#ReleaseBlitz #Troy #OutOfDarkness #JJHarper
Rafferty ‘Raff’ McMahon—beaten, broken and cast out of his home at eighteen—turns to his aged aunt who helps him become a new man with a new name. Ten years later, a successful photographer with an edge to his work everyone seems to want, a call that will set his life on a roller coaster ride comes through. Troy Ballantyne, CEO of De’ath of You Enterprises, wants to meet him. Mesmerized by the voice coming down the line, Raff immediately agrees to the meeting.
“Hi, can I speak to Rafferty McMahon?” A deep and seductive voice asks.
“You are.” My reply is short, who the fuck is this? I’m having a horrendous day and, however hot this guy sounds, I want off my phone.
He sets about researching, not the company but the man himself; captivated by Troy’s images, Raff is excited to meet the man behind the sexy drawl.
When Troy sets up a meeting with up-and-coming photographer Rafferty McMahon the last thing he expects is to be drawn to him. A connection he has already experienced once before, his heart beats a little faster. Is this for real?
“What do you want, Troy?” His voice, low and gravelly, sends shivers over my body.
“I don’t know. We have only just met but from the first moment I heard your voice I haven’t been able to stop thinking of you.”
The feeling of ownership overwhelms Troy and as much as he wants to stay locked away with only the memories of Franco, he can’t fight his feelings for this handsome man.
Is this the man Franco told Troy was waiting for him? Is he going to be the great love of his life? Will both Raff and Troy be allowed to be with their one true love, or is there someone out there ready to tear them apart?
This book is a gay M/M romance and include sex between two men, and is recommended for over 18’s. It is book two in a duology and follows on from Troy – Into the Light available now
Troy’s story hits on a hard subject that may act as a trigger for some.
“Don’t give me that shit, Troy, I’m still pissed at you.” His voice is still low but it doesn’t have the sexy rasp it had last night.
“So, a ‘no’ to the coffee then?” I raise one eyebrow as he shakes his head in exasperation. His response makes me smirk at him and I hand him the mug. Pointing to the sugar on the side, I offer, “there’s creamer in the fridge if you want it and some flavored shit, too, that Nico sometimes has, caramel or hazelnut or shit!” I fake a shudder which, at last, has him smiling properly at me.
“Yeah, I’m a black coffee man, no crap. I don’t even have sugar.” He replies.
“Sweet enough already?” I quip.
“Yeah, something like that.” He laughs again, then cuts it short. Shit, this is where he tells me it was a mistake. “Troy…”
“Raff…” We speak at the same time but clam up together, too.
“You go first, Raff, please.” My heart beats like a jackhammer, dreading what he might say.
Letting out a huge puff of air, Raff looks at me and his eyes soften as he smiles: all good, so far. “I can’t believe I’m going to say this, Troy; I like you, but I don’t know you. I want to get to know you. I think, if we rush this, we could end up wrecking something really good.” He sighs again, “I said last night I’ve just come out of a relationship and I’m worried you could think I’m using you as a rebound fuck. I want to spend time with you, shit loads of time, I want to kiss you again and again.” Raff’s little chuckle sends shivers over my body. “But I don’t want fuck this up. If there is anything here to make a mess of. You may have been going to tell me you’re not interested, I hope not. When you weren’t here this morning, I thought I’d got my answer.”
I’m grinning hard by the time he lifts his head up after dropping it in embarrassment. He sees it and tentatively returns the gesture.
“Come here, Raff.” I reach out to grab his hand and haul him closer. “I was going to say exactly the same thing. I have never been prepared to try something as much as I want to try, to see what we have going on here. I’ve just been dumped by a wonderful man because I wasn’t able to commit to him; I never felt the same way he did.” I see Raff frown, trying to work out how this affects him. “The reason I’m saying this is, because, as soon as I saw you, I knew I wanted more. Don’t panic, I’m not ready to rush either. I just wanted you to know that, for the first time in three years, I’m ready to have more. And that’s because it’s you, Raff McMahon.”
I take a small step closer and look straight into his grass green eyes, “as for the kissing, I’m well up for that. As for the rest, I’m sure we’ll get there. But it’s the journey I want, as well as the destination.” I brush my lips over his once, twice before pressing harder, pulling away before it turns into a make-out session. “So, are we good?”
“Fuck, Troy; yes, we are good.” Raff focusses on my hand, which has migrated to his hip, and chuckles. “You’re very handsy, aren’t you.” A statement, not a question, but he doesn’t step out of my grasp.
“Is it something that bothers you?” I unhook my thumb from his belt loop and lift my hand but Raff catches hold of it and shakes his head.
“No, it doesn’t bother me. Well, not in a bad way.” I watch as he squirms, trying to rearrange his shorts, and I burst out laughing.
Reentering the building after watching Raff speed out of the lot, I walk back to the room. My head is a mess; what the fuck just happened? Ben organizes the wrap-up of the afternoon, talking quietly to the veterans as they gather their stuff. All but one of them. The man who blew the whole afternoon to pieces. He merely stands there, dazed.
Racing over to him, I stop a couple of feet away. His head lifts and, apart from the pain and sadness in them, I see the same green as Raff’s. Tipping my head to one side, I see the same high cheek bones and strong jaw, only this time not hiding under the beard I love so much.
“What did you do to him?” The words are out of my mouth before I can control them. I watch him recoil as if I’ve struck him.
“I broke him.” He whispers to me before turning away and trudging to the door. Ben calls out to him but he waves and carries on walking.
Spinning on my heel, I glare at Ben who instinctively throws up his hands. “Whoa, Troy, back off!”
“Who the fuck is he? I want a name and address. I want his fucking history and I fucking want it now! I want to know what the fuck he has to do with my man.” I storm out again and head out, but where to go? Raff drove here today; he knew it would be a long day and he wasn’t happy leaving the dog.
Digging up my phone, I call him but it goes straight to voicemail; I knew it would but I hoped not. “Raff? Raff, sweetheart, talk to me. Please, honey, talk to me.” Dropping the call, I slide down the wall I leaned against and rest my head on my arms as they lie across my bended knees. This is bad, this is really bad.
A hand on my shoulder makes me lift my head and I discover Ryan standing at my side. “What happened, Troy? What can we do?”
“I have no fucking clue what to do, but that man hurt Raff so badly that he ran.” I push myself up from the floor and run my hands through my hair, trying to clear my head. “I need to get home, I haven’t got a car here.”
“Take mine, I drove my own today. I’ll go home with Nico.” Ryan hands over his keys and smiles sadly. “It will be okay, Troy. You two have something too good, it’s the real thing. I don’t think he’ll throw it away.”
As I turn to leave, Ben walks up to me. He looks grim but I think he has some answers. “Tell me, Ben. Tell me what that man has done.”
“His name is Corrigan Deschamps. His father is Ferdie Deschamps, the senator. Corrie left home at eighteen and joined the military. By the sounds of it, he has severed all ties with his family and hasn’t been home since. He’s a good man, Troy, I don’t know or understand what has just happened and Corrie hasn’t said anything. Maybe you should speak to him, he may explain himself to you. I’m sorry, Troy.” Ben tries a weak smile but I can see his heart isn’t in it.
“Really? Senator Deschamps? That man is a homophobic asshole, all bible quotes and shit. I’ll need this guy’s address and contact number, Ben. But I have to go home now. I need to speak to Raff, I can see if he can explain this.” I rush out, knowing I’ve wasted too much time here. Jumping into Ryan’s car, I’m on the road in no time. Traffic is heavy but Ryan’s Aston Martin is more than capable of clearing through the cars. It’s ten minutes later when I drive up to the house, but there is no truck. So, no Raff, shit!
I pull out my phone again and call his number but it goes to voicemail again. I feel sick and know I’m half a second away from breaking down. “Raff, talk to me. Please. I love you. Don’t be another man I lose; I can’t survive this again. Please, come home.” Sobs build up in my throat and tears fall freely down my cheeks. “Come home, sweetheart, we can deal with this together.”
If Raff is related to Corrigan, and they look so damn similar he must be, then there is no wonder he freaked out. Raff would have been subjected to his father’s hateful diatribes for years.
I wish he would answer his damn phone, he promised he wouldn’t leave. I need him, I know I won’t survive him turning away from me.
Returning, I find he has his eyes closed as he rests against the back cushion of his lounger. Without thinking, I reach my hand out and stroke through his hair. Raff’s eyes shoot open; his green eyes darken as his eyes cloud with pure lust. His hand reaches up and grasps hold of my wrist, his thumb stroking the pulse point, making me catch my breath.
“What do you want, Troy?” His voice, low and gravelly, sends shivers over my body.
“I don’t know. We have only just met but from the first moment I heard your voice I haven’t been able to stop thinking of you.” I drop down onto the chair next to him and my free hand moves to his face, my fingers fondling the soft beard.
Raff huffs out a laugh and turns our hands to his mouth, dropping a kiss on my palm. “I’ve been doing the same thing. I have searched the internet for photographs of you, I have read all the interviews you have given. I have told myself over and over that I’m being stupid, but when you turned up to take me from that awful motel, I knew my feelings for you were real. I just didn’t know how to deal with them.” I watch the flash of excitement being followed by the light extinguishing when I say there’s no rush.
“I found my boyfriend in bed with another man, we’d been together for two years. I don’t know how to deal with the thoughts I have of you.” Raff admits nervously, making me feel like a shit.
“I’m sorry that happened, Raff. I’m also sorry for coming on to you.” I drop my hand, letting it rest on my knee. As I move to stand, Raff’s hand clasps the back of my neck and pulls me up close to his mouth; I can feel his soft breath against my lips as he exhales. Leaning his forehead against mine, Raff sighs. His nose rubs up against my own as his mouth covers mine in the briefest of kisses.
My tongue slides out and swipes over my lip, trying to capture the flavor of this man’s mouth. “He means nothing to me, whereas you, Troy Ballantyne, seem to be everything.” Raff sighs.
Lowering my head again, I capture his mouth with my own and, for the first time in over three years, my heart beats faster. Nothing more than merely pressing my lips against his has awakened my lust and desire. As my hands travel up his neck and reach to let my fingers tangle in his soft, reddish brown locks, my tongue tentatively touches Raff’s soft, full, bottom lip. This time his taste explodes on my tongue like dark, rich chocolate and I want more. Sliding across the seam of his lips, I feel him part them, allowing me a sliver of access, but his tongue pushes against mine.
“Fuck!” I mumble against his mouth, unable to pull away. This feels entirely too damn good. I dip deeper into his mouth, running my tongue over his teeth before delving into the cavern. Raff’s hand in my hair holds me tightly. Then, as he caresses my tongue with his, I feel my eyes roll back in my head; his taste is like a drug. Suddenly, I feel him drawing back. Shit! Is this not doing it for him? But, as he pulls away, he captures my bottom lip and sucks it, letting his teeth tug on my tender skin. I feel a vibration as Raff groans deeply against my mouth, causing me to match it with my own.
The next kiss is on Raff’s terms as he plunges his tongue inside me, dueling with mine until overpowering me. Sucking my tongue, he releases me and moves his mouth away and down my chin. Scraping his teeth on day-old stubble and moaning as he goes. Continuing his licking and biting, he reaches the spot right below my ear. His mouth stills as he licks my sensitive skin before blowing cool air over the moistened patch. My hands clutch him to me as he moves down to the junction of my neck and shoulder, kissing every part of my skin as I crave ever more.
Pulling his head back up to mine, I plunder his mouth, hot and hard. My lips feel bruised and swollen; I never want this to end but I wrest away to breathe huge gulps of air into my lungs as we gaze at each other. Raff’s chest heaves as much as mine, his lips parted as he pants. Watching his tongue slide over his plump bottom lip, I want to bite it. But I don’t. I lean away, putting some space between us.
The lust-fueled fog dissipates as we continue to study each other almost cautiously—where do we go from here? Am I ready to have him in my bed? As much as I want him, I know I’m not ready for that. Raff’s hands scrub his thighs and then move up to rake through his hair. He pulls the band holding his hair back and, as it falls softly to his shoulder, I smell the lemons and herbs from his shampoo. Inhaling deeply before sighing, my fingers move up and capture a tendril of the still slightly damp hair and rub it between my fingers, reveling in the softness of the curls.
“I love your hair.” The words slip from my mouth before I’m even aware of them. Raff’s eyes widen and he catches hold of my hand, dropping a kiss on my knuckles.
“I’m glad, I’d hate to have to cut it.” He smirks then gathers it back up and ties it again. “Come on, let’s clear up this mess; it’s gotten late and I’ve been awake far too long over the last few days. I need sleep and I’m sure you do, too.”
About the Author
I’m J J Harper or Jess to my friends and family. I have a love for hot steamy love stories and write m/m and m/f romances.
I write from my heart more than my head, I sit in my living room typing away, with my dog and a warm fire in the winter, and in the summer, I sit in the garden soaking up the sunshine tapping away on my laptop, still with my dog.
I’m a mother and a wife but tend not to live by those definitions, I have still yet to work out how to act my age!! Lol. And I have no intentions of growing up or growing old gracefully, I am a fiercely loyal friend and love my family and friends hard.
I live in the UK in the quiet Lincolnshire countryside along with my husband and my dog, it’s a peaceful existence which balances out all the crazy that goes on in my head. What would the neighbours think of me???
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