JARRETT JOYNSON leaned on the balcony railing, watching the waxing moon rise over the crystal waters of the Pacific Ocean and wondering if he’d made a big mistake.
The Hawaiian breeze smelled of sweet plumeria flowers. Jarrett felt comfortably warm in his newly purchased aloha shirt, khaki shorts, and sandals. Another day in paradise slowly turned into a hot tropical night. And Jarrett was in a luxury hotel suite… alone.
He turned away from the fabulous view over the balcony. This trip was supposed to have been a romantic getaway with his long-term boyfriend, Bradan. Jarrett’s gaze fell on the big king-size bed, and his heart sank.
He and Bradan had been seeing each other for almost two years, but over the past few months, Bradan had started hinting that he wanted something more. Jarrett, a travel agent for the rich and famous, knew exactly what to do. He had booked vacation time and used his work contacts to acquire this deluxe hotel room and two plane tickets to Hawaii. He’d wanted to visit Hawaii forever, and maybe, just maybe, Bradan might ask him to marry him.
Jarrett had known that was a bit of a stretch, but there was no harm in a romantic fantasy. At the very least, he’d hoped to have some long heart-to-heart talks with Bradan in addition to their usual scorching sex.
What he hadn’t understood was that when Bradan had said he wanted something more, he’d meant that he hadn’t wanted it with Jarrett.
Bradan had always been a private person, and Jarrett had only recently discovered why. Jarrett hadn’t been the only guy on Bradan’s direct-dial. Now Bradan was dating the son of a CEO, a man in his early twenties with a fat trust fund and a reputation for a party lifestyle. Why would Bradan want to come to Hawaii with Jarrett when he could go on a Mediterranean cruise with a man who was younger, richer, and wilder?
Jarrett sighed. He’d been fooling himself. He’d loved Bradan so much that he hadn’t questioned the secrecy in their relationship. He’d told himself that being with Bradan had been worth sacrificing everything that wasn’t just the way Bradan wanted it.
Bradan had disliked a lot of things about Jarrett, and he’d never been shy about saying so. Jarrett had stopped wearing the retro T-shirts he’d loved and started wearing the polo shirts that Bradan picked out for him. Jarrett had quit baking when Bradan had complained that too many sweets were making him fat. Jarrett had given up his Xbox because Bradan thought that gaming was immature.
But there were some things Jarrett couldn’t give up.