An angsty new polyamorous duet is out this week from Claudia Burgoa—part of the larger Decker Family series—and I have the whole first chapter for you.
Eiffel 65’s “Blue” blares through my ears as I walk inside Black Out, a nightclub located in downtown Malibu.
It takes me a few seconds to adjust to the darkness, the strobing lights, and the sporadic laser effects bouncing off the walls. My gaze lifts. I admire the high ceiling and observe the second-floor balconies that are filled with patrons drinking and dancing.
I make my way through the dance floor. Swaying, sweaty bodies press and rub against each other, some against me.
My nose wrinkles as the stench of alcohol, adrenaline, and pheromones hit my nostrils. I feel fucking old. It’s been a long time since I visited a place like this. I should start rethinking my life—a thought for another day.
At the moment, I have to focus on the blonde taking me to the office of my brother’s new business partner, Tristan Cooperson. The hostess—or whoever she is—makes a right, leading me down a darkened hall toward a steel door. The sign next to it reads Employees Only.
The girl, whose name I never learned, wiggles the door handle and opens it wide. “Mr. Cooperson, Mr. Decker is here for you.”
Before I step inside the office, Usher’s “Nice & Slow” resonates through the walls. I wonder why the sudden change in rhythm from snappy to a more somber, slow song. Checking my watch, I realize it’s almost two o’clock in the morning.
Tristan Cooperson lays his pen down and lifts his head. And. Oh. Holy. Shit. Those piercing dark green eyes make contact with mine. I drink in all of his features.
His dark, short hair highlights his facial features. A five o’clock shadow covers his chiseled jaw. His back straightens and his palms lay flat on the desk as his eyes penetrate mine.
I don’t know whether he’s undressing me or trying to eliminate me with that glare. Sometimes I feel like he’s not a fan. Others… well, if I had to choose, I believe it’s lust.
Do I hope that he’ll beg me to fuck him?
A man can only wish.
Just thinking of what I can do to him and with him increases the room’s temperature exponentially. I’m burning from the inside out. No one should judge me. It’s been a long time since I was with anyone. Add Tristan Cooperson, who makes me want him more and more every time I see him, and well, I’m ready to combust.
“Thank you, Becky. Please close the door on your way out,” he says, shifting his eyes toward the door.
I stare at Becky, watching her hips sway while following his directions. As the latch clicks, my attention goes back to him. “She’s hot. Are you two…?”
“She’s something,” he agrees, smirking slightly. He’s so cagey, I can’t get a read on him. I’m pretty sure he’s attracted to me—or I could be completely wrong.
There are so many questions swirling in my head when it comes to him, but with that major wall he puts up between us, I can never find my answers.
“But that’s not important.” He waves a hand. “I make it a rule not to mix business with pleasure. Please stay away from my employees.”
My eyebrows shoot up and I stare at him. “If she wasn’t your… staff, would you do her?”
“Decker, concentrate.” He snaps his fingers and sighs in frustration. “What’s so urgent that it couldn’t be handled over the phone?”
I walk closer to his desk, and the oak, mossy scent of his fragrance replaces the mix of club stench from outside the door. My entire body goes into red alert. I’m ready to bend Tristan over his desk and fuck him.
Except, I’m not an animal and I can control myself. So, I reach inside my jacket and unfold the NDA as I hand it to him.
He takes a quick look at it and starts shaking his head. “Another fucking NDA?” The thud his hand makes as it slams against the desk makes me jolt. “I’ve already sworn never to speak about your family. Parents, siblings, or goddamned pets. What is it now?”
Touchy. I retrieve the paper from him, avoiding his gaze.
It’s hard for many to comprehend why we need an NDA, but for me it’s natural to hand them to business partners or employees. My fathers, the patriarchs of the Decker family, like to keep their private life within the family.
It’s what my parents decided to do once they became a couple. Being celebrities made them news. Chris Decker is a legendary rockstar, and Gabe Colt is a critically acclaimed, award-winning actor. And yep, both are men. These days it’s hard to understand why a gay couple would want to hide their relationship, but when their relationship started, it had to be kept under wraps if they wanted to protect themselves and us—their three children—from gossip. If it hadn’t been because of their rules, we would have become an attraction from day one. Watch the latest news about the triplets of the famous gay couple.
These contracts are created to protect my loved ones and keep them far away from the media. There’s always a foe ready to find some important piece of information about our lives and sell it to the highest bidder. That’s why I brought this with me, to make sure Tristan doesn’t leak any information regarding the family, like my brother’s recent nuptials.
Of course, Jacob, my triplet, didn’t mention that Tristan already signed one when we spoke on Saturday, during his wedding reception. He only told me to inform Tristan he’d be out of town for a few months and that I’d be in charge of all his shit. Shit which includes Thrice, the nightclub Jacob and Tristan are opening next year.
Tonight seemed like a convenient time to let him know that we’ll be seeing a lot of each other. Okay, so maybe I used that as an excuse, but can anyone blame me?
Why did I have to do it in person?
The NDA. I always cover my bases when I have to deliver any kind of sensitive information about my family—including the secret wedding. Jacob Decker became a solo act and with his new fan base, it’s in his best interest to remain single and detached. At least that’s what Pria, his wife and PR rep, said.
“Jacob got married this past weekend. He’s going to be out of town on his honeymoon. You and I will be spending more time together.” I wiggle my eyebrows as I slide into the chair in front of him.
His growl is priceless.
“I’m hurt.” I touch my chest, then lean closer as I lower my voice. “Your mouth says you don’t like me”—I give him my best cocky wink—“but your body screams that you want me.”
He tries to laugh off my comment even though we both know it wasn’t intended as a joke. “I’m not gay like you, Matthew.”
My eyebrows lift, unamused because he’s assuming, like everyone. If I’m seen with a woman, I’m straight. Yet, if I’m with a man, I’m automatically deemed gay. I like and enjoy being with both—but despise labels.
“My taste is… different. We’re different, Matthew,” he says, his emotionless eyes narrowing on mine. “You wouldn’t understand.”
I rise from my seat, placing my business card on top of his desk. “Email me your travel schedule. When you’re working in Seattle, you can stay at my place. There’s no point in wasting money on hotels when I have plenty of room. I’ll give you a set of keys and the code since I travel as much as you do.”
And with that perplexed look now covering his face, I turn to make my exit.
“Decker?” he calls after me as I’m about to open the door. My shoulders hunch as I wait for him to insult me. “Are we okay?”
I spin around, leaning against the heavy door and watching this contradictory man who, I’m guessing, has no fucking idea what he wants and is afraid of who he might be. I set my gaze on his and wait a few breaths as I search for an answer.
An answer for what…
What does he need, and can I give it to him?
I don’t know. He shuts me down every time I try to start something with him.
I shrug. “You tell me, Cooperson.” I cross my arms. “I hate labels. And no, I’m not gay. I sleep with whoever I’m attracted to.”
I press my lips together, halting any more words from escaping, as I feel they’re coming out all wrong. But in part that’s the truth. “I like women, men… I don’t like to label who I am. I find you strikingly hot.”
Tristan’s eyes narrow, his hands become two fists, and his jaw twitches.
This guy has issues. I should just walk away.
“In my mind, there’s nothing wrong with telling you that I want you because your body responds to me. If you’re straight, you might want to rethink a few things because your reactions toward men say something else.” I shrug and immediately regret saying the last sentence because, holy shit, I hit a nerve.
Tristan stares at me, the strength of his glare unsettling.
I can’t help but ask, “So, you only sleep with women? Is that it?”
He gives me a blank stare, and his hands are no longer fists.
“Have you ever been with a man?”
He remains stoic, though, he begins to fidget with his pen.
I smirk. “I’ll take that as a yes. Is it me then?”
He blows out a noisy breath. “You’re a public figure, Matt. You’re comfortable with your sexuality—whatever that might be. Good for you. I prefer to keep my business to myself.”
Tristan’s gaze drops, and he stares at the desk.
I flinch at his last words.
Oh man… he’s in the fucking closet.
I run a hand through my hair, my long strands falling onto my forehead. He’s piqued my curiosity, and I want to discover what’s behind that façade. He needs help, a friend, support. It might eat him alive if he continues to hide behind it. I push myself off the door, walk to where he sits, bend down, then kiss his cheek.
Fuck. How I want to do much more than simply kiss his cheek.
“Around me, you can be yourself. I will never judge you, Tristan.” I place my hand on top of his.
“Whenever you need me, I’m here for you,” I whisper, and leave the room.