When Keenan's lover, Naro, reveals the deep, dark secret of his past, Keenan must decide how strong their love really is. But Keenan has a secret of his own—one that's right up Naro's alley.
Naro shrugged again. "I don't know."
"Does it bother you?" Perhaps Naro's expectations of Keenan's unease were born out of his own. Keenan couldn't imagine carrying around such a secret in his heart, living in fear of someone he loved discovering it and turning away from him.
"Sometimes. Sometimes, I wonder about it. What would I have been like? What would've happened, if my father had left me the way I was born? Would I have married and had children? Is that why I prefer to lay with men? Did they change my body, but leave my mind and my heart the way it was?"
The searching expression in Naro's wide eyes tugged at Keenan's heart. He bent down and pressed a kiss to Naro's forehead. "Do you want to be a woman?"
"Sometimes. I see mothers with children, and I feel almost homesick. That's the only way I can describe it."
"You can raise a child without being a woman," Keenan pointed out. "You could adopt." Though there weren't many orphanages, the ones that existed were full of children. Keenan had never wanted children for himself and had no idea how to act around other people's children.
Naro shook his head, bottom lip curving out just so in a sad pout. He ran his hand over his belly and frowned, looked down and away. "It wouldn't be the same. I'm sure I could love the child, but it wouldn't be like carrying it inside me. It's hard to explain. When I see a baby, it makes me wish I were still female. Or at least looked like one, I suppose."
Keenan pondered the situation, brow furrowed. He had no doubt of Naro's love, no doubt of Naro's attraction to him, and he didn't think either of those things could be changed by anything other than an extreme betrayal on his part. Indeed, if their roles in this conversation were reversed, he knew Naro would be nothing but supportive. Could he be any less? "You're feminine enough. Buy a dress."
Naro's eyes became squinted slits. "Don't mock me," he snarled the words.
Keenan leaned back and peered at Naro, wide-eyed. He'd never seen Naro quite so hostile before, and though it intrigued him, it took him a moment to recover his thoughts. "I'm not mocking you. Buy a dress. See what it feels like. Perhaps you'll like it, but perhaps you won't."
Naro's expression softened somewhat, but an air of uncertainty still hung around him. He cocked his head to the side and looked Keenan up and down. "You're being serious?"
"It wouldn't repulse you?"
"Of course not." In truth, he had no idea if it would or wouldn't. He liked men—had never given women so much as a second thought. But Naro had always been small and slight, more pretty than handsome, and certainly the least masculine man he'd ever been with.
"I…I don't know." Once again, Naro's cock argued against his words, for in the instant he had considered Keenan's statement, it had sprung back to rigid life.
Keenan traced his fingers along the impressive length of Naro's cock. "Your naughty bits are making a liar of you."
A deep red blush spread out from Naro's cheeks and down his neck and he grinned. "I can't say I don't find the thought intriguing."
Keenan fisted his hand around Naro's cock and started to stroke. "I think you're more than intrigued."
"Perhaps," Naro gasped, thrusting his hips up. "Kee, please."
Keenan chuckled. Naro had said before that he'd never cared much for foreplay—preferred to get right down to the act he loved the most—and apparently he hadn't been exaggerating. Keenan reached again for the bottle of oil as Naro writhed beneath him.
"Hurry," Naro pleaded.
Keenan oiled his cock quickly, swallowing another wave of mirthful laughter, then dribbled oil down between Naro's ass cheeks. He held his cock to Naro's opening, pushed gently, and slid home, smiling at the sweet little moan that escaped Naro's lips, and the way Naro's legs came up to wrap around him. Naro's heat gripped him in a blissfully tight embrace, and for a brief moment Keenan simply savored it—held himself still as a statue, eyes closed—letting the connection of their joined bodies swell his heart until it was all he could do not to spill his seed.
Naro moved under him, making hungry little pleading noises, hands fisting into the bedding, but there was something about the expression on Naro's face, something Keenan couldn't quite put his finger on, that hinted that this wasn't enough. Perhaps it was the almost distant look in his eyes, or the frustrated wrinkle of his forehead. Or perhaps Keenan was imagining things. They'd never gone this far before, admittedly. Still, something told him Naro needed more.
Keenan pulled out nearly all the way, began an agonizingly slow thrust back inside. He leaned over Naro and ran his hands over Naro's chest, teasing and tweaking Naro's taut nipples. "You're such a pretty little thing," he whispered experimentally.
Naro's gaze snapped to Keenan and his eyes went wide. Naro slid his hand down to his cock and began to tug and pull. "Say…say it again."
Keenan sped up the pace of his thrusting to match Naro's urgent hand motion. "So pretty," he whispered. He moved his hands down Naro's body, along Naro's hips and let his fingers knead the flesh there. "Such sweet curves. I watch you walk and my hands itch to touch your hips, to feel those soft curves under my fingers. You're so very, very pretty, Naro. Such a pretty girl."
Naro—quiet, prim, proper Naro, who never cried out, never raised his voice in anger, had never uttered more than the whisper of a moan when they'd fooled around, who never, ever would dream of voicing his passion so that someone might hear him—threw back his head and screamed as orgasm rocked through him, sending his release arching onto his chest and belly. He shuddered and gasped, fighting to catch his breath, tears rolling down from the corners of his eyes. Digging his heels into Keenan's back, he raised his hips off the bed in a thrust that took Keenan's breath away. "Fill me up," he begged.
Keenan closed his eyes tight and steeled himself against the onslaught of pressure rising up inside him, against the pounding of his heart and the shallow gasping of his breath. Unable to hold back any longer, he thrust his cock into Naro, frantic to ease his own ache. He let his head fall back, and gave into the need rolling through him, let the instinct to seek release overtake him. He moved without thought, without knowledge, blind and deaf to everything around him.
"Keenan…I love you."
Those whispered words reached him and pushed him over the edge. Keenan's body went rigid, his eyes rolled back in his head and his mouth opened in a silent scream as he filled Naro's clinging warmth. Naro pulled him down and held him close; the thought that his weight might be too much for Naro's much smaller physique flitted through Keenan's mind but he couldn't summon the energy to do anything about it.
Naro snuggled against him; arms locked tightly around Keenan's waist, and pressed kisses to his neck.
Keenan's heart finally stopped its racing, his breathing returned to normal at length and he rolled off Naro. He took Naro's face in his hands and pressed their lips together in a deep kiss. Keenan pulled back and ran his thumbs over Naro's cheeks, catching the tears that were still falling. "I love you, not the shell, not the clothing. I love the heart of you, and the mind of you. The soul of you. The rest will work itself out."
To be continued...