Although sailing a brand-new schooner through pirate infested waters isn’t Dazz’s idea of fun, his desire to know Joe more intimately overrides his caution.
Hijacked by pirates and forced to flee into the jungle, they must overcome all obstacles and fight to recover the vessel. Will their fragile relationship survive the bittersweet trials to come?
Joe Harrison stared down the long, bleached wooden walkway beside the marina to the graceful man working on the schooner’s deck. A gust of wind tumbled the dark blond hair, streaked from long days at sea. The Rio de Janeiro sun glistened over his sweat-soaked body, tanned to a golden brown. His gaze drifted across the distance to the handsome, chiseled face he knew so well. He visualized the man’s blue expressive eyes and the fullness of his lips. He longed to nibble the day-old stubble on his chin and flick his tongue in the corners of his smile.
Joe tilted his head back and closed his eyes, overwhelmed with an ache to sink his fingers into the silky mass falling to the young man’s shoulders. He inhaled. The smell of seaweed mixed with the ocean’s brine drifted through the window. His mind went back to their earlier meeting. Dazz’s preference for expensive French cologne, its citrus fragrance mingled with his natural musk, both surprised Joe and drove him crazy with the need to bury his nose in the man’s neck.
Joe leaned a shoulder against the window frame and watched Dazz secure the rigging with the skill of many years at sea. His cut-off jeans displayed strong thighs and the way the frayed fabric molded to his muscular ass—God! Joe chuckled and swiped at his mouth. The man had become an obsession. Joe gripped the window ledge.
The guy made him hard with one glance of his sapphire eyes. Joe bit his bottom lip. Their lingering handshake earlier upon meeting invaded his mind. The warmth of Dazz’s callused hand and the way his long fingers, burnished by the sun, curled around his palm. Joe groaned. His balls throbbed at the thought of the man’s rough thumb circling his cockhead.
Joe shook his head to clear the image of Dazz stretched out naked on his bed. Did he have a snowflake’s chance in hell with the young guy? Sure, they got on well enough together. How often had he discussed the latest soccer game with Dazz? Okay, so they had sports in common but little else.
With a sigh, Joe contemplated the situation. For a start, Dazz had to be five years his junior. The man of his dreams lived in a different world and had a different class of friends. What chance did he have to fit in Dazz’s “live every day like it’s your last” attitude toward life?
He ran a hand over the small dog tucked under his arm and chewed on his bottom lip. As much as he wanted to run off into the sunset with Dazz, he had a business to run and people who depended on him.
As if the man had read his thoughts, Dazz lifted his head and flashed a brilliant smile in Joe’s direction. Without a second thought, Joe smiled and returned the man’s wave. His face grew hot. Damn, he knows I’ve been watching him.
His idea to become a minor partner in Bowers’ Bountiful Excursions had become a financial windfall. The job had benefits as well. His work marketing the company kept him in contact with Dazz on a regular basis.
Joe pursed his lips. Dazz was a free spirit. He ran with the wind. Tying him down would be like putting an eagle in a cage. The sea was in the young man’s blood.
There had been a buzz between them from the start. Although, to his chagrin, Dazz had remained as elusive as a butterfly—a very sexy butterfly. Joe wet his lips. That gorgeous man is out of my league.
“Harrison, are you drooling over Dazz again?” Patrice Bowers slipped her hand through his arm.
Joe patted her long, slim fingers. “Darling, he has me in the palm of his hand. The trouble is I don’t think I’m his type.”
“You don’t work for Daddy now.” She ruffled his hair. “You need to relax, grow your hair, and lose the suit. He likes you. But I know for a fact, Dazz hates society types.”
Turning away from the window, he led Patrice to a chair. He slid his hip on the edge of the office table. “My business is flourishing and I have clients coming out of the woodwork. I have a position in life, Patrice. In fact, I like who I am and what I’ve achieved. Sure, I’m attracted to Dazz, but I’ll find myself a man sooner or later.” He grinned. “Don’t worry about my love life.”
“You can’t fool me.” Patrice eyed him critically. “But far be it for me to intrude.”
Joe laughed. “Ah, well, I can dream.”
“Dazz has worked with Brian for a long time. Please don’t do anything to cause a problem in the company.” Patrice drummed her fingernails on the desk. “You know, a sour love affair isn’t good for business.”
“What and ruin my investment?” Joe ran a hand through his hair. “Not a chance.”
Bowers’ Bountiful Excursions ran a romantic cruise service for couples from Sao Conrado, Rio’s upscale southern district. Joe knew Dazz’s commitment to his partner in the business, Brian Bowers, was one of long standing. Joe believed his luck had changed for the better the day Bowers married socialite, Patrice Lampton.
How many years had Joe cared for Patrice as personal bodyguard and mother confessor? Ten? Life had been normal before Bowers emerged from the sea like Poseidon with a schooner named after Patrice. Joe doubted anyone could resist such a declaration of devotion.
“When are you moving into your new office?” Patrice inclined her head.
“Yesterday.” Joe winked. “My personal assistant is holding down the fort.”
“Oh! And a personal assistant too. What’s he like?” She leaned toward him. “Sexy as hell, I bet.”
“Spectacular, darling. But unfortunately, he has a boyfriend.” Joe glanced out the window. “Although, I think my tastes have moved to the more rugged type of late.”