Sebastian Stewart was never Mr. Dependable; he was more the good-time guy who only wanted to swim, party, and ink tattoos. Until he cost his team the Olympic gold four years ago. Bas is determined to do right this time around—by his medley relay team and his rookie mentee.
Jacob Burrows is in over his head. The Olympic experience—from the hazing, to the endless practices, to the unrelenting media—makes the shy nineteen-year-old’s head spin. He’s trying to be everything to everyone while trying not to fall for his gorgeous tattooed teammate who just gets him—gets his need to fix things, his dorky pirate quips, and his bisexuality.
When Jacob falters under the stress, threatening his individual races and the medley relay gold, he needs Bas’s help to escape from drowning. Bas, however, fearing a repeat of his mistakes four years ago, pushes Jacob away, sure he’ll only let Jacob down. But the only path to salvaging gold is for Jacob to finally ask for what he needs—the heart of the man he loves—and for Bas to become the dependable one.
How can you be your best when you’re not sure if your best will measure up? That’s the dilemma facing Bas and Jacob, as they deal with the immense pressure of swimming for Olympic gold while also trying to sort out their tangled hearts.
— Layla Reyne
Leah met him at the bottom of the steps, looping an arm through his. “Saw you giving Terrence some turn tips. Think you might share with us too?”
Jacob grinned at her, cheeks slightly pinked. “Yeah, sure.”
“We’re in the water in ten, Pup,” Bas said. “Don’t get too distracted.”
Jacob shot another smile over his shoulder, as Leah tugged him forward. Bas tracked them all the way around to the other side of the pool, where Jacob jumped in with Leah and several of the other women, a mini-splash fest ensuing.
“You still know what you’re doing there?” Alex asked low.
Bas repeated his answer from San Antonio, “Not doing anything,” even as his memories played like a film reel of contradictions. The tattoo parlor; waking up with Jacob in his arms; watching him sleep every night, the pup’s light snores endearing.
“That look on your face doesn’t say ‘Not doing anything.’”
Bas schooled his blasted features and swung his eyes back to Alex. “I made you a promise. I intend to keep it.”
“Are the two things mutually exclusive?”
Bas lost control of his features again, surprise reigning. Was Alex suggesting what Bas thought he was? “You were there four years ago. You’ve got a medley relay silver in your case at home instead of gold.” He pointed at his chest. “My fault.”
“We were all distracted, Sebastian.”
“Because of what I did. Not doing that again.”
Alex tilted his head, dark eyes searching. “If I’m reading this right, you’ll do anything not to hurt the pup, which worries me almost as much.”
Author Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart pounding romance. When she’s not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs. Layla is a member of Romance Writers of America and its Kiss of Death and Rainbow Romance Writers chapters. She was a 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.
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