Brushed by Jason Collins



“I think I’m in love,”I said.

“That’s nice.” Hayden didn’t take his eyes off his phone from where he was no doubt texting his boyfriend. Again. “Which celebrity is it now?”

I gaped at my friend. Had I accidentally slid into an alternate universe? One where this specimen of masculinity wasn’t currently dominating the presentation stage right now? One where this absolute hunk wasn’t giving one of the best lectures I’d ever had the pleasure of witnessing in my life?

I’d heard that love can make you blind, but...

I leaned forward to look past Hayden and gave my other friend, Remy, a ‘Can you believe him?’ look?

Remy was half asleep. He had the absolute gall to nod off during one of the best presentations I’d heard in my life! Rude.

I still hadn’t responded to Hayden, but he hadn’t seemed to notice. His phone chimed again as he received another text from his guy. The smile on his face was sappy as he typed a reply.

With a huff and a roll of my eyes, I turned my attention back to the stage.

And okay, I might have only been half paying attention myself when the current speaker was introduced. Sue me. I hardly ever went to big-time conventions and after a few days of listening to people talk, most of the panels blended together. I couldn’t even remember who had suggested we attend a talk on public speaking, but I owed whoever had a big kiss on the lips.

Because the speaker striding back and forth across the stage was magnificent.

Think, superhero actor with dreamy eyes. And, okay, a good thirty pounds heavier than a leading actor. That was fine with me. That meant there was much more to love.

As he strode across the stage, talking about body language and the power of giving a good first impression, I let my eyes unfocus as my mind drifted to other, sexier places.

It was all too easy for me to envision us heading backstage for a naughty private lesson. Maybe he saw me in the crowd and was as taken with me as I was with him. Whatever, it didn’t matter. The point was the two of us would be alone.

There would be a green room back there. A place with a comfortable couch and tastefully decorative pillows. As soon as the door was locked, he would be on me. Those big, gorgeous hands he was currently gesturing with as he made a point in his lecture would cup my face as he kissed me.

And what a kiss it was! Strong, yet sweet. He seemed to be a sweet guy. The type that was just as concerned about making me come as he was about getting there himself.

He would lead me over to that tasteful couch and I would crawl into his lap. Those big hands would slide up my back—he could maneuver me like I weighed nothing at all. Hot.

Then, suddenly he would switch positions, laying me down and hovering over me. Our clothing would come off. His big girthy dick would dig into my thigh. I couldn’t wait to get a taste of it myself, and—

I came back to myself as the crowd erupted into applause.

Dang it. The talk was over, and I had been so involved in fantasizing about getting to the crescendo that I had missed the actual one in the lecture.

I wasn’t the only one. Remy snorted awake—there was a line of drool gathering at the corner of his mouth. Hayden gestured to it while he slid his phone back into his pocket.

“Well, that was nice,” Hayden said flatly. “Let’s say we get a late lunch.”

I stared at him, aghast that he hadn’t seen what I had seen. Then a brilliant idea flashed in my mind.

“Why don’t you two go on ahead?”

“Why?” Remy yawned. “You gotta use the bathroom? I could go.”

“We don’t need to go to the bathroom together like a flock of girls,” I hissed. “And no, I want to go and thank the speaker for his presentation.”

Now it was my friend’s turn to give me a look like I had lost my mind.

“Isn’t there a makeup expo in like an hour?” Remy said. “You told me that you were looking forward to it.”

I waved him away. “I’ll be back before then. I only want to talk to him.”

“He only wants to ‘talk’,” Hayden repeated, air quotes and all.

Now they were both grinning at me as if they knew something that I didn’t.

“Did you seriously fall in love in the space of—what—ten minutes?” Remy demanded. “While I was asleep?”

“It’s not love!” Though I’d been known to scream something like it out in the throes of passion...

Hayden rolled his eyes, but we had been business partners for a long time, and friends for even longer. He and Remy knew that when I had my eye on someone, I had to see it through until the end—good, bad, or sexy.

“Good luck!” Hayden cooed.

“Be sure to use a condom,” Remy continued.

I flipped off my two best friends in the world and then turned to head backstage.

I fully expected to see a long waiting line to talk to the speaker. Surely I wasn’t the only one who noticed that he was an incredibly talented hottie. But to my surprise, I found him quietly packing up his laptop and gear alone in the usual ‘meet and greet’ areas. The only people hanging around were the ones setting up for the next presentation.

Their loss.

As I strode up to him, I caught sight of the banner one of the stagehands was packing away.

Harry LaSalle, Hollywood producer.

Cool. Now I had his name.

I put on my most charming smile and strode up to him. “Mr. LaSalle?”

He didn’t glance up at me. “Just a couple more things left to grab. I’ll be packed up and out of the way in a moment.”

He didn’t say this in a brusque way. If anything, he was more resigned, as if he had already said this to people a few times.

I blinked. “Uh, sure, if you’d rather talk over drinks...?”

Yeah, it was forward, but you didn’t get anywhere in life without reaching for it first.

Harry LaSalle glanced up and then did a legit double-take upon seeing me. I preened a little, glad that I had spent a few extra minutes (okay, an hour) on my hair, tasteful makeup that wasn’t visible unless you were really looking for it, and the light coat of gloss. It was amazing what that could do for a man’s features.

“I’m sorry,” Harry said. “I thought you were one of the stagehands. How can I help you?”

“I just wanted to talk to you about your presentation,” I said, mentally adding, I want to know if you’re gay and if you’re taken. “You spoke with such authority that I... well, I was impressed.”

Smiling, I reached up and brushed a stray hair that wasn’t actually there over my eyes. I noticed that his gaze followed my gesture. His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed.

Maybe not entirely straight, and slightly interested in me. Things were looking up. Literally.

“Oh, I’m glad you enjoyed it. The talk felt a little flat to me and—” He seemed to shake himself out of his self-doubt spiral and then fixed me with a blinding smile. “I’m thrilled to hear that it made an impact on you. Are you in the business?”

I blanked out for a moment because I had been much more interested in fantasizing than listening. But I’d had my brushes with Hollywood types before and they usually referred to their job in such a way. “The business”. Pretentious, but that was Hollywood for you.

“Not directly,” I said honestly. “My friends and I have been featured on the E! Network a couple of times, but that was a big nothing. We get more clients from our Yelp reviews.”

His gaze went distant as if he were flicking through a Rolodex in his mind. Then he zeroed in on me with sudden laser intensity.

“Wait, are you... you’re not one of the guys from Layered, are you?”

“Whoa, how did you do that?” I took a half step forward, both surprised and eager.

I felt the full force of his attention directed at me. It took my breath away. “That’s one of my favorite networks, and you guys have been getting a lot of heat from your work with the President’s daughter.”

“Um, heat...?”

He waved a hand in the air. “Not a bad kind of heat. It’s slang in the business—when you have heat, you’re red hot. It means that your career is on the upswing.”

“That’s how we feel!” I exclaimed, thrilled. “Actually, that’s why we’ve come to this conference. Ever since Vivi—sorry, Vivian St. John’s wedding was featured with us listed as the stylists we’ve been getting a lot more public attention than we’re used to.” I glanced around the conference area ruefully. “Coming to an industry conference was Hayden’s idea. He thought we should attend some public speaking stuff so we can learn a thing or two. But yours is the first talk that... gripped me. I couldn’t take my eyes off you.” I did everything but bat my eyelashes at him.

Perhaps I should have because Harry closed his messenger bag and held out his hand. “I’m Harry LaSalle, though... you likely already know that since you heard my talk,” he added with a wince.

I beamed. “I don’t mind hearing it again.”

I traded a handshake with him, liking the slide of his hand against mine. Neither one of us had calluses—I had better not, considering the skin routine I put myself through—but I could feel the strength in his grip. The warm assuredness that seemed to come naturally to him.

“I’m Jaime Washington, and my specialty is makeup,” I chirped.

He didn’t even blink at the makeup line which earned him a few points in my book. Most people, upon hearing I was part of a makeover business, assumed that I did fashion like Remy or hair like Hayden. I did dabble in hairstyling, but my real passion had always been for makeup.

Harry opened his mouth to reply, but we were rudely interrupted by a stagehand with a clipboard.

“I’m sorry, Mr. LaSalle, but we have to clear this area. The next presentation is slated to start in five minutes.”

“Of course.” Smoothly, Harry turned back to me. “I believe you mentioned something about a drink? There’s a nice restaurant on the other end of the convention center.”

Oh, I did love it when a plan fell into place. Drinks, first. After that… who knew?

“That sounds great.”

* * *

As Harryand I strolled across the convention floor, we exchanged stories. Or rather, I told him more about my business. I was... kind of a talker.

“We do have exclusive clients,” I said in reply to a question, “but we take walk-ins, as well. Anyone who wants a change in their life is welcome to stop by.”

“That sounds a bit high handed for a salon.”

The statement might have been off-putting without Harry’s genuine curiosity. Besides, it wasn’t the first time I’d heard something like that.

“You have no idea. A new look leads to a fresh outlook on your day, which leads to a new start to your life,” I said. “I won’t go as far as to say that we change lives on a regular basis—but the proof is in the pudding.”

“Like Vivian St. John?” he asked.

“Yes! Exactly. Well, she was Hayden’s personal project. We all tend to gravitate to one woman or another and take them under our wing,” I explained. “And of course, Vivi was the one who did most of the work to change the course of her life. But the seed was planted in our salon, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise.”

Harry chuckled and held up his hands as if to ward me off. “I wouldn’t dream of it.”

We were nearly to the restaurant before I realized that I had done all the talking. As we took a seat at the bar, I squinted at him.

“Harry LaSalle... I feel like I’ve heard that name before today, but I don’t know where. And your presentation was so good I didn’t think of Google-stalking you. Should I have?”

His smile faded a little and I wondered if I had hit on a sore point.

“You probably wouldn’t have found much if you did. My father is Roman LaSalle.”

Now that sounded familiar, but it still took a few seconds for me to connect the dots. When I did, I lurched back in surprise. “No way. The Roman LaSalle? The famous Hollywood actor from the eighties who—”

I stopped myself at the last moment, but judging by the wry twist of Harry’s lips, he knew where I was going anyway.

“The high-speed accident, yes,” he said. “It’s okay—it was a long time ago.”

Roman LaSalle had lived the Hollywood life to its fullest. From what I remembered he had snorted a small mountain of something and then climbed in a muscle car and went on a drive with his foot planted on the gas. The resulting police chase had spanned three counties and ended with his car going off one of LA’s beach-side cliffs. It had been a spectacular way to end a star-lit life.

I’d had no idea that he’d left a son behind. It had to have been thirty years or so back, but...

“I’m sorry,” I said, covering Harry’s hand with mine.

“It’s fine. I get it a lot.”

His reply was light, though I could see a world of pain in his eyes. Mentally, I kicked myself.

“Anyway,” Harry said, “my father’s career got me interested in the business. I tried acting for a while, and even got some bit parts in a few soaps and in the background scenes as an extra—”

“Really?” I blurted. “But aren’t extras supposed to, like, blend into the crowd?”

Harry just looked at me, his eyebrows creased.

I gestured. “Look at you.”

He did, glancing up and down himself. “What? You mean, what I’m wearing?”

“Um, no! Okay, the polo shirt and khakis are a little uninspired,” I admitted. “But you were just doing a serious business presentation. It wasn’t like you could come out from backstage in a glittery thong.”

“I might have gotten more applause if I had...”

“But the ensemble works for you. It totally hints at what you’re packing underneath, and that’s not bad. I’d climb you like a tree.” I clapped my hand over my mouth the moment the words were out. “I’m sorry, I don’t usually have much of a filter and even I know that’s forward of me. I don’t even know if—forgive me, but are you straight?”

He blinked. “That’s blunt.”

“It’s a blunt question.” I cocked my head, considering. “Though not necessarily a yes or no question. Sexuality is a whole spectrum. Anyway, if you can’t tell, I’m gay. I’ve been out since—I don’t think I’ve ever been in the closet, actually.”

Harry had been staring at me throughout this whole verbal diarrhea, but not in a horrified way which I took as a good sign. He just seemed to be confused.

“And you don’t have to answer me if you don’t want,” I continued. “I just wanted to know where I should go from here.”

“From here?”

I waved a hand around. “Are you going to make me do all the work?”

A new grin curved his lips. “All the work?”

I stuck out my tongue at him. “Hello, I am trying to pick you up and you’re not making it easy!”

“I’ve only had relationships with women,” he said at last, but then before my heart had time to sink, he took a sip of his drink and added, “But I’ve always been… curious.”

“Oh?” I leaned forward, one hand cradling my chin. “So, you haven’t met the right man to satisfy that... curiosity?”

His gaze flicked up and down my body. “Something tells me that I just have.”

Bold, but I liked bold. My grin was sharp.

“Finish the rest of that drink,” I said. “And maybe we’ll see what happens from there.”

This was going exactly as planned. Normally I didn’t act on attraction so quickly, despite my tendency to rush into love, but from the moment I’d set eyes on Harry, I knew that I wanted him in the most carnal way.

Taking my own advice, I took a sip of my drink. I’d had enough of sitting and listening to presenters talk for today. I had been a good boy and done the proper business thing. Now, it was time I had some fun of my own.

* * *

It turned out that,as one of the main presenters for the convention, Harry had a room in the hotel that was attached to the conference center.

He kissed me on the elevator ride up. The moment the doors to the elevator closed, he leaned into my space. I tilted my head up. I had been waiting for this moment. My fingers clenched in the buttons of his shirt to pull him closer.

His lips on mine were sweet for the first few heartbeats, as if he were testing the waters. Then they firmed and his hand slid to my jaw as he took control of the kiss.

And... wow. Harry had no experience with men, but he sure knew how to make one swoon.

We broke apart as the elevator dinged open. Another man stood on the other side, but his attention was on the cell phone in his hands. We slipped out without any notice, and I wrapped my fingers around Harry’s wrist. Drinking on an empty stomach had given me a buzz—a slight lift of euphoria. I felt like I needed an anchor to steady me on the way to his room.

As soon as we were in his room and the door was shut, I turned to him.

“Just so you know, you can say no at any time to anything. I won’t get offended, okay?”

He blinked at me. “I... wasn’t exactly expecting a PSA on sexual consent issues.”

I grinned. “Nothing wrong with making sure that we’re both on the same page.” I stepped closer to him, swaying my hips in a way that I knew made me look good. “I want to have my wicked way with you... but it’s no pleasure if we’re both not having fun.”


It wasn’t the enthusiastic ‘yes’ I was hoping for, but Harry looped his arm around my waist and brought my body flush against his in a strong kiss.

God damn, I wanted to ride this man until I was screaming his name.

He broke from me again once my head was starting to spin from lack of air. “Same goes for you. I don’t want to... pressure you.”

“Honey,” I breathed. “I’m the one who’s been coming onto you.”

I let my hand slip down the seam of his shirt to rest lightly against the crotch of his pants. He tilted his hips up, encouraging the touch. I grinned again.

“I was thinking I’d give you a blowjob to start, and we could see what we both want from there?”

A flush highlighted his cheeks. “Y-yeah... if you want.”

“If you want,” I said easily, “you could grip my hair while I suck you. But don’t rip out my hair by the roots, okay?” I touched the side of my head. “I spent time on this.”

“Jesus,” he muttered but I could actually feel his dick twitch as it hardened under my hand.

He was doing okay, just a little overwhelmed.

I didn’t know the meaning of ‘dial it down’ so I just slid to my knees in front of him and started to unbuckle his pants.

Harry got over his shock quickly—seriously, did the girls he dated usually play hard to get or something? I didn’t have time for that nonsense—and helped me with the belt.

I hummed in appreciation as his boxers came down and I got a full view of his dick. It reflected the rest of him. Big, long, and girthy.

I couldn’t wait to find out what he could do with it.

Again, because I had no filter at all, I reached out and stroked him from root to tip. “Why, hello there. You and I are going to have a lot of fun today.”

Harry let out a breathless, slightly stressed-out laugh.

His light laugh turned into a groan as I leaned forward to wrap my lips around the head of his cock. The shaft in my mouth was fever warm, stiff with excitement, and with a bead of precome I was all too happy to lap up.

Harry’s hands fell into my hair, just the way I liked. I closed my eyes and suckled the head of his cock for a moment before I relaxed my tongue and throat muscles to bob down on him.

“Jaime...” His groan of appreciation was all the thanks I needed as I took him lower and lower.

Yeah, I was showing off a little. What’s a little deepthroat among friends?

He was too big for me to take all the way. I slid back up, bobbing over his head as my second free hand reached underneath to cradle and play with his balls.

Harry let out a rumbly sound. His fingers curled in my hair, and he reached down to cup my face with his other hand, his thumb pressing into my cheek to feel the way his cock slid in and out of my mouth. It was an almost tender motion.

So, I was completely taken aback when Harry gazed down at me and said, “I want to fuck you.”