The Secrets in My Scowl by A.E. Via
Via Star Wing Books
About The Secrets in My Scowl
Sparks ignite and tempers flare when a sexy, optimistic wedding planner moves his business in across the hall from a jilted, divorce lawyer’s practice.
“Look smart ass. This is the last time I’m going to remind you about breaking sections of the lease. If there’s a next time, I won’t stop until you and your frilly, white wedding shit is thrown out of here. Do you got it?!”
Wylde looked in Jacob’s pained eyes and answered in his deep voice. “Yeah, counselor. I got it.”
From high school, up until he became a successful attorney Jacob Snowden was convinced that love had it out for him. “Everyone left,” were the words he lived by. His mother, his high school sweetheart, his father, and his fiancé, all left Jacob just when he felt it was safe to let down his guard. Not any longer. Jacob was a determined man, set at keeping people at a distance. If his six foot one, military-made body didn’t scare people off, his permanent scowl surely did. At almost forty, Jacob’s social life was non-existent, but he told himself his work fulfilled him. He helped people get out of their loveless marriages. Jacob Snowden was one of the best divorce lawyers on the east coast and was damn proud of it. So, imagine his disdain when a wedding planner moves into the suite directly adjacent to his… an insanely masculine, male wedding planner.
Wylde Sterling had made quite a name for himself in his hometown of Roanoke, Virginia, working for a wedding planner that catered to the elite. He was known for his charm and impeccable taste. Yep, he was incredible at giving couples the wedding of their dreams. But he wanted nothing more than to plan his own. After striking out in love more times than he cared to admit, Wylde decided to start his own business in a new city, hoping Richmond would give him a fresh start. Things started out wonderfully – until he started to piss off the angry divorce attorney next door.
Wylde could see past Jacob’s mean scowl, knowing there was a reason for it. It was the man’s defense mechanism, his means of keeping people away. Everything in Wylde told him to stay away, but he believed Jacob just needed to meet a man who had been hurt as badly as he had.
This story ends in an HEA and does not end on a cliffhanger.
“Get the fuck off me.” Jacob squirmed.
“Not until you stop directing your anger at me.” His neighbor’s voice was rough but somehow comforting.
The fight left Jacob as quickly as it’d come. He was exhausted, he was in pain, and his chest still burned with disappointment. He couldn’t believe he was back in this predicament again… heartbroken. His chest deflated under his neighbor. “Just let me go.”
“No,” Square Jaw snapped, and bit the side of Jacob’s face.
“Augh! Motherfucker!” Jacob yelled, bucking his hips hard, trying to get the idiot off him.
“Calm down, Jacob,” the man panted, blowing his liquor-scented breath against Jacob’s neck. “Whatever that dick did to you… get over it. Because this isn’t you.” His neighbor bore down even harder and a gust of air left Jacob before he could bark an angry retort. “I fuck with you because you are who you are. You walk with a confidence I haven’t seen in a man in a long time. People move out of your way when they see you coming and it only makes you hold your head higher. I admire the hell out of that. That’s why I’m on top of you. This bullshit, this moping you’re doing… it isn’t you, so knock it the fuck off.”
“You don’t know me,” Jacob said with little fight.
“Oh, I know you, Snowden. I also know someone just hurt the fuck out of you. You left feeling like you were on top of the world and returned hours later like your world had just been conquered.” Jacob felt a rough palm on his cheek. “If he doesn’t want you, it’s his fucking loss.”
“I’m not looking for a replacement… ever. So, if you think it’s your lucky day, think again,” Jacob growled. No one had to worry about ever hurting him again, because he wouldn’t give them the chance. He felt the lock click into place over his heart the moment he finished the thought and it soothed him better than anything his neighbor had said.
“There’s that arrogance.” The man smiled victoriously.
Jacob didn’t feel it. He couldn’t feel anything.
There was no way in hell he was spilling his guts to a stranger. “I’m not telling you shit, man.”
“The name’s Manning, just in case you were wondering. Patrick Manning.”
“I wasn’t wondering.”
“I think you need a better outlet for that anger, counselor.” Patrick dipped his head, but Jacob turned away. He squeezed his eyes shut as the pain hit him hard again. He’d thought he’d have his new fiancé on top of him tonight, not this prick. Jacob groaned heatedly when he felt a hard cock press into his thigh.
“Fucker,” he hissed quietly.
A.E. Via is an author in the beautiful gay romance genre and also founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books. Her writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.
When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children. Adrienne Via has tons of more stories to tell, but she really would like to hear yours. Via Star Wings Books is currently accepting submissions for established and aspiring LGBTQ authors.
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