieran. His friend just cackled and went into his own room,
already stripping his shirt before the door was closed. Taking one last deep
breath to settle his nerves, Ashley walked into the room and reluctantly
started to remove his clothing.
He was sore in
places that Ashley didn’t think people should ever be sore in. He felt sticky
and tender and he wanted to go home desperately and shower.
Ashley had sworn,
groaned, whimpered and screamed—yes he’d even screamed—his way through the last
half hour of his life. He was having trouble comprehending why Kieran would go
back time after time and subject himself to that torture.
He was positive
the entire spa had heard him when the first strip with wax had been removed
from his body. He’d been embarrassed as hell when Megan—as she’d introduced
herself to him while he was naked on the table—had asked him to get on his
knees, head down, and part his ass cheeks.
Ashley had felt
his entire body get hot with embarrassment. No one should be that close to his
nether regions unless they had been invited specifically by Ashley. Megan had most definitely not been invited. He’d
felt a stirring inside him. One he’d felt before on previous occasions. It
lasted the entire time he was in there, but the second Megan had stepped out of
the room to let him dress once again the feeling disappeared. Ashley had never
been able to pinpoint exactly what it was that he felt inside him, there seemed
to be some sort of barrier or blockage that he was unable to get through so he
could examine it closely.
When Ashley was
once again bundled up ready to face the cold Launceston weather, he walked out
of the room. If he walked a little gingerly he wasn’t going to admit to it when
he saw Kieran again. As he pushed through the door leading to the reception,
his gaze immediately zeroed in on his so-called best friend. The wide smile and
knowing look said more than Ashley was willing to. He wanted to walk right past
Kieran and leave the pain in the ass here to walk home, unfortunately seeing as
how Kieran had driven, that kind of killed that idea dead.
“Not a single
word,” he said when it looked like Kieran was about to make a smart-ass
comment. Ashley ignored his friend and turned to actually pay the woman for
inflicting copious amounts of pain on him. He even cringed at how much he had
to fork out for his torture.
Tucking his wallet
back into his pocket, Ashley pulled open the door and left, ignoring the
snickers he could hear behind him. Ashley tucked his hands deep in his pockets,
his breath misting on the air as he walked along the sidewalk to the car. He’d
been so nervous on his way in that he had completely missed just how bloody
cold it was outside.
concentrating on watching his breath mist in front of him, Ashley let out a
grunt as he walked right into a solid mass. He could feel himself falling
backward until large hands wrapped around his arms and stopped his momentum in
“Shit, sorry,” he
apologised quickly, concluding that he’d run into the man that still held him
up. Ashley looked up at the man before him and then looked up a little more.
Jesus, the guy was huge.
He blinked several
times, wanting to make sure that he was actually seeing what he thought he was
and not imagining the god-like creature standing before him.
Tall. Bloody hell
was this guy tall. He had to stand at least six and a half feet, the most
piercing green eyes Ashley had ever seen, a perfect nose and lips that looked
inviting as all get out. His dark hair was shorn down to nothing but stubble
and Ashley wanted to run his hands over it to see if it felt as good as it
looked. The strong face was topped off with what Ashley assumed to be a
permanent five o’clock shadow.
Oh, how that voice
sent shivers down his spine.
called from behind him.
asked the stranger, ignoring his friend for the minute.
“You’re my mate.”
starting to wonder if all the pain he’d just endured hadn’t affected his mental
“I’m sorry, but I
think I would know if you and I were mates. I’ve never seen you before so how
can we be friends?”
The stranger was
looking at him with a curious expression now and that unknown part inside
Ashley stirred for the second time that day.
Ashley started to
back away from him slowly only to be stopped when he realised the guy was still
holding onto his arms.
“Please let go of
me,” he asked quietly, his voice trembling a little. Kieran walked up beside
him then and tugged him backward.
The man in front
of them growled a little and Ashley shrank back when another man walked up beside
When Mr. Tall, Dark,
and Crazy turned to look at the guy who’d just joined the party, Ashley grabbed
Kieran’s hand and they made a run for it. Their car wasn’t all that far away
and soon enough they were there and clambering to get inside. Once the doors
closed, Ashley locked his behind him just for good measure. As Kieran pulled
out of the car park, Ashley couldn’t help but look back at the man who still
stood on the sidewalk staring right at him. He didn’t know what it was about
this guy, but something about him flicked all of Ashley’s switches, even if the
man did seem a few Fruit Loops short of a cereal box.
“What the hell was
that all about?” Kieran asked as they pulled out onto the road.
“I have no idea.”
“Who was that
guy?” Kieran looked at him for a moment before turning his attention back to
the road in front of him.
“Once again, no
idea. He said we were mates. Seeing as how I’ve never met him before I can’t
see how we’d already be friends. I think he must have confused me with someone
else.” Man didn’t that thought suck. What he wouldn’t give to be friends with
someone that looked like that. Then again, Ashley would probably make a
complete fool out of himself if they were friends and then be too embarrassed
to show his face.
“I know, right?”
Ashley waited as
Kieran paused for a long minute.
“How was your
Ashley groaned as
he settled back in the passenger seat.
“I really hate
you.” Kieran just cackled at him. Fucking cackled!