Billionaire Playboy I by Toby Aden
"I never thought it possible to feel an attraction for anyone."
I'm an artist and I have a new contract with The Golden Gallery. I've got best friends who get me and my jokes and a family who supports and loves me. What more could I possibly want or need? I have it all except, I just don't know what it means to be in love. I've never experienced it nor been attracted to anyone in my life. I don't think it's a bad thing and despite the fact that most people prefer to slot me into the ace spectrum, I don't necessarily see myself in that category. I am happy the way I am, content even or at least, I tell myself that, shoving away the idea that there's something wrong with me.
"I never thought I'd ever be attracted to a man."
You probably know me as the Billionaire Playboy. I come from generations of old money and started my first business venture at age nineteen. The Golden Gallery was my baby and I watched it grow into a huge success all over the world. The first time I set eyes on Xavier Fernando, my world was rocked and turned upside down. I couldn't get him out of my mind and I tried to write it off as being impressed by his genius skills as an artist. It worked too until we bumped into each other again, literally, and the same heady feeling came over me. In an attempt to understand why I was feeling this way, I decided to get closer to Xavier, and to know the man behind the art.
PUBLISHER: Blazing Heart Publishing
RELEASE DATE: December 17, 2019
GENRE: LGBT (MM), Contemporary Romance
WORD COUNT: 46,441 words
I had no idea how long I’d stood there peering at the collection, lost in my own world, when a voice spoke from behind me. I was greatly startled and jumped slightly before spinning around to see who it was. I had been unprepared for the sight which greeted me as well as the strange feeling that flitted through me too quickly for me to pinpoint or even recognize.
With my throat dry, the only thing I’d been able to whisper was, “What?”
“I said beautiful art,” the stranger repeated, nodding towards the piece I was standing in front of.
The stranger peered back at me from eyes so golden it was a shock, as I’d never seen eyes this color before. They were framed with dark long lashes most women would kill for, which only served to further highlight his features. With a head full of lush, dark, sable locks, high cheekbones, a strongly cut jaw, and regal nose set into the face staring back at me, I was completely lost in his stare.
The stranger was dressed almost like me in plush ash cashmere turtleneck, high enough to be folded down over his neck and hug his skin, without an inch of skin showing there. Unlike me though he wore form hugging, dark jeans and a long below-the-knee length, blue casual coat. Even to me who had never found the human form particularly pleasing before, the stranger cut a striking look. As I trailed my eyes back up his body, I was surprised to see him staring back at me, one brow cocked upwards. It was then I realized he’d spoken to me, and I’d been staring rudely at him, without responding, and he’d obviously caught me at it too.
“Oh. Oh, yes.” I turned to face said piece and together, we both stood there, neither saying a word until curiosity made me inquire, “What do you see when you look at it? What do you feel?”
“Well, looking at it, I can see it was very beautifully done.” The stranger said and I was unsure as to whether he was teasing or mocking. Then he continued, “It reminds me of an old Indian story about an older Indian Chief who told his grandson, ‘Kid! We have two wolves within our hearts. One wolf is evil with rage, envy, jealousy, arrogance, and inferiority. The other one is a good wolf. He brings with him fullness, peace, love, hope, and beliefs. These two wolves are always in battle within us.’ The grandson then asked his grandfather, ‘Grandfather, which wolf wins then?’ And the grandfather responded, ‘The one you are feeding the food to.’”
“I know the story,” I said with a nod.
“You’re the artist?” The stranger asked, letting me know he hadn’t missed my word.
“Yeah,” I responded, saying nothing else as we both stood, peering at each other. My stare soon turned into a frown though and when I realized, I shook my head and extended my hand towards him, “I’m Xavier. Xavier Fernando.”
When he took my hand in a handshake, I was surprised to feel a tingle go through my body and quickly yanked my hand back from his. I stared down at the offending appendage, wondering what that had been. I turned my hand over and over, staring at my palm and the back of my hand but there was nothing there, shaking my head, I thought it must have been my imagination and soon forgot all about it.