Dance With Me

Dance With Me by Heidi Cullinan Page A

Book: Dance With Me by Heidi Cullinan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Heidi Cullinan
Tags: Contemporary, M/M romance
me. It's not going to lead to anything. It's just dancing.”
    “Is he handsome?” Oliver pressed.
    “That's completely beside the point,” Laurie snapped.
    “That's a yes. And does he bat for Dorothy?” When Laurie gave him a withering look, Oliver laughed. “And another yes. Well, well, Laurence.” He rose. “Bring him to the performance. Perhaps he'll center you there as well.”
    “He isn't my boyfriend, Oliver, and he's certainly not my savior. My God, he'd laugh me out of the room if I asked to come hold my hand at Nutcracker .” Though as soon as he said that, he felt guilty. Ed hadn't laughed at him, not in a long time.
    “I think it's good that you're seeing someone,” Oliver said. “You've been too reclusive. If you aren't sleeping with him, perhaps you should. I'd say you should date him openly, but I suppose we should encourage you to walk before you run. But sex is a must for you, I think. How long has it been?”
    “For heaven's sake, Oliver,” Laurie hissed, glancing around nervously.
    Oliver dismissed Laurie's discomfort with a wave of his hand. “It's all teenagers at this rehearsal, and I promise you, if they aren't having sex, they're thinking about it. Answer my question. How long has it been?”
    “It's none of your business,” Laurie snapped.
    “Always a discouraging reply. Please tell me at least there has been someone since Paul.”
    Laurie knew he was now beet red. “Of course.”
    But he averted his eyes as he spoke, and Oliver sighed. “Let me guess. A few awkward dates, some passable but mostly mediocre sex, and mostly long, depressing dry patches where you tell yourself you don't need such bestial pleasures in your life?”
    It was so spot-on that Laurie had to bite his tongue to keep from asking how Oliver could possibly know. “Why are we even having this conversation?” he asked instead.
    “Because bestial pleasures are the stuff of life, Laurence.” Oliver moved to stand in front of Laurie and stared him down. “Because sex makes you feel alive. Because you're a sexual being, because you're young and attractive, and because with the right partner you would probably be the most responsive, beautiful bedmate a man could dream of.”
    The frank discussion of sex was upsetting Laurie, but Oliver's last declaration caught him off guard, and despite himself, he looked up at his godfather in surprise. “Why do you say that?”
    “That you would be a beautiful bedmate? Because you would. You're gracious and giving and though selective—too much so—you have so much beauty stored up to give. But if you don't stir that beauty up every now and again, Laurie, it will wither and die. Try giving it to your dancing partner and see where it gets you.”
    An image flashed in Laurie's brain of Ed, smiling Ed pressing him down onto his bed. It was an alarming and highly pleasurable image. He shook it off. “Ed would never be interested in me. He's a football player, Oliver. He's big and handsome and flirty.”
    Oliver smiled. “He sounds perfect.”
    “Yes. And perfect men aren't interested in skinny, uptight, neurotic messes like me,” Laurie shot back.
    Oliver's smile faded. “I wish I knew how you got like this. I wish I could figure out where and when you thought so poorly of yourself that you stopped being able to see yourself.” He shook his head. “I wish I had tried harder to assure you that you were fine just as you were.”
    The conversation wasn't just embarrassing Laurie now; it was making him downright uncomfortable. “I need to go.” He turned on his heel and walked off before Oliver could reply.
    But his thoughts kept drifting back to their conversation all through rehearsal. He thought too about Ed. He knew he was right, that Ed would never be interested for more than a moment in a man like Laurie. Flirt, yes, but date? Or even just hook up for sex? A man who tackled football players for fun? He'd probably laugh Laurie out of the bed.
    What was worse was how

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