SWITCHING GEARS by Megan Slayer
Track Domination Series Book Three
Ethan Long is a man on a mission—finish well and he gets to keep his ride at Flash Racing. Continue to crash and his racing days will be numbered. Other than being behind the wheel of a race vehicle, this good looking hot shot hasn’t got the first clue how to harness his ego or his talent. Until he locks gazes with Royce. Then all bets are off.
Royce Darden doesn’t play around. His no-nonsense attitude propelled him to the head of the merchandise sales at Flash. He’s good with numbers and facts…and a crop. Few people know about his wilder side and what he needs in bed. He sees the inner submissive in Ethan screaming for a turn. Can Royce convince the young driver that switching gears could be the key to his racing future?
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“They always want an ass.”
Ethan Long twiddled his thumbs and bounced his foot on his other knee. He’d been summoned into the boss’ motor coach to talk racing. Most guys would hate to be called on the carpet. Not Ethan. Hell, he expected the weekly lecture. He’d wrecked two trucks in Pocono, torn them to smithereens. As usual, his crew chief, Sam, and the big boss, Collin, would rip him a new asshole. Ethan might not have cared except Flash Racing had become not only known for solid finishes thanks to his team mate, Will, but the shop had garnered the name Fucking Romance racing. First Will and his crew chief, Adam, had hooked up, then Collin and Sam had started doing the horizontal mambo.
Ethan refused to be the next domino to fall. No way. He wasn’t about to fall in love or settle down with one man. Not when plenty of hot men and women populated the crowds. No, he’d stay Ethan the Long Shot to Win and come out on top despite the odds.
Except, this time, Sam and Collin weren’t around. Ethan’s skin crawled. Both men tended to tag-team growl at him after the race. This silence bothered him. Suddenly, the door clicked behind him, making him jerk. He turned toward the sound. Instead of Collin, another man strolled into the office. Royce Darden, the hottest guy on the racing circuit—except Royce didn’t drive a car. He sold the die cast versions and whatever else fans wanted to buy with Will’s face or name emblazoned on it.
“Hey.” Royce smiled then glanced around the luxury coach. “I thought Collin was here. No?”
“He’s not been by.” Ethan stood and rubbed his clammy palms on his jeans legs. His heart skipped a beat whenever he saw Royce. Part of him wanted to jump the man. The rest of him…wanted to jump on him, too.
“Well.” Royce scrubbed the heel of his hand over his face then sighed. “Thanks. I’ll see if he’s with Sam.”
“Hold up,” Ethan blurted. He’d never been attracted to the mild-mannered type like Royce, but what the hell. Why not make a play for the sexy man? “Why don’t you stick around here? Unless you’ve got someone waiting on you.”
Ethan held his breath while he waited for Royce to respond.
Royce narrowed his eyes. “That ship has sailed.”
“Oh.” Ethan couldn’t hide his disappointment. He wasn’t sure what he’d expected Royce to say, but the rejection stung.
“I mean, my ex couldn’t handle my hours at Flash and my crazy travel schedule. He wanted me home, and racing doesn’t stay home for long.” Royce smiled. He settled onto the chair next to the door. “What were you thinking?”
“Wait.” Ethan processed Royce’s words. He? Royce had said the word he, right? “He?”
Shit. He needed to stop blabbing the first word on his mind.
“Your gaydar is correct.” Royce folded his arms. The muscles tensed beneath the sleeves of his polo shirt. “Brian wanted a nine-to-five guy. I’m not.”
“You don’t flaunt it.” Ethan sank down onto the couch. Christ, if he hadn’t had this discussion with Royce, he’d never have guessed Royce was gay.
“I don’t need to.” Another smile, as if Royce knew something Ethan had yet to figure out.
“I see.” Ethan leaned back in his seat. “I finished second in the race. Did you see me?”
“I watched the ending. Will won. Did a damned good job.”
No inflection in Royce’s voice, but at least, Ethan had gotten him to talk some more. “I let him have that last corner.”
“You were a full second behind him.”
A full second and a whole hell of a lot looser in the turns. He should’ve finished worse than he had. Fuck. Ethan groaned. “I doubt Collin’s coming back, and I’m horny as hell. I want you to fuck me.” He leapt out of his seat and stalked across the short expanse to where Royce sat. “Don’t tell me you’ve never initiated a motor coach.”
“I have.” Royce kept his arms folded. “But I’m not interested.”
“What?” Ethan recoiled as if he’d been slapped. People just didn’t tell him they weren’t interested. They fawned over him and begged him for sex. Where did Royce get off telling him no?
“You’re cute and all, but you’re young.” Royce nudged Ethan out of the way and stood. “You’re what…twenty-three? I’ve got almost ten years on you.” He patted Ethan’s shoulder. “Better luck next time.”
Before Ethan could form a coherent response, Royce left the motor coach. The door clicked shut, and realization struck. Of all the guys to wander in and out of his life, this one, Royce Darden, the guy who looked good without trying, didn’t want any piece of him.
So why did he stick fast in Ethan’s mind? Who knew? Because he kind of liked the guy as more than a fling. But he’d always been the bad guy—the one to walk away first. Ethan replayed the post race interview over and over in his head. Your fenders are bent all to hell, and you’ve managed to upset three-quarters of the field. Despite that, you finish well. You’re booed. How do you like being the bad guy?
When the perky woman asking him the questions had stopped talking, he’d stared at her. He’d known what he wanted to say, but the words hadn’t come right away.
“Just doing my job,” he’d said. “The boos spur me on. Who doesn’t want to be the bad ass? Guys know not to try stuff with me because I’ll put the stomp on them. Besides, you’re talking to me, not them. Score one for me.”
What an ass. He’d sounded confident to the point of being cocky. He rolled his eyes at himself and plopped onto the couch. Being the jerk sucked. All those race machines torn up for what? So he could look cool? Good finishes meant more attention. Lord knew the second place finish hadn’t even scored him a date with Royce. And why? Royce probably wanted a mature guy, a guy who raced like a pro…not a dumb kid.
Screw it. He wanted Royce and wasn’t about to take no for an answer. He’d prove he wasn’t a kid, and he was just the man Royce needed.
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