Title: Heart Untouched
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Hearts Entwined Book 3
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press
Release Date: Oct 9 2018
Edition/Format: 1st Edition/Format ~ eBook & Print
A Hearts Entwined Novel
An accident crushed Duncan’s Olympic dreams and landed him in a chair, but he knows it’s time to get his life back on track—and he has a plan in mind. Working with his friend Todd, an Olympic skeleton racer, on a promotional campaign will not only help Duncan regain some direction, but it’ll give Todd the financial boost he desperately needs. The sport Todd loves is draining his resources—so much so that he’s thinking of giving up racing just to make ends meet.
As the two men work together, their friendship blossoms into much more, and suddenly the future is looking brighter than it has in a long time. But just when love, happiness, and success seem within their grasp, the USOC steps in with plans to stop their campaign. That’ll mean an end not just to Duncan’s business, but to Todd’s dreams… and Duncan isn’t about to let that happen to the man who means everything to him.
“You still are that man and you know it.” Todd met Duncan’s gaze. “You never let anything get in your way when you were racing, and I don’t see that changing. You have to realize that. The chair doesn’t define the man, but the man can be defined by the chair if you let it.” Todd took a second to wonder where in the hell that had come from.
“Are you a philosopher now?” Duncan teased.
“I think so. But you know I’m right. The Duncan Masters I’ve always known is the same person walking along next to me,” Todd said, determined to get Duncan to see that.
“But I can’t walk,” Duncan snapped. “And I might never again.”
“Sure you are. You’re just using wheels. Big fucking deal.” Todd grinned as they started along the walkway. “Come on. I’ll race you.”
Todd took off, hoping Duncan would take the bait. Sure enough, Duncan’s competitive streak kicked in, and soon Duncan rolled right alongside him and slipped past. Todd put on a burst of speed and crossed the open area first.
“I could have beaten you if you hadn’t cheated,” Duncan groused lightly as he coasted to a stop. He breathed a little heavily and sweat beaded his brow, but color dotted his cheeks and his eyes shone in the sun.
“Maybe next time.” Todd motioned, and Duncan continued down the narrow walkway. People passed them going the other way, stepping onto the grass so Duncan could continue. “This is one of my most favorite places in the whole world.” They entered the woods and approached the dormant lighthouse on the bluff alongside the path and the stone bridge with the carved lions on either side of the entrance.
“Olmsted designed this part,” Duncan said. “He’s the guy who designed Central Park. I love this bridge.” They stopped in the middle of the intricate footbridge over the ravine. “It reminds me of some of the ones in New York. I used to come here as a kid all the time, and I’d imagine that the road was lined with carriages on their way up to the castle.” Duncan pointed in the direction of the huge house at the end of the road. “There were no princesses in my stories. Just a prince who was trying to figure out who he was.” Duncan sighed. “Sometimes I think I’m still trying to figure stuff out.”
Todd snorted and covered his mouth, a little embarrassed. “I think we’re all doing that, and once we think we have things under control, life throws us a curve and we start all over again.” He shifted closer, standing next to Duncan, who took his hand. Todd squeezed his fingers but didn’t dare actually look at him. He didn’t want to break whatever spell seemed to have descended over them. For the moment things were perfect.
Voices approached, and Duncan let his fingers slip away. “This isn’t a good idea.”
“What? Holding hands?” Todd rolled his eyes.
“No. This… anything between us other than friendship.” In an instant, it was like Duncan had shifted ten feet away.
Footsteps neared them on the bridge, voices in conversation that passed behind them and then off and away.
“It doesn’t matter.” He turned. “I’m broken, Todd. We can talk about anything we want, but that doesn’t change the facts. I’m in this chair and parts of me don’t work anymore and there’s nothing I can do about it.” His eyes blazed with flame. “I won’t let you throw your life away, or…. I know we haven’t said anything, but things can only be friendship between us. I need to realize that, and so do you.”
Todd knelt down in front of Duncan. “How about you let me figure out what I want.” The longing in Duncan’s eyes drew him closer, like a magnet to steel. Few things were as attractive as someone looking at him as though he were the only person in the world who mattered. Todd continued leaning closer. “Just let go of what you’re so hung up on. How do you know what I want or what’s good for me?”
“I know I’m not much good for anyone,” Duncan whispered, as though he could say the words but was thinking something very different. Todd lightly touched his smooth chin and pressed a little closer. Duncan blinked and backed away, shaking his head. “I….” He tilted his head downward, as if looking for something.
Todd followed Duncan’s gaze to his lap. “I’m sorry.”
Duncan sniffed and raised his gaze slightly. “There’s nothing to be sorry about. At least not on your part.” He seemed to deflate. “You can’t make things work again, and neither can I. No matter how much I want them to.” He blinked, and a tear rolled down his cheek. “I have no one else I can talk to about things like this right now.” He turned away and looked between the decorations in the bridge and out along the ravine.
Todd leaned on the balustrade, figuring now was a time for silence. He would let Duncan talk if he wanted to. But he sat quietly for a long time, and Todd’s impatience slowly got the better of him.
“What did the doctors say about it?” Todd asked in a hushed tone.
“They said that there is the possibility that sensation and some functionality might return. But that was months ago, and nothing else has happened.” Duncan sighed. “I can’t talk about shit like this with my mom. I mean, how am I supposed to have a heart-to-heart with her about my dick?”
Under normal circumstances a sentence like that might have been funny, but this conversation wasn’t usual, and Duncan was hurting deeply. The gravel in his voice spoke more loudly than his words.
to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived
throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s
degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information
systems for a large corporation.
leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when
writing) He considers himself blessed
with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive
and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle,
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