Years ago, Chad Cole was a rough-hewn college student obsessed with his roommate and the guy’s amazingly sexy tattoo. Unfortunately, cool and sophisticated Andrew did not return his interest, and the two went their separate ways.
A decade later, while on a visit to Provincetown on Cape Cod, Chad spots a familiar-looking guy on the beach with the same design…only this time it’s on the opposite side of his chest. Could Chad really have found the object of his first crush here, on a world-famous gay playground? Or is his old obsession just playing tricks on his mind as well as other body parts? And how did the tattoo get on the wrong side of the guy’s steaming hot body?
It was the middle of a Tuesday afternoon when Chad wandered down to a certain stretch of sand where the sunbathers and swimmers gathered, some of them wearing nothing but tiny banana hammocks—or less. One guy in particular caught his attention as Chad sauntered past.
Pausing, Chad took a good, long look at his well-toned body, tousled blond hair, and sculpted face. His aroused cock gave a sudden lurch in his own suddenly too-tight bathing thong. In fact, he could hardly believe what he was seeing.
Chad was plainly gawking at the guy, who misunderstood the reason and grinned. “Would you like me to rub some suntan lotion on you? You look like you have a nasty burn on your shoulders. Lucky for you, I always keep some SPF 15 around just in case.”
He opened his fanny pack, and Chad knelt down beside him on the sand, feeling momentarily faint. His pulse was hammering in his veins as the guy squirted out some lotion and kneaded Chad’s shoulders slowly. The boner between Chad’s legs pushed forward until his bathing suit virtually groaned with the strain.
Noticing, the guy started to chuckle. “Something’s burning, all right,” he joked.
“Uh…yeah,” Chad managed to mumble. Common sense told him that what he thought he saw wasn’t possible. But that perfect hair, those bright blue eyes, and most of all, that familiar tattoo…it was the same right down to the circles around the pert little nipple. Chad could have sworn it was the same guy he’d roomed with all those years ago. Almost. There was something a little different about him, but he couldn’t quite place what.
Feeling stupid, and fearing the guy would think he was crazy, Chad took a deep breath and just blurted it out. “Um…your name isn’t Andrew, is it?”
He looked surprised and then laughed.
“Nope, but I know him. He’s my older brother.”
“I—I knew him,” Chad managed to stammer. “In college. That tattoo…he has the same one.”
“Not exactly. His is on the left. Mine’s on the right. Otherwise, though, you’re correct. They’re exactly the same. We thought it would be cool to get mirror-image designs. You should have seen our mom’s face when she found out!” The guy whistled dramatically and grinned. “I didn’t care. It gave me confidence. Isn’t that why most people get tats?”
“I guess it’s possible. I don’t know. I don’t have any myself.”
“Right.” The guy’s eyes swept Chad’s mostly-bare body. The lack of ink seemed more than apparent. “No offense, but you don’t really seem like the type my brother hung out with in those days. He went for those smarmy business-major types. I admit, some of them were kind of cute, but they were a little stuck-up for my tastes. The friends he invited home wouldn’t give me the time of day.”
Suddenly Chad understood. This was Mark, the little brother he’d heard about all those years ago. Only he wasn’t so little now! “Well, we didn’t exactly hang out,” Chad said, blushing, and explained that he’d roomed with Andrew for a year.
The guy’s eyes turned to saucers. “No way—you’re Chad? The guy with the leather jacket and the brass knuckles? My brother used to talk about you all the time.”
This time Chad was the one who laughed, a bit nervously. “Not in the most flattering terms, I’m sure.”
“Are you kidding? He was scared shitless of you. He was always telling me how you stared at him funny, like you were thinking about rolling him for his spare change.”
“Nah, that wasn’t it at all. I think I just wanted to fuck him. But relax, nothing ever happened. He already had such a stick up his ass, there was no room for me. But I get the sense that you and your brother are more alike in looks than personality.”
Mark gave Chad a shy, but unmistakably flirtatious, smile. He capped the lotion and dropped it back into his fanny pack. As he zipped it up, he checked his watch. “You could say that. Well, nice meeting you and all, but I have to go. I’m meeting a couple of buddies for drinks. But maybe I’ll see you around later?”
“Sure. I’ll be here for a few more days. Everyone meets up on Commercial Street eventually, don’t they?”
“You got that right,” Mark said with a wink. “Catch you later, then.”
Chad watched him go with a bemused expression. The last thing he’d expected when he returned to Massachusetts was to see Andrew again—in any form. He’d figured that part of his life was long over, and he hadn’t been sorry to see it end. Now, in ways he could never have predicted, he was reliving the one part he’d never fully come to terms with. To his own surprise, he looked forward to seeing Mark again.