Wrestling With Passion
Author: D.H. Starr
Previous book: Wrestling With Love
Genre: M/M romance; Gay Fiction
Imprint: Ai Press
Price: 5.99 USD
Trade paperback available at Amazon
Price: 12.99 USD
Flame rating: 4 flames- Stories have frequent love scenes that are explicit and described using graphic and direct language.
Cover art: Louca Matheo
Scott and Derek’s epic passion continues into sophomore year with new challenges to face and overcome. There is one problem: How can you fight an adversary you can’t see?
Derek has always helped others, often placing himself in risky situations. Scott has lived with instability his entire life, moving from place to place, never able to set roots. Surviving the obstacles set in place by Scott’s unloving father and overcoming the threat of an unstable fellow student their freshman year, they start their second year of college believing they’ve overcome all of the barriers blocking their future happiness.
All that changes when a troubled student, Tim, enters their lives. Derek can’t help but reach out to the drug-abusing freshman. Scott can’t suppress the paralyzing fear of losing Derek, the one stable thing in his life. As they compromise their own internal needs in an effort to support each other, resentment builds and guilt festers.
Is this new obstacle, the demons that live deep inside each of them, the one that might tear them apart?
Damn it sucked having to sleep apart from his boyfriend. Derek Thompson stretched his arms over his head, trying to push the sleep out of his body. He’d grown used to ending each day and starting each morning in his lover’s arms. Whether starting with innocent snuggling or heated blow jobs, each day seemed more vibrant and exciting with Scott by his side.
The late August sun shone through the window of his attic bedroom. His parents kept the room just the way he’d left it before his first year at Boston University and, for the summer, he’d made the place his home once again. A poster of Howie Day hung over his bed and his shelf contained several first place trophies from his years of varsity wrestling.
When he moved home for the summer his mom had been adamant. “You know I love Scott, but until the two of you are married, or at least engaged, you live by my rules under this roof. That means no hanky-panky.” He’d scrubbed himself in the shower for a good thirty minutes after that lecture, but water didn’t get hot enough to cleanse the ick from that conversation.
Glancing at his alarm clock, he grunted. Six-thirty. He threw the covers off and got out of bed. Slipping into sneakers and running shorts, he stopped off in the bathroom. The cold water he splashed on his face dribbled over his shoulders and down his chest and back. The chill helped revitalize him. He made quick work of brushing his teeth, then relieved himself.
Exiting the bathroom, he tiptoed down the stairs to the front door, not wanting to wake his parents. Once outside, he jogged toward the Charles River. He picked up speed a few blocks later, thoughts of Scott’s smile and his powerful physique urging Derek to get to their meeting spot as quickly as possible.
As he approached the river’s edge, Scott’s muscular form came into view, silhouetted by the sun glistening off the water’s surface. Over the summer Scott had put on at least fifteen pounds of muscle, his chest sculpted with rounded pecs and his shoulders accentuating a sturdy frame. Derek suspected he’d bulked up to be in prime shape for wrestling after his successful season during freshman year. Of course, Scott would have to get used to a new weight class, but challenges never stopped him from succeeding.
He’d pestered Derek to join the team as well, but Derek had become deeply involved with the Alliance, BU’s LGBTQ association, and he didn’t trust he’d be able to continue as an active member, wrestle, and keep up with his classes.
As he drew closer, Derek could make out Scott’s creamy skin, along with the contours of his muscles as they knit together along his body. He finally reached his boyfriend, winded, but not from running.
“You’re out of breath. You okay to run today?” Scott’s brow creased as he placed a hand on Derek’s cheek.
“Yeah. You’re so hot I can’t stand it.” Derek ran his fingers along Scott’s chest and leaned up, brushing his lips against the stubble on his lover’s jaw. Before he had a chance to step back, Scott had him wrapped in strong arms, securing his lips over Derek’s.
Derek savored the way Scott’s tongue swirled in lazy circles, tousling playfully, and tasted a hint of orange. Scott stepped back and surveyed Derek from head to toe. “You’re one to talk. No shirt? You know what your chest and abs do to me.”
Derek smiled, his gaze dropping to Scott’s mid-section. The shorts were a bit fuller than usual in the groin. “Seriously? Right before a run? Can’t you keep it in check for a minute?”
Scott tilted his head back and laughed. Pointing at himself he uttered one word: “Kettle.” Then he pointed at Derek, whose own shorts had become a bit snugger. “The pot that’s calling me black.”
A wise crack flew to Derek’s lips, but when he met Scott’s gaze words melted away. The sun crested over the Boston skyline, rays shining in Scott’s eyes highlighting their blue-green brilliance. Birds chirped, a symphony of nature serenading them. Derek glanced at the river, listening to the gentle purr of a motor boat and click and dip of oars in water as rowers sailed over the surface of the glistening river.
Moments like these, early enough so he and Scott had the world to themselves, pumped life into Derek.
Giving Scott a playful shove, he took off along the running path parallel to the river. For several minutes they jogged, the sound of their feet padding along the ground. Their breathing synchronized as they increased their speed.
Derek loved their morning ritual. Meeting at the footbridge, they’d run west, away from Boston, for two miles. Then they’d cross another bridge and run back ending their loop having run just shy of five miles.
A half hour later, sweat covering his body, Derek sprinted the final leg, Scott right on his heels. While Scott was bigger and stronger, Derek was faster. Scott’s competitive nature wouldn’t allow him to concede victory, and he’d always try to win, convinced, Derek assumed, that one day he might actually succeed.
Derek’s feet pounded against the pavement and pumped his arms like pistons, as he sped toward the finish line. Scott was a worthy opponent, but no match for Derek. The steady beat of Scott’s footfalls urged Derek to push harder. Drawing from the last of his energy reserves, he forced his muscles into overdrive.
The footbridge drew closer. Derek sucked in air while keeping track of the sound of Scott behind him. He turned onto the bridge, trying to ignore the burn in his calves and thighs. Once on the other side of the bridge, he slowed and then jogged in place, sweat covering his body.
Scott was right behind him and, once he reached Derek, collapsed onto the ground in a heap. Derek continued his stationary jog and observed as Scott clutched his side and heaved in deep breaths. After a few moments, he raised his finger and pointed at Derek. “Almost…had you…that time.”