Authors: Ava March
“Just as I have your eternal apologies?” The last line of every letter—
You have my eternal apologies.
At first Oscar had waved the line aside as empty sentiment, written words with nothing behind them. After a half-dozen letters, he’d begun to see that perhaps they weren’t merely empty words. The thick stack of letters bound neatly together with string, the stack that traveled with him whenever he visited a property and was currently tucked in his desk drawer, screamed there was indeed something behind those words.
Julian swallowed hard. “Yes.”
Oscar tipped his head toward the chain hanging from Julian’s waistcoat pocket, toward the glint of gold that had immediately caught his attention when Julian walked into the study. “Did you retrieve it or replace it?”
“I could never replace you.” Slipping a hand into his pocket, Julian pulled out a gold watch. The late afternoon sun streaming through the windows caught the diamonds on the face.
It was all Oscar could do not to grin like a damn fool.
“Benjamin lent me the money to retrieve it,” Julian continued, so grave, so uncertain. “I paid him, of course, when I returned to England.” His gaze didn’t leave Oscar as he turned the watch over in his hand, rubbed an ink-smudged thumb across the engraving on the back, as if the gesture had long ago become habit. “I’d prefer never to part with it again, but I understand if you would like it back.”
“The watch was a gift, Julian. It’s yours.”
A single nod from Julian, though the tension did not leave his shoulders.
“You said I would earn your eternal gratitude if I’d allow you to call me friend again. Is that what you want? To resume our friendship?”
“Yes. And…” He gave his head a hard shake, fingers closing around his watch. “Hell, do you want to know what I truly want?” Not waiting for an answer, he got to his feet and began pacing in front of the desk, his eyes on the watch in his hand. “I know it’s presumptuous to even ask, but what I truly want is you. I haven’t been with another since you. Haven’t had the desire for anyone else. All I can think about is you and how I did not recognize what I had until it was gone.” Abruptly he stopped. Hazel eyes met Oscar’s. “I want you, Oscar. Not your fortune, not your connections in Society. Just you and only you.”
Heart slamming against his ribs, Oscar stood.
“Please, Oscar. I’ve done my damnedest to stand before you today and bring what proof I could of my sincerity. I begged Benjamin for the loan to right the worst mistake of my life. I worked myself until I could barely stand, determined to get to this moment as quickly as possible. And hell, it was damned difficult. But what did I expect? Nothing truly worth having comes without effort. Except you, in an odd sort of way. It was so easy to be with you. Only with you have I ever found someone who looked at me first. Who wanted
” He thumped his free hand against his chest that rose and fell with labored breaths. “That’s what I was searching for all along. I thought I could find it in a wealthy wife. If I had money, if I could walk into a ballroom and not hear those whispers behind my back, then I would be happy. Until you, until you rightly shoved me out of your life… I—I…
” He squeezed his eyes closed, grip so tight on the watch his knuckles had turned white.
“Julian, it’s all right.” Oscar quickly rounded the desk. He’d only needed a bit more proof, needed to hear it from Julian’s lips before he spoke the words that had been clamoring inside him to be set free ever since he’d received that last letter. He hadn’t meant to torment the man. “Let go.” He laid a hand over Julian’s fist.
“No,” Julian murmured, desperation soaking the word.
“But you’ll break it,” he said gently.
The tense fingers beneath his relaxed, went limp.
Oscar tucked the watch back into its pocket then he cupped Julian’s jaw. “You can have everything you want, Julian. In fact, it’s already yours.”
Dark lashes lifted. The hesitation, the hope, the pure need in the depths of Julian’s eyes pulled the words from Oscar’s heart.
“I love you. You and only you.”
Strong arms wrapped around him, hauled him close. A mouth slanted across his own in a fierce kiss. Oscar held on tight, held on to the man who had dragged himself across the countryside for him, who had worked himself to the bone, who wanted him for him, who had become a better man for him, who…
Soft lips dragged across his cheek, tickled his ear. “I love you, too, Oscar.”
A smile of pure joy spread across Oscar’s mouth.
A man who loved him in return.
* * * * *
Regency London—where polite manners and spotless reputations reign supreme. Yet behind the closed doors of three elegant town houses along Brook Street, passion and lust rule as gentlemen dare to risk scandal by falling in love…
Discover Ava March’s Brook Street Trilogy
a lord intent on his first decadent night with a man finds love when he picks up a thief in a gambling hall.
a man determined to marry an heiress instead falls in love with a wealthy young gentleman.
two of London’s most notorious rakes are about to find out if their friendship can withstand the test of turning into something so much more.
Read them all…
(Book 1 of 3)
(Book 2 of 3)
(Book 3 of 3)
Ava March is an author of smoking-hot M/M historical erotic romances. She loves writing in the Regency time period, where proper decorum is of the utmost importance, but where anything can happen behind closed doors.
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Copyright © 2012 by Ava March
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