Where the Lovelight Gleams Excerpt

Where the Lovelight Gleams by Keira Andrews

This Christmas, actor Ryan Drake is pining. He may get to kiss gorgeous Cary Holloway on the set of their hit TV show, Space Academy, but he knows it’ll never happen in real life. Charming Cary–the son of Hollywood royalty–is straight, as evidenced by his starlet girlfriend. But Christmas is a time for unexpected gifts, and Cary accepts Ryan’s invitation to leave the palm trees behind and spend the holiday with his family at their cabin in the Great White North.

Amid the snow and mistletoe, Ryan struggles to keep his longing under wraps. Little does he know, Cary wrestles with his own unspoken desires and his very identity. Surrounded by family and holiday joy, their warm friendship deepens. Will these two co-stars have the courage to brave Hollywood pressures and take their romance offscreen–or will it be only in their dreams?

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Read an excerpt from Where the Lovelight Gleams

Half an hour later, they struggled through knee-deep snow. Ryan had an ax slung over his shoulder, and he led the way. Cary had picked up top-of-the-line boots, which was a good thing since in LA he only ever wore flip-flops or sneakers.

“How do you know where we’re going?” Cary gazed around at the sea of trees. It was brighter at the tree farm, and Cary’s hair gleamed golden in the sun. “They all look the same.”

Ryan mock gasped. “The same? No, no. Among these trees is The One. The one true tree that I must find to bring home to my family. Usually it would be my dad accompanying me on this quest. But this year it’s you who must prove your bravery, good knight.”

Cary chuckled. “Are there Orcs in this forest? Because I didn’t sign up for Orcs.”

“You’re a Portigan warrior. You can handle a few Orcs.” Ryan changed course and went deeper into the trees.

“Too bad I left my warp blaster at home.”

The snow crunched underfoot as they continued along, away from the families and other people looking for their own trees. The sun darted in and out of the clouds, but there was no wind, so even though it was below zero, it didn’t feel cold. At least not to Ryan. Cary’s cheeks were rosy in the chill.

“Are you warm enough? Here, take my toque.” Ryan pulled off his woolen beanie hat and held it out.

“Your what?” Cary laughed. “It’s okay, I’m fine.”

“You’re not used to this weather. Take it.”

After a moment, Cary relented and slipped on the red hat. “Thanks. How do I look?”

Gorgeous. Perfect. Sexy as hell. “Fine.” Ryan’s voice sounded strange, and he cleared his throat. “My mom’s probably knitting you your own as we speak, so I hope you like it.”

Cary grinned. “I love it.” After a moment, he stopped walking. “See something you like?”

Heart thumping, Ryan huffed out a strangled breath. “What?”

Cary waved his arm around. “The trees. You looked like maybe you spotted one.”

“Right. No. Not yet.”

Ryan started walking again and hoped the blush staining his cheeks would be mistaken for a reaction to the temperature. He ducked around a particularly large pine, and then he saw it.

The sun beamed onto the thick snow-covered branches. Ryan could instantly imagine the tree strung with lights and garlands, his family’s ornaments hanging from the branches and his grandmother’s star beaming from the top. The tree was just the right height to fill the corner of the living room—not too big, not too small.

“Just right?” Cary asked.

“Yeah. You can tell?”

Cary smiled. “I can tell by the way you’re looking at it. Come on, let’s chop this sucker down.”

They took turns with the ax, thwacking away at the trunk. Cary listened to Ryan’s instructions and went about his task with a concentration that Ryan really needed to stop thinking of as adorable. As the tree fell, Cary grinned.

“Timber!” he called out.

They surveyed the tree, and Ryan couldn’t stop smiling. Yep, this was the one.

“So…now what? Do those Orcs carry the tree back for us?”

“Usually old Mr. Barnes would help take the tree back and wrap it up, but I don’t want to put him out. Think we can manage it on our own? We’re pretty far out.”

“As Angelo at the gym would say, this is functional training. Maybe I’ll start a new fitness trend: hauling trees. Of course in LA they’d have to be palm trees.”

“I think you’re on to something there. You should tell US Weekly.”

Cary laughed and picked up the trunk of the tree. “Stars: they’re just like us! They haul Christmas trees through the snow.”

Ryan grabbed on as well, and they worked in unison to drag the tree back to the farm’s entrance. It wasn’t easy work, and after a few minutes sweat moistened the back of Ryan’s neck. He put the tree down and scooped up a handful of snow into his mouth. Cary followed suit, his brow furrowed as he tentatively placed some snow on his tongue.

“For the record, we should never eat snow if we’re lost in the woods.” Ryan put another handful into his mouth, where it melted refreshingly.

“Really? Why not?”

“You can get hypothermia. But I think we’re safe here on Mr. Barnes’s farm. Even if we got lost, someone would come by sooner or later.”

“Huh. What else are you not supposed to do with snow?”

“Well, don’t ever eat the yellow snow.”

“Ha-ha. That much I know.” Cary bent down and picked up another handful before packing it into a misshapen ball. “Should you do this?”

Before Ryan could react, the snowball smacked his face, and he sputtered.

“I’ve always wanted to throw a snowball.” Cary grinned and backed up.

“Oh you asked for it, California boy!”

Laughing and shouting, they did battle, dodging behind trees and firing snowballs at each other. For a newbie, Cary had great aim. He launched a missile that Ryan had to dive to evade.

“Just like throwing out a runner at second!” Cary shouted.

“Except you missed! Need some glasses, huh?”

Back and forth they went, the tree forgotten as they dodged and ducked and hurled snowballs. They were both breathing hard by the time Ryan called for a time-out. “Okay, okay. I think it’s safe to say you’ve got the hang of it. With all the cardio you do, I’ll never beat you.”

“So you’re giving up?” Cary grinned.

“On snowballs? Yes.” Ryan dusted off his parka and wet jeans. As Cary reached his hand out to shake, Ryan grabbed him and used Cary’s momentary surprise to topple him into the snow. “But we have another tradition here. The snow job.”

Before Cary could answer, Ryan ripped the red toque from Cary’s head and crammed fistfuls of snow into his hair and down the back of his jacket. Cary squirmed and kicked, laughing so hard his breath hitched.

“Okay, okay. I surrender!”

Ryan straddled Cary’s hips and pressed Cary’s arms above his head in the snow. “You’re an honorary Canadian now.” His chest heaving as he caught his breath, Ryan smiled down at his friend.

Cary’s face was wet and flushed, and a smile played at his parted lips. His tongue darted out, and Ryan couldn’t look away. Desire thundered in Ryan’s veins, and before he could stop himself, he leaned down and captured Cary’s mouth with his own.

Although Cary’s lips were cool, beyond them the heat of his mouth drew Ryan in uncontrollably. Their tongues tangled, and the fire in Ryan’s veins shot straight to his cock. It felt so good, and he’d wanted it for so long. He breathed Cary in as Cary shook off Ryan’s grasp on his wrists and grabbed Ryan’s head and—

Copyright © Keira Andrews

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