Author: Jo Tannah
Word Count: 30701
Estimated Publish Date: September 9, 2016
Categories: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Gay, GLBT, Interracial
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Forbidden love. Family drama. A lot can happen in three days.
Margaret Maxfield is getting married and Zachary Parker is the man of honor. Going to the wedding would mean seeing Tristan Maxfield again after all these years. His teenage crush had turned into longing through the years and this may be his one chance to be with Tristan, his father’s best friend and partner. Margaret’s father.
When Tristan sets eyes on Zach for the first time in five years, he is confused at the feelings of attraction for the young man. Despite the eventual fallout over their affair, he decides to make a move.
Will Tristan and Zach’s forbidden love ever find a happily ever after?
This is it.
He was here now. Zachary Parker felt like a total fool for even thinking of acting on his teenage fantasy. Thoughts of the possible repercussions for what he was about to do were enough to send his nerves firing off crazily, resulting in a numbing, throbbing headache. The long-term relationship between two families would most likely suffer. There was also how his father would react. Then again, his stress might just be the result of the bumpy plane ride he’d had to endure after the initial three-hour delay spent sitting on an unforgiving metal chair and drinking syrupy coffee. The incessant wailing of exhausted children in the crowded pre-departure area had done nothing to ease his discomfort…or his mixed feelings of excitement and guilt.
Zach had known Tristan Maxfield all his life, having grown up with his three children who’d lived right next door to him in the exclusive gated community. The eldest, Margaret, whose wedding he was here for, was his age. He was here as the man of honor. She’d chosen him among all others to stand beside her for the most important day of her life. Of course, he could never refuse Margaret. They’d been best friends since they were toddlers, gone to the same school, and had even been roommates in college.
The younger Maxfield boys, Joshua and Mark, were three and eleven years younger respectively. He’d never known a day during his childhood when they’d been apart. In fact, they all looked to each other as siblings—especially when the three were always in their house under his mother’s care. They’d even each had their own bedrooms in the Parker household.
As for Tristan, Zach had always looked up to the man who was his dad’s best friend and partner in the law firm they’d established straight out of passing bar exams. The man he’d grown up calling Tito Tristan, a title his mother insisted he used as a form of respect. When Zach turned fifteen, things got a little bit complicated for him. That was when he first became aware of how handsome and sexy he found Tristan.
Confused over his body’s reaction every time he saw the man, he learned to avoid Tristan whenever he came around. If he got invited for dinner, Zach only spoke when spoken to, and when the opportunity arose, begged homework or went up to hide in his room. It didn’t take long for him to realize he was attracted to boys when a classmate flashed him her breasts. He’d looked them over curiously, but without interest. In the showers after PE, he’d been more aware of the naked flat chests of his male classmates. When one boy called him out on it, he’d immediately denied looking and punched the guy on the nose for stating the obvious.
Of course, he was sent home on a seven days suspension, and if that didn’t teach him not to be violent, his mother had grounded him and taken away all his privileges. She was one who never tolerated violence from any of her men, in or outside her home. Joanna wrote out and ordered Zach to sign a contract stating he’d never repeat any act of aggression in the future. Included in said agreement was a stipulation he not have a grade below a B+. That same night, he swiped a Cosmopolitan magazine from his mother’s nightstand and flipped through the pages. He had to find out the reasons behind his feelings. When his eyes drifted over to the male models, bare-chested, lounging on silk cushions wearing silk pajamas sitting beside scantily dressed female models, he finally admitted to himself he was gay.
One morning after that startling epiphany, he looked out his bedroom window and saw Tristan mowing the lawn wearing nothing but a pair of cargo shorts. Sweat glistened down his back and over his chest. Zach longed to touch the naked skin and trace the hard angles. Fine dark hair covered Tristan’s chest, which gradually tapered down to thicken around the belly button before it disappeared beneath the waistband of the shorts.
His mind conjured up images of what Tristan’s cock would look like. He’d been too scared to open porn sites on the internet, but right then he wished he’d had. Zach watched as Tristan cut off the mower and moved to take the hose. Twisting open the faucet, he raised and held the hose over his head to allow the water wash over him. Zach felt his cock harden at the sight of the now glistening Tristan, and he placed his hand beneath his waistband to grip it. He gasped in surprise at his own touch and gave himself a stroke, making him moan out in pleasure.
Zach had guiltily hid behind the curtain, mesmerized when Tristan’s hair darkened under the spew of water. When Tristan’s tapered fingers raked over his hair, Zach rubbed himself faster and earnestly. He watched the way the muscles flexed as an unfamiliar need rose within him. He gave his cock a squeeze, his eyes drifted close before he quivered under the shock of his first ever sexual release. It was the first of many.
Although he kept quiet about his newfound feelings, Margaret guessed where his interests lay when they turned sixteen. She was an observant girl, and one day matter-of-factly informed Zach he was gay. She went on and ordered Joshua to make sure no one said anything bad to Zach about it in school, and if they did, to inform her directly because she was going to deal with them. Margaret had been a popular girl in school and even had a clique of her own by then, with quite an attitude to match her good looks. Mark at five didn’t care.
Well, Zach was not sixteen anymore. As a grown, independent man of twenty-eight, he now knew his own wants and needs. Although the odds were going to be against him, he knew he had to try. Should Tristan reject his advances, it wouldn’t matter. The point was he’d tried. He’d rather crash and burn than not do anything at all and wonder for the rest of his life over the what-ifs.
As he stepped into the Cumberland Room of The Ritz-Carlton, sudden fear washed over him and he took a tentative step back before he caught himself. After a few seconds, he took a deep breath and resolutely moved forward. He was scared—there was no other word for it. Through sheer force of will, he persevered and took another step into the room. In any case, it was too late to back out now. Many would question if he didn’t make an appearance. Margaret would probably raise an eyebrow and glare at him, but not say a word. Once they were alone, she would confront him. He loved Margaret like a sister, and losing her trust should he turn tail and run would be unforgivable in her eyes. That he could not deal with. The relationship between their families was as strong as it could ever be, if not stronger. Especially since the divorce happened.
Zach remembered the day he and Margaret had graduated, he from law school and she from special education. The two families had made reservations at the country club for a joint celebration. Just as they’d finished their meal and their deserts were served, Amanda Maxfield made a drunken toast to the graduates, then promptly asked for a divorce. Tristan’s brown eyes had glittered in anger, immediately replacing the humor there earlier. Zach had tensed along with everyone seated and had placed his fork aside.
“As usual, I commend your timing, Amanda. You just had to ruin Margaret and Zach’s celebration. You didn’t even bother to wait long enough to do this in private.” Although Tristan’s voice remained calm, there was no denying the sarcasm and hurt in them.
When Margaret turned tear-filled, accusing eyes to her mother, soon joined by those of her younger brothers, Amanda had stood on wobbly legs and left without a word. The pain and open regret on Tristan’s face were plain for all to see, and Zach had wanted to just give him a hug right then. That was the last time Zach had seen Tristan, who’d gone home, packed his bags, and moved into a hotel that same night with his three children. Subsequently, he moved into a penthouse in one of the high rises in the city. Amanda had stayed on in their home. Joshua and Mark had decided to go back to their home right afterwards, while Margaret left with Zach for her master’s program.
It soon became public knowledge why Amanda had wanted the divorce. Apparently, Tristan had confessed to his family he was gay years before, but wanted to make his marriage work. His children had been very accepting, keeping their opinions to themselves. They’d always been very close to their father, as he’d always been there for them despite his heavy workload and rough schedule. Their mother, on the other hand, was a confirmed alcoholic even then. Unknown to Zach, she’d been caught countless times by her husband with strange men going in and out through their supposedly shared bedroom.
Zach had been shocked to learn from Margaret that Tristan had not slept in the same bedroom with his wife for over a decade. When he asked Margaret why she or her brothers never told him about it, she’d unapologetically stated there were just certain things families kept secret—even from the most intimate of friends like the Parkers.
Jonathan, Zach’s father, worked hard with Tristan to ensure Amanda got her just compensation. When she demanded a share of the firm, he told Tristan to stand aside and let him handle the situation. Jonathan was a tough negotiator and saved the firm from her clutches. It was also Jonathan who made sure Amanda moved out of the family home six months after the divorce proceedings pushed through.
As soon as the divorce papers got signed, Tristan decided to transfer the title of the home in his children’s names while he stayed on in the city. As for Tristan and his relationships, Zach was happy not hearing any circulating rumors about his crush’s love life. He wanted to preserve his illusions of being Tristan’s one and only.
There were about a hundred people in the room, many of whom were seated at the long center table where Amanda and Margaret were sitting side by side. Zach recognized most of the guests as Margaret’s aunts, uncles and cousins from both sides of the family, some of whom he’d met through the years. Margaret’s fiancé, Giles Sanders, sat on her other side along with his parents.
Giles had been a constant in the Maxfield household for several years. He and Margaret were sweethearts since they’d been in junior high. Their separation during their college years had never affected their love for each other, and now he was an associate lawyer working with Zach’s father and Tristan.
Zach scanned the room slowly until he spotted his parents sitting in a corner table with someone else obscured by Jonathan Parker’s bulky frame. His father was a huge black man of six three and about two hundred fifty pounds. Tonight, he and Zach’s mother, Joanna, were present to lend support to the father of the bride. Just then, Zach’s mother looked up and saw him. With a wide, delighted smile, she waved him over, and Zach moved to join them. The change of angle revealed the identity of the other man sitting with his parents.
“There he is,” Joanna said with a pleased smile. Her dark brown eyes sparkled with happiness.
Tristan looked up to see who Joanna was waving at. As he leaned over in the direction where both Jon and Joanna were looking, his gaze fell on a young, sexy man walking their way. He wore a dark navy woolen suit, pale pink shirt and matching navy blue silk tie that went well with his light brown coloring. The suit looked expensive, the way the material fell beautifully over his tall, lean body.
The delicious grin on the man’s face drew Tristan’s interest and he squinted, attempting to gain a better look. It was his heart that clued him in to what he would later on recognize as the turning point of his life. First, it stuttered to a stop and then it began to skip a beat before starting up once more. He felt breathless, but still failed to recognize the gorgeous male who continued to walk on a straight line toward them. He wondered who he was. When the man came nearer, his muddled brain finally registered the newcomer’s identity.
He hadn’t seen Zach Parker in five years, not since he’d graduated from college. From what he could see now, Zach had grown into a very handsome man. His dark brown hair held hints of red from underneath the lights. His body had filled out, and the lanky, shy boy had grown taller by about another inch or two. From the way his thigh muscles moved under the material of his pants, he looked like he worked out often.
The laughter in Zach’s dark brown eyes matched the delighted smile on his lips. They were directed at Tristan, who had to consciously force himself to smile in return without looking like he wanted to throw Zach against a wall and fuck him senseless. Taking a deep breath before slowly letting it out, he thanked the gods his lap was hidden beneath the tablecloth and his friends’ eyes were focused on their son. He pressed hard on his suddenly responsive cock. When he finally reined control over his reaction, he rose to his feet, but made sure to keep the wide linen napkin in front of his crotch.
Zach shook his father’s hand and gave his mother a hug and a kiss. Then it was Tristan’s turn to be greeted. To his surprise, instead of the handshake like the one he’d given his father, Zach wrapped his arms around him. A waft of amber and Indian sandalwood teased Tristan’s nose. The scent of the expensive cologne made him hyper aware of the solid muscles that pressed close against his own, and his cock rose to attention once more. Standing so close to Zach, there was one thing Tristan was sure of—Zach had felt his body’s reaction. He pulled away, expecting some form of condemnation or disgust. Instead, the look of longing in Zach’s eyes nearly knocked him over.