Well-Played by Charity Parkerson (Messy Hearts #4)
English | 2020 | Romance MM | ePUB | 212 KB
Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with several companies. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.
An ugly divorce left Bay bitter. Antonio has exactly what he needs. If Bay would let him in, that is.
After catching his husband in bed with another man, Bay is understandably a little gun shy. When he heads to Vegas for a conference, he never expects to meet a sexy Italian casino owner. Antonio has “player” written all over him. He’s too much of everything. Bay doesn’t want anything Antonio is selling, except he kind of does, and he hates himself for that weakness.
Antonio has…. issues. There are things he deals with that not everyone can understand. For that reason, he chooses his friends and bed partners very carefully. He watches people, reads them, and only plays with the ones who have that certain neediness in their eyes. Bay is the perfect fit. There’s only one problem to Antonio’s mind. Bay lives over three hundred miles away.
Distance and mistrust make the possibility of a real relationship seem impossible, but Antonio is determined to make Bay his. It’s a good thing the casino owner is used to rigging games in his favor.
A conference in Vegas had seemed like such a great idea. A full weekend away that doubled as a tax write-off, and a chance to see his new friend Ford. Bay had been pretty excited about this weekend. As per usual for him, the weekend looked like a complete bust already. It was only Friday night. His first night here. Ford had already been to see him, only to tell Bay they would not be seeing each other again. While Bay hadn’t expected Ford to greet him with a kiss, nor had he thought it likely Ford would rush to Bay’s room with him, Bay had been so hopeful he had finally met someone nice. A few weeks ago, when Bay met Ford in Bay’s hometown of Phoenix, they had kissed. A spark of life that had died on the day of his divorce had re-lit in his chest. Now Bay sat alone in the hotel bar. It was a state so familiar that Bay couldn’t even work up the energy to feel sad. Mostly, he was just tired. Being alone was becoming more familiar than he had ever dreamed possible. He didn’t think people were supposed to live like this. Yet Bay never seemed to live any other way.
“You sit by yourself a lot.”
Bay’s chin shot up as the heavily accented words washed over him. The same sexy Italian who had bought Bay a drink after Ford had abandoned him earlier in the night—to chase after another man, no less—stood over his table again. His gorgeous blue eyes flashed with something Bay didn’t understand. He had the softest-looking brown hair with the perfect amount of curl. Bay didn’t know how to respond. He was always alone. It seemed cruel for this gorgeous man to be the one to point it out.
The man who had introduced himself earlier as Antonio now claimed an empty chair at Bay’s table. “I’ll join you.”
Bay bit back a smile. Antonio was obviously used to having his way. “You’re awfully confident I want you to sit with me.” Bay blinked at his own words. He never spoke to anyone with anything less than complete respect.
A low and wicked-sounding chuckle rumbled from Antonio. “I own this casino. It doesn’t much matter if you’d like me to sit. It’s my chair. I begin to see why you’ve been left alone, though.”
Heat rushed to Bay’s cheeks. He dropped his gaze to his glass. Maybe he deserved that jibe, but Bay’s pride already stung from Ford’s rejection. Antonio’s words were lemon juice on his wounds.
Antonio leaned forward and set his elbows on the table. “You shouldn’t look so injured by my claim. Most people are weak and can’t handle a man as intimidating as you. I’m not the least bit weak. You don’t scare me.”