All the Broken Pieces
Sometimes letting your heart set the rules is a good way to lose your mind.
Jeremy Hayden knows what it’s like to be lost in someone else’s pain. After years of trying and failing to save the man he loved, Jeremy’s determined to learn how to put his own needs first. That means staying away from people who are damaged. From now on, the only person Jeremy wants to save is himself.
Harrison Winters is the kind of damaged that cracks all the way to the bone. Forged by a childhood of violence and betrayal, he lives every day on the edge of darkness. Discipline and a strict set of rules keep his mind stable and his life on track. He doesn’t need anyone to save him, no matter how broken he is.
When Harrison falls for the sunshine of Jeremy’s smile, he sees his chance for a brighter future – only to discover he is everything Jeremy has vowed to avoid. Revealing the truth about his past would bring an end to their newfound happiness. To stay silent means breaking the rules that keep his mind free from the darkness.
With his heart on the line and his sanity under threat, Harrison knows one wrong move will break him. If that happens, there may not be anything left to save.
Jeremy had never spent much time thinking about what league he was in, but when he saw Harrison walk through the front door of his store the next evening, he became convinced this man existed outside of it. Denim jeans hugged his legs to perfection. The long sleeves of his dark-blue shirt were turned up to reveal strong, masculine forearms. And the way the angular lines of his face contrasted with the softly curled hair and full lips was enough to make all the baby angels cry. Oh yeah, Harrison Winters was definitely out of his league. Whatever the hell Jeremy had done to draw his attention, he wanted to do it again—repeatedly.
Harrison caught sight of him and nodded in greeting as he walked over.
Clearing his throat, Jeremy came forward to offer his hand. “Welcome to <em>Fandom</em>.”
“Thanks for inviting me.” As they shook, Harrison’s eyes lifted over his head to the now vacant wall above the counter. “This is the spot?” he asked, his eyes lighting up.
“Yeah.” Turning to stand beside him, Jeremy gestured to the charcoal wall. “I hope you don’t mind me starting without you. The whole thing was a hell of a mess and I wanted to give you something clean to work with.”
Harrison nodded, seeming impressed. “It looks great. You did all the boring work and left the interesting part for me.”
“That was kind of the point,” Jeremy said with a quiet chuckle. “To keep you interested.”
Turning his head, Harrison looked at him with those velvety brown eyes. “You do that just fine all on your own,” he said in a low voice.
Jeremy could practically feel the other man’s gaze as it zeroed in on his mouth and stayed there. He caught his bottom lip between his teeth, wondering if maybe they could skip the pretence and move straight to the part where they were fucking each other’s brains out.
Harrison’s throat moved as he swallowed. “Tell me what you have in mind.”
Lips parting, Jeremy tried to decide where he should start. He had a half-dozen different positions in mind right this second. And that was before he even started to get creative.
“For the wall,” Harrison clarified, a teasing glint in his eyes.
A faint groan edged out of Jeremy as his eyes slid closed. “Right, the wall.” That settled it—pretence first, fucking later.
There was a hum of satisfaction, followed by the warmth of a hand cupping his cheek. Jeremy leaned into the touch as long fingers curled along the length of his jaw. He lifted his eyelids to see Harrison’s whole body had turned toward him.
“Not yet,” Harrison murmured as he leaned closer. His breath was quick and harsh against the shell of Jeremy’s ear. “Patience sweetens the taste.”
A small laugh huffed out of Jeremy’s chest. “Fucking hell, you do have a sweet tooth.” He was hard as a rock, his cock straining against the confines of his pants, as if reaching for Harrison of its own accord. And Lord knew the heat of Harrison’s body beckoned. Jeremy stopped short of pressing up against him—but only just.
“I can be patient if you can.” He tried to mean it, but even as he said the words his head tilted until his open mouth aligned with Harrison’s. Their breath mingled between them as their lips almost touched, and Jeremy fought like the devil to keep his tongue to himself. “Or at least, I can try.”