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FINDING HOME
Loose Id
Male/Male
May 2008

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Picking pockets and stealing cars, Adam Reyes does what he must to survive. Working Chicago's O'Hare airport, he feels pretty confident when he spots his next mark.

Security expert Rhone Quinn can't believe the wiry kid who grabs his cell phone almost gets away with it. Logic says turn the teen over to the cops, but Rhone is a man who trusts his instincts, and his gut tells him to offer the young man a job and a chance to begin a new life. Little does Rhone know that when he makes this choice it will forever change his life, too.

Over the years that follow, a mentor relationship turns into a unique, abiding friendship. It eventually leads to true equality between Rhone and Adam when Adam becomes a full partner in Quinn Security. Unbeknownst to Rhone, as time passes by, Adam is also falling deeply in love. With Rhone. Who isn't gay. And who doesn't know that Adam is.

Then, one day, Rhone discovers the truth. Will Rhone's new awareness of Adam's feelings bind the men together even more intimately, or tear them apart for good?

   
 

“…Sometimes it feels like the world has turned its back on you. You feel helpless, hurt and alone. But when someone shows you that they are willing to support and love you, it's like Finding Home . Cameron Dane has written a story about the plight of so many of our young people, and allowed for a happy ending some may wholeheartedly wish for but never receive. Adam is sweet-natured with a gentle spirit. His family's rejection was a blow that cautioned him against openly showing his love and sharing his secret desires. Rhone, I believe, cared about Adam from the moment he looked in his eyes. Watching the strong man exhibit signs of being in love and at the same time being in denial had me shaking my head. When Adam and Rhone finally made love it was like watching the last pieces of a puzzle being put into place. Their hearts, souls and minds seemed to come together. Ms. Dane is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. She has a way of creating characters with the ability to speak to your heart and whisper desires you had no clue existed. Adam whispered unconditional love in my ear constantly throughout this book. Finding Home will claim your attention until the last word is read. This is a story you don't want to miss.”
--NeNe from Fallen Angel Reviews

 

“…With Finding Home, Cameron Dane has once again penned a well-written and interesting gay contemporary romance with an unusual set-up for a novella. The first half is done in short sections, each one covering a portion of a year in the lives of these two men, giving you snippets of information and showing how their relationship is changing and growing. It's the second half, written in the present, where you see the culmination of their feelings, and the truth of Adam's love for Rhone is finally revealed. The personal emotions that Adam and Rhone have for each other have grown for so long, that straight Rhone doesn't even realize why he's been miserable since Adam moved out of their apartment…that's he's been missing the other half of them…I have to applaud Ms. Dane. She did an excellent job of describing both Adam's love for Rhone, and Rhone's new found acceptance of his unexpected sexual feelings for Adam, without the scenes being mushy, trite, or overdone. But get your fan ready. When these two old friends/new lovers finally get together, the sex is emotional, hot, and explosive, taking up the vast majority of the last half.”
--Mystical Nymph from Literary Nymphs Reviews Only

 

"...Finding Home was an amazingly interesting story about the growth of love between Rhone and Adam. Ms. Dane used a different premise than most authors and took her beautiful plot through years in a novella. There was quite a bit of hot sex between some of the characters...Rhone was a kind and loving man who helped teach Adam how to be an equally great man...The secondary characters filled their positions wonderfully...There were twists and turns throughout the plot, some of which were unknown until the end. This was not confusing to me because it was obvious that the author knew where she was leading me. This is the first story that I have read by Ms. Dane and I highly recommend it. As for me, I'm going to look for her other books to read."
--Marcy Arbitman from Just Erotic Romance Reviews, a five star review

 

"...Cameron Dane writes with such passion. She draws the reader in and makes them love her characters. I loved Adam from the beginning. It was such an emotional ride traveling with Adam as he struggles to survive on the streets and then deal with feelings and emotions that everyone tells him are wrong. The passion between these two characters and the longing Adam feels toward Rhone truly makes this a keeper. I would highly recommend this one to anyone looking for an emotional, sexy story between two equally sexy men."
-- Sandra from The Romance Studio, a five heart review

 

“…Adam’s and Rhone’s characters are very appealing and well developed and the author does a good job on the supporting cast who add depth to the story…The sex is great but you have to read the book to find out who is doing what to whom… Finding Home is delightful in concept and execution, with excellent pacing and terrific characters and I think that Cameron Dane’s characterizations are what made this book such a good read. The story kept my interest from the beginning as I became invested and wanted to find out what was going to happen next… This is the first book I have read by this author and I’m looking forward to reading other stories.
-- Jessewave from Rites of Romance Reviews

 

 

Finding Home Excerpt 1: PG-13 for language

Finding Home Excerpt 2: PG rated

 

Excerpt #1 Rhone and Adam doing a bit of work together

 

Rhone yanked Adam into an alcove and pulled the younger man into his arms. Adam jerked against him, but Rhone slid his arm around Adam's waist and held him close. Leaning back against the brick wall, he tucked Adam against him in a lover's embrace.

While watching the street out of the corner of his eye, he dipped down and put his mouth against Adam's ear. "Tell me you can see him from over my shoulder." He pretended to nuzzle Adam's neck. Christ, the man really did have the warmest skin. "If you look to your right, he should be seated outside that pretentious little bistro."

Chuckling, Adam dipped his forehead and rested it against Rhone's shoulder, stifling a bigger laugh.

"Well, I'm not wrong," Rhone said, affronted. Still, Adam shook with suppressed amusement, so Rhone squeezed him around the waist to get him to stop. "It's an uppity little place that charges twenty-five bucks for a fancy burger and fries."

"Did a date not go well there?" Adam asked softly. His breath tickled against Rhone's neck, and the hairs on Rhone's arms under his shirt stood on end. Before Rhone could concern himself, Adam shifted excitedly against him. "Wait, wait." Confidence and new life suddenly infused his voice. "Someone just joined our guy. A young woman. Damn it, she just kissed his cheek, and we didn't get it. Let me get my phone." As Adam dug his hand into his front pocket, his knuckles grazed the front of Rhone's jeans. Rhone's cock twitched automatically, seeking the touch. Quickly, Adam pulled his hand from between them. "God, I'm sorry."

"Don't worry about me," Rhone whispered harshly. "Take the fucking picture so we can get out of here."

"I am, damn it." Adam adjusted slightly again, and Rhone could feel the flat of the phone resting against his shoulder. "I'm not gonna blow this chance to prove myself to you. I'm not an idiot."

"I never said you were." A couple walked by, and Rhone caressed his hand down Adam's back to his ass, cupping and kneading the firm cheek. Letting his palm linger and the tips of his fingers slide between Adam's legs from behind, Rhone watched as the man and woman gasped and hurried by, noticing only that one man touched another intimately. They never even glanced at the phone Adam had poking out over Rhone's shoulder. Jesus, Adam feels all sleek and full of hard muscle under my fingers.

Curling his digits against a bizarre desire to reach farther in, Rhone slid his hand back up to the small of Adam's back. "How are we doing? Have they done anything else?"

"Whoa." Adam whistled low, brushing more warm breath against Rhone's neck. "He just ate about half the girl's face in a kiss I don't think the people sitting next to them appreciated seeing. Will that do for the wife, or do we need to trail them and see if they hit a motel?"

A familiar pain settled in Rhone's heart. Christ, he hated this part of his job. The cheating spouse never disappointed him. "No, that ought to do it. If she wants more, we'll follow him around again tomorrow."

"I don't think I'd want to see it," Adam murmured. He pulled back, showing Rhone solemn, dark eyes. "I feel bad that I got excited for a minute catching the husband being unfaithful. We did the job, but now I feel a little sick."

"That's because you have a good heart." Rhone resisted the strange urge to hug Adam and promise him that plenty of good people still existed in the world, ones who didn't cheat on their significant others. People like Rhone. God, where did that come from? Instead, he reached down and took Adam's hand, linking their fingers together. They had a job to finish.

Adam's gaze widened and darted up to Rhone's, full of panic and questions.

"In case the professor or his woman friend saw us duck in here," Rhone explained. He tugged Adam out into the sparse flow of foot traffic. "Just like if we were a man and woman, we need to maintain the image of a couple until we get back to the car."

*

Adam straightened and walked by Rhone's side, their fingers intertwined, swinging just a little bit in what made them look like a new, eager, young couple. Adam's palm sweat terribly, but he couldn't make it stop.

Rhone squeezed and gave Adam's hand a little shake. "Don't worry so much. You did a great job. You maintained your focus over the course of a long day, and you asked me a lot of good questions." Rhone's voice remained steady, and he maintained their leisurely pace to the vehicle. "You've earned the promotion from gopher to trainee. I know I won't regret it."

"Thanks." Adam felt his face flush.

He had the fleeting, terrifying thought that he wished they'd parked the car a million miles away. …

 

Excerpt # 2: Becoming closer friends.

 

Adam got home as soon as he could. Canin came out of the hallway to greet him.

"Where is he?" Adam threw his briefcase on the floor by the door and rushed toward the hallway. "Has he come out yet?"

"No." Canin stayed close on Adam's heels. "He locked the damn door and won't let me in. He won't speak to me, either. I've tried everything, even threats of kicking in the door, but I can't get him to respond. I thought maybe you could get through to him."

Thirty-six hours ago, Rhone and Canin had lost their grandmother in an interstate pile-up involving some twenty cars and three trucks. Getting the news at work, the blow clearly had devastated both men. Kasey and Adam had kept all appointments and the business running while the brothers dealt with making arrangements, but a half hour ago, Canin had called Adam, frantic about Rhone's behavior. Adam had left a late meeting right then and there, asking for no further explanation from Canin and giving no excuses to the client.

"Listen" -- God, Adam hated to do it, but knew both men would want him to -- "I know you don't want to, and it's shit timing, but I left Kasey alone at the TechCor meeting…"

"Yeah, of course." Canin nodded, even as his bloodshot gaze drifted back to his brother's bedroom door. "You…and him…it seems like you guys can talk about anything. Maybe I'm too much a reminder of how we grew up and how much we needed our grandmother all those years. I don't know, damn it. He won't talk to me." Dark circles stood out stark on a washed-out face, the lower half covered with two days' growth of stubble. Canin's eyes brimmed with sudden wetness, betraying how much it killed this man to ask for help with his baby brother. "Find a way to get in there and take care of him, Adam. Please. I can't lose him too."

"I'm not leaving his side. I promise." Adam looked to the door himself and almost felt as if he could see through it to the broken man on the other side. His heart ached in accompaniment, beating with something well beyond friendship or a crush. "I'll take good care of him and call you on your cell with updates. I know it's a lot to put on your shoulders, while you're trying to deal with this loss too, but if you can be available for Kasey while she takes the lead right now… I know Rhone wouldn't want to lose clients because we're all focused on him."

"No, he wouldn't." Canin's hard face softened with open love for his brother, and Adam fleetingly wondered why he didn't feel for Canin that magnetic pull he suffered every time he got within ten feet of Rhone. "Don't worry about me; I can take care of myself, and I'll make sure the business doesn't suffer, either. Just focus on Rhone. I'll talk to you soon."

Canin left, and Adam took off his suit jacket, preparing to do battle. He tried the knob on automatic, but other than a rattle, it didn't turn. "Rhone?" Adam knocked softly and then opened his palm against the wood. "Rhone, it's Adam. I'm worried about you. Can you open the door, please?"

Pressing his ear against the cool surface, Adam strained to hear something, anything, on the other side. He didn't even get a rustle of bedding or the padding of feet on hardwood flooring. Trying again, Adam added, "We don't have to talk if you don't want to. I just need you to open the door and show me that you're all right."

Nothing.

God, Adam didn't want to break down the door. And with the hinges on the other side, taking it off wasn't an option. Besides, he would never violate Rhone's need for privacy while he grieved. Adam just had this frantic racing in his heart that told him he needed to know that Rhone was okay on the other side of this door. Not to mention that if he didn't get a response within a few hours, Canin would do something drastic, out of fear for his brother's safety.

Rhone would hate that.

Adam slid to the floor. Pressing his shoulder against the outer frame, he laid his head against the door. "Rhone?" Desperation registered Adam's voice a little bit high and scratchy. Through his constricted windpipe, he said, "Listen to me. You don't have to let me in; you don't have to say a word. Just give me something. Please." He looked down and saw the glimmer of what was probably a lamp, giving off a hint of light from the bedroom. "Just slide your fingers under the door so that I know you can hear me and that you haven't hurt yourself. That's all I ask."

An agonizing moment passed wherein Adam held his breath the entire time. Then, the blunt tips of three fingers and a pinky appeared through the crack at the bottom of the door. A small sob escaped Adam, and he clutched his hand around those digits, needing to feel them as well as see them. Rhone didn't pull away, so Adam kept Rhone's fingers under his, unwilling…no, unable…to let go.

"Thank you," Adam whispered through the barricade of the door. "We'll just sit like this for a while. However long you need." He settled his shoulder and head in a more comfortable position, holding onto Rhone as he adjusted for a long night.

* * * * *

Hours later, Adam awoke with a start, groaning as his back tightened in a spasm from the awkwardness of his position. Coming alert quickly, Adam breathed a sigh of relief as the tingle from Rhone's rough fingers still holding onto his shot up his arm and straight into his heart. Unfortunately, pressure pushed against his bladder and made its need clear too.

"I have to use the bathroom." Adam slid his hand off Rhone's fingers. Coldness immediately prickled goose bumps all along his arms. "I'm not leaving you. I promise I'll be right back."

Hating to part from Rhone even for a minute, Adam pissed quickly, pausing only long enough afterward to make another call to Canin. After giving him an update and getting specifics about the funeral arrangements, Adam made his way back to Rhone's bedroom. He didn't see Rhone's fingers sticking out from under the door and had two seconds of panic that he had lost his small foothold with the man. Then, Adam noticed the smallest crack in the door, and his entire body seized with longing and the need to nurture and comfort.

Oh, God, he's letting me in.

With his fingers shaking, Adam pushed the door open all the way and stepped inside. ...

 

Copyright Protected Work.
Cameron Dane, Author. Loose Id, Publisher.

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