Today, I'm looking back at Christian and Shea from Against the Wall,
book 7 in the Firsts and Forever Series.
I love these two! Christian, my free-spirited artist with a secret, and sweet, self-conscious police officer Shea are perfect together. But it didn't start off smoothly.
Here's how they met. Christian is in a crowded nightclub with his new friend Chance and is just looking for a one-night stand. But Shea turns his world upside down -- once they both get past this awkward beginning:
“There’s a seriously hot guy staring at you. Did you notice?”
“Diagonally across the dance floor. Royal blue polo shirt, shoulders and arms like Atlas.”
I spotted the guy in question. Talk about gorgeous. He was totally built, with short, dark brown hair and eyes so blue I could see their color even at a distance. He was talking to three other guys. They all seemed to be about the same age, mid-twenties, but his three companions were all shorter and skinnier than him, and not to be unkind, but they were clearly dorks. The two white guys were a perfectly matched set (except that one was blond and the other brunet) who’d worn long-sleeved dress shirts along with their jeans, totally buttoned up and stiff. Their African American companion wore a bright t-shirt with the word Bazinga splashed across the front of it, along with a fedora. I had to wonder what Captain America was doing with the nerd herd.
“How would you know who that guy was looking at? This place is wall-to-wall people,” I yelled to Chance.
“You’re directly in his line of sight. Just watch him for a minute and you’ll see I’m right.”
The guy appeared to be having some sort of debate with his buddies. His friend in the fedora pointed across the bar, directly at me, and yelled something to his hot friend, who shook his head emphatically. Then one of the buttoned-down white boys took him by the shoulders, spun him toward me, and tried to give him a push. The hottie dug in his heels.
He did look up though and saw me watching him. Maybe. I still wasn’t convinced that I was the focal point of his attention, though he did suddenly turn a shade of red so vivid that it was noticeable even among the club’s bright, flashing lights. Chance leaned in and said, “Why don’t you go talk to that guy? Ask him to dance or something.”
I glanced at my companion. “First of all, I don’t dance. Secondly, why would he be looking at me, out of all the people in this place? Maybe he’s looking at you, you’re right beside me and pretty damn hot.”
“He’s not looking at me. Watch.” Chance got up and made his way to the center of the dance floor, then held his arms over his head and moved his slender body provocatively to the music. This got the attention of a half a dozen men around him, but not the guy in the polo shirt. Captain America was still glancing my way every few seconds while his friends appeared to give him some kind of pep talk. It involved a lot of hand gestures, yelling over the music and emphatic pointing.
I was still skeptical that any of that had a thing to do with me, but I had just decided to go say hello to him anyway when the pep talk finally worked. Captain America took a drink from the tall glass in his hand, then spun around and took a few steps in my direction, cutting across the dance floor. In the next instant, his arms were flailing over his head and he fell like a tree that had been chopped down, tripping over God knows what and landing flat on his belly. Oh man, the poor guy was dance floor road kill.
He knocked over at least ten people on his way down in a domino effect. The slippery ice that had flown out of his glass took out another dozen, most of them knocking down even more people as they fell. Chance was fairly nimble and managed to remain standing, but he was in the minority.
I leapt up to go help the guy in the polo shirt, but he was back on his feet in a flash. He darted toward the exit with his buddies in hot pursuit. Chance appeared beside me, somehow having navigated the wreckage on the dance floor, and said, “Aren’t you going to go after him?”
“I still don’t know if he was even coming to talk to me.”
“He was, trust me.”
“And what am I supposed to say to him?”
Chance grinned at me. “Try ‘hi’. Works wonders.” When I turned to look at him, he added, “That guy’s having the worst night ever. I bet he could really use some happy right about now.”
“You’re right. It was good to meet you, Chance.”
“Keep in touch, Christian,” he said with a smile before directing his attention to a couple guys at the bar.
I looked for the boy in blue as I cut through the club, but he was nowhere to be seen. He wasn’t in the crowd milling out front, either. I stood out on the sidewalk and looked in both directions, and finally spotted him and his little group halfway down the block. I went after them, and as I got closer, I saw they were still debating. They had their backs to me and didn’t notice me as I approached. “Let’s just go back,” the guy in the fedora was saying. “It’s your birthday, we’re supposed to be celebrating!”
“Yeah somehow, after humiliating myself in front of him of all people, I don’t feel all that festive, Leo,” the guy in blue said.
I was just a few feet away by now, so I stopped walking and said, “So, you probably don’t mean me, which is going to make me feel like such a dumbshit for coming after you.”
The foursome turned to face me, the nerd herd beaming ear-to-ear as the boy in blue went full-on deer in headlights. He still clutched the empty bar glass. “Oh, he definitely means you,” Fedora Guy said. He glanced at his friend, then took a second look and poked his arm. “Isn’t that right, Shea?”
I hadn’t quite caught that so I asked, “Sorry, what was your name?”
His friends stared at him in anticipation, and finally the buttoned-down blond boy answered for him. “His name’s Shea. Rhymes with gay.”
His dark-haired counterpart added, “Today’s his birthday, he just turned twenty-five.”
I stepped a little closer and looked into those wide blue eyes, noting that he and I were the same height, six-one. “Happy birthday, Shea. I’m Christian.” I tried giving him a friendly smile, but that just seemed to freak him out more.
“Dude,” the buttoned down brunet told his friend in a loud stage whisper, as if I couldn’t hear that, “say something.”
“I...um...hi,” Shea finally managed.
I smiled cheerfully. “Hi.”
His posse took that as their cue. Fedora Guy chimed in, “Our work here is done! We’re going over to Bas’s apartment, Shea, so you’ll have the whole house to yourself if you know what I mean. Nudge nudge, wink wink!” Everybody knew what he meant, and Shea once again turned a vivid shade of pink.
I stepped a little closer and carefully extracted the glass from his hand. It was surprising that it hadn’t broken in the fall. As I handed it to one of his friends, my eyes never leaving Shea’s, I murmured, “You are absolutely beautiful.”
“Awwww yeah,” buttoned-down blond boy said with a huge smile, throwing his hands in the air and swiveling his skinny hips. “It’s on! Have fun, Shea! But don’t forget dude, no glove, no love!”
The guy in the fedora grabbed the blond’s arm and started dragging him down the sidewalk as he called, “Bye, Shea. Bye, hot guy. We’ll be out late. Real late! Y’all will have plenty of time to get it on!”
“Oh God,” Shea whispered, still staring at me. “I’m so sorry about that.”
“Don’t be. What’s life without perfectly certifiable friends?” My gaze drifted to his full, luscious lips. I slid my hand around the back of his neck, pulled him to me and kissed him gently. Every part of me came alive, my pulse quickening and my cock swelling. I wanted this guy, no doubt about it. He was absolutely terrified though, and I was a little concerned that he’d throw up on me out of sheer panic.
A chorus of cat-calls came from his friends, who by now were down the block but apparently still watching. I ran my hand down his arm and asked, “Do you want to go back to your place?”
He nodded but remained rooted to the sidewalk. Maybe he’d only recently come out and wasn’t used to being with guys yet. That might explain the terror. I draped my arms around his shoulders and kissed him again, lightly. Then I rested my forehead against his and told him softly, “I’d love to go home with you and fuck you all night, Shea. But that won’t happen unless we actually start walking.”
Christian and Shea have been overdue for a check-in, so I'm going to make a point of bringing them back in my work-in-progress. I'm currently writing Quinn's story. He's a new character I introduced in the latest book in the series, All I Ever Wanted. It should be out sometime in September.