Grayson Black has never forgiven himself for not saving his identical twin brother, Jet, from a savage beating at their father’s hands ten years ago. Jet’s near-death never would have happened if Gray hadn’t been so focused on his boyfriend at the time. He has sworn to take care of his brother ever since. Gray can’t afford a distraction from his self-imposed mission, the type of distraction presented by the gorgeous blond showing up at their gigs.
Kris Larson is a firefighter with the San Francisco Fire Department. Since splitting from his girlfriend, his favorite way to spend nights off is watching the Black Brothers play in the bars of the Bay Area, especially the guitarist. But it’s not until the brothers are left homeless after a fire at their apartment building that Kris has the opportunity to know the real person behind the brooding façade.
Gray fights his attraction to Kris, but with a meddlesome twin who just wants him to be happy, it’s a losing battle. Before Gray and Kris can have a lasting relationship, though, Gray must learn to forgive himself, let go of the past, and lay more than one demon to rest.
“AH SHIT,” I sighed, spotting the blond beefcake who seemed to show up at every single gig. My tolerance was at an all-time low and I couldn’t concentrate on the music when he was around. Blondie got under my skin, and I couldn’t say why. Well, I could, but I wasn’t going to.
Jet looked around the crowded bar. “What?”
We’d finished the first of two sets for the night and were headed to the bar for a much-needed drink and a short break.
Playing as The Black Brothers—Jet on vocals, me on acoustic guitar—we had a small following around the bars of San Francisco. Jet played because he loved performing. I played because Jet loved it and it made me feel just a little closer to Mom.
Performing in small places didn’t pay all that well—especially midweek—but we got free drinks. The size of the audience didn’t matter. We weren’t there for fame or glory.
“Blondie’s back.” I nodded toward the bar where the large blond stood nursing a beer, his gaze flitting between us and the crowd. Tall, maybe an inch over my six-foot-one height, with honey-colored hair that was a little long on top and ice-blue eyes I could get lost in for days. Well-formed muscles rippled under his black shirt, and his jeans hugged his hips in a way that made me want to rip them off to reveal the treasure beneath.
There was something rough yet soft about him that had my heart in my throat and my brain spinning every time I saw him.
I hated him on sight.
“Ah, I almost miss him when he doesn’t show up. How long until he gets up the courage to talk to you, do you think?”
“Me? Why the fuck would he want to talk to me?” My throat tightened in apprehension. I didn’t want him to talk to me, did I?
“Dumbass. ’Cause you’re the one he’s trying to not stare at.”
Oh. “I thought he was not staring at you?”
Everyone was attracted to Jet. He was the beautiful one. Yes, I understood we’re identical twins, but Jet looked smooth, not a hair out of place. I looked like a hobo. So why would Blondie be staring at me? I ran my hand through my black hair as I resolutely kept my back turned, and even though I felt his eyes on me, I didn’t turn around.
Jet and I ordered a couple of beers and sat at the far end of the bar while we had our break.
“Gray,” Jet said, sounding like he was talking to a five-year-old. He did that a lot with me. “When are you going to see yourself clearly?”
“I’m not pretty like you,” I grumbled. Jet raised his eyebrow. “If I cut my hair and dressed better, then I’d be the pretty twin.”
“Seriously? How so?”
“My eyelashes are longer.”
Jet rolled his eyes, another thing he did quite often.
“You should talk to him, you know. Then maybe you can go on an actual date.”
“I don’t date.” I hated it when Jet put the pressure on.
“Maybe you should just fuck him, then.” Jet’s eyes glinted. He knew he was starting to piss me off. “You know, work off your bad mood.”
“I’m not in a bad mood, but I will be in a minute if you don’t lay off.” My tone belied my words, and I could feel the snarl building in my throat.
We sipped our beers in silence. Over the past few months, whenever I saw Blondie at our gigs, it unnerved me, and my stomach kept doing flips. My skin tingled when he was around and it hadn’t tingled that way in god only knew how long.
Jet must have sensed my inner turmoil. He squeezed my shoulder as he playfully kissed my forehead. “C’mon, grumble pants, break’s over. Let’s finish this last set and go home.”