Encore Encore

Encore Encore by Charlie Cochrane Read Free Book Online

Book: Encore Encore by Charlie Cochrane Read Free Book Online
Authors: Charlie Cochrane
Tags: MLR Press; ISBN# 978-1-60820-131-0
He seemed steady enough as he watched Shawn. “You should wear them all the time. Skirts. You’ve got the most beautiful body I’ve ever seen.”
    Ice shot down Shawn’s spine. The same words had come from Roscoe’s mouth many times in the past, but the reaction was entirely different. He schooled his panic. Nothing had happened, Joshua was just fi nally making his move. Shawn knew it’d just been a matter of time, he’d had to have been blind not to see Joshua had a thing for him. He turned and made himself give the man a simple smile. “Thank you.” No warmth, no encouragement, just being nice.

    36 Mykles ~ Much Ado
    The guy in the corner left, taking the patron count down to fi ve. Nick—Ms. Tyken’s alter ego—emerged from the back and sat down with a friend of his at another table. One of the brighter overhead lights came on.
    “Last call,” Shawn announced to no one in particular.
    Joshua glanced up then focused back on Shawn. His mouth opened, then closed, his fi ngers twiddling against the sides of his half-empty beer bottle. Shawn took a moment to help the other guy at the bar close his tab. Joshua was still there when he was done. He seemed to be a little bit more controlled, his fi ngers still on the bar top.
    “Who was that guy last night?”
    Shawn started buttoning things up for the night. “Which one?”
    “The one you were talking to. The director.” So Joshua knew who he was. “A friend of mine.”
    “A boyfriend?”
    “Once.”
    “No more?”
    “No.”
    “You went home with him.”
    Startled, Shawn turned to face him. “Huh?” Joshua’s gaze was steady, his lips drawn down into a slight frown. “I saw you get into a cab with him.”
    “Jeez, does everyone know?” He covered his own nerves by grabbing a rag to wipe down the bar. “It’s no biggie. We dated for two years, after all, and he was my teacher before that.” He caught himself babbling. “We just shared a ride.”
    “Are you getting back together?”
    “I don’t think so.” Despite the fact that just thinking about the sex last night made his knees wobbly.
    “But he wants to.”

    ENCORE! ENCORE! 37
    “Yeah.”
    “I can’t blame him. Why’d he ever let you go in the fi rst place?”
    “I walked out. He couldn’t accept who I am.” And I’m talking too much, he warned himself.
    “What an ass. I’d never do that to you.” A hand clamped down on his wrist. Shawn jumped. When the hell had Joshua moved from his stool, and how had Shawn missed it?
    “Shawna… Shawn, I’d… can I take you out to dinner?” It was a bad sign when you were dressed as a man and they talked to your fem side, at least in Shawn’s experience. He twisted his wrist, trying to free it. “Y’know, Joshua, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
    “Please?” He glanced at his hold on Shawn, something in his look apologetic although he didn’t let up. “I think about you all the time. I want to get to know you better.” Shawn wanted to ask if it was him or his alter ego Joshua wanted to know. Not that it mattered. “I said no.” He yanked at his arm but couldn’t free himself. “Let go.”
    “Why?” The fi ngers tightened to bruising strength and dark brows crowded down over glittering blue eyes. “Is it that director guy? Did I wait too long? I’ve been meaning to ask you but—”
    “No, that’s not it. I just…” He fi nally succeeded in freeing himself and took a prudent step backward. “I don’t really want to date anyone right now.”
    Joshua was standing now, leaning into the edge of the bar.
    His face looked demonic in the neon cast from the lights behind Shawn. “Then we don’t date. Just let me spend time with you.
    Alone.”
    Was that supposed to make him feel better? He couldn’t help giving the man wide, disbelieving eyes. “I really don’t think that’s a good idea.”

    38 Mykles ~ Much Ado
    “Please?”
    Life was almost normal yesterday. Roscoe’s arrival back into his life had just

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