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Note: This title was originally published under the pen name Rebecca Thein
Readers: The Unrelenting Passion Series is a collection of romance stories featuring M/F, M/M, and everything in between because love has no boundaries.
This series can be read as standalone stories.
The book is not for anyone under the age of 18.
I’m somewhat of a celebrity on the San Francisco club scene. Calder Blane—competitive flair bartender. I thrive on being the best, outperforming my competition, and looking damned good while doing it. But not as good as that guy sitting over there. He’s the epitome of hot!
Electricity charges the air as his eyes meet mine, so I venture over to say hello. We barely have time to exchange a few words before the loudspeaker blares, and as I’m announced the winner of the competition, the crowd presses in, and he slips away.
As fate would have it, we ran into each other later that night, and my heart’s convinced he’s the one. I’m ready for forever, but he has secrets—when they’re revealed, will they be too much for me to handle?
Release date: November 2, 2022
Publisher: Rynn Royale
Print pages: 213
Content advisory: Not for anyone under 18 years old.
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I stood behind the bar dazzling the crowd as I flipped a bottle behind my back. I was known for being one of the best flair bartenders in San Francisco.
A second bottle soared in the air, putting on a show for the judges I was trying to impress. I could tell by their faces as they watched me that I had accomplished that feat. I was going for a three-peat that would earn me a trip to compete against the world’s best bartenders.
I quickly caught the second bottle and transferred it to my other hand. I was now holding the two bottles together. Like a magician’s sleight of hand, a high ball glass materialized and went sailing into the air. Catching that tumbler, I kept spinning it in my hand before pouring the amber liquid from both bottles into it. The audience applauded.
Leaning over the bar, I placed the drink in front of a gorgeous woman that had been watching me since the competition started. I winked at her as I stepped aside to let the next competitor delight the spectators with his performance.
I sat off to the left side of the bar, sipping from a glass of water with lemon. The bartender had me intrigued. I watched his gyrating hips as he flipped the bottle into the air. I was mesmerized by the display of talent I was witnessing, but more enthralled with him. He placed the drink he created in front of a beautiful woman.
Well, the hot ones are always straight, I thought while placing my empty glass on the edge of the bar before I got up and turned to leave.
“Enjoy the show?” a sensual voice asked.
I whipped my head around, surprised that the sexy voice I just heard belonged to the man I couldn’t take my eyes off of. “Yes, you have talent.”
“How does one learn to toss bottles around, anyway?” I met his eyes.
“I was a baton twirler all through high school and then a color guard in college. So, it’s natural for me.”
“From baton twirling to bottle tossing, wow.”
“Yep, been tossing stuff in the air as long as I can remember.”
The bartender started to say more when the MC announced his name.
“Enjoy the rest of your day.” As quick as he had appeared, he retreated.
I watched his tight ass as he made his way back behind the bar. And I’m done. I could not keep staring at this man another minute without embarrassing myself. It was time to head down to the beach and meet up with my teammate.
“What the hell, Devon? We almost had to forfeit.” Mario glared at me.
“Sorry, lost track of time.” I kicked off my shoes while I pulled my t-shirt over my head.
“We need to beat the next two teams, or we won’t even make Olympic tryouts. Get your head in the game.” Mario chucked the volleyball at me hitting my shoulder.
I took a deep breath when I bent down to retrieve it. Mario was right; I had to focus. “Which court?”
“Three,” Mario replied, walking off.
I caught up to him and kept his pace. “Really, I’m sorry. I was heading here and heard cheering as I passed the bar. I wanted to see what was going on.”
“If you’re not serious about this, I’ll find someone who is,” Mario warned. He had been training hard for this since the last Olympics. I gave him hope that I might be the partner to make it happen.
“You know I’m damn serious. Now, let’s put these guys away.” I stepped across the boundary line in the sand and kept walking to the back corner. I spun the ball in my hand a few times before I served it.
Rachel ran up and hugged me as I hoisted her in the air. I won, the third year in a row, and was one step closer to taking it all.
“Great job,” Rachel congratulated me as I spun her around.
“Thanks,” I said, setting her down, allowing me to kiss the top of her head. I was a foot taller than Rachel, so I was able to quickly scan the bar looking for the man I had spoken with earlier. “Did you see the guy in the back?”
“You mean the sexy guy you kept watching every chance you got? The guy that couldn’t keep his eyes off of you? No, don’t think I did.”
I laughed. “I wasn’t that obvious, was I?”
“Only to me, ’cuz I know your type. When you placed that drink in front of me, his face went from intrigued to completely disappointed.” Rachel turned to look over her shoulder to where the man was previously standing.
“How did you see him?” I was confused. I knew Rachel had not turned around.
“The mirror behind you. The perfect way to spy on him.”
“Can’t help that I break hearts.” I reached for her hand as we made our way through the crowded bar.
“Yeah. Really? When was the last time you broke a heart?” She pulled on my hand until I stopped walking.
If there was one thing Rachel knew about me, it was that I rarely dated because casual hookups were not my thing. “Last Friday, if you must know?” I shot her a look of embarrassment.
“Are you saying you broke that man’s heart? The same man that tried to talk you into letting him watch you fuck his girlfriend?” Rachel burst out laughing.
“Yeah, him.” I cringed. “Okay, maybe it was my heart that broke when I realized he wasn’t into me as much as he was a voyeur. Really, who wants to see another man screw his woman? So, I up and left. I couldn’t do it.”
“Not sure, but everyone has their kink.” Rachel quickly diverted her eyes away from me.
I had never been with a girl. Never even had a curious thought. Women did nothing for me; however, for some unknown reason, women always tried to get me in bed. “Do I give off the straight vibe?” I tilted my head to see Rachel’s face.
“You exude sex. You’re confident, sexy as hell, and you have a mysterious look in your eyes. Oh, and let’s not forget how sweet you are to the ladies. Women eat that shit up.”
“That’s how I get big tips,” I defended myself.
“You get big tips because you put on a great show, not to mention you make kick-ass drinks. And let’s face it, you are one of the sweetest, most loving people I know. I’d jump your bones if you’d let me.” Rachel laughed when my mouth fell open in shock.
“You did not just say that! Eww, you’re like my sister.”
“Sure, I did.” Rachel winked. “So, back off with your sexy ways. I know a fantastic man when I see one.” Rachel stood on her tiptoes and kissed my cheek.
The one thing I knew for sure, Rachel always had my back. We had been friends since third grade. She loved to see me squirm and knew exactly what to say to make me blush.
“Can we go grab that candy apple? I’ve wanted one since we got here.” I managed to quickly get off the subject of sex because all I could think of was that sexy man and his alluring pale blue eyes.
“God, yes, and some saltwater taffy, too.” Rachel kept a tight grip on my hand as we made our way to the Boardwalk.
With our candied apples in hand and one large bag of taffy, I led us to the edge of the Boardwalk. “You want to sit here and watch the half-naked men play volleyball? Please say yes,” I begged.
“If I must.” Rachel sat next to me, bumping my shoulder. “Hey, isn’t that the guy that couldn’t take his eyes off you?” Rachel pointed with the hand holding the candied apple.
“I think so.” I squinted studying the guy as he tossed the ball into the air to serve it. Every muscle glistened from his sweat covered body. I licked the sweetness of the apple from my lips.
“Stop that,” Rachel chuckled.
“Stop what?” I was confused.
“Licking your lips, while you imagine it’s him you’re running your tongue over.”
“Damn you, girl! Now I have a boner. Why would you put that thought in my head?” I tried to nonchalantly adjust myself.
“Right. Like you weren’t already hard for him. I had nothing to do with that.” She looked down at my tenting pants.
I turned my head to watch two women in fewer clothes than a lingerie model. Yep, that worked. Boner gone.
“When does Brody get back into town?” I was trying to divert my attention away from the hot, sexy, half-naked volleyball man to the man Rachel was dating. Damn it! My dick got hard again. Guess sexy men, whether straight or not, still got me horny.
“You cannot ask me that and then get hard. He’s mine, hands-off.” Rachel hit my arm.
“Sorry. I guess I need to get laid.”
“Should we go clubbing tonight and find you a man?”
“Yes, to going out to dance.”
Just as soon as I had my dick under control, a volleyball landed in front of us. I bent over to pick it up. When I looked up, there he was, mister sexy from the bar. Our eyes briefly locked, but the hot man quickly broke the connection and looked at Rachel. “Thanks.” He caught the ball I tossed to him and jogged back to the court.
“What was that about?” I asked, watching as he ran back to the court.
“Not sure. I could have sworn he was eyeing you at the bar. Maybe I read him wrong.”
“I guess he was eyeing you the entire time since you were sitting right in front of me.” I shook my head. “I thought my gaydar was calibrated right.”
“Doesn’t matter, he’s not my type.”
“Yes, he is, but you have your man, or you’d be flipping your hair to get his undivided attention.”
“I do not flip my hair,” Rachel gasped. “I tilt my head and bat my lashes… like this.”
“You do that, too, with a hair flip.” I took the last bite of my apple as I stood up.
“You ready to leave so soon?” Rachel asked, following me to the trashcan.
“Yeah, this is torture for a man that hasn’t had sex in months. Let’s head back to the hotel. I need a cold shower.”
“Can’t we go on a few rides first?”
“If we must,” I joked. I was dying to ride the Big Dipper, but I wasn’t sure if I could get Rachel to go with me. In the end, she climbed into the seat on the roller coaster and closed her eyes. Heights were not her thing, but having fun with me, well, that was.
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