Actor Colin Colton is tired of dealing with the paparazzi. One night he snaps and breaks the camera of pushy Zach Jarlson. Within a few hours, guilt sets in and he replaces it.
Colin has a contentious relationship with the press--especially Zach. Then one day, trapped in a cable car together, they discover something more....
They go from enemies to friends and lovers...and then back again, as a sex tape of the two hits the market for a cool two million. Colin thinks Zach made it, and Zach thinks it was Colin. And neither man is ready to take it lying down.
Just what does a guy have to do to convince his paparazzo he's serious about having a real relationship?
Colin tracks Zach to a cabin in the woods as heavy snow cuts off all access. Their private interlude reveals the truth--and the real culprit. ~But Colin still has to convince Zach he wasn't just a fling. Gun-shy after being outed by the press, Zach disappears from Colin's life.
- Length: approximately 33,000 words
Heat level: Low
From the Author:
A life-changing decision:
Zach makes a life-changing decision when he decides to sleep with
Colin. Zach only recently admitted to himself that he was gay. While he's been feeling so much more free emotionally, he's not ready to come out yet, and hasn't yet trusted anyone enough to sleep with him.
Colin is his first--and the repercussions are huge, because someone was secretly filming Colin's room. Zach is suddenly outed to the whole world. While he does recover, and the relationship between the two men eventually re-ignites, it's a painful road for him as he starts a new life and tries to put the humiliation behind him. Most of all, he feels like he's lost his family. He wanted to wait and tell them when he was ready, and that was taken away from him. But don’t worry; there are plenty of happy moments in the story. Zach and Colin have a lot to deal with, but their strong pull toward each other leads to a happy ending.
Why I wrote this story:
I had these mental images I couldn't get out of my head! They were two men, an actor and a paparazzo. Somehow or other, they’d been trapped together in an isolated cabin during a raging snowstorm. The paparazzo was a short, cute, pushy guy with a lot of chutzpah, and the actor pretty much hated his guts. And yet...and yet...
The story changed a lot as I finally sat down to write it, but I'm happy with how it turned out. I like these character a lot. I especially love the part when they're in Hawaii. ;)
My paparazzo is a lot more sympathetic in the final version than my original image of him. And, while the scene in my imagination never quite happens, the two men are trapped together at one point, and at another point, they stay overnight together in a cabin during a snowstorm.
There was a soft knock at the door. Colin snapped shut his laptop and sat up.
A smile was already on his face. He tried to smooth it down and play things cool. He crossed one leg over the other and stretched an arm out on the bed to look relaxed. Then he grabbed his laptop and shoved it down beside the bed.
Damn it, not cool at all.
"Hey." It was Zach all right, wearing holey jeans and a tight-fitted, red long-sleeved shirt. He seemed to be looking everywhere at once. His hair was damp, as if he'd just taken a shower. He smiled nervously.
"Ah, c'mere," said Colin softly, sitting up straighter and patting the bed beside him. "It's okay. You look freaked."
"Well." He shrugged awkwardly and tugged his red shirt down tighter. It really showed off his slender, muscular build.
Handsome little bugger.
"We don't have to do anything. Just stay and talk a little bit, yeah?"
Zach nodded, and his smile looked relieved. He joined Colin and sat down on the very edge of the wide, soft bed. It didn't even creak, it was that well-made. "I'm sorry. I'm not very experienced. This is all sort of new to me."
Wait, what? Just how inexperienced was he? How new?
Colin nodded for him to move closer, and then motioned for his hand. Hesitantly, Zach gave it to him. Colin turned it over and examined it closely. This was a slender, creative hand, strong but not body-builder strong. There were veins on the back, as though he used his hands a lot, but they were still fairly soft.
Colin stroked Zach's palm lightly with his fingertips. "It's all right, you know," he said quietly.
"Um, yes," gulped Zach. He cast Colin a quick, embarrassed smile. "I just can't believe…I mean…you're you. And I'm me."
"Tell me about you. I'd like to know more."
Zach shrugged broadly. "There's not much to tell. I'm just a guy. I like to photograph."
"All kinds of things, or just celebrities?" He raised an eyebrow.
Zach gave a small, embarrassed smile and ducked his head. "I've worked some different jobs. Newspapers. Wedding photographer. And I sell stock photos." He ran a hand back through his hair, scratching his scalp and attractively disarraying his short, brown hair. "I can't believe you're asking me this stuff. You're the interesting one."
"Not really. I don't have time to be interesting lately. I'm always working. Acting means long hours, little sleep, and always having to redo the work, the outfit, and the makeup." He sighed, holding up his hands. "I know, dream job, shouldn't complain. And I'm not, really. Just…tired."
"You should rest." Zach sprang up from the bed. "I'll leave, and let you rest."
"Zach," said Colin.
Zach halted and stood still, his back to Colin.
"Just to be very clear," said Colin softly. "If you go, it's not about me needing rest." He could've heard a needle drop.
"You, uh, you want me to stay?" asked Zach softly.
"That would be a yes," said Colin.
"Then, um…" He gulped. "I, um, I think I'd like that. And we can take things slow?"
"Oh, Zach, of course." He rose and moved toward him, taking the shorter man into his arms, and kissed the top of his head. "We can take all the time in the world."
They propped all the pillows up on the headboard and sat against it like a big couch, legs stretched out comfortably side by side over the bed. It should've felt sex-charged, but it didn't, not to Zach. Colin was so easy to be with—especially considering the circumstances.
"You can pick the movie," he said, and Zach did, flipping through channel after channel on the huge television that faced the bed.
"Ho ho, found it! The perfect movie." He cast Colin a triumphant grin and flipped on Her Scottish Man, one of Colin's earliest American films. In it, he played a romantic lead instead of an action role. A Scotsman in America, with an accent and humorous but big-hearted ways of life, met an ordinary American lady who worked as a chef, and she fell in love with the fish-out-of-water heartthrob.
"Oh, no!" groaned Colin. "Turn it off! Anything but that!"
"Nope. This is a great movie!"
"I have Scottish friends who still rag me about what an awful accent I did. Nobody cares that I can actually do a real Scottish accent! I had to follow what the director thought was better for the American public."
"And you did a great job. Let's watch!"
"Augh! Have mercy." Colin slumped his head against Zach's shoulder and groaned aloud.
Zach chortled evilly. "I bet you still get stopped on the street by people asking if you wore anything under that kilt." The movie had a long running scene near the end, with Colin in a kilt, chasing down the female lead's taxi cab for his final declaration of love.
"Don't remind me! A dozen takes, and I still have to hear about it."
"Oh, but it was so artistic."
"I'll give you artistic." He made a grab for the remote.
Zach yanked it away, holding it out from his body on the opposite side from Colin. "Not fast enough." He gave Colin a challenging look.
Colin's eyes flashed. "No?" He reached for Zach, fingers finding his armpits. Zach yelped and squirmed under the tickling fingers, helpless enough that Colin could crawl right on top of him, retrieve the remote, and sit down again with dignity, changing channels before Zach could sit up again, wipe the tears from his eyes, and stop giggling.
While currently only available in Kindle format, it is without DRM and can be converted to other formats using Calibre.