I still wasn’t sure how I’d gotten dragged to another photo shoot. I’d told Eli no. Hadn’t I? I was pretty sure I’d said no. Maybe.
It was all Lane’s fault.
He’d been the one to bring Eli to lunch, so this had to be all his fault. I still wasn’t sure why Eli had wanted to come in the first place. Normally, all Lane and I talked about was business stuff. The plan had been to talk about the possible marketing options for when I took my freelance accounting business to the next level by quitting my corporate accounting job, but that had to be put on hold with Eli there.
Lane said Eli was crazy smart, but sharing things about my business felt wrong. I wasn’t ready. I was also a bit nuts and didn’t want him to realize that. Talking about it always made me feel a bit insecure, and as shy as I was normally, I tried not to add anything else that made me look insane.
As I watched the chaos unfold in front of me, I tried to figure out how I’d gotten dragged back to Leashes and Lace, but I still wasn’t sure.
I knew I’d told Eli no.
All the lingerie was too tempting and fascinating, and then there was the biggest problem…what if Preston showed up?
I wasn’t completely sure where things stood, and I didn’t know how to figure that out. If he called or took me out to lunch, it was related to the business. However, he’d been emailing me things lately. They were always just random videos and memes. Silly things.
The fact that he’d asked for my personal email address so he could send them made it harder to figure out what was going on. Personal email address meant…something…but what? Were we friends like Lane and I? Had it been his way of hinting he wanted something more?
“You bored?” Lane’s hand resting on my shoulder had me jumping two feet out of the chair.
When I could catch my breath, I shook my head. “No. I’m good.”
Lane cracked a smile but didn’t tease much. “Just a bit jumpy?”
“Maybe.” I took another breath and glanced around, hoping no one had seen my reaction. The last thing I wanted was for it to get back to Preston that I was weird. Not that I thought people would even notice me or talk about me to Preston, but—
Lane’s low laughter had me focusing back on him. “Um, sorry?”
He crouched down beside the chair, his billowing nightgown pooling around him. It wouldn’t have been so distracting if he weren’t completely naked under it. Friends shouldn’t see other friends’ junk, right?
“Is anything specific bothering you?” He cocked his head, and I could see questions flying across his face. “You don’t have to stay if you don’t want to.”
“No, it’s fine. It’s…interesting.” And fascinating and crazy and overwhelming and I wanted a pair of the panties Eli was wearing, but the words would never come out of my mouth.
“Good.” Lane leaned over and gave me a quick hug before standing up, the outline of his cock framed by the soft fabric.
Maybe I wanted the nightgown too.
My online friends were never going to believe it. When I’d first told them about seeing the models, they’d been jealous. But as my friendship with Lane had grown, they’d teased about how sexy he must be. Most of the time, I just didn’t think about him like that. Sure, the first time I’d met him he’d been nearly naked and hanging around waiting for his turn in the photo shoot, but still…we’d talked about work.
They were going to go crazy when I posted about this later. Not that I’d ever use Lane’s name, but just telling them that I’d seen another shoot would make the comments on the blog post hilarious. After I’d bought my first pair of panties, they’d teased that I should start working with Lane as a model too. I’d laughed it off, but I couldn’t help but wonder what Preston would think.
Would he like me in panties?
I probably should have started with something simpler, like if he actually liked me in a more personal way than just as an accountant he knew. Unfortunately, my brain didn’t work that way. It jumped right to the crazy parts and stalled there.
If he ran a crazy-successful company based on lingerie for men, then he had to like it. Right?
I was pretty sure that line of logic wasn’t too badly flawed, but that didn’t mean he wanted me or wanted me to wear it. I’d tried to imagine what he would look like in the panties and lingerie that were on the site, but the picture didn’t work for me.
I just couldn’t see him in a little red G-string—but I could picture him looking at me in a little red G-string.
I should’ve just broken down and asked Lane what kind of guy Preston might like months ago. The closest thing I’d come to was asking if Preston was gay. Even that had taken several lunches to work up the nerve to bring up.
Lane had answered, but it hadn’t been hard to see the grin he was trying to hide, so I had a feeling I hadn’t been as subtle as I was trying to be.
Good god, what was Eli doing?
They were trying to kill me.
How was I supposed to look him in the eyes after seeing him nearly having sex with his boyfriend? The fact that there was a camera between them didn’t seem to matter. It was…so intimate. It was beautiful and sensual but also personal…like I shouldn’t be watching.
Not that Eli seemed to mind the audience.
Everyone else just took it as perfectly normal. Conversations kept going in the background and people moved around the room doing their jobs, but it was…distracting. How could they ignore something so incredible?
“I think I’m going to have to talk to them again about having sex in the studio.” Preston’s stern voice made me want to moan and promise to be good. I had to remind myself how odd that would look and try to seem calm.
“Um, maybe.” I glanced over to see him leaning against the wall, watching Eli and the photographer. “They seem…”
“Horny.” His dry delivery made me grin. He always looked like a stern businessman until he said something completely outrageous. Well, not outrageous when people realized what kind of company he ran, but still…
He shrugged but gave me a little smile. “What? You know I’m right.”
I couldn’t answer that without potentially oversharing about myself in some way, so I forced my eyes back to Eli. “The pictures will probably turn out good.”
I’d stalked the site enough over the past year to know that look on Eli’s face. Some of his best photos came when he and his boyfriend were either angry or turned on—which with them was nearly all the time.
Preston chuckled quietly. “Probably, but that will only make those two more insane to deal with. It’s hard to enforce rules when the pictures turn out so good.”
I wasn’t sure how to respond. I’d heard Lane’s stories about everyone, and I knew that Preston made a rule about Eli and his guy…what was his name…having sex in the studio, but even thinking about that made my face start to heat up.
Preston didn’t seem to mind my inability to form a response. “How did you end up here today?”
“Eli did it.”
And I was five years old again, tattling on the neighbor.
I tried again. “Um, Eli thought it would be fun?”
Preston grinned and shook his head. “Yeah, I think the first explanation was more honest.”
The faint blush that always seemed to be on my face when Preston was around flared to tomato levels as I fought for a response. Apologizing wasn’t the right answer because he wasn’t upset, but it was all I could think of.
“It’s very nice.”
Nice? The nearly naked men in the sexiest things I’d ever seen were just nice?
Preston gave me a questioning look. He couldn’t seem to decide what to say to that. Did he think I hated the lingerie? Did he think I was insane and couldn’t form real sentences? Did he think I was too shy to deal with?
“I’m glad you’re enjoying it.”
Kiss of death, he’d given me the businessman voice again.
Over the past year as I’d slowly gotten to know him, he’d gradually lost the distance in his voice he usually had with the others in my office. There’d grown to be a warmth that hadn’t been there before. It was kind of like the way he talked to the models.
That might have made me worried that he only saw me as another type of coworker, but I knew how much the models and staff at the company meant to him. They were his family. I hadn’t understood at first, but as I’d talked to Lane more, it had put some of the offhand comments Preston had made in more context.
We were still awkward almost-strangers, but knowing I wasn’t just another random accountant he worked with made me feel special. I didn’t want to lose that.
“I’m glad Lane and Eli…encouraged me to come.” I tried to think of what to say that would stop him from pulling away. “I’ve been friends with Lane for a while but seeing this side of…things is interesting.”
Had that sounded like I thought it was weird?
Well, it kind of was weird. Over the course of an afternoon, I’d gone from having lunch with my friend to seeing his dick. So, not the most normal way to spend the day.
I’d seen Lane’s photos on the site before and there was no way to hide from Eli’s, but experiencing them in person was very different. On the site, Lane always looked innocent and sweet…and his dick was generally hidden away. This was very…not hiding.
Preston relaxed a little more, and his gaze swept over the models. “I can understand that. It feels very normal to me. But to most people, the first time they see it feels like they’ve fallen down the rabbit hole.”
“It’s clear how comfortable they are here and how happy they are.” I didn’t want him to think I’d missed that in the sea of nearly naked, lingerie-clad bodies.
He smiled at them before turning that heart-stopping expression back to me. “They’re family, and I’m glad that comes across.”
Eli had called it an incestuous family.
By the way he was wrapping himself around Lane, I was starting to see why.
“They play off each other very well. I loved that series you did where they were complete opposites in the same outfits, innocent and evil almost.” I looked over at Preston to see him watching me with a curious expression on his face.
“You’ve looked over the site?”
I had no idea how to respond. If I said it was for work, he could think that was the only reason I’d looked. I wasn’t ready to tell him everything, but…shit. I’d taken too long. Preston was starting to get that reserved look again.
“I was curious.”
He was going to think I was a basket case.
As he smiled again, I knew that it was better than him pulling away. I’d gladly look like a moron if it meant he’d smile at me again. I really was a nut.
Preston turned to focus on the shoot. “Did looking around satisfy your curiosity?”
I was back to not knowing what to say. How honest was I supposed to be?
Luckily, Eli bounced over at that moment, a question clear on his face. “Preston, I think we’ve got the shots. Roman said he’s good.”
Preston chuckled. “See how quickly things go when you behave?”
Eli huffed and rolled his eyes. “We already had everything planned out, and the line isn’t that big. Besides, I liven things up and you know it.”
I couldn’t argue with that, but I was glad I didn’t have to work with him all day. It would be exhausting.
Preston shook his head. “I’m not sure that’s what I’d call it.”
Eli seemed to take that as a challenge, and a wicked look came over his face. Before I could even guess what he would do, I found myself with a nearly naked Eli draped across my lap. As he smiled at me, I struggled to figure out what to do with my hands. There was too much exposed skin for me to decide what to do.
And then there was the fact he was still turned on.
But since his arousal wasn’t really focused on me, was I supposed to ignore it?
“What do you think? Don’t I liven things up?” Eli’s grin had the words refusing to come out of my mouth.
“Eli, don’t make him uncomfortable.” Preston almost growled the words out, making my heart skip a beat.
Eli must have realized that because his wicked smile softened for just a moment before it went right back to devilishly naughty. “If he were completely comfortable watching us, then I’d worry. I think he likes being…uncomfortable.”
How did he know?
Lane wouldn’t have told him, but had I given it away? Did he know I was wearing panties?
Preston cleared his throat, but I refused to look. Instead, I glanced across the room to see Lane deep in conversation with some guy in a pair of pink panties. Shit. Why wasn’t he looking this way?
My gaze jumped back to Eli without my making a conscious decision. “I…you looked pretty.”
He batted his eyelashes at me and gave me a look that reminded me of an old-fashioned pinup girl. “Thank you, cutie.”
Then he looked up at Preston. “Isn’t he a cutie?”
Before Preston could answer, Eli was back to focusing on me. “I bet you’d look so cute in some of our clothes. Is there anything you want to try on?”
“I…I…” I was going to need a drink after this.
I saw a flash of understanding in his eyes, but that didn’t seem to get me out of the hot seat. “I bet Preston would like to see you in that little number Lane was wearing.”
I almost forgot about the fact that Eli was still hard and almost naked as I glanced up at Preston. He was staring at me with an intent, curious expression on his face. I couldn’t tell what it meant. Was I only fascinating because I hadn’t tossed Eli off my lap and stormed out?
There was no way I could have done that. I liked Eli…most of the time, and falling off my lap when he had almost nothing on would hurt, right? Then there was the fact that I still had no idea where to put my hands.
They were both expecting some kind of comment, so I just threw out the first thing that I could think of. “Lane was pretty.”
That didn’t get their focus off me. If anything, it only egged Eli on. “Would you like to look pretty too? I could help you get dressed up. I think Preston would love to see you pretty.”
I refused to look over again and see what he was doing, but the curiosity was killing me. What was he thinking? Did he want to see me in something like that? He’d smiled at me and occasionally sent me funny emails, but that didn’t necessarily mean anything.
Thankfully, I was saved from Eli and from myself by Lane finally noticing my predicament. His eyes widened as he looked over. Lane seemed to toss out a quick answer to whatever question the guy had asked before walking over with a very purposeful stride.
His eyes darted between all three of us as he got closer. When he stopped, he gave me a tentative smile. “Hi.”
Clearly, he wasn’t sure what to do either.
“Eli said you guys are done. Where did you want to get dinner?” When in doubt, my policy would be to ignore the naked man.
Casey knows what he wants; he’s just not always sure how to go about getting it. He knows he’ll never get Preston, the sexy man who runs Leashes & Lace, to notice him unless he’s ready to open up and step out of his comfort zone. But can he really tell the confident, sweet man that what he wants most of all is a master?
Preston knows that what he wants might be startling for the shy man he’s starting to fall for, but after a year of dancing around their attraction to one another, he knows it’s time to take things to the next level. But will Preston’s wide-eyed accountant be able to accept that Preston isn’t as vanilla as he might appear?
When shyness and secrets stand between two men who are perfect for one another, it might take friends near and far to give them the push they need.
Story Contains: M/m sexual content, mild BDSM, gender-fluid dressing, and two accidentally inebriated subs who lose their filters