Devon Rhodes
Humor, Heat and Happy Endings

Rough Awakening

Book Two in the Rough Riders stories

When Mario sets out to find a roommate for the convention, little does he know he’ll end up finding much more.

Reader Advisory: This story has been previously released as part of the Unconventional At Best anthology by Total-E-Bound Publishing


No way in hell.

Mario struggled to keep his face neutral while hiding the emotions churning underneath. After years of being together with a man, after all, it was difficult to let go of the notion that he was yours. But he didn’t want his reaction to be misinterpreted. He did not still want Luke.

He just didn’t want to see him—literally—sleeping with another man.

He was able to let his face relax as the pair turned away from him. They stood with hips touching companionably at the kitchen counter as they huddled over Derek’s laptop, looking at the conference schedule. As he watched, Luke raised a hand to lightly rub Derek’s lower back, prompting Derek to absently lean and kiss Luke’s temple without taking his eyes from the screen. You’d think they were the ones who’d been together for nearly a decade instead of only a few months.

Mario knew Luke and Derek belonged together and he would always count them as his closest friends. Hell, Luke had been his best friend since college. But there was absolutely no way he was going to share a hotel room with the new couple for the better part of a week. Seeing them together in their bed while he slept alone...

"I’ll get my own room."

Derek didn’t even look up. "They’re completely booked."

That caught Mario off-guard. "What? The whole fucking resort?"

Luke had the grace to look guilty. "Uh, yeah. I’m sorry, Mario. We’re not the only conference in there that week and they never hold a big enough block anyway. And I’m... Well, I’m used to just booking one room for this every year. Habit." He shrugged—the uneasy, conciliatory gesture enough to make him the perfect target of Mario’s growing discomfort.

"So, because you conveniently ‘forgot’ about your new boyfriend, I have to share a room with you two lovebirds? Great. That just confirms everything I always knew about you."

"Knock it off." Derek snapped his laptop closed and turned to square up against Mario, just as Mario had known he would.

Predictable. Attack Luke, however slightly, and Derek comes to the rescue.

Not that Mario would ever do anything to hurt his former lover. Luke was one of the gentlest souls he knew. But sometimes he just outlet. A physical one...

God knows, I’m not getting it in bed.