Book One in the One Wish series
For Rory, his band landing a well-paid private gig at a wild, remote mountain lodge is a wish come true. He needs the money bad enough to go along with all the strange clauses in their contract with the mysterious group. The one that specifies everyone must be in committed relationships? Hell, he can just fake it for a week with his bandmate, Benny.
After a careful, and much less bumpy, descent to the grouping of buildings, Rory pulled up to the logical stopping point right in front of the stone entrance to the main lodge. Cars and trucks filled the parking lot and spaces in front of the other buildings, but there wasn't a soul in sight. The whole area had an abandoned feel to it.
Reaching for the door handle, he glanced at Benny, who shrugged, looking just as puzzled by the deserted area as Rory felt. As he turned to step out, his heart gave a jolt. A tall, muscular man had appeared out of nowhere, assisting him in holding open the door.
Rory jumped and swore. "Shit. Oh, sorry, you startled me." He automatically held out a hand. "Rory Dean." Rory recognized the serious visage as the guard who had appeared on the monitor at the gate. Then he really looked at the man.
His hand was swallowed in a firm grasp. "Welcome. I'm Jared Salinas. And this must be your partner, Benny Oshiro?"
Having momentarily forgotten the ruse, Rory just stood and gaped, speechless, hand forgotten in Jared's. On the video screen, he had looked like any other military type, but in person the details transformed him. Short hair was revealed to be chestnut, the red tones glinting warmly in the natural light. A touch of wave would prove troublesome at a longer length. The intense, serious eyes were a rich amber, almost the same color as his hair, warm and compelling. Rory was tempted to reach out and stroke the masculine jaw line, which begged to be traced, Jared's strong neck inviting Rory to come find his pulse with his tongue. The man was classically gorgeous and built, but more than that, he exuded a charismatic and commanding presence that had Rory weak at the knees.
Benny inserted himself into the conversation smoothly as he rounded the vehicle. "That's me. We spoke on the phone. Beautiful place you have here. Should we grab our stuff?" He pointedly removed Rory's hand from Jared's, pulling Rory up against his side in a possessive parody of ownership. Back in the right mindset, Rory had to work to fight back a grin. Live-and-let-love Benny was probably the least jealous guy he'd ever known. Thankfully, he was getting right into character.
The sudden, intense frown on Jared's handsome face would've been a little scary if he didn't immediately follow it with a rueful smile. "Sorry for staring. You guys aren't at all what I expected."
Benny laughed, letting his hand idly roam Rory's side and hip. Even though Rory wasn't romantically interested in Benny anymore, it still felt good, a caring, familiar touch. "We get that a lot. We look pretty ordinary without our stage makeup and wardrobe, I guess."
"Ordinary? Hardly." Jared's eyes flicked down to the vicinity of Benny's hand, now with fingers hooked through Rory's side-most belt loop. Though his smile remained, his eyes looked cool, and Rory began to wonder if their host had some latent homophobic tendencies. He'd seen that before, guys who were cool with you being gay, unless you had the temerity to actually look at or touch another guy in front of them. Then all bets were off.
"As for your bags, I'll have them brought up to your suite." Jared held a large hand out, evidently for the keys, continuing in an apparent non sequitur, "Curtis?"
This time, Benny jumped in tandem with Rory as the new, deep voice came unexpectedly from behind them. Damn, these guys were fast and quiet. He took a closer look at Curtis: fast, quiet--and huge....