Can a sexy rock star show a relationship-phobic ice skater that there’s more to life than gold medals?
When ice-skating’s bad boy Blaze first glimpses Drake, every fantasy he’s ever had flares to life. Not only is rock star Drake sexy as sin, his songs awaken a longing in Blaze that he’s denied for years. But Blaze Parker doesn’t believe in relationships—at least not those that last more than twenty minutes.
Drake Keys has dreamed about the sensual ice skater for years. When Drake is kicked out of his band because of his bisexuality, he drives across the country to finally see the man he’s had a crush on skate live.
Though the attraction is instant and intense, both Blaze and Drake have baggage that puts any relationship on thin ice. Blaze is driven by a long-ago betrayal to prove himself a champion, and Drake, uncertain about the future, hopes to resurrect his music career. As they take a road trip together, Drake romances Blaze, hoping to melt his heart and show him that love is possible… but not without some tough decisions.
LIKE EVERY typical weekday afternoon, Drake Keys hung out at Taylor Johnson’s house, playing guitar while pretending to do homework. They were both almost eighteen, but they’d done this after school since they met and became best friends in third grade.
“Drake! He’s on,” Jasmine, Taylor’s sister, bellowed from the dining room.
Squinting at Taylor didn’t offer a clue, so he hollered from his spot in the living room, across the space to where Jazzy sat at the dining room table, “Who’s on, Jazzy?”
“That skater… Blaze Parker is finally back on the ice after two years.” Jasmine waved him over to her laptop.
“Who?” Drake pretended he didn’t know, but he jumped to his feet and set down his guitar. So what if he followed Blaze Parker’s Instagram and Twitterfeeds? She didn’t know that. He meandered over with the best uninterested swagger he could muster. “Who are you screaming about?”
“Please! You know, that white boy who moves like he’s having sex.” Even though she was only fifteen years old, Jazzy never fell for Drake’s line of bullshit.
Taylor growled, “And how exactly would you know, Jasmine?”
She flipped her braids and laughed in a way meant to provoke her older brother. “He’s a complete badass like Surya Bonaly, but wow. And like her, he gives the judges what for….”
Jazzy had been taking skating lessons since she was seven and planned to follow in the footsteps of Surya Bonaly. On ice, Jazzy was like a mini-Surya, just as strong and beautiful. The French skater fought racism and gender expectations by not giving in to them. According to Jasmine, Surya was herself unapologetic, even if it cost her points. She even did an illegal backflip at the Olympics when she had no chance of medaling—because she could.
And Blaze Parker would definitely do something like that to thumb his nose at the judges.
Drake peered over Jazzy’s shoulder and silently concurred with her sex-on-skates assessment as the skating program began. Wow.
“How old is he?” Taylor asked.
“He’s twenty,” Jazzy answered.
God! He was so beautiful gliding across the rink like a defiant ice prince. The way his body transitioned from liquid to pure strength as the music rose to a crescendo set Drake’s heart racing. Drake was glad Blaze hadn’t let that YouTube video stop him from making a comeback.
“This is the first time he’s back competing after two years,” Jasmine said, her voice low.
“Huh? Was he injured?” Taylor had remained clueless about the drama that had unfolded in the skating world.
“No, it was because he’s openly gay,” Jasmine growled.
Drake needed to set the record straight. “It wasn’t because he’s gay. He got caught on tape—and he took time off.”
Jasmine huffed out an irritated breath. “He was robbed every single time he was on the ice because he doesn’t conform to who they think he should be. Exactly like Surya.”
“Caught on tape?” Taylor stared at Drake with narrowed eyes.
Drake motioned with fist to his mouth, making his cheek protrude in the universal mime for blowjob, silently explaining the basics.
“Oh.” Taylor grimaced.
“People acted like he killed someone. It was only a bj—watch him.” Jasmine gasped.
Since Drake couldn’t take his eyes off Sex On Blades, that wasn’t a problem. Damn, that ass. Blaze landed an incredible triple axel. “Looks like he put his time off to good use.”
When Blaze built up speed for his next jump, the way his muscles worked—
“Hey, Drake.” Taylor elbowed Drake in the gut.
“What, Tay?” Drake couldn’t unglue his gaze—which was locked on to that butt—to look at Taylor. The way Blaze gave the judges a sneer, daring them to mark him down for the perfectly executed jump, was all kinds of hot.
Taylor smacked him. “Come on, I got something to show you.”
“In a minute.” Drake didn’t want to tear his gaze away.
Taylor manhandled Drake into his bedroom.
Drake released the breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding and bit back a sigh. He’d stream the competition later. Truth be told, there were a couple of skaters, both male and female, who piqued his… interest.
“What?” He looked around Taylor’s room for the object he’d been dragged in to see.
“Man, wipe the drool off your face,”
Taylor stated, the cut without humor.
“What?” Drake touched his chin.
Tay gestured at Drake’s jeans. “You got a boner watching that dude skate.”
“What?” He didn’t need a quick look down to know he couldn’t get away with a lie. “It’s not a big deal. A stiff wind can do that.”
“Are you or are you not attracted to that skater?” Taylor persisted.
Actually, Blaze Parker starred in way too many of Drake’s daily jerk-off sessions to deny that. The way Blaze’s ass undulated when he skated backward was a sight to behold. Excitement rippled through Drake at the thought of having new images. “So what? I might have a thing for skaters. Some of the girls on the Russian team—”
“Do you find other guys hot?” Detective Taylor was on the case and wouldn’t be swayed.
If he could be honest with anyone, Taylor would be the one. As images of rock stars, football players, and a few guys in their year at school flashed through his brain, Drake shrugged and admitted, “I don’t know—I guess some.”
“You’re bi.” Taylor pasted the label on Drake like he had the right to do so.
“Just ’cause you’re trans doesn’t mean you get to label people.” Granted, Taylor had researched gender identity, orientation, and all parts of the rainbow as if it were his future career. And he’d been seeing a therapist for years, so he was all in tune with the identity stuff.
“Oh my God! Nope. I will not have my best friend deny who he is. I don’t want you to wind up like those men who go to bookstores because they can’t admit their orientation.”
Say what, now? “Bookstores? Why would they go—”
“I won’t let you be a heteroflexible creeper who uses men for blowjobs but can’t admit who they are.” Taylor pulled on a plaid flannel shirt over his T-shirt.
“Full stop. Blowjobs in bookstores? Wow, Barnes and Noble, here I come… literally,” he joked, but maybe that bore looking into.
Taylor punched his arm.
“Ouch. Fuck! Since you’ve started on testosterone, you’re a bully.” Not really, but saying that sounded good. Drake hauled off and punched Tay back.
“Ow!” Taylor grinned. “You’re lucky my dark skin won’t show your abuse, ’cause that’s going to bruise.”
“Ha, abuse. You deserved it.” Ever since Taylor came out to him, Drake treated him like he would any other guy. And if any guy asked for a punch, he gave one. “Now back to those bookstore blowjobs….”
Taylor growled, “No, back to you accepting you’re attracted to both women and men.”
“So what if I am?” His mind played a clip of Blaze. God, Blaze was the perfect name ’cause he sure smoked up the ice with all his heat.
“That makes you bisexual. I’m not saying you have to come out, but you should know where you fall on the spectrum. Otherwise you might make poor life choices.”
Taylor’s time with therapists had matured him, and Drake needed to play counterbalance. “Like getting one of those bookstore blowjobs?”
Taylor waved his balled fist.
“Fine. I’m bisexual. Now what?” Admitting his truth out loud wasn’t as scary as he’d expected, especially since Taylor was supportive, and maybe now Taylor would stop punching him.
“Thank you for sharing that.” Taylor’s overcompensatingly adult tone annoyed Drake just a little.
“I didn’t have a choice. I didn’t want you to punch me again.” Drake smirked. “And admitting I’m bi isn’t a big deal.”
“It can be, though. Some people can be jackasses about it. Visibility is great, but only when you’re safe to do so. You got me?” Taylor grabbed his shoulder, conveying with a squeeze that he’d always have Drake’s back.
Drake felt a tightness in his chest at Taylor’s concern, but he had to play the ass. “Aw, are we going to bro-hug now? Or should I wax poetic about your gorgeous brown unbruised skin or how smart and sexy you are?”
Taylor smirked. “Well, it is a fact all the ladies find me sexy.”
“What ladies?” It was true Taylor had quite the following at school, but Drake’s snort turned into a full-belly laugh as Taylor got more riled by his laughter.
Rolling his eyes, Taylor slammed his shoulder into Drake.
A COUPLE of months later, dinner began like any other in the Keyses’ household. Drake sat with his mom and dad around their dining room table. His dad taught kindergarten and got home at three thirty in the afternoon, so he showed off his would-be chef skills by cooking for them. The meals were usually delicious. On occasion there had been some misses—like last week when Dad made the flaming… well, Drake and his mom never figured out what exactly that charred dinner was meant to be, and neither had asked. Mom simply rescued the family by ordering Chinese food.
“Homework done?” his dad asked.
“Almost. I did most of my math and English at Taylor’s. I’ve got a bit of science to read.” In between working on his songs, he had forced himself to do some schoolwork.
“How are Taylor and Jasmine?” his mom asked.
“Fine.” Drake popped one of the tangy orange-sauced shrimp into his mouth.
His mom and Taylor’s mom had been best friends since first grade and still were. “Next time try to remember to take back their casserole dish. I still have it from our game night.”
“Sure.” Drake doubted he would succeed in actually remembering, but he’d try.
“Anything new and exciting happening?” Mom looked at him, then to Dad.
Dad shrugged. “Same old, same old. If I said it once today, I said it ten times—‘Paste is not a snack. You don’t eat paste.’”
Drake snorted. “Maybe they were hungry.”
“No, nap time means you lie down. It’s not time to break open a jar of paste for a gluey treat.” His father took a gulp of his favorite microbrewed beer.
Mom gave Dad a consoling hand squeeze. “They’re a handful at that age.”
Dad nodded. “Drake, how about you?”
“Nah, no one ate paste in any of my classes.”
Dad and Mom both gave him the expected laugh.
Tay had gotten Drake all geared up at the Gay-Straight Alliance meeting at their school. He talked about the importance of being visible, and Drake had been thinking about how much shit some of the openly gay kids—like that smart kid, Steward—had to put up with at school. Though Drake didn’t think coming out as bi would help anyone, he also didn’t want to be someone who didn’t live his truth. But he needed to tell his parents before the rest of his friends.
He cleared his throat and made sure both of his parents were looking at him. “I’ve got to tell you something.”
In the space of a heartbeat, the playful dinner atmosphere morphed into something serious. His mom nodded and pressed her lips together like she was bracing for something major. Dad leaned toward him.
The pressure built.
Then Mom jumped out of her chair and hurried to Drake’s side of the table.
Grabbing him into a big hug, she combed her fingers through his hair, like he had just turned five. “It’s okay to be gay, Drake. You know we love you, and—”
“Honey, it’s his coming out. Let him do it his way,” Dad interjected, waving Mom down.
Wait! What were they expecting? “How do you know I’m coming out? Why do you think I’m gay? Maybe it’s something else.”
His dad gripped the table. “Wait…? Did you get a girl pregnant? I’ll support any decision you and she—”
“I didn’t know you were even seeing anyone!” Mom covered her mouth, muffling her gasp. “Why didn’t you use protection?”
For the love of—
“I’m not seeing anyone, Mom. And, Dad, no one is pregnant.” Oh, dear God!
Dad sagged in his chair like someone had let the air out of him. “Whew. Okay.”
Mom kissed Drake’s cheek and returned to her chair. “So you’re gay.”
“Mom, I’m not gay.” He raised his voice in exasperation.
His mother froze in picking up her fork. “You don’t have to deny your orientation. You know your father and I support the rainbow community.”
Drake wiped the beads of sweat from his forehead. This shouldn’t
be so difficult with open-minded parents. “I know, Mom. We’ve gone to enough Pride marches and festivals to know you support the LGBTQ community.”
“IA,” his mom added.
His father put a finger out in front of him. “Wait, isn’t it LGBTQIAPK?”
She tilted her
head and asked, “What’s the PK for?”
“Polyamorous and kink.” His father used his teaching voice.
His mom squinted her eyes. “Oh, I thought it was—”
“I’m bi,” he blurted out over both their voices, hoping to redirect the discussion back to him.
“What do you want to buy, sweetheart? Have you saved your allowance, or do you need to borrow some money?” his mom asked.
Oh my God! Did she forget they were having an LGBTQIA whatever discussion? This was about his coming out. “No, I’m—”
“Congratulations!” his father exclaimed. “He means bisexual, honey. Our son is bi.”
His mother nodded. “Yes. I know the term; I just didn’t hear him. Though I don’t think we’re supposed to shout our congratulations at him. We should say, ‘thank you for sharing your orientation with us. We love you very much.’”
Drake almost wished for Taylor’s punches. Sighing, he knew they were trying their very best. He had hoped to spit it out in one go and hadn’t expected to be caught in the chaos of their conclusion-jumping acceptance.
Drake nodded and tried to bring this Hallmark movie to a conclusion. “I love you too. I thought I should let you know.”
“Well, thank you and good for you.” His mom beamed.
“If you discover more you’d like to share about this or anything else, let us know,” his dad added.
Drake nodded, knowing he’d email since it would be quicker.
DRAKE’S PARENTS went to their room to watch movies, and once they retired for the night, they never came back out, so he had privacy. Still, he locked his bedroom door, not wanting to become the punch line of a masturbation joke. He put on a playlist, loud enough to block noise but low enough not to raise suspicion.
He grabbed his phone and crashed onto his bed. An unlimited data plan meant he could stream anything, anytime he wanted, and right now he wanted to watch skaters.
Skipping through most of the women’s competition, he did slow down for Tanya Maya’s boobs ’cause they were lovely. She is stacked.
When he finished ogling Tanya, he fast-forwarded to the men’s competition.
Where is he?
Drake skimmed through the first four male skaters. They were too overly alpha. None fit the bill. He definitely had a type when it came to guys, and Blaze Parker embodied it. He liked guys who were pretty but strong, with long, toned limbs and rounded asses. Blaze’s light brown hair was chin-length and long enough to grab on to. But it was the air of defiance—that Blaze could put anyone in their place—that really turned Drake’s crank.
A close-up on Blaze’s face let Drake catch the glint of determination in Blaze’s hazel eyes and made Drake shiver with anticipation.
On Drake’s phone, Blaze Parker skated to the rink’s center. He wore sexy emo eyeliner and dark shadow on his lids, making his eyes look huge. When he lowered his head, his hair fell over his face like a curtain. His sparkly dark purple outfit clung to his body like a second skin.
Good God. Drake’s heart raced. Seeing Blaze’s Instagram pictures of his dog and drawings of dragons were cool, but nothing beat seeing him on the ice.
The music started. Blaze went into his first spin, and tails of pink and lavender unfurled from his costume’s waist as he twirled. Why purple and pink silk fabric equated to sexy didn’t matter in Drake’s head—they just were.
Drake drank in each twist and turn as Blaze nailed every jump. God, the determined way his muscles worked so he could take flight enthralled Drake.
Damn, they were only two years apart, but the way Blaze moved suggested he had centuries more experience.
Last year Drake had a girlfriend for about three weeks. They had done some stuff but not much. Two months ago, he hooked up with a girl at a party, but she went to a different school, and he hadn’t seen her since. Maybe he should have texted her?
Look at Blaze Parker’s ass! He rubbed the front of his jeans with impatience.
Pausing the video, he kicked off his pants and climbed back onto the bed to utilize the video.
THE NEXT day in the school cafeteria, Drake decided to come out to his friends at lunch. “Hey, it’s no big deal or anything, but I’m bi. I just wanted you to know.”
“You’re like Steward—I mean, you know, that weirdo in physics?” Dixon Fox, one of the guys Drake had known since grade school, could be all right, but sometimes idiot was the best word to describe him.
“Steward Fudson, who is probably going to be our class valedictorian?” Drake asked.
“Yeah, I guess. Whatever, man. You’re gay like him?” Yet again, Dixon spoke before he thought.
“Don’t out people, asshole,” Taylor growled.
“What? Everyone knows.” Dixon looked at those sitting around the table.
“Whatever. May karma pay you a visit.” Taylor waved him off and took some deep breaths.
“Nothing wrong with being gay, but I’m bisexual,” Drake clarified.
“So gay,” Dixon insisted like a dumbass.
“The word bi is key to his statement,” Taylor bit out. He glanced around, daring anyone to challenge him.
Dixon backed away from Taylor. “Okay, down, boy. Down.”
“Did you just call me boy?” Taylor geared up to kick his ass.
Fuck, Dixon must be a moron. Did the idiot not know that was a racial slur? Drake wrapped an arm around Taylor to keep him in his seat. “No need, man. Not worth it.”
“Fine.” Taylor shrugged off Drake’s restraining grip.
Dixon shook his head. “Bi is fine and all, but if you’re planning to be a guitar player in an actual band, you should really only be seen with the girls.”
Was Dixon suggesting Drake stay in the damned closet?
“What a stupid fu—” Taylor growled.
Drake grabbed Taylor in another restraining embrace. “Don’t trouble yourself, Tay. Besides, Piper’s looking your way.”
Would Piper’s smile be enough to disengage Taylor’s attack mode?
Taylor immediately stopped trying to pound on Dixon and grinned back across the lunchroom at the girl with the lovely smile.
Piper was hot.
Yeah, Drake was definitely bi.