Title: Tuning It Out
Series: Young Spades #3
Author: Riley Long
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: October 31, 2018
Trick Thomas has it all: a great family, a tight-knit group of friends, and a promising future. Tired of the go-nowhere music scene in Boulder, Colorado, Trick and his up-and-coming indie rock band Young Spades are headed to California with dreams of making it big in L.A. and nothing is going to get in his way.
Noah Reed is inches from finishing graduate school, married to his high-school sweetheart, and gay. Even though theyâve both known for years, Noahâs wife Haley canât let go of their marriage as she tries to protect her ailing father. Convinced that he will never be able to live the life he knows he wants, a chance encounter at an art gallery leaves him with no choice but to try.
Trick showed up at Noahâs house a few minutes after seven. Heâd taken the worldâs fastest shower, and had gone through at least fifteen shirts before heâd settled on the right one. He went with the light blue sweater his mom had gotten him a couple of years ago. It was snug, and looked great with tight black jeans.
He stood on the front porch and rubbed his palms on his hips. He was already nervous, had been for hours, but the nerves intensified with each passing minute. He wasnât sure why he was so worried, exactly. He had totally been doing the hookup thing for years. Heâd had a few brief relationships with guys, friends-with-benefits, that kind of thing. Somehow, this felt different.
No. He had to keep reminding himself, he was moving soon, and Noah would be staying put. He wasnât going to get too caught up in this one.
It was at that moment that Trick realized heâd been standing on the stoop for an inappropriately long time without knocking. He raised his fist. Before he could make contact, Noahâs shape appeared through the decorative pane of glass in the door.
It swung open. Noah was smiling wide, showing off his straight, white teeth. He was wearing a tan, form-fitting thermal shirt that accentuated off his strong body, and his hair was damp.
âSorry, just got out of the shower.â
He moved aside and Trick stepped into the house, trying like hell not to think of Noah in the shower.
Trick looked around as Noah shut the door behind them. The house was small, the living room barely big enough for the oversized, well-worn couch and battered coffee table. The dated kitchen was just off of the living room, and beyond that, a narrow hallway with several closed doors. One of those had to be the bedroom.
Focus. Trick couldnât just obsess about sleeping with this guy. At least, not while they were on a date. The beginning of the date.
âI was going to cook, but my last session ran long. I hope takeoutâs okay?â
âYeah, sure, whateverâs fine. Iâm easy.â
âIâll hold you to that,â Noah said, winking, and disappeared into the kitchen.
Trick exhaled with relief. His entire face was flooded with heat. He wasnât sure why he was so self-conscious and shy around this one. Get a grip.
âWith Colby around, my mom has it hard enough planning meals, so Iâve learned not to be picky.â Trick followed Noah into the kitchen. âYou need a hand or anything?â
Noah looked up from his work plating big servings of pasta with tomato sauce. âNo, Iâm good. How old is Colby, anyway?â
Noah added what seemed like a half a loaf of bread to each plate. âWow. Thatâs a lot younger.â
âMustâve been weird, being a teenager and suddenly having a baby brother around.â
Trick shrugged. âGuess so. Honestly, my parents let me move into the basement right before he was born, so itâs not like he was keeping me up at night or anything.â
âNice. You want anything to drink?â Noah opened the fridge. âIâve got water, lemonade, cheap beer.â
âUh, lemonade, actually. Thanks.â No need to get drunk on a first date.
Noah poured two glasses, then handed one to Trick along with an overloaded plate. âLetâs eat in the living room. I donât really have a âdining roomâ exactly, so I just eat at that little table.â
Trick nodded and led the way.
âSo that basement has been all yours for a long time, then.â
âIâm kind of a hermit, so I like it.â
âWell, youâre in a rock band. How much of a hermit can you be?â
Trick settled onto the couch, lowering his plate and glass to the table. âIndie rock.â
Noah gave him a look, dark eyebrows raised, head tilted to the side. Trick was momentarily distracted by Noahâs hair, which tumbled onto his forehead.
âThereâs a difference.â
âFair enough. The question stands.â
âI donât know. Itâs fun.â He took a bite of his pasta. The sauce was garlicky and sweet at the same time, and while it was delicious, he couldnât help but wonder if garlic was the best choice for a date-night meal.
âThatâs it, just because itâs fun? Then why move to L.A.? Why pursue stardom?â
Trick put his fork down. âIâm an artist. Itâs who I am. I like to create. Part of creating things for me is sharing them with people. Music has gotten me through a lot of shit. If I can do that for someone else, yâknow, itâs worth it.â He knew the answer wasnât the standard one everyone handed out, but it was the truth.
Noah was quiet. Trick noticed his hands again, broad and strong, but tonight, they had a little tremble when Noah moved.
âNothing. That was just really honest.â
âYou expected me to lie?â
âNo, not at all. Thatâs not what I meant. I just figured youâd say something easy like, âmoney and fame.â Not that you wanted to help people.â
Trick felt self conscious, and shifted in his seat. Unsure of what to do next, he shrugged, and scooped a forkful of noodles into his mouth.
âSorry, I didnât mean to make things so serious.â
Trick shook his head. âItâs fine,â he mumbled, eyes on his plate, his mouth partially full. He swallowed and looked at Noah. âWhat about you? Working with kids with autism?â
âSame basic idea, really. I want to help kids who canât always help themselves.â
They both went back to their food, which was almost gone anyway. When they finished eating, Noah took the plates to the kitchen while Trick browsed through streaming services to find a movie. Noah returned with two small bowls.
âIce cream. Hope vanillaâs okay.â
Trick grinned. âItâs a good starting point.â
It was Noahâs turn to blush a little, and he cleared his throat. âAny good movies?â
âAlways.â Noah laughed.
Trick pressed play, and the movie began. Noah turned off the overhead light. Only the glow from the kitchen and TV remained. They watched and ate ice cream, but Trick wasnât really paying attention. He was focused on Noah, throwing sideways glances at him as often as he could get away with it. He caught Noah doing the same.
Trick took one last bite and placed his bowl on the table, then turned to Noah, one leg tucked underneath himself. Hesitating, he studied Noah for a moment, waiting for a cue. Noah swallowed, his Adamâs apple bobbing, and broke their eye contact, looking at his ice cream. Trick took Noahâs dish from his hands and sat it next to his own, then shifted a little closer to the other man. Noah ran his hands along the tops of his thighs, then reached toward Trick. Once again, Trick caught sight of the tremor in Noahâs hands.
That was all the encouragement Trick needed. He moved forward, planting one foot on the ground between Noahâs, and kneeling on the couch with the other leg. Noahâs hand slid up Trickâs thigh and onto his ass. Trick leaned in and pressed his mouth to Noahâs, lips parted, hands on his face, pulling Noah close.
Noah tasted cool and sweetâthe kiss was anything but. The scrape of Noahâs unshaven stubble on Trickâs face set a fire inside him, and he pressed forward. One of Noahâs hands clutched Trickâs ass, and the free one moved up to the waistband of Trickâs jeans fingers curling around the fabric, nails scratching Trickâs hip.
Trickâs cock strained against his jeans as they kissed, and when Noahâs hands loosened their grip, it was all Trick could do not to guide one of them to his groin. Almost as if Noah could read his mind, Noahâs hand rubbed over the erection as his deft fingers worked to free Trick.
Trick slid a hand up, into Noahâs hair, and tightened into a fist, tugging gently. Noahâs hands stilled, making Trick want to stop in protest, but he could wait a few more seconds. He released Noahâs mouth, and Noah gasped as Trick pulled his hair. It didnât sound like a protest, and in any case, Trick wasnât pulling hard enough to hurt, not really. He bent down and moved his lips and tongue from Noahâs earlobe to the soft spot under his jaw.
Noah gasped again, and he really didnât sound like he minded, so Trick scraped his teeth along the skin there. A little cry escaped Noah.
âYou okay?â Trick whispered against Noahâs damp jaw.
âGod, never better.â Noahâs hands began working again, until Trickâs jeans were unfastened, and Noah was shoving the denim down Trickâs hips.
Trick pulled back slightly. âAs much as Iâd like to do this right hereââ
âDonât tell me youâre leaving.â Noah wrapped a hand around Trickâs erection and it was all Trick could do not to gasp in relief.
Trick laughed once. âI just donât want to be naked in front of your door is all. Wouldnât want to scandalize the neighbors if they peeked in.â
âFuck âem.â Noah stroked his fist along Trickâs length.
âIâd rather fuck you.â
âIf you insist.â
Trick took a step back and reluctantly pulled up his jeans. âNow, show me where the bedroom is.â
Riley Long is a wife and mother living a quiet life in Virginia, with her husband, son, and very silly Pit Bull puppy. She passes her evenings writing, reading, and watching bad television (or not so bad television). For fun, Riley participates in NaNoWriMo, GISH, and reads with her book club, the BAMFs. She likes things with silly acronyms. The craziest thing Riley has ever done involves lots of butter and a time lapsed video.
Tuning It Out by Riley Long
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Trick is my favorite character from this series and I really enjoyed he and Noahâs story. The sexy keyboard player meets the married man whoâs dedicated his time in helping kids like Tricks brother.
I think Noah is just what Trick needs and even though things are complicated I really love them together. This is a quick read that is both entertaining and sexy. If m/m is your thing then Check this out.
View all my reviews
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