Havers Safety instructors were drilled on the importance of uniform presentation, and Cameron had never been more grateful for the fact that he could do this recertification in his sleep. Because he might as well have been asleep for all the attention he was able to pay to the program with Noah Winthrop sitting in the front row. A whole new and improved Noah Winthrop. This Noah oozed a confidence that had almost knocked Cameron on his ass, and the muscle Noah had packed onto his tall frame had Cameron wondering every other minute how it would feel pressed against him.
He wouldn't say he hadn't thought about Noah since Adam's wedding, actually Cameron had kind of expected to hear something from Noah those first few months, and when Cameron didn't, he figured he hadn't screwed up too badly. When the haze of sex and champagne had worn off he'd wondered exactly what the protocol was for taking your best friend's brother's virginity.
Noah had looked years younger asleep than awake, with his arms wrapped around the pillow and those bangs over his face. As Cameron had watched Noah sleep that morning, a spurt of panic had folded his stomach in on itself. At the time, Cameron had barely known what it was, because he tended to avoid situations that would end in that kind of terrifying uncertainty. It wasn't his proudest moment, heading for the airport early to avoid facing Noah and Adam, but his gut seemed to think it was a pretty damned good plan, and his gut hadn't steered him wrong yet.
If Noah had given Cameron much thought after that night, Noah didn't show it now. Every time Cameron snuck a peek at Noah he was either watching the DVD or leafing through the handouts. It was ridiculous to even worry about it. It was a long time ago, and even if Cameron did know Noah better than any other guy he'd slept with it was just because they happened to grow up a block apart.
Cameron's dick decided that was pure bullshit by the time they got to the water part of the training. Noah stretching his arms before he dove into the pool made Cameron wish to hell they were doing this in wet suits. And Noah wet, Noah volunteering to be the spinal injury victim, the water beading on his nipples, sliding over his abs, his biceps, his pecs just made things worse. By the time the practice rescue was over, Cameron had decided that Noah had been put on this earth to torment Cameron for any past and future sins. He thanked God for the withering chill of the pool as he eased in to correct someone's technique.
He hadn't had this problem dealing with all the other incarnations of Noah he'd known. Unless you counted the time he'd let champagne and the flattering intensity of Noah's crush override sense and Cameron had fucked Noah's brains out, a memory which was not helping the cold water do its work. It was marginally easier when Noah wasn't the one stretched out on the spinal board, when he was only a participant and all Cameron had to worry about was the power Noah showed as he moved through the water, the way the rescue tube looked tiny in his hands, his effortless demonstration of the skills they were reviewing. Cameron spared a glance at the clock. He needed a drink, and he needed to get laid. And with each tick of the clock salvation was getting closer.
When the final drill was complete, he called an end to the class. "CPR and First Aid starts at eight in the classroom tomorrow, final tests for recertification in the pool tomorrow afternoon."
Noah vaulted out of the pool in the deep end, one press of his arms sending him rocketing onto the deck, the weight of the water tugging his trunks down just far enough for Cameron to see the dip before that so-fuckable ass rounded. He shut his eyes and when he opened them, Noah'd disappeared into the locker room. And that was a good thing, Cameron reminded himself. Noah Winthrop was a complication Cameron's life did not need. As soon as the pool emptied, Cameron grabbed his bag and waved good-bye to the site coordinator.
Cameron stopped dead when he got into the parking lot. The brilliant Florida sun had vanished under dense clouds that promised rain in--if he could still read Gulf Coast weather patterns--about thirty minutes. He tossed his gear into the trunk of the rental car and slammed it, then glanced up to see if any of his students had exited in time to witness his mini temper tantrum.
He hadn't bothered to change out of his swim trunks and T-shirt--the possibility of running into a naked Noah in the locker room had the potential to be far more of a distraction than the eye candy Cameron had originally thought he was getting. If he was going to get that drink and the other necessities of not thinking about Noah underway, Cameron was going to have to go back to the hotel to change.
By the time he'd found a parking spot near the bar, the rain he'd known was coming hit and it hit sideways. Not that he'd expected anything less with the way his day was going.
This early in the afternoon the bar was almost empty. Two solo drinkers at the bar, one at a table. No one was going to get much use out of the rooftop tables, but there was a dance floor in the dimly lit downstairs. No DJ yet, but he was pretty sure there had been a jukebox down there last time he was here. Watching a couple of guys who'd been chased off the beach by the weather dance and make out was just what Cameron needed to get his mind off his confusing, fucked-up day. And maybe there was someone bored enough by the rain to entertain him for awhile.
He left the bartender a ten for his five-dollar Corona and made his way to the balcony overlooking the dance floor. There was one couple dancing.
Cameron wanted to curse out loud.
The taller guy was wrapped around his partner from behind, grinding to a song whose beat Cameron could barely hear over the rush of blood in his ears. Noah was wrapped around the smaller guy, a blue-striped shirt making him look even larger.
Cameron didn't know what was making his head pound like this until the guy reached up and cupped the back of Noah's head and the thought flashed through him. I had that ass first. No matter what, that'll always be mine. He caught the narrow neck of the bottle before it could slip through his fingers. He was jealous. Of some random guy with Noah? That was fucking ridiculous. Cameron didn't get jealous. He never had a reason to.
Certainly he wouldn't be jealous of the way Noah was grinding into that guy's ass because Cameron was a top. He always topped--except those two times when he should have known better. He should be looking at the other guy, and he definitely didn't wish he could switch places with him and feel what it was like to rest his head back against those shoulders.
Damn, the brat had gotten tall. Taller than his dad or Adam.
Cameron thought about abandoning his Corona and plans for the bar, but then Noah looked up and saw him, and while Cameron might prefer to avoid confrontations, he wasn't a pussy. He wasn't going to let Noah see that he'd chased Cameron off.
He took a seat at the end of the bar away from the other solo drinkers. The bartender came over immediately. Cameron waved him off since he'd barely started on the Corona, but he remedied that quickly enough, not even tasting the beer as it slid down his dry throat. The bartender had dropped off another in front of Cameron before Noah appeared and went up to the middle of the bar. His dance partner wasn't around.
"Where's your friend?" The question was out before Cameron thought about how it sounded. He glanced down at the half-empty second in his hand. Was it only his second?
Noah turned and flashed those damned dimples as he raked his hair back. "Last I saw him he had his tongue down his boyfriend's throat."
"Yeah? Because you guys looked pretty tight."
"His boyfriend doesn't dance, but he likes to watch him." Noah shrugged.
Cameron caught the bartender's eye and nodded at Noah. As Noah leaned in to place his order, his hips were almost up to the level of the bar. Cameron's brain decided to play a movie for him: Noah in nothing but that blue-striped shirt, ass tipped up over the bar, and damned if his brain wasn't even providing some kind of cheesy porn soundtrack. When he dragged his rational mind back on line, Noah was on the stool next to him.
"Thanks for the drink." Noah inclined the bottle in his direction.
"Maybe I owed you one."
"Nah. Wasn't that big a deal." Only one dimple flashed with his half smile.
"Ouch." Cameron sucked on his lime wedge.
Noah's grin widened until it was creasing the corners of his cat-like eyes. "So."