Paint on the Canvas
Love on the Line Book 2
by Lynn Michaels
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
A life-changing sacrifice for art and love.
Daltrey Boxbaum is an artist, a lover, an addict, and more. Through the years, he finds and loses love, fights addiction, and defines himself in new ways.
Martin Hannan was the love of Daltrey’s life, the son of a world-famous Silicon Valley developer and tycoon. Left behind to fight his own battles, Martin’s reappearance in Daltrey’s life turns the stable world he’s worked so hard for inside out.
Note: Love on the Line books can be read in any order, but best fits the numbered order.
I laid back and closed my eyes, hoping to rest for a bit.
And I did—until Jenny and her big mouth barged in. “Daltrey!” she called out. “Get up, Romeo. I need gossip.”
“Shut up, woman!”
“Oh! You’re up.”
“Hmph. I’ll make coffee.” She dropped her purse and jacket on the bar that sectioned off the kitchen area.
I closed my eyes, listening to her putter around until I could smell the coffee brewing. “Why are you here?”
“I need to hear about Martin. Duh.” She leaned forward with her hands on the bar, looking out at me from inside the kitchen.
I sat up and rubbed my eyes. “I didn’t call him.”
“What?” She practically flew around the bar. “What do you mean you didn’t call him?”
“I, uh, I…”
She smacked me in the shoulder. “Daltrey?”
“I can’t. Okay. I just can’t. He’s not… I’m not.” I didn’t know what words would make her understand.
“You can’t live in the past.”
“He is the past.”
“Coffee first.” She shoved my shoulder. “You’ve been painting?”
Jenny snorted and headed back into the kitchen. This time, I followed her. She pulled down coffee mugs while I got cream out of the fridge. After pouring and doctoring up the coffee, we sat on the bar stools and sipped it. Hot steam came from my mug, but it didn’t provide enough of a shield to hide behind.
“I knew something was up with you when you left last night.” She took a sip. “This is good.”
I grunted and held the mug in front of my face.
“Stop it,” she growled at me. “You can’t hide. Why didn’t you call him last night?”
I sighed and set my mug on the counter. “I’m not the same person. I’ve been through so much. Too much. He’ll never understand.”
“You don’t know that.”
“It feels like going backward.”
“This is ridiculous. You want me to call him?”
“What? No.” I sounded outraged.
“I think you need to call him. If for no other reason than to put some kind of closure on that part of your life. I mean, come on, Dal. You’ve been painting him, drawing him, since I met you.”
“You aren’t over him. You weren’t over him when Vaughn—”
“It’s okay. You can say his name. I’m not going to go into some kind of tailspin and relapse. Get real.” Recovery was too hard, and I had entirely too much to lose. I knew that even if I hadn’t admitted it back then or to her.
“Good. Then you can call him.”
“Let’s eat first. Hungry? I’ve got eggs or some shit, I’m sure.”
She gave me a sympathetic smile and helped me cook some breakfast. After we ate, I showed her my new painting. She gave the appropriate oohs and ahs. Then accused me of stalling. “Okay,” she finally said. “I’m going to run some errands. You call him. We’ll talk when I get back. Oh. The show info should be coming today, and I need to talk with Ros about it. So…” she looked at her watch, “I should be back around five. Okay?”
I nodded. “Fine. Go.”
Instead of calling, I worked on my painting.
Lines on the Mirror
Love on the Line Book 1
Martin has always done everything his parents ever asked, never making waves, but never learning how to say no either. Then his new partying neighbors introduce him to a different lifestyle that pushes his limits.
The only thing keeping him grounded is getting back in touch with his first love, Daltrey, who moved across the country when they were still teenagers. Now, he’s a successful artist and plays by his own rules. He wants Martin but won’t compromise his morals.
When Martin lets his new friends drag him down until he hits bottom, can he ever find his way back to Daltrey and take control of his life?
Note: Love on the Line books can be read in any order.
Still no sign of Alec or Wendy. No phone calls or texts from Daltrey either. Not that I deserved to hear from him. How was I going to tell him what had happened? What had happened? I’d thought it was just casual sex the first time, but Wendy hadn’t been happy with me blowing them off afterward, and here I was doing it again. Relationships were too hard, took too much energy to keep it going.
I went to bed early, pulling the covers over my head and wishing I could run away from myself.
I slept until late Sunday morning when a pounding on my door got me up. I pulled on a pair of khaki shorts and opened the door. A hot, familiar-looking guy with straight, bleached-blond hair falling in his face stood there with his mouth open. “Uh, looking for Alec?”
I groaned a little and pointed at the stairs. “Upstairs, dude.”
“Thanks, man,” he said and turned away, but then he stopped and looked at me again. “Hey! Aren’t you that guy Tad’s all worked up about?”
I definitely knew the guy. He was in Tad’s band. Guitarist, maybe? “Uh? What? Worked up?”
“Seriously.” He pushed his hair back out of his eyes. “From the party Friday night.”
“Oh. I mean, um, I know Tad but didn’t think he was worked up over me. Or anything, really.” I lifted my eyebrow, thinking that was the truth. I’d never seen extreme emotion out of Tad one way or another. The guy was too cool. Maybe that was what I didn’t like about him.
The guy rolled his eyes. They were an unnatural shade of blue, almost neon. He had to have contacts in, but they were striking against the bleached hair and sharp cheekbones. He rolled his tongue across plump lips and fiddled with the hoop pierced through it. “Oh, well, I’d say he’s worked up. Maybe he just wants what he can’t have, but he’s totally into you.”
“Too bad,” I said and shut the door. It wasn’t particularly nice, but I didn’t give a shit if he thought I was rude. Fuck Tad for being into me now. He’d blown his chance. And why the hell couldn’t I be that assertive about anything else in my life?
Still, it felt a little exciting knowing he wanted me. I rolled my eyes at myself and went to start the coffee and then get a shower. Daltrey had promised to call, and I couldn’t wait to talk to him. It seemed like it’d been ages, not just one day.
By the time Daltrey called, I was at the park, wearing my khaki shorts and aviator sunglasses and walking around aimlessly in the sunshine and trying to calm my acidy stomach that insisted on boiling over like a superactive volcano. I’d popped five antacids already and was just about to give in and call when the phone rang. “Dal! Hey!”
“Hey, Marty. Missed you.” His happy voice made me glow like the sun. Distracted, I tripped over my own feet, stupid deck shoes, and fell into a bench.
I grunted. “Missed you too.”
“Sure, yes. Sitting here in the park. What’s up?” I didn’t want to tell him what a freakin’ klutz I was.
“So, like, I’ve been, um, working some stuff out, and I’ve booked a show in LA”
“What?” I gasped. LA? He was coming to LA? My heart stopped beating.
I heard his soft chuckle, sounding like he had his mouth covered. “That’s what I’ve been working on, and, uh, like, I had to get a lot of shit lined up yesterday and two of the paintings I’ve been working on, and like, I had to get those finished, so just busy, you know?” he rambled on nervously. “Is that okay? Um, do you, like, want to see me? When I’m out there?”
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About the Author
Lynn Michaels lives and writes in Tampa, Florida where the sun is hot and the Sangria is cold. When she’s not writing she’s kayaking, hanging with her husband, or reading by the pool. Lynn writes Male/Male romance because she believes everyone deserves a happy ending and the dynamics of male characters can be intriguing, vulnerable, and exciting. She has both contemporary and paranormal titles and has been writing since 2014. Her stories don’t follow any set guidelines or ideas, but come from her heart and contain love in many forms.