Wyatt Batista has sworn off love. Can his new friend and business partner make him believe in happy-ever-after?
Having spent most of his adult life lusting after a man who could never be his, Wyatt Batista resolves to steer clear of love. That’s all fine and dandy, until he meets Nathan.
After an accident sends his carefully planned future off course, Nathan Hardy leaves Seattle in search of new horizons and adventures. When his path crosses that of Wyatt, he enters into a business partnership with a man he comes to admire and respect deeply.
But what starts out as friendship soon turns into something neither of them expected. For Wyatt finds himself falling hard for someone who he believes could never return his love once more, while Nathan becomes aware of feelings he never imagined he would harbor toward another man.
Can Nathan convince Wyatt that he is serious about giving their relationship a try? Or will Wyatt run again, fearful to trust and accept a man who wasn’t gay in the first place?
Join Wyatt and Nathan in this delightful fourth installment in Twilight Falls, the new series by the author of the bestselling, contemporary romance series Nights.
EXCERPT:Eighteen Months Ago.
I’m never going to fall in love again.
Wyatt Batista twisted his champagne flute between his fingers and looked out over the beautiful gardens stretching out beyond the stone terrace. Gathered under a sumptuous rose pergola a short distance away, the bride and groom’s families were having their pictures taken with the happy couple.
Wyatt’s heart twisted with an age-old ache as he stared at the face of the man he had secretly been in love with for more years than he’d care to admit.
Brandon Taylor’s eyes shone with adoration as he gazed at his bride. It was obvious to everyone that the pair were completely besotted with each another.
Although Wyatt would have liked nothing more than to think badly of the woman who had won the heart of the man he desired, he couldn’t find a single negative thing to say about Claire. They’d only spoken briefly at the start of the reception, but he was good enough a judge of character to know she was perfect for Brandon.
He sighed, swirled his champagne around, and downed the drink in one go.
“Whoa there.” Izzy appeared beside him, a wine glass and a plate of canapés in hand. “I think you should slow down on the alcohol.” “I haven’t had that much to drink,” Wyatt protested.
“That was your third champagne in the last hour,” his sister said acerbically. “You know how grouchy you get when you have a hangover.”
An uncommon wave of rebellion flared inside Wyatt.
“You’re not my keeper, Izzy.”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “Should you really be saying that to the woman who you begged to be your guest this weekend?”
Wyatt’s ire faded as rapidly as it had appeared. “No. And I’m sorry.” He stole a canapé from her plate and munched on it moodily.
Izzy followed his gaze to where the newlyweds and their families were laughing at something the photographer had said.
“Maybe you shouldn’t have come.”
“I couldn’t refuse his invitation.” Wyatt frowned faintly. “He’s been a good friend to me ever since college. And he helped me when I set up my business.”
Izzy pursed her lips. “But this is torture for you.” She sighed and dropped her head on his shoulder. “I don’t like to see you get hurt, Wyatt. You deserve to be happy.”
Wyatt lowered his cheek against his sister’s hair and wrapped an arm around her waist. “Thanks. But I kinda get the feeling love isn’t gonna feature in my future anytime soon.”
“You never know,” Izzy muttered.
They stood in companionable silence, laughter and music from the ballroom washing over them in gentle waves. The sun was starting to set and the fairy lights strung around the gardens had started to come on, adding to the magic of the venue Brandon and his new wife had chosen for their special day.
Even though Wyatt’s heart was breaking, he couldn’t have wished for a better setting for Brandon’s wedding. It had been a perfect weekend.
“What about you?” he said.
“What about me?” Izzy murmured.
“Is there anyone you’re interested in?”
“No.” A sad and oddly resigned tone underscored Izzy’s voice. “I’m not really over my first love either.”
Wyatt stiffened and stared at her. “What?”
Izzy rose on her tiptoes and pressed a kiss to his cheek before dragging him toward the ballroom behind them, her expression telling him she was far from ready to talk about her confession.
“Come on, let’s show these folks how the Batistas dance.”
Wyatt groaned as he allowed himself to be escorted inside. “Badly. We dance badly, Izzy.”
Izzy laughed, the crystal clear sound drawing the gazes of several men.
Wyatt swallowed a wry smile at their expressions.
I don’t think she realizes the effect she’s having on these guys.
Even though she was his little sister, Wyatt was objective enough to know that Izzy was a stunning woman, both inside and out.
I wonder who she’s in love with.
They danced, ate, and danced some more before Wyatt cried off and headed for the hotel bar. He was still on edge about attending Brandon’s wedding and wanted something stronger than champagne to soothe his nerves tonight.
He was on his second whiskey when a man took the barstool next to him.
Wyatt glanced at the attractive blue-eyed blond. From his tuxedo, he was also a guest at the wedding. The guy ordered a whiskey on the rocks.
“Are you friend or family?” he said in a relaxed voice while he waited for his drink.
Wyatt looked at him, surprised.
The man was studying him with a faint smile.
Wyatt’s belly tightened when he registered the interest in his eyes.
“I’m a friend of the groom,” he said lightly. “And you?”
The man’s smile widened. “I’m a second cousin of the bride.” He offered Wyatt his hand. “I’m Fraser.”
Wyatt hesitated before shaking his hand. “Wyatt.”
They chatted lightly over their drinks. To Wyatt’s surprise, it wasn’t until Izzy tapped on his shoulder that he realized how late it had gotten.
“I’m pooped.” She dangled her shoes from her fingers and burped gently behind one hand. “And possibly a bit drunk. I’m going to bed.”
“Sure.” Wyatt straightened on his stool. “You need a hand to get to your room?”
“I’ll manage.” Izzy flashed a shrewd look at Fraser. “Besides, you look busy.”
“Don’t mind me,” Fraser murmured diplomatically.
Izzy chewed her lower lip before tugging Wyatt’s arm and rising on her tiptoes.
“You got condoms, right?” she whispered loudly in his ear.
Fraser made a strangled sound and turned away slightly, shoulders shaking with laughter.
Wyatt flushed. “I can’t believe you just said that.”
Izzy furrowed her brow. “Safe sex is important, Wyatt.”
Wyatt rubbed a hand down his face. “Yes, I have condoms,” he groaned. “Now, go to bed before you embarrass me further.”
“Well, at least one of us is gonna get some tonight,” Izzy declared brazenly before turning and heading off toward the lobby.
To Wyatt’s surprise, she managed to do this in a straight line.
“It’s getting late.” Fraser laid a hand on Wyatt’s knee. “Want to take this upstairs?” He raised an eyebrow. “No strings attached?”
A bout of nervousness danced through Wyatt as he stared at the man opposite him. Though he’d had one-night stands before, it wasn’t something he’d made a habit of doing on a regular basis. He hesitated before dipping his chin.
“Let’s go to my room.”
To Wyatt’s surprise, sex with Fraser was hot and carnal. The man was an experienced bottom and knew how to pleasure his partner in bed. As they touched and kissed and fucked and blew each other to mind-blowing orgasms, Wyatt knew this was exactly what he’d needed tonight. The physical act of lovemaking without the emotional angst that came with it. Sexual gratification without ties. The pure and simple motion of melding his body with another man’s so as to fill the empty void inside him.
It was dawn by the time Wyatt collapsed on the bed, his cock pleasantly spent and Fraser’s harsh pants ringing in his ears where he lay beside him, his face and chest still flushed from his latest orgasm.
As Wyatt fell into the first deep sleep he’d had in ages, he knew that he would get over his broken heart one day. And he was determined never fall in love again.
Author Bio:Ava Marie Salinger is the pen name of an Amazon bestselling author who has always wanted to write scorching hot contemporary romance. In 2018, she finally decided to venture to the steamy side. NIGHTS is the first of several sizzling series featuring sweet, sexy men with dark pasts and a whole lot of love to give to the ones brave enough to fight for their hearts. When she’s not dreaming up hotties to write about, you’ll find Ava creating kickass music playlists to write to, spying on the wildlife in her garden, drooling over gadgets, and eating Chinese.
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