Double Play, Hit and Run is coming late November. A story of love, loss, redemption, guilt, friendship, and recovery. We revisit a universally hated man, and a universally adored one as they struggle to keep going forward, and learn that there are some types of love you just can't ignore.
© EM Lindsey 2022
All Rights Reserved
Orion hated everything. He hated the bastard who invented stairs, and concrete, and the fucking assholes who discovered how to carve stone. He was in the best shape of his life, but he was heaving by the time they finally reached the look-out, and his calves were on fire.
Hervé, for his part, was staring at him with something like amusement as he leaned against the railing, and in spite of Orion’s heart trying to beat out of his chest, all he could see was how damn beautiful the man was.
And he could remember thinking that before—the few times they’d been in the same place when he was dating Pietro, but back then, Orion hadn’t given him a second glance. Hervé was like every single one of the celebrities that tended to hang around James’ club. He was perfectly arranged and formed for the public eye, and Orion had never been into that.
He didn’t judge people who were, but it just wasn’t something that piqued his interest.
And he wasn’t foolish enough to think that part of Hervé wasn’t still alive in him. He knew once he had better control over his disorder, and once he felt confident in himself, he’d go back to primping and fussing. But knowing he could be this too—sort of rugged and messy—it did something for Orion.
“Do I have something on my face?” Hervé asked.
Orion shook his head and he walked closer now that he’d caught his breath. He rested his arms on the railing and looked out over the sea. “You’re very good looking.”
Hervé scoffed. “You should have seen me two years ago.”
“I did see you two years ago,” Orion reminded him. “Or well, longer than that. I saw peak princess Hervé, and he’s not more beautiful than you are now.”
Hervé’s lips thinned and his jaw hardened. “Is that your line? To convince men to sleep with you?”
Orion felt the sting, but he knew he was coming on strong. He didn’t even know what the fuck his feelings meant, and he had invited Hervé here as a friend. So he deserved that. “I don’t need to convince anyone to sleep with me. Normally I just tell them what I do for a living.”
Hervé hummed, then turned back toward the horizon and sighed. “So did I. It was nice when I was younger. After a while, it just became a chore. They were so…”
“Fake?” Orion said quietly.
Hervé hummed in agreement. “I could never tell if they were performing, and I hated it.”
Orion had his fair share of nights trying to tell if his partner was just putting on a show, and it always left him feeling a little bit dirty. He never wanted it acrobatic, or intense, or wild. He just wanted it to be real.
“I think that’s why I never dated. I mean, I never really felt the urge to date,” he added with a shrug, and he shifted so his elbow brushed against Hervé’s. “But I’m also just…odd.”
Hervé lifted a brow at him. “Odd?”
“That’s what people tell me,” Orion said with a small grin. He blew out a puff of air, then shrugged and pushed away from the railing. “Anyway, we should eat.”
Hervé hesitated, and Orion understood, but he waited for Hervé to decide. “Promise not to let me drown in soup?”
Orion stuck out his hand, and when Hervé tried to shake it, he twisted his wrist and linked their fingers together. He heard the quiet intake of Hervé’s breath, and while he knew he was playing with fire, he found it hard to care. “Trust me?”
Hervé licked his lips, then gave him a short nod. It wasn’t everything, but it was something.