Linc. Please be there. I need to see you tonight. Will be over in an hour.

It was him. Mr Chocolate. Though it had been some time since I'd spoken to him face to face, the voice was unmistakable. Deep, mellow, utterly smooth with just enough of a soft drawl which brought to mind decadent, sultry Southern nights. It would have made him blush if I'd told him that was exactly how one of his lady friends had once described his voice.

But then again, the man blushed easily - especially when one knew which particular nerve to hit. I should know since I've known him practically forever. The first time I'd met him, he'd been a bad, bad boy and I'd dubbed him Mr Chocolate ever since. Granted he was eight as was I - and not only was he dark in colouring, his happy cheery face was also smeared with chocolate. We clicked since then, made a sacred pact of brotherhood complete with secret handshake in our hidden canyon and stuck together through thick and thin.

Amazingly the nickname for him seemed almost prophetic as it certainly fit him to a T right now. These days, Adam Garcia was the embodiment of chocolate himself - dark, sinful and meltingly irresistible. Different shades of brown characterized the man from his sinfully dark brown eyes, his sleek mahogany hair, his light mocha-latte coloured skin, a hard physique that had graced the covers of fitness magazines and strolled down runways on fashion week.

It was inevitable that I would have a crush on him once I'd grown up and realized that I was far more interested in men's dicks rather than girls. What was there not to like in Adam Garcia? After all, he was a wildly attractive, sexy man and I was a hormonally charged gay man. Add that to his sweet, wonderful personality and you had our Mr Chocolate himself. But the man was hopelessly straight as an arrow. In time, I came to realize that we were much better off as friends and shelved away the early schoolboy crush I had on him, hidden deep in a closet that was never to be opened. It wasn't that I didn't occasionally indulge in secret fantasies of licking hot chocolate off his hard, well-developed pecs but I also knew that it was a harmless fantasy since he hadn't shown any desire to turn over to the dark side so to speak.

For the next few years in school and on to college, we were the terrible duo, the wild-n-woolly fag of the school and the staid, serious quarterback with a penchant for books and a secret addiction for choc bars. On and off he'd give me a stern, no-nonsense lecture on my licentious affairs with men not really worth my while while I'd tease him about his overdeveloped biceps and brainless jock mentality. Of course no one dared question his friendship with the out-of-the closet guy who ran the local Gay and Lesbian Society especially when the man had biceps like a rock. Not to mention a boiling hot temper hidden behind his seemingly placid, unruffled demeanour. Rumours about his sexuality were practically nonexistent as the girls in high school could readily attest to Adam's rampant heterosexuality. Eventhough I was his roommate all through college, I'd certainly never been privy to his bedroom activities - since the man was stubbornly closemouthed about it despite my nagging - but I had nonetheless heard the rumours about his reputation as a veritable tiger in bed. It always seemed ironic to me that such a straight-laced choir boy could turn into some kinda Don Juan in the night.

In the years since then we'd moved apart - in physical distance - but we still managed to keep in touch. It was rare that a week went by without Adam calling me up for a quick chat to catch up. Nowadays with the advent of the Net, he also maintained a regular e-mail correspondence with me that had my colleagues puzzling over the frequent messages from the ultra-mysterious Mr Chocolate.

So while I puzzled over his latest message, I flipped through the other pending messages on my machine. Unsurprisingly, the rest of the messages came from him. One thing Adam was - he was definitely single-minded. What Adam Garcia wants, Adam got. If he wanted to talk to me, I might as well sit tight and wait for him. Thing was, he was right on the other side of the country. Not only would it take hours to get here, it would be insane to come over just for a chat. A simple urge to talk wouldn't have him travelling such a great distance. After playing his message again, the nerves in his voice started making me worried and I started imagining all the things that could happen. Just as I was about to pick up the phone to call his cellphone, the phone rang again.

"Linc!" That deep voice came through over the phone, making me wonder as usual why he hadn't gone on stage with that amazing voice. "God, I'm so glad to get you there."

Sending half a dozen messages wasn't his style and I knew it had to be something important. My mind ran through a few dozen nightmarish incidents that could have happened. Leaving courtesies aside, I cut to the chase. "Why, what's up? What happened? Is everyone okay? Your parents?" I couldn't imagine anything happening to the Garcias. They were the most.. fun parents any kid could ever have when we were younger. Of course, Adam hadn't thought so. A real conservative old soul, my friend - and his ultra-cool hippie parents had probably been as stunned by him as he had been with them. At times I bet they blissfully wondered whether they'd exchanged kids when he was born but they loved him like crazy anyway.

"No, no, they are all alright. Last I heard they were calling me from some treehouse in Northern California. Some kinda protest," he quickly reassured me. "That's not the problem. It's me. I think I need to see you soon. Uhhh.. can I come over tonight?"

"Huh?" His voice held the same sense of urgency as it had earlier and I was puzzled. No bodily injury. No family crises. Just to make sure, I knocked the phone on the table thinking that I had misheard him. The reception must be bad. He couldn't possibly be flying over 500 hundred miles for a talk. "You're 500 hundred miles away."

My dead-pan voice got to him and I could hear the smile in his voice. "Seriously. Trust me on this. I'm at the airport right now."

That stunned me. "Huh?"

"I just arrived back here." He sounded almost breathless like he'd ran all the way instead of flying. "Do you have any plans? I know it's short notice and all but I really need to see you."

"This is some kinda joke, right." Which was very unlike him. Well, he did have a sense of humour, no doubt about that but sudden irrational acts of impulse certainly weren't his style. Some time ago, he'd once told me that it was his parents unconventional upbringing that had made him this way. He was just bound and determined not to be as flaky and nutty as his own parents. Me, I always thought the unconventional Mr and Mrs Garcia were the coolest parents a kid could have. But then I hadn't been brought up in a home where the parents were the ones who pulled weird stunts such as appearing as Carmen Miranda and a matching fruit bowl at their son's birthday parties.

"Uhhh.. no."

"You would have me believe that you flew over here just for a chat when you could have told me over the phone .. unless... Good God, man, you're getting married!" It was the only thing I could come up with that would explain it. Although in his last mail, he hadn't mentioned that he was seeing anyone seriously. For a moment, my heart stuttered at the idea that he was getting married but I shook away that selfish thought. After all, Adam was a wonderful man and he did deserve to be happy. But for form's sake, I just had to damn the lucky bitch. With all that she was getting, she had better appreciate the man or I'd pimp-slap her silly.

He was silent for a moment. "I-I.."

"You are! That's wonderful news! Who is the lucky gal? Damn, she beat my time!" I kidded.

"Well, it's not a marriage. Not exactly but.."

"Not exactly?" Since we were kids, he had always been good at twisting words around which helped in his work but I never did like that about him. Straight to the point, that's me, no beating around the bush.

He cleared his throat as he always did when he got nervous. "Well, I do have plans to enter a committed relationship."

"Lawyer lingo?"

He chuckled softly. "Sorry."

The fact that he'd kept a secret from me made me vindictive and I had to grill him on principle. "Tell me who! And why haven't you told me? Do I need a court order to wring the name from you. Whips? Cuffs?"

"Well, I-

"Keeping this a secret from me for so long. You deserve a hard spanking, Meester Garcia.." Just for the sheer fun of it, I added a trace of campiness into my voice. It wasn't that hard when I thought of that hard, musclebutt. "A long, hard spanking."

"Ouch." He laughed, a soft, deep intimate sound that I'm sure had the women he knew sighing into their pillows. "Are you ever going to give me a chance to speak in edgewise?"

"No," I answered simply.

My simple answer had him laughing again. "Look, you caught me alright. I do have someone in mind but I haven't spoken to the person as yet. So it's still ... up in the air."

It boggled my mind exactly why his wedding had him running back home but Adam's mind had always worked in mysterious ways. Why come back here when he had a girl over there to propose to? It was an unusual way to broach the topic but I shrugged knowing that he would tell me the reason why as soon as he arrived. "You could have saved your cash - though I do know you have tons of it - and sent an e-mail for the wedding."

"Pretty confident of me, huh Linc."

It was easy to answer that. How could anyone possibly say no to him? Not only was he beautiful on the outside, he was beautiful inside too. Loyal, dependable, responsible, occasionally a stick in the mud but then all he needed was the right woman to shake him up a little. Add that to his Mr I'm-Too-Sexy-For-My-Shirt looks and you had a verifiable Stepford Husband inside and a lean, mean testosterone-fueled bad-boy sex machine on the outside. What else could a woman want? Shaking my head vehemently, I answered honestly. "No sane person would refuse you, hunka-burning love!"

"Stop that," he ordered sternly.

The thought of a marriage reminded me of something. "You'd better make sure I'm the best man or I'll stage a protest. Run around telling everyone you knocked me up."

There was a pause of a heartbeat before he replied warmly. "Linc, you will always be my best man."

"Linc! It's been ages."

Dropping his bags, he came straight into the room and launched himself straight into my arms. It wasn't the first time he'd given me a hug but it still surprised me since he usually wasn't the first to initiate any gestures of affection. For a man who looked as he did and practically oozed with sex appeal, Adam was surprisingly conservative. Which essentially brought us back to his unconventional parents who spent their weekends smooching and causing scandals at the local theatre drive-in. I smiled remembering the time he had to bail his parents out for indecent exposure - necking by the interstate highway in their family sedan. Of course that hadn't embarassed him as much as their monthly protests over various social causes - occasionally in the altogether.

But this time, he gave me a spontaneous hug that I could have sworn seriously endangered a few of my ribs. There was no doubt that he'd been working out too. But the hug didn't surprise me as much as my physical response to him. The sudden whiff of his cologne and his scent brought back some secret memories of hot, lonely nights staring at my bedroom ceiling back home and dreaming forbidden fantasies about Adam Garcia. That was a secret door I'd slammed and locked shut a long time ago. My sudden reaction surprised me and I tried to pull away only to have Adam pull me closer.

"Man, I've missed you," Adam whispered softly.

The thrill of having him so close gave me a shock. Hadn't I gotten over this particular crush years ago? Sure it took two nights of solid rationalizing but even then it had taken a few rounds of good bourbon and whisky to forget about him. Gently, I pulled away and held him an arm's length away. "So have I. You don't have to crush my ribs to prove it."

"Sorry about that but I just ... " Giving me a wry grin, he looked almost sheepish. "Linc, there's so much I want to tell you."

It wasn't his first time in my place and I pulled his overnight bag away from him. It was surprisingly heavier than I thought. The shoulder bag came with a huge travelling case. Was he intending to stay a month? What in the world did he pack? Ushering him in, I showed him the way to the closet. "Really? And here I had plans to go for the opera."

In the process of removing his overcoat, he gave me a narrowed look. "Linc."

The familiar look on his face had me chuckling. "Well, since I made the time, you've all the time in the world."

"Thanks a lot!" Following my pointed gestures, Adam neatly folded and hung his overcoat in the closet. And I had my moment to see why the cameras had always loved my best friend. Each time I see him, he seemed to look even better. It was a point of envy for me as I always managed to look terrible next to him no matter how much I primped before the cameras. Standing beside him, I always turned out looking like chopped liver. Some guys were just born lucky - Adam Garcia was luckier than most. Just like the song said, on the day he was born some angel had obviously sprinkled some damned sex god dust on him.

Catching my admiring gaze, he flashed me a quick, disarming grin. "Yeah?"

Standing against the dark frame of my closet, he made quite a picture. The sexy young executive, tall, dark and handsome with a certain charisma that drew the eyes irresistibly. I'd always had a thing for men in suits. Leaning back on the wall, my arms crossed, I nodded. "Just looking at the man described as sex in a suit."

"Ouch." The moniker had him wincing. When he saw that I was about to say more, he reminded me with an evil twinkle in his eye. "You promised."

He was obviously referring to the wager we'd made years ago of not referring to his stellar looks again. It had been the night I'd rescued him from a drunken date who couldn't keep her hands off him despite his protests. So what if I lost the wager and owed him one night. It's not like he'd ever make good on it. "I can't help it. Italian-Latino gods do that to me."

His dark eyes twinkled with humour. "Say another word, slave and I could have you washing my apartment floor with a toothbrush for one night."

"Not much of a chore. I bet you wax and polish almost daily."

Pulling him into my humble abode, I gestured to my living room which as usual looked as if a tornado had just blown in. For a brief moment, he stood there in plain shock. Books, magazines, newspapers, all jumbled together all over the living room. It was in a perpetual state of mess - something obviously totally alien to Adam Garcia but then again he knew me much too well. Cataloguing the mess in his mind and no doubt rearranging it, the man sighed and shook his head. Before he could make another comment, I pounced on him first. "Try to clean up my mess and die."

The idea had been in his head as I had guessed and he laughed, throwing up his hands in defeat. "You noticed I didn't say anything."

Wagging my finger in warning, I shook my head. "I know you, Mr Garcia."

"Yes." He gazed at me quietly with those dark eyes. "That you do."

That unfathomable look in his eyes had me feeling vaguely self-conscious and I wondered at the reason. The man was acting weird all of a sudden, and for that matter, so was I. What the hell had gotten into me? Leaving him in my living room, I dragged his bags to the guest room. I could have sworn that the last time he packed this much was when he'd left home for college. "Any drinks for the New Yorker?"

His voice carried down to the kitchen. "Just plain water will do, please. Thanks."

"Plain and straight for the straight, healthy man. I hear you," I teased him as I walked back to the living room. As always he took his seat on the blue armchair near the side table. That was my Adam - almost as predictable as the sky was blue. There were some who might find it maddening but I ... had grown rather fond of that particular quality. It was nice to have something familiar. Not only did he take the same seat, he had evidently rearranged the junk on the side table into a more acceptable pile of papers.

Giving me a side glance, he grinned, his dark eyes twinkling with amusement. "Why, you think I should have a... cock-tail?"

"Saucy!" The expression on his face made me laugh. It was the first time he'd said anything like that and I had to smile. "Did squeaky clean Adam Garcia just make some kinda dirty sex innuendo?"

Folding his well-muscled arms, he frowned and made a playful complaint. "I don't know why you keep saying that. I am not all that squeaky clean!"

Sitting in what I'd begun to call his chair, he looked as disgruntled as a little boy. Sure, he was all gorgeous male eye-candy now but look from certain angles and you could still see that naughty eight year old, his dark eyes glowing with that flash of mischief. Of course nowadays Mr Chocolate came in a package of male charisma, muscles and zero-fat. Returning his grin, I drew my finger down his hard forearm and playfully licked my fingertip. "Yum. Pure vanilla."

"Asshole." He gave me a gentle shove and wiped his arm in mock anger. Leaning back on the chair, Adam gave me a considering look. "Do I look all that innocent to you?"

"Innocent? That's not the word for it. Babe, you look like a fucking wet dream and you know it. Your ex, Pam said that her uterus contracted in lust when she first met you." Of course that hadn't been the last thing she'd said to me. There were other things such as mention of his generous size which had left me gaping in shock, wonder and increasing lust - and wondering whether it could really be true. Judging by his other attributes, it probably was true. Why else would God skimp on that when he'd been blessed with amazing yum yum eyes, model cheekbones and a body from Men's Fitness? In all the years I'd known him, I realized that I had never seen him in the altogether which was a damned shame. At times, it seemed as if he'd been brought up by strictly religious Mormons rather than parents who had no qualms at joining a nude anti-fur protest. The thought had me smiling. Judging from the elder Mr Garcia - if Adam had followed his family genes, the man was sure to be incredibly well-endowed. Certainly unforgettable.

His face turned red. "Now you're pulling my leg again."

It was easy to get that blush on his face and I delighted at it. He was still the only man I knew who could blush - and still look hot. Don't even get me going on his glasses. "I'm not. My gay pals cream in their pants when you walk by with that absolutely bootylicious bod. Walking orgasm, that's what you are, my friend."

"Linc." He narrowed that dark gaze on me.

"A body made for sin - and a mind made for a monastery," I commented. "What a waste."

His cheekbones were stained red. "Linc."

"You're such an easy target, Adam." Since he was young, mention of his amazing looks had always embarassed him. Ladies - and men - propositioned him in public places, bras and contact numbers were left on his windshield, heads swivelled when he walked by. It certainly was tough being beautiful. "But I really have missed you, Adam. It's not the same writing mail."

This time he smiled, bringing those irresistible dimples to life. "Same for me too. It's been too long."

His earlier drink order had nearly been forgotten. The dictates of being a host meant that I should serve Adam first but I couldn't resist. Thoughts of the unknown phantom lady who had snagged Adam Garcia had plagued my mind all evening as I waited. My imagination had imbued the secretive tramp with the physique of a Playboy centerfold, the sexual charisma of a Indian courtesan and the brains of a nuclear scientist. Flopping on to the couch next to him, I started my interrogation. "So tell me who she is!"

For a moment, he looked thrown. "Who she is?"

The stunned look on his face surprised me. Wasn't that what was on his mind earlier? Surely she couldn't be that forgettable. "Yeah. The girl. The woman. The lady you flew five hundred miles to tell me about. This unknown goddess who has finally conquered Adam Garcia."

"The lady?" Adam enunciated the word clearly, the shadow of a smile quicking up the edge of his lips. "You wanted to hear about my girl? Though I am sure the person would object to being pointed out as my girl."

"Yeah, you mentioned her earlier," I pointed out. Was the man being obtuse on purpose? "Come on, spill all to papa!"

"You're talking about the person I'm in love with?" This time his grin widened and I started getting suspicious.

"Yeah. Do I really need to get out the cuffs? Got them somewhere in my closet. Tell me quick." Giving him a threatening growl, I reached over and held his hand down. "Get it off your lovely overdeveloped chest." That was of course an exaggeration. Like the rest of him, Adam's chest was perfect. Nicely flexed pectorals that pressed against the folds of his cotton shirt, the dark, nickel-sized nipples showing through the faint white of his shirt. Yum. I grinned as I imagined his horrified expression if I were to give in to my impulse and give his nipples a quick bite.

For a moment, he glanced quickly down at our linked hands and his face reddened. "Well, the person -"

Although he delighted in legalese, beating around the bush had never been his style and I started getting suspicious. He seemed to be hiding something and damned if I didn't want to know what it was. Was she eight months pregnant? Was she entrapping him in to marriage? Was she an Afghani rebel leader with a penchant for whips? "Person? Person in question? Is that lawyer lingo again?"

"Please." Seeing my growing impatience, he backed away and held his hands out in front of him in surrender. "Bear with me."

Giving him my best scowl, I gave him fair warning. "Five minutes, counsellor, and make it snappy."

"OK." Leaning forward, he spoke softly, keeping his intent gaze on me. "I just need you to keep calm here. Just listen and promise me you'll keep calm."

"Keep calm?" The implication - and the worried look on his face - had me scowling. Although I had my share of temper - and the occasional wild tantrum, that didn't mean that I wasn't capable of control. Not everyone was born an oversized Ken doll with a lukewarm temper and implacable nerves. "Would that be an insult, sirrah?"

He grinned. "You know about 9/11 I'm sure."

How could I not know? For the past few weeks, it had been in all the papers and the news. My first knee-jerk response had been to place a call straight to his home to see if he was okay. But the previous e-mail had mentioned a seminar in Boston and that hadn't even been close to point zero.

"Well, I don't know how to put this, never been all that good with words when it comes to..... but I was there."

The hasty speech had me staring in shock. "What! You were there! You promised me you were safe in Boston."

"I didn't want you to worry."

"What! You lied.. You.." I simply ran out of words as I imagined what could have happened. Never in a million years could I imagine a life without him in it. Although we weren't exactly living together as we did in college, I couldn't imagine a day without knowing that he was always with reach if I needed him. He was the first I'd run to when I had a problem, the first I'd run to when I'd gotten my promotion. Where would I be without him? "You could have.. you could.."

"I didn't," he answered coolly. "Although I was only less than a block away."

"Oh My God." Determined not to overreact, I fought the urge to run my my hands over him to make sure he was solid and real.

"Forget about that." He easily waved away my concern. Coming out of his seat, he moved to kneel in front of me, resting his arms on my knees. "Look, that's not what I came here to say."


"It was a wake-up call for me. Something that jolted me from my everyday life. As I saw the fire, the smoke, the building coming down on ..." Lost in his thoughts, Adam closed his eyes for a moment. "You see, I realized that if I'd died, I wanted my last moment to be with someone. Someone I'd searched for my whole life. Someone to care for. Someone to love. Someone I never thought I could ever love that much. But I'd never noticed till then that I had already met that someone." Staring down at his hands, he smiled to himself. "Silly of me."

I felt almost like shaking him. "There's a crash and you realize that."

"Yes." He looked up at me then, his eyes surprisingly somber when he replied. "Yes. And I realized that I am in love. Probably have been crazy in love all this time."

It was amazing but it had finally happened. There was a seriousness in his expression, something so calm and sincere that I couldn't help but believe him. Since I'd known him, I'd never seen him like this and I envied the woman he loved. Somehow, I'd always known he had a great big soppy heart deep inside that silent, tough guy image. His father had always said that the Garcias loved deeply only once. "So who is she?"

The serious face changed as he grinned roguishly. "It's not a she."

"It's not?" I gaped in surprise. The obvious answer appeared before me but I just simply couldn't fathom such an idea. "Not a she?"


"No?" It wasn't a woman. No XX chromosomes. What could he possibly mean? Not only had he dropped such a bomb on me, he had to drop two at one go? My mind stalled and jammed at the sudden intrusion of too much information. Before he could give me another heart attack, I stopped him. "Wait, let me try to understand what you're saying here. You're telling me that it's a.. a man?"

It took him a moment to reply and even then, he peeked up almost shyly at me through his lashes. "Uhh.. yes."

If Adam had come in dressed in a frilly pink tutu and told me he'd been headlining a Vegas drag show, I couldn't have been more surprised. A man? What could he possibly be thinking? "Who is it? Should I be jealous?" And I was. Even more than I would have been if it had been a woman. The first thought that had run through my mind was why not me! If he was going to fall in love with a pair of XY chromosomes, why couldn't he have fallen for me? It certainly wasn't because I was carrying some damned torch for him but it would have been nice if he had thought of me first. After all, I was the one who had been with him since the beginning. We'd gone through college together, studied together... heck, I'd gotten him his first condom. I was reasonably good-looking, had all my teeth and hair. Why not me?

"Don't get mad." The quick flash in my eyes hadn't gone unnoticed by him and evidently it pleased him as he couldn't help smiling. Taking my hands in his, he squeezed it tightly. "You don't have to be jealous. It's you."

"Fuck." The quick answer had me laughing in response. Trust him to know exactly what I felt and know exactly the right thing to say. Giving him a quick shove, I told him off. "Yeah, right, asshole. You have been carrying a torch for me since high school. C'mon, tell me who!"

Although I shoved at him, it wasn't easy getting away from him and he held on tightly to my hands. "It is you. I think I love you, Linc."

It wasn't the first time he'd said it but it still gave me a sudden thrill eventhough I knew he'd never mean it the way I would ever want. But it wasn't his fault and I managed a sly grin in response. "Yeah, baby, so do I."

"That's not what I meant." Adam caught my arm just as I moved away. My answer obviously wasn't the one he wanted. "I love you."

For some inexplicable reason that I couldn't fathom, my heart had started beating a mile a minute, my mind whirled around as I absorbed what he had just said. Dazed from the crash, that must be it. Hit his head on a flying piece of debris. Lost his mind. Searching for something to say, I waved him away and tried to stand up. "Hey, man, I got it the first time."

When I tried to pull away, he held on tight and refused to release me. This time he kept his dark gaze on mine. "I love you."

Repeating what he'd said didn't help much. My palpitating heart leapt up to my throat and remained there for a second. "You're insane. Stop kidding around."

"No, I am surprisingly sane for the first time in my life."

My grin faltered. "Look, you don't wake up and decide to be gay, Adam."

Evidently puzzled by my bizarre reaction, Adam released my hands and stood. "Call it what you want. I am not going to put a label to it. Gay or not, I realized that I want to spend my life with you. You are the one constant in my life. I don't know why I never realized it before."

"So did it come to you as a sudden thunderbolt, a blow on your head or a slow realization?" Deciding to humour him, I took a seat on the armchair and waited for his explanation.

As expected he moved back to his chair and took a seat. The obvious sarcasm in my voice didn't unnerve him and he replied warmly, just as affable as ever. "Somewhere in between actually."

He was as insouciant as could be and my eyes narrowed. "This isn't the time for a practical joke."

Leaning back at his ease on the chair, he smiled in reply. "Look, this isn't a joke. Why would I lie to you?" he shrugged.

The calmer he got, the more agitated I was feeling. It was amazing how he could just change the entire dynamics of our relationship and still sit as cool as cucumber on the damned chair. "I don't think you're lying. I-I..."

Leaning forward on his chair, he said calmly. "I have never lied to you before, Linc. Have I ever said anything and not meant it?"

It was true and I couldn't argue with that. Since we were kids, he was the one true blue boy scout that never lied to me - or to anyone else. That had been one of the traits the Garcias had planted in him. "No, you haven't."


"What do you mean so?" As he sat there looking smug, I leapt from my chair and traced a warpath around the room, wearing out my rug. It didn't make sense. Adam Garcia didn't suddenly change his mind like this. "So that worries me like hell when you march in here and tell me all this. All this insane ramblings! Have you been drinking?"

"Hardly insane, I should think." He gave me a sweet smile. "Come on, you can't tell me you haven't thought of us being together before. You've known me for a long time. You're gay. Don't tell me that even in the shortest instance, you have never thought that.. hey, wouldn't it be nice to be with Adam? Live with him? He's a nice, peaceable guy after all."

My reply was automatic, almost instantaneous. It was the only way I could answer. "No."

It was a lie but I would never admit it to him - or even to myself. How many times had I lain awake in bed, watching the bed bunk beside mine with Adam quietly snoring? I had just come out to myself - and to everyone else. The idea of love between men was something new, heady and exciting to me. It was just so easy to imagine the sexy, sweet Adam in my dreams.

It must have been obvious to him that I was lying but he decided to humour me and nodded in understanding. "Really? No? I'm a nice guy. I cook. I clean after myself. I earn a good living. Have all my teeth. Still no? Not a single thought about living with me?"

"No, I haven't," I answered flatly. No way was I going to humiliate myself by admitting that I'd had regular fantasies of having warm, naked showers with him since high school. Running my fingers slowly down the broad expanse of his shoulders, tracing the strong line of his spine to the full, tempting curves of his buttocks. Confirming the rumours that had circulated around college about Adam's generous size.

"Don't lie." My face burned when he leveled his knowing gaze on me. "I've seen you looking at me. Checking out my fine fucking wet dream ass."

Using the same line I'd used before was tantamount to a blasphemy for me. I gave him a glare to kill at ten paces and he only laughed. "I doubt you've thought of us being together."

"If you're talking about sex, no." Shrugging those wide shoulders, he shook his head. "Truth to tell, it scares me a little. I'm new to this after all."

As always, Adam was relentlessly honest though I would have preferred that he wasn't. Was he blind? Stupid? Just the suggestion of sex from him had me imagining the impossible. Sex with Adam Garcia. Hot, hard, heady, fast. That muscular, lithe build writhing and tossing on my sheets. Heck for this deliciously neat stud, I'd change my sheets daily just to have him on them. "See, you're not gay," I pointed out.

"But I'm sure you could teach me, couldn't you?" His eyes turned heavy-lidded, the first time he'd given me one of those heated gazes. For the first time too, I realized that I wasn't surprised that the ladies fell over themselves when he gave them one of those looks. It promised unadulterated, scorching sex and I'm sure the man could deliver. "And I promise you I am a very fast learner."

It didn't surprise me that the ladies found him irresistible. This new sexual predator Adam scared me more than a little and as he moved toward me, I took a hasty step back, almost tripping over a bunch of misplaced books. "Adam, I-I really don't know what.."

His smile turned wolfish, a flash of pure carnal invitation that sent shivers down my spine. "I've started having dreams about you, Linc. Really .. hot dreams."

How could I possibly help it? Helplessly, almost involuntarily my gaze dropped down to his crotch and my breath caught. Whoa mama! Judging by the size of it, I'd have to say that the Garcia blood ran true in him.

Catching the look in my eye, he chuckled. "Hell yeah, you're interested."

"Who wouldn't be? Did you say hell?" Dragging my gaze from the whopper he had down in his pants, I forced myself to meet his amused, dark-eyed gaze. "This is impossible."

"I know it's quite a bomb I'm dropping. But I just couldn't waste another day." As I remained at arm's length, he was quiet for a moment, his dark face serious and emotionless. "Just say you don't love me, you don't ever think you could find it in yourself to love me and I'll go away. Seriously, I won't ever mention it again."

My gaze faltered under his. "I-I don't.."

"Look me in the eye, Linc," he ordered.

"I don't."

"Don't what?" Seeing me waver on the decision only had him coming forward.

Seeing the smug smile on his face was just too much and I shoved him away. "Stop it. This is not a fucking cross-examination."

My answer had him smiling. "I knew it."

"You don't know anything," I retorted stubbornly. Which was actually a lie. Not only had he managed to stun me by appearing here - which rarely happened but he'd managed to do it twice in a day. It had to be some kinda record for him. Since when had my predictable Mr Chocolate become someone ... new and near unrecognizable? Sure, I enjoyed change as much as the next person but this was my one constant and I found that the sudden shift confused me.

As I started to move away, he caught on to me. "Hold on. No, I don't know anything. Not much anyway but I know you. My brother, my best friend, my pal." His deep voice softened even as he ran his fingers lovingly down my cheek. "My best man."

It was what he'd told me when he'd said goodbye earlier. Withdrawing, I moved away from him and stood up. My cheek still burned from the touch of his fingers. "Stop it."

"You know me, Linc." Running his fingers through his dark hair, he gave me a rueful look. "Probably better than I know myself. You know I won't give up."

Which was true. Since I'd known him, I'd never seen Andy Garcia waver from his convictions. Like an overzealous pitbull with his favourite hambone, he never let something go. It was one of his admirable traits but right now it scared me to hell. "I need time, Adam. You don't suddenly drop a bomb.. you don't suddenly.." I stuttered hopelessly, tangled in my thoughts. "You don't fucking do something like that!"

"Fair enough." Nodding in agreement, he leaned back on the chair. "I know what you mean. I'm a patient man. I shall wait."

His words sounded almost ominous and I cringed. "You have to get back to work," I pointed out.

Easy as pie, he replied smoothly. "Not really. I have some time saved up and I took a month sabbatical."

For some reason, the idea horrified me. It sounded as if I was his next project on his list of things to do. Something to be ticked off on his schedule. And a whole month! My depleting strength of will certainly couldn't withstand such an onslaught of Adam Garcia bent on seduction. Only the barest shred of willpower held me away from giving in and jumping the man's sexy bones. "What?"

Sitting forward and edging to the front of his chair, he looked at me and smiled. "I am going to give you romance. I'm going to try my best to give you the starbursts and marble halls you've always looked for. The Godivas and the post-it notes. The works. I am going to make you love me in return."

It was like my biggest nightmare- and my wildest dream - all rolled into one. Years ago in a moment of weakness, I'd spoken of what I wanted in a relationship. As usual, he had listened intently and told me that I would find my prince in time. Little did I know that it would come back to bite me. "No."

Kneeling before me, he took my hand and clasped it in his large, warm ones. "Give me a chance. You've always wanted a man who loved you. I never thought that anyone could possibly fit your criteria - what a perfect ass he'd be - and I definitely can't but I'll try my best. Just give me a chance."

Looking down at my... our joined hands, it was so easy to believe in what he said. I wonder whether he knew that my criteria had been based on a vague idea of my dream man. Which had actually been Adam Garcia. Had he just called himself an ass? "You don't do this, Adam. You don't do this kinda insane stuff. I'm the one who does this. Have you gotten your head checked?"

"Perhaps." It was an admission that had him smiling but the man was undeterred. "Well, I think it's about time I did the unpredictable for once. Guess I'm a crazy Gracia after all."

"You don't love me. You're not gay."

"Stop." My continual denial was starting to annoy him. Releasing my hands, he sighed with some exasperation. "When do you start thinking for me?"

Placing my palm on his chest to keep him away, I tried not to think of the firmness, the solidity of his chest muscles and the heat contained within. His heart beat steadily emanating vibrations through the warmth of his skin. "I am protecting you from your madness. Your insanity."


"I-I.." Exactly why? My night-time fantasies had me creaming all over Adam's sweat-streaked, naked torso but this was cruel reality. Eventhough I wanted my hands on that incredible ass of his didn't mean that I could just toss away our friendship on this sudden change of heart. What happened if he suddenly changed his mind back?

"I've told you." Adam only grinned in reply. "It's simple enough. Just say you don't love me and I'll stop."

It was just that simple and it irritated me that I found that I couldn't do it. Dammit all, was I still crazy in love with the man? Obviously self tehrapy and a drunken binge hadn't cured me of this particular obsession. "Damn it, you know you're an easy man to love. You know just how easy it would be for me to.. for me... to.."

"Love me? I'm hoping you would," he answered simply.

"I would be taking advantage of you if.."

"Go ahead."

Determined to make him see my way, I reminded him again. "Do you know what you're saying?"

"Yes," he answered simply. "Look I am a grown rational man. You know me better than anyone in this world. Have I ever said anything or done anything on a whim? You know me, I have never been a whimsical man. I have thought this through a million times and more. Every question that could possibly come to your mind has gone through mine and still I have only one answer to give." There was a wry smile on his face as he said that.

It was exactly what I'd said before about him. "I-I know."

"I see I have given you quite a surprise." He smiled almost triumphantly to himself. "About time I started doing that."

Before I could even respond, he was standing up and walking to the bedroom. "You're leaving?"

"Haven't you been listening?" My stunned response had him turning around with a smile. "I'm not leaving. The flight took hours. I need some rest, I am going to sleep."

Of all the things he could have said, that was the last I'd have expected. "Sleep?" I gaped in reply. "What? Damn it, you can't just drop a bomb like this on me and then... You can't.."

For a man who had just offered a proposal and been rejected, he took it perfectly calmly. Turning to me, he folded his arms coolly and replied. "I think you need to absorb what I've just told you tonight. Before I would have slowly broken the news to you but I simply couldn't wait that long. Not anymore. But it can definitely wait a day. I am not giving up, Linc. I just think you need the time to think it over."

"Well, good night and..." For a moment, he stood before me as if contemplating his next move. The wily chess player planning his next move. It was a game I'd never won with him. Before I could make a smart comment, Adam pulled me up roughly, his strong hands drawing me up as if I weighed nothing.

Just as I was about to make a faint protest, he effectively silenced me as his lips came down heavily on mine. Just like everything he did, he was second to none. It was no wonder that Adam Garcia had left scores of women heartbroken. Lips, hands, tongue - all combined to simply drive me wild. In his arms, all rational thought fled - chased away by the reality of Adam's warm, muscular arms around me, his firm, tender lips against mine, his hard thigh pressing against mine, the size and urgency of his cock burning on my hips. Involuntarily, my hands drew up to run through his dark curls like I'd always wanted to do.

And just as suddenly, he pulled away and looked at me. "Well, good night."

Still in a daze after the hormone overload, I stared back blankly. "You're going to leave me horny and confused over here."

"Yeah. But you'll know that I'll be next door. Naked. Horny. Available. And the door won't be locked." With a wink and a devil of a smile, he was gone.

Damn. I should have known that too much chocolates was dangerous. Then again, he did say the door was not locked.


  1. You need to continue... NOW... I think I just err... I need to go wash now.

  2. I love your writing skill. Each word of yours is breathing with life. I wish I could write like you.