Gazing around the room, memories flooded him. Several of his mother’s watercolor paintings hung from the walls, brightening the musty room that needed a good airing out. He remembered when she had signed up for the class. Her excitement seemed to fill the entire house for a while, but like any mother with an overabundant workload, she had left her brushes behind when other things took precedence over painting. Only now did Ethan realize how much she had sacrificed for him, when it was too late to say thank you.
He sat on the edge of the bed, the sound of the running shower coming from the bathroom on the landing. He thought of Quinn, wet and soapy under the steady stream of warm water sluicing down his muscular body. He had grown from a cute teenager into an attractive and strong man. Ethan touched his fingertips to his lips, remembering the kiss they’d shared so long ago. It was warm, moist, and tender. It had also been his first kiss.
He shook his head—hard, attempting to clear his mind of the memory of that kiss. He was with Randall … kind of. Ethan was sure that his partner was going through a phase, and he intended to be there for him when Randall recovered from it. They had too much invested, emotionally and monetarily, to throw it all away. Randall would soon figure that out for himself and come back with a big bouquet of flowers and an even bigger apology—that, Ethan was sure of. They belonged together. It made sense. But until then, he planned to keep busy, and this was the place to do it.
While standing to open the window, he heard the shower shut off. Maybe a long hot shower was exactly what he needed, anything to wash away the anxiety of the last few months. Bending to feel the summer breeze against his face, Ethan closed his eyes and inhaled the sweet smell of honeysuckle.
“Shower’s all yours.”
Quinn’s baritone voice caused Ethan to knock his head against the windowsill. He spun, rubbing at the sore spot.
“I didn’t mean to scare you.”
Ethan blinked, focusing on Quinn’s tanned, sculpted chest with the perfect amount of chest hair, rivulets of water snaking down into his low-slung, terry towel. He felt dizzy, either from the half-naked body standing at his door or from the bang on his head, Ethan wasn’t sure which.