Workin' On The Railroad by Deirdre O'Dare, Amber Quill Press, Amber Allure Line. www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/WorkinOnRailroad.html
This is much later in the story as Roane and Alden begin to come to terms with their mutual attraction and desire to build a relationship. Blurb provided in prior post.
Alden studied Roane for a moment. He sensed the younger man's hesitation and recognized Roane had been hurt more than he'd let on by Alden's sudden withdrawal. Shit, I messed up again, trying to do the right thing. Well, maybe I can get him to see my reasons.
Roane stooped to rummage in the refrigerator, the white cotton tightening over his firm and well shaped ass. Alden felt a surge of arousal, even beyond the itchy awareness he always sensed when he was around the other man. Near nude, every solid, muscled inch of Roane's athletic body showed to the best advantage. No artificial pumped up muscles there but the sleek power and strength built by work.
The spotting task might not be too strenuous, but Alden had never seen Roane hesitate to grab a shovel or a spike maul and use them, tote a bucket of bolts or a box of fish plates, or get in beside the others to lift, shift or tug something into place. His tan stopped at the right places, too--not the all-over bronze of a beach bum, but white legs and brown arms, an even redder neck and face up to the brow where his hard hat sat. Alden had to appreciate the view.
Roane backed up with two frosty cans in his hands and kneed the door shut. He plopped one can--a Bud Lite--down in front of Alden and settled with the other on the opposite side of the table. "Stuff is not much better than horse piss, but it's cold and wet," he said.
Alden grinned. "Yeah, I like the imported stuff better myself, but beer is beer." He popped the top, using the pause to gather his thoughts. "I got to thinking over my little campfire a couple of nights and I saw I'd fucked things up. Guess you need to know why. It's not a story I often share, but you deserve to hear it."
Then he told Roane the whole sorry tale--Jason and the accident and every agonizing bit of it, barely pausing a time or two to sip the beer. He wasn't able to watch Roane's expression during his narrative, maybe afraid of what he might see. Finally, when he finished, he looked up.
Roane's face held only sympathy and anguish. "Oh, my God. But you shouldn't blame yourself. Shit happens. Accidents. The world isn't always nice or fair." He plowed to an awkward halt, as if aware that platitudes didn't even provide real sympathy, much less anything more concrete.
Then he reached across and laid his hand, cold from holding the beer, over Alden's clenched fist. "I'm sorry. I wish I'd known. Maybe things would've gone down different that night."
Alden didn't feel easy with sympathy. He didn't even think he wanted it. He'd only meant to take away what he sensed was Roane's notion that the sudden chill was due to something he had done wrong. "It's not your fault, none of this, just... Well, I don't want to see history repeat itself. I don't think I dare try to handle mixing work and pleasure that way. It's too risky."
Roane's grip tightened on Alden's hand. "Wait a minute. I'm not that guy. I'm not just out for kicks or a summer fling. At least that sounds like what he was doing, teasing and stuff. I won't flirt when it's time for business. We've been working together a while now and it's been okay, hasn't it? From what you said, you and this guy Jason had only been working together a short time and just hooked up. You were new with the crane, too, still learning how to operate it and apply all that safety stuff."
Alden nodded, not sure where the other man was going with his argument. "Yeah, that's true. And yeah, Jason liked to flaunt his looks and sex appeal and he did it all the time. I was prob'ly scared he'd move on to someone else, maybe someone cooler and more macho than I was so he kept me going."
"Well, then, why should something bad happen again? This is different. Why not give me, give us a chance?"
Somewhere in the frozen depths of Alden's chest, a trickle of warmth hit and began to expand. He looked into Roane's earnest face, into the guileless blue-green eyes that held his gaze with their intensity. "Are you sure you want to take that risk?"
"If I wasn't I wouldn't be asking."
Alden closed his eyes for a moment. He heard Roane stir; the gripping hand released. The next thing he knew, he was bodily hauled out of the chair and into the demanding circle of Roane's arms. Shock jolted through him. He'd always been the one to make the first move, even with Jason.
Jason had been very blatant about showing his interest, but it had still been Alden who reached the first time. A few minutes ago, Alden had admired Roane's obvious strength. Now he experienced it. He felt as if the whole issue had been taken out of his hands, lifted off his shoulders. He could no more stop it now than he could block a runaway train.
The other guys could return any time, but that didn't matter. The only thing that mattered was Roane's hard, hot body crushing against his and then Roane's avid lips. The kiss tasted of beer. The other man's mouth sealed over his with so much heat, force and intensity Alden wondered if he might go up in a flash like an arc welding rod touching grounded iron.
Roane maneuvered him in a circle, almost like dancing. Then, with a shove, he sent Alden sprawling onto the sagging couch. Dropping to his knees on the still-wet floor, Roane went to work on Alden's belt, almost ripped the buttons undoing his Levi's, and stopped only for a split second when he apparently realized Alden wore no underwear.
Alden's cock sprang free, bursting past the open fly of the jeans and into Roane's waiting hands.
I could come just from that touch. Oh, my God. Holy fucking shit.